Friday, September 22, 2017

It´s a Friday Fight Night with Roger Stern !

Last Sunday comic writer extraordinaire Roger Stern celebrated his 67th birthday so Today I am revisiting THE biggest slobberknocker of his entire AVENGERS run in which the world´s mightiest heroes take on the gods.

As you might have guessed this is part three of AVENGERS WEEK here on TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN. I know it sounds a bit grandiose when you keep in mind that I am down to one post per week - two at the most - but since my last post was about the Avengers and with the birthdays of Roger Stern and Paul Ryan around the same time who both worked on the series I thought it a good idea. Even if I have to stretch this into next week.

The thing is that lately I have been spending too much time in front of the computer screen which benefit my readers with more posts - even if they were not as eloquent and far - ranging as has been a staple here - but it has played havoc with my day to day life. And right now I am trying to get a normal daily routine going. So in the forseeable future I will try to spend less hours per day on the laptop. This means of course that the posting ratio will go back to one post a week or lower which in turn means that the entertainment blocks will not get shorter any time soon. I know that some people do not like that section that much and I am trying to keep it as short as possible. Also the Paul Ryan post won´t go up till next week.

Now when I first thought about doing a post for Roger Stern´s anniversary I naturally thought about all the series he worked on. I already did some posts on his excellent run on AMAZING SPIDER - MAN with John Romita Jr so just doing another post of that would not be special. And I wanted to do something special. I still have some material for one or two posts but they will be done at a later time. Then I thought about doing a post on his run on SUPERMAN since I usually like to switch thing up which means that after writing a Marvel post I do a DC post or an iMAGE post or a cult siren post. But I don´t do these theme - centric posts very often so the idea of doing as many Avengers related posts in one week was very exciting. Plus I have a ton of original John Buscema art from this run on the back burner.

Speaking of original art, as with the Kurt Busiek post I tried to avoid posting too much original art and go for color pages instead. After a quick inventory of what I had accumulated so far I realized that to do a post that was about Roger Stern and not about the art I had to avoid just posting some splash pages and to go for an individual story instead.

Now the obvious choice would have been to do UNDER SIEGE since it´s the best story - not only from Roger Stern´s Avengers issues but of the AVENGERS period. But while there definitely will be a post about that battle royal at some point I think it has been done to death. I will probably include it in the continuation of my TOP 10 JOHN BUSCEMA AVENGERS COVERS since I tend to talk a lot about the story and not only about the cover in question but for Today´s post I decided that I would do Roger Stern a great disservice by doing a post which has the covers by John Buscema as its main focus, beautiful as they may be. So after going through the folders I had made for the individual stories my only choice was to go with ASSAULT ON OLYMPUS because this was Roger Stern´s last big opus ( you can read all about the details why he left the title in SUPER MEGA MONKEY´S MARVEL CHRONOLOGY´s post on AVENGERS 281 to 285 ).

Also I always had a tendency to go with the underdog and this story is often overshadowed by the juggernaut that is UNDER SIEGE and thus is overlooked and underappreciated by most comic afficionados. Add to that my love of stories that involve gods and you know why I had to pick this for Today´s topic. I mean how could I resist a story titled TWILIGHT OF THE GODS ! by such masters like Roger Stern, John Buscema and Tom Palmer ? 

Man, I just love the Black Knight. He is one of my all time favorite Avenger members and as a more regular guy who does not really have any super powers - only a cursed blade that cuts through anything - I could always relate to him ( well, that and the fact that he thought the Wasp was hot ).

Speaking of the Avenger´s shrinking sexbomb I just got the 2015 issue from Disney for FREE COMIC BOOK DAY that includes the ALL - NEW ALL - DIFFERENT AVENGERS preview by Mark Waid and Mahmud Asrar with my latest online comic book order. It was not one of the freebies I asked for so I guess the comic book dealer thought he was doing me a solid by including one more free comic. While I´m usually all for that in this case it only served to remind me why I´m not currently reading any AVENGERS titles. Apart from the obvious mistake that things like in the story should be covered during a training session - which they did do back when Kurt Busiek was writing the title - and not during an actual mission with civilian lives at stake I was appalled by the disrespect, disregard and general dick - iness that became apparent in the way Tony Stark talked about the Wasp.

I mean, yes, she joined the team because she thought it might be fun for an afternoon and she might get to know some cute boys. But at this point she had already proven time and time again that she was not only one of the Avengers best members but also a very capable leader with multiple times at the helm of the team as chairwoman under her belt. Also, is that any way to talk about the dead ? Tony is a complete dick most of the time who turns everything and anybody he gets his hands on into a weapon of some kind but the way they write him now it´s like he´s not only lacking the most basic people skills but also anything that could be classified as decency or a soul. And people ask my what my beef with Disney NOW is.  

Anyway, back to ASSAULT ON OLYMPUS, the story is included in the Epic Collection AVENGERS - JUDGEMENT DAY but while I usually like those trades because they include a lot of bonus stuff like annuals, interviews, articles, pin - ups and promo pieces from MARVEL AGE I skipped this one.

Because I already have the hardcover of ASSAULT ON OLYMPUS and neither the AVENGERS VS X - MEN mini series nor the graphic novel EMPEROR DOOM are worth shilling out 34 bucks ( or 27 with the new and used book section at amazon Germany ) especially since I already have them in my collection. And I also already own AVENGERS ANNUAL 16 and WEST COAST AVENGERS ANNUAL 2 as part of the CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS hardcover ( which will also be covered in a future post ). So if you don´t have these issues in go for the Epic Collection but at the moment I´m content with my hardcover. But that´s enough warm up so let´s get down to the main event which is the Avengers opening a can of whup - ass on the gods.

Especially Zeus who as unbelievable as it sounds manages to be an even bigger dick than Odin which is no small feat. If you have read some Thor stories you know what a douche Odin is, always whining why Thor spends so much time on Midgard even though he knows that he has a special connection to Earth since Gaia is his mother. Or striping Thor of his godly powers at the most inopportune moments. Or manipulating his son for his own whims and needs. But that´s nothing to the way Zeus is with Herc and it´s not the first time he almost beat his son to a bloody pulp either.

One last comment since we are on the subject of Thor, one of the perks - at least for me - is we get to see him in the Walt Simonson armor drawn by John Buscema. The suit doesn´t get nearly as much play as it deserves. 

Before we come to the entertainment block I want to include some of my always popular random - and not so random - links and since I don´t know when I will get to do my post on Under Siege here is the best moment from that story courtesy of Brian Cronin at COMIC BOOK RESOURCES .

RIP JAGGER`S DOJO has a profile on Avengers villain / foil / ally and all around douchebag Arkon the Magnificent with original John Buscema art and for some really vintage John Buscema art PEPLUM COMIX CORNER has his Dell Comics adaptions of the classic movies The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad, Helen Of Troy and Hercules plus Hercules Unchained by EC Comics icon Reed Crandall and another post with the adaptions of The Vikings by John Buscema and Thief Of Baghdad by Reed Crandall and George Evans. 

Over at Marvel´s distinguished competition Roger Stern wrote a lot of the stories of John Byrne´s revamped Superman books and you can check out his Supergirl mini series ( issue 1 / issue 2 / issue 3 / issue 4 ) at the THE MAIDEN OF MIGHT website which has everything Supergirl related. THE META PICTURE proves that as long as you´re convincing you get anything printed with These Books Actually Exist and I don´t think I have already posted the link for Tansy Rayner Robert´s MODERN WOMAN`S GUIDE TO CLASSIC WHO which I´m including because there will be a lot of Doctor Who related content at the end of this post. Another blog worth reading where I´m not sure if I posted a link is THE SUPER HERO SATELLITE and last but not least BABBEL has a post on how animals are named in german.

Since it has not been that long since I wrote my last post the only comic book related birthday I missed but covered last year is Steve Gerber .

Yesterday´s birthdays start with Rob Morrow who turned 55. His last big tv show was Numbers which ran 6 seasons but he´ll always be remembered as Dr. Joel Fleischman from Northern Exposure which according to critic John Leonard is the best of the best television in the last 10 years. And I couldn´t agree more, not only because it co stars the lovely Janine Turner.

I´m constantly pimping Northern Exposure ( or like it is called in Germany Alaska Of All Things probably because of the alliteration in the german language ) because as one reviewer in Germany phrased it german tv is waging war against this series. They made it virtually impossible to watch the show by sticking it into time slots when the audience is almost zero and they even changed that nonstop. After decades the complete show is finally available on DVD in german - although most people who buy these so far are the few ones to managed to see one of the elusive episodes.

As a little update on the DVD news the first season´s price has gone down from 20 Euros to 15 but the complete series in the wooden box set with a lot of extras has gone up from 135 Euros to 153. There is also an UK edition for 69 Euros but it only has the english language which does not work for me since I am used to hear the actors with german voices. The regular edition of the complete series in german has come out with a price of 91 Euros but according to the reviews there have been a lot of technical difficulties so I can´t recommend it. Ergo if you don´t have a spare 91 bucks the best thing is to wait for the rest of the seasons to come out.

You know, I used to read all books of Stephen King as a teenager but the man has such a staggering output that it is impossible to keep up with all the books, tv series and movies. He turned 70 and I have to admit that I have fallen behind on the Dark Tower comic books, mainly because they switched from the hardcover format to trades only. I could write an entire post about those only right now I don´t have that much material for it.

I´m not sure if his newer series like Under The Dome really interest me but I have probably seen most of the movie adaptions and while they are of varying success even the worst of them have some redeeming quality.

Stephen King´s anniversary is another opportunity to post a react video and while Brooklin is in the video I didn´t make a GIF of her. Because at the moment I´m working on another video with her in it but mostly on some GIFs for Becca who I always was kind of aware of but because she mostly hid her giant sweater puppies there was not much good material to use. Or I somehow always missed the best videos with her. Anyway, in one of the latest videos she is wearing a flowery dress and fronting some huge puppies that would make porn stars envious thanks to an incredible growth spurt and she´s only sixteen. I can´t imagine how gigantic her boobs must be at eighteen. So I´m kind of obsessed with her right now but there are still a few other react videos I can post in the meantime.

Coming back to Stephen King I still haven´t seen the new version of It ! and I´m not sure if I am that thrilled about it. On one side I know that if something is successful Hollywood will rehash it again and again as long as it brings money. And every new generation must have its own version of the Stephen King stories because watching the old version ain´t gonna fly.

Which is what I want to do. Watch the old version before seeing the new one. Not only because with most things I tend to find the original versions better but because it´s been a long time since I saw it and I want to make a founded decision about if the old version holds up. Yes, I will basically see the same movie twice but since I read the book before seeing the original version I already knew all the spoilers so that´s nothing new.

Yesterday would also have been the 86th birthday of Larry Hagman best known for his role of J. R. Ewing on Dallas which featured just a plethora of hot babes like Stacy Sanchez, Michelle Johnson, Priscilla Presley, Coleen Camp, Charlene Tilton, Deborah Shelton, Morgan Fairchild, Barbara Carrera, Tracy Scoggins, Claudia Christian, Lesley Anne - Down, Victoria Principal, the aforementioned Janine Turner or Audrey Landers who together with her sister Judy Landers was one of the hottest commodities of that time.

The show also reunited Larry Hagman with Barbara Eden, his co star from I Dream Of Jeannie for five episodes. I have to admit that although it´s a classic everybody knows I´m not as familiar with the show as I liked to be.

Which is the reason why I´m posting another Jeannie episode this year. There are not that many full episodes on YouTube in good quality so I ask readers in America and overseas to forgive me for picking one in german.

A shoutout also goes to Chuck Jones best known for his work on Looney Toones, Tom And Jerry and Who Framed Roger Rabbitt ? whose female protagonist Jessica Rabbit was surely influenced by Tex Avery´s Red.

Originally I wanted to post one of the shorts for the US government or one of his cartoons to honor Chuck Jones I selected a documentary that has plenty of examples that show what was so special about his animations.

Today´s celebrity birthday countdown starts with Laura Vandervoort, who turns 33 and whom I first saw as Supergirl on Smallville where we really got to see a lot of her - in but especially out of the Supergirl costume .

Her character spiced things up in the series as she could already fly with which Kal El was still struggling with and the tv writers managed to create an interesting version of Supergirl - something DC was not able to do between the time when the original Supergirl died in Crisis On Infinite Earths and the newest incarnation was introduced in the NEW 52.

Laura Vandervoort has recently returned to the Superman franchise in the new Supergirl tv series although this time as the villain Indigo. Longtime readers out there might remember the robot from the future that let loose a damaged Superman robot who killed Titans members Omen and Donna Troy in the godawful Graduation Day crossover between Titans and Young Justice that ended with the cancellation of both series and the launching of new versions of Teen Titans and The Outsiders. I read the second of these titles because they started out with Tom Raney as the regular artist but he needs a bit longer than a month to finish an issue - which you can see in his art not like with other artists - and they had more and more fill - in artists until Tom Raney left the book completely which for me was the signal to pack up things and search for greener pastures. In any case Indigo became a member of this new team of Outsiders and she started a romantic relationship with what readers thought was the resurrected Metamorpho ( it actually was a separated part of him that grew into an individual persona - because comics ).

Back to the Supergirl tv series there were some petitions to get Tom Welling as the Superman of that show but he probably didn´t want to get typecast as they have now somebody else playing the role. But that still leaves hope to have him and the rest of the Justice League of America from Smallville ( maybe even the Justice Society of America from that show ) appear on the CW super hero shows as heroes from an alternative universe. Maybe even like an evil version of the League like the Justice Lords on the animated Justice League. And forget what you have read online about the problems of the show the second season is much better and in the first episodes you get a Superman how he is supposed to be, not this NEW 52 version Henry Cavill plays in the current DC movies.

How can you NOT watch a show with a spot on portrayal of Supergirl, a guest appearance by The Flash, Helen Slater and Dean " the effing real Superman " Dean Cain as Supergirl´s adoptive parents AND the coolest Martian Manhunter ever ? I mean, Martian Manhunter. They do not even get J´onn J´onzz right in most comic books. So you have no excuse !

Billie Piper celebrates her 35th birthday who became famous all over the world as Rose, the first companion on the rebooted Doctor Who and the internet will probably hate me for that the second hottest companion of that new incarnation. I´m sorry, but Freema Agyeman is just the bomb.

Back to Billie Piper, apart from Doctor Who she has been in two Sally Lockhart movies ( as far as I know there hasn´t been a third yet ) about which I wrote in an earlier post. Not knowing the books they are based on I still found them remarkably well done and you can get them for 9 bucks.

Billie also appears in the Penny Dreadful series which I haven´t had the time to check out yet and of course Secret Diary Of A Callgirl. Being such an old perv it really defies all logic that I still haven´t watched the one show where you are guaranteed to see Billie Piper in underwear - and less.

We still got more Doctor Who to talk about as Frazer Hines celebrates his 73rd birthday who is best known for playing highlander Jamie McCrimmon.

He holds the record as the longest running companion who has appeared in 117 episodes and only the first four Doctors appeared in more episodes.

Now for those who think hot female companions are a concept from the new Who I only want to mention that he and the second Doctor Patrick Troughton shared the Tardis with astrophysicist Zoe Heriot from the 21st century played by Wendy Padbury who had a really tight fitting costume.

Back to Frazer Hines, his Jamie McCrimmon was a capable companion who adapted surprisingly well to traveling through space and time with the Doctor for a person two centuries removed who got he Doctor out of quite a number of jams - and vice versa. He was a loyal companion who was always quick with a joke or punching somebody in the face who deserved it always wearing his heart on a sleeve but knowing when to speak his mind and when to wait and see. In short a likeable guy with whom you would go for drinks in the nearest pub, star outpost or cave.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest / best of the best

Fiction is the truth in the lie.

No comments: