Monday, July 23, 2018

It´s this Dale Keown This Monster Monday

This post has been literally two years in the making as I distinctively remember mentioning in my 2016 Kelley Jones birthday posts that I plan to do a post on Dale Keown´s run on THE INCREDIBLE HULK once finished.

As usual it took me a bit longer than expected but while preparing the material for this post I came upon a few really good pieces of original art so that I had to split it into two parts. Now Today´s comic readers only know Dale Keown from his covers - mostly variants - or the occassional special project but before he went to iMAGE where he sold the same four issues of THE PITT for years he was doing interior work on a monthly basis which helped Marvel´s green skinned gamma giant get back on track.

While the writing by Peter David was still strong ( although it started to get a bit formulaic at this point and there are a few aspects that don´t make much sense during Dale Keown´s tenure on the book ) the art had been floundering quite a bit. After Todd McFarlane´s sensational run on the book wrapped up in the double - sized issue 345 Jeff Purves became the regular artist on HULK and his art style was just not right for the book.

That coupled with this whole " intelligent Hulk in Las Vegas as Mr. Fixit " schtick brought the book into a really weird territory that led to declining sales. Luckily Dale Keown stepped in with issue 367 - which was the last part of a 4 part story - and took over the artistic reigns with issue 369. 

Comparing the difference between Jeff Purves´ Hulk and Dale Keown´s Hulk to the difference of day and night would be an understatement and within a few issues this was once again a must read book. The title was firing on all cylinders and after a short but sweet reunion of the original Defenders - sans Silver Surfer - things only really kicked into overdrive. 

During the last few years - from Todd McFarlane to Jeff Purves - we got the grey Hulk who was more intelligent than the green Hulk but also weaker. Plus instead of the change being triggered by strong emotions - which is what most people associate with the Hulk because of the tv show starring Bill Bixby as Doctor David Banner and Lou Ferrigno as the incredible Hulk - he changed by sundown and reverted to Banner when the sun came up. To irk Banner the Hulk always tried to get Banner into difficult situations like jumping on top of a huge mountain so Banner could not get off or getting totally plastered so Banner was out for the day.

Anyway, for years we got stuck with the grey Hulk and it looked like it was going to be that way for the duration when during a story where Bruce tried desperately to reunite with Betty and was stopped at every turn the green Hulk suddenly burst out of Bruce Banner shedding him like a snake. 

You can imagine the shock wave that went through comic fandom when old jade skin returned but if you believe that the grey Hulk would be history with this think again. It seems that Peter David likes to eat his cake and keep it at the same time because both versions appeared in the pages from now on and you never knew which Hulk you would get Today.

Things kicked up a notch when the Hulk went up against one of the most underused super villains, the Super Skrull, which reunited Bruce and Betty with longtime sidekick for half of the Marvel universe heroes Rick Jones.

Of course I can´t mention Rick Jones without mentioning his better half the mega busty redhead Marlo who became an important part of the supporting cast ( no pun intended ). Hubba hubba, what a tomato !

At this point Marlo had been intimate with Mr. Fixit without knowing that Bruce Banner was his alter ego and after he mysteriously disappeared from Las Vegas she met Rick. When Bruce was finally confronted with her and Betty he had kind of a mental breakdown and in a stroke of genius Doc Samson - or Peter David if you want to get meta - brought in the criminal Ringmaster who helped to merge all of the different personalities ( Bruce Banner, the grey Hulk and the green Hulk ) into one dominant persona.

Now the nature of this new persona is something that I always found very questionable - as longtime readers of this blog know. It contradicts all of Bruce´s life up to this point. After the merger Hulk becomes basically a bully which for me is a bit hard to swallow because he has been bullied by other people his whole life. Peter David seems to think that deep down all people are bullies and the ones who are bullied by others are just weaker than them but once they get the power they become bullies themselves.

Philosophical disputes about the nature of man aside, you thought the story would go in the usual direction - we already had an intelligent Hulk although back then with only the Bruce Banner persona in issues 272 to 300 ( which was too short for my taste ) - but as usual Peter David threw his readers a curve ball with the shadowy organization the Pantheon. 

You always hear that 90s comic books were crap which is a thesis to which I don´t subscribe because unlike most people who make that statement I was actually reading 90s comic books as they were coming out and while there was a lot more bad comics than in previous decades that was mostly due to the fact that comic books became a hot commodity so there were more titles than ever before. Despite all this there were still enough good comics to read and THE INCREDIBLE HULK was one of them. Aside from a few personal mannerisms which you probably don´t pick up at first Peter David was spinning a very entertaining story which lasted longer than anyone ever would have expected and Dale Keown was just born to draw the incredible Hulk. He also was killing it with perspective which is one of the reasons why I find it so sad he mostly draws variant covers Today.

In issues 386 and 387 the Hulk faces Sabra, an israeli super heroine who had encountered the Hulk before ( some readers may remember her from THE CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS about which I am still planning to write a post ) and who was mad at him because she was one of the heroes who supported his amnesty. Which blew up in her face when the Hulk reverted to a mindless monster and went on a rampage that left Doctor Strange no other choice than to exile him to the crossroads after the part of Bruce Banner had apparently committed psychic suicide. This happened in issue 300 and the following stories were the first Hulk stories I read in the US version. For anybody interested in that period of Hulk´s history you can find it in the aptly named CROSSROADS paperback. Coming back to Sabra, I read somewhere that Peter David brought her in because he wanted to make her part of the regular cast. I don´t know the exact reason why that was nixed and by whom, if it was because she was israseli and they didn´t want to get too political or what because I don´t remember where I read this but I would have liked to see more of her. With all the talk about Dale Keown´s ability to draw musclebound monsters like the Hulk or the Pitt one often forgets that he drew some pretty hot females during this run. 

I have mentioned that there were a few personal mannerisms of Peter David that could quickly become annoying to readers and one of them was his need to contradict - or rectify like he probably saw it - stories written by other writers. Sometimes stories in which the Hulk appeared but often just stories of other writers he tried to dis. His war with Erik Larsen - and you can´t call it anything else - has gone down in comic history and I think at the root of it was the age old envy of creators who can only write of other creators who can write and draw. Peter David not only coined the word wartists ( which would include creators Dave Sim, Terry Moore or Jeff Smith ) he also wrote stories explicitly to make Erik Larsen look bad.

Okay, with the word wartists Peter David meant to dis the creative people at iMAGE who started out as artists and then tried their hand at writing but is there really a difference if someone starts out as a writer and then starts to draw ? I mean, most of the people who went to iMAGE also wrote their own stories to have complete creative control but with the way a lot of the books at Marvel were written at that time they couldn´t do worse.

Whichever your position may be in that debate it got frustrating for the reader when Peter David included a scene where the Hulk beat Doc Ock without much problem after Erik Larsen had pimped him with adamantium tentacles and he had beaten up the Hulk in the RETURN OF THE SINISTER SIX storyline in AMAZING SPIDER - MAN. Which by the way is available as an Epic Collection from amazon Germany for 24 bucks. Another of this instances was a story with the Hulk´s former sidekick Sam Wilson who we learned in THE INCREDIBLE HULK 388 had become infected with Aids.

In issue 420 ( drawn by Gary Frank ) he asked the Hulk to give him a blood transfusion because he was in the terminal phase and the Hulk refused.

The argument Peter David made was that there was a high risk the Hulk´s blood would turn San Wilson into a monster. As this post on SUPER MEGA MONKEY`S MARVEL COMICS CHRONOLOGY very explicitly explains there were a lot of problems in this story like the fact that there were some cases where recipients of a transfusion of gamma blood had become heroes like Doc Samson or She - Hulk, IF there really was a chance that Hulk´s blood could cure Aids it would have been the Hulk´s responsibility to donate his blood for further scientific research, etc., etc., etc.

Shortly after this issue came out there was a similar situation in the pages of Erik Larsen´s THE SAVAGE DRAGON where a fellow officer who had contracted Aids had asked Dragon for a blood transfusion to save his life and Dragon of course agreed to one up Peter David´s story in HULK 420. I think in the Savage Dragon story officer Dragon even said " What kind of a$$hole refuses a blood transfusion if it can save the life of a friend ? "

With the Savage Dragon we did not know much about the effects of a blood transfusion at that time and after the recipient suddenly exploded from the inside out it was established that this happens to all persons who are not blood related to Dragon. The argument can be made that the Hulk refused to give his blood because it was very short after the FUTURE IMPERFECT story where he had met his ruthless future self the Maestro and didn´t want Sam Wilson to become something similar but the story still felt very unsatisfying for the reader. And the whole thing between Peter David and Erik Larsen quickly became very annoying even though it led to some very interesting letters pages within THE SAVAGE DRAGON.  

But we are already too way off topic. Coming back to Dale Keown you might probably ask at this point where you can get these seminal Hulk stories and the answer is nowhere. Or almost nowhere. You see, so far they have only been reprinted in the HULK VISIONARIES : PETER DAVID trades and these are out of print for decades so if you really can find one of them anywhere that´s a bigger stroke of luck than winning the lottery.

A few years back I decided to finally close that gap in my shelf porn collection because I had finally given up on Marvel ever releasing the issues in hardcover form and I was unable to find the fifth volume.

Now I don´t know if Marvel is still pissed that Dale Keown left for iMAGE but so far the Epic Collections have managed to stir free of any Hulk issues by Dale Keown aside from two. Maybe they are hellbent not to give Dale Keown any royalties for his Hulk work but it is strange that with all the Epic Collections with really sub par material they have released they are deliberately ignoring one of the best periods of Hulk history. So if you want to read those issues you have no other choice than to look for the back issues. Which should not be that hard to find nor that expensive since the issues came out in the 90s when the print runs were really high.

That´s it for the first part on Dale Keown´s Hulk and I think it is telling that as bad as comics allegedly were in the 90s nobody stooped so low as to make some snot nosed kid the Hulk ( who acts very stupid for being the sixth smartest person in the Marvel universe ) or similarly pump him full of adamantium. I don´t think that would have worked back then because the Hulk´s gamma radiated immune system healed everything and would have rejected the metal. In any case, I wanted to remind all the readers out there that the Hulk comics used to be really good. There will be a second part but as I already have said all I have to say about it it will probably just be all the picture material that was supposed to be included in this post.

Without any post links we come directly to the entertainment section with - as the saying goes - something old, something blue, something busty, something blue but I will let my readers decide which is which.

Cult tv bikini sexbomb Charisma Carpenter turns 48 who is best known as Cordelia Chase on Buffy and the spin off Angel although Today´s kids may better know her from her recurring role on Veronica Mars which means they missed a lot of scorching bikini scenes with Charisma´s huge 34Ds.

One of these days I´ll have to get the first season of Veronica Mars to find out how it all started since I came in at the tailend of that season - as usual. Besides Veronica Mars Charisma Carpenter was also in episode 11 of season 5 of Burn Notice where she showed that she still has the goods.

In Germany only the first three seasons of Burn Notice have come out on DVD and right now I´m halfway through season 2. I´m not sure if I should wait any longer to see if they will do the rest someday or just get them through imports. Now that I´m invested I want to know how it plays out and there is even a spin off with Bruce Campbell´s character Sam. In any case Charisma´s funbags alone are worth the price of admission . Daimn !

Kelley Jones celebrates his 56th birthday and since I already wrote three posts about him - two posts in 2016 : one about his Marvel stuff which also included a few other publishers and one about his DC work and a special Batman - centric post on Halloween last year I decided to write the often postponed Dale Keown post this year. Maybe there will be a new post about Kelley Jones somewhere down the line since I still have a lot of material left but don´t expect it to happen during the next months.

Woody Harrelson turns 57 and his greatest cineastic achievement was to rub his raging Woody ( sorry, I couldn´t resist the pun ) all over Bruce Willis´ then wife Demi Moore in An Indecent Proposal. Come on, with a title like that you knew there would be some sheninagans involved.

Besides mounting Harrelson´s Woody one of Demi´s best scenes is in the shopping mall where she is trying on a very expensive black dress and her shirt is hanging so low she is almost topless. What a great pair of melons !

What´s more in White Men Can´t Jump Woody also got to work with the ultimate MILF Rosie Perez whose breasts get bigger and bigger each year.

But I´m not the only one who is fascinated by Rosie´s rapidly rising rotund rack as they were even immortalized in a song by Kanye West much to the chagrin of Rosie : " I'm a woman of a certain age, if you're gonna mention me in a song, have a little respect. He mentions my breasts. When you walk down the street and you have 15 - year - old boys ... they're like, ' Yo, Rosie, D's D's, Rosie Perez,' it's no good." I´m not sure what being a woman of a " certain age " has to do with it, because strangers singing about the size of your breasts would have you uncomfortable at any age.

Someone who surely has some thoughts along that line is Craig Ferguson who makes her come again and again ... as a guest on his show I mean.

Originally I wanted to post a video from The Tonight Show where she appeared with an r - rated cleavage but I haven´t found it yet on YouTube.

This is kind of an inside joke but anybody who has read the Incredible Hulk run by Dale Keown knows why I just had to include an episode of Count Duckula. Which by the way is one of the funniest cartoon shows.

On the other side Kolchak, The Night Stalker is not that funny but it has been a while since I posted the first tv movie and it is about a vampire.

I already posted In Search of Steve Ditko in another post but in light of recent events here it is again for all that have missed it. I´m not very good at writing posts about people who have passed away but maybe I will continue my series of pimping the Marvel Visionaries hardcovers ( I already covered John Romita , John Romita Jr. and Chris Claremont ).

And with that we come to more pleasant things with the obligatory part about hasian sexbombs like Jeannie Mai and cosplay icon Yaya Han about whom I am slightly obsessed ( I tried to skip this part but circumstances beyond my control left me no other choice but to include it once again ).

So far I have written five posts on Yaya - two of them are pretty safe but the other three are absolutely not safe for work - and I keep mentioning her on various JLA casting posts and any other posts involving asian sexbombs like Kiana Tom, Ava Cadell, Akira Lane, Miko Lee, Gail Kim or Minka and I swear the completely NSFW BIG YAYA HAN POST is still in the pipeline. In the meantime I have made two new posts about Yaya which showcases a part of her anatomy that I have ignored too often - her legs.

One reason why Miko Lee kept popping up in the posts about Yaya Han is that I needed a body double for Yaya´s more explicit scenes I had in mind.

Which is not ideal since Yaya Han has a 40D bust and Miko Lee is nowhere near in that league. Thankfully it looks like hasian talk show host Jeannie Mai is auditioning for the part and while she also is a bit smaller than Yaya in the chest area she does have an impressive skill set. I am convinced.

This hot sexbomb is of vietnamese descend and even though she is " only " a 37C and not a 40D like Yaya Han I think she could be a body double for those explicit scenes. I have finally found some episodes of Snoop Dogg presents The Joker´s Wild and hot daimn, Jeannie Mai is spectacular !

Now while I could not find any good videos of Jeannie Mai from Snoop Dogg presents The Joker´s Wild on YouTube and I don´t want to put any download links in this post I just had to mention her again because I found some new incredible videos with her which I will include in my next posts.

I really try not to get too obsessed about cosplay queen Yaya Han. I can´t help it that she tickles my personal fancy as she combines four of my fetiches ( comic book / anime / cartoon sexbombs, dress up and role - playing, women with big breasts and asian girls ) but I know that I don´t really mean her as a person and am just projecting my sex fantasies on her.

Now just two days ago I wrote another post on Yaya Han that did not go as planned. My idea was a Best Of post where I would put all the stuff I have written about Yaya Han but there is so much material about her on this blog that it can´t possibly fit in one post. So instead I will have to put it on the blog in sizeable chunks and the first topic was the sexy nurse.

I mean she already did a sexy doctor / nurse cosplay with her Super Sonico costume and not only does that girl know how to fill out that uniform. On top of Yaya Han looking like she could star in a Russ Meyer movie Super Sonico even sounds like a name from a Russ Meyer movie, especially SuperVixens where every woman had the word super in her name.

I´m not sure what I hoped to accomplish besides not having Yaya in every post and it seems I can´t help myself. In fact it only made matters worse.

That said, while I am trying in vain to ease up on Yaya I am not completely forsaking the asian persuasion so Today´s music part is - once again - all about k - pop band Nine Muses. Ever since I posted their sexually charged performance at ( or of ? ) the Adult / Coming of Age Ceremony there have been requests for more of them so I went looking for videos but of course now I have so many music videos / live performances I want to post and so few posts to do it in and I´m not even mentioning the other k - pop bands I want to spotlight. They really are the Queens of Fanservice. Daimn, dem girls really know how to shake it and Lederhosen never looked so good !

I think right now the group is down to five but these are from their best days when they had nine members. Which may sound like a lot to some people but keep in mind that it´s not unusual for k - pop bands to have up to fifteen or twenty - five members. The idea behind that is that they can give concerts at various places at the same time and for the fans they have more hot girls to choose from. There are even subgroups within the band and there are often heated debates which splinter group is the best.

These videos are the ones I had left after writing a post because even when I put as many as five of these in a post there are often more. This doesn´t mean that these videos are bad but I did not include them the first time around because the other ones had better quality. Nevertheless they are too good to include them solely as a link what I sometimes do.

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

And don´t call me Shirley.

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