The Violent Blue blog***Comics, Horror and Pop Culture***Updates Tuesday through Friday (and occasionally at random)

Posts tagged “Fantastic Four

Last Weeks Pulls 6-15-22

You’re not alone Gwen. At this point, I kinda hate the sound of your voice too.

I know, I know, I should have known better than to pick up this month’s Spider-Gwen, but man, I REALLY want to like this book. I want to like the concept and the quirkyness and I just DON’T. This arc is just full of low effort copy and paste versions of an already derivative character ….AND it’s going on at the same time they’re doing THE EXACT SAME THING with Miles Morales over in What if!  Gahhh! (and now I’m going to have to build that Iron Gwen armor for Maddie aren’t I?)

On the other hand, I have to say, I noticed something this month in a lot of the flagship titles. They were fun. Good old fashioned adventure.

Cap is a relaunch, but this run of FF and Iron Man have been going for a bit now so that’s one of the real tests. Can you just drop in to see whats going on, and have some fun in a single issue? You sure can. I can see we’re in the middle of a bigger story in FF, but never felt to lost. Yeah, I can see that there’s some interesting relationship stuff going on with Tony and Patsy in Iron Man, and I can roll with it since it doesn’t take away from main feature – Tony in the suit vs a Gorilla. (It’s the Silver Age at DC all over again!)

Over in Cap, it gets a little introspective- trying to set the tone of the series, but it’s all supporting a good old fashioned bad guy beatdown. Bucky/winter Soldier is back at Caps side for some reason, but okay. Cool. You can see they are setting up for something bigger – I don’t know If i’m up for that much bigger ride yet, but this first issue was great.

And hey…I’m behind on Batgirls aren’t I? It’s weird…I don’t know how I missed issue six, but considering it wraps up that first run, I had to grab it before i started up on number six.

This series has been a been a fun ride, built mainly on the strength of our two young Batgirls. Watching Cass and Steph fight together is always a fun  time- there’s a choreography to them, both in action and personality that’s really worked well over these first six issues and now I really want a trade paperback collection.

My only objection is the whole ex-boyfriend drama between babs and the villian. Not even the drama itself as much as how dumb it’s portrayed. Panels like this and the whole “W were never official!” thing….it’s just jr high cringeworthy. This isn’t Friends. You aren’t Ross and Rachel. This is…. *sigh*. It’s a misstep. That’s all. It’s also a perfect example of how Barbara’s best contribution to this dynamic is as mentor and manager, rather than participating directly in adventures.

Still, with that one done, it’s time to move on to issue seven and….wow. Just wow. As much as I was into the style that Jorge Corona was bringing to the series, wow o wow, huge props to Robbie Rodriguez for seriously stepping up the art game on this book. While Corona leaned into the heart and sometimes goofy nature of the ladies,  Rodriguez gives the Batgirls a more flowy look that is highly evocative of early Jae Lee and creates a drama that just flies.

There’s not tons to say about the story. We’ve kept the same writing team and it’s a part one that sets things up with a good adventure, but like I said before, the real reason we’re here is to watch Cass and Steph hang out. It’s just us spending time with some friends and perhaps remembering the better parts about being that age… you know. if you were also a superhero.
Dick Grayson shows up at the end to help Babs infiltrate the Iceberg Lounge (Cass watches them from a roof top lamenting how much fun it would have been if she and Steph could have dressed up too!) and I really can wait to see more of that.

Good pulls this week. The world needs more fun comics.

Then again, maybe it needs some more disturbing ones too. I finally got through most of my Free Comic Book Day Stack, and the one book that really stood out to me was a creepy little book called “Bunny Mask” It’s hard to describe. Bunny mask is a strange entity looking fore sickness, and doling out justice as she sees fit. It’s exactly the sort of book Vertigo would have published and it deserves to be just as big as an indie as it would have been with Vertigo. It’s disturbing and creepy and absolutely beautiful. This one is really my highest recommend. It’s on issue two this month so you don’t have to worry about being to far behind. This is the perfect time to jump on board.




Thing and Friends

CostumeI did up a bunch of these From Akron Canton Comic Con last year playing with backgrounds but more importantly with lighting.

Christmas party at Carol and John’s


15542071_1380720121972407_1940509100150987012_nYou know, when you think of a store “Christmas party” you think”I’ll go in and take advantage of the sale, maybe there’ll be cookies or something.”

When I think of the Christmas party at the comic shop, I think “Oh my God…have I actually been here for three hours?”

The annual Christmas party is one of the two biggest events every year at Carol and John’s – it’s the winter counterbalance to the spring Free Comic Book Day party.  There’s sales, give-aways, not to mention a food drive and an art show (Which I usually contribute to). This year I wanted to do something over-the-top for my outfit so insted of just an ugly Christmas sweater, I opted for an entire Elf costume over my Thing suit. It went nicely with the Joker and Santa that showed up for the evening….


Santa NEVER had elves like this before!

15492179_10208103904461814_5701756080931205652_nIt’s always a great time to visit with friends that I never seem to actually see outside of these events, mixed in with my local buddies from the Cleveland comic scene and Pop : the Comic Culture Club. It was also nice to connect with Ryan, a friend I had only previously interacted with on Facebook – from the Charity group Hero’s United that I’ve been doing events with. It’s probably my last trip out in costume until con season ramps up next year but we went out in style.

Cupcakes, choclates, cookies (supergirl cookies! Groot shaped cookes! WHY DIDN’T I GET PHOTOS????), custom brewed beer (I really just wanted the bottle!) and good friends. I mean, honestly, isn’t that what a Christmas party is supposed to be all about?



Akron Comicon 2015

ConmanI can’t believe it. Con season is over! And of course we wrapped it up with the best comicon out there; Akron!

Akron always impresses me with the caliber of it’s guests. Mike Zeck and John Beatty are pretty great catches. I had comics for Tom Scioli, Rob Davis and Craig Boldman to sign, but the real treat of con for me was Ron Fortier who wrote my favorite version of the Green Hornet and sat and chatted with me for half an hour about the character, the series as well as his run on Terminator the Burning Earth. IT was fascinating to discover he was hesitant about returning to the title after NOW went through a bankruptcy but got wooed back during a particularly pleasant convention. Great to her his opinions on the current run and how glad we both are to see Kato is a girl again. He patiently signed my entire stack of books – most of his run. That’s not something I’d normally do, but the Green Hornet is one of my absolute favorite characters ever. A quick shout out to all of your artists and writers out there; I REALLY appreciate those of you who sign for free. That’s HUGE to me.

I hit the indy comic panel (and discovered I was pretty much doing everything they recommended – though I’ll have to creep around IndyLink a bit) as well as the cosplay panel right before the costume contest. Akron is a HUGE cosplay show and the contest gets bigger every year. Thank God for Jeff Stover who helped me find my place in line after I got the girls through their category.

We of course were the Fantastic Four, and I was so glad that people looked at my Mr. Fantastic backpack and got the joke.  Every time someone would ask where Torch was, I’d tell them he had something to do with Captain America and he won;t tell me anything more than that.

I did stop back on Sunday without the girls so I could actually shop…I’ve found better deal in the past. Quarter bins are getting much harder to find. Still, there were a few fifty cent ones hidden amoung the depths of the booths, as well as a booth for the CW where you spun the wheel and got a prize. I got an iZombie brain. I wanted a Flash hat but I can live with this. The Flash hat wouldn’t have gone with my Shadow costume anyhow.

Akron is always a fun time, I saw more people that I know here than anywhere else. Some folks like Riley and Bobbie, I barely ever run into outside of this show. Things like that just make it better.

20151107_135923 20151107_135919 20151107_135948 20151107_140012

10403598_1064799343564488_8838371926671305706_n 10408973_1064800406897715_5139848415954071454_n 10409060_1064799483564474_3297252574852092060_n 10456012_1064801423564280_5450956792103891401_n 10613053_1064800143564408_1304390005744926564_n 10846059_10205106641457350_1983341703873709124_n 11219439_10205106641937362_4395059587566237750_n 11219531_1064799730231116_1603011868359508446_n12239551_429863580533026_7287378526436802653_n 11220824_1064800023564420_8258235342561787740_n 11221898_429383703914347_1630662624006162702_n 11223994_1065189776858778_3912848569055597597_n 11224417_10206318935430285_6244700850114673063_n 11693846_1064799526897803_8979583429288563346_n 11693846_1064799700231119_5007953636401619400_n 11933445_1064800526897703_1196038737221203995_n 11988766_1064801073564315_9025413007590220372_n 11988771_10205105475468201_1804901854580565579_n 12043120_10206318936750318_6359656228126696189_n 12063646_1065189780192111_4972234127089801770_n 12079553_1064800333564389_1052483249396802746_n 12088246_1064801336897622_3945249810985832908_n 12122887_1064799246897831_4648694314938551346_n 12182406_10206318941550438_7075752646968411043_o 12182439_10206318945790544_2914690333582418678_o 12183788_10206318941350433_6719288131325174831_o 12186633_10206318950550663_9202063599541704769_o 12186829_10206318946430560_4566136526153235010_o 12187688_1064799883564434_2714074970202478816_n 12187690_10208064575195355_487723070256878100_n 12187921_1064799950231094_7686721770150914298_n 12187935_429378227248228_2046809171134793545_n 12188063_10206318952950723_5275953910185318822_o 12188900_1064800756897680_5325168594176293383_n 12188968_1064799970231092_5317027596120289000_n 12189037_1064799866897769_5066371320018551955_n 12189058_1064800696897686_938151737535359207_n 12189168_1065189853525437_5736557910829768108_n 12189180_1065189773525445_294017179001869041_n 12189660_1064799323564490_8506369999125648206_n 12189688_1065189863525436_8237738091024057859_n 12189823_1064800466897709_728730813169401047_n 12189943_10205105954480176_6397869403047604662_n 12189945_1064799903564432_2072030272914139901_n 12189949_1064800836897672_1579804132499271461_n 12190062_1065189870192102_4792158027493675155_n 12190817_1064801410230948_2617958790839857194_n 12190911_1064799413564481_1652712178621773688_n 12190911_1064799996897756_2787048150603095172_n 12190921_10207904106751718_3867431999014929445_n 12191007_1064800963564326_2547831849233345952_n 12191417_1064799833564439_4189276321029370639_n 12191446_1064800900230999_9017146476902786326_n 12191554_10205105959200294_6561015525005840367_n 12191595_1064800246897731_7576564621731861720_n 12191659_10205105960240320_4738305797538433729_n 12191724_1065189770192112_1035376010399529069_n 12191757_1064800070231082_8718217480742088580_n 12191768_1065189783525444_5946603629144377598_n 12191784_10205105954000164_9166690548055353748_n 12191859_429455630573821_95539908295915300_n 12191955_429383670581017_74897359046637252_n 12193296_1064800180231071_4375812710496037974_n 12193356_1064801220230967_1584004953973152473_n 12193367_1064800873564335_1505157834837075187_n 12193382_1065190060192083_8956853348313472814_n 12193413_429378297248221_8812915515975624012_n 12193514_10205105958120267_1071144959670167660_n 12193606_1064800103564412_9180069178692717332_n 12193687_1064800353564387_8943165198080235667_n 12194535_10206318945310532_889985663136513875_o 12195011_10206318938070351_7021511136219223570_o 12195780_429377937248257_7488424167518946566_n 12195899_1064801246897631_6929165051975460753_n 12196005_429377893914928_8697011220265824678_n 12196055_1064801456897610_3491609903654815793_n 12196245_1064799800231109_7761363389174268152_n 12208431_1064799273564495_8946635016335928283_n 12208432_1065189966858759_7657075825007578046_n 12208455_1064799386897817_1418784690572578878_n 12208509_10154289329475744_2838763922590158585_n 12208528_1064799576897798_7565467427525379565_n 12208604_10206318943670491_3377390603184879154_n 12208642_10205105471908112_2448185669104423699_n 12208737_10206318936270306_4880073588425794463_n 12208740_429452857240765_1931083311896607672_n 12208768_429420927243958_3786438908943501439_n 12208778_1065189860192103_7188425936024651457_n 12208816_1064800310231058_6525216239093944449_n 12208872_429380680581316_1477322820045447228_n 12219384_10206318936590314_671523207979111007_n 12219418_1064799443564478_1671465633926253777_n 12219469_1064800646897691_3608102554778925582_n 12219517_951629948243895_776315253569735521_n 12219591_429422757243775_8154407503660629367_n 12226953_10205105958640280_2662803151733805747_n 12227007_1065189976858758_6167121014917171182_n 12227067_1064799613564461_7553747990153304740_n 12227078_10205105959840310_1397807537065768779_n 12227098_1065189866858769_8518015172729831287_n 12227120_1064800210231068_7072814419644630328_n 12227128_1640985419516072_3622077636500968061_n 12227219_1064801013564321_8695677143479702511_n 12227558_1065189973525425_6423323610450005747_n 12227604_10206952566225751_7417360505872126295_n 12227654_1064799670231122_6015730971569741910_n 12227682_1064801613564261_1229913877845366131_n 12227779_1064800666897689_6919191677498093320_n 12227781_1064801513564271_124272064437485582_n11260484_10207288604080655_4715993024763033389_o 12108180_10207059211785909_6330382924900109908_n 12189788_920826377964913_4168861175826005001_n 12191869_920826534631564_8203740537216847181_n 12193553_10205462280058244_1267465777988679898_n 12208519_10207288602560617_2670741672947575047_n 12226938_920826294631588_8778894229667300203_n 12235012_10207059204945738_8813340837878292086_n

Lake Effect Comicon 2015


Another weekend has gone by, and another convention in the can.

Lake effect is a long drive, but usually worth it. We enjoy it because It’s a great place for deals and I love the screenings. Panels have really expanded, though it’s actually very much cut into the movie screenings and I kind of miss that. Still, starting the day off with Scott Pilgrim is absolutely a good thing.

11148686_977704705607286_4468493182877343847_nWe jumped headfirst into the costume contest. Maddie was always planning on wearing her new Supergirl outfit and Lydia was planning on breaking out her Mermaid costume from the monster walk a month or so ago, but at the last moment (less than a week before the event) Lydia changed her mind and asked if I could create her a H.E.R.B.I.E. costume. Herbie is a little robot that was in the Fantastic Four cartoons and has since been integrated into the comic canon, frequently appearing in more lighthearted fare. I whipped up a quickie costume out of foam and spray paint, with a few finishing touches – button made out of pill boxes and eyes made out of soda bottles.

I asked the girls what I should wear. It was a choice between Mr. Freeze, Voltron…or Spider-Ham. I was kind of shying away from Freeze – I was expecting to see on of my friends show up in that costume and didn’t want to compete with them. I also would king of like more mobility…then again , Voltron is pretty constraing to. It didn’t matter. Both girls voted Spider-Ham. I haven’t had the costume out in a while and that’s who they wanted to see.

10731153_977703508940739_2873571587990379236_nGood choices on the girls part it turns out. Lydia won the kids costume contest with her Herbie! and to my even greater surprise, Spider-Ham won the Adult contest!

prizesBest in show went to a giant Frankenberry, which really was heads above all the other costumes, but I had fun playing around with him, Spider-Ham looking terrified of him and fighting him off.


11021118_977694738941616_6238077123028522947_nDeals. Seriously, I keep saying this, and I mean it. Quarter bins, 3 for a dollar, fifty cent bins. You’ll always find cheap reading comics here. But it’s other stuff too. maddie found a Wonder Woman/Star Sapphire heroclix from the Blackest Night set and that just about blew her mind. She immediately dropped a bunch of her con allowance on it. Across the room, we found a vintage Frosta from the She-Ra line for $3! Sure it’s been well played with, but that’s exactly what my girls are going to do with it too. They were already playing with it before we got to the car!

11136712_977749112269512_684202137267703766_nFinally, becasue it’s in a movie theatre, there’s also an arcade. The girls love thier games, and we all got into the act a bit. It’s another one of those fun things that make this con uniquely fun.

11393012_977689718942118_2179833819736376022_n 11392879_977693752275048_2990481855816919585_n 11391216_977690188942071_2974991160330020535_n 11377335_977691435608613_360286259047508812_n 11377274_977691672275256_5637366017232569163_n 11350651_977689508942139_680431105860827100_n 11329965_977692072275216_6796947725636602931_n 11209636_977688828942207_5858581405153749043_n 11148364_977690318942058_5563038690360536796_n 11011943_977690798942010_4298069393651857555_n 10494640_977692745608482_8611708721596296455_n 1794631_977689982275425_204723197403112119_n 551505_977692475608509_9201295844940141660_n

Just a great day. It’s the small shows we really love and this is one of the best out there. We’ll be back next year!

18891_977705712273852_3536998262020197854_n 551478_977704402273983_3598556899298936148_n 1560658_10153036303906478_4045326293232927328_n 10352032_977703185607438_7888407721850758540_n 10428547_10153036293351478_3272506150662150717_n 10494640_977699935607763_2407399590608590581_n 10612940_977688595608897_8217243870437936827_n 10641167_977708205606936_2639599534373021498_n 10649787_977707898940300_6459708032863154467_n 10906272_977700902274333_7861439100337610130_n 10957534_977701305607626_1839632987088319016_n 10986562_977702955607461_50456784507102825_n 11001734_977687948942295_2525164714128384010_n 11017118_977699782274445_241158606406978784_n 11025960_977703758940714_8596620534935738269_n 11029899_977686725609084_6582102045237523052_n 11060846_977693115608445_8325852135266112613_n 11063791_977687218942368_2804548885389743145_n 11071048_977702098940880_8545039080354921873_n 11109258_977704192274004_4732951764153456540_n 11112983_10153036250086478_8872954115265145216_n 11124890_977702512274172_4317850651989056935_n 11141352_977705408940549_8802259885856777699_n 11143679_977688112275612_554918900508491765_n 11148696_977701888940901_6058213348710816837_n 11150764_977703915607365_3001111881843201602_n 11204942_977693562275067_8546795376325508289_n 11209488_977695005608256_4830773227948220703_n 11231260_977708518940238_3026627210787351604_n 11233495_977701562274267_6963371745260041204_n 11295546_977707148940375_7503526971164181112_n 11295608_977694168941673_3073735856698876951_n 11295790_977706552273768_5629316986737806150_n 11303716_1618137271759699_361731030_n 11329748_987117114662338_7936069398641471755_n 11329822_977702325607524_6357813413216173653_n 11329843_977706855607071_5228755797144972789_n 11350556_977702718940818_1093729062037380481_n 11377274_977691672275256_5637366017232569163_n 11390015_977706198940470_7769219281644473348_n 11390052_977687448942345_6867436307890839675_n 11390137_977686952275728_2328894608681389981_n 11390349_977695405608216_8338982663426399033_n 11391350_977688345608922_2258735928340593515_n 11391532_977749108936179_1801521447029228590_n 11393052_977687662275657_2335361554225260793_n11054316_470269426465577_4005874271804133273_n 11232069_470269399798913_2314670323236980319_n 11295721_470269346465585_3587154264993566308_n 11027771_470269316465588_2482618276304136040_n11392796_470269306465589_2274957324685800436_n

The future of Comic Book movies

So blockbuster season is firmly in  the past. I saw what I was going to see, and successfully avoided Dark Knight (not a nolan fan, I’ll get around to it on DVD). and I’m wondering how much longer this can last.

Don’t get me wrong. Comic Book films aren’t going away. They never have. There have been comic book films pretty much as long as there has been cinema. I have old Captain America serials and Superman movies from the 40 and 50s. I think there were a grand total of five Shadow movies. But as you look over history, you can see certian…eras. Especially in the last few decades. Usually it’s started off by a Superhero film that redefines the genre. Superman did it, and that was really the model for a good chunk of the 80s, until Batman in 1989. That redefined things as gritty, dark and rubber suits if you were going to go with a costume like in Captain America – but you weren’t allowed to show the suits too much. No costume? You just went dark and grindhousey like in the Punisher. Oh and the supporting cast didn’t really have to resemble their comic book counterparts. You can toss Judge Dredd, The Crow, Spawn and Blade in there, probably even X-Men though around that time things began to change. Specifically, Spider-Man changed all of that. Now we were looking more at making the costume as closely resemble the source material as possible, like Cap and the Avengers and Thor and Green Lantern and Hellboy ect….and it also defined the Superhero movie as THE blockbuster event of the summer.

And that’s where we’ve been for a while. In fact, we’ve kind of gone from a comic book movie being an event because it’s so rare, to any other kind of blockbuster being an event because it’s so rare. Remember Independence Day? Mission Impossible (two was my favorite)? Godzilla? How about the original Total Recal or Terminator 2? Demolition Man? We don’t see these movies so much now because the Superhero movie has taken their place. Indeed, one of the reasons The Expendables has been such a big deal is because the 80’s action movie has become nearly extinct.

Which brings me to my point. How long can this last? We’ve been on the superhero blockbuster ride for a decade now and what really has me thinking about this is The Avengers. It seems to me that with the Avengers, the comic book blockbuster has reached critical mass. It’s a brilliant achievement in of itself, and really the epitome of everything Avi Avrad was trying to do when he set Marvel down  the path to making movies (his belief was that film was where Marvel would make it’s money and was the future of the company) in the 90’s.

But where do we go from here? Already the landscape is changing again. The Dark Knight seems to be the new template, judging by the look of The Amazing Spider-Man and Man of Steel. If Superhero film is moving in that direction, then the Avengers is already falling behind. And as DC moves forward to try and duplicate the success from the Avengers, the glut of Superhero movies on the market is only going to get worse, making market fatigue inevitable…and quickining it’s progress.

That’s really my fear. That it becomes so common place it breeds contempt. Without some new innovation, a REAL game changer (not just an tonal change like we got from the Dark Knight) that Hollywood will ride this train into the ground, until Superhero movies become box office poison.

And here’s the really scary thought to me both as a comic fan and as a comic artist on Violent Blue.

Because comics these days are so heavily tied to the movie properties to support them, when the Comic Book movie goes back underground or vanishes completely for a while (like it did in the seventies)…what happens to comic books?

More Invisible Woman…

I probably could have consolidated these two, but it’s kind of a diffrent tone. View the new Violent Blue strip here: