Nov 10 2016

Daredevil Digital Comics Sale

Amazon is having a Daredevil digital comics sale. There are other titles available, but the ones I’m interested in are Daredevil.

Picture of Gen Con Indy 2008 in Indianapolis, ...

Picture of Gen Con Indy 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Note: the guy above is not Daredevil, because Daredevil isn’t real. Good costume though.)

For some reason Daredevil lends itself to amazing story-telling. A blind lawyer who can kindasorta see and has ninja-like skills? Sure, why not? But seriously, these are literally some of the greatest comic books ever written/drawn.

Daredevil by Frank Miller

The Frank Miller/Klaus Janson comics should be required reading for everyone. For now, I’ll have to settle for sales such as this one and hope that causes more people to read the comics. The Brian Bendis/Alex Maleev books are also damn good. For me, the Miller stuff is better, in part because it blew my mind when I was a kid, but also because I think it’s just better. No disrespect to Mr. Bendis or Mr. Maleev, who are obviously insanely talented. It’s just… these comics… wow. Got me where I live when I was a lad, and reading them now, they still do.

There might be some other stuff available as well. The DD books (digital books, via Kindle) are half off. $9.99 is a freakin’ bargain for a collection of comic book epicness. Poke around and see if there’s anything you like. Comic books, especially great ones like these, are an excellent distraction from reality. You know what I mean.

Online shopping from a great selection at Marvel Featured Collections Store.

Source: Marvel Featured Collections

Apr 15 2016

Doctor Strange Trailer (And Some Thoughts on The Comics)

By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth, they actually did it. Here is the new Doctor Strange trailer.

Doctor Strange movie

Looks like fun, yeah? I’ll give you a few thoughts of my own; if you want a moment by moment Doctor Strange trailer breakdown check out this video at IGN.

(Note: Marvel/Comixology/Amazon is having a sale on Doctor Strange digital comics — 99 cents each. Check ’em out here.)

So. Doctor Strange. What’s his deal? He’s got magic powers, lots of nifty mystical items that he uses to protect Earth from inter-dimensional nasties, and… I don’t know, he’s cool. Not a traditional superhero like Iron Man, Spider-Man and the rest.

Splash page for the "Doctor Strange"...

Splash page for the “Doctor Strange” story in Strange Tales #110 (July 1963). Art by Steve Ditko. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On a personal note, the first “real” comic book I ever read was an issue of Doctor Strange. I’d been reading Richie Rich, Casper, Archie, that kind of stuff. One day my dad said, “It’s time for you to read some real comics,” and handed me a copy of Doctor Strange. My little boy mind was blown. The first thing I remember is how much smaller the lettering was. That was true for all “real” comics (read: Marvel and DC); Richie Rich, et al, were aimed at very young readers and had simpler dialogue and storylines… and larger lettering. The next thing I remember is the splash page. One big image, full of colorful details, with Doctor Strange himself looming large over it all. I think he was looking out of a window, but it’s possible he was sitting in a chair with stuff drawn around him. I’ve been looking for that issue for years and I think I’ve found it, although I can’t remember what number it is at the moment. I also don’t remember the story. But I do remember how I felt. It was basically my comic book Bar Mitzvah. No more little kid comics for me. Now I could read the good stuff.

And I did. I have a nice collection of books that I bought at the local candy store/newsstand, because you could buy comics there when I was a kid. (You still kind of can, it just isn’t as common.) I didn’t keep those comics in very good shape, which in some cases is a bummer — my Frank Miller and Klaus Janson Daredevils would be worth a few bucks, as would my copy of the original Wolverine mini-series (which you can get for less than six dollars via Comixology). But instead of bagging and boarding everything, I read the hell out of my comics, because they were awesome. (Those Daredevils in particular are probably my favorite comic books ever.)

Back to Doctor Strange. His book went in and out, and I didn’t buy it that often. It’s possible that the local candy store didn’t always have it in stock even when it was being published. In addition to not being a traditional superhero, I don’t think he was as popular as the big names. He did found one of my sneaky super teams, The Defenders. The original core group of Defenders was Doctor Strange, Namor the Sub-Mariner, and The Incredible Hulk, quickly followed by The Silver Surfer. Basically a bunch of really powerful dudes who don’t play well with others, hence the term “non-team”. Later Defenders mainstays included such popular characters as Hellcat, Gargoyle, and Nighthawk. Also Valkyrie. Never heard of them? Join the club. (Marvel is doing a Netflix series called The Defenders, which I’m sure will be fun but doesn’t have much, if anything, to do with The Defenders’ comic books.) The Defenders hung out at Doctor Strange’s Greenwich Village mansion, known as The Sanctum Santorum, while constantly making a point of telling readers that they were NOT a super-team like The Avengers. I liked those comics a lot. Something about the idea of a group of semi-outcasts and/or angry people and/or loners teaming up only when it suited them really appealed to me.

I also always dug the good Doctor on his own. His job, Sorcerer Supreme, was to defend Earth from mystical threats. Sometimes he gets help from other Marvel heroes, but usually he doesn’t, because he’s the only one who can do what needs to be done. This led to some wonderfully trippy artwork, first by the legendary Steve Ditko (written by the even more legendary Stan Lee) and later by lots of other people.

The thing that made me the happiest in the trailer was seeing Doctor Strange’s Astral Form. (When Tilda Swinton punches him and it looks like a ghost pops out of his body.) It works like this: Doc leaves his body behind, defenseless, and his spirit floats around and does stuff. He can travel faster this way, but he can’t touch anyone and most people can’t see him. (One notable exception, if memory serves, is The Hulk. Because comic books. UPDATE: I just read some Doctor Strange comics from the 80s, and in those stories Doc can allow people to see his astral form if he wants them to. Again, because comic books.) It’s something that for various reasons I always found fascinating, so to see them do it in a live action movie had me making little nerdy noises.

So there you go. The Doctor Strange trailer. Looks like Marvel might get it right again, taking a character that isn’t well-known and putting said character into a big-budget blockbuster movie that doesn’t suck. Here’s hoping.

Read some comics:

Apr 17 2015

The Black Widow and Daredevil TV Show We Could Have Gotten

Ah, the 70s. Rich with history. Bell bottoms. Missed opportunities.

This is not one of them.

This photo is from Comic Book Resources (aka CBR), via The Mary Sue, both excellent websites for all things nerdy. Maybe I should say “all things formerly considered nerdy”, since when The Avengers movie makes $1.5 billion, it’s an Avengers world now, which kind of means there are a lot more nerds out there, and therefore how nerdy is it really to be into this stuff?

Answering my own question, caring at all about the fact that David Bowie’s ex-wife Angela Bowie (about whom The Rolling Stones’ song “Angie” may or may not be about, although that’s what most people think, including me until I just Googled it — trivia!) at one time “owned the TV rights to Daredevil and Black Widow”, according to CBR, is pretty nerdy.

This is a picture of the costumes. It is very 70s.

Daredevil and Black Widow That Never Happened

Considering how good the Netflix Daredevil series is, it’s probably for the best that this show never happened. Then again, there was 1988’s The Incredible Hulk Returns, which featured Hulk, Thor and Daredevil. That wasn’t particularly good (although of course I watched it), but it didn’t ruin the current incarnation. (Which really is quite good. You should check it out. Not with your kids, though, unless you have older kids. I’ll write more about it at some point.)

Perhaps it would have been interesting to see what Angela Bowie would have done with the role of Black Widow, since as a CBR commenter points out, “Bowie’s not really the problem in those DD/BW shots, though. That Daredevil costume is ridiculous.”

Indeed it is. But… the 70s. Even the entertainment that never happened was fun.

Comic Book Legends Revealed #440 – Page 3 of 3 – Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book ResourcesComics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources.

via The Mary Sue