Friday, June 24, 2011

Stan Lee's "The Guardian Project"

I heard about this in October 2010, and then completely forgot about it until just today. Being a fan of both hockey and superheroes, I'm not sure how this managed to slip my mind for so long.

The National Hockey League and Stan Lee formed a partnership last year to develop superheroes for each of the 30 teams, collectively called "The Guardians". You can check-out the new heroes at, which includes bios to all 30 characters, plus short stories for each, a pair of videos, and some other stuff.

When I first heard about this, my reaction was "that sounds kind of lame". Seriously, I didn't think the idea was interesting or that anything decent would come out of it. Now that I can see all 30 characters, I have to admit that, overall, I'm a little impressed with what has been done so far.

Here is my opinion of The Guardians, for those who might care:

My Favorite Guardians (based on appearance):
The Canadien
The Canuck - I like the design of the costume, which is based on the logo. However, I think they missed the "Canuck" part in the overall design (FYI: "Canuck" is slang for a person from Canada).
The Flame
The Predator - I just the idea to go with a robotic humanoid cat was pretty cool.
The Red Wing - Well, it's close to being awesome, if only they decide to drop those stupid wheels on his feet, which only serves to remind me of the Golden Age hero Zippo (from Hillman's "Clue Comics").
The Senator - Almost a no-brainer to take the "roman" logo and run with it. This might be may favorite design of the bunch.

My Least Favorite Guardians (based on appearance):
The Oiler - Something about the helmet & shoulder pads just turns me off.
The Shark - His feet turn into surf boards? Really?
The Panther - Well, first thing is, the costume doesn't contain any red, which the team's jersey still has, although it's not as prominent as the original jersey from the early 1990s. Secondly, I don't like that the head for the character looks exactly like Marvel Comics' Black Panther.
The Blue Jacket - It just looks bad, like something out of a cheap 1980s cartoon.
The Ranger - Kind of a weak design, and I'm not liking how the shield looks.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cool Comic Links & Other Random Stuff

Terrific Comics is Tony Z's new home on the 'net. Tony previously ran the "Golden Age Heroes" blog. Since October 2010, he has been publishing "Amazing Golden Age Adventure Funnies", which reprints many hard-to-find Golden Age comic book stories. Currently, there are three volumes of this series, so if you enjoy holding an actual book in your hands as opposed to staring at a computer screen in order to read old comic stories, head over to the site and poke around.

Jim Shooter's blog has found its way onto my "check it out every day" list, so I thought I'd give it another plug ... as if it really needed any help.

Sort of related to comics, Trademarkia is an easy-to-use site to search for Registered Trademarks.

Want to keep-up on the latest happenings from DC Comics? Don't waste time getting the information second-hand, go right to The Source, DC's blog where all the breaking-news of their "September Relaunch" first appeared.

Random thought ...

I'm watching the NHL Stanley Cup Finals and really hoping Boston wins. It's not that I'm a fan of the Bruins, but I'm a fan of more players on Boston than I am of players on Vancouver. If the Vancouver Canucks win the series, I'll be happy for former Ottawa Senator Sami Salo. On the other hand, for Boston, these are the players I want to see hoist the Stanley Cup:
former Sentaors Zdeno Chara, Chris Kelly & Shane Hnidy (hope Hnidy gets to play at least one game in the Finals);
former Flyers Mark Recchi & Dennis Seidenberg;
and former Penguin Andrew Ference.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Captain Wizard

In the Golden Age of comic books, there were plenty of short-lived heroes, but few got bounced around as much as Captain Wizard did.

Captain Wizard debuted in the pages of "Red Band Comics # 3" (which was reprinted in issue #4 and is today's 1st story), published with a cover date of April 1945. His next appearance (today's 2nd story) came about eight months later in "Meteor Comics # 1", cover date November 1945, with Captain Wizard gracing the cover. Both of these appearances were published by Lindsay L. Baird, Inc. Neither of the character's first two stories carried any type of credits, but something about both reminds me of the work of John Giunta, especially the splash page of the Meteor Comics story. I'm not saying either story was by Giunta (I'm not an art expert), but there are enough similarities between work I know to be by Giunta and these two stories that I'm left wondering if he might have had something to do with either, perhaps just providing layouts.

Captain Wizard would next appear in "Captain Wizard Comics # 1", published by Croydon Publishing Company in 1946. The Grand Comics Database lists "April" for the cover date, but neither the cover nor the indicia lists a month for the book. The "GCD" also lists John Giunta as the cover artist, which I'm inclined to agree with. For this story (today's 3rd), Jack Alderman would sign the splash page. For some reason, this story contains a redesigned costume for our hero.

And finally, we come to the cover of "Atomic Bomb", published by Jay Burtis. The "GCD" says that we're looking at Captain Wizard on the cover (for which GCD does not list an artist), but there isn't a Captain Wizard story inside the book, which GCD states was published in 1946 even though no cover date is listed anywhere on the cover or inside the book that I see. The costume design for the character on the cover is similar to what our hero wore in his last story, albeit with a different color scheme. On the other hand, it's a fairly generic superhero costume that we're looking at, so it could be anybody on Atomic Bomb's cover. Take that mask off the hero and we're looking at The Duke of Darkness. If I had to guess who drew the cover, I would say that, to me, it looks like John Giunta drew something quick, chucked it in the trash can, and then Jay Burtis fished it out and said "I can use this!"

If you want to read the complete issues today's stories & covers were taken from, head on over to your favorite Golden Age comic book download site.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Magazine Fiasco!

A while back, I kind of ranted about an incident where someone had sent in a letter to a magazine to address corrections to an article the magazine had published, in which the bulk of that letter consisted of a post I had made on a message board. Based on the way the letter was presented, it had appeared as if the letter-writer was taking credit for the "hard work" I had put into my post OR that the editor had messed-up somehow and incorrectly attributed what I said on the message board to the letter-writer of the magazine.

Let me point-out, for those of you just joining our broadcast, that "the letter-writer" took large portions of my message board post and changed very little of the wording (leaving nearly an entire paragraph virtually unchanged).

The whole debacle came to my attention a couple of months ago, but I let it slide because I have more important things to occupy my time with. Anyway, I brought it up "way back when" just to vent a little, and because, to be honest, it's the first thing since I started this blog that has happened to me in my life (related to comics) that I felt was interesting enough to talk about. I mean, really, would anyone sincerely care what vegetables I was able to talk one of my kids into eating at the dinner table this week? Didn't think so.

So, I ranted, let-off the little bit of steam I had built-up over this, hopefully entertained a couple of people, and then I felt that the ranting was enough. Once again, I was willing to let the incident pass without giving it any further thought. But then, I read this comment:

Daniel [] said...
Well, I hope that you'll make a point of contacting the publisher. Remember that you won't simply be helping yourself; you will be helping every other author who might potentially have his work stolen.

I thought about what Daniel said (and no, I don't really consider myself an "author", in case you're wondering), and decided that he was right, that I should do something. Well, for whatever it's worth, and with at least one of M.O.D.M.'s readers "cheering me on", I sent a message, via this neat thing called "electronic mail", to the editor of the magazine-in-question. The editor of the magazine forwarded my message to the letter writer, who in-turn, sent me an e-mail.

I'm not going to get specific, and while I understand that the details (name of the magazine, name of the editor, name of the letter-writer) would make this a heck of a lot more interesting to read, I don't want to bad-mouth people specifically in public.

The editor was very apologetic, going so far as to offer me a lengthy digital subscription to his magazine, plus hard copies of the magazine "the letter" appeared in, along with the follow-up issue where it would be stated that the ideas from the letter-writer were actually from me. The editor came-off as being truly sincere, and I have no doubt that whatever happened here, it wasn't his fault. Oh, and I turned-down his offer, because I wasn't complaining so that I could get something for free.

The letter-writer ... Well, here's a direct quote from him: "I am most likely to credit the site rather than the individual to direct traffic to the site". That's the line that sticks with me the most regarding this situation.

UPDATE: (August 24, 2011) Two paragraphs up, I wrote that the editor of the magazine told me that he would be publishing a correction. He told me that it would appear in the next published issue, which would have hit comic shops not too long after I originally created this post. He said that, I didn't ask for it. Two months later now, I still haven't seen the correction printed. Very disappointing, and if I actually gave you the name of the editor I'm talking about (again, I don't want to bad-mouth people on the 'net), you would be saying "I don't believe he wouldn't make this right as soon as possible."

List of relaunching DC titles: Updated ... Again ... and again ... and again!

LIST UPDATED June 10, 2011 (twice): Yep, I'm committed to making this list as complete as possible. Why trudge through dozens of news announcements and blog entries when you can just read this list?

On June 1st, DC Comics announced that, following Flashpoint # 5, the company will be relaunching 52 titles, starting with "Justice League # 1". They will also be making all of their new series available on the same day via digital download.

I was searching the 'net, looking for someone to have a comprehensive list of the confirmed relaunched titles, but didn't see anything like that. Of course, I didn't really look all that hard, so maybe somebody is keeping track. Either way, I thought I would start a list of the titles DC has announced so far.

Detective Comics
Justice League - 1st title to relaunch after Flashpoint # 5
Green Lantern
Green Lantern Corps
Green Lantern: The New Guardians
Red Lanterns
Wonder Woman
The Fury of Firestorm
The Savage Hawkman
Green Arrow
Justice League International
Mister Terrific
Captain Atom
DC Universe Presents
Batman and Robin
Batman: The Dark Knight
Red Hood and the Outlaws
Birds Of Prey
Swamp Thing
Justice League Dark
Animal Man
Demon Knights
Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE
Resurrection Man

DC also announced the relaunch of "Batman Incorporated", set to start in early 2012. Technically, DC may not be counting this as part of the relaunch.

UPDATED June 8, 2011
Action Comics
Hawk and Dove
Legion Lost
Legion of Superheroes
Teen Titans
Static Shock

UPDATED June 9, 2011
Stormwatch - featuring The Martian Manhunter
Sgt. Rock and The Men of War
All-Star Western - featuring Jonah Hex

UPDATED June 10, 2011
Blue Beetle
Suicide Squad

(and later in the day ...)

And there we are, all 52 relaunched titles (plus one). It'll be interesting to compare this list to the full DC solicitations to see which, if any, titles that didn't make this list will still continue with their current numbering, because I don't remember seeing DC anywhere say that they won't be publish anything beyond these 52 books.
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