Krypto-Knight Comics

Krypto-Knight Comics
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Friday, December 31, 2010

He Who Would Be Superman!

Since the creation of Superman it has been the goal of movie makers and TV producers to bring him live before fans and audiences. This gave rise to the question as to who should play the 'Man in Blue'? The most notable of all actors has been Christopher Reeve. His role in the Donner films from the 1970's made all of us believe that a man could fly. It was as if Reeve was born to play the role. However, he was not the first nor the last. Several have taken on the role of Superman in the movies and on television. Even the famous Tarzan actor, Ron Ely, portrayed Superman as a retired hero in an episode of Superboy in 1991. With a new Superman film on the way fans are eager to see who will be chosen for the role.

We would like to know what you think. Who do you think has been the best Superman so far? Cast your vote below! VoteWho was the best Superman?
Kirk Alyn

Brandon Routh

Christopher Reeve

Dean Cain

George Reeves

Ron Ely

David Wilson

Tom Welling

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I Love Lucy and 1957 Superman (George Reeves)

Here is a great clip I found featuring George Reeves playing Superman on the I Love Lucy Show! Enjoy!

What Villain Would You Love To See In The New Superman Film?

Every Superman film has featured Lex Luthor. We have not seen the diversity in villains in Big Blue's films as we have in Batman's on screen antics. Christopher Nolan's success with Batman villains, notable The Joker, has raised this question especially since Warner Brothers seems to have given him some control over the next film. Superman has no shortage of enemies! Some would be awesome to see in action giving him a challenge! We have put together a list to see who you would like to see on the silver screen. Feel free to leave comments as to who you would like to see and what actors/actresses might portray them. We are anxious to see what you come up with! Have fun! VoteWhat villain would you most like to see in the upcoming Superman film?
General Zod
Mr Mxyzptlk

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

All I Want To Do Is Sell Comic Books

Many of you have the same passion as myself. We love comic books! I have been collecting comics since I was 14 years old. That was 24 1/2 years ago. While I would not classify myself as an expert, I have a vast knowledge of the industry and consider myself a continuous, progressive student. There are so many interesting things to learn ranging from artist techniques to character history to creator biographies. The field is wide open and as a true lover I am always striving to learn more.

Most of my life I have had careers that were non-related to comic books. However, my heart's desire has always been to have a comic book store or to have a job somehow related to comics. As a kid I wanted to write and pencil for DC or Marvel but those dreams never came about, nor have I given up on that completely. They are still goals I have along those lines. Still, the desire to be involved has never been stronger.

As the economy began to fall, I began to make plans to open a store. But those plans have slowed due to the economic troubles we have all faced. The business I did own practically dried up overnight and the last two years have been a struggle. So I taught myself how to build a website and I am still learning new things. I decided to build an online store and start working towards my dream of a physical store. I opened the online store before it was 100% complete and named it after the name my best friend and I came up with years ago, Krypto-Knight Comics. I try to make my prices fair amd I have worked to do all I can in promoting the store. Jobs are scarce around here and this is my primary means of survival. Having visited many comic book stores in my time and having noted that many are dark, dirty or have a negative atmosphere, it has been my goal to do just the opposite and create a place where positivity and creativity thrive. I would like to see a place where the colors are bright and super-heroes are the order of the day. In today's negative world who wouldn't want to visit a place like that?

At present, though, it's more about survival. I appreciate all who have done business with me and who have helped fuel my dream of owning a literal store. I want to thank all of you for your business, you support and your passion for comics. I look forward to 2011 being our best year yet!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Paul Newman and The Guinness Book of World Records

When we think of comic books its impossible not to think of the greats like Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Neal Adams, and many others. They have spent their lives and used their talents in entertaining the masses. Their imaginations have spawned even further creations. Without doubt their contributions have been epic. There is one creator, however, that stands out above them in silent victory.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Paul S. Newman is credited with being the most prolific comic book writer in history. Newman began his comic book career with DC Comics in 1947 by writing stories for the teen-humor series A Date With Judy. Throughout his career he scripted tales for Atlas Comics, Marvel Comics, Fawcett Comics, Hillman Publications, Timely Comics and others. His most well credited for his work on Turok (Western Publishing, Dell Comics, Gold Key Comics) as an uncredited writer, as most were in those days.

Other famous titles would include GI Combat, Journey Into Mystery, House of Mystery, The Lone Ranger, Darkwing Duck, and a comic-book adaptation of the Beatles Yellow Submarine. According to Guinness, Newman wrote over 4,100 stories and more than 36,000 pages giving him the title of the most prolific comic book writer. Paul S. Newman died May 30, 1999. If he were alive today we would certainly want to give him a big THANK YOU for sharing his imagination with us! Visit the Paul S. Newman Home Page to learn more about this great writer!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Who Is The Best James Bond?

"The name is Bond...James Bond."  Known the world over, Ian Fleming's secret British agent says the most famous line in movie history.  Famous for his charm and gadgets he has saved the world from disaster several times over and always gets the girl!  To date, 8 actors have portrayed the cool headed man in the suit and everyone has their favorite, including me.  We would like to know what you think.  Who is your favorite James Bond? VoteWho do you think has been the best James Bond?
George Lanzeby

David Niven

Timothy Dalton

Sean Connery

Barry Nelson

Pierce Brosnan

Roger Moore

Daniel Craig

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, and Modern Age Comics

Since the birth of The Shadow, Superman, Batman and Captain America, comic book superheroes have grown in number and popularity. Without doubt this popular pastime has influenced many and inspired the imagination to new heights. Out of the ideas and stories that have flourished some have become legend while others have faded from memory. There have been heroes who have soared to popularity and fandom, while others simply disappear. Throughout the various ages of comic growth, writers and artists alike have contributed to these successes and failures.

Today we refer to the different eras of comics by ages. Currently, or at least recognized by most, the Golden Age represents comics produced between the years 1938 and 1955, beginning with Action Comics #1 and the first appearance of Superman. This era witnessed the production and rise of comic book popularity with characters such as Batman, Wonder Woman, Hawkman, Captain Marvel, Captain America and The Justice Society of America.

In 1956, comics took on new beginnings as the effort to revitalize the industry took place. In October of 1956, DC Comics introduced the new Flash Showcase #4. This began a new era now referred to as the Silver Age. It witnesses re-created DC characters as well as the introduction of new characters in the Marvel Universe. Characters such as the Flash, Green Lantern and the Justice League of America were 'reboots'of former superheroes, usually in name only, while at Marvel Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and others were introducing now popular characters such as the X-men, Spider-Man, the Hulk and Fantastic Four. Marvel also reintroduced Golden Age character, Captain America, in the Silver Age as an early member of The Avengers. The end of the Silver Age has also been up for debate. Some comic book historians believe it ended in 1970 with the move by Jack Kirby to go to DC and the change in the "grittiness" of comics as can be seen in Conan #1 and Green Lantern/Green Arrow #76. Comics tackled more adult subjects that seemed to be plaguing America. Historian Arnold Blumberg, however, that the Silver Age continued until 1973, with the death of Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man comics. His view is not the popular one as most agree the Silver Age ended in December 1969.

1970 is credited with the beginning of the Bronze Age of comics. Comics took on more adult story lines among their heroes and an increase in fantasy comics came about with the production of such title as Conan, Tarzan, Ka-Zar, Arak, Arion, Red Sonja and others. These characters were medieval, barbaric characters who fought with swords, battle axes, knives, fists and similar weapons. Their enemies were of dark origin and character. This fit right in the times as even darker comics were produced like The Tomb of Dracula, Ghost Rider, Swamp Thing and several horror titles. Add to the fact that the 'heroes' were darker and edgier the Bronze Age of comics fit the era of the times in which they were produced. The positive side is that several black, oriental and other racial characters were introduced during this era. The Bronze Age is said to have ended in 1985 with DC's Crisis On Infinite Earths and Marvel's Secret Wars.

The Modern Age of comics began in 1985 and runs until present day. This era has seen a lot of change in the industry both up and down. There have been changes in they way comic book companies are managed, their ownership, the improved visual quality of the books and big changes in all the universes. New technology has allowed old fans to revisit old characters on the movie screen while also introducing the world of comics to a whole new generation of fans in a new era. With the introduction of digital technology and the expanding growth and use of the internet, some have tried to conclude that the old Modern Age should be renamed the Copper Age but such attempts have not yet been widely accepted. At some point we will have to see introduced a new era of comic books as the industry has growing rapidly and so are the changes in storytelling and presentation. Whatever the era will be called fans can only hope that their heroes continue to survive, new and exciting heroes can be introduced and the world of comic books never dies!

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Please take part in our poll. Which era of comic books do you think produced the best characters? VoteWhich Age of Comic Books Do You Think Produced the Best Characters?
Golden Age
Silver Age
Bronze Age
Modern Age

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thor, Capatin America, Green Lantern, Batman, Superman & the Death of Spider-Man

I can remember when we were approaching Y2K and the world was concerned about a worldwide technological collapse.  Now, we are approaching the end of 2010 and starting another decade in 2011.  In the last ten years we have seen the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, 2 wars, 2 economic recessions, 1 of which nearly collapsed the entire world economy, bank closings, the biggest Ponzi scheme in world history by Bernie Madoff, a major tsunami in the Indian Ocean, Hurricane Katrina, several typhoons and earthquakes, the world's worst oil spill in human history by BP, the death of Saddam Hussein, a nuclear threat from South Korea and Iran, the rising power of China, several school shootings and the list goes on.  These are just a few of the astonishing events that have taken place!  If the world ever needed a hero/heroes then this has been the decade for it!  That is exactly what we have gotten, too; so to speak!

This last decade, 2001-2010, has seen an increase in the interest of comic books, superheroes and the love of fantasy.  Marvel stock continued to rise even during recessions and was eventually bought by Disney.  Comic book movies have become more and more in demand.  We have seen Spider-Man, Wolverine and the X-Men, Superman, the Hulk and more.  Iron Man, probably the biggest success of them all, has become iconic.  Who can look at Robert Downey, Jr. and not see Tony Stark?  We also have animated films and TV shows featuring the X-Men, the Avengers, Batman and, one of my personal favorites, The Super Hero Squad.  We love our heroes and we love to be entertained by them.  Yet this is just the beginning!

2011 is going to be a pivotal year for comic book films and comic book events.  Fans the world over are in expectation of seeing major heroes on the big screen.  Planned for release in 2011 is Thor, Captain America, The First Avenger,  and Green LanternIron Man 3, Superman, Batman, The Avengers, Wolverine 2, X-Men: First Class and Transformers are all scheduled for release in the following years.   While these films are definitely anticipated by comic book fans, they have also generated a new era of fans; movie fans.  This generation loves the movie screen heroes but have no interest in comics themselves.  For comic book companies, however, this avenue has captured new revenue and new customers.  The fact is though that the world wants heroes and lots of them.

As a comic book fan myself, I have longed to see these characters come alive.  While some films have been dismal failures, i.e. Ghost Rider, Daredevil, Elektra, it is still a totally cool thing to see living, breathing crime fighting heroes saving the world; even if it is only fictional.

The 2 big guns, Marvel and DC, have lots of plans headed into the new decade.  One in particular is Marvel's plan for Spider-Man in the Ultimate Universe where just about anything goes.  It is basically a recreation of the Marvel Universe but with altered stories and origins from the originals.  The biggest thing to see in early 2011, will be the Death of Spider-Man.  This will prove to be the biggest, boldest move Marvel has attempted in the Ultimate Universe.  Recently we saw the death of Captain America in Marvel's regular titles.  Naturally, it he did not stay dead.  For Ultimate Spider-Man, however, it seems that this may not be the case since many characters in the world of comics always find a way to return (Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, Bruce Wayne, Aquaman, Firestorm, Superman, Captain America and others).  It seems the only well known character who has remained dead is Gwen Stacy, unless you count her emergence in the Spider-Man movie trilogy.  In any event, the death of iconic heroes always seems to draw readers.  Whether it is a publicity stunt to sell comics or not it will certainly prove to be a key moment for Marvel and Spider-Man fans.

Of the upcoming films, which do you think will be the best?  Cast your vote! VoteWhich Upcoming Comic Film Will Be The Best?
Captain America, The First Avenger
The Avengers
Iron Man 3
Green Lantern
The Wolverine

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Disney & Marvel. A Good Combination?

There's been a lot of speculation on Disney's purchase of Marvel Comics.  I have read positive comments as well as negative.  With the new promotion of Tron Legacy we have seen how Disney has used Marvel characters to promote the movie.  Many fans wonder what impact a company like Disney will have on our favorite characters as they move ahead in the stream of things.  While not everyone can be made happy it will prove to be an interesting development as time goes on.

For investors the move was great!  It sent Marvel stock soaring and several shareholders made money on the deal.  Not that Marvel Entertainment needed it as their stock had continued to climb throughout the recession.  The growing interest in Marvel characters has been due to some successful movies and with Marvel creating their own studio it was just a matter of time before a bigger fish came along.  It reminds me of Qui Gon Jinn's words in Episode I, "There's always a bigger fish!"  Disney certainly is that.  As to my own personal opinion over the Marvel purchase I am undecided.  As a business man and investment professional I am in agreement with it.  As a comic book fan and store owner I am not sure.  I think I will have to wait to see what directions the company goes in order to formulate an opinion.  What do you think? VoteDo you think Marvel being owned by Disney is a positive move forward?
I'm not sure. I'll have to wait and see.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Upcoming Comic Book Film! Cast Your Vote! VoteWhat comic book movie would you most like to see?
The Flash
Iron Fist
Justice League
Green Arrow
Alpha Flight

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Greatest Comic Book Artist of All Time VoteWhat comic artist is the greatest of all time?
Jack Kirby
Alex Ross
Jim Lee
Todd McFarlane
Neal Adams
Marc Silvestri

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Award Winning Artist Jill Thompson

In a universe and industry that is male dominated, Jill Thompson stands out among women comic creators.  Her art style is unique in that it is has an Alice In Wonderland feel to it.  It is bright, colorful and alive. Jill's artwork has appeared in books by Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Comico, First, Topps, Sirius, Bongo, Caliber and Scholastic.  She is probably best know for her work on Neil Gaiman's Sandman and DC's Wonder Woman.  However, her best work is found in the works for which she has won Eisner Awards, 5 to be exact, for Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (Interior Art).  They are...
Jill Thompson is married to comic writer Brian Azzarello.  You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.  She is very fun to chat with and is just as creative in her expressions as she is in her art.  

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

DC Universe Online: Totally Awesome!

If you have ever wanted to enter into the DC Universe and help Batman or Superman bring down Lex Luthor or The Joker then this is the game you want to play.  DC Universe Online is an online role playing game that allows you to create a superhero and fight alongside DC's most powerful heroes.

One of the most notable elements to the game, aside from its graphics, are the voices.  As you watch the attached trailer 2 voices are quickly recognized; those of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hammill.  These to actors have provided the voices for Batman and the Joker for over a decade now.  I am pleased to know that they will continue providing the voices for their respective characters in DCUO.  Other notable voices are Adam Baldwin (Superman), Gina Torres (Wonder Woman) and James Marsters (Lex Luthor). 

DC Universe Online is currently undergoing Beta Testing.  I have been unable to get an official release date.  In any case, DCUO looks as if it will be an awesomely fun way to enter into the DC Universe!  Below is the cinematic trailer promoting the game.  The only word that can describe it is WOW!

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Monday, September 6, 2010

Win Superman: Peace On Earth Signed by Alex Ross; And More!

We are looking for a awesomely cool new design for our company logo.  Therefore, we have decided to host a contest.  Anyone who wants to submit their idea for our new logo may do so by sending us an email with as a jpg file.  All submissions should be submitted to us by October 15, 2010.  After that date no more submissions will be accepted.  No exceptions.  From there we will choose from among the submissions.  Feel free to enter as many times as you like.  The more submissions the better.  What will you win?

The winner of our contest will receive a 1-year free membership to the Krypto-Knight Comic Book Club, which includes a 15% discount on all orders, a free comic book at sign-up, a t-shirt with the new logo, a free gift with every order and free shipping with every order over $15.  You will also win a copy of Superman: Peace On Earth signed by Alex Ross, ROM #1, Man-Thing #1, X-Men 2 on DVD, Green Lantern: Fear Itself Hardcover and a Star Trek Action Figure from the new movie by J.J. Abrams. 

If you would like to enter our contest send your designs to  We look forward to seeing all your submissions.

Marvel's 1st Published Limited Series - Contest of Champions

     Comic book limited series seem to be the norm in today's superhero universe.  However, that has not always been the case.  It was not until 1979, that DC became the first comic book company to print a limited series.  In 1979 they printed, The World of Krypton.  Soon to follow suit was Marvel with its first limited series entitled, Contest of Champions.  What was this story about?

     Contest of Champions came about as a result of challenge between the Elder of the Universe, Grandmaster, and a hooded female known as Death.  Grandmaster sought to have his fellow Elder, the Collector, resurrected by Death and, therefore, proposed a game.  Should Grandmaster win the contest then the Collector would again be given life.  Yet, if Death should win the contest then the Collector would remain dead.  The two decided to use Eath's superheroes as pawns by forcing them into teams and pitting them against each other.  Grandmaster's team consisted of Captain America, Captain Britain, TalismanWolverine, Sasquatch, DefensorShe-Hulk, Daredevil, Peregrine, Darkstar,  the Thing and Blitzkrieg. while Death's team consists of Iron Man; Vanguard; Iron Fist; Shamrock; Storm; Arabian Knight; Sabra; Invisible Woman; Angel; Black Panther; Sunfire and the Collective Man.  The final result was that the battle ended in a tie and Grandmaster was portrayed as successful in the contest.

      This successful limited series lead to further series of a similar nature.  Secret Wars, Secret Wars II, Civil War, Crisis On Infinite Earths, Final Crisis, DC Countdown and Blackest Night were all limited series that encompassed heroes from across their prospective universes and had major impacts.  Other limited series, however, were more character or storyline focused.  The Dark Knight Returns, the Wolverine limited series, and Watchmen are examples of limited series that proved successful.  In today's modern comic age it seems the limited series is overdone with many "reboots", "relaunches" and "remakes".  While many of the stories have proven exciting, many fans who are fond of the traditional comic book universe have found these changes to be untraditional and  unnerving.

     We would like to here from you.  What is your favorite limited series and why?  All comments are welcome.  Please visit us on Facebook and Twitter.  You may also enjoy our website ( and our Ebay store.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Michael Neno's New Comic - The Signifiers

Michael Neno, winner of the Award of Excellence from the Governor of Ohio, has recently produced a great new comic book featuring a sci-fi apocalyptic war story with a character named Splash who has to choose to obey or fight against a mysterious force called The Voyst.  Michael Neno is the recipient of a Xeric Grant, has done lettering for Dark Horse and Paul Pope's Horse Press, written and drawn the cover story for Silver Comics #8, 2 contributions to Cracked Magazine, coloring for a Beetle Bailey charity drawing by Mort Walker, and illustrations for the upcoming anthology, The American Zig-Zag.  Michael also writes and draws the online graphic novel, The Mesh.

I recently received a signed copy (thanks Michael) of .The Signifiers #1, and I found it quite interesting.  What or who are The Signifiers?  I don't know.  This is what makes it cool because Michael's unique writing style left us hanging at the end of the first issue.  Great writers are known for cliff hangers and leave the reader wanting to read more, salivating for the next issue.  While I admit that I had some trouble following the story in the beginning, by the time I got to the end I was left wanting to know who The Signifiers were!

The other thing I loved about this book was the art style.  It was done in black and white but in old school style.  It had a Kirbyesque look about it, and it was clearly done with a pen and india ink style of artwork.  This is art that is penciled and inked by hand with a brush or inking pen.  In fact, my copy was so fresh I could still smell the fresh ink off of the press.  I have always been a fan of Jack Kirby and while I am sure Michael wants to establish his own unique art style, I could not help but make that comparison.  It is unique in it's own right but also has that Kirby appeal to it. 

There is also a story about Landlark, The Heat Seeking Dwarf.  It is an interesting tale that quickly captures your attention and holds it.  This 48 page comic is priced at $4.95 and you can get an autographed copy directly from Michael Neno at the following link...
This is a link directly to Michael's site because we do not have any here at Krypto-Knight Comics!   We know you will enjoy this book so get your signed copy today! 

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

From Jedi to Joker

The year 1977 witnessed the debut of a character that would eventually become famous around the globe and would continue to be so for decades.  The Star Wars era began and with it the famous, young and soon-to-be Jedi, Luke Skywalker.  The revelation of the Stars Wars epic was that the evil Darth Vader, a villain unlike any that preceded him, was in fact the father of Luke Skywalker.  Later it was also revealed that Princess Leia was Luke's twin sister.  Of course, any true Star Wars fan knows this information, but it was the twists in the story and the secret ties that made the story great.  Luke Skywalker came to be the hero among all young fans.  He was a new character with a unique name. 

That same year, in fact the same film, produced an unknown actor to be Luke, Mark Hammill.  It was Mark's portrayal of Luke that defined the character and carried the movie franchise.  It's his likeness that is continually used in paintings and artwork depicting Star Wars themes.  So what has Mark Hammill done since Star Wars?  Quiet a bit actually.

It would seem that Mark has a talent for voices as he has been providing the voices for characters for animation and video games.  His first use of his voice, at least from what I can find, was in 1973 (pre Star Wars) in Scooby-Doo: Mysteria in Persia.  Years later in 1989, he provided a voice in The Little Mermaid but received no credit for it and in 1993, he provided the voice for E'Lectromag in Biker Mice From Mars. Later that same year, he became the voice of one of comicdom's most notorious villains in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.  Which villain?  The ever popular, Joker.  Unlike other actor/character combos he has maintained that role providing the  voice of the Joker even in video games, such as the upcoming Batman:Arkham Asylum II.  Who would have guessed that Luke Skywalker and the Joker would have something in common?

Other animated comic book characters that Mark Hammill has voiced include: Hobgoblin, Wolverine, Solomon Grundy, The Trickster, The Spectre, Iron Man, Red Skull, Gargoyle, Maximus, Triton and many others.  It would seem our young Jedi Knight has a talent of using his voice in quite a number of ways.  If you would like to see the long list of things Mark Hammill has done just click here.  You will be surprised at the amount of work he has had over the decades.

From Jedi to Joker the talents of Mark Hammill continue to infiltrate our lives as comic book and science fiction lovers.  Will we ever see him in another Star Wars role?  That remains to be seen, although unlikely.  One thing is for sure, we will contiue to enjoy Mark's legacy whether we realize it is him or not.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What Do You Think Of The Spider-Man Movie Revamp In 3D?

It's official.  Spider-Man in 3D.  It's as many think it should be...Spider-Man swinging into theaters almost literally.  While it certainly proves exciting in some ways, there is a lot of speculation about the film.  What will it be titled? Who will be in it?  Rumors spread last week that Zack Efron has been cast as the next Peter Parker.  Whether that's true or not this writer cannot verify.  However, I do have my issues with this revamp.

First, I do not understand why they are doing a revamp.  It is true that Spider-Man 3 was not that great, but it was not bad either.  I think you have an established character and storyline that should continue progressing.  While getting the same actors to agree to repeat roles certainly is difficult sometimes, getting new actors should not mean a whole new movie of repeat.  Why start over?  It is a successful franchise that should just continue on.  It seems this century will be the century of repeat and remake.  Superman is being revamped...again.  Batman was revamped but it was necessary.  Marvel Universe is being rebuilt. DC had another Crisis undoing what came before.  Even "We Are the World" is being redone for what little good it will do.  There is an old expression..."If it ain't broke don't fix it!"  I do not think Spider-Man is broken, at least not the movie franchise.  The 3D aspect I do not mind.  It's the other part that bothers me. 

Second, with everything being "revamped" I am wonder what it says of the creative talent Marvel, DC and Hollywood all truly possess?  Can we not come up with a creative way of making things better?  Maybe we should just contract it out to Steve Jobs or to the Japanese.  What do you think?

Teen Titans - Future Heroes of Earth?

In Brave and the Bold #54, DC Comics told a story from a different angle. They joined the sidekicks of the greatest heroes and put them together in a story. Who were these young heroes? Robin (Dick Grayson), Aqualad and Kid Flash. Although they were not referred to in the storyline as the Teen Titans, this book is credited with their first appearance. In May 2008, a 9.4 CGC issue sold for $2,293.

Later, in Brave and the Bold #60 they appeared for the first time as the Teen Titans and the group included one more member, Wonder Woman's sidekick, Wonder Girl. These four teenage superheroes would form the corps of what the Teen Titans would become. In 1966, DC gave the fab four their own title, Teen Titans. The series had 53 issues and ended in 1978. Through it's run Green Arrow's sidekick, Speedy, eventually joined the team

In 1980, the group was reborn at the hands of Marv Wolfman and the great George Perez. This time the team included the originals and some new members: Robin (Dick Grayson), Kid Flash, Raven, Changeling (Beast Boy), Starfire, Cyborg and Wonder Girl. Others would eventually become members as well. Heroes such as Terra and Jericho. This version of the Teen Titans were an older group of teens unlike the previous stories. Their battles were more epic and they dealt with issues of growing into adulthood, love and independence. Robin and Starfire shared a love interest, for example. The majority dropped their former sidekick identities and adopted new mantles to indentify themselves, no longer as sidekicks, but as individuals. Robin left Batman and became Nightwing. Wonder Girl became Troia. Kid Flash became the Flash after the death of Barry Allen. Speedy took on the name Arsenal and Aqualad became Tempest, although he continued to serve alongside Aquaman in Atlantis but not as a sidekick.

The team has had reunion books and the Teen Titans have continued on but with a much younger group. The original Titans grew up and have become full grown heroes in the DC Universe. The former members have always been a popular group. Cartoon network created a Teen Titans cartoon that consisted of the original members from the 1980 series. The only difference is that Robin is Tim Drake instead of Dick Grayson and Wonder Girl is not a member. Robin and Starfire even have feelings for each other as they did inthe 80's.

The modern Teen Titans consist of members unheard of or they are members who resemble the characters of old but have different alter egos. Robin, Superboy (now dead), Kid Flash are examples of members that have different secret identities from the originals. As these characters grow up we cannot help but wonder if the former team will eventually replace the Silver Age heroes. There seems to be so much revamping and rebuilding of universes that it can be hard to keep up. The old heroes never seem to grow old and the new young heroes are stuck in time. It's the group in the middle that seems to be the only group that ages. Will we one day feel about the Bronze/Copper Age heroes the same as we do about the Silver Age? Will this group one day be the heroic corps saving our planet day after day? Only time will tell.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Action & Adventure Video

New recently made the following video using  It's a great site that does all the work for you.  The down side is that free videos are really short, HD videos cost more and the style of video is almost always the same.  However, it is still a BIG time saver and you have some creative say over the pics, words and music.  You can even download your own music.  Here is our most recent video.

Thanks for following our blog and let us know what you think.  We love feedback!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Heroes In A Half Shell For Eastman & Laird - What's Your Dream?

From a simple humorous sketch by Kevin Eastman and some collaboration with his friend Peter Laird, the now popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were born.  It began as a parody of Frank Miller's Ronin story and grew into what it is today.  Using a tax return and some borrowed money from an uncle, Eastman and Laird produced their own comic book through Mirage Studios.  The phenomenon grew into what it is today, a multi-million dollar business.  So popular have the Ninja Turtles become that on October 21, 2009, the cable channel Nickelodeon bought the rights to the TMNT for $60 million.  Yes you read that correctly, $60,000,000!  The cable channel's plans include a new movie (there are currently 4) and a new TV series featuring the fab four.

This is a story that highlights the success one can have if they work hard and take a risk.  While not all risks work out as we might like, we learn from them, and nothing has ever been achieved without some risk.  I recently created an online comic book store and have hopes that it will pay off.  Since a kid I have wanted to be in the comic book business in one way or another.  This is my first step.  While I may not have the success of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird (then again I might) I know that the fun I have had so far in doing it has been..well FUN!  Come what may, I can only say that my hat goes off to those who give it a shot!

Recently a graded copy of TMNT #1 (CGC 9.6) sold for $7000.  Not a bad price tag for its owner.  Eastman and Laird's creation pays off even for collectors.  What is your dream?  Are you going after it?

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

What Do Psychology, the Lie Detector and Wonder Woman All Have In Common?

Dr. William Moulton Marston was a psychologist trained at Harvard University.  He is credited with the invention of the lie detector test.  For comic book fans, however, he is known for a much more famous creation that today is popular around the world.  What creation?  The superhero known as Wonder Woman.  He created the character after DC Comics requested a consultation with him over the comic book industry.  He suggested creating a female superhero since, at that time, there were none.  Using the psuedonym Charles Moulton,  he originally, he created "Suprema, the Wonder Woman" but the Suprema was quickly dropped.  Wonder Woman had her first appearance in All Star Comics #8 in December 1941.  She then appeared in Sensation Comics #1 in January 1942 and by the summer of that same year she had her own title, Wonder Woman.  She continued in all 3 titles for a time and became very popular.

Wonder Woman's overall success has continued and is considered among the "Big 3", the other two being Superman and Batman.  These 3 characters were the primary roles in Alex Ross's Kingdom Come and are not the title characters in DC's Trinity.  They all have served as leading members of the Justice League and Womder Woman is, without doubt, comics leading lady!  The only on-screen appearance of Wonder Woman that was not animated was the 1970's TV show starring the still beautiful Lynda Carter.  However, in 1967, William Dozier, the producer of the Batman TV series with Adam West, sough to do something similar with Wonder Woman.  A 5 minute screen test can be see in the video below.  Fortunately, it never came about.  There are rumors of Wonder Woman appearing in an episode of Smallville but it will be Lois Lane in the costume.  As cool as it might be to see Erica Durrence in a Wonder Woman costume, it's not the same thing.  There have been reports of a Wonder Woman movie in the works but as of yet there is nothing concrete.  Many fans fell victim tot he prank of seeing Megan Fox in a Wonder Woman costume and slated to play the role, but it was just a prank.  Hopefully, one day, we will get to see Wonder Woman in her own title film.  I would bet Lynda Carter would have a cameo appearance.  Do you think Stan Lee would?  Doubtful.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Captain America's Greatest Foe: Film or the Red Skull?

In 1944, film company Republic, produced its most expensive serial film ever and its last superhero film.  What was it?  Captain America.  Sadly this 15 film series was not in harmony with the comic book version of Captain America.  It featured District Attroney, Grant Gardner, as Captain America rather than US Private Steve Rogers.  Republic's version of Cap had not shield and he wielded a regular gun.  Rather than fight the Nazi's, as Captain America did in the comics, he fought against Dr. Cyrus Maldor, a museum curator whose secret villain identity was The Scarab.  The costume had no wings on his head, no chainmail and no pirate's boots.  Rather the costume was cloth, with high shoes and was black and white because it showed up better on film.  Captain America was played by Dick Purcell.

It would be over 30 years late before another Captain America film would be produced.  In fact, it was 2 made for television films in 1979, starring Reb Brown as Captain America.  In these films, Steve Rogers is not a US Private from the 1940's.  He is a contemporary artist whose father fought in World War II and was so patriotic that he is given the nickname Captain America.  Steve finds himself in an accident and receives a secret chemical called FLAG-Full Latent Ability Gain- which enhances him physically.  He "supes" up his van, drives a modified motorcycle and dawns a costume adopting the name Captain America.  It is not the comic book version and his shield is a removable transparent windshield off of the motorcycle.  The second film, Captain America: Death Too Soon, features a costume that more resembles the comic book version but the overall movie is just bad.  The only possible redeeming aspect is that the villain, General Miguel, is played by actor Christopher Lee.  Other than that there are not too many factors they make it any good.  Both films are low budget B Rated movies and they have that appeal that makes us want to watch them just to see how bad they really were.

The sad part is that it only gets worse.  In 1992, Matt Salinger, son of  Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger, starred as Captain America in a movie by the same name.  It was just bad.  Yet, like the others, you cannot help but watch it. It has that "bad movie" attraction about it that just grabs you.  You can not watch it on Hulu for free.  I have embedded it here if you care to watch it.  Try and see how long it takes before you stop watching.

Our only hope is that The First Avenger: Captain America will be well produced and directed.  At this rate, anything will be better than what has come before.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The 20th Century Genre Bender - Patsy Walker

It was a move Marvel Comics would make that was unusual, but it worked!  They capitalized on the dying interest of a age old character by introducing her to a new genre.  Patsy Walker was a very popular teenage comic character that starred in her own title issue called Patsy Walker.  She was an Archie type (Get it?  A play on words?  Archtype = Archie Type?  LOL) character that was especially popular among female readers.  She debuted in 1944 in Miss America Magazine and then had her title in 1945 which continue for 20 years.  Her book turned into a romance comic which were popular during that era.  When that genre of comic book began to die out Marvel decided to reintroduce the popular character into a different genre...the superhero genre.

Patsy Walker became a supporting character in Marvel's Amazing Adventures starring alongside the ever popular Beast.  She was married to a man named Buzz who had ties with The Brand.  Although they eventually divorced she still had association with superheroes because of her husbands disdain for Dr Hank McCoy, aka The Beast.  Because she volunteered to help him he promised to help her become a superhero, a promise he never had the opportunity to keep.  However, because of her friendship with him, she came into association with the Avengers and in Avengers #144 (which we will soon have up for auction), while helping the Avengers conquer The Brand, she became a hero when she dawned the former costume of the Cat and became Hellcat

To make a long story short, she eventually came to be a member of The Defenders which eventually led to her own title, a mini-series called Hellcat.  Unfortunately, from the time she joined The Defenders her character became somewhat obsolete and her storylines were well below par, at least in this writers opinion.  Will we see the return of Hellcat to the Marvel lineup? Only time will tell. 

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Monday, February 1, 2010

My Favorite Beetle - Blue Beetle That Is!

Long blogs are hard to read.  I prefer shorter ones and often that is how I try to write them.  Blogs should get to the point and not waste a lot of a reader's time.  At the same time, however, it should capture the interest of the reader and hold it.  That is why it is difficult to write about a character like the Blue Beetle.  How so?

It's not that the character is boring.  In fact, I find that the Blue Beetle is a very interesting character.  The trouble lies in the fact that he has been 3 different people form several different eras with different origins and produced by different comic book companies.  Originally created in 1939 by Fox Syndicate it was later sold to Charlton Comics who revamped the original character and then created a new version killing of the revamp. The rights to these characters were then sold to DC Comics who has since killed off the Charlton version and created a new younger hispanic version. 

I grew up with the Blue Beetle created by Charlton and enhanced some by DC.  His alter ego was Ted Kord and he used a lot of gadgetry similar to the way Batman might use gadgetry.  My favorite version of this character was in the series Justice League of America during the 1980's.  He was best friends with Booster Gold and the two were considered second rate superheroes.  However, the duo put the "comic" back in comic book by providing the series a laughter that would make one's gut hurt.  I used to buy Justice League just to read the scenes of Blue Beetle and Booster Gold making jokes, usually at Guy Gardner's expense.  Ha Ha Ha.  I laugh just thinking about them.  Ho Ho Ho.  What funnies those guys made.  Bwa ha ha ha.   I can't stop laughing..bwahahaha...hohohoho...heeheehee...oh no I can't breath...HAHAHAHAHAHAHA...oh please help!  HAA HAA HAA HAA HAA HAA!!!!

Seriously, though.  Blue Beetle is a character with a lot of potential.  I wish I owned the rights to him because there are so many stories, cool stories that could make Blue Beetle a top shelf character.  In the 1940's he was very popular with his own comic strip, comic book and a radio show.  He could be again.  The Ted Kord Blue Beetle from the 1980's was my favorite of the Blue Beetles.  Which Beetle is your favorite?

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Would the Real Jack Kirby Please Stand Up?

Decades ago there was a game show on television called, To Tell The Truth, in which contestants questioned a panel of 3 individuals to try and determine which of the 3 was the real person they all claimed to be.  At the end of it all, the game show host would say..."Would the real [person's name] please stand up?"  Then the real person would stand up and they contestants who guessed correctly won a prize. 

Today, it is not uncommon for an individual to want credit for the work that he or she has done on a project.  In a sense, we all want to make some sort of name for ourselves and leave our mark on society.  However, it is not uncommon for artistic individuals to use a pseudonym, or a pen name, in place of their real name.  A few writers still do this today.  Among comic book artists and writers this was popular as well.  For example, Stanley Martin Lieber (who actually appeared on the aforementioned game show twice) is more affectionately known as Stan Lee.  The same is true for "The King" of comicdom Jacob Kurtzberg, or Jack Kirby. 

What were some pen names used by Jack Kirby?  There is a long list!  Jack Curtiss, Curt Davis, Fred Sande, Ted Grey, Teddy, Charles Nicholas and eventually he settled on the pen name Jack Kirby because it reminded him of the actor James Cagney.  The first work that ever featured the "Jack Kirby" pen name was Blue Bolt #5, a work he and Joe Simon produced for Fox Feature Syndicate.  Eventually Jack Kirby and Joe Simon created in late 1940 Captain America which they convinced Timely Comics to produce.  Today Timely Comics is better known as Marvel Entertainment.

I have often thought of operating under a pseudonym myself but not sure what I would use.  I enjoy my own name because if it's originality.  Whether I will ever be as famous as Jack Kirby is doubtful.  Until such time, if it ever occurs, I will continue to enjoy the rich artwork left behind by "The King" for us all to marvel over.  Jack Kirby died February 6, 1994 in Thousand Oaks, California, at the age of 76.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Uncanny X-Men #341 - Cannonball vs Gladiator

Sometimes a story just hits you the right way.  After reading it you look inward and say, 'WOW!  I loved that story."  Those are the kind of stories we all want, right?  They are the kind that make you want to talk about it, to call your best friend and see if he or she felt the same.  When you appreciate something you cannot help but want to talk about it even years later.  Uncanny X-Men #341 was one of those issues for me. 

As a whole, the story was okay.  However, there is an aspect in this issue that I have always loved and that is the battle that takes place between Cannonball and the Shi'ar Champion and leader of the Imperial Guard, Gladiator.  Gladiator is one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe having only been defeated by Thor.  Gladiator's power and abilities mirror that of Superman's, if not stronger.  However, in this issue of Uncanny X-Men, the former New Mutants member Cannonball finds himself pitted against this powerful foe.  It's that battle aspect of t his story that I love so much and the characterization of Cannonball!  Why?

Sam Guthrie, aka Cannonball, has always been one to doubt his abilities and his place among mutantkind.  In this issue, however, we see his confidence level at its highest by showing a willingness to take on the powerful Gladiator.  In this battle we see Cannonball's real strength comes, not from his mutant abilities, but in thinking his way through the battle as a mature hero would.  While Cannonball does not defeat Gladiator, he does not lose either and stands toe to toe with him.  We also see, thanks to writer Scott Lobdell, the potential that Cannonball has to be a powerful hero, both in mutant ability and in thinking ability.  My favorite scene in the comic is when Gladiator tries to punch Cannonball from Earth into the Sun and fails.  The scene and dialogue that follow are great! 

Cannonball: "So tell me pardner...was that your best shot?"
Gladiator: "But..but that was my most powerful blow! live?  That's not possible...!"

In the end when Gladiator sends the X-Men to help Lilandra he does not send Cannonball saying that it would be an insult to send a child into such a battle.  How insulting!  Cannonball just held his own with one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe and he cannot go with the rest of the X-Men because he is a child?  I highly disagree.  Cannonball has the makings of not only being a great X-Man but a leader as well.  I only hope we get to see more stores like this with Cannonball sometime in the future. 

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Casting Call - The Black Panther

Sometimes I like to think about who could play a certain comic book character on the movie screen.  One way I do this is by thinking backwards.  In other words, as I watch TV or movies I think, "What superhero does that actor/actress remind me of?"  Sometimes the answer is no one but on other occasions it becomes very clear.  Some actors are just born to play certain roles.  Christopher Reeve was born to be Superman.  Patrick Stewart is Professor X.  Hugh Jackman brought Wolverine to life (although too tall we accepted him).  Robert Downey, Jr. was awesome as Tony Stark.  Recently I decided who I think would be perfect for the role of T'Challa, the King of the African Country Wakanda.  We affectionately know him as The Black Panther, Honorary Avenger.

Who would I cast as the Black Panther?  Christopher Judge 

Who is Christopher Judge?  He is best know for his role on Stargate SG-1 and associated shows as Teal'c, the Jaffa alien who helps the ISO's Stargate program defeat the Goa'uld from ruling the galaxy as gods.  However, Judge has other credits to his name as well, some of which have ties to popular comic book characters.  In 2003, he was the voice of Zodak in 5 episodes of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.  He also provide the voice for Magneto in the animated series X-Men: Evolution.  In other years he has appeared in episodes of MacGyver, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Andromeda, Sirens and Action Man.  Bird On A Wire, A Dog's Breakfast and Personal Effects are some of just a few of the many movie appearances he has had.

I like Judge for the role of Black Panther for several reasons.  He has the build being muscular and firm.  He has the look in his face that differentiates him from actors like Denzel Washington or Wesley Snipes, some who have been mentioned or rumored to be in such a role.  He also has the look as if he could be from another country because he is part African and part Cherokee.  He definitely has the voice of one who commands others,  injects fear and displays confidence. Finally, he has the size. At 6'-3" it is clear he is not a short man.  He has proven his ability to show a physical prowess, and his fairly solemn role as Teal'c, a character whose very demeanor commands respect, is similar in nature to that of the Black Panther.  Much like Patrick Stewart or Christopher Reeve, I believe he was born to play the Black Panther.

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"Faster Than A Streak of Lightning!" What?!

"Faster than a streak of lightning, more powerful than the pounding surf, mightier than a roaring hurricane, the amazing stranger from the planet Krypto, Superman!"  Do these words sound familiar?  Sort of!  We are all more familiar with a different set of words describing Earth's mightiest hero.  Yet the words above were penned by the same man who penned "faster than a speeding bullet",  Jay Morton. 

Jay Morton, who may not be familiar to us, was a writer and artist that worked on projects that are much more familiar, such as Felix the Cat, Betty Boop, Popeye and of course our favorite, Superman.  Morton worked with Fleischer Studios on 25 of the animated superman films until the 1940's when he left and became the publisher of newspapers and trade papers in Florida.  It was during his time with Fleischer Studios that he coined the phrase above in describing Superman.  He later reworked it and came up the line we all know today...

"Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Look! Up in the sky!  It's a bird; it's a plane; no it's...Superman!"

Morton's film credits include Superman (1941), Terror On The Midway (1942), Showdown (1942), Destruction, Inc. (1942), The Mummy Strikes (1943), Jungle Drums (1943), The Underground World (1943), and The Adventures of Superman TV series (1952).  He was also appeared as Stinky in "Our Gang", the little rich kid who ended up on the wrong side of the pranks by the "Little Rascals". 

Not only was Jay Morton a writer and artist, but a sculptor as well.  In the entrance of the courthouse in Westchester, Virginia, is an 8 foot bronze sculptor of Admiral Richard E. Byrd, the famous explorer of Antarctica.  Westchester is the home town of Admiral Byrd and the statue was erected by Jay Morton.

What is most fascinating about Jay Morton, however, is that his wealth was not as a result of his work in film and animation but from invention.  After cutting his foot on an old style drinking can pop-tab while walking on the beach, he invented the current style tab that stays attached to the can.  His invention (U.S. Patent No. 5,062,542)  made him extremely wealthy!

On September 6, 2003, Jay Morton died in Charlotte, NC, from a brain aneurysm at the age of 92.