Krypto-Knight Comics

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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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