This week, Boom Studios --- which, in the interest of full disclosure, is a company I've done some writing for --- announced that they'd acquired the rights to Power Rangers with plans to launch a new series sometime this year. It's pretty exciting news, but at the same time, the news about a bunch of teenagers with (shockingly positive) attitudes coming to comics always gets me a little bit down, because it reminds me of one of the biggest missed opportunities in the history of the franchise.
See, this isn't the first time that the Power Rangers have made an attempt at conquering the world of superhero comics, and there was a time when they only made it through one issue with a story that was more notable for the books that it advertised and never came out than what happens in the issue itself. The year was 1996, the comic was Power Rangers Zeo, and the man who had the license... was Rob Liefeld.
Q: Which 80s action film should be licensed as an ongoing comic next? --- @kingimpulse
A: When you get right down to it, '80s action movie nostalgia in comics probably hit critical mass back in 2006, when IDW published that Scarface sequel, based on the premise that Tony Montana did not actually die from snorting his body weight in cocaine, taking a shotgun blast directly to the back, and falling twenty feet into a shallow pool filled with irony. That thing was next-level bonkers, but at the same time, the fact that I'm not actually making that up means that there's really no limit on what you can do when you're trying to bring this stuff back for comics.
If you're not familiar with Max Alan Collins and Terry Beatty's Wild Dog, the simple explanation is that he's DC's version of the Punisher. I don't know if that's exactly what they were inspired by, but it's hard not to look at the two characters and see a pretty huge influence in Wild Dog and how he works, especially when you consider how popular the Punisher was getting in the late '80s.
The thing is, Wild Dog doesn't really feel like he's meant to be an equivalent as much as the product off someone reading comics about a perpetually grumpy vigilante who runs around with a giant skull on his chest and saying, "Well we can do something weirder than that."
Welcome back to All For the Wookiee, where we take a look at the recent Star Wars universe offerings from Marvel and pick the most Star Wars-ish moments. From deranged protocol droids to mad alien queens to rogue troopers, we have it all in this last month’s comics.
This installment is jam-packed, with two issues (5 and 6) of the main Star Wars series from writer Jason Aaron and artist John Cassaday, the penultimate issue of Mark Waid and Terry Dodson's Princess Leia miniseries, and issues 5 and 6 of Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca’s Darth Vader. And yes, we will discuss "The Moment" in the newest Star Wars issue and what that means for the new canon.
Ever since I wrote about how great Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo is a few weeks ago, it's been the only comic I want to read. As a result, I've been re-reading the entire run, and it occurs to me that even though I wrote at length about how great it is, I might've actually undersold it a little bit. I mean, I talked about the craftsmanship, the accessibility, the commitment to historical accuracy and the effortless way that it's blended with myth and legend, the instantly engaging characters and all that stuff, but when you get right down to it, that's only part of what makes that comic so great.
I mean, I didn't even mention the time that Usagi fought Mothra and summoned the King of All Monsters. That seems like something worth mentioning, right?
Q: Which city in comics would be the worst to live in? In Gotham there's nutcases with random crimes, but New York and Metropolis attract trouble on a your-city-will-be-killed-at-once scale. -- @rj_white
A: That's the thing about living in a fictional universe, RJ: Generally speaking, it is an absolutely terrible idea. I mean, our world may have its share of pretty awful troubles, but at least you can rest reasonably assured that you won't have to deal with being poisoned into a smiley death by a murderous clown just because you wanted to go check out the museum's new exhibit on original folios of Shakespeare's comedies, or got bonked on the head by a dude in a lime green suit and suspended over a vat of boiling acid because you were really good at crossword puzzles.
Marvel’s Netflix Daredevil draws much more from street-level crime dramas like The Wire than its Avengers predecessors, but that hasn’t stopped the parody parade from finding some fantastic fits. Daredevil, dressed as Law & Order, and frighteningly perfect at that? We’ll take eight!
Did you know that Batman is a city in Turkey? Or that the Penguin is based on a cigarette mascot? Or that The Flash once ran all the way to the Marvel Universe? Or that Jimmy Olsen dreamed up both Lucifer and Supergirl?
We've uncovered some of the strangest and most wonderful facts from more than eighty years of DC Comics history to provide you with tidbits to amuse, educate, and inform --- including weird-but-true facts about Wonder Woman, Superman, the Joker, Harley Quinn, Aquaman, John Constantine, and even JFK.
I've never been good at playing fighting games, but when I was growing up, there were few things in this world I loved more than Street Fighter. I think I've mentioned this before, but my first memory of actually trying to make a comic was when I was ten years old and I drew the junkyard fight scene from Batman #425 and replaced the bad guys with Blanka and Dhalsim, and really, you can draw a pretty straight line from that to where I am today. I've even written a tiny little bit of Street Fighter comics myself, and I am still very much a person who thinks karate guys throwing fireballs at each other is the highest form of art.
Of course, they didn't exactly make it easy for us to like Street Fighter back then. The games were great, sure, but if you wanted a little more story about it on this side of the Pacific, your options were pretty slim. There was the movie in 1994, and the cartoon that was somehow a sequel to it, but if you wanted to see those characters in comics, you had only one choice: Malibu's Street Fighter --- the comic so legendarily rough that it was canceled after three issues with an apology from the publisher.
In 1994, X-Men: The Animated Series was still going strong, and X-Men comics were buoyant. Things were going pretty poorly for Wolverine on both counts; season three of the cartoon began with his delicate ex returning as Lady Deathstrike and moved quickly into the Phoenix Saga, whilst March brought the wedding of Scott and Jean into the pages of X-Men. That poor sad gravelly muscle beast! Marvel took pity on him, I suppose, and farmed out publication of Francine Hughes’ Wolverine: Top Secret. It’s a novel. It’s for young readers. The first chapter is called Chapter 1: The Prom.
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