The spooky season marches on, and I've been looking for comic book monsters to build movies around. And of course my favorite Marvel monster (at least of the superheroic variety) is Hank McCoy, the Beast. So today I'm imagining a movie based on his solo run in Amazing Adventures back in the early '70s, which was written by Gerry Conway and Steve Englehart, with art by Tom Sutton. This is the story in which he goes from a bouncy human-looking guy with big hands and feet to an actual furry monster.
We recently learned what fans had already suspected, that the character Pom Klementieff is playing in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is none other than Mantis, a character who has been featured prominently in the Guardians comics. But who is Mantis? We still don't know much about what she'll be like in the movie, but she's existed in comics for 43 years, so we know that version of her pretty well. And looking back at her history may give us some insight about what to expect from this new version of the character.
Steve Englehart was born on this day in 1947. By his mid-twenties, he was reshaping the Marvel Universe. At thirty, he was reinventing Batman. Englehart is easily one of the greatest comic book writers of all time, and probably the definitive writer of the 1970s.
One of the interesting things about Englehart is that he doesn’t get credit for creating that many interesting characters. In fact, he’s probably most strongly associated with Mantis, a character he introduced in Avengers and held onto (in an incognito form) even when he moved to Justice League of America and beyond. But while Englehart certainly created some peculiar characters, what he was really great at was perfecting characters that already existed.
Q: Why is "Strange Apparitions" the best Batman run? - @IanGonzales
A: See what I mean about these questions that include their own answers right there in the premise?
I have to say, though: You're not wrong. Of all the great Batman runs that have helped to define the character, the six issues that Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers spent on Detective Comics back in 1978 stand out as one of the all-time greatest. It's intricately crafted, beautifully drawn, and while Englehart's claim that it more-or-less invented the Batman of the Modern Age might seem a little overblown at first glance, it's hard to argue that it's not at least a major part of the foundation of how the Caped Crusader would evolve over the following decade. As for just what makes it so great and why it stands the test of time, it all comes down to how they were able to build on the past while creating something that still feels modern almost 40 years later.
Many of comics’ most popular characters have been around for decades, and in the case of the big names from the publisher now known as DC Comics, some have been around for a sizable chunk of a century. As these characters passed through the different historical eras known in comics as the Golden Age (the late 1930s through the early 1950s), the Silver Age (the mid 1950s through the late 1960s), the Bronze Age (the early 1970s through the mid 1980s) and on into modern times, they have experienced considerable changes in tone and portrayal that reflect the zeitgeist of the time.
With this feature we’ll help you navigate the very best stories of DC Comics’ most significant characters decade by decade. This week, we’re taking a look at the best Joker comics.
Everyone loves comic book trivia, but with 75 years of superhero comics behind us right now, there’s always some new obscure fact to learn. That’s why ComicsAlliance is going deep into the minutiae of your favorite characters in our new video series. You think you know comics? Well here’s a few things you might not know!
With Doctor Strange’s first feature film headed to theaters, this week we’re taking a deep dive into the history of Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme. Find out about Doctor Strange’s secret origins, sweet accessories, actual home address, and early brushes with stardom--not to mention the surprising secret identities of some of the Multiverse’s least likely Sorcerers Supreme!
Okay, so there's good news and bad news. The good news is that ComiXology is having a massive sale on Batman comics, and has knocked a bunch of them down to 99¢ each, which means that you can grab some great stories on the cheap. The bad news? Since this whole thing is in honor of Batman's 75th anniversary, they've put 750 comics on sale, plus a handful of graphic novel collections. All things considered, that's a pretty good problem to have, but still, that can be pretty overwhelming.
Fortunately, we're here to help. As the World's Foremost Batmanologist, I've sifted through the sale to bring you safe bets for what you should be grabbing during the sale. Assuming you've got the obvious ones -- like The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One and the recent runs by Morrison, Snyder, and Capullo -- here's what to grab next!
As much as I love Batman, and I think the record will show that I love Batman a whole heck of a lot, I haven't really been looking forward to sitting down and cracking open the new Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years hardcover. Last year's Superman anniversary hardcover was a disaster of revisionist history, 300 pages that would have you believe that one of the world's greatest superheroes did nothing for seven and a half decades but cry. With that in mind, I had no idea what DC Comics was going to do with Batman. If you'd asked me to bet on it, I would've put good money on a prediction that they'd craft a narrative that acknowledged Batman only as a scowling vigilante, consumed with vengeance and every bit as crazy as the villains he fought.
But it turns out I didn't have to worry. The Batman hardcover is exactly what it says it is -- a celebration of Batman across different eras, with a roster of stories that highlights one of the character's true strengths: How well he works across different kinds of stories.
The Marvel Unlimited app is a gigantic, messy cache of awesome and terrible old comic books: a library of 13,000 or so back issues of Marvel titles, available on demand for subscribers with tablets or mobile phones. Like any good back-room longbox, it’s disorganized and riddled with gaps, but it’s also full of forgotten and overlooked jewels, as well as a few stone classics. In Marvel Unlimited Edition, Eisner-winning critic Douglas Wolk dives into the Unlimited archive to find its best, oddest and most intriguing comics.
Two spin-offs of Guardians of the Galaxy launch in recent weeks: The Legendary Star-Lord and the already-surprise-hit Rocket Raccoon. Marvel Unlimited's got a fairly thorough, if not quite complete, selection of most of the Guardians' previous appearances, especially the ones in the Annihilation/Annihilation: Conquest/Annihilators sequence. But their prehistory is worth digging into, too, and there's some choice proto-Guardians material in the archive.
You might have heard that there's a new Captain America movie coming out on April 4. If Marvel's marketing department has gotten its way, this news may very well be tattooed on the inside of your eyelids in phosphorescent ink. Let's say, however, you've never read any Captain America comics before, but now that he's been legitimized as a multi-million dollar film franchise, you're suddenly very interested in that dude with little wings on his head carrying around one of Uncle Sam's rims.
Since being created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon all the way back in 1941, the hero also known as the Sentinel of Liberty has passed through the hands of some eminently talented writers, artists and editors. Some of these creative teams depicted Cap's adventures for a few months -- some of them for a few years -- before passing the torch to the next creators to keep the flame (or trademark) alive. In comic books, these tenures are called "runs," "series" or "eras," and they're the readers' way of distinguishing one era of a character's saga from the next. Chances are you're not sure where to dive into a a publishing legacy that's spanned more than 70 years, so here is a list, in chronological order, of the Sentinel of Liberty's 10 most interesting and influential comic book runs.