Tagged: Captain America

All Pulp Interviews: Moonstone’s Return of the Monsters – Bobby Nash

Cover Art: Dan Brereton

This Halloween, Moonstone heads back to their monstrous roots with the Return of the Monsters Event. Return of the Monsters features four stand-alone tales of pulp’s mightiest heroes facing off against some classic monsters. One of those titles is Domino Lady vs. the Mummy by co-writers Nancy Holder and Bobby Nash with art by Rock Baker and Jeff Austin. All Pulp sat down with Bobby Nash about this upcoming book.

All Pulp: Tell us a little about yourself and your pulp interests.

Bobby Nash: I’m a writer of prose and comic books, many of which feature pulp characters and themes. Some of the characters I’ve written include Lance Star: Sky Ranger, Domino Lady, Secret Agent X, Ravenwood – Stepson of Mystery, the Green Hornet, and more. You can see all of my various books at http://www.bobbynash.com/. I also run the http://www.lance-star.com/ website as well.

AP: Your story, co-written with Nancy Holder, for the Return of the Monsters Halloween event is called Domino Lady vs. the Mummy. What can we expect from this titanic throw down?

Art: Rock Baker & Jeff Austin

BN: Domino Lady’s adversaries tend to be more human so it was a fun experiment having her face off against a supernatural threat. Getting the opportunity to work with writer Nancy Holder, whose novels and comics I’ve enjoyed over the years was just icing on the cake. She developed an interesting plot that was fun to play with. She has Domino Lady’s character down pat. Working with the art team of Rock Baker and Jeff Austin again was an added bonus. Together, Rock and Jeff have that classic art style that really fits a character like Domino Lady and the world she inhabits. I hope we get to see them work on this character again.

Here’s a tease about the story. The Domino Lady and her police friend, Detective “Mad Dog” Vernia are targeted by an Egyptian sorceress and her mistress, a mummy hell-bent on finding the perfect mate. The mummy’s search for the perfect “parts” leaves a rail of victims all over 1930’s Hollywood and only the Domino Lady stands in her way.

Art: Rock Baker & Jeff Austin

 AP: Domino Lady Vs. The Mummy has a pulp hero battling a classic monster, a combination that even though done in some regards hasn’t ever really been done the way Moonstone is doing it with the Return of the Monster event. What do these genres have in common and how do they differ in ways that complement each other?

BN: When Moonstone boss, Joe Gentile first told me about this project he mentioned going for a black and white with gray tones feel I thought it was a brilliant idea that would capture the mood of both those old noir films as well as monster movies. From that point on it clicked for me and I play around with things like lurking shadows a lot in the script. Seriously, see how many you can find when the book comes out in October.

AP: The Return of the Monsters Halloween event brings back several classic monster archetypes to Moonstone’s lineup. How does this version of the Mummy compare and contrast to previous versions of the character?

BN: It compares in that it’s a mummy and that comes along with certain trappings like being wrapped in bandages, canopic jars, ritual organ harvesting, that sort of thing. Y’know, just a fun night in Hollywood. (laughs). This particular mummy isn’t based on any particular mummy we’ve seen before. Taking Nancy’s concept of the mummy as a starting point, I tried to make it as scary and dangerous a mummy as possible. The art really sells that, starting with Dan Brereton’s cover straight through the book.

Covers by Dan Brereton

AP: What appeals to you about pulp heroes battling classic monsters? What was it that excited you about pitting the Domino Lady against a mummy?

Art: Rock Baker & Jeff Austin

BN: I was excited for the opportunity to write the character again. I really took a liking to the Domino Lady when I was reading the original stories as research for my story in the Moonstone Domino Lady prose anthology. Since then I’d been looking for any excuse to work on the character again. The thought of dropping Domino Lady into a situation that is completely alien to her was of interest. We played up her detective skills, which I really enjoyed. All of that had me excited, but then I found out I would be co-writing with Nancy Holder and I got even more excited. Then Rock and Jeff came on board. Then I saw the cover. By that point I was over the moon.

AP: What, if any, existing pulp, monster, or comic book characters would you like to try your hand at writing?

BN: Oh, take your pick. I’ve written a few pulp characters, but would love to try my hand at the Spider, Captain Action, or maybe team up G-8 with Lance Star: Sky Ranger. That would be fun. As for monsters, I’ve written a lot of werewolves over the past year or two (not one, but two comic book projects that feature a werewolf are in process), plus I’ve written Dracula and now the mummy. I might have to go with a sea monster next. With comics, my dream gig would have to be the Fantastic Four, but I wouldn’t sneeze at Spider-man, Thor, Nightwing, or Captain America either.

Cover: Shannon Hall

AP: What does Bobby Nash do when he’s not writing?

BN: I sleep. I also spend way too much time in front of the TV or with my nose in a novel. I love traveling and attend a lot of conventions, which even though not technically writing is still part of the job. I’m also a co-host for the Earth Station One podcast. We record an episode each week. Check it out at www.esopodcast.com. We always like new listeners. Other than that I’m generally doing something creative. I’ve never learned the art of sitting around and doing nothing.

AP: Where can readers find learn more about you and your work?

BN: I’m all over the web, but most of the time you can find me at http://www.bobbynash.com/, http://www.lance-star.com/, http://www.bloodyoldeenglund.com/, www.facebook.com/bobbyenash, and www.twitter.com/bobbynash.

Art: Rock Baker & Jeff Austin

AP: Any upcoming projects you would like to mention?

BN: Just released: Lance Star: Sky Ranger Vol. 3 (Airship 27), Green Hornet Casefiles (Moonstone), and Golden Age Good Girls (Mini Komix). Coming soon (in no particular order): The Ruby Files (Airship 27), Domino Lady vs. the Mummy (Moonstone), Zombies Vs. Robots (IDW), Tales From The Zero Hour Vol. 4 (Blinding Force Productions), Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar (Moonstone), All-Star Pulp Comics (Airship 27), Green Hornet: Still At Large (Moonstone), and more Lance Star: Sky Ranger prose and comics. Plus a few surprises I can’t talk about yet. You can see all of my upcoming announcements at http://www.bobbynash.com/.

AP: Thanks, Bobby.

BN: My pleasure.

Domino Lady vs. the Mummy is solicited in August Previews for an October in store release.

The Rocketeer Comes to Blu-ray for Christmas

In the wake of his success with Captain America: The First Avenger, there’s little surprise that Marvel’s owner, Disney, is releasing the Blu-ray edition of director Joe Johnston’s earlier comics adaptation, [[[The Rocketeer]]], on December 13. The underrated film was released 20 years ago and was a faithful adaptation of Dave Stevens’s homage to the serial heroes of the 1930s.

Starring Billy Campbell (The OC, Enough), the movie also featured early work from Jennifer Connelly (Blood DiamondThe Dilemma) and also starred Alan Arkin (Little Miss SunshineGet Smart), and Timothy Dalton (The Tourist, Chuck). The movie was written by the team of Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo, who went from this to adapting The Flash for CBS.

The press release from Disney says the film has been given state-of-the-art digital restoration and enhanced high definition sound. Unfortunately, the lack of bonus features in the announcement is cause for concern.

For those unfamiliar with the concept (shame on you), here’s the official synopsis: The discovery of a top-secret jetpack hurls test pilot Cliff Secord into a daring adventure of mystery, suspense, and intrigue! Cliff encounters an assortment of ruthless villains, led by a Hollywood screen star who is a secret Nazi spy. With the help of his actress girlfriend, the young pilot battles enormous odds to defeat his foes who are anxious to use the device in an evil plan to rule the world. The dangerous mission transforms the ordinary young man into an extraordinary hero.

Upcoming Comics To Video Game Releases

Upcoming Comics To Video Game Releases

This year has seen a ton of comics-to-feature-film releases, and the video game market is not different.  However, the trend to games doesn’t always yield positive results, as many are done as quick cash-ins to support the film releases (“[[[Thor]]]”, “[[[Green Lantern: Rise Of The Manhunters]]]”).  However, every so often, a tie-in turns into a gem (the latest “[[[Captain America: Super Solider]]]” game was a pleasant surprise), but when they work best is when they are using original material to tell the story.  There are three titles coming out later this year that gamers and comic fans alike should be looking forward to.  Below, you’ll find the most recent trailers for “[[[Batman: Arkham City]]]”, “[[[Spider-Man: Edge of Time]]]” and “[[[X-Men: Destiny]]]”, all due out in the next coming months.

[[[Batman: Arkham City]]]


Captain America (the 1990 version)

In the wake of Batman’s success in 1989, it appeared to renew interest in movies based on comic books. One of the first, and one of the worst, was the 1990 version of Captain America. The film had actually been announced in the early 1980s from Cannon Films but in the intervening years, the studio folded and the right shifted a bit before Menahem Golan mounted it under his 21st Century banner.

The movie languished in development until the rights were about to expire so director Albert Pyun urged Golan to let him take a crack at getting the film made for about $6 million. Marvel actually approved the script that was shot and Pyun loved its take on America’s fascination with heroism. If only some of that love found its way onto the screen.

The movie was shot in 1989 but wasn’t released theatrically and was finally dumped on video in 1992, where it was met with derisive laughter from comic book fans. Now, MGM’s Limited Edition collection has released the film as part of its print on demand operation. The print used is pretty crappy and dark and the film is at best a curiosity for collectors and fans alike.

The horrific script from Stephen Tolkin (from a story by Tolkin and Lawrence J. Block) pays lip service to the source material and leaves you scratching your head at the shoddy story construction and utter lack of characterization. Significant changes were made, none of the better starting with giving Steve Rogers polio as an excuse to keep him from enlisting. Then there’s the Red Skull (Scott Paulin) now an Italian fascist, which never made sense. On the other hand, both this film and the current blockbuster made the unnecessary dramatic change in linking Cap and the Skull by having them both be products of the Super Solider formula.

There’s Matt Salinger as Cap/Rogers who is anything but the American ideal and fairly wooden in performance, perhaps because they give him nothing to work with. His first mission leads to the rocket that sent him to an icy sleep in Alaska. He’s found and inexplicably breaks free and rather than ask his rescuers anything, he runs all the way to Canada. There’s little time spent on his cultural isolation and his interactions with others is laughably minimal. (more…)

Happy 94th Birthday, Jack Kirby!

Happy 94th Birthday, Jack Kirby!

Jack Kirby Portrait

Image by J Garrattley via Flickr

And for his birthday, the co-creator of the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Captain America, Thor, and the Hulk is trying to blow out Marvel’s corporate headquarters.

MARC ALAN FISHMAN: “This is not MY _______!”

So, there I was, doing what I suppose I do far too often… scouring Facebook for status updates. A quick refresh, and there was an update from a friend saying how “This is not my Bucky Barnes.” He was referencing a purchase he’d recently made of a golden age Bucky figure, and how he hated the new Winter Soldier-era Barnes figure. Suffice to say, after seeing his umpteenth remark how a modern interpretation of one of the classic comic book heroes he loved so dearly rubs his rhubarb the wrong way, I had enough.

Call it being cantankerous in my own “Hey, I know you think I’m too young to form a real opinion, but screw you, I can anyways” way… but I’d like to say that this kind of general malaise towards interpretation and experimentation grinds my gears to a screeching halt. In short? Quit your bitchin’ gramps. It’s 2011. Your childhood memories remain intact, in spite of your fear that they won’t.

It’s this common thread amongst the older comic book fans that I truly find offensive. Maybe that’s not the right word. I’m not implying it’s anyone here on ComicMix mind you, but the conglomerate of silver/golden-age dick-chuggers who poop their pampers anytime anything changes in the fictitious worlds of their youth, drags us all down. We’re all entitled to our opinion, mind you, and I don’t deny anyone their right to express that opinion. See folks, I’m young, under-appreciated, and don’t know shit-about-nothing; But I’m taking this time to start a large debate. Mind you no one will answer my call, but I’ve never not had fun at screaming into the black abyss of the internet before.

This notion, that the creators of today can’t reinterpret a character because it’s not their version of the character, is a waste of breath. Ed Brubaker’s retcon of Bucky Barnes as the Winter Soldier was an amazing feat. He took a character that was long gone, and brought him back in a story that got real attention from new fans. Here was this relic of another era, repurposed for modern times, done with a deft hand. His origin remained intact. He never took away from the character who he was. Yes, he turned a once chipper, bright-eyed innocent kid (who had no problem murdering Nazis with guns) into a cold and ruthless killer.


Official D23 Announcements Focus Mainly on Pixar

For those of you who missed out on Disney’s fan fest, D23, the studio provided us with a recap which we will run intact below. But we know what you really care about is what was said and shown about next year’s The Avengers. Well, there were some clips, another blindingly fast set of clips. According to a report over at Newsrama these included “a conversation between Tony Stark and Loki — with Tony Stark notably appearing behind a bar. Stark details the Avengers lineup — ‘a couple of master assassins, a demigod, and a living legend that actually lives up a legend’ — and Loki retorts back, ‘I have an army.’ ‘We have a Hulk,’ Stark replies.

“The montage sequence also included a monologue from Fury, detailing the purpose behind the Avengers — that they were organized to take on the threats that S.H.I.E.L.D. can’t.”

Bleeding Cool added, “In the clip, Loki is shown trapped in a cage on the helicarrier. It’s a cage built to hold The Hulk, and he’s told that if he’s too much trouble, they’ll just drop it out of the botttom of the helicarrier, 30,000 feet to the ground below. Maria Hill and Steve Rogers watch from the bridge on a monitor while Tony Stark and Nick Fury step up to Loki and have a little threatening banter with him.”

“At the start of Feige’s presentation,” Newsarama continued, “a reel was shown of the five previous Marvel Studios films — Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk (no Edward Norton footage was shown), Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. The clips focused on the interconnectivity of the movies, scenes like Tony Stark appearing at the end of Incredible Hulk and Johann Schmidt discovering the Tesseract at the beginning of Cap. That vignette ending with the tagline ‘assembly begins next summer’.”

Here’s the formal release: (more…)

DENNIS O’NEIL: Enough with the Superhero Movies?

Not long ago, I was chatting with a movie guy (yes, that was me, riding shotgun in the gold Ferrari, tooling down Rodeo Drive, heading for Brad and Angie’s…) and he said that the summer of ’11 could be make-it-or-break-it time for superhero flicks.

As you know by now, there have been four – count ‘em four – such entertainments released in the past several months, raising the question: Have we had enough?

Hard to say. Three of the four films were solid profit-makers and the last will probably limp into the black eventually, if it hasn’t already. So the chair-fillers aren’t reacting against super-doers, but if you squint, you might be able to detect signs that the honeymoon is over. A hundred and ten minutes of a dude in a funny suit doing grandiose stunts and bashing other dudes, also in funny suits, is no longer box-office surety. The novelty value is gone.

Remember when kung fu flicks first hit the U.S.? (Okay, most of you don’t because that happened before you were born, but indulge me.) For some of us, including me and my post-toddler son, any martial arts movie was the right martial arts movie and we spent a lot of afternoons in sticky-floored theaters watching them. The new approach to action-melodrama, the exotic casts, and – oh yeah! – the nifty fight-acrobatics (and whatever amusement could be gotten from bad dubbing) were enough to engross us, regardless of these Asian imports’ other merits or demerits. Then along came Bruce Lee and Enter the Dragon and then Jackie Chan and…

And, eventually, kung fu became just another genre, like westerns and war and romance and family comedies and raunchy comedies… Another genre. I still watch and enjoy martial arts films, particularly those with acrobatics, particularly acrobatics as practiced by performers from Thailand, and you can enjoy them, too, because your local Blockbuster has a goodly selection for rent and you don’t have to troll too far on your cable TV hookup to find one or two or…

Another genre, yes, but one that comes in a lot of sizes and shapes and languages and one you might patronize because of the virtues of a particular movie, not because of that movie’s label.

Superhero movies are, I shyly contend, undergoing a similar evolution. Already, perhaps, some of you don’t go to see a Marvel flick, you go to see Robert Downey, Jr., doing his Iron Man, and it’s well worth the trip. The acting is improving, the themes becoming more complex and the special effects…well, sometimes you aren’t aware of them as effects; they exist to serve the narrative, not to make us ohhh and ahhh as though we’re watching a spectacular fireworks display. It’s about story, not spectacle.

Spectacle is fine, but narrative offers other rewards, and most movies are narratives. The best special effect I’ve seen all summer happened early in Captain America, when somehow the cinematic wizards grafted Chris Evans’s head onto someone else’s body – seamlessly, perfectly realizing a plot element. No explosions, no shattered planets, just splendid storytelling.

Recommended Reading: The Boy Who Loved Batman: A Memoir by Michael Uslan.

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases

MIKE GOLD: Fantastic Four – Miracle Day

Hey, here’s a real shock. From all the teaser press releases Marvel sent out yesterday alone, it appears November will see the return of Fantastic Four. Amazing! Incredible! Astonishing! And all sorts of other adjectives Marvel has copyrighted as part of title names.

They’re doing this just in time to miss the actual 50th anniversary of Fantastic Four #1, which happened this past week. Nice timing, guys! It’s sort of like Fleetway launching 2000 AD back in 1977… but calling it 1976 AD.

The event was predicted in this very space a couple weeks ago, but I take no credit. It’s sort of like predicting the sun will rise after the rain passes. So they missed a wonderful marketing opportunity that, in all fairness, would have gotten lost in the Captain America movie hysteria anyway. Big deal. They just jerked us around again, proving DC doesn’t have the market cornered in disingenuous redundancy. We’ll live.

The only question is, when will the Human Torch return? Oh, you think he’ll stay dead? Really? No you don’t. You’ve seen Bucky and Phoenix and Aunt May and, oh, damn, everybody else come back from the dead. Maybe they’ll bring back Jim Hammond, the original Human Torch who was an android and, therefore, never really was alive in the first place. But I think he’s committed to the last couple episodes of Torchwood: Miracle Day… and probably Captain America 2: For Whom The Bell Jar Tolls.

(Yeah, it was really cool to see HT in the Cap movie. A genuine fanboy moment that proves I’m not completely jaded. Actually, I’m only jaded for a living.)

Will they go back to some version of the classic costume? Let me answer my own question with another question. Have you bought any action figures lately?

Will Spider-Man stay in the group? I don’t know; lately he’s been bitching about being in too many groups. But unless Johnny Storm returns or Wolverine finds a costume made of unstable molecules with “4X” on the chest, I think he’ll be there for a while. Not a long while. There’ll be a Human Torch there eventually – certainly in time for the next FF movie – and he’ll probably be Johnny.

There are two lessons to be learned here. I’m not addressing this to comics fans, as we learned this lesson a long time ago. I’m addressing this to employees of Marvel and DC Comics.

The first lesson is: no more death stories. They totally lack verisimilitude. And they’re kind of insulting to anyone who has ever lost a loved one. Which is, like, everyone. Second: stop the cancel/replace/revert cycle. We know you’ll revert, usually within two years. It’s just another phony, contrived attempt at attracting sales on the collectibles market. Fight the impulses with another #0 issue complete with nine variant covers, one printed on bubble-gum and shrink-wrapped for your protection.

Ah, well. Even though they could have retitled the book Reed Richards’ Cosmics and Stories, it will be nice to see Fantastic Four back.

Until it’s not.

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil