There is certainly a lot to love about both the 1973 animated Star Trek as well as 1984’s The Transformers. The fact that now IDW is giving us a Star Trek and Transformers crossover set in those universes. Well, that is indeed an amazing bit of news and has to be shared. I also want to add that we need to thank io9 for the news about this upcoming Star Trek and Transformers crossover event.
When I was growing up I was lucky enough to catch the Star Trek animated series on local television. Every Sunday after Church, I was able to plop down on my Grandparent’s living room floor and watch it. I had of course already been introduced to the original television series. While I was thrilled to see the animated versions of Kirk, Spock, and Scotty. It was absolutely the addition though of crew members Arex and M’Ress I loved most.
I have spoken quite a bit before on my love of The Transformers. There are many times after closing the arcade down for the night. I will just pull up a chair at the snack bar and pop in one of the 1984 to 1987 series. Although I will certainly admit that nothing beats that very first afternoon when I was introduced to The Transformers.
Now officially the name of the upcoming comic book series is Star Trek Vs. Transformers. Also of note is of course this isn’t the first time the crew of a Star Trek series has participated in a comic book crossover. X-Men, Planet of the Apes, Green Lantern and more.
Having said that though, an Star Trek and Transformers crossover by way of the animated series is incredibly exciting.
The series which debuts in September, is written by Mike Johnson as well as John Barber. With art being handled by Philip Murphy and colorist Leonardo Ito. Thanks to that exclusive to io9 a couple of days ago. We also have this press release:
“This is a crossover several decades in the making, and we could not be more thrilled to bring it to fans,” Johnson said in a press release provided to io9. “John and I are having a blast writing the first meeting of Starfleet and Cybertronians, and Phil is the perfect artist to bring these two franchises together on the page.”
It is only a couple of months away until the release of the miniseries. Just enough time to decide on whether they will include the obvious catch phrase.
“Beam me up and roll out!
I feel with sharing this news about the animated Star Trek and Transformers crossover. We also have to share Doug Simpson’s excellent article concerning Transformers: The Movie!
Friends, a couple of months ago, a tongue in cheek video hit YouTube. Entitled Christopher Reeve’s Superman responds to Batman V Superman. Fellow Retroist author, Justin M. Salvato, sent it my way. The video gave us a glimpse of a world where the Superman of the 1978 – 1987 films reads something troubling. He sees in fact the reviews of the Batman V Superman movie from 2016.
So with that in mind, the Christopher Reeve version of Superman takes it upon himself to fix the problem. Namely in going back in time and changing history. Attempting to ‘save’ the film by finding another Director. In this particular case for this alternate universe that would have been Matthew Vaughn. Who about 9 months ago was in talks to helm the sequel to Man of Steel. Over on the CinemaBlend site, the Director was quoted about his vision of what a Superman film should be:
“Weirdly if I did do Superman – and I made the mistake of telling someone yesterday I have spoken about it and then wallop (laughs) – I think my main take would be, it’s really boring but make a Superman film. I just don’t feel a proper Superman – I think Donner did it to perfection for that time. Just doing the modern – I wanna do a modern version of the Donner [version]. Go back to the source material… For me Superman is color, feel-good, heroic. He’s a beacon of light in darkness. And that’s what I think Superman should be.”
Which for myself struck pretty deep because that is kind of the problem I had with the Man of Steel reboot of the films. Which is why Justin agreed to have a little chat with me about his thoughts on both films. Now it is important to bear in mind, if you enjoyed both films. We are indeed happy, for us though we had issues with the portrayal of Superman.
However, before that, how about you watch Christopher Reeve’s Superman responds to Batman V Superman.
Spoilers Ahead for Man of Steel as well as Batman V Superman.
Vic: Justin, I certainly want to live in that universe where Matthew Vaughn directed Batman V Superman. Now please don’t get me wrong. Up until Man of Steel I supported Zack Synder in all of his films. In fact I feel he did the impossible by delivering not only a fantastic remake of Dawn of the Dead but he delivered a very loyal film adaptation of Watchmen.
It’s just that I don’t think he gets what makes Superman…so super.
Justin: I was impressed with Watchmen, but feared Man of Steel would use too many digital special effects. While Man of Steel did have an amazing amount of effects, it didn’t have that purposely fake scenery that we saw in 300. However, taking the color saturation down and making the tone of the movie depressing & dark really bothered me.
V: I totally agree with your take on the stylistic choices to mute not just the colors of Man of Steel. But in Snyder’s effort to, pardon the pun, ground the movie to make it more serious. It is altering the core of what makes Superman special. I will admit that when I was in the audience watching Man of Steel I was entertained. However there were moments that rubbed me wrong to be sure. Case in point the scenes between Jonathan Kent and young Clark. I hope no one will misunderstand me, this isn’t a matter of doubting whether Jonathan loved his Son – not in the least. I get that his Father is so torn with fear that Clark will be taken away from them that he has to not just sacrifice himself…needlessly….but even suggest that innocents should perish to keep the secret.
Obviously there is the matter of Superman’s fight with General Zod too that really upset me. I’ve heard the arguments from the filmmakers as well – this is before Clark learned to control all his powers. This is a Clark Kent that has yet to master all of his superhuman abilities.
Sure. But he also is a Superman that doesn’t quite mind costing taxpayer’s between 10 and 400 million dollars by shooting down spy satellites as a point. As I was walking out of the theater after seeing Man of Steel, I really started to get upset at what I had seen. Yet again, I really don’t think Snyder gets what makes Superman a hero.
Clark cares, he truly wants to help those in need. He feels a responsibility to not be a superhero but be a good person. If he had no super powers he would still be helping others. Simply by following what should be at the heart of the character. That any of us can help make the World a better place, every single day, just by caring for others.
J: Hadn’t thought about Superman blowing taxpayer money like that, but it sounds like the money was wasted the moment the government had decided to make a satellite to spy on an ally.
The writing in Man of Steel was very questionable. As you stated, Jonathan Kent died needlessly. And for him to suggest that innocent people may have to die to protect Clark’s secret is… Going against canon. That questionable writing was carried over into Batman Vs. Superman. The court room scene… Superman couldn’t have prevented the explosion?
V: I definitely don’t want to sound like I’m ragging on Snyder, like I mentioned already I really have enjoyed his filmography until Man of Steel. I felt so strong about that in fact I refused to see Batman Vs Superman. Which is truly against my personal ethos, do not judge a film until you’ve seen it for yourself.
However it just looked like more of what I disliked about the first film. I certainly wasn’t finding my opinion being changed by the reviews that were coming in at the time of the movie’s release. Having said that, I can deal with Batman being dour and dark…it’s kind of his calling card, right? Superman however, there is a reason he has been labeled as the ‘Great blue boy scout’. I understand though how Snyder and the writing team of David Goyer as well as Christopher Nolan wanted to not just update the character but make him a little more ‘real’.
To me though they weren’t being true to the actual character of Superman nor Clark Kent. Justin, since I’ve not seen the sequel, maybe you can point out some things that stood out for you?
J: Besides a confusing plot that tried to wedge in Wonder Woman, the movie made Superman seem a lot more ordinary. Of course there’s the Martha debacle. That was simply terrible writing. I also didn’t care for the changes they made to Doomsday.
It was a film that tried to fit in too much. Marvel films can do it. That’s not to say there weren’t some good things. Batman was cool. His toys, car, and suit used to fight Superman were pretty sweet. Acting was good, but Lex Luthor… I don’t know. To be frank, if Patty Jenkins directed Man of Steel and BvS, DC films would be on par with Marvel.
V: I most certainly agree that Patty Jenkins would have probably delivered a film that was more true to the character of Superman. I hope we’ve not sounded too negative in our discussion, Justin. I think that with Justice League we saw Warner Bros. and DC attempting to fix some of these very issues. Friends, I suppose that only time will tell how that plays out, right?
Now that you’ve seen how Christopher Reeve fixes Batman V Superman. Why not look back at the many ways Superman has been portrayed for 80 years?
Yesterday I had a bit of time off from the Vault. I had intended to go check out Incredibles 2 but the showings were sold out. So instead I settled on visiting my local Barnes and Noble and picked up a new book. Entitled A History of Video Games in 64 Objects it does what it says on the tin. Which is how of course I was introduced to the Digi-Comp I for the first time. While I will indeed write a review of the book at a later date. I was certainly captivated by 1963’s Digi-Comp I to say the very least.
In a nutshell, the Digi-Comp I is functioning digital computer. Albeit one that is completely made out of plastic and is dependent on a human hand to ‘clock’ it’s processing. While back in ’63 E.S.R. Inc. was focusing on the education aspect of it all. The truth is they ended up delivering the first home computer. All thanks to some plastic flip-flops operated by hand.
While still basically a toy, the addition of teaching a child how to program this mechanical digital computer, is pretty amazing. In addition as the book points out, it did certainly teach kids to think in binary terms. As well as the aspects of Boolean logic. Which is why, right on the box you had: “Now for the first time see and understand the operations hidden in the circuits of a giant computer and learn the language of the computers.”
Keep in mind of course that the Apollo 11 wouldn’t launch from Earth for another 6 years. So surely the Digi-Comp I was a pretty magical sounding toy. Furthermore it explains why some of the game programs were so NASA themed. You had a program that allowed you to pretend to launch a rocket from Cape Canaveral. There was one to calculate a satellite re-entry. Or as described in this comic book ad. You could also double check your parent’s bank balance!
Image courtesy of DOuG pRATt.
Not too shabby for a device that is controlled by wires and plastic flip-flops. In addition to blocking some of the calculations by way of cylindrical pegs. It was popular enough that it spawned a second version appropriately named the Digi-Comp II. However this 1965 version used rolling marbles to perform it’s calculations.
Now the Digi-Comp I was amazing and something I need to obtain for myself. On the other hand how can it stack up to a GIANT Digi-Comp II?!
Welcome back, friends, to a new Retro Records offering. This time since it’s Father’s Day…we are sharing The Case of the Missing Mother? While the timing certainly isn’t working out, this book and record features Jim Henson’s Muppets at least. Released back in 1984 it seems like this read along story is long out of print. Which is a shame as The Case of the Missing Mother most assuredly possesses that Muppets charm.
For what it might be worth, I believe The Case of the Missing Mother marks a first for Retro Records. What I mean is that it was originally released in 1983 as a book by Random House. Written by James Howe and masterfully illustrated by William Cleaver. But that was it. A book and record as well as tape version were produced a year later.
If James Howe’s name sounds familiar, that is indeed for a good reason. Not only did he write an additional Muppet story with The Muppet Guide to Magnificent Manners. He was also the writer for a very popular series of children’s books. Along with his late Wife Deborah Howe, they co-wrote 1979’s Bunnicula.
William Cleaver, whose art totally fits both The Muppets and the story. Would go on to do some illustrations for the Sesame Street Magazine in 1988.
Yet another curious thing about The Case of the Missing Mother is with the book and record. It turns out there are some changes between the original book and the read-along book and records. This might be because of the cast of those recordings.
Jim Henson provides the voice of Kermit the Frog. Frank Oz performs Fozzie, Miss Piggy, as well as Animal. With Jerry Nelson Floyd and Dave Goelz as The Great Gonzo. In addition to Richard Hunt as Scooter, Janice and LaVerne…Animal’s Mother!
Which brings us to the plot for this book and record offering. The Muppet gang can’t help but notice that Animal is acting strangely. More manic than normal…for Animal that is. Then everyone’s favorite drummer up and disappears. It turns out he has lost his Mother’s address and with it approaching Mother’s Day he is frantic.
Will The Muppets be able to solve The Case of the Missing Mother?