Golden Age Superman

This free Golden Age Superman Comic is absolutely stunning

Adrien van Viersen is a lifelong Superman Fan and storyboard artist with some nice superhero bonafides. He has done work on X2, X3, Game of Thrones, and The Flash. This week though he turned he released a project about Golden Age Superman. It is a wonderfully written and well-illustrated take on the Man of Steel set during 1930’s. How did Superman get his golden age costume? Why does Clark Kent wear glasses? Adrien spins a wonderful tale with delightful artistry that cries out to be printed. Want a peak? Check out this trailer for the work.

Golden Age Superman Comic Trailer

Looks pretty good right? So where do you get your hands on this free comic?

The comic is available from Adrien van Viersen for free and comes in standard comic book and mobile formatting. I have read it multiple times and the think I come away with both times is that this story has heart. It also captures the innocence that we often project into the golden age era with just a hint of modern sensibilities.

While I am satisfied with this as a one-shot. It left me wanting A LOT more. Now that I have seen Kent transform into Superman, I need to know what happens next and I am sure you will feel the same. So head on over to van Viersen’s site and download a copy and make sure you tell your friends. Supporting works like this can give brave storytellers a chance to work with an iconic brand.

And if you like what you see, van Viersen has a blog. It is filled with Easter Eggs from the comic and fun facts about his reasoning, inspiration and fandom.

Strange - Blu Ray

Embrace The Strange With Dr. Strange On Blu-Ray!

When it comes to the many comic book heroes and villians that Marvel Comics have produced over the years. Dr. Strange is certainly one of my favorite characters. I think that is pretty evident in the light of how many Super Blog Team-Up articles I’ve written over the years.
Strange

But what makes Dr. Strange such a personal favorite of mine? My go to answer is that he is a deeply flawed character. This is evident in the works of Steve Ditko and Stan Lee back in 1963, with the origin story in issue Strange Tales #115. Which as a matter of fact was his fourth appearance in the comic series.

Before becoming the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Stephen Strange was a brilliant surgeon. Earning large sums of money for his skills and combined with his equally impressive egotism – frequently turned a blind eye to the needy.
Strange

Stephen Strange learns how the other shoe fits when he loses control of his car and crashes. While his life is indeed saved, his hands are ruined and his career as a surgeon is over. Strange’s ego refuses to let himself give up on the notion his hands might be fixed. Burning through his resources, chasing down any procedure that might heal him. To no avail. Which eventually leads him to travel to Tibet where he becomes the pupil to the Ancient One.
Strange - The Ancient One

All things considered while on the negative side, Stephen can’t repair his hands. On the positive side however he does replace the Ancient One, donning the Cloak of Levitation and the Eye of Agamotto. Becoming Dr. Strange – the Sorcerer Supreme!

This origin of course is more or less covered in the excellent 2016 film adaptation of Dr. Strange. Which is available right this second on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere. With the movie debuting on Blu-Ray this coming Tuesday the 28th.
Strange - Blu Ray

For Marvel Studios first foray into the magic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe they chose their cast wisely. I mean can you truly say that Benedict Cumberbatch isn’t the perfect choice to play Dr. Strange?
Dr. Strange

Coupled with that you have the acting talents of the likes of Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity), Rachel McAdams (Sherlock Holmes), Tilda Swinton (Adaptation.), Benedict Wong (The Martian) and of course Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale)!

Dr. Strange manages to blend humor, thrills, and more importantly – delivers on the psychedelic visuals of the original comic books. All the while opening the Marvel Cinematic Universe wider – ushering in the supernatural elements present in the comics.

Of course Dr. Strange on Blu-Ray manages to pack in the bonus extras:

  • A Strange Transformation – Open your eye to a new dimension of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and see how the filmmakers brought one of comic books’ greatest characters to life.
  • Strange Company – Find out what it’s like for the cast to work on a Marvel film, and how Director Scott Derrickson engineered one of the most ambition, imaginative films ever.
  • The Fabric of Reality – Take a closer look at the movie’s extraordinary sets, meticulously crafted costumes and amazingly detailed production elements.
  • Across Time and Space – Explore the endless hours of dance and fight choreography the actors endured in preparation for their physically demanding roles.
  • The Score-cerer Supreme – Join composer Michael Giacchino and a full orchestra during live recording sessions, and experience the movie’s mind-bending music.
  • Marvel Studios Phase 3 Exclusive Look – Get an early peek at Marvel’s spectacular upcoming films, including MARVEL STUDIOS’ GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, THOR: RAGNAROK, BLACK PANTHER and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.
  • Team Thor: Part 2 – See more of the hilarious partnership between Thor and his roommate Darryl in this satirical short.
  • Audio commentary with Scott Derrickson.
  • Deleted Scenes
  • And Gag Reel

[Via] Disney Movies Anywhere

So forget everything you think you know and pick up Dr. Strange on Blu-Ray this Tuesday!

[Via] Marvel Entertainment

Which Way Batman

Which Way Batman

Several years ago, my best pal Stephanie and I were perusing our favorite used bookstore. One of our favorite activities is finding things that are awesomely bad, delightfully ridiculous, and/or completely over the top, then laughing ourselves silly at them, reveling in the cheesy glory. On this eventful evening, we stumbled upon something that would bring us delight for years to come–Which Way Batman. You remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books, right? It’s just like that, but with Batman.

Technically the title is Batman: The Doomsday Prophecy, published in 1986. In fact, there’s an entire series of Super Powers Which Way books featuring DC Superheroes. These books aren’t just any Choose Your Own Adventure book though. They are basically a Choose Your Own Adventure book on steroids. According to this helpful article, the Which Way Batman alone has 51 different endings. Not only that, the preamble to the book really sets the bar quite high for any young aspiring detectives.

“Of course, Batman would always make the correct choices, but here, you control the Caped Crusader.” Whoa! Talk about pressure! I must admit, I have sealed The Dark Knight’s fate reading through this volume and have never quite aided him to success. I’ll not be trying out for Robin any time soon, that’s for sure. Even so, Stephanie and I had a great time reading aloud from this book. From the first page, we were hooked in. With choices like this, how could we go wrong?

We were especially fond of the line, “For more information on the Bat-Signal, turn to page 119.” How thoughtful of author Richard Wenk to write up a brief synopsis of characters, Bat-Gear, and villains found in the Batman universe. Even with all these great options, it’s difficult to know which is the one that will actually lead Batman to safety. To this day, when Stephanie and I are out together and we’ve not decided our next move, I’ll ask, “Which way, Batman?” and we both have a good chuckle.

There are are 4 volumes in the Super Powers Which Way series, but I’ve only found the Supergirl volume in my searches. There are Superman and Justice League volumes available too. Did you own any of these books growing up? Did you ever help The Caped Crusader beat The Doomsday Prophecy? Share with us here!

Check Out This Amazing 1973 Dr. Strange Cosplay!

There is without a doubt some talented cosplay going on in this day and age. Whether it be for popular video game, anime, or comic book characters. It’s easy to do a quick search online and find all levels of talent.

[Via] Nerd Caliber

Now if we are to go by the information provided by Wikipedia, cosplay has in fact been around for quite some time!
” A.D. Condo’s science fiction comic character Mr. Skygack, from Mars was the subject of costuming in 1908 in the United States.[42] Science fiction fans Forrest J Ackerman and Myrtle R. Douglas attended the 1939 1st World Science Fiction Convention in the Caravan Hall, New York, USA dressed in “futuristicostumes”, including green cape and breeches, based on the pulp magazine artwork of Frank R. Paul, designed and created by Douglas.”

You might happen to recall my post from last year about vintage cosplay. Featuring 1963 photos from WorldCon with the Lord of the Rings‘ Gollum. As well as John Carter of Mars‘ Tars Tarkas.

Images courtesy of the Vintage Geek Culture Tumblr.

Of course of late there has been an upswing in the amount of Dr. Strange cosplay. Thanks in no small part to the success of the 2016 film starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
Dr. Strange

But the other night I was sent a photo by one of my best friends. An image from the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society site – a photo from 1973 taken by Dik Daniels. Showcasing an earlier cosplayer taking on the mantle of Marvel Comics’ Sorcerer Supreme, the one and only Dr. Strange!

Image courtesy of Dik Daniels – Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society.

Really an amazing bit of cosplay, I think you will agree. Be that as it may – the identity of the cosplayer is unknown. I would highly recommend you follow that link to the LASFS page. You can in fact check out a lot more photographs by Dik Daniels including this one. That is The Time Machine‘s George Pal as well as his Wife – the name of the fan is unknown.

Popeye Met The Defenders Of The Earth In 1972?!

Back in 1985 one of my favorite animated series was Defenders of the Earth. Numerous times on The Retroist I’ve mentioned my fondness for pulp characters. Of heroes of the Golden Age – like The Shadow, The Phantom and others.

Thanks in fact to the 1980 Flash Gordon film. I came across an old collection of comic strips from King Features Syndicate at my local library. Which is of course how I was introduced to the likes of Mandrake the Magician and Lothar. Which like The Phantom was a creation of Lee Falk as well. They even had old Popeye collections from the E.C. Segar strip days!
Popeye

So you can easily imagine my joy when the Defenders of the Earth series debuted one morning. Bear in mind that if you didn’t have access to a TV Guide you were generally caught unawares about a new animated weekday show.

Themecstasy

Until last night however I wasn’t aware that the Defenders of the Earth had grouped together before 1985. Back in 1972 in fact for Popeye Meets The Man Who Hated Laughter – which was part of ABC’s Saturday Superstar Movie!

[Via] Muttley 16

When I stumbled on this I felt for a moment like I was reading an issue of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Moreover these early Defenders were joined by another King Features Syndicate hero – Milton Caniff’s Steve Canyon.

That is not even the most interesting part of it. The group that we would come to know as the Defenders of the Earth were brought together for a very special mission.

The Defenders of the Earth circa 1972.

In Popeye Meets The Man Who Hated Laughter, the US government asked the team to locate missing comic strip characters. Such as Blondie and Dagwood.

Beetle Bailey and Sarge.

As well as Popeye and Olive Oyl of course!

To say nothing of characters from Henry, Hi and Lois, Tiger and Prince Valiant. In addition to Bringing Up Father, Little Iodine, Snuffy Smith, and more.

Popeye Meets the Man Who Hated Laughter concerns itself with the villainous Professor Morbid Grimsby. A wretch who plans on banishing all laughter in the world – aided by a super computer as well as Popeye’s nemesis, Brutus. Inviting the cast of comic strip superstars aboard a yacht – the S.S. Hilarious. Taking them to the island hideaway of Professor Grimsby, where they will be his prisoners.

It’s up to the proto-Defenders of the Earth to locate the missing characters. Now in view of just how awesome this TV special really is, I should warn you about something. The sound isn’t that good. But in all honesty we are all incredibly lucky that Stupid Dim Bulb was able to upload this rare 1972 movie.

While it would take the Defenders of the Earth 13 years in fact to return to animation. Popeye was back in action in 1978 with The All New Popeye Hour!

[Via] Cartoons Intro