Batman vs Velociraptor - Jesse Farrell

The mixed up world of Ultra, the multi alien

Comics were a strange place in the 1960’s, just about any idea was green lit regardless of how strange it might be or how ludicrous the concept was. Case in point, Ultra the multi alien.

Arriving on the scene in DC Comics anthology series Mystery in Space #103 in November of 1965. The story told of an unspecified future where mankind traveled easily between worlds, pilot Ace Arn on a routine tourist transport trip to Jupiter finds his ship caught in the magnetic field of a passing comet. He safely evacuates the passengers but himself unable to escape finds his ship crashed into a large asteroid. Arn survives and find the asteroid is artificial and the home base of evil scientific genius criminal Zorba. The asteroid is part of a small solar system consisting of the plants Ulla, Laroo, Trago and Raagan and a representative of each world serves as a member of Zorba’s gang.

Arn finds that Zorba had invented a gun that transforms whomever it shoots into the same race as the shooter and that Zorba had armed each of his underlings with guns to blackmail their worlds. However shortly before Arn arrived Zorba had perished in a lab accident triggering a race between the four underling to get to the base and claim the blackmail plans. As Arn emerges from Zorba’s lab he is shot by all four gang members at the same instant. The blast changes Arn’s body into a freakish composite of the four alien races.

His right upper body becoming shaggy and green and possessing the superhuman strength equal to several humans, Hi left upper body became blue and hairless with the ability to control magnetic fields, his left lower body grew birdlike with a tiny ankle wing (similar to Namor) bestowing him with the power of flight and his right lower body became living lightning allowing him to fire energy bolts. Arn used his new found powers to easily defeat the gang and repair his ship. On his way home he decided to continue fighting crime under the name ULTRA, combining the first letter of names of each world and his own name.

Ultra would battle various enemies on Earth and in space including the Pied Piper of Space and Dr Dynamo, but he also continuously sought a cure for his freakish appearance. He eventually created a device called a “Hyper Converter Belt” which allowed him to transform from Ultra to Ace Arn at will. Arn returned to his hometown of Dalesville and his fiance Bonnie Denton where he lived while fighting crime as Ultra.

The series Mystery in Space ended with issue #110 and with it went Ultra.

Many years later Ultra would appear in small cameos throughout DC books including Starman #55 where he appeared in the cab of fellow 60’s odd ball character Space Cabby. And then most notably in Superman/Batman #31 where a much more exaggerated version of Ultra is part of a group of alien and half alien heroes mind controlled by the villain Despero to destroy the Earth, In the story, Ultra destroys present day Dalesville before joining Supergirl in the final battle. He then appeared as an angst riddled version of himself in the one shot Strange Adventures 2011 book from DC His appearance on an episode of Batman:The Brave and the Bold fighting alongside the Green Lanterns was his first and hopefully not last animated appearance.

Hopefully DC will see fit to add Ultra to their DC Direct line like fellow odd ball character OMAC, if they do I will happily hand over my money to show my love for this odd ball character.

Castlevania - Simon Belmont - Robert Q. Atkins

If Wonder Woman was a Disney Princess

Talented artist Bill Walko created this truly awesome artwork depicting our beloved Princess Diana as a Disney Princess.

I guess that we all agree that she’s a Princess who doesn’t need to be saved. It’s amazing how she managed to keep her dress in one piece, I guess there’s some Themysciran magic under that. Anyway, we can always expect Wonder Woman to kick some bu… err… behinds! End of line.

Bioshock Infinite - Alex Garner - deviantART

Bioshock Infinite Artwork By Alex Garner

My love for the time period that the Bioshock games are set in is pretty evident since I write for the Retroist. With this latest incarnation, Bioshock Infinite, we have a setting that is not under the waves in Andrew Ryan’s doomed Rapture but high in the clouds in the city of Columbia. Alex Garner over at deviantART has whipped up some incredibly impressive fan art for the upcoming title with this Saturday Evening Post cover featuring the main characters, Booker and Elizabeth.

Alex had this to say about his piece of art : “I had such a fun experience with the Portal 2 fan piece, I decided to go further and paint a bigger one for the upcoming game BioShock Infinite. This game’s set design and characters are amazingly well done, especially Elizabeth; she doesn’t have that dead-eye lifeless look you seen in so many video game characters. To see what I’m talking about, do yourself a favor and check out the 15 minute gameplay trailer.”

This is not the gameplay trailer that Alex mentions but the latest teaser.

[Via] The Game Trailers.Com channel over on YouTube.

Alex is a professional in the comics industry so make sure to follow his link up top to check out some of the art he has done for DC Comics, IDW, and Marvel Comics. Good stuff.

The Doom Patrol -The Mirrorball Man - deviantART

Doom Patrol By The Mirrorball Man!

The Mirrorball Man over at deviantART has done something wonderful with this piece of artwork depicting the DC Comics team, The Doom Patrol. He’s meshed them with Mike Mignola’s (Hellboy) art style and I believe you’ll agree it looks fantastic.

I think I’ll leave the history of the Doom Patrol to Retroist Regular, Daniel Th1rte3n!

This clip from Batman: The Brave and the Bold will at least get you introduced with this team of perpetual outsiders as they use their gifts to aid a humanity that reviles them.

[Via] Tomstoyz2 over on Youtube.

The Shadow - Alex Ross - Dynamite Entertainment - Comics Alliace

Dynamite Entertainment Announces New Shadow Comic Book Series!

Dynamite Entertainment has been very kind over the years to us fans of Retro and Pulp comic book characters. They continue to publish the sequential art exploits of Zorro, Flash Gordon, John Carter of Mars, Buck Rogers, the Green Hornet, the Bionic Man, and so many others.

Today they’ve also announced that in addition to re-releasing Howard Chaykin’s famous DC Comics miniseries, The Shadow: Blood and Judgement in a new hardcover addition they will bring the character back to the comic stands thanks to the brilliant writing of Garth Ennis (Just a Pilgrim, Hitman, the Punisher) and artwork by Aaron Campbell (The Complete Dracula, Green Hornet: Year One). The series is set to debut this April and will feature variant covers by Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Howard Chaykin, and Jae Lee.

Dynamite Entertainment press release:

“In the first issue of the ONGOING SERIES, it’s 1938 and The Shadow returns in a tale of blazing action and deadly intrigue, as a night of carnage on the New York waterfront plunges the mysterious vigilante into a conspiracy involving the fate of the world itself. As storm clouds gather across the globe, American Military Intelligence meets with a certain Lamont Cranston, determined to beat a host of spies and assassins to the greatest prize of all… but what that might be, only the Shadow knows. Be sure to get The Shadow #1 in April 2012!

“The Shadow is an awesome character in an awesome time,” adds artist Aaron Campbell. “I mean what’s not to like? You have the old school mystique of eastern mysticism wrapped up with a badass gunslinger!”

“Garth is a writer who was born to write The Shadow,” states Dynamite Entertainment President and Publisher Nick Barrucci. “Not since Howard Chaykin’s acclaimed mini-series have I been this excited for a Shadow series. Garth will take The Shadow to a new level, and Aaron will compliment his scripts well. I cannot wait for fans to see Garth’s take on the character!”

Garth Ennis is a Northern Irish comics writer, best known for his immensely successful revival of Marvel Comics’ Punisher franchise and the DC/Vertigo series Preacher, co-created with artist Steve Dillon.

His work is characterized by extreme violence, black humor, profanity, an interest in male friendship, an antagonistic relationship with organized religion, and irreverence towards superheroes. Frequent artistic collaborators include Steve Dillon, Glenn Fabry, Carlos Ezquerra and John McCrea. Garth Ennis’ current work includes Dynamite’s hit series The Boys.

The Shadow is a collection of serialized dramas, originally in pulp magazines, then on 1930s radio and then in a wide variety of media, that follow the exploits of the title character, a crime-fighting vigilante in the pulps, which carried over to the airwaves as a “wealthy, young man about town” with psychic powers. One of the most famous pulp heroes of the 20th century, The Shadow has also been featured in comic books, comic strips and at least five motion pictures.”

[Via] Art and Press release provided by Comics Alliance