Best Comic Book Covers of All Time: Joe Kubert’s LOSERS run

What makes a great comic book cover, in this age of virgin variants and gimmick covers, is the same thing that has always made a great cover. When all these flash in the pan virgin covers, are resigned to the 50 cent bin (where most of them belong), the really great covers, will still be… great covers.

They will still have stunning typography, married to great art, with great placement of the various parts, and together the whole, in one moment, both tells a story and sells a product. It is not just this lazy and brainless current fad of a pretty image, but with no context to the story or to the storytelling. Today’s cover artists and editors and art directors, and buyers, confuse a pinup with an effective and affecting cover, and the two are not the same.

Now that is not to say there are not exceptions, where the pinup is so good that you want it for eye candy’s sake alone. That does happen, and is fine, but in my experience it is rare, and is not conducive to books you are actually buying, serialized entertainment you are actually buying,… to read. In that case a pretty picture does not cut it, you need a storyteller as an artist and an art editor, to design a cover that tells a story.

And like i said it is a marriage of many things, some of which are not in the artist’s hands. But when all those disparate elements come together, you have have some of the greatest covers of all time.

There were a lot of people I could have started this new segment with, Neal Adams, Gil Kane, Berni Wrightson, Jack Kirby, but for my money the best cover artist of all time very rarely worked in Superhero Comics, and that is the great Joe Kubert.

Kubert had many magnificent cover runs to choose from but the one that launches this segment is the work of his that made me a Conflict Comics collector. His run on OUR FIGHTING FORCES AT WAR. Not the whole run, because while he did hundreds of covers not all of them have the elements that make an iconic cover. I mentioned a great cover having to do with things sometimes beyond the artists control such as typography and placement of disparate elements on a cover. But Here, for this run of issues, Kubert had complete control over the typography of his covers, and completely integrated that typography into his artwork, in a manner that would have made Eisner impressed. Creating a brilliant image AND telling a story and selling a product.

In the 181 issue run of OUR FIGHTING FORCES AT WAR, all of which had good covers,  there are nineteen covers that stand out as masterpieces… only nineteeneighteen. They are not ‘key’ issues, they are seminal issues in the history of comic book cover design. The following scans were the best I could find on short notice, and do not do the books justice. But they give you a taste of the brilliance that make these 19 consecutive issues of OUR FIGHTING FORCES AT WAR a milestone of cover design, and worth owning.

They are…

 

Cover for Our Fighting Forces (DC, 1954 series) #123Cover for Our Fighting Forces (DC, 1954 series) #124  Our Fighting Forces #125 Cover for Our Fighting Forces (DC, 1954 series) #126Cover for Our Fighting Forces (DC, 1954 series) #127Our Fighting Forces #128  Cover for Our Fighting Forces (DC, 1954 series) #129File:Our Fighting Forces Vol 1 130.jpgFile:Our Fighting Forces Vol 1 135.jpg

 

Issue 142 would signal the end of the ground breaking covers, as well as heralding the end of Joe Kubert as editor on the series (his name would officially be removed as editor two issues later). Archie Goodwin would take over for a while as editor, followed by Jack Kirby(with all due respect to Jack Kirby, I am not a fan of his work on this book). And while Kubert would continue to do covers sporadically for the series up till the end, never again would the typography and mast-head be part of the story-telling. 141 would be the last of that wild imaginative experimentation with art and typography, the last of nineteen issues of the best and longest consecutive run of great covers by one creator in the history of comics. Pick them all up today, while they can still be had affordably.

 

Use the link below to get your issues today:

https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=180611&AffID=200301P01

If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more like it, please subscribe, leave a like and comment. And what are your favorite cover runs, or cover artists/artwork?

Till next time… be well!!

Today’s Vetted Amazon Purchases! Gift Ideas!

Today’s Vetted Amazon Purchases! Gift Ideas!

Everyone knows, just like Rotten Tomatoes or IMDB or any other site, Amazon is subject to a lot of fake reviews.A lot of those 4 and 5 star products when you take the time to do the research are junk. Puffed up with scam bot reviews.

This new segment is designed to help you find only the products that have been vetted or checked to have a reliability rating of over 70%. Meaning at least 70% of the reviews are accurate, as well as checking if the company as a whole has an abundance of reliable or scammed/generated reviews.

Without further ado today’s recommended low cost sub $100 tablet. This is for someone who wants a 2nd tablet for non-intensive tasks such as security cam checking or ‘digital frame’ usage or other very casual surfing.

You have lots of mostly Chinese made items in the sub $100 market to choose from. The ones with decent reviews, if you take the time to research, 9 out of 10 are fabricated reviews.

I’ve done the research to find that one out of ten low cost sub $100 tablet that is worth your time (along with the needed memory card). Below is one that has a predominance of reliable reviews:

 

The HOOZO TABLET 10.

I never heard of this tablet before today. But I was looking for a tablet that would do cellular, that is a lot better than the limited options the cellular provider was offering.

And as I mentioned in this range the market is almost exclusively Chinese made products, due to American big business willingness to dismantle domestic operations to outsource everything to the lowest bidder. And Chinese products are often viewed with a certain amount of dubiousness, and unfortunately when it comes to products China exports there have been numerous documented reasons for this outlook.

Whether it is a matter of varying degrees of quality, sub par build due to making tight margins, or orchestrated malfeasance all of these things have been documented when it comes to Chinese products exported to US shores. And again I’m not blaming the Chinese, I’m blaming short sighted American policy, that has in the last few decades dismantled the idea of local autonomy and creation and putting us at the mercy of the lowest common denominator mentality; unchecked capitalism, being indistinguishable from unchecked tyranny.

All that to say, when it comes to products you are putting in your home, you have to use more than usual diligence. The China made Wyse security cameras that everyone is racing to put in their homes and laud for its features ( which I admit are impressive) has perhaps a glaring issue. The same issue that a lot of devices have, but turned up a few notches. The security camera, may actually be invading your security. But that is an article for another day, but it is in the reviews if you take the time to look.

Anyhow, yes when it comes to products from China, you of course will have great products and great companies. The job is finding them.

That brings us to the HOOZO 10 Tablet.

This one checked all the boxes and was way  higher on the reliability scale than the tablets being offered by my cellular provider. And ever since that scandal a few years ago with cellular providers installing hardware back-doors into the devices they sold consumers, I’ve always preferred to bring my own device to a cellular provider.

So this tablet at a sub $100 price, is not going to replace your main machine, but as a secondary or dedicated machine for browsing device or gaming device  to free up your main device to be exclusively for more sensitive transactions (if you are using your phone to do purchases,and or banking, or secure email, you should not have game apps, or cooking apps, or puzzle apps, etc on it, that is where this secondary device comes in).

This machine is to help you avoid the  ‘one ring that rules them all’ point of failure or security breach.

Get yours here:

https://amzn.to/2TMmIeK

AEGO 64gb Micro SD Card microSD Memory Card UHS-1 Class 10 for Kindle Fire/Tablets/Dash Cam/GoPro with Free Adapter (U1 64GB)

 

 

AEGO 64gb Micro SD Card microSD Memory Card UHS-1 Class 10 for Kindle Fire/Tablets/Dash Cam/GoPro with Free Adapter (U1 64GB)

https://amzn.to/2JVba9F

I had started my search for 64gb Micro Sd cards, by checking out the usual players first Kingston, Samsung, etc. After digging into the reviews I wasn’t happy with what I was seeing. I then found this unknown to me company AEGO, with a very striking visual design, and much to my surprise they had great pricing AND RELIABLE reviews! More reliable than some of the big names in the field. Add to that there is not often you pick up a micro SD card and give any thought to how beautiful it is, AEGO gets props for making a very utilitarian item such as an SD card, look like a work of art.  My vote… pick it up.

Use this link to check it out. If you decide to pull the trigger you will earn a few pennies for this site which I will be grateful for. It helps me to keep producing more content like this. Share the link and spread the word. Without further ado, the link:

https://amzn.to/2JVba9F

 

So yeah guys, I hope you found this post helpful. Took me a few hours to do the research and put the post together, so if you enjoyed the post definitely use the links, like the article, spread the word. Till next time…

Be Well.

Best Combat Comic Book Covers of the Day!

Okay I was in TERRIFICON in 2018, and that among other things really launched my love for classic Bronze and Silver Age War Comics. Specifically DC, because with the combo of the great Joe Kubert and the great Robert Kanigher DC made the best war comic books, period. Especially during this very brief, sweet spot, when Kubert was Art Director/Editor for the line, the war books are the stuff of legend.

And you have many combat books from DC, OUR ARMY AT WAR (which becomes SGT ROCK), STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES, GI COMBAt, and OUR FIGHTING FORCES.

This article concentrates, on OUR FIGHTING FORCES, while not the first, nor arguably the best of DCs combat books, it is the first one that woke me up in 2018 to the greatness of these classic combat books, I immediately became enamored and a rabid collector of OUR FIGHTING FORCES, largely for the exquisite cover design by Joe Kubert that ran from 123 to 141.These 19 issues, where Joe Kurbert is Editor and Art Director… and makes the typography part and parcel of his stunning cover design; are the high water mark of COMIC BOOK covers as art.

And with stories by the great and prolific Robert Kanigher and interior art by geniuses such as Ross Andru, Russ Heath, Joe Kubert and Sam Glansman this run of comics from cover to cover may just be the most underated and slept on comic book related gems… ever.

You can buy collected editions, but the individual issues, of these specific 19 issues, are art items in and of themselves.

 

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Get your issues here:

https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=180611&AffID=200301P01

SATURDAY SLABS : Key/Investment Grade Comics – SGT ROCK/OUR ARMY AT WAR Issues 1 to 100!

SLABS –slabbing is slang for getting a comic professionally graded and encased in an un-openable hard plastic shell from CGC, PGX, or CBCS. A slab therefore is that graded comic, encased.

I’m not a big one for getting books encapsulated (the more technical term for slabbing), especially for modern books. But I do understand the benefit of third party grading, especially when it comes to older books. Ensuring the book is complete, annotaing any issues, and providing a grade from an outside third party, eliminates much of the haggling regarding condition that would otherwise occur when buying or selling a comic book.

So for reasons of liquidation, I see the benefit of comic book certification (including encapsulation), but again, I see the benefit as it relates to older or scarce books (real scarcity, and not this manufactured scarcity of variant covers on modern books). Now that said while I can see the use of grading and slabbing for select investment grade books, I DO NOT agree with the fad of pressing comics.

What is pressing comics?

It is a relatively new bit of snakery, people attempting to make the cover of their book look better, by actually applying moisture and heat to their comic, to ‘press’ out wrinkles, creases, folds, rounded spines etc.

And while it will make your cover lay better and arguably get you a slightly higher grade, based on a nicer cover, ‘pressing’ does this as the expense of the interior which in older books is newsprint. You can not apply heat and moisture to newsprint without shortening the life and speeding up the degradation of that pulp paper.

Period.

No ifs, no ands, no buts. Heat+moisture+newsprint = nothing good. That comes from the Library of Congress.

Now no specific long term studies have been done to show the damage of ‘pressing’. In 10 years when you open up that sealed book, will you find it is more degraded and corrupted then a say non-pressed book? Have those previously white pages started to brown rapidly due to the excess moisture pressed into those pages? have you induced mold growth into your valuable collectible.

There is no science to pressing comics, no agreed upon heat settings, or moisture exposure times, or drying times, it is a bunch of disparate people making it up as they go along, giving you short term results, at the expense of the longevity of your book. Why on earth would you let your collectibles be the guinea pig for such untested experiments.

Just say no to pressing your comic book.

That public service announcement out of the way, onto this installment’s investment grade books.  Out of the first 100 issues of the ground breaking DC War Series OUR ARMY AT WAR, here are the issues worth adding to your collection… and why.

 

 

15 MUST OWN ISSUES OF OUR ARMY AT WAR!

 

Our Army at War 1 - Dc - Superman - National Comics - Sword - Battle - Carmine Infantino

You do not expect sophisticated storytelling from a nearly 70 year old comic book, but this debut issue of OUR ARMY AT WAR offers up just such a compelling and surprising reading experience. Particularly in the story ‘DIG YOUR FOXHOLE DEEP’. OUR ARMY AT WAR #1 is a pricy acquisition, but one worth acquiring if you have the disposable income.

Next of the must have issues would be #15:

Our Army at War 15 - Explosive Battle Action - Fire - Thunder In The Skies - Sunday Walk - Fifteen Minute War

Just based on that striking cover with its beautiful use of yellows and purples.

For similar reasons, the following issue, #46, makes the must own list:

Our Army at War 46 - Soldier - Army - War - Action - Explosive

 

Next up, #50:

Our Army at War 50

This issue is notable in that, from here forward, the cover art gets far more sophisticated. It is also the first taste of the letterbox covers that would come much later,

The next 50 issues, from 50 to 100, with one or two exceptions, are all worth owning.Standouts being:

53,54,56,57(1st Grey Wash Cover), 61(Wonderfully desperate and emotive faces by Frank Robbins I believe), 71(Great, you-are-there pov camera angle), 74,75,80,81,82,83,87,89,90,92,94,95,96!

 

Our Army at War 53 - Dc - Tank - Soldier - Machine Gun - WarOur Army at War 54 - Gun - Sword - Jan No 54 - Grenade - Battle Line - Joe KubertOur Army at War 56 - Joe KubertOur Army at War 57 - Bullets - Machine Gun - Helmets - Men - ExplosiveOur Army at War 61Our Army at War 71 Our Army at War 74 - Bullet - Face - Head - Fear - AirplaneOur Army at War 75 - Blind Night Fighter - Airplane - Gunfire - Double Length Story - GooglesOur Army at War 80 - Tank - Ruins - No 80 - Tank Bait - SoilderOur Army at War 81 - Dc Comics - The Rock Of Easy Co - Gun - Nazi - HelmetOur Army at War 82Our Army at War 83 - Gone With The Gun - Flying Machines - The Trooper - Big Guns - The WarfareOur Army at War 87 - Battle Action Comic Book - Vintage Army Comic - Easy Company Army Stories - Wwii Tank Warfare Comic - Chute Dragging Soldier Into TankOur Army at War 89Our Army at War 90 - Easy Company - Dollar Comics - Superman - National Comics - Approved By The Comics Code Authority - Joe KubertOur Army at War 92

Our Army at War 94 - Target Easy Co - Combat Happy Joes - Battle - New Two Part - Fight - Joe KubertOur Army at War 95 - Battle Of The Stripes - Barb Wire - Gunfire - Crawling - Battle - Joe KubertOur Army at War 96 - Tank - Building - Panzer - Gun - Dc Comics

Well those are my collectible/investment picks for this installment.

Now you can actually pick up some of the aforementioned issues via one of my current favorite comic book stores, LONE STAR COMICS. Better known by there website presence, MY COMIC SHOP. Please use the link below to order from them, and when you do you will earn this blog a few pennies, that will be greatly appreciated and go back into the blog, and more content you can use.

So Thanks to anyone who supports this blog, and this specific post, via the following link:

https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=180591&AffID=200301P01

Thank You for looking and come back next Installment for more great selections!

Excelsior!

RIP To Stan Lee 1922 to 2018.

THE LAST WORD: Joe Kubert’s BEST Comic Book Covers!!(Some of them)

I have an appreciation for the late, great Joe Kubert here in 2018 as an adult, that I really didn’t have for him as a kid. And much of that is down to exposure, as well as a broader scope of reading material.

As a kid, comics that interested me were what interested most kids of the latter 20th century. We were children of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Chis Claremont and John Bryne, Marv Wolfman and George Perez, David Kraft and Keith Giffen, Bob Haney and Jim Aparo. The very exciting and colorful, but delineated world of Superhero comics.

The Brave & The Bold #84 - Neal Adams

But then the late 80s happened, and creators like Alan Moore and Frank Miller and William Mesner Loebs created works that seemed to challenge and expand the horizons and genres and tropes of the medium. They were following in the footsteps of late 70s pioneers such as Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy, and the aforementioned creators, who all had their moments of scripting comics with an Indy sensibility before the term existed.

And now as an adult, having explored much of the growth of the mainstream comic industry from their golden age roots, to their big screen interpretations, here in 2018 I am revisiting some work that was largely before my time.

Namely the westerns and horror books and combat books, of the late 60s and early 70s.

https://i0.wp.com/comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/230/105485_20071213140823_large.jpg

And this deep dive into this world (I mean I have gone deep in 2018), has solidified and cemented and revealed somethings. Most notably is 1/ The western comic books of Marvel Comics, the 12cent and 15 cent, etc comics, RAWHIDE KID, TWO-GUN KID, GUNHAWKS, MARVEL WESTERN, by mostly Larry Lieber, and Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby, and Gil Kane, and Herb Trimpe and John Severin are masterpieces. And these books are MUST OWNS. And many have not been reprinted. And while MARVEL COMICS were hands down producing some of the best Western Comics, some other notable comics in this genre are the painted cover LONE RANGER comics by Dell and Gold Key Publishing, and DC’s TOMAHAWK–

(Brief interuption to gush on Kubert’s TOMAHAWK. The last 25 issues or so of TOMAHAWK go from Neal Adams covers to the final ten which are Joe Kubert covers, from issues 131 to 140. There are not many people who can follow Neal Adams on covers, and be able to equal him.

When Neal Adams does a run of covers, those become the definitive sought after covers, especially during this period of the 60s and 70s in DC. Whether BATMAN or DETECTIVE or SUPERMAN or SUPERBOY, to this day the definitive covers for all those titles, are the ones drawn by Neal Adams, and with good reason. Neal Adams is a master artist.

So it is no small compliment to say not only does Joe Kubert’s ten issue cover run on TOMAHAWK equal the work of his good friend Neal Adams, they surpass them. As someone who just acquired those ten books this year, listen to me when I say they are INCREDIBLY undervalued, sporting both stunning covers and interiors, and no true fan of comics should be without them. If you can get them in high grade for $10 a book, that is a steal.

Get those issues at the link below. You get great comics AND you earn a few pennies to keep this blog’s lights on.

https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?tid=181351&pgi=101&AffID=200301P01

)

–and ALL STAR WESTERN & WEIRD WESTERN. All fantastic and I will be doing a bit on Western Comics in an upcoming post.

 

https://i0.wp.com/comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/798/374435_20160819181122_large.jpg

 

And 2/ where the Marvel Comics  of yesterday ruled the WESTERN genre, the WAR or COMBAT genre was ruled by DC Comics. Largely because of two names the great Robert Kanigher and the great Joe Kubert. Both men master story tellers, one with words and one with images, and both men incredibly prolific and productive. My favorite TEEN TITANS story of the silver age is by Robert Kanigher, my favorite FLASH stories by Robert Kanigher. So I always meant to pursue Kanigher’s work into his combat/conflict/war books of the period, and I am finally getting a chance to do that in 2018. And what immediately sells these books is the iconic covers and visual storytelling by the late, great Joe Kubert.

Joe Kubert’s cover art on Our Fighting Forces #135

His work, especially pre the mid 70s, where his covers got to play with the typography and marrying that to the cover image… gold. Absolutely gold. To the point where covers for OUR FIGHTING FORCES and OUR ARMY AT WAR for a brief period in the late 60s, early 70s are cover art truly raised to the level of Art with a capital A. Why anyone would pay $4, $5, $6, and $7 for a brand new comic book (that can be found in the $1 bins or reprinted in a much better quality trade in a few months), when you can take that same money and get a classic issue from this period of comics… is beyond me.

It is work you are typically not going to see unless you go looking. Not many people are showing off 50 year old war comic book covers. In 2018 I have gone looking.

Let me show you some of what I’ve found. We will start with a taste of his unconventional and relatively rare Superhero work and move onto his more prolific genre work.

 

 

 

flash_189.jpg

GI_Combat_88.jpg

SYFYWIRE’s Matthew Funk says it best when they say…

“G.I. Combat #88

Kubert’s contributions to the visual language of war stories can’t be overstated, and this cover proves as much. This is very Stanley Kubrick-style imagery, but the comic predates Full Metal Jacket by 26 years. Kubert was creating iconic, haunting, and cinematic images of war that would influence generations of storytellers.”

weird_war_tales_6.jpg

tor_2.jpg

When you think of great, iconic cover artists, the names Gil Kane, Neal Adams, Jim Steranko, Nick Cardy, and more recently Alex Ross come to mind. And all deservedly so. But one that arguably has gotten overlooked by the masses is Joe Kubert, and this is largely because he worked mostly in genres that did not get the attention back in the day. But now as an adult and getting into genres of Western and War and Horror, I am getting exposed to the work of great artists such as Joe Kubert, I am seeing much of it for the first time, and it is…. ASTONISHING. What really amazes me about Kubert is when he gets to play with Typography in his covers, and make that part of his story-telling, those are absolute game changers. Such as the above, and many of his Combat books.

 

https://static3.cbrimages.com/wp-content/uploads/goodcomics/2012/08/kubertcover6.jpg?q=35&w=400&h=601&fit=crop

https://static1.cbrimages.com/wp-content/uploads/goodcomics/2012/08/kubertcover18.jpg?q=35&w=400&h=596&fit=crop

SGT ROCK

G.I. Combat (Volume) - Comic Vine

Our Army At War 254 - Sgt. Rock - Joe Kubert

Cover

Ready to own some of these great comic books?

Then use the link below and start ordering:

https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?q=our+army+at+war&pubid=&PubRng&AffID=200301P01

 

AVENGERS INFINITY WAR : THE LAST WORD Review

 

I have been off the movie radar for a bit.

I go in cycles like that.

Last movie I saw in the theater (twice) was the excellent BLACK PANTHER Directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by filmic juggernaut, Marvel Studios.

Today a few minutes ago I just got done watching AVENGERS INFINITY WAR courtesy of Amazon Prime, and streamed right in the comfort of my home.

It is definitely a movie that would have been great seen  on a huge full size theatrical system, but as I said timing and interest sometimes works out for me to hit the theater, sometimes it doesn’t.

The movie, AVENGERS INFINITY WAR finally seen ( I avoided trailers, special features, reviews etc) it is ten years of Marvel Studios, and ten years of world building codified and paid tribute to; it is not just a great movie, it is a great mythology. It is that first story told around the raging fire to keep back the night. It is everything you want a film to be.

To call it just a superhero film is perhaps to miss the point, and the enduring power and place these four color heroes have held first on the comic page, and now the cinematic stage.

They are our modern myths writ large, and this film by the capable Russo Brothers improves and transcends the source material, to tell tales both of massive victories and massive defeats, but always managing to ground it on a very personal level.

The movie made me laugh, it made me cheer, it made me tear up, and it made me silent. A whole gamut of emotional states in a mere couple of hours. The Russo Brother’s have helmed yet another masterpiece and this one being their best and most haunting yet. Raising the stakes but not losing the man on the ground perspective, that make these films so relateable.

Tales of Gods and Monsters yes, but hinged on wheels of faith and loss and sacrifice and love.

The wheels all of us, can understand and be moved by.

There are reasons to be concerned about a monotheistic Movie Landscape, with all studios gobbled up by the mouse. I do not feel Disney acquiring Marvel Studios was a good thing. I do not feel the Lucas properties being engulfed by them is a good thing. I do not feel the Fox acquisition is a good thing.

I think in the long term this monotheistic film landscape is a very bad thing for culture, and choice, and competition. I think in the long term there are anti-trust and anti-competition issues that will affect all of us; whether fans or not, of these films. But those are fights and concerns separate from the actual review of this one singular film.

This one singular film, celebrating the 10th year of Marvel Studios unprecedented dynasty is filmmaking done as well as it can be done, on a scale and scope that is nearly as mythic as the story itself. I loved it. Full Stop. It is right in the mix with my top 5, being in no particular order AVENGERS, BLACK PANTHER, WINTER SOLDIER, CIVIL WAR, and this one… INFINITY WAR.

Grade: A+. As a fan of METROPOLIS and GREED and SEARCHERS and LION IN WINTER, even though this movie is a ‘Super-hero’ movie and a Blockbuster, and is popular, it is every bit as great and serious and beautiful a film as those lauded classics. It is a new minted classic, and will stand the test of time.  From script, to direction, to special effects, to performances, especially performances, allowing the actors to act under those layers of makeup and costumes and CGI, the film is a rare achievement.

I look forward to the sequel. And I look forward to buying this film on DVD/Blu-Ray, and watching again, and enjoying the film commentary.

You can get your Blu-Ray here:

https://amzn.to/2obFhvS

 

 

CBS vs Paramount? Old Star Trek vs Confused Star Trek? ST Discovery = Epic fail? and JUSTICE LEAGUE?!

 

Some Times you wonder how what is seemingly obvious  is utterly lost on people in positions of power.

VALERIAN movie? Great concept on paper , great visuals, the leads are as interesting as watching paint dry. I would not in a million years have chosen those two people to helm that movie. They have no visual interest.

The latest Universal bomb in THE MUMMY, completely predictable. White Egyptians, unless they are Boris Karloff, just never a good idea.

Casting and visuals and chemistry is still a HUGE part of what makes a film or show work and why it is dead on arrival.

It is one reason the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie is despite everything they are trying to course correct and do right, can’t fix intrinsic issues they have done wrong. The comic book decided to put CYBORG in the comic, not because he is a good character, but because he hit three demographics they throught would make for both multiple diversity streams and good merchandising. He was a Black crippled robot.

TRANSFORMERS has proven that robots sell, all day long. On top of that being able to add a character of color to the blindingly white DC universe, ticks that box, and making him a cripple, ticks the handicapped audience. A lucrative and growing segment condsidering how many young men and women this country sends overseas to mutilate and get mutilated.

Here is the issue though. It doesn’t make sense for CYBORG to be in the Justice League, beyond tokenism and a blatant money grab.

From a story point it makes NO SENSE in the comics, and it makes no sense in the movies. I’m all for characters of color toning down the lilly whitness of the Justice League, but not awful characters. The JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED cartoon has shown a great character of color that deserves to be in the Justice League and works great in the Justice League… John Stewart, The Green Lantern, And you know what, he also has kick ass powers and is more than a walking toaster. The late great Dwayne McDuffie made John Stewart a great character, and the Justice League a great AND diverse team without sacrificing quality or common sense. They were great BECAUSE of that diversity and love that Dwayne imbued that series with, that made it great.

Greatness is a thing that seldoms gets said in the same sentence as JUSTICE LEAGUE. Unlike the AVENGERS that has a few notable stories you can hand people to sell them on these characters for live action movies, most notably Mark Millar’s THE ULTIMATES  followed by Steve Englehart’s, Gerry Conway’s, Jim Shooter’s and Kurt Busiek’s runs; the JUSTICE LEAGUE has very little that holds up, or is of appeal to a movie going audience. Outside of deconstructive and apocalyptic stories, the twilight of the Gods type mythology such as KINGDOM COME, and some Morrison work, there are almost no great JUSTICE LEAGUE comic stories. The best the JUSTICE LEAGUE has ever been is in the McDugffie helmed cartoon.

The current comic and the current movie unfortunately, has learned nothing from the late McDuffie’s lead.

Add to that the Cyborg and Flash costumes are crap (didn’t you learn anything from the GREEN LANTERN train-wreck about CGI costumes) and you have a movie that could have been great, crippled by by people who are going to lose dollars to save pennies.  People ignorant or uncaring of the part visual chemistry plays in whether a thing works or not.

And that brings us back to Star Trek.

 

Looking at the cast photo of Star Trek Discovery… that cast has no visual interest, no chemistry. The same issue suffered by THE ENTERPRISE cast, and to a lesser degree the VOYAGER cast. There was no joy or interst or chemistry in this combination of people.

Watching  the latest STAR TREK DISCOVERY Trailer, I find the trailer interesting, however the jury is out on whether that translates into good. There was no excitement in that trailer, a bunch of uninteresting looking people, no visual chemistry or excitement to them, and a general air of uninterst and lack of joy in the whole.

You are in effing space, that should be awe-inspiring to the cast and to the viewer. But all that comes across in that trailer is how dreary everything is. The one male lead, who I know to be a good actor, he perhaps has never been the most rousing actor, and whether lead or not, you need somone immediately that grabs your eye, and you can say, yep, here is a hero or man of action, or somone who can command a screen and command the attention of viewers. Without a doubt great scenery chewing actors is the hallmark of great Star Trek, whether it is William Shatner, or Leonard Nimoy or Patrick Stewart or Johnathan Fraker or Avery Brooks or Michael Dorn.

The star of this series, is a lead actress, and she is clearly charismatic, but you can’t act in a bubble, without that chemistry  of clicking actors around you and fun plots, it is just dreariness. And that’s what came across in the trailer… dreariness.

And a lot of changes for change sake.

The change to the Kilngons… strikes me as… foolhardy at best. THE NEXT GENERATION hit a home run in being able to make an interesting but crude visual race of the Kilingons… better. Not just better, but a rousing transcendent success.  The way the Original Series hit a home run with the Vulcans and the Romulans, the Next Generation hit that Home Run with the Klingons.

You don’t fix what isn’t broken. And in this case DISCOVERY’s redesign of the Klingons just seems change for change sake, that tears down a success, and what could have been an easy inroad to the series for fans craving the popular Klingons, becomes instead a detriment.

Just poor, poor thinking.

Along with that the idea of trying to make American audiences pay to see this series that initially needs as much groundswell of support it can get, is just idiocy. Out of the gate you set an antagonistic relationship between show and audience.

I will, needless to say, not be paying for this show, no more than I had any intest in paying to see VALERIAN or THE MUMMY.

But I will keep abreast of it through online reviews and podcasts, and I hope it can prove me wrong. But if Paramount stick to the visuals and that tone and that cast, that seems clearly set in stone for the first year….you may have an interesting SciFi show, but you arguably wont have a good show, and you definitely won’t have a great Star trek show.

Paramount instued of suing the AXANAR fan film, should have gone with that filmmaker to produce their new show. It is obvious that the fan films have more heart, intelligence, and fun, and understanding of what makes good Star Trek than Paramount has.

PARAMOUNT’s rebooted STAR TREK films, a case of diminishing returns, from the excellence of the first one, to the too self indulgent but still great second film, to the atrocious third film; points to a company that is in desperate need of course correction. And that same folly and arrogant stupidity that highlights their dealings with the fans, mars their handling of this latest television show.

For more on this, I want to direct you to a MIDNIGHT’S EDGE YouTube video, that revealed some of the reasons for Paramount’s mishandling of the latest Star Trek property and where CBS fits in. It’s a riveting and informative bit of reporting.