The Top Ten Real Life Black Lanterns I Want to See

June 30th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

In only a few weeks, DC will release Blackest Night, the big summer event and culmination of Geoff Johns’ fantastic run on Green Lantern. Willpower, fear, love, hate, compassion, greed and hope will be duking it out as Black Hand and that Cosmic Harvey Dent Smurf resurrect all sorts of heroes and villains to join their side. We’ve been given notice about some who would return and others who might. Earth 2 Superman, Martian Manhunter, Terra and the Flying Graysons will be there for sure. Perhaps we’ll see Elongated Man, Alexander Luthor, or General Glory rise from the grave.

But you know what? It’s a bit cheap. All these black rings are flying around and the only major resurrections go to those who are superheroes, supervillains or acquaintances thereof? That’s no fun! Okay, that’s a lie, since this is going to rock, but that’s not as fun as it could be!

By focusing on the fictional, think of all those we’re missing out on. What about the real corpses out there? We could not only have Heath Ledger back, but also Cesar Romero as the icing on the cake. David Carradine could return to get revenge on those murdering ninjas. Jack Kirby could engulf Jim Starlin in a bubble construct and toss him into the deep recesses of space out of revenge for Death of the New Gods. Elvis Presley could return to Graceland and… oops. Disregard that. I forgot that Elvis never actually died.

After much deliberation, I have put together the Top Ten Real Life Black Lanterns I Want to See.

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Artists and Models: The 1955 Comic Book Movie You Never Heard of.

March 15th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

A while back, I read Jerry Lewis’ book Dean and Me: A Love Story. I never knew much about either guy, but I saw Lewis on Letterman shilling it one night and the stories he told sounded interesting enough that I picked the book up. It’s a heartbreaking story of two friends whose ten year relationship as business partners went to shit due to their own personal flaws and their individual growth as performers. A very good read. Keep in mind that you can’t hear Jerry when you read it, so that’s a plus.

Something interesting Jerry brought up is how Dean Martin was a big comic guy. He was huge into Superman, Batman and Captain Marvel. According to the book, after the first time meeting Frank Sinatra, it was meeting Bob Kane that was Dean’s most star struck moment. It was a neat thing to read about, since in those days comics really were made for kids and Dean Martin was the coolest motherfucker around.

One of the movies they made in their time as a duo was Artists and Models, a movie seemingly custom made for Dean. The very concept of it made me interested enough to want to track down the movie, but it wasn’t until recently that it was available on DVD. I finally got around to watching it and while it isn’t the best movie of the 1950’s, it’s still not bad. It’s definitely interesting to look back on, in terms of the comic-related parts.

To give you an idea, here’s the opening scene, where Eugene (Lewis) and his obsession with comics gets he and his roommate Rick (Martin) fired.

Eugene is mostly into a comic called Bat Lady. Not only does his obsession cost Rick work, but sleep as well, as Eugene’s always having these crazy dreams about a character named Vincent the Vulture and won’t stop screaming. Otherwise, Eugene really wants to write children stories and Rick wants to get work as an artist.

Two ladies take residence in their apartment building. One is Abigail (Dorothy Malone), the writer and artist of Bat Lady, and the other is Bessie (Shirley MacLaine), who works as her model. There’s a subplot where Eugene sees Bessie in full Bat Lady gear and is stoked to find out that the character is actually real, meanwhile giving little notice to Bessie when she’s out of costume. Rick first thinks comic art is a joke, but upon getting the hots for Abigail and realizing how he could easily make a fortune off of it, he quickly changes his mind.

Rick doesn’t have a single comic idea, but instead just steals from Eugene. Whenever Eugene talks in his sleep, Rick would just write down his ideas and secretly work on his own Vincent the Vulture series. It’s pretty ridiculous.

The comic book stuff is pretty funny to watch, just to see how little things have changed. Abigail’s editor keeps insisting that comics need to be more violent and that gore sells. Jerry Lewis’ portrayal of a comic-loving manchild is like a parody of something that barely exists yet. Not to mention his thing for Bat Lady cosplay. A mother blames violent comics for her child’s erratic behavior, yet blatantly shows that she is actually a really shitty parent. The movie is totally before its time.

I should also mention that at one point, Eugene claims on national TV, “Comic books have made me retarded.” I guess that term wasn’t so off-color back then, but it made me laugh.

It is very funny too, despite one really, really bad Rear Window reference. Jerry Lewis may be annoying at times, but with Dean there to play off of him, they really had great comedic chemistry.

It’s just unfortunate that sometime after the one hour mark, the movie goes off in a completely different direction. There’s a subplot out of nowhere on how the Vincent the Vulture comic includes half of a formula that the US government has been using for their rocket ships. So the secret service is trying to get to Rick and Eugene before the Russians can. Huh?!

Other than that, it’s totally worth a look. You can pick it up off Netflix, along with another one of their movies on the same disc.

Oh, and while I was getting that YouTube clip above, I came across this.

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The Top 100 What If Countdown: Part 11

September 15th, 2006 Posted by Gavok

Here it is, the halfway point. If my taste is to be trusted, this should be getting better, so read on.


Issue: Volume 2, #96
Writer: Chris Wozniak
Artist: Chris Wozniak
Spider-Man death: No
Background: We all know that Magneto is the father of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, but even before that he had another daughter named Anya. Since the village Magnus and his family stayed in resented them and believed witchery was afoot, they set fire to their house and ended up killing Anya. Magneto tore his neighbors apart and left. His pregnant wife couldn’t take being with him and ran off. This issue talks about what would have happened if Magneto could’ve saved his daughter. The clincher? Anya was human!

Magneto’s stance against humanity stays more or less the same, but he has this need to shelter his family from bloodshed, even if he’s the one doing the slaughtering. Magneto’s wife soon gives birth to twins and Magneto is happier. Not only are they mutants, but he has a son to pass on his legacy. The years pass and we see that Anya gets the short end of the stick. She’s normal. She isn’t special.

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