Left to Right: Uncle Sam issues 1 & 2 and the Uncle Sam silk flag which was reprinted in the Hardback edition, as a wraparound cover. Not pictured is the softcover edition because it has the same cover as issue 1.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Based on the series of movies with the same name and published by Epic comics, the longest of the 2 stories in this book is called “The Harrowing part 1: Resurrection” and is about a group of people who are gathered by a goddess and endowed with powers so they can become the Harrowers, a team capable of destroying the Cenobites (the demons from the movies). Alex’s art looks very similar to the one on Terminator, still in its early stages and it’s a little unpolished because he didn’t like working on this project and it shows a bit. The cover is also by Ross.
Miracleman: Apocrypha #3
This book contains several stories about Miracleman as well as pinups. The story “Wishing on a Star” is written by Steve Moore with art by Ross and is a very short tale in which some kids are making wishes to falling stars and a former astronaut complains to Miracleman about the cancellation of the space program now that he’s around with all his powers. The art in this story again looks like Ross’ early work yet you can see that he loved working on this project, his paintings have this subtle qualities that make the tale real and at the same time very much like a dream or a fantasy. I love it! The cover art isn’t Ross’, it’s Mark Buckingham’s.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
SERIES 1: this series includes, Superman and The Flash (Barry Alllen) and villains Siniestro, Cheetah and Bizarro. There was also a reissue of the Superman action figure with an angry face sculpt but the original is better. In this series I like Bizarro 'cause he's a creepy zombie-like monster and it just looks scary, Supes is cool as well as Flash but this one and Cheetah are hard to pose on the shelf and they keep falling off mine, specially her.
SERIES 2: Heroes, Batman, Aquaman and Black Canary, and villains Black Manta and The Parasite. Batman and Aquaman look great, although I would've prefered the Aquaman from Justice with his 5 o'clock shadow beard and angry demeanor. Black Canary is gorgeous, you never thought they could made and action figure, so pretty. Black Manta is OK and the Parasite is creepy enough, although it looks like the guy is made of gum that has already been chewed.
SERIES 3: This is, in my opinion, the best series so far, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) looks cool, Plastic Man has interchangeable and bendable body parts, so he honors his name, Wonder Woman is hot, although a bit too buff for my tastes, Poison Ivy is naked and The Joker can scare the living crap out of your other figures. 'Nuff Said.
SERIES 4: This series comes with Shazam and his villain Black Adam. Zatanna, Hawkman and Solomon Grundy. Black Adam looks tough but Shazam, well, I like the Kingdom Come version, a whole lot more. Zatanna is cute yet hard to pose, Hawkman rocks with his wings and removable helmet, yet is also a little hard to pose, But Solomon Grundy is the best in this series, he just looks creepy and the paint job in some areas makes him look like he's actually decomposing. Awesome!
SERIES 5: If series 3 is the best, this one is a close second. Green Arrow can be posed as though he's preparing to shoot an arrow, the Martian Manhunter (and its "invisible", transparent variant figure) and Red Tornado, look cool with their capes and all. Lex Luthor sports his weird "suit" which is purple and transparent, but awesome nonetheless, but Brainiac is the icing on the cake, he comes with a bloody, dissected brain and the scalpel he used to cut it out and an experimental monkey with some weird contraption on its head, sitting on the guys shoulder. It's quite gory!
SERIES 6: This series comes with Hawkwoman and The Scarecrow and armored versions of Batman and Green Lanter, taken from the Justice comic book. I still don't know why they didn't give Hawkwoman a winged helmet just like Hawkman but instead she's got another head sculpted without it and she doesn't come with a weapon, only a shield. On the other hand the Scarecrow looks awesome, he's scarier without the mask as he is with it, the level of detail on this figure is astounding, you can see this on the glasses on the guy's face. The Armored Batman and Green Lantern look better in real life than in the pictures, I mean, you see them on the internet and they look alright but they really are a faithful reproduction of what you see on the comic book pages.
SERIES 7: This series is small but impressive, it features 2 armored character which I never thought I'd like but they have grown on me due to its amazing detail, Superman and Aquaman look incredible, Superman's metallic paint job is great and the details on the scales in Aquaman's armor is superb. Green Lantern, John Stewart has a small but pivotal role on this series and his action figure captures his heroic essence, very well, I really dig the retro-1970's look he has here, because nowadays he's portrayed as this angry black man, with a shaved head and goatee, which distances itself from the character's origins, so Alex captured this character's first appearances on this figure. I still need to comment on the Gorilla Grodd figure which isn't in my collection yet.
SERIES 8: This series will come out mid-to-late 2008 and it will include, heroic hotties Supergirl, and Batgirl, and evil guys, The Toyman and Captain Cold. I'll comment on them as soon as I get 'em!
IN MY COLLECTION: All of them. Sadly, this collection will have to do without the Armored Wonder Woman, a build-a-figure-type Giganta and the Atom because series 8 was where they pulled the plug.
Friday, October 5, 2007
The last fully-painted Alex Ross project to see the light of day was DC’s Justice, a massive 12-issue story arc that took 2 years to complete (2006-2007). In this story written by Jim Krueger and Ross we see a giant event unravel, the villains of the world neutralize the heroes by doing what they were supposed to do, help humanity, so they cure diseases and help the blind to see, in order to gain people’s trust. All this, of course, is just a big scam and you’ll never suspect who the orchestrator of this diabolical plan is and how he achieves this goal. Some of the heroes turn bad, others are nearly killed, and Aquaman ends up being the coolest hero ever! Honest! This story is so amazing that you just have to read it, it’s chockfull of great scenes, battles and even funny moments, like when Plastic Man and Elongated Man start arguing because there can’t be 2 stretchy guys in the League. Awesome! The art was handled by Ross painting over Doug Braithwaite’s pencils, yet what you get in the end is an Alex Ross book, sorry Doug, but it is, the covers are done by Ross and there is a sketchbook section on each issue by both artists. Top row: Issues #1 (with both heroes and villains covers) thru 6. Bottom Row: Issues #7 thru 12 (again with the heroes and villains covers).
This series was such a huge seller that 2nd and even 3rd prints of some issues came out, these usually reprinted the art from the sketchbook sections. Left to Right: Issue #1 – second printing (the only one with new art) and third printing, issues #2, 4 and 5 second printings.
As this bimonthly series progressed, 4-issue hardcover collections came out, three in total, featuring new art by Ross. Top to bottom: Hardcover #1 – issues 1-4 (heroes cover), Hardcover #2 – issues 5-8 (villains cover) and Hardcover #3 – issues 9-12 (heroes in armor cover).
Now, since this series is new, expect to see a complete hardcover as well as a paperback edition soon, I’ll keep you informed. Part 2 will deal exclusively with the action figures that came out of this series. IN MY COLLECTION: Issues 1-12 with variant covers and Hardcover #1.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Superman: Peace on Earth – Superman tries to solve world hunger for one day but is met with greed, suspicion, and fear.
Batman: War on Crime – Batman faces a situation similar to the one which created him, which makes him wonder which is the true nature of crime.
Wonder Woman: Spirit of Truth – Wonder Woman, sent from Paradise Island to teach peace to humans, encounters that human nature is made for war and violence.
Shazam: Power of Hope – Captain Marvel, whose alter ego is a child, realizes that children have the capacity for awe and surprise that adults sometimes lack, and ponders on why children really are the hope for humanity’s future.
Finally all these books were collected in an oversized slipcase edition called World’s Greatest Super-Heroes, shown are the outer and inner cover respectively. Also from the art of these books, many things were made such as T-shirts, posters, postcards, etc, but if you have the books, you’re set with your collection.
IN MY COLLECTION: All of them except for the slipcase edition.