Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Look Back At: Marvel Super Heroes' Secret Wars

Marvel's Secret Wars! Nuff' said
Nowadays, comic books readers are spoiled when it comes to major 'super hero crossovers'. Just look at Marvel's Civil War, Infinity Gauntlet, & Maximum Carnage story arcs or DC's Blackest Night, Crisis on Infinite Earths, & Final Crisis crossovers. Both publishers had even gone so far to do a Marvel vs. DC crossover back in the '90s. Nowadays, it seems as if heroes are teaming up in force every few issues.

Well, back in the '80s such title-spanning crossovers weren't the norm. Sure, Superman and Batman were oftentimes partnering up, and there was the Justice League, while Marvel had The Avengers and Marvel Team-Up -- but how often (prior to the mid-'80s) did heroes from nearly every popular title join forces for colossal crossovers that spanned issues and months? Hardly ever.

That all changed in 1984 -- with the advent of Marvel Super Heroes: Secret Wars, a defining chapter in comic book history.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Horror Movie Posters You've (Probably) Never Seen, From Horror Movies You've (Probably) Never Heard Of!

Scream...and Scream again!
This weekend, Wes Craven's Scream 4 hit theaters. It's hard to believe that Craven's first Scream came out back in 1996! Nevertheless, the series is still able to pull in viewers and reassert that the horror genre is alive and well.

One of the highlights of the Scream films is their self-referential quality and their ability to reflect upon past horror movies. Yet, there are many horror films that aren't mentioned in any of the Scream films. In fact, there are an unheard of legion of horror films that would probably never make it onto anyone's 'favorite scary movie' list. Even so, they are still out there - and although many have better movie posters than actual movies, they are worth mentioning:

Top 10 Transformers G1 Cartoon Moments

One shall stand...one shall fall
Back in the '80s Transformers not only ruled the toy shelves, it ruled the airwaves. Transformers, first premiering in 1984, has managed to do something a select few cartoons have ever accomplished: it has stood the test of time. Even with the various comic book series, Michael Bay films, Japanese/American cartoon spinoffs, and video games - the original Generation One series is still looked back at with a fond remembrance that is unparalleled in Transformers fandom.

Today we'll be taking a look back at the G1 Transformers cartoon and selecting the Top 10 Moments from the original 98 episodes that aired between 1984 to 1987. For purposes of this article, we will not be looking at the 1986 Transformers animated movie, since, let's face it, an entire list of Top Moments could be compiled simply from that film alone.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

McFarlane Toys' Metal Gear Solid Figure Line

A 'Solid' action figure line
Back in 1998, Konami released Metal Gear Solid for the Sony Playstation. Created by video game maestro, Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Solid followed the exploits of Solid Snake, a veteran super-soldier, as he covertly infiltrated a government facility that had been overrun by terrorists. Combining stealth gameplay (that rewarded players for not killing enemies) and a hefty dose of cinematic cutscenes, Metal Gear Solid proved to be a bestseller for Konami and became a force-to-be-reckoned with in the video game industry. The venerable Metal Gear Solid franchise has endured the test of time, with titles appearing on the Gameboy Color, Gamecube, PS2, PS3, PSP, and the Xbox. Even now, a new Metal Gear game is in the works, titled, Metal Gear Solid: Rising - which follows the progression of Raiden, (the main character from MGS 2: Sons Of Liberty) as he adopts his new 'cyborg' body. Let's not forget that a remake of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is also in the works for the Nintendo 3DS.

With any successful video game franchise, merchandising plays a factor and Metal Gear Solid is no exception. In 1998, the year of the original game's release, McFarlane Toys (yes, the same Todd McFarlane who worked on the Spider-Man comics in the '80s, created Venom, and was the driving force behind Spawn) brought the first line of Metal Gear action figures to the public. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Art of Movie Posters - Then & Now: Part II: Icons of Horror

We continue our latest look at movie posters of yesteryear, in comparison with the ones of today. Our primary theme today will be the Icons of Horror - everything from Jason to Freddy to Michael. 

Retro Toy Packaging - A Forgotten Art: Part I

Back when toy art was more than meets the eye
There was a time when going to the toy store was about more than just getting a toy -- it was also about getting to see all the great toy packaging and box artwork which flooded each aisle. Sadly, today most toys come in atrocious looking packaging - unlike decades ago when companies like Kenner, Playmates, and Hasbro decorated their toys' boxes with impressive, artistic sights to behold.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A History Of Godzilla Comics: The Dark Horse Years

A sleeping giant
To conclude our 'History Of Godzilla Comics' two-part article, we'll move on from Marvel's '70s Godzilla series to that of Dark Horse's attempt at bringing the King Of The Monsters to the colorful pages of comicdom in the '90s.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A History Of Godzilla Comics: The Marvel Years

Blue Oyster Cult said it best: "Go Go Godzilla!"
Okay, okay...so one of our very recent articles focused on the 1994 Godzilla Trendmasters toy line and, already, we're doing another article on Toho's larger-than-life icon. There's good reason for it, though: IDW Comics has just started publishing a new Godzilla comic series! In honor of such an endeavor, it makes perfect sense for us to reflect back on the History of Godzilla's triumphs and tribulations across the various pages of comic fandom.

Remember Godzilla's early adventures in Marvel Comics where he tangled with the Fantastic Four and a host of Marvel's best? Well read on True Believers -- for we venture back to the Marvel-ous '70s...