Saturday, August 30, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy - original comics

Finally saw Guardians of the Galaxy. It's a great, fun action movie. (Just don't try to sit back and think.) I was a little leery of how the Marvel superhero movies tinker, or mostly just steamroller over their original comics' history. But they did do justice to some old childhood friends. Seeing all these heroes and villains was almost like a family reunion.

Wow, where to start? I still have the Marvel Preview 11 Star-Lord graphic novel from 1977.

(copyright Marvel/Disney)

This comic blew me away. Except for his living starship, Star Lord was a loner, driven by angst over his mother's murder by aliens. I had seen the earlier Star-Lord black and white comics, but the art and story turned me off. Chris Claremont and John Byrne must have known the original Star Wars was on the way, so they carved out this jewel for Marvel. In Marvel Preview 11, Star Lord eventually picks up some allies and discovers his real father was the Emperor of the galaxy.

A lot of water has gone under the bridge at Marvel, and Star-Lord has been revamped over the years. He had gone from being a kick-ass cosmic vigilante to becoming a beat up loser. For superhero movies, being part of a team seems to be a big selling point these days. So, Star-Lord gets thrown in with a group of misfits:

Gamora created by Jim Starlin

Originally trained by the master villain Thanos, Gamora is still green, and deadly enough to give even Star-Lord a hard time in a fight. But she is still one of the underdogs, and has a uphill battle all the way.

(copyright Marvel/Disney)

Drax the Destroyer, also created by Jim Starlin

Drax used to have a lot more cosmic power, and he used to be green. In the Captain Marvel comics, he turned out to be more like Thanos' punching bag. In the film, he remains this noble, stoic character, but he keeps getting pulverized by Ronan the Accuser. I wish they could have stayed more faithful to his original look. Fortunately, Jim Starlin got a screen credit for creating Drax, Gamora and Thanos too.

(copyright Marvel/Disney)

Rocket Raccoon created by Bill Mantlo and artist Keith Giffen

(copyright Marvel/Disney)

Rocket used to have other animal pals that had much more lighthearted adventures. I guess the Beatles never complained. I still have this in my parents' attic somewhere.

Which leaves us with Groot, created by Jack Kirby.

(copyright Marvel/Disney)

I thought Groot was something they made up just for the movie, but he turned out to be "real". Talk about making Mulligan's stew with leftovers, but it works. "GotG" may be the biggest hit of the year. Now I'm trying to imagine these characters working together in their original forms. 

But I never got into the original Guardians of the Galaxy comic. This movie is a far cry from the original comic, and I used to get them confused with the Guardians of the Universe from Green Lantern. Some geek I am.

(copyright Marvel/Disney)

Good thing Marvel held on to this copyright. It must be a nerve wracking experience to decide which property will take off and become a box office blockbuster. The alien archer Yondu got quite an overhaul, going from a superhero to an outlaw leader of a group of "ravagers".

* * * * *

 Bring on the Bad Guys. To my knowledge, Ronan and these characters never crossed paths, at least in the "Bronze Age" of comics.

(copyright Marvel/Disney)
 Special guest villain - Ronan the Accuser.

(copyright Marvel/Disney)
Extra special guest villain - Thanos!

Forty years ago, I could not  have imagined movies like this. The special effects technology simply did not exist. And audiences would have laughed... or yawned at actors running around in tights!
But someone had the drive to put out this film. I haven't enjoyed a movie like this in a long time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Disney Fantasia Ostrich Ballerina meets Wander over Yonder Sylvia

Still trying to get back in my groove after my trip to Canada...

Here's another quick mashup of Wander over Yonder's Sylvia, and the Ostrich Ballerina from Disney's Fantasia. The potential for calamity here must be astronomical. I wonder how long Sylvia would put up with "Mademoiselle Upanova's" haughty attitude...

Probably a whole 2 seconds I would think...

(All artwork copyright Disney Corp., strangely enough.)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Spongebob Squarepants Pearl meets Emperor Awesome

Finally back from my Canada trip with no internet access for over a week. (Just got back from Illinois, locked the front door, oh boy, look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn...)

Speaking of fantasies after a long trip, here's a quick mashup of Wander over Yonder's Emperor Awesome, and Pearl from Spongebob Squarepants.

(Artwork copyright Disney and Nick Studios)

I pasted Pearl into the scene from "The Fancy Party". Awesome tries to put some moves originally on Sylvia, but I thought Pearl's reaction here is just as priceless. What the hey, they are both sea creatures, right?