Monday, April 30, 2012

Avengers Countown: Thor

The countown gets struck by lighting today with the god of thunder, the Mighty Thor. The Marvel version of the character first showed up in Journey into Mystery #83 (Aug. 1962) and was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby. Thor is the hot headed and strong willed son of Odin. For a time Thor spent time in the body of Donald Blake a partially disabled human who, when he struck his walking stick would transform into the thunder god. This was all punishment from Odin in hopes of showing his son humility. Falling in love with his colleague Jane Foster, he disobeyed his father and refused to return to Asgard.  Thor initially regarded himself as a "superhero" like his teammates in the Avengers, but       Loki's evil deeds would routinely draw Thor into increasingly epic adventures that would require extended leaves of absence from the Avengers. He would go on to gain his independence from Donald Blake and rule over Asgard after Odin's death.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Avengers Countown: Iron Man

The countdown rolls on with the armored Avenger, Iron Man!  First appearing in Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963) and created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby, billionaire playboy Tony Stark suffered a severe heart injury and created a suit of armor with the power to keep him alive. He later began using the armor to help people and became the hero Iron Man!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Avengers Countdown: Captain America

The countdown to the movie of the century, the Avengers, continues with perhaps the greatest of them all Captain America. The character first appeared in Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941), from Marvel Comics' predecessor, Timely Comics, and was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.The story is a familiar one, Steve Rogers was injected with the super soldier serum during World War II and became Americas number one butt kicker. He was accidentally frozen and woke up in modern times ready to fight once again as the leader of the Avengers.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Avengers Countdown!!!

The biggest movie of the year...the decade...possibly ever is officially on its way in just a few days. That's right, the Avengers is finally here. If you haven't heard, you probably aren't from this planet.  This is perhaps the most ambitious superhero film ever undertaken. It all began with Iron Man in 2008 and ran through the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America and now it all culminates with the superhero team-up film The Avengers. So for the next week we countdown to the biggest movie of all time with a little background on the films heroes.

 Today, we start with the films villain, the trickster god of lies and mischief and brother of Thor, Loki.  He first appeared in Venus #6 (1949) and was created by Stan LeeLarry Lieber, and Jack Kirby. Loki was a child of the Frost Giants taken by Odin after slaying his father and raised as his own. He grew up resentful of how Thor was treated better by the citizens of Asgard. As he grew older he honed his skills as a great sorcerer and as his power grew so did his lust for power. His penitence for mischief soon turned to evil and he began seeking vengeance on Thor for his greater favor. Loki would later cause the final conflict known as Ragnarök, sometimes referred to as "The Twilight of the Gods".  All the gods were destroyed and later resurrected...Loki in the form of a woman. Loki retained his male form after Ragnarok but hid himself inside the female body of Thor's reborn lover Sif in order to sell to Thor the idea that he wished to change. Combining his magic with Hela, Loki traveled to the past and set into motion events that led to his younger self being adopted by Odin. There's alot more of course but that should be enough to get you keep checking back every day to learn more about the characters from the film.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


On April 18th 1938, Action Comics #1 arrived in stores bearing the cover date as June 1938. This comic, by Jerry Siegal and Joe Shuster, marked the first appearance of the worlds first and greatest superhero, Superman! Since that first issue, Superman has gone on to conquer not only the world of comics, but radio, television, broadway, movies...and just about anything else you can think of. It would be hard to find a person on this planet that hasnt at least heard of him. It was the popularity of Superman that led to the creation of the superhero genre with literally thousands of characters created over the last 70+ years. So...Happy Birthday Superman!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Alan Lee

Alan Lee is one of the greatest illustrators of the last century (I know I know, I say that alot) and whether you know it or not, you have seen his work. Lee is best known for illustrating fantasy books, most notably the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, such as The Hobbit,  the centenary edition of  The Lord of the Rings,  and The Children of Húrin.  Others he illustrated include Lavondyss by Robert Holdstock, The Mabinogion, The Mirrorstone by Michael Palin, Castles,  Tolkien's Ring, Merlin Dreams by Peter Dickinson and with Brian Froud he illustrated Faeries. You may know his work in film a little better. Together with John Howe, he worked as the lead concept artist for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films creating the look and feel of the overall movies. His work on Return of the King landed him an Oscar. He also worked as a conceptual designer on the films Erik the Viking, Legend, King Kong, and the TV mini-series Merlin. Here's a taste of his amazing talent. Enjoy!