Monday, January 26, 2009

Star Wars: Droids #1 (Marvel/Star Comics, April 1986)

I was a big fan of this short-lived animated series as a kid, and eagerly scooped all 8 issues of the Marvel Comics tie-in as they were published.

Fueled by a rabid STAR WARS facsination, I ate this thing up as a kid, and enjoy the show immensely as an adult with a raging "Boba Fettish" seeing as how this show was some of the first "Expanded Universe" canon appearances of a couple of the bounty hunters, Boba Fett and IG-88.

From Wikipedia:

Star Wars: Droids, also known as Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO, was an animated television series that featured the exploits of R2-D2 and C-3PO, the droids who have appeared in all six Star Wars films. The series takes place between the events depicted in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

Over the course of the series, the droids team up with four different sets of masters. The first season is divided up into cycles; at the beginning of each, the droids usually run into their new masters in an accidental way, and at the end of each cycle, they usually are forced to leave their masters for one reason or another. The Great Heep, a television special following the first season, served as a prequel to one of these cycles.

The series' opening theme, "Trouble Again", was performed by Stewart Copeland of The Police and written by Copeland and Derek Holt.

Droids was set in the 19 year time period between the rise of the Empire in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Many times during the show, agents of the Empire were shown to enforce this idea.

The famous droid duo faced off against gangsters, criminals, pirates, Boba Fett, IG-88, the Empire and other threats throughout the series. During their adventures, the droids always found themselves with new masters and new difficult situations as a result.

There is some controversy in Star Wars fandom as to whether the Droids cartoon series should be considered canon in the Star Wars timeline. Though officially endorsed by Lucasfilm, the overall premise of the series does not fully mesh with the storyline and consequences of the films Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.

At the end of Episode III, Senator Bail Organa (adoptive father of Leia Organa) tells Captain Antilles on the Tantive IV consular ship, "I'm placing these droids in your care. Treat them well. Clean them up. Have the protocol droid's mind wiped." In Episode IV, C-3PO tells Luke Skywalker that their last master was Captain Antilles. However, in the Droids series, the droids have numerous masters after Captain Antilles is entrusted with them in Episode III, but before Captain Antilles is shown to have or regained care of them in Episode IV. The Star Wars Ultimate Visual Guide gives one official explanation for this continuity issue, mentioning that the droids were "accidentally separated" from Antilles "before returning to Captain Antilles' ship, the Tantive IV."

In "A Race to the Finish", C-3PO claims that another droid graduated from the same "production academy" as he had. This may be a continuity issue, as in Episode I it is revealed that C-3PO was built by Anakin Skywalker, although this contradiction could be explained by the fact that his memory was erased at the end of Episode III.

Another continuity problem is Jann Tosh flying an A-Wing, which was not introduced in the films until Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, and according to Expanded Universe sources, not developed until after the events of A New Hope. The intermediate, but very similar R-22 Spearhead was later invented to explain this discrepancy.

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Star Wars: DROIDS #1 CBR file

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Capt. Marvel Adventures #79 (Fawcett, Dec. 1947)

I love Captain Marvel and the whole SHAZAM! mythos...every cheesey bit of the Golden Age stuff. One of my favorite comics from the 1990s (and one of the books that kept me in the hobby after the dark times of secondary market speculation that nearly sank the business) was Jerry Ordway's brilliant attempts at bringing all this old canon back into the post-CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS DCU, The Power of Shazam!, and most of the time finding ways to do it that seemed acceptable and credible. absolute favorite piece of the mythos? Why....Mr. Tawky Tawny, naturally.

Above is the cover of the esteemed gentle-tiger's first appearance, an issue I felt the need to share after reading Tawny's recent battle with the resurrected New God Kalibak in the pages of DC's current big event, Final Crisis #6.

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Capt. Marvel Adventures #79 CBR file

Monday, January 5, 2009

Who's Who....Cares? Drive-In Triple Feature

Once again, I mingle the two thingas I enjoy the most into one post: B-Movies and odd-ball comic books.

I've held a long-time fascination with the works of the late H.P. Lovecraft, so naturally any attempts at film adaptations of his work usually hit big on my radar. This 1963 film, loosely based upon Lovecraft's "The Colour Out of Space" (originally published in Amazing Stories, Sept. 1927), is a decent flick, and it's best attributes seem to have nothing to do with it's intentions to adapt the original work. Karloff is worth the price of the ticket alone, IMO.

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Dell Movie Classics: DIE, MONSTER, DIE! CBR file.

I have two guilty pleasures when it comes to B-films of the 1960s: Elvis films of the era,....and AIP ensemble comedy flicks . I tend to enjoy the madcap zany antics more if they're masked by a genre motif, (Invasion of the Star Creatures, Ghost of Hot-Rod Hollow, and Ghost in the Invisible Bikini being amongst my favorites), but comic book adaptations of those films tend to be non-existant.

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Dell Movie Classics: BEACH BLANKET BINGO CBR file

I actually have a copy of the above give-away comic that I picked up at my hometown local mom n' pop video rental store (which is sadly now long-defunct). The art and story are crap, but it's a decent little trip back memory lane to a time when Jan Claude Van Damme was still making low budget direct to video fare....kinda like today!

Plus, the back-story behind Cyborg is kinda interesting:

Per Wikipedia:
This film was conceived to use the costumes and sets built both for an intended sequel to the 1987 He-Man film Masters of the Universe and a live version of 'Spider-Man'. Both projects were planned to shoot simultaneously by Albert Pyun. After Cannon Films had to cancel deals with both Mattel and Marvel Entertainment because of their financial troubles, they needed to recoup the money spent on both projects. Then Pyun wrote the story Cyborg (1989). Some network television still give the film's title as Masters of the Universe 2: Cyborg which often confuses many into thinking a sequel to that film was made.

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CYBORG give-away comic book CBR file