Sunday, June 19, 2016

When you least expect it : Neal Adams

You might think that after doing six posts this week ( three of them on one day ) I might take one day of. I mean, even God rested on the 7th day. But you know how it is, there´s nothing on tv, you don´t want to eat the entire day and after I already did all the work I thought why not ?

Now the reason why it took me a while to do this post was that all my Neal Adams art was spread over the various folders of the series he worked on which have been quite a lot. What I didn´t do was go on the internet and do a full search on Neal Adams because I knew that would take me a few weeks. So instead I focused on the stuff I already had on my laptop.

Which doesn´t mean that I didn´t look for a few specific pieces on the internet. The thing is that after doing my first selection I ended up with 60 pieces which are too many for a single post. So I split it up into a DC post and a Marvel post ( with a few pieces from other publishers added ). I could do a third post with all the stuff Neal Adams has done for other companies but again - the time factor. Now I wanted to have a little mix of what I consider classic Neal Adams DC stuff and art pieces I just like.

Because why do a post when you can´t put in a few pieces that cater to your own sensibilities, right ? One might argue that personal taste does not come into play when you try to do the classic part but what is canon and what not, what is part of the definitive version of a character and what is not has very often to do with the comics we read and which one we like. Which for my generation very often was more a question of availability than of quality. So what is classic DC Neal Adams ? Without any doubt the GREEN LANTERN / GREEN ARROW with Denny O´Neil.

Not only did these comics change the playing field you know that something is a classic when there is a clear line between before and after. Or when you know what people are talking about with " the drug issue ".

I´m not going to try to explain why these issues were so important as people much smarter than me and more knowledgeable about comics have already done so and when you are really interested in that you can find it in the links of this post. Because it would also blown up the size of this post. Anyway, to Today´s readers the issue above may be a bit hamfisted in how it tackles drugs but when it came out it was one of the two issues that talked about drugs at all. What is now known as the Hardtravelling Heroes were some of the first comics to incorporate real world problems and Neal Adams´ realistic style was perfectly suited for this story type.

If you are a fan of the current ARROW show, it was in this run that the character of Green Arrow begun to emerge with an identity of its own away from the Batman - with - a - bow that he had been up to this point.

The stories also introduced the first black Green Lantern John Stewart who is the Green Lantern from the JUSTICE LEAGUE cartoons. He has come a long way from the stereotypical black dude with an attitude he was in his first appearance. Just wanted to throw that in there for all the comic readers who think the new black Captain America is a big deal.

Neal Adams also worked with Denny O´Neil on the Batman books and apropos bats I always found his Man - Bat stories especially exciting.  

And for me the grand opus of these is the story with Ras Al Ghul. A lot of people say Batman´s arch nemesis is the Joker because he´s his opposite like the Flash´s Reverse Flash. But when you really look at it the Reverse Flash is more a dark reflection of the Flash because he has the same powers like the Flash but is evil. Likewise Ras Al Ghul is as smart, rich, resourceful or driven as the Batman but he uses his abilities for evil.

And Ras Al Ghul was not only Batman´s equal, he was his better. He defeated Batman in a duel to the death ( okay, the scorpion is the one who really offed Batman ) and he had the Lazarus Pit to heal himself whenever he was killed. The story also gave us bare chested Batman.

Another reason why I always liked this story is that it reads like a James Bond movie. And Batman is so outclassed by Ras Al Ghul that he has to gather a special team to go up against him. You also get the feeling that Batman might loose which is something that didn´t happen that often. 

Here are a few more pictures from the DC books Neal Adams worked on :

Before we come to the birthday / video section which I´m going to call the entertainment block from now on there are the usual links to take care of. This is by no means meant as a complete list of Neal Adams links, just the ones I came across while doing this post. So if you are not represented don´t be offended ( ha, that even rhymes ) and if you have a link send it to me and I will include it in the Neal Adams Marvel post.

First off you might want to check out the interviews with Denny O´Neil and Neal Adams on COMIC ZONE RADIO or THE EMERALD ARCHER podcast which discusses a new issue of Green Arrow and a classic Neal Adams issue in each episode. If you like top Ten lists ( and who doesn´t ? ) Ty Templeton has the Top Ten Reasons To Love Neal Adams and DIAL B FOR BLOG has the Top Ten Neal Adams Moments as well as taking us to the movies with Deadman courtesy of The Call From Beyond . Dion Long at THE GAMING GANG gives a quick overview of the Green Lantern / Green Arrow series while Richard Gray takes a more detailed look at the history of Green Arrow on BEHIND THE PANELS . A big shout out goes to THE DORK REVIEW which provided the black and white art from Green Lantern / Green Arrow 87 while I found the splash page from Green Lantern / Green Arrow 88 on haha, Radical . For more Neal Adams art the PENCIL INK COMIC BOOK ARTIST BLOG has the covers and one page of art from Green Lantern / Green Arrow issue 85 and issue 87 ( I´m sure they got more but these are the two I found while making the post ) and COMIC BOOK ARTIST has the rejected cover for Green Lantern / Green Arrow 87.

Okay, it´s 1 o´clock on Tuesday so it´s high time to wrap things up. We start Sunday´s birthdays with Zoe Saldana who turns 38. With roles in Avatar, Star Trek and Guardians of the Galaxy I think she has all the bases of geek fandom covered and I guess she´s going to be in the next Guardians movie which will probably be something akin to the Thanos Quest. The only quibble I had with the first one is that they changed Gamora´s origin which for me made no sense since Nebula is already his daughter in the comics. Like the germans say it´s the same in green.

Robin Tunney has her 44th anniversary and she´s best known for her roles in Hollywoodland about the death of Superman actor George Reeves but most of all Theresa Lisbon on The Mentalist. If you want to see more of her you ought to watch Supernova, Open Window and Investigating Sex.

I´m not up to speed with my talk show watching so I missed this one.

Mia Sara celebrates her 49th birthday and I can´t believe it´s been 30 years since Ferris Bueller´s Day Of first hit cinemas. You could already see how hot Mia was so it´s no wonder that she wore less clothes in Timecop, Black Day Blue Night, Undertow or Caroline at Midnight.

These videos are always interesting for me to watch because it gives me a glimpse of a generation that has no clue that the current tv series Teen Wolf is actually based on a movie with Michael J Fox ( let´s all forget the sequel since the only good thing in that was ... wait, was there a hot chick or am I getting this mixed up with a different Jason Bateman movie ? Anyway, I guess we have to settle for Addams Family´s John Astin ).

Paula Abdul who turns 54 was the Carmen Electra of my generation as she shook her booty and slid her centerfold body down stripper poles like a pro in videos like Crazy Cool. To the young kids she´s known as the crazy and drunk judge on American Idol and I´m not sure if I should be sorry or glad about missing all those episodes because Paula´s porn cleavage gave the term " push up " a new definition. Or should I say a new dimension ?

Are we really to believe Simon Cowell never taped that ? Man, if Paula would have been my co host I´d be banging her brains out in her trailer every chance I get. I mean from what you hear Paula Abdul was like a cat in heat around Simon. Anyway, while Paula and Simon Cowell repeated the experience ( at least one of the two ) on The X - Factor Paula is not one of the judges on The X - Factor UK. Nevertheless I decided to post another performance by 4th Power from that show. They seem to go by the name of 4th Impact now but I´m too tired to go back and change the tag.

We finish the birthdays with Kathleen Turner who celebrates her 62nd. To tell you the truth I never understood her type casting as femme fatale but I guess it has to do more with her voice than anything else since she was chosen to be the voice of Jessica Rabbit and Jessica sounds hot like hell.

One of the comics Neal Adams worked on is Superman vs Muhammad Ali which is not only one of the best Superman comic ever written but one of the greatest comics of all time. I remember that when I first read the comic I didn´t know much about boxing and wondered why a person would go by two different names, Cassius Clay and Muhammad Ali but I knew that this was a special comic which still hasn´t been surpassed quality wise. I was a bit reluctant to post this because I don´t like to talk about depressing things but I wanted to commemorate one of the greatest men who ever lived in my own little way. I´m certainly not the first one who thinks that it was somehow fitting that he first went by the name of " Clay " since he molded himself into the person he wanted to be.

What happened to cartoons dealing with social and environmental problems that set a good example and told kids to stay in school ?

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest / best of the best

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