Friday, May 03, 2013

Cover Redux!

074 First up this time is Tales of Suspense #84, followed by the reprinted version used for Marvel Double Feature #8! Now, at first glance, it almost looks like this was redrawn for the reprint, but I think this is a illusion due to the different coloring. Certainly, the image is smaller on the reprint, and I suspect that most of the impact lines around Cap and the Adaptoid are new for the reprint. Also note that the Adaptoid's wings have been redone -- one is actually missing entirely!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

The Herculoids Movie!

Oh, I wish I was posting to announce this was being done, but alas, it is not to be. A while back, you may recall I did a post about the Herculoids as part of Geek TV... well, based on the response I got from that post, I finally sat and watched the entire series... and as I watched, I thought it would make a great movie, a combination of live action and CGI. And then I started thinking about what the plot of said movie would be... and here's what I came up with. Maybe, somehow, the right person will read this and make it happen! The Herculoids Movie By Jon B. Knutson We open on a grand panorama of space in all its starry glory. The camera pans slowly to the left until we spot a sleek spacecraft traveling through space. We cut to the interior, where we see the crew: Zandor, tall and muscular, clearly the leader; Tara, blonde and athletic, Zandor's wife; and finally, their son, Dorno, blonde like his mother, about 11 or 12 years old. Zandor is using the ship's scanner while Tara and Dorno are setting a table for a meal. Zandor calls Tara's attention to the view screen, which shows a schematic of the star system they're approaching. Zandor points out one of the planets appears to be rich in resources, and Tara remarks that if it is so, they will earn a good bonus for finding it. They explain to Dorno that the company they work for pays them well for finding new worlds that can provide ores and other resources for inhabited worlds, and Dorno's response indicates this is the first time he's accompanied his parents on such an expedition. Zandor pilots the ship towards the most promising world, but as they near, he indicates something is wrong, sensors are going berserk. Suddenly, from the planet surface, a powerful ray reaches out and strikes the ship, disabling it. Zandor fights with the controls, guiding it to a crash landing on the planet surface, just off the shore of a huge lake. The crash leaves their ship beyond any chance for them to repair it, and some sort of disturbance is preventing them from sending out a distress call, if by chance another ship were to come into range of it. Besides, the ship is beginning to sink. The family exits their disabled craft and swim to shore. As they swim, a bizarre sea creature attacks Dorno, and Zandor manages to rescue him. Safely ashore, they look upon the surface of this world they're now stranded on. Dorno says its weird but cool, and Tara thinks its beautiful. Zandor tells them they'll have plenty of time to enjoy this world, as they'll probably be there for the rest of their lives, but for now, they need to come up with a better shelter than their damaged ship, and find sources of food and water. This is the first world they've surveyed that they've actually landed on. The family start to search their immediate area for some kind of shelter. realizing that there may be other creatures that may try to eat them, Zandor plans to build a sort of tree house. He picks a clearing near a jungle for the site which has a suitable tree, and they forage for materials as well as food. Dorno wanders apart from his parents after hearing a strange noise, and comes across two strange creatures, which are amorphous white with two black eyes, one smaller than the other. Dorno tries to get closer to see them, and trips, revealing his presence. The two creatures are startled, and stretch up to a branch, pulling themselves up. Dorno realizes they're frightened of him, and walks toward them, promising he won't hurt them. They seem to understand him, and stretch back to the ground. Meanwhile, Zandor and Tara realize Dorno isn't with them, and start calling is name. Soon, Dorno comes with the two creatures, saying they're friends, and he's decided to name them Gloop and Gleep. Zandor and Tara are amazed to see Gloop and Gleep, and tell Dorno they're not native to this world. They are shape shifting creatures, incredibly durable, able to deflect energy. They are capable into separating themselves, but can reintegrate if they don't remain apart for too long. They are social creatures, and Zandor theorizes that they were stranded here as well. With Gloop and Gleep's help, the treehouse is built quickly, and prove to be valuable to their humans as they search for food. Zandor also learns that there's a form of rock on this world that is basically unstable, and when struck, it explodes. Dorno names these energy rocks, which is unscientific but fitting. Many if these rocks are gathered for defense, and Tara believes she can find a way to use them as fuel for cooking and warmth. One evening, Zandor finds himself unable to sleep. Tara awakens to find him staring out over the jungle. Zandor tells her that he wonders how many worlds like this one (which Dorno insists on calling Quasar) they've spotted, and were more or less destroyed when mined for ore and other resources. He has also seen signs that there are other forms of intelligent life on Quasar, and wonders if any of them have been made extinct as well. Zandor is also concerned about the beam that brought their ship down, and wonders if whoever shot at them will decide to find out if they survived the crash or not. This latter fear is proven valid, as Tara spots moving lights in the sky heading their way. Soon, we find the lights are small scout craft, using search lights. The sound awakens Dorno, as well as Gloop and Gleep. The shape changing creatures stretch themselves out over the treehouse when the scout ships fire energy beams, while Zandor and Tara use homemade slingshots to fire energy rocks at the ships. The ships then begin spraying gas over them, which soon overcomes all of them, although Gleep manages to cover Dorno before he is unconscious. Zandor and Tara awaken in a cell, dressed as we're used to seeing them in the cartoon. A voice says, "At last, you awake, Zandor!" On the other side of the bars is a person Zandor and Tara recognize, Grandon, who is with the same company they had been working for. He tells them that he's been operating out of this world for some time, and that it was too bad that Zandor and his family had to come here. Here happens to be a vast entertainment complex, where the chief attraction is gladiatorial combat, with humanoids battling it out with creatures captured from other worlds -- all from worlds that Zandor had discovered for him! There was more money to be made than just mining worlds for their resources, and Grandon says he's made almost as much from his games as from the mining -- and the costs are lower. Each month, aliens from all over the galaxy come to gamble on the games, and those who don't have the proper transmission before entering orbit are shot down, as Zandor was. The next games will be in tomorrow, and the main attraction will be Zandor and Tara battling against his mightiest creatures, which Grandor calls his Herculoids -- Zok the space dragon, Igoo the rock ape, and Tundro, the rhino-triceratops. These three creatures, as all the other creatures in the games, are controlled by collars worn around their necks. Grandor leaves them, but not before taunting them, saying that he's going to enjoy seeing them fight for their lives. Zandor theorizes that Gloop and Gleep may have once been part of the games, but due to their nature, their collars wouldn't stay on, and so they were able to escape. This would be true, as the scouts who captured them had said not to bother taking them, they'd just escape agin. Meanwhile, back at the treehouse, Gloop and Gleep wake Dorno up. Dorno calls for his parents and realize that they've been taken. He tells the amorphoids (that's what I decided they are) they must go to rescue Zandor and Tara. He gathers up a few bags of energy rocks and the slingshots they'd made, and realizes that Gloop and Gleep know where his parents have been taken. They start on their way. That evening, in their cell, Zandor and Tara talk... They're able to see the cells of the other gladiator combatants as well as the various creatures used, including the Herculoids. Zandor notes that the creatures act more or less peaceful, except when one of the guards approach their cells, when they become agitated, and the guards have to activate the control collars to subdue them. Zandor figures their only chance to survive the games is to somehow disable the collars, then the creatures would have no reason to fight them. Tara says it looks to her as though they are communicating with each other, indicating that they are intelligent creatures. That morning, outside the arena complex, Dorno and the amorphoids approach stealthily. He sees several different spacecraft parked outside, with beings from arund the galaxy entering the complex through s main entrance. Dorno figures their best chance to get inside is to disguise themselves. He tells Gloop and Gleep to form around him, so that they appear to be one large being, using mud to change their color. They manage to blend in with the crowd (these aliens would be cgi versions of aliens seen in the original cartoon, as well as some from Space Ghost), and gain entry. Inside, the games have begun, with some captives from Quasar's other intelligent species battling dangerous creatures from other worlds. Dorno's, Gloop and Gleep maintain their disguise as they explore. They spot a video monitor promising the main event, Zandor and Tara against the Herculoids, and Dorno says they have to find where his parents are being held. He finds the entrance to where the combatants are held, but there are too many guards for them to get past. Dorno figures their best chance to help is to wait until the main event. In the cells, guards come for Zandor and Tara, saying its their turn now, and they are taken to a waiting area. Shortly, doors open to the battle area, and they are pushed out. The guards toss them shields, spears, and swords to make it more sporting. Grandor speaks to the assembled crowd, introducing the combatants, and then a larger door opens, revealing Igoo. He lumbers out, growling and roaring. Zandor and Tara quickly pick up the shields snd weapons, and stand ready. Igoo just stands there, not doing anything, until the control collar is activated, causing him to charge. Tara feels sorry for Igoo, he obviously isn't normally a violent creature, but is forced to fight. Zandor tells Tara to stand back, so he can try to remove the control collar. Igoo has strength, but Zandor has speed and maneuverability. He uses the spear to pole vault over igoo's head, landing on the stone ape's back. He then tries to use the sword to break the collar, but the collar is too strong, and the sword shatters. Grandor calls out, "Did you think I was foolish enough to arm you with something that could damage the control collars, Zandor?" Igoo then grabs Zandor and hurls him away. Zandor is stunned, and Igoo turns to Tara. Suddenly, Dorno calls out, and he, Gloop and Gleep discard their disguise, and enter the arena from the crowd. Gloop and Gleep head to Tara to shield her as Dorno hands his father a pouch of energy rocks and a slingshot. Zandor takes careful aim as Igoo pounds at Gloop and Gleep, and fires an energy rock at the collar. Dorno does the same. Their first shots miss, but Zandor's second scores, and the control collar is shattered. Igoo realizes he's freed, and roars upward to where Grandor is sitting. Grandor orders the other Herculoids released to the arena, and Zok and Tundro enter. Gloop and Gleep undo their shield, seeing that Igoo isn't interested in fighting them any more. Dorno runs to Tara and gives her a slingshot and energy rocks as well before Zok and Tundro attack. Tara asks Igoo if he understands her, and he nods. She says they can free the other Herculoids if he helps them. Igoo growls in agreement, and charges towards Tundro, who is charging at them. Zandor tells Gloop and Gleep to form a protective shield around them, leaving openings for them to fire. As Igoo leaps onto Tundro to wrestle him, Zok flies overhead, firing energy beams from his eyes, which deflect off of Gloop and Gleep. The deflected shots hit various parts of the arena, sending the audience into a panic. Zandor, Tara and Dorno fire energy rocks at Zok, trying to hit the control collar, but the flying dragon is too fast for them. Tundro, meanwhile, struggles against Igoo, throwing him aside and firing his own energy rocks at the stone ape, driving him back. Igoo tears off a section of the arena wall and throws it, but Tundro blows it up with energy rocks. Grandor is calling for his guards, but in the panic, nobody is listening to him. To his terror, the next volley of shots at Zok hit the control collar, shattering it. Zok shakes his head, then looks down at Igoo and Tundro. Zandor and his family turn their attention to Tundro as well, but they are almost out of energy rocks. Igoo roars at Zok, and the space dragon fires his energy bolts at Tundro's collar, destroying it. Grandor panics, and releases all the remaining creatures at once. Zandor realizes that Grandor has the master controls, and calls on the Herculoids to direct their fire where Grandor is. In seconds, the combined attacks destroy Grandor's balcony, but Grandor has already fled. The newly released creatures have all their collars deactivated, and sort of mill around. Zandor says that now that they're not being controlled, there's no reason for them to fight. But of course, Grandor is getting away, and Zandor will not let that happen. The Herculoids pursue Grandor, who is naturally trying to get to the landing field, but with all the panic, he's being knocked about by others trying to get to their own ships. Tara mounts Zok and they fly overhead, spotting Grandor, and Gloop stretches out to grab him out of the chaos. Zandor and Dorno find the main control center of the arena and send out a message to the authorities. Days later, a ship from the space authorities arrives. What Grandor did is illegal - taking dangerous creatures off their home worlds, etc. - so he'll be taken into custody to stand trial. The same ship will transport the surviving gladiators beck to their homeworlde, as well as return the creatures too. Zandor, Tara, Dorno, Gloop, Gleep, Zok, Tundro, and Igoo, however are not leaving. They've decided to make Quasar their home, and to protect it from menaces, whether from outer space or from Quasar itself. Zandor says they can send out a warning.... Quasar is protected by.... The Herculoids!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

Comic Book Ads!

bestofthewest05_35 When I wrapped up Comic Book Ads Week, I had an ad posted for Mason Shoes, with its promise that you could sell shoes part-time to make money. I guess that worked well for them after all, because here's an ad from Best of the West #5 where they've expanded their line to leather jackets!