My Five Favorite Comic Book Brawlers

Last week, Marvel Studios premiered “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” to much acclaim and box office success. Shang Chi has been one of Marvel’s biggest and most prominent brawlers, a man who has mastered martial arts and proven to be a living weapon time and time again. In honor of Marvel veteran’s debut, I listed my five favorite Comic Book Brawlers, a group of hand to hand fighters that have been some of my all time favorites since I was a kid.

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Superman ’78 #1 [of 6]

What’s old is new again, and now with Warner seemingly acknowledging the Tim Burton Batman 1989 movies as their own universe in “Elseworlds” on TV, DC dives head first in to expanding the original movie universes of their respective character properties. After “Batman ’89,” DC Comics follows up with “Superman ’78.” It’s an expansion and exploration of the beloved movie universe from Richard Donner’s Superman, and it wholeheartedly embraces everything about the movies we loved right down to the silly dialogue.

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Robert Kirkman’s “Invincible” is a Stellar, if Flawed, Superhero Epic

Full Disclosure: Amazon Studios gave us access to the first three episodes of “Invincible.” Please read with discretion.

I missed the boat when Invincible had its run in Image Comics, and I regret it, especially as a fan of “The Walking Dead.” Robert Kirkman is one of the group of Image comics heavyweights who manages to offer up his own superhero tale, but it’s given a massive twist that’s both bold and insanely violent. Taking the animated route this time out, producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg help realize Kirkman’s epic “Invincible” for the small screen, sticking true to many of the comics original storylines, and unfolding what is a unique, exciting, albeit imperfect at times, saga.

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Rock and Roll Terrorist: The Graphic Life of Shock Rocker GG Allin (and Coloring Book)

It’s hard to believe that anything in “Rock and Roll Terrorist” ever actually happened. But then you look up GG Allin online and then you’re kind of shocked that GG Allin ever happened. GG Allin is a hotly debated and still polarizing figure in rock and roll, he was a man who could be described in so many ways by so many people. Criminal. Sadist. Messiah. Troll. Icon. Rapist. Rockstar. Scumfuck. He’s a man that doesn’t quite fit one peg and that’s just how he liked it.

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Five Favorite Spider-Man Costumes

Not many younger comic book fans know this today, but back in the eighties and nineties, Spider-Man was basically Marvel’s equivalent of Mickey Mouse. He was their mascot who often showed up just about everywhere and had a wider appeal with younger fans than most of the Marvel gallery. He was in “The Electric Company,” had his own TV crime thriller, and even adorned the logo for Marvel Productions in the 1980’s. With all the issues of trademarks and rights that kept him in limbo for a long time, Spider-Man is as popular as ever once again. He’s even winning Oscars! While I’m not a hardcore fan, I respect the character a great deal.

In honor of Spider Man Day, I list five of my favorite alternate costumes for the character. And that was no small feat, as Spider-Man has donned almost a hundred different costumes.

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Saying Goodbye to Skybound’s “The Walking Dead”

To say that I’ve been a fan of “The Walking Dead” is something of an understatement. I’ve been following Skybound’s “The Walking Dead” since it originally started and have been going along with every single issue since its debut in 2003 and haven’t looked back since. I was also elated when everyone else got to see what I was such a big fan of in 2010 when AMC turned Robert Kirkman’s comic book in to a hit television series and cultural phenomenon. A lot of other fans like myself have been complaining that “The Walking Dead” ended so abruptly, but that’s pretty much in keeping with what the series has been about since 2003.

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Remembering 1994’s “Spider-Man: The Animated Series”

Before 1994 our only real animated Spider-Man fix was the 1981 series “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.” Intent on rethinking the Spider-Man mold for the nineties, FOX forked over a ton of money to New World Corporation (and then Saban) to create Spider-Man: The Animated Series. With a completely different animation style, and small uses of computer animation, “Spider-Man: The Animated Series” premiered in 1994 with the episode “Night of the Lizard” and managed to take off as a ratings boom for FOX in the wake of similar successes like “X-Men” and “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.”

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“X-Men: Evolution” Was a Step Up for the X-Men

After FOX Studios revived comic book property the X-Men and paved the comic book movie as bonafide moneymaker, the canvas of pop culture was carved from the gateway “Blade” forged. After the 2000 cinematic adaptation “X-Men” and its sequel “X2,” both films and the franchised built shocking influence, not just on other genre properties, but comics in general. With X-Men once again being celebrated, the iconic series and comic book team was primed for an animated reboot, after the end of “X-Men: The Animated Series.” Marvel and Film Roman approached the series from a different angle by establishing a new continuity of the “merry mutants” in contemporary times. They changed the focus of the series, as well as the ages of the entire group to appeal to a wider young audience.

And it worked.

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