Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Avengers Movie Promo/Concept Art

Friday, August 19, 2011

Conan the Barbarian

The history of Conan the Barbarian, from his early days as a pulp fiction anti-hero to his headliner as a Marvel Comics Character to the Conan movies.

Conan from the Marvel Comics of the 1970s

Conan - 1st appearance in print: Weird Tales -a pulp magazine-(December, 1932) 1st Comic Book Appearance, Conan the Barbarian #1 (October 1970), a Marvel Comic book.

The character of Conan began in Depression-era Texas with a writer named Robert E. Howard. Howard wrote adventure and fantasy short stories for the pulp magazine Weird Tales in the early 1930s. Howard, who also created the characters Kull the Conqueror and Solomon Kane, revised an unpublished Kull story, and created a barbarian character from the wilds of a fictional land he called Cimmeria. Howard named this barbarian Conan, whose introduction to the world took place in the December, 1932 issue of the magazine Weird Tales.

Conan was a native of a cold, dark, windswept land of gaunt hills named Cimmeria. Howard described Conan's native land in a poem he wrote in 1932. It is believed that Howard may have based as Conan Cimmeria's description on what he saw of the hill-country above Fredricksburg, Texas in a mist of winter rain

"It was gloomy land that seemed to hold
All winds and clouds and dreams that shun the sun,
With bare boughs rattling in the lonesome winds,
And the dark woodlands brooding over all,
Not even lightened by the rare dim sun
Which made squat shadows out of men; they called it
Cimmeria, land of Darkness and deep Night.
It was so long ago and far away
I have forgotten the very name men called me.
The axe and flint-tipped spear are like a dream,
And hunts and wars are like shadows. I recall
Only the stillness of that sombre land;
The clouds that piled forever on the hills,
The dimness of the everlasting woods.
Cimmeria, land of Darkness and the Night."

In Howard's tales of Conan and his life, the barbarian adventurer left his native Cimmerian hill-country for a life of adventure. In his freebooting career, Conan lived and fought as thief, a mercenary, a pirate, a hero, and, toward the end of his life, an usurper of the crown of the kingdom of Aquilonia.

Conan's debut as a comic book characvter began in 1970 in Marvel Comics. Conan the Barbarian enjoyed a run of 275 regular issues into the early-1990s. While the Marvel Comics version of Conan was popular, it was limited in how it could present Conan as a true, bloodthirsty, studly barbarian who always gets the barely-clothed girl (after saving her from being eaten by some monster). In order to present Conan in all of his true savagery, Marvel (under the imprint of Curtis Magazines) also published a magazine called the Savage Sword of Conan, which began in 1973. As a magazine, this version of Conan did not have to follow the restrictive Comics Code Authority, which governed what could and could not appear in comic books. The Savage Sword of Conan, with its more adult themes and artwork (see below) was very popular with readers, and also a place where many of the top comics artists of that time wanted to work. Dark Horse Comics also publishes a comic version of Conan.

Frank Frazetta covers of Savage Sword of Conan

In 1982, famed director John Milius introduced Conan to the big screen for the first time. Conan the Barbarian featured a new action movie actor with a thick foreign accent named Arnold Schwarzenegger as the big Cimmerian. This first Conan movie was successful, launchdding Arnold's movie career, and leading to a less successful sequel in 1984, Conan the Destroyer. In August, the latest iteration of Conan hits the theaters starring Jason Momoa as Conan and Rachel Nichols as Tamara, his love interest in the movie.

Jason Momoa as Conan

Sources and Links on Conan the Barbarian:

Frank Frazetta website
Rachel Nichols Bio and Images
Conan the Barbarian (2011)--Official site for the 2011 Conan movie

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Message: To All Who Visit My Site

Hi Everyone,

I love updating this site on a regular basis but I'd really like to hear from you in the comments section below of what you'd like to see here. Let me know below what characters you are most interested in. What movies you love and are hotly anticipating. What comic books I should be putting up etc. Let me know in the comments section. I'd love to hear from you!!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

OMAC: One Man Army

OMAC (Buddy Blank, the One-Man Army Corps) is a superhero comic book created in 1974 by Jack Kirby and published by DC Comics. The character was created towards the end of Kirby's contract with the publisher, following the cancellation of Kirby's New Gods, and was reportedly developed strictly due to Kirby needing to fill his contractual quota of 15 pages a week. As envisioned by Kirby, OMAC is essentially Captain America set in the future, an idea Kirby had toyed with some years earlier while on staff at Marvel Comics, but had never realized.

Set in the near future ("The World That's Coming"), OMAC is a corporate nobody named Buddy Blank who is changed via a "computer-hormonal operation done by remote control" by an A.I. satellite called Brother Eye into the super-powered One-Man Army Corps (OMAC).

OMAC works for the Global Peace Agency (GPA), a group of faceless people who police the entire world using pacifistic weapons. The world balance is too dangerous for large armies, so OMAC is used as the main field enforcement agent for the Global Peace Agency. The character initially becomes the Ares-like war machine to save a female coworker at the Pseudo-People factory (manufacturers of androids initially intended as companions, but later developed as assassins). The coworker is revealed to be in actuality a bomb, and Blank is left in the employ of the GPA, sacrificing his identity in their relentless war, with faux parents his only consolation and companions.

The original OMAC series lasted for eight issues (1974-1975), canceled before the last storyline was completed, with Kirby writing an abrupt ending to the series. Later, towards the end of Kamandi (after Kirby had left that title), OMAC was tied into the back-story and shown to be Kamandi's grandfather. An OMAC back-up feature by Jim Starlin was started in issue #59, but the title was cancelled after the first appearance. It would later finally see print in Warlord, and a new back-up series would also appear in that title (#37-39, 42-47). OMAC made appearances as a guest alongside Superman in DC Comics Presents #61.

In 1991 OMAC was featured in a four-issue prestige format limited series by writer/artist John Byrne that tied up loose ends left from previous stories. Byrne would later reuse OMAC in Superman & Batman: Generations 3, an Elseworlds mini-series.

In Countdown to Final Crisis, Buddy Blank is featured as a retired, balding professor with a blond-haired grandson. In #34, Buddy Blank is mentioned but not seen, and is referred to as having direct contact with Brother Eye. He is contacted by Karate Kid and Una in Countdown #31, and appears in #28 and 27. A version of Buddy from Earth-51 appears in #6 and #5 where the Morticoccus virus is released. The virus results in worldwide destruction. Buddy leaves his Project Cadmus laboratory job and assisted by Una, attempts to rescue his daughter and grandson. After spending some time moving through Metropolis, they find Buddy's family, only to be attacked by humanoid rats. Una and his daughter are both devoured, but not before one of them manages to toss the Legion flight ring. Buddy uses it to take his grandson to safety in a scientific facility called 'Command D' in Bl├╝dhaven. In the final issue Countdown to Final Crisis #1, Brother Eye rescues Buddy and his grandson from the bunker and from starvation by turning him into a prototype OMAC with free will. This entity resembles the original Jack Kirby OMAC.

Powers and Abilities:
Through interfacing with the Brother Eye satellite, via an invisible beam to his receiver belt, Buddy Blank is transformed into OMAC and imbued with an array of superhuman abilities. The base of abilities involve density control of Blank's body. An increase in density leads to superhuman strength and enhanced durability, while a decrease in density leads to flight and super-speed. Brother Eye could provide other abilities as well, such as self-repairing functions and energy generation.