Wednesday, June 17, 2020


Warner Bros Animation has released the trailer for the full-length Deathstroke—Knights & Dragons: The Movie.  Loved working on this project (which stars the amazing Michael Chiklis as Deathstroke) and can't wait for everyone to see it.  Coming to Digital (8/4/20) & Blu-ray Combo Pack (8/18/20)!

And, since we're talking about animation, I should let you know that my Moon Knight-centric episode of Spider-Man will be on Disney XD Sunday night!


  1. You know, all those old monster and sci-fi comics Marvel did when Atlas are considered cannon.

    Did they ever explain why alien monsters stopped falling from the sky so frequently? Where did the giant robots and creatures go?

    Hell, I Amazing Fantasy 15 alone a guy got lifted into the sky by a light, martians invaders were announced to be found on Earth, and a man is tricked by a mummy into becoming an Egyptian slave.

    Why does no one seem to remember all the attempted alien invasions?

    Shouldn't ESU be stumbling onto like killer robots? People just like falling through time or finding out they are alien species? WHere are the support groups for survivors of giant monster attacks,... it should be nation wide.

    There seemed to be mystical artifacts and secret monsters all over New York. Now nothing?

    Why did it phase out when the superheroes show up? I mean, I know the real world reason is green and needed for every asepect of life seemingly, but what aout in universe?

    Why did everyone forget?

    The point is the time fro Krang, King of the Ants and Tim Boo Ba to be avenged!

    I think we all know Rommbu and Gorgilla could outsell the Avengers any day of the week, and twice in Sunday.


    1. Has it been established that all those old stories are in-continuity Marvel Universe tales?

    2. ooo.. and don't forget... assuming my more lengthy post went through...
      Gerber used characters fromt eh old anthologies for teh Head-Men in Defenders, and both Gorilla Man and the Robot of Agents of Atlas had that distinction as well.


    3. Never knew that's where the Headmen came from!

    4. You are missing the point Dematteis. You can write that epic tale about the twilight if the Monsters you always wanted.

      Or have Peter Parker run into some kind of homeless crab monster in the Bowery, and not even have it be part of the main story, like you dreamed.

      I have actually wondered why you have never written the golden age human torch. He is a humanoid android with blood that can be transfused to humans, and raised a boy. I would think that would be a scratch for your PKD itch.

      You see what I am saying about the monsters and space invaders, right? WHy did everyone forget this crazy stuff, and why did it stop happening? Did it stop happening?


    5. Some massive invasion story, featuring a host of these creatures descending from space and other dimensions, would be great.

      Wasn't there some story in the past 10 or so years (I think Giffen might have been involved) where they established that a lot of these creatures came from a kind of monster island somewhere?

    6. Technically speaking, I think monster Island is Lee and Kirby's idea, back in F.F, #1.

      There was a story called Fin Fang Four from 2005, and the Giffen one you are talking about was probably part of the same series of one-shots, where Fin and three others are shrunken down to people size. So... there are a lot of sort of half explanations.

      Neither gets into alien invaders, and why people don't seem to remember.

      When all the modern world conquerors show up there should be some, "didn't we deal with this already?"

      Is Galactus appearing really that different that Zum, son of Zoltar... or whatever?

      Why are humans not angered that they got giant robots to fight mutants, but not the actual giant monsters?

      I do actually think it explains somethings about the Marvel Universe. It might explain why the residents are more distrustful of Spider-man, the Hulk, Silver Surfer, and mutants in general. Every time they saw someone with powers since the WWII generation retired from the tights crowd it is something horrible.

      Also, if we remember that the first few years of the Marvel era were in real time, why in issue #51 of F.F., people were still terrified to see Thing, despite him saving the world so much.

      Sort of like how a lot of WWII vets who supported Civil Rights after the war still had an intense distrust of the Japanese, even if they knew it was wrong. The experience overrides the logic and certainly the trust.

      Captain America and Iron Man would naturally be trusted more because they are just men. People know who Reed, Sue, and Johnny are AND they still look human. Not to mention two of them have less destructive powers.

      Hmmmm. Bet you didn't expect this conversation to get so introspective to the Marvel Universe.


    7. Well, it's good introspection, Jack. And something I never thought about before.

    8. The fact is those anthologies stories are baked into the DNA of Marvel comics.

      One of the things Stan still doesn't get enough credit for is how good his origins and first appearances were. Nice, whole and complete.

      The fact is, that came from writing anthologies for so long. Also, it was probably so if the characters didn't work out he could claim they were still doing the same thing the whole time.

      The first two Marvel Age creations got there own books from the beginning, Hulk and the F.F., both of which had plausible deniability that they were even superhero books.

      Even aside from Ben Grimm existence, the four were anything but traditional superheroes in what they did.

      The F.F. first face mole man and his giant monsters. Then the skulls , who are more like B-Movie characters than a galactic empire. A fake monster is created for issue #3, which probably was a sci-fi comic plot. Issue four brings back in Namor, who was always kind of a monster story/sci-fi tale of man's hubris even int eh 30s, and what did he attack them with? A giant monster.

      Dr. Doom's first appearance is just a crazy time travel caper.

      Hulk's six issues (starring a monster) included fighting the military (classic 50s/60s trope), alien invaders, and an underground society.

      Hulk's last issue is the same month that the F.F. first meet him, and teat Amazing Spider-man #1 comes out. The Four have also combated an alien from planet X, Impossible Man, and a brain swamping Dr. Doom, who learned the trick from aliens. All sci-fi more than superhero.

      But what about SPidey? Well, his first issue was several months after his first appearance, which was the same as Thor.

      There is already a pretty interesting argument that Spider-man is a horror story for the atomic age. Thor's origin, wit the alien invaders and finding a magic hammer is ABSOLUTELY an anthology type story for the time.

      Until SPidey gets a second story, Thor fights (amongst others) a carbon copy man from space and a man from the future. He would also fight a giant man of lave.


    9. SPdier-Man, them most straightforward Superhero even git in in it. His origin is could easily be viewed as just a morality tale, if nothing followed.

      Even in his pwn book, the Lizard is a straight up monster and he fights off an alien invasion in issue #2. In issue 8, he fights the living brain.

      Dr. Octopus is not in that tradition in the comics, but interestingly, Raimi sort of made it that way in Spider-man 2.

      Between SPider-Man's first and second appearance, Ant-Man comes into existence.

      Pym started as an anthology character. He eventually fought a giant bug that could speak, an alien protector, and aging in reverse.

      When the Wasp first shows up it is to combat the Creature from the Kosmos. Then a giant cyclops. Finally, in his first Giant-man outing, he faces an alien that erases people to his dimension.

      Iron Man, also first appearing as Spider-man gets a book, and Hulk looses his, could very easily be a one and done. Just a tale of an inventor being tortured by the commies.

      Before he meets up with the Avengers he met up with an underground society (another one) and traveled back in time to Egypt. One of those is the plot to AF 15.

      Dr. Strange was the most compatible with the anthologies. The first appearance that seems most like it was just another story, involving a living nightmare, and the main character arguably just a business man. He even peaced-out after his second appearance for an issue or two.

      The Avengers seem to be an end to this... in a way. The superhero team ended the era of monsters and sci-fi, EXCEPT for one story. Avengers #4, where Cap returns, In that story the villain is an alien that turns people to stone, and was the inspiration for trh gargoyle. Pure 50s-60s sci-fi. Almost like it was to make Cap welcome.

      However, the X-men and Daredevil never got that treatment, of being so inspired by the Atlas era. They were also the least popular books of the decade.

      But, when the X-Men returned All-New and All-different, starting the road to becoming the most popular comic series, what did Len Wein have them fight? Not Magneto. A living island that wanted to eat them.

      Even the fact that all the character accept Iron Man are outsiders in someway could be seen as a reflection of those old horror and sci-fi tales. How many of tehm were morality tales about outsiders and weirdos?


    10. I know it's not your thing, Jack, but I'd love to see you write, and publish!, a lengthy essay on this subject. It's fascinting.

      And, as you touch on here, so much of those early stories were influenced by the science fiction and horror movies of the 50s, where radioactivity created all kinds of monstrosities and oddities, from giant ants to a shrinking man (did both of those combine to become Ant Man?) to a 50 foot woman to those classic Japanese monsters.

    11. But, oh Dematteis, it doesn't end there.

      I would argue the last real burst of Marvel character creation was in the 70s. NOT the last time they were creative. NOT the last time great characters were created. Rather the last time that something that could really stick in a person's mind was coming about all the time.

      Obviously, with the renewed interest in horror, monsters themselves made a come back. Now, because of the code many of the classics WERE published by Atlas, just not after 1954.

      However, transformations like Werewolf by night did occur. Tales of the Zombie was actually about a Stan Lee-Bill Everett creation from the 50s.

      There were supernatural stories in those early days, that covers Dracula. Then there is Franeknstein. A sci-fi creation... just a very old one.

      Aside from just the Hulk, Frankenstein was a huge inspiration for a lot of 50s sci-fi tales, including at Atlas. The idea of playing God was a huge idea in there, especially on making the "monster" seem sympathetic... you know, man is the real monster.

      Science gone mad with an amoral scientist, whose creation rebels against them and is shown to be the true sympathetic character. Like Deathlok and Luke Cage.

      Okay, Deathlok is easy, but Luke Cage?

      There were a lot of sci-fi stories about mistreatment of criminals and unfair legal systems. That is Luke Cage, right down to being used for some crazy sci-fi thing.

      Luke Cage is certainly that, Sorry, Carl Lucas. He only became Luke Cage AFTER the experiment.

      A victim of a science experiment in an unfair system becoming more than expected, and seeking revenge on his creator, That could easily be a 50s-early 60s sci-fi comic.

      Now... Deathlok's story is just a drawn out sci-fi comic story, but Luke Cage, dies it really go past his origin?

      Yes and No. What were those 50s and 60s stories really? Pulling from the types of fantastical stories people liked, but didn't always achieve such critical access. Fun stuff, that could have a deeper meaning... like blaxploitaion.

      Like the crazy over the top trashy spy stories that led to Shang-Chi. The fad of martial arts film that fueled him.

      The crazy vigilante tales, that showed a society so disillusioned gave us the villain Punisher. Gerry Conway even admitted that he borrowed heavily from the cheap adventure books... The Executioner.

      What about the dark sinister supernatural horror movies of the decade, and the books that often inspired them. IS it so different from Ghost Rider who sold his soul to Satan? Tigra becoming a monster? Brother Voodoo? Certainly Son of Satan.

      Even Starlin's stuff has that sort of connection to what sci-fi was doing at the era. Don't claim you don't see a little PKD in those works.

      It is almost like they were now trying to make up for the lack of what Stan and Jack. Almost a primal knowledge that Marvel needed these things to have these creative explosions.

      Roy Thomas may have known that, when he created 3d-Man it was like a hearkening back. Even his Invader series and Captain America run with 50s CAp as teh Grand Director could be viewed as reflections of the Nazi based thrillers of the 70s.

      Of course speaking of teams, lets think about the Defenders. Very few of there stories were normal More often pulling from crazy sci-fi, horror, and fantasy ideas.

      Man-Thing was obviously a mid-d point, starting like a 50s story... scientist experiment gone awry... then becomes more of a high , urban and urban fantasy-Twilight Zone type thing. Like it was getting a bridge between the past and (then) present of the companies way of making this happen.

      The 80s and forward were far more established on the superhero scene that the characters were vibing off that reality instead of the crazy mishmash of genre fiction.


    12. Except for one...X-Men. Most of the widely remembered characters of the 80s was in that book. AGAIN, not saying only good, just the big stand-outs. I love Cloak and Dagger, and plenty more.

      Clarendon notably borrowed from other genres for inspiration, NOT rip-off inspiration.

      Phoenix saga - Star Wars (space empire and space pirates) and the exorcist.

      Days of Future Past - Terminator. Came out BEFORE... but it was set to have been tied-up at the end, but brought more elements in (including a killer robot hunting a time-traveller) after the movie came out. Also, classic sci-fi premise.

      Brood - Alien

      Outback years - Road Warrior and Croc. Dundee.

      By doing that he took a book that couldn't stay published to the best selling book at the company shattering records.

      The problem was, the 80s officially made superheroes a genre instead of a writing tool. The brilliance of Stan Lee's work in superheroes, drawing from those genre anthology, was that each of those comics has its own realm it dealt with. Each its own... genre.

      Think about all the memorable Marvel characters made since 1990. Now subtract the ones that are connected to other characters, and ones that are very niche (there are some good ones, but grab you and fans will certainly remember it way). Who do you have? Jessica Jones and the new Guardians of the Galaxy.

      Well, the new GoG is made of established characters and not really superhero.

      Jessica Jones is a deconstruction, saying that it isn't so happy for everyone.

      (to clarify, I LOVE James Robinson's Starman and Gaiman's Sandman over at DC for example, but wouldn't call them "grab-ya" because they require the creators vision to work)

      Even outside Marvel, modern Image ha few superheroes... unless it is making a point about them. Instead... genre.

      The only one that modern Image REALLY created was Invincible, a love letter/sconstruction of teh genre.

      Meanwhile, back in the 90s... look I am not a fan of Savage Dragon or Spawn, but I also won't bad mouth them. I WILL say tehy both did some genre grabing and are still being published.

      Youngblood was more a look at the superheroes, and isn't.

      I saw someone online suggest this lack of new grab-you characters is because the archetypes of heroes were all full. Well those were probably all full before that, These are thousand of years old ideas.

      It is because making superheroes a genre but up walls that may make telling stories work less encumbered, but creations seem redundant at time.

      Superheroes have always had their big explosions of creativity in characters when they are viewed as a writing tool that can be added to things.

      boom, mic drop.


  2. "Superheroes have always had their big explosions of creativity in characters when they are viewed as a writing tool that can be added to things."

    I think that's a great observation.

    You can almost think of genre as a tense creative partner, pushing the artist on with its advantages, while also pushing against them with its limitations. The result being that "you can't always get what you want--but if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need." Or the audience does, at any rate.

    Take Frank Miller's reinvention of Daredevil, for instance. He was writing noir while pushing against the limitations of the superhero genre. And eventually he probably said the kind of things he really wanted to say with DAREDEVIL in SIN CITY. Yet his DAREDEVIL work is more than a proto-SIN CITY. It has a life of its own. Much like a McCartney/Lennon collaboration has something unique to say, even if neither could be said to be fully formed artists until their solo careers.


    1. Genre as a "tense creative partner." I like that, David!

  3. Do I... need to pray for forgiveness?


  4. That's applause, not praying hands. : )

  5. Well, I am still rather confused by THAT, but at least glad I do not have to appease an angry deity.


  6. If you ever needed any proof of the Marvel Age's genre based origins there is this...


  7. SO... I take it you didn't know about the "original" Ghost Busters


  8. I thought Abbott and Costello were the original Ghostbusters!

  9. Well, that was your first mistake, Dematteis, trusting Abbott and Costello.

    There is nothing but misery, sin, and damnation down that road. Repent now before it is too late!


  10. When it comes to Bud and Lou, I'll never repent!

  11. Well, if you ever come around, just say 50 "hail Grouchos."