Who The Heck Is Drastik? I Mean Really Who Is He?

Welcome back to Rotten Ink and to our first update in the countdown to Thanksgiving! Just like covering a Hercules comic series on Thanksgiving, covering a Forgotten Hero is now a tradition for November, and for this one I am picking a hero from 2004 that seems to really be lost with time as finding information on him has been dang near impossible and I am talking about Drastik! As I said his name, I can hear the crickets from you readers as many of you I am sure just said out loud “Who?” and maybe, just maybe, this update will inform you a little about he is and what he is about. So sit back, relax and enjoy this fine November as we take a journey into the comic world of Drastik….and I will say this will be a very short journey!

The company who made Drastik was called Critical Element, and they appear to have had their home base in California.  The company was owned and run by Robert Rowe and by all research and accounts that I could find, this is their only comic release! When looking up Robert Lowe to see what he has done in the world of comics, it as well turned up to be a dead end unless he is one of the following people with the same name: Robert Rowe the writer of music and audio research, or Robert Rowe who is a real estate agent for RE/MAX in Columbus, Ohio, or he could even be Robert Rowe the actor in such films as The Living And The Dying and The Stone House! So I am going to guess that it’s none of the above and that this Robert Rowe is just a normal independent comic writer and creator who believed in his comic and character and opened up a comic company to try and get his vision out into the world and into the hands of comic readers! The comic artist on this book is James E. Lyle, who is an independent artist who has done work for such companies as Solson Publications, IDW and Zenescope and is a journeyman of comics. But I have heard that artist Fred Carrillo also is said to have done the art for this comic…so who knows, but I’ll soon find out once I read this comic for the first time. And it appears that comic legend Gil Kane did the cover art, and all classic comic readers will know him from his work with Marvel and DC. So that’s about all I could dig up on the folks who brought this comic alive and again I have to praise the fact that this small company tried to make a mark on the comic world and did so no matter how small it was.

This update for some reason also reminds me of an odd piece of superhero merchandise that was released in 1975 and was a rock opera based around Spider-Man! This musical release was called “Spider-Man: Rock Reflections Of A Superhero” and shows that Stan Lee would whore out the mighty Marvel characters to anyone who had cash and would offer him a place on the project –  of course Lee narrates this musical journey of Spider-Man. This rock opera is about Peter Parker’s struggle of being a college student and a web slinger superhero and is a mixed bag of singers and musical artists making this come alive with such names as Marty Nelson, William Kirkland and Terence P. Minogue and characters that make appearances include Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus. And I should also note that one of the funniest things about this is they act as if other Marvel Superheroes are playing the instruments as they have Incredible Hulk on drums, Luke Cage on bass, Silver Surfer on keyboards, Conan The Barbarian on strings and many of the other heroes lending their talents. That’s what I love about the good old days of comics, so many off the wall merchandise was made in order to spread the heroes to new set of eyes and try and bring in new readers. This weird Rock Opera was released on vinyl and late on CD, and after hearing about it I made sure to track down a CD copy of it and I must say this is one weird and wild ride and it should be turned into a stage musical play as I would 100% pay to see it! Do yourself a favor, if you enjoy Spider-Man and cheesy 70’s Rock N Roll, find this CD and give it a listen.

So here we are at the point of looking at the comic Drastik showing that this character made a very small mark on the world of comic heroes. So with a chill in the air this cold November day, I would like to think my pal Jason Young for getting me this comic from the Gem City Comic Con and would like to once more remind you that I grade this on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story! So if you readers are ready, I am as well as this will be the first time I read this comic, and I am looking forward to seeing what its really about!

Drastik # 1  **
Released in 2004     Cover Price $2.95     Critical Element     # 1 of 1

Drastik busts into a lab where an evil doctor was hatching an evil scheme and kills him for his soon to be crimes. We then cut to Los Angeles where a bank is being robbed, and the robbers decide to kill the security guard on duty! Meanwhile, while on a walk, Drastik hears the gun shots as well as the ambulance on its way to the bank and rushes there to make the robbers pay for their crime. As the robbers try and get away, our robot hero Drastik stops their getaway car and blows it up with one of the robbers still inside! As the others run away, he goes and checks and finds that the guard is in fact dead.  The police want the robbers badly, as does Drastik who is hoping to track the others down as well as the person who hired them to rob the bank. The robbers decide to set up Drastik and try to smash him in-between cars and this goes south when the robot jumps out of the way and is able to kill the robbers as well as get the name of their boss who he kills with a shotgun! Next Drastik swears that he is going to kill a serial killer calling himself the Ape-Mask Strangler and finds him and knocks him out with one punch!

This is a weird superhero comic that is very much pro vigilante justice as our robotic hero goes on a one bot killing spree of criminals! The plot of this comic is simple: Drastik has zero tolerance for criminals and goes into a rage when robbers kill a guard during a bank robbery and spends little time hunting them down and killing them and even finding their boss and murdering him all the while he also kills a mad doctor and a killer! It’s a very simple plot with not much depth to it as it was very cheesy stuff and feels very dated for 2004 when it was released with such a simple story. Drastik is a robot who acts like a human but has an ego that will not allow him to fail in his quest to stop crime for good, he is super powerful and smart and seems to have no emotions for those he kills but does for the victims of their crimes. He also is very much a smart ass as he has puns and jokes for the evil doers he is killing and for the most part is a pretty likable hero if you like vigilante justice! His friend in this comic who only is seen walking with him down the streets of LA is Valori Vane a woman he saved from a crime scene who know acts as his closest friend, she is not flushed out at all and is just kind of a background player. The bank crooks are just normal gangster looking criminals who are being lead by a homeless guy and none of them really put up a fight and all meet their end in the name of justice. The Mad Doctor and Ape-Mask Strangler are barely in it and we get no feel for who they are and how bad they were! That’s the main downside to this comic, NONE of the bad guys seem like they even stand a chance against this killing machine of a hero, and with no threat comes no suspense and that leads to an average independent hero comic adventure. The cover is pretty plan and is clearly just a sketch done by iconic comic artist Gil Kane set over a yellow background, but while simple it is eye catching due to the bright color and cool character design. The interior art is done by another iconic comic artist Fred Carrillo and is great classic comic book art and I really dig it as it reminded me of the comics I grew up reading. The story and character creation was by Robert Rowe and it makes me if he or some one he loved was the victim of a crime and this kill all the bad guys character was created as a way to deal with it…makes me wonder. But over all this was a fun average comic book that was a fun read and a great one to share with you readers as he really is a forgotten hero! Check out the art below to see the style of Carrillo and the classic look of it.

While Drastik is not a household name and is not ever going to get a big budget movie based on him, he still made is tiny mark in the world of comics and added his own brand of justice for readers to enjoy. It’s very weird to think that this character never got a second issue, and in fact, I don’t think he ever appeared again after this issue! But thanks again goes to Jason Young for giving me this comic as it was a fun one to cover on this countdown to Thanksgiving update and introduced me to a new character I would have never know was created. For our next update, we are walking away from a Forgotten Hero and back into the world of From Horror Movie To Horror Comic as we will be talking about the horror, comedy musical Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes! So make sure to join me back here for that one.  Until next time, read a comic or three, call a friend or two and as always support your local Horror Host! Oh yeah and until next time avoid tomatoes ’cause who knows, maybe they are trying to eat you!

The Completely 3-Dimensional Misadventures of 3-D Man

Welcome back to Rotten Ink, a place that we are going to go old school and take a look at a superhero who has the ability of 3-D…yes my friends and readers, we will be taking a look at Marvel Comic’s very own icon of cheesy double vision power, the one and only 3-D Man! I am sure many of you have just said to yourself who is 3-D Man? And I cant blame you for not knowing as he was a Marvel Character who has had very few appearances and started in the showcase style series “Marvel Premiere,” but by the end of this update you will feel as if he might be your favorite superhero of all time…well maybe not your favorite more like you will at least acknowledge that he exists in the world of comics. I can’t believe it’s November already and almost Thanksgiving time.  It seems like this year has flown by, and we are creeping up on 2016, a year that looks like it will be great for horror films in theater! But we are not here to talk about horror as we are here to enjoy the cool weather and gear up for turkey and ham and most importantly time with loved ones! So get your 3-D glasses out and come spend a little time with 3-D Man and me here at Rotten Ink’s Pre-Thanksgiving cheesy feast as we take a look at this icon of goofy 70’s comic might.

glazed ham

3-D Man, whose real identity is Chuck Chandler, was created by Roy Thomas and Jim Craig for Marvel Comics in 1977 with his first appearance being in Marvel Premiere issue 35. Chuck becomes 3-D Man after an accident that leaves him dead by all accounts besides when his brother puts on a pair of glasses that brings him back as a red and green superhero who has hyper senses and strengths, and all this was taking place in the 1950’s adding a classic sci-fi and atomic age feel to the character and the real horrors of that time period. Marvel did three issues following 3-D Man in Marvel Premiere and over the years he made few appearances in issues of What If, Incredible Hulk, Avengers and Agents Of Atlas, but never was given his own full series. 3-D Man’s skin color is red and green, and he has goggle like eyes.  Many people think that he is wearing a suit when in fact he is not. His arch nemesis are the alien shape shifter race known as The Skrulls as well as any foreign threat to America, but mostly it’s Skrulls who seem to also really have it out for him and the human race. When he was a normal man, Chuck was a football player and also one heck of an airman! Not much more can be shared about 3-D Man besides that fact he is an old school superhero with basic super strength and seems to be forgotten by many modern comic readers.

3D Man3DmanA3D MAN 0

I am fan of going to the movie theater to watch a film on the big screen and over the years Hollywood has come up with all types of silly gimmicks to draw people in.  Who could forget electric shock chairs for The Tingler or barf bags and life insurance policies given out for horror flicks like Mark of the Devil and Tombs of The Blind Dead, not to mention the fact many of these gimmicks were made and thought up by William Castle. But one of these tricks to get people to their local theater that seems to not be going away anytime soon is 3-D, and I for one am ok with that! 3-D is nothing like it is now.  Imagine instead of wearing the plastic glasses at an IMAX screening of The Avengers 2 having to wear cheap cardboard glasses with one red and blue lens that made the image on the screen seem as if we were watching them live. Webster’s dictionary defines 3-D as “a three-dimensional form; also: an image or a picture produced in it” for those who were wondering. The gimmick of 3-D was mostly used for horror and sci-fi films with titles like Creature From The Black Lagoon, House of Wax, Friday The 13th Part III, My Bloody Valentine and so many more adding those eye popping thrill moments that allows the viewer feel as if they are apart of the movie. Over the years I have seen my fair share of 3-D films, but one that I would love to have seen was Creature From The Black Lagoon.  Could you imagine watching Gillman swimming in eye popping 3-D? Or even Julie Addams in her bathing suit in 3-D? While barf bags and glow in the dark plastic skeletons falling from the theater ceiling might have gone away, it looks like 3-D is here to stay and help add more bang for your box office bucks.

Tingler Ad Electric Chair3D GlassesMark Of The Devil Barf Bag

So while I could talk about movie theaters and gimmicks this whole update, I have to get myself back on track and the topic at hand is 3-D Man, a superhero who made his impact in Marvel Premiere. For those of you who don’t know what Marvel Premiere was, I will give you a quick crash course, Marvel started the comic Marvel Premiere in 1972 and was a series that would showcase characters that had no longer their own on-going series and also a way to showcase the new characters who were tested to see if readers would be into a series based on them. Many characters were showcased in this series like Warlock, Man-Wolf, Iron Fist and even rock star Alice Cooper and BBC show Doctor Who got their time to shine. The series ended in 1981 with a total of 61 issues with Star-Lord of Guardians Of The Galaxy being the final character showcased. But if you’re ready we should all put our 3-D glasses on and get ready to travel to the 1950’s and kick some butt with the one and only 3-D Man! I want to remind you that I grade these issues on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. I also want to thank Bell Book and Comic as well as a dealer at Gem City Comic Con for having these issues in stock. So let’s get ready to see this Marvel Comic wonder in action.

3D Man 1

Marvel Premiere: The 3-D Man # 35   **1/2
Released in 1977    Cover Price .30    Marvel Comics    #35 of 61

It’s the late 1950’s, and 3-D Man arrives at a warehouse filled with Russian spies and starts mopping the floor with them and meets their leader Diabolik who seems to know who he really is and how he became 3-D Man! We flashback and meet Chuck Chandler who is a college football star who turns down to go pro to follow his dream of becoming a pilot.  He becomes one of the world’s top flyers, only surpassed by Ben Grimm in his ability. Hal Chandler is Chuck’s younger brother who is left crippled by polio, and is Chuck’s biggest fan as he sits out in a special spot and watches his brother fly fancy new planes. Chuck also has a loyal and loving girlfriend named Peggy who along with Hal goes to watch Chuck fly a very powerful new jet called the XF-13.  While flying this jet, he runs into a flying saucer that is being driven by Skrulls who want to wipe Chuck’s mind of and brainwash him into trying to make it so that Earthlings do not try and come to space. Chuck makes a move and escapes, and while doing so he blows up the saucer and is covered in radiation in the process.  When he gets back to Earth, he is greeted by his brother Hal and right before the brothers can embrace, an explosion turns Chuck into ash and his image is burned into Hal’s glasses.  Everyone thinks Chuck is dead, but when Hal puts his burnt glasses on and goes deep into thought he unleashes Chuck who is now 3-D Man, a red and green skinned super hero with above average abilities! 3-D Man goes after the Russian spies and finds out that they are being lead by a Skrull who informs 3-D Man that he has made an enemy for life with their race and that they will not stop till they defeat the Earth! After the fight, 3-D Man returns to Hal and together the brothers know they must be the saviors of the world.

While this superhero might be very cheesy with some of the lamest dated powers of any hero I have read about this year, I must say that I fully enjoyed this origin issue and for some reason found 3-D Man to be a perfect fit for Marvel in the 70’s. The plot of this issue has hot shot master pilot flying an experimental plane for the government while his crippled brother watches on.  When he is kidnapped by The Skrulls, he escapes and by doing so he blows up their ship and is washed with radioactive waves that leave him not human anymore but as a red and green image on his brothers glasses, and when his brother puts the glasses on and thinks really hard he will come back to life as 3-D for three hours and fight off the Skrulls who have placed him on death watch. Chuck Chandler or 3-D Man is a good man who is gifted with being very good at whatever he sets his sights on such as sports and flying. He is a loyal brother, boyfriend and American and will not give information to the Russians and will not allow aliens to try and keep Earth out of space. As 3-D Man, he has three times the speed, strength and athletic ability of any man and uses his power for good of America. Hal Chandler is not as gifted as his brother and has been dealt a bad hand getting polio, but now with his glasses he has the power to free his brother 3-D Man and even shared the adventures once he wakes up from his zombie like state. Not much is given to Peggy yet besides we know that she is Chuck’s new girlfriend and that she loves her boyfriend very much. The Skrulls, those pesky shape shifting aliens, are the bad guys, and they once more are trying to bully Earth to do what they wish us to do.  I guess the spies are also the bad guys, but they get beat up pretty fast and are no major threat. The art is classic 70’s Marvel stuff and is done by the talented Jim Craig who also worked on issues of “Master of Kung-Fu” and “What If?” to name a few. The cover is very eye-catching and is perfect for a first appearance issue, and I am sure made comic readers of 77 grab the issue off the newsstand. So let’s see what 3-D Man has up his green and red sleeve in his second comic adventure.

3D Man 2

Marvel Premiere: The 3-D Man # 36  **1/2
Released in 1977    Cover Price .30    Marvel Comics    #36 of 61

Professor Potter is being mugged by a biker gang who want to take his briefcase of notes, but lucky for him 3-D Man shows up and runs off the thugs but not before the leader of the gang shows himself to be a Skrull and rides off with the notes. The 3-D Man returns to his brother Hal’s glasses, and by a miracle now Hal no longer has a limp and can walk normally and sets up a meeting with Potter and finds out the Professor’s notes were about flying saucers being seen around town. Hal returns home, and it’s clear his father is not over Chuck’s death and even Peggy stops over as they look at her as family. New Rock n Roll star Vince Rivers is in town and selling out due to his hit song “Rocket In My Pocket.” This sets off Hal’s Dad into a hate fueled rant on rock music and gives Hal the idea he should check out this star as he thinks Skrulls might be involved. At the concert that is presented by radio DJ Doc Rock, the teenagers in the crowd go crazy when Vince starts to sing.  3-D Man comes to the rescue and stops Vince and the riot.  In the end Vince is arrested, and it’s shown Doc Rock was the Skrull.  He outsmarted them all and gets away with causing a riot.

This second issue is filled with more sci-fi superhero action and does a nice touch of adding 1950’s culture into the story from TV shows like Howdy Doodey and Have Gun Will Travel, how the older generation hated the Rock N Roll music movement and even mentions Captain America and Bucky as past heroes as they both are believed to be dead during this time. In fact, the first issue even makes a reference to the old horror host Shock Theatre package of Universal Horror Films! This second issue’s plot is about 3-D Man trying everything in his power to stop the Skrulls who are trying to cause chaos on Earth so that they can come down from space and take us over. 3-D Man is still a very noble and American loving hero, but I will say it was getting really annoying to hear him reference how he has three times the abilities of normal man over and over again.  As a reader I found myself saying out loud “For God’s sake I know this already! You have reminded us a dozen times already!” But while annoying, it didn’t make the issue any less fun. Hal Chandler in this second issue has changed a lot and has stopped being a physically challenged fan boy of his older brother.  He is now healed up and acts as the investigator for his superhero brother.  It is funny that when 3-D Man comes out to fight Hal passes out like a scared fainting goat. It was nice to see Peggy as well and watch her hear 3-D Man’s voice and know that it reminded her of her dead boyfriend.  Plus, it was nice to see Chuck & Hal’s parents again. The Skrulls are once more the bad guys, and they are still being a pain in 3-D Man’s butt and using dumb humans as their foot soldiers. Vince Rivers is a gold suit wearing, ego maniac Elvis wannabe who while not the real bad guy still deserved what he got when he would not stop singing after the riot broke out clearly when his voice was the trigger for the event. So far this comic series that I originally I started out thinking they would be cheesy throwaway issues has turned out to be a very entertaining read and the art by Jim Craig is classic Marvel stuff and makes it even more entertaining.

3D Man 3

Marvel Premiere: The 3-D Man # 37  **1/2
Released in 1977    Cover Price .30    Marvel Comics   #37 of 61

Vince Rivers is taken to jail, and The Skrull who acted as a DJ springs him out with the help of Skrull technology, but his escape is short lived as 3-D man once more comes to the world’s rescue and stops the Rock n Roller from getting freedom. 3-D man also finds the technology of the Skrulls that was used to free Vince and takes it away. The Skrull is furious and follows 3-D Man waiting for the chance to blast him with his ray. As 3-D Man makes his way to the club where his brother Hal is asleep to reemerge with the glasses. The Skrull fires his laser ray just as the two are about to merge and finds that his attempt at murder has done nothing, or so he thinks. Hal returns home with the Skrull technology as The Skrull now turns himself into Vice President Richard Nixon and cons a scientist into doing an experiment on himself that leaves him with the power of freezing and ice and is given the name Cold Warrior as well as a costume. When Hal decides it’s time for 3-D Man to come back out and look for the Skrull, he finds that he now controls the thoughts of 3-D Man and his brother Chuck seems to be M.I.A. causing some concern. Cold Warrior finds 3-D Man, who he thinks is a communist, and they two do battle that leaves 3-D Man the winner and The Skrull even more mad that yet another of his attacks has failed.

So this is the final issue in the Marvel Premiere 3-D Man saga, and while it’s good, I do feel that it seems a little more rushed and has a little less direction than the first two issues did. 3-D Man in this issues starts with the mind of Chuck but by the end has the mind of Hal, and this is a good story element that sadly is not explored much and seems to be just thrown into the storyline to add a little drama. As always, 3-D Man must remind himself as well as the reader that he has three time the abilities of a normal man and with this he always seems to come out ahead of whatever challenge is in his way. Hal is as smart as ever and spends his time also trying to figure out just how the Skrull device he found allowed Vince Rivers to escape.  He also kind of shrugs off the fact his mind is now in the body of 3-D Man making you wonder if maybe he now wants the glory of being a hero. Peggy and Hal’s parents seem to take a backseat in this issue as they are only shown during a BBQ in the backyard that gets rained out. Vince Rivers makes a cameo at the start of the issue and breaks out of jail only to be stopped by 3-D Man.  It’s a shame the young man’s only crime is being a rock star. The Skrull is one mean spirited manipulator who uses normal everyday men for doing evil things while masking it that they are doing good.  Plus I like how The Skrulls are his main bad guys. Cold Warrior is not really a bad guy as he thinks 3-D Man is a Russian spy and thinks by killing him he is doing America good.  His powers are like Ice Man, and he almost seems like a villain who would have been in a issue of Amazing Spider-Man in the mid 70’s if he would have gone fully bad. The things that work the most for 3-D Man is the 50’s time period and the well done blending of superhero and sci-fi making the character seem like he could have been seen on a drive-in screen alongside the likes of Radar Men From The Moon. It’s a shame that Marvel didn’t see too much potential with 3-D Man and he was never given a full series of his own. I mean he is no more silly than Human Fly and Machine Man. The downside is that the story just ends and leaves one wondering what is the fate of Chuck’s soul and did 3-D Man ever stop the Skrulls from causing chaos on Earth.  None of it answered unless you can track down other issues 3-D Man appeared in. Jim Craig’s artwork is fantastic and is the kind of work I love in these classic 70’s Marvel Comics. Below is some artwork done by Craig and captures the feel of this cheesy character.

3D Man art 1

So I am sure you are wondering about 3-D Man and his fate.  Well, his next appearance came in an issue of Incredible Hulk, and since you all know how much I enjoy The Hulk, we will take a look at that issue as well!

Incredible Hulk 251

The Incredible Hulk  # 251  **1/2
Released in 1980     Cover Price .50     Marvel Comics   #251 of 474

Bruce Banner is hiding in a ally when he is discovered by a family, but this isn’t just any family, it’s Hal Chandler, his wife Peggy and their two children Chuck and Hal Jr.  They invite him in for dinner and a place to stay for the night. After dinner Hal explains the disappearance of his brother Chuck who his firstborn son is named after, and Bruce tells stories of the town they now live in. Bruce is shown to their guest room, and the family goes to sleep, all but Hal who knows Bruce’s secret of being the Hulk and calls the police and gets out his old glasses to unleash 3-D Man after a 20 year break. Meanwhile in a cabin in the woods some hundreds of miles away, Rick Jones is in the middle of a showdown between the hoofed feet Woodgod and Doc Samson that has creatures of myth coming to the aid of their leader the Woodgod.  Rick uses an old CB radio to call for help and to his luck Chuck hears the call! Chuck rushes down to his dad and finds him in the trance and meets his uncle The 3-D Man who has been called on to protect Hal’s family from The Hulk in case the cops jar him into a fighting mood. As the cops show up and join 3-D Man, they prepare to surprise the sleeping Bruce Banner, as young Chuck rushes and warns the sleeping stranger that he has to leave and turn into The Hulk to save Rick Jones but it’s too late Bruce turns into The Hulk and starts to fight with 3-D Man who is over eager to fight the green skin monster! Hulk shows that he is too strong for 3-D Man and with some kind words from young Chuck and Peggy to stop fighting, Hulk rushes to his friends aid.  3-D Man returns to the glasses of Hal who has lots of explaining to do to his family.

Hal Chandler is not as nice of a person as we all thought he was in the Marvel Premiere three issues as in this Hulk comic it is shown that he has kept his brother 3-D Man in limbo for 20 years and has lied to his brother’s girlfriend who is now his wife about her first true love. Hal’s ego comes out and shows that he is jealous of his brother even in death and feels that if people know that he is still alive that Peggy would fall back in love with him and leave Hal in his coma state and they will see Chuck as a hero as he is 3-D Man. With that out of the way, I should point out some of the plot holes that this comic gives us.  For one, Hal is back to having a limp, and the second major one is that the last time we saw 3-D Man, he had the mind of Hal and Chuck was missing.  In this one for 20 years 3-D Man sat in limbo with the mind of Chuck and no explanation was given on how their minds switched again! 3-D Man is clearly annoyed he’s been in limbo for over 20 years yet seems very eager to fight The Hulk whom he knows nothing about, and he soon learns that his three times the power is no match for The Hulk who is the strongest there is! Peggy, who clearly settled for Hal, seems to be a little shocked when she finds out that her husband has lied to her for many years. The young Chuck is clearly a good kid as he not only warns Bruce Banner of the police but also is trying his best to get him to leave to help Rick Jones. The Hulk is as he always is, a monster who wants to be left alone but superheroes and normal men won’t leave him alone so he does what he does best and that’s smash! The Hulk in the issue is very much provoked into a fight with 3-D Man, as Hulk clearly just wants to be left alone so that he can rescue his friend. This is a good solid classic Hulk issue with art done by Sal Buscema, and next to Herb Trimpe, this is the Hulk art that I grew up on. Over all I really enjoyed this issue and any chance I get to read and talk about The Hulk here on Rotten Ink I will take, so it was very cool that in this issue he took on this update’s topic 3-D Man. So check out some of the artwork below and see the art style of Sal.

Hulk 251 art 1

3-D Man last was seen in 2008’s “Secret Invasion,” but before that Hal and Chuck no longer were 3-D Man as Chuck was able to become a real person again and they passed the costume and name to Delroy Garrett who is now the official 3-D Man. So as you can see 3-D Man has done it all from fist fighting The Hulk to being a pain in the Skrull empire’s butt, and while he is not well known, he still has made his mark on the Marvel Universe. Our next topic is a hero who is forgotten by many and never made it to the top of anyone’s favorite superhero list and that poor hero is Holo-Man.  So make sure to come back and learn about him! Until next time, watch a movie at your favorite theater, read a comic or three and as always have a fun and safe holiday season.

holoman logo

IT! The True Terror of Space!

Hey everyone, thanks for coming back.  This update’s going to be a short one, and we will be taking a look at IDW’s “IT! THE TERROR FROM BETOND SPACE,” a 3 issue mini series based on the old 1958 black and white Sci-Fi film that has been released on DVD and VHS via MGM’s Midnight Movie line. MGM’s Midnight Movie line was a great way to own and re-watch classic films, and with the mass amount of this type of horror and sci-fi films in their vault, this was the perfect way to get them out, but like all good things, the label came to an end when MGM started to have major money issue that almost led to them being closed down for good.  And that’s a shame; this DVD line had so much potential and made cult genre fans very happy.

Midnite Movies Logo

Some of the best films to come out from this line besides IT! Terror from Beyond Space include The Return of Dracula, Motel Hell, The Angry Red Planet, The Raven, The Vampire Lovers, The Beast Within, Theater of Blood, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Dr. Phibes Rises Again!, Reptilicus, Konga, Countess Dracula, Count Yorga Vampire, Deranged and so many more amazing films.  MGM, if you’re reading this, please bring the line back and get films like The Town That Dreaded Sundown on DVD!

Phibes DVDReptilicus DVDVampire Lovers DVD

Has anyone else noticed the huge boom in very attractive girls loving nerdy stuff? I work part time in a comic store and more and more, you see these amazing girl next-door types buying comics and Magic The Gathering cards and don’t seem to be ashamed of the fact they are. Plus I have been seeing and hearing more and more about cosplay becoming super popular with women who want to dress up as their favorite game/comic/movie character, and I for one am okay with this trend! It’s nice to see people not hiding what they like and coming right out and showing fellow fans how much they do as well. Say what you will, but my hat is off to you women of the world who embrace your nerdy ways! When I was a teen, my best friend was a girl and she used to say if I bought her a Wonder Woman costume she would have worn it.  Looking back, I should have bought that costume. And just for fun here’s some women who dress like their favorite heroes, enjoy!

Supergirl CosplayCammy CosplayPrincess Leia cosplay

And how about some more!! I mean you can never have to many pictures of attractive girls dressed as your favorite fantasy characters.

Wonder Woman CosplayBlack Cat CosplayRed Sonya Cosplay

And hell, why not a few more.  The first girl is Ivy Doomkitty, my favorite of all the cosplay girls and she can truly pull off the Mrs. Marvel look, don’t you think?

Ivy Mrs. Marvel CosplayPoison Ivy CosplayBaroness Cosplay

IT! Terror From Beyond Space is a 1958 black and white Sci-Fi film directed by Edward L. Cahn and was distributed by United Artist. The story has a group on a rescue mission to Mars.  They find only one survivor who they think killed his crewmates in order to survive. The journey home turns into a nightmare as an alien is aboard the ship and looking to kill them all.  The film starred Marshall Thompson, Ray Corrigan, Shirley Patterson and Kim Spalding and is considered a cult classic. The film also inspired Ridley Scott’s classic 1979 film, Alien. The first time I saw this film was on a cruddy beat up VHS tape.  It was late at night.  I used to put horror films on before I would go to bed and fall asleep to them, but for some reason I was glued to this film and spent the whole time watching before I fell asleep. I remember loving the look of the creature and thinking they should have made a sequel. The film has been released on DVD and VHS, and has had a model kit made of the alien as well as a different comic book back in 1993. IT! The Terror From Beyond Space is a must see film for fans of Alien, The Thing From Another World, Mars Attacks or even War of the Worlds.

IT DVDIT ModelIT VHS

Now that we all have IT! on the brain, let’s get down to looking at IDW’s take on the classic Sci-Fi film.  Remember I grade these on a standard 1-4 star rating and base it on entertainment value, quality of the story, the art and how true it stays to the source martial.  So, onto the reviews.

IT 1

IT! Terror From Beyond Space # 1  ***
Released in 2010   Cover Price $3.99   IDW Comics   #1 of 3

The year is 1973, and spaceship Challenge 141 has gone missing on the planet Mars.  Challenge 142 has been sent on a rescue mission to save any survivors if found. This rescue mission is run by Colonel Van Heusen and his team that consists of Ann Anderson his one time lover and scientist, security officer James Colder, husband and wife Eric and Mary Royce (he’s the fixer, she’s a doctor) and last is young rookie Joe who is the cleaner. But when they get to Mars, they find the missing ship destroyed and only one survivor Colonel Edward Caruthers.  Things point to foul play as gun shots and skulls are found with bullet holes.  The crew takes off, as Van wants to get Caruthers to trial for murder, all the while Caruthers is speaking of an IT that killed his crew. But something is on the ship brought on by Colder, and whatever it is gets Joe as issue one comes to an end.

This first issue is a fun sci-fi adventure that sets the story up and gets us closer to the characters on this doomed ship. While not much action happens here, it’s the slow build up and the flashback of Caruthers story that makes the atmosphere spooky and cheesy. Van Heusen comes off as a self-centered jackass who is more into himself then really trying to find out what happened to the “missing”/”dead” crew.  Plus it’s clear he likes to still push Ann’s buttons. Ann seems to be the one more into facts and finding the truth about the accident and Mars. Also, not much is shown to why Colder brought the frozen alien on board that kills Joe in the end, making for some mystery. The other side storyline that comes to an end in this issue is the affair Mary is having with Joe, making you look down on each. See that’s the best part about this issue, each character has something about them that draws you in. While this is not a comic book version of the film, it’s a nice take on the film’s universe that shows what happened several years after, keeping the story alive. The alien at the end is puzzling though and looks nothing like the film’s IT. Over all this has a solid plot, good classic style art and characters that have depth.  I can’t wait to read issue 2!

IT 2

IT! Terror From Beyond Space # 2  ***
Released in 2010   Cover Price $3.99   IDW Comics   #2 of 3

Caruthers has a bad feeling, and he and Van go to the lower level of the ship and find Joe’s body and a very pissed off alien who wants them dead.  With the help of Colder, they manage to retrieve Joe’s body and escape and capture IT below. Van and Crew now all believe Caruthers and come up with a plan to use poison gas on IT, hoping to kill it once and for all. Mary meanwhile is heart broken over the death of her secret lover and finds out his body has been drained of all moisture, making her an emotional mess. The poison gas plan backfires, and Van is seriously injured during the attempt.  They pull back again and come up with a new plan and to get Van medical help. In the end it’s shown that Colder brought IT aboard unknowingly via orders from the Pentagon, and this makes Mary very upset and she pulls a gun on Colder.  And this ends issue 2, let’s see how the pay off comes in issue 3.

This issue makes all look grim as Van could be dying, Mary might blow Colder’s head off and IT is still on the ship looking to kill. This comic series feels like a classic film serial and is delivering on a fast paced fun ride and ending on cliffhangers that I am sure made classic Sci-Fi fans happy.  But fans of the film might be a little annoyed with IT who looks 100% nothing like he does in the film. It’s clear in this issue that Ann and Caruthers are going to have to be the ones who save themselves and the crew from IT, as Van bull headedly rushed into his plan that left him with a cut to the guts. The panels of them trying to use the poison gas against IT are well done and show how bad ass the creature is as the gas doesn’t even phase him nor do their shock guns. Action, suspense and drama are here as this issue brings us one step closer to finding out if the crew or IT is going to win. Once more the plot, art and entertainment are here and make for a very good read.  So let’s not waste any time and jump into issue 3!

IT 3

IT! Terror From Beyond Space # 3  ***
Released in 2010   Cover Price $3.99   IDW Comics   #3 of 3

All Hell breaks loose in this issue as Mary fires and misses Colder, and then they all must patch things up and forgive and forget to work together to try and stop IT from killing them all. The plan goes wrong as Van awakens in a fever fury and Ann must stop him for good before he kills them all, and Colder and Eric become IT food! Mary figures out the monsters weakness and alongside Ann and Caruthers they set IT up to overdose on water, its only true weakness.  But like all plans, one of the crew members as well dies as Mary becomes the bait. In the end Caruthers and Ann must travel home with an unbelievable story and face the government for killing its creature.

Issue 3 brings the story home and is a pure blood bath as IT seems to want to feed on all the humans aboard the ship.  The not so shocking yet effective thing in this issue is the fact only two of the characters survive and fall in love. They also step up the blood in this one as people are killed in brutal ways, as IT seems to want to feed on the human bodies’ moisture. By the end you feel bad for all those who lost their lives and find that Mary, while a dirty cheater, was still a great person with a sense of loyalty and love. This is a nice fast paced way to end this mini series and has enough horror, action and drama to please fans of horror comics. This is something I love to see, a great mini series with not a weak issue present.

While it takes names and places from the source material (in this case the film), the makers of the comic retold it and changed things to make it their own, and it works very well! The way the twist and turns happen in the comic help add to the suspense and changing the creature’s weakness from none to water was also a nice move and fans of the movie SIGNS should take a liking to it. IT’s look in the film is better than in the comic as for some reason the comic version reminded me of a giant frog with teeth, making it not as scary as it should be. I give credit to IDW for making this line of comics based on MGM’s Midnight Movies, and while so far only Motel Hell has joined IT, I still find the idea to be one that I hope gets further explored. Over all IT! Terror From Beyond Space is a fun mini series that was worth checking out for an old Horror/Sci-Fi fan like myself. I got these issues from the artist and writers direct at the comic convention called The Gem City Comic Con at Wright State University.

ITIT PosterIT 00

So now for a bonus I want to throw in a review for an old Gold Key comic based on the WB Looney Tune characters Tweety Bird and Sylvester the Cat.  The best thing about this is the fact Sylvester is my second favorite Looney Tune character, and Tweety is my least favorite.  Growing up Looney Tunes was super popular, and I can’t count the times I rented old VHS tapes from the local library to watch.  My Brother and I both would watch it on TV when ever it was on. Sylvester always peeked my interest because I think he is a huge underdog who just wants to eat an annoying bird that torments and hurts him any chance he can.  Tweety is a pompous ego manic who hides behind his high childish voice, and oh so sweet nature to be a complete A-Hole! I despise Tweety and everything he stands for, but I have noticed something about him and that’s girls seem to love that yellow bird. Many, many years back I had a girlfriend that was 19, who was cutesy and she loved Tweety bird, not sure why but she did, she even talked about at one time getting a Tweety Tramp Stamp (Lower Back Tattoo)! I think I would have had to leave her if she got that….I hate that bird!

Tweety BirdSyl east tweetysylvester the cat

But with that let’s get into this short review for issue # 43, and remember I grade these on a scale of 1-4 and base it on entertainment value, plot, how true it is to the source material and art. Thanks to Game Swap Kettering for this issue!

Tweety and Sylvester 43

Tweety and Sylvester # 43  **
Released in 1975   Cover Price .25   Gold Key Comics   #43 of 102

This issue is cut up into 4 short stories, and the first is “Back To Nature” with Sylvester wanting to go back to his roots.  He and Tweety go to the jungle only for him to realize that he misses TV and air conditioning. 2nd is “Food for Thought” and has Sylvester pretending to be a vegetarian even going to meetings, but his cover is blown while at the meeting Tweety crawls in between pieces of bread tempting him and showing him as a liar. “Photo Finish” is the 3rd story and has Sylvester taking pictures of Tweety to win $10.00 from a newspaper photo contest.  He wins and wants to buy his own bird to eat but the shop owner has a dog who wants to meet him in the ally. The final story is “Tat Trouble” has Sylvester trying to capture a burglar, but before he captures him, he also captures the Milk Man, Newspaper boy and many others!

This issue is a little boring and each story follows the same format.  While that’s just like the cartoon, I feel it’s more fun to watch then it is to read. Three out of the four stories also have Tweety and Sylvester almost being friends and having mini little adventures with each other.  To me, this takes it away from the source material and makes it feel like a fan made comic series. If I had to choose out of the 4 stories, my favorite would have to be“Food for Thought,” just for the clever use of vegetables, nuts and an AA style meeting. The cover is pretty classic slapstick stuff, and while generic, the stories are fun and goofy.  I will say the art is pretty bad and Sylvester looks like a fat imitation who has blue eyes in some sections. Plus why does Sylvester talk normal without his lisp? Over all I am sure for the time this was a fun way for kids to have extra adventures of Tweety, but by today’s standards this is a cheap cash in that has only a base of the source material and just didn’t deliver, nor did it make for some fun retro style reading.

So in this update we learned about MGM’s Midnight Movies, took a look at IDW’s IT mini series, drooled over cute nerd chicks, looked at Sylvester and Tweety and you got to know a little more about my weird boring life.  Next update, we should take a look at IDW’s 3 issue mini-series based on the farmer slasher film MOTEL HELL! So get your beef jerky ready, and fire up your chainsaw ’cause we are going to go down to the farm!

Motel Hell Logo