By Beau Smith
Growing up as a kid in the 1960s I read as many comic books as I could get my gruby little hands on. DC Comics were the easiest to find at my local supermarkets and drug stores. Every now and then you’d be lucky enough to find a Marvel comic and if you were REALLY lucky you’d come across a Tower comic with the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents.
I was happy to find any comics. I read and re-read them, memorizing almost every panel and caption. You’ve gotta remember, we didn’t have the internet or cable TV back then. Pop culture was a smaller world in the 1960s.
Back then I had my priorities when it came to buying comics. I always bought Marvel Comic first if there was an abundant amount of comics to choose from. They were new and exciting; the characters were rich and more personal. During that time period, you just couldn’t beat Spider-Man, Daredevil or The Fantastic Four. DC Comics were okay, but a bit boring in comparison to Marvel. I always felt the stories were written by guys my dad’s age that just liked science fiction, where Marvel had the feeling of being written by younger guys that brought more of a blue collar, action/adventure movie feel to four color heroes. Little did I know that all the comics were written by guys older than my own dad, but the difference was that DC’s writers were a bunch of guys that loved sci-fi and didn’t care that much about super heroes. So I was kinda right with my guess. Over at Marvel Comics they were almost desperate to carve their own path and would do anything to sell books so they were bigger risk takers. They seemed to care who they were writing for and geared the books towards kids like me and even high school and college age folks. That was the secret.
I feel I’m qualified to say this because I thought about it as a kid and I also read comics from both companies. If there were no Tales of Suspense or Avengers, I would buy Green Lantern or The Flash. I usually didn’t enjoy them as much, but they were comics and they were there, so I bought them.
If you ever told me that one day there would be an Iron Man movie or a Green Lantern movie I would’ve thought you were just being mean and teasing me. If I thought you were serious my little head would’ve exploded in joy.
Well, here it is almost 2011 and we’ve had two Iron Man movies and in a few months we’ll have a Green Lantern movie. I never would’ve believed it.
Thing is, back in the 1960s I never would’ve thought a Green Lantern movie would be nearly as good as an Iron Man movie. Now I do. In fact, I suspect the upcoming Green Lantern movie will be just as good if not better, why, because I think the Green Lantern movie knows the secret of the Iron Man success? Humor, action and likeable characters.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Batman: The Dark Knight was a good movie, serious, dark and all that gritty stuff, but Iron Man was a vastly superior movie as far as the enjoyment factor and will have much stronger legs as time rolls on. Casting was perfect and Robert Downey Jr. was stellar as Iron Man. The films gave wonderful tribute to all the Iron Man comic book stories that had come before and those that wrote and drew them. You smiled during these films and for all the right reasons. In the case of Batman: The Dark Knight, you got a movie that was far better than the comic books that have been printed, so the tribute was more of a role reversal for me.
I’ve just seen the trailer to the upcoming Green Lantern movie, but I can already see the same dead-on, good moves that made Iron Man a winner. Ryan Reynolds is a great choice for Hal Jordan/Green Lantern. He has a sense of fun and comic timing to go along with his hero like good looks. The film seems to bow to all that has come before in the Green Lantern comics and managed to add and enhance them with humor, dignity and respect. Like Iron Man, the Green Lantern film will introduce the non-comic book reading world to a character most haven’t even really heard of before. That’s good for other comic book characters, maybe one day we may even see a B’wana Beast, Skull The Slayer or even a Wynonna Earp movie!
Again, this is all just my opinion, but then it is my column, so take keep that in mind when you rally the villagers with their torches and try to storm the Flying Fist Ranch.
I truly think the Green Lantern movie is gonna be a major hit and very enjoyable for everyone. I think it’s gonna hit all the marks for everyone of all tastes and really put the character in the spotlight, the green ($$$) spotlight. I hope you enjoy it and give it a chance. I will.
Busted Knuckles Manly Cover of the Week: Green Lantern #37
Art by Alex Toth
Since I’m talking about Green Lantern I through it’d only be right if I were to dig into my personal collection here at the ranch and find a manly Green Lantern cover. I did and by the great Alex Toth, no less! This one is full of testosterone as Green Lantern squares off with a lumberjack-looking bad guy known as The Trapper. It’s got steel girders, an ax and a wrecking ball, what more could you ask for? Maybe a hot babe in distress.
Busted Knuckles Babe of the Week: Sarah Shahi
Texas born with the given name of Ahoo Jahansouz, this beautiful and talented actress now goes by the stage name of Sarah Shahi. She is of Iranian and Spanish heritage and packs loads of talent when she is on the screen. Most of you will remember her from the short lived, but really smart TV series LIFE on NBC. Never fear, you’ll soon be seeing her in a couple of new movies and TV shows. Hollywood isn’t gonna let this great actress stay idle. Did you know she is also a former NFL cheerleader? Gotta love that.
It’s finally December, one of the best months of the whole year. December means my birthday, Christmas and the release of my new graphic novel from IDW called Wynonna Earp: The Yeti Wars. (Order #OCT100439)
That means you still have time to pre-order it and get it as a gift for someone you really like or just keep it for yourself- like I’d do. The graphic novel has all the humor, action and fun of a modern day Jonny Quest cartoon. I promise you that.
It’s getting down to the wire and I’d really appreciate you giving Wynonna Earp: The Yeti Wars a shot. Tell your local retailer that you want it. Tell IDW Publishing that you want it. Hell, tell yourself that you want it.
After you get it, tell me what you think of it. Remember, all you have to do is email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a PDF file of the first chapter for free!
Enough shameless-self promotion. Let’s get Santa’s sleigh packed with Wynonna Earp graphic novels.
The Flying Fist Ranch
Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!