Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Second Printing's Weekly(ish) Question (#4 in a series)

Spawning out of Devon's totally rad tribute to the 80's, this week's question arises:

What's your favorite licensed property (movies/tv/toys etc) comic?

I loved He-Man growing up and have strong affinity for the Masters of the Universe line, but they've yet to do a decent comic with the property (although the DC Comics Presents issue which crosses over with Superman is a longstanding favourite).

I absolutely obsessed over Star Wars comics throughout the 1990's, the best it got was Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. I also sampled nearly every licensed property title Dark Horse put out during the '90's.

I think of all of them, though, my all time favourite is the 2-issue continuation of John Carpenters' The Thing, taking the original film's title The Thing From Another World. Yes, it was a completely unnecessary sequel (as most movies-to-comics are) but incredibly moody, creepy and intense work from writer Chuck Pfarrer and painter John Higgins. There were two follow-up mini-series that I didn't bother with, though but occasionally think about hunting down.

Hands down, G.I. effin' JOE!

My whole world revolved around getting me a fine redheaded woman warrior, assembling the finest men and women this country had to offer and, shooting lasers, flying jetpacks and becoming a ninja.

What actually happened was more like me and and a bunch of other little fatties jumped off of shit a lot and hit each other over the head with sticks.

In retrospect, we were more like Cobra.

Big Mike:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Even at a young age, I found archetypes very comforting and easily digestible. In addition to the simple hero / villain paradigm, TMNT more than any of its contemporaries introduced me to characters who were representations of specific personality traits, all of which I found appealing. Each turtle has his own role and own unique means of problem solving that could be channeled into success. It added a level of complexity to an overall concept, the absurdity of which my parents could never look past. In addition, we were introduced to the morally gray (Casey Jones) and side characters, such as the Rat King who could be a villain or an ally of the heroes depending on the circumstance.

I remember at one point, some friends and I were getting out the TMNT action figures to play with. A friend picked up a Usagi Yojimbo figure and said 'Dude, we're too old to be playing with ninja animal figures.' A little piece of me died that day.


Bill D. said...

As a kid, definitely G.I. Joe. Didn't read it regularly, but I'd pick up issues every now and then and thoroughly enjoy them.

Now, I'd have to say the Marvel run of Micronauts, despite being juuuuuust too young to have ever played with them (I certainly remember them being around and wanting them, but as I was 2 or 3, my parents considered them choking hazards). Just fantastic space opera stuff, and though that first year or so that was drawn by Michael Golden is the best of the bunch, the series remains a fun read even after he left.

lordscarlet said...

Definitely G.I. Joe for me as well. I am looking forward to watching them ruined on the big screen. (that is, it will be terrible, but I will be first in line to take the punishment because, well, it's G.I. Joe)

Scotus said...

"The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones" series Marvel published in the mid-80s was excellent. It blows the Dark Horse stuff completely out of the water.

I also got a kick out of Marvel's short-lived (2 issues!) "Sledgehammer!" series. That's not to say it was actually good, but as a kid who loved the TV show, I enjoyed it.

Adj said...

I am with you on the G.I. Joe love. I didn't read the comic regularly, but I adored the cartoons (still do in fact), and played with my brother's arsenal of G.I Joe toys.