Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dragon*Con 2010 Peacemaker Cosplayer

When it comes to the Charlton Action Heroes, I figure in for a penny, in for a pound. Captain Atom is a co-star on this blog, so why not keep the door open for any of his chums I might like to cover. Besides, I've sucked at posting this week, so something's got to be better than nothing.

Peacemaker is another character that DC completely warped in the translation from Charlton. He's the kind of character, like the Punisher or Captain America, that you can't write if you don't buy into their bullstuff. You just have to accept that Christopher Smith loves peace so much that he is willing to fight for it. Sure, by "peace" he probably means atomic age white upper-middle class protestant American values should reign over the earth, and by "willing to fight" he means he'll roast anyone who opposes him alive in napalm while smirking. Regardless, at least while writing him, you have to believe in the legitimacy of that far right wing world view, or just leave the character alone. Making him a headcase who takes orders from the ghost of his Nazi father or tatting him up and pretending he's just an ornery tough guy from just off Yancy Street ruins the very basic appeal of the character. Sure, Peacemaker can be as horrifying as any super-villain, and he was the basis for the Comedian after all, but that's the point. Peacemaker is John Wayne filming The Green Berets during Vietnam, not Sean Penn filming Casualties of War after Vietnam. Peacemaker is the Pat Tillman quitting a pro football career to serve in Afghanistan, not finding out Tillman was killed by friendly fire. Peacemaker is the American aggressive interventionist myth, not the liberal condemnation of it. At his best, he's a hopelessly square peg with a big plastic covering around it forcing its way through a round hole until the whole damned thing shatters because damn it, what do you need besides that badass square peg, anyway?

Here's a guy in an original Peacemaker costume. I always dug this suit, and the only commercially liable part is that friggin' bucket on his head, but that's part of the square peg thing. My favorite interpretation is when it's a transparent dome over a face shield, but every artist offers their own take. I like this, but I find it amusing that the cosplayer looks like he's about to cry. He must be heartbroken that he's forced to take a break from brutally killing America's enemies for this convention appearance.

Once again, this pic is from Shag Matthews of Once Upon A Geek, who offered up oodles of photographs and related his Dragon*Con 2010 Weekend of Insanity a few weeks back. Thanks again!

More Cosplay of the Day:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Atomic acCount for December, 2010

Written by PAUL LEVITZ
Co-feature written by JEFF LEMIRE
Co-feature art by MAHMUD ASRAR & JOHN DELL
The rebuilding of the Green Lantern Corps in the 31st century starts here! Now set in “contemporary” Legion times, this issue tells an all-new tale starring the last survivors of the fabled Corps. Their next recruit will shock you!
In The Atom’s co-feature, the Colony continues its assault on Ray Palmer with more shrinkable suicide bombers!
On sale DECEMBER 1 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
I'm not even going to try to stifle the yawn. This book is dead to me.

1:10 Variant covers by IVAN REIS
The hottest series in comics blazes on as the legacy of the new Aqualad is forged and the extent of his powers is revealed! Plus, Aquagirl joins the battle, and Firestorm seeks out the Justice League’s help!
Retailers please note: These issues ship with two covers each. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
Issue #15 on sale DECEMBER 1
Issue #16 on sale DECEMBER 15
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Now that I've dropped Adventure Comics, it'll be nice to get a little Ray Palmer fix here, even if he's playing support and drawn by Scott Clark's computer.

Written by GAIL SIMONE
The pedal-to-the-metal conclusion of the “Reptile Brain” storyline is here as the survivors of the two warring factions of the Secret Six face a danger even more horrifying and revolting than each other! And if this is Skartaris, who’s playing Warlord?
On sale DECEMBER 1 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Tradeworthy Dwarfstar and Giganta appearances? Anyone?

The inmates of Arkham Asylum have taken over, and Deathstroke’s team of misfits is fighting for their lives against Gotham City’s most dangerous lunatics! Will Deathstroke and Arsenal be able to side with Batman long enough to survive the night? Plus, Ray Palmer guest-stars as he continues his investigation into Ryan Choi’s murder.
On sale DECEMBER 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Wait-- now Ray gives a crap about Ryan? That kind of leaves a bad taste in even my mouth, and I criticize the guy in death.

In this never-before-reprinted tale from JLA #91-93, the team finds itself in a dilemma when a mysterious, shapeshifting creature from another planet gets blasted into our solar system. But is it friend or foe? Plus, Wonder Woman and Batman examine their relationship in a tale from issue #90 that spins out of “The Obsidian Age.”
On sale DECEMBER 29 • 96 pg, FC, $7.99 US
Who was like, "yeah, let's reprint the one with the monkeys that nobody like. There's a reason this never made it to trade.

Captain Atom
Written by JUDD WINICK
Issue #15 art by JOE BENNETT
Issue #16 art by FERNANDO DAGNINO
1:10 Variant covers by KEVIN MAGUIRE
DC’s biweekly JUSTICE LEAGUE event continues!
In issue #15, the world blames the Justice League International for the recent Chicago death toll and the death of a hero. As our team deals with the fallout, Captain Atom returns from a dark future with information on Max Lord’s ultimate plan – and Wonder Woman plays a major part in it!
In issue #16, the Creature Commandos have attacked the JLI and one of the team lies dying. Meanwhile, Power Girl swears vengeance on the JLI for her friend’s death, but Batman suspects foul play.
Retailers please note: : These issues will ship with two covers each. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
Issue #15 on sale DECEMBER 8
Issue #16 on sale DECEMBER 22
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
It's seems odd to pair off the Modern Age Captain Atom and Wonder Woman for stories, but in their Silver Age stories, it would feel so perfectly natural.

Written by JUDD WINICK
Art and cover by SAMI BASRI
It was bound to happen what with her participation in JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST – Power Girl relies on the JLI to help her turn her recent fortunes around! But how will that sit with her current teammates in JSA ALL-STARS?
On sale DECEMBER 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Joining a super team really helps guest appearance bookings.

In this new volume collecting JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL ANNUAL #2-3 and JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE #1-6, the team is reborn as Justice League International, featuring The Flash, Power Girl, Metamorpho, Animal Man and The Elongated Man.
On sale JANUARY 19 • 240 pg, FC, $19.99 US
A Justice League Europe collection. It never even occurred to me this might be coming, but it makes perfect sense, and I bet Bart Sears' art will reproduce way better today.

The Charlton Heroes Who Inspired 'Watchmen' to Appear in Morrison's 'Multiversity'

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Top 10 Atom (Ray Palmer) Covers of the 1970s

10) Justice League of America #142 (May, 1977)

It’s a stupid robot and a silly layout , but there just aren’t very many covers from this decade where the Atom figure is prominent and dynamically engaged in the situation at hand.

9) DC 100-Page Super Spectacular #6: World's Greatest Super-Heroes! (1971)

It’s the Tiny Titan centrally located in a layout with the spotlight on him while sitting on Hawkman’s shoulder as drawn by Neal Adams. Sure he’s only barely in the light near the bottom of the page, in an homage using a more simplistic art style, but a Mighty Mite takes what he can get. Besides, he looks like he could be eight inches tall!

8) Super-Team Family #14 (January, 1978)

Maybe it’s funky perspective, but a much taller than average Atom is sort of at the forefront of a cover with Wonder Woman playing second fiddle (although she’s first billed.) Again with the generic robots, I know.

7) Action Comics #443 (January, 1975)

Of course Superman opening the book is the first thing you see, but then negative space and the cuteness of the World’s Smallest Super-Hero running off the corner attracts your eye. Maybe. It’s still better than being another jerk in the mob.

6) DC Comics Presents #15 (November, 1979)

The largest square footage (inchage?) for the Atom of all these covers, plus he gets a big second-billing logo. On the other hand, he looks like he just got a major ouchy, and his relative size doesn’t really convey his powers, do they? This cover says “big wimp,” not Tiny Titan.

5) Super-Team Family #13 (November, 1977)

In America, we read left to right, up to down. The Atom is assigned the top left panel, right near his logo. He’s also dynamically posed in his unique environment. That’s all I’ve got.

4) World's Finest Comics #213 (September, 1972)

Speaking of unique, name another hero whose death trap could naturally involve being trapped in a constricting phone line. Not that you’d want to, but still.

3) DC Special Series: 5-Star Super-Hero Spectacular #1 (1977)

Again with the Neal Adams, this time at the peak of his powers! Everyone on this cover comes off great, in their appropriate postures (although Aquaman could be more divey, or something.) Sure the Atom is small, but he’s strategically located with a boss energy field emanating from his body.

2) World's Finest Comics #236 (March, 1976)

One way to make a hero uncool: have them consistently in vulnerable positions on the cover, especially when they have undesirable powers to begin with. Yet, you can’t miss the Atom here, and the situation grabs your attention, regardless of how little it inspires your admiration.

1) The Brave and The Bold #115 (November, 1974)

Truly a classic Atom image, working to the character’s stealth strengths. See, the motherlovin’ Batman is down for the count, but them punk ass gangsters don’t realize the Mighty Mite is on the scene, plotting their downfall. That’s how you sell shrinking as a good thing. Also, there’s an alright full-sized painted version of this in the European market, but one quarter Aparo is worth three quarters of amateur swipe.

More of Today's 1970s-tastic Cover Countdowns!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

2007 San Diego Comic-Con Captain Atom & Vixen Cosplay

Click To Enlarge

You know, I was a fan of Captain Atom long before I was interested in the Mighty Mite. I guess since I was introduced to the Captain during his peak visibility in the late '80s, I never realized how unpopular he was. Two short-lived runs in the 1960s at Charlton, then sporadic appearances in low-rent publications during the '70s & '80s. Leadership of the other JLI team in the 1990s, while his tepid-selling solo series plodded along for five years. Various heel turns, a few mini-series, membership in super-groups nobody cared about, plus a few cartoon appearances. That's Captain Atom's career, and that's a shame, because it seems to me marrying the Captain America of the 1950s to Dr. Manhattan makes for a seriously compelling super-hero.

All this is to say that there isn't a lot of Captain Atom costume play to be found, and I feel bad that he's missing out on the dress-up fun my other blogs are enjoying. However, you can do a hell of a lot worse than this bitchin' ensemble with make-up from the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con International, and much worse company than Vixen from Justice League Detroit.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dragon*Con 2010 Indigo Tribe Atom Cosplayer Cptnspndx

Click To Enlarge

Check out Indigo Tribesman Ryan Choi Ray Palmer! I tease, not because there's anything wrong with pan-racial cosplay, but because it sucks that my choices if I'd like to follow suit range from Dr. Light II (bonus cross-dressing!) to deceased Bloodlines characters. I've often noted my lack of interest in the All New Atom, but I hate that the choice is a character I'm not into and no Asians whatsoever.

Enough racial politicking hijacking the cosplay post. I could be teasing the dude for his flesh-colored top instead (see comments for an explanation.) Seriously though, I'm pleased by and proud of any Atom fan with the talent to put a suit like this together and the stones (in an easy carry loincloth!) to actually wear it out in public. I love the girdle-belt with the Atom symbol, and I want a pair of cavalier boots like those for my everyday wear. My favorite part is the gnarly light up staff. Screw lantern batteries-- I'll take one of those! Serious props to Indigo-1 as well, because that bald pate is hard core and totally authentic.

Extra special thanks go out to The Irredeemable Shag, who supplied a wealth of swell Indigo Atom pictures for me to choose from. Aside from the picture linked above, check here and here. Gentlemen and the ladies who don't love them owe it to themselves to take in the Star Sapphire costume at those links. Her suit is... plungy. If you'd like to look at the lot (and there is indeed a lot,) scope out Shag's DragonCon 2010 Photos!

Fresh Related Posts:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dragon*Con 2010 The Atom (Ray Palmer) Cosplayer

According to the website, "Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe!" Even under such a specific set of criteria, I find the claim dubious, but the SDCC of Atlanta, GA seems to be the geek event of the American South. Besides, I'm in Houston, a town with a checked convention history. The '90s were full of bogus little ballroom shows that could barely fill a Marriot side room, so I can't cast stones. Plus, The Irredeemable Shag and Girls Gone Geek seem to have had a blast there this year.

Speaking of Shag Matthews, the good man was kind enough to supply a bunch of us her bloggers with access to the treasure trove of his DragonCon 2010 Photos, featuring tons of minty fresh costumed players from the September 3–6 event. In the spirit of Damian Maffei, I've played Where's Waldo?, locating the one guy decked out as the Silver Age Atom waaay back in massive group shots. This was Crisis of Infinite Cosplay folks, as the scale of these get-togethers just keeps growing. Clustered on a rooftop, it's like a Romero zombie epidemic, but bite victims sprout crotch-suffocating lycra instead of developing a lust for brains. Point being, our Tiny Titan was appropriately difficult to find and photograph, so don't blame Shag for the fuzzy images. The Mighty Mite was just that obscure, unlike the outstanding attention hog Plastic Man seen to Ray's left above. That guy was upfront and animated in so many pictures, it makes me glad I don't run a Plas blog, because sifting through all the terrific options would have been murder. Two-edged sword, that. For perspective, check out the original group shots

Above is a final shot from one of my favorite photos from Shag's set, featuring two of my bestest super-pals J'Onn J'Onzz and Ray Palmer, along with good buddy John Henry Irons and even a hint of BLAquaman. Race knows no bounds in cosplay (as we'll see later in the week,) but I wish I could get a brother to sew up a single Bronze Tiger one of these days.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Palmer Posterior #6134014

I had an involved scientific paper in mind for this blog on Monday, but it Wednesday, I have three tests this week, and I've come up bupkis. Instead, you can bum kiss, if you're so inclined...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

2010 Hawkman and The Atom Drawing by Jeff Lemire

Art by the Brightest Day Atom strip's writer, auctioned off in a Doug Wright Awards fundraiser. Read more and enlarge art at Jeff Lemire's blog