Alright, let’s kick off this week celebrating 1988 with an ad for one of the all-time best comic books around: Animal Man! Shot from the first issue of DC Comics’ C.O.P.S. comic, this ad drawn by the amazing Brian Bolland let the world know that Buddy Baker was back in business under the watchful eye of some guy named Grant Morrison. As you can see, this is a differently colored version of the cover for the first issue that also features a few animal changes and a different background, but the same tag line and title treatment.
Now, I was five years old in 1988 so I didn’t experience this book at the time, but as I mentioned when I reviewed all three volumes of Morrison’s run, this is the kind of comic that every comic fan should read because it shows you exactly how to do a mind-bending story with an established hero that both celebrates the good and pokes a bit of fun at the bad. When I went into this week thinking of cool things from 1988 to write and post about, I didn’t actually realize that Animal Man debuted then, but quickly found the ad and knew it was a theme that would work well!
This two page ad from Magnus Robot Fighter #21 (1993) makes me think of two things. First, has there ever been a quality game featuring these characters in the current generation of consoles? I don’t know if I’ve ever played a Terminator game, but I did recently try to play Alien vs. Predator on the 360 and it was frustratingly crappy. I’d be completely happy with an open world Predator game in the vein of Amazing Spider-Man where you’re just running around a map hunting people down. The map could literally be anything, I’d be in. Just make the controls simple, easy to use and FUN.
The second question is, why do crossovers involving these characters tend to suck? I like the two Alien vs. Predator movies just because they have both Aliens and Predators, but they’re not good movies. I’m basically taking what I can get. It doesn’t seem like it would be that hard to come up with a good story. How are the Dark Horse crossovers? I think I might have read some, but don’t remember any.
I didn’t actually make it to the fifth installment of the Mega Man series for the old NES. I’m not exactly sure why that was. Did this one come about after I’d already switched over to Sega? Did I lose interest in video games for a little while? Did I just get sick of never being ABLE TO BEAT THOSE FREAKING GAMES?! Whoa, sorry about that, I lost myself for a moment.
My first exposure to the franchise was Mega Man 2. There was actually a rumor among my friends in those pre-internet days that there wasn’t a previous installment. I don’t remember what the logic behind that was supposed to be. When I finally came across the game in a store, I bought it more to prove my friends wrong than to actually enjoy the game. While I loved MM2 and spent a memorable New Year’s Eve of childhood playing with my dad in an attempt to finally defeat the game, the difficulty level of the first and third installments left me a little cold.
Still, I think the basic idea of the franchise is fantastic — a hero who absorbs the powers of his fallen foes — and should be better utilized these days. How were the ad-on powers in this game? Was Rex in it? Maybe I should find one of those old Mega Man compilation discs and give these another whirl.
Since we spent some of yesterday evening getting the house ready for Christmas and decorating, it seemed like a good time to post this ad for The Muppet Christmas Carol! I don’t know if I ever actually saw this movie as I’ve long been a fan of the ooold school classic version of Christmas Carol, but I plan on remedying that this holiday season.
Anyone remember these NES handheld games starring Mario, Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr.? I didn’t even know they existed until I saw this ad while reading Punisher #15 from 1989. I was mostly taken by the artwork on this ad which seems more stylized than a lot of other DK/Mario artwork I remember from being a kid around this time. Man, that Mario looks MAD.
Happy Thanksgiving everybody! I won’t be posting much today aside form this awesome ad for the home version of Star Wars The Arcade Game I got off the back of the second issue of the Machine Man miniseries from 1984. Look how excited that dude is! Hopefully you’re that excited about Turkey Day and/or Black Friday. I wish you luck in your endeavors, may the Force be with you.
I can only imagine how the Transformers and Yoo Hoo fans must be snickering at this ad. Two also-rans in one place! But, as I’ve said, I liked the GoBots and I also happen to like Quik, so I’m all about this bit of advertising scanned from the first issue of the 1985 Punisher miniseries. Also, not for nothing, but this is a pretty amazing contest. Winners got a complete set of Gobot toys? Boom. I’d take that.
I was a big fan of the Overpower collectible card game in grade school. A lot of my friends were really into Magic, but it was a bit too complicated and I’ve never been much of a fantasy fan, so I mostly didn’t care about learning the mechanics. Overpower was pretty simple and it was already firmly in my wheelhouse because I was a big comic fan. By the time ReCharge came out in 2001 I was done with CCGs, but I still thought this ad looked cool, even if it does consist of pick-up art from the comics. I bet they saved a ton of coin on this series if that’s the route they took with the actual cards themselves.
I am far less interested in what this ad is actually for, but the art that it features. Sure, it’s kind of neat to check out the 1-900 number you could call to order NES systems and games from Sears, but dig those crazy pictures, man. Sure, that’s a pretty classic Mario running around with a mushroom, but check out that wonky drawing of Koopa. Yeah, that’s right, he looks like Satan. Pretty scary stuff.