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Friday, September 16, 2016

Captain Marvel Meets Doc Samson

Captain Marvel is a big fan favorite at the moment, and plays a crucial role during the Civil War II saga. I like this double-scene in Issue 0, where she meets up with Doc Samson after a long time of separation. Then we fast-forward to them sanding together and embracing. It's very atmospheric, with the panoramic window showing the cloudy New York skyline, and all the computer monitors alight. My only question is this: If danger is ever present, why isn't the S.H.I.E.L.D. control room staffed 24/7?

This is another cool pic. It's Captain Marvel seen through the panoramic window, talking introspectively with Doc Samson. It depicts her inner struggle: the need to find time for herself amid a life of constant vigilance. The fact that the New York skyline is shown in reflection, and the morning sunlight is throwing a line of light against the window, adds another layer of reality to the artwork.

Dragon Dave

Friday, September 9, 2016

With Great Power Comes Great Destruction

Justin worked on Marvel's Infinity event a few years ago. In that series, a bomb explodes which spills vast amounts of Terrigen into Earth's atmosphere. Formerly, Terrigen was used in controlled settings, usually for helping children of the Inhumans complete their metamorphoses. Now Terrigen travels around the globe in storms. When a Terrigen cloud appears, ordinary people are encouraged to take shelter.

The reasons for this are obvious. Everyone carries a vast number of unutilized traits in their recessive genes. The Terrigen works on those recessive genes. If a person unknowingly carries an Inhuman trait, the Terrigen transforms the ordinary mortal into an Inhuman with special powers. Of course, as Stan Lee taught us, with great power comes the need for great responsibility. 

In Civil War II Issue 0, Brian Michael Bendis asks this question: What if a person is given great power all at once, and is not able to control it?

It's an interesting question to ask at any time, but even more so in an election year.

Dragon Dave

Friday, September 2, 2016

James Rhodes For President

Most of you probably know Colonel James Rhodes from the Iron Man movies, if not the comics. You may also remember the posts I wrote awhile back, when I covered his adventures as War Machine in Invincible Iron Man Issue 6. In Civil War II Issue 0, Colonel Rhodes has a meeting with...well, let's just say it's with a very important man.

Writer Brian Michael Bendis comes up with an interesting notion here, that billionaire Tony Stark might buy his way into the Presidency of the United States. Isn't it interesting how some people spend their lives destroying people, companies, and anything that would limit their company's personal power, and then, later in life, decide they want to "give back?"

Unlike Tony Stark, James Rhodes isn't like that. But then, that's why we love him.

Dragon Dave

Friday, August 26, 2016

She-Hulk Defends The Defenseless

In Civil War II Issue 0, we find Jessica Walters in court. Her job: to defend a super-criminal codenamed The Jester. This is one of the most painterly examples of Justin's work I've seen lately. It captures all the drama of this courtroom setting as She-Hulk argues on her client's behalf.

Later, on a SHIELD helicarrier, we learn that she lost her case. Yet we love her for believing in her client. After all, no one else does.

She-Hulk may be green, but she's not jaded by her experience as a lawyer. She has not stopped believing in the possibility of someone turning her life around. Perhaps that's why we love her so.

Dragon Dave

Friday, August 5, 2016

A Whole New Civil War

Once upon a time, I knew a boy named Justin Ponsor. Initially, I knew his mother better than I knew him, as she played the piano in my church. But later on, I got involved with the puppet team. He was a great puppeteer, and he and I bonded over our mutual love for puppets. 

While Justin liked puppets, he also loved comics. He knew what he wanted to do when he grew up: he wanted to get involved in comics. Now he's a colorist for Marvel. And this year, he's working on Marvel's premiere summer event: Civil War II

Even if you've never seen the Marvel movies, and are unfamiliar with Marvel characters, you'll no doubt recognize Iron Man, and his comrade-in-armor War Machine. Some characters you might be less familiar with are Captain Marvel and She-Hulk. The latter two may yet to feature in a Marvel movie, but that has more to do with how many great characters inhabit the Marvel universe, and less to do with their popularity. If you've followed this blog, you'll notice that we read the early issues of the current Iron Man series, which featured Iron Man and War Machine. If not, you can scroll back through my posts, and catch up.

I've just learned that Marvel has printed over 380,000 copies of Issue 1. Meanwhile, the prologue story, Civil War II #0, has gone back for a second printing. Compare those numbers with household character books such as Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy, which only merit print runs of a tenth of that number. That gives you an idea of how much popular Marvel's new Civil War II series is. So if you want to read what the majority of comics readers are buying, you might want to pick up a copy of Civil War II Issue 0. 

Then, as you read, you can marvel at the awesome coloring done by Justin Ponsor, former church puppeteer, now premier colorist for a bestselling, mega-popular comic event.

Dragon Dave 

Friday, April 1, 2016

War Machine Versus Ninjas

In Invincible Iron Man 6, Brian Michael Bendis depicts Tony Stark's friend James Rhodes in his War Machine armor, investigating the Stark facility infiltrated by Madame Masque. There he is attacked by two beautiful, but deadly, ninjas. This time, they're ladies.

This photo of Mike Deodato and Frank Martin's artwork suffers a little from light reflection on the right hand side. But you can still compare how differently Dave Marquez and Justin Ponsor treated a similar scene in my earlier Ninja post. Take a look at the ladies' legs, for example. There's no detail in their musculature. You can barely see their feet.

There's much less depth and vibrancy than in the Ninja scenes by Marquez and Ponsor. The skin tones seem particularly flat by comparison. And there's so much black. Ordinarily, I would wonder if that was due to the Inker. But no one is listed as Inker for the issue, so it must be down to artist Mike Deodato or colorist Frank Martin.

I battled with light reflection while taking all my photos of Issue 6. Either that's got something to do with the change in art style, or I suddenly forgot how to use my camera.

Dragon Dave

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Groovy War Machine

In Invincible Iron Man 6, Mike Deodato and Frank Martin's art provides a vivid contrast with that of Dave Marquez and Justin Ponsor. Take this image of James Rhodes in his War Machine armor, for example. Colorist Frank Martin seems to adore orange and black: those colors suffuse nearly every page. By comparison, all other seem muted. As you may have noticed in the earlier posts, the comic nearly becomes black-and-white, with silhouettes, and blazing light, mostly in the orange spectrum, that washes out much of the detail. 

Justin Ponsor colors each frame like a realist, evoking everyday color without, for the most part, enhancing it for effect. Frank Martin's color super-saturation, and his love affair with orange, make me wonder if at heart, he's a child of the swinging 1960s. Justin's work is forever, and for everyone. Frank Martin's color style appeals to the wild child. As Austin Powers might say, he's groovy, baby!

Dragon Dave