In Tribute Of Dick Ayers

Dr. Doom by Dick Ayers

Bleeding Cool (via Roy Thomas) reported that the 1950s/1960s Jack Kirby-inker Dick Ayers and longtime Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos penciller passed away on May 4, shortly before what would have been his ninetieth birthday. I was fortunate enough to get the above sketch from him at the 2006 Baltimore Comic Book Show, which was an adventure all in it self.

I was in line waiting to get a sketch, and I really wanted to get one of Nick Fury. But when I was next in line, I told Dick that I wanted a sketch of Hawkeye. I felt just like Ralphie in A Christmas Story, ruining my moment with Santa Claus.

There was a brief pause.

Dick looked up at me from the table and said the following: “You do know that’s a difficult costume to draw.”

There was another awkward pause. Now I’m feeling really embarrassed.

But before I could say something, Dick said “How bout I draw Doctor Doom instead?” I nodded my head just like a confused little kid would. I then spent the next twenty to thirty minutes talking with him about what it was like working for Marvel in his day and he answered every question, even telling me a few interesting stories about Jack Kirby!

And that’s how I wound up having an awkward exchange with a comics legend (that turned itself around) and how he drew Doctor Doom for me. Thanks for the memories, Dick!


Friday Fights #2: Green Arrow vs. Hawkeye

Green Arrow vs. Hawkeye (268/365)

Photo courtesy Flickr user JD Hancock

This week we pit two super archers against each other:  Green Arrow vs. Hawkeye!

ARCHERY MASTERS: Green Arrow and Hawkeye are both considered to be the best archers in their respective universes. They’ve also mastered the art of creating wacky trick arrows, whether they’re boxing-glove or explosive arrows ADVANTAGE: Neither.

COMBAT SKILLS:  They’ve both trained in various martial arts forms. Again, their prime weapon in combat is their archery skills. Hawkeye gets the nod, as he’s trained with Captain America, who is the trainer of the stars over in the Marvel Universe. But Green Arrow has one thing that Hawkeye doesn’t–he’s cagey. Oliver wouldn’t think twice about throwing a handful of sand in Hawkeye’s face, let alone picking up a beer bottle and smacking it upside his head. ADVANTAGE: Slight to Hawkeye.

ANGER MANAGEMENT: Hawkeye may be a reformed criminal, but Green Arrow can get scary tough in a heart beat. Don’t believe me? Read Rise and Fall, where he gets pretty intense. Don’t make Ollie mad. ADVANTAGE: Slight to Green Arrow.

THE WINNER: Clint and Ollie would beat the snot out of each other, and I think they would eventually just call it a day. They really are too similar; they’re both even married to women who have bird codenames! It would end with the two of them hanging out and Green Arrow making his world famous chili for everyone!

Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #1-4

I guess I still have a case of Avengers fever. Since the movie Hawkeye was based on the Ultimate version I decided to give Ultimate Comics Hawkeye a read.

Johnathan Hickman uses the mini series to not only set up future story lines, but as a way to show how much the title carrier is Nick Fury’s operative of choice, recounting their first meeting.

Hawkeye is sent into the war-torn South Eastern Asian Republic, only to find out that the country has released  a biological weapon to exterminate the world’s mutant population.The SEAR also developed  a serum to create their own army of meta humans allowing them to have the upper hand in future military conflicts.

Unfortunately for them, these lab-created meta-humans have revolted, lead by the Ultimate versions of Xorn and Zorn (who respectively lead their own groups called the Celestials and Eternals). It’s up to Hawkeye to get the serum that created Xorn, Zorn and company before they get out of control.

There was just something about this story that was off. I thought it would be more of a black ops type story, but it veered too into the Xorn/Zorn/Celestials/Eternals. It wasn’t that it was poorly executed, it really wasn’t what I was expecting.

On the other hand, Rafa Sandoval’s art was great. I’ve never read anything that he was on, and I must say I was impressed.

12 Gifts of Christmas: Disney Store’s Marvel Selects Exclusive Avengers

If you know someone who likes the Avengers, stop by your local Disney Store. They’ve teamed up with Diamond Select Toys for an exclusive line of Marvel Select figures featuring the Avengers!

What’s so special about them? Marvel Select is a line of high end collector action figures that are super detailed. This line features four Avengers who were heavily featured in some of the recent Marvel films wearing their classic gear. They also come with really elaborate stands and backdrops. Thor can stand victoriously on a huge boulder and Captain America comes with a base and background to recreate the iconic John Cassady cover.

They hit it out of the park with the Black Widow and Hawkeye figures. Not only do they come with a base of building wreckage and a dismantled Ultron, but they come respectively with a tiny version of Ant-Man and Wasp! The detail on Wasp is amazing; she’s sitting on an arrow!

New York Comic Con 2011 Sketch Book: Hawkeye by Tom Raney

Hawkeye by Tom Raney

At New York Comic Con, I also got this quick head sketch from everyone’s favorite archer Hawkeye! It’s by Tom Raney, who is currently working on Marvel’s Avengers Academy.

I’ve been a big fan of many of his stuff over the years, so I was super happy to not only get the chance to talk comics with him but he was generous enough to get this sketch! Super fans of my blog will remember that he also is responsible for the first sketch I ever got at a convention!

Solo Avengers #5

Solo Avengers was an on-going anthology series featuring everyone’s favorite purple and blue archer Hawkeye. The fifth issue had him face his former mentor Trickshot in a battle to the death on an uninhabited island.

Now your probably saying that’s great, but who the heck is Trickshot? Long story short of it, Hawkeye grew up as an orphan in a travelling  circus, and Trickshot took him under his wing.

He trained our hero to be an archery performer, but his love of armed robbery split up this partnership. This story is basically a fight between master and apprentice. So who walks away the winner?

No one technically.

Trickshot is defeated by Hawkeye, who learns that his former mentor is suffering from terminal cancer and this whole thing has been an elaborate way for have an elaborate death at the hands of Hawkeye, who wants nothing to do with this.

Instead Hawkeye forgives Trickshot–who has tried to kill him and his brother over the years–and agrees to help him find and pay for medical help. What a nice guy.