Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Parents don’t always think through the names they give their children, sentencing them to years of schoolyard taunts or scatalogical rhymes. A name is a powerful thing that can shape how a child is perceived, and even what path he might take — in other words, his destiny.
So it’s perhaps understandable if we’re a little alarmed that the Star Wars-inspired “Anakin” was the 957th most popular name among boys last year in the United States, according to the Social Security Administration. You know, the horribly annoying kid from The Phantom Menace who grew up to be the horribly annoying man in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, who became Darth Vader, one of the greatest villains of all time?
A Jedi Master or Sith Lord might use the Force to levitate themselves, but this weekend, they’ll just need a little hot air.
The 33rd annual New Jersey Festival of Ballooning is under way, and this year’s special balloon designs include a pair of Star Wars-themed entries, with Yoda and Darth Vader vying for bragging rights as the show’s most popular.
While many of us might stumble across a piece of driftwood on the beach and simply see something to further clutter up our shelves or mantles, French artist Ann Foucher envisions whimsical characters like an ogre, a farmer, Batman and Robin, and Darth Vader (yes, the Dark Lord of the Sith can be whimsical; maybe).
When “Super Power Beat Down” last fall pitted Darth Vader against Batman in a battle aboard the Death Star, some Dark Knight fans weren’t at all pleased with the results. (Spoiler alert: In turns out Bruce Wayne’s lack of faith was, indeed, his downfall.)
Perhaps heeding that cry, Bat in the Sun has released an alternate ending that, as you might expect, goes a bit better for the Caped Crusader, who demonstrates he’s definitely the smartest guy on that moon-sized battle station.
Passings | Andy Hutton, who drew the popular strip “The Q-Bikes” (which morphed briefly into “The Q-Karts”) for the British comic The Beano, died last month at age 91. Born in Calcutta, Hutton moved as a teenager to Dundee, Scotland, where he began working for Beano publisher DC Thomson at age 14. He quit that job to train to be a pilot in the Royal Air Force, but poor eyesight kept him grounded much of the time. After World War II, he got an art degree and lived in Canada for a while, working in nuclear reactor construction, before returning in 1950 to Scotland. He was a Beano artist for 25 years, and his work included Red Rory of the Eagles, Jack Flash and The Kangaroo Kid; he also taught art in a local high school. [Down the Tubes]
Prince Armory, which created that unnerving Joker armor and the breathtaking Loki armor, has gone medieval on a galaxy far, far away, unveiling a version of Darth Vader that’s both beautiful and frightening.
Jokingly referred to as the “Darth Knight,” the custom mask, helmet and suit are made of leather. If you want other details, like, say, the price, you’ll have to contact Prince Armory. However, I imagine it’ll cost you … and they don’t accept Republic Dataries.
OK, so maybe Batman versus Darth Vader wasn’t exactly a fair fight, but what about Doctor Doom versus the Dark Lord? Alex Ross depicts such a scenario in a painting he created for a friend. Both characters blend magic and technology, and they cut mean figures in their capes and suits of armor. It seems like a pretty good match-up.
If as a kid — or, hell, as an adult — you ever dreamed of seeing Batman face Darth Vader in a lightsaber duel, it’s your lucky day. In the 14th episode of its “Super Power Beat Down” series, Machinima pits the Dark Knight against the Dark Lord of the Sith in a mission to rescue Superman from the Death Star.
I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say we get to hear (but not see) Oracle, and Batman delivers a couple of solid lines, including, “I’ll take my science over your magic any day.” But is Bat-tech enough to overcome the power of the Dark Side?
Although many of us are lucky if our empty soda cans make it as far as the recycle bin, Japanese artist Makaon has found another purpose for them: as raw material for incredible sculptures of pop-culture icons, ranging from Batman and Ultraman to Sgt. Frog and the Catbus.
As you can see from the photos below, and from even more images on the artist’s blog and website, Makaon doesn’t take shortcuts; he even tracks down peach-colored labels for Mario and Luigi’s skin tones.
Among the bigger announcements to come out of Comic-Con International was that Marvel will resume publishing Star Wars comics after a nearly 30 years, 23 years of which the license called Dark Horse home. We’ve known it was happening for a while, of course, but this was the official unveiling of titles and creative teams.
Completely unaffected by all of this is one particular pocket of Star Wars comics, those made by cartoonist Jeffrey Brown, who’s found a great deal of success in marrying his particular wit and style with the pop-culture icons of the franchise. That’s good news for comics and/or Star Wars fans who prefer their take on that universe to be ironic and funny, and, of course, for little kids.
This month, the latest installments of Brown’s two ongoing Star Wars-related projects dropped, one from Chronicle Books, the other from Scholastic.
Brown’s professional, published relationship with Star Wars began with 2012’s Darth Vader and Son, a series of full-color cartoons based on the premise that Luke knew who his real father was at a very young age, and Vader was attempting to raise his innately heroic child as a single parent while balancing his home life with a rather demanding day job: that of a Sith Lord helping the Emperor rule the galaxy with an iron fist. That was quickly followed by Vader’s Little Princess, a collection of cartoons with the same premise, only substituting Leia for Luke.
Following the massively successful Darth Vader and Son and Darth Vader’s Little Princess, cartoonist Jeffrey Brown will return to the Star Wars universe in July with a new book titled Goodnight Darth Vader. To promote its release, Brown shared this wonderful trailer, featuring — you guessed it — various Star Wars characters catching some shuteye everywhere from Dagobah to the Cloud City. The young Luke and Leia, though, have other things in mind while dad sleeps.
Check out the trailer below. The book arrives July 22.
Since The Walt Disney Company announced Tuesday it will acquire Lucasfilm, fans and pundits have pondered what the deal will mean for both the Star Wars franchise and the House of Mouse. But now the Dark Lord of the Sith has weighed in, responding to the all-important (and, frankly, inevitable) question, “Now that you’re part of the Disney family … what will you do next?” Watch the Disney Parks video below.