Saturday, March 31, 2012
This time in our roads not taken alternate universe Kal-El's spaceship lands in the British Isles. He is taken in and adopted by a wealthy family, Ian and Edith Kent. Ian is the scion of a wealthy noble family who has managed to hang onto their money over the years and Kal-El, now named Clark (what else), is adopted into privilege and sent to the finest exclusive schools. However, as it turns out, mom and dad actually work for British intelligence on the side and try to avoid letting their son in on, although he sort of figures it out. Of course this was somewhat inspired by Harry Potter but also by the time I spent living in England. Clark's superpowers sort of develop between home and school so if the parents are keeping secrets from him he's keeping even bigger secrets from them. As a matter of fact, Clark stumbles on their little secret with his super hearing and X-Ray vision. Then he helps them out on a couple of cases without them even being aware that's where the assistance came from. The Superboy figure is a bunch of GI Joes put together and painted in a more traditional manner - after all, this is set in a more traditional country, right. The Harry Potter figure represents Clark, if you hadn't already figured that out.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
In this alternate roads not taken universe Kal-El lands on an earth that has resurrected dinosaurs in a "Jurassic Park" kind of experiment that has gotten totally out of hand. They got lose, they thrived and now they are actually endangering the human race. Smaller than their prehistoric counterparts, these dinosaurs are quick, agile and unrelenting. Kal-El was taken in by Professor Lang and his family and raised alongside Lana, being given the name Lathaam Lang. The family soon realizes he possesses extraordinary powers which, as he grows older, helps them survive in an increasingly brutal and violent world where evolution has turned on those who would tinker with it. Additionally, groups of hunters and scavengers trek the back woods, seeking quickly disappearing technology and trying to eradicate a species that has learned to adapt to man's world. During Lathaam's adventures he meets a young woman about his own age who has gone truly native and survives on her own in the wilderness. Her name is Lois Lane and the two of them soon strike up something more than just a friendship. The Lathaam Lang figure was made using various GI Joe parts. There's actually an S-symbol on the back of his vest. Lois is another of the Phoenix Follies figures from England, now marketed in France.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
This roads not taken version of Superboy has Kal-El landing in a post-apocalyptic world a little on the order of Mad Max. Civilization has broken down and those who aren't living in small, agricultural communities are mostly on the road in any type of vehicle they've managed to cobble together. Some of these are large and powerful and some are driven by wind or sunlight at slow speeds. The punkers rule the roads and the communities are in virtually constant conflict with them. Small police forces are overwhelmed by the violence and mostly try to look after themselves and their families. Kal, who is known as Cal, is raised in one of the communes, but one day while he is away it is ravaged by one of the punker gangs. Cal sets himself a quest to rid the world of these violent punker gangs. The question is whether or not that task is within even his great power. The Cal figure is from GI Joe parts with a Superpowers Collection Superman cape. The punk girl is another one of the Phoenix Follies figures.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
This is another of my roads not taken story lines, this time with Kal-El's rocket ship landing on an earth that has survived "The Great War" and rejected the technology they blame for the destruction. But people have a tendency to build things, whether it be a hovel on the edge of the woods or a city or whatever. The man who discovers Kal-El's spaceship hides it in the ground and raises Kal, known as Kelly in this world, to young adulthood. Kal still remembers his Kryptonian heritage and language so when he's old enough, along with his adopted father, he begins to use the advanced technology from the stars to aid his adopted world. One of his first tasks is to build a bunch of robots that can till the soil, construct virtually anything and generally relieve the people of their daily grind work load. However, the Triumvirate of Wizards who control things don't take too kindly to this interloper reintroducing technology and begin to repress the people. Kelly fights them and soon uncovers a hidden truth - that he's not the only technology user on this world. This time around I used the Star Wars figure of Nien Numb, Lando's co-pilot in Return of the Jedi, and the head from a 'boyfriend' in a fashion girl line of figures to make Kelly/Kal-El. I put his S-symbol on the back of his jacket.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
In this roads not taken segment Kal-El's spaceship plunges through a wormhole and back in time to an Arthurian/Camelot type of period. Discovered by the Wizard Ulric the young man he names Clarke comes of age in the court of King Rodderick the Just. Essentially employed as a page in the court, Clarke sees trouble brewing in the kingdom and, using his emerging superpowers, takes on the knightly persona of Super Knight with a suit of armor he fashions himself. He becomes enamored of a young, mystical girl named Leda of the Forrest (on left), who lives alone and seems to posses some magical powers. When the neighboring King Erskine and his mysterious confident Dorkas the Dark Lord conspire to undermine King Rodderick's rule, it will take all of Clarke's powers to stymie them. The knight is from a line of similar figures I found in a gift shop and put the S-symbol and a Toy Biz Superman cape on. Sometimes I find things I can use in the oddest places. The girl was originally a fairy figure by Superior Models, sculpted by John Dennet. I filled in the hole in her back for the wings and painted her.
Friday, March 23, 2012
This is my second orange sun Superboy universe in my roads not taken story lines. This time Kal-El crashes in a field and a couple from the big city who are on vacation happen upon him. They take him in and raise him in a similarly loving family environment as the Kent's had done in other realities. At first it's a little difficult to determine if some of the powers Kal is beginning to manifest are just greater strength and abilities than most or truly superpowers because he is not as powerful under the orange sun. They eventually realize there is something more and he adopts the Superboy persona in order to fight crime and evil. The family also adopts a Latino girl who was the orphaned daughter of neighbors who died in an accident and she becomes fully integrated into the family. She's about three years younger than Kal-El and he's very protective of her, which is a good thing because she seems to always be getting herself into trouble. Also there's a female criminal who dresses all in tight black, carries a whip and calls herself Lash who bedevils him and he has conflicted feelings about - sort of a cross between Catwoman and Marvel Comics Black Cat. The figure is a Mego Pocket Superheroes Batman with the head from a Battlestar Galactica Starbuck and the cape from a Toy Biz Superman figure. I liked the idea of gauntlets on this one.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
This time around in my roads not taken alternate Superboy universes we have the speed racer version of the boy of steel. This time Kal-El's spaceship lands in a field near the garage of a stock car racing family, the Gibbins. Pops retrieves the baby from the wreckage and the family takes him in and raises him around fast cars and the smell of gasoline and burning rubber. Pops is a good man and always plays straight, which doesn't always get him where he'd like to be. There's also an older son named Rico, who acts as big-brother, who is a race car driver. Kal-El is given the nickname of Rocky because when he was small he fell on the floor and when his head struck he cracked the hard-wood. In his teens Rocky starts his career as Superboy and battles a succession of bad guys, some associated with racing and some not. Lana Lang (figure on left) is sort of a race-track groupie but the boy of steel still harbors a crush on her. I liked the idea here of Superboy having a big brother and being associated with something other than farming. Some of you may think that I hate Lana Lang because I'm always turning her into a bad girl, but I just think she could have been written a lot more interesting than she was. Superboy is again made from GI Joe parts, the tank-top really making him look middle class, with a cape from the Toy Biz Superman. Lana is another Phoenix Follies figure with a beer can on her hip and a come-hither stance.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
OK, well we had to have at least one bad-boy Superboy in my stream of posts on roads not taken, so here he is. Instead of landing near the Kent farm Kal-El's spaceship ends up on the grounds of an estate owned by the gangster Boss Martinelli. From the outset the childless Martinelli sees the potential of having an adopted son with the powers baby Kal-El is beginning to manifest. He raises the boy, whom he names Robert or Bobby, to share his own vision of the world as a place to exploit and plunder and, although we'd like to think otherwise, Kal-El eases into the role almost effortlessly. Keeping his powers largely secret the Martinelli family soon finds the competition back in Metropolis suddenly disappearing, including both rival gang members and members of the law-enforcement community. By his late teens Bobby is having a great time, with nearly every pretty girl in town just dying to be with him. The only fly in the ointment is Lana Lang, who Bobby had a bit of a crush on in school and who now has set off on a crusade to try to bring the Boss and his protege down with the help of a private detective named Lex Luthor. As for the figures, the party girls on left are 90mm figures from El Viejo Dragon Miniaturas of Spain, while the detective girl on right is another Phoenix Follies figure, originally from England and now produced in France. The Superboy-Bobby figure is again a collection of various GI Joe figure parts. I thought the head had a nice sneery expression that lent himself to the gangster persona.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Continuing my roads not taken posts we have the Ninja Superboy. This time Kal-El arrives on earth but it is an earth that is quite different (for him) because instead of the nice yellow globe that is our sun, in this particular universe the earth's sun is orange. Not red, so he does have some powers, but not yellow so those powers are reduced. For example, he really can't fly but he can leap great distances; he's not invulnerable but he is resistant to physical injury and while bullets may not penetrate his skin because it has some give they can break a bone underneath; his X-Ray vision allows him to see through fabric or wood, like walls, but not tree trunks or rocks; and he might be able to give you a hot-foot with a stare but he couldn't cleave you in half with heat vision even if he wanted to. Kal-El lands in an area controlled by many peoples. Geographic descriptions that apply on our earth don't on this one so the topography and racial densities are totally different. There is a Lana Lang, but there is also a Lois Lane and a Li Lin, all of whom hold places in his heart. Everyone is trained in the martial arts and great tournaments are held to see who is the most proficient. Can even Superboy's more meagre super powers enable him to triumph against the best this world has to offer? The figure is a repainted GI Joe Ninja Force (Storm Shadow I think), along with the cape from a Toy Biz Superman figure. By the way, ever wondered how to tell the difference between the Toy Biz Superman cape and the Superpowers Collection Superman cape? Well, in the bottom photo the Toy Biz cape is at right and the Superpowers is at left. The Superpowers always has a finely inscribed S-sign, while the Toy Biz version is more yellow blobby.
Monday, March 19, 2012
In my continuing roads not taken series of posts we have Superboy on another dark and dangerous earth. This time out America is being ruled by a dictator, his secret police and an army of storm troopers, all committed to the continued rule and well-being of their master. Kal-El has been raised by a family of pacifists who have learned to survive by staying under the radar. However, as Kal reaches his later teen years he becomes increasingly disenchanted with the pacifist way of life and decides he needs to make a difference and rock the proverbial boat. Part of his incentive is a bad-ass biker chick who makes tip and run raids against the ruling establishment and tries to make the authorities appear ineffectual. She is, of course, Lana Lang, and Kal is smitten with her hot chick persona. When she's captured he breaks her out of a maximum security prison and the two of them, along with a few other costumed vigilantes, begin to sew the seeds of change in an oppressive society. Again, I tried to give Superboy a little different look with the waders and no sleeves. He still wears a cape, which I was a little conflicted about, but what the heck - he is the boy of steel. Superboy was made from various GI Joe parts and the cape is from a Superpowers Collection Superman. The figure I used for Lana is a biker chick from the English Phoenix Follies line, now available under that name from a French company. She was wearing a helmet so I had to do a little sculpting on her hair.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
On this particular road not taken, Superboy lands on a very different earth than anything we know. It is a world that has suffered from the ravages of technology and has chosen to reject such advancements. Kal-El is found and raised by a community spiritual leader who endows him with a philosophical bent as he leads a group of coverts to his New Awakening Church. Kal-El is able to breath life back into the dead (re inflate the lungs), see where no one else can (X-Ray vision), stare a fire into the hearth (heat vision) and quite literally resist the slings and arrows of his detractors (invulnerability). However, little does the movement know that Empress Lana (Lang of course) had surrounded herself with a group of techno barons who wish to restore the power of technology throughout the land and have even resurrected metal men (robots) as cohorts in that endeavor. Will Kal-El maintain his pacifist ways or will he be drawn into combat with the evil forces of technology? That is the question. The figure is a Star Wars Zuckuss body and the head from a miniature doll line showing a much more youthful face for Kal-El. The cape is from a Superpowers Collection Superman.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
In my Superboy, roads not taken series of posts, I present Superboy the Robot Fighter. Basically the story goes that Kal-El lands on an alternate earth that has been taken over by robots, ala Magus-Robot Fighter or maybe even the Terminator series of movies. He's raised by a member of the underground who teaches him various martial arts skills because the robots are tough. He also presents Kal with a small needle gun of his own creation (strapped to right thigh) that can take out those pesky robots if you hit 'em in the right spot. Again, Superboy gathers a group of like-minded humans, including Lana Lang, who wear body armor and call themselves the Superboy Action Squad, or the S.A.S. for short. I put this version of Superboy together from a number of GI Joe parts and used the cape from a Superpowers Collection Superman. I thought the sleeveless with gauntlet look was kind of unique. I also liked the idea of Superboy packing heat. After all, since they're just robots you can blow them away and not feel any guilt about it - a rather unique situation for a Superboy to find himself in.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
I've been discussing Superboy and roads he might have taken had things been different. This time up we have a bleak world where mercenary gangs rule the mean streets of overpopulated and violent cities. He had been raised on those mean streets by a family who had a mom-and-pop business and had been killed in the cross-fire of the mercenary power struggle. He had been raised next door to the Langs, with whose daughter Lana he had developed a much stronger bond than he did in his normal universe. As a result, when he revealed his powers to her when they were young she encouraged him to try to make a difference and the pair drew to themselves like-minded people who would aid in their campaign. Adopting a hooded costume that he considered more intimidating and with Lana (despite not having any superpowers) decked out in a similar fashion the pair of them attempt to lead their world into a brighter tomorrow. How romantic. Oh well, I'm just making this up as I go along. Anyway, I used a number of different GI Joe body parts for Superboy and a GI Joe Scarlet for Lana, with a couple of capes from the Superpowers Collection Superman for good measure.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Continuing with my Superboy-Roads Not Taken theme, this is the first post concerning my own versions of Superboy as he may have appeared in alternate universes and story-lines. In this case I envisaged Superboy's rocket to earth getting caught in a wormhole and zapped into the future. Far into the future. Into the 45th Century as a matter of fact. There he encounters an earth that is ruled by huge corporations and threatened by high-tech criminals (gosh, sounds just like this century now that I think about it). One of the biggest of the corporate bosses is - you guessed it - a descendant of Lex Luthor, who actually owns other worlds. Baby Kal-El is discovered by a family who is operating under the radar in a city of the future and they manage to keep him rather sequestered for many years until the authorities realize he doesn't have an implanted ID chip. From then on out Kal-El must struggle against armored warriors nearly as powerful as he is and a Luthor who wants to turn him into a laboratory experiment into producing an army of super powered, obedient soldiers. The figure is a Animated Batman Tim Drake Robin repainted. I did a similar figure for my alternate earths modern Superboy group of figures so check that out too.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
As I mentioned in my previous post during the Superboy TV series there were some episodes where Superboy is introduced to alternate universes. In one his rocket fell to earth on another farm where a very ambitious and ruthless man took the baby Kal-El under his wing and turned him into a world conqueror. This world is revealed as being rather bleak and far more backward than our reality, with the ruling Superboy, called the Sovereign, using his powers to suppress dissent and probably a lot of initiative and enlightenment in the process. Even his uniform is darker, with a more burgundy-hued cape and "S" sign and black leather boots and gauntlets. Ironically on this world Lex Luthor is leading the resistance with Lana Lang as his chief lieutenant. Lana and the Sovereign apparently have a history but in the end of the story she's the one who takes out the bad Superboy. The figure is a Star Wars General Madine and the cape is from the cloak of an Imperial Guard, while the head is once again from a Battlestar Galactica Starbuck.
Monday, March 12, 2012
I don't know how many (if any) of you remember the Superboy TV series that ran for four seasons in syndication between 1988-1992. The first season starred John Haymes Newton as Superboy and Stacey Haiduk as Lana Lang. Haymes Newton was replaced in seasons 2, 3 and 4 by Gerard Christopher, with Stacy hanging around channeling Lana. I think I enjoyed all of it but some of the later seasons were better. There were several episodes in the "Roads Not Taken" story line where we get to see alternate universe versions of the boy of steel. In some he's a darker character, including one where he cleaves that pesky Lex Luthor with his heat vision (personally I would have offed the bald headed miscreant years ago) and one in which he was raised not by the kindly Kent family but by a man who had a yearning for power and raised Kal-El to rule the world - which someone with his powers would probably have been able to pull off. I liked those story lines and, having a really fertile imagination, decided to create a few of my own. So the next several posts will include some material about Gerard Christopher (whom I've met) and my own versions of the Roads Not Taken. Stay tuned. As for the figure - I used a Mego Pocket Superheroes figure of Superman coupled with the head from a Battlestar Galactica Starbuck and the cape from a Superpowers Collection Superman to make this Superboy.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
The Destructor's back-story is really out of the Golden Age, even if he was set in the mid-1970's from Atlas Comics. Jay Hunter is a hot-shot young bully-boy of the local mob who's father is a dedicated scientist working on a special project to give people the heightened senses of the animal kingdom. When the mob boss thinks Jay is getting a little bit too big for his britches he sends a "torpedo" to kill the kid and his father. Dad leaps in front of the kid and takes most of the slugs, then with his last dying act he gives Jay the formula. Jay swears vengeance on the mob and sets out to destroy their infrastructure with his enhanced abilities. This results in the mob sending skilled and semi-superpowered enforcers after him, all of whom he defeats. In the last of the issues I own he encounters a group of underground dwellers, similar to Marvel Comics Morlocks, called the Outcasts who seem to be mutants with various uncanny abilities. When making the figure I used the body from a Toy Biz Daredevil, the arms and legs from a Silver Surfer and the head from a Captain America.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
So there were these three astronauts who had to evacuate this space station and return to earth in a hurry and crash-landed in the arctic. Two of them were killed when the capsule exploded but Ed Tyler was blown clear. He was taken down to an underground complex by these aliens who have basically been fiddling with the human race since they were swinging from trees and informed that this earth thingy was all an experiment that went awry. So they were about to blow up the planet! Not good. So Ed escapes, taking an alien suit with him when he goes and with it he finds he can manipulate the atomic structure of the universe. The aliens are attacking Reykjavik, Iceland so he saves the city and thus becomes - are you ready for it - the Phoenix of Reykjavik. He basically battles the aliens for a total of three issues before disappearing, also fighting Yetis the aliens controlled and an alien made up like Satan along the way. In one panel he's actually referred to as the man of the atom, which really sort of makes him a Dr. Solar clone (see previous post). For this Atlas Comics Phoenix I used a Toy Biz Spider-Man with the head from a Punisher.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Two brothers are waylaid by three members of a street gang calling themselves the Rat Pack (didn't Sinatra and the boys have a lock on that Moniker?). The brothers are taken to a cellar where Gerald is subjected to gnawing pet rats and confesses his brother Arthur has a couple of hundred dollars stashed away. The gang send Arthur to get the money but the Dark Avenger shows up and beats the crap out of the gang and frees Gerald, who seems to think that maybe he knows the man behind the mask. Turns out it's Arthur, who works in a rare metals factory (really, they have factories for that? I thought the government had a lock on rare metals). Arthur finds a meteorite of VERY rare metals and manages to fashion the material into an indestructible suit, making him impervious to bullets and that sort of pesky nonsense. As far as I know the Dark Avenger only had one adventure in the back pages of Phoenix No. 3 (more on him later) and then slipped off to comics oblivion along with the rest of the Atlas stable. I used a Toy Biz Silver Surfer body and the head, arms and legs from a Daredevil for the figure and fashioned the cape out of some material I had at hand. Since this was an early conversion I wasn't using T-shirt material at the time.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
As you may or may not know, Mego has been known over the years for producing eight inch superhero and other action figures with cloth outfits. They have a big following in the secondary market-place but I've never particularly liked them - basically too big, kind of fragile (their joints were rather weak) and a little clunky. Plus I'm not a seamstress. The best I can manage in cloth is a cape and the odd cloak or robe. Anyway, in addition to their eight inch figure line Mego also produced some superhero figures in 3 3/4" scale, including a few DC and a few Marvel figures in the late 1970s/early 1980s. I never really paid too much attention to them in the past but I've recently been scaling back my larger figure collection (5-7 inches) to the space-saving 3 3/4", so when I saw a Mego Captain America on ebay I thought it might have some potential. The basic figure I bought (at right) was the basic plain figure Mego used to sell. The left pic is after I got through with it and added a shield. I was actually surprised at the amount of detail in the figure.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
This is my second installment in the Atlas Comics posts. Scorpion was a character I wasn't sure what to make of. I never got the first issue but in the second, which seemed to be set in the 1930's or 40's he's a sort of Dominque Fortune (Marvel Comics character set in the same time period) named Moro Frost who takes on private detective sorts of jobs that interest him. In issue three Moro dies during World War II, shot from the sky and crashing in the first three panels. But Scorpion survives as a new guy, David Harper, and there's a little note that says maybe we'll find out all about it in a future issue (Scorpion didn't get past that third one - more's the pity). David is a newspaper man and a costumed adventurer by night who's approached by a blond girl named Sara who's Rabbi father has been kidnapped by Nazis led by a masked figure calling himself the Golden Fuhrer (actually I know a blond Jewish girl named Sara, but her father's not a Rabbi). The Fuhrer knows the Rabbi has special gifts and wants him to raise his dead soldiers. Instead the Rabbi raises a Golem who starts kicking Nazi butt, and tussles with Scorpion along the way. The figure is a combination of a Toy Biz Daredevil body, Silver Surfer head and legs and the arms from a Spider-Man. The objects on his wrists are cable shooters and came from my parts box.