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January 12, 2009


David Morefield

I dug DC's "avatars," too, like Superman breaking the chains and Batman running in front of that full moon, but you're right, they were never company-wide and even Supes and Bats weren't consistent. That image of The Thing is probably my favorite shot of Ben, period.

Also, yes, the Helicarrier was cool and I think you could apply "It works because it does, 'Nuff said" to about 90% of Kirby's mechanical creations. I remember thinking the "Godzilla" comic was a dumb idea until SHIELD and the 'carrier showed up, at which point I changed my view to "Hey, this has possibilities..."

De Baisch

Big fan of the Helicarrier too. As awful as the Fox Nick Fury TV movie was, I did dig their take on the Helicarrier - no rotors, just big engines.

Michael Rebain

Of course, while DC never achieved the same icon "branding" as Marvel did, a few of us do fondly remember the "GO-GO Checks" that appeared on each comic DC issued during 1966 - 1967, supposedly as a means of distinquishing the books from those of other publishers when only the top portion was visible at the newstand.

Comic Coverage

Funny you should mention the go-go checks, Michael. I've been working my way through the "DC Vault" retrospective on DC history, and the go-go checks were touched upon. Apparently it was DC's response to the pop art craze of the mid-to-late-60's, though the device only lasted about a year (if that). Still, it certainly got your attention!

Okay, I think I may have to subject myself to the Hasselhoff Nick Fury movie just to check out their version of the Helicarrier. Or maybe just wait until it's inevitably shown in one of the upcoming Marvel films (I hope they don't use the lame Ultimate version...which was essentially a naval aircraft carrier with helicopter rotors.

Pat Curley

I think the Go-Go Checks were also added to highlight DC's connection with the Batman comics, which of course were selling like hotcakes at the time (early 1966).

Wes C

Yeah, I've always liked the Helicarrier too.
I always wondered how the general populace of New York and the other cities it would hover over felt about having an immense structure just floating over their heads. I mean, if that thing ever did crash - BOOM! - but like you said, comic book science... have they ever explained it's power source?

I've always like the Marvel corner boxes as well. It really gave the Marvel covers a cohesive look to match the "shared universe" feel of the books, something that DC just never seemed to get a handle on when I was growing up.

I never have really warmed to Romita Sr. though. I respect him and almost every artist I admire cites him as a pivotal influence, so I just assume it's my hang up.


I swear that middle [head] image of the Hulk was done by Gil Kane. But I trust 'ya, Mark! :-)

Comic Coverage

It was pencilled by Kane, but inked by Romita. That was my point: Even when Romita was just inking over pencils of the Hulk, it still looked like a Romita Hulk, yet still exhibiting the style of the penciller. In short, the sign of a great inker.

Comic Coverage

" I mean, if that thing ever did crash - BOOM! - but like you said, comic book science... have they ever explained it's power source?"

I'm sure the power source has been mentioned somewhere, though I'm personally not sure what it would be. Probably nuclear...or some sort of advanced pseudo-scientific invention of Reed Richards and Tony Stark. As for the Helicarrier crashing, it's crashed plenty of times, several of which seem to have happened over the last few years (most recently in Marvel's Secret Invasion). It's sort of Marvel's version of DC's android character Red Tornado repeatedly getting destroyed.

Wes C

"it's crashed plenty of times, several of which seem to have happened over the last few years"

Oops, that's what I get for not following the M.U. too closley for quite awhile. I've always liked S.H.I.E.L.D, but I never kept too close of a tab on their history for some reason - off to Wikipedia I go!


I haven't been paying super-close attention to Marvel's recent Helicarrier history, but it seems like they've been messing around with its *uniqueness*, which is a mistake. Apparently they're rather fragile beasts now, but also too disposable. Blow one up, they'll just crank out more, somehow. Which is exactly wrong, IMO.

I loved the anti-Godzilla Behemoth Helicarrier, whose introduction managed to puff up both SHIELD *and* Godzilla somehow. Godzilla's such a threat that he requires a specially-designed Helicarrier to handle him (i.e., the *regular* Helicarrier, that marvel of Marvel engineering, *couldn't* handle Godzilla!)

And yet, it makes SHIELD look super-competent and cool too, because they *can* create the Behemoth.

I'm in a minority, but I actually kinda liked the Nick Fury TV movie. Allowing for the considerable limitations of being made for the walking dinosaur that is network television, it's OK, and Hasselhoff is by no means the worst thing about it. It has some clever art direction, too. Instead of going for a '60s Steranko/Ken Adam vibe (which, perhaps, the budget wouldn't have allowed for anyway), all the tech has this odd retro-'40s feel to it. Which I'm not sure how you'd *explain* exactly, but it's different and interesting.

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