Written by Illmatical | @Illmaticalmind
We’re living in the Age of Ultron. Not only Marvel, DC is in the mix. This age, speaks metaphorically for how complacent we’ve become as an audience. Comic book movies don’t have to be good; we’re content and we keep going to the theaters.
During this age of mass comic book film production, the legacy of many superheroes has been damaged by the very medium that should have empowered them.
1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Two guys who loved comics came together and created an empire. Over the years, there have been several horrible, video games, cartoons and movies that punked America’s favorite ninja clan.
The original comic, was much more intense and mysterious. These heroes in a half shell were righteous; but there was a fierceness in them that had been removed – until recently.
I was in a state of shock when I learned that my ninja Donatello got murked out. I refused to believe the Facebook rumors; I was forced to deal with the loss of my ninja, when IGN, a reliable source for comic culture, reported that Donatello had been killed by Bebop and Rocksteady.
Exclusive from Kevin Eastman on The Death of Donatello
I reached out to Kevin Eastman, inquiring about my ninja D and the future of the green team. He responded saying:
“The IDW TMNT series has been by far, the coolest adventure I have been on since the original series I did with the awesome Peter Laird. Tom Waltz is an amazing talent, Bobby Curnow an incredibly skilled editor – and the artists, that bring these stories to life, including colorist Ronda Pattison, are all at the top of their game – each story arc, since the original 12 issues that launched the new series, have always had a carefully thought out dramatic element, as well as keep the balance of the TMNT’s that the fans have embraced over the last thirty years – as we rocket towards issue fifty, this arc is the most exciting yet. Stay tuned my friend… “
Can’t argue with that. Additional info, did you guys know that Last Dragon Tribute editor Craig Sutton owns the entire original series of TMNT? Swag.
2. Snake Eyes
The recent G.I. Joe movies have been heinous. In the process, they’ve taken swag away from one the greatest martial arts characters in comic book history.
80s babies an older; we remember when Snake Eyes represented everything that a ninja should be: silent, deadly and mysterious. He took orders, but no one on the G.I. Joe force tested him.
If you’re looking for that true ninja, you won’t find him in any recent or future movies. Dig in the comic book crates for that character.
Hip Hop’s only superhero! New York City’s only hope! A young martial arts master is on a quest to add his fighting style to a 2,000 year old Chinese legacy.
Keep it indy, the comic creator has teamed up with an amazing group of talented illustrators, designers, graffiti writers, voice actors and music engineers to tell one story.
The comic book is digitally serialized and you can Purchase the digital comic book here.
4. Count Dante
America’s greatest martial arts story gained fame due to comic book ads. A true fist of legend; one of the pioners of American mixed martial arts. His fame became infamy; and he, a villain.
Dante’s story will be introduced to audiences, with the arrival of the eagerly anticipated documentary by filmmaker Floyd Webb, The Search for Count Dante, scheduled to be released in August, 2015.
Floyd is also returning Dante to his comic book roots, publishing the Count Dante graphic novel.
Are you ready for The Deadliest Man Alive?
5. Black Salt
Following in the footsteps of TMNT, Owen Ratliff self published and created this successful indy martial arts series, with the assitance of illustrator J.C. Grande, colorist Santosh Kumar Rath and writer Chad Boudreau.
Who is Black Salt? A no nonsense brother raised deep within China; years later he’d become Interpol’s deadliest weapon. He has to go back to Shaolin and get the assitance of some monks in order to stop a diabolic plot which could end the world.
Who is Black Salt? One of the last heroes left!
This comic series was so successful; Ratliff was able to join forces with director Ben Ramsey and get funding for a short film.
Most recently they’ve launched a second campaign to continue their journey: http://www.usadojo.com/newsletter/the-martial-blast-black-salt-4.html
6. Zen the Intergalactic Space Ninja
Who? One of the benefits of having an older brother, was getting put on to things your peers would miss. I was introduced to Zen in the early 9os, he was out of this world.
This comic was initially self published by Steve Stern and Dan Cotes in the late 80s. A space ninja raised on a foreign planet; birthed on intergalactic martial arts and later a space mercenary. Zen is that Ninja.
Look out for a new Zen series in 2015.
During this Age of Ultron, we have to go back to the foundation; there in the comic book universe, you’ll find a group of martial arts superheroes that will collectively wipe the Avengers out; these characters have swag unlimited.
~Clarke Illmatical 無敵將軍
Clarke Illmatical is a writer from Queens, NY. He is the creator, director and writer of the martial arts fantasy fiction story MASTERNEVER AND THE FLOW OF DEATH. In addition to writing for The Last Dragon Tribute; his work has appeared in The Amsterdam News, Norwood News, CLOUT magazine, Kung Fu Cinema and The Streets Are Saying Things. Twitter: @illmaticalmind
TheLastDragonTribute.com is a blog dedicated to The Last Dragon fan community with an aim to preserve the joy of Berry Gordy’s 1985 Motown meets Kung Fu cult classic The Last Dragon. It was started by a fan for the fans. Follow us from the links below for your daily dose of the Glow!