“First Blood” Prequel, Anyone? (Updated)

Paolo Cubadda created the very cool art above.  I saw it at Sylvester Stallone’s Official Sly Stallone Shop on Instagram.  Here’s what they said about the art…

Amazing fan art of what a FIRST BLOOD prequel look like called Baker Team. Who would love to see the origins of John Rambo?

I think a First Blood prequel could work under the right conditions.  It would be easier as a novel but I would want to see David Morrell return to his creation.  A movie would be tougher since Sly Stallone is so associated with the character.  One thing I’ve learned over the years though is never say never.

Thanks to SZoner, Bruno Leon for providing Bruno’s name!

The Expendables Go to Hell by Sly Stallone & Chuck Dixon with Art by Graham Nolan & Others!

The Expendables Go To Hell is a full color graphic novel with a story by Sly Stallone & Chuck Dixon and art by Graham Nolan, Kelsey Shannon, Jason Johnson, Butch Guice and Daniel Brown.  The idea is that The Expendables are killed in combat and awaken in hell. There they find fallen comrades, famous and infamous folks from history and more than a few surprises.

Graham Nolan will handle the art chores on the 50 page main story with three side stories adding to the graphic novel’s page count.  Here’s how they break down:

  • THE BRIDGE- Barney Ross is stunned to find the soul of his still-living friend Tool, trapped in Hell! Art by Jason Johnson (TEAM 7).

  • CHRISTMAS IN HELL- Lee Christmas is lured away from the team just when they need him most! Art by Kelsey Shannon (NORAH’S SAGA)

  • BARBARIAN’S HOLIDAY- Gunner Jensen makes the most of a bad situation! Art by Butch Guice (DOCTOR STRANGE).

The Main Cover will feature art by Kelsey Shannon. In addition, there will be Variant Covers by…

  • Billy Tucci (SHI)


  • Jason Johnson (TEAM 7)

  • Renzo Rodriguez (DESOLATION WAVE)

  • And possibly MORE!

The Expendables Go To Hell is being crowd-funded on Indiegogo.  As the campaign grows, STRETCH GOALS will be unlocked which will add more value to each perk with no additional cost! Pin-ups, bookmarks, decals and more and projected.

Since the initial goal was $10,000 and The Expendables Go To Hell is now over $36,000.00 we should start seeing quite a few stretch goals soon.  This is going to be a fun project.  I’m on board (for the Kelsey Shannon cover!) and look forward to watching the project grow.  Click over and join in!

Everything You Need to Know About “Rambo V: Last Blood”

Padraig Cotter at ScreenRant has posted what he believes to be Everything You Need to Know About Rambo V: Last Blood.

The article does a good job of covering the film and is worth a read.  Here are a couple of tidbits that stuck out to me…

  • The star planned to adapt the novel Hunter for Rambo V, which finds a legendary tracker being tasked by the government to track down a feral, man-made monster. Hunter leads a team of mercenaries after the creature, which seemingly cannot be killed.  Since Hunter and Rambo are essentially the same character, Stallone felt the book would make a strong basis for a sequel. When Stallone later pitched this version on Ain’t It Cool News, it was met with swift derision from fans, so he soon scrapped the concept; that said, it was recently confirmed he plans to adapt Hunter as a solo movie.

Although at first look, Rambo and Hunter are similar (and the adaptation would have been fairly easy), I was glad that the decision was made to scrap this idea.  I’m even happier that Sly plans to adapt Hunter as a solo movie.

  • First Blood author David Morrell revealed in an interview that, around the time Stallone was working on Creed, he got in touch about working on a script that would mark a “soulful” final journey for John Rambo. The pair collaborated on this concept, which Morrell says would have contained action, but it was more about a man who had spent his life at war contemplating his past. The author feels this undiscovered Rambo V concept could’ve garnered awards recognition, but when Stallone took it to producers, they rejected it and wanted to focus on the human trafficking story instead. It appears the star wasn’t happy with this, as Stallone later announced his retirement from both the Rambo and Expendables franchises.

Morrell is not only the creator of Rambo, but an outstanding, award-winning author.  It would have been very interesting to see the direction he took Rambo.  Morrell still owns the rights to publish any Rambo stories but has elected to tell other stories.

With all that said, click over and check out Everything You Need to Know About Rambo V: Last Blood.

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week…

Sly and the Family Stallone News for the Week…

Sly Stallone and “The Drawings of Bob Peak”

The Bob Peak drawing above is of Sylvester Stallone from Paradise Alley!

I discovered the piece as part of an advertisement for a new book of Bob Peak drawings being put together by Thomas Peak through Kickstarter. Here’s the book’s description…

“THE DRAWINGS OF BOB PEAK”. This new 160 page oversized soft cover book (14″ x 11″) curated collection of his best drawings is a comprehensive look into a rarely viewed side of Bob Peak with never before seen charcoal, graphite, art marker, pen, ink, pencil, and pastel drawings from the maestro himself. This oversized book will take on the look and feel of the actual artwork with drawings large enough to study and admire the mastery of the artist Bob Peak. A “Collectors Edition” of (100 copies only) is also available. Produced by Art Works Fine Art Publishing which also produced the original “The Art of Bob Peak” book, this new book will be of the same high quality that you expect and I require. I will produce nothing surrounding the legacy of my father Bob Peak that does not meet with the highest standards. I appreciate your support. You will NOT be disappointed.

I’ve backed the project and look forward to getting the book in my mitts. If this sounds like something you’d like, then jump on board!

Special Editions of David Morrell’s First Blood Trilogy Coming!

David Morrell, Rambo and Sylvester Stallone fans get ready to be excited!  

Gauntlet Press in collaboration with Borderlands Press have special editions of David Morrell’s Rambo trilogy set for publication starting in 2015.

Leading the way will be Morrell’s First Blood special edition which will feature…

…essays by David Morrell and by New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry as well as the never-before-published outline for the novel and the original first chapter.

As excited as I am for the special edition of First Blood, I am equally excited about the hardcover special edition treatment that David Morrell’s Rambo II and Rambo III novels will get.  Anyone who has ever read them will understand.

For more information check out Gauntlet Press’ First Blood by David Morrell page.

Interview with Rambo Creator, David Morrell

There’s a nice little interview with Rambo creator, David Morrell over at Jonathan Maberry’s blog.  Here are a couple of quotes:

First Blood has been constantly in print for 38 years.

It’s an odd experience to be associated with one of the five most identifiable characters in the world, along with Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, James Bond, and Harry Potter.

It’s pretty cool that Sly is associated with one of the five most identifiable characters in the world.

You can read the entire interview by clicking here.

“First Blood” Movie Cover Paperback Released

First Blood by David Morrell

Publisher: Ballentine

Copyright: 1972

Edition shown: 1st Ballentine edition paperback, November 1982

Tagline“Nobody in the small Kentucky town knew his name was Rambo. All they knew was that he was a stranger… and that he looked like trouble. Rambo was trouble. The Army had trained him in the art of killing and now he did not know how to stop.”

Comments: The novel was written a decade before it was made into a movie. David Morrell is one of my favorite writers [and has been since I first read this book in 1973]. If you haven’t read First Blood, you should!

– Craig Zablo