Some people say that Heath Ledger died bringing his character to the screen. Tom Hardy looks like he suffered equally for his art.
This trailer is expected to hit in front ofThe Avengers on Friday but it hit the net unexpectedly this morning. I will say that it gives us some more snippets of what to expect but all in all I’m still pretty blind as to what sort of turn this film is going to take when it finally hits theaters. It hints that Bane really does break the Bat the way he did in Knightfall and that we may be getting a sort of absolute finale for the Batman character when the credits roll. I know Christopher Nolan is an unconventional filmmaker to say the least so I don’t expect a simple resolution. Not by a long shot.
Christian Bale’s creepy beard thing here is destroying my psyche.
Matt Damon walking away from the franchise didn’t seem to stop the producers from moving forward with another installment. Here’s the trailer for the new film The Bourne Legacy starring Jeremy Renner as the new protagonist. I have to say based off of what little the trailer offers that it could be a step up for the franchise because I could actually follow the action. The lack of “shaky-cam” alone is enough to get me in the theater but the addition of Edward Norton and Stacy Keach also pique my interest.
I can’t speak definitively but I could see this being just as good if not better than the previous three entries. I would actually be interested in seeing the series continue with new leads every couple of movies. Eventually they will have to drop the “Bourne” name but I’m sure they’ll find a way to keep the threads connected. I honestly would rather they continue the franchise with a new lead every so often than have to deal with an inevitable reboot/remake situation. We’ll see how things play out when the film hits later this summer. If it does as well as the Damon installments I expect to hear sequel talk pop up pretty quickly.
The Superbowl brought us a bevy of new trailers for some pretty important nerd properties. I probably should have commented on this sooner but my personal life has been taking a dramatic upswing in quality and I honestly didn’t even get to watch them until last night and, in the case of the new Amazing Spider-Man trailer, this morning.
All that you need to see are posted below and some of them impressed me more than I was expecting, especially that one for Spider-Man, because the initial teaser left me wondering if I should even bother seeing it in theaters. But that’s not the point. The point is that there are a bunch of new promos for some big nerd properties and you may now commence drooling.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
G.I. JOE RETALIATION
Observations: The Avengers sold me with the “We Have A Hulk” line. G.I. Joe looks like it’ll be cheesy fun that makes up for the first installment. Battleship looks like ass. John Carter looks like it will be a good film that gets passed over because it doesn’t really grab the attention of the viewer. They really should have kept the “Of Mars” in the title there.
Well folks, the hammer finally dropped. It looks as if DC comics has finally decided to unleash the prequels for Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal classic Watchmen under the uninspired banner-title of “Before Watchmen.” We’ve been hearing rumors about this for quite some time and while initially it seemed like a bad joke, last year BleedingCool started running supposed concept art for the project that started getting yanked down at the request of DC, adding legitimacy to the ruView postmor and fanning the fires of speculation. The speculation has finally ended and the truth has come out.
Neither Alan Moore nor Dave Gibbons will be involved creatively in the project, with several mini-series being handled by a cadre of talent that ranges from exciting to unsettling. Alan Moore could probably care less about the development, as his feelings on the matter are pretty well established even if he did speak them in a magical language that only Alan Moore himself understands. Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons however gave a comment to DC’s The Source which broke the news today saying:
“The original series of WATCHMEN is the complete story that Alan Moore and I wanted to tell. However, I appreciate DC’s reasons for this initiative and the wish of the artists and writers involved to pay tribute to our work. May these new additions have the success they desire[.]”
So what can we look forward to in this little prequel installment? Here’s the rundown of all the titles:
RORSCHACH, a 4-issue miniseries by writer Brian Azzarello with art by Lee Bermejo
MINUTEMEN, a 6-issue miniseries with writing and art handled by Darwyn Cooke
COMEDIAN, a 6-issue miniseries by writer Brian Azzarello with art by J.G. Jones
DR. MANHATTAN, a 4-issue miniseries by writer J. Michael Straczynski with art by Adam Hughes
NITE OWL, a 4- issue miniseries by writer J. Michael Straczynski with art by Joe and Andy Kubert
OZYMANDIAS, a 6 -issue miniseries by writer Len Wein with art by Jae Lee
SILK SPECTRE, a 4-issue miniseries by writer Darwyn Cook with art by Amanda Conner
So how do I feel about all this?
Let’s be honest. Watchmen is an amazing book. It’s a classic and its importance to the world of graphic literature cannot be understated. It represents a shift in the way comics were written and understood and that does not change just because we’re getting more books with those characters by other creators down the line. The characters were hobbled from the Charleston universe and twisted into their own place by Alan Moore in the eighties. So while there is a standalone universe to Watchmen it isn’t necessarily an original invention. Getting angry that someone else wants to play in that sandbox when the entire medium is predicated on people further developing the ideas of others (at least in the mainstream superhero industry) just doesn’t work.
Let’s look at the lineup for the talent on this project for a bit. Brian Azzarello, Darwyn Cooke, and Amanda Conner are all folks who pretty much guarantee that I’ll pick up their work sight unseen because their track record is pretty stellar. I can tell you that I am indeed interested in Rorschach, Minutemen, Comedian and Silk Spectre based off of their involvement alone. I think they’re all talented writers and artists who could do something really interesting with these particular characters. Now, the x-factor here is Stracynski. He can be a phenomenal writer when he’s on top of his game. I loved his run on Thor and while he may have made some decisions I didn’t agree with over the course of his career many of those can be attributed to editorial meddling and I won’t delve into that quagmire here. Given the characters that he’s handling, I think Dr. Manhattan is certainly something he could mine some good material out of. Especially if he hits the same notes he was while writing Thor. Nite Owl is a little trickier. If I’d had my way I would have had someone like Greg Rucka on that particular title. But I’m not in charge and at this point all I can do is speculate about how all of this is going to turn out.
As I’ve said, my main issue here isn’t with the fact that we’re getting prequels. It’s not inheritly a bad thing. What I am afraid of is that the stories they are going to tell won’t match up with what has been brewing in the fan culture’s subconscious for several decades and that the whole project will flounder as a result. I can’t help but draw parallels to the Star Wars prequels which saw a great deal of hype only to be cut down by fanboys who didn’t like the direction the franchise took. But at least in that instance the fans could point the finger at George Lucas and say he ruined his own creation. This time around we have the added buffer zone of it being separated from the original creators. If people don’t like it they will try to say that it’s not “canon” or that it “doesn’t matter.” Which is, in a way, a double edged sword. It lacks the legitimacy of having the original creators involved and that is either a great thing or a horrible thing depending on which way you look at it. I mean, Frank Miller himself handled the followup for The Dark Knight Returns and that was absolute garbage. I know we put Alan Moore on a pedestal sometimes but I think in this instance the talent involved is enough to warrant the community keeping an open mind.
Hey guys, I know I haven’t been posting much lately. I’ve been a little preoccupied with getting on track for NaNoWriMo. I actually want to finish my entry this year. I’m currently on schedule, though that may change because I don’t know how much I’ll get done this weekend as I’ll be signing copies of my new book at Austin Comic Con.
If any of you are in the area, please feel free to come by booth # 2317 in Artist’s Alley and say hello. As a writer I feel like I don’t have the same advantages that artists do because I can’t do commission sketches so I’ll draw stick figures inside the cover of your book for a dollar. Won’t that make you feel special? Or maybe I’ll do a page long short story for five bucks. I don’t know.
Anyhow, hope to see you all there!
Yesterday we began our look at the 52 new DC titles that will be coming this September and gave them the go or no-go based off of what we could glean from the solicits. Today is part two of our examination. Who will make the cut this round? Let’s find out.
Captain Atom # 1
JT Krul & Freddie Williams II
Charged by nuclear energy, possessing vast molecular powers, Captain Atom has the potential to be a literal god among men – a hero without limits. But the question is: Will he lose himself in the process? Don’t miss the start of a legend from writer J.T. Krul (GREEN ARROW, TEEN TITANS) and artist Freddie Williams II (JSA ALL-STARS)!
Captain Atom is a tough nut to crack. While I have been impressed with some of JT Krul’s work I don’t think he’s the one to elevate this mid-range character into anything astounding. The character is one that has been diluted over the years by multiple takes and he needs to be given something definitive. I don’t think this run will be able to do that. I suspect this will come out mediocre at best.
Final Verdict : PASS
Catwoman # 1
Judd Winick & Guillem March
INICK Art and cover by GUILLEM MARCH Meet Catwoman. She’s addicted to the night. Addicted to shiny objects. Addicted to Batman. Most of all, Catwoman is addicted to danger. She can’t help herself, and the truth is – she doesn’t want to. She’s good at being bad, and very bad at being good. Find out more about what makes Catwoman tick in this new series from writer Judd Winick (BATMAN: UNDER THE HOOD) and artist Guillem March (GOTHAM CITY SIRENS)!
I love Catwoman. I think she’s a great character and I’m glad she’s getting her own series again. Once again my problem lies with the writer. Judd Winick is a complete 50/50 shot. It’s either good or bad and you can never really tell going in what it’s going to be. The problem I have with this particular title is that the solicit seems to undo all of the great character work done under Brubaker in her last run and that’s just a waste. I don’t think the version Winick is writing could ever be as interesting as the one that was stripped away to make way for this title.
Final Verdict : PASS
DC Universe Presents # 1
Paul Jenkins & Bernard Chang
It’s the start of a new series spotlighting some of the DC Universes’s most exciting super heroes! First up is Deadman, straight from the pages of BRIGHTEST DAY, in a five-issue epic where the body-hopping hero meets his match in a new foe who wants to make sure the souls that Deadman helps out go straight to Hell!
Considering that this spins out of Brightest Day, I’m inclined to let this one go unread. Nothing about that series interested me and this looks like more of the same. Paul Jenkins is capable of writing interesting material, but given where this series is coming from and looking at his recent work, this doesn’t look very promising.
Final Verdict : PASS
Deathstroke # 1
Kyle Higgins & Joe Bennett
‘Friends die, family disappoints, but a legacy? That lives forever.’ Slade Wilson is the best mercenary in the DCU, and he’s been doing this a long time. Some might say too long. But they’ll learn: Never turn your back on Deathstroke the Terminator. He won’t quit, no matter how high the stakes. Kyle Higgins (BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM) and Joe Bennett (TEEN TITANS) team up to bring you the finest in mayhem and gore.
Kyle Higgins is getting rave reviews for Gates of Gotham but I’m not reading that series so I can’t vouch for his work personally. Based off of this solicitation however it seems like they’re going for the sort of proto-90′s post-Image violent “extreme” comic that so turned me off in those years so this one could go either way, but personally I’m staying away.
Final Verdict : PASS
Demon Knights # 1
Paul Cornell & Diogenes Neves
Set in the Dark Ages of the DC Universe, a barbarian horde is massing to crush civilization. It’s fallen to Madame Xanadu and Jason Blood, the man with a monster inside him, to stand in their way – though the demon Etrigan has no interest in protecting anyone or anything other than himself! It’ll take more than their own power to stop an army fueled by bloodlust and dark sorcery, and some very surprising heroes – and villains – will have no choice but to join the fray!
Yes, yes, a million times yes. Cornell is an amazing writer and the characters he’s writing are some of the most interesting in the DCU. This one is one of the few I would label a “Can’t Miss” based off of the concept and team alone. It would be highly unlikely for this to turn out anything other than brilliant.
Final Verdict : PULL
Detective Comics # 1
Tony Daniel & Tony Daniel
DC’s flagship title is relaunched for the first time ever, with new Batman adventures from acclaimed writer/ artist Tony S. Daniel! A killer called The Gotham Ripper is on the loose on Batman’s home turf – leading The Dark Knight on a deadly game of cat and mouse.
Tony Daniel’s Batman work was some of the worst I’d read in YEARS. Here he’s on the relaunched Detective Comics and it doesn’t look as if much has changed. I’d say invest your money in the main Batman title and leave this one be.
Final Verdict : PASS
Flash # 1
Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
The Fastest Man Alive returns to his own monthly series from the writer/artist team of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato! The Flash knows he can’t be everywhere at once, but what happens when he faces an all-new villain who really can! As if that’s not bad enough, this villain is a close friend!
This description is almost too vague to draw any conclusions. It seems overly generic and lacking the conviction that Johns brought to the most recent relaunch. You would think following Flashpoint they would want to go big on this title and keep people interested but as it stands there’s nothing to snare me as a reader and it seems like no big loss to skip out on unless you’re a Flash fanatic.
Final Verdict : PASS
Frankenstein Agent of Shade # 1
Jeff Lemire & Alberto Ponticelli
Frankenstein as you’ve never seen him before, in a dark new series from acclaimed writer Jeff Lemire (SWEET TOOTH) and artist Alberto Ponticelli (UNKNOWN SOLDIER)! Frankenstein is part of a network of strange beings who work for an even stranger government organization: The Super Human Advanced Defense Executive! But can he protect the world from threats even more horrifying than himself? And since he’s vilified for who and what he is, will he even want to take on this mission?
A great team on a book with an interesting premise. This one looks to follow in the mold of Demon Knights as one of the most interesting books to come out of the relaunch. I wouldn’t pass this one up. A writer like Lemire following up on ideas from Morrison’s Seven Soldiers project is something that you should be clamoring for.
Final Verdict : PULL
Fury of Firestorm # 1
Gail Simone, Ethan Van Sciver & Yildiray Cinar
Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond. These two high school students are worlds apart – and now they’re drawn into a conspiracy of super-science that bonds them forever in a way they can’t explain or control. The dark secrets of the murderous Dog Team and its Firestorm Protocol force them to put aside their differences to confront a threat so terrifying that it may lead to a new Cold War! Welcome to a major new vision of nuclear terror from writers Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone with astonishing art by Yildiray Cinar!
In Gail we trust. I don’t doubt that she can write the hell out of Firestorm, and it’ll be interesting to see what she does in collaboration with Van Sciver. I’m not a Firestorm fan, but the talent on this book makes it worth reading. I doubt it’ll be a dissappointment.
Final Verdict : PULL
That’s it for part two. The next part will be coming up shortly. Remember to let us know how you’re feeling about the DC relaunch. Opinions are so divided that everyone’s needs to be heard.
I know that this year has been a bit different when it comes to the content I’ve posted on the blog. After leaving my job at the comic shop back in December I had to make the painful decision to alter my comic buying habits to accommodate my new lifestyle. As such, I’ve been getting my comics from an online retailer, mailed out once a month and as such I haven’t had much luck posting real reviews on a timely basis. It’s just a sad byproduct of my current situation. Another byproduct has been the steady decline of my interest in the mainstream comics scene. I have, sadly, been dropping titles I once considered vital with each passing month and have instead been focusing on creator-owned work that manages to resonate with me more than anything that DC or Marvel sends down the chute every month.
I never thought I’d see the day that I’d say this but I may just be done with DC comics. Lately the only books that I can say I’ve enjoyed fully are Morrison’s Batman Inc., Palmiotti & Gray’s Jonah Hex, Cornell’s Action Comics and Gail Simone’s Secret Six. Roberson’s handling of the Superman book has also been admireable. But that’s five books out of a line that will see 52 titles jump started with a new # 1 issue.
Dan Didio was quotes in the USA Today article as saying:
In September, more than 50 more first issues will debut, introducing readers to stories that are grounded in each character’s specific legend but also reflect today’s real-world themes and events. Lee spearheaded the redesign of more than 50 costumes to make characters more identifiable and accessible to comic fans new and old.
“We looked at what was going on in the marketplace and felt we really want to inject new life in our characters and line,” says Dan DiDio, who co-publishes DC with Lee. “This was a chance to start, not at the beginning, but at a point where our characters are younger and the stories are being told for today’s audience.”
Fans around the internet have been in an uproar over this and I have to say that I understand where some of them are coming from, in light of this news coupled with the rumors that have been coming out that have not yet been substantiated such as Lois & Clark’s marriage being lost in the new continuity as well as several creative team changes that are less than exciting including a possible loss of Gail Simone from Birds of Prey. The last time that happened it sucked just about all the energy from the book and it was left to die a slow death. On the other hand Grant Morrison is rumored to be taking over the central Superman title and it is confirmed we will be getting a Justice League book written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Jim Lee, in a move that clearly parallels Marvel’s decision to put Bendis on New Avengers several years ago.
The problem I have with the Justice League book being handled by Johns & Lee, aside from the fact that the creative team is almost begging for publishing delays, is that it seems like they’re aping Marvel’s formula several years after it has already gotten stale. Granted, DC could never make such a move any time after Marvel does anything similar because it’s either too soon or too late after the fact for it not to seem like a stunt or playing catch up. My philosophy when it comes to the DC v. Marvel debate comes down to the way Marvel treats its writers. They sell the writers in a way that makes them out to be superstars. Marvel presents their writers as the A-list. The cream of the crop. Brian Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, Dan Slott, Jason Aaron, Nick Spencer, et. al are sold as being equal commodities to the characters they write. DC does not seem to do the same for their writers outside of Morrison or Johns. They have a SMATTERING of amazing talent in people like Chris Roberson, Matt Sturges, Gail Simone, Paul Cornell, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, and so many others. But you don’t see DC publicizing them like walking gods of creativity the way Marvel does with their stable.
The whole line-wide reboot thing reads like a desperate stunt. DC loves to pull stunts. The repeated weekly series plan alone shows that. This stunt in particular will alienate a great deal of the fanbase and probably lose them for a good long time. They say that the point of all this is to garner new readers by eliminating the confusion surrounding certain characters and their continuity but they are failing to understand the simple reason why the comics market isn’t viable to younger readers and that’s that comic books are not cost effective to the consumer.
The article in USA today also mentions that beginning in September, DC comics will be going same-day release with digital and print copies. This is a major leap forward in the digital market but raises even more questions. Are the digital comics going to be significantly cheaper than the print counterparts? If DC wants to make me pay full price for a copy of the new Superman # 1 at $2.99 when I can get it from an online retailer for anywhere from a 10-40% discount, then what is the impetus for me to switch to digital? The price debate is probably the most important hurdle that the comics industry will have to face in the coming years. I bought a blu-ray movie yesterday for $8.99. That’s two plus hours of entertainment plus special features for roughly ten dollars with tax applied. A comic book is 20 pages of content for about $3.25 after taxes are applied and the best case scenario is usually a ten minute read-time if there’s actually any dense content to the book. If you’re trying to attract new readers, you have to give them more bang for their buck. I respect DC for trying to lower the cost of buying comics, but the content provided for the price is a huge turnoff to people who aren’t already hooked. Add to that the fact that comics aren’t readily available anywhere outside of specialized shops and you’ve got a major dilemma. All the continuity stunts in the world will not save you from that pitfall. Comics are being displayed at Barnes and Noble now, but I’ve seen that selection and it’s not very impressive and not too well organized.
I don’t want to sound like a doomsayer, foretelling the end of comics or anything like that. The industry will adapt and survive in some manner, because too much money stands to be lost if they don’t. But the logic that has gone into DC’s latest stunt boggles the mind of anyone who takes the time to look at it carefully. Perhaps this whole article will be rendered worthless when more information becomes available. I hope everything does work out for the best. I still have friends who work in the retail level of the industry, and all the writers and artists who I’ve developed a rapport with since developing this blog don’t deserve to see their chosen profession crumble because the companies don’t know how to adapt. All I can do is sit and wait and see if what DC has to offer is worth paying for.
Someone has navigated the hells of the official Dark Knight Rises website in order to find this image of Tom Hardy as the villian Bane. It apparently involved some sort of visualizer for the audio file that loads when you load the page.
It’s not very high-res and I’m not sure what I can say about it other than it looks like he’s wearing black and white striped prison pants and that mask looks like something out of Mortal Kombat. But, in Nolan we trust.
You can click to enlarge it a little bit but not by much…
If you grew up watching wrestling the way I did, there is no way to deny the raw charisma and star-power of “Macho Man” Randy Savage. The two-time World Wrestling Federation champion was the epitome of what a pro-wrestler was supposed to be in his era. In my opinion, he embodied the glory days of the WWF even more than Hulk Hogan. He is one of the few wrestlers that any average joe on the street would recognize instantly, having been the celebrity face of Slim-Jim for many years and even starring in the first Spider-Man film as the pro-wrestler BoneSaw who Peter Parker faced in a cage match hoping to earn some quick cash.
Randy Savage, real name Randall Poffo, died today when he lost control of his jeep following an apparent heart attack. The wrestling world has lost a true legend, and we can only take solace in knowing that his death was not marred by circumstances that would make us look back on the man who brought so much joy in the ring and on our televisions and see anything than the legend that he had grown into.
Rest In Peace, Macho Man.
It would appear that since this article was published NBC decided not to pick up the series after all. Which actually makes more sense considering the negative buzz coming out of the screenings of the pilot. I’m not all too bummed about this because it gives a frame of reference for what the producers were doing that fans were not enjoying and they can fix those when they decide it might be easier just to do a standalone film. Thor opening big might make them realize that mythology based heroes can work on the big screen as long as they handle the material correctly.
We can only hope…
In a move that allowed Wonder Woman fans to breathe a sigh of relief following news that the pilot was not tracking all too well for a fall pick up by NBC, the news was released today that David E. Kelley’s Harry’s Law would be renewed for a second season and Wonder Woman had indeed been picked up for a series as well. This comes on the heels of news that Fox had cancelled their own comic-adaptation series of Human Target and failed to give the green light to an adaptation of Locke and Key which by all accounts was damn brilliant and fans are praying to whatever deity that will listen to have some other network pick it up.
With Smallville ending this week I am hoping that Wonder Woman can pick up the slack in the laughibly ludicrous TV comic book adaptation genre. Everything I’ve seen has me thinking that it’s going to be entertaining on a “what the?” level due to the conflicting tone and overall silliness that is going on in the scripts. I could be wrong but having honed my ability to avoid trainwrecks simply by the cut of their trailer I do not anticipate Wonder Woman being something I will enjoy on any sort of straightforward level. Ironically? Perhaps. But I don’t want to be accused of being a hipster.
The Great Comics Con Queso Star Wars Expanded Universe Reading Experiment – Entry # 20 : X-Wing Isard’s Revenge
I actually finished this one back on Saturday but spent the day at Buzzfest in the Woodlands yesterday and therefore could not be arsed to do a writeup on the book until now. I actually am almost halfway through the next entry and should be done with the whole Jedi Academy Trilogy by the end of the week at this pace.
Michael Stackpole returns to the X-Wing series after a brief interlude took us through Han and Leia’s nuptials and the Thrawn crisis. Things are decidedly different in Rogue Squadron following Wedge’s promotion to the rank of General after Admiral Ackbar notes that his stubborn refusal to move up the ranks is inspiring his people to take the same stand and his bull-headedness is only hurting their careers. Wedge accepts the promotion and just about everyone else moves up as well. Corran Horn and his squadmates all get the credit they deserve but in the midst of their celebration an old face from Corran’s time spent detained in the Lusankya shows up and promptly suffers a fatal accident triggered by a mental implant.
What follows is an intricately interwoven narrative that seems reminiscent of Dark Force Rising where so many factions are playing off of each other that you’re left guessing the motives of certain parties involved. The return of Ysanne Isard and the reveal of exactly how her escape from Thyferra went down leads into an interesting storyline that sees her aiding the New Republic in a supposed quest to truly disappear. The political implications of the alliance are not subtle and yet the endgame is never truly fully realized until the denouement hits the reader in the face.
The book does falter in the same manner that many of the expanded universe books do; the all to familiar problem of everything seeming like it was written by a fanboy and uploaded to the internet. Once again we have deus ex-clones and emotion-bating death reversals. It works within the context of the novels, but the execution leaves a bit to be desired. That having been said, it wasn’t as egregious in this entry as it was in The Last Command.
Anyhow, expect a review of Jedi Search very soon.
We here at Comics Con Queso are big fans of Firefly. We also think Castle is pretty bitchin’. Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog is a perennial favorite. Slither is so good that it baffles the mind why more people don’t espouse it’s virtues. Heck, I’ll even show a little love for Waitress. Yeah, Keri Russel is adoreable. Totes dorbz, as the folks on Tumblr might say. What do all these have in common? The man to the left is what. Nathan Fillion. God king of handsome nerditry. The man who launched a million shipping blogs hooking him up with every person he has ever co-starred with in every production he has ever been featured in. Nathan “Should-Have-Been-Green-Lantern-Cry-A-Thousand-Angry-Fanboys” Fillion.
Today is his birthday. He shares it with director Quentin Tarantino, Pauley Perrette of NCIS, Brenda Song a.k.a. the hot asian girl from The Social Network, and Fergie a.k.a. “she who desicrates half-time shows with feeble mediocrity.” That is to say, he’s in some fine company today but deserves special attention because he’s just that amazing. If he’s not entertaining everybody with his on-screen antics he’s probably on Twitter, flirting with Joel McHale and thus inspiring another 200 Tumblr posts per minute. He’s a true icon of the geek community and if you don’t like him it’s probably because he stole your girlfriend at the laundromat.
Here are just a few facts about Nathan Fillion that you might not know:
1. He actually ghost wrote all of the scripts for Firefly himself by candlelight in a single weekend locked in a log cabin somewhere in Tennessee.
2. He is technically neither male nor female but actually a new super-gender which procreates simply by winking.
3. He is allergic to all cheeses under a certain shade of yellow.
4. Was approached to play the role of Jesus in The Passion of the Christ but no man dared to even fake causing him physical discomfort during the torture scenes. He remains in the final cut as the voice of God.
5. He doesn’t know the meaning of the word fear because he had it removed from the dictionary.
6. He is Isaiah Mustafa(aka the “Old Spice Guy”)’s life coach.
7. He REALLY likes baby carrots.
8. He sneezes double rainbows.
9. He totally slept with your mom last night.
10. Once fought Ryan Reynolds to a standstill over the last slice of pizza until he realized that he is powered by nuclear fission and therefore has no need for food.
Happy Birthday, Cap’n Tightpants!
According to reports from the L.A. Times, Oscar nominated actress/certifiable beauty Amy Adams has been cast as Lois Lane opposite Henry Cavill in Zack Snyder’s upcoming Superman film. This is such a step up from Kate Bosworth in Superman Returns that it almost defies the ability to write a coherant blog post about it. The fact of the matter is that no matter what you think of Snyder as a director, and the internet has been a veritable mosh pit of differing opinions following the opening of Sucker Punch, the pedigree of the cast is nothing less than stellar with Cavill, whose work in The Tudors is quite good, and previously reported Kevin Costner as Pa Kent and now Amy Adams on board as well. If by some miracle we get Viggo Mortenson on board as well, which has been speculated with rampant fury as of late, we may see the most well assembled Superman production of our time.
Just about every Superman iteration thus far has had something that worked well for it. Christopher Reeve was superb as the Man of Steel. In the 90′s, Teri Hatcher was a fabulous Lois Lane and the chemistry between her and Dean Cain was what kept that show afloat. Smallville has its moments, most of which revolve around Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack, John Glover, and, in a pinch, Erica Durance. Snyder’s film has an amazing cast, a treatment from the Nolan’s and the directive from everyone not to be a black hole of awful proportions. We could very well get something worthy of Superman hitting the big screen once again in 2012.
Anybody who knows me probably knows how I feel about Wonder Woman as a property. I believe that it is one of the most damaged brands in the comics world as it stands right now and it’s mostly the fault of the fans.
There, I said it.
Never has there been a fanbase, that I can think of anyway, that is so divided and prone to bickering as with Wonder Woman. That’s saying something considering the sort of esteem I hold Batman fans in. Those guys are sane and reasonable compared to fans of Ms. Prince. The problem is that seemingly every fan of Wonder Woman became a fan at a different point in her development, thereby attaching themselves to a depiction of the character as it was at one point and then getting offended with every subsequent change to her convoluted continuity. This happens every other month it seems.
I am a fan of Wonder Woman in theory. I think she has the potential for amazing stories, as evidenced by the fact that there are some amazing runs on her title that are prime examples of what can be done with a strong female character in the comics medium. Greg Rucka is probably my favorite Wonder Woman writer (all due respect to Gail Simone and George Perez) and I know there are people who agree with me. There are also people who refuse to accept anything not written by George Perez. There are also people who would probably spit in JMS’ face for what he did during his stint. The different factions tend to be at odds over Wonder Woman’s character on a base level. It’s a testament to the character that such detailed discussion can be held on a level that allows for such dissection of the essence of what defines her beyond costume or continuity. It’s a far cry from the discussions of Batman where people mostly seem to argue over whether or not he needs a yellow oval. Batman draws from a very basic premise for his establishment; the death of his parents. Wonder Woman has the Greek mythology aspect as well as the American diplomat angle among others and nobody can quite agree what defines Wonder Woman at her core.
So now we come to the new TV show where we get the costume pictured to the left. It’s not horrible. It looks a little cheap, like it was bought from a Halloween costume shop for a theme party, but it’s recognizable as a Wonder Woman costume. The only nitpick I have is that the boots need to be red to break up the color scheme a bit.
Adrianne Palicki looks a bit awkward in the suit but from what I’ve gathered that may because it’s a photoshop manipulation of a prototype. The shots of her in civilian clothes have her looking far more comfortable and at ease, whereas here she looks a bit stiff and unsure of what sort of look she needs to project. That and the red lipstick is a bit overpowering.
My point here is to appeal to Wonder Woman fans by saying that this new version may very well be the definitive version for some young fan who is introduced to the character through the show. Don’t cut it down because it doesn’t fit your mold. Be glad that they’re getting anything right at all, as it’s more than can be said for some comic adaptations and at least with TV there’s a lot more room for evolution than if it were a standalone film. There will be growing pains, but all TV shows grow if they expect to survive. I think this one will, if only because Smallville has lasted ten seasons and that show is more offensive to continuity than anything I’ve seen for this project. That’s enough for me.
The Great Comics Con Queso Star Wars Expanded Universe Reading Experiment – Entry # 9 : X-Wing Rogue Squardron
As I type this review, I’m already about halfway through the second book in the series. I’ve been a bit under the weather as a result of what I estimate to be a catastrophic influx of pollen in the air as well as stress induced from mid-terms this semester. When you start caring about your grades, university work becomes a bit more intimidating. As such, I’m sorry for the manner which these updates have been prepared but such is the way of life.
After the disappointing Shadows of the Empire I was happy to get back into a book that followed the strategem that works so well for books like the Republic Commando novels; one that focuses on the inner workings of the military in the Star Wars universe. This book takes a look at the squadron of x-wing pilots touted as the best of the best following the destruction of the second Death Star. While the Emperor is dead, the war isn’t over and things are really only heating up in terms of military operations. This particular novel focuses on Wedge Antilles, leader of rogue squadron as well as Corran Horn, a hot-shot pilot and a new addition to the squadron. Horn has a checkered past from his time in the Correllian Security force that had him working alongside Imperial Intelligence and his new stance in the Alliance is one where he has to re-evaluate his positions on certain enterprises, such as the practice of smuggling which he was tasked to halt while in CorSec, and come to terms with his new role in the galaxy. Really this is the first book in the timeline that I’ve read that really deals with the political elements of the galactic civil war in real detail. Horn has some reservations about a pilot from Kessel, a penal colony that he sent some criminals to himself, operating in Rogue Squadron and there are several other instances of internal race relations that make the novel seem more realistic in its depiction of warfare and political strife than it truly has any right to be.
This series is definitely off to a great start and I think that I could come to put this particular saga on the same pedistal as the Republic Commando series if things continue as well as they’ve started.
The world was saddened by the news yesterday that writer Dwayne McDuffie, a pivotal player in the comics industry when it came to the diversification of superheroes in the medium for the last decade, had passed away from complications arising from a surgical procedure. The man who co-founded Milestone Media and brought us so many wonderful episodes of Justice League died all too soon and an entire industry mourned.
I have to admit it came at a bit of an awkward time. I was about to write an article about his handling of the All Star Superman translation which was not entirely positive. But it’s easy to overlook some of his missteps when stacked against his successes. Let’s not forget that he’s leaving behind a legacy that is comparable to many of the brightest stars working in this industry. His work with Static is truly inspiring and his campaigns against editorial meddling have made him a hero in certain circles. And though he may be remembered just as much for that issue of Fantastic Four where Black Panther put the Silver Surfer in a headlock, we should all remember that he made some simply amazing contributions to the comics industry and we’d be lucky to find anyone as enthusiastic about the work he put out as Dwayne McDuffie.
In what amounts to being surprising in no real way whatsoever, multiple folks across the web are reporting that Wizard Magazine is apparently ceasing publication in print format. There have been some rumblings of the brand remaining open in the form of its website, if only to give some sort of branding livelihood to the conventions which apparently will continue to be held. Toyfare apparently will continue as a magazine entity as well. The overall feeling across the ‘net in regards to this announcement has mostly been one of empathy toward the employees who are now out of a job and a bit of head shaking due to the fact that this has been the only possible outcome for a while now. Wizard hasn’t “broken” an exclusive story in years and news travels so fast directly from the horse’s mouth on social networking sites like Twitter and on the message boards of CBR and other noted websites that the magazine was made redundant quite some time ago. The only reason people bought that magazine in the last few months was due to the price guide, and I can verify that easily simply because when they removed the guide for a few months last year people stopped buying the damn thing entirely.
If Wizard wants to remain relevant I can say that their best bet is by an online database/price guide that updated on a weekly or dare I say daily basis. I can guarantee that alone would justify their existence to a majority of the comic reading populus. We don’t need padded and trite Q&A interviews with Megan Fox but we would like to know if we’re getting a fair market price for a first printing of Morning Glories. That’s just the truth.
According to Marvel, Thor will be undergoing a few changes in April. Apparently the mainline title will revert to its original namesake, Journey into Mystery and current writer Matt Fraction will be launching a new ongoing Mighty Thor title with artist Oliver Coipel. This is nice news, as Coipel has done some amazing artwork for Thor in the past and I definitely want to see more of his work with the character. Journey Into Mystery will be helmed by writer Kieron Gillen who himself has done some decent work with the character in recent months.
All of this is none too surprising as a similar rearranging of Iron Man’s titles came about when the first movie was a success. Fraction was involved in that little endeavor as well if you will recall. This new move seems even more highly reminiscent of that particular marketing push due to a variant cover that is essentially the teaser poster for the film. I don’t blame Marvel for wanting to capture a bit of that audience, as I’m sure Invincible Iron Man was the jumping-on point for more than a few readers. Though I’m sure the Ultimate Thor collection will be a more appealing choice to mainstream readers as it requires no longterm commitment or familiarity with continuity.
I will make no guesses as to how long the changes to the character line will last. I’m not a psychic, I just read the stuff.
I know it’s been quiet around these parts for the last few weeks, and believe me when I say I apologize for that. My life has been in a bit of upheaval, the biggest change of course being that I’ve left my job as manager at the comic shop in the hopes of going to school full time and finishing that chapter of my life sooner rather than later. Don’t be surprised if that cuts into my time writing for this site. As much as I’ve loved working on the blog this past year, I fully admit that 2010 was not the model year for me in terms of getting my priorities correct. I didn’t focus on my studies because I had a decent job. That job tied into this endeavor, with the owner encouraging my reviews in the hopes of turning people onto new titles they normally wouldn’t pick up. Of course, I’ve been in school now for the better part of six years and I need to be done with it. So as much as I loved working in the shop the responsibility that I’d have to take on after a recent staffing shakeup would just be too much to handle in addition to refocusing on school.
All of this personal rambling is basically just to point out that the posting on this site will be a bit different in the coming year. For one, the reviews won’t be as varied as without a weekly paycheck I’ll have to live off of my freelance photography paychecks and whatever I have saved up in the bank. That means I will be cutting my comic pulls down quite a bit. I’ve made the decision not to buy films when they come out on home video anymore, and instead just abuse my Netflix like a Chinese whore. I’m reverting back to the traditional college student diet consisting of Ramen and cereal to conserve some extra cash to boot.
Anyhow. The next week will be filled with my 2010 best of lists, as soon as I am able to figure out where everything ranks.
I hope you’ll stick around with me through 2011, as we had a great debut year and hope to do even better this time around.
Yesterday the news came down the wire that Jon Favreau would not be returning to the Iron Man franchise for the third installment. Seriously, yesterday was just the worst. I mean, this AND Scarlett Johansson breaks up with Ryan Reynolds? I mean O.M.G. guys.
Sorry. That was my attempt to make this blog sound like a blog and I hate myself for it.
Anyhow, J Favs decided that it was best to walk away from the franchise he helped launch for the greener pastures of Disney proper, where he’ll be directing The Magic Kingdom. Speculation seems to be that he doesn’t want to be beholden to Marvel’s over-arching movie plotlines and wants to work on something more in tune with his own sensibilities that he gets to build from the ground up. It’s a respectable move and one that will ultimately be good for Favreau but the effect it will have on Marvel’s franchises is not certain.
Marvel seems hell bent on getting well-known talented directors to helm their projects, sensing the blowback from that Ratner fiasco in the X-Franchise. That’s why we’ve got Branaugh on Thor and Whedon on Avengers. Marvel knows that the people behind the lens inspire faith in the product. Who they’ll get to replace Favreau is anybody’s guess, but considering that they managed to snag Darren Aronofsky for Wolverine II, maybe they’ll get Steven Spielberg or something. Who knows?