Entries Tagged as 'Comic Book'

‘The Twelve’. Vol. 1 by J. Michael Straczynski

The interesting thing here is that Marvel has taken an entire team of early Timely Comics heroes from the 1940s and Steve Rogers’d them. Instead of one guy caught in the ice and revived 20 or 30 years later, it’s 12 characters and 60 years.

Many of these characters’ abilities seem to overlap in and only half of them have actual powers, but this is a pretty good read. They’re all fish out of water and like Alan Moore’s  Watchmen , many of them have dark pasts. Unlike Moore’s super-team none of the characters anticipate contemporary Marvel or DC heroes — there is no Tony Stark, no antediluvian archers and there are no pantheon members or mythological figures. [Read more →]

Tentpole Genre Releases 2011

graves over at Nerd Blerp has put together a list of 2001 releases to anticipate and avoid.

The titles that stand out are as follow:

‘The Rite’ (January 28)
‘Captain America’ (July 22)
‘The Adjustment Bureau’ (March 4)
‘Thor’ (May 6)
‘X-Men: First Class’ (June 3)
‘Green Lantern’ (June 17)
‘Cowboys and Aliens’ (July 29)
‘Immortals’ (November 11)

Trailers are available on the Nerd Blerp site .

5 Upcoming Genre Features, 2010-12

via Squidoo.com

Captain America: The First Avenger ‘ (2011) • IMDb l ink Captain America:The First Avenger

This one’s a bit contentious — Joe Johnston, who directed The Rocketeer way, way back in 1991 should have been a good choice to direct a period piece about Marvel’s Captain America set during WWII. But then, Johnston turned in the pointless and unnecessary Wolfman remake this past year, and then cast Chris Evans ( Fantastic Four ‘s Johnny Storm) as Steve Rogers, rather than  Mark Valley , (‘Human Target’) an actor born for the role.

Understandably, Marvel and Disney are reaching for a younger actor for the role, but I really dobt that those 18-49 women should be the marketing department’s target. Rather, the target audience ought to be 4 generations of American men aged 7 to 70 that Marvel ought to be aiming for. That, and the fact that 25 year-old Evans will have to go up against 46 year old Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Samuel Jackson in ‘ The Avengers ‘ (2012) and make it somehow appear that they are peers. [Read more →]

John Byrne’s ‘Next Men’ (1991)

Re-reading this right now. My memory could be awful or I could have missed an issue or two back in ’91-’93 (me:DC-Chicago-DC-Paris). But, WOW! Byrne’s been keeping me guessing here, down to the last 2 chapters: I have a notion about where it’ll end up, but things are proceeding in a good, unpredictable pace.

The series is only about 35 issues long (#0-#30, plus the graphic novel 2112 ), but Byrne does a very good job of turning it from a Clonus Horror tribute comic into a story that eats time-travel, holodeck incidents and alternate-reality tropes alive. In fact, it’s elegant in a way that I wish ‘Inception’ (2010) had been. [Read more →]

Top Ten Lists: 2000-2010 – Sci-Fi

Just this past week, I stated seeing ‘Best of’ lists all over the place, specifically, the ‘Best’ science-fiction of the last decade. Typically, such all of the lists I found looked something like this:

1. ‘Children of Men’
2. ‘Moon’
3. ‘District 9′ [Read more →]

‘Watchmen’ (2009)

With the publication of Watchmen in 1985, comic books took a sudden, dark and grity turn, similar to police drama after Steven Bochco’s ‘Hill Street Blues’. Like Grant Morrison’s ‘Doom Patrol ‘, and later, ‘ The Authority ‘ and Marvel’s ‘ Ultimates ‘, ‘Watchmen’, the book is not about about capes and tights, but rather the misfits who choose to pursue auperheroics. In ‘Watchmen’, Alan Moore seizes upon the idea that great power might produce monsters — individuals devoid of values and restraint even as they fight the ‘good’ fight.

Terry Gilliam attempted to bring ‘Watchmen’ to life twice, once in 1989 and a decade later, in 1999. He gave up because he felt that the story couldn’t be adequately covered in 2 hours’ time and that the material might be better dealt with as a miniseries, Though there is no Gilliam ‘Watchmen’, I credit ‘Watchmen’ and it’s alternate-apocalyptic 1985 for the rich visual landscape of thr film that Gilliam went on to produce in the mid-’90′s, ’12 Monkeys’ (1995). [Read more →]

‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ (2009)

I didn’t read ‘X-Men’ as a kid (I was more of a ‘Fantastic Four’ nerd myself) so I can only judge this film based on how well it hews to the bible it has already set up in the first three ‘X-Men’ films. By that standard, ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ succeeds…mostly.

Wolverine is by far one of the more interesting of the first-generation X-Men. He’s cranky; he carries his own moral code around like an invisible cloud often circumventing plans and strategies to do what he believes is right; he’s confident, and he’s practically indestructible. [Read more →]

‘The Dark Knight’ (2008)

Christopher Nolan’s ‘ The Dark Knight ‘ is the latest addition to the trend of painfully overplotted comic book movies. I’m not exactly certain when the habit of inflating a paper-thin pulp story into a full-blown bildungsroman . But since the late ’80′s it’s been necessary for each comic book movie to have at least two villains and as many as 4 . (Notably, Tim Burton’s 1989 movie only had one villain, The Joker.)

While this installment of Batman seems to be the most successful commercial film since James Cameron’s ‘ Titanic ‘, you’d think that such a movie would have to have a simple storyline to keep selling tickets at such a rapid pace, week after week. Not so, here. [Read more →]

“The Middleman” (2008)

During a summer that’s seen an effort of recycling everybody’s syndicated childhood programming — Get Smart , Speed Racer , live-action versions of ‘The Hulk’ and ‘Iron Man’ — some of the good stuff is getting lost over at ABC Family. “ The Middleman ” is Javier Grillo-Marxuach ‘s television adaptation of his eponymous series of graphic novels .

But The Middleman isn’t just some dime-store comic book property, it’s a fun, literate and self-conscious treatment of semi-secret agents, superheroes and villains, a pop-culture c onfiture that rivals anything Joss Whedon and the Gilmore Girls ever offered up in zither’s fast-paced talk-fests. While I’ve not read the comic book , it is said to be ingenious.
[Read more →]

‘Hancock’ (2008)

Hancock ‘ started it’s journey to the screen 12 years ago as a spec-screenplay by first-timer Ny Vincent Ngo, titled ‘Tonight He Comes’.

I first learned about Ngo’s screenplay through some fanboy site like Harry Knowles’ AintItCool.com. Ngo’s script created something of an uproar in Hollywood despite comic book properties being at a fallow moment after Joel Schumacher’s assumption of the Batman franchise with ‘s ‘ Batman Forever ‘ (1995) and the revolving door that the title role became after the departure of Tim Burton and Michael Keaton.

‘Tonight’ launched a bidding war and got Ngo signed by CAA, jump-starting Ngo’s screenwriting career and several premium-cable writing gigs. But along the way, the script also got the attention of Writer-Producer Akiva Goldsman who bought the script and subsequently doctored it to fit his number one screen-doctoring client, Will Smith. [Read more →]