Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Marvel Battleworld


I don't know if it's been because I'm sick and hopped up on super antibiotics or what, but the closer the Battleworld gets here in May the more I dread it. Yes, there are things that I'm excited about with it, but I just need to see it. I need to see how this will be better than good old planet Earth where the heroes of Marvel have been for decades. I really dread that this is going to be some huge mistake and the quarter bins will be stuffed full of issues of stuff next to seventy five copies of Rob Liefield Image Comics.
It's gonna be good, right?
I think I've worried more about this than the Mayan calendar in 2012.
Such a nerd.
I'm going to miss the old Marvel.
But that Steve Rogers/ Devil Dinosaur mash up is going to be so cool.
Maybe we find out in the end that its some kind of huge What If? scenario and when the other shoe drops we go back to good old Marvel?
Yeah, probably not.
This sucks.
I'm glad it's not May yet.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Fridays, Because...Why Not?

So... this cover;

I'm having a problem with this cover and I have heard zip about it on the magical interwebs. And it all has to do with Kitty Pryde.
See, I'm familiar with this storyline and I realize that the Kitty Pryde we see on this cover in an underage teenager.
Now take another look at the cover.
See, I get that she's covered head to toe with costume, but it doesn't matter. Her chest is jutting out in a provocative manner, hair tousled around her shoulders, eyes a little too large and lips extra plump and mouth open. Her legs are splayed apart and her hind end is sticking backwards.
It's subtle, but it just seems over sexualized for an underage teenager on a cover of a major MArvel release. If it had been Spider-Woman people would be up in arms.
But, for little Kitty Pryde...nothing?
Seems weird is all.
And to make matters worse Mystique, Storm and the mind reader woman from the bad guys all look like they stepped out of a Russ Meyer movie.
Just odd that this cover got no flak is all.
That's it for me this week seeya all next Friday.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Even free, not worth it.

This is the cover of one of Marvel's Free Comic Book Day offerings.

What is this supposed to be? Won't the new Avengers movie be out and they will have to change Captain America and Thor back to normal? I do love seeing The Vision on the cover, but in a team I will never read. Sheesh, Marvel! Why do you think this is okay in any way shape or form?

Hurray! Age of Ultron is almost here...oh wait...

 I am so excited about the new release of Age of Ultron. Then Marvel released these new facts about the film.
...I am less excited now. Let's go ahead and pick these apart, shall we?


1. Hulk got a welcomed upgrade to his wardrobe with the addition of stretchy pants, which he wears underneath his clothes. No more will he be caught in the embarrassing situation of being half-naked in shredded clothing when he Hulks-out—the pants, made of high-tech, microfiber fabric, stretch with him. 
(This is fine. My wife and daughter will be sad about less naked Mark Ruffalo, but what are you going to do?)
2. Thanks to Tony Stark’s engineering skills, Hawkeye received an upgrade to his weaponry. He now has many new arrow tips that serve different purposes. Some of these are explained in the movie and others the audience will just get the joy of seeing deployed on screen. Hawkeye’s quiver has also changed—it is more automated and faster loading, and is capable of holding nine arrows.
(This is also fine. No worries so far.)
3. Hawkeye’s bow also received a makeover, with the classic black color being changed to maroon. Added features to the bow include an infrared-sighting device and a sonic-sighting device.
(Um, okay, purple bow but no mask to cover up the face, got it.)
4. An exciting change was also made to Captain America’s shield. It now has the ability to be called back, much like the Iron Man suits. Instead of having two handles in the back, the shield now has a magnetic element that clips onto Cap’s gauntlet.
(Or he could just, you know, throw it like he has for decades and the damned thing just came back to him! Yeah, now we're having it out, aren't we?)
5. Courtesy of Tony Stark, Black Widow gets to flaunt new fighting batons, which are based on Escrima Sticks. But Black Widow’s two sticks are charged exactly the same as her stingers, so when she jabs, she is not only striking her opponent, but delivering a massive jolt of power as well.
(Is this because Mockingbird is already on Agents of SHIELD? Because it sounds a lot like that's why this happened. MY Black Widow didn't need no damned sticks to fight with!)
6. On this film, production designer Charles Wood and his team built an enormous, new Avengers Tower set that is the largest set ever built for a Marvel film. Much of the movie takes place there on its many different levels. A large expanse of glass opens the view to New York City and one can also see a hangar for the Quinjet. The multiple environments are all connected, with the ability to move from downstairs to upstairs and vice versa.
(Cheaper than going on location I guess.)
7. The Avengers Tower set is designed to serve the story in multiple ways. In the movie, the Tower, designed and built by Tony Stark, is a gathering place for The Avengers—a place to plan, do business, relax or study. There is a lounge area, three laboratory areas plus a machine room, a gym, a relaxation area and a locker room. The Tower was also designed to provide everything Tony Stark needs for his work and research.
(Blah, blah, yeah we get it. Nice digs.)
---8. New characters entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the comic book world are Wanda (Scarlet Witch) and Pietro Maximoff (Quicksilver), who have powers that have not yet been seen on screen. Pietro is lightning fast and Wanda possesses the power of telekinesis, and she is able to fire neurons in people’s brains remotely using her powers and as a result can manipulate their minds. 
(Um, so using Scarlet Witch's actual powers that are infinitely cooler she's a telekinetic? What's next? Hank Pym didn;t create Ultron...oh yeahhhhhhh...)
9. Another new character on The Avengers team is Vision, played by Paul Bettany, who previously had voiced Jarvis in the Iron Man films. He’s an artificial life form whose look is truly unique. Vision’s powers are spectacular and he represents a new power base for The Avengers team.
 (Hurray for The Vision!)
10. The Hulkbuster is an iconic piece of Iron Man tech—a prebuilt super-suit designed to take on the Hulk. The Hulkbuster Armor was developed by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, after they studied the Hulk’s physical actions and strength levels in an effort to find a way to contain him and minimize the damage caused by his rages. A satellite in low orbit is always around Banner and at a moment’s notice, Tony Stark can deploy the Hulkbuster armor, get into it and stop the Hulk in his tracks—theoretically. 
(Yeah, we all know how well that's going to turn out. Still sounds pretty cool.)
11. The redesigned Quinjet has a more militaristic look this time around and the pilots are now able to have a good look at the environment around them while flying. The design of the canopy was based on a helicopter cockpit with glass in front and below, which will give audiences a tremendous sense of speed when the Quinjet is flying through city airspace. The interior has been stripped down to a more utilitarian, sleek space as well, with many of the luxurious finishes and padding removed for an edgier look.
(That's fine. The original Quinjet design was always a little wonky anyway.)
12. A unique asset to the production in Seoul was the use drones and remote control cars to put the camera in places that could never be achieved by camera operators or helicopters. The production enlisted the expertise of brothers Menstru Pa, who is the Korean National Champion in drone flying, and Pak Min Keu, who is the Korean National Champion in remote car racing.
(This will be interesting to see if it makes any difference at all. Will he be flying the drones in the huge Avengers hangout they are never leaving? Also, does this take jobs away from traditional cinematographers? If so, it sucks.)

So, the Captain America thing is irritating me a little. The Scarlet Witch is a HUGE problem for me. I wish that the people who make these things realize that the comics have been around for decades and already work pretty well. Arbitrarily changing a major characters powers seems, well wrong to me. I guess we will have to wait and see how it works out in May.

It had better not be stupid. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Fridays because...why not?


I have been toying with the idea of a weekly column for this blog for a while. It always comes down to time and what to write about. Luckily, I have a desk job at a call center and it has been slow in the mornings so that excuse is gone.
Now, the other one.
What to write about?
Currently, that's not too hard either. Both of the major publishers are revamping their lines and changing the way they do comics...again!
For Marvel it is Secret Wars. DC has Convergence. Of the two I think I might just hitch my wagon to Marvel. They rarely, if ever, do a reboot of this magnitude so it will be fun to see what they do with Secret Wars.
While that leaves DC out in the cold, I am okay with that. With the exception of two comics (Justice League Dark, which is cancelled and Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman, I haven't bought much DC) that get my hard earned ducats every month. Marvel, while also a little slim, just gets more of my business; Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, The Black Vortex crossover, SHIELD, Amazing X-Men, Howard The Duck are the ones that float upwards to my brain at the moment.
Independents are John Carter, Warlord of Mars from Dynamite and Godzilla, Rulers of the Earth from IDW. I thought I was fond of Edward Scissorhands from the same company, but after four issues it doesn't seem to be going anywhere fast. I may venture into Bill and Ted territory, but I'm not sure. I did buy the first two issues of Little Nemo in Slumberland, but have yet to find the third issue at the store.  
As for what is coming for the future;
I realize that Godzilla is ending in four issues which is a bummer unless IDW spins off another series. As long as it isn't as terrible as Godzilla:Cataclysm I will probably buy it.
Dynamite is doing great with John Carter and the are releasing The Avenger soon and as long as they don't screw it up I will buy that automatically.
Now for Marvel and DC. Let's do DC first.
I am refusing to jump on the Convergence, but after that what happens? Let's see what I'm willing to work with;
Sensation Comics will still be here so that's a yes.
Bat Mite and Bizarro look like fun and will warrant at least a first issue purchase.
Dr. Fate also will get an issue to impress me.
Add Prez for a taste of issue 1.
And that is really that. I might try Justice League 3001, still waffling on that title.
Marvel Comics will get me with Secret Wars.
I'll need the Secret Wars title for sure. In addition;
Howard and Squirrel Girl will still be around so those are a lock. SHIELD is probably going nowhere so, that's a keeper.
Secret Wars: Battleworld has Howard the Duck in it so that's a plus.
Master of Kung Fu looks like fun, but 4 issue miniseries is lame.
A-Force is all the female Avengers so I will get that. Well, I'll try it. If it's lame, it's out.
Weirdworld looks interesting that's a maybe. I'll probably read it at the store and see if it's worth buying.
Planet Hulk has Steve Rogers as a gladiator with his trusty steed Devil Dinosaur. If I buy nothing else I'm buying this.


Mrs. Deadpool and The Howling Commandos...of course I'm buying this. Read the title. Everyone should buy this.
Where Monsters Dwell might be good. I'll check it out. Too bad it's only five issues.
Marvel has a lot more titles than DC. No real surprise there.  I still haven't forgiven DC for the terrible Future's End or the way I feel they screwed up Earth-2.
So, that's my say about the upcoming tsunami of titles. My wallet feels pretty good about leaving Convergence out of my viewing palette. As for the rest? we shall see.
See ya next Friday!

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Does that phrase up there look familiar at all? I hear it used more in the realm of comic books, but it applies to lots of things; movies, TV, books, lots of things. I find, as I get older that more and more fictional things have this habit of running secondary story lines throughout their run. Some good examples would be the newest incarnation of Doctor Who. And being an old fart, I mean what started with Christopher Eccelston. I remember the old days when Tom Baker would show up, the monster would slaughter everyone except for him and his companion and they would be on their merry way. Good times.
Comic books were even better at having a single issue where the hero would have an adventure and that was it. No foreshadowing, nothing full of portents of things to come. Just a straightforward, well told story. Well, most of the time.
Now, with the Marvel Universe telling epics tales that require you to basically read everything they print and DC following in their footsteps by re imagining their entire mythology a few years back, it has gotten out of hand.
And do you know why they do it?
If they have a string of stories they can put them all in one book and sell it for a huge profits. In hardcover no less. When did the fad for hardcover comic books start? Even the times I have bought a collection like Watchmen (Yes it was a series of individual issues back in the day) Or Moonshadow (Which was also a series of issues before it was collected) they were still softcover. We know they are comic books. It's fine that come out every month on newsprint. Although, I do like to see that printing and paper have come a long way and look great.
The newest incarnation of Doctor Who with Peter Capaldi showed great promise. An older actor bringing a little of the old school back to the character. Good stuff. Yeah, except for that undercurrent of something going on with this woman and a place called The Promised Land. Hey, Stephen Moffat! That idea that people want this sort of thing every season is so far off base it isn't funny anymore. Knock it off!
Sometimes you want to go to the news stand, or your kindle or that comic book store you haven't been to in forever and pick up a comic book to check in with the hero of your choice. They swing/fly/swoop in, fight a villain, have an adventure and, at the end of the issue live to fight the good fight another day.
Yeah, good luck with that.
Even some of the smaller publishers have this problem; Dark Horse, IDW, Image just to name a few. Now, being a huge fan of Godzilla, Rulers of the Earth I do like that it is the continuing series. Even they stopped the storyline and then went on with another one.
See, it's a tricky thing. Some things warrant the epic story line. Some don't. It just all doesn't need to be that way. Sometimes we just want the little moment with our beloved characters.