I think more than a few of us were a bit worried by the teaser image above, implying to those who didn't necessarily know the characters depicted that Batman would be part of a team with a gun-toting Alfred and Katana as an obligatory affirmative-action partner, facing off against giant mutant animal-people. However, the first real footage is out, and it doesn't seem that way it all - it's a Batman in solo action the way you would hope, with slick martial arts and the usual gadgetry. And while I'm not entirely familiar with all the new villains, it's nice to see things changed up on that front and the roster probed a bit more deeply.
I hope they do some dark reimaginings of the Minstrel and Egghead. There has to be some new deconstructionist way to make them actually threatening, right?
Watch after the jump. I think I'm sold on it. The show debuts July 13th.More >>
It's become something of a long standing comic book tradition - famous super hero gets injured, crippled or even killed off, and is then replaced by a new hero wearing their famous name and costume, with the original hero eventually returning to the role after a series of struggles, not to mention fan demand for their return to their rightful place. One could say the whole concept of passing the superhero mantle to a newer,younger hero goes back to the fifties, when original Green Lantern Alan Scott and original Flash Jay Garrick let those new whipper-snappers Hal Jordan and Barry Allen take over their roles as Green Lantern and the Flash, respectively. Of course, there was a separation there of several years between Flashes and Green Lanterns, but still, you get the idea; new characters taking older heroic identities ain't nothin' new in comics.
But the trope really became popular (and overused) over the past twenty-five years or so, and is now something of a tired cliche. But as much as replacing iconic heroes is a cheap gimmick, let's not forget superhero comics are nothing if not soap operas, and ongoing soap operas are full of gimmick storytelling. Doesn't mean those some of those stories weren't entertaining, or some of those gimmick characters didn't grow into something more over time. As with all things...some gimmicks (and characters) are just cheaper than others. And some cheap gimmicks can last for years before they are undone. Case in point, our entry at #11...
11. Spider-Woman Julia Carpenter Replaces Spider-Woman Jessica Drew
The original Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew, was created out of corporate need more than any other reason; at some point in the seventies, Stan Lee realized if they didn't make a Spider-Woman spin-off character to their flagship hero Spider-Man, sooner or later another comic book company would take the name. So as a way of securing the copyright, Spider-Woman debuted in an issue of Marvel Spotlight in 1977. She was just meant to be a one-off character, created soley for that reason, but quickly Marvel saw potential in her, and within a year she not only had her own comic book series, but her own cartoon show on Saturday morning television.
Despite being created to be a female version of Spider-Man, much like Supergirl and Batgirl were female analogues of their popular DC Comics male counterparts, Spider-Woman ended up being an analogue in name only. Her origins, powers, and costume were totally different from Peter Parker's, and aside from also living in the same Marvel Universe as Peter, had no other real connection to him. This was a much smarter and more interesting way to approach the character, as opposed to just making her a cheap knock-off of a popular male character (and before anyone flames me for that comment, no, I don't think Supergirl and Batgirl are just cheap copies...but they did kind of start out that way). In the late seventies and early eighties, Spider-Woman was found on most products and merchandise featuring the Marvel icons, right alongside the Hulk and Captain America. She was clearly being positioned as Marvel's top female hero.
Then, in 1983, after fifty issues of her own series and an earned place in the Marvel Pantheon, her series was abruptly cancelled and her powers and costumed identity removed. Rumor has it that Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter thought a female version of Spidey (even though she really wasn't at all) emasculated Spider-Man himself. This sounds ridiculous, of course, but the fact that Jessica Drew was all but erased from Marvel gives some validity to this rumor.
Nevertheless, Marvel needed to have a character named Spider-Woman floating around occasionally, otherwise they'd lose the copyright. So in the epic crossover miniseries Secret Wars, the same event that introduced Spider-Man's new black costume, Marvel introduced Julia Carpenter, the new Spider-Woman. Although not a terrible character by any means - and with enough personality traits to not just make her a female counterpart to Peter Parker - the fact that her costume was identical to his, and her powers were far more similar to his as well, just made the the whole thing smell rotten, and well...a tad sexist. This version of Spider-Woman never carried her own ongoing series and was never fully embraced, leading to other characters taking up the name and mantle eventually.
The Better Replacement For Jessica Drew: Jessica Drew (Again)
So there were other replacement Spider-Women after Julia Carpenter, but none of them stuck around for too long either, because the truth was Marvel got the formula right the first time. In 2004, nearly twenty years after she was sent into comic book exile, Brian Bendis revived the original Jessica Drew Spider-Woman, original powers and costume intact. OK, OK, that version was really a Skrull agent in disguise, but we got the real Jess back in due time. And she is now once again a mainstay of the Marvel Universe and a high profile member of the Avengers.More >>
You've read my take.
You can see Hot Toys' take, which they just revealed in full.
Now it's time for those of you who've seen it to weigh in below.
Frankly, I don't think spoilers are a big issue on this movie, as it is mostly a familiar origin tale with a new spin, but there are one or two things you may not wish to know. If that's the case, come back to this post when you have seen it.
That big wave of red certainly makes it look like a historically significant period piece.
I had been operating on the assumption that this was a prequel, since that's what The Goddamn Frank Miller has been talking about over the years, but no - there's Lena Headey, here's dead Gerard Butler...this is a sequel. I am disappointed not to see any strange ogres, hunchbacks or giant mutant elephants, but Xerxes' face looks plastic surgerier.
The original is always fun to look at, but strangely, I feel almost nothing about this trailer. Watch it after the jump and tell me if I'm missing anything. (I already saw Eva Green sex scenes in The Dreamers.)More >>
What if an Avengers sequel could include Wolverine, the Fantastic Four, Spider-man and Deadpool? And you could control the action?
Think that's something only Axel Braun could make happen, and that it would have too many genitalia for your liking? Not so - Lego can and has put together a team lineup that Disney, Sony and Fox will probably never agree to, though why they're going with movie-version Abomination, I'm not sure. Nobody likes him when he's not Tim Roth. And while we're on the subject, are Marvel movies ever going to bring back Tim Blake Nelson as the leader?
And when do we get a Lego Coulson? It must happen, mustn't it?
Never mind all that. Just need game now. E3 trailer after jump will make obvious why.More >>
When word broke last week that Warner Bros. had a live-action Archie movie in development, fans like myself were instantly whipped into a frenzy. Seriously. Even if you still naively think of Archie as the red-headed stepchild of the comics industry, it's hard to remain unimpressed by what Archie Comics has achieved over the past couple of years: Kevin Keller, the batshit insane Life with Archie comics, the upcoming Afterlife with Archie zombie horror-comedy title, etc. With longtime fan (and current writer for the company) Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa scripting, and Pitch Perfect helmer Jason Moore handling directing duties, this upcoming project marks the first time since 2001's underrated Josie and the Pussycats that the Archieverse will make it to the big screen. But the question remains: which actors could and/or should play Archie and the rest of his Riverdale pals and gals? As an Archie superfan - again, seriously-- I'll be sharing my casting choices with you in today's Daily List. (Feel free to add your picks in the comments). Grab a burger at the Choklit' Shoppe and get to reading!
So, Man of Steel is definitely the biggest movie of the year. Love it or hate it, that's a statement of fact - as especially huge as the Richard Donner and Richard Lester versions were in their day, this one is every bit as exponentially bigger as movies in the modern age tend to be. It also doesn't have their patience for exposition or restraint: back then, you believed a man could fly. When you see this, you'll believe anything can happen on any scale - if the movie were a vehicle, it'd be a steamroller with jet engines and a couple of bazookas mounted on the front for good measure.
By the end, you will feel like you got hit and run over by a motion picture. Possibly in a good way. I'd even go so far as to suggest a new MPAA rating of "CG-14," not for the rampant computer graphics but for the fact that anyone over 40 will not have the necessary attention span, and may require the guidance of a child to explain just what it was they saw.More >>
Wait...so Swamp Thing is now Herne the Hunter as an angel?
Boy, I've missed something when it comes to this character. I'm sure there's some kind of narrative explanation - wait, this is DC's New 52, so I can't be sure of that at all - but I wouldn't say the lack of antlers and wings ever bothered me before. Anyway, DC Collectibles is turning him into a giant, overpriced action figure. I'd suggest to you that the Mattel Comic-Con one from a couple years ago might be a better deal.
Still, not the worst thing that's ever happened to the character. It's significant that, almost alone among major comic book characters, Swampie has nobody clamoring for toys based on his movie appearances. Bless the late Dick Durock for trying, but it just never worked.
Video of the new toy after the jump - warning: it autoplays.More >>
Comic books are known for characters who have powers and abilities that defy the laws of nature and physics. But it isn't just their powers that defy all known reason: sometimes it is their hairstyles that do as well. Good, bad and in-between, here are ten comic book characters whose hairdos would likely make you stop dead in your tracks and stare if you ever saw them on a real live person.
10. The Wolverine 'do
Wolverine is a comic book character that is so popular and iconic, he created a hairstyle trend all his own. Although he debuted in The Incredible Hulk #181 in 1974, Wolverine wouldn't take off his mask and reveal what he really looked like underneath it all until Uncanny X-Men #98 back in 1976. Artist Dave Cockrum decided that for some inexplicable reason, Wolverine's hair would actually be in the shape of his mask. (and that so had to be a bitch to cram under that tight little cowl.) Over the next several decades, depending on who was drawing him, Wolverine's hair would go from wild to mild, but always more or less in that distinctive, pointy shape with those massive sideburns.
As the eighties rolled around and Logan got his own mini-series, other comic book characters started to mimic "the Wolverine" hairstyle, kind of like how in the real world, every girl circa 1995 started to emulate Jennifer Aniston's "the Rachel" cut from Friends. At DC, Justice League member Vixen had a version of Wolverine's hairdo. As the nineties began, from Marvel Comics there were now characters like Deathcry and Feral who sported the Wolverine 'do, as well as variations of his hairdo on X-Force villain Wildside. (this being a Rob Liefeld creation, his hair was even more outrageous than what Logan had, but the basic idea was the same.)
While Wolverine still has a variation on his original, signature hairstyle to this day, his imitators have stopped trying to rip his look off for the most part. Only Wolverine himself wears "the Wolverine" these days, which is at is should be. Special mention must be made of Hugh Jackman, who not only wore the Wolverine hairdo with pride, but succeeded in making it not look ridiculous on a real life human being.
Others tried to work the Wolverine look, but it just wasn't the same.
Amy Adams' Lois Lane may capture Superman's heart in the new movie, as she has in every other, but it's Antje Traue's Faora who will more likely find her way to the wall of every hot-blooded male teen's bedroom. Like Sarah Douglas' Ursa in the Christopher Reeve films - whose character was based on Faora from the comics - Traue's Kryptonian criminal looks badass in black, as scary as she is stunning. It's surely no spoiler to say she goes toe to toe with the Big Blue Boy Scout and acquits herself well; thankfully, when we went one-on-one in conversation, she pulled her super-punches and spared my life.
You may know the German-born actress from Pandorum if you were one of the few that saw it, but it's safe to say you'll have no trouble remembering her as Faora.
Luke Y. Thompson: How is it to be in such a huge thing? Are you aware while you're doing it just how huge everything is?
Antje Traue: I wasn't aware of how big Superman is, because for me growing up, I didn't grow up with Superman, as a girl. But then you step into this whole production environment, and you walk to the costume department, and then you go through make-up, and then you go to stunts and everything, and it's just like the best of the best people come together, and assemble to do something that amazing. Then you feel it, how much love is involved, and how much heart, and everything is just perfect for the movie.