Often, the most rewarding and complicated relationships are the ones that we have with our parents, especially our mothers. They're (one hopes) the first role models, heroes of our lives whose main superpower is dealing with our crazy antics as we gradually grow up into competent adults. Mothers already have a tough job ahead of them just by taking care of their children, but that's nothing compared to some of the mothers in comics. Villains and heroes both have the reproductive parts to be moms, and that in some ways is the coolest and most terrifying thing to read. In honor of Mother's Day, best known to our moms as the most important time of the year next to their birthdays, it's time to run down the list of the best and worst mothers that comics have to offer.
The Best Moms
5. Shizune Arima (Kare Kano)
In the Japanese comic Kare Kano, the Arima clan have dealt with their fair share of scandal and shame within their house. Shizune's husband Soji wanted to separate himself from his family, but one day they found themselves brought in when they adopted his youngest brother's son Soichiro. Due to the shame that Soichiro's father was upon their household, his relatives treated him with the same sort of animosity throughout the years. Shizune didn't let that affect their happy little family as she gave Soichiro the affection that he desperately longed for from his biological mother. He turned into the epitome of a well-rounded, intelligent young man that any mother would be proud to call their son. Then again any mother would be absolutely beaming with joy if her son was so smart that he was at the top of his class. (Though we hope she wouldn't disown him if he weren't.)More >>
...Big Hero 6.
Big Hero what?
Marvel's Japanese super-team, featuring The Wolverine movie villain Silver Samurai (like so many popular villains, he gets his "babyface turn") and a supporting cast with ever-so-slightly stereotypical names like Honey Lemon, GoGo Tomago and Wasabi-No-Ginger. The L.A. Times story announcing the project doesn't mention any ties to The Wolverine, but suggests the movie will focus on young robotics prodigy Hiro and his mechanical bodyguard Baymax.
It's from the director of Winnie the Pooh, which was honest-to-God a great cartoon. For the movie, the action will be set in a futuristic hybrid city called "San Fransokyo." Sounds on paper like a bit of unneeded silliness, but the proof-of-concept footage of the city looks pretty cool.
Letting animation handle concepts that are both lesser-known and potentially budget-busting if done in live-action seems like the right way to go. If Disney's future dips into the Marvel library for animation follow suit, what would you like to see next?
Mainstream comics have always chased fads in popular culture, from music to fashion to just about everything else in between, always seeking to find a way to stay relevant in a world where something is cool one minute and yesterday's news the next. Here are ten example of times when the big comic companies shamelessly pursued fads in the mainstream of the moment, only to have the characters outlive the fads, sometimes by decades.
10. Luke Cage
In the early seventies, the Blaxploitation boom had begun in American cinema in earnest, starting with movies like Shaft, Superfly, Coffy and countless others. Although these movies were all intended for an urban African-American audience, the truth is they found a very large following with just about everyone else too. Marvel Comics, never ones to pass on any pop-culture fad, wanted in on a little of that Blaxploitation action, and in 1972 they unleashed Luke Cage, Hero for Hire on the comic buying audience.
In that first issue, a young "jive talkin' man named Carl Lucas is sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit, and in exchange for parole, he undergoes an experimental procedure, supposedly meant to cure diseases or something. Instead, it inadvertently gave him steel-hard skin and enhanced muscles. After escaping prison, he forged the identity of "Luke Cage," becoming a super-powered private detective, whoopin' all kinds of bad guy ass up in the hood. A bona fide super hero now, Cage's costume was a yellow blouse, blue tights, and a silver tiara. Somehow, I couldn't see Richard Roundtree working that look. In fact, I can't think of a heterosexual black man outside of maybe Prince who would even dare to make the attempt.
The book was filled with cliches, especially all the "jive talk" and catchphrases that Cage would spout out, most famously "Sweet Christmas!" (in case there was any doubt, Luke Cage was totally created by white people.) Eventually, Luke Cage would take on a proper super hero name (Power Man) and team up with another character created to cash in on a seventies trend, the martial artist Iron Fist. The Blaxploitation craze died out with the end of the seventies, but Luke Cage continued on, partnered with Iron Fist, until 1986. From that time on, he appeared sporadically in the Marvel Universe and inspired the stage surname of a certain insane actor named Nicolas, although in the last few years Luke has risen to prominence again in the pages of Avengers. The yellow blouse and tiara are long gone though, which if ya ask me, is a damn shame.
Looks like they finally figured it out - Japanese brushwork good, mediocre Photoshopping bad. And to think, it only took mass theft to teach 'em that lesson.
And here's the new UK poster (hence the horizontal orientation) for Edgar Wright's apocalypse comedy. Looks like there may be aliens in this one, because I'm just assuming they won't do zombies again, and there are only so many things that can have glowing blue eyes (pretty sure it ain't Fremen either).
Remember that tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day. From Judge Dredd and The Tick to Uglydolls and R.I.P.D., a whole lot of your favorite characters have complimentary adventures to share.
Being May the 4th, it's also Star Wars Day, with many retailers (including our scruffy looking Nerdy Shirter friends at WeLoveFine) doing Star Wars-related sales.
Here's Kitty Han versus Doggie Greedo.
You wanted it, you got it. By now some of you will have seen the film. In case you were delaying the read, my review is here.
That Hot Toys Mandarin is looking pretty good so far...but how do you like the movie's execution of the character?
All comments are fair game below.
Maybe even...Bangkok Dangerous? One night in Bangkok makes the Iron Man humble...
I'm not just talking dangerously un-PC, as it is that, or would be if it had been made here, with Gwyneth Paltrow portrayed by a man and Don Cheadle depicted via blackface. (Today's rumors of the Human Torch possibly being black in the next movie pale by comparison.)
No, I'm thinking more about the fact that everyone involved in the production of this appears to have taped firecrackers to their hands to duplicate the repulsor ray effect. Though a guy with as many tattoos as this "Tony Stark" is obviously used to his body hurting pretty badly.
Must-see video after the jump.More >>
I wish the impersonations were a tiny bit better - even I could probably do a more accurate Mr. Rogers voice - but the joy of seeing a superhero team of Carl Sagan, Bob Ross, Fred Rogers and Bill Nye in action cannot be denied. Especially since 3/4 of them are no longer with us in any other capacity.
My one quibble is that this would have been funnier last year with Mitt Romney as the bad guy - possibly secretly allied with a turncoat Big Bird? - rather than the generic villain-in-suit we get. But then 53% of the audience might not have supported it no matter what.
Watch after the jump.More >>
Okay, so in Entertainment Weekly's new Iron Man 3 cover story, they drop this little bombshell:
A source confirms to EW that the twin characters Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will be joining The Avengers 2, which Whedon hinted at recently when he said he was writing a brother-sister duo into the movie. Feige maintains a poker face on that scoop, saying only: "I'm not confirming or denying. The draft could change six months from now."
If Joss Whedon got approval to have them in there now, I don't think he's dropping them later. Here's why: these particular characters are hugely significant in that they belong to both the Avengers and X-Men universes. It has been mentioned before that they're the only two characters Disney/Marvel and Fox both have the rights to use - seeing as how they're Magneto's kids.
Look at what happened in the first Avengers movie: we were all so sure the villains would be Skrulls, even as the nit-pickers among us pointed out that the Skrulls belong with the Fantastic Four rights at Fox. So instead, they were given a whole new look and called Chitauri, the alternate-universe versions of the Skrulls, and did not evince any shape-shifting abilities. Had Whedon needed mutants with the specific powers of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, he could easily have made up rip-off versions with different names to placate Fox out of any legal action.
So why would Whedon use these particular characters if he were hamstrung as far as using huge chunks of their origin story? Well, could there be a bigger post-credits fanboy joygasm in Avengers 2 than Ian McKellen stepping out of the shadows and going, "Hello, children!"?
I'm not saying that'll happen. But I think this indicates that high-ups want it to happen.