khaosworks: (Spidey)
Re: Thor

I liked it - it wasn't as epic as I was hoping in scope, but it handled the mythos well, there was sufficient humour to ground it, and the grandeur of Asgard and the cosmic avenues it opens up for the rest of the Marvel Movieverse lent that right bit of spice to whet our appetites for the movies to come.

I loved Jaimie Alexander as Sif, though, and wish she had more time. I found her much hotter than Natalie Portman's Jane, but then I'm biased because I've always preferred badass Sif to slightly wet Jane.

I was really happy with the handling of Loki. They could have gotten all comic booky bwah-ha-ha God Of Evil on us, but Branagh and Hiddleston actually gave us a really subtle Loki. You saw the quiet way he was manipulating people, all Iago-like, but ultimately his motivations were not as one-dimensional as mere mischief, conquest or jealousy. The twists in his plan showed how Loki's mind works on multiple levels and people keep underestimating or not being able to comprehend how labyrinthine his schemes are - and that's the way it should be! Kieron Gillen understands this, as seen in the latest issue of Journey into Mystery when Young Loki speaks to the shade of his dead self.

Ultimately, Thor defeats Loki not by outwitting him but the way Thor does best: sheer brute force. And you know that Loki's last move was calculated and he was already working that in as a variable for the rematch. It was reminiscent also of the love-hate Shakespearean struggles between the two and Odin of the Simonson era, where even Loki will take up arms to defend his family and home. Loki as a character and as an actor in this movie was great.

If I could wish for something, it'd be a companion live action Tales of Asgard TV series going along the lines of Game of Thrones...

DCU Sims

Sep. 8th, 2008 12:27 pm
khaosworks: (Groucho)
This is what DCU Online should be like (lots of pictures at the links, safe for work, although I make no representations to the possibility of hysterical laughter):

http://sigma7.livejournal.com/642085.html

http://sigma7.livejournal.com/642367.html

http://sigma7.livejournal.com/642577.html

http://sigma7.livejournal.com/642816.html
khaosworks: (Nerdboy)


Happy 91st Birthday, Jack. We miss you.
khaosworks: (Jay)
Re: The Dark Knight

Good movie, worth watching, great popcorn stuff, but man, was it long. Nolan and Goyer's script was well paced and plotted, but there were a few missteps, which I shall elaborate somewhat on. While some people are hailing this as the ultimate super-hero movie ever made, I still say the crown is staying right on Superman II's head. But that's just me.

As a side note, someone give Christian Bale a lozenge. Please. Or get Kevin Conroy to ADR his Batman speech.

Spoiler review follows. )
khaosworks: (Nerdboy)
Call for questions, by way of Tom Galloway:
This year's San Diego Pro/Fan Trivia will have Len Wein, Kurt Busiek, Mark Waid, and Robert Skir going up against Tom Galloway, Terence Chua, David Oakes, and John Sardegna, with the questions being asked by Peter David. We're looking for people to write questions for it, with this year's theme being "Young Heroes". Specifically, we're looking for questions about characters college aged or below, from stories published from 1956-1986 (essentially the Silver Age and Pre-Crisis). For example, Superboy, Supergirl, the Legion of Super-Heroes, Robin, Teen Titans, Spider-Man, Human Torch, the original X-Men and Kitty Pryde, etc.. If you send in a Legion question, we request that you also send in at least one non-Legion question for each Legion question, as we don't want an excessively Legion dominated set of questions.

There are two types of questions in the match, toss-ups and bonuses. You should mark your questions with what type you think they are. Toss-ups can only be answered by individuals, while the full team can consult on the latter. The latter can thus (and should) be both harder and perhaps a bit more complex in terms of a correct answer. In general, questions requiring more than one answer ("Name seven of the villains who appeared in the story about Reed and Sue's wedding") should be bonuses, not toss-ups. Ideally, I think 90% of toss-ups should be answered correctly, while around 50-70% of bonuses should.

Questions should not ask for issue numbers (they can be included in the question, but try for more descriptive set-ups than just "Who was the villain in Forbush-Man #3?") or creators. We're interested in story content. Also, unless it was fairly memorable, please don't write questions on the order of "In Superboy #158, Lex Luthor revealed a particular fondness for what Martian dessert?" where this was never mentioned again outside of that one panel.

As an example, take a look at 2003's match, including all questions and whether and who answered them correctly, in this post.

I'll just note that ones I think were probably too easy were Tossup #10, Bonus #11, and Bonus #13. Ones I think were probably too hard were Tossups 2, 8, and 20.

Finally, if possible, try to add a bit of style to the questions, sothey're not of very basic forms like "What's the Top's real name?" "Who fought Forbush-Man in Forbush-Man #1?", etc. I like Tossups 3 and 14 from the 2003 match in this regard.

Questions should be sent to hal_sdcc@yahoo.com

The match'll be Sunday the 27th, 2:30, in Room 4.
khaosworks: (Superman)
Tom Spurgeon sez:

Heroes Con Opens With Whispered Rumors...
... of a major shake-up at DC Comics. I have no idea if they're true; I've been at the gym and I forgot my phone. I just spoke to DC public point man and recently much maligned editorial sword point Dan Didio at about 8:00 AM ET on his way back into the Westin from a jog, but it's not like I asked that kind of question. That would be rude, even for me. He's on a panel of mine today in two and a half hours, so I guess we'll know more by then. Or not. I don't know. I would suspect since most folks are in Charlotte, the best place to keep updated is here or here.

I guess there's a chance there could be another story a-brewin' and people just naturally assume that it's a DC Comics story and so that rumor heats up, too. Rumors! If they worked according to logic, they'd be news.
Turns out that the news was that John Nee, the Senior VP of Business Development at DC, has resigned, and not Dan DiDio getting the chop. Shall we start a Death Watch for Dan now? Nee's departure may have implications for the Wildstorm imprint as well as the CMX manga line, which were under his watch.
khaosworks: (Superman)
It's funny. Over the last year I've been reading and paying more attention to comics than I have for the last five years or so, but I haven't really been talking about it much on this journal. I'm not sure why: maybe it's time I actually get off my ass and do that comic/pop culture musings blog I've been mulling over in my head.

But there are interesting rumblings happening in the mainstream comic industry - and for mainstream read Marvel and DC. It's no secret that there's been a portion of people my age who grew up with comic books who have been rather critical about the direction super-hero comics have taken in the last, oh, five or six years or so. For DC, it's been one descending mess after another, and calls for Dan DiDio's head have been getting louder and louder.

The current brouhaha is over Final Crisis, how it seems to contradict or outright ignore the events Countdown to Final Crisis (another continuity and quality nightmare) and Death of the New Gods, which were supposed to be lead-ins to it, and then the abrupt departure of Chuck Dixon from the DC stable. If your eyes are starting to glaze over, or you don't understand what the fuss might be about comic books, that's okay.

But if you have an idea, or are curious, here's a couple of interesting articles for you to read.

Comic Book Resources has an editorial by Greg Hatcher about said brouhaha

io9 has an article concerning rumours about a shake-up at DC.

I'm looking forward to Comic-Con a lot more now. If not the panels, the bar talk should really be interesting.
khaosworks: (Television)
Mondays on ABC Family: The Middleman, based on a comic by Javier Grillo-Marxuach, one of the Lost guys. This one actually was pitched as a television pilot years ago, but it was rejected, and Grillo-Marxuach turned it into a comic book. Now it's back as a television show, and it's good campy fun in the tradition of The Tick, Men in Black, and Buckaroo Banzai. The effects aren't spectacular, but it more than makes up for it in terms of surreality. The pilot is still available on the ABC Family website for those in the US or the usual back channel sources for those who aren't.

Basic premise: Wendy Watson (Natalie Morales) is a seemingly ordinary young woman who finds herself recruited by the mysterious Middleman (Matt Keeslar), who receives his orders from a mysterious organization nicknamed OTS2K ("Organization Too Secret To Know"). Their job: to fight evil, so you don't have to. To this end they confront genetically enhanced lifeforms, mad scientists, cursed tubas and so on. Funny and fast paced with snappy dialogue, it's worth a look.

Trust me: quite apart from a hyperintelligent gorilla that quotes from Scarface and The Godfather while trying to take over the mob rackets in the city, anything that is going to involve Kung Fu Mexican Masked Wrestlers is going to be worth your time.
khaosworks: (LOLHulk)
Got back from The Incredible Hulk. Not quite as incredible as I'd hoped, but still pretty darn good and entertaining (and the end fight is a lot better than the one in Iron Man, but then excessive property damage makes me happy).

Everyone knows that this isn't a sequel to the Ang Lee train wreck, but the key thing to keep in mind is that this is actually a reboot of the television series. The opening montage, the lab set-up that Banner has that transforms him into the Green Goliath... it's all right out of the television show. Lou Ferrigno is doing the Hulk roars, for pete's sake.

Norton does a better Banner than Bana, because despite the good muscle tone, he's more geeky sounding and looking. Liv Tyler brings the pretty, but she's more or less emotionally flat as Betty; then again, Tyler has never particularly impressed me with her acting chops. William Hurt is workman-like with Thunderbolt Ross. In fact, generally the characterisation is pretty blah. You're just waiting for Banner to hulk out, really. It says something when the most emotionally interesting character is the CGI'd one. But then again, that's who you paid to see.

Also, lots of nice, non-intrusive call-backs to the television show as well as the comic book. People in the know will notice familiar names, see the set-ups for future villains, and enjoy the background details that make this a part of a unified Marvel Studios universe and Chapter 2 in the overall Avengers saga. And to remind people: no need to stay behind for the credits if you don't wanna: there's nothing after them this time.

And please, guys. Don't fuck up Iron Man 2.
khaosworks: (Robert E. Lee)
Been reading through the Volume 2 of the DC Comics Showcase phone book ''The Haunted Tank''. This volume has the story from G.I. Combat #138 (Oct.-Nov. 1969) that introduced my favourite of Kanigher's World War II creations: the Losers.

The Losers were fighter pilot Johnny Cloud, the Navajo Ace; PT Boat Captain Storm and infantrymen Gunner and Sarge (and Pooch). All of them suffered the painful guilt of having men under their command die and they somehow surviving, and considered themselves jinxed. So naturally, they are formed into a special operations unit, to take up the missions that no one expects them to walk away from.

Oh, Bob Kanigher, you always give me the best crack. As Chris Sims puts it: "Why? BECAUSE BOB KANIGHER. THAT'S WHY."

Of course, the best portrayal of the Losers post-Kanigher has to be Darwyn Cooke's exquisite handling of them in DC: The New Frontier, a sequence which sadly didn't make it to the animated version. Well, sort of.

In the book, the Losers all perish during one last mission near the end of the war to rescue Rick Flag's Suicide Squadron from Dinosaur Island — all Kanigher creations. After making sure Flag gets out, Johnny Cloud launches himself into the mouth of the T-Rex that has claimed the lives of his team-mates, holding two live grenades. The results are as awesome as you can imagine, and frankly, if you don't feel the slightest freak out just from the images that a sentence with the words "T-Rex" "live grenades" and "launches himself into the mouth of" all together conjures up (not to mention the sheer creative potential of the names "Suicide Squadron" and "Dinosaur Island")... you have no soul.

The movie transfers this badass move to King Faraday, but the book version's better. Cloud's last words, etched on a cave wall to greet anyone who might discover it in future:
"Ask my family and they'll tell you I was a Navajo. Ask the Army Air Force and they'll say I was an American. But if you ask my brothers, they'll set you straight.

John Cloud was a Loser."
Yeah, baby. Annihilation fantasies? Moi?

So when's that Showcase edition for the Losers coming, DC? Because I'll be first in line.
khaosworks: (Jay)
Reel 13 is a short film showcase by WNET New York. The winner of June 7, 2008 is a short film (originally made in 2005) titled "Super Power Blues" written and directed by Greg Pak, who also happens to be the current writer on The Incredible HulkHercules.
khaosworks: (Spidey)
From the Marvel UK kiddie comic Spider Man & Friends:

Civil War, Peter and Jane style: )
khaosworks: (Iron Man)
In another hilarious installment of "Hi, I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC", Iron Man and Batman discuss their movies. Might be spoilers for those who've not seen Iron Man or Batman Begins.

And if you're in that category, I... I... *choke* I just don't know you anymore...

khaosworks: (Iron Man)
Watched Iron Man last night. Possibly the most enjoyable super-hero movie Marvel has ever put out, and right up there in my top three super-hero movies, period, next to Superman II and Spider-Man 2. It does pretty much what I've always said about adapting comic books and icons to the screen — you don't have to be word-perfect faithful (and, in fact, you probably don't want to be... case in point, Daredevil), you just have to be able to get the character enough to show us what he's all about.

And Favreau did good. He hewed as close to the origin as he could and still make it up to date, and kept the action and big explosions going along at a good enough clip so that the two hours just flew by. Of course, the biggest credit has to go to Robert Downey, Jr., who played Stark with the right combination of arrogance, self-righteousness and vulnerability that is the essence of the comic book character. What helps of course is the good humour that permeates the script, allowing the audience much more empathy with Stark than, say, we had with Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins, which wins points on awesome but loses to Iron Man in terms of heart (no pun intended, given Tony's condition). But then, that's always been one of the dividing lines between DC and Marvel.

Marvel Studios acquitted itself very nicely with this first foray. Here's hoping The Incredible Hulk will similarly measure up. Now, I want the toys.
khaosworks: (Legion)
By way of The Legion Omnicom, an announcement on Newsarama:
We’ve been told that DC’s upcoming Final Crisis spans the past, present and future of the DC Universe.

With today’s Action Comics #863, part of that “future” has been previewed in a teaser image that confirms a team-up fans have been speculating about – writer Geoff Johns and artist George Perez will unite to tell the story of a multiverse-spanning 31st century battle in Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds beginning in August.

One of the two promised DC mini-series that will tie directly into Final Crisis, the Legion of 3 Worlds story will pull together the characters from three teams that have called themselves Legion of Super-Heroes during DC’s publishing history. And if we go by the teaser image, a slew of Perez-drawn Legion members will be fighting alongside Superman against a villainous threat in the future that will include a couple threats from the present as well – Superman-Prime and… is that Lex Luthor?

After wrapping up the Sinestro Corps War just a few months ago, it hasn’t taken Johns long to start writing another epic storyline, this one in five oversized issues that will tie into the Final Crisis story writer Grant Morrison is telling with artist J.G. Jones this summer. And it won’t surprise readers of Johns’ monthly comics that these issues will feature members of the original Legion, which Johns helped re-introduce to the DCU last year in a crossover between his Justice Society of America title with Justice League of America, then used in the current Action Comics story.

But three Legions? All together and all part of the DCU? What happened to the reboots where one Legion replaced the other? And for those readers who’ve never read any Legion stories, what do they have to know to understand this series? And what is Lex Luthor doing in that picture? Newsarama talked to Geoff Johns in a two-part interview to find out the answers to these questions and more…
More at the Newsarama page. Also, preview pages here and here.

I admit, and purely because at heart I am and always have been, and always will be, incredibly sappy and sentimental and militant about the Legion (and which Legion fan isn't? Really, as a fandom, we're scary - ask anybody), I'm quite stoked about this. Because. IT'S THE FRICKIN' LEGION! THE PRE-CRISIS LEGION! AND THE ZERO HOUR LEGION! AND THE REBOOT LEGION! AND THE TIME TRAPPER! AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-VILLAINS! AND GEORGE PEREZ!

Oh yeah, and Superboyman-Prime. Whatever.

Anyway, insert obligatory squee, and a quiet prayer that they don't screw this up.
khaosworks: (Default)
Dave Stevens, 1955-2008 )

It's amazing. After years of fantasizing about [Bettie Page], I'm now driving her to cash her Social Security checks.


Also, we lost Jerry Serpe, longtime DC colorist. They will both be missed.
khaosworks: (Jay)
First look at some of the character costumes for the Watchmen movie. Not sure that I really like the Batman look, myself...

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