Month: May 2008

Gladiator Meets Hulk

This is what you get when a cross-promotion reaches a Presidential level of awesomeness. As found on CBR, the show American Gladiators on June 9 will be having a “Hulk” themed show, to promote the release of the movie The Incredible Hulk. Not only will the lights be green, and a showing of a new clip from the movie, an appearence by Lou Ferrigno, but also, a new gladiator will be making his debut.


Breathe something into the Sentry, please

If you’re not an Avengers reader, you may not be familiar with the Sentry. The idea came as a gag from Marvel with some help from Wizard introducing him as a long-lost Stan Lee creation. With the hoax revealed, a mini-series was launched and the Sentry was brought into the mainstream Marvel Universe (I hate the term 616) at the beginning of New Avengers.

The basic gist is that he’s basically Marvel’s Superman, except he’s bat-shit crazy.

At first it was interesting, but since his defining story in which it was revealed why no one remembered him, he’s become quite stale. His craziness keeps him out of action for most of a story and then he shows up at the end to handle things. If you’ll forgive the reference, it’s kind of like watching a storyline in Dragonball Z – you just wait around until Goku eventually shows up and wins.

Until, that is, I read this week’s Mighty Avengers #14. I had thought that the Skrulls had simply pulled the obligatory ‘get Sentry out of the fight so he doesn’t win in four seconds’ move in Secret Invasion #2, but it’s becoming an interesting story to further the full aspect of the character. I’m not going to spoil what happened, but if you’re familiar with the Sentry and his nemesis the Void, you might just be fascinated with these occurrences.

The First Avenger: Captain America

“Captain America to be set during WWII.”

Well, it was confirmed that the Captain America movie will be set during WWII. To me this makes sense. The point of these introductory/origin movies is to establish how the character became who they are. I feel to not put Captain America in WWII would be a great disservice to the character and the fans. Undoubtedly there are going to be people that are unhappy with this, and will proclaim that this movie is going to suck, and be the downfall of Marvel Studios. Likewise, some will proclaim that this is going to be the greatest movie ever. I say, wait until you see the blasted movie to proclaim anything about it. That really goes for any movie that has not been released, but I’ll save going into that soap box message.

Wait until the story’s done, killer.

SECRET INVASION #2 SPOILERS AHOY. You have been warned.

Secret Invasion’s excitement is starting to fizzle on me. As the side Avengers books go on about Nick Fury’s new team, and the backstory of the Skrull invasion force, the main story itself seems to be tossing as many possible characters into the mix as humanly possible to confuse readers and characters alike as to who may actually be a Skrull. This comes as a misfire to me, as the paranoia should be represented amongst the heroes themselves, not by putting them face-to-face with doppelgangers to force the issue. But beyond that, it also gives the opportunity for fans to see some of the deceased characters back – and give them the hope that maybe, just maybe, the likes of Phoenix and Captain America will be back amongst the living.

So when Mockingbird made a convincing argument as to her authenticity, fans got really excited, while comic cynics (i.e. – bloggers like me) bitched that the thing didn’t fit in with the continuity of the character. I have two issues with this argument. First, this happened in issue #2 of an 8 issue mini-series. Why are they going on like this is set in stone? Let the story play out, then feel free to bitch about the ramifications. If this Mockingbird is the real deal and she makes it out of the story, then she’s fair game. Until then, rein it in and try to enjoy the story.

Second, Mockingbird died in Avengers West Coast #100, which came out in 1993 (by cover date). There is no way that any of this could have been planned back then, so why is it so hard to swallow that things would have to be adjusted to fit? Of course Mockingbird didn’t revert to a Skrull when she died. Secret Invasion was still over a decade away from being planned! No one complained about sticking the Illuminati back into Marvel continuity, so this hubub needs to quiet down…bub.

But really, there will be complainers about any story, so this is not surprising. I’ll pass judgment if I feel the need when it wraps up. Hits and misses, if you will. However, I realize that I’m no one special – I just write them out because anyone who may be reading this obviously is somewhat interested in what I have to say about it. Marvel will keep doing what they do despite what I think, and unlike some people I’ve noticed, I’m cool with that.

King of Kings as God of Thunder?

There’s a rumor going around the many internets that Marvel is interested in WWE superstar Triple H to play the title role in the Thor movie (already scheduled for release on June 4 2010).

He certainly looks the part, and he’s got a fair bit of experience swinging a hammer. But I don’t know if he’s got the acting chops to pull it off. Not to say that I don’t think a wrestler can act, since that’s pretty much what their job is. But Thor is a very involved character. The costumes, the godly presence, and most importantly: the dialect. I just can’t see Triple H saying things like “verily”, “forsooth”, “I say thee nay!” and “the Odinson doth protest!”. Then again, they could play down that aspect of the character the way they did in Ultimates.

But with casting Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man and Edward Norton in The Incredible Hulk, something tells me Marvel’s leaning toward more serious actors to make more serious movies.

Now for something completely not serious, here’s a music video made with clips from one of Marvel’s earliest films, Captain America. (contains profanity)

Brand New Day, Same Old Idea

This charming fellow is Anti-Venom, the new character set to debut in Amazing Spider-Man when writer Dan Slott returns to the book in August. If you remember what happened in Slott’s first Amazing story, which just so happened to be the first “Brand New Day” story, then you’ll remember the character Slott previously introduced, Mr. Negative. Here’s what I wrote about Mr. Negative then:

There’s a new villain named Mr. Negative. He has the power to…um…be the opposite color of what he should be…or something. He’s a low level crime boss who’s trying to take out the heads of the mob families in New York so that he can run the show. He has a bomb, some kids are in danger, Spidey saves the day. Mr. Negative escapes. The end. The whole thing seemed nothing more than a generic super hero adventure. And with someone as bad ass as The Hood running around trying to take control of New York’s criminal element, Mr. Negative seemed all the more pointless.

And since nothing’s been done with the character since, I stand by that assessment.

And it seems once again that Dan Slott’s introducing a new character that seems to have nothing new about it but an inverted color scheme. Anti-Venom’s origin could be tied into that of Mr. Negative but since he wasn’t that interesting of a character to begin with I’m not that thrilled. Come to think about it, I’m not that thrilled with most of the new characters since “Brand New Day”. They just seem like rehashes of old Spider-Man characters, just with maybe a new wrinkle or two thrown in and some window dressing slapped on. For example…

Mr. Negative is a crime boss trying to take over all the organized crime in New York in the same vein as Big Man, Kingpin, Hammerhead, and Silvermane. The fact he’s secretly Mr. Li, the nice guy Aunt May works for at the Feast Center, is just like how Big Man turned out to be Freddie Foswell, Peter’s friend from the Bugle.

Dexter Bennett might as well be called J. Jonah Jameson Jr. He doesn’t have it out for Spider-Man the way J.J. does, but he has the same loud mouthed, sensational, anything-to-sell-papers attitude.

Freak is reminiscent of the Lizard, Morbius, Vermin, and all the other “accidentally-changed-into-a-horrible-monster” villains Spidey’s faced over the years. Freak even has Curt Connors tied up in his origin. The fact that when you kill him he comes back to life immune to whatever killed him is a nice touch, though.

Menace is the Green Goblin made over. We’ve even already had somebody impaled on a goblin gli…um, excuse me, menace glider. And if Menace doesn’t turn out to be Harry Osborn, I’ll owe you a Coke.

One could argue that there’s nothing new in comics anymore and that everything is a rehash of something. But if they’re going to market these Spider-Man stories as “Brand New Day” you think they’d have more than one brand new idea.

When you put it that way it sounds like a lot…

While organizing my boxes today I became curious as to just how many comics I owned. I didn’t feel like counting them all, so I counted what was in one box and took that as an average of what was in the other three. Count in the 247 comics waiting for a new box and that means my collection totals about 1500 books. I only started seriously collecting about four years ago. I haven’t bought any hugely expensive back issues, so if you figure the average price I’ve spent on an issue is $3 then that means I’m spending over $1000 a year on comics. That averages out to about $90 a month. Considering the twenty one monthly titles (one of which comes out three times a month, another substantially less than monthly) and three mini-series I’m collecting now, that’s about right. Nobody said collecting comics would be a cheap hobby.