Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review - Spider-Men #3

A pretty fun issue, packed with tons of action and breathtaking art. Peter and Miles take on Mysterio who conjures up Spider-Man's entire rouges gallery. The fight scenes are pretty cool, but it's issue #3 of #5 already and Peter hasn't taught Miles jack shit.

When they first announced the series I was excited for Peter to interact with Miles and teach him a thing or two about being Spider-Man. Now we're three issues into it and all we've gotten are fight scenes and a few handfuls of irrelevant dialogue.


So far, all Peter has pieced together is that he's in another world where their Peter Parker is dead and outed as Spider-Man. I'm really worried about the pacing of this series because he should have realized this at the end of issue one or early issue two. 

I also feel they've dumbed down the 616 Peter for the series. He's supposed to be the experienced superhero, but Miles (13-years-old and just starting his Spidey career) gets the upper hand on him twice. Pretty lame. 

The issue concludes with Peter showing up and revealing himself to Aunt May and Gwen Stacy. Hopefully we'll get some answers next issue but until then, I have a pretty bad feeling the last two books will be rushed in terms of story.


Editorial - Next Batman Franchise

The Nolan Batman movies have finally come to their epic conclusion with the Dark Knight Rises. With Hollywood throwing out reboots of films like it's Halloween candy, maybe it's time to have a fresh new take on the Batman story. Everyone is still in love with Christopher Nolan's interpretation of the Dark Knight, what director in their right mind would want to follow that?

Here's my pitch: Batman Beyond.

It'd be great to see the cult television cartoon that appeared at the end of the 90s on the big screen. It's fresh enough that we can get a entirely new Batman experience, but with the same themes and elements that we have all come to love from the Batman character.

Set in a Neo-Gothic future, a new Batman takes the mantle as Bruce Wayne's successor. Batman Beyond can be the new film we need to tide us over until the next appropriate reboot of the Batman franchise.

Joseph Kosinski, the director of Tron: Legacy, would be a perfect candidate to direct this futuristic take on Gotham City.

Something to think about.

New CW Series - Arrow

We all know that this fall, CW will be premiering their new series: Arrow. The show will be based on the Oliver Queen/Green Arrow character. The incarnation had previously appeared on Smallville, played by Justin Hartley. But the CW has made it adamantly clear that the show will have no ties to one another and that the new Oliver Queen is a completely different and new character.

From the trailer, it looks like we'll be getting a much darker version of the Emerald Archer. Most people on the message boards are hoping it will be more closer to the Mike Grell version of Green Arrow, where he's more of a hunter than a superhero. From the looks of it, it will be. 

What I'm most excited for is that they're bringing in some of the most bad-ass comic book villains in the DC Universe pretty early on in the show (Deathstroke, Deadshot, and Constantine Drakon). The first two being a complete waste of an opportunity when they appeared on the final season of Smallville. 

The only thing I'm worried about is that they seem to be calling him "Arrow" instead of "Green Arrow" and that crappy face paint mask he has.

Other than that, I'm pretty stoked to catch the premiere. 

Trailer - The Dark Knight Returns Pt. 1

Hot off the release of The Dark Knight Rises, DC Universe Original Animated Movies have officially released the trailer for the next installment of their animated film franchise, The Dark Knight Returns. Adapted from Frank Miller's legendary graphic novel, the story focuses on an elderly Bruce Wayne returning to a life of crime-fighting as the Batman. The movie is to be split in two parts, with the first releasing on DVD and Bluray on September 25.

With the commercial success of The Dark Knight Rises, fans are probably eager to get their next Batman fix. Peter Weller, better known for his role as RoboCop, will provide the voice of Batman. DC animated movies have been pretty hit-or-miss, but they have more or less hit a consistency of good storytelling when it comes to Batman.

Very excited for this!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Smallville Season 11

As all of you know, Smallville ended it's tenth and final season with Clark taking to the skies as Superman. Earlier this year, it was announced that an eleventh season would be picked up. In comic book form.

As a fan of Smallville since the very first episode (I was in eighth grade), the thought of furthering the adventures of the characters I grew up with sounded amazing. I didn't have to say goodbye just yet. Thankfully, Smallville Season 11 still has most of the heart of the TV show. The pacing is a bit faster since each chapter is only a handful of pages, but the story and medium allows for much more action than the television show. It's great to see Superman in costume flying around in action.

The art is pretty spot-on when it comes to making the characters look like the actors that once portrayed them, also giving them the freedom to do things in the book that the budget on the show once would not allow. As far as the writing goes, it's pretty hit-or-miss depending on the chapter.

But then again, that's Smallville.

The best part is, there's no summer break in between as this is a comic book. Definitely worth checking out.

Under Rated Movie: Meteor Man

Does anyone remember a time where a comic book movie didn't come out every other month? Back when comic book fans took what they could get in a superhero flick? 

Back in 1993, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer gave us Meteor Man. Starring Robert Townsend, the film focused on shy educator Jefferson Reed. Reed lives in a neighborhood that is under the thumb of a local gang: The Golden Lords. After a rough encounter with them, Reed is struck by a meteor and gains superpowers. He then uses those powers to become Meteor Man, defending his neighborhood and standing up for it's residents. 

Now as much crap as the movie got back when it came out, it still holds the spot for one of my favorite superhero movies ever. The Meteor Man pretty much has everything you could ask for: action, comedy, family, heart, and James Earl Jones in a high-top-fade! 

Now, if you do manage to find yourself a copy, I'm not promising The Dark Knight, or even Spider-Man 2, but I am going to promise that you'll get a laugh or two with this light-hearted superhero comedy. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Toon of the Week - "Canadian Bacon"


Ever bite into a crispy piece of freshly fried bacon with your breakfast? With bacon trends blowing up in the foodie world over the last few years, do you ever stop and wonder:

"Hey, what's the history behind this salty piece of meat I'm about to put in my mouth?"

This piece I did for FOODSCAPE, "Canadian Bacon," gives us a look into the lives of these delicious breakfast creatures. What we have is a window into at their problems, their loves, and their sorrows.

Review - Hit-Girl #2

Taking place after the events of Kick-Ass vol. 1 and Kick-Ass vol. 2, Hit-Girl bridges the gap between what happened after Dave and Mindy took down the Genovese crime family and before the Red Mist's rose to power. Mindy is secretly training Dave to be a better hero, and Dave is teaching Mindy how to be a regular 12-year-old girl.


Not much takes place as far as the story goes. We get a bunch of hilarious scenes of Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl training. She's toughening him up after what she saw in vol. 1. Mindy, who can kill men three times her size, is having the hardest time adjusting to a normal life. She's unpopular, and ridiculed and she doesn't understand why. Her home life isn't going too great either as her step-father, Marcus, makes her promise to give up the superhero life.

But come on, we all know better.

Not much of Red Mist in this issue, but from the ending, it looks like he's going to start his war against superheroes first thing the next issue.

Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. deliver the same consistency and quality that they put into Kick-Ass 1 & 2. The dialogue is natural, ridiculous, terrifying, and hilarious all at the same time. The Hit-Girl series is the perfect transition between the two Kick-Ass books. Romita's art is great in this book. Though I'm not a fan of his work on Avengers, I'm happy with the quality and real-life vibe he puts into Hit-Girl.

Stay tuned! 4/5

Man of Steel Teaser

A few days ago, the Man of Steel teaser trailer was released online.

Two different versions of the trailer were released depending on what part of the world you lived in. The domestic trailer featured a voiceover from Kevin Costner's Jonathan Kent, while the International trailer was voiced by Russell Crowe's Jor-El. Like every teaser trailer, it doesn't show much of the movie. Just a few quick snippets of Clark traveling and a concludes with Superman breaking the sound barrier.

What's great is that this is literally the first movie to have nothing to do with Richard Donner's Superman movies. The last Superman movie was released six years ago in 2006, and was a loose continuation of the Donner films. Don't get me wrong, they were great, but I think it's time we get a new take on the Man of Steel. Hopefully, that's what director Zack Synder and producer Christopher Nolan will deliver.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Review - Batman: Earth One

Almost years ago, DC Comics teamed writers J. Michael Straczynski and artist Shane Davis together to create Superman: Earth One, a contemporary take on the Superman legend. Now, with DC golden boy scribe Geoff Johns and powerhouse artist Gary Frank, they have released Batman: Earth One.


Batman: Earth One covers the early days of Bruce Wayne's venture in to vigilante business. But what's unique about the story is what they do to the more secondary characters in the world of Batman. Two particular examples are Alfred Pennyworth and Detective Harvey Bullock. Pennyworth is brought to the States by Thomas Wayne as head of security during his mayoral campaign. In this alternate world, the two were war buddies and Wayne trusts Pennyworth with his life. Bullock, who's an overweight drunk in the main Batman universe, is a hotshot Detective who, here's the kicker, was the host of his own television reality show for five seasons: Hollywood Detectives.

What's interesting is that while these two characters begin as polar opposites of who they are in the mainstream universe, Johns creates a gradual transition for their characters throughout the novel. You can see what chain of events lead them to what they become when the story comes to an end. Geoff Johns has a knack for developing obscure characters and making them cool again.

Then there's Bruce Wayne. Earth One Batman is a cocky kid who's pissed off at the world. He lacks the depth and control that the mainstream Batman has, and everyone knows it. This Batman screws up more than he is successful. He's angry that his parents were killed and he's looking to lash out at the world. But by the end of the story, you get a better sense that he'll eventually become the Batman we all know.

Gary Frank, mostly associated with his Superman work, is a phenomenal artist and delivers dynamic illustrations that engage the readers just as much, if not more, than the story. I bet if there wasn't any dialogue, you could still piece together a great story just from the pencils alone.

Rating: 4/5

Definitely something to pick up.