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Marvel Comics Review: Dark Avengers #1

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, Marvel Comics

DarkAvengers

“Dark Avengers” is a new monthly comic book that was released this week by Marvel Comics.  “Dark Avengers” is a part of the “Dark Reign” storyline that will be going on in Marvel over the next few months or so.  “Dark Reign” deals with the aftermath of the “Secret Invasion” storyline that ended with Norman Osborn and his cabal assuming power behind the scenes in the Marvel Universe.

This first issue is very good, but it’s kind of a been there done that already.  This idea of the Dark Avengers is just a continuation of what was done at the beginning of the “Thunderbolts” comic back in the 90s.  Norman Osborn is in control of the Thunderbolts and at the end of “Secret Invasion,” he is now in command of SHIELD - which he has had dismantled.  In it’s place will be HAMMER and his “new” Avengers.

Osborn’s Avengers consist of what appear to be some familiar faces: Ms Marvel, Spider-man, Hawkeye, and Wolverine.  These are of course not the actual super heroes joining up with Norman Osborn.  In their place instead are various villians taking over the roles - just like the Thunderbolts at the beginning of their series. 

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Liberal Politics and Comics

Posted by David Torres Categories: Editorials, Marvel Comics

Obama

On a link from the Drudge Report, the website breitbart.com is reporting that in an upcoming issue of “Amazing Spider-man,” President-Elect Obama will be making an appearance. Peter Parker attends the inauguration to take some pictures and while there springs into action as Spider-man and punches out an impostor attempting to pose as Obama. I think it’s The Chameleon from the page posted on the website. This really annoys me!

People are entitled to have their political opinions. If you are a writer or an artist, you are free to incorporate your views into a story if you wish.  If you are a liberal, that’s fine. I live in New York, so I have a lot of liberal friends and family members. What pisses me off is that there is no balance when it comes to incorporating politics into comic book stories.

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Review: Ultimate Hulk Annual

Posted by Todd Matthy Categories: Editorials, Reviews, Marvel Comics

Description

Is this a joke? Because if it’s supposed to be a joke, then it’s funny. The sad thing is I don’t believe Ultimate Hulk Annual is supposed to be a joke. I think it’s a serious story that comes off as a joke.

Ultimate Hulk Annual is a slugfest between the Ultimate version of the Hulk and Power Princess from the once amazing Supreme Power.  And it’s the ultimate (no pun intended) example of men who enjoy being abused by women.

Who’d have thought Homer’s hatred of pants could be taken so seriously? The cause of the fight is pants. Seriously. After being advised by Ultimate Captain America to experience the world for herself, Power Princess of Supreme Power fame decides to take in the grease-filled (and delicious) experience of an American diner, only to be interrupted by a naked Ultimate Hulk. Ultimate Hulk is refused service because he’s nude, therefore Power Princess must act as a bouncer. That’s the story.

My problem with this story is it completely neuters its stars. Ultimate Hulk was a wild, out-of-control, and cannibalistic brute that was the deciding factor in world-threatening events. Power Princess (or at least the Supreme Power version) was the most frightening character in comics. Does anyone remember how she would steal people’s youth? How she dropped a tank on a soldier? And not only felt it was her right, but derived pleasure from it? The book treats these characters like they’re jokes.

And the sad thing is this could’ve been a powerful story about how dangerous super-humans are. Just imagine how much collateral damage a fight between Wonder Woman (who Power Princess is based on) and the Hulk would be. If you’ve read Miracle Man you’d know. Instead we get a fight over pants. 

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The World According to Todd: Best of 2008

Laura Vandervoort

Figure Caption: You gotta love Supergirl!

It’s that time of year again when we look back at the year and see what lived up to our expectations and what fell flat on its face. So without further ado…here is MY Best of 2008.

Book of the Year: Captain America
When my friends ask me what the best comic out there is, this is my answer. Every month, Brubaker mixes social commentary, superhero history, and pulse pounding action into a symphony of awesomeness. As icing on the cake there is always a new twist or a new piece of character development that makes aspiring writers (like myself) bang their heads on a table wishing they thought of it. Damn you, Ed. Steve Epting’s artwork continues to be realistic and energetic with fun homages to great artists like Steranko.

Worst Book: Countdown to Final Crisis
Wasted time.  Countdown to Final Crisis was an over-hyped highlight reel of the DC Universe that promised to set the stage for Final Crisis. Not only did it not set the stage for Final Crisis, it didn’t do much of anything except steal minutes from my life I’ll never get back. That and about $156 from my wallet. 

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“Civil War” Comes to Heroes in 2009

Posted by Todd Matthy Categories: DVD, Editorials, Reviews, Television

Hayden Panettiere
 
Last night the third volume of “Heroes” came to end, and while it did introduce a whole new batch of characters and powers, I was underwhelmed. Of course I was underwhelmed all season. Sure they gave us the best interpretation I’ve seen of Puppet Master and a good helping of Kristen Bell, but those were hidden gems to be found in a season that moved at a snail’s pace. But there is hope for next season. Despite firing a high profile Marvel Comics employee, the producers of “Heroes” are going to take another page from the Marvel Universe with their version of the Super Hero Registration Act.

Stop reading if you don’t want to be spoiled…

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Wood is Broadway’s Mary Jane

Evan Rachel Wood

It looks like Mary Jane’s dream to light up Broadway is about to come true.  Newsarama reports that Evan Rachel Wood (Thirteen) has been cast as the titular redhead in the upcoming “Spider-Man: The Musical”.

Yes, Virginia you read that right, a Spider-Man musical is coming with rehearsals set to begin in the summer of 2009.

Not much is known about the musical other than Julie Taymor who did “The Lion King” with music being composed by Bono and the Edge will produce the show.  Playbill reports that the musical will revolve around a female character called Arachne who is described as a “beautiful, boastful, young woman turned into a spider for her hubris and lack of respect for the gods” who will try to woo Peter Parker (and give Bond yet another forum to preach). The play will also feature Norman Osborn and J. Jonah Jameson as further thorns in the webhead’s side.
I really don’t know what to make of this. There hasn’t been a superhero musical since “It’s a Bird. It’s a Plane. It’s Superman” and if anyone doesn’t remember that play there’s a good reason - the two genres don’t mesh. Is Spidey going to sing zingers to J. Jonah Jameson? Will the final battle with the Green Goblin be a dance off? Most importantly, how are they going to do the web swinging?  Questions aside, I think Evan Rachel Wood would make a good Mary Jane. From what I’ve seen of “Across the Universe,” she has an okay voice. She could play Mary Jane in the movies if Kristen Dunst decides not to return. No one has been chosen for Peter at this time. Either way I’ll be in the cheap seats for this.

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Reviewing and Betting on Dark Reign

Posted by Todd Matthy Categories: Editorials, Reviews, Marvel Comics

Dark Reign

Last week Marvel’s event three years in the making ended anti-climatically with a last page that was an advertisement for this week’s one-shot, “Secret Invasion: Dark Reign”.

I have loved the team of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev since they began their run on “Daredevil” in 2001. Maleev’s gritty, yet realistic artwork complemented Bendis’ down-to-earth dialogue perfectly for a dirty, street level character like Daredevil.  These three ingredients sparked one of the greatest runs in comic book history, so it’s easy to see why Marvel would use this team to launch the new direction of the Marvel Universe. Unfortunately, the Marvel Universe is not one-size-fits-all, and what works on Daredevil won’t necessarily work for the Avengers.

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Emma Frost and the aftermath of Secret Invasion

Posted by David Torres Categories: Editorials, Marvel Comics

Emma Frost

The Marvel Comics mega-event “Secret Invasion” was very good.  It won’t go down as one of the greatest in my opinion, but it was still very good.  I think it’ll work better as a collected trade because the story seemed less episodic than limited series of the past. 

To those of you who do not know the ending of “Secret Invasion,” do not read any further, but for those who have let’s discuss the aftermath - particularly Emma Frost the White Queen.

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Why Is It So Darn Difficult to Make a Decent Punisher Movie?

Posted by Jonas Hinckley Categories: Editorials, Movies, Marvel Comics

Punisher War Zone movie posterI know that in the general scheme of things, getting any kind of decent movie made is something of a miracle, but when you look at the succession of comic-book-related movies we’ve had in the last decade or so, it strikes me as rather ridiculous that this Friday we’re about to get the third Punisher movie made since 1989, and from everything I’ve seen, it looks to be just as painful as the first two.

A slight caveat here, of course, is that I haven’t seen Punisher:War Zone, so it could actually be good… but if it is, the studio and their marketing team sure are doing everything possible to hide that fact, including the horrible and extremely loud heavy metal soundtrack that hits you when you go to the official movie site—click the link at your peril.

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Waiting for Cap

Posted by David Torres Categories:

Captain America

Many fans of Captain America have been waiting years for a big budget Captain America film.  Shortly after the release and success of last year’s “Iron Man” film, Marvel Comics announced that we would also be seeing a film staring Thor, The Avengers, and Captain America.  Like most comic book fans I’m worried.  I’m worried it’s going to suck big time. 

Almost no comic book movie is perfect.  Very few have come close.  I would say the first Donner/Reeve “Superman” film and the more recent “Iron Man” and “Dark Knight” have made nitty picky and overly critical fan boys (like myself) the most happy.  What makes most comic fans cringe the most is when Hollywood decides to make changes to the character or the story.  Sometimes it works like Richard Donner’s vision of Krypton.  The “ice” was loved by the fans and the look has now been incorporated into current DC continuity thanks to Geoff Johns and Richard Donner himself who co-wrote the story “Last Son” for “Action Comics”. 

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