marvel

Venom and the Sinister Six Get Their Own Movies!

So many Venom!

So many Venom!

While no one really wants to see Sam Raimi’s Topher Grace version of Venom return to theaters any time soon, of all the Marvel villains, Venom deserves the spotlight.  So the news that Sony is teaming up with Marvel to bring us a Venom movie is kind of exciting.  They will also be collaborating on a Sinister Six film.

The Sinister Six film has me a little curious.  While I could see Venom being a sort of anti hero like in his solo comic series, there’s nothing heroic about the Six.  They are evil through and through.  Will the film show them killing people just because?  Robbing and stealing?  Will they be recast as heroes gone rogue?  While Venom is clearly a fan favorite, the Six seem like an odd choice.  But hell, Guardians of the Galaxy are even less known that the Sinister Six and they’re getting a big push so what do I know.

But the real big news here is that Sony and Marvel are working together.  If the collaboration proves successful, and really, how can you lose with a Venom movie, I totally foresee an Avengers vs. X-Men film in future.  I mean, holy fucking shit, that would absolutely destroy the box office!

From: Super Hero Hype

Dear FOX, PLEASE STOP MAKING WOLVERINE MOVIES

Mmmmmm... veins...

Mmmmmm… veins…

The Wolverine came out on blu-ray this week and I finally had a chance to watch it.  And it was good.  Certainly better than Origins.  Certainly better than X-3.  And I suppose if it was the first or second Wolverine flick, it would be pretty awesome.  But it’s the fifth fucking Wolverine movie.  And though no one can argue with Hugh Jackman’s on screen presence as our favorite claw poppin’ Canuck, I’m kind of done with Wolverine.

The Best At Being Overexposed

I realize that I’m going to sound like one of those comic book guy, douchebags.  But fuck it.  What they’ve done to Wolverine is a travesty.

When Wolverine joined the X-Men in Giant Sized X-Men #1 became an instant fan favorite.  He was a short, disgruntled, cigar smoking anti-hero with a bad attitude and razor fist claws.  He never played well with others which made him the loner of the group, a seeming outcast on a team of outcasts.  Yet, when it came time to tussle with evil mutants or giant Sentinels, he was the first on the scene to fight for justice.

His past was shrouded in mystery which only served to heighten fan interest.  If the internet had been around then, I’m sure the forums and message boards would have been filled with fan speculation about where he came from, how he got his claws, how his powers worked.

He was bad enough to be edgy but good enough to take younger mutants like Kitty Pryde under his wing.  Sorta like the grizzled uncle who you can always rely on even when he’s getting into bar fights and drinking to dull his pain.

Wolverine continued to be a staple of all the X titles throughout the 80’s and 90’s.  But somehow, I never felt like it was too much.  He still had that edge to him, that air of mystery.  Even when Magneto sucked the adamantium out of his body and we had years of bone claws, Wolverine was still the best at what he did, punching fools with claws.

And then, Origin.

Good. Fucking. Lord.

Of all the dumb shit stunts comics have pulled to cash in, none has destroyed a character as much as Origin.  Logan’s inability to remember much about his past or how he got his adamantium gave him pathos.  After all, the search for self is one of our strongest, inner most struggles.  Sure, we may know where we were born and our personal history, but the search for our essential selves defines us.  Logan’s journey to fill that hole left by his lost memories made him infinitely relate-able on a very deep and personal level.  It elevated the myth of the Wolverine.

Annnnnd now we know he was a whiny little brat.  Yay. Brafuckingvo. I really needed to know that he was the product of an illicit affair between a red head and a farm hand.  Oh, but it explains his fascination with Jean? I DON’T FUCKING CARE!  I KNOW WHY HE’S FASCINATED WITH JEAN!  BECAUSE CHEMISTRY AND SEX AND THE BIRDS AND FUCKING BEES!!  GAAAAHHHHHHHHAAAA!!!!!!!!  Fuck!

It destroyed all the mystery, all the myth, all the questioning, and ultimately proved to be a horribly unsatisfying experience.  And that’s when the most dangerous mutant in comics became safe and boring and overexposed.  He joined the Avengers, he got a cartoon, he grew taller, he started a school. Good ol’ unca Logan-sempai and his universe of young eager mutant kohai.  Blehhhh.  Which brings me to the movies.

Wolverine Featuring X-Men, Wolverine 2, Wolverine: The Last Stand, Wolverine: Origins, Wolverine Goes to Japan

Every X-Men movie except for First Class has been about Wolverine:

  • X-Men. Wolverine joins the team to stop Magneto.
  • X2.  A man from Logan’s past returns to destroy mutant kind and it’s up to Wolverine to stop him.
  • X-Men: Last Stand.  Wolverine leads the X-Men to defeat Jean.
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine. A retelling of Login’s origin mixing in bits from the Origin comic and shit. Big stinky piles of shit.
  • The Wolverine. Wolverine goes to Japan because Silver Samurai.

Apparently, Wolverine puts asses in seats.  I think only James Bond has made more film appearances and even then, the titular character has been played by multiple actors.  Although, I think Roger Moore was Bond seven times compared to Hugh Jackman’s five times as Wolverine.  Six if you count his First Class cameo.  And now seven when we count Days of Future Wolverine.

Anyway, that’s a whole lot of Wolverine.  And I’m kind of done with him.  This latest film featured the most savage and brutal Wolverine that we’ve ever seen on screen.  Honestly?  It was boring.  Ohhhh, but his healing factor is slowed?  Was there ever really the possibility of him dying?  Not really.  Since we see him running around punching things with razor claws while his stomach is bleeding out, it didn’t really seem like his slowed healing factor didn’t seem to be a problem.  The stakes weren’t there.  So if he’s not going to die, where’s the tension?  Mariko’s in danger.  Ummm… she kinda killed a dude with a room key.  She’s doing fine.

Seeing Wolverine doing what he does best should never be boring.  I should never roll my eyes when the claws pop and he punches dudes.  Yet I found myself looking for other things to do as Logan sliced things.  There’s nothing special about him anymore.

Wolverine: Days of Logan Past

That’s what worries me about Days of Future Snikt.  Instead of Kitty going back to warn the X-Men, we have Logan which makes this the sixth Wolverine film.  I don’t think I can sit through another one.  Certainly, there will be other mutants peppered throughout the thing to entice my nerd sensibilities.  But if the main focus is Logan as it was in the previous X-films, I think it’s going to be a big disappointment.

The FOX X-Franchise has proven that it doesn’t do ensemble casts well.  While I felt everyone got their chance to shine in Avengers, the X-Films (except First Class) have starred Wolverine featuring other mutants.  Days of Logan Past promises an extensive lineup of mutants.  Maybe too many.  I worry that we’ll only get snippets of the others while Logan remains our one constant thread.

I think less Wolverine would make more of an impact.  Keep the claws in until the very end of the movie.  Keep him in the background until he really needs to be there.  Let the ensemble shine.

So please, FOX, for the love of admantium claws, stop making Wolverine movies and make us a right and proper X-Film.  You did a pretty good job with First Class.  I’m hoping you can do the same with Days of Future Past.

Oh Fine, Here’s a S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode Review

Melinda May continues to be unimpressed with Agent Boring MC Strong Chin.

Melinda May continues to be unimpressed with Agent Boring MC Strong Chin.

I’m still watching the show because despite how terribly boring it is, the mysteries they’ve set up have me curious.  Each episode has had a little tidbit about Coulson that reinforces the point that he’s not the same person that we saw in the movies.  It’s a little on-the-nose maybe, but it’s at least interesting.  Also, I’m kind of curious as to the timing of the series.  We know it takes place after The Avengers, but I’m also thinking it takes place before Iron Man 3 because Extremis seems to be wildly unstable.  Will we get an Aldrich Killian cameo?

Thus far, S.H.I.E.L.D. episodes have fallen into one of two categories, hunting for an artifact, hunting for a powered human.  Episode 5, “Girl in the Flower Dress,” falls into the powered human one.  There will be spoilers aplenty, but no ones watching the show so who cares!

SCORCH

That’s a dumb fuck of a codename.  Chan Ho Yin is our baddy of the week.  He can fire bend which is pretty neat, but he’s got a major chip on his shoulder.  He’s all pouty face because his S.H.I.E.L.D. handler won’t let him show off his pro bending skills.  So he makes a living as a street magician which goes about as well as you’d expect.  Things turn around for him when a pretty girl in a flower dress, Raina, asks him to show her his fire power.  So of course, she’s evil and kidnaps him.

He wakes up in a secret facility and is like “What the fuck bro.” But Raina appeals to his ego promising him that she’ll help him harness his strength and boost his abilities.  So of course, he’s doomed.  She gives him the dumb fuck codename and his fate is sealed.

Chan turned out to be kind of an asshole.  It’s possible that the strain of Extremis he got amplifies a person’s inner shithead.  All I know is that when he got his booster shot, he became completely unsympathetic.  Skye constantly berated her hacker fuck toy for possibly endangering Chan, but I didn’t really care at that point.  It’s like as soon as Raina gave him the name Scorch, his secondary mutation was asshole.

The part that really surprised me was the torching of the doctor.  I thought that she would be the big bad for this season or at least a major player in the big bad organization’s plans.  Nope.  Chan torched her.  Leaving Raina as our only connection to the big bad organization.  I’m guessing it’s AIM, but that goes with my theory that this show takes places before Iron Man 3.

So yeah, I kinda wanted to like Chan because he seemed like a victim of circumstance.  But he was a little too much of asshole for me to give a shit about him.

Skye

The real reason for this episode was to reveal more about Skye and her motivations for joining the Rising Tide.  The Rising Tide hacked a S.H.I.E.L.D. database and leaked the information online which lead to Chan’s kidnapping.  The hackers responsible for the leak is Miles who’s totes L337 #eyeroll.  The dude who plays Miles comes off more as a burned out hippie than an L337 H@XXORZ but since Skye is this show’s idea of a girl-in-a-van-haxxor, I shouldn’t have been surprised.  Miles is Skye’s fuck buddy who apparently helped her out when she was in a low place.  So they fuck.  And then Melinda May finds them together and Skye’s cover is totally blown.

Except that EVERYONE KNEW SHE WAS LYING!  I guess that also goes along with Coulson being a different person because absolutely no on the show trusted her except for him.

guh.

Whatever.  Turns out that Skye became an L337 H@XXORZ to find out more about her parents.  All she could find was a redacted S.H.I.E.L.D. document.  So she tried to infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D. to find out more.  And now that she’s on the inside, she decided to fuck everything up by lying to everyone.

This is an interesting feature in a lot of Joss Whedon shows.  The good guys always lie to each other.  They hide things from each other.  The villains usually tell things straight up, although Raina completely lied to Chan so that bit doesn’t hold up.  Good guy lying leads to a lot of conflict and misunderstanding and general awfulness.

If you’re a Skye fan, this episode had a lot of stuff for you.  Oh, you also get to see her in her underwear which honestly, kind of dragged the episode down.

TL;DR

The short version, episode 5 gave us more questions about the “Scorpion” organization and more answers about Skye.  I suspect a lot of this will all come together at the end, but we’re halfway through Season 1 and I feel like it’s still dragging its feet a bit.

Age of Ultron, From the House of Idea

Hey Ultron, the 80’s called. They want their “Days of Future Past” back.

Ugh.

Does anyone give a shit about these giant crossovers anymore? I guess they’re making Marvel some money since they keep doing the stupid things, but honestly, after Civil War, I just stopped collecting Marvel books. And I’m a fucking Marvel man! Age of Ultron is the latest from the House of Idea which sounds a lot like Days of Future Past except instead of two awesome issues, we’re going to get months worth of slowly plodded crapola with lots of talking heads and complicated twists and turns that will eventually be erased by the next big event.

The only reason I can think of picking this stuff up is because Bryan Hitch is drawing the beasty. Hitch is one of the finest comic book artists working today. His pages are absolutely gorgeous. And though I am loath to support another stupid event book, his art alone will guarantee that I at least pick up the first issue of this mess.

Is the Future of Comics Infinite?

Gizmodo sat down with Marvel Editor in Chief Joe Quesada to talk about Marvel’s new Infinite Comics format. There’s no embed so head on over the Giz article and check out the video.

Back?

INFINITE CANVAS

Okay, let’s get down to brass tacks. If the “infinite” in Infinite Comics sounds familiar in a comics context, then you are probably aware of Scott McCloud’s “infinite canvas” theory proposed in his Reinventing Comics. For those who are scratching their heads, Scott proposed that with the coming of the interwebs, comics no longer needed to be bound by standard strip or page formats. Since the number of pixels you can display on a website is infinite, he envisioned comics that used this so-called “infinite canvas” to tell their stories in ways never-before-imagined by traditional cartoonists.

Since Reinventing Comics was published in 2000, the “infinite canvas” theory has been road tested and found to be slightly flawed. Though it is possible to create comics that scroll forever in any kind of direction you can imagine, few infinite cartoonists have discovered a means to monetize the model. The problem with the “infinite canvas” experiment is that readers are confronted with an entirely new way of reading a comic. The more time the creator has to teach their readers how to read the work, the less time the reader has to enjoy it. The format becomes the focus rather than the work. It also makes it difficult to publish print collections which is how many indy and web cartoonists make their money.

There’s probably more we can say about the “infinite canvas,” but this should serve as a decent enough primer.

REINVENTING INFINITE

The traditional print publishing industry has embraced the iPad and the tablet market in general as a of last bastion of hope. Magazine and newspaper publishers quickly jumped aboard formatting their content to take advantage of the touch interface and developing apps that incorporate video and a touche experience that is more than just a fancy page turn.

Comics have been a little slow on the uptake. Certainly, there are a number of outlets that sell comics for the iPad. But they don’t really offer a tablet specific experience. You can zoom in to panels and some even have a fancy page turn animation, but it’s little more than reading a pdf. Infinite Comics hopes to bring a tablet specific experience to reading comics.

From what I can see in the interview, it looks like you scroll panel to panel with the dialog balloons appearing after you touch the image. It’s a slight change, but it’s pretty significant. Normally when you read comics, you’re presented with the image and the dialog at the same time. Some people read the words first, some look at the art first, some do both. Infinite Comics forces the reader to look at the art first which fundamentally changes the way you experience the work.

There are some animated transitions between some of the scenes and it looks like panels can be layered with certain elements appearing or disappearing depending on what’s called for. It’s almost like reader controlled animation.

IS THE FUTURE OF COMICS INFINITE?

I don’t know.

I have a nostalgic attachment to physical comics. My dad collected them when he was growing up. Me and my brother started collecting them when we got to middle school. Buying a comic through an app just doesn’t compare to browsing through the shelves at Big Planet looking for something to pick up.

That said, I can’t deny that reading comics on a tablet is pretty awesome. I think I will always prefer actual print comics, but it’s hard to argue against an entire library of comics at your fingertips when you’re stuck in an airport.

I think Infinite Comics will be good for Marvel. It’s a unique experience that is well suited to the delivery platform. If gives artists a chance to stretch out, experiment, and see how far they can push their work. If Marvel really wanted to make Infinite Comics a standard method for delivering comics to tablets, they would release an SDK so that the rest of us could tinker with and kick around the format. I’d love to play with it for some Yellow Peril shorts or something like that.

Print comics will always be around because there are still enough of us old fans who have that nostalgic attachment to dead trees. And I suspect there will still be younger readers who will prefer to have the physical comics in their hands. But I think there’s also room for something like Infinite Comics to grow and even thrive. To me, it really means more comics for everyone. And that’s always a good thing.

From: Gizmodo