Thursday, June 20, 2013

Spider-Film: The Clone Saga

Remember way back in 2008 when Sony announced that Spider-Man 4 was a go and Sam Raimi was back at the helm? Dylan Baker was finally going to transform from Doc Connors to The Lizard. John Malkovich was in talks to play the Vulture and Anne Hathoway was going to become Felicia Hardy's feline alter ego The Black Cat.

(Too bad she never got the chance to wear those black tights and seduce a hero with her...on second thought, never mind.)

Back to the lecture at hand.  I loved the 1st two Spider-Man flicks, still do! Hell I don't even hate 3! Is it great? No. But it's certainly not awful (see, Halle Berry's Catwoman). But after the poor reception of the 3rd film the future of the franchise was in question. That's why in 2008 when the news of a 4th film broke and it was also mentioned that films 5&6 would be extensions of one another and filmed simultaneously I was cautiously optimistic. Turns out my caution was warranted.

Sony, Raimi or maybe both had put the cart way before the horse. The studio and films creative team could not see eye to eye and in the end, Raimi and crew were essentially fired. Spider-Man on the big screen was DOA and I for one was more than disappointed. But just like death in comic books, didn't last long.

Soon after, it was announced that the franchise was to be rebooted under the Amazing Spider-Man tag line. The movie was released in 2012 and was a critical and commercial success, putting a different spin on the old familiar tale and it wasn't long before the sequel was anounced. Now, just weeks into shooting Sony has had casting problems (Woodely who was to play Mary Jane Watson will be recast and the character has even been cut from ASM 2 altogether) and has already announced ASM 3&4. Where have I heard this before?...Oh yeah, 5 years ago when Sony dropped the ball with the previous franchise!

I'm generally a positive person but this news is troubling at best. Spider-Man is my favorite Super Hero and the thought of his film franchise being bungled again just doesn't sit well with me. I hope Sony has learned from it's previous debacle and is not embarking on a "real life" Spider-Man Clone Saga because we all know that those do not end well!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Coming Attractions...

It has been a busy couple of days, so naturally my time to blog has been non existent. That being said I wanted to break my silence, and with the SMASHING success of the Man of Steel film I thought it only appropriate to bring you some Coming Attractions!


In the next couple of weeks I will be posting interviews with comic book legends Tony Isabella (creator of Black Panther and prolific Ghost Rider writer) and the writer of countless classics like the "BWAHAHA" JLI, Kraven's Last Hunt, as well as the newly announced Justice League 3000, JM DeMatteis. I am extremely honored to have had these opportunities and I hope you will enjoy reading them as much as I did conducting them.

I'm also hoping to deliver some fresh art from a project that a friend and I are working on. We are super stoked about it and can't wait to update you as soon as it gets further underway.

Until then, enjoy one of my favorite covers of all time!


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Man of Steel's Audiences Silence Critics

For far to long the average movie goer has been under the tyrannical thumb of the all powerful movie critic! Critics force their opinions of what is good and what is pure garbage, letting us know that crime dramas with badges and pistols can be works of art, but throw a cape and cowl into the mix and it's no longer considered serious cinema. Well today that rule is over! The people have spoken and risen up against their overbearing overlords and simply told them, their wrong.

The movie going public has voted with both their wallets ($132 mil projected opening weekend) and their words. While the majority (of over 200 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes) of critics has panned Man of Steel, movie theaters were filled from wall to wall with audiences ready to take in the next cinematic chapter of Superman. Then, like most of us do in our current world of mobile media, took to the web to let their voices be heard. Over 81,000 members of the paying audience have ranked MOS as 82% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and the well regarded Cinemascore has audiences grading MOS as an A- film.

So why such contrast in opinion from critics to the paying public? I can't answer that question. but what I do know is that the weekend of June 14, 2013, the weekend we finally got Man of Steel, audiences gave critics the metaphorical and financial middle finger that they have deserved for oh, so long, and I loved every minute of it!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Lemire Hits the Mark With Green Arrow

To say that Green Arrow has had a bumpy road since the post -Flashpoint relaunch would be an understatement. Right out of the gate GA suffered from a severe case of inconsistency, being penned by 3 different writers by just the 7th issue. Ann Nocenti tried valiantly to establish a tone for Ollie but seemed to fell short and it never flowed organically, it felt forced at best. I attribute some of these issues to the handling of the 0 issue. In the middle of trying to establish her voice for Arrow, a one-shot written by Judd Winnick was thrown in the mix. The book was never able to regain its footing, but as a loyal GA reader never gave up hope. The books weren't bad, they just weren't Green Arrow.

Then, out of the shinning light stepped Jeff Lemire!

When Lemire started his run on Green Arrow with "The Kill Machine" there was an excitement that jumped off the page. The status quo was changed. People died, Oliver lost his company, a mysterious blind sage (Magus) was introduced to us along with a rival archer (Komodo) with skill to spare who turned Mr. Queens world upside down! Now this is a Green Arrow book! None of this at all compared to the pay off of the final chapter. Lemire gave a nod to the already established canon of his predecessors and swiftly moved forward with a new book that is now all his own. He in no way disrespected those that came before, but made it known that, that chapter of Arrow's history was just that, history. With the introduction of "The Outsiders", John Butcher and...wait for it...SHADO! Yes the Shado of Long Bow Hunters fame is back in GA next month!

So, if you've been Leary of the new52 Green Arrow but love the character, start with Lemire's "The Kill Machine" (issue #17) and don't look back. You'll thank me later.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

BOOM! Studios to Spin a "Charming" Tale

I did not see this one coming! This morning a teaser photo dropped announcing a Sons of Anarchy comic book adaptation courtesy of BOOM! Studios. For those not familiar, get familiar! Sons of Anarchy is the smash hit FX drama about a gang of outlaw bikers and their exploits in the fictitious town of Charming, CA. The show has a rabid fan base (including my wife and I) and this is a huge get for BOOM! that has massive crossover appeal. Hell my wife who has no use what so ever for funny books has even said she wants to read it.

Kudos, BOOM!, you continue to rewrite the blueprint on how to run an independent comic book company. You go big and it pays off time and time again. People in the industry are always asking, "how do we bring in new readers?". Look no further than this!

Comic Book Resources ( has released exclusive news about BOOM! Studios forth coming Sons of Anarchy series. It will be a 6 issue mini series written by Christopher Golden and illustrated by Damian Couceiro with covers by RM Guerra (Scalped). It will debut alongside the series 6 and presumably penultimate season in September.

Below is an exclusive image released today:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Comic Books, The Great Escape!

I finally realized why I love comic books..Granny Goodness  always wins.

Now it might not be instantaneous. It might not be in a traditional sense of word. And it may not even be seen as a win until a greater story unfolds. But they always do. This is a strange realization for me because I firmly believe that the protagonist can single handedly make or break a story. They fuel the fire and drive the plot home when done properly. But no matter how bleak it may appear, how much carnage and wreckage is caused and how much or many we lose in the process, in the end a hero will rise... ALWAYS!

Sometimes when it seems like only the truly ugly get ahead in the real world, I think to what fate would belay them in a four colored one. They may reap their benefits for while, but before long it would unravel, always does. It's what brings me back time and time again. It's hope, and it's never lost when I'm reading a comic book. When the Joker tore apart the Bat-family in "Death of the Family" I just new that someday, maybe not today, but someday the family would be whole again. That isn't the case in the real world. Sometimes seeds of mistrust ruin lives completely and the results are often tragic and always life changing. Every once in a while we all need an escape. Maybe just 20 mins a day to forget about our troubles and simply be entertained. Classic Literature has always had a way of transporting it's reader into far off lands, unimaginable adventures and whirlwind romances. Comic books are carrying that torch quite nicely!

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Lex We Deserve

I know Action Comics has had it's share of controversy lately and hopefully Scott Lobdell can come in and calm the waters for a nice long entertaining run. sadly however, lost in the turmoil of the Morrison-Diggle-Daniel-DC paradox (Not sure how else to sum that 1 up) is a pretty damn good story being printed in Action Comics that has accomplished the 1 task that I have been patiently waiting for since the post Flashpoint relaunch.


Morrison laid the groundwork for Lex early in his Action run by making him a full fledged holier than though greedy capitalist pig who knows better than anyone, even the Government. His seeds of mistrust in Metropolis' alien savior were not just planted, but firmly rooted from the start. Evil Lex was dangled in front of u s like a carrot, firmly planted in the scenery for us to wonder when he'd strike, but it was not until the current Diggle/Daniel arc (Hybrid) that Lex took true Action (pun intended)! Luthor unleashed a contagion that was not only designed to take out the Man of Steel, but would also effect the fine folks of the City of Tomorrow to show the world how dangerous their "savior" truly is. Of course, things don't work out exactly as planned for baldy. With help from a now, fully realized supporting cast (Lois, Jimmy & a guesting Doctor Veritas) Superman over comes the contagion and rushes to get the civilians to safety.

Here's where it gets good...

Finally, Lex takes matters into his own hands. He let's his ego get in the way, dawns his Battle suit,
and goes to work on Supes. You see, Lex truly believes only he can save this world and Superman has forced his hand to act. Naturally with an ego teh sized of the former Soviet Union, he lets loose that he doesn't care who dies as long as he rids the city of Kal-El (the ends justify the means) and that the contagion was of his design to do just that. Crack reporter Lois Lane heard it all and with the stroke of her key borad Lex Luthor will now become Metroplis' official Big Bad.

That is how you write Lex Luthor! Right down to the smallest syllable he was pitch perfect and even though he falls into police custody at the end of the issue we know that this was just the beginning. Hopefully Scott Lobdell has many more scenes like the one below in mind for Clark and Lex in the near future!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Who Will Be Who, in the Doctor Who U?

I will fully admit that I am more than fashionably late to the party. In fact I have only watched one series of Doctor Who in it's entirety, the current Matt Smith run that is coming to an end this Christmas. I have always wanted to give it a try but much like an outsider looking to get into comic books, the longevity of the series seemed far to daunting a task and I didn't know where to start. I had heard rave reviews for David Tennant's run but a man with a family and a full time job only has so much time to spare. So I finally made the exectutive decision to start a new with the current series and it's cast of characters. Turns out I made a solid decision as Smith's 3 seasons as the TARDIS wheeling Doctor are some of the most entertaining tales that I've witnessed on the small screen! And just as I went all in and got emotionally invested in MY Doctor, it's announced that he's leaving the show. I am finally at my last stage of grief (acceptance) and am ready for another chap (or dame?) to step in, grab a bow tie and flaunt his intergalactic PHD.

But who?

The interwebs almost immediately exploded with rumors about who (no pun intended) would take up Smiths mantle, from Christopher Plummer to Helen Mirren. While both are fine actors lets face it neither are happening. Nor do i think they would be good fits. Then the question arose, are we ready for a female Doctor Who? I don't see why not. After all, Doctor Who is an alien not a human being does the gender of the Doctor even matter? With the proper story and casting (Billie Piper?) it could work indeed.

My personal pick for the role would be Hugh Laurie. The British know Mr. Laurie form his days as a BBC funnyman along side comedic partner Stephen Fry (see: Fry and Laurie), while Americans know him best as curmudgeonly Doctor Gregory House, from the smash hit Fox medical drama, House. I believe if you meet somewhere in between the dry wit and borderline sociopathic natures of these roles we'd have a rather interesting new arch enemy of the Daleks on our hands.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Exclusive Action Packed Man of Steel Trailer Released Today!

If this doesn't get you excited for Man of Steel you hate movies! Plain and simple, you just hate cinema. Man of Steel opens EVERYWHERE June 14! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

World's Finest, First

Man of Steel is about 10 days away and everyone is already trying to gage the films box office success and tie it into an eventual Justice League movie. Just today Newsarama broke a story reporting that the movie ticket website Fandango had pre-sale MOS tickets out selling Marvels May release Iron Man 3. The story even goes as far as to claim:

"Comic book readers know the at least immediate fate of a Justice League film is presumed to be hinge on Man of Steel being a box office success and a critical launching pad for a cinematic DC Universe the way the original Iron Man was for Marvel."
I don't actually agree with the statement above. Sure the future of Warner's big budget/big screen comic book releases hinge on the success of MOS, but I don't think that the Justice League should be correlated directly to it. My opinion (and I am not alone on this one, just ask current Clark Kent Henry Cavill) is that the film to spawn out of MOS should be a World's Finest type Batman/Superman film. Let me be very clear about this, I DO NOT WANT A BATMAN VS SUPERMAN FILM! I want a team up, plain and simple.

The main reason I believe this must come before a JL flick is because it serves as the perfect way to introduce Batman into the shared DCU. All indicators point to Bale being done with the cowl, so bringing in a "new" Bruce to fight side by side with an already established (Cavill) Superman, would be a great stamp of approval, and most likely diminish the comparisons to the DK trilogy.

The next reason I want this to happen is that it offers something Marvel can't. Marvel does not have 2 property's that carry the weight of Batman and Superman and in doing this would limit the detractors that will say that "DC just copied Marvel's formula, how unoriginal, blah, blah, blah". Well guess what? If World's Finest leads into Justice League, DC will have produced a cash cow of their own design and that alone in this day and age is a very big deal.

So be ballsy DC. Don't follow "the formula" and blaze your own trail! Billions of dollars await you.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Vintage Review: Captain America 287

To be completely honest, I am not a big Captain America fan. In fact I have barely even read more than a few complete arcs of Cap in his solo titles. That is why I get a kick out of my random long box diving sessions. It could be a stand alone issue or it could be mid-arc. Hell with the size of my collection there is a good chance that I could find a total dud that makes the reading process slow and painful. This time however, I had a good feeling. The month and year was Nov 1983, my exact birth month and year. Good start. The cover screams ACTION! No words necessary, just explosions, lasers and fisticuffs. And lastly this particular yarn was spun by J.M. DeMatteis, a personal favorite of mine. Let's see how I fared...

Right off the bat I found the 1st page intro to be a little odd. The title of the comic book is Captain America, so what was the very 1st thing I was informed of when i turned the cover over?

I know I lauded Marvel's recaps in an earlier blog entry(see: What Would Marvel Do?) but telling me that this month's issue of Captain America is featuring Captain America is a little overkill!

Now for what I thought of the actual story...
The cover promised action and the interior delivered. The issue starts off with Cap and a cohort(who has just been shot) embroiled in a deadly battle with Deathlok along with some Brand Corporation thugs. Oh, by the way Cap'ns ally is Luther Manning, the clone of the man that Deathlok was before he was turned into the half cyborg killing machine he is today. Yes you read that right! Deathlok has be deprogrammed by The Brand Corporation into a killing machine, so a clone of his human self was made and Cap has been charged with helping Luther Manning 2.0 to restore Deathlok's humanity. During this excursion A LOT of people die and A LOT of things blow up!

Meanwhile on Long Island...
Steve Rogers is late for a dinner date to meet his girlfriend, Nancy Rosenthal's parents! Seriously, this was an actual page from the book.

And in Manhattan...
Nomad makes a 2 page appearance to heroically lay his life on the line and...break up a mugging? Yup, He distracted the fiends by throwing his chest plates at them and proceeds to kick them both in the face, all to save a lady's purse. Did I mention she was pretty?

And back to our heroes...
The issue wraps up as our adventurers move forward and are mysteriously zapped into Deahtlok's time and space by a long haired, bearded man in a loin cloth named Godwulf or Jesus, I couldn't really tell the difference.

Can Rogers help save Deathlok and restore his humanity? Why does Deathlok keep calling him "Mister Flag"? Will Steve Rogers ever meet Nancy Rosenthal's family for dinner? If Nomad is such a "SUPER" hero, why the hell is he chasing down muggers in an alley? and finally, how do I get my hands on the "Return of the Jedi Death Star Battle" Atari 2600 game they advertise for on the back of the comic?

I don't have any of those answers, but I did enjoy this issue with no background what so ever on the story and now feel compelled to dig deeper to find out what became of our Star Spangled Avenger and his Cyborg sidekick! I recommend you do the same.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

And Now For Something Completely Different

I've heard that all the stories have already been told. I respectfully disagree. Well, when it comes to comic book stories anyway. One of my goals is to write a comic book. I have never fully committed to it but it is on the bucket list and I do intend to follow through. With this lofty goal in mind I occasionally do research on characters, backgrounds and potential plot lines for my future magnum opus. I often spend more time investigating the possible antagonists for my story, because I believe that once you have the "bad guy" to move the story along, the hero that'll sweep in and save the day will fall in to place shortly there after.

Through all my research I still have not found in a comic book, a villain that does the one thing I find creepier than anything else...Play the piano!

No it's not torture, maiming, skinning someone alive or even lighting horses on fire and setting them free(well played Snyder). I find a classically trained pianist with a penchant for murder horrifying. Even the guy who kills that chick in Patch Adams creeped me out. Not because he was a lunatic who would rather have a girl dead than be with good ole Patch but because he played a classical tune right after he did it. Davey Jones in Pirates 2. Laughable! Until he played that damned pipe organ, after that all bets were off. I know that comics are a silent medium, but if you just put a maniac in front of a piano in the midst of his master plan, I don't need to hear it, I know what he's doing and I'm officially creeped out.

So if when I finally do write my comic book, you can bet your ass my villain will be playing a piano somewhere in there. And you can bet I'll creep myself out writing it.