Have you seen the new Thor movie yet? And if not, why not?
Of the summer's four big comic book movies - Thor, Green Lantern, Captain America and X-Men: First Class – it's the one with the distinguished pedigree (Kenneth Branagh! Sir Anthony Hopkins! Natalie Portman!) and one of the least likely super-hero movies besides Ant-Man or Metamorpho.
Curiosity alone makes it worth $10.
Having said all that, there were still a number of things about Thor that surprised me. Here's my Top 10.
10. It's not just his hammer that's called Mjolnir
9. Cameo by Stan Lee Media
8. His real name is "Sore"; he has a speech impediment
7. Shout out to Kirby; that's Kirby Carruthers, the assistant lighting director
6. Natalie Portman should be in every movie. Just sayin'.
So, so sorry to hear that Dwayne McDuffie passed away earlier this week. I hate it when a good guy and a terrific writer goes too soon - from his work at Milestone Media, to his animation writing on Ben 10 and other series, it felt like he had a lot more to say that I wanted to read and see.
Rich Johnston at Bleeding Cool had a nice reminiscence of his interactions with Dwayne.
And Heidi MacDonald at Comics Beat also weighed in with some very nice thoughts.
Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter has a round-up of various links to posts about Dwayne. Condolences to his family and his many, many friends on their loss.
Also sad to hear that comics historian Bill Crouch has passed away.
CG: Animation historian Michael Barrier does not like computer animation a technique “creating mechanical, manipulative series of films that don't capture the magic of the yesteryear.”
The new teaser image for the upcoming Captain America movie is out. Looks like the art director grew up reading Image Comics. Now let’s see what you can read:
Heroes: Robin Brenner at Early Word, a site for librarians, has a rundown on superhero graphic novels. “Superheroes For The Uninitiated” focuses on the big names from the MU and the DCU, but she promises a future installment that goes outside Marvel and DC.
Bat: It’s been Bat-Week at Tor.com all week. If you’ve missed it, it’s all still there in all its Bat-goodness. Nick Abadzis is there and so is Gotham City: 14 Miles editor Jim Beard.
British: Beano artist Lew Stringer has news of a new, independent graphic novel from England called Armageddon Patrol, a “what if” that poses the question “what if super-heroes fought the Vietnam War?” I gotta get one of these.
You know that when the shiny, new Spider-Man reboot reveals a first look at its costumed hero before you do, you're a little late to the party.
Finally, Marvel Entertainment released the first image of Chris Evans in complete red, white, and blue Captain America garb. While it's clearly an altered derivation from its comic book counterpart, I much prefer this modernized uniform with the obvious, borrowed pattern and design (was I the only one who couldn't contain giggles at the sight of Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern?).
What do you think of the 2011, real life Captain America?
Read More | E! Online
A big week on the internets, so let’s get right to it.
For me, the big news is that my pal Jerry Bingham is illustrating a 5-part story in Batman Confidential, starting in issue #50 that went on sale this week. If you’re on the fence about it, here’s a multi-page preview of it that’ll make you wish Jerry drew more comics. Fans of Batman: Son of the Demon rejoice!
Batman: Over at Project Child Murdering Robot, Ricky Sprague comments on the upcoming Christopher Nolan Batman movie with some language that might be NSFW but SWR (still worth reading)! Bonus shout out to Batman: Year One: “It was among the first of the modern age comic book character reboots that now seem to occur every other year or so. Mr. Miller's hardboiled writing was at its peak, and Mr. Mazzucchelli is one of the best illustrators ever.”
Biff! Bam! Pow!: Bob Greenberger at ComicMix tackles the eternal question: Is Legends of the Superheroes any good? “You have to love kitsch, bad writing, awful acting, and comic books to enjoy (or endure) these specials.”
What do you like on your pizza? Pepperoni? Mushrooms? Spider-Man?
DecoPac, one of the leading cake decorating companies, already has a deal with Marvel Entertainment for cake toppers featuring Marvel Comics characters like Spider-Man, Iron Man and more.
And following a Direct Market tradition, the company has even created a series of limited edition cake decorations.
You know it’s going to be a bad week when one of the most beloved fantasy artists passes away. He was absolutely one of my favorite artists and one of the first artists who, like Jack Kirby, could get me to buy pretty much anything with his name on it.
Tom Spurgeon has an excellent overview of the late artist’s career. “Frazetta’s art on the Warren Magazines Creepy, Eerie and eventually Vampirella combined some of the pulp tendencies for which he was soon to become very well known with a sense of classic horror. They remain some of the company’s most iconic pieces of art.”
Viz Media: I often post job listings here for Viz Media, the longtime manga publisher in San Francisco – longtime as in they’ve been doing it since it wasn’t quite so cool to do it. So I was saddened to hear that they let go more than 50 of their staffers. That’s, I think, the largest layoff of comics professionals that I can remember and certainly the largest in recent years. I hate to see that kind of thing happen, and I wish everyone the best as they figure out what to do next. Heidi MacDonald at Comics Beat recently posted this link from Dan Blank’s website; I’ve practically memorized it.
Read More | Comics Beat
Rating: *** 1/2*
Marvel Comics’ Siege continues this week with issue two of the four part mini-series. The issue returns to the scene of the battle in Oklahoma where Norman Osborn, HAMMER, and the Dark Avengers are battling it out with Thor and the citizens of Asgard. All look lost as Norman Osborn stands over a defeated Thor, but he’s saved by Maria Hill using a bazooka, which blows Norman out of the way.
Ares discovers quickly that he’s been duped by Norman into helping lead the invasion of Asgard. Ares decides to make good on his promise and rip Norman’s head off when the Sentry comes in to protect Norman. They duke it out and in a shocking big splash page moment, the Sentry rips Ares in half. I knew someone was going to die in this issue and I had a feeling it would be Ares, but in no way did I see him meeting his end this way. Very cool!
Issue one left off with an angry Steve Rogers watching the footage of the invasion of Asgard. We pick up here with Steve gathering the New Avengers, the Young Avengers, and Nick Fury and his Secret Warriors so they can all head to Oklahoma to defeat Osborn once and for all. Also with this group is Bucky the new Captain America. He hands over the shield to Steve stating he believes if they are going to do this, it has to be done right and Steve must wield the shield once more.
Rating: *** 1/2*
Marvel Comics is promoting their latest blockbuster crossover Siege as a project that has been seven years in the making. It began with Avengers #500 when writer Brian Michael Bendis first took over the title. The storyline was called Avengers Disassembled where the Scarlet Witch went crazy, the Vision was destroyed, and Hawkeye and Ant Man (Scott Lang) were killed off. It was a good story and a huge turning point for the team that left many fans very angry as fan favorite Hawkeye was killed in an unsatisfactory manner and the New Avengers were then launched with a non-traditional lineup which included the Sentry.
As the years have gone by, we’ve had various crossovers such as Civil War, Secret Invasion, and Dark Reign which further complicated the lives of the Avengers and the Marvel Universe in general. All of this has lead us to Siege, which is a storyline that will focus on Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers invading Asgard to expel it from the Earth. This was a very good start. Osborn wants power and looks at Asgard as a roadblock. With the assistance of Loki, Osborn is able to get a reason to invade Asgard.
During the Civil War, innocent civilians were killed during an incident involving the New Warriors. Loki is able to replicate a similar incident using the Asgardian Volstagg who battles the U-Foes which results in the death of thousands of civilians at Soldier Field in Chicago. Osborn’s Dark Avengers are not too willing to go along with the invasion - especially Ares who promises Osborn if this is a trick of some sort, he will kill him personally.
Well, I’m not sure why Marvel Comics released this one-shot epilogue to Captain America: Reborn when the series still has one issue to go, but it’s here. Reborn was originally slated to be a five issue mini-series, but at some point it was decided that an additional issue was needed to tell the story. So Captain America: Who Will Wield The Shield is shipping on schedule because last week should have been the last issue of the Reborn series. I’m not sure why Marvel did not just push this issue back to ship the same day issue six comes out or make issue five a double sized issue. Money? Probably, but you could still make money by doubling the price of a double sized issue.
Whatever the case may be, Captain America: Who Will Wield The Shield still stands as a great comic book even with all the nonsense of it coming out prior to the completion of Reborn. Even before Reborn was even announced, we all knew that Steve Rogers would come back to land of the living at some point. It was only a matter of when, the how was almost meaningless because fans just wanted their guy back in action. The issue opens with a flashback to the days of World War II and Cap and Bucky fighting I believe the Japanese - not the Germans, as you normally see during Cap flashbacks to the war.
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