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Spider-Man Writer Announced

James Vanderbilt to pen Spider-Man 5 and 6Just as Sony is in the midst of prepping Spider-Man 4 for filming, the studio made little hesitation with Spider-Man 5 and Spider-Man 6 by hiring Zodiac writer James Vanderbilt to pen the scripts.

Vanderbilt isn’t new to the Spider-Man films—he wrote the initial script for Spider-Man 4, which was later revised by Inkheart screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire (Seabiscuit writer/director Gary Ross is currently revising that script).

Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios clearly have faith in Vanderbilt, whose ideas director Sam Raimi didn’t necessarily embrace (leading him to rewrite). Nonetheless, he has now been given a second chance with the scripts for the fifth and sixth installations, which are expected to have an interconnected storyline. With that said, executives are planning to use Vanderbilt’s two scripts as a franchise reboot in case Raimi and stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst do not return.

While I find it amusing that they’re considering a reboot for the series, I admire that they’re wasting no time in seeing these films made. Let’s just hope that the producers can assure the involvement of the Spidey trio in all of them!

Read More | Variety


Marvel Comics Review: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, Marvel Comics,


Rating: ****

Marvel’s Ultimate line of comic books began in the year 2000.  It was an attempt to get new and young readers on board without them having to jump in and figure out the years of confusing continuity that’s existed before.  I wasn’t collecting comics at the time when issue one of Ultimate Spider-Man came out, but I decided to pick up the first few issues.  I thought it was okay.  In my opinion, I think Ultimate Spider-Man really took off after the first story arc.  The comic lasted for over one hundred issues and there were some moments where I lost interest in the book.  I think I stopped collecting around the time Ultimate Moon Knight showed up.  However, I got back into the title when writer Brian Michael Bendis introduced his own take on the Clone Saga for the title.  I don’t know what it is about clones and Spider-Man that makes me go crazy.  The Clone Saga got me to pick up Ultimate Spider-Man again and now it’s done it again with the regular Spider-Man book.

After the Ultimate Clone Saga ended, I dropped the book and haven’t read it since.  With Ultimatum wrecking havoc in the Ultimate Universe, Marvel decided to cancel all of their Ultimate books and relaunch two of them with new number one issues.  So Ultimate Spider-Man is now Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and The Ultimates is now the Ultimate Comics Avengers.  So does Bendis deliver the goods once again with this new Ultimate Spidey title?  You betcha!

Click to continue reading Marvel Comics Review: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1

Marvel Comics Review: Amazing Spider-Man #601

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, Marvel Comics,


Rating: ** 1/2*

As readers know from my postings here at Comix 411, I just recently began reading Amazing Spider-Man after a long absence.  I was turned off by the “Brand New Day” storyline and refused to collect Spider-Man.  Well, the latest Amazing Spider-Man annual got me interested in Spidey again after a great story revolving around Ben Reilly.  I also really enjoyed issue #600 of Amazing and was looking forward to this issue after we saw the return of Mary Jane at the end of #600.  Since Amazing Spider-Man began being published three times a month, we’ve had a revolving team of writers and artists.  In this issue we see Mark Waid take over the writing chores and, unfortunately, I was disappointed. 

Mark Waid has done some great comic book work in the past.  He’s the reason I love the characters of Captain America and the Flash (Wally West).  His stories and the development of these characters was amazing and textbook for what I consider good comic book writing.  Over the past few years, Mark Waid’s work hasn’t really interested me all that much.

The story opens up with Peter Parker in bed with a hangover from Aunt May’s wedding.  He notices that he’s not alone and instead of Mary Jane being in bed with him, he discovers that he slept with his roommate Michelle Gonzales.  Peter has no memory of their night together, which upsets her and results in her storming out.  Thinking that he no longer has a roommate or a place to live Peter spends half the time this issue trying to find a new place to live.  The other half is spent trying to remember when and where he was going to meet up with Mary Jane.  While at the wedding reception, Peter got up the courage to talk with her and they made a date to talk.

Click to continue reading Marvel Comics Review: Amazing Spider-Man #601

Marvel Comics Review: Amazing Spider-man #600

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, Marvel Comics,


Rating: ****

After last week’s excellent Amazing Spider-Man Annual #36, I decided it was time to get back into Spider-Man.  For all of us fanboys who rant and rave about never collecting a title again because of something that is done to our favorite comic book character, I think very few of us are ever able to hold onto that promise.  Let’s face it, if it’s a good story and great artwork, we always come back and I’m sure that’s why Marvel had no problem making the “Brand New Day” decision a few years back because they knew we always come back. 

This issue of Amazing Spider-Man is of course a huge milestone as it’s the 600th issue of the title.  I know that the original title was canceled and this is part of the renumbering that was done a few years ago, but still it’s amazing (no pun intended) to see that Spider-Man continues to wow us after so many issues of Amazing and various other Spidey titles.

This issue marks the wedding of Peter Parker’s Aunt May and J. Jonah Jameson Sr.  The issue opens up with long-time Spider-villain Doctor Octopus talking with a doctor about all of the blunt force trauma he’s suffered over the years in fighting Spider-Man and various other heroes and villains in the Marvel Universe.  The prognosis?  He’s got about a year or so left to live.  With this news, Doc Ock decides that he must do something worthwhile before he dies.  Doc Ock decides to use his “brilliant” mind to benefit mankind.  He will use the technology that he has to enable him to control the city of NY.  He wants to make the trains run on time like Mussolini.  Gee thanks, Ock!

Click to continue reading Marvel Comics Review: Amazing Spider-man #600


Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials,

How can it be anything other than a great week when the internets are packed with Malin Akerman swimsuit pictures, an appreciation of classic Superman artist Wayne Boring, a look at best and worst futuristic cop cars, British comics legend Leo Baxendale talking about himself and Bash Street, and Shaolin Robots? Well, it just doesn’t get any better. Read and click your weekend away!

WATCHMEN’S MALIN AKERMAN: The boys (and girls) over at Short List know exactly what fanboys want. They’ve put up a five-click gallery of Malin Akerman (you might know her as Silk Spectre from Watchmen) in the latest swimwear. She looks like she eats right, gets her precious eight hours of sleep, and exercises. It’s the next best thing to Watchmen 2.


Marvel Comics Review: Amazing Spider-man Annual #36

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, Marvel Comics,


Rating: ****

Wow!  Last week I gave a glowing review to Grant Morrison’s Batman and Robin #2 where I used the phrase “wow” to express my appreciation for that issue.  Well, here I am saying “wow” again for Amazing Spider-man Annual #36 because that is exactly how I felt after reading this issue.

I’ve been reading Spider-man on-and-off since the mid-80s.  If the writing was good, I read it, but if it wasn’t I dropped it.  There were three or four monthly Spider-man titles to chose from so I was at least collecting one of them at some point through out the years. In the 90s there was a storyline that will go down infamy as far Spider-man and comics in general: The Clone Saga.  If you’re a comic reader, there is no explanation needed for what was the “Clone Saga”.  I am one of the few people who liked the “Clone Saga” at first, but as time went on the story became a mess and the original planned ending was abandoned due to fan outrage. 

I haven’t read Spider-man for probably over a year now.  I haven’t read it since Marvel Comics committed the sin of the “Brand New Day” storyline which effectively wiped Peter Parker’s marriage to Mary Jane from continuity.  The way in which they did it was atrocious and I refused to buy another Spider-man comic until they reunited Peter and MJ.  Well, I decided to break my promise this once and pick up this issue.  The reason I broke my promise is because of one name: Ben Reilly

Click to continue reading Marvel Comics Review: Amazing Spider-man Annual #36

Spider-Man 4 Script Still Being Rewritten

SpidermanThe script for the fourth film in the franchise is being rewritten…again. Originally penned by James Vanderbilt and then rewritten by David Lindsay-Abaire, the pages are now in the hands of Gary Ross.

In his career, Ross has directed Seabiscuit and Pleasantville. Both films, interestingly, starred , who plays the title role in the Spidey movies.

The fourth film is scheduled to go into production early next year…provided, of course, there’s a finished script by that time.

Read More | Variety


Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials,

There’s lots of cool stuff on the internets, and I had lots of free time to find all of it, I mean most of it, okay, some of it. If you like your “Tales of Steve Ditko,” have a memory of comic book artist Val Mayerik, love the idea of Dave Berg getting looked at, or want to know about someone who slept their way into comics, this is the place for you. Let’s get it started:

STEPHEN DESTEFANO & STEVE DITKO: A long time ago, Stephen DeStefano, one of the industry’s premiere cartoon people, worked in a near-forgotten department of DC Comics and without really realizing it, he ran into Steve Ditko. At his blog which he no longer seems to update, Stephen relates the story and draws a picture of Ditko from memory. It’s an old post, but worth a visit.

FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN: I’d forgotten that Steve Vrattos used to dress up as Spider-Man, not because of a particular fetish or a desire to pretend to fight crime, but because his employer Marvel Comics used to pay him to do it. If this sounds like perfect blog-fodder it is; it’s a fascinating side of the business of comics that most people don’t know about.
(h/t Scoop at Diamond Galleries)

“I SLEPT WITH A GUY AND ALL I GOT WAS A STORY IN AN IRON MAN ANNUAL”: Before she went on to become “Operations Manager for a telephone answering service,” Carrie Lowry was Carrie Barre, and she was married to an assistant editor at Marvel Comics back in the go-go 1990s. That was


WEEKEND READING: Green Lama, MAD Magazine, Dollhouse, and Blazing Combat!

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Reviews,

Lots of great stuff this week on the internets. Here’s a few things to occupy you ‘til Monday.

THE GREEN LAMA: The Green Lama was created as a Shadow imitator in a story for a 1940 pulp magazine called Double Detective. It was written by Kendell Foster Crossen. The character made the leap to comics later that year in Prize Comics #7, then jumped to his own title in 1944, still written by Crossen. One of my favorite blogs, Killer Covers Of The Week, has a terrific overview of Crossen’s work and his pseudonyms, and his career as a detective novelist who also wrote for the TV series’ 77 Sunset Strip and Perry Mason. Now that GL is in the public domain, he’s currently appearing in Project Superpowers, from Dynamite Entertainment, courtesy of Jim Krueger and Alex Ross.

MAD MAGAZINE: Senior Editor of MAD, Joe Raiola, recently made a stop at the Everett Public Library (Washington) to talk about “The Joy Of Censorship.” HeraldNet – the online news service for Snohomish County has the details.

Click to continue reading WEEKEND READING: Green Lama, MAD Magazine, Dollhouse, and Blazing Combat!

APRIL FOOLS: Marvel, DC, Overstreet, Watchmen and More!

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials,

It’s April 1, and I think everyone knows what that means…

MARVEL COMICS will introduce a new Spider-Man one-shot: Spider-Man: Hedge Fund, a comic book that you don’t actually own, can’t read and will actually decrease in value.

DC COMICS will continue their corporate policy of not allowing their employees to comment on blogs or engage in internet catfights. DC employees are, however, still encouraged to dictate letters to their secretaries who will type them up on their IBM Selectrics and mail them to the local newspaper.

To compete with Zuda, MARVEL COMICS will launch a new online initiative for creator-owned comics. It’ll be called Epic Fail.

PLATINUM STUDIOS has announced that they have entered into a joint venture with a pr firm to send out more press releases.

In an attempt to reach out to the digital generation, Marvel Comics will release a new X-MEN title: X-Men: Tech, which will introduce their new heroes: Twit’r, Phacebook, iPhoner, Mashed-Up, Avatard, and Utoob.

On the publication of the 39th annual edition of THE OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE, Gemstone will publish The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide Price Guide.

In an example of a growing trend in COMIC BOOK PIRACY, kids are illegally downloading comics from the Internet…and printing them.

STAN LEE MEDIA has announced today that they are suing everyone named Stan, Lee, Stanley, and Stan Lee.

WARNER BROS. has officially announced the Watchmen sequel: “Watchmen II: Another Thing We Do To Piss Off Alan.”

A new villain based on NADYA SULEMAN will debut in Amazing Spider-Man: Doc Octo-Mom.

Don’t forget to tip your waitress!