Secret Wars 9 – Saying Goodbye to the Fantastic Four

Secret Wars 9 was possibly the last Fantastic Four comic that we’ll see. Marvel is on longer producing the FF comic. Rumor has it that it was a decree from Disney, since Disney does not own the movie rights for that particular franchise. To make matters stranger, Reed and Susan Richards are missing in the current Marvel line. The Thing is part of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Human Torch is part of the Inhumans. It isn’t known how long it will be until Marvel prints another Fantastic Four issue. So this comic is the closest we’ll have to a final Fantastic Four comic, for the time being. Continue reading

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Warner Bros’ DC Movie Schedule Leaked?

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Nikki Finke, a former reporter for Deadline.com who has now launched her own website Nikkifinke.com, has just recently possibly leaked the release schedule for Warner Bros’ line of DC films.
If the real deal, which should be confirmed or not by Comic Con, then holy wow am I excited folks!!

Continue reading

Josh Brolin Is Thanos

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Hello folks, Dale here, and look at what we have.
First reported by Latino Review and soon after confirmed by Variety, it has been revealed that actor Josh Brolin (‘The Goonies’, ‘True Grit‘, ‘No Country For Old Men’) has been cast as arch-villain Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Continue reading

Kevin Smith Clarifies The DC Cinematic Universe

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JUSTICE LEAGUE ASSEMBLE!! No, wait, that’s not right.

Hello folks, Dale Denton here and it seems that good old Kevin Smith has been talking once again.
The director of ‘Clerks‘, ‘Chasing Amy‘, and the upcoming ‘Tusk‘, as well as the host of a number of podcasts, such as ‘Fatman on Batman‘ or ‘Hollywood Babble-On‘, has spoken in the past of how he has been shown elements of the production of the ‘Man of Steel’ sequel, including the new batsuit. And damn was he right about how awesome that batsuit was. Continue reading

An Open Letter to: Joss Whedon concerning Avengers 2

Dear Joss

Hey. I don’t think you know me. We’ve never met before and I’m just some random dude who writes for a blog site while you’re a multi-millionaire who has an unbelievable successful track record. It’s like everything you create or touch turns into nerd gold. Buffy. Angel. Firefly. Avengers. Cabin in the Woods. Yeah. That’s one hell of a good track record.

I’m really, really excited about Avengers 2 coming up. After seeing Thanos in the ending sequence of Avengers, I fangasmed. Thanos will be in Avengers 2. He has to be! I mean… why else would he show up like that? He’s all about courting death. That grin he gave. That’s pure Thanos.

SQUEE!!!

SQUEE!!!

i heard you gave an announcement about Thanos recently. I gotta find out what it is!!!

“We have to stay grounded,” Whedon said. “It’s part of what makes the Marvel universe click — their relationship to the real world. It’s science fiction, and Thanos is not out of the mix, but Thanos was never meant to be the next villain. He’s always been the overlord of villainy and darkness.”

Wait… wait… wait…

Wait…

Wait…

Did I read that right Joss? Thanos was never meant to be the next villain? The guy behind Loki’s attack on Earth isn’t going to follow up and visit the planet that thwarted him? And your justification is that he was the overlord of villainy and darkness? When the f**k did Thanos become Mephisto?

Okay, okay… deep breaths Michael. Deep breaths.

You see Joss, I’m concerned. Everyone I know who loved the first Avengers movie firmly believed Thanos was gong to be the villain in the second movie. That’s how it was set up. While you are famous for skillfully throwing curve balls in your stories that makes perfect sense… .this one, I don’t buy. I cannot emphasize this enough… everyone I know believed that Thanos would be in it.

Yeah, I heard he’ll be in Guardians of the Galaxy… who must have done a masterful job of hiding their efforts to stop Thanos’ assault on Earth to justify him being in their movie.

Wait… who the hell are the Guardians of the Galaxy?

guardians-of-the-galaxy

 

Is that a space raccoon?

Well, I guess it can’t be bad. Marvel movies under Disney have been exceptional. Iron Man. Thor. Captain America. Avengers. Maybe a space raccoon will be like Tony Stark who hasn’t shaved….

So… who will be the antagonist in Avengers 2?

915982-anncon001022_col

 

……….

Huh…..

Then why didn’t you hint at Ultron in some form in one of the ending credit sequences of Avengers? Of Iron Man 3? Is Ultron made of shawarma?

Look…. I guess my point is this. I really thought Thanos would play a huge role in Avengers 2. We all did. Don’t tell us something like you never planned for it. I suspect it was planned. Thanos was never in control of the Chitauri (Skrulls) in the comics, yet he was in the movies. That just doesn’t make any sense to me.

I still have a lot of faith in you with comic book movies. I have faith in Disney with comic book movies too. The track record speaks for itself. But Joss?

He was never meant to be the villain?

I only have one thing to say to that.

funny-dog-pictures-loldogs-wharrgarbl

See. That makes as much sense as your claim.

The Wolverine: A Review

The Wolverine. Yep. Hugh Jackman reprise d his famous role. After X-Men 1, 2, and 3, it’s refreshing to see the producers drop the pretense that anyone in existence matters outside of Wolvie.

hugh-jackman-wolverine

This picture needs explosions in the background

This movie had it all! Ninjas. More ninjas. A cyber samurai. Asian Hawkeye. Ninjas. Wolverine stealing Cyclops’ woman, repeatedly. Atomic explosions. Wolverine getting some. Asian Black Widow. Bears.

Yep. Wolverine talks to bears. It’s one of his lesser known mutant powers.

Anywho…

I liked the movie. A good friend of mine offered to pay so I could see it. I was pretty sure I’d hate the movie. Well, a lot more than pretty sure. A little secret about me – I hate Wolverine. The character I mean. I hate the idea of a loner badass who is invincible. In theory, superhero teams work because everyone needs each other. Captain America needs Thor and Iron Man in order to survive and take on unspeakable evil. Everyone in the Fantastic Four need each other. Heck, they are far more powerful together than they ever could be apart. But with Wolverine? The X-Men were an inconvenience for him. I hate that. In life, we all need each other. No single person can survive as an island. This sort of stuff should be reflected in our fiction as well. Loner characters should struggle in some way because they are alone. But not Wolverine. He’s a loner, so he gets to take Jean Grey away from Cyclops.

Oh my god, you can grind meat on those abs

Oh my god, you can grind meat on those abs

But as I said, this was a good movie. I liked it.  And I want to talk about why I liked the movie rather than giving spoilers or recaps. Seriously, I’m sure you’ve read like three dozen recaps already on different sites. Rather, I want to talk about what I feel are the three major themes of the movie: Wolverine’s struggle with loss, the fear of death, and to kill the unkillable opponent.

Struggle With Loss

Wolverine is immortal. He, by design, cannot be killed. He cannot die. As a consequence, he will lose everyone he’s ever loved. Everyone. How does an immortal cope?

So.... come here often?

So…. come here often?

He lost Jean Grey in the 3rd X-men movie. This movie explored that loss. She haunted his thoughts and dreams. He even refused to hurt anyone at the beginning of the movie because of Jean. Can you imagine that? Wolverine is effectively violence incarnate.. and he refused to be violent. Yeah, it didn’t last long. He became violent to avenge an injustice. But that streak of pacifism lasted for quite a while. I would go a step further than that. He wanted to kill Wolverine. Not commit suicide. That was addressed pretty clearly in the movie. He didn’t want to die. He just didn’t want to be the hero.

A good portion of the movie was him struggling with the loss of Jean. I believe the manifestation of his struggle was his loss of regeneration. He became a mortal. He became a man. It was like he couldn’t truly be Wolverine until he could find a way to cope with the loss. If you think about it, only when he discovered how his regeneration was being suppressed did he seem to come alive. Like he saw he didn’t have to die. That he could live if he chose to. In that moment, he let go of his past and focused entirely on the present. In that way, he was able to live.

The Fear of Death

The fear of death was the overarching theme of the movie. It motivated the central antagonist to try to steal Wolverine’s regeneration. It was in the back of Wolverine’s mind… not the fear of his own death, but the fear of others dying. Well, he did fear his own death to an extent. It’s why he fought against the cyber-samurai (why call it the silver samarai? It’s not made of silver). The movie presented the fear of death in an interesting way.

It motivated the central antagonist, Ichiro Yashida, to give the POWs a chance to flee. It also motivated him to try and extend his life through torture and other unethical means. One motive caused him to take two very different, very drastic actions.

The saddest villain

The saddest villain

I want to focus on Ichiro rather than look at Wolverine. I suspect we all understand Wolvie’s fear and how it motivates him. For Ichiro, it was so different. In the beginning, he was there close to ground zero. He was going to die. So what did he do? He did legitimately good things while his fellow soldiers committed hari cari. Wolverine saved him from the explosion (as I said before). When he witnessed Wolverine’s regeneration in action, it showed him there was a way to avoid death completely. He saw a way out.

The seeds of evil was planted with the atomic bomb.

Strange, I know. When there was no way to escape death, the fear led him to do good things. Once that escape showed itself, he would fight tooth and nail to obtain it for himself.  I think that’s a very believable villain motivation. If there was something out there that would prevent us from dying, I suspect there would be wars fought for it. We, as a people, would do everything and anything to get our hands on it. Yeah, we’d probably regret it later on once the realities of immortality set in. But before that… wow.

So kudos to the movie for giving us a believable, and very human, villain.

How to Kill the Unkillable Opponent

It’s difficult to make Wolverine interesting. There’s no challenge to him. No fear. We all know that he will keep coming back. He’s never in any real danger. It’s just like the Incredible Hulk. Both of them regenerate. Both of them are unstoppable. So… where’s the threat? Where’s the danger? Why should we, the audience, give a damn about what is going on in their lives? In Man of Steel, Supes could have been beaten to death by his fellow Kryptonians. It was apparent from the beginning, all the way to the end, that he was in serious danger. In The Dark Knight Rises, Bane broke him. We all saw the danger Batman was in. That’s what made his struggle that much more meaningful. He could lose.

But with Wolverine?

That's a good rule, Wolverine.

That’s a good rule, Wolverine.

In the comics, Wolverine is thrown at the enemy. He’s so unkillable, he is used as a cannonball with claws. What’s the point of fighting him when it’s clear he’ll win at the end.

And don’t you dare tell me how cool he is and that’s why we should watch him. That gets old really damn quickly. Every single superhero should be in actual danger when they face their antagonist. Without danger, there can be no struggle. Without struggle, there is nothing to overcome. It’ll become inevitable rather than uncertain.

So kudos to The Wolverine for just taking away his regeneration. It made for an interesting movie. Even when they gave Wolverine his regeneration back, it wasn’t as if he was unstoppable. He was being targeting for his regeneration. Ichiro found a way to steal it for himself! So in a way, his regeneration was his strength and his weakness.

So how do you kill an unkillable opponent? Remove what makes him unkillable. Turn it against him.

And Finally……

For the life of me, I can’t tell you why Hollywood would call this movie a failure. Sure, the credits scene left me a touch underwhelmed. It was like their hearts weren’t into the performance. The movie itself was pretty solid. Everyone, from Asian Hawkeye to Wolverine himself did a great job.

The movie also covered its production budget. The Wolverine cost approximately $120 million to make. And as of August 1st, 2013, it pulled in about $73 million domestic and $92 million foreign, totaling around $165 million dollars. This means the movie made $45 million profit. Not too bad with only being out for two weeks. So, is this movie a failure because it didn’t bring the studios a bigger profit?

Dude needs a shave. And a bath. And a change of clothes. And a haircut. And...

Dude needs a shave. And a bath. And a change of clothes. And a haircut. And…

I don’t want to end this on a sad note. Just tell others about this great movie. Go see it yourself if you haven’t yet. You’ll thank me later. More importantly, you’ll thank yourself!

It’s a must see

 

Civil War: Marvel’s Big Gamble

In 2006, Marvel Comics took a huge risk, pitting hero against hero in an event they called “Civil War.” Normally, these sorts of fights are fanboy pandering, as in DC comics at this time… heroes fought heroes constantly. It was a rare thing to see a hero fight a villain. So when I say Marvel took a risk, I mean it. This wasn’t a mere fanboy wank-fest where Supergirl beat up another superhero to prove how tough she is. This felt serious. Continue reading