Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Avengers' Ending and Iron Patriot

Not sure how I didn't know about this site until now, but I'm just glad it was pointed out to me. The mission statement is simple: animating the gist and presenting a preferable alternate finale of a movie. In a flarking funny way, of course. Enjoy.

And in case you haven't heard, there may be a new villain, or at least a familiar character, in Iron Man 3 which began shooting this month. Spoilers after the jump (sorry Simon Pegg, I don't love the culture either, but I live in it.)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

This Week's Comics - 5/30/12

Hopefully this isn't one of those weeks with a Monday holiday that leads to new comics arriving on Thursday. Few blows are harsher than showing up at your comic shop with your pull list in hand to find you must wait another four and twenty hours. Often in my rage and frustration at the comic book industry and thirst for vengeance against publishers and distributors, I just buy something anyway, be it action figure or back issue.

What can I say, rage makes me stupid. But it IS leading to an increasingly impressive random collection.

Regardless, I'm heading to the shop today with high hopes. Pick of the Week is, quite naturally, X-Men Legacy 'cause Rogue is done waxing poetic and being self-analytical, and has moved on to kicking ass. And I would really, really enjoy watching her execute a creative takedown of Mr. Tony Stark, the only A-list Avenger to bother showing up at the Jean Grey School.

You know the drill, Jump for Pull.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

A time to honor and mourn those who have fallen in defense of our great nation.

And also to feel the full tragedy of Steve Rogers; to outlive all his allies, friends, loved ones, and even his own war.
Not just a symbol of America and its values, but a way to remember the glorious, harrowing, essential past.

These images are by artist Dan Hipp, whose tumblr is truly beautiful, and who I found via Comics Alliance. There's a funny one after the jump that is non-Memorial Day related, but you should really check out his tumblr.

God bless.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Round-Up: X-Men Previews, Thanos Explained, Marvel's Mint Silver Age On Sale, and Dean Pelton Dresses Up

It's Memorial Day Weekend, and Fleet Week in NYC, which can explain any and all emotional tumult or fluctuations in this humble blogger's usually remarkable work ethic. So I'm resorting to that most often used lifeline for internet writers hamstrung by frustration and fatigue; the Round-Up, a collection of mildly interesting links that, aside from being shiny and distracting, have the added bonus of filling up an entire post.

We start at Comic Book Resources where Mr. Matt Adler provides us with a comprehensive and seemingly intelligent (I'm not done reading it) biography of Thanos the Mad Titan, whose recent big screen appearance has generated a lot of new interest in the classic character. From his Freudian and mythical origins at the hands of creator Jim Starlin to his more recent turn in the cosmic Annihilation War, a complete and intricate tapestry is woven, and it's much fun for both continuity geeks and new fans who want to speculate on what's to come in Marvel cinema. 

Then we have a nearly complete Silver Age collection of Marvel comics going on sale in an auction in California, and the estimated prices for some of the issues (hold on to your *&^!@ing hats,) Dennis Culver's "Deanfinity" featuring all the crazy unambiguous costumes Dean Pelton of Community has shown up in, and three previews for next week's all-new X-titles, including the highly anticipated (for me) Rogue vs. Iron Man fight.

Read on for linkage, and happy Friday.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This Week's Comics - 5/23/12

A fairly light week, especially in the Marvel area with only one AvX related title shipping, which should make deciding the Pick of the Week easier, but anytime a new Unwritten issue comes out, it's hard not to choose that.

However, while I'm probably most excited to read Unwritten and the aftermath of War of the Words finally, there's another more momentous milestone comic today: the final issue of Mark Waid's Irredeemable. Will Plutonian get the punishment he deserves, or a 2nd chance at life? Will Qubit survive the final confrontation, or be outwitted himself by Modeus? Can the Earth recover from the ravages of recent years and reclaim a new future?

Beats me, but Waid's the guy to trust when you're buying comics. Empire, FF, Daredevil, Kingdom Come--the guy rarely missteps. And while I wandered away from Irredeemable for awhile there, it was mighty entertaining, especially the first year. Here's to you, Mr. Waid, and your delightfully twisted takes on the iconic heroes we all know and love.

Jump for Pull.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Job References for Captain Elias' Civilian Identity

All quotes are entirely accurate and true.*

"I curse the day he was born."
       -Thanos the Mad Titan

"He's an incredibly fast learner with great ideas, a big heart and...what was that last thing?"
        -11th grade English teacher, kept on retainer.

"His shape is comely and pleaseth mine eyes."
        -Thor action figure at 2am

"He knows who I am."
        -George Eliot

"I wish I had his creative instincts and grasp of cultural trends."
        -Joss Whedon


"He is the chosen one."

*Except for those that aren't.

Joss Whedon's Musical Commentary

This is from a couple years back already (pre-Avengers, since he still had a full head o' hair) but in light of yesterday's news that Joss will be the sole voice providing commentary on The Avengers DVD, it seems a timely discovery.

Not being a fan of Doctor Horrible where this song first appeared as a bonus item, or This American Life for that matter, I had never heard of this before. Whedonesque really let me down. Or else there must have been a day I didn't check their site (impossible!)

Either way it's worth a listen, and honestly makes me even more excited for the extra features of Avengers, though I could live without them, I swear. I just have to buy a Blu-Ray player first.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mark Waid's Irredeemable Finale, The Avengers DVD and DC Gets Super Gay

Bleeding Cool has two articles of interest to me this morning, one being the news that DC has back-tracked from their policy of not altering characters' sexuality in the new 52 just because retarded (yeah, that word's still in use, deal with it PC police) people demand more "diversity" for diversity's sake:

Surprisingly, DiDio stated that they had changed DC’s policy in this regard. And they are about to reintroduce a previously existing DC character who was previously straight and now will be “one of our most prominent gay characters.”

What are we thinking? While Clark show up with a bedazzled S logo? Are they taking Grant Morrison's Playboy article about how ridiculously gay Batman is to heart? Or are they gonna give a C-list hero a chance at the big leagues just because of who they sleep with? Probably the latter. My money's on Booster Gold. I mean just look at the guy. Plus he's from the future, and writers are always telling us how sexually enlightened the future is, where we'll all live with Captain Jack and River Song in healthy open group relationships. Perhaps we could start looking backwards--Ancient Greece was pretty open-minded, maybe Wonder Woman could snap stigma's neck once and for all. She did grow up on an exclusively female-warrior island after all.

The other article was about the Avengers Blu-Ray/DVD, out in September, the details about which  have been released. Read on for that and preview of Mark Waid's final Irredeemable issue.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Trailer for Elementary, the CBS Sherlock (Oh, and River Song Gets Booted Out of the Closet)

I'm a fan of Sherlock Holmes. Namely, the Conan Doyle canonical source material. With my sister being as fervently in love with the volumes as possible, rereading them on an annual basis, it was pretty much inevitable that I read them myself. And I can say with zero falsity or pretension (feel free to disagree on that last one) that the stories are better than any of the dozens of adaptations that have been made.

To be fair, let's take a look at all the recent versions of Sherlock that have been produced, along with trailer for the new upcoming CBS take, Elementary

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Guardians of the Galaxy Return!

Between comments from Kevin Feige about bringing Guardians of the Galaxy to the big screen and the uber-cool post-Avengers credits reveal, it was clear to me that the franchise is leaning in a deliciously cosmic direction. But I really had no idea just how synergistic (calm down Jack Donaghee) the overall Marvel plan was. Considering what they've done with their films I shouldn't be surprised, but they have given me yet another joyous announcement.

Over at Comic Book Resources, Marvel publishing bigwig Tom Breevort shared some big news. Avengers Assemble, the limited series written by Avengers scribe Brian Michael Bendis in his final year as the architect of that team, as a comic I didn't really consider canon, just a throw away 12 issues meant to pander to the Marvel movie fan who doesn't read comics (but after seeing Joss' fantastic movie wants to start.) They used the cinematic team line-up and brought in some old villains and I just really thought it wouldn't count in the main universe, so I didn't pick it up.

But lo and behold, not only does it count, they are using it as a platform to not only set-up the future plots of the Marvel Avengers movies, but to return the personal favorite characters who recently comprised the cast of the Guardians of The Galaxy.

This Week's Comics - 5/16/12

New Comic Book Day falls on a very auspicious date this week. Namely, the birthday of the incomparably beautiful and wise mother of this humble blogger. And while festivities have been pushed back to this upcoming weekend, I would like to take this opportunity to wish her a truly spectacular day and express a mere sliver of my infinite love and appreciation and respect and awe. You'll never find a better woman than her, of that you can be sure.

As for the comics lucky enough to be released on such a memorable occasion, I must first admit that Marvel is the only company receiving my funds this week, and Pick of the Week was a tough choice, until I eliminated all AvX related titles, not necessarily due to performance or saturation levels, but just to make things a bit easier for me. And even IF Daredevil #13 isn't my most anticipated or inevitably enjoyable book this week, it's definitely the greatest color. And Waid will doubtless please again.

Read on for the full pull. And Happy Birthday Momma.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Avengers Breaks More Records & Shares Some Concept Art

The numbers have come in for The Avengers' second weekend box office, and the previous 2nd weekend record ($75M for Avatar) is utterly destroyed with a whopping $103.2M.  This will push the global gross of Avengers past the 1 Billion mark.

For more information check out Nikki Finke's professional expertise and constant attention to the numbers, include the painful pummeling received by Burton's Dark Shadows. Now one wonders what will happen with the upcoming release of Battleship and The Dictator.

I have faith that Avengers will keep the top spot. Sure, they're probably all exhausted by now, but an Avenger never gives up. They just need a little meal break is all. And without Jarvis, might as well grab some NYC grub.

There's also been some concept art released, done prior to filming based on Whedon's script by Steven Jung and Nathan Schroeder. Both of these men worked on Thor, which is why both movies are so stunningly beautiful at moments. See the first images of the helicarrier, Tony's eco-skyscraper, and share my desire to see Thor on the real Chrysler Building. Kudos gentlemen.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A New Avengers Theory Regarding Agent Coulson

So I was at my local comic shop (Chameleon Comics shout-out,) as per every Wednesday lunch break ever, and having a delightful chat with my comic shop employee buddy about the magnificence that was The Avengers.

However he expressed some chagrin at certain plot developments, and in his eagerness to find a loophole presented a potential...well, loophole. I joined in the theorizing with excitement and together we may just have stumbled upon a beautiful secret, or at least a good idea for Joss when he writes Avengers 2 (they WILL ask him back, won't they?)

Spoilers follow (like, duh.)

Joss Thanks His Fans (And Says 'I Told You So' For Me)

Over on Whedonesque, the wonderful Whedon-centric website of Whedon-related links that I have Whedon-checked (stretch?) daily for years, Whedon Himself submitted a post directed at his lifelong loyal fans in the wake of this stupendously succesfull record-breaking weekend.

I have in fact been terribly curious what Joss has been feeling after the monstrous numbers and glowing reviews kept coming in, and wished we were personal friends so that I could shoot an email of congratulations and the unbridled joy (and, yes, pride) I felt while watching The Avengers. Turns out I didn't have to. As usual, Joss knew how I felt and has responded, as usual, with humor, gratitude and damn fine prose. The link is here (it also links to a silly funny vid the great man did with famous viral comedy team BriTANick) but I copy/pasted it in its entirety because it's so terrific and hilarious and I'm pretty sure he meant to address it specifically to me (and, I grudgingly admit, my fellow Whedonites.)

--Kitty Pryde

Dear Friends,

Well, it's been quite a weekend. Someday, long from now, I will even have an emotional reaction to it, like a person would. I can't wait! But before I become blinded by this "emotion" experience, there's a few things I'd like to say. Well, type.

People have told me that this matters, that my life is about to change. I am sure that is true. And change is good -- change is exciting. I think -- not to jinx it -- that I may finally be recognized at Comiccon. Imagine! Also, with my percentage of "the Avengers" gross, I can afford to buy... [gets call from agent. Weeps manfully. Resumes typing.] ...a fine meal. But REALLY fine, with truffles and s#!+. And I can get a studio to finance my dream project, the reboot of "Air Bud" that we all feel is so long overdue. (He could play Jai Alai! Think of the emotional ramifications of JAI ALAI!!!!)

What doesn't change is anything that matters. What doesn't change is that I've had the smartest, most loyal, most passionate, most articulate group of -- I'm not even gonna say fans. I'm going with "peeps" -- that any cult oddity such as my bad self could have dreamt of. When almost no one was watching, when people probably should have STOPPED watching, I've had three constants: my family and friends, my collaborators (often the same), and y'all. A lot of stories have come out about my "dark years", and how I'm "unrecognized"... I love these stories, because they make me seem super-important, but I have never felt the darkness (and I'm ALL about my darkness) that they described. Because I have so much. I have people, in my life, on this site, in places I've yet to discover, that always made me feel the truth of success: an artist and an audience communicating. Communicating to the point of collaborating. I've thought, "maybe I'm over; maybe I've said my piece". But never with fear. Never with rancor. Because of y'all. Because you knew me when. If you think topping a box office record compares with someone telling you your work helped them through a rough time, you're probably new here. (For the record, and despite my inhuman distance from the joy-joy of it: topping a box office record is super-dope. I'm an alien, not a robot.) So this is me, saying thank you. All of you. You've taken as much guff for loving my work as I have for over-writing it, and you deserve, in this our time of streaming into the main, to crow. To glow. To crow and go "I told you so", to those Joe Blows not in the know. (LAST time I hire Dr. Seuss to punch my posts up. Yeesh!) Point being, you deserve some honor, AND you deserves some FAQs answered. So please welcome my old friend and certainly not-on-my-payroll reporter/flunky, Rutherford D. Actualperson!

RDA: So good to see you, young Joss! is it possible you've gotten more attractive since we last spoke, and less fungal in odor?

JW: Thanks for noticing. Let's talk.

RDA: "the Scavengers" is a huge success! Does this mean you have changed the very fabric of existence?

JW: Dude, it's just a movie. Also, yes.

RDA: I've seen a lot of a talk about "the Availers" vs "the Dark Knight Rises". How will you feel if you're eclipsed by Nolan?

JW: I'm glad I made you ask that. I will feel sad. But let's look at the bigger picture, and I can't say this enough: THIS IS NOT A ZERO SUM GAME. Our successes, whoever has the mostest, are a boon to each other. We're in the business of proving that superhero movies aren't just eye-candy (they're eye-TRUFFLES!). People seem intent on setting us against each other, and though I'm proud to be Woody Strode to Nolan's Kirk Douglas, I think they're missing the point. Whatever TDKR does on its first weekend, the only stat that matters to me is the ticket I'M definitely buying. Nolan and Raimi INVENTED the true superhero flick, yo. (Special mention to Jon Favreau and James Gunn.) Happy to be in the mix.

RDA: What does this mean for your upcoming slate of tiny independent films/Internet shenanigans? Will they fall by the wayside?

JW: There may be new ideas realized -- I always leave myself open to that -- but my commitment to Wastelanders and Dr H.2 does not waver. Those stories bubble on my stove.

RDA: And TV?

JW: TV is my great love. To tell stories with that alacrity, intensity, and immediacy... Nothing quite like it. I imagine it's not dissimilar to the feeling great poker players have: "Here's what I got, here's where I'm going... How to trick everybody into thinking I know what I'm doing?" [Full disclosure : Joss hates poker. He is probably talking about bridge. But it should apply nonetheless.].

RDA: What message would you give fans of "the Lavenders" who are not so familiar with your previous work?

JW: "Cabin In the Woods": still in (some) theaters!

RDA: Is 'the Ravengers" a perfect movie? It did get an A+ cinemascore...

JW: There are very few perfect movies. "The Court Jester", "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", "Godfather" I & II... The list does not go on and on. "The Avengers" is notably IMperfect, which makes its success mean so much more to me -- because it's striking a chord that matters MORE than its obvious flaws. Like the team, it appears to be more than the sun of its parts. Boo-yah!

RDA: What do you feel is the greatest achievement of "the Avoiders"?

JW: Getting "mewling quim" out there to the masses. Also, Hulk.

RDA: Anyone in particular you'd like to thank?

JW: [Reads from notecard]. I couldn't have done this myself. Part of this Saturn Award belongs to Jeremy Latcham, Kevin Feige, and the fine Marvel folk... But the secret ingredient is my closest peeps: J-Mo, who did uncredited punch-up work (carrier battle, yo!), Z-bro, Drew "I am Loki only taller and foppier" Goddard, and Kai, all of whom worked the story with me. Without them (and Jeremy), I'd still be figuring out how the Wasp fits in to this, and where to put Red Hulk.

RDA: What's next for Joss "finally got it right for a change" Whedon?
JW: Can we not call me that?

RDA: Just deal. Whut up?

JW: I really think we should discuss that nickname, but I'm finishing "Much Ado About Nothing" this month. If you liked "the Avengers", you'll love... I can't. It's Shakespeare. And not in the park. I hope it gets watched.

RDA: Any message to your precious "Whedonesk?"

JW: Whedonettes?

RDA: Weeble-eque?

JW: I'm not aware of that group.

RDA: Didn't they know you when?

JW: I'm not sure who you mean. I'm discarding my old fans so I can concentrate on fame, Euro-trash guy-jewelry and my precious "Air Bud" reboot. But, dude, don't print that!

RDA: You have my word.

So, that's our post! Hope you enjoyed it . Hope you'll continue to carry the banner even though other people may have joined the parade. (Kind of a gay pride/Newsies vibe: sentence accomplished!) Hope you understand how I feel. Cliff notes: grateful.

"Here's to us. Who's like us? Damn few"

-- Stephen Sondheim, "Merrily We Roll Along".
"It took a dog playing Jai Alai to teach us humanity!"

--Me, in that awesome film I'm gonna make.

-j., 5/9/12

[ edited by joss on 2012-05-09 15:26 ]

Thanks to Whedonesque and Joss. God bless 'em both.

This Week's Comics - 5/9/12

Happy New Comic Day, one and all. Last week the biggest movie opener in history was the final Harry Potter. O how the world has changed, and only for the better.

But superhero movies, while fantastic, take some planning to go see and generally don't get enjoyed between the hours of 9 and 5. Their source material, however, is a different matter, so it's time to get back to the basics and buy some new comics over lunch.

Pick of the Week is a tie. AvX has been kind of letting me down so far, and I'm pretty happy we're getting away from Utopia and finally setting the scene in Westchester, at Wolverine's school. The tie comes from the fact that both Wolverine & The X-Men #10 and X-Men Legacy #266 feature this storyline, and between Gage and Aaron it's just too tough to tell which will be better. So I picked both. (Honorable mentions include the new Buffy, X-Force and even Batman.)


Read on for full listage.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

On The Avengers' Post-Credits Surprise

In classic Marvel Studios form, The Avengers gave us a post-credits surprise, and it was better than anything that's come before.

Aside from the involuntary shriek that I had to muffle upon viewing (I really hadn't seen it coming) there wasn't much to report, but now it turns out that not only has it been in the works for awhile, it was all Joss' idea.

Unfortunately no footage is yet up, nor are any of the screen grab images online worth posting, but there's a great look at the end-credits of the film over here. The surprise scene isn't there, but it's still a beautiful sequence.

Spoilers, obviously, when you hit the jump and see what Joss and Kevin Feige had to say about their shocker.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Avengers is the Biggest Movie Ever

Update: The final weekend number is $207.4 Million. :-D

It is now official. The Avengers' opening weekend is over, and the final number is a whopping $200.3 million. (And that's just the estimate--the actual number, to be reported later this afternoon, could be even higher.)

This completely destroys the opening weekend record held by the final Harry Potter movie ($169 mill), not to mention The Dark Knight ($158 mill.) Worldwide gross is already $641.8M since it was released internationally about 12 days ago.

And not only that, the movie has incurred amazing and well-deserved reviews, with a 94% Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and an A+ grade from CinemaScore. This kind of acclaim puts Avengers well on track to break the billion dollar mark, joining such films as Avatar and Titanic, and possible exceeding even those to become the biggest movie ever.

Dear old Joss must be riding high.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Avengers Movie Review

Holy Moses.

If for some reason I had been unfamiliar with the works of Joss Whedon (an alternate universe in which I endured a joyless adolescence, no doubt) after seeing The Avengers he would indeed be My Master Now.

I hardly know where to begin. It's far easier to be articulate about the things one dislikes in a film review, but since there was nothing I disliked, this review shall be a disjointed affair. (I could blame that on the fact that it is currently 4am, but to be honest I'm still so buzzed from the movie sleep is not an option.)

For starters, I shall bestow the official Superpowers That Be grade: A+

Holy Joss.

(Spoiler Warning, cause how else can I geek out without going into details?)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Tonight's the Night

The Avengers. Joss Whedon. 11:45. In Theatres Only. Assemble. 'Nuff said.

Happy weekend heroes!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day is this Saturday, and while I've never really understood the hype and joy surrounding the event (I find individual comic stores to be remarkably stingy with their free, gratis and for nothing products, and one has to go all over NYC to get the freebies one wants) I still thought it was time to take a look at what was being offered this year.

It seems fanboy universe crossovers is the theme of this year. Sure it's fun to think of those things idly, or in fanfiction, but I'm not sure how I feel about it in comic form. (It's not canon right?) And besides, Firefly/Star Wars crossover? That implies that Star Wars is NOT the most overrated, unoriginal, clunky and uninteresting sci fi story ever, and somehow deserves to be associated with Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his crew. Also it's written by a Whedon brother, and that inevitably ends in the terrible mangling of a once beloved, or at least highly anticipated, world.

This, after all, is the Weekend of Joss. Avengers comes out tomorrow and we don't need any more examples of his faulty nepotism to taint his glory.

Regardless, read on for a list of the free comics I want to snag this Satuday. (I'm particularly excited about a new comic from writing team Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

This Week's Comics - 5/2/12

A light week, always a blessing to the budget, though it does incline one to start looking at some trade paperbacks or back issues on sale, thus rendering all previous savings moot. Still, despite being thin, it's far from quiet, as Avengers vs. X-Men keeps moving forward, and a new crossover between Mutants and Asgardians (who have a nice long history of crossovers, come to think of it) begins.

No DC has made the list, a not uncommon occurrence, though to be honest I believe I will flip through some of the Night of the Owls tie-ins, perhaps see what Dick Grayson is up to as the Owls attack Gotham (not interested in the all-new Barbara Gordon, and I've grown quite tired of Damian.) The Pick of the Week is none other than Mark Waid's consistently brilliant and enjoyable Daredevil, as this month we see Matt Murdock making time for romance, and judging by the cover things get a bit steamy.

Read on for full listage.