comic book

The World Still Needs a Superman

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christopher reeve as superman

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Christopher Reeve passing. Still to this day, Christopher remains not only many people’s favorite Superman but THE quintessential Superman. There is an honesty and purity Christopher brought to this role. Having watched Superman The Movie countless of times, I still love the scene where Lois is interviewing Superman before their flying time in the sky. He is a bit pensive at first by the line of questions but he ends the discussion about never telling a lie. That line blew me away. In an age of heavy skepticism, you still believe him after all these years. He is honor bound by his word.

Those who remember the movie, Lex put on Superman a kryptonite chain which he could not escape. Ms. Teschmacher saved Superman by insisting that he save her mother in Teaneck, New Jersey. While he could have chased the other missile heading towards California, Superman kept his word. That is a trait that I’ve admired in Reeve’s portrayal and have tried to live so. We could use more people like him in our world today.

Over the years, there have been many other versions of Superman including last year’s Man of Steel by Henry Cavill. Some say that newer incarnations fail rivals Reeve’s more optimistic tone. I’ll give you that but Superman needs to adapt to the times we are in to stay relevant. Still, Cavill’s Superman channeled Reeve’s Superman for extra help in one scene that is amazing.

reeve cavill

This brings me to this point, I am by no account a Superman but if I tell you something that I am going to do for you or myself, I will do it. Sometimes keeping that promise requires the strength of Superman. When I’m running, I am blasting the Man of Steel soundtrack and remembering the shot above so I too can channel the strength of Superman. This may sound weird but when you believe in something so strongly positive things can happen.

One of those positive things came to me last year when I spoke in front of the Miami Dade County Commissioners for saving my library. While I used a Star Trek 2 line of dialogue about the needs of the many… I was wearing a Superman t-shirt underneath the shirt I was wearing. The image below is the design that I wore. I love this shirt. My voice was part of a larger chorus that help save our library system but believing in a Superman and finally myself led me to believe in myself even more.

superman tshirt

Yes, Superman does not exist but once actor made me believe in one. If we all believe in the symbol that Superman represents imagine what we can do to help this ourselves, those around us and the world. I can not think of a better time for the world to have a Superman. Thank you, Christopher.

Joaquin Phoenix Bails Out of Talks for Marvel’s Doctor Strange – Film Junk

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no strange for you

I don’t think Marvel needs to be too worried about losing Joaquin to play Dr. Strange. I’ve always felt, mind you, Joaquin is an incredible actor but playing this Marvel hero was not something I could easily see him do. This is not an insult to him but rather there are some actors that come to mind more easier than Joaquin. I hate to say this but Johnny Depp is someone who could master this role super easy just like the characters he did for Jack Sparrow, Ed Wood, The Mad Hatter for example. Basically, we want a character actor with leading actor appeal. This begs the question, if not Joaquin, who will be up for this role?

Rather than saying who I think would be great in the role, I have a bigger problem; magic. For the most part, I don’t see how magic is works well with superheroes. Sure, aside from kryptonite, magic is the only thing Superman can not defeat but hey, he’s on DC’s side not Marvel. Thor for the most part is part magic as he is a god and is immortal; that is until Loki let speak that there is a finite number of years for their own existence. Still, there is some type of magic how Thor channels lighting and uses it without getting killed. Well, what about Storm? For starters, she’s not a god though others may view her as a god and her powers of weather manipulation as magic but we know better. Storm is a mutant with a gene that gave her this powers. Dr. Strange may be the “mightiest magician in the cosmos” but what does that mean? Thor, in his first movie, explained that magic is another form of science. Is this enough to make Dr. Strange and magic grounded like we’ve seen with The Avengers? That will be a tough sell no matter who the ultimate actor may be to play Dr. Strange.

It may seem hard to believe, but after months of intense rumours and speculation it would appear that Marvel is still no closer to finding a lead for its upcoming Doctor Strange movie. Just prior to Comic-Con in July, everyone was reporting that Joaquin Phoenix was the man and that an announcement was imminent. A few weeks later, Marvel remained silent on the subject and we started to hear that other actors were being considered again, including Boardwalk Empire‘s Jack Huston. Then all of a sudden Joaquin was back in the picture again and reportedly on the verge of locking things down. Alas, it appears that the deal fell apart at the last minute and now he is out of the running for good. But is this a bad thing?

via Joaquin Phoenix Bails Out of Talks for Marvel’s Doctor Strange – Film Junk.

Gotham Pilot Review

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gotham

Can a tv series about Batman’s famous home city make it without a Batman? Before I can answer this question, Gotham City has been portrayed as dark and seedy place where even the more wretched hive of scum and villainy of Mos Eisley dare not tread. Yet, the city is the backdrop and rarely do we see it as a city on its own. Burton’s gothic take and Schumacher’s living comic book colors of Gotham were passable but I for one never felt it as a real city.  Nolan’s Batman gave us a better glimpse as we could see the city in night and day but Gotham gives us an even better perspective on a city street level. You could feel the corruption of this city oozing through the screen watching the pilot. Gotham has surprised this die-hard Batman fan to say, yes, this series can survive without a Batman. The same can not be said of Superman’s Metropolis and not Fritz Lang’s Metropolis; just to be clear.

As for the details about this episode, I will have to wait before I chime in and maybe be able to do a podcast on this show. So far, I loved what I saw.

‘Supergirl’ Series Ordered by CBS from Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler | Variety

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I’ve been keeping tabs on this for the past couple of weeks and this news could a new age for heroines (on the small screen at least) to become a major force – a silver age maybe upon us. For me, the 70’s had some great characters like Wonder Woman (Carter), The Bionic Woman (Wagner), The Mighty Isis (Cameron), Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (Hall and Strangis, respectively) and Charlie’s Angels could be include though not powered beings. Each of these series had a strong female lead that could hold their own.

As the years rolled on, there were other strong female characters like Colonel Derring (Gray) from Buck Rogers, Pam Davison (Selleca) from The Greatest American Hero, and lastly, the Visitor Diane and Dr. Parrish (Balder, Grant) from the mini series and later a regular series V but they were in a supportive roles. Sure, there was Xena (Lawless) and Buffy (Gellar) and Dark Angel (Alba) would rebound in the 90’s and 2000 but that’s it. The Wonder Woman pilot by David Kelly was interesting but failed to make the cut as well as the CW rumored Amazon series is nowhere in sight.  However, in this decade, we have Agent Carter (Atwell) and Jessica Jones (???) coming to Netflix and now Supergirl (???), more could be coming to the small screen if these shows take off. What will it take?

Aside from the actual physical attributes, we have to care about these new characters. Agent Carter may show her with a tough exterior but mourns the loss of Steve Rogers. Can she command the same respect from the Howling Commandos when Captain America was in charge? From the picture last week, it seems that issue was put to rest. So we can have a women lead the pack or take charge of a situation that is equal to any man in a similar position. With Supergirl, all I can say is let us not see Smallville 2.0. If she is a super, then show her as a super but make her interesting and someone we can identify regardless of the sex.

CBS has donned its cape and is ready to conquer the superhero market, giving a series commitment to scribes Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler’s “Supergirl.”

“Supergirl,” which is based on characters from DC Comics, comes from Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and is exec produced by Berlanti, Adler and Sarah Schechter. It’s based on the story of Kara Zor-El, who, like her famous cousin, escaped Krypton amid its destruction. She’s been keeping her powers a secret since arriving on Earth, but now — at age 24 — she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be.

via ‘Supergirl’ Series Ordered by CBS from Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler | Variety.

Ladies and Gentleman, We Have An Aquaman!!!!

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auquaman staring vincent chaseMany times, art imitates life but today we have life that is imitating art. Call it self-fulfilling prophecy of the sorts as the mock-up poster of Vincent Chase from the fictitious show Entourage staring in this underwater superhero role of a lifetime – AQUAMAN. Sure, this was back in 2006 but you know long those prophecies can take to be fully realized but seriously, this movie made like Spiderman money!!!

EntourageAquamanAd

And when I mean Spiderman, I’m talking about Tobey Maguire’s Spiderman not Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spiderman. Check out the trailer to Aquaman.

jason momoa

As all kidding aside, we actually have an actor for Aquaman. Jason Momoa has been reported have landed this SPLASHY role. (Made a funny!!!) For me, I’ve only known him as Kohl Drago from the HBO series Game of Thrones. Prior to that or there about was the remake for Conan the Barbarian which I have not seen to date. A prior tv role had Jason on Stargate Atlantis which again I have not seen. Still, seeing Jason as Kohl on GoT was still impressive enough to see his screen appeal however, is he the Aquaman? Is Jason going to get his hair colored blonde? Will he be wearing the traditional orange and green colored costume? Will he have a hook for a hand or a hand made out of water? Still, I want to see an Aquaman wear no gloves. Seriously, wearing gloves underwater may look cool but has no practical application in life. I tried washing dishes with rubber gloves and once that water gets in there, no amount of superpowers will ever get rid of that icky feeling I felt. Putting that all aside, I am truly, truly happy that DC/Warner Bros. are getting their shit together. Plus, Aquaman is rumored to appear in the Batman v. Superman Dawn of Justice movie. From what I’ve read, it seems the tie in for Aquaman was the World Builder over the Indian Ocean as seen the Man of Steel. I see this as a downstairs neighbor who is pissed at you for not lowering the volume of your music but on a bigger scale. Someone not very happy!!!

We are coming to a new golden of superheroes on the big and small screen. I can not wait to see how this all plays out.

 

The Monster Scifi Podcast – Disney’s Star Wars Weekend and X-Men Days of Future Past

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Xmen parody

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‘Arrow’ Season 2 Finale Recap: ‘Unthinkable’ – Hollywood Reporter (SPOILERS)

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Ye have been warned about the spoilers ahead so I’m doing it one more time – STOP READING THIS!!!!

On a rare alignment of the planets and my work schedule, I was able to watch the second season finale of Arrow live. To boot, we were also treated to a sneak peak for the upcoming Flash series. In a nutshell, I was overjoyed in that one hour of prime time television.

Let me begin with the only negative point with the finale. Seeing Starling City go up in flames and the chaos was great and awesome but we’ve seen this before in the previous year. Please, the writers and show runner of Arrow, I implore you, don’t make the Starling City go up in flames again next year. Yes, the ante has to get bigger next year but no more city destruction. The growth of this show has to be focus on its characters.

Last night, Oliver gave an amazing  speech to Slade who was not killed in the end. He had thank Slade for giving him the strength to survive the island, to see his family again, and to becoming a true hero. This was one of the things I loved – this fundamental switch within Oliver this season who killed throughout season one and had made a promise to his best friend Tommy at the end of his life. As with each episode in season two, we hear Oliver’s monologue but this sounds more like a mantra that he would be saying to himself, “To honor my friend’s memory, I must be someone else. I must be something else.” That journey was completed. If the show can give this amazing arc to Oliver, his supporting players must also have something interest to show us to make us care about the show. Diggle was given some dedicate show time on his past and which included a mission with The Suicide Squad  but alas Felicity – nothing. I LOVE Felicity and I would encourage more to be done with her. Let’s not make her just the brains of the outfit and becomes the alternate damsel in distress.  Make her into someone else and something else. One word – Artemis.

On the plus side, this season has ramped up its action sequence to an amazing level. They have mastered the use of “powered” people effectively while at the same time made it believable and grounded despite the effects of Mirakuru. By grounded, I mean, more physical action as people can get tossed across the room ala Roy, Slade and his minions. Hell, I was wondering about this one throw Detective Lance suffered through and how it played up in the finale. Nicely done.

Going back to Slade, one of the big revenge deeds was killing Moira Queen; Oliver’s mom. Slade had mentioned that there needed to be one more death before this all ended. This question lingered as to who and Oliver thought that it was he who had to die. When was talked out that notion, Slade and his minions started to attack Starling City. When that was ruled out, Laurel was kidnapped and brought to Slade. He had wanted revenge for the loss of Shado and taking Laurel was the logical choice. However, we get a seen where Oliver brings Felicity to the old mansion and tells her to stay there until everything blows over. Oliver then tells her that Slade has the wrong woman and it was her that he loved not Laurel. WHAT? THE? FUCK? Thankfully, this played out differently as the true nature of the one more death Slade was talking about was his own. He knew that Oliver would have to kill him in order to end this conflict and thus destroying the person Oliver had become. However, Oliver played Slade as Felicity was in on the plan…later, and was able to inject the cure for Mirakuru when she was very close to Slade. Hooray for Felicity for being the hero. Oliver gives his great speech and now the heart break lingers as Felicity’s feelings for Oliver will not be reciprocated anytime soon.

Hopefully, I will get a chance to bring this show up on my podcast as it well worth the time to discuss this further. In the meantime, the other highlight of the night was the new teaser promo for The Flash.

PLUS the extended trailer for The Flash.

 Let’s talk about the finale of Arrow, shall we?

True to form, The CW comic-book drama paid off a season’s worth of build-up with the “biggest fight” to date between Oliver Queen and Slade Wilson. With the help of some friends, Oliver and Co. left no stone unturned in their face-off, culminating in a life-altering moment for the Arrow. Would Oliver kill Slade, or would he cure him of the Mirakuru? Oliver chose the high road, a decision he would not have been able to make in season one.

Wednesday’s finale, “Unthinkable” (which could refer to a few of the episode’s developments), also set up a drastically different world for season three. Oliver may or may not have declared his love to Felicity, Thea abandons ship, Laurel may be on the road to becoming Black Canary and Roy may be embracing his superhero abilities. The Hollywood Reporter highlights the biggest revelations and cliffhangers from the season closer.

via ‘Arrow’ Season 2 Finale Recap: ‘Unthinkable’ – Hollywood Reporter.

Star Trek Kahn Graphic Novel Review

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star-trek-khan-comic-book

One of the many ear worms that plague me through out the day, this ear worm for this post would be from the Disney film Frozen ‘Let It Go.” One part of the lyrics speaks to me, “Let it go, let it go, Turn away and slam the door,” and this is what I need to do but after this blog entry. I have given up trying to be pleased by a movie that never achieved the greatness that I expected from it. I am done beating a dead horse on the Kahn issue but for one last time, I had to understand where the writers where trying to go with this new Kahn.

This story beginning at the end of the movie – sort of. We see the proceedings of a trial to arraign Khan. As the trial begins, there is a Trek easter egg of a character from the original series that is very comfortable in a court setting. I’m not going to tell you who this person is as I just wanted to mention this little tidbit. Believe me, this nu-Trek has a lot to answer for but this little tip of the hat was a good ice breaker. But then we get this shocker.

kahn trial

Ok, now you have my interest. Now, you are telling me something that I wanted to know. Why is the Kahn from Into Darkness different from the Kahn from the original series Star Trek II. The next series of panels pushes the camera on the nu-Kahn to a close up and then to black. Nu-Kahn begins to tell the story through flashbacks on his rise to power and the Eugenics war. This was the hook to get me to read the rest of the stories in this graphic novel. But I was more concerned with the question at hand, “Why were there two different looking Kahn-s?” As with all good stories, you make the reader wait for it. As the story unfolds, we see Kahn and his fellow co-horts boarding the Botany Bay and leaving from Australia. Nice touch!!!

Going back to the movie Into Darkness, we are told the Admiral Marcus and nu-Kahn had met prior to the Enterprise encounter in the movie. In the graphic novel, we get a couple of scenes where a Federation ship finds the Botany Bay and brings it the secret facility. Marcus does several voice overs on the panels, “We figured out who you were soon enough, event with the scarce records of your time. We knew that waking you up as you were would be a huge mistake.” So, if Marcus came to that conclusion, don’t you think the in the original series episode, “Space Seed,” Kirk would have come to the same conclusion? Argue among yourselves and see if I am right.

However, Marcus did not heed his own warning. He decided to use Khan to his advantage and took it a step further. Marcus ordered to have most of Kahn’s memory wiped and have “laser” facial rec-Khan-struction. BLAM!!! We get not Kahn but John Harrison aka nu-Kahn. Ok…I um… ok….. no… not ok. This is a hard pill to swallow but fine; I’ll go with it.

Nu-Kahn helps out Marcus with his superior knowledge but not knowing who he truly is until he starts getting flashbacks to his earlier life on Earth. From there, things go down hill for the Admiral and then us, the audience, that had to see Into Darkness. The nu-Kahn-clusion at the end of the book is the same as what happened in the movie; nu-Kahn goes to sleep. So, I take it that at the end of the movie, nu-Khan was put to sleep and then gets awakened in the graphic novel to have a trial, to tell his story but is found guilty, and then gets back to sleep in the same chamber as before. In this context, the ending in the graphic novel fails to satisfy the reader especially since this was already done in the movie. Think of the Richard Donner’s Superman II ending that did the same thing from the first Superman movie.

However, once more, if…. and I do mean if…. this graphic novel is placed after Kirk was “resurrected” in the film and then nu-Kahn was brought to trail, did his backstory and found guilty…again, and then put to sleep in his chamber, I would have been… ok with Into Darkness as a film. At least the missing gap as to why the nu-Kahn looks nothing like the old Kahn is explained and the ending, will not perfect, will allow nu-Kahn to be resurrected in the future.

And on that note, I will, “Let it go, let it go, Turn away and slam the door.” I’m done.

 

The Monster Scifi Show Podcast – Captain America The Winter Soldier

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Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier-Teaser

Mr Gene and I discuss the latest Marvel superhero movie, Captain America The Winter Soldier. Please do not listen to the podcast if you have not seen the movie as this show is filled with spoilers.

Check out this episode!

The rumor about Wonder Woman’s movie debut will make your head explode

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Normally, I would write my comments before the article I found online to post on my blog. Today, I want you to read a quick blurb and then I’ll comment.

Well. If this recently surfaced rumor is true, then Wonder Woman is about to get a verrrrry interesting new origin for Batman Vs. Superman. It’s after the jump; try not to be drinking anything when you read them, because you’re pretty much guaranteed a spit take.

Batman-on-Film.com — which, to be fair, has a pretty damned good track record when it comes to DC movies — claims the following in regards to Gal Gadot’s role as WW in the move:

Personally, I’d say it’ll be about on par with Scarlett Johansson’s first appearance as Black Widow in IRON MAN 2. I believe that it’s a cameo-plus type of role that will (hopefully) serve as a springboard to a solo Wonder Woman movie.

With all that said, I’d bet a year’s pay – in MONOPOLY money, of course – that the “Amazons” of this cinematic DCU will be descendants of those “ancient Kryptonians” who attempted to set up Kryptonian outposts throughout spacedom thousands and thousands of years ago.

via The rumor about Wonder Woman’s movie debut will make your head explode.

Okay, now my turn. There are things about the comic book universe that works well in one medium but fails to make the transition to another medium. Let’s look at the first X-Men movie in which no character was in a full costume as seen in the comic books. Yes, Magneto and the X-Men team did wear outfits but their suits were more in keeping with a reality check. Hell, Wolverine point out about not wearing the yellow spandex which made perfect and logical sense.

I am all in favor of tweaking origin stories. Tim Burton’s Batman had the pre-Joker kill off Bruce Wayne’s parents. Not much an issue here although the thug was Joe Chill which Nolan corrected in his version of Batman. Still in both cases, Bruce does become The Batman. In the case of Wonder Woman, changing the origin to make her from Amazonian to Kryptonian is just plain wrong. Can’t we not accept Wonder Woman was created and is a living god or in the case of her re-launched comics a demi-god. That little change in the current comics doesn’t take away from the magical qualities of her. If Marvel can have Thor why can’t we just have Wonder Woman the way she has always been? Hell, Lynda Carter’s WW series had her powers tied to her belt but this never lessened the appeal of the character.

If the plan is to make WW Kryptonian, does this add another dimension to the character? I think not. Think about the gender swapping of Starbuck from the old show to the new one. The dynamic of a female Starbuck has a lot of the original male version but in a female lead she is totally kick ass with a no taking shit attitude. Or having the new Spock be a bit more emotional in the reboot than the past, I’m ok with this. The Kryptonian idea does nothing for Wonder Woman. Change the costume; I don’t care but if this is the road we are heading for a Justice League movie, we are seriously fucked.