Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ryan L’s Soapbox - A Collection of Random Thoughts Vol 2

Another week full of some random musings. I’m talking about the Dark Knight Rises casting news, why Thunderbolts is the ultimate tie-in comics, Ben Templesmith’s digital invasion, and wonder about future MAX comics.

Hathaway as Catwoman

I am honestly surprised there has been any poor reaction to this news. I heard this and was instantly struck by a feeling of…”Of course.” But I’m an Anne Hathaway fan. I think she’s extremely, painfully, attractive, but can still act, a deadly combo. And one Selina Kyle absolutely needs. If any actress can pull off this role, in so many ways, it would be Hathaway.

If you don’t want to see Hathaway in this role, in that costume, then I just don’t know what to say to you.

I also really dig this fan-made poster to the right. I haven't been able to track down the original source, but it's just really good. In fact, there are a surprising amount of really good fan-made Batman movie posters online. Doing a Google search for this one brought up all sorts of quality. Man, people have some mad skills. Mad free time too, but mostly mad skills.

Nolan’s Bane

People seem less irked by the fact Tom Hardy is playing Bane as they are the fact that Bane is getting an appearance in the flick at all. To them I say, this surely isn’t going to be the insanely muscled Bane we know from his “Break You!” moment. This is going to be the Nolan version of the character, and that I have interest in seeing. I don't expect to see some loser luchadore stamping around the set, instead I want the muscled alpha-male that simply wants to take on the best. There is room for Nolan to considerably improve this character and the casting is just one thing that makes me think he's doing just that.

I kind of like that Nolan is using two of the Bat characters associated with some of the worst Bat cinema moments in history. I’m surprised Clooney isn’t getting a walk-on role. Ooh, he could play Hush, ha.

But mostly I just want to see Talia Al Ghul in the movie. It seems like the logical step to close this trilogy off.

As a final Bat flick thought; I want Nolan, Bale, and a few key others to make a blood oath to all come back in twenty years and make The Dark Knight Returns. It would be an effort of commitment but tell me these people don’t have that.


Starman is one of those series I have heard endless rave reviews about, though James Robinson’s more recent work seems to be failing him, and so I tried the first HC omnibus out. I have to say, I was underwhelmed. It all felt overwritten, slow, and (dare I say it) far too personal. It felt like a writer really putting a little too much of himself on the page, and I generally like it when a creator puts himself on the page. Something about this instance just does not click with me.

Tony Harris' art is pretty good, you can see it's earlier in his career, but I know it's not the sort of art style I like the most.

Are you a Starman fan? Let me know what you love about him so.

Thunderbolts – The Perennial Tie-In Comic

Most readers hate when their favourite title gets interrupted to go become another step in a grand design of another story. Usually, it means editorial mandates, shoe-horned and tenuous connections, and a lack or drop in quality. I agree, usually, but when it comes to Thunderbolts I’ve been starting to think they might just be the best comic to float from other story to other story.

Recently, Thunderbolts has crossed over heavily with Shadowland, Avengers Academy, and then the Scorched Earth tale in Hulk. But as a government mandated hit squad, shouldn’t it heavily be their job to be involved with all of these things? If there was some massive crossover type battle going on and the government didn’t send in their goon squad full of controlled criminals that I won’t care about if they die, then I’d be pissed. They’re the ultimate cannon fodder and so should be in the firing line each and every time, and they should be there first.

Not to mention, they shouldn’t be busy with other stuff cropping up because villains should be giving them a pass. These Thunderbolts are forced into servitude, the least they should get is left alone. No one should go out looking to mess with the Thunderbolts, that’s just harsh.

Templesmith Goes Digital

Marvel has an iApp, so do DC, Image, BOOM!, well now Ben Templesmith has his own one as well. IDW have gone their own route, without ComiXology, and they’ve created a slew of iApps for their comics. There’s a basic IDW iApp, then ones for Transformers, Star Trek, and now the Templesmith only one. It’s an interesting idea. I like Ben Templesmith as a creator, and he’s got a fair bit of work to be collected (though no more excessively than any other top level creator out there) and he makes for one hell of a logo.

Personally, I wish I just had one Comics iApp to check. As it is, I go to the different ComiXology ones each week to see what’s free, or on sale, and now I find that my phone has 7 comics iApps, as well as two other comics as standalone icons. This needs to be consolidated for easier management by us, the users.

But until then, it is worth getting the Templesmith iApp because you can sample the first issue of Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse for free, and it’s certainly worth checking out. The rest of the issues for this title are a buck each, and that’s very good value.

The only drawback of IDW’s line of iApps is that they don’t have the ComiXology Guided View technique of displaying the page. People might complain about the way ComiXology send us through their pages but the alternative is the same as reading a PDF and so on your phone you have to swipe and zoom and then manually work through the panels of a page. Major pain in the ass, to be honest.

Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

I’ve only just now been catching up on this show. Give me a break, I live in Australia and so entertainment, especially TV, is always behind. I’m digging it, that’s for sure. The animation is smooth, the writing is good, and I love that the story is continuing, so threads get picked up later. That’s a nice touch. Treating a cartoon like some longform show.

But the most impressive aspect of the show is that it’s finally making me like Hawkeye. I’ve never been much of a fan, before, but he’s a hell of a lot of fun in this.

Takio Preview

I’m not sure if I’m going to buy Takio or not, I don’t generally get a lot of Bendis work, but I have to agree with one thing about this Icon all ages venture – the price. It’s only ten bucks, that’s pretty damn fine. I’m hoping that sort of accessibility should make it a pretty decent seller. People always mourn that there’s nothing out there for kids anymore so this should fill that void.

I also dig that it's a graphic novel and not single issues. Means you can instantly buy this for a younger member of your family, or yourself, and it's good to go.

Daredevil MAX

While chatting with Tim Callahan over at CBR on his column When Words Collide about Daredevil, I threw out the idea that Daredevil would make for a fine MAX title. I stand by that assertion, his demeanour, his villains, and his world would make for an excellent title aimed at adults and able to completely cut loose. I would buy it in a heartbeat. Hell, I’d ever write it for free. And that got me thinking.

What other Marvel characters do you think should get the MAX treatment? Throw out a character, maybe even a short storyline pitch, in the comments below.


So, what’s on your mind this week? Anything to rant about. I had the death in Fantastic Four spoiled for me online, while moderating a comment here actually, so that sucked, but otherwise it’s been peaches and cream. I could have written a few of these as their own articles but I didn't want to write a bunch of short posts, hope you don't mind. Let me know if you’re faring better or worse.

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Danial said...

You know damn well that I'm going to say that Moon Knight should get a MAX title! The 2006 run came pretty damn close to being one as it was.

As far as Avengers go, I had the same reaction as you. I did like Hawkeye before, but now I think he's awesome! haha

Space Jawa said...

I'm in a similar situation with Avengers: EMH if you substitute Hawkeye for Wasp. Before, I never really cared about her much, but now she's one of my favorite characters in the show.

I also happen to be a Hathaway fan, so I'm also looking forward to seeing what happens with her Catwoman in the film.

One thing that I'm wondering about is this Infestation comic that seemingly came out of nowhere this week from IDW. You'd think that if someone was making some sort of semi-crossover comic connecting GI Joe, Transformers, Star Trek, and Ghostbusters, with some sort of inter-dimensional zombies as the connecting thread, there'd be a bit more effort to generate hype about it. As it is I only managed to notice the first issue on the shelf because of the cover art.

Josh said...

Thunderbolts MAX

Do I really even need to sell the idea? I mean, come on.

captain koma said...

Dude! I loved Starman, the shade, and Opal city. It so rocked I want to see a movie series on it. At the least the Sins of the father story and then a Shade spin off Origin movie

captain koma said...

Also Ryan you need to explain how it is being a comics person in Oz. The fact that channel NIEN showed Justice League at 3am

Matt Duarte said...

I've noticed the Thunderbolts tie-in thing too. To my knowledge, they've tied into...

House of M
Civil War
The Initiative
Secret Invasion
Dark Reign
Heroic Age

And that's without counting crossover with other titles, like with Deadpool and Avengers Academy.

On digital comics, I've stopped bothering with the iVerse apps (Comics+, IDW, and Archie ones), because they are a pain to read on an iPhone/iPod without the Guided View.

What you might want to do with the Comic apps that you don't use often (or the single comic ones), is create a folder and drop them all in there.

Eric Rupe said...

"People always mourn that there’s nothing out there for kids anymore so this should fill that void."

There's plenty of comics out there for kids it's just that they aren't superhero comics put out by Marvel and DC so the people who complain might not even know they exist or, if they did, they don't care because they don't care about anything that isn't put out by Marvel or DC.

The $10 price tag for 100 pages of content is a good for a Marvel comic but titles like Smile and Amulet go for $11 for a little over 200 pages of content. Takio isn't a bad deal but there are better ones out there.

As for Daredevil Max, no. If Frank Miller could have his highly regarded run when they majority of comics readers where still kids and teenagers then there doesn't need to be a MAX DD title.

Besides that, most of Marvel's characters are children's/all-ages characters and don't work well in the kind of "mature" stories that would be told in a MAX title. Yeah, Punisher can work but he's not an actual superhero to begin with.

No matter how much you would try to dress it up at the end of the day the story still features a character who got blinded as a child and gained a radar sense who runs around on roof tops at night in a red body suit with "DD" on his chest. Putting him in ultra-violent and juvenile "mature" stories just highlights the absurdity of superheroes that a way that undermines the whole genre most of the time.

Ivan said...

Agree with you on Anne Hathaway. And you know what? I think Clooney as Hush could be awesome, if Nolan could rein him in.


Haha, funny you should ask that, because I actually wrote a Hulk MAX pitch as an exercise (I know Marvel doesn't look at pitches from nobodies). I changed from gamma bomb to an experimental anabolic, and messed around with a few characters and their traits. You know what, I'll e-mail it to you so you can tell me what you think.

Steve said...

I'm pretty sure I like the casting announcements for The Dark Knight Rises. I was one of those folks who thought Heath Ledger as the Joker was a terrible choice that would ruin the film, and look at how that worked out. Until I see actual footage that makes me think otherwise, I completely trust Nolan to craft a quality film.

I've seen a few episodes of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, and I've been impressed. I don't get the channel it airs on, so I confess I've been watching them online and have been limited to the few episodes I can find for free. That means I haven't seen any Hawkeye episodes, which bums me out because I love the character and was looking forward to seeing his portrayal in this medium. I second that Wasp has been a bit of a breakout star.

I think Yost and crew have been handling the writing very well so far. With such a large pool of characters to draw from, it would be easy for them to pack in tons of cameos--and I'd be lying if I said that on some level I don't want just that. Hell, if I wrote an episode, I'd probably try to squeeze in D-Man, Stingray, Black Knight, Hercules, Tigra, and Arachne. I imagine that over time we'll see some more familiar faces (it was neat that Wonderman got some screentime, although I wasn't crazy about his portrayal), but I like that they're taking it slow, fleshing out the main cast, and giving each member plenty of moments to shine.

The biggest news for me this week though is this damned snow. For the past three or four years, I've bought exclusively trades. It's been ages since I've felt the Wednesday rush or the begrudging satisfaction that can only come from a well-written cliffhanger. This Wednesday, however, I had planned on making my first trip to the LCS in years for one very special issue. And it wasn't Fantastic Four.

I'm dying to get my hands on Age of X: Alpha. Age of Apocalypse is my favorite comic story of all time (admittedly due in no insignificant part to the nostalgia factor), so I dig alternate reality tales. I generally love Carey's work, Clay Mann is one of my favorite artists, and his character designs have been largely fantastic. Hopefully I'll be able to make it out tomorrow to get the first chapter of the story that's made me a monthly buyer again.

twobitspecialist said...

Wow. Eric's back.

Also, I didn't know the Thunderbolts were getting involved in the Scorched Earth arc (is it in their book or Hulk's?). But you're right. I think they are the perfect team to get involved in every crossover and event. I fully expect them to show up in Fear Itself.

Nick said...

You should seriously read the second Starman omnibus. It's much more of an appreciation of the Golden age of the DCU. The Sands and Stars arc won a well deserved Eisner. It's phenomenal.

Fenris said...

re: "mostly I just want to see Talia Al Ghul in the movie. It seems like the logical step to close this trilogy off."

I disagree. The movie version of Ra's al Ghul is quite different from the comic version, so Talia probably doesn't even exist (the replacement Ra's was also called Ra's, remember?) And I'd hate for Nolan to do "The Dark Knight Returns". These films have told the best Batman stories in recent years in any medium – ORIGINAL stories (with nods to existing ones of course). Here's hoping Nolan sticks to that. In any case, I have complete faith that the third film will be as fine as its predecessors.

Ryan K Lindsay said...

@Eric - I can see that looking at DD's history a MAX title might feel a little redundant, as did the Noir book they put out. DD has a long history of death, woman beatings, suicide, and other such adult fare. All in a 'kids' comic.

And I don't want some immature version of an adults only tale - but I wouldn't mind something along the quality of Alias or the Punisher Max books. Permission to really cut loose would interest me, if written well. I think Daredevil's world, and his rogues, would make for great fodder in this environment.

Oh, and I completely agree with you about all ages comics. I was saying people mourn them, not tha they aren't there. My store is great at having a kids section so you can see all the stock that is available.

@others - yes, I will read the second omnibus of Starman. I'll do it for you. I'll let you know how I go.

@Ivan - I'm still waiting for that email. Send it through, mate.

@Josh - good call, man, good call.

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