Thursday, June 29, 2006

Superman Returns...To Star In A Chick Flick

I wish I knew how ta quit you

What if Jesus was a superhero? What if the devil, bald? What if you combined Superman with The Notebook?

Ok, there was a lot of things to love. The special effects were great. The reverence for Richard Donner's Superman and Superman II was appreciated. But there was just something...missing.

After I got over the feeling of a watching a new Superman movie in 2006 that didn't involve Richard Pryor (R.I.P.) or Nuclear Man, I felt very detached from the movie.

I enjoyed all the scenes of Superman being...well Superman. Saving people, cheering crowds. The plane crash scene was amazing and I can't wait to see that in IMAX 3D but then it lost it's way and became a chick flick.
  • Brandon Routh was Clark Kent. His Superman was okay. He wasn't bad but he lacked the earnest humor than Christopher Reeve brought to the role. Don't feel bad, Brandon. Reeve is an impossible act to follow - we're talking the best comic character brought to life ever. When there are enough comic book movies around that there are comic book movie awards and there is a lifetime achievement award, it will be called The Christopher Reeve Award of Excellence (or something like that). You know who would have made a great Superman...
  • So there's the scene where Clark is back at the Daily Planet and Lois introduces him to her boyfriend, Richard, who was played by James Marsden (For the guys, Cyclops from the X-Men films; for the women, the guy Rachel McAdams wrongfully cheats on in The Notebook). As the camera turns to him, I was like "Wow, he should have been Superman." The right build, he's tall, he looks like Christopher Reeve so it wouldn't have been a weird transition, and he's pretty good at playing morally uptight square guys. Major blunder to cast a guy who would be better suited to play Superman, Mr. Singer.
  • This is probably the best acting job I've ever seen Kate Bosworth do...but she still wasn't right as Lois Lane. I mean, she got the reporter thing down but she lacked Lois' spunk. If this is a direct sequel to the Richard Donner films, Lois was a "I don't take shit from anyone" woman and Margot Kidder played it perfectly. This is the same woman who hit the gun when her and Clark were being mugged, snuck into the Eiffel Tower to spy on terrorists by hanging on the bottom of a elevator and jumped into a river because she was so convinced that Clark was Superman. I didn't feel like Kate Bosworth's Lois would have done any of that.
  • Welcome back, Kevin Spacey. How I've missed you. These are the kind of roles that we fell in love with Kevin Spacey for. Not that The Shipping News/Pay It Forward crap. I want Spacey the mean funny sardonic asshole that blew my mind in Swimming With Sharks. I hope this is a good sign for the future and not a blip in the current spiraling of your career.
  • Frank Langella sucked as Perry White. He had some great lines but lacked the energy and fire an editor of the number one paper in Metropolis should have.
  • Why cast Kal Penn (Kumar from Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle) and give him one line and just have him be a nameless henchman? What a waste. Maybe he's friends with Bryan Singer.
  • The movie was way too long. I'm almost getting tired of saying this about movies. It was King Kong too long. It dragged like a busted muffler. Why is Hollywood afraid to make a 90-105 minute movie? Seriously. Is there some sort of research I missed that said America likes it's movies dragged out and as long as possible?
  • I don't like this Superman as Jesus shit that seemed to be implied in the movie. The term 'savior' got thrown around too much. Superman is not Jesus. Superman, at least in my opinion, is a alien who was raised as a human with a good moral code who is just doing "the right thing" because he has the ability to. He's not here to "save us", just here to help.
  • I don't think they can (or should) do a sequel. It's hard doing Superman stories (which is why the comic has sucked for quite some time). There's three types of successful Superman stories (all of which have been used in the movies): 1) Superman faces off against someone equal in strength to him (II, III, IV), 2) Superman faces off against Lex Luthor or a villain with Kryptonite (I, III, Returns) or 3) Superman is put to the limits of his power by trying to be in two places at once (I, Returns).
  • I find it hard to believe that Superman would just up and leave for five years. Sorry, someone with THAT strong a moral code would not do that. Of course, he also wouldn't make a move (however slight) on a woman with a boyfriend so what do I know?
  • Before I talk about the spoiler stuff, the whole Clark Kent works with a bunch of reporters and is in love with the best reporter in the city and no one can put together that Clark Kent and Superman returned on the exact same day (only Lois's kid kinda caught on). It would have been one thing if Clark came back and a couple of days later, Superman showed up or vice versa. But THE SAME DAY! C'mon.
Okay on to more spoiler-ish stuff.
  • Ok, at the end of the movie, Superman lifts the humogous crystal city that Lex Luthor created and threw it into space. Not into the sun but into space. Um, I'm not scientist but won't that huge landmass become a meteorite that will destroy one of our neighboring planets. Way to think it through, Kal-El.
  • Also, won't those remaining crystals be a problem?
  • By giving a Superman a kid, Bryan Singer has taken the mythology of Superman and Da Vinci Code-d it.
  • I'm not mad about the whole kid thing. It was a cool twist. I wish DC had the balls to do something like this in the comics. The Superman story is legendary. You have to create some twists and turns to keep it fresh. But still, Superman has x-ray vision & super hearing, he didn't know she was pregnant before he left.
  • How do you end a Superman movie without him bringing Lex Luthor to justice? That was just lame.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Dear Marvel Zombies

I despise you. No, this isn't a rant about D.C. vs. Marvel. No, this isn't about how you give Joey Q more time than you give your mother on the phone. No, this isn't a rant about how you'd pay to toss Bendis's salad. Shit, I WOULD TOSS BENDIS'S SALAD, TOO. I prefer syrup.

No, this is a rant about the shit you're giving Marvel over the Spidey unmasking. Among all of the internet crying I hear about how Spidey outing himself to the world ("OH MY GOD! Spider-man's GAY?" was my fiancee's reaction when I told her) the number one argument I hear against Spider-man putting it on himself to do the one thing he fears anyone doing to him is this:


Now, anyone that as been reading Spidey in the last five years should know that this decision has been a long time coming. And let's be honest with ourselves, people. Green Goblin knows Spider-man is Peter Parker. All of Green Goblin's kids, bastard and otherwise, know that Spider-man is Peter Parker. The Scorpion (who now has the Venom symbiote) knows Spider-man is Peter Parker. One of Jerry's Kids that sits in his wheelchair on a rooftop all day until his family wheels him back inside for dinner knows who Spider-man is. Aunt May knows. Mary Jane knows. All of The Avengers know.

Mary Jane has been hinting for years that she would prefer Peter to go public. This is proof that comic fans have no long-lasting interaction with women. If we did, then we would ALL know that a broad that hot could get Dr. Strange to take up pulling Batman's giant penny from behind kid's ears at birthday parties. A broad that hot could get a Watcher to come down on the field, throw a flag, and demand an instant replay. Hell, A broad that hot could make Electro heterosexual again.

But lemme get back to the point. It's against character? I didn't hear any of you fuckers that tought Cap was acting against character by going underground complaining then. You thought it kicked ass. By the way, Cap wasn't even acting against character. Know how I know? Because Cap always kicks ass.

You guys need to draw the difference between a favorite character of yours making a decision you don't like and someone "acting against character". If you haven't noticed, Spidey has been slowly changing for a few years now. But that's a whole 'nother blog. (Editor's Note: Stay tuned for Invisiblist's blog on JMS's Spidey run coming soon!) He's a teacher. He's an active Avenger. He has fuckin spikes coming out of his arms, a robotic costume, and he's Tony Stark's fuckin doughboy. And that's just fine by me. Know why? My favorite part of how Marvel Comics has done things since I've been reading is their character development.

Ah, yes. Character development. You might define character development as "the catalyst to fanboy's anger; usually involving a character doing something that no fanboy predicted on any message board anywhere". I like to define it as "OH SHIT!" Whether I like how a character develops or not, I like to see characters I love grow. I have no desire to see any comicbook character that I mess with stay stagnant in their views or attitudes for too long. You know what my favorite parts of "The Other" were? First, when Spidey killed that robot guy in Stark Tower. (What was his name? Tracer?) Sure, the guy turned out to be a robot, but Peter didn't know that. It showed the state of mind that Peter was really in. The other was when he ATE MORLUN'S FACE. Why were they my favorite parts? Because they showed how serious the situation was.

If comic characters never "went against character" as you guys call it, they wouldn't be worth reading. Cap woulda never had one of his most important arcs ever. You know, the Nixon one. Daredevil woulda never became Kingpin. (Y'all didn't complain about that one, either.) Serious situations that showed the true nature of the characters.

I don't know what you people want. I don't envy Bendis, Millar, JMS, Quesada, Whedon or any of the other guys at Marvel that worked on Civil War. From the reactions I'm reading to Civil War #2, you guys want to be able to figure out what's gonna happen with your favorite character before all your internet buddies do. Is that what you drop three bucks every month for? To see if you're right? BOOOOOOO. I drop my three bucks every month to see what happens, to be amazed, to be surprised, to jerk off to how McNiven draws She-Hulk (and how Frank Cho draws Mary Jane and Black Cat, and how Jim Lee draws Psylocke, and how Quesada draws Black Widow.....but that's a whole 'nother blog*), and most IMPORTANTLY, to check in with my friends Peter, Steve, Tony, and Nick to see how they're doing. If they don't make a decision I like, it was their decision to make.

But hey, if you guys want predictable, you should just go read D.C. Or House of M.

(*Editor's Note: The Prep Time Posse will not be allowing a future blog on Invisiblist's masturbatory habits. It hits just a little too close to home for most of us.)

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Pocket Change

"The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be."
- Isaac Asimov, "My Own View" in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

Congratulations, Joe Queseda*.

You have finally torn the internet in two.

If you go to any comic book forum, you'll see people doing the internet equivalent of rioting.

I am going to try to talk about "it" without talking about "it".

Greg Hatcher over at Comics Should Be Good wrote a great piece regarding Spider-Man and the two types of fans:

Here'’s the thing. There'’s two groups of fans reading superhero comics right now, the illusion-of-change fans and the real-change fans, and each one is absolutely convinced that the other group is going to destroy their beloved superheroes. And it terrifies them, because they both love comics fiercely, and neither can stand the idea that they might get taken away. So each group is constantly yelling at the other to for Christ'’s sake STOP it, d'you have any idea what you're doing? I suspect that this underlies a lot of that free-floating fan anger out there. This is why so many comic book message boards have the social niceties of Mad Max'’s Thunderdome.

The illusion-of-change people are looking at it this way: I discovered DC and Marvel at ___ age and it changed my life, these characters are great, timeless icons, new readers need to be able to discover them the way I did, why are they so hell-bent on ruining them when they do stuff like make Spider-Man an armored Avenger or marry off Superman to Lois Lane or… (fill in your own premise-altering Real Change here)… comics are already practically incomprehensible to new readers, the base is going to keep shrinking, pretty soon there’s only going to be about six people reading DC and Marvel, they’re KILLING COMICS!

The real-change people, on the other hand, probably came into comics sometime in the late 80’s or so. Post-Crisis, let’s say. Real change is what they’re used to. It’s what they have come to expect. Their tastes were formed by Chris Claremont on the X-Men, or Peter David on the Hulk, or Alan Moore on whoever. These were guys that specialized in real changes that often completely changed the premise of whatever strip they were working on. So the real-change people think: Damn, why is it that superhero publishers are so cowardly! Quit with the retcons already! Dead is dead! Show some guts! Comics are finally starting to Grow Up! They’re not for kids any more! We don’t need to worry about some mythical eight-year-old coming into the comics store, you idiots, there’s no one under twenty in any comics store I’ve ever been in! You let these old-school geezers hit the reset button all the time like they want to and they’ll be KILLING COMICS!

Now, lately I have found myself in the "real-change" ilk. I like when the status quo is thrown out the window and we get to go in a completely new direction.

Think how huge it was when Gwen Stacy died (shortly after dropping off her twins she had after a booty call with Norman Osborn to Canada) or Jean Grey died (the first time) or when Superman died (you think we would have figured out he was coming back when they didn't cancel any of his titles) or when Jason Todd was killed by The Joker (Stop punching the fabric of reality, Superboy Prime!).

No, she's okay. Tis' but a scratch

These are things that changed our favorite characters forever.

I like change.

It seems to be comic book canon that nothing can happen to change the status quo of Spider-Man, Batman or Superman. They are the untouchables.

Or things can happen, but they can always been undone.

Only Spider-Man seems to have lasting changes but that's what we (or at least, I) love about Spider-Man as a character.

Granted, you want them to remain the same so future generations will know what you loved about them.

Well, that's what the trades are for.

I just don't want to spend however long I read comics to be spent seeing the same stories over and over again.

Superman defeats Lex Luthor, he goes to prison, gets out, rinse, wash, repeat.

Batman and Robin defeat The Joker/Penguin/Two-Face, send them to Arkham, they escape, rinse, wash, repeat.

For the last time!!!
(Until the next time)

Spider-Man faces the Green Goblin/Dr. Octopus/The Vulture, loses the first time, contemplates on a rooftop, defeats them (they never really go to prison in Spidey books), rinse, wash, repeat.

Look! It's Spider-Man unmasked!
Why isn't anyone looking up!?!
Oh, World Cup is on. Did Brazil win?

I think the big reveal of Civil War #2 could have been done better (If you didn't read Amazing Spider-Man #533, it really makes this whole thing go down Pepto Bismol), but I'm glad it happened.

Because now I don't know what the future holds and I like it that way**.

Now, if Lois would just get pregnant already. What an unsatisfying marriage this must be for her. At least, Spidey's boys can swim.

* For all the trouble Marvel went to protecting this secret you think you would have kept a copy of this comic out of the hands of the newspapers. Or at least issued a press embargo like they do with TV shows like Lost and 24 where secrets and surprises are everything.

** Unless, of course, the second Queseda's tenure as EIC ends (or by the end of
Civil War knowing Queseda), they find a way to undo Marvel and DC always seem to do. I think the funniest thing and the biggest sign of how the fans see Marvel and DC these days is not that people are up in arms but that they are already thinking how they will "undo" this.

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Are you reading New X-Men?

I wasn’t either until I splurged on the series this past week. I was waiting on my Preacher trades but they hadn’t arrived yet; I impulsively copped the latest issue of the Kyle/Yost/Brooks/Medina run and every one back to issue #20. Now, I can’t pinpoint what initially dragged me into this book. It quite possibly had a lot to do with a recent article I read in my bible, Wizard. As I glimpsed the cover and flipped through the pages of the latest issue (#27), all I could remember from the article was a line saying, “no one is safe in the post-HOM X-Men world.”

I love reading comics where characters get popped left and right and you truly have no clue as to what may transpire next. With that said, I was also a bit skeptical going into this book; X-23, Wolverine’s sister, was in the cast. From the jump, I always viewed her as a cheap gimmick…I was wrong! She is dope and her peers are amazing as well. Any comic that stars a Muslim mutant automatically commands my attention too.

In this case, Dust a.k.a. Sooraya, the Muslim mutant that Wolverine rescued in Afghanistan during Morrison’s classic run, also stars. The cast is rounded out by Surge ( a teen chick with electrical powers who rocks metal gauntlets), Hellion (Emma’s puppet and all around prick), Rockslide (a Latin version of The Thing with detachable limbs and a penchant for clowning mofos), Forge (Storm’s ex-boy toy), Emma Frost (who is 10 times more of a fucked-up head case than she is in Astonishing), Elixir (another dude that is a few fries short of a Happy Meal and has a death touch), Mercury (another chick that sticks close to Hellion) and a few other teen outcasts that get murked over the course of the story.

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As aforementioned, hella heads catch bullets, RPGs and straight-up violent deaths in this book. A lot of people may consider the violence to be gratuitous but in this case, it fits. The over-the-top and incredibly dramatic deaths illustrate just how dangerous the Marvel Universe is for mutants and it also moves the grand story ahead with logical leaps of awe.

Pre-HOM, the mutant population numbered in the millions, they were running things and the powers-that-be were powerless against them. Things have changed; the mutant population has been kicked in the face with a steel-toed boot and reduced to nearly 198.

Many of the mutants sought refuge and safety amongst their own, while others disappeared into society desperately seeking to conceal their “cursed genes.” Those that stuck together made the wrong decision; everybody who wants to off a mutie can now find a bunch of them in one place and kill 10 birds with one stone. That is what the Reverend William Stryker does, how he gets there is easily one of the most intriguing and brilliantly executed plotlines I have ever read in modern comics.

Without giving too much away, the future is revealed to him. As a result, he saves a few people’s lives from certain doom and recruits them into his crusade…they think he is the Hand of God. This “God” is batshit crazy though, he stockpiles weapons, tortures mutant teenagers, worships a one-armed, hot pink robot and puts bullets into the heads of innocent minorities. He is a bigot, a sociopath and a herald. He is also one of the best villains to receive the revamp-treatment in comics. He will fuck you up if you are a mutant; man, woman, baby or child..he doesn’t discriminate!

Case in point, once M-Day strikes, boatloads of mutants lose their powers and revert to being homosapiens. Powerless, they can’t defend themselves any longer. Stryker takes advantage of this as Emma forces them out of the mutant safe house that is Xavier's. What goes down next is a scene pulled straight out of the Middle East, specifically Israel by way of the Gaza Strip.

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Shit goes from bad to worse as Stryker’s army encroaches upon the grounds. They dismantle the security force O*N*E, that is protecting the small enclave with massive Sentinels. They raid the mansion, blood gets spilled by the bucket-loads and the outnumbered teens must muster up what little strength they have in reserve and fight to live. Hell has once again come to the X-Men; things only look to get much worse as the God’s God springs to life with a directive that will inevitably result in more brutal murders and gruesome inflictions of terror…

Back to the cast though, they simply rule. The writing is very sharp and has distinguished these X-Men from their numerous and ageless counterparts. That’s not an easy task but is carried out flawlessly in this book. The characters have more depth than the Mariana’s Trench, the dialogue is great and they are relatable. The angst seeps from their motionless mouths and you, the reader, truly feel the horrors that plague their young and scarred lives. New X-Men is one of the most slept-on books in the medium…WAKE THE FUCK UP! This title has everything a comic book reader yearns for.

The art is chock-full of vibrant colors and neck-snapping motion, the war is on and things look bleak. What a great goddamned read, I’m hooked! You will be too. New X-Men is violent, hip, emo, hardcore, horrifying, loaded with Danger Cave semantics, smart, intelligent and funny. It is the quintessential X-Men book so strap on your Kevlar, load a few full clips into your 9 and seek it out via shelter. Be careful though, death is on the horizon and it's coming for you, mutie scum!

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Dear Diary

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Today I got my's Thursday! Fuck your holidays, nobody cares. Anyway, I felt like blogging today so I carried my recorder with me to the shop. Then I got an idea, I should interview the homeless guy that lives in front of my shop about comics. Brilliant! So I did, then I'm like, "fuck, I forgot my digital camera!" Motherbitches. Whatever though, I'll just throw in some random flick, hence: Larry's grill.

Without further adieu, here is my interview with Spike and a random crackhead on a Capitol Hill street corner. This is an uncensored interview so cover your ears childrens!

The cast:

Me (your intrepid reporter)
Spike (our resident man on the street)


The Super Sexy Beast Justin


Me: (To Spike) Basically, who are your favorite superheroes?

Spike: Homeless people.

(Shazam! Crackhead dude strolls up, gives Spike dap and sits down.)

Crackhead: (laughs)

Me: Why are homeless people your favorite superheroes?

Crackhead: (Still laughing and mumbling)

Me: (To Crackhead) That's sick dude.

Crackhead: (stops laughing and looks at me) Have you ever been homeless?

Spike: (interrupts menacing Crackhead) Because we're all crazy.

(We all laugh hysterically and I get nervous)

Me: Moving on, are the police the homeless peoples' villains?

Spike: Yes.

(Crackhead stands up and bounces out)

Me: (To Spike) If you could have any superpower in the world, what would you have?

(Awkward long pause)

Me, again: Anything? Ya' know like mind-control or the ability to pull all the ladies and shit...

Spike: I'd grow marijuana.

(Both of us are laughing out of control)

Me: Oh yeah! Alright man, that's sick! Uh, what else...oh yeah and what would your superhero name be?

Spike: Spike.

(Both of us laugh again)

Me: Alright Spike, thanks alot. (I hand him two dollars and bounce)

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