Saturday, March 25, 2006

Comic Book Movies

In "honor" of V for Vendetta being a success in my mind, I thought about typing list of my top 10 favorite comic book adaptations. I'll list them in order from best to next to best.

1) Batman Begins
2) Hulk
3) Superman & Superman 2
4) V for Vendetta
5) X2: X-Men United
6) Batman Returns
7) Spiderman 2
8) Batman '89
9) Road to Perdition
10) X-Men

The tricky thing is that this list is limited to American comic movies only. If extended this list out to manga adaptations to movies the list would be larger and more competative in my mind (Japanese movies, mind you. I'm still waiting on preproduction of James Cameron's Battle Angel).

Some people would be quick to point out that Sin City is surprisingly absent from my list. While I really enjoyed the movie, and think it is probably the best thing Frank Miller has made in his genre, the movie wasn't an adaptation. What Sin City in fact was, in my mind, was a direct translation of media. For that, the movie is in a category all its own.

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Been a while...

Been a while since I last posted. Health issues and such keeping me from various things I put on a lower priority, such as these weblogs. I didn't post last week about comics that came out, and instead of trying to backpedal and cover them as well, I'll just stick with this week.

Best of this Week: Robin #148
I think this will be tagged 'the Search for Cassandra' by people, expecially after the way Batgirl ended, and the OYL startup for Birds of Prey. There is a real mystery here thanks to the jump forward, and I am fully invested. Cassandra is alive, it seems, and is staying way under the Bat-radar for some reason. Robin is now wanted to murder. Batman is...accepting of opinions? Tim is proving to be stronger and stronger of a leader, much like Dick. I also want to know more about this bonding trip to Budapest Bruce took Tim and Dick on, becuase it seemed to work wonders.

Second Best of the Week: Catwoman #53
Lots of homages to Earth2, and pulled off well. Holly is going to make a fun Catwoman, getting stuck in bad situations and getting herself out of them. Also, the image of Batman holding a teddy bear will never leave my mind - it is burned in there. (yes, Kal, the father has every right to give his daughter a gift, but it looks really out of character).

So, what else was good? Well, I'll refer briefly refer back to last week to Birds of Prey #92. Refering, of course, to my feelings of 'holy crap Society guy defecting with info? What the...Lady Shiva is alive? Cassandra didn't kill her, so she's still ok! Dinah is getting schooled, but it is strangely touching. Wait, Shiva isn't the new member advertised? Sleathed?' So, yeah, that would have been my pick for last week's best.

Also, Batman #651 was a fairly good issue. I like how smooth the teamwork has become thanks to that retreat in Budapest, that I hope gets explained at some point (likely near the end of 52). I also find it interesting how the covers are building up to a big poster, but that's a whole different realm of interest. The story is decent, and broken up well episodically. I don't really know who the villain that was killed in this issue was though, as opposed to Detective #817

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Batman Begins and Possible Telegraphed Sequel Ideas

Anyone keeping up with the sequel talk for Batman Begins knows any of the many rumors of who will appear in the next film. If not, the two main candidates are Harvey Dent and the Joker. Knowing how well they did Batman Begins, I feel very safe with anything the decide to do. I mean, come on, Batman Begins earned over 250mil at box office and was nominated for an Oscar - you can't say they were on the wrong path.

Anyway, as of right now the only official word on the sequel is that a number of the main characters are locked in thanks to contracts (primarily Christian Bale and Michael Caine). I just figured out a very important suggection as to where they are going plot wise, and possibly the origin to the rumors of Dent and Joker.

The Delux Edition set of Batman Begins that is available has a chopped together collection of various comic stories showcasing the early years of Bruce Wayne and Batman, very much in line with the movie. It is small, but it is a nice companion piece. The three main stories are each origin stories.

One of the many Batman origin stories, which is more comprehensive of the previous stories.

One is the story that would later become twisted into the origin story for the Joker. It isn't quite the revised tale of the Red Hood as told in the Killing Joke, but it is the (Pre-Crisis) story of the chemical plant heist that went wrong for that poor ganster that fell over a rail into an acid vat. This story had no bearing on Batman Begins in any form, other than simply having Batman in it.

The next story is the first chapter of The Long Halloween, which has relevence on Batman Begins. It introduces Carmine Falcone and his mob network, as well appearances of Batman and Catwoman. As much as I would like Selina Kyle to make a cameo inthe film, the real item to note is that The Long Halloween is basically the grand origin of Two-Face.

Could this be WB giving a subtle nudge to the public as to where the franchise is headed plotwise into the next movie? Joker is obviously the fan favorite, but the interconnected plot of Falcone and Harvy Dent is just two easy a plot for the sequel. In my mind they are just telegraphing where they are going with the mini graphic novel they included.

If they do in fact have Joker in a film and continue the novella tie in they had with Begins, what would they include? The Killing Joke is a bit too mature for a wide audience (think of those poor kids!) so I suppose they will do something like the first story with the Joker in it (Batman #1 I think). If they do Harvey Dent we'll just have to wait and see, but my guess is the chapter of The Long Halloween which Dent gets splashed in the face with the acid.

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Comic Run 3-8

Not much came out this week that I have pulled, and it wasn't that impressive of a draw either.

Best of this Week - Transformers: Infiltration #3
Like I said, not much came out and surprisingly this was the best issue that came out in my opinion. That isn't saying it is bad - quite the contrary. I feel the story is really starting to shape itself up to a decent story. There is a lot happening behind the scenes apparently, and we are only now getting a glimpse of what potentially is happening. The scale of the battle is slowly having the curtains drawn back, and the personal stakes for the characters are taking form.

I'm still turned off at how they are trying to create their own continuity, but I feel like it is finally taking shape. The new designs are nice (mainly just minor updates to modern vehicles and such). I really like Bubblebee's new look, mainly becuase it looks like he actually transformed from a VW bug. I also like the style of the Decepticons, becuase now they actually feel like their name has substance. They are really pulling strings behind the scenes and are using hit-and-run tactics to keep themselves out of wide view of the world - deception and stealth just as their name suggests.

Second Best of the Week - Batman and the Monster men #5
Really good issue, but the series has been good nonstop. I really like how this oozes the old-school Batman feel and wish there was more Batman like this. The plot continues to chug along and full speed complete with some of the last minute twists. I also really liked the moment with the unveiling of the Batmobile and the dialogue between Bruce and Alfred over its look.

Surprise of the Week - Teen Titans #33
This title has been fairly good since it began, and had really good moments like the Titans Tomorrow arch, which is mentioned in this issue. However, I belive this issue would be one where many would cry out that the series has 'jumped the shark'. This issue's entire plot could have easily been condensed without the internal monologues copied from Superman/Batman in one of the issues of Infinite Crisis, or began the arch at the end of issue 5 and continued it in 6 like they are doing with other sub plots.

I'm sure there are a number of fangirls out there in the wired that enjoyed seeing Superboy stripping Nightwing out of his old suit after he was blasted back into icy waters, but I'm no fangirl. I will, however, give it points for lots of exploding Earths in the sky. It is indeed an awesome site as a backdrop, but doesn't make up for the totally wasted Teen Titans issue.

Also my reorder for Batgirl #73 came in finally. As sad as I am to see the conclusion to one of my more favorite characters and titles, I have to admit it was one very good issue. I really hope there is a good future for Cassandra in the DCU, but her smirk in the aftermath makes me seriously worry.

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

X-Men 3 trailer reactions

So yeah, the first actual trailer for X-Men 3 came out. I must say that it is looking quite average. I should also add what that means.

See, I'm with the camp that has serious doubts of Ratner living up to the legacy of the films set up by Singer. Though the make up jobs have looks fairly good, I have read spoilers about the story. Becuase of that, I have had serious worries about the movie and the plot points they are going with in the movie.

For the most part I have had a somewhat poor impression of how it will turn out. Sure, the action in the teaser looked good. The special effects are obviously cg to me, which kind of turns me off. The Beast was obviously being pulled by wires when he jumped, if that was him.

Juggernaught is a point many people are ticked off with. He's a favorite of mine along with Magneto, Mistique, Nightcrawler, and Rogue. I personally like the fact that he is made "normal" size, but I am really worried about how effective he will be in the movie. I have seen shots of his wrinkly muscle suit, but I'm thinking it won't be as noticible the Thing's suit. I have more issues with the effect of the walls crumbling in the trailer as he's chasing (shadowcat?).

Most of what I know about X-Men comes from these movies and the two animated shows, so I'm likely more open to this movie than actual fans that read the comics. The trailer does promise to be a really intense action movie, but I'm still worried it won't have the "heart" that was present in the first two.

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Weekly Comic Run

This week has been crazy. Was sick for a couple of days, and the good days were heavy with work (almost every day we were past production goals - very good thing). I did make it to the comic shop for the weekly pull, and am thinking of going about reviewing the comics a bit differently...

Best of the Week - Adventure of Superman #649
The conclusion to the Superman/Superman tie in to Infinite Crisis was really impressive, more so than Infinite Crisis #5 in many ways. It had far more of an epic feel than anything else that came out this week.

Second Best - Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #5
Everyone with a ring standing together to blast a sun as feedback to destroy the hive? I think that's pretty awe inspriring - and that is what the Green Lanterns are about, am I not right? With all that has happened in this miniseries, I have high hopes for the ongoing Corps series.

Surprisingly good - Batman: Secrets #1
I'm a fan of The Maxx, and this has a very similar vibe. The art is gritty and the style is surreal, and it works in my mind. The plot is a bit all over the place, but based on what I know of The Maxx it will wrap up in the end very well.

Quick reviews of the rest of the pull...

Infinite Crisis #5
Still good, but seeing as how there wasn't as much action it felt a bit slow. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy plot advancement, but this issue is more than likely the calm before the story. Loved the Red Son glimpse and the return of Htrae.

Batman Annual #25
I understand what they were trying to explain as the return of Jason Todd, but it still feels very forced to me. I really liked the extreme circumstances Jason had to go through, especially the zombie style they used. It really drove home the resurection he went through and the unnaturalness of it.

Detective Comics #817
One year later already? Well, it was basically a giant teaser for the Batman side of the DCU for the events that will happen during 52. Felt like nothing really happened, a lot of past tense references for the future. Also, Robin has a new outfit and I'm not sure I like it. Still there are really interesting events to look forward to.

I also picked up Spawn #153 to check out the comic. Really impressed with the art, but I think that's what one of the main draws of the comic. I have no idea what's going on, or who half the characters are, but I am really intrigued as to what is happening. Looking into collected volumes of previous issues, but my comic fund is getting stretched thin as it is.

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