Thursday, October 11, 2007

A new Cap

Today, Writer Ed Brubaker announced that there will be a new Captain America unveiled in issue #34 of Captain America. Marvel isn't telling who will be the next Cap, but they've been adamant about how there must be a new one. They did say, however, that it won't be Steve Rogers. According to Marvel, Steve Rogers is dead and will stay that way.

Issue #34 will be out in January 2008. To check out Marvels official announcement, click here.

Painter Alex Ross, who very recently made his return to Marvel Comics, will be in charge of crating the look and design of the new Captain America's uniform.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

New Avengers #35- The Hoods rise to power.

Ever heard of Parker Robbins, AKA The Hood? If you haven't, then look him up. He's the name on the tip of everyones tongue in the Marvel Universe, and he's quite possibly the best new idea to come out of comics in years. The Hood is a normal man who, through some stroke of luck, discovers a mysterious robe and a pair of boots that give him super powers. The boots allow him to walk on air, and the robe has the power to make him invisible when he holds his breath. The robe does more than that however, Parker Robbins simply just doesn't know all of his own power yet. And this is the charm to the character. He's not superman, he can be killed. He can be hurt and he can be beat, but he never loses. At least not yet. He's just a normal guy, making it up as he goes along, so he's easy to relate to.

The New Avengers arc has pretty much become the Hoods playground, as it's shown the Hoods rise to power in New York City. With the Kingpin kicked out of the country (Thanks to Daredevil) the underground of New York City is up for grabs. This arc shows Parker Robbins claiming it for his own. The past two issues have had the Hood as almost a subplot to other storylines, but in this issue the Hood is numeral uno. Almost all the action somehow ties into him. Writer Brian Bendis has done a great job not only continuing off of Brian K. Vaughns character but even making him better.
There's nothing better in comics than a well done diabolical villain. Now, if only he and Daredevil could go at it someday...

Spider-mans "One More day"- My 2 cents

What the hell is going on here? Aunt May got shot 8 months ago at the end of Spider-mans Civil War arc. Watching Peter Parker on the brink of insanity fighting for his Aunt's life isn't a bad idea, and it wasn't throughout the "Back in Black" arc. But "One More Day" is a new arc peddling the same story. Artist/Marvel Editor Joe Quesada (Who simply has no business drawing Spider-man, at least in my opinion) has promised, or at least hinted at, some very big changes coming to Peter Parkers life through this arc. Changes such as MJ and Parker getting divorced, or seperating. Changes like Aunt May possibly dieing. The only problem? Most of this is the same drama Spidey fans have been reading for the past 8 months. Quesada seems to have a vendetta against the Parker marraige because he's been very honest about his belief that it only hurts Spider-man as a character. Something a lot of fans would disagree with.

"One More Day" was built up to be one of the biggest Spidey stories told in years, but so far its just been boring and melodramatic. Parker will do anything to save aunt May, got it. He's pissed off and on the edge, got it. Comic book readers aren't stupid, but writer J. Micheal Stracynski is treating us like we are. He's now beaten us over the head with the same themes and story for almost a year.

The absolute worst part about "One more day" is the fear that Quesada and JMS might go through with some of there changes. Parkers marraige doesn't have to end, Aunt May's death would just be pointless, and finally, nobody actually cares if Parkers willing to kill or not.

Friday, September 28, 2007

World War Hulk #4

World War Hulk #4 continues Marvels big Summer event and although the serie4s has presented some solid action and very good fight scenes, there's something very annoying about this series.

In Planet Hulk, we saw the Hulk at peace, living in a world where he finally belonged and living with a woman who finally accepted him. But it was all taken away from him due to a bomb set in place by some of Marvels heroes. Hulk returned with a heart full of rage and wants revenge on the heroes. All of this is fine and dandy but the writing has done a poor job of showing the Hulk as a tragic character. He doesn't come off sad about his world being destroyed, he barely even looks like he cares. To put it simply, the Hulk looks like a bully. He's just beating the crap out of Marvels heroes and not even relating to the pain there feeling.

The worst part of it all however is the fact that the ending of this series was foreseeable from the first issue. It hasn't been kept secret, The Sentry has been lurking in every issue of this comic and we all know the last issue features a final battle between the Hulk and the Sentry. A battle that the Sentry will surely win. I'm hoping the last issue surprises me and throws a curve-ball my way, but I don't see it happening.

As for the content of issue #4, it comes with everything issues #1-3 came with. Great artwork on behalf of John Romita Jr., and a ton of action.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Captain America #30

Captain America #30 has come and gone and with it came the continuing efforts of writer/artist duo Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. Captain America's been dead now for for five issues, and watching the aftermath of his assassination has been the most interesting story line the characters had in years.

In this issue we see the Winter Soldier finally come face to face with the Red Skull, the man responsible for the death of Steve Rogers. The confrontation wasn't anything extraordinary, but it was good to get it out of the way. The issue also featured a new discovery on the part of Sharon Carter, Cap's girlfriend before he died.

This issue was a good read, albeit not surprising. Brubaker has yet to script a bad Captain America book, and it's not looking like he's going to anytime soon. This is the strongest series in comics right now, and there's plenty of different routes for the overall storyline to go. Things are looking good for Cap these days. Cept for, ya know, the whole being dead thing.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Daredevil #100

Daredevil #100 hit stores Wednesday and the anniversary issue was full of content for DD fans enjoy. #100 kick starts writer Ed Brubakers new arc "Without Fear" with a bang. The issue is drawn by nine different artists, including some of the biggest names in the industry. Series mainstay artist Micheal Lark starts off the action but quickly leads to the first interior artwork that Marko Djurdjevic has done for Marvel. Djurdjevic shows off his talent in the four pages he drew, and personally despite enjoying Micheal Larks work, I was left wishing Djurdjevic was the main artist for Daredevil. The rest of the artwork done by John Romita Sr, Gene Colan, Al Milgrom, and Bill Sienkiewicz was solid, but nothing that was extraordinary. Alex Maleev, the artist who drew most of daredevil from issue #13-82, give or take a few issues, also contributed to the anniversary issue with three pages of his own. Maleev's art defined Daredevil, and it was good to see his work on the book again. (I still believe he draws Daredevil as a character the best) Despite all these names, and I know there's a lot, the most impressive artwork (Of course, this is only my opinion) came from Lee Bermejo. His three page contribution captured a hallucination Matt Murdock was having of his father. The scene was dramatic and brutal, something that's not easily shown in so few pages, but he did it perfectly.

Obviously there was more going on in this issue than just artwork. The issue is 100 pages long after all. Brubaker has taken a lot of heat in the passed few months for not moving the storyline along, some would say he was stalling. Well Brubaker certainly heard the woes and this issue was the first step in the right direction. Matt Murdocks life is about to get turned upside down again. This issue showed Mr. Fear get the better of Murdock, and it showed that Mr. Fear has the ability to make Murdock lose his mind, causing him to hallucinate people from his pasts ranging anywhere from Karen Page, Elektra, Bullseye, Kingpin, Black Widow, and his own father. (Like Bermejos section) Brubaker proved in this issue that Daredevil may be on it's way to becoming the best monthly comic yet again.

So...What else was there?
Aside from the new material, issue #100 was also full of extra material for Daredevil fans to eat up. There's two issues written by Gerry Conway and drawn by Gene Colan from the 70's that show the reader who Mr. Fear is, in case the reader didn't already know. Also, at the very end there's a gallery of the original pencils fone by Djurdjevic, Bermejo, and Lark. This issue is a must have if you're a Daredevil fan. The extra material, along with the new issue and the back story issues as well make it well worth $4.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Silver Surfer: Requiem #4

The final days of the Silver Surfer could not have been portrayed better than they were in this four issue mini series. The art work was fantastic, the writing was brilliant, and the message was perfect.

The final issue shows the Surfer returning to his home world in a completely weakened sate. We see lots of people from the world coming to thank him for his sacrifice that saved Zenn-la from Galactus so many years ago. (That sacrifice, for those who don't know, was that he would become Galactus' Herald in return that Galactus wouldn't devour his home world) This issue does a great job tying everything together in the end and it keeps the message strong throughout. The Silver Surfer dedicated his life to peace and harmony, so it was fitting to see him go in such a way as he did. I'm not spoiling anything, this entire series is about the death of the Silver Surfer.

The Silver Surfer has always been Marvel's "Holy Character." His stance on violence and his self-less sacrifices for the good of humanity are clear similarities to Jesus, so it's not surprising that when the Surfer was first created, that's what people thought Stan Lee was going for. Whether or not Stan Lee was intending to mix comics with religion is a moot point, but it doesn't really matter either way. The Silver Surfer is a peaceful philosopher, and he's a character whose words really mean something.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Halo: Uprising #1

This is probably going to become one of the most talked about comics over the coming weeks due to the release of the epic finale of the Halo trilogy, Halo 3. This four-part series bridges the gap between Halo 2 and Halo 3, so there will be plenty of people interested in its content.

There are many ways to look at this issue, but also many biases to avoid as well. This series is written and drawn by two of the best in the business with Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev respectably. The series also stars the Master Chief and the Halo brand name, which is the most successful videogame franchise since the turn of the new millenium. So, Great characters, Great Writer, Great Artist...Great Comic?

This comic follows three storylines. One with the Chief doing what he does best, by which I mean blowing up everything he sees and infiltrating a covenant ship. Another storyline is Colonal Ackerson (actually it doesn't say he's Colonal but the name is familiar from the novels) being tortured by the Covenant for information. And the final storyline, which happens to be the largest one in this issue, follows a Cleveland native named Ruwan. Ruwan is a hotel concierage who is sitting calmy thinking to himself when the Covenant first attack Earth. Covenant are searching for a Key, and Ackerson was the one who told them it was in Cleveland. By the end of the comic, we find out Ruwan is one of the only humans who actually knows what and where the Key is.

If there is a knock on this comic, it's that the Master Chief actually takes a backseat in the storyline. He only appears in 6 pages. Most, almost all, consist of him shooting covenant and not a lot else. Although, this comic IS based off a first-person shooter, so it's not surprising to see. But if this comic is trying to win over new readers from the videogame world, it's certainly not trying to do it by cashing in on the Chiefs already massive popularity.

The art is fantastic however. The real question to this series was going to be how Maleev altered his noir-style art to more action oriented. Seeing his transition from the dark, gritty Daredevil stories he used to draw to the Master Chiefs gun fights is truly astounding. There's even one frame where Maleev drew it just like it was the game, First persion view and all, and you could see the two pistols firing into the fray. Seeing the artist pay that kind of respect to the game is a delight when you're a fanboy of it.

This is a great comic, and although nothings for certain, the series will no doubt be a very good one. It's just a shame Bendis is going to have to work within the confines of the Halo Universe and stick to the storyline Microsoft probably already has layed out for him. (Obviously the series has to end a certain way or the beginning of Halo 3 won't make sense) Bendis is at his best when he can throw in surprises and mysterious cliffhangers, something that will be incredibly hard to do with this series.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Captain America, Life after death.

Captain America issue #29 came out this month, and what's even more interesting than the comic is the fact that the series is not only still alive, but also still one of Marvels best books on the shelves.

Captain America died over 6 months ago in issue #25, yet the series has still lived on without him, do in no small part to Cap's former sidekick, Bucky Barnes. (AKA, the Winter Soldier) Bucky has sworn revenge on Tony Stark, the man he deems responsible for Cap's death. Issues #26-29 have shown Bucky's struggles with Cap's death and his lack of direction in life. The Winter Soldier hasn't been a hero in years so the real storyline to all of this is whether or not Bucky turns the corner and becomes a hero again (Possibly becoming the next Captain America Himself) or he relapses and becomes a killer again. Whether or not these things will happen is up in the air, but the Winter Soldier's life has proven to be just as interesting as Steve Rogers'.

All in all, they probably should have changed the books title to the Winter soldier, but int he interest of selling comics, keeping it Captain America was the right move. Also, it's no secret that characters in comics never stay dead. Captain America may be dead a the moment but there are possible storylines that could lead to him being alive again. Dr. Doom does own a time machine, and the Red Skull has made moves to commandeer it, so we'll see where that goes.

Ed Brubaker aned Steve Epting deserve praise for the speed in which they are cranking out these comics as well. In an age where delays are frequent and some comics take months to come out (Ahem, Halo: Uprising #1 still isn't out, and Halo 3 comes out in a month now) These two have managed to produce Captain America on a regular bases. When you combine that with the high quality of there work, it's pretty impressive.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Animated Mini Series starring Luke Cage Coming

Genndy Tartakovsky, a huge name in the animation industry, is going to develop a Luke Cage mini Series. Tartakovsky is best known for his work with Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack, and the animated mini-series that featured Lucasfilms Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The show plans to follow the more traditional Luke Cage than the newer age Avenger. Therefore he'll be sporting fisitcuffs, a head-ban and a yellow shirt.

(To see a full interview with Genndy Tartakosky, click the IGN link below)

"IGN Comics: Do you have any interest in doing more Marvel work in the future?

Tartakovsky: There's nothing that we've agreed to or anything, but my dream is to work with one of my favorite heroes - Captain America. I'd like to do Captain America in World War II fighting Nazis and all that. That's something I've always had a strong vision for. But there's nothing else I'm working on right now."

(I personally think that would be awesome.)

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Marvels epic summer series World War Hulk is now halfway finished, and sadly, the series has missed on most of it's potential. The story follows Hulk on his return to Earth after a bomb setup by Dr. Strange, Reed Richards, Iron Man, and Black Bolt, on Hulks Planet, Sakaar. The explosion destroyed the entire planet, including Hulks wife Caiera, who was carrying Hulks unborn child. Hulk eventually finds his way home to Earth, and swears revenge on Strange, Richards, Stark, and Black Bolt.

As I already noted in my review of issue #1 that the Hulk was going to face Iron Man by the end of it. I won't keep you in suspense any longer, the Hulk beat the crap out of Iron Man. And he also beat Black Bolt as well. (Which I feel is bull. If Black Bolt screams, it should tear a hole in the Universe, right?)

In the following issues, the Hulk went on to tear through both versions of the Avengers, and then the Fantastic Four. The confrontation between Reed Richards and the Hulk is down right brutal for Richards. It's a good thing he doesn't have bones. Then the Hulk also destroyed the U.S. Military as well. (noticing a pattern here?)

This is the problem with this series. All the super-heroes running around New York City and nobody can stop the Hulk. It's gotten unbearable. Obviously the Hulk is stronger than anyone else in the world, and he's so angry that nothing can stop him, but to belittle the Marvel Super-heroes to this length has gotten tiring. An what's even worse about this series, any normal comics fan could have seen the ending from the first issue. From the very first issue, the Sentry's been asked to defeat the Hulk. The Sentry, who is the most powerful being in the Marvel Universe (Think Golden Superman with Schizophrenia and you get the idea), is one of Hulks friends and refuses to fight. However, the Sentrys popped up in a few panels so far in every issue, so it's almost inevitable that the final issue (#5) of World War Hulk is going to end with The Sentry defeating the Hulk in some way or another.

All that being said, the storyline and the artwork are both action packed, and for a book with absolutely no depth to it, it's a fun read. It's just disappointing that there's virtually going to be no surprise ending to this series.

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Watchmen cast is set. I guess.

Well all the hype and rumors of the Watchmen sporting an A-list cast have been laid to rest when the official cast was announced. With names like Jude Law, Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, and Gerard Butler, it seemed like The Watchmen was going to star some major hollywood talent, but the official cast came out to be a lot more realistic.
Dr. Manhattan: Billy Crudup
I've said before that this role isn't really about who the actor is but about how the studio decides to go about having a naked blue guy walking around on screen the whole time. Billy Crudup is a nice pick because he has a very unique voice, something I would consider a must for Dr. Manhattan. (I mean he is kind of just a 'Blue' Silver Surfer without the board. Personality and all) I just wish it wasn't plastered in our brains as the Mastercard commercial guy.

Rorschach: Jackie Earle Haley
This is the most important role to the movie, and how Rorschach is handled in the movie will probably be what makes or breaks it as a success. He's not exactly a low-name guy, but most of the general public probably has no idea who he is. He received an oscar nomination for his supporting role in the 2006 film Little Children.

The Night Owl: Patrick Wilson
Not-so-coincidentally, Patrick Wilson was the leading role along side Haley in Little Children. Wilson hasn't blown anyone away with his acting talent, at least not yet anyway, but it's fitting to have a low character actor play a low character. The Night Owl isn't really a significant role, in fact, at one point I figured they'd cut the character out altogether.

The Silk Spectre: Malin Akerman
I made a crack in one of my Watchmen posts about how any ditzy hollywood actress could fill the female roles in the film, and heres perfect proof. Akerman, whose only well-known role was in the 2004 film Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, has been casted to play the Silk Spectre. I was very shocked to hear Kate Winsletts name being rumored around this role, but not surprise to see she didn't go for it. Winslett seems to hand pick her roles very carefully, and this would have been a step back for someone of her caliber.

The Comedian: Jeffrey Dean Morgan
This seems to be his first big role on the big screen. Can't give much input on him other than his facial features match the Comedians and he's a regular on Grey's Anatomy.

Adrian Veidt: Matthew Goode
Alright, this is the one casting call I have to question. If anyones seen the 2004 film Chasing Liberty that starred Mandy Moore and apparently this guy, then you're already wondering why he'd be casted as one of the most diabolical villains in comic book history. Secondly, I know Veidt was born in Europe and then traveled to America after a year or whatever, but this actor has the Deepest British accent I have ever heard. I know he's going to use an American accent, or a Bitrish-Americanized accent, but it still doesn't seem right to me.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Frank Miller's 300

Due to college courses, lack of funds, and part laziness, I ended up being one of the only people I know not seeing Frank Miller's 300 in theaters. So for the most part, this review is completely past it's prime, but for those interested, here's my thoughts.

The story of the 300 Spartans is an old one, with some historical accuracy to it. Frank Miller's graphic Novel distorted some of the historical significance, but he did manage to keep most of it in tact. The story follows the 300-manned Spartan army into the Battle of Thermopylae against the Persians. The Spartans were heavily outnumbered. (Obviously there were no statiticians around or scribes to get down all the exact numbers at this time in history, so I've seen different numbers for the Persians ranging anywhere from 1200-1600 men. Let's just say the Persians outnumbered the Spartans by a lot.) The reason this story is remebered is because the Spartans won the battle of Thermopylae despite the huge odds against them. The Spartans were well-trained warriors who used their strategy and expereince in battle to outweigh their opponents. The Spartans eventually were defeated but their victory in Thermopylae is what's remembered most.

That brings me to Frank Miller's Graphic Novel and Film. Miller (on the right in the Photo) is a comic book legend, ranging from Daredevil to Batman to 300 to Sin City, he's accomplished a lot in the industry. With the success of Sin City it was no surprise that Miller wanted to make 300 into a film as well. The Graphic Novel was printed on extra wide pages so each page looked more like a painting than just mere comic art. The most fascinating part about the movie would have to be how Miller and Director Zach Snyder managed to make it look so much like the graphic novel. Every camera angle, the mood, the sepia tone skyline, it all looked and felt just like the pages in Millers book. However their is a draw back to this, because Miller made the movie almost verbatem to his book, I already knew what was going to happen at every scene. There were no surprises in it for me at all, but this is a minor problem, because I'm the only one I know who read the Graphic Novel before watching the movie.

The movie itself was a cinematogrophy masterpeice. There were a few times where I could have sworn I was looking at a painting and then all of a sudden one of the characters moved and I remembered I was watching a movie again. The storyline is decent, although at times it's hidden throughout all the action. The acting was good, and it was pleasing to see Miller & Snyder go with a no-name cast rather than going the "Troy" route and casting someone like Brad Pitt. (Not knocking Pitt though, he's the man) This was overall an impressive action film with some of the most brutal fighting you will ever see. It's a good thing Frank Miller's not done making movies. I have high expectations for The Spirit and Sin City 2.
Movie: 8.9
Graphic Novel: 9.1

Monday, July 30, 2007

Amazing Spider-man #539-542: Back in Black

Peter Parker's life seems to be a constant struggle at times and right now, things are no different. Amazing Spider-man #539-542 shows what happens when Peter Parker can't take it anymore.

During the Civil War, Peter Parker announced to the enitre world that he was Spider-man. This of course was enevitably going to lead to someone trying to kill him, because we all know that Spider-man has many enemies. The enemy who took the first shot would be the Kingpin of crime. The Kingpin put a price on Parkers head, and the bullet that was meant for him, hit Aunt May instead. After that, Parker swore that he'd kill the man responsible.

This arc does a great job of showing Peter Parker with pure hatred in his heart as all he wants to do is bring pain to the men who did the shooting. He throws away his traditional red and blue suit for the more villainous black suit of his past, hence the title of the arc "Back in Black." Parker spends most of the arc beating up thugs trying to find the man who issued the hit on him while Aunt May barely stays alive throughout the arc. Once he finds out its the Kingpin who did it, he sneaks in to the prison that Kingpin is being held in and beats the living crap out of him. Spider-man walks away from Kingpin warning him that if Aunt May dies, that he'll be back to kill him.

This is one of the best arcs to come out of Amazing Spider-man in years, and it's some of J. Micheal Stracynski's (Writer) best work on the character as well. It's fitting that this is going to be his last work on the book. Ron Garney's artwork is also to the point and spot on with the characters as well. Garneys depiction of the Kingpin during and after Spider-man beat him into a pulp is absolutly priceless.

Rating: 9.1/10

There is another issue to this arc, so issue #543 will be a part of Back in Black, but the climax was met in 542. #543 will presumably be just a 'set-up' issue for Marvels next big Spider-man series "One more Day."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Jenna Jameson Gets it on with Virgin Comics

Oh yeah, you read it right. I said Jenna Jameson on a comic book blog. It appears the entrepreneurial adult film actress/ New York Times best selling author will be starring in her own comic book series. Virgin Comics will be publishing the book that is going to be titled Shadow Hunter.

Early reports say that the comic will follow a character who survives a brush with death and then finds herself fighting legions of hell...

Miss Jameson intends to use the character for more than just comic books, hinting at a possible live action film in the future. Jenna Jameson will be appearing for the first time at the San Diego Comic Convention this weekend. *I'm sorry, that's not really newsworthy, but the mental picture of the worlds most famous pornstar at a comic book convention, which is essentially a sea full of virgins, is just priceless to me.

Monday, July 23, 2007

World of Warcraft Geeks, UNITE!

To start, i do not play the game. And I have no intention to ever play the game. However, given the cult status that the game has, this should be pretty newsworthy.

For those of you who are oblivious to the World of Warcraft, it is a computer game. An MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) to be exact. All over the world people log hours and hours into this game, sitting at their computers just randomly typing commands in and communicating with their friends while they get together to kill some kind of wilderbeast or something along that nature. The game has warriors, wizards, dwarfs and pretty much anything else you'd expect from the genre.

For most fanboys and girls, the game was already more than just a game, it was an obsession, a lifestyle choice. However, now it actually is going to be more than just a game. At the San Diego Comic Convention, DC Comics announced that it will be publishing a monthly series based off the World of Warcraft license. DC chose wisely when they selected the writer for the series when they chose Walt Simonson. Simonson is best known for his work on Thor. Thor is the God of lightning and the son of the God Oden. He lives in Askgard, a mystical place filled with dwarfs, warriors, etc. So clearly, Simonson has worked within this genre before. The series will be debuting this fall.

Runaways Vol.1

Did you ever want to run away from home because you thought your parents were evil? Well, what if they actually were evil? That is the exact question writer & creator Brian K. Vaughan answered in this extra-large hardcover collection. (Consists of Runaways issue #'s 1-18)

The first issue starts off with a gathering of six families. All the parents go off into a large room and leave the kids in a playroom. The six kids, they believe their parents are just doing boring paperwork, but then one of them decides that they should sneak a look at what they are really doing. The kids then witness their parents 'sacrificing' a young girl and that their parents are super-villains. After seeing them commit murder, the kids run away and begin their adventure to survive on their own. Soon they start to see their own super powers start to develop and they decide to use them against there parents in an attempt to right the wrongs that they have done. While fleeing and hiding away from their parents, the runaways encounter vampires, a dinosaur, superheroes, villains, and giant monsters.

(The reason I'm not giving names here is because theres a lot of them, and unless you've read the book, their just going to be clustered together for no reason.) This comic series really taps into the hopelessness of being a teenager. As the pages turn you see the characters are being forced to grow up in ways that most normal kids would never have to. The oldest one is 17-18 years old, and the youngest is 12 with the rest being 16. They all have the same problems we all do. Whether they're worried about their appearance, how others see them or dealing with an awkward crush, you see these six kids maturing on every page.

The series blends everyday, mundane situations with the surreal, mystical world of comic books perfectly. Just imagine being able to fly but not being able to drive, and you can kind of see where the charm of this series lies. Dealing with puberty is bad enough but having to deal with super powers that you don't know how to control is something else entirely.

Runaways is the most original title to come out of Marvel Comics in years. Almost everyone can relate to the characters because we've all had to deal with growing up and all the situations getting older brings. This is a story that reminds us what it's like to be a kid and have absolutely no direction in life with simply no where to turn.

Rating: 9.0

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ultimate Spider-man: The Clone Saga

It's been almost eight years since the 'Ultimate' Marvel Universe was created, and over the years only one series has proven to be worthy of reading. That series of course belongs to Marvels strongest character in Spider-man. "the Clone Saga" features issues #97-105 of Ultimate Spider-man, and the arc itself changed comic book history.

The storyline of this arc was some of the best that the series has to offer. This arc features a crucial moment in the Spider-man series when Peter Parker finally admits to Aunt May that he's spider-man. The scene was handled perfect by the creators, Brian Bendis and Mark Bagley. The storyline deals with five clones of Peter Parker who broke out of the lab in which they were created. This is one of the most exciting stories i've read this year because you simply don't know what's going to happen. Peter Parker struggles throughout the arc to keep Mary-Jane safe, to help Aunt May, and to bring down the men who cloned his identity without his knowledge. This arc also features Ultimate Carnage, Nick Fury, The Fantastic Four, and a surprise villain.

Rating: 9.6/10

Like I said earlier, this arc changed history. This arc set the record for the longest running series that a writer and artist have worked together. In todays industry, it's pretty common for a writer or an artist to drop a book after 12-20 issues, but not Ultimate Spider-man. Writer Brian Bendis and Mark Bagley have written and drawn 110 issues together, (although this arc only features up to 105) making them the most productive duo in comics of all time. Congrats are definitly in order as these two have accomplished something that hasn't been done since Stan Lee and Jack Kirby did it almost 40 years ago with the original Fantastic Four comics.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Halo: Uprising

Halo. The twenty-first century Star Wars. By now, most of the world has heard of the Master chief and his seemingly never-ending battle against the covenant. What started out as a simple first-person sci-fi shooter for the Xbox has now turned into a successful line of novels, a sequel to the original game (Halo 2), a third game currently in post-production, a possible live-action film in the future, and of course, comic books.

On July 25th, Marvel Comics will be releasing the first issue of a four part series. The series will be used to bridge the gaps between the 2nd game and the third. All the expectations of the Halo universe should be expected with the Master Chief leading the way. The covers that have been released show the Chief with some very interesting toys. (Check out the photo to the left, that little numbers called the Brute Hammer, and I hope its in Halo 3.)

What's really surprising about this series is the creators. Brian Bendis (Writer) and Alex Maleev (Artist) are teaming up again to write this Halo story. Together, Bendis and Maleev are probably the best duo in comics today. Their best works so far have been with Daredevil and Civil War: The Confession, both have received many accolades and awards in the comic world.

For more covers, check out IGN's story.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Marvels Next Movie Blunder "Luke Cage"

Actor Tyrese Gibson is in the lead for the role of Luke Cage in yet another Marvel Comics Movie production. Tyrese, a former male model, played a supporting role in the summer hit Transformers.

Now I'm not putting Tyrese down, or the comic character Luke Cage either, but the idea of a movie based off Luke Cage just sounds down right awful. Luke Cage is a street-wise thug with unbreakable skin and super-human strength. He's known best as the "Hero for Hire." The problem here is simple, Luke Cage doesn't have much, if any, depth to him as a character at all. However, I could be wrong. With hindsight on their side, maybe a movie starring Luke Cage could succeed in all the ways that Daredevil failed. Luke Cage and Daredevil are very similar when it comes to protecting their hometown. Daredevil protects Hell's Kitchen with a force, and Luke Cage does the same for Harlem. If they use this approach better than the movie Daredevil did, this could end up being a worthwhile film. That of course is all depending on how they handle the origin of the character.

As far as the 'look' and the 'attitude' of Luke Cage, I think Tyrese would be a good choice. However, for as jacked and in shape Tyrese is, Luke Cage is portrayed as even bigger than that in the comics. Something tells me the studio won't go with Cage's original yellow costume however.

The Dark Knight

Christian Bale will be sporting a new Batsuit in the next Batman Flick. The studio released the first shot of Bale in his new duds.

The studio also released a shot of something their calling the 'Batpod.'

More Watchmen news

Oscar Nominee Kate Winslet is now heavily rumored to play the role of Silk Spectre. Winslet is best known for her roles in Titanic and Eternal Sunshine. Joining Winslet in the rumored cast is Oscar Winner Jeremy Irons (Eragon, Pictured to the right) as Moloch. Moloch is a retired caped villain in the historic graphic Novel. The rest of the cast is slowly being filled out as well, with rumored castings of William Fichtner and Henry Gibson.

The role of Dr. Manhattan, once believed to be rumored for Keanu Reeves, is now being leaned towards Jason Patric (Left). Reeves apparently asked for too much money. Jason Patrics last memorable role was in The Alamo in 2004. Actor Thomas Jane is rumored to play the role of the Comedian. Jane is known best as Frank Castle, AKA The Punisher. Jude Law is still rumored to play the part of Ozymandias.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Transformers: More than meets the eye

Awe the Transformers. If you were born between 1976 to 1990, there's a good chance that the transformers came across your life in one way or another. And even if you were born later than that, the toy market was still mass producing the colorful autobots. It didn't matter how you came to know the transformers, whether it was through the comics, the T.V. show, or their wonderfully imaginative toys, the Transformers were unique in every way. The idea of the Transformers sounds almost childish. As if some little kid thought it up. "Hey, let's just have a bunch of gigantic robots fighting each other." And then every other executive in the room is thinking "genius." Putting that aside, it's not that surprising that a live action Transformers movie was made, and that director Micheal Bay was the perfect choice.

(THE FOLLOWING MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS, Although there isn't much to give away. the storyline is kind of obvious. Optimus Prime = Good guy. Megatron = Bad guy. They fight. Good Guy wins. If your looking for a deep and twisted plot line then your missing the point altogether.)

Synopsis: The Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, have come to Earth to protect the humans from the Decepticons, led by Megatron. Megatron has learned that theres a cube that crash landed on Earth that would turn all of Earths electronics into evil transformers. (At several points in the film they shamelessly use product placement to show an Xbox 360 and a Nokia phone get turned into tiny transformers) If Megatron gets a hold of the cube, the Earth and the Human race is Doomed, yadda yadda, standard storyline. Optimus Prime fights to make sure that happens. How are th humans involved? Well the huge Robots don't know where the Cube is, but Sam Witwicky (Shia Labeouf) does. It's location is scripted on a pair of old glasses that were left to him by his great grandfather. Thus both sides of the Robots hunt Shia down for the first half of the movie. Luckily the autobots beat the decepticons to him, and the rest is, well, action.

The Good: Optimus Prime
There really isn't a whole lot to say about Optimus Prime that the world doesn't already know. He's one of the coolest leaders of all time. He fights the good fight, and in the movie, they even kept the same voice actor. Peter Cullen, from the original 80'scartoon show to do Optimus' voice. Keeping the continuity of the character was a strong move by the studio.

Sound Effects
Like the way they kept the same voice actor for Optimus Prime, they also kept the same sound effect for when the Transformers 'transform' from cars, trucks, etc, into their true form. Another smart move by the studio to keep the nostalgia effect alive. Also, the score to this film was pretty well done. The music in the background was generally fitting to almost every scene.

Shia Labeouf
He's a young actor (actually hes only two years older than me, which makes me feel like an unaccomplished loser) but with the success of Disturbia, the Transformers, and his upcoming role alongside Harrison Ford in the new Indiana Jones sequel, Shia Labeouf seems to be taking Hollywood by storm. He was the only actor worth noting in this film, which is good, cause he's the only one who had a significant part. Megan Fox was the prototypical hot girl, and Jon Voight was the prototypical old man in the government. Shia was the only one who shined in the movie. He's come along way since Even Stevens, an underrated TV show in my opinion.

The Bad: Product Placement
Again, I know I already noted this earlier, but I can think of several just full blown products placed int his movie. When the cube was turned on, they showed am Xbox 360, a new Nokia phone, and a Mountain Dew soda machine all get turned intro transformers. All that being said, product placement is not surprising to see in this kind of movie. I mean, after all, the Transformers ARE the most successful toy line ever. In fact, in the opening credits, I believe the movie said "In Production with Hasbro." Hasbro being the company that produces the famous autobot toys.

The oblivious nature of everyone outside of the cast...
Okay, let me explain. These robots, their huge. I mean gargantuan. Optimus Prime is as tall as a two story house, and at one point, Optimus and his crew are standing outside of Shia's house, and no one else notices these gigantic robots standing outside. Shia's character is trying to hide the robots from his parents, who are downstairs, and the robots are stomping all around the back yard. The parents, of course, never look out the back window, and again, they don't have neighbors who are smart enough to see this either. This isn't the only occasion where no one sees these robots either. When Shia first sees one of the Transformers (in which case it was Bumblebee) he's the only one who witness' it despite the fact that Bumblebee is shooting the Transformers Logo directly in to the night sky.

Overall the movie was a successful summer blockbuster that kept me well entertained through out the entire movie. There was tons of action, tons of thrills, and nothing beats watching giant robots fight each other. This is a great movie, as long as you don't think to hard about it's plot or it's depth.

Rating: 8.5/10

Sunday, July 1, 2007

World War Hulk

Immediately following the Superhero Civil War, Marvel has now launched its long awaited summer blockbuster event in World War Hulk. Marvels prelude to the Civil War showed that the illuminati (a secret group consisting of Iron Man, Reed Richards, Namor, Professor X, Black Panther, Black Bolt and Dr. Strange) were the ones that decided to blast the Incredible Hulk into space, therefore ridding the world of his destruction. However, the Hulk eventually found a way back to Earth, and thus World War Hulk begins.

The Hulk has perfect knowledge of who it is that shot him into space, and upon his arrival to Earth he threatens to destroy the entire world if those men do not confront him within 24 hours. I'm not going to give away any of the key fights or the results of them, but let's just say this comic provides everything it promises. Whenever someone reads an incredible Hulk comic, they expect to see the Hulk causing pure havoc. This comic doesn't disappoint.

I will give away one stiny nugget however, this comic is starting to show the redemption of Tony Stark. After the Civil War, it's arguable to say that Iron Man has become a villain. Because of him, many died due to the chaos of the superheroes fighting, and his actions behind the scenes were not very hero-like either. Whether it was hiring assassins or cloning Thor, Tony Stark looked pretty evil by the end of it all. But World War Hulk is showing a reversal of Tony Stark. Stark is no longer mischievous or mysterious in his actions. Stark takes it all on his shoulders to defend the Earth from the Hulk, even though it seems to be a death wish. For the first time in over a year, Iron Man seems like a hero again.

I won't say how he fares though. Issue #1 of 5.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Silver Surfer: Requiem

Marvel Comics has released a new four-part series starring the Silver Surfer, titled "Requiem." The series, written by J. Micheal Stracynski (Known best for his work on Amazing Spider-man) and illustrated by Esad Ribic, follows the Surfer through what we're told to believe are his finals days. In the first issue, it was revealed that the outer Shell of the surfers body, which is what keeps him immortal, is starting to decay. Watching the Surfer accept his fate with knowledge and understanding is what makes this series so interesting.

Stracynski has done a great job with the first two issues showing the Surfer as both upset and grateful for all the time he's been able to spend in the universe. Also, issue #1 is a great bridge that shows the Surfers origins and how he went from being Norrin Radd, to Galactus' silver surfing herald.

The Surfer is by far one of Marvels most unique characters, and this is by far one of Marvels most unique books on the stands right now. Whether or not the Surfer actually dies will be worth reading to find out.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Watchmen: from one medium to the next

During the filming of the blockbuster hit 300, director Zack Snyder signed a deal to direct "The Watchmen." The Watchmen, written by the legendary comic scribe Alan Moore, is the best selling series of comics of all time. In fact, it even ranks among the top 100 best selling novels of all time. This isn't the first time Alan Moore's work will be turned into a hollywood script either. Moore wrote V for Vendetta and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen to name two specifically. And those two films are perfect examples of what can happen when Alan Moores comics are made into films.

On one end of the spectrum we've got V for Vendetta, which was an overall a success in many ways. The film captured everything Alan Moore was going for with the graphic novel. (although of course it had much less material as well) And on the opposite end we have the League of Extraordinary gentlemen. The movie is liked by some, but considered very lackluster by most. Now its one thing for the League of Extraordinary gentlemen to not live up to Moores standards, but it will be an entirely different thing if the Watchmen fails.

The Watchmen is filled with a plethora of characters and story lines, so determining what characters and plot lines to go with is going to be key for the film. V for Vendetta was a great film because it managed to tweak some storyline, and condense the graphic novel so that it fit into a single film while still making sense. This task will be far more daunting with the Watchmen than it was for V.

The movie is still in pre-production, but the big story going on right now is the rumored casting. And so far, the names that are popping up are surprising to say the least.

Adrian Veidt: (Rumored) Jude Law
Believe it or not, I think Jude Law is actually a solid idea for the Adrian. Adrian is supposed to be a good-looking pretty boy whose cocky and self-absorbed. Doesn't that just scream Jude Law? Secondly, Law is rumored to actually have a Watchmen tattoo. So he's clearly a fan, which means he knows how important the role is to the movie.

Dr. Manhattan: (Rumored) Keanu Reeves
"Whoa." I enjoyed Keanu as Neo, but I would never give him any acting awards. He's just not what you think of when you think about talented actors. However, Dr. Manhattan is a stiff, emotionless, and quiet character. Again, it seems like this is the role Keanu was born to play. The real question is how their going to handle Dr. Manhattan in the film. Will they go the way of the X-men and paint Keanu Blue? or will there be CGI involved? This will be one of the more interesting things to look out for. Keanu is also a big fan of Comic books, so he also has background knowledge of the Graphic novel.

Rorschach: (Rumored) Gerard Butler
If you don't recognize who this is, he was King Leonidas in 300. Butler has said that he didn't plan on being part of the watchmen cast, but Zack Snyder seems to be dead set on getting Butler into the film. Now I have nothing against Butler as an actor, actually...I know nothing about him as an actor. But I hate this idea. It's my opinion that Rorschach shouldn't even be a casted credit. Rorschach wears a mask for almost the entire graphic novel, and unless they really foul it up, he'll be wearing one for the entire film almost as well. I'm sorry to give away a spoiler so early, but yes, Rorscach does get unmasked in the graphic novel, but it didn't change the storyline or the character one way or another. I see no reason at all why the mask has to come off in the movie. However, this will just have to be something to watch out for.

Another rumor is Patrick Wilson as the Nite Owl. One key factor that goes against all of these rumored castings is age. In the Graphic Novel, all of the characters are middle-aged, and all of these actors are still in their early 30's.

My 'Dream' Casting call:
As said already, I think Rorschach shouldn't even be a credited actor. I think it would add even more mystery to Rorschach if he wasn't unmasked in the movie.

Nite Owl: Don't laugh, Kurt Russel.
He's the perfect age and look of Nite owl. The only problem would be, Kurt Russel is a little more badass than you'd want the Nite Owl to be. Nite owl is more of a nerd than anything else.

Dr. Manhattan and Adrian Veidt:
I agreed with Keanu Reeves and Jude Law already, and i still do. The two actors both loved the series and read them growing up, so I believe they'd give great performances.

The Comedian: Bert Reynolds.
Yes, he's probably too old for this character, which is a shame. Bert Reynolds in his prime would have been the best pick for the Comedian. The Comedian has a bigger, built body than all the other characters, so whoever plays him is going to have to probably add some pounds in the weightroom. (which is why I originally thought Gerard Butler was rumored to be the Comedian and not Rorscach)

I'm not going to name any actresses, because I don't feel they matter towards the overall storyline. All the women in the graphic novel were emotional, lacked depth, and seemed to cry a lot. There isn't an actress in hollywood who can't play that part.