The latest Iron Man movie left me feeling conflicted. It was a decent action flick, but it didn’t shine as brightly as Tony Stark has previously on the silver screen. Robert Downey Jr is phenomenal, as usual, and he did the best with what he had to work with. The entire movie felt like one note. The monotony of Tony Stark post-Avengers gets old after the first hour. The effects that the events in New York had on him did add another dimension to his character, but it was drawn out.
I won’t go into any details and spoil the movie, but there are some plot twists I did not see coming. The overall impression of the film wasn’t that of a comic adaptation. It was a cool movie about a brooding playboy with some nifty armor. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it. There just wasn’t that much substance for me to consider it a home run.
For a more spoiler-filled and frank review click here.
Marvel released a first look at the interior of Brian Wood and Olivier Coipel’s X-Men series. The team consists of female heroes and it looks like a breath of fresh air. I can only assume Storm is leading this group of fearsome women. She did lead the X-Men at several points in time. Psylocke, Rogue, Jubilee, Kitty Pryde and Rachel Grey complete the roster.
I’m personally excited to see Rachel and Kitty back in action as a contrast to their teaching roles in Wolverine and the X-Men. Storm and Psylocke are also featured in Uncanny X-Force and Rogue is a member of the Uncanny Avengers. This lineup just goes to show that Wolverine isn’t the only X-Man who can pull double, or even triple, team duty. Needless to say, I’m extremely excited for this series and I can’t wait until the first issue comes out on May 29.
Joss Whedon let it slip that a “brother/sister act” has been locked in for Avengers 2. Speculation has obviously focused on Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch for the spot. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a tangled mess of who owns the rights to who. Technically speaking, mutants won’t exist in Avengers movies unless Fox gives up its rights.
I’m crossing my fingers for all of this to come together. The Maximoff twins are two of my favorite Avengers and true classics. They haven’t gotten much airtime in Avengers cartoons and are instead usually portrayed as X-Men villains. It’s an interesting and key part of their story, but it tends to keep their characterization flat. Quicksilver happens to get placed in the villain category more than his sister. Here’s hoping they give these heroes their due. It’s well deserved.
I’ve been thinking recently about what series were the best overall reads. It was tough to narrow down some of my favorites so I decided to go by a few criteria. They had to be completed, concentrate on character development, have well-rounded stories, and of course be fun to read. So here are my personal favorites.
5) Batgirl (2000)
Starring Cassandra Cain as the second Batgirl this series brought a darker character into the Batfamily. Cass has arguably one of the most tragic backstories in DC Comics. Raised by her assassin father to only learn the language of violence, Cass flourished into the role of Batgirl under the watchful eye of previous Batgirl Barbara Gordon. The series follows her unique journey into a hero and discovering who she is.
4) Exiles (2001)
Exiles might be the most underrated X-book. It’s a series in which superheroes from various universes are displaced from time and sent on missions to fix other realities. All the characters start out with a connection to the X-Men, but that rule seems to disappear toward the end of the series. The hard choices the Exiles have to make in order to save worlds shapes their character and causes the reader to become attached. However, the death toll is fairly high so be warned.
3) Robin (1993)
Tim Drake’s third series as Robin allowed him to spread his wings even further. He comes into his own in the 185 issues and creates his own legacy. Tim solves many of his problems with his formidable detective and computer skills. This series is extremely important because it deals not only with typical superhero crime stories, but also with teen pregnancy, loss of loved ones, and suicide.
2) Astonishing X-Men (2004)
The team of Joss Whedon and John Cassaday created a brilliant series. In only 25 issues they weave a well-rounded story together. What makes this series so great is the thoughtfulness and planning that went into every arc. Astonishing X-Men is truly a must-read for any Marvel fan.
1) Spider-Girl (1998)
Spider-Girl branched out of an issue of What If?. The series followed May “Mayday” Parker, the future daughter of Peter Parker aka Spider-Man as she figured out “the hero biz” and spun some webs of her own. The first volume of Spider-Girl holds the record for being the longest running superhero comic with a female lead in Marvel’s publication history. A very vocal readership kept the series going when other MC2 titles got cancelled. It’s age appropriate and deals with issues like domestic abuse. It also happens to be the first comic I ever owned and is why I fell in love with them.
This week’s issue of Batman and Robin (#19) introduces the New 52 version of Carrie Kelley. MTV Geek questions if she could be the new Robin.
It hasn’t even been two months since Damian Wayne died in the pages of Batman, Incorporated #8. Batman has lost a Robin before (second Robin Jason Todd), but this time is different. Bruce has lost his only son and his downward spiral is truly painful to witness.
Between talk of Harper Row becoming Robin and theories about various other candidates it’s easy to forget that Bruce is still only human. He won’t replace his son quickly. Or at least he won’t if the writers at DC have any sense. He needs time to grieve and be able to trust himself with putting another kid at risk by his side. (Let’s be honest. He really shouldn’t.)
I won’t post spoilers but the latest issue of Batman and Robin is one of the most emotionally charged comics I’ve read in awhile. It doesn’t quite beat the issue before it, but you might want to curl up in a ball afterwards. It changed my whole perspective on “the hunt for the next Robin”. A much-needed element of humanity was added. This comic reader isn’t ready for a new Robin. Not just yet.
From Batman and Robin #18
IDW Publishing’s Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles series is the antidote for the sick feeling that the Nickelodeon cartoon leaves in my stomach. This comic reboot stays true to the roots of the original comic. The turtles’ characteristics aren’t watered down to stereotypes.
The series starts with Raphael being separated from his brothers and Splinter. While they’re looking for him Leonardo, Donatello and Michelangelo sport red masks, an homage to the original series. Little touches like that remind the reader that the roots of the TMNT mythos are being respected.
Casey Jones and April O’Neil, long-time allies of the turtles, are given more modern backstories. Both are college students; April is a Stockgen intern and Casey is a hockey player. Casey’s family history has a twist that not all fans might agree with.
It’s not completely perfect, but the series doesn’t have to try to be overly “kid-friendly”, providing a much needed change of pace from the current cartoon. The turtles swear occasionally (Raph more than his brothers) as teenagers tend to do. Overall the series gets a standing ovation and I’ll keep looking forward to the latest issues.
The international trailer for “The Wolverine” was released on Wednesday to much speculation. It’s the latest film to follow the story of Logan aka “Wolverine”, possibly the most famous of the X-Men.
Hugh Jackman reprises his role for a storyline that is set to focus on Logan’s history in Japan. I was instantly excited when I heard this news, because I think the character is best written with his “lost samurai” aspects in mind.
However, one of the things I am very skeptical about is the portrayal of Viper. The notorious leader of the terrorist organization HYDRA, Viper is an iconic femme fatal. In the released stills she has blonde hair instead of her trademark green locks. I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, until I saw the trailer.
The filmmakers seem to have taken a very literal translation of Viper’s codename. We briefly see her peel her skin off her face. I’m now more that a little worried about what they’re doing with her character and I secretly hope she has links to HYDRA, although I know that’s a longshot.
Despite my early disappointment of Viper I’m excited for this movie. Watching this lesser-known facet of Wolverine’s mythos play out on the big screen should prove entertaining. It’s always important to remember that the movies will almost always differ from the comics.