The Marvel 52, Part Five: Marvel Heroes

Sorry for the silence the last couple of days. Busy busy. I’ll have to do a project update sooner or later. Kill All Monsters is coming along nicely and I’ve been working on a short, prose story about an old, pulp character named The Purple Scar, but I could give you some more details about both of those.

Anyway, the last twelve titles in my Marvel 52 are the big guns.

12. The Liberators by Gail Simone and Colleen Coover

The Lady Liberators were introduced way back in Avengers #83 as a team of villains (of course) to fight those poor boys of the Avengers. They made sort of a comeback in recent years though as a heroic group when She-Hulk formed an informal team of superwomen to fight the chauvinistic Red Hulk in Jeph Loeb’s Hulk. Then they got together a couple of other times after that in She-Hulk and The Mighty Avengers.

I’m all about the female superheroes, so it would be awesome to have a book where they could team up regularly. Maybe have a core team of She-Hulk, Valkyrie, Black Widow, and Hellcat with other women coming on for particular missions. Since that’s sort of Marvel’s version of Birds of Prey, it’s unoriginal, but entirely appropriate to have Gail Simone writing it. And Colleen Coover draws Marvel women (and men, for that matter) like nobody else.

11. Valkyrie by Paul Cornell and Jill Thompson

I know there’s a bona fide female version of Thor, but Valkyrie’s been around a lot longer and has the benefit of not being exactly a female version of Thor. She has the whole, cool Viking thing going on without just copying him. I know Paul Cornell could do awesome things with that and Jill Thompson‘s got a great, fantasy style that would suit very well.

10. Runaways by Brian K Vaughan and Ben Caldwell

Vaughan has said that he always wanted Runaways to be a series that other creative teams could pick up and run with; that he wanted it to be sort of his legacy at Marvel. But though other creators have done pretty well with the concept, unfortunately no one’s doing anything with it now. I’d correct that and bring back the writer who started it all. Ben Caldwell has a great, manga-esque style that’s perfect for books about (and targeted to) younger kids.

9. Agents of Atlas by Jeff Parker and Leonard Kirk

Quite simply the most definitively awesome team book anyone’s ever made in the history of comics. It was Jeff Parker’s baby, so no one else can touch the writing, and though there have been a few excellent artists working with Parker on it over the years, Leonard Kirk was the first. I’d want that dream team back on it again.

8. Spider-Man by Phil Hester and Pia Guerra

Spidey is a character that I haven’t been excited about since the ’70s. Phil Hester could change that by bringing the same mix of high adventure and everyman troubles that he put into Firebreather. As for Pia Guerra (Y: The Last Man)… Why, oh, why isn’t she drawing a monthly comic book right now?

7. The Fantastic Four by Brian Clevinger and Darwyn Cooke

Brian Clevinger’s proven that he’s not about to run out of wacky science stories for Atomic Robo anytime soon, so why not share some of that with everyone’s favorite family of super scientists? And you know you want to see Darwyn Cooke cut loose on a series like that.

6. Pet Avengers by Evan Dorkin and Katie Cook

Evan Dorkin can write a damn good animal story. Not just a cute, funny animal story (though they are that, too), but a real story about animals you care about. I sort of want his Beasts of Burden partner Jill Thompson on this one, but I’m trying not to be completely unoriginal and Katie Cook’s not only awesome, she also has a thing for Marvel and pets.

5. Young Avengers by Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung

Okay, maybe I am totally unoriginal. But in my dreamworld, Heinberg would have time to write a monthly series about these characters he and Cheung made up. I loved it when they were on the book, but in other hands the characters haven’t been as exciting.

4. Iron Man by James Turner and Nicola Scott

If I can’t have Robert Downey Jr play Tony Stark right there in my comic, something else that could get me to buy it would be to have James Turner (Rex Libris, Warlord of Io) write it. Like all my favorite writers, Turner has an insane imagination and unrestrained abandon about letting it spill out of his head and onto the page. And he’s hilarious. I’m not saying that it hasn’t been this way lately, because I haven’t read Iron Man in years, but in general the character needs some craziness. It should be a scifi/superspy comic and I’d love to see Nicola Scott ground something like that in reality.

3. Thor by Neil Gaiman and George O’Connor

I went back and forth about whether I’d prefer to have George O’Connor (Olympians) write and draw this one by himself. He’s certainly got the ability to tell fun stories about mythological characters.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how amazing it would be to see Gaiman make Asgard as huge and epic as the Dreaming.

2. Captain America by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener

If there’s something else Clevinger appears to like as much as superscience, it’s WWII history. Not only could he tell some fantastic flashback stories to Cap’s adventures in those days, he’s also a guy who – like Brubaker – can let that time period continue informing the personality and choices of the modern Captain America. And why not let Clevinger’s Atomic Robo cohort, Scott Wegener be in charge of bringing it to life?

1. The Avengers by Paul Tobin and Cliff Chiang

Paul Tobin’s already been writing the best Avengers comic around for the Marvel Adventures line, so he should get his shot at the main book with one of the best superhero artists working today.

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10 movies I loved in 2010

So here they are. My ten favorite films from last year. Not necessarily the “best” in any objective way, but the ten I unabashedly dug the most.

Number 10

The other Leonardo DiCaprio movie that invites more than one possible interpretation. I like this one more though because though everything wasn’t spelled out, it didn’t need to cut away just before a crucial moment to deliver the ambiguity. We got the complete story. How we interpret it is up to us.

Number 9

Iron Man 2 got a lot of flack for not being Iron Man. And its critics are right that it isn’t as tight a movie as the first one and feels like it spends a lot of time setting up The Avengers. But it was very entertaining in the process and though I never felt like Tony was actually going to die, I was engaged by the mystery of how he was going to survive. Which really, is as much as any adventure series with a recurring character can do. Besides, if nothing else, the film brought Scarlett Johannson as Black Widow and that’s Top Ten worthy all by itself.


Number 8

Way too much energy gets spent on trying to figure out if this is scripted or a true documentary. It doesn’t matter. It’s brilliant and it’s timely and it needs to be seen. I saw it spoiler-free and recommend that anyone else do the same. I’m not sure it would have the same impact if you knew what to expect.

Number 7

Like Iron Man 2, this is another one that drew heavy criticism. Mostly for not being familiar enough as a Robin Hood movie. I’m typically impatient with origin stories, but this kept my attention all the way through. I don’t know that it’s a great version of Robin Hood (though it had enough of those elements to keep me happy), but it’s a very cool Ridley Scott medieval adventure film and I love Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett.

Number 6

Best seen as a romance with a spy twist rather than a spy movie with a romantic element. There’s some action, but not a lot and the two leads aren’t butt-kickers. I also figured out the mystery early on, but that spoiled nothing for me. I enjoyed watching to see if Depp could win Jolie over. I wanted him to.

I just read a disparaging comment about Jolie’s acting in this, but I thought she did a fine job as the Mysterious European Woman. Then again, I tend to like her, so maybe I’m being lenient. I stand by the comment I made on Facebook or Twitter or someplace though: the hardest role Johnny Depp has ever had to play was Man Intimidated by Angelina Jolie. It took me a couple of scenes to get past his Johnny Deppness, but I thought he pulled it off admirably.

Number 5

Everything that The Expendables was supposed to be. Just the right amount of over-the-top without going into cheesy territory.

Number 4

I’m the only person I know who loved this movie. Maybe I was just in the mood for a fun, Arabian Nights adventure, but I don’t have any of the problems with Prince of Persia that everyone else seems to.

Number 3

I can’t stand Will Ferrell and I’m prejudiced against superhero parody, so I went to this somewhat begrudgingly. I was surprised to find it not only funny, but really touching. I fully expect Dreamworks to kill it with excessive sequels, but it’s new enough that I haven’t let that get to me yet.

Number 2

Perhaps the least controversial item on this list. Everyone loved Easy A and for good reason. It’s hilarious, it’s charming, Emma Stone is wonderful in it, and it transparently displays its John Hughes influence while perfectly capturing what made Hughes’ movies so great.

Number 1

While it’s true that the Futterwacken was anticlimactic after the build-up it got earlier in the film, I loved everything else about this movie. (Especially when I took off the dark 3D glasses and saw it a second time in 2D.) I could go over again why it’s so great, but I’ll save the space and instead direct you to my original review. I haven’t changed my mind about any of it.

So that’s it for me. What were your favorite films of last year?

Movie News: Iron Man vs Sub-Mariner

Namor references in Iron Man 2?

Comic Book Movie makes a pretty good case.

Sherlock Holmes 2

On the way. [/Film]

Runaways director and screenwriter

Still excited to see this moving forward. The director’s the guy who did Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist. [/Film]

After the break: a Resident Evil 4 poster, a Logan’s Run remake, troubles with The Hobbit, and Harrison Ford won’t say “fluffy.”


Resident Evil 4 Poster

“A New Dimension of Evil” is lame. The rest is awesome. [/Film]

Logan’s Run remake

They’re talking to a director about it, so I guess it’s getting made. I’m kind of happy about the possibilities for this, especially if they stick more closely to the novel (which I read over and over again as a kid) than the ’70s version did, fun as that was. [/Film]

Hobbit Troubles

The biggest movie news this past week was that The Hobbit movies are going to be delayed by MGM’s financial troubles, which means that Guillermo del Toro is no longer available to direct them (though he’s still involved with the scripts). Peter Jackson remains committed to the project, but hopes for his stepping in to direct are dim.

Stuff Nobody Cares About But Me: Morning Glory trailer

JJ Abrams has a — well, I guess you might could call it a romantic comedy, though that’s certainly not the angle the trailer plays up. And though there’s obviously a romantic component to the story, I hope that’s not the angle the movie focuses on either. It seems to be much more a story of a woman’s (Rachel McAdams) discovering what she wants from life, which sounds really trite when I write it like that, but is something that JJ Abrams did pretty well with Felicity and I wouldn’t mind seeing him do it again. Also it’s got Harrison Ford (in what looks like a fun role for him for a change) and what looks like is going to be a very small, but funny role for Modern Family‘s Ty Burrell.

Movie News: An Army of Ivan Dragos

20,000 Leagues movie

McG’s Captain Nemo prequel may be dead in the water, but that doesn’t mean that Disney’s given up on the idea of a new Nemo film altogether. David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club) had a take on it that he wanted to try and Disney is apparently moving with it. [/Film]

Meet Your New Richelieu

Remember that there are two Three Musketeers movies in the works right now. One is being produced by the guy who produced Sherlock Holmes; the other’s by Paul WS Anderson (the Resident Evil franchise). Lately there hasn’t been a lot of noise about Anderson’s version (making me wonder if it had been dropped), but now he’s released a ton of cast information and it’s pretty cool who he’s got (or is trying to get).

Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds) will play Cardinal Richilieu, Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson) is in negotiations to be D’Artagnan, Milla Jovovich will be the wicked Milady de Winter, and Anderson wants Orlando Bloom to play the Duke of Buckingham. No word yet on who might play the important roles of the king and queen of France, but Mads Mikkelsen (Le Chiffre from Casino Royale) is going to be Richilieu’s henchman Rochefort. Matthew Macfadyen (Darcy to Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth) will be Athos, Luke Evans (who had a brief role as Apollo in the new Clash of the Titans and also has a bit part in the new Robin Hood) will be Aramis, and Ray Stevenson (Punisher: War Zone, The Book of Eli) is Porthos. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Iron Man IV, SHIELD, Allan Quartermain (sort of), Moon Nazis, Monsterpocalypse, alien Olyphant, and who was responsible for Indy 4 after the break.


Shia LeBeouf on Indy 4: “[Ford] wasn’t happy with it either.”

The Los Angeles Times has a refreshing interview with Shia LeBeouf in which the actor’s very candid about his reaction to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. He takes a lot of the blame for the shortcomings of the film, but not all of it (as is right and proper) and he names names.

Personally, I don’t know if LeBeouf deserves any of the blame. I was more tolerant of Indy 4 than most people, but I acknowledge that the plot was a huge mess. That wasn’t LeBeouf’s fault though and I actually really liked his character and the way he interacted with Indy. So while I appreciate his honesty about his reaction to the movie, I think he’s too hard on himself. And I say that as someone who’s generally ticked at LeBeouf for continuing to be in Transformers movies.

Iron Man IV trailer

Just when you thought these movies couldn’t get any better… an army of Ivan Dragos and Number Five from Short Circuit.

[Robot 6]

SHIELD: The Movie

Sounds like we might get a SHIELD movie after The Avengers. At first, that sounded sort of anti-climactic, but then I thought about Samuel L Jackson in a jet pack fighting Hydra agents on an island base and got pretty excited about it. [/Film]

Allan Quartermain… in Space!

Unfortunately, he won’t be played by Sean Connery, but Sam Worthington’s not a bad choice. Some of my friends are kind of down on him for Clash of the Titans, but – like with Shia and Indy – I don’t think that was his fault. He did a fine job in Avatar and an excellent job in Terminator: Salvation.

What is a bad choice though is turning Quartermain into a Space Pulp hero. I’m all for a Space Pulp movie starring Sam Worthington, but why do you need to call the hero Allan Quartermain? If you want to appeal to Space Pulp fans, you don’t need Quartermain’s name to do it. If you’re trying to attract Allan Quartermain fans, which of them is going to hear about this concept and not be disappointed? It’s like re-launching the James Bond films as a sword-and-sorcery series.

And Worthington does get some of the blame for this one. He’s not only starring in the movie; he’s also co-producing it (with the guys responsible for Smallville). [The Hollywood Reporter]

Monsterpocalypse movie?

The popular, giant-monsters/giant-robots miniature-battles game is possibly becoming a Dreamworks film (possibly with the creative input of Tim Burton). It’s a great concept and the creature designs are fantastic; I just hope the plot’s more engaging than the comic book series was. [Deadline]

Timothy Olyphant is not from this planet

Not in I Am Number Four he’s not. The movie is based on a Young Adult sci-fi book about a group of alien kids who are hiding on Earth from other aliens who are trying to kill them. Because of some kind of charm, the kids can only be killed in numerical order. No points for guessing which number the hero is. Olyphant would play Number Four’s alien guardian. [/Film]

Iron Sky trailer

It’s been a couple of years since we’ve heard anything about the Nazi-invaders-from-the-Moon movie Iron Sky, but work on it is still progressing. And they’ve got a new trailer to prove it (and ask for financial support).

Art Show: Every Girl Wants a Pony

Namora

Cosplayer Unknown; PhotoShopping by theblackhauke.

Bentlys Trading Post

By Robert McGinnis. [Golden Age Comic Book Stories]

Faeries, aliens, and more superheroes (some of them in fishnets) after the break.

Outside the Law

By Raymond Pease [Illustrateurs]

Zatanna and Black Canary

Cosplayers Unknown; PhotoShopping by theblackhauke.

Snowbird

Cosplayer Unknown; PhotoShopping by theblackhauke.

Fantastic

By Yoshitaka Amano. [Illustrateurs]

John Carter of Mars

By Andy Kuhn. [ComicTwart]

Et Oui, J’ai Vu Avatar

By Mathieu Reyn├Ęs.

Hulk vs Iron Man

By Das Chupa.

Fantastic Skyline

By Christopher Bennett. [Kirby-Vision]

Movie News: Small (and Hairy) in Japan

Gilligan’s Island Movie

It was only a matter of time.

Fin Fang Foom in Iron Man 2

Sort of, but it’s still pretty cool. [Illustration ganked from Bleeding Cool. Hellboy, unfortunately, will not be in Iron Man 2 at all.]

Resident Evil 4 trailer

Wow, this movie’s a lot farther along than I realized. I totally have that same fan behind Milla, by the way.

War of the Gods

I wish it was a movie about Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, and Superman’s fighting the gods of all the major world pantheons. But no, it’s just an attempt to cash in on the Clash of the Titans remake. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m all for more, new Greek Mythology movies and maybe it’ll be really good.

Superman Plot

David Goyer’s apparently been hired to write the script for the next Superman movie, which – according to Latino Review – is being called Man of Steel and will feature Luthor and Braniac as the villains. LR also says that the script won’t go over the origin story again (thank you), but will also not be a sequel to Superman Returns.

If any of this is true, it’s pretty cool. I mean, I’m tired of Lex Luthor, but teaming him up with someone like Brainiac could be fun. I especially dig the parts where Mark Millar was always full of crap and The Daily Planet is struggling to stay afloat in the Internet Age.

Wolverine 2

The sequel is set to go into production early next year and it sounds like it has a decent chance of being a lot better than the first one. As expected, it’ll be set in Japan and have a heavy romantic element to it. If they can sell the romance and make the danger all about threatening that relationship – while avoiding the silliness and nonsense of the first movie – I can imagine its being really good.

Art Show: Walking Dynamite!

Adventure

By Franklin Booth [Golden Age Comic Book Stories]

Mermaid

By Abrams [Never Sea Land]

Tales of Three Planets

By Rog G Krenkel [Golden Age Comic Book Stories]

The Human Bomb

By Dan and Sy Barry. There’s a whole story that goes with it at Pappy’s Golden Age Comics Blogzine.

The Spectacular Super-Girls

Artist unknown. Peter Parker’s classmates from the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon dressed as DC heroes though? Love it. [Brother Calvin]

Zatanna

By Danielle Corsetto. [Comic Art Fans]

Black Canary and Huntress

By Steve Bryant again.

Iron Man and Friends

By Mike Maihack.

Alternate Jabba

By Richard Whitters.