Category Archives: daredevil

Ben Affleck Is Batman!

So Ben Affleck will play Batman in the upcoming sequel to Man of Steel, likely to be called Batman Vs. Superman.

The announcement came late last night while my friend Ray and I were recording this week’s GAR! Podcast. Had we known, we surely would have been discussing it. Instead you get the usual Prince, Dave Sim, Avengers, and French fries mix of goodness, lucky you. You can hear it here, shameless plug.

After the recording I got on Facebook and Twitter to watch the internet explode. Seemed like no one was happy with the casting.

Well, he’s no Michael Keaton. I mean, it could be worse. He could be Michael Keaton.

What’s that you say? Michael Keaton was one of the best Batmen, he was Batman. Yeah, right. Y’all got selective memories. I remember it quite differently.

I remember people screaming and whining that Mr. Mom/Beetlejuice was the worst choice for a serious version of Batman. The balding no-chinned comedian was no Batman. In the pre-internet world of 1988, this was a horrible mistake, and the angry fanboy letters burning the pages of the Comics Buyer’s Guide were proof of it.

And now, over two decades and two movies later, Keaton is considered one of the best Batmen. So why are people so riled up about Ben Affleck? Because Daredevil was a dud in the theaters? Hell, I liked Daredevil, and liked the director’s cut even more. I even liked Elektra.

And even if I’m wrong about that, what about Affleck’s Oscar and other awards and nominations for acting, writing, and directing? He even has comic book cred beyond Daredevil as an actor in the Kevin Smith films and playing George (Superman) Reeves in Hollywoodland. Talk Gigli and Pearl Harbor all you want, you can’t take Argo or The Town away from him. Everyone has hits and misses.

I think Ben Affleck can pull off Batman and Bruce Wayne like a pro. I dare say he might be a better Batman than anyone else we’ve seen. And yeah, I’m saying that based on his Daredevil performance. I stand behind Ben as Batman. If Michael Keaton could do it…

The Arrow Pilot

The norm used to be for bringing a comic book to the small screen would be to change everything. Everyone fondly remembers “The Incredible Hulk” TV series with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. You know the one without Rick Jones, Betty Ross, Glenn Talbot, General Ross, Gamma Base, or any Gamma Bombs. When you think about it, the show was more “The Fugitive” than the Hulk.

This was standard operating procedure though. The Justice League became the Super Friends. Bat-Mite turned green. Remember Rex Smith as the Daredevil in black who wore a mask with no eyeholes? How about the Cathy Lee Crosby Wonder Woman?

Even the wildly successful “Smallville” changed many aspects of its source material. The joke used to be that “Smallville” had some names and concepts in common with old Superboy comics but everything else was different. In later seasons of the series one of the highlights was Green Arrow as played by Justin Hartley. The character proved so popular that the CW decided to give him his own similar “Smallville” themed series. The catch – it’s not a spin-off, it’s not Justin Hartley, and it’s very different from both the source material and even “Smallville.”

In “Arrow,” despite Oliver Queen’s outfit, car, and arrows being green, he’s not Green Arrow, he’s Arrow. The city he protects is Starling City, not Star City. And previews make him out to be more of a murderous vigilante than a superhero. Before viewing the pilot, friends had told me it was great, so I was willing to give it a shot, changes or not.

It’s not that I don’t love and miss Justin Hartley, but this is a different take on the character, and Stephen Amell slips seamlessly into this new Oliver Queen rule. Despite my misgivings, I was pulled into the “Arrow” pilot immediately, and not just by the Deathstroke mask on the beach. “Arrow” is a solid TV show with or without its comic book superhero origins. And it’s an adult show, this is not going to be the teen soap opera that “Smallville” was the first few years.

A more complicated backstory and motivation is overlaid to Green Arrow’s comics origin, and it works for 2012 television. I like it. Oh sure, there’s great wink-wink stuff like his drug-using sister being nicknamed Speedy, the complicated relationship with Dinah Laurel Lance (Black Canary in the comics), and of course there is the prerequisite best friend who becomes arch-villain, Tommy Merlyn AKA Merlyn the Magician – but I would dig “Arrow” even without all that.

A warning for the kids, and the folks with kids, this is a pretty violent show. So don’t be fooled just because it’s based on a comic book, this is not for the younguns. That said, I’m looking forward to more “Arrow,” and I hope you all are as well. I was refreshingly surprised.

RIP Michael Clarke Duncan

This one hit me kinda hard because I always liked this guy. Actor Michael Clarke Duncan has passed away from complications of a heart attack suffered almost two months back. He was way too young at 54.

Whether you know him as Bear from Armageddon, or his classic role as John Coffy in Stephen King’s The Green Mile, or my favorite, crossing color lines as the villainous Kingpin in Daredevil, Michael Clarke Duncan was a phenomenal actor whose talent and presence was hard to match. A sad passing, the man will be missed.

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for the Week of 8-1-2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! – the area’s best comics and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ.

Co-hosts the Invincible Ed Evans and the Glenn Walker of Earth 2 (Allison Eckel returns next week, promise!) discuss the new comics out this week in wicked high definition video, and also available on the YouTube. See it here!

Discussion featured in this week’s sadly Allison-less episode includes: Earth 2 doings, Superman in Action and Smallville, JLI, Animal Man and Swamp Thing, Nite-Owl and Rorshach, Defenders #9, AvsX and the non-participatory X-Men, Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #13, Invincible Iron Man #522, Hawkeye #1, Avenging Spider-Man #10, Deadpool sans tutu, Daredevil #16, Spawn #222, Transformers Regeneration One #82, The Shadow and The Spider, Strawberry Shortcake and The Muppets, The Boys #69, Courtney Crumrin #4, whole lotta Sonic, Ed’s trades and Troll dolls.

Be sure to check out the wacky new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for 9-14-2011

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live in a real comics and gaming store in West Berlin, NJ – All Things Fun! – co-hosts Allison (The Fangirl) Eckel and Glenn (The Misanthrope) Walker (Ed Evans will be back in two weeks) discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, now in high definition, and also available on YouTube. See it here!

The first segment includes discussion of the following topics: The New DC 52 Batcave including Batman and Robin #1, Bruce Wayne’s parenting skills, Batwoman #1, and Suicide Squad #1, also Red Lanterns #1, Green Lantern #1, Mister Terrific #1, Paul Cornell’s Demon Knights #1, Superboy #1, and why does Deathstroke need his own title? We don’t know.

The discussion continues in segment two including: Matt Fraction’s Fear Itself Book Six, the rest of the Fear Itself titles, Mark Waid’s Daredevil #3 joins Brian Michael Bendis’ New Avengers #16, Allison’s Spider-Island by Dan Slott and the rest of the Marvels, Allison’s indies and kids comics including Buffy Season 9 and Super-Dinosaur #4, and the rest of the New DC 52 including Legion Lost, Grifter, Frankenstein and Resurrection Man, and the trades of the week. We miss you, Ed.

Be sure to check out the All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

And be back here every Wednesday morning at 11:30 AM EST to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

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The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for 7-20-2011

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live in a real comics and gaming store in West Berlin, NJ – All Things Fun! – co-hosts Ed (Mr. Evans) Evans, Allison (Squirrel Girl) Eckel and Glenn (Mr. Walker) Walker discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, now in high definition, and also available on YouTube. See it here!

The first segment includes discussion of the following topics: The guide to the DC Comics new 52, the Flashpoint comics of the week, the Fear Itself comics of the week, more Marvels, including Daredevil #1, slurping sounds, the X-books, and Allison’s DCU, including DC Universe Online Legends #12.

The discussion continues in segment two including: The Squirrel Girl HeroClix, DC Retroactive 1970s featuring Batman, the Flash and Wonder Woman, Ed’s leftovers and indies, Glenn’s indies including Butcher Baker Candlestickmaker #1, Allison needs to get out to the movies more, the Zenescope pin-up cover of the week – Grimm Fairy Tales #61, Ed’s trades, the new Overstreet Price Guide and the time travelin’ Batman action figures.

And our special summer third segment with Thomas is back! The All Things Fun! Kids Vidcast features a kid’s opinions on comics and toy-related genres. This segment includes his thoughts on: Tiny Titans #42, Sonic Universe #30, rogues galleries, covers that don’t match the insides, All-New Batman The Brave and the Bold #9, Darkwing Duck #14, Batman and Hal Jordan vs. Cyborg Superman, plush Angry Birds, Captain America HeroClix, that Mr. Walker is confused, and yes, we’re still filming.

Be sure to check out the All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

And be back here every Wednesday morning at 11:30 AM EST to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

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RIP Gene Colan

We have lost another one of the great comics legends. Last night artist Gene Colan passed away, from complications of liver disease. He was 84.

His contributions to comics are numerous. Without Colan, Marvel Comics would be a less fascinating place. His unique style and groundbreaking work on amazing comics like Howard the Duck and The Tomb of Dracula, as well as Daredevil make him one of the legends of the industry. His interpretations of Iron Man, the Sub-Mariner, Batman, Captain America, Wonder Woman, and Night Force among others will not be forgotten. Gene Colan will be much missed.

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New Avengers #39 Reviewed

“Echoes” – my comic book review of New Avengers #39, by Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack, is now online at Avengers Forever.

Echo vs. Echo, David Mack art and cover, Daredevil, Wolverine and the Secret Invasion begins! – all this and more – check out my review here:

http://www.avengersforever.org/reviews/default.asp?RID=596

Enjoy!

If you want to discuss this review, this issue or anything Avengers, please check out the Avengers Forever Forum.

And if you’d like to make a donation to help keep the Avengers Forever website as mighty as ever, click here.

Thanks!

Daredevil

DREAMS AND REALITY

A Film Review of “Daredevil”

Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker

Writer and director Mark Steven Johnson says he has always wanted to bring Marvel Comics superhero Daredevil to the big screen. There is great care taken in adapting Stan Lee’s origin of the hero and Frank Miller’s epic 1980s storyline into a motion picture. An air of love is apparent in every frame – possibly too much – an unwillingness to relinquish control of the vision bogs the movie down. Usually it’s a matter of too many cooks in the kitchen destroying a production; here it’s one guy ignoring others’ input that might have saved it. I admire Johnson’s respect and determination, but not his Daredevil movie.

The imagery is intense. While it suffers from the darkness curse of Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns (not especially fitting for Daredevil) it keeps the cinematography theme that made Spider-Man such a hit with comics fans. They are scenes that ripped whole from actual comic book panels and rendered beautifully in reality. Notable is the opening with old hornhead atop the cathedral, gorgeous, just gorgeous. No matter what can be said is wrong with this film, the visuals are stunning.

When it’s happening, the action is relentless. I challenge anyone to breathe during Daredevil’s frenetic assault on a pool hall early in the film. The scene is electrifying, it’s just not Daredevil. Daredevil’s just not that good. I’d have trouble believing this type of invincibility of Batman. Despite the impossibility of the final fight (neither Daredevil nor Bullseye should have lived so long with their injuries) it too is amazing.

Much has been said about Ben Affleck and how ‘not right’ he was for the role due to physicality and acting ability. While I can’t say he was perfect as Matt Murdock I can say he was perfectly believable.

I’m not an “Alias” fan, in fact, I’ve never seen the show. Many people have told me they’ve enjoyed it, mostly because Jennifer Garner is ‘so hot.’ Based on Daredevil, I don’t see the ‘hotness.’ Maybe she just doesn’t look all that great fifty feet high, on TV at five inches she’s okay. Not to say she’s not sexy, Garner fills out the black Electra costume adequately.

Costumes are another problem. If you’re going to go with the conceit of putting Daredevil in the red costume why not go all the way and have Electra and Bullseye in their comic book uniforms? At one point Bullseye even says to the Kingpin, “I want a costume.” Kingpin, like the film, never delivers.

Speaking of Bullseye, he is played with equal menace and camp by Colin Farrell (The Phone Booth). In the comics Bullseye’s gig is that he never misses. In the film it seems he never misses unless it really counts. Despite this defect Farrell dominates whenever he is on screen, Bullseye is a delight, albeit an evil one.

Mark Steven Johnson faced a dilemma in casting the Kingpin. He could get a white man who looks like the character who could not act or get a black man to portray a white character who could act. He went for the latter in Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile) and I’m glad he did. I think his Kingpin is perfect in mood and personality.

Writer/director/actor Jon Favreau is wasted as Foggy Nelson who offers some of the best lines and lighter moments which are painfully few. Joe Pantoliano is completely wasted as Daily Bugle (name changed to protect Spider-Man movie copyright) reporter Ben Urich. Scott Terra who plays the young Matt Murdock is a name to watch. He too steals the scene when on camera. Kevin Smith’s cameo as coroner Jack Kirby is very cute and speaking of references to comics creators they appear so often here they lose their charm. When winks and nods get old to comics geeks you know you’ve gone too far.

Speaking of the comics there are prominent parts of this story missing from the film, most notably Daredevil’s mentor Stick and the ninja gang called The Hand. Perhaps they were left out so as not to create comparison with Splinter and The Foot from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This is odd considering Daredevil is the original source material and TMNT is the parody.

Electra with her sai weapons (yet another inspiration for TMNT) present the best and worst in this film. Her and Matt’s playground dance/fight/flirtation is worth the price of admission and arguably the finest moment in the flick. Their jumping into bed after a few lines of conversation and knowing each other for a day is unbelievable and disturbing – especially when it is assumed (as in the comics) that this is true love. Really, besides being able to kick each other’s ass and a penchant for running across rooftops what do they have in common really?

Worth seeing but don’t expect Spider-Man and don’t think too much.