Category Archives: wolverine
The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast features co-hosts Ame-Comi Allison Eckel, and Savage Glenn Walker, as they discuss the new comics out this week! You can see the show here, or check it out below.
Discussion featured in this week’s Comics Shop Live Episode includes: The New Format, Threshold #1, letting Allison read, Batman: Death of the Family, finales for Frankenstein and Legion Lost, Superboy #16, Demon Knights #16, Ame-Comi Girls #4 (of 5), Saga #9, Bionics away, stiff Magic, Grimm Fairy Tales Animated Series one-shot, New Avengers #2, Kelly Sue comics, hark it’s Tony Stark in the park, Indestructible Hulk #3, Avenging Spider-Man #16, Frank Cho’s Savage Wolverine #1, All-New X-Men #6 (yes, it’s true, Glenn likes a Bendis comic, and it’s X-Men), trades and toys, and Yoda in 3D.
Be sure to check out the All Things Fun! website, and the newly revamped All Things Fun! Blogs, written by Allison and Glenn, featuring The Vidcast Drinking Game so you can play along at home, and watch ATF! on YouTube (don’t forget to subscribe to the channel while you’re there, and leave a comment or two on the Vidcast as well!).
And be back here every Wednesday to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!
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The new animated movie poster for The Wolverine starring Hugh Jackman, to be released June 2013. Awesome.
One of my recent downloads from the PlayStation Store has been X-Men, not a PS3 or PS2 dealie, but the real classic arcade side scroller. Old folks like me may remember this bad boy from the early 1990s when arcade games still existed where everyone could get to them as opposed to antique stores and othersuch places.
The X-Men arcade game was by Konami, and was as I said, a side scrolling fight game. You could play, with other players, anywhere from one to six different X-Men characters. The choices available were Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, or Dazzler, and you fought your way through multiple levels of Sentinels of varying power levels past bosses who were all major and minor X-villains all under the control of Magneto. Simple game, but for the time, this was a major thing.
I was thrilled to find it on the PS3. Ray was unimpressed when I told him, I was full of the excitement of a kid on Christmas morning. “This is why you like it,” he said, “It’s moron simple, you just hit stuff.” That may be, and it may be simple, as I said, but it was cool. Now in the age of an Avengers movie that makes over a billion dollars at the box office, but for the time, it was awesome, and it takes me back in time. Then nobody knew who the X-Men were, and comic recognition was low, so for those in the know, an X-Men arcade game was a special thing.
I remember distinctly the X-Men arcade being at the Atco Multiplex movie theater. The Multiplex was built on top of the old Atco Drive-In, a place of many childhood memories for me. I remember climbing to the top of the screen one afternoon with a friend when we were kids. I also remember seeing probably my very first movies, either Jungle Book or Doctor Doolittle there, when I was much much younger. And of course I took dates there when I was much much older. Eventually it was demolished, paved over and replaced by the Multiplex. The Multiplex itself is now long gone, a deserted church the last time I checked.
The Multiplex had a gigantic lobby, with videogames on either wall, and at the height of its popularity, the crowds were always around the X-Men machine. I still remember the Friday night I saw the end of the game. I kept my date waiting, and we were late for the flick we were there to see, but I saw three players – Wolverine, Storm, and Colossus – I still remember finish the game. This was a huge thing. How rare it was to see someone win a videogame, and I saw it that night. I remember the crowd, probably two dozen people at the end, cheered.
And that was the golden age of videogames. Say what you like, Ray, I’m going to enjoy playing my new hitting stuff game, and when I win it, which I hope I can, it will be a crowd from a dead movie theatre from over two decades ago I hear cheering.
After trying to download this one seemingly a million times, I finally managed to get one to stick, and I got a free download from the PlayStation Store of Marvel Vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes. Now I’m a non-gamer so I’m a little fuzzy on who the competition is (I don’t even recognize anyone from Street Fighter), but I know my Marvel Comics heroes, so hopefully this should have been fun.
One thing, you have to buy the game. Usually the concept of the whole game vs. the demo game doesn’t really affect me, but here it does. The character choice is extremely limited. You get to be Captain America, Wolverine, or Cable – or one of the anonymous unknown anime fighter characters from the Capcom universe. Game play is nothing but button mashing and hoping for the best, so it’s another game where I would benefit from five minutes with the instructions. But that said, I don’t know if I would enjoy it more if I was doing things right.
It was another one of those games I could not enjoy by myself, another player was needed to even test it out so I recruited my buddy Ray, whose first remarks were about the introductory artwork on the Marvel characters, “worse than Liefield.” Now while I don’t share his thoughts on Rob Liefield, I have to admit the art is not great. Even the anime representations in the game itself are not so hot.
This was really not as much fun as it could have been, especially considering it was such a limited demo. But then even if it was the full version, featuring twenty-eight different Marvel characters, there really aren’t any that jump out at me to make me want to play. Maybe I’m just hard to please, but how about the Vision, Hellcat, Moon Knight, or the Human Torch as playable characters? With an entire universe to pick from, really, these are the best you got?
My first game purchase for the PlayStation 3 was via Amazon, and the choice was made because of what a big comic geek I am. I bought Marvel Ultimate Alliance at a pretty fair price. And I was thrilled when it arrived in the mail. I was going to get to play some superhero action on this here PS3 thing.
I first learned here something that will continue to haunt me for the rest of my PS3 experience. It’s complicated, and the controllers are nuts with buttons and choices. It came with a sizable instruction book, but I ignored it, as I wanted to play. I popped in the disc and was mesmerized by the graphics. Yar’s Revenge, this was not.
What the instruction manual doesn’t tell you is what the story actually is. This is a sore point for someone like me with a writer’s brain. It’s all about which buttons to push, etc. It doesn’t matter, I like the pretty colors, and hope that the introduction will give me something. It does. Nick Fury, the real one, not the Ultimate version or Samuel J. Jackson, shows up and apparently, we, the four player characters have to find him on the SHIELD Helicarrier which is under attack by what look like Ultrons.
The funny thing is, while Fury is not Ultimate, the player characters are – Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine and Thor. Interesting. You get to pick one, and the others are dragged along, until they die, or you switch out to one of them. It’s a lot of smash and guess until then. Wolverine and Thor seem the easiest to play, but in over an hour of play, I was never able to either clear the Helicarrier or find Fury. I will need help with this one. And I found the whole concept of collecting coins, like in Mario Bros., completely hilarious.
When I was tired of Ultimate Alliance I tried Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet. Despite the subtitle which refers to the Jim Starlin Thanos vs. the Marvel Universe comics, this is actually a simpler kids version of the Marvel heroes – based on the hysterical cartoon for kids of all ages, and the strange (strange because I can’t imagine the Punisher or Wolverine ever smiling) action figure line. I thought this would be a better choice. It’s cartoony vs. realistic graphics, but it still looked great.
While it has the fun voices and the wink-wink humor of the cartoon, the controller continues to irritate me, and it’s just not as easy as my buddy Ray has claimed. I seem to remember him saying this took him, like twenty minutes to finish. I think I spent twenty minutes trying to decipher the instructions.
The best part for me was not playing, and letting the characters on screen hold conversations. Come on now, you can’t tell me it’s not funny when Iron Man says to the Hulk, “You’re very green, you know that?” or when Hulk counters with “This ship ugly!” For that alone, this game rocks. I didn’t get far, but at least with this one, I kinda understood what was going on.
Green Lantern ~ My earliest memory of the superhero Green Lantern is from the Justice League of America comics, and he was awesome. Hal Jordan was a space hero who had a Power Ring that could do just about anything – shoot an energy beam, make a force field, allowed him to fly, and he could make stuff with it, just about anything he could imagine. Like I said, awesome.
This will date me, but Green Lantern also seemed inextricably linked to Green Arrow and Black Canary and they were always doing something political or with social relevance (a big word back then) and other stuff I wasn’t old enough to understand. Also I knew he was buddies with the Flash, they were a team like Superman and Batman, maybe not as old as them, but they were friends and teammates. Such good friends, that when GL’s comic got canceled, Flash let him appear in the back of his comic – now that’s friendship!
Green Lantern has been through some changes since then. He’s been replaced, replaced again, turned evil, killed, brought back to life, and turned into a moneymaker by genius comic writer Geoff Johns. With that last turn of events, we all knew it wouldn’t be long before Green Lantern hit the big screen. The wait is over.
Being a comics geek, I usually look forward to most films based on comics, Green Lantern was no different. If you ask The Bride, she’ll tell you I’ve keeping a mental countdown clock. Advance reviews were not good however, and as I waited until Saturday to see the flick, I can tell you I was a little bit worried. Now, having seen it, I have to wonder what film the critics saw.
This isn’t Iron Man and nor is it the first two Superman films – it is so not the perfect superhero movie, but it is great. Personally I think Pat Travers of Rolling Stone must have lost a bet on this flick the way he ravaged it – it’s really not that bad. As a matter of fact, I thought it was pretty good.
The story is pretty simple, close to the comics with a few differences. Hal Jordan is a reckless test pilot who finds a dying alien whose Power Ring has chosen him as the new Green Lantern. He trains on Oa with other Lanterns and eventually faces off against the villain Hector Hammond and the evil alien entity Parallax. There are spoilers coming, so some folks might want to skip to the end.
Ryan Reynolds is good as the clunky Hal Jordan but even better as the hero Green Lantern. This is a facet of the reason I like origin stories in movies. I don’t want to see the young, reckless untrained hero – I want to see the complete good guy fight for right hero, and in this case, I am validated. Reynolds is so much better at the latter. Blake Lively is just pretty, and other than that, not believable. I wanted more of Taika Waititi as Tom Kalmaku. And Angela Bassett – wow, who would have ever thunk that Amanda Waller would have shown up in a Green Lantern movie?
Peter Sarsgaard is properly creepy as Hammond. But, while he is good, it’s the make-up and the CGI that goes too far with the character. Does Hector Hammond need to be a drooling monstrous maniac? He’s just got a big head in the comics. Really, for me, that would have been disturbing enough. Parallax, is all CGI, and basically a Galactus cloud with the Wizard of Oz’ face crossed with the Akira monster. This is not pretty. Again, a reference to the comics – Parallax’s real form, that of a giant insect is also pretty monstrous and scary, and of course accurate. The Guardians too could have been less scary. Details like this might put some folks off this flick, and sequels if it goes to franchise.
The voice acting of the CGI characters is dead on. Mark Strong is fantastic as Sinestro, playing him with just the right amount of contempt and menace. I loved Geoffrey Rush as Tomar-Re (one of my fave Green Lanterns) and Michael Clarke Duncan is a perfect Kilowog. I didn’t think I would say that after I loved Henry Rollins in the role in the animated Emerald Knights, but it’s true.
There are as many plot holes in this flick however, as there are Easter eggs for comics fans. Unfortunately the former seems to overshadow the latter. The plot jumps rather quickly from the main story with Hal to the subplots with Hammond and Parallax, which is fine, but too much time is spent on minor details that could have been deleted for meatier bits with other characters. Did we really need the flashbacks of Hal’s father in a bad homage to the opening of Speed Racer? Did we need to know all of Hal’s family? I would have rather had more interaction with Carol, Tom, Sinestro and the other Lanterns quite frankly.
I would have rather had more of a fight against both Hammond and Parallax, their defeats seemed too easy to me, and the fact that Hal doesn’t even really defeat Hammond is very bothersome. Come on, he’s supposed to be the hero here, ya know? But I suppose these are things that happen when a film has so many writers credited. The 3-D, while in the previews it made me want to see it in 3-D, was unnecessary. Save your money.
All in all, I had fun, and with a movie that cost upwards of thirty bucks all inclusive, that’s what counts. I came out of the film excited and hoping for a sequel. Not a great film, but a great superhero adventure, visually stunning. And for the folks who liked Thor and Wolverine for certain reasons – Ryan Reynolds is shirtless quite a bit. Recommended.
“Just Like Starting Over” – my comic book review of Avengers #1, by Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr., is now online at Avengers Forever.
Thor, Iron Man, the new Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hawkeye and Spider-Woman – they are the newest incarnation of the Avengers. They have only just started to get used to being together when their greatest enemy, Kang the Conqueror, crashes the party… but nothing is as it seems – all this and more – check out my review here:
If you want to discuss this review, this issue or anything Avengers, please check out the Avengers Forever Forum.