Every July it happens. Four days long, and bigger every year. An event that outshines all others. Like Jawas on a droid heap they converge. They come by way of TARDIS, Serenity, or Warthog from their homelands of Latveria, Winterfell, Krypton and all points south of Venusville. They are the truest of the true believers. As this army of believers unleash their Andúril swords and pokéballs they prime themselves for this four day battle with a gutteral scream to the cosmos. “Khannnnnnnnn!!!!”
Comic Con that is, the four day nerdosphere where comics, video games, television and movies converge into the core-demo (ages 18-34) raping media Transformer that it is. If you understood any of the references in that opening paragraph then chances are that you fall into that very demographic.
I’ve never attended San Diego Comic Con, thou I have (and will again in October) attended the also spectacular (though a bit less so) NY Comic Con. Being the geek that I am however, I track every announcement and bit of news leaving the Con. This year, myself and Cinema Suicide editor Bryan White have decided to put together a collection of our favorite chunks of Comic Con greatness from this years convention with a cross site sharing on CS as well as my site Dreaming Genius.
What was once supposed to be “Holy Terror Batman” has now quite simply become Holy Terror. The newest graphic novel from Frank Miller, legendary comic creator behind Sin City, 300, and The Dark Knight Returns, Holy Terror is primed to be the authors most provocative work yet. A post 9/11 vigilante epic centered on a former Navy Seal caped crusader, the book is promised by Miller to be a violent mix of propaganda and controversy. DC dropped the usage of Batman as the books protagonist, apparently unhappy with the prospect of Batman punching Bin Laden in the face like Captain America once did to Hitler. I’m pretty damn excited to see just how the violence unfolds when the book is released around the upcoming tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Batman: Arkham City
I totally missed Rocksteady Games Arkham Asylum game featuring Joker, but now I think I might have to go back and check it out because Arkham City, Asylum’s sequel, looks like a fan boys dream game. I understand that everyone immortalized Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight as the best Batman movie ever, but for me, Batman Returns has always been my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dark Knight, but with Danny DeVito’s Penguin and Michelle Pfeifer’s Catwoman (oh lord) I can’t resist Returns. So now, seeing the Penguin in all his silly badass glory as the bad guy in Arkham City, I’m sold. Oh, and add a tease of zombie super-villain/boss Solomon Grundy, and my excitement level has accelerated tenfold. Also look for Gotham City Imposters, another promising Batman game, a kind of Warriors meets Dark Knight combo up for download of XBOX Live this Fall.
Bryan Singer’s new digital series looks quite intriguing. A mashup of Sci-Fi and post-apocalyptic doom, its a glimpse of what could be if we ever reach that telecommunications singularity we are most certainly on the verge of. As mobile technology grows at such a rapid pace, I’m sure everyone’s at one point or another thought; “it’s only a matter of time until our cell phones are implanted in our heads.” This is where H+ picks up, as a new implanted technology puts our communications/web-surfing capabilities into a chip connected to our brains. When something goes wrong with the chips, half the world dies, and technology finally one-up’s human existence. I’m not sure exactly what a “digital series” entails, but it seems like a fitting way to present such a theme. While parts of the trailer unflatteringly remind me of the short-lived, and not-so-great series Flash Forward, I remain optimistic.
Last season’s Dexter was good, but far from the greatness of the season prior, when John Lithgow’s Trinity killer reigned with his clawed hammer super violence. The trailer for this upcoming season (which premiered at Comic Con) shows a plethora of new guest stars, including Mos Def, Colin Hanks, and the great Edward James Olmos (BSG). It’s unclear what role the actors will play in the new season, but I’m eager to know which, if any will be the new target of Dexter’s vigilante justice. What really intrigued me about the trailer however, was what appeared to be Dexter’s use of a particular killing tool in his kill room. With a hammer in hand, could Dex have traded his knife for the tool of his sociopath hero, Trinity?
As this event is called COMIC Con, what better place to have a panel discussion about a film based on the first comic book I ever read and fell in love with as a child. I remember first reading Herge’s classic tales of Belgian reporter/adventurer Tintin on one of my weekly trips to the library with my mother at age 6 or 7. I grabbed this colorful book of picture after picture, and instantly was transported alongside Tintin on his worldly adventures of mystery and danger. Here was a European series started in the 1930’s that still had the ability to transport a child of the 80’s to wondrous and amazing places. So Spielberg (my all-time favorite filmmaker and personal hero) is co-directing a trilogy of Tintin films with Peter Jackson, another legendary director known for a unique ability to transport his audiences to other worlds. At a Comic Con panel, Spielberg’s first ever, the two powerhouse directors discussed the motion capture animation that outdoes any other in bringing Tintin to life, and the hope that American audiences will embrace these genuinely European stories. Tintin is and has been my most anticipated film of this year for very personal reasons. These books, and Spielberg himself are responsible for much of my imagination and sense of wonder, and I hope American audiences do indeed embrace the films. I’m sure they won’t be sorry.
Seems like this film has been in the works forever. Combining many of the greatest of Marvel’s catalog of superheroes into one film is a HUGE undertaking. But finally, we caught our first glimpses of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers during Comic Con and the end credits of last weeks released Captain America: The First Avenger film. There have been two Hulk films, one starring Eric Bana, the other with Edward Norton. In The Avengers however, the Hulk has been recast by Mark Ruffalo. That’s the only fault in the continuity of the Marvel film universe and The Avengers, as the other major heroes of the film will be played by the same actors from their previous films. Robert Downey Jr. will again play Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth will play Thor, and Chris Evans will play Captain America. The tie-ins from these films to The Avengers has been great, including Captain America which ended with a lead up into the present timeframe of The Avengers. The film is set for release next summer, and it looks great. Oh, and did you see that concept art of the Shield helicarrier? Wow!
When it comes to superhero comics I love, Captain America and Superman rule the list with a rather off theme third choice. That choice is Cable, Marvel’s futuristic son of Cyclops, the time traveling antihero who had his heyday in the comics of early to mid-nineties. Now, Joeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness plan Cable’s return to comics this December with “Cable Reborn.” Coming off of Cable’s death in 2010’s X-Force #28, it will certainly be interesting to see how Cable’s “rebirth” is explained. It will also be nice to have Cable returning once more to his own series.
Robert Rodriguez announced that his Grindhouse spawned cult classic (it’s not too early to label it) Machete will be made into a trilogy of films over the next few years. These are the kinds of movies that need sequels, I mean, just look at the Death Wish films. At a Comic Con panel, Rodriguez announced that he will be directing Sin City 2. This is potentially cool news, but nowhere near as cool as his announcement that Machete, the Danny Trejo played vigilante would be returning for not one, but two sequels. The first film will be titled Machete Kills, and the second, Machete Kills Again…In Space! A set in space, Moonraker type vigilante film starring a knife wielding Mexican? Sign me up now. In fact, skip the second film and move right onto the third.
Ahhh sweet nostalgia. My generation seems to love it, and I’m as guilty as anyone else. Just look at the popularity of the Transformers movie, re-launch of Voltron , Smurfs and Thundercats, and hugely popular re-airing of early 90’s Nickelodeon shows on Teen Nick. A huge tool of my slacker teen and preteen years was my Nintendo 64, a gaming console like no other that brought with it titles like Mario 64, Goldeneye, and Star Wars Podracer. Nowadays I come equipped with an XBOX 360, and news that a re-launch, in hi-def, of the Goldeneye game of my formidable years returning to my XBOX 360 has me psyched. The XBOX Kinect is hosting the re-launch of a game that single-handedly took months of my life, and will now take over months more. Also being re-launched for Kinect is the Star Wars Podracer game, another of my N64 favorites, and perhaps the only good thing to come out of The Phantom Menace.