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And another thing!

Just two additional complaints that came out of my Speed Reviews that i've separated out because they're more meta/state of the industry gripes than about specific issues. Both relate to the Hulk, actually.

1. I wanted to see when and where Doc Samson died, and Wikipedia helpfully pointed me to Incredible Hulk #610. I wanted to see if i could blame the death on Jeph Loeb (and no, it's by Pak), so i went to the good old reliable Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators. Well, through no fault of its own, it was a little less reliable this time. Because with all the goddamn renumberings and other nonense, there's been like 8 series called Incredible Hulk, and it took me a while to figure out which one was relevant. I know complaining about the re-numberings and reboots is dismissed as a fanboy complaint with no consequences for actual sales, but this sure makes it harder to find back issues, which you would think would be a concern for retailers.

2. When this current Hulk storyline started, i realized it was building off of events from the aborted crossover that eventually got buried in the oddly numbered Venom point issues. So i decided i'd pick up those issues. Wanyas and i have both been trying to get them all, and now the final issue is finally on its way from mycomicshop.com and i'll probably get it some time next week. So it took, what?, three months and a major concentrated effort that no normal person would ever bother with, and in the meantime this story is already over. Again, it seems like it would be in someone's interest besides mine to make recent back issues more readily available for people who belatedly decide something seems worth buying.

By fnord12 | May 30, 2012, 11:18 PM | Comics | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Lots of books to go through and i'm doing even less than my usual minimal proofreading, so i apologize in advance, yadda yadda, you've heard it all before...

Exiled #1, Journey Into Mystery #637, New Mutants #42, Journey Into Mystery #638 - Got these all at once, so i might as well review them all together. I really liked this! Young Loki the RPG-er was great, and the other Asgardians-as-regular-people were fun, too. I was a little concerned because i feel like (this might not even be true, but it feels true) the Dsir, having been introduced recently, have suddenly been in a lot of stories and i was getting sick of them , but i really enjoyed the twist on the known origin for them, and i like the way the resolution is shaping up. Paul O'Brien has been sort of struggling with whether or not this crossover has any real relevance to whatever themes the New Mutants are supposed to have. My take is that in the Marvel Universe it's ok to occasionally just have a nice random event that breaks from a particular book's normal topics. Plus Dani Moonstar is a Valkyrie and Warlock has a pet hellhound (and i could read a whole series about just that), and that's enough for me.

Hulk Smash Avengers #3 - It's definitely true that the covers of this books are their biggest selling point. It's probably at least partially why i felt drawn to them (that, and to torture myself when i get to adding these to my project). Now this issue is by Roger Stern, so i had higher hopes for it and i guess i can say they were met. Certainly the pardoned, Mantlo-intelligent Hulk era is one where the Hulk/Avengers meetings could have used some expansion, and Stern was the one to do it. But, while the story was well written, i don't think the plot gave a great opportunity for the Avengers to reconcile with the idea of the Hulk as a hero. Nor did it deliver on "Hulk Smash Avengers", but i guess i'm taking the series title too literally. I have no problem watching the Hulk and the Avengers fight the Leader's Humanoids, so this was fine. I think the tribute to Gruenwald and Buscema was a little strange and distracting. I see on the Marvel Chronology Project message boards that this one requires us to gloss over some temporal references ("The other day", "Yesterday") to make this fit in the intended spot, but due to Marvel's sliding timescale i tend to ignore those anyway. On the topic of sliding timescale, however, it's really not necessary to rub it in our faces with comments about the Wasp dating George Clooney and Sean Combs.

Hulk Smash Avengers #4 - Again going by the MCP boards (especially Michael, who also sometimes comments here), it seems we're going to have to assume that the West Coast Avengers decided that it was "old costume" day before going to Vegas, and it definitely won't fit where the editors intended. Although wherever Tigra is hiding her tail must be a little uncomfortable. On the plus side, this issue does actually feature the Hulk smashing. But of all the Hulks to smash the Avengers, the grey version is the least likely to do so, especially on a team containing Wonder Man and Iron Man. That scene with Iron Man failing to pick up the scrawny little grey Hulk (what is he, .75 tons?) had me thinking of an older issue i reviewed recently, when Stark picked up *Godzilla* while wearing a replica of his original grey suit. I did like how this one ended, with Stark and Mr. Fixit coming to terms.

Winter Soldier #5 - If only the whole world could have been in the car with us when Wanyas presented his opinion of this series. My caps lock button would need a caps lock button to do it justice. And i certainly agree with him. It's inconceivable that you could publish a Dr. Doom vs. Super Apes story that was this boring. I will admit that towards the back of the issue there was a panel with Dr. Doom actually fighting a gorilla with a gun. Yeah. The monkey's ass was facing the camera, and the rest of the fight happened off panel. Thanks. Ugh. And this issue ends with the exciting teaser: Whatever happened to some other assassin schmuck that the Red Ghost trained? Who cares? Whatever happened to the gorillas that he trained? Oh, and who the hell is in charge of Latveria these days? Kristoff? I hope Mark Waid over on Daredevil knows that. No, it must be Doom, right? Otherwise he wouldn't have been in the embassy. So what's this about missiles pointed at Kristoff? I guess i missed something by not reading Hickman's FF(s)?

X-Factor #236 - I guess Peter David has a point to make here about reality television, but it's worth remembering that just because you can make Mojo relevant again doesn't mean you should make Mojo relevant again. Based on the cover and the clearly satirical villain i was expecting more of a straight-up parody issue, but this was a straightforward fight and i should probably be happy about that knowing my dislike of modern PAD's humor.

Daredevil #13 - I'm glad this is wrapped up (unless Daredevil's arrival in Latveria is a continuation), and i thought the ploy with the Avengers was really cool, and if nothing else i appreciate the introduction of the word Megacrime into our lexicon. But i still say DD should have publicly handed the drive over to the Avengers and let them say, "That's right, we have it. Come and get it."

Avengers vs. X-Men #4 - It's dawning on me that this book is not what i thought it was going to be. I knew it would have no plot, and it's meeting my expectations on that front. So clearly it was going to be a big fight series, right? Nope. That's apparently what AvX is. If you haven't read this Wall Street Journal book review that goes off on a wild ranty tangent about comics in general yet, you should (i don't necessarily agree with all of it), but for now i'll quote this:

The story is told in two titles, one called "Avengers vs. X-Men," with a big "AvX" logo on the front, and the other called "AvX," with a big "Avengers vs. X-Men" logo on the front, presumably so you can keep them straight.

So, nothing happens in this book. Meanwhile, there's a million tie-ins, all of which tread water so as to not step on the toes of the main book or the other tie-ins. And then there's the supplemental book which is where all the action's been segregated to. If you took all of that and squeezed it down into, say, a nine issue mini-series, you might actually have a story. And while i'm all riled up, how come Wolverine can re-grow his entire body from charred cinders last issue but this issue he has to wear a dead polar bear to keep warm?

Avengers #26 - I feel like it's mean to say that the cover was really bad, but it was. The interior art was better, but why does Simonson draw all those lines all over Thor's face and no one else's? As for the plot, we all know this "we've captured some of the Phoenix essence in Thor's hammer" plotline is going nowhere relevant to the main series, right? I guess i still like Marvel Boy's conflicting loyalties plotline, although we have to admit that this character is just miles and miles away from what he started at under Morrison, and i have no idea yet why he's so loyal to a Supreme Intelligence that isn't even from his own dimension. And i guess here is as good a place as any to ask why the Phoenix is an actual big flaming bird that's flying very visibly to Earth in a way that it never has done before?

Avengers Academy #30 - I don't know if Shaw's revelation about his powers will satisfy min's earlier questions or send her back to her college physics textbooks, but it doesn't seem consistent with how his powers were depicted in the past. I guess it's fair for power creep to affect bad guys too, in any event. I really love this book, by the way. X-23 and Finesse's conversation was just great, Taki's "No! He's a good sentinel! We play basketball." was brilliant, and Hercules was awesome as always (although i wish he had gotten a few more licks in). I think Gage is amazing. If i were his editor, at this point every month i'd randomly pick 20 characters out of the Marvel Handbook at random and demand that he write a good story about them that gave each character time to shine and developed some overall theme (like, is it ok to imprison kids with dangerous powers and questionable loyalty during a time of war), and i'd be confident that he'd do it. He deserves a higher profile book. I hear Bendis is leaving the Avengers...

Captain America #12 - Hello, imaginary person who has picked up a Captain America comic because he liked him in the recent Avengers movie. I feel very sorry for you because you don't know who Scourge is, you don't know who Henry Gyrich is, and you don't know who D-Man is. You have my assurance that if you did know all of that, this book would be awesome. I can tell you that the writer, Brubaker, has nailed Gyrich's personality and is using him in a really cool way. And this Scourge plotline has nice callbacks to ancient comics history but is doing it in an innovative new way. So i feel bad for you, imaginary new reader, but quite frankly, i wouldn't change a thing in this book, so you're just going to have to do what i did when i first started reading comics, and just stick around and go with the flow until you start picking stuff up, and then start picking up back issues to fill in the blanks. (That's my answer to the parts of the WSJ article above that i don't agree with.)

Hulk #52 - Yeah, i was right. This issue was much better than the last one, thanks to the Legion of Monsters. I don't know who "Manphibian" is, and i'm not sure if he belongs in a comic that kids might buy, but this issue was a lot of fun. Now, i didn't know that Doc Samson was dead, and i don't think he should have been killed (really? After turning three supporting characters into Hulks, you kill off the one guy that actually has had established Hulk powers for decades?) and i'm hoping this issue doesn't in any way prevent his eventual resurrection, but that aside, i liked this. Also, i can't stop thinking the words "Doc Samson" in the voice of Molotov Cocktease from the Venture Bros.

Thunderbolts #174 - There's a very timely (heh) satirical post on MightyGodKing on the "rules" of time travel, but i actually liked all the sideline conversations during these time travel stories about the mechanics of time travel. I didn't expect it to boil into an actual plot point, but i'm glad it did. I thought this plot was interesting and the Fixer-loop will be a nice additional layer when i get to re-reading my older Thunderbolts issues. I know i was more tolerant of the meandering time-travel plotline than most, but i didn't realize that it was going to last until the end of the series, and knowing that, i might have joined the voices calling for an earlier return to the present. But it was nice to see the series end in a story re-visiting the beginning. And i'm glad that Parker got Ghost back into the past as well, because i really do like this final cast. Mr. Hyde, Troll, Centurius, Ghost, and Satana have all been great characters along with the more traditional ones (the double-Moonstones were enjoyably devious, too). Great stuff. I haven't looked at any previews, so i don't know if the reboot to Dark Avengers will really be Osborn's Dark Avengers redux #3 or a continuation/evolution with these characters, but here's hoping that if we do stick the word "Avengers" into the title that it'll keep a Parker-written book going longer (although it doesn't seem to be working for Gage on Academy).

By fnord12 | May 30, 2012, 7:58 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link


Tom Tomorrow introduces a new character.

By fnord12 | May 29, 2012, 12:39 PM | Comics & Liberal Outrage | Link

Heh heh heh. Anything to revive gripes about Brand New Day.

Tom Brevoort on why Northstar's marriage is ok but Spider-Man's wasn't.

By fnord12 | May 25, 2012, 9:38 AM | Comics | Link

Avengers Arsenal Gear

I think 'Thor' knows that he looks ridiculous.  That expression says, 'Yeah, but i'm getting paid.'

I'll tell you one thing. It's not a proper Hulk costume without a picture of the Hulk on your Hulk costume.

By fnord12 | May 18, 2012, 6:02 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Hulk Smash Avengers #1 - When i saw the ad for these books, my heart sunk because i knew i was going to have to buy them. I can't say why, exactly, but it was clear that Marvel was publishing them just to annoy me and i had to go along with it. Stern and Van Lente writing some of the books was definitely a factor, but there was something more that just said, "You must buy these... but you won't like them." And, indeed, this issue was a bore. A continuity insert like this can't really add a significant new event, but it can offer something new in terms of character insight, or help smooth over some of the rough planning-in-realtime from the original issues, but this issue just offered a generic story, the lesson of which, if anything, was "The Hulk really liked Rick Jones". It didn't even really deliver on "Hulk Smash Avengers", since most of the Avengers team was occupied fighting the Masters of Evil. The Frenz/Buscema art was nice in a classic/nostalgic way, but Tom DeFalco's attempts at mimicking Stan Lee fell really flat. And if the idea really was that the Avengers were trying to recruit the Hulk in the beginning of this issue, they were doing a terrible job of it. Now the other aspect of a book like this is "Where does it fit?" or "*Does* it fit?" in continuity. The opening page is oddly vague about that, saying it takes place between Avengers #7 and #14. With the "Special thanks to Tom Brennan & Tom Brevoort", i assume some research was actually done, which is appreciated, and i'm sure it can be crammed in somewhere, but a few things stood out as "wrong". All are minor nitpicks, to be sure. But the Hulk's "madder Hulk gets, stronger Hulk gets", which is a key plot point here, known to both the Hulk and the Avengers, wasn't really established or (i thought) in effect at this point. That happens circa Tales to Astonish #70, when the Hulk's intellect is in decline, which would be after Avengers #14. Then there's the Hulk's first published encounter with the Executioner (in TTA #77), of which the Executioner says in their second encounter "with whom I did do battle once before". We can read that very literally and say that since Hulk and Executioner never actually battled in this issue, we're in the clear (or chalk it up to the hazy memories of an immortal Asgardian and the many monsters he's bumped into over the ages). I told you these were minor complaints (i can name a few more, but i realize i'm being ridiculous). I just don't see that this story accomplishes anything useful and therefore these little bumps seem an unnecessary price to pay for a bland story.

Hulk Smash Avengers #2 - I liked this one somewhat better. I thought the stylized art was at least interesting (although, unlike issue #1, clearly not meant to fit in with the time period it's supposed to take place during). And the characters were at least acting more rationally. I'm not sure Gyrich deliberately setting up the team to fail fits his character, but i guess it's not out of bounds. And i think the revelation in the end, that the Avengers could reach out to the Hulk and try being his friend, is nice enough but unfortunately it makes the team look like idiots for never following up on it. Still, this gives me hope for the Stern and Van Lente issues.

Avengers Assemble #3 - I really wanted this to be the book that hooked new or lapsed fans from the movie, but it's really just not very good, is it? And surely they wouldn't really sully Thanos by using him in this series, so hopefully that's a feint.

Captain America #11 - Missing Alan Davis, but this was well written and decently drawn. This isn't Brubaker's fault, but the idea of introducing a new Scourge the way this story does would be mind-blowingly awesome if we haven't had like 30 other Scourges running around as recently as the Thunderbolts and Villains For Hire series. Because it really was a cool set-up and a cool reveal. Imagine if there hadn't been a Scourge since the 1980s, and then you read those last few panels. You'd be like "Cooool!". Instead it's like, "Huh, another Scourge.". Oh well. I think it'll still be a good story.

New Avengers #26 - Like i said about last issue: i have no idea what the implications of this K'un-Lun/Phoenix connection are or where this is going, but i am intrigued. Now regarding the appearance of Leonardo Da Vinci, Agent of SHIELD: i studiously avoided Hickman's series at the time but i guess there's no denying that it's in continuity and i like that Bendis always picks up on other writer's contributions to the Marvel Universe. I came very close to adding the SHIELD trades to my Amazon cart after reading this issue but i've held off so far.

Hulk #51 - Speaking of writers picking up on other writers contributions to the MU, here's the Forgiven, which i guess are Marvel's Least Interesting Vampires™. This was fine. Last issue was better, and i suspect next issue with the Legion of Monsters will be more fun as well, but this was fine.

X-Men Legacy #266 - Yeah, whatever. I knew buying these tie-ins would be a bad move.

Avenging Spider-Man #7 - What happened to Zeb Wells?

By fnord12 | May 16, 2012, 12:46 PM | Comics | Comments (5)| Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Daredevil #12 - So the downside to my Marvel Timeline Project is every time i read a comic like this, which goes into an extended flashback that covers new ground on Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson in law school, instead of just enjoying it, i'm busy worrying about what contradictions it's going to introduce. I don't think this particular flashback actually hurts anything (although the idea that Foggy was possibly secretly financing Matt's education is new information), but something Waid's DD series in general has been pushing is the idea that Foggy is the better academic lawyer, whereas Matt is the courtroom super-star (and, of course, the super-sleuth and human lie detector) but not all that familiar with case law. There's some support for this in past runs depicting "modern" Nelson & Murdock, but i think flashbacks showing the law school years generally depicted Foggy as bungling and amazed by Matt's ability to breeze his classes. I actually like Waid's way of making both characters useful in their own way so i'm happy to let it slide, but these are the things that go through my head, just so you know. Beyond that, i'm worried that Waid is losing focus a little with this series. The appeal with this reboot of Daredevil was really, "Yes, we know that Daredevil's been through tragedy after tragedy for the past couple of decades, but we're just going to blow past all that and have him put on a happy face and fight super-villains outside his traditional rogue's gallery like the Spot, Klaw, and Mole Man". And in the background, you have Foggy looking at his friend and worrying about what his cheerful avoidance says about his sanity, but that was basically an out to bring back the grim & gritty stuff at some future date and to maintain continuity with the past. But really we just want to read some fun Daredevil stories. I mention all this because 1) the Omega Whatever storyline is going on too long and it's putting all of Matt's friends at great risk, which for those of us who've read a couple of Daredevil stories is a very real threat that we've seen acted upon on more than one occasion and 2) No one, at this point, wants to see a new love interest introduced in Daredevil. Unless her name starts with Black, the odds of her eventually being turned into a druggy porn star and/or killed or at least traumatically frightened are pretty high, whatever Waid's current intentions (which, again, at least involve being threatened by one of the Omega super-gangs). Similar with the Secret ID thing; i like the way Waid got around that initially: everyone knows it but Matt's willfully pretending otherwise and after a while it settles back to rumor status. But having the Secret ID and the pursuit thereof being an actual plot point makes us stare it in the face, which (i thought) wasn't the idea. All of this is caveated with the caution that it may be Waid's intention to start tearing down the facade that Matt has constructed for himself. Waid's a good writer, and this issue is fine (artwise too). Just making sure we know where we're going.

X-Factor #235 - I know i've been vacillating wildy on this book and we're reaching increased frequency because now i'm going between loving and hating it within a single issue. I didn't think i was going to like the goofy take on vigilante heroes, which isn't something we really need a "take" on in a world that has actual super-heroes, but i liked the idea of X-Factor infiltrating the group. Then i got really annoyed by the exaggerated fighting between Havoc and Madrox. Then i liked the humanizing dialogue with the vigilantes and some of the other character interactions, and then i thought the big baddie who showed up at the end was pretty lame. But he's so 90s lame that he must be a parody designed to fight the ultimate 90s character Shatterstar, right? So, who knows what i think? One thing i do know is that since PAD is so jokey it's really best to pair him with an artist that really plays it straight - i remember the Starlin two-parter in Captain Marvel being a huge uptick compared to the surrounding issues, for example (but again, it's Starlin and we were comparing him to ChrisChross), but instead the artists for this series tend to ham it up and go with exaggerated facial expressions and poses which exacerbate the farcical dialogue. I think Kirk is a good artist and the art on the series is fine; i'm just asking for everyone to please tone it down.

Avengers Academy #29 - Whenever Gage starts writing some new characters from another series that i haven't read, i go through a couple of stages. First, "oh boy, now i have to read about these losers". Then, "hey, these characters are actually interesting! Now i'm regretting not following their old series. I need to make a mycomicshop order!". Then, "Waaaaiitaminute! I probably won't like them if they're not by Gage. Or will i...? Now what do i do?!?". And with the addition of the X-Children (why aren't they called the New Mutants?) to this series, i was prepared to go through my Gage Stages, and i did, but not quite in the way i expected. Because instead of focusing on the X-Kids (who i actually felt were a bit undeveloped here), i found myself thinking, "Sebastian Shaw is an amnesiac, and he's hanging around with the X-Men's extended family? That's lame." And then "Hey, that book bonking idea was really cool, i guess this version of Shaw is actually interesting, what did i miss regarding him previously?". Then as usual i caught myself. But clearly i enjoyed that and thought it was a cool use of Shaw's powers. And i enjoyed the book more generally too. Great scene with Mettle and Loa. And Hercules' appearance is certainly welcome and i hope he sticks around. And i know there were "budget cuts" that affected the artist on this book, but i think the art is looking good.

Avengers vs. X-Men #3 - Ok, let's just reveal that Wolverine has secretly been replaced with Mr. Immortal. It'll save all of us a lot of agitation. I mean honestly. Especially if during the same issue you're going to have him square off against Captain America and expect us to think Cap has a plausible chance of winning against a guy who can regenerate all his flash-fried flesh back in an hour and then go running off in search of a new fight. Also, having your characters say out loud "Hey, we're acting out of character!" doesn't really solve the problem. That said, we knew what we were getting into for this series, and i like the old school JLA/Avengers-Defenders War approach of having the teams split up and go to various Marvel specific locales where they will presumably have to fight each other again. That's all we're in it for, so just skip the plot and get them fighting.

By fnord12 | May 10, 2012, 9:04 PM | Comics | Comments (2)| Link

Trying not to panic!

Interesting how this (that link uses the wayback machine because the original has linkrotted) comes right on top of some comments on the Marvel Reading Order project:

Marvel have long been hinting that AvX is going to definitively solve one of the 'problems' that affects the X-Men: in a world where anybody can be a superhero, why would the general population have it out for mutants?...

A separate, parallel world for the X-Men to run about in would definitely help Marvel in two ways: it would shake the X-Men off their shiny movie-driven Avengers franchise, and it would give the X-Men a place to be hated and feared in. Is that what we're seeing here?

This is all pure speculation at this point, of course, so i won't start ranting about the end again. But there was some wild theorizing earlier that the coming of the Phoenix in AvX would end in a DC-like reboot of Marvel, and this sounds like a half-step in that direction. But one that would be easy enough to reverse, i suppose. Anyway, i'm officially Not Reacting to this yet.

By fnord12 | May 9, 2012, 3:33 PM | Comics | Link

Comics for new Avengers fans

Todd Allen at The Beat has some suggestions. I think he dismisses both Bendis' and Roger Stern's runs too easily. You're never going to get a run that includes all the characters from the movie, especially when you've got the Hulk in the mix. And like it or not, the older comics have a more stilted dialogue that isn't going to appeal to everyone, which is why i think Bendis may be the way to go.

But clearly, the best comic to give anyone newly intrigued by any Marvel super-heroes movie is Secret Wars.

By fnord12 | May 8, 2012, 2:52 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

Marvel Sales


By fnord12 | May 8, 2012, 2:51 PM | Comics | Link

Military as stumped about SHIELD as comic readers

I don't mean to turn this into an all-Avengers movie blog, but the popularity of the move is such that it spills into the political blogs that i read, and the synergy is too much for me to resist.

This one is about the US Military's involvement in the Avengers movie. They were originally helping out, as they have done in many movies, including the first Iron Man, but they couldn't wrap their heads around SHIELD. Is it a US organization? If so, what's the constitutional justification. Is it an international body? If so, on what grounds does the US military participate?

Frankly (as the article does a decent job of showing, although only with recent examples), it's always been a little unclear in the comics as well.

In any event, i don't really need my super-hero movies to secretly be military promotional vehicles anyway, so i'm glad they pulled out.

By fnord12 | May 8, 2012, 2:05 PM | Comics & Movies | Comments (3)| Link

Time to make superhero movies more like comics

Alyssa Rosenberg again:

"Why The Avengers was so exciting to watch," Ben Kuchera wrote in his review of the movie at Penny Arcade, "was that once you have every character set up and properly introduced by their previous films you can do anything. The script doesn't have to spend time and dialog explaining who everyone is and where they came from...They each arrive on the screen fully formed, without the dullness of a well-worn origin story weighing them down."

I think he's right, and he's nailed something important about where we are in the development of comic book movies. Some, if not all, movie franchise are finally fully behaving like comic books, giving us extended explorations of individual characters that intersect with and then diverge from other characters we're spending time with in parallel, and examining new iterations of characters before the memory of the last version of the same figure has faded. To some critics, that means we've succumbed to an efficient, corporatized entertainment system that hits the same beats over and over again. Certainly, one of the reasons Spider-Man is rebooting is so Sony keeps its rights to the character and doesn't let them revert back to Marvel. And if the lesson Marvel takes from the massive success of The Avengers is that pure repetition is a gold mine, that would be too bad. But I also think that the willingness by Marvel to give us more than six-odd hours over three movies with a set of characters presents an opportunity to demand richer, more unusual, deeper explorations of characters, to turn action movies into the kind of meditations we're more accustomed to getting from television.

Or, you know, like comic books. We've been saying this for years, of course, but if it took an awesome Avengers movie to get the point across, i'm fine with it.

By fnord12 | May 7, 2012, 2:14 PM | Comics & Movies | Link

Round peg, round hole

I do worry that the puzzles i set up for my players will wind up like this, but on the other hand i find it's usually better to underestimate their puzzle solving ability and keep it simple.

By fnord12 | May 7, 2012, 11:27 AM | Comics & D&D | Comments (6)| Link

Shorter New York Times Review of the Avengers

I don't like super-hero movies, so even though i actually enjoyed the movie, i didn't like it.

For a much more positive review, here's Alyssa Rosenberg at ThinkProgress.

My own (real this time, and still spoiler free) review is that it was a lot of fun. It knocks Iron Man 1 out of the Top Superhero Movie slot for me. Every character got plenty of attention. Great dialogue, great characterization, and the action sequences were really good (to the best that i could tell: 3D sucks and i don't understand why they continue to inflict it on us). And that's all i'll say to avoid giving anything away, except that Nick Fury's gun wasn't big enough.

By fnord12 | May 4, 2012, 4:09 PM | Comics & Movies | Comments (1)| Link

And somewhere, somehow, they should have worked in the line "Ooh la la Badoon"

We got to see a slightly advanced screening of the Avengers movie last night (thanks Bob!), and here are my thoughts: It's cool how all the released previews were a total fake-out, with the Loki/Badoon plot just being used for the "team formation" portion of the story and wrapped up in a quick 45 minutes or so. Pivoting over to a Masters of Evil plotline was really cool, and i liked how they were able to use mainly existing movie villains from each of the team members' solo movies, just like in the comics, without resorting to any resurrections or repeats. Arnim Zola was a real surprise which i am of course really happy about, and i liked the depiction of the Executioner and the Enchantress as well. I was surprised about the inclusion of Screaming Mimi and especially the Beetle (who i would have thought was reserved as part of the Spider-Man licensing and therefore not available), but from the post-credit teaser it looks like they're setting up for a Thunderbolts story for the sequel, which will be AWESOME.

By fnord12 | May 3, 2012, 12:05 PM | Comics & Movies | Comments (2)| Link

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