Ant-Man Trailer: Little Things Mean A Lot (Of Money At The Box Office)


 

Okay, Marvel. You got me again. I wasn’t planning to see Ant-Man until if fell out of the sky and landed on cable, but giving away that train scene made me chuckle enough to be interested in seeing this on a bigger screen. Granted, if this were a more “perfect” world, we’d see a Micronauts/Microman reference in the film that possibly hinted at a sequel or follow-up. But that would be so obscure a reference for younger fans that it would fly over their heads and not even register even as old farts like me burst out laughing when it appeared on screen. Ah well. Let the summer movie season commence, I suppose. I’ll just keep my little big ideas all to myself.

Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Have a SUPER Monday With These Heroic Gift Ideas…

gift_guide_2014Like it or not, you just can’t get away from superhero-themed gifts anymore. Most of us creaky adults who grew up with a TV in the house can probably recall those holidays and other special occasions where we got our favorite caped or non-caped hero (or villain!) in a box as an action figure or printed on some sort of common object that was now even more special.
This has pretty much always been a successful business for companies jumping on the licensing bandwagon, but the sheer amount of retailers stocking these goods today is staggering. This of course is good for you as a consumer because loads of choice means plenty of retailers socking it out for your hard earned shekels.  Anyway, here are another bunch of cool items to spend your loot on and sure, you can get me something if you feel like it!
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READS: Kirby’s Mister Miracle Gets The Artist’s Edition Treatment

Mister Miracle Artist's Edition IDWJack Kirby’s post-Marvel career was prolific and in some ways, even busier than his time at the House of Ideas. Unfettered by much of what annoyed him while at Marvel, the King got to create new characters and worlds that he had more complete control over and even picked up a lousy-selling book and made it a showcase for his wild ideas.

One of his more unusual books in his four-comic Fourth World series was Mister Miracle, which lasted a mere 18 issues, but was pack to the gills with Kirby’s super-stylized artwork (for much of the run) and powerful plots packed with panache. Wait, I’m kind of sounding like Stan the Man there for a minute, huh?

Anyway, once again it’s IDW Publishing to the rescue with another lovely hardcover Artist’s Edition that collects seven issues of Kirby’s run on the series (#2, #3, and #5-9) in the premium 12″ x 17″ Artist’s Edition format color scanned from the original art. The book isn’t set to be in stores or online until January 2015, but it’s a must for Kirby fans as well as comic art fans who want to see Jack’s art at full size and in glorious black and white. Pricing should be around $139.99 or less, depending where you shop.

Mister Miracle Artist's Edition IDW 2

Image courtesy previewsworld.com

I kind of like this cover better than the top image, but that’s just me. That and I wonder how well a Mister Miracle movie would go over if it combined Kirby’s Fourth World wildness with the “hiding in plain sight in surburia” from the 1987 one-shot and 1989 series revival. Hmmm… it’s too bad I can’t write up a script treatment, as I have a ton of ideas now floating in my head.

Marvel Studios Pretty Much Has You Covered on the Superhero Flick Front…


 
Yeah, it’s like that now. Rather than cover that crazy and reveal-packed press conference from yesterday, I’ll just drop dates and let you go get started on the line waiting, day-planning and other activities so you work AROUND these release dates which seem to be set in some sort of mystical stone. Yeah, it’s going to be a really busy five years for all those actors, writers, directors and even busier pre- and post-production teams:

Avengers: Age of Ultron – May 1, 2015

Ant-Man – July 17, 2015

Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016

Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017

Thor: Ragnarok – July 28, 2017

Black Panther – November 3, 2017

Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018

Captain Marvel – July 6, 2018

Inhumans – November 2, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019


 
I’m not usually one to zip out to a theater on opening week, as I hate those crowds and their unpredictable antics, sticky seats and the usual screaming child who doesn’t belong there that makes any movie stink. That said, I do like that there’s a plan for all these films to tie in together somehow and be one big arc that takes these characters somewhere. Even if it’s to places I don’t normally venture. Yeah, they’re all still comic book movies, but they’re getting more watchable as time goes on and not less to some extent. I don’t even want to know what that eventual box set of whatever will look like. Then again, I’d say there’s going to be a division in how people get films by then, but no matter what, a segment of those fans WILL want something physical to hold in their hot little hands and pop into a player of some sort…

Gallery: Avengers 2, Assemble!

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Heh. So much for that trailer “leak”, huh? Thanks to movie poster site Imp Awards, we also JUST so happen to have not one, but two teaser posters (what, so SOON?), one of which gets broken up into EIGHT separate posters. Yeah, so much for suspense, huh? Eh, whatever. As I noted previously, this is how Marvel probably wants it from now on and it’s certainly NOT going to make people less likely to see Avengers 2: Age of Ultron or any other films Marvel whips out in the next few years.

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Hmmmm… I wonder when this one comes out? Oh, right (heh)…

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Avengers 2: Age of Ultron Trailer: Shhhh! You’re NOT Supposed to Be Seeing This Yet (Eye Roll Version)…

(Thanks, JoBlo Movie Trailers!)

Oh, look. A “leaked” Avengers 2: Age of Ultron trailer. Or… is that *leaked*? Whatever. We all know that Marvel WANTS us to get all hopped up like a busload of kids returning from Candy Land on freebie day or adults staggering out of a Starbucks wide-eyed and giddy after some millionaire (Tony Stark, perhaps?) strolled in and bought free all you can drink espresso shots for one and all. Hey, it can happen, people! Anyway, it IS a nice trailer, isn’t it? Nice and darrrrrrrrrrk (as expected, since the Marvel Universe on film has been treading some intentionally gloomy ground of late). Well, let the waiting continue, as this isn’t going to be anywhere near a movie theater until what, next summer? I can wait that long. Look, time is passing already! It’s now not as long a wait as when you started reading this post, heh…

Some Random GOTHAM Thoughts…

Hmmm. So, even though I’m not fond of their “news” division’s endlessly dreary antics in keeping people misinformed and angry and frightened half to death, I have to give it up for some of Fox’s TV lineup on the pure entertainment front. The new DC Comics-inspired drama GOTHAM is actually quite good, but I see some critics have no idea who’s who in the Bat-verse. Edward Nigma is NOT going to be the Joker unless he’s got a split personality and all those riddles he’s telling turn to worse jokes. I thought they introduced a wee bit too many characters from the comics in that pilot, but I guess they had to because it’s best to throw out as many cards onto the table as possible and get those arcs going. We got young versions of Catwoman, Batman, Poison Ivy, The Riddler, Penguin, the future Commissioner Gordon and an already dirty cop Harvey Bullock. I’d gather the guy who shot Thomas and Arthur Wayne may also be from one of the comic’s versions of the origin story, but we’ll see where that goes during this season. There’s more to say, but I’ll let a few episodes sink in before I make more noise.

Well, I do have one other goofball complaint – 8PM means I can’t see the show when it airs. I need to hit up the On Demand channel and catch this show the day after. Given the content, it should go on at 9, but the silliness that is Sleepy Hollow takes up that time slot. So, a day late and a dollar short is my way of experiencing this new take on an old classic comic story for the ages. Okay, back in a bit…

Superman: The Movie (1978) Sharp Dressed Men Make An Impression! Writers, Here’s How To Introduce Your Hero (#7 Of A Bunch)

(thanks, Jason Makiaris!) 

This one’s priceless and still a kick in the pants because it’s classic 1970’s New York gone comic book (thanks to the great Richard Donner), but even more hilarious for one key reason. I recall seeing the film back in 1978 and some kid sitting in front of me asking his dad who the black guy was noting how awesome Superman’s costume was. I don’t think there was EVER a pimp in a Superman comic when this film was released (and I’m not sure if one has ever been in an issue even as a background character). I do remember the father muttering something like “Er… um, I’ll tell you later – just watch the movie!” and me trying not to crack up laughing for the next hour plus. To this day I often wonder HOW that guy explained what a pimp was and what he did to his kid. THAT conversation must have been a doozy. The full scene is here – enjoy!

READS: Super Graphic Is A Must For Comics Fans AND Statistics Hounds

9781452113883_super-graphic_largeWriter/editor/designer Tim Leong is a genius, packing all 192 pages of his VERY informative (and a lot more hilarious) new book Super Graphic with graphs and charts and statistics on a wide range of comic book trivia. Ever want to know how much leg Wonder Woman has shown over 70 years? Or how many places in the world (and off it) Tintin has been? How about the difference between cosplay and crossplay? Maybe you’re really curious about How many times the letter “V” was used in each volume of V for Vendetta? Don’t guess, now – buy this book instead!

These and many more answers await in this amazingly cool book which doesn’t use a single illustration from any comic out there. Instead, it’s all an amusing collection of stylized lists and artwork that never fail to entertain, educate and inform with a fine sense of humor throughout.

The book is chock full of serious info as well, but it’s the humor that ties everything together. If you don’t laugh upon seeing the Gotham City Police Department’s Utility Bill (page 154) or the two pages on Why Guys Like The Invisible Woman and Why Guys Like Spider-Man (pages 84 and 85), you may need to go to Doctor Strange and get your head shrunk for a spell. Oh, and that Venn diagram with Stan Lee’s Nicknames for the Marvel Bullpen (pages 68 and 69)? Priceless. Disney and other comic and comic strip characters, manga, anime, animated movies and indie comics also get covered here as well as lots of non-comic, but related info. So if you’re not a member of the Merry Marvel Marching Society or a junior member of the Justice League, you’ll still find a great deal of interesting stuff here to pore over. Pick this up for $18.95 over at the Chronicle Books website.

Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes: “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”, Indeed…

 
Well, it HAD to happen, but I’m not exactly happy it has. Anyway, I bet Activision is royally ticked off because this would have been excellent as a T-rated Marvel Ultimate Alliance sequel or reboot with a more serious story and more “realistic” action figures that they could have also done as a more family-friendly jaunt in the Skylanders vein. Granted, dividing the universe up like that may have been a bad idea because one BIG game that will sell well is better at the end of the day that two that use wallet-draining collectibles as a core element, but who knows? I could see the older collectors sticking to the heroes they like and spending money and those with kids (and more money) springing for both sets, but that’s my brain over-thinking things (again).

Anyway, the license is now Disney’s to play with for ages (forever, it seems), so this is what’s coming, and soon, at that. Hmmm… Iron Man, Thor and The Black Widow in that starter pack? Okay, but I bet Cap will sell out in America and yes, like you, I thought Spider-Man (who’ll fly off store shelves as well) wasn’t going to be here thanks to Sony Pictures currently owning the rights to the character. Yes, Disney Infinity 2.0 and these figures will indeed sell out everywhere this holiday season, but I’d love to see something mature pop up out of the Marvel Universe again before it goes all cookies and milk and yearly “spend your holiday money on THIS!” on us grumpy old timers. That, and how do you make Deadpool cute? Or the Man-Thing? Or some of the other oddball characters you probably won’t see here thanks to some hefty editing out of anything deemed too much by Disney? Eh, we’ll see… I’ve been proven wrong many times in the past.