Tagged: Avengers

Watch the trailer for “Much Ado About Nothing”

Much Ado About Nothing Alexis Denisof Amy Acker

Okay, so Wesley and Fred are getting romantic advice from Agent Coulson, while Captain Mal Reynolds, Detective Kellerman, and Garfunkel lurk around in the background, in Joss Whedon’s latest iteration of the Avengers… oh, just watch. It’s Shakespeare, it’s good for you.

Mindy Newell: Take A Lesson

Newell Art 130304Are you sick and tired of all the crap that’s going on down in D.C?  As in Washington, D.C., not DC Comics.

Believe it or not, me, too. Here is a breakdown of the last 4½ years of political discourse between our political leaders:

“You did it.”

“No, you did it.”

“I’m telling.”

“No, I’m telling.”

“That’s my ball.”

“No, it’s not, it’s my ball.”

“You cheated.”

“So did you.”

“I dare you.”

“I double-dare you.”

For Christ’s sake, grow the fuck up, children!!!!! Or take a lesson from The Avengers – beat the shit out of each other a la Iron Man and Thor, then realize you made a mistake and come together as a team to fight the real bad guy!

I missed the Oscars this year because I watched Tootsie and Kramer Vs. Kramer on Turner Classic Movies, part of their “31 Days of Oscar” routine. I did read and hear about them, though, especially McFarlane’s performance as host, and watched YouTube to form my own opinion. McFarlane’s comments about Jews really offended me. In fact, most of his spiel offended me. Although I do think he’s very smart, and I tend to agree with him when he’s on Bill Maher…to tell you the truth, I’d rather he’d stick to political commentary – I just don’t find him funny.

Reading Lawrence Wright’s latest book, which is about Scientology (Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & The Prison Of Belief). Picked it up because I was so impressed with Wright’s The Looming Tower, which is about the radicalization of Bin Laden, the birth and growth of Al Quada, and 9/11. The later is highly recommended to understand what happened and to help put today’s politics in context – I believe we are still politically paying for the attack on the World Trade Center, and in that way, Bin Laden – may he roast in hellfire for eternity – was successful. The former book, however, is not as eye opening for me; I’ve always known that Scientology is nothing but a big scam set up by a hack science fiction writer who wanted to “get rich quick.”

Scientology is L. Ron Hubbard’s definition of “there’s a sucker born every minute.”  Scientology is a Seduction Of The Innocents and its victims need a good lawyer. Matt Murdock, where are you? Take these Kingpins on. Challenge the organization’s “church” status in court and get their tax-exempt status revoked. That would help a lot of the poor schnooks who have been taken in by the scam.

The Who have it right. Hope I die before I get old.

Wolverine is lucky to have an adamantium skeleton and regenerative powers…my dad had another seizure/stroke a month ago. He’s not coming back from this one. Not really. My mother is physically and emotionally a wreck, on the verge of stroking out herself. The delivery of health care in this country is a disgrace. It’s in the control of the banksters and the insurance companies and price gougers, who get rich off of the sick while reimbursements from Medicare are being cut down to nothing, and since staffing is the biggest expense that medical organizations face, hospitals and nursing homes are forced to use the axe, the result being that patient care is dangerously compromised.

I can’t think of a super-hero from whom we can take a lesson on this one, who can fight this.

Can you?




Lego: Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite Comes to DVD in May

LEGO Batman cover artBURBANK, CA (February 26, 2013) – DC Comics’ greatest superheroes and their arch nemeses face-off in an action-packed, hilarious battle in LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite. Based on the popular video game, TT Animation produced the full-length animated feature for May 21, 2013 distribution by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment as a Blu-ray™ Combo Pack ($24.98 SRP) and DVD ($19.98 SRP), On Demand and for Digital Download. The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack will include UltraViolet™*. Release will include an exclusive Lego Clark Kent/Superman figurine on pack while supplies last.

LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite provides the ultimate blend of action and humor guaranteed to entertain fanboys of all ages. The film finds Lex Luthor taking jealousy to new heights when fellow billionaire Bruce Wayne wins the Man of the Year Award. To top Wayne’s accomplishment, Lex begins a campaign for President – and to create the atmosphere for his type of fear-based politics, he recruits the Joker to perfect a Black LEGO Destructor Ray. While wreaking havoc on Gotham, Lex successfully destroys Batman’s technology – forcing the Caped Crusader to reluctantly turn to Superman for help.

LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite features the definitive voice of Lex Luthor, Clancy Brown (The Shawshank Redemption, SpongeBob SquarePants), who set the standard for Luthor’s vocal tones in the
landmark Warner Bros. Animation television production, Superman: The Animated Series.

Renowned videogame/animation actors Troy Baker (Bioshock Infinite, Batman: Arkham City) and Travis Willingham (Avengers Assemble, The Super Hero Squad Show) provide the voices of Batman and Superman, respectively. The cast also includes Christopher Corey Smith (Mortal Combat vs. DC Universe) as the Joker, and Charlie Schlatter (Diagnosis Murder) in a hilarious turn as the voice of Robin.

Award-winning director/producer Jon Burton helms the film from a screenplay by David A. Goodman based on a story from Burton and Goodman. Jeremy Pardon is director of photography, and executive producers are Jill Wilfret and Kathleen Fleming. Executive producers are Benjamin Melnicker and Michael Uslan.

LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite packs the right combination of action and humor to delight superhero fans from ages 3 to 103,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Vice President, Family & Animation and Partner Brands Marketing. “We’re proud to provide a film that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike, making for ideal family entertainment.”

LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite Blu-ray™ Combo Pack has over 2 ½ hours of exciting content, including:
•       Standard and high definition versions of the feature film
•       UltraViolet™*
•       Featurette – “Building Batman” – An all-new featurette.  Ever thought about making your own batman movie? Join a group of children as they learn from master LEGO builder Garrett Barati, and animate their own Batman mini-movie with LEGO.
•       Teaser– “Lego Batman Jumps Into Action” – Garrett Barati’s original Batman teaser, created for LEGO Super Heroes, shows what this master stop-motion animator can do with just a few click, click, clicks of LEGO.
•       Shorts – “LEGO/DC Universe Super Heroes Video Contest Winners” – The excitement of DC Universe Super Heroes and the joy of LEGO building brings together action-packed short films from five winning submissions
•       Two bonus episodes from Batman: The Brave and the Bold (“Triumvirate of Terror” and “Scorn of the Star Sapphire”) and one episode from Teen Titans (“Overdrive”)
•       Assorted trailers

John Ostrander: That Shiny Nude Dude With The Sword!

Ostrander Art 130224Sometime tonight, in about the second hour of what will seem like a three day Oscar broadcast, my butt will go numb and I will ask myself, “Why am I watching this?” It happens every year and then the following year, I do it again. Am I a masochist? Do I just forget? Why do I care who wins what? I haven’t seen most of the films or performances nominated.

I’m not alone in this. Umpty-bum millions of people will tune in to the broadcast worldwide. It’s not the only movie awards show on anymore, either. You have the Director’s Guild, the Screen Actor’s Guild, the Independent Spirit Awards, the Golden Globes and more all handing out awards. That’s not even mentioning the Tony Awards or all of the different music awards or the People’s Choice Awards, The Emmy Awards or what have you. I’m surprised they don’t yet have the Awards Channel on cable; all awards, all the time. And the Red Carpet shows that precede them.

I understand why it’s a big deal to those nominated for the Awards (whichever Award it is) or to the Industry (whichever Industry it is) but why should it matter to anyone else? Why does it matter to me? Why do I watch? Why do any of us?

Let’s face it, fellow nerds – we aren’t represented. The films we mostly watched aren’t up for awards. Where’s the Oscar for the best actor in a superhero movie? Nominees would have to include Christian Bale in The Dark Knight Rises, probably Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man, and then there’s The Avengers which could be a category all by itself. Who do you not include? Certainly Robert Downey Jr.’s turn as Tony Stark/Iron Man is amazing but how could you not include Mark Ruffalo who made a Bruce Banner/Hulk really work on celluloid for the first time ever.

And the support actors! Again, in The Avengers – Samuel L. Jackson (who should get an Oscar just for being Samuel L. Jackson) or Tom Hiddleston as Loki who almost steals the movie. Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson who provides the heart and the reason to call the group The Avengers – where’s his nomination?

You can make the same argument for The Dark Knight Rises with Michael Caine’s Alfred who is heart wrenching, or Gary Oldman’s Commissioner Gordon who is really the moral center of all three Batman movies. Daniel Day Lewis was amazing in Lincoln but he only had a beard to cope with. Let’s see him put on Bane’s mask and do any where near as good as Tom Hardy did. C’mon – let’s handicap these races for degree of difficulty!

Anne Hathaway got a nomination (and will probably get the Oscar) for her role in Les Miserables but did you see that, my fellow nerds, or did you see her as Catwoman? Sally Field was great as Mrs. Lincoln but why isn’t she recognized as Aunt May?

And best director? Okay, okay – Ang Lee did a knockout job (or so I’m told; I haven’ seen it) of getting a boy and a tiger on a lifeboat in Life of Pi. Stephen Spielberg did an outstanding job in Lincoln, not only creating the characters of the Civil War but the setting, making you feel like You Were There. And there’s all kinds of talk about how The Academy snubbed Ben (Daredevil) Affleck on Argo.

I got two words for you. Joss Whedon. The third act of The Avengers with the attack on Manhattan by the alien hordes, balancing and making all the superheroes – the lead characters in their own movies – work well together. ‘Nuff said.

Why don’t these movies get Academy Award consideration? They made money. Gobs and gobs of it. So far as Hollywood is concerned, that’s their award except maybe for the grudging technical awards. Maybe it is. The folks doing those may have longer careers than those who get an Oscar tonight – because if there’s one thing Hollywood respects more than Awards, it’s cash.

So, yeah, I’ll watch the Academy Awards tonight. Force of habit, maybe. Maybe we’ll have to have an alternative award for folks like us – the Nerdies.

As a great man once said – Excelsior!




Clancy Brown to attend Premiere of Lego Batman: The Movie – DC Superheroes Unite

LEGO Batman cover artClancy Brown, the quintessential voice of Lex Luthor, will walk the red carpet and take part in the post-screening panel discussion when Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and The Paley Center for Media present the World Premiere of LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Superheroes Unite in New York on February 11, 2013.

Brown set the benchmark for all Lex Luthor voices with his iteration of the role for Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League/Justice League Unlimited, and he has reprised the voice in several TV series episodes as well as the DC Universe Animated Original Movie, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, and now for LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Superheroes Unite.

The World Premiere will include red carpet media interviews starting at 5:15 p.m. and the first-ever public screening of the film at 6:30 p.m.  Following the screening, cast and filmmakers will discuss the movie. Joining Brown on the panel will be TT Animation’s award-winning director/producer Jon Burton and director of photography Jeremy Pardon, and renowned videogame/animation actors Troy Baker (Bioshock Infinite, Batman: Arkham City) as Batman and Travis Willingham (Avengers Assemble, The Super Hero Squad Show) as Superman.

LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Superheroes Unite, an all-new film from TT Animation based on its popular video game, finds Lex Luthor taking jealousy to new heights when fellow billionaire Bruce Wayne wins the Man of the Year Award. To top Wayne’s accomplishment, Lex begins a campaign for President – and to create the atmosphere for his type of fear-based politics, he recruits the Joker to perfect a Black LEGO Destructor Ray. While wreaking havoc on Gotham, Lex successfully destroys Batman’s technology – forcing the Caped Crusader to reluctantly turn to Superman for help.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has set May 21, 2013 as its release date for LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Superheroes Unite on Blu-ray and DVD.

Brown made his very first theatrical appearance opposite Sean Penn in Bad Boys, and then forever sealed his place in fantasy villainy as The Kurgan in Highlander. Before playing an immortal, though, Brown etched his name in cult classic history as Rawhide in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. Brown is regularly recognized from his standout performance as Captain Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption, as the centerpiece of HBO’s Carnivale as Brother Justin Crowe, and to fanboys across the planet as gung-ho Sgt. Zim in Starship Troopers.

Having lent his voice to nearly 600 animated episodes and films, Brown is also widely known as Mr. Krabs in SpongeBob SquarePants. His voice credits, to list just a few, include roles in The Batman, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Jackie Chan Adventures, Wolverine and the X-Men, Phineaus and Ferb, Ben 10: Alien Force, Kim Possible, Duck Dodgers, Teen Titans, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command and Gargoyles.

The Paley Center in New York City is located at 25 West 52nd Street. There is no attached parking, however there is ample parking in numerous structures surrounding the Paley Center.


By Van Allen Plexico
White Rocket Books
189 pages
Getting this book was pretty much like getting an extra Christmas gift for this reviewer.  Go through these archives and you will discover we’ve been reading Van Plexico’s Sentinels series since day one; and applauding all of them.  Of course the inherent danger with any long running series is that the writer will become tired of the concept and characters and begin to offer up deluded stories missing the verve and punch of his or her earlier entries.
Well, rest easy, Sentinel fans old and new, “Sentinels – Metalgod,” is another top notch chapter in the saga of Earth’s mightiest super-heroes.  Without skipping a beat, this new book picks up where the last story arc end; the cataclysmic battle between the Sentinels and a trio of super beings all bent on the complete destruction of our planet. (Note, if you haven’t read those books yet, you have some serious catching up to do.)
So in the wake of the Sentinels miraculous victory over these outer space threats, the team finds itself divided.  With their leader, super powerful Ultraa, locked in stasis in a giant red gem, Pulsar (Lyn Li) returns to Earth with the remnants of the team minus scientist Esro Brachis who has opted to visit the alien worlds of Kur-Bai Empire with Mondrian, a beautiful Captain in the Kur-Bai Starfleet with whom he is infatuated.  They are traveling with aboard a fleet starship commanded by Devenn, leader of the Kur-Bai super warriors known as the Elites.
No sooner does Pulsar and company return to Sentinels HQ then a new super being calling himself Law appears and, taking control of the Earth’s communications satellites, broadcast a warning that the Kur-Bai areactually planning to an invasion the Earth.  It falls squarely on Pulsar’s shoulders to deal with this mysterious new character while at the same time trying to recruit new members to help bolster the team’s decimated ranks.
At the same time the Elites, nearing their home world, are attacked by a Kur-Bai starship crewed by powerful robots called Eradicators.  Esro and the Elites discover a military junta has taken over the governing body of the empire and they have been labeled outlaws to be captured and imprisoned.  Barely managing to foil the Eradicators, they make their way to a Kur-Bai space station and there learn the full extent of the events that have befallen their people.  A power-hungry admiral of the fleet has successfully orchestrated a coup, killing thousands of loyal citizens in the process. A full scale civil war is about to erupt throughout the empire and Devenn and his Elites are caught right in the middle.
Those of you who are fans of this series understand itshomage to Marvel Comics’ Avengers.  “Sentinels – Metalgod,” now tips its literary inspiration cap to that classic sci-fi TV series, Babylon 5.  Filled with political shenanigans, outer space battles, empire civil wars this book catapults readers into a whole now universe of action and adventure while at the same time injecting it with a marvelous wry commentary on today’s shallow attitudes about fame and popularity.  The scenes of Pulsar meeting her German based fan club had this reviewer in stitches.  Plexico’s enthusiasm for this series has never been stronger and that is evident on every single page.  If you aren’t a Sentinels fan yet, it’s high time you checked it out. This kind of reading fun doesn’t come along every day.

Ultimate Spider-Man: Avenging Spider-Man Comes to DVD Next Week

Over the past year, Peter Parker has been saving New York City from evil villains as the masked hero, Spider-Man while balancing his heroics with homework and friends. When S.H.I.E.L.D. Director, Nick Fury, offers Peter the chance to raise his game to the next level…to become The Ultimate Spider-Man, Midtown High becomes a secret operations base for young heroes under the watchful eye of Fury and the school’s new principal, Agent Coulson. Spidey takes on S.H.I.E.L.D. missions across the Marvel Universe, encounters new villains, and battles his biggest threat yet…teen high school drama, in this funny and action– packed new series!

Click Communications: Marvel Ultimate Spider-Man: Avenging Spider-Man on DVD 2/5/13! &emdash; Nick Fury & Spider-Man

Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Avenging Spider-Man 2-Disc DVD


Genre:                                   Animation/Action-Adventure

Rating:                                   TV-Y7 FV

US Release Date:                            February 5, 2013

Feature Run Time:                          Approximately 135 minutes each disc (six 22-minute episodes) – total: 270 minutes

Suggested Retail Price:     2-Disc DVD = $26.99 (US only)


Disc One: Great Power, Great Responsibility, Doomed, Freaky, For Your Eye Only, I Am Spider-Man

Disc Two: Flight of the Iron Spider, Exclusive, Field Trip, Home Sick Hulk, Run Pig Run, Not a Toy

Voice Cast:

Drake Bell as Spider-Man (Drake & Josh), Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson (The Avengers, Thor), Logan Miller as Sam Alexander/Nova (I’m in the Band), Caitlyn Taylor Love as Ava Ayala/White Tiger (I’m in the Band), Greg Cipes as Danny Rand/Iron Fist (Teen Titans), Ogie Banks as Luke Cage/Power Man (Fatherhood), Tara Strong as Mary-Jane (The Fairy Odd Parents), Steven Weber as Norman Osborn (A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up Timmy Turner! Brothers & Sisters), Tom Kenny as Doctor Octopus (Spongebob Squarepants, Dan vs.), Chi McBride as Nick Fury (Human Target, Hawthorne), J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson (Spider-Man 3, The Closer).

Executive Producers:                    Alan Fine (Marvel’s The Avengers, Thor, Iron Man 2) Dan Buckley (The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Iron Man: Armored Adventures) Joe Quesada (Ultimate Spider-Man) Jeph Loeb (Lost, Heroes).

Mike Gold: Too Much Is More Than Enough

Gold Art 130123Back in the 1960s and 1970s there was this publisher called Harvey Comics. They were in business to sell comic books to children: Casper the Friendly Ghost, Wendy the Good Little Witch, Hot Stuff, Sad Sack, Little Dot, Richie Rich… well, mostly Richie Rich. As in “I counted 47 different Richie Rich titles from Harvey Comics, not including the daily and Sunday newspaper strip.” Most were bi-monthlies and quarterlies, so to be fair I doubt Harvey released more than a four or five Richie Rich titles every week.

The modern-day equivalent to Richie Rich is Wolverine, who appears in dozens of Marvel titles each month. The sundry Avengers titles, the sundry X-Men titles, Wolverine, Savage Wolverine, Wolverine Max, Wolverine’s Bank Vaults, Wolverine Dollars and Cents… When it comes to that mad little bugger, well, no unemployment lines for him.

Batman is almost as heavily exposed: his various titles, his “family” titles including Batgirl, Batwoman, Nightwing, Robin, blah blah blah. He’s got Batmen stashed all over the world; perhaps the universe. Multiverse. Whatever.

Spider-Man, Iron Man, certainly Captain America… there’s no shortage of work for these guys, either. So why am I bitching? What, am I opposed to the free market?

Aside from the fact that the “free market” is a bigger fantasy than the multiverse, I do not begrudge a publisher its opportunity for success. However, there is the element of uniqueness that makes comics fun. That element is lost, rather rapidly, with overexposure. There are something in the neighborhood of 7200 members of the Green Lantern corps, and if I’m not mistaken all but the Moslem dude has his own comic book. Sarah Palin just found a power ring in her Rice Krispies.

When was the last time there was a truly original, a truly unique, successful superhero launch? Spawn and Savage Dragon? That was 20 years ago. DC Comics rebooted its universe 14 times since then. Before that? What, maybe Judge Dredd (depending upon your definition of “superhero”)? That was back in 1977, when Jimmy Carter was sworn in as President.

Have we lost our originality? No, we simply don’t have publishers with either the backbone or the resources to pull it off. So instead we clone ourselves. The major superheroes are little more than a fourth generation photocopy of what made them unique.

If the marketplace supports mega-multiple titles for its half-dozen most popular characters, why shouldn’t publishers meet that demand?

Because, today, Richie Rich is not being published at all.

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil


Marvel’s Original Sin

Sean Howe shows us proof that Marvel sold original artwork instead of returning it to the artists, or compensating them in any way.

Marvel began returning current pages to artists sometime in 1974, and eventually worked retroactively back a few months, to comics cover-dated from January 1974; among the earliest issues from which art was sent back were Avengers #119 and Amazing Spider-Man #128.

But a year earlier, Marvel sold the covers to these issues, cover-dated January 1973, to the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Seven covers, plus progressive proofs and color guides for each, for a total of $770.

Back in 1986, Irene Vartanoff (who began managing artwork return in 1975) told The Comics Journal that Marvel would occasionally send artwork to exhibits. But as far as I know, this is the only evidence that exists of Marvel actually accepting money for pages of original art.

It’s unclear if the gallery still possesses the pages; nothing comes up on their inventory database. But if Rich Buckler, Joe Sinnott, Barry Smith, John Romita, Sal Buscema, or Tom Palmer happens to read this, they may want to give them a call.

via MARVEL COMICS: THE UNTOLD STORY (Untold Stories: Marvel Sells Stash of Original Art…).

It has been long suspected that lots of comic art went out the door. But this is the first documented proof I’ve seen that Marvel did so and profited from it.

A quick guess puts the value of all that original art at $35,000 today. We wonder if the artists are ever going to see any of it.

Superhero Movies and their Sad Perfect Badass Messiahs

Superhero Movie

Entertainment Weekly, of all places, presents one of the most thoughtful essays on superhero films and how– similar they’re all becoming, and even worse, how many other movies are aping them to great financial success and overall boredom.

Superhero Movies have evolved to the point where three of the genre’s standard-bearers can embody radically different filmmaking styles – this is a good thing, right? Well, maybe. But the problem is, when you dig underneath the three films’ respective stylistic excesses – and they are excesses; few genres in film history are more fundamentally decadent than the Superhero Film, with the ever-expanding budgets and the swooping digital-effects-crane-shots and the ruined cityscapes and the supervillains planning to conquer/pillage/destroy every city/world/galaxy in sight – there is a depressing sameness to lurking within each movie’s basic DNA.

via The Superhero Delusion: How Superhero Movies created the Sad Perfect Badass Messiah, and what that says about America | PopWatch | EW.com.