Tagged: Cable

Emily S. Whitten: Deconstructing Deadpool

Deadpool

After what seems like decades of waiting (oh wait: it was actually about 10 years!) the Deadpool movie finally opened in theaters this past weekend to the tune of a record-shattering $135 million at the box office; and it was everything I’d hoped for. It was exactly the Deadpool movie that we needed at this point to get the franchise rolling – a dynamic R film that pulls no punches about who Deadpool is and why he’s not a traditional hero, yet invests us in his unorthodox character and worldview and gets us rooting for him anyway. And as I walked out of the theater, despite any minor critiques I may have, I felt distinctly the warm, zen-like glow of happiness from having just experienced the fulfillment of longtime hopes I’ve cherished for the manifestation of just such a Deadpool film.

Anyone who knows me or reads my work will be well aware that I’ve been a huge Deadpool fan for years and have written all kinds of things about the character, including a journal and Twitter as Deadpool and several webcomics featuring Deadpool for Reelz.com and MTV Splash Page. I’ve also advocated for Ryan Reynolds playing the title role in a Deadpool movie since 2010, and have covered the movie as it developed as well. Perhaps that’s why a whole several people are very excited to hear my opinions on the Deadpool movie.

Well, friends and internets – My opinions: let me tell you them.

(Warning: spoilers ahead!)

Deadpool is a crazy, hilarious, action-packed, totally inappropriate, slightly heartwarming, somewhat horrifying, gleefully violent, fourth-wall-breaking, satisfyingly mixed-up bag of awesome that makes way more sense than that sounds. It’s a welcome addition to the universe of comic book movies, and one with the potential to add both more fun movies to its own franchise, and bring some levity to upcoming X-Men ensemble movies. It’s also a take on the early Joe Kelly issues of the Deadpool comic, issues I’ve always loved and that did a lot to define the character, including establishing his incessant, pop-culture heavy banter, his work as a mercenary for hire, his romance with Vanessa Carlysle, and his relationship with supporting characters Weasel and Blind Al. The movie pulls heavily and, despite some necessary screenplay alterations, pretty faithfully from Deadpool’s origins as told in Kelly’s 1998 Deadpool & Death Annual, which establishes the backstory of Wade Wilson getting cancer and being given Wolverine’s healing factor by a shady Canadian government program in an attempt to cure him so he could work for them, his manifesting his mutate powers and in the process the ugly cancer tumors and scars we know so well, and his creating the Deadpool persona after his transformation.

Deadpool is an origin story that makes you forget it’s an origin story; a uniquely off-kilter flash back-and-forth plotline that manages to interweave the frenetic fight scenes and scattered behavior and commentary of post-op Deadpool with the more straightforward backstory of Wade Wilson in a way that keeps both interesting and interlocked, and allows for a story beyond his origin. This fits the character to a T; and also makes it possible for a movie starring a character known for random comments and wacky unpredictability to include a lot of heart in the form of a sweet (and salty) love story (the Deadpool marketing people weren’t completely pulling your chain on that one) as well as moments of gravitas and even desperate sadness. And that’s important, because although you won’t often see Deadpool crying into his beer, his origin is a damn sad story, and the dark undercurrents beneath the wisecracking guy in the red-and-black suit are what make him so interesting.

To portray that character, they couldn’t have found a better actor than Ryan Reynolds. Not only has Reynolds got the physique and athleticism for the role, but he also is a master of quick, snarky or sardonic comedic timing and delivery. However, as with the comics character, the over-the-top action and comedy are only two facets of a subtly complex character. The success of Reynolds as Deadpool comes from his ability to marry the snarky persona believably to the darker aspects of Deadpool’s personality, and deftly convey both Deadpool’s genuinely bizarre sense of black humor, and the manner in which the character also uses humor as his armor and as a mask for his pain and despair. Reynolds moves seamlessly from sight gags to exuberantly violent fight scenes to tender moments to intense anger to desperate sadness, and the undercurrents of strong emotion he manages to convey beneath gags and lightning-quick comments are what keep this from being just another ultraviolent comedy. I don’t know that there is another actor out there who could break our hearts during the scene in which Wade cries quietly in the bedroom as he decides to leave Vanessa; and a few beats later, have us roaring with laughter along with Deadpool at the sheer absurdity of a man being murdered via a slow-moving Zamboni.

Of course, in real life, we wouldn’t think any of that violence so funny; but Deadpool’s moral compass is so far off that if we tried to follow it, we’d end up (knowing him) somewhere on Uranus. Reynolds gets that, and plays the character with a charismatic, exuberant energy that pulls us fully into Deadpool’s worldview and makes us forget we’re laughing at, e.g., someone being “skewered like a fucking kabob.” As a passionate fan of Deadpool, Reynolds is wholly invested in this character, and has been wanting to play him in a movie for years (and actually got to play Wade Wilson for a good 15 minutes of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but we won’t say any more about how that turned out). The Deadpool of the comics has, in fact, compared his appearance to “Ryan Reynolds crossed with a Shar-Pei” – and the movie cleverly acknowledges that (as well as Spider-Man’s origin) when Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool says he was “bitten by a radioactive Shar-Pei.” (Other fun facts: both Deadpool and Reynolds hail from Canada, and both have thrice alliterative names – Wade Winston Wilson and Ryan Rodney Reynolds. It’s like he was made for the part!)

Reynolds as Deadpool drives this movie; but it also succeeds in the realm of pulling the character’s look and fighting style from the comics onto the screen. The red and black costume is Deadpool to the last detail, including the inevitable pouches (which are sent up subtly in the movie when Deadpool puts a pamphlet from the cab into a pouch, then minutes later when it’s time to pay says he never carries a wallet when he’s working because it ruins the lines of the suit. There have been many jokes in the comics about what on Earth he keeps in all those pouches). And because the choreography of Deadpool’s completely badass fighting style (a parkour-like mix of elegance, economy, humorous distraction, efficiency, and brutality) was done so well that it was like seeing his comic book fight scenes come to life, Deadpool is the only action movie about which I’ve said, “I would have been happy to sit through more fight scenes.” I’ve always liked the mixture of fighting styles portrayed in the comics, and seeing them on the big screen reminded me of all the comics storylines that have established just what a powerhouse fighter Deadpool is. Sure, he’s not a tank like Colossus; but with his level of precision and skill, his unorthodox and unpredictable but successful tactics, and his healing powers, there’s a reason Deadpool stands above pretty much every melee fighter in the Marvel universe (bucking for first with Wolverine).

Although I say I’d be happy to see more fight scenes in theory (and in future Deadpool movies!), of course in reality too many fight scenes can overwhelm the story. The screenwriters struck the right balance here, devoting enough time to the establishment of Wade’s prior character and relationships to give them meaning alongside his transformation into Deadpool and into his action-heavy revenge scheme. They also did a good job introducing a roster of interesting character relationships without an excess of heavy-handed exposition; and when exposition was needed, cleverly used Deadpool’s fourth-wall-breaking trait to help things along. I do think that the main villains (Ajax and Angel Dust) are fairly opaque, and we don’t learn much about their motivations, but they are well acted and delineated enough to be effective in the story; and Ed Skrein’s Ajax, while he may not be the most horrifying villain I’ve ever seen on screen, is definitely one of the ones I’d most like to punch in the face.

Deadpool’s allies fare a bit better in the development category. T.J. Miller is excellent as Wade’s buddy Weasel, serving as a sort of loyal sidekick who prefers not to actually be around when the action goes down. In character, he’s very like the Weasel of the later comics (Cable & Deadpool era, because in the earlier comics Deadpool was much harsher to him), despite some differences in detail. Miller’s dry delivery makes him memorable, and Miller and Reynolds have a great rapport on-screen, which makes their friendship believable and their banter very amusing. Blind Al (Leslie Uggams) is great in her roommate role, and despite the movie losing some of the weirder, darker aspects of the Wade/Al friendship (see Deadpool Volume 1 Issue 14), manages to nail the bickering but weirdly caring dynamic they have in the comics. (“Listen Al, if I never see you again, I want you to know that I love you very much,” says Wade as he leaves for the big showdown. “I also buried 1,600 kilos of cocaine somewhere in the apartment – right next to the cure for blindness. Good luck.”) Even the cabbie, Dopinder (who is not featured in the comics) has his moments and his own little difficult romance going on, which results in a pretty damn funny scene with “Mr. Pool.”

Although X-Men ally Colossus (voice, Stefan Kapicic; facial performance, Greg LaSalle) isn’t given much dimension, he does well as a moral foil for Deadpool, and is endearing in his patient attempts to convince Deadpool to be a hero. And his superhero speech and Deadpool’s ensuing choice at the climax of the movie make for the most morally thought-provoking moment of the film. Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), the other X-Men character and Colossus’s trainee, doesn’t get a ton of dialogue, but Hildebrand manages to do a lot with her screentime and I love what the writers have done with both Negasonic’s character and her powers thus far (which they’ve changed from the comics, but given she’s barely in the comics, I don’t foresee any fan rage). In outward character she is the quintessential moody teen (as per the hilarious opening credits), which Deadpool instantly calls her on; but that interaction establishes an immediate mocking rapport between the two, and by the final fight scene, they are working together as a better team than he and Colossus ever do. And of all the superpowered characters in the film, her powers are undoubtedly the most bombastically badass, as she can basically be a human bomb (slightly similar to Nitro). Negasonic is also a cool choice because she’s previously unexplored in the X-Men movie realm, and would make a good possible addition to the roster of characters that orbits Deadpool for a sequel, or could be explored further in other X-Men movies.

Of course, the driving force for much of the movie’s plot is Wade Wilson’s love story with Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin). And if Vanessa and that relationship had not been completely believable, the movie would have fallen apart. Kudos to the writers for penning one of the weirdest, but also possibly most human and authentic, big screen romances I can think of; and to Baccarin (and Reynolds) for making it feel entirely credible and natural. As the lovers note in the movie, they work not because they look like they should on paper, but because their individual quirks fit perfectly together, “like the weird curvy edges of jigsaw puzzle pieces” to form a whole picture. Although Baccarin unfortunately has to fill the damsel in distress role for a while in order to further the plot, there is enough substance built into her character and the romance prior to that point that she transcends that role because we already know her as a whole person, and their relationship as a solid, real thing. Plus, Vanessa does get to do a little ass-kicking of her own, getting in at least one solidly impressive blow on Ajax. And although I was slightly sad she’s not Copycat simply because I would have liked to see it, its canon and it works much better at this point in the movie franchise’s story to have her be a non-mutant. At least we got a little nod to Copycat in Vanessa’s white-streaked hair; and it’s possible that if she shows up again, we’ll get to see her in her full mutant glory.

Although we didn’t get to see Copycat, Deadpool gave us plenty of other references to the comic outside of, obviously, the main cancer and Ajax/Workshop storyline and key supporting characters Vanessa, Blind Al, and Weasel. Along with things I’ve mentioned like the pouches, Vanessa’s hair, and the Shar-Pei bit, other favorites of mine include:

  • Multiple clown references (Deadpool has serious issues with clowns);
  • Deadpool running into Bob amongst the faceless lackeys hired by Ajax (and although in the comics Bob’s wife is named Allison, I’m assuming in the movie she’s Gail for Gail Simone, a fantastic comics writer who wrote some great Deadpool comics);
  • The Hellhouse, a.k.a. Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children, in all its seedy glory;
  • A revenge plot flipped from the early Deadpool issues, in which Ajax is hunting down Deadpool via tracking his former Weapon X buddies (who did time with him in The Hospice/Workshop) and then killing them after they’ve given him the information he needs;
  • The heel-face turn plot point of Ajax telling Wade the “superhero” program was never meant to turn him into a hero, but was intended to turn him into a super slave (in the comics origin story, Wade did have a chance at being permitted to be Weapon X’s version of a superhero, but the cancer cure didn’t take, which is how he ended up in The Hospice). This echoes the Landau, Luckman, and Lake comics storyline wherein Deadpool signs on to save the world and then discovers that they never actually intended for him to be a hero in the sense he thought, because LL&L’s idea of “saving” the world is allowing an alien being to bring “peace and bliss” to Earth by robbing everyone of free will, leaving inhabitants in an inert stupor).
  • Deadpool seeking a fix for his ugly face. There are actually several stories in which Deadpool temporarily becomes handsome again/loses the ugly mug, but none of them end well (except, arguably, that thing with the One World Church, since it kicked off Cable & Deadpool, the most awesome reluctant buddy comic ever).
  • Deadpool bonding with Worm. Although not referred to as Worm in the movies, Deadpool’s Workshop friend David Cunningham has something subtly wrong with his right eye and side of his face, which echoes the cybernetic implant on Worm’s face in the comics, and Worm’s last name in the comics is Cunningham. The two become friends, and as in the comics, Cunningham dies near the time of Deadpool’s escape (although in the comics he’s lobotomized by Ajax, and Deadpool kills him in a mercy killing. This is itself likely an homage to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which Deadpool’s comics origin echoes in many ways).
  • Several references to Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld, creators of Deadpool, including Liefeld’s name on a coffee cup and one of the characters in the Hellhouse being named Liefeld; and both names appearing on freeway exit signs. There’s also a line in the credits that thanks Liefeld and Nicieza “(With Tongue).” Oh, and let’s not forget the waitress in the Hellhouse, Kelly, who I assume is a reference to writer Joe Kelly;
  • Deadpool with a knife in his skull, à la oh-so-many of Deadpool artist Reilly Brown’s awesome Deadpool sketches, in which he loves depicting the merc as a literal human pincushion stuck full of things, being gnawed by rats, or even on fire. (The scene also references Daniel Way’s Pool-o-Vision, but I hate that in the comics, so pffft. It’s excusable in the movie because of the knife in the brain, though. Speaking of Daniel Way, the pizza guy scene echoes one in his run on the comics.)
  • Wade’s Bea Arthur shirt (in the pizza scene). Deadpool in the comics has an obsession with Bea Arthur, who he thinks is uber sexy.
  • Deadpool breaks his limbs to escape shackles in Issue 9 of the Joe Kelly run, when he’s escaping from Deathtrap. (I love that issue so: “Die, Teddy Ruxpin, Dieee!”) The broken limbs he gets during the Colossus movie fight, and then sawing off his hand to escape the handcuff, both echo that scene. Also, the baby hand growing back in the movie echoes a plotline in Issue 3 in which his finger had been cut off, and he’s trying to grow it back but only grows back a tiny stub at first.
  • The Dead Pool. Although in the comics Wade names himself after the Dead Pool run by Worm in The Hospice, and in the movie it’s run by Weasel at the Hellhouse, the inspiration is at least similar. The reference to Captain Deadpool is also great.
  • The way Deadpool impales one of the guys on the freeway with two katanas echoes the cover of Wolverine Issue 88, the issue where Deadpool and Wolverine first meet.
  • The way Vanessa touches Wade’s face after seeing his scars for the first time is reminiscent of Siryn’s gesture in the comics when she first sees him without his mask.
  • Meta fourth wall-breakage. Deadpool references the fourth wall a number of times in the movie, as in the comics, but the Blind Al bit where he breaks “sixteen walls” was probably my favorite allusion to it.
  • When Wade and Vanessa are finally together again and about to kiss, he says, “And now, the moment I’ve all been waiting for.” I’d take that to be a subtle reference to the multiple voices/speech boxes he deals with in the comics.
  • The little Deadpool bust on the shelf in Wade and Al’s apartment is a nod to how into his own brand and merchandise Deadpool is. (I was honestly surprised not to see the Deadpool boxers and the boots with the Deadpool symbols on the soles!)
  • The flipped running joke about Deadpool joining the X-Men is great. For some time in the comics, Deadpool liked to refer to himself as part of the X-Men team, and the team continually told him with great exasperation that he’s not a part of the team. Of course, I assume this is also set-up for bringing him into the greater X-Men movie universe, as he eventually does work with the X-Men in the comics.

And speaking of the X-Men universe and the future of Deadpool, now that we have this movie in theaters and it’s doing so well, naturally everyone is speculating about what comes next (besides the release of the soundtrack with that hilarious Deadpool theme song. Of course Deadpool gets his own theme song, along with the best Stan Lee cameo to date). The sequel was greenlit a few days before Deadpool opened; and in the fantastic end credits scene, Deadpool confirms (if you can believe him) that we’ll be seeing Cable in the next film. Given I’ve been saying since the moment Deadpool was a reality that the next logical step is filming the best messed-up bromance ever, a.k.a. Cable & Deadpool, I’ll be overjoyed if that’s the case. And it makes so much sense. Now that the character in both tone and origin is established, it will be easy to introduce Deadpool, e.g. through an X-Force movie (which Ryan Reynolds wants to see happen), to the larger ensemble franchise; and then to roll from that into Cable & Deadpool, a storyline that again primarily focuses on Deadpool (and Cable), but also involves a number of other mutants and has a much grander scale, since Cable is literally trying to save the world before he dies.

Going next to Cable & Deadpool will allow for further development along the lines of the absolute funniest moments in the film, which are when Deadpool is mocking others (particularly Colossus, Negasonic, and “Agent Smith”), skewering the X-Men franchise and superhero movies (“McAvoy or Stewart!?” killed me, and his excitement at the “Superhero Landing!” was a riot) and engaging in or laughing to himself at gallows or black humor (the aforementioned Zamboni scene, spelling out FRANCIS, and the T-Rex joke being good examples of this). Yes, a surprising amount of the crass humor in this movie does land (and Deadpool’s creative cursing is pretty good, his reference to Ajax as a “shit-spackled Muppet fart” being the best), but I’d love to see the sequel really keep focus on the satire and the more complex humor; and bringing Deadpool into the larger X-Men universe or pairing him with Cable (a man who he grudgingly respects, even when he doesn’t always like him) will allow for that. (Side note: I’ve seen some speculation already that maybe other superhero movies should up their ratings to R, considering that Deadpool is doing so well; but I think that would be a mistake. The smartest move, for both future Deadpool movies and other superhero movies, is to stay true to the character(s), and base both content and choice of rating on that. Deadpool being what he is, I had no issue with this film being R, and think future R-rated Deadpool films would be perfectly appropriate – but I also hope the most important goal remains making movies that capture the tone and essence of the character.)

Moving to the Cable & Deadpool storyline will also create an opportunity for another story that will hold together underneath all the jokes, and a more thorough exploration of morality through Deadpool’s eyes. In this film, Colossus’s speech as Deadpool is about to shoot Ajax in the head, and Deadpool’s reaction, which is hilariously and typically Deadpoolian, are also a pointed commentary on the superhero world and the way superheroes’ choices to rise above the villains they fight can be seen as noble and heroic, but could also be viewed simply as an unwillingness to be the one to rid the world of their evil. Of course, taking that final step is also problematic, as it gives rise to the concerns that started Marvel’s Civil War storyline, about having superpowered beings running around accountable to no one. The majority of the superpowered need to walk the line to remain in the good graces of the public; whereas Wade simply does not care and follows his own skewed code.

But examining that code, and Deadpool’s struggles in the comics with making the right choices and being a hero, could make for a great and complex movie sequel, and the Cable & Deadpool storyline has the moral questions and hard decisions built right in. Now that Deadpool has been established, I want to see the sequel delve even deeper into what’s underneath the wisecracks and the crazy now that he’s post-op Deadpool. I want to see Cable developed into a three-dimensional and perfect foil for Deadpool, and I want to see Deadpool forced to make hard choices in his own unique way. And, of course, I want them to showcase more of that crazy elegant fighting style, because it is badass. And, and, and…is there anything else I want? Well I would say a Deadpool unicorn, but I already have one. So I guess all that’s left to say is, OMG Deadpool was super awesome and I want to see it again; and…

Until next time: ch-ka-ch-kahhhh.

Emily S. Whitten: Deadpool – The Game!

newdeadpoolscreens1Ladies and gentlemen, I have met the Deadpool game, and it is mine.

Mine, mine, mine! And if you try to take it away from me, it will be fighty time.

In other words. I like it. I like it a lot.

(Mild spoilers ahead.)

When I heard that High Moon Studios was going to be putting out a Deadpool game, I got very excited. I mean, heck, I bought the original Marvel Ultimate Alliance because you can play Deadpool, so no shock there. Then I started seeing the trailers, and I was alternately excited and slightly worried – excited because it looked like High Moon had really done their research, and worried because it’s possible to do the research and still get the tone wrong; in particular, by emphasizing the cruder parts of the character at the expense of the (crazy, off-kilter, a little insane) cleverness. It happens in the comics sometimes, depending on who’s writing the character, and it’s pretty off-putting when you’re used to the cleverer Deadpool. The promos had a lot of bits that seemed to indicate that the focus was going to skew towards gross-out or lame sex jokes instead of witty Deadpoolian banter, and that would have disappointed me to no end. But I shouldn’t have fretted.

Sure, there are some really crude bits in this (M-rated) game – in the very first level, where you get to explore Deadpool’s apartment, you have the option to make Deadpool sit right down and, as the proper British would say it, “use the loo.” But the way it plays out makes it less gross and more hilarious, and completely in character with a Deadpool who knows he’s in a video game. Likewise for most of the other jokes in that vein; it’s all about the context and delivery, and the designers (and Nolan North as the voice of Deadpool) nail it here. That’s not to say that some of the humor isn’t a bit juvenile; or that I couldn’t do without a few of the more misogynistic or sex-related references (did there really need to be blow-up dolls in the game? Really?). Some of those references stem from more recent iterations of Deadpool, which is one reason I’m a much bigger fan of the slightly subtler Deadpool humor of the Joe Kelly, Fabian Nicieza, and Gail Simone eras. But overall, the humor works – and after all, Deadpool is, when all is said and done, kind of terrible a lot of the time. He’s funny as hell to read about or watch, but he’s not exactly a guy you want to invite over to hang out.

Happily, there are also a lot of jokes in the game that have nothing to do with bathrooms (or women’s anatomy), and that actually made me laugh out loud. For instance, when the little scene from the game’s promo pics that made me laugh, with Deadpool riding in a little kiddie ride that looks like a rocket, finally shows up, it is even better than in the promos. And there are numerous bits like that. There was actually only one schtick that really hit a completely wrong note for me – in which Deadpool stops to admire a dead female enemy who’s been impaled on a pole. That made me cringe.

But other than that, playing this game as a Deadpool fan (or even if not, I’d wager) is pure joy. Deadpool is a character who’s well-suited to the over-the-top craziness of a video game – he’s all about violence and fun, and he comes with his own pre-written fourth wall-breakage that can be incorporated in some pretty awesome ways in a video game. For instance, at one point in the game, Deadpool opens a door and sees a pathetically unfinished, half designed, green-gridded hallway. So what does he do? Well of course he closes the door and calls up High Moon to threaten them if they don’t get that hallway finished immediately. The door opens again and, voila! it’s fixed.

2427256-mkh4go8There’s a ton of stuff like that in the game, and the best part is, the game never breaks character. For example, when Deadpool dies, he pops up on the load screen with an apropos quip about the situation (My favorite being the “Oh, hey babe! What are you doing he – Wait, I’m what?” reference to his relationship with Marvel’s Death). Everything is written in a Deadpoolian style, and even though it features what could be a “serious” storyline (the plot is something about Mr. Sinister trying to be evil as usual, and Cable trying to get Deadpool to help stop him and save everyone), this is overlaid by Deadpool’s personal storyline – which is that Mr. Sinister killed Deadpool’s contract hit, so now Deadpool isn’t going to get paid. And Deadpool? He mad. Which means that yep, he’s damn sure going to go through the whole story and give Mr. Sinister what-for, and, oh, yes, inadvertently end up helping everybody at the same time and maybe saving the world and stuff; which is just what Deadpool often does. The result is a video game that does actually have some pretty good substance to it – but is, on top of all of that, just plain fun to play.

The Deadpool game is also pretty awesome to watch and listen to. Deadpool himself looks great, the cutscenes are frequent and fun, and the entire story is rife with references to the Deadpool canon from the moment we arrive in Deadpool’s run-down apartment. From an actual “history of Deadpool” program you can watch on Deadpool’s TV (complete with art from the comics and a great “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”-style narrator) to what happens when you decide to cook in Deadpool’s kitchen, it’s all Deadpool, all the time; although there are also some great cameos by characters like Cable, Domino, and Wolverine. You see alternate Deadpool uniforms; glimpse the face behind the mask; and then the writers even lampshade the way Cable disappeared at the end of Cable & Deadpool by giving him an analogous and obviously lame and nonsensical excuse as to why he can’t stick around and help Deadpool with the mission he’s just given him in-game. It’s the little stuff like that which makes this game fried gold for any Deadpool fan.

The settings are also pretty interesting. I was particularly impressed with Genosha, which is actually depressing as hell if you look at the details they’ve put into the already creepy ruins (a merry-go-round upended by a Sentinel head; several random skulls; scrawlings of “Why?? Why??” and “Rot in Pieces” on the prison walls). It’s a level design that would fit right in with, say, Arkham Asylum. And yet in the midst of all this, we get Deadpool spinning the completely random “Wheel of Insanity”…and landing on “Cow.” At which point, yes, an actual cow flies mooooing through the air, amidst a general “magnetic apocalypse” he’s already dialed up – and meanwhile, Deadpool is platform-jumping up to a rather disturbing but funny scene with Mr. Sinister’s clone. It’s the perfect blend of darkness and light, which is what drew me to Joe Kelly’s Deadpool and made me love reading about him in the first place.

I also love that this is a video game that rewards a player for doing nothing. Because of course. For instance, if you turn on the game but don’t start playing right away, the sleeping Deadpool will eventually teleport from chair to couch, changing uniforms. There are also prompts that you can follow at various points in the game; say, to make something that’s driving poor Wade crazy stop – and if you don’t follow the prompt (maybe because you, I don’t know, think it’s funny to listen to Deadpool cry for awhile) he might, just maybe, shoot himself in the head. Which sounds pretty awful, but in context it’s hilarious. Deadpool’s voice work, done by veteran Deadpool voice actor Nolan North and featuring all three of Deadpool’s voices (his real one and the two in his head, which show up as yellow and white boxes just like in the comics), is also hilarious and awesome. North has great comic timing, and delivers even the craziest lines with panache.

I’ve seen a couple of reviews of the game that note that the gameplay can get monotonous; but I’d disagree. Sure, this might not be a game that always requires finesse – although there are a number of combos you can perform, you can also succeed pretty well some of the time just by mashing buttons; and yes, the basic mobs of bad guys can be killed by the same attacks throughout – but the game switches it up with more powerful enemies and bosses, some of which have different tricks up their sleeves, and most of which do require more skill. And as Deadpool you have access to a pretty fun arsenal, which includes katanas, sais, giant hammers, several types of guns, and a number of mines and grenades. And, oh yes, bear traps. Because bear traps. You can also teleport, which is a great dodge when fighting, and is super awesome when you, say, miss a platform and are falling to your death; because the game allows you to simply teleport back to your last jumping-off point.

Just as important as any of the above, though, is that the constant kill-kill-kill of a lot of action games is broken up regularly by hilarious cut-scenes, random dream sequences, and challenges that require different skills from players (platform and wall jumping, rooms with shifted perspective, a crazy turret sequence involving a Sentinel’s boot…). I love a challenging fight, but a game that can also make me laugh right afterwards is way better. And clearly, from what I’ve been talking about for most of this review, a game that is immersive and enjoyable is just as important to me as a game that challenges me as a gamer.

In conclusion, I love this game. It’s like being in a Deadpool candy store full of Deadpool candy; except that this store is definitely not for kids. So if you’re a Deadpool or Marvel fan, or just looking for an engaging game, and you can handle a little bit of crass humor – then I’d say go for it. Get this game. Because if you don’t, Deadpool will get you. With bear traps.

And until next time; Servo Lectio.

TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Michael Davis Praises SDCC

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold Pisses On SDCC

 

Marc Alan Fishman: Welcome to the Comic Book Industry of the Future!


Fishman Art 130209Greetings, past-dwellers. Tis I, Marc Alan Fishman, the sage of the future! I traveled here to the past, via my patented DC Direct TimeSphere. It was only $299.99 at my local comic retailer (which in the future is just Amazon Prime…)! I come to you, this random Saturday morning, on a mission from
ComicMix 8.0. I’ve come to give you hope that in 2013, everything changes. Hold on to your bow ties, time lords. Let me give you the glimpse of what will become of your industry.

In 2013, the rumblings began. You see every time a creator got uppity in the past, they dropped those immortal words: “Creator-owned is the future, man.” And every time those creations (not of Marvel or DC, mind you) became one with the zeitgeist, the word revolution spread across the artist alleys of convention floors like a plague. Ah, I know. I know. You say “but that means nothing, FutureBeard… no one will ever take down the Man!” And, in a sense, you are right. The Man, thanks to lucrative movie franchises only made the big two stronger. Much like Coke and Pepsi, so too grew Disney and Warner Bros. until they were simply entertainment forces of nature. But therein lies the seeds of change.

It will all happen so slowly, you may not notice it. DC’s New52 and Marvel Now continued to polarize the ever-aging fanbase. The movies and TV series connected to them (both live action and cartoon) never lead to direct increases in comic book sales. They were, in essence, two distinct media with distinct audiences. It took a while to figure out ourselves… but our NerdVerse Historian, King Alan Kistler decried it, and it was written; while there will always be crossover, there wasn’t (and will never be) a movie or comic to unite them all.

And with that knowledge, spreading like primordial ooze across the vast lands of Nerdtopia, came with it the paradigm shift.

Through careful and meticulous planning and the support of the not-as-big-as-you’d-hope-but-still-pretty-big fan base… established creators turned towards indie-or-self-publishing outlets. Crowd-sourced, and then sold for profit directly towards their bottom line, these creators proved that even without a corporate overlord signing a check… a meager living could be made. And this is how the pebble begins to roll down the mountain.

When those small books became big hits, their creators soon became corporations unto themselves. And then, those same creators, backed by their cultivated fan base, combined into local studios to consolidate their power. No longer mere islands adrift in freelance work, these micro-states began dictating what they published on their own terms. And yes, even on the outskirts of these creator-states… smaller unknown (cough… cough… unshaven…) studios took to the same open road and formed bonds that could not be broken. And now, from the future where I come to you, I’m proud to say that the industry has never been stronger, where creators are no longer afraid to present their own ideas… and take home enough to support continuing doing it again.

Now, don’t cry for Marvel or DC. They still have a large foothold of the rack-space. But their talent pool is a wide berth of only the young unknowns, and the old guard who chose never to leave. The young, lured in by the shiny opportunity. The old, still fearing the unknown, and clinging to the terrible contracts that deny them anything more than pittance while their creations bring in countless millions in other mediums.

And yes, occasionally some of the Indie Nation takes on an old favorite. And they sell magnificently. But here in the future… after that tale has been told, they are reenergized to return to their own pocket universes. It’s a glorious time for sequential fiction. It happened in dribs and drabs over the aughts. Image’s old image (heh) of splashy pastiche universes gave way to intelligent, and brilliantly crafted mini-series. Dark Horse, IDW, Boom!, Avatar, Dynamite, and others began looking towards those self-sustaining garage bands in the artist alley and gave them a powerful ally to help build their brands.

The Internet, social media, and most important, peer-to-peer connections via conventions spread the word of the DIY-revolution. Indie comic creation became the new rock-and-roll. And 2013 my friends… was where those faint rumblings began to move the needle towards the utopia I live in now. Suffice to say: keep your eyes and ears open. More importantly: keep supporting your favorite creators when they make the leap away from the dark side.

I should also note, in case you’re curious:

Superman ditched the Nehru collar. Grant Morrison’s consciousness was transferred to a super-computer. Rob Liefeld eventually got his eyesight checked, and realized the error in his proportions. He redrew every ounce of work he produced up until 2015. Afterwards, his wrist looked like Cable’s, circa 1996. Unshaven Comics optioned the rights to the Samurnauts to Sony Pictures. Brad Bird directed the first of 17 successful films. Subsequently, Unshaven Comics erected a 75 foot golden beard in the heart of downtown Chicago.

And, finally, Alan Moore eventually forgave DC. Shortly after, he ascended to Snake Mountain and has since lived as the NecroLord of Fourth Realm. He still puts out books every year, and they are still amazing.

SUNDAY: John Ostrander

 

Mike Gold: Must We, TV?

Gold Art 130102I was a little slow when it came to adopting television as a part of my lifestyle. I only cared about cartoons as a small child, and no wonder: teevee was mostly local and cheaply produced and all those public domain Fleischer and Warner Bros. cartoons were a delight. They still are. I didn’t get sucked into the mainstream until pre-adolescence.

When that happened, TV Guide was my bible. A digest-sized magazine that contained detailed descriptions of every local and network show to be aired in the following week, I, like my peers, pretty much planned our lives around the boob tube. The annual Fall Preview issue was a genuine event.

When it comes to broadcast entertainment today, TV Guide has become less than irrelevant – it’s useless. Cable has brought us so many channels if the magazine stuck to its original concept it would take a half hour to read the next 30 minutes of descriptions. The printed grid tells us nothing we can’t get from our cable grid. And the vaunted Fall Preview issue presumes the “new fall season” is unique. It is not. With the exponential growth of choice, “new seasons” come with each new season.

more important. I take the recommendations of my friends quite seriously – daughter Adriane is a constant source of advice, and I take heed at the recommendations of Martha Thomases and the other ComicMix crew (Martha makes one such nod this Friday; I’d link to it but it’s not Friday yet).

But if my jaded, tube-weary brainpan is capable of generating any excitement similar to that of the old new fall season, it happens right now, in January. Some of my favorites return this month: Justified, Community, Young Justice, Bill Maher. There are a number of promising-sounding shows such as Ripper Street, and before long we’ll have Louie, Hell On Wheels and Doctor Who back.

None of these (save Bill Maher) are what we used to think of as full-length series. We get maybe a dozen episodes of each annually. Even though each episode is played many times, teevee-watching isn’t quite the passive experience it once was.

All of this cable stuff already is being eclipsed by streaming media: Netflix and others have competitive original content, Apple has a box for sending stuff from a great many services (including, of course, its own) to the teevees in your house, and Intel is going to be rolling out an interesting new media box on a market-by-market basis starting soon. The larger cable companies have apps that allow you to pick up their service at home on your smartphones and tablets, and content suppliers such as HBO and the various networks allow you to steam their material to these same devices.

We’re probably just a heartbeat away from fulfilling the prediction made back in 1967 in the brilliant social satire, The President’s Analyst. Pretty soon we’ll just have a chip installed in our heads, and the fees will be debited to our bank accounts.

We don’t need drugs, alcohol or virtual reality. We have television.

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil

 

REVIEW: The Princess Bride – 25th Anniversary Edition

Hard to believe it’s been a quarter of a century since The Princess Bride was released to theaters. By then, I had adored William Goldman’s novel which was its basis and over time, as it hit cable then home video, it was watched repeatedly in my house. As a result, the kids grew up with it a part of their lives and they came to adore it with equal ardor. Sadly, when I tried to interest my eighth graders in seeing it recently, they stared blankly.

The conceit in the novel is that Goldman was giving us the “good parts” version of S. Morgenstern’s fantasy tale and that is adapted to the film as a grandfather (Peter Falk) reads the book to his sick grandson (Fred Savage). The rest of the fable involves the romance between beautiful Buttercup (Robin Wright) and dashing Westley (Cary Elwes) and the trials and tribulations that kept them apart – until the end when they finally kissed, one of the five greatest kisses ever recorded in history (or so we’re told). Between meeting and kissing, there are swordfights aplenty, death, resurrection, magic, cowardice, giants, tricksters, weird locales, and much more. Girls can love the romance, the boys can adore the action and both can laugh at the comical performances and clever dialogue.

Rob Reiner’s casting was pitch perfect as was his deft direction so all the elements came together to make an instant, enduring classic. With Wallace Shawn, Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Andre the Giant, what could possibly go wrong? Nothing as it turns out and it’s a joy to see it one more time, in the 125th anniversary Blu-ray release from Warner Home Video. Reiner could have gone overboard with the humor but he reaches the edge of slapstick and pulls back time after time.

Given how often this has been previously released on DVD and Blu-ray, it’s comforting to see most of the extra features carried over here including both audio commentaries (Reiner and Goldman), The Art of Fencing (7:00), Cary Elwes’ Video Diary (4:00), a look at the Dread Pirate Roberts (12:00), twin pieces on the fantasy roots (26:00), a Makeup (11:00) piece; and “Untold Tales” (9:00). New to this edition is a 25th Anniversary Chat with Cary Elwes, Robin Wright and Rob Reiner (15:00) and Entering the Zeitgeist (15:00), examining the film’s role in today’s pop culture.

If you own one of the earlier versions, you may not need this but if you don’t have this on the shelf, this is well worth you (and your children’s) attention.

REVIEW: Cinderella

Walt Disney deserves its reputation for making magic on a regular basis, starting with the black and white shorts of the 1930s all the way through their current hits on their cable channel. They’ve managed to spread the supernaturally wonderful touch to cartoons, films, television, theme parks, and tons of merchandise. The joy is looking back, seeing the progress as Disney and the Nine Old Men, the master animators, learned the tricks of the trade, refining them and then owning them, setting them apart from all.

The 1950 release, Cinderella, is one of those films where all the elements come together. It possesses a classic story, told with verve and humor, coupled with fluid animation and memorable songs. Disney has spruced the film up, debuting it this week as part of its Diamond edition series of films.

Watching this classic feels fresh thanks to the restoration efforts. The songs sound better, the characters feel funnier, and you grin happily all the way through. The fairy tale was nicely adapted as the young girl found herself trapped in her role as scullery maid to the wicked stepmother and her homely, but favored, two daughters. She makes her wish to attend the ball and is greeted by the lovable but somewhat daffy Fairy Godmother. There’s the ball, the price, the dancing, and the glass hoe left behind as the clock strikes twelve. It’s all there, well-paced and crafted, with natural movements to the humans, saving the exaggerated antics for the anthropomorphized mice that were Cinderella’s friends from the outset.

You root for Cinderella, hiss at the step-mother, and giggle at the slapstick. It’s all done well and is a perfect family film that endures.

One of the highlights of Disney’s Diamond releases is seeing how much improved the video image is and Cinderella does not disappoint. The high-definition restoration is amazing, with bright colors and sharp clarity, making the film all the more magical. Accompanying the improved look is amazing sound, which enlivens the overall experience.

Disney rarely skimps on the extras for these special releases and once more, this disc comes chockfull of goodness. The Blu-ray and DVD come nicely packaged in an embossed case but that’s just starting the fun. There are tons of extras that show the history of the film, the filmmaking process, and the usual assortment of excellent featurettes taking us into the magic behind the screen. Thankfully, the Classic Backstage Disney section repurposes all the content from previous editions.

“The Real Fairy Godmother” (12:00) is fascinating in that it is a tribute to Walt’s wife, the inspiration for the supporting player. Daughter Diane Disney Miller appears here along with an optional video introduction to Cinderella. A new Tangled short appears in “Tangled Ever After”, which was in theaters with the last rerelease of Beauty and the Beast but acts as the lead-in to the Cinderella.

In a nice bit of cross-promotion, Snow White, that is Once Upon a Time’s Ginnfer Goodwin, takes you on a tour of the revamped Fantasyland at Disneyland, as “Behind the Magic: A New Disney Princess Fantasyland” (8:00) emphasizes the Princesses that have proven a marketing juggernaut. More promotion can be found in the focus on designer Christian Louboutin in “The Magic of a Glass Slipper: A Cinderella Story” (10:00).

For Blu-ray fans, there’s the DisneyView option, spotlighting the art of  Cristy Maltese, in case those black bars on the sides bother you.

If anything is less than stellar, it’s the Disney Second Screen, accessed via your mobile device or computer, lacking the usual breadth of secrets from the Disney Vault.

Dennis O’Neil: Naughty Words!

Fuck!

And now that I’ve established my bona fides, let’s get to today’s topic: naughty words.

They aren’t new, these verbal no-nos. Virtually every culture has had them, though their content, even allowing for translation glitches, is not always the same. (My doo-doo is your Number Two?) I don’t know how far back on civilization’s continuum the use and misuse of these words goes.  Did the early farmers, about thirty centuries ago, have them?  How about the hunter-gatherers?  The guys who made the cave pictures?

Maybe some of you have answers; I don’t, but I do know that ever since we homo sapiens started hanging around in cities and having politics and organized games and such, we’ve been able to let go of frustration by uttering, or shouting, some syllables that redden mom’s ears.

Even within my brief lifetime (okay, not so brief) these expletives have evolved a bit.  When I was a nipper, the word “hell,” and even more-so “damn,” were not to be uttered in polite company.  (When father spoke them from the Sunday morning pulpit, he was just doing his job – letting us know, maybe, what would happen to people inclined to use said expletives.)  And you never – and I mean never – heard them coming from screens and speakers.  (And the little sophist in the corner carps, “What about the last line of Gone with the Wind?  And I reply that the exception proves the rule and then ask, ‘Pray tell, sophist in the corner, are you a politician?’”)

Today, hell and damn are common broadcast currencies, bouncing off our living room walls even well  before ten p.m. which once marked the temporal divide between family and adult. (Did this presume that adults are not part of families?)  In some cable television venues, mostly those we have to pay extra for, nothing utterable seems to be off-limits, and even on basic cable and its cousin, broadcast TV, lips are getting a lot looser.

We’ve come a long way since Norman Mailer coined the word “fuggin” to approximate soldier dialogue in his World War Two novel, The Naked and the Dead. (I was once part of a group of sailors who were cautioned, when home on leave, not to ask granny to “pass the fuckin’ salt.”)

Does this bring us to comics?  I guess it might as well. Naughty words haven’t been used much in mainstream comics, though in the so-called undergrounds apparently anything went.  We have inched away from the time when editors and publishers were perpetually running scared, afraid to offend anyone (and good luck with that!) and thereby trigger another witch hunt of the kind that decimated the comics  business in the fifties.  How far have we inched?  I don’t know.

But it seems likely that we’ll inch further unless gents like Rick Santorum and Paul Ryan actually get the power they obviously covet.  Then?  Again, I don’t know.

But maybe the more interesting question is, should we inch further?

This horseshit will continue in a week.

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases

 

Emily S. Whitten: Ask Deadpool, Because You Just Won’t Get These Answers Anywhere Else

Hey everyone! Emily here, and all ready for a great Tuesday column! Today I’m going to be talking about cosplay. I read an article a little while ago, about why women cosplay, and whether they –

Why women cosplay? Well ain’t it obvious? So they can look smokin’ like Lady Deadpool an’ stuff.

Um, Deadpool? What are you doing here?

Dontchya remember? You promised me I c’d take out my backlog’a Twitter questions by answerin’ ‘em on yer column this week!

…I did, didn’t I? Well crap. I had this whole great column about women and cosplay ready to go! Are you sure you don’t want to come back next week??

Em, I love ya, but GTFO.

*siiiiigh* It’s all yours, man.

RIGHT. Well now. Since we ain’t been properly introduced yet, ‘sup, people’a ComicMix. My name’s Deadpool, an’ I come in peace.

[Well we all know that’s a big fat lie.]

[Shaddup.]

Okay, maybe I come in peace an’ a little bit’a mayhem. Guess it kinda depends on my mood what you’ll get, an’ th’ way my brain works, who c’n predict? But right now, I’m feelin’ all mellow an’ $#!% ‘cause I just ate ten chimichangas, five enchiladas, an’ a chalupa. Also a coupla churros. You ever had a churro? Man, I c’d eat those things all d –

[FOCUS, MAN.]

All right, alright. So, yeah. All fulla food an’ mellow an’ happy an’ ready ta clear up some’a those burnin’ questions people are always askin’ me ‘cause they know I’m th’ world-wide expert on everythin’ on Earth, ever. Also a pretty good consultant fer death an’ th’ afterlife an’ life in other galaxies. Also I play a mean game’a shuffleboard

[WILL YOU GET ON WITH IT ALREADY??]

So now that ya know why we’re all here, let’s get on with it, eh?

[I get ta say “Eh?” ‘cause I’m Canadian.]

[So you say.]

Ah-hem. On ta all th’ burnin’ questions, is what I say!

…But no questions about burnin’ as it relates ta you, yer pants, an’ that donkey ya met last week, ‘kay? Last time I got one’a those kinda questions I couldn’ sleep right fer a week fer all th’ nightmares. They got other people fer those questions, capeesh? I’m a merc, not a doc!

So, yeah, let’s see here…last month’s laundry…IOU from Cable after he borrowed my WD-40; man, that’s old, I bet I c’d collect some killer int’rest on that…souvenir slice of Agent X’s pancreas (he never missed it!)…ah! Twitter questions!

Oh, hey. This one just came in, from @foresthouse.

Emily says: Wade!! Don’t forget to post the comic that @MarcVuletich and I did in your Tuesday @ComicMix column!

Crap! I almost forgot, didn’ I? Stupid shimmyin’ brain cells. Emily said I c’d only answer questions here if I remembered ta post the latest comic she an’ Marc Vuletich did. I let ‘em hang around th’ office sometimes ta chronicle my amazin’ life. Here’s what happened last week…

…Not my proudest moment. And now, on ta th’ rest’a th’ internets:

@Gohanguy22 asks: “Who would win in a fight? Justin Bieber or Aquaman”

Ah, geez, another one’a these “who would win” questions where th’ answer is just so obvious I don’ know why there’s even a question. I mean, here we got Justin Bieber, The Dude Formerly Known As A Hairstyle, who’s basic’lly recycled pop songs, a few dance moves, an’ a big cheesy grin; versus Aquaman, th’ freakin’ king of Atlantis, who c’n like, breathe underwater, make sea creatures dance th’ merengue if he wants ‘em to, an’ punch through submarines. Also th’ dude c’n swim up Niagara Falls.

So, obviously, th’ answer is: Justin Bieber. ‘Cause even though Aquaman c’d snap that little feeb’s neck like a tiny piece’a coral or drown him in three feet’a water or have him eaten by piranhas no problem, ev’rybody knows th’ King of Atlantis’d be too dignified ta bother fightin’ or drownin’ somethin’ that silly an’ inconsequential.

Also, what’s th’ point? Ya get rid’a Bieber, an’ ya just know there’ll be another Bieber along ta replace him soon enough. They got, like, a factory somewhere or somethin’.

@Flobberknocker wants ta know: “you versus 100 chimichangas. Who wins?”

Well obviously th’ first round goes ta me. I’d be eliminatin’ th’ competition left, right, an’ center. Hooverin’ up those chimichangas like it ain’t no thang. Knockin’ ‘em down an’ goin’ in fer th’ kill while they cried fer their wussy mommy chimichangas. Then, sure, I might haveta stop fer a few, ‘cause 100 chimichangas is a lot of chimichangas. So yeah, I’d take a breath, get someone ta mop my brow an’ squirt water in th’ general direction’a my mouth, maybe tell some people passin’ by ‘bout how I was eatin’ 100 chimichangas (okay, I’d tell everybody passin’ by, but just ‘cause “chimichanga” is fun ta say, it’s not like I like ta brag or nothin’).

But hey, then I’d be right back in th’ ring, ‘cause ya know, I’m like th’ Chimichanga Terminator, lookin’ those tasty deep-fried burritos in th’ eye an’ bein’ all: I’ll be back. An’ they’d be quakin’ in their little guacamole-covered boots, cryin’ tiny sour cream tears, ‘cause ya gotta know chimichangas are cowardly little things; ya’d almost feel sorry fer ‘em in this scenario ‘cept they’re just so damn delicious! So yeah, th’ second round would be mine, all mine! An’ before ya know it they’d all be gone an’ I’d be sittin’ all fat an’ happy in my easy chair with a smile on my face an’ th’ Golden Girls marathon on TV. Challenge accepted; mission accomplished.

…But hey. I ain’t gonna lie. This is Mexican food, here. We all know who wins round three.

@Kingvilehelm inquires: “If you had a baby would you train it all Kill Bill style or let it have a normal childhood”

A baby? A cutesy-wootsey itty-bitty widdle baaaaabyyyy?? …Ah, who’re we kiddin’, is there anyone, anywhere in this world or any’a all th’ ridiculously large collections’a alternate Marvel universes out there who would leave me alone with a baby long enough ta raise it?

[Unless it was baby Cable! You looked after him for awhile, don’t forget.]

[Yeah, and then when Cable got to his teen years he took him to Intercourse, PA in hopes it would live up to its name, remember?]

[Fair point.]

Yeah, pretty sure th’ whole’a th’ Marvel multiverse’d frown on me bein’ allowed ta raise a baby, not that I’d know what ta do with it if I did get one – I mean, I know there’s somethin’ involvin’ diaper-changin’ an’ all that, but I ain’t touchin’ that $#!% with a ten-foot pole (all puns intended)! That’s def’nitely someone else’s problem.

But…maybe…someone in another universe’d be interested in improvin’ th’ shallow end’a th’ gene pool with ol’ Wade, eh? Hmm...I wonder what that’d look like… 

@flanaganbennett asks: “Deadpool, what do you think of this bunny?”

OHMIGODSOCUTE!!

…You have found my one weakness, good sir. Yo, verily, I take off my mask ta you.

Well, that’s it fer this week, feebs an’ fans! Come back next week, when Emily tells me she’ll be here with what I’m sure’ll be a super rivetin’ column about costumes an’ stuff. I mean, not nearly as rivetin’ as me answerin’ questions, but hey, we don’ wanna spoil you all, now, do we? Not ta mention Emily just came over ta stand near th’ keyboard an’ she’s kinda tappin’ her foot an’ gesturin’ fer me ta leave an’ I’m not sure if she’s gonna invite me back anytime soon. But…I’m sure she’ll let me near her computer again one’a these days, an’ if she doesn’t, you c’n always come visit me over at Ask Deadpool!

So until next time, chimichanga!

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold and those kids…

 

Emily S. Whitten: Cable & Deadpool & The Book of Bromance

If you know me at all, you know I love Deadpool. If you don’t know I love Deadpool, then what are you, new here? (Well, okay, maybe it’s that I’m pretty new here. Whichever.) Anyway. My point is, I love Deadpool, and pretty much no one on the Internet is in doubt of that by this point.

But have I talked about how much I love Cable & Deadpool (a.k.a. The Greatest, Most Insane and Slightly Twisted Buddy Story Ever Told)? Not enough, I haven’t! And I’m not just talking about Patrick Zircher’s or Reilly Brown’s excellent art (with a bit of Mark Brooks and other talented folks as well), although I do love that. I’m also talking about the superbly engaging and zany characterization, storytelling, and relationship that Fabian Nicieza developed during his time writing the book.

(more…)

A Look at the Anime Adventures of Iron Man and the X-Men

A Look at the Anime Adventures of Iron Man and the X-Men

In case you missed it on G4 over the last year, Marvel Comics licensed a quartet of properties to be  adapted into anime for the Japanese market. Acclaimed studio Madhouse handled the visuals while Warren Ellis was brought aboard to craft twelve -part stories for Iron Man, Wolverine, X-Men, and Blade. In short, he helped design a Marvel Anime Universe and the fruits of those labors recently completed their cable run.

On Tuesday, Sony Home Entertainment is releasing Iron Man and X-Men as two-disc DVD collections. For those unfamiliar with the properties, here’s a slideshow for each. Our review will run in a day or two.

IRON MAN Anime

X-MEN Anime