Tagged: Warren Ellis

New Red 2 One-sheet

Red2_DomPayoff_fin5_ Summer-theater frameRed 2 is coming this summer and it’s promising to look as much fun as the first one was. Summit is releasing this sequel, based on the WildStorm graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner in late July with the full cast returning (although Ernest Bognine is sadly no longer with us). Instead, we get the addition of Catherine Zeta-Jones, which is just fine with us. The new one-sheet was released today.

Red 2 Character One-Sheets Unveiled

Red2_OnlineCharacter posters_AH_fin4While there has been a lot of justifiable excitement over the May and June movies, we’re also seeing hints from later releases that proclaim the fun will not relent, as it usually does.

Red 2, based on the WildStorm comic by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, is one of those films, opening July 19 and Summit Entertainment has released new one-sheets for the retired secret agents, their friends, and foes. The film is being directed by Dean Parisot, working from a script by Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber.

Returning to active duty are Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren while Mary-Louise Parker is back for the fun. Joining the crew this time around are Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung Hun Lee, Brian Cox, and Neal McDounough.

In Red 2, the high-octane action-comedy sequel to the worldwide sleeper hit, retired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses reunites his unlikely team of elite operatives for a global quest to track down a missing, next-generation lethal device that can change the balance of world power. To succeed, they’ll need to survive an army of relentless assassins, ruthless terrorists and power-crazed government officials, all eager to get their hands on the technologically advanced super weapon. The mission takes Frank and his motley crew to Paris, London and Moscow. Outgunned and outmanned, they have only their cunning wits, their old-school skills, and each other to rely on as they try to save the world-and stay alive in the process.  Red2_OnlineCharacter posters_BW_fin6Red2_OnlineCharacter posters_CZJ_fin7Red2_OnlineCharacter posters_JM_fin5Red2_OnlineCharacter posters_HM_fin5Red2_OnlineCharacter posters_BHL_fin2

Marc Alan Fishman: The Tabernacle of Technobabble

Fishman Art 130302I love psuedo-science. More than anything else, the “how” of super-heroes and science fiction is what initially draws me in. My first real memories of my impending nerd-dom stemmed from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; where I learned that radioactive interplanetary ooze, when liberally applied to animals, created anthropomorphic heroes and villains. And where most of my friends were just happy to have new action figures, I was always perplexed as to how a rhino and warthog, when exposed to said ooze, ended up a mutated state of similar weight and stature. But I digress.

When my attention made way towards comic books, the same curiosity drew me first towards the Marvel universe. Taken against the “crap fell outta the sky, and now you’re super-powered” methodology so many of the DC heroes, Marvel seemed to celebrate the polar opposite. Hulk, Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man… all products of science. And let us never forget those pesky mutants. Stan Lee, in the multitude of interviews he’s given over the years always laughed off his choices in the origins of his characters. I’d like to believe though, that there was a bit more to it than he’d let on. The majority of his heroes and villains share science as a passion, and profession. Their powers, results of experiments gone awry. Taken in context of the age in which they were born? It’s fairly easy to see the dots connecting; in the age of the atom, of course scientists would end up mutating themselves and the world at large!

After my recent converting toward Trekdom, I can now say without a shred of sarcasm that I hold Trek above Wars because of the technical bedrock beneath the naked green chicks. At their cores, both universes celebrate journeys. But only Trek dares to boldly go where no man has gone before. Not that Star Wars is without some awesome psuedo-science of its own… but in my mind, it came well after Lucas opened his universe to other collaborators. Men and women who sought to better the mythos with a little less Kurosawa, and a bit more Kelvin.

But what is it that appeals to me so? It’s that shred of plausibility that helps endear me towards creations that embrace it. In contrast, those worlds made of pure fantasy never caught my heart. Where my wife can’t wait for the next Hobbit or Harry Potter, I could honestly care less. Sure, I appreciate the characters themselves, and the plot and structure presented in their various forms. But at their core? They celebrate worlds without reason. Where a kid can ride a broom not because he’s found a way to displace gravity fields, but because his parents loved him a whole ton. Meh.

A cursory look at my bookshelf shows a plethora of writers whose work encompasses these similar feelings. Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Jonathan Hickman, Warren Ellis, and the like all celebrate the art of technobabble. Their stories, as grand as they may become, still root themselves in panes of logic and reason. Their heroes and villains operate less on threads of sheer will, hope, or love. While their ultimate deus ex machinas may very well encompass those indefinable qualities in order to reach catharsis or conclusion… the worlds built around them all contain some form of believability that allows me to enjoy the work just a bit more than those who simply “wish hard”.

Remember when [[[The Matrix]]] first came about? Long before Neo was wearing his digital crown of thorns, the Wachowski brothers first tried to provide a foundation with which to build upon. And by the end of their first flick, I could enjoy Neo’s triumph over the machines not because of his amazing will to win the day, but because of his understanding of the laws of the program he was an avatar of. His triumph was one of science, not faith.

In Geoff Johns’s expansion of the Green Lantern universe, I celebrated the psuedo-science of the emotional spectrum. Certainly if we could believe that will was somehow a measurable source of energy, so too could be anger, avarice, love, compassion, hope, and fear.

But when Kronos, back with a vengeance, waged war on the Guardians who banished him so very long ago… what defeated him? A big Photoshopped beam from Hal Jordan. Sheer will. Used against a guy who had the weight of the entire emotional spectrum behind him. The scientist inside me screamed with righteous indignation. Based on even small amounts of actual logic, I was left aghast. One emotion, no matter how large (and Photoshoppy), should trump seven. Especially when the shooter of said super beam is merely a mortal man, and his opponent a crazy-assed demi-god. Johns failed to follow the laws of science he himself previously designed (so-to-speak). Simply put? Geoff wrote himself into a corner, and asked for a pass out of it. He flunked the exam. Of course given his captain of the football team status at DC, he slid right past the failing grade. Psuedo-science be damned.

In the universes we fictioneers build, there is an understanding between our words and our audience. To each creation comes a set of laws we play in and around. Those who do it best, gain my attention, respect, and money. Those who disregard it get my furrowed eyebrow and shaking fist. Consider this experiment open-ended. Where there is plausibility, there’s potential. And where there is potential… there’s the possibility of endless wonder. And where there is no need for that? Well, fuck it. Let it fall out of the sky. I mean, why not?

SUNDAY: John Ostrander

MONDAY: Mindy Newell


Watch “Red 2” new trailer


A sequel to the original sleeper hit movie Red, based on the DC Comics comic by Warren Ellis and Cully Hammer, Red 2 has come out with a new trailer today.

In Red 2, retired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses reunites his unlikely team of elite operatives for a global quest to track down a missing portable nuclear device. To succeed, they’ll need to survive an army of relentless assassins, ruthless terrorists and power-crazed government officials, all eager to get their hands on the next-generation weapon. The mission takes Frank and his motley crew to Paris, London and Moscow. Outgunned and outmanned, they have only their cunning wits, their old-school skills, and each other to rely on as they try to save the world—and stay alive in the process.

The movie stars Bruce Willis as Frank Moses, John Malkovich as Marvin Boggs, Mary-Louise Parker as Sarah Ross, Brian Cox as Ivan Simonov, and Helen Mirren as Victoria. They’re joined this time around by Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung Hun Lee, and Neal McDonough. It’s being directed by Dean Parisot, and written by Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber, based on the comic by Warren Ellis and Cully Hammer.

Watch the new trailer now:


Molly Crabapple Arrested In Occupy Wall Street Protests

Two hundred and twenty five years ago today, the final draft of the Constitution of the United States was adopted by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The First Amendment of the Constitution states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

We mention this because earlier today, comic book artist Molly Crabapple (that’s her artwork above, previously published in The Nation) peaceably assembled on the streets of New York City for the anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Apparently, the NYPD insisted everyone get on the pavement, and once they were on the pavement they were arrested.

Molly live-tweeted her arrest on her Twitter account. Warren Ellis started the hashtag #FreeMollyCrabapple, which rapidly became a trending topic on Twitter, and was covered by numerous news outlets. And this evening, Ms. Crabapple was released.

We’re sure she’ll have much more to say later. For now, we’re just happy she’s out.

Apropos of nothing, have you contributed to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund lately?

VP Candidate Rep. Paul Ryan and “Smiler” Gary Callahan from “Transmetropolitan”

VP Candidate Rep. Paul Ryan and “Smiler” Gary Callahan from “Transmetropolitan”

In light of Mitt Romney’s announcement of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate for the 2012 Presidential Election, we’d like to point back to our article from April of 2011:

On the left is Gary Callahan, a.k.a. The Smiler, from Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson‘s Transmetropolitan. On the right is U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chairman of the House Budget Committee.

One of these individuals has good looks and a certain amount of charisma, but has no empathy for the lower classes of society. He has designs on the presidency, and will cut odious political deals to make that happen, all while being fawned over by right wing pundits and a segment of the voters who are convinced that he will save us from “the Beast”.

The other, of course, is a character out of the comic books.

For further comparison, consider this page from Transmetropolitan #41 (reprinted in Transmetropolitan TPB #7: Spider’s Thrash) and remember that this first came out over ten years ago. It certainly sounds like something Ryan has in his campaign platform…

Here, let me transcribe it so the other spiders can get to it:

You have to understand that the care system of the country cannot be taken for granted. It is not American to swaddle you in cotton wool from cradle to grave. It is the mark of a mature country that you, too, take responsibility for your life and the lives of those around you.

We are not big government. We do not own you. These streets are your streets. Therefore it is you, in your greatness as Americans, who must care for your streets.

And the people on them.

Care for your community. Because we can’t do it for you.

To paraphrase Warren Ellis, the only future worth talking about in science fiction is the future we’re living in.

Marc Alan Fishman: Exclusivity Is For the Devils

For those not paying attention, this week Paolo Rivera broke the shackles that bound him to the House of Mouse. That’s right, after a 10+ year career at Marvel, he ended his exclusive contract. Presently, you might know him from his absolutely stunning work on Daredevil. And if you’re not familiar? Go down to your local comic emporium, and partake in a few books bearing his name. You won’t be disappointed.

So why the departure, here in what most critics would dub his “ascension to the A-List?” Ownership. Rights. Long-term gains. As he makes it clear in his blog detailing his decision, it comes down to surveying his body of work and seeing no island on the horizon. Let’s be clear, he’s not mad. Or sad. In fact, he’s very grateful for the decade of work he’s been thrown since the dawn of his career. At the end of the day though, he puts it best:

“…the sum total of that work is not enough to support me in the distant future. My page rate is essentially the same as when I started at 21, so I’ve decided to invest in myself.”

Now, this brings up a debate I know we’ve all had here on ComicMix in the past – that of creators’ rights, and compensation. It seems we as an industry can’t last more than a few months before yet-another-creator is irate over the profits gained on their blood, sweat, and arthritic hands, that never see their own pocketbook. On the business side of things, we know the rub already. To work as an artist or writer in comic books for “the Big Two,” the work you do is theirs. They pay you a fee (and a small percentage of royalties of the sales of the book) for your creativity. Now, when you have a mortgage, insurance, and a rumble in your tummy… do you try to negotiate for the best deal, or do you sign your life away to stay alive? Of course no one is in such dire straights these days, but Marvel and DC certainly have more lawyers and iron-clad contracts than Stan Lee has catchphrases. As Paolo makes clear, he’s done with that side of the business. It’s time to invest in himself.

Certainly there are creators out there who are kicking ass and taking names doing their own creator-owned books. Mike Mignola, Eric Powel, Robert Kirkman, Warren Ellis… All great men who once (and on occasion still do) made a living working for “the man.” But each of those men now can rest on their laurels that their main source of funds comes directly from material they created, they own, and they see to market. Certainly when Hellboy made a second profitable movie, many an indie-creator must have taken note. Yes, Dark Horse had a lot to do with the success of the property on the business end, but Mignola is the crown prince of Anung Un Rama. Without his blessing, nary a product makes its way past a marketing meeting.

The same doesn’t hold true for Mr. Rivera. Should Marvel decide to make a tee-shirt with some of his art? He may see some royalties back from the sale – but he’d get laughed out of the office if he opposed them selling merchandise with his work on it. And when they reboot the movie franchise… he’ll see a blind eye if they use any of his striking work as reference or source material. Blind eye. Heh.

Ultimately, Rivera’s made a move that I hope works out for him. Admittedly I’ve come to the Daredevil party a bit too late, but I plan on picking up the issues as they are collected. Wherever Paolo roams from here on out, may his legion of fans follow. According to his musings, he’s kicking around an idea for an “original story, sci-fi in nature, with primal themes and a compact cast of characters.” He’s also looking into “experiments in both distribution and funding” a la Kickstarter. Thanks largely in-part to the interwebs, this very idea even exists. The last time artists with this much clout left Marvel, they made Image Comics. Certainly that won’t happen ever again, but in its place is something far more rewarding. Not necessarily in up-front hype and profits mind you, but rewarding none-the-less.

With Paolo Rivera setting his sites on the creator-owned market, I see the opportunity for a more level playing field. When the artists and writers have both a creative and monetary investment in a project, there is a passion that simply doesn’t exist on the other side of the aisle. As an Unshaven Comic, I care far more about The Samurnauts than I ever will about Kyle Rayner or GrimJack, even if I’m ever allowed to write or draw either of them. When I put my head to pillow, I know that my creations (made in part with two brilliant co-creators) are my own. And should the day ever come that our creation becomes “something,” it’s only fair that I (we) see the complete fruit of those labors.

Good on you, Paolo. May others follow suit as well.

SUNDAY: John Ostrander


MIXED REVIEW: Glenn and Mike Geek Out Over “The Avengers”

We each saw The Avengers at fan-filled midnight screenings, separately but equally. We tried to avoid any spoilers here, but we can’t guarantee we hit that mark. And, being who we are, there are a couple of teasers in this dialog.

MIKE: Did you see it in 2-D, 3-D, or IMAX?


MIKE: Me too. This was the first movie ever that I can recommend in 3-D.

GLENN: Which is amazing, considering it was upsampled to 3-D. The film was converted to 3-D during post-production for the theatrical release. But it certainly paid off.

MIKE: The 3-D imaging credits were as long as the Manhattan phone book.

GLENN: Someone asked me point blank if The Avengers is the greatest superhero movie of all time. I said I don’t know about that, it has some very tough competition. But hands down, it’s the greatest superhero battle movie of all time. Act Three in particular is just completely packed with the loving destruction of the New York skyline, and in 3-D it’s incredibly staggering. It’s also fast and fun, as compared to the smashing of Chicago in Transformers: Dark Of The Moon… that just felt drawn out and more akin to a disaster movie. Here, it’s battle, action, and a much better feeling of scope and scale.

MIKE: Yes. It was a real superhero battle in the classic Marvel sense: everybody fights each other then gets together to fight the bad guys. And I’ll never be able to look at Grand Central Terminal the same way again.

GLENN: Or the Pan-Am building. Or 387 Park Avenue South, or Marvel’s address on 40th Street. All of that and they didn’t blow up any of DC’s offices. Have we reached detente?

MIKE: Well, they blew up CBS’s first teevee studios. Which is funny, as this was a Paramount movie.

GLENN: Not really a Paramount movie, Disney bought ‘em out but they had to keep the logo on.

MIKE: And, of course, Paramount got a truckload of money and, I’ll bet, a piece.

GLENN: Exactly.

MIKE: Did you notice they hardly ever referred to anybody by their superhero name – other than The Hulk, who is obviously different from Banner, and Thor, who is, obviously, Thor.

GLENN: I think everybody got name-checked at least once.

MIKE: Yeah. Once or twice. Period.


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.


X-MEN Anime 

Saturday Morning Cartoons: ‘Iron Man: Extremis’

Saturday Morning Cartoons: ‘Iron Man: Extremis’

Iron Man: Extremis

Marvel Knights Animation’s epic adaptation of “Iron Man: Extremis” by Warren Ellis and Adi Granov is now available for streaming on Hulu.com. Here’s the first episode…

You can view the rest of “Iron Man: Extremis” on Hulu.

One complaint: in the credits, they give special thanks to Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Larry Lieber– but they skipped over the original artist, Don Heck. Classy, guys.

If you prefer, this is included in the [[[Marvel Knights Animation Collection]]] now out on DVD, or you can buy it on its own.