Loose Staples (07/11/13)
Welcome back to Loose Staples, your place for news, reviews and
opinions of the goings on in the comic book world. You can peruse The Spinner
Rack to catch up on all the talk around the web, check out my opinions on the
latest comics with Bagged & Boarded, or discover something you may have
overlooked with Back Issues. Well, get going!
The Spinner Rack
Hot Toys has unveiled some Toy Fair 2013 exclusives, including this killer “evil” Superman from Superman III. (Via Topless Robot)
Colton Haynes, the actor who plays Roy Harper on The CW series Arrow says that the Season Two premiere will have a time jump, but he doesn’t specify exactly how long into the future we’ll be going. Season One was a pleasant surprise, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do next. (Via Comic Book Movie)
Speaking of Arrow, Summer Glau is joining the cast for Season 2.
Dark Horse is helping re-launch the Kitchen Sink brand, and Bleeding Cool has an exclusive look at their first collection with the new imprint. I’m curious how many Marvel Zombies actually knew of this series’ existence…
Seems Guillermo del Toro is keen on having his (possible) Dark Universe movie tie in to the DC Film Universe. It’s based on the Justice League Dark series and is set to star characters like Contantine, Swamp Thing and Zatanna. If Pacific Rim hits big, we could see an official announcement for this pretty soon, even though he’s working on a new film already (Crimson Peak). Thanks to /Film for the reporting.
Also via /Film, Fox is moving forward with a television adaptation of Alan Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series. I imagine this is more an attempt for the studio to keep the rights to the property than to actually do something worthwhile and unique with it. I’ll happily admit I’m wrong when we get a good look at what they have planned.
While doing press with Total Film (for the upcoming R.I.P.D.) Ryan Reynolds had a few things to say about the long-in-the-works Deadpool film. You have to purchase the issue to read the full interview, but the link has a few good tidbits. No real updates though.
TVShowsonDVD has some good news for fans of the live action Superboy series. Warner Archive is releasing The Complete Third Season on DVD. It’s a made-on-demand title, so it’s not something you can pick up at a retail store. Instead, you order it direct from their website. They have plenty of other comic-related goodies, so make sure you check out the whole catalogue!
Bryan Singer has been tweeting pics from the X-Men: Days of Future Past shoot again, and this one is easily my favorite, implying that we might see a more personal aspects of Magneto’s life.
— Bryan Singer (@BryanSinger) July 4, 2013
Via Tor.com, our first look at Jamie Foxx as Electro. That could look pretty awesome on the big screen. Though, I’m far more curious to see Paul Giamatti as The Rhino.
Marvel has launched a new initiative called Share Your Universe, which aims to cross promote its successes outside of comics, with franchises like Spider-Man and the Avengers, with the actual comic world itself. There aren’t a lot of details about it right now, but The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision column has some specifics.
You can now watch about 80 seconds of The Wolverine on YouTube. It’s basically an extended look at the fight scene on the bullet train. Seems like a lot of posturing, but I’m holding out hope. I’ve embedded the clip below, no spoiler complaints (there really aren’t any), you’re watching at your own risk.
Comic Book Movie has some nice pictures of an upcoming Man of Steel Collector’s Edition. The set is limited to 35,000. The one thing they failed to point out? The source is Amazon France, which means it could very well be an overseas exclusive to boot.
Finally, if you’re going to SDCC next week (or even if you’re not), you may be interested in a little peek at all the goings-on; Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. If you get any good pics or info, email us, we’ll send you some stickers! Stickers are currency, right?
Now, let’s read some comics!
Bagged & Boarded
Avengers Arena #12
There was a good bit of hype about this issue, as this is where the series has been set to take another interesting turn. I’m not exactly sure that’s what happened. Before I knock it too much, let me just say that I’ve loved every single issue of this title so far. Writer Dennis Hopeless has taken a lot of heat for the premise, and maybe rightfully so, but it’s been so expertly executed that I just cannot hop on that bandwagon. This is the most action-packed comic book I’m currently reading, and 99% of issue twelve lives up to everything that’s come before. But that last page really threw me. I won’t spoil it. I will say that given the build-up, both in the book and via Hopeless’ Twitter account, I had hoped for something less conventional. Yes, we still don’t know exactly where they are, but unless it’s not at all what it seems to be, it’s disappointing. Not enough to get me to drop the book, not at all, I just had grander expectations.
Quantum and Woody #1
I have not followed the Valiant re-launch at all, but I’ve heard some overall good things, enough to get me interested in a Quantum and Woody reboot at least. Then I saw that Christopher Priest wasn’t involved and that interest definitely waned. Still, I was committed to give it a chance, and I’m glad I did. It was nice to see it was an out-and-out reboot; it’s been over a decade since the characters were featured in a book, so their history is hazy at best. The goat on the cover was a nice nod too, and I just assume it’ll come into play eventually. The comedy is there, and works pretty well for the most part, which is the book’s biggest selling point. I’ve enjoyed some of writer James Asmus’ Marvel work, and this might even be a bit stronger than that. I’m completely unfamiliar with artist Tom Fowler, but he brings the goods. The one thing you need for a comedy book in the world of comics is clean and clear panel work, and it’s in there. Unfortunately the issue is a lot of build-up with no payoff, so this might be one to just buy in a collected format. Still, some really irreverent stuff. I like it.
The idea of someone stealing a ghost is pretty intriguing. When you make it a team of people, it lands on my list of books to check out. I wish I could say I enjoyed it more than I did, or even explain why it didn’t grab me. The art is fine, the story is interesting, and the characters are all archetypically cool. I was discussing it with another reader and I think he may have pinpointed where it lost me. It’s a very fast paced first issue, so rather than getting caught up in the characters I was just flipping to catch the story beats. Yes, yes, the irony of complaining about how one comic moves slowly and then complaining about how another moves too fast. It’s a geek thing. I may give it one more issue to try and hook me, but I’d say that if my brief description sounds at all interesting to you, check it out.
Justice League #22
Confession time: I have barely followed any DC books since they re-launched with The New 52. It’s a giant hole in my fandom, but there hasn’t been a book I’ve picked up that’s really grabbed me. However, there’s been a lot of coverage about Trinity War, the Justice League crossover that begins in this issue, and I thought I knew enough to at least check it out and see if it bit back. Mission mostly accomplished…but maybe not enough to send me digging through the back issue bins. It’s written by Geoff Johns, and while he’s not usually my cup of tea, he’s got a great handle on the team dynamics. The issue culminates in a pretty big battle, with lots of DC favorites duking it out, and there are some really great moments with Shazam. So, I’m in for the Trinity War crossover DC. Here’s your chance to double my comics budget.
By now anyone that cares knows that Age of Ultron served as the launching pad of at least one more event, the upcoming Hunger mini-series, which sees Galactus from the 616 Universe (that’s the main universe for the uninitiated) invade the Ultimate Universe. I decided that before I go on a fanboy rant (because no one likes those) about how the Ultimate line had already HAD a Galactus event, and that this just didn’t make any sense, I should probably READ the original Ultimate Galactus trilogy. Especially since the hardcover collection has been on my bookshelf for years. Written by Warren Ellis, it collects the Ultimate Nightmare, Ultimate Secret and Ultimate Extenction minis, as well as the Ultimate Vision one-shot written by Mark Millar, with art by John Romita, Jr. Ellis’ series all have different artists: Trevor Hairsine& Steve Epting, Steve McNiven & Tom Raney and Brandon Peterson, respectively.
I think this collection features some of the most dynamic character work I’ve read in a very long time. It helps that they’re basically off shoots of characters I already know from the MU proper, so when names like Misty Knight and Carol Danvers get thrown around, I have a good idea of what to expect. Besides that though, Ellis has an excellent handle on both the Avengers (called the Ultimates here) and X-Men characters that pop in and out of the series. And his writing of the Fantastic Four easily ranks among my favorite depictions of the characters ever. I remember his run on Ultimate Fantastic Four pretty fondly, and after closing this book all I wanted to do was dig those issues up.
The story opens in Ultimate Nightmare with a small team of X-Men and a small team Nick Fury has put together headed towards the same goal: discovering what has been holed up in a Russian secret underground base for the last eighty years, and why it’s suddenly driving the world insane. Each mini-series is told from the perspective of a relatively new character to the universe, and with this first we’re treated to Sam Wilson, A.K.A The Falcon. The character has never been as intelligently written or as uniquely utilized as he is here, not just in the first series, but throughout.
In Ultimate Secret we get introduced to Captain Marvel, who Ellis writes as a sort of blend of all the previous Captains, but I couldn’t help but notice good chunks of Grant Morrison’s Marvel Boy creeping in there. This series has the Kree trying to prevent Earth from discovering the coming of Gah Lak Tus, and making sure they don’t have a way of escaping their assured destruction. Of course, just as in the the main MU, Mahr Vehl turns on his own race to help save humanity. While I greatly enjoyed Ellis’ writing here, especially the dialogue, Mahr Vehl’s motivations are just nonexistent. And I definitely would have liked to see more between him and Carol Danvers.
The Ultimate Vision story fills in some of the gaps as to how and why the Vision of this universe came to be. While not exactly a herald of Gah Lak Tus, it seems he was created by a dying planet to be sent ahead of the entity and warn the people it was set to destroy. It’s apparently been failing for millions of years. I can appreciate the inclusion of this one-shot, it does illuminate some bits of back story for both Vision and Gah Lak Tus (I love typing that), but Millar practically erodes all of Ellis’ character work on The Falcon. Here he seems as baffled by the Vision as everyone else, where as in the other books he’s two steps ahead of anyone not named Stark or Richards. Romita’s art doesn’t help either, and I’m usually a big fan of his work.
All of that builds up to the finale, Ultimate Extinction, which I won’t spoil. But, allow me to temper any expectation should you decide to read this: the endgame is only slightly better than the final moments of Fox’s Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer. Still, despite a barely mediocre ending, Ellis lays down some brilliant character moments, which made it worth reading regardless. He’s not a writer whose work I’ve always adored, or even really liked, but when he’s good, there’s almost no one better. I’m not sure I’d say this is worth the price tag for anyone not immediately interested in the Ultimate Universe, mostly because it’s out of print, which drives up the price. If you can find it for around the $20-$25 range though, I’d say it’s a steal.
Have some comics you’d like to recommend? Any books out there you think aren’t getting their fare shake? Think I’m completely wrong? (You’re probably right about that last one…) Email us, firstname.lastname@example.org, and let us know. If you need to fins the closest comics retailer to you, you can always head over to the Comic Shop Locator, punch in your zip code, and voila! That’s it for this week’s edition of Loose Staples. We’ll see you in the funny books!