Returning – And Jumping Off Points

Well it’s only been what? Three months?

Maybe a little less than that.

I’ve been away because work has consumed most of my time. If you haven’t noticed, I also stopped the UncannyDerek Facebook because I never could keep the darn thing updated! It’s good to be back, and I’ll do my best to keep this thing updated regularly again.

But man, do we have some catching up to do!

Marvel’s: The Avengers

A little movie called The Avengers came out shortly after my last real blog post and it kicked a ton of box-office records. I’m obviously not going to go on and talk about the movie that has been talked about to death.

And I’m certainly not going to say how wrong I was about assuming the Skrulls would’ve been in the film either. . . Let’s just forget about that.

Avengers Movie

What I WILL say about the film is that it was fantastic. I really enjoyed getting to see The Hulk finally BE the Hulk on-screen. I was first worried about Edward Norton’s replacement being a romantic comedy actor, but Mark Ruffalo was definitely an excellent choice as a replacement.

All of the actors did a pretty good job with acting, for that matter. I just found it rather unfortunate that Colbie Smulders as Maria Hill didn’t get more on-screen time or a better chance to show off her butt-kicking skills.

As for the Black Widow – as expected – Joss Whedon made her a power to be reckoned with. Unlike in Iron Man 2, Whedon made a strong and confident female superhero take charge in the film. It was completely refreshing to see the Black Widow used properly rather than the stiff-acting Barbie doll she was in Iron Man 2.

Of course, I also loved that Thanos was put into the film. While I do enjoy Mad Titan’s in my films as much as the next guy, I’m pretty excited to see how he’ll mess around with the next Marvel films.

Kudos to Marvel for putting together one helluva fun movie. Maybe with all the money coming Joss Whedon’s way, maybe we can see more Firefly?

Speaking of Marvel movies. . .

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie

I never in my wildest dreams would’ve imagined Marvel doing something as daring as a Guardians of the Galaxy movie! I mean, with having Thanos in the Avengers film, yeah, it was the next logical step – but how can Marvel pump up something so obscure? I love Andy Lanning and Dan Abnett’s take on the team – especially with the Annihilation and War of Kings sagas (and as a side, I’ll admit that “the Annihilators” is a fun concept for me).

But where will our heroes go? Will the fight Thanos? Is Annihilus even an option, or is his rights owned by Fox with the Fantastic Four? Maybe Korvac? I don’t know?! Either way, I’m very excited to see some more science-fiction in my life!

August 1st, 2014 can’t come fast enough!

L to R: Drax the Destroyer, Groot, Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Gamora
Guardians of the Galaxy

Canceled Titles

As I seem so busy from pumping up Marvel, why don’t I take on how disappointed I am with them too? At ComicBookResouces, Marvel has announced the cancellation of NINE major titles – four which I collect monthly.

While no, that’s not a big deal that I’M losing books to read – it’s just more upsetting that as a collector I’m stuck falling for Marvel’s marketing plans.

I’ll also add in that yes, I understand this is under the Marvel NOW! campaign and a lot has to do with the current Avengers vs. X-Men debacle, but I’ll be talking about that in a later post.

As Marvel NOW! cancels The Incredible Hulk, New Mutants, Uncanny X-Men, & X-Men: Legacy – marketing the new books as “jumping on points” – I’m using them as jumping off points. I tire of having to lose and re-collect comics. It becomes too much to follow. Mostly, it becomes too much of a headache to stick around. I was upset when Marvel canceled Uncanny not too long ago – and now they’re doing it again – all to gain another dollar.

I say no more!

Upcoming

Soon to be talked about topics on this blog include: Avengers Versus X-Men – my thoughts so far, FanExpo Updates, Comic Sale Updates, The Walking Dead, and how my NaNoWriMo story is doing so far.

And Finally

I have ended just about every blog with me saying, “Keep on Space Truckin’!” In case you hadn’t figured it out, the line is paraphrased from the Deep Purple song, “Space Truckin'” – my favourite Deep Purple song.

Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord passed away July 16th with complications due to pancreatic cancer and suffering from a pulmonary embolism. Lord was an original founding member back in 1968 – he continued with the band up until he retired in 2002. Next to Lord, only drummer Ian Paice was the only remaining original member in the band.

Lord’s keyboards helped defined hard rock keyboardists from Yes to Dream Theater. Anytime I hear a Deep Purple song, I air keyboard Lord’s because his work just gets me moving. He was a genius and an incredible musician. He will be missed.

Keep on Space Truckin’, Mr. Lord.

Advertisements

Bizarre Comic Book News

“Derek, where have you been?”

I know, I know! I’ve been busy, damn it! Luckily, I have a pretty decent-sized update to share with ya’ll.

But first, if you haven’t already, add me to Twitter!

With the Avengers movie just rearing its head this weekend and already posed to make over $500 million world-wide in just over a week, methinks it’s pretty safe to say that Marvel will be pumping out tons and tons of movies very soon.

A New X-Movie in the Works?

I digress. I was running around on the internet during the past week and came across some ridiculous movie news that I’m not entirely sure about.

There’s a pretty heavy rumour at Collider suggesting that there will be a New Mutants movie in the works.

While sure, those are some low-tiered superheroes to be dealing with, the last thing I’d want 20th Century Fox to screw up is one of my favourite “family” books. By “family” I mean that New Mutants aren’t like the traditional X-Books where there’s always fighting and planning. These folks are youngin’s who just try to enjoy life and are also just mutants.

While sure, you could argue they’re fighters (because superhero books involve fighting), I just know if Fox did fire out a New Mutants flick, it wouldn’t captivate anything that the New Mutants were – or are – for that matter. Albeit, seeing a CGI Warlock would be pretty exciting.

Who Hates the Watchmen Prequels More than this Guy?

Now I’m no doctor, but not bringing in comics because “you’re going to lose money” seems like a pretty hefty gamble.

In Brooklyn, Bergen Street Comics manager Tucker Stone revealed that he won’t be bringing in the new Watchmen prequels.

Hold up. Why? Stone said,

“‘We won’t have it on the wall,” said Stone. “It’s not useful for graphic novels, it’s not useful for small press. . . It’s only useful for the weekly stuff. We’re gonna lose money, we’ll probably lose customers. . . It was a decision that was made. When I heard that decision, I said that’s a bad idea. . . That’s an explanation that I’ll have to give over and over again. As time has gone on, as I’ve seen online response to that project. . . This is just gross, and we don’t want to be part of this one. We’ll participate with the grossness they did to Kirby on the Avengers books, but this one. . .'”

Interesting, ain’t it?

The kicker is I would probably pick them up if I saw them at my LCS (which I know I’ll see there). But imagine all of the other folk who’d step in to want the book? Maybe Stone will just have to take in more orders than usual? Or maybe he’s right and he just knows his comic buying audience than we’re led to believe? Regardless, it’s a pretty bold statement to make.

On the other hand, what about creators rights? Now the people who worked hard on these comics aren’t going to get paid appropriately. . . Hmm.

FanExpo Canada Brings in the Big Guns

As the yearly tradition goes in Toronto, FanExpo Canada will be providing another year filled with folks in the comic industry. You may remember last year when I attended and gave a massive recap about the con. Well this year, HobbyStar has announced some big names yet again!

Of course, I’m most excited about Stan Lee, and am thrilled to meet him again. See? I met him before.

But other attendees announced are:

Adi Granov (Artist)
Tony Moore (Artist – The Walking Dead, Venom)
Greg Capullo (Artist – Batman)
Tony Daniel (Writer – Detective Comics, Hawkman)
Steve Epting (Artist – Fantastic Four & many more)
Frank Quitely (Artist – Batman & Robin)
David Finch (Artist – Batman: The Dark Knight)
Carlos Pacheco (Artist – Uncanny X-Men)
Esad Ribic (Artist – Uncanny X-Force, Ultimates, X-O Manowar)
Dan Slott (Writer – Amazing Spider-Man)

And that’s just the preliminary list. Yeesh! There’s still tons to be announced!

Needless to say, it’s shaping up to be a pretty exciting Expo. Hooray!

Avengers Versus X-Men

And at last, we have the whole “AvX” fiasco. While I’m picking up the title issues of the series plus the battles, I have to say the issues involved in the crossover are just silly. While Secret Avengers has been alright, Uncanny X-Men, and Wolverine & The X-Men aren’t too necessary, I’m finding. I’m just glad X-Factor is staying out of the foray.

Although, I will say Avengers Versus X-Men #3 was pretty decent, making me think that there’s still hope for the series. (See what I did there?) Gah.

Until next time, keep on Space Truckin’!

Review: X-Factor #228 & Avengers vs. X-Men

X_Factor

X-Factor #228
Peter David (writer), Leonard Kirk (pencils, inks), Matt Milla (colours), Cory Petit (letters), David Yardin (cover). $2.99

There is always a ton of fun to be had in an X-Factor book – guaranteed.

As of last issue, Jamie Madrox (Prime) was killed by Jamie Madrox (Dupe) who was killed by the little boy whose father X-Factor was sent in to save and later possessed by the villain Bloodbath who Strong Guy apparently killed! Geddit? And that was all in the last issue!

Although it may seem overwhelming with that summary, X-Factor is fast-paced and features many twists and turns with each page. By the end of it all, you’re left begging for more after each issue. In X-Factor #228, there is no exception. Albeit a more of a conversational book, the dialogue is completely necessary and builds up the inevitable answers people have been asking since Layla Miller’s return in X-Factor #202. (We’re so close!) Not to mention, we’re also getting closer to find out what really happened to Guido after his “death”! And those are still only a few of the loose ends!

Looking at the writing, however, it’s obvious that David has a great handle on this book. Even in a book with little action, the amount of effort put into the characters we are reading allows us to enjoy the book on such a higher regard. It really is a family book, where even the characters are invested in their own team – and that alone makes it a fun read.

And what’s to say about Leonard Kirk? He’s a tight artist with strong emotions pouring out of the characters. Layla in particular really shines with bits of sadness, rage and shame. With such a focus on characters, it’s hard to notice that most of the panels do not have backgrounds to them as readers will find themselves much more interested in the story than the “set” background. It leaves colourist Milla with a lot more freedom to set different moods in the varying panels of humour, action, and sorrow.

Although the book is definitely not a jumping on point for new readers (and I think most books should be), for the fans, we’ll be at the edge of our seats for yet another issue.

Bonus points for a killer cover by Yardin.

Grade: 7/10

As an aside, I’m sure you’ve all heard about Marvel’s summer blockbuster involving The Avengers versus the X-Men. Marvel’s pushing it with an “it’s finally happening” message through their all of their media releases.

Well, what about Avengers #53? Jeez, guys.

Avengers vs. X-Men

Yup. “‘Nuff said!”

Keep on Space Truckin’!

Holy Crap, DC! One Million?

First things first: Despite being all-settled and moved in, my internet has been ridiculously jittery for the past week. I’m going to have it looked at. It just means delays in updates. How exciting is that? Ughughughughughugh.

Meanwhile. . .

Over One Million Sold

Way to go DC.

Over one million comics were sold by DC alone in the month of September. This number includes preorders, and second and third printings too. Isn’t that incredible? For the first time since 2006, DC also won in dollar shares. DC was at 35.74% versus Marvel at 35.37%.

Now while that’s a miniscule margin, that is also because most of DC’s titles are at $2.99, meaning volume doesn’t necessarily mean more dollars.

But Batman #1 and Action Comics #1 have both sold over 200,000 issues each thus far, while many comics, like Green Lantern, Flash and Superman have all sold over the 100,000 mark.

For the top 10 comics in the month of September, Marvel held 8th and 9th place, while DC ate up the rest of the slots!

I really hope this momentum keeps up because it would ultimately mean that comics are not a dying breed.

The Avengers Teaser Trailer

Now where are the Skrulls?

This is why I hate teaser trailers.

Keep on Space Truckin’!

The Avengers Video Game and/or Movie

Not too long ago, I mentioned how the Avengers video game would have been based off the movie because the screenshots revealed.

Amidst all the hooplah containing who the villain(s) is/are for Joss Whedon’s Avengers movie, I was pretty certain that it was Loki with Skrulls. While I still do believe that, I do not think the video game had anything to do with the movie to begin with.

Thinking about it now however, the game would have been developed before Whedon penned the script for The Avengers movie. I really think this is just one big coincidence.

What changed my mind:

Comic Book Resources recently grabbed some clips from 1up.com (which has since removed the video) featuring “footage” from the now-canceled Avengers game. This includes showing that the game would have been played from both a first-and-third person perspective. Imaging being the Hulk, waving those big green hands around? And no, I don’t mean these things:

Smash Hands

Yes, that’s an a Skrull as Cyclops from the Secret Invasion stories. Could Marvel have been planning on following through after their Ultimate Alliance 2 with the next big storyline? So it seemed.

Cyclops Skrull X-Men

And given THQ Australia would not dictate what would be in the Avengers movie, it’s a fair assumption that the game was meant to be its own separate entity just to follow along with the Avengers movie itself – regardless of the villains.

No, this is not controversial news at all. It’s just really neat to see what goes on in the background when movies are developed.

I wonder if THQ is kicking themselves now for canceling the game. . .

Keep on Space Truckin’!

A Brilliant Week and DC’s First 52

If you ever wanted to know what it was like to see a movie done in comic book fashion, read the absolutely stunning and gorgeous issue of Uncanny X-Force #14 by Rick Remender and Jerome Opena. This book was one heckuva emotional thrill-ride from the get-go.

Uncanny X-Force

One awesome thing about this book is that there is no Wolverine to overshadow everything. He is never the main character. But if you want a brilliant X-book to pick up that stands alone, read Uncanny X-Force right now! P.S. *Spoiler* Archangel is becoming Apocalypse. Read this now!

I don’t even care if you’ve never read a comic book before in your life. This story with its art, is the best thing to have hit shelves (and that I’ve actually read).

But speaking of emotional thrill-rides, this week also concluded Greg Pak’s entire run of Incredible Hulk! Yes, with Incredible Hulks #635, the series has officially concluded and will be, of course, rebooted in October.

Incredible Hulks

The story was quite the epic conclusion with two great stories. One with a big battle in the end while the other is very heartwarming. It’s an over-sized issue for $3.99 and is completely worth every cent.

As for what things are worth, Wednesday sparked DC’s FIRST new issue of the “New 52.” Justice League #1 was released and already problems are arising. You see, along with the release, DC also decided that on the same day as the physical copy is released, that they will publish the comic digitally too – via a paid subscription. Yes, it will possibly change the comic book medium forever. However, the big problem is that pirates have already started leaking the first issue about an hour before it was released digitally to the world.

At this current time on ThePirateBay, there are 276 Seeders (people who upload), while there are only 8 Leechers (people who download).

Meanwhile, Comic Book Resources recent poll shows that about 50% of people polled found the book either average of sub-par.

DC! What are you going to do?!

Meanwhile, here’s some canceled video game art from The Avengers video game. I hope you like villain spoilers.

Keep on Space Truckin’!

Remember When Ghost Rider Peed Fire?

The most recent news in the comic book movie universe is the newest Ghost Rider poster and trailer. Although the first movie wasn’t too great with critics and fans (yet made its budget?), the second film actually looks impressive. Except when Ghost Rider pees fire. Check out the trailer and the poster below for more flaming skull goodness.

Ghost Rider Movie Poster

And while on the topic of movies, over on SuperHeroHype, you can see Thor and Captain America kick some butt on set in Cleveland. I suppose a spoiler warning should be made too. I think The Avengers will really be the fantastic movie everyone expects it to be.

Keep on Space Truckin’!