Posts Tagged ‘ Hawkeye ’

What’s In Store For Avengers 2?

Thanos

Will Thanos return to court death?

(warning: if you haven’t seen The Avengers, this article may contain some spoilers)

With The Avengers on its way to reaching the $1 billion mark, Disney have moved quickly to announce a sequel to Joss Whedon‘s superhero epic is already in development. Assuming an Avengers sequel will take place after Iron Man 3, Thor 2 and a Captain America sequel, there is plenty of time for a new threat to emerge that forces the team together. What could it be? Here are my theories?

1) Thanos/Infinity Gauntlet

As awesome as the Thanos end-credit sequence was at the end of The Avengers, I just don’t believe we will see the mad titan take on the team just yet. Why? It was an enormous achievement for Marvel and Joss Whedon to be able to just fit all their iconic characters into one film without anyone getting the short-stick (maybe Hawkeye), and that came at the expense of developing the Chitauri army into an enemy that felt like a serious threat.

Thanos is a character that definitely will not work f he’s even slightly underdeveloped on screen. From his love with the embodiment of death, to wielding the Infinity Gauntlet, which is perhaps the most powerful weapon in the Marvel Universe, Thanos would need developing elsewhere before going head-to-head with The Avengers.

Marvel would perhaps find it easier to establish Thanos in a movie such as Guardians of the Galaxy (who seems to be getting a lot of attention in comics and television right now) that way it’s a great way to introduce the cosmic side to their universe with a villain that’s hugely important going forward.

2) Kree-Skrull War

With the focus on developing a cosmic universe going forward, it would seem logical for Marvel to look for inspiration from one of their biggest comic book events of all time. In case you’re unfamiliar, the Kree-Skrull war was a comic book storyline that ran from 1971-1972 depicting two of Marvel’s famous intergalactic species locked in a war with Earth used as a battleground. The Kree-Skrull war divides a lot of opinion amongst fans. Some see it as master class of how to do a comic book event right, while others blame it for starting the trend of yearly comic book events that have plagued Marvel for some time.

Will it happen? Probably not. While it wouldn’t be impossible for Joss Whedon (assuming he’s the director) to fit in two alien races into one film, like many, I feel the alien enemy has already warned a little thin.

3) Ultron

While it may be a little too soon for Ultron, (seeing as the Ant-Man film hasn’t even been announced yet) he would make for a worthy villain that gives viewers a break from the classic alien villain syndrome. One of the best parts of The Avengers for me was seeing the heroes argue, as it really characterised their flaws.

Ultron is an embodiment of Ant-Man’s flaws. Wanting to build a robot that would be boosted by artificial intelligence, Henry Pym built Ultron by using his own brain patterns for the robot. As with all super intelligent robots, Ultron decided in order to serve his purpose, he had to destroy humanity.

What better then than to introduce a villainous robot villain that was created by an actual Avenger? Assuming the Ant-Man film takes off soon, I would like to imagine it serves as a sort of prequel to Avengers which would give enough time for Hank Pym to get working on his artificially intelligence boosted robot.

Will the storyline to The Avengers sequel definitely be one of the storyline listed above? Probably not. With the mountain of actually getting an Avengers movie out their in the first place achieved, Marvel now have more freedom when deciding where their characters should head next. As long as the villains are better developed next time, I can’t wait to see the Avengers fighting against robots, aliens or a civil war against each other?

But that’s a post for next time…

Avengers Assemble #1 Review

The Avengers (2012 film)

Image via Wikipedia

It’s not often I do comic book reviews, but when I heard Marvel were releasing an in-continuity title for audiences seeing The Avengers movie, I was intrigued. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art by Mark Bagley, does this latest Avengers offering serve up anything different than what’s on shelves already?

The hook with this book is that from the start, all of the movie Avengers are present. Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye and Black Widow all feature, however there’s no sign yet of Nick Fury. Though considering the 616 version of Nick Fury may alienate movie fans that’s understandable.

Avengers Assemble #1 opens with Bendis highlighting the rise of a new Zodiac. Praise must be given for Bendis for providing a threat for the team that differs from the movie. Bagley’s artwork leaves a little to be desired, up close his artwork is brilliant, from long angles it’s lacking in detail.

In terms of characters, Clint Barton steals the show. Bendis shows he can write Hawkeye brilliantly, showcasing his sarcastic traits that prove the Ultimates dress-up hasn’t changed much about the character. As a long-term reader, I felt as if a Bucky reference was due when Clint was hitting on Widow, but I can understand why none was used. Captain America, Thor and Iron Man, get enough screen time, but there wasn’t really any reason as to why the team was together, other than being at the right place at the right time. If Bendis really wanted inspiration for how to formulate the team, he should have taken notes of his own New Avengers: Breakout arc. That’s how you form a new Avengers team.

My main criticism would be how the Hulk is handled. From this take, it’s easy to see why Bendis has refrained from largely using the green giant in his eight-year Avengers run. In this book, the Hulk is reverted back to his dumbed-down mindless version. For a long-term Marvel reader, this is a little distracting, as that’s not usually how the Hulk is written these days, however it could because a dumbing-down is in store for the Hulk during Jason Aaron‘s Incredible Hulk epic.

To conclude, Avengers Assemble is a fantastic jumping on point for Avengers movie fans, while still offering something new for long-term readers. It’s light on continuity, but full of great dialogue and solid characterisation. In terms of how well I think Avengers Assemble will do in the future, hopefully there’s more to come from this book to make it stand out amongst the million other Avengers titles.

Rating: 7/10

 

New Avengers Trailer Deconstruction And Analysis

I didn’t think it was possible, but The Avengers is looking better than anybody could have ever predicted. Debuting exclusively via Apple, the new trailer offers us tons of fantastic action scenes, a closer look at Loki‘s ‘army’ and some intriguing story moments. Simply put, it was one of the best movie trailers I’ve ever seen.

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1) Continuity Counts

One of my main fears when Marvel first announced their intention to build a cinematic shared universe was that it would be difficult to interweave the separate films into the same continuity. True, there have been some hiccups here and there, and the recasting of James Rhodes/War Machine and Bruce Banner didn’t help. Thankfully though, this trailer at least confirms that the ending of Iron Man 2 will be addressed in The Avengers. I’m a strong believer that when this film hits, it’s going to bring all the Marvel films before it into better context. Plus, the new Stark tech looks fantastic.

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2) There’s Conflict In The Team

For comic book fans out there, you may have noticed how this scene looks as if it has been taken straight from the pages of Mark Millar‘s and Bryan Hitch‘s revolutionary series Ultimates 2. In the original trailer, we saw signs of hostilities between Captain America and Thor, but now this new trailer reveals more to the story. Has Loki manipulated events and turned the other Avengers against his brother? Either way, praise must be given to Joss Whedon for bringing this interesting dynamic to the team.

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3) Maria Hill Finally

Here we finally get a shot of Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill standing alongside Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). We haven’t seen much of her so far, but knowing Whedon’s talent for handling female characters, I’m sure Maria Hill will be represented well on screen.

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4) Mind Control Or Double Agent?

An interesting moment here is seeing Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) engaged in combat with her former partner Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). First assumptions would be that Loki has somehow used mind control over Hawkeye and is able to use the Avenger as a weapon against Widow. As a big fan of The Ultimates, I can’t help but wish this shot represented Black Widow revealing herself as a double agent working against the team. I doubt that’s going to happen (there’s not even the slightest hint of Russian) but it certainly would raise the stakes of the movie to another level.

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5) More Ultimates Genius

Here is another shot that brought back memories of reading the opening of The Ultimates 2. In that universe, Cap jumping out of planes is a trademark aspect to the character and it looks brilliant on-screen in The Avengers.

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6) Hulk Is Loose

Another pivotal screenshot, this time perhaps revealing that Loki is able to control the Hulk, and even manages to chase down Black Widow possibly on board the Hellicarrier. I’m really happy with how the trailer is able to convey the mess Loki is causing. It really is exceeding my expectations.

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7) Kneel Before Zo.. Loki

Perhaps my favourite moment from the trailer, simply because it highlights how Loki isn’t on Earth to simply destroy it or invade it, he wants to rule it. Anyone following the set pictures online knows how this ends up, but for now, Loki is winning.

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8) Hawkeye Is In The Film

In case you didn’t know, Hawkeye is in this film. He only gets a few snippets of screen time in the trailer, and even Agent Coulson gets more dialogue than him. Why do I get the feeling he’s going to take down the monster revealed at the end of the trailer though?

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9) Thor Imprisoned

Once again, another scene that looks as if it has been taken straight from The Ultimates, this time revealing Thor imprisoned by SHIELD as he screams in anger. What’s interesting is that Thor is imprisoned; yet still holding his hammer Mjölnir. Why would SHIELD imprison Thor while still armed with his hammer? Something doesn’t add up, is Loki yet again behind this?

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10) The Skrulls, Or Kree, Or Something Else Entirely

We are yet again teased at the identity of Loki’s alien army. We’ve been told time and time again they’re not Skrulls, yet that seems the most logical choice. I’m beginning to think they will likely be a new race created by Whedon himself.

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11) Hulk Is A Hero

Putting aside any rumours of Hulk being a villain in this movie, here we see Hulk catching a fallen Iron Man after taking heavy fire while attacking the invading army. It’s a shot that looks as if it has been taken straight from the comics. The Hulk has slipped off radar in recent years, it looks as if Whedon is about to put him straight back at the top. Mark Ruffalo also impresses as Bruce Banner, reminiscent of the classic Bill Bixby series.

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12) The Midgard Serpent?

Easily the best Easter egg ever found in a trailer. Is this a nod to the classic Thor villain, the Midgard Serpent, or a different take on the Marvel dragon Fin Fang Foom? Either way, the mechanical beast has the potential to make for a fantastic cinematic battle. May cannot come soon enough.

Should Marvel Be Marketing The Avengers More?

English: 2012 The Avengers Movie

Image via Wikipedia

It’s literally the biggest comic book movie ever made. It’s taken four years and five movies to make and in May of this year, Marvel will finally unleash The Avengers on screen. However, would anyone that hasn’t seen any of the movies beforehand be familiar enough with The Avengers concept, based on how Marvel has been marketing it so far?

The Dark Knight Rises doesn’t come out until July of this year. Yet, Warner Bros. has already officially released a teaser trailer, a full trailer and a six-minute prologue. It seems strange that compared to The Dark Knight Rises, Marvel have only officially released one Avengers trailer, and a slightly altered international version. Granted audiences will flock to the movie anyway, but is Marvel making enough of the opportunity to put their cinematic franchise leagues ahead of DC’s final Batman picture?

What kind of marketing am I expecting? Well, seeing as Black Widow and Hawkeye haven’t had a great deal of screen time in previous movies, why not release character vignettes from them both, showcasing a few of their moments in The Avengers movie so audiences can familiarise themselves with the characters beforehand. It would certainly help their character development if audiences knew whom Black Widow and Hawkeye were heading into the movie. It’s an alternative route, if Marvel would prefer not to release a new trailer so soon.

I’m also surprised at the lack of merchandise so far. The Avengers will undoubtedly attract a lot of kids, what better way to solidify that then by getting toy lines and other merchandise out early. I remember when the Phantom Menace line was released before the movie; I was stoked to see all of these new characters and couldn’t wait to see the movie as a result. The same applies to videogames. There has been no news of any Avengers game in development (after one got cancelled) yet videogames are a great way to generate hype for a movie. Imagine seeing your favourite Avengers that aren’t in the film given the movie concept treatment. Even if movie games all tend to suck, it’s why there’s so many of them. Getting some merchandise out early couldn’t hurt.

I understand Marvel is probably playing it safe for now. If they start the hype machine too early, they run the risk of it fading out before the movie even hits theatres, however I believe the matter is more to do with Joss Whedon trying to keep aspects of the film under wraps for now. Aspects such as what army is supporting Loki in his quest to conquer Earth, and if any other villains or heroes appear. You can only look at Wolverine: Origins as an example of marketing damaging the movie. When Fox released a trailer showcasing Deadpool (or Barackapool as the IC calls him) fans panned the movie before release, some even calling for a boycott. Marvel is probably just trying to avoid making the same mistake. Especially if the army is revealed to be Hydra, instead of the Skrulls or Atlanteans.

I’m sure nearer to April/May The Avengers marketing will pick up speed, but for now, let’s just hope a new trailer hits soon. The first trailer was a little too much Tony Stark for my liking. This is an ensemble movie after all.

Avengers vs X-Men: Marvel’s Best Event In Years?

If you’re a comic book reader who has been suffering from event fatigue, don’t expect it to slow down anytime soon, especially if you’re a Marvel fan. The House of Ideas has recently announced its 2012 mega event, ‘Avengers vs. X-Men’. Unlike ‘Fear Itself’, details about AVX have been spreading constantly online. What we know is that it will focus on the return of the Phoenix force, and how that causes both teams to clash. The event officially kicked off last week with the return of Cable in ‘Avengers: X-Sanction’ (Jeph Loeb), and will begin to unravel in 2012. With the potential for an event the scale of Civil War, it’s time Marvel delivered in bringing us a comic book event that can match the hype.

1) Story First, Action Later

With a story like AVX, there is guaranteed to be pages and pages of heroes duking it out against each other. While that’s fine considering action sells, there still needs to be substance to the story. If you look at past events like Secret Invasion, Siege and Fear Itself, they were essentially events full of long boring fights. AVX has the potential to deliver effective characterization, and with five writers at the helm, every character should get a significant amount of screen time.

1) Team Loyalties

Wolverine has been an Avenger for years, but he’s been a member of the X-Men for much longer. Usually it would be easy to see Logan siding with Cyclops, but considering their fallout in ‘X-Men: Schism’, there’s huge potential to explore Logan’s loyalties. Will he side with The Avengers and come to blows with former friend and teammate Cyclops? Or will the events of ‘X-Men: Regenesis’ be undone less than a year later? The same goes for Storm, who has only recently joined the Avengers, but her past issues with Wolverine leading the mutant black-ops team X-Force may force her to come to blows with her former teammate.

2) The Answer To Hope?

Ever since Hope debuted as an infant in ‘X-Men: Messiah Complex’, readers have been speculating over her true nature. How is she the savour of mutant kind? Is she a reincarnated Jean Grey? With the phoenix Force heading towards Earth, one can assume Hope will probably play host at some point. Similar to what happened with The Scarlett Witch in ‘House of M’, The Avengers and The X-Men will likely be brought to blows over how to deal with Hope. Presumably, with Cable soon to be out of the way, perhaps Cyclops will act as the new ‘father’ role to Hope, akin to what Magneto is with the Scarlett Witch? I’m not a fan of Cyclops having so many links in the X-Men universe but it could make for some compelling storytelling.

3) Which Characters Will Face-Off?

With AVX, there will evidently be some key battles. As the image on the side suggests, Captain America vs. Cyclops will be a key battle, with Matt Fraction (Invincible Iron Man) writing the issue. It will be great to see how a rather comfortable soldier like Captain America fares against a leader like Cyclops who has been forced to lead his species to survival for several years.

Magneto vs. Iron Man is another battle that is likely to be heavily featured. Matt Fraction teased a new armour for Tony Stark during a recent conference, so it’s fairly obvious it’s going to be magnetic proof suit. Both characters have big flaws so it’s going to be really interesting to see how the battle pans out.

4) Hawkeye Needs Attention

With actor Jeremy Renner playing a live-action Clint Barton in the upcoming Avengers movie, now is the time to bring Hawkeye into the spotlight of the Marvel Universe. Since the 2005 crossover ‘House of M’ Hawkeye has been more of a background character. Now with a new look, and a story that ties with his past relationship with Wanda Maximoff, Hawkeye can once again take centre stage. With tons of storyline potential in AVX for Clint Barton, Hawkeye is certainly a character to watch in 2012.

5) Explain The Event Overload

For long-term Avengers readers, you may remember this time-line of events that the future Tony Stark had made. With Marvel producing more and more comic book events than ever before, could there be a logical way to explain the event overload? For many, 2012 is the year where several ‘doomsday’ prophecies will occur. Perhaps Marvel could incorporate this into AVX to show how these occurring events are the sign of the world’s end in 2012?

So there are my suggestions for Avengers vs. X-Men. Despite the let downs that were ‘Siege’ and ‘Fear Itself’, I can’t help but get excited for AVX. It’s a storyline years in the making and it may be the first event to alter the Marvel Universe for the long-term. I’m disappointed The Defenders and Winter Soldier won’t play a part, but with new characters like Hope and Nova taking centre stage, 2012 will be a fantastic year for Marvel fans!

Marvel Legends are Back! My Wish List

Marvel Legends

Image by Tim.Deering via Flickr

Marvel Legends are back next year. The toy line that made the 6inch action figure scale famous has been on hiatus for the past few years, and now Hasbro have finally given into the demands of Legends fans worldwide, by bringing the series back in full swing. I’m not ashamed in admitting I own probably every Marvel Legends (with the exception of the SDCC Thor) figure in existence, (which for UK fans has been hard due to Toybiz and Hasbro’s awful distribution). With the next 2-3 series of figures already announced, here are my picks for what figures I hope will come up in the future.

My Wish List:

1) Heimdall:

The characters from Asgard have been in the spotlight of the Marvel Universe in recent years. Re-introduced during the Olivier Coipel illustrated Thor Series, and starring in a major Hollywood film, now is the perfect time to get Asgard’s warriors on shelves.

2) The Warriors Three

Which means the likes of Hogun, Fandral and Volstagg need to be released at some point. Whether they’re in single carded figures or in a triple pack, the Warriors Three are an integral part of the Marvel Universe, and it’s about time collectors got characters from the Thor universe.

3) Sebastian Shaw

Largely influenced by Kevin Bacon’s fantastic performance in X-Men: First Class, Sebastian Shaw’s popularity must surely be at an all time high. With the exception of the dreadful Emma Frost figure (more on that later), it’s time collectors are able to make their own Hellfire Club.

4) Azazel

Another choice that’s been influenced by X-Men: First Class. Whether you’re a fan of the silent henchman Azazel, or the religious demon from the comics, there’s no doubt he would make for a great figure.

5) Emma Frost

The last (and only) time we’ve gotten an Emma Frost figure was the dreadful one from the Hasbro 1st series. Being truthful, the figure looked more like a man, and the diamond variant was shocking. With Emma at the centre of the X-Men books, it’s fitting collectors get a better version of her to display.

6) Bleeding Edge Iron Man

He’s been one of the most reoccurring characters in the Marvel Legends line, and I doubt that’s going to change anytime soon. There’s already an Extremis Iron Man on the way, so it’s only fitting Hasbro create a figure Iron Man’s most recent armour. The Bleeding Edge Iron Man armour is stored entirely under Tony Stark‘s skin, so it should suit the slimmer mold Hasbro seem to be giving Iron Man in recent waves.

7) Ultimate Hawkeye (New Ultimates)

Hawkeye is regarded as one of the coolest characters of the Marvel Ultimate Universe. The look of Ultimate Clint Barton has even inspired the look of Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye in next year’s Avengers movie. Whether it’s 616 or Ultimate, Hawkeye’s popularity is at an all time high, and considering we’ve already gotten a classic 616 Hawkeye, it’s fitting the next figure is Ultimate Clint.

8.) Iron Patriot

Now almost as famous as his Green Goblin persona, Norman Osborn’s Iron Patriot armour made him into one awesome villain. Running H.A.M.M.E.R and the Dark Avengers, as Iron Patriot, Norman controlled the Marvel Universe for a year during the Dark Reign saga.

9) Ultimate Spider-Man (Miles Morales)

Whether you love him or you hate him, Miles Morales has sent shock waves across the comic book world this year. After writer Brian Bendis decided to kill of Ultimate Peter Parker, and replace him with Miles who is of African/American and Latino descent, fans have been going wild. Some hate how Peter has been replaced, where as some love the change of character. Bottom line is, the intense publicity Miles has received almost instantly makes him worthy of being a Marvel legends figure.

10) Fantomex,

Introduced during Grant Morrison’s New X-Men, Fantomex has become a cult favourite among X-Men fans. Starring in the new X-Force series has brought Fantomex’s popularity rise drastically and many fans would love to add him to their X-Force collection.

So there are my top ten figures I would love to see in a future Marvel Legends line. If anyone has their opinion on whom they would want to see please your wish list below.

Wolverine Is Being Overexposed

The New Avengers (comics)

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Wolverine is one of the greatest comic book characters ever created. He’s headlined comic books, animated television shows and four major movies. He once brought an edge to comic books. His past was a mystery, and he wasn’t afraid to cross boundaries if it meant getting the job done. He was the badass character everyone wanted to be. Yet over the years, Wolverine’s extreme popularity has lead to Marvel including him in any comic book title they can. He is being overexposed.

Wolverine’s overexposure is something that angers many comic book fans. Fans like a sense of continuity within the Marvel universe, so when Wolverine is able to jump back and fourth between the X-Men, X-Force, The Avengers, The New Avengers and his own solo series things can get pretty confusing. For one thing, Wolverine is at the centre of this year’s X-Men event X-Men: Schism, which apparently occurs at the same time as Marvel’s crossover event Fear Itself. For comic books to be treated with respect, they at least have to follow some sense of continuity, and when that is thrown out the widow to allow Marvel to generate some extra sales by throwing Logan on the front cover, it’s bound to cause some angry faces.

With a level of uncertainty surrounding the comic industry in recent times, there is some logic as to why Marvel might stick Wolverine in anything they can. If the character truly does boost comic book sales, then it’s slightly easier to accept why he stars in so many books. What I don’t understand is that they stick him in any title they can, but don’t give him any significance. For example, Wolverine could easily be removed from Fear Itself or the main Avengers series. Especially since the character’s lost his edge. His origin has been explored and butchered over and over again, taking away the original appeal that went with the character.  Why include him in two Avengers titles, if fan favourite characters like Bucky Barnes and Hawkeye are going to get pushed aside? It’s frustrating.

It’s also frustrating to see Wolverine continuously starring in X-Men movies when it’s about time Marvel and Fox movie forward with projects for other characters. Fox have the rights for The Fantastic 4. It’s about time they use them, instead of giving us more mediocre Wolverine origin movies. Or at least maybe expand on the Wolverine mythos, and give us a movie based on his son Daken, as some fans would argue Daken has become a far edgier, more compelling character than his father in recent years.

Wolverine’s had his day. There are far more characters deserving of the attention and exposure Wolverine receives. Remove him from the Avengers and you might just see why Logan is more appealing when he’s an X-Men exclusive. Perhaps now the Avengers movie draws near, we might see a more classic Avengers line up without Ol’ Canucklehead.

Why Fear Itself Has Failed

Logo of Marvel Comics

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It’s been a huge summer for the comic book industry. DC have been busy with their super event Flashpoint, which paved way for an all new reboot for the DC universe, while Marvel have returned to their mega crossover events with Fear Itself, written by Matt Fraction. Whilst DC’s Flashpoint sent the old DC universe out with a bang, Marvel’s summer event has been met with universal criticism.

The problem with Marvel’s events recently, is that they are always promised to be status- quo changing events, which are usually met with pointless character deaths. Sadly this is the case with Fear Itself. One of Marvel’s most popular characters, Bucky Barnes, was killed just to add some gravitas to the story and get Steve Rogers back as Captain America in time for his new movie. When every reader knows that Steve’s going to become Captain America again upon witnessing Bucky Barnes’s death, it really takes way any emotion from the book. When a storyline contains one of the most hated comic book clichés it’s bound to struggle.

What’s also confused me is that Matt Fraction was quoted, way before the first issue of Fear Itself was released as declaring he hates comic book events that come with hundreds of tie-in books. While Fraction promised a story that can be read in seven issues, what we’ve actually received is a story that still feels like it hasn’t taken off, even though the event is coming to a close next month. If you want to see how Steve Rogers reacts to the death of his partner Bucky Barnes, you’ll have to wait for a post Fear Itself tie-in. Did you want to see how Avengers such as Hawkeye, Spider-Man and Spider-Woman reacted to what was going on? Better go back and read the Avengers and Spider-Man tie-ins. If you only read Fear Itself’s six issues, you would probably be left feeling underwhelmed. In other words, you need plenty of cash to get the complete story.

Regular reader of DC comics would have noticed huge similarities between DC’s Blackest Night event and Marvel’s Fear Itself. Problem is, DC did it better. Where Blackest Night flourished with a dramatic story and fantastic tie-in books, Fear Itself suffers from a bland story and an overkill of tie-ins. Blackest Night resurrected several fallen characters at the end of its story, who’s to say Marvel won’t do the same. After all, Bucky’s got to come back somehow.

Another factor contributing to the failure of Fear Itself, is Marvel’s decision to release all their post summer 2011 plans way before Fear Itself has concluded. It kills any momentum for the event, as we now know who survives and where the Marvel universe is heading all the way into 2012. Where’s the need to read Fear Itself if you now that the heroes are going to win, and move on to the next pointless cross over event straight away? It’s a really flawed marketing technique. Teaser posters are great, but anything beyond that is overkill.

To conclude, despite being drastically over-hyped, Fear Itself has failed because it’s insignificant. We already know how the Marvel universe ends up when the event concludes, and what storylines are heading our way in the near future. It almost feels like Fraction deliberately killed Bucky just to give the event some more significance. Lets hope Marvel’s next storyline ‘Shattered Heroes’ gives Fear Itself the significance it so desperately needs.

Are People Judging The Avengers Movie Too Soon?

Avengers Poster 2

Image by Boogeyman13 via Flickr

It’s still many months away from being released, but fans are already getting frustrated with the Avengers movie. Whilst the movie cannot possibly live up to fan boy expectations, it wasn’t too long ago people were really excited about seeing the world’s finest superheroes united on screen. My question is, what’s changed?

Similar to next year’s The Dark Knight Rises, leaked videos and photos are already swarming from the The Avengers film. What seems to be the cause of the criticism are the recent pictures showcasing our first look at Captain America fighting alongside Hawkeye and Black Widow. I’ll skip my initial concerns for Cap’s goofy looking costume, to get to the main point. Nothing looks spectacular. I’m sure Iron Man and The Hulk will look impressive, but Hawkeye and Black Widow look entirely out of place, and to be honest quite dull. When you have a team of war machines, super soldiers, gods and monsters, two assassins seem to come up short. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be in the movie, but considering no one has been greatly overwhelmed by the performances and cameos from Black Widow and Hawkeye so far, is it likely they’re going to blow us away with scene stealing performances next year? Perhaps Marvel should have considered this when they set out creating their cinematic universe. What the Avengers needed, is Ant-Man and Wasp.

If Whedon had originally chosen to include Hank and Janet Pym in the Avengers movie it would have added a whole new dynamic to the team. The two original Avengers founding members would have created a sub-plot far more interesting for older viewers. I’m not suggesting Whedon should have looked at the Ultimates series and have Hank unleash an army of ants on his wife, but considering their unstable relationship, including Hank and Janet would have really added some much needed substance into Marvel’s cinematic universe. Would the movie suffer from having a congested cast if Ant-Man and Wasp were included? Mark Millar‘s Ultimates series managed to handle all members of the team just fine. Joss Whedon‘s excellent Astonishing X-Men run proved the man in the director’s chair could handle ensembles brilliantly. I don’t believe it’s a question of what might work for the comic book medium might not work for film. After all, these are meant to be comic book movies!

One thing I have to praise Joss Whedon for is that he isn’t giving anything away too soon. Yes we have set-pics, and we know Loki is the main villain, but we still don’t know what threat brings this team together. There have been rumours of shape- shifting aliens, sea monsters and frost giants but that’s all speculation. Thanks to leaked photos and plot details, we already know most of the plot line for The Dark Knight Rises. Considering it’s still many months away, I’d rather not know too many story details about the Avengers at this point.

Too summarise I think it’s a little too soon to be judging The Avengers movie. We haven’t even gotten our first full-length trailer yet, and fans are bashing based on leaked pictures. I’ll admit, there are factors that could have been improved on, and I’m not a big fan of the film’s roster. You have to give Marvel some credit though. They’ve put a huge amount of work into making this movie happen; therefore perhaps we should just be happy with what we’re being given. It won’t pack the substance of The Dark Knight but it’s not like we’ve got a Justice League movie to look forward to.

What Characters Will Benefit From The DC Reboot The Most?

Grant Morrison at San Diego Comic-Con 2008 day 1.

Image via Wikipedia

With the DC comic revamp just around the corner, I’ve decided to look at what characters might benefit mostly from the shake-up. With a huge 52 titles set to be released in September, DC is showing that they are serious about their characters, and I for one can’t wait.

1- Superman

Superman is the character most affected by the upcoming reboot. With a new origin, and a new costume, DC attempts to modernize Superman for the 21st century. Starring in three different series, (Action Comics- Grant Morrison, Superman- George Pérez, Justice League- Geoff Johns) Superman is DC’s top priority heading into September. With a new movie on the way, The Man of Steel needs to quickly establish a new fan base, and writer Grant Morrison describes Action Comics 1# as an action comic that recreates Superman in lots of different ways. After years of fans arguing Superman is too overpowered and incorruptible, DC have promised to show us, just who Superman is, and what motivates him to don a costume and fight against evil. Anything Superman with Grant Morrison involved is sure to be a hit (just see his work on All-Star Superman), and it’s about time The Man of Steel gets back to top spot as the world’s top superhero.

2-The Flash (Barry Allen)

To decision to put Barry Allen back as The Flash in 2008 angered a lot of people. Fans thought Barry’s nephew, Wally West had come so far in character development, and taking away the Flash mantle from him was a bad move. In my opinion, apart from some stand out moments in Blackest NightBarry has yet to make the Flash his own again. Well, now’s the time for Barry to justify why he’s the definitive Flash, and what better way for him to do it then when a close friend becomes a an all new villain who can be everywhere at once.

3- Green Arrow

With Marvel’s archer Hawkeye currently getting all of the attention, now couldn’t be a better time for Oliver Queen to get himself a new series. “Armed with cutting edge technology and illegal gained Intel, Green Arrow is shooting first and asking questions later.” What I love about Green Arrow is that he’s morally ambiguous. He is a fairly right-wing hero, who isn’t afraid to put villains down for good in certain circumstances. With the new reboot putting Oliver Queen back to basics, hopefully new readers will realise just how interesting Green Arrow is as a character and that a Robin Hood look alike beats a guy in purple spandex any day. DC just needs to avoid making Green Arrow too similar to Tony Stark, and I’m sure this series will do wonders for the character. Did I mention the fact that his bow now has blades at both ends?

4-Nightwing

When Haley’s Circus (the circus where Dick once performed) returns to Gotham, along with murder and mystery, Nightwing must confront his past and face new and old enemies. Dick Grayson never really fitted the persona of Batman. His acrobatic fighting style, and his upbeat personality didn’t exactly install great fear. With Bruce back as the Caped Crusader, Dick returns once more as Nightwing. The reboot has given Grayson a new black and red colour scheme for his suit, which indicates DC intend on making Nightwing the coolest character in comic books again. Hopefully his new series will have plenty of action, and a hook up with Barbara Gordon not too far down the line. Marvel have proven former sidekicks such as Bucky Barnes can be just as popular if not more so than their respective heroes, so hopefully DC will have the same success with Nightwing.

So there you have it. These are the top 4 characters I think will benefit most from the DC comics revamp. With a whopping 52 titles set to be released, there are sure to be some stinkers, but as far as these four characters go things are about to get big. Other names such as Wonder Woman and Aquaman also have a shot at finding glory, but only time will tell. Bring on September!

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