Posts Tagged ‘ Peter Parker ’

Richard Rider Is Not Dead

Nova (comics)

Nova (comics) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s been an exciting week for fans of Marvel’s cosmic universe. First, Marvel announce a brand-new Guardians of the Galaxy film heading to cinemas in 2014, and now it looks like cosmic hero Nova will play a huge part on the comic side of things as Marvel is set to include him in their new initiative ‘Marvel Now’. Could this be the return of Richard Rider?

When Marvel announced Nova would show up in their 2011 cross-over preview book ‘Point One‘, most fans assumed it was the return of fan-favourite Richard Rider. This was not the case as the book paved way for a new Nova known as Sam Alexander. Created by Jeph Loeb, it looks as if Nova has been reverted back to a teen-hero status in order to make the character more of an underdog as well as relatable.

Before his demise, Richard Rider’s abilities as Nova had risen to a level where he could pretty much take on Silver Surfer or a whole Kree fleet and hold his own. While Rider was incredibly powerful, it was the sentimental moments between Nova and his brother/parents that defined Dan Abnett/ Andy Lanning‘s run on Nova for me. At one point, Rider was essentially the Peter Parker of the cosmic universe.

With the real integrity of Rider’s story previously covered, what else is there for a writer to cover with Richard Rider? It could be argued when Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning finished with Nova during the 2010 cosmic event  ‘The Thanos Imperative‘ they killed off Richard Rider as a testament to their own work. After all, DnA’s run on Nova had taken Richard Rider from a teen-hero with confidence issues, to one of the most popular powerhouses in the Marvel Universe. Like Ed Brubaker had done with Bucky, DnA had pretty much made Richard Rider their own.

For a new Nova to work however, Rider simply has to be either alive or resurrected. When him and Guardians of the Galaxy leader, Star-Lord made their last stand against Thanos in ‘The Thanos Imperative’ Nova was left trapped in an alternative universe with the whole Nova Force (the energy that powers the Nova Corps) inside as well. Sam Alexander has to be drawing his power from some where, so it’s likely Richard Rider escaped the Cancer Verse, and just hasn’t made his return as of yet.

To further prove Sam Alexander is the new Nova for good, the character has recently debuted in the animated Ultimate Spider-Man television show. While the show hasn’t proved popular with fans, Marvel seem intent on making the show fall inline with their comic universe as much as possible highlighting that the new Nova is here to stay. What this could also suggest is that if there are any Nova plans in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I wouldn’t be surprised if they involved Sam Alexander and not Richard Rider.

With a new Nova, Loeb and Marvel have a chance to take the character back to his underdog roots, and make Nova relatable again. It also provides a welcome opportunity for Richard Rider to receive some new character development. With Sam Alexander being a teenager, Rider will probably act as a mentor for him and any other Nova corps that appear. Speaking of which, with Marvel’s new found importance on their cosmic universe, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Marvel launch a Nova Corps to rival DC’s extensive Green Lantern Corps.

I feel as if Jeph Loeb is coming under unfair criticism from Nova fans. Creatively, Nova is a hot property and taking on a character that was defined by Abnett and Lanning could see his project fail before it has even started. It’s also unfair to judge Loeb on making the new Nova in memory of his late son Sam Loeb, as all writers have to draw their stories from somewhere. While risky, it might give Loeb to motivation to put his recent poor form behind him and tell a good story.

While the rest of Marvel seems to have completely ignored Abnett and Lanning’s cosmic run, I will give Loeb or whatever writer who tries to reason the resurrection of The Guardians, Nova and Thanos enormous credit. We haven’t seen the last of Richard Rider. His time as Nova may be finished but for now, lets give Sam Alexander a chance.

Welcome back Spidey?

Garfield-Spider-Man-costume

Image by Daniel Semper via Flickr

Next year will see the return of everybody’s favourite web-slinger, The Amazing Spider-Man. On the 4th July 2012, five years after Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 left an emo taste in our mouths, Peter Parker heads to back to high school/college to learn that with great power comes great responsibility. Again.

When Sony announced the Spider-Man franchise would be rebooted for a 2012 release, directed by Marc Webb and staring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, I was initially thrilled. I loved the Sam Raimi trilogy, even Spider-Man 3 to a certain extent, however it was just fitting it was time for a reboot. Tobey Maguire was getting too old (and out of shape) to play Spidey, whilst Kirsten Dunst‘s Mary Jane Watson had become a terrible bore. Plans for the fourth Spidey film were not helped by the fact that spoilers were leaked concerning the films plot and the fans were not happy with what they saw.

Apparently old webhead was up against The Vulture (played by John Malkovich), one of Spidey’s oldest enemies (quite literally)  and was set to be the films main villain, accompanied by a female sidekick known as The Vultress. The Vulture was apparently a mechanical bird, piloted by Malkovich through an avatar type process. Thank god that never materialized.

My initial idea for the Spider-Man reboot was that Spideys origin was dealt with quickly through the films opening credits (similar to the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk), so that the film could move forward at a fast pace not have to worry about setting up the origin. We all know how Peter Parker got his powers; after all we saw it only 11 years ago. Instead Peter Parker is going back to high school/college to face the drama of teen life alongside his newfound powers. Whilst I can see Sony’s ideas, jumping on the success of teen flicks such as Twilight would bring in the popularity, but re-doing the death of Peter’s uncle, discovery of his powers thing seems like a wasted opportunity to me.

After all, unlike the 2000 era, Spidey no longer dominates the field for superhero movies. Whilst his franchise has been on hiatus, characters such as The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America have come into play. Even the X-Men franchise, which was around the same time as Raimi’s trilogy, has gone back to prequels with X-Men: First Class to keep things fresh. There’s a lot more selection now when it comes to comic book movies so web-head needs to be fresh and ready or he could be set for tangle at the box office.

Apart from the boring choice of re-doing the origin, The Amazing Spider-Man does look promising. After his widely acclaimed role in The Social Network, Andrew Garfield has proven himself to be a fantastic rising star really does look the part of Peter Parker. Unlike Maguire, Garfield is skinny and can pull of the nerd look at lot more effectively. If you think I’m wrong then check these pictures out and see for yourself. I’m not so big on the Spider-Man suit however. I thought they would go back to basics and invent a suit, which looks like it was actually made by a teenager. Instead it looks like a cross between the original costume and his wrestling attire from the original Spider-Man movie.

As far as villains go it looks as if we will be seeing Rhys Ifans play Dr Curt Conners aka The Lizard. It will be interesting to see how this pans out as the reboot only has a rumoured 80 million dollar budget, so I’m guessing special effects will be limited. Perhaps we will see a more humanoid Lizard through practical effects such as makeup. Seems to be that way so far as webslinging goes which isn’t a bad thing. Too many comic book movies are plagued by mediocre special effects.

I am really disappointed that we are seeing another origin story, but as long as he’s in costume by the films quarter mark I’ll be happy. Spider-Man is and should be one of the greatest comic book characters of all time, and it’s only fitting we finally get a movie to reflect this.

Just stay clear of the dancing…