Posts Tagged ‘ Thor ’

Is Kevin Feige Wrong To Delay The Incredible Hulk 2?

The Abomination in The Incredible Hulk (2008).

The Abomination in The Incredible Hulk (2008). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s been a thunderous week for Marvel fans, as early screenings of The Avengers have gone down fantastically well with critics and fans alike! While official reviews are embargoed for the next couple of days, much praise has been given to the way the film has brought new life into the Incredible Hulk, which is why some fans are disheartened by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige for announcing there are no plans for a Hulk sequel…

Marvel’s mindset is clearly ‘if it’s not broken, don’t try and fix it’. The Jade Giant has had two films in the last ten years, which haven’t gone down well at the box-office, 2008’s Incredible Hulk is the lowest ranked film from Marvel Studios, earning an unimpressive $263,427,551 worldwide. While The Avengers will undoubtedly open doors for new characters into the cinematic universe, ruling the Hulk out so soon is a tad drastic considering the story potential left for the character. In the two films we’ve seen the Green Goliath, all he’s done is run from the military, and face some sort of rogue science experiment in both film’s endings. There’s so much more to the character than crushing tanks and running as a fugitive.

When The Avengers pre-production geared forward, it was obvious Joss Whedon had decided to make Bruce Banner more comfortable with himself, as opposed to the tortured character we are so used to seeing. This appears to have gone down well with audiences, as most early reactions from the film point towards how well the Hulk was handled. Baring there’s not a sudden rush of scathing reviews next week, surely now is the perfect time to create the fun Hulk sequel we all wish to see. Granted there’s a television show supposedly in production, but there are still plot threads left open from 2008’s Incredible Hulk to be addressed.

Tim Blake Nelson impressed as Dr. Samuel Sterns in 2008, and we still haven’t seen how his transformation to supervillain The Leader occurs. While there is supposedly an Avengers comic book addressing the Leaders whereabouts, I feel a Hulk vs. Leader showdown would be an epic contrast to 2008’s underwhelming brawl with the Abomination.

I can’t help but feel Marvel will go back on their word and give the Hulk a sequel some time in the near future. Feige has hinted Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy films are on their way as well as guaranteed Iron Man, Captain America and Thor sequels. Marvel are preparing a cinematic onslaught and I doubt they’re going to leave out one of their most beloved characters

 

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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.

Deconstructing: The Avengers Superbowl Trailer

(Warning: Spoilers In This Article)

Debuting during the Superbowl, the action packed trailer for The Avengers offers us our first glimpse of the full Avengers team assembled. Simply put, the action packed trailer was just pure brilliance. Here I will look at some of the interesting moments from the trailer, and discuss how I believe The Avengers will be one the best comic book movies of all time.

Unlike many suggestions on the internet that seem to imply the scene with Tony Stark and Steve Rogers is when they first meet, to me, it looks more like they’ve just been ordered to make up after a brief spat by Nick Fury. One thing that separates the Avengers from the Justice League is that it constantly feels as if the personalities of the Avengers team shouldn’t be together. Yet somehow, the team works brilliant. With a huge ensemble move like this, each character needs to have unique distinctive qualities, and based on what we’ve seen so far, they’re bound to clash from time to time.

Here we see Iron Man flying towards what looks to be an oncoming alien invasion. Some have argued that Iron Man is flying towards the alien mother ship, however it looks more like he is flying towards the portal that links the alien world to Earth. Upon Iron Man and the Avengers Quinjet entering the portal, it looks as if Thor thunderously lands on the Quinjet, initially believing the Avengers to be either imposters or belonging to the alien species. This is why I think Thor attacks Captain America in the previous trailer.

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We also get our first glimpse of ‘Loki‘s’ Army invading Earth. Marvel have done very well here, as they have revealed the alien army’s appearance, yet it’s still difficult to determine what species they are. Everything seems to suggest Skrull, yet FOX apparently owns the rights to them. It’s definitely not Frost Giants as some have implied, as the aliens seen here are far too technology advanced to have come from an ice realm. The same goes for Atlanteans. I’m thinking it’s a lesser-known species such as the aliens from the Breakworld or even The Sons of Muspell. Hopefully though, there will be some hidden references to army in previous Marvel films so that Nick Fury creating the Avengers feels organic like it was planned all along, and not forced for the sake of giving this movie a villain

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Whedon promised that every character in this movie would have their moment, and this trailer certainly confirms that. From Cap performing death-defying leaps, to Hawkeye shooting off arrows while free falling, it looks so far as if no character is going to get left behind.

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Seeing the team fully Assembled proves to me that Joss Whedon seems on intent on delivery the perfect comic book move. One that is action packed, over the top and not held bad by contemporary realism. He also seems to have captured the one element that other superhero ensemble movies seem to miss, teamwork! With the heroes combined, there is a sense that whatever threat they’re facing is incredibly serious, and it really adds some gravitas to the movie, which the previous trailer failed to do. My only complaint would be that compared to Cap, Iron Man, Thor and Hulk, Black Widow arming herself with one gun is a little underwhelming. Hopefully there’s more to her than what meets the eye, and based on Whedon’s history with writing strong female characters, I’m sure Black Widow will impress on screen.

Towards the end of the trailer we see the confrontation between Loki and Tony Stark. After being told by Stark that the team is called the Avengers, Loki tries to threaten Stark by claiming he has an army, to which Stark replies, “We have a Hulk”. It’s cheesy, but it’s brilliant. It highlights how well the dialogue is being handled in this movie, as well as illustrating how dark Loki has become.

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My second favourite screen shot from the trailer involves the Hulk. It’s shows our first glimpse of a fully transformed Banner in action, as he smashes through a building and punches an aircraft high in the air. It’s brilliant. Simply because the Incredible Hulk is one of Marvel’s best characters, but some average movies and meant that his popularity has declined over the years. By including the Hulk in The Avengers, Marvel has a chance to put the Green Goliath back at the top where he belongs.

So there’s my deconstruction of the Superbowl Avengers trailer. While it was a little short, it’s completely revived my interest in the movie after a lack of serious marketing. Now though, I can’t wait for the movie to hit theatres, and I want to hear your suggestions about Loki’s army, and any other thoughts about the movie.

Did Thor Really Die During Fear Itself?

Mjolnir (comics)

Image via Wikipedia

(This article contains spoilers)

It’s another postFear Itself article I’m afraid, this time focusing on the recent death of Thor. For those that read Marvel’s summer event Fear Itself, Thor sacrificed himself to defeat his uncle, The Serpent, who is actually the God of Fear.  Everyone knows deaths in comic books are never permanent, so how can we expect Thor to return in time for next summer’s Avengers movie?

It was revealed during the recent Fear Itself  #7.2 one-shot that a new God of Thunder known as Tanuras has replaced Thor. Little is known about this new God of Thunder so far, except that after Thor’s funeral, magical happenings have seemed to make everyone, but Loki believe Tanuras was always the God of Thunder. Where does this leave Thor? He was last seen in a state of limbo, which makes me believe he’ll be back next year to reclaim his role as the God of Thunder.

There are many ways Thor can be brought back. My theory is that Steve Rogers wielding Mjolnir in Fear Itself #7 bares more significance than we thought. After all, whoever holds the hammer is meant to wield the power of Thor, so is Rogers the key to the Odinson’s return? Comicvine ran an interesting article on Gods in comics being beyond the concept of death. That they are depicted as pure energy, and everyone knows energy cannot be destroyed. Will it just take some belief from humans to channel the energy needed to bring Thor back?

What happens when Thor does return though? Will Tanuras just move over and let Thor reclaim his position? With the reality shift in effect, will anyone even remember Thor? This would mean Loki would be the only one with the knowledge of what really happened making his newfound innocence even more interesting. I can see Thor taking on an Avengers team unaware of who is really is with Loki tasked to set things right. This should make the Thor and Loki dynamic even more interesting. Since Loki was resurrected as a young boy, his characterization has improved drastically. This is by far, the best depiction of the God of Mischief yet. What’s also interesting is that the Avengers trailer showed Thor attacking Captain America, and the solicitations for New Avengers in February 2012 show Thor attacking the Avengers. Are the comics and movie set to match up similar to Bucky’s death earlier in the year with Captain America: The First Avenger.

I’m really intrigued to see where Matt Fraction is taking Thor. I’m sold on him when it comes to Tony Stark, but he is yet to win me over with the God of Thunder. This Tanuras story has intrigued me, and for once I can actually say I am excited about where the events of Fear Itself are taking Marvel. I’m looking forward to what should hopefully be a blockbuster year for the God of Thunder in 2012.

Fear Itself in Review

Marvel Fear Itself

Image by jbj via Flickr

So the reviews for Fear Itself #7 are in.

(Warning: Spoilers)

It’s been a long while since Fear Itself #1 hit stands. The first two issues were criticised for the slow build up, and the remaining chapters were lacking in emotion and substance. For the series to be redeemed, Fear Itself #7 would need to go out with a huge bang. The reviews are now in, and does the final chapter to Matt Fraction‘s mega event deliver a truly spectacular conclusion?

Not really. The feedback to Fear Itself #7 is that it while it is an action packed finale, full of breathtaking moments, it’s also an example of everything that’s gone wrong with the series so far. Major moments such as the creation of the ‘Mighty’ (The Avengers wielding both Asgardian and Stark technology) and Captain America lifting Thor’s hammer Mjolnir are underplayed as the issue tries to do too much with the time that has. I never felt like the stakes were really high, as the Marvel Universe has become a safer place to be now death has relatively no meaning.

Fraction said that he didn’t have Steve dwelling on Bucky‘s death from Fear Itself #4 onwards, because it would have distracted from the chaos the characters were in. That just doesn’t make any sense. Surely Steve mourning over Bucky would have added the drama and substance that the event was lacking. I for one would have believed the team were under a serious threat more so if the characters were deeply affected. Steve more or less admitted defeat at one point. Fraction just needed to go further with that and this series would have been much better. I wanted to see more of what was going on in Steve’s mind, especially since his former partner had been killed, and his shield broken.

I am also disappointed at how characters like The Thing and Thor were handled. Bucky wasn’t the only character victim to poor writing. Ben Grimm never got a chance to truly reflect on his time as one of the ‘Worthy’ instead he was forgiven almost instantly as if nothing had happened, whereas Thor was victim to some poor dialogue and another typical comic book death. Marvel are really shooting themselves in the foot recently with their over-usage of character deaths and resurrections. We know Thor will back next year, so his death lacks any real meaning.

I know it seems like I am being overly critical towards Fear Itself. To its credit, it was nice to have an event that wasn’t written by Brian Bendis. That’s as much praise as I can give it. How can I get invested into a series when Marvel have already released teasers for what’s to come next?  I feel like the upcoming Ultron War has received more build up already than what Fear Itself ever got.

I’m beginning to turn over to the Ultimate Universe. There, death is real and has real consequences. Take for instance the death of Ultimate Spider-Man. It was brilliant storytelling as it wraps Peter Parker‘s arc brilliantly. Miles Morales is already winning fans over which suggests Peter’s death will last a long while. Which is more than I can say for any character in the 616 Universe. The Ultimate Universe is a place where anything can happen, and it’s what I’ll be reading from now on.

Deconstructing: The Avengers Trailer

Avengers Poster V.2 Unofficial

It’s the day comic book fans across the globe have been waiting for. Today Marvel released their first full-length trailer for The Avengers movie due next year. Offering our first glimpse of Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk, the trailer certainly did not disappoint. Not much was revealed though, confirming that this is more of a teaser to keep fans satisfied for the time being. What we can do though, is speculate about the movie from what we’ve seen so far.

1) Joss Whedon is certainly keeping the team’s main threat under wraps for now:

During the trailer we saw gigantic expositions destroying cars and streets, as well as military forces preparing for what seemed like an attack from above. Could it be Skrulls? Could it be the Kree? Either way I have to give Whedon credit for not giving everything away too soon. We know Loki is the mastermind behind everything, what else he’s using remains a mystery.

2) Tony Stark takes the spotlight:

We saw a lot of Tony during the trailer. Whilst that’s certainly not a bad thing, it does however look like he will have a bigger part than most. Providing the film doesn’t suffer from X-Men syndrome, where other characters were ignored in favour of Wolverine, I’m happy for Tony to take the spotlight.

3) There is conflict between Steve and Tony:

One of the best moments in the trailer was watching Steve and Tony stand face to face. It’s great to see the dynamic between the characters taken from the comics. Credit to RDJ, who made the scene his own with an excellent response to Steve’s questioning. If they can provide this kind of character dynamic throughout the film, it could end up being one of the best comic book movies of all time.

4) The team has problems:

One of the more interesting moments was watching Thor attack Captain America in the forest. Given that Steve was in his new outfit, it would suggest Thor is either a late addition to the Avengers team, or perhaps Loki’s manipulation is what’s putting Thor against Cap. I’m presuming Loki’s voiceover at the beginning of the trailer was taken from a scene with him and The Hulk, plus Loki seemed to bother Black Widow when he walked past in captivity, so I expect Thor’s brother will be manipulating with the minds of all the heroes during the film.

5) Nick Fury unleashed

Samuel L. Jackson has appeared in four of the five Marvel Studio’s films so far, but he hasn’t really had any character development. Based on what we’ve see from the trailer, Nick Fury is set to get a bigger chunk of screen time next year, and seeing him armed with a bazooka was brilliant. It emphasises that Earth is facing a huge threat, whilst giving Fury some action scenes at last.

So there are the main things I took from The Avengers trailer. I can’t comment much on the Hulk, as we didn’t see much, but from what we did see, I’m glad we aren’t getting the ripped version from The Incredible Hulk. To conclude though, I have complete faith in Joss Whedon. He oversaw the brilliant Ultimate series by Mark Millar, and wrote one of the best X-Men story arcs ever created. From the look of this trailer, this is going to be huge.

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.

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