Wereeee Baaaack! Hello all and welcome back to the Comic Asylum, hosted by yours truly Pete Barrington and Sean Favager. Yes, it’s been a while since we have graced the blogging world. Inter-comics.com continues to grow with new writers and reviewers that all should be checked out. But we thought it was about time we dusted off our thinking caps, put on our brainstorming gown and started smoking the imagination pipe (not a euphemism people, get your mind out the gutter!). A lot has happened since we have been away, Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel have hit our screens and divided opinions and I’m sure our thoughts on those two films will be made public soon. But for now, we have been brainstorming and over the next few weeks and we hope to have some really interesting debates with our readers. But I think the subject we have for you today is a cracking one to start with…………….VIOLENCE!!
More specifically, violence in the most recent and upcoming comic book movie adaptations. This is something I have been thinking about for a while (a good 20 minutes at least) and wondering at what point Hollywood will make the decision to give us a comic book movie that is maybe given a 15/18 certificate here in the UK, or an R rating in the U.S.A.
It was all brought to light recently by none other than Jim Carrey and his refusal to do any promotional work for his upcoming film Kick-Ass 2 in which he plays Colonel Stars and Stripes. The actual quote/tweet regarding the violence in the film from Carrey was “now in all good conscience, I cannot support that level of violence”. This revelation came approx. one month after the shooting in Sandy Hook and anyone who follows Carrey on Twitter will be able to testify to his many anti-gun/violence tweets. So this begs the question then, why did Carrey sign up to play a baseball bat wielding masked crime fighter, whose pet likes snacking on criminals genitalia??
The man responsible for the source material for the film, Mark Millar, responded to Carrey by simply stating that Carrey should of known what violence was planned as “nothing seen in this picture, wasn’t in the screenplay 18 months ago, and this should have been no shock to a guy who enjoyed the first movie so much…..” Fair comment I think, especially considering the first movie had a man being set on fire while screaming instructions to his daughter on how to kill a lot of bad guys. By the way, “SWIIITCH TO KRYPTONIIITE” has to be one of Cage’s best one liners, and there’s been a fair few!
Now, this isn’t going to be about how violence in films has had an impact on violence in everyday life. I am nowhere near smart enough or have any evidence to prove or reject that theory. This is simply going to be about how violence in comic book movies has changed over the years and has this had a positive or negative impact on how movie makers approach adapting a comic book storyline for the big screen. The Box Office figures and reviews almost certainly says that this sort of violence has helped shape how we view these films, from the family friendly yet still violent Marvel phases we are currently going through, to the darker grittier ‘this could happen in real life’ adventures of their DC counterparts, more specifically, the Dark Knight trilogy and the most recent Man of Steel movie.
It’s at this point that I need to warn you that there may be **SPOILERS** ahead, so if you haven’t seen Man of Steel, then firstly I have to ask why??? And secondly you may wish to go see that before coming back to here. I may talk about other films also but enough time has passed that I don’t think I will be spoiling anything for anyone.
It starts in my head in 1980 and to be exact, with Superman II. In many ways a different film than the latest offering as we see Supes up against 3 people with equal abilities. In Man of Steel, it was mainly just the two forces of Zod and Faora that Kal-El has to deal with and we saw how much destruction was caused there, however, in the second outing for Christopher Reeve, he is facing 3 enemies, all with the same abilities as him so no doubt the carnage should of been bigger then, right? Wrong. In Superman II, the only real things that get destroyed was the White House and a portion of the Daily Planet. Whereas, if reports are to be believed, the climactic battle in Man of Steel between Superman and Zod caused approx. 2 trillion dollars’ worth of damage to Metropolis and countless people left injured or worse. Now obviously the argument is made that the budgets and effects available to both movies are vastly different, and that is true, but is anything really lost in Superman II by not having more violence and destruction?, and is anything gained in Man of Steel by destroying a large part of Metropolis? I would have to say no to both. The budget and effects available should not determine the story and basic plot of a movie, and as we’ve seen with other films like Transformers and John Carter that big budget and effects laden films does not a good movie make. The critics are quick to point out that Man of Steel ‘went too far’ with the violence and destruction portrayed, and I have read more than one review saying that Superman killing Zod by snapping his neck was too much for a movie that was rated and presumably aimed at the younger teenage audience. But not one mention of how that killing and subsequent feeling of loneliness for our Supes has an effect on the story and plot going forward.
Back to the violence itself. It can come in many forms, whether the violence is the plan all along like the Joker in The Dark Knight or whether the violence is inevitable/implied in Lex Luthors many real estate scams. I think with Man of Steel, the violence and wanton destruction was a definite reaction to a few things. DC clearly has seen how Marvel is approaching their characters. Yes there are the serious tones to all Marvel films but all of them bring some levity to that universe. The Iron Man quips or the Hulk/Thor and Tony Stark/Bruce Banner chemistry brings a chuckle and some much needed comic relief. These films have clearly set their sights on being comic book adaptations and are proud of it. The DC folks have decided that to distance themselves from that, they have gone the route of dark and gritty storylines with much darker and altogether more violent characters. The Dark Knight is not so much a comic book film than it is an action film based on a comic character. The difference between the two might not seem it but it’s huge in terms of how much violence plays a part in their respective story arcs. Man of Steel had a lot of making up to do after Superman Returns hit our screens. I’m sure that Bryan Singer and the money men over at Warner Bros. were more than happy with the plan they set in place for their new franchise and the direction they wanted to go in. Returns weren’t a complete failure for them and even after the moderate box office it took, they still had a plan for a 2nd and even 3rd film.
But then The Dark Knight came along.
The men behind Superman had to take a step back and shelve any plans for another Superman outing so soon as it was vastly different than what Nolan was putting out and vastly inferior. Now after this, you can’t bring back Superman for a sequel and have it the same tone of the first as it just wouldn’t work and they saw sense and went with a reboot. Fast forward a few years and we have had another Batman film, Avengers have assembled and the outlook looks slightly different. So if your Warner Bros. how do you approach it? Simple, just do what Batman did. They brought the violence. Man of Steel opens with essentially a one man’s mission for power and control of his dying planet and he is willing to kill for it. Immediately we see the violent side of this new franchise and that carried on throughout the film with the culmination being half of Metropolis levelled and a dead kryptonian with a broken neck.
I know I have really only talked about Man of Steels violence and who knows what we can expect from the sequel or potential JLA film but as a wiser man than me once said ‘You have to play the ball where it lies’ and where it lies at the moment with Warner Bros. is that Superman is going to be violent and there’s going to be destruction because it worked so well with the Dark Knight trilogy and they obviously are going to do things differently than Marvel so I think the violence is here to stay and that to me is not a bad thing.
So does that mean we will see that 15/18 or R rated movie? I don’t think so, as the core audience is and probably always will be the same but I think they are trying to make it so a more lenient rating doesn’t necessarily mean less violence and destruction and that means that we are just becoming more use to it and maybe more accepting of it too.
Unless we ever see a Deadpool movie, that shit would be craaaaaaazy!
Until next time, take care of yourselves…and each other.
If we want to leave me feedback then you can find me on twitter at @Pete_the_Red. Positive and negative comments welcome.
Posted on July 5th, 2013
Category: NEWS & VIEWS, THE COMIC ASYLUM
Tags: Comic Reviews, Jim Carrey, Kick-Ass 2, Man Of Steel, Mark Millar, marvel comics, Pete Barrington, Sean Favager, The Comic Asylum
By Sean Favager
Hello and welcome back to the Comic Asylum. You’re a lucky bunch of mother truckers this week as we have penned a double edition of our blog for you all to feast your lovely eyes upon. As you have already noticed this is the second part of our double bill as @Pete_the_Red wrote up a preview of Iron Man 3 in #012, if you haven’t had a look go check that out. So enough about Pete let’s get back to me (it’s all about me…) and what I have in store for you with #013. The title maybe a bit misleading today because this isn’t about Star Wars or galaxy’s far, far away. This is all about planet earth and a few species that occupy it called Fan Boys! (Cue the DUN DUN DUUUUUUUN) Please do hold on to your hats because this isn’t a direct attack at everyone who likes comics or is interested in the Geek Kingdom. This is an attack at the certain type of Fan Boy that makes you sad to be a fan off whatever it is you’re interested in. The type of Fan Boy who may come out with sayings like this…
Or this one I recently found today on the world wide interweb…
Yes boys and girls I have actually seen this as a header for a blog. The more I even look at that quote the more it just really annoys me. Since the infamous picture of Shailene popped up on the World Wide Web the fan boys came out in droves. I’m not going to type up any more quotes as you may have all seen the comments yourselves and I do not want to promote anymore of the trolls insults. But basically Shailene Woodley arrived on set for the ASM2 without makeup and low and behold the comments and hate began. I’m a huge Spider-Man fan as I type this up in my Man Cave I’m surrounded by a lot of Spidey memorabilia, be it canvas art, comic books and even my plush knee high black symbiote Spider-Man 3 doll. Yes that film did suck balls but mini Spidey looks badass. What I’m trying to say is even though I’m a Spidey fan I’ve never been a huge fan of the Mary Jane character I’ve always been a Gwen Stacey guy. So to me not having MJ in the ASM movie universe is fine to me but I understand why and what her roll is in Peter Parkers life story.
Now this is where I think a lot of people get confused and angry, let us take Batman for instance. How many Batman books are there to buy in your local comic book store or “right here at Inter-Comics.com” (Cheap Pop)? You do not have to answer that because I will right now, there are a lot. Now how many different artists and writers are there attached to all the different Batman books? Yet again I will answer this a lot. My point is every single writer and artist is different and every single one of them will tell you they want to bring something different to the table. It’s a well-documented fact you cannot please every single person in the world at one time. Some of you may like AquaMan for example and I don’t but I’m not going to come on here and write comments blasting him. I’m simply not going to go out and buy his comic. Back to what I was getting to anyway, just like the comic universe the movie universe is not so different. Every director, writer and actor want to bring something different to a character or a story, if they did not there would be no point at all even investing time let alone money into the project. My honest opinion is this business thrives and gets popular every single day is because anybody can take any character from the comic book world and add his own little touch to it. If you do not believe me just YouTube some of the amazing fan made videos.
I stated above that the movie universe is not so different to the comic universe and it is not yet there is one huge difference. The movies universe has to appeal to more than just the fan boy. For the studios to throw in millions of dollars of their money into a superhero franchise they are going to want to see a return from that. So the story and characters have to be adjusted so that a wider audience can be attracted. It’s a simple formula and it works. Look how Bane was changed drastically from Comics to Nolan’s Bat universe. Luchador mask changed for a gas mask, venom for pain killers and the Spanish accent for a posh English accent. It worked and even now people are still speaking about Bane and how amazing Tom Hardy was.
This is exactly what Marc Webb has done with the ASM he has gone back to the drawing board and used a lot of what Ultimate Spider-Man was from the comics. Compared to Raimi’s trilogy Webb brought us a younger Peter Parker and also a new suit which caused a bit of a stir on the internet. Yet again as is the case the fan boys moaning soon went away when the final product was brought to us on the silver screen. ASM was a fantastic movie and like Dredd it was a shame they were out in the same year we got Marvel’s Avengers & Christopher Nolan’s final Batman. As both were over looked especially Dredd (Which if you still haven’t seen do yourself a favour and go buy it). I have spoken to a lot of non comic book fans about ASM and their opinion is the same; they preferred ASM to Raimi’s trilogy. It is obvious that for a superhero franchise to be successful on the silver screen it has to appeal to the casual audience. Marc Webb did this with ASM so he must be given the credit to do what he has to do with ASM2 without the fan boy backlash. This means the casting of Shailene Woodley as Mary Jane.
Like I said before this is Peter Parker in his school years so he is portrayed as a teenager which also means Mary Jane will also be portrayed as a young adult also. So all this jumping to attack Shailene Woodley for not being attractive enough is insane and downright horrible. To judge someone on one photograph is just a horrible thing to do, if I could count the amount of times people have looked down at me because of my love of superheroes I would need more fingers and toes, and I’m pretty sure you all have too. You shouldn’t judge Shailene Woodley because of her looks (which if you are please Google image her she is really attractive) we should judge her on her ability to act. If you have seen the Descendants you will know she can just do that. Myself personally would rather actors play my favourite Superheroes then just a pretty face, if I wanted that I would just go out and watch Spider-Man XXX and leave happy tissues all over the place.
I really think it’s time most fan boys just grow up. I know it is not everyone just a small few who bitch and moan about everything different, but you must understand as much as you love a particular character or story not everyone does, so small changes need to be made. Just look at Superman, it’s hard to place together a story about a superhero that good to a wide audience. Things have to be tampered with and changed and if done right (which is like 95% of the time with the new batch of comic book movies) it benefits the comics. I’ll bet money now that the next time Bane crops up in a Batman comic book the Luchador mask will have been replaced for the gas mask. Now I understand people will say “Well this is my opinion I’m allowed it” and yes you are just as I am mine. All I ask is just think about the hurtful remarks you make before posting up on a comment section. Just like yourselves these actors and actresses have feelings too and can you imagine if you had been chosen to play a role and stumble across a title of a blog post as idiotic as I pasted above. Let us just wait for ASM before judging a certain character or costume and just be greatfull studios, directors and actors are even taking the time to make our favourite characters and stories come alive on the big screen…
Posted on March 12th, 2013
Category: NEWS & VIEWS, THE COMIC ASYLUM
Tags: Amazing Spider-Man 2, Comic Asylum, Comic Reviews, Gwen Stacey, Marc Webb, marvel comics, Mary Jane Watson, Pete Barrington, Sean Favager, Shailene Woodley
Good day kind Sirs and Madams, and welcome to another addition of the Comic Asylum. This addition is brought to you by yours truly, the god damn dirty ape that is Peter Barrington. You can find me on twitter at @Pete_the_Red or us as a whole at @Comic_Asylum which is ran by myself (not really) and Sean Favager (he does all the work). On a side note, we have started a little bit of fun called ‘Cosplay of the day’ on our twitter feed and are requesting that any followers send them our way and of course will be credited with the find. We may even start a collection and showcase them all. It’s basically just an excuse for Sean to see pretty ladies dressed up as his heroes and I for one applaud him. But if anyone does find a quality Silk Spectre cosplayer for me then a prize may be awarded! Just saying!
Anyway, on to serious matters at hand (ha! Like I can be serious), this addition will focus on a film that is not so far away at all and a preview blog from myself was inevitable. This characters foundations lie in alcoholism, womanising and basically showing off but despite those ‘flaws’, he somehow manages to be one of the most loved and revered characters that have ever stepped off the page and has found a new home and a new audience on the big screen, he is…of course..Ol’ Tinhead…….Iron Man! (Cue the music)
I AM IRON MAN…DA…NA…NA…NA…NA…NA
Now the movie I am gonna concentrate on is obviously Iron Man 3 and I will get in to the meat of that sandwich shortly, but I just want to touch on what this character has done for the big screen and for comic book movies in general. Sure we have had Marvel comic book movies before this series and there has been varying degrees of success, some being good and some not so good. For every X-Men (2000), there is Daredevil (2003) and for every Spiderman 2 (2004), there is a Spiderman 3 (2007)! And there is no doubt that Bryan Singers X-Men started a new trend for Hollywood and movie producers in general. However, there is definitely an argument that without the success of Iron Man in 2008, we would never have seen an Avengers movie or even all the movies leading up to that epic, Thor, Captain America et al. Now that success, in my opinion lays solely at the feet of 2 men, the driving force of Jon Favreau and of course Robert Downey Jr. Before Iron Man hit our screens, Favreau had only been responsible for directing 2 movies, Elf in 2003 and Zathura in 2005, so to say that he wasn’t exactly a banker for global success is an understatement, so of course that was a risk for Marvel studios and talking of risk, let’s have a brief look at RDJ not so distant past. Only 5 years previous to this film’s release, he was escaping rehab to score drugs and for all intents and purposes was on Hollywood’s ‘Black List’. But emerging clean and sober at the end of 2003, he began making a new name for himself again as an actor in films like Gothika, A Scanner Darkly and Good Night, and Good Luck. To put this franchise on his and Favreaus shoulders was a risk that has obviously paid off, not just for Marvel but for RDJ and fans of Ol’ Tinhead. The proof that this film ignited a new wave of films can be seen solely in the Box Office gross of its opening weekend, taking over $98 Million in its first 3 days, compare that to the other Marvel openings before this film and you have X-Men at $54 Million, Spiderman 2 at $88m and of course who can forget Howard the Duck, opening at $5m in 1986. Ok, that last one was a joke but the impact is clear to see.
Now moving on to Iron Man 3, due out in a mere 6 weeks on April 26th.
The anticipation for this film is huge right now and the set pics and trailers have only heightened this feeling. The plot is as always, closely guarded but what have we learnt from what we’ve seen and heard so far?
Let’s break the trailer down a bit. Stark is coming off the back of his stint teaming with the Avengers and is maybe struggling with his place in things; the trailer has shown us that he is in some trouble mentally as well as physically. The first shot is of a battered Iron Man and his first line in the trailer (albeit as a voiceover) is ‘Nothing has been the same since New York, I’ve experienced things, and then there over. I can’t sleep, and when I do, I have nightmares’. We have never heard Tony Stark talk like this before, in all of the other films he has been in, he has been confident, sometimes arrogant and always come out on top. These words do not come from a confident or arrogant place. He is scared and trying to find a way to deal with his emotions, his next line sums this up ‘Honestly, there’s a 100 people that want to kill me; I hope I can protect the one thing I can’t live without’. This line is clearly directed towards love interest, the ever-present Pepper Potts and it’s obvious that he feels that he needs to protect her from something, what they may be comes later in the trailer when we see his home destroyed with Pepper and Tony inside. Although not obvious in the trailer and what could be a clever bit of distraction by the movie makers, the sinister voiceover that accompanies the destruction is from Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin. Now this does not mean that he is the destroyer of homes but the implication is there. Don’t forget ‘there’s a 100 people’ trying to kill Tony and this could be from any one of them. The rest of the trailer is a fast paced motion of scenes, too quick to try and make any guesses what they mean as we see people falling from a plane, we see Tony being put to sleep in what appears to be a hospital and in one of the most prominent scenes, we see Tony and Pepper fast asleep in bed when they are ‘attacked’ by Iron Man. Obvious question to come from this is who is in the suit, but when we think about this more closely then we can might be able to see some answers.
The new characters to the film, as well as the Mandarin, who I will touch on shortly, include Adrian Killian and Maya Hansen, played by Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall respectively. Now for those who know of Iron Man folklore, will know these names very well. For those that don’t, here is a quick breakdown. They’re names are most synonymous with the 6 part ‘Extremis’ storyline which tells of a military nanotechnology serum which was created to try and replicate the ‘Super Soldier serum’ used to create Captain America. The serum interferes with the brain’s ‘repair centre’ and directs the body to rebuild itself from scratch, as if it were all wound tissue to be replaced. The design for the new body is programmable prior to injection and can involve superhuman abilities, giving it an (untested) military application. Maya had taken the military contract to develop it, despite her true intent to use its proceeds to fund and advance her anti-cancer research. Stark discovers that prior to Adrian Killians apparent suicide; he gave Extremis to a local domestic militia. So with such high profile characters in this movie, I think it is safe to assume that the Extremis arc storyline could be quite closely followed here. With the added menace of………
…..The Mandarin. The arch enemy of Iron Man was first hinted at back in Iron Man in 2008, as the terrorist group responsible for his kidnap were known as ‘The Ten Rings’. This name is connected with the ten rings that The Mandarin wears on each of his digits, I could go into what each ring does on each finger (Thank you Google) but I won’t, needless to say that each ring contains a different ‘power’ or weapon that he can use willingly at all times, whether it be emitting fire or ice, or enhancing a person’s own strengths. We know that the characters past is distinctly oriental as his father was a direct descendent of Genghis Khan while his late mother was an English Noblewoman. Now it’s quite clear that Sir Ben Kingsley is not Chinese, nor is the accent that appears in the trailer consisting of any Asian distinction so I think it’s safe to assume that the part of his history will not be explored much here. What I do expect though is for Tony to go to extreme lengths to defeat this villain, which could result in Tony experimenting with Extremis himself!
I feel I’ve talked a lot now and there isn’t really much else to discuss as the plot is very guarded as it should be. But I do just want to touch on one more issue. That being the director. The torch has been passed from Favreau to Shane Black, who is more known as a writer and for having all of his movies set at Christmas, his only directorial position before this was 2005’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang which interestedly was headlined by none other than Robert Downey Jr, and also contained a character called ‘Gay Perry’!!!? So it’s easy to assume that the actor had a major influence with the choice here after Favreau announced that he was leaving (Although he is still reprising his role as loyal Happy Hogan) and that can be looked at both a good and bad thing. The risk is significantly less than when they started this franchise but it also smells slightly of RDJ bringing on his friend for his last hurrah as Tony Stark. RDJ has said himself that he doesn’t know if this is the last time he will put on the mask and has also said he wouldn’t mind if he didn’t make another appearance as Iron Man after this movie, openly stating that his finest Tony Stark/Iron Man performance was in the first film. I mean why would he want to, he is back amongst the A-listers, he also reportedly got paid just $500,000 for the first Iron Man film and $50,000,000 for the Avengers so I don’t think his wallet needs it and he has always been an actor that tries to steer away from being typecast and after being Tony Stark in 5 films now(Yes I am counting the cameo in Incredible Hulk) he may look to get back to his pre rehab indie roots and look for a return to the type of films that have so far earned him 2 Academy Award nominations. I personally hope he doesn’t and I would pay good money to see a new Iron Man film every year as I think at of all the avengers and even out of every actor who currently does or has portrayed a comic character, no-one has been more of a perfect fit than Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark/Iron Man.
All this and I haven’t even mentioned the new suit or the change of suit for War Machine/Iron Patriot.
To be blunt, I am looking forward to this film but do have a slight worry that as the first film to come out after the Avengers containing one of the main characters then there will inevitably be comparisons and even though it has massive potential to be a huge film, if not the film of the year (although I hope Man of Steel takes that crown, what can I say, I’m a Superman guy) then there is a hint, it will get lost amongst other films that Marvel have planned for this Phase 2 of theirs.
I can understand why the film is out so close after the Avengers but if it was me I would of waited at least 2 years to carry on the story. Then again, I’m not Kevin Feige and its reasons like this that he is head of development for the quite possibly the most important and successful group of movies in my generation and why I am typing this while stuck in work on yet another 12 hour shift. We are basically both living the high life!!!!!!
Anyway, that’s all from me. I hope this has given you a slightly better insight as what we can expect in 6 weeks’ time when the movie drops and also my added thoughts on the whole Marvel movies general workings.
Thanks for reading and if you’ve made it this far then a winner is you!
Feel free to leave comments at the bottom of the page or find me on twitter @Pete_the_Red.
Also don’t forget to send @Comic_Asylum any cosplay pics that you find or take.
Jesus, this blog has got more endings than The Dark Knight Rises! Zing!
Posted on March 7th, 2013
Category: NEWS & VIEWS, PREVIEWS & UPCOMING RELEASES, THE COMIC ASYLUM
Tags: avengers, Comic Asylum, Iron Man 3 Preview, Iron Patriot, Mandarin, marvel comics, Pete Barrington, Sean Favager, Tony Stark, War Machine
“I felt very guilty all of a sudden. Like… really like, uh, you know, my priorities were out of order. I can’t… I feel like a bad dad, and I’ve never felt like that ever before. Right then I just felt like… like… like I was a bad person. And I don’t… I don’t ever want to see my children like that again.” – Mick Foley (After re-watching the footage from Beyond the Mat.)
In 1999 wrestling was a different kettle of fish to what we are watching now. This is often the cause of many arguments between fans all over the globe. It may also be an argument that will never go away “Was wrestling better in the Attitude Era then it is now?”, in my opinion maybe it is because I’m a lot older now but I prefer the Modern Era now. Yes a lot can be changed and maybe mimicked from the Attitude Era but one thing I am glad that is gone away is the sheer brutality of what wrestling was in the years ’97 – ’01. In the midst of the Attitude Era I will admit I enjoyed every second of it, ok maybe not all of it, there were some really bad, bad gimmicks but its entertainment there must be something for everyone. I did have a plan to write a blog titled “Attitude Era vs. the Modern Era!” but that got shelved for the time being because of one match. This one match I will say is probably the most graphic and hard to watch “Beating” the WWF/E has produced. It wasn’t until I was playing WWE 13 I realised how hard to watch this match was. If like me you have played the game you relive the Attitude Era and one of the matches is the now Infamous “I Quit” WWF Championship match between the Rock & Mankind. During that match you have to complete real life challenges one being “Hit Mankind 13 times with a steel chair!”, I laughed at first and just got on with it but it then made me think about this match and I just had to dig it out and rewatch it again.
“No… No… No… No nothing. That son of a bitch will scream I Quit & I’ll be dammed if he doesn’t” – The Rock (During the “I Quit” Match)
As this match starts it is your bog standard Attitude hardcore match, with both men going out of there way to destroy each other. It is nothing at the time we were not used to and it only made it more enjoyable as the microphone was introduced. This was a genius idea because during this time The Rock was one of the best to ever touch a microphone. If he wanted you to love him or down right despise him he used that microphone to get the job done. That being said Mick Foley will also go down as being one of the best talkers in the business forever. The way he made you care is why everyone at the time chanted “Foley is God!”, the pair talking and insulting each other telling the other man to quit is a real stand out. Then something happens during this match, in my opinion it loses the term match and just turns into straight “Thuggery!” (thank you JBL). Yes I as well as everyone on planet earth knows wrestling is scripted so before the bout Mick and the Rock briefly bumped heads about their plans on how the match will unfold. One of their ideas involved the Rock handcuffing Mankind’s hands behind his back and to proceed to place a beating. In my understanding the point of this feud was to build the Rock up as the big heel in the company and it was Micks job to make that happen. It made sense because we at that time worshiped the ground Mick Foley walked on, hell even when WCW announced Foley was to win the WWF Championship live on Nitro 600,000 people switched Nitro off for Raw and never looked back. So the plan was to make Rock look strong and in a match where the outcome of Mick Foley even muttering the words “I Quit!” it felt impossible for the Great One to win. We know the outcome now but how they came about with that outcome is what is really hard to watch.
“This has gone too far…. The Rock has taken it too far… Sure there are no rules, sure there’s no DQ, no count-outs but now he is handcuffing a man who is semi-conscious in the middle of the damn ring! Have some human decency Rock…” – Michael Cole (During the “I Quit” Match)
I said before the plan for this match was to make Rock a monster bad guy and it did work. WWF was planning to do Stone Cold & the Rock at Wrestlemania 15 so Rocky had to be a believable threat. But somewhere during this match it is as if the Rock becomes this bad guy character for real. A lot of factors have to be taken into account being in the situation they were in and the adrenaline and doing a memorable job are the mains ones I blame for what the Rock did next. After landing a (at the time) Corporate Elbow onto the steel chair which was resting on Micks unprotected face he asked Mankind if he was to quit. The response delayed but through the heavy breathing a pain filled voice replied “go to hell Rock!”. The referee at this time, senior referee Earl Hebner can now be seen pleading with Mick to give it up as Rock utters back my favourite quote in this match “the Rock maybe going to hell, but your Candy Ass is going first…”. Now the Rock starts stalking his prey steel chair in hand as he waits for Mick to get to his feet, slowly but surely he does but not for long as the Rock smacks him in the head with the chair sending Mick to his knees, then winds up connecting again putting him down. As far as unprotected head shots go these two clearly do not look harsh even now. You get the sense the Rock is holding back but none the less they are still going to hurt. As the camera pans in on Micks face, blood pouring down from an open wound on his head the heel commentator Jerry “the King” Lawler shouts out that’s enough as the Rock grabs the microphone once more “Say I Quit!”… breathing even heavier than before Mick responds once again “You’re going to have to kill me!” that is just exactly what I as a fan thought was going to happen. Once again Mankind gets to his feet and once again he is met with that steel chair another three times before crashing to the floor. It is here Mankind rolls out the ring as both Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler are both agreeing that this match should now be stopped as the Rock stalks Mankind connecting with yet another shot to the unprotected skull off Mick Foley.
“Come on Mick… NO… Say I quit Mick… Mick Say it….” – Michael Cole (During the “I Quit” Match)
What really stands out here is the fact Mick Foley is offering the Rock a clear shot to his back. It is obvious the seven chair shots to the head are really starting to take their toll and the rapid succession they are arriving in too. The way Mick is trying to move his head out the way is on plan view but yet again the Rock takes aim and connects with an even harder shot then before. Watching this part now is quite disturbing as a handcuffed Mick Foley now slowly tries to walk away from the Rock who yet again hurls that chair harder and faster at Micks head two more times. All the while the Rock screams down the microphone “Say I Quit!” with Earl Hebner following begging the Rock to pack it in. Mick manages to get a tiny bit more distance turning his back to the Rock but it last for a couple of seconds as the Rock with all the power he has swings and blasts Mick in the back of the head with one of the worst chair shots I have ever seen in my life and hopefully never have to see happen in a wrestling ring again. It is this final chair shot, this eleventh chair shot to the unprotected head of Mick Foley that sends him crashing down to the concrete floor knocking him unconscious. The Rock finally throws the chair down and asks Mankind once again to utter the words “I Quit” shoving the microphone into the knocked out Foley finally the match is stopped as Mick screams “I Quit!” which we would find out on Raw the next night was a tape recording. Finally this mugging, this hideous beating was over. Rock left WWF Champion, Mankind left a bloody mess.
“Now the Rock guaran-damn-teed to the millions & millions of the Rocks fans that he was going to make that son of a bitch scream I quit… Mankind your monkey ass says I Quit…” – The Rock (During the “I Quit” Match)
Now if you have seen the documentary Beyond the Mat you will have another view of this match and that is of Mick Foleys wife & children at ringside in tears watching their husband & father getting beating to a bloody pulp. It is extremely hard to watch, yes we know wrestling is fake and scripted but how do you fake unprotected chair shots to the skull? Also if you have ever read Mick Foleys second autobiography “Foley is Good” he goes on to talk about this match and how he wasn’t best pleased with that many chair shots the Rock dished out. Apparently the Rock was only meant to deliver four or five yet he proceeded to attack eleven times, each shot harder than the last. Was the Rock caught up in the moment? In 1999 he was still though being a third generation superstar new to the main event scene so maybe that was to blame. That doesn’t account for the fact the Rock never went to check up on Mick once the match was finished. It was Mick who went to go find the Rock to see if he was ok. The two have patched things up since then but a short while after Mick wasn’t a huge fan of the Rock as a person for this. Taking the time out to read into this match leads me to believe why Vince McMahon never stopped it earlier because as soon as Mick rolls out of the ring with Rock following him it stops being a wrestling match. It straight turns into an attack on a defenceless man. I understand a lot of people will question Mick being crazy and being able to take a huge amount of pain (see King of the Ring 98 for an example) but even Mick can be seen in actual pain with these chair shots. I am glad wrestling has moved on from this hardcore time to where it is now. This Modern Era, yes it is PG but all that means is you have to rely on a lot more then bloody beat downs and chair shots to get over. You have to focus on what you can bring skill wise into the squared circle. You take a look at Dolph Ziggler for example and CM Punk. These are two guys who are really working their asses off without bleeding or swearing. Times change for the better and a chair shot to the head being illegal is a better thing. The “I Quit” match between the Rock & Mankind will forever go down as an infamous match, yes it tells a terrific story about the hardcore legend who refuses to die and the up-and-coming trash talking, arrogant bad guy who is hell bent on making him do just that. This match drags you in from the get go and then leaves you disturbed by the outcome. Should it have been booked better? I’d say yes but it happened 14 years ago and what was acceptable then is completely different now…..
Ok a wrestling post on a comic book website. You must think we have lost our minds. The world’s gone crazy, cats and dogs are in fact living together… Nope none of that has happened yet but this is all happening on, let’s say a trial basis for the time being and see where it goes. What I have found over the past year on my twitter feed is that the huge sports entertainment vehicle WWE and Comic Book fans seem to go hand in hand. Call me sad but its two things I myself & Pete are quite passionate about and it seems A LOT of my followers and people I interact with on a daily basis feel the same way. Myself & Pete have now been huge WWF/E fans now for 20+ years now. So within that we have seen the highs and lows (by lows we mean Mae Young giving birth TWICE… Katie Vick… Max Moon… You get the point) so between us we know a little about a lot. So as you may have guessed with the title this is the Comic Asylums sister blog and we hope you enjoy our thoughts and predictions on this Sundays Royal Rumble 2013 PPV.
WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH.
Sean: Its strange to me this match is not on the main card. WWE seem to be trying to build the Miz up to be a big face especially the segment with Ric Flair and his now use of the figure four leg lock. But hey we all understand how lower tier championships mean nothing nowadays. In my opinion this could be a great 15 minute match, the Miz can go in the ring and Cesaro is turning out to be one hell of a wrestler and a great heel. To me this match can go either way but I think Antonio Cesaro picks up the win and continues with his anti-American gimmick. Cesaro will move up the roster by the end of the year but for now I am enjoying him in his mid-card role.
Sean’s Prediction: Antonio Cesaro….
Pete: Is there anyone in the current roster that has more potential that Antonio Cesaro? I don’t think so; the guy has kind of come out of nowhere and is clearly destined for big things. You can put him in with someone like Daniel Bryan and he has high quality technical ability and the next week, he is in with Ryback and he doesn’t come out looking weak, with that said, I don’t like him, don’t know why but I just don’t and I know he is going to be around for years! Maybe it is because he’s so good at being heel that he’s done a number on me. The Miz is having a transition period right now, the change from heel to face was badly needed as he was getting very stale but the change isn’t quite working right now, he is the same character but fighting bad guys instead of good, nothing has changed in his promos or attitude. Bringing in Flair and passing the Figure Four leg lock only works in the moment and he will need a lot more to be a successful face going forward.
Pete’s Prediction: Antonio Cesaro….
WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH.
Sean: Over the past few months the most entertaining people on WWE television have been the unlikely tag team of Daniel Bryan & Kane. It all started with the stupidest idea of anger management which really pissed off a lot of Daniel Bryan fans, but this has worked so well in showing people that there is soooo much more to Daniel Bryan then just a very, very good wrestler. Every time these two guys are on camera I am literally crying with laughter and you can see the pair are trying their best not to laugh too. It is obvious they are enjoying what they are doing and when that happens you have classic TV. I really don’t want to see the end of this tag team but I think at the Rumble the cracks begin to show. Rhodes Scholars just like Team Hell No have been a breath of fresh air on WWE TV. Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes are two soon to be main eventers and pairing them together to build each other’s characters is a stroke of beauty. It is no lie Cody has been just floating there in the mid card for a while now, nothing seemed to click. In walks Damien Sandow and boom that spark shines. My prediction here is the cracks show between Kane & Daniel Bryan leading Rhodes Scholars to pick up the win and the Tag Team Titles, hopefully (fingers crossed) to go on to then feud with the returning New Age Outlaws. (The D-O-Double G & Mr Ass have been wrestling house shows so surely it’s a sign of things to come.
Sean’s Prediction: Rhodes Scholars….
Pete: Daniel Bryan and Kane need to lose these belts, and quickly! Here’s why! They were two of the standout performers in the back end of 2012, but for their comedy timing, not wrestling! Bryan is one of the most gifted ‘wrestlers’ to come through the ranks in a long time and needs to showcase his talents in the ring, not in time filler segments between matches. Kane on the other hand has been consistently one of the top guys for 15 years and fully deserved this last run, but I feel, and this may be controversial, but give him one last big match (Undertaker at Mania, possibly?!) and wish him best in his future endeavours. Rhodes and Sandow are is some sense a tag team of convenience as they’re singles runs have not gone as planned, Sandow not so much as he is still relatively new to the scene and its typical WWE formula to put new guys in a team/stable before releasing them. Rhodes however has seemed to be on the cusp of a major push for a while now but WWE just hasn’t pulled the trigger for whatever reason. A run with the tag belts will do good for Sandow and Rhodes now they have been given a renewed spotlight by Team Hell No, so for that reason…… (Facial hair & belts go well together)
Pete’s Prediction: Rhodes Scholars….
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH (LAST MAN STANDING).
Sean: If you asked me a couple months ago if I wanted to see this match my response wouldn’t have been positive. It is strange what can happen in a couple of months though. Big Show ends up having three… Yes THREE 4 out of 5 star wrestling matches with Sheamus and Berty goes and turns face. Oh how the WWE can surprise you now and then. Big Show over the past few months has finally become the giant they predicted he would be and has really been dominant in the WHC picture. Del Rio’s bad guy routines become old fast so he had to change up and it really worked. He comes across as a better wrestler because of this so it was only destiny (pardon the pun) that these two collided. It all started when Big Show picked on Ricardo being the big bully he is, but this back fired as Del Rio made the save got the title shot and beat the Big Show in a Last Man Standing match and won the WHC title. This was a huge shock as it all happened so fast but it seems to have worked so well with Big Show chasing Berty. This being said how I see this panning out is total destruction that neither men make the 10 count meaning Alberto Del Rio keeps the Championship but… It is a huge BUT! Dolph Ziggler finally gets to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase and walks away the new World Heavyweight Champion!
Sean’s Prediction: Double Count out Alberto Del Rio retains. Dolph Ziggler cashes in….
Pete: Alberttoooooooooooo Del Rioooooooooooooooooo! This one is going to be short and sweet, Alberto Del Rio has been a massive pain in my arse, I just did not see the appeal for the last 2 years, his wrestling was just O.K. as was his promo work and the only good thing about him was he ring announcer. I was hoping the 3 PPV losses to Sheamus in a row would see him fall out of obscurity, but then something weird happened. He saved his friend from The Shield and he was a good guy, then went on to beat a giant and is arguably better now in the last few weeks as he ever was in the 2 years previous. I am officially a Del Rio fan! Big Show has had the 12 months of his career but I don’t see him coming back from another Last Man Standing defeat and after this one I see him being a face again within 3 months and leaving not long after. Shame but age catches us all up!
Pete’s Prediction: Alberto Del Rio….
WWE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH.
Sean: The match up many men will argue should be the main event at this year’s Wrestlemania (myself included) is Punk & Rock. Since the Rock made his recent return the build-up to this match has been on fire. Two of the best promo men in the business to date and they have been stepping up to give our ears multiple eargasims. I would pay the fee alone to see these guys trade insults on the microphone for twenty minutes they are that good, but at the Royal Rumble the microphones take a backseat. What I expect here is a Match of the Year candidate. Nobody in the WWE is as hungry as CM Punk to solidify his title of ‘Best in the World’, and nobody is as good as the Rock and the electricity he brings to the ring. The audience live and at home watching are really going to be the winners here. I guess I have to pick though my heart really wants CM Punk to retain but my head is telling me The Rock picks up the win to eventually go on to face John Cena at Wrestlemania. $$$ talk and Vince listens.
Sean’s Prediction: The Rock….
Pete: Personally I think this match will go on last but let us say for argument sake that this is the penultimate match on the card (If it is in this spot, then expect a filler match in between this and the rumble itself). There’s not a lot I can say about this match that hasn’t been talked about or speculated over ever since Raw 1000 when the Rock announced he will be in this match and Punk went all heel on us. The big question of this match is all about The Shield, will they interfere? Are they working with Punk? Personally I think they will keep people guessing all the way through to Mania but as for this match, I only see one outcome. The near falls will be immense and I am guessing we will see at least 3 Rock Bottoms, 2 Go To Sleeps, 1 Ref bump and a partridge in a pear tree but I see “PUNK RETAINS, PUNK RETAINS… GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY PUNK RETAINS!!”
Pete’s Prediction: CM Punk….
THE ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH.
Sean: 30 men enter and only 1 can be victorious. Yes it’s the greatest match in the history of wrestling. Every single living being on planet earth knows about the Royal Rumble it is this big. It is an event that no matter what me and the lads all get together to sink some beers maybe smoke the odd funny cigarette and cheer on our favourites. Every year you kind of have your favourite going in but this year there are a lot of big names in this Royal Rumble. I think it is being played out that John Cena is going in to win to get the rematch at Wrestlemania with the Rock. It makes sense but I think it is way too easy for us to see that’s why I am going to be crazy and play out what I think might just happen. We know Dolph Ziggler has the choice of either 1 or 2 spot, but as I stated above I think he cashes in and retains that being said. To carry on with her revenge Vickie Guerrero lets Dolph Ziggler compete in the match and has to put the WHC on the line. So now the Royal Rumble winner becomes the World Heavy Weight Champion. With the odds stacked up on the newly crowned WHC, Dolph Ziggler somehow overcomes them and wins the 2013 Royal Rumble.
Sean’s Prediction: Dolph Ziggler….
Pete: So you have your Wrestlemania moments and your Steel Cages and what have you but the one match that is predictably unpredictable is the Rumble Match itself. There have been many winners both expected and not. There has been many stand out moments and quite a few controversial finishes in its history but the match itself cannot be bettered in terms of potential to create new stars and push mid card talent right into the top tier of the business. It’s a match I love and a match that also annoys me the same amount. This year, as with all years, the build-up has shown us that anyone can win and if the laws of physics are applied then it should be the tallest, strongest one in there but physics and WWE often don’t mix well. This year, we are to think that it’s potentially going to be one of 4 guys. These are Ryback, John Cena, Dolph Ziggler and Sheamus. If the winner is not one of these 4 then one of 2 things have happened, 1) WWE throws us a massive swerve ball because they think we know too much so fuck us essentially, or 2) Randy Orton has naked pictures of Vince and is threatening to release them! The obvious talk at the moment is Rock – Cena 2 for the belt at Mania, so one of them would have to hold it after Elimination Chamber in February, now that doesn’t necessarily mean that Cena wins this one because let’s be honest, Cena is going to be in the chamber match anyway, as will The Rock by all accounts so I can easily see one of the other 3 winning here. Sheamus because they need another top face behind John Cena. Ryback because they are pushing him hard and Dolph Ziggler because he would be the first to hold the MITB briefcase and walk into Mania main event as well. But with all that aside, the person that will be pointing to that Wrestlemania sign at the end of the night will be….
Pete’s Prediction: John Cena….
So there you have it folks. Two very different opinions on what should be a very good pay per view. As we all know anything can and will happen at the Royal Rumble so feel free to share your predictions below in the little comments box there and let’s talk some wRasslin….
Well we’re back!
Hello to all you Asylum seekers and a massive welcome back to the Comic Asylum, hosted by my friend and the blogger that we deserve, but not the one we need right now, Sean (@SeanFav1) Favager and myself, the big bucket of win that is Pete (@Pete_the_Red) Barrington.
Were back for the New Year and we hope that everyone out there had a great holiday season. I would like to say that I’ve been busy over this festive period but the fact is, I just haven’t. Unless you count being busy getting fat on turkey sandwiches since Boxing Day and spending quite a few hours with my friend Jack Daniels (This isn’t a cry for help! Honest!). In the meantime, I’ve never stopped thinking about what my next addition to the Asylum might be, I toyed with the idea of doing a ‘who could play who’ in the JLA movie and a piece about Wolverine and whether a new film could erase the terribleness of the Origins story that we were subjected to (Will.i.am was in it FFS!) but I decided to add them to my list of films to preview instead. Previews for new comic book movies had sort of become ‘my thing’ now and the fact that I have had positive feedback from the ones I’ve done (Guardians of the Galaxy and Robocop to name two, please check them out and comment!) I thought I would stick with it until Sean or our Captain of this ship @InterComics tells me not to anymore. So my next instalment involves quite possibly the most iconic character in comic book history, the man that goes by many names but is simply known as…..Superman! (Cue the music!)
Unless you haven’t been around much, you would have noticed the marketing campaign on Superman’s new movie, Man of Steel, has gone into overdrive as of late, we have a teaser trailer and a full length trailer, numerous stills and set pics to feast over and what we hope is the final release date so what is everyone’s thoughts so far??
The first teaser trailer introduced us only slightly to the man himself; instead the focus was on the respective father figures in the movie. Voiceovers from Jonathan Kent and Jor-El (played by Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe) introduce us to how they believe their son should be perceived on this planet we call Earth. Kent provides the more sombre ‘you can be anything you want’ type speech while Jor-El pulls no punches with his ‘you will rule humanity’ version. Polar opposite views that tells us straight away that Clark will face tough decisions in his life. The second trailer focuses more on his Earth parents where we see Martha Kent trying to calm her infant son down and we hear one specific word from Jonathan that really stands out. After a teenage Clark is seen saving a bus full of his school chums, we hear Jonathan telling him that he needs to hide that side of himself, to which Clark asks if he was just supposed to let them die and Jonathan’s response of ‘Maybe’ literally made me rewind the video to make sure I heard it right. We have always known the Kent’s to be very down the line on what is good and what is bad, so to hear this coming from Mr Kent is sure to make people sit up and notice that this is not gonna be your atypical version of Superman. It’s gonna be dark, gritty and I highly doubt that we will see any of the plot twists that have let down Superman films in the past.
As we know by now, Henry Cavill has landed the role of Clark Kent/Superman. What you may not know is that he was Bryan Singer’s second choice to don the cape before he cast Brandon Routh in Superman Returns, and he was also in the final 3 to play James Bond before Daniel Craig was cast. He has been referred to as the ‘nearly man’ of Hollywood for these exact reasons and there is no doubting that this is the biggest role he has ever landed, but from the pics and stills we have seen so far, it is easy to see why Director Zack Snyder has chosen him. There is no doubt he can handle the action scenes, as seen in the movie Immortals, and he certainly has the right ‘look’ for a man of Krypton, but I believe the true test will come in the softer, quieter parts of the film. Interactions with Amy Adams’ Lois Lane or even if the inevitable happens and Jonathan Kent meets his maker (although if that does happen, it’s more than likely to be with a teenage Clark instead of the more adult Cavill) will really portray his acting chops. Another aspect I am most looking forward to is seeing his interpretation of the distinction between Clark Kent and Superman. Christopher Reeve is the benchmark for this as his Clark Kent and Superman were complete opposites. There was never a time where you honestly couldn’t believe that no-one could tell them apart and that is down to Reeve’s acting ability more than different hairstyles and outfits. Dean Cain was poor at this and Brandon Routh was just about passable so how they do it will make or break it for me simply because if you want me to believe that he puts on them glasses and no-one knows, then I can get on board with that but it’s got to take more than the glasses to convince me, it’s got to take some serious acting ability and with his RSC background then I have faith that Cavill can pull it off. Smaller nods in the cast have to go to Morpheus himself, Laurence Fishburne, who is playing the Daily Planet’s Editor-in-Chief, Perry White; we know to expect a lot of shouting from him as always. Unfortunately though, there is no mention of James/Jimmy Olsen so quite who Perry White is going to be shouting at is anyone’s guess.
The big bad villain in this piece appears to be a standalone villain, which is kind of out of the norm for comic book films these days, there seems to be a trend recently where there is always someone bigger and badder in the background, see Avengers and Dark Knight Rises for two examples. So to bring in General Zod certainly tells us that this new spin on the Man of Tomorrow is gonna start off big! It is my feeling that we won’t see Zod for quite a bit in the film as both trailers show us an adult Clark that seems to be wanting to escape his hero life (or perhaps avoid taking it up in the first place) by doing various things such as working on fishing boats and hitchhiking across country, a consequence perhaps of a certain family member dying?! The one thing I am happy about is the apparent lack of Lex Luthor in this film. I love that character but he has been too overdone in film and TV with 4 of the previous 5 films and almost 10 years of Smallville including him as the main protagonist. I can’t argue with the fact that he is Superman’s most recognisable villain but by no means is he the most powerful, I mean all he ever has in mind is another real estate scam, seriously, that guy is all about the property market! And when you have a back catalogue of villains such as Braniac, Apokolips and even Zod himself, there is so much for Superman to be involved with without even hearing the name Luthor. I am, however, certain that there will be a small mention or cameo from him somewhere in this flick and small nods of the cap to him is ok by me, just as long as the focus is on a very powerful Zod and if casting rumours are to be believed, his female accomplice, Faora. The casting of Zod was of some intrigue to me as Terence Stamp made the role his own but to bring it up to date, it had to be someone very good and someone that could make Zod seem like he could actually achieve his goals. The man chosen is Michael Shannon. I have only seen him in Boardwalk Empire but the pics I have seen of him as Zod looks like he is gonna be very menacing and will cause a whole heck of trouble for our titular hero.
I want to finish this off by talking about what is next after this film has been released. If this film is a hit then we are looking at a possible franchise including some of the villains I mentioned above, however if this film does not hit well at the box office then I believe this will be the last Superman film we will see in a long time, not to mention the knock-on effects this will have for a Justice League movie. Can anyone seriously see them piling so much money into a JLA film off the back of a poorly received Superman movie? I can’t. Especially if the stories I’ve heard turn out to be true, namely a Joseph Gordon-Levitt Batman and a Wonder Woman cameo on the cards that will set up that future film. Snyder went on record early in this films production to state that his film will not have any connections to a JLA film but his stance has notably receded recently on this and the fact that this film was originally slated for a December 2012 release but was pushed back for unknown reasons. Could those reasons include filming these cameo scenes and maybe adding a few more that allows for the viewer to see a possible team coming together? Honest answer is I don’t know. It could simply be because they wanted a big summer release instead of being swallowed up by the holiday seasonal movies that tend to come out around December. I for one believe this movie is going to be huge. Snyder’s previous foray into the comic book world has brought us Watchmen and 300, both visually stunning films and very true to the source material. That alone should stand this film in very good stead amongst the other potential offerings for the summer of 2013.
All this and I haven’t even mentioned that Christopher Nolan is producing!!
The reason I even have an interest in comic books and the whole comic world is because of Richard Donner and the Superman film that started it all back in the 70’s and my interest in Kal-El has not waned one bit and I am constantly on the lookout for anything connected to Superman.
I know he is not everyone’s favourite superhero and I truly believe that is because people think he is too perfect and can’t be beat but from what we have seen so far from this film in the trailers and pictures is that this will be a very challenging chapter in his history of the Man of Steel and it will not be what we expect to see!
Thanks for reading.
I’m off to put on my cape and red underwear over my jeans…What? He doesn’t wear them in this movie? What a crock of shit, I’m out!
Find me on twitter at @Pete_the_Red if you want to talk anything Superman!
Posted on January 11th, 2013
Category: NEWS & VIEWS, THE COMIC ASYLUM
Tags: Christopher Nolan, Clark Kent, Comic Asylum, DC Comics, Film Reviews, Henry Cavill, Kevin Costner, Man Of Steel Preview, Pete Barrington, Russell Crowe, Sean Favager, Superman
By Sean Favager
Hello Puddings welcome back to the Comic Asylum… Normally I would ramble on about how I am and what’s been going on but not this week. This week I will be jumping both feet first into the title subject. Friday just gone my issue of Batman #13 turned up. I was late getting this issue for the fact I have happily been reading Detective Comics and was unsure to the fact I wanted my bank balance to collect two Bat books at a time. So as I’m reading about the Doll Maker and the Joker, people who were collecting Batman were given the Court of Owls. All anybody did on the internet was heap praise after praise on this storyline which I have to admit I did toy with jumping on but sat back and stuck to my guns with Detective Comics. Then the bomb was dropped, with the COO Storyline coming to a close, Team Snyder’s next storyline would be called ‘Death of the Family’ and starring none other than Mr J. I could not stick to my guns any longer and that was simply because I wanted to know how they would go about using the Clown Prince of Crime as the main villain, when in Detective Comics we witnessed the Doll Maker remove the Jokers face. So my hand was forced and I ordered a copy of Batman #13. As I said before it arrived the Friday just gone, the first thing I did was open it up and laugh at the Joker mask cover. I never got round to reading it till the Saturday, I actually put it midway in my comics pile. To me this book wasn’t vastly important as I said before I have been collecting Detective Comics. So I went about reading through my Green Lantern back issues, I finally got to the Batman book the world is talking about, and all I could think at this time is I was going to hate it. It is so hard to get into something once it has been hyped up so much by so many people. Something inside your head just automatically wants to be different and not like whatever is being force fed to you. So as I opened up and started to read I’m going to admit I really wanted to hate this book, but I couldn’t… The more I flicked through the pages the more I got engrossed in this book, and I have to say it has been a very long time I have been this into a comic where for that 20 minutes whilst reading nothing else matters but the words and pictures on the page before my eyes. Finally I got to the end and I had this feeling in my stomach I have never ever had when reading a comic or even a normal book for that matter. It was the feeling of dread and horror. It was that feeling you get after watching a scene from a movie that is so disturbing you want to look away but can’t. It was the last couple of pages that really stuck with me even a day after reading this comic book, and it was the last couple of pages that turned this story upside down…
I text @Pete_the_Red the next day after reading this and told him he needs to read this book. I even went on to describe it as possibly being the most ‘iconic comic book of our generation’. His reply was that was a bold shout and the more I think about it the more I honestly think it is a true statement. A couple of weeks ago I listened to the podcast Fat Man on Batman hosted by Kevin Smith and during it he went into great length about what the Dark Knight Returns meant to him and how it was quite possibly the best Batman novel ever. We all understand it was that book that changed the course of how the Dark Knight was told on pages and even in movies. The Killing Joke is another iconic Batman book that changed the way people looked towards the Joker, a book that really solicited how deranged and crazy Mr J is. Then in film we had Tim Burton’s Batman, the darkest this character has ever been portrayed in film. This carried on into the Animated Series, yes it had to be touched down for children but still it produced some of the best Batman stories told. Unfortunately just like any other franchise the suits find ways to ruin it and they wanted child friendly films to boost toy sales so we were given Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. Now we can watch them films when they are shown on television and howl at how bad they are simply for the fact we know what comes after. Warner Brothers decide to blow off the dust and reboot the Batman by handing it to Christopher Nolan. What he gives us is the Dark Knight Trilogy and he makes it even darker then Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns. Which leads me onto the point of when they finally decide to reboot the Batman again how dark do they have to make it? Will Batman have to go on a killing spree for people to go wow the Dark Knight trilogy sucked ass compared to this…
All these questions and so much more kept rolling through my head right up until I finished reading Batman #13. It wasn’t about what Batman had to do to please us, Batman is Batman, he has his code and rules and that will never change. No matter what challenges he meets he overcomes them. It was always going to be about how his villains evolve in a means to beat him. With ‘Death of the Family’ it is the Joker who evolves and it is this character that crosses the line of no return. I went on twitter and tweeted a quote from the book on Saturday when Harley Quinn is talking to Batman, “He’s not the same Bats. He’s not my Mr J. anymore…” I think this might be the best line from the book. When we find out the Red Hood isn’t the Joker but Harley and she traps Batman she screams this to the Dark Knight. She follows this quote with “What he’s going to do to you… His plan… I can’t…” it is this conversation that really sets the tone of what kind of Joker we will be seeing in the weeks to come. These words are coming from the mouth of someone who over the years has been so faithful to her pudding that she would do anything for him. We have watched and read and even laughed at the way Joker treats Harley Quinn and the way she keeps running back to him but this time it’s completely different, and it’s here to see as she removes the red hood. She has makeup running down her face as Batman pleads to her to tell him where the Joker is whilst trapped inside a drum that is filling with liquid. This scene is so simple yet so effective because of whom the characters are in it. If this was anyone other than Harley Quinn it would just be another scene where Batman is trapped for the time being…
What comes next is part one of the Jokers plan and it really is a shocker, as we finally get to see the Clown Prince of Crime with his face attached by a belt to his head. What really takes away from the image of how revolting it looks is what he does and that is takes a hammer and goes after Alfred. We learn about a two headed lion early on in the book and as it comes to a close Alfred hears a scratching noise at the front door of Wayne manor, he opens the door to see this lion standing there. As he looks in sheer confused state the Joker is behind, hammer in hand. We do not get to see the attack, the imagination takes over and that’s the powerful thing about this part. Its open for you to imagine and feel the terror of what is about to happen but what really did not sink in until the second read was, why has the Joker gone after Alfred? Does he know who Batman is finally or is this just a random attack? As we all know nothing is ever random with the Joker. He may come across as a crazy bastard but he always has a plan or trick up his sleeve. It is a really good cliff hanger and you do really want more but it is what follows next that really defines the Joker…
The flashback titled ‘Tease’ is six pages long and the most disturbing Joker has ever been that I can think off. If you would have ended the book with the hammer scene that would have been fine, the interaction between characters I explained above really tells the story, it is this flashback that completes that story. What we get is the first interaction between the Joker & Harley Quinn before she traps Batman. Harley stands in a dark room under a light as the Joker hides in the shadows, she explains she has missed him and wants to see him but the Joker just stays in the shadows. I stated earlier on about how we have all enjoyed the Harley/Joker relationship but it is within these six pages it doesn’t become enjoyable anymore. I found I really began to feel sorry for Harley because this wasn’t the Joker of old, as she asks him “What do you want me to do?”. From the darkness the reply is “Take off your clothes.”. Now this really shocked me. It shocked me because as she did so she spoke out to him with another question to no reply. It wasn’t until she asked where he was that he threw the suit at her and said put these on. That pause of him not talking is so creepy that you can’t help but think that maybe in the shadows he is getting a kick out of the power he has over Harley that she will remove her clothes at his order. It feels that he is so caught up in the moment of watching that he doesn’t hear her the first time she speaks out and that really adds to the creepiness and feeling of dread to this flashback. As she puts on the Red Hood suit Joker goes on to explain how he turned a normal person into his monster as you can see Harley look on really confused. She finally understands he wants her to look like him as Joker holds up a knife to her face saying the only thing missing is her face must go…
This is where the art really stands out because the fear in Harley’s eyes leaps from the pages as Joker explains to her how painful the procedure is going to be. For all the bad Harley Quinn has done you cannot help but start to feel scared and even sorry for her. It is now the Joker is really starting to abuse the power of control he has over this woman and he does it in the most shocking way by watching her undress from the shadows and then talk about removing her face. As we know the removing of her face is a tease as he places the Red Hood on her it is the way he goes about it. You can see she is terrified of him almost to the point she doesn’t want to do it yet like a victim she just closes her eyes. Now we understand how powerful the quote I put up on Twitter from this book is. This is a completely different Joker to what anybody is used to and if it can shock a huge Batman fan in myself and leave me with so many unanswered questions you know you have something quite special in your hands. If this book is anything to go by we the fans are in for quite the horror story because that’s what I believe we have stepped into.
I asked how dark Batman would have to get to top the Dark Knight Trilogy earlier on. The answer lies within the pages of Batman #13 and I think it will be a long time before another comic can even be placed in the same bracket as this gem.
Posted on November 1st, 2012
Category: REVIEWS, THE COMIC ASYLUM
Tags: Batman #13, Batman #13 Review, Comic Asylum, DC Comics, Detective Comics, Greg Capullo, Harley Quinn, Joker, Pete Barrington, Scott Snyder, Sean Favager, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises
Good Morning, Afternoon or Evening to all who have chosen to join us in the Asylum. Before we get cracking on this edition, please take some time and check out our last entry and Sean’s write up about what is next for Batman, it’s a great read and throws up some interesting theories on the direction of the cowls next big screen outing. Also I just want to take the time to thank everyone who has continued to read and support us since we started the Asylum, the feedback we have been getting on Facebook and Twitter has been fantastic and please continue to do so and we will continue to bring you some comic goodness. Also we have some plans over the next few weeks for a bigger and better Asylum so look out for that.
With all that said, my last entry was all about what to expect from The Guardians of the Galaxy movie that was announced back at San Diego Comic-Con. I enjoyed doing the research behind that and gathering the information that hopefully helped some people with their origins and what we can expect. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I’m gonna bring you a pre-view of another movie that has been announced and is currently further along the production in the Pre-Production stage. This one will be more familiar to most, it’s the world’s favourite cyborg (Because, lets face it, Davros is a bit of a bastard), the one and only……………Robocop! See, the title doesn’t seem so weird now eh? So let’s get to it and do a mother funking preview.
The Plot: – ‘The year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. Their drones are winning wars around the globe and now they want to bring this technology to the home front. Alex Murphy is a loving husband, father and a good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit. After he is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp utilizes their remarkable science of robotics to save Alex’s life. He returns to the streets of his beloved city with amazing new abilities, but with issues a regular man has never had to face before’
OK, so that doesn’t tell us a great deal of what’s gonna happen but that’s the official plot release for the flick. But we all know the origin of Robocop and how he comes to be what he is. The question I have is this and it’s two-fold. Do we really need this movie? And if the answer is yes, does this movie fall under the ever growing umbrella of a Comic book movie. Now if you’re a regular reader then you will know that here at the Asylum we do love a good comic book movie (check out our top ten list from a few months ago) and know that it takes a lot to impress us but to answer that question, I guess we need to go back to the roots of the character and if he can be truly classed as a comic book hero. I first encountered Robocop back on my old Amstrad 64 that instead of disc based games you get now, it was a tape cassette that if you wanted to play it, you would have to allow at least 2 hours for it to load and even then I got bored of playing after about 10 minutes, not because the game was bad but because I was a kid and my attention span was almost non-existent, much like it is now to be fair. Oh look a dog!
Oh sorry, so yeah, the roots of the Robot. The 1987 film was what first brought the cyborg to our attention and from then on it has spawned many comic adaptations and games and of course, 2 other (less successful) movies. This new film is obviously a reboot of the franchise and I’m sure the movie makers are hoping for a successful feature to carry on the franchise and let’s not forget the merchandise potential of a successful move about robots. Transformers anyone?? So the main aim with this film is obviously to get it right and make sure that people want to see it again. In a major action movie like this, so many components need to be right so you end up with something closer to a Die Hard type franchise instead of something you hoped would spawn more films but probably won’t, like Green Lantern or John Carter. With a movie about a man that gets turned into a robot, the action side of things is kind of implied and to be expected but there are other key issues that have to be resolved. A leading man? A good back up cast? Good looking suit?
So let’s look at these things individually.
Starting with the man/borg himself. The original was played by a relatively unknown at the time called Peter Weller. As Murphy, his acting wasn’t very good but as Robocop he was very good. The voice, walk and mannerisms were what you would expect from a man who got shot to shit and somehow survived. This instalment will also see a relatively unknown called Joel Kinnaman (Who? Exactly!) Take on the lead role as Alex Murphy/Robocop. How much we will see of him as either is relatively unknown at this time, but with the set photos that have been released, they have all been of him in the suit, but more on that later. I personally have never heard of him before so with any unknown actor, I headed straight to IMDB to check him out and the only thing he has been in that I recognise is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I haven’t seen that so couldn’t comment on what he was like but I don’t think it would make a difference unless he was playing a cyborg cop in that too. That’s the beauty of the role. It’s highly unlikely that as an actor, you have played this type of role before so he really is an unknown commodity at the moment until we see a trailer. But I agree with casting an unknown. When the film first was announced, I heard that Michael Fassbender and Russell Crowe were rumoured for the role and I thought that it could have been a big mistake to cast someone that well known, more Crowe than Fassbender but his star is rising quickly. So to summarise, I am looking forward to seeing what Kinnaman can bring to the well and if he will fall short of Weller or go all Heath Ledger on him and make everyone forget that there was a Robocop before him.
So how about the supporting cast, well to put it bluntly, it looks awesome! As well as Kinnaman, we have Gary Oldman who really has taken off recently thanks to his turns in the Batman trilogy and also an Oscar nod from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. He will be playing Dr. Robert Norton (a role originally offered to but turned down by Edward Norton) his job is to take a battered, bullet-ridden, all-but-dead body of police office Alex Murphy and rebirths him as the cyborg future of law enforcement. There wasn’t much scope for this character in the original so it’s up in the air whether he will be friend or foe to Robocop. There is Abbie Cornish who is very easy on the eyes and she will be playing the role of Murphy’s wife. Again, not explored much in the original so expect a very family feel to this one. We have Jackie Earle Haley who will be playing Maddox, who is known to be the man who trains the cyborg during his recuperation, but considering that Haley’s previous includes playing the demented Rorschach in Watchmen and Freddie Kruger in the latest remake of Nightmare on Elm Street, don’t be surprised if he is up to no good. The last person to join the cast was the original Batman himself, Michael Keaton. His role is more closely guarded than the rest but when Hugh Laurie was circling the role, it was listed as the Head of OmniCorp which could mean bad news for our metallic hero. The part of Murphy’s partner, Lewis, in the original was played by Nancy Allen (A woman) but in this interpretation, Lewis, is played by Michael Kenneth Williams (A man) so it will be interesting to see the dynamic there but I seriously hope he doesn’t turn into a Chris Tucker type wise-cracking sidekick. The final piece of the puzzle I want to mention is the man who really hates mother fucking snakes on mother fucking planes! It is of course Nick Fury/Mace Windu himself……Samuel L. Jackson! Yeah the man who is entrenched in Sci-Fi/Comic folklore has signed on to play a character called Pat Novak, who is described as a ‘charismatic TV mogul’. Yeah I don’t know what that means either but who cares, its Sam ‘Fucking’ Jackson, the man who can do no wrong and let’s be honest, a man of his stature whose star has arguably never shone brighter has read this script and likes it enough to sign on. Now who knows whether he will make a very brief appearance similar to his (uncredited) role in Kill Bill or a more substantial role but for his name alone, I am excited for this film. Hell, if Warwick Davies was playing Robocop and Sam Jackson was in it then I’d still be excited.
Cast looks good huh? Told ya!
Ok, so I couldn’t talk about this without mentioning one thing that has divided opinion so far, (not least amongst me and Sean) is the Robocop suit. To say it’s different is an understatement, but does different mean bad? I don’t think so, there have been many set pics of the suit released so far and they all seem to suggest that the approach is very different than the iconic 1987 suit. Set pics are one thing, but does that mean that it will look exactly like that in the film, no, of course not. With CGI being as it is and the fact that the suit is all black lends itself to the digital era that we are in. We all remember how poor it looked when ED-209 ‘fell’ down the stairs in the original and we can see from the cast that this is going to be big budget so I doubt they will skimp on the special effects. The suit itself is very much sleeker than the original, no silver at all and the visor looks to be done in the same concept as Ironman with a flip up front. Again these are just set pics so it may not work like that but I suppose it all depends on how badly Murphy gets shot up. One thing of interest however is that the right hand of the suit is still Murphy’s own hand and appears it will stay that way after he becomes Robocop. This of course could just be to add a continuous human element to the character (interacting with his wife, maybe?) but could also act as a potential weakness when fighting crime.
All these questions will be asked in some sort when we see a trailer, which I’m led to believe, we will see a teaser around the New Year, and a full length trailer a few months after, then maybe T.V spots and so on. But none of these questions will be answered in full until the flick hits our screens next year. The U.K release is scheduled for August 9th 2013 and the U.S release will be around the same time although that is yet to be confirmed.
This film and the first two Terminator films are what started the whole robot/sci-fi craze in the 80’s and I caught up with it all about a decade later so I am looking forward to this film. I will admit, there is slight anxiety over it because I think it worked so well in the 80’s because of the crazes of the time, but I’m not sure whether it will fit in to the recent trends in Hollywood and with Man of Steel being released a few weeks earlier, then I am worried it will be overlooked so don’t be surprised if that date of release is moved. Whether I go to the cinema to watch it will depend on a few things, 1. What prices the cinema is next year because it’s just getting ridiculous, 2. Whether it will be in 3D or not? (Almost a certainty it will be) and 3. What the trailers are like! Those three things will decide it for me because I am a very simple man.
If you have reached the end of this then a winner is you!
Thanks for reading and as always please feel free to drop me a tweet at @Pete_the_red or as I’m led to believe, there is now a comment section below this so leave a comment there.
For now, Live long and Prosper (I watched Star Trek last night, sorry) and Stay Classy! (Anchorman too)
Posted on October 15th, 2012
Category: NEWS & VIEWS, THE COMIC ASYLUM
Tags: Alex Murphy, Michael Kenneth Williams, Murphy, Nancy Allen, Pete Barrington, Peter Weller, Robocop remake, Sean Favager, The Comic Asylum
By Sean Favager
Hey puddings welcome, this is the Comic Asylum and I’m your host Sean ‘the true leader of men’ Fav. (What? Wait, why can’t I call myself that? No it doesn’t make me sound like an idiot! These people love me you’ll see. It doesn’t sound gay at all…… It’s not gay!) It’s a new day and with it I give you all a new blog. Just before we get into proceedings if you haven’t already yet, go check out Pete’s piece on the Guardians of the Galaxy. It makes for really good reading. I am thinking of putting my name forward to voice Rocket Racoon, I think a scouse racoon with a massive rocket would be entertaining (Pardon the Pun). But back to the matter at hand, with this new day I bring you all ways on what I think Warner Brothers should think about in rebooting there billion dollar crime fighter. I was planning to do this just after viewing the dark knight rises but thought it would be best to hang fire and let the dust clear. I think now with the news of a justice league film in the works it would be the right time to add my opinion on the subject. Like a great man once said….. “And here we go!”
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Hire an actor to play Batman who can actually act.
We all know there is more to Bruce Wayne than just a man dressed as a bat that kicks ass. There are so many layers to this character. Throughout the years the best incarnation of Bruce Wayne/Batman has to be Christian Bale without a shadow of a doubt. This is simply put as bale can actually act and also takes pride in his craft. Instead of going into the films thinking it was an easy way to make a quick buck he took his role extremely serious and that intensity is on full show through out the dark knight trilogy. In my eyes for the reboot they must give the part to a real actor, somebody who is making waves within the industry and can pull off the duel persona. If you read this blog regularly you will know how highly we rate Michael Fassbender and I think this role would be perfect for him. I know he is Magneto in first class but I’m just putting his name out as an example. The new batman doesn’t have to be some pretty boy to boost sales because we all know how much damage a batman film can do at the box office so hopefully WB do not make a silly mistake and rush the cast. Take your time look for fresh faces and stay away from George Clooney hah.
Bring back the Joker.
It was a sad time when Heath Ledger passed just before the Dark Knight hit the big screen but what he left us with will be remembered forever. No matter where you went or who you bumped into everyone was speaking about Heath Ledger’s portrayal of Batman’s ultimate nemesis the Joker. I understand why Nolan choose not to recast the clown prince of crime for Rises, but for the new film “he has to come back, he must!”. A rebooted Batman story without the Joker is madness in itself because the Joker is a huge part in the Batman universe. With Batman you have a man of justice fighting with all these rules then you have the Joker come along. Obsessed if you like by the Batman, and how he can make him crack. Heath’s role will never be forgotten but it’s time for another to apply a Chelsea smile and cackle at death. This also leads to me to saying that there is one character that is yet to be portrayed on the big screen who we all want to see. Yes Joker’s bunny boiler of a stalker, Harley Quinn. Bringing back the Joker opens a whole new world as I will go into with my next point
Loosely adapt Arkham Asylum/City as a plot.
We have seen and read Batman’s origin countless times so do we really need to see it again? Can’t we just dive head first into a worn down Batman leading the captured Joker to Arkham only for it all to be the Joker’s master plan of taking over everyone’s favourite nut house. We only really got glimpses of Arkham in Begins and I for one would revel in a new setting for the Batman to bring justice. You could even have flashbacks of the Joker making this plan whilst he is in Arkham with none other than Dr. Harleen Quinzel. The countless options of villain cameos you could add or maybe tease would be brilliant. Or if Arkham is not for you, adapt Arkham City to a screenplay. Again no origin just Bruce Wayne being thrown into Gotham’s new prison island on orders of Dr. Hugo Strange. You don’t even have to run the Jokers poisoned angle there is so many more possibilities.
Dick Grayson Takes Over The Cowl.
We need to remember that Bruce Wayne alone is not Batman. As was mentioned in TDKR, then anyone can be Batman (helps if you’re a billionaire with vengeance on your mind though). So there have been other people who have put on the cowl aside from Mr Wayne. This point is raised, not because we don’t believe Bruce Wayne is a good Batman but maybe it’s time for a different story from the cave, so here is a few people that could potentially don the cowl that I think could sustain a new origin story. Grayson took the mantle of Batman twice. Grayson was performing his crime fighting duties as Nightwing and had Bruce Wayne/Talia Al Ghul’s son Damien as his sidekick Robin. When Batman’s back was broken by Bane, Nightwing took up the cowl despite a pre-recorded message from Wayne, telling him not to do so and to carry on as Nightwing. Grayson realised that Gotham still needed the Bat and continued to have Robin at his side while he did. When Wayne returned to take Batman worldwide, Grayson remained as the Batman of Gotham until the events of the story arc, Flashpoint, when he returned to being Nightwing. This version of Grayson as Batman and a Wayne as Robin is a complete dynamic shift that some people might not get on board with. It would be a wise cracking Batman and a serious ass-kicker Robin. It would take a lot of people that don’t know the back story to ignore their beliefs for this to work but I believe that this is possibly the best version of a Robin that would work on screen.
Terry McGinnis Takes The Franchise In a Fresh New Direction.
The name might be new to many but McGinnis took over the role of Batman in Batman Beyond. Beyond is a story arc that ran in an animated series from Jan 1999 for 52 episodes spanning 3 seasons before its run ended in Dec 2001 after a direct to video film. Beyond is set in the chronological future of the DC animated universe and focusses on McGinnis being trained in all things Bat by none other than Bruce Wayne himself. McGinnis is a 17 year old high school student and reformed troublemaker. It then becomes a classic tale of McGinnis fends off the ‘Jokerz’ gang, helped by an ailing Bruce Wayne, who has a heart scare mid-fight and is helped by Terry to Wayne Manor. McGinnis then finds the Bat Cave and is told to stay away by a recovered Wayne. Terry then returns home to find his Father murdered (a revenge act by the ‘Jokerz’) and goes back to Wayne for help. Wayne refuses to help the kid, feeling he is too old. Terry then breaks in and ‘borrows’ the bat suit to bring this gang to justice. Bruce demands the return of the suit but once seeing how Terry handles himself, he realises that Gotham needs a Batman once again and offers to train Terry. The interesting thing with this story arc is that the classic Bat-suit is no more; instead it has been replaced by an all in one black suit, no cape and a red bat across the chest. Similar to the Grayson arc above, this would probably only appeal to a few fans initially but the potential could be huge, considering that McGinnis is only 17 years old and Wayne is in his 80’s, the casting of this movie would be the main focus and if it was done right then we could see a massive franchise spin from it, if done wrong then it could kill off the Bat in the movie-verse potentially forever.
Give Superman a brief cameo.
We all know by now that a Justice League movie is all Warner Brothers are thinking about right now. So this bullet point makes so much sense. Marvel & Disney have hit it right out the ball park with how they have handled their phase one films leading into the Avengers. You would be hard pressed to find a fault so it doesn’t take a complete idiot to say “If it isn’t broke don’t try and fix it!” I think we all must agree for these great superhero films to be made we all have to stick together. Marvel have placed the blueprint out there for a superhero team up movie and I think DC should follow suit and take the time to introduce their characters before jumping straight into a JLA film. Even the simplest of cameos from Supes in a Bat film hints at the DC Universe. Example; midway through the new Batman film, have Batman flying over Gotham in the bat wing. Suddenly something fly’s over him at speed, Alfred over the radio to Batman “Was that a plane?” the response. “No Alfred that was homework!” Simple it alerts the audience that Superman is in the same universe and also Batman will be using his detective skills to find out just exactly who and what he is.
So as you can see there are some big changes we want to see to a Batman reboot. But what would you want to see for the next go around of the Dark Knight. As of last week we have all new comments boxes below so we would like to hear from you. What did we miss? What did you hate? Or do we actually need another Batman film? Just scribble down some thoughts and lets all have an old fashioned Bat Debate….
Posted on October 4th, 2012
Category: NEWS & VIEWS, THE COMIC ASYLUM
Tags: Batman Begins, Batman Beyond, Comic Asylum, DC Comics, Film review, Heath Ledger, Joker, Sean Favager, Superman, Terry McGinnis, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises
Welcome geeks and geek-ettes to another installation of your favourite comic blog on the interwebnet, the Comic Asylum. Hosted by your friendly neighbourhood @Seanfav1 and the billionaire, genius, playboy, philanthropist that is @Pete_the_Red. We here at the Asylum have been having some fun the last few weeks and have decided, just for kicks, to kill off the comic universe, Sean has picked 8 D.C characters and I have picked 8 of Marvels finest and it’s a battle to the death of your beloved Superheroes. In the (slightly edited) words of the immortal Tina Turner in Mad Max 3: Beyond the Thunder dome. “16 enter, 1 will leave”. That is going to be an on-going blog over the next few weeks/months. The best thing about this is that it’s you, the people, who decide who lives or dies, so make your vote count and get over there now! (After you’ve read this blog though please) (EDITORS NOTE: And when i’ve actually added it!!)
For this edition we are attempting to look into the future slightly and discuss something that has had quite a few people talking since an announcement at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Now while the news was expected, it was a bit of a surprise in how much detail was also given about it, I am of course talking about Marvels announcement that they’re major movie for 2014 will be the release of Guardians of The Galaxy (or GOTG, that I will be using throughout this blog). So now this name might be familiar to a few people but a lot of people, including myself, were very unaware of who or what this was. My initial thought was that Marvel has got so much on their plate at the minute. After the huge success that was The Avengers and planned sequels on almost all of the main protagonists in that film to be hitting the screen (UPDATE: and now a confirmed date for the Avengers sequel, put it in your diaries people, Josh Whedon and his Avengers are back on May 1st 2015) in the next few years, not to mention questions that need asking like ‘What do they do with The Hulk now?’ or ‘Now you have Daredevil back, do we cast Ben Affleck again?’ or more importantly ‘Did Black Widow and Hawkeye ever get it on?’. To launch a new franchise with characters that hardly anyone knows that resembles the team aspect of The Avengers quite a lot and with a Racoon as their leader, is very risky, but actually quite smart, and here’s why……….
So Marvel overlord Kevin Feige wasted no time in unveiling the cosmic super team just minutes into his Hall H preview panel at Comic-con, he did so by showing a slide with the Guardians leader, his name is Rocket Raccoon. He also confirmed the date for the film as 1st August 2014 and (here’s the smart part) he also confirmed the line-up of the team. Now I will go into each one individually and let you know a little about them but how crazy smart is it to tell people what characters are going to be in a film that is two years down the line?! First off, we all loved Avengers and the whole team spirit of the thing was great so giving us another film with the same dynamic is a great idea, we kind of know what to expect from it already right, so not only does he tell us there is going to be another ensemble movie, he realised that they haven’t got the time or budget to do single films on these characters like they did with the Avengers and maybe standalone films for these characters wouldn’t work as well, so by telling us who the characters are, it gives us 2 whole years to find out about them, to read up about the GOTG and also make us feel like we already know these characters going in so if there are any twists in the plot or any surprises then the audience feels in on it straight away and surely that’s the whole point of making movies, so you can connect to an audience. Plus **SPOILER ALERT** with Thanos appearing in the post-credits of the Avengers adds an interesting arc as within minutes of reading about the GOTG, you quickly realise that there biggest enemy is and always has been Thanos himself. Now we’ve all been thinking that it’s obvious that Thanos is going to be the big bad in Thor 2 or Avengers 2 or even both, but again, by adding him in at the end of one of the biggest movies ever, and then leading him into a film involving characters you might not know very well so that the audience gets to see what he is like against a team is again very smart on Marvels part. So here I am thinking that if Thanos does in fact want to get revenge on Earth and the Avengers then maybe he might have to get through the Guardians first?
The brief background that I can give you on the GOTG is this. They are a cosmic super team formed in an alternate future set in the 31st century; they are a team of superhuman and extra-terrestrial adventurers dedicated to the safeguarding of the Milky Way Galaxy from any force that threatens the security or liberty of its various people. They work primarily as a ‘pre-active’ group and their aim is stop any evil before it takes off as opposed to dealing with once it does. The comics started in 1969, but the film is based on a reboot of the series from 2008 that lasted only 25 issues until it was cancelled in 2010, this series was formed after a storyline involving the original GOTG called Annihilation: Conquest, which laid the foundation for the new GOTG book that Marvel had wanted to launch for some time. In the words of editor Bill Rosemann “As the planning on Annihilation: Conquest came together, it occurred to us that, if things went well, there would be a group of characters left standing who would make for a very interesting and fun team”
These characters and a brief explanation are as follows:
Rocket Racoon – Yes he is a Racoon, but a Racoon with a gun, so he is cool! He is the leader of this series of Guardians and he comes from the planet Halfworld, in the Keystone Quadrant. He joins the team at the behest of his friend Star-Lord. It is Rocket that adapts the GOTG name to his new team after hearing it mentioned by Major Victory. Rocket becomes the leader when the team almost disbands after Peter Quill disappears. Rocket leads the team on a rescue attempt for Quill while the attempt also involves trying to save the Earth from an alien invasion. He brings in Groot as a member as the two had become friends.
Groot – He is an extra-terrestrial plant monster who initially came to earth seeking humans to capture and study. He played a part in Annihilation: Conquest and was seemingly destroyed. However, he survived as a sprig offshoot. In time, he was able to regenerate his body from that twig and grew back to full size. After another apparent death, A cutting of Groot was kept by Rocket Racoon and he was able to regrow again and joined the Guardians of The Galaxy (or as Groot would call it, ‘Groot and Branches’). He often sacrifices himself for the good of his team.
Gamora – She is the adopted daughter of Thanos, and is dubbed ‘The most powerful woman in the universe!’ She is the last of her species and was found by Thanos who thought he could use her as a weapon (that guy is just all heart!) She was trained by Thanos and became very skilled in the martial arts. She was given her strength by Thanos as a result of her coming into conflict with a group of thugs who overpowered her and raped her. She started to become suspicious of Thanos and eventually aided Captain Mar-Vell, Drax and the Avengers against Thanos as he planned to destroy all life in the universe (possible cross over anyone?!) She eventually joins the new GOTG, but it is not revealed why or at what point.
Drax the Destroyer – Needing a champion to combat the threat from Thanos, Titan god Chronos and Thanos’ father Mentor, capture the spirit of Arthur Douglas and place it in a powerful new body. He is rechristened ‘Drax the Destroyer’ and his sole purpose in life is to destroy Thanos. He is obsessed with this to the point that if anyone else were to defeat Thanos then Drax would attack them for robbing him of his life’s purpose. As seen when Thanos is defeated by Captain Marvel, which leaves Drax wandering the universe searching for a resurrected Thanos. In one story arc, Drax is recruited to GOTG by Star-Lord who has allied themselves with Thanos. While battling madness, Drax attacks Thanos and is killed. He later reappears with the Guardians on Earth without any reference to his death and once again, they are hunting a resurrected Thanos.
Star-Lord – The first Star-Lord was Peter Quill (see above in Rockets Bio), Quill was born on Earth during an unusual astronomical phenomenon when many of the planets align. Seeing no resemblance in his son, Quills father accuses his wife of infidelity and attempts to kill the child but dies of a Heart Attack before he can. Quill is raised by a single mother until she is killed by an alien. Quill is placed in an orphanage but escapes and eventually becomes a trainee NASA astronaut. An alien entity called the ‘Master of the Sun’ visits the space station that Quill is on and offers the mantle of Star-Lord (basically an interplanetary policeman. Think Green Lantern but without the ring.) Quill volunteers and after an initial rejection from NASA, Quill steals a scout ship and returns to the Master of the Sun and becomes Star-Lord. In an effort to prevent another interstellar war, Star-Lord forms the new version of GOTG.
So these are the characters that Feige has already stated will be in the Guardians of the Galaxy. There are many other members that have been and gone throughout their run but these remain the stable ones from the reboot in 2008. Just from reading these little bios that I have presented, it appears absurd that they would battle anyone else but Thanos. You can see the human element in this film with Peter Quill and if they show you the origin of Drax you can see the potential with crossover is huge.
The press release states that ‘It will focus on a US pilot who ends up in space in the middle of a universal conflict and goes on the run with futuristic ex-cons who have something that everyone wants’. Now this throws up a few more questions. The US pilot could be Quill and of course the ex-cons could be the GOTG, but what is this thing that everyone wants?? Well when reading up on this, something I came across was that at one point, the GOTG were actually in possession of the Cosmic Cube, yeah THAT Cosmic Cube! Now I could just be blowing smoke in the wind here and the film may be nothing to do with this at all, but considering that the last time we saw the Cube, it was with Thor taking it back to Asgard along with Loki, and that we also saw Thanos’ gauntlet in the vault in Thor and the fact that the next 3 films concerning these 3 are in this order:- Thor: Dark World in November 2013, then Guardians in August 2014, then Avengers 2 in May 2015. Are we going to see Thor hand over the Cube to the Guardians for protection, Thanos attempt to take it from them and then the final battle in Avengers 2. It would make perfect sense; it would tie everything in and set up an epic finale in Avengers 2. Now of course this fan boy might just be fantasy booking here but it’s my blog so I can do it if I want!
Of course I don’t know if any of this will be true and in all likelihood, I am probably way off and we won’t even see Thanos or a mention of The Avengers. Marvel could just decide to put this out there and hope everyone likes it without adding characters already well known. I personally think that would be a mistake, but I am but a humble blogger and know not what Marvel are planning, all I do know, is that after reading up on it and writing this piece, I am very excited about how this movie will turn out. Expect trailers before other Marvel movies and expect a lot of CGI!
Anyway the main point of this blog was to get people up to speed on The Guardians of the Galaxy, and mainly what this film may be about, so without knowing anything about the plot, then the above is what I’ve come up with. If I have missed anything important out or I have got something wrong then I apologise and feel free to comment and point it out to me on twitter at @Pete_the_Red.
For now, Thanks for reading, I’m off to get some Schwarma!
Posted on August 29th, 2012
Category: NEWS & VIEWS, THE COMIC ASYLUM
Tags: Comic Reviews, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Groot, Guardians of the Galaxy review, marvel studios, Pete Barrington, Rocket Racoon, Sean Favager, Star-Lord, The Comic Asylum
Another week has passed and yet another Comic Book film hit the silver screen. This time it was Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated the Dark Knight Rises. I went along with Pete on Friday with a few friends, was it worth all the hype surrounding it. Fuck Yeah! I now fully understand there is nothing to look forward to in life so I may as well try and find a girlfriend (EDITORS NOTE: Good luck with that!) have a few children (EDITORS NOTE: dear god not little you’s!!) and just give up now. I would like to review and give my opinion on the Dark Knight Rises but I’m sure wherever you are looking on the internet you will find something to do with this film. So here at The Comic Asylum we have devised a new blog for #007 in which we will discuss where the Bat franchise goes from here. Until then we will continue our run down of our favourite Comic Book Films. As good as TDKR was it isn’t on this list. This is because we stupidly came up with it a few weeks before hand but ah well you live and learn. So without further ado here for your reading pleasure is the Comic Asylums rundown of numbers #5 – #1.
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Tagline: This city is afraid of me; I’ve seen its true face.
Pete: When I first heard that this film was announced, I was a bit worried. The graphic novel is very good and the ending is something that couldn’t really translate to the silver screen. Never mind the huge amount of material that they would have to put into the movie to make it flow as well as the novel. So as always with films, news slowly started floating around about which actor might play this character and who will be directing and as I heard more and more, I became more excited. The fact that almost all of the actors/actresses were relative unknowns at the time really pleased me as I couldn’t imagine some a-lister being Rorschach or Nite Owl, although I would have paid double to see Angelina Jolie in that yellow and black Silk Spectre II costume ……..MMMMMM……… oh sorry, anyway the director was announced as Zack Snyder who’s only work I was aware of before this was 300 and that film visually looked very good and again my expectations rose. Then after the trailer I was all ready to see it, I read the novel again in preparation as I read that Snyder said it followed the novel quite closely. The film did not disappoint at all, and to my dying day I will not understand some of the bad reviews that it got as it was the best Watchmen film that could have been. Ok they changed the ending slightly but as I said earlier, the original ending would never have worked all that well anyway. Now with all the Before Watchmen comics coming out, I would love to see some individual storylines but I doubt it. This film is without doubt, one for the die-hard fan as I and Sean both are, and that’s why it’s at number 5.
Sean: I’m going to be completely honest here. When this film was announced I was like “what the fuck are the Watchmen?” I had never heard nor read the graphic novel when this film arrived so I went in as a neutral. As soon as the opening scene starts up with the Comedian’s death to Nat King Coles ‘Unforgettable’ playing in the background I was engrossed and couldn’t peel my eyes away. Snyder does an excellent job at the beginning of the film to establish that since 1940 costume heroes have been a massive part of America, starting with the Minutemen then onto the Watchmen. There are so many brilliant shots in this opening package. The Comedian pulling the trigger on JFK, Dr. Manhattan on the moon & the man spray painting “Who Watches the Watchmen” on the shop window. What this film does differently to every other comic book film is that it’s so grown up. It’s also so easy to believe that this all happened. It’s obvious who my favourite was coming out of the Watchmen and that was Rorschach, Snyder got it spot on giving the part to ol’ Jacky boy but everyone really shines in this film, like Pete said above me Silk Spectre II wow wow wee waa! Since my first viewing the Watchmen has grabbed my attention ever since and I have been collecting the Before the Watchmen series. Might I add if you aren’t picking these up please go and have a quiet word with yourself. These are the best comics on the shelves at this moment in time and I’m going to be really upset when it’s finished, but back to the film. Snyder really does hit this out of the park, it’s visually stunning, awesomely cast and the soundtrack is brilliant. It really should be higher on the list but as a collective we have ranked it at number 5.
Favourite Quote: Rorschach: “Rorschach’s Journal: October 12th, 1985. Tonight, a comedian died in New York”
Random Trivia: Of all the Watchmen, Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan are the only two that never swear during the entire movie.
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Tagline: You’ll believe a man can fly!
Pete: OK let me start by saying that I know this is a bit of a shock to be this high up on the list and when me and Sean discussed this film, it caused a bit of controversy between us, mainly because Sean has never been a massive fan of the Man of Tomorrow but I was at the other end of the scale and was a huge fan. The thing that makes Superman different from almost all other superheroes, for me, is that his alter ego is Clark Kent, whereas most other supers’ alter ego is the hero. Kal-El is the real identity whereas Clark Kent is how Kal-El views the human race, basically a smart man, that’s a bit shy, bit slow at times but basically a decent human being. Superman invents Clark Kent as opposed to Bruce Wayne inventing Batman. The main reason I place this film so high is how Christopher Reeve plays these essentially polar opposite characters, yet while still being the same person. It’s a brilliant performance by Reeve that hands down owns that of Brandon Routh, George Reeves and Dean Cain. Whereas in those incarnations, a simple pair of glasses wouldn’t have fooled Lois Lane, but this one has to the point that you could put them in the same room and you still wouldn’t know they are one and the same (this actually happened in Superman III. Thank you for proving my point Red Kryptonite!) The second film in this series was very good too because of General Zod being a proper bad-ass but the ending to that was quite poor whereas this film is a good story, start to finish and should always be considered as the benchmark for Superman films in the future (Man of Steel, I’m looking at you!) Yes you can argue that the effects are out-dated and the acting a bit cheesy at times but you’ve got to remember that this film came out in 1978. Special effects like this were unheard of at the time, yes you can argue that Star Wars came out a year earlier but the effects and puppetry used in that film, while good, were not on the level of actually watching a man fly. Safe to see I really enjoyed this film, it deserves its place on this list. This high-up? That’s for you to decide and be sure to let me know…..and I didn’t even mention how good Lex Luthor was!
Sean: I guess with any relationship there is a bit of give and take. Here I just had to bite my lip and take it, (you do not want to see Pete upset, he throws things. I have scars.) But I didn’t want to just go into this mini review and bash this film. I’m going to put it out there, I do not like this film, I hope I never have to sit through it ever again. When Pete first even brought up this movie I wanted to fire him on the spot. But there is a reason it is on this list and not just because Pete said so. No it is here because this is where it all started for blockbuster Superhero movies. Without Superman: The Movie would we have what followed? I know it’s not as bad as the three that came after it, I’m just putting myself in the position of when this film first came out. It does deserve to be on the list whether I like it or not and that’s the whole point. This film is much bigger then myself bad mouthing it. I am hoping 2013 brings good things for the big blue boy scout, after seeing the trailer before the Dark Knight Rises I’m very intrigued.
Favourite Quote: Lex Luthor: “Look at the overgrown boy scout, Miss Teschmacher. Tell me what you see.”
Random Trivia: After the success of Rocky, Sylvester Stallone lobbied hard to play Clark Kent/Superman, but he was ultimately turned down. Stallone found out that Marlon Brando, who had casting approval, turned him down for the role, just as he had allegedly vetoed Burt Reynolds’ casting as Sonny in The Godfather.
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3. Batman Begins
Tagline: Evil fears the Knight.
Sean: In at number three is none other than Christopher Nolan’s first film out of his Dark Knight trilogy. To me this is the best origin to any superhero / comic book film ever. I really doubt this will ever be bettered. I can’t count the times I’ve sat and watched Begins, if you live in the UK you will know it’s a lot as it’s never off ITV2 (cheap plug). What really attracts me to this movie is how real Nolan made it all feel. He took this larger than life comic book character and he brought him into our world. What this film revolves around is fear, and who better to cast as a secondary villain then the Scarecrow. Cillian Murphy is really convincing as the crazed Dr. Crane testing his fear toxin on patients of Arkham Asylum. The main villain is Liam Neeson’s Ra’s Al Ghul, starting out as Bruce Wayne’s mentor and father figure wanting Bruce to be by his side while he burns Gotham. As we all know Bruce Wayne has a completely different view on justice and ends up creating this symbol for his enemies to fear and the innocent people to look up to. He transforms himself into the Batman, and along with his childhood friend Rachel Dawes, Jim Gordon, Lucius Fox & Alfred, attempts to give Gotham back to the innocent. Christopher Nolan really had a tough job in bringing the Bat back and in just over 2 hours he just doesn’t bring him back, he changes the whole landscape for a movie genre. Every member of this assembled team deserves a knighthood from Bale to Zimmer, I have no flaw to this movie. In a perfect world this would be even higher but there is a reason it isn’t and I’ll go on about that below.
Pete: The film that started it all! Batman Begins showed the world exactly how Batman should be portrayed. The influence for this film was not just one story arc of Bats but many rolled into one, most notable being that of Batman: Year One, by far one of the best origin stories in comic book history, (In my humble opinion of course). Everyone knows the story of why Bruce Wayne became the Bat and the tragedy that was behind it, but this is the first time we learn how he got his skills, his fighting technique and his need to use his abilities for good and the origin of his ‘one rule’, feeling every criminal must be tried for their crimes. Although origin stories as a whole have been largely disappointing in the past (suck it Wolverine!), this one showed us that although we don’t see the iconic image, in this case, the Batman, for almost an hour into the film that we didn’t care as the story being told that leads up to Wayne donning the cape and cowl is just as intriguing as the moment he becomes Batman and starts going after Gotham’s most wanted, starting with Carmine Falcone and his stuffed bunnies business. The Scarecrow is a great choice as a villain as it would have been easy to throw in the Joker straight away as someone we all know but to give us lesser known villains in the Scarecrow and Ra’s Al Ghul was a stroke of genius as it introduced us to villains unknown and showed the limits Batman was willing to take before bigger foes came along. Sure there were things that could have been better, the static fighting moves, the gravelly voice, Katie Holmes! But all these just pale in comparison with the good parts, the training montage, the new Batmobile, Michael Caine as Alfred! If anything, the bad points just highlighted how good the good points were and didn’t detract from the storyline in any way. The film has no equal in terms of starting something from the beginning and yet we feel like we have seen no other incarnation that has gone before. The best way I can describe this film is that it isn’t a comic book film in the normal sense, but a brilliant drama/action film that is based on comic book characters and it gives you the feel that these things could actually happen in our world today.
Favourite Scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MF5q_4tXDLk&feature=related
Favourite Quote: Henri Ducard: “You have learned to bury your guilt with anger. I will teach you to confront it, and to face the truth. You know how to fight six men. We can teach you how to engage six hundred. You know how to disappear. We can teach you to become truly invisible.”
Random Trivia: Marilyn Manson, Christopher Eccleston, Ewan McGregor and Jeremy Davies were considered for the role of Dr. Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow.
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2. The Avengers
Tagline: Avengers Assemble
Sean: Right, I know a few people may be scratching their heads at why Avengers is so high on the Comic Asylums top ten. It’s really quite simple. For the first time in years this film made me want to go back to the cinema to watch again and again. From start to finish this movie is just really, really fun. It was in 2008 when the buzz for the Avengers really picked up and it had us all guessing and arguing. Can it be done? Are they really doing a Thor stand-alone film? Who will play Captain America? The questions went on and on so the group that debuted in 1963 was finally getting its outing on the big screen in 2012. All our questions would finally be answered and by god did they exceed our expectations. What Marvel gave us was a film that the kids loved and made adults feel like kids again. It’s very rare a film comes along that you watch with a huge grin on your face willing your favourite superheroes on to kick some ass. But this is what the Avengers does and does so well. What really sets this apart from other comic book films on the list is many if not all have that dark tone towards them, especially Nolan’s Bat franchise. Marvel steers clear of this and shouts we can be fun and make a good movie, and they are right. Not every superhero has to have a dark past or thirst for justice. Some superheroes just really want to help others because it’s the right thing to do and this is what you have with Marvel’s Avengers. A lot going into this film was can so many A-listers and out of this world characters co-exist. The answer coming out was fuck yeah! It was the best part of the film seeing these characters and egos smashing together. Be it Iron Man v Captain America, Thor v Hulk. It was all done brilliantly. A huge factor in how well this film was received was always going to be Hulk. Over the years he has always been mediocre, yet for the Avengers the studio pulls no punch in giving the viewer and fans the Hulk we have been waiting to see for such a long, long time. Ruffalo nailed it! This film made me feel like a child once again and that is the magic of good film-making, Josh Whedon has to be praised and I hope he stays on to do a sequel as do all the cast. Whoever was the person to put Scarlett Johansson in that cat-suit may I say god bless you. So at number 2 it is Marvel’s Avengers.
Pete: Quite possibly the most anticipated comic book movie of all time, with trailers and scenes that could have come straight out of a fan boys wet dream. Let’s just put this in context, in this film alone we have Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Loki, The Skrulls, and Fing Fang Foom (one for those fan boys). Now I know anyone reading this will know exactly who was in the film and doesn’t need me pointing it out. I only do it because can you imagine the sheer scale of getting all those components in to one film and not have it seem overloaded and forced. It was a miracle it worked at all and boy did it work! Generally speaking the Box Office doesn’t lie and the amount of money this film took, and is still taking is just crazy. It proves that not everyone has to love comics to love a good film. The films leading up to this were all very good in building to this climax, with little scene stealers from Coulson in each one or the post credits scene that in some cases were more anticipated than the movie itself (Captain America anyone!) The film works on many levels and every character is given their own time on screen and their own moment of glory. Everyone coming out of this film is going to have a different favourite Avenger than they did going in. I know Sean’s is Captain America, but that’s only because Scarlett Johansson’s arse doesn’t count. Mine personally was the Hulk, although he wasn’t given a lot of screen time as the Big Green, Mark Ruffalo was the best incarnation of Bruce Banner/Hulk as there ever has been on big or small screen and I really like Edward Norton’s version. The final reveal that he is in fact control of The Hulk and he actually cares for his fellow Avengers was a massive tick in my box. Although I doubt we will see another standalone Hulk film, I am very excited to see a sequel to this where he is in control for all of it, and the banter between him and Stark was priceless. Getting almost all the same cast as the prequels was a must and honourable mentions need to go to Jeremy Renner who was Clint Barton/Hawkeye and Tom Hiddleston as Loki. He was good and menacing in Thor but I know I wasn’t the only one who was worried when I heard he was the sole villain (sort of) for this film, but he pulled it off from the start and genuinely looked like he was going to succeed. Now I can’t talk about this film without mentioning the post credits scene with Thanos, the main big bad in the Avengers world. Now I have to admit that I’m not 100% up on the history of this guy, but needless to say, what Ive read is that he is one mean mother and I am very looking forward to seeing what they do with him, whether they wait until the sequel or introduce him in one of the other movies. From all accounts, the clues were there for his arrival, his Gauntlet in Thor and the stone in Loki’s staff all pointed to the Purple One (that’s what I’m calling him). Finally, this film may not be as dark as things that DC are throwing at us at the moment but as I said, the Box Office proves that a good action family film can still do wonders and leave people wanting more.
Favourite Scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaWtOtrXtXs
Favourite Quote: Tony Stark: “You’re missing the point! There’s no throne, there is no version of this where you come out on top. Maybe your army comes and maybe it’s too much for us but it’s all on you. Because if we can’t protect the Earth, you can be damned well sure we’ll avenge it!”
Random Trivia: The battle cry of the Avengers, “Avengers Assemble” was not spoken throughout the film. However Chris Evans would say it behind the scenes to call out the rest of cast via text message to hang out off the set.
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1. The Dark Knight
Tagline: Welcome to a World without Rules!
Sean: Did anybody else not guess what was going to come in at number one with us. It was the film that we all flocked to see when it hit the cinema. Nolan brought the Batman back with Begins. With the Dark Knight he made sure he stayed in the mainstream. He also brought someone with him too, a certain Heath Ledger. When he was first cast as Batman’s greatest foe the internet nearly shut down. It was crazy, how the hell can the guy from ‘10 Things I Hate about You’ top Jack Nicholson. Ever since Begins ended with the Batman turning over the Joker card the whole world gasped and got so very wee your pants excited to see the Joker once again. Then news broke out about Heath Ledger getting the role as the clown prince of crime. WOW the trolls came out to play I’ll pop up a couple quotes from various websites regarding his casting.
Now these two morons were so wrong. (Why can’t trolls spell as well?) What Ledger brought to the table in Dark Knight blew everyone away. A lot of people may say his Oscar was because of his passing but that is 100% BS. Though the tragedy of his passing occurred he would have got the nod either way. I could go on and on about Ledger but he isn’t the only reason this film is number 1. It is number 1 because it’s a 10 out of 10 film. Someone said imagine Heat with Batman and that is exactly what it is. From start to finish you are hooked into Nolan’s Gotham City and his characters. Batman and the police have cleaned up the streets, there is a new D.A. coming up in Harvey Dent. The only way the mob have a chance is when the Joker seemingly forces there hand to let him join in on the game. “If your good at something never do it for free!” is what the clown prince states but we find out this villain doesn’t want money. The Joker just wants to watch the world burn. So Christopher Nolan builds a story of what one man must do to stop a man like the Joker and he tells this story superbly. Christian Bale yet again proves there is only one man to portray Bruce Wayne/Batman.
Pete: So here we are folks, the Number 1 comic book movie all time as decided by The Comic Asylum. And let’s be honest, could it really have been anything else? I dare anyone to call me out on it, seriously, if you disagree you can find me on Twitter at @Pete_the_Red or call me on 077-EAT-SHIT-ITS-AMAZING. Now with being the number one on the list, and one of the highest grossing movies of all time, brings with it its own hardship to write a review 4 years after the film has come out, every comic book movie since has incorporated something from this film to try and make their own better. Just look at how they are approaching the new Superman reboot, or how The Amazing Spiderman was much darker than any before it. Yes the story of Batman needs to be much darker than others but this film shows that the storyline and the drama behind it can easily lend itself to other films and improve them greatly. So what I’m saying is there is really no need for me to sit here and tell you why it’s so good because I quite simply don’t have to; the box office records (the Random Trivia below speaks for itself), the awards and every review of the film have done that for me. So I will try and come at a different angle that sees that this film is not a simplistic tale of good versus evil. Batman is good, yes and The Joker is evil but Batman poses a more complex puzzle than usual: The citizens of Gotham are in an uproar, calling him a vigilante and blaming him for the deaths of policemen and others, and The Joker is more than your bog standard villain. He’s a man whose actions are more fiendishly designed to pose moral dilemmas for his enemies. Heath Ledgers performance became the first posthumous Oscar winner since Peter Finch and deservedly so. When you learn that he spent 6 weeks locked in a hotel room defining the character traits he needed to bring this menace to the screen, you really understand that this young actor was driven to give the best performance possible. The Jokers make-up (also designed by Ledger) is sloppier than before, his cackle betrays deep wounds and he seeks revenge, but for what is unknown. Throughout this film, The Joker devises ingenious situations that cause Batman, Gordon and Dent to make impossible ethical decisions and by the end the whole moral foundation of the Batman legend is deeply threatened. It is normally customary in a comic book movie to maintain a certain knowing distance from the action, like you know it’s set in a world that doesn’t and couldn’t possibly exist but this film simply side steps this and fully engages us through-out and for the first time in comic book movie history, you think that this could be quite possible, and that thought alone is quite scary. Because of this you find yourself deeply concerned for the tragedy that engulfs Dent and the spectacular special effects are not allowed to upstage the natural human response to such stress and anguish felt by all. Studios are now starting to realise that these stories touch on deep fears, traumas, fantasies and hopes. And with the Batman legend, with its origins in film noir, is the most fruitful one for exploration. With his first two Batman movies, Christopher Nolan has freed the character to be a wider range of human emotion because we all know Bruce Wayne is a troubled human with a tragic past and if he was ever to be in exile from this heroic role of Batman, it would not surprise anyone what he finds himself capable of doing. And that leads us straight to The Dark Knight Rises…………………………..
Favourite Scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QehZjjwb7-I
Favourite Quote: Joker: “Hey! Look at me. So I had a wife. She was beautiful, like you. Who tells me I worry too much. Who tells me I ought to smile more. Who gambles and gets in deep with the sharks. One day, they carve her face. And we have no money for surgeries. She can’t take it. I just want to see her smile again. I just want her to know that I don’t care about the scars. So….I stick a razor in my mouth and do this….to myself. And you know what? She can’t stand the sight of me! She leaves. Now I see the funny side. Now I’m always smiling!”
Random Trivia: Made more money in 6 days of release than ‘Batman Begins’ did in its entire domestic run!
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So there you have it from us our complete top ten films. It really is a shame we started this project before going to see the Dark Knight Rises because without a doubt it would be on this list. I hope you enjoyed reading even if you didn’t agree with everything we said. You can reach us on our new Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ComicAsylum feel free to drop by and give us a like. What we are planning is a podcast, I’m just working out the best way to go about things so hopefully you’ll be able to not just read us chat shit but listen as well. Anyway until next week take care you beautiful bunch.
Posted on August 2nd, 2012
Category: NEWS & VIEWS, THE COMIC ASYLUM
Tags: Batman Begins, Comic Asylum, DC Comics, Film review, marvel studios, Pete Barrington, Sean Favager, Superman, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Vertigo, Watchmen
Welcome back to this weeks Comic Asylum. A few of you may have noticed I have set up an official twitter page for the site. You can find news on any upcoming blogs there (@Comic_Asylum) so feel free to follow us. After the success of last weeks special Comic Con edition it is only fair I bring Pete on board full time. So as a first blog together we wanted to do something that would cause a bit of commotion. What better way to do that than with a simple list of our favourite Comic Book films. I would like to state first and foremost that this top ten is devised between me and Pete alone. Yes we argued and yes we may have sworn at each other just a little, but after an hour long conversation we finally pieced together a list I’m really going to stand by. I understand a lot of people might not agree but thats the joy in these lists, everyone has such diverset opinions. The best thing I must add about composing this list was I got to watch a few films I haven’t watched in a while. So you lovely bunch of people prepare to agree, disagree and straight up throw your laptop or smart phone at the wall in disgust….. Let’s get this shit started!
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10. Batman Returns
Tagline: The Bat, the Cat, the Penguin
Pete: Ok, maybe a bit of a surprise on the list, as its predecessor is probably held in higher regards to this sequel, but whereas the first Burton attempt at Bats was very good, this one, for me, just slightly edges it for a few simple reasons. The first being a very good point that I’m going to steal from Sean, which is that Keaton and Burton have grown more into their respective roles in this film. Keaton is so much better in this as both Wayne and Batman and Burton does a very good job in letting the film work, while still adding in his own style of weirdness. Plus, any film with Christopher Walken in gets my vote. As well as Keaton, Pfeiffer’s Catwoman and De Vito’s Penguin both add the required amount of villainy and mischief that is needed, while never really threatening to get the better of Batman. They both prove worthy adversaries/allies in Burtons Batman world. Burtons Batman films need to be recognised as they were tarnished by the next two films in this series (nipples on the bat suit?? God damn you Schumacher) and they are often forgotten for what they achieved.
Sean:Don’t forget that glow stick fight Robin had in the rather gay hideout! (Batman Forever)
Pete:You obviously don’t remember the 90′s. Glow sticks were all the rage! Anyway can’t be any worse than Clooney and O’Donnell fighting over who had the biggest codpiece on their costume (true story!), any hoo they brought Batman into the worlds view again after the camp comic outing of Adam West being still in the minds of many and it made people realise that Batman is not a cheesy, 60’s Hugh Hefner wannabe, but in fact, a dark, disturbed vigilante, who is not after fame but just wants Gotham to be a safe place and not have anyone suffer the same fate as his parents.
Sean:The funny thing about Batman Returns on this list was when we composed our individual lists neither of us had it in our top ten yet it appears on a joint one. How and why is a mystery but I’m so glad it is because I got to rewatch this gem of a film and it’s still as good as it was the first time I saw it. I was 5 when this film was first released so I didn’t get the chance to see it on the big screen. This didn’t stop me getting it for a Christmas present the next year on vhs and watching it repeatedly. It is obvious watching now you can tell Tim Burton had fun creating this chapter in the Bat-Universe. It’s especially a ballsy move to go from the Batman everyone grew up with being camp and funny to this dark gritty and violent new world (Selena Kyle getting thrown out a window). I’m not going to ramble on to much as Pete has pretty much highlighted why we chose this film for the tenth spot. I recommend you all to dig out the DVD or even get it on blue ray to rewatch, it could be worse. Your nose could be gushing with blood!
Favourite Scene: Catwoman back flipping out of a store, right up to Bats and with a simple ‘Meow’, the store goes boom!
Favourite Quote: The Penguin: “I believe the word you’re looking for is ‘AHHHHH’”
Random Trivia:Dustin Hoffman was the studios first choice to play The Penguin
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Tagline: I can’t read your mind, but I can kick your ass!
Sean: “OK you cunts… Let’s see what you can do now!” I really don’t know what I love the most about Kick Ass. The ultra-violence, the curse words, Chloë Grace Moretz I could really go on and on. When this bad boy arrived it was such a breath of fresh air to the Comic film world. The story like any other superhero tale is similar in parts yet this movie has been injected with a huge dose of heroin and given an electric guitar to rock the fuck out! The acting is flawless as is the mixture of comedy and action. There is nothing I can remotely fault about the film at all. What’s not super funny about Nicolas Cage shooting a child then taking her for ice-cream later? I really wanted this film higher on the list but unfortunately it settles at number 9. Bring on the sequel is all I can say, what about you Pete?
Pete: So here is why I like Kick-Ass. First off, the premise behind the story is really good. We’ve all thought about being a superhero and if your anything like me then you already know what your costume is going to be like, but no-one will ever actually do it because no-one will ever have super powers, and your average billionaire couldn’t be assed to become a superhero, because the reason they’re billionaires is because they are tight and not going to spend their hard earned on fighting crime. So what if, you get stabbed, hit by a car and then have metal plates inserted into your body and pretty much all your nerve endings destroyed so you feel no pain, would you do it then? I’d definitely give it a second thought, and that’s why this movie is good, because the Dave Lizewski is an average teenager who due to circumstances given to him by a couple of muggers, decides to help out and fight some crime, quickly becoming wanted by the biggest Mob boss in town, while still being the geeky kid he was before, complete with a ski suit and some Timberland boots. Outstanding performance is of course that of Hit-Girl, a little girl that kicks big ass, but special mentions go to Red Mist, Big Daddy and Frank D’Amico and the respective actors. The sequel has been titled Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall and will focus on Hit-Girl training Kick-Ass to actually kick some ass, and it promises to be just as good as the first.
Favourite Scene:Hit-Girls first appearance busting up the gang.
Favourite Quote:Red Mist: “As a great man once said….wait ‘til they get a load of me”
Random Trivia:Nicholas Cage based his voice mannerisms as Big Daddy on that of Adam West in Batman: The TV series, because he disliked the gravelly voice used by Christian Bale in Batman Begins.
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8. X-Men First Class
Tagline: Their powers would make them different. But destiny would make them allies.
Sean:Crazy stuff but a Fox powered superhero film lands on the list and rightfully so. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the other X films but First Class was just perfect. I always loved the relationship between Charles & Erik and for it to have its origin on the big screen got me super excited. The thing I think they got spot on here with this film is the casting. There isn’t an actor/actress involved in this project I would replace, especially the stand out performance of Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto. The intensity he brought to the character was astonishing; I’m even going as far as to scream “give this man the cowl after Christian Bale quits”.
Pete: That’s a bold statement right there! Could you really see the actor playing one of Marvels biggest villains, and then going on to play DC’s arguably biggest character? That would be a risk. But one I would pay to see!
Sean: I know he is hooked into playing Magneto but can you imagine what Fassbender could bring to the table as Batman! Anyway we will save that discussion for a future blog, back to the X-Men. James McAvoy also deserves his props bringing the cocky and somewhat arrogant Charles Xavier to the forefront. It was a refreshing change to see this side to the Professor especially his chat up lines at the beginning of the movie. With First Class to me it wasn’t like your average superhero film, it was a story of acceptance. In parts it’s quite sad and you do feel for the main characters because this film lets you see their characters flaws. You have Charles begging to be accepted in a world that isn’t ready and Erik wanting revenge on a world that tried to destroy him. It’s a shame comic book movies are under looked at major awards ceremonies because First Class is a lot better than most drivel Hollywood produce these days. So First Class lands at 8 with one last thing from me, even the surprise cameo was enough to give any geek in the cinema a hard on.
Pete:Ok, so what to say that Sean hasn’t already said. With origins stories, there is always that small thought in the back of my mind that says ‘Why do it when we already know where it’s heading?’ But as Sean said above, this works because it gives us a background to the Magneto/Professor X that many people would never have knew about. Now although obvious (but slightly weird) is his love for all things Fassbender in this movie, it’s safe to say that I don’t disagree with anything Sean has said here. The actors were perfectly cast, they used the right characters, although obviously the timeline doesn’t quite fit and the fact that Mystique grew up with Prof. X is over looked because the only purpose it really serves is so that we see Mystiques ‘origin’ and that the make-up artists got to paint Jennifer Lawrence’s naked body all blue and scaly. By the way, how does someone get that job? Seriously, I would do that job for free. Good news is she is in the sequel, which was debatable due to her commitments to the Hunger Games franchise, so if the movie producers want a more ‘Hands-on’ approach to the make-up team then I am certainly the man to lend that hand! Theres not much more to add apart from it was risky doing an origins story after 3 previous and relatively successful films and then completely act as if they didn’t exist! For me, it 100% paid off and this film deserves its place here above any other X-men film.
Favourite Scene:Erik Lehnsherr and the infamous bar scene in Amsterdam.
Favourite Quote:Erik Lehnsherr: “Let’s just say I’m Frankenstein’s monster. And I’m looking for my creator.”
Random Trivia:To prepare for his role as Charles Xavier, James McAvoy shaved his head… and learnt that the filmmakers wanted Xavier to have a full head of hair in the prequel. Throughout the first month of filming McAvoy had to wear hair extensions.
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7. The Amazing Spider-Man
Tagline: The untold story begins
Pete:The most recently released film on this list sees a reboot of the franchise that was only started 10 years ago and only finishing 5 years ago. Although a different Spiderman story arc is used here, the plot is still very similar to the first 10 years previous. Kid goes to school, gets bullied, likes a girl, gets bit by spider, discovers powers, loses family member, feels guilty , father figure then becomes villain, fights villain, defeats villain, realises anyone close to him will die yet decides to stay being Spiderman. So you might think the movie would be the same too if the plot is, well you’d be wrong because on so many levels is this film miles better than any of the previous three. Garfield as Spiderman is believable as both Parker and Spidey, whereas Tobey Maguire, while good in the role, never convinced. The love interest of Gwen Stacey instead of Mary Jane will delight many fan boys and Emma stone was a great choice (and she is well hotter than Kirsten Dunst, even with the wet see through t-shirt) and as a sole villain Dr Curt Connors/Lizard is done very well and despite many complaints, the Lizard looked very cool. A sequel is already in motion and a 3rd is planned so this franchise is not going away anytime soon and if it carries on in the same vein as this one then I will be a happy chap.
Sean:Like Pete said the most recent release makes an appearance on the Comic Asylums top ten. I won’t go into too much detail on this one as I reviewed the film with my reaction in #003. If you haven’t seen this film yet I think you should get down to the cinema like yesterday and check it out!
Favourite Scene: Stan Lee’s best ever cameo.
Favourite Quote:George Stacy: “Thirty-eight of New York’s finest, versus one guy…in a unitard!”
Random Trivia:When first wearing the Spiderman costume, Andrew Garfield admitted to shedding tears.
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6. Sin City
Tagline: There is no justice without sin.
Sean:When reading a comic book I often think what if these pages come alive. Well Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller did just that with this film. From start to finish you instantly become amazed by the storylines and characters. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve watched this film, it is like a noir Pulp Fiction to me. We can all go on about Nolan’s Bat films but about a week before Begins hit the cinema this artsy masterpiece arrived. Every time I watch this film I always come out with a new favourite character. Instantly we are gripped with Mickey Rourke’s Marv but even Bruce Willis shows you he can still fucking act with the best of them. I have to admit at the moment the Salesman is my favourite, it’s the little we know about him and the dialogue to boot (See below for quote). Talking about the dialogue it’s this what really sucks you in. Having the main characters narrate the little boxes in a comic book is a nice touch and works extremely well. Ultra-Violent, brilliantly acted Sin City isn’t just on my top ten comic book list. It’s on my freaking all-time favourite movie list. If somebody doesn’t agree well “I’ll stare the bastard in the face as he screams to God, and I’ll laugh harder when he whimpers like a baby. And when his eyes go dead, the hell I send him to will seem like heaven after what I’ve done to him.”
Pete:Well I guess that you gonna have to stare at this bastard because I don’t agree! Now don’t mistake my negativity for thinking that I don’t like this film, I do, I really do, but as the opening of this blog states, me and Sean had arguments and this film was one of them. When we did our individual top ten’s before this collaboration, Sin City just scraped No.10 on my list where as it was sitting proud at the very top of Sean’s list and he was unashamed of this fact. Now I can’t argue because being number 6 on this list is certainly closer to my 10, than his 1, but I don’t see it as a classic. That said I can’t take away anything Sean said above. The film oozes with smutz (that’s a word I use when I don’t really know what the word I’m looking for actually is, but I like it) and it comes from everywhere. The way it was shot, the only hint of colour in each scene, the acting is unquestionably good and the fact that Robert Rodriguez not only allowed Frank Miller to be on set but genuinely asked his opinion on what he was doing is a masterpiece, as it would have been so easy for Hollywood just to take the source material and really fuck it up but it truly feels like you’re watching the panels of a comic play out on screen and keeps you hooked aswell. That is not easy to do.
Favourite Scene:When Hartigan saves Nancy from Yellow Bastard. “I take away his weapon, both of them!”
Favourite Quote:The Salesman: “The silencer makes a whisper of the gunshot. I hold her close until she’s gone. I’ll never know what she was running from. I’ll cash her check in the morning.”
Random Trivia:Because of the way the movie was shot, Mickey Rourke (Marv) and Elijah Wood (Kevin) never met until after the film was released.
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So there you have it, the Comic Aslyums rundown of our favourite comic book films #10 – #6. Next week we will continue on with #5 – #1. I understand not everyone is going to agree with what we have put together so feel free to come to our twitter page and add your opinion. So until next week be good be careful, I hear a certain Bat is in the cinema this week to keep everyone occupied. Me and Pete are now off to go beat some Rotten Tomato critics up see you next week folks!
Posted on July 20th, 2012
Category: NEWS & VIEWS, THE COMIC ASYLUM
Tags: amazing spider-man, Batman Returns, Comic Asylum, Comic Reviews, comics, Dark Horse, DC Comics, Film Reviews, Kick-Ass, marvel, Movie Reviews, Pete Barrington, Sean Favager, Sin City, X-Men First Class
Welcome back to your new favourite blog on the interweb. Yeah it’s the one, the only…. The Comic Asylum (Really need theme music here..!). This week I have a special limited edition version of the Asylum which involves me doing as little writing as possible (Cash Back!). My good friend who I may have mentioned a little over in the first few blogs @Pete_the_Red went to the London Comic Con last weekend. So instead of me rambling on about nonsense I’m handing the Comic Asylum and this special #004 over to him. Before I do I have been doing some brain storming over future ideas of blogs to come and I think you’re in for a good read in the coming weeks. I would also like to note that Pete will be joining me to co-host the Asylum for good (or till we have a drunken falling out) starting next week. We will become the Ant & Dec of blogging, if you’re American that means we will try to be funny but fail and come across as slightly homosexual. So without further ado you lovely bunch of people enjoy the read and I’ll see you next week!
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London Film and Comic Convention July 6th – July 8th at Kensington Olympia
OK I realise that titles a little long so let’s just say COMIC-CON BABY!! WOO-HOO. So when @SeanFav1 asked if I wanted to co-host the Asylum with him this week, I had loads of ideas but nothing solid enough to fill a whole blog. He mentioned writing about the upcoming Con I was going to and I agreed, but what part of the Con to write about, do I write about the costumes, the stalls, the celebs (of which there were many), all of which are very valid points to write about. So off I went to the Con seeing what caught my eye to write about. Then I arrived and I realised the sheer scale of the work that must go into one of these things was astounding so I just decided to write about the whole experience, from start to end, and obviously talking about the individual points mentioned above. So here are my thoughts on the first (and definitely not last) Comic-con experience.
So as you may have guessed, this Saturday I went to comic-con in Kensington in London. Now I come from the Wirral (just next to Liverpool, by the way), unfortunately meaning getting up at 05:30am and travelling for almost four and a half hours. Finally arrived at the scene of the Con only to be told that the ticket I had pre purchased did not allow us entry until 11am “Bastard!”. Now the mathematicians amongst you will realise that left me with a little over an hour to kill in a city that I hadn’t stepped foot in since I was 12 (I’m now 27), so there I was, in the middle of London, just me and my con buddy @SeanFieldstead, knackered and wondering what time the boozers open in London. We were contemplating waiting outside until 11am and taking in all the glory of the ‘Cosplay’ action going on (more on that later) but as is inevitable in these situations, it started raining, so we went and found a Costa and settled for a brew.
Soon as the rain stopped, we headed for the entry, ticket in hand ready to enjoy the splendour. As we turned the corner to where we previously stood, there was now a queue of about 300 people that had appeared from nowhere and were now all ahead of us in line. Now I consider myself to be quite an atypical English bloke so you would think that I’m used to having to queue for things, be it at the bank, at the supermarket, the local brothel, you get the idea! But this queue was slightly unbearable, weirdly the sun had come out and it had quickly become ridiculously warm and they had us crammed in. The only saving grace was the many costumes on sight; I saw Mega City Judges, female versions of Thor and Loki (HOT!). Many Bats, many Spidey’s and others far too random for me to know who they were supposed to be.
So we finally got in, walked straight in and there was a life size replica of the Bat mobile from Keaton’s/Burtons Batman right in the doorway, looked up and only then we saw the scale of the thing, I’m talking at least 3 football fields long and the same size wide as well, just full of stalls and memorabilia. Without sounding too mushy, it really was breath-taking. We decided to start around the outside and then work through the middle aisles. I could have spent 100’s just in that first aisle, the things on sale were just awesome, everything a comic and sci-fi geek could want, and ranging from original Star Wars collectables to Japanese Anime collections, there was even a stall for wrestling fans. Now what that has to do with comics and sci-fi, I don’t know but all I knew was it felt unreal, and this was only the first aisle!
Now don’t worry, I’m not going to go into detail about every aisle there was and everything that was on sale coz then this would go on for ages and @SeanFav1 might not ask me to co-host again. But just an example was an entire stall dedicated to swords and weapons, selling replicas of actual weapons used in movies and comics. There was a stall where you could take a picture of yourself and then your head could actually be put on the body of any superhero action figure. Great idea, but not worth £80! Especially when you think about it, how many superheroes only show their face without a mask or cowl, not many really. This same stall did sell actual replicas of the Rorschach journal though, which was very cool. The amount of stalls was something to behold too. The crazy thing is, no two stalls were exactly the same, and there was always something on a stall that you hadn’t seen in the previous 104 stalls. It was crazy good. I literally could have written this whole thing on the amount of random and amazing things on all the stalls. Maybe I’ll save that for another time.
Now costumes are a massive part of any Con. It’s a great excuse to show other people how creative you can be and also just be amongst other people who share your interests and rather than look down on you just coz you enjoy dressing up as a Borg or Jedi, but actually applaud the effort and queue to get a pic. Now I didn’t get involved in the ‘Cosplay’ (as I believe it’s called). I went with a Captain America armour t-shirt I got for Father’s Day, simple but effective. But some of the people there really went for it, and I mean massively. Now I’ve added a few pics as well so you can see just what I mean. The ones that I couldn’t take though just add to the story and spectacle of it all. As I said earlier, there were many Batmen, ranging from the Arkham Asylum Batman, The Dark Knight Batman and we even got a Batman/Catwoman double act from Batman Returns. The weirdest I saw had to be a grown woman dressed as a cat being led around on a leash by her owner. The best was clearly, from a male point of view, a lady dressed as the Silk Spectre II from Watchmen. The outfit was perfect and I will regret to my dying day not having the balls to ask her for a pic. [[Note from Sean: I will personally make sure he regrets this every-single day of his life…!]]
Apart from the stalls and the costumes, probably the most important part of any Con is the celebs (and I use the word loosely) that appears to do autograph sessions and give a talk too. Now in the build-up to going, I was constantly checking who was going to be there, constantly telling work colleagues and friends who I was going to see and get a picture with and successfully making them all jealous that I was going and they weren’t. This plan was still in effect until we got to the section of this massive hall where all the celebs were, now I had only read about approx. 10-15 different people that should be there, the ones that I was most excited about included Hayden Panettiere from Heroes (and a cheerleader dress) fame, Alex Winter (otherwise known as Bill S. Preston Esquire) from Bill and Ted and the queen of Sci-Fi herself, Gillian Anderson, famous of course for her amazing performance in Johnny English Reborn and playing the lovable Jenny in that one episode of Frasier back in 1999 (who can forget that right!). Of course I jest, I heard Scully was going to be there and was quite excited to see her and get a pic. I was of course expecting a charge for this, as nothing in this life is for free, but when I heard that she was charging £35 just for an autograph and another £10 for a pic and then yet another £35 for when she was speaking, I decided to swerve that money-grabber and get sly sneaky pics of the lesser celebs that were not hiding in a cornered off booth with security. The pics I got were of Virgil from WWF, complete with the Money Inc. belt. Mickie James, former WWE diva, now TNA knockout and former John Cena ‘special’ friend. The best ones were Michael Winslow from Police academy (yes the one that done all the noises) and Martin Kove, who played the evil sensei in the original Karate Kid (he was still rocking his Cobra-Kai t-shirt!)
Of course there were others, to name a few, there was David Prowse and Kenny Baker (The guys inside Darth Vader and R2-D2 respectively) Thomas Dekker (John Connor in the ‘not as bad as everyone thought’ Sarah Connor Chronicles) and the ones whose names escape me, the lad from Gremlins, that bald Skinner bloke from X-files, Todd from Scrubs and many, many more.
Now I know @SeanFav1 got some cheap heel heat from @InterComics for dropping some names in his previous blog, but I was in the presence of these people so I feel its justified. There were so many things about this day that in any other given situation I would have hated. Like the money-grabbing celebs, the travel, Being on my feet all day. £7.90 for two pints, the rain and the heat inside the place. I could go on but the fact of the matter is that the day was just amazing, from start to finish. I felt like I was in heaven for a while when I found the comic aisle, I’m talking at least 100,000 comics in one aisle!
The last thought I have is that I would recommend anyone to go to a Con, even if you have only a slight interest in Sci-Fi or comics, then you should go, there a things there that ake you feel like a little kid again, and in my opinion, that can’t be a bad thing. And if anyone who’s reading this, is contemplating going to this one next year then no doubt @SeanFav1, @SeanFieldstead and I will see you there, although this time I will be driving, so if anyone wants a lift then let me know!
Finally, big thanks to @SeanFav1 (hope this is the first collaboration of many) and also to @InterComics (maybe one day you will let this Peacock fly solo ha-ha) for letting me air my views (EDITORS NOTE: Pete will now be doing a regular while Sean will clear his desk out and resume his original job of busking for a cup of tea!)
Stay Classy Planet Earth!
Hope you enjoyed my first effort in the world of blogging. If you want to praise or criticise then I will accept both with open arms, you can find me on Twitter @Pete_the_Red
By Sean Favager
Hello and welcome back to the (at the moment in time weekly) Comic Asylum brought to you by the good folks at Inter-Comics and myself. It has been quite an eventful week since #002, yeah I ended up getting a free taxi home from the police Saturday night for being very drunk. Luckily for me I’m a nice drunk, waking up in the cells wouldn’t have been ideal but hey you learn from your mistakes. Mine is don’t go out drinking on an empty stomach, and don’t go out with your cash card, its always going to end with you being skint the next morning but I’m sure I’ll break them two rules again in the near future. On the plus side I found out my local cinema will be having a Dark Knight Trilogy day 29th of July so it would be highly rude if I didn’t show up. Its Batman season I have a right to turn into a nerd! Plus it’s like they are challenging me to do it so because I’m an idiot I’m going to treat it like a runner would treat a marathon.
What also caught my eye this week was a twit pic circulating the internet. I’m sure you have all seen it! We are about to get the return of everyone’s favourite clown prince of crime in Synder and Capullo’s Batman #13. Now I’m a Detective Comics boy but you can bet your life I’ll be jumping on that series after missing out on the Court of Owls. Now in-between the being a silly drunk and playing with myself over Batman I have been annoying the shit out of work colleagues with a new favourite quote. “Ma-Ma’s not the Law! I’m the Law!” Yeah I caught the Dredd trailer, not sure what to think just yet but if you haven’t seen it check it out and let’s hear what you think? Now I think I’ve cleared up my week in brief so let’s jump straight into #003 and what I thought of the Web-Heads latest assault on the box office in Marc Webb’s the Amazing Spider-Man.
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My first thoughts going in to see Spider-Man was Jesus this pint is expensive! I’m just joking (EDITORS NOTE: he’s not joking, i actually saw his tweet and to quote him “£3.75 for a pint in the flicks robbing bastards!”) I’m detoxing, but seriously my first thought going in was do we really need a reboot this close to the last trilogy? We definitely needed something after the shite-fest that was Spider-Man 3 (just mentioning that film upsets me). There was rumours in 2010 that Toby was coming back for a fourth with the Vulture as the villain but that just evaporated and Mr Webb was employed to reboot the franchise. Although I hate 3, the first two films are brilliant from start to finish the second being my favourite. So when the reboot was announced I was really “meh Fox beating a dead donkey again”. But then they started casting and my interest picked up. I’m a huge fan of Emma Stone (not just for obvious reasons) and I was really impressed with Garfield in the Social Network. Then little snippets of the plot come out online and the trailers and viral videos and my interest increased dramatically. I understand the beef fan boys have with the Lizard that we have seen in the short footage but I don’t think Connors looks bad. It’s tough to please everyone, they tried with Spidey 3 and well we all know how that turned out. So here is what I thought of the 2012 film; The Amazing Spider-Man.
First we are introduced to a more confident Peter Parker then we saw in his last outings on the big screen. Yeah he is still a geek but you have the feeling you can connect a lot more to Andrew’s, Peter Parker then you ever could to Toby’s. I connected with this character so much I found myself really rooting for Spider-Man and I have never done that in a film before. To anyone else you know the good guy always wins and gets the girl but for a second you actually doubt Peter Parker in this film. Garfield actually shows you Parker’s flaws as the 17 year old science nerd whose parents and uncle died and he has these abilities thrown at him. He actually makes you want to revisit Spider-Man 1 and slap Toby Maguire for being such a cry baby bitch. In this film it digs a bit deeper into Parker’s parents albeit not a lot, and this is where we are introduced to Dr Curt Connors. Rhys Ifans pretty much steals the show as the mad doctor trying to cure human weakness. Let me clear something up for those who have bitched and cried about how the Lizard looks like a Goomba, go drink a can of red bull and jump off a bridge. The Lizard looked awesome! He was a well-cast villain against the teenage superhero still getting to grips with life and the paths he must choose.
In a film like this the hero needs a love interest (step up Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacey). I’m not a huge fan of the romance story lines but this one was brilliant. It helped that she has the looks and she CAN actually act. Another stand out in this film was Captain Stacey the man making it his mission to capture our favourite Web-Head. You probably have guessed I haven’t found a flaw in this movie nor will I go looking for one. The feeling I got leaving the cinema was that which matched my feeling after walking out after the Dark Knight. Simply speechless at what I just saw. What I and @Pete_the_Red did discuss after a 5 minute silence was if ever 3D was invented for our eyes to feast upon it was for one man and one man only, Peter Parker. I was never a fan of 3D becoming mainstream but I don’t see any other way this film can be viewed. To literally hang on to the edge of your seat as Spider-Man swings through New York is such an amazing feeling. Plus this might be Stan Lee’s best cameo and will never be beaten.
So I’m giving this film a full 5 out of 5 and all I can say is by God Nolan you have some topping to do. I want to finish this by leaving you with a quote from @Pete_the_Red that had me laughing all the way home. Until next week folks be good and go F+*@#!? see The Amazing Spider-Man.
@Pete_the_Red “At least Toby Maguire has Sea Biscuit to be proud off!”
You can follow Sean on twitter at @seanfav1
Posted on July 5th, 2012
Category: REVIEWS, THE COMIC ASYLUM
Tags: amazing spider-man, Andrew Garfield, Comic Asylum, Emma Stone, Lizard, Marc Webb, marvel comics, Movie review, Rhys Ifans, Sean Favager, Stan Lee
By Sean Favager
Welcome back to Inter-Comics Comic Asylum. Once again I would like to thank all those who took the time to read and contact me on twitter. Your comments and reviews make my day. I even somehow made ReadComicBooks Daily so I can now die a happy man ha. I wasn’t planning to do #002 this week but since I’m stuck in a hotel room drinking the cheapest vodka and red bull (Black energy drink, tastes like rotten shit) and I’m in London the capital of this fine country I thought why not. So this week the Comic Asylum is coming at you from Laaaandon Town. Before I start I went out to the local Asda to get the cheapest vodka and energy drink wearing my Liverpool top, doing so might have not been my brightest idea. Ooooo I stuck out like a Jedi at a Star Trek convention! Anyway enough about me pissing off the locals let’s get started with #002 of the Comic Asylum.
“A Conversation Between Friends!”
What you will notice throughout my blogs is alcohol is my main inspiration whilst writing (I’m Inter-Comics Tony Stark, ha Ari gave me that I’ll run with it). It gets my creative juices flowing but this issue was a question I asked my good friend @Pete_the_Red. “Is this era of comic book / superheroes being cool here to stay or is this just a fad?” Just a simple conversation starter between two friends and then I got his reply; “I think it’s a fad. Not for fanboys like us but everyone else. They did Batman and Superman in the 80s only to ruin it and it will be the same this time around”. Now this really got me thinking. Now you leave the house and within five minutes I bet you a comic book (I’m 100% serious with this bet) you WILL see someone wearing a superhero t-shirt. Be it the Bat or Supes, hell I’ve even seen a girl rocking a Flash t-shirt before. Now I bet 75% of these people have never picked up a comic book or really understand the characters background but its cool to wear a comic tee at this present time. I’m not complaining at all, the more love for these characters I read and watch the better. Now I was originally going to write about the comic book being a fad to non-comic fans but what got me really thinking was the last part to Pete’s answer “They ruined Batman and Superman before, they will do it again!”. Warner Brothers have not shied away from saying they are going to reboot the Bat after Nolan completes what is hopefully his masterpiece. They have also after witnessing Marvel’s Avengers do so well come forward and said they want to really go for a Justice League film. So is this where we come full circle. Can and do we want to see another vision of someone’s Batman on the big screen so close to what Nolan has done for the Bat verse?
To that question I personally would like to wait a good few years before I see Bruce Wayne don the cowl on the big screen. At least till the hype behind Nolan’s trilogy dies down. I wouldn’t argue with a Nolan and Bale fourth by any means but if Warner are to hand the mantle to someone else I can and would rather wait (unless Snyder had a script handy I would take back this blog). I’m going to go outlandish here and admit I enjoyed the Green Lantern film. Could it have been better yeah but if you were to watch it for what it is, it is not such a bad film. Plus I’m in the boat that says we are yet to see a good Superman film. I loved Smallville but the big blue boy scout hasn’t impressed me on the big screen. Can a flash work? Plus Wonder Woman tried and didn’t get past a pilot episode. So are Justice League fans ready for the biggest disappointment since Fox thought sowing Deadpool’s mouth closed seemed like a good idea? Has Marvel just struck gold by accident?
@Pete_the_Red has finally got me stumped. I have no response to his answer at all but more questions. I would love just like you all for every comic film to strike gold but I understand they all can’t. Most of the time it is our fault because we expect soooooo much not realising the film studios are just out to make a quick million. But sometimes a director comes along (hey Whedon, what up Nolan) with passion and transforms the pages of our favourite books into an art form on the silver screen. I’ve learnt it’s give and take being a comic fan but still it’s hard not to get excited when a project you have read and spent money every month collecting gets announced to be a feature film. Maybe this genre has peaked at the right time or maybe we are in for another 10+ years of groundbreaking comic book films. Either way I will still get excited and spend hours talking about or surfing the net for any information I can find. So I cannot really argue with Pete’s statement yet really think to myself and maybe just expect the expected I guess. This kind of superhero movement we have going with the big screen will one day die down. But until that day if it does come I will happily sit up with a glass of vodka and enjoy the quality they are putting out now. Maybe in twenty years down the line I’ll be saying to my children “there’s only one Batman and that’s Christian Bale!”.
That’s it for #002 of the Comic Asylum, sorry if it feels abit rushed. I was trying to save #002 as a Spider-Man review but it’s crazy how a simple conversation can get me thinking. So for now i’m getting back to my drink and hitting the floor in a few hours. Take care you beautiful bunch of geeks and geekets!
You can follow Sean on twitter at @seanfav1
Posted on June 29th, 2012
Category: NEWS & VIEWS, THE COMIC ASYLUM
Tags: avengers, Batman, Comic Review, DC Comics, Flash, Green lantern, Justice League, marvel comics, Review, Sean Favager, Superman, Wonder Woman