“Holy celluloid, Batman! There’s so much pressure on these upcoming comic book-to-movie-adaptations! If they fail, could it spell the end of comic movies?” The short answer? No, you’re stupid.
Sure, there are a ton of comic movies coming out in the next two years: in 2011, X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern, Thor, Priest, Captain America: The First Avenger, Cowboys and Aliens, and then, hopefully, The Adventures of Tintin and Dredd by the end of the year. In 2012 we’ll see Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises, Superman, and possibly, The Wolverine, The Flash, and Runaways. It all adds up to a big couple of years for nerds. The pressure IS ON!!!! Oh wait, no it isn’t.
(I apologize if this review becomes more and more angry or aggressive; my mouse keeps freezing on me. I unplug it and then plug it back in and it works again. For another ten minutes. Rinse. Repeat)
Another quality direct-to-DVD animated film from DC, All-Star Superman, is based on the twelve issue comic series of the same name by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Designed to be a self-contained Superman story, the comic follows a dying Superman and neither affects nor is restricted by the DC universe continuity. In this sense the story and characters are comfortingly familiar, yet with exciting new stakes. The recently deceased Dwayne McDuffie wrote the film script based on the comic. It was directed by Sam Liu and boasts an excellent voice cast including James Denton as Superman, Anthony LaPaglia as The Double L, and the incredibly cool Christina Hendricks as . . . uh... The Other Double L, Lois Lane. [Editor’s note: Sam is fired from the company and should be fired from life as well.] It has a few problems, most notably the fact the the film feels less like a coherent story and more like a compiled group of distinct episodes chronicling Superman’s last days. To say nothing of the comic (I haven’t yet read it), the film version of All-Star Superman is a solid offering with thrilling new adventures and twists with an old familiar cast of characters.
Thor has finally come down to earth! Well, Australia, to be precise. The world premiere of this highly anticipated new effort from Marvel Studios happened over the weekend in Sydney, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. BUT, we Yanks still have to wait nearly three more weeks before the the U.S. release on May 6th, and, since we’ve got all this time to kill, I thought it might be nice to learn a little bit about the characters we’ll be seeing in this epic tale of gods and men!
First, there was nothing. Except a fire demon and a magic WELL OF LIFE! Then, the north wind froze the WELL OF LIFE! Then, from layers of ice, rose the evil frost demon, Ymir! Then, also from the layers of ice, rose a magic cow (don’t ask)! After the magic cow, which totally provided nourishment for Ymir, there rose from the ice Buri, the first of the good gods, also called Aesir! Sometime after that, a woman must have arose, or several, because Buri “took him a wife” and had a son, Borr! Borr then must also have found some other women, hopefully not related to his mother, because he also married and had three children, two of which don’t seem to really matter at all, but one . . . one was ODIN!!!