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Monday, January 31, 2011

DC May Have Crossed the Line!

For my money (literally), DC is coming awfully close to crossing the line they so wonderfully drew earlier this month when they fulfilled their promise to carry a $2.99 cover price for their monthly titles. This was great news.

However, I don’t know if this is a coincidence or just a sneaky business tactic, but I have purchased three books in the past two weeks that continue into other titles that I don’t normally purchase. Power Girl #20 continued in Justice League: Generation Lost #18 this week, Teen Titans #91 continues next month in Red Robin 20, and Shazam! continues in Titans #32. Shazam! was even billed as a one-shot (below)!

What’s the deal?

Hey guys, I buy a lot of your books. There’s no reason to force your readers into purchasing additional books. You could argue “Well you don’t have to buy the other book.” I suggest you pick up the last eight issues of Power Girl and tell me I don’t have to read the crossover in Generation Lost.

I love crossovers with other books, but I also like to be told beforehand that it’s going to happen. I suppose this would not be such a big deal, but I’m not overjoyed about the number of times this has happened in a relatively short period.

I prefer when my favorite characters make a guest appearance in a book I’m not reading. Then I can either decide to pick it up or wait. But when DC decides to continue a story that has been going on for months on another title, I really don’t think the publisher is playing fair.

All right DC, you drew the line. Don’t make me drawn one too.

Cape Town Capsule Reviews, 1/26/11 Releases

Age of X: Alpha
Marvel Comics

The Age of X: Alpha takes our favorite mutants to a reality where the world “fears and hates” them. Times infinity.

This issue is an anthology, written by Mike Carey, that introduces readers to the characters and the world they inhabit. What a world. The book serves as a prologue to the action. We get something of a who’s who of the characters with the most time given to Cyclops, Cannonball, Dr. Rao, Wolverine and Magneto. The X-Men—looking a little different and acting a little different as they sit around the fire and share personal stories—each drawn by a different artist.

The best sequence features Cyclops—known as Basilisk in this story—who is held in a Mutant prison run by Arcade. His eyelids have been cut off and he is forced to murder mutants with an awful mask that opens at Arcade’s control. This is a far cry from Utopia folks. It will be interesting to see how Scott’s persona plays out over the course of the series. The worst story, mainly because of its protagonist’s distracting behavior, features Cannonball and his sister Husk.

The art in the main story was gorgeous by Mirco Pierfederici. I don’t buy variant covers unless that is all that is available but the Olivier Coipel cover is beautiful.

DOOMSDAY SMASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This afternoon DC Comics via its blog shared this image.

Sometimes no matter who are you...its not always a good idea to be wearing a \S/ on your chest.

Here is what DC had to say,

We’re just a few weeks away from the second chapter in the “Reign of Doomsday” saga, and the big question is: who will be left standing in Doomsday’s wake?
Here’s a sneak peek at what’s to come…

Reign of Doomsday continues in Outsiders #37 on sale March 9th.

PS: I love The Eradicator, one of my guilty 90s pleasure....I think its the visors.


CBR (via Marvel) has released Ed McGuinness's variant cover to the up coming 'Death of Spider-Man'.

What do you think Commuters??? Is your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man going to bite the big one?

Captain America

Happy Monday Cape Town Commuters.

Empire Magazine has released its cover image of Captain America for its March issue.

July can't come fast enough.

Steve Rogers: Super Soldier...sorry, I mean Captain America: The First Avenger is scheduled for a 7/22/2011 release. It can be seen in both 3D and 2D. 

Cape Town Community Podcast - Ep. 002 - "H.E.R.B.I.E. Lives!"

All right folks! After some head scratching and technical difficulties, I'm ready to post our second podcast -- which Jerry and I are quite proud of!

The show is embedded below and is now available on iTunes for subscription and we are still awaiting confirmation for Zune. Each episode will labeled "podcast" so you can link to previous episodes here on the blog. Refer to the Show Notes after the jump as well as a direct link to download the MP3.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The WB Has It's New Man Of Steel

Hey there Cape Town Commuters...

We have a new Superman and his name is Henry Cavill.

The big announcement can be read here at SHH.

The British Thespian beat out fellow actors Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), Matthew Goode (Leap Year, Watchmen) and Matthew Bomer (White Collar) for the title role. 

No other casting news has been announced as of yet but continue to check in as we are sure to follow this \s/uper news.  

This Superman film is scheduled for a winter of 2012 release and will be directed by Zack Synder. The film was writen by David S.Goyer and produced by Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Deborah Snyder.

Friday, January 28, 2011

DC Teases 'Flashpoint' with the Names of 14 Crossovers

Talk about your ambitious stories.

DC revealed today 14 (of the 15) mini-series—a total of 50 comic books—that will flesh out the brave new world of Flashpoint. While this seems like a lot of books, I would caution readers to pick and choose based off of their favorite characters and creative teams, although the creative teams haven’t been announced (except George Perez’s admission to be working on Secret Seven).

Flashpoint is a story in which the time stream is seriously upset and the whole of the DCU is affected in big ways—hence 15 different titles to establish alternate universes for Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and many others. It looks like DC has every corner of their universe covered. Think Age of Apocalypse or House of M on a much grander scale.

I like the nostalgic touch of “Whatever Happened to…” as a means of grouping these minis into different categories (below). This is a nod to the classic Alan Moore/Curt Swan pre-Crisis Superman finale “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow.” Since Perez is involved, it’s going to be interesting to see what other talent has been hired to bring this sprawling epic together.

DC also announced that they have one more top-secret title to add to the list of Flashpoint titles as well as some one-shots that will appear over the course of the book’s five month run. I’d like to add that five months is a nice number when it appears to be a story that is affecting the whole of the DCU.

Now let’s get some names of the creators attached to these titles!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Leaked 'Thor' Script Reviewed (Briefly)

Why on Midgard would someone leak the script to Thor?

Paramount and Marvel were on the case after Comic Book Movie published a review of a Thor script that sounded pretty legitimate. According to The Wrap, Paramount asked the website to take down the script review about an hour after it was posted. This was followed up by a call from Marvel.

How would you like to get those two calls?

Spoiler Alert!

Marvel Comics Rumored to Drop Prices to $2.99

Please be true. Please be true.

Who would have thought we’d be using the phrase “During these difficult economic times” for three years straight?

But during these difficult economic times, the word on the web is that Marvel may be following DC’s lead and bringing their comic book prices down a buck to $2.99 (the price of almost all of their good titles is $3.99).

Bleeding Cool is reporting through a number of sources that Marvel will begin selling their books at the lower price-point and also reduce the number of pages from 22 to 20—also in the same manner as the distinguished competition. According to the article some of the books may contain as many as 24 pages.

Thank you Marvel—in advance—for the rumored savings!

Marvel Teases 'Fantastic Four' #588

Marvel Comics released a teaser for the final issue of its long-running title The Fantastic Four. Jonathan Hickman wrote a powerful issue which featured a hero’s death that arguably met the expectations of fans of the medium.

Hero saves friend. Hero saves world. Hero makes the ultimate sacrifice. Powerful stuff.

Hickman has proven that he knows how to write a touching scene and I imagine he will do so again when Spider-Man shares a comforting moment with Franklin Richards to discuss the loss of an uncle. That said, I found it odd that artist Nick Dragotta has drawn Spidey in a very menacing pose, looking as though he is about to pounce on young Franklin.

The Fantastic Four #588 is scheduled for release on February 23.

ComiXology Announces Digital Storefront Affiliate Program for Retailers

While the different comics publishers work out the best way to present their books digitally to readers, comiXology is fast becoming the iTunes of comic books in terms of providing a consistency in how Marvel, DC, Image and all the rest get their digital goods to the masses.

Today the digital comic provider announced the development of a new program for retailers to sell digital comic books on their websites using technology provided by comiXology. This allows retailers to gain a piece of the action from the sales of digital comics on their own sites.

ComiXology has already developed some pretty nifty technology for retailers outside of the growing digital revolution.  For example they have a fantastic online pull list application for retailers to add to their websites, which is really impressive in comparison to what your average comic book shop is able to produce on a weekly basis.

While all of this seems truly generous, we may be heading toward the inevitable end of many of the brick and mortars that have sustained the industry for more than three decades. As digital readers grow more significantly, people’s acceptance of reading their comics on a tablet will evolve to a point where reading a paper comic book will be as passé as shopping in a record store.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Cape Town Community Podcast is Available on iTunes!

Well, it’s been a few days since Jerry and I got our first podcast recorded and I must say it has been difficult to talk about anything else. We are aware that we have some things to work on, but we are certain we are off to a good start.

Exciting news came in today when I got an email this evening informing me that the show was now available on iTunes for download and/or subscription. This has all been enormously satisfying for the two of us who just were looking to record a podcast where two guys talk about something they love to do: read comic books.

This link is our iTunes page which directs you to the iTunes store where you can subscribe to the show! Thanks again for everyone who has listened and offered kind words!

San Diego Comic-Con Tickets Go on Sale Feb. 5th

And you thought it would never happen.

San Diego Comic-Con ticket sales have finally been announced. On February 5th ticket registration begins after two failed attempts to conduct online sales late last year crashed the servers. In December, a test was conducted to determine if the problem could be identified and it looks like it finally has. Within seconds 1,000 tickets were sold to thankful fans who were eager to finally cement their plans for the weekend of July 21.

Comic-Con 2011 attendee registration will open at 9am PT on Saturday, February 5.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bane Appears in this Week's 'Young Justice'

Why wait until The Dark Knight Rises to get your Bane fix. The Batman back-breaker is going to make his venomous first appearance in this week's Young Justice. Check out three clips from this week's stealthy episode.

Young Justice airs on Fridays on the Cartoon Network at 7 p.m./ 6 p.m Central.

Cape Town Capsule Reviews, 1/19/11 Releases

Well, our first podcast took up a lot of my time over the past week, but I expect to have more time for writing my regular weekly reviews. That said, we’re going to handle last week’s reviews in spitball fashion.

Here we go.

Supergirl #60
DC Comics
Nick Spencer and James Peaty have written a solid opener to this new arc, and kept from besmirching the work of former series writer Sterling Gates. Add to this, the gorgeous art of Bernard Chang who seems instantly at home on the book. Spencer and Peaty have created a truly vile new villain who might just be the “other son” of the Man of Steel’s bald nemesis. This was the best thing I read all week.

Morning Glories #6
Image Comics
Unfortunately, this is the weakest entry yet of the series. We jumped ahead about 20 years and found that life at Morning Glories Academy was just as confusing as ever. This was hopefully just a brief misstep in what has been an otherwise strong run by series writer Nick Spencer.

Iron Man #500
Marvel Comics
Matt Fraction tells an engrossing one-shot future-story in which Mandarin seems to be on the brink of world-domination as Tony Stark’s children attempt to stop the villain’s doomsday weapon. This is a great story in which Fraction establishes the resilience of Tony Stark’s character in the face of utter defeat. We also revisit Tony and Peter Parker’s relationship as it has been on rocky ground since Civil War.

Superman/Batman #80
DC Comics
This is one throwbacky story. You’ve got Bronze age Robin in his old speedos and wisecracking as he fights, Lois Lane with a thin striped tie, Batman smiling more than once, and a time travel story straight out of DC Comics Presents. The dialogue and story are all tongue and cheek and seems to be in writer Chris Roberson’s comfort zone.

Memoir #1 (of 6)
Image Comics
Memoir reminded me of 27 in that it didn’t really feel like the book that was solicited. The book’s dialogue was somewhat stiff and might have benefited from another draft or two. The plot was intriguing from afar, but in the end it did not grab me. John Cassaday has illustrated a mesmerizing cover.

Amazing Spider-Man #652
Marvel Comics
Dan Slott is really seeming a lot more comfortable with the world he’s established in this issue, the first part of his second arc on the title. Alistair Smythe, the Spider Slayer, is out for revenge on J. Jonah Jameson and plans to take out everyone he loves with the help of his insect army and Mac Gargan, the original Scorpion. This is a really strong story by Slott, but the surprise hear is the gorgeous art by Stefano Casselli. The last few pages with Spider-Man scaling the side of a rocket to save John Jameson are quite stunning.

Does the Death in 'Fantastic Four' #587 Matter?

As comic book fans, we’ve become so embittered by the conventions of the medium that we sometimes lose sight of the story. I’m referring to the death of a character in comic books.

It doesn’t matter does it? The Flash came back. Green Lantern too. Superman, Captain America, and Batman were all killed and brought back before too long. We’ve also seen the return of characters whose deaths were so important that they seemed to define those closest too them: “Bucky” Barnes and Jason Todd.

So death doesn’t really matter does it?

Monday, January 24, 2011

NBC Buys Kelley's Wonder Woman Pilot

It was announced this weekend that NBC has picked up the pilot for David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman script.  

Deadline broke the story—and my heart—when they described Wonder Woman as “a vigilante crime fighter in L.A. but also a successful corporate executive and a modern woman trying to balance all of the elements of her extraordinary life.”

The only words from that description that match my own are probably “woman” and “extraordinary.” And maybe “the.” As much as I say it is unfair to judge something before we’ve seen it, things like this are the exception. I call it the “Jack Black Rule of Comic Book Adaptations” (made famous by the shocking choice by Warner Bros. to briefly cast Black as Hal Jordan in a Green Lantern movie).

I think screenwriters sometimes use the word vigilante as a synonym for gritty. The short description sounds like it has nothing to do with the character Wonder Woman that I know. I am the last person to expect a literal translation from comics to film, but I do expect the essence of the character to be there.

I believe bringing Wonder Woman to film or television would be no easy task for even the most talented of writers, but these guys shouldn’t do so at the expense of the character. If you’re going to rejigger that with which we are familiar to a point that it becomes pretty unrecognizable, then create a wholly original character like the Cape or the cheerleader from Heroes.

I really hope I’m wrong and that Kelley has developed something special for the Amazonian Princess. For now I’ll keep my arms crossed, my brow furrowed, and my expectations right where they belong. High.

'Wizard' Magazine Ends a Two Decade Run

Wizard Entertainment announced today that they are stopping publication of Wizard and Toyfare.

Let’s face it, Wizard was facing an uphill battle by trying to continue publishing a monthly comic book trade magazine when it fought stiff competition from its online counterparts. Between sites like Comic Book Resources and Super Hero Hype, the comic book companies’ own blogs, and Twitter, Wizard had become the last place to go for a breaking story.

The silver lining in the closing of the long-running magazine is that Wizard Entertainment promised to begin an online Wizard World magazine in February. Smart, smart move. Wizard has a warm relationship with all of the major publishers and they have the name recognition. I expect that the new site will be giving CBR a run for its money in no time.

Will they still run a list of the top ten writers and artists?

Marvel Teases 'Throne of Blood: Birth of a Vampire'

Victor Gischler appears to have a comfort zone at Marvel. After kicking off his first X-Men arc with a tale of mutant-hating vampires, he is getting ready for his slice of Marvel’s Fear Itself event. Marvel released a bad-ass teaser for something called Throne of Blood: Birth of a Vampire. I’m new to Gischler’s work, but he wrote writes good-humored and entertaining stories.

I’m not sure who this villain is in the shadows, but he has a pretty awesome collection trinkets: Green Goblin’s pumpkin bombs, Doctor Doom’s mask, Thor’s hammer, Cap’s shield, Iron Man’s glove, Magneto’s helmet and Daredevil’s nunchucks. If that doesn’t establish the villains formidability, nothing else could.

Throne of Blood: Birth of a Vampire is scheduled for release on April 6.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Marvel Allows Retailers to Sell This Week's 'Fantastic Four' #587 on Tuesday

Usually when a loved one is on their deathbed, we pray for extra time with that person. “Just another day or two” we say.

Not Marvel Comics though. They have pushed the release of Fantastic Four #587 up by one day to Tuesday, January 25. This is the book which is growing evermore infamous because it involves the death of one of the four original members. February’s Fantastic Four #588 will be the final issue of the 50-year-old book that will transform into the somewhat familiar-titled FF in March.

Marvel released the following statement via Comic Book Resources:

“Due to the expected mass media attention scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 25th, Marvel is allowing retailers who have received copies of Fantastic Four #587 to make it available that day… This unexpected opportunity is a result of both the new earlier shipping schedule and worldwide mass media coverage. Marvel cannot guarantee the secured press placement will hit on 1/25 (as other breaking news may bump it), though if it does, retailers who have received the issue may sell their copies. For retailers who don’t receive early shipments, or have customers calling in advance of the shipment arrival, Marvel encourages them to take down customer information and inform them when copies do arrive.”

I’m not sure how the mass media attention is going to change based on the date of publication, but I am excited to be able to finally read the conclusion of this storyline that has put each of its main characters in mortal danger. I will be avoiding all human contact until I read this issue all by my lonesome—I will not have this spoiled for me by some co-worker who doesn’t understand the gravity of wrecking a story.

Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. will be blubberin’ time!

Cape Town Community Podcast - Ep. 001 - Pilot

After months of discussing, planning, and a week of not sleeping well, the first episode of the Cape Town Community Podcast is here!

This blog has been a real blast for me to put together on an (almost) daily basis, but the work Jerry and I have done on the podcast has been a lot of fun. We hope you enjoy listening to our comic book discussion and enjoy listening to our views on the comic book news of the week.

The show is embedded below and will be available for subscription shortly on iTunes and Zune. Each episode will labeled "podcast" so you can link to previous episodes here on the blog. Refer to the Show Notes after the jump as well as a direct link to download the MP3.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Vaughn Dismisses 'First Class' Cast Photo and Two New Pics Hit the Web

Now I don't feel so bad for being underwhelmed by the first picture of the cast of the X-Men: First Class film. It just looked a bit on the amaturish side if I can be honest. I thought the oddest choice was the light coming from behind Emma Frost even though she has Azazel directly behind her. Then there's Beast's head which is awkwardly cast in shadow while everyone elses faces seem to basking in the glow of meticulously-placed lighting. Nevertheless, someone from Fox sent the photo to the movie sites for posting and the damn thing took on a life of its own.

First Class director Matthew Vaughn told /Film the following:
"I freaked out on them yesterday. I don't know where the hell that came from. I don't think it's a Fox image. It's not a pre-approved image. When I found out, I said, what the f*ck is this sh*t, and Fox is running around trying to figure out what happened as well. I agree. It's like a bad photoshop, which maybe it was by someone. It didn't reflect the movie. I was shocked when I saw it. I was like 'Jesus Christ'...

Two more photos from the film were released today.

What Will 'Flashpoint' Do to Our Favorite DC Titles?

Bleeding Cool has been the source of some very interesting Flashpoint rumors this week—remember that Flashpoint is DC’s line-wide crossover event that, while Flash-centric, is promising to involve all of DC’s big guns.

On Tuesday the website reported that, according to a source from across the pond, DC is going to substitute several titles with alternate-reality versions of the books. This would be similar to the renaming of several X-Men titles during the Age of Apocalypse event in the mid-90’s. Bleeding Cool’s source also stated that DC’s renaming of titles will be more expansive than that of the supersized X-crossover.

There seems to be a grain of truth to the rumor because Bleeding Cool reported today that George Perez has stated he will be working on a book called The Secret Seven; the assumption is that this is either a renaming of The Secret Six or possibly a Justice League of America title.

Let’s hope we get some more answers about alternate DC timelines tomorrow when DC officially begins their “Flashpoint Friday” post on their blog tomorrow.

DC Drops the Comics Code Authority Seal of Approval

DC announced today that their comic books would no longer carry the antiquated Comics Code Authority (CCA) Seal of Approval that has gone unnoticed by me for several years. The CCA was formed in the mid-50’s out of concern for the perceived violence and depravity that appeared each week in the country’s best-selling comic books.  The code has been rejiggered and its confines loosened over the years to allow for comics to grow into the respectable storytelling form it is today.

DC announced that it is moving towards the use of a ratings system, which is now the industry standard. The letter ratings are as follows:

Appropriate for readers of all ages. May contain cartoon violence and/or some comic mischief.

Appropriate for readers age 12 and older. May contain mild violence, language and/or suggestive themes.

Appropriate for readers age 16 and older. May contain moderate violence, mild profanity, graphic imagery and/or suggestive themes.

Appropriate for readers age 18 and older. May contain intense violence, extensive profanity, nudity, sexual themes and other content suitable only for older readers.

All your favorite characters in mature stories and saucy scenarios that aren’t for the faint of heart.

Okay, I made the last one up.

'Green Lantern' pic: Hammond and Pal Jordan

There has been a deluge of some pretty fantastic new pics from the most highly anticipated comic book movies. well, ever. Last week we saw a new picture of Chris Hemsworth from Thor, the first picture of Andrew Garfield in the Spider-Man costume sans mask, a few cool new shots of a geared up Chris Evans from Captain America: The First Avenger. This week has served up a number of exciting new X-Men: First Class photos that, minus the photoshopped cast pic, have been met with warm reactions online.

Then Warner Bros. offered up the picture above from Green Lantern featuring Peter Sarsgaard as Hector Hammond with Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan. This one feels like weak shot of a set of better photos. I do like the creepiness of Sarsgard who looks to be a pre-mutated Hector but it would have been nice to get a shot with a little more punch. Who am I to complain though? We already have an awesome teaser trailer and that cool Entertainment Weekly cover to fawn over.

Green Lantern lights up theaters on June 17, 2011.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Comic Twart Celebrates its First Birthday

Comic Twart celebrates its first birthday this week and they have served up a lifetime of great art over the last year. For the uninitiated, Comic Twart is a sort of jam session of talented comic book artists who are given a topic by the site's moderator and several of them will do their take on said topic. The results are often stunning (a favorite of mine remains Chris Samnee's minimalist JLA).

In commemoration of their first milestone, site collaborator Evan Shaner contributed a wonderful retrospective piece covering all of the topics so far (Hercules, Marvel's What If, Italian Spider-Man and many more). If you are not following Comic Twart do so right away! For comic book fans it is one of the most singularly pleasing sites on the web.

Marvel's April 'Fear Itself' Solicitations

You have nothing to fear… unless you are a comic book completist. Marvel’s 2011 company-wide crossover Fear Itself begins in April and Marvel featured all of the comics that will be released under the Fear Itself banner.

First off, we appear to be easing into things in terms of crossover titles since Iron Man (Invincible Iron Man #503) and Thor (Journey Into Mystery #622) are the only characters to have tie-ins come April. Of course there is the Fear Itself book and a supplemental title, Fear Itself: The Home Front, which sounds like a book that remains on the periphery of the action (ala Frontline). For total immersion into the event, Marvel is reprinting early Sin (Red Skull’s daughter) stories (Fear Itself: Sin’s Past) and a book that takes readers behind the scenes of Fear Itself (Fear Itself Spotlight).

'X-Men: First Class' Teaser Poster and New Set Photos Arrive

After a somewhat unmemorable cast photo for X-Men: First Class was released yesterday by 20th Century Fox, today brought some significantly more interesting pictures via the Los Angeles Times. We also have been treated today to the first teaser for Director Mathew Vaughn’s new X-Men film (above).

No J. Jonah Jameson in Marc Webb's Spider-Man Reboot

To be fair, it was going to be hard to fill J.K. Simmons’ crew  cut anyway.

IGN has confirmed through “reliable” sources that the classic Spider-Man foil, J. Jonah Jameson, would not appear in Marc Webb’s 2012 Spider-Man reboot. I think this might be a good choice. Sure J. Jonah has been a part of the Spider-Man lore since the beginning, on film he can become a one-note character. We’ve already had three films with the character-assassinating character,  I think it’s refreshing to see that Webb and screenwriter James Vanderbilt aren’t mining everything that has come before it.

And hey, we’re going to get real web-shooters in the next film.

The next Spider-Man film hits theaters on July 3, 2012.

Hardy is Bane and Hathaway is Catwoman in 'Dark Knight Rises'

Warner Bros. made the official announcement today that Anne Hathaway would be playing Catwoman and Tom Hardy would be playing Bane in the The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan’s finale to his Batman-trilogy.

This ends all of the speculation as to who Hardy would play and what female villain would go up against Batman in the 2012 film. Almost all at least.

Last year a number of female names were bandied about for two possible female roles: a love interest for Batman and an adversary. Given Catwoman’s most recent past with the Dark Knight, I suspect that Catwoman is not his enemy in this film. I could be wrong, but I still don’t think it’s far-fetched to believe that Talia al Ghul and the League of Assassins are the villains (aided by Bane) and Catwoman is something of the anti-hero she has been portrayed for years now in the comic books.

Time will tell as more casting is announced for the hotly-anticipated film.

The Dark Knight Rises is scheduled for release on July 20, 2012.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

'Thor Goes Hollywood' Variants Pay Homage to Classic Films

I believe I've mentioned previously that my days of collecting variant covers are far behind me. But I seriously love some of the cool ones that come out! This May Marvel will release a number of "Thor Goes Hollywood" covers to commemorate Thor's big-screen debut this summer. Mike Del Mundo is responsible for the Frankenstein homage for Uncanny X-Force #7 variant (below). Harvey Tolibao created the very cool take on the original Jaws movie poster for Heroes for Hire #5 (above). Who needs a bigger boat when you have Mjolnir?

Thor hits theaters on May 6, 2011.

My 300th Blog Post!

So it's come to this, my 300th blog post. Who would have thought that I could have come up with 300 hundred things to says about comic books? Well, I did. Nuff said.

First 'X-Men: First Class' Pic Hits the Web

When I saw the first promo photo of X-Men:  First Class I wasn’t overwhelmed with excitement. I thought, “Okay, they might look cool individually, as they will eventually appear in each character’s own poster, but together it’s not clicking. From left to right we have Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Rose Byrne as Dr. Moira MacTaggert, January Jones as Emma Frost, Jason Flemyng as Azazel, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Lucas Till as Havok, Zoe Kravitz as Angel Salvadore, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique and James McAvoy as Professor X.

Then it occurred to me, sometimes the X-Men movie posters just look plain awkward when the characters are standing together. All the poster-creators do is take the individual characters shots and place them together.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Cape Town Community Podcast is Coming, Part 3

I train people for a living and I have come to appreciate the fear of learning something new.

At least I thought I had until earlier in the week when I began to learn something new.

My best friend’s husband, Bob, who has been recording music for years, offered to teach me how to use the recording software necessary to create a splashy new podcast. Do you remember that scene from Airplane! where Ted Stryker first goes into the cockpit to fly the plane and he looks over the console and it seemingly goes on forever, an endless series of buttons and dials? Ted knew he was in over his head and was not prepared to fly the plane. That’s how I felt when we got started.

Then I thought, “C’mon Don, you do this all the time at work. You learn new things and then you write about them.” And two hours later I had gone from totally lost to aware of my surroundings with a wonky compass and a map in hand. Sure the map was in another language but I seemed to have to the tools I needed to eventually find my way.
It was also nice to know that I had purchased everything I needed to begin producing our upcoming weekly podcast. I brought all of the equipment to Bob’s just to make sure, fearful he would say “Where’s your velocitator?”

“A velocitator?” I would ask. “Is that a must-have for recording?”

“Only if you want people to hear your voice” he replied in my head. But no such conversation took place. I had purchased all of the necessary gizmo-dads and I would soon be good to go after a proper lesson followed by a bit of practice. I may have to curb some of the blogging over the next week to make time for some dry runs.

On the way to work last week I began to worry about how I would sound on the show. I’m not worried about sounding nasally. I can’t help that. No, I am more concerned about getting flustered and not being able to find the right words.

“Superman… he’s… it’s cool when there’s… that is to say… when he… uhhh… caterpillar.”

Perhaps that might be too extreme an example of verbal flubbing, but I have a general concern for speaking with all the eloquence of Bizarro. But I shall plod on, sure that Jerry and I are going to be able to offer the comic book community something worth listening to!

I’ve mentioned previously that I am no technical wizard and proved so this weekend as I spent a good portion of my time working on a new logo (above). I was determined to have something high-resolution to place on iTunes, Zune, and everywhere else the podcast will be listed, linked and so on.  I called Jerry to ask what he thought of it. “It’s huge” he said, which received a “that’s what she said” in reply. Just wait til you hear more of our comedy gold!

We’re less than a week away from recording our first recording—which I affectionately refer to as the first of our Beta episodes. Tonight I’ll wrap up the opening and closing scripts before heading off to bed.

Stay tuned dear readers!

Bagley and Yu's Covers for 'Death of Spider-Man'

There are artists whose work on certain characters just feels right, and Mark Bagley on Ultimate Comics Spider-Man is such a case. Bagley worked on Ultimate Spider-Man for 111 whopping issues—a feat that is totally unheard of in modern comic books. I think inviting Bagley back to work with Bendis again on the “Death of Spider-Man” storyline is a class act.

Marvel released the cover for Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #157 (above) by Bagley and Ultimate Comics Avengers vs. New Ultimates #3 by Leinil Yu (below left). The Yu cover is an homage to the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #129 featuring the first appearance of the Punisher (below right).

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #157 and Ultimate Comics Avengers vs. New Ultimates #3 are scheduled to ship in April.