Thursday, December 30, 2010

Trailer Thursday 2: Thor!

I am not now nor have I ever been a Thor fan, but when I saw this trailer I had to post it. I never cared much for Iron Man either, but the movies made me enjoy the character. I must say though that this Thor movie doesn't look like it's going to stay very close to the source material as far as it goes unless they're going for the "Ultimates" version of Thor.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Replacements (part 2)

We talked about a few of them last week, now here are 5 more hero replacements to consider:

Ray Palmer replaced by Ryan Choi

When the stellar DC miniseries "Identity Crisis" ended, we saw Ray Palmer shrinking down to microscopic size and then disappearing. That was it! Was he dead? Where did he go? Well, for years he was gone and we were never going to find out where he went.

During that time, a college student stepped into his place and ran with the title for a while. Then Ray came back and the world wasn't big enough for 2 Atoms (ha! Get it?). Of all the hero deaths out there he definitely ended up getting the short end of the stick. We never even saw him killed! Instead, he was just quietly replaced.

I have to say that I fully supported DC bringing Ray Palmer back at the Atom. He had such a rich history that they could draw upon, while Ryan always seemed a lot like a whiner. I don't think killing him was necessary, but it did make for an interesting plot point.

Superman replaced by...a bunch of folks

Now this was the first one to really hit the stride and set the mark for major superhero deaths. The "Death of Superman" issue was shipped in a little polybag and I can still remember tearing through the issue of nothing but splash pages. And dude, was I let down by how quickly the fight was over (almost as quickly as it was on "Smallville").

Then the second wave of Supermen showed up. I personally was rooting for the "sunglasses Superman" (the Eradicator, we later found out) to be the real thing, but it wasn't to be. At any rate, it was pretty cool to see some new folks in the red-and-blues for a while. Even the news media knew this was just a temporary gimmick, but it was fun while it lasted, and it gave way to our next change...

Hal Jordan replaced by Kyle Raynor

At the end of the "Death and Return of Superman" storyline, Mongul destroyed Coast City with the help of the cyborg Superman. In the process, Hal Jordan lost the city he loved. This led to him losing his mind and becoming a bad guy, and then a dead guy, for years on end. Eventually, Geoff Johns, giver of all good things DC, brought him back.

But while he was gone, Green Lantern was replaced by a young artist who found himself the last GL out there. His ring was no longer crippled by yellow, and charging it wasn't necessary. It seemed a dream deal!

It didn't last forever, but Kyle did a good job and is still a major player in the DC universe. To be fair, I also need to mention that Hal was replaced earlier (for a short time) by John Stewart and Guy Gardner.

Thor replaced by the Thor clone

Did you think of this one? I was never a big fan of the Thor title so I'm not really sure why he disappeared or what happened to him, but I do know he was gone for a long time. During the "Civil War", we saw him we thought. Instead, we got this unstable clone that ended up killing Giant Man (Bill Foster). That one move was a big surprise to the fans, and to myself, until it was explained away.

Eventually, that clone was destroyed at the hands of Hercules (and his infamous "Thou art no Thor!" rant). But he did show back up again later, only to be taken down by Thor himself.

The Question replaced by Renee Montoya

I can't think of another hero who got the shaft bigger than this one. They bring The Question into the DC universe for "52", turn him into this really cool character using the JLU cartoon series, and then decide to kill him off! Huh?

If you're going to take out a major character, don't make him cool just before you do it! I never really cared that much about the Question until "52"...and then you take him away!

Vic came back for a single issue during the "Blackest Night" run, but I still think they should have brought him back during "Brightest Day". He was a far more interesting character than Montoya.

Holy Moley! You mean there are more??? Yep, next week we finish out with looking at a final batch of replacements. Not even superheros have job security!

See you next year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to wish all our readers a Merry Christmas! Hope you find all the best superhero toys and goodies under the tree this year!
Brian and Khris

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Birthday, Khris!

I just wanted to wish my son and co-contributor Khris a Happy Birthday today! 
I'm really proud of you and the comic book geek you've turned out to be!
(yep, that's him with Ethan Van Sciver at Wizard World Atlanta. As for what Ethan was drawing...that will be a nice surprise for a future post...)

Birthday wishes from the heroes:
"Happy Birthday! Have a swingin' time!" - Spider-Man

"Thanks for the please quit stalking me." - Green Lantern

"Happy Birthday! You rock!" - The Thing

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Replacements (part 1)

I was thinking about it the other day and it's funny how every single major superhero has been replaced over the years! And still the gimmick lives on in title after title. I mean, you have the high-profile messes like Spider-Man, but have you noticed how no superhero out there has job security anymore?

Here are the ones I caught...

Peter Parker replaced by Ben Reilly

Ignoring the fiasco of "One More Day", you have to credit this period of Spider-Man's storyline as one of the worst for him. The Clone Saga was highly regarded as the biggest stumble in Marvel's arsenal until OMD, and it's easy to see why. After investing a LOT of time into proving Peter Parker was the clone and Ben was the real thing, we found out at the end of the storyline that it wasn't the case at all.

It was the first time we realized that following a Spidey tale for several months thinking the title had changed could end up being a big "Gotcha!" at the fan's expense. Quesada would do it all again to us years later.

Bruce Wayne replaced by Jean Paul Valley and Dick Grayson

Batman really hasn't fared as well as you'd think. The first time, Bruce Wayne was crippled by Bane and spent several months in a wheelchair while Jean Paul slowly slipped into madness and turned Batman into an armored psycho. Immediately after he got the cowl back, Bruce gave it to Dick for a little while so he could straighten out some stuff. Dick gave it back, but then picked it back up again after "Final Crisis" and is still Batman today.

I didn't know how it would work to have both Bruce and Dick as Batman at the same time, but I'm really liking it so far. I think it's an interesting dynamic to have Robin as Batman, and have it happening in a real-time storyline.

Bruce Banner replaced by Thunderbolt Ross

This was one that I have to give Marvel credit on. They managed to pull the wool over everyone's eyes with the ultimate reveal of who Red Hulk was, and I still think it was cheating a bit to use an LMD at one point to throw Ross out of the contender's list early on, but it worked.

When Banner lost his ability to "Hulk out" at the end of World War Hulk, it seemed the title would take a rest for a while. Wrong. Instead, we got a new colored Hulk who took things to the other end of the spectrum. This Hulk killed the Abomination early on, and showed intelligence and cruelty we hadn't seen before. While Rick Jones might have been the Hulk for a few issues years ago, it was Ross who literally took the Hulk's place while Banner was out of action.

Steve Rogers replaced by Bucky Barnes

This would have to be the highest-profile superhero death in recent years. Superman's death made the news in the 90's, but the shot heard round the world in the 00's was the one that took Captain America down. The tragic thing was that he had finally be reunited with the one sidekick he thought he'd lost forever just before he was killed.

The aftermath of Marvel's "Civil War" took years to clean up, and Cap's death was sort of the end-note to the initial onslaught. While no one believed Steve Rogers would stay dead forever, it was fun to see Bucky step in and take the mantle. He's changed things around, that's for sure. Unfortunately, he's on trial right now for his crimes as Winter Soldier, so his future with the shield is a little iffy, but there can be no doubt this is one replacement that kept the title alive until the original hero could return.

Barry Allen replaced by Wally West

This was the first major superhero death I can remember reading as a kid. I still remember the exact spot on the drugstore floor in front of the magazines I was sitting at as I watched my beloved favorite hero give his life during "Crisis on Infinite Earths". It broke my little heart!

But then at the end of the maxi-series, Wally West stepped in to say he was taking over his mentor's suit and title. And that's the way it stayed for two decades! To an entire generation of comic book readers, Wally West was the Flash, while the rest of us patiently waited for Barry Allen's return. We saw Batman come and go, Superman come and go, Spider-Man come and go, and a dozen others, but Barry Allen showed up only sporadically here and there.

Then Geoff Johns, giver of all good things DC, brought him back. Wally West was the first sidekick to step into his mentor's shoes and I think it was a great way to use the character. A lot of great things happened during Wally's run (ha! Get it?) as the Flash, but I'm still holding out for good things with Barry's return.

This post is so big (and the choices so many!) that we've had to spread it out to a small series! Join us next week as we hit the next five replacements (including one I'll bet you forgot happened!).

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Trailer Thursday: Arkham City Trailer

In case you missed it, here is what is on my "MUST BUY" list for next year...

What gets me is how hard it is to tell the computer-generated stuff from the real stuff. It's going to be an amazing game!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Superhero Wish Lists

Khristian has finals this week so I'm stepping in with a quick post...

While Santa has indeed made many appearances in comics over the years and helped out in various adventures, how often has he actually ever gotten to give gifts to the heroes? If I were Santa (and for a few years, I was) here's what I would give to the heroes out there:

1. Spider-Man: A journal so he could write down his thoughts and life stories...that way if Quesada decides to wipe his history out again at least he'll have some way to remember why he's so turned on by redheads.

2. Bucky Barnes: A reprieve from his actions as Winter Soldier so he can just concentrate on having some adventures instead of all this "I was brainwashed" junk we have now.

3. Jason Todd (Red Hood): A real-life Batman suit so he can stop playing around and just be Batman already!

4. Batman (Bruce Wayne): A new address book so he can keep up with all the new Batmen he's got around the world now. Seriously, it took him this long to consider franchising? McDonald's did it in the first 10 years of business!

5. Deadpool: A gift certificate for Shuller Plastic Surgery and Facial Reconstruction Clinic. 'Nuff said.

6. Superman: The opportunity to have Bryan Singer alone in a room for 5 minutes to pay for "Superman Returns".

7. Ant-Man: A date with Giganta, just to see if sparks fly. She likes little men from what I hear.

8. Deadshot: A teddy bear. Come on, we all know the guy's got a soft side somewhere!

9. Lex Luthor: A Hair Club for Men membership (come on, seriously, the guy has that much money and has never considered hair follicle replacement over the years?)

What would you get for the hero (or villain) who has everything?

For a few really great old Christmas superhero record stories from the 70's and 80's, visit Dial B for Blog's Christmas post. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Wizard World Update and Shall We Play A Game?

This past weekend I went to Wizard World in Atlanta and I have to say it was amazing. Last year I went to the San Diego Comic Con, this year I've been to Imagicon, Dragon-con, and now Wizard World Atlanta and it was hands-down the best of the four. It wasn't as big as Dragon Con, but it was a true comic book convention. Every booth (except one) had comic books for sale, and the artists there were great. Ethan Van Sciver sketched me an incredible Batman that is now overlooking my stairway, and did I mention there were comic books? There weren't as many costumed folks there, but the ones that came were impressive too. No shoulder-to-shoulder aisle crushes or anything, just good clean fun. Khristian is going to hit more on that next week. He was able to score an interview with a major cast member from the upcoming Green Lantern film who wasn't listed to be there, but showed up anyway! 

For this week, I found this neat little quiz program and decided to throw together a crossword puzzle for you guys. Let's see how much of a comic book fanatic you are!

Time yourself and see if you can finish this in less than 5 minutes!

You can find the quiz page here! Then come back and post your time so we can see who the real comic fanatics are!

If you like doing stuff like this, let me know and I'll put together a harder one for the more serious fanboys out there.
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