Three universes collide this year during writer Mark Millar’s run on exciting Marvel titles. Beginning with his newest epic tale, 1985, Millar lays down the foundation for things to come as Marvel: 1985, FANTASTIC FOUR and WOLVERINE all intertwine in a very big way. After his run on Ultimates, and his unforgettable blockbuster Civil War, Millar explores remote and familiar corners of the Marvel Universe in ways that only the man behind such past blockbuster series could. Watch as these stories come to life with the help of long time Ultimates collaborator Bryan Hitch, Civil War’s Steve McNiven, and renowned film and comic artist Tommy Lee Edwards.
Hey there True Believers, here’s your official list of comic books, collections and posters arriving in comic stores on May 29th, 2008. For more information on any of these titles, and on upcoming mighty Marvel releases, please visit http://www.marvel.com/catalog/?date=2008-05-29 or contact your local comic book retailer at 1-888-comicbook. Stay tuned each week for a brand new list of Marvel releases so that you’ll never miss your favorite heroes in action!
I love the swashbuckler and there’s no greater story than the Three Musketeers. The folks at Marvel Comics are bringing this classic book to comics and we have some the early pages. It’s brought to us by the team that did their last adaptation – The Man In The Iron Mask, which I started reading on Marvel’s frustratingly half-assed digital comics service. The 6 issue mini-series hits the shelves this month. Take a gander at this beautiful artwork.
I always said that if you want to get some insight into a popular upcoming film, look no further than the Video Game Tie-In. I saw The Incredible Hulk Game at New York Comic-Con a few weeks ago and it looks amazingly beautiful – if empty. There are some awe inspiring moments like when you jump off a 30 story building and you see the entire city around you, without any popup or draw-in. Looks gorgeous. But at the same it looked strangely, "antiseptic," with no people or dirt or grime. The game play and design seems to be exactly the same as the last Hulk game, only prettier. But the last Hulk game was pretty darn good for a movie game, so why mess with a winning formula. Take a look at this latest Making of trailer.
After a year of speculation, spoilers, and marketing hype. The summer film season kicks off, not with a bang and not a whimper. One of my most anticipated films of 2008 – Iron Man is finally here in all it’s technicolor glory! I liked this movie a lot, technically it’s brilliant, acting is spot on, but it was missing something that I couldn’t put my finger on what. From the moment this movie was announced every decision by Director Jon Favreau has been spot on. Casting Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark was truly inspired. This film rests squarely on Downey’s shoulders and he takes the ball and scores a touchdown. He was born to play this part. He’s perfectly sarcastic, vapid, yet brilliant and roguish. Could not have been happier with his performance. In the Pantheon of Marvel Characters, Iron Man was always a major player in the Marvel Universe, but he’s never been a fan favorite and recently Marvel has turned Tony into a completely unlikable, know it all dick. The movie version of Tony is more circa 80s Stark – pre-alcoholism.
When I first watched the trailer on my computer, it was the first time where I had concerns about this film. I thought it looked way too fake. But within the context of the film, everything works perfectly. Never once do you not believe that this suit is real. Favreau spends so much time showing the construction of this armor and the entire testing process that when we finally see him take off you buy into it. Stan Winston did an incredible job designing the Mark III Armor. It’s straight out of the comic book and is exactly how I always imagined Iron Man’s Armor in a live action film to look like. It’s a brilliant mix of CGI and practical SFX. But here’s my problem with the film, I kept trying to force a connection to it and wondering why I’m not LOVING this movie. I liked it a hell of a lot but didn’t LOVE it. I think it comes down to the lack of real tension. Everything felt slightly plastic and a little too technical. With no real peril or villains.
When Stark does his first bit of Super-Hero work it’s against some nameless terrorist group. That is not clearly defined or established enough to make us care. All of the violence is done off camera as well. This leads to several weird edit moments where Iron Man is blowing up bad guys left and right, we see the repulser blasts, stuff getting blown up, but we never really see the bad guys get what’s coming to them, it’s all done off camera. I’m not one who needs to see blood and guts, but in a film like this it lacks an edge that it sorely needs. It’s interesting the Favreau and his writers decided to go this route instead of using Iron-Man’s signature nemesis The Mandarin. He clearly wanted to focus all the attention on telling us who Tony Stark was before worrying about the villains. Which is where most Super Hero films falter. Now that we have a clear idea who Stark is, Favreau can use the next film to give us Mandarin. It’s funny, as an avid Iron-Man fan from back in the day, I can’t name any of Iron’s enemies, he doesn’t have a very good Rogues Gallery. Who would be good in this movie? Stiltman? Stingray?
The cast was perfect, Terrence Howard as Jim Rhodes was done really well and Tony’s long suffering secretary Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) was nicely done. Jeff Bridges was barely recognizable as (Obadiah Stane / Iron Monger). The movie’s only down moment came in final fight between Iron Man and Iron Monger was disappointing at best. Turned into a really lame Transformers rip-off. Iron-Man is a great kick off to a front loaded Summer Blockbuster season and this is a fabulous start to the Iron-Man franchise. Bring on The Mandarin.
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EM Review by
Originally Posted 5.2.08
Tony Stark [Robert Downey Jr.] is a hedonistic billionaire weapons manufacturer until a trip to Afghanistan for a weapons demonstration ends with him in the hands of terrorists. He builds himself a suit of iron armor to escape and goes on to put together a more refined version to enable him to save the people who have been put in harm’s way by his company’s weapons.
Iron Man is about a lot of things: a modern knight in shining armor; crazed ambition; superheroics; even innovative CGI [check out Stark manipulating CG plans as if they were the real thing]. Oddly enough, despite its political ramifications and good old-fashioned superheroic fun, in the end, Iron Man is about a guy who goes through a kind of reverse mid-life crisis. The hedonistic, irresponsible Stark metamorphoses into a more – dare I say – mature adult by deciding to kill his company’s weapons making business in favor of some thing more planet friendly.
Downey isn’t working in a vacuum, either. It’s been a while since Gwyneth Paltrow has glowed so brightly on the big screen – here playing Stark’s right-hand person with considerable aplomb [watching her keep Stark on his toes is a delight]. Jeff Bridges makes for an affably deceptive villain and Terrence Howard makes his small role as Stark’s best friend shine.
While the action scenes aren’t as accomplished as something by Michael Bay, they come off better because director Jon Favreau understands that it’s the characters that make everything else in the film work. He keeps the pace high enough to prevent lessening of interest and knows how to make the film’s effects serve the story. This is a film with surprising wit and genuine intelligence.
Final Grade: A-
Normally, I’m not into watching clips from films because generally it’s out of context. But I have to say, this Iron Man clip finally has me excited about the film. Check it out.