Let’s face it. The average, everyday comic is not much unlike a soap opera. Drama unfolds, bizarre elements are thrown in and the stories continue on in a never ending serialization. Of course, comics have the potential to be so much better, and they have been, but they’re normally the same. People even make fun of them for the same things. In soap operas everyone has an evil twin, people fight over who gave birth to what baby, everyone has amnesia, and people come back from the dead.
These gimmicks are trademarks to the soap opera genre and these gimmicks are what keep the general population from seeing them as anything other than a joke. In comics, people are cloned, babies come in and out of continuity, there’s amnesia and comas, and people come back from the dead. Those are the gimmicks that make many people think comic books are a joke.
Spider-Man doesn’t help that image. Spider-Man is a gimmick. Not Spider-Man himself, but the stories he appears in. Think about the most well known Spider-Man stories in the last 20 years. The ones that got either a lot of attention from the media, or just stick out like sore thumbs in the ongoing story of Peter Parker. There was “the Clone Saga”, where Peter was cloned and a new character, Ben Reilly took his place for a time. That went on for several years during the ’90s. Then a few years later, with the release of Spider-Man in theaters, there was “The Other”, where Peter Parker was turned into a giant spider, died, and gave birth to himself just so he’d have organic web shooters like in the movie.
If you’re a fan of comic books and you use the internet, which I think is likely given that you’re reading a comic book blog right now, you’ve probably already seen that the ending of Amazing Spider-Man #700 was leaked today and anyone who has seen the spoiler now knows who becomes the Superior Spider-Man, a plot point which has been shrouded in secrecy for months now.
Again, SPOILERS AHEAD!
If you’re curious, if you don’t care about spoilers, or if, like me, you are so fed up with Dan Slott and his shitty shitty oh so shitty Amazing Spider-Man stories and don’t care anymore, here is the link.
Of course, since this is a spoiler preceding even the release of advance copies, either it’s fake or some sneaky intern at Marvel (or Dan Slott, for all we know, given his track record of fucking with readers) took pictures of the actual book and posted it on 4chan. Now, I am pretty confident this is real, since I saw on Dan Slott’s Facebook page today that he wrote a post saying that ASM 700 had leaked and everyone should be careful if they don’t want it ruined for them. Plus, the leak isn’t just a plot description; there are actual pictures there, and the images are clearly Humberto Ramos’s penciling.
Here is the first full-length trailer of “Man of Steel.” From what we can gather here, it looks like the thrust of the film will be Clark’s internal struggle about his purpose and powers (obviously, it’s an origin story), and the world’s wariness and animosity towards him. Personally, I think he looks like a good Superman, and Amy Adams as Lois Lane will be interesting for sure. And with Zod as the villain, maybe we can finally expect some real action this time around.
It has been nearly ten years since Fox released the poorly-received Ben Affleck vehicle Daredevil to theaters. Though much of the criticism of that film was justified, it was certainly exaggerated. Yes, it was far from perfect, but much of the hostility about that film had more to do with Bennifer “Gigli” Affleck’s shaky career and tabloid popularity at the time, and less to do with the actual quality of the film. Given Affleck’s meteoric rise in the director’s chair in the last few years, if Daredevil were made with Affleck today, I doubt very much it would have been panned so harshly. It still would have received its fair share of deserved criticism, but Affleck wouldn’t have gotten a Razzie for it. Daredevil definitely had its problems, but many of those were remedied in the 2004 Director’s Cut version of the film. If you’re a Daredevil fan and were disappointed with the theatrical release, then you need to check out the R-rated Director’s Cut. It’s darker, more violent, and includes an interesting subplot that was entirely cut from the theatrical version. Yes, some unforgivable problems still remain, such as the atrocious soundtrack where the orchestral score would have sufficed, and the unintentionally funny fight scene in the park still made the cut. But in general, it’s a vast improvement over the original, and certainly worth two hours of your time. It’s a very fun movie, and it looks great. And frankly, I think Ben Affleck looks the part and did a good job playing it too.
Story – Dan Slott Art – Humberto Ramos
When I was a little kid, around middle school age, I had an almost sadistic fascination with destruction. I would often take old action figures I no longer used, place them in a plastic bowl filled with water, and put them in the freezer. The next day, Daredevil or Batman would be frozen in the ice, often with one limb awkwardly sticking out. I’d take these frozen action figures outside and hurl them into the air just to watch them shatter on the sidewalk. Dan Slott, as a writer, is like me as a bored middle school kid on a summer day. Dan Slott has taken Spider-Man, our Spider-Man, and hurled him into the air just to watch him shatter.
Maybe I’m being hyperbolic. But I have been so let down and angered over Slott’s stories and writing, that it truly does feel like more than just the end of The Amazing Spider-Man; it feels like destruction. Ruination. With each passing issue he does, I feel that he has taken one more brick out of Spider-Man’s foundation. My feeling right now is that next month’s last issue, #700, Slott will remove the keystone, and we’ll all have to suffer through Spider-Man’s destruction.
If there’s one thing people love, it’s ‘end of days’ scenarios. Everyone dies, the legend ends, the final story is told. But then everything gets fixed and that story is voided. Or it gets relegated to a future time, one we’ll never see.
Marvel would like you to think that Daredevil: End of Days is the final Daredevil story. Matt Murdock is brutally murdered by Bullseye and we’re supposed to sit through the next seven issues and witness the fallout. It’s really hard to think of this story as little more than an ‘alternate’ story. Alternate universe, alternate ending, alternate events. In the end it doesn’t matter because none of it is the real story. You can’t have the last Daredevil story while they’re still publishing ongoing Daredevil stories. If it was the end it should be the end.
The Uncanny Avengers are expanding. Marvel has revealed that the team, once depicted as having only six members, will soon balloon to a total of nine. Now Captain America, Wolverine, Thor, Rogue, Scarlet Witch and Havok will be joined by Sunfire, Wonder Man and Wasp.
In Avengers vs. X-Men five mutants, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik, Colossus and Namor, are given the power of the Phoenix to reshape the world. Obviously that didn’t go so well. They fight amongst themselves, destroy whole civilizations and Cyclops ends up killing Professor Xavier. Now everyone hates mutants even more, if that was possible. To help the mutant image, Captain America creates a team made up of X-Men and Avengers. Captain America, Thor and Scarlet Witch are the Avengers, Wolverine, Havok and Rogue are the X-Men.
Hey, remember that time that Joss Whedon wanted to make a S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show and everyone lost their shit? Well that’s happening sooner than you thought. It has been reported that filming for the pilot could start as soon as this coming January, putting it in line with the Fall 2013 season. The idea for a tv show had only come out as an inkling of an idea just a few months ago and now it seems like they’re just about ready to make it happen.
The show will take place in the Marvel cinematic universe where all the events of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers took place. S.H.I.E.L.D. would not have any of the Avengers in the actual show, but it will be tying into a lot of events that happen in the movies. It has been stated that the show will focus more on government agents rather than super-heroes with new characters being created for the show. Agent Phil Coulson, as seen in all the Marvel movies, will be the main character, even though he kind of died in The Avengers. Clark Gregg as the aforementioned Coulson and Ming-Na Wen (Mulan from Mulan and Chun-Li from Street Fighter!), as new character Agent Melinda May are the only known cast members at this time. I also have to imagine that Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury will have at least a cameo or two.