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.
5 out of 5 stars
Story – Mark Waid
Art – Leinil Yu
I have been looking forward to Indestructible Hulk for months now. There are some books in the Marvel Now! revolution that I felt may not be entirely necessary or need the facelift. But Hulk is one of those (along with X-Men) that I felt really needed this treatment. I’m one of those people who has always been fascinated by the Hulk and Bruce Banner as characters (and they really are different characters), but I have little experience with them in comic books. I unfortunately saw Ang Lee’s Hulk, which was a terrific mess, and I also watched the reboot The Incredible Hulk with Ed Norton twice in theaters. I thought Norton’s Hulk was very fun and totally underappreciated in the Marvel Studios canon. And of course there was Mark Ruffalo’s perfect interpretation of the character in The Avengers as a quiet, introverted brilliant scientist who only wants to be helpful but is so clearly plagued by the guilt of his “condition.” Ruffalo really brought the character back into my cultural awareness. He was the most well-rounded and lovable character in that movie. Iron Man was the funniest and most charming, and Thor was the most peculiar (in a great way), but Bruce Banner had me wrapped around his huge green finger right away. The Hulk I saw in The Avengers is the Hulk I wanted to read in a comic book. After reading this first issue of Indestructible Hulk, I am doubtful that will be the case exactly, but I am still very happy with the portrayal of Bruce Banner and the Hulk that we’re given in this first issue. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but that ultimately didn’t matter.
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.