Archive for the ‘steve niles’ Category
Filed Under frankenstein, hulk, jeff parker, steve niles
You know how oftentimes you read a team-up that you’ve been waiting years to see and it just doesn’t live up to expectations? That’s because Jeff Parker didn’t write it.
I love the idea behind Monster-Size Hulk. It’s an anthology that pits the Hulk against classic monsters. Peter David has a text story about the Hulk’s meeting Dracula. Steve Niles has a cool one where the Hulk fights a werewolf. My favorite though – because it’s the Monster – is Parker’s Hulk vs. Frankenstein.
In any standard superhero team-up you expect the heroes to duke it out when they first meet. It’s a superhero cliché and it doesn’t usually make sense to the story, but that’s what a lot of superhero fans want to see. Who can beat who? And really, you wouldn’t want to read a Hulk-Frankenstein comic without watching them trade some blows.
Of course, Hulk had to be weakened in order to make the match even, but Parker does an awesome job explaining that. And the scene isn’t even really a cliché here because the Hulk and the Monster are both well known for their rages and violence-first personalities. Of course they would fight each other. Unlike most superhero-battles, this one makes perfect sense.
But Parker also understands that these characters are awesomely similar to each other and he delivers the second thing we really want to see in a meet-up between the two of them. Hulk… friend.
The heroes making nice and teaming-up to fight a common enemy is another superhero cliché, but again, it’s exactly what needs to happen in this story. It more than makes sense; it’s deeply satisfying on an emotional level.
Filed Under batman, giant monsters, giant robots, steve niles
Steve’s writing the best Batman comic being published right now. Gotham After Midnight is a 12-issue mini-series that not only pits Batman against a creepy, new menace, but also against some of his classic villains who are mysteriously deviating from their standard methods of operation. It’s super-fun and Kelley Jones is obviously having a great time drawing whatever insane things pop into his head. His Batman with the crazy-ass cape has never looked so awesome.
And then there’s the most recent issue.
Okay, first of all, that title “The Malleable Menace” is awesome. But even better is the story that has Clayface learning to increase his size by absorbing more and more of Gotham’s citizens. Eventually, he gets so big that there’s no way Batman’s going to be able to handle him the conventional way.
So of course Steve does the only rational thing and turns it into a giant robot vs. giant monster comic.
Ha! Look at Clayface’s face! Issue #4 is going to be goooooood.
Filed Under friday night fights, simon dark, steve niles
So, Simon’s sneaking into this building where a bunch of masked goons are waiting to jump him.
Uh oh, Simon. They got the drop on you.
Heh. Hey, dude. Look out above.
Who you guys shootin’ at? Hey, man. Simon’s right next to–
You’re toast now, buddy. He got Rico and it’s just you left.
Gotcha for the KNOCK OUT!
Bahlactus ain’t afraid of the Dark.
Filed Under azrael, batman, dinosaurs, giant monsters, gorillas, horror, mary marvel, mystery, steve niles, zatanna
I’m still catching up on the solicitations for upcoming comics. I was just going to stick this in the Awesome List below, but dang if there aren’t a lot of interesting comics coming from DC in May.
In no particular order:
House of Mystery #1
There aren’t many people I’d trust to make an ongoing horror anthology series interesting, but Bill Willingham is one of them. Especially since he and co-writer Matt Sturges aren’t doing a real anthology so much as they are a series of tales with a connected, mystery metastory running through them. Or something like that.
It’s still really risky business, but like I said, I trust Willingham enough to give it a serious look.
Justice League Unlimited #45
I don’t usually read this comic, but it’s got Mary Marvel on the cover with a gorilla who’s holding some kind of superscience device. Time to see if this compares well to Marvel’s Marvel Adventures comics that I love so very truly.
Detective Comics #844
All I need to know is that Zatanna’s on the cover.
Gotham Underground #8
I’m gonna have to flip through this one in the store, but Azrael’s sort of appearance on the cover is getting me to at least pick it up. I fully expect him to appear in flashback or something, which means I’ll be leaving it on the shelf.
Batman: Gotham After Midnight #1
Steve Niles and Kelley Jones on an ongoing about Batman’s “bizarre and frightening case files” featuring grave-robbers and man-made monsters. DC just made me a regular reader of a Batman comic again.
This is another one I’m going to have to flip through. I absolutely love Joe Kubert’s art, but the blurb bothers me a little by focusing a lot on Tor’s struggle with existential questions. Not that I’m at all against having some deeper subject matter, but I want to see him struggle more with giant crocodiles than the meaning of life.
The War That Time Forgot #1
This sounds like a no-brainer. “A lone USAF pilot, about to warn his superiors of the attack on Pearl Harbor, finds his craft suddenly crash-landing on a mysterious island populated with prehistoric creatures and soldiers of wars of the past, present and future – including Tomahawk, Firehair, and Hans Von Hammer, the Enemy Ace! What bizarre force has compelled these military masters of every era to inhabit the same strange territory? Can they survive without killing each other or being devoured by dinosaurs?”
The only problem is that it’s written by Bruce Jones, a guy who’s sometimes taken awesome concepts and turned them into solemn, weighty stories. Again, I’m all for adding strong characterization and profound themes to all the historical soldiers vs. dinosaurs action. Let’s just make sure that it’s only Time and not the writer who forgets the War.
Filed Under aliens, alpha flight, dracula, forbidden kingdom, jericho, psych, resident evil, robots, steve niles, vikings, werewolves, wonder woman, xena
The God Squad
Marvel’s solicitations for June just came out and I’ve only just read May’s. Sad.
But I’m glad I didn’t skip over it because then I wouldn’t know about Snowbird’s upcoming appearance in Incredible Hercules. You know, Marvel… it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if she were to stick around for a while.
The Forbidden Kingdom
Went to 10,000 BC the other night and saw a huge lobby display for The Forbidden Kingdom. The display made it look like a bad video game movie except that it has both Jackie Chan and Jet Li in it. That’s worth gambling on right there even if it ends up sucking.
Fortunately though, the trailer makes it look really good, like it’s sort of combining the humor of Chan’s movies with the artsy fartsiness of Li’s.
The Many Moods of Wonder Woman
Includes: Smug, Pensive, Surrounded by Idiots, and Running in a Nightie. Thank you, Dorian!
Frank Frazetta’s Dracula Meets the Wolf Man
Steve Niles is writing the latest comic based on a Frank Frazetta painting: Dracula Meets the Wolf Man. So far, the Frazetta comics have been amazing and this should only raise the bar a bit.
It was Lassie ruined Xena
So, I’ve been watching Jericho again and was surprised to recognize the guy who plays Constantino, the whacked out mayor of New Bern. When I was watching Jericho last season, I hadn’t yet discovered Psych, but now I realize that Constantino is none other than Timothy Omundson, who plays Psych’s Carlton Lassiter. But that’s not all.
I wanted to make sure that Jericho hadn’t switched actors for Constantino and that Omundson had actually played him in the first season too, so I took a trip to IMDB. Sure enough, he had, but the big surprise was when I learned that Omundson also played the character who ruined Xena: Warrior Princess for me.
I can’t possibly tell you how much I grooved on Xena up until the point where she and Gabby met Eli and moved to India to become hippies. After that, it was a long, slow descent into crazytown. I’m going to take extra special pleasure every time Shawn and Gus torture Lassiter from now on.
Resident Evil: Degeneration
Not quite the sequel to Extinction I was hoping for, but then, I’m a little fuzzy on whether this is supposed to be a sequel to the Milla Jovovich movies at all. Maybe that one’s still coming.
This is how humanity dies. Holy crap, that looks cool as hell.
And it just gets better. Vikings vs. Aliens.
The Sinai Secret
Bookgasm mentions a book by Gregg Loomis that sounds like enough of a mixture between Indiana Jones and National Treasure that it would have to try really hard to make me not like it.
Filed Under 30 days of night, cthulhu, dinosaurs, hitchcock, indiana jones, jericho, keira knightley, mary marvel, spiderwick chronicles, steve niles, wonder woman
I know what I’m buying at the grocery store tonight.
Vanity Fair’s Hollywood Issue featuring reshoots of Hitchcock movies with modern stars.
Curious about Spiderwick again
My interest in The Spiderwick Chronicles was slipping, but Neil Gaiman and family give it a thumbs up and that’s a high recommendation even when the review is simply, “I really enjoyed (it).”
30 Days of Night movie contest
Win a buttload of stuff related to the 30 Days of Night movie.
From the “I Wish I’d Thought of That” Dept.
T-Rex vs. Kitty! And don’t bet too quickly on the dinosaur.
UR Soul. I Has It.
Bookgasm’s on a roll lately with adding stuff to my Wish List. The latest is Will Lavender’s Obedience, a thriller about a college professor who challenges students to unravel clues in order to save a girl who may or may not be hypothetical.
Indy trailer update
Someone commented here that the Indy trailer “will be broadcast Feb. 14 on Good Morning America, sometime between 8-9 am. It will then be available online at the official site.” The press release is also up at IndianaJones.com again (if it ever went away).
Jericho cast appearance update
Got an email with the following update about the cast members who’ll be appearing at the Los Angeles Comicbook and Science Fiction Convention this Sunday:
“Appearing on the CBS-TV Jericho panel at 2:00 P.M. will be stars Esai Morales (joining the series in season two as Major Beck), Kenneth Mitchell (Eric Green), Brad Beyer (Stanley Richmond), Alicia Coppola (Mimi Clark), Jonathan E. Steinberg (Co-Creator of Jericho), Executive Producer Carol Barbee, Co-Executive Producers Karim Zreik and Dan Shotz. At 1:00 P.M. there will be a advance screening of the next week’s episode of Jericho.”
So, no Skeet, but not a bad lineup at all. Especially with Stanley and Mimi. I love those kids.
Someone’s making a movie out of an old Charlton comic about a giant monster. It doesn’t sound very good.
Of course I’m going to see it.
Weekly Wonder Woman comic
Not really, but almost. DC’s announced that their next attempt at a weekly comic will be called Trinity and will feature Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman.
This one bodes well for me, I think. I enjoyed 52, but would’ve liked it more if it had featured more heavily characters I already cared about. Countdown should’ve had a leg up on 52 in that regard by co-starring Mary Marvel, but as everyone has pointed out, it’s too tied into 600 other series to be enjoyable on its own. I’ve taken to skimming through issues at the store and only buying them if there seems to be development in the Mary Marvel plot.
Trinity promises to fix both of those things by a) featuring Wonder Woman, and b) not being tied to other events in the DC Universe.
Filed Under 30 days of night, horror, steve niles, vampires
I’m proud to call Art a pal.
From his blog: 30 Days of Night.
And a personal piece he did for the moderators of Steve Niles’ message board:
I may have shared that last one before, but it’s worth looking at again. Can you pick me out in the crowd? Huh? Can you?
Filed Under black canary, simon dark, steve niles, wonder woman
Green Arrow and Black Canary #3
I’m still liking this, but I was mildly annoyed this issue by the explanation behind Ollie’s “death.” That’s due more to DC’s “event-itis” than to Judd’s writing, but it’s still icky.
Other than that though, fun stuff. Mia’s trying to excuse herself from the arena to check up on Conner and Ollie was funny and so was the interplay between the two Green Arrows. I love that Canary basically pulls her punches in her arena match in order to drag the fight out long enough for Conner and Ollie to escape.
I had to do a bit of thinking about where Ollie’s new costume came from, but I think I’ve come up with a reasonable way of reading the scene. At first read it sounds like Ollie created the costume and everyone else is seeing it for the first time, but that doesn’t make sense because it would’ve been impossible for him to stash it on the boat.
The only way it makes sense is that Dinah brought it with her. From the way she says she likes it, she may not have made it herself, but it doesn’t have to be the first time she’s seen it. Just the first time she’s seen it on him.
And the last two pages? I totally called that.
Wonder Woman #15
As much as I liked the Green Arrow Family’s adventure on Paradise Island, I’m liking Wonder Woman’s even better. GA/BC has some butt-kicking Amazon’s but they’re not the real deal. These are. Complete with unicorns and dragons and some kind of nasty, Nazi-eating tentacle-monster.
And, oh yeah, there are Nazis. And talking gorillas. And Wonder Woman’s three-page tour of the gods that would’ve taken other writers six issues to tell.
Odin. Man, I hope Gail’s sticking him in her back pocket to pull out later.
The god Wonder Woman eventually aligns herself with is an interesting, unexpected choice. I’ll look forward to seeing where that leads.
And I love that it looks like there’s finally going to be a grounded explanation for Wonder Woman’s claybaby birth. It’s entirely possible that there’s been one before, but if that’s true, I’ve missed it. I never liked that part of her origin because it just sounded mystical for the sake of being mystical. It would be really cool to have it make sense.
Simon Dark #3
This seems out of place next to those other two, but I really liked this and want to mention it.
Most reviews I’ve read of Simon Dark have been an excercise in head-scratching over DC’s decision to try something new. The critics are trying to figure out if it’s a horror series or a superhero series and why it’s set in Gotham City. They’re overthinking it.
I can see how Simon Dark might not be everyone’s bag, but he’s definitely mine. Someone described him as emo and that might be true, but so was Frankenstein’s monster by that measure. And I see a lot of the things I like about that character in Simon.
It probably is more horror than superheroics, but there are superhero elements to it that make it an interesting hybrid of both genres. Sort of like the Hulk was a combination of superheroes and Jekyll/Hyde at the beginning.
Anyway, it’s very different from anything else I’ve read and between its unique feel, some great characters, and Scott Hampton’s fantastic art, I’m enjoying the heck out of it.
Filed Under 30 days of night, steve niles
I’m so unqualified to write an unbiased 30 Days of Night review. My brother-in-law Dave and I happened to run into Grant Gould at the theater last night, so we all sat together. After the movie, Grant asked me what I thought and my only response was, “Perfect.”
Dave pointed out some plot holes to me later and he has valid points, but I can’t help but dismiss them. Maybe it’s that I’m just really familiar with the 30 Days of Night story and filled in gaps based on what I knew from the comics. Maybe it’s just that I was incredibly excited to see this movie after waiting five years for it and the giddiness hasn’t worn off yet. Whatever it is, I’m still thinking the movie was pretty much perfect.
The only thing I missed from the comic was the scene at the end of the first issue when Eben and Stella look out over the ice fields and see the line of vampires advancing towards town. It’s a great moment in the comic and I’m not sure why they left it out of the movie. They hint at it. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the moment is there; you just never get to see what Eben and Stella do at that moment.
Everything else was spot on. The comic’s limited by its three-issue format and reads a little choppy in the original issues. It skips from the vampires’ appearance at the end of #1 to almost the end of the 30 days as #2 opens. The trade collections fix that as much as possible by adding some extra story pages, but the movie is able to really dig in and explore the entire experience of being stuck up there in Barrow with all those vampires.
It also simplifies the plot a bit from the comic. The comic explains more about who the vampires are and why they’re going to Barrow and has some extra characters. There’s a group in New Orleans that knows what’s going on and try to stop it, and there’s some infighting amongst the vampires about whether or not all of this is a good idea. The movie takes that out and does a slick, smooth job of doing it so you never miss it, but I’m curious about what’ll happen if there’s a sequel.
Both the New Orleans group and the infighting lead to important elements in Dark Days (a movie that it sounds like Raimi would like to make), so it’ll be interesting to see how a Dark Days movie solves the challenge of telling the story without them. It can be done and I’ve already worked out in my head how I would do it, but I’m curious to see how they do it. Dark Days is a more complex story than 30 Days of Night, so it’ll require some thought to get it all right. Fortunately, this movie had no shortage of thoughtful people working on it, so I’m not fearful about a hypothetical sequel at all.
See how this isn’t even a real review? I’m sorry about that, but I’m just way too deep into geek mode to think critically about it.