Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Heroes Review: "Company Man"

Ok, Heroes is really starting to get good. It took it nearly forever, but things are really moving now. From the beginning, I've felt that Heroes does best when it focuses on 2 or 3 characters per show, as opposed to jumping around and dealing with everyone that has an ability. This episode picked up where the last left off (obviously), with Matt and Ted confronting Mr. Bennet about what's going on. As he constantly denies their overtures, Ted gets a little angry, and you don't like it when Ted gets angry. Jack Coleman is doing an exceptional job playing the role of Mr. Bennet, as this episode was basically a flashback episode, chronicling his progression as an "agent" of the organization he is working for.
Spoiler AlertWe still are left in the dark about the organization, however we now know that Mr. Bennet adopted (more like was given by Hiro's dad...intrigued yet) Claire to raise, with the notion that if she showed powers, the organization would come to collect. The organization pairs a "mutant" with an agent to catalogue and deal with the other mutants in the world. The flashback showed his first partner being the Invisible Man (same one helping Peter), albeit in a less gruff, yet still skeptical, form of himself. Mr. Bennet is forced to kill him (we all know he escapes...how else would he be helping Peter in the present), per the request of the mysterious leader of the organization.
In the present (the show oscillates between advancing past and present), Ted and Mr. Bennet race to the paper mill to get the file on Ted, just so he won't go nuclear and wipe out most of Odessa. Upon arriving back at the Bennet home, the mysterious leader shows up, and finds that Claire does have a power (I won't say how he finds out, but if you've seen the end of X3, you have a good idea. The episode ends with the Haitian and Claire running at the request of Mr. Bennet, while the Haitian removes all memory of Claire from him. It was a very powerful episode, and really added a human element to Mr. Bennet, who at this point it just felt like he was completely evil, when in the end, he was just trying to protect his family (Claire included).End Spoiler Alert
Many things are rapidly becoming clear as the show progresses, and now its getting hot. This show has kind of lacked suspense, as the first half of the season seemed to promise multiple big payoffs, with little reward. Now, everything is hitting the fan, and its becoming more and more clear that things are about to get even more off the chains sooner than later. That makes 2 solid episodes in a row for Heroes, as this one is easily a 9.8 out of 10, and it seems that its only going to get better. This is my favorite episode of the entire series so far. Now if NBC would return Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip instead of The Black Donnely's, everything would be great.

New York Comic Convention 2007

So I plan on doing a more in-depth post later today (or tomorrow) with pictures, however I wanted to throw it out there. NY Comic Con was freaking awesome. A Stormtrooper gave me directions, Gary Coleman and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) were right next to each other signing autographs and Jessica Chobot was dressed as Bullet Witch (which you can never, ever go wrong with). All in all, a fantastic show that really has me wanting to go back next year, when its not so overwhelming (this was my first comic convention). Check back later on when I have pictures.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Civil War: Issue 7

Civil War has been Marvel's crown jewel for the better part of a year now (practically), and the final issue was released Wednesday, February 21st. The series has chronicled the tumultuous relationship between Iron Man and Captain America, as both of them have differing views regarding the Superhero Registration Act. This (of course) crescendoed into one of the most epic battles the Marvel Universe has faced, pitting Iron Man and those for the registration against Captain America and those against. The final issue certainly does not disappoint, and points the Marvel Universe towards a troubled future.
The issue read extremely fast (it was really over before I realized it), and the writing was excellent. The ending is not quite what you'd expect from such an important issue, however, I was very satisfied with the way it concluded. As I mentioned earlier, there are tons of stories that have been set up from this issue, and who knows where subsequent writers will take them. I think some will be disappointed that there isn't a "symbolic" moment (readers of massive comic arcs will know what I mean by that), however, the story gets by just fine on its own.
Fallout? Well, Hulk is coming back, and no one knows what side he will be on. Spiderman has been outed, and everyone knows he's Peter Parker. SPOILER ALERTCaptain America is in jail, as he gave himself up to Iron Man to stop all the fightingEND SPOILER ALERT. And all those that were on Cap's side are being rounded up and prisoned for the troubles (except for the ones they can't find). And the Fantastic Four are trying to heal after being torn apart by the Civil War.
All in all, an excellent issue. I'm eagerly anticipating where this goes next, as I feel that Civil War has done a much better job setting everything up than House of M did. Hopefully, Marvel can keep this momentum going, and make the best of it.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Heroes Review: "Unexpected"

So I finally got around to watching Heroes this week, and this series is finally making up for lost time. I've been watching it from the beginning, and the first few episodes were nothing short of amazing. Then, it started to get redundant, and then there was a month layoff where no Heroes were to be found. Now, a few episodes in from the break, the show is really finding its footing, and getting great while doing so. There are spoilers so read at your own risk.
We learned a few things this episode. Namely Peter is learning to better control his abilities, Matt partners up with Radioactive Man and Wi-Fi Girl (those aren't their real names, but come on), and Claire and her father come to a head about the whole "erasing memory" thing. Hiro leaves Ando (only to get on a Stan Lee driven bus...beautiful surprise by the way), and Sylar continues his steal abilities tour with Mohinder, unawares to Mohinder (although after this week's episode, he may start getting the hint).
With so many characters being featured, its hard to move the plot forward much at all, much less per character. But this episode did a fantastic job, as every character featured had their stories advanced, which is a welcome change from the past few episodes that have been rather stagnant in terms of story development. The entire show, I've felt that its being crushed under its own weight, and that because there were so many characters, the story as a whole was suffering. It looks like the audience is getting geared up for the big payoff however, with the shocking ending of Isaac accidentally shooting Simone, who then falls into Peter's arms. This could be the thing that sets him off, but only time will tell.
Overall, a great episode. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give it a 9.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Review: Ghost Rider

I'll be the first to admit that Ghost Rider is a character in the Marvel Universe that I know little about. His premise seems to be pretty sweet, as he's essentially the bounty hunter for the Devil. I'm sure in the comics, he's portrayed with a sense of intensity and an air of contempt for anything evil. The movie may have lost a little in translation however.
The movie was not as bad as other Marvel ventures onto the big screen (Elektra for example), but it wasn't necessarily groundbreaking either. Viewers will come away from this movie in awe of the visual effects, as they seamlessly connect Johnny Blaze to Ghost Rider with vivid transformation sequences. Speaking of Cage, you can tell that he geeked out at the chance to portray a Marvel character on the big screen, and he really pours everything he has into the role. Eva Mendes...well, she looks good (just about every shot involves her and her cleavage), but her acting leaves much to be desired. Peter Fonda turns in an awesome role as the Devil/Mephistopheles, and while you really don't see him much, he makes the most of his time on screen. Wes Bentley plays his son Blackheart, and he comes across as more petulant than diabolical. The story itself is rather briskly paced and somewhat vapid, and there really isn't much climax to anything. Ghost Rider dispatches of all the evildoers pretty easily, and it seems that the "Penance Stare" was thrown in to the movie just to appease the fans. His dialogue seems a little cheesy, and doesn't quite fit the persona of a character with his skull on fire. It waffles between a star-crossed romance between Cage and Mendes and a treatise on good and evil. The relationship between Mephistopheles and Blackheart is like a dad telling a 5 year old he can't have the candy he wants. In the end, the movie is good for probably bad reasons. Its campy enough where you can enjoy yourself, but its not a Marvel endeavor that's going to be seen as one of the greats. The visual effects are great, but the story and dialogue are a little hollow, and it probably shouldn't be 1 hour and 50 minutes. If you don't know much about Ghost Rider, I'd wait till it came out on DVD, and not necessarily rush to see it in the theater. If Ghost Rider is your favorite hero, well, let's just say, this movie doesn't really do him justice. Overall score: 55 out of 100

Friday, February 16, 2007

Two Face Confirmed?

Well the wait is over. After months and months of rampant speculation, Aaron Eckhart is confirmed to be in negotiations to play the role of Harvey Dent (and following that Two-Face) in The Dark Knight. He'll join an already stellar cast that boasts Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman and Heath Ledger.

With just about every well-known actor being attached to this role, its nice to have some closure to the search. Will he be a good Harvey Dent/Two-Face? I guess we'll find out in about a year or so. I trust Christopher Nolan, so things should work out well.

Filming is set to begin on The Dark Knight this March, with an expected July 18, 2008 release date. Eckhart plays the Two-Face part

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Comicality is born

My goal with this blog is to inform you, the avid (or maybe non-avid) comic book reader of all (well, maybe that's a little ambitious for a burgeoning blog) the happenings and going-ons in the world of comic books. This is of course the obligatory "site is born" post (read first sentence), but now that its out of the way, I can move on and post about more pressing matters regarding comics. I was going to say more pressing "issues," but that pun was just way too easy. In any case, I hope you enjoy the endeavor into the so-called "blogsphere." Be sure to tell your friends, and by all means, tips are always welcome. I can't find every newsworthy article on my own.