Franchise Wars

With the release of the Avengers: Infinity War trailer dropping earlier this week, and the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi due out in a few days, nerd-dom is at its highest of levels right now. And while I cannot wait to see The Last Jedi in theaters on opening day, I’ve come to realize that I am more excited for Avengers than I am for Star Wars.

To some, this may seem sacrilegious. The franchises aren’t even in the same category or genre. How can they even be compared?

Earlier this week, Mark Hamill expressed his feelings about the Star Wars franchise on Good Morning America:

“When I read the script, I was stunned. These films now are being made by people that were children when the first films came out. They were the generation that grew up as fans and now are in charge of the franchise. It’s wonderful to be associated with something that makes people so happy. It’s escapism…we don’t want real life, it’s too harsh…”

Hamill isn’t wrong. Star Wars is quite the escapism for fans to leave the real world behind. And while I long for a release from the monotony of the day to day, Marvel has taken this idea on a different path.

In 2008, Marvel Studios’ Iron Man rocked box offices and started a ten year journey to the moment fans have waited for next year. In one film, they created the foundations for a franchise that rivaled Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and even Star Wars. What Marvel Studios did was allow the world to see that superheroes were still relevant in modern society.

I was never much of a comic reader as a kid (surprise!), mostly because they were expensive and I nor my parents could afford them regularly. But where older comics dealt with issues plaguing the WWII era – Captain America punching Nazis – many of the modern comics did not line up nicely with modern worldly issues. (Again, I’d like to restate that I did not read many comics as a kid, so perhaps I just never noticed that they did.) So when Iron Man rose to meet the challenges of war during our currently state of affairs in 2008, a realistic type of escapism occurred.

Maybe it could also be that I never discovered Star Wars until I was in my teens. Maybe those that grew up with the franchise connect more closely. Maybe it’s Marvel’s marketing to produce two movies a year that intertwine so seamlessly , where Star Wars is playing catch up with Rogue One and the upcoming Solo film.

Hamill’s right in that we all want an escape, but for me I want that escape to seem real. That doesn’t mean that I still don’t want to be a Jedi at heart, or that I don’t want to create screen-accurate Jedi cosplay, or that I can’t wait for an Obi-Wan Kenobi solo film. But for me, I watched that Infinity War trailer, ten years of emotion and excitement game me goosebumps. I love the Star Wars franchise for its fantasy entertainment, but the Marvel films to be more a more realistic, hopeful sort of fantasy escape for me.

What do you think? Which movie are you excited to see more? Do you think these franchises will see in an end in the near future? I’d love to continue the conversation in the comments below.

Avengers: Infinity WarTrailer

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer

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NEW! “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” Is Here!

catws bannerToday Marvel Studios has released the first trailer for the upcoming Captain America sequel, The Winter Soldier.

For those “in the know” the Winter Soldier in the comics was one of the most exciting story lines of the franchise and the character remains one of the most prominent and complex characters to come out of the series.  For those who don’t know the character, I’ll save the spoilers this time around. The one thing I will say is, so far, this movie looks rather different in tone from what we’ve experienced thus far and I’m excited!!

The Winter Soldier first appeared in 2005 during Captain America Vol.5 Issue #1 during the start of the 5-part “Out of Time” story arc.  To say anything more would be to spoil the fun of the character’s reveal, so I’ll just leave you with this exciting new trailer. Keep a look out for a glimpse at the Falcon with full wing spread!!

Captain America: The Winter Soldier premieres in theaters on April 4th, 2014

‘Avengers Assemble’ trailer has just dropped!

Logo-Avengers-Assemble

Here’s the trailer for the new Avengers cartoon on Disney XD. I liked the previous series, kind of sad they cancelled it. The design and appearance here doesn’t seem too different, but I’m not sure I like it as much, the odd, off proportions look a little too “kiddy”(?), like they’ve drawn action figures rather than comic book characters, then again, I didn’t think I’d like the previous cartoon either! I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see! What do you think?

The Biggest Heroes. The Biggest Threats. The Biggest Stakes!

It’s the most anticipated new animated series to launch this year and this July, Marvel’s Avengers Assemble reunites Marvel’s most iconic Super Heroes – Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow & Falcon! Featuring the team that took the world by storm in Marvel’s The Avengers, no fan can miss the action-packed adventures of Earth’s Mightiest as they must protect the Marvel Universe from the biggest threats they’ve ever seen – all while working together as a team! The world’s most dangerous Super Villains don’t stand a chance when the Avengers Assemble!

Don’t miss the miss the premiere episode of Marvel’s Avengers Assemble SUNDAY, JULY 7 with a special one-hour preview on SUNDAY, MAY 26 (both at 11:00 a.m., ET/PT) inside the Marvel Universe programming block on Disney XD.

Comic Book Covers 11/28/2012

There’s a bunch of stuff happening in comics this week.  On the Marvel side we have another new Marvel NOW! book in Hickman’s FF #1.  We also see the end of Brian Michael Bendis’ many years long run on the Avengers with New Avengers #34.  Sad to see him go, but it’s in great hands with Hickman.  For DC we get the first part of the big Aquaman / Justice League crossover: “Throne of Atlantis”.  It may be hard to believe but with Geoff Johns at the helm Aquaman has been fantastic.  Before Watchman also returns this week with Ozymandias and Silk Spectre.  Lots of great covers this week, here’s a few of them.

Batman Incorporated #5

Cover by Chris Burnham

Continue reading

Comic Book Covers 11/21/2012

More great stuff this week.  Marvel NOW! continues with a couple of new books, as well as a few getting their second issues.  DC gives us another chapter in Batman’s “Death of the Family” event as well as their big Superman crossover, “H’el on Earth”.  Here’s my favorite covers this week.  Continue reading

Comic Book Covers 10/24/2012

This week in comics saw the “final” issues of quite a few Marvel books including Captain America, Fantastic Four, and Invincible Iron Man.  The final is in quotes because the books will be back next month with new creators as #1 issues.  This did lead to some nice variants being released though, especially the two collage ones on this list.  Continue reading

Comic Book Covers 09/12/2012

A few of my favorites from the 09/12/2012 week.

Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #0

Cover by Alberto Ponticelli

To be quite honest, I didn’t think any DC books would be making this list this month, because I’m not such a fan of the 0 issue cover styles.  They’re all essentially the same, just the main character jumping out at you.  It doesn’t really give the artist too much to work with.  This one I really liked though, it’s an awesome shot of Frank getting ready to mess someone’s day up really badly.

X-Men Legacy #273

Cover by Mark Brooks

This cover is so good, it’s essentially Rogue riding Battle Cat.  That’s really all the explanation needed for it being up here.

Captain America & Black Widow #636

Cover by Francesco Francavilla

Francesco Francavilla kicks butts.  His work on Black Panther: Man Without Fear was one of the main draws for that book.  Combine that with the fact that Captain America is my favorite hero and this one makes the list.

Movies You May Have Missed: Yor, The Hunter from the Future

Yor, The Hunter From The Future     Welcome to the first entry in a series of reviews covering obscure, rare, and/or forgotten films. Some of these gems have barely survived the VHS generation. Some of them are relegated to the “cult”, “underground”, or “b” grouping. Whatever you want to call them, they’re movies that deserve watching. So grab some snacks, read these reviews, then go get yourself a copy of any of these cinematic masterpieces and fill that aching hole in your soul!

First up, if you haven’t yet guessed by the article title, is one of my absolute FAVORITES, “Yor, The Hunter from the Future”, possibly the most “metal” and “manly” film every made.

I’m thinking that the makers of this film saw a ManOWar album cover, brought it to a production meeting and said, “See this? This is the movie I’m going to make.”

“Yor” was unleashed upon the world for a week in 1983. It was slapped together from what was, or was supposed to be (details of this are somewhat sketchy and to my knowledge proof is non-existent), a four-part mini-series on Italian tv. It did managed to pull in nearly $3mil. Soon after, it would find its way to the local Video Store in my neighborhood, and my life would be forever changed.

Yor starred only one actor of real note, Reb Brown. Reb is best known to most audiences, recently at least, for starring as Captain America/Steve Rogers himself in the two made-for-tv movies, “Captain America” and “Captain America II: Death Too Soon” which are rather special in their own rights, he gained notoriety in the late 90’s when Mystery Science Theater 3000 got a hold of his movie, “Space Mutiny”, but those are for another article all-together. Reb Brown is a definite treasure of the b-movie world. Seriously, I mean, if it weren’t for him, we’d never have this touching moment between Captain America and the Hulk!!!

The film opens with what some consider the most epic opening sequence of the early-80’s Post-Apocolyptic boom. A lone, bare-chested, blonde warrior daintily skips runs around the same rock formations through the wastelands, searching for adventure and the thrill of the hunt, all to one of the most epic synth-rock ballads to ever grace your tender ears. Here, have a listen:

Without doing a full scene by scene breakdown, let’s hit some of the points of interest in relative chronological order that make this movie really “work”:

  • Yor bursts in on a cave woman (who’s oddly attractive compared to the rest of her tribe) and her grandfather protector just as they’re being attacked by a sort of stegosaurus/triceratops hybrid and slays it with his mighty axe and the wits of an expert “Hunter”.
    Once dead, he screams like a maniac, drinks it’s blood that evidently “burns like fire” because “the blood of your enemy makes you strong”  commands the weak old man to, “Help me cut the choice meats!”. Dialog=Classic
  • While rescuing his “damsel in distress” new girlfriend from a tribe of blue cavemen,  he kills a giant bat monster with one shot of a bow and arrow that look like they were made by the village pre-school class, then proceeds to use its instantly rigor-ed body to hang-glide down to save her in what may be the most awesome, manly thing EVER filmed….okay, I really didn’t want to post a lot of “spoiler” vids, but you just HAVE to see this:
    (side note: The best comment on YouTube for this clip is “this is the scene that made Chuck Norris cry for the first time”)
  • EVERY time Yor does something awesome, his theme song plays and your body produces testosterone.
  • Yor nonchalantly commits what can be considered as genocide no less than 3 times during this movie without much as a moment of guilt, inflection, or the bat of an eyelash. Twice before the movie hits its halfway mark.
  • Yor gets a flaming sword for a short time and becomes the embodiment of every D&D geek in the world. He then throws it like a spear in the most epic-manly fashion you can imagine. Yor IS the man.
  • There’s a cat-fight and some marijuana allusions.
  • Yor battles the poor-man’s Emperor Palpatine and his army of cut-rate Vader drones.
  • You will see the single most masculine trapeze scene ever shot on film utilizing little plastic men that you totally won’t care are obviously fake and you will have sprouted some new chest hair by this point.
  • Yor and his lady-friend fly through a flaming explosion in an epic space-fighter-jet-machine that he just happens to know how to pilot. Well, since he’s going to rebuild a better world using his “Superior Knowledge”, I guess that makes sense.

Possibly one of the single most epic fantasy posters ever made.

Honestly, “Yor, The Hunter From The Future” is not a “good” film. It’s cheesy, with very poor, obviously cheap effects, bad acting, bad voice overs, ect. But through all that, one very important point lays true, this film is FUN.
You can watch it alone, or with friends, and you will have a blast. You will laugh, you will make jokes, you will sit in awe, and you will cheer on the poor, half-brain-dead denizens of this sad, sad future. Mostly, you will cheer for Yor, as he grins like an idiot while racking up a body count that would make Rambo and the Terminator weep with pride, all while wearing an awful blonde wig and dragging around an octogenarian in a loin-cloth who’s just waiting for morning to get his senior coffee.

As if you needed more convincing, here’s two points to take note of: 1) Notice how many times I couldn’t help but use the term “epic” in this write-up. 2) Watch the trailer: