Gamora was created by Marvel writer Jim Starlin in 1975. Gamora first appeared in Strange Tales #180 (June 1975). Gamora is the adopted daughter of Thanos, and the last of her species (Zen-Whoberis). Her powers include superhuman strength and agility and an accelerated healing factor. She also is an expert fighter, being able to defeat almost anyone in the galaxy. Her sometime lovers include Adam Warlock and Nova. Gamora has worked with Adam Warlock’s Infinity Watch team but is best known as a member Guardians of the Galaxy. . Zoe Saldana plays the character in the 2014 live-action film Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Gamora and Angela Gamora-Read More
The new X-Men film Dark Phoenix will be directed by Fantastic Four screenwriter Simon Kinberg. Given that the Fantastic Four movie was on the bad side of horrible, this is very bad news for the X-Men franchise!
With the new Captain Marvel movie (part of the MCU) with Brie Larson in the title role, we decided to grace you with this cool image of several Captains called Marvel… From left to right: Mar-Vell in his original green and white Kree uniform, Carol Danvers as Ms. Marvel in her revealing sexy uniform, Carol Danvers again, in her other revealing, sexy Ms. Marvel Uniform, and then we see Mar-Vell again in his classic red and blue uniform. Carol Danvers (the current holder of the Marvel comics character name of Captain Marvel) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by comic book writer Roy Thomas and artist Gene Colan, Major Carol Danvers first appeared as a member of the United States Air Force in Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (March 1968) and debuted as the first incarnation of Ms. Marvel in Ms. Marvel #1 (January 1977) after a fusion of alien Kree and human genes gives her superhuman powers, which occurred in Captain Marvel #18 (November 1969). Debuting in the Silver Age of comics, the character was featured in a self-titled series in the late 1970s before becoming associated with superhero teams the Avengers and the X-Men. The character has also been known as Binary, Warbird, and Captain Marvel at various points in her superhero career. She reluctantly took the name of Captain Marvel only after her friend and mentor, Captain America, convinced Danvers that she needed to continue the legacy of the late Kree Captain Marvel. Due to her long history in Marvel Comics, Carol Danvers has been highly regarded. Danvers has been labeled “Marvel’s biggest female hero,” a “feminist icon,” as “quite possibly Marvel’s mightiest Avenger,” She was ranked twenty-ninth in Comics Buyer’s Guide’s “100 Sexiest Women in Comics” list, and was ranked #11 on IGN’s “Top 50 Avengers”. Marvel Studios announced a live-action film featuring the character, titled Captain Marvel and starring Brie Larson, which is scheduled for release in 2019.
The Fantastic Four Movie is BAD. Here is Why it is Not Worth Seeing… The following commentary on the new Fantastic Four movie should be taken in with the understanding that I, the reviewer, am a long-time fan of the Fantastic Four comic books. Rather than run through a formal summary of the movie, and pointing out all of the problems, this review will just list out the major plot points and character issues. By the nature of this process, each point made here will contain major spoilers. As you should NOT go see this movie (unless you are some weird super-hero hating masochist), then the spoilers will not matter, since at best, if you MUST see this film, wait until it is on cable or Netflix so that you do not spend any specific money on this film failure. If you want a look at why I consider the Fantastic Four comics (i.e. what should be the source material for any FF movie) so darn good/great, check out the post on my love affair with the Fantastic Four comics. Fantastic Four Movie Poster The Plot of this Un-Fantastic Four Movie: The plot and dialogue of the Fantastic Four movie are unoriginal, pedantic, and predictable. As I sat in the near-empty theater on a Friday afternoon in a popular suburban multiplex (maybe seven or eight others besides myself were present), I actually was able to predict various lines spoken by the on-screen characters. The screenwriters should be ashamed of themselves. The fact that three people receive writing credits for this movie (Simon Kinberg, Jeremy Slater, and Josh Trank), may be a clue as to why it seems so disjointed and predictable. The old saying about ‘too many cooks’ comes to mind. Also, and this was a problem with the first two FF movies from 2005 and 2007, the writers just cannot seem to get Doctor Doom right. In a sign that this movie truly has taken the Fantastic Four to the sub-basement of super-hero movies, I can now say that the Doctor Doom in the first two (mediocre) movies was the better extrapolation of the character. The Doom in the new Fantastic Four movie is not done right in either a comic book sense, nor a decent movie sense. With that, let’s look at the specific problems with the major characters and the actors. Problems with the Characters and Actors: Doctor Doom: Since we mentioned him already, let’s go ahead and talk about how Josh Trank and his fellow writers (he was also the director, by the way), in malfeasance with the poor actor (Tony Kebbell) totally got Doc Doom wrong. By the way, as we go through this list, constant comparisons will be made with the characters and other points from the actual Fantastic Four comics. In the comics, Victor Von Doom is a complex, arrogant, and interesting character. His primary motivations are a hatred/competition for Reed Richards, who he feels wronged him in a personal and in a scientific sense. Many of the best villains in the FF comics were motivated by a jealousy of some type with Richards and with his scientific genius. In addition to the points mentioned above, Doom is also the absolute monarch of a small, secluded Eastern European nation called Latveria. Despite all of his other character issues, Doom truly cares for his people and his nation. That is part of what makes him a complicated, multi-dimensional character. In this movie, they get his motivation all wrong, (he has the hots for Susan) and while we see his arrogant side, his dislike for Reed is not based primarily on an intellectual competition with Reed. The ‘hot for Sue’ theme more properly belongs to the Sub-Mariner in the comics, and never really was a Doom thing. Fail. Also, he is from Latveria (which the movie does touch on). But where is the accent? A couple of times, it sounds like Kebbell is trying to speak with a slight accent, but not enough to convince me he is an actual European. Fail. After Doom gets his powers (and it should be pointed out that his origin is more-or-less taken from the Ultimate version of the Fantastic Four, as is most of the origin story for the FF. More on that later…), he is gone for over a year, and when he does appear, any motivation he has for fighting the FF based on his prior relationship to Susan and Reed is suddenly gone and not referenced again. His powers are now a generic ‘end-the-world’ variety, with no connection at all to his comic-book origins. Also, while he is disfigured by the accident that turned him into a villain, in the comics his disfigurement is a major part of his character and motivation (think Darth Vader), here it is not touched on at all. Fail. Dr. Doom in the Fantastic Four Movie Reed Richards: As mentioned before, this movie takes the basic origin story from the Ultimate line of Marvel books, (which actually makes more sense in the modern world, IMHO), with a dash of the criminal ‘let’s steal the ride and go to space/other dimensions’ that we see in the original FF comics). In this sense, I cannot complain about this film’s origin story, starting out with Reed and Ben as kids growing up as friends. The actor playing Reed (Miles Teller) does an okay job in the role, but the character is written all wrong. His dialogue should constantly be peppered with multi-syllabic scientific jargon, which we did see a bit of in the childhood scenes, and he should be a bit more open and bold in his affection for Sue. While a nerd, the Reed in the comics (both mainstream and Ultimate) has him openly in love/lust for Sue. How his powers are shown in the movie is also not bad, but we do not see enough. Also, one major aspect of this character should be how he comes up with scientific explanations for how they all have their powers. And, the biggest fail (and again, the writers take the blame) is how in this movie, Reed escapes the military base and hides for a year. No attempt to sneak back in, no attempt to contact the […]
The Fantastic Four have been among my favorite comic books and the members of this superhero family are some of my favorite characters. While I gird my loins for watching the new Fantastic Four movie (of which precious little positive news or reviews have graced the media), I decided to look back on why I love the Fantastic Four comics. Fantastic Four Marvel Treasury Edition As a kid growing up in the 1970s, before the internet, before the growth of the retail comic book store, indeed before the current slew of great superhero films made being a superhero geek cool, there was the weekly trip to the neighborhood drug store and the experience of the spinner rack. The top Marvel comics then included several Spider-Man titles, the Avengers, and, of course, the Fantastic Four. The X-Men were in reprints (a fact I don’t recall grasping at the time, as again, no internet). Along with the original titles being put out each week, Marvel also printed a lot of “reprint" titles, in effect recycling old stories from the 1960s for the new generation to buy and read. These titles included such greats as Marvel Adventure, Marvel Double Feature, Marvel Spectacular, Marvel Super Action, Marvel Triple Action, Marvel’s Greatest Comics, among others. This ensured that the great continuity that was a hallmark of early Marvel comics got exposure among the younger set. The Fantastic Four was among my favorite in those days. Part of it was the dynamic between the members of the FF, with Johnny and Ben horsing around, the brother-sister team of Johnny and Sue, the marriage of Sue and Reed, and the all-powerful kid they produced, Franklin. And, of course, one of the best parts was the relationship between Reed and Ben, along with the ongoing quest for a “cure" for Ben’s rocky condition. And, they had great adventures, with their forays into the Negative Zone among my favorites. While the Negative Zone was a pretty creative place, the Marvel writers of the 1970s, sent the FF to many unique and exciting places, from the underground empire of the Mole Man to the streets of Attilan, home of the Inhumans. Some of the great storylines I recall from my FF-reading youth (circa 1973), includes the uprising of the Alpha-Primitives of Attilan, and the discovery by Johnny that his girlfriend Crystal (of the Inhumans), was really in love with Quicksilver of the Avengers. This is real-world social justice stuff (the slavery of the Alpha-Primitives by the Inhumans) and real-world emotional relationship stuff with the Johnny-Crystal-Pietro triangle. Any hope of success that Fox Studios may have for their new Fantastic Four movie would hinge on making the relationships among the characters real and deep. Somehow, I doubt they will get it right. And, if they did manage to do it right, Pietro and Johnny are both in the same Fox-controlled universe, right? Fantastic Four #131-Johnny discovers Crystal and Pietro Fast-forward to the modern day, and the last issues of the Fantastic Four prior to the new movie coming out. This latest run of the FF was, to use a phrase…Fantastic! As I have mentioned in other reviews of Fantastic Four comics, this run of the Fantastic Four paid homage to nearly the whole of FF history while also telling a whale of a tale! A lot was made of the fact that Marvel was ending the long run of FF comics, supposedly in response to Marvel (and Disney’s) concerns about the damage the Fox Studios movie would do to the Fantastic Four franchise. After seeing lead-in and the first part of the huge Secret Wars event, and the fact that most Marvel titles ended or went into hiatus, provides hope that the FF will arise again after the Secret Wars fallout has settled. Check out our review of the new Fantastic Four movie, of course, from the perspective of a long-time FF fan.
MARVEL SILVER AGE VILLAINS: BATROC THE LEAPER Batroc the Leaper Batroc the Leaper — Batroc in the Marvel Comics Universe is a French criminal with amazing physical abilities in gymnastics and martial arts. He is a master of Savate (French kickboxing), but possesses no super-powers. Batroc has a unique sense of honor, and longs for the day when he can defeat Captain America (whom he admires in a weird sort of way), in a fair fight. In the Marvel Comics Universe, Batroc has joined with other villains in loose alliances usually referred to as Batroc’s Brigade. In the Marvel Universe, Batroc is a former soldier in the French Foreign Legion and a martial artist who hireshimself out to the highest bidder, including, (in his first comics appearance), HYDRA. Despite being a master criminal, Batroc has turned on his employers and other allies if he perceives them to be dishonorable. This occurred in his first encounter against Captain America, where Batroc disapproved of the tactics used by HYDRA, and actually aided Captain America in his battle against the terrorist organization. Batroc is a character conceived by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the Marvel Silver Age. In the 2014 Marvel Studios film, Batroc is played by Georges St. Pierre, a Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter who battles Captain America in the opening scenes. Georges St. Pierre asBatroc in Captain America: Winter Soldier Batroc The Leaper-1st Appearance, Tales of Suspense #75 (March 1966)-created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Silver Age Marvel Comics Appearances of Batroc: Tales of Suspense #75 Tales of Suspense #76 Tales of Suspense #85 Tales of Suspense #86 Silver Age of Marvel Comics=Those comics published by Marvel from 1961 to approximately 1968.
First of all, let me say that the new Ant-Man movie is a lot of fun, and, of course, is a close fit with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you like Marvel movies (i.e., those put out by Marvel Studios), by all means, you need to see the Ant-Man movie. If you are a fan of the Ant-Man in the comics, the movie version of the familiar Ant-Man family of characters are, in our opinion, similar enough to the originals to satisfy, with some variations to make it all fit into the Marvel movie universe. Ok, with that out of the way, we will take a look at some specifically good things about the Ant-Man movie, and some things that, frankly, could have been better. The Good: Humor: This film, like Guardians of the Galaxy before it, uses quite a bit of humor throughout the movie. Scott Lang, the new Ant-Man, has a team of sidekicks who are primarily there for comic relief. Michael Peña plays Lang’s buddy Luis, and his mannerisms and story-telling technique in the movie are just hilarious. Read more about the orginal Ant-Man and Wasp in this short e-book on the Avengers. The Heroes: One concern that appeared with the first trailers and info on this movie as the pre-release publicity began was the fact that the title character would be the second Ant-Man from the comics, Scott Lang, rather than the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym. Lang is played by Paul Rudd, while an older Pym is played by Michael Douglas. Our fears were allayed by the fact that Douglas’ Pym has almost as much screen time as Rudd’s Lang. SPOILER ALERT HERE… Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) From the opening scene of the movie (and pay close attention to who the white-haired billionaire playboy is, as well as the woman), we see Hank Pym in action and we start to learn more about what he did in his younger days…hint, fans of the original Ant-Man (like this reviewer), loved what the Michael Douglas character does in the movie and in the flashbacks. Also, we see an Ant-Man/Wasp team-up, as it should be. MORE SPOILERS… Special Effects: When we first see Hank Pym, he is the younger Michael Douglas as he appeared in films nearly 30 years ago. This effect is by the same company that made Chris Evans look like a 98-pound weakling in the first Captain America movie. When I saw this scene, all my fears of the original Pym character/Ant-Man being pushed aside were alleviated. Also, the shrinking effects throughout the film were fantastic! Marvel Easter Eggs and References: Old fans of Marvel comics will love the Easter eggs and references, from the “Tales to Astonish” verbal reference to the names of businesses that refer to comics creators. And, of course, the requisite Stan Lee cameo (don’t blink, it is a quick one!), and the mid-credits scene (again, fans of the Wasp will like it), and the after-credits scene that helps place Ant-Man in the upcoming events that will shake the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Oh, and there is a cool super-hero cameo in the middle of the movie as well that helps set up the after-credits scene. Also, several heroes are referenced at the end, and one of them seems to be a reference to a certain hero that everyone wants to see interact with the Avengers. No, we will not spoil that one. Go see the movie! By the way, the “dog” in the movie is cool! Scott Lang finds the Ant-Man Suit The Bad (or stuff that at least could have been done better): The Villain: A bald evil scientist who develops a powerful weapon and seeks to sell it to the highest bidder. After the good guys interfere with his plans, he uses weaponized suit himself, and becomes the villainous super-powered bad guy. As the super-powered bad guy (the suit gives him the same basic powers as our hero, but with some cool weapons upgrades), our villain finds the female character most important to our hero and threatens her life, forcing our hero to make a move that could prove fatal, “but he has to save the girl…” Yellowjacket vs Ant-Man Ok, that synopsis fits the Yellowjacket villain from Ant-Man, as well as the villain from the first Iron Man movie (Jeff Bridges played the bald Obadiah Stane, who puts on a super-armor to try to kill Iron Man and his love interest, Pepper Potts). In Ant-Man, Actor Corey Stoll plays Darren Cross, who becomes Yellowjacket and threatens Ant-Man’s daughter. In other words, the villain is somewhat generic. Not bad, but certainly not great. Plus, as a fan of the comics, this version of Yellowjacket is a fail. But, having said that, the film itself is a success: a fun, humorous introduction to Marvel’s newest film hero and his extended network of characters. Plus, it sets us up for Ant-Man’s interaction with the Avengers and other heroes in the future. Go see Ant-Man. It was a lot of fun! Read more about the orginal Ant-Man and Wasp in this short e-book on the Avengers.
The latest installment in the growing Marvel Cinematic Universe hit the theaters this week with the debut of Ant-Man, an important, if somewhat unknown character from Marvel Comics. In the movie, the Ant-Man character is played by actor Paul Rudd, while the man who invented the Ant-Man tech is played by legendary actor Michael Douglas. For those of you who are a bit unfamiliar with the history of Ant-Man, here are ten fast Ant-Man facts from the comics for you to digest before you head out to see the new Ant-Man movie: The superhero known as Ant-Man, has been split between three Marvel comics characters: Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym, the scientist who invented all of the Ant-Man tech, and Scott Lang, a reformed thief who took over the identity of Ant-Man, and Eric O’Grady, a former SHIELD agent who stole one of Pym’s Ant-Man suits to lead a life of crime. In the movie, Pym is played by Michael Douglas, while Lang is played by Paul Rudd. The Hank Pym character was the second Silver Age hero, after the Fantastic Four, first appearing in Tales to Astonish #27 in January, 1962. In this issue, he appeared as a scientist develops a process to shrink himself and communicate with insects. He is not, at this point, a superhero. That comes in Tales to Astonish #35 in September, 1962, as the costumed hero, Ant-Man. Tales to Astonish #27 Pym’s girlfriend, Janet Van Dyne, becomes the heroine, The Wasp, in Tales to Astonish #44. They form a superheroic duo on and off. They later marry. Unlike in the movies, Ant-Man was a founding member of the Avengers, along with his girlfriend, the Wasp. Ant-Man and Wasp in Tales to Astonish #48 Again, unlike in the movies, Hank Pym was the scientist who invented the evil robot Ultron. In the Marvel movies, Ultron is created by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. In both situations, inventing Ultron turned out to be a bad idea. Pym, constantly inventing new technology, changes his superhero identity multiple times, becoming Giant-Man, Goliath , Yellowjacket, and, for a short time, the Wasp. In part due to his shrinking and growing tech (“Pym Particles”), Hank Pym develops mental instability, causing him to become a villain at times (Yellowjacket was originally one of his evil personas), and to abuse his wife. She eventually got smart and divorced him. Scott Lang became the second Ant-Man (when another character takes on a superhero or supervillain code name, they are usually designated by Marvel and the Geek universe as, in this case, Ant-Man II, in order to keep everything in order). Ant-Man II came about when Lang, a thief and electronics expert, needed money to save his very sick daughter, Cassie. He stole Pym’s Ant-Man suit and Pym Particle formula. Most of his career has been spent as a good guy though, and has belonged to the Avengers, as well as other superhero teams. Ant-Man III was an ex-SHIELD agent named Eric O’Grady, who stole one of Pym’s Ant-Man suits (Pym really needs to employ better security for his tech), and launched into a criminal career. Usually referred to as the Irredeemable Ant-Man, first appearing in the very originally title Irredeemable Ant-Man #1 in December, 2006. Ant-Man’s Rogue Gallery of Villains is somewhat lame, with a few exceptions Egghead, an evil scientist with an egg-shaped noggin. Dumb name, but dangerous. Currently dead. Whirlwind (formerly known as the Human Top), a mutant with the power to spin quickly like a human top or whirlwind. He is a sick puppy who has rape and murder fantasies about Janet Van Dyne (the Wasp), thus making him a mortal foe to both Pym and the Wasp. Ultron, the living robot created by Pym. Ultron in the comics is constantly trying to conquer the world, destroy the Avengers, and kill daddy Pym, not always in that order of importance. Ultron and Ant-Man’s Helmet
Avengers: Age of Ultron Spoiler Free Movie Review This, the second Avengers movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is as good, if not better, than the original Avengers film that hit in 2012! There it is…our opinion in one sentence. Want to know why we feel that way? Then read on below… Scarlet Witch Hexes Black Widow Why is it better? Simple: This edition of the Cinematic Avengers adds depth to previously little plumbed characters, introduces new characters effectively, features an easy to hate/easy to love new villain, contains great dialogue, and sets up the coming conflict in the next Captain America movie, ominously sub-titled as “Civil War.” This review will try to explain why the new Avengers movie is great without giving away any major spoilers. We will soon post a second review full of spoilers if that is your cup of tea. To start with, any successful Avengers movie must continue to feature and add depth to the six main hero characters that came together to stop Loki in their origin story/movie. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye all have major roles in this film, with significant dialogue and character development especially for the last three in that list. Since Mark Ruffalo has taken over the role of Dr. Bruce “Hulk” Banner, our Jade Giant has not enjoyed a solo movie, and neither Black Widow nor Hawkeye have been allowed their own adventures on screen yet. Perhaps to make up for this, all three of them enjoy significant screen-time and plot twists that add depth to their characters and, in the case of two of them, important aspects of the plot add to their back stories. Mark Ruffalo and Scarlet Johanssen in Avengers: Age of Ultron New characters joined the roster of Marvel Movie super-powered characters in Avengers: Age of Ultron. We caught a glimpse of “The Twins” in the end credit scene of Captain America: Winter Soldier, but in this movie the super-siblings come into their own. Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) has super-speed and enhanced reflexes and metabolism. His sister, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), has mental powers such as telekinesis, hypnosis, and energy projection. Both gained these powers as guinea pigs in the experiments of HYDRA scientist Baron Strucker. The third new character is the Vision (Paul Bettany), a synthetic man created by Ultron. Ultron pops up as the latest Marvel movie villain, and, voiced by James Spader, this robotic rogue is a delight to listen to and a creature to fear. He makes being bad seem almost good. His dialogue is interesting, as he goes from quoting from Pinocchio one moment, to quoting from the New Testament the next. Ultron The dialogue and banter between characters is on par with the first Avengers movie, which is to say, it is great! Whether the Avengers are relaxing together or fighting together, or actually fighting each other, the dialogue seems realistic to each situation. The inherent conflict that arises when super-powered and high-tech-armed heroes with disparate philosophies of how to protect the world get together is seen on stark display in this movie (pun intended!) As we already know, the next movie featuring the Avengers will be Captain America: Civil War, which will feature a violent conflict between heroes led by Captain America on the one side and Iron Man and his super-powered clique on the other. There are many more positives to talk about that make this movie a fun, and important chapter in Marvel’s unfolding cinematic landscape. Unfortunately, describing all the great pieces of this new Avengers movie would take us into spoiler-land, and that is something we are trying to avoid here. This reviewer is a fan of both the original Marvel comics universe as well as the Marvel movie universe, and is a major fan of this movie. It is worth going to see. Again, and again, and again, and…