1. MOVIES. I love to report, but there’s not a lot this week. I can tell you that the Nightmare remake is like eating fine lobster, only the claw meat has been replaced with rice cakes. Not a scary moment in it. But there a few great movies out now–which will be easy to get into after May 7 (a.k.a. Iron Man Day). Go see “A Prophet” and “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.” Good stuff. Check out my movie page for my ongoing rankings.
2. GET JASON! Why is Jason Aaron the only Wolverine writer you need to know about? Because of the 2008 “Get Mystique” story (in trade); the amazing and incredible run he had on Wolverine: Weapon X; and, soon, his Wolverine-goes-to-hell story arc that will kick off a new Wolverine title (to replace the existing one, which is really about Dark Wolverine). Nobody has ever (and I mean EVER) made the character as interesting or complex as Mr. Aaron. And lots of folks have tried.
3. CAN D.C. RETURN TO GREAT-TOON-NESS? I’ve often said that D.C.’s animation efforts are far superior to Marvel’s, on the whole, while Marvel’s live-action adaptations tend to leave D.C. in the dust. Compare, for example, Batman: Brave and the Bold, Justice League (and it’s “Unlimited” version), Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: TAS, and Teen Titans Go! to Wolverine and the X-Men, Spectacular Spider-Man, or every awful Fantastic Four cartoon. Just about the only toons Marvel got right, other than their DVD releases, in the past 20 years were the first X-Men and X-Men Evolutions. Well, Marvel’s animation studios are kicking into high gear, as I
reported last week, so, not to be outdone, D.C. has announced that this year they’ll be reviving the 1998 “Young Justice” series. Yeah, it sucked back then, but maybe they can do it right now? It’s kind of like a version of Teen Titans, only a little tweaked. This version of the junior Justice League will have Superboy, Robin, Kid Flash, Miss Martian, Artemis and Aqualad. Now, if they could just bring back that great Superboy and the Legion series from a few years ago . . .
4. AND SPEAKING OF D.C. MOVING PICTURES . . . Smallville recently introduced T.V. viewers to the DCU version of SHIELD (sort of), called Checkmate, and it’s African American director Amanda Waller. (She’s also black in the comic—unlike Nick Fury.) Rumors say that the organization will move from small to big screen, appearing in the Green Lantern movie, which is currently filming. In other D.C. movie news, there’s more talk about the Ronin adaptation. The comic was quite stylized, and it’s hard to imagine how they’ll even begin to stay true to Frank Miller’s original mystic, cryptic miniseries.
5. MARVEL STUDIOS UPDATES. And speaking of moving pictures, we’re a year away from the release date, but the leaks, rumors and buzz keep coming on next year’s Marvel tentpole. They’re saying now that Nick Fury and the Howling Commandos will appear. That’s kind of a no-brainer if they’re showing pre-frozen Cap. A much more interesting turn of events is the rumor that Joss Whedon will be getting involved as a writer or director of The Avengers. And did you hear that if they don’t start filming Ghost Rider 2 by November, the rights to the film revert to Marvel Studios? See, now that would be a good thing. Marvel Studios has done a good job by most of its characters. (But where’s the good Punisher movie? That’s where they’ve fallen down. Big time.)
6. SIEGE. My readers know I’m a huge fan of Marvel in general and Brian Michael Bendis specifically, but Siege has been pretty disappointing to me. I know it’s hard to make an “event” live up to the hype, and even harder to stretch a battle for 3 issues and keep it interesting, but I still expected more. This is the return of Steve Rogers, but there doesn’t seem to be nearly enough fanfare. This is Iron Man and Thor teaming up, in costume, against Earth’s evilest, but there isn’t really a feeling of rally. This is Ronin reclaiming his Hawkeye costume—something he’s been grumbling about for a year—yet there hasn’t been a powerful “punch” moment. I’m not saying Siege is bad, I’m just saying it’s not good enough. But having said that, the one-shots have been pretty darn good. We learned more about Loki and Cap than we have from the Thor and Captain America titles, let alone the main Siege series. It’s the rare case where the tie-ins tell you more than the main series. Even Siege: Spider-Man, which didn’t really advance any storylines, was a solid, fun, and funny read. I’m not saying don’t buy it, I’m just saying, again, that I’m disappointed.