Category Archives: Comic Books

Greatest Comic Book Villain Portrayals – Part 4

Welcome back to the countdown of the best portrayals of comic book villains. Ready to crack the top 10? Before we get to today’s entries, lets take a quick look at who we’ve covered so far.

25. The Penguin – Robin Lord Taylor (Gotham)
24. The Joker – Cesar Romero (Batman – TV Series)
23. Deacon Frost – Stephen Dorff (Blade)
22. Saint of Killers – Graham McTavish (Preacher)
21. Doctor Octopus – Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
20. Vulture – Michael Keaton (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
19. Deathstroke – Manu Bennett (Arrow)
18. Green Goblin – Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man)
17. The Governor – David Morrissey (The Walking Dead)
16. Catwoman – Julie Newmar (Batman – TV Series)
15. Hela – Cate Blanchett (Thor: Ragnarok)
14. Captain Cold – Wentworth Miller (The Flash)
13. The Joker – Jack Nicholson (Batman)
12. Helmut Zemo – Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War)
11. Magneto – Ian McKellen (X-Men)

On to today’s installment…

10. Cottonmouth – Mahershala Ali (Luke Cage)

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Oozing with charisma, and far more nuanced than the typical MCU villain, Mahershala Ali’s take on Cornell Stokes (a.k.a. Cottonmouth) was superb. While I do love Mike Colter’s take on Luke Cage, I actually found Cottonmouth to be far more interesting than the titular hero. So compelling and engaging was his character, that his death halfway through the first season, throws the entire show out of whack leading to a disappointing back half. Showing him being forced into the life of organized crime despite his wishes to avoid it, yet fully embracing it once he’s in, he did a fantastic job making Cottonmouth come across as both vicious and slightly sympathetic.

9. Bane – Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises)

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I know some dislike the voice Tom Hardy chose to use for Bane, but I personally thought it gave the character a memorability and helped in making his incredible dialogue standout even more. And make no mistake, his dialogue is just that: incredible. He easily has some of the best material in the entire series. Including the “darkness” monologue, which sums up a villains backstory better in just a few sentences than some get with entire scenes dedicated to it. Being the first of three villains from The Dark Knight trilogy being in the top 10, it speaks to just how amazingly well Christopher Nolan did in creating great villains.

8. Ra’s al Ghul – Liam Neeson (Batman Begins)

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Number 2 in The Dark Knight trilogy big bads. The shock of learning that Liam Neeson’s character, originally claiming to be Henri Ducard (the man that helped train Bruce Wayne in the comics), was in fact the real Ra’s al Ghul, was a truly wonderful plot twist. While Bane may have had better dialogue, and the Joker got more focus, I really believe that there was more charisma in the interactions between Christian Bale’s Batman and Liam Neeson’s Ra’s al Ghul than any other villain in the franchise. With the connections to him in the events of The Dark Knight Rises, he in many ways was actually the primary villain of the trilogy.

7. Erik Killmonger – Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther)

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Easily one of the most complex villains in a comic book property. While his actions and his ultimate goal are evil, due to the life he was forced to live due to the horrible mistakes of his father and uncle, it’s understandable why ended up with such a distorted worldview. That’s something that is rarely seen in comic book movies or television series: a full understanding of why the villain believes what he does. Typically the villain’s reasons for evil-doing and their motivations are simple, shallow, and one-dimensional. None of those could be used to describe anything about Killmonger. His death scene is one of the most truly heartbreaking moments in the MCU.

6. Negan – Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead)

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Over-the-top and in love with the sound of his own voice, yet charismatic and entirely engaging, Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s performance as Negan is a spot-on portrayal of its comic book counterpart. Even though the quality of the series as a whole has been in a bit of a downward spiral the last few seasons, it is in no way due to the show’s villain during that time. Negan has been one of the few bright spots and compelling things going on for a while. I can remember thinking that his casting seemed a bit out of left field as he hadn’t even been rumored to have been a choice, and was only cautiously optimistic about his potential…but man, was I wrong. Now, I can’t imagine anyone but him playing the part. It’s almost like he was made to play it.

Sadly, I have not been able to pump this list out as fast as I had hoped, but I’m still aiming to get it done tomorrow. Hope to see you then, when I finish off the countdown with the Top 5!

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Greatest Comic Book Villain Portrayals – Part 3

A recap of the list so far:

25. The Penguin – Robin Lord Taylor (Gotham)
24. The Joker – Cesar Romero (Batman – TV Series)
23. Deacon Frost – Stephen Dorff (Blade)
22. Saint of Killers – Graham McTavish (Preacher)
21. Doctor Octopus – Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
20. Vulture – Michael Keaton (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
19. Deathstroke – Manu Bennett (Arrow)
18. Green Goblin – Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man)
17. The Governor – David Morrissey (The Walking Dead)
16. Catwoman – Julie Newmar (Batman – TV Series)

And now, onward and upward!

15. Hela – Cate Blanchett (Thor: Ragnarok)

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It’s a tough task trying to be a menacing villain in a comedy-heavy film like Thor: Ragnarok, but Cate Blanchett pulls it off wonderfully. Hela is powerful and incredibly deadly, while still managing to throw in a couple dabs of humor as well without making her seem like any less of a threat. It’s a testament to her ability as an actress to strike that perfect balance. My only disappointment with Hela, and it’s nothing to do with anything Cate Blanchett did, is that Hela was not used as the stand-in for Death in The Avengers: Infinity War.

14. Captain Cold – Wentworth Miller (The Flash)

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While Wentworth Miller’s take on The Flash’s nemesis, Leonard Snart, might rank at #14 on this list of best portrayals, it might be among my absolute favorites personally. As I’m not a huge fan of the character in the comics, I never expected to love it so much in a live-action setting…but man do I. Incredibly charismatic, with a line delivery that borders almost on the absurd, but regardless draws you in, Captain Cold is highlight of The Flash, and the first season of Legends of Tomorrow, as he attempts to gain some redemption for his past transgressions, but still manages to keep his twisted sense of morality.

13. The Joker – Jack Nicholson (Batman)

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The first truly homicidal psychopath Joker to grace the screen. Even though Jack Nicholson did a great job bringing the Clown Prince of Crime to life, much like Alfred Molina’s Dr. Octopus, I was not a fan of linking the villain to the hero in a personal fashion unnecessarily. In the comics, the Joker is not the man that murdered Batman’s parents (that distinction goes to petty criminal Joe Chill), and changing that fact served no purpose in the film other than being able to deliver the “You made me!/You made me first.” line. But even still, his actual performance hits the high notes of the zany, ultra violent insanity we’ve come to expect from the Joker.

12. Helmut Zemo – Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War)

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He may not have been any sort of physical threat to Captain America, Helmut Zemo was one the most dangerous villains in the MCU. His methodical approach to exacting revenge on the Avengers for the deaths of his family in Sokovia by forcing them to turn on each other, was absolutely brilliant. I loved the subtlety in his performance. When you have a film with so many big hero personalities, trying to squeeze another big villain personality could have made the film feel over full. So choosing to tone Zemo back and have him operate mostly in the shadows was fantastically done. He’s also distinct among movie villains, in that he actually achieved his goal. While Cap and Iron Man didn’t kill each other, their bond was broken and most of the Avengers were left as fugitives. I only wish he would have donned some form of his mask from the comics at some point.

11. Magneto – Ian McKellen (X-Men)

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Magneto has long been among my favorite villains in the comics. He is the perfect example of how a person’s life experiences shape their world view, and Ian McKellen…and to a lesser extent Michael Fassbender…have done an amazing job bringing that to the big screen. McKellen’s portrayal is layered, powerful, and multi-faceted. His hatred and rage, even when more subdued and subtle, are always very tangible and delivered in a way that is believable and understable. He’s also rare in that while most villains end up dead in comic book movies, he has managed to survive through multiple films.

Come back tomorrow where we’ll crack the top 10 among the best live-action performances of comic book villains. See you then.

Greatest Comic Book Villain Portrayals – Part 2

The countdown of the best live action portrayals of comic book villains rolls on. Just a recap of who has been covered so far.

25. The Penguin – Robin Lord Taylor (Gotham)

24. The Joker – Cesar Romero (Batman – TV Series)

23. Deacon Frost – Stephen Dorff (Blade)

22. Saint of Killers – Graham McTavish (Preacher)

21. Doctor Octopus – Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)

Now on to the next 5:

20. Vulture – Michael Keaton (Spider-Man: Homecoming)

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Back-to-back Spider-Man foes. Oscar-nominated actor Michael Keaton managed to make a villain whose only real threat was flying really high into a truly menacing adversary to everyone’s favorite Wall Crawler. Seriously. That scene in the car when he’s taking his daughter and Peter to the dance is one of the most intense scenes in the entire MCU. He did a fantastic job of explaining his very realistic motivations to the point of you almost side with him a little, while also reinforcing the fact that he is most definitely a villain with willingness to kill anyone, including a 15 year-old kid, that interferes with his business.

19. Deathstroke – Manu Bennett (Arrow)

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Easily the best villain in the Arrowverse so far. Deathstroke also benefited from having one of the most fleshed out backstories as well, since he was a large part of Oliver Queen’s own backstory, with it finally leading to the moment that turned Slade Wilson against him. Responsible for the removal of Oliver Queen as the CEO of Queen Industries, the murder of his mother, Moira, and leading an army into Star City, Deathstroke has by far been the most destructive foe for the Green Arrow.

18. Green Goblin – Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man)

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The first big bad in the cinematic side of Spider-Man is also its best. While yes, the costume left a lot to be desired, Willem Dafoe is wonderful in his portrayal of Peter Parker’s nemesis. Norman Osborn’s ego and ambition are on full display, as is the distance in the relationship with his son, Harry, due to Norman’s high, somewhat unrealistic, expectations. But what really sells Dafoe as the Green Goblin is his insanity. As a huge fan of the character in the comics, the first time I saw the scene of him talking to himself in the mirror, I literally got goosebumps. It’s that perfect.

17. The Governor – David Morrissey (The Walking Dead)

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While the television version of the character isn’t quite as despicable as its comic counterpart, it’s still quite villainous. He may not have cut off Rick’s hand nor beaten and raped Michonne like he does in the comics, but he’s still responsible whether directly or indirectly for the deaths of Hershel, Andrea, Merle, Axel, Milton, and Martinez, as well as the sexual assault of Maggie, the beating of Glenn, and the destruction of the prison that Rick’s group had made a sanctuary. Also unlike the comic book, David Morrissey’s Governor actually got a fan-satisfying death.

16. Catwoman – Julie Newmar (Batman – TV Series)

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The original femme fatale of comic books played by the beautiful Julie Newmar, was sheer perfection for the campy 1960’s era Batman. She may not have been the acrobatic ass kicker we’ve come to expect from Catwoman, but her portrayal was spot-on for that time period. Conniving yet playful, dangerous yet sexy, you couldn’t have asked for a better performance. Sadly, Eartha Kitt’s attempt to replace her in the 3rd season of the series fell short.

My goal is to get the rest of the countdown knocked out this week. Watched Ant-Man and the Wasp Sunday, and want to get to the review. So, hopefully I’ll see you guys tomorrow as we drop another 5 baddies.

Greatest Comic Book Villain Portrayals – Part 1

What good is a hero without an equally menacing and compelling villain? Sure, the hero is the focus of the story, but he/she has to have something or someone to overcome. That’s what makes the hero’s journey so interesting and entertaining. Comics have long featured the best baddies that pop culture has to offer, so why would the movies and television series that are based on them be any different? So let’s countdown the best portrayals of villains in comic book properties (note: I’m only including live action portrayals…though there are some truly fantastic villain performances in cartoons…including the greatest villain portrayal ever: Mark Hamill’s Joker).

Here…we…go…

25. The Penguin – Robin Lord Taylor (Gotham)

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While I’m not a fan of the show as a whole, for several reasons that I won’t get into here, I very much enjoy the portrayal of a young, power-hungry Oswald Cobblepot delivered by an underrated Robin Lord Taylor. Seeing the Penguin’s rise to power was one of the things that first interested me in the show. Sadly, it was not enough to overcome my other issues with the series.

24. The Joker – Cesar Romero (Batman – TV Series)

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The original Joker. His take on the character may not be the scheming, homicidal lunatic that the Joker was originally created to be, Romero’s performance was a perfect characterization of the Clown Prince of Crime’s comic counterpart of that era. Luckily the comics eventually dropped the camp and returned Batman to his darker, grittier beginnings, and in doing so saw the Joker’s portrayals change in kind.

23. Deacon Frost – Stephen Dorff  (Blade)

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It’s sad that the movie Blade is so often forgotten when it comes to discussion of comic book films, and with it, the fantastic performance of Stephen Dorff as the vampire Deacon Frost. Frost is violent, conniving, overly ambitious, and just as dangerous to other vampires that don’t share his vision of the future as he is to the humans he views as cattle. With his dark charisma, he very much plays the foil to Wesley Snipes’ dry and stoic titular half-human/half-vamp slayer, and ends up stealing the show in the process.

22. Saint of Killers – Graham McTavish (Preacher)

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Preacher hasn’t been quite the frame-for-frame re-telling of Garth Ennis’ seminal series that I had hoped for, and the characterization has been a bit hit-and-miss when it comes to capturing the essence of the comic’s counterpart. But one of the major hits has been the portrayal of the Saint of Killers. Cold, mostly emotionless, and virtually indestructible, he is the ultimate killing machine and is played to perfection by Graham McTavish. His origin story is easily one of the best parts of Season 1.

21. Dr. Octopus – Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)

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There are plenty who would probably claim I’m blasphemous for rating Doc Ock from Spider-Man 2 so low, but I’ll explain why. There wasn’t anything necessarily wrong with his performance, but I was not a fan of the decision to portray him as sympathetic and giving him a personal connection to Peter Parker…a theme that was rampant throughout the Tobey Maguire lead Spider-Man series. Literally EVERY villain was connected to him in someway. It wasn’t necessary and felt very forced. Then with the sympathy angle on top of that, it felt like a slight to the man that, until the Green Goblin murdered Gwen Stacy, could have been argued was Spider-Man’s primary antagonist.

 

That’s all for this round. I’ll try to get this pumped out quickly. With Ant-Man & the Wasp releasing this week, I want to make sure I can get around to its review before it’s been out too long.

What Does The Walking Dead Do Now?

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With the bomb that was dropped on the world of The Walking Dead in the form of the announcement of Andrew Lincoln’s departure from the series at some point next season, it is truly the end of an era for the zombie apocalypse drama. Lincoln’s portrayal of Rick Grimes has been the driving force of the show from the pilot’s opening scene until now. It’s all been about Rick, his choices, and how they effect the others in his group and those that oppose them. So what does the one-time ratings giant do now that it’s losing its star? Who can step into that lead role?

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This is actually a situation that has been building for quite some time in the comics on which the show is based. Rick’s son Carl has been just as much a focal point as his father in story arcs over the last several years. The series’ creator, Robert Kirkman, has implied on more than one occasion that Rick is going to die in the relatively near future, and that Carl will take over as the lead character. It makes perfect sense. And it would have made perfect sense for the show as well…but unfortunately, Scott Gimple idiotically (and I’d say rather shadily) fired Chandler Riggs from the show last season. Carl is already dead. So the character that is literally a product of that world, who has been raised in it, lived a good portion of it without the safety of walls, had to fight to survive, and has killed both people and walkers alike to do so, is not an option. Which is a shame as even Negan commented last season after discovering that Carl had outwitted him in the bombing of Alexandria, that Carl was “made for this shit”. And he really was.

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But I digress. I could write an entire article on how stupid the decision to kill off Carl was….but I won’t, and that’s not what this article is about. Another strong choice would have been Maggie, played exceptionally by the lovely Lauren Cohan. Sadly, she is only signed up for 6 episodes this season, and has accepted a role on a new show on ABC, meaning Season 9 will almost assuredly be her last. This is even more notable in that with Carl gone, and now Rick and Maggie following shortly behind, that three major characters that are still alive in the comic are now going to be dead on the show.

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So with Carl and Maggie sadly out of the picture, who is really a prominent enough character and actor to take over? Daryl would have been a decent choice a few seasons ago, but his character has devolved down to a shell of his former badass self, speaking mostly in grunts, living in a constant state of anger, and continually making stupid decisions that cause horrible outcomes. Maybe Carol? While I know she has a large fan following, I’m personally not one, but even looking at her objectively, I just don’t see enough in her character to be a lead. Same with Michonne and Ezekiel. Love them both, but they’re just not big enough personalities to take over that role.

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The only character I really see with that kind of personality and is played by a large enough star to build the show around is Negan. But how crazy would that be? That the man that murdered fan favorites Glenn and Abraham, scarred Dwight’s face, ordered the attack that killed most of the people from the Kingdom and Hilltop, and bombed Alexandria could take over as the lead of the series. I would think that would have to be the biggest character turn in television history. To go from the primary antagonist for 2+ seasons, and being the baddest of the big bads in the series, to the lead protagonist. But in all honesty, I don’t know how they could go with anyone but him. If nothing else, should they choose to go that route, it would certainly make seeing his progression over Season 9 particularly interesting.

Do We Really Need a Standalone Joker Movie?

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The DCEU has decided, despite its mixed at best reception, to make a spin-off of Suicide Squad with a standalone Joker movie starring Jared Leto. This comes after a Joaquin Phoenix-lead Joker film had been announced as well. It appears DC is prepared to go forward with both. Why make two standalones of the same character at the same time, but played by different actors? In what ways, if any, will these movies be connected? How will they tie into the DCEU as a whole? But the real question is, do we even need a solo Joker movie?

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Don’t get me wrong, I love the character. My love for him as a villain is almost equal to my love of his nemesis, the Caped Crusader, Batman. And we all know how much I love me some Dark Knight. But the problem is that everything that makes the Clown Prince of Crime so interesting is tied into his relationship with Batman. He is a fantastic foil and counterpart to Batman. He is an agent of chaos, while Bats is a sentinel of order and justice. Joker is a homicidal lunatic; Batman, while violent in his own right, won’t cross that line into killing (unless it’s Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck behind the cowl, then they’re just as much a murderer as Joker). And that’s a line Joker constantly taunts Batman to cross. It’s those diametrically opposing ideas and the dynamic they create that makes their relationship so compelling.

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Further tying the two together is the idea that the Joker wouldn’t even exist, at least not at the level his has reached, without Batman. Would the man that became the Joker still be a psychopath? Absolutely. But the Dark Knight gives him an object on which to focus his psychosis. With Batman’s resistance and constant thwarting of his plans, Joker’s psychopathy escalates. This is not to say that Batman is responsible for the Joker’s condition, but simply to illustrate the co-dependence to his enemy in the Joker’s mind. Never was this more on display than in Frank Miller’s influential The Dark Knight Returns, where after decades of crime-fightning, Bruce Wayne hangs up his cape. Without a target to channel his madness, the Joker becomes catatonic. But when Bruce is forced out of “retirement” by a new threat, Joker’s horribly deranged mind springs to life again, causing him to murder an entire studio full of people on television just to get Batman’s attention.
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Literally everything the Joker does is done as a way to hurt or punish Batman in a twisted game. Not grasping that concept (along with his utterly stupid appearance) was already a major flaw in Leto’s Joker, where he was willing to go to great lengths to rescue Harley, not something Joker would do unless it was directly part of a plot against the Caped Crusader. Which it was not. Just perpetuated the incorrect notion that he actually cares about her. He doesn’t. At all. She’s nothing but an expendable pawn to him. Throughout his history in the comics, Joker has murdered the second Robin, Jason Todd, paralyzed and sexually assaulted Barbara Gordon, and kidnapped and threatened to murder Nightwing, Robin, Alfred, Catwoman, Batgirl, Red Robin, and Jim Gordon all in attempts to hurt Batman without actually killing him.

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Even if we could go back in time and get a standalone film of Heath Ledger’s incredible portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime, I wouldn’t be that interested. Hell, even if it was an animated movie with the ultimate Joker, Mark Hamill, providing the voice, I wouldn’t want it without Batman. Essentially what it all boils down to is that the Joker is a fantastic supporting character. He is amazing as the nemesis of Batman. But as a standalone figure, what can really be done? There’s nothing about him that is interesting strictly in and of himself. He needs Batman to play off of. Without that, he’s just any other mad man.

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The Cavalcade of Comic Films Continues

With three huge comic book movies (Black Panther, The Avengers: Infinity War, and Deadpool 2) and one not-so-big (I Kill Giants) having already been released, one might think the onslaught of film adaptations of comic properties was over for the year. You would be wrong. The movie-going public has obviously shown that they love films based on comic books/graphic novels. Don’t believe me? Check out the top-grossing movies list. Comic book movies account for 9 of the top 50, including 4 of the top 10. As long as we keep spending money to see them, Hollywood is going to keep making them. And if we get quality films like the big three from this year, that’s a very good thing.

The movies on the horizon are a bit more varied than what’s come before, including two animated comic films, something we don’t get at the theater very often. Here’s a breakdown of what we have to look forward to the second half of 2018.

Ant-Man & the Wasp (July 6)

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Paul Rudd returns for the follow-up to 2015’s Ant-Man. It’s been announced that the tone of the sequel will differ slightly from the heist movie genre of the original. It’s a bit of a gamble to mess with the genre of a movie that was so positively received, but the trailers definitely make it look like a lot of fun and the action sequences seem to be ramped up with the Wasp and her hand-to-hand combat skills being put to good use. The villain also seems much cooler this time around. Instead of another villain with the same power set as the hero, like Yellowjacket, we get one (Ghost) using Pym’s technology in new ways: phasing.

 

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (July 27)

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A feature length tie-in to the popular family-friendly cartoon Teen Titans Go! While a lot of fans of the comic aren’t extremely fond of the humor-driven, child-focused way the Robin-lead team is portrayed, it has been a relatively successful franchise for Cartoon Network. If you’re a fan of that style, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this movie too. Look for lots of jokes and some fourth wall breaking, especially regarding the movie’s villain, Deathstroke, who is the character Rob Liefeld essentially copied in his creation of Deadpool.

 

Venom (October 5)

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First off, I’m going to pat myself on the back. Long before Tom Hardy was cast to play the lead in this film, I wrote saying that he was the man perfect for the role (though I wanted the character in the MCU, not in a standalone flick for Sony). So kudos to me for my brilliance and to Hollywood for listening. You’re welcome. Now that my self-congratulatory silliness is out of the way, I can get to the actual preview. Despite my assertion that Tom Hardy should play Eddie Brock, and my love of pretty much everything he’s ever done, I have mixed feelings about this one. The accent he’s using is odd. I don’t hate it, but I’m not digging it right now. It may grow on me though (symbiote pun intended). I’m not crazy about the look of Venom either. The texture looks kinda like it’s covered in Vasoline, and instead of a single row of sharp, gnarly teeth, it’s got shark mouth, creating a very full mouth that seems impractical for actual speech. Also, the tag line in the trailer, “Embrace your inner anti-hero”, is beyond lame. But as I’m a huge fan of Hardy, I’m still going in with cautious optimism. And surely this can’t be worse than the abomination that was Topher Grace’s turn as the Lethal Protector.

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (December 14)

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Another animated feature, as well as an additional entrant in Sony’s Spider-Man franchise. Focusing on the Miles Morales version of the Wall Crawler instead of the original Peter Parker one, the movie has the opportunity to offer a fresh take on an overly-saturated character. The animation style looks cool and interesting, drawing more from comic style art instead of more traditional types. They’ve yet to announce the villain, but with Liev Schreiber cast in an undisclosed role, one can assume he’s slotted to play whoever that villain may be. My guess would be the demonic-looking Ultimate version of the Green Goblin, but we’ll see.

 

Alita: Battle Angel (December 21)

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Admittedly, I have never actually read any of the Japanese comic series Gunmu (known as Battle Angel Alita in the US), so I have no preconceived expectations for this movie. From what I’ve seen in the trailers, the film looks to be beautifully shot and the visual effects look amazing. I’m also very intrigued by the plot. I’m looking forward to this one. Makes me kinda want to run to the local comic shop and see if they’ve got any of the books I could check out before going to see the movie, but I also like the idea of going in with a clean slate. Decisions, decisions.

 

Aquaman (December 21)

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Not looking forward to this one as much. First off, it’s another installment of the incredibly disappointing DCEU, a film franchise that has produced literally ONE truly good movie (Wonder Woman). Second, it’s Aquaman. He’s a watered-down (again, pun intended) rip-off of Marvel’s vastly superior Namor. His power set is weak and just shy of useless. Slapping tribal tattoos on a muscled up Hawaiian doesn’t change that. Speaking of which, I’m not a fan of Jason Momoa either. I’ve never been impressed with his acting in anything I’ve seen him in, including his debut as the half-human, half-Atlantean in Justice League. The rest of the cast seems good though. I’m also concerned with James Wan as the director. His filmography is almost exclusively horror, with one turn directing an installment in the brainless, over-blown Fast & Furious franchise. So I’m a bit worried what the tone is going to be like, especially considering that an unnecessarily dark tone and overly-drawn out, poorly constructed over-the-top action sequences have been two of the major issues with DC’s interconnected universe. So I’ll probably do like I’ve done with most of the DCEU films and wait til blu-ray to watch it so I’m only out a couple of bucks for a rental if it sucks.