Tag Archives: Blade

Werewolves and Vampires and Zombies. Oh My!

It’s October. Which means one of my favorite holidays is right around the corner, Halloween. I love Halloween. The costumes, the candy, and a little good old fashioned scariness all come together to make for a great season (because seriously it’s more than just one day). With spookiness and supernatural roots being part of the core of the season, what better time to highlight some of the greater supernatural characters in comics. I tried to steer clear of characters that dealt specifically with magic (John Constantine, Dr. Strange, Zatanna, etc.) and those who are the product of science experiments gone wrong (Swamp Thing, Morbius the Living Vampire), and instead focused on those that have more true supernatural origins and abilities. Let’s take a look at some of the characters that go bump in the night.

 

Spawn (Image)

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Arguably the most popular character on the list, especially at his peak. When Al Simmons dies and is sent to Hell for his sins, he was granted powers from Malebolgia (essentially Satan) with the intent on him becoming his greatest weapon against Heaven. Simmons rebels against Malebolgia and becomes a very violent anti-hero instead.

 

Blade (Marvel)

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Marvel’s half-human/half-vampire. After his pregnant mother was bitten by a vampire, he was gifted with the strength, speed, and stamina of a vampire (but also the hunger for human blood), without the weaknesses against daylight, garlic, and holy water. Blade decides to use his abilities to rid the world of vampires.

 

The Spectre (DC)

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Chosen as the Spirit of Vengeance after his brutal death during a robbery, Jim Corrigan is one of the more powerful beings in all of DC Comics. He is for all intents and purposes omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent with the ability to change reality. One of the few characters uneffected by DC’s multiple continuity resets, retaining knowledge of all of the realities that existed before.

 

Werewolf By Night (Marvel)

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As the name would suggest, Jack Russell, due to a family curse, transforms into a mindless werewolf during a full moon. However, he can also voluntarily transform outside of the full moon, and during these times he retains his human intellect. Much like Blade, Werewolf By Night uses his abilities to defend mankind by fighting against the forces of darkness.

 

Solomon Grundy (DC)

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DC Comic’s resident zombie. When Cyrus Gold was murdered in a swamp, he was reborn as a monstrous, almost mindless undead creature. Taking on the name Solomon Grundy after the nursery rhyme, he returns to the life of crime he had lived before his death. Mostly an enemy to the Green Lantern, he has also been a major villain in the Batman comics as well.

 

Ghost Rider (Marvel)

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Stunt-rider Johnny Blaze is fused with the demon Zarathos after a deal with hell dimension ruler Mephisto goes wrong. Blaze transforms into a skeleton wreathed in flame when in the presence of evil. Cursed to punish the wicked, he is one of the more violent and merciless anti-heroes Marvel Comics has to offer.

 

Deadman (DC)

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When trapeze artist Boston Brand is murdered during a performance, his spirit is imparted the ability to possess the body of any sentient being by the Hindu god Rama Kushna in order to seek justice. After doing so, he continues on as a force for good among the dark. When in ghost form he is able to become invisible, intangible, and can fly.

 

Moon Knight (Marvel)

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After being betrayed and left for dead in the Egyptian desert by his parter, mercenary Marc Spector is given the chance to survive from the Egyptian god Knoshu by becoming his avatar on Earth. He takes the opportunity, avenges his attempted murder, and begins fighting crime as the vigilante Moon Knight. With his sanity connected inseparably to the moon and its phases, the fuller the moon, the more violent and erratic he becomes.

 

 

25 Greatest Comic Book Movies Ever

As a fan of both comics and movies, I’m a huge fan of movies based on comic book properties. Contrary to what some people think, I am not an absolute purist when it comes to comic book movies. I understand that liberties will be taken with the source material…some things just don’t translate well from the page to the screen. The important thing with any movie based on a pre-existing source is that the story stays true to said source. That for me, is what separates the good comic movies from the bad ones.

I’ve had a running list for years now of my “25 Greatest Comic Books Movies”, and it obviously has to be updated whenever new great comic-based films are released. This is actually my 4th revision to my list…and I may very well have to revise it again later this year if Guardians of the Galaxy and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For live up to my expectations.

Without further ado, here’s the list.

(Honorable mentions: American Splendor, BatmanBladeCaptain America: The First AvengerGhost World, Iron Man 2Kick Ass, Men In BlackThe Punisher, & The Rocketeer)

25. The Incredible Hulk

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24. Thor

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23. X-Men: Days of Future Past

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22. Watchmen

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21. Thor: The Dark World

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20. The Crow

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19. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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18. Superman

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17. X-Men First Class

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16. Hellboy

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15. X-Men

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14. Sin City

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13. V for Vendetta

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12. 300

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11. Road to Perdition

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10. Spider-Man 2

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9. Iron Man

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8. X2: X-Men United

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7. Spider-Man

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6. The Dark Knight Rises

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5. The Amazing Spider-Man 

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4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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3. Batman Begins

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2. The Avengers

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1. The Dark Knight

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Rocket Raccoon Proves DC’s Ineptitude

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“DC doesn’t think Wonder Woman can carry her own movie, but Marvel is going to make a movie about a talking raccoon.”

I couldn’t help but laugh when my friend and fellow comic enthusiast Justen uttered this quip in a conversation a few weeks ago. While terribly funny, it is also a pretty accurate indictment on DC’s philosophy when it comes to making movies. Unless it’s about Superman or Batman, or the occasional graphic novel, DC doesn’t seem interested in making movies about their properties. Though I can’t completely blame them. They tried with a couple and both bombed horribly.

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There in lies the difference. DC is gun shy about releasing movies about their lesser-known characters because a couple of them failed, while Marvel, despite a few bombs of their own, continues to pump out films about any property that someone is willing to write a script for. Outside of Green Lantern and Jonah Hex, no secondary DC characters have been given the opportunity to make an impact on the silver screen. On the flip side, Marvel created the most successful comic movie franchise of all-time (The Avengers) on the foundation of perceived “B-List” super heroes. On top of that, characters like Daredevil, Elektra, The Punisher, Ghost Rider, and soon to be The Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man, have all had the chance to carry a movie.

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Even the franchise that really started the comic boom in Hollywood, Blade, is based on a Marvel character that wouldn’t even qualify for the B-List. But Marvel had faith that their characters were marketable, and in turn knew how to market them. They were rewarded for their faith. It’s just a shame that DC doesn’t have the same faith in their characters or their abilities to market them.

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With the announcement that the third installment in the Captain America franchise will be going head-to-head its opening weekend against the currently unnamed Superman/Batman team-up movie, it will be an interesting showdown between the biggest comic publishers in the world. Even more interesting is the fact that while DC is teaming up their favorite sons for their project, Marvel is content to march out The Star Spangled Avenger on his own.