Tag Archives: Iron Man

Reader’s Poll: Who Has the Best Rogues Gallery in Comics?

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What good is a hero without great villains? No matter how incredible or interesting the protagonist in a story may be, if he/she is not met by equally incredible or interesting antagonists, the story just feels flat. Aside from Star Wars‘ Darth Vader, who is without a doubt the coolest bad guy in pop culture, there’s no better place to find villains than comic books. So which hero has the best rogues gallery? You as the reader get to determine which ones I write about. Vote below and I’ll feature the top 5 vote-getters in a future post (might be a multi-parter).

 

The 25 Greatest Comic Book Movies (Revised) – Part 3

Alright, after the long holiday weekend, I’m back with the next chapter in the countdown of the greatest comic book movies. With two Alan Moore graphic novel adaptations having already graced the list, another legendary comic writer joins him with a 2nd entry in this installment.

15. 300 (2006)

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Frank Miller’s historically-inspired  epic about the Battle of Thermopylae adapted brilliantly into a feature film. Zack Synder’s talent for visuals is perfect for the over-the-top, highly-stylized violence that is seen throughout this movie. Wonderful performances by Gerard Butler and Lena Headey are also a huge driving force for the greatness that is this movie. Is it completely accurate historically? Not at all. But is it a hell of a fun watch? Absolutely!

 

14. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

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This might come as blasphemy to some, but while I love this movie, I do not believe that it is better than the first movie in the franchise. So spoiler alert: Spider-Man will be on this list as well. The infusion of the “Spider-Man No More” story arc from the comics was well done and Alfred Molina delivers a powerful performance as Dr. Octopus, but the mishandling of the Mary Jane character that was rampant throughout the entire franchise was still very prevalent here, as was Sam Raimi’s apparent insistence that every villain have a personal connection to Peter Parker.

 

13. X2 (2003)

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For the longest time, this was the best sequel in the history of comic movies (not anymore), and the first time that a sequel surpassed the original…which has been done several times now. Loosely based on the “God Loves, Man Kills” story, which is a personal favorite of mine, this is by far the most emotionally powerful film in the X-Men franchise. The opening scene alone with Nightcrawler in the White House is worth the watch.

 

12. Road to Perdition (2002)

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Taken from Max Allan Collins’ Depression-era gangster graphic novel, Road to Perdition is one of the most powerful comic movies ever made. Paul Newman was nominated for an Oscar for the Best Supporting Actor for his incredible work, the first time that a comic movie received an acting award nomination. Though his wasn’t the only great performance in the film. Daniel Craig, Stanley Tucci, Jude Law, and Tom Hanks in his only appearance in a comic movie, all gave outstanding performances as well.

 

11. Iron Man (2008)

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The movie that birthed the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The casting of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark was sheer genius. His captivating portrayal of the utterly charismatic arms dealer is reason enough to watch the movie. The fact that we got a great story on top of that was just a bonus. Then add in Nick Fury waiting for him in his living room during the after-credits stinger, ushering in the most ambitious project in cinema history, and you have one incredible movie.

 

See you guys next time.

 

Spoiler-Free Captain America: Civil War Review

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Due to a very busy schedule, and then an unfortunate stomach bug, I wasn’t able to see Captain America: Civil War until this past weekend. This delay gave me plenty of time to read tons of reviews, which pretty much unanimously praised the movie. Some went as far as to call it the best offering from the MCU to date, and more than one said it was the greatest superhero movie ever. Even with those very lofty remarks, I tried my best to go in with lowered expectations. Though with my love for Captain America, and the fact that my favorite superhero of all, Spider-Man, would be making his MCU debut, I probably failed to lower them too much.

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I can say with certainty that my expectations were met. Can I say that they were exceeded? Sadly, not really. With that said, I don’t want to make it sound like this was in any way, shape, or form a “bad” movie. Quite the opposite, it was a great movie. But lofty expectations will make cynics of us all.

Fear not, faithful reader: NO SPOILERS lie ahead.

The tension between Cap and Iron Man (the real crux of the war) is palpable and feels genuine. Both Chris Evans and Robert Downey, Jr. stayed true to form and played their parts to perfection. Scarlet Johansson’s Black Widow was very good in the somewhat limited role she was given. But the real gems are Black Panther and Spider-Man, played brilliantly by Chadwick Boseman and Tom Holland respectively.

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The Russo Brothers did an incredible job fleshing out every character’s motivation and each character had their moment to shine without becoming tedious. Which is no easy task for a cast this large. Much like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the fight scenes were amazing in their storytelling. The fight choreographers deserve a ton of praise for their ability to create seamless fights with each character fighting with an individual style (Cap and Bucky fight with a very gritty, visceral style, Black Widow is much more acrobatic and Judo-based, Black Panther, while also very high-flying, is more focused on striking).

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The one negative that I’ve read from a lot of critics is the film’s villain, Helmut Zemo. I, however, really enjoyed him. He’s not your typical super villain, and is much more about working in the shadows, and I thought that was a great choice for this type of movie. Plus, let’s face it, aside from Loki, most of the villains in the MCU have been pretty one-dimensional. Zemo is anything but. Without giving anything away, he is very much a product of the world in which the MCU takes place. It is a little disappointing that he never dawns his signature mask from the comic.

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The only real problem I had with the movie was that while for the most part, the pacing was crisp and constantly moving forward, it did tread water for a little bit about halfway through. But once the big battle between the dueling hero factions takes place, the film is propelled forward for the rest of its run time. While the film uses the “Civil War” story arc from the comics as a guide, the two are very different. So even if you’re a fan of the comic book story, there is plenty to keep you entertained and guessing.

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Overall, I cannot say that Civil War is the greatest superhero movie ever…I’m not sure I can say that it is even quite as good as Winter Soldier. But it’s certainly close. It is definitely better than The Avengers: Age of Ultron. I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone that enjoys superhero cinema, or just enjoys a good action flick (though without seeing at least some of the other MCU movies, you might be a little lost from a plot standpoint).

Final verdict: 9 out of 10.

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But I’m Not Dead Yet…

Readers, DO NOT adjust your screen! Reports of this blog’s death have been greatly exaggerated. I am back, and back for good.

SOOOO much has happened in the world of comics during my hiatus. I will try to cover it all, albeit not in great detail. Here’s Part 1 of my quick thoughts on everything I can think of:

  • Daredevil

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Best. Superhero. Show. Ever. Everything (minus one plot point) about this show was amazing. The casting was spot-on. The acting was great. The writing was quick, smart, and clever. Connections to the bigger Marvel Cinematic Universe were present throughout but felt natural and unforced. The one thing I was disappointed in was the killing of a major character (don’t worry, no spoilers) in the Daredevil mythos this early.

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron

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I really enjoyed this movie, but couldn’t help but feel a little underwhelmed. The movie is very good, but it just didn’t feel as special as the first. I was really looking forward to seeing James Spader’s portrayal of the titular villain, Ultron, but I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with the actual product. I felt like Ultron showed too much human emotion and wasn’t as cold as I’ve always seen the character. However, the actions scenes were crazy and spectacular, and the focusing more on Hawkeye and Black Widow’s back stories was an unexpected treat.

  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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The first teaser trailers and pics from the set have been released. And I still don’t care.

  • Deadpool

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Squeal!!! With every picture, tweet, and announcement my anticipation for this movie grows! It has been way too long coming for us fans of the Merc with the Mouth to finally see him done right on the silver screen. Ryan Reynolds has always been the perfect guy for the role, and it couldn’t make me happier that the movie is going to get a hard R-rating. You can’t do Deadpool without adult language and over-the-top violence. This movie is going to be crazy awesome!

  • Marvel Comics Secret Wars

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I’m not a fan of this. Randomly wiping out continuity and starting over is a DC move, and a move that Marvel should have nothing to do with. But the worst part is the fact that Miles Morales, not Peter Parker, will be the only Spider-Man, and Sam Wilson, not Steve Rogers, will be Captain America in the new continuity is stupid and insulting. Instead of making better minority characters, just changing major established characters into minorities is lazy and shows a complete lack creativity.

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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Captain America: The Best of Us

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Whether you love him or hate him, you cannot deny that Captain America is one of the most iconic characters in all of comic books. Having debuted in 1941, his history is almost as old as the superhero genre itself.  So on the eve of the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I’ll give you my perspective as to why he might be the greatest superhero of them all.

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Principles: The entire character of Captain America is a symbol of doing what’s right. He was created a year before the attack of Pearl Harbor forced the United States into World War II solely because Joe Simon and Jack Kirby opposed the actions of the Nazi Party. The cover of the very first Captain America comic features the titular character punching Adolf Hitler in the face. This decision was extremely controversial at the time. Many opposed the US getting involved and felt that this could possibly cause retaliation from the Germans. But Simon and Kirby refused to sit quietly while Europe was locked in a bloody battle for freedom. This set the tone for the character that they created, and that still lives on to this day. Regardless of what is popular or safe, Captain America always stands up for what is right.

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Lack of Superpowers: One of the most intriguing things about the Star Spangled Avenger is the fact that, while he has no actual superpowers, he is one of the most respected and feared individuals in the Marvel Universe. True, he had his physiology pushed to the absolute peak of human potential by way of the Super Soldier Serum, but nothing about him is remotely superhuman.

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Intangibles: What he lacks in superpowers, he more than makes up for with his unwavering moral code, a brilliant tactical mind, an incredible fighting prowess, and relentless courage. This lack of abilities has not deterred or prevented him from going toe-to-toe with the likes of The Hulk, Dr. Doom, or Iron Man. He even stood up alone to Thanos while he was in possession of the Infinity Gauntlet, making him practically omnipotent. Even the god of thunder Thor, has stated that Captain America is the only human from whom he will take orders…the ultimate sign of the respect that Steve Rogers garners.

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Longevity: The fact that a character that was created to be a symbol of American patriotism in the face of a World War has stood the test of time speaks volumes to its appeal. The fact that he has remained relevant even now in a time where Americanism is not considered something to be valued or proud of, is an incredible testament to the undying hope for the ideals upon which his character is founded.

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So, let’s all give a heartfelt salute to the Sentinel of Liberty and show Hollywood (and the world as a whole) that Captain America is and forever will be the best of what comics has to offer, by throwing down your hard-earned cash to see his new movie.