About a year ago I wrote an open letter to the people of Marvel Comics, asking about what I felt was wrong in Marvel Comics today. You can read that … Continue reading Whatever happened to The Marvel Universe?
Trying a new column here, where I , coming from a fan's perspective, would fix something in entertainment that is broken. I, like most long time wrestling fans was ecstatic … Continue reading How I would Fix…205 Live
In the past few years, since about 2012, Marvel Comics has tried relaunching several times, it’s comic book line. Not a full reboot in the vein of DC’s 1986 Crisis On Infinite Earths, which rebooted the entire DC timeline, but in the sense that all the titles get new number 1 issues, new creative teams, gender/race swapping sometimes characters, and more, in an effort to shake things up, to get people interested in reading the Marvel comics again, as readership is down across the board. In some cases it’s because of their “let’s shake things up” attitude towards change that turned some readers off to the comics, while still going in drove to see these characters at the movies and on Netflix.
I’ve already written about the problem with modern Marvel comics as a whole last year, in the lack of continuity aspect. Which, if you missed that, you can read it here: https://reelgeeksguide.com/2016/08/19/an-open-letter-to-marvel-about-the-state-of-the-marvel-universe/
And what I’m writing about now is a whole other issue, And this also falls into that lack of continuity issue, and that’s this new culture of the star writer. I hate criticizing anything about getting attention to writers, being one myself, but this is an age now in comic books where the author is prized above all, moreso than the character or the series itself.
It really seems to me that in this new way of doing things at Marvel, they’ll bring on a writer for a book, somewhere outside of the comic book writing realm if possible, somebody with some legit cred, a New York times best selling author, some columnist somewhere, and they’ll be brought onboard to do a series, and they write the series as though they’re writing a semi long form graphic novel being broken up into monthly chunks, just that book. If the character is a bigger one, such as Iron Man, Peter Parker Spider-Man or something then they’ll still be in their other books, but what’s going on in the writer’s book does not affect, is not even mentioned in the others, let alone any crossover type events which might be going on in the company, because the writer has their story planned out to a T, and that’s the only story they are telling.
When the story is over, so is the series, and they bring back a new number one issue 6 months later with a new creative team, etc. This sort of storytelling works great in independent books, but if you’re doing something for a major comic book company, you should have a little more respect for the character, the history, and the fans, then just writing a story that you wanted to tell.
The story, the characters, should always come first, the character is bigger than the name attached to the character at the moment. In the past creative teams left all the time, but the story still went on, because the character is bigger than the writer. If I’m ever fortunate enough to work on anything as such I will remember that, it’s not about you, it’s not about what you want to say, what clever at the moment topical references you can throw into your book, it’s about what the story needs to say.
Case in point with all of this, I’m reading Civil War II right now, on their Unlimited App, so I’m 6 months behind on all the major stuff that’s come out since, but three issues into this thing, and it’s extremely disjointed, they’re still setting things up, no conflict yet, other than arguments. By issue three of the first Civil War event, there were two decided teams, conflict, and action. Here, we’re still establishing the reasons for the conflict, which should be pretty cut and dry. One side wants to use this new kid’s power to prevent crime before it happens, (ala Minority Report) and the other disagrees saying that infringes on freedom (also like in Minority Report) And in the other books, they’re still setting up this story as well, well the authors are fitting it into their story telling somewhat, for better or worse. It’s a real mess of a story when it really doesn’t have to be, is what I’m getting at here.
I hope that maybe one person can read this article, and hopefully they’re also frustrated like me, to what Marvel’s become. They’ve lost their way, they need to remember that the characters, the stories, and the interconnectiveness of it is what made Marvel so popular back in the day when it was Stan and Jack in the bullpen. That’s what made Marvel fun and it can be that way again. All they need to do is remember that the story is bigger than the writer.
Reel Geek’s Guide….don’t you dare be sour…clap..for your wrestling fan writer …and feel the power….it’s a New Year yes it is! New! Year Rocks! New! Year Rocks!
And with that New Year comes a whole year’s worth of geek movies to get excited and talk about with you right now. Now, there’s a lot that got left off this list, there’s a lot more of awesome coming out that, while I’m excited to see, Kong: Skull Island, The Fate of the Furious, the new Alien movie, I’m not as hyped for those as I am about the movies that made my cut for the 10 most anticipated movies coming out this year. I’d love to hear what yours are though, show some comment love here or on social media, I can talk geek all day. But without further adieu, here we go…
10. The Dark Tower
The Dark Tower, in case you weren’t aware is the first movie in a hopeful film series that’s based on the novels by Stephen King. Unlike most adaptations this one does something a bit different with it’s execution, which (for me) allows me to forgive a lot of the changes that happen in this movie from the original books. And that is, it’s a reboot/sequel to the original stories.
How does that work you ask? Well, from what I’ve read at the end of the books, the Gunslinger (played in this movie by Idris Elba) gets the Horn of Eld, a mystical object which allows the blower of said horn a second chance to fix some mistakes that were made in the last go around. And this movie is a new cycle, so things can look and take place differently than they did the first time (or however many times this cycle has played itself out..the books are kind of confusing, but great)
It’s a great way of being able to give the filmmakers some creative input while still hopefully doing the story justice. We’ll see for ourselves when The Dark Tower gets released in theaters on July 28.
9. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
I was a huge fan of 2015’s Kingsman: The Secret Service. It was a great blast of fun, poking fun at the spy genre of movies while blazing it’s own unique trail. It was an adaptation of a comic by Mark Millar (Kick Ass) but it was different from that movie as well, it made for a great time at the movies. And while I haven’t heard too much on this one yet, other than a return of Colin Firth’s character somehow as this poster teases, I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of trouble Eggsy (Taron Egerton) can get into this go around, where the agency is forced to team up with their American counterparts, when this is released on October 6.
8. Wonder Woman
The movies of the DC Cinematic Universe have had a definite rough beginning so far, with most audiences and critics panning Batman V Superman (Which I liked) and Suicide Squad (which I, and a lot of other people liked as well) but here’s hoping third time’s the charm with Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman.
Gal Godot certainly looks the part, and we know she fills the role well. The trailer looks fantastic as well, so I’m hoping that this will be the first great DC movie. Wonder Woman will be released on June 2.
7. Blade Runner: 2049
I was a late comer to Blade Runner, admittedly. Growing up geek, it was one of those movies that I was aware of, but never actually watched. Not until a few years back when I got the Ultimate Cut as a Christmas present, and watched/fell in love with the world of that movie.
Which brings us to now, some 30+ years after the release of the original, we get a sequel with new Blade Runner Ryan Gosling trying to uncover a mystery that involves Deckard (Harrison Ford) . I’m hoping this return to a classic role for Ford is more The Force Awakens than Crystal Skull, but we’ll see for ourselves when Blade Runner 2049 gets released in theaters on October 6.
6. Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2
I was a huge fan of James Gunn’s first Guardians movie a few years ago, it was one of my favorite Marvel movies up til that point and still is. In fact the only reason why this movie isn’t higher on my anticipated list is because I’ve got a good feeling that both Gunn, and the cast will knock it out of the park again. I just know that it will be as much of a blast as the first one was. We’ll find out just what’s on the Awesome Mix volume 2 when Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 gets released on May 5.
5. Beauty and the Beast
The original animated movie was one of my favorite movies growing up, still is to this day. I’m really hoping this live action adaptation by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) holds up the movie’s legacy. From what we’ve seen so far, it looks fantastic. I’m glad we haven’t seen too much on it yet, as we’re only a few months from release, and it’s always a nice surprise when marketing doesn’t show you too much of a movie beforehand. I will definitely be their guest when Beauty and The Beast hits theaters March 17.
4. Thor: Ragnarok
Reports recently came out that Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) may be taking on more of a role in this movie than expected. We knew he’d be in there, from the post credits scene in his own movie, but this movie is really looking like it should have been titled Marvel Team Up the movie, with Doctor Strange and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) taking large roles in the film, which is fine by me. It seems like it’ll be quite an affair, a mash-up of the Planet Hulk storyline along with tying up some loose ends from the last Thor movie The Dark World and revealing the last Infinity Stone before next year’s Infinity War. Seems like a lot of plot to get through, but I’m sure it will be great, which we’ll get to see for ourselves when Thor:Ragnarok hits theaters on July 28.
3. Justice League
I’ve already talked about how up and down the DC Cinematic Universe has been so far, but still, from that teaser we got last summer, this looks like it’ll be an epic movie, which will manage to do what few have been able to do thus far. And that’s make Aquaman look like a badass. I mean, it’s not hard to do when the actor playing him used to play Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones, but still. I anticipate a lot of fun here when Bruce gets the band together to save the world on November 17.
2. Spider-Man: Homecoming
I’ve talked about how much I enjoy the new Spider-Man Tom Holland so far, and how they’ve finally got the perfect Spider-Man to Peter Parker ratio going on in the casting, so I’m super psyched to see this new Spider-Man get his own movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Now, if only Fox could work out a deal with them for the Fantastic Four and X-Men characters) Be prepared for me to geek out when this hits theaters on July 7.
- Star Wars: Episode 8
I’ve heard rumored titles for this movie, and none of them have sounded good, so I’m going to call this one just Episode 8 until they officially drop the title, and hopefully a teaser or something soon. We’ll finally get to see Luke Skywalker in action, more Princess Leia (RIP Carrie Fisher), a Kylo Ren that’s completed his training and maybe the answer to the mystery of who are Rey’s parents? All that and presumably somebody’s hand gets chopped off in this second part of the third Star Wars trilogy on December 15.
Survivor Series as an event always holds a special place in my heart as a wrestling fan. It was Survivor Series 1991 that was my first ppv that we were allowed to order, when I was 11, and watching that show, and seeing matches like The Undertaker defeating Hulk Hogan, got me hooked and made me a wrestling fan to this day, some 25 years later.
And it was with these eyes that I viewed Survivor Series last night. I mostly enjoyed the buildup to this ppv, the first clash of the brands since the brand split, Raw vs Smackdown for a new era, I was so hyped up for this show, especially the main event, which the buildup was also great for, surprisingly, considering that the last time Brock Lesnar and Goldberg locked up it was one of the worst matches in Wrestlemania history.
Now, usually with these things I’ll do a breakdown of the whole show, what I thought of each match, and then grade the thing in the end on its merits as a show, and what it sets up for the future. With matches such as Sami Zayn from Raw taking on Smackdown’s The Miz for the Intercontinental Title, and Kallisto vs Brian Kendrick for the Cruiserweight Title, this could have been a game changing show, something that shook up the foundation of who the players were on each brand in the brand split, that could have happened last night. But it didn’t. Not one game changing moment whatsoever, except possibly in how the main event played out, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
I get it. I get it. I get it Vince. Raw is the flagship show of the company, it always will be. Even though the quality of the show has gone downhill since the brand split, it’s still going to be the show with the prestige because of it’s history with the company. That still doesn’t justify total domination of Raw during most of the formulaic, no story driven, boring traditional Survivor Series style matches that we had in both the tag team divisions and the women’s match. I was expecting the women’s match actually to go the way it did, but the tag team match could have been a great moment for American Alpha to establish themselves as the top talents they are, instead of still trying to give us this Sheamus and Cesaro tag team that you guys want for some reason.
And speaking of those Survivor Series matches, there were no surprises to be had in there whatosever. In fact, all three matches had the almost same basic structure, right down to the, oh wow, everybody is in the ring fighting each other right now, it’s a real Slobberknocker! How shocking and original…except in…I don’t know..nearly every Survivor Series match….in history. I wasn’t drawn in to any of the matches, except for a few moments here and there, Shane doing another crazy jump spot during the Men’s match, Shane doing another spot and injuring himself, The Shield reunion, those were all great one off moments, but they did nothing to further the story going forward. Nothing happened last night in those matches that kept me on the edge of my seat, or anywhere close to the edge, I was leaning back on the couch, scrolling through my phone, occasionally glancing at the screen but for about 90% of the show I was bored. My girlfriend says this could be a sign of me out growing wrestling, but a lot of my friends it seemed were feeling this same way, there was nothing new that happened. So, it’s not just me, it was a bad, poorly booked show. Except…for the main event…maybe.
They hyped up this Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg match as a match from the video game come to life, that was even the art for the show was the video game pictures of Brock and Goldberg, fantasy warfare brought to reality. And it was just that, a video game match. If the other player doesn’t know the controls and the other player has a cheat code put on. It was over before I could say anything. The commercial for the video game featuring the two of them fighting in a backstage brawl lasted longer than their actual match. Which, compared to their last match is a 5 star classic. But, it’s like…all that hype…for this. Now, if there’s more to it than just this, if it’s build up to something huge at Wrestlemania, then in the end this could be a good thing. It did get people talking about the show, for shock value. But long term wise, it remains to be seen what the purpose for that match ending the way it did was. Goldberg hits Brock with a spear, then another spear, then the jackhammer, 1,2,3. He’s had longer matches in WCW against Glacier, as one of my friends put it. Remains to be seen what the future holds, and I’ll be watching tonight, but I’m not excited for it, I’m not going to be thinking about what’s going to happen on Raw tonight all day today waiting to see the aftermath, because they’ve left me with nothing to be excited for. Here’s hoping the show gets better soon. I’m going to watch the NXT Takeover special later on today, here’s hoping that can reignite some passion to watch wrestling still, but after Survivor Series, they may have just made me lose my smile for watching on the regular.
So, as anyone who’s alive knows, the American Presidential race is now over and done with, and America has chosen Donald Trump to be it’s next President. A lot of us are happy about this fact, and even more of us are shocked, hurt, betrayed and scared by this country that we either love, or at the very least live in. (Yes, it’s entirely possible to live in this country, and still hate it).
Being a patriot isn’t about blindly loving the country, love should never be blind, especially to one’s country. Just like any relationship, if the other does something messed up, you are totally within your right, and you should, call them out on it, to try to better themselves and the relationship itself. Now, what does this have to do with being a geek, one might wonder? This is supposed to be a geek site, not a political commentary.
Well, you see, it got me thinking, ever since I was a kid, you ask me who my favorite superhero is, I’d say it’s Spider-Man. Because I can relate to being the awkward kid who can also be a wisecracking smart ass when the time is right. But, lately, as I’m getting older, I have to say it’s Captain America, Steve Rogers.
Why? Because I share that idealism that he has, even in the face of the stark reality that the country has failed us, that he refuses to give up. Which is much easier done when you’re a fictional character written as such that you’ll get out of most any scrap that you’re in. But reality is messier, and, as we’ve seen last night, sometimes the bad guys win. But, much like Steve Rogers, we can get back up and keep fighting for what we believe in, if we choose to.
Now, I’m a white guy, so this hopefulness is viewed through the prism of white privilege, not in the sense that I get anything handed to me in life because of my skin, but I also don’t have to fear for my life because of it either, which is just appalling to me, but this is the world we live in unfortunately. But even still, there’s just something in my very soul that refuses to see the world as a dark, evil, place, or worse, some type of cosmic joke, a mistake that needs correcting. I believe that good does win in the end, even if that end takes years, and things aren’t wrapped up in a nice neat bow in 20 pages of a comic book or two hours of a movie.
But we can’t allow fear and hate to win, to beat us. We can take that Captain America example, and fight for the American ideal. Not alleigence to a political party, either party, but to that ideal that the country was intended to be about, that we’re all created equally, and that we all have the same rights as humans, that this is the land of opportunity. It’s not always, but if we fight for it, we can make it that. To paraphrase our soon to be President’s campaign motto, we can make this country great again, but not in the way that he set it out to be, but in the way that it should be. Putting aside our hate and joining as one country. Not forgetting the atrocities of the past but learning from those mistakes and moving forward to make this country actually be what the hype is about this place. To make the American reality something that it actually could be and should be.
I don’t know the age range of the group reading this, but it doesn’t matter because whoever is reading this, we are the future, and the future is starting right now. Whether or not it’s a bright one is up to us. Either with our leaders, or in spite of them, we can turn things around. That much I believe in. No matter our age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, it doesn’t matter. That is all superficial, what we are is Americans, and we will not go quietly into that good night. Not without a fight, and what we need to do is stop fighting each other, and fighting together to make this place what that paper that Thomas Jefferson, a messed up man with a few ideas of greatness, had written to be for this country those couple hundred years ago.
I leave you with one of my favorite Cap speeches, from the Civil War story-line. Let’s hope that Civil War II can stay a comic book story and not a reality.
In case you’re not a super Star Wars geek like myself, they released the new and hopefully final trailer for this December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which was phenomenal timing for myself, as I’m hosting a panel discussing this film on Saturday 10/13 at the Hampton ComicCon (tickets on sale now for the convention btw) And the more material we have to talk about, the better. But before I get to that discussion, by which time I’ll have watched this thing anywhere from half a dozen to 250 more times between now and then, I figured I’d share with you, my ever increasing readership, my initial thoughts on it, as a lifelong Star Wars fan.
Right from the jump, the obvious answer is that Disney’s purchasing of the brand was the best thing that could happen to it. I’m completely sold and happy with the fact that we’re getting a new Star Wars movie, every year, from here until they stop making money, so from here to infinity (and beyond) . This movie alone, well the trailer at least, proves that there’s more to Star Wars than just the Keeping Up With The Skywalkers main story of the Saga as it is thus far. There’s a billion and a half stories that can be told in this universe. Here we have a straight up war movie, the War in Star Wars. Love it. Maybe we can get like a romantic comedy or something down the road, half joking, but there’s more to Star Wars than just the 6 movies, as those of us who kept the fandom alive reading the books (that are sadly no longer canon, but those are the eggs that had to be broken that need to break for the omelet that is the current film universe.) There’s so many stories that can be told. I’m still getting a serious Halo Fall Of Reach vibe to this story though, wherein we get the story before the story, including a bunch of characters who will not be alive by the main story, but I’d hope I’m wrong.
Top 4 moments in the trailer:
- The naming of Rogue One . That was a nice, offhanded moment wherein we get the name of the group, and the movie itself.
2. Darth Vader. Our first time seeing Vader in action since 1983 (saying NOOOOOOOO! and looking like a BAMF while looking at the Death Star framework in 2005 doesn’t count) I hope we get to see some great Vader moments in the movie itself, which I’m sure we will. I like that we just get a tease of Vader, no dialogue or anything, we don’t need to see that yet, we’ll pay to see that. But just seeing him in there is pretty sweet.
3. The Cinematography. So many quick shots, but all very beautifully shot, This could be the best looking Star Wars movie from a cinematography fans perspective.
4. Star Wars Battlefront So Much action, and really cool action shots too, can’t wait to see more of the battle on the jungle planet next to the AT-ATs. That is jaw dropping stuff.
For more discussion be sure to come see me at the Rogue One Panel at Hampton Comicon, this Saturday 10/16. I’m going to try to either have it taped or livestreamed, so I’ll try to have that stuff up here, or at least clips of it soon. Til next time guys, be sure to Keep It Reel.