Category: Spider-Man

Just Who Is…The Vulture

 

Hi guys, trying a new feature here on the site, where we take a look into the comic book backstories of upcoming comic book movie or tv show characters,  and what better to start off this new column with, then the villain that Michael Keaton is going to play in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming movie, that the trailer just was released for the other day (at the time of this writing).     This is especially a good pick, because as many people have seen the trailer now for the movie, (and it looks quite spectacular, sensational, and amazing so far) there aren’t I don’t think a lot of movie fans out there who know much about The Vulture, as he’s not as well known as some of the other villains in Spidey’s line up, like Doctor Octopus or The Green Goblin.

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The Vulture battles Spider-Man in his first appearance, Amazing Spider-Man # 2 (1963)

Adrian Toomes was born in Staten Island, and worked as an engineer/inventor with a business partner named Gregory Bestman.  After inventing his flight suit, he went to tell Bestman the news of his invention, only to discover an empty office, along with proof that Bestman had been embezzeling funds from their company.    He snapped at this point, turning his mind to revenge, and to a newfound life of crime as The Vulture.   Because that’s what people do in a comic book world.

He had a crime spree running for a bit, until he encountered a young Peter Parker, fresh into his career as The Amazing Spider-Man, who after a series of entanglements, managed to take down Toomes, and thus, the rivalry began.  He also was in the first lineup of the Sinister Six, (a group of Spider-Man’s villains formed by Doctor Octopus for the purpose of revenge against the wall crawler. )

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The Sinister Six (Electro, Mysterio, Doctor Octopus, The Vulture, Sandman, Kraven The Hunter)

 

For an elderly villain he’s had quite some battles with the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man over the years, and doesn’t look like he’ll be stopping anytime soon.  Wouldn’t surprise me if we get some new Vulture storyline next summer in the comics, leading into the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Hope you all enjoyed that little bit of comic book backstory, what character or story do you want to hear more about next?    Be sure to share this article with your friends, and now you can have one up on them in a geek trivia battle.    Til next time, be sure to keep it Reel.

Spider-Man: Homecoming Trailer Review

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Sony/Marvel, just less than a half hour ago, dropped the first teaser trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming, the first solo Spider-Man movie since adding Spider-Man back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe where he belongs.  Let’s check it out, then talk about it.

 

I believe the word you’re looking for is wow.   I’ve said it before, when we were first getting our glimpses of Tom Holland in the role, but really, the third time is the charm here.  We had our great Peter, but bad Spider-Man the first time with Tobey, Andrew Garfield brought Spider-Man to life but was too cool to be a proper Peter in the reboot, but now they finally Goldilocks’d it and the third time is just right.

I like the old school Marvel Halloween masks the bank robbers are using at the start of this trailer, perfect way to establish that yes, in case you forgot this is indeed in the MCU.  And it really seems like we don’t have to sit through another origin story for him again, which is fantastic.  Or should I say Amazing?

It also seems that, despite the controversy from a few months ago, Zendaya is not playing Mary Jane but rather a character named Michelle.. though this could still be a bait and switch thing, but from the brief glimpse of her character in this trailer, I’d almost more guess she’s got the vibe of the edgy Ultimate version of Gwen Stacy from the 00’s comics.  But we’ll see.   Also seems like we have another African American female lead/potential love interest as well with Laura Harrier as Liz Allen, so either way, this Spidey is down with the swirl, which I just love.    It’s 2017 almost, and in NYC its far more realistic to have a multicultural group of friends/love interests than it is for it not to be.

And speaking of multicultural friends, it says on IMDB that Jacob Batalon is playing Ned Leeds,  (who, in the comics, was a reporter at the Daily Bugle who later married Betty Brant) who is also in this movie, like a super young version of her it seems.  But from the preview his character reminds me a lot more of Ganke, Miles Morales (the other Ultimate Spider-Man, in the comics) friend, than any type of Ned Leeds vibe.     But we’ll see how it goes, this is just the teaser.

 

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Ganke Lee.

 

Robert Downey Jr. owns his little brief bits of dialogue in this trailer, can’t wait to see more of him in this movie, it’s a perfect choice to bring him in, plus more RDJ onscreen is always a good thing.  From what I’m reading on IMDB, we’ll get a few Spider-Man villains onscreen in this one, from Michael Chernus playing The Tinkerer, Bokeem Woodbine playing The Shocker, and lastly to the movie’s big bad, Michael Keaton as The Vulture, who looks legit menacing here.   I don’t think we’ll be seeing too much of the first two bad guys, I almost feel like we’re finally going to see what I’ve been waiting to see in a comic book movie for years now.  The use of D-List villains to show that they do fight bad guys all the time, not just when a movie is happening.

We kind of got a sense of this in The Dark Knight with The Scarecrow popping back up, and in a few other movies here and there but for the most part, it seems that in these superhero movie verses, bad guys only show up once every two years or so, and the rest of the time they take down normal criminals.  (In a word, boring!)      Give me some D list bad guys thrown in throughout a movie, some Rocket Racer, or Big Wheel, or The Grizzly and The Gibbon.  Hell, White Rabbit even.

Did I miss anything in the trailer?  What was your favorite part?  Whatever it is leave me a comment in here and be sure to share this article with your friends, spread the love around.  It’s almost Christmas now but after seeing this trailer, next July can’t get here any faster.

ICYMI: First looks at The Shocker in Spider-Man:Homecoming, and Deathstroke in..???

 

Hey guys, time for a new column here on the Guide, where we cover any big comic book movie news that for whatever reason you missed out on hearing about for whatever reasons that may be, maybe you’re a casual fan, maybe you have a life and don’t have time to spend online all day waiting for nuggets of awesomeness to fall from the sky of the internet.   In any case, you’re here now, so let’s get you caught up.

 

The real big story that broke last week was when Ben Affleck leaked some footage of an actor in Deathstroke’s iconic outfit last week, with no context behind it whatsoever.  Is it from Justice League, are they pre-planning Affleck’s Solo Batman movie already? We don’t know, but we do know this, the suit looks pretty freakin sweet.

 

No news on who’s in the suit, though rumors point to True Blood, and the once and future Flash Thompson, Joe Mangianello taking on the role, whom I think could do a great job in the role, though my personal favorite choice would be to get Ron Perlman in the suit, as he’s already done the character before in the original Teen Titans cartoon, and he looks like the comic book version, so that’d be my vote personally.

If you don’t know who Deathstroke is, a quick recap for you, from Watchmojo.com

 

On to the other big news drop, well not so big in the terms of the Deathstroke reveal, but big to me, as I’m a fan of the character, last week we got our first look at The Shocker from the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming.

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Actor Bokeem Woodbine (The Big Hit, Belly) has been rumored to be playing the role in the first full length Spider-Man adventure set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.   I don’t think he’ll be a major player in the movie, as Spidey (Tom Holland) will already have to tangle with Michael Keaton playing The Vulture and The Tinkerer, so I’m imagining this will be more of a throwaway appearance, but still one I’m psyched to see.  For longer than I can remember,  in superhero movies, even in the MCU for the most part, it seems that in between the adventures of the movies, nothing happens to the heroes.  There’s no lesser villains they take down, just the big bads of the movies, and then like…bank robbers and purse snatchers the rest of the time.  We got a taste of things that were different in Amazing Spider-Man 2, using The Rhino as that throwaway type villain, or Cillian Murphy’s other appearances as The Scarecrow in The Dark Knight trilogy, but for the most part, 0 D-List villains, which could spice up a superhero movie the way that a jobber or enhancement talent makes wrestlers look good from time to time in the wrestling business.  Sometimes you need a quick squash match in the middle of your movie, and that’s where we need to bring in the D-Listers.   Your 8 Balls, your Spots, your The Tops if you will, maybe even  Rocket Racer, why not?

That’s it for this week’s edition, who are some of your favorite D list villains?  I’d love to find out.

 

Reel Geek Review: Amazing Spider-Man(2016) vol. 2 Worldwide

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Dan Slott has been writing Spider-Man for the past 6 years now, and has proven himself to be the premier writer of the character for our generation.  Since the post Secret Wars reboot but not really a reboot, there’s been some changes to the character of Spider-Man as a whole.  For starters, the Ultimate version, Miles Morales, is also in the main Marvel Universe these days, still as Spider-Man, also the future version, Miguel O’Hara, the Spider-Man of 2099, is also in the present, also as a Spider-Man, and the biggest change of all, Peter Parker has become a tech mogul, second only to Tony Stark in the Marvel Universe.

A far cry from the struggling photographer trying to make ends meet by selling Spidey pics to an angry J Jonah Jameson, it’s a new twist on the character, just not one I’m sure I’m really into just yet.

In the first collected volume of the new series, also titled Worldwide, Spider-Man, the Peter Parker version in this series, had to deal with the terrorist group Zodiac trying to steal secrets from Parker Industries operations all over the world.  In this volume, it’s Spider-Man action in China, against Mr. Negative, a villain who’s kind of like Spider-Man’s Two-Face, he’s still a good man, except when his negative side takes over, and respected philanthropist Martin Li becomes the gangster Mr. Negative, and at some point he apparently also got a hold of superhero tandem and soon to be stars of their own tv series Cloak and Dagger, and made them part of his crew.   So Spidey’s in China, having to deal with Mr. Negative, his friends turned evil, and keeping his company running smoothly.

 

I’m still, after 8 issues into this new status quo, not sure if I like it so much, I’m cool with change, but having Parker being a poor man’s Tony Stark just doesn’t feel right to me.  The writing is still sharp as ever, and the art, done here by Matteo Buffagni is serviceable, but this status quo still doesn’t quite sit right with me.  I do like the twist of Doc Ock secretly surviving his recent body switch with Parker (long story) secretly hiding out in a robot body though, and look forward to seeing how this plays out.

Also in this new series is the all new 2016 model Spider-Mobile, which is a lot more useful than the original 70’s version, but still kind of useless, because, Spider-Man doesn’t need a vehicle, he’s freaking Spider-Man.    All in all it’s a fun read, but I just hope for a change in the canon soon, as I’m not sure there’s a lot of stories you can do with Peter Parker: Tech Mogul, but if there are, I’m sure Dan Slott could tell them.   *** Three out of Five Stars.

Reel Geek’s Review of Captain America: Civil War

 

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So, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past 6 months, Captain America:Civil War is the third installment in the Captain America franchise, and the thirteen movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has produced more hits than misses in it’s 8 year run.    The movie in itself has the difficult task of following up 2014’s excellent Captain America:The Winter Soldier, as well as being a better Avengers sequel than Age of Ultron, which I still liked, but admit that it was flawed.   Is it worth seeing, well I kind of gave it away already, yes, it’s totally worth seeing, but you’re likely just killing time at work, so you might as well read the review anyway.  Mild spoilers ahead, so be cautious.  If you haven’t seen it yet, just stop reading now, it was really good, and come back here and read this later.  It’ll still be here.

 

So, Civil War picks up in our present day, or roughly around the same time concurrently that Ant-Man was taking place, with Captain America and The Avengers (remember that arcade game?) tracking down former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent turned mercenary Brock Rumlow, now in full Crossbones gear to Africa, when things don’t go as planned.

 

Between that,  and Tony Stark getting some information from Miriam Sharp about her son’s death during the Avengers battle with Ultron in Sokovia (which turns out to be as destructive as Superman’s fight with Zod was in Man of Steel)  now Secretary of Defense “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt reprising his role from The Incredible Hulk) brings up the Sokovia Accords, documents that would force The Avengers to register as government agents not too dissimilar from the Superhero Registration Act in the comic book version.  Only difference being that it seems that these documents just pertain to The Avengers it seems, and not all metahumans (to use DC’s phrase for super powered people) so Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and company are all excluded from having to worry about this apparently, though I really wish Marvel’s movie and tv sides would work together, since that’s how it was intended to be in the first place.

Iron Man and a handful of other Avengers agree to the accords, but Captain America can’t bring himself to sign the document, after the events of The Winter Soldier, he’s no longer as trusting of the government, let along being forced to work on their behalf.   Also during this, it appears that Captain America’s old friend Bucky is back, and just blew up a UN meeting, which sends Iron Man and his crew after him, including Prince T’Challa of Wakanda, The Black Panther (played by Chadwick Boseman from 42)     Captain America and The Falcon go off to find Bucky before Iron Man does, and here’s where the conflict truly starts to begin.

 

 

 

Now that we know what the movie’s about, how good is it?  The movie has a fantastic script to work from Christopher Markus and Stephen Mcfeely (writers of the previous Captain America movies, as well as 2005’s The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe)  There’s a lot that goes down in this movie, and a lot of characters, a lot of plot, and a lot of action, and the movie is super long too, but you’re invested as an audience member every step of the way.  Not once during it’s entire 147 minute runtime did I look at my phone once to check the time.

The acting is fantastic all across the board as well, Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evan’s chemistry shines, as well as the whole cast just bounces and plays off each other so perfectly in this movie,  we know going into this movie that they’re going to knock it out of the park, so that was never a question.

I do have to give major props though to Chadwick Boseman and Tom Holland though, as The Black Panther, and Spider-Man respectively.  I’ve never really known too much about The Black Panther, the most I’ve read of the character in the comics has been in the past year or so since I started reading the Marvel Universe in chronological order thanks to the Marvel Unlimited app (cheap plug, it’s fantastic)   But from what I’ve read, he embodies the character perfectly.

 

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And speaking of perfectly embodying a character, first we had Tobey Maguire, who was a fantastic Peter Parker, but not a great Spider-Man, then we had Andrew Garfield, perfect Spider-Man, (even had the right accent for Queens, where Peter is supposed to be from) but always seemed too cool, too hipster to be a right Parker.  And now lastly we have Tom Holland (The Impossible) as the pitch perfect Peter Parker and Spider-Man.  I guess third time’s the charm.    He’s the youngest Spider-Man we’ve ever  had, and I’m hoping that he sticks around a while so we can see that character’s evolution past high school (which filmmakers keep falling back on, even though that was only a snapshot in the character’s history)    We also get a brief glimpse at Marisa Tomei’s youngest Aunt May ever, which I was suprisingly okay with.  I mean, after thinking about it, how old are your aunts generally when you’re a teenager?    It fits with today’s society, and she kind of reminds me of the aunt from Big Hero 6 in a way.     You didn’t really expect them to fall back on the elderly frail aunt in 2016 did you?    It’s different, but it works.

The visual effects and the action are all top notch as well.  The Russo Brothers (Captain America:The Winter Soldier, the best episodes of Community)  can direct epic action surprisingly well.  The camera does get a bit shaky at times, which some of my friends I saw the movie with didn’t like, but it didn’t bother me.

And huge props as well to Paul Rudd for stealing the show as Scott Lang/Ant-Man once again, his interaction with Team Cap was fantastic.  He’s not in the movie enough for my taste, but he makes do with what he has, and just kills it again.  Really looking forward to 2018’s Ant-Man and The Wasp.

 

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The huge downside of this movie, despite it’s best efforts, and best intentions is that it doesn’t really feel like a Civil War, the scale isn’t nearly as epic as it was in the comics, and to be fair it really couldn’t be, but to call it Civil War when it’s just amongst The Avengers is kind of just being dramatic for drama’s sake.   Now it does take some key plot elements from the comic series, but being that certain characters aren’t included (for rights issues mainly)  it really feels more like a Civil Skirmish at best, to borrow the term my friend used when describing the movie.   In the comic books it was an epic battle that affected the entire Marvel Universe, here it affects…like 10 people…tops, it seems.

And also once again Marvel drops the ball on making a good villain, here we have Daniel Bruhl (Rush, Inglorious Basterds) playing Helmut Zemo, loosely based of the comic book version of the character, minus anything cool about that character from the comics.  Here he’s just a guy, who’s motivations are essentially the same as Batman’s motivation to fight Superman in Batman V Superman, and he does a decent job with the character, but I’m still left wanting more.

 

Really though, overall, Captain America: Civil War is a total blast, my favorite movie of the year now, onto a list of favorites which is short so far for this time of year, with it just being 1. Captain America:Civil War, 2. Deadpool, and 3. Zootopia.  Some minor flaws of course, but it’s a really great time at the theater.  Oh, one last thing I will say if you haven’t watched them in a while, go back and rewatch Captain America:The Winter Soldier, Ant-Man, and Age of Ultron again just to refresh yourself, Winter Soldier especially, for one plot point which as soon as a particular date was mentioned, I knew where they were going with a thing.    So till next time, be sure to keep it Reel.

4.5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

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In Defense Of: Spider-Man’s costume in Captain America:Civil War

 

So, by now I’m sure you’ve seen the new and final(?) trailer for Captain America:Civil War, and if you haven’t you’ve seen the plethora of internet memes about one very key scene in the movie.   That’s right, I’m talking about our first very brief look at Marvel’s/Sony’s new Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland.   Here’s the pic, if you’ve missed it, or just want to see it again, because it looks really cool.  Like a Steve Ditko drawing come to life.

 

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Here’s an actual Steve Ditko drawn Spider-Man just for comparison’s sake.

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Some tweaks there, but basically, that’s the closest Spidey we’ve gotten from page to screen without things changing too drastically. I really like the emphasis on the black around the eyes when they change, that made me geek out just as much as seeing the new Spidey in and of itself.  Its funny how after almost 20 years of consistent comic book movies getting released we’re slowly getting to where superhero costumes can be brought to the screen without things getting campy.  Now, some things just wouldn’t work on the screen, like Electro’s  green suit with the starfish mask, that’d be silly.  But we’re past the days of black leather everything, well mostly.  (I’m looking at you Bryan Singer, though it seems even he’s leaning off of that a little from what we’ve seen of X-Men:Apocalypse)

 

And still, people, supposed fans of this character, they, who, like me, have been waiting years to see Spider-Man be integrated into a movie with other Marvel characters, the first thing they do is complain about it.   He looks like a video game, he’s too cheesy looking, he sounds too young.    And much more internet crap talking and such, why?  Other than it’s the internet it’s what we do.

First thing I’d like to point out, that hasn’t gotten that much talk online, is his mask’s eyes.  They can change size to give across emotions like they do in the comic books, (with a whirring sound, I’m told, like a mechanical thing is doing that, unlike when it happens in Deadpool, so I’m thinking Stark may have a hand in this costume design’s extra bells and whistles)  This to me is the thing that has me most excited about the new suit.

For so long in superhero movies, the Spider-Man movies are most guilty of this happening, at multiple points in the movie, especially in the climax of the thing, the hero will take of his mask, and it stays off, or partially off, for the big fight.  This was so that the audience could see the emotions, (and marketable face) that the studio put a lot of money into getting out there, despite the fact that this rarely happens in the comics, because it defeats the purpose of being a costumed hero in the first place if you’re going to take off your mask at first opportunity.

 

It did help that that Deadpool is a wacky type character, and the eyes changing is just an aspect of his character, but that’s how it works in the comics, people wear masks for a reason, mostly to protect their friends and loved ones from repercussions from villains and things, but also because it looks cool.  We came to see Spider-Man, or Batman, that’s why they have the names in the titles.  It’s not Clark Kent vs Bruce Wayne we’re looking forward to next week.    The only movie I’d be okay with it just being about the identity and not the superhero is a Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark movie, which I guess in retrospect they did, but it was marketed as Iron Man 3.   If they called it Tony Stark I might have liked it a little more.

But now, hopefully, theoretically, we can get a Spider-Man movie where he’s Peter Parker when he needs to be, but when he’s Spider-Man he’s freaking Spider-Man, and let the eyes in the mask change to show his emotions, and his body language, not him removing the mask in the fight at the end for no reason.

Also, side note, I really hope that they found the right balance this time out.  With Tobey Maguire, we had a great Peter Parker, but a silent Spider-Man who had a few wisecracks here and there.   With Andrew Garfield, his Peter Parker could have used some work, but in just his first scene in the suit in The Amazing Spider-Man, he captured the essence of who and what Spider-Man his better than Tobey did in 3 movies.  If we can get a good Peter Parker, and a good Spider-Man, I’ll be happy.

The other aspect that people have been complaining about, his voice.  In this movie, he’s supposed to be a teenager, so he’s going to sound young.  What do you want, a gruff, Christian Bale as Batman voice coming out of the mask?   He sounds like he should.  I’m really hoping that third time is the charm, and his Spider-Man does well enough that we can get out of the high school setting in the movies, a setting where his stories only took place during the first couple years of the book being published, yet Marvel assumes everyone associates Spider-Man with teenager for whatever reason.

 

And far as the costume itself, look at it, it really looks like, bells and whistles aside, that it was made by an untrained teenager.  You’re telling me that either of these other ones..

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Do either of those look like they were designed by anyone other than professional studio costume designers?  No, they don’t.  They look equally cool, but clearly professional, and not by a teenage kid.   Now let’s look at our new Spider-Man again.

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That looks like, mask changing aside, that it was designed at home on a sewing machine.  It’s weird though, it never bothered me up til now that the costumes in previous movies looked costumes from movies, but in this case I’m making a deal about it (not a big deal, just a deal) but it rings true to who the character is.

This is all from just a few seconds more of footage though then what’s in that .gif , he could suck in the role, when we see him in the actual movie in a  few months, and this will have been a grossly misinformed article, and the internet haters would have been right all along, but by this point Marvel seems to know what they’re doing when it comes to casting.