Monday, April 30, 2012

How You Can Use 1989 Valiant Comics #2

Continuing our series on how YOU can make use of those worthless Valiant Comics you've got lying around!

#2 - three comics - You could use Valiant Comics for target practice! The black tape is what held the comics up. No tricks here folks! This one was tested out for you! X-O provides for a nice mark to aim for.
There's an "O" for your "X".
That's pretty good aim!
That'd be "X-Uh-Oh".
Those are some exit marks!
That's light coming through those holes!
TOTAL COMICS USED TO DATE: 4 of 1989! 1985 left to use!

Geek Gear: Star Wars Cookbook

Have you ever watched the Jabba the Hutt sequence from Return and wonder, "How can I eat what Jabba's eating?" Well, now you can!

Mmm-mm! Wookiee Pies - an old family favorite! Grandma used to skin her own Wookies out back! She made sure that she only used the highest quality Wookie meat for a Wookie Pie!

Why do I doubt that a recipe for Jogan Fruit Cake is included?

Valiant Vault - Quirks and Oddities #11

To celebrate Valiant Comics's return to publishing... pages with pictures and words on them... I'm digging through the old Valiant Vault to find some real oddballs stunts Valiant pulled back in the day.

#11 - Shadowman guest stars Aerosmith! I guess this makes sense, actually. More than, say, KISS and Archie. But that would never happen... would it?
As the Aerosmith song goes... "Crazy!"
Notice Steve Tyler's shirt - "Eat the Rich"... wait - aren't YOU rich?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

How You Can Use 1989 Valiant Comics #1

Are you like me and you have tons of worthless old Valiant comics taking up space in your house?

To *ahem* "CELEBRATE" Valiant Comics's return to publishing next month, 1LR will document how you could used ONE THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED EIGHTY NINE old Valiant Comics. Please note - that's not 1,989 USES but simply how you could use that many comics.

WHY? Because NOBODY is asking for Valiant Comics to return. This is the comic book company that symbolizes the glut publishing of comics in the 90's more than anyone else. So we're going to have a little fun with their return. After all, these comics that appear to be totally devoid of value have to have SOME usefulness, don't they?

Let's not wait! Let's get started!

#1 - 1 comic - You could read one. *shudder* Trust me, you won't want to read a second one.

COMICS USED TO DATE: 1 of 1989! 1988 left to use!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Ultimate Avengers: The Movie

Ultimate Avengers: The Movie is a direct-to-DVD animated film closely based on the original Ultimates comic book limited series (even though it's considered a direct-to-DVD movie it did air on television before its DVD release).
The original Avengers movie
Mark Millar's Ultimates comic book series was suppose to be a gritty, realistic reimaging of the Avengers. So, it follows suit that the movie inspired by the comic series would also be gritty and realistic. Ultimate Avengers doesn't disappoint in that regard. The opening sequence shows a World War II scene where soldiers are getting killed like in Saving Private Ryan. Even the superhero action is more brutal that what is typical of a regular Marvel movie.

The relationships between the characters have many adult undertones. Not only do some of the characters not get along with one another, sometimes they openly despise each other such as Giant Man and Tony Stark. Characters are deeply flawed, sometimes to the point where you wonder how much of a hero they really are. Thor is depicted as a borderline delusional psychotic. Bruce Banner deceives SHIELD for his own selfish purposes and, once the alien invasion is turned away, the Hulk becomes a bigger threat than the aliens ever were!

There are some good character moments in the film such as when Captain America is reunited with his World War II partner, Bucky, who went on to marry Cap's old girlfriend, Gail Richards.

The animation is... serviceable. Sometimes I was distracted by a particularly poor sequence but overall it's okay. The character designs were taken directly from the comics so they had a pretty good foundation from which to work from.

Perhaps the biggest failing of this film is the lack of a substantial threat. I've watched the film several times and I know it has something to do with aliens that helped the Nazis but I can't tell you much beyond that. At one point the aliens destroy a satellite that would have allowed humans to detect them or something and after that it gets a bit fuzzy.

This is an enjoyable enough film, although it may be more appropriate for older audiences.

1LR Review - 11 out of 20 - It's a Glancing Hit!

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Valiant Vault

So digging through all of these old Valiant comics has got me wondering... what good are they? I have hundreds of them! Certainly not as reading material... I'll have to give this some thought... Maybe I'll have to be creative...

Now You Can Learn How to Survive the Coming Zombie Apocalypse!

Are you worried about surviving the imminent Zombie Apocalypse? Well, worry no longer! Thanks to Michigan State University which will be offering a course called Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse. I'm assuming that's surviving as a human, not as a zombie. Perhaps Michigan should offer a competing course- How To Hunt Humans Once You've Been Turned Into a Zombie!

Don't believe me? Check out the news story here!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Valiant Vault - Quirks and Oddities #10

To recognize Valiant's return to... to... the humdrum... I've decided to raid my bank of Valiant Comics and highlight some odd things I noticed. 

#10 - Only $50.00 for X-0 Database #1 SIGNED? What a deal! If you want to purchase this comic for that price, please contact me! Please, not everyone at once!

25,000 Pageviews for 1LR!

Wow. I can't believe it has happened so quickly! 25,000 pageviews is no small feat in this humble bloggers opinions. Thank you for continuing to check out our meager efforts here at One Lost Road. We really appreciate your support!

On to 50,000!
25,000 Pageview Celebration!

Marvel Media Mania: Marvel Super Heroes (1966)

The Marvel Super Heroes show originally aired on television in 1966. Although it was only on the air for one year, it aired five days a week and each half hour was divided into three segments, each of which told its own story, so about 200 segments were created for this show!
What a great old ad.
This show is the original motion comic. To meet the production schedule, they lifted art directly from the comics. In fact, the storylines themselves were directly from the comics. Frankly, motion comics today aren't much better than this series was in 1966. The images are largely motionless with only minor elements such as a mouth, a limb, or perhaps a bit of scenery moving.

The result is that, while the show doesn't have very good animation, it does capture the feel of a comic book. It even uses onomatopoeia in addition to actual sound effects. Each segment ends in a typical comic book cliffhanger. The episodes are heavy with narration that would have originally appeared in narration boxes.

Because the stories were taken directly from the comics, the faults of the comics are directly transferred to the  series. Action is energetic but unrealistic. Plots are full of excitement but all seem to be the same. Episodes are filled with pseudo-science terms.

The voice acting is capable at best. You can tell that these guys were churning out these episodes by the scores. The Hulk doesn't sound much like an angry toddler but  more like a man with a sore throat.

The different segments rotated between Captain America, Namor the Sub Mariner, Iron Man, Thor, and the Hulk. To me, they're all equal to one another - no one is much better or worse than any other.

As a Marvel fan, these episodes are interesting simply for their historical significance. For many of these characters, this was there first appearance on any screen. And if nothing else watching these episodes provides a cheap and quick way to catch up on some old-school Marvel continuity.

1LR Review - 12 out of 20 - It's a Glancing Hit!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Avengers: United They Stand

Avengers: United They Stand is a 1999 animated television series that lasted one season on Fox.
What's with the giant-sized Ant-Man? Is he the star of the show or something?
 It's easy to see how this show received its poor reputation. While the animation in general is capable enough (despite some kooky special effects such as cut-and-paste explosions), the series fails on almost every level from general concepts to season-long storylines.

The roster consists of Ant-Man, Wasp, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Wonderman, Tigra, Falcon, and Hawkeye. 8 characters is a big roster to carry (plus throwing in occasional guest star) and none of the characters really get a chance to shine in the season. The costumes are almost complete revisions with Vision remaining the closest to his roots. I did like how costumes changed throughout the season. However, none of the designs were great except perhaps for Wonder Man's simple black shirt and large red "W."

Most of the Avengers wear some kind of armor and have two versions of their costumes - their regular outfit they wear every day and there "armored up" version. The transformation sequence is a time-honored cartoon tradition but it just doesn't work in this case since there's not reason for it or explanation as to where the armor comes from.

The voice acting is subpar at best. Hawkeye sounds like he should be Wolverine. The villains all sound the same. Tigra's cat growls are awkwardly placed (like right before she says something nice) and clearly just big-cat sounds. Even the introduction fails as it whispers the word "Avengers" over and over again.

The plots are generally all the same. There are some storylines that go over the entire season (such as what Ultron did to Wonder Man) but the individual stories all fall flat. They even use some major villains such as Kang and the Masters of Evil but they never get beyond the level of comic book cheese.

I can see what they were trying to do with this show - make the Avengers more like the Power Rangers. But they missed just about everything that makes the Avengers great.

1LR Review - 7 out of 20 - It's a Failure!

Valiant Vault - Quirks and Oddities #9

To recognize Valiant's return to... to... comics that aspire to be common... I've decided to raid my bank of Valiant Comics and highlight some odd things I noticed. 

#9 - Cool! Dark Knight Retur... WAIT A MINUTE! I've been Harbingered again! VALIANT!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Valiant Vault - Quirks and Oddities #8

To recognize Valiant's return to... to... publishing third rate heroes... I've decided to raid my bank of Valiant Comics and highlight some odd things I noticed. 

#8 - This is interesting... certainly flip books and backup stories aren't odd at all but this was actually two ongoing series, Magnus and Rai, that, for some reason, shared a flip book for a time.

Scott As A Dungeons and Dragons Character

I recently took the (very long) survey to determine what type of Dungeons and Dragons character I am. at I think the results are fairly accurate. It would be very interesting to play this as a character sometime. Check it out!

I Am A: True Neutral Human Cleric (4th Level)

Ability Scores:

True Neutral A true neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. He doesn't feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most true neutral characters exhibit a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil after all, he would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, he's not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way. Some true neutral characters, on the other hand, commit themselves philosophically to neutrality. They see good, evil, law, and chaos as prejudices and dangerous extremes. They advocate the middle way of neutrality as the best, most balanced road in the long run. True neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you act naturally, without prejudice or compulsion. However, true neutral can be a dangerous alignment when it represents apathy, indifference, and a lack of conviction.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the divine (or infernal) worlds. A good cleric helps those in need, while an evil cleric seeks to spread his patron's vision of evil across the world. All clerics can heal wounds and bring people back from the brink of death, and powerful clerics can even raise the dead. Likewise, all clerics have authority over undead creatures, and they can turn away or even destroy these creatures. Clerics are trained in the use of simple weapons, and can use all forms of armor and shields without penalty, since armor does not interfere with the casting of divine spells. In addition to his normal complement of spells, every cleric chooses to focus on two of his deity's domains. These domains grants the cleric special powers, and give him access to spells that he might otherwise never learn. A cleric's Wisdom score should be high, since this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD

Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD was a made-for-TV movie from 1998 starring none other that David Hasselhoff. What could go wrong?
I remember being very excited before watching this live when it originally aired (don't worry - I rewatched it for this review). Imagine my disappointment when this stinker was what was delivered.

Let's get the bad out of the way quickly: The plot is as flat as the acting. Bad dialogue is littered throughout the movie. I don't know if they were trying to be "comic book-y" but the script comes across as a joke of an action movie. The plot relies on one movie cliche after another. Throw in the stereotypical neo-German bad guys and the weird pasty white Hydra goons and  you've got yourself a real mess. The (apparently) low budget, boring action sequences, and the anti-climatic climax are merely the final nails in the coffin.

Now, it's not all bad. The film is littered with a dozen or so obscure Marvel comics references. They worked in quite a few characters including Contessa Valentina de Allegro Fontaine, Andrea Von Strucker (Viper), Dum-Dum Dugan, Arnim Zola, Werner Von Strucker, Clay Quartermain, Baron Von Strucker, Life Model Decoys, and the "Death's Head" virus. It's always good when a movie goes back to the excellent source material that inspired it!

And despite all of the negatives in this film, in the end David Hasselhoff didn't do THAT bad of a job. He actually kinda looked pretty cool with the eyepatch.

1LR Review - 10 out of 20 - It's a Miss!

Valiant Vault - Quirks and Oddities #7

To recognize Valiant's return to... to... a distant tenth place in the comics industry... I've decided to raid my bank of Valiant Comics and highlight some odd things I noticed. 

#7 - The retailer review copy! This black and white preview was suppose to be placed on a metal ring and displayed so customers could preview the book. The nostalgia for the days before everything was leaked on the internet is so strong I'm almost weeping!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Video - Military Dad Surprises Son Dressed As Captain America

This is a heartwarming video. These kids obviously have a great father! Cap's got nothing on this guy.

Valiant Vault - Quirks and Oddities #6

To recognize Valiant's return to... to... banal stories... I've decided to raid my bank of Valiant Comics and highlight some odd things I noticed. 

#6 - The foil cover! Oh, sweet '90's sales gimmick, how I've missed you! You charmed me with your bright reflectiveness so much I barely noticed the subpar art and writing completely devoid of any value whatsoever!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers

Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers is a 2011 Marvel motion comic based on the 2004 comic book mini-series. It comes in four parts.

Blood Brothers is a character study of Loki. The story focuses on a time when Loki gets his every wish - he is the ruler of Asgard and has defeated Thor. But he quickly finds that obtaining his desires isn't what he had hoped it would be for he has still failed to conquer his own faults.

There is very little action in the story. Loki goes from cell to cell visiting Thor's friends to try and gain the evidence he needs to put Thor to death. Along the way, he encounters a number of allies as well. Each encounter fails to go the way Loki would intend as each character matches wits with Loki. There are some interesting exchanges and wars of wits but for the most part these dialogues fail to produce notable moments. Additionally, because the film is so dialogue heavy it makes the scenes much more static. This worsens the effect of the motion comic being essentially a gussied-up slide show.

While the art is beautiful, it would have been better to have a fully CGI animation version of the story. The motion comic concept shows some promise,but results to date pale when compared to traditional styled animation. There are several iconic images in this film such as Thor on his knees, broken and in restrains and Loki sitting on the throne, clearly burdened by his new position. But these images are better appreciated in their original format where the viewer is not whisked away by the movement of the story but can take the time to absorb the magnificence of the art.

1LR Review - 11 out of 20 - It's a Glancing Hit!

Valiant Vault - Quirks and Oddities #5

To recognize Valiant's return to... to... publishing future quarter books... I've decided to raid my bank of Valiant Comics and highlight some odd things I noticed. 

#5 - How much would you pay for Magus: Robot Fighter #1? A mere $30.00 is but a pittance to pay for the pinnacle of modern literature and art! If you bought this comic as an investment, perhaps you could write the loss off on your taxes.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Valiant Vault - Quirks and Oddities #4

To recognize Valiant's return to... to... a complete glut of the comic book market... I've decided to raid my bank of Valiant Comics and highlight some odd things I noticed. 

#4 - The TOP SECRET comic! This bad boy came sealed in a plain manila envelope! I guess you'd have to buy two - one to read and one to keep in mint condition!

Darth Vader Loves Unicorns

It's a well known fact that Darth Vader loves unicorns. 
Really... he does! Check out this awesome work by Hillary White.

She does all sorts of cool pop-culture mash-ups. Take a look:

Some might call them irreverent but I think they're brilliant. Man, that "IT" Clown is creepy.

Check more out here and you can buy an awesome print here


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Valiant Vault - Quirks and Oddities #3

To recognize Valiant's return to... to... total averageness... I've decided to raid my bank of Valiant Comics and highlight some odd things I noticed. 

#3 - Eternal Warrior #1 Gold Cover SIGNED BY JIM SHOOTER!

I'll admit - I just picked this one up the other day. Must have cost me a pretty penny, huh? And that's almost exactly how much it literally did cost! Less than a quarter! What's more... look what it cost back in the day!

That's right - that ain't $15, it's NINETY FIVE DOLLARS! I can't make this up, folks!

Geek Gear: The Jedi Path

Oh yeah, there was this okay Jedi Path book released awhile ago as well. I'm sure it's okay and everything if you're into, you know, nobility, self-sacrifice, and honor. But I'm betting it doesn't have lights or play music. Stupid Jedi.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Thor: Tales of Asgard

Thor: Tales of Asgard is a direct-to-DVD animated film released in 2011, right around the same time as the live action Thor film.
This movie features a much younger Thor than we regularly see. He is viewed as a teenager by his Asgardian peers although we can assume that as an immortal God is is much older than 15 years old or so. Thor does not have his mystical hammer, Mjolnir yet and Loki isn't "evil."

Thor has been coddled his whole life, unknown to him, and he thirsts for adventure after Sif easily beats him in battle with a broken pitchfork. Algrim the dark elf is Odin's long time adviser and aid who hides that fact that Thor and Loki stow away on the Warriors Three's ship bound for Jotenheim where they seek Surtur's lost sword, Elderstahl. Yeah, the Asgardian names can be a bit much at time. But the story manages to have a youthful, upbeat feel to it. There are a few funny moments peppered throughout the movie (such as showing a table of Greek gods at the bar having no fun at all, Thor throwing a common wooden mallet to spectacular results, or Hogun's memorable quote, "I have to say, I'm close to weeping, lads.").

The storyline closely mirrors that of the live action film. It involves the Frost Giants and there's a threat of war between them and the Asgardians. Still, it manages to blaze its own trail by focusing on Elderstahl which corrupts those that wield it. We also get to see the home of the Valkyries. There's no way of telling if this film is in continuity with the movie or not. It simply isn't an issue. Thor stays in Asgard's realms for the entire film.

Visually, the character designs and Asgard itself are nearly identical to the comics. For some reason Loki has a strong anime influence but none of the other characters really do. The art is clean and visually appealing. The action is presented in a dynamic way that is interesting and easy to follow. The artists pay attention to the little details, even having Thor and company leaving footprints in the snow. The Thor/Algrim fight at the end in the dark is pretty cool (Spoiler alert... wait - too late. Sorry.) There are a few cameos for long time Thor fans such as the Fenris Wolf and you can sneak a peek at Mjolnir too.

All in all, this is a very enjoyable movie for old Thor fans and the young alike.

1LR Review - 16 out of 20 - It's a Hit!

Valiant Vault - Quirks and Oddities #2

To recognize Valiant's return to... to... mediocrity... I've decided to raid my bank of Valiant Comics and highlight some odd things I noticed.

#2 - The white warning cover! What graphic imagine could lie below that would be either so disturbing or so titillating that it would require a special, second cover to censor it?

Wha? Wait! A severed arm? That's IT? Man were we wimps back in 1993! What silly gimmick just to get people to look!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Valiant Vault: Quirks and Oddities #1

To recognize Valiant's return to... to... mediocrity... I've decided to raid my bank of Valiant Comics and highlight some odd things I noticed. What could be more fun? Let's get started!

#1 - Hard Corps #1 for only $6.75! And remember, that's, like, 1993 dollars! Yikes! Value today - absolutely nothing.

Geek Gear: Book of the Sith

Now this is just cool. This book is $100.00. Wait. Here me out. It comes in a black-and-red pyramid case. At the touch of a button, the door opens, lights light up, Star Wars music plays... and out comes The Book of the Sith!

I can't believe I'm saying this... but this is so awesome it's probably worth it. Who needs $100.00 anyway? What is that - two tanks of gas? Bah!

Hello, Dark Side, my glorious friend. Mwha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Valiant Decides Comic Book Bargain Bins Are Too Empty

That's right. The company that is directly responsible for spawning the comic book bargain bin is back. Valiant.

Who wanted this? Who asked for it? Who's actually going to buy it? I think you could purchase a copy of EVERY Valiant comic ever printed for less than a tank of gas right now! Why? Because in just a few short years the company printed EIGHTY MILLION COMICS (that's not an exaggeration - that's the actual number)!

Maybe there's something I can do to celebrate the return of Valiant... I'll have to brainstorm on that and get back to you.

Valiant. Heh. That's funny.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Geek Gear: Comic Book History of Comics

This one seems to be a no brainer... if you're going to tell the story of comic books, do it as a comic! But apparently, it's never been done. I'm very interested in checking this out! I'm sure I would learn quite a bit.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Arena Football Turf Disaster

I know this isn't a sports blog, but I've just got to share this. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so dangerous for the players.

The game was played between the Harrisburg Stampede and the Virginia Badgers. In wanting to scout out a new city to put a new team, they decided to play in a ice skating arena where they've never played before.

Let's just say they should have scouted better.

The ceiling was so low kickers couldn't kick without hitting the ceiling almost every time. The ice was covered with green cloth in the end zone that slid around, exposed the ice, and caused the players to fall. The turf didn't fit the arena so large wrinkles were all over the entire field. Where the seams of the turf met the wrinkles stood up as big snares that a player's foot could easily fit into and get tripped up on. My three-year-old daughter said to me, "Daddy, why are there holes all over the field?"

I honestly can't believe they even played the game, but they did. The Stampede won with a final score of 70 points, largely because every play started at mid-field due to the kick offs hitting the ceiling.

They would have been better off playing in the parking lot.

Marvel Media Mania: Thor

Thor was a 2011 theatrical release that is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Of all the recent Marvel movies, Thor was perhaps the biggest gamble. The script had to find just the right balance between being true to the comics and Norse mythology and still somehow have interesting characters that the audience can relate to. I think, for the most part, the film pulled it off, perhaps tilted a little heavily toward the Norse mythology end. For the average moviegoer, I'm sure there are way too many hard to say names in this movie. Jotenheim and Mjolnir being just the tip of the iceberg.

That being said, the film diffuses much of the ridiculousness of the concept by having the characters address it head-on. Jane Foster and her associates continually call Thor crazy and/or delusional and discuss how absurd the situation is. This, of course, leads to quite a few humorous sequences that are actually funny. Since Jane and her crew play such an important role in the film but don't really enter the action until about 1/3 of the way through, I thought it was brilliant storytelling to start with Thor falling to Earth and then rewind the clock. Likewise, it was very cool to see the teaser at the end of the Hulk paying off in the middle of the Thor movie. I'm impressed with how tight the producers were able to keep the continuity between the Avengers films. Basically, major portions of Thor, Hulk, and Iron Man 2 happen simultaneously and the careful viewer can pick up on the clues. It's also nice to see cross references like when Colston mentions Stark or when Dr. Selvig mentions a certain gamma expert he knows.

Thor's character progression comes across as natural and sincere. Chris Hemsworth, who played Thor, really shows a true range of emotion. His scenes with Natalie Portman are light and humorous at times and other times charged with romantic tension. He does a great job of portraying Thor's despair.

As for the rest of the characters, the casting was spot-on and the cast is top notch. All of the supporting cast retained their distinctive personalities from the comics. I most enjoyed Odin's all-knowing, manipulative wisdom and I thought the filmmakers did a great job of taking the ridiculous character of Volstagg and making him relatable. Loki's character is amazingly nuanced and subtle. As a viewer, it's difficult to discern what is the truth and what is lies. I was, however, a bit disappointed at the intro Hawkeye had. He didn't even fire an arrow!

The action sequences in the film come across as being a little flat and rehearsed but, surprisingly (for a comic book super hero movie), there's enough going on with the characters that you don't mind the lack of compelling action.

All in all, a well balanced success!

1LR Review - 17 out of 20 - It's a Hit!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Geek Gear: Deadpool-Aid T-Shirt

Oh, Yeah!
What is it about Deadpool that just causes people to want to impose him upon the world? First it was Deadpooh (Winnie the Pooh reimagined as Deadpool) and now it's the Kool-Aid Man.
Sick. Just sick. Cool, but sick.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I Never Liked You

Hey, don't take it personally. It's just the title of a graphic novel from Drawn and Quarterly. I don't even know what the book is about but that's a great title! It must be pretty good, too, because it just got a new printing!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America: The First Avenger was released theatrically in the summer of 2011. 1LR Previously reviewed this film here but, for the sake of completeness, we'll revisit the film again. After all, many times when you rewatch a film you come away with a completely different perspective. Originally, this movie received a 17 out of 20 from 1LR.
The script for this film is excellent. It finds just the right tone for the movie and keeps a steady balance between emotionally character development and action. As seen by previous film efforts, Captain America is very difficult to get right but this film manages to walk the line. There are tons of references not only to tie this film to the other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but also to the Captain America comics. I liked how the actual first Cap comics were, in the film, inspired by Cap's real success.

The character development of Cap follows the comics... up to a point. There's the Super Solider Serum and Dr. Erskine. But I really liked how the army tried to use Cap first as a lab rat then as a poster boy for war bonds. Cap doesn't get into serious action until well into the film but I didn't mind. The character development and historical stuff was more than interesting enough to hold my attention. When the action does come, you're ready for it, not saying, "Oh no! Not another fight sequence!"

Cap's evolution into the battle uniform follows his evolution as a character. The stage costume he uses is very close to the real thing from the comics but it looks intentionally dorky. The movie builds to a hybrid army fatigues and super hero outfit that looks right at home in the film. Quite a few designs, from super large tanks to rotating super planes, look as if they came straight from the pages of a comic book.

Most importantly, the movie nails the character of Steve Rogers. He's humble and inspirational all at the same time with his neverending determination. It seems like the movies always want to reinvent or modernize characters like Cap and Superman because they're "too pure to relate to" but I'm really glad that they didn't try to give Cap some strange hang-ups.

I'll admit that this film played my emotional cords when Cap's plane is going down as he's talking to Agent Carter as if it's a normal phone conversation. How often does a superhero movie make you cry?

My opinion of this film has only improved since my original viewing.

1LR Review - 18 out of 20 - It's a Solid Hit!

Marvel Super Hero Squad MMO - Asgard Has Fallen!

There was a huge update today in the Marvel Super Hero Squad MMO over at To prepare for the Avengers movie which is a month away, Asgard has fallen! All I can say is that my children were simultaneously shocked and excited. Check out the pics: 
Even the color pallet of Asgard has changed!

The Rainbow Bridge is broken!

Reach for the Cosmic Cube and you'll find yourself on SHS's toughest mission yet - ALONE!

Free the frozen Asgardians... for a minute until they refreeze.

Check out the sick water and Loki statues where Thor statues used to be.

Even the puppet show changed! Poor Thor - turned into a rabbit!

Oh no! Loki ripped Thor's head off and replaced it with his own!