As you all know The Book Report podcast is on hiatus while we search for another co-host, one that might stick around this time. I swear, a few more like this and we’ll give the drummer for Spinal Tap a run for its money. Anyway, until we’re back up I figured I’d do a written Weekly Roundup of the biggest comic book news and my feelings on them
FEAR ITSELF: BOOK OF THE SKULL
This is the first book in the upcoming Fear Itself epic arc from Matt Fraction. Ed Brubaker is handling this round, which centers on the first World War II mission the Red Skull embarked on. By Brubakers side is Scot Eaton on art duty. While I’m pretty much a sucker for anything Brubaker writes, I’ve never been a big Red Skull fan. To me he seems a little passé, like the Bumble in Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer after Yukon Cornelius defanged him. His maniacal “I’m gonna take over the world” plots seem really outdated so having him kick off Fear Itself doesn’t do much for me. I’d also like a national moratorium on comic book companies using the tag line “Tear the (insert company name) Universe Apart.”
COBIE SMULDERS CONFIRMED AS MARIA HILL IN AVENGERS MOVIE
There are fewer things that piss me off like this up coming Avengers movie, especially after seeing the vomitus Captain America trailer (more on that later). As if anybody was going to care, now the film features SHIELD agent Maria Hill. Cobie Smulders can currently be seen on How I Met Your Mother, where she co-stars with former Buffy star Alyson Hannigan. The connection there is that Joss Whedon, who created Buffy is now going to ruin…uh, excuse me…direct the Avengers movie. Smulders has been under the Whedon wing since he tried to push her as Wonder Woman back when he was attempting to bring the comic to screen. Now that we have all the connections together we’re able to not care on any fucking level with full clarity.
NEW THOR MOVIE SPOT APPEARS DURING THE SUPER BOWL.
Much like The Avengers movie, I’m not a big fan of the upcoming Thor debacle. First of all, the guy playing Thor looks more like the singer of a metal band that features lots of keyboards than the God Of Thunder. Add to that the fact that there’s an unnecessary love interest and you have the making of Dawson’s Asgard, not Thor. The newest trailer, which appeared during the “big game”, eased my fears a bit about just how awful this movie will be. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’ll be awful, but now it might be fun awful. Kind of the way Iron Man II was fun awful. I still think Anthony Hopkins being cast as Odin is tantamount to casting Michael Cera as Dolemite and the whole “special forces” fight scene is fucking dumb (Thor doesn’t use moves, he smashes he hammer and shit falls over) but hey, the rest might be cool.
DC COMICS UNCOVERS FLASHPOINT TEASER
Hot on the heels of Marvel’s Fear Itself teaser, comes this Flashpoint one from DC Comics. I’m sure I’ll pick this up because I’m a huge fan of The Flash (especially Barry Allen) but I’m not really excited about it. Based on what I’ve seen this is a “time stream hiccup” story, which is something they’ve really beaten to death in The Flash. The whole thing feels more like another round of “What if shit was different”, than anything new or original. To be honest the Marvel Fear Itself arc has more mystery and intrigue than Flashpoint but the teaser for the former is way cooler.
MARVEL UNVEILS THE FEAR ITSELF ISSUE #1 COVER
Yep, Marvel’s really pounding the pavement with this one. Not much to say here except anything featuring Thor having his ass handed to him by his own hammer is something I want to read. My only real question is; does anybody remember The Heroic Age? Did Marvel misplace that whole storyline or did Joe Quesada break out in the meat sweats when he didn’t have some massive story arc to shove down our throats? Either way the “Heroic Age” didn’t last long.
FIRST CAPTAIN AMERICA MOVIE SPOT AIRS DURING SUPERBOWL
And what a shit show it was. I’ve been saying since day one that Chris Evans is the wrong guy to play Captain America. He’s too young, too pretty and that addiction to “kooky one liners” couldn’t be less of what Captain America is about. The trailer, in all its hyper-edited glory, is proof that the movie has no respect for the source material. When Captain America first emerges from taking the super serum and the Army asks, “How do you feel”, Captain America replies “Taller”. HOO HOO HA HA what a fucking knee slapper, and thank God to because Captain America is known for his razor sharp wit and wacky one liners. I was especially enthralled by the tit for tat between Cap and some chick testing his shield. This should have been called Captain America: Failed Avenger.
NEXT WEEKS PULLS
This is a little section where I give the top books I’m amped on this week 2/9.
- BATMAN & ROBIN #20
- DC UNIVERSE LEGACIES #9
- WALKING DEAD #81
- AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #654
- WOLVERINE #5.1
- DOCTOR WHO CLASSIC SERIES #4
Okay, that’s it for me. Just to leave you in the spirit of good cheer let me share some critic quotes from the upcoming Spider-Man musical.
Peter Marks, The Washington Post: “If you’re going to spend $65 million and not end up with the best musical of all time, I suppose there’s a perverse distinction in being one of the worst.”
Scott Brown, New York magazine: “It’s by turns hyperstimulated, vivid, lurid, overeducated, underbaked, terrifying, confusing, distracted, ridiculously slick, shockingly clumsy, unmistakably monomaniacal and clinically bipolar.”
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter: “… Mostly, Spider-Man is chaotic, dull and a little silly. And there’s nothing here half as catchy as the 1967 ABC cartoon theme tune.”