Green Hornet preview comic kinda bugs me

Preview comic books are wonderful things: not only can they turn you on to something that you’re really going to like but were hesitant to pay $3.99 to try, but they can help you avoid something you’re going to hate at any price. Case in point: Dynamite’s Green Hornet #1 Free Comic Book Day Edition giveaway. It allowed me to sample the publisher’s Hornet wares without getting stung (sorry!).

Green Hornet is a character with a bit of buzz about him (again, sorry) lately, thanks to the high-profile Seth Rogan movie currently in theaters, so perhaps that is why a local comic shop tossed the May preview into my bag when I picked up a couple of comics on a whim the other day. I hadn’t seen it before, so I decided to take a look. Packed with previews of five different iterations of the Green Hornet franchise as licensed by Dynamite Entertainment, this freebie’s teasers each boasts four-to-six pages of story and art that capture the flavor of each series. Unfortunately, I did not care for any of them.
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DOCTOR WHO defeated at NTAs

It may not be a tragedy on par with happened to Bowie Base One in “The Waters of Mars,” but DOCTOR WHO was robbed of the best drama award at the U.K.’s National Television Awards. Something called WATERLOO ROAD seems to have won, however many Britons reportedly claim never have seen the show, and even doubt its existence, suggesting it may be an urban myth.

However, before that sad result was read, the Doctor himself (Matt Smith) appeared in an original 3-minute segment in which the Time Lord attempts to get host Dermot O’Leary to the show on time.

We in the colonies may have no idea exactly which fictional characters the Doctor and Dermot visit, but it’s worth watching just to see Smith in action as the last Time Lord once again. Can you believe he was passed over for best actor? Anyway, I don’t know who wrote the script for this bit o’ fluff, but the Doctor does act in character. Have a gander at the 11th Doctor in the TARDIS (but without Amy and Rory):

April cannot come soon enough…

Newest Sucker Punch posters

Are you looking forward to the release of Sucker Punch this March as much as I am? The answer is probably “No,” because I’m looking forward to it rather a lot. (And here’s a list of 10 other movies I am also eagerly awaiting.

I mention this because several new posters for Sucker Punch have been released, including five posters of the individual characters…

So why am I so eagerly anticipating this film? Check out the official synopsis after the cut:
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Fun DOCTOR WHO photo rates a “10”

Here’s an image to make Whovian heads explode the world over: the 10th Doctor side-by-side with the 11th Doctor’s assistant Amy Pond. No, sadly, this isn’t a scene from production of the sixth season, but rather a shot from a party celebrating the stars who have appeared on the cover of Great Britain’s Radio Times magazine.

Erstwhile Doctor David Tennant hosted the festivities, and presented a framed cover to Karen Gillan and many other celebrities. Despite the name, Radio Times lists television programs, sort of something like TV Guide here in the colonies. (It started out with radio listings in 1923.)

Ah, just imagine the possibilities conjured by this photo… Not that I want to see current Time Lord Matt Smith go anywhere! I’d love it if Smith broke Tom Baker’s record of seven consecutive seasons as the Fourth Doctor, or even Sylvester McCoy’s hiatus-enhanced tenure of nine years as the Seventh Doctor (from 1987’s Time and the Rani until the 1996 TV movie)…

But before that happens, Smith has to get through his second season, the sixth since the series was revived in 2005, which is currently still filming. All indications are the new season will debut in April.

Robert E. Howard: Jan. 22, 1906 – June 11, 1936

Weird Tales, May 1934

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Robert E. Howard, one of the greatest pulp authors of all time, best-known for creating Conan the Barbarian, the star of novels, short stories, comic books, a TV series and couple of movies.

I wrote at length last year about Howard’s life and influence on me, and suffice it to say, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the inspiration of his rugged prose. He had nine Conan stories published in Weird Tales, perhaps the most famous of the pulp magazines.

I suggest celebrating the anniversary with a viewing of The Whole Wide World, a wonderful little indie film based on Howard’s life. Or maybe you should read one of Howard’s original stories (perhaps “Queen of the Black Coast”), to get a feel for what the character was really like. (Arnold Schwarzenegger, he wasn’t!)

Jason Momoa as Conan

There’s a new movie, a reboot of the franchise, of course, slated for release on Aug. 19, called Conan the Barbarian, and it stars Jason Momoa, who played Ronan on STARGATE ATLANTIS, in the title role. I think this is a really good choice, as Momoa has a lot of charisma and is good with dialogue. (Those SGA episodes could get very wordy!) On the other hand, early reports indicate the movie will not be hewing very closely to Howard’s original version of the character, so that has me a little wary. Oh, and one last thing: It will be released in 3D. Again, this doesn’t fill me with confidence.
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NBC buys Wonder Woman TV pilot

Could this be the real reason that Wonder Woman was redesigned last year to wear the leather jacket and black tights I don’t like? Deadline reports that NBC has picked up David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman pilot. At this point, this does not mean that an actual series will be on the air this fall, just that NBC has agreed to pay for a pilot and has the option to go to series.

No one (except Kelley, of course) knows what WW will wear yet, but the description of the show argues against her wearing the traditional star-spangled bathing suit, since this is a reimagined version of the character. Her current costume certainly is more realistic, and would be far more forgiving for any real actress to wear and perform stunts in. (Then again, Lynda Carter managed just fine on ABC’s THE NEW ADVENTURES OF WONDER WOMAN from 1975-’79.) Also, there is no mention made of Diana originating on Paradise Island. The synopsis given goes like this:

“A reinvention of the iconic DC comic in which Wonder Woman — aka Diana Prince — is a vigilante crime fighter in L.A. but also a successful corporate executive and a modern woman trying to balance all of the elements of her extraordinary life.”

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BEING HUMAN 1.1: There Goes the Neighborhood, Part 1

You call this living? Can a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost all live together without driving each other crazy?

I can’t say my initial impression of BEING HUMAN was favorable; the GREY’S ANATOMY-style navel-gazing opening soliloquy was instantly annoying. But the show improved rapidly from the moment the title card appeared. In the end, I liked this debut a lot more than I had anticipated.

The basic premise of the show is appealing: Vampire Aidan (Sam Witwer) and werewolf Josh (Sam Huntington) share a house with ghost Sally (Meaghan Rath), and they all try to pretend to have normal lives. But of course that’s impossible for…er, people…who are dead, undead and…not exactly living the life.
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Full-length Spidey costume image!

Hmmm… not sure how I feel about this full-body image of Spider-Man from the reboot movie. It looks kind of like a CGI image to me, but it’s a real guy in a suit. Word is post-production imaging magic will be used to tweak the look of the outfit, a la the infamous Green Lantern costume.

Note the silver thing on Spidey’s left wrist: It’s a web shooter. This version of Spider-Man will employ the traditional mechanical web shooters, instead of making them “organic,” like the last movie series. There seem to be quite a few stripes and splotches of color all over the uniform, so it is clearly more different from the last movie costume than it first appeared to be. As for the bits of silver on his boots… well, who knows? They could be some kind of marker for the special-effects team, or maybe his boots just have silver bits.

As a bonus, here’s an older photo from the set, showing Andrew Garfield in his Peter Parker guise with Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy. I know one thing: His hair looks pretty ridiculous. I don’t really know much about Garfield, since I haven’t seen The Social Network yet, but I do know Stone can be funny (See Superbad) and she looks great as a platinum blonde. I also thought she was excellent in Zombieland. (See my review of Zombieland.) Stone said she’s signed up for a couple of Spider-Man movies, so maybe Gwen won’t meet the same fate as her comic book incarnation. At least, not in the first flick.

Let me know what you think about the costume, Garfield, Stone, his hair, her hair…or anything else about the movie.

First Look: Captain America

Credit for the first full look at Chris Evans in his WWII Captain America costume from Captain America: The First Avenger goes to Entertainment Weekly, which also got us access to the initial glimpses of the costume.

As before, I am totally thrilled with the look of this costume. Sure, it varies from Cap’s classic comic-book look, but it’s done in ways that make sense. And the look isn’t all that different from the Ultimate Universe version of Cap. It’s functional, but it is also fanciful enough to be a superhero costume.

Here’s the synopsis of the film:

In 1942, Steve Rogers is deemed too physically unfit to enlist in the U.S. Army and fight the Nazis in World War II. Volunteering instead for Project: Rebirth, a secret military operation, he is physically transformed into a super-soldier dubbed Captain America. With sidekick Bucky Barnes, he fights the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), Hitler’s treacherous head of advanced weaponry, whose own plan for world domination involves a seemingly magical object known as the Tesseract

If you’re a fan of the Captain America comic books, you’re more familiar with the “Tesseract” as the Cosmic Cube. Why did they change the name? Perhaps they thought it sounded campy? Tesseract sounds technical, but it won’t stick in the mind of the average fan as easily as the colorful Cosmic Cube.

Captain America: The First Avenger opens July 22.

First Look: The New Spider-Man

Well, here it is, the first official photograph of Andrew Garfield in costume as Spider-Man for the as-yet untitled reboot film due in 2012.

I have to admit I was shocked that the uniform looks only slightly different than the long underwear that Tobey Maguire wore for the three films directed by Sam Raimi. Not sure that’s such a great idea, since this film is supposed to be a reboot of the franchise. But perhaps director Marc Webb wants to remind folks that this is the “modern” Spider-Man, not the one from the 1977 TV series or the 1967 animated series (the one with the “Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can” theme song)? I was never a fan of the texture of the uniform which makes Spidey look kind of… blotchy. I was hoping for a sleeker look. But this is still vastly superior to the odious Green Lantern costume.

Leaving all that aside, I do like this image, because Garfield looks skinny and gawky in the costume, which reminds me of co-creator Steve Ditko’s original version of the character. I’m really happy that they didn’t sew rubber muscles into the costume, but that would have looked ridiculous. In this image, Peter Parker looks battered and somewhat defeated, so perhaps we’ll also be seeing Spidey’s lovable loser persona from the early days of the comic.

Thanks to this photo, I have upgraded my outlook on this movie from “pessimistic” to “wary.”