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One for the movie buffs (Finale)

"Get out of the shot you *@(&* *+_£#*!" Is what someone might shout having been disturbed by a lighting technician shall we say. But we shan't lose our temper, merely observing what masterpieces have arisen, and critique in a fairly unbiased manner. I must apologise for taking so long to write this next one, forgive me. That being said let's get stuck into, ... or dig into our first film.

Mystery Men, (now you understand the Shoveller reference, right?!) does not really fit into this category as much as others, but it's genius is without question. There have since been many novice heroics, most likely inspired in some capacity from this. For example, Kick-ass and Defendor, which won't be touched upon here. Unique arsenals of powers always impress me, for the simple reason that being original is becoming more difficult these days.

"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?" is the tagline for a film I hold very dear to my heart, just because I remember watching it when I was but a youngling (yes it's true... I age). The Shadow cast a veil of mystery and lent an air of sophistication unseen in an otherwise Bat-filled genre. With a giant budget and stellar cast, what's not to love about a tormented, trench coated, darkness dwelling figure facing off against a descendant of Ghengis Kahn? Portrayed so suavely by an always in control Alec Baldwin. Panned by critics, I still love it to this day. I also hold similar praise to The Phantom starring Billy Zane as the guy with the skull ring, although it's been a while since I last viewed this one.

Onto what I consider to be Zack Snyder's definitive movie. And possibly a film I rate in the top 3 best ever superhero flicks, no small feat I can assure you. Who watches Watchmen? I sure as hell do. This is film making at it's bloody top notch finest. The contrast between a god (Jon Osterman/Doc Manhattan) and mere mortals, only plays a small role in what is an enormously divine woven tale of politics, war games and a changing time. Each actor and actress brings an exquisite style and uniqueness to their characters, that seem as if they have literally just leaped out of a graphic novel, but maintain that element of realism. I especially like the "frankensteined" head of Billy Crudup onto Greg Plitt's body for the visualisation of Doc Manhattan, and Matthew Goode's performance as the clandestine villain. I like that Snyder decided not to use too many mainstream actors/actrsses, this I feel can often be overlooked when creating a superhero film.

Spawn now. Oh Spawn, spawn, spawn. Just looking at him one cannot help but think he looks to be one of the most bad-ass heros/anti-heros ever. His design for the film was no different, but unfortunately, his powers and their usage were not paramount to the film. Instead more was focused on the alley it seemed, that which is not to my liking. The film does have it's moments though (when his cape changes into a massive spiked barrier to stop John Leguizamo's hilarious Violator/Clown LOLZ) but is tarnished by the very poorly cast characters. I never could buy into Martin Sheen as a megalomaniac.

Smoking is rather bad for one's health don't you know. Alas, Mr. John Constantine does not care for this fact. Nor does he care for the rotten hell-bound filth he must constantly pursue. What I care for though, is watching this film. Another lesser-known piece of intellectual property (tied to DC) being given a very fair chance, and definately proving it's worth. My favourite part (besides Keanu Reeves being awesome) is Peter Stormare as the devil.

I suppose the Losers can also be linked with DC, my apologies for not including it in the previous installment. Nevertheless, this film is an enjoyable one, it mixes the right amount of seriousness and comedy to great effect. Completing this task in a far superior fashion than the Fantastic Four did.

This next film/series is envisaged to be my last critique (if one could call it that) of the superhero genre at present. Pitch Black is always hailed as the better of the two but frankly I enjoy Chronicles of Riddick a great deal more. I see nothing wrong or tactful with any performance here. And I do like a good story about the "underverse." There are some great quotes from this film for sure. Cheifly among delvering some memorable lines is the Lord Marshal: "Don't question it Vaako! Take it.... on faith."

I do hope you've enjoyed my miniature breaking down of all these films, as much as I have had writing about them. I applaud those who have read each part, thank you very much. I am thinking about putting a story of mine on here in small sections, with my own artwork to accompany it. Not so much a blog as a showcase of what I'd love to be seen by someone other than myself. Until the next time....

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One for the movie buffs (part 2, take 1)

"Annnnnnd scene." Well not entirely, this section is yet to be finished, but I shall do my best to sate your taste buds for all that is comic movies. Previously discussed was the mass that is Marvel's movie library, now we move into territory more of old than new. That is to say, much of DC's film endeavours tend to be less recent. Anyway, let's get started.

I'll go chronologically-ish for each series. "Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No... it's a success both critically and commercially, err I mean Superman." Supes' first outing, a portrayal by ever endearing and immortal image of Christopher Reeve. Some would say it looks dated now, but that's what people say about the first Tron, to which I disagree, on both counts. I can't admit to liking Margot Kidder as Lois (I guess she was flavour of the month at the time of casting) or Gene Hackman as Lex (you'll probably disagree to that one) but I'm just not a fan of his for that sort of role, he smiled too much. The second installment features less of Hackman, thankfully, and more of what makes films great; THE TERENCE STAMP as megalomaniacal Zod, no one cares about Ursa or Non they're stereotypical and boring, still a great film though, the bar scenes (with and without powers) are especically memorable to me, for no reason in particular except them being awesome. Ah the third Superman, spoiled by Richard Pryor's non-serious display and the general tongue-in-cheek/campy/bullshit approach. Not to say it has no merits oh no. Christopher Reeve as the corrupted Superman is brilliant, yes I repeat BRILLIANT (I've read this showing of bad supes was much to the chagrin of fans, shame on you I say, unwarranted harsh criticism), the junkyard scene is forever seared into my memory, had it been more like this throughout I'm sure it would have been better, the whole Brainiac (self aware super computer scene) shoe-horn was very silly, might I add. The Quest for Peace, a much less compelling affair, of course I've got the quadrilogy box set, what self respecting Superman fan wouldn't own this? There is little good to say about this one, Reeve gives a sterling performance as ever, interestingly it retained its principal cast, very rare for a fourth outing, I suppose they were more loyal back then. Overall this series has spawned a great image for Superman, the music alone is known by all and only since this new 52, I believe is Superman not being drawn to resemble Reeve, impact enough for me.

Superman: Returns now, and what treat I must say. Brandon Ruth has bears an uncanny resemblance to Sir Christopher Reeve (he should've been knighted dammit! Hail Britannia and all that). I love this film, ostensibly an homage to the great first series, it still holds its own in the current superhero films community. Kevin Spacey and Kate Bosworth did seem a little misplaced here, and James Marsden's appearance attributes to the tarnishing of X-men: the last stand, but we're not switching sides. This is a great movie, with Supes displaying the greatest amount of strength he has in any film lifting that continent, that was epci in every sense of the word. I like it!

Now this thing is in full swing, and that poetry was divine, not, the time has come to cover arguably DC's most prominent figure at present, Batman. For a first try and with nothing to compare except the completely comical Batman television series, I think this was done rather well. Michael Keaton brings a certain solemnness and severity to the role, one which has been reiterated in most films apart from one striking departure, you know which. Tim Burton's product seems destined to only ever behold a darkened atmosphere, which fits the bill perfectly for a Batman movie. He has his gadgets, his money and a cowl to end all cowls. Oh yes, and in my opinion the coolest Batmobile, on par with the Tumbler. Jack Nicholson gives an unnerving performance as Joker. I'm sure I'll be the minority on this one, but I recognise this as a better depiction than Heath Ledger's, who smiled only a few times, made cryptic jokes and apparently has trouble with mood swings. To clarify, Heath Ledger's version of the iconic villain is great, albeit less to my liking than Jack Nicholson's. Batman Returns has me mostly on the fence. Allow me to simplify. Excellent Batmobile (armour ftw). Great Batman (sitting in his mansion in the dark, waiting for something to happen, how cool right). Annoying Michelle Pfiefer. Over the top Christopher Walken (toned down would have sufficed). Danny Devito penguin, good in places, bad in others (arcade car controller springs to mind). An enjoyable watch nonetheless. Aside from Val Kilmer's lisp, clearly a well implemented flaw to make Bruce Wayne appear human??? Jim Carrey plays Riddler as if he were born to be a crazy, yeah he was. Two face looks really cool, but has far less screen time than I would've liked. This film actually works well with multiple villains. Nicole Kidman's emotionless demeanour was the weakest link here. Chris O'Donnell, back then, suited Robin down to the ground. Val Kilmer kept the quiet, dark persona which I love. Let the bashing begin for Batman & Robin, overall I can still watch this and smile. It's a few things that really do my swede (yes that is a real expression). Uma Thurman could not do anything to increase my liking of her terrbile screen presence and camp/exaggerated acting. Alicia Silverstone, likewise. Clooney, as much as I admire some of his works, has too much character for this role. Chris O'Donnell works as well as can be expected. I wish whatever hocum John Glover used to form Bane would have created Solomon Grundy instead, for he is a mindless brute. In my eyes, Schwarzenegar fits as Mr. Freeze and I applaud the costume design, the snow-camoflauged costumes look really awesome (Nothing about nipples? No, a barely noticable feature, exacerbated by the remedial).

Christopher Nolan's turn, and I think it only fair for him to have an entirely seperate paragraph, such is my appreciation for the quality of these films. Batman begins is ridiculously good. It remains to this day one of my favourite films of all time, of any genre. The cast is stellar, the atmoshpere is intense, the training montage rules all, the gradual building of a character is excellent, the score by Hans Zimmer breathes depth into every moment. Bale's bulking up, I think is a very fair, realistic representation of a man of that stature (as it should be with any superhero depicted as such in comic books).The Dark Knight similarly so, bar a few of the cast, Maggie Gyllenhaal chiefly amongst the failures (Katie Holmes was much better suited), most of the crime lords at the table excluding Eric Roberts, Heath Ledger tried too hard, IN MY OPINION. Such a good film still.

Finally for this bout, Jonah Hex. I apologise in advance for my use of foul language, but the film was crap. Josh Brolin is very good as the lead and Michael Fassbender hasn't put a foot wrong from anything I've seen him in thus far. That's all the good I could summon here.

To summarise, DC have a myriad of outstanding pieces, to the same degree as Marvel, most definately. They do, however, show a little less variety, which I have no problem with so far, perhaps when Superman 12 and a fifteenth Batman film are produced I shall complain more. I cannot wait for next year's big four i.e. Spiderman, Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and The Man of Steel. I must express my love for the soundtracks to nearly all of these films, it seems great composers collaborating to produce something spectacular and moving in superhero cinema is commonplace, damn straight! The final 2 hour long section, will focus on those films that I have not already given mention, so that with little association between the big two companies (or those I interpret to fit this mold). What are your opinions on these films? Until the next time.....


One for the movie buffs (part 1)

"And [snap] take 3, Action" is what someone might say if we were making a film, but today we only discuss them. I wish to lend my two-penneth to the subject of superhero films which I have viewed. I don't feel it necessary to go further than a simple review, or at least giving my opinion. This installment shall focus only on comic book translated movies, otherwise we would be here infinitely longer. So without further ado, let's commence.

Rather than chronologically, I'll work through by order of creator i.e. Marvel, DC comics etc. One constantly overlooked and flawed only by a few supporting cast members (Jennifer Garner and Michael Clarke Duncan) is the great interpretation of Daredevil, I think the darker image and apathetic display given by Ben Affleck was top notch, and the action sequences, few and far between, were well orchestrated. Consider this an unsung hero of Marvel's cinematic endeavours, I do.

Something garnering larger audiences and profits, the Spider-man franchise, has had it's fair share of criticisms, of which I have plenty. I find all watchable and enjoyable enough. The first was ok, great to see Spidey on the big screen. The second remains one of my favourite superhero films, Doc Oc was a great choice for villain, and very well executed. I never felt Kirsten Dunst, talented and beautiful as she is, fit the role. The third installment I can only bear should I not even contemplate the storyline or the laughably weak Topher Grace as a shoe-horned Eddie Brock/Venom. I hope better things for next years exploits with the lizard, and even so I cannot understand the reasoning for using an Ultimate inspired costume. Oh Marvel, you anger me so.

Ghost Rider was pretty much dispatched as poor, although I believe it's merits lie in Peter Fonda and the special effects, and Nic Cage's performance for the most part. I so longed for one of the coolest looking villains, Blackheart, to be shown in true form and not as some pale-faced heart throb, apparently that which is discernible to mortal eye. 3 out of 5.

The Fantastic four series, and be thankful it's only a series consisting of two films. The first far surpasses the second, how stupid I find Galactus to be as a cloud, granted his real appearance may not have suited a film adaptation, so simply use someone else. I liked Julian McMahon as Dr. Doom, but he was under utilised. Oh, and I hate Lawrence Fishburne's voice for the Silver Surfer!

Sometimes a superhero film can be made to seem as if it doesn't fit into that category, case in point, The Punisher starring Thomas Jane and John Travolta. A perfect example of how well done something can be if the comical "cheesiness" is removed and a darker more serious tone is taken. This one I like very much. I have no words to describe how awful Punisher: Warzone was. I understand a reboot is in the works, although they've made one good version, why bother? 'nuff said.

Why oh why did anyone believe Hugh Jackman to fit the role of Wolverine? Yes the X-men, principal series is mediocre at best, the second is by far the most praised, and rightly so. We all know the production hell which lead to the mess that is X-men: The Last Stand. Origins Wolverine was disappointing, and I hate how they used Deapool's name for some amalgamated boss fight in the final sequences, or how Sabretooth was Logan's.... brother? Now we move on to a much more recent and far more valid interpretation, X-men: First Class, which I think is absolutely brilliant, save for it's minor problems, Fassbender and McAvoy were excellent, as were the supporting cast (except Angel Salvadore and Darwin, pointless much?!). Spawning of a much more fluent series I hope.

Now the Hulks. Both must be viewed differently, Ang Lee's Hulk is to be watched and acknowledged as a well made portrayal of inner-torment, while The Incredible Hulk is to be understood as more of sterotypical superhero film. The exception in this case is that The Incredible Hulk is so much better than it's predecessor. Shame Edward Norton has been replaced by some nobody called Mark Ruffalo, who may or not give a convincing performance as the Green Goliath.

Ah, one of Marvel's hottest properties at present, thanks to a smooth talking Robert Downey Jr., Iron Man. Jon Favreau was the perfect choice to design an exceedingly entertaining film in Iron Man one. Jeff Bridges is brillaint as Obadiah Stane, and who'd have thought he could look so evil. The second movie was so disappointing, least of all thanks to the hapless acting chops of Mickey Rourke, ha. It is unfortunate such a great actor in Sam Rockwell was used to be nothing more than a stupid adversary. I disliked the War Machine suit, seeing as it's supposedly able to take on a whole Kree fleet and emerge victorius, and essentially be more powerful than Iron Man's armour, and it was so inferior it was verging on pointless. Yes I dislike this film quite intensely.

One many may not even know exists, is the Man-thing film, which is ok if you watch it as a horror and not a Marvel film. One thing which I loved about this, if I am correct in saying is that at some point, the Nexus of all realities is mentioned. It's nothing special so don't hold your breath.

Captain America: The First Avenger was very good overall, and I'm glad to see Marvel's movies becoming better all the time. I did not, however, enjoy the lack-lustre performance of Hugo Weaving, or that plastic mask he wore. some action sequences were a little tame and his shield wasn't used to it's greatest degree, but that's fine, this is introductory material after all.

The God of Thunder took a ride upon his favourite filly. "I'm Thor" he cried, the horse replied "You forgot your thaddle thilly!" In all seriousness, I thoroughly enjoyed this film, a stellar cast, and surprisingly well played Heimdal by someone of a completely different racial descent (still a foolish choice in my eyes). I disliked some of the silly humour and the whirlwind romance of Natalie Portman who knew him for no more than five minutes. The Asgardian elements were the best. And although Hemsworth fit Thor perfectly I have to say the star of the film for me was Tom Hiddleston as Loki, the villains often get overlooked, not here though.

I realise I have only covered Marvel here, that is because there are so many films I shall split this discussion into multiple parts (hopefully no more than three). I do believe much of Marvel's intellectual property hasn't received a rightful transferral to the big screen, but their success in undeniable. I just hope more directors can take a leaf out of movies such as X-men: First Class and Iron Man. It goes without saying a Sentry film would be AWESOME! What are your opinions on these films? Until the next time.


Stop hogging the limelight!

    A big hello, hello, hello to everyone. If your thinking I overdid it on the 'hellos' you're probably correct, but sometimes that's apparently what it takes to draw the attention of others. As I'm sure you're all aware there are those few lucky characters in the world of comic-dom who have taken center stage among the plethora of allies and adversaries. My purpose today is not to question or analyse the attributes and characteristics of those whom are placed squarely on top of the popularity pyramid, but for once to give somebody else a chance, or at least make it known that some other heroes and villains possibly deserve more face time than they've been granted thus far. So let us help save the day from the background, but this time make an excessive display of activity and fuss in order to shift focus onto us for a change. 

Ms. Marvel #27 by Greg Horn
Ms. Marvel #27 by Greg Horn
Funnily enough I shall commence with, what I assume to be, one of Marvel's most popular female assets, the kree-enhanced babe herself, Ms. Marvel. Reading the Avenger's reprints (in the UK) has shown Carol to be a strong, militaristic leader who can sometimes come across as overtly aggressive, but definately willing to show a softer side on occasion. Although she has featured in a fair number of incarnations of the team, my favourite so far had to be the Mighty Avengers, because for once she was given free rein, placed directly at the epicentre of it all, and let's be honest, that roster left very little to be desired. I'm fairly  sure she, at present, does not have her own series which is a shame beacuse things like her relationship with Spider-man (had it progressed any further I think would have been excellent, seriously!), which Venom reveals her true feelings towards him, was made so much more dynamic and intersting until he ditched her for Carlie Cooper. I wish to see a bit more of her personal life explored further like her past relationship with Simon Williams a.k.a Wonder Man and what she thinks of his crazy actions of late. I understand she has joined the New Avengers under Luke Cage's command (capital LOL, he's an awful character in my opinion) and webs is also featured here, possibilities perhaps? Of course I'll get round to reading those when aptly named "Heroic Age" begins sometime later this year.  
    Now for someone much less well known, whose comic-book appearances number only in the mere twenties, but I feel has great potential to become a popular figure. Equinox a.k.a. Terrance Sorenson could have garnerd more attention had he been used a regular Spidey foe rather than just another second rate criminal, of which there are becoming far too many to count. His power is likable and his strange horned, half-ice, half-fire appearance is very cool. I only noticed him thanks to a stroke of genius on Marvel's part for placing him as a mini-boss in Ultimate Alliance 2, and for that I am very greatful. I feel he would best be suited as a perfect addition to the Thunderbolts, having recently apologised to the Thing for his behaviour while playing the villain, and what appears to be a general longing for redemption. Bring on his next appearance I say.     
    Hopefully this next one hasn't completely disappeared from your memory, although he has a tendancy to vanish on a fairly regular basis, that is of course because he is the Spot a.k.a Jonathon Ohm (one would think a name like Ohm is better suited to an electricity based villain or if I'm being scientifically correct, an electrical resistance baddie, ha). Apart from Mysterio quite possibly one of my all time favourite Spider-man rogues (yes webhead is popping up here an uncanny amount of times so far). I first layed eyes on him during an episode of Spider-man: the animated series (you know, the best one!). He really hasn't featured much at all recently except as Mr. Negative's silent double agent within Hood's crime syndicate, a role which I think he performed most admirably, I was very pleased with that featuring him. Of course there is only so many times a Spider-man enemy can appear without it seeming like favouritism from the writers, unless the storyline revolves around them particularly, but the air of mystery that lends itself to the character I believe to be sufficient enough to give him a main feature in a story arc. Hell, the jackal is responsible for Spider Island right (anything can happen then). 
 Jonathon Ohm, the Spot
 Jonathon Ohm, the Spot

    Coincidentally, another Spidey rogue that deserves to be seen a little more has to be the well named Vincent Stegron, similar to Doc Connors he used dinosaur DNA, a hat tip to Ka-Zar, to grant himself powers (can you guess which dinosaur?) and I can recall a short storyline in which all the animal based characters were continually growing more feral (name of the story I think), webs included. Half-man, half-dinosaur isn't really executed enough for my liking, yes Sauron, but what's better, Pteradon of Stegosaurus? My choice is clear. This guy could be described as a tertiary presence, very rarely seeing the light of day, as with Equinox, he needs far more missions to sink his teeth into.
 Vincent Stegron
 Vincent Stegron

    Once again I must act as Living Tribunal does, restoring balance, by adding someone from DC, who I genuinely would like to see in less of a supporting role, Sodam Yat. Prophesized to be the greatest green lantern of them all, unfortunately after becoming Ion and perpetually self-immolating inside his beloved Daxam sun not much has been displayed of his ventures after being released from the bondage of empowering an entire race. Here's hoping.

    So in conclusion, LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME, I wonder if that grabbed any more attention of the oblivious, blissfully unaware writers who really should consider the 'little guy' more, see what I did there? Let's hope that somewhere along the lines these few will see a brighter future in terms of the light hitting them as one turns the page, boy how laboured was that. As for DC, I have previously mentioned I am much less knowledgeable regarding their characters, and cannot currently think of any more who I wish to see more of. Sorry DC fans, can't cater for all, all the time. Who would you like to see more of in comic books? The pleasure was all mine as always. Until the next time.

It's good to be bad.

    Greetings all, I hope the other side of the Atlantic is as dark and gloomy as the weather is here. A fittingly devious opening for todays discussion - The presence of evil, or more so, those behind it. Being a comics fan, I'm obviously bound and expected to like heroes, which of course I have my fair share of favourites, but let us shift the limelight from those who would "try to stop what's right" and hope they shall "burn like my power, Sinestro's might." Sorry, that seemed funnier when I thought about it, but like the anti-hero Rorschach states "I live my life free of compromise." That's all of the quotes I have for now, so you're lucky. Once again I've been sidetracked.
    I am as much a fan of the baddies as I am the goodies, if not more inclined to prefer the former, OK, definately more a villains guy. Their virtues and motivations are for me, more interesting to follow than our run-of-the-mill hero (that's not to take away anything from their stories, great also). But that's not our focus today, what is, is blind hatred for our nemesis. The villain can vary from mindless brute (Vermin springs to mind) to sophisticated, calculating monoliths of the underworld such as Magneto and Dr. Doom. And then we have those who advocate role-reversal and switch from saviour to destroyer, yes you guessed it, The Sentry, Hal Jordan, ...... [insert other tortured soul turned enemy here]. We're in for the long haul on this one, prepare your self for an immense amount of reading. Enjoy.
    My first point of concern is those who have become mentally unhinged, through the manipulations of others, catastrophic circumstances, or psychological disorders. I will only recount characters that have impacted upon me. Hal Jordan chielfy among the list, was thrown overboard with the destruction of Coast City, was eventually possessed by Parallax and formed an alliance with Extant to re-create the timeline. This is exactly the kind of power crazy fools I love reading about. Both one time heroes, fighting their former allies, both super, super powerful. Acting with anger or vengeance and nothing more, boy was Cyborg Superman in trouble.

Parallax (Hal Jordan) from Blackest Night
Parallax (Hal Jordan) from Blackest Night
This, seemingly instinctual basis of repsonse is one often called upon to remedy inner-torment, and observe, the visual representation of their angst, the slow (or quick) descent of their psyche into chaos, and behold the transformation, in this case, the events transpired known as Zero Hour (Yeah I have mastered the insertion of links and images now, stare in wonder).
    Continuing the crazies section would have to be a personal favourite of mine Graviton a.k.a Franklin Hall, accident granted abilities rendering powers in the high echelon of dangerousness, the formation of a megalomaniacal complex (the best of all complexes), and there we have it, sublime. It's a shame he had to go and kill himself, nevermind, all the more power for us. 
    Genis-Vell a.k.a Photon, internalised his nega bands and gained hyper-esque cosmic awareness, with which he could perceive everything and anything at once. Unfortunately this knowledge, along with his power set, drove him insane, apparently so much so as to destroy the entire universe, an accolade few can lay claim to. Omniscience is a terrible thing.    
  Sentry, as I'm sure you're all aware, my numero uno, had a psychological flaw instilled in him by the villain Mastermind (I do not wish to concede to him being a druggy, I will not, I shall not. Defiant to the end, like our subject matter). Villains creating villains from heroes, now here's something ingenious, bad guys can recognise a minds potential for demise, the harnessing for darker purposes, apparently. I like that, and so they should. Enter the Void, who operates within the confines of balance, excellent also, no need for overkill, only what is just in accordance to him. A good personality and an evil one, think how Legion (David Charles Haller) must feel then. The fear of self.
    Hatchet well and truly buried with that last concept, let us look at those who are the prevalent malevolent (poetry, who knew?). Basically one whom is iniquitous in nature, their corruption is neither an illness, burden or curse, simply their state. An awful act to them is addressed as norm in their world, death becomes them, as is their charge, one can assume. My preferential characteristic of a villain, blackness to the very core. Not that I can name many examples. One might say Joker, but I consider him criminally insane, and his motivations have never really been brought to light so one can hardly hypothesise with such dwindling a resource. The Fallen One (great ominous title), however, has been stated as being truly dark in nature. Galactus' first herald empowered not with the power cosmic, but black matter, a mysterious and ultimately volatile power source, bestowing Fallen One with credentials far surpassing that of Silver Surfer. Unfortunately his demise was met through two Proemial Gods, Tenebrous and Aegis, those which I think he should have been able to successfully challenge, but alas I do not write these stories.  
The Fallen One
The Fallen One
Off the top of my head, Ultron (you may disagree) is another whom is destined to be an intrinsically nefarious being, immediately rebelling and developing an Oedipus complex, something which is inconsequential when it also plans the extermination of humanity. From what I understand it has only ever shown a desire for "true techno-organic perfection," simply an imposition of its will on others, can it be considered a natural state of evil for wanting the assimilation of all life? I'll take a bold step forth and say Yes it does. It is a challenge trying to distinguish the truly wicked from other villainous archetypes. I'd love to see who you think is "Evil in purest form."
    And now we move on to what I think has long been established as the predominant stereotypical rival of the do-gooders, a wrathful schemer, calculator and manipulator (rhyme for the win?!). Often their motivations can be judged not as neccesity for wrong, but betterment of themselves and their people. I'll keep this one short as you all know so much about these characters anyway. Dr. Doom, lives to serve his nation Latveria, in my eyes a noble act, but he will also tend to plots for great power as achievement, or another aspect, greater control of what is, for example joining The Cabal. Hail Doom.  
    The Master of Magnetism does not seek power for the sake of gaining strength, he wants the survival of his race, the mutants. Ostensibly this mien is often portrayed as a distinct lack of care for human life, a common trait with lots of clever bad guys, using humans as nothing more than pawns in a game they cannot comprehend. I suspect he also believes many of his own kind don't understand what he strives for or agree with his methods, but they will no doubt be thankful when they live still, as a result of his machinations. He thinks himself superior, verging on a delusional perception of self importance. I'm on his side though, he has a case. 
    A quick mention to my favourite Spidey rogue Mysterio, a normal person that longs to be famous, how crude a disposition, a premise which has given him sufficient drive to continually be a thorn in his nemesis' side though.
Magneto: Mutant saviour?
Magneto: Mutant saviour?
    Finally, a new breed of enemy has emerged, or at least one I had never really given much consideration, the disgruntled hero, one unhappy with the current status quo, I speak of course about Wonder Man a.k.a Simon Williams, ok so he's a little unstable recently, but he has amassed a team dubbed the "Revengers" of others who have tried to fight the good fight, on their terms, not conform to standards of say the Avengers, who are similarly discontent with their current situation. Not true villains as yet, aside from such powerhouses as Ethan Edwards and Atlas, it is intrguing to see how many others they could rally for their cause, the thunderbolts perhaps? Either way, not often enough do heroes turn as a direct result of a greivance with their team mates and formulate a plot to succeed them. I approve. 
    Judgement time again, or at least the point of this article. A commonality is the villain's proverbial inability to succeed, and why I ask? For once, well more than once, I would like to see the offender defeat the defender, and watch as their plans come to fruition, of course that would leave lasting repercussions in the respective universes. Ultimatum, although poorly executed, performed this feat to an extent.
    Sure Sentry/Void killed Ares and Loki during Siege but that didn't actually acheive anything, he failed to win. Ultron ruled the Phalanx in Annihilation: Conquest but where did that get him? The whole Chaos War/Chaos King (I didn't read it) event or whatever has dissipated rather fast. Call me crazy, but I long for EVIL TO PREVAIL, in proper fashion. Well, much 'wisdom' (term used very loosely) you've be dealt there. Until the next time.

Superheroes, this isn't a game... but it can be.

    Good morning, good afternoon and good evening. I trust you enjoyed my first blog post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Anyway onto, shall we say, more pressing matters. For my own amusement I have recently been contemplating the games that have been released based upon superheroes/anti-heroes/villains etc. It's not so much the stories that interest me in terms of Marvel and DC, but the gameplay. Let me put this out there right now, although neither are related to the big two, I must express my appreciation for the Prototype and InFamous series, both of which I give great acclaim. 
    Prototype gives the wielder powers beyond anything that has appeared in a third person game before from my knowledge, and they can play master of destruction or keeper of peace, although the story isn't based upon good or evil acts, and is slightly lacking, but not so much as to be detrimental to the game, or my loving of it. InFamous 1 and 2 both offer exceptionally written stories, I do love the whole discovery of powers and training scenarios in which the protagonist/antagonist heighten their newfound craft, it reminds me of the montage from Batman Begins, to each his own I suppose. And the gameplay from the second and its predecessor are top notch.  
    Now we move onto Marvel's efforts, of which I must confess to only playing a few. I remember playing Spiderman and Spiderman 2: Enter Electro on the playstation one platform, and in my eyes they were very good for their time, exciting with entertaining stories and a plethora of characters also (always good in a superhero game to have some variety without it seeming like they've been shoe-horned in for the purpose of displaying other large comic names besides the title role).  
    Apart from the new Batman: Arkham franchise and Lego Batman, (great game but not really apllicable in this discussion) I cannot think of many DC games from the nineties or early 2000s except The Superman Returns movie game, which unfortunately I never played so have nothing further to add on that subject. 
    One game I must say has been seared into my memory simply because of its excellence and comical nature while carrying a true shooter style is Time Splitters: Future Perfect, "They're coming out of the walls, they're coming out the god damn walls!" But that's neither here nor there, I digress, my apologies.
    The more up-to-date games are slowly coming into view at this point, we progress one notch on the preverbial ladder to a superior platform in the playstation 2 (sorry xbox for never having experienced thee) and what I immediately recognise as brilliant many have eschewed as poorly made, Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects, how refreshing it is to see a game with original characters taylored for such an event, I speak of course about the Imperfects themselves (Johnny Ohm, Brigade, Solara, Hazmat, Paragon, Fault Zone and the Wink), interesting powers and abilities and well produced, if not a little over simplified back stories. We have a game on our hands people! Not to mention the groups of heroes taking the fight to Niles Van Roekel, megalomanically inclined as per usual, my favourite type of villain by the way, I'll elaborate more in my next installment. I do believe the Imperfects would fit into the Marvel Universe, preferably 616, but alas this will seemingly never be the case.
    Onwards and upwards now to Marvel Ultimate alliance 2, sorry folks I never played the first one. This was my first game for PS3 and boy is it a treat. Do not mistake me for an unquestioningly obedient fan of Marvel, I have many criticisms of their games and stories, DC also, but in this article I prefer to focus on the positive and leave the negative for yourselves to conjure. This game is particularly enjoyable for me due to the high concentration of playable characters, I will point out the minimalistic approach with only applying four moves for each, oh well we can't have it all. This game is most fun when played with a group of friends, and although the cut scenes are a little weak, the graphics as a whole are great. I only wish they'd make another.
    Iron Man 2 the video game. On this I have nothing to say, let down, are the only words that spring to mind, insufficient as they may be, I suppose it's my fault for not realising movie to game adaptations seldom exceed one's expectations, if ever. 
    Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions, now we're getting somewhere! I do not wish to sound repetitive, so if you think if you think if you think I'm saying the same thing again and again and again, simply attribute this to my writing skills. This for me, is a truly amazing game, the split dimensions giving you control over four different spiderman all of whom have different abilities and statistics is a stroke of genius, the different styles for each universe really seperates the gameplay and all four feel like different games almost. One thing I must commend above the rest in this game, however, is the voice acting for our four heroes, they're all great. The game is shorter than I wanted but it's replay value is second to none so that abates the need for an extended story. And Spiderman: Edge of time is released soon, this looks just like a similarly produced Shattered dimensions-esque game. In summary, I love old webhead and his adventures appear to stem Marvel's best games. 
    Let us not forget Arkham City which is also released this year, will most definately be picking that up.
    Ok, my judgement. Having indulged in such awesomeness for so long, I have come to the personal realisation that the best suited style of game for the superhero genre is without question third person, while allowing the gamer all kinds of powers/abilities and so on. Blatently apparent is Prototype and InFamous' success. I just wish more second stream characters could appear in these games, or that Marvel and DC would go the route of Sucker Punch and Radical Entertainment in focusing on giving the gaming a massive array of powers and stuff. Yes STUFF the most ambiguously important. With these new Spidey and Batman games it would appear they've taken the hint, but this will not satiate my hunger for powerhouses to appear as playable characters. One in particular that I love, who I think would be great, and I am somehow going to force into every blog post I write, The Sentry. 
    Phew, now that's all said and done I need to recuperate, kudos to you if you managed to read this far. Until the next time.


Dead characters I'd like to see return.

    Unlike many of comic fandom, ye made up words a plenty, I tend to favour the super-powerful characters, not gods, because the nature in which they operate next to lower level, lesser beings always intrigues me. And at present it seems the few I have enjoyed seem to be currently deceased with not much sign of return any time soon. So I have a small list of ones that I wish to see come back and perhaps be written a little differently but in keeping with their original powersets. I must warn you though, it seems that, unfortunately, some have become attached with a stigma by comic book fans, and most wish to see these stay dead. One in particular. See if you can guess which one. *Also bear in mind the information is only gathered from what I've read, I am by no means an expert on any of these characters.*
    Firstly Genis-Vell a.k.a Photon, which I believe was his last moniker before his demise, was extremely powerful and towards the end was able to reshape reality and had awesome cosmic awareness and a plethora of other cool powers until Zemo scattered his remains in the darkforce dimension so he couldn't be pieced together again  (bummer). Reason for this one is I have a Marvel Encyclopedia which shows an amazing picture of him as Photon, a picture which I cannot find anywhere else, and for me it's one of the best looking superheroes I've ever seen. Personal preference obviously.
    Secondly, Gabriel Summers a.k.a Vulcan/Emporer Vulcan etc. I like that after the Deadly Genesis storyline he left for space and was amazingly well endowed, power wise, significantly more so than his brethrin curiosly enough and at one point he had the powers of reactive adaptation from Darwin, time manipulation from Sway and geokinesis from Petra. Personally I believe he should have kept these attributes rather than them just fizzle out or disappear which seems to be the case. Anywho he discovered he could manipulate all forms of energy even the quantum magic of Adam Warlock, mighty impressive. The whole megalomaniac thing for the youngest of the three Summers brothers didn't really do it for me anyways I have found recently that Black Bolt (excellent character) is returning so does this mean his adversayr can also. My logic applies on the basis that the T-Bomb 'killed' them both, so if one can come back surely the other can to. Of course it remains to be seen as to how BB has re-emerged.
    Thirdly Robert Reynolds a.k.a Sentry. With the power of a million exploding suns, light manipulation, psychic powers and so forth he is still one of my favourite comicbook characters, probably my number one actually. And I'm not going to say anything about a Superman copy because I do not believe this to be true. Right up until his origins were changed to the drug using, molecule man-esque (power wise) coward that dark avengers and siege made him out to be I loved him. I seriously dislike what was done to him, and felt he was never used properly or effectively. I liked the notion that for every good action he did the void as created by mastermind (which is how I prefer to see it) performed an equally devious act and the Saga of the Sentry. I don't think he was ever written well because there are so many conflicting versions and the whole he knew fantastic four from the silver age or whatever was a touch over the top but nonetheless I want him back and written properly. Perhaps he'd be better suited to a space travelling story rather than an earth bound one. And as he can reform I hope he returns soon, presented in a different light. 
    Finally, for balance I shall mention a DC character, to which I must confess am a lot less learned than the others but still very interested to see them come back. Joshua Saunders a.k.a Takion, whom I believe to be Avatar to the Source or sometihng along those lines, as such massively powerful and somewhat related to the New Gods and Highfather, who created him. A shame to see him killed along with the New Gods by the Infiniyy man who I know nothing about what-so-ever. 
    I needed to get that off my chest, and kudos to you if you managed to read this far without boredom seeping in. Until next time.