Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Atlantis: The Lost Continent (1961)

Every time I watch a documentary on Atlantis I see clips from the same movie. Usually it's footage of the city being destroyed by a volcano and the waves crashing down on it. Once they included a shot of Neptune rising from the deep with his trident. TCM recently showed that movie, Atlantis: The Lost Continent, so of course I had to watch it.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be available on DVD. It's not a great movie, but it is wonderfully cheesy. I don't know that I'd want to watch it again, but it would be nice to have in the library to show my friends who appreciate fine cheese.

It's the story of a young fisherman named Demetrios who one day rescues a woman who's been stranded on a drifting raft in the sea. We never do learn why she was on that raft, but never mind. The story takes place in ancient Greece before Plato, so when the women claims to be Princess Antillia from Atlantis, Demetrios has never heard of the place. At first, he doesn't believe her stories of a land beyond the Pillars of Hercules, but eventually she talks him into taking her home, so off they go. Along the way they meet Neptune (sort of) and a fish-shaped submarine that happens to be filled with Atlanteans. Once Antillia gets home, she's shocked to find her father no longer in control and his right-hand man Zaren calling all the shots.

Zaren, who wants Antillia for himself, has Demetrios imprisoned with all the other sailors who've ever been unfortunate enough to run across Atlantis. They all work in the crystal mines now, when they're not being transformed into animal men by Zaren's lead scientist. Zaren, meanwhile, is developing a giant laser that he wants to use to conquer the rest of the world.

There are some big problems with the movie. I won't go into detail on the cheesy effects because really they're part of the charm. The biggest problem is with Antillia and Demetrios who are thoroughly unconvincing as lovers.

Antillia is arrogant and abusive when Demetrios first rescues her. She sneers at his hospitality and says that she's untempted by the meal he prepares for her. Eventually she seems to warm up to him, until he refuses to take her beyond the Pillars into open sea. Then she threatens to cozy up to some other guy in the village who she's sure will be happy to take her. Rather than telling her to take a hike though, Demetrios caves to the threat and says he'll risk his life to take her home on one condition. If they don't make it to Atlantis in a certain amount of time, Demetrios gets to turn back and Antillia has to marry him. In the business world, my friends, we call that a Lose-Lose.

Neptune is also disappointing for spoilery reasons that I won't go into, but beyond that, Atlantis: The Lost Continent is big, dumb fun. It's popcorn retro cinema. Sort of Planet of the Apes, but with fish-submarines, laser cannons, beast-men, and slaves chanting goofy-ass Atlantean work-songs. Also, segregated escape ships (because this was the '60s) and an arena fight to the death between Demetrios and some guy who's supposed to be menacing, but really looks like Dom Deluise. Also also, the Chief from Get Smart as the Atlantean High Priest. It doesn't get any better than that.

Three out of five minotaurs.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Great guns! A girl, too!

Another superheroine I want to go back and learn more about is Saturn Girl. She's never been my favorite member of the Legion of Super Heroes (that would be Shadow Lass), but she's the highest profile girl on the team and I love the slightly creepy way they portrayed her in the Legion of Super Heroes cartoon.

Saturn Girl has been around since the first appearance of the Legion in Adventure Comics #247. I don't know if DC knew what a hit they were going to have when they published the story. It's a fairly disposable adventure if you don't know what a monster it was spawning.

It begins in Smallville, where some teenagers Superboy's never seen before let him know that they're in on his secret identity.

They don't leave him hanging for too long though and soon reveal that they're superheroes from the future, part of a club of teen superheroes, and that they want to offer membership to Superboy.

Apparently, at some point in the future, Superman's secret identity becomes public knowledge because everyone in the 30th century knows that he's Clark Kent. The teens take him into the future where the Kent home is an historical landmark and teachers use Superboy Robots to demonstrate his various powers.

After a quick tour of Future-Smallville, Cosmic Boy - who does most of the talking for the Legionnaires - explains that before Superboy can become a member, he has to defeat each of the three heroes in a contest. The contests are made up of heroic rescues, so whoever makes the rescue first wins.

Cosmic Boy explains that the first contest is to bring up a valuable, giant statue that sank in the ocean. He then introduces Superboy to his opponent: Saturn Girl.

Things seem to go well at first, except that one of the classroom Superboy Robots goes crazy and escapes. Superboy takes the time to stop it, thinking that Saturn Girl's telepathy won't do her any good in raising a huge statue.

Yes! Sea monster! I like Saturn Girl already.

She then taunts Superboy, which honestly sort of makes me like her even more.

"You can be a gentleman if you want and carry it for me." That's rich.

The other two contests go about the same. Superboy's distracted from the contest by a more serious threat, he stops it, but meanwhile Cosmic Boy and Lightning Boy (he'll become "Lad" later) finish the contest with unexpected applications of their powers. Since Superboy loses all three matches, the Legionnaires tell him he's not wanted.

No, wait. Yes, he is. Turns out that the Legionnaires are pretty much jerks who cheated in order to distract Superboy so that they could each win their contests. Saturn Girl explains how she pulled it off.

Apparently her telepathy also works on AI. Pretty cool.

Of course, Superboy should've known that the Legionnaires had a cruel streak after that stunt they pulled at the beginning with knowing his secret identity. But really, Superboy's such a smug little brat himself that you can't blame the Legion for wanting to have some fun with him.

He gets back at them though by completing one, final rescue, but imitating their powers to do it. Sort of. He uses a magnetic meteor to mimic Cosmic Boy's power and creates a lightning storm to copy Lightning Boy's. His duplication of Saturn Girl's powers is pretty iffy though.

They're all a bunch of square nerds, so the Legion congratulates Superboy on a jolly good joke and welcomes him to the club. Naturally, its the girl who presents the medal.

And that's the end except for one last panel in which we learn the moral of the story: Superboy is so cool that he'll be remembered 1000 years from now.

That's why I said the story was fairly disposable. Like every other Superboy story, its main purpose was to show how awesome Superboy is. There's no hint in the story that DC expected to ever do anything more with the Legion.

But kids in 1958 really liked the idea of a futuristic team of teen-aged superheroes, so Saturn Girl and the others would return over a year later with all new costumes and a new name for Lightning Boy in Adventure Comics #267.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Deep Sea Diver vs. Deep Sea Diver (vs. Octopus)

Golden Age Comic Book Stories has an old Will Eisner/Bob Powell tale about spies and a missing sub. That's not awesome enough by itself though, so they threw in a deep sea diver knife fight...

...and an octopus attack. It's a short story, so go read.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wonder Woman #24

Wonder Woman #24 starts a new storyline in the series, so I figure it's a good spot to starting talking about what's going on in the comic. I keep raving about Gail Simone's work on it, so I might as well show you part of what I'm talking about.

I mentioned before that Wonder Woman has a new boyfriend and this issue opens with the two of them taking the next step in their relationship: going to meet Mother. It's a cool scene and Wonder Woman reminds Nemesis once again that if they're going to date, it's all about the "absolute truth." That's true (if you don't mind my using that word again) in any relationship, but it's especially true when you're dating the avatar of Truth. And as I mentioned before, it's going to be especially difficult for Nemesis - a guy who makes his living deceiving people as a spy and a master of disguise.

But he holds up pretty well meeting Queen Hippolyta, all things considered.

There's more, but I won't spoil it. It's going to be very interesting though exploring the meaning and value of Truth in this series. The concept of Truth is fascinating, especially as it relates to our post-modern society. I hope Simone fully commits to diving into it.

Next, the story turns to what was teased on the cover. Hollywood's making a Wonder Woman movie, so Diana goes to visit the film-makers. Because she's awesome, she takes along a small entourage.

This part is also clever and funny. At least at first. The Hollywood execs do their best to reassure Wonder Woman that they want her blessing on the film and will try to make it something she can be proud of.

The producer explains that it would hurt the movie for Wonder Woman to denounce it, so they want to cooperate with her. Wonder Woman asks her associates what they think.

The humor's offset with a serious bit about the studio's lawyer and her objection to Wonder Woman's setting herself up as a role model. Wonder Woman starts to defend herself, but quickly sees that the lawyer's real problem is something else. We're not told what (or maybe I wasn't quick enough to pick it up on my own), so I expect that'll be made clear next issue.

I wish that Wonder Woman had had more time to talk about her status as a role model, but that probably would've sounded preachy. As it is, she just mentions that her uniform has meaning for her and that she's not ashamed of her body. She doesn't get into what the uniform means or address the lawyer's concerns about solving problems with violence. I'm curious to see if she gets into that in future issues. Next issue's cover shows two, little girls showing off their muscles in front of a large Wonder Woman poster, so I suspect so.

I won't spoil the end, but things get hairy when Wonder Woman goes on a tour of the set and sees some of the changes they're making to her story, including having Hercules - who once raped Hippolyta - as the love interest in a romantic triangle with her and her mom. She objects, the studio objects to her objection, and there's a battle.

That's right. It's Wonder Woman versus Hollywood, but with real fists flying and the way it's set up, I wouldn't bet on Hollywood to lose. But we won't find out for sure until next month.

In your leather skirt, laying down some hurt

More on that awesome Wonder Woman costume

Holy Crap! When Comic by Comic talked about that awesome, fan-made Wonder Woman poster from earlier in the month, one of their commenters pointed out a couple of other shots of the same costume. I hope the film-makers are paying attention, because this is now the standard they're going to have to beat.

Wonder Woman movie update

Speaking of Wonder Woman film-makers, MTV ran an interview not too long ago with producer Willaim Goldberg. While the headline (and just about everyone who linked to the story) focused on Goldberg's casual mention of the Wachowski Bros. as former candidates for the writing and directing roles, the actually interesting part of the piece is where Goldberg talks about how he'd like to see the movie made.

Dismissing the idea of trying to hire another writer/director (like Joss Whedon), Goldberg says, "When we have a script to present to directors, we’ll sit down with them and see who has a take that blows us away." He then goes on to talk about what kind of script he'd like to see:
I would like it to be more current. I hope that we don’t finally wind up doing the same story again: Steve Trevor flying, and his plane crashes onto the island. He’s supposed to be executed, and she saves his life. Perhaps we’ll do that in a very abbreviated fashion up front, and then come up with a story that no one has seen yet.
I don't know. Sure, Wonder Woman's origin is familiar, but it's not like it's been filmed as often as, say, Superman's. Or even Batman's. And it would be good to clearly define what she's trying to achieve in the world. Of course, you can define her without the origin and it would be pretty cool to see them pull that off.

Goldberg also talks about how much he expects to play up Wonder Woman's sexiness.
...a friend of mine sent me the initial copy of Ms. Magazine. On the cover was Wonder Woman, which got me to thinking about what an iconic figure she was for women. So I don’t see any reason to (sex her up). That separates her from Catwoman.
Anything that separates her from Catwoman is a great idea.

Goldberg also says that he'd like to cast an unknown in the role. "People are not, in my opinion, going to come for the actress, " he said. "They’re going to come for Wonder Woman."

Unknown Wonder Woman

Photo taken at DragonCon by this guy.

No DCU Elementary?

Now that my son and I are twelve kinds of excited about the possibility of a comic called DCU Elementary, Rich Johnston (who originally leaked the art) says that it's not on the schedule and that "there's no sign of it being so." Crap.

As long as I'm cranky...

I've got a lot of RSS feeds to read every day whenever I find the time. One of the hassles of keeping up with news about sea-related adventure stories is all the posts you have to filter out about Stargate Atlantis and The Little Mermaid. I'm sick of hearing about Pirate Bay's troubles and the fire at Dubai's Atlantis casino. And for a while there after the Republican Convention, I was sick of skimming past post after post proclaiming Sarah Palin as Wonder Woman.

Now, this isn't a political blog and I should also mention that I was even more frustrated by all the Hillary-as-Wonder-Woman posts from earlier in the year. At least Palin bears a passing resemblence to Lynda Carter as Diana Prince (if by "passing resemblence" you mean that they both have dark hair and wear glasses).

I wasn't going to mention this except that Lynda Carter herself finally came out and said something about the Palin comparisons. I'm glad she did that for a couple of reasons. The more petty of the two is that my Google Reader has pretty much shut up about the topic now that Wonder Woman herself has ended the conversation. But the better reason is that it gave Lisa Fortuner a reason to make an observation that was really helpful to me.
I admit I’m annoyed to hear her compared to Diana, and I understand that’s the limitation of having just one such notable female hero in the culture. Every notable woman gets referred to as a “Wonder Woman” when being praised. It’s not like everyone who gets told they’re Batman or a Superman matches the personality of Clark or Bruce, so I know this is just a figure of speech. My annoyance is just a side effect of being a rabid comic book fan.
I've mentioned before that I find it frustrating whenever any successful woman is immediately compared to Wonder Woman. It's sort of liberating to know that's mostly my geek getting poked. I'm not at all irritated when a guy is referred to as "Superman," but that's because I don't like Superman all that much. I don't think I've ever actually heard someone called a "Batman."

Anyway, it helps me to remember that people who call Sarah Palin "Wonder Woman" don't actually mean that she's anything remotely like the superhero character.

Unknown Mary Marvel

Okay, I feel less cranky now. Thanks, Flickr.

(No, I don't know what Mary's doing here in the Wonder Woman post either. They're both butt-kicking heroines with powers given to them by the gods though. Does that help?)

Another Wonder Woman outfit

But this one you can actually wear on the street. Very cool.

I want Candy

Paul Arrand Rodgers features Wonder Woman sidekick Etta Candy in his "Awful DC Comics Characters" feature. In spite of the feature's name, he rightly seems to appreciate the sassy, fat girl. I've only read a few of Etta's adventures, but she's awesome and I'll be talking more about her later.

What's Wrong with Wonder Woman

So a while back I was defending Wonder Woman and talking about how I wish that her critics would be more reasonable in their discussion about her. Along comes Mike Gold who cites Wonder Woman's numerous "revisions, reboots, reinterpretations, and make-overs" as evidence that she's been broken. I think that's totally fair.

When I first started talking about Wonder Woman here, I had to start with a three-part post outlining what I thought her essential qualities were. I never would've had to do that with Batman and Superman. Gold says the problem is that "
she became an icon and too many of her creators treat her as such. Gingerly."

He goes on to say that somewhere along the way, Wonder Woman became more goddess than superhero and that interfered with readers' (and writers') ability to relate to her. "Whereas Greek mythology is central to her origin," Gold writes, "it is no more significant than, say, Krypton is to the Man of Steel or the Vietnam War is to Iron Man. It’s the backstory, not the real story."

He's dead on and that's one of the reasons that Gail Simone is getting the character right. It's obvious that Simone has a ton of respect for Wonder Woman, but she's also well in touch with the character's pulp adventure roots.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Blog like a pirate

Yoicks! And away!

Yeah, yeah, that title's a Robin Hood joke. It's still what I thought of when I saw this cool picture by Emily Tetri.

Pirate Style

If you leave right now, you can just make the lecture on the history of pirate fashion at The Franklin Institute.

Build yer own pirate cannon

Instructables shows you how.

Have a pirate vacation

Avast Me Hearties tells you how.

Seriously, I've been wanting to visit Ocracoke on vacation for a few years now and this post points out some other cool Eastern Seaboard pirate locales to add to the tour. I've been to Williamsburg (where Blackbeard's crew was tried and executed), but I can't believe I grew up in Florida and never once visited Saint Augustine.

The joke that never gets old

See also: "What movies do pirates like best?" (Ones that are rated "Arrrr.") and "What's a pirate's favorite restaraunt?" (Arrrrbies.) Gimme your best ones in the comments.

Blackbeard: The Musical

I don't think that Captain Teach would approve.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Frankenstein's Womb and new movie

It's been hard, but I've been doing pretty good about staying on-topic since limiting the blog's subject matter. Frankenstein's a trump card though, so interesting Monster news will sneak in from time to time. Like Warren Ellis' posting the cover to a graphic novella called Frankenstein's Womb coming this winter.

Or the announcement that Guillermo del Toro's planning a new Frankenstein movie. It sounds waaaay off in the future, but also perfect for del Toro. First though, he has to make The Hobbit, it's likely sequel, and an adaptation of Dan Simmons' Drood.

Simmons' novel is a fictionalized account of Charles Dickens' final years. I suspect and hope it offers an intriguing theory about the inspiration behind Dickens' unfinished, last novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I'm back from an awesome trip to Nashville. I'll try to say more about that in my LiveJournal, but it was very nice wedding, we did some great sight-seeing, and I got to see some old friends whom I've kept in contact with online, but haven't seen in about five years.

No resting though. I've got an essay on Lancelot for an anthology that's in need of a last polish and past deadline. And the Midwest Comic Book Association's FallCon is coming up awfully fast. October 4th and 5th, to be precise.

Jason Copland's flying down for it and we'll be showing sneak peaks of the revised Kill All Monsters. That should be reason enough to come, but the MCBA is going nuts this year for FallCon's 20th anniversary.

Guests include Norm Breyfogle, Howard Chaykin, José García-López, Pat Gleason, Gene Ha, Phil Hester, Josh Howard, Adam Hughes, Dan Jurgens, Doug Mahnke, Dwayne McDuffie, John Ostrander, Don Rosa, and Herb Trimpe.

There are plenty of other creators I'm looking forward to seeing again or meeting too. Folks like Cori Doerrfeld, Otis Frampton, Sam Hiti, Rich Koslowski, Tyler Page, Martin Powell, Andrew Ritchie, Brent Schoonover, Barb Schultz, and Allison Sohn.

And of course my usual convention pals and cohorts Jess Hickman, Grant Gould, Darla Ecklund, Katie Cook, Paul Taylor, Charles Pechonick, Corbett Vanoni, and Alex Ness will be there too. (For some reason, I'm not in alphabetical order on the Guest List, in case you go looking for me. I'm at the very bottom, which I'm assuming is some sort of honor, sort of like, "And starring Michael May as Gen. Washington." Don't spoil my fantasy.)

The MCBA is also passing out sketch cards with original art by past and present guests; big names as well as up-and-comers. There's also going to be a wedding and who knows what else. Like I said, they've gone insane. Crazy enough to petition the City of Saint Paul to Proclaim the first day of FallCon as Midwest Comic Book Association Day. And the City, apparently, was cool enough to grant it.

So please come out. It's going to be a fantastic event and an awesome time.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Action Girl News: Sun Girl, Project ReVamp update, and Red Sonja not-so-much-news-per-se

Sun Girl

The Fortress of Fortitude introduces us to Golden Age superhero Sun Girl. Remember a while back when I was talking about how much I liked Shadow Lass' hairstyle in Legion Lost? It's totally a Sun Girl 'do.


Project: Rooftop should be sharing the results of their Vampirella redesign contest very soon now. But while we're waiting, here's Art Grafunkel's contribution.

Red Sonja

Okay, there's no story behind this. I just wanted to post this painting by Captain America artist Steve Epting.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Action Girl News: The Middleblog and Inside Man 2


Still no word (as far as I can tell) on whether there will be more Middleman, but I reckon that when there is, we'll hear about it first on the Middleblog. And until then, we can entertain ourselves by reading creator Javier Grillo-Marxuach's episode-by-episode annotations of the show's many pop-culture references.

Inside Man 2

Apologies for the lousy screen capture. I'm still trying to figure out how to do that.

Anyway, Spike Lee wants to make an Inside Man 2. It sounds like he's particularly interested in bringing back Denzel Washington and Clive Owen's characters in order to "develop their relationship further, but in a different standoff-like situation." The reason I'm mentioning it here though is to wonder whether Jodie Foster might also be involved. She was awesome in the first one, but ultimately she wasn't all that important or successful a character. I'd love to see her as more of a threat in the sequel.

The movie's being written by Terry George, which is exciting because he also wrote the excellent screenplays for In the Name of the Father and Hotel Rwanda.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Mediterranean Caper by Clive Cussler

I'm interrupting low-content mode with a disappointing announcement. The Mediterranean Caper sucks.

I'm in Milwaukee on my layover to Nashville and I've got nothing to read for the rest of the trip now. I only got to about page 36 of the book before "hero" Dirk Pitt slapped a woman he'd just met two minutes ago. His reason: she was still grieving over the husband she'd lost in a car accident nine years before.

Here's Dirk's explanation:
"That torch you carry around is as worn out as an overcoat. I'm surprised someone hasn't taken you over a knee and spanked it off. So your husband was dashing. So what? He's dead and buried, and mourning over him for all these years won't resurrect him from the grave. Lock away his memory somewhere and forget him. You're a beautiful woman - you don't belong chained to a coffin full of bones. You belong to every man who turns and admires you as you pass by and who longs to posses you."
I repeat: he met this woman two minutes ago. Classy.

Of course she immediately sleeps with him.*

Because I was stuck on the plane with nothing else to read, I trudged forward, but finally gave up when Cussler hinted that Dirk doesn't know that dinosaurs and humans never existed at the same time. Or maybe it was when Dirk throws a temper tantrum for no good reason than that the scene was getting a little stale and needed livening up. So much for Cussler's Dirk Pitt. I don't care if it was written thirty years ago, I can't get through it. I'll stick with the Matthew McConaughey version.

*I hear that it's revealed later that the girl has a reason for having sex with this jerk, but that doesn't make his belting her any easier to get past.

Adventureblog Gallery: Valkyrie

Another Golden Age Comic Book Stories link today. This time to Arthur Rackham's illustrations for Wagner's The Rhinegold & the Valkyrie.

Which reminds me that I want to learn more about Marvel Comics' superhero Valkyrie.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Adventureblog Gallery: Planet Stories

I'm headed to Nashville for a wedding this weekend, so content will be tiny. I should have enough scheduled though to have at least something up every day while I'm gone.

Today, it's links to Golden Age Comic Book Stories' galleries of Planet Stories covers. I don't know a lot about Planet Stories, but apparently they weren't afraid to have women kick some butt on their covers instead of just fainting or cowering from evil robots and aliens. Here are a couple of samples, but there's a lot more Action Girliness in the links.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The White Huntress (1954)

If I knew who was responsible for the title, I'd seriously be tempted to sue him for false advertising. There's absolutely no huntress in this movie, white or otherwise. A woman picks up a gun at one point, but she's told by a man not to use it and she obediently puts it right back down again. Nice.

According to IMDB, White Huntress is just the US title. It's actually a British film called Golden Ivory, which is bit more accurate. At least it describes something that's actually in the plot. The story is about a couple of brothers who are obsessed with finding a hidden valley with a ton of elephants that they can shoot for the tusks. Not having any money to finance their own expedition, they hire themselves out as guides to a British family hoping to homestead near the valley in the far wilds of British East Africa. When one of the brothers starts falling for one of the girls in the caravan, the other brother questions his commitment to the scheme.

It's actually not a bad movie for what it is; I just didn't appreciate the bait-and-switch. What it is though is a British version of a Western wagon train movie. I'm curious if more of these were made, because it's really an ingenious concept. You could take just about any Western plot, move it to the British colonization of Africa, and substitute African tribal people for American Indians. Instead of the calvary running around trying to keep the peace, you've got British officers. There's no gold rush, but there are plenty of diamond mines. And it's even better than a Western because you get to add monkeys, big cats, and giant snakes.

The acting isn't great in The White Huntress, but it's serviceable and there are actually some nice moments. Robert Urquhart as the love-struck brother is especially good. He's perfectly convincing as a guy torn between loyalty to his brother and the desire to settle down and start a new life with nice people and a beautiful woman.

Even though it wasn't what I expected, I'm giving it...

Three out of five leopard attacks.

The movie is part of a double-feature DVD with 1942's Jungle Siren. Hopefully that one's got a leopard skin-wearing gal fighting wild animals in it.

Jungle News: Jungle Girl 2 and a sucky new Tarzan flick

Jungle Girl 2

Of the three recent jungle girl revival comics that have been tried, Dynamite's Jungle Girl is the only one that I liked. Marvel's first Shanna the She-Devil series was pretty good, but overly gory and serious. The sequel improved on that some, but the art wasn't at all attractive. Devil's Due's Sheena comic didn't get that a jungle girl comic ought to be about a jungle girl. The first issue was boring, so I didn't go back for a second.

So, I'm excited that Dynamite's got a new Jungle Girl mini-series coming out. Calling it "Season Two" is misleading though. The first mini-series was only six issues long; hardly a "season." I barely understand the concept of comic book "seasons," but it seems to me that if you're going for a TV comparison, a season ought to include more than a single story arc.

Dynamite's publisher Nick Barrucci says that the new story will continue to feature the high adventure and comedy that made the first one successful, but will spin off into Lovecraftian horror as well. I'm all for mixing genres, so consider me intrigued.

Why the new Tarzan movie will suck

Stephen Sommers is directing it. That's not at all a fair trade-off for Guillermo del Toro.

Sommers is approaching the movie from a completely new direction instead of adapting a book, and I'm okay with that. I don't need to see yet another version of Jane's discovering Tarzan for the first time. What I'm not okay with is knowing that Sommers will use the cheapest CGI possible in lieu of actual animals or stunt people. I'm so disappointed.

Adventureblog Gallery: Jungle Girls

Judy of the Jungle

By Alex Schomburg.

Jungle Girl

By Ed Tadem.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers

Two of my newest favorite characters are Molly Hayes, the super-strong little girl from Runaways, and Kate Bishop, the new Hawkeye from Young Avengers. Which means that I really like the regular Runaways/Young Avengers team-ups Marvel keeps doing every time there's a new event mini-series. It's like teaming up Wonder Woman and Black Canary.

Unfortunately, Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers focused on neither of my favorites. I understand that Secret Invasion is all about the Skrulls and that since both the Runaways and the Young Avengers have Skrulls on their teams that those characters are naturally going to get the focus. But did writer Chris Yost have to go so far out of his way to sideline Molly and Hawkeye?

Hawkeye spends the mini-series in a battle in Times Square that's sort of being covered in the main Secret Invasion book (as much as that book's covering anything, which isn't much), so even though I don't like it, I understand Yost's not wanting to recover it here. Although I would've welcomed some scenes fleshing out the Young Avengers' contributions to that battle.

But Molly... the way Yost gets Molly out of the way is horrible. She's the Runaways' most powerful member and seriously, how cool would it be to see a twelve-year-old girl kicking Skrull butt? Very cool, says I. But no. Instead, we get this.

That's right. Speed from Young Avengers zooms Molly and her friend Klara right out of the fight. And not just to the sidelines either. The "Mister President" Klara's talking about?


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Gamora: Guardians of the Galaxy #2

Gamora doesn't get much spotlight in Guardians of the Galaxy #2, but she does have one good line that's worth sharing. The issue's about finding Vance Astro in block of frozen time. I don't know how frozen time works either, but Vance is stuck in some and the Guardians rescue him from it.

If you don't know, Vance is sort of a futuristic Captain America. He carries Cap's shield and everything. Of course the coincidence between rescuing him from frozen time and the Avengers' rescuing the real Cap from an iceberg at their team's formation isn't lost on the Guardians.

Like I said last time, Adam Warlock has always bothered me with his mystic mumbo jumbo, but Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have somehow figured out how to keep that element of him intact while still making it cool.

"Sometimes it rhymes." Heh.

Gamora has a similar reaction.

I love that line. And I love how Paul Pelletier draws her in the panel. Gamora's usually slinging her sword around or glowering at people. I'm not going to say she looks vulnerable here, but by putting her hair in her face and having her look off panel at nothing, he makes her a lot less confident. Like she's a bit unsettled by her feelings. That's really tricky to do without softening or weakening her and Pelletier pulled it off nicely.


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