Wednesday, October 29, 2014

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: Marvel Announces Phase Three Films For Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Inhumans, Infinity War and More

DC's announcement of their upcoming film slate couldn't go unrivalled. Today it didn't. Marvel Studios have just released their 'Phase Three' line up, and DC isn't the only one in it's sights. Proving sibling rivalry between Marvel and Star Wars at parent company Disney isn't going to be a one horse race, many of the new Phase Three properties announced take to the stars, preparing for an 'Infinity War'.

Sure the X-Men and Fantastic Four won't be there, but anything else is possible with Marvel Studios' 'Infinity War' plans

MASSIVE in size, and upping the Marvel Studios' release to three films a year, one of the highlights is that many will lift their franchise's iconic comic book logo to the silver screen, proving they aren't embarrassed of their origins. That said, in release date order, Marvel Studios' 'Phase Three' includes:

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (May 6, 2016) First up after The Avengers: Age of Ultron, C.A.C.W. will no doubt venture along the lines of the controversial Mark Millar written Marvel epic of the same name. A storyline where Cap and Iron Man clash over the idea of super-hero registration. Famous for it's key 'death', could this be where the rumoured sharing of Spider-Man with movie rights-holders Sony begins? (Hopeful addition: The Thunderbolts).

DOCTOR STRANGE (Nov 4, 2016) Finally official, this one's surprise came in Marvel using the announcement to say the week's earlier news of Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role is still a deal not yet inked. However, if an Infinity War is building, Doc is definitely one you want in your corner. (Hopeful addition: Mephisto)

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 (May 5, 2017) The best film of 2014 gets a well deserved sequel - what's more it gets a May release, a month that only the biggest of the big are aloud to tread. (Hopeful addition: Nova)

THOR: RAGNAROK (July 28, 2017) I didn't see this one coming. The Dark World wasn't Marvel Studios' best, yet judging from the screaming Thor in the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, big things are in store for this film. Said to include Loki, look for this film to bridge Avengers films, like Captain America: The Winter Soldier bridged the first two. (Hopeful additions: Hela and Beta Ray Bill)

BLACK PANTHER (Nov 3, 2017) Now we are unleashing the awesome. Played by Chadwick Boseman, the character will debut first in Captain America: Civil War and this film will deal with his home kingdom of Wakanda's introduction to the world. If any character can challenge the sweetness of Wesley Snipes' Blade, it is T'Challa. With rumours Andy Serkis is playing arch-nemesis Klaw, it could happen - especially given what it's leading into. (Hopeful addition: A new ongoing comic series)

AVENGERS INFINITY WAR Pt 1 (May 4, 2018) Thanos's titan sized boots will undoubtedly touchdown here, in a film event so big it needs two installments to convey it's scale. 20 Marvel movies will be in place by this time, so look for all threads (both known and unknown) to unify here. Also, if Ms. Marvel has already appeared prior to this, Infinity War could be where her mantle wickedly changes. (Hopeful addition: Change the title to 'The Infinity Gauntlet' - Avengers film titles don't need 'War' to sell)

CAPTAIN MARVEL (July 6, 2018) Yes, Marvel has confirmed they mean Carol Danvers. Coming out ahead of DC's 'Shazam!' film, this still has to rot DC's undies. However, DC can take solace in the fact their Wonder Woman will be the first female-focused feature film to hit cinemas. (Sole hope: We get to see the classic Ms. Marvel outfit in action)

INHUMANS (Nov 2, 2018) Another knockout punch right from it's announcement, suddenly all the attention the Lee and Kirby created royal family has had in comic form recently suddenly makes sense. While smart money has a debut appearance of at least one royal in Guardians 2, if Marvel is keeping things cosmic between Avenger films, there are few better places to go than Attilan. (Hopeful addition: Gladiator)

AVENGERS INFINITY WAR Pt 2 (May 4, 2018) Avengers + Inhumans + Doctor Strange + Captain Marvel + Guardians of the Galaxy mean this could be a Secret War all of it's own. Whoever debuts in Marvel Studios' Wave Four will probably debut here. (Hopeful addition: The Defenders)

What Do You Think?

AMOUNTS TO A CAN OF BEANS: The Batman Tin Sculpture Grimaces

Now this is dedication to your craft. It's just like that scene in Terminator 2: Judgement Day where the bad dude rises out of the floor. Except this is Batman and made of Goya Bean cans.

Now, if I was made to do this I would put one can in place, eat a can, place one, eat one.. and that's when I'm thinking of the cans as baked beans! If it was beer, there would be no chance. Not even a miniature Bats would stand a chance.

Stacked near a JCPenny's, Scarecrow will soon learn there's a new gas to fear...

What do you think?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

FROM SMAUG TO STRANGE: Marvel Casts Benedict Cumberbatch As Master of The Mystic Arts - Doctor Strange

Sure Joaquin Phoenix was nominated for the role, but Benedict Cumberbatch has always been the actor that best suited The Eye of Agamotto to me - and now it's his. 

While Benedict's voice has brought both The Hobbit films' Smaug and the revamped Star Trek's Kahn to life, he will now prove talented British actors don't just play villains, stepping into the lead role of Marvel Studios' upcoming Doctor Strange film. This is just further proof iconic Doc foes, The Mindless Ones aren't behind the casting choices at Marvel!

Revealed on Deadline, the good Doctor has been a prime candidate for Marvel over the last few years. The neurosurgeon turned Sorcerer Supreme has had his own animated DVD feature, and guest-starred in a variety of animated shows and video games, from Marvel: Ultimate Alliance to Marvel vs Capcom 3: The Fate of Two Worlds.

With all fingers crossed the movie will both be as trippy as the cult Dr Strange comics of old and his 'costume' as close to the classic as possible, here's a clip from Marvel vs Capcom 3 (the best 'live action' version of the Doc to date), showing the power levels this guy works at, and a taste of where Hollywood could take him...

What do you think?

Monday, October 27, 2014

NOW THAT'S A SPLASH PAGE: Jim Balent's 'It's Catwoman!'

Splash pages, you gotta love 'em. A blank canvas where the artist can hit you with a large dose of illustrated 'wow'. This week, one of those character/artist combo's that you almost wish were inseparable, Catwoman and Jim Balent.

Jim mastered quite a few things with Selina Kyle during his run. The eyes had that cat-like stare effect, she always looked feisty and the hair never seemed 'tacked' on to her head but apart of it - as opposed to many of his competitors. 

His biggest claim to fame though, is that he made his mark as a bad girl artist, in an age of 'hardly-any-costume 'bad girls'', by drawing a fully-clothed woman.

I always respected that DC didn't have Selina go all 'Elektra-ish' just to grab a few more 90's dollars. They trusted Jim's skills with line and body language. And just look at the result.

What do you think? For more great splash pages, click here.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

SWEET AS: The Top 4 From IDW's January 2015 Solicitations

When we Kiwis find something we like, we say it's 'Sweet as'. When I look at IDW's January 2015 solicits, these four make the 'Sweet As' grade:


Man, Darick Robertson has changed his style so much since his time on New Warriors hasn't he? Definitely channeling Bolland here!

IDW says: His name is Judge Death and in his eyes all life is crime! Together with his brothers Fear, Fire, and Mortis, the super-fiend from Deadworld is determined to end all life in Mega-City One once and for all! This compilation features classic Judge Death tales from the pages of 2000AD, including his stunning debut story by co-creators John Wagner and Brian Bolland. (W) John Wagner, Alan Grant (A), Brian Bolland

Things come to a boil as Megs and Edward go after Eli, finding some disturbing secrets about the town along the way. It's a race against time as the unlikely duo work against rumors, a growing mob mentality, and even Megs' own family to stop something truly horrible before it happens. (W) Kate Leth (A) Drew Rausch

RAGNAROK #4 Beyond the Forest of the Hanging Dead, Thor encounters the Village at the End of the World and its guardian, an armored Troll. He and the Troll exchange favors, and Thor comes to envy the dead, as the tale of the Last Day of the Gods is told. (W/A) Walter Simonson.

 JUMP ON HERE:  G.I. JOE: SNAKE EYES: AGENT OF COBRA #1 Destro, one of Cobra's top operatives, has been captured. As the metal masked maverick gets transferred to a new prison, a prison break is instigated by none other than Snake Eyes! With DESTRO free and Snake Eyes under Cobra's control, a mission that will rock the world of G.I. Joe begins! (W) Mike Costa (A) Paolo Villanelli

What do you think? For the full list of IDW's January 2015 solicitations, click the jump.