The Iron Man 2 Novelization: Whips, Widows and War Machines

April 7th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

We’re a month away from the release of the two-years-awaited Iron Man 2 and only a week or so ago, the novelization came out. Like with all the other Marvel movies, I picked this one up. Surprisingly, this one isn’t written by Peter David, but by Alexander Irvine. You might recognize the name if you’ve read Daredevil Noir.

So what’s going on in the story? It takes place six months after Iron Man – although Irvine flubs that by referring to it as two years at least once – and sometime before Incredible Hulk. Tony hasn’t done too much in terms of righting wrongs as Iron Man, but he does flaunt it when possible and gets in trouble with the government because of it. They insist he should hand over the tech to them, which he totally disagrees with and points out that the rest of the world is 20 years away from reaching that level anyway. Also, Tony has a couple events marked off on his calendar and every one of them is a backdrop for an action sequence. Really, every action sequence can be summed up with, “I can’t wait for _______! I hope nothing bad happens! Oh, crap! Explosions!”

Let’s go over the characters, starting with our hero.

Tony Stark is getting ready for the Stark Expo (hey, guess what that means?), but at the same time is secretly disturbed by the realization that his arc reactor isn’t so perfect after all and it’s slowly killing him. He and JARVIS have been working on a way to reinvent the arc reactor, but so far nothing’s doing and things look grim. In response, Tony has been acting even more reckless than usual and becomes a grade-A asshole.

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Tony and the Captain Can Make it Happen

December 17th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

I love Ed Brubaker and I love his work with Captain America. Believe me, I really do. But am I the only one who feels kind of disinterested in Captain America Reborn? Brubaker’s run with the character has shown that mysteries with obvious answers aren’t so bad when the storytelling is excellent.

It looked like they were bringing Bucky back and, lo and behold, they did. It looked like they were going to turn Bucky into Captain America and, low and behold, they did. The stories were obvious based on the hints and how natural they felt, but Marvel still acted like they were mysteries.

It’s not working this time, honestly. We knew from issue one that Cap would be coming back. The first issue was a basic explanation as to how he would be coming back. Everything else has felt like filler. Even worse, we’ve been given some scenes of Steve Rogers alive and well after this, so there’s no real drama to look at.

New Avengers Annual #3 shows Steve surprising everyone by showing up on the last page in his chainmail tights. The latest issue of Iron Man has both Caps there to share their shield. Before either of those is Dark Avengers Annual, ending with Steve in a more SHIELD-like outfit hanging out with Bucky Cap on their hunt for allies against Osborn.

Aha! The plot thickens. Since it was official that Steve was coming back, there had been lots of speculation that he was going to be taking over the Fury/Hill/Stark/Osborn spot as king of the superhero/government relations mountain. This would allow Bucky to remain as Captain America for at least a little while longer. This will probably be covered in part next week as Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield? is released. This isn’t to be confused with Captain America: All Those Who Chose to Oppose his Shield Must Yield.

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Incredible Hulk Movie Novelization: Ain’t it UNGLAMORAYS?

May 29th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

The Incredible Hulk, part two of the “Avengers Saga” of Marvel films (there go my nipples again), is on its way in a few weeks. Naturally, Peter David wrote a novelization based on the upcoming movie. Since I did the same for Spider-Man 3 and Iron Man, I went up for round three by picking it up and seeing what it had to offer.

Incredible Hulk is like Ang Lee’s Hulk mixed with Superman Returns, only better than each of them. Granted, I did enjoy the older Hulk movie for the most part. I thought most of the stuff involving David Banner was fantastic and found him so sympathetic that I can’t even bring myself to call him a villain. But let’s be honest, the pacing had problems and there was a huge unbalance in the story where they try to tell the tale of a man’s tragic relationship with his father one minute and HOLY SHIT DID YOU SEE WHAT HE DID TO THAT TANK the next.

This new movie is most definitely not a sequel to the Ang Lee production, but like with Batman Begins and the Tim Burton Batman, stupid people will believe they’re connected no matter how many changes in continuity they spy. Still, the movie knows what we saw in Hulk and doesn’t give us a story based purely on origin. Though the Hulk’s origin is different this time around, it’s only delved into through explanations and brief flashbacks.

David’s book is based on the screenplay treatments of Edward Norton and Zak Penn. That means that it’ll be harder to tell how accurate it is to the final product than usual, based on the stories I’ve heard about the movie’s production. For one, Norton had been rewriting scenes on the set just about every day. For two, they decided to make some edits that have pissed him off. Even the little footage I’ve seen of the movie is different from what the book goes with. Such as that scene where Hulk tears a cop car in half and uses it as boxing gloves. Not only is that not mentioned at all here, but that scene involves Abomination talking. Abomination has no dialogue in the book after his transformation.

This could be a good thing or a bad thing. Truth is, there are a couple minor bits I wouldn’t mind changed.

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Review: Peter David’s Iron Man Movie Novelization FIGHTS! and FIGHTS! with Repulsor Rays!

March 26th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

A year ago, I bought, read and reviewed Peter David’s novelization of Spider-Man 3. I thought it was pretty good and went on record to say that Sam Raimi would have to go out of his way to fuck up that movie. Wouldn’t you know it, he did exactly that. He deleted a handful of scenes that would have turned the movie’s three villains into more than ridiculous, one-dimensional jokes. While he removed all the valuable Eddie Brock and Sandman scenes, he made it even worse by hardly shaving off any whiny Mary Jane moments.

I made the decision to go for round two. This time Peter David writes a novelization based on the upcoming Iron Man film. More than anything, I was curious. The build-up has been nice. Not just with the trailers, but the feeling that there’s love in the movie. I recall Jon Favreau saying that in preparation, he had been reading every single issue of Iron Man from the 60’s on. So would love be enough to make this story work?

Yes. Yes it really would.

I’m not going to give out explicit spoilers, but if you really want an absolute blank slate to the point that you didn’t even watch the trailers, by all means don’t read this and instead just give me $5.

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Pete Woods and Pete Milligan

January 10th, 2008 Posted by david brothers


infinitygirls.jpg I love Pete Woods, and it’s nice to finally see him on a book that looks good in writing as well as in art. I’ve been fighting against buying the Amazons Attack hardcover, but Woods’s art makes it hard to miss.

Plus, there’s this:

While most of the locations have been established for the book, we haven’t seen much of them, so there’s plenty of wiggle room as far as design goes. Steelworks is the most exciting of those. Here we have John Henry Irons- the Tony Stark/Reed Richards of the DCU- who knows what sort of weird bleeding edge tech he’s got sitting around. The possibilities are endless…

John Henry really is, isn’t he? He’s Superman’s go-to gadget guy. Hopefully Milligan plays with that some. All we need next is for the redesigned Eradicator to make a comeback and I’ll be happy.

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Pardon My Fanboy

December 9th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

There were two, count ’em, two Marvel comics this week that featured sex tapes as a plot point.

One was Ultimates 3 #1, a comic so thoroughly bad that the only thing I can really praise is that there is an Ultimate Black Panther now, though he jobs like a chump to College Sophomore Eddie Brock in the Venom Costume.

I guess I can’t praise that at all.

Was the newly deAsianed Wasp honestly letting Captain America know that it’s the 21st century now and his pitiful 1940s-era brain just doesn’t get that incest is all to the good?

I mean, what was that all about?

Also it’s kind of awesome how Wasp goes out and buys Tony Stark’s sex tape and screens it in front of all his buddies for what’s apparently the first time they’ve heard about it?

“Hey guys, check this out! Tony Stark and his dead murdering traitor of a fiancee are getting it on! PS Tony what’s the deal with this tape I just bought?”

Great writing, that.

The other book is The Order #5, words by Matt Fraction and art by Khari Evans over Barry Kitson’s layouts.

In the words of one syllable: Wow. Two syllables: Holy wow.

My hands down favorite panel in the book is the one at the top of this page:


He draws the most beautiful sneers I’ve ever seen. The body language is so dead on, too.

Marvel? Push this guy. He is the next big thing. He’s got a funky style that isn’t too far off from the superhero standard while still being pretty awesomely distinct. His talking heads are wonderful, too. Give him a go on a Bendis-written Luke Cage series if you gotta. You know that Bendis would write that in a hot minute.

Do everything you can to make him a star, but please don’t let him draw anything Loeb or Millar writes because I’d like to enjoy the story as well as his awesome art.

Just give me (us) more of his art, that’s all I want.

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Tony Stark? Meet Tony Starks.

November 20th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

Ghostface Killah Lands Cameos In ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Walk Hard’ – Movie News Story | MTV Movie News

“I jumped in there for maybe 12 or 16 bars, nothing too major,” Ghost downplayed before describing his scene with the film’s star. “It was a good look for the kid because Robert Downey Jr. recognized me as soon as I seen him. He was like, ‘Yo, Tony!’ … For him to recognize me, I was kinda surprised by that. I didn’t know he even knew about the kid. … We called each other Tony onscreen. I’m like, ‘Tony Stark, I got your jet, I didn’t mess it up.’ He was like, ‘I got the Bentley for you, I laced it up.’ I had two girls with me, I was like, ‘That’s you [pointing toward the girls].’ I sent two birds at him. It was a wrap for that scene. He’s a cool dude and funny. Big up to Robert Downey Jr.

This Iron Movie cannot possibly get any more awesome. Yes.

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Children, Gage, and Mary Jane II: Mary Harder

November 17th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

How many comic characters have come up with recently revealed/brought back into play children?

Wolverine has Daken and X-23, kinda. Agent 13 is preggo with Cap’s baby. Namor had that son show up in his mini. Superman has Chris Kent. Batman has Damian. Hulk has Skaar or whatever. Corsair had Vulcan, though that’s kind of stretching the timeline a little. Punisher’s got a tyke.

That’s eight in, what, just under two years?

Anyway, Christos Gage is one of my new favorite writers. His Union Jack was the bomb, his House of M Avengers was mostly recap/revamp for Cage fans, but good, and so on. He’s got a couple books dropping soon. Iron Man Annual #1 and T-bolts: Breaking Points. Both are one-offs.

Tony Stark as James Bond + Bruce Wayne is a brilliant move, seriously. Why hasn’t anyone done this before? It’s totally Tony Stark. Danny Rand is Kung Fu Billionaire, Tony Stark should be Mecha James Bond. I want to pick up both books now. Gage generally does good.

But yeah, there’s something else in those previews that I noticed. Check out this image and think back a few months to the Mary Jane statue thing.


I laughed.

My question is– is this a knee-slapper with a knowing wink or a face-slapper with a mean glare? It’s kind of obviously presented as something that isn’t altogether kosher or positive… my money is on wink.

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Mighty Avengers and World War Hulk and How They Relate

July 26th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

I’ve seen this in a couple places, so I activated my giant brain and put some thought to it. 72 hours later, I have a solution.

Short answer: they don’t.

Long answer:

In World War Hulk, Sentry is shown as unresponsive and noncommittal. He has yet to lift a finger to help the anti-Hulk side.

In a recent issue of Mighty Avengers, so recent it just came out yesterday, something happens. Lindy Reynolds, wife of the Sentry, is apparently killed by Ultron. I say apparently because there is at least one 100% fake death in the series already, not to mention the fact that Ultron can create appendages and probably change shape.

People are linking this and WWH to explain why Sentry is so out of it. Here’s a simpler idea–

The Hulk is a good friend of Sentry’s. He’s only calm around the Sentry, so the Sentry has kind of a paternal love for him. He wants to be able to help him as best he can. And then, one day, Hulk comes back and blames Reed Richards and Tony Stark for firing him into space. The Sentry’s own friends betrayed Hulk.

And then they come to him and ask him to help the Hulk… by taking him down.

When they ask him to help, Sentry asks Tony for a moment. He wants a word with him. My bet is that Sentry asked Tony, “Is it true? Did you send him into space?” and Tony said, “Yes.”

That’s why he’s sitting on the sidelines. His own friends are using him.

WWH is a good story and it stands on its own. It doesn’t need Mighty Avengers and it’d be foolish to tie that in.

WWH is about old Hulk vs new Hulk. His new friends vs his old friends. General Ross shows up in the last issue. He’s an old enemy, but his daughter was married to the Hulk. She’s dead now, I think. Hulk’s invading Earth because his wife died. There’s your drama right there.

The Rick Jones = Miek thing is pretty dumb, though.

WWH, when you boil it down, is about relationships. World War Hulk: X-Men is proof positive. (It’s also the only tie-in I’m enjoying.) The X-Men, even after all the crap Xavier has put them through, stand by their former headmaster. Xavier is willing to give in, but the X-Men are a family. All for one and one for all. It’s pretty good stuff.

I’m betting that the big fight in WWH isn’t Hulk vs Sentry. Not at all. I feel kind of like it’d be an depowered Hulk (read: Banner) versus Bob Reynolds. It’s just a hunch.

Oh, and Spider-Man: One More Day isn’t about Mary Jane dying at all. That’s a smokescreen. Joe Q is pulling the wool over your eyes again.

It’s about Aunt May getting one more day with Uncle Ben, or maybe her family, before she dies.

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Ruining the Moment: Volume 4

June 15th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

It’s time for another look at decent comic book scenes as having been skewed by horrible Photoshop skills. First, we have Civil War, where Reed Richards shuts down the cyborg Thor clone with his complicated voice-activated code.

Being in an Illuminati meeting was pretty fun stuff if it was a holiday.

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