This Week in Panels: Week 75

February 27th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

It’s the ThWiP 75th Week Double-Sized Spectacular! …Okay, it isn’t double-sized. It differs from week to week, so you can’t even define what single-sized is anyway. But I do have Was Taters and Space Jawa helping me out, so that’s neat.

Plus Deadpool Team-Up has the most Gavokian panel in the history of panels.

Avengers #10
Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr.

Captain America #615
Ed Brubaker, Butch Guice, Sean McKeever and Filipe Andrade

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This Week in Panels: Week 41

July 4th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Time for another go. It’s July 4th weekend (happy 4th from the 4th, I suppose), meaning two Captain America comics and one Steve Rogers comic. It’s kind of moot when you consider I have three Deadpool comics on here. Only two of them are any good. I thought I was losing my mind when Deadpool Corps was starting to win me over, but seeing that I am really not feeling Wade Wilson’s War is almost a relief in some sense.

Abe Sapien: The Abyssal Plain
Mike Mignola, John Arcudi and Peter Snejbjerg

Captain America #607
Ed Brubaker, Mitch Breitweiser, Sean McKeever and David Baldeon

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Iron Man 2: The Deleted Scenes

May 7th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Iron Man 2 has been released and I checked it out last night. Personally, I enjoyed it, but doubly after having read the Alexander Irvine novelization. Much like with going from the graphic novel of Kick-Ass to the movie Kick-Ass, the transition from a weak telling of a story to a strong telling of a story can make such a difference based purely on the comparison.

I always love doing this little experiment of checking out the novelization of comic book movies, then seeing how the final product compares. I’ve been doing it for the past few years and they’ve always seemed to be based on the full version of the story. The novelization is what the movie is like before the editor cuts off chunks. Sometimes this works out for the better (Incredible Hulk). Sometimes this works out for the worse (Spider-Man 3). There’s even the first Iron Man, where the second act had to be refilmed and edited around just to make the Air Force happy.

Iron Man 2 is a different beast, since it doesn’t appear to be based on the full version of the screenplay, but of an earlier, incomplete version. There are plotholes and loose ends riddling the story that the movie is nice enough to fix. Even better, some of the climactic moments are so ridiculously underwhelming that the final cinematic output is a godsend.

Let’s take a look at what was changed.

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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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Black Future Month ’10: The Stereotype

February 9th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

What do Black Panther, Black Lightning, John Stewart, Black Goliath, Luke Cage, John Henry Irons, Sam “Falcon” Wilson, and Martha Washington have in common? Easy: they were created in whole or in part by white (or Jewish) dudes.

Your boy John Shaft? His origin lies in a novel written by Ernest Tidyman, a white guy from Cleveland. Foxy Brown, the meanest chick in town, was written and directed by Jack Hill, another white guy. Are there any black pop culture figures that have been homaged, swagger-jacked, referenced, and emulated more than Shaft and Foxy? Maybe, maybe James Brown or Muhammad Ali?

Consider the importance of Gordon Parks as director of Shaft. Shaft‘s New York City is grimy, dirty, vibrant, black, and beautiful. We see opulence and poverty, violence and peace, and in the midst of all of this is Richard Roundtree as John Shaft, head held high and in control of the situation. Shaft presented black characters who didn’t feel inauthentic and a world that had depth. It’s fair to say that having a black director, and an actor as talented as Roundtree, served Shaft well. Parks got it.

I love Jack Kirby and I dig his Black Panther, but it took Christopher Priest to make me a believer. I found Reggie Hudlin’s take on Black Panther to be fascinating, at least in part because it pushed a very specific, relatable version of Panther. The two of them brought an aesthetic, or mindset, to the book that hadn’t been there before, and it worked. The character clicked for me for the first time.

Let’s talk about diversity.
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This Week in Panels: Week 12

December 13th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Absolutely massive set of comics this week. What If: World War Hulk is my pick of the week, even despite the crappy Thor story and the even worse comedy stuff at the end. The main story rocks.

Adventure Comics #5
Geoff Johns, Sterling Gates, Jerry Ordway and Francis Manapul

Batgirl #5
Bryan Q. Miller and Lee Garbett

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This Week in Panels: Week 6

November 1st, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Here we go with the biggest week yet of this. Big week for Punisher and Ares, so if you like badasses with skulls on their chests, there you go. Ambush Bug was apparently an almost complete rewrite of what was supposed to be #6, so the panel in question isn’t supposed to say, “This is how funny the comic is.” It’s more, “They’re telling the truth and joking about them joking about it doesn’t stop it from being bad.”

Ambush Bug #7 (of 6)
Keith Giffen, Robert Loren Fleming, Art Baltazar and Franco

Anti-Venom: New Ways to Live #2
Zeb Wells, Paulo Siqueira and Chad Hardin

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Ultimate Edit Week 5: Day Seven

October 3rd, 2008 Posted by Gavok

Well, here it is! The last day.

In the penultimate installment, Quicksilver sacrificed himself for his father by taking an arrow to the chest. The irony is that he would have been able to run in there in time to catch the arrow with his hands if he didn’t have that limp from being shot in the knees by Magneto back in Ultimate War! Good going, Master of Magnetism.

Here’s the rest.

And that does it. My eternal thanks to ManiacClown for writing this with me from issue #1. Thanks to hermanos for the site to showcase this and his never ending support. Thanks to the MightyGodKing himself, Christopher Bird, for his guidance. Thanks to Jeph Loeb, the Joel Schumacher of comics, for giving us such an easy target.

And especially thanks to all of you readers out there who enjoyed it. Even those of you who didn’t enjoy it. You gave it a shot anyway, so I can’t argue.

Now, will there be some kind of Ultimatum Edit in the near future? Hm… we’ll see.

BUT! I can do you one better. I’m sure many of you have heard of Rifftrax, the website second coming of Mystery Science Theater 3000, headed by Mike Nelson and the rest. Some of you may have heard of iRiffs, the new feature on the site. Now any moron with a microphone and time on his hands can put together his own Rifftrax selections for the public to purchase and enjoy.

I am one of these morons.

That’s right. Me, Nick “ManiacClown” Zachariasen and my old friend James Howard will be making fun of things video/audio-style. Here we’re just starting off with Japoteurs, a somewhat racist Superman cartoon from the 40’s. But we have a lot more in the works, so stay tuned once the iRiffs section is up and running.

Tomorrow or so, I’ll probably have some kind of annotations thing for Ultimate Edit up. So if you’re into that kind of stuff, check it out.

Again, thanks for reading, folks. It’s been a blast.

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Ultimate Edit Week 5: Day Six

October 2nd, 2008 Posted by Gavok

Home stretch time.

In the last installment, Ant Man said something really unbearably stupid. Let’s move on as the Ultimates confront Magneto, not with actions, but with words.

So, yeah, if you were wondering where I was going with that inner dialogue about Iron Man’s spine, there you go.

Thanks to writing partner ManiacClown for coming up with too much usable dialogue so that I had to make the text all scrunched up and awkward looking to fit in some word bubbles. Thanks a lot, jerk!

Tomorrow is the big conclusion. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Day Seven!

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Ultimate Edit Week 5: Day Five

October 1st, 2008 Posted by Gavok

If you didn’t miss out on yesterday’s happenings, you probably remember Valkyrie defeating her mutant captors and Yellowjacketron’s army making a fool out of Magneto. Luckily for Magneto, the cavalry has arrived in the form of the Ultimates! Hurray for two-page splash pages!

By the way, if you’re wondering just what was really said in that scene, I’d be more than happy to explain it.

“Don’t you know how close we are to being you? I’d rather not kill you, Jan. My experimentation on your DNA has only begun. Besides… you’re almost like a mother to me.”

“Then I guess that makes me… THE MOTHERFUCKER!”

Jeph Loeb, everybody. Let’s give him a hand.

On another note, people are all excited about the new Thor movie and the announcement of Kenneth Branagh as the director. Personally, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Not that he’s the director, mind you, but that they’re making a Thor movie. We already did have a Thor movie! Don’t you remember?

Thanks again to my editing associate ManiacClown. We’ll be back tomorrow and a very special installment the day after that.

Day Six!

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