Death looms over Marvel Comic’s… err… comics.

Thanos and Death MARVELMarvel comics on December 27, 1996 filed for bankruptcy. Marvel had sold many properties for potential movie and TV deals that would make money such as Blade, Spider-Man, and The X-Men way cheaper than they should have been sold for, just to stay a float. In 2005, Marvel decided to finally start making their own movies instead of selling their properties, taking out a huge loan based on certain characters performing well at the box office… or they would loose those characters… 2008’s Iron Man btw was not one of those characters in the deal. They were then bought in 2009 by Disney.

11 years after the first movie in the cinematic universe, Captain Marvel comes to theater today, and there are rumors that Marvel may stop producing their own comics. I mention this to point out the fact that during this cinematic growth period, Marvel did not actually make their comics stronger.

X-Men, in the 90’s, was way more popular than Iron Man and all of The Avengers, especially after the super popular Fox Kids cartoon show during 1992-1997. Shortly after Bryan Singer’s first X-Men movie in 2000, Marvel started really cracking down on toys and comics of the things that they had licensed out. X-Men were huge, but no toy line based on the movies. Fantastic Four was hitting theaters and their comic kept suffering and then completely went away. Meanwhile, a lot of characters who were introduced were just now allowed to be Mutants as once they were, they would be owned by FOX and be able to have a movie under them. Marvel REFUSED to help Fox be a success and retain the rights to their properties.

Iron SpiderSam Rami’s 2002’s Spider-Man was also huge, and thankfully Marvel really couldn’t ruin it. Weird stuff did come out though that either killed him or radically changed him in ways the movies wouldn’t go. The Other, Civil War, etc. You can’t have Iron Man be Spider-Man’s best friend with The Iron Spider-Man costume without Iron Man… which they did do in the later Marvel controlled Spider-Man movies.

Meanwhile, Marvel has embraced women and people of color into their comics while alienating some by having them as characters who take on the mantle of already established characters. Oh, and they made Iceman sort of gay and made Ms. Marvel Captain Marvel and not wear a leotard anymore at the same time.

Marvel tried many gimmicks, such as bringing over Japanese talent because anime and manga were popular, as well as continuing to do all of their major events such as Civil War, Secret Invasion, etc… which might be good graphic novels, but who wants to buy every comic to read one story? That, on top of already having people who were against jumping into comics because they felt that they needed to know at least the last 15 years of comic history just to jump into a #1… which there were many #1’s every month… somehow.

exile c5This all brings me to my main point… Why would anyone want to read a Marvel comic, coming off of The Marvel Cinematic Universe? Unlike the popular and mostly faithful X-Men cartoon of the 1990’s, what they see doesn’t actually look or feel like what is in the comics. When they changed things in the comics, I do not know if many people came over to read the comics, but I do know that it alienated people who had been their loyal fans… and that really sucks.

So no, the current trend of changing characters such as Blink from Exiles from being Asian into being Black, or having a new Korean Hulk isn’t what caused Marvel Comics to be in this state, nor is it constantly pushing the Ms. Marvel into being the feminist icon she was never originally designed to be… but it all might be the final nail in the coffin that Marvel, and to some extent the main stream comic industry at large, has built for themselves since the end of the 90’s and the start of the 2000’s.

So long Exiles

The latest version of Marvel’s Exiles is ending at the end of this month, and to that.. I say GOOD. This female led LBGT friendly version of the team with multiple people of color, in my opinion, was simply not as good as the original female led LGBT friendly version of the team with multiple people of color.

blink exilesBlink was changed from being drawn Asian to being drawn black. Nothing wrong with that, but visually, that’s very different. Her hair was so beautiful, and she was in flowing dresses… and now Blink just doesn’t look like Blink and I am supposed to be okay with that?

Morph took three issues to appear when originally he was the glue of the team? I felt like him just appearing was weird as I was all ‘Wait… did I miss something here?

morph exiles laterEvery time I went to my local comic book store, I would flip through it because Exiles was going to get me back into reading current Marvel comics, and it failed. I thought that maybe it would do this that or the other, and it just kept making me sigh and pass it up… even when they did cool stuff like adding in Peggy Carter as Captain America and having yet another female version of Bucky.

I kept thinking ‘Maybe it’s me. Maybe this book will outlive the writer and/or the artist… and I can maybe end up reading this cheaply in a graphic novel…

exiles 27Then it’s just canceled with issue #12 at the end of this month. That sucks that they couldn’t even keep it popular enough to pass off to someone else to a book that was at one time MY FAVORITE %$#^ing book Marvel was doing!

*Sigh* Here is another picture from the old series… I’m just… so sad that this might be the last time I see Marvel visit this idea of dimension hopping characters where any character could just die at any moment. Oh Well.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse wins at Golden Globes

spiderverseBeating out all of the great animated films that came out this year, including: Ralph Breaks The Internet, Incredibles 2, Hotel Transylvania 3, The Grinch, and Isle of Dogs, Spider-Verse won Best Animated films last night at the Golden Globes. Meanwhile… Black Panther did not win any awards

Huh. I guess Amy Pascal wasn’t just talking out of her butt when they demanded a bunch of money to sell back Spider-Man to Marvel when Marvel wanted it. She said they had big big plans, and damn… I guess they did considering the fact that Spider-verse is doing well.

spider gwenBut seriously… no awards for Black Panther from The Golden Globes? And Spider-Verse winning for animation at such a weird frame rate? Best soundtrack would have been weird with Queen’s bio picture, Bohemian Rhapsody, but dang. Best Picture? Okay…

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse has already been green lit for a spin off, called Spider-Women, featuring Gwen Stacey Spider-Woman, Asian character from Marvel’s main line Silk as well as the original Spider-Woman Jessica Drew.

 

 

Venom ranks weirdly for me…

venom and batmanvsupermanIn English class, I remember laughing at the idea of self plagiarism, and then I googled ‘Is Venom better or worse than Batman v. Superman’ and learned the beauty of… I guess… cross posting entire articles on different sites? What I mean is… Brian Hadsell gets around a lot.

So, I finally watched Venom, the same day that I watched Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse for the second time… and I was left unimpressed, confused, and wondering which comic book movies Venom beats out.

superman venomFirst three Google searches are the same article claiming that Venom is worse than Batman v. Superman. I made it through 2hr 20 minutes of Venom though, but couldn’t make it through the 3hr 3 minutes of Batman v. Superman Dawn of Justice. So… where are is this movie for me then?

Blade trilogy>Spawn>Spider-Man 3>Venom>X-Men 3>Batman V. Superman eh… playing this game isn’t very fun.

Despite how meh Venom is, I feel like it’s a movie that can just be on, and you can chat through the bad boring bits and then you go ‘Ooo, bad cgi fight scene’ and just have it in the background during a party.

Stupid, kind of fun, but ultimately a step back for comic book movies in general. I hear it did well in China, so I guess we will get a sequel? I hope it’s better than the first movie.

 

What Spider-Men deserve a movie?

spider-man-3-posterSam Rami Spider-Man. Hear me out, I know that Tobey Maguire has 3 Spider-Man movies that he was in… but people literally broke down in tears over the ‘Sam Rami’ Spider-Man suit  while working out at the gym. Rami had a 4th script that was going to have Tobey take on The Vulture. The project was canned, and we ended up getting the questionable Andrew Garfield incarnation… But now? Maybe it’s time to heal, and make that 4th movie, even if it is animated? Get Rami, Tobey, Dunst, etc. and throw in some top voice acting talent! The multi-verse exists, and people would LOVE to revisit the original movie universe.

Spiderman-the-1995-animated-series-dvd-season-three-900d0Can we finally have some closure for the Fox Kids Spider-Man? This show was the original Spider-Verse, having a crossover of 6 Spider-Men trying to save the universe from an evil Spider-Man… and… okay… the important thing to note is that Spider-Man, after meeting Stan Lee, Spidey goes through a portal to find and ultimately save his version of Mary Jane Watson. Then the show was canceled, and we got Spider-Man Unlimited which was supposedly the same Spider-Man but on a different planet, and yeah… cool new costume but lame. Let’s see Fox Kids Spider-Man save Mary Jane Watson… FINALLY! Please?

Spider-Girl_Vol_1_10Marvel comics/ Spider-Man writing legend Tom DeFalco and artist Ron Frenz created Marvel’s most successful female super hero, Spider-Girl, and helped launch this entire alternative universe known to those who love it as The Marvel Comics 2 universe, or MC2 for short. Besides how popular MC2’s Spider-Girl is, she has never been more than a small cameo or alternate skin in games, and has never appeared in a movie. This sucks, as her world is awesome! Her dad, Peter, is a forensic scientist for the police while her mom Mary Jane is a former model who is big banking off of her husband’s former career as a Super Hero by having The Spider Shop.

Oh, and because Spider-Girl is popular, any movie made from her or her universe inherits her legion of fans who carried out several letter writing campaigns, bought several issues of the same comic to boost numbers (some giving them out to charities and libraries even), and will fight anyone calling the idea lame to the figurative/literal death.

Those are the three Spider-People I believe should be animated for a new movie, hopefully a stand alone one. Thoughts? Comments?

Movies

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse lands today, and I made a spoiler-free review for it!

In sadder news, I saw Once Upon a Deadpool as well, and… yeah… I got emotional near the end, because… well… spoilers? There was a Stan Lee cameo in Deadpool 2. I know I’m late to the party here, but here is me talking about Stan Lee.

Rare Futaba-kun change art from the past and present

Monthly Shonen Jump December 1990 Futaba kun changeOne of my favorite manga was the wacky gender flipping high school romance comedy Ranma 1/2 Futaba-kun Change!

I first discovered it in High School thanks to a review/ad in an issue of the now defunct comic publication Wizard Magazine. That might be fitting, as the company that produced all 8 volumes of the manga in North America, Studio Ironcat, is also defunct.

This manga started it’s life in December 1990 in Monthly Shōnen Jump and then moved to it’s sister publication Monthly Shōnen Jump Original in 1993 until it came to an end in March of 1997. The image to the left is from Futaba’s debut in Monthly Shonen Jump, and I had never seen it before until yesterday.

Since this was an illustration that I had never seen before, it begged the question, what else have I not seen? So I searched…

Apparently these are some telephone cards from Monthly Jump. I discovered them from the Tumblr user: fehyesvintagemanga

Besides a couple Monthly Shonen Jump Original covers, I had pretty much hit a dead end. I couldn’t find any fliers, or original art for promotions or anything… and that was when I remembered that we live in 2018, and social media is a thing. I ended up on the mangaka’s twitter, and I was not disappointed!

Aro HiroshiI’m sure the images in the gallery above were art commissions, and I hope I’m not in the wrong to post them, or tell people about them. All of that being said…

Oh My God! Most of this art is from this year! Please make sure to visit Hiroshi Aro’s twitter page! Maybe give him some love and/or encouragement?

I really miss Futaba-kun Change.