by Brian LeTendre
I will do this with as few spoilers as possible, but there is one I am going to talk about.
Iron Man 3 is a very interesting movie, and a very good one, overall. But, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of disappointment after leaving the theater, as Iron Man 3 does not live up to post-Avengers expectations.
For starters, this movie is much more about Tony Stark than it is about Iron Man. I can’t be sure, but it felt like he spent less time in the suit than in either of the previous movies. Much of the movie’s focus is on what the events of the Avengers have done to the psyche of Tony Stark, and how he can’t just go back to life as normal after the things he’s seen. I really liked this angle for the movie, as you don’t usually get these kind of character examinations in superhero movies, much less sequels of superhero movies. I was reminded of Superman II, and how well that movie depicted Clark’s struggle and the emotional gauntlet he went through in deciding to give up his powers. Tony isn’t really faced with the same choice in this movie, but the struggle is there, as he can’t unsee the things he’s seen, and the scope of what happened in The Avengers is constantly weighing on him, affecting his every decision.
All of that stuff is great and makes for an interesting movie, just not an action-packed one. In fact, Iron Man 3 feels more like some of the less action-y Bond films than it does a superhero film. There are some great set pieces to be sure, but you’ve already seen most of them in the trailers. When the action does come, it certainly delivers, and it may actually be more satisfying because the movie issn’t just a series of explosions.
What disappointed me about Iron Man 3 was how it had absolutely no connection to the rest of the Marvel universe. SHIELD is nowhere to be found in this movie. The rest of the Avengers are nowhere to be found (unless you count a pretty lame after-credits scene). In fact, if you take out the references that Tony makes to “New York,” this movie has nothing to do with the alrger marvel universe. Which is really sad, because Marvel was so careful to build that universe during Phase 1 of it’s movie plans. It just made no sense to me that they did not capitalize on anything having to do with The Avengers in this movie. I kept waiting for it, but it never came.
So, overall, I really enjoyed Iron Man 3 as a standalone movie. It’s a great end to the trilogy for Robert Downey Jr. and the supporting cast. If they never make another Iron Man movie, this series can still stand tall. But as a part of the larger Marvel universe, Iron Man 3 lacked the connective tissue we’ve come to expect from all Marvel movies now.
4 out of 5 Stark, Tony Starks
This week we start our Summer Watching Project for 2013, 'X - Wing Rogue Squadron Omnibus' Volume 1 from Dark Horse. Within the pages of this collection you will find this to be an incredibly well written and beautifully drawn stort that holds a legendary place in the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
The first arc (originally three issues) is called Rogue Leader. Up until now, Wedge Antilles has been regulated to about 4 minutes of screen time but here, the stories are written through him as the leader of Rogue Squadron. Here we see the war didn't end with the destruction o the last Death Star.
So here is where it gets kinda fun!!!
Joining us as we dive into this arc will be writer Mike Baron and cover artist Dave Dorman who have agreed to answer any and all questions regarding their role in this series.
If you have any questions for them please send them to me at email@example.com or send me an IM on Facebook.
Get involved! This is going to be a lot of fun!
Ray Harryhausen passed away on Tuesday at the age of 92. Often referred to as the “master of stop-motion animation,” Harryhausen is most well known for his legendary work on Clash of the Titans and the Sinbad films.
Some of my fondest childhood memories involve watching Harryhausen movies with my dad. My lifelong fascination with special effects began with The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and Harryhausen’s cyclops. As a kid, he blew my mind, and that was before I knew how much work went into what we got to see onscreen.
Harryhausen’s impact on the film industry, and special effects in particular, is almost immeasurable. He inspired generations of filmmakers, and his films still stand up todfay as technical marvels.
He will be missed, greatly.
I hope one of the Free Comic Book Day books you picked up was IDW's 'Judge Dredd Classics'.
This book takes some of the best and most love Judge Dredd stories, gives them to you for free and hopefully this will hook you into getting some of the books and collections that IDW has to offer.
Judge Dredd - The monthly series by Dwane Swierczynsji and Nelson Daniel has the look and feel of the old school '2000 A.D.' stories; short, to the point and full of explosions.
Judge Dredd Year One - A look at the rookie year of Dredd by Matt Smith and Simon Coleby.
Coming in July is 'Judge Dredd Classics'. The original stuff but re-colored! This is a must have.
The fall of 2013 brings us 'Judge Dredd Mega City 2' by Douglas Wolk and Ulises Farinas! I don't know anything about this book but it looks awesome!
And for those who have to have it all in one book, look for 'Judge Dredd Complete'! These hardcover themed collections The two volumes available now feature the art of the Dredd masters; co creator Carlos Ezquerra and the master himself, Brian Bolland!
See why I rank Judge Dredd one of the greatest comic book characters of all time. And thanks to IDW you can see a whole lot of it!
If you missed out on picking up your Free Comic Book Day comics at your local comic-book store, you can get them from Dark Horse Digital for a limited time!
Both Mass Effect/Killjoys/R.I.P.D. and Star Wars/Captain Midnight/Avatar: The Last Airbender will be available for free download through Dark Horse Digital starting today.
Dark Horse Digital is available through all modern web browsers and features cloud storage in both the Google Play and Apple Store apps.
Make sure to check out these awesome titles from Dark Horse and support Free Comic Book Day! Free Comic Book Day has happened the first Saturday in May every year since 2002—eleven years in the running!
For more information on Free Comic Book Day, visit FreeComicBookDay.com.
At yesterday's Free Comic Book Day celebration at Most Excellent Comics and Collectibles in Enfield, CT., Alan and Chris Hebert unveiled their first 'Lazerman' trade collection, 'This Man, This Lazer.'
Featuring 5 different covers by Chris Hebert, Chris Giarrusso, Billy Tucci and Mario Gully, the collection also features a forward by yours truly. But something upsetting, yet kinda funny happened on their way to getting their order of trades fulfilled.
As they were notified by their printer the order was filled they were soon were told by Chinese Fed Ex customs officials that their all ages book wouldn't be shipped because they were found and we quote the books wouldn't ship because they were found to be "SEXUALLY INAPPROPRIATE" and REFUSED to ship.
WOW! Could it be because of the picture above?
As the Hebert brothers posted on their website "Lazerman is an ALL AGES book. In an extremely "cartoon-y" style. There are like 2 girls in the whole book. And Fed Ex REFUSED to ship it."
But there is more...
"There's not even ANY sexual innuendo in the book. It may be the LEAST sexually charged comic ever published. I challenge ANY of our fans/readers who already own the book to point to any panel or page that could conceivably be considered explicit."
As I flipped thru this 'banned' collection I was blown away by the 'Director's Cut' extra material. Not only do you get all the covers and some behind the scenes, but you get some Lazerman covers and sketches by a 14 year old Chris. Cool to see on its own, but magical when compared to the covers and pages they would become. Not just 'stuff' thrown in to fatten up the book, the extras are very special.
So head over to www.hbcomics.com, friend them on Facebook and find out more about the book the 'Chinese don't want you to read!'
'Lazerman - This Man, This Lazer' is available only at the smartest comic shops like Most Excellent Comics And Collectibles in Enfield, CT.
by Brian LeTendre
Mark Waid’s Indestructible Hulk has been a blast from the start, and issue #5 is no exception.
In the current two-part storyline, Hulk is pitted against Attuma, a warlord bent on conquering Atlantis. Hulk almost drowns as he’s dragged into the depths by a sea monster, and reverts back to Banner form. Luckily for both of them, Banner is rescued by some Lemurian rebels who then team up with Hulk to win the day.
I’ve said it before, but I love the way Waid is balancing the Banner/Hulk equation in this book so far. Both have their time to shine in each issue, and I think in this one, Banner actually has the best moments.
If there’s one thing that’s held this book back for me, it’s been Leinil Yu’s art--he’s just not a good fit for Waid’s writing, in my opinion. I’m very excited about Walt Simonson coming on as of issue #6, as I think his style is a great match for the tone that Waid has set in indestructible.
4 out of 5 Bring on Simonsons
Join Brian LeTendre and Matman of the Secret Identity Podcast and a few of their friends at the all new SUPER Most Excellent Comics and Collectibles on Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM!
Not only is it Free Comic Book Day but it is the grand opening of Most Excellent in its new location... 481 Enfield Street (Rte. 5), in Enfield, CT!
This store is HUGE and we can't wait to help Mason make his grand opening something special!
Join artist Jim Taylor who will have prints and be doing sketches.
HB Comics - Alan and Chris Hebert will be on hand to introduce you OR get you caught up in the world of 'Lazerman' and 'Vindication'!
Aaron Woods - The artist / author of the incredible book 'They Wanted A War, So I Made It A War'. He'll have books and prints for sale.
Matman will be there with his book 'Pow - Bam - Sell: The Guide To Comic Book Marketing'. And because it's free comic book day, Matman will be giving 3 free comics away with each book sold, either real comics or download codes.
And of course, there will be plenty of free comics to celebrate the day! So please come out and join us in all the fun!
This Saturday--May 4, 2013--is Free Comic Book Day! The first weekend in May of each year is a comics holiday, where local shops all over the country take money out of their pockets and buy comics to give away for free. They do this in the hopes of attracting new readers and spreading the word about our beloved hobby.
Now, most of you that listen to the podcast and collect comics already know about this day, and sure, it's fair for you to head down to your local LCS and pick up a free book or two. But what you really should be doing this week is telling everyone you know who has kids, who used to read comics or who you think might dig them to head to those comic shops and participate in Free Comic Book Day. This day is a success whenever a new comic reader is picked up.
Below are a few of the books that will be available at shops on Saturday. You can head to www.freecomicbookday.com and see the entire list, which is pretty darn impressive. On Monday's Secret Identity, we'll be talking about a handful of those books, but we also want to know what you picked up, and if you helped introduce someone to comics on Free Comic Book Day!
P.S. If you're not sure where the closest shop is to you, head to www.freecomicbookday.com/StoreLocator to find out!