Up, up and away! A place for comic-book fans to gather.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

"Final Crisis," "X-Men" and more

A big haul at Bargain Comics today. But with the two-hour "Lost" season finale tonight, I probably won't get through my stack of comics until the weekend. Today saw the release of "Final Crisis" No. 1. It's NOT getting good reviews (check out Newsarama and Comic Book Resources), but we'll see. Also at the top of the stack: Chapter 2 in the "Batman R.I.P." story line. I peeked at the last page and it is not looking good for one of Batman's supporting cast. Also "Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men," ending the acclaimed run by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday. And "All-Star Superman" No. 11.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Iron Man" rules

So, I finally saw "Iron Man." Good stuff. Maybe not my favorite comic book movie of all time, but certainly up there. I found Robert Downey Jr. to be perfect as fast-talking, womanizing, casual genius Tony Stark. Some of my favorite scenes involved him alone in his lab, working on the latest Iron Man armor and talking to his robotic assistants. I also enjoyed his difficulty - and ultimately, his enjoyment - in flying.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Strain on the wallet

Newsarama has an interesting study 0f how much this year's big comics events - Marvel's "Secret Invasion" and DC's "Final Crisis" - will cost you if you buy ALL the tie-ins (which I'm certainly not). The tally for "Secret Invasion" is more than $300 while the "Final Crisis" bill is a bit over $100. That's because "Final Crisis," for the most part, isn't spilling into regular books the way "Secret Invasion" is, though "Final Crisis" does have some special tie-in series.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Big screen teasers

I saw a preview the other night for "The Incredible Hulk." It was a rapid-fire, blink-or-miss preview, though - not enough to get me jazzed yet. Bythe way, I'm told there's a big, uh, hulking Hulk statue inside Cinemark on Powers.

Also saw a preview for "The Dark Knight," just enough to see that Heath Ledger's Joker should indeed be memorable.

Meanwhile, I still haven't seen "Iron Man." I'm so ashamed .....

Friday, May 16, 2008


"Smallville" had its season finale last night, and I wasn't as knocked out as I thought I'd be from seeing the previews earlier. The showdown between Clark and Lex was riveting, if a little rushed at the end. And was Lex trying just to control Clark or kill him?

My big complaint was the handling of Lana. She's been in a coma for weeks or months or whatever, then suddenly is back to normal with the death of Braniac. That's fine, but within minutes, it seems, she's already discharged from the hospital? And with time to make a farewell video for Clark that seems to come completely from left field? Come on ....

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Batman R.I.P."

"Batman" No. 675, the first part of Grant Morrison's "Batman R.I.P." story line, came out yesterday. I admit, I'm curious as to how this will play out. Morrison has been quoted as saying this will end Bruce Wayne's days as Batman, but I just can't see that happening, at least not permanently. Bruce Wayne IS Batman, just as Clark Kent IS Superman. At any rate, it looks like Bruce/Batman has some really bad days ahead.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Greg Pak and "Son of Hulk"

I got to talk today with Greg Pak, mastermind of "Planet Hulk" and "World War Hulk," who now has "Skaar: Son of Hulk" coming up. He's jazzed about returning to the planet of Sakaar, where we meet Skaar. The Hulk's kiddo hadn't been born yet when the Hulk left the devastated planet. And though Mom was vaporized, it seems even an embyonic son of Hulk can survive a nuclear blast.

I asked Pak if he missed writing the regular Hulk title. He says his plate is plenty full as it is and he's excited about adding to the Hulk mythos with his new title. By the way, he absolutely knows who the red Hulk is. And he's absolutely not telling.
More on Skaar in an upcoming Comics Fan.

Monday, May 12, 2008

"Iron Man" rules box office again

"Iron Man" was No. 1 at the box office for the second weekend, taking in $50.5 million. That's a 49 percent drop from the opening weekend, which according to Paul Dergarabedian, president of tracking firm Media By Numbers LLC, is a respectable showing.

Friday, May 09, 2008

The end is near (for this season, anyway)

Last night's "Smallville" was just so-so for me. This whole thing about the secret society and Clark being "the Traveler" and what-not isn't grabbing me. But the teaser for next week's show (the season finale) looked pretty incredible. Here's what the CW says about the episode:

Kara (Laura Vandervoort) tells Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) he is destined to defeat the Traveler and offers to take him to the Fortress to learn how.
Clark (Tom Welling) is stunned that Kara would go to Lex but it is revealed that Brainiac is impersonating Kara and she's actually trapped in the Phantom Zone.
Chloe is arrested by the Department of Domestic Security and Lana awakens from her comatose state.
Meanwhile, in an epic turn of events, Clark and Lex face off in the Fortress and Lex learns Clark's secret.
Erica Durance and Aaron Ashmore also star.
Todd Slavkin directed the episode written by Don Whitehead & Holly Henderson.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

"Secret Invasion" No. 2

Boy, time's been whipping by lately, so "Secret Invasion" No. 2 caught me by surprise this week. Time already? Anyway, it was OK, but it didn't knock my socks off. Brian Bendis obviously is having fun bringing back '70s versions of many of our favorite heroes. What's weird is having "Avengers/Invaders" coming out at the same time as "Secret Invasion," so we've got Captain America returning to the Marvel U on two fronts, one the real Cap from the past and the other, well, who knows?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Mark your calendars ...

Marvel Studio, reveling in the success this weekend of "Iron Man," said Monday it it will release "Iron Man 2" on April 30, 2010. Also in the pipeline: "Thor," due out June 4, 2010; "The First Avenger: Captain America," May 6, 2011; "The Avengers," July 2011; and "Ant-Man," which remains in development.


Friday, May 02, 2008

It's a wonderful "Smallville," or at least OK

I rolled my eyes when I read that last night’s “Smallville” was going to be its twist on “It’s a Wondeful Life,” but it turned out to be a decent episode. Some nice nods as always to us true comic fans, such as Kara going by Linda Danvers and Lex as president. In this alternate reality, Jonathan Kent was still alive. Too bad we didn’t get to see him (and Martha.) But they were conveniently away.