Miss Buffy #1? Pick Up the 2nd Printing Tomorrow

If you missed Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1 a few weeks ago, I happened to notice on the Diamond shipping list (and confirmed it on the Dark Horse web site) that the second printing ships tomorrow (March 28) .


Hellboy and Spider Spud on Sale!

A couple of awesome finds yesterday.

First, if you have a Sam's Club membership (or better yet, know somebody like I do), you may be interested in picking up the Hellboy 3-DVD Director's Cut Gift Set (including Hellboy bust) they have for under $8. At least that's how much it is in Florence, AL. Don't know if that price tracks to other stores around the country.

And, Kung Fu Rodeo alerted me to the way cool Spider Spud that just came out. I found it at Toys 'R Us yesterday, and had to pick one up, for, um, my 2-week-old son. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Anyway, thought I'd let you know in case you're interested...


300 hilariousness

Just sitting here on a Saturday morning, enjoying some of the crazy stuff on the 'net.

The first thing that had me laughing so hard I fell out of my chair was this PG version of 300.

"Brush your teeth!!"

(And, this being a comic book film, the superhero nod was perfect.)

Secondly - what's all this crazy stuff about 300 putting Iran in a poor light? Without the Iranian government's complaints, how many of the moviegoers going to see the film would even realized that Persia is ancient Iran?

Jon Stewart put some things in perspective.

"A scant 2500 years later" indeed.

Thanks to Comics2Film and Kung Fu Rodeo


March '07 Previews Pop Culture Crossover

In this month's Previews - on sale in May:


  • Journey to the Center of the Earth (Barrons Educational Series, One-Shot)
    The Jules Verne classic.
  • Marvel Illustrated: Last of the Mohicans #1 (Marvel, 6-part mini)
    I've had this James Fenimore Cooper book on my shelf since I was 12 but have never actually picked it up and read it.


  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, Volume 1 (Dark Horse, TPB)
    320-page full-color giant, containing chronological Buffy stories, including a re-telling of the movie, and lead-ins to the first season.
  • Dark Xena #1 (Dynamite Entertainment, mini - I think)
    Four different covers; takes place after the show's finale.
  • Supernatural: Origins #1 (Wildstorm)
    Spin-off from the CW show. Is it any good? I never made it past the first episode. I can't tell if this is a one-shot or a mini.


  • Aliens Omnibus, Volume 1 (Dark Horse, TPB)
    Massive 384-page book featuring the first 3 Alien stories appearing in Dark Horse Comics.
  • Ray Harryhausen Presents: Wrath of the Titans #1 (Bluewater Productions, 4-part mini)
    Comic book sequel to Clash of the Titans!
  • The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning (Fox Atomic Comics, One-Shot)
    Setting the stage for the 1977 movie (and its 2006 remake).
  • The Tripper (Image, One-Shot)
    The official comic of the movie. What movie? Why, David Arquette's writing and directorial debut that he's trying to get into theaters this summer. Duh.


  • Dork Covenant: Dork Tower Vol 1 (Dork Storm Press, TPB)
    I only mention this because of the cool parody cover of the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Guide.
  • KISS 4K #1 (Platinum Studios, looks like a mini)
    Each KISS member carries a world-protecting warrior spirit within themselves. Also comes in 30" x 18" size ($50).


Aw, Crap.

Well, I didn't think Hellboy: Blood and Iron was quite as good as Hellboy: Sword of Storms, but I won't know for sure until I see the end because my stupid DVR cut it off. I nearly missed recording it (with my son being born and all), but I guess it didn't really matter.

I don't know if it's the Comcast DVR, Comcast itself, or the horrible guide the Comcast uses for it's recorder, but this is getting old. Can someone tell me - was the end worth it?

First Afro Samurai, now this...


Ah, well - just a good excuse to watch it again.


300 (2007) mini review

based on a comic book

Based on the Frank Miller graphic novel, 300 is the story of the 300 Spartans who, led by King Leonidas, stood against Xerxes at Thermopylae in 480 BC. [Wikipedia reference]

Masterfully written, amazingly shot, and well-acted, 300 is a completely engaging film. The battle scenes are inspired, the scenery is amazing; it truly is a beautiful film from opening to ending credits. The painted look gives it an eerie dreaminess, and Miller wrote enough fantasy into the comic that was pulled into the film to give it a sense of the unreal. As a matter of fact, there's a 1960's film that covers the same subject matter (The 300 Spartans). While I'm sure that film paints a less fantastical picture, the current movie (and thus the comic, no doubt) still remains to true to many of the historical events that actually took place. Interestingly, from what I've read, the harshness of Spartan life as depicted in 300 may actually be more historically accurate than that of the 60's film.

There aren't a lot of comic book connections here, though writer/director Zach Snyder is currently working on bringing Alan Moore's Watchmen to the screen, Andrew Pleavin (Daxos) had a bit part in Batman Begins, and Gerard Butler (King Leonidas) appears to be in negotiations for the lead in the 2008 comic book adaptation of Min-Woo Hung's TokyoPop manga Priest.

See it if you're interested in history, or just like a good action film.

Don't see it if you're not big on violence-heavy films. It's a war movie for crying out loud.


Ghost Rider (2007) mini review

based on a comic book

Well, having seen Ghost Rider a week late, and not being able to sit down and complete this for another week, this review isn't as timely as I'd like it to be (sorry, obscure joke). I guess that's okay, though, given that Ghost Rider wasn't as good as I'd like it to be.

In Ghost Rider, Nic Cage plays Johnny Blaze, who makes a deal with the devil. Even though the deal goes south, Mephistopheles (the devil played by Peter Fonda) comes to collect years later by turning Blaze into the Ghost Rider, his personal bounty hunter, and sending him after some rogue demonspawn. (Incidentally, the movie retains some of these relationships from the comics - the Mephistopheles/Blackheart war isn't new, neither are Ghost Rider's run-ins with the pair. I'm specifically recalling one of my favorites - a team up with Wolverine and Punisher titled Hearts of Darkness.) The cast also includes Eva Mendes (the love interest) and Donal Logue (American Splendor, Comic Book Villains, Blade).

It was off to a great start, being led in by the Fantastic Four 2 and Spiderman 3 trailers. The FF sequel could surpass the first one. And I was pretty impressed by the credits - my hope was rising by the second. Excellent choices for the soundtrack - good score and decent songs, including "classics" like Ozzy's Crazy Train.

But then, it's a comic book movie, and my hope quickly turned to disappointment. I didn't hate this film as much as a lot of reviewers seemed to - it had enough good in it to keep me going. But that just means the film had so much potential. Then they had to make it hokey (or cheesy, or corny, or whatever word the kids are using these days). Of course, Cage's over-acting didn't help.

It's like they came to the table with a decent plot and some scene ideas (in the context of the movie some of the stuff from the trailer - the driving up the side of the building, the flying off the building roof - are inspired), but the writers couldn't fill in all the blanks properly, so they threw in a lot of clichéd goofiness.

Maybe I'll get my hands on a script, and I'll do a complete Ghost Rider annotated cliché list.

Maybe not; but I'll share a couple here.

Anti-heroes shouldn't wag their fingers at the villain.

They shouldn't say things like, "You're goin' down!" That's creative.

And the classic:

Where are you going now?
Wherever the road takes me.

I know there are a lot more - I should have been writing them while I watched. It's like they gave all the writers the day off and sat down and Google'd "movie clichés". (OK, that's the last time I use cliché in this review.)

But then, it is a comic book movie. Shouldn't we expect it to be filled with such goofiness?

Sometimes movies take themselves way too seriously. In Ghost Rider's case, it doesn't take itself seriously enough. It had so much potential. Great soundtrack, great score, decent effects. And the writing wasn't all bad. Just enough to push it over the line.

Addendum (3.16.07): It seems I forgot to mention that Mark Steven Johnson - writer and director of Ghost Rider - also wrote and directed Daredevil. I believe he's also rumored to helm the HBO Preacher project. I also neglected to add that Sam Elliot played Caretaker - he's also had parts in Hulk and Mask. I think that's it.

See it if you're a Ghost Rider fan, and go into it knowing it's not going to be what you wanted.

Don't see it if you've never really been into Ghost Rider and want to wait for the good Marvel movies to come out later this year.