Heroes and Watchmen Redux

(Very minor spoilers for Heroes and Watchmen, if you haven't seen the season premier or read the comics.)

I was watching the season opener of Heroes on Monday and couldn't resist the even stronger Watchmen feel I was getting. Think the movie will be this good? While I talked before about the parallels between the two, it's beginning to bleed into the plot lines.

In Watchmen, someone is killing the current generation of superheroes; in Heroes, someone has been taking out the older generation. Not a perfect parallel (and not a perfect summary), but enough to get that feeling of deja vu.

Is this something that's completely in my head - or has someone else noticed it?

And BTW, the current month's Previews shows that DC is offering the on-line web comics collected in a Heroes hardcover graphic novel. I think I'll be picking this up.


And here I am...

...visiting the comic book store in Springfield.

Thanks to simpsonizeme.com.


Up, Up, and Away! (2000) mini review

superhero film not based on a comic

Scott Marshall is the son of Jim and Judy Marshall, who are Bronze Eagle (Robert Townsend) and Warrior Woman (Alex Datcher), the world’s foremost superheroes. Will is about to turn 14, but unfortunately his powers haven't yet developed.

I'm not sure why this sounds so familiar, but it does.

Oh, wait - I know why. Because the plot of this TV Disney movie is almost exactly like the plot of a Disney movie that hit theaters about 5 years later - Sky High. It's so close, in fact, that I'd be willing to bet that Sky High is merely a remake of Up, Up, and Away! but with real actors, real dialogue, and a real plot. The execution is a bit different, but the similarities are obvious. It tries to explore the same kind of tough coming-of-age issues that its remake does, but doesn't connect with its audience. At least not the over-5 age group. My 5-year-old daughter seemed to like it OK. The characters are basically what you might expect in a 7-year-old made-for-TV Disney film - lame, two-dimensional, unbelievable. The writing is equally sad. You could say it's the kind of movie that's made for kids, but there's not really much there for anyone if your age is in the double digits.

It was at least interesting they way they attempted to bring other superhero universes in - references to Superman, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and even the Green Hornet as real characters in the world. But I think it could have been done much more creatively. "We had Spider-Man and Mary Jane over last night - do you know how to get web out of carpet?" just wasn't that funny.

George Jefferson (ok, Sherman Hemsley, who has actually appeared on The Incredible Hulk and Lois & Clark) even appears as Scott's grandfather, Steel Condor. Robert Townsend did play the lead in the blockbuster Meteor Man, but otherwise, this movie is a veritable Who's Who of superhero bit parts. The "star", Michael J. Pagan, had parts in The Black Scorpion. Ty Olson, who plays flunky Barker has had bit parts in Elektra, X-Men 2, The Crow TV show, and even an episode of Krypto the Superdog. One of Scott's teachers, Ms. Parker, played by Benita Ha, has had parts in X-Men: The Last Stand, Catwoman, Blade: The Series, and Smallville.

See it if you've got young kids into superheroes - I guess they might like it.

Don't see it if something good is on TV, like The Jeffersons reruns, or even Halle Berry's Catwoman movie.


August '07 Previews Pop Culture Crossover

Well, August is over. Tomorrow is Labor Day, holiday officially heralding the coming of Fall. When I started doing these, I honestly intended to do them toward the beginning of the month, instead of after the month was over. Anyway, here's the wrap up of notable (IMO) pop-culture-related trades, series, and graphic novels for August's Previews.

  • New Battlestar Galactica: Pegasus (One-shot, Dynamite Entertainment)
    Prequel of the new series, following the other Battlestar.
  • Doctor Who Volume 1: Voyager (TPB, Panini Publishing)
    From Previews (yes, I'm out of my own words, plus, I don't know anything about Dr. Who, except that he time travels, and there are about 27 versions of him): "The first of two volumes featuring the sixth Doctor's complete comic strip run from the pages of Doctor Who Magazine!"

  • Beowulf #1-4 and Beowulf TPB (mini/TPB, IDW)
    Adaptation of the Gaiman-scripted, completely CGI film. Yes, Previews is soliciting all four issues of the mini and the TPB in the same book.
  • Kong: King of Skull Island (mini, Markosia)
    Based on a book that is both a prequel and sequel to the original King Kong.
  • Legends of the Dark Crystal Vol 1: The Garthim Wars (Graphic Novel, Tokyopop)
    Actually, there's a preview of this manga prequel in Jim Henson's Fantasy Film Collection (I just got the cool gift for my birthday - it contains DVDs of Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and MirrorMask). But to be honest, there's not enough there to make any kind of judgement - I hate it when comic previews just amount to character sketches.
  • Trick 'R Treat #1, 2, 3, 4 (mini, Wildstorm)
    Adaptation of horror film Trick 'R Treat - in theaters this Halloween. At least it's not a prequel.

  • Beowulf (Graphic Novel, Markosia)
    This one is graphic novel based on the original myth. (Interesting timing!)
  • Brian Jacques' Redwall (Graphic Novel, Philomel Books)
    Adaptation of the first book of the Redwall series.

  • The Clive Barker Collections: Hellraiser vol 1-3 (TPBs, Checker Book Publishing)
    Anthologies based on Barker's film.
  • Dracula (Graphic Novel, Barron's Educational Series)
    Bram Stoker's classic, shipping in time for Halloween.
  • Myth Adventures! Another Fine Myth (Graphic Novel, Airship Entertainment)
    Ah, I loved the Myth Conceptions books in high school. It would be interesting to see how they translate to comic form.
  • The Savage Sword of Conan (TPB, Dark Horse)
    Massive 542-page collection from the 70s Savage Sword of Conan magazine.

  • Hellboy Animated, Vol 3: The Menagerie (TPB, Dark Horse)
    I hear these are really good (thanks, Bones), but haven't really tried them. Though I've enjoyed both movies.
  • Gargoyles: Bad Guys #1 (mini?, Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics)
    I always thought about watching it, but never caught Disney's toon on television - wasn't it on Fox? This comic highlights some of "the toughest villains in the Gargoyle's universe."
  • Mercs #1 (new series?, Dynamite Entertainment)
    Adaptation of the third-person shooter.

  • The Haunted Mansion Vol 1: Welcome Foolish Mortals (TPB, Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics)
    Special edition collection of stories from the first 6 issues of the comic series based on the Disney ride.

Previews has more than that, but I'm not about to list everything. What'd I miss that you're going to pick up?