Sonic Boom!

OK, this isn't entirely comic-book-related. Though it's not completely un-comic-book-movie-related since Udon has been releasing comics based on the title. But, as you may know, Capcom is working on a new version of Street Fighter.

But what I wanted to mention here were some hilarious movies I came across - Street Fighter: The Later Years. Zangief and Dhalsim round up the gang to capture some of the old magic. Here's episode 1:

They've got five full episodes up at the link above.

And in case you haven't seen it, here's the trailer for Street Fighter IV.


XIII: The Conspiracy

While looking up some other comic book movie connections in A History of Violence, I stumbled across the fact that a XIII mini-series is in the works. If you're not familiar with it, that's the Belgian comic that the Ubisoft game is based on. Don't know why this is so under the radar (unless it's because it's not a done deal - though that never seems to stop anyone), but after a little hunting, and translating of French web pages, I finally came across some information.

The series is called XIII: The Conspiracy (even if you Google that, there are only 20 hits: second-hand news sources, foreign-language web pages, and the text of a book with a 13th chapter that starts out "The conspiracy..."). The mini is slated to be in production right now, starring Stephen Dorff (as XIII) and Val Kilmer (as Mongoose). The best information came from the British production company Power, which seems to be one of the companies involved in making the XIII mini-series. Here's their October 2007 story. Unfortunately, Google must not crawl their sites - I had to translate a French blog to find this (my French isn't that good - I had to use the Google translator).

The series starts out like the game (and I'm assuming the comic). XIII washes up on the beach with amnesia, only to find out he's being hunted for the assassination of the president. Judging from the cult following, it makes for a great comic book; from personal experience, it makes for an amazing game. If you don't know the story, here's a more complete synopsis of the adaptation from Power's page:

XIII: The Conspiracy opens with the assassination of the first female US President Sally Sheridan who is shot dead by a sniper during her Independence Day speech. Her assassin narrowly escapes the scene with his life, national security hot on his heels – or so it seems.

Three months later, an elderly couple discover the body of a wounded man washed up on a beach. The young man (Stephen Dorff) cannot remember the slightest thing about his own identity. The only clue is a tattoo on his neck, “XIII.” Meanwhile, in the Whitehouse, government intelligence is still conducting the search for the President’s killer. With the elections just weeks away, a confirmed suspect could swing the vote for the administration. Hours after XIII’s location is picked up by covert intelligence, elite special ops forces are swarming the couple’s house in Cape Fear. Running on adrenaline and instinct, XIII tactically takes out the soldiers one by one. Is this who he is – a killer?

On the run, clinging to one desperate clue after another, XIII begins to piece back his life, fragments of his memory returning. Finally captured, he learns that he has been given a stolen identity and placed undercover to flush out a group of conspirators threatening to overthrow the government. Ensconced within the highest echelons of power the conspirators run their own security agency alongside the Government’s. Both are out to find him.

The only way for XIII to get his own life back is to play bait. A dangerous game, especially when you don’t know who you really are.

The official IMDB page lists a number of actors attached to the series (including Greg Bryk from History of Violence), but doesn't include Dorff and Kilmer.

If anyone has any more current info, I'd love to hear about it.


A History of Violence (2005) mini review

based on a comic

A History of Violence is an exploration of the cycle of violence and whether or not, once begun, it can be stopped.

Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) is a small-town diner owner and family man who garners national attention when he foils a robbery in his diner late one night. He also gains the attention of a mobster (Ed Harris, Creepshow) from Philadelphia who mistakes him for a gangster with which he has an old score to settle.

With this kind of subject matter, you can't expect a film made for all ages; but the story is engaging, if you can handle a movie with adult subject matter. Directed by David Cronenberg (best known for 80's thrillers such as Videodrome and The Fly, and the more recent VR experiment eXistenZ), Violence is edgy, intense, and worth a watch.

The film is based on the graphic novel of the same name, written by John Wagner (probably best known for co-creating Judge Dredd). It was published by DC - first under the Paradox Press imprint, then under Vertigo. A History of Violence also includes Sumela Kay (Kittie Pryde, X-Men) and Stephen McHattie (who's had appearances in Birds of Prey, Mutant X, M.A.N.T.I.S., and voiced Shade in Justice League), and Greg Bryk (Mutant X, and an upcoming XIII mini-series (!)).

See it if you can handle a mature insight into the cycle of violence.

Don't see it if you're looking for "family friendly".


Heroes vs. the Shark

For some reason, I haven't been looking forward to watching Heroes as much as I was last season. If I only have time to watch one thing in the evening before I go to bed, and I check the DVR, the latest episode of Reaper or Chuck is likely to beat out Heroes. Being the superhero junkie that I am, this is a bit disconcerting. Especially since it was probably my favorite show last season.

But this past week's episode seemed like it turned a corner (or was at least in the process). I was happy to see that they're going to start giving some answers - just as I'm wondering if this show is going to end up on our cancellation list, it seems they're going to start giving just enough info to keep you watching.

Plus, Krista came across an interview from creator Tim Kring. She was reading the Pop Candy blog when she saw a link to an Entertainment Weekly article. Apparently, even the shows creator realized (with the help of declining ratings) that the show was a tad slow and Hiro was spending too much time in Feudal Japan.

So now I'm really looking forward to the rest of the season. Are you still watching?

You know, in an interesting side note, I probably actually saw that episode of Fonzie jumping the shark, live the first time it aired. Ah, nostalgia...


rock and roll Superhero

Something else that I stumbled across - rock and roll Superhero.

Sounds like a fascinating documentary of the ups and downs of a rock band - and their experimentation with superheroes...

See more at the official website. This'll go on my Christmas list.


Confessions of a Superhero

It's funny how some movies can fly under the radar, so to speak.

I came across the documentary Confessions of a Superhero after stumbling across a post on the blog Comic Alliance. It's the story of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Hulk - about 4 people who dress up daily as these superheroes as they try to make it in Hollywood.

I'll be picking this up when it comes out. Take a look at the website if you want to find out more.

Justice League: The New Frontier

Not available for pre-order, yet, but Justice League: The New Frontier finally has a release date: February 26. I'm looking forward to this - David Boreanaz (Angel, Bones) is Green Lantern, Neil Patrick Harris is The Flash, Lucy Lawless is Wonder Woman.

No word yet on Teen Titans: The Judas Contract.


October 2007 Previews Pop Culture Crossover

I haven't even picked up the November Previews, yet - but here's October a few weeks late. I strayed from more listings of the same. More Warhammar, more Bloodrayne, more Battlestar Galactica, more Highlander, more Transformers, and, yes - more horror movies. There are a few of the same old thing, but I tried to stick with the new and different.

  • Dr. Who Classics #1 (new series, IDW)
    Reprints of old Dr. Who comics.


  • Darkman #1 (new series, Dynamite Entertainment)
    This superhero makes the film to comics transition, rather than the reverse.
  • Indiana Jones Omnibus, vol. 1 (TPB, Dark Horse)
    Good timing with the making of the next movie - contains 3 out of print stories in a 352-page volume.
  • Se7en (Hardcover, Zenoscope Entertainment)
    Collecting the seperate issues.


  • The Complete Clive Barker's The Great and Secret Show (TPB, IDW)
    This huge 300-page collection comes in 3 different versions, including hardcover, and $125 limited edition hardcover.
  • The Iliad (Marvel Illustrated) #1 (8-part mini, Marvel)
    This is different - Homer's classic tale. Helen of Troy - the face that launched a thousand ships.
  • Forgotten Realms: The Legend of Drizzt (Hardcover, Devil's Due)
    464 pages of Dungeons and Dragon-y goodness - collecting the adaptation of the Forgotten Realms trilogy.
  • Shakespeare's Henry V (Graphic Novel, Classical Comics)
    Well, we've got the classic stories this month. This even comes in an unabridged version.
  • Tales of Zorro (Anthology, Moonstone)
    Collection of 18 stories - available in TPB and Hardcover.


  • GI. Joe vs. Transformers (Hardcover, Devil's Due)
    Massive, nearly 500-page collection of all 4 volumes.


  • Army of Two (Graphic Novel, Prima Publishing)
    Based on the intense new game from Electronic Arts. Well, it looks intense from the trailer on the EA site. The game is available for preorder.
  • The Stranded (mini?, Virgin Comics)
    Not technically a pop culture adaptation, but the first team up between Virgin Comics and the SciFi Channel.

From the "Is-This-Really-Necessary" Department. The Kiss 4K Kissmas Special. Written by Chuck Dixon? I think we're stretching here. Did anyone pick up the mini? Was it any good? (Or any "count", as we say here in Alabama).

Bonus: In the October Previews there's also the Smallville Series 2 action figures that were in (from DC Direct - due out in May). It's the Smallville version of the Justice League - yup: Green Arrow, Aquaman, Cyborg, Impulse, and Superman (well, Clark). They look pretty impressive, too. Now, if we could only get whoever is doing these sculpts to redo the current Buffy figures, I'd pick some of those up, too.


Comic Book Movies - Investigative Research

It appears that Pathfinder is similar in it's genesis to The Fountain (which I still haven't seen, dadgummit). I heard recently that Pathfinder (recently released on DVD) was based on a Dark Horse comic. Lo and behold, I do an internet search, and a ton of sites came up saying the same thing. But it doesn't seem to be that simple. Keep searching, and a number of sites (including some info on IMDB), indicate that it's based on the 1987 movie Ofelas.

So what's the truth? Well, aside from discussions about whether or not we can actually know truth, it appears there's a bit in both. According to this article on Movies Online, the producers originally intended to do a remake of the 1987 film. They ended up meeting director Marcus Nispel and the movie took a bit of a different path, so to speak.

As Nispel took the film in a slightly different direction, he was having trouble getting it off the ground, and he describes in this interview with Coming Soon how he decided to make it into a comic, and soon after, the film was greenlit. While it appears there was some synergy between making the comic and making the film, it's not technically based on the comic. More like The Fountain, it was a movie with a troubled production that became a comic, but was finally released as a movie.

There...all better. I can sleep tonight, now that I've got my head wrapped around the unraveling of another comic book movie mystery.


Angelina - From Video Games to Comic Books

Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman can be seen in the Wanted trailer that's up on the new site for the movie - see link to the right (in the Upcoming Films section).

Actually, if the movie is as good as it looks in the trailer, it could kick some serious butt. Here's hoping comic book movies continue to get better.