Superhero Movie Opening Weekend

It's Saturday night, I'm at Superhero Movie here in Florence, Alabama, the movie is about to start, and the theater is definitely not empty. I'm here. And in this poorly lit theater, you can see the only other person here - my brother, who I dragged here with me.

I'm guessing this doesn't bode well. We'll see.

I Can't Think of a Good Title for This Post

I guess it's been a couple weeks since I've posted. I was off of work for a few days for various reasons and "got to" to lay around and do nothing for a while, so I was able to catch a few films. Silver Hawk had been sitting on my DVR for a few weeks. My brother gave me Comic Book: The Movie for Christmas, so I finally watched that. And finally got to sit through Superman: Doomsday. Of course, I've been playing catch-up with work and life since.

Dang but Kevin Smith got a lot of mileage out of writing that Superman Lives script. Probably more than he would've gotten out of it if it was the script they actually used for Superman Returns. It came up in Comic Book: The Movie, and even as a weird cameo in Doomsday. But I think the funniest telling was in An Evening with Kevin Smith. That DVD's a bit raw, but if your ears can handle it, it's pretty funny.

Doomsday wasn't bad. I wouldn't go out and spend the money on it for myself, but I was lucky enough to have a friend who bought it and didn't like it, so he gave it to me. I'm not sure if it needed to be PG-13. It seems like they just added some gratuitous language and a suggested sexual relationship between Superman and Lois just so they could up the rating. If you haven't seen it, you didn't miss a lot. You already know what I think of Silver Hawk, and I still need to post my Comic Book: The Movie review.

Ah, well; I'm off to see Superhero Movie.

Here's hoping I laugh more than twice.


They come in threes? (Spider-Man, Batman, Punisher)

Well, Spectacular Spider-Man is the third animated television premier I've missed. Maybe this'll be the last. And this one is only because I was too stupid to set the DVR in time. What an idiot. I've got it set now, so I'll be able to catch them from now on.

At least I was able to see The Batman two-part finale. I enjoyed watching the Justice League, but it seems odd that they had to pull in aliens for a finale the second time in a row. It's not like Batman doesn't have a rich history and cast of characters on his own.

Completely unrelated, I happened across the Punisher: War Zone official site. It's got limited content, but it's a pretty cool set up. Check out the link to the right under Upcoming Films.


Silver Hawk (2004) mini review

based on a comic

Tell me if you've heard this one. Rich philanthropist by day, costumed crime fighter by, well, other parts of the day. That's the first masked vigilante rule broken by Lulu Wong (aka Silver Hawk) - she seems to do most of her crimefighting during the day, and we all know that to be most effective she should be doing it at night. Of course, today, Silver Hawk not only has to fight poachers stealing panda bears, she has to go up against madmen bent on world domination!

Yes, Silver Hawk has all the makings of a standard, cookie-cutter superhero film. Though it does have Michelle Yeoh - that's got to count for something. And honestly, the fight choreography was enjoyable - Yeoh is pretty amazing.

It's too bad she couldn't completely make up for the silly writing and poor editing. I'm trying to figure out if the original, being made in Hong Kong, was a completely different movie, and they edited the crap out if for Western, English-speaking audiences. Some scenes are completely chopped - to the point that you can't really follow what's going on. And the dialogue? It appears to have been filmed originally in English (except for a few parts in Chinese), but then that English was dubbed over by English-speaking actors who didn't have accents. This doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Or maybe it was dubbed over by the original actors and it was just a poor job of looping in post.

Some other odd, random stuff I have to comment on -

The extreme-sport ninjas were an interesting touch.

Did that guy really just go to old-magazine-covers.com to find old magazine covers?

I was going to note this as not based on a comic, but according to Michelle Yeoh's website, it's based on a comic from the 40's and 50's. Of course, I can't find any other reference on the internet to this comic, much less any other pictures. But maybe that's because it's over 50 years old, and I don't know how to search the web in Chinese.

English actor Luke Goss (Blade II, the upcoming Hellboy II) plays villain Alexendar Wolfe, and Michael Jai White (Spawn, various DC-comics related animated projects, the upcoming Dark Knight) plays one of his henchman.

And the second masked vigilante rule broken by Silver Hawk: When you're about town in your secret identity, never, ever, fight exactly like your super alter ego. In broad daylight. In front of people. So that basically everyone can figure out your secret identity without a bit of detective skill.

See it if like Hong Kong films or Michelle Yeoh, or if you can't sleep and notice that it's on Encore Action tonight.

Don't see it if you're bored with the same old same old in superhero films.


2008 Free Comic Book Day Previews Pop Culture Crossover

Free Comic Book Day is May 3. A few pop culture crossover selections that will be available at comic book stores.

  • Comics Go Hollywood (TwoMorrows Publishing)
    Not a comic, per se, but a background look at Justice League: New Frontier, Heroes, and the X-Men and Batman movies.


  • Graphic Classics (Eureka Productions)
    Adaptations of stories by Edgar Allen Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Shelley, and others.
  • Del Ray & Dabel Brothers Preview (Dabel Brothers)
    A little bit Dresden Files; a little bit Wild Cards; a little bit Dean Koontz's Frankenstein: Prodigal Son.


  • Bongo Comics Free-For-All (Bongo)
    It's not a Free Comic Book Day without The Simpsons and Futurama!
  • Gumby's Coloring Comic Book Special (Wildcard Ink)
    It's not a Free Comic Book Day without Gumby!
  • Transformers Animated (IDW)
    Adapation of the first episode of the animated series.


  • Sonic the Hedgehog #1 (Archie Comics)
    It's not a Free Comic Book Day without...ok, that was probably old back on Gumby. This one's a reprint of the first Sonic comic.


  • NASCAR Heroes: All-Stars Special (NASCAR Comics)
    Superhero NASCAR drivers. What will they think of next?


February 2008 Previews Pop Culture Crossover

This month I forego Supernatural, Star Wars, Star Trek and several others for some new and different series and one-shots culled from movies, stories, games and other areas.

  • The Complete Persepolis (TPB, Pantheon Books)
    I had to pick up the book that the Oscar-nominated film was based on.
  • The Mummy Movie Prequel: The Rise & Fall of Xango's Ax #1 (one-shot?, IDW)
    There's another mummy movie coming out next summer?


  • The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle #1 (4-part mini, Dabel Brothers)
    Originally a series of books about a private detective and wizard, it has also been adapted into a SCI FI Channel series. This is an original story penned by the author of the series, Jim Butcher.
  • James Bond: The Paradise Plot (TPB, Titan Publishing)
    Ian Fleming's popular spy. Collection of the aformentioned tale and the non-Fleming Bond story Death Mask!.
  • Mack Bolan, The Executioner: The Devil's Tools #1 (5-part mini, Dabel Brothers)
    I read a book from this classic series quite a while back - I'm surprised this doesn't have a Mature Readers warning.
  • Oz Book 1: Mayhem in Munchkinland! (TPB, Transfuzion Publishing)
    Why does the Wizard of Oz have so many dark adaptations and sequels?
  • Pigeons from Hell #1 (4-part mini, Dark Horse)
    Based on a Robert E. Howard short story - I can't tell when it was written, but it was first published in 1938 - two years after Howard died. You can see the original story here. It was even adapted to an anthology TV show (like Twilight Zone) - Boris Karloff's Thriller.
  • Wild Cards: The Hard Call #1 (6-part mini, Dabel Brothers)
    It's been forever since I've read them, but I loved this George R. R. Martin series about a horrible virus that, when unleashed, killed 90% of those affected, left 9% horribly deformed, and gifted 1% with amazing superpowers. The Hard Call is a new story in the Wild Cards world.


  • Brothers in Arms #1 (new series, Dynamite)
    Based on the WWII game by Ubisoft. Take a look at the website - the game looks pretty intense.
  • Gnome One-Shot (one-shot, superrealgraphics.com)
    I never thought I'd see a comic based on a lawn ornament.
  • Thoreau at Walden (graphic novel, Hyperion Books)
    Walden; or, Life in the Woods - one of the many books on my to-read list. I think I actually have a copy on my shelf, collecting dust. This is an interpretation of Henry David Thoreau's philosophical treatise.

I left a lot out, but I didn't think it necessary to list another Friday the 13th story, or Night of the Living Dead collection.


The Gene Generation

So, what's the deal with The Gene Generation? Is it going straight to DVD? When will I be able to see it?

But nearly as important, is it based on the comic The DNA Hacker Chronicles? Or is the comic just a prequel, and the story got cooked up because it's so cool to base movies on comics (er, graphic novels) right now?

I'm not here to spoil anyone's marketing campaign; I just love comic book movies and really want to get down to the truth - is the film based on a comic book? If it is, I'd like to see the source material - what was the original comic like?

The answer took a little work.

Bloodfire studios is publishing the comic The DNA Hacker Chronicles as a prequel to The Gene Generation. But they're saying it's a redesign of a a "cuberpunk comic" that was a "sold out underground hit". The problem is, I couldn't find a single reference to the "underground" comic anywhere on the internet - except in reference directly to the Gene Generation movie. Bloodfire Studios' web site (linked above) states, "Creator Pearry Teo is quoted saying 'I've held back the idea of re-releasing the comic book unless I can find an amazing slew of artists and cutting edge minded people to work with...'" So, according to them, Teo is the original creator of the underground comic. The Bloodfire Studios ComicSpace page notes that "The DNA Hacker Chronicles is a 6 issue mini series from the mind of Pearry Reginald Teo" and that with it, they are bringing to the U.S. the "...the underground comic sensation that inspired the movie The Gene Generation."


The Gene Generation MySpace blog mentions the re-release of the comic through Diamond Comics. It also says the film is based on the The DNA Hacker Chronicles, showing a pic of Bloodfire's new release. It also gives this little blurb:

From grassroots beginnings, The Gene Generation started out through artists and friends and fans who have a similar vision: That Cyberpunk is still alive and kicking. With only a couple of sketches in 2004, we have come a long way to finally completing a feature film. This myspace page is a dedication to those who have stuck with us as we continue (without studio backing) to push forward in spreading the word about this humble project, both as a comic book and a movie.
Which doesn't tell me much - except maybe both projects started in parallel.

But maybe it's really underground. I couldn't find references on the author's (director's) MySpace page, I couldn't find anywhere that's selling back issues of the "sold out" comic. I mean, sure, maybe it was self-published and there were so few copies that it's extremely rare. But I would think that somewhere on the internet, as much information as gets posted about everything, that somebody would talk about it. Nothing in Google searches, nothing in Wikipedia, nothing on ComicSpace. Nothing concrete on any site related to the Gene Generation or DNA Hackers; just the aforementioned vague references to the sold out underground comic hit.

There are even some interviews that talk about how the movie came about. Teo talks about getting the script in this interview - nothing about a comic. And the interviews on this Gene Generation MySpace page don't allude to a comic book source either.

And finally paydirt. One of the stars of the film (Parry Shen) blogged in December that the comic was coming out in January "to strengthen the audience base for the movie." But the final nail in the coffin was reading on comic book artist Matt Olson's web site that he was working on a "comic adaptation of a feature film." The internet trail can be a funny thing. I found his site from his MySpace page. But I got to his MySpace page from another MySpace page, where he left the comment, "I have this other book series in the works called 'DNA Hacker Chronicles' in the meantime (not my idear but based on a movie) ".

So, it looks to me like Bloodfire Studios cooked up the story for a little publicity.

I think my work here is done.

I'm sorry if I bursted anyone's comic book movie bubble...

But if there is some sort of weird underground comic that came before - somebody please let me know.


Comics on DVD

I've never been much of an anime fan, but Batman: Gotham Knight looks really promising. Comics2Film posted the Press Release for Gotham Knight (which is due out July 8). Apparently it bridges the gap between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Watching clips reminded of the Animatrix, which I really enjoyed; heck, I even went to see Dreamcatcher just because one of the Animatrix stories (Final Flight of the Osiris) was screening in front of it. The Animatrix ep was worth the $7, even if Dreamcatcher wasn't.

I now realize the following video has been around the 'net (now I'm a day late and a dollar short), but I just watched it, so I thought I'd share this look at Gotham Knight.

In other news, I never realized Sam & Max was adapted to a cartooon - but that complete series is coming out on DVD in a couple weeks. The weird thing about that is my son's name is Max, and we have some close friends who have a son two weeks younger than Max, whose name is Sam. They'll both be 1 in March.

And BTW, it looks like when it was released, Amazon dropped the price of The New Frontier by about 30%. You can pick it up now for $17. Hmmmm...they did the same thing with Confessions of a Superhero. I may think twice about pre-ordering from them...