REVIEW: "Avengers: Age of Ultron" is a Lot of Fun, a Little Flawed, and Whedon All the Way
Comic Books, Film
If it’s Saturday, it’s time for Shelf Porn — our weekly look at one collector’s pride and joy. Today’s collection of action figures, comics and lots more comes from Ryan in Toronto.
If you’d like to see your collection here on Robot 6, you can find submission details at the end of this post.
And now let’s hear from Ryan!
Police in Texas are searching for two suspects in a pickup truck that struck and killed a 23-year-old man outside a Houston-area movie theater following an argument about 300: Rise of an Empire.
According to KHOU 11 News, the dispute began shortly after midnight Monday in the restroom of the Silverado Movie Theater near Tomball, when two men allegedly injected themselves into a conversation between Michael Emerson and his two friends about whether the film might spawn a sequel (it’s a follow-up to 300, an adaptation of the 1998 Dark Horse limited series by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley).
Frank Miller has yet to finish work on Xerxes, his long-discussed follow-up to 300, meaning Dark Horse won’t be able to release the comic in time for the March-premiering 300: Rise of an Empire.
What’s more, ICv2.com reports no progress has been made on the planned five-issue (previously six-issue) miniseries since March 2011, when Dark Horse CEO Mike Richardson told the website Miller had completed the second issue.
With the 2007 release of director Zack Snyder’s 300, sales of the collected edition soared, propelling the 1998 book to the top of bestseller lists and leading Dark Horse to order two 50,000-copy printings to meet demand.
While Snyder’s film was a direct adaptation of the comic by Miller and Lynn Varley, even replicating its imagery, it’s unclear how close Rise of an Empire hews to the plot of Xerxes, which the writer had described as “a sweeping tale with gods of monsters” centering on the Battle of Artemisium (it’s a naval engagement that occurred at the same time as the Battle of Thermopylae).
Huh, now this looks familiar … a graphic novel called 400 BC recently came across the Comic Book Resources review desk. Here’s the cover:
In recent years, we’ve seen a boatload of comic books and graphic novels make their way to the silver screen, from Big Two stalwarts like Spider-Man and Batman to independent titles like Scott Pilgrim and 30 Days Of Night. Amongst the various adaptations, though, some creators have emerged as magnets for Hollywood types — and one of those is Frank Miller.
You could see glimpses of Frank Miller on the screen going as far back as Tim Burton’s Batman and even in the more recent Daredevil, but he didn’t become a name to movie-going audiences until the smash hits 300 and Sin City, both based on his original work. But there’s more to Miller’s oeuvre than just those two seminal works, so we thought we’d point out some overlooked items in his catalog and posit what a film adaptation would look like.
Give Me Liberty – “From the creator of 300 & Sin City and the co-creator of Watchmen.” That’s how any promotion for this would start out, and the movie itself would show a burnt-out husk of a world with humanity pulling itself out from the wreckage. Fronted by the a freedom fighter named Martha Washington, it would cover her humble beginnings to her time in the second Civil War to her death as glimpsed in the recent coda story Miller & artist Dave Gibbons released. I’d love to see Children of Men‘s Alfonso Cuaron on this, and this could be a starring vehicle for Rosario Dawson.
Comic-Con International in San Diego doesn’t officially kick off until tomorrow, but they are hosting a preview night tonight. And not surprisingly, there were some announcements today, albeit not as many as we’ve seen on Wednesday in years past — or at least not as many as I remember on Wednesdays from years past. Maybe the fact that we’ve had so many announcements leading up to Comic-Con over the last week or so led to a quieter pre-con Wednesday. I won’t complain; instead, let’s see what was announced …
• BOOM! Studios announced at a press conference this afternoon that writers Paul Cornell and Chris Roberson would join Mark Waid as the trio of writers working with Stan Lee on a new line of comics. Cornell and artist Javier Pina will bring Soldier Zero to life in October, Mark Waid and Chad Hardin will tackle The Traveler in November, and Chris Roberson and Khary Randolph’s Starborn debuts in December.
Frank Miller promises the long-discussed prequel Xerxes will tell “a more complex story” than 300, his 1998 miniseries about the Battle of Thermopylae that became a 2007 box-office hit.
Officially confirmed on Tuesday by Dark Horse, the six-issue miniseries will likely debut in 2011. The publisher will release a Xerxes lithograph in October.
As Miller first revealed in December, Xerxes will take place 10 years before Thermopylae, beginning with the legendary Battle of Marathon, which marked the end of Persia’s first invasion of Greece.
“The story will be the same heft as 300 but it cover a much, much greater span of time — it’s 10 years, not three days,” Miller told the Los Angeles Times this week. “This is a more complex story. The story is so much larger. The Spartans in 300 were being enclosed by the page as the world got smaller. This story has truly vast subjects. The Athenian naval fleet, for instance, is a massive artistic undertaking and it dwarfed by the Persian fleet, which is also shown in this story. The story has elements of espionage, too, and it’s a sweeping tale with gods and warriors.”
He said that while Xerxes is the title character, the protagonist is Themistocles, the famed Athenian politician and general.
But that doesn’t mean the project is quite dead — only different. David Brothers points out a recent post by Miller at the Complete Frank Miller Website Forum, where he says the project has undergone a bit of a change — there’s no Batman in it:
I’m still doing HOLY TERROR!–it’s just not a Batman story anymore. The content got too extreme, and a brand new superhero popped into my head. I’m 94 double-page spreads into it, with more to go. It’s going to be big and loud, I promise.
Neal Adams has fallen so in love with ODYSSEY that he’s scripting it himself. The artwork is STUNNING.
I’ve just turned in XERXES#1 and am going strong.
I’m keeping busy, folks! Having a great time!
Xerxes is the follow-up to 300 that was announced late last year.
Nestled in this Los Angeles Times article about the resurgence of Greek mythology in popular entertainment just may be the first official details of Frank Miller’s sequel to his 1998 miniseries-turned-2007 box-office hit 300.
Previous reports had indicated that the new graphic novel, which would be used as the basis for another movie, is set between the Battle of Thermopylae and the Battle of Plataea, shown at the end of 300.
However, according to the LA Times article, the follow-up is now titled Xerxes — Xerxes I of Persia is the antagonist of 300 — and takes place 10 years before Thermopylae.
“It’s the Battle of Marathon through my lens,” Miller told the newspaper last week. “I’ve finished the plot and I’m getting started on the artwork.”
Among the criticisms levied against 300 is Miller’s depiction of Xerxes as an inhumanly tall, bejeweled androgynous figure at the head of a near-demonic horde.
The Battle of Marathon marked the end of Persia’s first invasion of Greece, triggered by the involvement of Athens and Eretria in revolts by several regions in Asia Minor against Persian rule. Xerxes’ father Darius I was the ruler of Persia at the time of the conflict.