"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Film, Comic Books
On the heels — or, rather, wheels — of new “character cars” based on Marvel’s Black Widow and Wasp, Mattel has rolled out a line of Hot Wheels collectibles tied to Captain America: Civil War.
Arriving courtesy of Yahoo! Movies, the collection features die-cast cars for Captain America, Iron Man, Black Panther, Winter Soldier, Vision, Ant-Man and Hawkeye (with the Black Widow model repeated).
If you’re a bit hazy on the details of Civil War, the 2006-2007 Marvel comics crossover that unfolded across more than 50 issues and inspired the upcoming Captain America sequel, fear not: “Bite Size Comics” manages to summarize the event in less than four minutes, which it turns out is plenty of time to insert some biting commentary.
For instance, Civil War is introduced as “a convoluted tale of friendship, betrayal and the complete character assassination of Iron Man,” which … OK, it’s tough to argue with that assessment.
A thief walked out of JC’s Comics ‘N’ More in Toledo, Ohio, with $1,400 worth of comics concealed in his pants, but he seems to had a change of heart– after video of the act was shared on a local newscast, the comics were mysteriously returned
Store owner James Collins said the seven missing comics were Marvel’s Civil War comics with variant covers, valued at between $70 an $250 apiece. Collins first noticed the missing comics last Wednesday, and when he viewed the security camera footage, he saw a man, accompanied by a woman, enter the store, stuff the comics into his pants, and walk out without paying. Collins was tending to other business at the time and didn’t see them enter or leave the store.
Using footage from The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Iron Man 3 and the trailers for Ant-Man and Avengers: Age of Ultron, among other sources (some of which I don’t recognize), he’s crafted a pretty solid narrative that pits Tony Stark against Steve Rogers, with Black Widow, Falcon, Bucky Barnes, War Machine and even Scott Lang left to choose sides.
It’s pretty compelling, and the closest thing we’re likely to come to any actual Civil War footage for at least six months or so.
Creators | Hajime Isayama’s hometown of Hita City has named him “Tourism Friendship Ambassador to the ‘Beautiful Riverside Location of Hita.'” Isayama, the creator of Attack on Titan (which describes a city under siege by man-eating giants and defended by teenagers), came to town over the weekend for a cultural event titled “Shingeki no Satogaeri” (“Attack on Returning Home”), and he mentioned in a speech that the area was his inspiration for the scenery in the manga. [Anime News Network]
Publishing | Dark Horse announced there are 500,000 copies of its Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon graphic novel in print; this presumably means that sales are in that range as well. The key here may may be that the book is available at Scholastic book fairs, where the numbers really add up. [Dark Horse]
James Daily and Ryan Davidson intend to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that every subject, even one as dry and forbidding as the law, is more fun when you add superheroes. Exhibit A: The Law of Superheroes, their new book based on their blog Law and the Multiverse, which seeks to do for their area of expertise what James Kakalios’ 2006 book The Physics of Superheroes did for his.
I lack a black robe and a gavel, so I’m not certain exactly how authoritative my judgment on this particular case can be, but I think the pair did a rather admirable job. I can’t say in good conscience that their book is a rollicking, can’t-put-it-down read — even with superheroes, it’s still a book about the law and other, um, legal stuff — but it’s certainly interesting, and, for those of us coming at it as longtime comics fans, it presents new ways of thinking about classic characters and their weekly adventures.
The book’s 13 chapters are divided into rather broad subjects like constitutional law, criminal law, international law and so forth, and breaks the subject down further with various articles falling under each chapter’s subject, pulling examples from comic books (and a few movies based on comic books, particularly the Christopher Nolan-directed Batman movies, Iron Man and the Spider-Man movies).
So, for example, the chapter on constitutional law contains articles on mutant rights, superpowers and the Second Amendment, forcible removal of superpowers, the death penalty as it might apply to immortal or nigh-invulnerable characters, and so on. It’s discussion of the law that mainly drives the book’s construction; where the superheroes come in is when it’s time to apply that law to the Marvel and DC universes (as well as the Ultimate universe and movie universes and so on). Copious footnotes are provided to direct an interested reader back to particular comics stories or particular laws and court rulings.
Cue the Welcome Back, Kotter theme music: At a live press conference from NYC’s Midtown Comics today, Marvel unveiled “Fear Itself,” a line-wide event beginning in March. Featuring a prologue one-shot by Ed Brubaker and Scot Eaton, tie-ins, spin-off stand-alone miniseries, and an April-launching seven-issue core limited series by Matt Fraction and Stuart Immonen, it’s very much in the vein of past mega-events like “Civil War,” a comparison company personnel made repeatedly at the presser. If anything, it sounds even bigger than “Civil War,” as the two core Marvel franchises who’ve traditionally been kept at arms’ length from the big events of late, the Hulk and the X-Men, look to be playing an integral role right along with the Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and so on.
Captain America’s embroiled in a whole different controversy these days, but some real-world analysts remember the last time he got mixed up in a political back-and-forth: Marvel’s Civil War. Back then, Cap took up arms against Iron Man’s Superhero Registration Act, which required super-people to be registered, regulated and trained by the government. And this time, it’s liberals who are calling Cap out about it.
In a post that kicks off with a take on this week’s tea-party tantrum, national security blogger Spencer Ackerman of the progressive site Firedoglake argues that Iron Man and the pro-Registration side of the superhero Civil War were in the right:
Last week Activision announced another playable character, Iceman, for its Marvel Ultimate Alliances 2 game. Iceman is no stranger to the video game world, as he appeared in the first game as well as the two X-Men Legends games before it. Click the link to read more from the designer and the art director of the game on Iceman’s powers and visuals.
It looks like Iceman will be the last character revealed before the game hits stores, if the now-full “classified” roster scorecard on the game’s website is any indication. But in San Diego it was revealed that at least one other playable character wouldn’t be announced in advance, and it sounds like the Wii version of the game may be getting some additional exclusive characters … Blade, Cyclops and Psylocke. I wouldn’t be surprised if those characters (and others) were released as downloadable content for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions down the line, though.
The game comes out next Tuesday.
The story is taking a break today, this Memorial Day.
More than six hundred thousand dead. Four hundred thousand wounded. And that was just the regular military side (the Union lost more, by the by). Civilian losses remain uncounted, and the damage to our nation too several generations to heal. Depending on who you ask. There’s still some that discuss it as the “War of Northern Aggression.”
Either way, the costliest American war in lives, far and away. Take a moment to remember this bloody chapter in our shared history.
STRANGEWAYS will be back Wednesday.