Luke Cage History: From Hero for Hire to Hollywood
TV, Comic Books
When you run through a list of Godzilla’s greatest adversaries, a number of names will come to mind. Rodan, Mothra, Barkley — yes, Charles Barkley. The NBA icon actually went up against Godzilla in a game of basketball in a classic 1992 ad (fittingly titled “Godzilla vs. Charles Barkley”), and now Nike is paying tribute to that memorable spot with a new pair of Godzilla-inspired Air Max CB’94
To achieve maximum Godzilla-ness, the shoes feature both a gradient underlay and reflective lizard-skin overlays. The footwear also sports customized Godzilla insoles and an Air Max air bubble unit.
There are far worse ways to spend 16 minutes of your time than watching this fun stop-motion fan tribute to Toho’s classic films.
Titled “Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla vs. Tower of the Sun Robo,” the short film employs S.H. MonsterArts figures and other Bandai collectibles (some very familiar) to create an epic, explosion-filled kaiju free-for-all of theatrical proportions. The only downside is the video quality isn’t that great.
Comics | How do you say “Bam! Pow!” in Russian? A group of Russian translators is calling for comics translators to use words derived from the official languages of the Russian Federation rather than simply rendering the existing sound effects in the Russian alphabet. “In comic books you can often encounter words imitating sounds,” the translators said in a letter to the Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. “How can one express the sound of a phone ringing, of a creaky door, or a soda can being popped open, or the crinkle of an ice cream wrapper, or the sound of a motorcyclist’s foot rubbing against the ground? Often translators simply transliterate the English words.” Instead, they recommend using indigenous substitutes such as “chorkh” (scratching) and “khurt-khurt” (swallowing), both derived from Lezgian, a language spoken in Dagestan and Azerbaijan. [The Moscow Times, The Calvert Journal]
Godzilla has starred in 30 films, two animated TV series and more books, comic books and video games than I can count. Despite all of the stories in all types of media that Godzilla has appeared in for over 60 years now, I’ve never once seriously considered the question of where Godzilla might go when he dies.
The latest IDW series Godzilla In Hell makes me do just that, however, and the publisher, editor Bobby Curnow and writer/artist James Stokoe deserve some serious respect for doing something completely new and completely original with such a well-traveled pop culture character.
Not that thinking of something new, fresh and original to do with the giant monster is the only virtue to Stokoe’s return to the King of the Monsters, of course.
Stokoe’s previous Godzilla comic was the 2012 Godzilla: The Half-Century War, an epic adventure that doubled as a sort of meta-commentary on Godzilla’s film career, and the evolution of the monster and the world’s perception of him during that time.
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Even the King of the Monsters can get tangled in red tape.
More than a month after Godzilla was named Tokyo tourism ambassador and honorary resident of Shinjuku ward, Rocket News24 reports this week he finally received his residency documents.
Godzilla, who has attacked and destroyed Tokyo no fewer than 28 times, was honored Thursday by the city, adding tourism ambassador and honorary resident of Shinjuku ward to his responsibilities as King of the Monsters.
The tributes arrived as part of a ceremony to officially unveil the life-size head of the kaiju that erupts from the roof of the eight-story Toho Cinemas in Shinjuku. When we say “life-size,” we mean the 80-ton head rises 39 feet from the roof and towers 171 feet above the street, the height of Godzilla in his 1954 film debut.
Opening April 24, the 30-story Hotel Gracery, which sits atop the Toho Cinema in Shinjuku, boasts three themed rooms: two Godzilla View Rooms, which overlook the 39-foot head of the King of the Monsters that erupts from the roof of the theater below; and the Godzilla Room, which, as the video shows, boasts its own statue, a gallery of movie posters and an enormous claw that looms over the beds. The hotel of course also offers Godzilla memorabilia and special sweets.
Last week we saw only concept art for the Godzilla statue intended to erupt from the roof of the Toho Cinema in Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward, but today the full-size head of the King of the Monsters was officially revealed in all its glory.
That statue is what will provide the new 30-story Hotel Gracery, which sits atop the theater, with its Godzilla View Rooms (priced at a reasonable $125 a night).
Godzilla has long been associated with widespread destruction, but one Tokyo hotel hopes the King of the Monsters will soon become synonymous with comfort.
Kotaku reports that on April 24, the 30-story Hotel Gracery, which sits atop the Toho Cinema in Shinjuku, will open three themed rooms: the succinctly named Godzilla Room, which features a statue and enormous claws that reach over the beds; and two Godzilla View Rooms, which look out over the enormous kaiju head that will erupt from the roof of Toho Cinema below.
Best known for his acclaimed manga Monster, 20th Century Boys and Pluto, Naoki Urasawa has now taken on the King of the Monsters with an exclusive print created for Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla. Unfortunately there’s no word yet on when, or if, the print will be available for sale.
Director Gareth Edwards’ franchise reboot has grossed $325 million worldwide in 12 days of release — and it hasn’t even opened yet in China (June 13) or Japan (July 25). A sequel, of course, is already in development.
North American readers will be seeing much more of Urasawa’s work this year, as Viz Media will release the Monster: The Perfect Edition omnibus series beginning in July, followed by the debut of his post-Cold War thriller Master Keaton in December.
Conventions | The doors open today on the 25th annual Motor City Comic Con, held through Sunday in Novi, Michigan, northwest of Detroit. Comics guests include Art Baltazar, Elizabeth Breitweiser, Talent Caldwell, Chris Claremont, Matthew Clark, Gerry Conway, Katie Cook, J.M. DeMatteis, Clayton Henry, Mike McKone, Jame O’Barr, Ryan Ottley, Dave Petersen, Don Rosa, Bill Sienkiewicz, Charles Soule, Mark Waid and Skottie Young. The Detroit Free Press previews the event, and speaks with Claremont, while Metro Times provides a beginner’s guide. [Motor City Comic Con]
Digital comics | Kate Reynolds looks at the recent Image Humble Bundle promotion and compares it to sales of hard copies of the individual titles in comics shops. Her key insight is that this is Image’s first attempt to sell comics directly to the video game audience rather than established readers: “Many people who check the Humble website with some frequency may have been surprised to see comics books on a video game page, and for many, surprise turned to intrigue. While it’s impossible to tell whether the purchasers of the Image bundle were frequent comic buyers or not, it’s logical to assume that many were not. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if for some, the Image bundle was the first comic purchase of their lives.” [feminism/geekery]
Legendary Entertainment has released the official cover for its Godzilla graphic novel tie-in, Godzilla: Awakening, by fan-favorite artist Art Adams. His take on the King of Monsters is, of course, highly detailed, with particular attention paid to the texture of the skin and scales.
Co-written by Godzilla screenwriters Max Borenstein and Greg Borenstein, Awakening features the work of a number of artists, including Eric Battle, Yvel Guichet, Alan Quah and Lee Loughridge. Arriving May 7, the original graphic novel serves as a prequel to director Gareth Edwards’ film, although no concrete plot points have been revealed. Check out Adams’ cover and the Godzilla: Awakening synopsis below.
Audiences won’t get the full glimpse of director Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla until May 16, but Legendary Entertainment has announced that the King of Monsters will return slightly earlier in the Godzilla: Awakening original graphic novel set for release on May 7.
Set decades before the film, Godzilla: Awakening is co-written by Greg Borenstein and Godzilla screenwriter Max Borenstein and illustrated by Eric Battle, Yvel Guichet, Alan Quah and Lee Loughridge, with a cover by Art Adams.
“As we know, Godzilla is not just limited to films,” director Gareth Edwards said in the graphic novel’s announcement video (below). “There have been some cool comic books and manga over the years, and so I’m very excited to announce the official Godzilla graphic novel from Legendary Comics, which will pave the way for the film in May.”
Clocking in at 72 pages, Godzilla: Awakening hits stores May 7 from Legendary Comics.
Warner Bros.’ oversized totes, considered the must-have accessory for Comic-Con International, are returning to San Diego — and they’re wearing capes. This year’s version is a backpack, rather than a traditional bag, so the capes make sense, at least visually. Don’t worry, though, they’re detachable, and can be worn separately.
More than 130,000 backpacks will be given for free to attendees throughout the convention, promoting Warner Bros. television series Arrow, Teen Titans Go! (complete with Beware the Batman cape), The Big Bang Theory, The Following, Revolution, Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries, the classic Batman TV series, the DC Universe Original Animated Movie Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, and the forthcoming films Godzilla, The LEGO Movie and 300: Rise of an Empire.
Each backpack features the official Comic-Con 2013 design on one side, and the Warner Bros. property on the other. Unfortunately, art wasn’t released for all of the backpack designs, but you can get a pretty good taste below.
Comic-Con International kicks off Wednesday with Preview Night.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.
If I had $15 this week, it’d be all first issues, all the time. Being a Trek fan, I couldn’t resist IDW’s Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #1 ($3.99), offering some glimpses into the new movie for the first time outside of the trailer, for one thing. Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s Young Avengers #1 (Marvel, $2.99) looks to be equally unmissable judging from both the previews and interviews heralding its launch, and also Gillen’s performance on Iron Man and other titles recently, so that’d make it in there, too. Finally, I’d grab The Answer #1 (Dark Horse, $3.99), Dennis Hopeless and Mike Norton’s new superhero/mystery series. I’ve been back and forth about Hopeless in the past (loved his X-Men: Season One; hate his Avengers Arena), but the hook for this one looks pretty solid and Norton’s work is always nice to gaze at.
Should I suddenly find myself with an additional $15, I’d add some current favorites to the pile: Chris Roberson and Dennis Calero’s pulp dystopia Masks #3 (Dynamite, $3.99), Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opena’s Avengers #3 (Marvel, $3.99, and less a “favorite” than an “undecided about, but was surprised by how much I appreciated that second issue”) and Greg Rucka and Matt Southworth’s Stumptown #5 (Oni, $3.99). After the fourth issue of Stumptown, I’d pick that last one up even if Rucka had accidentally forgotten to write any dialogue in there. Did you see that last issue? Man …
Were I to splurge, it’d almost feel greedy after this week of bounty. Nonetheless, I’d grab The Spider, Vol. 1: Terror of The Zombie Queen (Dynamite, $19.99), the collected edition of the first storyline from David Liss’ revival of the pulp hero that I loved based on the first issue but somehow fell off of before the end of that first arc for reasons that escape me. Definitely curious to revisit it.