PREVIEWS: "Civil War II," "Punisher" & More Marvel Comics on Sale June 1, 2016
We frequently marvel at — or else are unsettled by — the uncanny realism of the figures from Hot Toys and other high-end collectibles companies, but they may have found a rival in artist Xiang Zhang.
Based in Shanghai, China, he works with 1/6th-scale models, creating photorealistic likenesses of Heath Ledger’s Joker, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, Christian Bale, Scarlett Johansson and more. Make notes that Zhang is so skilled at repainting and implanting hair, that he’s frequently accused of using Photoshop to fudge the final results.
Sophie Caldecott is a hero and what she accomplished this past week is more inspiring than saving the world or defeating Ultron. I love a feel good story as much as the next person, and this one is a doozy.
In October 2011, her father Stratford Caldecott was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. He and his family have persevered through every treatment and now, three years later, the cancer has advanced to the final stages of the disease. Her father is a huge comic fan and often joked that he’d hang on just to see the next Marvel movie release; sadly, he wasn’t well enough to make it to the theaters to catch Captain America: The Winter Soldier. So starting last Monday, Sophie launched a simple campaign to get a copy of the movie to her father in his convalescence at home and to bring him some cheer in a difficult time.
Embracing his role as Marvel’s god of mischief with an infectious glee, Tom Hiddleston has demonstrated his talent as a showman, a storyteller, a singer, a teacher, a celebrity impressionist, and a dancer. And now the actor shows that he’s a bit of an artist, too.
A self-portrait of Hiddleston as Loki is being auctioned online to raise money for the United Kingdom’s Great Ormond Hospital Children’s Charity, with proceeds going to help with refurbishment, the purchase of equipment and the funding of research. The drawing isn’t half-bad, either.
With a little more than a day to go, the high bid is £2,334 (about $3,757 U.S.).
Looking back, the first Thor movie was a marvel, no pun intended. It was the first of the Marvel Studios films not to have Iron Man in it at all, plus it was the first major step toward what we would come to know as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Incredible Hulk was really its own little world, with a little Stark tacked on at the end to hint at the idea that was still forming. By the time Thor came out, the path toward a full fledged Avengers movie was on the horizon and Thor was our introduction to the next Earth’s Mightiest Hero.
Although the character is difficult to translate, Thor showed modern movie audiences a near-perfect tale of a god humbled, heroic triumph and the kick-ass design of a Jack Kirby-inspired Asgard. There was a flexibility of tone and style that showed us the fantastic was possible too in the Marvel world of science and technology; Thor even explains to Jane Foster and the audience very clearly that science and fantasy aren’t that far apart, sort of justifying the god’s association with more science-based characters. The movie had an amazing balance between so many different themes, it’s still my favorite Marvel movie yet.
Sequels to such great films can be incredibly difficult. On one hand, they can often flesh out the elements we liked from the original while trimming a bit of the fat (see Star Trek II vs. Star Trek: The Motion Picture). The second film can strike directly to the heart of the matter, rather than spend time telling audiences where they are and why they should care about the people on screen. On the other hand, reference can equal preference, and when the second movie is nothing like the first, it can fall flat if it’s not what we were expecting. Not everyone can return for the second movie, be they actors, directors or designers, so cracks can form if there’s not a consistency from one installment to the next. Others can complain if the next movie relies too heavily on the first, “continuity porn” showing up on angry Internet forums or from more casual movie-going folk. It’s a lot of concern to carry with you into a sequel.
The good news is that the god of thunder bears this weight heroically in Thor: the Dark Work. I can’t say he juggles it all effortlessly, I can’t say it doesn’t seem a little awkward and uneven at times, but all the troubles are carried in an impressive spectacle. Want to know more? Read on!
WARNING: No spoilers. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen any plot details that I might discuss, so click with confidence!
As if we needed more proof that the minds behind Sesame Street intend elements of the beloved television series to be as much for adults as for children, a new clip features The Avengers and Thor: The Dark World star Tom Hiddleston teaching Cookie Monster an important lesson about self-control and delayed gratification.
“I just made the correlation between your name and what I’m about to eat,” the god of mischief taunts. Watch the video below.
Among the announcements that came out of the D23 Expo was the casting of Tom Hiddleston alongside Christina Hendricks in DisneyToon Studios The Pirate Fairy, in which the Thor: The Dark World actor voices Cabin Boy James, who’ll later be legendary as Captain Hook. Unless you have “Hiddleston” as a Google alert, or have children who religiously watch the Tinker Bell direct-to-DVD animated movies, that relatively minor news likely escaped your attention.
But what you can’t miss is video of a giddy Hiddleston, an avowed fan of Disney’s The Jungle Book, singing a little bit of “Bare Necessities” at the event. If that’s not somehow worked into Thor 3, somebody at Marvel Studios isn’t doing his job.
As if his surprise appearance at Marvel Studios’ Hall H presentation on Saturday — dressed as the god of mischief, no less — weren’t enough to forever endear him to fans, actor Tom Hiddleston also gleefully acted out the plot of the upcoming Thor: The Dark World at Comic-Con International using Loki and Thor action figures.
You can watch the video below. But fair warning: There may be spoilers. The new trailer for director Alan Taylor’s Thor: The Dark World debuts Aug. 7.
Oh, sure, he may have enslaved Hawkeye and Dr. Selvig, wreaked havoc on
Cleveland Stuttgart, Germany, and Cleveland New York City, and killed Agent Phil Coulson in Marvel’s The Avengers, but deep down Loki is a pretty swell guy. Er, god.
For proof you need look no further than this week’s Journey Into Mystery #645, which marks the departure of writer Kieron Gillen, whose take of “Kid Loki” has made the pint-size god of mischief beloved by Tumblr users the world over. Gillen’s final “Journey Into Stationery” letter page starts with a laudatory message from a certain Tom Hiddleston, who knows a thing or two about Loki: