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Posts tagged “book

X-Men take on One Million Moms

US conservative group One Million Moms have launched a campaign against DC and Marvel asking them to stop featuring gay characters in their comic books.

Gay characters have been included in comic books for years, but later this month, in Astonishing X-Men issue 51, Northstar will marry his long term partner Kyle.  Though this won’t be the first time a same sex couple has gotten married in comic books, it will be the first time it’s happened in the Marvel universe.  This, teamed with DC’s decision to make Green Lantern gay when he is reinvented in the New 52, has sparked controversy with the conservative group One Million Moms, who think that by showing children positive representations of gay people they will grow up to think that it is okay to be gay, which the group believes ‘is a sin’.

‘Children desire to be just like superheroes. Children mimic superhero actions and even dress up in costumes to resemble these characters as much as possible. Can you imagine little boys saying, ‘I want a boyfriend or husband like X-Men?’’  A common misconception with comics is that they are for kids.  There are some aimed at children, but not all of them are and some are pretty dark and have sex scenes.  Yet somehow the group has no problem exposing their children to this, providing it’s with members of the opposite sex.  Every form of media show relationships between men and women, yet most little boys don’t say things like ‘I want a girlfriend or wife’ and that’s because they are little boys not little adults, they want the heroes superpowers not their lovers.

One Million Moms recently launched a similar campaign to stop Toys R Us stocking the issue of Archie Comics Life with Archie were Kevin Keller and his partner get marriage.  However, their plan failed and attention brought on by the groups boycott may even have helped sales as the issue sold out.  Hearing of their campaign against Marvel and DC, some comic book writers contacted the group on Twitter.  Dan Slott, author of Spider-Man, sent them a message acknowledging the effects of their previous failure ‘Dear @1milmoms, thank you for the boycotts. They increase sales as people buy extra copies to spite you. PLEASE boycott my book too. :-)’.  Kurt Busiek, another of Marvel’s writers, took it even further by questioning the group itself ‘One Million Moms: There aren’t a million of them and their board is mostly men. If they lie about who they are, they’ll lie about anything’.

In their statement, One Million Moms says that featuring gay characters in comics ‘is ridiculous! Why do adult gay men need comic superheroes as role models? They want to indoctrinate impressionable young minds by placing these gay characters on pedestals in a positive light. These companies are heavily influencing our youth by using children’s superheroes to desensitise and brainwash them into thinking that a gay lifestyle choice is normal and desirable’.  It’s clear that the group, who are a Christian group, hold a strong religious view, which seems backwards in today’s society, which, as Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Axel Alonso said in a statement to Newsarama, is what Marvel try to represent.

‘For over 70 years, Marvel’s comics have reflected the world outside your window and Astonishing X-Men #50 carries on that tradition. We’re proud to create stories that are not only relevant to the issues facing a modern audience but that also explore these nuanced subjects in a compelling manner. We’ve planned the release of this comic for over a year but the recent discussion of gay marriage, spurred by the comments of President Obama, makes the release of Astonishing X-Men #50 even more timely. The passionate discourse between our fans on both sides of this matter shows that we’ve struck a chord with our millions of fans around the world.’

Issue 51 of Astonishing X-Men will be release later this month, on the 20th of June.  While it doesn’t seem like One Million Moms will convince Marvel to ‘change and cancel all plans of homosexual superhero characters’ like their letters demand, it will be interesting to see what effect they have on sales.  Having gay characters in the media can be really positive for young gay people, so stamping them out would be a huge step backwards.  Hopefully, this issue will sell out and One Million Moms will learn that their hate is only inspiring people to go against them.

What do you think?  Are you going to pick up Astonishing X-Men issue 51?  Do you enjoy seeing representatives of various minority groups, not just gay people, in comics?  Would you prefer if comics avoided dealing with real issues?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also, please subscribe and, if you liked this post, click the like button.

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Smallville Season 11

Following in the footsteps of shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, the hit television series Smallville will be continuing in comic book form.

After 10 seasons, Smallville ended on a high just last year.  Now fans of the show will be able to see Clark Kent in his first year as Superman as the comic book, Smallville Season 11, picks up just six months after the final episode.  The first chapter will be available digitally from the 12th of April and in physical form on from the 16th of May.

The story is being written by Bryan Q. Miller, who was a long time writer for the Smallville TV series’.  When asked about the comics Miller said,

‘New allies abound!  New enemies afoot!  And old friends’ return where they’re least expected!  Pere and colourist Chris Beckett have done a fantastic job of capturing the look of the show and the players and Gary and Cat are knocking it out of the park on covers. I couldn’t be more excited to help give seasoned viewers and new readers an all-access pass to Clark’s first year in the cape.’

Can’t deny the picture does look at lot like Tom Welling, which suggests that DC paid to use his likeness.  Hopefully they’ve done this with the other characters too or there may be some disappointed fans.  Miller did say the artists had captured the look of the ‘players’ not ‘player’, which indicates that the rest of the characters, Lois, Chloe and Oliver, will look like they did on the TV show.

The only problem I have with this is that once characters cross into a different medium they tend to change.  For instance, the Buffy comics, which also continue the TV series, contain storylines that I do not believe would have happened had the show continued on television.  This change is enough for me to consider them not canon, despite what Joss Whedon says.  Fans have enjoyed watching Smallville for 10 years and now that it’s continuing in comic form I worry that the new medium will change it too much.

What do you think?  Are you excited about the comic series?  Would you like to see more shows continue this way?  If you could make a comic series to continue one show what would it be?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also, if you liked this post, follow and click the like button.


Watchmen Prequel

DC has announced that they will be making a prequel to Alan Moore’s comic series Watchmen.  In the words of South Park’s General Disarray, I am forced to say ‘Simpsons did it’.

Maybe the Simpsons joke was the inspiration for the new comic series or maybe the Simpsons writers can see the future or travelled back in time to ensure that they always have ideas first.  We may never truly know for sure.  One thing we do know is that money is playing a big part in getting his series made.  The original comic books are extremely popular; this popularity was boosted by the 2009 film, but creator and writer Alan Moore will have no involvement in the prequel, so will they be able to live up to the original series?

Alan Moore has spoken out about his disappointment that his series will be given a prequel as he feels that the story of the Watchmen has already been told from start to finish and there doesn’t need to be any more, an argument that a lot of fans will probably agree with.  Though, in the past Moore’s comments were not able to stop fans of the comic from watching the movie, so it’s hard to predict if his angry will once again fall on deaf ears.  Moore doesn’t trust Hollywood and has never seen the movie adaptations of any of his work.

It may not be what Moore wants, but if DC believe that there’s a market there, which they obviously do, then they are going to go ahead with it and technically they’re not doing anything new by getting different staff to work on the project.  It seems harsh, but in the comic world it isn’t uncommon for different writers to take up comic book series and continue or expand on them.  If that wasn’t the case heroes like Superman would no longer be around and can you really imagine living in a world with no Superman (comics, movies and TV shows)?

It all really comes down to what the fans want.  If people are willing to buy, then who knows what future Watchmen projects could be on the horizon?  Sure it starts as a prequel, but that could give rises to another movie or a TV series.  Then even maybe a spinoff comic series or a sequel, though I hope there’s no sequel.  The possibilities are endless, except for a theme park; they’re not going to get a theme park.  Maybe a ride, but that’s it.

What do you think?  Are you a Watchmen fan?  Do you plan on reading the prequel?  Would you like to see the series continue or maybe even get a theme park?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to follow and click the like button, if you liked this post or you could follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/AdamODwyer1.


Psycho TV series ‘Bates Motel’ in development

For those of you that thought showering was just a time to wind down and get clean, you are about to get a rude awakening as Psycho returns for yet another instalment, but this time it’s television.

Even if you’ve never seen the 1960 film Psycho, its sequels, the prequel, its last attempt at a TV spinoff or the 1998 remake, you probably know about the infamous shower scene and that’s because the film, especially that scene, is a horror classic.  Show me one other film that had to be shot in black and white to avoid being ‘too gory’, a concept which is lost these days.

The original film is about, momma’s boy, Norman Bates who runs a motel with his mother.  Then an unsuspecting shower user comes to stay and the rest is Hollywood history.  Two sequels followed, completely unrelated to the two sequels of the book the original film was based on, then came a prequel, that looked at Bates’ teenage years, followed by a spinoff were the motel is reopened and murders start again and finally, in 1998, a nearly shot for shot remake of the original film was made.  The new TV series will be called Bates Motel, the same name used for the spinoff, and will once again examine the teenage years of Norman Bates.

Though still in the early stages of development the show is said to give a close look at how Norman became a psycho.  The story will show him from childhood and through his teenage years, providing the pilot gets picked up.  Viewers will get to see how his mother, Norma, and her lover damaged Norman, putting him on the path to become a killer.  Last time a Psycho show was proposed, the pilot wasn’t picked up and it was instead turned into a TV movie spinoff.  Hopefully this version doesn’t suffer the same fate as it will be interesting to see were, in 2012, they will take the story.  It’s no secret that movies are scarier these days than they were in the past, how will this change the story?

What do you think?  Would you like to see this show get made?  Are you a fan of the original movie?  Have you ever read the book?  Let me know by voting a leaving a comment below, also don’t forget to follow/subscribe and, if you enjoyed this post, click the like button.


Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Could finding a cure for Alzheimer’s bring on an ape rebellion?  According to the latest Planet of the Apes film, the answer is yes, which is unfortunate but what can you do.

The Planet of the Apes started as a book and was then made into a film, in 1968.  This movie spawned four sequels and a TV series and was then remade in 2001.  The remake, though being closer to the original book, was negatively received, mainly due to the confusing ending.  Now in 2011, another attempt at rebooting the series has been made, but is Rise of the Planet of the Apes the start of something great or another mistake?

James Franco plays a scientist who is trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s to bring his father back.  His research is sent back from the animal testing phase when one of the apes goes on a rampage, which he discovers was due to the fact she thought they were going to hurt her baby.  Noticing the baby chimp, Caesar, has inherited the treatment genetically from its mother, Will, Franco’s character, takes him home and raises him.  He also begins secretly testing the medication on his father.  After an incident, Caesar is taking from Will and put in a refuge.  Here he is mistreated by humans and begins to plot a rising, with the aid of Will’s Alzheimer’s medication.

As a fan of the original series, I was worried about the computer generated apes.  This is the first Planet of the Apes film that hasn’t used people in ape costumes.  There were times when I thought the apes didn’t look like apes, but they always fit in with the environment and looked like they were actually there, so for that reason I’m going to call it a success.  Caesar’s movements were done by Andy Serkis, who also played Gollum in The Lord of the Rings.  Serkis did a great job, the movements were very realistic, much more than that of apes in the previous films.  It’s hard to empathise with a character that can’t speak, but the facial expressions and eyes do a wonderful job and it’s easy to feel for Caesar.  In fact, they are so good that it’s sometimes depressing to watch.

Many of the themes in the film are going to put you in a downer; animal research, animal abuse, Alzheimer’s, loss, etc.  Not exactly a feel good film, but it does have plenty of heart and will have you rooting against mankind.  If you’re a fan of the originals you should be able to spot some links to the old films, the line ‘get you’re hand off me you damn dirty ape’ for example.  Remember, this is not a prequel it’s a reboot, so don’t expect it to match up, it doesn’t.  However, they already have plans to make sequels to this movie and hopefully they bring in some more aspects from the original series.  An interesting idea I read, that I hope is put in a future installment, is to show the apes destroy the Statue of Liberty.  If you’re looking for a movie with a good story and a lot of heart then this is the film for you, but if you want a feel good film then avoid this at all costs.

What do you think?  Have you seen the film?  Do you like the CGI apes?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.


New Superman and Catwoman Costumes Revealed

It’s a good day to be a comic book geek as we finally get a look at the stars of two upcoming superhero movies in their costumes, English actor Henry Cavill as Superman and Anne Hathaway as Catwoman.

Though it resembles the classic Superman suit, there are some noticeable differences.  The costume is darker and made of a different material, also the single curl, which is normally on Superman’s forehead, has been cut off.  Having seen the reaction to the new Wonder Woman costume a few months back, I am curious about how people are reacting to the changes.  Personally, I do think that the costume looks more manly and will fit the big screen better, especially considering that this movie is intended to be darker than previous Superman films.

Catwoman without any catlike features?  That’s an interesting choice.  If I’m not mistaken, the goggles have some sort of cat ear, but that’s about it.  Since she’s on, what is speculated to be, the bat-cycle, it’s hard to judge the costume.  However, if the rest of the suit is completely lacking in the feline department Nolan’s going to have some pretty disappointed fans on his hands.  It’s thought that the reason pictures of Catwoman have been released is because Nolan knew paparazzi would snap a few photos while they were filming, so he beat them too it.

What do you think?  Are you impressed by the costumes?  Do you think they should have gone with the more classic version of the suits?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below, also don’t forget to subscribe and click the like button.


Quest to Join Pottermore

Though both the film and book series of Harry Potter are over, the story lives on and not just in the memories and hearts of the fans, Harry’s hitting the web.

Pottermore is a site where fans of the series can go to rediscover the stories as well as read additional information that J.K. Rowling has never revealed before.  It will also distribute Harry Potter eBooks and audio books.  This will be the first time the series has been, legally, turned into eBooks.  To a Potter fan the website is very exciting, but it won’t be officially launched until October.  However, each day for seven days, five of which have already past, a clue has been put on the site.  The people who solve the clue will be able to go to a different page to search for the ‘magic quill’.  If they find this, they will be one of the lucky few that get to enter early and help shape the site.

Every weekday I wake up at half eight in the morning to walk my dog, but today the first thing I did was turn on the computer and check Pottermore.  The clue had not been posted yet.  I only learned how to try gain access to Pottermore last night, after the clue had already been and gone, so this was my first real try at getting in.  As I got ready to leave, I refreshed the page many times, but still no clue.  I returned from my walk, which takes about an hour, and there was still nothing.  Through some quick googling, I found out that a blog had given the exact time the clue would go up on day 3, which was two days ago.  As the day went by, it was announced that, in my time zone, the clue would be posted at some point between half four pm and eight pm.  I didn’t trust it so I continued to refresh the page, basically every few seconds, until finally, at around six o’clock, the clue pops up.

‘What is the house number of the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, then multiply you answer by 21’, I almost had a heart attack when I realised the clue had appeared.  Knowing that, since it was day five, the clue would be related to the Order of the Phoenix, I had the book at hand.  However, I didn’t need it as that was actually one of the questioned at suspected and even said to my friend.  Once I had the answer calculated, I struggled with my dad’s iPad trying to get the URL in, but it didn’t seem to want to work.  My friend, seeing my frustration, used her iPhone to go to the URL.  She handed me the phone which I end discarded as the iPad finally worked.  I was brought to a page to search for the quill which was in such an obvious play that I thought it was just an example of what to look out for, but I clicked it and it said I had successfully found the quill.  Also my friend, using the iPhone, which I’d so mindlessly dropped on the bed, also found the quill.

We were given usernames and a few hours later we both received e-mails to complete the process.  Now my friend, Amy, and I have joined the ranks of people who get to see Pottermore before it officially opens.  If you are trying to solve to gain access I wish you luck.  Just keep on refreshing.  In completely unrelated news, Amy got accepted to DCU today and is probably going to kill me for putting this in.

What do you think?  Will Amy be popular among her new class?  Is DCU lucky to have her?  Was getting into Pottermore a bigger achievement than DCU?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.


Breaking Dawn Trailer Review

Some say that vampires shouldn’t sparkle in the sunlight; others say that they shouldn’t be overly protective, possessive and display signs of obsessive stalking, but those people should simply be happy that the series is coming to an end.  However, there are millions of Twilight fans and they’re facing the end of the series, well actually the last film was split in two so there’s still a while left.  Part one comes out on the 18th of November 2011 and part two will be released on the 16th of November 2012.

Today, fans were given a glimpse of the film as the first full length trailer was released.  The trailer really pushes the romantic side to the story, basically excluding the darker themes and focusing mainly on the wedding and the guests getting there invitations, plus Bella and Edward having sex in various locations, wonder if they’ll be able to keep a PG-13 rating, which results in Bella becoming pregnant.  I think it goes without saying that this will be one of the least ‘boyfriend friendly’ movies in the Twilight series.

If you’re familiar with the book you may be wondering where the split will be.  It has been said by both Wyck Godrey, producer, and Melissa Rosenberg, the screenwriter, that it will probably be one movie were Bella is human and one with her as a vampire, though the decision is ultimately up to Bill Condon, the director.  Godrey had the idea of shooting the second one, with vampire Bella, in 3D to differentiate between human and vampire.  Though 3D has become an annoying trend in Hollywood, it’s nice to see it being used to actually aid in the telling of a story.

Fan’s will most likely love the trailer, but it is very one sided.  The more romantic elements are shown, the wedding and the jealous Jacob love triangle, where as the darker mythological part, a woman being impregnated by a vampire, is only briefly hinted at, despite the pregnancy playing such a large role in the book.  Though the actually movie will be more balanced, it seems that the trailer was made to give the audience and over romantic view, thus drawing in the girls and striking fear into the hearts of the boyfriends.

What do you think?  Will Breaking Dawn be rated above PG-13?  Is the trailer boy friendly?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe.


Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

In 2009 Sherlock Holmes proved that he could still draw in a crowd, but will the sequel be able to live up to the first?

Sherlock Holmes is a familiar name to most people, but how many really know him?  Do people still read the books that made him famous or watch the films that bring him to life?  Judging by the praise that Guy Richie’s 2009 adaptation got, it’s safe to say that Holmes’s fan base is as vast as ever.  The movie used elements from various Sherlock Holmes stories, even going as far as bringing in Irene Adler, who is a massive fan favourite despite only appearing in one story (A Scandal in Bohemia).  Adler will return in the sequel, but just to tie up some loose ends.

The sequel takes inspiration from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s story The Final Problem.  It is this tale that introduces the evil Professor Moriarty.  Originally intended to be the final Sherlock Holmes story, Doyle ends it by killing off both Holmes and Moriarty.  Complaints by fans led Doyle to bring Holmes back by revealing that Holmes had defeated Moriarty and faked his own death to prevent Moriarty’s henchmen coming after him.  The plot of the movie will take elements from the story; it will not be an exact translation.  However, which parts they are keeping is still unclear.  They wouldn’t kill Holmes would they?

Mycroft Holmes, brother of the infamous Sherlock, will be played by Stephen Fry.  Mycroft was briefly mentioned in the 2009 film and has been in many of the books.  Mycroft has even better deducing skills than Sherlock, but he lacks the drive and energy to physically go out and solve a case.  His role in the movie will be to assist Sherlock and Watson in outsmarting Moriarty.  Also aiding Sherlock and Watson is a gypsy called Sim, who is played by Noomi Rapace.

This film will show off Holmes ability as a master of disguise.  Sherlock will even go as far as dressing like a woman, which was, Sherlock Holmes star, Robert Downey Jr.’s idea.  This should add to the comic relief that made the first one so entertaining.  The movie is set to hit cinemas, in America, on the 16th of December and on the 25th of December, in Europe.

What do you think?  Are you excited about the sequel?  Should they kill of Holmes?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe.


The Three Musketeers

One muska two muska three musketeers.

Originally a series of books, The Three Musketeers has since been made into a film over twenty times.  The author of the original books, Alexandre Dumas, drew inspiration from an earlier book called Mémoires de Monsieur d’Artagnan.  In this book d’Artagnan first meets the king’s musketeers; Athos Porthos and Aramis.  Also present in the book is Milady de Winter, the antagonist of the first Musketeers book.  However, her background was changed significantly.

Alexandre Dumas’s book, The Three Musketeers, was originally serialised, in France, between March on July 1844 under the name Les Trois Mousquetaires.  The plot follows d’Artagnan who travels to Paris to join the musketeers.  When he is arrested along with the three musketeers they join forces to escape.  D’Artagnan falls in love with a woman called Constance and encounters Athos ex-wife Milady de Winter, who has been paid to kill the Duke of Buckingham who is having an affair with the Queen of France.  The musketeers, and d’Artagnan, must then defeat Milady before it’s too late.

On the 14th of October the latest Three Musketeers film will arrive at cinemas in stunning, and pointless, 3D.  The basic elements of the book are there, by which I mean the characters and the role that the characters play, but the plot is not exactly the same.  Normally things like that bother me, but with this being the twenty somethingth Musketeers movie, I think changes may just be a good thing.  Then again, a loyal fan may want to see the classic tale retold in 3D.  In this version, d’Artagnan joins forces with the three musketeers, who were famous but are currently down on their luck, to stop Milady and her employer from taking over France and starting a war.  As I said, it’s not the exact same plot, but it does have a lot of similar plot points.

The three musketeers will be played by Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson and Luke Evans.  Logan Lerman plays d’Artagnan and Milla Jovovich portrays Milady de Winter.  Paul W.S. Anderson, Jovovich’s Husband, is directing the film and congratulations to them for finally making a movie that their daughter can watch, but probably won’t want to.

Though it does not follow the exact plot of the book, the movie looks good.  It mixes action with comedy, but in a way that keeps the tone fairly serious.  It has a great range of actors and then Orlando Bloom for some reason.  The delivery of the lines is also great, it’s not always easy especially with one liners, but they appear to have done it with neatly.  Like most movie goers, I can’t see the point in having the 3D, but it is still the trend in Hollywood so we’ll just have to put up with the goofy glasses.  All things considered, this movie may be entertaining for an action/adventure fan, or for someone who is familiar with the source material, but if you don’t fit those categories you probably should give it a miss.

What do you think?  Is the plot being changed a good thing or a bad thing?  Do you like the cast?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe.