Books/Comics, News

New Name for New Iron Man

Marvel is preparing to release their new Iron Man series, following woman lead Riri Williams. While discussing the new alias for the character they settled on Ironheart. They didn’t like the idea of naming her Iron Woman, that it would come off as old fashioned and negative to some readers. The choice to go with heart seemed to fit for many involved with the project. As fans will know, saving his heart was the reasoning for Tony Stark to first start on the path to being Iron Man. While Riri’s backstory is obviously different from Tony’s matters of the heart will remain a central theme with the comics. Writer Brian Michael Bendis said that the alias seemed perfect to everyone involved when they thought of it, and readers will likely respond the same way as well. The first issue will be out sometime this fall.

Books/Comics, News

New Ghost Rider Comic On It’s Way

The new Ghost Rider is being worked on, and is scheduled to release sometime this November. Tradd Moore who worked on the last installment of Ghost Rider will be returning to work on some backstory for the first issue of the new Ghost Rider. As this is Robbie Reyes story it will also continue with Ghost Rider being a muscle car driver, as opposed to a biker. This apparently coincides with the Agents of SHIELD version of the character. The muscle car version of Ghost Rider will also bring a few design changes, including the flames on his head being nitro-fueled exhausts. We know that Totally Awesome Hulk, and Laura “Wolverine” Kinney will make appearances in the comics. Sadly there is no other story information on the character, but we will bring you more news as it becomes available.

Books/Comics, News

Jack Burton and Snake Plissken to Meet Up in the Comic World

Jack Burton from Big Trouble in Little China, and Snake Plissken from Escape from New York are set to appear in a cross over comic from Boom! Studios. Both characters were famously played by Kurt Russell, and the movies they were in were directed by John Carpenter. The actual story for the cross over is unknown, but it is pretty exciting for fans of both comics and the cult films that will appear. John Carpenter himself gave the comic his blessing, however no word from Russell as to how he feels about the crossover. If you are interested in checking it out the comic will release in October of this year.

Books/Comics, News

The Killing Joke Limited Theater Run

The extremely popular, but dark Batman: The Killing Joke has been turned into an animated feature. It will be shown at San Diego Comic-Con, but those that can’t make it will have a chance to see it in Theaters. Fathom Events will have a one night run of the movie at select theaters nation wide. Showtimes will be 7:30pm or 10:00pm (local time zone). As it will be treated as a special event in addition to the movie will be a behind the scenes look at Mark Hamill’s involvement with Batman as The Joker, and an introduction from Mark Hamill himself. Aside from comic fans being hyped to see The Killing Joke turned movie, it’s also gotten buzz for putting Bruce Timm back in the producers chair and bringing back Kevin Conroy as The Dark Knight himself. If you want to try to get tickets for the event check out Fathom’s Website where you can also sign up for an email reminder. For those unable to make the event the movie will release on Blu-Ray and DVD August 2nd 2016.

Books/Comics, News

Netflix, BBC, and Boyega Teaming Up for Watership Down

For those that don’t know Watership Down is a classic novel that follows the story of anthropomorphised rabbits and their adventures to establish their new home in the world. While a children’s book it features a lot of darker themes, including the cruelty of man, and a number of violent scenes. They might be bunnies, but they are bunnies as people have never seen them before. The book was first adapted in the 1970s into a movie. The movie received mixed reactions because of the level of violence it featured, despite being “a kid’s movie”. However Netflix and BBC are teaming up for a four part animated series for the book. While representative have said that the dark themes of the book will have their place in series, they will work to not make the new series as violent as some past adaptations have been. In addition to these announcements, it’s also been confirmed that John Boyega will be voicing Bigwig the rabbit. Boyega is of course most known for his role as Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The series is set to premier on BBC One and Netflix sometime next year. We are actually really excited to hear about this new adaptation, and will bring you more news in the future.

Books/Comics, Movies

Book vs Movie: Jurassic Park

It’s no secret that I love books. I also happen to have a deep love of movies. In this series I would like to compare books (and in some cases comic books) to their movie counter part. Now while I tend to lean more towards “the book does it better” I would like to examine both and give the pros and cons of both. So book vs movie, Jurassic Park. I would like to state that I am comparing the first book with the first movie only. Also be warned as with most of this series there are major spoilers coming up.

What the book does better

I am going to land almost completely on the side of the movie with this one. The movie is better in almost every single way. To me there are a few major things that the book got right.

Henry Wu is less of an idiot

I am not a huge fan of the way that Henry is shown in the movie. He is actually almost completely cut out. His big moments are to be shocked that Malcolm believes that life will find a way, and to shrug off the concerns about the nature of the park. He is a scientist and the chief geneticist for this whole thing, surely he has more concerns than that?

In the book he actually does. He doesn’t seem concerned with the idea of the dinosaurs breeding (something I consider a major plot hole in both) but he is actually concerned with the nature of the park. He fights with Hammond more than once about the fact that they should use their engineering to make the park more safe. He doesn’t actually agree with the idea of just bringing the dinosaurs back as they are and then throwing them into a park. He believes to his core in the idea of changing the dinosaurs and this makes sense. It brothers me in the movie that no one, until the three outsiders show up, seems to say “hey this could go wrong”.

Ian Malcolm is a more important character

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They vaguely mention in the movie that Malcolm knows about the park prior to the three arriving on the island with the lawyer, but then he kind of takes a back seat. He says a lot of very clever things like again “life will find a way” but he’s not speaking as an expert. He is a mathematician basically. Not biologist, geneticist, etc. His actually very astute statements are easier to brush off because he seems to be an outsider with all the experts. Smart, yes, but not in a field directly related to what is going on.

The book is a little better with dealing with his character. Malcolm not only sort of knows what’s happening at the park, but he is given a lot of prior information and he knows it will go wrong. He runs multiple tests, makes many charts, and he knows without a doubt that this park is bad. He comes not just with a charming personality and clever statements but with a lot more to back it up. Most of his stuff is likely left out because it’s a little dry. However it’s nice to see him with more authority.

Dennis Nedry is less of a bad guy

Next to Henry actually using his brain, Nedry’s story is the other most important thing in the book missing from the movie. Let me state that Hammond is a jerk in the book, there’s no other way to look at it. He ignores the experts over and over telling him he’s wrong, he doesn’t make the park for the stirring reasons he tells Ellie in the movie, he is just a jerk. This is shown best with Nedry. Dennis is given a lot of misinformation when he started building the parks security, once he finds out he says he needs more money which Hammond says he will not give. When Dennis comes back and tells Hammond flat out that it’s impossible on his budget to create a safe park Hammond pulls out contracts and then not only makes Dennis continue to work at his quoted price but makes him pay out of his own pocket for the extra expenses. Even with all of this Dennis still tells Hammond many times that the park is simply not safe enough. Dennis is broke, over worked, going into further debt because Hammond won’t pay for his own park, and doing an impossible job. The guy being angry enough to shut down the park and steal embryos makes a lot more sense.

It’s safe to say that not even the book tries to paint Dennis Nedry in a truly innocent light, but it does go a lot further to explain why he was pushed to such drastic actions. Not only that but he’s significantly less “whatever happens happens” about the whole thing. He really does believe that he can get the park back online fast enough that no one will be hurt. This is not really shown in the movie, the consequences for his actions don’t even seem to register in the movie version of Dennis.

What the movie does better

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John Hammond is likable

This goes against two things I found the book did better. Had Hammond been the same character in the book that he was in the movie he might have actually listened to Henry and Dennis. Either way though, it’s a lot more enjoyable to watch a likable Hammond. His reasons for creating the park are touching, his worry over the people dying is refreshing, and he doesn’t come off as some jerk who ignores experts. He seems to love his park, love his grand kids, and has his own childlike sense of wonder. He doesn’t just play charming well (as he does in the book), he actually is charming.

Tim and Lex are split up

The wording of that might be confusing so let me explain. Basically the two in the movie are just combined into Tim in the book. Lex is still a character in the book but she’s about five years old and offers nothing. She is constantly getting them in more danger, dead weight, annoying, just fear fodder. Tim retains his love and knowledge about dinosaurs, but he is also a computer expert, can really help himself in tight spots, and is all around a perfect kid. It’s annoying.

Tim and Lex taking what is best about Tim in the book and putting them into two characters in the movie is smart. We do away completely with the young child who does nothing but screams and cries. Each character comes with their own strengths and weaknesses. Lex is more likely to get them in danger (still) because she is more afraid. She is also quick, smart, and good with computers. Tim is weak in things like speed and climbing, but is still smart and helpful. They come off as more believable and you don’t have one helpful kid and one that’s just dead weight. Instead you have two developed characters that bring both problems and solutions to the table.

Fewer dinosaurs but better BIG scenes

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The book has more dinosaurs featured, and more intense moments as a result. They start to feel a bit meh after awhile though. While timing and budget is most likely the reason for the dinosaurs being cut down in the movie, it still works well. The T-Rex entrance and kitchen scene in the movie are both brilliant and unforgettable. The first big reveal of Jurassic Park, and the scene with the triceratops are touching and a little breath taking the first time you see them. All and all the “less is more” thought process works out well in the movie.

The ending

Major spoilers if you haven’t read the book, but the end of the book is depressing. Malcolm and Hammond both die, and the survivors are stuck. They are rescued by the Costa Rican government but are informed that they will probably never go home. They don’t work, they have no purpose, they are just stuck. Grant and Ellie spend their days taking care of Lex and Tim but are told that eventually the children will go home. Meanwhile Grant and Ellie get to celebrate surviving the island by spending the rest of their life in limbo, they aren’t really under arrest but they certainly aren’t free.

Bottomline

I come down on the side of the movie every time with this one. I enjoyed the book well enough, and do like that it adds a bit more science. However, at the end of the day the movie is just more entertaining.

Books/Comics

5 Reasons You Have To Read Transmetropolitan

Previously published on geekspective.net, a no longer active site, written by Megan E. Pearson

Transmetropolitan ran from 1997-2002 and can be found in trade paperback format. It follows the story of Spider Jerusalem, gonzo journalist, and his “filthy assistants” (as he calls them). Spider is forced back into “The City” in order to produce some works after spending all of his advance without producing a book. His quest is to be an honest journalist, and he tries to avoid the fame that he has earned over the years. It is one of the best stories that I have ever read, and here is why everyone else should add it to their “to read list”.

Spider Jerusalem is Amazing

 

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Really he is a hero regardless of the fact that it’s not a cape and cowl comic, and well that he’s not really a hero. I mean he is a tribute to Hunter S. Thompson, that on it’s own should sing his praises. Spider is on a quest to discover and report the truth. He wants to separate himself from the sensationalized news, and make sure that everything he is covering is a story worth being covered. In the process of doing so he may or may not use a bowel disruptor gun, and could arguable be called a little crazy (completely mad). He is an entertaining protagonist that you enjoy following, and his quest is ultimately a noble one. He balances an insane belief that he needs to do the right thing with his own bitter belief that it doesn’t really matter. He is both depressing and highly entertaining. Simply put, more characters need to be as compelling as Spider Jerusalem.

The Art and Setting is Insane

The graphic novel is set in The City, in a futuristic world. The City is filled with many different types of people and classes. While following Spider you see more and more of The City and realize how complex it is. There are various areas both nice and barely livable. The City paints a very realistic look at the stark differences between how people live based on their circumstances. In addition to being complex it’s also interesting to look at. The background for Spider on his journey is compelling story wise and compelling to look at. Each time you flip through the pages you will see things you missed the last time. The detail and effort put into creating this mega-city cannot be overstated enough. Since it is such a large place it also means that the reader won’t get bored as more of the city is painted on the journey.

It’s Extremely Well Written

Transmetropolitan balances a few different writing styles. There is the conversational tone, as well as Spider’s own writing. Spider is extremely well written, and every time the reader is treated to his insights it is captivating. Yet the way the story is told is a different writing style, but still just as good. This keeps Spider’s own writing separate from the core of the story so that both stand out and neither get flat. The graphic novel also manages to be accessible to many people without dumbing down it’s style.

It Balances Being Funny and Dramatic

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Moments of Transmetropolitan will have the reader rolling over laughing, then it will have you wiping tears. The story in and of itself is dramatic and rather depressing more often than not. It’s not wrapped in a completely hopeless or lost package though. The humor that comes from Spider’s over the top antics helps the reader to keep going without being pulled down into a depression. It’s all at once heartbreak and inspiring, hilarious, and tear jerking. The balance used is nothing to scoff at. The overall drama could have easily gotten lost in humor, or the humor could have felt misplaced in such an important story. Instead though it’s balanced and entertaining.

It is Relevant

The need for more honesty in the media is something that we deal with every day. More and more the news has become sensationalized and biased. It’s impossible to really tell what information we are being fed that is real, and what is covered in personal opinion. It’s also hard to know what stories we are missing because they simply aren’t being covered. Transmetropolitan is, if nothing else, about the destruction of that. It’s about the need to report the truth regardless of how the ones reporting it feel about it, and about the desire to make sure all the important stories are being covered.