Tagged: death

R.I.P. Comic Book Legend, Len Wein….

Today we got the sad news that comic book legend Len Wein passed away at the age of 69. Len was most well know for co-creating The Swamp Thing, X-Men’s Colossus, Storm, Night Crawler oh and another character you might know… yeah, just a guy called ‘Wolverine’.

Those are some serious heavyweights. He worked closely with the likes of Berni Wrightson & Alan Moore as well on The Watchmen. He made an incredible footprint in the world of comics, thanks Len for all of the amazing adventures you’ve taken us all on…RIP

 

 

 

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Archangel Disappoints in New X-men: Apocalypse Trailer!

I really don’t like to be negative here at Universal Dork but having seen the new X-men: Age of Apocalypse trailer, the one character I was most stoked on seeing in this movie has suddenly become the biggest disappointment of the first trailer.

Archangel

Archangel is hands down one of my favorite characters in the Marvel universe, when Angel made the transformation into this character in the 80’s he became one of the most deadly X-men of all time. One who could suddenly go toe to toe with the likes of Wolverine and Sabretooth. Warren Worthington had such a cool look too that really separated him from the cute, cuddly, handsome look of the classic Angel.

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Well it seems that Bryan Singer decided to keep Warren looking like the beautiful blonde Angel (with a bad hair cut to boot) in the role of Acrhangel rather than the dark deadly blue skinned killing machine he’s been portrayed as in the comic books. He looked even more sinister when he joined the ranks of X-Force not too long ago.

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This is a minor gripe, if you’re not a huge fan of the character but Archangel’s story is quite compelling too and goes hand in hand with Apocalypse. His physical transformation is incredibly important to the potency of the characters emotionally dark & heavy backstory.

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Warren was transformed into freaky looking killing machine and had to come to terms with his odd appearance, he was no longer the handsome angelic superhero everyone had always been so fond of.

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So yeah, I’m a bit disappointed with this movie version of Archangel, I like his wings and his suit is decent, but once again Hollywood for some reason has tried to fix something that was never broken. It seems we’ve just got to keep the sex appeal of the star in a Hollywood movie rather than stay true to his comic origins. I’ve still got high hopes for this movie however the excitement around Archangel has died..

 

 

R.I.P. Rowdy Roddy Piper!!

Some sad news hit us today as we have just learned Roddy Piper Passed away unexpectedly today from cardiac arrest. Roddy was a legend as a wrestler and also as an actor, starring in some of my favorite popcorn flicks like ‘Hell Comes to Frogtown’ and ‘They Live’.

Piper was only 61 years old too and from what I understand has several movies set to be released and a few he was still working on. One I’d been most excited for is ‘Portal to Hell‘ which I covered here a while back as well as a few other movies in post production ‘The Chair’, ‘Green Fairy’ and ‘Betting on Baker’ which I’m going to have to do a little investigating on now.

He also this year, had a cool graphic novel released Rowdy ‘Roddy Piper: Monster Killer’ that I need to check out and also his popular podcast called Piper’s Pit he’s been doing for quite some time now. So a sad moment as he was a legend and had so much more to offer us all. He was a big part of my childhood as my favorite pro wrestling villain of all time! You’ll be missed Roddy! Check these out for some classic Piper! The first one is pretty awesome, the pilot for the TV show “Tag Team” which a lot of people never even knew existed!

 

The Death Of Wolverine #2: The Best There Is? Hardly…

The Death of Wolverine #2  is a comic book I’ve really been looking forward to for the last week! I was super impressed with the first issue even though it was five bucks and had a bunch of useless filler, it felt in part like the old Wolverine stories I used to love! So issue two continues the story in the classic setting of Madripoor- One of my favorite places in the Marvel Universe! There we meet a disguised Logan (“hipster Logan”, I personally would have preferred “Patch”instead) who’s been hanging out there for weeks looking for Viper, with some valuable merchandise for sale. This leads Logan to an odd encounter with several villains from his past. Sounds cool huh?

 

Well I don’t wanna spoil anything but it all seems a bit too forced. We’ve got important characters that disappear from the pages of the story as fast as they appear. Maybe this series needed to be a six or eight parter instead of four? It already is feeling a bit rushed, issue #2 feels quite a bit different from the first. I would have liked to have seen at least two issues of Madripoor and now it appears at the end of this issue we are off to yet another “classic” locale.

The story at issue two has lost it’s flow and lost my interest substantially. I get it now, they’re trying to cram as many classic characters into this four part series as possible and it seems issue three is likely to continue doing the same. Considering that how large the panels per page are in this series so far (a lot of panels simply divide up on single drawing into multiples) it’s likely that we’re not going to get the quality story telling we’d thought we were promised with issue number one. I’m on board for the last two though, I could easily be proven wrong and might be simply dazzled by the last two.

However, with issue number two and it’s rather paper thin plot, uninspired and unnecessary fight sequences and  mish mash of random classic characters coming and going I’m starting to think it’s hard to make Wolverine interesting anymore for more than a single issue. At least McNiven’s art is still beautifully rendered. Oh yeah this issue is also 5 bucks and jam packed with a bunch of dull extras that somehow Marvel thinks justify the high cover price.  What I predict we’re in store for is a rushed storyline that could have been amazing. If they don’t pull this off correctly I doubt anyone will be be anticipating Wolverine’s return from the dead anytime soon…

Erista: The Last Mysterious Thing About Wolverine!!

With all of this talk about the death of Wolverine lately it’s got many people debating the true motivations behind Marvel’s decision to “off” him. Some people think it’s a dick move by Marvel to screw over Fox for having the rights to the character theatrically. Others think more to the obvious, that Wolverine has been turned into a boring, over exploited, cash-cow character by Marvel. As I said yesterday, he was once the most mysterious character perhaps in comic book history. There’s not much left to the imagination anymore regarding Logan, not many interesting stones left unturned in his past. However I’d like to bring to light something that we touched upon a few years back here that’s quite interesting. Logan’s other son “Erista”! Nope we’re not talking about that brat Daken. We’re talking about another kid that “dead beat dad” Logan has running around the Savage Land! Many people forget about a one shot by Mike Mignola called “The Jungle Adventure” from 1989.

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This saw Wolverine escaping his troubles in the Savage Land, because back in the 1980’s when Wolverine was interesting he’d do cool shit like this. There he met an amazonian woman named Ghack and they got busy right there in the Jungle, of course this happened when Wolverine was still a rad dude before he started hanging out at the Avengers mansion with Tony Stark drinking cocktails. So Ghack has a child named Erista, son of Wolverine. Of course Wolverine splits and never checks back to see if he got  Ghack pregnant, maybe not such a cool move, but well I guess that’s how he rolled back then.

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Strangely we have never seen or heard from Erista or Ghack since! Nope just this one issue ever addresses the issue. It’s hard to believe that Marvel hasn’t exploited the living shit outta his long lost son by now! I say with Wolverine soon to kick the bucket we finally get the scoop on this guy! What the hell has he been up to? Is he still roaming around the Savage Land? Perhaps he’s a character we’ve already met-who’s simply unaware that Logan is his father? Shouldn’t he meet his douchey brother Daken one of these days? I think this is a missed opportunity Marvel-you could cash in big time with Erista! At the very least it’s something that legitimately remains one of the last truly mysterious things about Wolverine’s past…

So that baby is Wolverine’s son Erista, we’ve never seen or heard anything about him since 1989-what the hell happened to this guy?!!

The Death of Wolverine #1: Review

The deaths of major comic book characters have been a big trend for a long time. It usually happens when a major character becomes boring. We all know that boring most likely means that the character has been over exploited, to make money and finally because we’ve seen them so often every month in multiple titles that they just get stale. They become a weak, pale version of what used to make them so cool. Usually sales decline and comic companies start trying to figure out new ways to make the character popular again, one of the ways to generate some excitement again is to “kill” the character. This will get news online, in papers and probably on tv and generate interest and interest means dollars. This is what has happened to our once mysterious, mean mutant berzerker, Wolverine.

Let me first say, Wolverine used to be the coolest damn character ever. He was mysterious, he was a loner, he hung out at bars and got wasted, he killed people and he didn’t give a fuck what anyone thought about him. His past was a mystery and we all so desperately wanted to know who he was. Over the years his popularity grew, he was in movies, a ton of cartoons and was in dozens of comic books every month. His past was over explained, and what we all found out about him didn’t quite measure up to what we had hoped for. He was no longer a loner, he became headmaster at Xavier’s school, he appeared in dozens of X-titles. He even joined the god damn Avengers! Wolverine was officially corporate in every way. He started hanging out with Captain America for crying out loud-taking orders from SHIELD etc, ect! Everyone’s fav mutant  was no longer mysterious, he was drawn more as a handsome, dashing superhero instead of a mean little hairy runt with fucked up weird ass hair. Wolverine was officially boring. A tough thing to accomplish honestly.

So now here we are, Marvel is trying the whole “Death” stunt with Logan. Let’s face it people, you have nothing to fear. Wolverine is not really dead. He’s worth too much money. Marvel does want us to miss the guy though. So I figure he’ll be gone for about a year and we’ll see him pop back up in some really ridiculous way(this will again maybe make some more money-the return of Wolverine!). But for the moment let’s just let ourselves be shocked-okay? So issue number one is actually quite impressive I must say. It’s a pretty neat little story here that’s bound to get incredibly brutal and bloody by it’s finish. Steve McNiven is easily one of my favorite current comic book artists and his work shines here.

 

The story is quite simple. Wolverine has lost his healing factor, he’s hiding out and there’s a bounty on his head. It seems that super powered killers are hot on his trail and the first real threat to arrive is Nuke, the star spangled psycho, who’s dead set on collecting some big time money. What we get here is a no holds barred classic Wolverine story, much like the ones I used to love as a teenager. There’s a pretty amazingly brutal sequence when Nuke and Wolverine go head to head, and I mean that literally that you’re not likely to forget any time soon. I’m on board with this one as it looks and feels much like the stories that they should have been telling all along.

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I’m also looking forward to his return to Madripoor(hinted at the end of the issue), as well as seeing who else shows up to take out Wolverine. Razorfist? Wildchild? Bloodscream? Lady Deathstrike? Omega Red? I only hope it’s not Sabretooth. That guy should have stayed dead, having him kill Wolverine might be a little to cliche, though it’s certainly a strong possibility after reading issue number one. Let’s hope when they do bring Logan back from the dead, and they will, they give him one solo and one X-men book to star in. Use Logan wisely and make him more of what he used to be before. A lone wolf.

Lastly my complaints!! Okay this issue is $4.99, infact the other Marvel title I bought today was $4.99 as well, if this becomes the going rate of new weekly comic books I’m fucking outta here. This issue, though quite enjoyable was pretty thin on story. The panels keep getting bigger most pages only contain four panels, some three, some two and several full pagers. It’s got a two page splash as well.

This issue took me about five minutes to read. It looks thick, but it’s full of “Extras” a ton of random panel sketches, the “directors cut” which narrates what McNiven is supposed to draw each panel and five page interview with Co-creator Len Wein. Basically a bunch of stuff that should have been put online for free. For $4.99 an issue these comic book companies better bring MORE to the table. More story, bigger page count, and maybe smaller panels. This should have been a double sized issue. I think it’s time for the big two to pony up and give us readers more bang for our buck! I can’t afford FIVE dollar comic books every week nor do I want to spend that on any new comic book. What do you think?

Sweethaven: The Real Life Popeye Village! RIP Robin..

It was very sad news yesterday hearing of the passing of Robin Williams, in a weird way he felt like he was a friend though i never met him. He seemed like a kind soul and it’s always so sad when someone takes their own life. When I was a child just six years old my mother took me to see the Popeye movie, Robin’s first starring role. I had already been a HUGE fan of Popeye as a child and seeing Williams brings him to life was truly a memory for me that I still cherish. I remember the day perfectly still. So last night I decided I would put on my Popeye dvd and it’s still just as charming in 2014.

One thing that I noticed again that simply amazed me was the setting and the sets that were used on this film. It’s such an incredibly beautiful landscape and the actual village that Popeye lands in is simply one of the most unique film settings I have ever seen. It dawned on me, what should have been very obvious, that the village of Sweethaven as it’s called in the movie must have been a real place! This was not a CGI creation and today you would most likely never see something like this in any movie. What’s more impressive is that this place was created by a film crew!

Here’s some info from Amusing Planet:

“When Walt Disney and Paramount Pictures decided to make a movie based on the popular cartoon strip Popeye, the production team picked the opened faced Anchor Bay in the north-west corner of the Mediterranean island of Malta, two miles from the village of Mellieħa, as location for Popeye’s fictional village of Sweethaven.

 

Construction of the film set started in June 1979. A construction crew of 165 worked over seven months building the village as described by the comic strip’s creator E.C. Segar. Nineteen authentic wooden buildings were built from hundreds of logs and several thousand wooden planks imported from the Netherlands, while wood shingles used in the construction of the roof tops were imported from Canada. Eight tons of nails and two thousand gallons of paint were consumed in construction. In addition, a 200–250 foot breakwater was built around Anchor Bay’s mouth to protect the set from high seas during the shooting.

 

This is the Popeye village today in 2014!

This is the Popeye village today in 2014!

Today the movie set is open to the public as an open-air museum and family entertainment complex. Aside from the village itself, there are boat trips around Anchor Bay, audio-visual shows which includes clips from the actual film and the set’s construction, water trampolines, mini golf, and other games and fun activities.”

I don’t know about you but suddenly I feel the urge to explore Malta and visit the Popeye village myself….amazing…check out the official Popeye village website!