Ahhh yes I can still remember how stoked I was as a kid waaaay back in 1985 when John Byrne took over writing and drawing The Incredible Hulk for a far too short of a run. I was only 11 years old, but I seriously adored John Byrne, he was hands down my favorite comic book artist and The Hulk was my favorite comic book character. Byrne had been writing and drawing Alpha Flight, which of course I was a die hard fan of too, when he switched to full on Hulk mode with issue #314. I was thrilled!
I must have read that issue a hundred times and the cover itself couldn’t have been more awesome as it featured the Jade Giant in all of his Byrne-esque glory along with a gang of his deadliest villains behind him ready to start some shit. The Leader, Modok, The Rhino, Abomination & The Juggernaut! Byrne’s highly detailed artwork pushed The Hulk to new levels of awesomeness, the character was more massive than he’d ever been too. Though the villains on the cover end up being just part of Hulk’s over active imagination, the Byrne run fully made up for that with making Hulk-centric character Doc Samson one of, if not the main character of his short run. From that point in in Hulk history Doc Samson quickly became one of my favorite Marvel characters, the series also improved upon Doc’s costume, giving him a new one, ditching his classic but sorta awful lightning bolt suit he’d worn previously.
In the past we’d seen Samson tangle with the Hulk but never quite like this. I absolutely love how Byrne’s Hulk completely dwarf’s Samson in size like never before, yet he proves just how much of a bad ass the character really is with not only his brawn but also his brains. This issue is essentially one big fight between the two and begins with a more mindless version of the Hulk who’d been missing in another dimension called The Crossroads, exiled by Doctor Strange for over a year (those were great issues too!). Samson cleverly defeats The Hulk and makes Hulk history using his genius scientific intellect to actually separate Bruce Banner from The Hulk as two living breathing entities.
This was a great era of Hulk history and let’s face it John Byrne was easily one of the best comic book writers and artists of the 70’s & 80’s if not of all time. During this run he pumped out 8 issues, one being an awesome Marvel Fanfare where’s Byrne’s stunning artwork proved he was easily one of the best of all time when it came to drawing the jade giant. Another was The Hulk annual #14 which he wrote but master Hulk artist Sal Buscema drew. I love the Byrne era Hulk and apparently he’d had big plans for the series but was thwarted, there’s actually a great story about what went down here with the Byrne Hulk run for all of you Hulk-a-maniancs. Also check out ‘Incredible Hulk: Visionaries #1‘ Trade Paperback which features the whole output of Byrne 80’s Hulk. Ahhh those were the good ol’ days….
John Byrne had an amazing yet short run on The Incredible Hulk in 1985 and back then I was more than thrilled that he’d taken over the title as write AND artist! Byrne’s my favorite comic artist of all time and The Hulk my favorite superhero so this was to me a match made in heaven. Issue #314 was a great start and had great simplistic cover of the Jade Giant front & center along with some of his most devious villains! Yeah Modok too by Byrne is also a treat! Covers like this one prove that keeping it simple can be incredibly effective sometimes. I totally miss these awesome old school style Hulk stories. Today we have the Hulk killed off and replaced with the Totally awesome Hulk who’s alter ego is Amadeus Cho. Not a fan. I’m hoping someday Marvel can get back to what really worked for the Hulk and worry less about pandering to the mainstream narratives by changing their superheroes into other people. Ahhh…well at least I’ve got the classics to revisit!
Alright so there are a bout a billion reviews up online everywhere about the Amazing Spider-man 2, so I’m not going to spend a whole lot of energy here on this one. The movie really doesn’t need another review or any more hype at this point, but what the hell it’s my blog and I shelled out a Fandango gift card on it! Ok, so first let me state that my expectations weren’t very high for this one as I wasn’t a real big fan of the first flick. As I always do though, I try my best to go into a movie with an open mind. Besides this is Spidey we’re talking here, a guy I’ve loved dearly since being a lil’ whipper snapper!
I’m thinking now, that maybe if I’d seen this one as a little kid maybe my mind would have been blown. The Amazing Spider-man 2 is a huge ass movie. Two hundred million dollar budget. It’s close to two and a half hours long. It’s loud, flashy and jam packed with intertwining story lines. That’s my first problem with it, there’s too much going on. There’s too many subplots. The movie goes on a few too many tangents and then decides to go on a few more after that. Sony is clearly trying set up more movies (ala The Avengers syndrome) from this one and honestly it didn’t have a smooth flow to what should have been a nice tight knit compelling story.
Which leads me to my second problem, the writing. Spider-man 2 suffers from some seriously terd-tastic writing. Everything from Peter Parker’s stale on again off again relationship, to Paul Giamatti’s corny ass Rhino, to the awful Jamie Foxx Electro to Harry Osborn’s overnight meltdown. They’ve really managed to create some paper thin excuses for people to turn into supervillains these days. Foxx did his best with what he was given, but his dialogue was painful to watch and his reasoning for going evil was just plain uninspired. There was nothing believable about his character, I felt absolutely nothing for him nor cared of his motivations. His entire existence in the movie was rather idiotic to say the least.
Then we have The new Green Goblin, played by Dane Dehaan. He did quite a fine job in the role and clearly he’s got the acting chops. However his character’s motivations were also pretty flimsy. His all too quick transformation from good guy into an evil raving lunatic was a bit ridiculous. The prison scene where he recruits Electro to help him break into Oscorp was one of the worst team up moments I’ve ever seen on screen or in the comics. “You need ME? You need ME?!” Also I might note that once again I wasn’t a fan of the Goblin’s look onscreen. Sorry I just can’t get behind that robotic body armor schtick. It just well…sucks!
Lastly the action scenes, which there actually really weren’t that many of, were decently executed, but really took me out of the movie. It’s like watching a live action movie suddenly turn into Toy Story 2. The CGI in this flick was great, if the whole movie had been done that way (which they maybe should consider doing) and the last final Electro battle looked straight out of an Xbox game with not a real human actor in sight for at least over five minutes. No thank you. If I wanna watch a video game I’ll go play one at home.
On a good note I have grown to kinda like Garfield as Spidey. He’s a good actor and really did put his heart and soul into what he was given to work with. He’s a more convincing Spider-man, who’s really grown into the part. If someone could get a good script for a Spider-man film it’d be golden with him as Peter Parker. However what we get once again is an even more bloated, glittery, mindless mess of a summer blockbuster. That’s not to say I hated it, but I wouldn’t want to see it again. I like seeing images of Spider-man on a screen in front of me, but at best that’s about as far as this movie appeals to me. Oh yeah and what the fuck was that lame ass mid credit X-men advertisement?! The movie was called “The Amazing Spider-man 2” not “X-men: Days of Future Past” last time I checked….that was a low blow. Don’t do that again. Can we just hurry up on that Avengers sequel already?!!
So here I am again, weighing in on the the look of the movie version superheroes and villains-yes I know it seems these days that all I really can do is bitch about how lame all the comic characters look on the big screen! One character I’ve continued to have a big problem with is The Green Goblin! In my opinion one of the coolest looking villains in all comic books, rivaling that of the Joker. Let it be known I hated the Willem Dafoe power ranger Goblin’s get up. Terrible. Let it also be known that the Franco Goblin from Spider-man 3 was the worst piece of shit put to screen yet! So now we have yet another chance with the upcoming Amazing Spider-man 2 to finally get the Green Goblin right!
I’ve already bitched about how he looked so far from the pictures that have been released for the new film, though the images were small of the Goblin it still looked like an uninspired pile of green Hollywood horse shit! However today they released a new close up of Dane DeHaan as The Green Goblin:
While it’s still isn’t a great representation of the iconic villain. I have to say it’s maybe the best version we have seen on the big screen so far. At the very least he looks kinda like a goblin right? I mean he’s still not green, and he still has same the typical Hollywood battle armor that we see it seems in every movie these days but at least he looks kinda creepy? My hope is that he continues to “mutate” in the movie, maybe his skin turns green, his nose grows even longer and then he suddenly gets the urge to throw on some purple duds and the ol’ purple Goblin hat! I know, that’s not going to happen, but a guy can dream right? At the very least they didn’t make him a fully CG character. The pic above does give me some hope though…
I have a feeling that this second movie is going to be a bit of a disaster. Electro certainly doesn’t thrill me and DON’T even get me started on this thing they are calling The Rhino!! Hollywood just doesn’t get it, mainly because they are trying to appeal to a much larger group of people than just us comic book fanatics. So the chances these days that you’re favorite superhero/super villain is gonna look like a full on tool is incredibly likely in this day & age….
Still I take every chance I can get to show what The Green Goblin originally was planned to look like back in the Sam Raimi days, I guess this design just looked too much like…..The Green Goblin?!! Uggh….
So there’ve been some new pics from the set of Spider-man 2 and of course I’ve been pretty stoked on the idea of Paul Giamatti playing The Rhino for quite some time now. However the other day we got a teaser into his supposed “costume” or make up or in this case……Mech Armor?!! Ugggh…how I loathe these comic book movies more and more every day! I am sorry but THIS is not what The Rhino is supposed to look like people!
This however is:
Understand why I am so irate?! So what the hell gives here? What is this shitty mechanical looking bullshit they’re trying to pass as The Rhino?! Is the new trend making all the bad guys wear mech armor these days (ie The Silver Samurai in the upcoming Wolverine movie)? If so I ain’t down with that! Haven’t we learned enough from the Willem Dafoe Green Goblin from the first Spider-man? Why bring an iconic villain into another movie and not stay true to the source material/look? Hell create a new villain, have Giamatti play him, dress him up in mech armor and call him the fucking Hippo? How about that? That would actually be better than ruining yet another rad villain for the silver screen….
p.s. On the off chance that Giamatti is just Robotech-in’ around and this is NOT the Rhino’s actual look I apologize. But these days I don’t have much faith left in Hollywood to do any justice to our comic book characters…