Monday, May 31, 2010

Comic Book Review: Secret Avengers

I''ll spare the introductions and get right down to the review. Why? This book is DAMN good, and it's worth checking out! If you thought Avengers #1 made an impression, think again!

Secret Avengers #1
Written By: Ed Brubaker
Illustrated By: Mike Deodato

The Heroic Age has begun, and with it comes a lot of changes for the Avengers.

Steve Rogers is the new top cop of the world, giving him the authority to do what he wants and whatever he wants for the betterment of mankind. In assuming his new office under the mandate of the US President, the Superhuman Registration Act has been abolished permanently, giving the heroes of the world a reprieve and the freedom to do what they do best without the government hounding their backs - saving lives. Rogers has even officially reformed the Avengers, and under his watch, the world is now in safer hands.

That, however, is only one of many steps the former Captain America has taken to ensure public safety. In the wake of Norman Osborn's Dark Reign and seeing the horrors unleashed by villains right under their noses, Captain Steve Rogers has decided to organize a "Secret Avengers" group to work behind the scenes and prevent disasters from happening. Selecting some of the best and unlikeliest heroes to join his shadow ops team, their first mission together draws them to a mystery that will test their abilities thoroughly and lead to a confrontation with an unlikely enemy they could never have guessed coming.

Steve Rogers. War Machine. Beast. Moon Knight. Nova. Valkyrie. Black Widow. Ant-Man. Sharon Carter

With a bad-ass team like that working undercover, who says the new "Public Avengers" are the most powerful force ever assembled? I think that's highly debatable, and even before they respond to certain threats around the globe, this team may get the job done ahead of them and all that'll be left is the clean up work. I say, this is a brilliant concept from Marvel, and despite my reservations at first to resume collecting multiple Avengers titles, this one in particular drew me back since it's Ed Brubaker handling the writing duties here. The guy responsible for making Captain America such an awesome series is right at his element here, with espionage, intrigue,. and stealth games making this book so compelling to read. Also, he's paired with talented artist Mike Deodato, whose pencils fit well here just as it did in Dark Avengers. Everything about this book shoots awesome and epic all over, and it would take a stubborn man to realize that this is a sleeper hit.

Forget about silly notions that Steve Rogers isn't Captain America now. He's in his element here, and it's fun to see how he works outside the uniform and shield. He's selected people, some veterans of the original and West Coast Avengers team, while others are newbies and fresh faces who have been given the opportunity to redeem and prove themselves for the sake of mankind. I like the roster here, and unlike Bendis' work on the other Avengers titles. Brubaker makes this one more fun by adding sweet flowing dialogue that's neither too wordy nor too wacky to understand. The story itself feels dark and complex ala Wildcats, and that's a great change to the usual Avengers dynamic we're all used to seeing - running and charging to beat the bad guys and saving the day. You know things aren't going to be simple when it involves spy work, and those worries are justified when a mystery forces the team to go interplanetary... with a pretty suprising threat looming behind them, as the last page of the first issue can attest.

If this book is all about stealth tactics and preemptive measures the heroes take to ensure that they're one step ahead of evil, it'll be interesting to see how things will turn out as the series moves forward. How exactly will these "Secret Avengers" fare in their first mission? Hard to say, and that's how I like it. Everything here, from story to presentation, makes Secret Avengers a class A bookl that's best left witnessing with your own eyes. If you thought you knew what makes the Avengers "Avengers", think again! Check this one out!

Rating - 10/10

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Captain America Update: First Details On The Movie Costume! has just put up a post detailing what fans and moviegoers can expect from Captain America's costume in the movie "Captain America: The First Avenger"! The film's director, Joe Johnston, has shown new designs of Cap's classic iconic wear to the people of, and while there's no official details or photos released or given by Johnston yet, the interviewers have noted and described what they've seen in great detail... and it sounds great already!
As seen in their post, Marvelousnews goes on to compile some handy and SPOILER filled information about how Cap's costume is gonna look like in the 2011 Marvel flick. The notes reveal that Steve Rogers will have two costumes to wear in the movie - his first WWII era uniform and the upgraded battle ready costume, respectively. Also, the trademark wings on the side of his mask will be gone though, and instead of a mask, it's going to be a custom combat helmet shaped to be made into a mask with the A symbol over it. As for the shield, it'll be the iconic red, white, and blue circular one, with a few tweaks to it I guess. I'm hoping he starts with the triangular one first though, to make his old school "first appearance" look complete.

Judging from what I've heard so far, the portrayal of Cap in the film adaptation will be more realistic than stylish. Here's hoping it'll still look epic once official production photos and footage get released! For more info, visit

Captain America: The First Avenger opens on July 22, 2011!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Iron Baby!

I'm fan of all things Iron Man... and THIS just needs to be seen to to believe! A spoof like no other that has even caught the eye of Iron Man director/ actor Jon Favreau! Ladies and Gents, here's French Canadian director Patrick Boivin's "Iron Baby"! Check it out!

Iron Baby!

Watch out for armor and diapers! Here comes the baby wonder!

Farewell, Gary Coleman...

I just read the news in CNN.
Another legendary talent from my early TV Sitcom memories has passed away. To pay tribute to his memory, here is a video depicting of his most famous lines ever:

"What'choo talkin''bout Willis" - Gary Coleman as Arnold Jackson in Diff'rent Strokes

And let's not forget the intro to that show:

Diff'rent Strokes Intro

Rest In Peace, Mr. Gary Coleman. You will be missed by many around the world.:(

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tekken 7 Is Coming!

Everybody thought the Iron Fist was over. Think again!

A Eurogamer post reports that
in a conference in Madrid, Tekken series Director Katsuhira Harada announced that Tekken 7 was in the early stages of production! Yes, the seventh installment of The King Of Iron Fist Tournament is coming, and even with no details up yet, you can bet that it will continue the saga and bring back fan favorite characters and introduce new ones in the sequel! As for the narrative, it will definitely continue the Mishima bloodline storyline, which ended in a cliffhanger scene in the last game, Tekken 6. If one follows the Tekken Force story mode starring Lars and Alessa, the endings shows Raven's organization finding the unconscious body of Jin Kazama in the sandy remains of Azazel's temple, after the young CEO of the Mishima Zaibatsu gave his life to end the demon's threat to the world once and for all. How Namco plans to take the story along from there is beyond me, but it's a sure bet that we'll be seeing Jin again... or at least his fate in the announced sequel.

On a sad note, Tekken 7 will be the first game in the series that the late Daisuke Gori will not be present in. It will be sad to see a game without the original voice of Heihachi, but if they decide to recast the role or reuse his existing audio clips, let's hope it pays tribute to the actor's work on the character at least.

Tekken 7 is currently in production. Stay tuned for more details!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Marvel Vs Capcom 3 Update: Juicy New Preview Images!

Blasting away with style, epicness, and Beserker Barrage, Capcom has released new in-game pictures of their upcoming smash hit VS sequel, Marvel Vs Capcom 3! Kotaku has a post up of the juicy new images, and it's looking mighty good so far! In fact, familiar moves have returned, including Iron Man's mega ultra cool hyper combo, PROOOOTTOOONNN CANNON!!!

SUPERIOR TECH IS BACK! Oh, and let's not forget Chris Redfield! Here's Resident Evil's badass good guy holding his own in the frontlines... against The Hulk of all people!

You can check out more of the pics in Kotaku! Can't wait for MvC3!

Movie Review: Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time

With the swift moves and grace that befalls a great Persian warrior, I was lucky enough to get invited by my friend Mark to the advance screening of one of this summer’s most anticipated action films – Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time. Based on the series of games created by Jordan Mechner, this film is an adaptation of the classic 2003 video game, which was a reimagination of the franchise and a blockbuster hit on its own right. Having experienced and played that game myself, it was a no brainer decision that I had to see this movie. However, from experience watching films based on video games, I kept my reservations on, since there was bound to be deviations to the plot that normally reflects the “Hollywood treatment” given to adaptations like these. My hunch proved right, and many things about the PoP movie is far different compared to the game I played during my college years. Still, it does make use of the main theme – which is the Prince acquiring the Dagger Of Time and doing what he can to right wrongs, save the princess, and survive at the same time.

Movie: Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arteton, Sir Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina

Directed By: Mike Newell

From the poster itself, one who has played the 3D PoP games would be deceived to believe that the movie is a direct adaptation of The Sands Of Time game. Heck, since the Prince and the Dagger of Time were fleshed out in the one sheet, it looks mighty convincing that it is the game turned into a live action movie. This is far from the truth though, and like I said, only certain elements and the main theme of “Prince-Dagger-Princess” were carried over. What makes this iteration of Prince Of Persia different is that the Prince actually has a name – Prince Dastan, who is played by Jake Gyllenhaal. The 2003 video game never divulged his identity other than characters simply referring to him as “The Prince”, and that’s one air of mystery no longer present in the movie. Aside from this, Dustan is actually an orphaned street urchin taken into the royal family, adopted by the Persian King and raised along side his own two children, making them “brothers”. This makes up part of the family oriented theme that family is not only linked by blood, but by love and loyalty to one another as well (This is a Disney movie after all, so it works for the most part). From there, we skip 15 years, and the Persian army wages war on a Holy City that has the Dagger Of Time. Dastan becomes the hero, gets framed for a severe crime he didn’t commit, and has to escape with the Princess and Dagger before he meets a grim fate. The story doesn’t really follow the game’s plot in that manner of sequence, but in totality, he goes on a quest to redeem his name and save the world before the horrors of the Dagger’s power fall into the wrong hands.

Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time Trailer

Casting Jake Gyllenhaal in the titular role of the Prince was met with some criticism, and it’s quite understandable given the setting of the movie. For one thing, he doesn’t look Persian, and despite sculpting a chiseled figure in his preparation for the role, nothing changes the fact that he doesn’t look the part. Still, I have to give props to the fact that his acting was good in the movie, and I wasn’t too focused on the “whitewashing” aspects so many critics have voiced about over the movie. On the other hand, I find the lovely Gemma Arteton sexy as Princess Tamina. Although it’s a shame they didn’t use Princess Farah from the games, Arteton acts well here, and much like actresses’ recent role in Clash Of The Titans, her British accent and delivery make her quite a charm in movies, one I hope to see used more frequently in future movies. Also making appearances in the film are legendary veteran actors Sir Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina. The former plays Dastan’s uncle and primary villain Nizam, while Mr. Molina takes on the comedy relief role of Sheik Amar, whose antics you just have to see in the movie to believe. Overall, I didn’t mind the casting choices at all, and everyone played their parts well.

While I found it disappointing to note that the story is much different and loose from the source material, I think it was decent enough to sit through and enjoy as a popcorn flick. However, some scenes in the movie, particularly in the beginning and towards the end, were somewhat dragging and executed poorly. The introduction title sequence in particular felt like a waste, and it didn’t feel as epic as I would have wanted. I’m sure PoP was to be marketed as a kid friendly film, but they could have livened things up with a kick and such. Also, as a Jerry Bruckheimer production, this movie was a little more toned down on the action, and for a concept like PoP that demands over the top execution and stunts, most of it seemed light-hearted fun and routine than mind-blowingly insane and awesome. Gyllenhaal’s Dastan has a lot of the stuntwork pulled off, but nothing Matrix-like or over the top, which I wish was present. Also, I’m happy to see the Dagger Of Time rewind function used properly in the film, but the execution in key scenes were a waste. For instance, it was fine to explain that it lets the user travel back to a certain point in time once… but done twice in succession? Not a lot of things went well, but setting the bar straight, it worked anyway for the audience.

For somebody like me who has played the Prince Of Persia games, especially the namesake title, Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time does a decent job of entertaining its audience. It’s far from being a perfect film adaptation of a video game (that trophy still lies with the original Mortal Kombat film), but everything works for the most part, and the screenplay itself was overseen by creator Jordan Mechner himself, as well as a few established film writers who have proven their skills through the years. Directed by Mike Newell, I’d recommend this film for the action and family oriented crowd. Those who loved the games can sit through as well, but don’t expect too much out of it. Like the series it’s based from, it’s a new adventure and a new prince… so go with the flow of time and destiny and see it if curiosity pulls you in.

Rating - 3/5

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Video Game Review: Super Street Fighter IV

It's been about a month since this baby came out, and until now I still can't believe how much Shoryuken of awesomeness it's packing! Capcom never ceases to amaze me, and that's why I'll probably be a full fledged Street Fighter for the rest of my gaming days!

For a game that was originally meant to be an update, Super Street Fighter IV sure feels like the sequel fighting game fans have dreamed of and can consider a worthy successor to last year's Street Fighter IV. It comes packing with improvements, extras, additional characters, and even bonus stages, which makes it more than just a mere upgrade title, expanding the methods of play to undetermined numbers. The "SUPER" added in front isn't just for show. It's a statement that boasts perfection and gives credence to how superb this fighter really is in the gaming market today. Ten new challengers enter the fray with a lot of moves to dish out and punish opponents with, while the returning fighters show that they got a boost up or have been nerfed down for "understandable reasons" other than nutty poke jobs. Highlighting the new faces are Hakan and Juri, two new characters making their debut in SSFIV and showcasing interesting fighting styles, namely Turkish Oil Wrestling and Taekwondo respectively. The other eight are familiar faces from the series' history making their official jump to the 2.5D realm. Cody, Guy, and Adon return from the Alpha/ Zero series; Dudley, Makoto, and Ibuki charge straight out of the Street Fighter III universe; and T.Hawk and Dee Jay make their long awaited debut, finally reuniting with their SSFII comrades. That brings the tally for the entire roster to 35 characters, and that's quite a mouthful, especially when the variety adds a new dynamic to the already interesting brawl 'em up that Super Street Fighter IV is.

Super Street Fighter IV "New Characters and Features" Trailer

Now that we got the new hands on deck, there's plenty of hurting moves to explore in their arsenal, as well as from the veterans of the previous game. In addition to bringing the same old faces back in SSFIV, every character comes with the option of selecting between two Ultra combos. That means the strategy involved in playing certain characters involves a bit of tweaking and practice again, as it's a familiar yet whole different ball game this time around. That's not to say that playing fan favorites like Ryu and Ken will be harder in this game. Hadokens, Shoryukens, and Sonic Booms still work fine, and the dreaded Focus Attacks and Focus Cancels are still intact. However, there were adjustments made to certain characters that make their regular moves stronger or weaker, resolving some balancing issues and comments from the original game. It may come to some as a positive or disappointment, but that's how the cookie crumbles sometimes in fighting game updates, and in this case, fair's fair in "Hadouken and war" I say.

Other comments I'll have to make about SSFIV is that it's got a sturdier online service this time around. Street Fighter IV's online playability was widely praised for its accessibility last year, but there were a number of lag issues and missing modes that prevented it from truly dominating the competition. All that improves with SSFIV, as it introduces a number of new modes for online play in addition to an improved Ranked Match mode, namely Endless Battle and Team Battle, where you can fight against someone one-on-one infinitely or duke it out with friends online, arcade style. It's fun, addicting, and full of the kind of energy I used to feel whenever I played in the arcades of my youth and inserted tokens.

For $40 and packing quite a punch, Super Street Fighter IV is more than just an upgrade... it's a knock out hit that only Capcom could have presented and delivered to its fighting game market base. Anybody who adores the series or has a passion for fighting games such as myself should consider picking this one up. It'll make you leap off your seat and feel the burn, especially when you see Ryu deliver his swift new ultra, the Metsu Shoryuken, right to your opponent's face!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mass Effect gets the movie treatment!

Video Games are moving up in the world... and another big title gets the hollywood treatment!

Mass Effect, Electronic Arts and Bioware's epic Sci-Fi videogame series, has officially gotten its film rights acquired by Legendary Pictures, with a motion picture release primed and ready to be made for the near future! Known for their work in heavy hitting pictures such as The Dark Knight, 300, and Clash Of The Titans, the studio will work to bring Commander Shepard and the crew of the SSV Normandy to the big screen. Producing the film will be Avi and Ari Arad, whose credentials include most of the recent Marvel blockbuster movies to hit the big screen. To top it off, Screenwriter Mark Protosevich, who worked on I Am Legend and the upcoming Thor film, is writing the film's script, so it should be interesting how things go from here. No cast has been announced yet, but details will surely be up in the near future. Hopefully, this successful game franchise, which has spawned two games already, will get the proper motion picture treatment!

For more info, check out the Press Release post over at Newsarama!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Video Game Review: Red Dead Redemption

I have to say, Rockstar never ceases to amaze, especially when it comes to their sandbox styled game presentations. Their latest venture, Red Dead Redemption, takes a step backwards in time by setting the free roaming adventure in the Old West (well, specifically 1911, where automobiles are up and coming replacements for the horses). It's a spritual successor to 2004's Rockstar game called "Red Dead Revolver", also set in the cowboy shootin' era. At first glance, the cowboy setting looks peaceful compared to any of the crime drama plots and escapades the Grand Theft Auto series offered, but appearances can be deceiving, especially in the days where the law was judged by a gun in hand and a showdown at high noon.

At first, I went into this game thinking nothing special of it. I never saw any of the trailers, and I wasn't warming myself to the idea of actually grabbing the game until I stared down at one copy in my hands and the news that the game was selling fast. Reviews from other video game resources gave it the kind of praise that I haven't heard from a game of this type in a long while, so I took a risk and picked it up, playing the optimistic fool and gamer I've always been.

Tarnation! Once I finally sat down over the weekend and played through the game, I can see why people are so hot about it! Yes, it's basically a "Grand Theft Auto" adventure in the West, but there's so much more to it that makes it substantially different from that series. You're a Bounty Hunter - a man of the frontier, choosing how to live by saddling up and riding off into the sunset with a horse in tow. It's a big open world to explore with lots of scum and vermin to fight, but there's also the side where you can play the bad guy, riding off with loot and making a killing spree that'll get you wanted in all states, having the law chase you to wit's end. That's the 'Honor System' right there for you, and how you decide to act plays a big part on how the world treats you for the duration of the game. Check out this launch trailer for some insight.

Red Dead Redemption Launch Trailer

Yes, there's an open world to explore and let's you do whatever you wish, but there's also a story to be told that's key in progressing and unlocking more paths and items on your road to redemption. Your character also has a name, James Marston, and he's a former outlaw who's looking to save his family from the government by hunting, against his will, members of the gang he used to run with. Along the way, Marston meets his gang and gets shot, only to be saved and treated by a couple of strangers he soon gets along with. Soon, Marston's on the move and ready to complete his mission in order to save his family and redeem himself of his rotten past once and for all. How that will be decided, however, is completely up to you.

Riding and fighting on the new frontier is what makes Red Dead Redemption so appealing. I'd like to think of the fighting and shooting as a perfect combination of gameplay mechanics taken from several action games I've had the privilage of experiencing in the past. This is Rockstar's baby, so the controls are similar to that of GTA. However, shooting, ducking for cover, and looting feel a whole lot like Uncharted, so it's a keep on your toes pacing that I wholly appreciate. Fighting with bare hands or using weapons can get tricky, but it's adjustable once you get the hang of things. If things get too fast and you need a "slow approach", Mr. Marston has access to "Dead Eye" mode, where everything slows down in bullet time for a few seconds ala Max Payne (Rockstar's other action game baby). As for traveling around the old west, you can run around on foot, or rely on the resources around you by riding a horse, a coach, and several other vehicles you'll get access to later, like a train.

Funny, for someone like me who wasn't expecting much, Red Dead Redemption sure took me back in time and blew me away with its awesome gameplay. There's lots to do in this game, and all it will take is a little patience and exploration to see the surprises in store. Anybody who had dreams of becoming a cowboy/ bounty hunter can finally live out their fantasies by playing Rockstar's offering right here. You can choose to be the hero of the west, or the bane of existence that the law will hunt down and feed to the vultures when they get the chance. Since it's a multi-platform title, it's available for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 users. Fans of next generation gaming and GTA shouldn't pass this up.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Comic Book Review: Avengers #1

And there came a day... A day unlike any other! Earth's Mightiest Heroes united against a common threat! On that day the Avengers were born - to fight foes no single hero could withstand!

Avengers #1
Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Illustrated By: John Romita Jr.

At last, Marvel's Heroic Age has begun, and with that comes the birth of a new team and direction for the Avengers! The Dark Reign is over, and the ramifications brought upon by the Civil War, Secret Invasion, and Avengers Disassembled are all but forgotten in this brave new and shiny world of heroes. How does the first issue of the relaunch, once again written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by John Romita Jr, hold up to the readership? Well, in my case, it's surprisingly amazing! For somebody like myself who who had doubts about whether or not another reboot was going to work, Bendis sure put a lot of effort and A game into this project, and the introductory piece comes off with flying colors. Also, I may have disliked how Siege ended and wrapped things up, but there's no denying the feeling of importance and the beginning of a bright new future for Earth's Mightiest Heroes here. I must say, I'm interested with the storytelling, and while it may come off to some as repetitive and a way to promote a recent Marvel Animated movie that came out a year or so back, the plot intrigues me, and I'm going to see it through. There's even a supplemental piece included that gives an oral history of how the Avengers formed and started, so there's a lot of material that makes this book worthy to check out.

Now, as for the art itself, I wasn't expecting John Romita Jr. to be the primary choice to do the new Avengers ongoing title, but strangely, his art works well enough and I don't mind it at all. Granted, I prefer him sketching primarily on a Spider-Man book or Kick-Ass comic anyday, but his work here is pretty acceptable. However, I can see why other people aren't too hyped or enthusiastic about it, given his renditions of characters like Iron Man and Thor. Some things may be too sketchy, abstract, or a little rough for some readers to look at, and the there's a slight lack of realism in the way the characters emote. Still, he gets the job done, and his work on Amazing Spider-Man and Wolverine: Enemy Of The State put me on the map to comics when I started the hobby again a few years ago, so you won't see me complaining here.

For plot itself, this is a throwback to classic Avengers storylines from the 80's and 90's. The team gets a visit from an old enemy who presence hasn't been felt for the last couple of years, and I guess the time is ripe for him to make his return and cause a ruckus during the Heroic Age. However, he's not acting alone nor on his own volition, and a certain enemy from the "Past" will put the team to the test in the next few issues. Plus, that reference and inclusion of characters from a certain Marvel animated movie could prove to be a major plot twist later on. Let's see how things go. For now, I give this new first issue of the Avengers a big thumbs up. Any fan who dares to call themselves one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes dare not miss this, especially if they see their mug shot included in the collage spread at the last few pages of the book! There's plenty of heroes on board, and lots of other Avengers books coming up! So come, celebrate Avenger's Day and grab this one!

Rating - 9/10

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fringe Over Alternate DC Covers!

Now this is an interesting development in the DC entertainment side of things!

In this week's episode of "Fringe", Walter and Olivia, two characters from the show, visit an "alternate world" that is very much different from their own, right down to the comic books they read and love! To give off the authentic multiverse effect, DC contributes a number of "alternate comics" that pay tribute to significant covers and storylines in their comic book past... With a twist of course! Via Newsarama, here are the books that appear prominently on the show, and some of you may be surprised at what you see!

Jonah Hex Joins... The Justice League?!

Red Lantern Hal Jordan!

Superman: The Man Of Steel Returns!

The Death Of Batman!

Heroes weep during "The Death Of Superman" at Crisis Of Infinite Earths!

Hehe, awesome spoof covers! For more info, visit!

Friday, May 21, 2010

30 Years Of The Empire...

A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far, Far Away...

I'm sure almost all of you know the opening lines by heart, but today is a different matter. Today marks the 30th anniversary of the second film in George Lucas' epic Star Wars saga - The Empire Strikes Back. On May 21, 1980, this film changed the lives of people around the world, and whether people agree with me on this or not, it had one of the most mind-blowing revelations in the history of cinema, and to this day, many other films have tried to emulate or parody this moment for the effect it delivers. Yes, "Episode V" was a key moment for Star Wars buffs, and pop culture geeks will celebrate this moment wielding lightsabers and dressing up in Stormtrooper outfits. In my case, I'd like to do a little retrospective, to reflect on the film once more and to share my thoughts on what this beloved space opera adventure has done and continues to do for me everytime I get the chance to watch it.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Trailer

Directed by Irvin Kershner (who also directed Bond film Never Say Never Again and Robocop 2), The Empire Strikes Back starts off with the Rebel Alliance forced into hiding on the icy planet of Hoth. Despite their defeat and the obliteration of the Death Star on A New Hope, The Empire has come back stronger than ever, intent on delivering a crushing blow to their enemies once and for all. Led by Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, and Han Solo, the rebels fight on the persistant fight, but with the tide against their favor, the good guys have no choice but to make a desperate escape. Solo orginally planned to split with the group due to his business with Jabba The Hutt, but circumstances force him and his Wookie partner Chewbacca to take and safeguard the princess and the droid C-3P0. In the meantime, Luke, after receiving a vision from his late mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi, travels to the planet Dagobah along with R2-D2, to undergo Jedi Training and master the ways of the Force. Meanwhile, the Sith Lord Darth Vader has been on a relentless personal crusade to seek out Skywalker for mysterious reasons. His attack on Hoth was just the beginning, as he dispatches many of his resources to track down the would-be Jedi. Luke finally reaches Dagobah and meets Yoda, who goes on to train the boy.

The Empire Strikes Back - Luke meets Yoda

On the other side, after navigating through dangerous terrain to escape the Empire's forces, Han Solo makes a decision to seek sanctuary with his companions in Cloud City, now run by an "old friend" of his, Lando Calrissian. However, Han is betrayed by Lando to Darth Vader when the dark lord offers to prevent the Empire from taking over the city in exchange for the Rebel group. Even as he trains to become a true Jedi, Luke senses his friends are in danger, and makes the hasty decision to goto Cloud City to rescue them despite Yoda's warnings.

The Empire Strikes Back - Han Frozen Scene

As Vader prepares to turn solo over to Jabba's authorized bounty hunter, Boba Fett, he makes the decision to use the Millenium Falcon pilot as a test subject for carbonite freezing. Even as Leia proclaims her love for Han, the latter is successfully frozen and placed in suspended animation. Luke finally arrives in Cloud City, while Lando frees Leia and her friends to try and rescue Solo, who is unfortunately whisked away by Boba before they have a chance to stop him. As Skywalker searches for his friends, he walks right into Darth Vader's trap, and the two finally square off in a one-on-one lightsaber duel.

The Empire Strikes Back - Luke vs Darth Vader

Hardly experienced and outmatched against the Sith lord, Luke loses the battle and his right hand, forced into a corner by Vader. It is at this moment where Vader offers Luke to join him at his side... and makes the startling revelation that "He Is His Father".

The Empire Strikes Back - "I Am Your Father"

Shocked and in disbelief, Luke makes a desperate attempt to escape by plummeting over the central air shaft, falling into the lower most part of the hovering city. Maimed and injured, he makes a desperate call to Leia, who senses him and has the Millenium Falcon turned around to rescue him. After escaping to a Rebel ship, Luke gets a mechanical hand replacement, while Lando and Chewie board the Falcon once more to search for Han and rescue him. The film ends with Luke, Leia, and the droids watching as the ship flies off.

Totally awesome. Absolutely epic. Nostalgic all the way.

The Empire Strikes Back is what I consider to be the best film in the Star Wars saga, and I'm not alone in this line of thinking at all. It has everything a fanboy could ever want - ship battles, drama, tension, action, suspense, lightsabers, droids, blasters, and, of course, Darth Vader. The fact that Vader was revealed at the end to be Luke's father was a surprising twist nobody expected at the time. It contradicts Obi-Wan's story in the first film that Vader killed Luke's father, but it actually makes sense and adds a depth of tragedy to the story. It's a unique way of storytelling that has traces of Greek Mythology written all over it, and George Lucas was brilliant and ahead of his time in implementing stellar ideas like that into his brainchild franchise. It's a key and defining moment in the film, yes, but there are other aspects to it that make it all the more memorable, such as Luke's training with Yoda and the first appearance of Emperor Palpatine. Meeting and seeing Yoda for the first time was impressionable to me as a kid, and Frank Oz performance as the elderly Jedi Master was one of absolute perfection. Quotes like "Do. There Is No Try" echo valuable lessons that everyone learns in life, and Yoda being the teacher tries to teach an impatient and fiery Luke Skywalker important lessons that will turn him into the noble warrior he is destined to be.

On the other hand, seeing the hideous face of the emperor for the first time was a remarkably genuine moment. Here you see the guy who has power over the entire galaxy for the first time... in a large holographic projection screen. Even Vader bows down to his master in servitude, so one has to wonder how powerful this cackling maniac is (and we don't find out until the next film and, eventually, Revenge Of The Sith decades later). Other themes explored include the blooming romance of Han Solo and Princess Leia. Those two have chemistry with each other, and it's fitting that despite the danger and circumstances intent on tearing them apart, their bond becomes stronger and it finally reaches a headpoint when Han's about to be frozen in carbonite. Side characters like Chewie and the droids get more action and comedic antics to do, and we meet a new face in Lando Calrissian, who acts like a jerk at first, but proves to be noble in his own way eventually when he tries to make up and help in eventually saving Han Solo from Jabba in the next film.

Yes, there's lots to say about Empire and its contributions, but if I could sum up everything in one word, it would be "Maturation". The characters in the filmhad to grow up and learn things about themselves that were previously unknown to them, and it's a lesson that Luke learns the hardest, especially since his maturation as a Jedi came at the hands of his own father. Bottomline, for the 30 years it has continued to entertain fans and newbies alike, The Empire Strikes Back is a classic that remains one of my favorites. Thank you Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, James Earl Jones, George Lucas, and the rest of the cast for such a wonderful film.

Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, And May The Force Be With You, Always

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Megan Fox Gone From Transformers 3?!

WOAH... This is surprising news!

According to a report by Enewsi and Superherohype, actress Megan Fox won't be returning as Shia "Sam Witcwicky" LaBeouf's love interest, Mikaela, in Transormers 3! Instead, Paramount Pictures and director Michael Bay are going to cast a new love interest that will play opposite LaBeouf's character, working on a new direction for the Autobot vs Decipticon sequel. I call this surprising since the picture you see above with her and Bumblebee only appeared a few weeks ago! Still, rumors have been flying that this supposed firing could be related to the previous "hearty comments" Fox made over Bay's direction during shooting of their previous movie, Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen.

If this piece of news proves to be true, then I am one sad fanboy. Megan Fox was one of the eyecatching new Hollywood stars to debut in the franchise back in 2007, and her beauty and sex appeal has led the actress to be cast in several other movies, most notably in horror flick Jennifer's Body and this year's upcoming film adaptation of the comic book series Jonah Hex. Now that she's apparently been booted from TF3, what's next for the mega hot star?

You can read more about the report via the links above. Transformers 3 is scheduled to hit theaters on July 1 next year.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Welcome Back, EGM!!!

And so it begins... The Return Of The King Of American Video Game Magazines!

Back in January 2009, my heart sank completely when I learned that Electronic Gaming Monthly was no more. Its publisher, Ziff Davis, sold to UGO Entertainment, effectively putting to rest the magazine many fellow gamers and I have been reading since its inception on the summer of 1989. Unlike other competitors, EGM's strong point was its writing and content. The magazine contributed a lot to the gaming industry and its consumers by providing mostly first hand and exclusive content not seen anywhere else, becoming a dominant and trusted force in the video game community. Even with the advent and eventual expansion of the internet, the brand alone spoke volumes. It was a reliable source of information, reviews, and unbiased opinions from sincere and devoted people who were passionate about gaming in every sense of the word. From the moment I picked up the Megaman 2 issue in the late 80's to the time I actually believed in the April Fool's jokes they made (like the Sheng Long Street Fighter II trick), EGM was a brand that me and my fellow gamers could wholeheartedly rely on, until its unceremonious demise.

However, all was not lost.

In the eve of E3 2009, EGM writer and founder Steve Harris acquired the rights to publish EGM anew for both online and print mediums. The relaunch would occur sometime before or after the new year, and as part of the promotions, the "Lost" EGM issue, originally dated for a February 2009 release, was released online and appeared in the restructured website, Through the website, people can register and subscribe to EGMi - the digital magazine companion to the print medium we gamers all know and love. EGMi features exclusive content like video interviews and live page browsing that can only be experienced when you sign up.

I picked up my copy of the "New and Improved" EGM just today, and I must say, it feels good to be back reading a printed international magazine devoted entirely to gaming again. It's fitting that for the relaunch itself, the new issue focuses on Street Fighter once again, specifically on "The Street Fighter Legacy" and its impact on the fighting game industry, not to mention the latest installment in the series released by Capcom - "Super Street Fighter IV". In fact, the "Zombie Issue" sports two covers featuring SF stalwarts Ryu and Ken, and for this reunion, I picked the man with the headband just for the occasion. In addition to the emphasis on SF, the issue also includes a look back at EGM's past; An exclusive interview with God Of War/ Twisted Metal creator David Jaffe; And an inside look on games that were hyped and anticipated by many, like the recently released Xbox 360 exclusive Alan Wake. There's also some features and commentaries by many of the top writers and players in the gaming industry today, including content contributed by new guys like Marc Bozon (former IGN Editor), and by EGM veterans like Dan "Shoe" Hsu, Ryan O'Donnell, and... Sushi X!!! Of course, that means that we can't forget about the reviews... they're back as well! They're all present here again, with the numbering system and good, bad, and ugly commentary intact. As part of the synchronization process, the magazine comes with a unique "iPASS" code that brings on more exclusive content when you log in online and sign up!

With all that said and more to look forward to in the future, Electronic Gaming Monthly is truly back and here to stay. Reading this rebirth brings a tear to my eye... and fresh new smell of magazine goodness on my face. Anybody who knows the brand better get skipping to their nearest bookstore or magazine stand and pick up a copy now! EGM IS BACK PEOPLE! Spread the word!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Prepare For Superman: Earth One....

Remember DC's announcement about there a new wave of graphic novels being released and taking a new spin on the heroes and characters we all know and love from that universe? Well, the first book in the line, Superman: Earth One, has finally appeared in DC's August Solicitations, and if anyone needed a fresh new way to read about Supes, here's a great opportunity presented to you, as only writing legend J. Michael Straczynski can deliver! Joining him in this endeavor is the artistic duo of Shane Davis & Sandra Hope, and as a retelling of the Man Of Steel's origin in modern times, this is a comic book prospect worth checking out! Take a look at the cover:

In all honesty, the "modern concept" is very much similar to what we've seen in Birthright and Secret Origin, but I'm all game for this if Straczynski is on board. As the guy who created Babylon 5 and redefined Marvel heroes such as Spider-Man and Thor, I'm all for reading this new take on the Man Of Steel, and he also begins his run on the current series starting with Superman 701 in a few weeks time. Also, the art looks gratifying enough, and it has a Smallville look to it, only with more attitude involved. For more info, visit Newsarama's post on DC's August Solicitations, and be sure to check out Superman: Earth One when it comes out in shops on October 27 this year!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Batman Arkham Asylum Gets Toys!

It was inevitable and it has been teased endlessly in the solicits, but now, courtesy of a snapshot and post from Kotaku, the fans of what I consider to be one of the BEST Games of 2009 finally get eye candy goodness in the form of Batman Arkham Asylum figures! Those who know the score will be pleased to see that these toys faithfully recreate the looks and appearances of the characters from the game itself, and highlighting Series 1 will be none other than Batman, Joker, Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, and... Scarface? Regardless of who has or hasn't made the list yet, these look wonderfully awesome, and a colored version of the ad should appear in the next few weeks or so in related hobby magazines and books. For more info, browse through Kotaku or Tomopop.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Toyz Review: 6" Movie Series Iron Man Mark V Armor!

Having seeing Iron Man 2 a couple of times already, it's never enough just to glance over some eye candy graphics and cinematography at work. So, when the movie's just not enough for a fanboy, it's time to accessorize and grab some collectibles! That's exactly what I did for the most part, and being a certified long time action figure collector, I couldn't pass up on Hasbro's latest toy offerings and official merchandise from the Iron Man 2 movie. For those of you who have wandered the malls these past few months, you may have noticed those G.I.Joe sized Iron Man 2 figurines in the shelves, based from the movie, comics, and some unused concepts that haven't appeared in either medium.

That's not what we're going to talk about today.

Instead, I'll be reviewing one of the figures from the elusive and exclusive 6 inch line of movie figures. Basically, that means these figures are more or less hard to find, and rarely appear in department stores. Obviously, these are taller in appearance compared to the 3.75 scaled lot, and have more accessories packed in to give collectors lots of options in posing and playing with the figure.

The Mark V armor is, quite possibly, one of THE BEST armor concepts I've ever laid eyes on in a medium to feature Tony Stark and his armored avenging alter ego. As a portable version of the Iron Man suit, it was built in the form of a suitcase so that it can be carried around whenever Tony travels, giving him the ability to transform into Iron Man when the situation calls for it. Activated by hitting a handle located at the center waist of the suitcase, the machine immediately pops up and opens, revealing a pair of red glove handles and boots that Tony can insert his hands and feet into respectively. The gloves, in turn, allow Stark to carry and attach a metallic mesh harness to his body, which starts to spread around layers of metal sheath and coating that covers up his entire body after he raises both of his arms laterally. Once the armor has taken shape, things end with the formation of the helmet piece around Tony's head, and voila, the Mark V Iron Man suit is ready for deployment! You can check out that amazing piece of superior tech via this clip from the sequel. It's really a MUST SEE sequence!

Iron Man 2 Suitcase Armor Scene

Pretty slick wear, huh? This suit pays tribute to not one, but two versions of the Iron Man armor used in the comics - the original "suitcase" armor and the Silver Centurion armor. They have remained fan favorite variations of Iron Man's wear through the years, and the Mark V adopts the color scheme the Silver Centurion has prominently established for itself since its debut.

So what makes the 6 inch Mark V such a hit among collectors? For starters, the detail and sculpt on this baby is excellent, and you won't find any other mold that's an almost perfect representation of the suit's likeness from the movie than what you got here (unless they make a Hot Toys version, which has a likely chance of happening sometime in the future). There are several points of articulation located around the toy, from ball joints to peg points, so it's decently made when it comes to action figure standards. However, people may be disappointed to find out that the range of movement on the legs and feet are limited. That means dynamic posing and creating different stances for the Mark V are restrictive, and that's a bit of a frustrating thing to deal with. At least the head, waist and arms move well, so anyone looking to pose Mark V shooting out his repulsors will have no problems there. This is made possible by the inclusion of 2 pairs of interchangeable hands that can be removed and placed in easily thanks to the peg joint function, so this kinda makes up for the lack of movement and poseability in the lower section of the figure. If you fancy some accessory usage, Mark V also comes with a suitcase he can carry around with... but that's kinda silly when you know it's supposed to be what he's wearing already! It's probably a spare just in case he loses a fight. After all, those things come in handy when you least expect it!

The paint job for Mark V is not perfect. Then again, it's always been a quality problem for most of Hasbro's toys and figures. Mass producing something like this can have several errors being overlooked during the manufacturing process, and this particular figure is not exempt. Before purchasing it, I had to go through several other pieces that had problems ranging from "bleeding gums" to smears that won't just go away from a simple rub. As irritating as it sounds, botches will exist whether you like it or not, and besides the paint, there will be marks or blemishes that may be present around the figure. Still, this can be remedied with a little bit of customization, but if you're not one of the types who like to tinker around with their figures, you can live with these minor mistakes. Bottomline, toys are meant to be played with and enjoyed, and that's a fact of life.

As far as action figures go, I've gotta say I'm impressed with the 6" Mark V. Even with the limited lower body articulation and posing, it still makes for a decent figure to own if you enjoyed that particular armor and sequence from Iron Man 2, as well as anyone who has enjoyed Marvel Legends figures in the past. If there were actual life-sized suitcase armors sold on the market, I wouldn't hesitate and try to get me one of those right away! Still, this is reality, so you live with what you got, and this baby is the next best thing.

Rating - 4/5

Saturday, May 15, 2010

"One More Day" To "One Moment In Time"...

Remember ONE MORE DAY? I sure do... and I'd rather forget it.

The 2007 controversial Spider-Man story that "rebooted" the Spider-Man universe in a way deemed unforgivable to long time fans has caused the webslinger to once again live the bachelor's life; No longer married to red head Mary Jane Watson, and his secret identity once again established as secret. Now how could something so unimaginable to continuity freaks happen just like that? Simple. Peter Parker made the proverbial "deal with the devil" to save his Aunt May's life after she was mortally wounded by a sniper's bullet meant for him in the aftermath of the Civil War. The devil himself turned out to be Mephisto, who wanted nothing more than to take what was most precious to Parker's life in exchange for saving the old lady's life - his marriage. So with the deal done and sealed, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson were no longer a couple, and any trace of the public's knowledge of Spider-Man's identity was erased, leaving him a free spirit once more. However, what really happened to make that deal a possibility? What went through the sidelines, and what did Mary Jane whisper to Mephisto's ear before she gave her consent to erase her marital ties with Peter? All that will be revealed in July, as Joe Quesada finally goes back to Spidey's life with "One Moment In Time"...

Yes... The story I've waited for so long is FINALLY coming to Amazing Spider-Man, and what was once a convoluted way to restore Spidey's innocence will finally be explained in a handful of issues. Will we see resolution? Will there be absolution? Nobody knows for certain. Just wait for Marvel to cook the books, and check out their August solicits for the meantime at

Friday, May 14, 2010

A New... Daredevil?

I haven't been following Daredevil lately, but I have been keeping up to date with the fact that he's the new leader of the Ninja mercenary group known as "The Hand". Given his on and off the radar activities in the entire Marvel Universe, it's hard to keep up with good ol' Matty Murdock. However, he's going to be a prominent figure in this new "Shadowland" event Marvel is promoting for July 2010, and by the looks of things, the Daredevil legacy is going to undergo a major change, as depicted in this teaser pic here courtesy of

A new costume... or a NEW DAREDEVIL? Only one way to find out. Stay tuned for updates when Shadowland hits in a few months time.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Comic Book Review: Siege #4

At last, after weeks of delays and anticipation for what's coming next, the final issue of Siege finally hit shops, bringing the early 2010 Marvel mega-event to its conclusion. However, after taking a seat and reading through over 3o pages worth of comic book action, this is all I have to say...


Siege #4
Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Illustrated By: Olivier Coipel

This is it. The final battle for the fate of Asgard and Earth is here. Everything will change once everything is said and done, and how it will affect the entire Marvel Universe remains to be seen.

Oh my god, I don't know what to think anymore.

After all the time spent on comic-altering events like Avengers Disassembled and Civil War, we get a lackluster ending that's more disappointing than it is anti-climactic. I enjoyed the build up the first few issues... and now we get THIS ENDING?! Forgive me for saying this, but I don't have the heart to describe the events in great detail other than point out the flaws and predictability this entire issue gave out to its readership. Squandering Loki and Norman Osborn's villainy was one thing, but turning the Sentry into the Void and giving him a send off like that?! Preposterous. Look, I'm all for the Heroic Age and the return of Captain America and the Avengers to prominence and all, but it really could have been done in a more convincing manner. I feel cheated, and absolutely disappointed that everything built up in Civil War has gone down the drain, becoming nothing more than a passing mark in the oh-so-flawed continuity of the Marvel Universe. What's more, all the evil and corruption Norman Osborn has spread through the Dark Reign has quickly dispersed in a mere four issues, and it sucks just to think that everything is "back to normal" just like that. This is worse than bringing a dead character back to life so effortlessly (Captain America Reborn, I'm looking at you), and it makes me wonder how things would have been if careful planning and better storytelling were involved.

Brian Michael Bendis did a number years ago when he broke the Avengers and sent their entire ranks into a spiral of comic book hell. He rocked our world by introducing an all star cast in New Avengers, and spearheaded several tales and events that would see them thrown into different situations resulting in epic stares and showdowns. I find myself utterly speechless at the way he capped Siege, and it's sad to note that while I'm glad good guys finally get their absolution from all the superhero registration hubbub, I'm not convinced by the transition to the Heroic Age. Like I said earlier, I feel cheated by the way this issue presents itself, and all that mattered in the political landscape of the Marvel Universe suddenly falls off the window.

Bendis has been known to be a dialogue centric storyteller, but none of that is felt here in Siege. It's as if Marvel just wanted to end the confusion and attract new readership by presenting the Heroic Age, unflawed and full of innocence again. Seeing the plan of making Asgard the final staging ground between good and evil just didn't really grab me much in the beginning, and seeing how everything goes after the smoke cleared is just displeasurable. I wanted to see a final battle worth talking about. Instead, all I'm gonna be talking about is how an omnipotent entity like The Void could have his ass kicked so easily by... A Hellicarrier?! Not only that, but Loki himself has a change of heart... and dies a pathetic death? Everything here is a fleeting moment, and if it wasn't for the heroes getting their victory handing it to Osborn's ass the way he deserves it, I wouldn't be paying attention to Siege at all. Olivier Coipel's art is still striking, but even that can't save the fact that this issue, or the entire Siege for that matter, is all about the hype for quick change, not superb storytelling.

Since the end of Siege brought about the end of the previous core Avenger titles, you may want to catch up on those as well, including the one shot epilogue books - New Avengers Finale #1 and Siege Epilogue: The Sentry Fallen Sun. These and the other tie-ins are not required reading if you just followed the bigger tale, but they expand the story in great detail and see how the heroes deal with certain issues in the aftermath of the fall of Asgard. Now that the Heroic Age is coming, expect a new number of Avengers related books to hit shelves starting next week, and while I'm happy to see new team ups and the good guys back in the saddle, it all feels repetitive and not too exciting anymore (save for the Secret Avengers, which is written by Cap scribe Ed Brubaker). I'll probably put my Avenger radar on standby anyways, but for what it's worth. Siege #4 just didn't deliver to my expectations. Hopefully for you reading this, it will be different.

Rating - 3/10

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Catching Up With Batman and Robin...

It's been a long while since I've discussed anything Batman and Robin related, but with the new issue out and the shocking revelation at the last page of it a real eyecatcher, I find no perfect time but now to revisit the book and discuss some pointers (with possible spoilers, mind you). Rather than do the usual review, this post will play more of a brief catch up with the DCU title I've just adored reading since it began almost a year ago. It's bold, pretty, and full of superb writing and artwork that is a sure win formula for fans exclusive to all things about the Dark Knight. With that, I'll take things from the top and begin my write up.

What I consider to be the new flagship title in the Bat-books thus far, Batman and Robin has done exceptionally well, and it's all thanks to the writer who brought about the entire restructuring of the Batverse to begin with - Grant Morrison. The man has successfully booted out Bruce Wayne from his iconic role, transforming everything I once knew and held dear into an unpredictable climate with lots of potential to explore. At first, I was puzzled how he could pull this off without the one true Batman involved, but Morrison proves his writing capabilities by tapping into new and catchy elements of action, mystery, and humor that blend well and work with the dark environment readers are quite familiar with. In addition to making Dick Grayson a formidable successor to the mantle of the Bat, he has actually played his creation, Damian Wayne, into an arrogant but likable Robin. He's a snobbish and wise ass fellow whose League Of Assassin's upbringing makes him dangerous, but this is all tempered by the mentoring of Grayson's Batman, who sees it as an opportunity to "return the favor" to his own mentor, Bruce Wayne himself. Their performance as the "Dynamic Duo" in the field is quite hilarious, with Dick playing a more light-hearted Batman, while Damian goes for the Dark and moody Robin. The criminals they face are none of the familiar rogues the Bat-family has encountered through the years, rather a new blend of evil born from the recesses of Morrison's mind. First, the rather insane Professor Pyg deals his own brand of "restructuring" to society's misfits, while the exploits of Jason Todd/ Red Hood only serve to infuriate the mob and force them to call in the sadistic "El Flamingo" for clean up measures. These are just some of the adventures the new Batman and Robin had to go through, but that's not where the heart of this entire tale lies.

Even if Dick and Damian have gone through a number of problems together, the biggest one they'll eventually have to face is the mystery surrounding their "father's disappearance". This is addressed in the latest story arc, serving as a prologue to "The Return Of Bruce Wayne" series. Now, a certain mystery character named Oberon Sexton, introduced throughout the series as your friendly neighborhood Gotham City "Sherlock Holmes," was hinted back and forth as "Bruce Wayne" in disguise, though how he fits the M.O was entirely out of a hunch I suppose. Anyway, the last page of Batman and Robin #12 digs on deeper than this theory can hold, so if you're not one to pry on spoilers, now's a good time to turn away, otherwise. be spoiled and look at this:

Yes... Oberon Sexton IS The Joker. Last seen at the stunning controversial series "Batman R.I.P", the clown prince of crime hasn't made any official return... until now. What a shocking entrance! For more info, look up the rest of the buzz at DC The Source. And look forward to next month's issue of Batman and Robin, which deals with this startling revelation!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Iron Man 2 Update: Behind The Suits Of Tony Stark...

If there was one thing constant about Iron Man, it's that he always has new armor to wear, and the movie universe is no exception for that matter. Since escaping captivity from a cave with the aid and support of his Mark I armor, Tony Stark has upgraded the design and tweaked it to perfection, beginning things by adding HUD and flight capabilities in the Mark II, and eliminating minor glitches and icing problems with the Mark III. By the time Iron Man 2 takes place, Stark has perfected most of the kinks by developing a more refined suit in the Mark IV armor, and tests the waters of portability and efficiency with the Mark V. His latest piece of tech wear, the Mark VI, harnesses all the advancements at his disposal, including a newly stabilized arc reactor chest piece that gives Iron Man twice the energy he needs to fully establish himself as a dominant one man army.

With its US opening weekend at a cool $128.1M and the numbers looking really good elsewhere around the world, Iron Man 2 is, despite mixed reviews, a smashing success. Yes, the armored avenger looks pretty awesome in the big screen, but how did Jon Favreau and the filmmakers get these suits up and running for the sequel? Well, if you want a peek at the film making process, fret not, for Superherohype and have just the thing to saturate those inquisitive taste buds of die hard Iron Man fans like you and me. has a new video tour up on how the IM2 suits were made - shot and developed in Legacy Effects studio. Speaking with three artists involved in the project - namely LE's Shane Mahan, Dave Merrit, and Ian Joyner, viewers can now see what it took to design the suits and hear firsthand how the artists worked on them and reacted once they saw the fruits of their labor on film. Check it out.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Return Of Bruce Wayne... Begins!

Guess who's starting his comeback this week...

...and for the rest of the preview, check out DC: The Source. Can't wait for this!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Iron Man 2 Update: Regarding Public Idetity...

Seen Iron Man 2 already? I'm sure many of you did, and despite some mixed reviews and opinions we all have and share, it's still a pretty solid sequel that's worth viewing for the superhero fan in you. Now, what comes next after shellhead's second outing on the big screen? Plenty. No doubt many of you already got a tease of what's coming next after seeing the post-credits scene at the end of the film, and it involves a certain Norse God Of Thunder and his own movie, still due on May 6 of next year. However, with everything building up to the Avengers movie, what is next for Iron Man after Iron Man 2? Well, if you're one of the comic book collecting faithful, you're probably aware of the miniseries that launched two weeks ago to coincide with the new movie's release - Iron Man 2: Public Identity.

A three issue prequel story written by Iron Man 2 screenwriter Justin Theroux, Public Identity chronicles the events that occur within the 6 month gap between the first movie and second, taking place immediately after Tony utters the words "I Am Iron Man", revealing his dual identity to the entire world. How everything goes from point A to point B takes off from there, with Stark living the celebrity superhero life by chasing women and defeating the bad guys. However, with Tony pulling out of the weapons manufacturing business and revealing the Iron Man armor to the public, pressure from the government goes to an all time high, with the higher ups adamant at having the billionaire industrialist turn over his technology to them. Of course, Tony has no intention of sharing his knowledge with anyone, for fear of his tech being misused and falling into the wrong hands. But even without Stark's technology with them, a high ranking military figure with close ties to Tony's past wastes no time in waiting for a golden egg to appear, instead setting into motion plans that will force Iron Man to intervene and save the day. This series also gives a closer look into the past life of Tony's dad, Howard Stark, as well as his relationships with his son, Obadiah Stane, and the father of Ivan "Whiplash" Vanko himself, Anton Vanko. With issue number three due next week, now is a perfect time to catch up and enjoy more Iron Man movie goodness by reading this series. For more info and details, hop online and visit!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Inception Is In The Mind...

Iron Man 2 may be opening this week to some good numbers, but let's not forget the other movies hitting later this year, including one original flick from the director who gave us a successful reboot of the Bat-movie franchise - Inception. The new poster that debuted on Slashfilm a few days ago kicks ass, and for those who don't know the score, director Christopher Nolan's next film will star Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, Ken Watanabe, and Michael Caine, and if the casting power hasn't already gotten you excited, maybe the official synopsis will.

"Acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan directs an international cast in an original sci-fi actioner that travels around the globe and into the intimate and infinite world of dreams. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb's rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible-inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming. This summer, your mind is the scene of the crime.

That sound good? It is, and the new trailer also kicks ass, which you can view via i09's post here.

After watching Shutter Island, I'm convinced Leo's new trip into mind game territory will be more intense and enjoyable this time around. I've been enjoying the actor's action/drama films in recent years, and working under Chris Nolan's direction is only going to heighten things up a notch.

Play the "Mind Games" first and watch this film on July 16, 2010.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Movie Legacy Of Street Fighter

I'm sure many of you have seen the trailers... now check out this awesome fan made Street Fighter movie, which is aptly titled "Street Fighter Legacy".


Even if it was fanmade, for three minutes, that was glorious. For Street Fighter fans, live-action movie adaptations of Capcom's fighting franchise have been the subject of remorse and ridicule for years. Attempts were made at creating a film which stayed true to the series roots and spirit, but instead of capitalizing on the name of brawler, it only resulted in lackluster films that failed to use the license effectively. To that end, many fans decided to take matters into their own hands and create their own spin-off movies based on the fighter we all know and love. Before we take a look at what is probably the best looking fanfilm yet, let's take a trip down memory lane and see the evolution of SF on film

Back in 1994, Jean-Claude Van Damme was tapped to star in a live action film adaptation of Street Fighter. Instead of giving us something glorious like Mortal Kombat, everybody found out first hand that Hollywood had no idea how to handle the franchise, turning it into a G.I.Joe styled action flick full of inconsistencies and campy humor. However, what the movie lacked in content, it swiftly made up with some serious star power, and in addition to JCVD's action presence as Col. William Guile and singer Kylie Minogue's sexiness as the beautiful Cammy White, the late and great Raul Julia graced viewers with his last role as General M.Bison, would be dictator and leader of Shadaloo. This film had B-Movie written all over it and the characterizations were more than off the mark, but it still managed to leave an impression in its own unique way, all thanks to the campy dialogue and humor it succeeded in delivering. It's not Street Fighter at its best, but it's got JCVD and Raul Julia, and it's damn funny.

In 2009, Capcom once again dipped their hands into movie making by creating a spin-off flick based on one of Street Fighter's most prominent female protagonist. Of course, I'm talking about Chun-Li, but this movie hardly personifies the self-proclaimed strongest woman in her best. Entitled "Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun-Li", this film really threw whatever hope we had for the movie franchise to redeem itself out of the window. Sure, it had Smallville's Kristin Kreuk in it, but the characterization was absolutely off the mark, and everything else seemed so misplaced that it actually made the first Street Fighter film ten times better! Believe or not, I actually got so hyped to see this movie back when it premiered in theaters. The look in my face after the movie ended just said it all.

Now that a decent Street Fighter film has been made by fans, can we actually expect a major project to be done in this caliber and use the concept properly this time around? Only time can tell for sure. Right now, it's only Legacy and Street Fighter The Later Years that made a big impression on me, and speaking of the latter, it's a production by a couple of years ago that takes a look at the world warriors years after the end of SFII. Hilarious comedy ensues, and you can view the first part of this awesome series in You Tube, via this link.