Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Ghost Rider 2 Trailer Looks… Meh.

I’ve never really considered myself a fan of Ghost Rider.

His design has an undeniable “cool factor” to it, what with the flaming skull and tricked out hellcycle n’shit; but for the most part the actual character of Ghost Rider has never really done it for me.

I grew up occasionally reading Ghost Rider comics, however given my status as a 90’s kid, the stories I ended up getting were of the Daniel Ketch version of the character, not the Johnny Blaze original.

For what it’s worth, I’ve always preferred the Ketch hellcycle to the more Harley Davidson-esque original, however at the same time; most of the Ghost Rider comics I read in my youth failed to leave an impression on me.

Well, except for his pimp-ass fiery Akira-bike.

Maybe it’s just because I read all the wrong books, but in my eyes; Ghost Rider is one of those great ideas, and great designs that rarely gets used properly.

In that sense, it should come as no surprise that the Nic Cage Ghost Rider movie from a few years back stunk something horrible.

The movie was dull and boring, and while the effects work had a surprising amount of love put into it, the physical performances of the title character and his demonic opposition were stiff to the point of being embarrassing.

Maybe it’s just me, but in my mind I don’t picture Ghost Rider moving like Frankenstein after a few dozen choco-laxatives.

"Hold up guys. I have to poop... NOW."

To be fair, I’m guessing the technology used to create the “flaming head” effect was kind of iffy at the time, forcing the actors to restrict their actions to broader and more deliberate movements; but even so, it was more than a little distracting, at least to me.

Batman not being able to turn his head for 18 years is forgivable.

Ghost Rider walking with a rod up his ass and having CGI’ed abs is a whole ‘nother story.

Even Cameron Poe wasn't this cut...

Despite horrid reviews, color me surprised when it was announced awhile back that Marvel would be producing a Ghost Rider sequel titled Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance.

Check out the trailer here:

I really don’t care enough to look up a synopsis for the film, if it exists; but based entirely on the trailer above, the sequel honestly looks like it could surpass the original.

Not that that should be looked upon as any sort of achievement.

Truth be told, I kind of like the new design aesthetic for the Ghost Rider character.

The melting leather jacket, and charred skull add some much needed texture to what was originally kind of a sterile design.

Still not great... But hey, at least this time he can bend his fucking knees.

On top of that, the stunt work looks a little bit more imaginative, largely because; unlike the first film, there actually appear to be stunts at some point in the movie!

I can’t say I’m enthused at the idea of another Ghost Rider movie, however the best compliment I feel I can muster for this trailer is that fact that it doesn’t seem terrible to me.

I’d prefer to see Marvel dump their money into something else, like, I don’t know, A FUCKING MOON KNIGHT MOVIE; but oh well, that’s why they’re the high powered execs/producers and I’m just an unemployed blogger.

Good DVD sales revenue I.E. The Punisher and Ghost Rider, SHOULD NOT drive a studio’s decision making.

The desire to create good product SHOULD.

*AHEM!* Getting back to the subject at hand, in all honesty, the Ghost Rider 2 looks kind of “meh” at this point.

It obviously doesn’t have the funding that Marvel’s A-list character films have been getting as of late, and it has the stigma of being a sequel to a shitty going against it.

To say such a film looks “meh” as opposed to “crappy,” is actually kind of nice when you think about it.

Anyway, fingers crossed for Nic Cage having at least one epic freak-out in this movie, no CG abs, and please God; tell me the fire pissing sequence doesn’t make the final cut of the film.

It was funny when the dog pissed fire to resurrect Freddy in A Nightmare on Elm Street IV.

It was cool when Gabriel Byrne pissed oil in End of Days.

Ghost Rider peeing flames… Well, not only is it out of character, it’s just plain stupid.

 

Pictured: The most expensive flaming piss sequence in all of film history.

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Marvel’s Siege Review

I’m really fuckin’ tired tonight, so I’ll make this quick.

Oh wait, this is an event comic we’re talking about, so there’s no possible way I can say anything about it without first explaining a half dozen or so events leading up to it.

Man, I hate event comics

Anyway, Marvel’s most recent mega event comic, Siege, made it’s collected edition debut a weeks ago, and, fashionably late as I tend to be these days; I just got my hands on it a few days ago.

The basic premise of Siege, was to serve as that of a bookend to the era in the Marvel Universe known as Dark Reign, thereby kicking off the current era, The Heroic Age.

A tonal shift if I've ever seen one...

For those that are unaware, Dark Reign began after the attempted alien Skrull invasion of Earth during Secret Invasion, which ultimately resulted in the Norman Osborn AKA The Green Goblin, coming to prominence in the Marvel Universe as a legitimate public and governmental figure.

Hah, and I just happened to find a pic where George Bush was doing the Spider-Man hands!

Don’t ask.

Anyway, Dark Reign was an era that blanketed the entire Marvel Universe with, well, darkness.

Evil reigned supreme in Marvel from late 2008 to the beginning of 2010, when Siege was finally released.

The basic premise of Siege involves Norman Osborn and his Cabal (a secret collective of unified villains including the likes of Doctor Doom, The Hood, and Loki) attempting to “siege” Asgard, Thor and the other Norse God’s homeworld, which just happens to be floating 10 feet above Oklahoma.

Let it be known: Thor makes everything better.

Again, don’t ask.

While most of his Cabal scoff at Osborn’s ambition, and end up abandoning him, he nonetheless enacts his siege with the entirety of his resources, including the Dark Avengers, (evil replacements wearing the costumes and bearing the titles of established superheroes) several of The Hood’s otherworldly henchmen, all of The Initiative, and of course, the great golden retard himself, The Sentry.

Behold, the Meta Knight/Magneto/Chun-Li of the Marvel Universe... Broken-ass piece of fuck...

While Thor and the other Asgardians put up a decent fight, The Sentry proves to be too powerful to be harmed by anything they can throw at him.

Osborn’s victory seems to be in the bag until a few issues in, when Steve Rogers AKA Captain America, Bucky Barnes AKA Captain America with a Gun, Nick Fury, The Secret Warriors, The Young Avengers, and members of most of the other Avengers variants, decide to finally come out of hiding and assemble some bitches till they die from it.

Said panel of Assemblage.

Oh yeah, and then Iron Man shows up after finally waking up from his period of braindead-ery.

By "braindead-ery" of course I mean, "shrooming."

Go ahead and ask, don’t expect any answers from me.

Essentially, Siege is meant to serve as a massive culmination for all the conflicts brewing over the past year or so, as most of the battles that take place during the siege of Asgard have been long overdue.

By stories’ end, Osborn and his forces are defeated and/or repelled, however one final obstacle stands before our heroes…

A certain golden, retarded obstacles that’s just been given orders to kill…

At that point, The Sentry makes his long hinted at, and all too obvious transformation into his alternative EVIL persona, The Void, thereby resulting in a climax scenario that mirrors that of just about every major anime film since Nausicaa.

Pictured: The climax of Siege.

The world world crumbles, major characters die violent deaths… Oh whatever, I’ll just let Bill Murray handle this for me, he’s so much better at it:

CLICK HERE ‘CAUSE YOUTUBE FAILS AT EMBEDDING
*Sigh* Now that we’ve got all that goddamn explanation out of the way, let’s get down to how I felt about Siege.

I liked Siege.

It was straightforward, tautly paced, and reasonably approachable for the most part.

The whole thing is only 4 issues long, with an additional 2 included for the purpose of providing expositional padding for the collected edition.

Unlike say, DC’s Blackest Night (we’ll cover that some other time), which was 8 issues long, Siege had the advantage of being a streamlined, and simple event meant to appeal on the basest of levels.

Pictured: A similar ploy to appeal to said levels.

Probably my favorite part about Siege, was the fact that it really is just an “event.”

The whole story takes place over the course of a handful of hours, resulting in a scenario that feels focused and immediate to the point in which there isn’t really any room for plot holes to emerge.

On the downside, the relatively low page count also means that most of the individual battles you’ve been waiting all this time to see, the Venom vs. Spider-Man, the Wolverine vs. Daken, Iron Man vs. The Iron Patriot, end up being shown in the background of panels, but rarely ever explored in any sort of detail.

Sadly, this is actually kind of accurate...

That being said, Siege is an event that, like most event comics, seems to require the reader to take a look at some of the spin-offs and crossovers to get the whole picture, at least for the characters they care about.

Personally, I see myself checking out Siege: Battlefield and definitely Siege: Thunderbolts at some point, however I’ve heard Siege: Embedded is bad news.

Pictured: A woman receiving several copies of Siege: Embedded from an elephant.

While I haven’t personally read Brian Michael Bendis before, (remember, I’m not an Avengers guy) I can honestly say that after reading Siege, I’m thinking about taking a look at some of his other stuff.

While the plot progression was manic at times, due to the low page count, Bendis’ strength, in my opinion; is his ability to give a real sense of personality and voice to each individual character.

At the end of every issue of Siege, there are a few pages of text-only dialogues between some of the major players in the story regarding the events of, uh, the event.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I found these pages to be interesting throughout.

In particular, I was impressed by the first of them, wherein Osborn and his Dark Avengers sit down with Ares to plan out the actual siege of Asgard.

What? You didn't KNOW that Ares, the Greek God of war was a Marvel Comics character?

“Listening” to Venom and Bullseye bitch and moan about the inherent lunacy in taking on literal Gods on their home turf, was both funny and true to form.

Though each character’s speech is preceded by a note regarding who exactly is speaking, I bet most of us could read these scenes without such aides, as each character is written that sharply.

On the visual side of things, again, Olivier Coipel is not an artist I am familiar with, but, as with Brian Michael Bendis’ writing, I think I might have to check out his other stuff.

Coipel, who is apparently the current artist for Thor, has a style that is intrinsically geared towards the Asgardian aesthetic.

His men are burly and square-jawed, and his women are, well, burly and square-jawed.

Seriously, there’s a panel of Victoria Hand early on that is downright Xena in how butch it is.

Yikes! You could lose a hand to those cheekbones!

Anyway, outside of that one panel, Coipel’s work in Siege is gorgeous.

Aside from his very clean lines and wonderfully fluid character designs, the sense of motion and speed generated by his action panels is truly breathtaking.

Seriously, there were times in this comic that I caught myself being able to actually see the panels spring to animated life.

THIS my friends, is why I bought Siege.

Kudos definitely need to be given to the colorist of Siege as well, as the color palette is refreshingly vibrant and diverse throughout, with many of the earlier scenes being all blue skies and daisies and such, while during the later scenes, particularly the ones involving The Void, things take on an menacing and otherworldly tone.

Anyway, Siege was a good event comic for me, someone that doesn’t really care much for event comics.

It’s a shame most of the “slug-fest” aspect of the event was omitted from the core storyline, as unlike novels, comics are usually best crafted on the page rather than in one’s imagination, but oh well, I liked it anyway.

I’ll let yah’ know how the spin-offs turn out.

Filed under: Comics, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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