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Cross-Hatchings for February 2015

by  in Comic News Comment
Cross-Hatchings for February 2015

This-n-that. Some amusing links, some interesting books, and of course comics.

Aqua-Arguments: By now, if you have an internet connection and even a passing interest in superheroes, you’ll have seen this photo of Jason Momoa as Aquaman.

It didn’t bother me as much as it did some people– I think it looks like a variation of the Peter David version, and that’s fine with me.

But I don’t see anything here to dislodge my initial assessment from the other photos that are out there that this movie is probably doing to be as grimly grayed-out and not-my-thing as DARK KNIGHT RISES and MAN OF STEEL were. Those movies felt to me like they’re still fighting the playground battle about how “superheroes are NOT dumb!” By contrast, THE FLASH and ARROW have shown that it really is possible for DC live-action adaptations to use different tones and approaches, and that when those characters cross over they bring those different approaches with them…. and that’s the whole point. That’s what makes team-ups fun.

My issues with this movie have nothing to do with Jason Momoa, or Ben Affleck, or really any of the actors– I think they’re all talented, hardworking folks who will do a good job. I just think the tone Snyder & co. have chosen is probably not going to be for me. Clearly the success of their previous movies proves that there are lots of people that like that approach, though, and if you’re one of them, more power to you. No need to re-litigate that whole argument yet again.

Anyway, that’s not my point. My point is that the absolute best thing to come out of the whole “Aquaman IS cool dammit!” obsession is this essay. I can tell you that if you picture surly Jason Momoa Aquaman saying it, it’s about a million times funnier.

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Other Movie Stuff…. Rarely have I wanted a movie to really exist as badly as I want this one to. Seriously. Someone make it happen.

But in the meantime, the comic is here. i hope we at least get more of the comics, because I cannot overstate how much I love the idea of cult 1970s movies getting the Muppet treatment. The more I think about it, the more endless the possibilities are. Muppet The Warriors with Gonzo clinking the bottles and saying “WARR-iors… come out and PLAY-AYYY….” Muppet Omega Man with Kermit as Heston, an Afro’d Miss Piggy as Lisa, and Bert in shades as Matthias with Ernie as his henchman. Dear God, Muppet Zardoz.

Also, people keep asking me what I thought of the new UNCLE trailer.

Short version? I love that it’s a period piece, I don’t love that it looks like an origin story. I wasn’t crazy about the bickering between Solo and Illya but I adored what Cavill is doing with his voice, he IS Napoleon Solo. Overall it looks promising.

In my daydream world maybe if UNCLE is a hit then it’ll get them to finally release the new Saint movie with Adam Rayner and Eliza Dushku that’s been sitting in the can for a couple of years now.

It’s killing me knowing that Saint movie exists and is completely unavailable; I can tell from the trailer that it’s by someone who actually read the original Leslie Charteris novels. Not only has it got Eliza Dushku as Patricia Holm, but the villain is “Marius” — that is to say, Rayt Marius, the bad guy so bad it took Simon a couple of books to put him away for good. (You can find the original Rayt Marius saga in this collection, if you are so inclined.)

But I digress. The point is, new UNCLE looks good but I’m really looking forward to the ‘rising tide lifts all boats’ bonanza of re-issues and such that should come with it if it’s a hit. There are some cool old UNCLE comics that would be nice to see back in print. Books too.

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Movies In Your Mind: I have recommended these before, but it’s worth reminding you that Graphic Audio does these wonderful full-cast audio dramatizations of superhero stories. They were just doing the DC novelizations but they’ve added Marvel as well.

But my new favorite thing is the adaptations they’ve done of the Mack Bolan books– The Executioner, Stony Man, all of them. They are AWESOME.

This is my first exposure to these stories– I’ve really only read the early books– and though it’s not making me run out and buy the novels I can’t get enough of these audiobook CD’s. Mostly because the guy playing Bolan, Terence Aselford, is terrific. He IS Bolan. Listen to this sample.

So far my favorites are Code of Resistance and Time Bomb but they’re all great fun. I scooped mine up used on Amazon for about five bucks each and they’ve really made the daily work commute a lot more entertaining.

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Get Well Soon! Dep’t: We are greatly relieved that Len Wein is home from the hospital and recovering nicely. Of my favorite comics growing up, Mr. Wein wrote something like a third of them, so it’s good to hear he’s getting better.

Likewise Marv Wolfman, another pillar of my youthful pop culture education, also has had medical stuff that had him sidelined, but he’s home now too.

Best wishes to both for a continued speedy recovery!

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And that’s all I’ve got, this time out. See you next week.

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