Category Archives: Features

The 30 Greatest Comic Book Movie Trailers


Trailers can be amazing, and they can be sleep inducing. They can also be so far from accurately depicting the quality of the film in which they’re designed to promote that one can only shake his head in bewilderment.

You’re going to find a few trailers on this list that may surprise you, not because the overall quality of the trailer, but the overall lack of quality of the films (I’m really looking at you, Green Lantern!) themselves. Don’t be too shocked by a revelation of such nature – major studios pay talented videographers and editors to sit and create a brilliant enough trailer cut to persuade viewers to rush to theaters to check the film out.

Now, onto the list!

X-Men: The Last Stand

Such high hopes for The Last Stand. None were met. Somehow Brett Ratner botches the film, which feels disjointed and – believe it or not – rather boring for noticeable stretches of time. I enjoy the movie, but it’s one of the worst of the bunch. But you know what? This trailer certainly gets the blood pumping. If only the film held something more to offer…

Sin City

Just a genius piece of work from Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, Sin City looked like a slick pic when the trailers initially began rolling out. Then the film dropped and surpassed expectations. It’s a good thing they nailed the trailers for this one, it warranted every bit of support imaginable. Stellar film with a few stellar trailers to pique our interest.

300

Holy hell at how epic this story is! It’s another Miller project landing on the list, and you all know it deserves to be here. The cinematography will leave you speechless and the clash of vibrant and dark, gloomy colors does something special. Another top notch flick to follow a top notch trailer.

Watchmen

I can’t get over how much I enjoyed Watchmen, the film as well as the comic run (still got it!). It’s such a sharp tale drenched in witty plot movements and gorgeously overlapping narratives… it’s almost unreal. Alan Moore’s original tale is stunning, and there’s justice done to that source in Zack Snyder’s massive movie.

The Dark Knight

I can sum this one up with the greatest of ease. This trailer is so epic, so broad and so thrilling, it’s better than half of the stuff we see Hollywood pumping out on a regular basis. ‘Nuff said.

Green Lantern

Green Lantern was bad. No, it was really bad. Nah, scratch that as well. Green Lantern was nauseatingly bad. Force down the bile bad. And it couldn’t even pull off unintentional humor, let alone intentional laughs. The movie has me dumbfounded, just thinking about it. And yet here this is… an absolutely awesome trailer that gives us the idea that yes, it’s going to inject some humor, but it’s also going to be a very grim film. Someone did some slick editing with that trailer, because the film never knows what it wants to be, and that’s just the beginning of the pic’s problems.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Love it. Loads of action. Humor with a slight edge. Charismatic young group of well-casted performers. And tons of crazy outer space warfare. The movie redefines fun, and it’s one of the best on this entire list.

Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man 3 looked ridiculous when trailers were being released. We caught glimpses of all sorts of insanity, and we all knew going into the film that not one, or two, but a handful of villains would be making their presence known. Sounded awesome, and the trailer made it look like it was going to live up to the earliest hype. Then the movie came out and went all weirdo, emo, jazz dancing love crap. And then it got worse when we see Venom for like seven tenths of a second, and this all comes after we’ve been let down by a somewhat premature collision with the Sandman.

The Avengers

Umm… do I really need to explain this insanity? I’ll confess to not enjoying the second Avengers film much, but this one was a winner, and so was this awesome trailer.

Batman

Michael Keaton rocked as Batman. Tim Burton had a clear vision for the character. Together they played crucial roles in creating one of the greatest Batman films in history. This trailer may not be loaded with as many explosions we see today, but it’s great all the same. The vintage look of Gotham alone should be enough to make you want to revisit this one.

Blade II

I always feel a little offended when people attempt to tell me that Guillermo del Toro’s Blade II sucked. I thoroughly enjoy the film, which brings more dread to the franchise than the first and the third, and adds intriguing dynamics by bringing two enemies together to battle an even more menacing threat. A threat that stands to potentially leave every last one of them expired. Let’s be real, that new threat is AWESOME and he makes for some ruthless violence. You get a nice glimpse of the amazingness of this film right here in that nifty trailer.

X-Men: Apocalypse

I obviously haven’t seen this one yet, as it hasn’t hit theaters as of the time of this writing, but I’m stoked beyond belief for it. Apocalypse is no doubt one of the nastiest X-Men foes in existence. This one should be good – we know the trailer is awesome!

The Incredible Hulk

After Ang Lee’s 2003 disaster, Hulk, I feared it may not be possible to give this story a high caliber transfer. In 2008 Louis Leterrier proved me wrong. Oh, and Edward Norton slayed! The film is a blast with one of the better finales you’ll find within the Marvel Universe.

30 Days of Night

Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith scared the hell out of me with 30 Days of Night. It was such an original concept and it was written and illustrated seamlessly. Then word of a cinematic transfer arrived I got nervous, fearing no filmmaker could do the story justice. David Slade did it justice and then some. And the trailer is beautifully haunting, totally capturing the vibe of the film.

Deadpool

Wade Wilson, AKA Deadpool is about as nuts as it gets. He’s also loaded with sharp one liners that keep audiences exhibiting a grin on their faces. Ryan Reynolds was born to play the role, and after pushing to make it a reality, he finally got the word to move forward with Deadpool. Thank the high heavens, this movie rocks. And so do all of the trailers to drop. They’re all drenched in self-deprecating humor and hot shot sequences and they’re some of the best we’ve ever seen.

Dredd

I don’t care what anyone says: Pete Travis’ Dredd was an amazing flick. Atypical yet stunning cinematography keep our eyes stuck on the screen, and the breakneck speed of the picture is awesome. It’s insane violence from the jump and it doesn’t subside until a meager five minutes remain on the clock. Check out the trailer for a brief taste of the sublime!

Captain America: Civil War

After finding it difficult to get into Captain America: Civil War, I was totally impressed by the trailer. It’s got a perfectly measured mix of drama and action and I can see how many would flock after a trailer like this.

The Crow

It’s dark. It’s evil. It’s murder. It’s revenge. It’s The Crow, one of the shining films of the 1990s, and it’s all about revenge on a small gang of hoodlums. The look of the picture is melancholy, so despairing that you’ll probably find yourself feeling miserable about life as the movie moves forward. That’s kind of the idea behind the film, and that idea was captured wonderfully in this trailer.

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice

I didn’t think it was possible to make a movie that ensures Batman and Superman will duke it out tirelessly feel boring. Not just boring, but painfully dull, yawn inducing, want my ticket price back boring.

Well, it turns out it is possible. Zack Snyder just made it happen. The only cool parts in this humorless and humanless actioner can be seen in the trailers, so go ahead and watch those while bypassing the ultra-straight edge drama film that has absolutely nothing to do with fun (the film avoids fun like the plague) or realism. Or Superman and Batman as you know them.

From Hell

Eerie, eerie, eerie – eerie! That sums up From Hell perfectly. The story plays pretty faithful to Alan Moore’s brilliant book. There are a few iconic shots in the film and it’s every bit as dreadful as the best Ripper movies out there. The consistency of the picture offered a somewhat easy pass for the man in charge of putting this trailer together. I can’t be mad at that. A good flick is a good flick, and a good trailer is still a good trailer.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

I wish this movie had been good, because it looks absolutely ridiculous. The trailer looks like we’d be dealing with an unquestionable success story. Such was not the case. Sadly, Spirit of Vengeance was kind of a stinker.

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army

Given how aesthetically pleasing Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy films are, it should come as absolutely no surprise that both films offer some magnetic teasers. The big red beast with a sense of humor and a low tolerance for beer is never a letdown. I’m still hoping for a third live action film, just to bring the story to a very definitive close. Whether we get one more or not, we’ve still got this awesome trailer.

Iron Man 2

I couldn’t pretend to enjoy Iron Man 2 if you held a firearm to my head. It just didn’t do it for me in any way whatsoever. And that’s why the trailer gets a mention here, because the trailer did do it for me. I loved it. I thought they nailed it with a solid look of Whiplash. And then I saw the movie and couldn’t force my mind to become stimulated to any degree. No matter how closely I paid attention, I just kept checking out. Another trailer superior to the film.

Jonah Hex

Okay, I admit it, this is a guilty pleasure film for me. It’s got problems stacked onto of cheese mountains, but it still entertains the hell out of me. There are a few creepy moments that work, but the truth is the movie’s tough to take seriously. The trailer certainly suggests a different film altogether, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it made. Until then I settle for the wicked trailer.

R.I.P.D.

While R.I.P.D. didn’t end up being the outlandish alien-actioner I’d hoped for, it has a few moments. Most of those moments involve Jeff Bridges… not that that’s a surprise. What is a surprise is the trailer itself, which pretty much snags the coolest moments from the film and stuffs them all into a two-plus minute package.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

You wanna talk about absolutely insane movies? Let’s talk about Edgar Wright’s balls out, non-stop shockathon, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. The film is every bit as wonderfully nutty as the concept itself, which sees the wildly dorky Scott Pilgrim tangling with seven scorned lovers, all for the heart of Ramona Flowers, a cute but quirky chick. Such a great movie with one of the greatest trailers on this list. Just watch the teaser – you’ll want to see the movie – which is awesome, for the record – ASAP.

The Wolverine

I won’t call The Wolverine a masterpiece of a movie, but it’s a whole hell of a lot better than X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which was pretty much a steaming pile of number two. In fact, this trailer for The Wolverine is better than everything about X-Men Origins… that’s gotta say something, right?

Man of Steel

I really don’t want to speak on this movie very much, but I’ll try to get through a brief notation. Zack Snyder erased the man from Superman, and turned him into a violent dude with destruction on his mind. Well, I guess it’s General Zod on his mind, but this version of Superman clearly doesn’t give a hoot about collateral damage or innocent bystanders, which pretty much goes against everything we’ve come to love about Superman. At least the trailer was cool.

Suicide Squad

After the train wreck that was Batman vs. Superman, my excitement for the Suicide Squad film has plummeted. Thus far it seems pretty obvious that the gang behind this new “DC Universe” doesn’t have a damn clue how to make it all come together. It was a nice idea, following in Marvel’s footsteps, but so far that idea has done nothing but backfire. Here’s hoping DC can gift us at least one single awesome contemporary film. I’m not holding my breath, though. Rather, I’m just enjoying this amazing trailer and preparing myself to acknowledge that every good part is featured in this brief cut.

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

Before comic adaptations were the in thing, Superman was fighting the good fight on the screen. While there’s something to enjoy from each of the first four films featuring Christopher Reeve, the fourth movie was the true blast of the lot. It also had an amazing trailer that had a youngster like me climbing the walls when I original saw it back in 1987. It’s an oldie, but it’s a goodie!

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The 10 Most Terrifying and Dangerous X-Men Villains


The X-Men may be more popular today than they ever have. That’s a result of the staggering success the group has enjoyed on the big screen. We’ve seen a number of X-Men movies, a handful of slick spinoffs and we don’t believe that trend will end any time soon. In fact, we’re due for another big screen project soon, as X-Men: Apocalypse will be hitting theaters this month. It looks awesome, and Apocalypse is a stellar opponent to challenge our beloved heroes.

In honor of X-Men: Apocalypse we’ve put together a list of the top 10 X-Men villains, and you may be surprised by a few of the names and faces you see. Check it out below!

10 Blob

blob

You’re welcome to spew hate at me for this pick, but I’ve always gotten a serious kick out of the Blob. The last I read of Blob he’d lost his powers, but not his presence. The man is massive and if you don’t think a fat dude can put a beating on someone, you haven’t been paying much attention to Blob.

09 Mystique

mystique

Mystique, despite surfacing in a bunch of X-Men movies, is still somewhat underrated as a villain. Throughout the years she seems as though she’s struggled with her identity, uncertain whether she’d prefer to be the terrorist or the heroine. We prefer her in the villainous role, shape shifting into anybody just to dole out some punishment.

08 Sebastian Shaw

sebastian shaw

The thing about Sebastian is, the more damage you put on the guy, the more he flips it into unbelievable strength and abilities. You can forget the rest of his posse, the Hellfire Club, this dude is the alpha, all the way.

07 Omega Red

omega red

Hands down one of the coolest looking and most gifted adversaries the X-Men have ever known, Omega Red’s appearances are always memorable. There are very few enemies I prefer to watch wage war with Wolverine, and there’s a good reason for that. Just look at the dude, he’s a scarier version of Wolverine… and he just so happened to go through some of the same genetic modifications that Logan himself underwent years ago. Weapon X vs Weapon Red? Yeah, gotta love that!

06 Mr. Sinister

sinister

An uber bad dude who wouldn’t be an uber bad dude if not for Apocalypse, Mr. Sinister has the ability to basically create and control mutants. Doesn’t bode well for the X-Men. That said, Sinister isn’t untouchable, and despite his abilities, he’s nowhere near the menace that Apocalypse himself is… even if he does look damn cool.

05 Juggernaut

juggernaut

Cain Marko has always been a favorite of mine. He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, and he may not be the most tactical foe, but when the Juggernaut rampages we see big damage. He’s kind of like a cross between the Incredible Hulk and Rhino… and Professor X – his step brother. That’s a nasty combination, but it’s made for some amazing wars with the X-Men over the years.

04 Sabretooth

sabretooth

Okay, full disclosure: Sabretooth is one of, if not my absolute favorite Marvel villain. He’s animalistic and ruthless, massive and imposing. The fangs, the claws, the chops. Good lord. Did we mention that he too is a product of the Weapon X Program? That makes him damn near unstoppable, and that makes him even more terrifying than nine of 10 of the X-Men’s foes.

03 Onslaught

onslaught

Onslaught kills fools, straight up. As one of the “younger” villains of the X-Men, he’s left an unbelievable mark on the Marvel universe. Inadvertently created by Professor X and Magneto, Onslaught was initially believed to simply be Professor X, but it turned out his origin was a bit more complex than that. It’s too bad we don’t see more of this beast because he’s nasty.

02 Apocalypse

apocalypse

Apocalypse’s time as a mutant far surpass the vast majority of all Marvel characters. He’s basically one of – if not the very first mutant, and that means he’s had tie to hone his skills of destruction. He’s a tyrant, no two ways about it, and in his mind, OTSS (only the strong survive), which means he’s eager to sweep through the X-Men’s ranks and obliterate all but the toughest of the tough. Amazing villain, and it’s going to be great watching him onscreen come May 27th.

01 Magneto

magneto

The villain of all villains, Magneto has been the thorn in the side of the X-Men since X-Men #1. He’s a revolutionary with a skewed view of things and an ability to control all metal objects. That means he has no issues doing things like, oh I don’t know, ripping the adamantium right from Wolvie’s skeletal structure! There’s a reason Magneto has remained so popular all of these years, he’s a wonderfully complex character capable of showing compassion and capable on embarking on a mission of destruction. His relationship with Professor X also makes him quite the intriguing character.

Spider-Man: The Top 10 Villains


Everyone wants a piece of Spider-Man. He’s a skinny little fellow with a big mouth and an absurd ability to make foes four times his size look like bumbling fools. He’s basically every high school nerd’s dream come true, on paper. That may in fact be a huge part of the appeal of the Spider. Everyone who’s ever been picked on by a much bigger, aggressive jock bully, has had a desire to mop the floor with that bully. Spider-Man makes that happen, just about every time he’s forced to tangle with a bad guy, and he’s done so to men as mean as the following…

10 Kraven the Hunter

Kraven

As far back as I can remember, Kraven never had a very valid reason to beef with Puny Peter Parker. As I recall, the encounters of this nature generally stem from Kraven’s desire to overcome his most formidable prey. In other words, it’s just a form of competition for the infamous big game hunter. But as history has shown us, the Spider tends to out-duel the hulking and crafty Kraven.

9 Lizard

Lizard

Doctor Conners was once a decent guy. Then he had a big brain fart in his laboratory and injected himself with that bad-news-all-over-it lizard serum. The result? A massive, agile lizard capable of basically controlling all different sorts of reptiles and bashing skulls with that tremendous tail of his. Naturally, the Lizard stands out a bit, and that means many a collision with Spider-Man is guaranteed business.

8 Electro

Electro

Electro is just a disgruntled dude, and who can blame the guy? He was just a hard-working guy who happened to have a terrible injury on the job. This, naturally made Maxwell Dillon eager to throw a few lightning bolts and let off some steam (Bennett… sorry, it was too easy), and well… Spider-Man can’t let that insanity happen in such a booming metropolis. Hence the many battles these two have had. Electro has some very dangerous abilities, but he comes up just a bit short in the brains department, which has enabled the Spider to get the upper hand time and again.

7 Vulture

Vulture

Adrian Toomes has always been one of Spider-Man’s most compelling and interesting villains. The man has true brainpower on his side, being am inventor with ingenuity in his blood he’s always seemed to have the potential to defeat Spider-Man. All that said, while Vulture may have the creativity to come up big in a showdown with the wall-crawler, he lacks the heart and seems to fold when things don’t go his way. Never a good thing when you’re fighting a youngster with a heart as big as Texas.

5 Carnage

Carnage

Cletus Kasady ran into a symbiote that changed existence as he knew it. It also connected him to Venom forever. But Carnage didn’t exactly live in Venom’s shadow. No. This nasty wreaks his own havoc where he can when he can. While Carnage may be considered the “spawn of Venom,” he can actually do a few things that Venom can’t, like form his black and bloody gooeyness into sharp or serrated blades. We’re talking about a whole new challenge for Parker. But, as is the case with Venom, Kasady doesn’t always know when to quit while ahead. Spidey’s just too smart for this kind of villain.

4 Sandman

Sandman

Flint Marko rocks. Not because he’s a great guy or anything, but because he was shapeshifting and manipulating the elements in unique ways longer than just about every nemesis on this list. The first time we see that sand mold itself into a giant hand, and the Sandman bellows “Okay Spider-Man! Now it’s just you ‘n me! Once I finish you off, nobody’ll be able to stop me,” we know that this is a foe who can create very interesting problems for the Web Head. I’m still aching to see an outstanding filmmaker bring the Sandman to the big screen in a way that does him true justice (sorry, Raimi, there was quite a bit left to be desired by Spider-Man 3).

3 Venom

Venom

Venom was the first major villain born into the Marvel universe during my time. I missed the introduction of other greats included in this lineup, but I was here and collecting in 1988, when this uber intimidating alien symbiote with the power to completely brainwash its host while bulking up to epic proportions was introduced by David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane. Although we didn’t see much of the true Venom in The Amazing Spider-Man #299, he does have one of the most memorable cameos in history. It’s hard to shake that image of Venom in the shadows, his grin stretching to grotesque dimensions as he welcomes Mary Jane home, “Hi, Honey…” That sums up the creepiness and control of Venom, perfectly.

2 Doc Ock

Doc Ock

Another one of Spider-Man’s oldest rivals, Doctor Otto Octavius scared the urine out of me as a child. I can’t recall which issue of Amazing Spider-Man I was reading, but I remember I hadn’t been reading long when my parents picked up a random issue. That issue featured Ock and boy did that haunt my dreams for a while. The thing is, Dock Ock is still frightening. He’s edgier in his more recent appearances and Alfred Molina did the character beautiful justice in Sam Raimi’s second franchise film. This is a multi-layered character that has been as savage as imaginable and as sympathetic as a child who’s lost his way home. Amazing villain, and no doubt one of the finest antagonists ever created in the comic world.

1 Green Goblin

Green Goblin

If Spider-Man has a legitimate arch nemesis, it’s Green Goblin. This guy framed Parker for murder. This guy tortured Spidey in a bid to turn him to the dark side. He worked up an elaborate clone saga. This guy just about completely ruined Parker’s life when he played a very direct role in the death of one of Peter Parker’s first true loves, Gwen Stacy. Parker has taken a lot of “Ls” at the hands of the Green Goblin, and if anyone had the resolve and grit to kill the iconic character, it would no doubt be the green one. Where the future will take us – with any rendition of Green Goblin – remains to be seen, but you’ve got to expect the Green Goblin to cause more turmoil down the line, one way or another.

The 25 Greatest Superheroes


Superheroes have held the attention of the young and old alike for decades. Comic books – the primary channel in which superheroes appear – have given us that avenue to escape reality, even if only for a short period of time. Who hasn’t read a Batman book and thought, I wish I could rid the streets of my city like that, looking sleek in that black suit! Most comic book lovers have always been able to relate to the human side of heroes while admiring their otherworldly gifts. Those are natural responses. We love heroes. We love what they typically stand for. We love the fact that heroes can do what we can’t. That’s why we admire them. That’s why we admire the following 25 superheroes, because there’s humanity and courage in every last one of them.

Savage Dragon

Savage Dragon

Massive, amnesiac green dude equipped with a head fin. Did we mention he’s a cop? Still going strong after well over 200 issues, this is one dude you simply don’t want to tangle with. Kudos to creator Erik Larsen for creating a genuinely fresh superhero.

Sub-Mariner

Namor

Namor is so overlooked it’s really quite heartbreaking. Maybe Marvel should pull his tail out of the depths and let the company’s first official mutant actually get some shine! All the options on the table… all swept away by the sea.

Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)

Green Lantern

Okay, so Green Lantern went through a few sketchy times. Who doesn’t nearly destroy masses when possessed by some weirdo? What matters is that Hal got his head clear and his mojo back. This dude is game for any showdown. Big or small, fast or slow – line ‘em up and Green Lantern will handle his business.

Spider-Man

Spider-Man

Peter Parker’s become much trendier over the last few decades. In fact, read just about any Spidey title on the shelves and you’ll note that he’s now become something of a cool cat. He’s still got jokes, though, and that’s a big relief. He’s also got an assortment of enemies to throttle that is rivaled only by the great Batman.

Aquaman

Aquaman

It feels like Aquaman doesn’t kick ass with as much flare of some of his fellow DC heroes. That’s probably because everything moves in slow motion once fully submerged. While that may never change, there are options to transform this noble stud. I mean, really, why not a modern day crossover that pits Aquaman and Namor? That would be awesome!

Captain Marvel

Captmarvel

Be honest with yourselves: You love Captain Marvel. He’s a little pipsqueak kid with big dreams, a big heart and the ability to transform into a hulking crime fighting machine, just by using a silly childlike word: SHAZAM!

The Flash (Barry Allen)

49_BarryAllen

I’m not going to lie to you, I’m a fan of every man to ever embrace the Flash moniker. Jay Garrick, Wally West, Bart Allen and of course, Barry Allen. Regardless of who donned the suit, these guys were amazing. Using their brains to contact outrageous inventions in labs, speeding through the city to prevent a mugging, speeding right back to the other side of the city to ensure Captain Cold gets a dose of warmth before he ruins some unsuspecting soul’s meal. The Flash is amazing, and Barry may be the man who has done him most justice over the years.

Human Torch

Human Torch

I recall reading an ancient copy of Fantastic Four, and while little of the details stick out to me (I read the book back in 1988/1989 and it was already an older issue), I still haven’t let go of this minor tirade that Johnny Storm launches into, pissing and moaning about the challenges his super-powers bring about. As I recall, Thing put him in his place. But, to get that self-loathing from a guy who enjoys putting up a cocky front was great. It was a rare moment spent looking at the real Human Torch, who, as it turns out, has just as many inhibitions as you and I.

Martian Manhunter

Martian Manhunter

Martial Manhunter should, theoretically, be the baddest hero in existence. He should, realistically, have a half dozen monthly titles dedicated to him. He’s like Superman multiplied by 100, with telepathy, invisibility, telekinesis and the ability to shape-shift (I feel like I’m missing a few of his other powers). And that should pretty much guarantee the Manhunter can and will win every battle he ever engages in. Unfortunately, despite his tremendous skill set, Martian Manhunter often goes overlooked by fans. My theory? You’re all a bunch of racists, unwilling to give a green man a fair shake.

Cyclops

Cyclops

The first deeply mature and refined pupil of Professor X, Cyclops always has his head on straight, always looks out for his fellow X-mates and never hesitates when it’s time to react. He’s one of the leaders of the X-Men for a myriad of reasons. And to his credit, he’s found himself in some very precarious situations. And he always stagger emerges from the dust and rubble. To top it all off, he’s been engaged in some great feuds, each vying for Jean Grey’s love. Guess who put a ring on it?

Nick Fury

Nick Fury

Nick Fury is basically a super spy extraordinaire with the skills to treat the Avengers like simple puppets. Although Nick holds those powerful strings, he can also be a threat in good old fashioned hand-to-hand combat. Need another reason we love Fury so much? He makes every man on earth want to wear an eyepatch. You gotta be a special son-of-a-gun to make the eye patch cool.

Green Arrow

Green Arrow

A socially conscious and heavily opinionated gent, Oliver Queen is gnarly in the best of ways. He’s equipped with all kinds of tricky gadgets although that bow and arrow function as the true trademark. I’ve also got to praise Arrow’s ruthlessness when it comes to the villainess type. This man has no mercy and he believes in severe punishment. Respect to you, Mr. Arrow!

Hellboy

Hellboy

Hellboy might be the greatest superhero not related to Marvel or DC. Mike Mignola’s creation is loaded with sharp humor but he’s all business when it comes time to take down demonic beasts from hell. Hellboy is awesome, flat out, and the fact that he’s red doesn’t hurt his cause!

Professor X

Professor X

Charles Xavier is kind of like the Godfather of superheroes. If not for this gentleman would we even have characters like Jean Grey, Cyclops, Wolverine, etc., etc.? Probably not. This man earns huge points on his accomplishments alone, but when he really opens his mind, he’s fully capable of tearing the bad guys apart. No one wants to lose a fight to a guy in a wheelchair.

The Thing

The Thing

The Thing is a brute. But you know what? He’s also kind of a nice guy. He tends to bicker with his fiery ally, but it’s typically in good fun. If it wasn’t, you can guarantee that Johnny Storm would find himself one with the pavement. It’s the Thing’s charisma and gentle heart that ultimately land him on this list. He’s just a good guy, and he’s always got the backs of his fellow Fantastic Four members.

Thor

Thor

A major player of classic mythology, Thor has now become synonymous with a long haired blonde gent capable of taking a building down with a single swing of the hammer. Thor can come off as a little arrogant from time to time, but you would too, if you were a god… right? The fact that the man earns respect from measly humans as well as nobles from other worlds is a reminder that he’s one to follow.

Jean Grey

Jean Grey

One of the founding members of the X-Men, Jean Grey is arguably the most powerful telepath on the planet. She also seems to struggle with her identity a bit. Is She Jean Grey? Is she the Phoenix? Is she dead, or alive? Who knows… who cares, her influence on the X-Men is still unwavering. Plus, she’s uber hot!

Iron Man

Iron Man

Those who only watch Iron Man films and avoid reading the comments may not realize it, but Tony Stark is something of a ticking time bomb. All the money in the world doesn’t change his well disguised death wish. He’s always pushing the borders of his suit, and there’s a very human reason for that. In some ways, Iron Man is the most complex character on the Marvel roster. Regardless of any mental issues the man has, we love him. And his armor.

Daredevil

Daredevil

Do we really need to dive into this one? Daredevil is badder than bad. The dude literally destroys villains… and he’s blind. HE’S BLIND!! ‘Nuff said.

The Hulk

Hulk

When Bruce Banner rages, the world feels that rage. Sometimes the good guys feel it too, as Hulk kind of… loses himself from time to time. All the same, Bruce is a great guy with a brilliant mind, and the Hulk is a wrecking ball that no villain would voluntarily tangle with. I’m always up to see the big green man in purple pants tear a few buildings down.

Captain America

Captain America

Captain America is like Marvel’s father figure. He’s an amazing guy, pure in intentions, always respectful and capable of dismantling just about everyone. This is the first true Avenger and his counterparts treat him as such. There’s no shortage of respect for the man who always acts as an upstanding citizen. He’s quite literally the prototypical All American Good Guy. Cap rocks!

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

Somehow Wonder Woman can whip a villain with ease with that Lasso of Truth, all the while maintaining her purity and connection to the peaceful side of life. That sentence feels like a whole bunch of oxymoron’s battling each other in just a few words. But that’s what Wonder Woman does. And she represents female empowerment like none other in the comic world. Sexy, dangerous and influential, Wonder Woman was an obvious pick for this list. Who doesn’t love the Amazonian?

Wolverine

Wolverine

There’s a reason Wolverine is such a beloved character; he’s as human as you and I. Of course he does indeed have some nifty super powers, but he’s a haunted human being. Like so many of us, he battles his own demons on a regular basis. He’s lost a lot of what he once loved about life. That too, eats at him. In short, Wolverine is a sad story… a haunted soul in unending pain, and that’s something that a lot of us can truly relate to. 40 years ago no one would believe you if you told them a mutant with nasty claws that burst from his flesh would prove to be an insanely relatable and human character, but that’s exactly who and what Logan is.

Batman

Batman

Gotham’s wealthiest detective moonlights in a stunning suit designed to prevent any bodily damage. How’s that sound? Sounds accurate! Batman and Wolverine share a lot of similarities. Both have lost individuals that they deeply love. Both are constantly troubled by their own pasts. And both have a major desire to rid the world of the scum that wanders freely, looking for the vulnerable, hoping to snatch some cash, or murder for no reason. Every bit as haunted as Wolvie, Bruce Wayne is a sympathetic character whose only fault is his obsession with cleaning up the streets of Gotham.

Superman

Superman

Kal-el isn’t human. But he sure does behave as though he is. Well, at least when he’s disguised as Clark Kent. When the spectacles are removed and the suit is peeled away, Kent becomes Superman, the archetypical superhero. The superhero that other superheroes wish they could be. But Superman’s near-limitless abilities have never once gone to Superman’s head. He was raised (by Jonathan and Martha Kent) to be a respectful, responsible and decent man. The Kent’s did a brilliant job. The last thing Superman wants to do is see an unsuspecting pedestrian hurt (unless you base your opinion of the man on Zach Snyder’s miserable flick, Man of Steel, in which case you see Superman as a superhero who doesn’t give a rat’s tail about the well-being of anyone other than himself; there’s a building crumbling and it’s going to crush a lot of civilians! Eh, who cares, I’m in the middle of a fight Zod!), and he always goes far out of his way to protect humanity. Outside of Snyder’s crappy movie, Superman has always been selfless, and he’s always commanded a respect that few, if any, other superheroes will ever know.

Batman: The Top 15 Villains


Batman is no youngster. In fact, the guy’s now north of 75. How in the world does the guy maintain his youth and sexual appeal? I’m fairly convinced Bruce Wayne wouldn’t have half the women falling over him that he has now if he was balding, overweight and grumpy. But he’s none of those things, he’s a near-80 year old man that looks not one day over 30. Impressive, Bats – send some of your beauty tips my way – this Oil of Olay isn’t cutting it!

Even despite his status as a senior citizen, Batman has been battling some of the nastiest villains to ever land in a comic book. And somehow, he just about always emerges victorious. Impressive stuff, especially when you frequently tangle with the 15 terrors you’ll find listed below!

15 Victor Zsasz

zsasz-scars-three-villains-confirmed-for-batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice-jpeg-91455

No doubt the least appreciated villain on this entire list, Victor Zsasz could easily be called the closest thing to a “real life” villain. He doesn’t have any wild superpowers and he doesn’t have any fancy getup. What he’s got is a ton of scars, each representing a life he’s taken, and some mean martial arts skills. Someone needs to nurture this character, in a major way.

14 Joker’s Daughter

Joker's Daughter

One of Batman’s newest foes, Joker’s Daughter may be every bit the loon that her father is. She’s a cold blooded killer, and it doesn’t matter who the victim is. She’s just a nutty, homicidal broad who can even be seen “wearing” her daddy’s face. Horrific. Creepy. Makes Harley Quinn look like a contestant on Cupcake Wars.

13 Solomon Grundy

Solomon Grundy

Solomon Grundy is the one zombie you never, under any circumstances want to run into. He’s got vengeance on his mind, and that takes up most of it, as he isn’t much of a thinker. He is huge and powerful, though, and he’s well-suited to crush Batman if he can catch him off guard.

12 Hugo Strange

Hugo-Strange-in-Batman-Gotham-Knight-Vol.-1

Huge Strange is a brilliant mind. So brilliant in fact, he’s capable of manipulating and modifying all those who would happily kill for a chance to destroy the Batman. Slightly underrated, Strange deserves a lot more page time than he gets.

11 Killer Croc

Killer Croc

Let’s be real here, the chances of Batman toppling Killer Croc should be profoundly slim. The dude is a massive half-crocodile with razor sharp teeth and the ability to hurl humans around like empty beer bottles. He’s that strong, he’s that mean and he remains one of Batman’s baddest foes!

10 Catwoman

Catwoman

Seduction, stealth and manipulation. These are the things going for Catwoman, who, if she tried hard enough could probably get old Bruce to slide those duds off in a hurry. It’s just too bad she’s a theif… I hate thieves, probably as much as Batman does!

09 Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy

This botanical beauty has the ability to control all plant life, which means if she feels compelled to leave Bats entangled in some actual poison ivy, he’s not only going to itch like a madman, he’s going to be mighty angered by succumbing defeat to a leaf or so.

08 Ra’s al Ghul

Ra's al Ghul

This uber talented terrorist leads the League of Assassins, but he’s such a gnarly assassin himself it probably isn’t needed. He’s got what it takes to run a one man show, despite the fact that he desperately wants to see Batman serve as his successor. It’s time to… well, you know – clean up Gotham!

07 The Riddler

The Riddler

One of Batman’s oldest foes, Edward Nygma took his criminal desires to alarming heights over the years. He’s been aiming to stump Batman since 1948, and from time to time he comes awfully close. Although, when all is said and done, The Riddler is a bit of a pipsqueak, and he’s not much of a challenge for the Bat when toeing the line.

06 Mr. Freeze

Mr. Freeze

A longtime fan of Freeze, I can’t just let one simple fact slip away without mention: Warm this guy up and he’s done, a melted puddle. But, the former scientist is tricky and he’s concocted some wicked weapons to help ensure Batman never has a chance to turn the temperature up.

05 The Penguin

The Penguin

Crime boss Oswald Cobblepot doesn’t have a lot of physical gifts with which to hone in order to track down and slay the bat, but I’ll be damned if he doesn’t have some insanely cool and very, very dangerous umbrellas on hand. I’d love to get a peek in his closet, just to see how many of those slick concoctions he’s got stored away.

04 Scarecrow

Scarecrow

Jonathan Crane is yet another villain to work in the scientific field. Instead of making medical advancements, he’s opted to craft a fear toxin that terrifies his opponents, paralyzing them with the vilest hallucinations one could imagine. Once in that state of panic, Scarecrow is free to have his way.

03 Two-Face

Two Face

Poor Harvey Dent. Once a thriving district attorney, a run in with Sal Maroni altered his life trajectory to a great degree. Dent’s no longer a good guy. Half of his visage has been melted away to horror status, while the other side looks just fine. The encounter with Maroni however, left his psyche, all 100-percent of it, twisted and contorted, and this once heroic character is now a man who decides his victim’s fate with a flip of a coin. I guess everyone’s got a 50/50 chance at walking away from this guy, right?

02 Bane

Bane

Bane is basically a walking poster boy for steroids. Once a respected luchador, Bane is now a chemically enhanced monster who happens to get a kick out of breaking people. Just ask Bruce Wayne, the poor fellow had his back broken by this hulking menace.

01 Joker

Joker

Ah, the Batman’s truest nemesis. The Joker was introduced in 1940 and he’s been giving Bruce Wayne hell from the start. He’s deceptively intelligent, very handy with his murderous gadgets, and he’s certifiably insane, to top it all off. The Joker has been a key element in some of Batman’s greatest showdowns, but one must wonder: how long before the Joker’s Daughter steals a bit of papi’s shine?

Did we miss one of your favorite Batman villains? Let us know in the comment section below!

Deadpool Has Already Made More Money than These 16 Marvel Blockbusters


Deadpool is… well, he’s killin’ it!

Marvel’s R-rated action comedy featuring everyone’s favorite mouthy merc, Wade Wilson has now surpassed the $328 million mark on the domestic market, and it’s been slaying internationally, as well. Believe it or not, it’s still got steam at the box office; it’s been available to the public for about five weeks, and it’s still drawing north of the $10 million weekly mark. That’s absurdly impressive.

But just how impressive is it? Over the last decade or so we’ve seen Marvel roll out huge blockbuster after huge blockbuster. And the vast majority of them really do win crowds over, toppling the $100 million mark almost without fail.
Deadpool

Marvel owns cinematic comic adaptations, plain and simple. DC looks to be playing catch-up, but with pictures like Deadpool being produced it’s going to take a lot of work to catch up to Marvel, or even rival the quality of their films.

Let’s get back to business, which is this very real question: Just how is Deadpool comparing to fellow successful Marvel releases?

The answer: Wonderfully! The pic has already hit $708 million worldwide with a current domestic mark of $328 million.

Here are 16 Marvel movies that had the momentum to comfortably trek past the $100 million mark, and did enjoy success on the international market, but didn’t quite have the steam to draw more than Deadpool has managed.

1 Ghost Rider – Domestic = $115 million – Worldwide = $228 million

2 The Incredible Hulk (2008) – Domestic = $134 million – Worldwide = $263 million

3 Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer – Domestic = $131 million – Worldwide = $289 million

4 X-Men – Domestic = $157 million – Worldwide = $296 million

5 Fantastic 4 (2005) – Domestic = $153 million – Worldwide = $330 million

6 X-Men: First Class – Domestic = $146 million – Worldwide = $353 million

7 Captain America: The First Avenger – Domestic = $176 million – Worldwide = $370 million

8 X-Men Origins: Wolverine – Domestic = $179 million – Worldwide = $373 million

9 X2: X-Men United – Domestic = $214 Million – Worldwide = $407 million

10 The Wolverine – Domestic = $132 million – Worldwide = $414 million

11 Thor – Domestic = $181 million – Worldwide = $449 million

12 X-Men: The Last Stand – Domestic = $234 million – Worldwide = $459 million

 

13 Ant-Man – Domestic = $180 million – Worldwide = $519 million

14 Iron Man – Domestic = $318 million – Worldwide = $585 million

15 Iron Man 2 – Domestic = $312 million –Worldwide = $623 million

16 Thor: The Dark World – Domestic = $206 million – Worldwide = $644 million

 

Returning to ‘The Amazing Spiderman (Volume 2) #35-#38’ and Reliving Aunt May’s Game Changing Discovery


I’ve spent the last few days going through my countless Spiderman comics (not print, as I’m a poor gent who’s been relegated to purchasing valueless – at least in fiscal terms – digital copies), working to assemble a list of the 10 greatest Spiderman storylines.

Initially my plan was to cover Spidey’s triumphs and heartbreaks from the beginning, back in 1962, right up to modern-era tales. But the truth is, I’d prefer to stay away from most of the contemporary story arcs, as there really aren’t too many I’m in love with. It’s the vintage yarns that still give me goosebumps.

The decision was made to turn my 10 Greatest Spiderman Storylines article into 10 Greatest Classic Spiderman Storylines. But there’s one particular story – a tremendously important one – that a decision like that excludes. This one fits into the modern era category, so I’m going to utilize this particular piece to focus on one single arc. The classic article will have to wait until this coverage, of a few amazing books, is wrapped.

The books in question are Amazing Spider-Man #35 through #38, from the second volume.

Released circa 2002, this tale could easily be considered as the most important arc of the last two decades. That’s obviously debatable, but what isn’t debatable is the fact that this is an insanely relevant and rewarding portrait that feels expansive and impactful. So, it seemed only right to put some shine on this small handful of books.

These four issues show us Aunt May’s response to discovering that her geeky, lovable nephew Pete actually spends his free time moonlighting as the famed hero of New York, Spiderman. But there’s a lot more to this story than that, and it really begins with Peter looking to help one of his students, a troubled young lady by the name of Jennifer.

But before we jump into Jennifer’s story, we’ve got to scribble a few pertinent details of the arc. Even if some of these revelations can be blended into the mix of all things Parker, there are a few moments that really jump from the page, delivering a passionate slap to our drowsy faces.

First, Morlun forces Spiderman to truly – on a very deep and intricate level – contemplate mortality. He’s proposed a silent opportunity: Will you cross that threshold and allow yourself to be marked a killer, or will you fight to maintain your wholesome image and let me walk away from this situation alive? It’s not an easy decision to make, and it has quite the effect on Spidey.

And then there’s the mourning for the innocents lost one mild September day. This portion of the story is almost snuck between the cracks of the book, while it may fly right over the heads of young readers, it’s very pronounced to anyone who knows a damn thing about 9/11. That’s an underdeveloped element (perhaps not underdeveloped so much as a truncated subplot) of the story, and while I’m glad such a horrific incident was included in the book respectfully, as something of a nod to the countless who suffered in the wake of one of history’s most gruesome attacks, I’m actually of the mind that this aspect of the plot probably should take a backseat in the grand scheme of things. I’m not big on politic-heavy books, and while few of us alive to see the terrorist attacks of 9/11 will ever actually forget them (we shouldn’t, for the record), it’s a scab that I’d personally prefer not to scratch.

Amazing Spiderman

Back to Jennifer, whose broken life, in some ways, mirrors Parker’s. Her parents have abandoned her. She’s left to fend for herself, all the while looking to keep her older brother from descending deeper into the seedy world of drug use and criminal behavior. Although Pete didn’t necessarily have to deal with a sibling, he did carry the burden of looking after his Aunt May, after the loss of his own parents. At an early age he was required to be the man of the house. That parallel between Pete and Jennifer helps to create a bond between the two. And Peter, though plenty troubled, shows a very real interest in seeing the young lady overcome the shortcomings that often accompany poverty and shattered households.

This is a beautiful story, and it’s got plenty of layers to it. But let’s be honest with ourselves for a second. If there’s one, major development in this specific arc that truly, truly hits us in the heart, it’s Aunt May’s discovery.

After too many years to count, Aunt May finally learns that her little angel, Peter Park is Spiderman. Aunt May, as one would expect, is completely flabbergasted by the discovery. Her mind races a million miles per hour, she’s uncertain of how to deal with it. And then she and Peter sit down for a heart-to-heart. A very revealing heart-to-heart.

Now the automatic assumption would probably center on Pete’s decades-long lies, but Aunt May has also been hiding something. It turns out both Pete and May have been carrying guilt as a direct result of Uncle Ben’s passing. We all know that Pete feels responsible, as he afforded the hoodlum that killed Ben the opportunity to do so. But what we didn’t know, is that Aunt May has spent all these years blaming herself for Ben’s death.

It all began with an argument between May and Ben. Ben left the house to clear his head and ditch the anger. And it was on that specific day, during that trek from the house, when Ben was killed. It’s been eating at May since the moment she learned of Ben’s passing, but being able to admit that to Peter works wonders for the woman, as well as her nephew. The encounter is a therapeutic one that feels as if it knocks down partitions that have already been erect far too long.

Traditionally, I like my comics stuffed full of action. It typically takes explosive imagery to really hold my attention. But this story is different… this specific storyline is extremely light on the action, but it’s rooted in so much passion and sprouting charm like you wouldn’t believe. When it comes to (fairly) recently released Spiderman tales, they just don’t get much better than this.

To J. Michael Straczynski, who wrote the story, John Romita Jr., who illustrated the books, Scott Hanna who inked and Dan Kemp, who handled the coloring – thank you all. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. You’ve put together something extremely special, and as a longtime Spidey fan, I’m honored to read this riveting tale!