Saturday, May 28, 2011

X-23 to be in Fear Itelf: The Homefront Issue 5

CBR's Cup O' Joe has revealed some fun stuff coming up for X-23.

Finally, Drew Mathieu had a question (seconded by Skaddix) asking, "I was very excited to read that Spider-Girl and X-23, along with Power Man and Thunderstrike, were going to be appearing in Fear Itself: The Home Front #5. I was wondering why these four particular characters, who to my knowledge have had no prior interaction, were grouped together for this story? (Not that I'm complaining one bit!)"

Brevoort: "Fear Itself: The Home Front" is Lauren Sankovitch’s baby, so…

Lauren Sankovitch: Hey Drew! Associate Editor Lauren Sankovitch here! As for your curious query, let’s just say they are The CHOsen…if you catch my drift.

This suggests, to me at least, that X-23 might be getting her own Hammer or mystically endowed weapon of some kind(Katars, dual daggers or dual swords please! Even dual tonfas, a more defensive weapon would be neat!). If so, count me giddy. (*Edit* Silly me missed the most obvious and awesome that could be used, a scythe like the grim reaper's. Yes I know none of these are hammers, but do we really need more Hammers than what we've already got coming?)

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm a sucker for new costumes. Especially random mystically endowed ones. The only other things that would make me this giddy are Stark Armor designs for characters that accentuate and enhance their various abilities and DarkHawk's Fraternity of the Raptors Amulet enhanced heroes. Well, maybe Nova enhanced heroes too. Though the Stark one I'd prefer they stop with the Iron Man centric design nuances besides his own company or associates like Rhodes, Pepper, and Himself.

Be sure to visit the source, if you are curious about asking your own Questions.

CBR has many regular features you may like.

X-23 Fan Soundtrack Part 2

So continuing off of Part 1, I thought it about time I finally posted up Part 2.

Just like last time, keep in mind these are just the tracks that I'd pick, and do not reflect what would or should actually be used if such a movie went forward.
You know, your typical disclaimer crap that I'm too lazy to even rewrite this time let alone bother with the politics BS speak that these things normally entail.

This list will feature pre-existing music tracks as to imitate what would be perfect for a soundtrack, not an original score(for obvious reasons). Not every song here should be in the movie either. The ones that I feel should, will be accompanied by an explanation of where. Since the readership is scattered around the world, I'll make sure to pick samples that are available to hear around the world too.

The listing is not done in order of preference to each song.

So, you've waited long enough, let's not keep you wondering any longer and get on with Part Deux!

6. Sometimes by Skillet

Something with a little more normal heavy-handed rock seemed needed. Skillet is quickly making the rounds more and more in soundtracks these days, and to be frank, with lyrics like this song uses, I couldn't think of one better. Well that's not true, I was leaning towards Alive and Awake originally, but that's so overused lately. Oh it's good, but this one felt more appropriate. It has an edge to it that just seems to work.
While I'm not sure if it has its place anywhere in an X-23 movie save for maybe the credits, it does yield a decent form of tantrum so to speak. This is the kind of song you could see a video being about Laura's darker side as well as her more emo side. More accurately though, I could see this being used for a Kimura spotlight played off against X-23. It just works on many levels between the two of them.

7. The Beast and the Harlot by Avenged Sevenfold

Babylon being the best analogy for the Facility. Simply put this song speaks to the fall of the Facility. The beast being Dr. Rice, and the harlot refering to Kimura. A song that encapsulates their manipulative ways, and taking over of the facility. You could call this Xander's theme if you'd like.

8. By Myself by Linkin Park

Okay, I'm starting to notice a mildly depressing song trend here. Oh well, what can you do? Well I could pick a more upbeat song. Anyway, this one was chosen for the raw energy early Linkin Park has. This song in particular was picked again for the nods to the darker side of Laura, but yet at the same time it's perfect to play against Kimura. Something that really pushes that paranoia of Kimura always there, always judging, always bringing her down and trying to turn her into someone just like her. Kimura works as the other side of the same coin. The being that is just pure hatred compared to the empathy Laura carries within her. Probably one of the reasons I dislike the notion of Laura reveling in death and blood. Kimura is the counterbalance to that, she's the one who revels in pain, death, and suffering. Where Laura is trying to just make her metaphorical parents, the facility, proud of her, and be the child that attempts to please them, Kimura is the one that beats her, and is trying to make X-23 just like her in enjoying it. The bully to Laura's little girl lost.

9. Indestructible by Disturbed

Outright Kimura's theme. There's just an eeriness to this that works with her. That haunting smile played off against these lyrics. Just following orders, yet enjoying every minute of it. She's an indestructible master of war, simply put. Definitely a terror to behold. This just fits her too perfectly. I could see this being used in the battle between Kimura and Laura in Debbie's house towards the end. A build up that makes you think it's refering to X-23 as she takes down the final soldiers just to face Kimura and fail.

10. Monster by Skillet

I feel like a monster, a line that's perfect for X-23. The very mantra she seemingly lives by. I feel like a monster, therefore I am a monster, and will make people think I'm a monster so they try and find a way to stop me. When in fact she's so much more than that. Death by cop so to speak although far more complicated than that as Laura isn't exactly suicidal. I thought about choosing Three Days Grace 'Animal I have become' but there's more a fear of what a person is becoming in that along with asking for help to stop it. That doesn't quite fit with X-23. She's not afraid of what she's becoming, she already is that and I can't recall once in any issue where she ever asked for help. Her life being defined by monsters though, this is something more akin to what she's trying to live past. Again it just has that tantrum feel to it, that oomph of just roaring at life. This song just evokes the entire aspects of trigger scent that are used in the mini-series. That blind berserker nature triggered by a smell that's just always there beneath the skin. It also carries aspects of Laura not being able to stay with Megan and Debbie. It was a very tough call, and I could easily see both being used for fan music videos.

11. Who Says by Selena Gomez and The Scene

I definitely had to end this entry on a lighter note. There was far too much heavy rock. Something more upbeat, more finding your own path your own way, and about having value to yourself as you do the world around you. Something that speaks to how others cast perceptions onto Megan and Laura and tell them what they should or shouldn't be. This just seemed like the better place to use this song to reserve part 3 for just pure epicness. This would be more towards Megan's theme as Laura tells her everything and what happened to Megan's Aunt Sarah, and Megan being the one who would tell her pretty much the very thing this song speaks to. Something mildly perfect for that transition from the dock where Megan learns everything, and walking to school before the bell.

Part 3 to come whenever.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Search for the new The Wolverine Director.

Fox is still looking to replace Arnofsky on The Wolverine after his departure. Though it's said that filming will be awhile before going forward because of the disaster in Japan, this may be a film that could help bring some much needed income to Japan in the wake of the disaster.

That very reason is probably why they are determined to film in Japan instead of switching to the moderately cheaper and easier New Zealand filming locations that many Japanese productions use themselves.

Anyway, Variety is reporting that Fox has narrowed it down to 8 candidates.

Jose Padilha
Doug Liman
Antoine Fuqua
Mark Romanek
Justin Lin
Gavin O’Connor
James Mangold
Gary Shore

One of which, Gary Shore, has even thrown together a spec trailer.

Wolverine Vs The Hand from Gary Shore on Vimeo.

So who do you think out of the list is the best choice?

Preview: X-23 v3 Issue 11

CBR has the preview for the next X-23 issue up.

Issue 11 hits shelves June 1st.

Bits of it I like, bits of it I don't. I do like it dove right into the comparison of the two. Again though the memories seem jumbled together randomly referencing previous stories wildly, but in a way that seems to suggest fractured memories more than actual mistakes.

I'm still not sure on the entire killing to feel alive bit though. It seems rather off in comparison to the Laura we're shown in her two Origin miniseries and Academy X, and yet also close but not quite her. I can't wait to read more of the issue to see where it's going, but I hope they start getting back towards healing her of what's built up from the past, and less of this making it into something that it wasn't before. Laura isn't an easy character to understand, and I can see why an author would take the easy out to define it, but those reading the comic that are fans of the character's previous appearances aren't here for the character to be redefined. They want to see her grow from what she was previously defined as. Sometimes it feels like the writing gets the character, at other times, it feels like they don't. It feels like getting too deep into how the character thinks and feels is too alien for them to define correctly. Which to be fair, it probably is. Heaven knows when I try to get into the character's psyche, I hit the same surface details they use to simplify it, and trying to go deeper just isn't comfortable, but those surface details simplified still aren't quite at the heart of the character. X-23 is a character that's hard to grasp, so I'm not going to fault the writing for that as getting too deep and understanding it fully could be dentrimental to one's own psyche. The childhood rooted nature is hard to really define appropriately.

I also loved how it just dissmissed comedicly the page last issue that could have had fans up in arms. Now here's hoping they explore more of the possibilities of these two around each other. Including apparently Jubilee's rapidly manifesting vampiric powers.

Overall, the art is fantastic. Jubilee is perfect, but something about X-23 is still feeling off compared to her previous depictions. Not bad off, just not quite right.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

X-Men: First Class getting Great Reviews!

So far between Bleeding Cool and Collider, X-Men: First Class is getting fantastic reviews and reactions.

All the articles between those two sites seem to infer a few things about the picture as well.

1. It's a prequel, not a reboot, but it does alter the timeline in the culmination of one scene. Essentially rejecting the Xavier cameo in X-Men Origins, or to be explained later as to how this occurred. It also seemingly for now, rejects the flashback in X-Men 3 until further explanation later as to how it happened.

2. A special bar cameo scene fits snugly into the picture, makes sense, has one of the all time best lines in the movie, and still lets the prequel/sequels timelines stay intact.

3. This movie was made to have sequels if it does well. Vaughn has already commented on the next that he wants to add a certain unnamed mutant to the cast. (Quote withheld, because it has a major spoiler in it for the film.)

I'll be going more indepth about what fits continuity-wise and what doesn't after next Friday. That's the day I plan to go see it for myself.
From all the various review outlets though, it seems that Vaughn has hit this one out of the park.

X-Men: First Class hits theaters in the UK June 1st, and hits theaters in the US June 3rd.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

X-23 v3 Issue 10 Released Yesterday!

X-23 v3 issue 10 hit comic stands yesterday.

After reading the issue myself, I'm left speechless. This issue redefines not just good x-23 comics yet again, but good comics outright. Marjorie Liu has truly hit her stride and just keeps outdoing herself with each successive issue. The art team itself has varied wildly with the conveyance, but all with an underlying purpose to the switching around.

This issue starts the Jubilee arc, and is shaping up to be the best comic arc I've ever read. Just everything in this issue is wow. I'm not sure where I want to start, or how much I even want to spoil, but if you're an X-23 fan I highly recommend picking this issue and story arc up. If you missed out on the Collision story arc (which does play a huge factor to this issue), a TPB of that will be hitting book stores soon. I hope they move forward with doing that to the entire run though. From the oneshot to this issue and more, it's intertwined beautifully from the artwork to the story, all having their place, and meanings. This is a comic steeped deep in psychology and perceptions. This issue especially dives into the triggers for backsliding (the kids she killed at the end of collision plus the hit list) into old habits and X-23's fluctuating perception of herself.
It ends on a shocking note that may have fans bickering back and forth for awhile. Personally I think it ends on a note that just screams potential.
I don't know how to explain that without ruining the scene itself.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

April 2011 Sales Rank

X-23 v3 #09
Cover Price: $2.99
This issue was ranked 59 out of 300 according to ICv2 which is based on Diamond U.S. to comic specialty stores. The issue has sold an estimated 28,562 copies to them.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Preview: X-23 v3 Issue 10

CBR is up to the same old same old again. You know that thing they do every week where they spoil the first few pages of our favorite comics that make us all the more ravenous come release day? Yup, the conspiracy to make your anticipation overwhelm you into submittance come Zero(release) day.

You can check out the preview for next week's X-23 issue here.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Comedy: The Real Reason The New X-Men kicked X-23 Off The Team

Santos and Anole are both gamer geeks. Probably Halo fanatics too. The first and last time they played against Laura? It went a little something like this.

Agent TeX-23 can seriously whup some ass.

Rooster Teeth's Red vs Blue comes back with season 9 later this summer. New episodes Monday nights.

Preview: Daken Issue 9

Daken: Dark Wolverine Issue 9 will be the last part to Collision.
Be sure to pick your copy up next Wednesday (May 11th) when it's released.

Oh yeah, and here's the preview via CBR.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fox and Comic Books

Recently, a Superman short story written by David S. Goyer has caused quite a stir. It has Superman deliberating over whether or not he should renounce his US citizenship so his actions cannot be construed as acting on american policy or America's behalf.

Fox News went foward with an opinion piece on this story that reflects the ignorance within the organization. In an opinion piece titled "Who Has Hijacked Superman and Turned Him Into a U.N. Loving, Anti-American?", Fox's own Cal Thomas goes on to berate the entire idea of the story. He links it to such things as Obama loving liberals and other political bull shit. Yes, I just actually cursed here, because that's what this piece is, pure unfiltered bull shit from someone who hasn't even read it, let alone understands it. I mean really, Superman taking a stance of helping the world means he's abandoning America? Where anywhere in the story did he ever mention 'abandoning America?' Nowhere, that's where.

I'm not going to speak about whether or not this is a good move on DC's part, though I do feel it is a topic worth exploring as it's something that has come up before with the character and his actions. I'm not refering to Superman's political views, I'm refering to his abilities and pursuance of truth, justice, and freedom for all mankind. You know, the original radio intro that this columnist blatantly misquotes to prove his point.

What riled me up about this column was a rather haphazard attempt at bashing the intelligence of those who read comics.

I don't know about this columnist, but I actually went to college. Studied in Computer Programming(focusing on C++), AI development, Psychology, sociology, english literature, Graphic Design, Philosophy, and theology, before settling on generic business that bored me to death(yeah, I jumped majors like a kid does squares in hopscotch). I went to a Jesuit University that focused on free thought and 'love for thy fellow man.' Yeah, that last bit sometimes I do tend to ignore, as I'm seemingly ignoring now.

This piece infuriated me outright. With a line like "Construed? Would comic book readers have heard of such a word?" is it any wonder why?
They just want to execrate and belittle the intelligence of adults who enjoy creativity and free-thinking over what they tell you is the truth. Far be it for us simpletons to point out the fallacies of their arguments that they haven't bothered to research.

So while such authors like Mr. Thomas here want to abominate anyone who think differently, it did make me reflect on the aspects of this blog, and why I use the word choices I use.

For here, I tend to knowingly limit my own vocabulary and vernacular. I do this for good reason. From personal experience when I start to expound to friends who live around the world, I always get stopped in the middle, and asked to define words I may have used. So when I started here, I had one goal in mind with what I would write. I would keep it within simpler confines to still carry my point, but also not alienate a readership that may get confused by my word choices since they may not be solidly familiar with english or have english as their first language. I chose to limit my word usage so as not to sound pretentious (not like it helped...), to help keep people aware of the current dilemmas of modern characters, the science associated, the potential of movies behind them, and the character history which often drives characters to who they are. I do not use 'simple words' because I feel my audience lacks intelligence. I also chose to not curry favors from any outlet, as to me that is one of the biggest problems with news outlets. Attempting to appease the companies to keep in their good graces, as opposed to informing the public. I don't want to play political games like that. The work will speak for itself.
That's a topic to come back to another day if ever. I have many opinions about the political BS that drives many institutions that hinder the potential they could reach.

Many of the aspects I do focus on here, I'm still working to elaborate on and correct. I tend to shoot from the hip when it comes to this place, without always bringing to fruition the full thought or point I had intended. Many of the more opinion related pieces I have planned have been on hold for this reason (well that, and when you do a full 15 track song list, and realize the song list is very style and group centric, sometimes you have to step back and open your horizons a bit more).

So are comic book fans unintelligent? Oh hell no. Often we ponder the societal issues, and future issues that current politics or even the news have failed to see or recognize. (*cough* Net Neutrality *cough* Stem Cell Research *cough* the moral implications of cloning and how the MPAA ratings board views violence against things other than natural born humans as okay *cough*.) Comic fans are varied, and to say in a global statement that all are morons(Implied, rather than outright said. Yes I as a comic fan, do know the difference, but I also recognize that's just semantic bull shit, the intent is the same.), is a great disservice to the medium and those who enjoy it. It'd be like saying all those who read Salinger are heathens. It is so far removed from the truth it can do nothing but make you laugh at the attempt.

So Mr. Thomas, I kindly bid you to educate yourself, before you cost Fox any more support than you already have. Heaven knows they aren't the best company when it comes to monetary concerns and maintaining appeal. (At least add a disclaimer that this is solely your views. Even if it's an opinion section, without the disclaimer Fox is indirectly condoning and agreeing with said opinion. Oh and how I used 'an' there? That's how you use it. For someone condemning comic reader intelligence, the mis-usage of the simplest indefinite articles suggests the fact that he himself is lacking.)

This being said, I still feel an X-23 feature would do wonders for audiences. Sadly, only Sony is willing to go forward with something of such thought provoking nature (seriously, go see Hanna!), while Fox is left to figuring out how else they can insult Americans and the world at large. Don't kid yourselves, Fox is the kind of company that makes America's founding fathers roll over in their graves daily. Hyperbole? I rather wish it was.

Thankfully, the X-Men movies have a strong producer behind them that do not echo the sentiments that Fox bellows from their belltower of despair.
Bryan Singer, with Vaughn directing has allowed X-Men First Class to surpass expectations, and continue on with what will be a grand serial.
Sure, I may not agree with all of the choices in the X-Men film franchise, but this one I can whole-heartedly say I do want to see. Even the miss-steps in the past haven't been without merit, as any capable writer will tell you, but alas vocal comic purists will always want just that. Purity to the original title even when it's not applicable. Let me be clear. I'm not saying strict adherence is bad or good. I believe it is a title by title basis to make that decision depending on relevancy to the intended conveyance of the feature in conjunction to the universal confines it has built around itself, or time constraints. Always have to watch out for time constraints when dealing with material that's longer than what is feasibly alloted by an audience. To this end, it does vary to what you can or can't do. Some minis don't transfer from the page to the screen that well, and others can do so beyond what any film entity would dare.

My apologies for this tirade, I just felt it was prudent to make this point when News Organizations decide to belittle the people they are supposed to be reporting news to.

Tomorrow this blog will be returning to solely X-23 coverage. As I plan to disect the most recent issue in all its glory to elaborate on exactly how great it was and why. That won't be a review, as I'm still waiting on Tabitha (Alt-Tab, no really, that's the name she finally chose, go fig.) to do the reviews on Daken that take place between issues 8, 9, and 10 of X-23's current ongoing comic series.

Note: Now that this blog has more than one writer, these are the views and opinions of solely this writer, and do not reflect on the blog as a whole or its other participants.

Helping Japan

G4TV from May 2nd until May 12th is running an auction among other ways to help Japan. If you go over to you can bid on a myriad of things, even a chance to have former Playboy Bunny Sara Underwood do The Feed from your home.

World Of Warcraft is also offering a way to help with their Cenarion Hatchling.

You can also help by donating to the Red Cross.

This is just a few of the many ways you can help. Even such groups as FansProject have offered donation help, as well as Sony on the PSN is offering donation based themes and avatars.

Celebraties have stood united in saying help Japan. Whether it's Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes, Selena Gomez, or even Uwe Boll, they've all been pushing various donation methods through their outlets(the ones named were to express the spectrum, the complete list is far much longer, too long to type here). IDW, the comic company, has also said they are planning to pursue donating proceeds from their Godzilla comic book or TPBs, to do the same.

Keep in mind I have not listed all the ways you can donate to help. So feel free to add to the list in the comments if you know of more.