30 July 2010

Onscreen History of The Mighty Thor

I must have posted at least 4 or 5 separate links to the leaked Comic Con Thor trailer yesterday that kept getting taken down, but it looks like for the time being, the leak has been plugged. There are image galleries up though for those that missed the video. Now that you are anticipating the movie, lets take a stroll through Thor's prolific history as a superhero guest star and original member of the Avenger ready for his big break.

(Oh and by the way, here is a new link. Shhh.)

The Norse God of Thunder, Thor, first appeared in Journey into Mystery #83 in 1962.

Thor was one of the five Marvel Super Heroes that appeared in the motion comicesque animated series in 1966. 13 episodes were devoted to directly adapting tales of Thor to the screen.

Thursday nights were devoted to Thor.

Thor's sometimes alter ego, Dr. Donald Blake would appear briefly in the 1981 Spider-Man series episode, Wrath of the Sub-Mariner.

In the same year, Thor himself would grace Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends with an appearance in, Vengeance of Loki.

In 1988, a live action Thor would team up with the Jade Giant in the TV movie The Incredible Hulk Returns. In this movie, after finding Thor's hammer Mjolnir, Dr. Donald Blake could summon Thor. Donny was a completely separate being.

In the 90's, Thor made the rounds on the Marvel animation circuit, first in a very brief cameo on the X-Men animated series episode, The Dark Phoenix airing in 1994.

In 1995, Thor teamed up with the Fantastic Four in, To Battle the Living Planet.

In 1996, it was The Incredible Hulk's turn to host the God of Thunder in, Mortal Bounds, an episode that also includes Dr. Donald Blake (who is again Thor's alter ego).

Though not actually appearing in any episodes, Thor was displayed prominently in the opening sequence of 1999's Avengers: United They Stand since he was a lot better known than the actual Avengers team utilized in the series.

A less heroic "Ultimate" style take on Thor, who comes off as a psychological case, appeared in the 2006 direct to videos Ultimate Avengers and Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther.

Although Thor was nowhere to be seen, Dr. Blake was back for a quick cameo in 2007's DTV Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme.

2008's Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow featured Thor as an Avenger in flashback.

Thor's daughter Torunn is one of the main "Next Avengers" who eventually gets to meet her estranged papa.

In 2009's Hulk Vs. Thor gets pummeled and nearly killed by the Green Goliath.

Along with pretty much everyone else in the Marvel Universe (sans Spider-Man) Thor also joined the line-up of The Super Hero Squad Show.

2010's Planet Hulk plays homage to Thor's first comic book appearance but adds in buddy Beta Ray Bill to the mix.

In the "stinger" following the credits of Iron Man 2, the appearance of Mjolnir teased at Marvel's next live action movie, Thor.

Looking forward, there are big plans for Thor who will be a staple in the animated Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, debuting in late 2010.

Kid Thor is also scheduled to appear in a long delayed animated DTV, Thor: Tales of Asgard, timed to coincide with the 2011 live action movie.

And of course, I would be remiss not to mention Thor's big break, the live action movie arriving May 6, 2011 which hopes to continue the amazing success for the Marvel live action universe built upon Iron Man (as well as the modestly performing The Incredible Hulk).

Marvelous Animation Tour - Fantastic Four (1967)

The Fantastic Four animated series debuted on the same day as the 1967 Spider-Man series, though the Four didn't survive for quite as long, lasting just 20 episodes.

One thing this series got right that a subsequent series did not was the lineup of the team. Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Girl, the Thing, and the Human Torch were all here to battle it out with classic villains such as the Mole Man, the Skrulls, and of course Dr. Doom.

The series also told the epic tale of the coming of Galactus which also introduced the Silver Surfer. This arguably best know Fantastic Four story would be retold in the 90's animated series and in the live action sequel film.

Unfortunately, a catchy theme song is not one of the things that this series will be remembered for.

29 July 2010

Thor Trailer - Get it While it Lasts

Fresh from Comic Con is this footage from Thor. It looks pretty amazing. I have been a doubter, but maybe this will be able to conjure up an Iron Man style box office surprise after all.

Also viewable here (in case one of the sources gets removed)

EDIT 2: One More

EDIT 3: And Another

28 July 2010

The Justice League: A Super Friendly Tour (Brave and the Bold)

Although Batman: The Brave and the Bold is primarily a team-up series, the episode Sidekicks Assemble gave us a glimpse of that world's Justice League. Members included Red Tornado, Flash, Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Black Canary, Martian Manhunter, Fire, Aquaman, Batman, and Green Arrow. Although Superman and Wonder Woman's were only seen from the rear, they will be presented in all their glory in an upcoming episode of the series.

Up Next: Young Justice

27 July 2010

Superman Batman First Footage

Underwater Batman is the focus of this first look at DC's next animated movie Superman Batman: Apocalypse.

Ranking the DC Animated Movies

#15 Superman: Brainiac Attacks belongs at the bottom of any list as it is a horrible and horribly disappointing movie. The movie has plenty of punching but remains irritatingly boring. Lex Luthor is given one of the character's worst interpretations and most egregious, the movie used the look of the Superman: The Animated Series to try and sell a subpar and unrelated Superman story. Of all the movies on the list this is the one that really has no significant redeeming qualities.

#14 Batman: Gotham Knight at least has style on its side, but little else. Gotham Knight promised a mature bridge between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight and delivered a hodgepodge of freakish Batman designs loosely connected with a story that doesn't deserve to be remembered. It pains me greatly that I didn't fall in love with this Batmanime, but try as I might, even on attempted repeat viewing I haven't been able to invest in this stylish mess.

#13 Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo is a serviceable outing that falls short of the series best episodes. The movie really doesn't stand on its own either, offering fans one last dose of Titans rather than delivering a solid story to general audiences. A stronger villain would have gone a long way to saving this movie, but as it is, the final product is a fair amount of blah.

#12 Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman comes in as one of the less memorable Batman films. The actual mystery is somewhat interesting but the movie doesn't escape the feeling that it was stuck with leftover villains Penguin and Bane, two of Batman: The Animated Series weakest foes.

#11 Batman vs Dracula just may be the best thing that came out of The Batman. The movie has a surprisingly darker tone than the series and manages to pull off an interesting showdown with "the original Batman." The long capes and animation style also worked well here in a movie that should not just be written off by critics of The Batman.

#10 Superman Batman: Public Enemies though on the low side of the countdown was still an enjoyable romp. While Gotham Knight was just dumb, this is dumb fun. As an adaptation of the comic book, this was very faithful, maintaining many of even the most obscure cameos with designs that were spot on (for better or worse). While the story certainly wasn't deep, the movie delivered with one showdown after another. Actually, the plot points that deviated from the comic were welcome improvements. Consider this the Twinkie (or maybe the Suzy Q) of the DC line. I wouldn't want to eat seven of them in a row, but one now and then hits the spot.

#9 Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero bests the similarly plotted Batman and Robin live action movie hands down. Having said that, the movie although enjoyable, doesn't quite seem to escape feeling like an extended episode of the TV series. Granted, the series was awesome, but this entry failed to raise the stakes to a whole new level.

#8 Justice League: The New Frontier was a bit of a letdown on first viewing. There was something noble and nostalgic about the setup but the climax involving a dinosaur spewing flying island was a bit much to swallow. Since then, the movie has grown on me. I realized that the final villain wasn't really the point (though a better foe would have bumped this one up)., the movie was about the dawn of a new age of heroism. I really appreciate that even though this is a Justice League film, it was Green Lantern, Flash, and the Martian Manhunter that really drove the story. Those three have never seemed so heroic.

#7 Superman: Doomsday
was awfully ambitious in trying to tell the whole death and return of Superman story in a single outing. While the death part was done well, the retelling of Rise of the Supermen arc felt like a cheat. Instead we were basically given a retooled Identity Crisis episode from Superman: The Animated Series. Having said that, without comparison to the original comic or comparison to the animated series tale, this story is enjoyable enough. I probably like this one more than most, maybe I just like mullet Superman. Or maybe it is just the epic way that the opening fight with Doomsday introduced DCs new line movies making me forget just how bad was Brainiac Attacks.

#6 Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is the only one of these movie to have received a theatrical release and although it is a great movie, I am just not as won over as some. I really enjoy the first half of the movie, in particular I enjoy the flashback sequences which show Batman beginning as well as any scene in Batman Begins. The movie's last act just doesn't do it for me as the inclusion of the usually welcome Joker seems too shoehorned in. Don't take my criticism too harshly; this is a solid movie, but for my money, there are a few better.

#5 Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker can make a believer out of those who say Batman Beyond is a lame concept. What would Batman be without The Joker? This movie shows how the Joker legacy haunted Bruce Wayne even after his apparent death and gave the new hero a chance to prove his worthiness of the title of Batman. Plus, there were plenty of flashbacks to the good ol' Batman and Robin days as well.

#4 Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths offered a a briskly paced alternate reality adventure. Highlights of the film were pretty much everything to do with Owlman including his diabolical scheme, his jet, and his main squeeze. Also enjoyable were the evil versions of heroes, particularly notoriously unpopular members of the Justice League Detroit.

#3 Wonder Woman was a real surprise. Unfortunately a lot of people think Wonder Woman is outdated and lame but this movie proved that a big budget Wonder Woman movie could be pretty great. Wondy offered the most violent outing of the bunch (well maybe second to Gotham Knight- both had beheadings) but was well balanced with humor. Of all the movies, this one exceeding my expectations the most.

#2 Green Lantern: First Flight finally gave the Green Lantern his own title and proved that GL deserves to be up there front and center. This space based action movie has a setting distinct from the other DC and even Marvel DVDs and in my opinion is begging for a sequel. Nevertheless, this movie felt like more than just a setup for another movie, a trap that many origin stories fall into. I would have liked a few more minutes of setup at the beginning giving Hal Jordan a bit more character, but overall this was a solid and polished movie.

#1 Batman: Under the Red Hood joins this list at the top spot. Perhaps it will settle into a lower position over time, but I was really blown away by the grit and emotion of this movie. It also didn't hurt that it looked fantastic. Even though I was expecting the movie to be hurt because the identity of Red Hood was pretty obvious, I really don't think it was. This was one well crafted and slick tale that stuffed no less than five supervillains into a sleek 75 minutes. Stories like this is why Batman remains DC's most popular.

Check out my ranking of the Marvel movies here.

26 July 2010

Animated Avengers Assemble in Series Trailer

Nice to see Marvel rolling out a great looking series. Hopefully this will give Marvel a bit more street cred when it comes to animation.

Clip from Iron Manime

G4 has announced that next year, four stand alone Marvel anime series of 12 episodes each will air: Iron Man, X-Men, Wolverine, and Blade. This footage is pretty awesome. I can't wait to see the look of X-Men.

Smallville Super Suit and Secrets Revealed

Among other things, the Smallville Season 10 preview footage at Comic Con teased the Superman suit that is rumored to be a part of Smallville's final season. The suit is supposedly a modified version of the one seen in Superman Returns. And, Clark will finally fly (though when we still dont know)

IGN.com also reports that Geoff Johns, who wrote season 8's Legion of Superheroes and season 9's Justice Society episodes, will write a season 10 episode featuring Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. This may be the origin of the Blue Beetle test footage. Also, Darkseid will be in season 10. ComicBookMovie.com also reports that Brainiac will return once again. Sounds like the last season has great potential.

Green Lantern's Brightest Days #2

Along with the Flash, Justice League: The New Frontier was Green Lantern's movie. The two heroes who so often play second fiddle to DC's "big three" got top billing here. In particular, the story focused on fighter pilot turned test pilot turned Green Lantern Hal Jordan including the classic origin involving crashed alien Abin Sur.

In the end, it wasn't Superman who saved the world, but for once, Green Lantern.

#2 Justice League: The New Frontier

#25 - Justice League Unlimited: Initiation - John Stewart's new look
#24 - Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Death Race to Oblivion! - Guy Gardner's Lanternmobile
#23 - Justice League of America: Pilot - Doesn't air
#22 - Justice League Unlimited: The Once and Future Thing: Time Warped - Hal Jordan joins the league
#21 - Legends of the Superheroes - Lantern goes live-action
#20 - Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths - Darker shade of green
#19 - Batman Beyond: The Call - Lantern of the future
#18 - Static Shock: Fallen Hero
- Hero worshiped
#17 - Batman: The Brave and the Bold: The Revenge of the Reach! - Loads of Lanterns
#16 - The Batman: Ring Toss - Gotham by greenlight
#15 - Justice League: Hearts and Minds - More to the Corps
#14 - Justice League Unlimited: The Return - The Corps is greener yet
#13 - Justice League: The Savage Time - Ringless
#12 - Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Day of the Dark Knight - Guy is the man
#11 - Justice League: Legends - The Green Guardsman
#10 - DC Heroes: Justice League of America: Between Two Armies - Joining the League
#9 - Challenge of the Superfriends: Secret Origins of the Superfriends - Secret origin of Hal Jordan
#8 - Duck Dodgers: The Green Loontern - Looney Lanterns
#7 - Justice League: Secret Origins - John gets the limelight
#6 - Batman: The Brave and the Bold: The Eyes of Despero! - Guy the hero
#5 - Justice League: In Blackest Night - Green Lantern goes mainstream

#4 - Superman: The Animated Series: In Brightest Day - Welcome to the DCAU
#3 - DC Heroes: Green Lantern: Evil is as Evil Does - Green Lantern begins
#2 - Justice League: The New Frontier - Green Lantern leads the League

25 July 2010

Thor Movie Throws Down the Gauntlet

It looks like the Infinity Gauntlet will be included in the Thor movie... Will Thanos possibly play into the Avengers assembling?