Friday, January 30, 2015


I’m one of those weird people that actually liked the first Fantastic Four movie. I really liked the original Stan Lee / Jack Kirby comics (Galactus and the Silver Surfer are awesome). The first film was definitely based on those comics. Say what you will about how it turned out, but I thought the first film was good. The second one . . . Well . . . the Silver Surfer looked amazing.

So awesome!

As the years have passed, I still like it but I do see where it didn’t click with other people. It is pretty campy and doesn't really take itself seriously. Especially Doom. He was awful. I’ll never deny that. But I liked the characters and most of the cast was perfect in their roles. The Thing's prosthetic suit looked good and Michael Chiklis was great, Ioan Gruffudd was great as Reed Richards, and Chris Evans was hilarious as Johnny Storm. Jessica Alba was . . . beautiful. That's about it.

Who's idea was it to cast Alba as the INVISIBLE woman??

When it was announced that they were going to reboot the Fantastic Four, I wasn’t sure how I felt. It never bothered me that Michael B. Jordan was going to be Johnny Storm. I didn’t know much about the rest of the cast. At the time, the only cast member I had actually seen in anything was Kate Mara from American Horror Story. And I’m one of the two people in America that doesn’t actually like that show. When more information came out about the film, the less interested I became. I didn’t know much about the cast, but I didn’t like that they were all younger (despite me being a big fan of the Ultimate Fantastic Four). I didn’t care for an “angry blogger” Doom. What I was really shocked by was how little we actually knew about the movie. It was starting to get irritating. I'm a Fantastic Four fan and I wanted to know what they were gonna do with the movie damn it!

One thing you may not know about me is that I’m a sucker for a great teaser preview and the preview we got for the Fantastic Four is my new favorite preview (but to be fair, it changes like every week). It shows you just enough to get excited but leaves enough behind to leave you wanting more. Some trailers are really bad at this and show you “the whole movie.” Lots of movie studios are guilty of this nowadays and it’s very annoying. 

You know who you are!

It’s nice to see that there are some producers that prefer to hold back and let the trailer tease us and make us curious as to what the movie will be about. Regardless of whether or not you like the trailer,  or even the Fantastic Four for that matter, it does have people talking. You know what they say, “No such thing as bad publicity.” Which is actually not true. Like at all. 

Isn't that right you bag of shit? Just kidding you're cool (stay away from Indiana Jones!)

Anyway, this trailer got me super excited for the movie when I was previously disinterested. Here are the 4 REASONS TO BE EXCITED FOR THE NEW FANTASTIC FOUR MOVIE (see there are four reasons because it's the Fantastic Four! Haha! I'm so clever):

Like I said, I’m a fan of the original film but I do get where people didn’t like it. So for anyone that didn’t like the first film and think that Fox could do better, look to this new film. It looks more like Interstellar than a superhero film which is actually fitting because the Fantastic Four have always been adventurers and scientists/inventors (at least Reed is) over being superheroes. Instead of them getting their powers and becoming heroes and celebrities, they get their powers and are afraid of what is happening to them. It's a very real reaction to waking up with crazy powers or being a rock monster. The first two films were very comedic, this film looks to taking the material a little more seriously. 

 Like some of the best comic book films of the last 15 years, the cast is full of up and coming actors. Despite being annoyed with them when they were first announced, I've since done my homework. These actors have all gotten critical acclaim for their previous work. Michael B. Jordan gained acclaim in Fruitvale Station and Chronicle. Miles Tellar got recognized for Divergent and the Oscar nominated Whiplash. Kate Mara is an Emmy nominated actress for her part in House of Cards. Jamie Bell starred as the title character in the Oscar nominated Billy Elliott. And for Doom? None other than Koba himself Toby Kebbell. If you haven't seen Dawn of the Planet of the Apes then go fucking do that right now. But of course having a great cast doesn't exactly mean you're film will be a hit. However, it does help that these actors are all (dare I say it) fantastic in their own right. Fun fact - Michael B. Jordan was the voice of Cyborg in Justice League: the Flashpoint Paradox. He's very good in that movie too. If the X-Men series is any indication, then Fox knows how to cast great actors on their way to becoming movie stars. 

Have you seen Chronicle? You should because that movie is fucking great. Josh Trank was the director of that film and is now directing the Fantastic Four. Chronicle was about three teenagers that get their powers in a strange event and the film deals with how they use and play with their powers, forming a brotherly bond. Of course everything turns to shit and they fight . . . Yadda yadda yadda. The film was well done, albeit a little cliche, but the fight scene at the end of the film was great. The characters seemed believable to me, despite the cliches. I think Trank's a great choice for the directing job. You wanna know what the previous director, Tim Story, did before his Fantastic Four film?

Yeah so let that sink in for a minute . . . 

The screenwriter for the film is Simon Kinberg. He was the producer and screenwriter for X-Men: Days of Future Past and serves as a writer and producer on Star Wars: Rebels. This dude has the best life! Now to be fair he is also credited with X-Men: the Last Stand and xXx: State of the Union but I think it's fair to say his recent work has been top notch. He's a genuine comic book fan and knows how to sell these characters to the mainstream audience while maintaining the spirit and fun of the comic book. Both Trank and Kinberg have stressed that this film is about a family going through a crazy event together. The family part of the story is what is most important to the Fantastic Four. After all, they're called Marvel's first FAMILY, not first SUPERHEROES for a reason. I think the Four are in good hands. 

This is the trickiest thing with maintaining relevance with superhero movies. It’s important that they all look and feel different. This one is an origin story (which has been done to death) but there is the added twist of crossing dimensional barriers and exploring new worlds. It's something we haven't quite seen yet in a superhero film. Captain America: the Winter Soldier was a political thriller, The Dark Knight was an urban crime drama, and Guardians of the Galaxy was an outer space adventure. In the early 2000s, almost all the comic book films started with origin stories because that's what Hollywood thought they all had to be. Nowadays, the origin is done as quickly as possible so they can get to the action. This film needs to stand out from the rest. With two Marvel films coming out this summer, Fox will really need to sell this as a totally unique property unlike anything we've seen. Or at least as far as the superhero genre goes. 

I will admit that there is still a good chance that this trailer was just well put together and the film will end up being terrible. However, I think this trailer was worth the wait and the film could end up being really awesome. Now all you naysayers keep in mind that if the movie does flop that that is actually a bad thing (especially if you're a Fantastic Four fan). Would you rather have a quality Fantastic Four film even if it's with another studio or have it flop and the rights go back to Marvel where they will do NOTHING with it for a long time. Why do you think we haven't seen them do something with the Punisher or Ghost Rider? It's something to think about . . . 

Till next time!

JJ - The Comic Junkie!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


The first X-Men movie means a lot to me. I've mentioned before how it was one of the first really big, important comic book movies. It helped show people that comic books weren't just entertainment for children. They could tell serious stories in an awesome way. X-Men has always been about racism. Chris Claremont, famous for X-Men stories like Days of Future Past, Wolverine, and the Dark Phoenix Saga, said that he would always tell X-Men stories as an allegory for racism because it was a topic that would never get old. Sadly, he's right. But we're not here to talk about racism (because I don't like it). We're here to talk about the awesomeness of the X-Men movies.

Why does X-Men mean a lot to me? I loved the cartoon growing up. The characters were all really exciting and interesting. My favorite character was Cyclops. He was the leader and didn't take crap from anybody.

Even the guy that could stab his face off!

Even though the third film disappointed me, I still maintain that it's only half bad. It's two movies that they tried to make into one film and that is what hurt it. Well, either way, the first three movies are crucial to the comic book movie industry. The first film showed us that comic book movies could be taken seriously, the second one expanded on that story, and the third one is a cautionary tale.

Cautionary tale times two . . .

This list is meant to celebrate my favorite moments from the original X-Men films. On a later date, I'll share my favorites from the other films. For now, this list is devoted to X-Men, X2, and X-Men: the Last Stand. Here are the TOP 10 MOMENTS FROM THE X-MEN TRILOGY:

Right off the bat, I'm gonna warn you all that the majority of this list is filled up with Wolverine vs Someone (because they're awesome moments). I give this one special mention due to the fact that Wolverine says what the audience is thinking. He snikts his claws, ready for a fight and then this unassuming woman releases her secret weapon - she has ten claws that extend out of her fingers. Logan's reaction, "Holy shit." The fight that follows is really great and one of the best parts of the movie. Logan is looking for the secrets to his past and instead finds that Stryker has continued his experiments on mutants. Logan wants his revenge on Stryker but he has to go through his assistant first. It's a great fight scene and Logan wins in a very "the hero doesn't always get his way" way. It sort of sells the whole idea that mutants vs mutants isn't the way to go. Stryker is no better than Magneto.

Say what you will about X-Men: the Last Stand but it does have some great moments. One of the best moments is when Warren Worthington III decides that living in his father's shadow isn't the way he wants to live. Ben Foster is a great actor and he plays this scene very well. He shows us that he's scared but then turns that into confidence in a moment's notice. Like I said, X-Men: the Last Stand is trying to be two movies but fails at being both. The movie about the Cure is actually really well done. This scene perfectly says everything we need to know about the Cure. It's being forced on the mutants. They're told not to accept who they are and be like everyone else. Warren realizes this at the last minute and defies his father in the only way he knows how - by flying away. It's a great moment considering earlier in the film he was willing to cut off his wings just so his father wouldn't hate him. It's a great lesson to teach our next generation - be who you want to be, not who your parents want you to be.

What the heck am I talking about? I'm talking about this quote, "Charles Xavier did more for mutants than you will ever know. My single greatest regret is that he had to die for our dream to live." Magneto says that to Pyro after Xavier has died. This one line speaks volumes of the respect that Erik maintained for Charles despite the fact that they were enemies for many years. They started off as friends and, deep down, they always considered themselves friends. Both men had a lot of respect for each other. It was a bromance before we even knew what a bromance was. Real friendships never die and Erik and Charles are a good example of that. They may not have agreed on how mutants should exist with humans, but they both understood the other's point of view. That's realistic storytelling.

Between this and the Mystique fight in X-Men film, Wolverine had his work cut out for him. Clearly, he was willing to do more than the the other X-Men. He could cross a line that they were, so far, unwilling to cross. His fights with the Brotherhood and any "evil" mutants can be a little more brutal. Wolverine doesn't hold back. I remember watching this as a kid and thinking how awesome it was that Wolverine could be WOLVERINE. He could actually use his claws as weapons, instead of just a cool visual. Also, isn't that part where where he flips around one of Lady Liberty's crown points awesome? I don't know if they're called crown points or not, but it's irrelevant. It's an awesome moment and Wolverine kicks some serious ass in this scene.

It's probably not a good thing that the main villain from the first film escapes from a maximum security prison but this scene is so true to character. That little smile that Magneto has when he senses the extra Iron in Mr. Laurio's blood is so great. He knows that Mystique has finally come through for him and he's more than ready to bust out. Plus, given that moment earlier where Laurio and Stryker beat him up, it's nice to see Magneto get a little revenge. He may not be the good guy, but he is one of the best characters in just about any comic book movie.

Wolverine popped his clawed like every two seconds on X-Men: the Animated Series. It was a little annoying. However, I won't lie when I say that I had high hopes for what it would look like in live action. Damn, they delivered. They got the freakin' "snikt" sound right. Plus, the special effects still hold up. That may not mean much but if you watch X-Men Origins: Wolverine the CGI is terrible. Which is weird because that movie came out 9 years later. Logan is threatened by some random punk that looks like Steve Austin (pretty sure it was him). Logan unleashes his claws and then slices the bartender's gun in half. He growls and leaves. It's Wolverine folks. No doubt about it! And it was an awesome moment.

Yes this is a major cheat because it's not a moment, but an actor. Well, it's my list and I can do whatever I want with it! Beast is one of my favorite X-characters. I just thought the image of this blue monster that was actually an intellectual AND a good guy was really cool. When Kelsey Grammar was announced, I was ecstatic. Grammar was perfect in the role. I've already discussed this at length before but it's worth noting that despite the third X-Men film being not so great, Grammar makes it worth watching for me. He perfectly captures what makes Hank McCoy such a compelling character. From his first moment hanging from the ceiling, reading a book, to the fight at the end of the film, Grammar nailed it. It's just a shame that he didn't get more screen time in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Here it is! The moment we were all waiting for. Wolverine could finally pop his claws and kick some major ass. Yeah he got a couple moments in the first film but not like this. This was Wolverine. He's not toned down for a children's program or held back due to a small budget. He can let loose all his berserker rage on Stryker's men. Jackman totally nailed this scene. It's a lot of screaming, running, and stabbing. But that's what Wolverine would look like when he lets go of his inhibitions. He's gonna be an unstoppable killing machine, protecting as many of the children as possible. He's the best there is, and here he proved it.

You saw this movie right? What a hell of an opening scene? Right off the bat, we knew we were in for a bigger, better movie than the first X-Men film. Of course the real Nightcrawler would never attack anyone, let alone the President of the United States, like this but it doesn't stop it from being an awesome action scene. From the special effects, to the stunts, to the perfect sounding sound effect of Nightcrawler's "Bamf!" this scene was perfect. This scene, coupled with Alan Cumming's performance, showed us that we were in for a real treat with Nightcrawler. His teleporting looked great and they kept the tail! I mean that may not seem like a big deal but details like that require like 30 meetings with the studio. No joke . . . It's a bit ridiculous. But at the end of the day we got a kick ass Nightcrawler in a great film, so it all worked out.

When each of the characters got their moment to shine in the first film, I was super excited. Cyclops had his eye lasers, Storm could control the weather, Jean could lift stuff with her mind, and Wolverine had his claws. But what about Professor X? Truth be told, he was my least favorite character in the cartoon and comics. Then Patrick Stewart brought him to life and he made Xavier a bad ass. The first time Wolverine is walking, lost through the X-Men's secret base, he hears a voice calling out to him. "Where are you going?" the voice asks. Logan hides, thinking he's being followed. He makes his way upstairs and finds the source of the voice - a bald teacher in a wheelchair. Probably not at all what he was expecting. Xavier is the most powerful mutant in the X-Men universe, but he only uses his power for good. However, I think sometimes he likes to have a little fun. James McAvoy as Xavier in X-Men: First Class shows us that he isn't above using his power to pick up women. Many years later, he still likes to use his power to mess with people. He's not being malicious toward Logan, but he is playing with him just a little. It's a great scene and showcases Xavier's power in a really creative way. I loved this scene when I was a kid. I knew exactly what was going on and I loved it! Fifteen years later and this scene is still my favorite in the original X-Men movies.


As I've said, the first X-Men film helped show audiences that comic book movies could be taken seriously. But that doesn't mean there couldn't be some fun moments in the films too! This little bit in the film never failed to get a laugh out of the audience. I still laugh at it to this day.

These are my favorite moments in the original X-Men films. I still hold these movies in high regard and I'm very much looking forward to the future of the franchise with X-Men: Apocalypse, Gambit, and yes even Deadpool. 

You'll probably win me over you smug bastard!

X-Men: Days of Future Past gave us the biggest, most epic X-film to date. I'm definitely looking forward to more films that help capture the spirit and fun of the X-Men comic books. And if that TV show gets picked up, then maybe we'll get to see awesome X-adventures on a weekly basis! 

Till neXt time!

JJ - The Comic Junkie

Monday, January 26, 2015


It was announced today that Fox is currently in negotiations to film a new live action X-Men series. There hasn't been a live action X-Men series since Mutant X after the first X-Men film came out.

These people had a TV show? How? They're all ugly! 

You're probably expecting me to do a list about what mutants Fox should base around or maybe my ideas for an X-Men series. Well, I could do that. But I'm not going to. That would be dishonest because I really only have two suggestions:

My first suggestion is to just adapt All New X-Men by Brian Michael Bendis. 

The basic plot is that Beast believes that Cyclops is about to bring about mutant genocide with his recent actions against humans. He time travels to the early days of the X-Men and recruits the five original X-Men, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Angel, and young Beast to come to the present and stop him. That was the basic idea in the first few issues but now it's grown beyond that. It's a great comic and a lot of fun to read. Jean Grey is done especially well. I highly recommend you check it. They even crossed over with the Guardians of the Galaxy!

The X-Men were hooked on a feeling

That's my first suggestion. My second suggestion is more broad. I think if an X-Men series is going to be successful then it should take its cue from the best animated X-Men series: Wolverine and the X-Men. 

X-Men Assemble!

The show only lasted one season but it was a hell of a season! It's on Netflix! You should check it out. The show started with Xavier's mansion blowing up. Xavier ended up in a coma and the X-Men went their separate ways. Wolverine eventually comes back and decides to bring the X-Men back together. The government is starting up the Sentinel program and that spells bad news for mutants. Wolverine later learns that Xavier wakes up in the future and it has become a terrible place. The future is run by the Sentinels, humans are all but extinct, and the mutants are round up in concentration camps. It's up to Wolverine and the X-Men to prevent this awful future from coming true!

Doesn't that sound awesome? Ok, yeah it's Days of Future Past but it's still super awesome. This show had everything you ever wanted to see in an X-Men show:

  • X-FORCE (ish)!
So what exactly am I trying to say about the supposed new X-Men show? I say, go big or go home! Every episode of the Flash and Arrow go big and very rarely do they not succeed. This new X-Men show can definitely learn from that and from Wolverine and the X-Men. Give the fans what they want to see. We probably won't get a Hulk vs Wolverine fight, but don't be afraid to swing for the fences. The X-Men characters are larger than life with larger than life adventures. They can tell exciting stories and at the same time give the audience a lesson in tolerance. It's a great way to reel people in and teach them a valuable lesson without them realizing it.

 Once they learn their lesson, they get stabbed!

As of right now, we don't know if this show will tie into the films or stand on its own. If it stands on its own, then they can do the All New X-Men route and just focus on the five original X-Men. It could be like the DC Comics TV shows and have a little more creative freedom with the types of stories they tell. If it ties into the movies then they could bring in the film characters or introduce new ones like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Either approach works and, if done right, could make for a really cool new TV show. The X-Men have literally hundreds of characters to choose from to build a TV show around. There are different teams, different factions, and the villains are just as compelling as the heroes. Arguably, more so.

We're going bike riding. Don't forget your helmet!

I'm very excited to see what Fox does with the franchise. I've always been a big fan of the X-Men films. Some fans may not like them, but I think this is a chance for Fox to finally break out of making Wolverine the star of every film and branch out. What say you, Comic Junkies? What X-Men would you like to see headline a series? Let me know! 

Till Next Time!

JJ - The Comic Junkie

Sunday, January 25, 2015


I’ve been a comic book fan for most of my life. I find the stories, characters, and themes to not only be relatable and exciting but also just a lot of fun. I don’t really like the term “escapism” because I don’t think that watching a 2 hour movie or spending a day reading a book or comic book escapes from my life. That would imply that I’m unhappy and need those things to help me forget that. I mean that's why we have alcohol right? Huh? Right?

Uh . . . Anyway . . . 

That’s not how I see it. But it’s also more than a hobby. It’s my genuine passion. I love discussing comic books and the characters. I love saying what I love about it and what I don’t like about it. Often times what I don’t like about it is more fun because I can laugh about it. But then again, I laugh when I like it too. So it goes both ways! It’s the same with the movies. When I was a kid they were making Batman movies and I thought they were so cool. I kept hearing that more superheroes were going to get movies but it was not happening. I was a huge fan of the X-Men and Spider-Man cartoons and of course Batman: the Animated Series. It’s funny because I watch them now and I feel that Batman has held up very well but X-Men and Spider-Man seem so dated and corny to me now. Oh well, that’s a list for another day . . .

 Growing up during the superhero movie boom was really exciting. When I was a kid, I was picked on a lot for liking superheroes and comics. It was so exciting to see that there were movies coming out that were not only exciting to watch but told fantastic stories. I watch them now as an adult the same way I did as a kid. In hindsight, these films were very important to the films that we’re getting now. We would never have had the Avengers or the Dark Knight or maybe even the Walking Dead without these movies.

Then we wouldn't have these awesome memes

There’s a scary thought right? Now, you’ve probably seen lists like this before but now you’re seeing it from my perspective, as a fan and as an adult that refuses to grow up :)


More often than not, this film is overlooked and forgotten. It’s a real shame because this movie is freaking awesome and just about perfect. It’s simple, direct, and not afraid to be exactly what it is. It’s a film about vampires and a vampire hunter. A tale as old as time (or whenever the original Dracula novel came out) but this one had a slightly different spin on it. Blade is half human, half vampire that takes it upon himself to travel from city to city ridding the world of vampires. Armed with an amazing arsenal and superhuman strength, Blade must fight Deacon Frost, a vampire determined to bring forth an old vampire god and rule the world of humans. Wow that sounds ridiculous when you say it out loud. But the movie is very well done. It’s got great action, decent acting, and, like I said, tells a very direct story. It’s pretty true to the comic books but didn’t treat itself like a live action comic book (which is how Schumacher treated his Batman films). The filmmakers were the first ones to see that comic book movies didn’t have to look like comic books to be entertaining. They could be a little more realistic looking while maintaining the feel of the books. Plus, it’s a bad ass movie. If you like action movies then you’d like it. Also Donal Logue is in it and he’s hilarious.

Blade is often overlooked as the first realistic looking comic book movie due to X-Men’s success. The X-Men, at its core, has always been an allegory for racism. Truth be told when you really think about it, is it wrong to be fearful of people born with crazy superpowers? I’d argue that that form of racism is justified because you know . . . that’s kinda scary.

Unless you're really hot. Then it's ok to be different and have superpowers

Anyway, the film follows Rogue and Wolverine to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters where they learn about the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants. The Brotherhood kidnaps Rogue in an attempt to turn all the world’s leaders from humans into mutants. The X-Men recruit Wolverine to stop them. The funny thing about this movie is how tame it is. There is not a lot of action in it. The story is fantastic and the characters are just about spot on and the special effects are really good for the time but again, not a lot happens in the movie. It's pretty much a character driven film. I think Bryan Singer knew that he didn’t have any experience with big budget movies and wanted to test the waters before he went big. It was a smart move and luckily it turned out really great. A lot of people complained about the uniforms but it never bothered me. It’s interesting to me that a man who is supposed to be this vicious killer is dressed in tight yellow spandex.

Bright yellow and blue spandex! The 90s were a strange time

Putting him in a black uniform actually makes a little more sense. I liked the costumes in the film and felt they were more practical. The movie didn’t forget it’s comic book origins but made a genuine attempt at grounding the film in reality. It hasn’t worked for every comic book adaptation but it worked great here. And we got Hugh Jackman out of it!

Just look at him! 

X-Men is definitely one of my favorite films. I loved every minute of it and I still love watching it now as an adult. It holds up really well. Summer 2000 was a great time to be an X-Men fan. And with the recent success of X-Men: Days of Future Past it's clear that these films are as popular as ever.

If X-Men started the fire that is the modern comic book movie then Spider-Man is the gasoline. High school student Peter Parker is bitten by a genetically modified spider and given superpowers. He decides to use these powers to make some money, but when his cash is denied him he lets a thief get away with the guy's money. That thief ends up murdering Peter’s beloved uncle. Peter then decides to make amends and use his powers for the greater good learning that with great power, comes great responsibility. Oh and his best friend’s dad has turned cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

Under all that Willem Dafoe make up is the Green Goblin

That origin is super realistic isn’t? If you got superpowers wouldn’t you use them to make a lot of money? And when some dude stiffed you, you’d be like "ah screw off" only to feel super bad when a family member died? THAT’S the origin of Spider-Man. It’s in the first comic he appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15. While X-Men toned down the costumes and attempted to make them more realistic, Spidey went the other way and fully embraced it’s comic book origins. True the Goblin’s costume is a bit wonky looking but if it had been adapted straight from the comics it would have looked super goofy.

Oh yeah. This is much better!

Spider-Man wearing leather or some sort of Kevlar would have looked off, so a spandex suit makes sense for him. After all, he does whatever a spider can. Except shoot webbing from his butt. Thank goodness they changed that! Either way, this film was a blockbuster making obscene amounts of money. I’ll never forget being a kid and seeing one of my favorite heroes come to life and suddenly everyone was cheering for him. In Summer 2002 if it had Spider-Man on it, I bought it. This included the Spider-Man cereal . . . Yeah it was terrible.

I can still taste the awfulness . . . 

More than anything, this film proved that summer blockbusters, while fun and entertaining, can tell a deeper story and appeal to a large audience. It's not a perfect film, but it was so much fun that it was contagious!

We all knew this was coming. Batman Begins tells the story of Bruce Wayne. Orphaned in an act of violence, Bruce’s life is flipped upside down. He grows up confused, angry, and alone. He travels the world searching for secrets on how to fight injustice. He finds these secrets with a group called the League of Shadows. He’s trained to become an agent of justice. Bruce takes this knowledge back to Gotham City and fights crime as the vigilante known as Batman. That’s the coolest description of any movie ever!

The fighting style of a ninja, the wingspan of a Pterodactyl 

Anyway, just like Spider-Man and X-Men helped audiences get over the "comic book" of comic book films, Batman Begins took it a step further and reminded them that Batman is awesome and should be treated as such. Most people will look at the Dark Knight and say that it revolutionized the comic book movie industry (hell the movie industry in general) but the truth is that it wouldn’t exist without Batman Begins paving the way. Begins gave us a solid Bruce Wayne movie. It told the story of one man trying to make a difference and deal with his personal demons. The film did what the other Bat-films lacked. It gave us a Bruce Wayne story that we could relate to and care about long before he becomes Batman. Like X-Men before it, it went for realism over comic book-esque science. Nolan described it as an extraordinary man in an ordinary world. Bruce Wayne lives in our world and has built himself up as a superhero. It didn’t forget its comic book origins and pays respect to it. There was a lot of debate as to whether or not the Dark Knight should have been nominated for more Oscars, but truthfully I was more surprised Batman Begins didn't get any major nominations. Oh well, maybe next time . . .

I'm gonna get that Best Actor Nomination if it's the last thing I do!

Iron Man tells the story of egotistical billionaire Tony Stark. He sells weapons to the military and loves the perks that come with his job. However, once he’s kidnapped and tortured to build more weapons for terrorists he realizes the error of his ways. He builds himself a suit of armor and returns home, determined to make things right. Also his mentor and father’s business partner is evil. There’s that too. 

You're Mr. Stark! I'm the Dude!

Now you might say that the Avengers is WAY more important but I disagree. Avengers wouldn’t exist without Iron Man’s success. Iron Man introduced the concept that the world was ready for a different type of superhero and with that came the idea that the world was ready for a whole TEAM of heroes that were different from what they’ve seen before. Iron Man, like Spider-Man, followed the comic books pretty faithfully, even giving a reason for Tony to have several different armors throughout the film. But what makes Iron Man really important is that it introduced S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury to audiences. Suddenly, within one film, the Marvel world just got a whole lot bigger! If this film had been unsuccessful then the Avengers would never have been made and the idea of a shared universe would still just be a fan’s dream. 

At least this dream came true!

While these films have a cultural significance they also have significance to me. They may have proved to audiences that comic books are cool and you should check them out (and you should) but more than anything they helped me say, “HA HA! Told ya so!” After being mocked for many years as a kid for liking comic books and superheroes it was great to see that I wasn’t wrong. These stories were awesome and now everyone knew it! Suddenly everyone wanted in and I became the expert. It’s a great feeling. And it just keeps getting better! Since these movies came out we've gotten their superior sequels like X2: X-Men United, Spider-Man 2, the Dark Knight, and the Avengers. With no less than 40 comic book films coming out in the next few years, we've got a lot to look forward to!

Till Next Time!

JJ - The Comic Junkie!

Friday, January 23, 2015