Avengers, assemble: Things that make you go "BOOM"!

Today was a big day on Twitter; Joss Whedon, Samuel L. Jackson, Gregg Clark, and Tom Hiddleston participated in a live chat to promote The Avengers movie. If you’re interested in catching up with the chat, in which Joss Whedon tells us that not only will there be Easter eggs in the movie, but that they will be “actual dyed eggs” (I’m not kidding), head on over to @Avengers on Twitter or go Marvel’s Avengers Assemble. A transcript of selected highlights from the chat can also be found at Slash Film. For example:

Can you enjoy Avengers without seeing all the other films?
Joss Whedon: “You don’t need to see any Marvel movies to enjoy Avengers! But you need to see Steel Magnolias, like, six times.”

Oh, I don’t know Joss. I can only take watching Julia Roberts die of kidney failure so many times before my face hurts too much from laughing. That’s just me though.

The chat ended with a link to a 10 second teaser trailer from the new 30 second commercial that will be aired this Sunday, February 5, during the NFL Super Bowl.

Check out the teaser, with new, previously unseen Avengers footage, after the jump!

Remember that episode of Buffy where Willow got all twisted on dark magic and couldn’t leave the house? And she was willing to ignore anything else that was going on in the Buffyverse because she was just too willing to roll around in the darkness in exchange for a free taste for a load of evil across her naked chest (Perhaps I’m misremembering the episode… but if I am, don’t you fucking dare tell me)? Yeah, that’s what Angel & Faith #6 is: the crack of the Buffyverse.

Whereas the actual Buffy The Vampire Slayer comic feels committed to advancing the Buffyverse and showing the Scooby Gang pushing forward into adulthood, Angel & Faith as written by Christos Gage, particularly in this issue, feels committed to beefing up and filling out previously mentioned areas of the Buffy mythos. On its face, this can be dangerous; any storyline that is less concerned with advancement and more concerned with its own continuity runs a serious danger of crawling up its own ass and dying (hello, Grant Morrison’s run on Batman!).

It is (almost) official: the long-running lawsuit between Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane over the rights to Spawn characters Angela, Medieval Spawn, and Cogliostro that Gaiman wrote into Spawn back in the early 90s is over. I don’t know what’s harder to believe: that this mess has been going on for just about ten years… or that there was once a time when someone thought that Spawn characters had value.

The long, twisted and complete tale is available elsewhere at more reputable Web sites, but in a very incomplete, semi-biased and opinion-laden nutshell written mostly from booze-addled memory: in the early 90s, McFarlane was probably the hottest artist in comics, so he decided that he would take a shot at doing the stories as well. But there was a problem: at the time, he shouldn’t have been allowed to write anything longer than his own name. Seriously: have you read Spider-Man #1? Constant drum sound effects of DOOM, DOOM, DOOM; it reads like it’s being told from the point of view of a twitching boner.

A couple months ago, DC Comics announced that Geoff Johns and Gary Frank would be putting together a reboot of Captain Marvel as a backup feature in Justice League starting in issue 7 in March. Which, as an old school Captain Marvel fan dating back to that horrible CBS TV show back in the mid-70s, this was exciting news… provided the thing actually got done in time. After all, this is the same team that announced the Batman: Earth One original graphic novel… more than two years ago (Although to be fair, it is supposedly pretty much done and will be released sometime soon).

But the good news is that it looks like the work is coming in on schedule, because Newsarama scored some uncolored and unlettered pages from the first ten-page installment:

We’ve discussed the possibility of Eric Powell’s The Goon as a feature length film here before.

This past Thursday, Powell updated his blog to clarify the status of the project and quell any rumors that the movie was dead in the water:

David Fincher and Blur still have the option for the Goon film and are still actively looking for funding. Recently some sites have been saying the Goon film has been nixed based on comments from Paul Giamatti saying he didn’t know where the film was at and we must have ran out of money. Let me assure you we have not run out of money… because we never had any money to run out of…Trust me, when someone steps up and we get this slated I will be screaming it from the rooftops. And if Fincher and Blur decide to pass, I will also let you know by posting something on thegoon.com. But there is zero change right now. We all remain dedicated and confident that we’ll get this thing done.

Fincher passed along to Powell that he is working to get the movie through the Hollywood development process and “emerge with our dignity and YOUR (Powell’s) hard fought independent voice intact.” So, what more could be done to help move this process along?

How about signing a petition?

More on the petition after the jump!

While on one level it’s admirable that Dark Horse Comics has resurrected Creepy Magazine as a comic book, it’s playing to a sense of nostalgia that simply can’t exist. With its mascot Uncle Creepy and short horror vignettes, it clearly calls back to the old EC Comics horror books, which went under thanks to a conservative panic about them in the 1950s. Considering the median age of comics readers is roughly Generation X, we have no frame of reference for comics like this. The people who do have that reference are my dad’s age, who won’t ever find this book, because they’re too busy having a conservative panic about comics.

So the audience for a book like Creepy is questionable at best, but that’s okay, because the book’s not all that good anyway. It’s something different, and some of the art is fairly impressive, which might be enough reasons to pick it up, but there’s only one story of the five contained in this book that feels like the old EC ironic twist stories… and that’s because it’s a reprint from the original Creepy in 1962. Which honestly is the best reason to consider paying five clams for this book, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

The book opens with a story by Joe R. Lonsdale about a kid who hatefully creates a vengeful mud monster that Should Not Be… which easily describes every Saturday morning in my bathroom since 1990. The story is just light and simplistic, containing a child delivering dialogue like – honestly – “If I was bigger and stronger, they’d pay… if I was big, I’d show them.” Really? If an actual nine-year-old had written that dialogue he’d backspace it out while muttering, “No nine-year-old actually talks like that.” It was particularly disappointing because I generally like Joe Lansdale’s stuff; I’ve got his entire Hap and Leonard series of novels on my Nook Color, and his stuff on Jonah Hex back in the 90s still holds up for me. This story felt like Joe sneezed with the pen still on the page after writing “By Joe R. Lansdale” and sent it in. If you’re buying this book because of Lansdale’s name, skip it and look for The Dunwich Horror instead.

Remember when we were kids in the 80s and we saw all the big media news reports about the anniversary of the Summer of Love, and the Rolling Stones and The Who did beer company supported reunion tours, and DC Comics was releasing comics of The Prisoner and the British version of The Avengers? And we kicked the dust with our untied hightops, pulled a Marlboro out of out $1.50 packs and lit it indoors, smoothed out our Steve Dallas t-shirts and cursed the Goddamned Baby Boomers for hijacking our popular culture with their filthy, stinking, corporately-sponsored nostalgia?

That was the 80s. It is now 2012. And we of Generation X have finally met the enemy. And it is us. The video after the jump indisputably proves it.

In the world of stand-up comedy, one of the biggest nightmares you can have as a comic is for a legend of the medium to show up unannounced to do a guest spot. Entertaining people on your own merits is hard enough without suddenly discovering that one of the best in the business has shown up… and now you have to follow them. It leads some acts to tweak around their own styles to better match the person they have to go up after. It can fuck your own rythyms and take you off your game.

In Secret Avengers #21.1, writer Rick Remender is taking over from Warren Ellis’s title-redefining four-issue run. And while it’s too early to really tell, it feels like Remender might have fallen into that old comedy trap.

Please don’t misunderstand me; this is not a bad book. And it doesn’t feel like any kind of slavish imitation, just that it was influenced and steered by the fact that Remender is being forced to follow a modern legend. When you see lines like, “When you see your yankee doodle deity in his chicken-fried heaven — tell him you died molesting the world!” come out of the mouths of characters not written by Ellis, I can’t help but picture some pimply-faced yeoman comic taking the mike and saying, “Jeff Foxworthy, everyone! Hey, you know when you might be a redneck?”

I think I finally have realized the reason behind the vague sense of dissatisfaction, if not downright unease, that I’ve been feeling reading Geoff Johns’s and Jim Lee’s Justice League: these characters don’t act right. At best, they act like versions of the original characters that have suffered an extended and untreated fever, or perhaps some period of natural gas-related asphyxia, or some other unknown cause of mild brain damage.

I get that these are supposed to be the members of the Justice League at the beginning of their careers, and therefore it’s probably to be expected that their personalities are somewhat different than we’re used to. Which, as ideas go, is not a bad way to go, and one that could drive many character-driven stories. Unfortunately, over the course of five issues, it’s become apparent that Johns has decided that the primary difference in character is that five years ago, the World’s Greatest Superheroes were Complete Motherfucking Idiots.