Fun-Size Friday: the part of the show where I throw caution and common sense to the wind and basically “fanboy out” about whatever I want for a couple hundred words at a time. The last bit is key here; although I’ll occasionally ramble, I’m gonna try to keep each topic to no more than two hundred words. Other than that, nothing’s off the table here. We could talk about a new movie trailer that dropped last week, or rant about something I half-glanced at on the DC Comics subreddit, or I could just spend two hundred words pitching Marvel Studios my idea for a Thunderbolts series on Disney Plus. If that sort of thing floats your boat, Hypothetical Reader, then read on!
Confession time: I’ve never played a single minute of any Castlevania game on any platform. It’s only in the last couple years that I’ve played something that wasn’t Mario, Zelda, or something else Nintendo based, so my gamer “cred” is pretty weak. That being said, I have seen the first two seasons of Netflix’s animated adaptation of Castlevania, spearheaded by Adi Shankar, and I enjoyed those very much. So, as you can imagine, the trailer for the third season’s got me plenty excited.
Like all the best video game adaptations, you don’t have to have played the games to enjoy the story, as writer Warren Ellis does an admirable job of establishing the world and, perhaps most critically, making you care about the characters. You may not agree with the genocidal vampires, but at the very least you’ll understand why they’re doing what they’re doing. Not to mention the animation studios do a fantastic job making everything and everyone look fantastic, with season three looking even better still. If you’re looking for something chock-full of gloom, gore, and gallows humor, Castlevania is a mature, respectful video game adaptation you’ve been waiting for.
HEY, SPEAKING OF VIDEO GAME ADAPTATIONS…
You know how I said I only played Nintendo games literally thirty seconds ago? That was a lie, but in my defense my memory is notoriously unreliable. Anyway, about two decades back I played the original 1991 Sonic the Hedgehog game on an old Windows PC. I was…not good at it, and I’ve never played a Sonic game or watched any Sonic adaptations since. That is, unless you count the 4Kids opening for the Sonic X anime, which I’m definitely listening to right now.
Where the heck was I going with this? Oh yeah, I saw the Sonic movie today!
Yeah, I dunno, I found Sonic to be just fine overall. The kids and young teens I saw this with were clearly enjoying it way more than me, which I’m totally okay with. As for me — a grown adult with no real attachment or knowledge of the source material — aside from a few chuckles at some awkward product placement and the revival of 90’s Era Jim Carrey, there wasn’t much else to recommend. It’s not great, it’s not terrible, it’s just your typical kid’s movie, and that’s…all I really expected from it.
IN THE CATEGORY OF “BEST COMIC BOOK SOLICITATION”: IMMORTAL HULK #35 & #36
Much to my inner fanboy’s delight and my wallet’s dismay, Marvel Comics has slowly but steadily re-captured my interest with a slew of interesting titles. However, and this is purely down to personal preference, The Immortal Hulk — drawn by regular artist Joe Bennett and written by Al Ewing — is far and away the comic I look forward to reading the most. It’s gotten to the point where I read the solicitations for upcoming issues months in advance, just so I can get a peek at what’s coming down the pipe, as well as gawk at artist Alex Ross‘s amazingly drawn cover pages. This bring us, in a very roundabout way, to Marvel Comics solicitations for May 2020 and, well…
IMMORTAL HULK #35
AL EWING ( W ) • MIKE HAWTHORNE ( A ) • Cover by ALEX ROSS
DARK MARVEL VARIANT COVER BY TBA
• The war with the Minotaur is over — and a grateful humanity knows who saved them all.
• Can Shadow Base come out of the shadows? Can the world believe in Bruce Banner?
• Can there be a happy ending… for the IMMORTAL HULK?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
IMMORTAL HULK #36
AL EWING ( W ) • JOE BENNETT ( A ) • Cover by ALEX ROSS
DARK MARVEL VARIANT COVER BY TBA
• NO HAPPY ENDINGS.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
There’s something simultaneously hilarious and horrifying about putting those two covers, along with the “no happy endings” text, right next to each other. It’s like the creative team saw the first cover with the sun shining and the smiling children and went “oh yeah, no, this is the Hulk we’re talking about, screw that guy” and immediately course-corrected to soul-crushing disaster. Not much else to say except man am I hyped for May right now.
IN CLOSING, THE CO-PUBLISHER OF DC COMICS IS OUT TODAY
This probably won’t matter to the vast majority of people reading this, but in the world of comics it’s fairly substantial: Dan Didio — one of the co-publishers and figureheads of DC Comics — is apparently out of the job. The exact circumstances behind it are unknown as the new’s has only just gone out at the time of this writing, but the fact that we’re getting this news late on a Friday without any sort of formal press release suggests the split wasn’t entirely amicable.
It honestly still hasn’t really sunk in for me that Didio isn’t a publisher anymore, as his influence has been all over DC Comics since I started reading them in the early 2000’s, for better or worse. Whatever gripes I’ve had over the years, there’s no denying there were plenty of good-to-great books produced under his tenure, and that the guy absolutely loved comics. With Didio out, I’ll be interested to see what projects and characters move into the spotlight and, on the flip side, what future plans may have been scrapped. I’ll be following developments on this story with great interest as the weekend begins.
Take care everyone!