About a year ago today, I made a spontaneous, not entirely well thought out decision to purchase a domain address and spend a substantial part of my day writing about comic books online. Actually, comic books “and things”, which was just a way to cover myself if I started to get burnt out on comic books, which, based on the fact I haven’t posted anything for about a year now, didn’t really pan out.
You know I’ve covered a lot of geeky stuff these past couple months, including comic books, anime, the Academy Awards, and my unapologetic love for trashy pop music. Assuming you read the title, you won’t be surprised to learn my love of all things nerd also extends to the long-running British TV series, Doctor Who. For those of you who don’t have a clue what Doctor Who is, allow me to provide a brief overview.
How about a little music to set the mood?
In the vast reaches of the cosmos, there is an alien known as The Doctor; a Time Lord who ran away from their home planet in a stolen time machine called a TARDIS. This impossible machine is bigger on the inside, can take it’s passengers anywhere in time and space, and is perpetually stuck in the form of a blue police box from 1963. Often accompanied by one or more human “companions”, the Doctor travels from place to place righting wrongs, defeating monsters, and generally leaving things better than when they arrived.
Additionally, should The Doctor’s body ever sustain too much damage, the Time Lords have the unique ability to “regenerate”. This process can repair the damage and even save them from death, but at the cost of altering their entire body at the cellular level, and one never knows what kind of Doctor will emerge. Though their personality, gender, and fashion sense may change, one thing never will: The Doctor will always be there to save the day.
As someone who has followed the show since it’s “revival” back in 2005, I can wholeheartedly recommend Doctor Who to anyone who has even a passing interest in science fiction or fantasy. However, I understand that not everyone has the time or the interest to add yet another show to their pile of movies, TV shows, and other miscellaneous media. I’ve currently got a back-list of Marvel TV shows that’s about a mile high, so believe me, I get it. Fortunately, Doctor Who features a number of “standalone” episodes; one-hour tales that tell one complete story and aren’t too bogged down in continuity or a larger season long story arc. For those people who can only spare an hour or so, I present nine Doctor Who episodes that you can watch right now, without having to resort to Wikipedia.
So, with all the preamble out of the way, shall we?
You may not be entirely aware of this, or perhaps you just ignored it, but we have a Venom movie coming to theaters pretty soon. Oh cool, you might be thinking, another Marvel movie featuring a classic Spider-Man villain! So does this take place before Infinity War or what? Well interestingly enough, Venom actually takes place in it’s own isolated universe separate from the other Marvel heroes. That means no Infinity War, no Avengers, and no Spider-Man.
This is all part of the Sony Universe of Marvel Characters, a new “cinematic universe” that Sony has been trying to get off the ground since The Amazing Spider-Man 2. If Venom turns out to be the big hit Sony clearly wants it to be, the studio already has plans for movies featuring other characters like Silver Sable, Jackpot, and Morbius the Living Vampire, to name but a few. Whether or not this experiment succeeds, the idea of making movies based on these Spider-Man characters, without Spider-Man actually being in them, intrigued me.
It got me to thinking, as long as Sony is looking for ideas, perhaps I could pitch a few of my own. Full disclosure: I haven’t really put a ton of thought into these; I’m basically just pulling names out of a hat here and seeing what I can come up with. On that note, presented in no particular order are ten movie pitches for movies Sony could totally use for their cinematic universe, each in a hundred words or less!
Sup, voice in my head! It’s been a while.
PROBABLY FOR THE BEST, CONSIDERING. WHAT’S ON OUR MIND TODAY?
Well as you know we got some pretty big news out of the blue on Tuesday.
CAPTAIN MARVEL LOVES PUNCHING OLD PEOPLE.
What?! Where did that come from?
THERE WAS A LOT OF WEIRD NEWS ON TUESDAY. SPEAKING OF, WHY WAS MARIO CART TRENDING ON TWITTER?
I dunno, Twitter is weird. For now I want to talk about the news that Netflix is adapting Avatar: The Last Airbender into a new live-action TV series!
The last week has been an unusually busy one even by my usual standards, full of good things (I went to my first comic book convention!) and less-than-good things (work). None of that matters now though because I just remembered that Netflix dropped the full first season of The Dragon Prince to stream yesterday and I literally can’t focus on anything else until I sit down and watch this thing. It’s taking everything I’ve got just to finish writing this introduction!
For those of you who don’t know or may have forgot (like me), The Dragon Prince is the latest offering from co-creator Aaron Ehasz, a writer whose resume includes one of my all-time favorite animated series, Avatar: The Last Airbender. As both a co-executive producer and the head writer, Ehasz was responsible for penning some of the very best episodes of Avatar, so you’ll forgive me if I’m going into this with unrealistically high expectations. My only real concern is the animation; in still photos it looks good enough but just from watching the trailer I’m a little confused why they went with this particular style. Perhaps it’ll grow on me.
Anyway, seeing how Netflix is dropping nine episodes all at once I figured I’d try what all the cool kids are doing nowadays and attempt a “binge watch”. Then I figured as long as I’m doing this, heck, I might as well write my thoughts on each episode as I watch them because, I dunno, I need to write something this week. I’m gonna do my best to keep my thoughts as vague and spoiler-free as possible but, you know, read at your own risk.
I think after 15+ years of watching dozens of different anime movies and television series I can now say with some confidence that I’m an anime fan. Sure, it hasn’t all been great and in some instances it’s been downright terrible, but on the whole I think I’ve got a lot more positive things to say about anime than I do negatives. One thing I think we can all agree on, experts and “casuals” alike, is that anime has some pretty friggin’ awesome music.
Anime TV series in particular feature a constant rotation of new songs in the form of openings and endings: one-and-a-half to two minute “bookends” near the start and end of each episode featuring music combined with unique and eye-catching animation. A lot of times these little animated music videos are the only part of the anime I’ve actually seen, and sometimes these little bookends are so enjoyable that they actually rise above the series itself. I’ve had these sorts of songs stuck in my head more times than I can count, and today I thought I’d shine a light on a few in particular that I love, specifically from anime openings.
Welcome to another edition of Just Add Comics, where I highlight comic books that adapt stories from other forms of media — movies, television, plays, “webisodes”, etc. — and see how they match up compared to the original. I actually wasn’t planning to make another one of these posts so soon, but I recently came across a comic that was so far off my radar that I couldn’t put off talking about it anymore. That’s because the comic I want to cover today is an adaptation of a classic board game: Cluedo, or as it’s more commonly known in America, Clue.
Wait…seriously? says the Hypothetical Reader. Yes. Seriously.
Look, I get it. I was skeptical myself, but after reading up on all things Clue over the last few days (i.e. I skimmed over all the pertinent bits on Wikipedia), I dunno, I guess I’ve been converted. I even pulled an old copy of the board game we had lying around the house to reacquaint myself with the set-up, and I think I have enough now to make this worth your time and mine. So yeah, let’s put on those deerstalker caps and dive in.