Showing posts with label Cap. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cap. Show all posts

Monday, February 11, 2013

Signal Rewatch: It turns out "Avengers" is a pretty good movie

I didn't hate Avengers the first time I saw it, but I also wasn't a huge fan of the movie.  I liked it well enough, but something about it didn't click with me as much as I was hoping for.  Look, straight up, I'm a Captain America fan, and I kind of though the movie gave Cap short shrift.  I think I had expectations vis-a-vis Cap's assumed leadership role in Avengers, and that just didn't happen, exactly.

But as a fun roller coaster ride?  Yeah, it's pretty phenomenal.

I still don't quite get how people even followed the movie who hadn't paid to see the other Avengers movies in the lead up to this one, especially if you missed Thor (and, really, why would you miss Thor?  My MOM liked that movie).

On a second viewing, a bit more calibrated for what one could expect from Avengers, I didn't just watch it to enjoy a few choice scenes, I really quite liked the whole package much, much better - even if the ending is kind of ridiculous.  And, man, yeah, no wonder they can't keep Avengers toys on the shelf.

Watching the big, exciting fight scene at the end, I'm now in total awe of the package Joss Whedon put together.  I mean, it's about as perfect a super-hero-y playscape, threat, etc.. as you're going to find, and then the camera work and FX just really carry you through that whole terrific, chaotic cityscape.

I know I'm telling you guys something you already know, but by that point the last time I saw the movie, I was sort of ready for the conclusion, and everything between me and our villain stowed safely away felt a bit like a semi-welcome delay before we could all file out.  Not sulking about Cap's second-tier status kind of set my mind at ease, as did enjoying a lot of what Mark Ruffalo was up to in every shot where he appeared as either Banner or Hulk.  And, yeah, as much as a Planet Hulk movie sounds boss as hell, I'd like a Ruffalo-as-Hulk movie first.

Anyway, that's this evening's geek-out.

I'm pretty jazzed about Iron Man 3, and the in-production Cap and Thor flicks.  And word is that fricking Rocket Raccoon is coming to the big screen in a Guardians of the Galaxy movie.  Rocket Raccoon is getting a movie before The Flash, Shazam, Wonder Woman, Aquaman...

Go to hell, DC.

Now, if I can get a Black Panther movie, I might relax a little.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cap is a Write-In for President In a Comic Somewhere

As we head into election season, the online media looks for click-fodder, and Marvel and DC think up events that will get headlines rather than sell some damn comics...

Was I surprised to read on a mainstream news site that Captain America is going to become President of the United States in the "Ultimate" version of the Marvel Universe?  Well, yeah.  I mean, that's a pretty drastic idea.  Of course, I haven't followed the Ultimate universe in a while, and last I checked they'd also killed off Peter Parker, half the X-Men, and, I think, basically gone "dystopian" with their version of the world.  So, you know, whatever.



I mean, Cap over in the mainline Marvel U pondered a run circa 1980 (we got Reagan instead, who, while charming, couldn't have taken Batroc the Leaper).  And Superman was elected President in one of those "Imaginary Stories" back in the day, Lex won the election in 2000 as a third party candidate (with Superman's childhood pal, Pete Ross, as VP), and Morrison made a version of Superman President who appeared as recently as Action Comics #9 (Volume 2).  And, Superman has been the Prime Minister of Russia over in Red Son.  And that doesn't include the dozens of times Superman went crazy and declared himself either king of the gorillas, some locality or of all the Earth.

Back in the 1970's, Batgirl served in Congress for a number of years (it was insane).  And, of course, one must never forget DC oddball youth-culture-appeal character Prez Rickard.

and the President thought he'd really discovered something when he watched  his first Kubrick movie...
So, basically, comics are full of crazy-brained stunts and goofy ideas about our elected (and not-elected) leaders.  They always have been, and I guess they always will be.  I'm glad that superhero comics aren't above the sort of wacky story telling that leads to stuff like Batgirl running for office, but I'm an old reader and seeing Cap sworn in as President on a write-in vote doesn't exactly blow my mind.  I hope younger readers feel differently.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July from Cap and The Signal Watch!

What better superhero way to celebrate America than with the Sentinel of Liberty, Captain America!



You guys know I'm in the bag for Marvel's answer to jingoistic, flag waving super-dudes.  If you haven't been reading Ed Brubaker's work the past few years, you've really been missing out.

Of course, thanks to this summer's The Avengers, many of you now know Cap as a movie character, and that's terrific!  He may not be the definitive movie Cap, but he's not bad, when you consider the company he's kept in previous attempts to put Cap on screen.

Point of Fact:  When people ask me which is my favorite Avengers movie, I cannot help but answer: Captain America. Where was the musical scene in The Incredible Hulk or Thor? Nowhere.



And, of course, there's the 1990's version of Cap...



But you're really missing out if you've not seen the 1970's version.



Or, if you prefer a 1940's matinee serial:



So Happy Birthday, America, from me and Captain America!  Here's to a pretty darn good run at Democracy!

Yes, that is Kirby!  He even provided Kirby Dots for what I assume was a Bi-Centennial issue of Cap.
and special Disney bonus round:



Monday, May 7, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Avengers Assemble! Captain America - The First Avenger (2011)

Yup.  I was going to wait and give Jamie some pacing when it came to watching Captain America (2011), but I got the BluRay of this movie a couple weeks back, and I am an impatient fellow.

I was a bit curious as to how well I'd like Captain America as the last time I saw it, there were extenuating circumstances.  Namely: Mark Waid was there and was a hell of a nice guy.  Also, Austin Books was there shooting t-shirts out of a gun, and the place was full of friendly comic nerds.  Also, I'd had a margarita right before the movie.

If you read my review last August, you may recall I sort of freaked out and gushed about the movie.

like a boss...

You know what?  I still find this a very satisfying movie, superhero or otherwise.  I mean, its not exactly Citizen Kane, and it doesn't have either the grandeur or myth-making of Superman: The Movie, nor the "geez, I can relate" feel of the Young American Hard Luck Case that comes part and parcel with Spider-Man.  But its a celebration of what is best about why we fight, and what it means to be the good guy in the old school, unironic way, nor by becoming the anti-hero.

All very strange because I'm not much of a fan of director Joe Johnston, shy of his work on The Rocketeer.

I suppose part of my attraction is still the pacing of the film, and that even more than Iron Man, I feel like we get a complete story that takes place over an extended period of time.  And, Cap's evil opposite makes a lot of sense in the context of this film, at least in my crazy head.

Sure, it would have been nice to have Mark Waid stop by and enjoy the movie with me (you're welcome anytime, Mr. Waid), but even without his presence or any comic geeks who are not my wife or my black lab, its still a decent flick and a solid entry in the superhero genre.

Of course, its a mix of the original tales as told my Jack Kirby and Joe Simon (I am aware that Kirby did leave to go serve in WWII after Cap debuted, but am unaware if Simon did the same).  Of course it harkens to the Avengers work done around 63'-64' when Cap returned to comics thanks to Smilin' Stan and Jack Kirby.  But it also is an interesting mix of both The Ultimates take on things, leaning heavily on the recent work of Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting on Captain America (which is highly readable in collected editions).

Special bonus:  I had a moment of clarity not too long ago when some stray neurons fired and I remember trying to impress a girl when I was a freshman in high school by showing her the Captain America poster I'd recently acquired and hung above my dresser.  Yeesh.

I found a picture of that poster online.

also... like a boss

She did still go out with me a couple of times.  That's the power of Cap, I guess.

Dang, man.  What happened to that poster?  Also, my picture of Earth?  And my Michael Jordan poster...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My One Concern About The Avengers Trailer, Birthday Presents, Get Superman a Star

On the Avengers Trailers:


Captain America:  "Big man with a suit of armor.  Take that away, what are you?"
Iron Man:  "Genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist..."
cut to:  (in trailer 1):  Thor laughing knowingly at the humiliated Cap
cut to:  (in new TV trailer):  shrug from the sexy girl agreeing with Iron Man
implied:  the sad trombone

Marvel may not know it, but it seems they're setting up their Cap to become the insta-square that DC accidentally made of Superman back in 1986 and which, 26 years later, they've never recovered from.   By setting up our pal Cap as The Bad Guy In the Dorky Outfit picking on The Guy We All Related To a Few Summers Back,  its more than possible they're sinking one of their own flagship guys, all before the movie is released.

Sure, the exchange is intended to sell us on the crazy dynamics of the characters that we'll see if we give our local cinema $10, but the whole exchange feels out of character for Cap, including the Cap from last summer's movie (the whole point of which was - he's generally better than that).  Yes, we need a "clashing team", but...  you're losing me a little here, Marvel/ Studio/ Joss.  That exchange is supposed to be the response the drunk on power/ charming Stark gives to the stuffed suit SHIELD Agent, not the guy who just got unthawed after saving the Free World.

I'm a Cap fan. Don't make me regret your movie.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A round-up of things (Cap Soldier Dad, UT political cartoon, Batman in his Lambo)

Hi guys!

Over the past few days I've received a few links from you guys, and I guess its appropriate to comment.

Cap Homecoming

If you haven't seen the video of the little boy receiving a visit from Captain America for his birthday, and then learning that the unmasked Cap is the dad he thought was in Afghanistan where he's serving, then you really need to watch it.



An amazing and poignant moment, and a reminder that the US military is a volunteer military of men and women who are also fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. Here's to all of our Captain Americas coming home.


Yes, I saw the Gawker article and cartoon.  Yes, that's The Daily Texan.

Yes, The Daily Texan is the student paper at UT Austin where I went to school and currently work.  Yes, its embarrassing.

I have literally no idea what the cartoonist was thinking, but contextually, just the use of the word "colored", which is only used in Texas in a weird, gallows humor sort of way to suggest backwards thinking, tells me that this cartoonist was trying to make a point which never quite made it into the strip, and instead just made UT's daily student paper look backward and racist.

If the cartoonist was trying to make a point about how the matronly and condescending media is telling the story by framing the story to a child-like audience to scare them, then...  okay.  I guess I get it even if I don't buy necessarily buy that interpretation.  You'd pretty much need to be handed a few sign posts to get you there.

From looking at the rest of the cartoonist's work on the Texan website, all of her strips (if you want to call them that) are terribly inept and seem to fail to actually convey anything other than a general sense of "I watched CNN last night" and a bit of anger at someone running for student government*.  Frankly, political cartooning is hard.  The skill to create icons and symbolism to convey your opinion or some greater truth with a 2 second glance is hard to come by.  Even among comic nerds, political cartooning gets a certain level of respect for the difficult task it represents.  This student gets an F in cartooning.

But, pulling Eisner's work would mean The Daily Texan would then need to either fill that space with another cartoon (and lord knows how hard that would be to find), or run an ad for Forbidden Fruit or Tom's Tabooley or something.  I just wish the editor or faculty advisor had been able to make a better decision before letting this see print.

Update:  Eisner more or less admitted she screwed up the cartoon.  


Yes, I saw that a guy who owns a Lamborghini apparently likes to dress up as Batman

And I saw that the cops pulled him over for having a bat-symbol, I believe, as his license plate.

Several comics sites talked about the guy, and who can blame them?  A dude who owns a completely amazing black Lamborghini dressed himself up as Batman and drove around in the car (with the top down), pretty much doing what every single person in the world has always wanted to do.

Some were saying this guy does this for kids or a charity or something.  Really, I don't know why he does it, but he's okay in my book.


Speaking of Batman

Here's every window cameo on the 1960's Batman program with Adam West and Burt Ward.

And how can you go wrong hiring Andy Devine to play Santa?  I will tell you:  You cannot.


My Personal Bug-a-Boo of the Day

Mixing historical figures with genre tropes is getting played out.  Especially when you can tell that neither the artist nor the person writing the article (a) realizes this, or (b) realizes that this one in particular was done a long time ago and better as "Tales from the Bully Pulpit".

No, I don't care about the Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter movie.


Thanks to everyone for thinking of me and sending me links!  Keep them coming.


*dear students:  these elections will never matter anywhere, to anyone but to sad people reading grad school applications in basements

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween Pics Not of Me

Oh, right.  If you have pics of you or your kids from Halloween, send 'em in.

Here's Peabo's kid, Owen, taking the fight for freedom to, what appears to be a Cap Metro bus.

Cap.  Cap Metro!  I crack myself up.

Kudos to Owen for a surprisingly accurate movie-Cap costume.


Let's hope justice doesn't mind tacking on an extra 30 minutes for the commute.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

No Post Monday

I have to go to Waco in the morning, and I didn't have time to finish the post I was working on.  I am sure you all understand.

Had a lovely weekend, and am sure this week will be swell.

Here's the cover of Captain America #1, featuring work by Jack Kirby and story by Joe Simon.  We (The US, that is) weren't actually yet at war with Germany when this comic hit the stands.  But Cap was already in action.  He's just that cool.

Go, get 'em, Cap!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Signal Watch Watches: Captain America - The First Avenger

I really liked this movie.  How's that for a review for you? 

I kid you not, I realized at about the 1.5 hour mark, I'd been smiling since the first two minutes.  That's not hyperbole.

I may not be the world's biggest Captain America fan or Marvel aficionado (I know two readers to this site that way trump my Cap fandom - Jake and CanadianSimon*), and while I've always liked Cap, somehow I never really became the kind of guy who picked up Cap every month.  I've been a "get the trade" sort of reader for the past few years, and I've picked up a few backlog items, certainly don't grab all the "let's flood the market" stuff Marvel tends to do with characters whenever their sales show signs of a pulse.  Prior to Brubaker coming on Cap, the longest run I think read was the entirety of Waid's Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty when that was in print.


Like Superman in the DCU, I think you can point to Cap as the moral center and heroic inspiration for both other characters in the Marvel U and for what the Marvel readership immediately clicks to when they think about "which character exemplifies unfettered heroism the most?"  Deep down, both Steve Rogers and Clark Kent have a lot in common, and its the "we do the right thing because its the right thing to do" aspect of both which really appeals to me.  Whether Steve Rogers got his ability from Vita-Rays or whether Superman got his from his alien physiology, these characters were going to make a difference in the world somehow just based upon who they were.**

Saturday, July 30, 2011

So guess who just met comics scribe Mark Waid while seeing Captain America?

Wow! Fun night.

Me and Pal Kevin headed up north, had a lovely dinner and then ran over to the Gateway theater where Austin Books hosted a screening of Captain America with the Austin Chronicle. In attendance: Mark Waid.

Firstly, I am a big fan of Mark Waid's work on Flash, Captain America, Kingdom Come, Irredeemable and a whole lot of other books and characters. Secondly, of Marvel's roster of characters, Captain America is one of my three favorites (with Spidey and maybe Rocket Raccoon).

Waid (left) puts up with the unruly Austinites

So, this was kind of a big deal for me. Oh, and I also won a hat by answering a trivia question.

I actually had all the books that ABC had brought with them to purchase and get signed (like I said, I'm a Mark Waid fan), so I thought - ah, heck.  Why not?

yeah, I made him sign the hat, too

Mark Waid will be at Austin Books on Saturday from 4-7pm, if you have a chance to stop by.

My review of Cap is coming, but (spoilers) - I loved that thing.