Recently I was on Tik Tok, and I came across a comic book content creator who was under fire from commenters who took issue with his claim that before he became a big screen hero, Iron Man was not at all popular. It’s quite the comical turn of events because if you were a fan of comic books in the late eighties throughout the nineties, Iron Man was not popular. Out of all the superheroes running during that time, Iron Man was at best a third tier superhero.
While The Punisher, Spider-Man, and X-Men were selling huge for Marvel Comics, Iron Man was low on the totem pole in terms of status and popularity. His series was constantly cancelled, rebooted, and restarted, while his alternate War Machine became the more celebrated of the pair. While he was respected as one of the Avengers’ founders, he just wasn’t a popular or even appealing character.
One of the things I loved about “Love and Thunder” is that Taika Waititi holds true to the message that Stan Lee held for his heroes. Anyone can be Spider-Man. Anyone can be an X-Men, and in “Love and Thunder” anyone can be a mythic hero. While it does in a sense take away value from the concept of Mjölnir, the concept behind “Love and Thunder” is a wholesome one, one that celebrates its audience of children and inspires heroism in the vein of virtue and morality and less on revenge or malice.
Normally, this would be a top ten of 2022 after going through a wide variety of movies from the year. But in 2022, I spent five months in the hospital due to awful health complications that left me incapable of doing anything but lying in bed and hoping that I’d recover to full health. While on recovery I did my best to check out some anticipated movies, sadly with little success.
I was able to squeeze in viewings of a lot of movies upon my return home, though. While I wasn’t able to see much of anything in 2022, I was thankfully able to compile a reasonable top five list of great films I managed to find time for during the holidays. The list is subject to change upon viewing more 2022 films, but for now, I’m happy with this top five.
Last week, Marvel Studios premiered “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” to much acclaim and box office success. Shang Chi has been one of Marvel’s biggest and most prominent brawlers, a man who has mastered martial arts and proven to be a living weapon time and time again. In honor of Marvel veteran’s debut, I listed my five favorite Comic Book Brawlers, a group of hand to hand fighters that have been some of my all time favorites since I was a kid.
Stephen Norrington’s 1998 adaptation of the comic book “Blade” is a movie that’s often overlooked and or ignored as one of the comic book movie hits that broke ground. While it was never as mainstream as “X-Men” or “Spider-Man” it was a hit movie starring an African American hero, with an R rating. And while it hasn’t aged quite well since its initial release (it’s aged about as well as “X2,” which is good and terrible), it’s still a trailblazer worth seeking out right this second.
If ever there was an argument to be made about movies being cursed, there is “New Mutants.” This is a movie that even people that don’t like superhero movies will be re-visiting for decades, discussing how it has such a streak of bad luck, it’s become kind of heartbreaking by now. Reshoots, delays, rewrites, shelving, postponing, delaying, and the big Marvel purchase of FOX studios have made “New Mutants” one of the modern Hollywood disaster stories.
It’s a great premise, based on the climax of a great movie like “Logan,” that promised a brand new direction to a beloved Marvel series, that definitively closes the FOX “X-Men” movies and features a great cast of dynamic young stars like Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor Joy and the like. And it almost seems like we’re never going to see it until Disney breaks down and finally decides to put it on their streaming service.
The indefinite postponing on April 3rd to TBD, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic has struck “New Mutants” once again, infuriating fans. But until Disney decides to release the movie finally, if ever, here are five great dark fantasies you can watch to fulfill the appetite.
It’s that time of year, the time where we rush out to buy presents for our loved ones for Christmas, or Hanukah, or Kwanzaa, or Festivus. Or whatever you celebrate. To ease the troubles of looking for something special for that nephew you’ve only met two times in the last ten years, but know he likes movies… we have suggestions for you!
Despite Thor, The God of Thunder being one of Marvel’s most iconic characters and virtual co-founder of The Avengers, making him a compelling action hero has been a tough task. Even with some great directors and sleek scripting, “Thor” hasn’t quite been as exciting as Iron Man or Captain America. He’s barely risen to the Hulk who, so far, has only had one movie and a hand full of appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With “Thor: Ragnarok,” Marvel has reached the point where audiences are familiar enough with the character that they can begin to change his identity a bit. In the end, he’s still Thor, the God of Thunder, but he also comes in touch with his god like abilities when he allows himself to embrace humility once and for all.