Yea! The X-Men are coming to TV! Maybe? But, they're not really X-Men? Whatever, I'll take it. 
Picture
At least it's not Cyber Force.
This week, news broke that the FX network struck a deal with Marvel to bring some of their merry mutants to TV in the form of two new shows, both dramas. One is called Legion, who in comic lore, is mentally fragile son of Charles Xavier that gave us the Age of Apocalypse in the 90s. 
Picture
Legion. He seems stable.
Picture
Fact: The foil cover makes this comic book .01% more valuable.
The other is Hellfire, which was briefly seen in the X movie, X-Men: First Class. The Hellfire Club in the comics is like a weird Masonic group of mutants that are the constant thorn in the side of the X-Men. Their members are numerous, dangerous, and really like to cosplay in Victorian Era clothes.
Hellfire Club X Men Mutants
Committed to cosplay since the 1970s.
Their members include the famous, White Queen (Emma Frost) and Sebastian Shaw. If you know your X-Men lore, you'll know that the Hellfire Club is a bit responsible for turning Jean Grey into the Dark Phoenix.
Picture
Is she mad? I think she's mad.
If you can't tell by now, my fandom for the X-Men goes deep. It all started for me with the animated show on Fox's Saturday morning block of cartoons. Queue the intro music.
That led to the comics, which was really my first exposure to seeing kick ass women as strong heroes and leaders in popular media.
Picture
Picture
Picture
Anyway, I'm really excited to see the X-Men back to TV, even though the last time that happened, it led to this:
What is that, you ask? It was a TV movie/backdoor pilot based on the popular 90s X-Series, Generation X. It was a disaster, and don't just take my word for it; watch it.

But that was the old days; we're now in the golden age of TV! Network, writers and directors can do great things these days and if there is one franchise that is prime the serialized storytelling format of TV, it's the world of the X-Men.

There are so many X-Men stories I am excited to hopefully see on the small screen. With the amount of interesting mutant characters in the X-Universe, it's practically its own MCU.

Here are some series I'd like to see Fox bring to TV:

Cable & Deadpool

Imagine a half hour action comedy series on premium cable with Cable as the straight man and Deadpool as the straight crazy man.
Picture
They're really the best of friends...

X-Statix

An hour-long drama about a bunch or mutant media darlings could produce some hard-hitting commentary about big media in this country.
Picture
Doop!

X-Man

Nate Grey, a man out of his time, travels the world helping others who are just as lost in an hour-long drama.
Picture

Dazzler

Set this in the 70s, and this could be a great half hour comedy about a mutant's disco music career and on again, off again, relationship with her alien boyfriend, Longshot.
Picture
Groovy.

Starjammers

A group of space pirates travel to distant worlds collecting treasures in the vein of Star Trek.
Picture
Jammin'
That's what I got, how about you? What do you want to see?
Also, let's all pretend that Mutant X never happened.
Picture
Sooooo 90s.
 
 
The Civil War and Infinity War is coming. If there's anything Marvel Studios has been trying to hit us over the head with the past few years, it's that statement of fact. So it makes sense to introduce the audience to all of the players, particularly every member of the 'soon'-to-be-complete Avengers team. The most recent addition in the movie verse is Ant-Man!

I'll admit right off the bat that I didn't follow his storyline too much, or Wasp's. Even when I was younger I couldn't take the idea of him seriously. Changing your size while retaining your normal strength is one thing, but controlling insects (while making sense being that size) is something else entirely. And kinda gave me the creeps.
Picture
Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew!
But I felt the nerd obligation to see the film in theaters so there I went. Honestly, the trailers did make me interested. It seemed like they would take the concept of Ant-Man as the standalone hero and make it work for a feature length film. The result? It was...meh.
Picture
Logo via Marvel Studios

[SPOILERS AHEAD]

There wasn't anything particularly bad about it, but 'meh' is all I can really say about the whole thing. I honestly forgot that I had seen the movie a few hours after I got home, definitely not the norm when I usually go to see a Marvel film. I think that the main problem stems from a lack of creativity or spark of imagination in all of the wrong places.

The plot was one we've seen a million times and I don't feel that it fit well within the world of Ant-Man and the so-called genius scientist and technician our main characters are supposed to be. They show off Scott Lang's skills when he cracks Hank Pym's personal safe, but then try to make me believe that Pym baited Lang in the most convoluted way imaginable instead of simply contacting him directly. Pym could've hidden inside the house or even in the vault and asked Scott to help him right then and there instead of letting him just walk away with the suit. If Scott said 'no' to helping him then he could use one of his ants to plant something on him that he could say Scott stole. Then we'd still have the jailbreak scene, it would make for a cool introduction to the suit, and Lang can be guided how to use it the entire time by Pym. Solved! In the film there's no way Hank would know what would happen to his suit which is one of a kind and would be extremely dangerous if put in the wrong hands. What if Scott ended up selling it to get the money that he desperately needs? What if he never took the suit at all, being too disappointed at the lack of valuables? As for Scott, who would randomly put on a weird motorcycle suit and push buttons that could literally do anything WHILE you have the damned thing on?

Anyways, the rest of the film goes the way you'd expect it to, which isn't a good thing. After a training montage, Ant-Man gets ready for a heist, an idea which excited me as Marvel has never gone that route with a hero before. But the whole thing was underwhelming and asked me to care about things that they never bothered to make me care about in the first place. An ant that Scott named gets killed? Bummer. Scott and Hope get caught kissing? Oh well, good for them, I guess.

When it came to the acting department, Paul Rudd seemed to have a hard time finding his footing as a superhero the whole film. I think he's more than capable of pulling off a role like this and he did come close many times, but he wasn't given enough to work with in my opinion. Evangeline Lilly broke through the monotony a few times whenever she and Michael Douglas (playing her father Hank Pym) had scenes together and I genuinely liked how the two played their strained relationship. But in every other scene her character lacked, well, any character. Michael Douglas was by far the best actor of the ensemble. Being the veteran that he is that's not too surprising, though.

The villain, Yellowjacket (aka Darren Cross), was by far one of the weakest I've seen so far in the Marvel 'verse. His only reason for being the bad guy is because he's gone insane. Not from some traumatizing event caused by the hero (Yeah, Hank snubbed him but it never felt like it effected him to THAT degree) but because of some particle thing that happens just from being around the technology that made the Ant-Man suit. So why hasn't Hank Pym or his daughter gone insane? They've undoubtedly been around that technology far longer than he has! I'm pretty sure a line is said in passing somewhere where they say that he was already a bit crazy but that's a really weak premise to base any bad guy on. I'd get it if Cross's evil plan was more focused on destroying Hank Pym but from the very beginning he's more focused on making these suits weaponized so they can sell them to the military and of course Hydra as we learn later. He didn't even look particular villainous or intimidating, though throughout the movie I felt like he belonged in the wrong comic book franchise.
Picture
I will defeat you Superman! Oh-I mean Ant-Man!
The best part of the film had to be the fight scenes. With such a specific power I was hoping they would get creative with the choreography and do something different from what we're used to seeing and they always delivered.

But...that's it.

Ultimately, Ant-Man didn't have any real soul to it. It lost it's main voice as soon as Edgar Wright was out of the project and the script got three more writers working on it. Too many voices for any project means the end result will be a muddled mess and that's exactly what happened to Ant-Man. My hope is that Ant-Man will finally find his place amongst the rest of the Avengers in future movies, very much like how well the Hulk has been working in the Avengers franchise despite the lackluster films he'd been featured in before.

What did you think of the film? Am I missing something? Tell me in the comments below.
 
 
Last week, the sum total for all fandom took place as it does every year in sunny San Diego. That's right, Comic Con International logged another successful convention in the books and I was back in my humid hometown watching it all go down via online news sites, social media and television.
Picture
Me following Comic Con news.
Since high school, I've always wanted to attend the massive gathering of geekdoom, but due to scheduling, funds and most recently, sold out tickets, I've been unable to attend. Which has left me as blue as a Smurf. 
Picture
That's not a good look on anyone.
Although, with each passing year and great leaps in technological advances, it seems like making the pacific coast pilgrimage is less and less necessary. Need proof? Well, let's take a look this past convention and see if the fans got their time and money's worth. 

MARVEL STUDIOS

Didn't even show up to the party. Rumor has it, that they're too 'Hollywood.' When the biggest player in the industry doesn't even come out to play, that for me, makes Comic Con less of a draw for me.

STAR WARS

Yes, they were able to get Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill, on a panel, but how interesting is that, when they can't even talk about the upcoming movie? Beyond that, what is the movie even about? Lucasfilm still hasn't released a new trailer nor did they give anyone in the audience a peek at any new footage. The only thing they did do was screen a behind the scenes video that they then released online immediately afterwards. If I spent 24 hours in line to attend this panel, I must admit, I'd be a little let down.

WARNER BROS.

While they were more forthcoming with footage from their projects, including the upcoming Suicide Squad, someone in the audience recorded the footage and posted it online by Sunday taking away all exclusivity for the fans attending. I for one blame the Convention for this. They owe it to their exhibitors to have a better system in place to stop this from happening. The other thing they unveiled was the new trailer Batman v Superman which was also put out online by the studio right after its screening. Sigh.

GAME OF THRONES

Nothing. Not even a release date for the new season. It was just some cast and crew talking.
Picture
Give us more!
So if the heavy hitters aren't putting much effort into their presentations, does this mean that maybe Comic Con's importance is waning? I'd say so. With each company now building their own fan events and conventions, I foresee future Comic Con Internationals looking a lot like this one in the years to come. Which may be a good thing, since that means the event may have a chance to return to its roots as a comic book industry event.

From what I can tell now by speaking to some friends that have attended, the convention still offers comic book industry panels, events, and opportunities to network, but with so many similar conventions nationwide with lower costs and smaller crowds, it seems to me that I may now be able to cross Comic Con International off my list, without even attending.

Agree? Disagree? Debate below.
 
 
Seeing as everything within the Marvel Universe is now being made into either a blockbuster film or popular TV show, it was only a matter of time until the blind lawyer by day, vigilante by night, got another chance at a live action adaptation. Back in 2003, Daredevil had been brought to the big screen with Ben Affleck [Batman] playing the title role, and well, not many people were impressed. Me especially.
Picture
Nope, still not impressed.
The film struggled with what many superhero movies did with at the time, a lack of balance. You see, in the early '00s, the superheroes from comics were still seen as being over-the-top in many respects. So the natural inclination for many movie adaptations was to either mirror that sense of ridiculousness, or try to re-imagine the hero as dark, gritty and complex. When the Daredevil film was released, it was strange, as it blended together a rather dark tone and downright laughable action. This combo left many in the audience scratching their collective heads because they didn't know if they should just be entertained by it or to take it seriously.

Unfortunately, not too long after Daredevil made its debut, filmmakers finally started to realize how to make these movies work by treating superheroes like real people who happened to have extraordinary abilities and live in extraordinary worlds. Suddenly, superheroes were relatable because they had personalities and flaws that both helped and hindered their desire to save the world. Daredevil, you sacrificed yourself for a greater good.
Picture
What a concept!
Thankfully, the guardian devil of Hell's Kitchen wasn't forgotten by Marvel Studios and he now has a TV series produced by online outlet Netflix. When the series was released earlier this month, I immediately put it at the top of my queue and started watching them as fast as I could. Unfortunately, due to a mountain of homework, and mandatory overtime at work, my binging didn't reach 100 percent. But fear not TRUE BELIEVERS! I can assure you that I have finished  enough episodes to give you all a pretty good idea of what to expect. [Sidenote: becasue I haven't finished the series your guaranteed a spoiler free review!]
The first thing I have to say is that this show looks great. It's look is very different from what you'd see in other Marvel shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D or Agent Carter. It's tone is more more reminiscent of crime dramas or TV thrillers but knows how to keep pace with the action it constantly provides. This approach might be thanks to a pair of the staff writers (also married) that spent three years as writers on Law & Order: SVU. Also, the fight scenes are amazing for a small screen format. One fight scenes at the end of episode two, is done with what I'm pretty sure was one take and lasted about 3 to 5 minutes. Fake fight aficionados will find great enjoyment in the type of care and forethought taken with each fight or action scene in every single episode.

In addition to what I appreciated about the series is that the audience doesn't get a big explanation as to what Murdock's abilities actually are. We know that he became blind as a kid by being exposed to chemicals in the first few seconds of the pilot, and then, over the course of the series, we gradually get to see the extent of his abilities as he uses them in great reveals both big and small. I always enjoy when a characters origin story isn't laid out for us it always seems like cheating. In this series the audience gets to know Murdock as a character first which makes watching his journey more rewarding as a viewer. And thank God, Daredevil doesn't feature a cheesy monologue given at the beginning of each episode or a phrase always said about justice whenever the hero defeats a bad guy.
Picture
Cough, cough...
My only complaint so far is that the show hasn't quite found its footing as to what it wants to be. It's not really a superhero show, or a crime drama, or thriller for that manner. If the idea is for it to just be its own 'thing' then by all means I hope they attain whatever that 'thing' is, but right now it gives me the impression as a viewer that the show is a bit lost. Sure they are intent on taking you somewhere, and you're excited to get there, but you don't really trust their sense of direction.

Once again, I haven't finished the season yet, so more than likely it will just get better and my complaint will mean nothing. If it doesn't, the show has at least earned enough respect for me to come back for more in a season two [which was just given the green light yesterday].  Plus, a rocky season one just may be a trait of Marvel's TV division. After all, season two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been much better than its freshman season.  

All in all, Daredevil is worth checking out. Whether you want to get into the next big superhero show, be compelled by a new crime drama with a twist, or just want to see Daredevil in a more flattering light than he's been in the past. You should totally check out this new season as soon as possible.

Oh! One more important thing I forgot to mention.
Picture
HOLY CRAP!!! FOGGY NELSON IS FULTON REED FROM THE MIGHTY DUCKS!!!!!11!!!!!
What are your thoughts on Daredevil? Share them below.
 
 
I had planned on avoiding the multiplex this weekend in an attempt to steer clear of the wine-drunk moms (including my own, Jackie) that were being roped-in [wink, wink] by let's face it, sub-par "Twilight" fan fiction.
Drunk Moms
Woooo! I love wine!
But after missing the bus, due to working a bit later than expected, I decided to kill some time on President's Day afternoon by taking in Hollywood's counter programing "Kingsmen: The Secret Service." Based on the trailer, I thought I'd give it a shot, as it advertised many things I like: proper English gentlemen, spies, and Colin Firth. Also, pugs.
kingsmen pug
I'm gonna need pugs... lots of pugs.
I never got around to reading the comic on which this film was based, nor am I fan of comic super scribe Mark Millar's other adaptations "Wanted" and "Kick Ass," or his actual comics for that matter. Truthfully, I find his non-Marvel Ultimate stuff to be a bit too crass for crass sake, much like the writing of Garth Ennis. For the record, Millar's work on "Ultimate Spiderman" and "Ultimate Fantastic Four" is great though, and I highly recommend it if you haven't read any of it. Anyway, armed with a stack of theater gift cards from this past Christmas, I figured I had nothing to lose so I bought a ticket for "Kingsmen."
Picture
If you're not familiar with this film, here's a synopsis:
Gary "Eggsy" Unwin (Taron Egerton), whose late father secretly worked for a spy organization, lives in a South London housing estate and seems headed for a life behind bars. However, dapper agent Harry Hart (Colin Firth) recognizes potential in the youth and recruits him to be a trainee in the secret service. Meanwhile, villainous Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) launches a diabolical plan to solve the problem of climate change via a worldwide killing spree.
PictureEggsy.
Now I really won't spoil it for you as it's still fresh, but I found this film to be really good entry in the realm of comic book adaptations.  It was still vulgar and bloody violent, but it was smoothed out by the lead character Eggsy's attempt to transform from a street rat into a proper gentleman ala "My Fair Lady."  Plus all the well-dressed man candy helped me overlook the giant story flaws. There are also a few fun cameos, including a Jedi other than Mr. Samuel L. Windu. The action is solid, the dialogue is witty and funny, and the world felt like it had a rich history, including a connection to King Arthur and his knights of the round table. If anything, I think director Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class) stuck a little too close to the source material as the film felt a little too comic booky.

Honestly, I was surprised to find that I enjoyed this film and recommend it, but the quality of the film wasn't the only thing I was surprised by. On the silver screen sea of good looking, Savile Row suited, well-groomed British men, I was awestruck by the film's deadly damsel, Gazelle as played by Sofia Boutella.

Picture
Sofia Boutella as Gazelle. Cheers.
In the film, Gazelle is the evil henchman of billionaire bad boy Valentine as played by Samuel L. Jackson. She's a fierce, fast-moving, assassin with legs made of blades. As cool as this film femme fatale was at giving our heroes a run for their money, I was more entranced by the actress playing her. She just had a presence on screen that captured my attention. I was trying to think in my head if I had ever seen her before in another film, but I was stumped
Picture
Insert: Mother F&%!
After the movie, I went home and looked her up online. It turns out that "Kingsmen" is her first Hollywood film and most of her previous work is French Cinema. I think she did really well in the role and pulled off the action scenes with grace and authenticity. I think she would have made an excellent Wonder Woman and I hope she gets a chance to play another comic book character again soon.
With the slew of super hero movies set from all studios until 2099, and the call for more women in tights, I'm sure she'll get a chance to suit up again soon.
Picture
Anyone thinking what I'm thinking?
If not, maybe once my friend Tiffany sees the film, she can write me some quality Gazelle fan fiction.

I just ordered the trade paperback of "Kingsmen: The Secret Service" on Amazon, you can too here:

You can find out more about the book on Amazon. Use either link.
 
 
So I hosted a game night with the usual suspects the other day and like most of our events, we ended up abandoning what we originally planned to do in exchange for talking endlessly and way too seriously about topics concerning fandom.

Sorry, "Settlers of Catan," but we really needed to get into a heated debate about which hairstyle suited Sikozu from "Farscape" best.

Eventually, the conversation turned to our hopeless crushes on fictional characters. This type of discussion is nothing new, mind you, until someone (who will remain nameless) mentioned that they've had a crush on Abe Sapien for years. You can imagine our confused/slightly grossed out reaction to this piece of information. Especially when this person showed us that they were not alone by producing fan-fiction from a slew of different writers all over the Internet.

There are some things... you shouldn't make someone picture.
Picture
Ewww. Just ew.
Then it was confession time. We became our own psychiatrists and went down a deep, dark rabbit hole of misplaced affection that we normally try to repress or ignore altogether. Turns out that we'd all experienced some kind of attraction to characters that most of us would consider less than savory if they actually existed, usually in more ways than one. So without further ado, here are but a few of the crushes we revealed to each other, and don't worry girls, the crushees will remain nameless.

10) Victor Von Doom from: "Fantastic Four" (2005) portrayed by Julian McMahon

PictureI bet you'll blink first.
I tried to be as open minded with everyone's taste in fictional men, but even after accepting Abe Sapien as a possible babe magnet, Doom was hard to swallow. Yes, he's not bad on the eyes, good bone structure and all that. But he's a villain in a pretty hard to watch superhero movie. And not the intriguing or complex kind of villain, but the mustache twirling, cat stroking, pun spewing, "I expect you to die, Mr. Bond" type of villain. The only way a crush on him would make any sense to me is in the over the top way in which McMahon played him. Like everything else in those movies, it was covered in cheese (usually not the good kind) and even I have to admit that Doom's intense glare felt less threatening and more like an eye "you-know-what-ing." The more evil Doom became the more vaguely sexual all of his growled lines seemed to become. To me, this made him unintentionally hilarious, but some women might have felt differently.

9) Sephiroth from: "Final Fantasy VII" & "Advent Children"

PictureMy hair is so 80s. Jel?
This one I can understand a bit. He's got a nearly perfect face with a classic Anime aesthetic to it, simply glorious hair, and a theme song that you can find in the dictionary under 'epic'. Personally, I've always found him a little too creepy and a thing or 'force' rather than a person, which makes sense in the grand scheme of the story (No I won't say this is a spoiler, the game came out almost 20 years ago for Christ's sake!). Even after he gets some development in Crisis Core, I couldn't get on board the Sephiroth Train. I do have to say that I admire the tenacity of anyone who can still say they like a character who is responsible for one of the most heinous murders in video gaming history, though. Oh, and there's the whole taking over the Planet thing too (Over a decade old, people. Get over it).

8) Jack Skellington from: "The Nightmare Before Christmas"

PictureWhat's this?
This is perhaps the most confusing. The normal physical attractions don't really apply here, except for him having good bone structure. See what I did there? If you're into tall, skinny guys than he may do something for you. He's also a good singer, and hey, all men look good in a suit. Personally, I think this one can be attributed to his love interest, Sally. If you're not familiar with the film, Sally has a thing for Jack, but he is oblivious to her feelings for him as he plans his takeover of Christmas. Every girl can relate to this, especially the teenaged Tim Burton lovers. Perhaps they relate so much with Sally that they develop a crush on Jack through association.

7) Sylar from: "Heroes" portrayed by Zachary Quinto

PictureCan you hear me now?
Now here's a psychotic killer who could give you one hell of a smolder. Sylar has a few things going for him: he's conventionally attractive, has an intensity that can absolutely be sexual, and is essentially trying to find his place in the world (something everyone can empathize with). Plus, dem eyebrows, *swooon*... Of course, none of this makes up for the fact that he cuts open peoples heads to absorb their powers. He also has major mommy issues, a red flag for lots of women, this one included. It's a real shame that the series didn't continue, because the creators were shaping up Sylar to be a sort of anti-hero who might possibly try to make up for the mistakes of his past (even though you can't really make up for being a serial killer who cuts people's heads open).

6) Ayoto from: "Diabolik Lovers"

PictureStay thirsty my friends.
Let me start off by saying that many different anime or manga characters could have ended up on this list. A good quarter of our conversation was spent discussing all of the horrible characters we've fallen for in that medium, but Ayoto was not only a crush we all shared, he was one we all seemed to want to admit the least. He's certainly good looking and he's a vampire, which has somehow become a Kryptonite for women these days. He's sure of himself and really seems to care for the protagonist, Yui, but these things come with some big “buts." He cares about Yui, but is extremely possessive of her and jealous of most interactions she has with others. He is sure himself to such an extreme that he calls himself the Japanese equivalent of "Yours Truly." He can also be flat out mean calling Yui 'Pancake' (in Japanese, it means: breastless) throughout the series. And did I mention the first thing he did when meeting her was sexually assault her? Yes, he has some backstory that makes his behavior more tragic than anything, but that's no excuse for loads of women to daydream of being a toy for him to play around with.

5) Draco Malfoy from: "Harry Potter" portrayed by Tom Felton

PictureBoo.
This is a crush that I'm against mostly out of principle rather than anything else. I can see that he's attractive, he's rich, and as the series progressed he became a character women probably thought they could 'fix.' This is all fine except for the fact that he's a giant d-bag. He's a spoiled brat who whines and complains when things don't go his way. He brags about how rich he is and how many people his father knows. Let's not forget that he makes fun of people for being poor, their bloodline status, and for having dead parents. Who does that? He does finally show some empathy by feeling bad about killing Dumbledore (Oh yeah, spoilers and stuff) but slinks away afterwards, deciding to not take action against Voldemort even though it's clear that he wants to. How I can still find OC fan-fiction of him after all these years is beyond my understanding.

4) Jamie Lannister from: "Game of Thrones" portrayed by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

PictureHold my sword?
I can't fault most of Jaime's fans for this one. He's introduced in the show as being witty, charming, and having a slight bad boy streak. He's a freaking knight in shining armor, for pete's sake! He may have killed the last king, but he sounded like an a-hole so who cares. Then BOOM! Incest. And shortly afterwards, BOOM! Attempted Child Murder. But we had already accepted him as our newest obsession! You can't just do that, "Game of Thrones!" He has sort of redeemed himself as the series has progressed, but then he keeps backsliding by sleeping with his sister, Cersei. This is especially frustrating as she becomes more and more psychotic and evil with each episode. Why do guys always go for the crazy ones? Especially when it's your crazy sister.

3) Khan from: "Star Trek: Into Darkness" portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch

PicturePopin' my collar.
Here's a simple truth: If you are a heterosexual female geek/nerd then you are obligated to crush on EVERY character Benedict portrays without question. Sorry, I don't make the rules. Besides the strangely inherent likeability that BC seems to bring to most of his roles, Khan has a lot going for him on his own. He's extremely intelligent, a natural leader, and if you're in his crew he will do everything in his power to keep you safe. But all of this means wreaking vengeance on Starfleet, most of whom are innocent people trying to make the universe a better place. Don't forget that getting what he wants for his crew apparently means, breaking helpless women's legs and crushing a man's skull with his bare hands. We also can't forget that he's responsible for the death of Spo-- I mean Kirk, albeit only for a short time.

2) Loki from: Marvel's "The Avengers" & "Thor" portrayed by Tom Hiddleston

PictureI'm reading fan-fiction about YOU!
Where should I start with this one? If you're privy to the events that occurred at San Diego Comic Con 2013, then you have an inkling of just how popular this guy is with the ladies. Personally, I do see the physical attractiveness here and having an affinity for leather outfits can subconsciously say a lot. He's a character that you can see becoming good again, but he never makes the decision to be. He'll ride the line forever and string you along for each and every moment of it. Despite all of the times that we've seen his sensitive side, we can't forget that he's done some messed up stuff. He almost got Thor killed many times and nearly destroyed New York City, probably killing hundreds, if not thousands, of people in the process. He's the God Of Mischief, if that's any indication that he's not trustworthy then I don't know what is.

1) Hannibal Lecter from: "Silence of the Lambs," "Hannibal Rising" & "Hannibal" portrayed by Anthony Hopkins, Gaspard Ulliel, & Mads Mikkelsen

Picture
Bad at every age.
You'll want a thorough explanation, I'm sure. Hannibal is one of the most intriguing and disturbing characters of popular culture. He's a cannibalistic serial killer that shows absolutely no remorse for his actions. He plays and toys with people well beyond the point of too far for his own gain and sometimes amusement. Even the most recent actor to play him (Mikkelsen) , said that he plays him as a 'satanic figure.' Yet, despite all of this, we can't help but like him. He's sophisticated, refined in his interests, and he's stuck it to many people we definitely think deserved it (the original Dexter). If we were to meet him in person we would want him to like us, want him to think we're worthy of his time and attention. He's somehow both repulsive and alluring at the same time, definitely reminiscent of the Devil. Yeah, saying you have a thing for a character that is basically Satan makes him Number One on this list.
Well, can you guys top Hannibal freaking Lecter? What are some of the crushes you know you shouldn't have? Leave your comments below.
 
 
Last week ABC premiered, "Agent Carter," yet another Marvel project on the not-so-big screen. Presumably, because the executives think that we'll start riots in the streets if our Marvel quota isn't constantly being met. "Agent Carter" is a six-episode long mini-series that follows, Margaret 'Peggy' Carter of "Captain America" fame.  It's set during the mid-1940s, not long after Cap's crash in the Atlantic sea. When the series starts, the SSR has relegated her to secretarial duties because either: one, they had forgotten (or perhaps aren't aware?) about all the times that Peggy has proven herself to be more than capable of kicking ass, or two, in the 40s men were sexist and amnesiacs.

When an old friend, Howard Stark, asks her to prove his innocence after being accused of selling his own weapons on the black market, Carter's dull office life gets far more interesting. Since the SSR see Stark as a traitor to be apprehended, she effectively becomes a double agent, and uses her skills and resources to find out who's really responsible for Starks' weapons falling into the wrong hands.

In all honesty, "Captain America: The First Avenger'" is one of my least favorite Marvel films. The characters in it were either not likeable, or had little depth. I also found the pacing strange and the plot was all too familiar.
Picture
Nazis using mystical MacGuffins in order to gain power and world domination?! What'll they think of next?

WARNING: SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!

At first, the pilot episode was slow, and right out of the gate, they hit you with a continuing barrage of sexism until we get to Carter's first 'mission' for Stark. I found this set up to be reminiscent of a vintage, more boring version of "Alias."  Early on, my hopes were starting to drop, until she brings one of Starks' dangerous inventions home. After one intense deactivation scene, sudden roommate death, and engaging fight later, the show managed to give Carter some much-needed dimension and (more importantly) got me hooked. Yes, the whole "everyone around me gets hurt" is a bit tired and usually comes off as whiny, but Carter has literally just lost Captain America and now her friend is dead because of her, albeit unintentionally. You start to realize the pressure and frustration Carter must feel in striving to be an exceptional agent, while also dealing with the emotional strain of constantly being unappreciated and losing all the people she cares about.

END OF SPOILERS!

While the first episode wasn't exactly mind-blowing, it did manage to give Peggy Carter's character a little more life and will provide you with an engaging 40s era spy story if nothing else. And if you're a Marvel fan you'll definitely appreciate how much the story is steeped in Marvel lore.
PictureJennifer Walters, She-Hulk & Lawyer
For example: The cab service, "Lucky Star Cab Company" that was prominently featured in "Captain America: The First Avenger's" chase sequence, is frequently used by characters in the series. Also, Roxxon Motor Oil is once again part of shady goings on, as it has been in both "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and in the comics.  In addition, I caught an offhand remark about a neighbor who is a secretary at Goodman, Kurtzman, and Holliway for all of you fellow She-Hulk fans you'll know that's where Jennifer Walters works. Finally, there's a certain butler for the Starks that becomes a main character, named Edwin Jarvis.


Picture
Pictured: Marvel's version of Alfred Pennyworth.
PictureNetflix's Daredevil
I'm really hoping that this series doesn't peter out by the end of its run but am not too worried as it is only slated for seven episodes. I hope they keep adding dimension to Carter's character and I'm excided to see how much modern-era Marvel can be set up in the 1940s. So if the creators and writers are as good as they've proven to be so far, then I'll be riding this one out until Daredevil begins on Netflix in April.

You can stay caught up on Agent Carter by visiting Amazon Instant Video and if you get a TV Season Pass you save 7% off the price of each episode aired!

You can find out more about the show on Amazon. Use either link.
 
 
During the recent New Years Eve, I did what I always do: indulge in a massive movie marathon into the midnight hour with my girls. This year, core member, Margaret, decided to attend a swanky party with her new beau, Dustin, at some downtown hipster joint. LAME! So, Tiffany and I invited our new friend, Lisa, to join us for the "reel good time."

This go round of our yearly tradition, it was Margaret's turn to pick the movie series. But since she wasn't there to attend, we gave the honors to little Lisa. She's the youngest in our group at 20-years-old.  Due to her excitement surrounding the new Star Wars movie, "The Force Awakens," she decided to select the Star Wars Saga. Tiffany and I rolled our collective eyes, and were immediately regretting our act of good will to our full-of-fandom friend. As a way to alleviate our annoyance, we demanded that we at least watch the unaltered editions of Episodes IV-VI, to which Lisa agreed, under protest.  Kids these days...

As we were watching, "The Empire Strikes Back," there was as scene that caught my attention for the first time ever. Maybe this was due to the fact that I have never taken in the Star Wars Saga in secession before.  It's the last scene on Dagobah. Luke is in his X-Wing preparing to take off for Bespin in the hopes of saving Han and Leia. The spirit of Obi-Wan appears, and tries to talk Luke into completing his Jedi training, but in Obi-Wan fashion, fails miserably at trying to convince a Skywalker do something. As Luke takes off into the atmosphere, Obi-Wan states to Yoda: "That boy was last hope" [Jedi kind]. To which Yoda retorts, "No, there is another..." Nowadays, due to "Return of the Jedi" we know that since Leia is Luke's sister, Yoda was referring to her, but at the time [1983], people must have been confused as all heck.

What struck me as this scene played out? Well, keep on reading as I present to you a shocking theory about your beloved Jedi, Yoda and Obi-Wan.

Now that we have the benefit of Episode III and know that Yoda and Obi-Wan knew about both Luke and Leia (as they were present during their respective births); the scene I just recapped, made me wonder, 'Why was Leia plan B, Yoda?' This then made me ponder: 'Wouldn't it have been a better plan to have Leia be trained as a Jedi, as she was the adopted daughter of royalty?' After thinking about these questions for quite some time, I yelled out at some point during, "Return of the Jedi:" "Hey, Leia was way better equipped to be trained as a Jedi instead of Luke!" This garnered some strange looks from Tiffany and Lisa, as they weren't privy to my internal monologue (sometimes I forget).  After crashing back into reality, I explained to the gals what I was thinking about since about the Lando punch. My diatribe to them went on until about 3am.

The first thing I did, was lay out to them my evidence as to why Leia was more qualified for Jedi training, and I will present it to you here:

Based on skills that were important to the way of the Jedi as portrayed in Episodes I-III, let's see how Leia does at the start of Episode IV:
Picture
Pretty solid. There's a lot to work with there. Put a lightsaber in her hand, have her jump around a swamp, and you got yourself a Jedi that's ready to rebuild the Order.  

Now let's look at how farmboy, Luke 'Whineypants' Skywalker stacks up in comparison:
Picture
Hmmm. Not a whole lot to work with there.  I'd say I'd be like training a semi-truck driver to be an MI-6 agent. It'd be a lot easier to train James Bond how to drive a semi-truck, which is essentially, all you have to do if you go with Leia.  

Now, like my girlfriends, you may say: "But Luke was more 'Force sensitive' than Leia." To which I reply, "Quiet you!" Since Luke and Leia are twins, it's fair to assume that each of their collection of midi-chlorians were the exact same, and thus, would both be equally qualified to be trained into successful Jedi.

After I presented my infallible evidence, I next unfolded my theory to the ladies and now to you:

Seeing as Leia was far more qualified than Luke to be trained to be a Jedi, the only logical conclusion as to why Obi-Wan and Yoda picked Luke was because he's a man. Take notice of the line by Obi-Wan: "That BOY was our last hope.." Then Yoda says: "No there is another..." Oh, you mean Leia, Yoda? The one you were okay with letting die not 10 seconds prior, if Luke 'honored what she was fought for?' Jerk.
Picture
They probably thought that only a big strong man like Luke, could take down the likes of Darth Vader.  Search your feelings, fans; you know it to be true. I did offer my friends the opportunity to present a counter argument, but they couldn't. They ended up giving up and fell asleep sometime around 4am. Maybe you all have some thoughts to counter this theory?

Now I realize it's just a movie and that a lot of things don't make sense with the existence of the Prequels, but I just thought the theory was something interesting to explore.  Let's hope that future storytellers will consider that sometimes you just gotta send a woman in to do a man's job.

Interestingly enough, there is a comic book series, published by Dark Horse, titled "Star Wars: Infinities," that explores different story possibilities in the Star Wars universe.  It's the equivalent to Marvel's popular "What If?" title.

In one of the "Infinities" runs, "A New Hope," the creative team explores what would happen if Leia was trained as a Sith by Darth Vader. Leave it to the bad guys to recognize talent. Geez...

I've read the "A New Hope" run and the other two in the series: "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" as they have been collected in an Omnibus edition and highly recommend it. All the runs are fun reads that explore everything from a Jedi Han Solo, to a good Darth Vader.  You can find it here:

You can find out more about the book on Amazon. Use either link.
 
 
This week, Vin Diesel managed to get the Internet buzzing when he posted this image on his Facebook page of himself with an Inhumans t-shirt on.
Picture
Am I inhuman? No. My personal trainer can attest to that.
Many, myself included, began to speculate if Mr. Groot might be playing the role of silent superhero, Black Bolt, in the Marvel Studios movie, “Inhumans,” due out in 2018. 
Picture
King Black Bolt.
If he is cast in the part, I approve. One, Vin Diesel has the look and demeanor to play the character. For anyone that questions this, I recommend you take a look at those "Riddick" movies; where Diesel plays a dangerous, silent brute. Two, Black Bolt in the comics has always been portrayed as a man in his 40s, which is right around Diesel’s actual age. Three, because Black Bolt can destroy cities with just a whisper, Vin Diesel will never talk; which is the main complaint many lodge against his acting.

I know what you’re thinking, ‘But… The same actor can’t play two Marvel movie heroes!’ This is where I remind you about this guy, Chris Evans. You know, Human Torch and Captain America. It seemed to work out pretty well in that instance.
Picture
He's hot either way. IMO.
Now, if you are completely lost and this is the first time you are hearing about “Inhumans” and Black Bolt. Here’s a little recap:

The “Inhumans” refers to a race of people that live on a small isolated island with a variety of super human abilities. The Inhumans were created by the Kree from an early evolution of Homo Sapiens on Earth. They were made to be a super soldiers against the Kree enemy, the Skrull.  Soon, the Inhumans created their own society and lived in seclusion from the rest of the earth’s population.

The Inhumans have been around the comic Marvel Universe for quite a long time, and much like Namor and his Atlanteans, they really only interact with the likes of the X-Men, Fantastic Four, or Avengers, when their land are threatened.  The Inhumans are also a fairly regal people and are led by their King Black Bolt and his Royal Family.
Picture
Black Bolt and his chatty family. Rub it in, guys.
If you’d like to know more about the “Inhumans” I would recommend picking up the Marvel Knight’s “Inhumans” TPB from 1998. It collects the 12-issue run by writer Paul Jenkins (Hellblazer, Peter Parker: Spiderman, Incredible Hulk) and artist Jae Lee (X-Men, The Dark Tower, Avengers). It’s a good place to start with the Inhumans in the modern era and will probably be the basis for what Marvel is planning to do with the forthcoming movie. It has a great story with rich characters and beautiful panels that suck you into the Inhumans’s homeland of Attilan.
Picture
The Inhumans homeland, Attilan. I think Skrillex is playing there next week.
Here is the synopsis for the 12-issue TPB:
The Inhumans have always lived in peaceful seclusion on their island kingdom of Attilan, preferring not to mix with the outside world. But now their fragile kingdom is under attack from without and within!
You can find out more about the book on Amazon. Use either link.
The “Inhumans” have been involved in some of the biggest Marvel events over the years including events revolving around the Infinity Gauntlet, so they are worth getting some background on.  Also, if you are keeping up with “Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.” on ABC, you may see some Inhumans in the not too distant future.