This week Will discusses taking the new lady to meet the parents, Batman v Superman and other amazing San Diego Comic Con news and trailers, and Sorg discusses his awesome run of wrestling shows he’s spectating this weekend, how important it is to be a fan out loud, and more.
If you’re a fan, be a fan out loud. You don’t know how much it means to that creator.
A few years ago, heck this might have been when Circuit City was still breathing, I happened across an Ultimate X-Men DVD for only five dollars. I’d been familiar in the past with this line of comics on DVD products, having previously bought the Uncanny X-Men collection, and marking many of the other Avengers, Fantastic Four, and more collections that were produced for a period of time.
So far, I’ve read through the first 33 issues, up through the end of the “Return of the King” storyline. Started in 2001, this series was a relaunch in a new continuity that attempted to modernize the origins and characters for this decade. For now almost ten years, I personally rejected the Ultimate Universe since I’ve been something of a continuity whore. Having read up through the 80’s in my Uncanny disc, and read through most of Blackest Night, which calls back to plenty of DC history, my faith in this has been shaken. So I’m just looking for good stories.
Think of this as X-Men Evolutions on steroids, or X-Men without 40+ years of storyline baggage. No longer do you feel left out because you weren’t around for a Shi’ar fight that was written in 1979. The characters are fresh. The situations are fleshed out. Xavier’s fortune to run the school is explained. The reason no one attacks the school is explained. The mutant issue no longer feels like it exists within it’s own bubble as it does in normal continuity. (like why didn’t the Ultimates/Avengers show up when Magneto almost killed everything on the planet?) The ties to Shield are nice, with frequent appearances by Nick Fury and even some Tony Stark. The characters have the same basic characterizations, but the changes are nice and genuinely surprising. It’s like if Brett Ratner didn’t suck at reinventing the X-Men. Beast and Storm have a relationship. Jean Grey is more of a damaged and hardened girl thanks to the drugs and mental ward experiences she’s had. Wolverine’s status as a killer amongst the group preaching pacifism is addressed. Magneto is raised to Charlie Manson pulp icon status while in prison. It’s far more realistic than being mired in it’s own long in the tooth storytelling.
Thus far, the only real caveat is the covers. They have almost nothing to do the story. Most focusing on a character in what seems to be pulled from a catalogue of pinup artwork.
If you hadn’t had a chance to check out the Ultimate series’, I recommend them. I’m hoping I can find a way to find the rest of the Ultimate Spider-Man, and other series to plow through like I have this. It seems that these DVD sets are getting a little harder to find for decent prices, likely due to Marvels movements in the digital space with their online subscription and portable device efforts.
A funny aside, I sat on a panel of Marvel execs and creators about Motion Comics and digital distribution. There was one comment, I think from Joe Quesada himself, where they bashed the quality of the digital PDF scans found on the internet. Interesting since many of them may be a result of these very DVDs that were licensed by Marvel for production…
Over a year ago, I had the fortune to attend my first ever New York Comic Con. It was a blast, and I simply ate up all of the random booths of independent artists and the panels, most especially. One panel that struck me was Marvel’s panel on the future of Digital Comics. At this point, we were treated to the premiere of the Astonishing X-Men trailer, as well as preliminary artwork for the next Spider Woman series. Both were significant in their own right. Astonishing X-Men was booting from the beginning of that series where Josh Wedon reinvigorated the team in some of the best writing I’d read in years for an X-Men book. Spider Woman was another reboot series that would release Motion Comics in parallel of the print book. This was sort of exciting, and the trailer got me suitably excited.
A few months passed, and I didn’t really follow what was going on with the Motion Comics run. I saw that DC was making some moves as well. Finally I had a chance to sit down and check out a few episodes of each.
Watchmen: I was sort of excited to see this was going to be included with the super duper special edition of Watchmen, and took a watch at about the first three issues/episodes. Having read the entire Watchmen series before I saw the movie, I was…dissappointed. Graphics were what you expect, and some of the ’80’s artwork maybe didn’t carry over well to my 20′ iMac. But wow, the production values weren’t what Marvel was promising from their own side. The biggest killer? When the use of only one voice actor started to grate on me was when Silk Specter started becoming involved. I didn’t last to far after that.
Astonishing X-Men: Again, this is a story I read, and to a point, just felt like a rehash. The motions started feeling like something different, but familiar. Not bad, but I can’t see dropping more money on watching these instead of the original comics.
Spider Woman.: Absolutely the best presentation of the trio so far. But maybe because it was the only new content I experienced. The delivery was great, and I didn’t have any preconceived notions of the voice actors thanks to years of the character being represented in cartoons or movies, for the most part.
When I was at that panel last year, the Marvel luminaries kept going on about how this was the future of their entertainment medium. It feels more like a loose experiment. People love their beloved Spider-Man and X-Men in cartoons or movies, or to be read on the printed page, or maybe in a digital fashion. But in any case, this all just feels like a weird stop gap in media.
Yet, with all of this “new” method of presenting books, somehow, it feels familiar. Oh! That’s right! I had this VHS tape when I was a child that I wore out watching over and over! What was it? That’s right…
What do you think of theses Motion Comics? There are free episodes and clips at the links above.