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Author Topic: Greatest Superhero Movies Ever?  (Read 21562 times)
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Super Monkey
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« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2005, 04:43:10 PM »

Not to get too off topic, but here is one of the very few new comic books that I am looking forward to:

Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big In Japan

Quotes:

“Mostly what I want to do is broaden the fictionality of my characters. You know, like make the characters less believable rather than more. So they really start to spark your imagination."

Read about it here: http://www.newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=3c3f97b37572267ae2ab5d15ab5ca61d&threadid=40484
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« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2005, 05:12:36 PM »

Huh! Interesting thing to point out, Super Monkey.

Although I don't recall any of the Marvel Monsters ever attacking Japan. Fing Fang Foom was from China, and there was another one that lived in radioactive caves in Russia, but not Japan.

Quote:

    “My little brother was always into Fantastic Four, but you have to realize I grew up reading comics in the late eighties/early nineties. The book was anything but "Fantastic" back then.”[/list]

    Nice of you to kick a man when he's down, Seth. Steve Englehart's characterization-rich FF is better than we deserved. But, hey, he's really a marginalized figure in the industry these days, isn't he? Powerless to defend himself.

    Englehart took the straw and detritus of Byrne's run (having blind Alicia leave her tormented, poetic, beautiful love of the Thing to romp around with hunky Johnny, who becomes inexplicably teenage again, as well as the removal of the Thing - the heart of the team - to be replaced by walking Marketing Gimmick She-Hulk) and he weaved it into gold: characterizing Johnny as a mature adult facing adult responsibilities he once ignored as a youth, and the Thing as a wise, experienced, heroic leader.

    And it seems the artist is using Byrne's white collared FF costumes, too.  (*groan*)

    Oh, and it also cashes in on the current youth trend for all things Japanese. You know one culture the kids these days ought to catch on to? All things Finno-Ugaric!

    We can have kids reading the Kalevala and Kalevipoeig, all the while planning their trips to Helsinki and Talinn, and debating if the Russians should cede the lands of Karelian speaking peoples back to Finland.
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    « Reply #26 on: August 13, 2005, 08:24:01 PM »

    I grew up watching Godzilla, Gamera and Ultraman. Funny, I don't like Anime all that much. Also that artist doesn't draw in an Manga style which I also do not care for at all, his style is more French than Japanese.
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    « Reply #27 on: August 14, 2005, 08:40:57 AM »

    Quote from: "nightwing"
    I'm actually a fan of some vintage Marvel stuff.  For instance, I think Lee and Kirby's run on the FF from about issue 50 to issue 80 rank as some of the best comics ever done by anyone for any company.  And I absolutely adore Ditko-era Dr. Strange: possibly the only time the "flawed hero" concept worked 100 percent for me, because it's about a man who, from the ruins of his previously self-centered life, finds meaning and purpose in working for the good of others (as opposed to all the Marvel characters who seem bummed out that they're stuck with the hero gig).

    My big problem with Marvel is that it ushered in the era of soap-opera subplots and the beginnings of "relevance" and "reality" in comics.  When Stan did it, it was fresh and -- this is important -- funny.  Spider-Man was a gag strip, you know.  The idea of a hero who had to do homework, sew his own costume, run a prescription home to his aunt on the way back from fighting villains...that was funny stuff and it was played for laughs.  But all the lieutenant Stans who followed took it deadly serious and sucked the fun right out of the book, and by extension a lot of others as well.  And once the whole thing had been run into the ground and done to death, DC -- as ever three steps behind -- jumped on the bandwagon and started doing it, too.

    That said, some of my favorite runs ever are from Marvel books.  Besides the above, there's Miller's Daredevil, Simonson's Thor, Claremont and Byrne's X-Men and...so sue me...Bill Mantlo and Mike Golden's Micronauts.

    Veering closer to "back on topic," favorite fights include Dr Strange vs Dormammu (Ditko days), the Hulk vs the FF and Avengers (FF #25-26), the FF versus a Silver Surfer-powered Dr Doom(FF #60), Captain America versus Baron Blood (Cap #254) and various episodes in the Kree-Skrull War.


    Nightwing, I understand why you call Amazing a gag strip (somewhat facetiously I think), but it sounds dismissive of a lot of what made the first 30-odd issues great. The situations in Parker's life you describe were not played only for laughs. I really take issue with that. Lee and Ditko struck a balance, and a very good one, between the absurdly funny and the distinctly unfunny. Like so many of the best dramas, "Spider-Man" had us chuckling one minute and almost crying the next. There is a lot of well-played angst and tragedy in the comics, some of it genuinely poignant. This is a comic book, sure, but it's also good writing -- or, put a better way, good storytelling. I don't know about you, but I don't feel for a character in a "gag strip", whereas in Amazing Spider-Man I care about what is happening to him. (I have to add, it's not just the Lee-Ditko issues that have this quality, but something about the Lee-Ditko collaboration produced the blackest clouds over Parker's head; often he is truly in despair and we all know the pain of being young and never having things turn out right, particularly in relationships.) In a gag strip (yes, I know it was a throwaway term of yours, but I am going to punish you mercilessly for it) it is the gag that's the thing, whereas in "Spider-Man" it was Peter Parker who was the focus. Or, put slightly differently, often the absurd situations appeared to arise because of Parker's character, and not because they were imposed by the writer, if that makes sense. That makes for good drama. I agree with you as you go on to say later writers didn't get it and sucked the life right out of it. Maybe what they lost was the absurdity of Parker and his ridiculous life. You are right: played straight and serious, it doesn't work. That doesn't mean, however, that "Spider-Man" didn't have its effective "serious" moments...

    As you talk about "reality", I can tell you of something about "reality" that bothers me. I don't buy all this garbage about "reality" in comics, with classic DC being seen as fantasy or kiddie stuff, and Marvel being seen as "realistic". (I love a lot of old Marvel as you know.) It bothers me because a dysfunctional, neurotic man is seen as "real" whereas a clean-cut strong man of solid morals (eg. Hal Jordan*) is seen as pure fantasy and "unrealistic". I think you will see where I'm going with this. I'm not saying someone I admired and loved from the comics of my childhood like Hal Jordan didn't have doubts or personal struggles -- but the point is he wasn't neurotic and didn't have to wear his heart on his sleeve, telling his sob-stories to every passerby. What happened to the great American tradition of a strong individual, setting his jaw at times of adversity, and getting on with what needs to be done? Because Hal Jordan didn't deliver a depressing soliloquy every time he hit a personal setback, does that make him "unrealistic"? Since when did "realistic" mean a man has to whinge and moan about his problems? I'm not saying this sort of man isn't "realistic" -- but it doesn't mean every other type of man is "unrealistic". You know some people like to make a case that traditionally DC characters are goody-two-shoes and far-fetched whereas Marvel characters are grounded in reality and could be living in your street! But let's face it, if there are differences, real or imagined, it's nothing to do with their long-underwear careers. A guy sticking to a wall like a spider is hardly more realistic than a guy dressing as a bat to scare gangsters. The "realistic" angle comes in (so they tell me) when Parker moans and cries, or when Ben and Johnny try to kill each other in anger... Supposedly the "unrealistic" angle arrives when we see a clean-cut and physically-fit test pilot who grits his teeth and happily (yes, happily) accepts the responsibilty that has been thrust upon him. It was no accident -- like with Spidey and the FF, my friends -- that Hal Jordan became Green Lantern. Hal Jordan was chosen from out of us all because he was the best man for the job, the cream of the crop.

    It is not unrealistic to suppose that some men are "the cream of the crop".

    (*I'm talking here about the real Hal Jordan: the honest, two-fisted tough-guy as he was originally conceived.)
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    Klar Ken T5477
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    « Reply #28 on: August 14, 2005, 04:25:24 PM »

    Quote from: "Super Monkey"
    Not to get too off topic, but here is one of the very few new comic books that I am looking forward to:

    Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big In Japan

    Quotes:

    “Mostly what I want to do is broaden the fictionality of my characters. You know, like make the characters less believable rather than more. So they really start to spark your imagination."

    Read about it here: http://www.newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=3c3f97b37572267ae2ab5d15ab5ca61d&threadid=40484


    THANKS FOR THE HEADs UP, BEPPO, old chum! Sump'n new to read while waiting for DC to reprint New Frontier TPB 2 (SPEAKING OF THE REAL HAL) and the latest Kyle Baker Plas!

    FF tai San dai kaiju!!!
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    « Reply #29 on: August 14, 2005, 04:33:04 PM »

    Oh best super hero movies (in no particular order)Huh?Huh?Huh?Huh?

    The Incredibles (this is hands down Numbero Uno tho)
    Superman 78 (ditto)
    Batman 66
    Sky Captain & WOT
    X Men
    The Rocketeer
    Flash Gordon serial 1936
    Spy Smasher serial 1942
    Batman & Robin serial 1949 (this rocks! even with no budget - really captures the feeling of classic Kane/Robinson/Sprang!)
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    « Reply #30 on: August 14, 2005, 07:13:01 PM »

    Okay, so Spider-Man wasn't *only* a gag strip.  I agree there was some real pathos in there, and arguably the most iron-clad, believable reason a Marvel hero ever had for being a hero even when he felt like quitting(namely, crushing guilt over what happened when he *failed* to do the right thing).  But there certainly was humor in the book and when it left, I followed (well, figuratively speaking...I was a tot when Ditko quit).  I regret that comics writers and fans have, by and large, lost the ability to laugh at themselves and the medium.

    Growing up, it always irked me that Marvel zombies would share a hearty laugh over goofy old "Whizzer," that GA character who had not only the most unfortunate superhero name ever but also, supposedly, the dumbest origin.  Briefly, he got his super-speed after he was bit by a mongoose.  Ha-ha, so silly, so juvenile, so very Golden Age in its childishness.  But meanwhile, what's the most popular, iconic, beloved character for these Marvelites?  Spider-Man, a guy who was empowered by a spider bite.

    Hello?

    I think there's two reasons humor and fun have gone out of comics.  One is that humor is a lot harder to write than tragedy, and most writers then and now aren't up to it.  Two, fanboys take themselves and their hobby too seriously, which is why the rest of the world never will.  Fanboys can carp all they want on the "damage" done by the Adam West Batman show, or the Schumacher films, but in the end the worst enemy of comics is the rabid, self-absorbed, insular fan community.  Socially, they are almost but not quite as appealing as Scientologists and Amway salesmen.
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    « Reply #31 on: August 14, 2005, 07:32:59 PM »

    Yeah Nightwing, they're like the insular horror fans who populate B-movie boards and fight over gore flicks.

    Wait - whare are WE doing? :shock:

    Well, if anything here if we disagree b aout anything, we agree to disagree and it's not such a big deal.

    And for those civilians out there in the real world, what is the most inofrmation any of em have re Superman or say Spider Man?
    What they saw/see on movies & TV.

    And for them, that's all they/we need to know - Superman is from krypton,. he's really CK, his GF is LL, CK works at the Planet, his enemy is Luthor... etc etc

    On fan boards the minuate gets out of whack and if some body dare tells me the Flash is anyone but Barry Allen theyre gonna get a scarlet mouthful! :wink:
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