Last night on ABC a special documentary-type special came on that recorded the process of assembling the Avengers through the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This documentary special, appropriately titled Assembling a Universe, not only revealed behind-the-scenes secrets about the making of the first phase of Marvel Studios' movies, but also about the present second phase.
Among the interviews and BTS footage we also got to see concept art on the much anticipated Avengers sequel:Avengers: Age of Ultron. Including, my personal favorite part, concept art on our favorite twin, mutant Avengers: Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.
What do you guys think on the cinematic take these characters are veering to? Did you guys catch the documentary? If so, what was your favorite part?
I still don't understand how I missed the date again... Guys, 6 years ago I joined Comic Vine!
On January 30th of 2008, I stumbled upon comic book-related images on Google that then led me here, to Comic Vine. (I think it was Spider-Man images...) I joined the the site under the guise of "sora_thekey" since then and have had a blast these past six years.
Usually I ramble and boast about my accomplishments of the year, but the stats haven't really changed all that much since last time. So I'll make it short:
Banned:ONCE, but it was a prank done by one of my fellow Mods.
So, I'm just going to finish this blog by saying this:
"Thank you Comic Vine Staff for creating such a wonderful, geeky, internet home for me. Here I've been able to post my art, my writing, my opinions and even my thoughts. This is where I have made some of the best of acquaintances when it comes comic book banter.
On that note, I'd like to single out a few people that have made my six years so awesome: Tony (G-Man), obviously, for giving me the chance to be a part of your site in so many ways. Mat Elfring (inferiorego) & Tom Pinchuk, for still being the best two people I've ever met online. xerox-kitty, The Poet, Icarusflies, RazzaTazz, and Mercy_ who are the users I've most associated with and grown to appreciate more. (All of them are Mods, but just as a disclaimer, I met most of them before they reached a higher moddier power, so that makes this shout-out even cooler.) The rest of my fellow Mods and all of my friends over at the Artist Show-Off forums, also need a mention for being awesome!"
So yeah, thanks for an awesome six years... and here's to many more!
SHH!: I think it's interesting that the Ant-Man you knew and grew up with was the Scott Lang one, since most people I would think know the one who hung with the Wasp in "Tales to Astonish."
Wright: Well, the thing is that what we want to do, the idea that we have for the adaptation is to actually involve both. Is to have a film that basically is about Henry Pym and Scott Lang, so you actually do a prologue where you see Pym as Ant-Man in action in the 60's, in sort of "Tales to Astonish" mode basically, and then the contemporary, sort of flash-forward, is Scott Lang's story, and how he comes to acquire the suit, how he crosses paths with Henry Pym, and then, in an interesting sort of Machiavellian way, teams up with him. So it's like an interesting thing, like the "Marvel Premiere" one that I read which is Scott Lang's origin, it's very brief like a lot of those origin comics are, and in a way, the details that are skipped through in the panels and the kind of thing we'd spend half an hour on.
Of course, this was a couple of years ago, so it might not entirely be set up as he said it way back then, but we now know what he's getting at. Some days ago Wright also posted on his blog an image from the animated series Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes with a simple caption: "Homework". The image (Right) is from episode five of season two, "To Steal an Ant-Man", where Scott Lang is introduced and steals Pym's work for the sake of saving his daughter. Speculation of Paul Rudd playing Scott Lang fits into all of these plot clues we are getting.
I got to hand it to Wright, he certaintly knows how to tease his work.
We're all still suffering from an information overload, even Post-SDCC. One of the biggest news revealed this past weekend was The Avengers' sequel title: Avengers: Age of Ultron.
This has been confirmed to have no relation to this year's Marvel Comics event with the same name, even so, we did get some information on the villain. As you probably already read in this week's Question of the Week Article, the appearance of Ultron will have no relation or involvement with Hank Pym, the original creator. Well, to all of you who voted "it's a big change and I'm not exactly happy about it", fear not, there is a silver lining.
Just now, we were interviewing Edgar Wright about his new film The World's End, and he told us that we will, indeed, meet Hank Pym in Wright's Ant-Man movie.
There you have it, Hank Pym not in the Avengers: Age of Ultron, but in Ant-Man. Now, this isn't exactly a huge reveal since most of us expected Pym's introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in this movie. Even so, confirmation on this allows some breathing room on the constant questioning for this size-changing, original Avenger. Now we can ask what of Janet Van Dyne? What of the original female member of the Avengers?
With this confirmation is there some possibility that Hank will at least cameo in the Avengers sequel?
Have you guys heard of the famous photographer Annie Leibovitz? She does amazing stuff, and is best known for doing a series of photographs with various celebrities representing or acting out a scene from Disney films (Scarlett Johanson as Cinderella, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony as Aladdin and Jasmine, Queen Latifah as Ursula and even Beyonce as Alice). One of her latest pieces was Talor Swift as Rapunzel (Right).
I can't consider myself the biggest Taylor Swift fan but I can admit this is a beautiful photograph. Plus, I am a huge Tangled fan (notice past drawings I've done of this movie). So after seeing it I thought of an idea for a drawing:
I took the basic idea and pose to create the actual animated Rapunzel into Taylor Swift... or something like that. Tell me what you think!
(Btw, I know this isn't exactly comic book-related but I actually liked this one a lot and I can always go with the excuse that Disney owns Marvel... Right?)
Well, it's been around four years since that happened and since then Emma has become leader of the X-Men, host to the Phoenix and a wanted criminal.
Of course, it's completly normal that during all this a girl like Emma would like to change her outfit/uniform once in a while, but her most updated costume leaves me bafled as to why this character would want to look like this. I understand that Chris Bachalo is behind it and it is probably the only costume he knows how to draw, see Dazzler's outfit in Age of Apocalypse (LEFT), but c'mon!
I really want Lady Mastermind (who is currently appearing in All-New X-Men) and Emma Frost (star of the present Uncanny X-Men title) to interact based on their outfits...
That's why I drew the following (Be sure to tell me what you think!):
Hi there! It's been a while... I finally got a chance to scan some of my most recent works and I'm pretty excited about this one in particular.
For some reason I've become a bit obsessed with Alice in Wonderland lately. Not exactly the Disney version but just the concept in general. So one day I decided to do "a really cool Alice in Wonderland drawing" (yes, that's how I said it in my head).
So I begun drawing what I thought was a decent job, but a prank by my co-workers that involved doodles on the work in progress disencouraged my ability to continue (the unfinished work is on the left). So after getting over it I started anew and came up with what you can see below.
As you can tell, I did a bit of redesigning to the characters. I wanted Mad Hatter to look mad, but not exactly "unatractive". In the case of Alice, I aged her a bit but hopefully she can still be considered a child. Her outfit was modernized a bit. The mushrooms, well that's just an inside joke with me because I HATE mushrooms, drawing so many of them just made me sick. Hehe...
Please tell me what you think? Usually I get a lot of comments about how it should be colored; I'll say it now, I don't know how to color. I wish I did, but since I can't anyone is free to give it a go.
Also, adding to the Wonderland craze I made another drawing of Alice called "Through the Looking Glass". Check it out here.
-- Geo (sora_thekey) 24/7 geek! -- Follow me on Twitter: @sora_thekey
I don't know if you guys are aware of this but Felicity Jones, star of Like Crazy, joined the cast of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 some time ago. The intrigue into this casting choice is that Sony hasn't revealed who she is playing.
In a recent interview with View Felicity revelaed a bit about her character:
"It’s all quite shrouded in secrecy, but I’m the Goblin’s girlfriend - I’m in a relationship with him, and his accomplice. I’m on the dark side."
When asked for her character's name all she had to say was this:
"I can’t say actually. It’s all in the vaults of Marvel. I love all that secrecy, I think it’s great. It builds anticipation, there’s too much transparency in everything these days."
This leaves us with a lot of room for speculation. How many girlfriends of the Goblin(s) do we know? The first girl that comes to mind is Lily Hollister (better known as Menace) who dated both Osborns. The other option would be Harry Osborn's ex Liz Allan, but to my knowledge she was never considered "bad".
Then there's the third option. The internet suggests that Felicity Jones is most likely playing Black Cat, and during an interview she did answer this to the Black Cat question:
“Well… possibly, I don’t know. Yeah, if that happens that would be wonderful.”
Could the comic book continuity be tweaked to have Felicia Hardy and Harry Osborn date? ('Cause Jones looks a bit too young to be dating Chris Cooper rather than Dane DeHaan) Would this mean that Harry will beat his dad Norman to the glider in this incarnation of the Spider-Man mythos?
-- Geo (sora_thekey) 24/7 geek! -- Follow me on Twitter: @sora_thekey
Hello everyone. My awesome co-host RazzaTazz got together with some CV users to give some spotlight on Iron Man. The conversation has been posted here for you guys to see, read and enjoy. After the "enjoy" step of this process, be sure to comment below where you can submit your own opinions after reading ours. Even if you disagree with us, we like comments. Also, go back and read our past conversations (Here) and share your thoughts...
Welcome to the RT for Iron Man. Lets get right into it.
Jor: Well, my first exposure was the first movie. After that I started reading his comics, mainly 616 and some Ultimate universe and obviously watched IM2 and the Avengers. I also watched some animated shows that featured him like EMH etc....
YNCG: My first exposure to Iron Man was when I bought this big, thick trade paperback of the first 10, classic Avengers comic book issues (the one with Loki, Kang, Baron Zemo, and Wonder Man). I didn't think too much of him at that point, as I was more amazed by Hulk and Thor's character, but as the series progressed, I really liked the development of his armor throughout the ages. It changed from a huge, bulky yellow suit, to a sleek, nice, futuristic battle armor. Granted, Iron Man isn't one of my favorite characters, he's still a fun concept and has really awesome variants of his famous Iron Man armor.
Emp: My first exposure was on the 90's Spider-man cartoon where Spider-man teams up with him, War Machine and Venom to prevent Carnage and Baron Mordo from releasing Dormammu from the Dark Dimension.
It was silly. Almost as silly as Morbius' weird hand suckers.
THB: I have never really followed much Iron Man because his personality is incredibly unappealing to me. I have read a few avengers comics that feature him and seen the previous two movies. That is all the exposure I have had to Iron Man.
What is your favorite story of his? (if you don't know him then it is ok to say the movies or from some other media.)
Jor: I'd have to say I love Ultimate Iron Man written by Orson Scott Card. I know it's supposed to be non cannon with the Ultimates now, or something like that, but it was one of my favorite stories and a great turn on the origin of Iron Man. (too bad someone decided to retcon it into a freaky japanese anime or whatever -.-). On the 616 IM, I gotta say Extremis is pretty rad of a story too
YNCG: It isn't an Iron Man story, but he has a major role in it. Most people don't like his depiction in this story arc, but this was the first major story arc that involved Iron Man (I wasn't a heavy comic book reader then), and it was the Marvel Civil War arc. While I was rooting for Captain America and the rebellion 100% of the way, I still kind of felt where Iron Man was coming from, and he even tried to have peace with the rebellion. Sure, Tony made some really bad mistakes and some douche moves, but who doesn't? He's human. Everyone makes mistakes.
Emp: Doomquest, the one where Iron man and Dr. Doom accidentally get sent back in time to Camelot. I love that comics can give us stuff like this and it doesn't seem that weird or out of place.
THB: Out of what I know of Tony Stark I guess I find his origin story to be the most compelling. It seems to be the only situation from what I have seen (which is very limited) where I seem him experience major character growth due to a dire situation.
A lot of character derive their powers from the magic of superpowers which are never explained, but Iron Man is built off of theoretically possible (though advanced beyond our time) technology. Does that appeal to you as a comic fan?
Jor: Initially it didn't. Heroes that were too realistic, kinda like trying to say "hey this is possible" seemed kinda odd. Iron Man was actually the one that made me change that idea, because then I started to understand that they weren't trying to say that this was possible in our realm but quite plausible in theirs. After that super heroes like Iron Man who derive their powers from some sort of scientific progress or advanced technology have interested me more, but they aren't exactly my favorites. I don't have any sort of higher reliability with them or enjoy them more just because what they do could be seen as theoretically possible.
they are all super and great in what they do, way beyond our current state and that's what makes them great
YNCG: Sort of. It's nothing that will make me instantly read the story (nor like his character), but I do enjoy more down-to-earth stories (usually with street levelers). Iron Man is kind of a hybrid of those. He can go against both street levelers, and medium/high-tier characters, much like Batman with and without prep. However, I am a huge fan of science fiction, science, and stuff like that, so naturally, I really like the atmosphere around Iron Man/Tony Stark's character. I find it appeals to me more than random magical powers and such.
Emp: As a comic fan, I do like the idea of a "scientifically plausible" hero, (even though Stan Lee apparently didn't know that transistors don't work that way), It may be a long way off but the idea that while we won't ever be able to shoot beams out of our eyes or control water, one day we might be able to have jet boots, and that is pretty cool.
THB: Personally I love the idea of a character creating his or her own powers, however, it is a turn of slightly for me due to who the character in this situation is. Characters with powers that theoretically could become reality is always an interesting thing I believe for comic fans.
One of the main arguments which people make about the rise of Marvel Comics is that Marvel made their characters people as well as heroes, for instance with Spider-Man's teen aged lack of confidence. In terms of Tony Stark's alcoholism, do you think that has added a valuable aspect to the character?
Jor: Most certainly. DC's heroes at the time had no specific flaws or evident ones. I think having these problems for the heroes in Marvel did give them a boost compared to DC.
In Iron Man's case, alcoholism certainly helped but I don't think it was just that. the different moral ground and behavior, the "heart condition", even the origin, made him quite different from other heroes and gave him a distinct personality. Going from arms manufacturer to world hero; it's just a really interesting aspect and all of Marvel's heroes when they came out had those interesting catches to their personality that DC didn't because of their "super hero paragon archetype" (nothing wrong with that BTW I love paragons) but it was getting old and it was diversified enough.
Marvel, with IM and Spidey and Hulk and etc... showed it was possible to have the good guys be heroes AND humans. Iron Man certainly had his demons in a bottle to face, but that only makes his struggle with himself and the world more valuable IMHO
YNCG: Yeah the alcoholism is certainly a thing that strips away the Invincible part in the Invincible Iron Man. He's human, and even with all these technological advances and inventions, he still has human problems. On top of that, I've always viewed his heart problems with the shrapnel an even more serious and human characteristic about him.
THB: In the case of Tony Stark's alcoholism it makes him more relatable to some, however, I feel like many people would categorize alcoholism different from say Spider-Man's character flaw. Alcoholism shows an inability to properly cope with a situation generally. Why for a time i could enjoy this as something he eventually overcomes, I do not think I would enjoy this as a major plot point of Iron Man getting wasted all the time. As an underlying though it could be nice to see heroes struggling with coping issues.
A character's villains often meet the characteristics of the hero more than the originality of the villainous character. For instance, Batman has the Joker and while Superman has Luthor, there are also a lot of heavies in his rogue gallery. Do you think Iron Man villains rely too much on suits of armor themselves?
YNCG: I certainly think some villains like Crimson Dynamo, Zeke Stane, Iron Monger, and Titanium Man are a bit redundant and generic, but there are some interesting villains such as The Mandarin and A.I.M. However, I don't think they really RELY on their tech, more so heavily invested in competing and defeating Tony Stark in his area of expertise : technology and engineering.
Jor: I think villains in general are usually either your polar opposite or bad versions of you. in Iron Man's case we see a lot of that, a bunch of his villains are just people who use technology for evil and mainly armors to be villains; instead of what Tony does which is using armors for good.
but I have to agree with ComicGeek here, I think they dont rely on tech, they kinda of USE it to beat Iron Man at his home turf. others just know that Tony is really good when it comes to this type of stuff and hope to subjugate his expertise for themselves.
But in some other way, his villains relying on armors kinda of serves to show that Iron Man is more than just his armor, and that's something his armor using villains and even the other ones, will never understand
THB: Yes, this is another major turn off about Iron Man for me is that the villains seem incredibly repetitive.
How do you feel about how he is played by Downey in the movies? Some people complain that Downey is just playing himself which is similar enough to Stark, while others think that the portrayal is really good.
YNCG: Downey may be acting as himself, but he himself is a really good representation of Iron Man/Tony Stark! No complaints there!
Jor: yeah pretty much what NeighborhoodGeek said; he may be playing himself but that's close enough actually. I think that Downey brings a more charismatic and empathic side to IronMan that he manages to have difficult with in the comics. Basically, I think Downey made Iron Man have lots more fans thanks to his acting, and that's good. But I dont think he is the only one capable for that role, and if or better yet, WHEN he leaves, Im sure Marvel will find someone suitable, just like they did when they got Robert
THB: I mean Downey is just naturally a lot like Tony Stark. Even if he is not acting he is still the most convincing Stark they could have had to play the role.
Before the first Iron Man movie came out there was some degree of skepticism that fans would flock to a hero movie about a character that wasn't as well known in pop culture. Do you feel because of the exposure in three Iron Man movies and the Avengers (plus cameo in the Incredible Hulk) that Iron Man has become more like an A list comic character?
YNCG: I always thought Iron Man was an A-lister to be honest, just not a major A-lister if you know what I mean. Characters like Captain America and Punisher are A-list, but aren't as popular as Thor, Hulk, etc. until the movies.
Jor: He was an A-lister for Marvel fans, but he was never an A lister in general like Superman, Batman, Spider-man, Hulk, etc....
Now I'm pretty sure he is, everyone knows and recognizes Iron Man as easily as Batman or Spider-Man and that's thanks mostly to the movies IMO
of course Marvel and Disney getting more animated stuff on the air, and Iron Man being there also helped but the movies were the deal breaker
THB: I believe out of the Avengers cast even Iron Man is the most pronounced and recognizable superhero. I believe he is Marevel's Batman or Superman right now.
Switching gears a bit, do you have a favourite Iron Man armor? (Hulkbuster, Classic Gold and Red, Extremis ... fill in the blank)
Jor: look wise I love the Iron Man 3 Mark 42. In the comics, my favourite would be the Bleeding Edge, not only look wise but also capability wise. it's just really awesome.
other than that..... I always enjoy seeing the "busters" like Hulkbuster, Thorbuster, etc.... and I liked the Asgardian armor from "Fear Itself". Actually I liked all characters visual renditions from that event, but specially that Uru armor Iron Man had.
YNCG: I'll say his Classic Gold and Red was my favorite. It was the first debut of the red and gold concept, and looked awesome for me, and spawned many suits that looked similar to it, like Extremis or Bleeding Edge. Its the original, and is my personal favorite. Hulkbuster is my favorite of the "busters" though.
THB: Classic costumes are always best with any hero to me.
Do you think that Tony Stark being rich makes him more or less heroic? (he wouldn't be able to afford those suits otherwise)
YNCG: Well I personally think Tony is smart enough to just invest in things to make himself rich again, but if he was stuck in debt or poor, then he certainly wouldn't be the same person. However, he'd still be a hero, no doubt about that, but he might do more behind the scene stuff than up front and offensive without his Iron Man armors.
THB: As in real life I believe wealth should be irrelevant when determining a persons character. In this case I think Tony Stark's wealth is a result of his ego and can feed it, but certainly not the original cause. His money has no relation to if he is heroic, I mean Bruce Wayne.
Jor: Heroism isn't about money, it's about what you do with the things you have. Being rich and still going out of your way, wasting money, endagering your business, your body etc... letting your hedonistic life behind or atleast partially, to be able to week by week save someone's life, for me, that's truly heroic.
How many people in the same position, with as much money as Bill Gates, as attractive as Brad Pitt, with tons of sexy people falling to your knees, being able to go anywhere and do anything, would choose to do the right thing instead, and go save the world at the cost of your whole life?
I think that answers the question
Who would win in chess match between Iron Man and Batman?
Jor: I always believed Iron Man would win most chess matches, but it would be close. I love chess myself and I just see Tony's thought process and personality as better fit for Chess than Bruce's, but it would be close for sure.
YNCG: Batman most likely. Bruce is more cunning and his detective skills are far more valuable in this particular scenario. Chances are, Batman will take advantage of Tony's statistical knowledge to trick him. Tony might over-calculate things in a chess match.
THB: Batman, Iron Man's ego would get in the way.
OK thanks for the input everyone this concludes this RT.
YNCG: Alright I guess we'll go now. Thanks for reading our Ironic RT.
Jor: well, goodbye everyone and thanks for reading our thoughts (creeeeepy)
Special thanks to The Poet for helping edit all this, and, of course, thanks to Razz who did an amazing job hosting this RT. Share your thoughts down below.
-- Geo (sora_thekey) 24/7 geek! -- Follow me on Twitter: @sora_thekey
Hello everyone. My awesome co-host RazzaTazz got together with some CV users to talk video games. The conversation has been posted here for you guys to see, read and enjoy. After the "enjoy" step of this process, be sure to comment below where you can submit your own opinions after reading ours. Even if you disagree with us, we like comments. Also, go back and read our past conversations (Here) and share your thoughts...
The mediums of comics and video games compliment each other. The topics covered in many video games include many of those covered in comics - fantastical worlds, people with powers beyond the ordinary and battling some great evil. The overlap of comics into movies has been quite successful as of late, but how about comics and video games? Here to help us find out are Trodorne, Edward Windsor and Jorgevy. Hello all!
EW: Hi I am Edward Windsor , yeah its me again.
Tro: Hey all, its Trodorne. Coming back to blow your mind with truth and misinformation.... *Shark stare*
Jor: Hi everyone! It's me, Jorgevy, here with you to talk about games! YAY
What video games have you been playing recently?
EW: Recently I have been playing Far Cry 3, Okami HD and Lego Lord of the Rings. Its a mix I admit but in a time where there are more first person shooters than anything else you have to mix and match. Okami is a classic and still awesome and beautiful in equal measure to this day (You guys have played this right? what do you mean no). Lord of the Rings is really quirky and fun with the Lego twist. Far Cry is just so I can run around hunting things with a bow especially bad people.
Tro: What free time I have outside of writing and work, I have been playing Toe Jam and Earl 2, Rune Factory Frontier, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Reflex, and Minecraft.
Jor: Well, this week I've been playing Mass Effect 3. and I can tell you this started with me getting Mass Effect 1 to try it out, you know, to see what was all the fuss about and DAMN! I totally got hooked, finished ME1, ME2 plus some DLCS and now I got Mass Effect 3 and I just started it, but I'm enjoying it as much as the others (except maybe the first one, the whole mechanics of the game were so awesome, I'm kinda sad they tweeked with them so much for the sequels). Other games I've played recently but not so recently (college consumes a lot of time) are: Minecraft, COD:MW3, Dragonball Budokai 3 (best DBZ game ever), Fifa 13, NFS MW(the new one sucks compared to the older one), Tekken, Killzone, Mount & Blade (also the Star Wars mod for MB), Yu-gi-oh Duelist of Roses, Pokémon Black and probably a few others. these are just the ones of the last month or so.
What is your all time favorite video game?
EW: The game I have probably played the most was Perfect Dark on (N64) so that's definitetly up there but Resident Evil 2 (PS2) is one of my favs along with Dark Souls from the current generation (PS3). Picking between your favorites is always hard. It is a hard choice to go for the one you played the most, the one you liked the design and style of most or just the one you have the best memories of. If I could only take one desert island discs style, I guess it would have to be Perfect Dark though I guess since it has more options to play on it.
Tro: Oooooo..... that is a hard one to say. if we are basing it on genre's of games... then I could pick out one from each, but Minecraft and Final Fantasy 5 are my top ones. Minecraft is just a fun game especially when you can be creative and just build up or destroy the world around you. and Final Fantasy 5 was the more real immersive rpg that I really loved.
Jor: My all time favorite is a tough one. If you asked for a franchise it would be pretty easy, Pokémon obviously. Freaking love the whole world and the game are fantastic, they get better and better. Maybe my all time favorite would be Pokémon Heart Gold/Soul Silver, because my first Poké games were Gold/Silver/Crystal, so the nostalgic feel plus the new functions of the DSi and the new stuff in the world of Pokémon thanks to the two generations that followed after Gold/Silver, made the game even more awesome than the originals were. I'm waiting patiently but anxiously as well for the new games Pokémon X and Y for the 3DS!!! OMG Pokémon in 3D in a handheld MUAHAHAHA new pokémon and a new region AHAHAH Im super syked
What is your all time favorite video game based on comics?
EW: I am gonna come from left field on this. I imagine to see a lot of Batman Arkham 1+2 mentions here but that's not my choice. I would like to make a case for Marvel ultimate alliance 1 ( NOT 2). The reason I think one is the better game is because while its graphically not as good and the roster isn't as well updated, the story is better. The game has a really funny post credits addition to where depending on your success with side missions little story flashes reveal the consequences to the world. For example I remember completing the story as thus saving the world but by not doing a side mission Galactus devoured the world anyways which made me really laugh. Plus the ability to mix and match your characters is always fun, I used to love running Ghost Rider, Blade, Spidey ( Ben Riley Scarlet Spider costume) and War Machine ( Ironman suit option). Basically creating my own bad ass team but with a better story . Shame that the civil war story wasn't as cool in my eyes since the game had some of my favorite characters with Gambit, Deadpool and Green Goblin ( the inclusion of villains was a nice twist especially when the expansion brought Magneto Juggernaut and Venom.)
Tro: Spider-Man 2 or 3. That was the only game the was really true in terms of gameplay style. Superman was good but its hard to pull off when the man can go so fast in get to the other side of the city in a blink of an eye.
Jor: Extremely hard one. On one hand you have the recent Batman Arkham City which is FANTASTIC. but on the other hand you have the classic Marvel Ultimate Alliance! THAT GAME GOT ME HOOKED FOR HOURS AND HOURS. so good... both have great gameplay and are action packed. Batman has lots of cameos and a rich universe while Marvel Ultimate Alliance is filled with heroes to use and has a great plot. BAC also has a great plot although it is in a different tone. I really can't decide which is one the better one, but I know most people will say Batman so i'll go with MUA!!!
Also, I see that my fellow RT colleague EdwardWindsor also chose MUA and he does bring up good arguments, so listen to us people! go play MUA if you haven't! (only the first one though)
Is there a video game based on comics that has changed your perception of a character or group of characters?
Tro: In the long term yes. I would have to say games like Spider-Man and X-Men Legends really opened my eyes to other cool characters who I previously ignored. Like Cyclops and Mysterio. Who just have some amazing abilities. And with games like DC universe online where you make your own super hero / villain and you are mentored by your favorite characters like Flash or Lex Luthor (Mine).
Jor: Not really, no. First, there aren't that many comic book games or at least known ones. From the ones I've played, like Spider-man and Superman for PS2, or Batman Arkham series or MUA, it did help enrich the world of the character/s but I already knew most of them, with the exception of MUA and Arkham series, in which there really was a lot of more underground comic stuff being brought up. So unless you count manga, it hasn't happened yet. It did happen with One Piece, if manga/anime counts, which I barely knew anything about and after playing some One Piece games I felt a huge urge to know more about the manga/anime
Just a note, it doesn't have to be a positive change in perception, it could be a negative one.
Jor: I know Razz, but I’m a type of person that doesn't really get negatively influenced on certain things, specially characters, by just one instance.
But my hatred for Namor did increase after the Atlantis mission in MUA
EW: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 1 sort of changed my view on Ghost Rider. His attacks were unlike anything else on the game and seeing a guy rocking a flaming chain and having the penance stare as a special was all kinds of cool. Having not seen much of him previously except a couple appearances in the 90's Spider-Man cartoon it certainly widened my view of the character. Johnny Blaze is a badass and his look as the rider is really different. Without playing that game I probably wouldn't have chased up some back issues and novels to explored the character more. Though Nic Cage has drastically lowered the tone of the character for me with the film franchise. The rider parts are good the rest not so much.
Does playing a game based on a character allow you a better connection to that character in the comics? Or to put that in another way do you get a vicarious escapism of thinking that you really are Batman or Spider-Man by directly controlling their actions?
EW: Really depends on the accuracy of the portrayal and if the view point is first person or third person. If your playing a game through the eyes of a hero the immersion is much better and a connection is formed even if its only partial. In terms of escapism I don't really feel most comic games have achieved that. Most being you controlling the hero but seeing the action from the third person view so you're not the hero but a sort-of ghostly puppeteer. There is a connection because you can make them dance to your tune by pressing buttons, but its not as deep as being the hero looking on the world from the first person view.
Jor: It does help me get more attached and connected to a character but I never go full escapism and actually think of them as me or me as them. I always see them as the characters I read about, which are my friends, I guess. and when I'm playing with them I just kinda imagine what they must be thinking, feeling, what they want to do and how they would act. Although I do get it if someone else does it; we would all love to be heroes, but I'd rather be my own than to get inside someone else's shoes.
Tro: I don't know if better connects me to that character maybe if the gameplay matches the power set that they have then maybe.
There are many different formats of games (first person shooter, side scrolling, RPG, fighter - I don't know very much about games, but you get the point.) Is there any format that you think is best suited to video games based on comic characters? And a worst format?
EW: I personally think the best comic games are either open world platform/action like the recent Batman and Spider man games since you can wander their world and do as they would do or just see the sights and mess around. In terms of worst I have to go with fighting games. Injustice for example looks good but its not really true to characters, is it?. Would Catwoman even think about entering a fight with Wonder Woman Doomsday or Superman? Would Batman and Robin really fight to the death?. These games are basically fan service but have no real connection to continuity or really fit the characters in some cases in my personal view. Remember Dc vs Mortal Kombat ? A gory fight game where you could pull a mans brain out his skull yet because you add Superman that no longer makes sense.
Jor: I certainly think it depends on the character/comic. Most beat'em ups and fighter games dont really fit IMO with most super heroes, mainly because you need to tweek the super heroes a lot to make it balanced. First person should only be for certain very specific heroes because it takes away to much focus from your character and it is usually connected to shooters, and not that many heroes are primarily shooters. I think two of the best genres are easily RPGs and adventure platforms. RPGs mainly because you are role playing as the hero; you can increase his levels, go further beyond, equip him how you want, just like how he would in certain situations. also the strategy behind the gameplay of a RPG is very close to what actually happens in comics, at least when it comes to tactics etc... adventure platforms are perfect because it allows you much movement and freedom, specially if it's mixed with a type of sandbox gameplay. Go anywhere, do whatever, rescue people here and there, follow the map, explore, fly, jump, DO IT ALL!
The freedom both of these genres give, plus the spectacular action they can conjure in these types of games, makes them really good for such a specific media like comics. but I think the perfect combination is obviously, both of them. You get the psychological and physical freedom that only the actual hero would and it connects you to the character and his cause much more than some random beat'em up or a first person shooter game or a RTS(real time strategy) or a TBS(turn based strategy).
Tro: It really depends on the character. Superman in a fighting game is just a bad idea. For things like Batman and Spider-Man you practically need a city to get the scope spanning platform to really get into the characters.
With characters like Superman its hard to do any format because his powers are WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY beyond that of any character in comics. He is so powerful you would have to have something that limits him. if they were to do a proper game of Superman they would have to have quite a few city maps in which people could fly too and fight crime in several different cities across the world.
There are lots of games which have been targeted at comic fans that are not very good. As was just mentioned games based on Superman are always not true to the comic because it is hard to replicate his powers, but do you ever get the feel that video game developers use this restriction as an excuse to make an inferior game with a comic name on it that will sell?
EW: For a really long time the term "comic game" was a black mark on the gaming industry. Games based on the material where both lackluster and poorly made. Hell you could argue that the first "good" comic games didn't truly start being made to the late 90's early 2000'2. PS2 had Spider man games, first marvel ultimate alliance and x men academy. All of which had problems but compared to Superman N64 they are truly brilliant games.
The main problem with us comic readers as an audience is that we want it all. With such in depth back stories and libraries of side plots and characters to use it makes a game based in pretty much any comic verse a mammoth task. Take the recent Batman games for example they excel because of the vast open true to the source world with nods to the fans hidden as Easter eggs. These games where not possible back when Comic games started being made and hence for a long time we got games that were well meaning but poorly executed because the tech needed to make the games wasn't there. The simple old comic games like X-Men arcade for example was pretty much streets of rage which had different texture pack . It was a great because they kept it simple. The biggest crime most comic games have had is simply trying to do either to much or not enough.
Jor: As our RT colleague said, for a long time it was just not possible to meet the criteria comic fans demanded, because the technology could not match the amazing richness of the source.
I think that until recently developers did use that as kind of an excuse, not explicitly, but I guess that it was there and they were like "uh, can't really do much more, sorry, you guys understand" but we the recent games, I think that's changing. Mainly because of the push of the companies behind, who obviously want to get the costumers and they know how to do it easily in this case; get them everything, like it is. That's one of the reasons I'm eager for a specific video game coming out who stars a certain character, and why I'm excited to see where the Arkham series will go next. Developers can no longer use the technology as an excuse and that will make sure that unless they want to get their butts kicked out of the door with a loud "YOU'RE FIRED" behind it, they will try to stay true to the source and try to make it appealing to fans and non fans alike, so it will sell despite the name, and maybe even get some non fans into a previously unknown character (win win situation)
So where do you see the future of comic book video games going or what would you like to see?
EW: Personally I think the future will continue to be a mixed bag We will no doubt get a bunch of movie merc games which will probably be not so great. But we also see new titles that are good. Deadpool looks kinda promising as does Marvel heroes. But I would like to see more niche titles see some newer or even their first video game transfer. A game based around Sandman and the endless could be excellent if they can merge the dream and in game worlds well, another/better spawn title maybe or perhaps someone like Jonah Hex or even a game based on a villain for once.
I think in general the comic games market is definitively getting better for us fans, we just need more quality and different options. Everybody loves Batman but we have two great Batman games, have we ever had a truly great X-Men game or noteworthy games for the more niche markets?. That's all I ask really different heroes and villains and well made.
Jor: I’m quite optimistic. Not only are comics getting more well known and present outside their area, (mainly through movie but not only) the gaming industry is also getting stronger and more advanced. there's a vanguard that is trying to make video games what in my opinion (and several other opinions) are; art - and the use of already established but not exactly accepted art like comics into video games could prove to be a great alliance for both in terms of their future. I think they are realizing this and hopefully they will do something about it.
The new Deadpool game seems awesome; the rumors about the next Arkham seem very interesting and we see the companies trying to expand on video games. on the other hand several video games are starting to have their universes expanded through comics. Only the gods know of their future, but for me, VGs and comics are gonna rock the world
That's it everyone, as usual I forgot to ask people to say goodbye, but they would have liked to if given the opportunity. A big thank you to all of my colleagues for joining me in this discussion (and to various others like the Poet). Please feel free to comment below. Share your favorites or your least favorites.
Special thanks to The Poet for helping edit all this, and, of course, thanks to Razz who did an amazing job hosting this RT. Share your thoughts down below.
-- Geo (sora_thekey) 24/7 geek! -- Follow me on Twitter: @sora_thekey