Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Ok, so I just read about this.

I have to say, the title had my interest. The description of the ideas, not so much.

2099 was my gateway comic. Before this, I was mildly interested in comics. Not enough to read or buy. Just enough to look and go "ooo, neat." I grew up watching Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. I watched the other Hulk series with Lou Ferrigno. I watched reruns of the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman. I saw the X-Men cartoon on FOX. I watched a number of bad superhero movies (Live action Cap with the Italian Red Skull, Roger Corman Fantastic Four). Hell, I even watched some episodes of The Flash live series when it was on. So, I liked comic characters. Just never enough to but the comics.

2099 changed that. Partially due to the X-Men cartoon, and partially due to how cool Spider-Man 2099 looked, I started to read X-Men 2099. A team book where the team never really comes together. Where a character is killed early on, and never brought back. Even then, I knew that character death meant nothing if you were not Bucky, Jason Todd, or Uncle Ben (we see how those worked out now, haha). That comic blew my mind. It was so good.

Anyhow, years later I remembered how much I loved that series and went on a crusade to find the rest of the 2099 run. I am still a few issues short. Not for long, as I plan on ordering them from a comic shop online very soon (my local shop can't find them for me). The rest of the series were pretty decent. A few rough starts, a lot of rough endings, some painfully 90's art. But, really, a great setting.

Hell, I liked this setting and the characters enough that i have tracked down the other comics they have appeared in, even when those comics were not very good. I kept up with Exiles far longer than i should have, because it had Miguel in it.

So, I hear this new series will be a reimagining of the setting, like the New Universal was for the New Universe. I'm not sure what I feel about this. Yeah, there are things that just don't necessarily work. But, I don't think any of that is in the characters. The characters remain solid, and work well today.

Looking at the concept sketches, I have some thoughts:

* Punisher looks pretty awesome, actually. Enough so that I don't hate the changes to his look. Hopefully, they will keep his character close enough to the original.

* Cerebra looks ridiculous. Shakti was fine in her initial look. This new one is just lame. Hair that looks like brain? Ugh. No, just no.

* Human Torch. Hmmm. Not sure what i feel here. Looks cool. Like what I read about them making a new version, as opposed to the stupid variation they did in the original 2099 stuff. This is a change I think may work. Again, if done well.

* Spider-Man looks pretty much the same. Younger under the mask, but the look of the costume has not changed. The article implies that the costume may be all that has not changed. I hope this isn't completely true.

* Ghost Rider. Well, I will admit to not having read this in the original 2099 form yet. I ma missing an issue, so I have not wanted to read the rest yet. This one looks pretty cool though, and the concept if the 2099 version I know of was sort of silly.

So, I guess I will see what happens with this. I hope it is good,and faithful enough to the original source to make me happy. I also hope that, if it is something i like, it is good enough to get more 2099 comics out to read.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Watchmen: The Movie

So, I went to see Watchmen last Friday. I have held off on the review to give me a few days to think on the movie before giving my thoughts. I wanted to have some time between me and the movie to make sure i was being objective, since i have a habit of snap judgments.

Just to warn you, there are spoilers ahead. If you have not read the comic or seen the movie, do not read on.

First of all, I am quite pleased with this. Zach Snyder managed to make a decent, and mostly faithful, adaptation of the comic. I say mostly because many have pointed out his lack of understanding the deeper meaning and purpose of the story. Which, really, I don't see. I must have missed the deeper meaning myself. So, you know, I have no issue with that.

The opeing was pretty good. You get a condensed history of the Minutemen and events leading up to the current story. A bunch of new stuff added in here, but all things that work for expanding the story. Silk Spectre as a pinup on the side of a bomber plane was a nice touch. As was the Comedian assassinating Kennedy. Which may have been in the original story. I don't remember it there, but the idea seems so natural that I am sure there is some reference to it somewhere in the book. Need to read again.

Anyhow, the beginning fight was suitably interesting without spoiling anything. Loved seeing Rorschach "without his face" all over the place. Just like the comic. It was nice to see that, as a fan. Hints at the future story revelations, without being totally overt.

There was also a nice touch that I noticed a couple times where they did the pull away shot. The Comedian's button and the statue at the funeral in specific. In the comics, the cover was the start of that shot, with the first few panels in the comic being the same shot from further away before the action actually begins. Nice to see that here.

Few tings I didn't like. The violence was amped up. Dan and Laurie fighting the thugs in the alley was a bit much to me. Braking bones puncturing the skin broke my focus. Rorschach and the child molester was another scene that was a bit too much. I was hoping for the scene as it was in the comic, not flat out murder. Makes the scene better with him not blatantly killing the man.

The sex being a bit more overt was also not a big plus. It was ok for the movie I guess, but seemed a little too much. Like softcore porn. Not a major flaw, but a flaw anyhow.

Ooo, the dream sequence being in the movie, kind of unexpected but fun anyhow.

Some of the plots being eliminated were also a frustration. Specifically, Hollis was such a side character in the movie that I don't get his inclusion at all. Without his being killed after the prison riots, I see no reason to have included him to begin with.

I noticed they took out all of the smoking (other than the Comedian lighting a cigar off of his flamethrower). So, make the sex and violence more graphic, but lose the smoking? No sense at all. Especially since the comic even go so far as to tell you it isn't unhealthy like it used to be. So, they had to make Laurie seem like an idiot for playing with the flamethrower on Archie, instead of just naive. Bah.

So, biggest complaint. The ending. Didn't like it. I knew the giant space squids were not going to be in. I was ok with that. The squid would look stupid on the screen anyhow. So, no major complaint there. I just didn't like them choosing the changes they did. Make Dr. Manhattan look like the villain? Um...not really my idea of a decent plot. Even worse, soon after, the world seems to have forgotten they blame him for the destruction. It was like a scene after the new announcements that there is a reference to him being awesome again. I don't get it.

Overall, I am happy and satisfied with this. I think the Black Freighter and Under the Mask DVD stuff will be fun, and I await the director's cut to see how much was lost to edits.

In the end, I think I will see it again and definitely be buying. But, the source was better. As usual.