Posts Tagged ‘Brian Michael Bendis’

Hello, I still exist.

July 14th, 2013 by Susie
A recent comment got me feeling all warm and fuzzy for read comics. I’ve been reading over some of my old posts. I did love posting here, though dear lord I had a serious comma addiction. I’ve been through treatment and mostly have it under control.
I haven’t been over here for a while since I’ve mostly been blogging on my own site susantaitel.com about many things not just comics. I’ve been working on getting my writing career off the ground. It’s still pretty much on the ground at the moment, but it’s on a bit of an incline.
Since I’m here I should talk about comics. Even though I haven’t been writing about them, I’m still very much reading them. I can quit abusing commas, but comics is a habit I can’t kick.
One of my last posts was about the upcoming new Sandman miniseries. It now has a release date and is due to hit stores in October of this year. I can’t wait!
As for what I’m reading, staples Fables and the Unwritten continue to explore the secret life of fiction in new and imaginative ways. Buffy Season Nine is winding down. It hasn’t reached the heights that season eight did early on, but it’s also hasn’t been nearly as inconsistent. Meanwhile I’m enjoying spinoff Angel and Faith a little more than the main title, but both are building to what looks like strong conclusions. Brian K. Vaughan’s Saga is probably my new favorite monthly series that premiered since I stopped posting here regularly. Here is an article that pretty much sums up my feelings about it and why you should be reading it. Another series I’ve been enjoying is Rachel Rising by Terry Moore. Like Echo was his take on a super heroes, this is his take on horror. And like Echo it’s been going in directions I couldn’t possibly predict. At times very creepy directions. His art as always is immersive and haunting. I also picked up at the library the first trades of Gail Simone’s Batgirl and Brian Michael Bendis’s All New X-Men. I quite enjoyed both. Barbara Gordon is one of my all time favorite characters and Simone’s take on her could easily become iconic. I haven’t read many X-Men titles, but I felt I knew enough to understand and enjoy Bendis’s time travel story. I’m looking forward to the next volumes of each.
I’ll try to come back to Read Comics a little more often, but this site is and always has been open to the public. Anyone with something to say is welcome to post.

Fantasy Casting: Who is Jessica Jones?

January 4th, 2011 by Susie

As I reported in my last post, ABC is developing a television series based on Alias (the comic, not the previous ABC series by that name). While it is yet to be seen how well the comic will translate into a series, we can still have fun trying to cast it.
Jessica Jones, the heroine of Alias, is a private detective with super powers.  Those being:  flight, super strength, and near invulnerability to injury.   She was once a costumed superhero, going for a time by the name of Jewel, and later briefly by the name Knightress.  However she was never among the top tier of heroes, such as Spider-man or the Fantastic Four.  During her tenure as a superhero, she went through an ordeal that left her emotionally scarred, and caused her to retire from the game. It also left her with a very thick, defensive shell built up around her, to keep her from being vulnerable again.   Essentially she prevents others from hurting her, by inflicting all the damage herself.   She drinks a lot, she sleeps with guys that she doesn’t care about, and that don’t care about her.  And she keeps anyone that might care for her at a safe distance, with a great deal of sarcasism, cynisim, and if that doesn’t work, hostility.
So who could possibly play a character this caustic, and still hold the audience sympathy?   I have three choices.
My first pick, is not known for her portrayals of wounded antiheroes.   In fact she is best known for playing one of the most relentlessly cheerful characters ever to grace a television screen.  Jewel Staite played the adorable, optimistic, genius mechanic Kaylee Frye, on the late, long lamented (by me at least, and a few others) Firefly.   Part of my reason for casting her would simply be because Jessica is so different from Kaylee, that it would be really interesting to see her play that end of the spectrum.   Another reason is that she sort of reminds me of the way artist Micheal Gaydos, drew Jessica.

And she would have no problem portraying the Jess’ youthful exuberance, in flashbacks to her more innocent Jewel days. (Just noticed I cast an actress named Jewel to play a character code named Jewel, that is imaginative of me).  I have not seen her in many roles outside the “verse” , so I don’t know what kind of a range she has, but she endeared herself to me so much as Kaylee, that I want to see her carry a series, even if I’m not entirely certain she can pull off Jessica acerbic wit. (Although she did manage to make Simon to feel like a moron, more than once).

My next two choices on the other hand, would have no problem with that aspect of the character.

Caroline Dhavernas, was the lead on another series that was cancelled far too early.  If Firefly’s run was short, then Caroline’s show Wonderfalls’, was microscopic.  Only three episodes ever aired on network television.  Luckily around twelve episodes of this quirky, funny, and often touching but not cloying, show were filmed, and they were released on DVD.  (Coincidentally Jewel Staite guest starred on a few episodes).

As the main character Jaye, Caroline displayed a talent for the biting, yet deadpan delivery, which is just how Jessica sounds in my head.  While Jaye was just naturally antisocial, rather than having become so due to a trauma, I have confidence that Caroline could convey that she was covering up a deep secret.  She is about to debut in the cast of Shonda Rhymes’ new show Off the Map, which is one of the reasons I plan to watch it, but if that show doesnt take off, or even if it does, she would be perfect in the part of Jessica.

Like the my other picks, I am shocked that my final choice has not had a bigger career.  She is incredibly talented.  Alicia Witt has been working steadily since she was fourteen years-old, yet she is not a household name.  She has been in projects as varied as the family drama Friday Night Lights, the sitcom Cybill, and the scifi epic Dune.

She is probably closer to the age that Jessica is meant to be in the comic, than the other two.  (Though who knows if the network, would want a heroine as old as, [gasp!] thirty-five).  And since she  has been in the business for so long, she could probably relate to Jess’ loss of innocence, and idealism, about her chosen profession.  Despite no longer being a twenty-something ingenue, she is absolutely stunning.  Which I’m sure would help grease the wheels of casting.  Plus she too is a master of the dead pan delivery.

Here is quick side by side of each.  Got a favorite among them?  Or your own pick?

So those are my top picks.  Any ideas about who should be the supporting cast?  Anyone out there scream Luke Cage to you?  Or Miss Marvel?

Jessica Jones on network TV?

December 19th, 2010 by Susie

Entertainment Weekly recently reported that ABC is developing Brian Michael Bendis’ Marvel series Alias as a TV series.  It centered on private investigator Jessica Jones, a former super heroine.  Bendis is listed as a consultant, while Melissa Rosenberg is credited as the writer. It’s going to be called Aka Jessica Jones, as calling it Alias would be pretty confusing. I hate to be negative about a project that is so early in the development stage, but I have some serious reservations about this. I really liked Alias, (earlier this year I named Jessica Jones one of my top female characters) but I can’t really see it translating well as a television series. Especially on risk wary network television. Jessica’s back story is pretty dark, while it’s about equal to some of the stuff seen on SVU and CSI, I doubt that the network would sign off on it for a lead female character. So it would likely be watered down. They will probably be worried that Jess’ drinking, and self destructive behavior, would turn off viewers, and try to make her flaws more “relatable”, like compulsive eating. Gone also would be the references to the surrounding Marvel universe, which was pivotal to the series, to illustrate and contrast Jess’ role within it. They would have to go, since it’s unlikely Marvel would grant them the rights to use Spider-man, or the Fantastic Four, and it would confusing for the casual viewer anyway. And while in the comics Jess’ cases were pretty gritty, with a superhero element thrown in, the series is probably going to want to inject a whole lot more action into it. Altogether it would probably make the show pretty unrecognizable from it’s source material. Also worrying is that Bendis is just a consultant, while Rosenberg is in charge. Her only credit listed in the article is writing the screenplay for Twilight. That movie was a huge financial success, so it makes sense that she would be given more oppurtunties as a result. It’s just that I found that movie dreadfully boring (I haven’t read the book yet, so I can’t say how much of that can be blamed on the source material, over the screenplay).
I really hope that I’m wrong. I hope that whatever comes from this is awesome, regardless of how much it resembles the excellent comic series. I’m just skeptical, about the likelihood. Between this news, the David E. Kelley run Wonder Woman series, and the Jossless Buffy reboot, the next few years are not looking promising for female superheroes on screen.

Redheads for the Win!

July 14th, 2010 by Susie

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I have issues

January 25th, 2009 by jason

I read comics every day. I don’t think a single day goes by any more where I don’t read at least one, and usually, I read a trade’s worth. After all, that seems to be how most comics are packaged these days. While these won’t be complete reviews, I’m going to attempt to share my thoughts on what I read each day. If something I read warrants it, I’ll go into it more thoroughly.

So far I haven’t read much of Secret Invasion, although on the way back from Wizard World Chicago I caught up with The Initiative. Today, I started with an online checklist I found, reading Mighty Avengers #13, New Avengers #40, and Avengers: The Initiative #14. I know I’m a bit behind the times with these, but I wasn’t really interested in starting this until stuff started to be available in trade, or I was able to borrow them from a friend en masse. The stuff I’ve heard so far makes it seem that Secret Invasion itself will be much better read in one sitting…or at least not having to wait month by month.

So far, we just have the paranoia setting in, with no one knowing who is a skrull, except for 3-D Man. It’s kind of awesome how this character is getting a prominent role. I admit that I love it when minor characters are brought to the fore, like in Agents of Atlas and Shadowpact. Reading them in bunches like this, the art and writing tend to give me a bit whiplash, with such different styles as Bendis and Slott, Maleev, Gage, and Cheung.

I started the X-Factor: The Only Game in Town trade, reading issues 28 and 29, and finished off the latest collection of Legion of Super-Heroes, featuring the return of Jim Shooter. Quite a contrast in these two series, X-Factor keeping with the hard-boiled style started in the initial Madrox mini-series, and Legion spanning the galaxy with plenty of giant monsters and sci-fi action. Peter David is a bit more enjoyable to read than Jim Shooter right now, although I admit to a bit of bias against Shooter and his anti-gay edict when he was Editor in Chief of Marvel. I notice that Shooter lays it on a bit thick with Invisible Kid’s attraction to Giselle. I wonder if that has anything to do with the gay relationship between Lyle and Chemical King, and then later with Brainiac 5, in various iterations of the title. I am happy that Shooter ended the Lightning Lad being over his head in charge scenario; it was getting pretty tiresome and repetitive, and a little bit trite that he didn’t have any sort of assistant, computerized or otherwise. Come to think of it, both Lightning Lad and Madrox were feeling the burdens of leadership in these issues, but on different scales. Both of their teams are going up in flames, they both feel like things are out of their control, but they’re being blamed for it all. I’m also happy to see the return of Arcade. I feel I should’ve recognized his touch earlier, but I was surprised to see him appear when I turned the page. The cane is a bit Riddler-esque, but I love his Space Invaders socks. Nice touch with the Vote Saxon stickers as well. Everyone really does watch Doctor Who now, don’t they?

Secret Invasion #1 (minor spoilers discussed)

April 6th, 2008 by Michael

It ain’t a secret anymore.

Apparently it’s been four years in the making.  We were hit with the opening salvo a year ago in the form of an Skrully Electra.  And now it’s here.  What has been a really satisfying slow build up has now exploded into an intense, in-your-face declaration of war.  I enjoyed the first issue, but at the same time, I kinda wish we could go back to the prelude.

Part of the reason for this is that the title Secret Invasion is a bit of a misnomer.  It really isn’t a secret anymore…it’s a full out invasion.  While Tony Stark, Hank Pym, and Reed Richards are investigating why the Skrulls are invisible to any detection powers, SHEILD tracks a Skrull transport that crash-lands in the Savage Land, and Iron Man’s Avengers go to investigate.  Except Luke Cage’s team of renegade Avengers decide to steal their Quinjet so they can get there first.  This delays Iron Man’s team all of three minutes and they have a stand off in front of the transport.  Then all hell breaks loose as the Skrulls attack at several strategic locations across the globe, each with a cultish “He loves you” mantra.

I had to read this twice to decide if it was a good issue or not.  What I liked about the months leading up the event (dubbed Secret Invasion: The Infiltration) the suspense of not knowing who was a Skrull and who wasn’t, how long they’ve been masquerading as our heroes, how long they’ve been here, how many there are, and what happened to the heroes they’ve replaced.  Those questions are quickly tossed out the window, and while we are not given the answers, they’re replaced with a flurry of battles, double crosses, and surprise reveals (and some not all that surprising).  I felt it was too much for the introductory issue of the event.  Despite all this, it was fun if a bit rushed.  I still really don’t like Leinil Yu’s artwork…the lines are too heavy, the proportions off, the action sequences are sloppy, and his females all look like Aunt May on Halloween.  Look at the attack on the Black Widow…probably one of the most sloppy representations of Spidey’s webs that I’ve ever seen.

Final word: it’s a good, if not great, opening that makes me intrigued for the rest of the series.

Why the Skrulls are going to save the Marvel Universe

March 10th, 2008 by Michael

skrullsThere’s an invasion going on in the Marvel Universe. Alien shape changers have infiltrated our super teams and taken over the persona of some of the most mighty heroes. Their intent: to take over our planet, which they see as rightfully theirs.

Go Skrulls!

I’m really looking forward to this spring and summer’s Mega Event. It just feels exciting. According to interviews from Marvel Mastermind Brian Michael Bendis, this storyline has been brewing for years. According to him, after this story is done we’ll be able to look at recent events such as Avengers Disassembled, House of M, Secret War, Civil War, and Captain America’s Death, and be able to see a Skrully hand manipulating all of it. This doesn’t feel like a simple retcon to me…this apparently has been sneaky ol’ Bendis’ plan from the very start. And I think that’s why I’m enjoying it so much. It’s creative, it’s well planned, and it feels like there are real consequences. Who knows who could be a Skrull? We’ve already seen Elektra and Blackbolt revealed as Skrulls…could we see Spider Man as one? Thor? Devil Dinosaur and Moon Boy? Since they did the unthinkable and killed Captain America – and kept him dead for a year now – you have to wonder if Marvel is willing to take chances on some of their other major characters.

When Marvel announced Civil War a couple of years ago, they said the intent was to bring a level of distrust back to our heroes. It used to be that when Spider-man crossed paths with the FF, there would be some doubt about the other hero’s motives. The FF saw all the negative reporting in the newspaper about Spidey and wondered if he could be a criminal, and Spidey distrusted anyone that might be inclined to try to have him arrested. The Skrull storyline succeeds where Civil War fails. Civil War seemed like a good idea with a lot of potential that ended up rushed, written by committee, and edited to pieces. On the other hand, Secret Invasion seems well crafted, paced correctly, and genuine. The threat seems real, the implications seem dire, and the distrust between the heroes seems at an all time high. Not only does each character have to wonder if their teammates are aliens, but they also have to wonder who has known what, and for how long. It’s a fun story line and I fully hope that Marvel is finally able to fulfill the potential of the story. Most importantly, this is a story that deserves to be an event.

So who is a Skrull? Of course, I have some ideas. Here, I present my top 5 Skrull Choices:

1. Cyclops. The leader of the X-Men has gone all hard assed of late. Apparently the mutant decimation and loss of Professor X has gotten to him. Or maybe a Skrull has.

2a. Ms. Marvel. You can bet that the Skrulls have landed in SHIELD. Who better than a SHIELD agent who also leads the Avengers, and can keep close tabs on Tony Stark? If not her, look for….

2b. Maria Hill. Stark’s #2 at SHIELD led the organization from Secret War to Civil War, and her arrival coincided with with Nick Fury’s disappearance. Speaking of which…he’s due for a return. What role will he have in Secret Invasion?

3. Wolverine, but only the New Avengers Wolvie. The X-Men’s is the real one. It would go a long way to explaining how he can be in every comic at the same time!

4. The Scarlet Witch. A Skrull with Wanda’s powers could have intentionally caused House of M (a perfect opportunity for Skrulls to move in?). Plus doing so allows Marvel to bring her back, all heroic-like and not at all crazy.

5. Hawkeye. Hey, weren’t you dead? Oh yeah, that’s because you’re a Skrull.

What do you think? Who’s a Skrull? Who do YOU trust?