|Looks like the long rumored idea that Jean Grey would make a comeback after this summer’s “Avengers vs. X-Men” is potentially true. According to EW, they will reveal more in their upcomingComic-Con issue, but for now there’s just a look at this small piece of art by Joe Quesada.
Though EW doesn’t want to offer all the details just yet, they do offer some tidbits that will hold you over for a while.
Yes, this is Jean Grey — as in, the Jean Grey who’s been absent from Marvel comics ever since dying for a second time back in the mid-00s. And yes, she is modeling her vintage blue-and-yellow X-Men outfit from her Marvel Girl days. Does this mean that the fan-favorite character is finally returning? We can only confirm that her presence in the Marvel universe will not be imaginary.
the Avengers is a team of superheroes, appearing in magazines published by Marvel Comics. The team made its debut in The Avengers #1 (Sept. 1963), and was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist / co-plotter Jack Kirby, following the trend of super-hero teams after the success of DC Comics with the Justice League.
Labeled “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”, the Avengers originally consisted of Iron Man (Tony Stark), Ant-Man (Dr. Henry Pym), Wasp (Janet Van Dyne), Thor, and the Hulk (Bruce Banner). The original Captain America was discovered by the team in issue #4, trapped in ice, and he joined the group when they revived him. The rotating roster has become a hallmark of the team, although one theme remains consistent: the Avengers fight “the foes no single superhero can withstand.” The team, famous for its battle cry of “Avengers Assemble!”, has featured humans, mutants, robots, gods, aliens, supernatural beings, and even former villains. An animated television series, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, premiered on October 20, 2010. A feature film is set to be released May 4, 2012.
the Smurfs (French: Les Schtroumpfs) is a comic and television franchise centered on a group of small blue fictional creatures called Smurfs, created by and first introduced as a series of comic strips by the Belgian cartoonist Peyo (pen name of Pierre Culliford) on October 23, 1958. The original term and the accompanying language came during a meal Peyo was having with his colleague and friend André Franquin in which, having momentarily forgotten the word “salt”, Peyo asked him (in French) to pass the schtroumpf. Franquin replied: “Here’s the Schtroumpf — when you are done schtroumpfing, schtroumpf it back” and the two spent the rest of that weekend speaking in schtroumpf language. The name was later translated into Dutch as Smurf, which was adopted in English.
The storylines tend to be simple tales of bold adventure. The cast has a simple structure as well: almost all the characters look essentially alike — mostly male, very short (as tall as 3 crab apples high), with blue skin, white trousers with a hole for their short tails, white hat in the style of a Phrygian cap, and sometimes some additional accessory that identifies a personality. (For example, Handy Smurf wears overalls instead of the standard trousers, a brimmed hat, and a pencil above his ear.) Smurfs can walk and run, but often move by skipping on both feet. They love to eat sarsaparilla (a species of Smilax) leaves, whose berries the smurfs naturally call smurfberries (the smurfberries appear only in the cartoon; in the original comics, the Smurfs only eat the leaves from the Smilax). Smurfs are almost never seen without their traditional white hat on, but the few exceptions suggest that smurfs have no hair, with the exception of Smurfette and later Sassette, who are technically not smurfs.
The Smurfs fulfill simple archetypes of everyday people: Lazy Smurf, Grouchy Smurf, Brainy Smurf, and so on. All smurfs, with the exception of Papa, Baby, Smurfette, Nanny and Grandpa, are said to be 100 years old. There were originally 99 smurfs, but this number increased as new Smurf characters appeared, such as Sassette and Nanny. Smurfette is not one of the original smurfs because she was created by Gargamel, the evil wizard.
A characteristic of the Smurf language is the frequent use of the word “smurf” and its derivatives in a variety of meanings. The Smurfs replace enough nouns and verbs in everyday speech with “smurf” as to make their conversations barely understandable: “We’re going smurfing on the River Smurf today.”
When used as a verb, the word “Smurf” typically means “to make,” “to be,” “to laugh,” or “to do.” When a word is replaced in a statement, that same replacement is made in every repetition of it, even by Other Smurfs: as an example, the statement “A dragon that breathes fire” becomes “A smurf that smurfs smurf”, no matter which Smurf says it.
It was implied a number of times that Smurfs still understand each other due to subtle variations in intonation. Humans have found that replacing ordinary words with the term “smurf” at random is not enough: in one adventure, Peewit explains to some other humans that the statement “I’m smurfing to the smurf” means “I’m going to the wood,” but a Smurf corrects him by saying that the proper statement would be “I’m smurfing to the smurf”; whereas what Peewit said was “I’m warbling to the dawn.” So “I’m smurfing to the smurf” is not the same as “I’m smurfing to the smurf.” This is somewhat contradicted in The Smurfs and the magic Flute when Peewit brags that he has mastered the Smurf language and “proves” it by asking for a drink of water (“Dear Smurf, I want a smurf”), leading to a musical number in which each of the Smurfs interprets “smurf” differently.
So that the viewer of the animated series is able to understand the Smurfs, only some words (or a portion of the word) are replaced with the word “smurf.” Context offers a reliable understanding of this speech pattern, but common vocabulary includes remarking that something is “just smurfy” or “smurftastic.”
In Schtroumpf vert et vert Schtroumpf (see Smurf Versus Smurf), published in Belgium in 1972, it was revealed that the village was divided between North and South, and that the Smurfs on either side had different ideas as to how the term “smurf” should be used: for instance, the Northern Smurfs called a certain object a “bottle smurfer,” while the Southern Smurfs called it a “smurf opener.” This story is considered a parody on the still ongoing taalstrijd (language war) between French- and Dutch-speaking communities in Belgium.
When they first appeared in 1958, the Smurfs lived in a part of the world called “le Pays maudit” (French for “the Cursed Land”). To reach it required magic or travelling through dense forests, deep marshes, a scorching desert and a high mountain range. The Smurf themselves use storks in order to travel long distances, such as the kingdom where Johan and Peewit live and keep up-to-date with events in the outside world.
In the Johan and Peewit stories, the Smurf village is made up of mushroom-like houses of different shapes and sizes in a desolate and rocky land with just a few trees.
However, in the Smurf series itself the mushroom-like houses are more similar to one another and are located in a clearing in the middle of a deep forest with grass, a river and vegetation. Humans such as Gargamel are shown to live nearby, though it is almost impossible for an outsider to find the smurf village except when led by a smurf.
The Smurfs’ community generally takes the form of a cooperative, sharing and kind environment based on the principle that each Smurf has something he or she is good at, and thus contributes it to Smurf society as he or she can. In return, each Smurf appears to be given their necessities of life, from housing and clothes to food without using any money in exchange. This has led to the Smurfs being labeled, associated or praised as communists. On the other hand Peyo’s son, Thierry Culliford, has stated in an interview that his father “wasn’t interested in politics at all.”
Papa Smurf is the leader of the community. Other smurfs are generally named after their personality disposition, for example, Brainy, Greedy, Vanity, Lazy, Clumsy, Hefty, Jokey, Dreamy, Grouchy or their profession, for example, Poet, Actor, Handy, Harmony, Farmer, Clockwork, Painter, Tailor, Miner, Architect, Reporter, Timber, Barber and Doctor Smurf. Other smurf characters include Grandma Smurf, Grandpa Smurf and Smurfette. The non-smurf characters who would appear later would include the evil Gargamel, his cat Azrael, and the page Johan, who went from print to film and TV. Johan appeared on the Smurfs TV series in the 80s, and on the same show, Peewit became Peewee, Johan’s young friend.
5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth
Matthew Inman, everyone’s favorite one-man internet comic strip creator, has finally gotten off his lazy behind and put together a collection of his work, aptly titled 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth ($8). Featuring over 160 pages of hand-drawn goodness, this paperback wonder includes tons of classic illustrations, 25 all-new comics, a pull-out poster of “Why I believe printers were sent from hell,” and more silliness than a box set of Benny Hill. [Source Uncrate.com]
Last year, we introduced you to some of the most hyped auctions that set new records despite the economic downturn. With the New Year approaching fast, it’s time again to look at the top 10 auctions of 2010 that set new records. Hit the jump to see them all…
10. Dalmore 64 Trinitas – $160,100
Last month, the Dalmore distillery near Inverness, Scotland made a new record by selling two of the three world’s most expensive Scotch whisky bottles, “Dalmore 64 Trinitas” for £100,000/$160,100 each. The distillery said that if the 64-year-old Trinitas was sold by the glass, it could cost up to £20,000 or about $32,000 a glass. Back in 2003, the distillery set a world record by selling a bottle of 62-year old Dalmore for over £25,000. In 2006, another bottle of the same whisky went for £32,000.
9. Châteaux Lafite-Rothschild 1869 – $232,692
In October this year, three bottles of Châteaux Lafite-Rothschild 1869 vintage wines were just sold at a Hong Kong auction by Sotheby’s. The $232,692 a bottle set a record for the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold at auction.
8. Most expensive Barbie doll – $302,500
Since its debut in 1959, the Barbie doll has kept up with the times and trends. Recently, we introduced you to the most expensive Barbie dolls of all time. Lately, the most expensive Barbie in the world, designed by Australian jeweler Stefano Canturi for Mattel, was sold at Christie’s in New York for a whopping £191,000 ($302,500).
7. Daguerreotype Giroux – $996,400
The world’s first commercially-produced camera fetched a record 732,000 Euros ($996,499 at an the 17th WestLicht Photographica Auction in Vienna, Austria. The Daguerreotype Giroux was hoped to sell for between 500,000 and 700,000 Euros. The previous record price for a camera was 576,000 Euros in 2007.
6. Action Comics #1 – $1.5 million
Marking the most important event in comic book history ever, the world’s most coveted and an extremely rare Action Comics #1, a 1938 comic book that featured the first appearance of Superman, was sold for a record $1.5 million in March this year. Only about 100 copies of the issue exist and only a handful are in good condition, but this particular issue was rated at 8.0 out of 10, according to the CGC grading company.
5. BVLGARI blue Diamond – $15.7 million
Christie’s “Jewels: The New York Sale” on October 20 saw some great sales, including the BVLGARI Blue Diamond, a two-stone diamond ring featuring the largest triangular-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond ever to appear at auction. The ring had an estimate of over $12 million and was purchased by an Asian collector for a record $15.7 million.
4. 1936 Bugatti atlantic – Over $30 million
The ultra rare Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic traded hands for $30-$40 million, thereby setting the record for the highest sum ever paid for a single automobile. This ultra-rare masterpiece is known as the Williamson Bugatti of which only four examples were ever made, but now two or three of them can still see the light of the day.
3. Chinese porcelain vase – Over $85 million
A few days back, an 18th century Chinese porcelain vase found in a house clearance in London went for £43 million ($69.3 million) at Bainbridges Auctions. The private buyer paid an additional premium of £8.6m to the auctioneer The vase was only estimated to sell for £1.2 million, but fierce bidding resulted in a new world record.
2. Giacometti sculpture – $104.3 million
In February this year, a life-size bronze sculpture of a man by Alberto Giacometti was sold at Sotheby’s auction house in London for $104.3 million. It set the world record price for an artwork at auction. The previous record was $104.1 million for a 1905 Picasso, “Boy With a Pipe (The Young Apprentice)” at Sotheby’s in New York in 2004.
1. Pablo Picasso painting – $106.5 million
Auctioned at Christie’s Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in May this year, this 78-year-old Pablo Picasso painting fetched a whopping $106.5 million, thereby breaking the previous world record for any work of art sold at auction. Interestingly, the Spanish artist’s 1932 painting “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” had been earlier expected to sell for between $70 million and $90 million.
Auctions to check out…
1. Rare 24.78-carat pink diamond
This rare 24.78-carat pink diamond is estimated to go for a record price when it will be auctioned today (November 16) at Sotheby’s in Geneva. Billed as one of the world’s great diamonds, the exceptionally rare pink stone is being expected to fetch between $27 million and $38 million.
2. The Bride of Frankenstein poster
A teaser poster for James Whale’s 1935 film “The Bride of Frankenstein” is expected to sell for $700,000, making it the most expensive movie poster in history. The current record is with a poster for Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent film “Metropolis,” which sold for $690,000 in 2005.
X-Men: First Class is an upcoming American superhero film, directed by Matthew Vaughn, based on the characters appearing in Marvel Comics. The film is the fifth installment of the X-Men film series and a prequel to the first three movies. X-Men: First Class is scheduled for release on June 3, 2011.
The film, set during the 1960s, will focus on the relationship between Professor X and Magneto and the origin of their groups, the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants. The film stars James McAvoy as Professor X and Michael Fassbender as Magneto. It also stars Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw, the antagonist of the movie. Other cast members include January Jones, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence and Lucas Till. The film is mostly being shot in England and parts of the United States. Fox envisions this film as the first in a new trilogy.
The film is a prequel to the first three movies, set during the 1960s, with John F. Kennedy as president of the United States. X-Men: First Class parallels the history of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Civil Rights Movement. The villains of the film will be the Hellfire Club. The plot is as follows:
“Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, they were closest of friends, working together, with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. In the process, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-Men.”
<strong>Who is Captain America?
Captain America is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic Books published by Marvel Comics. the character first appeared in Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941), from Marvel Comics’ 1940s predecessor, Timely Comics, and was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Over the years, an estimated 210 million copies of “Captain America” comic books have been sold in a total of 75 countries. For nearly all of the character’s publication history, Captain America was the alter ego of Steve Rogers, a sickly young man who was enhanced to the peak of human perfection by an experimental serum in order to aid the United States war effort. Captain America wears a costume that bears an American flag motif, and is armed with an indestructible shield that can be thrown as a weapon.
An intentionally patriotic creation who was often depicted fighting the Axis powers of World War II, Captain America was Timely Comics’ most popular character during the wartime period. After the war ended, the character’s popularity waned and he disappeared by the 1950s aside from an ill-fated revival in 1953. Captain America was reintroduced during the Silver Age of comics when he was revived from suspended animation by the superhero team the Avengers in The Avengers #4 (March 1964). Since then, Captain America has often led the team, as well as starring in his own series.
Steve Rogers was purportedly assassinated in Captain America vol. 5, #25 (March 2007), although he was later revealed to be alive. The comic-book series Captain America continued to be published, with Rogers’ former sidekick, James “Bucky” Barnes, having taken up the mantle, and keeping it at the insistence of Rogers, who upon his return began operating as an intelligence agent in the series Steve Rogers: Super Soldier.
Powers and abilities
Captain America has no superhuman powers, although as a result of the Super-Soldier Serum and “Vita-Ray” treatment, he is transformed from a frail young man into a “perfect” specimen of human development and conditioning. Captain America’s strength, endurance, agility, speed, reflexes, durability, and healing are at the highest limits of natural human potential. Rogers’ body regularly replenishes the super-soldier serum; it does not wear off.
The formula enhances all of his metabolic functions and prevents the build-up of fatigue poisons in his muscles, giving him endurance far in excess of an ordinary human being. This accounts for many of his extraordinary feats, including bench pressing 1100 pounds (500 kg) and running a mile (1.6 km) in little more than a minute. Furthermore, his enhancements are the reason why he was able to survive being frozen in suspended animation for decades. Rogers cannot become intoxicated by alcohol, drugs, or impurities in the air and is immune to terrestrial diseases. He is also highly resistant to hypnosis or gases that could limit his focus. There have been many attempts to recreate this formula but after the death of its creator the secrets of creating a super-soldier died with him.
Rogers’ battle experience and training make him an expert tactician and an excellent field commander, with his teammates frequently deferring to his orders in battle. Rogers’ reflexes and senses are also extraordinarily keen. He has blended judo, western boxing, kickboxing, and gymnastics into his own unique fighting style and is a master of multiple martial arts. Years of practice with his indestructible shield make him able to aim and throw it with almost unerring accuracy. His skill with his shield is such that he can attack multiple targets in succession with a single throw or even cause a boomerang-like return from a throw to attack an enemy from behind. In canon, he is regarded by other skilled fighters as one of the best hand-to-hand combatants in the Marvel Universe. Although the super-soldier serum is an important part of his strength, Rogers has shown himself still capable in sufficient ways against stronger opponents even when the serum has been deactivated and he has reverted to his pre-Captain America physique.
Rogers has vast U.S. military knowledge and is often shown to be familiar with ongoing, classified Defense Department operations. He is an expert in combat strategy, survival, acrobatics, military strategy, piloting, and demolitions. Despite his high profile as one of the world’s most popular and recognizable superheroes, Rogers also has a broad understanding of the espionage community, largely through his ongoing relationship with S.H.I.E.L.d. He occasionally makes forays into mundane career fields, including commercial arts, comic book artistry, education (high school history), and law enforcement.
weapons and equipment
Captain America uses several shields throughout his history, the most prevalent of which, introduced in 1980s comics, is a nigh-indestructible disc-shaped shield made from an experimental alloy of steel and the fictional vibranium. The shield was cast by American metallurgist Dr. Myron MacLain, who was contracted by the U.S. government, from orders of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, to create an impenetrable substance to use for tanks during World War II. This alloy was created by accident and never duplicated, although efforts to reverse-engineer it resulted in the creation of adamantium.
Captain America often uses his shield as an offensive throwing weapon. The first instance of Captain America’s trademark ricocheting shield-toss occurs in Stan Lee‘s first comics writing, the two-page text story “Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge” in Captain America Comics #3 (May 1941).
The legacy of the shield among other comics characters includes the time-traveling mutant superhero Cable telling Captain America that his shield still exists in one of the possible futures; Cable carries it into battle and brandishes it as a symbol.
When without his trademark shield, Captain America sometimes uses other shields made from less durable metals such as steel,[volume & issue needed] or even a photonic energy shield designed to mimic a vibranium matrix.[volume & issue needed] Rogers, having relinquished his regular shield to Barnes, carries a variant of the energy shield which can be used with either arm, and used to either block attacks or as an improvised offensive weapon able to cut through metal with relative ease.
Captain America’s uniform is made of a fire-retardant material, and he wears a lightweight, bulletproof “duralumin” scale armor beneath his uniform for added protection. Originally, Rogers’ mask was a separate piece of material, but an early engagement had it dislodged, thus almost exposing his identity. To prevent a recurrence of the situation, Rogers modified the mask with connecting material to his uniform, an added benefit of which was extending his armor to cover his previously exposed neck. Since then, events have forced him to reveal his identity to the world. As a member of the Avengers, Rogers has an Avengers priority card, which serves as a communications device.
Captain America has also used a custom special Harley Davidson motorcycle, modified by the S.H.I.E.L.D. weapons laboratory, as well as a custom-built battle van, constructed by the Wakanda Design Group with the ability to change its color for disguise purposes, and fitted to store and conceal the custom motorcycle in its rear section.
Spider-man, as a character, is fast approaching his 50th anniversary in comics. Andhile his video game exploits don’t run nearly as long (yet), ol’ web-head has seen his fair share of adventure in the realm of gaming. With the impending launch of Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, we’re paying tribute to the red and blue pajama web-slinger with a video game history lesson, covering the past twenty years of Spidey adventures; from the Commodore days to the current next gen gaming landscape.
1990: The Amazing Spider-Man
Developed in 1990 for Commodore’s Amiga system, “The Amazing Spider-Man” (pictured left) was an action platformer with Spidey out on a mission to save his wife Mary Jane from the fish-bowl helmet clutches of his nemesis Mysterio. In order to find and save his wife, Spider-Man needed to navigate a series of environments inspired by classic film, designed by Mysterio the cinephile. The early/mid 90’s were a good time for ol’ web-head in the realm of video games, and it all started here with “The Amazing Spider-Man” by Oxford Digital Enterprises.
1990: The Amazing Spider-Man vs. Kingpin (aka Spider-Man)
“The Amazing Spider-Man vs. Kingpin” was the first Spider-Man title to hit Sega’s consoles. The game premiered on the Master System and was later ported over to the Mega Drive/Genesis, Game gear, and finally the Sega CD. The game was a critical success, noted for its faithful adaptation of the comic characters to video game form, as well as its winks and nods to the Spidey mythos; like taking photos and selling them to the Daily Bugle in order to purchase more web-fluid. Also, depending which platform you purchased the game for, you were treated to different levels, updated graphics and minor improvements to gameplay. For Sega CD players, there were also alternate endings, one of which saw Mary Jane thrown in a vat of acid with the Kingpin escaping. Ouch, Spidey, tough break.
1991-1993: The Amazing Spider-Man (Game Boy trilogy)
From 1991 to 1993, three Spider-Man games were created for the Nintendo Game Boy. The first, entitled “The Amazing Spider-Man,” was created by Rareware and saw Peter Parker donning the red and blue on a quest to, once again, save Mary Jane from a group of supervillains. The second title, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” released the following year, this time developed by B.I.T.S., and was a side-scrolling beat-um-up were Spidey attempted to clear his name after being set-up by the Hobgoblin and wrongly accused for crimes committed. Finally, in 1993 the same team that developed the sequel, B.I.T.S., released the third title in the trilogy, “Spider-Man 3: Invasion of the Spider-Slayers.” This game’s story ran in tandem with a storyline currently sweeping through the Spidey comics where Manhattan was being attacked by deadly spider robots.
1992: Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six
“Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six” was the first Spider-Man video game on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game was developed by B.I.T.S. (developer of the Game Boy Spidey trilogy) and was an action platformer with Spider-Man trying to beat each member of the Sinister Six; Electro, Sandman, Mysterio, Hobgoblin, Vulture and Doc Octopus. The game was later ported over to Sega’s consoles and featured updated graphics.
Don’t let the title fool you, this was was not an arcade, coin-op title. Instead, the title refers to the game’s villain, who had captured four members of the X-Men (Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm and Gambit), making it Spider-Man’s job to rescue them and save the day. That’s right, Spidey saving Wolverine’s ass. This game was also the first Spidey title to release cross platform in the 16-bit era, first on the Super Nintendo in 1992, later on the Mega Drive/Genesis in 1993. “Spider-Man/X-Men: Arcade’s Revenge” was later ported to the Game Boy and Game Gear handhelds.
1994: Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage
Being a gamer of the 16-bit era, that red game shell is hard to forget. In the mid 1990s, Marvel kicked down the doors with two major Spider-Man storylines in the pages of the comic, both of which were adapted into video games. The first title was “Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage” (pictured below right) releasing on the Super Nintendo and Mega Drive/Genesis in 1994. The game featured a plethora of characters from the entire Marvel Universe and is widely regarded one of the greatest Spider-Man video games of all time, mostly due to the nostalgia factor amongst gamers.
1995: Spider-Man and Venom: Separation Anxiety
As mentioned prior, the second Spider-Man video game based off a major comic storyline in the mid 1990s was “Separation Anxiety.” Much like its predecessor, “Maximum Carnage,” “Separation Anxiety” was a side-scrolling beat-um-up where you played as Spider-Man or Venom and set out to stop the evil symbiote Carnage. “Separation Anxiety” also featured a surplus of Marvel cameos, but was unfortunately met with much less fanfare than “Maximum Carnage.”
Due to the success of “Spider-Man: The Animated Series,” Western Technologies and publisher Acclaim released “Spider-Man” for the Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, incorporating elements from the wildly popular cartoon. Much like previous Spidey games, “Spider-Man” was a side-scrolling action platformer. However, the list of boss characters was quite impressive with everyone from The Owl, Rhino, Hammerhead and Green Goblin represented. “Spider-Man” also featured an appearance by the Fantastic Four.
1996: Spider-Man: Web of Fire
By 1996 the Sega 32X was dying. As one of the last titles released for the add-on, Sega teamed with Acclaim to publish their first Spidey game since “The Amazing Spider-Man vs. Kingpin.” The new title, “Spider-Man: Web of Fire,” saw Spidey teaming up with Daredevil to stop a HYDRA invasion of New York City. However, the game did not perform well critically, being panned for its ridiculous difficulty, awful controls and sub-par visuals.
By the end of the 1990s Marvel wasn’t doing so well. The company was gearing up to file for bankruptcy and thus explains the lack of Spider-Man video games between 1996 and 2000. However, things quickly turned around for Marvel and before we knew it, the company was licensing out their characters again for film and games. In 2000, Activision published their first (of many) Spider-Man titles in Neversoft’s “Spider-Man” for the Sony PlayStation. The game was critically acclaimed, labeled by many as the “best Spider-Man game ever.” “Spider-Man” boasted alternate costumes, a “What If” mode, and the first 3D web-slingin’ action Spider-Man had seen in gaming. Soon thereafter the Spider-Man games would become completely open-world sandbox titles – all inspiration can be traced back to Neversoft’s “Spider-Man” as the foundation for the formula.
2001: Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro
“Enter Electro” is the sequel to Neversoft’s “Spider-Man.” The game featured the same voice actor for Spider-Man, Rino Romano, and focused on Spider-Man stopping Electro from obtaining the Bio-Nexus Device. “Enter Electro” featured many of the same gameplay mechanics as Neversoft’s previous Spider-Man effort, and thus, was criticized in reviews. However, the game did sell well enough to become a PlayStation Greatest Hits title.
2002: Spider-Man: The Movie
Taking its cues from Neversoft’s “Spider-Man,” Treyarch adapted the first “Spider-Man” film into video game form in 2002 with “Spider-Man: The Movie,” developed for PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube and PC. “Spider-Man: The Movie” was also the first time aerial combat was integrated into the Spider-Man titles, allowing Spidey to freely web-sling around NYC.
2004: Spider-Man 2: The Game
With a new Spider-Man film comes a new Spider-Man licensed tie-in game. “Spider-Man 2: The Game” was once again developed by Treyarch and extended the “openness” of the series, allowing players complete control over their NYC web-slingin’. Gamers could choose to solely focus on the game’s narrative driven missions–recreating the plot of the second Spidey film with some liberties–or participate in a large number of side-quests to build hero points and upgrade Spidey’s abilities. The free-form, open structure of “Spider-Man 2: The Game” became the cornerstone for all Spider-Man video games in years following.
2005: Ultimate Spider-Man
In this humble writer’s opinion, “Ultimate Spider-Man” remains the greatest Spider-Man video game to date. The cel-shaded graphical style was perfectly fitting for a comic-based video game, the story–written by comic writer Brian Michael Bendis–played into the continuity of the “Ultimate Spider-Man” comic, and the gameplay–both as Spider-Man and Venom–was wildly addictive. “Ultimate Spider-Man” can also be seen as the pinnacle of Treyarch’s work on the Spider-Man video game franchise.
2007: Spider-Man 3
By 2007 and the release of “Spider-Man 3″ in theaters, the Spider-Man video game blueprint was beginning to feel stale. While “Spider-Man 3: The Game” sported a new plot and a larger version of New York City to explore, the sense of innovation and freshness in the series had all but disappeared. That’s not to say “Spider-Man 3″ was a bad game, it wasn’t, but the Spidey franchise needed a kick-start in a new creative direction.
2007: Spider-Man: Friend or Foe
A fresh interpretation of the “Spider-Man” films, “Spider-Man: Friend or Foe” felt like the classic Spidey brawlers of old mixed with the tongue-in-cheek humor of the LEGO video games. “Spider-Man: Friend or Foe” could be played solo or cooperatively, and allowed players to convert classic Spidey villians into sidekicks once defeated in boss battles. The game also had levels set in Tokyo, Egypt and Nepal, to name but a few. This was definitely a change of pace from what we’ve seen in previous Spider-Man games. And while “Spider-Man: Friend or Foe” was not a critical or commercial success, it did show that Activision was approaching their Spidey games with some much needed lateral thinking in an attempt to make them fun and relevant again.
2008: Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
It’s fitting that the Spider-Man game with the darkest plot also represents the darkest point in Spider-Man video game franchise history. Even with two distinctly different playstyles–depending on costume of choice–and an original plot, “Spider-Man: Web of Shadows” felt like the same old thing all over again. The game also lacked polish, making it incredibly frustrating at times. Spider-Man games, at this point, were a joke. “Web of Shadows” was the final nail in the coffin. There needed to be a radical shift in approach if we were going to be excited by a Spidey game ever again.
2010: Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
“Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions” (pictured above left) represents the dawning of a new creative era for Spider-Man video games. By studying everything that has come before, cherry-picking the best elements, and melting it all together, “Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions” looks to be the ultimate Spider-Man video game. Featuring four completely distinct universes (Amazing, Ultimate, 2099, Noir)–all with unique gameplay styles–and a plot written by comic scribe Dan Slott, “Shattered Dimensions” is exactly what the Spider-Man video game franchise needs as a kick in the pants to reinvigorate this limping franchise. Time will tell if it gets the job done. Here’s to the future!
The epic adventure Thor spans the Marvel Universe from present day Earth to the realm of Asgard. At the center of the story is The Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth.
Directed by Kenneth Branagh, in Thor, Chris Hemsworth portrays the title character with Tom Hiddleston in the role of Thor’s brother Loki, and Natalie Portman as Jane Foster. Additionally, the studio has cast Academy Award® winning actor Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Renee Russo as Frigga, Ray Stevenson as Volstagg, Tadanobu Asano as Hogun, Josh Dallas as Fandral, Jaimie Alexander as Sif, Idris Elba as Heimdall, as well as Colm Feore, Kat Dennings and award-winning actor Stellan Skarsgård.
The screenplay for Thor was penned by Mark Protosevich as well as Ashley Miller & Zack Stentz, and Don Payne. Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige will produce the film. Alan Fine, Stan Lee, David Maisel, and Marvel Studio’s Co-President, Louis d’Esposito, will executive produce.
The film is slated for release in theatres domestically on May 6, 2011 via Paramount Pictures which will alsorelease the film on a worldwide basis.
The Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth.
Who is Thor?
Thor is a fictional superhero who appears in publications published by Marvel Comics. The character first appears in Journey into Mystery #83 (Aug. 1962) and was created by editor-plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, and penciller Jack Kirby.
Debuting in the Silver Age of Comic Books, the character is based on the Thor of Norse mythology. He has starred in several ongoing series and limited series, and has been a perennial member of the superhero team the Avengers, appearing in each of the four volumes. The character has also appeared in associated Marvel merchandise including animated television series; clothing; toys; trading cards and video games.
A self-titled film based on the character and comic is scheduled to be released in May 2011, with Kenneth Branagh as director and Chris Hemsworth starring as Thor. Hemsworth is also contracted to reappear as Thor in the film The Avengers, set to be released in 2012.
Powers and abilities
Like all Asgardians, Thor is not truly immortal but relies upon periodic consumption of the Golden Apples of Idunn to sustain his lifespan, which to date has lasted many millennia. Being the son of Odin and the elder goddess Gaea, Thor is physically the strongest of the Norse gods, and has performed such feats as almost lifting the entire World Serpent (stated to encircle the Earth multiple times) knocking out the Abomination with a single blow, crumbling uru to dust, breaking the Silver Surfer’s force field with a single blow, and hurling the Odinsword, an enormous mystical blade of incalculable weight, through a Celestial. If pressed in battle, Thor is also capable of entering into a state known as the “Warrior’s Madness” (“berserksgangr” in Norse), which will temporarily increase his strength tenfold, although in this state he attacks friend and foe alike. In the Warriors Madness he struck Beta Ray Bill with enough force to destroy the planet they were on. In early comics he showed the power to telepathically communicate with Odin while Don Blake.
Thor also possesses a very high resistance to physical injury that approaches invulnerability; (e.g. he can withstand rocket fire; intense cold and heat; falls from orbital heights and the gravity of a neutron star) superhuman senses (“super-breath”); the ability to travel through time; ventriloquism; tracking objects traveling faster than light; hearing cries from the other side of the planet); his stamina allowed him to battle the entire Frost Giant army for Nine Months without any sustenance or rest; Thor has also shown the ability to regenerate wounded portions of his body, including entire limbs or organs, with the aid of magical forces like Mjolnir, or the Odin Force[volume & issue needed]; speed; agility and reflexes enabling him to deflect bullets with his hammer and make trenches before even Quicksilver could react. Like all Asgardians he has immunity to all Earthly diseases and some resistance to magic. However, exceptionally powerful magic , like Dormammu‘s, can overwhelm the enchantment that transforms him between immortal and mortal forms.
As the Norse god of Thunder, Thor can summon the elements of the storm (lightning; rain; wind; snow) and uses Mjolnir as a tool to focus this ability, although the hammer cannot command artificial weather. He can cause these weather effects all over the world and destroy entire buildings; by whirling his hammer he can also lift entire buildings with the wind. As the son of the Earth goddess Gaea, Thor has shown some control over the Earth.
Thor is a superb hand-to-hand combatant, and also skilled in armed combat, excelling in the use of the war hammer, sword and mace. Thor possesses two items which assist him in combat: the enchanted Belt of Strength, and his mystical hammer Mjolnir. The first item doubles Thor’s strength and endurance while the second is used to control his weather abilities; flight; energy projection and absorption; dimensional travel; matter manipulation and the most powerful of his offensives, the God Blast (which taps into Thor’s life force and has driven back a weakened Galactus), the Thermo-blast (which has challenged Ego the Living Planet), and the Anti-Force (which counteracts another force). Using Mjolnir, Thor can also travel at supersonic speeds in Earth’s atmosphere and travel faster than light in space. Thor also uses a chariot drawn by two huge mystical goats called Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder. He can throw an object out of Earth’s atmosphere using his strength, and throw his hammer to Asgard from where it will return.
After Odin’s death, Thor inherited his father’s power, the Odinforce. Thor becomes capable of feats such as reconstructing the Earth’s Moon, willing the Asgardian monster Mangog into nothingness, and, by focusing his entire power into a hammer throw, decapitating a Desak-occupied Destroyer. Thor also acquires mastery of the Runes, and a level of enlightenment that allows him to free Asgard from the eternal cycle of Ragnarok.
Donald Blake is a highly trained and licensed physician and surgeon.
When Mjolnir was damaged, the Odinforce was transferred by Doctor Strange from Thor to the hammer, as Strange claims the power is required to restore it. However, doing so has also bound Thor’s own life force into Mjolnir, meaning that if the hammer were to be broken again, Thor may also die
With Marvel just raking in the cash with their various blockbuster properties, DC has yet to find any success outside the beloved Nolan Batman franchise. DC hopes to change that next summer with the Green Lantern, played by fanboy-favorite Ryan Reynolds who wields the legendary power Ring for a CGI-heavy intergalactic space epic. Hit the link to view the trailer in HD. Link
Green Lantern is the name of several fictional characters, superheroes appearing in comic Books published by DC Comics. The first (Alan Scott) was created by writer Bill Finger and artist Martin Nodell in All-American Comics #16 (July 1940).
Each Green Lantern possesses a power ring and power lantern that gives the user great control over the physical world as long as the wielder has sufficient willpower and strength to wield it. The ring is one of the most powerful weapons in the universe, and can be very dangerous. While the ring of the Golden Age Green Lantern (Alan Scott) was magically powered, the rings worn by all subsequent Lanterns were technological creations of the Guardians of the Universe, who granted such rings to worthy candidates. These individuals made up the intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps.
After World War II, when sales of superhero comic books generally declined, DC ceased publishing new adventures of Alan Scott as the Green Lantern. In 1959, at the beginning of the Silver Age of Comic Books, DC editor Julius Schwartz assigned writer John Broome and artist Gil Kane to revive the Green Lantern character, this time as test pilot Hal Jordan, who became a founding member of the Justice League of America. In 1970, writer Denny O’Neil and artist Neal Adams teamed Green Lantern with archer Green Arrow in groundbreaking, socially conscious, and award-winning stories that pitted the sensibilities of the law-and-order-oriented Lantern with the populist Green Arrow. Several cosmically themed series followed, as did occasional different individuals in the role of Earth’s Green Lantern. Most prominent of these are John Stewart, Guy Gardner, and Kyle Rayner.
Each of the Earth’s Green Lanterns has been a member of either the Justice Society of America or the Justice League of America, and John Stewart was featured as one of the main characters in both the Justice League and the Justice League Unlimited animated series. The Green Lanterns are often depicted as being close friends of the various men who have been the Flash, the most notable friendships having been between Alan Scott and Jay Garrick (the Golden Age Green Lantern and Flash), Hal Jordan and Barry Allen (the Silver Age Green Lantern and Flash), and Kyle Rayner and Wally West (the modern age Green Lantern and Flash), as well as Jordan being friends with West.
Powers and abilities
Each Green Lantern wields a power ring that can generate a variety of effects, sustained purely by the ring wearer’s imagination and strength of will. The greater the user’s willpower, the more effective the ring. The upper limits of the power ring’s abilities remain undefined, and it has been referred to as “the most powerful weapon in the universe” on more than one occasion. It has also been stated that every weapon has a weakness and the weakness a Green Lantern ring has is its wearer (though some argue that this is its strength). Across the years, the rings have been shown capable of accomplishing almost anything within the imagination of the ring bearer. Stories in 2006 retconned the ring’s long-established ineffectiveness on yellow objects, stating that the ring-wielder need only feel fear, understand it and overcome it in order to affect yellow objects (however, it is a learned and practiced ability, making it a weakness to some Green Lanterns), giving retroactive credence to the explanation of the ring’s real but surmountable weakness to yellow.
Power rings as used by various wielders have exhibited (but are not limited to) the following effects:
- Constructs of green ‘solid-energy,’ which can vary from microscopic to tremendous in size and/or complexity and are limited by the imagination of the ring’s wielder. This can be used to attack, defend, or to grab targets (Pre-Crisis, the rings generated telekinectic skills without constructs, if needed).
- Force field generation, a someone protective aura (limited by user’s willpower) used to shield the wearer from the rigors of the vacuum of space. This provides a breathable atmosphere for the user as well. Contrary to older canon, a Green Lantern ring currently does not automatically protect its wearer from harm but must be willed into existence (previously, an unconscious wielder generated a protective force field automatically).
- Generation of mental “earplugs” to block out telepathic communication and manipulation.
- Rendering targets invisible.
- lights and beams of various intensity and colors, such as destructive plasma and harmless multicolored lights.
- Movement capabilities:
- Flight, including flight at speeds beyond that of light, although this creates an enormous expenditure of energy.
- Relatively instantaneous transport across the galaxy and other distances through generated wormholes
- Teleportation (an ability that has not been used in quite some time and may be outside the ability of modern Green Lanterns)
- Pre-Crisis, the rings allowed for travel faster than the speed of light.
- Time travel, though several power rings are needed to complete this.
- The rings can act as semi-sentient computers and accesses information through its connection with the book of Oa; the rings have problem-solving skills but they cannot make decisions or take actions on their own, and must be given directives by the wearer:
- Translation of nearly all languages (originally, this was accomplished by using willpower, but this has changed in the modern era to be a function of the rings themselves.
- Communication between ringwielders, regardless of distance apart
- Diagnostic capabilities, allowing the user to see in X-Ray, contemplate illness, and identify materials.
- Mental powers of various stages:
- Changing the state of targeted matter and the wearer:
- Allowing targets and the wearer to phase through solid objects
- Rendering the wearer and targets to become invisible
- Accelerated healing of wounds, protection and treatment from viruses and biological attacks and certain surgical procedures including reattachment of severed limbs and digits. More advanced medical procedures may be performed manually and are limited by the wearer’s knowledge of medicine. Pre-Crisis, a wearer could instantaneously reinvigorate limbs that hadn’t been used in years, so someone bedridden for years could walk as though their muscles were not atrophied.
- Virtual shape-shifting by generating a hard-light holographic disguise around the ring bearer.
- “Digitizing” the wearer to absorb them into the ring where they can live in a wearer-generated “world” of their own nearly indefinitely.
- Pre-Crisis, a ring could alter a being’s molecular size (including shrinking to an atomic level), evolutionary stage (such as turning a target human into an ape), or distort specific targeted areas of the body (slowing the Flash down by making his upper torso too large for him to run).
- Pre-Crisis, a wearer could animate non-living matter and make the target do whatever is willed.
- Pre-Crisis, the rings could create a construct of a ring that a “non-Lantern” could use for 4 hours at a time (as opposed to 24) without a great effort of will.
- Pre-Crisis, a ring could create multiple copies of it’s wearer if certain conditions were met; each copy had the capabilities of the original wearer.
- In Green Lantern: First Flight Sinestro was able to “reconnect synapses” in the brain of a dead criminal in order to extract information via a kind of guided discussion.