Friday Funny Pages: Of Course


     I have some really great panels coming up in this series, from a wide range of comic books and I have found that it is hard to choose which one to show when Friday morning comes around.  I chose this one this week because it features the Silver Surfer, a favorite character of mine and comes from one of the classic, if not campy, early Marvel events the Avengers/Defenders War.  Brought to you by Steve Englehart and Bob Brown the story is simple and reminiscent of many other Avengers tales.  In this crossover spectacle Loki teams up with Dormammu and under competing false pretenses tricks both super hero teams into gathering the components of a device known as the Evil Eye which will allow Dormammu to expand his Dark Dimension and overtake our plane of existance.

     This panel stuck out at me for several reasons.  First the way the Silver Surfer is portrayed with that odd, goofy expression of surprise.  Normally the Surfer is a very stoic, almost Spock-like character and he seems to only be drawn with the most extreme facial expressions in the pages of the comics.  If he’s not blank faced and neutral he’s either completely mopy and sad or shocked and horrified.  Here we of course have the latter.  Second are just the snippets of dialogue in this panel, it just exemplifies the ridiculous situations inheirent in comic book stories.  This panel deals with the Silver Surfer having no luck trying to find one of the parts of the Evil Eye on some remote island, until one of the natives asks if he is their volcano god.  Bingo!  Volcano!  This leads to an awesome battle between the Silver Surfer and the Vision, representing the Defenders and the Avengers respectively,  inside the crater of a volcano.  Which of course could have all been avoided had the ol’ Silver Surfer just checked the volcano, as anyone would do when searching for a mystic weapon of mass destruction.  Duh.

Thor Looks Appropriately Epic

First off the newest Thor trailer was released recently and word on the street is that another Captain America trailer is on the way as well!

This new trailer can only be described in one word, EPIC! Granted it is only a movie trailer, but from what we’ve seen in these first two previews of the film I have to say that it certainly looks like this movie has captured the grandeur and sprawling splendor of Asgard with a good mix of the mundane Midgard. In the first trailer we got more of an idea about what Thor would be like on earth, heavy on S.H.I.E.L.D elements with Thor running around in a t-shirt and jeans. In this trailer however we see much more of mythic Asgard, Thor in his full battle regalia, along with some new scenes on earth. I’m especially liking the Destroyer armor, that shit is straight out of the comics! Most importantly we see how the two settings are going to mix, that there seems to be a great balance of the visual spectacle of the Gods mixed with the small town america aspects of the film which ultimately endear Thor to the world of men.

To be honest I was a little worried when word came down to us that Thor would take place in both Asgard and Midgard. Originally the rumor was that the movie would be set entirely in Asgard, with Thor amongst his fellow godlings. I was pretty excited for the prospect of a chance to really set up Thor’s character in Asgard in an epic realm with a feeling and story akin to the Lord of the Rings. Pure myth and fantasy, with perhaps a lead in at the end where Thor is banished from the land of the Gods which would work into the Avengers extravaganza. However after seeing this and the other footage from Thor I think this mix of settings that Kenneth Branagh has put together will be even better. It looks like we will not be shorted any amount of myth and fantasy in this movie, and we will have Thor’s earthly set up out of the way and fully explained by the time the Avengers movie rolls around. Plus it will set the Thor movie apart from the other Avengers solo outings, in that we will have an obviously different movie from Iron Man, and a mix of two worlds unlike Captain America, which will be entirely set in the era of World War II with little or no connection to the modern-day of the Avengers.

All of this will be quite a benefit to each individual movie in the long run, and each individual series of movies (assuming there is going to be a Captain America 2 and Thor 2) because in these initial outings we get to develop these unique characters in very different ways which gives a specific feel and focus to each hero. This helps alleviate the stereotypical super hero movie cookie cutter plotlines and hopefully continue the costumed hero genre (as long as they are done well) for a long time to come. Also this could make for a very successful Avengers series of movies. The Avengers has a great many fans excited, but it is a project that I have heard some nervous grumblings about as well. More or less some fans are claiming it will never be done right with so many big personalities involved both in front of and behind the cameras. I however believe that Marvel Studios has established, quite successfully, that these various heroes are very unique individuals with certain skill sets which they bring to the table and if the studio wants to do the Avengers right, they will throw a big earth shattering problem at this assembled team of do gooders and let the movie be a playground for their heroics. Spotlighting what we already know about these heroes while at the same time showing them in a team and working together to save the day. Not to say that there won’t be some friction among the members (Hulk and Thor mayhaps?) but they really shouldn’t over think the Avengers, they’ve already got the really cool pieces in place now they just have to put it together with the same attention to detail and focus on talent that they have with these other movies in order to make one epicly cool movie!

And on that note, that is all! Maybe next time I will discuss the upcoming DC movies, who knows?

The Avengers Big Three