Monday, July 26, 2010

SDCC 2010 – The Non-Attendee Wrap-Up

Not that I was there or anything, but I was certainly keeping a close eye on the weekend’s events via my trusty BlackBerry. Comics Alliance, Bleeding Cool, Topless Robot, io9 (actually, io9 ended up being pretty useless as all of their SDCC-related posts were in a non-mobile-friendly format) and Ain’t It Cool kept me updated on all the news while Cool Toy Review, Rebel Scum and Toy News International had amazing photo coverage of all the toy manufacturers. Looking at that list, I’m considering changing the name of this site to Cool Phantom Coolmaker’s Cool Things. What do you think?

Anyway, I need subject matter and Comic-Con had plenty to comment on. Here’s what I thought were the cool… greatest things that happened there, in the order that I came across them:

Disney: Guillermo del Toro is in charge of a new Haunted Mansion movie – As of 8:49 on Friday morning, this is the best thing I’ve heard (it still is at 9:07 AM on Saturday [but became number two at 6:49 on Sunday – see below]). I love the Haunted Mansion so much that I own the Eddie Murphy movie. It isn’t terrible, but it sure isn’t great. A new one that is created by a guy who is one of my three favorite directors is some of the best nerd news I’ve heard ever, let alone this past weekend.

Marvel: Joss Whedon is officially directing the Avengers movie – We all pretty much knew this, but now it is confirmed. I definitely have faith in Whedon’s ability to showcase the sort of ensemble cast this movie will feature, but I still question his big budget “event movie” skills. Nonetheless, this is news.

Mattel: Lots of new Ghostbusters on display - Mattel had all four Ghostbusters from their new Retro line displayed, as well as the ecto-Venkman. They look so great I might just have to get them. Dammit. They also had a Toys-R-Us exclusive 4-pack on display. It features the Ghostbusters in their grey coveralls from the second movie. Who called that? Unfortunately, it doesn’t come out until late next year.

DC Comics: JH Williams III is still doing a Batwoman comic and he is still fucking amazing – The headline pretty much says it all, but DC had some new art to show us:

We may not be getting the conclusion of Elegy (not any time soon, anyway), but we are getting the continuation of the most beautiful mainstream comic I have ever read.

Westboro Baptist Church: Displays less understanding of Jesus than a bunch of nerds and a furry – When you believe in God and Jesus but not organized religion, it’s great to have a public figure like the Reverend Douchebag Fred Phelps running all over the place proving you right. Sometimes I get a bit nervous about feeling the way I do, but then this big country-fried jackass crawls out of his compound to rant. Instant affirmation. Thank You, Lord. More specifically, thank You for this hilarious Star Trek guy:

Mattel: We’re finally getting Macho Man! – Mattel had a new Macho Man Randy Savage figure on display as part of their excellent new Legends line.

World War Z: Brad Pitt is starring in the movie – This should probably be considered a big fucking coup for the adaptation of Max Brooks’ fantastic zombie book. With Pitt on board, I can’t imagine the kind of ensemble cast they’ll be able to get. What were there, like twenty protagonists in the book? Now if only somebody will adapt his GI Joe comics…

FOX: Predators is getting a sequel – This is just plain surprising. I’m thrilled and all, but the movie just didn’t do spectacularly and in talking with folks about it I get the impression most didn’t like it as much as I did. Everybody seems to agree that Adrien Brody was the only real problem, though.

GI Joe: Details about the new Renegades cartoon – Huh. Yet another interpretation of the story. Not that it’s unusual for an animated adaptation to be a reboot of sorts; this one just sounds kind of out there. Apparently Cobra is some kind of corporate entity and Scarlett hires all of the Joes to “take them down”. Cobra is clever, though, and sets the Joes up to look like bad guys; so they have to go on the lam – hence, Renegades. The character designs all look great, so I’m giving it a shot. Well, that and it is GI Joe. GI Joe: Renegades will debut this fall on Hasbro/Discovery Channel’s new network, The Hub.

Batman: Grant Morrison is getting a new monthly title in November: Batman, Inc. – I am an avowed Morrison devotee so this is awesome news anyway; but the best part? He says he is drawing inspiration from Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Yes, the cartoon. That is just mind-bendingly awesome.

DC Comics: The DCU is taking its characters back from Vertigo (except for Constantine, because he’s such a stubborn wanker) – I do wish Constantine was included, but this means that Swamp Thing will be interacting with superheroes again, the world of Dream will be intertwined with (DC’s) reality and, uhhh… well I guess that’s kind of it. Surely Constantine will jump back and forth, though. Maybe not – if he’s getting married I guess he won’t be shagging Zatanna any more…

Marvel: Joss Whedon announces Nathan Fillion as Ant Man – But has to quickly explain it’s a joke because panel attendees start having Obama-esque fainting spells. Clearly, Whedon recognizes neither his own natural sincerity nor Fillion’s immense power over nerds.

British Stuff: Karl Urban Is The Law  – The former space doctor, Viking and Middle-Earthling will be picking up the Law Giver for the new Judge Dredd flick. I like the guy anyway, but this quote shows just how perfect he is for the role:

I will say this, hypothetically if I went to a movie that was called “Judge Dredd” and the character or the actor that played Judge Dredd took the helmet (off) and I would see his full face and features I would puke in my popcorn because that’s not Dredd. He’s mysterious and enigmatic. We’re going to do it right.”

That’s pretty awesome and all, but a real fan would insist on Anthrax’s I Am The Law for the movie’s soundtrack. I’m thinking orchestral versions for the score and everything. Seriously.

Marvel: Four – count ‘em, FOUR! – new animated shows to debut on G4 next year – During the G4 Comic-Con special (which was overall fairly underwhelming this year) it was announced that the dorkariffic network would be exclusively broadcasting new animated adaptations of Blade, X-Men, Iron Man and Wolverine. But they’re fucking anime. I heard what Jeph Loeb said as “Marvel Anime” when he was making the announcement, but I thought for sure he was just having a case of mush-mouth and had garbled “Marvel Animated”. I was wrong.

I hate anime. Granted, I loved it for about three months before I got out of high school, but now I have somewhat of a general contempt for the artless, factory-produced medium. And I know there are a very few examples of true greatness in the genre – the original Ghost in the Shell, Akira, anything by the Spirited Away guy – but by and large I find anime to be garbage. That probably sounds a bit dismissive. I get why people are into it – there are fantastic stories that could never be done in live action and the format allows for storytelling to basically go on forever if need be. It just isn’t for me.

Having said all of that, the clip they showed from Iron Man Anime kicked ass. I don’t like the look of it, but if the storytelling and the soul of those Marvel characters is there I’ll undoubtedly be watching. Honestly, Blade seems ready-made for anime and it is probably the only medium (God forbid) that could produce a proper Brood storyline for the X-Men. I just hope they keep the tentacles and big hair to a minimum.

Crap. I take it back. That Wolverine trailer looks gay as gay can be. Fuck this shit.

Mattel: Formally announces plans to conquer the toy world – I give Mattel a lot of shit for the whole Mattycollector experience (deservedly so), but they are still a fantastic toy company. Their SDCC display blew my fucking mind. Mattel is utilizing every one of its licenses to their respective maximum potential. Seeing Action League representations of the Sinestro Corps is one of the coolest things ever. 

Just go to TNI and check it out.

DC Comics: There will absolutely, positively be more Watchmen-related stuff. Unless there isn’t – Alan Moore was a sad little grumpy-puss about the offer DC allegedly recently made to have him start creating new Watchmen stories. He supposedly said “no” to the possibly-non-existent offer. And by “No”, I mean he said, “You should have done this when I wanted to ten years ago, idiots. Like I still give a shit about that lame owl guy anymore. Plus, wizards don’t need money.”

DC will no doubt soldier on with the Watchmen franchise somehow, though I’d watch my back for random curses and goblin attacks if I were them. Allegedly.

DC Comics: Announces Weird Worlds – a monster comic to debut next year – I was really excited when I first heard about this. And then I saw this:

Dear Lord,

Please make the next announcement from DC be that they have an exclusive deal with SyFy to adapt properties into SyFy Original movies. Because if I cannot wet myself from laughing at Garbage Man: Stinky Vengeance sometime in the next year or two I am going to be sad.

Thanks in advance – Phantom Troublemaker

Hammer Films: The newly revived Hammer Films will be updating Quartermass, Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires and CAPTAIN FUCKING KRONOS VAMPIRE HUNTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – The first two are cool, but Kronos is one of my favorite movies of all time. I cannot wait to see how it is handled. See, this is what really loving something is about – I’m not pissed they’re doing a remake; I’m stoked to see what a modern version looks like. Will it be a period piece like the original? Will they put the Captain in modern times? What will the vampires look like? SO. FUCKING. STOKED! Sorry, Guillermo; this news trumps your Haunted Mansion at 6:49 Sunday morning.

Sucker Punch: Looks fucking awesome – Zack Snyder may be fucking retarded for going ahead with this stupid 300 prequel about Xerxes, but at least he’s blessing us with this one first.

This one's my favorite, but you can see all the girls over at Bleeding Cool.

Marvel: Has all of the actors currently cast for The Avengers stand on stage with Joss Whedon – Presumably so the janitorial staff of the Hyatt can break the Guinness record for gallons of nerd spooge mopped up after a single panel. Some guy I’ve never heard of is Hawkeye and another guy I’m only tangentially familiar with is stealing taking over Edward Norton’s role as Bruce Banner. The only reason I can remember Mark Ruffalo’s name is because it sounds like a buffalo mated with some curtains. I really liked Norton as Banner. I’m not really up in arms or anything, but I think it’s pretty stupid they couldn’t work that out. Until Saturday I really sort of thought Norton would still end up doing it.

Dark Horse: The Goon got a trailer: And it looks like one of those movies that’s going to make me sad because there aren’t more movies like it.

Marvel: Destroyer looks awesome: Marvel revealed the Destroyer armor from Thor. It looks kickass. How many black metal bands are going to have a new mascot after they see this?

Machete: Here's a trailer full of titties and blood: Because titties and blood make the world go around.

There was a shit-ton of other stuff like trailers for The Walking Dead and Young Justice, announcements about the direction of comic franchises and tons more toy news, but these were the things that jumped out at me the most over the weekend. By all means - use your Monday morning back at work to check out all the coverage at the websites I mentioned at the beginning. I may not have covered your thing.

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