Until recently, DC has been the undisputed champion of superhero shows. Sure, Marvel has done pretty well with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but even that is only a qualified success. Now with the Netflix/Marvel series Daredevil, DC’s supremacy in the realm of television is no longer a sure thing.
This series is by no means the same Daredevil as the 2003 Ben Affleck film. When Marvel originally pitched the series, they made it clear that Daredevil would not be just another version of The Avengers. Matt Murdock would instead be a street level hero, fighting to protect the neighborhood that he grew up in and loves. Marvel absolutely lives up to its promises. This new show is a dark and gritty look at Hell’s Kitchen, one of New York’s most infamous neighborhoods, its protector, and those that would wish it harm. While there is a temptation to overdo the grit and gravel, Marvel thankfully stays away from that path. There is just enough of the Frank Miller darkness that events and places seem real, without crossing over into stylized parody. Matt Murdock isn’t a superhero; in fact, he is very nearly a vigilante. At times his motives become cloudy, even to himself. The series does a wonderful job of exploring how far a man is willing to go to uphold his ideals. Continue reading
With the recent news that HBO’s Game of Thrones will indeed finish the story in advance of the release of books six, seven (and maybe eight?), thousands of ASOIAF fans found themselves facing a tough decision. Do I keep watching, or not?
Thus far, the Game of Thrones fandom has been divided into two distinct parts – those who haven’t read the books, and those who snickered viciously as their friends reacted to the Red Wedding. However, the playing field is about to be leveled – soon all fans will be in the dark about what’s going to happen next episode or next season, which popular character is about to kick it, or which characters are about to come on the scene and shake things up. Continue reading
Several months ago, I wrote a blog post discussing the ubiquitous references to Norse mythology in modern day pop culture, but Scandinavian folklore certainly does not have the market cornered. The wise King Solomon once said, “There is nothing new under the sun,” and it certainly seems that way sometimes in media and entertainment. Tired rom-com plot lines are trotted out every year—sometimes with the same dialogue—and Adam Sandler doesn’t seem to be able to create an original story to save his life. However, Greek myths have a life all their own, and when incorporated correctly, they appeal to an ancient tradition that really enhances the story.
In comics, as with most entertainment, there are two ways to incorporate myths: either the artist can harken directly back to Greek stories by incorporating members of the pantheon directly into the cast of characters. Examples of this are Hades from the Lady Pendragon comics, various appearances of Artemis and Aphrodite in all manner of comics, or even Hercules as a member of the Marvel Avengers team. Alternatively, comic creators can sneakily refer to Greek myths or just steal inspiration without giving direct credit. A good example is in Aquaman, the not-quite-Poseidon character about whom Marvel is in the process of creating a movie.
Jason Momoa as Aquaman in the upcoming film.
Today is a very sad day in the geek community. Earlier this afternoon, Leonard Nimoy passed away at age eighty three. Although he is certainly not the first of the original cast to pass, his passing is probably the most personally saddening. While I always loved DeForest Kelly and James Doohan, there was something even more special about Nimoy and his most noteworthy character, Mr. Spock. For several generations now, Star Trek in all its varying iterations has been entertaining and connecting with fans in a very special way. There are entire fan conventions dedicated to this one franchise, and the fan base extends across the entire planet. Through all of this, Nimoy has been there. Even before there was a Captain Kirk, there was Mr. Spock.
Leonard Nimoy was not only a beloved character, but also a man who learned to embrace what he had become and the fans who loved him. In addition to Star Trek, Nimoy lent his vocal talents to cartoons from my childhood like Transformers, and more than one documentary that helped to drive forward my desire for learning and knowledge. I know that I will sorely miss his presence on screen and that it will be a long while before I can watch Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan again.