In the comics, Batman is well known for his “no killing” rule. He sticks to it no matter what, even when Joker pushes him to the edge. The movie versions of Batman? Not so much. Above is a pretty funny supercut of all the people Batman murders in the various movies. Just something light before we jump into the weekly controversies and big news in our world. Lots of comics news, Pokemon players arrested before they could murder fellow convention-goers, strange movie rating decisions and JPEGs that people are willing to pay up to $225 for and why. Fun week of news, so let’s dig in!
Above is alleged concept art for Captain America: Civil War, which indicates the opposing teams. If the movie follows the main thrust of the comics’ story, Captain America leads superheroes against registering with the government while Iron Man is pro-registration. On Cap’s team is Hawkeye with Ant-Man on his shoulder, Sharon Carter, Falcon and Winter Soldier. With Iron Man are War Machine, Black Widow, Black Panther and Vision. Take it with a grain of salt but it seems to make sense. Also, some heroes could switch sides for all we know.
Iron Giant, Brad Bird’s 1999 animated movie about a boy and his new alien friend who was built for war, is being remastered for a Blu-Ray release but will first get a limited release in theaters on September 30 and October 4, with several new scenes. Above is the new trailer and you can find showtimes here.
On November 17th, a new extended version of the third Hobbit movie, The Battle of Five Armies will come out with 20 new minutes. And somehow, that footage has bumped the rating from PG-13 up to R. I gotta say, when I read The Hobbit as a kid, nothing about it seemed R-rated so that seems kind of weird. Does Bilbo get naked? Does Legolas show up and start shouting the “f” word every few minutes? I suppose the most likely is that some orcs get disemboweled in really elaborate ways.
Marvel has reached out to honor cosplayers in a huge way. In October, they will have variant covers for their books using cosplay photos of their big characters. It looks like a lot of fun and a smart way to give back to the dedicated fans that enhance conventions with their amazing skills. You can check out all the covers and read about the cosplayers who made them at this page.
Wizard used to be a big deal in the world of comics, publishing a monthly magazine about the industry and running many popular conventions. Eventually, people could get comics news faster online and Wizard fell behind and the magazine folded. These days they just run conventions and try to get them in all the major cities. But their approach of quantity over quality seems to have peaked as of 2014. They posted a $1.8 million loss in the 2nd quarter of 2015 (after earning a $760,000 profit in the same period last year). Apparently their per-con average is dropping and their attempted China convention was a bust. Back in 2003 to 2004, they had a great Chicago Con but it started going downhill when they focused on having a lot of wrestlers, porn stars and stuff unrelated to comics infiltrate the event. These days, people like ReedPop who run the NY Comic Con and Chicago’s C2E2 event just make Wizard look kinda average at best.
Westword published an amazing, in-depth article on the history of comic books in the classroom with a lot of attention on the books being published today, interviewing several editors and publishers. I’m biased because it prominently features two comics I’ve illustrated for, Trickster: Native American Tales and Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750. But I think it’s really interesting if you appreciate the medium of comics.
Mondo, who makes exclusive prints and limited edition figures, is going to be making a 1/6 scale set of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, based on their original look in the comics. They will come with swappable heads and hands and weapons. Expected retail will be $150 and quantities could be as low as 500 for each turtle. I definitely intend to get Donatello.
A new and popular hobby is collecting cards… digitally. Though you only see them as an image on your smartphone or tablet, they work just like old-fashioned printed cards – there are a set number of cards produced so some of them are rare. The Star Wars: Card Trader app from Topps allows you to buy and trade so certain cards, even though they are images you could look up on Google Images, are worth up to $225 to serious collectors. io9 has a really interesting article about this new phenomenon.
Finally, in a bizarre story, two Pokemon card players, James Stumbo and Kevin Norton, threatened fellow tournament players that they would show up to a Boston gaming tournament with guns and had threatened specific people online. The 18 and 27-year old friends showed up at the convention where they were immediately arrested by Boston police who had been notified of what they’d posted online. When the police went to check out their car, they found an AR-15 rifle, 12-gauge Remington shotgun, ammunition, and a hunting knife. Scary!