This Week

Scott Pilgrim sought and found

Apr 30, 2008

IRON MAN Movie Made of Awesome

Lets get right to it. Finally. I don’t think that was loud enough. FINALLY! A comic book movie that is everything a comic book movie should be. The Iron Man biopic is sublime, made of awesome and so good you can taste it. Mmmm peaches…

In many circles I am known as a Superhero Movie Hater. Seriously. Check any episode of Fantastic Forum, or read my rants in this very publication and you will find me hating on films from Ghost Rider to Batman Begins to Superman Returns. Not today. Today I’ve got nothing but love. (If I see Jon Favreau on the streets I may lick him. It's that good..)

The film starts with the original origin, swapping Vietnam for Afghanistan (to keep things topical) and jumps right into the action. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is kidnapped by a group of extremist who ultimately want him to build them a super weapon. Of course Stark has never been very good at doing what he’s told. With the help of fellow scientist and lifesaver, Yinsen, he builds the antithesis of a super weapon and launches a legend.

His escape is fantastic but by no means the best action in the film. The flight scenes will keep you grinning. The fights and suit will make you cheer. In a save-the-day face off, with one of his former captors, Iron Man uses all the tricks fans crave and tops it off with a turnabout that gives the power back to the people. Just wait. You’ll be applauding in the theater.

Balancing out the action is a liberal dose of comedy—the banter between Stark and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Stark and Rhodey (Terrence Howard) is whip-smart and dead funny. Stark himself is a strange brew of relentless, self-deprecating and arrogant that is hugely likable. He quips and whips his way through every problem with an aplomb that recalls all the things that made Iron Man great. Some of the funnier scenes feature Stark, two droids and Jarvis (voiced by Paul Bettany) as they work to perfect the suit. Look out for the fire extinguisher…

The script is tight. Everything has a purpose and ties in to the story in some way. The relationships are flawlessly revealed; needing only a single moment to solidify the lifelong friendship between Stark and Rhodes “How was the Fun Vee…?”, while slowly unveiling the complexity of the bond between he and Pepper. Let’s not forget about Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger. Villainous Goodness!

The casting is perfection.

Perhaps one of the best things about the film is the ‘fan appreciation’ mixing in some of the most beloved characters and setups from the entire history of, cad about town, Tony Stark. While there is some Retcontinence, allusions to War Machine and “ten rings” along with the appearance of Agent Phil Coulson of Strategic Homeland Intercession Elite Logistics Division (I hope I got it right) are the kind of nods to the fans that make us happy.

Finally, while I appreciate many Directors’ artistic goals in adding something of themselves to superhero stories. I’ve never understood the need to diverge into the unrecognizable. Often these Directors redesign the characters, both visually and in tone, to the point that they may as well be called Cat Chick, Batdude or Dare Demon. Jon Favreau on the other hand is a true comic book lover. He gets it. He put it on screen in all its glory and it worked far better than most of the Crow infused offerings of late.

Favreau and the writing team of Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum & Matt Holloway are to be congratulated. They have created the perfect Superhero Biopic, combining the essence of the characters (this is Tony Stark), with stories inspired by the book; mixing in action, comedy, gorgeous graphics, a great script and fan appreciation. You couldn’t ask for much more.

Iron Man is everything a comic book movie should be. And to you, my friend, I say “Go Get Some!

Apr 28, 2008

They Came From Space!

Much Better Versions of Modern Superheroes Crash in Savage Land

SAVAGE LAND - Both groups calling themselves Avengers got a nasty shock in the Savage Land last week as the investigation of a spaceship crash turned up something unimaginable. Roughly two dozen superheroes emerged from the wreck--except that these survivors seem to be a flashback to the recent past: all of them are "versions" of known superheroes from several years ago.

"It's like looking in my old photo album," said fugitive hero Spider-Man. "I mean, was I really that scrawny back in the day? Sheesh, no wonder Doc Ock used to kick my butt all the time."

Luke Cage (modern) said, "What kind of atrocious cliche is this? I never walked around saying 'Sweet Christmas'! Obviously this impostor knows nothing of my work."

Captain America (past) said, "We seem to have shown up at a bad time."

That may be the biggest understatement of the year, Cap. With the Skrulls having just taken out Iron Man (modern)... or have they?... as well as the Baxter Building, the SHIELD Helicarrier, the Raft, the Cube, and a bunch of other prominent superhero landmarks/facilities/headquarters, it seems that the arrival of a bunch of retrograde superheroes will only add to the confusion.

More news as it develops.
Artwork copyright Marvel Comics, all rights reserved

Apr 23, 2008

INS Fails To Deport Wonder Woman

"...waiting for her to ‘get nekkid’ seemed like a good idea..."

BOSTON, MA – In a hastily organized press conference at Boston Mass General Hospital, Police spokesman, Brett Rogers gave details on a botched police operation:

"As part of the ongoing efforts to enforce tougher immigration controls among the US Meta-human community, The White House issued a deportation order for the superhero known as Wonder Woman. Apparently this menace has illegally resided in the US on an expired educational Visa since the mid 80’s.”

The Department of Homeland Security has also accused the longtime Justice League member of possessing a ‘weapon of mass destruction’ namely herself.

It was decided the deportation order would be enforced by a task force comprised of Immigration Naturalization Services (INS) agents, Boston PD SWAT and Homeland Security officers. The team converged on the home of a known associate of the suspect, Air Force LT Etta Candy Trevor.

“We’d received intelligence that the accused would occasionally visit the Trevor Household for an early morning shower,” said Rogers.

"According to the Lieutenant commanding the raid, the go ahead was given upon confirmation the Perp had entered the lavatory and disrobed. The Perp’s nudity was key to the operation as we’d received intel that her powers were contained within a certain magic belt. Further, our own meta-human expert, Nemesis, corroborated the belt would be removed for sake of bath-time efficiency.

To summarize, waiting for her to ‘get nekkid’ seemed like a good idea at the time." Rogers stated.

"Sadly our intel on the magical belt proved false”

While holding back tears he added, “The last thing recorded by the incursion team, was a blood curling scream of “Great Hera’s Rubber Ducky!”

In a scene that can only be describe as carnage, the 6’ 2” Amazonian warrior – dressed only in a bath towel and her silver bracelets – plowed through the taskforce like The Hulk through Iron Man. Agents where thrown with such force that many had to be rescued from the Charles River 5 miles away.

Said Rogers, “It was clear to all present that she was still in possession of her powers and was displeased by the interruption...”

Boston Police Commissioner Will Richardson said, "This is one of the darkest days in the history of Massachusetts Law Enforcement. Our prayers go to the 23 INS agents, 12 members of Boston SWAT, 5 police officers and 2 police dogs who were sent to area hospitals by this terry-clothed menace.”

Maggie Sawyer, spokeswoman for Metropolis Special Crime Units sighed
"I told these morons not to do it..."

The incident remains under investigation.


RetCon Wars: Continuity Conflict

SUICIDE SLUM - One fateful night, while evading Jack of the Royal Flush Gang, (and tossing a marked deck into the sewer) this reporter stumbled onto an unprecedented scene. A space-time rift opened, blue-white light shining from a vortex seven feet high. From the rift came a red-haired man dressed in a gray prison jumpsuit. He barely had a second to compose himself before another, heavier, balder man appeared wearing a fine Armani suit.

"Hey, I'm free," the redhead exclaimed. "The dimensional ripper I made in the prison science lab worked!" The well dressed man jerked the other around, yelling, "What's the meaning of this, convict? I was in the middle of "acquiring" a new firm before I was yanked from the water boarding. You shall have two minutes before I have you liquidated."

Standing face-to-face underneath a lamppost, the two men seemed to notice the same thing I did. Besides the extra pounds and years on the tailored suit man, they were the same man. "You idiot! Your "ripper" pulled us both into yet another dimension." The red-haired man sent his older self flying with a right cross. "Don't matter to me; I'm still out of prison." He moved in to repeatedly kick the older man in the ribs. "No one cages Alexei Luthor!"

A shot rang out and the red haired man crumpled. A man stepped out of the darkness and shot the fatter man while he was still cringing on the ground. "Never know when you will need a corpse of yourself," he commented seemingly to himself, whipping out two bodybags from a satchel. "I suggest you leave, young man. Jack and Ace are just around the corner."

I can't say for certain which Lex Luthor (Forbes ranked) walked out of the alley that night, but I'll be skeptical of any news of Luthor's demise from now on.

Apr 17, 2008

Giant Turtle Thing Assaults Hapless Bystander!

METROPOLIS - A giant monster described as a "freaky turtle thing" attacked and seriously injured an equally giant fellow who appeared to be minding his own business, according to eyewitnesses.

"Yeah, dude, this scaly green [bleep!] shows up and whangs this stony-face [bleep!] like my pops at the bar on a payday," said 'urban poet' Franco Hsi Jefferson. "I mean, boom, son! Then all hell's bustin' loose and I got my ass outta there, so I didn't see nothin' after that."

Others say that the "innocent bystander" fended off this attack, only to be struck by a "maniac in a red shirt" who beat the poor victim bloody. A large explosion or series of explosions led the Metropolis PD to close off the area between Schwartz Plaza and the new Busiek Pavilion. Police on the scene said the area will be cordoned off for the next four or five days; travelers should allow for delays in public transportation. Sightseers and tourists are being strongly discouraged from visiting the site.

"It's bad down there," agreed Capt. Josh Foley of the MPD. "Not Doomsday-bad, thank heaven, but pretty bad. The search teams are checking rubble now for casualties, 'cause, y'know, there's always casualties."
More information as it develops.
Artwork copyright DC Comics, all rights reserved

Apr 14, 2008

Iron Man talks Iron Man while spinning Iron Man (he's got that branding thing on lock)

Entertainment Reporter Kayode Kendall catches up with mega-mogul Tony Stark to talk the upcoming film and discover who's curtains match the carpet

KK: So Tony, how excited are you about your new Biopic coming out next month?

TS: It’s a lifelong dream to have my exploits immortalized on the silver screen. And I think we can all agree it’s about f—kin’ time. There’s a Man-Thing movie for cryin’ out loud.

KK: Yeah, that movie was pretty bad. But anyway, how involved were you in the filmmaking process? How did you feel about Jon Favreau directing?

TS: Swingers was, like, my favorite movie when it came out. I’ve loved the guy ever since. Plus we’ve become really good friends since filming started.

As for involvement, I could only be on set so much, what with my duties as director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and leader of the Mighty Avengers. Sometimes it’s like I’m in three different places at once!! But I gave the filmmakers as much access to the world of Iron Man as legally possible, and they were really responsive to my suggestions. I feel like they’ve done my story justice.

KK: How about the casting? I’m sure I can speak for a lot of fans who never thought Robert Downey Jr. would be considered for the role but were pleased with the selection just the same.

TS: I’ve got a lot of respect for RDJ. We’ve been down similar paths, faced similar demons, and ultimately became better people for it. We spent a lot of time together when he was cast, and he really showed a lot of commitment to playing me. Kind of like Jamie Foxx getting lifted to play Ray Charles! We wore old Iron Man suits together, went shopping at Sean John, traded stocks, entertained the ladies… *wink, wink* The whole nine yards.

Between us, the practical jokes were killer. Like when I borrowed the Elektra-Skrull corpse from Reed Richards, and laid it beside RDJ in bed one night! He literally crapped his pants when he woke up!! He was like “Oh, crap! It’s Weird Science all over again!” Ah, good times. But, once filming began, it was all business. He went all out with the method acting thing and it kind of brought a tear to my eye, seeing how perfectly he played me.

KK: And what about Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts?

TS: She’s a sweet lady and a consummate professional. I mean, the woman dyed her hair red *ahem* everywhere.

KK: Uh, everywhere? You got a picture?

TS: (flipping open his wallet to show he and Paltrow in the back seat of a cab) I was flattered. Even though I’m more of a ‘hardwood floors’ kind of guy.

KK: Interesting. So, are you worried about all the competition? There are several other movies chronicling the exploits of fellow Marvel heroes. The Incredible Hulk and Punisher will be out soon. Not to mention other heroes like The Dark Knight and Hellboy.

TS: *Laughing hysterically* The Punisher?!?! Even without the benefit of having known the man for years, most people can conclude he’s not terribly complex. But, for whatever reason, filmmakers seem enthralled by him. It’s kind of comical, he’s been featured in a handful of films and none of them are worth pigeon scat. Guess there’s just not much of an audience for muscle-bound dolts who shoot a lotta wiseguys for two hours.

As for everyone else, I’m not too worried. I’m offering moviegoers something brand new. They’ve seen all the other guys before. It’s my time to shine. I’m promising more action, drama, and humor than anything that’s come before!
Did you see the freakin’ flying scene with and the F-18s?!? That’s actually ME up there! I did all the stunts myself! That’s commitment!

KK: Here’s a horn you can toot. Would you look at that – it says ‘bad mutha trucka’ on it. *sigh*

On a more personal note, do you have any plans to settle down? Any special woman in your life? I’m sure our female readers are dying to know.

TS: Oh, I know the score. They all just want me for my paper! Tell ya what, I’ll consider settling down when May Parker stays dead for more than a year!


Is Wolverine a Clone?

Tantalizing Hints Begin to Add Up

NEW YORK CITY - It has been one of the great mysteries for those of us who cover the superhero community. How does Wolverine manage to turn up just about everywhere?
We've confirmed he isn't a teleporter, his claws cannot cut holes in spacetime, and (despite being packed full of adamantium) he isn't a robot.

What does that leave? The answer is staggeringly obvious: Wolverine is in reality an army of clones.

"It caught us by surprise," admits Emma Frost, former enemy (see Hellfire Club) and former member of the (still disbanded) X-Men, "but it was there in front of us all this time. Who survives being reduced to a single drop of blood? I think that's a tall tale Logan made up to keep us from learning the truth."
Asked why she didn't figure it out from reading his mind, Frost replied, "Have YOU ever been in there? Brr. Trust me, it's a place you don't want to visit without a lot of heavy-duty psychic firepower. How Xavier managed to live with him in the mansion all those years is beyond me.

"He was originally called Weapon X-- we never guessed that meant there were ten of him wandering around, and ten may be a conservative estimate. One of him was blown up by Nitro just recently but... oh geez, there's one now. Maybe we could put a bell on him so we'd know when he's close..."

"I ain't no clone, bub," snarled the Wolverine we found prowling amidst the mansion's wreckage. "I'm just here to find my leather jacket, grab a brewski outta the fridge and head to an Avengers meeting. At the same time, I'm searching for Mystique in the Middle East and carrying out a search-and-destroy with X-Force, so... aw dammit." Overcome by the inherent logic flaws of his denial, this Wolverine resorted to doing what he's best at: flying into a berserk rage and trying to kill us reporters.

We'll have more on this story once we're out of intensive care.

Artwork copyright Marvel Comics, all rights reserved

Apr 7, 2008

Morticoccus Inoculations Discontinued

WASHINGTON DC (EARTH 51) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have determined that continuing the morticoccus inoculation program (announced three weeks ago in BPD) would be "a waste of time."

Health Secretary G. Rimreeper said, in a press conference today, "We thought that an aggressive inoculation program would contain this 31st century sentient virus, but apparently we were wrong. Truth is, our best efforts are useless. However, we prefer to look on the bright side. Despite its name, morticoccus has not proven to be exceptionally lethal--only an estimated two out of five victims actually perish. The others may end up transformed through hybridization with animal DNA, but at least they're not dead!"

Taking in a press corps that had mostly turned into vultures, the sheep-like Rimreeper did not finish more than his opening statement before fleeing for his life. (Unsuccessfully.)

Rumors that an uncontaminated youth and his grandfather have taken refuge in a military bunker remain unconfirmed at press time. Additional rumors that Green Lantern fled Earth "like a little bee-yotch" (per extradimensional troublemaker Red Robin) are also unconfirmed-- some witnesses assert that he went into deep space to find a cure from more advanced alien sciences. The bad news: if Green Lantern was exposed to morticoccus, it is possible that many hundreds or thousands of alien worlds are now suffering exposure. Way to go, you idiot.

The pathetic remnants of civilization around the globe would like to thank the Challengers from Beyond for exposing us to this "smart bug" and wiping us out. We really didn't think the challenges of continued existence were for us anyway. But as a way to say goodbye, we're seeing if we can't get a cross-dimensional portal up and running-- we'd be happy to share our viral good fortune with lots and lots of other Earths. Preliminary work indicates a zombie world nearby...

Jonathan Hive: Blogger, Ace, Journalist

HARD CALL- Covering the Wild Card
Outbreak in Colorado

Bugles Planet Daily is very pleased to welcome Jonathan Tipton-Clarke (aka Jonathan Hive or "Bugsy"), whose liveblogged “Hard Call” series for Dabel Worldwide Press has earned major journalistic attention. Jonathan is currently a participant in the AMERICAN HERO TV series.

Jonathan, welcome to BPD!

So how did you happen to cover this story? An outbreak of wild card virus seems like an uncommon event these days—what drew you to this story?

First off, there are wildcard outbreaks here and there all the time. They just don't usually get much press because we're kind of used to them. It's the same for any other disease. I mean, how many people died from the bubonic plague last year? I don't know, but I know that some of them did. Or polio. People still get polio. Christian scientists, for instance. Or those folks who think their kid would be better off dead than autistic. But that's a whole different rant.

But this particular story was just too juicy to pass up. Yes, it's got an outbreak, and that's a nice hook. But it's got this weird serial killer. It's got Croyd Crenson. I mean jeez. Croyd Crenson. That's like getting to do a story about John Dillinger.

Can you tell us about the people involved and what happened with them? We know this story continues to unfold but maybe you could give us some basics on who was caught up in this crisis, where it happened…?

That's another good angle. The original outbreak was at a high school in Colorado. The victims were taken to the Jokertown Clinic in Manhattan, because, dude, *of course* they were. The fact that their arrival coincided with the serial killer going into action and Croyd Crenson's re-emergence was happy coincidence. I get to say it's happy because I'm a journalist. We've got the only profession where you can have a good murder.

Is liveblogging the "next phase of journalism"? Do you foresee a time when Pulitzers will be awarded to bloggers?

More I see a time when Pulizers are old fashioned and irrelevant.

Being an ace yourself, were you concerned about the (very small) possibility of a secondary re-infection? It’s common knowledge that the wretched Snotman became the ace Reflector and the joker anarchist Gimli apparently died during the “Typhoid Croyd” event, so it can happen…

Ah. Huh. Yeah, I kind of forgot about that Typhoid Croyd thing. Hmm.

Well, it didn't bother me then. I'm kind of freaking out about it now though.

Did you find it hard to be among people who drew a Black Queen (died because of an unsurvivable wild card manifestation) or became jokers? You’re one of the lucky “one in a hundred” after all.

It's not like it's the first time I've been around jokers. It was harder for me dealing with the kids who'd just changed. I mean you go through life and day by day, you don't really think about the cost the wildcard has on people. And then I was right there with people who were just going through it. All the wounds were still raw. I mean, that's high school, right? But it reminded me of what it was like when I was that age. I had that kind of vicarious flashback to my own teen angst.

On the other hand, if I'd been blogging about a homecoming dance, it would probably have been worse.

Why do wild cards continue to fascinate the public, 60 years after Wild Card Day?

Because everyone wants to be an ace, and everyone's afraid they already are a joker. It's the literal incarnation of a normal human being's dearest hopes and deepest fears. You don't have to be a joker to hate your body. Being an ace or winning the lottery aren't the only ways to have power and be special, but they're visible and they don't require a lot of effort. And the Black Queen. Well, we're all born with a Black Queen, it just takes 80 or so years to express, right?

The world of journalistic blogging must be a fast-paced one. What other stories are you going to follow in future posts?

Depends on what happens, I guess. I was hoping to do a series of interviews with porn stars for Women's History Month, but beat me to it. Seriously.

And… I hate to ask, Jonathan, but what’s Curveball really like?

You know when you were growing up, there was that girl who lived next door or just down the block or wherever? The one who was just like one of the guys, except everyone had a secret crush on her? Curveball's just like that. She isn't going to hook up with you either.

Thanks for taking our questions, guys. We want to wish you all the best on the “Hard Call” series! And an extra special thanks to Daniel Abraham, for putting us in touch with Bugsy--you're the best!

UPDATE! Images above provided
courtesy of Dabel Worldwide!

Apr 1, 2008

A BPD Exclusive

We don't normally do this at BPD but when we got the news—from a Disney intern no less—we just had to share it. Edgar Wright (director Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) and Bryan Lee O'Malley (creator Scott Pilgrim series) are no longer associated with the upcoming Scott Pilgrim film project. Taken over by Disney, the project is now entitled Scott Pilgrim Can’t Lose and will be directed by David S. Goyer from a screenplay by Akiva Goldsmith.

Shocking! but there's more. The cast will now be lead by Zac Efron as Scott, Ellen Page as Ramona, Brenda Song as Knives and Perez Hilton as Wallace (guess Disney's trying to capitalize on some pop culture cred). BPD can only quip ‘thank goodness for Knives and Flowers!’ The film will also feature several musical numbers written by Panic At The Disco with choreography by Paula Abdul.

We’ll keep you abreast as we get more intel from our inside source...