Archive for November, 2013

So, this last week has not been kind to me. Everything from sudden deadlines at work that weren’t there two days ago to the average temperature in Oklahoma dropping a good 20°F and giving my sinuses the run around. Not to mention my DVR kinda died half way through watching Elementary last night… this really sucks cause I have two episode of Arrow on there I haven’t watch yet (wait, is this a bad thing?).

Anyway, tonight’s episode The Trask at Hand is not ready for it’s 7 o’clock air-time. I hope to have it up tonight, but at the latest, tomorrow. It will post as usual on FF.net on Sunday.

In consolation, here is a sneak of episode 1X08 – Scarlet:

Rogue slammed on the breaks as a car whipped out in front of her with no regard of little things like ‘right of way’ and ‘oncoming traffic, “Seriously,” she laid on the horn, “why is it a universal constant that three fourths of the world’s population do not know how to drive?”

“Hhhmmm,” Wanda crinkled her brow as she focused on the car in front of them, “fun fact, radiators have a separate section for transmission oil to be cooled. If the flow slows down because it’s not cooling properly, then the transmission doesn’t get old and can burn out. When your transmission goes, sometimes it’s just cheaper to get a new car.”

Wanda snapped her fingers and a keen eye would see a small spark of reddish electrical energy jump across her finger pads.

“I’d turn here if I were you,” Wanda smiled, “our inconsiderate driver is about to find himself most inconvenienced.”

“Nice,” Rogue chuckled as she turned down a side road, “I told you taking that automotive class would come in handy.”

“You only wanted me to be able to fix your car for you if you were feeling lazy,” the Romanian smirked.

“Hey, you said it was easier to affect the probability of something happening when you understood how it worked,” Rogue took a corner, then started to pull up a drive, “I was just trying to help.”

“Uh huh,” Wanda shook her head, pulling a garage door remote from her bag, “what’s the probability that the spa uses the same frequency as this remote?”

“I dunno,” the Southerner grinned, “you tell me.”

“Let’s go with probable,” Wanda snapped her fingers again, pointing the remote at the gate which then proceeded to open on command. Wanda feigned surprise, “well now, would you imagine that?”

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Let’s all have a moment of silence for the sandwich.

The latest episode of AOS is called “The Hub” because the team goes to The Hub which is a central location for S.H.I.E.L.D. ops. We also meet Victoria Hand from the comics and Agent Sitwell from the Item 47 short film. We get to see an ops room, some hallways… but that’s it. There is talk of a lot of cool things, places like tech/research levels, etc, but all we get to see is basic white walls. Other than the fact that the team gets their next mission while being at the The Hub and Skye uses the visit as a chance to find out about her parents… it’s pretty much just background noise for what, essentially, is a trust exercise.

Victoria sends Ward and Fitz on a mission with no extraction plan because they didn’t have the resources… even though the rest of the team is doing nothing, at all. Then they are able to extract Ward and Fitz fairly easily with very little notice (and apparently that plane is super fast). The whole situation makes no sense unless Victoria was specifically trying to see what Coulson and/or his team would do. Coulson trusted ‘the system’, Skye didn’t (surprise?). Then the whole anti-trust/hacking-into-the-system discussion is just dropped, sorta, the episode ends without letting us know if Victoria was really testing them (her smile suggests it but that is all). It’s one of those storylines that needs a payoff or else it’ll become a glaring plot hole to nitpick at later.

Speaking of pay-off, we continue to get trolled about Coulson. It seems ‘it’s a magical place’ is some kind of hypnotic response to the mention of Tahiti. Apparently he’s also not allowed to look at his own health records. I have a feeling we’ll get the pay off on this one at the mid-season break, it was something they likely planned in case they didn’t get their back nine. Okay, that’s how I would have played it.

The episodes are picking up, Skye is given the B-plots now and we’re seeing more of the other characters… but it almost seems formulaic. Last episode was Simmons. This one was Fitz. Next looks to be Ward. If the one after that is May then it literally is count-by-numbers character development. And while the plots have been used for character development, this episode was pretty much the ‘anti-cliche’. It felt like every time a situation came up they would automatically choose the exact opposite of the stereotype, which, is kinda just as bad because it doesn’t allow for the anti-symmetry of life. Sometimes we are the cliche, sometimes we surprise you… they tried to do this here but it just kinda came off as very safe.

But all in all, it’s still a good episode, they are working towards finding their niche… and unfortunately destroying awesome sounding sandwiches.

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Elle Style Awards, London, Britain - 11 Feb 2013It was pretty much a sure thing, though still classified as ‘rumor’, but the casting for Scarlet Witch seems to have finally been confirmed by the Witch herself.

Elizabeth Olsen Finally Confirms ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Role via MTV

“Avengers” director Joss Whedon has been very open about his intentions to include brother-sister duo Scarlet and Quicksilver in his upcoming sequel “Age of Ultron,” but confirming who will play the sibling has been a little more difficult to pin down.

“Kick-Ass” star Aaron Taylor-Johnson was first mentioned as a contender for the role of Quicksilver this summer and was finally confirmed for the part last month (via The Wrap). He was said to be joined by his “Godzilla” co-star Elizabeth Olsen, in a report from Bleeding Cool in August, but an official confirmation was harder to come by for Scarlet Witch.

Samuel L. Jackson’s comments to The Wall Street Journal seemed to have confirmed that Olsen would appear with him in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” but now the actress herself has shared her excited about joining the project with MTV News’ Josh Horowitz.

Speaking with MTV News at the junket for “Oldboy,” Olsen joked that Jackson had freed her from refusing to talk about the project by confirming her role. She said that she doesn’t know too much about “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” but that she’s excited to work with Taylor-Johnson again.

“We get to play husband and wife, and we get to play twin brother and sister,” she said. “It’s also fun because even though in ‘Godzilla’ we play husband and wife, we don’t have a lot of scenes together. I just love him. I love his family. I love his kids. I’m so excited…to actually work with each other. I think it’s going to be fun.”

Olsen also mentioned her soon-to-be director, Whedon, who she was quick to compliment. “He’s very smart. He’s too smart. He might be too smart,” she said. “Some people are too smart for their own good, but he’s amazing.”

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” opens in theaters on May 1, 2015.

While I’m not against the casting in and of itself… this basically confirms that the Maximoff twins are being stripped of most of their classic characterizations as Romani/Eastern European and being turned into ‘edgy British’. I understand Marvel!Disney had to tread water lightly since they can’t use ‘Magneto’ or ‘mutant’ in the film, but that doesn’t excuse changing the Maximoff’s nationality as it is wholly separate from their mutant status. The twins where Avengers long before they were ever discovered to be Magneto’s children and being mutants is just an excuse for them to have powers. The filmmakers could literally translate the twins onto the big screen with almost no changes from their comic book form just by saying ‘magic/experimental thingy’ instead of ‘mutant’.

There are only three reasons for them to be doing this:

  1. They don’t think the audience would want to see POC characters.
  2. They don’t want to make the effect to do POC characters correctly (or risk backlash from screwing them up).
  3. They are pissed about the license issue and deciding to completely remake these characters as some kind of thumb-nose to Fox.

None of these reasons are acceptable.

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daredevil born again

Drew Goddard To Write Daredevil Netflix Series

via BleedingCool

When the announcement came that Disney and Marvel were bringing some of their superheros to Netflix in the form of live action 13-episode series, it seemed almost like a fever dream and way too good to be true, but today’s news reiterates how real this really is.

First one out of the gate is Daredevil, which famously flopped as a feature film starring Ben Affleck as the blind superhero. With its newly reinstated rights won back from Fox, Disney are now negotiating with Drew Goddard to write the Netflix series, according to The Wrap.

Goddard is a longtime pal and collaborator of Joss Whedon, who is either officially or unofficially overseeing the entire MCU for the studio (either way, he’s had something or other to do with all the post-Avengers films thus far). The two co-wrote and Goddard directed cult favorite horror flick Cabin in the Woods, so we can probably assume Whedon will have quite a bit to do with this latest massive undertaking as well.

Daredevil will be followed by Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, culminating in an Avengers-style team-up miniseries bringing together The Defenders. Oh my gosh, I can’t wait. Your move, DC.

jessicajonesMelissa Rosenberg To Write And Oversee Marvel’s Jessica Jones Netflix Series

via BleedingCool

Yup, this is real alright. Hours after we learned that Drew Goddard would be writing and overseeing Marvel’s Daredevil live-action series for Netflix, now comes word via Deadline that Jessica Jones has itself a showrunner as well, in the form of Melissa Rosenberg.

She may be best known for Twilight and elicit an automatic negative reaction, but Rosenberg is very respected for her TV work on series like Dexter, and more than that, she’s very familiar with Jessica Jones as she had previously worked on writing for the Marvel superhero three years ago when a series was in development at ABC. The Netflix series will be a different incarnation, according to Deadline, though Jones will still be hanging up her spandex and opening a detective agency.

Also interesting about the two bits of news we’ve gotten today on this new undertaking is that Marvel and Netflix seem intent on experienced, relatively well known writers to oversee these projects. No direct-to-Netflix quality issues here, I think. Also, this means we’ll probably find out soon who will be shepherding Iron Fist and Luke Cage.

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thor the dark world posterThe long/short review: an enjoyable romp with very little substance.

One can definitely tell the change in director between these films as in the first Thor there was a Shakespeare undertone, dry humor and smirking wit along with some masterful turns at character development and story telling. Thor 2 is put together more like an action flick where it’s all about the explosions and one-liners.

Do I like action flicks all about explosions and one-liners? Yes, I enjoyed Avengers, didn’t I. But that was the purpose of that film, to bring together characters who were already individually explored and see them work together. In Avengers, character development, save a few key scenes, is pretty much left to be explored in their individual movies where a more direct focus would serve the characters better. We see this in Iron Man 3 where not only does Tony get his own villain but he battles his personal demons and fears as well. That’s what Thor 2 should have been about, continuing to grow Thor as a character through an actual plot arc rather than the typical action style of laying it all down at the end for a quick wrap up.

This really is an example of how bad it can be to ‘just give the audience more of what they want’ rather than ‘making a movie that their audience will love’.

Here is my breakdown, spoilers ahead.

Thor – I always thought that he got the shorter end of the stick in the first film when it came to character development. His motivations were just a bit more petty and his sudden shift to not being such a douche was too quick and unearned. There isn’t so much of a problem like that in Thor 2 because there is no character development, at all. From the beginning he’s just this guy who is trying to be a good son while pining over the woman he loves. At the end of the film, he’s still trying to be the good son while pining over a woman. The only thing that changes is that he has the guts to tell his dad that he doesn’t want to be king and instead continue to hit things with hammers and love a Midgardian. While the argument can be made that this is indeed character development in that he chooses to accept that he doesn’t want to be king, etc, it feels very lazy and simple. After losing his mother and brother, there isn’t any true thought to how this personally effected him or his decisions. As stated before, there is a quick wrap up at the end to say ‘yep, I haven’t changed, this is what I want to do’ and that’s it.

Jane – I didn’t care much for her in the first film because I thought Portman, who is a great actress, just kinda walked through the role and there was no chemistry between her and Hemsworth. As a character though, she was pretty cool. She was this super smart scientist who was trying to awesome things because she was a scientist trying to do awesome things. In Thor 2, she’s reduced to a woman who has apparently been moping around because Thor never called her back. Sure, she was doing sciencey things, but not because “hey, science!” but because she was looking for Thor. Then when Thor snubbed her, she stopped with the science. Huh? I’m sure it hurt to see him come to Earth in Avengers and not bother to call her or even drop a note, but why the hell did she decide to stop doing science because of this? She was a scientist before Thor, she can continue to be a scientist now. Hell, if she was that mad that he never called her, why isn’t she trying harder to find a way to Asgard just so she can slap him? But nope, her entire reason for doing anything worthwhile in life (or I would assume seeing how dedicated she was in the first film) ceased to be because Thor never called her back. Even at the end of the film, she’s moping because he hasn’t come back in two days. And for a lot of the film, she’s just standing there doing nothing because the focus is on Thor/Loki (which I’ll get to in a minute) and she’s almost forgotten about in many scenes. She does have a few moments of her being a freaking scientist and thinking as such, but it’s all framed by the fact that she now exists solely as a love interest to Thor. (But at least we were spared any horrible cat-fighting between her and Sif.)

Loki – He stole the show in the first movie where he got some perfected paced and designed character development,  and in Thor 2, pretty much every awesome moment can be attributed to him. He was much more jokey in this film, spilling out one-liners like the class clown who is hiding just how sad he is in. He also had a stronger reaction to Frigga’s death. It puts him in a lot of pain, pain he even tries to hide from Thor through illusions. But, much like Thor, there is no development. Loki is stuck, he’s played his hand as the ‘would be king’ who is rightly pissed about his parentage issue… and he continues to do so because he believes he needs to save face. Then he fakes his death (which, let’s be honest, we all saw coming) and somehow takes Odin’s place (which, okay, that was an awesome twist). There is no development, he’s still the same person he was at the beginning of the film, just in a different place. Throughout the film, though it is very hilarious, he’s just there to crack one-liners and play off Thor. It’s the few moments he’s not doing this that he truly saves this film.

Thor/Loki – The Thor/Loki dynamic is an interesting one and there are a lot of fans both of this as a non-romantic pairing and as a romantic pairing. Loki is also a fan favorite with a movement to get him his own movie. This is where the ‘giving fans more of what they want’ turns sour because this film is pretty much just two hours of Loki and Thor banter, sometimes serious, often for laughs. You know that moment in Avengers where Thor says “listen well brother,” gets knocked down by Iron Man, and Loki goes “I’m listening”… yeah, imagine that for two hours. While yes, it’s really funny and I laughed a lot, I did often find myself going “where is Jane?” or “what about the Elves?” Literally, Jane disappears from view for a good ten minutes at two different times just so that Thor and Loki can banter with each other. It’s not like she’s not around, she’s literally in the same ten square feet radius, but is removed from frame and nearly forgotten about. As much as the Thor/Loki stuff can be fun or even emotionally dramatic, here is was played not like Shakespeare, but like Michael Bay.

Frigga – What the heck? Thor takes repeated poundings from the Hulk. Loki gets stabbed in the chest (maybe, sorta, not sure where the illusion started there). But Frigga gets a dagger in her and dies almost instantly? Gah! I know she was going to die but did they have to make it so easy? Esp after she put the smack down on the Dark Elf? This part pissed me off the most… but mostly cause Frigga is awesome and played by an underrated but also awesome actress. I really hope a future movie is Loki going to Valhalla to get her back… I really do… I any case, she was both soft mother and badass warrior and all in a very small space of time. Writers, take note.

Odin – Worst. Father. Ever. But what else is new? The fact that he was actually being reasonable there at the end should have been our first clue that he wasn’t actually himself.

Darcy – Almost makes up for Jane. She’s sassy, knows her level of intelligence in comparison to Jane, and where she falls in the hierarchy of the film, and she owns it.

Erik – The only character that truly seemed to have any kind of real development from the Avengers film. Basically, after what Loki did to him, and with him being just a person and not a trained S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, he’s pretty much off his rocker. This is totally legit and I applaud that they actually went there and showed that everything is not all happy smiles after events like what happened in Avengers.

Malekith – Our villain of the weekmovie. Eccelston is a great actor but he, like many others in this film, has little to work with. Again, he’s just a device to allow for the Thor/Loki banter.

Overall – It was a fun romp of a film but it was more of a filler episode than a film in its own right. I laughed, I smiled, I got pissed at a character death, but in the end I felt like I hadn’t actually gained anything from the experience regarding the characters. I’ve heard that a good 20-ish minutes where cut and that truely could have made all the difference in giving us more of the depth we needed rather than the silly one-liners.

In conclusion: Was it enjoyable? Yes. Was it disappointing? Yes

Funny how that works out sometimes.

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For those of you don’t know, NaNoWriMo is awesome. It’s a personal challenge to write 50,000 words in one month. It’s a great motivator and so much fun! Check out their website at nanowrimo.org.

Personally… I am sssoooooooooooo behind. But that’s okay, I still have plenty of time to catch up.

I’m taking this weekend off from XMTFFS to give myself some time to work on it. The Series will be back next Friday with a brand new episode: 1X06 The Trask at Hand. I’ll see you then!

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via Newsarama

If you’re a comics fan with a television, you’ve been having a pretty good year. Television has long been a home for comic book heroes, from early shows like Adventures of Superman on to more recent successes like Smallville, but 2013 has been a bumper crop of new programming running the gamut from zombie drama with AMC’s The Walking Dead, street-level superheroics with WB’s Arrow and ABC’s spy-shop procedural Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

And 2014 looks to be even better. You might want to add some space to your DVR’s storage capacity, as DC has four television series in development (Hourman, Flash, Constantine and Gotham), and Marvel has one upped them with four unnamed shows as well as a miniseries in the works. That’s all in addition to the aforementioned Arrow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Walking Dead. And that’s not counting AMC and Robert Kirkman’s partnership to develop his comic series Thief of Thieves and Outcast, and everyone else working outside the Big Two.

So as we enter what looks to be a golden age for comics on TV, we’re taking stock of what’s already made its way to the small screen. There’s a lot of ground to cover and it’s more than just superheroes, so we’re narrowing our focus to American television programs.

We’re holding off on including Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. just yet – it’s not Level 7 security, it’s just that they haven’t even completed their first season yet; Nick Fury wouldn’t want us to be trigger happy.

 

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10. WONDER WOMAN
Although some joke about the show’s costume changes and formulaic nature, this primetime series starring Lynda Carter in the title role made a definite impact. Over four years and a mild reboot at the end of season one, the Wonder Woman TV series cemented the character’s place as the most popular female comic book hero and, in some ways, a feminist icon.The Carter Wonder Woman series was preceded by two earlier attempts to make the character work on the small screen. First came a ’60s era comedy in the vein of the Adam West Batman series, followed by an early ’70s attempt that downplayed the superhuman abilities in favor of spy gadgets akin to James Bond. It wasn’t until a third pilot, one more faithful to the source material, that a full-length TV series was commissioned, and found success at ABC and later CBS.

Lynda Carter’s portrayal of Wonder Woman proved so popular that it defined the actor going forward, leading Carter to reprise the role in everything from The Muppet Show to a reference in the film Sky High. In a way, Carter’s portrayal of Diana Prince casts a shadow on the character not unlike Christopher Reeve’s Superman or the more recent star turn of Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man.

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09. DENNIS THE MENACE
Although it’s the sole entry on this list that originated from comic strips, not books though the character has certainly appeared in a considerable amount of comic books over the decades Dennis The Menace made a big impact when it debuted on the small screen in the late ’50s. This story of a precocious kid that cuts a “menacing” but lovable path through his neighborhood became an instant hit when adapted to black-and-white live-action.Child actor Jay North excelled in this star-making role, and under the guidance of TV impresario Harry Ackerman it became one of the highest ranking series on CBS at the time. The series ran for four years and was only canceled because North was growing out of the young role literally and the network didn’t want to recast the part.

Later generations discovered the show through frequent reruns in the dawn of cable television, and the popularity of the series both on screen and in newspapers led to several other adaptations in films and television, though they never matched up to the original show’s early success.

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08. THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN
Superman has become one of the most filmed comic book characters of all time, but one of his earliest appearances the 1950s era Adventures of Superman continues to leap and bound over its counterparts.Despite its first two seasons being filmed in black and white, the George Reeves-led show brought a feature-budget feel to television and gave the mainstream public the best portrayal of DC’s flagship character it had seen at that point.

Looking back on the series now, it has a lot in common with Grant Morrison’s recent take on the character in Action Comics gone are the cartoonish array of supervillains like Brainiac, in favor of the more classic villains like evil scientists, maligned businessmen, gangsters, thugs and spies. The closest thing to a superhuman you’ll see facing Superman in this is a midget Martian similar to Mr. Mxyzptlk named “Mr. Zero.”

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07. THE FLASH
Although it only ran for one season, 1990’s The Flash stands out to this day as a major accomplishment in the world of live-action superheroes on the small screen. Developed for TV by the future screenwriters of The Rocketeer, the series showed a modernized Flash with soap actor John Wesley Shipp playing Barry Allen.Influenced by Tim Burton’s Batman movie released one year earlier, the short-lived The Flash had a darker tone than one might expect, but it became catnip for devoted comics fans at the time. The television series was cut short due to the high costs of filming a live-action superhero series and had stiff competition in its time slot from then-new series The Simpsons and The Cosby Show.

One long-term positive that the series did was the introduction of Star Wars star Mark Hamill to DC’s roster of characters. Hamill made his DC debut as The Trickster on The Flash series, and went on to become the definitive voice for the Joker in DC’s animated works and video games for two decades.

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06. THE MIDDLEMAN
The Middleman is the most unknown of our entries, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t great. The short-lived ABC Family show took the indie comic series and made one of the truest comic book to small-screen adaptations thanks in part to series co-creator/writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost,Medium) being an accomplished television writer/producer that stayed on to helm the show.It received high marks from TV Guide and other industry magazines, but Variety‘s review of the pilot gave what would become fateful praise by calling it “almost too smart” for the network.

Borrowing some of its tongue-in-cheek tone from earlier genre success story Buffy the Vampire SlayerThe Middleman featured guns, spy action and witty banter on par with modern critical darlings like 30 Rock and Community. Ultimately the show was done in after one 2008 season by the oversized budget compared to its audience, especially among ABC Family’s comedies and low-budget high school dramedies.

DC October 2013 solicitations - Beyond New 52
05. ARROW
They may have made some missteps with the scripting of the Green Lantern movie, but writing duo Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim (along with Andrew Kreisberg) have been making up for it (and then some) with the WB series Arrow. They’ve taken DC’s archer hero the Green Arrow and made him a man with a purpose – and a bow & arrow – in the streets of Starling City. Season One exceeded everyone’s expectations, and so far Season 2 has continued on that upward trajectory.Between Arrow, Deathstroke and Paul Blackthorne’s great portrayal of Quentin Lance, the series has been jumping from high point to high point. With the recent reveal of the Canary (Black Canary, for you comics fans) and Sin, it’s opened to door to even greater stories. And the rest of the season promises some more debuts (cough BARRY FREAKING ALLEN cough) as well as more surprises, giving fans and some Newsarama staffers something to look forward to every week.

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04. BATMAN
If there’s one show that defined comics for the mainstream public, then the ’60s-era Batman series starring Adam West is it. This campy send-up of DC’s Dark Knight was anything but dark, but for its time period it worked, becoming an unprecedented success. Despite only being on air for two years, it was a massive hit, airing twice a week on ABC and producing more than 100 episodes.Far removed from the dark crusader we’ve seen in movies, Adam West’s Batman was a more jovial and lighthearted adventurer, starring alongside guest stars hamming it up for the camera. The series became so popular that it gave some of its stars short-lived careers in music, with West even recording a country song that he performed in costume at some live appearances.

The series was ultimately cut short when ABC attempted to slash the budget by eliminating a number of characters including Robin, bringing a close to the series. It’s also one of the most prominent television series never to be officially released on VHS or DVD due to complicated rights issues, with bootleg copies of the show becoming mainstays at comic conventions large and small.

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03. THE INCREDIBLE HULK
Although DC has proved more successful in adapting its characters to live-action TV in sheer number, Marvel’s late ’70s The Incredible Hulk showed just how different a superhero show could be. The long-running series saw TV veteran Bill Bixby sharing screen time with bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno as they played Bruce Banner and alter-ego the Hulk, turning them both into massive stars on the small screen. Although created 15 years before, it was this seminal series that brought Marvel’s Green Goliath into the minds of the mainstream public and went on to influence the comic books for years to come.The journeyman nature of the show allowed for an ever-rotating cast of guest stars to play opposite Bixby and Ferrigno, including cameo appearances by the character’s creators, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, at one point. The series ultimately ended in 1981, but found new life with a series of made for TV movies that continued for several years before Bixby’s death in 1993.

The Incredible Hulk show became an integral part of the Hulk mythos, influencing the character’s comic series to varying degrees over the years. The 2008 film The Incredible Hulk was heavily influenced by the TV series, with lead actor Edward Norton basing much of his performance on Bixby’s original portrayal.

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02. SMALLVILLE
The only entry in our list not specifically tied to one comics title, the long-running Smallville series borrowed liberally from the entire breadth of the Superman and DCU catalog to become the hit it is today.Over the course of 10 years and two networks, the show covered the early years of the man who would one day become Superman in a bare bones approach. As the series went on, it became a showcase of the diversity of the DCU with guest stars ranging from future Justice League members to the time-traveling Legion of Super-Heroes.

On its debut in 2001, Smallville became the highest rated show in the WB’s history and landed on the cover of TV Guide. The endorsement by former Superman Christopher Reeve (who guest starred on the series) gave the then-budding show a burst of enthusiasm amongst hardcore comics fans, paving the way for the show and its unique dynamic of Clark Kent and Lex Luthor being childhood friends who are slowly torn apart.

As the series went on it explored the early life of Superman in more detail than any of its comic adventures, leading Geoff Johns to fold in some of the show’s elements in his later revision of Superman’s origin in the comic series Superman: Secret Origin.

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01. THE WALKING DEAD
AMC’s The Walking Dead has gone from being a pleasant surprise to a sure thing if you’re looking for riveting television. Robert Kirkman’s zombie drama became a cult hit in comics and bucked sales trends with ever-increasing sales, and once cable channel AMC put its adaptation on screen seven years later starting on Halloween 2010, the whole world got to see just how big the zombie phenomenon could be. And it only looks to getting bigger, with the recently debuted fourth season earning over 16 million viewers – over three times it’s series premiere in 2010, up nearly 5 million from its season 3 premiere just a year ago.Despite some shaky staffing issues behind-the-scenes, The Walking Dead has had a steady upward climb with no signs of stopping under new showrunner Scott M. Gimple. They’ve already announced a season 5 for 2014 (with Gimple signed on for another year, too), and have a wealth of stories to draw from in the comic series or if the series decides to take its own path into the zombie apocalypse. 2014 should also see a spin-of series debut, with Kirkman teasing a whole new location in the world of The Walking Dead. One more thing: Man of Steel screenwriter and defacto DC Movies’ head writer David S. Goyer is coming to direct the penultimate episode – the shows fiftieth – early next year.

Although previous zombie films were often pigeon-holed as simply genre material, the critical acclaim for the Frank Darabont-led show went all the way to The Wall Street Journal and Salon.com.

Based on the long-running Image series of the same name, the Walking Dead television adaptation was further strengthened by the feature-quality direction of Darabont combined with the expert hand of producer Gale Ann Hurd (TerminatorArmageddon). The show got on the good side of hardcore fans by the inclusion of Kirkman and series artist Charlie Adlard in the production, with Kirkman going so far as to write several episodes of the show and serve as a very hands-on executive producer.

There is little about this show that hasn’t gone right, making it the hands-down best comic book live-action TV series of all-time.

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Marvel logoDisney’s Marvel and Netflix Join Forces to Develop Historic Four Series Epic plus a Mini-Series Event Based on Renowned Marvel Characters

Landmark Deal Brings Marvel’s Flawed Heroes of Hell’s Kitchen, led by “Daredevil,” to the World’s Leading Internet TV Network in 2015
 

Burbank, Calif. – Nov 7, 2013—The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) today announced an unprecedented deal for Marvel TV to bring multiple original series of live-action adventures of four of Marvel’s most popular characters exclusively to the world’s leading Internet TV Network beginning in 2015. This pioneering agreement calls for Marvel to develop four serialized programs leading to a mini-series programming event.

Led by a series focused on “Daredevil,” followed by “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist” and “Luke Cage,” the epic will unfold over multiple years of original programming, taking Netflix members deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen, New York.  Netflix has committed to a minimum of four, thirteen episodes series and a culminating Marvel’s “The Defenders” mini-series event that reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters.

Produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Television Studios, this groundbreaking deal is Marvel’s most ambitious foray yet into live-action TV storytelling.

“This deal is unparalleled in its scope and size, and reinforces our commitment to deliver Marvel’s brand, content and characters across all platforms of storytelling. Netflix offers an incredible platform for the kind of rich storytelling that is Marvel’s specialty,” said Alan Fine, President of Marvel Entertainment. “This serialized epic expands the narrative possibilities of on-demand television and gives fans the flexibility to immerse themselves how and when they want in what’s sure to be a thrilling and engaging adventure.”
“Marvel’s movies, such as ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Marvel’s The Avengers,’ are huge favorites on our service around the world. Like Disney, Marvel is a known and loved brand that travels,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “With ‘House of Cards’ and our other original series, we have pioneered new approaches to storytelling and to global distribution and we’re thrilled to be working with Disney and Marvel to take our brand of television to new levels with a creative project of this magnitude.”

This new original TV deal follows last year’s landmark movie distribution deal through which, beginning with 2016 theatrically released feature films, Netflix will be the exclusive U.S. subscription television service for first-run, live-action and animated movies from the Walt Disney Studios, including titles from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Disneynature and Lucasfilm.  Netflix members can currently enjoy a wide range of Disney, ABC TV and Disney Channel films and shows across the 41 countries where Netflix operates.

About The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $42.3 billion in its Fiscal Year 2012.

About Netflix

Netflix is the world’s leading Internet television network with over 40 million members in more than 40 countries enjoying more than one billion hours of TV shows and movies per month, including original series. For one low monthly price, Netflix members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Fitz SimmonsWith this latest episode, AOS takes great strides towards getting there.

One of the banes of the last five episodes is that they where pretty much about Skye and we got no character development from the rest of the group. In FZZT we get some much needed time with Fitz and Simmons, the resident geeks. We learn more about their back story and their strange relationship. There is a lot of love there, and you almost want to ship them as a couple, but they play very well as siblings. I’m honestly not sure if ‘sibling’ was supposed to be the vibe or if they are just that clueless about each other. They definitely have more chemistry than Ward and Skye.

There were some problems with the episode and a lot of that had to do with the speechifying. Ward is especially bad at just stating his emotions/thoughts rather than showing us. Also, as powerful as the scene was with Coulson comforting the dying man, I felt that there was too much inaction. Usually in shows/comics like this, there is more “we have to do something” and less “so yeah, let’s just stand out of the blast zone”. It’s like no one cared that this man was going to die other than “we should comfort him” when they should have been “hey, maybe we should try to save him”.

Then there was the jarring  cut scene between Ward’s rescue and Coulson’s rant. On a technical spectrum, it wasn’t the best put together episode and I have a feeling a lot was cut.

But what FZZT did right, it did exceptionally well. Once I got past the ‘why isn’t anyone doing anything’ when Coulson spoke to the dying man, it was a fairly powerful moment. Coulson died, he knows something isn’t right about that, and it’s slowly eating at him. The show is seriously trolling us, but so far it hasn’t reached LOST level trolling. It’s still the delicious level of trolling. Then we have Coulson’s discussion with May at the end… there is a lot of pain there, and you can feel it.

Also, in contrast to what I said earlier, I loved the level of inaction in this episode when it came to the team dynamics. Most often in these situations, the non-scientist gets sick and the scientist has to save them, this way everyone is doing something. The non-scientist is ‘being sick’ while the scientist goes around solving the problem. But here, the scientist is the one who is sick and is trying to find the cure. All anyone else can do is literally stand around. It’s a painful situation to be in (and Ward got a little speechy about that) but it was extremely accurate. You can identify with the team moreso here than at any other time I would wager.

And the moment Coulson realizes that Simmons is infected, your heart literally sinks.

This is the kind of emotional jockeying that we’ve been expecting and it paid out in spades here. Let’s hope that Skye’s plot line has been shelves for now and move on to some of these more juicier bits.

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It’s very typical of television shows to take a week or two off, usually because either of a holiday or special event preempted them. Well, this weekend I will be at a steampunk convention and next weekend is Thor: The Dark World… not to mention NaNoWriMo starts today! So I thought this would be a good time to take off for a bit, let people catch up, and give me some time to work on future episodes.

I won’t leave you with nothing though, here is a sneak peak at the upcoming episode 1X06 – The Trask at Hand

“Call up your X-Men friends,” Val gave him a conspiratorial smile, “odds are they’re going to stick their noses into this anyway, Sentinel is too dangerous to them not to get involved.”

“They gave Nimrod back,” Fred pointed out.

“After they broke it,” she returned wryly.

“To keep Magneto from getting it,” he frowned.

“So they say,” she wasn’t entirely convinced, “but regardless, I want them where I can see them,” she crossed her arms and left no room to debate, “if they want to ‘be the better person’, then they can prove it.”

Fred considered her for a second, then he gave her a scoffing laugh, “And it’s a move the Acolytes won’t see coming, us actually working together.”

“Got it in one,” she grinned, then gestured to his phone that was lying out on the desk. “Trask wants the Council’s help in moving Sentinel. We move it in two days, Thursday to be exact,” she almost laughed, “I know it’s a school day but they better be ready.”

“They’re not stupid,” he wanted to shake his head at her, “even if I don’t tell them, they’ll know there’s nothing altruistic about this, that you’re using them.”

“I’m not trying to hide it,” she shrugged, then sighed, “I know, they claim to be the good guys, but they’re just as much capable as the Brotherhood of doing untold damage if left unchecked. Now, I’ve seen our government give weapons to the ‘good guys’ to fight other ‘bad guys’,” she exaggerated the words, “then only a decade or so down the line find those weapons turned back on us. I’m not making that mistake here, especially since mutants are weapons.”

“They’re not weapons,” Fred said sternly, sitting up straight in his chair to look her dead in the eye, “they’re people.”

“So is a suicide bomber,” she replied coldly, leaning forward, “only when a mutant blows up, odds are it can walk away and do it again.”

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