The summer’s first entry into the Comic Book Movie Sweepstakes begins tomorrow with Iron Man. Will Robert Downey Jr’s take on Tony Stark prove as entertaining as you’d hoped? Will the FX-driven battles totally rock? Will enough bank be made?
Not coincidentally, this Sunday is also Free Comic Book Day, which means you can head down to your local comics shop on and pick up some free samples. We encourage you to do so. There will be superhero books, action books, kid books, alternative books, so check it out.
You can’t open a newspaper or entertainment mag without tripping over a comic-movie story, so we’ll go with it and list the entries in order of rank on the Official Beemsville Anticipation Scale. Links to the trailers also provided as an added bonus…
5. Wanted (trailer) based on the graphic novel by Mark “Hey, I’m a Scotsman” Millar has a pretty cool premise. Dude goes from total loser wuss to most deadliest hollywood style assassin! And it has Angie Jolie and badass Morgan Freeman! Haven’t read the book, may wait for the video.
4. Iron Man (just turn on the TV for the trailer). This looks cool, and I’m a sucker for that old Black Sabbath riff. RDJ is nearly always fun to watch, and though I was never an Iron Man fan I will likely check it out. Jon Favreau directs, and Jonny is a comic book guy. When the director is a comic boy guy, it usually bodes well.
3. Incredible Hulk (trailer) has A) Hulk vs. Abomination (yeah!), B) Edward Norton as a more Bill Bixby-like Banner, and C) No Ang Lee. That and a little more smashing is all we need. It’s the much needed franchise relaunch for Marvel’s biggest angriest hero. Ang Lee (not a comic book guy) famously blathered about knowing Greek Tragedies before foisting the last Hulk movie on us, and what did we get? Freaking Hulk dogs. You’d expect better of a fellow Illini. If they ever made a Planet Hulk movie (they won’t because the story doesn’t have many humans)–now that would be incredible.
2. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (trailer) The first Hellboy movie was, in our opinion, vastly underrated. I’m a big fan of the character and Mike Mignola’s world-building and style. Also a fan of Guillermo Del Toro, who collaborated with Mignola on the original story for this film. It’s more mythological than pulp, and the trailer has a very Pan’s Labyrinth vibe to it. Can’t wait to see this one.
1. Batman: The Dark Knight (trailer) Full disclosure: this movie was #1 with me before the whole Heath thing. It was #1 before they even cast Ledger as the Joker. Why? To see what Chris Nolan does with two of the greatest foes of all time. This is Batman and the Joker. No rubber nipples, no Danny Elfman, no hint of Beetlejuice. I’m hoping Nolan was channeling Alan Moore and Frank Miller here. I hope the character scenes are as strong as Batman Begins and the action sequences have improved. And as a bonus, this one also has badass Morgan Freeman, as well as Gary Oldman as Gordon. I’m looking forward to this almost as much as Indy Jones.
So looks like Hollywood will be getting some of my money this summer. I only hope the returns from these films help prop up the actual comic books a while longer. Would also be nice to see more adaptations of some of the strong non-superhero comics stories.
My comic book DVD pick has to be Perisopolis, which has entered the netflix queue. And as for the most-anticipated-but-still-in-production category: Watchmen, and it’s not even close.
NOTE: Not under consideration for the summer: Speed Racer (a cartoon) and Hancock (never a comic book, though the Will Smith-as-an-irresponsible-super-hero angle looks intriguing)