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Biff Bam Pop’s It’s All Connected: Golden Glitter & An Underlying Darkness-The Legacy of Tony Stark In The MCU (Part 1)

Tony StarkEveryone loves a superhero. And that’ s never been truer than today, in our pop-culture obsessed twenty-first century.

The main purveyors of superhero stories are, of course, the comic book publishers, large, medium and small. Marvel Comics, arguably the most globally successful of those creators, has birthed no fewer than a grandiose thirty-four films over the last decade and a half, with two more set to be released later this very calendar year. The most eagerly anticipated of those yet-to-be seen films must be Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), a film whose original garnered over $1.5 billion in box office receipts in 2012.

That’s a tidy sum for movie that had an approximate budget of $220 million. And that bottom line doesn’t include the lucrative franchise offerings of licensed toys, video games, magazines and all the ancillary products featuring the Marvel Comics characters of Captain America, the Hulk, Nick Fury and Thor.

Yes, everyone loves a superhero. And these days, everyone loves the character of Tony Stark, the superhero known around the globe as Iron Man.

Brilliantly played with zest and aplomb by actor Robert Downey Jr., Tony Stark, the Iron Man, is known as the quick thinking, fast-talking, faster acting, mustachioed playboy with a golden ticket in the form of his parentage, as well as an all-important golden suit of high-tech armor.

But beyond his humorous quips, his intrinsic glamour and his numerous heroic deeds, there lays a dark lining to the legacy of everyone’s favourite, shining character. It is a legacy that Tony Stark has both inherited and, in fact, cultivated, through his own personal failings.

And so much good and bad in the Marvel Cinematic Universe exists because it.

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Biff Bam Pop Exclusive: 5 Questions With Peter David + A Preview Of The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – The Prisoner Issue 2

Legendary comic scribe Peter David is just that – a legend, thanks to defining runs on the Incredible Hulk and X-Factor, to name just two. For the past seven years, he’s been writing the Marvel adaptation of Stephen King’s seminal The Dark Tower series of books, alongside noted Dark Tower authority and King colleague Robin Furth. We had the chance to talk to Robin a few years ago, at the time of the release of the first Dark Tower Omnibus, and now, with we’ve got Peter David, who answered five questions about the series The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – The Prisoner, which tells of the early days of future ka-tet member Eddie Dean. The first issue was absolutely stellar for this Dark Tower devotee, full of familiar characters, great storytelling and easter eggs. So take a taste of what awaits you at the Dixie Pig.

DTTPCoverAndy Burns: As a big Dark Tower fan, seeing a whole new side of Eddie Dean was a real gift, so thank you for that. Could you talk a little about how this particular series came into being? 

Peter David: I’m reasonably sure it came into being because of me.  I was in Jacksonville, Florida, a year and a half ago, recovering from a stroke, and Steve was kind enough to come visit me.  He drove five hours to come up and spend an hour and a half at the facility with me.  And while he was there, I told him–quite honestly–that fans kept asking when we were going to stop adapting book two.  That they were anxious to see Eddie Dean and the others and continue Roland’s adventures.  And Steve said, “Really?”  And I said “Yeah.”  And Steve said, “We should do that, then.”  A month later I got a call from my former editor Bill Rosemann and he said, “Guess what?  We’re back!”  So thank God I had a stroke!

Andy Burns: One aspect of the first issue I really enjoyed was that a newcomer could pick up the issue and be immediately engaged, while Dark Tower devotees get to see familiar places or concepts. How different is the approach to this series from previous Dark Tower comics? Read the rest of this entry

Iron Man: Super-Villain?

iron1By the end of this weekend we’ll probably all have seen the third installment of the Iron Man film series, Iron Man 3. The armored avenger seems to be more popular now than ever before. He wasn’t always this popular though, even to comics fans.

When I was a wee one, I didn’t even know who Iron Man was, beyond the guy in the armor in the Avengers. My very first impression of him, my first comic book with him in it… was a wild one. It was a comic that showed me a whole different side of Iron Man, or at least in the memory of a six year old boy. I’ll be back after the jump with my memories and thoughts on The Incredible Hulk #131 from 1970.

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Tales from the Longbox – Incredible Hulk #300 (1984)

Every other week, Jason Shayer will highlight an issue or a run of issues pulled from the horde of comic book long boxes that occupy more room in his house than his wife can tolerate. Each of these reviews will delve into what made that issue or run significant as well as discuss the creative personalities behind the work. “Long Box” refers to the lengthy, white cardboard boxes most comics find themselves stored within – bagged, alphabetized and numerically ordered.

Incredible Hulk #300
“Days of Rage”
October 1984
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Penciler: Sal Buscema
Inker: Gerry Talaoc

This “Special Abnormally Large Size Issue!” of the Incredible Hulk is another classic of the 1980s. Not only was it the climax and culmination of writer Bill Mantlo’s two year storyline featuring Hulk with Banner’s intellect, but it also kicks off a bold new direction for the Hulk.

Find out more after the jump!
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Saturday At The Movies: Avengers Assemble – 16 Hours of Avenging

I think Joss Whedon owns a shawarma franchise.  But I get ahead of myself.

There were a bunch of ways to watch The Avengers opening day.  Okay, a bunch of legal ways.  You could go see it during the normal evening hours on the Friday it opens. You can go to the Friday midnight screening.  Or you could attend a marathon screening of all the films in the Avengers series, followed by a midnight premier.

The experience was definitely a unique one.  I met with a group of friends at a local Denny’s for breakfast (it was convenient to the theatre as much as anything else).

Following that, it was fifteen hours of film madness.

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