30 September 2006

The Many Foes of Spider-Man - Doppelganger

Look out Spider-Man, here comes the Man-Spideresque Doppelganger.

Doppelganger, also known as Spider-Doppelganger, is an evil, near-mindless double (or doppleganger if you will) of Spider-Man created during a battle called the Infinity War. Doppelganger possesses Spider-Man's strength, speed, wall-climbing abilities, spider-sense, and has six arms, claws, fangs, and the ability to produce its own razor-edged webbing.

Doppelganger was killed during the Infinity War by the Hobgoblin, but was revived by the Demogoblin after which time Doppleganger served as a pet of sorts to the demonic goblin. Doppleganger was eventually put down by Carnage in the Maximum Carnage storyline, and has not been seen since.

Villain Profiles:

the Beetle
Black Cat
the Chameleon
Doctor Octopus

Spider-Man 3 debuts in 216 days!

29 September 2006

Superheroes on Screen - Iron Man Unmasked

From Superherohype.com

Academy Award® Nominee Robert Downey Jr. will take on the role of one of Marvel's greatest Super Heroes, signing on as the title character for Marvel Studios' highly-anticipated Iron Man. This project, the first feature film to be produced independently by Marvel Entertainment, will launch into theaters May 2, 2008. The film is being directed by Jon Favreau and will be distributed by Paramount Pictures.

Downey is widely recognized as one of Hollywood's most versatile actors. Nominated for an Oscar® for his extraordinary portrayal of Charlie Chaplin in "Chaplin," Downey has been featured in more than 50 films. His upcoming credits include "Fur" (co-starring Nicole Kidman), "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints," and the David Fincher film "Zodiac." He has also recently been seen in such films as: "A Scanner Darkly," "The Shaggy Dog," "Good Night, And Good Luck.," "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang," "Gothika," "The Singing Detective" and "Wonder Boys."

Based upon Marvel's iconic Super Hero, Iron Man tells the story of Tony Stark, a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor who is kidnapped and forced to build a devastating weapon. Instead, using his intelligence and ingenuity, Tony builds a high-tech suit of armor and escapes captivity. Upon his return to America, Tony must come to terms with his past. When he uncovers a nefarious plot with global implications, he dons his powerful armor and vows to protect the world as Iron Man.

"Robert Downey Jr. is one of the most talented and acclaimed actors of this generation. His versatility sets him apart and makes him an ideal fit to play such a complex character as Iron Man. We could not think of another actor better suited to bring one of Marvel's crown jewels to the big screen and be the centerpiece of our first independently produced feature," said Kevin Feige, President of Production, Marvel Studios.

Marvel Studios is currently casting all supporting roles. Filming is slated to begin in Los Angeles in February 2007.

Iron Man will be produced by Feige and Avi Arad. Executive Producers are Michael Helfant, Ari Arad, Favreau, Louis D'Esposito and Peter Billingsley. Downey is represented by CAA.

I didn't see that casting choice coming, but I like it. Looks like Iron Man is off to a good start.

28 September 2006

The Grease Trap - What I am Watching

Welcome to The Grease Trap, where I try and capture the crispy golden nuggets from the cesspool that it most television. The new fall season has begun, and I have my schedule all planned out. Also, thanks to my new DVR, I can make my watching more efficient.


I haven't been won over yet, but a comic book geek like me has to give Heroes a shot. This show has a similar tone to Unbreakable - superheroes/villains in the real world. Heroes include an invincible cheerleader, a flying dude, a guy who can paint the future, a stripper who's mirror image can kill people, and a mind reading cop. So far though, the Japanese Hiro with his bending of the space time continuum is my favorite.


Lucky me, a day off!


The mysteries of the island deepen on Lost. This year I hope to learn a bit more about the smoke monster and the others. Also it would be nice to see Charlie the hobbit die.


Ah, a double bill. Smallville enters its 6th season and we can expect Green Arrow to appear along with returning appearances by Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman. I wouldn't be devastated if this was the last year for the show, since I would like it to go out while its still on top of its game. By now, I think most people just want to see Clark Kent put on the costume and fly.

Also on Thursdays is The Office. After seeing the British Office, I never imagined the show would work in the US, but it has. This has to be the funniest show on TV right now.


Battlestar Galactica is back. I think that name recognition actually hurts this show. The new version of this series is not a lot like the 70's show, other than sharing the same basic premise. But while the old was a campy Star Wars ripoff, the new is a smart political and character driven show that happens to be in space.


Saturday morning has an animation block of The Legion of Superheroes, staring Superman and his futuristic buddies, and The Batman. The day wraps up with Fantastic Four. This animated show is so far style over substance, but given the slim pickings on Saturdays I will keep in on my watch list.


Yep, I am one of the ones still watching The Simpsons after 18 years. They aren't as funny as they used to be, but they are still better than The Family Guy, King of the Hill, or American Dad. Every year, you can count on the Halloween episode being fantastic, as well as several other episodes of greatness scattered throughout the season.

26 September 2006

Ink Blots XXXI - Yellow Submarine

When the Blue Meanies attack Pepperland, it's John, Paul, George, and Ringo to the rescue in this colorful (likely drug inspires) romp.

The film opens in the colorful and cartoony Pepperland. The music-hating Meanies attack with their big blue flying glove turning the townspeople to stone. Fred the Pepperlanderer jumps aboard a flying yellow submarine and heads to Liverpool, a gray and dreary land with much more angular reality-based designs in which the yellow sub sticks out like a sore thumb. The sub captain finds the Beatles in their mansion with hundred of doors (which houses the likes of yellow elephants, Frankenstein's monster, King Kong, and locomotives). Aboard the SS Yellow Sub, The Fab Four sail the sea of time (where they sprout old man beards and where each second gets its own animated visual), sea of science, sea of monsters (complete with a "university" of fish, giant kinky boots, and two-eyed cyclops), sea of nothing, sea of heads, and sea of holes all with crazy imaginative and distinct visuals ranging in inspiration from MC Escher to Salvador Dali. They finally arrive in Pepperland, where the pace does slow a bit, and they impersonate Sgt. Pepper's band, and ultimately establish peace in the land (love is stronger than glove).

The film includes such hits as the titular Yellow Submarine, Eleanor Rigby, All Together Now, When I'm 64, Only a Northern Song, Nowhere Man, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, All You Need is Love, Hey Bulldog, and It's All Too Much.

While the actual movie story is pretty terrible as is the animation quality, that's not really the point. The visuals are insanely brilliant and creatively mesmerizing. This is really a quintessential piece of 1960's psychedelic art, a modern Alice in Wonderland. Add to the visuals classic Beatles tunes, and count me entertained to the tune of an A-.

25 September 2006

Transformers Update: The JAZZman

Presenting JAZZ - Here are early designs of Jazz from the Transformers Movie along with his actual car form - a Pontiac Solstice.


The names of the Autobots and Decepticons appearing in next summer's Transformers movie were released along with a bit of commentary. I thought that would throw in a few pictures of the robots as an added bonus. Click for bigger version. Sadly there is no ghetto-blaster (or iPod) Soundwave, but I admit the "flame" look on Prime looks A-Ok. Enjoy.


Optimus Prime - "The king!"

Bumblebee - "He's the same underdog character we always knew and loved." [Note: Except he's a Camaro in the new movie.]

Jazz - "He's eager to take on the Decepticons."

Ratchet - "Ratchet, who was an ambulance in the cartoon, will appear in a new form."

Ironhide - "The muscle. A tough soldier who can make any Transformer bust an o-ring just with his stare!"


Megatron - "He's been portrayed as pure evil but we're trying to get a little bit behind the evil in this movie. ... He has a slightly less idealistic version of what he thinks humanity is worth."

Starscream - "Always secretly plotting to dethrone Megatron..."

- "An extremely pissed off Decepticon."

Bonecrusher - "The closest thing to a Constructicon in the film."

Barricade - "The hunter of the group -- a cop car."

Scorpinok - "Closest thing to Beast Wars or Dinobot in the film."

Frenzy - "A smaller form able to infiltrate spaces -- a stealth spy."

Blackout - "The guy who takes out our ability to fight back."

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