04 November 2006

The Many Foes of Spider-Man - Hydro-Man

Making a splash in the villains line-up is Hydro-Man

Morrie Bench was knocked overboard by Spider-Man during a battle at sea with Namor the Sub-Mariner. When Bench was exposed to the energy of an experimental underwater generator, he mutated into living water. As such he can slip through small spaces, and shower his enemies with punches with more fury than a super soaker 2000! He sought revenge on the web-head, but evaporated after being scattered along hot New York rooftops. Yet, eventually his particles reassembled.

At one point, Hydro and Sandman merged into the creature Mud Thing. After that experience, Hydro became more of a team player aligning himself with numerous super villain teams including the Sinister Twelve and Frightful Four. He has consequently been defeated by a vast array of superheroes.

Villain Profiles:

the Beetle
Black Cat
the Chameleon
Doctor Octopus
the Green Goblin

Spider-Man 3 debuts in 181 days!

31 October 2006

Ink Blots XXXVI - Hellboy: Sword of Storms

Hellboy (actually baby Hellboy) was summoned by the Nazi's during World War II, only to be captured and raised by us good guys in these United States. Now he fights the paranormal with his pyrokinetic friend Liz and the aquatic Abe. These three were previously seen in the Hellboy comics and in 2004's live action Hellboy movie. I caught Sword of Storms in its Cartoon Network debut, though the film will be released on DVD in early 2007.

The film opens with a neat sequence of the trio fighting some Mayan zombies and a big flying beastie. Liz cooks the crap out of them, and we know never to mess with her. Then Hellboy gets called off to Japan to investigate some mysterious happenings. Turns out a professor has been possessed by some demons (Thunder and Lightning) that are trapped in a sword. Hellboy finds the sword and in transported to a land of Japanese myths. He beats up on some corpseless heads, a big she-spider, and a water beastie and eventually learns that he can only escape this land by breaking the sword, an act that would also free those demons. In the meantime, Liz and Abe are left to deal with some dragons being summoned by the sword demons.

In all, its a nice little film, that plays more like a long episode of a series than a feature. It is surprising that the cast of the live-action film were brought in to voice their animated counterparts, a nice touch. I enjoyed the live-action film more, but this movie is a decent follow up. One problem is that the scope of the villains never seems as intense or threatening and I would have liked a bit more complexity to the story, though the humor was nicely balanced with action. I am encouraged that another animated film, Hellboy: Blood and Iron is in the works which promises to up the ante for the animated Hellboy universe. With a bit of room to grow on, Hellboy: Sword of Storms earns a B.