July 26, 2011 | 7:49 a.m.
There were plenty of famous faces and Hollywood heavy hitters at the red-carpet premiere of “Captain America: The First Avenger,” but director Joe Johnston’s face lighted up in a special way when he was introduced to one guest who had flown in from the Pacific Northwest for the glitzy event — Ed Brubaker, the writer whose award-winning, seven-year run on the Marvel Comics adventures of Captain America became a key template for the big-screen adaptation. “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, ” Johnston said to Brubaker as Robert Downey Jr. passed by on his way to a seat inside the El Capitan Theatre. Johnston and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (who also met Brubaker at the movie palace on premiere night) have cited the comic book writer’s work as an influence on the mythology, tone and characters in the film that […]
June 08, 2011 | 6:01 p.m.
Actor Malcolm McDowell spoke some cosmic truth when he said that James T. Kirk, the lion of Starfleet, deserved a better death than the one he got in “Star Trek: Generations” almost two decades ago. “It was a paltry screen moment in a situation that called for something dramatic and inspired, something spectacular, even,” said McDowell, who happened to play the on-screen villain who sent William Shatner’s iconic character to his dusty doom. So we opened up the question to you — what sort of death would have been befitting the gold-shirted hero who bested the Kobayashi Maru simulation and also bedded half of the humanoid females in the universe? Through the miracle of Twitter, Facebook and comment board, you gave us the answers we were looking for — and few that we’d rather just forget. (Comic-book fans will recognize the […]
March 17, 2011 | 11:13 a.m.
It was 70 years ago this month that Captain America, the greatest of all the patriotic-themed superheroes, first hit newsstands with a red, white and blue shield gripped in his gloved hand. The signature creation of the classic tandem of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby gets his own feature film this summer, “Captain America: The First Avenger,” with Chris Evans in the title role and Joe Johnston in the director’s chair. To mark this major moment — as well as the impressive anniversary – we’ll be talking to writers, artists, actors, directors and musicians about their own personal connection to the star-spangled icon and their thoughts on his legacy and future. Today we kick off our salute with a look at 70 amazing covers that represent the enduring character through the decades. – Geoff Boucher (twitter.com/latherocomplex) RECENT AND RELATED Johnston’s dark plan: “Our Bucky […]
Feb. 02, 2011 | 3:57 p.m.
FIRST LOOK IMAGE Captain America has been throwing his mighty shield for 70 years and his sidekick, James “Bucky” Barnes, was right there at his side in that first comic book adventure in March 1941. The star-spangled hero’s junior partner is also making the leap to the silver screen this summer in ”Captain America: The First Avenger” but don’t expect the grinning teenager from the vintage wartime comics — this won’t be your grandfather’s idea of a superhero sidekick, according to director Joe Johnston. On Sunday, viewers of the Super Bowl will get their first real look at actor Chris Evans in action as Captain America with the airing of the initial television commercial for the July 22 film — and the ad also offers a glimpse of actor Sebastian Stan (“Gossip Girl,” “Kings”) as Bucky, but this version is more “Band of Brothers“ than he is boy […]
July 04, 2010 | 5:21 p.m.
I met a lot of people at the first-ever Hero Complex Film Festival last month, but one of the most memorable was Nico Rolke, a German film student who had jetted halfway around the globe to be at the event. I invited him to write about the experience, and he jumped at the chance. — Geoff Boucher When I told my friends and colleagues about my plan to fly to the Hero Complex Film Festival four weeks ago, the thing I heard the most was: “You are crazy!” One of my friends said, “Let me get this straight, you’re flying to Los Angeles all by yourself in the middle of the semester, leaving all your work and projects behind, just to see two directors on a stage answering some questions?” I told him I had to go, since Scott and Nolan are my […]
July 18, 2009 | 7:30 p.m.
This is a longer version of my story that is running Monday on the cover of the Los Angeles Times Calendar section. Even when the movies ended up bad — and they usually did — crime novelist Donald E. Westlake never had a problem taking Hollywood money for his ideas. But with his signature creation, the ruthless career criminal known simply as Parker, Westlake insisted that the names be changed to protect the guilty. Westlake, who died at age 75 this past New Year’s Eve, saw seven movies made from his Parker novels (which were all published under his pseudonym Richard Stark), but in each film the main character’s name was changed; even when Lee Marvin, Robert Duvall or Mel Gibson was in the role, Westlake wouldn’t entrust his favorite brand name to anyone else. That changed, though, in the final months […]
June 15, 2009 | 6:36 p.m.
SEE IT HERE FIRST: FIVE PAGES OF “CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN” It’s hard to keep a good man down and, well, practically impossible to keep a superhero dead. Remember when Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, was killed in March 2007 by the shot heard ’round the world, especially if you live on the pop-culture planet inhabited by fanboys? Here’s today’s newsflash: He’s feeling much better. On July 1, just in time for Independence Day, Marvel Comics will release the first of a five-issue arc called “Captain America Reborn,” which will be written by Ed Brubaker (the star scribe who killed Cap off in the first place and was also behind the compelling ”Criminal” series and a memorable run of “Daredevil“) and drawn by Bryan Hitch (the British artist who was co-creator of “The Ultimates” and “The Authority“). The cover art, shown here on the right, is […]
March 01, 2009 | 11:26 p.m.
Ed Brubaker’s "Angel of Death" premieres Monday but its just part of the wave of Hollywood ventures for comic-book creators. These are strange, heady days for comic-book creators who find themselves signing autographs in the same room as Hollywood celebrities — and sometimes the movie stars are the ones asking for the signatures. "This is pretty awesome," said Ed Brubaker, the Seattle-based comic-book writer, as he wandered through a backstage room where the cast of the film "Watchmen" was preparing for a promotional appearance at WonderCon, the huge Bay Area comic-book convention. Dave Gibbons, the artist of the original "Watchmen" comics, was at a center table signing posters and enjoying the attention of cast members, among them Jackie Earle Haley, an Oscar-nominated actor who gave the bespectacled British illustrator a reverent bow. "I am shocked again and again," Gibbons said […]
Jan. 10, 2009 | 12:12 a.m.
Valentine’s Day is still a month off, but I already have my new romance for 2009 — I absolutely love “Incognito.” I also suspect that when I’m decorating my next Christmas tree, this book by writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips will be on my year-end list for the best of 2009. The first issue of the Icon/Marvel Comics series sold out, and a second printing, with this cover right here, will soon be on its way to stands. I met Brubaker for the first time a few weeks back on the set of “Angel of Death,” the White Rock Lake Productions project that is going to be very interesting to watch. It’s planned as a series of live-action, episodic shorts for Crackle, the Sony online video destination. And from what I saw on the set I think it’s […]