April 27, 2015 | 2:15 p.m.
The countdown is on for the moment when “Avengers: Age of Ultron” finally opens in North American theaters on Friday, kicking off the summer movie season and sweeping all of pop culture up into its vortex of superhero action. While international audiences can already see the movie — and have been to the total of $201 million in overseas grosses — fans in the U.S. and Canada will just have to pass the time with “Sesame Street’s” take on the film, “Aveggies: Age of Bon Bon.” And as far as place holders go, it’s hard to beat this one. Presented as part of Cookie Monster’s “Crumby Pictures” series of film parodies, “Aveggies” features a superhero lineup including Cookie Monster as the mild-mannered Dr. Brownie, Onion Man, Captain Americauliflower, Black Bean Widow, Mighty Corn and Zuchin-eye. Their villain in this world […]
April 25, 2015 | 6:00 a.m.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has much to celebrate these days. The architect of Marvel’s movie landscape has presided over an unprecedented string of hits — to date, the company has released 10 films that have brought in more than $7 billion. Under a deal announced earlier this year, he will have an opportunity to reframe Marvel’s most iconic character, bringing Spider-Man into Marvel’s blockbuster cinematic universe before the hero goes spinning back to anchor his own franchise for Sony Pictures, his movie home since 2002. And that doesn’t take into account a range of future projects that will likely extend Marvel’s box-office dominance well into the next decade. That Feige was able to construct Marvel’s foundations without the presence of its most well-known hero makes the company’s fortunes that much more impressive to industry observers. Once Marvel began making […]
April 24, 2015 | 6:10 p.m.
Welcome to another edition of Paycheck Friday, a roundup of some of Hero Complex’s favorite geek merchandise including books, games and toys. Young Bobby Drake was outed during a conversation with Jean Grey in this week’s issue of “All New X-Men,” making Drake’s Iceman one of the most high-profile LGBTQ superheroes in Marvel comics. In light of this occasion, this week’s paycheck goes to our local comic book shop to pick up some of our favorite comics featuring queer characters that hit the shelves this month. It’s only fitting to start with “All New X-Men” No. 40 written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Muhmud Asrar. An ongoing series since 2012, “All New X-Men” centers on younger versions of the five original X-Men members who were brought from the past to face their future counterparts. The issue follows “The […]
April 24, 2015 | 11:32 a.m.
Having proved it can effectively adapt a comic into a game with its work on “The Wolf Among Us” and “The Walking Dead,” the Bay Area’s Telltale Games is increasing its comics’ portfolio. Telltale has partnered with Marvel Entertainment for a game project to be released in 2017, the company revealed Thursday night in San Francisco. Little is known about the game, including its title, at this point beyond the year-long release window. Telltale has won acclaim in recent years for its narrative-focused games that emphasize dialogue rather than action. They’re episodic, with each chapter generally able to be completed in two or three hours, and are leading a movement that brings games closer to interactive television shows. Additionally, Telltale’s work with Robert Kirkman’s ‘The Walking Dead” and Bill Willingham’s Vertigo series “Fables,” on which “The Wolf Among Us” is based, focused on original […]
April 24, 2015 | 5:30 a.m.
LONDON — A helicopter hovered in the July afternoon sky, cameras rolling on board, to capture the cascade of glass raining through the sky. An ear-shattering explosion had just blown out the windows of a multi-story structure, sending civilians running for cover and Captain America straight onto the windshield of a nearby car. Actor Chris Evans winced with pain as he peeled his battered superhero frame off the shattered vehicle. Moments later, he was in top form once more, striding through a field of crumpled vehicles next to Chris Hemsworth’s Thor to do battle with the mighty foe that gets title billing in this summer’s highly anticipated Marvel outing, “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” arriving May 1. “Some days, you’re like, can’t they just talk?” quipped writer-director Joss Whedon as he worked out some last-minute fight choreography with a stunt coordinator […]
April 23, 2015 | 11:58 a.m.
It takes a special sort of actor to embody a towering robotic villain with the ability to make Tony Stark lose his cool, but if anyone can fit that bill, it’s James Spader. The respected Emmy-winning actor (“The Blacklist,” “Boston Legal”) whose extensive filmography includes projects directed by the likes of Steven Spielberg, David Cronenberg and Steven Soderbergh, among others, joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the iconic comic book antagonist Ultron — a character that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige suggested might have a larger role to play beyond just the new sequel. Hero Complex caught up with Spader on his last day of filming “Age of Ultron” to learn what it’s like to inhabit such an unusual character and what drew him to the role. What interested you in playing Ultron? He’s certainly not your conventional villain. When […]
April 21, 2015 | 2:07 p.m.
Captain Marvel is on her way to being the star she was always meant to be. Marvel has announced that Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve have been tapped to write the upcoming “Captain Marvel” film. Perlman, of course, is not new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She was the co-writer of last year’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which introduced audiences to the ragtag crew of Star Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot as they formed a team to stop Ronan from destroying planets. “Captain Marvel” will be LeFauve’s first venture into the MCU. LeFauve was the co-writer for Disney and Pixar’s upcoming animated film “Inside Out,” which revolves around the world of personified emotions that live within the mind of Riley, a girl who was recently uprooted due to her father’s new job, as they struggle to help Riley adapt. […]
April 21, 2015 | 1:29 p.m.
A TV series spinning off from “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is in the works, Hero Complex has confirmed. Though details about the new show have yet to be revealed, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” series regulars Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood are set to star. “S.H.I.E.L.D.” executive producer Jeffrey Bell and writer Paul Zbyszewski are teaming up to helm the project. In “S.H.I.E.L.D.” Palicki portrays highly skilled agent Barbara “Bobbi” Morse, better known in the comics as Mockingbird. Nick Blood plays Bobbi’s ex-husband, Lance Hunter, a former British soldier and mercenary. The potential spinoff comes after Marvel’s critically praised limited series “Agent Carter,” which starred “Captain America: The First Avenger” actress Hayley Atwell as the eponymous Agent Peggy Carter, on a mission to save Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) from well-meaning but wrong-headed investigators at the Strategic Scientific Reserve (S.S.R.). – Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark […]
April 15, 2015 | 12:01 p.m.
Herb Trimpe, a veteran comic book artist who helped shape Marvel’s Silver Age of comics, died Monday at 75. Trimpe is perhaps best known for his work as the artist on “The Incredible Hulk” from 1968 to 1975. It was during this run that Trimpe became the first artist to draw Wolverine for publication when the mutant debuted in “Incredible Hulk” No. 180 in 1974 (Wolverine’s first full appearance was in the following issue, also drawn by Trimpe). While Wolverine, co-created by Roy Thomas, Len Wein and John Romita Sr., is a notable exception, Trimpe was a co-creator for nearly all of the characters introduced during his “Hulk” tenure, including Jim Wilson and Doc Samson, whom he co-created with Thomas. Trimpe was also the mind behind the Hulkbusters military unit, led by Gen. Thunderbolt Ross (who was created by Stan […]
April 14, 2015 | 12:46 p.m.
The cast of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” assembled for an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in advance of Monday’s “Avengers” Hollywood premiere. Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner cozied up on the late-night show to talk about the film, which unites heroes from Marvel’s standalone blockbusters. Discussions included how “magical” the filming was for the then-pregnant Johansson as well as Ruffalo’s affection for what he has dubbed Hulk’s “man-canceling” suit. Then, perhaps in a nod to the future “Civil War” storyline the Marvel Cinematic Universe is venturing into, the “Avengers” cast was split into teams to face off in a friendly game of “Family Feud.” In one corner was The Americas, led by Evans, with teammates Ruffalo and Renner. In the other was The Mans, lead by Downey Jr., with Johansson and […]