May 22, 2015 | 4:18 p.m.
It’s time for another installment of Paycheck Friday, the weekly roundup of some of Hero Complex’s favorite toys, games, books and other geek merchandise. While a slate of summer movies including “Tomorrowland,” “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Pitch Perfect 2” battle it out in the box office over the weekend, this week’s paycheck goes to taking a trip to your local comic book shop to catch up on the month’s releases. With May marking the launch of Marvel’s “Secret Wars” event series that sees the various Marvel universes combining into one unified Battleworld just as DC’s “Convergence” event is winding down, it’s easy to get lost in the various interconnected tie-in series from the “Big Two.” Fear not, this week’s comic book selections are titles that require no knowledge of “Secret Wars” or “Convergence.” This week’s first pick is “The […]
May 13, 2015 | 7:06 p.m.
Move over “X-Men,” it’s time for some “New Mutants.” 20th Century Fox is expanding its “X-Men” franchise with a new stand-alone spinoff film to be written and directed by Josh Boone. “We’re so excited to explore this new part of the X-Men universe, and so excited to do it with Josh, who is uniquely suited to tell this story about young characters,” confirmed Simon Kinberg in a statement. The “X-Men” veteran producer is slated to produce the film with Lauren Shuler Donner. Most recently, Boone directed “The Fault in Our Stars,” the 2014 adaptation of the John Green young adult novel of the same name starring “Divergent” series costars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as teens who meet in a cancer patients’ support group and fall in love. The film grossed $307.2 million worldwide during its theatrical run. Boone’s first […]
May 12, 2015 | 11:06 a.m.
Warning: This post contains spoilers. The identity of the new Thor has been a closely guarded secret since her debut in “Thor: God of Thunder” No. 25 in 2014. Fans have known that the character’s hidden name would be announced in “Thor” No. 8, which comes out Wednesday, but writer Jason Aaron has already dropped the proverbial hammer. Thor is Dr. Jane Foster, a longtime ally and love interest of Thor Odinson, notably during his time as his alter-ego, Dr. Donald Blake. Jane Foster was created way back in 1962 by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby, first appearing in “Journey into Mystery” No. 84. She has been played in the Marvel Cinematic Universe by Natalie Portman, though her origins there have been altered from being a nurse or EMT to being a scientist. The “Thor” writer released the […]
May 12, 2015 | 8:00 a.m.
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” is dominating the box office, earning more than $312 domestically so far. But when director Joss Whedon was in the thick of production on the Marvel sequel, he was terrified of failure. Whedon — previously best known for creating cult darling TV shows such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” its spinoff series “Angel,” the sci-fi Western “Firefly” and the short-lived “Dollhouse” — hit box office gold with his 2012 blockbuster “The Avengers,” the first tentpole film in Marvel’s mega-franchise. “Avengers” was praised for its wit, warmth and careful balancing of its all-star superhero roster. Before that film’s opening, Whedon said he had mixed feelings about the possibility of directing its sequel. “You know, I’m very torn,” Whedon told Hero Complex in 2012. “It’s an enormous amount of work telling what is ultimately somebody else’s story, even […]
May 09, 2015 | 10:47 a.m.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Scarlett Johansson’s spy-assassin Black Widow stands apart from the rest of the Avengers. Widow, also known as Natasha Romanoff, doesn’t have superpowers, a stand-alone film or a plethora of action figures. Until the events of “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” she was the team’s only female member. And unlike her Avengers companions who have families and friends outside the super-team to protect, Widow lacks human ties to the world she’s trying to save. “Age of Ultron” explores Widow’s desire for connection, revealing her painful past and redefining her role on the team. “Regardless of gender, characters work when they have substance and when they are grounded in something that is visceral and true,” Johansson told the Los Angeles Times last month. “I loved that she is sort of this reluctant superhero, that she is kind of a […]
May 07, 2015 | 11:22 a.m.
The ever-expanding portfolio of Team Mickey Mouse will be showcased at this year’s D23 Expo, the all-things-Disney convention presented by its official fan club, D23. Disney confirmed Thursday morning that upcoming films from the Marvel and “Star Wars” universes will be previewed at the August convention. Additionally, fans will get a peek at what’s to come at Disney theme parks, no doubt a look at the “Avatar”-inspired land under construction in Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom but perhaps some news on a much-anticipated Star Wars land (Hero Complex’s fingers are crossed). Tickets for the D23 Expo are currently on sale, with single-day passes for adults starting at $67 (cheaper for D23 members). A three-day pass for the Aug. 14-16 convention at the Anaheim Convention Center currently runs $196 for adults, with prices set to rise after June 30. The D23 Expo was last staged in Anaheim […]
May 07, 2015 | 10:34 a.m.
Production has begun on Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War,” the third film in the franchise starring Chris Evans as the star-spangled superhero. Cap will have plenty of company in the follow-up, including Black Panther and Avengers old and new. The film features veteran Avengers Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and new Avengers Falcon (Anthony Mackie), the Vision (Paul Bettany), War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). “Civil War” also stars Sebastian Stan, who reprises his “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” role, and “Ant-Man” star Paul Rudd, who will make his first appearance alongside the Avengers. “Winter Soldier” cast members Emily VanCamp (Sharon Carter/Agent 13) and Frank Grillo (Brock Rumlow/Crossbones) are also returning, as well as William Hurt, who appeared in Marvel’s “The Incredible Hulk” as General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross. Newcomers […]
May 06, 2015 | 12:39 p.m.
Scott Lang is anything but ant-sized in the new official “Ant-Man” poster. Just after “Avengers: Age of Ultron” made its North American debut, earning $191.3 million in the domestic box office over the weekend for the second-best domestic opening ever, Marvel has released its second official “Ant-Man” poster to remind fans that there is more superhero action to come in the summer. The poster features Ant-Man standing tall in his full suit as Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang, Ant-Man’s alter ego, peers over one shoulder. Over Ant-Man’s other shoulder is Dr. Hank Pym, played by Michael Douglas, as if to symbolize how Ant-Man shoulders both Lang’s less-than-stellar past as well as Dr. Pym’s expectations. Others featured in the poster include Evangeline Lilly, who plays Pym’s daughter Hope Van Dyne (who you may recall lands a solid right cross in the official […]
May 05, 2015 | 11:59 a.m.
Warning: This post contains spoilers. Rumors are buzzing about the reasons behind “Avengers: Age of Ultron” director Joss Whedon’s decision to leave Twitter, with some observers blaming fan backlash about Black Widow’s role in the Marvel film. Portrayed on the big screen by Scarlett Johansson, Black Widow, a.k.a. Natasha Romanoff, is a spy who abandons U.S.S.R. secret ops to fight for the good guys, joining S.H.I.E.L.D. and later the Avengers Initiative. One version of her origin story in the comics reveals that Natasha was raised by the so-called Black Widow Ops program at the covert “Red Room” complex, brainwashed from childhood and trained in combat and espionage. It’s this back story that makes its way to the silver screen in Whedon’s “Avengers” sequel in an emotional exchange between Widow and Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner, with both characters lamenting their inability […]
May 04, 2015 | 5:30 p.m.
Marvel fans have been wondering whether Scarlett Johansson will ever suit up for a Black Widow solo movie, following in the footsteps of Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Captain America. If the studio ever gets around to it, they now have a hilarious “Saturday Night Live” spoof to remind them of what not to do. When “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” co-star Johansson hosted “SNL” this weekend, it didn’t take long for her perpetually supporting role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — and the state of onscreen female superheroes — to be skewered on the episode. The spoof arrives at a time when Marvel Studios — and the superhero genre at large — has come under fire for the representation of female heroes on the big screen. A new batch of leaked emails from the Sony hack, posted at Wikileaks.org, indicates that Marvel Studios is still wary of […]