The X-Women

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Monty's Top 25 Favorite Comic Book Characters Part Two (#1 - #12)

Here is the second part of my top 25 favorite comic book characters. The final 12. Six are male, six are female. And two villains make this portion of the list. So here we go:
12.) DEATHSTROKE - Slade Wilson is one of the craftiest and bad ass villains ever. His constant hatred of The Titans has pretty much fueled his entire career. But he has also managed to tangle with the big boys, the Justice League. His battle with some of their members in the Identity Crisis series is classic.
11.) FLASH - Barry Allen/Wally West. I always thought super-speed was a cool power to have. And Flash is about the best speed character there is. I was devastated when he died in Crisis. But when Wally West (Kid Flash ) took over I liked the character even more. Wally matured into a great hero. And I personally think by bringing Barry back,DC messed up. That's just me.
10.) BLACK CANARY - Dinah Lance. Superb female character that can kick ass with the best of them. Armed with her powerful canary cry, bad guys beware. Her rocky relationship with Green Arrow over the years has been one of the best relationships in comic books. She is a proven team leader and works great with The Birds of Prey.

9.) DONNA TROY - One of my favorite sidekicks that matured into her own heroic self. Growing up in the shadow of Wonder Woman couldn't have been easy but Donna quickly became a fan favorite as Wonder Girl. Her years with the The Teen Titans were great and her very confusing origin was finally explained. She has gone from Wonder Girl to Troia and is now a member of the Justice League.
8.) MAGNETO - My highest ranking villain is Magneto and he is awesome. Regal but can be ruthless. When his character was brought to the silver screen, Sir Ian McKellan nailed it. And was one of the best things about the X-Men films, besides Wolverine. This guy is one of the best characters ever! And I dare you to say anything bad about mutants if front of him. I dare you. He'll turn the iron inside out of your bloodstream.
7.) WONDER WOMAN - Diana Prince. Amazon. Warrior. Hero. Friend. These all describe the first major female hero to grace comic books. Her career has spanned some 60 years and doesn't seem to be slowing down at all.

6.) BATMAN - Bruce Wayne has been around forever. Through the good and bad, he has always come out on top. This character is definitely one of my favorites. And the fact that he has no super-powers, just gadgets and one of the greatest minds ever, just make him even better.
5.) SARA PEZZINI - The New York cop who became the bearer of the powerful weapon called the Witchblade. I have read every single issue of this amazing series since day one. And it started back in 1995. Sara Pezzini is a take charge, no bullshit kind of a character and I love her. I can't believe this series is actually still as good since it first came out some 15 years ago.
4.) MS. MARVEL - What started out as a Marvel version of Wonder Woman has become something more. Carol Danvers has had a life of ups and downs, probably more downs but she is back in form now as a team player on The Avengers. I have loved Ms. Marvel since her early days and love her even more today. Her connection to my next favorite comic book character makes her and said person even more of my favorites.

3.) ROGUE - Not talking about the movie version but the real deal. Rogue started out as a super villain, stealing Ms. Marvel's powers completely, because she wasn't able to control her own power stealing powers. But after coming to the X-Men for aid, she became a true hero. I love Rogue as she is my favorite X-Man. Lately she has lost those original Ms. Marvel powers but she is still one great character.
2.) NIGHTWING - Dick Grayson always known as Robin, sidekick to Batman. Once he became Nightwing and his own man, things really took off for him. He is a natural born leader and his detective skills rival those of Batman. Hell he even stepped in to fill Batman's shoes while Bruce was missing and did one hell of a job. Nightwing is one of the best comic book characters ever created.
1.) SPIDER-MAN - And finally my favorite comic book character of all time...Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man. I could relate to Peter because of his nerdiness, his struggles with the ladies, his lack of know, realistic things. And even while dealing with some of the most dangerous super-villains ever created, he was always ready to dispense with a quip or wisecrack. I love Spider-Man. I enjoyed the TV series from the 70's, the very cool Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends cartoon in the 80's and I was in total bliss when the movies finally came out and Tobey Maguire nailed it as Peter/Spider-Man. So, there you have it Spider-Man is my favorite character ever and that is my complete top 25 list. Hope you enjoyed it. Would love to hear everyone's own list, doesn't have to be ten is cool.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monty's Top 25 Favorite Comic Book Characters Part 1 (#13 - 25)

Finally got around to making my top 25 favorite comic book characters list. I split it into two parts and I will start at no. 25 and work down. As The Joker would say...Here...we...go.
25.) SUSAN STORM AKA THE INVISIBLE WOMAN - Sue is  my favorite member of the Fantastic Four and not just because she's a beautiful blonde. But Sue is one bad ass woman. Early in her career all she could really do was turn invisible. But things quickly changed and Sue became really powerful. Remember her force fields has held The Incredible Hulk in check. And let's not forget that awesome display of power back in the 80's when she maintained a large force field on the entire Manhattan island after baddie Terrax flung it into space. WOW!
24.) THE SILVER SURFER - Speaking of Terrax, here is another former herald of Galactus..actually Norrin Radd is the first and most famous herald. He rebelled against Galactus and gained his freedom. Over the years he has been a pain in Galactus side. But for the most part Surfer scours the universe looking to help those in need. Occasionally he stops by Earth from time to time. Plus he is one of the coolest looking characters in comics ever.
23.) POWER GIRL - Karen Starr, cousin to Superman, was once known as a joke in comic books. Mainly treated as a sex object thanks to her amazing body. But lo and behold over the years, she has become a fully developed character. While part of the Justice League back in the late 80's/early 90's, she started to show signs of improvement as a really good character. And when she became leader of the JSA years later, she had really arrived. Now she is kicking butt in her own monthly series that is one of my favorite reads.
22.) GREEN ARROW - This character really came into his own in the late 60's when Denny O'Neill and Neal Adams were doing the Green Lantern series and decided to pair Hal Jordan with Oliver Queen. They like oil and water and the rest is history. Queen's longtime love and fellow crime fighter Dinah Lance (The Black Canary) would enter the picture and they would form one of comic's most unlikeliest of trios. Green Arrow is close to Marvel's version of an ace archer named Hawkeye. But I like Ollie just a little bit more. Not by much mind you.
21.) KITTY PRYDE - When young Katherine Pryde joined the X-Men during the early 80's, fans finally had a young person they could relate to. She was smart, adventurous, and was always getting into trouble. I loved her relationship with Storm and her forever crush on Colossus. She has matured into a well rounded character.
20.) STORM - One of the coolest and most powerful female characters in comics. Ororo Munro was a welcome addition to the X-Men and she proved very worthy as she was named leader of the team  after Cyclops left for awhile. Years later she has married The Black Panther and still has time to do some super-heroing. Cool.

19.) CATWOMAN - The first villain to make my list and she is really not a full villain but Selina Kyle does love jewelry. Her relationship with Batman has been up and down and all over the place over the years and recently Selina has become more heroic. I love her new look too.
18.) GREEN LANTERN - Hal Jordan is my favorite Green Lantern. Hands down. Even when he went bad, through Parallax and try to take down the Guardians. He has been reborn as the guy we always love and respect. Well except maybe for Batman. But that guy trusts no one. Hell he keeps a Kryptonite ring hand just in case Superman goes crazy. Anyway, Jordan is definitely one of my all time faves.
17.) CAPTAIN AMERICA - Aw yeah, the symbol of America. Steve Rogers stands above most heroes and when he questioned the Hero Registration Act in Civil War, he gained even more respect. I can't wait for the movie to finally come out.
16.) JEAN GREY - No other character has had more of a tragic history. A mutant born with powers similar to Professor Xavier, Jean soon became more. Phoenix and then eventually Dark Phoenix. I remember reading her first death when I was about 12 and was devastated. Of course Jean would return and die several times over but now she appears to be gone for good as her boyfriend Scott Summers has settled down with Emma Frost. But I'm still hopeful Jean will return someday.

15.) SHE-HULK - How can you not love Jen Walters AKA She-Hulk. Whereas her cousin Bruce for the most part had no control over his alter ego, Jen could change and come and go as she pleased. Plus her always happy attitude made for great reading. She has shown she is a valued team member during her time with The Avengers and The Fantastic Four. But I love Jen the most when she is doing her own thing.

14.) WOLVERINE - You know my boy just had to be on here somewhere. Logan is the most popular X-Men ever and just one cool character. He may have gotten over-exposured during the 90's but he is still the best there is.

13.) BLACK PANTHER - Regal and stoic and can kick some major ass. T'Challa has always been one of my favorites. Whenever he walks into a room, he owns it. Now he's married to hottie Storm. This guy is all that.

So there you have it, part one of my top 25 favorite comic book characters. Look for part 2 within a few days.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Jack Sparrow is back for the entertaining Pirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger Tides

After the mainly forgettable Pirates: At World's End, things are back on track with the much better On Stranger Tides, the 4th Pirates adventure. The story this time focuses on the search for the fabled Fountain of Youth with England and Spain racing to get there first. Jack Sparrow..excuse me, Captain Jack Sparrow is in England to save his friend and shipmate Gibbs from a hanging and after a thrilling chase through the streets of England, he runs into and old flame named Angelica (played by Penelope Cruz, who is a welcome addition to the series). Angelica is recruiting men for her ship to find the Fountain of Youth. She kidnaps Jack, since Jack knows the location of the fabled place. Also in pursuit is Jack's onetime friend and frequent pain in his ass, Barbossa (once again played by Geoffrey Rush). Barbossa is working for the king of England but what he really wants is to kill Blackbeard (played by Ian McShane) who maimed Barbossa and stole the ship, The Black Pearl from him. Blackbeard also happens to be Angelica's father. Along the way there is a wicked encounter with beautiful but deadly mermaids in one the film's best sequences. Scores of mermaids attack Blackbeard's men but Jack saves the day. They capture one of the mermaids because they need her tears for the fountain of youth to work. Everything comes to a thrilling climax that leaves the ending open for yet another sequel. Depp is good once again as Jack. No one else can play this part like he can. Rush is good also as his scenes with Jack are some of the best in this film. Cruz has great chemistry with Depp and McShane is pretty good as Blackbeard. All in all I enjoyed this Pirates movie. Like I said it's a big improvement over the last one.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

By Odin's beard, THOR brings it....

The latest Marvel super-hero to grace the silver screen arrives in the form of the God of Thunder, Thor. The brash warrior is played with effortless charm by Chris Hemsworth who loves a good battle. The action unfolds in the mystical realm of Asgard, another world which is part of connecting planets throughout the universe which includes Earth. Thor's father Odin (played by Anthony Hopkins) is about to crown Thor King of Asgard when their hated enemy, The Frost Giants invade the castle. After a brief skirmish, Thor demands retaliation but Odin forbids it. Thor's brother Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston) manipulates his brother into a journey to the Frost Giants world. That sets up an epic battle right out of Lord Of The Rings, with Thor and his fellow warriors taking out waves of the giants. It's cool seeing Thor cut loose with his mighty hammer, Mjolnir as he spins it very fast or throws it and it always comes back to him. Pure comic book bliss.
Thor with Worried Look
But Odin becomes furious with Thor for his reckless actions and strips him of his powers and banishes him to Earth to learn some humility. It's there he encounters scientist Jane Foster (played by Natalie Portman) and the two quickly form a friendship. While on Earth, Thor runs afoul of those pesky SHIELD agents and has an exciting fight that sees him take out about 20 of them. It's also where we get a glimpse of ace archer Clint Barton AKA Hawkeye (played by Jeremy Renner). The crowd immediately was in heaven when they saw Clint grab his bow and arrow.
Thor & Mjollnr
Back in Asgard, Odin takes ill and Loki assumes the throne and forms an alliance with the Frost Giants to finish off his dad. Loki also sends the massive weapon of destruction called The Destroyer to finish off Thor once and for all.
Thor & Loki
I love this movie. They got everything right from the beauty that is Asgard to the way Thor talks to his mannerisms. The visual effects are impressive. The battle scenes are exciting. And there is enough humor to keep things from getting to serious. Hemsworth is indeed a fine choice to play Thor and he is backed up by an impressive cast, especially Portman and Hiddleston. As Loki, Hiddleston is the master manipulator of all those around him.
This movie works on every possible level and Thor fits right in the Marvel universe of heroes like Iron Man and the upcoming Captain America. I can't wait to see all these guys together next year when The Avengers hit the screens.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

HOT FUZZ (2007) is funny and action packed...

Hot Fuzz
Excellent action comedy from the creators of Shaun of the Dead. Simon Pegg is a riot as Nicholas Angel, the most decorated cop in London who is transferred to a sleepy little village called Sandford. All seems quiet until a rash of murders happens and Angel goes all out to find out what's going on. A well paced film that mixes action with humor very well. Nick Frost who also played in Shaun with Pegg is on hand for this one too. Timonthy Dalton plays a sinister bad guy. This movie is great and the last 30 minutes are about the best 30 minutes you will ever see on film. And features some of the most memorable quotes in film you will ever hear. Don't miss this one. Highly recommended. Oh, one side-note, it does have several gory scenes that will catch you off guard. Good stuff. Highly recommended.

Andy: "Nice one, Doris."

Doris: "Nothing like a bit of girl on girl!"
Nicholas: "Shit just got real!"

 Nicholas: "You're a doctor, deal with it!"

Danny: "Yeah, motherfucker!"

Hot Fuzz
Simon Pegg ready for some action

Hot Fuzz

The gang's all here....
 Scene from HOT FUZZ
These cookies are delicious
Simon Pegg in HOT FUZZ
Oh yeah, it's about to be on....