An Alternative To The Queens Speech

It's Christmas Day, you've opened your presents and the turkey's still in the oven, nothing to do now but watch repeats on TV and wait for the Queens speech, right? Wrong.

I present to you, my alternative to the Queens speech, a Christmas message from Iron Man and Batman.


Laugh at the performance, or laugh at my poor attempt, either way I hope you had a good laugh and continue to do so well in to the New Year. Merry Christmas all!
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Dredd Returning To Film

Rebellion and 2000AD have announced on their message board, that their longest running, most famed character Judge Joseph Dredd is returning to celluloid thanks to a partnership with DNA Films.

DNA Films, the movie production company behind such great sci-fi movies such as Sunshine and 28 Weeks Later, Judge Dredd will go into production in 2009.

Jason Kingsley, CEO and Creative Director said, ‘We can’t give away too many details at this point, but we’re looking forward to working with DNA Films to bring Judge Dredd back to the big screen.’

Dredd is a popular character who's been worked on by the greats of British comicdom, such as Garth Ennis, Mark Millar and Grant Morrison. Though the previous film left many with a bad taste in their mouths, be it because of Stallone's insistance on removing the helmet for much of the film, or Rob Schneider's...well, Rob Schneider. Hollywood seems awash with remakes and when it used to wait decades, now a remake can be turned around within 5 years.

The real question now lies with who shall wear the helm of the hard-hitting Judge?

My opinion, only one man for the job. An English actor, who can play American. Big, tough, athletic and of course a strong jawline. Jason Statham.

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Embrace The Angel Of Death

When I'm asked to name my favourite comics whether they're from DC, Marvel, Wildstorm, Vertigo or Icon, they tend to have one thing in common. Ed. Brubaker.

Iron Fist, Captain America, Daredevil, Criminal, some of the best series from the last year, comics that have not only kept me gripped but I have confidence I could lend to anyone and they would love. Batman, Sleeper, Authority, Gotham Central all have been either created by, or perfected by Mr. Brubaker.

A man who manipulates crime fiction like Stephen Hawkings does time and space, Brubakers writing style is addictive and perfectly paced to keep you aching for more. Seriously, I could write about Brubakers work until my heart is a flutter, but the reason for this post is Brubakers new web series, Angel Of Death.

The webseries, exclusive to Crackle.com. Angel of Death is about an assassin that is haunted by her victims after a brush with death. To free her conscience she must destroy the criminals that originally hired her. Looks like, guns, blood and suspense. Ticks all my boxes. Starring Zoe Bell, Ted Raimi, Doug Jones and Xena Warri...sorry, Lucy Lawless!

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Introducing...The Riddler?

Yes according to The Sun with a follow up piece in The Guardian apparently, from "Insider Sources", 80s superstar Eddie Murphy will be starring as The Riddler in the third Batman film entitled Gotham.

During the 80s and early 90s Murphy had a string of hits with films such as Beverly Hills cop, 48 Hours and Coming To America along with a successful stand up career and a span on Saturday Night Live. Unfortunately, thanks largely to an ego explosion, with attempts at making music and starring in a string of ever worsening films, such as Holy Man, Bowfinger, Daddy Day Care and most recently Meet Dave, Murphy has crashed at the box office, even after he managed to rekindle some success with his highly tauted performance in Dream Girls, where he won an Oscar nomination.

So, this story follows rumours that Rachel Weisz would play Catwoman and current Hollywood golden boy who starred in, well, everything in the last year, Shia Lebeouf could well sign up to play Robin.

My advice, take these with a handful of salt and don't believe anything until it's announced officially.
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Waiting For The Trades...

Being a comic book fan, doesn't necessarily mean trawling through longboxes in a local comic shop where everyone knows your name. Or at least your gamer tag. We don't all have that...privledge, especially here in Blighty where comic book shops are more secluded than sex shops and outside of the comics are only rarely found, buried on the bottom shelf of a WH Smiths or local corner shop. Still reprinting catch up issues of Infinite Crisis and Civil War, with the only characters with a semblance of shelf life being Batman and Wolverine.

Even the mighty battle of the (Forbidden) Planets (.co.uk and .com) can only manage 24 stores nation wide. So how's a guy to get his comic fix on?

Graphic novels, trades can be found in the same places as comics, yet also appear in regular book stores and the likes of Waterstones. You can also take your search online and again, finding UK companies who take subscription services for comics, or deal with back issues are not only difficult to find, but expensive too. Trades online are much easier to find with many online book specialists offering excellent prices, many with as much as up to 25% off the RRP, such as:

Book Depository
Forbidden Planet.com
Forbidden Planet.co.uk
WH Smiths

Now you've found some trades to start your collection, in my opinion a nice row of trades just looks so much more aesthetically pleaseing, as well as more effective to work with when selecting titles than using comic long boxes to store and find what you want. If you're like me and want your collection to remain consist, using all trades or all hard covers, or picking DC over Titan, or Marvel over Marvel UK or Panini when it comes to publsihing companies.

Many of these collections, be they of recent stories or older reprints often come with extras, including sketches, covers and celebrity laden forewards. These collections often collecting full stories can be a strong jumping on point for returning and new comic fans.

I do and have read floppy comics, but find it increasingly difficult when inundated by multiple page ads, which just don't exist in the trades. I understand the need to have ads, but when the centre pages are 4-6 pages advertising some sports event I have no interest in, you've just gone too far.

Though these are some of the reasons I personally opt to wait for the trade, you have to remember that it's the floppy's that result in trades being released in the first place. You want to continue reading about the C/D-list character you've discovered, then it's floppy sales that will keep that character alive and ideally the trades will help it then turn a profit.

Even though my personaly preference is waiting for the trades, sometimes there are some stories that just have to be read NOW. I get Booster Gold (love the character), Final Crisis (felt it had to be so good to make up for the awful Countdown), X-Men Noir, Incognito, Gears Of War and Brave and the Bold. Stories I just have to read now and, if they're good enough, like Booster Gold so far, I'll probably end up getting the collected editions as well.
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Watchmen: The End Is Nigh

Funnily enough, the end is nigh was one of my first thoughts when a video game based on Watchmen was announced. What a travesty, how can you take such an intelligent, telling story about the dismantling of so called, superheroes and turn it into some kind of scrolling beat-em-up?!

Well, it seems you take the two cool street level characters, throw in some very tight graphics and some hard hitting punches. Over the course of the year I've learnt to stop being so outraged and remakes, reimaginings and reshoots of comics, books and films and if you ignore that this game will have Alan Moore tearing his beard out in disgust then it actually looks fairly good.

Hit more for the first Watchmen: The End Is Nigh teaser.

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Wolverine: Origins

Just managed to catch a bootlegged copy of the trailer and damn, this film looks awesome. It is pretty much a wet dream for anyone who even drops a smirk at the term "bub". Let's see, we get to see the young master Howlett's Canadian origins, including the death of his father, the death of his beloved Silver Fox, his involvement in every modern war ever, including his time as a samurai. Then up to and including his journey through Weapon X including his feud with Sabretooth. This is where business picks up.

Wolverine vs Sabretooth
Wolverine vs Blob
Wolverine vs Gambit

Also throw in John Wraith, Agent Zero (Maverick) and Barnell Bohusk (Beak). With enough Deadpool and Gambit involvement that both have already been mentioned as spin offs (PLEASE GOD, PLEASE!).

*EDIT* Removed the sketchy youtube trailer and added the official trailer now it's been released, so click the jump to see it!


For the High-Def version of the trailer you have to head on over to Myspace and befriend X-menorigins.

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Yeah. I Can Fly

2008 saw the beginnings of what looks to become one of the most impressive series of films laid to celluloid as Marvel blast their way through their A-list characters to build up to an Avengers film and it started with an orphaned billionaire playboy with a fair few tricks up his sleeve. Forget Bruce Wayne and say hello to the suave, witty and down right dapper, Tony Stark. Who, in his own words "I am Iron Man".

So, Iron Man, pretty damn good film, eh? Where do you go from here? Well like my last post dealing with Dark Knight, this time I'll show you some of the things you can buy for the Iron fan out there.

1) For the Iron Man who has everything.

Well, not everything, so let's start from the top, the best piece of Iron Man merchandise you can buy, the 1:1 Iron Man movie bust. Now I wanted to focus on things out in time for Christmas, but this piece is of such quality that just had to be included.

Ok, not to worry, you want a bust in time for Christmas, there's still the 1:2 Iron Man Stealth armour bust. This stunning piece with glowing chest piece and eyes is out now and only a quarter of the price of the full scale bust, plus being smaller you'd still have room left over to cram in some Iron man minimates!

Busts are all well and good, but what you really want is an Iron Man helmet you can put on while making repulsor beam noises, well you can, with the life size, golden replica helmet.

2) For the fanboy:

You want to be a fanboy? Learn your history. Invincible Iron Man Omnibus Hardcover Volume 1, with an Adi Granov variant cover. It's all here, the origins, the letters pages, the covers and of course, Stan Lee.

You love yourself some Iron Man but just don't have the money to invest in a bank breaking bust or piece of memorabilia? Then start saving with monetary advice from a billionaire, while still adding a cool looking piece of kit to your collection, the Talking Iron Man bobble headed bank.

A quality peice of merchandise can be a real talking point for any collection, though finding something cost effective, yet still official isn't always easy, so these 1:4 size miniture replica helmets are perfect.

I try and avoid books as comic book fans could have anything on order, I know I have a list of preorders as long as my arm, including things waiting to come back in stock, but besides the origins there's one more aspect of Tony Starks life worth reading about to get you up to speed and that's his battle against his ultimate devils. Alcoholism. Iron Man - Demon In A Bottle.

3) Seen the movie, love the movie, want some more?

I wasn't a fan of these deformed Super Squad kiddies figures, but they've grown on me and these two packs are cheap and cute enough to make the right kind of impression.
- Iron Man: Hall of Armour 4 pack
- Iron Man: Heroes & Villains 4 pack

I talked about these with Batman and Iron Man doesn't miss a beat with Iron Man cosbaby's! These are cute and brilliant, you can start with one but I doubt you'll stop there.
- Iron Man The Movie Cosbabys

Again, like Batman for a good summary of Iron Man over the years and a cool little lead statuette you can get the Marvel Figurine Collection.

Iron Man doesn't have an extensive back catalogue of films and TV Series' to back up the film, but you can still find the Iron Man Ultimate Collection which includes both the 60s and 90s animated shows.

One last thing for those budding Tony Stark's out there, you want to be Iron Man, you've got to at least DRINK like Iron Man, or drink the Iron Man that is:

The Iron Man

Half shot of each of:
Green Chatreuse

Three dashes of hot sauce.

All into a shot glass. Drink. Survive.

Making An "Iron Man" Drink -- powered by ExpertVillage.com

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