Chat Cave: Amazing Spider-Man 2

Editor’s Note: Sorry this is coming out so late, gang!

Following only five years after the conclusion of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films, the first Amazing Spider-Man struggled to justify its own existence. Amazing Spider-Man 2 suffers from a different proximity effect garnering early comparisons to the similarly overstuffed and tonally inconsistent Spider-Man 3. Are those comparisons fair? You can bet we have thoughts on that. Welcome to the Chat Cave.
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Chat Cave: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Marvel continues to grow its movie universe with its second installment of our favorite super soldier in Captain America: Winter Soldier. Naturally, we all want to talk about it. Probable spoilers after the break: welcome to the Chat Cave.
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Chat Cave: Marvel + Netflix = Defenders

Last week, Marvel Studios announced that it would be producing four original, live-action series for Netflix — Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist — and a Defenders mini-series that would theoretically tie them all together. Marvel Studios proved they were capable of conquering the well-established medium of feature-length films, and Agents of S.H.IE.L.D. is already a monster hit for ABC, can they accomplish the same in the untested waters of the Netflix Originals market? What’s in it for them? What’s in it for us? Hell, do  you even have room in your heart to love FIVE NEW SERIES? Welcome to the Chat Cave.
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Chat Cave: Thor – The Dark World

Thor 2 came out this weekend. Both commercially and critically, it did well enough. Does anyone have any strong feelings about this movie? Oh, hey, we might. Welcome to the Chat Cave.

Patrick: You guys, Thor is fine. The movie doesn’t try to make any serious statements about heroes or families or gods or whatever. It’s a fun, funny action flick — one that demands to be evaluated on those terms. And like most lighthearted action flicks, the success or failure of it is going to hinge on the relationship between the action and the comedy. The Dark World went kinda heavy on the comedy, and it’s strange to me how there are basically three discrete vehicles for humor in this movie: Thor, Loki, and Kat Dennings. Continue reading

Chat Cave: “Nerd Culture”

On the opening night of the NYCC, Janeane Garofalo posited “discerning taste” as the defining characteristic of nerddom, but is that all? Events at cons range in focus from comics to videogames to film and TV, but fine art connoisseurs and jazz aficionados — in spite of having inarguably discerning tastes — aren’t catered to at all. So what is it that makes certain types of art nerdy? Is it the content? The medium? The fans? Welcome to the Chat Cave.

Drew: Ugh. I’ve often bristled at the “nerd” label — not because I think it means anything bad, but because I don’t really think it means much of anything. What could a word that can be applied both to someone who enjoys God of War and to someone who enjoys My Little Pony possibly be describing? It’s situation-specific ad absurdum. Still, it’s hard to deny some kind of innate sense of what is nerdy: Futurama? You bet. Matlock? Not so much. Continue reading

Chat Cave: Williams and Blackman leave Batwoman

Last week, Haden Blackman announced that he and J.H. Williams III will be leaving Batwoman after issue 26, citing editorial interference. Williams has been instrumental in creating the unique, haunting look of the series, and together with Blackman, has crafted a smart, thoughtful, intimate story unlike anything else in in the New 52 — so what gives? Welcome to the Chat Cave.
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Chat Cave: Man of Steel

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Between the commercial success of a near-constant stream of Marvel Studios Avengers movies and the critical success of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, there are impossible expectations for Man of Steel. Expectations like reigniting the public’s love for Superman; expectations like launching a blockbuster film franchise; expectations like being any good in its own right. Zach Snyder’s Superman slug-fest has a lot to accomplish. Does it achieve any of that? Welcome to the Chat Cave.

Drew: Like many comics fans, I was incredibly excited by the teaser trailer for this movie. In spite of the trailer’s own prominent reminder that Zach Snyder directed both Watchmen and 300, it felt like this movie got Superman. Indeed, the trailer trades in Snyder’s standard embarrassing music cues and slow-motion punches for meditative statements about Superman’s power as a symbol. Between story credits by Dark Knight Trilogy scribe David S. Goyer and director  Christopher Nolan, I dared hope that Man of Steel might be to Superman what The Dark Knight films were to Batman: an operatic drama that understands the defining nature of the hero.

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Chat Cave: September is Villains Month

DC has staked their claim on the month of September. Two years ago saw the relaunch of the entire publishing line, and last year saw special “zero” issues for every series. This year, DC is releasing 52 issues featuring villains, old and new, from the DC Universe. There’s no one-for-one correspondence to existing series, and DC hasn’t been the most forthcoming with information about what exactly they’re putting out. There’s a lot to sort through here and no easy answers for what’s going to be worth our time and money. Welcome to the Chat Cave.
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Chat Cave: Iron Man 3

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Marvel Studio’s follow-up to the uber-successful Avengers movie, Iron Man 3, came out this weekend to mixed reactions from critics and fans, but it cleaned up at the box office, certifying the longevity of the whole Avengers’ stable of films. The movie also serves a double roll — concluding the Iron Man series while kicking off Marvel’s Phase II. How well did it succeed in any of these capacities? Welcome to the Chat Cave.

Patrick: I had the pleasure of seeing this movie with my little sister, Courtney — who until recently, had been writing about a title-a-week with us. She’s the fascinating case of someone who had never seen any of the Iron Man movies and also has not seen The Avengers. As a self-contained adventure, this worked amazingly well for her. I don’t know how the Marvel Studios guys do it, but they manage to make relatively faithful superhero movies that aren’t steeped in dense mythology. Walking out of that movie, Courtney concluded that Tony’s superpower was “data management,” which sounds like it should be boring. But there are enough ultra-fast-talkin’ sequences and super-computer-assisting-crime-solving sequences to dramatize this super-collation of data in engaging and funny ways. Continue reading

iOS Blocks Saga 12

Yesterday, Brian K Vaughan announced that Apple has blocked any sales of Saga 12 through any iOS apps, ostensibly over what Vaughan characterized as “two postage stamp-sized images of gay sex.” This move may come as a surprise to many readers, but will sound familiar to fans of Joe Casey’s Sex #1, which was similarly blocked last month. You can bet your ass that the Retcon Punchers have opinions on this one. Welcome to the Chat Cave.
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