Tag Archives: super heroes

Avengers vs Dark Knight Rises: Superhero Smackdown!

Warning: This is really just me rambling and processing my thoughts after being wowed by the two movies, rather than a review. And there could be some SPOILERS in there so proceed with caution.

As an unabashed DC fanboy, I have to admit a certain degree of envy as I’ve watched Marvel’s movie strategy unfold. Despite a few hurdles, it has had something DC have generally lacked – a sense that they actually know what they are doing! The shining exception has been the Batman movies helmed by Christopher Nolan. So, it was a great deal of anticipation that I waited to see whether the final Batman movie could possibly compete with Avengers, which completely blew me away. The short answer is that it couldn’t. Not that it wasn’t incredible, it’s just that they are completely different sorts of movies and it would be like comparing apples and oranges.

Now, this might seem a little odd, considering that they are both ostensibly super hero movies, but they represent two distinct types, and the pinnacle of those at that. I am going to cheat a little though, and discuss the Batman trilogy as a whole because I think that is the only way to approach it. Even though Avengers benefits hugely from watching the movies leading up to it, and one has to admire the coherence of Marvel’s vision, at a pinch you could watch it cold and still thoroughly enjoy it.

The Avengers is very much a spectacle movie. It’s built around its stunning special effects and the sheer scale of the mayhem. Fortunately, the CGI doesn’t over power the movie as has been the case in too many other super hero films. That’s not to say that the acting is not of an extremely high quality, it’s an excellent cast with lots of strong performances and the chemistry is delightful, and we do get a look at what makes the character’s tick. But, it is very much about seeing how many things they can break and that’s what makes it so fun.

The movie is immediately identifiable as a Joss Whedon work, with his trademark snappy banter, and ability to mix humour and actions without being ham fisted about it. The Hulk was the surprise package to me, there were quite a few moments when the whole cinema was laughing with genuine humour. George Lucas should take note, that is how you do comedic relief! I bet that the studio didn’t pick that the Hulk would be so popular, especially given his previous track record.

Continue reading

Real Life Super Heroes

I am not sure whether these guys are simply try hards, or are in fact RLSHs, but let’s be honest here. Every geek has dreamed off doing something like this, and wondered what it would be like to equip oneself with cool gadgets and go out and smite evil doers.

Yes, there are real-life superheroes. And no, we’re not just referring to firefighters, paramedics, and other heroic people who we’re used to seeing coming to the rescue of others. We’re talking about costume-wearing, identity-concealing, cool-name-having people who fight crime, pollution, or other evils in their own communities, on their own time, and at their own risk. Many of them actually patrol the city streets, ready to intervene if they see trouble brewing – and being ready includes having the right tools. Given that none of these people have Bruce Wayne’s budget, however, their gadgets tend to be less like Batmobile clones, and more like… well, read on and see for yourself.


EX-HEROES – by Peter Clines

When I read the blurb for this book and saw it was super heroes vs zombies, I have to admit that I didn’t expect much in terms of quality. I thought I would read the sample chapter and then forget about it. Never have I been happier to be proven wrong. Not only did I buy the full copy and devour it, I have read again since and it is one of my favourite books.

Most zombie novels tend to dwell on the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse and with the day to day life of those who survived, but the author cleverly uses flashback chapters to illustrate the extent of upheaval of society, without letting it bog down the main story. It also fleshes out the characters, so instead of two dimensional comic book heroes you get a real sense of personality and of strengths and flaws.

While the heroes do echo some of the more famous ones you would have been brought up on they are not just fascimiles slightly modified to avoid copyright infringement. They are cleverly constructed and would be worth a comic book of their own.

There is definitely no shortage of action, and not just fights with standard zombies, it is more than just a splatter fest. You really get a sense of their rising despair as the heroes fought to stop the zombie plague and save the world, their regrets at failing, the cost to them as heroes and as people. But, you also will end filled with what super heroes are all about, hope.

I will be going into this further in a future post, but there is one speech which really shows that the author understands what a hero is, and what they symbolise.

The book features some clever twists in the plot, the origin of the virus for one, and some bits that will make you laugh and some that nearly made me cry.

If you love super heroes and zombie novels and well written books…buy this book. I really want to read more set in this world, so hopefully there will be a sequel soon forthcoming.

The author, Peter Clines, also has an excellent blog on writing that is well worth checking out.