Friday, March 23, 2007

Spider-rific


Check out the brand-spanking new final trailer for Spider-Man 3, courtesy of Comcast, now with even more Venom.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Overlooked Oversight

One of the main reasons the founding fathers instituted the whole "separation of powers" thing was to make sure that no one branch of government excercised greater power over another. To make sure there was always oversight. That oversight is generally the purview of the legislative branch (congress), and is usually maintained over the judicial branch (the president). When that oversight is neglected, the inmates pretty much take over the asylum, which we've seen for the past six years in the White House. As the past few weeks have shown, with everything from the Walter Reed VA scandal to the ongoing fracas over Alberto Gonzales trying to decide whether he serves President Bush or the American people, the results of that lack of oversight are now bearing some poisoned fruit for the junta. Ronald Brownstein of the LA Times lays the blame for much of the Administration's -- and the country's -- woes squarely on the porch of the congressional Republicans, who signed off on Bush's blank check.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Wag the Dog

Just when you think we've got a congressional state of affairs that'll bring about some real change, the Dems drop the ball once again, as evidenced here.

The relevant bit:
Top House Democrats retreated Monday from an attempt to limit President Bush's authority for taking military action against Iran as the leadership concentrated on a looming confrontation with the White House over the Iraq war.
And a little further down:
Conservative Democrats as well as lawmakers concerned about the possible impact on Israel had argued for the change in strategy.
Ah. Of course.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Colbert on Cap Controversy

You know that the media buzz surrounding the death of Captain America has reached pop culture critical mass when Stephen Colbert makes it the subject of his nightly "The Word" segment. So he did, and so it has. Check it out here.

(By the way, I had the opportunity to read the issue in question yesterday, and it certainly measures up the hype. Thanks to the supremely talented creative team of writer Ed Brubaker and penciller Steve Epting, this is one not-to-be-missed storyline. Highly recommended.)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Cap-veat

It's always interesting to see how the mainstream media reacts to comic book death.

Back in fall of '92, they were abuzz with the latest shocking news from DC Comics. Superman, the Last Son of Krypton, the Man of Steel, beloved idol of children and adults everywhere -- was dying. Yes, dying! You couldn't flip past the network news without some commentator or other breathlessly, even mournfully, intoning that the iconic superhero was about to breathe his last.

"What were the implications of this?" they asked. "What does this say about us?" they pondered. And people bought the comics. They bought lots of 'em. They lined up for blocks. They packed them away for safekeeping. After all, surely the issue where SUPERMAN DIES would be worth a small fortune in a few short years.

Then, a few months later, something funny happened. Something that any comic fan worth his salt could have told you was coming from a mile away. See, death in comic books means about as much as truth in politics. You use it to get people's interest, then you ignore when it's no longer convenient. Thus, the immediate question you ask when a character is killed off is always, "When is he coming back?" And so it was, like a foregone conclusion, that Superman got better. The epilogue to the great "comic book rush" of '92 is that these days you can find copies of Superman #75 (the death issue) four for a dollar.

It's been about thirteen years since last this all played out, and now it appears history is repeating itself, only this time it's DC Comics' crosstown rival Marvel that's playing puppet master to the willing media. Everywhere you turn, folks are talking about the cataclysmic happenings in Captain America #25 (released today), which itself comes on the heels of Marvel's year-long epic event Civil War (a pretty on-the-nose parallel of our post-9/11 socio-political landscape set in the Marvel Comics Universe).

I'm not going to divulge spoilers, but the preceding portion of this post should give you a sense what to expect -- if the picture up-top hasn't clued you in already. Suffice it to say, anyone looking to cash out quick on a copy of Cap #25 might want to think twice (though don't let it stop you from reading it, as Captain America has consistently been one of the best books Marvel is publishing).

I don't believe for one second that this is meant, in any way, shape, or form, to be permanent, but it sure is nice to see some mainstream attention showered on the comic book world that focuses on the actual books as opposed to some media adaptation thereof.

So, when is he coming back?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Getting Webby

Seven minutes worth of Spider-Man 3 footage, including our first blink-and-it's-gone look at Venom (screen-capped above), is now online courtesy of NBC and Sony Pictures. The catch is that the Quicktime download is HD, so some of you with slower Internet connections may miss out, and it's gonna be gone after 24 hours, so...those of you with slower Internet connections may miss out. Catch the lower-res YouTube rip of the clips here, for as long as it'll be online, because I have a feeling someone somewhere is going to have it pulled. Not a bad way to prime the pump for the Spider-wave that's going to hit early May, and unlike last summer's abysmal X-Men: The Last Stand, it looks like the third time may well be a charm for the Spider-Man series.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Recommended Reading

David Shribman on why it matters to you that former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.