Resin Heroes

Direct Beam Comms #96



TV

The Gifted

The Gifted is the second live-action Marvel superhero series to take place in the X-Men universe on TV now. While the other series Legion is a trippy, existential journey into the mind, The Gifted is more a straight-up comic book show where lots of things explode.

The Gifted follows the Strucker family; mom Kate (Amy Acker), dad Reed (Stephen Moyer), and siblings Lauren (Natalie Alyn Lind) and Andy (Percy Hynes White). Dad is a full-time hunter of superpowered mutants, a sort of modern day Gestapo agent who tracks them down and locks them away. Except what Reed doesn’t know is that his kids are actually mutants. Daughter Lauren has known for some time about her powers but hide them and bother Andy discovers his when he’s attacked by bullies at a school dance and brings down the school gym ala Carrie only less deadly. Enter the Sentinel Services who makes mutants like Andy and Lauren disappear, so the family goes on the run discovering that there’s a whole mutant underground group operating on the fringes of society fighting for mutants everywhere and waiting for the day the X-Men return.

I thought The Gifted was a good show, if a bit too on the nose. The story here is pretty much the same story that’s been told in comics and the movies for decades now. Mutants who are being oppressed by society/the government must run/fight for their rights.

Not that this is a bad thing, just that The Gifted doesn’t really elevate the material but instead continues the same themes that have been explored over and over again in the comics. It’s essentially the prequel to the movie X-Men: Days of Future Past where regular humans are starting to drive the mutants towards extinction. But maybe because TV is a totally medium from the comics and movies this doesn’t matter to anyone but the most ardent fans?

One thing I also noticed was how much the structure of The Gifted was like older series akin to The Incredible Hulk or Otherworld from the 1970s and 1980s. Where someone like David Banner in The Incredible Hulk or the Sterling family in Otherworld have to go on the run from government agents out to get them. Now I’m not saying that the stories of those shows will be similar to The Gifted — those early “on the run” series always had the protagonists one step ahead of the bad guys while helping the locals overcome some obstacle be it rebels stealing their food or government agents their land. It’s just that from all outward appearances with a few tweaks The Gifted could be plopped down in 1986 network TV and viewers then would recognize it.

Ghosted

I think the new FOX series Ghosted has a lot of potential, even if the pilot episode seemed overstuffed, overdone and was’t that interesting.

Craig Robinson and Adam Scott star as Leroy and Max, an ex-LAPD detective and ex-scientist who are pulled into the mysterious governmental organization investigating all things mysterious from ghosts to UFOs. One of their agents has gone missing and left a message that Leroy and Max are the only ones capable of finding him. We go from Leroy and Adam in their day jobs, being kidnapped and bribed to investigate the disappearance, agreeing to do so, having to sneak into a nuclear facility, being attacked by a something, more investigating, the duo fighting an alien presence then finally agreeing to join the mysterious agency.

All of which happens in the 19 or so minutes in the first episode. It’s so crammed full of story that things stopped making a lot of sense to me at about the halfway mark.

That being said, I think Ghosted has a lot of potential. The general premise has a lot of promise and Scott and Robinson act well together. I just hope that future episodes have a bit less story than the pilot did.

Comics

Tomb of Dracula: The Complete Collection Vol. 1

I was always into horror comics as a kid, but never the ones from Marvel. I wasn’t against them, they just weren’t around and available when I was collecting comics. It wasn’t until the 1990s with the resurgence of horror characters like Blade and Ghost Rider that I began picking up early horror titles at flea markets. Now, Marvel is set to release a few collected editions of these classic horror comics, one of which is Tomb of Dracula: The Complete Collection Vol. 1 out this week.

From Marvel:

Sink your teeth into a vampiric volume that chronicles some of the greatest supernatural comics ever printed! The all-time classic Tomb of Dracula ushered in Marvel’s glorious age of horror, while the black-and-white magazine Dracula Lives! delivered stories with real bite – and both featured legendary creators, including Gene Colan in his prime illustrating the Lord of Vampires! The tomb has opened, and Dracula lives again! But his descendant, Frank Drake, joins vampire hunters including Rachel Van Helsing and Quincy Harker in a bid to return him to his grave! Will they drive a stake through Dracula’s heart – or will that honor fall to Blade? Plus tales of terror from across Dracula’s 500-year existence, featuring Hell-Crawlers, the Monster of the Moors, wizards, gargoyles, voodoo queens and more!

The Terminator: The Original Comics Series–Tempest and One Shot

Some of my favorite comics series are the early Dark Horse Aliens, Predator and Terminator titles that all acted as sequels to those films before those films had sequels. With each of those tiles I own the original comics series as well as several collected editions of each title. They were highly influential to me and I still judge comics today based on them.

The first Dark Horse Terminator comic, now known as Terminator: Tempest, dealt with a whole group of soldiers from the future sent to their past, our present, in order to destroy Cyberdyne and end the Terminator threat before it begins. And instead of sending back just one Terminator to handle them, Skynet sent back a whole pack of them to do battle on the posh streets of Los Angeles.

From Dark Horse:

Heartless, mechanical cruelty meets dogged human courage and perseverance in Dark Horse’s very first Terminator story! John Connor sends a strike team into the past to destroy Cyberdyne. But the machines counter by sending a team of Terminators to block the attempt–turning Los Angeles into a war zone!

The Reading & Watch List

This week in pop-culture history

  • 1949: Sigourney Weaver, Ripley in Alien, Galaxy Quest and Avatar is born
  • 1956: Chris Carter, creator of The X-Files, Millennium and The Lone Gunman is born
  • 1979: Brandon Routh, Superman of Superman Returns and Ray Palmer of Legends of Tomorrow is born
  • 1993: Demolition Man premiers
  • 1995: Strange Days opens in theaters
  • 1999: The TV series Harsh Realm premiers



Alex Ross Terminator Burning Earth TBP cover painting






Alex Ross Terminator Burning Earth graphic novel cover



Alex Ross Terminator Burining Earth




Russ Heath Terminator the Animated Series concept art



I’m assuming that if this would’ve happened it would’ve happened sometime in the early ’90s when Arnold and the Terminator went from killing machine from the first film to father-figure and John Connor protector in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991).

RUSS HEATH Animation Concept Art THE TERMINATOR

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Direct beam comms #3



TV

I’m really digging The Expanse on SyFy. It’s very space-opera-isa with a heavy story.

 

Last fall BBC America aired several movie-length episodes of classic Tom Baker Doctor Who. It seemed that perhaps BBC America was about to start airing classic Doctor Who alongside the new but alas this seemed to only be a short experiment where only a few episodes ever aired.

Classic Doctor Who shows usually consisted of four or six half hour episodes that were aired weekly in the UK but were sometimes edited together into two or three hour stories for overseas markets — which is how I saw Doctor Who in the 1980s on my local PBS station and how BBC America is airing the shows.

After having watched several of the episodes on BBC America it’s plainly obvious that some of the classic Doctor Who was greatly padded.

Sometimes it seems as if characters spend what would be an entire 30 minute episode running from something, or getting ready to do something. But not actually getting anything done. And a 30 minute block seems only to exist to move characters from point “A” to “B,” which though the magic of editing could be done in a few seconds of screen time.

I think that the only reason this padding exists is because four or six episodes were needed per Doctor Who story back then, not that four or six episodes were actually needed to tell the story.

Not that this is a horrible thing or that it makes classic Doctor Who bad or anything — I actually prefer it over the new series — just that there was a reason when I was a kid I almost never made it to the end of a two hour episode of Doctor Who without falling asleep.

Movies

Neca Alien 1/4 scale figure

Neca Alien 1/4 scale figure

I mean this in the best possible way — Sicario is a cross between the movies Zero Dark Thirty (2012) and Traffic (2001). A-

 

For how much reviewers disliked Terminator Genisys I thought it was a good movie. There is the issue of a big story turn in the second act of the movie that doesn’t quite work — or make sense — but it’s not enough to spoil the film as a whole. I actually liked how the filmmakers of Terminator Genisys actively played with and used the idea of time travel in different ways than in the other films and introduced the idea that just one thing amiss in a timeline can totally change the future. B

My preference of Terminator movies in order:

  1. Terminator (1984)
  2. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
  3. Terminator Genisys (2015)
  4. Terminator Salvation (2009)
  5. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

Toys

The Neca Alien 1/4 scale figure stands a whopping 22 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation including its alien tongue. It’s everything I didn’t get when I missed getting the original 1977 Alien toy as a kid. The figure retails for around $110 which isn’t totally insane considering its size.

On the Horizon

I’m working on columns for the second season of Daredevil and the Dark Horse Aliens comic books.