HELLBOY Gets a Reboot: Here Are Some Reasons Why You Should Still Be Interested


For many casual viewers – to which I mean moviegoers and not comic collectors – the name HELLBOY is synonymous with two names: Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman. After all, del Toro’s visual style and Perlman’s grumpy personality brought the character to life in a big way. While the 2004 original film gained a sort of cult following, the second film – THE GOLDEN ARMY – was released in 2008 and proved to be one of the best comic book movies of all time. 

The tone of the films blended weird with action and a liberal dose of humor, in many ways sharing personalities with the popular Marvel films to date.  This formula has clearly worked for movies, as the MCU films are smash hits almost always. While Hellboy or Hellboy 2 never managed to pull in the numbers of the Marvel properties – one could assume this has to do with having a correlation with Hell in the title – both films were critically acclaimed. 

Recently, rumors have swirled that del Toro pitched his plan for a third film, but this one with a quarter BILLION dollar budget. When you consider that Hellboy 2 has a budget of $85 million, requesting three times the amount for the final film of the trilogy seems perhaps a bit steep. And perhaps that is why the powers that be decided to go in a different direction altogether.

Hellboy creator Mike Mignola recently announced that the character would be rebooted. The newest film, this one reportedly titled as HELLBOY: RISE OF THE BLOOD QUEEN will be directed by Game of Thrones alum Neil Marshall and starring Stranger Things lead David Harbour as the big red monster hunter. 

The internet predictably exploded. 

Many fans were clamoring for a completed del Toro/Perlman trilogy. With this reboot in the works, combined with Perlman’s age, it seems unlikely that fans will ever get that sense of closure with characters that they already love. In other unsurprising news, many of these same fans have vowed to boycott the new film.

Frustration with a movie studio abandoning directors/actors can be frustrating for fans, but there are a few things to consider before joining a toothless boycott. 

1. A CHANGE IN TONE

The most glaring difference between the source material and the del Toro films is the abundance of humor. While most of the comics have an occasional laugh, they are more often moody and foreboding. In some ways, the films seemed to be poking fun at the characters from the comics. 

While I’m no fan of a “serious” comic film, early reports claim that the new film will be as much a horror movie as a comic book film. This would be a refreshing take that also pays respect to the original comic as well. 

2. HARBOUR GETS HIS MOMENT

David Harbour carried himself admirably in the first season of Stranger Things, but despite his top billing the story was told from the perspective of the kids. That said, he carried himself like a star in his moments. 

His gruff personality in the Netflix hit shows that he can carry the personality of Hellboy. He may not be Ron Perlman, but who is?  He’s a good choice for restarting the series, and if it works, he could carry the role for many years to come. 

3. THE BPRD

The Bureau of Paranormal Research and Development largely felt like a Monster Squad in the previous Hellboy films. But in the comics, the BPRD is full of normal humans that work alongside Hellboy and a few other colorful characters. I’m still waiting for a Roger the Homunculus appearance; maybe we will see him here!

It will undoubtedly be a hard sell on fans of the previous film entries, but if handled properly, this new Hellboy franchise could go a long way in making R-rated superhero flicks a great genre. 

Four Things We Hope to see in the DEADPOOL Animated Series 


News broke yesterday that Donald Glover is associated with bringing the Merc with a Mouth to the small screen in an animated effort on the cable channel FXX.
Glover, who has been publicly interested in being the next Spider-Man (that role went to the much younger and age-accurate Tom Holland), gets his hands on an equally popular property that has reached even higher proportions thanks to the highly successful feature film of early 2016. And while we will be seeing Deadpool 2 in the summer of 2018, it seems that 20th Century Fox is more than happy to milk that cash cow with a cable series as well (pun only slightly intended).

Very little news to go along with this story other than Glover’s attachment and the fact that it will be an “adult” animated series.  That last bit is a good thing; Deadpool has never been and should never be kid-friendly. Consistency is a good thing. 

That said, what are some things we hope to see in a Deadpool animated series?  Here are three things that could make the show a lot of fun.

1. X-FORCE

The movie series is rumored to include some X-Force members, including Cable (of course), but a running show would benefit from reaching deep into the Marvel bag to pull forth some of the more oddball characters associated with the X-Men. Maggot, we are looking at you. 

2. KIDPOOL, HEADPOOL, et al

The weird incarnations of Deadpool are a little tough to swallow, but are also a lot of fun. This series will likely try to mirror the insane humor of the film series, so what better than to bring in some of the more zany ideas associated with Deadpool than an animated series?

3. DEADPOOL VS.

FOX is probably limited in who they can have Deadpool battle (his “KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE” arc would be dreadfully short due to character rights), but it would at least pay homage to many of the various arcs related to Deadpool. 

4. THE MERCS FOR MONEY

Seeing characters like Solo, Slapstick, Masacre, and Hit-Monkey, even as just recurring characters, would be amazing. It’s past time the average person got associated with Hit-Monkey. BECAUSE HIT-MONKEY. 

Look for the animated series to hit FXX sometime next year. 

Vaya con Dios, 

JP.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 Opens Up the MCU In a Big Way


The Marvel Cinematic Universe boasts huge numbers in terms of ticket sales and positive reviews. The roster of superheroes (and mediocre villains) continues to swell with each passing year. While most of the movies have hidden their formulaic plots behind amazing visuals and belly laughs, the stories have been fairly grounded. Even with THOR and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY venturing into the cosmos, there hasn’t been a sense of a massive universe. Beyond Asgard and Jotunheim, or Xandar and Knowhere, we haven’t seen much. 

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOLUME 2 has received rave reviews and is proving to be perhaps the ultimate popcorn movie. Detractors of the film groan and grumble about the sometimes forced humor – to which I somewhat agree. But whether or not you loved the film (I did) or hated it, one thing is certain: it opened up the vastness of the MCU’s universe in a big way.  This fact is bound to play a massive roles in the MCU films of the future. THOR: RAGNAROK is already showcasing new worlds in the trailer, so it goes to reason that having as many worlds as possible will open up a whole bevy of new stories for Marvel and Disney to play around with. 

1. YONDU AND ROCKET’S LENGTHY SPACE JUMPS.

One of the more oddball sequences of GOTG:VOL2 involved Yondu, Rocket, and Groot making a beeline to Ego’s planet to come to the aid of the other Guardians. Rocket’s “shortcut” leads them through a multitude of different worlds, some of which undoubtedly held some Easter Eggs for the eagle-eyed comic book fan. 

While the sequence was little more than a visual gag for the casual fan, it also made it very clear that there are a whole boatload of worlds that the films haven’t touched yet. Considering the vast planets and worlds that the source material have visited over the years, that means there are tons of locales for future films. 

2. THE O.G.s

Original Guardians, that is. While the casting of Sylvester Stallone was hardly under wraps, his character also opens up a ton of possibilities, as he is one of the original comic book Guardians of the Galaxy, Starhawk. 

One of the post-credit scenes shows a meeting between a number of the original Guardians, including Mainframe, Charlie-27, Krugarr, Martinex, and Aleta. Could they have their own film?  It seems unlikely – anytime soon at least – but who wouldn’t love the possibility of these guys hamming it up as noble space pirates?

Their inclusion in this film shows us that there are still a bunch of interesting cosmic characters we have yet to meet. 

3. THE WATCHERS

Stan Lee gets his cameos, and none have been as big for comic geeks as the MCU’s first glimpse of the Watchers, the voyeuristic alien race that doesn’t get involved. While none were singled out as the most famous of Watchers, Uatu, it still offered the possibility of meeting up with them very, very soon. 

How does this open up the universe?  Well, there were a few of them, which leads you to believe that there are a bunch of new places to watch. 

4.”I SHALL CALL HIM ADAM”

Ayesha of the Sovereign was a secondary villain in this story, but one that seems driven to punish the slight upon her and her people by Rocket Raccoon. While her efforts fail spectacularly in the meat of the film, her post-credits scene shows us there is much more to expect from her, namely the coming of Adam Warlock. 

Could Adam Warlock play a role in Infinity War?  One could hope, but I have a hard time imagining them dropping the character also known as Him any earlier than the third Guardians of the Galaxy film. 

On top of that, I loved the inclusion of the gold-skinned, arrogant Sovereign and their arcade-style fleet as a group to loathe in the films to come. 

Did you catch any Easter Eggs not mentioned in this article?  Let us know in the comments below!

Vaya con Dios,

JP

Image’s GOD COUNTRY is comic book divinity


Few publishers in comics consistently bring the quality that comes from Image. Whether it is the spectacular space opera in SAGA, the weird-west apocalyptic yarn EAST OF WEST, or the pop-culture pantheon of THE WICKED + THE DIVINE, the publisher brings the goods. Earlier this year, Image brought us another title, this one a limited series, that built itself a place amongst those other lofty titles. 

GOD COUNTRY – created by Don Cates, Geoff Shaw, Jason Wordie, and John J. Hill – tells the sad story of the Quinlan family. Ailing grandfather Emmett is ravaged by dementia, to the point that he doesn’t recognize his son, daughter-in-law, or granddaughter. His problems are more than just for his family, however; local law enforcement is having a heck of a time dealing with his violent outbursts. Just as Emmettis about to lose his family, however, otherworldly evil appears, and Emmett finds himself wielding the mighty Valofax, a powerful sword that possesses more than just a sharp blade. Valofax clears Emmett’s tormented mind as well as dispatching the evil. But a sword such as this attracts attention…

GOD COUNTRY separates itself from the rest of the pack by offering the reader a glimpse of the pain a family feels from dementia, as well as the joy of finding someone healed and whole. In many ways, Emmett’s sudden remedy is as powerful as the battles against rising evil. It’s a story in such a grand scale, but the small moments of family joy and relief hold the reader in such a beautiful grasp. Emmett finds himself with a second chance, but at a great cost. It is a wonderful and terrible conundrum, but one that Cates manages to weave to perfection. 

The artwork is tremendous, drawing us into this harsh, bleak life and filling us with hope in the insurmountable odds that Emmett and his family face. There are still a few issues left to go, but make no mistake: this is a can’t-miss series. The only complaint is that it won’t be around much longer. 

GOD COUNTRY issues 1-3 are available via digital download, or from your local comic book retailer. GOD COUNTRY issue 4 is available April 19th. 

Vaya con Dios,

JPraise