Doctor Doom

Doctor Doom has been on my brain for several weeks now. I've been thinking about his portrayal in Fantastic Four (2005) and what a travesty it was. I thought the movie was a decent, enjoyable little bit of escapism, but the way Doom was presented was one of the biggest wastes of a great character in movie history.

Image: Fantastic Four #247, October 1982(drawn by John Byrne) Copyright Marvel Comics
Here you had the most powerful and feared villain in the Marvel Universe being portrayed as a some sort of whiny, petulant, businessman. I assume Fox Corp. still owns the rights to the character- a deal I'm sure Marvel is regretting. Oh, how I bet the folks at Marvel Studios wish they had him to use in one of their upcoming Avenger movies.

In a perfect world, where Marvel Studios owned Doom and had all the right pieces in place, the good Doctor could be presented as one of the greatest bad guys ever. I envision him on screen as sort of the way he's being depicted in the current run of The Fantastic Four comic as written by Mark Millar, and in line with his creator's (Jack Kirby) vision- a brilliant but absolutely ruthless dictator of a small Eastern European country that he hijacked to use as his base of operations. He would have the world's greatest technological experts under his control and would use his minions to carry out the dirty work of destroying the world's superheroes- all the while, plotting his strategy of world domination from his mountaintop retreat. As a bonus, you could throw in a heap of psychological subtext dealing with his hideously disfigured features and their effects on his view of the inferior rabble upon which he gazes.

As a screen villain, I firmly believe Doom has the potential to make Darth Vader and Lex Luthor look like boy scouts if the screenwriter, director, and actor were given free reign. Will we ever see a Doom on screen that truly does justice to his supreme awfulness? Right now, the outlook is very doubtful. I think it would take a miracle for all the pieces to fall into place for the ultimate Doom movie to happen. If you've heard any rumors, please do tell.

Superman: The Man of Steel

Superman's origin is revamped in The Man of St...
The Man of Steel No.1 (July 1986), written and drawn by John Byrne. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
(Note: I originally published this post on June 15, 2009. Today (June 16, 2013), I was correcting some formatting mistakes when I accidentally re-published it (instead of just updating it). Not a word was changed from the original post. So, if you subscribe to my RSS, this is probably showing up as a new article. You might find this post interesting because I wrote it about 6 months after Warner Bros. announced there would a new Superman movie - the movie that would become Man of Steel.)
It dawned on me recently that there's been precious little info regarding the status of the next Superman movie, Superman: The Man of Steel - AKA Superman Unleashed. It was originally slated for a summer '09 release, but IMDB now has it listed as 2011. A trailer was released in February '09, but since then, mostly just rumors. The Man of Steel IMDB page hasn't been updated since December '08.

The best source of info I've found for this film is the Wikipedia article. A Google search just brings up stale six month old news. From the brief research I conducted, it sounds like Warner Bros. wants to forget Superman Returns (2006) ever happened. Even after reading the Wiki article, I'm still not sure if Bryan Singer and Brandon Routh will return. I dig the concept mentioned in the article that writer, Mark Millar, has for the franchise - an epic 8 hour trilogy that spans the entire life of Supes. That's the type of treatment the character has deserved for decades.

I'll admit I could be plugged into this film more, so if anyone has some fresh news, please feel free to drop a note.
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David Carradine and Kill Bill: Vol.2

Just as about fifty million other bloggers are doing, I'm paying homage to the life and career of the legendary David Carradine. When I heard the news of his death, I thought about the incredible body of work he left behind and what a stamp he put on pop culture over the last four decades.

Although he never appeared in a superhero movie, I feel it's entirely appropriate to pay respects here because of the famous "Superman Speech" he delivered in Kill Bill: Vol.2(2004)(as written by Quentin Tarantino). Like many others, that scene reinforced my respect for him as an actor, and I think most fans agree the Superman monologue is the most concise explanation of the allure of ihe superhero myth in recent memory.

Of course, the scene is posted on YouTube, so there's no point in putting here, but it's worth another look if you haven't seen it in a while. I'd be interested to hear if others share my admiration for the way that scene crystallizes what superhero fans have felt since capes first hit the newstands.