"The Boys, in many ways, is about how to kill the unkillable – and unsurprisingly, an analogue for Superman is at the center of the story. But Superman, I can see them killing. Kryptonite, magic, red sun radiation, just being bigger and tougher, or just realizing that he is one man who can be in one place at one time, and can be managed. There are enough stories about Superman getting killed that we know it’s possible. But Superman’s owners? Not the culture that he’s part of, but the Warner Brothers Corporation that claims him as IP? That dodges through legal maneuvers and drags out court cases, that intimidates and strongarms, all in the name of securing the brand of Superman even as they could care less what Superman stands for as a character?" A lengthy meditation on The Boys, the ultraviolent, ultratransgressive and problematic-but-still-fascinating superhero comics epic as written by Garth Ennis.
It's debatable whether the troubled World War Z signals the end of the ongoing zombie craze, but the film that started it all is much more clear: Danny Boyle's bleak, artful cult horror-drama 28 Days Later, which saw its US premiere ten years ago this weekend. From its iconic opening shots of an eerily abandoned London (set to Godspeed You! Black Emperor's brooding post-rock epic "East Hastings") to the frenzied chaos of its climax, Boyle's film -- a dark yet humanist tale of a world eviscerated by a frighteningly contagious epidemic of murderous rage -- reinvented and reinvigorated the genre that Romero built (though many insist its rabid, sprinting berserkers don't really count). And while sequel 28 Weeks Later with its heavyhanded Iraq War allusions failed to live up to the original (despite boasting one of the most viscerally terrifying opening sequences in modern horror), and 28 Months looks increasingly unlikely, there remains a small universe of side content from the film, including music, short films, comics, and inspired-by games. [more inside]
When the future was 2000AD by Garth Ennis. Thrill-power invested illustrative examples courtesy of Simon Gurr.
No "Preacher" for you. Many of you did not think a "Preacher" miniseries would end well. Would fans prefer to be disappointed by the aborted attempt at an adaptation than disappointed at its not meeting viewers' expectations?
The Punisher MAX #60 hits comics stores this week, marking the end of Garth Ennis's run on the series. His earlier Punisher work on the series put the character back on track after some disastrous wrong turns, but it was the Marvel MAX series that striped the Vietnam vet turned vigilante's war on crime of all extraneous elements and turned it into something dark and brutal. The evocative covers of Tim Bradstreet (also leaving the series) matched the interior darkness, with Ennis toning down his humor to let the Frank Castle become a monomaniacal psychopath in a corrupt world. Adversaries included the resourceful and violent Barracuda, a kind of anti-Punisher based on the song Stagger Lee. It's not over for the Punisher - screenwriter Gregg Hurwitz and artist Laurence Campbell are taking over the series, and Ennis will be returning to the character with a miniseries in the lighter tone of his Marvel Knights work or The Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe.