Tag Archives: Comic Con

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Pilot Review: Does It Succeed? Yes, It Does.

At the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con, there was a debate as to what would be the most anticipated panel.  A lot of people said Game of Thrones, the Marvel panel or the Catching Fire panels would be the most sought after panels. However, judging from the fanbase in Ballroom 20, on Friday at 1:45pm, you would think that the Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel was going to be the best one out there. The question was whether we were going to get an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot. We heard that word clips and small snipets were going to be used but executive producer Jeph Loeb made tons of fans happy by announcing we were getting a pilot. Now they had our attention. Does it satisfy Joss Whedon fans? Of course. Will it appeal to a consistent mainstream audience? Well, we’ll answer that question later. I will say that the pilot was an absolute Whedon-fest of family, snappy dialogue and quick pacing that made the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot all the more enjoyable despite the limitations of being on the small screen.

I’m going to try to keep this as spoiler free as possible but obviously I have to explain what’s going on. The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot picks up after the Battle of New York, and the repercussions of that (much like Iron Man 3). It’s a brave new world out there, and we are introduced to Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) as he James Bond’s his way through stealing, sneaking, beating and all that fun espionage stuff. The opening sequence was fast, funny and strikingly violent, revealing Ward to be the muscle and badass, loner character we all need to create future conflict. I love Whedon’s direction in this sequence because it reminded me of the opening to Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol. Whedon knows how to direct action and keep bits of humor throughout and create depth and get more out of the character on the pages.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot

We soon get our introduction to a new unit in S.H.I.E.L.D. with Agent Hill (Cobie Smulders, returning for a possible recurring then permanent gig after HIMYM ends) putting together a team to help investigate and assess the phenomenons in the world today. From this point, we finally get to see all the hype that #CoulsonLives has been building up to as Clark Gregg makes his triumphant return to the Marvel Universe. He’s eager and ready to go and we get a tiny resolution as to why he’s still up and kicking. Of course, we get a Firefly cameo from Shepard (Ron Glass) that will get the fanboys and fangirls squealing, explaining that there’s more to the #CoulsonLives scenario that everyone realizes.

The first mission introduces us to a bunch of characters that work extremely well together as they hunt down a super-powered hooded ‘hero’ (J. August Richards) that just jumped on the radar. A hacker named Skye (Chloe Bennet) has been tracking him and Coulson sees an opportunity with her to help each other out. Other people on the team include scientists Fitz and Simmons (Iain de Caesstecker and Elizabeth Henstridge, respectively) and stoic ‘pilot’ Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen). All these characters has mysteries and enigmas the series will explore but putting them all together, they have great chemistry and play off each other well.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot

Bennet has a fangirl type of curiosity and charisma she brings to the table and almost acts as the audience as she delves further into this world of espionage. Dalton and Ming-Na play the  badass well with Dalton getting into a great sequence with Skye in an interrogation room. The “twins”, Fitz and Simmons, could be my new favorite duo as they finish each others sentences and work so well with each other, I would watch a pilot of them alone as they navigate and conquer their niche of science in this world. Of course, Clark Gregg is the biggest draw as he serves as a direct connection to the cinematic universe. He obviously plays Coulson brilliantly as the hilariously dry leader of this team. They also don’t try to make him the centerpiece, just as the glue to this ensemble that he ties together effortlessly.

The action in the pilot is quick and well shot by Whedon, who clearly still carries a deft eye for television. However, the production works effectively with a TV budget and creates a great spy and superhero world to explore in the future. The dialogue and story carries a lot of heart and humor that Whedon typifies in his work and carries the major theme of family, which is familiar ground. Although sustainability will remain the big question, because for all the Marvel references, whether we see heroes or major players in the MCU, it depends on the TV audience. These heroes will have to establish themselves quickly as people the audience will dedicate one day a week to watch.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot

Overall, I loved the pilot. The pacing was great. The action was crisp and believable. The production was terrific. The cast works brilliantly together. Whether that’s a testament to Joss Whedon directing or the writing remains to be seen but when you watch the pilot, you feel the same magic you got from watching Buffy and Firefly and other brilliant shows. This one is definitely one to watch and on September 24th, 2013, you can enjoy it as much as the rest of Ballroom 20.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot

Images: SuperHeroHype, Collider

Comic-Con Cosplay Gallery: Milla Goldenberg and The Con Through Her Lens…

So last week was the international Comic Con in San Diego, and I (Dr. Kronner) was lucky enough to attend for the 2nd year in a row. As per usual of these types of events, there were plenty of people turned out in their best Comic-Con cosplay. In tow was my assistant good friend; New York Times published writer, Geek Magazine Copy Editor, and shutterbug Milla Goldenberg.

With her, as always was a camera, and what follows is a small portion of the massive amount of the photographic evidence that she (or at least her camera) was presented with on the convention floor. Everything from scantily clad ladies in their best Wonder Woman getup and shirtless dudes as their favorite superheroes.

It needs very little introduction… a gallery of Comic-Con cosplay!

Continue reading Comic-Con Cosplay Gallery: Milla Goldenberg and The Con Through Her Lens…

SDCC 2013: ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ Panel!

X-Men: Days of Future Past has already had a somewhat impressive showing in San Diego this year. Early on we got our first look at  the head of a Sentinel, and then later new character portraits featuring Bishop, which was another first look. While no panel was on the schedule, fans were hopeful for something during Fox’s time at SDCC.

Not that unexpectedly, Fox did indeed have a secret panel yesterday for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Rather unexpectedly, The entire cast from the film appeared on stage, an then held a panel. It was pretty extraordinary to see that many people on stage, and there is no doubt the fans were surprised.

Continue reading SDCC 2013: ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ Panel!

SDCC 2013: DC Comics “Con Away From Con”

Are you a DC Comics fan who couldn’t make it to San Diego for Comic-Con this year? Well DC feels your pain and have done what they can to make you (us, as I’m sitting at home as well) to feel as if we were there. Think of “Con Away From Con” as a modern age “Wish You Were Here” postcard.

They’ve got a bit of everything – chats with directors and stars, tours of DC booths, interviews, “DC University” highlights… pretty much everything you might check out it you were actually there.

Enough chit-chat, let’s get to the videos!

First a look at the upcoming Flashpoint Paradox. Of course with the new Flash movie being announced this weekend (along with the Man of Steel sequel featuring Batman), all eyes are on “The Fastest Man Alive”. This new animated movie features Justin Chambers as Barry Allen, C. Thomas Howell as Reverse-Flash, and Michael B. Jordan as Cyborg. Incidentally, we have Jordan in the Cyborg role in our Justice League cast.

How about a few on the upcoming documentary on DC Comics Rogues Gallery? Necessary Evil will be released on October 25th.

You can check out the full trailer here!

Of course, DC Comics wouldn’t be much without the incredible artists that work for them. With “DC Universe” Comic-Con attendees got the chance to see these artists as work, including Amanda Conner who, with her husband and partner Jimmy Palmiotti, will be writing a Harley Quinn solo book in the New 52.

One of the biggest things at a convention of San Diego’s Comic-Con magnitude, are the booths on the convention floor. This year DC Comics had a display of Superman costumes through the years.

I think it’s written in some writer’s code somewhere that if a Neil Gaiman interview exists and relates at all to what you are doing, you must include it. So… Neil Gaiman talks Sandman: Overture as well as artist J.H. Williams III.

For more Comic Con coverage check here!

SDCC 2013: Arrow Season Two Sizzle Reel, Plus Highlights of the Comic-Con Panel!

Let’s start right off with the Arrow season two sizzle reel. Now, if you have not seen all of Arrow season one, you might want to skip this as it has a lot of spoilers in it. A lot, a lot.

So much action packed into so little time! Taken from footage of the season premiere, we get a good look at Summer Glau as Isabel Rochev.
Arrow Season Two Sizzle Reel

As exciting as that is, I think we all echo Roy Harper’s question to the mysterious blonde in a mask (Caity Lotz as not Black Canary), “Where the hell did you come from?” Of course this Arrow season two sizzle reel didn’t answer any big questions, like who exactly Caity Lotz’s character is, but we do see Oliver Queen make the beginnings of his move from “the Vigilante” to actually being called Arrow. As Marc Guggenheim said in this interview, they are moving from Hood Guy, to Arrow, to ultimately Green Arrow.

Arrow season two sizzle reel

Same with Black Canary apparently. Laurel will eventually be Black Canary but she needs to start on that journey and Caity Lotz is there to help her begin.

Apparently everyone is moving along in their storylines, including Roy Harper and Deathstroke. During the Comic-Con panel, Colton Haynes referred to season two as Roy’s “island” and Andrew Kreisberg made a point of telling fans that those who are interested in if/how Manu Bennett’s Slade Wilson becomes the Deathstroke, then they should make sure to watch season two.

The other big news from the panel is that although it seems as if Malcolm Merlyn met his end in the season finale of Arrow season one, perhaps he’s not as dead as we assumed. John Barrowman appeared on stage saying “I would be more than happy to come back into this family fold. And if I’m being invited back, it’s more than the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’s’ ever done.”

As great as all that news is, two big guest spots were also announced.

Arrow season two sizzle reel

That’s right, Suicide Squad’s own Bronze Tiger is coming to Starling City! Or the island, his story hasn’t been revealed. Michael Jai White will play the martial artist sometime in season two. Given that they are announcing it this early, you’d have to imagine it’d be early in the season.

Kevin Alejandro as Sebastian Blood in Arrow

Same goes for Kevin Alejandro, guest starring as a character named Sebastian Blood, aka Brother Blood. Longtime foe of the Teen Titans. It’s a little easier to see the martial arts fighting of Bronze Tiger making the leap to the Arrow-verse, but there will be some definite changes in the Brother Blood character to comply with the “no superpowers/metahumans” thing that they’ve committed to. But we’ve seen how Count Vertigo was able to be adapted so I’m not too worried about it.

So I think that about covers it. Laurel Lance is still going to be Black Canary. Caity Lotz is going to help her. Roy Harper and Slade Wilson both have changes in store for them. Oh yeah, Thea is taking over Oliver’s club, and Summer Glau’s Isabel Rochev is coming to town.

Can’t wait for October 9th when Arrow season two premieres!

Arrow-City-of-Heroes