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Friday, May 11, 2012

My artwork

Here are some of the stuff I had done over the years, but mainly when I was still in school. So here we go, in chronological order.
A piece I did for a school publication.
Another piece I did for the school's Science Society.
This was a spoof of the Marvel event at that time when a mystery character was wiping out the 2nd and 3rd tier villains with a "PUM SPAK" sound effect. This was published in the New Straits Times.
A piece I did for a now-defunct Singaporean Comic Fanzine called the Big-O (Before I Get Old)
This piece was published in the Star.
Another piece that was published in the Star.
A couple of random pieces I did.
This was done as a birthday gift for my college pal - Oliver Tse. He really liked the Predators movies so I thought this might be something he would like. I was happy to learn he really loved it. Of course I had to make a copy of it before handing it over to him.
This piece was done fairly recently when the 1st Transformers (yes, the one that introduced the world to Megan Fox) movie came out. This was my entry in a contest where we were tasked to design our own Transformer. I took home the 1st Prize. Well, maybe I would've stood a better chance at the Grand Prize if I had it colored.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Movie Review - The Avengers

Movie Title
The Avengers (aka Avengers Assemble)
Action, Adventure, Comic-Adaptation 
The is a culmination of a series of post credit scenes of the following Marvel movies from the past 4 years namely:
Iron Man
Incredible Hulk
Iron Man 2
Capt America

The movie opens off-planet with Loki making a deal with an unidentified Alien. The deal was for Loki to deliver the Tesseract (an object that Marvel fanboys would immediately recognizeas the all-powerful Cosmic Cube) in exhange for an alien army so that he may attack Earth, his brother Thor's adopted world.

The Alien army Loki recruits are the Chitauri, the Marvel Ultimate Universe's version of the Skrulls. These little inconsistencies can become points where fanboy geeks would nit-pick about but as far as the general movie-going audiences are concerned, it doesn't really matter. However, on Marvel's part, it's a great marketing strategy as the prepare their movie going fans for both the Marvel & Ultimate Universe books.

SHIELD has custody of the Cube and was studying it's potential as an unlimited power source when Loki appears and seizes it from right under Fury's nose. In the course of the battle, Loki mind-controls Hawkeye, Dr Selving (chief scientist studying the Cube) and several other SHIELD agents, destroying the SHIELD Base in the process. This is when we get to see the famous SHIELD Heli-Carrier make its big screen debut. It's impressive!

Retrieving the Cube has now become top priority and apparently it emits Gamma Radiation, and hence, can be tracked. Black Widow is then recalled from a mission to recruit Dr Bruce Banner (aka Hulk) as he is the top scientist on Gamma Radiation and can help them get the Cube back.

Meanwhile, Tony Stark (Iron Man) & Capt. Steve Rogers (Capt America) are on-board as part of the mission to locate Loki and the Cube.

They get an opportunity to confront Loki as he needed a rare metal called Irridium to stabilize the Cube before he could open an tele-portational gate to bring the Chitauri to Earth. The Avengers (Black Widow, Iron Man & Capt America) capture Loki and was on their way back to SHIELD when Thor drops in and seizes Loki from the Avengers.

As with most comic books, upon any first meeting between heroes, they have to duke it out. So, this formula is put to good use on the big screen as we see the Main Avenger guys (Thor, Cap & Iron Man) dish it out before they realize they are all on the same side.

The mind-wiped SHIELD agents and Hawkeye then attacks the Heli-Carrier to help Loki escape. In the midst of the attack, the Hulk comes out to play and Thor immediately knows that he's the only one who could face the Green Goliath. Fanboys would love the part where the Hulk tries to lift Thor's Hammer - Mjolnir but fails.

Loki brings the aliens to attack Earth with Manhattan as the beachhead. That's where the Avengers head toward.

All hell brakes loose as the alien hoards come in thru' the portal in droves. The Avengers are spread thin as they're tasked with rescuing the people, fighting the aliens, close the portal and capture Loki.

Watch the movie to see how the heroes save the day!
Well, what can I say? It's a superhero movie!

It is by no means perfect as I do have gripes about a few things. However, I believe my gripes are only because I'm a fan-boy geek who'se been reading the comics for years and nothing would ever please us. However, for the general public, this is indeed 1 of the, if not THE best Super-Hero movie to date!

Here are my gripes:

Thor without his helmet for the ENTIRE MOVIE!!!!!

What's with Cap's white shoulder stripes?

Iron Man, Cap, Hawkeye (supposedly a top-secret agent) & Thor showing their faces so openly. C'mon!

The Avengers, especially Capt. America, do not kill! However, in this movie, the Avengers are pretty trigger happy. They kill mind-controlled SHIELD Agents & Chitauri as though they were playing a video game.

Hawkeye could've worn his Ultimates version goggles. Plus, he's too sombre. Give him back his witty banter!

In the final battle, Capt. America and Thor behaved more like spectators than heroes (and leader in Cap's case) as they see Iron Man save the day by going into the Portal. Cap and Thor would've put in at least 3 contingencies before Iron Man had even gone in.

The mixing up of the Ultimate & Marvel Universe Proper is really confusing for fan-boys like me, but then, as I had said, it's clever Marketing Strategy on Marvel's part, so it's all good.

It's a great Super-hero flick that combines an almost perfect blend of action, characterization, humor, Marvel Lore & Mythos and good pacing.

LASTLY, I need not remind you that there is a post-credit scene (C'mon, you guys already know this by now!) where we finally see who it was Loki was making a deal with at the very start of the movie - Thanos!

We have seen Thanos' Infinity Gauntlet before. It was in Odin's Weapons Vault from the Thor movie.
Verdict: Go watch it AGAIN!
Rating: 7.5/10

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Which Avengers should be in the next Avengers Movie?

Now that the Avengers Movie has hit the big screens and hopefully, you've managed to catch it (and if you have not, what are you waiting for?), I think it's safe to say that a sequel is VERY likely to happen.

These are the Avengers whom I thought should be included in the next Avengers Movie:

Vision & Scarlet Witch
The Avengers' very own power-couple - these 2 have been in almost every incarnation of the team as as far as I am concerned, the Avengers are not the same without them. Just like Hawkeye & Black Widow, despite starting their careers as villains, they have proven time and again that they are true heroes and have earned their place with the team.

Wasp & Ant-Man (aka Yellow Jacket/Goliath/Giant-Man)
Ant ManYellow JacketWasp
The Avengers' drama-couple. These 2 were founding members of the team (Yes, they formed the team when Capt. America was still taking a nap in the North Pole). Just Like the Vision & Scarlet Witch, they were in almost every incarnation of the team and it makes perfect sense for them to be included in the next movie. Moreover, need I mention Ultron?
Black Panther
Altho' he first appeared in the Fantastic Four in #52, to me, he's most associated with the Avengers. Married to Storm (of the X-Men), a monarch of the Wakandan nation that is the sole supplier of a rare metal that helped make Capt America's Shield - Vibranium (OK, we're not going to mention the Savage Land at this point.) a scientist of almost the same caliber of Reed Richards & Tony Stark and providing sorely needed diversity & fighting prowess to the team.

Capt. Marvel/Photon/Ms. Marvel
Ms Marvel
Capt Marvel 
As the Movie's post-credit teaser scene reveals who the villain for the next movie will be, it makes a lot of sense that 1 of the Marvels be on the roster to provide some much needed cosmic fire-power. These 3 characters have taken on the "Capt Marvel" Legacy at one time or another in the Avengers' various incarnations.
Sure, he gets on everybody's nerves plus he's Magneto's son, but where the Scarlet Witch is, he won't be far behind.
She Hulk
Being more of a team player (she was part of the Fantastic Four for several years) and not to mention, mental stability, If the Avengers needed a bruiser, Jen Walters would make a better Hulk to the Avengers than her cousin Bruce.
War Machine
Since movie audiences have already been introduced to him in Iron Man 2, his inclusion in the next movie is a natural progression.
Agree? Disagree? Who do you think should be in the NEXT movie?