Saturday, October 22, 2016

Four things about the Logan film trailer

Four things about the Logan film trailer
by rick olivares

The trailer for “Logan” that was shown last Friday, October 21, smacks of an explosive denouement for the “Wolverine” series of films.

The third installment of the fan favorite comic book character Wolverine, played with the required bad ass sass by the talented Hugh Jackman, will be shown next year but here are some things that non-comic book fans should know.

“Logan” borrows plenty from “Old Man Logan”
The original “Old Man Logan” storyline written by Mark Millar and drawn by Steve McNiven ran from Wolverine #66-72 and culminated in Wolverine Giant-Sized Old Man Logan from 2008-09. A second volume written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Andrea Sorrentino was part of the Secret Wars storyline in 2015. The third volume, now a regular series, is written by Jeff Lemire with Sorrentino returning as the artist.

In this storyline, much like the classic “Days of Future Past” story that changed the Uncanny X-Men storyline forever, the United States has been conquered by is supervillains with most superheroes wiped out. Logan, hiding in plain sight, has willfully retired from his heroic days after taking part in a mutant massacre. But he is pushed out of the retirement after a series of tragedies befall him and his loved ones.

How powerful was this version of Wolverine?


Beginning with the “Death of Wolverine” storyline, Logan has been de-powered. In the first part of the trailer, we see Logan’s hand shaking from what appears to be arthritis. A result from the weakening of his healing factor that has kept him alive for so long?

This frailty and weaknesses he feels make for a more sympathetic character. And that seems to be a huge influence in the coming film.

The appearance of X-23
Over time, it was revealed how Wolverine was an off-shoot of the super soldier program that many countries developed after the first appearance of Captain America.

X-23 or Laura Kinney is a cloned daughter of Logan and eventually has taken up his mantle.

Unlike the heroic Wolverine everyone knows who started out as a special operations soldier before turning into a superhero, X-23 was bred to be an assassin. She later becomes a member of the X-Men’s para-military team, X-Force, and eventually takes up Logan’s mantle as the All-New All-Different Wolverine that is being currently published.

A changing of the guard cinematically?

Professor Xavier appears
It should be interesting to know that when Wolverine joined the X-Men comic book wise way back when Len Wein and Dave Cockrum drew the now classic Giant-Sized X-Men #1, both Professor Charles Xavier, leader and founder of the X-Men, and Wolverine were constantly at odds. That was because Logan was a violent character who had this take no prisoners approach that vastly differed from Xavier’s Ghandi-esque aversion to violence and death.

Over time, Logan becomes the guardian and progenitor of Xavier’s ideals. Characters do change.

In the X-Men film series, after the first ever film, Xavier sees off Jackman’s Wolverine who retraces his roots and to fill the gaps in his tampered memories. This one finds the two of them in this last adventure.

“Hurt” by Johnny Cash is the perfect soundtrack to this film
The nearly two-minute trailer of “Logan” is played to the music of country singer Johnny Cash whop croons a westernized version of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” that appears in their seminal album, “The Downward Spiral”. I like Cash’s version because his gravelly rich baritone adds a touch of tragedy and dread to the feel of the film and story. It’s perfect.

If we look to its comic book story, Logan lives in a world of hurt (and dishes some). This is a really dark story and the scarred body of Logan barely tells of the horror and carnage that befell him and of course, what is to come.

Prepare for carnage.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

After Eraserheads vinyl toys, Bigboy Cheng unveils Yeo Kaa works

Yeo Kaa's art toys that will be on display and for sale this coming October 22, 2016 at Secret Fresh, Ronac Magallanes.

After Eraserheads vinyl toys, Bigboy Cheng unveils Yeo Kaa works
by rick olivares

Bigboy Cheng
Filipino toy impresario Bigboy Cheng is all set to unveil a new designer toy by rising Filipino artist Yeo Kaa.

The Palawan-born Yeo Kaa who is an advertising major from the College of the Holy Spirit will host her third solo exhibit this coming Saturday, October 22, at 6pm at Cheng’s Secret Fresh toy store at the Ronac Art Gallery in Magallanes, Makati City.

Yeo will unveil her new set of paintings as well as her custom and hand-painted art toys that fetch anywhere from Php 12-24,000!

“So far, we’re expecting a full house for the show” gushed Cheng. “These art toys will be just as big as the Eraserheads toys! In fact, all her toys and paintings already pre-sold. It’s an amazing and surprising response.”

During the summer of 2013, Cheng stunned the toy world by unveiling a set of Eraserheads vinyl figures as designed by Korean toy designer, Coolrain Lee. Lee is also behind those masterful and best-selling NBA Mindstyle figures.

“The Eraserheads are my favorite band and I wanted to help them make history by giving them the first Pinoy to be featured in a vinyl toy ever,” recalled Cheng who also said that the legendary music group was deeply honored to have this cool collectible. “They loved it.”

“As for Coolrain, he is my favorite designer. The final product is world class!”

The Eraserheads set has since become a collector’s item with hardly any left on designer toy shop shelves.

For his part, Lee related that he felt it was an honor as well to ask to design toys unique to the Philippine market. “When I visited the Philippines in 2012, Bigboy requested and ordered an Eraserheads bands set during the Pop Life Exhibition that year. I was sent a lot of material to guide me in my designs,” related Lee. “Normally, I don’t listen to music when working but I had to feel and understand the band.”

Yeo Kaa
The Eraserheads set is a departure for Lee who is mostly kept busy with his NBA Mindstyle designs and the Dunkeys (anthropomorphized monkeys sporting Chicago Bulls gear) art toys that he will unveil for a solo exhibit in 2017. “Although I love music, I do not generally do ‘band” designs or toys. This was a first and I am glad to know it is special for Filipinos.”

Summed up Cheng who was clearly excited about his new unveiling that he believes is a worthy follow up to his Eraserheads project, “After this Saturday’s exhibit, more people will know of the genius of Yeo Kaa.”

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Trippy weirdness that is Gerard Way’s ‘’Doom Patrol”

Trippy weirdness that is Gerard Way’s ‘’Doom Patrol”
by rick olivares

Rock stars writing comic books are nothing new. To name a few, there’s prog rock outfit Coheed and Cambria’s Claudio Sanchez who gave life to his band’s concept albums with “Amory Wars”. Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello penned a 12-issue science fiction limited series, “Orchid”, that was published by Dark Horse Comics. Shock rocker Rob Zombie has written quite a few horror comics with his most recent one, “Whatever Happened to Baron Von Shock?” released by Image Comics. Hole frontwoman Courtney Love released a manga-inspired series titled, “Princess Ai”.

And most recently, there’s My Chemical Romance’s vocalist Gerard Way who after penning the excellent “The Umbrella Academy” for Vertigo Comics has been given his own sandbox in the industry – DC Comics’ Young Animal imprint, a mature reader’s line where to date, he is writing three of the four announced titles --- “Doom Patrol”, “Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye”, and “Mother Panic”.

“Shade the Changing Girl”, the fourth title under the sub-brand, is written by Cecil Castellucci.

I picked up “Doom Patrol” because of Way's penchant for producing off-beat stories. Now the title has been around since the 1960s but it only received a massive lift in interest and popularity when Scottish writer par excellence Grant Morrison came on board a couple of decades ago. Since then… well, everyone feels the weight of Morrison’s work on their hunched shoulders.

Rather than strike out in another direction, Way and artist Nick Derington walk in Morrison shoes and make the title their own despite things not making any sense after two issues in. The story seems disjointed with so many sub-plots going on but I have only savored every panel of every page. The method to the madness will eventually be revealed and this book has zoomed to my Top 10 comics from regular Pull List.

Imagine Robot Man bursting out a microscopic world that resides in a burrito! Niles Caulder, the Chief, ad leader of Doom Patrol has so far made weird cameo appearances. So far, no sightings of Elasti-Woman, Element Woman, and Negative Man as Emergency Medical Technicians’ Sam and Casey have taken the front row seat.

But even if it isn’t the Doom Patrol that I and many others know, it’s a wonderful and trippy read into the weird. And the last time I got this vibe was reading Peter Milligan and Michael Allred’s “X-Statix” from Marvel. I somewhat enjoyed Way’s “The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys” (a six-issue series published by Dark Horse from mid-2013 to early 2014 that served as a sequel of sorts to My Chemical Romance’s album, “Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys”. Yet it didn’t have the impact that “The Umbrella Academy” did in terms of grabbing me as I thought Fabulous Killjoys got too caught up in its weirdness and ambitiousness that it ended without a sonic boom. But “Doom Patrol” has a magic of its own.

Derington’s art coupled with the psychedelic pastiche of colors by the talented Tamra Bonvillain greatly add to my “what-is-going-on” bliss.

If this whole review didn’t make any sense, then go pick up Gerard Way’s “Doom Patrol”. We can trade non-sequitur’s later.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Defenders!

This Netflix series cannot come soon enough. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

I love dogs and Funko Pops of dogs!

At long last -- Cosmo (from Guardians of the Galaxy) and K-9 from Duck Dodgers!