Tag Archives: Hellboy

Four on the Floor #17: Not Your Typical Dashing Heroes

The Situation: Say the word hero and certain images immediately pop into your head. The square jaw. The broad shoulders. Deltoids of compassion. Abs of being kind. But hey, let’s be honest, the dashing good looking heroes are pretty much a dime a dozen. Superman, Captain America, James Bond, Luke Skywalker–I’m not casting doubt on whether or not they’re heroic, all I’m saying is that if you line them all up next to each other, they kind of start to blend together. I think that’s why I’ve always been more of a fan of the ugly or freakish hero.

The Criteria: With the exception of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, I think the notion that a monstrous character could be a hero didn’t really take off until the early ’60s when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby cranked out characters like The Hulk and The Thing. Since then, pop culture has welcomed heroes who, on a good day, would make a baby cry just by looking at them. Some are more grotesque than others. I thought about including Hank “Beast” McCoy or Gar “Beast Boy” Logan, but I realized that they’re really just more or less regular dudes who happen to be a bit fuzzy (and blue and green, respectively). The four guys on this list will need more than an EPILADY to make People‘s Sexiest Man Alive issue.

1. Ben Grimm, a.k.a. The Thing

Probably the first of the modern “monster heroes”, The Thing has spawned numerous imitators, impostors, homages, and satires. Sure, he’s a pretty big deal in the Marvel Universe, but he still feels the pangs of not being able to “fit in.” What’s more, he’s the only one on the team who can’t turn his powers off, a fact that Johnny rarely lets him forget.

2. Vlad

The hulking and disfigured Vlad serves as sidekick, bodyguard, and big brother to Slasher-hunter Cassie Hack. Despite his appearance, which he tries to hide behind a gas mask, Vlad has a big heart and an overall childlike and naive demeanor.

3. Kurt Wagner, a.k.a. Nightcrawler

When you’re born looking like a furry blue devil, there’s not much hope in fitting in. But, his childhood in the circus taught Kurt to be himself. He stopped using the hologram inducer that Professor Xavier gave him to “look normal” because he didn’t want to hide who he really is. Whether he’s a happy-go-lucky, sword-wielding swashbuckler or an ordained Roman Catholic priest, Kurt’s the moral and compassionate center of whatever team he’s on.

4. Hellboy

Come on. Look at the cards stacked against poor HB. He’s over six feet tall, weighs several hundred pounds, has bright red skin, cloven feet, horns, and a tail. And, as if all that didn’t make him stand out, do you see that right hand of his?

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Please Don't Ruin This for the Rest of Us

Dear American Moviegoers:

I felt the need to reach out to all of you fine folks across this great purple-mountained nation with a request.  I think it’s a pretty simple request, really, and one that all of you should be quite capable of fulfilling.

Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Moviegoing America, the rumors are true: the genius behind the dazzling Pan’s Labyrinth  has, indeed, made another movie (I don’t know about you, but I see movies or pictures…not films, and, if anyone suggested that I go to the cinema…well, they’d better be able to outrun me, or at least have a pretty high tolerance for physical pain).  I know you all really dug Pan, so you’re probably pretty curious to check out Hellboy II: The Golden Army.  I say go for it.  You deserve it, Ma and Pa Multiplex.  You work hard, you provide for the little Multiplexes, so why not splurge on a $12 movie ticket (that’s 12 beans a piece, guys, so you’re looking at a grand total of $24).  I’m just begging you, one and all, do not ruin this for the rest of us.

What exactly do I mean by that?  Well, you need to know that Hellboy II: The Golden Army is based on a comic book.  Hellboy (and all related characters) has had a 14-year existence at Dark Horse Comics, under the careful eye of creator Mike Mignola, and a cadre of equally talented writers and artists.  He is, in no uncertain terms, a comic book character (with a little Lovecraftian and pulp influences thrown in for good measure).  Now, based on the trailers, this one does look like del Toro had a little more say in the over-all look and feel of the movie than he did with the original–the first Hellboy flick was clearly inspired by Mignola’s comics, while the sequel has a certain Pan’s Labyrinth-ian flavor to it–but, make no mistake, this will be a comic book movie.  There will be the trappings of comic books, I’m sure: wisecracks, huge battles, seemingly all-powerful villains, massive collateral damage, characters who get thrown clear across the room and get up unscathed.  Del Toro knows what he’s doing.  He knows that you can not approach a movie like this the same way you would approach a movie like Pan’s Labyrinth.  He understands what people want in a Hellboy movie, and he’s going to deliver (shit, he nearly quit the first one when the studio tried to force him to cast Vin Diesel as HB instead of the supremely awesome Ron Perlman, that shows del Toro’s dedication to the Mignola-verse). 

So, I guess all I’m asking is that you walk into the theater fully aware that you’re walking into a comic book movie and not some artfully crafted allegory (although I’m sure del Toro crafted the shit out of this one, just like he does with all of his movies).  When you see the fish-man or the fire-girl, don’t snicker and start muttering to the person next to you how “ridiculous” and “stupid” this movie is.  Don’t call the big red dude with the stone hand “a joke.”  And, when the giant monster shows up (and this is a Hellboy flick, so you know there will be a giant monster), please do not grumble that it is “totally unrealistic.”  Of course it’s unrealistic, it’s a movie about a demon who fights ghosts.  If you wanted realism, you should have stayed home and watched the History Channel.

So…please, just be aware of what you’re getting yourself into.  You wouldn’t go to a baseball game and expect them to play hockey, would you?

 

Behold: The Mighty Kriegsaffe!

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University have found a way to wire a robotic arm into the brains of monkeys.  All the sciencey details are here, including a video!

I don’t know about you…but I think this means war apes are just over the horizon:

The Big Red Monkey Is Back!

Yahoo has posted the new trailer for Hellboy 2: The Golden Army.  Take a gander:

I thoroughly enjoyed the first one, and this one looks just as good (if not better).  It looks like Mignola and the Powers That Be really let Del Torro make this his movie.

Aw Crap…

Which Hellboy Character Are You?

You scored as Hellboy

hellboy06.jpg

“You big red monkey, you’re HELLBOY himself! The supposed beast of the apocalypse, sometimes you’re a little low on self esteem, but you have an affinity for junk food, big guns, and comic books. Rock on, red man!”

Another Whedon Wednesday

This week, we get both Astonishing X-Men #23 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer #8. If the new issue of Runaways came out this week, it would be a true Whedon Wednesday. Two of Mike Mignola’s books also came out today: Lobster Johnson #3 and Hellboy: Darkness Calls #6.

I’ll review these and a few other books that came out today as soon as I get a chance to read them all and write some witty shit about them.