I am sitting on a train heading home from Chicago, and I thought I would take the opportunity to give you my thoughts and news coming out of C2E2 2013. What a great convention.
Where most cons nowadays have changed their focus to include both comics and other comic related things (movies, games, and other “geek” related ventures), C2E2 continues to focus on the comic culture. Sure there are panels with special guests, but almost all of them are comic culture related (with the exception of Jason David Frank and some random Dr. Who folks). C2E2 is a con for comic fans and the medium we love so much. Whether you’re a Marvel fan, a DC fan, an Image fan, or just a fan of the culture itself, you will find something you can sink your teeth into at the show. If you’re looking for some back issues to fill out your collection, there are rows upon rows of vendors who are more than willing to help you find what you’re looking for. Maybe you’d like to get some of your comics signed by your favorite creators. C2E2 has got you covered. The show has one of the largest “Artist Alleys” on the convention circuit. C2E2 is quickly becoming “the” con to attend in the Chicago area (eclipsing the mighty Wizard World Chicago). Before I get into my thoughts on the show, lets get to the news that came out if the show itself.
Iron Man 3. This officially marks the beginning of phase 2. For the uninitiated, phase 2 is simply a way of referencing Marvel movies that take place post the events of The Avengers. Iron Man 3 (directed by Shane Black) is the final entry (for now) of a now beloved franchise. For those keeping track, Iron Man and Iron Man 2 were both directed by Jon Favreau. One might wonder if this entry at all feels disjointed in with a change of director for the latest installment. One might think it would be downright disastrous, or at the very least cause some level of uneasiness. I can understand those sentiments, but luckily that is not the case.
Iron Man 3 illustrates a changed Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) dealing with life after such fantastical encounters with gods from another part of the galaxy, the blatantly dramatic invasion from an alien race, and, then there is his having to play nice with others. As it stands, he is trying to adjust to ‘normal life’ with Pepper (Gwenyth Paltrow) looking on as she feels to be his 2nd love compared to the Iron Man armor. A flashback is shown as to introduce a couple of people that had an encounter with Tony, and how their dealing with him set a certain course of events. One of those people being Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) who is easy on the eyes, and quite clearly has an intellect that could hold Stark’s attention as she was leading the way in a breakthrough of biological evolution. Also introduced is Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), an aspiring scientist with physical frailties, and the genuine manner of what one would call the “stereotypical nerd”. With coming back to the present, nothing seems to be letting up for Mr. Stark as previous choices have come to collect their due.
For most fans of comic books and superhero movies in general, it doesn’t get much better than Iron Man. The 2008 film introduced Tony Stark to a world outside of comics, and took the armored Avenger from a third string hero to the A list. The film under the direction of Jon Favreau was the perfect origin story, and set the tone for Marvel films that followed and are yet to come. Iron Man 2 , while lacking the spark that its predecessor had, was still a solid action-packed summer blockbuster. And in The Avengers, Joss Whedon’s superhero masterpiece which earned over $1.5 billion dollars worldwide, there is no doubt that Tony Stark stole the show. Which leads us to the third film in the franchise, Iron Man 3, which is more of a “Tony Stark” movie than an “Iron Man” movie – and there is nothing wrong with that.
We last left Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) after defending New York and the rest of Earth from an alien invasion in The Avengers. While Iron Man saved the day, Stark was left with post traumatic stress – similar to a soldier coming back from war. “Nothing has been the same since New York,” he tells his closest adviser and love interest Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) as he struggles to concentrate on anything else but to build new Iron Man suits. He field tested the Mark 7 against Loki and the Chitauri in Avengers, and we now find him putting his finishing touches on the Mark 42.
With E3 right around the corner, we’re surely to get a few surprises in the game industry. But as of right now there’s quite a lot to look forward to in the coming months. Not only are we getting a new generation of consoles near the end of the year, we’re also getting some great releases to send this generation off with a bang. We’re only 4 months into 2013 and we’ve already seen some great contributions. Games like Bioshock Infinite andTomb Raider have set the bar high. Below is a list of 10 games that are confirmed or expected to be released by the end of the year. You should be really excited for them, like, really excited.
Those familiar with The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog only need hear the name to get excited. Ever since last year’s E3 gameplay demonstration, I’ve been feverishly waiting for the next bit of info on this game. This is my number one game I’m excited for in 2013. If you’ve ever wanted to traverse across a beautiful post-apocalyptic America while being hunted by bandits and weird fungal zombies, this is your game.
Beyond: Two Souls is being helmed by Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream. Besides potentially being one of the most graphically impressive games on any home console, you can surely come to expect things like: multiple endings, dark themes, thriller vibes, and a deep and cinematic story. Players will take the main character, Jodie through different times in her life in an attempt to understand Aiden, the ghost-like entity that has been with her since her birth. All this is done in an effort to understand what happens to us after we die. Did I mention this game was dark? Oh, and Jodie is modeled after actress Ellen Page who is also voicing the character.
Enter to win a pass for two!
2011, Lahore. At a café a Pakistani man named Changez (Riz Ahmed) tells Bobby (Liev Schreiber), an American journalist, about his experiences in the United States. Roll back ten years, and we find a younger Changez fresh from Princeton, seeking his fortune on Wall Street. The American Dream seems well within his grasp, complete with a smart and gorgeous artist girlfriend, Erica (Kate Hudson). But when the Twin Towers are attacked, a cultural divide slowly begins to crack open between Changez and Erica. Changez’s dream soon begins to slip into nightmare: he is transformed from a well-educated, upwardly mobile businessman to a scapegoat and perceived enemy. Taking us through the culturally rich and beguiling worlds of New York, Lahore and Istanbul, The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a story about conflicting ideologies where perception and suspicion have the power to determine life or death.
Cast: Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber, Kiefer Sutherland
Director: Mira Nair
The Reluctant Fundamentalist has been rated R.