SCHOOL IS DONE AND IT”S TIME FOR SUMMER! Summer has always been a time of year where the biggest and most anticipated films, comics, and books come out. With that, lets look at the ten things I’m looking forward to in the coming months.
Release Date: August 1 — Director by James Gunn — Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, and Karen Gillan, Lee Pace and Benicio del Toro — Studio: Marvel Studios — Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
After the success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Marvel’s next big film may be there most ambitious film since The Avengers. Lead by Star Lord (Pratt), The Guardians of the Galaxy are a ragtag of misfits that fight to battle the forces of Ronin the Accuser (Pace), Nebula (Gillan) and The Collector (del Toro). As Marvel’s first space opera, Guardians sets itself far apart from simply just being the “space avengers.” Alongside a great cast, a lot of what makes me excited is to see director James Gunn’s vision of Marvel’s spaceverse. Getting his start in Troma productions, Gunn has made some great stylistic films in Slither and Super. Gaurdians totally has his thumbprint all over it. With Marvel on a major roll, I hope Guardians lives up to my expectations.
Check out the trailer and judge for yourselves:
Release Date: July 15 — Writer: Bryan Lee O’Malley — Artist: Bryan Lee O’Malley — Publisher: Ballantine Books
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a book from Bryan Lee O’Malley.
Writer of the Scott Pilgrim series, O’Malley has been hard at work with his new title Seconds, his first graphic novel in four years. Centered on a chef named Kathie, everything is going right in her life. As tends to happen, suddenly everything changes.
Not much is known about Seconds except for a brief description and some art that O’Malley has tweeted out. But, whatever it is, I‘m on board.
Release Date: May 16 — Director: Gareth Edwards — Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, and Bryan Cranston — Studio: Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures — Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
It’s also been awhile since we’ve seen Godzilla.
In 2004, after the release of Godzilla: Final Wars, Toho Productions announced that the franchise was going on a ten year hiatus. The film by Edwards is the first since that promise. What seems pretty cool is that, based on the trailers, this seems to be a film that treats itself as a sequel to the original film. With a pretty talented cast, it seems like it could be a huge step above the last American Godzilla film. While 2013’s Pacific Rim was a great love letter to the Kaiju genre, I’m hoping that Godzilla returns the genre to its former glory.
Release Date: May 23 — Director: Bryan Singer — Starring: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen, and Patrick Stewart — Studio: 20th Century Fox, Marvel Entertainment, Bad Hat Harry Productions, The Donners’ Company — Distributed by 20th Century Fox
X3: The Last Stand was a debacle. X3 was a reflection of 20th Century Fox’s poor leadership and, after the continuing downward spiral of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it looks like Fox may have gotten there act together. X-Men: First Class wasn’t a perfect film, but it had some things that if polished a bit more could become something great. The Wolverine was a further step up, and now Days of Future Past may be that X-Men film I’ve been waiting for.
Bringing both casts together, Wolverine is sent through time to the First Class era to stop Bolivar Trask (Dinklage) from creating something that will destroy mutants and humans alike. I’m a little miffed that Kitty Pryde isn’t a main character in this film despite being so in the original story, but everything else looks solid. I think the X-Men genre can be just as good as the other stuff Marvel is doing, but these films need direction and Bryan Singer looks like he’s trying to bring the group back to glory. Lets keep our fingers crossed.
5. Lupin the 3rd: The Tomb of Daisuke Jigen
Release Date: June 21 — Director: Takeshi Koike — Music: James Shimoji
A follow-up to last year’s Lupin the 3rd: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, The Tomb of Daisuke Jigen goes into the gun-toting member of Lupin’s and explores the first meetings between the two. I wrote a review last year about how much I adored Fujiko Mine and with Koike returning to direct along with his Redline counterpart Shimoji working on music, this looks like it’ll be a blast. Also, blue-coat Lupin is a pretty slick design.
6. Super Smash Bros. 3DS
Release Date: SummerSystem: Nintendo 3DS — Developer: Sora Ltd. And Bandai Namco Games — Publisher: Nintendo
Usually, fighting games on handhelds are pretty junk, but Smash Bros. may buck the trend. Developed to be its own separate game, the developing team behind Smash Bros. are aiming to create a unique experience that players can only get on the handheld version of the new entry in the series.
Exclusive levels, trophies, unique art style and trial modes are all that’s been announced so far, but it will feature the same cast and online modes as its console counterpart. With the console version not being out until winter, the 3DS version looks it’ll be a great way to get ready for that. Also, can’t wait to play Wii Fit Trainer and Little Mac.
7. How to Train Your Dragon 2
Director: Dean DeBlois — Starring: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig and Cate Blanchett — Studio: Dreamworks Animation — Distributor: 20th Century Fox
How to Train Your Dragon was a happy surprise when it was released in 2010. Dreamworks Animation has always been known for doing work that was a bit low-hanging fruit, as opposed to say the thoughtful work of Pixar. How to Train Your Dragon was the first time where I thought that Dreamworks achieved something comparable with the best works of Pixar.
The follow up sees dragons becoming more integrated into the land of Berk, as Hiccup (Baruchel), his dragon Toothless, and friends defend the land from evil dragon riders. With everyone returning from the previous film, I’m hoping that Dragon 2 outdoes its predecessor.
8. Mario Kart 8
Release Date: May 30 — System: Nintendo Wii U — Developer: Nintendo EAD Group No. 1 — Publisher: Nintendo
Mario Kart 64 was my jam when I was a kid, but I haven’t been super jazzed to play a Mario Kart game since Double Dash for the Gamecube. Mario Kart 8 wasn’t initially on my radar until I saw the Rainbow Road trailer and — oh man — that is one pretty game.
When the Wii was announced as not having HD gaming (at least, for the most part) the games for the system looked like upscaled Gamecube games. Wii U though, boasting HD graphics, breathes a new life into some of these franchises. I’m not usually the guy that says that graphics make a game, but check out that video; the iconic Mario mustache blows in the wind!
New weapons, classic levels revisited and new riders are making Mario Kart 8 look like the racing game for the summer.
Release Date: May 20 — System: Playstation 4 and PC — Developer: Supergiant Games — Publisher: Supergiant Games
I never got the chance to play Supergiant’s previous game, Bastion, because despite it being a very beautiful game, the setting wasn’t my kind of thing. Transistor, being a cyberpunk game, gets me a little more excited about it. Centered on Red, a young singer comes into possession of the mystifying Transistor, a powerful and sentient sword. A mysterious group is after them both and will find her at all costs.
The gameplay is very reminiscent to how Bastion played, which looks fine, but I’m excited to explore this beautiful world with art by Jen Zee. And the soundtrack by Darren Korb is just killer.
Image from comicbookresources.com — Release Date: May 6 — Writer: Box Brown — Artist: Box Brown — Publisher: First Second Press
For people not in the know, Andre the Giant was a really cool guy. Every wrestler of that era has an amazing Andre story –such as drinking 16 bottles of wine before his match with Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania 3, or Andre being driven to school by playwright Samual Beckett because Andre couldn’t fit on the bus to school.
Based off these legends and tales about The Giant, I’m stoked to see what Box Brown has put together. First Second Press has been one of my favorite publishers of the last couple of years and have released some pretty stellar works.