My two views of Adam West’s Batman

I was twelve when my dad bought our first color TV, thus making me take Adam West’s Batman TV show even more seriously. I took it straight. I was a smart kid, but I had little sense of campy.

Fast forward to now, the day after Adam West passed, and a little light went out in the world. I still revel in the adventures and excitement of that show. But I now know that Adam West was the Buster Keaton of superhero actors. His voice was an orchestra of heroism and good, brave and bold, strong as steel, rich as Prolific Oven chocolate mocha cake, and brimming with deadpan humor. The straighter the face, the greater the camp.

It is a crime to fanboys that Adam had no cameo in the Tim Burton Batman movie. Furthermore, the Watchmen movie should have been a two parter, and the role of the original Nite Owl should have been expanded and played by Adam West. I wish I had met you, Adam. (I did meet Julie Newmar at a comic con. I bought an 8×10 glossy. But I was too tongue-tied to say anything. Julie still moved and sounded like Catwoman, MRROW!)

P.S. I perfectly understood the subversive humor of George of the Jungle, Superchicken, and Tom Slick. But those were cartoons.

P.P.S. Super Holly Hansson would have loved to meet Adam West. She would have gone all fangirl and super-kissed him.

The new Johnny Storm

GTY_fantastic_four_cast_jtm_140221_16x9_608As a comic book fanboy, I have the great responsibility to weigh in on the Johnny Storm casting in the 2015 Fantastic Four movie. But first, some recent history about other black casting in superhero movies.

Wesley Snipes as Blade. (You knew that the original comic book Blade was white, didn’t you?) I remember what I thought of the Blade movie years ago: “It is amazing how good a movie turns out when you get good special effects, a good script, and a REALLY good leading actor.” Snipes GOT IT, the internally tortured warrior. He even scared me a bit when he had to drink blood to live. Oh, yeah!

Michael Clarke Duncan as The Kingpin (Daredevil). The Kingpin is a man-mountain, a whale who can bench-press other whales. Duncan was BORN to play the Kingpin. He had the SIZE, the MUSCLES, the acting chops, he even had the shaved head! Too bad the weak script did not give him much to work with, even the best actors can’t fix that. (At least Daredevil was not Catwoman bad.)

Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury (The Avengers, Iron Man). The movie Nick can’t be the Marvel comic book version, who fought in World War II, and thus in our time, would make a mummy look spry. And no, the movie Nick should NOT age Wolverine-slow, Wolverine already does that! And he should not have been frozen until our time, Captain America already did the man-out-of-his-time thing. What was needed was a military commander who can stare down the toughest of supervillains with just one eye. Samuel Jackson GETS IT. As Spider-Man said of Luke Cage, Sam’s Nick Fury is ten different kinds of cool.

Idris Elba as Heindell, the Asgardian guardian (Thor and Thor 2). I am Swedish-American, so white that if I stood shirtless by a bright light you could vaguely see my intestines, or at least the fat in my pot belly. So I am qualified to say if a darker-skinned Asgardian doesn’t bug me, it shouldn’t bug you. Also, Anthony Hopkins (Odin) is Welsh/British, and thus wouldn’t know pickled herring from sushi. As for Heindell, Idris GETS IT. He embodies the ETERNAL SENTINEL. His eyes and attitude reflect not just the universe, but several parallel universes as well.

And now, Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm. I want the brother/sister dynamic between Johnny Storm and Sue Storm. Easy peasy to do: just say that he (or sister Sue, it don’t matter!) was adopted at an early age. Johnny and Sue grew up together, bro/sis love each other, and get on each other’s nerves. There should have been more of that in the other FF movie. I bet Jordan will do the Johnny Storm lovable hot-head well, that was one of the few good things in the 2005 FF movie. As well as Michael Chiklis GETTING IT as Ben Grimm.

So I’m worried about other casting for the 2015 FF movie. Jamie Bell as Ben “The Thing” Grimm? Jamie is not a beefy Bronx quarterback, he’s a strip of British beef jerky. Miles Teller as Reed Richards? His sideburns should be grey, instead he looks like he started shaving last week. Is Hollywood going for a boy-band look? Kate Mara looks okay, her acting resume looks very good. But my Spider Sense is tingling. I’ll wait for the reviews.

P.S. FF scriptwriters, I beg you. Please, please, PLEASE don’t turn Doctor Doom into a silver-spoon brat again!

P.P.S The Alicia in the 2005 FF movie was an improvement on the comic book version. It shoulda been her in the FF movie sequel that turned the Silver Surfer to the good.

P.P.P.S. Say, maybe the name should be Johnny STROM! (I made that typo a few times typing this post.)

Do I really wanna do this?

I got the email notice from the San Diego Comic Con: pre-registration is tomorrow morning. (As opposed to the regular online sale later this year, for those who did not have tix from 2013.)

Do I really want to do this? It was really frustrating last year. And I got lousy tickets (Thursday and Sunday?!?!), and I did not go. And it’s getting so CROWDED, HUGE lines for nearly EVERYTHING.

Can I afford the major $$$$ for food, gas, and hotel? Can I even get a hotel reservation at this late date? Can my 2001-year, 250,000-mile Honda Civic still make the trek from the SF Bay to Slam Diego without exploding? (Bet it would be a cool comic book sound effect, like BTK-TK-TUK-GLUNKLE-BMMMF-THHHUH-B-B-B-BRRROOOOOOOOMMMM!!!!)

Oh, heck, I’ll do it. The tickets themselves are not much money. And I can always bow out of the hotel/gas/food end later and return the tickets. But one of these years, I’m gonna sell stuff behind a table, instead of being a fanboy sellout, um, a guy waiting in way-too-long lines, uh, old geek trying to take pics of Power Girl cosplayers, um, I need to write more Super Holly Hansson stories until I have enough to stack on a selling table.

UPDATE: I did it. A four-day ticket (no preview night). I have some months to decide if I can still do this. I know, I’ll buy a lottery ticket! Nah, I have a better chance of writing a bestseller novel.