We all have an old, suspender-wearing guy living inside us.
He’s the one who’s lived in the same house his whole life and complains about how quiet and ordered it all used to be before his neighborhood got paved streets and a stop light; before all the damn fool kids got phones that can make talkies.
His name is Theo.
I found out about Theo during the Christmas season when I bought my wife her first iPad.
She was overwhelmed, truly grateful. She uses it all the time. It was a good gift for a 20-something. The monsters we encountered throughout our travels to visit family in Colorado and Texas reminded me why.
On the plane, in the airport, waiting outside on the curb to be picked up; it didn’t matter. The brats were everywhere. They were an army of Gollums, shrieking and crying when the Precious wasn’t in their sweaty, Muppet-y paws, and getting their snot and fingerprints all over it when it was.
That kind of “when-I-was-your-age” observation is not the only thing Theo’s taken notice of lately. The Den of Geek has evolved going into 2013, sometimes for the better, which Theo will acknowledge with a small, approving nod. Other times, he throws up his hands and mutters about how it used to be and starts screaming at little kids for owning iPads.
Here are just a few things for the bespectacled to take note of:
There are glimmers of “Blade Runner”-caliber science fiction in our midst.
It’s a year my dad, the Godfather of Sci-fi Fans, is undoubtedly grateful for. IO9 just released a list of 77 sci-fi movies and fantasy movies to watch out for in 2013. A bulk of them look questionable. Single-word titles like “Oblivion” and “Elysium,” the uber-political allegory tale directed by “District 9″ wunderkind Neill Blomkamp more than make up for it. The giant-robots-versus-subterranean-monsters tale of “Pacific Rim” also has Theo drooling.
The cherry on top? Iconic franchises like Superman, Thor, Iron Man and Star Trek are returning.
And did I mention a film adaptation of “Ender’s Game,” one of the best science fiction novels in modern history? Don’t get me wrong, Theo’s terrified of the potential for screwing up the story of a genius child and his futuristic combat training to take on an insectoid race of aliens. Still, fingers crossed.
Superhero flick reboots just won’t wait.
One of the best and elegant takes on a superhero ended in 2012 with the final installment in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy.
The franchise, which kicked off in 2005 with “Batman Begins” and ended last July with “The Dark Knight Rises,” was a success, commercially and from a critical standpoint; blockbusters with brain power.
And guess what? They’re going to give it another go. Warner Brothers is most likely going to reboot Batman as a lead-in to a Justice League movie, obviously piggybacking on the success of Marvel’s “Avengers.”
Theo’s take: give it a friggin rest, man. Spider Man had barely taken a bow on his pathetic third arc when the dull, emotional remake that was “Amazing Spider Man” came along. Now this. There needs to be a rule, a Constitutional Amendment BANNING franchise reboots for at least 15 years. Let a generation have its classics.
THEO PLEADS THE FIFTH
Smaller comic book publishers are the tortoises in the comic book quality race.
Theo is a straight-laced DC Entertainment man with Marvel Comics tendencies. It’s no secret those two publishers – the Big 2 – pull the majority of sales year after year in close 1-2 races. They own all the iconic titles, so that makes sense.
But there’s a quiet quality that’s been brewing for years and just keeps growing, tiny step after tiny step. Where the Big 2 have rebooted all their titles – reboots again – to hook new readers with the New 52 and Marvel NOW initiatives, Image Comics has not. The publisher of “Spawn” has been doing some really good stuff this past year. The 100th issue of “Walking Dead” had the best sales record of any single comic book for 2012; 366,000 copies. That’s truly unbelievable.
It’s the kind of thing the Big 2 need to keep an eye on. Yes, they have their core audience. They have the names everyone recognizes.
Image, meanwhile, seems to be nailing it when it comes to new, exciting content that’s not limited to superhero books. Titles like “Chew,” “Fatale,” and “Saga” are growing sizable fan bases. That’s because they’re not recycling.
They’re strengthening longstanding titles and coming up with solid new ones. They’re focused on the story, and really, that’s all that matters.
Ya damn kids.