What’s the time Mr. Wolverine?

What time indeed? Well, it’s very nearly popcorn scoffing time for fans of one of the more hirsute X-men (Beast being rather more hairy though not as bolshi) as X-men Origins: Wolverine comes out in cinemas this week on 29 April.

Wolverine was always one of my favourite X-men characters with that winning combination of surliness and admantium skeleton. He’s like House but instead of cutting sarcasm he has cutting knuckle-knives. I am also excited to see that characters from the comics such as Gambit will be turning up in the film (what can I say, I like that Cajun accent).

If none of this makes any sense to you then all you need to know is that there was a comics series called The Uncanny X-men which spawned a successful series of blockbuster films and that the latest one is due for release, oh and Hugh Jackman is involved, and the whole thing was sort of leaked on the internet, and they filmed some of it in New Zealand. Phew.

Those of you more attuned to pop culture references about genetic mutants might be interested to know that the library has a good selection of Wolverine-related tales in our collection. Grrrrrr!

Hey Kids… Comic Books!!

With the Armageddon Expo coming to Christchurch on the 26th and 27th, what better time to have a weedaredevil rave about what is (along with mills & boon romance novels) surely one of the most underrated and often ignored literary forms… the super-hero comic book. Sure, there is a lot that’s best avoided unless you’re a teenage male with a fascination for spandex clad bodies, but here are some essentials from our library catalogue you really should give a try.

The comic book (since a recent interview I read with Ed Norton about his role on the upcoming Incredible Hulk movie I’ve sworn off using the g word) that has kept my faith in the genre in recent years has been Daredevil. Wipe your mind of the terrible movie from a few years ago, this is one of the best titles on the comic book racks today. Take your favorite Scorcese gangster flick, throw in blind superhero Daredevil (and the occasional supervillain) and you’re close to why this title works so well.

One of the most creative writers in comics today is Grant Morrison. Almost anything penned by Morrison is comic book gold. Try his run on X-Men or his current reinvention of the big blue in All-Star Superman.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon has been doing epic sci-fi adventuresomeness* with the X-Men recently also.

Currently being made into a Hollywood blockbuster is the ‘unfilmable’ Watchmen by comic deity Alan Moore. On its publication 20 years ago this book turned the comic book world on its head and proved that comics could be ‘real literature’ too.

Comics without pictures… hmm? Austin Grossman’s novel Soon I Will Be Invincible follows the triumphs and downfalls of evil genius (and wannabe world dominator) Doctor Impossible. Superhero novels (hey! where are the pretty pictures) are usually doomed to failure in what is essentially a visual medium but Grossman’s mix of humour and pathos really clicks in this unique first novel.

There you go, a few starting points for anyone wanting to sample this multi-coloured world of diabolical schemes and utility belts. Hopefully, you’ll be hooked (and I’ll have someone else to talk to about Matt Murdock and his latest run-in with Mr Fear).

*it’s in my dictionary