This week's column marks my 11th Geek Beat here at Movies.com, and I can't help feeling a little nostalgic about the last 10 weeks we've laughed together, cried together, and expressed horror together at my favorite Batman.
And starting this month, we're kicking off a new monthly edition of Geek Beat in which I offer up some recommendations of projects elsewhere around the geek-verse that might inform, supplement, or otherwise tie in with upcoming films or recent Hollywood news. Of course, this is just a sampling of what's out there to make your movie-watching (or in this case, movie-anticipating) experience more entertaining, so feel free to add to the list with your own suggestions in the comment section.
The debut of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a bona fide success with television audiences, but its connections to the Marvel movie-verse are what really makes it something special. As any comic fan will tell you, S.H.I.E.L.D. has been a mainstay of the Marvel Comics universe for decades now, and the TV series' success offers a great reason to see what all the fuss is about with Nick Fury and his team of secret agents. Pick up any of the early, collected editions of Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. – especially those featuring the creative talents of Jim Steranko – and you're in for a treat that only a secret-agent series published during the swinging '60s can provide.
This week, we received a new promotional image for the upcoming I, Frankenstein movie starring Aaron Eckhart as the iconic monster, and the first trailer is expected to debut this weekend. While you're waiting, you can read the first issue of the I, Frankenstein comic by Kevin Grevioux that inspired the film, as it's available to read online at the Darkstorm Studios website. On a semirelated note, if you're looking for more adventures featuring Frankenstein's monster, try to track down Doc Frankenstein, the six-issue series from 2004 written by Andy and Lana Wachowski (yes, those Wachowskis). It's just as wild and weird as you expect from the duo that brought us The Matrix.
There's been talk of a certain Amazonian princess appearing in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel that pits Superman against Batman. While it would certainly seem a bit crowded, Wonder Woman has always been the third member of DC's “trinity” of top-tier superheroes, so it could happen. However, it will be interesting to see how they handle Superman's relationship with Wonder Woman on the big screen, given that the two heroes have become very, well... close in the comics lately. This month, the first issue of the new series Superman/Wonder Woman hits shelves (October 9), and it could be worth checking out to look for any potential ties to the DC and Warner Bros' movie-verse.
Along similar lines, if you're itching for a fix of the Caped Crusader outside the confines of the DC Comics universe, make sure to hit the game shop on October 25 for Batman: Arkham Origins, the third installment of the wildly successful series that started with Batman: Arkham Asylum. While it might not seem to have a direct connection to the big-screen version of the character, anyone who's played the previous games knows that there's an eerily similar feel to the world of the Arkham games and that of the modern, gritty, cinematic DC universe. And given all of the action in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, the divide between big-screen Batman and Arkham games Batman may grow even narrower.
A new image from Michael Bay's upcoming Transformers: Age of Extinction arrived online recently featuring some of the human cast of the film, which is all but confirmed to feature the debut of the Dinobots, the savage robots in disguise that fans have been asking about since the very first film. The recent Transformers Prime: Rage of the Dinobots comic book miniseries offered a nice bridge between the events of the Transformers: Fall of Cybertron video game (a necessary play for any Transformers fan) and the fantastic Transformers Prime television series. The comic told the story of the Dinobots' climactic battle on Cybertron, and was cowritten by one of the animated series' writers. Oh, and if you're looking for something a little more nostalgic, check out the collected edition of Transformers: Best of UK: Dinobots for some old-school Dinobot action.
Every week seems to bring fresh updates on The Avengers: Age of Ultron, so if you haven't done so already, you should take a look back at the evil android's origin in The Mighty Avengers #54-55. You can find both issues reprinted in various collections, like the Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers, Vol. 6, which includes issues 51-58 of the original series. Sure, it all feels a little dated at this point, but it's a classic story that helped shape many of the Avengers characters as we know them today.
Finally, since Halloween is just a few weeks away, a few great horror comics might be just what you're looking for to get into the spirit of the season. El Torres' super-creepy miniseries The Suicide Forest was optioned last year, with Ringu director Hideo Nakata attached to direct the film. It's a terrifying comic built around a very real place: the Aokigahara Forest outside of Tokyo, where more people commit suicide each year than any other place in the world. For more Halloween horror, pick up Alan Robert's Crawl to Me, which was also optioned recently and is headed to the big screen. The series chronicles the disturbing events that transpire when a family moves into a house with some horrifying secrets.
Okay, so now that I've given you some suggestions, how about sharing some of your own? Let me (and everyone else who reads the column) know which comics, games or other projects you'd recommend checking out ahead of some of the upcoming movies.
Rick Marshall is an award-winning writer and editor whose work can be found at Movies.com, as well as MTV News, Fandango, Digital Trends, IFC.com, and various other online, print, and on-air news outlets. He's been called a “Professional Geek” by ABC News and Spike TV, and is still not quite sure how he ended up writing (and talking) about comics, video games, and movies for a living. His personal blog can be found at MindPollution.org, and you can find him on Twitter as @RickMarshall.
MORE FROM AROUND THE WEB: