12 Things to be Excited About in 2012

By Matt Peters

This year is scheduled to be one of the biggest of note in the world of comics, video games, and all-around geekiness. We here at Pads & Panels would like to give you twelve reasons that 2012 will be awesome. Let’s hope our Mayan overlords don’t return from outer space until we get to experience most of it. Take a look below for some of the highlights:




#10 Marvel vs Capcom 3 (360, PS3)

Publisher/Developer: Capcom

This year, Marvel and Capcom took us for a ride with an addition to the mega popular fighting series. A large roster to master, online play and the fast pacing satisfied the fans of the series… up until the follow-up, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, was released nine months later. (more…)


Title: Captain America: The First Avenger

Directed by: Joe Johnston

Written by: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely

Starring: Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Dominic Cooper, Stanley Tucci, Samuel L. Jackson

Studio: Marvel, Paramount

Rating: ★★★½☆

Review by: Bill Jones

Captain America: The First Avenger marks the final superhero movie to hit theaters before next year’s Marvel mega-film-event The Avengers. And like most superhero flicks as of late, it starts with the beginning, telling the origin of a scrawny man named Steve Rogers who through the wonders of science becomes Captain America, a beacon for patriotism during the war with the Nazis. But for all of its stylistic successes, its plot could use some work, and it is hard to shake the feeling that it’s in part an incredibly long trailer for another movie. (more…)


Title: Thor

Directed By: Kenneth Branagh

Written by: Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz, Don Payne

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins

Studio: Marvel, Paramount

Rating: ★★★★☆

Written By: Thomas Braaksma

Marvel’s Thor has never quite seen the popularity or had such a creative force behind him since the Golden Age of comics with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby at the helm. Though it is safe to say after this year’s theatrical release of Thor, the Norse god might work his way into the hearts of a large number of new and rejuvenated fans. Thor starts off a summer blockbuster season with a bang, and leaves a pretty hard act to follow. (more…)


Chris Hemsworth Thor Q&A (C2E2)

Story and Photo by Thomas Braaksma

On Saturday, March 19, C2E2 brought out some of its biggest stars in the IGN Theater at McCormick Place. Among those stars was the up-and-coming Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, star of the soon-to-be-released live-action Thor movie. Marvel Studios held a Q&A with Hemsworth to go over Thor, as well as some of his past and upcoming projects. (more…)


Fear Itself

Interview with Writer Matt Fraction

Interview by: Bill Jones, Matt Peters, Archie Easter

Introduction and Transcription by: Bill Jones

There is nothing comics publishers and fans seem to love quite as much as a big summer event. And this year, Marvel’s camp has tapped Matt Fraction to take the lead writing duties on Fear Itself. Issue #1 of the mini-series hits shelves today, Wednesday, April 6, promising plenty of Marvel favorites, an epic storyline and plenty of spin-offs. We caught up with Fraction Sunday, March 20, at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo in Chicago, and figured there’s no point in us telling readers all about the series when we can have the writer himself do it. Fraction also discusses the Iron Man films, his involvement with the second video game, what it’s like to be chosen for a comics event, going from the comic shop to the con floor and a Spider-Man “thing” he’s had in mind. (more…)


#5 Super Meat Boy (XBLA, PC)

Publisher: Team Meat – Developer: Team Meat

Super Meat Boy is an addictive platformer that can be taken in short spurts or over a long haul, with a maddeningly steep difficulty curve, especially if you want to unlock everything the game has to offer. Team Meat has stripped down the very essences of hardcore gaming into adrenaline bursts, especially when the game starts to really get rolling. And that’s before players even discover that there’s a “dark world” (read: even harder) version of everything they’ve beaten once they’ve perfected their runs through each level. (more…)


Title: Wolverine and the X-Men: Final Crisis Trilogy

Format: DVD

Written by: Craig Kyle, Greg Johnson, Chris Yost

Starring: Steve Blum, Jim Ward, Nolan North

Studio: Marvel Animation, Lionsgate

DVD Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Review by: Bill Jones

Lionsgate has strangely offered the first season of Wolverine and the X-Men in segments throughout this year and last, before finally offering a complete set. But the Final Crisis Trilogy – Vol. 6, containing the three-part “Foresight” story – goes to show why it’s not a great idea. One thing Wolverine and the X-Men handles extremely poorly is lead-ins from one episode to the next. The action simply continues to happen, and so to pick up this set after a break from the last is somewhat disconcerting. The plot features the X-Men battling to survive when The Inner Circle captures Jean Grey to harvest her Phoenix powers, while Magneto and Mystique launch a Sentinel attack on Genosha. Emma Frost is ambiguously caught in the middle of things, and Master Mold is using Professor Xavier in an attempt to execute all mutants in a mish-mash of stories taking place in two different time periods. It’s more confusing than fun, though the animation is solid, with audio commentary by Craig Kyle, Greg Johnson and Chris Yost doing more to be silly than offer any real info. The Final Crisis Trilogy is an example of too many cogs turning at once for its own good, and there’s no point in purchasing it out of the context of the rest of the season. (more…)


2010 Holiday Gift Guide – For the Marvel Fan…

By P&P Staff


Invincible Iron Man Omnibus Vol 1

Matt Fraction rides the momentum of 2008’s hit Iron Man movie and crafts a tale that simultaneously reintroduces readers to Tony Stark and builds an intriguing tale for old-time readers to latch onto. This massive collection contains the first 19 issues, and Salvador Larocca’s art makes this the perfect book for any coffee table. (more…)



I’ve been thinking about this for a while, pondering even. Over the past few years, we’ve been given an increasing amount of movies based on comics. Is this necessarily a good thing? You may be thinking to yourself, “Definitely! I need my Marvel fix on the big screen!” The thing is (besides Michael Chiklis), we’re being told the same story a minimum of three times!

Take the 1989 Batman, for example. When the movie was released and shown to be a cash cow prime for the milking, DC began releasing more comics, more cartoons and more video games based on the character. Some of these turn out good like Spider-Man for PS2. Most of them turn out bad…Iron Man bad. (more…)