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deadpool

Movies, Special

The 5 Best Superhero Movies

When I grew up superhero movies weren’t something to be excited about. Most of them were mediocre at best and  “X-Men: The Last Stand” at worse – a movie so bad that 20th Century Fox decided to make “Days Of Future Past” a good movie that basically exists to erase the events of a bad movie.

But, around 2008 something changed in the genre. It became good. Suddenly the movies weren’t all about overused tropes and too tight costumes with clearly visible Clooney nipples. Suddenly they started asking real questions and portrayed real characters with real flaws.

 Tony Stark used to be an arms dealer with questionable morals building his fortune on the misery of war. Bruce Wayne had to face the concept of nihilism and The Joker actually had a point in his idea that if we take away a human’s comfort, they basically turn into wild animals. It was a massive step up from Toby Maguire’s dance in Spider-Man 3.

So with Marvel Comic’s 10-year anniversary officially over we felt it was a good time to take a retrospective look over the movies we’ve enjoyed the last decade.

These are my favourites and of course, my list is the objective truth. If you disagree let’s talk about it. Leave a comment somewhere and I will explain why you are wrong.

 

WARNING: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE ON THE LIST GO WATCH AND COME BACK! GOOD? GOOD! LET’S DO THIS!

 

Number 5: “Deadpool” (2016)

 

(Photo: www.telegraph.co.uk)

Finding the number 5 spot was arguably more difficult than the number 1 spot considering my massive man-crush on Ryan Reynolds and the fact that I have probably read Deadpool comics for 15 years. The movie shows amazing chemistry between Wade Wilson and Vanessa and the jokes are funny and hit 90% of the times. It showed you don’t need a huge budget for a great film and the passion behind the project is obvious.

However, the reason why I put it at number 5 is that even though the movie is amazing, it doesn’t work by itself. It serves as a massive satire of the superhero genre which only works due to the massive saturation of the genre. The movie feels like an inside joke in the ways it pokes fun of Green Lantern and licencing issues between studios jokes that you only pick up if you are “in the know” in the superhero universe. My dad with no relationship to superhero movies would not enjoy the film the same way I would.

It is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen and it was a massive breath of fresh air; it was just that, a breath of fresh air. It is the mate you hang out with once a year and have a great time with but if you were to hang out with him more it would lose a lot of the magic. And that’s why I put it at number 5. Still amazing, just not the best of the best. (Sorry Ryan, please respond to my love letters)

 

Number 4: “The Dark Knight” (2008)

 

(Photo: www.variety.com)

Another one that is probably one of my favourite movies of all time. The late Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the psychotic clown, prince of crime has made it into a modern classic. Its theme of order vs chaos is both interesting and thought-provoking.

What makes the movie interesting though is that Batman is not a hero; he is a necessary evil. Bruce Wayne really wants to be replaced by Harvey Dent – someone that can create real societal change in the dark pit of corruption and debauchery that Gotham City is. Wayne’s perfect world is one where he is not needed and it is a goal he actively seeks out to achieve and I feel that is an idea not widely explored in superhero movies. And of course Michael Caine as Alfred is amazing: I cried extremely manly tears during the “I failed you” speech in the sequel “The Dark Knight Rises”.

 

Number 3: Into The Spider-Verse (2018)

 

(Photo: www.whats-on-netflix.com)

The movie was just released but man, what a movie. A lot of charm, hilarious jokes and great animation. It also featured the movie debut of fan favourites Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen.

When I first saw the trailer I was a bit sceptical to the animation style, but it really does work and the movie ended up being both hilarious and heart-wrenching. Nicholas Cage as Spider-noir quickly became a favourite and I still burst out randomly overly dramatic quotes in the office: “Wherever I go, the wind follows…. and the wind smells like rain”.

The trailers also did a brilliant job hiding the reveals. I genuinely did not see the Doc Ock reveal coming and let out an audible “no way” in the theatre. John Mulaney does a surprisingly good job as Peter Porker – a character that proved to be more than just comic relief.

 

Number 2: Wonder Woman (2017)

 

(Photo: www.vox.com)

A movie that really surprised me was “Wonder Woman”. I recently re-watched the film to try to figure why a movie featuring an Amazon coming to Europe during the worst conflict in human history ended up blowing me away like that. I think a lot of it comes down to the movie asking the question “is humanity essentially good or evil”?

There is one scene in the movie where Diana gets ice cream from a vendor and is so excited about it and tells the owner to be very proud of their creation. There was a genuine wholesomeness where she sees one of the best qualities in humanity: just basic kindness.

But simultaneously it does show the brutal side of humankind with Dr Poison and her gas attacks. Ares explains that humanity is only capable of death and selfishness, yet Steve Trevor sacrifices himself to save London showing that humanity is way more complex. I think the movie’s message is that humanity is imperfect and that makes us perfect. And I love that.

 

Number 1: Logan (2017)

 

(Photo: www.livinghours.com)

Wolverine was probably my favorite superhero as a kid and “X-Men” was maybe the first comic I started reading. I always loved his character and I consider X-men 2 one of the few good superhero movies before 2008.

Full disclosure: I have a near and dear relationship to Jackman’s Wolverine and I loved the “Old Man Logan” comics (which the story is loosely inspired by). Yet, I was blown away. I don’t know if I can honestly say it is a superhero movie since (if we are going all movie technical) it checks off more boxes in the western genre. Watch the movie and imagine Red Dead Redemption 2’s Arthur Morgan saying the lines and it still fits.

The movie follows a lone gunslinger (just in this case the guns are claws) that roam around the wilderness just looking for peace after a life of brutality. This Logan isn’t the bulletproof god of X-men origins: this is just a broken dying man driving a fancy Uber so he and his surrogate father Charles that suffers from Alzheimer’s can buy a boat.

The movie portrays Logan as the last of his kind, after most of the others mutants got killed. He is a lonely alcoholic. But after meeting his “daughter” Lauren aka X-23, he does earn a higher purpose even though he originally did it for the money.

The movie isn’t a superhero movie and I guess in some way that’s what makes it such a great superhero movie. It’s less about the greatness of being superhuman and more the realization that nothing last forever; even the greatest stories have to come to an end – regardless of if you have got claws or just normal, boring human hands.

 

Well there you have it: my top 5 superhero films! What’s your top 5? Add a comment somewhere and I will explain why my list is better!

Have a great week/weekend/year/whatever.

-Alex Dante

Find all your Marvel and DC merch at EMP!

EMP, Fashion, Gifts, Movies, Special

Gift Ideas for a Superhero Fan! (Or a Supervillain fan – who are we to judge?)

 

As a kid, I remember my dream job was “Spider-Man”. Some wanted to be police officers, other wanted to be lawyers or doctors, and some wanted to be marine biologists specialized in whale migration. But whenever the teacher asked: “What do you wanna be when you grow up, Alex?” I would always answer with confidence and self-assurance: “superhero”.  I wanted to be a mutated combination of Spider-man and Super-Man. I don’t really know why, I guess I was extremely power hungry at 8 and wanted to rule the schoolyard with an iron fist spreading fear into my enemies, or more likely I just wanted to have awesome abilities. Unfortunately, for every year that passes, it seems less and less likely that I will get bitten by a radioactive spider, be called upon by a magic ring, or in the case of Marvel hero “Free Spirit”, getting exposed to radioactive self-help tapes (seriously, google it.) Yeah, I suppose, I have to fall back on my backup plan: getting called to Hogwarts and become the next teacher in Defense Against the Dark Arts. Well, since I am Scandinavian my local school would be Durmstrang and I am honestly okay with that too.

In the meantime though, one of the muggle traditions is Christmas, and that means Christmas presents. If you know someone who also has a dream of getting superpowers but you aren’t able to give them super-speed or the ability to create shockwaves equal to their blood alcohol content (again not kidding, Google “Gin Genie”), then I understand your conundrum. But relax, ya boi Alex got the next best things, so get a cup of hot chocolate, lean back and enjoy:

 

Alex’s 7 best gift ideas for a superhero/supervillain fan! ™

 

Number 1: Batman bathrobe

Sometimes after a long day of locking up The Joker or getting into a battle of wits with The Riddler, even Batman likes to relax, and I like to imagine that his ego is so big that he wears a robe with the famous bat symbol on its back, and a cool bat hood in case he needs to get up in a hurry. The robe is super comfortable and is perfect for those lazy mornings. Throw in some of our Batman slippers, and you will never want to wear anything else. It’s literally the perfect bathrobe, or should I say “batrobe”?

 

 

Number 2:  Spider Gwen zipped hoodie

 

Spider Gwen came onto the superhero stage fairly recently making her debut in the excellent 2014 Spiderverse storyline. Spider-Gwen explores an alternative universe where Peter Parker’s tragic love-interest Gwen Stacy gets bitten by a radioactive spider instead of Peter, turning her into Spider-Woman. I remember when I first got introduced to her I immediately loved her; she is cool, plays drums in “The Mary Janes”, her costume design is amazing and the plots are intriguing. Goes without saying that she has become one of my personal favorite heroes, and therefore I love this hoodie. Spider-Gwen’s unique costume has made reoccurring appearances on multiple Comic-Cons with good reason it has a brilliant pink/white color scheme that looks extremely cool, and with the animated film “Into The Spider-verse” hitting the cinema December 12th, she is guaranteed to just keep surging in popularity.

 

 

Number 3: Aquaman Leather Jacket

 

Unless you have been living under a rock, or have seriously no interest in superheroes (in that case I wonder how you ended up here? And how is the internet connection under that rock?) you know that DC’s the Aquaman movie is out in December, showing the story and royal lineage of the often misunderstood Arthur Curry. Aquaman has often been represented by media as the boring useless hero, but he is really awesome! And so is this jacket! Surprisingly well-made, and stylish. The Aquaman logo is there but floats perfectly into the rest of the design. People outside the superhero/nerd world wouldn’t even think twice if they saw it. Unfortunately, it’s not vegan leather… but nevertheless a cool jacket that I personally love.

 

 

Number 4: Deadpool Dirty Door Mat

 

Deadpool used to be an obscure wisecracking merch up until Ryan Reynolds leaked… I mean someone else we obviously don’t know who… leaked the Deadpool test-footage 4 years ago and he has since become a hilarious household name. His movies have become huge successes even with a PG-13 edited version of “Deadpool 2”  “Once Upon A Deadpool” hitting cinemas December 12th. I might not be as brutal as the original but I am sure it will be a blast regardless considering DP’s quick wits. And quick wit is what you also get with this doormat, who welcomes your guests in the best way possible, while reminding them to wipe their feet.

 

Number 5: Sane & Crazy Harley Quinn Hoodie

 

Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel, better known as The Jokers partner in crime “Harley Quinn”,  is a villain I’ve never felt gets enough justice in the movies: in reality (well comics) she is hilarious, her story is heart aching, a great fighter and capable of impressive acrobatics. She is so much more than DC’s less known clown and that’s why I love her. This zip hoodie has got an awesome “Skull Harley” design and have clearly taken inspiration from an Ouija board creating this “Cool girl look”. I think it looks awesome. If you don’t then fine – I am not your supervisor and you just have to live with being wrong.

 

 

Number 6: Black Metal Rocket T-shirt

 

 

If someone said to me in 2012 that Guardians Of The Galaxy would be a major blockbuster, I would get them thrown into a mental institution for severe disillusions… but here we are! The movies are truly great; they are actually so great that they changed the comics. Peter Quill in the original Guardians Of The Galaxy was not the wisecracking vagabond we know today. But after the success of Chris Pratt’s portrayal they changed him to be more familiar to new readers, and honestly it was a welcomed change. My personal favorite on the crew, however, is Rocket, the destructive rodent voiced by Bradley Cooper fills my heart with joy. And so does this black metal inspired T-shirt that fills in the gap between Black metal logos and Marvel merch, and it works way better than it probably should.

 

Number 7: Captain America Christmas Jumper

No Christmas list would be complete without an ugly Christmas Jumpers, and to be honest I never liked Captain America when he was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe but he has really grown on me and as a consequence so has this jumper. I love the color scheme and the small “8-bit” Steve Rogers dancing around the entire jumper ready for battle with his shield. Perfect for that lazy boxing day, where all you wanna do is lay down and digest food.

 

So there you have it! My personal 7 recommendations for stuff you can pick up for your friendly neighborhood superhero fan. It isn’t as good as the ability to eat almost any matter regardless of form (once again, no joke… “Matter-eater lad”) but it helps to fill the void. Now I am back to waiting for my summoning to the Durmstrang Institute but until then I will be enjoying muggle traditions and I hope that you will too. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

P.S: If anyone knows where I can get a radioactive spider I would much appreciate a heads-up.

Alex Dante Rundhaug – EMP Norway

Movies, Special

Deadpool 2: What We Know So Far

So it’s been over 2 years since perhaps the cockiest of all Superheroes hit our screen and we’re definitely ready for another dose of raunchy insanity. That’s right, Deadpool 2 is released next month and we can’t wait! But how will they top such a blockbuster hit that took 11 years to make?

Here is the official trailer and what we know so far:

Fox released this synopsis of the movie:

“After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.”

Of course, Deadpool wouldn’t be Deadpool without some crazy ridiculous and slightly offensive teasers: short videos have been released in the run up to the movie enforcing the unique (and a little bit messed up) sense of humour of Deadpool including this Bob Ross parody:

 

And the jokes keep on coming with Ryan Reynolds posting two variations of Deadpool posters on his Twitter page:

 

I don’t know about you, but one of the things I love about a new Superhero movie is the new characters. I love the anticipation of finding out what people are going to be dressed up as at the next Comic Con or what new little character we will add to our Funko POP! collection. Here are some of the characters we can look forward to meeting in Deadpool 2:

Cable

Played by Josh Brolin, X-Men character Cable’s Marvel Comics story features him being infected by a virus that is cured by travelling in the future. His powers are telekinesis and super strength which he uses to try and kill a child who has mutant powers when he arrives from the future. Deadpool’s efforts to try and stop him make them appear enemies, but are they really frenemies?

Domino

This member of the X-Men, played by Zazie Beetz, is a markswoman with incredible athletic abilities that uses these skills for good. But perhaps her most valuable power in this Deadpool movie is her cutting sense of humour. But will her sharp edge trump Deadpool’s toilet humour? We doubt it.

 

It’s safe to say that there is a lot in store for this movie and with perhaps one of the most entertaining run ups to a film we’ve seen, we cannot wait for the 18th May 2018 – we will be front row kitted out in our Deadpool merch!

If Deadpool isn’t your thing, we have plenty more superhero merch waiting for you on our website!

Fashion

8(ish) Easy Cosplay Ideas Available from EMP

Comic Cons are happening up and down the country this summer – and that means cosplay! Have you got your costume ready yet?

If you’ve ever been to an event like Comic Con, you’ll know the surreal feeling of walking around surrounded by a menagerie of characters from movies, TV, comic books and gaming, all represented by fans in stunning detail. The commitment of these uber-fans is to be lauded – fair play, guys – but what if you want to jump on board the Comic Con cosplay vibe train with minimal effort involved? Or you’re keen to join in the fun but can’t pick a character? Or you’re worried your efforts are going to look like a dodgy Blue Peter make? Don’t worry – as Europe’s #1 retailer for officially-licensed entertainment merchandise, we’re here to help!

ASSASSIN’S CREED – ASSASSIN COSPLAY OUTFIT

Assassin’s Creed is one of my favourite video games; in my dreams I’m climbing around London like Evie Frye (the view from St. Paul’s sure is something else!). If, like me, you’re fan of the saga and you want to bring some honour Assassin-style to your Comic Con, you can put together an authentic outfit in just a few clicks.

Make yourself instantly recognisable in an EMP-exclusive Assassin’s Creed wrap coat (A) or a Lancaster loop scarf (C) on top of a black top and jeans. Then add the crucial details – grab a black (D) or silver Assassins insignia necklace (B) and either this imitation leather Assassin’s Creed wrist armour (E) or a silver (F) or black Assassins crest bracelet (G) to complete the look – or check out our Assassin’s Creed merchandise section to add more!

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA – LINK COSPLAY OUTFIT (FEMALE)

Maybe thanks to Breath of the Wild’s storming success, you want to show your love for this legendary (pun intended) franchise with a Link costume? We’ve got all you need.

So how can you get the Link look? Start with the top half: either combine a Legend of Zelda Link t-shirt (B) or dress (C) with this Link replica hat (A) or grab this super-detailed women’s Link cosplay hoodie (H). Now, grab the replica Hylia shield (D) and Master Sword (E) to ensure you can easily repel any evildoers at your convention, accessorise with a belt pouch (G), vambrance bracelet (F) and Hyrule Triforce necklace (I) and you’re good to go and save the princess!

Guys: there’s plenty of Zelda cosplay options for you too! Check out our The Legend of Zelda merchandise page.

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS – JACK & SALLY COUPLE’S COSPLAY OUTFITS

 

Summer may be approaching, but there’s never a bad time for some The Nightmare Before Christmas cosplay!

EMP have made it super-easy for any couples who are budding TNBC cosplayers. Guys: grab this Jack Skellington morphsuit (B), and ladies, pick up the EMP-exclusive Sally cosplay dress (C), and – uh, that’s it!

Of course, there’s plenty more available from our Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise selection – the girls can become Jack with this Jack Skellington cosplay dress (A) and Jack hat (D), which both go beautifully with this Jack and Sally handbag (E).

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – BELLE AND BEAST COUPLE’S COSPLAY OUTFITS

I, like little girls worldwide, always dreamed of dressing up as Belle one day – and the new live-action Beauty and the Beast movie ensures that a whole new generation will do the same! Thanks to EMP, that doesn’t have to be a dream any more – and what’s more, you can have your own Beast too!

Our Beauty and the Beast merchandise section has tons of EMP exclusives that you won’t find anywhere else – so your Belle and Beast outfits are sure to turn heads. Choose either Belle’s ball gown (B) or Belle’s everyday ruffle dress (C) – the former should be complemented by this Disney Couture Beauty and the Beast tree necklace (A), while the latter’s outfit will be completed by a Disney Couture rose choker (E) and Belle hair bow (D) – and, of course, a stack of library books. Guys – become the Beast for a day with this stunning embroidered Beast blazer (F). You’ll be the most beautiful couple at the convention – assuming you get a post-transformation Beast, of course!

ALICE IN WONDERLAND – ALICE, QUEEN OF HEARTS, RED QUEEN, CHESHIRE CAT AND MAD HATTER COSPLAY OUTFITS

The wacky world of Alice in Wonderland is ripe for cosplay inspiration – and with more than 100 products in stock, our Alice in Wonderland merchandise section has plenty to help you put the perfect outfit together.

There are several suitable dresses for Alices, but my personal favourite is the EMP-exclusive Alice Through the Looking Glass blue dress (A), which is perfect to match with these cute “curiouser and curiouser” earrings (G).

There are a couple of options if you have a dark side and want to become Alice’s tormentor: the Queen of Hearts classic dress with attached cloth crown (B) or the amazingly detailed Through the Looking Glass Red Queen dress (C).

Complete the outfit with the “Off With Their Heads” earrings from this Alice in Wonderland earrings set (F).

Looking for something more fun? How about this Cheshire Cat onesie (D)? Or what about the Mad Hatter’s hat (E)? In the end we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.

ANIME COSPLAY COSTUMES

Something from the world of anime more up your alley? Be a modern Sailor Moon by combining this adorable pink Sailor Moon varsity jacket (A) with the replica Moon Stick (B), add some manga-inspired make-up and copy Bunny’s hairstyle and you’re good to go!

What about joining Goku in the constant fight to protect Earth and the universe from the bad guys? Simply pick up this Dragon Ball Z Turtle School and Kaio insignia t-shirt (C) or this black and orange Turtle School tee (E). Girls, grab a Kame dress (D) similarly inspired by Goku’s training gear.

Love One Piece? Become King of the Pirates! Get Luffy’s straw hat (G) and wear it with a red t-shirt, or even better, with the One Piece Straw Hat Crew varsity jacket (F).

MARVEL COSPLAY – WOLVERINE, CAPTAIN AMERICA, SPIDER-MAN, DEADPOOL AND IRON MAN COSTUMES AND OUTFITS

Fancy yourself as one of the X-Men? Prove it with this Wolverine cosplay hoodie (A) or the Wolverine chest t-shirt (B).

Or are you more of an anti-hero type? Combine this Deadpool costume t-shirt (C) and Deadpool beanie (D), make sure you’re never too far from some chimichanga and you’re basically the “Merc with a Mouth” himself!

A Captain America-inspired outfit is easy to create thanks to the Captain America costume t-shirt (E) and the cork shield logo cap (F) (for the guys) or the Captain America sprayed logo t-shirt (G) with shield hairslide (H) (for the girls).

If your Spidey sense is tingling for a Spider-Man outfit, no problem, the Spider-Man logo hoodie (I) and 3D Spider-Man cap with mesh eyes (L) should do the trick. But remember, with great power comes great responsibility!

Or if you fancy inhabiting the skin of a genius superhero billionaire philanthropist playboy (and don’t we all?) this Iron Man zip-up hoodie (M) is all you need to become Tony Stark himself.

There’s plenty more Marvel-inspired clothing in our Marvel Comics merchandise section – or perhaps you want to switch sides and cosplay as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman or Harley Quinn? Check out our DC Comics merchandise section!

STAR WARS COSPLAY OUTFITS – R2-D2, STORMTROOPER, YODA, CHEWBACCA AND EWOK OUTFITS

We’re stocking some incredible EMP exclusives in our Star Wars merchandise section, including hoodies that leave you a zip away from being being R2-D2 (A), a Stormtrooper (B), Yoda (C) or an Ewok (E)!

Or how about transforming into everybody’s favourite Wookiee with this Chewbacca onesie (G)? Staying in character all day will be easy; respond to anything with a WUUAAAAAHHHHHH and you’re set!

If you just want to jazz up an everyday outfit with a few Star Wars-themed items to make you feel 100% Comic Con ready, no problem – we’ve got hundreds of Star Wars accessories, including this Yoda beanie (D), an adorable Ewok handbag (F) this Chewbecca furry cap (H) and more!

What are you cosplaying as at an upcoming Comic Con? Which Comic Cons and other conventions are you heading to this summer? Let us know – and if you’re heading to the MCM London Comic Con (May 26-28), come say hi to the EMP crew! Our interactive stand will be at booth 4732 in the North Hall – we’ll be meeting customers, handing out catalogues and freebies, selling some of our hottest merch, and more – see you there!

Salva