Civil War II #0 (Marvel Comics)
The first shots are fired in Civil War II #0, a comic that, quite frankly, is a bit of a bore. Much of Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel’s introductory issue serves more as an extended prologue than a rousing event starter, and it seems at times that it’s more interested in rushing to get the parts into motion for Civil War II rather than letting them happen naturally. For starting off a major Marvel summer event, that’s not good Read the rest of this entry
2016 has been a tough year for celebrity deaths, but for the most part the comics industry has been spared. Until this weekend, when we lost Darwyn Cooke. Less than 24 hours after the news that he was battling an aggressive form of cancer was released, word spread, and was ultimately confirmed, that the legendary writer and artist had passed. It’s a tough loss for the comic book industry, and not only because Cooke was so young when he passed. He leaves behind a massive hole in the medium, but thankfully we’ve still got his incredible backlog to keep his memory alive. Read the rest of this entry
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #6 (of 6) (DC Comics/IDW)
It’s safe to say with this final issue that Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been one of the strangest intercompany crossovers in the history of the Dark Knight’s career. It’s featured the Dark Knight eat pizza with four oversized turtles, and battle a Bane that has been transformed into a Mastodon. But at the same time, James Tynion IV and Freddie Williams II’s miniseries has a ton of heart, and nails what makes both Batman and the Ninja Turtles so beloved by many. It’s that heart that helps elevate this awesome, but rushed, finale.
This issue finds Batman and Robin finally squaring off with Ra’s Al Ghul and Shredder. With an army of Foot Clan and League of Assassin ninjas, as well as the mutagen infected members of Batman’s rogues gallery, the fight isn’t in Batman’s favor. Lucky for him, the Turtles and Splinter arrive to help even the odds, leading to some spectacularly geeky moments, like Michelangelo facing off with a Polar Bear version of Mr. Freeze and Batman and Shredder having an absolutely devastating fight. Of course, as awesome as the fights are, they cut into the other motivation of the series: getting the Turtles back to their dimension before their mutagen reverts. Tynion’s script has to rush into getting the Turtles back home, and that’s the flaw with this issue.
Actually, it’s the flaw of this miniseries as a whole. The relationship between the Turtles and Batman comes very quickly, and the villains’ master plan is never really that well established. In the end, there’s simply too much ground for Tynion to cover in this miniseries, so much so that I’m surprised it was kept to only six issues. Eight, nine, or even ten would have given Tynion plenty of time to have the Turtles and Batman form a more believable bond, and it would’ve also fleshed out Shredder and Ra’s plan more.
More issues in this series would’ve also given Freddie Williams II time to hone his style. While he started off as a better Turtles artist than a Batman one, by this issue Williams has finally hit his stride and delivers some truly awesome panels. There are still a few weird panels and poses here and there, but it’s nice to see Williams deliver on the potential he showed in the first issue.
While Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ final issue is a little rushed, this is still the best crossover of the year so far. For all of the weak moments, Tynion and Williams really nail the characterizations of all the players involved, and deliver some of the coolest moments in comics this year. While there wasn’t as much time for this miniseries to cover, as much as it wanted to, I have no doubt that we’ll hear of a sequel coming soon.
Vision #7 (Marvel Comics)
Tom King’s Vision series has been one of the strangest All New All Different Marvel titles. Telling the story of the synthetic android that creates a family and moves to the suburbs, it’s part family drama, part psychological thriller. And it’s pretty damn spectacular. The latest issue focuses on the Vision’s long history with Scarlet Witch, and touches on different moments throughout their relationship.
Tom King creates an interesting look into just how the Vision has gotten to the point of creating his own family, something that, as this issue reveals, he and Wanda Maximoff had not only done, but had a huge blow out argument over. King brings out the stages of being in a relationship beautifully here. There’s the initial infatuation, the first fight, the heartbreak of breaking up, and the coming to terms with the relationship you have. It’s all done so well that you’ll forget that the two lovebirds are a woman and a robot.
Michael Walsh fills in for series regular artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta, and while Walsh’s style is very similar to Walta’s, he offers a lot more detail in his environments and faces. Not only that, Walsh effortlessly mixes up his character designs to show the passage of time in Vision and Scarlet Witch’s relationship. You get a ton of different eras of Avengers in this issue, and Walsh depicts them wonderfully.
I was hesitant on the Vision at first, and it’s admittedly a VERY slow burn, but Tom King is doing things in this book that defy expectations. Vision is taking a look into what it’s like to actually be this character, and brings up a lot of interesting questions about the Vision. Since this new storyline is building up to a confrontation that’s been hinted at since the beginning of the series, I don’t recommend starting here. But I highly recommend that you seek out the first collection when it hits. It’s guaranteed to be unlike anything else you’re reading.
MINOR SPOILERS FOR Captain America: Civil War
Hot off the heels of the release of Captain America: Civil War, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige revealed a development that many Marvel fans have been waiting a long time for: a Black Widow solo movie. However, before we all go dancing in the street over a solo Natasha Romanoff film, it’s worth noting that Feige says that Marvel is “committed” to making a Black Widow film, without mentioning any release date, directors, or literally any other information on a solo Black Widow movie. Read the rest of this entry
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlet Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Daniel Bruhl
Directed by: Joe and Anthony Russo
I always find myself going into a new Marvel movie with the thought that there’s no way they’ll surprise me anymore. At this point, I’ve pretty much seen everything there is to see from Marvel studios. Thor fighting Loki on the Bifrost? Check. Captain America taking on the Red Skull? Check. The Avengers assembling? Check. The Hulkbuster taking on the Hulk? Check. Tony Stark drinking? Double check. And yet time and time again, Marvel Studios keeps finding ways to surprise me with things that I never expected to see in a superhero movie, and their most recent release, Captain America: Civil War, is no exception. There are moments in this film, which arguably stands as one of their strongest features to date, that nearly moved me to tears of joy as the little comic book loving nerd inside of me saw things that I didn’t think possible before, and not just because of studio contracts. Read the rest of this entry
The Punisher #1 (Marvel Comics)
For those of you looking for a Punisher series to start reading after binging all of season 2 of Daredevil, Marvel has finally answered your call. After a few Punisher-less months since Secret Wars wrapped, Frank Castle is brought back into the Marvel fold in Becky Cloonan and Steve Dillon’s aptly named The Punisher #1. A throwback to older Punisher tales, this issue sets the stage for the upcoming story arc pretty well, but probably could’ve used a bit more action or forward momentum to really make it stand out. Read the rest of this entry
It’s almost time to bust out the shorts and t-shirts, cause Summer is coming! And what’s the best part about the Summer? No, not the sunburns, the movies! We’ve got a smattering of pretty great cinematic offering this year; so let’s take a look at what I’m most looking forward to in this year’s SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW!!!! Read the rest of this entry
Batman #51 (DC Comics)
I know, I know, I JUST reviewed Batman #50 last month. But this is arguably the biggest comic of the week, and I can’t let that pass by the reviews! After 51 issues, the titanic team of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo has called it a day, and Batman #51 serves as a beautiful and surprisingly heartfelt coda to the work the two have done on the series. Read the rest of this entry
Invincible #127 (Image Comics)
After an extended break, Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley’s Invincible has returned, and man, does it deliver. After having Mark Grayson travel back in time, relive and change his past, and giving us a cliffhanger leaving us at the moment he returns to Eve and his daughter (who’s now MUCH older than the infant he left behind), Kirkman and guest artist Cory Walker waste no time getting us back into the story. Read the rest of this entry
There was a lot of news that hit during last week’s CinemaCon, the annual event where studios show off the movies they have planned for the year to major theater owners and press. From the premiere of Captain America: Civil War to the announcement that we’ll be getting a solo Ben Affleck Batman movie, there were a lot of great things announced at the show. But it all paled in comparison to the news regarding my favorite wall-crawler, who’s finally making his big MCU debut in Civil War, and will get a new solo movie under the care of Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures. Read the rest of this entry