Monthly Archives: May 2016

Harley’s Little Movie, or How WB Is (Possibly) On The Right Track

4cc46cd25dff5f4dcb3addc6b6f68e79At long last, it seems like Warner Bros is starting to take stock in their movie output and making changes. After Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice “failed” (as much as a movie that grossed $800 million can fail), the studio has re-structured and has now created a new wing called “DC Films”. Co-run by Jon Berg and Geoff Johns (yes, THAT Geoff Johns), the new Warner Bros imprint will bring a “unifying element” to the studios’ upcoming DC films, and it couldn’t come any sooner. In fact, it kind of makes you wonder why WB didn’t do this in the first place. Read the rest of this entry

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Movie Review: X-Men: Apocalypse

462-film-page-largeX-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Lawrence, Kodi Smit-Mcphee, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner

Directed by: Bryan Singer

SPOILERS

My overall anticipation for X-Men: Apocalypse has been pretty muted. Despite being a big fan of X-Men: First Class and Days of Future Past, I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing from the promotional materials that I have seen for Bryan Singer’s latest X-opus. Perhaps it’s because Batman V Superman and Captain America: Civil War were the bigger comic book movies of the year, or maybe it’s because of the Ivan Ooze-ness of the first picture of Apocalypse, but something just wasn’t clicking for me. To borrow a phrase from another Marvel franchise, my “spider-sense was tingling”. Regardless, I’m a huge fan of Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy’s takes on Magneto and Professor Charles Xavier, so I went into this movie knowing that at least part of my ticket purchase was going towards them. Read the rest of this entry

Comic Reviews: DC Universe Rebirth and Steve Rogers: Captain America!

COMIC REVIEWS!!!

366074._SX640_QL80_TTD_DC Universe Rebirth #1 (DC Comics)

MILD SPOILERS

This is it. Once again the hopes and dreams of the future of DC Comics rests on the shoulders of one man. No, not Superman, Geoff Johns! The master behind Sinestro Corps War, Infinite Crisis, and nearly every other major event at DC comics has brought us DC Universe Rebirth, the kick off of DC’s newest hope for taking back some of the comics market share that they so desperately need. Unfortunately, spoilers broke out about this bad boy over the weekend, and not even I was immune to them. But even though I know about the huge, “what the $&^#!” reveal, there are still plenty of interesting moments in this new one-shot issue that features art from Ethan Van Sciver, Gary Frank, and tons of other DC artists. Read the rest of this entry

Comic Reviews: Civil War II and Future Quest!

COMIC REVIEWS!!!!

civil-war-II-cover-96a7eCivil 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

Remembering Darwyn Cooke

cooke15n-1-web2016 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

Comic Reviews: Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Vision!

COMIC REVIEWS!!!

BMTMNT_Cv6-copy_56b9339f4481f4.23405652Batman/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)portrait_incredible

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.

Black Widow Strikes?

Black-Widow-not-on-merchandise_article_story_largeMINOR 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

Movie Review: Captain America: Civil War

Civil_War_Final_Poster.jpgCaptain America: Civil War (2016)

Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlet Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Daniel Bruhl

Directed by: Joe and Anthony Russo

MILD SPOILERS

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

Comic Reviews: The Punisher and Renato Jones, The One Percent!

COMIC REVIEWS!!!!

56e35d72f229fThe 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