Monthly Archives: September 2019
And just like that, Spidey is back in the MCU.
In a surprising turn of events (okay, not THAT surprising), Sony and Marvel Studios have renegotiated their deal to keep Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in the MCU for another two movies, and they’ve even got the third film on the schedule for 2021, a mere two years away. After nearly a month passing with the deal seemingly dying, many (myself included) resigned themselves to the fact that the deal was over and done with, and that we’d have to live with a Spidey in a post-MCU world. But it seems like cooler heads have prevailed (or at least realized how much money was being left on the table), and we’re going to get at least two more adventures with the wall-crawler. Read the rest of this entry
Harleen #1 (DC Comics)
The DC Black Label keeps powering on with a new miniseries that has ties to the history of writer/artist Stjepan Sejic work as an indie publisher. Telling a new spin on the origin of Harley Quinn, you’d be forgiven for wondering why this was a story that needed to be retold. Well, surprisingly Harleen is not only a worthy installment of the history of the character, but also serves as one of the most impressive comics of the year. Read the rest of this entry
Rambo: Last Blood (2019)
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Yvette Monreal, Paz Vega
Directed By: Adrian Grunberg
Despite seemingly hanging up the bow and arrow and knife in Rambo, Sylvester Stallone is back to wage war once again in Rambo: Last Blood, the fifth film in the franchise that somehow keeps chugging along. Serving as a weird epilogue of sorts to the story of John Rambo, the Vietnam vet who has probably killed more people than Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, and Freddy Krueger combined, Last Blood feels less like the four films that came before it, and more like a strange reboot for a Rambo limited series. That being said though, the last twenty minutes of the film are absolutely bananas, and have some of the best action sequences of the whole series. Read the rest of this entry
Flash Forward #1 (of 6) (DC Comics)
Wally West has been put through the wringer as of late, and with Flash Forward, it’s not stopping anytime soon. Sure, the character got a new lease on life thanks to the DC Rebirth special, but since then he’s bounced around with the Titans, fought with The Flash, and became the culprit of a series of murders in Heroes In Crisis. Needless to say, Wally’s been through A LOT, and that’s left him in a weird position in the current DC universe, and it seems like Scott Lobdell and Brett Booth’s Flash Forward may not be the best course of action for the character. Read the rest of this entry
As I write this, I’m rewatching First Blood, mainly because Last Blood, the “final” movie in Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo franchise is soon to be released. While 2008’s John Rambo was a perfectly fine capper to Stallone’s other famous franchise, the studios have decreed that we need a fifth film, and we’ll have to see if it was truly necessary or not. But as I watch John Rambo struggle with acclimating to civilian life in the most over the top way, I’m struck by the fact that this character that is so damaged, so out of his element in regular every day life, quickly became a symbol of American military and might, despite his first film being very much the complete opposite of those ideas. Read the rest of this entry
Gotham City Monsters #1 (DC Comics)
It’s not quite October yet, but DC is getting their spooky on with Gotham City Monsters, a new series from Steve Orlando and Amancay Nahuelpan that brings together some of the weirdest monsters and misfits in the DC universe to battle an ancient evil that’s been resurrected to wreak havoc on the multiverse. With a cast that ranges from Killer Croc to Frankenstein’s Monster to the vampire Andrew Bennet, Gotham City Monsters is definitely one of the biggest reaches for the publisher, but it’s not without it’s own charms.
Vampire Andrew Bennet and Frankenstein’s Monster are both hunting the same foe: Melmoth. Believing that forces are working behind the scenes to resurrect the ancient demonic entity, the two supernatural saviors eventually find themselves reluctantly working together to hunt him down. Or that would be the case if Frankenstein hadn’t just cut Bennett in half.
The interplay between Bennet and Frankenstein makes up a large majority of Steve Orlando’s script, and it’s pretty entertaining. What’s less entertaining is the random sections of the issue that deal with the other members of this monster team. While they’re fine snippets into what each character is currently doing, there’s little to no connective tissue for how these characters are going to fit into the team, or the current plot of the first issue. And by the issue’s end, they’re no closer to joining Frank and Bennett, so it doesn’t make me very confident that they’ll be joining those characters any time soon.
Amancay Nahuelpan made a big splash with Black Mask Comics, and it’s really neat to see his art on a big two book like Gotham City Monsters. His style is both cartoony but expressive, and this series should do wonders to increase his visibility in the industry. He can handle the dark visuals needed for this series, but also the super cool action sequences as well. If you’ve never experienced his art before, you’re in for a real treat.
Gotham City Monsters may not live up to it’s title yet, but it could get there in a few issues. For fans of New 52 series Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE and I,Vampire, this is a must get, as those two lead characters feature very prominently in this opening issue. Fans of characters like Killer Croc and….Orca, I guess? Well, you might be disappointed.
Trees: Three Fates #1 (Image Comics)
Warren Ellis and Jason Howard’s Trees has been running for a while now, and with the third installment in the series, Three Fates, arriving, I decided to finally give it a shot….which may have been a mistake. As a continuation of the Trees series, I’m sure it was great. But as a introduction to the Trees universe, it leaves a lot to be desired.
The basic plot of this new series revolves around the investigation of a dead body by local investigator Klara. After a bunch of giant pillars called “Trees” arrive on Earth, Humans needed to learn how to live with these new strange visitors. Eleven years later, humanity has accepted this as a new way of life, and the world keeps going, albeit now there’s a strange murder that may have ties to a deeper conspiracy.
That “lived in Sci-Fi” feeling is always welcome in my book, and while you can jump into this series with the basic information provided, I really do feel like I’m missing some larger revelations that probably arrived in one of the previous Trees series. Of course, this is partially on me for picking this up sight unseen, but at the same time, if Ellis wants people to come back to this series, or pick up the older series, then maybe he should have considered giving readers a little more tantalizing reasons behind the Trees to pique our interest.
Jason Howard’s art is an interesting mix of Ryan Ottley and Mike Avon Oeming, and it suits the series really well. Three Fates seems to be a much smaller event than the previous series, but that suits Howard’s style really well, as he gives the pages a nice sense of mood and pacing throughout the book. This wouldn’t be that far out of the realm of an HBO procedural drama, and it shows throughout the issue in Howard’s art.
Will I go back and check out the rest of Trees? I’m not so sure. But I do appreciate the fact that Ellis and Howard are using the backdrop they’ve set up to tell an interesting spin on the tried and true murder mystery, and it is neat to see this little indie book slowly set up it’s own universe, I can’t deny that I wish I was given a little more background information in this world to make it more interesting.
IT: Chapter Two (2019)
Starring: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, James Ransone
Directed By: Andy Muschietti
As the sequel to the highest grossing horror movie of all time, there’s a lot of pressure for IT: Chapter Two. Hell, there would be a lot of pressure for the sequel even if the first film wasn’t such a monster success. That box office record is both a blessing and a curse for Chapter Two though, as the return trip to Derry, Maine, while plenty entertaining, struggles to recapture the magic of the first film, and at times feels a tad too long. Read the rest of this entry
Conan The Barbarian #9 (Marvel Comics)
Jason Aaron’s run on Conan The Barbarian has been a fantastic ride the usurps all expectations that one expects with the character. But for the ninth issue, Aaron and artist Mahmud Asrar finally give us a Conan adventure that fits neatly in with the original Robert E Howard stories, and in turn crafts one of the coolest issues of the series since it began. Read the rest of this entry
The amount of news that came out of this year’s Disney D23 convention was dizzying. From updates on Black Widow and Disney+ streaming shows, to news of new series starring everyone from She-Hulk to Moon Knight, Disney came out in a big way, and showed that they’re taking this streaming channel very seriously. But the biggest pieces of news came from a corner of the company that deals with stories from a long time ago, and in a galaxy far, far away…Star Wars. Read the rest of this entry