Author Archives: jwdubbya
Superman Year One #2 (DC Comics)
Frank Miller’s weird take on the early years of the Man of Steel continue on in Superman Year One #2, which focuses more on Miller’s version of Clark Kent and his adventures with the Navy. Yes, the Navy. It’s something that’s really hard to wrap your head around, and like the first issue, this John Romita Jr drawn second issue still struggles to come up with a solid reason to exist. Read the rest of this entry
The Marvel Cinematic Universe could have a Spider-Man shaped hole in its future depending on how the current negotiations between Disney and Sony go. Naturally, this causes quite the dilemma for myself, your friendly neighborhood Spidey fan. It’s easy to point the fingers at Sony, given their less than stellar track record with the character prior to the MCU deal, but Disney’s not off the hook either, and it’s all thanks to the one foe that even Spider-Man may not be able to take down: Good old fashioned corporate greed! Read the rest of this entry
Disney and Marvel Studios are in a bit of a predicament. While much has been made (and celebrated) about the studios’ purchase of Fox and all their properties, there’s one property from Fox that has been met with a lot of confusion: Deadpool. The Unabashedly hard R franchise has done gangbusters business for Fox, but, under the new ownership it’s struggling to find its place. Disney and Marvel know a sure hit when they see it (hell, they just need to see the box office for Deadpool and the sequel), but at the same time, they finally have the use of the Marvel characters that Fox was using, and they want to put them into the MCU mega machine. So what’s a studio to do with a character as unabashedly profane as Deadpool?
Well, the answer is probably a lot simpler than you think. Read the rest of this entry
Silver Surfer: Prodigal Sun #1 (Marvel Comics)
Comics are used to tell many different stories, but I’m not sure what story Silver Surfer: Prodigal Sun is trying to tell. Written by Peter David and drawn by Francesco Manna, this one-shot continues the story from the Fantastic Four: Prodigal Sun special from a few months back, but it feels like every other Silver Surfer story you’ve ever read before.
Prodigal Sun essentially follows the same beats as other Silver Surfer stories. In the past, serving as Galactus’ herald, the Surfer arrived at Prodigal’s planet and fought him. Later on, Prodigal learns that he needs the Silver Surfer to help him in his war, and that’s pretty much it. There’s a lot of the same things you’ve read in past Silver Surfer books. There’s really nothing that makes this stand out, other than the fact that this issue focuses on Prodigal.
Peter David is a legend in the industry, but with Silver Surfer: Prodigal Sun, he seems to be really resting on his laurels here. There’s no recap for if you didn’t read the Fantastic Four: Prodigal Sun special (which I didn’t), and as I said before, the script doesn’t do a lot to make it stand out from other Silver Surfer stories from before. It’s a bit of a bummer from the writer, but then again, David has been writing for so long that I don’t think it’s that outside of the realm of possibility for him to phone it in every once and a while.
On the art side of things, Francesco Manna’s art is pretty solid. Able to go back and forth between cosmic action and the stoic Silver Surfer moments, Manna makes a definite mark with this issue, and plants his flag firmly in the art style of the Marvel brand. I expect big things from him in the future.
While Silver Surfer: Prodigal Sun isn’t as new reader friendly as I was expecting, Surfer fans will still find enough to like. Plus those that read the previous Fantastic Four special will probably like seeing the story play out. However, it would’ve been cool for David and Manna to make this more of a easier read for those of us that didn’t check in on the previous special.
Once And Future #1 (Boom Studios)
The Arthurian Legend we all thought we knew isn’t nearly as heroic as it seems in Once and Future, which finds the scabbard of the fabled sword Excalibur going missing, and a young man and his grandmother forced into finding the missing item before it’s too late. Despite what legend tells us, King Arthur was not as noble as he seemed, and a group of British Nationalists are conspiring to resurrect the Once and Future King to bring about the Darkest Days of Britain.
Keiron Gillen’s made a name for himself with the fantastic fantasy series Die and The Wicked + Divine, but with Once and Future he adds a bit of Indiana Jones and Uncharted into the mix, as the mystery of King Arthur plays out more like something you’d see in those adventure series than a full blown fantasy epic like the other two series mentioned. That being said, this mystery is really cool, and Gillen adds fun little throw away lines into the mix that really expand on both our lead character Duncan and his badass grandmother Bridgette. They’re an unlikely pair that are instantly entertaining and a blast to watch.
Dan Mora’s made a big splash on Boom! Studios’ Buffy The Vampire Slayer Series, and he proves that he’s an even bigger talent with Once and Future, which allows him to break free from making his characters look like their live action counterparts. Mora’s clean style is awesomely detailed yet simple, and features enough action and motion that you’ll swear that the panels are moving before your eyes. If Buffy was going to to introduce Mora to comic readers, Once and Future is going to jump him up to the next level.
Once and Future at first didn’t seem like a title I would be interested in, but after only this first issue I’m adding this to my pull list. At six issues, it’s not a huge commitment, and the hook is extremely strong. If all goes well, Gillen and Mora could have the miniseries of the year with Once and Future.
The original Marvel Ultimate Alliance game is one of my all time favorite video games, so the news that the Nintendo Switch would be getting Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order as a system exclusive was extremely exciting to me. After a decade without this type of game (and after a lackluster sequel was released), I was overflowing with hype around the game. Would it rekindle the feeling I had when the first game was released? Would I find myself doing multiple play throughs with different team combinations like the first game? As I near the end of the story mode of the game, I can confidently say that all signs are pointing to yes. Read the rest of this entry
Absolute Carnage #1 (Marvel Comics)
It’s coming a little later this year, but we finally have this year’s major Marvel Summer event. Instead of a threat from beyond, this time the Marvel Universe is facing a Spidey-themed threat in the form of Carnage. Powered by the evil symbiote god Knull, Cletus Kasady is making up for lost time, and in Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s opening issue of Absolute Carnage, he’s making sure that everyone will remember his name.
Life’s been strange for Eddie Brock. Well, stranger than usual. Removed from his symbiote other, Brock has to take care of his estranged son (who doesn’t know he’s his son) while staying one step ahead of the police, who are on his trail for a being set up by Cletus Kasady. This would all go a lot smoother if Eddie still had his symbiote, but unlucky for him, it’s nowhere to be found, and Kasady is getting closer and closer to Eddie. But Kasady’s not only going after Eddie, he’s also going after every single person who’s ever worn a symbiote, which is quite a lot of people.
Donny Cates has hyped this event up a lot, and so far, he’s delivering the goods. His script succinctly recaps his run on Venom, and more importantly it sets up Carnage as an even bigger threat than he already is. There’s a strong sense of dread throughout the issue, and that comes from Cates’ carefully plotting the seeds for this event throughout his Venom run. Cates’ long-game strategy is paying off beautifully so far, and I can’t wait to see what other developments spring from it.
Ryan Stegman has been hard at work on this series, and it really shows. Stegman’s art has always been impressive, but it’s increased ten-fold with this issue. Stegman’s already impressive figure work and compositions are heightened, and they really make Cates’ script stand out. While Stegman’s Eddie Brock still looks physically imposing, he has an air of sadness to him that really comes through his body language. Brock’s clearly at his lowest point, but it’s going to be great seeing Stegman give him the heroic moment he deserves.
So far Marvel’s been on a pretty good streak with their big events, and it looks like Absolute Carnage will be another slam dunk for them. While it’s easy to jump into this event cold, you’ll probably get more if you read the start of Cates and Stegman’s Venom run, which is also pretty awesome to boot. For now though, Carnage has come calling, and it’s going to be hell for Marvel’s heroes.
Coffin Bound #1 (Image Comics)
A mix of Tim Burton and Mad Max, Coffin Bound is the latest title from Image Comics, and it’s pretty weird. Focusing on Izzy, a girl who’s being chased by an unstoppable creature called the Eartheater, the Dan Watters written, Dani drawn first issue is definitely one of the weirder comics on the stands. So weird, in fact, that it’s kind of hard to explain. There’s shades of David Lynch in this comic, but also grindhouse fare like Death Proof and a little bit of Evil Dead too. It leads to a book that’s pretty hard to follow, but definitely has it’s own unique style.
Watter’s script drops you right into the center of the action, and doesn’t give you a lot of time to find your footing. While usually I’m able to catch up pretty quickly, I don’t think this was the right call for this comic. Sure, dropping your reader into a universe is a viable way to start your story, but it has to be done in a specific way. Watters’ script just makes you feel disoriented, and it never really recovered for me.
Dani’s art is pretty pitch perfect for this issue. It fits the grindhouse style perfectly, and her weird monster designs are plenty creepy. Hopefully this book, which has a lot of hype around it, will help push her career onto more high profile books, as her work has a very unique look to it that seems to be plenty malleable for other genres.
While Coffin Bound didn’t quite work for me, I have to admit that it’s cool that it plays by its own set of rules. I’m sure this book will find plenty of people to give it a shot, and plenty more of them will want to keep up with it. As for me, it was a neat little diversion that unfortunately was not for me.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Vanessa Kirby, Idris Elba
Directed By: David Leitch
Much to Vin Diesel’s chagrin, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Lucas Hobbs and Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw are getting the spotlight in the first ever spin off in the lucrative The Fast and The Furious franchise. There’s a lot riding on this film, from the future of the overall franchise to the rumored strained relationship between Diesel, the original star, and The Rock, the star who came in and reinvigorated the franchise. What we end up getting is something that doesn’t quite reach the heights of franchise gems like Fast Five, but still ends up as a very solid Summer action flick that’s a blast to watch in a full theater. Read the rest of this entry
Fantastic Four #12 (Marvel Comics)
Hulk vs. the Thing is one of the great rivalries in the Marvel Universe. Their throw downs are the stuff of legend, second only to when the jade giant fights Wolverine. So there’s plenty of hype around Fantastic Four #12, which features a brand new fight between the ever-lovin’ blue eyed Thing and the incredible (now immortal) Hulk. What sets Dan Slott and Sean Izaakese’s fight differently from the the others? The fact that The Thing is going to turn into Ben Grimm in about 90 minutes when the fight starts. Read the rest of this entry
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Marvel would take a victory lap at San Diego Comic Con following the release of Avengers: Endgame. Luckily for us though, Kevin Feige wasn’t quite ready to rest on his laurels, and instead gave us some insight into not only the upcoming Disney+ series from the MCU, but quite a number of the phase four films that the studio will be working on. From Shang Chi facing off with the real Mandarin, to the return of the badass vampire slayer Blade, Feige and Co. have quite the line up coming our way, and it’s looking like their most diverse layout of films yet. Read the rest of this entry
Batman: Curse of the White Knight #1 (DC Comics)
Batman: White Knight was a critical and commercial smash for DC and Sean Gordon Murphy, so it’s no surprise that a sequel has come along to expand this corner of the DC universe that I’ll coin the “Murphy-verse”. Unlike the original series, which put a new dynamic on the Joker/Batman relationship, Curse of the White Knight looks back into the past of the Waynes and their ties to Gotham, creating a much different story than the previous one. Read the rest of this entry