One of my all time favorite Marvel villains is finally getting the MCU treatment in Black Widow: Taskmaster. The Avengers baddie has long been on my shortlist of characters that I’ve wanted to see on the big screen, and his abilities seem tailor made for the MCU. Gifted with “photographic reflexes”, Taskmaster has the ability to mimic the fighting abilities of anyone he fights. Sure, he can’t match the strength of Spider-Man or Cap, but being able to pull their same moves on them (and others), makes him a formidable foe, and makes Tony Masters one of the most underrated baddies in the Marvel universe. Brash, arrogant, and loyal only to whoever pays him the most, Taskmaster is a wicked fun villain who’s been due for the MCU spotlight for a long time now.
So why is he so silent in all of the trailers for Black Widow? Read the rest of this entry
It’s the dawn of a new year and a new decade, which means that it’s time to do what we nerds do best: look at the upcoming releases and take a guess as to what we’re looking forward to the most! From Natasha Romanoff getting her own solo film to the debut of Locke and Key on Netflix, there’s a whole host of nerdy goodness coming our way this year, so let’s take a look at what’s coming our way! Read the rest of this entry
Uncanny X-Men #10 (Marvel Comics)
After ten weeks, Marvel’s opening storyline for Uncanny X-Men has come to a close. The Ed Brisson, Kelly Thompson, and Matthew Rosenberg crafted story has been packed to the brim with mutants new and old, and the stage is set for the epic showdown with Nate Grey in Uncanny X-Men #10. But it can’t live up to the hype, can it?
Surprisingly, it can. Read the rest of this entry
Black Widow #5 (Marvel Comics)
It’s no secret by now that Mark Waid and Chris Samnee have the magic touch. From Daredevil to The Rocketeer to now Black Widow, the two have now earned their place in the halls of “great writer and artist pairings” in the Comic Book Hall of Fame. Waid and Samnee’s Black Widow has been a very different book than the one that Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto presented to us before Secret Wars, but in a lot of ways, it’s just as good as that series.
Like in previous issues of Black Widow, we’re still being given little pieces of what exactly Natasha Romanoff has done to get her into so much hot water with S.H.I.E.L.D. If this were any writer other than Mark Waid, I’d start to become very annoyed by this point. However, Waid is able to use this bit of giving out small bits of information masterfully. We get just enough information to help the issue, but not so much that the central mystery is ruined. For example, this issue the only real insight we gain is that whatever Black Widow has done that her enemies are keeping over her is going to piss off her Avengers teammates a lot. And now that they’ve leaked some of the information to Tony Stark, he’s on his way to get some answers from Natasha.
As good as Waid’s script is, this issue is, once again, Chris Samnee’s artistic playground. Samnee does a phenomenal job with this issue, much like every other issue of Black Widow, Daredevil, or literally anything else he draws. Samnee’s panels and layouts are filled with tons of dynamic action. It’s so good that Samnee even pulls off a thrilling car chase in a comic, something that’s practically unheard of.
Marvel’s current output for comics isn’t great (to put it mildly), but Waid and Samnee’s Black Widow is one of the few truly stellar titles that the publisher puts out. It’s a tense, smart spy thriller in the Marvel Universe, and demands all of your time and money. Buy it!
Hellblazer Rebirth #1 (DC Comics)
While John Constantine’s previous DC series was a major step in the right direction for the character, moving him out of London and into New York City always felt off. Now with DC’s Rebirth initiative, new creative team Simon Oliver and Moritat have the perfect excuse to return to deeply troubled sometimes Magician to his native London, and possibly even make him act more in line with the character’s early Vertigo days.
Well, the Vertigo days may still be behind him, but the John Constantine in Hellblazer Rebirth is just as much of a conniving charismatic a-hole as he’s ever been. Simon Oliver’s script reveals what sent Constantine packing to New York City, and just how bad it is: the longer John stays in London, the bigger the chance that he’ll die as his soul leaves his body. Returning home with a plan, Constantine is able to conjure a spell that removes the curse, but has it infect the entire population of London. But John’s not going to let the demon kill millions of people, is he?
Simon Oliver’s script does a great job of keeping you guessing, even when it comes to whether or not John Constantine is willing to let a city full of people die to save his hide. Oliver’s Constantine has a lot in common with the classic Vertigo interpretation of the character, but it is a little bit of a bummer to see John’s language get covered up by skulls and crossbones.
Moritat handles the artwork for this issue, and while it’s not very detailed, he does a fantastic job of showing off the various emotions of our main characters. John goes from being the smarmy cad we love to showing some actual regret at certain times in this issue, and Moritat’s depiction of the demon that cursed John is a really cool and visually striking design as well.
Even though he’s not as “mature” as the Vertigo Hellblazer, there’s still a lot to like with this take on John Constantine. More so than the previous run, it seems like this version has more in common with Matt Ryan’s awesome take on the character from the underrated Constantine show. Fans of that show, or even Hellblazer fans who were turned off by moving John Constantine into the DC universe should give this a try. There’s a lot to like here.
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
Black Widow #1 (Marvel Comics)
After leaving their mark on Daredevil, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee now turn their sights on Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow. By now you know how good Waid and Samnee are together, so I’ll save you the “peanut butter and chocolate creative team” speech. But I will say that it looks like they’ll be spinning the same magic they worked on Matt Murdock with Natasha. Read the rest of this entry
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, James Spader, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen
Directed By: Joss Whedon
To call Avengers: Age of Ultron a massive film is an understatement. Director Joss Whedon’s sequel to the megahit 2012 Avengers has to do many things: please comic fans and “normies” alike, set up the future of the Marvel Cinematic universe, and of course, serve as the follow up to arguably the biggest (and best) superhero film of all time. This is a tall order, and the hype around this film is certainly huge. After delivering one of the most entertaining films of last year with Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios has earned enough goodwill from fans that they could pretty much release a two and half hour film of the Avengers having game night and it would still make the same amount as a huge crossover come to life. So how does Age of Ultron stack up with the other Marvel films? Read the rest of this entry
That’s right, it’s time for the annual “Top Nerd Things of 2014”, where I look at all of the nerdy stuff that hit this past year in comics, TV, Movies, and more! SO let’s not waste any time, here’s the “Top Nerd Things” list for the year 2014! Read the rest of this entry
Yes, Image Comics has another new series out this week. However, John Arcudi and James Harren’s Rumble is different enough to make it stand out from the crowd of Image titles. A weird mash up of Conan the Barbarian, modern city life, and the supernatural, Rumble is definitely one of the stranger comics to debut this year. It’s also pretty damn awesome.
Rumble follows the exploits of Rathraq, a “Scarecrow Warrior God” who mysteriously reawakens in modern day, walks into a bar, and proceeds to start laying waste to everything in his path. After hacking off a man’s arm, Rathraq is quickly taken out by the barkeeper, but after that, things start getting weird. A lady’s cat jumps four stories out of his apartment, but is completely fine when he lands. Strange monsters appear and follow the barkeep home, who has foolishly decided to try to pawn Rathraq’s sword. Luckily (or unluckily) for our “hero”, Rathraq reappears, ready to throw down again. Read the rest of this entry