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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Catching up with Marvel

With everything that has been going on with my life, I have still been reading comics, have done little else than compile the reviews here and never finish it so this is a helter skelter compilation of issues that came out in December and have been sitting here for a month, I am going to make another post where I sum up the year maybe even do a top ten comic books of 2016, but until then lets catch up with what Marvel did last month.

The 8th issue of Black Panther finds it going back into a contrived Game of Thrones like family drama and losing all of the fun a super-hero comic should have. Contrived story lines abound in the explanation of Gwen's jump into this world in Amazing Spider-man as now the tangled web grows bringing Kaine into the mix. The 15th issue of the Sam Wilson book veers from his story to focus on Demolition man's wrestling. Not bad but not great either. The 13th issue of Old Man Logan turned into a bizarre anime like thing. I'm fine with Black Cat coming on board for the 12th issue of Hell-cat, but what is up with Jubilee? The book would benefit from better art and less of a Squirrel Girl attitude.The 16th issue of Extraordinary X-men wraps up the silly Inferno like story line so they can go head on with the In-humans, it all felt a little contrived. The same could be said for Black Widow which finds the book floundering by it's 8th issue. The first issue of this new volume of Ghost Rider doesn't owe too much to the Agents of SHIELD version of the character allowing Robbie to be who is is. With the addition of Cho Hulk and X-23, I think it was too cluttered as those guys don't show a connection to Ghost Rider. The second issue of the Great Lakes Avengers was well drawn and not a thoughtfully plotted out.

All New Wolverine's 14th issue is predictable but keeps the story moving in the new Enemy of the State arc that finds Laura at odd with Shield. The 14th issue of Dr. Strange brings in Satanna, who attempts to force fed strange into the role of her celebrity hell, I like the way she is drawn in this and want to see more of her in the Marvel U. The second issue of Jessica Jones does a great job of blending the feel of the show with what a Marvel comic books should have and much of this is due to the inclusion of Spot from Spider-man's rogues gallery. Not of fan of the break up with Luke Cage. The second issue of the Infamous Iron-man only just begins the show down with Ben Grimm that is teased on the cover. It's ok, nothing to really get too excited about. Mosaic's second issue was better, but I am not sure he can hold his own book, he belongs in the In-humans.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

This Week in Marvel


After what happened at the polls this week, the Riri Iron-man books, feels like a discarded foot note in Marvel's social justice warrior agenda. I can't see Disney wanting to be considered subversive, so no more M.O.D.O.K Trump jokes. What is eluded to here is the fact Tony Stark might have been killed off in Civil War 2. So Marvel is really spitting in the faces of it's fans by taking away a third character we know and love. Three from the cinematic universe, if they continue to commit marketing suicide. This week it was obvious we are tired of being politically correct, so give us back the original characters living and dead.

All- new X-men brings back the Inferno arc and seems like it is setting the ground for their next Monsters on the Loose cross over, though we know some of that is coming from the Cho-Hulk series. Amazing Spider -Man's Renew Your Vows feels good as a story until you consider where this is going to fit into to continuity.  Speaking of outside continuity that go back and tell a classic Avengers story on the 1.1 Avengers book. Why not just make this line-up the new team and kick the imposters out? This eliminates the margin for error more ret-conning can cause. As for ret-conning gone wrong, the seventh issue of Captain America, finds this hail Hydra story line muddying the waters even further. The 13th issue of Daredevil is a waste of time as Murdock is barely in the book which focuses more on his side kick we could not give a shit about and the serial killer chasing him in the sewer.

Ret-conning continues with the second issue of the Clone Conspiracy. The Jackal brings back everyone who has died on Spider-man's watch with what he implies to be the best intentions and they do handle the two Gwen Stacey's as well as one could deal with that without killing them off, which is what is best. This does raise the question of if this will create more problems than it solves. The Uncanny X-men was a slight improvement, but the Uncanny Avengers was much better as they square off against the Hulk who is resurrected by the Hand. The team sees that they are out classed. Though Rogue goes into the fight thinking she can hand with any version of the Hulk. This version can't talk but doesn't seem to be totally mindless as it has enough memory to fight out of instinct. Not sure Cable is going to help much.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Movie Review : " Dr. Strange"

My wife will tell you how I have been talking about this movie for the past three years. Dr. Strange stands along side the Hulk and Thor as my favorite Marvel characters. Until Spider-man was announced I was pretty adamant that this was going to be one of the last great Marvel films. Once you see this movie you will begin to question just how great were those other Marvel films. I still feel pretty strongly about the first Captain America and Iron-man, but I would say Dr. Strange is better than those. Perhaps it is because of the freedom the movie has to throw the suspension of disbelief out the window. Magick is not explained away as science like it is in the Thor movies.

My only slight concern with this is magick is not given limits or shown as taxing them in any way once it is mastered. In the original comics this was how it was presented, and there are some Greatest American Hero moments with the Cloak of Levitation. I suppose we also see what happens when you use the dark dimension to supplement your powers. The cast didn't have any weakness either from Strange to Mordo the cast could do no Wong. I do think Wong's role should shift once Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme. I did not catch what they said in the London Sanctum to the character defending it if he was Jericho Drumm or not...Brother Voodoo. I think at wink toward's Clea would have been nice and if I was making a fan boy wish list one of the Acolytes could have been Damien Hellstorm.
Yes, Rachel McAdams is the same character as Rosario Dawson in the Net Flix shows. So that is awkward. See I did not complain about Tilda Swinton's Ancient one cause she is great so take that social justice Ghost Busters.

The effects were the best of any Marvel movie to date, though it looks like they are stepping it up on the trailer to the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer so the bar is high. Were there elements that bring to mind the Matrix and Inception. Yes, but it was not a deal breaker for me, Swinton could have almost asked him to pick the red pill or the blue pill at one point. The action was well paced. The fight scenes were martial arts based, but creative enough though a common theme was lets keep running as we fight. The fight in the astral plane was pretty awesome and one of the movie's high points along with the showdown with the big bad who if you do not know is in the movie I will not utter his name here, but could have used a little more flame on his head, but closer to the comics than Galactus was in Fantastic Four, or Dr. Doom if we are talking about the last movie. No major issues, laughed more than I thought I would it was endearing and you can go into this movie knowing less about the character than you did for Ant-man. Would see it again in theaters if I was bored. I saw it in 3d, which was expensive, but effective.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Catching Up With Marvel

So we have had 12 issue of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur and so fat they have led to next to nothing ? It leads up to Kid Kree professing his love to her and then Devil Dinosaur wrecking a Lego land science fair? That is bull shit and my last time wasting another minute with this book. All New All Different Avengers was more flash back story telling this time with the real Thor in the flash back so it felt more like an Avengers book. The 6th issue of Captain America only offered Steve Rogers perspective on Civil War, and we have already begun to see how this HYDRA arc is tying into it. Speaking of Civil War the 6th issue of it didn't do much aside from show Black Panther switch sides and the kids run off to hide Miles So far the series has been a flop and a vehicle to show boat Danvers. Other show boats that sank include the Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme, which is too bogged down with characters from other realities.

The 17 issue of New Avengers and it is clear why there are too many Avengers books, this one is cluttered and makes it hard to care about any one in it. The new Avengers book with the new Wasp and Hercules, is not the worst written book, but the art is a little too much for what is going on here.   the 10th issue of Agents of Shield got a little convoluted in how it was written but it was entertaining. The way the series ended made me wonder if it is getting canned.The 15th issue of Extraordinary X-men is becoming a reprise of Inferno. The 12th issue of Ms .Marvel continues to be a waste of paper. She works much better as a member of the Champions who have a pretty decent second issue going to prove none of these characters need their own books. Death of X finds conflict that should have happened in the first issue finally going down in the 3rd and the X-men should slaughter the In-Humans. The 12th issue of Scarlet Witch was alright, not great, which is a let down considering she is one of my favorite Marvel characters. Unsure about this new arc she is going on and how they are diminishing the impact of her being a mutant and emphasizing her as a witch, when I think balancing the two would be best, just like balancing the two sides of Dr. Doom the science and the magic is important.

While it was entertaining and in most ways felt like either a Bat-man or Punisher book the 6th issue of Night Hawk was pretty good even though I am sure this book is getting canned. Another black super-hero book that was better than it had the right to be is the first issue of the Prowler. The art is some of the best, I can't see the him being able to hold down his own even with it being this tied into their new Clone Saga. The best Civil War moment might have been the Gamora vs Danvers fight in the 13th issue of  Guardians of the Galaxy that finds that team falling apart. This book also had great art. The first issue of Fool Killer is really a surprise , sure with Moon Knight crazy costumed anti-heroes are covered, but this book is less surreal and more like Dexter is some ways. Speaking of Moon Knight it gets crazier and crazier. I think they have brought it too a cross roads that makes more sense. The 13th issue of Spider-Woman finds shit getting real and setting her up to have major beef with the Hob-goblin, I have always felt she needed to tap more into Spider-man's rogues gallery since she doesn't have that compelling of a rogue gallery on her own.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

More from Marvel

This week comics are off to a better start as "Uncanny Avengers " was pretty fun despite it being so Deadpool heavy. Punisher was a mess that did not have enough actual Frank Castle in it, so you see how that can be a problem. The first issue of the Unbelievable Gwenpool is pretty stupid. The art is kind of anime, and the character really lacks anything of substance relegating her to a running joke of mixing Gwen Stacy with Deadpool. Looks like to things that could sell on paper, but put into practise there is nothing holding it together. Speaking of Deadpool, the 20th issue of Deadpool is pretty lack luster and doesn't play to the characters strengths and instead finds him trying to be a voice of reason that comes across as being out of character. Howard the Duck finds this character being dragged down the drain by bad writing in an attempt to remember what worked with this character back in the 70s when he was higher pro-file. Moon Knight's 7th issue is a mixed bag. I like the fact the art work looks like it is from Heavy Metal magazine, but the story is so crazy and scattered is barely makes sense. Old Man Logan finds this story line really beginning to drag in the 12th issue. While it's not bad I don't see this Solo series going very far, he is like a Punisher who can tele-port. Thunder-Bolts finds this series treading water. The art was great and the plight of finding food wasn't epic in scope it gave the room to breathe, but they need to get this series moving in a better direction.

Mosaic's first issue is as bad as you probably feared. You do not give a shit about the main character, and the story line is jagged at best. Don't see this book flying or fathom a reason any one would give a shit abut it. The 12th issue of Dare Devil gives us a short but cool fight between Daredevil and Karnak. This serial killer takes a back seat and kind of flushes the argument down the toilet that events don't have to cross over unless they make sense and this seems a little like the In-Humans were being forced into the series. But aside from that little flaw it's a pretty good issue. The first issue of the Great Lakes Avengers is pretty good. I like the art. I am not sure these characters can hold the book and it might need Squirrel Girl. Power-man and Iron Fist is so far one of the better cross-overs into Civil War 2. I wanted to see Luke Cage and Carol go at it more.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

This Fall in Marvel or the Fall of Marvel?

So I am a little behind in writing this and after starting this blog 6 years ago as my own passion project I have realized how shitty comics have become in the past 6 years and have to dig deeper to find inspiration to write about them . This is a problem if some one loves comics enough to write about them on a consistent basis then who is to blame when they no longer can find the same joy the once had reading them. Not burned out on Marvel's characters as I played the Future Fight game on a daily basis,I am committed  the characters ...I have Thor tattooed on one arm and eventually want to get the Hulk and Dr. Strange. It's the fact Marvel has gotten rid of so many of the core characters to replace them with social justice versions, which might be the plight of what will happen when Disney buys them finally settled into place. No this doesn't mean I am giving up on this blog, I don't give up my inspiration shifted to having to be a voice that says "Marvel you have lost your way, You are fucking up"

 Sure Amazing Spider-man right now is bringing some good moments, but will it fix the Clone debacle or dig a deeper grave with "Dead No More"?   Dr. Strange is also pretty solid and finds Stephen so far as the same character not a female or colored version of the character though the end of Magic thing is getting a little plodding. Sam Wilson Captain America finds Sam having to stoop low enough to take the fight to US Agent in a way that allow him to beat him.This happens to still make the book better than the 5th issue of the Steve Rogers Captain America book. The 9th issue of Captain Marvel finds the Alpha Flight turn on her. The Dr. Strange annual could have been much better than it was and finds Clea's return being very anti-climatic. Web Warriors needs to be put out of it's misery, but it seems to keep going for no known reason. I didn't bother with Squirrel Girl or X-men 92. Cage's first issue is weird almost like a Crumb book and almost bordering on being racist in it's stereotypes, it feels like Mad Magazine parodying a Luke Cage comic.

Spider-Woman 's 11th issue finds Jessica Drew confronting Carol Danvers and power set is just not enough to do any damage more than hurt here feelings. Hopefull we will see Danvers get her ass kicked good by someone over the course of this though I have a feeling it won't be Tony Stark. Totally Awesome Hulk finds Black Panther going after Cho. He is using a Wakanda Hulk Buster armor of sorts and tries pulling out every trick in the book, but while it's left hanging thanks to stupid sub-plots with Cho's sister, if Cho can't outsmart T'Challa then this book has proven itself unworthy. Speaking of odd fights the 5th issue of Thunderbolts finds Winter Soldier gunning for Miles Morales. I am not sure how Miles who is a kid can hold his own so well against some one with Bucky's experience. If this was Peter Parker I would get it.The 3rd issue of the Kingpin Civil War issue finds this book heading in a direction that is a better depiction of Punisher than the Punisher's own book making this one of the week's best books. The first issue of the Champions is alright, the chemistry of the team needs some work. The art is un-even, better in some places than others often too cartoonish.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Net Flix's Luke Cage : Review

Ok, I waited long enough to post this, though it took me longer to get through this series than any other of the Netflix Marvel shows so that right there should tell you something. Since I waited it's open seasons on spoilers, so here we go. My wife who has watched every other Marvel show on Netflix could not get any further than the first episode and then lost all interest. This puts it about on pr with Agents of Shield who might have surpassed this show with their Ghost Rider alone.   I saw the first wave of hip-hop inspired gangsta movies in the 90s like New Jack City, so this show seemed to be very derivative of that . it was  blaxplotation in the most vanilla sense of the genre. At least with Coffy we got clothes tearing cat fights.The world it occurred in was never a graceful transition into the MCU. This world had not progressed past the first Avengers movie.  `found myself fast forwarding through large portions of the dialogue in hopes something interesting would happen.

The big bad was hardly there and much less compelling than any of the gangsters from Board Walk empire where that goon cut his teeth. Mariah edged her way toward being a Kingpin by killing her cousin, but mainly felt like Oprah Winfrey if she went off her meds. Colter was really the shows only strength, along with perhaps Dawson.  Shades was a waste. The  tension was never really brought to the level of Dare Devil or Jessica Jones. Sure Daredevil did not have super powered villains, but Dare Devil might have enhanced senses, but is not invulnerable. Truth be told Cage doesn't have much in terms of his own rogues gallery, a problem that Black Panther will face because are Man- Ape and Klaw enough? Who is Carol Danvers going to fight when she gets her day ? Moon-stone? The same could be asked of Iron- Fist and many other of the b-list heroes about to be brought out. Sure we got a suped up version Diamond Back in a suit that was supposed to be Hammer-Tech, but looked like he was playing laser tag. I had a hard time believing that suit could provide that kind of protection or generate that kind of power, something more like Robo-cop or Iron-man would have made more sense.

While there were portions of the show that were entertaining you could have compressed that down into four episodes at most. Method -Man's cameo was cheesy as fack. Misty Knight did not get her cyborg arm and they left the door open for that. No cross-over aside from the Night Nurse. Net Flix was bound to get a stinker so it was only a matter of time, here's to hoping Iron Fist will be better.