Thursday, February 26, 2015

Now What Marvel?







Marvel has been so focused on movies it seems the quality control of the comics has slipped in the past couple of years. It seems half the books are cleaning up the messes made in Marvel's so called "big events"  or the are ramping up to make another mess. If you have heard anything about the up-coming Secret Wars event, then this catastrophe on the horizon is pretty evident. The worst thing about these events is every since Avengers vs X-men, they have been pretty anti- climatic. From the snooze fest that was Age of Ultron  to garbled story-line of the recent "Spider-verse".

Clean up from Axis is still under way in Superior Iron Man, this book is drawn better than most, it would take another column to go into the downfall of the companies art. 5 explores the origin of the Teen Abomination, who proves to be even more connected to Stark's past. Almost devoid of any action except a flash back scene that is kinda cool as it goes back to the 70s and shows Iron-Man fighting Whiplash for a few panels, even though that a fight we have seen almost too many times at this point. Then on the Avengers side of the fence we have the New Avengers ramping us up this week for Secret Wars, but not a punch is thrown. Secret Avengers is so poorly drawn it's hard to digest the story. When M.O.D.O.K became and Avenger I was pretty much done with that book. The Thor annual was three terrible stories , Thor is in my top five favorite Marvel Heroes ( the other four are the Hulk, Dr.Strange, Scarlet Witch and Vision)  so for me to not have any investment in the book is a sad state of affairs , not asking for Marvel to wow me with every book, but at least don't make me loose interest in my favorite characters.It looked like Invaders is coming to a close in this weeks issue, no one is shedding  any tears from that one with out Steve Rogers as Captain America that team has no point.  S.H.I.E.L.D. was one of the weeks best books it felt like one of the Spider-man team up books from the 80s. The story worked and good things are happening all around on this one.

That was almost the only Spidey book worth buying. Amazing Spider-man has so of the company's better art work, but every Spider- was saying good-bye. Peter Parker and Otto the Superior Spider-man had a throw down. Then in a step down in the art department is "Spider-man and the X-men"  which feels like the Ultimate Spider-an cartoon. the book teams him up with the kids from Xavier academy. The fight solid holograms of Spidey's foes.  Who would  have thought that Spider-man 2099 would be one of the weeks best comics. It was fun watching him get his butt beat by the Maestro Hulk.

The first issue of Spider-Gwen debuted. Boy was it a stinker. The art was marginal. Story thin a rice paper and I could not find myself caring about a single character in the book. Sure the Vulture showed up, the voice he was written with did not even seem like the same character. Marvel is trying to be diverse, but can't seem to get a grip on a female super-hero in her own book. Capt. Marvel might be the best of the bunch, but more often than not it bores me to tears. I like Carol Danvers, but I have a feeling her solo movie will make Halle Berry's Cat-woman seem like a good idea.

Wolverines was the best of the X-titles. It feature Fang from the Imperial Guard, who opening a six-pack of kicked butt on Wolverines foes and family. Amazing X-men, was half-way decent, the Living Pharaoh becoming the next Juggernaut took me by surprise. All- New X-men was a book I really enjoyed and now barely has a story line worth following. It crosses over into their Black Vortex event, featuring Nova and the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Rounding out the week in Marvel is Fantastic  Four, this issue was more build up though I was pleased that the Hulk was throwing down against some monsters with Ben Grimm and Dare Devil which was another transition issue. Inhuman was well drawn, but Blackbolt giving up his thrown to Medusa who he let slap him around is not in character at all.  Well better luck next week...books to buy  this week... Spider-man 2099, S.H.I.E.L.D and Wolverines. If you are a huge Juggernaut fan then Amazing X-men is a must.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fifty Shades of Fraction





I can understand not liking Fifty Shades of Gray , however I think Marvel writer Matt Fraction and I dislike it for very different reasons. He is a pretty horrible writer, he penned the worst run of Thor ever, and now on his blog he has gone above and beyond the realms of stupidity by saying the following  “So there’s a movie out this weekend based on books that romanticize, fetishize, glamorize and normalize abusive relationships…And while sex is great and finding someone into all the stuff you’re into is great, sex is not consent to violence, a relationship is not permission to abuse, and there are thousands of women and children who have to deal with that fundamental and erroneous misconstruing of truth and wild misinterpretation of love every day.”

This goes beyond ignorance.For Fraction to be such a supposedly politically correct artist that feels so strongly about diversity in comics, it seems odd he can can insult and show prejudice against an entire lifestyle. As a member of the kink community myself, I can attest that we can be a little elitist and feel about Fifty Shades of Gray the same way old school goths feel bands like Blood on the Dance Floor. In fact I found the book to be rather boring and vanilla. I can understand if it really delved into golden showers and fisting, but it was a far cry from 120 Days in Sodom. Fraction obviously by his statement does not understand the concept of bdsm. Nor did he even crack the book open. If he had Fraction would have found  the two characters came up with contracts and safe-words, as they engaged in this as two consenting adults. Abuse has neither. I also know the main female character doesn't have children, so I am unsure how they even came up in the conversation. He finds that a touchy subject, leading you to believe someone must have been touchy with him as a child. Having issues is fine making judgements about a book you have never read is not. It is ultra-moronic and even that gives morons a bad name.
In response to the fact that the film’s earning millions made him feel “a little sick to think about,” Fraction is planning on matching donations to the Futures Without Violence charity  violence against women. Hopefully this money will go to fund his wife the poor Kelly Sue Deconnick's supply of  Duracell batteries since they  must have the most boring sex life. I am not one of these insecure idiots who wants the kink community to have certain minority rights and be accepted by society. I could not give a fuck what society thinks about me and what I do. I adhere to the fact the stronger you feel about something the less approval you need from others in regards to it be it kink or religion. For some one to speak out on a public platform about something they have no god damn clue about is an insult to even idiots with half a brain. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Why Spider-man's Arrival into Marvel Films Might Not Be a Good Thing





Sure Marvel set the internet ablaze with the announcement that the character would be swinging his way into the Marvel Studios films after being kicked around in some rather shoddy and too often maskless Sony films. The logistics of this vary depending on the ever shifting accounts some sources say Sony will have the last say other sources cite Marvel as being the final word. It is pretty much decided that this will occur during Captain America 3, which is going to tell the Civil War story that put Stark against Rodgers with Spider-man eventually caught in the middle.  Then a stand alone Spider-Man movie will take place in 2017, pushing the release date of Thor 3 and everything thing else that is not an Avengers Sequel back, such as Captain Marvel, the Inhumans and Black Panther. Sure that is exciting in theory, but before you get your hopes up, having Spider-man might be worse than not having him at all.

I was first clued into what has now swelled into a bigger debate on-line, one which should clearly only have the one right answer, when I read the press release in regards to casting that stated they are looking for an actor considerably younger than Garfield to play Spider-Man. The key word here being Spider-man. They did not say they were looking for a younger actor to play Peter Parker. This means it could be the Spider-man from the Ultimate Universe Miles Morales, a black kid who became Spider-man after Peter Parker died and Norman Osborn did a little genetic tinkering with him. It could be all a legal illusion since Sony still has Spider-man related projects in the work, so like the wiggling being done to share Quicksliver, it could be the deal means Marvel can use Spider-man, but Sony still gets Peter Parker. In this case everyone loses.

I have some friends who feel Marvel will do the right thing and make this Peter Parker. But let's think about the fact they already gave us the Ultimate Universe version of Nick Fury. But it can be argued that's because every one loves Samuel Jackson. Then came black Norse gods.To which even Jackson raised and eyebrow at. Marvel is operating under the misguided notion that there needs to be more diversity in comics, since the movies are bringing them at a wider audience . But didn't these fan boys and girls buy them when Thor was a man and Captain America was white? Then why change that. Why not give the existing female and black characters a bigger push. But some might say there are not enough super-heroes of color in the pages of Marvel...maybe not if you are stupid and just don't know the mythology but last time I counted there is Blade, Luke Cage, Storm, Black Panther, Brother Voodoo, War-Machine, Bishop, Falcon, Cardiac, Cloak, Deathlok, Bill Foster aka Goliath,Synch, Jetstream, Misty Knight, Triathlon, Moses Magnum, the new Power-man, Moon-boy, Sun-spot, Rage, Night-thrasher, Rocket racer, Silhouette, Patriot, Photon, Prodigy, Prowler, Puma, Vibraxas, Anarchist, Krystalin, and White Tiger...only five of those have hit the big screen so there's the problem. Another question is where is the out cry for other demographics not represented Jewish super heroes, Asian super-heroes, Polish super-heroes or native american super-heroes?

If wanting the character who have stood the test of time for the past fifty plus years to be depicted like they are in the pages of the comics that immortalized them is racist then I better start burning crosses, but even a writer of color for the Washington Post stated that while it's great to have Miles as a Super-hero it's still too early to have him on the big screen. He is not the only one others ask the same questions I do along with others like what happens one Obama is not in office? Why has it taken them so long to bring in Black Panther? Marvel will tell you Miles Morales is a very popular character...sure, but is he more popular than Peter Parker ? I think not.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dragon- con News

LYMPHOMA RESEARCH FOUNDATION SELECTED AS DRAGON CON’S 2015 OFFICIAL CHARITY
New Slate of Superheroes Community Service Projects Lets Dragon Con Fans Lend a Hand

ATLANTA – January 12, 2015 – Dragon Con, Atlanta’s internationally known pop culture, fantasy and sci-fi convention, has selected the Lymphoma Research Foundation – Georgia Market as its official charity for 2015. Dragon Con will match dollar for dollar, up to $50,000, any money raised for this charity at the 2015 convention.

Dragon Con also announced its slate of Superheroes community service projects for Dragon Con members and fans in the Atlanta area. This program is now in its second year.

In 2014, the convention raised over $115,000 for its official charity, the Atlanta Community Food Bank, and collected 535 pounds of food. Through the Superheroes program, Dragon Con fans contributed more than 900 hours of community service.

“Selecting the Lymphoma Research Foundation as our official charity this year was a very personal choice,” said Rachel Reeves, convention co-chair. “We are grateful that organizations such as this are working hard to improve treatments and cures for this devastating disease.”
Two long-time members of the Dragon Con family – Eugie Foster, Director of the Daily Dragon, and Mark Brown, Co-Director of Convention Operations – recently died from lymphoma, while a third member is currently battling it.

Lymphoma is a group of blood cancers, most notably non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which accounts for about 90 percent of cases. Other types include Hodgkin lymphoma, myeloma and immunoproliferative diseases. Over half a million people are currently living with lymphoma in the United States – the most common blood cancer in adults and the third most common cancer over all among children.

Three Superhero projects are currently planned for the spring and summer of 2015. In addition to having a great time, people who participate in any of these service projects will be invited to an exclusive celebration during this year’s convention and will receive a Superheroes t-shirt.

“We had a great time last year, getting together as fans and volunteers, to do something good and make a difference in our community,” Reeves said. “Donations are always important, but there are plenty of organizations that also need volunteers to carry out their mission.”

The first Superheroes project will see a return to the Atlanta Community Food Bank partnership, with a half-day of work in an ACFB supported community garden onMarch 21st.

Community gardens act as a powerful tool for social change by providing neighborhoods with fresh vegetables, attractive landscapes, and place to meet and work towards positive goals. Volunteers help with weeding, seeding, planting, tilling, cleaning, clearing, and any other activity that can possibly take place in a garden.

For the second project, Dragon Con will field a team of volunteers to raise money and participate in the annual Lymphoma Walk, supporting the Lymphoma Research Foundation, on April 11th at Wesleyan School in Norcross. In addition to the walk team, the Superheroes will have other opportunities to volunteer at the walk – possibilities include registration, t-shirt table, set up/clean up, and route cheerleaders.

A third project is in the works, and details will be announced when they are confirmed.

About Dragon Con
Dragon Con is the internationally known pop culture convention held each Labor Day Weekend in Atlanta (Sept. 4 – 7, 2015). Organized for fans, Dragon Con features more than about 3,000 hours of comics, film, television, costuming, art, music and gaming over four days. For more information, please visit www.dragoncon.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information on the Lymphoma Research Foundation, please visitwww.lymphoma.org.

For more information on Atlanta Community Food Bank, please visit www.acfb.org.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Marvel this Year




2014 is leaving comics is at a weird place. Marvel is building up everything into a Secret Wars event, which is going to be a  D/C like mess of alternate universes and realities colliding. Captain America, the Steve Rogers brand, meaning with Avengers coming out in theaters in May, this Sam Wilson Captain America, which has been awkward at best, is going to prove to be much less worthy of the shield than Bucky Barnes. He is just a less interesting character. In the 70's Cap's jive turkey counter part made a little more sense to me  and he flew, so that was cool, but as an adult just flying doesn't make for a interesting character even if you are gay Northstar. But Northstar has a few more dimensions, he is a mutant and has a weird relationship with his twin sister. More interesting than I talk to birds.

Speaking of worthy, the female Thor is sure to be as short lived, since Thor is in the Avengers. And has anyone seen Valkyrie ? Though bringing Barbara Norriss over from the Ultimate universe would not surprise me either. She is about to fight Odinson in the next issue. But the few issues with her thus far have proved pretty boring. Speaking of female super hero's every one is always talking about have powerful Carol Danvers is but if you caught the last issue of Avengers it's one of this weeks best books. There is a hilarious scene where a fight goes down between Roger's crew Warmachine and Captain Marvel taking onAvenger, Hulk pretty much takes care of both beating up War Machine drones, then when Carol flies down to save the day, she appears to be wailing away on the Hulk. Who turns about to be laying back smiling with his hands behind his head, before he punches her out into space. How did the Carol Corps like that one?

Spider-verse, is a D/C like jumbled mess no doubt with the Morlun spider eaters vs all the Spider men ever. It is slightly more readable than anticipated. Spider Man is also in Axis so not sure where that is occurring in the time line. I am under whelmed by Axis, so the big twist is it turns peoples personalities around? Well the inverted Thor is how Thor should always be written. Kluh is not being used enough and is the most interesting part of this. The X-men as bad guys was just done as X-men vs Avengers, the bad guys are good guys and the whole thing with Deadpool is childishly dumb.Another big even with little pay off. Dr Strange gets cranky. Scarlet Witch is mean, and perhaps Magneto isn't her father after all, it's going to be Darth Vader since Disney has Star Wars rights.At this point it wouldn't surprise me.

Hulk is this Dr. Green, a little meaner version of the Professor Hulk. He is cleaning up the gamma problem ,while curing the Red-Betty She-hulk and Rock Jones A-bomb, it is a shame they got rid of Skaar, who it seemed is more of a mutant so should have retained hiss powers. I hope they don't mess with the Red Hulk. Of course Jennifer Walters is not going anywhere. I would like to have seen him go after Sasquatch before Red Hulk, but that is coming next. It could be worse. Last issue however was a little boring.

All New X-men is getting convoluted going off into the Ultimate Universe. That was my favorite X-book, the Wolverine Spin offs are pretty dumb, it's not like someone else , aside from Daken is going to suit up as Logan. None of the other X titles are doing much for me. As team books go Guardians of the Galaxy is boring and way off any story you care about, not too mention the fact Venom just doesn't work tagging along with them. Why not bring back Adam Warlock. Fantastic Four is fading away and I really don't care despite liking the characters.

Sliver Surfer is obtuse. Invaders' faded from view and interest. Daredevil was getting good now I no longer care. Nova got his butt beat by Kluh, which was the most entertaining moment aside from the Beta Ray Bill team up. Spider-woman's book is not getting a fair shot as it's tied into the Spider verse thing. The Avengers titles...well Secret Avengers and Mighty Avengers have no usefulness. Avengers World i headed that way, leaving me to only miss Uncanny Avengers that felt more like an Avengers books than the others.New Avengers is only good because of Dr.Strange. Just give him either the Defenders back or his own book, which we know is coming with a movie, if Ant-man is getting his own book, which I give until four months after the movie to get cancelled if it makes it that far.

Far as tv goes, we Agents of Shield now has brought us Absorbing Man, Mr Hyde,Mocking Bird and Quake, which is more than last season and we are only at the half way point , sure they are tying into Inhumans, but will that run until the Inhumans movie that a long time. Looking forward to the Netflix shows than Agent Carter.I would not be surprised if the ravaged face May clone turns out to be Madame Masque.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy




There is a good reason this move has cracked the  90 percentile range on Rotten Tomatoes. Its is one of the best super hero movies Marvel has pumped out thus far. Why some might argue this is just a sci fi flick and not in the same category as Iron - Man. Star Lord wears a mask and in their comic incarnations bump elbows with both X-men and Avengers a like, in fact Ms Marvel has been a regular the past few issues.

It is obvious the film doesn't take it'self seriously, the tone often not unlike James Gunn's Super.The laugh out loud moment mainly come from how the band of cosmic heroes carry themselves. It could be argued that Pratt played Quill like the re-boot version of the young Captain Kurt, I like Pratt depiction of Starlord, more than I like the character in the comics. While familiar with Drax and Gamora from the Infinity Gauntlet series, that this movie often hints it could lead into, the character I had the most connection to in the comic only appeared for a few minutes a Breet the alien girl who followed Banner in the early eighties appears.

The visual elements make up for the few  moments of stiff acting that come from Lee Pace who plays Ronan the Accuser, a character that was pretty one dimensional , until he hooked up with the Inhumans a few years ago. Brolin's Quick appearance at Thanos , who actually appears in the film and not just as a hologram like the folks at Marvel , was a high point for me as the character looks awesome.

The cgi characters Rocket Racoon and Groot, could have been the movie's weak spots, proved that with the Avenger's Hulk Marvel studios has learned the value of getting the cgi right in order for the audience to connect to the characters. The other worldy landscapes were cool, in the future perhaps they can get a little more Blade Runner with this , but what they did worked.The action scene . were very coherent and not just too much thrown at you too fast.

The characters all received pretty equal screen time despite the fact this was from Quill's perspective, it would be great if for a sequel it was more from Rocket's. These guys have set the bar pretty high for the sequel the studio already signed this one up for before the movie came out and with a 11 million dollar opening night they guessed right.The easy way out on the sequel would be to bring them to Earth, but I think just expanding the Cosmic world, as it still leaves the Star Jammers, Gladiator, Beta Ray Bill and the Sliver Surfer to name a few and you know I could keep naming for days here.

Some of the Easter Eggs which ranged from Howard the Duck to the Nova Corps, were good teases, put why not have one of them blast off as the real Nova instead of flying around in ships. Where was Adam Warlock is a good question. The celestials were cool and unexpected as well.Overall you don't have to geek out and now your Marvel inside out to like this Movie, though sense I do I have to look at my girl friend's perspective when it comes to what the normal non-comic lifer's view on this is ,even though like I said I never had much of an emotional investment in these characters. They did win me over here.She really like the movie anf was willing to endure me pulling out my big hard bound encyclopedia to the Marvel Universe and search out more on the characters afterwards. And yes that sort of thing does happen at my house.     Avenger's Age of Ultron is going to really have to come correct if they are going to be able to top this...but it could happen.

Friday, May 23, 2014

State of the Union Marvel




Haven't been keeping you guys up to date on weekly books ,and to be honest none have really been blowing my socks off even though Marvel continues to unload new titles in it's Now! campaign so here is a state of the Union on where Marvel is at now. We will start with my favorites and go from there.

Thor ....is picking up in his solo title. He is back in Oklahoma and having a show down with Roxxon, the company that normally trouble Stark so it's a switch up, though the trolls have been brought in. I think the book suffers from, leaning on the future story line that is thrown in. In the Avengers books it seems like his role is crowded by having Hyperion around. He does seem to have a major role in this Original Sin series.

Hulk.. Banner was shot left brain dead. A shadow organization, that might be Hydra, creates a Abomination from gamma goo. Abomination is a zombie controlled by someone pull ing his strings , put he emit radiation that weakened the Hulk enabling him to dish out beat down. The Avengers.. Cap, Iron - man Ms. Marvel and Sunspot show up and Abomination doesn't try to fight them but still gives them a beat down. Hulk turns into Banner though Banner is not as brain dead but his brain is still scrambled and he is talking gibberish. So things are off to a better beginning than they have for some time with this book, though the Shield element is heavy, but with the success of agents of shield most of the books are starting to take on that tone. Agents of Shield are getting there own comic book which at this point would make Secret Avengers a mute point, though hopefully it looks like they are killing off the Samuel Jackson looking Fury.

Marvel is sorting through a lot of convoluted multi-universes in Avengers, there is a big mess with the Illuminati story line becoming the most interesting. Dr Strange is a major player in Original Sin though teamed up with Punisher for a buddy cop storyline. Lost interest in the solo books of Captain America and Iron-man. Ms- Marvel was paling around with Guardians of the Galaxy who of course are getting their big moment in the spotlight with the movie in August. Nova isn't bad, the guardians book is alright. Fantastic Four is back at a starting over point and hard to tell at this point.

Spider-man is Peter Parker, Slott is doing a good job of cleaning up the mess and there are not a ton of Spider-man books that are too hard to keep up with. X-men are a mess. All New is now getting hard to read. The under cover Avengers Accademy kids , I have also lost rack of with only Hellstorm making me keep an eye open, not sure where Skaar is but with the new Hulk writing cropping up in two more issues, he is supposed to be surfacing along with every other Hulk. Hulk is also going into a vs Iron-man thing as part of Original Sin.

From the solicits I have seen, it looks hopeful though, they need to steer clear of making a d/c mess with all the multiverses and don't go the other direction of making every thing Agents of Shield.