Monday, May 2, 2016
Marvel got blasted for "white-washing” in the casting of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One and came out and said they did so because they did not want to offend China. The international movie dollar must make the decisions rather than casting some one who is best for the role. Offended that Tilda is in the role can share in the disdain the rest of us feel when Marvel makes poor casting choices for Heimdall or Sam Wilson taking on the mantle of Captain America which was a move done to market product much like this casting of Swinton. But enough of that lets get onto the comics. More this week can be called into question than praised. While its showing improvement the book remains not a tightly written as it could be Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur stomps on with a plot in it's 6th issue that feels like it could have been a more action packed story told in half the time. I am a little unsure about the 6th issue of Daredevil that brings in Elektra. Her motives seem skewed. She is also missing her booty and too think like the Netflix show. I'm glad Angela Queen of Hel came to an end, just when I was beginning to like that character some writer had to go muck things up by forcing in their lesbian agenda. Speaking of lesbians all the women heroes in Hell Cat continue to be drawn to look like lesbians. The series 5th issue finds itself floundering with Patsy doing very little and She-Hulk doing most of the work. It is not as big of a mess as the 6th issue of the Ultimates that finds Galactus punching cosmic beings and meeting with the Molecule Man, but the team the book is named after is no where to be found. The art is excellent and deserves a much better story to support.
There is a little hope in Amazing Spider man as arduous battle with Zodiac comes to an end in 11th issue. 11 issues guys really that could have been done in four at the most. Even this issue was clunky in its narrative. It looks like Dr. Octopus might be making a comeback as well. Starlord's 6th issue is just plain silly. IT depicts both he and Kitty as being about as mature as teenagers. The 6th issue of the Squadron Supreme shows the book turning the team’s sights on the In-humans. It is not the most compelling beginning looking at how problems between Dr. Spectrum and Black Bolt began. It really depends on what In-humans are going to be in the throw down, I think Black Bolt, Medusa, Triton, Karnak and Crystal don't have as good of a chance without Gorgon and perhaps Lash. Ms. Marvel gets better in it's 6th issue, but is poorly pace and leaves the major plot points hanging when the wedding could have been a page and everything tied up in a bow. They do begin to show the tension with Danvers and Stark. Old Man Logan seems like the beginning of a Clint Eastwood movie I have already seen so the 5th issue is exposition with little action.
The wrap up of the Stand off on Pleasant Hill wraps things up by prepping you for the title to arise during civil and the birth of a new Quasar, whom it seems weird that she has an Earth based origin since she should be like Captain Marvel a less grounded character. Dr. Strange continues to kick ass and take names even if the good Dr. who is our protagonist is on the run and the first half of the book was back-story on the new Villain. Spidey's 5th issue re-tells stories we already know, it's a shame they have to go back to this era and can't just make Amazing Spider-man this good.
Friday, April 22, 2016
It was a really rough week for Marvel , books that started off good are now quickly going sour , the second issue of Power Man and Iron-fist being one of those. Uncanny Inhuman's pretty much wasted the issue on politics as if we are not getting enough of that on television these days. Loki spun a tall tale in Thor that is introducing some Hulk-viking, which sounds cool on paper until you realize we have too many Hulks already. The art was pretty terrible during his yarn, but at least Jane Foster was not in this issue. Captain Marvel's 4th issue was an improvement, the art doesn't do a lot for me, and it feels like an off shoot of Sar Trek the way its being written. The 5th issue of Guardians of Infinity is decent the art is great, so that makes up for a lot . The 6th issue of Nova is better than this series has been. the 7th issue of Silk was pretty good even with the inter dimensional mish mash and the alternate take on dr octopus. The third issue of Karnak was absolutely terrible. Sam Wilson's solo book which had as much Steve Rogers just proves Rogers is the dominate character and Sam is nothing more than a side kick when he is around Rogers, and that's how it should be. Do they really think college kids are going to relate to Starbrand and Night Mask? The 5th issue is alright for what it is, but I don't see this book lasting.
I really couldn't make myself care about the 9th issue of Extraordinary X-men. This Apocalypse story line is boring me to tears at this point. Hyperion's 2nd issue didn't do much for me. Guardians of Infinity wasn't bad despite it was one villains monologue and not much else happening. The Totally Awesome Hulk saw the beginnings of the air being let out of it's tires, the art was the best thing so the fact they are switching out artists for the current artist of Weird World doesn't feel right for that book. The Enchantress seemed to have too hard of a time enchanting Cho. Sure he might be smarter than Thor, but doesn't have the will power of a god. New Avengers which focuses on the Gamma Godzilla that chants USA when it fights giant robots was on of the better issues this week so that spells trouble. Wow ! Nova might have been the best book this week. He fights his father or doppelganger or what ever the fuck is going on, which I suppose would be the one flaw in the writing there.
Friday, April 15, 2016
The big news in Marvel this week is the trailer for Dr. Strange that was released on the Jimmy Kimmel show. When Kevin Fiege began initial talks about the movie, I remember him saying it was going to start with Strange as the Sorcerer Supreme it wasn't going to be an origin story and what do we get ...an origin story. Before the trailer was released Fiege backtracked and said his origin was too classic to not be told. So this dashes my hopes that Strange would be one film to escape the formulaic superhero blue print. The casting as been great so far and it looks well made. I'm find with Tilda Swinton as the Ancient one. A little worried about Mads' makeup. I have gone on record as saying Dr. Strange will be the last great comic book movie. I might still be right if the origin is kept to only a few minutes more than what they showed in the trailer. Ten minutes of origin at most told trough flash backs would be the most effective. The first Star Wars movie threw you into the world and told you to figure it out. If you don't know who Dr. Strange is , then you have to be smart enough to know it's a super hero who deals with magic. If you need too much more than that then you are too dumb and need to do some magic of your own and make yourself disappear. If you haven't seen the trailer it's below now lets get to comics.
The second issue of X-men 92 get's silly, though anytime Dracula shows up I'm a fan. But the more comedic tone takes away from the horror elements which is what I'm afraid will make the next issue have even less of an impact.Web Warriors continues to be a waste of time even in the 6th issue which finds the art improved. This time there are too many Venoms, which add to the bloat that makes this book feel like it was written by a D/C writer. The art is on the slippery side, but as good of a cross-over with the Spider-women as this book ca be I still wouldn't say this is good as everything seems rushed or stalling, the flow of the story needs work. Of course the 5th issue of Weirdworld finds the book incapable of finding the fire that made the run so great during the Secret Wars the reason being no Akron, and this continues the prove the flaw of diversity, which is just have female leads, to have female leads doesn't mean it will work. If Valkyrie was the lead in this book it might work, but Akron is what made the other book work, none of the these characters are shit, even Jennifer Kale is poorly written.While it was entertaining watching the big Thing vs Surfer throw down in the books third issue, some of the more obtuse elements of the book keep it from being in the best pile. The Avengers show up and then Norin dies? For no reason? When I don't care about a book with She-hulk in it there is a problem an that is the problem with the fourth issue of A-Force. The art is meh, the story wraps up the arc they have been on, but does so in a very tangled way. Speaking of books with Hulks that are going down the drain the 7th issue of Contest of Champions hears the gurgle of the sewer pipes come to life. The art has take a turn for the worst and this new story with the Ultimates just gets more contrived. The long drawn out battle against the Zodiac continues, though in the background more familiar Spider-man villains are assembling for promises to be the Sinister Six.In other poor Spider-man news aside from the waste of time that's Spidey, His appearance in All- New In-humans 6th issue was a waste, Crystal and Lockjaw were the only In-humans , I am not going to count Gorgon as long as he is in a wheel chair. I refused to read Gwen-pool because marrying Gwen Stacy to a character not even connected to her is beyond stupid. Agents of Shield told the same story we already read in New Avengers last week, but from a different perspective.
The 9th issue of Deadpool wasn't bad, but it wasn't all that great.The 7th issue of Guardians of the Galaxy was pretty decent with a Ben Grimm coming to save Rocket. The second time Grimm has really thrown down so he is getting a big push this week. The one thing that All -New All-Different Avengers had going for it in the book's 8th issue was fun. They were escaping from Wayward Pines, we had villains we had not seen in a minute squaring off against heroes that they had not really faced much before. I told myself this 5th issue of Red Wolf was going to be my last it it didn't improve and it improved, so I am stuck reading it. All- New X-men's 8th issue might be the week's best, it's a team up between Beast and Dr. Strange, they art is awesome and it fits well within the world of Dr. Strange currently being established.
Friday, April 8, 2016
There will be those who will try to ride the hype and tell the first issue of Black Panther was a masterpiece , but the truth is much different. The truth is while the book is not as bad as I feared it would be, it fails in other ways. T'Challa gets pushed to the side lines as his sister takes a more pivotal role. I like the more Toney Stark approach to things like his suit, but I have a sinking feeling Coates is writing this larger story because he can't tell the smaller story of being able to write in T'Challa's voice. The art is fair some aspects better than others. But be prepared for this book to be put on a pedestal it doesn't deserve. The 9th issue of New Avengers sets it up for some cheese with a giant robot fighting S.H.I.E.L.D's version of Godzilla. The art work is pretty decent. Speaking of decent art work the third issue of Spider-man...the Miles version which is all build up no action.Not a bad read, but the beginning of the air coming out of the book's tires. The 6th issue of Scarlet Witch tried to be very stylistic and ended up a waste of time and she is one of my favorite Marvel characters. One of the hottest and she was drawn like a dumpy old lady, how did her hair color change is another question. The consensus is the art on the first issue of Spider-Women Alpha really does suck. The writing is ok, all three Spider-girls in the same book.
The 8th and "Stand-Off" issue of "Uncanny Avengers" was pretty decent in pushing the Wayward Pines Agenda forward as the heroes begin to wake up and look to for what could be Stark's team. I'm a little torn with the 6th issue of the Vision. It is the problem of him being written out of character based off who we have seem him as for the past 30 plus years. The scene with him working with the dead dog is a little creepy. Wouldn't logic over ride this? What would Harkness see this leading the Vision of such a cliff. It's an issue that made me think and raises more questions than it answers but in the end it was well done.You don't have to do much in Invincible Iron Man to win me over when Deodato is handling the art. He is my favorite Marvel artists. While Rhodey might be a Navy Seal, I think he is a little out classed when fighting a room of ninjas. Not sure how this leads into Civil War but it's supposed to. Old Man Logan's 4th issue finally ties everything together with the X-titles. Nice every one has the right voice. Last and well actually least of the good pile was Spider-Man 2099, he goes back for seconds on Man Mountain Marko and has a run in with Tempest's mother. Good art some of the story was more vanilla than others and he is supposed to be the Spider-man with more of an edge.
Thursday, March 31, 2016
Not sure what is up with this other 1.0 run of Spider-man that is leading into "Dead No More" , but it suck anyway you slice it. The art might be penciled O.K, but the coloring is so bizarre it looks like water paints. The Santeria storyline is stupid, a bunch of Catholic guilt, which I think unless you are a god...Thor, Hercules are some one who deals with these kinda of characters religion in the more conventional sense doesn't really belong in comics unless it's used as shading like Daredevil. Speaking of Dare Devil the 5th issue wraps up the Ten-fingers arc, we still have Blindspot in the mix, but the show down came to a head. The monster Hand thing felt a little cartoonish to me, but this run has had some solid moments so I am sure it won't take much for it too redeem itself. Drax's 5th issue must still have CM Punk involved, because it feels like a little kids just messing around with his action figures is writing this story. Moon-Girl and Devil Dinosaur's 5th issue just seems like filler being used to drag a story out rather than move any of the characters forward. Hercules' 5th issue finds him throwing down with the new techno gods who are pretty annoying. You are going to tell me this skinny little dude can trade blows with Hercules? I'm not buying it he should have been drawn with at least as many muscles as Sliver Surfer if thats the case. Oh, yeah if you are waiting I'm not bothering with Squirrel Gird anymore, unless she is being writing like the person who was Luke Cage's nanny in New Avengers.
The 7th issue of Sam Wilson's Captain America run is where Steve Rogers finally returns. Of course Captain America has a new movie coming out, what else did we think was going to happen? So when Thor 3 is about to hit wave goodbye to Jane Foster. All- New X-men's 7th issue is pretty good despite the entire issue dealing with a horror themed Toad who has kid napped Cyclops. The art is great and Toad gets brutal when he drinks. I can appreciate the new X-men 92 thing. It is a total send off to the cartoon. Even the art has a cartoon feel. I suppose the vampire they are going to introduce is Baron Blood.
Friday, March 25, 2016
Marvel continues to kick D/C's ass when it comes to the big screen. D/C often works better on Television because on a show like Gotham or Smallville, they break things down into smaller bit sized portions to focus on the character's rather than the big picture. When the scope gets too big it's hard for the often more mythic heroes of D/C to be anything more than card board cut outs. Bat-man has worked on screen time and time again because they are able to make a emotional connection with Bruce Wayne while the alien messiah is harder to make down to earth. When this is touched upon in Batman Vs Super-man the film is working best. So lets look at what makes the movie and then see what breaks it.
Makes the Movie
Affleck is better at being Bat-man than we expected.
Breaks the movie
He is worse at being Bruce Wayne, this gives us more of an emotional connection with Super-man, who comes across as being the mis-understood under dog in all of this.
Makes the Movie
Wonder-man, despite being a little on the scrawny side compared to the iconic Linda Carter, Gadot's Woman is one of the best things this movie has going. Perhaps it's because if we don't count the Lego Movie, we have been through six Super-Man movies, Smallville and Lois& Clark, along with seven Bat-man movies and Gotham . So we are hungrier to see Diana on screen. Lets not get into the others as Cyborg might have gotten more screen time than Aqua-Man and the Flash got more than both. As Wonder-woman she does just as the trailer suggests, but we do get to see her bracelets and lasso in action.
Breaks the Movie
The best part was too condensed, they could have given us more and less Lois.
Makes the Movie
The action scenes with Super-man were much better than Man of Steel. When he lets Bat-man dent his armored fist on him it was great.
Breaks the Movie
The big showdown. Super-man is not dumb. If this is his first encounter with kryptonite, then it's effect might be a surprise, but after he see what happens when he breathes it in then would he not hold his breath when his super-hearing picks up Bat-man cocking the trigger of the gun? His reflexes make him not only faster than a speeding bullet but fast enough to have the gun up Bat-man's ass before he pulls the trigger. So that did not work for me.
Makes the movie-
I liked the messiah approach to Super-man and Lex Luthor's line about "if God is All-Powerful then he can't be all good, and if he is good than he can't be all-powerful" as well as the line where he says Clark Kent and mentions all the other names of gods .
Breaks the Movie
The worst depiction of Lex Luthor ever, he comes across more like the Joker than it seems Jared Leto's version will. Luthor is a megalomaniac not a maniac. He should come across more like Kevin Spacey's character in "House of Cards" at his most human and be more cold and calculating, but wait in this movie that would blur the lines between Luthor and Bruce Wayne.
I think I fell asleep for a couple minutes building up to the big show down but caught the rest of the movie, was a little confused why Super-man didn't use his hearing to find this mother if he didn't want to fight Bat-man. Bruce Wayne was a jerk so he did need the beating he got. Could have stood for less Bruce Wayne, the scene with Bat-man taking out the Russians was good enough for my Bat-man fix. Once the big throw down with the troll from Lord of the Rings that they decided to make Doomsday took place I thought was funny that Bat-man just got out of the way since there was little he could do. The end was no surprise because you know what is going to happen to Super-man when Doomsday shows up, you can paint him as a messiah figure with out him becoming a martyr.
I didn't like Nolan's too realistic take on the D/C Universe in the movies that followed Bat-man Begins, but this tried to hard to rub a coat of grit on everything and missed what makes the Avengers/ Marvel movies fun as it took itself too seriously. Even though Civil War and Dr. Strange are more than likely going to be the last of the great Marvel movies and bring the curve of the comic genre back down in it's wake, much like the fate of the Universal Monster trend met it's end with the Abott and Costello films until Hammer breathed new life into the undead, D/C is pretty much still born at this point.
Monday, March 21, 2016
The second season of Daredevil held up to the bar the first season raised for it. Not playing much off the tone established in Jessica Jones, there was a little cross over, but nothing like what we will see when Luke Cage airs. Even though Charlie Cox has settled into the role of Matt Murdock, the Punisher threatened to steal the show. Granted I'm a bigger fan of the Punisher than I am Daredevil. It was grittier in tone and more violent with Frank Castle blowing peoples faces off. The fight where the Punisher runs the gauntlet in prison was especially satisfying and one of the best scenes of the series along side Daredevil beating up the Sons of Anarchy. There was enough Daredevil versus the Punisher fights, but later into the season some of the constant ninja battles got a little tiresome and I'm a little disappointed that Bullseye never showed up as I think he could have spiced that up a bit, he could have even worked for "the BlackSmith".
Speaking of which why was it the "Blacksmith"? They could have used on of Punisher's rogues gallery members to fill that void. Why did they set us up for the Owl last season and not deliver? Elektra who in her final scene gives us a glimpse of where her real costume could come from, was a little too Hollywood scrawny. I have read the actress who play her, is a student of martial arts in off screen as well, but she needed a little more muscle on her bones. They kept Joe dressed in a way that allowed him to not have to bulk up like the role should require for Punisher, but give us one character who looks the part. I do think they paved the way for Iron Fist nicely by creeping the supernatural elements in though Dr. Strange will have already kicked the door in on that before that show airs. Overall it succeeded in being entertaining. I am not as sure where they are going to go on a third season, I imagine Kingpin will try to live up to his threats. I doubt we will see Cobra and Mr. Hyde pop up, but Hammerhead, Jigsaw, Tombstone Silt-man or the Jester would be welcomed additions.
Elektra has the attitude more than her big-screen counter part has in the awful Affleck film, so I am sure that is not the last we will see of her, but they screwed the pooch because now Bullseye can never kill her. My comic book brain could continue to nitpick things, but tonally I think this season captured things better than what they are doing over in Agents of Shield this year, with the costume helping out and proving that it's ok to stay in costume and keep your mask on most of the time.