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 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.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Movie Review: Captain America: the Winter Soldier

Thor 2 aside , Marvel keeps getting closer to getting it right and the sequel to Captain America comes the closest yet. I liked the first movie and in someways think it stands out from this one in the way it juxtaposed the two time period where this movie comes across like a straight up action flick, a more over the top version of one of the Bourne films. This over the top element it what a comic book movie needs. A good question to ask is if this was in the pages of the book would it be a good read? This felt closer to the comic book than previous marvel films, with the first Iron Man, right behind it in this regard.

It is placed firmly in the Marvel Movieverse and is not unlike the Agents of Shield show it was good to see the characters from that show cross over into this and word is the movie is cross back over into the show. Right off the bat they were throwing in more characters from the comics with Batroc the Leaper the first threat. Arnim Zola turned out to be one of the masterminds behind the whole thing and Baron Von Strucker marches his way into the lead in they provide to Avengers 2 ...and then there was my favorite moment the appearance of Quicksliver and Scarlet Witch. Is it me or did Scarlet Witch come across a lot like Drusilla?

I thought Sam Wilson was handled well. I have little emotional attachment to the character and was much more excited to hear Stephen Strange's name mentioned, in the discussion of possible threats. There was a lot more of Black Widow in the film than I expected, her combat moves stay the same as they did in Iron Man and Avengers, and to be honest, I would not mind her getting phased out of Avengers 2  to make more room for Wanda and Captain Marvel, since we won't get Wasp until after Ant-man.

As for Bucky Barnes, it was funny how much of the audience was shocked to find he was the Winter Soldier, I would have expected more comic book readers in the theater , but when a movie is raking it in like this one is I guess realistically it makes sense. But this goes to show a movie can do well while sticking to the source material. Chris Evans is well settled into the role and with this films success it lives no doubt that there will be a third film. Maybe the Serpent Society or Modok for the next one, though Baron Zemo needs to show up at some point to prep for the Masters of Evil, which would be good for Avengers 3.

Overall I am pleased with this one, it kept me entertained and gave me enough easter eggs to keep me satisfied. I can't say Cap is in even my top twenty heroes, but I respect him and value his place in the Avengers and the Marvel U.  

Friday, February 21, 2014

Catching Up With Marvel

Unfortunately , The big bang lately hasn't been on the shelves, but on-line with the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer springing up and  the dishearteningly underwhelming Fantastic Four re-boot, which does a race flip with Johnny Storm, for no good reason. Guardians is going to be strong and prove sticking more closely to the source material works every time, while Fantasitc Four will flop, much like the impending Amazing Spider-man sequel.

Last week nothing really wowed me,  the high point has been a Thor story that is bringing him back to earth. this week is getting better

Avenger's World issue 3  has Shang -chi, who has no business being an Avenger, getting his butt kicked by Gorgon. When this character was created as the Master of Kung-fu it was an attempt for Marvel to have their own Bruce Lee, so I am surprised they still have him going. ...Note to my self as a Marvel writer... Kill him off,.

Captain America number 17 sees the series taking a turn into...shaky ground as this Dr. Mind Bubble arc begins. Superior Spider-man team , has some great art, and t he sotry worked with the main title, so I can't complain much about it.

Amazing X-men 4 was a lot of fun recaptured more of an old 80's  X-men feel. I think this is my favorite line-up currently in print. The worst continues to be the X-men book. Enchantress is not enough to keep my interest.  The Mean while.. story in the back of the book was better than the main story in every respect.

Daredevil 36 closes out a fairly iconic run, the book continues to impress despite my rather lackluster attitude toward the character. Murdock outs himself in court and the next series is going to pick up in San Francisco. Speaking of characters that once underwhelmed me the first issue of New Warriors was pretty impressive, it's a book that I want to see where it's going and hope New Salem , remains a fixture.

Punisher issue two had a weird feel, the art work tried to be overtly stylistic and felt like the writer had been watching too much Breaking Band and Sons of Anarchy. Electro is showing up in the next issue so it should keep the book more grounded in the Marvel u.    

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Marvel Now Phase 1

We are now entering phase one of the 2014 Marvel Now. All New Invaders lives up to it's hype with the second issue, the artwork is the best the company has going. For fans of this Sliver age team, this book is a must, they don't cut corner, even the original Vision makes and appearance of sorts when they are recalling the old days, the next issue should have more Namor, in it who only comes up in conversation this issue.

The first issue of Loki Agent of Shield... err Asgard , seems interesting. I like the art work, the Avengers make an appearance as he sneaks into Avengers tower to purge Thor of some corruption left in him that in turn seems to have become the original or more traditional depiction of Loki in the marvelverse, Leaving the question well now with two Lokis?

New Avenger's 14- seems to be lost the way many D/Ctitles are with too much dimensional jumble as other earth's collide. The Dr. Strange arc is worth following as Stephen sells his soul for more power.

Iron Man 21... was a decent superhero comic , the Mandrains' power ringer's continue to plague Toney, the art work is crisp like something from a D/C book, very Super-man in the scope of it's action.

Punisher and Wolvering both kicked off this week with new number one titles and truth be told neither was that gripping, the art work in Wolverine was good , which is much more than can be said of the Punisher, who appears to be drawn rather scrawny, sure a new version of the Howling Commandos are going to be popping up, but the appearance of the Superior Spider-man in the new Wolverine book is much more likely to give me reason to check it out. The Wolverine book also seems much more firmly rooted in canon.    

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Another Week of Marvel Now

Well it was a disappointing week for... Indestructible Hulk 18 I read the issue , a deceptive cover is one thing, but I even read solicits that promised in black and white a Hulk/Iron-man fight, I read re-red it to make sure I didn't skip over it , when it just didn't happen.

Let's do the time warp again. getting things mucked up like D/C and all their varied numbered Earths , Avengers 25 brings the original Avengers back from another time, setting them up to fight the current Avengers, yes it feel like we have been here before in All New X-men. Speaking of which this weeks issue, works beyond "the some where in time" gimmick and is a lot of fun leading into the Guardians of the Galaxy cross over.

Mighty Avengers continues to lack focus. Spider-man gets punched by Jessica Jones but talkes about suing them more than whipping her ass, which doesn't seem likea Doc Ock thing to do . She-hulk shows up and that's the issue's best moment the Inhumanity cross over seems forced and only gives more clues to the thing most people know , that Ronin is Blade.Forced  Inhumanity cross-overs continued in Iron Man 20, which wasn't a bad issue, as it served mainly for the origin of the new villain the Exile. who is also one of the ring bearers for the Mandarin, whose rings are finding wearers like the Green Lantern Corps.

 The second issue of Avengers World is rather plodding, nothing sets it apart from the Avengers book, it focuses on Smasher, who is not really an Avenger in the first place. The art is pretty killer and makes it worth skimming through. X-factor did much better with it's second issue, not sure how consistent the art is an the three person team needs more than the mix of powers it currently has .

Captain America 15 was helping to get things back on track until Dr.Mind Bubble the psychedelic super- soldier shows up, and thats not a joke. Though I wish it was. All New Invaders looks to have some promise the first issue had great artwork and was full of action, even if it mainly focused on the Original Torch. The Johnny Storm Torch was largely absent from FF 16, which thankfully came to its final issue. The Scott Lang figures out how to use Pym Particles , Ret-con was cool and smart enough for me to accept it. Though it seemed like it was written in so he could school Doom.

Cable and the X-force is gaining momentum, though one X-force book is enough. With the all female X-men book,.the Enchantress is really the only interesting element when she hands a beat down to Monet. Wolverine and the X-men has made it to issue 40, this one is a scattered mess of chaos but they manage to throw in a pretty worthwhile scene with Cyclops having a drink with Logan.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Marvel What Now?

It would be nice to stop renumbering and revamping and re-branding , because the Marvel Now launched last year is already being re-branding with another Now label and new set of books, It's tiring really and the 2nd time around losses it's significance. They announced the return of Peter Parker which I commented on when the original Superior thing came about is that it would never stick when the movie came around and I was proved right.

Superior Spider-man was a great read,  the art was a little iffy at time and there is no way Thor should not have wiped the floor with him by himself, the ghost of Peter shows up and we see the beginning of the end for the Ock Spider.

Iron-man 20 proved to be a much improved read on every front. The art work was much better, the story less convoluted it felt like a classic comic, as they squared off against Red Peril, who is like th Chelsea Handler of super villains if she was a flaming ginger.

Thor 17 was an improvement from the blasted god-slayer arc, the art work is not as good as it was when the book was first called god of thunder and I would like to seem more action on Midgard or at least a balance.

Savage Wolverine, number one needed to be renumbered only because of the different the book has taken, which is under whelming though  I  can see where someone might like the art work but it really isn't my thing. Wolverine 13 was ok not great , it looks to be the last issue before the relaunch and the new Wolverine 1.

Leading the X-pack hands down is All New X-men, issue 21 keeps up the good work and works them into the bigger picture of the Marvel universe with out being too heavy handed.Otherwise As far as obtuse X-titles go Cable and the X-force was pretty decent. The Bishop/Hope fight was nothing special, but there's a better fight they followed it up with in the ever confusingly titled Uncanny X-force, yes there's two X-force titles now.

The words final issue on the cover of Fantastic Four only means the final issue of this numbering, or like on t.v, the final episode of this season, next season they will be back with a new number one. The mash up with the Doom, Kang Annihilus was a little silly ,as the merging of the Fantastic Fours, but the art was decent.