Friday, December 30, 2011

Flashback Friday: PunisherMax Volumes 1 and 2 OR The Fall of Frank Castle

Flashback Friday: Maybe Frank Castle Just Needs A Hug--PunisherMax "Kingpin" and "Bullseye"

Frank Castle is not a happy man. Nor is he a peaceful one. This series builds upon the superb Garth Ennis run of the Punisher in the Max Universe but the comic gets a new title and a new creative team in the form of Jason Aaron and Steven Dillon (a long-time Ennis collaborator, interestingly enough). What Jason Aaron does is bring in ideas from the "normal" Marvel Universe like the Kingpin Wilson Fisk or the crazy-talented but also crazy-insane Bullseye and Aaron makes them grounded in the reality of this much more, "real" world. You would think it'd fail considering how hard Ennis worked to NOT do this during his run on the Punisher (with maybe the exception of having Nick Fury involved), but this actually turns out pretty well.
This comic seems to not really be split into arcs so much as telling one really long story that will be ending soon as the series wraps up (Marvel recently announced it was ending). Therefore, I can review the first two trades as just one entity as they are pieces of a story. What is that story? I'd argue that from what I've read and because I know what comes next (spoiler: the Punisher goes to prison) that this comic is basically tracing the downfall of Frank Castle both physically and emotionally. Notice how I said, "Frank Castle," and not, "The Punisher." The reason for that is that Frank thinks of the Punisher as some unstoppable force, but over these two trades we see he isn't just the Punisher, he is a human being with weaknesses. In the first trade he is decimated physically and by the end of the second Frank has lost some of the things that made him the Punisher--he's killed a cop (even if he was dirty) and something is said that clearly makes him question if this whole vendetta is really being done for his murdered wife and kids or if it's something else, something darker.

Yes, the question is if Frank Castle had the Punisher born that day in the park when his family was murdered in front of his eyes, or if as the assassin Bullseye is seeming to figure out, the Punisher has been there in Frank just waiting for an excuse to come out. Whatever the case, by the end of these trades it's clear our main character has some soul-searching to do.
I make this comic sound very serious, and it is at times, but there are also moments of really dark and absurd humor, and boy is this thing violent. There is a reason this is on the, "Max" label. Overall it is a pretty interesting story, and worth giving a look.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Rant-Reviews--Some Month's-Old Comics, And Some New Ones. Quality Varied.

Flip the Switch
Let's talk about comics--some old, some newer, none quite terrible, but some really good. Other ones are just okay. I'll break out the peanut butter and bread so we can enjoy sandwiches whilst reading/writing the reviews. What? You're allergic? Sucks to be you, because I want my chunky peanut-butter.

Mystery Men #5
Yes, this came out forever ago, and yes the last two issues seemed a bit rushed and it still wasn't quite clear why this had to tie in with the main Marvel continuity as the company made a big deal about--"Hey, this takes place before the normal heroes you know of existed and it's in continuity for you 'it has to count' nerds!"--but damn-it, all those complaints aside that should hurt this I still really enjoyed this series. It's like you are dating some girl and you know she's got some serious flaws, but you can't help but be enamored with her. Sure, she's got some human bodies in the basement, but she makes such a delicious mac-and-cheese! This comic may have the flaws, but it's still a really enjoyable pulp adventure with interesting characters that's just plain fun.

David Liss wrote up a good tale even if he had the whole, "It's in continuity, read it!" cloud hanging over his head that Marvel made a big deal of, even if at the end of the day it didn't matter if this comic took place in the Marvel Universe or a some other reality like this one where it seems no matter how many times you say you don't want mustard or mayo on your sandwich you always have to send it back. I don't want mayo, it makes me gag! This comic didn't activate that reflex though, and I'm pretty sure it's out in trade now so you ought to pick it up.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Captain Swing And The Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island #4
Wow. It took forever for the fourth issue of this to come out and then once it did they couldn't pump out the trade fast enough. Then again this was Warren Ellis writing this, and even though he is a great writer, it seems when he is doing something for the Avatar comics line you never know when or if the project will be completed (this applies to other comic-lines and Ellis too, but it is especially bad with he and Avatar). How was the final issue though? Well, it was...decent?

I'm sorry, but it just took so long for everything to come out I had trouble remembering certain things, but I did remember this started out a lot more fun than it ended. If I may return to the theme of relationships, it was like one that starts out really great but by the end just sort of fizzles out--mainly because you realize you no longer have enough money to pay her fee. What? That isn't a relationship, that's prostitution? Well you and I just have different views, my friend. Seriously though, this was passable but not that amazing. It looked nice though.
2.5 out of 5 stars.

Captain Atom 100 Page Special
Well, that was weird. I like Captain Atom, he is a cool character. I was one of the few people who enjoyed that comic which took him to the Wildstorm Universe back when it was actually its own Universe. I mean I absolutely love that series for some odd reason. Then he became some bad guy named Monarch in a terrible DC comic event that counted down to an interesting but weird one by Grant Morrison (Countdown to Final Crisis and Final Crisis, respectively). And then...who knows what happened. Hell, this comic isn't sure. Basically it just kind of goes, "Yeah, some weird stuff happened, but now Captain Atom wants to get over it, so let's put tell a cool tale of him in another dimension that is all sword-and-sorcery style."

Originally these were back-up strips, but this collects them into a...well, a 100 page special. James Robinson and Greg Rucka both wrote them, and its pretty good, even though that terrible temporary team from the "Justice" mini-series Robinson did that was more painful than having a Piranha biting your nether regions while listening to any Celine Dion album. This though, this was pretty decent even if it was a bit busy giving us a tour of the DC Universe at times, or trying to awkwardly explain away Captain Atom's last few years of confusing continuity (which were wiped out in the re-launch that happened anyways). Yeah, this was good.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

The Cape #1 & #2
First off, this has nothing to do with the apparently atrocious NBC mini-series. No, this is a mini-series related to the one-shot comic based off a short story by Joe Hill of Locke and Key comic fame (along with various books and such). This builds off of that one shot with a story of a man who has powers and does what a lot of people probably would if they suddenly gained some--become quite evil. It's a decent yarn but the main character is just so horrible and doesn't seem to have too much of a reason to be. Everyone was supportive of him, he just turned out to be nightmarish. I guess what he says in issue #2 sums it up. The fact he isn't good at anything but he is good at this, with "this" meaning being a monster. It's fine for what it is, but I like my bad-guys to be a bit like someone you can relate to and not just total sociopaths. The new issue comes out this 28th I believe. I'll be reading it, but more-so out of curiousness. 
2.5 out of 5 stars.

Uncanny X-Force #18
Have you ever read something just totally awesome that you and everyone else loved, but in a weird twist the part some people enjoyed most actually rubbed you the wrong way? Yeah, that happened with this comic. Not to spoil it, but there is this one waaayyyy too sweet moment that occurs that just had me rolling my eyes. However, that is overpowered by the rest of this issue which is just sheer amounts of incredible. Whether it is being serious, funny, full of action, or introducing that last twist that I didn't predict after the ones that I did see coming, this is a quality good time. It took forever for the story to get here in its 9 or so parts, but boy if it wasn't a gas.
5 out of 5 stars.

Shut The Power Down
There wasn't anything too horrible, just some stuff that was a bit mediocre to go with readings that were quite delightful. The moral of the story is that comics aren't always terrible--though I've clearly run into plenty of those if you look through the blog at all.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Today is Christmas, so Merry Christmas! We are also currently in the midst of Hanukkah--which I'm celebrating, so Happy Hanukkah too! Plus, of course tomorrow is the start of Kwanzaa, so a Joyous Kwanzaa to all who celebrate that holiday also! May everyone have a great holiday season and get what they wanted instead of socks. Unless of course they wanted socks, then I hope you receive tons of them.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

An Action Movie, A Super-Hero Comic, a Humor Book of True Facts. I Consumed These.

Starting Things Up
I saw the new Mission Impossible, and speaking of impossible missions, someone was able to wrap up the Supreme Power comic that J. Michael Straczynski started and then quit awhile ago before Howard Chaykin tried his hardest to kill it. Lastly, I've read a pretty entertaining book by the editors of Cracked, website (yeah, its just a website now, I checked) full of alarmingly true facts that also make you laugh, possibly even guffaw. Let's get down to it, okay?

Enjoyable, With Lots of Pretty Special Effects.
I saw the newest Mission Impossible Movie, which instead of being called, "Mission Impossible 4," is called, "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol," because if they had a "Four" in the title people would probably have thought, "Eh, I prefer trilogies." Luckily, they didn't do that, and with just as much luck this movie continues the trend that only the MI movies and Lord Of the Rings seem to pull off where they actually get better with each new one.

I have to admit, I really don't care for Tom Cruise in lots of movies. However, the Mission Impossible flicks are right where I enjoy him being. It just makes sense, so when I see his face pop up in those, I'm cool with it. Tom Cruise in a movie about Germans who try to stop Nazi Germans even though everyone inexplicably talks with American or British accents? No thanks. Tom Cruise in a movie about crazy spy stuff full of explosions and chases? I'm in.

Not to spoil too much, but as the previews for the movie have made clear, Tom Cruise and his team have been framed as terrorists and now have to prove that they aren't. They also have to stop a terrorist-type threat that never makes much sense but the movie tries to write that off by just saying the guy behind it is crazy. Well played, Mission Impossible, well played. In fact, the most glaringly obvious plot issues usually get pointed out by the movie itself in an almost clever bit of meta-commentary on action movies that bumps this up a tiny bit past the usual popcorn fare.
Plus, do you want action? Oh, because there is plenty of action. Skyscrapers are climbed, people are chased, guns are shot, and all kinds of cool explosions happen. The movie also tries to keep you on your toes by throwing in twists or action when you don't expect it--along with the usual times that you do. To the films's credit, there were a few bits that I did not see coming, even if there were plenty I did.
This was a genuinely fun film and one I would recommend to fans of the Mission Impossible series, action, or just good times. Kick back, relax, and watch Tom Cruise doing what he does best--not talking too much, but instead doing his own stunts and letting that ever-catchy Mission Impossible theme let us know we're in for a great time.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

That Was Satisfying Enough--Supreme Power (2011 mini-series Now Titled "Gods and Soldiers")
There was a great series called, "Supreme Power," that J. Michael Straczynski started writing. However, like most things he does, he left it in the middle. Well, sort of. First it became an all-ages-ish title for no good reason and then he left it. So the series gained all these extra characters under writer Howard Chaykin who made it one of the worst comics ever. He seriously took the series out back, hit it over the head with a shovel, and buried it in the backyard. However, Marvel called in pretty-skilled writer Kyle Higgins to come and dig up the body and try and do something, anything with it. What we have is a series that drops almost all of what Chaykin did except some big plot beats, and draws primarily from Straczynski's earlier parts of the run--and that's just a-okay with me. 

Sure, some characters who should have maybe shown up like Nighthawk don't at all, but this thing was just given four issues! You can tell Higgins wanted it to be longer, it starts to feel rushed towards the end, but still works. Why? Because it actually tries to provide a somewhat satisfying conclusion to the story Stracznski started so long ago. It has action, it is thoughtful, and it is in fact a Marvel Max title as it should be. That means we can have the characters swearing if we want and such--but also the title can be more adult in the sense it deals with some serious subjects. This was good. Hopefully more good stuff could be coming along in this universe? Just don't let Chaykin near it. That man is good with some things, but God did he nearly destroy this.
4 out of 5 stars.

I Laughed And Learned--You Might Be A Zombie And Other Bad News
There was a humor magazine called Cracked. It seems they stopped publishing it. There is still a Cracked website however, and they make some fun and crazy lists. This book, You Might Be A Zombie and Other Bad News,contains some of those. It is all supposedly true and fact-checked. From what I already knew and double-checked it seems this book is quite accurate with its lists. From ones about movies based on true stories that aren't factual at all, to the most dangerous animals people think are cute (You should fear hippos and if you see a platypus you need to run) it's a fun time.

I laughed occasionally, learned some new things, and would recommend perhaps flipping through this at your local bookstore the next time you peruse it. If you find it as funny or informative as I did, why not purchase it? You don't want to be one of those people who read the whole book at the bookstore and then put it back. Those people are dicks.
4 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Two "Important" Marvel Books I Read Recently.

One Was Just Previews For Other Comics, One Was Straight-Up Crazy. So...Yeah.

That was interesting. I read Marvel Point One and Fantastic Four #600 and have some thoughts. Yes, they came out a bit ago but I didn't get around to talking about them one here until now and still want to. Sorry for the delay, I baked you these cookies as an apology, but be warned of the five I made, two have poison.

Read This Then Buy The Main Comic--Or Else We Will Cry
You're still conscious, so that must mean you picked one of the "good" cookies. Speaking of something where you get a sampling of options and some of them are really terrible and could kill you, Marvel Point One. You see what I did there? Seriously though, this comic was basically an excuse to show previews for future comics that will coming using a framing device in the form of everyone's favorite voyeur, The Watcher.

It seems some people have broken into his little palace and are absorbing information, which we get to see. Hence, ads--excuse me--stories, to promote a comic set the the Age of Apocalypse Universe, that weird Ultron event Brian Michael Bendis has been hinting at occasionally off and on for awhile, and so forth. The story that actually stands the best on its own is probably the most blatant, "Read the main comic to see what happens next," type-tale, but its so good I don't mind. It's a Doctor Strange yarn and its done so well--which seems hard for most writers (besides Brian K Vaughn when he did that excellent mini-series)--that it's all good. Other stories happen, but they aren't too great, involving new characters whose intro-story doesn't make me care about them at all, Scarlet Spider being a huge dick even though I used to like the character of Kaine (google it, but not the video-game vampire one), and Nova apparently says, "Epic Fail" when planets explode behind him...okay?

 Yeah, it was okay, but was really just snippets of stories, or short vignettes that scream, "Buy the main comic, pleaseeee!" and Marvel charged me how much for this--even if some stores sold it at half-price because it was double-shipped? Really, how much? I don't remember. $5.99? God damn that's absurd for something they could give away for free considering its all one big advertisement like those giveaway "sketchbooks" for their event comics. Ugh.
Everyone Loves A Love Story--But Prefers One About The World Ending
You know what I had a ton of trouble understanding because I quit reading the series awhile ago, but still enjoyed a fair amount? I would hope you know because I only mention two comics in the post's title and I just discussed one. For those who need a refresher, it's the 600th issue of The Fantastic Four.

I don't want to spoil it--even though everyone else has. But it's pretty intense with all these plots coming together and twists and a huge reveal that is explained in the second story. Oh, and some other cool tales occur too. There isn't a lot of Doctor Doom in here sadly, and I loves me some Doom, but that's cool.
Sky-writing with fire only leads to trouble.
You know, when I think about it, that Marvel mini-series, "Fear Itself" spent so many issues trying to convince us of some huge threat and that the world was in danger, etc. etc. This issue of Fantastic Four makes you feel the world is in actual danger within a few opening pages, and carries a sense of scope and gravitas that a whole 28 issues of Fear Itself (were there that many? I quit it because I got sick of the damn thing) couldn't summon at all. Jonathan Hickman's writing can be really good to me, or rub me the wrong way something fierce (hence my quitting Fantastic Four awhile ago), but in this thing he is firing on all cylinders.

As I said though, I haven't been reading this thing, so I was kind of lost on some of the finer plot details....okay, most if not all of it. Certain characters were hanging with other ones for reasons I did not know, people were spouting stuff that sounded cool but was over my head...basically I felt like most people do who don't read comics when they try and pick one up. I still enjoyed the heck out of this though, which is speaking to its quality. You know what? Fuck it, I'm going to spoil the big reveal:
That's right, Johnny Storm is back! Plus, he has a ton of power now, putting the big-baddie from the Negative Zone on his knees before the might that is the Human Torch. Pretty hardcore, eh? That is just so killer, and another instance of what I call, "awesomesauce," in this comic. Plus it only cost me...$7.99? Dear God, $6.99 wouldn't have been too bad for this, but that is just a bit much. Sigh.

Suck Down These High Prices. Seriously, You'll Gasp For Air
We had two comics, both absurdly priced. One was not really worth it, the You see, I can't bring myself to say Fantastic Four #600 was worth it because just a cent under eight bucks is so crazy. I guess if you don't mind the steepness you should pick up everyone's favorite super-family trying to save the world. Skip the Point One though, you ain't missing much at all.
Scores Before Taking Into Crazy Cost:
Marvel Point One: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Fantastic Four #600: 5 out of 5 stars

Scores After Taking Into Account The Cost:
Marvel Point One: 1.5 out of 5 stars (Just not worth the price)
Fantastic Four #600: 4.5 out of 5 stars (Still too high, but more worth it).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rant-Reviews--4 of the few-ish Marvel books I read and T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents

Your Comics Suck, But I Read Them
I said I'd get to posting, and now its time for some rant-reviews. I know I tag any post with a review with rant-reviews, but these that are just nothing but reviews are special--they are really sarcastic and silly. Let's proceed?

Magneto: Not A Hero #1 
The second issue of this comes out tomorrow, and I would have been more excited after the big reveal at the end of the first issue, were it not for the fact that Marvel spoiled that surprise in the solicitation for the third issue of this series! I mean really, what the fuck? Marvel pulled the same move I did when I came out of a screening of the movie Contagion and the theater I was at only has one actual theater because its kind of a bar and lounge with one screen. Therefore, a line forms for the next showing as tickets go fast because people like to see movies at the bar and lounge theater.

So, I leave Contagion and tell everyone, "It was a pig, it was a motherfucking pig all along, but they find a cure!" and 5 minutes later security is ushering me out of the building--not because I was being thrown out, but because I had to be protected from the violent crowd that just had a plot point of the movie ruined for them. You see, people still went and saw the movie, and enjoyed it, but had an important thing spoiled for them by a asshole (me/Marvel) which kind of tempered some of the shock. It was still a cool comic though, and I'm sure they felt the same about Contagion. I wouldn't know, the theater banned me. By the way, that story is more true and less of a joke than I'd care to admit.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

Secret Avengers #19
Warren Ellis continues to show that even though he insults superhero comics, he can write damn good ones, and also has been proving that you can do done-in-one-issue stories. You hear that, Uncanny X-Force? With your 9-parts and more, "Dark Angel" saga that while good has been going forever? You can tell a quality tale within just a single issue of a comic, and have it actually be satisfying! Plus my favorite, Moon Knight is in this and I love him to an unhealthy degree for someone to love a fictional character. I mean goddamn, this was just spectacular and looked pretty darn good too. I actually don't mind the $3.99 this cost, which is equal to Marvel kicking me really hard in the junk and laughing about it. Yeah, there's a reason I've switched to a mostly DC, but if Marvel actually consistently had stuff like this and made it easy to find instead of part of a market flooded with 50 other Avengers books maybe the world would be a better place. You know, the kind of place where Republican Presidential debates aren't more painful to sit through than a dental appointment to with teeth drilled without any Novocaine.
5 out of 5 stars.

Red Skull: Incarnate #5
We all know this guy--the young Johann--is gonna become one of the worst Nazis ever--The Red Skull--and if I've learned anything from movies, its pretty hard if not impossible to make Nazis seem like sympathetic characters. Therefore, writer Greg Pak had his work cut out for him in the process of making this sort-of-contrast to his other comic series, "Magneto: Testament." I guess I should give Pak credit in that early on our "hero" (said with much sarcasm) seems decent enough and slowly gets worse and worse. Still, its a comic about a Nazi, and these days that's about as easy to find as pictures of Lindsay Lohan's hoo-ha now that she is down on her luck and posed for Playboy.

Seriously, did you see those pictures? I heard they had to Photoshop the hell out of them to make her look decent and I just felt weird looking at the images as I still think of her as that kid from the remake of , "The Parent Trap," who had all that potential and flushed it down the toilet to become what she is today--a dime-a-dozen wreck. You know what the problem is with dime-a-dozen wrecks? No matter how interesting they were at first they are still just wrecks now and there are a ton of those. This is a comic about a Nazi, and no matter how interesting Pak makes him in the end there are still all those Nazi comics too. I just compared Lindsay Lohan to comics about Nazis. I am a mad scientist.
3 out of 5 stars (because the effort is there).

Wolverine And The X-Men #2
If you are a fan of Iceman--like, you get a boner anytime you see him appear in comics--then this issue must have made you just jizz/cream all over yourself uncontrollably. I mean seriously, every few years comics talk about how Iceman has all this potential he just has to tap into, and this is one of those issues where he does it and you fans out there have multiple orgasms to it because its so extreme and crazy. Plus those of you who have Iceman-Kitty Pyrde fan-fiction can quit finger-banging/jerking to your imagination as Marvel has made a dream come true with him totally sticking that icy tongue down her throat. Also, this issue has Frankenstein monsters, plural. And it is drawn by Bachalo. How can a person not love this? When writer Jason Aaron has his A-game going quality shit like this just seeps out of his pores. Sadly, sometimes we get miserable junk, but right now everyone should be pleased, or coming if they are Iceman fans. Wow, this review was really lewd.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1
When DC did the big re-launch I was worried I would lose this book. Hell, when Nick Spencer went to work exclusively for Marvel we should have lost this book. However, despite the world itself trying to kill this great series it continues to come out and that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy (and that's not the booze). Seriously, Spencer has had a tough time at Marvel I would say. Iron Man 2.0 was cancelled, his gig on Secret Avengers got terrible reviews, the Doctor Doom mini-series was strangled in the crib--never coming out with even the first issue, and every single day Marvel's Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso has to be given a sponge bath, and Spencer was the poor guy who got task while Bendis meanwhile gets to play videogames with Breevort (I'm making that last thing up, maybe). Really, Spencer has been having it rough. That's why I'm happy he shines on this book.

The first six issue of the last T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents were amazing. The last four were pretty good but lacked some of the sheer awesomeness. This is somewhere in between and I don't mind that at all. I really enjoyed this. I hope this book keeps going past this mini-series with Spencer on-board somehow, and I hope Spencer has a better 2012 at Marvel than 2011. I mean seriously, if Axel is bathed everyday how does he get so dirty?
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Some Quick Thoughts.

Hmmm, talk about a Watchmen 2/prequel comics going around the internet? Yeah, I'll believe that when I see it. As for how I feel about one happening? I don't know, if they are done well it could be fun, but

A newly announced X-Men VS Avengers comic that puts the whole Universe at stake? Lately with Marvel I have trouble summoning excitement for any event as they seem to just be going downhill--with Fear Itself being the point where I just gave up and jumped ship mid-way through the series. I actually read more DC now I think since their re-boot, but still go for the Marvel books that I really like due to a character I love being involved (Moon Knight) or the series just being written so damn well (X-Factor).

How the fuck did Newt Gingrich jump to the lead of the Republican polls for President? I mean, his campaign was all but dead and he was a laughingstock...then this? I guess the Republican's really are willing to try anyone before sitting down and realizing it probably has to be Romney, like it or not.

Modern Warfare 3 was quite the game, look for a post that discusses that at some point, along with other random stuff probably. Frankly, I have a few posts ideas I've got half-going and need to wrap up so you all have something to read.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Boy's Club, Videodrome, And A Shoddy Retelling of Luke Cage's Origin

The Boys Are Back--Boy's Club #3 and #4

Matt Furie is a great artist. He has a style that is cartoonish and fun. His series, "Boy's Club," was great in its first two issues, and I was recently able to track down the third and fourth. It's basically just a series about friends that aren't quite human but don't seem to exactly be animals who smoke cannabis and do various crazy shenanigans. The thing is, it is so fun in its, "chill" nature you can't help but enjoy it and just sort of cruise along with the mellow. This series is a good time and you ought to pick up this or any other work by Matt Furie, really.
Seriously, check it!
Boys Club #3 & #4--4 out of 5 Stars.

I Guess T.V. Really Is Bad For You--Videodrome

I recently saw this movie from the 1980s starring none other than James Woods and directed by the always-provides-crazy-imagery David Cronenberg. It is about a sleazy cable T.V. producer who stumbles upon something being broadcast called, "Videodrome," that is pure violence, torture, and murder--and he wants to get in touch with the producers to get this show produced. I'm going to spoil things, but clearly Videodrome is not just a fictional show and people really are being hurt, and the messages the movie imparts about the way television exists in a way where our virtual selves are more real than our flesh selves are even more true today about the internet. It's creepy how much some of the things this movie has to say resonate today.
James Woods looking so young is itself scary.
Speaking of creepy, this movie is also just plain bizarre and twisted. It's at time gruesome, visceral, and a bit unpleasant, but intentionally so. It does drag a bit at points, but overall its a solid film. I've discussed the movie, "Network," before and this is almost sort of a parallel to it, discussing the impact of television on our lives, albeit this movie does it much more darkly and in a way that makes you feel freaked out.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

Well, That Was More Annoying Than Taking Viagria And Trying To Sleep On Your Stomach--Avengers Origins: Luke Cage

You know what I would like? A modern re-telling of the Luke Cage origin story that doesn't have him talking stereotypically, or threatening to kill someone. When did Luke Cage ever plan to kill the guard that caused him to gain his powers? Luke Cage is not bloodthirsty, that's just...ugh. Plus, did I mention how it has him speaking? "This brutha don't need no savin'," sounds like something out of a bad minstrel show. Seriously, Marvel, you build up all this goodwill about Luke Cage--seeing as how he is protrayed pretty well in your comics--and then this comes out and just acts like that drunken loud couple at the party who argue too loudly. At least the art was nice to look at, so I'll give it...
 1 out of 5 stars.

As We Proceed, To Give You What You Need....
I think the moral of this post is people should read more indie comics, Videodrome was a weird movie, and when white guys write black guys you really should make sure they aren't doing it in a way that is annoyingly cliche and stereotypical. I'm just saying, is all.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving has passed.

That was a fun Thanksgiving I would say--even though the holiday is based on a lie considering there was no dinner between Pilgrims and Native Americans, just genocide. Anyways, I swear I will be trying my hardest to get some posts up as I have some pretty good ideas gestating.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Marvel Killing Off Titles--Hrm

Marvel is majorly killing stuff off. Ghost Rider, X-23, Black Panther, and one of my favorites, Daken: Dark Wolverine. This is kind of sad as I enjoyed the last two I listed, hated the first one (Ghost Rider) and was kind of indifferent to X-23. Sigh. Look for more posts about stuff during the week later on hopefully.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Duel of The Two Big New X-Men Comics

Uncanny X-Men #1 VS Wolverine And The X-Men #1

I've read the two big X-men comics that are the main ones of the all-new direction for the line (ignoring the fact that X-Factor will always be doing its own awesome thing). They are quite different in art-style, tone--hell, even coloring (Uncanny X-Men has a bit of a darker hue). Are they both good though, is just one, or is it perhaps the nightmare scenario that neither is particularly impressive? Read on and see what I, a random yokel on the web thinks.

Uncanny X-Men #1
Wolverine And The X-Men came out a week earlier, but I'm going to review this one first, because dammit, it's my blog and I'll do what I want! Why? Because at least here I have control as opposed to at that stupid coffee store where they seem unable to understand I'm lactose-intolerant and when I say I want a soy latte it really has to be soy or there will be stomach trouble...but I digress. This was a cool comic, not as good as the one I'm about to discuss next, but intriguing.

You see, Scott Summers, i.e. Cyclops has become pretty unlike-able, and borderline super-villain. The comic points this out though. Mr. Summers realizes that if these mutants want to be left alone they have to save humankind until people realize they just need the mutants around to keep their little behinds safe. In the meantime, the mutant island of Utopia has to show off that it has weapons of mass destruction in the form of its walking, talking, residents. Essentially, this is a comic of political allegory with Cyclops being a separatist who realizes, "Hell, people hate us, so they might as well fear us so they don't at least wipe us out."

Writer Kieron Gillen has hit upon some neat concepts here and I look forward to seeing where things go. A comic like this is an interesting one for sure and with this political and social angle I'm on board. Oh, and there were some fun moments of levity too, so things were fun now and then.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Wolverine And The X-Men #1
Wolverine is opening his own school to teach mutants. He wants to be accepted by humankind so much New York State has some school board people coming to evaluate the school. He is sooooo no longer cool. Oh, and the art in this is FREAKING AMAZING! Bachalo just kills it with his crazy designs and perspectives, yeah this is just one gorgeous comic that is a feast for the eyes. Also, Jason Aaron isn't too bad either with the writing, giving everything a nice fun tone to match the art. It's just really quite fun.
We're in a new era of X-Men here, symbolized by how Professor X wishes Wolverine well, and I'm quite excited for sure. This was just a masterful comic that was a pure delight to read.
5 out of 5 stars.

In Closing
A 4.5 out of 5 and a 5 out of 5, wow! I quit reading much of the X-Men comics awhile ago, but clearly I'm going to be coming back for some of them now that things are looking so promising in terms of quality story possibilities. Here's hoping for a new grand era of X-Men comics!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Horror Movies, Battlefield 3, And The Quirkiest Comic I've Read

Let Us Begin
It's been a bit since I posted, so sorry if you've been patiently waiting. I hope to actually get a few posts up sooner than later however, so if that works out everyone should be happy.

Anyways, today I'm going to talk about some horror movies I watched and re-watched for Halloween (I always watch scary flicks on that holiday) and how one was bad and one continues to be pretty good. After that I'm going to discuss a game I've been enjoying playing called Battlefield 3 (I've been playing the console version, PS3 to be exact). Lastly, I'm going to discuss one of the quirkier comics lately that I've read, Spaceman #1 by the superstar team of Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso.

Horror and just Horrible
I watched two horror films for Halloween. I viewed for the first time the ninth movie in the Friday The 13th series which is inexplicably named, "Jason Goes to Hell," and, "A New Nightmare." I'd seen the latter a few times and like it quite a bit for reasons that will be discussed, but, "Jason Goes To Hell," was just an utter mess/train-wreck/abomination of a movie.
The movie starts in a way that is actually kind of promising. The idea is that people have wised up to the fact that maybe it would make sense to quit letting this guy with a huge machete keep killing kids and instead just obliterate him. This leads to an opening where Jason is tricked into being utterly shot up by an FBI task force and then blown into pieces. It's pretty cool actually. Sadly, it all goes horribly downhill from there.

You see, apparently Jason can possess people now and after his heart hypnotizes someone into eating it (you read that right) the new Jason sets off to....well, here's where things get quite strange. You see, Jason apparently had a sister we NEVER, EVER heard of in all the other movies, and this one bounty hunter guy knows all this and how to kill Jason for reasons that are NEVER EVER explained because, hey, movies!
For some reason this guy knows everything to advance the plot of the movie. Why? Who knows?
So Jason has to possess this sibling, her daughter, or the daughter's baby. Because the blood of a relative can something-something. The plot makes zero sense, and almost none of the characters are people worth caring about. The movie also tries to be funny at the worst times when this series has not been one for humor...ugh.

How's the violence and gore though for people who like that? Well, there is some violence and such so you get slashing and whatnot. Plus, there is the required T&A with barely-legal teens having sex before Jason of course butchers them (teens never should have sex in horror movies, ever). There isn't anything that clever in terms of how Jason kills people though, like in one of the Friday's where he makes an RV crash. Now that was boss.
Jason--Doesn't Approve of Premarital Sex.
This was a disappointing movie and I wouldn't recommend watching it at all. Now, A New Nightmare is a whole 'nother story. Why? Well, it's sort of the 7th movie but different too as it takes place in the, "real world," as it were. You see, in this movie Wes Craven appears as himself and The Nightmare on Elm Street movies are just that, movies. The man who played Freddy, Robert Englund, is around too just being a nice guy like he is in actual life. The thing is, they are making a new Nightmare on Elm Street movie and weird things have been happening.
Long story short, Freddy is trying to get into the real world and Heather (who played Nancy in the original movie) is pretty much screwed. Then, cool meta-fiction shenanigans ensue and despite a slightly weak ending a good movie is had even with acting that is a bit over-the-top as is standard in horror flicks. This is a bit more mature and grown-up than other horror films though, having talk of concepts of stories that can think instead of showing lots of boobies. It's a good film.
Jason Goes To Hell: 1 out of 5 stars.
A New Nightmare: 4 out of 5 stars.

Good Fun, Just Ditch The Single-Player Mode--Battlefield 3
Gather round young un's and hear the tale of the Battlefield games. They started out on the PC and were good fun. You played in huge areas against a lot of people shooting and running, flying and driving, it was quite a gas. Well, then to compete with the "Modern Warfare" games that everyone loved they made a version of Battlefield that tacked on a single-player mode.

Boy, was that single-player mode God-awful. I mean, I barely made it through much of it even if the story everyone else made fun of looked a little neat to me. The way the enemies just seemed to always know where you were and shoot expertly was unbelievably annoying, and it was no fun at all. Don't worry though, my little ones, there was still multiplayer, and it was a hoot--even with a caveat.

You see, they put the Battlefield 3 on consoles too, and even though PCs with their fancy equipment could run the best graphics and have up to 64 or such players on a map, the consoles could only have 24--I believe. It was okay though, as the developers were smart and adjusted things for this. Now, before it sounds like this era of Battlefield 3 was all peachy-keen, I have to tell you children of something sad. Something dark and evil, a play-pass.

You see, with a Playstation 3 the idea is you can play online for free, but EA in their infinite wisdom didn't want people who bought Battlefield 3 used or rented it to get to play the multiplayer without coughing up some money, so they created an online pass for 9-ish dollars. Yes, it was a twisted, evil thing that stood in the way of getting to the sweet, sweet multiplayer for those of us who didn't want to spend 60 bucks on the game and just wanted to rent it, but life's a bitch and then you die. Don't tell your mother I swore.

Anyways, as you all can see Battlefield 3 was a genuinely fun time to be had, and the time it was out before the new Modern Warfare was an interesting number of weeks. Perhaps sometime I'll tell you kids about what it was like when Modern Warfare came out and the games ended up facing off in the marketplace--as it were. Sometime, but not tonight, get to bed.
4 out of 5 stars.

A Grounded Astronaut--Spaceman #1
From the team that brought you 100 bullets we get a new nine-issue mini-series with a debut issue that just costs one dollar. It's easily worth a dollar, heck, it'll be worth the 3 when its a full series I'd say. Why? Because this is just one interestingly quirky comic. It's not really funny or silly, but its not quite dark and depressing. It's about an interesting future with a man who was made in lab to go to mars and now collects salvage. His name is Orson and he's a nice fellow.

There's also some other interesting plot stuff going on that should make for a cool story and Risso turns in killer art as always while Azzarello does a good job writing with a unique future-slang that seems to be something like today's web-gibberish if people spoke it aloud. It's all really good stuff and I'll be back for a second helping, no doubt.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Shut It Down
To end this post, Horror movies can be awful in a good way or just awful, but they can also be pretty good in general too. Battlefield 3 has some multiplayer fun awaiting those who buy it or are willing to cough up the extra scratch, but avoid the single-player for it unless you just want to more disappointed than a Republican trying to find a Presidential candidate they like who is also actually electable (zing!). Lastly, buy and read Spaceman #1 because it's just a dollar and quite delightful.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mini-Runs Of Daken, Flashbacks To Warren Ellis' Thunderbolts, And iPad Games

I Plan To Visit An Art Show This Friday AKA Today
Yeah, I'm gonna see art tonight. Anyways, let's talk about a comic that has been just plain bonkers in terms of its story. It's been twisty, clever, and just plain delightful to read. It's called, "Daken: Dark Wolverine," and since Rob Williams started writing it some time ago its become just a treat. Speaking of treats, a big trade paperback collecting all of Warren Ellis' work on Thunderbolts came out a bit ago. Do my extremely fond memories hold up with everything put together? Yup, it's still pretty awesome. Then, how about we round things out by discussing some fun iPad games? Yeah, this is an annoyingly positive post. I'll make up for it by trying to get something up sooner than later dripping with my somewhat-usual venom.

Daken Can Be Awesome... 
When Writers Quit Trying To Make Us Think He's Awesome

Daken: Dark Wolverine #12-16
Daniel Way was writing the Daken comic, he was trying his hardest to make Daken look oh-so-cool and snazzy. Yes, Daken is a bad guy, and a scheming fellow. Trying to convince us he is some sort of awesome genuis just gets old though. Then Rob Williams came in and started writing the comic in a, "Why didn't anyone else writing Daken think of this?" way. Namely, he made it so that the comic showed Daken as continuing to think he was just the bee's knees and incredibly cool, but we the reader see how he is a pretty delusional guy with some severe daddy-issues (understandable if your Poppa was Wolverine).

Throughout the issues I randomly decided to review for this we see the end and start of some arcs, but really everything has so far been one big story with everything linking together beautifully. Oh, and did I mention that seeing as how Daken is in LA and Moon Knight is there too in his own comic it only makes sense they would cross paths? Yeah, one of my favorite heroes is in this comic too.

What has the plot been? Well, you could start with the "#.1" issue that actually successfully told a single tale and set up the current status-quo and go from there without me spoiling things...but basically Daken is trying to become a big-time Kingpin of LA while also figuring out who a mysterious serial killer is that is murdering people with claws. There is also a borderline-insane FBI agent helping him out when she isn't trying to take him down. Plus Moon Knight, Moon Knight is always good.

This series is great, and it says something that I dropped my Wolverine books during my purge of numerous Marvel books but kept this. Buy it, read it, love it.
4.5 out of 5 stars (for all the issues).

Flashback Friday: Warren Ellis' Thunderbolts

Thunderbolts: Ultimate Collection
There was the Marvel Civil War event where heroes fought heroes about having to reveal their identities and blah, blah, blah. The interesting thing is that Warren Ellis came onto a comic called Thunderbolts and took the idea that some villains would have registered as "heroes" and what it would have been like as the media tried to make them look good whilst they of course crumbled from the inside-out. It was an amazing 12 issues that took forever to come out due to delays that resulted in little one-shots by various other authors using the team on fun little missions--but Ellis was where it was at.

Ellis writing of crazy-people (and the craziest of all, Norman Osborn) combined with Mike Deodato working his hardest to turn in stellar art made just a plain great comic about what exactly heroism is, propaganda, nationalism, and of course really cool fight scenes. It was just plain fantabulous.
5 out of 5 stars

iPad Games AKA Wasting Time When You Should Be Working

I enjoy playing games on my iPad, occasionally I find some fun games worth sharing my thoughts about. Let us discuss. Oh, and note some/most of these can be done on your iPhone too, etc. etc.

Anomaly Warzone Earth
It's available on computers too, but the iPad version is just so fun! We all know "tower defense" games where you build up defenses to fight off attackers, but what about a "tower offense" game where you are those attackers? Yeah, now we're talking! This game is good fun and not too costly so I'd recommend grabbing it!
4 out of 5 stars.

Dark Meadow
Everyone has been talking about this game like its the next "Infinity Blade" and it is quite fun and good. I haven't beaten it yet so depending on how much the story pays off my score is a bit iffy. I'm enjoying myself, but if I feel let down at the conclusion, well pffft.
3.5-4 out of 5 stars depending on how well the tale ends.

A fun little shooter where you take cover and fire your gun. Think Gears of War but more basic and with a really silly story but pretty good voice-acting. It's a decent time-killer.
3 out of 5 stars.

Where's My Water?
It's really cute and actually pretty challenging. You try to guide water around to assist an alligator in getting some much-needed showering done. Last I checked this was dirt cheap, and again, quite entertaining.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

That's all for now, those should tide you over pretty well though.

To Conclude
You should be reading Daken: Dark Wolverine, Warren Ellis did a great job on Thunderbolts, and the iPad is a fun way to play games even if you have an iPad 1 like me and can't do all the fancy graphics.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Get Behind Me Satan, I'll Protect You AKA The Ides Of March, Old City Blues, An Indie Horror Movie, And Alpha Flight

Overview Of The World
I have seen "The Ides of March", read a fun original graphic novel in the form of "Old City Blues", and have thoughts comparing the comic "Alpha Flight" to a small-time horror film that John Carpenter did for one of those pay-cable channels that have late-night scare-flicks called, "Pro-Life". Let us begin the most random post ever.

Politics Can Be Sleazy, Who Knew?
The newest George-Clooney-directed film, "The Ides Of March" was seen by me recently. I don't won't to spoil too much, so I'll say about the same as the trailers give away: Politics is a sleazy business, and the character played by Ryan Gosling is an extremely skilled person in the field who everyone wants to hire. Various shenanigans and issues take place, trouble occurs, some twists happen, and all-in-all a good movie is had where there aren't really any good guys, just people acting in their own best interest while thinking they are the good guys. The acting is marvelous and its a good and solid film that while not perfect, is still worth seeing.
4 out of 5 stars.

A Comic That Looks Manga-Ish, 
Taking Place In Greece, 
Done By An American Author, 
Old City Blues is a cool-looking book. The book itself is not too big, is an interesting yellow with black text and images, and of course the inside is pretty snazzy also. Author Giannis Milonogiannis draws in an interesting style, that has a slight Manga look, but with a rough scratchy-style that can be abstract or hyper-detailed. I really like his art, to put it simply.

The story isn't anything too crazy or unique, with ideas about robots and the human mind that Warren Ellis probably mumbles about in his sleep, but man, is that art nice. It's a good time, pick it up.
4 out of 5 stars.

Alpha Flight And Horror Flicks
A bit ago it was announced the comic "Alpha Flight" was going to become an ongoing series. This is great news as it is an awesome comic, and this is probably the one thing coming out of "Fear Itself" that I give a rat's ass about. I stopped reading "Fear Itself" and any comics that tied into it pretty much a bit ago. "Alpha Flight" launched out of "Fear Itself" and was the one great thing to come out of that. I can sort of draw a comparison between it and the small-budget horror movie done by director John Carpenter known as, "Pro-Life".

What is "Pro-Life"? It was a really low-budget horror flick about a girl who was pregnant with a baby that she had conceived upon being raped by a devil. The thing is, her dad's character is a huge anti-abortion nut who keeps hearing messages that the baby is special, so when she goes to a clinic to have the procedure, her Pop comes to stop it, and blood and gore ensue.

It was a silly movie with a somewhat interesting message, and it starred a whole bunch of people you would have never heard of except for who they got to play the Dad. Inexplicably, a B-list star popped up in this movie doing such a good job he blew everyone else out of the water making you go, "Did this guy owe Carpenter a favor  or maybe he just liked the idea of the movie?" Who was it? A man who does many great voice-overs and is ironically best known for playing the devil known as Hellboy, Ron Perlman.
How does any of this relate to "Alpha Flight" and "Fear Itself" you may be asking? My response is, "Isn't it obvious?" With "Fear Itself" you have a writer who people have loved in the form of Matt Fraction reduced to doing something as lame as "Fear Itself". You have a former huge director in the form of Carpenter doing a midnight movie on a pay-cable channel, they could probably have a beer and bitch about life together. "Fear Itself" was pretty lame but in it there was the one shining jewel of "Alpha Flight"--a comic making the best of things and doing a much better job than it had to. In "Pro-Life" we have Ron Perlman showing-up everyone else and making everything much better than you would have imagined. Ron Perlman is "Alpha Flight" and the "Pro-Life" movie is the "Fear Itself" event. 

I am probably the only person crazy enough to draw this comparison, but I see it, and I also wanted an excuse to talk about a comic I like and a weird horror flick that admittedly made me smile as a pro-choice person to see Ron Perlman display how some pro-life people probably would act if they could get away with it (violently toward the pro-choice people they hate). NOTE: Not all pro-life people are like this, I know that, but those who are make the rest of you look pretty bad.

Anyways, if you have Netflix or something check out "Pro-Life" just for Ron Perlman or if you are a fan of Carpenter's work as I am. Oh, and definitely start reading Alpha Flight, the most recent fifth issue was just as good as the others.
Pro-Life (Movie Itself): 2 out of 5 stars
Pro-Life (Ron Perlman's Performance): 4 out of 5 stars
Alpha Flight #5: 4 out of 5 stars.

UPDATE: No sooner I said it than it changed, Alpha Flight went from being a mini-series, to becoming an ongoing, to getting downgraded back down and getting canceled with issue eight. Ain't that a kick in the pants?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Now That It's Had A Few Days To Sink In--Thoughts On The Avengers Trailer

The Avengers trailer has been blowing up the internet airwaves and by now pretty much everyone with a pulse and a web connection has seen it. Just in case you haven't, here it is:

 Seen it? Good? Let's share my thoughts because I know you really care what some random guy on the internet thinks.

Putting aside my inner-fanboy who is screaming, "OhmiGod, Avengers, YES YES YES!" and looking at this trailer objectively, it's...pretty good. A 4 out of 5 stars if you will. Why is it not perfect? I find that even though Robert Downey Jr. is awesome as Iron Man the trailer seems to rely on him too much to a point the movie starts to look like, "Iron Man and his Avengers friends." Then again, with Downey's great acting skills he may very well overshadow some of the other admittedly excellent cast (except possibly Samuel L. Jackson, because Jackson just owns the screen usually). Let's share more thoughts!

The trailer shows us the big-bad will be Loki, but I would bet you a box of your favorite candy that he will have help from some other popular Marvel Universe characters to create some kind of cool huge threat. Skrulls perhaps? Thanos, even, if we're getting really nerdy? We have quite awhile before May 2012 so I imagine soon enough more will be known. I just hope the movie isn't too much outright spoiled for me before I'm able to sit down at the theaters and enjoy it.

The trailer also gives us a brief glimpse of the Hulk, and the new actor playing Bruce Banner, Mr. Mark Ruffalo. I like Ruffalo, he is fighting against the hydro-fracking that in my home-area of New York could potentially cause a hell of a lot of problems, and from what I've heard he's a genuinely nice guy in real life. I say all this, because its sad a nice guy like him has to put up with the slight discomfort of how he is taking over for Edward Norton and is sort of the "alternate". He's the runner-up who got to be Miss America when the main Miss America was revealed as having nude photos. He's the winner now, but it's kind of bittersweet. Then again, with movie technology maybe Marvel will re-release the Hulk with Ruffalo digitally put in the film instead of Norton. Now that'd be interesting.

Isn't it cool how Jeremy Renner is Hawkeye? He had that little cameo in Thor but getting a solid look at him is nice. He's a good actor too and seeing someone with indie-movie cred (Hurt Locker, for example) in a big film is neat.

Speaking of indie-cred. Who would have ever thought the guy who had a cute little show about a girl that slays vampires, did a cult hit sci-fi program that sadly died quickly, and created a hilariously-dark web-show about a man named Dr. Horrible would be directing what could arguably be one of the biggest name movies of 2012? Seriously, who would have predicted Joss Whedon had that coming in his career? Plus, say what you will about the man, he writes good dialogue so at least Avengers will have some nice interplay between the characters for sure.

I hope this movie has a nice self-contained feeling and doesn't just feel like a trailer for the upcoming Thor 2, Iron Man 3, Captain America 2, inevitable S.H.I.E.L.D. movie, etc. I was cool with the latest releases kind of building up to Avengers, but Avengers better feel like its own film. I'll be okay with a little teaser after the credits that sets up whatever comes next, but this better feel like a complete movie, a culmination of sorts.

Anyways, there are my thoughts, its a quite nice trailer, and I am of course excited for the movie May 2012 should be great, between the movie and my birthday being in that month too!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Funny-Yet-Sad Film, DC Comics, And The Most Unpleasant Movie I've Seen In Awhile

Crack Of Dawn
I shall share my thoughts on the drama-comedy 50-50, three DC comics which have their second issue coming out today, and my lack of being impressed or disgusted by Human Centipede 2 so much as just finding it to be kind of miserable.

Finding The Humor In Cancer AKA 50-50
The movie 50-50 has some really funny moments, but I would not say its a comedy. No, its really much more of a drama that has some great humor. First person to say the word, "Dramedy" gets cut as I hate that word. You ought to see this movie so I won't spoil much--as I went in with minimal knowledge myself and found that made it all the more enjoyable. Basically, the character played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who has really grown into a great actor) is really young but develops cancer which he has a 50% chance of surviving. Through various trials and tribulations that sometimes involve his funny friend played by Seth Rogen we as an audience laugh, we feel sad, and most of all we actually see a movie that realizes you can actually write interesting characters instead of cliches to make a good film.

The film is well acted and Anna Kendrick does a great job in it too as the therapist for Levitt's character. I liked this film and as I said, you ought to see it.
4 out of 5 stars.

"You Gotta Learn To Upgrade With The Rest Of Us" 

That title is a quote from, "Frankenstein, Agent of Shade #1," which is quite the zany comic if I've ever read one. I mean, it is probably the craziest thing DC is putting out of their new 52 comics and writer Jeff Lemire is clearly having fun. I wonder if all the DC comics, "upgraded" like this some of the complaints lobbed at DC about not doing enough with their reboot wouldn't have been made. It's a fun and zany comic, but out of all the DC comics that have been released Batwoman #1 is by far the most gorgeous even if the plot isn't super-amazing. Seriously though, JH Williams III makes such crazy-good art.

Resurrection Man is a pretty good comic too, looking snazzy and reading in an interesting way with some kind of war between heaven and hell with our titular hero caught unwittingly in the middle of it all. All three of these comics were pretty enjoyable and I look forward to their new issues coming out today.
Frankenstein: Agent Of Shade #1: 4 out of 5 stars.
Batwoman #1: 4.5 out of 5 stars (because it just looks so good).
Resurrection Man #1: 4 out of 5 stars.

That was pretty lame AKA The Human Centipede 2
So I saw The Human Centipede 2 at a midnight showing at the local indie theater that does zany films late at night. I was not impressed. The whole torture-flick-type-genre normally isn't my thing, but people had been saying how it was so shocking and that I just had to see I did. To be honest the movie doesn't get horribly gross until the last 25 minutes when all the gore and other nasty stuff goes into overdrive, before that the movie almost seems like it could be a bit interesting.

I say almost as it kind of has this message going about this creepy little man that you would never suspect is so twisted for wanting to recreate the movie the Human Centipede. It's like there is a message about how there is always more to people than meets the eye. Oh, that's the one other clever thing in the movie, that it takes place the "real" world where someone is obsessed with the original movie. That meta-element is kind of neat, and the whole creepy-little-man thing is slightly interesting, but the movie never does too much with it. Instead of focusing on the idea of what kind of person would be so crazy as to want to recreate a gross horror movie, The Human Centipede 2 instead just embraces the gross-out value of when he actually does so.

There isn't really a message to the movie, it just gets more and more gross and over-the-top to a point where it is pretty much a parody of itself and torture movies--but that would be giving it too much credit to think that such a thing were intentional. This movie wants to be shocking but I wasn't so much shocked as just finding it nasty and absurd.

Those slight interesting bits save this movie from being utter dreck, but the whole thing was still just an unpleasant experience I wouldn't recommend unless you really have a thing for gross-out torture-movies.
1 out of 5 stars.

Summarizing Thangs
50-50 is a good movie worth seeing, DC has some quality comics that either have a really wacky story, incredible art, or are just all-around solid, and The Human Centipede 2 is a movie you can safely skip even if people tell you its supposedly so shocking and such.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Rant-Reviews--An Avalanche Of Comics Part 2

Even more comics to become buried in.

Batman #1
David Brother's of the 4thletter recently had a post in which he pointed out how he thought Scott Snyder had a "tick" in the sense of always having characters talk about how, "once my dad told me such an such." At the time I thought maybe Brothers was being too hard on Snyder, it wasn't like he did all the time. Then, I open up this issue of Batman #1 and am enjoying it when suddenly I come to a scene where Bruce Wayne is delivering a speech and just has to mention how, "Once my father told me..." At this point all I can do is admit that David Brothers pretty much is always right. Other than that its a good comic, but seriously? I mean, Snyder does this in both the first issue of Swamp Thing and Batman? Scott Snyder must really hate his mother or love his poppa considering how little his comic characters ever talk about the former and how much they do about the latter.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

Green Lantern #1
This is odd, the issue says its the first but it pretty much is directly continuing the story from the old Green Lantern comics with the exact same creative team. I suppose I don't mind as it was a decent comic and all, but anyone who actually goes into this comic expecting a fresh start like some of the DC first-issue floppies is going to be sorely confused. I suppose Geoff Johns just wields enough power at DC they give him whatever he wants, even if it is a bath of blood made from puppies. That's right, Geoff Johns bathes in puppy blood, how else do you think he writes comics that sell so many copies?
3 out of 5 stars.

Captain Atom #1
Dear God, J.T. Krul wrote a comic I actually enjoyed. True, it was kind of silly and pointless pap that I can't even remember the plot of, but the fact I didn't hate it or find it mediocre is a step up for ol' Krully. That is what I call him now, by the way. To his face. When I camp outside his house and throw rotten eggs at him for writing  that Arsenal mini-series.
3 out of 5 stars.

Secret Avengers #17
Warren Ellis writes some cool sci-fi concepts, Kev Walker illustrates them well, there's a bit of a downer twist-ending and this all is resolved in one issue instead of being stretched out for some ungodly arc. Yeah, I actually don't mind that Marvel charged me $3.99 for this.
4 out of 5 stars.

Moon Knight #6
Alright, this I kind of mind Marvel bending me over a barrel and charging me $3.99 for. True, I will buy a Moon Knight comic no matter what because I love Moon Knight, but this issue was pretty much just Marc Spector and some folk chatting, and a mysterious villain with the oddest fashion sense talking and then doing...something, I guess. I had a fun time, I suppose. It was sort of like going to carnival and eating so many funnel cakes you throw up. You have fun in the process, but in the end just feel empty.
3 out of 5 stars.

Grifter #1
Am I the only one who inexplicably kind of got a "LOST" feeling from this? No, I don't mean lost as in confused, I mean like the television show. It has a blonde and smarmy con man, it has weird mysteries, it jumps back in time, and there is mayhem with a plane. There are creepy space-aliens too and even though I'm not completely sold on this series it took awhile for LOST to get going so why not give this a chance too?
3 out of 5 stars.

Deadpool #44
That was a pretty anti-climatic way to end the story-line about the lady who was obsessed with Deadpool. It was like taking a girl home, getting all excited, and kissing on her, and then she suddenly announces she needs to leave, picks up her coat and takes off. Hell, story of my life, except it isn't so much that they "suddenly" do it as they "always" do once they realize I'm not actually an heir to the Quaker Oats fortune like I claimed to get them to at least come to my place. What? Don't act like you're better then me, you'd do it to if you had thought of it first.
2 out of 5 stars.

Supreme Power #4
Kyle Higgins seems to cram 3 issues worth of material into one issue here, but he does a good job taking a series that was all but dead after Straczynski suddenly left it and trying to give us some form of closure with at least at least a couple of the characters. It was quite good even if it had to be rushed worse than a car full of pregnant women going to the hospital. Pregnant women with bombs attached to the unborn fetus so it has to be born before midnight or everyone dies. Yeah, that sounds stupid, but you know a writer like Mark Millar would love that idea.
4 out of 5 stars.

There we go, more comics than you can shake a stick at. Why you would be shaking a stick at a pile of comics I have no clue, you're the obviously delusional one.