Collected Comic Review - Doctor Strange: Into Shamballa

Doctor Strange: Into Shamballa - Marvel Graphic Novel (1982) #23

Prior to last fall, I really hadn't read much Doctor Strange (just Roger Stern and Mike Mignola's Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment, Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin's Doctor Strange: The Oath, and the recently finished Jason Aaron/Chris Bachalo run on the title).  I thoroughly enjoyed all of those, and as more collected material was released leading up to last November's film, I found myself picking up and reading more and more of the Sorcerer Supreme's adventures.  The one story that was always given overwhelming praise was Into Shamballa.  The only problem being that it was an OGN (original graphic novel) from the Marvel Graphic Novel line of the early 1980's that has never been reprinted.  I scoured the web, never feeling comfortable dropping the kind of cash being asked for the available copies I came across.  As a result, Into Shamballa took up residence on the 'in my …

Review - Cars 3

Cars 3 (2017), G, 109 minutes - Over the years, Disney/Pixar has proven to be the cream of the crop when it comes to animated films.  While I would argue that Pixar's overall library ranks above-average to excellent, there have been a couple of missteps in recent years.  This film's predecessor, 2011's Cars 2, being one of them.  That film suffered from its attempt at making Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), a wonderful supporting character, into the star of the film. Cars 3 returns Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) to the spotlight, and rights the ship for one of Pixar's most recognizable franchises.

Over the years, Lightning McQueen has risen to dominance of the Piston Cup circuit.  More often than not, either he or one of his buddies takes home the checkered flag, with the winner enjoying the spoils, and the others taking pride in playing pranks on the winner.  One day seemingly out of the blue a rookie, Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer), takes the field by surprise and begins …

Review - Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman (2017), PG-13, 141 minutes - Anticipation for this film has steadily increased over the past year, since the world first got a glimpse of Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, an appearance of limited screen time that was arguably the highlight of the film. As superhero films have risen to box office dominance over the last seventeen years, there has not yet been a female led superhero film released. That all changed this past weekend with this film directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gadot (reprising her role from Batman v Superman). Wonder Woman is a breath of fresh air for the DCEU (DC Extended Universe) and has already broken box office records.

Wonder Woman uses a present day sequence (that loosely ties into existing DCEU continuity) to frame Diana's (Gadot) origin story, which is told via a World War I era flashback.  Diana grows up as an inquisitive, rebellious youth on the secluded, Amazon-inhabited, island of Themyscira, vei…

Collected Comic Review - Wonder Woman by George Perez Omnibus Vol. 2

Wonder Woman by George Perez Omnibus Vol. 2 - Collecting Wonder Woman (1987) #25-45, Annual #2

DC picked the perfect time to release the second omnibus volume of George Perez's classic Wonder Woman run: just a couple weeks before this weekend's release of the live-action Wonder Woman film.  Having recently burned through the first volume, I was eager to continue reading Perez's tales of Princess Diana of Themyscira's adventures.  Admittedly I had a small concern of the potential for a let down compared to the first volume as I enjoyed it so much.  It only took a handful of issues for me to realize that I had had nothing to worry about.

This volume picks up with issue twenty five, the point in the series where Perez transitioned from writing and penciling to 'just' writing.  To be honest, this is what caused my trepidation in regards to this volume.  The first volume opened my eyes to just how great his artwork can be and I was afraid that this volume may suffer …

Review - Alien: Covenant

Alien: Covenant (2017), R, 122 minutes - With Alien: Covenant, director Ridley Scott gives us the second prequel film to the horror franchise he launched nearly forty years ago.  Covenant takes place ten years after the events of 2012's Prometheus, a rapidly anticipated film, that didn't quite seem to live up to the public's lofty expectations.

Covenant opens with a quiet scene that takes place long before the events of Prometheus between Peter Weyland (Guy Pierce) and his newly created synthetic David (Michael Fassbender).  The scene acts as a summary of that film's events (man's search for their creator) as well as a prologue for this film.  We then begin following the Covenant, a colonization vessel on course for Origae-6 carrying a crew of around fourteen members (all couples), two thousand would-be-colonists, over a thousand human embryos, and the latest model Weyland synthetic Walter (also Michael Fassbender).  Their mission is to colonize Origae-6 upon arriv…

Official Nerd in the 'Noke Logo!

I've been toying with the idea of having a logo created for the blog for a year or two now.  Today, after a couple months of work-shopping ideas and designs with friend and local artist Josh Ginter, I'm unveiling the official Nerd in the 'Noke logo!

I'm really happy with the design that Josh came up with based on my initial scribble on a sticky note and a little consultation.  I'm excited to have a more official 'face' for the blog and hope to be able to use this in a number of places moving forward.  Please take the time to check out Josh's work on Instagram and on Facebook.  
Along with the logo, I now have a new Instagram account of my own (yeah, yeah, late to the party), so be sure to follow nerdinthenoke there as well!

Collected Comic Review - Wonder Woman by George Perez Omnibus Vol. 1

Wonder Woman by George Perez Omnibus Vol. 1 - Collecting Wonder Woman (1987) #1-24, Annual #1

With the Wonder Woman film coming out in a few short weeks, and the second omnibus volume of this run coming out this week, I couldn't think of a better time to share my thoughts on this beautiful collection.  I am by no means an expert on Princess Diana of Themyscira but like many others my age, I have been a casual fan of the character since childhood (thank you Lynda Carter).  Prior to this volume I had never read much of her seventy five years worth of comic book history aside from the two Greg Rucka runs (early 2000's, DC's current Rebirth era), and the Brian Azzarello run from the New 52 (2011).  I had always heard that George Perez's work from the mid-80's may be the best Wonder Woman run out there, so when this book first crossed my radar late last year (about a year after its release), I felt like I owed it to myself to check it out.

Perez has long been considered…