Indie Comic Preview - Dead End Kids [2019] #3

Dead End Kids [2019] #3 - (W) Frank Gogol, (A/C) Nenad Cviticanin, (L) Sean Rinehart, (CA) Criss Madd

This is the story of four friends...
...and what happened when one of them was murdered.
Like most stories, it gets worse before it gets better.
Much worse.
I wish I could say everything worked out in the end...
But life's not a fucking fairytale.

This is how Frank Gogol opens the final chapter of Dead End Kids (out this coming Wednesday, 9/25).  Not only is he up front about what's about to follow, he's downright blatant about it: this tale that is part Goonies, part Stand by Me but set at the turn of the century, will not end well.  The thing is, that even despite his explicit warning, you're still not ready for the emotional punch to the gut that he and his co-conspirator Nenad Cviticanin are about to deliver over the closing pages of the series.

This really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has been picking up Dead End Kids (or to those who have read Frank&#…

Indie Comic Preview - Going to the Chapel [2019] #1

Going to the Chapel [2019] #1 - (W) David Pepose, (A) Gavin Guidry, (C) Liz Kramer, (L) Ariana Maher with Colin Bell, (CA) Lisa Sterle, Maan House, and Gavin Guidry.

It always drives me crazy when I recognize a creator's name, but can't for the life of me place it.  When that happens to me, it generally means that something they've worked on has made its way onto my ever-growing "to read" list, but that I haven't actually gotten to it yet.  It turns from maddening to embarrassing when you receive a message from a creator asking if you'd like to give their new series an advance look and you realize that one of their previous titles is on said list, but after two years, still remains unread.  Such was my embarrassment when David Pepose reached out about his upcoming mini-series, Going to the Chapel from publisher Action Lab: Danger Zone.

The four issue mini-series opens with Emily Anderson preparing to walk down the aisle to wed architect Jesse Moore, with …

Indie Comic Preview - Dead End Kids [2019] #2

Dead End Kids [2019] #2 - (W) Frank Gogol, (A/C) Nenad Cviticanin, (L) Sean Rinehart, (CA) Criss Madd

I'm trying to figure out if I have the time to try to keep up with quick single issue reviews or if anyone even finds them beneficial at all.  Fortunately for me, Dead End Kids (Source Point Press) is just three issues - and great ones at that - so it is providing me with a nice little trial run.

The first issue of Dead End Kids came out just two weeks ago and was very well received, having sold out at the distributor level days before it's actual release.  For those who missed it, the good news is that there's been enough interest in the issue that it is going back to print.  If you're one of those who couldn't get your hands on a copy the first time around be sure to let your LCS know so you can catch the second printing (order info below).

I'll try to jump right in and keep it short and sweet as to not spoil anything.  With a single issue review you certainl…

Comic Book Review - Daredevil by Chip Zdarsky TPB Vol. 1: Know Fear (Zdarsky/Checchetto)

Daredevil by Chip Zdarsky TPB Vol. 1: Know Fear - Collecting Daredevil (2019) #1-5.

With his run on Daredevil, Chip Zdarsky has said that he wanted to lean into the dark and gritty tendencies of the character as opposed to a more lighthearted tone, which he has come to be known for from his work on titles such as Sex Criminals (which he drew), Howard the Duck, and Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man.  He has certainly achieved that goal in Know Fear, his first arc on everyone's favorite Hell's Kitchen resident.

This arc kicks off the latest volume of Daredevil (the sixth overall), and is a great place to jump on the book if you haven't paid attention to the character in recent years.  It picks up after the events of both Charles Soule's run that preceded it and the Man Without Fear: The Death of Daredevil mini-series by Jed MacKay (obviously Daredevil is not actually dead, but the mini does act as a nice bridge between the Soule and Zdarsky runs).  Zdarsky does a …

Indie Comic Preview - Dead End Kids [2019] #1

Dead End Kids [2019] #1 - (W) Frank Gogol, (A/C) Nenad Cviticanin, (CA) Criss Madd, (L) Sean Rinehart.

Some followers of this blog may remember my review for Frank Gogol's first published work last summer, the well received anthology collection GRIEF. Over the past year, he's been building on the success of GRIEF, crushing the con circuit, and developing new idea after new idea.  As a result, beginning in July, Source Point Press will be releasing his first mini-series: Dead End Kids  (the official announcement of which was made in March at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo - C2E2).

I don't generally review single issues - it's much tougher to discuss a single chapter of a story without spoiling it - but when Frank reached out and asked if I'd like to read an advance copy of Dead End Kids #1 and I thought it would be fun to do something a little different (full disclosure: I 'met' Frank Gogol through a comics-centric Facebook group a little over a…

Film Review - Shazam!

Shazam! (2019), PG-13, 2 h 12min - Shazam! has been out for a couple of weeks now (not including the early preview weekend), and after being delayed by much needed yard work, I was finally able to check it out last weekend.  I haven't had much time to work on my review, but I did want to get something written up on it so I apologize in advance for this being short and sweet.

I have very little prior experience and knowledge of the character.  As a matter of fact, the only Shazam! material I had read before seeing the movie was the story arc that Geoff Johns and Gary Frank did as backup features in Justice League during DC's New 52 era, and the first couple of issues of Johns' current run on the title with Dale Eaglesham.  Which actually turned out to be fortunate, as this film takes a lot of inspiration from Johns' take on Billy Batson and family.

Billy (Asher Angel) is an orphan who has bounced around from group home to foster family and back over and over as he searc…

Film Review - How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019), PG, 1h 44 min - The third installment of the How to Train Your Dragon franchise has been out for a few weeks already and while I saw it myself a week or two back, I've been dragging my feet a bit in regards to getting my review together.  You see, my review for the original How to Train Your Dragon (2010) was the first post I ever made to this blog.  That just so happened to have been nine years ago this week (April 10th to be exact).  So I couldn't help but sandbag a little and make this a 9th Anniversary post of sorts.

The Hidden World continues to follow the life and adventures of the inhabitants of Berk, a viking settlement that has embraced dragons and given them a safe haven after having been feared and hunted for years.  Their outlook and appreciation for dragons has changed dramatically over the series of films.  If you have not seen the first two movies, I highly recommend that you do so before going into this film.  …

Film Review - Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel (2019), PG-13, 2h 4min - I saw this film a couple weeks back on opening weekend, but a crazy schedule has kept me from getting this review together and posted until now.  At this point, most everyone with any interest in it has likely seen it as it has dominated the box office over the last two weeks.  Captain Marvel is the twenty-first entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and more importantly, is the first focused on a female lead.  It also happens to be the first MCU film that acts as a prequel as opposed to continuing the current timeline.

Captain Marvel is set in the late 1990's and introduces us to Vers/Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), a Kree warrior who finds herself on Earth while in pursuit of fleeing Skrulls (alien shapes-hifters) after her unit's mission - to rescue a Kree asset before it falls into the hands of the Skrulls - falls apart.  Once on Earth, she begins regaining slivers of memories, leading her to question her experiences as well as…

Daredevil by Charles Soule GIVE AWAY! (ENDED 2/2/19)

If you've followed this blog space at all over the last year and a half or so, you know that I've been a huge supporter of Charles Soule's recently completed Daredevil run.  The eighth and final trade paperback was released this past week, so now that it has been collected in its entirety I thought I'd try and do something fun in an effort to spread the love.

Since Marvel has not seen fit to collect this excellent run in a nicer format a la hardcover or omnibus (yet - fingers crossed...while we're at it #OmnibizeSoulesDD Marvel!), I am going to give away one complete set of Charles Soule's DD trade paperbacks (Vol. 1-8), including the Daredevil/Punisher: Seventh Circle mini-series which was also written by Soule.  That makes the give away a total of NINE trade paperbacks (pictured above)!  If you're not sure what the run entails and/or if you'd even be interested in it, click the links below to see my fairly spoiler-free reviews (I have not done a revi…

Collected Comic Review - Daredevil: Back in Black TPB Vol. 7 (Soule)

Daredevil: Back in Black Vol. 7 - Mayor Murdock - Collecting Daredevil (1964) #601-605.

Since Marvel has not yet seen fit to give Charles Soule's excellent, recently completed Daredevil run the oversize hardcover/omnibus treatment yet, I feel compelled to continue my series of reviews for the trade paperback collections (the previous entries can be found here, here and here).  Volume 7 just came out a couple weeks back and includes one of my favorite arcs from Soule's run: Mayor Murdock.

I won't get into too many story specifics as the title of this volume itself is a bit of a spoiler for events from the end of Volume 6.  With Mayor Fisk incapacitated and The Hand descending upon New York, a little known order of succession change made by Fisk's predecessor puts the Mayor-ship of New York in the hands of Matt Murdock!  Can the Man Without Fear save his beloved city from one (or is that two?) of his fiercest enemies?  And can he do so without revealing his recently rega…