Review - Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), PG-13, 1h 58min - Much like its predecessor Ant-Man (2015), Ant-Man and the Wasp is the rare MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) film that I wasn't counting down the days to.  That's not to say that I didn't want to see it, I just wasn't nearly as stoked for it as I usually am for a Marvel Studios release (especially coming on the heels of Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War).  However, just like Ant-Man before it, I found this film to be one of the most fun MCU installments to date.

Ant-Man and the Wasp follows the events of both Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War, and precedes the events of this year's Infinity War.  Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is serving his final days of house arrest after his involvement in Civil War and is trying to get his security consultant business - X-Con Security - off the ground with fellow ex-con associates Luis (Michael Peña), Dave (Tip 'T.I.' Harris), and Kurt (David Dastmalchian).  Meanwhile Hop…

Review - Incredibles 2

Incredibles 2 (2018), PG, 1h 58min - I haven't had the opportunity to get out to many movies recently, but on the Fourth of July holiday I was able to check out my most anticipated Pixar sequel to date: Incredibles 2.  The original Incredibles (2004) is probably my favorite Disney/Pixar film and the story lent itself so perfectly to a sequel that it's been a little frustrating that it has taken fourteen years for this follow up to come to fruition while other Disney/Pixar franchises have churned out multiple sequels over that same time.

Incredibles 2 takes place not too long after the events of The Incredibles, with The Parr family - Bob/Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), Helen/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner), and Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile) - trying to adapt to 'normal' family life as superhero activity is still illegal (despite the Parr's heroics at the end of the first film).  Bob and Helen are working undercover for a government d…

Collected Comic Review - Dakota North: Design for Dying TPB

Dakota North: Design for Dying TPB (2018) - Collecting Dakota North (1986) #1-5, Web of Spider-Man (1985) #37, Power Pack (1984) #46, Daredevil (1998) #107-110, and material from Marvel Super-Heroes (1990) #3, The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Update '89 (1989) #5, Marvel Age (1983) #40 and Marvel Age (1983) Annual #2.

If may be asking yourself "who the hell is Dakota North?", especially if you haven't read the Ed Brubaker/Michael Lark run on Daredevil.  If you have read that excellent run, then you already know that Dakota North is a bad-ass, head strong, private investigator.  Think Jessica Jones without the self-loathing or super powers (and created fifteen years earlier).  She has ties to the worlds of both fashion and intelligence, having previously been a model and having a CIA agent of a father (the former being an original character trait from the mid-80's that is much less relevant these days).

Ed Brubaker plucked her from Marvel's archiv…

Review - Luke Cage (Netflix), Season 2

Luke Cage (2016), Season 2, TV-MA, 13 episodes - It seems as though season 2 of Luke Cage snuck up on the world.  I'm not sure if it is due to the lack of promotional hype leading up to its release last weekend or if it has just been overshadowed by all of the talk of the impending Disney acquisition of Fox.  Whatever the reason, it's unfortunate because this second season is even stronger than the first.

Season 2 takes place not long after the events of The Defenders.  Luke (Mike Colter) has become a local celebrity thanks to his actions in protecting/helping those around Harlem.  There's even a crowd-sourced app that shows people where Luke Cage has been spotted!  Although that's not always necessary as everyone knows that Luke is operating out of Pop's old barber shop.  Bobby Fish (Ron Cephus Jones) is functioning as Luke's manager, negotiating endorsement deals in order to cover the shop's rent, and D.W. (Jeremiah Craft) has appointed himself as Luke…

Collected Comic Review - GRIEF: stories by Frank Gogol

GRIEF: stories by Frank Gogol - I have a confession to make: despite my love of comics, until very recently (we're talking the last month and a half or so), I have not been very successful in supporting indie comics.  Caveat: I personally don't consider titles from Image independent comics.  Sure they are all creator owned properties, but Image is more than the big fish in the small indie pond, they're more like the the kid who has graduated from the kid's table at family gatherings.  And that is my long way of introducing this collection of stories by Frank Gogol from Comics Experience and Source Point Press.

You may be wondering how I came upon such a book since I'm not an avid proponent of indie titles.  Well, I'm actually an (internet) acquaintance of Frank's thanks to The Omnibus Collector's Comic Swap and Community group on Facebook.  This project of his began as a Kickstarter campaign last year (which I missed out on) but I have followed its prog…

Review - Solo: A Star Wars Story

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), PG-13, 2h 15min - Of all of the Star Wars films to date (of which this is the tenth overall, and second anthology entry), this was easily the one that I was the least excited about (yes, that includes the prequel trilogy when they first hit theaters). I liked the premise: a Han Solo origin story, but the film encountered a number of obstacles during production (including a director change) and I wasn't terribly thrilled with the casting of Alden Ehrenreich as the younger version of the iconic character (I didn't feel like he could carry a film based on what little I had seen of him previously). On the other hand, I felt like Donald Glover was born to play a young Lando Calrissian, and after seeing the likes of Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, and Paul Bettany in the trailer I was cautiously optimistic. But even then I just didn't have the excitement and urgency that I usually do leading up to a new Star Wars film. That's the long way …

Collected Comic Review - Black Panther Oversize Hardcover Vol. 1: A Nation Under Our Feet (Coates/Stelfreeze/Sprouse)

Black Panther Oversize Hardcover Vol. 1: A Nation Under Our Feet - Collecting Black Panther (2016) #1-12.

Earlier this year I went on a Black Panther reading binge in the weeks leading up to the release of the Marvel Studios film.  One of the books I read during that time was this hardcover collection, which contains the first arc of Ta-Nehisi Coates' current, on-going run on the title.  I even teased the eventual completion of this review in my write up for the film.  I then proceeded to find myself distracted by a number of other things and hadn't gotten around to getting my thoughts down 'on paper' until now.  Let me assure you that my delay in getting this review together is no indication of this material's quality as it is excellent.

Aside from his inclusion in other Marvel comics titles (i.e. Jonathan Hickman's Avengers run) my comic book exposure to Black Panther prior to this volume was pretty much limited to Christopher Preist's highly regarded run

Collected Comic Review - Daredevil by Mark Waid & Chris Samnee Omnibus Vol. 2

Daredevil by Mark Waid & Chris Samnee Omnibus Vol. 2 - Collecting Daredevil (2011) #28-36, Daredevil (2014) #0.1-18, and Indestructible Hulk (2013) #9-10.

Those who know me or follow this blog are probably wondering "Why on Earth did it take Tim this long to get a review for this book written?  It's been out for almost a month already!"  Well, there was a bit of a delay in my receiving my copy as the first one arrived with a production defect (the top front edge of the dust jacket was torn/bent under the shrink wrap).  Fortunately, the customer service department at In Stock Trades is wonderful and I was able to get a replacement.  Unfortunately, I had to wait for my damaged copy to be returned before the replacement shipped.  About two weeks after my original order was placed, I finally had my copy in hand and then of course I needed time to re-read it!

This volume collects the second half of Mark Waid's run on Daredevil.  At this point in the run, Chris Samnee h…

Review - I Kill Giants

I Kill Giants (2017), NR, 1h 46min - This film is a live action adaptation of the 2008 Image Comics series of the same name, created by Joe Kelly and JM Ken Niimura.  It was a series that I had long heard great things about, and one which I was happy to have finally gotten the chance to read this past week.  This weekend marks the film's initial, limited, theatrical release - meaning it won't get to my area for at least another week or two - however, thanks to its simultaneously being available to rent digitally through Amazon Prime, I didn't have to wait, and I'm happy to report that this is a pretty worthy adaptation.

I gave a vague overview of the story in my review of the graphic novel yesterday, and I will attempt to do the same here: I Kill Giants is the story of Barbara Thorsen (Madison Wolfe), a nerdy, sarcastic, introverted, middle school-aged girl, using her imagination to simultaneously avoid and cope with life's problems while interacting with others as…

Collected Comic Review - I Kill Giants: Titan Edition

I Kill Giants: Titan Edition - Collecting I Kill Giants (2008) #1-7.

I Kill Giants by writer Joe Kelly and artist JM Ken Niimura is a series from Image Comics that I have heard great things about for a while now, but had never had the chance to read.  Mostly due to my preference for nice, oversize hardcover editions and the fact that this Titan Edition is out of print and not the easiest to track down at a decent price.  About a week ago, the stars aligned and I was able to add a copy of this book to my collection and read it in time for the release of its live-action film adaptation (which hits theaters in a limited release this weekend).

More so than with other stories, I'm paranoid about spoiling details of such a short series, so this is going to be even more vague than usual.  I Kill Giants follows the nerdy, sarcastic, imaginative, introvert Barbara Thorson, whom we are first introduced to as she sits in the back of the classroom, generally ignoring the goings on of her fifth…