Comic Book Review/Preview - Dead End Kids [2019] #1

Dead End Kids [2019] #1 - (W) Frank Gogol, (A) Nenad Cviticanin, (C) Chris 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 ye…

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…

Collected Comic Review - Aquaman and The Others TPB Vol. 1-2

Aquaman and The Others: Vol. 1 - Legacy of Gold - Collecting Aquaman (2011) #20 and Annual 1, and Aquaman and the Others (2014) #1-5.
Aquaman and The Others: Vol. 2 - Alignment Earth - Collecting Aquaman and the Others (2014) #6-11, Aquaman: Futures End (2014) #1, Aquaman and the Others: Futures End (2014) #1.

Believe it or not, for about a year during DC's New 52 era, there was a second monthly Aquaman title called Aquaman and The Others.  I don't claim to be an Aquaman historian, but I'm pretty sure that at no other point has DC released multiple, monthly Aquaman titles.  I remember trying to keep up with the title digitally when it first came out, only making it through a handful of issues before falling behind, eventually forgetting about it completely.  It wasn't until I read through the Aquaman by Geoff Johns Omnibus a week ago that I remembered this titled had existed.  With my interest piqued once again, I tracked down the two trade paperback volumes (the only fo…

Collected Comic Review - Aquaman by Peter David Book One

Aquaman by Peter David Book One - Collecting Aquaman: Time and Tide (1993) #1-4, and Aquaman (1994) #0-8.

I've clearly been on an Aquaman kick lately, having really enjoyed both the Aquaman by Geoff Johns Omnibus and the Jason Momoa/Amber Heard-led live-action film.  I figured, what better time than now to check out another of DC's classic runs: Peter David's Aquaman.  Fortunately, this run is currently being collected by DC in thick trade paperbacks.  Unfortunately for newcomers to this material such as myself, only the two books have been released thus far (with a third solicited for the fall of 2019).  Judging by the length of David's run, a fourth volume should complete this series collecting his work on the title.  I may have gotten sucked into this era of Aquaman, but it doesn't look like I'll be able to finish David's Aquaman for another year or two.  In hindsight, I may not have picked the best time to dive into this run after all!

I've been rea…

Film Review - Aquaman

Aquaman (2018), PG-13, 2h 23 min - Live action DC films have had a very spotty track record over the last few years.  Previously, last year's Wonder Woman had really been the only one that had been well received.  I personally feel that Aquaman will be the second.  The funny thing is, it has more than a couple similarities with Wonder Woman: an outside the box director for a big, superhero film (in this case horror/thriller aficionado James Wan), a lead actor who didn't necessarily seem right when first announced (Jason Momoa), and a script/story that was allowed to stand on its own as opposed to being shoe horned into some greater, expanded universe plan.  I certainly don't mean to bash any of the other DCEU films (I probably enjoyed them more than most, even considering their downfalls), but I have always felt like WB/DC rushed the expanded universe concept in an attempt to catch up with the record breaking Marvel Cinematic Universe.  As a result, the DC characters were …

Collected Comic Review - Aquaman by Geoff Johns Omnibus

Aquaman by Geoff Johns Omnibus - Collecting Aquaman (2011) #0-19, 21-25 (including 23.1 and 23.2), and Justice League (2011) #15-17.

Daredevil may be my favorite comic book character, but you'd be hard pressed to find a hardcover collection that I have looked forward to more than this volume, the Aquaman by Geoff Johns Omnibus.  It is a book that, over the last four years, has had three solicitations and two cancellations.  Fortunately, the third time was the charm as DC finally saw fit to make this collection a reality in conjunction with the live-action Aquaman film hitting theaters this week.

Prior to this run, I had never read any Aquaman.  Honestly, I hadn't really had any interest in the character either.  But that all changed when DC announced their New 52 initiative: a reboot of their entire comic book universe in an effort to be more new reader friendly.  Aquaman launched with the creative team of Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis: a combo that had produced a good chunk of Jo…