Showing posts from 2017

Collected Comic Review - Doctor Strange Oversize Hardcover Vol. 1 (Aaron/Bachalo)

Doctor Strange Oversize Hardcover Vol. 1 - Collecting Doctor Strange (2015) #1-10, and Doctor Strange: The Last Days of Magic (2016) #1

When Marvel first announced that Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo were going to be launching a Doctor Strange book as part of their All-New All Different initiative, I was very excited.  At the time I hadn't read much Doctor Strange, but I had enjoyed everything else I had read from Aaron and Bachalo's style just seemed like it would be a perfect fit for a title revolving around the Sorcerer Supreme.  Having since read up on some of Doctor Strange's original/classic adventures, I feel pretty safe in saying that there may not have been a better modern creative team to launch Stephen Strange's first ongoing series in almost twenty years.  

The title of the first issue is "The Way of the Weird" and it certainly lives up to that description.  After an opening page that brings us up to speed on Doctor Strange's history against a …

Collected Comic Review: The New Teen Titans Omnibus Vol. 1 (New Edition)

The New Teen Titans Omnibus Vol. 1 (New Edition) - Collecting DC Comics Presents (1978) #26, The New Teen Titans (1980) #1-20, and Tales of the New Teen Titans (1982) #1-4

The Marv Wolfman/George Pérez run on The New Teen Titans has long been one that I really wanted to check out.  Until recent years my reading had always skewed towards Marvel, but I had repeatedly heard how good this particular run was supposed to be.  I missed the boat when this volume was originally released years ago and seriously considered trying to pick it up on a number of occasions (and its subsequent volumes) after the fact.  Then I learned about the steel trap bindings and the odd issue gaps in the original trio of books.  Thankfully, DC began a series of new editions of these volumes and I jumped in on the ground floor for this new set.  Here's hoping to corrected issue inclusion in the upcoming volumes, because I enjoyed the hell out of this first volume.

My knowledge of the team featured in The New T…

Collected Comic Review - Thor by Walter Simonson Omnibus

Thor by Walter Simonson Omnibus - Collecting Thor (1966) #337-355, 357-369, 371-382, and Balder the Brave (1985) #1-4

Funny story about my copy of  the Thor by Walter Simonson Omnibus: I bought this hefty volume back in 2011 when it was first released.  I had no familiarity with the material, but had read enough modern Thor that I felt pretty confident in picking this up (especially after a good friend of mine urged me to do so).  I began reading it immediately and had made my way a little more than half way through before meeting (and becoming very distracted by) the woman who would become my wife.  As a matter of fact, this was the book that I put down in order to go meet her that fateful night.  Needless to say, I found myself spending most of my free time with her as opposed to sitting around the house reading comics.  By the time I got back to it, I had completely lost track of what I had read to that point, but had read enough that starting over to refresh my memory didn't se…

Review - Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Episode VIII)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), PG-13, 2hr 32min - It's almost hard to believe that it has already been two years since we saw the return of Star Wars to theaters by way of Episode VII: The Force Awakens.  I suppose that is partially due to the fact that we got Rogue One - the first Star Wars anthology film - last year which helped pass the time.  This holiday weekend will be The Last Jedi's second weekend in theaters and it is already making quite a bit of noise at the box office.  At some point over the past year or so, they seem to have dropped "Episode VIII" from The Last Jedi's official title.  I'm not sure when or why that happened, but I'll likely refer to this film by both names throughout this review.

The Last Jedi picks up pretty much where The Force Awakens ended, with Rey (Daisy Ridley) having located Luke Skywalker's (Mark Hamill) whereabouts and with the rest of the Rebel fleet fleeing the The First Order after having destroyed Starkill…

Collected Comic Review - Daredevil: Back in Black TPB Vol. 5 (Soule)

Daredevil: Back in Black Vol. 5 - Supreme - Collecting Daredevil (2016) #21-28

After a delay of about a month and a half, the fifth trade paperback (TPB) collection of Charles Soule's Daredevil run was finally released last week.  This volume was originally solicited to include issues #21-25 (the "Supreme" arc) with a release date of mid-October, but thanks to Marvel's Legacy initiative (and the renumbering that came with it), they decided to push back the release so that they could also include issues #26-28 (the short "Land of the Blind" arc) as it effectively ends the 'All-New, All-Different' era of the title.  But don't worry, Soule leaves plenty to explore heading into the Legacy era of Daredevil.

"Supreme" continues Soule's long term plans for the character as he further builds on the intriguing elements that he had introduced earlier in his run.  It focuses on Matt Murdock implementing his plan to legalize super-hero testimo…

Review - The Punisher (Netflix), Season 1

The Punisher, TV-MA, 13 Episodes - The Punisher is the latest Marvel/Netflix collaboration, adding another chapter to the street level corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).  Jon Bernthal returns to the role of Frank Castle that he so perfectly inhabited in season two of Daredevil, and takes full advantage of the opportunity the spotlight of this series provides to really flesh out a character that is oftentimes incorrectly perceived as being an emotionless killing machine.  This series is a bit of a slow burn compared to many of the earlier Marvel/Netflix installments, but this really benefits the themes that the slower pace allows the show to explore: post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), veteran affairs, gun control, and corrupt government agencies.  Make no mistakes, The Punisher may be a comic-based vehicle, but it is a political drama/thriller through and through.

This series takes place after the events of Daredevil season two, and around the same time as the events of…

Review - Justice League

Justice League (2017), PG-13, 2hr - The long anticipated Justice League film finally hit theaters last weekend.  And when I say long, I mean long.  Comic book fans have been hoping and waiting for a Justice League film for about ten years now (George Miller had a JL film in pre-production in the mid-late 00's).  Things fell through (the details of which can and have been summed up better than I could, so I won't go into those details here), and the world has been forced to wait for the first live action adaptation of DC's super-team ever since.  This incarnation of the project faced production issues of its own, but all in all the end result is a step in the right direction for the DC Extended Universe (DCEU).

As we know from the trailer, Justice League focuses on Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman's (Gal Gadot) recruitment of others with powers in an effort to combat an impending doom.  That threat arrives in the form of Steppenwolf (voiced by Ciarán Hinds), a New …

Review - Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok (2017), PG-13, 2h 10min - Of all of the characters that Marvel Studios has introduced into their cinematic universe (MCU), Thor may be the most diverse.  Thor: Ragnarok is the third Thor-centric film in the ever-expanding MCU, and each has had a very different tone to it.  Ragnarok is a sharp departure from the prevailing gloom of Thor: The Dark World, bringing a much lighter, humorous tone to the action-adventure nature of the character while he combats another end-of-the-world-level threat.

The events of Thor: Ragnarok begin with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in a very precarious position: being held captive by classic Thor comics villain Surtur, (who is voiced by Clancy Brown) and talking to his long-dead cellmate about how he came to be in said tough spot.  It's an amusing way to bring us up to speed with what Thor has been up to since the events of 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron (the last time we have seen either he or the Hulk).  Surtur threatens that Asgard will…

Review - Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017), R, 1h 48min - I hadn't even been aware of this film's existence until a month or so ago when I happened upon the first trailer on YouTube.  In a year that has seen Wonder Woman dominate the box office and single-handedly breath new optimism into the future of the DCEU (DC Extended Universe), we now get this film about Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston's life and its influence on the development of his most well known creation.

Marston (Luke Evans) and his wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston (Rebecca Hall) - highly regarded in her own right - were both psychologists, specifically studying human interactions.  William was a firm proponent of DISC theory, believing that a person's reaction in any given situation was a combination of the following components: Dominance, Inducement, Submission, and Compliance.  He was also a supporter of the feminist movement and took an actively participated in his research.  While the …

Review - The Snowman

The Snowman (2017), R, 1h 59min - After I finished reading IT a few weeks back, I set my sights on this novel by Jo Nesbø, with hopes of finishing it before the movie hit theaters.  I ended up finishing the source material this past Sunday, which kept me from catching it on opening weekend.  But honestly I ended up being even more intrigued by the film after seeing that it was receiving less than stellar reviews along with its sub-par performance at the box office.  Thanks to an odd day off from work, I was able to see Tomas Alfredson's big screen adaptation yesterday afternoon, and while I feel as though the casting of characters was pretty good, the film itself is a bit disjointed and anti-climactic.

The Snowman is based on the seventh of Nesbø's series of novels focusing on the exploits of Dectective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) of the Oslo (Norway) Police Department.  Hole and Katrine Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson), a recent transfer into the department, begin working a serie…