Tag Archives: dc

Updates and Such

Sorry for being absent for so long. I didn’t know if I was going to stick to this thing when I first started it, and I kinda dropped the ball. In my defense, I’ve been working a few projects over the last month or so (one of them including a manuscript for a potentially ridiculous book).

Things don’t seem to be winding down anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean I can’t take a moment to praise over and bitch about comic-related news and whathaveyou.

So let’s do this bullet point style:

  • Fuck Suicide Squad. It wasn’t the garbage fire that BvS was, but it was insultingly bland and could have easily been the DC Expanded Universe’s chance to fix its bullshit.
  • Speaking of DCEU, that Wonder Woman trailer looks fucking rad.
  • JLA…not so much.
  • Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso are teaming up for a new comic series called Moonshine. This excites me very, very much.
  • I picked up Alan Moore’s new novel, Jerusalem. It’s heavy and could easily kill a toddler if you dropped it on said toddler’s head. I’ll be ready to get up in its guts once I finish a few other books ahead of it. The girth of this tome doesn’t really bother me too much. After all, I did read David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. But don’t expect any feedback anytime soon. That fucker’ll take some time.
  • Speaking of Alan Moore. He’s retiring from comics! What? I mean, I guess that’s fine. The man doesn’t really owe us anything else.
  • So Frank Miller’s TDK3: The Master Race is running 9 issues. Great. Guess I’ll have to wait longer to buy the trade.
  • Fuck that Watchmen hardback individual issue thing DC is releasing.
  • I’m finally getting around to reading Kell Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios’ Pretty Deadly and I love it to pieces. Sometimes it’s okay to show up late to the party because the pretty girl is there waiting for you no matter what.
  • I read Alan Moore’s Crossed + 100. I dug it. Not much more than that. There were some really cool ideas but Moore does horror best when his subject matter is rooted in the occult.
  • Luke Cage is coming! Get pumped!

I think that’s about it. I’m still contributing to http://www.boundingintocomics.com from time to time but not with the same frequency I once was. 

Until next time: Kill your TV. Read comics.

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The work of Brian Azzarello Part 1 FUNSIZE REVIEWS

Even if Alan Moore would shun me for doing so, I’m finally getting around to reading some of the Before Watchmen titles, namely The Comedian and Rorschach mini-series, both of which were penned by one of my favorite writers in the graphic medium, Mr. Brian Azzarello. So I figured it’d be fun to touch on some of the books from his career that have made a lasting impression on me, good or bad. Here we go:

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Loveless (2005 – 2008)

Fuck, I loved this book. I was really bummed when DC/Vertigo pulled the plug on it. And they did it right when what started out as a western comic about assholes doing asshole things to each other was evolving into a vast, century-spanning epic about America (which would basically be a historical comic about assholes doing asshole things to each other). This comic is pretty much what Quentin Tarantino is trying to do in his movies now a days. Loveless holds up a mirror to American history’s ugly mug and makes it take a long, hard look at the horrors hiding behind its visage.

Final Grade: A-

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100 Bullets (1999 – 2009)

For ten years, Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso created one of the greatest crime stories ever told. This comic is staggering in its execution (pun totally intended). Every single character is well-realized. The dialogue pops with authenticity, and the stories the series tells range from insanely intimate to monstrously epic in scale. There is no stone unturned in 100 Bullets. This is one of my go-to recommendations for my friends who don’t read comics. I tell them that if this doesn’t do it for them, I’m not sure what will (maybe Preacher?).

Final Grade: fuckin’ A+

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El Diablo (2001)

This mini-series felt like a dry run for Loveless. There are certainly some cool elements in this comic, but ultimately it just feels bland. What made things worse for me, is that I read it after reading Loveless. I can only assume it would have had more of an impact on me if I had read it before. Oh, well. All’s fair in loveless and war (thank you, thank you; I’ll be here all week).

Final Grade: D+

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Batman: Broken City (2003-2004)

You know, some people shit on this comic, and I can understand why. Killer Croc is a pimp with some sort of crazy psoriasis; The Riddler is a car thief; things are not what they should be. But that’s what I dug about it. Teaming up with Risso again, Azzarello pretty much gave Detective Comics the 100 Bullets treatment and didn’t give a fuck about continuity or staying true the already established Gotham. They knew you were familar with these characters, but why not try a little something different with them?

Final Grade: B

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Wonder Woman (2011 – 2014)

Goddammit, was Azzarello’s run on this book amazing. I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and wonder if Brian’s departure from Wonder Woman was the reason DC decided to bail on the New 52 and hit the reset button again. I mean, besides Jeff Lemire’s tenure as Animal Man writer and Scott Snyder & Capullo’s Batman, I don’t think there was another title with such a high caliber among the New 52. Azzarello took a character that the entire world was familiar with and injected her story with a brand new mythos, one that worked well in the grand scheme of the DC universe and produced a cast of great supporting characters to root for. This book is fantastic. I was never a big WW fan before this, and I don’t know if I ever will be again. Azzarello may have ruined the character for me by being too damn good at writing her.

Final Grade: A

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40 Bullets: Captain America: Civil War **SPOILERS!!!**

So after I jotted down 40 thoughts about the abysmal Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, I felt it would be fun to do that again, but this time, for a movie I actually really liked loved. Let’s talk about Captain America: Civil War.

The following is in no specific order. Sometimes the bullet points run into one another, and sometimes they are disparate.

Warning: Spoilers like a mufucka from here on out! If you have not seen this movie, turn back now. Otherwise, here were go:

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  1. I don’t want to be one of those assholes who harps on how shitty BvS was, especially compared to this movie, but I’m gonna. DC needs to get its shit together. Marvel Studios has been banging out quality flicks for almost a decade now and they are not showing any real signs of slowing down. I’m two DC movies in and I already feel exhausted.
  2. Do we need to see our Superheroes fight each other? Well, sure, just so long as it makes sense.
  3. Smart choice on making Redwing a robot.
  4. “Don’t thank me, thank Redwing.” “I’m not thanking that thing.”
  5. This movie was filled with personal vendettas, and I like that. This might be the most personal Marvel movie.
  6. Black Panther was great. I’m not super familiar with the character (I knew enough to appreciate his presence in the film), but I feel like they explained him really well and made it easy for non comic readers to grasp (He’s a badass African version of The Phantom with a cool suit, got it? Good).
  7. Um, I feel like they never said T’Challa’s name in the movie. Maybe I just missed it.
  8. Wasn’t Black Panther a Defender at one point in the comics? That’d be cool is he showed up in Daredevil or Jessica Jones. It’d be a nice little nod.
  9. Chadwick Boseman was awesome (he’s awesome in everything).
  10. You know, Black Panther would have totally ruined Bucky’s world if Cap hadn’t stepped in.
  11. I loved how everyone called T’Challa “Prince” or “Your Highness”
  12. Iron Man is an asshole. He’s right about the Sokovia Accords but he’s still an asshole.
  13. Cap and Bucky’s bro love is soooo strong in this movie. I mean, I get it. Steve Rogers is from a foregone era, and Bucky is his last connection to that world. I’d want to preserve it at any cost, too.
  14. They killed Peggy Carter off screen? That’s kinda lame. I guess we got our old Peggy/young Steve fill in The Winter Soldier.
  15. I loved, loved, LOVED Falcon and Bucky’s relationship. They were jealous of each other. One is Cap’s old BBF and one is his new BBF.
  16. “Can you move your seat up?” “No.”
  17. Hawkeye just kinda showed up out of nowhere. I feel like there was a scene missing that was needed to explain him being there.
  18. I like the Wanda/Vision relationship. I thought it was sweet.
  19. I also like the Wanda/Vision fight. I thought it was rad.
  20. I really liked this version of Baron Zemo. I felt like his plan made way more sense than Luthor’s did in BvS (sorry for bringing it up again) and there was actual emotional weight. I feel like part of it is just Daniel Bruhl being such a damn good actor.
  21. “The world of the living is not yet done with you.” – T’Challa (he is so fucking awesome).
  22. Please make a Black Widow and Hawkeye movie. I would watch the shit out of that.
  23. “Something just flew inside me!” I love Paul Rudd.
  24. “Give me back my Rhodey!” I love RDJ
  25. Holy shit, they crippled War Machine. That was fucked up. Nice one, Vision…you big dummy.
  26. When this happened: this My wife leaned over and asked if I just nerded out. The answer was, “yes.”
  27. Crossbones dying early was a little bothersome, but it was a nice nod to Nitro in the comic series.
  28. On the other hand, Crossbones going boom pretty much guaranteed Cap was making it out alive, for better or worse.
  29. Dude, Tony had Cap dead to rights in the end. Instead of giving him one more warning, he should have shot his ass out of the building and taken Bucky captive. Jeez…
  30. “That shield doesn’t belong to you!” That was kind of brutal.
  31. Dude, Iron Man blasted Bucky’s metal arm completely off, which was pretty damn cool.
  32. The Winter Soldier strangled Tony’s mom…with his real handThat’s brutal.
  33. “Do you remember them?” “I remember all of them.” That exchange gave me chills.
  34. Stowing Bucky away in Wakanada made sense. It was also nice to see T’Challa work things out in a sensible way and grant amnesty. Also, we got to see those rad panther statues.
  35. Spider-Man was fantastic. Tom Holland knocked it out of the park. Honestly, the scene when Tony went to visit Peter felt like it was taking place in a different movie, but it didn’t pump the brakes on the film, overall. It was actually a nice little reprieve.
  36. I cannot wait for Spider-Man: Homecoming.
  37. I also can’t wait for the Black Panther solo flick. Now that we got basically his origin story out of the way, we can focus on T’Challa being a badass even more.
  38. Where is Thanos? I mean, this was a pretty big movie and we’re marching closer and closer to Infinity Wars. We have like, what, four more movies between now and then? I feel like there is going to be a lot of ground to cover. Maybe Doctor Strange and GoTG Vol. 2 will shorten the story gap.
  39. Please don’t take your fucking kids to this movie. I know they like superheroes, but this is not a kids movie (I’m looking at you, dumb dad in the front row).
  40. Behind Guardians of the Galaxy and the first Avengers movie, this is my third favorite Marvel Studios joint. Thank you for continuing to be awesome, Marvel.

 

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Mark Millar’s World Part 2: The Burning Clog FUN SIZE REVIEWS

I feel like I might have come off a bit too harsh on the creator-owned comics in the first part of my Mark Millar retrospect. I totally shat on both Kick-Ass and Nemesis, but they deserve it. Millar is a great story teller, but not every tale he tells is woven equally tight. Sometimes, great artists create crap. But I am a firm believer you should judge an artist by their best work, so I am more than willing to ignore some speed bumps. With that being said, let’s dive into one of my favorite creator-owned stories by Millar…

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Wanted (2003 – 2005)

This book simply rocks. It’s a nasty little Arthurian style “you are the chosen one” story where the chosen one happens to be the bad guy.  Wanted follows the exploits Wesley Gibson (modeled after rapper Eminem; no seriously) who goes from being a loser with a cheating girlfriend and shit job to a badass super villain with an endless supply of wealth and hedonistic, ball-draining activities at his disposal. J.G. Jones artwork is stellar. The pacing of his panels make the action pop, and Millar’s biting dialogue has never been so hilarious. As for the plot, it’s pretty basic (no spoilers), but the simplest stories often work the best. The story beats are familiar (and even somewhat predictable), but it doesn’t detract by how much damn fun Wanted is. Go. Read. Now.

Final Grade: A

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Superman: Red Son (2003)

Believe me when I say this: “I DO NOT GIVE A SHIT ABOUT SUPERMAN.” Like, not even a little bit, but holy hell, this is one Superman story I can get behind.  Red Son is simply a “what if…?” story that asks “What if Kal El landed in Moscow instead of Smallville?” The answer to that question makes for a compelling vision of the world’s most popular superhero. This book is definitely political, but not necessarily  in a red vs blue sort of way. The story of Red Son shows that greatness can be achieved under any circumstances, good or bad. It also says a lot about rival philosophies and how even some radical world views have their merit and can be shaped into something almost universally appreciated…Also, Batman is a badass anarchist who terrorizes Superman. It’s rad.

Final Grade: A-

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Jupiter’s Legacy (2013 – present)

This is another one I wanted to love. The concept is solid: Superheros have become so strong in numbers, villains stand no chance against them (there’s a really cool scene early on where a pack of heroes give some random baddy a good ol’ blanket party, only to comment on how it wasn’t the most noble of battles). With the lack of actual villainy to combat, the super-offspring of these heroes don’t know what to do with themselves and slip into lives of being celebutantes (think Paris Hilton, but if she could fly and had heat vision and wasn’t completely awful). All of this makes for some really interesting characters, but not all of their motivations were strong enough to justify their actions. But to be completely fair, I’ve only read Book 1 of the series, which covers the first 5 issues. I’m hoping that the second half of this series turns things around and really tries to have fun with the world it has built.

Final Grade: B-

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The Ultimates (2002)

Hey, nerd! Do you love all those fun superhero movies Marvel Studios keeps cranking out? Do you get a big boner knowing that you’ll get two every year for the rest of your natural life or at least until they start bombing at the box office? Ya do? Well then, you should pucker up and kiss Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s The Ultimates’ big, fat ass, because without this book, those movies might not have been worth a damn. I feel it’s impossible not to give this book a great deal of credit for, if nothing else, giving Marvel Studios some solid groundwork to build The Avengers on. A lot of the story beats and character traits (e.g. Sam Jackson Fury) from The Ultimates have been translated to the big screen and most of it works really well. I suggest reading this book if you haven’t, and it’s good (but not quite as great) follow up (but not the third one by Jeff Loeb; that one’s not so good).

Final Grade: A-

 

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