Monthly Archives: August 2013

Daredevil #173

Hello, I’m a unicorn. Judging from my last review, you’d probably think that I hate Frank Miller. That’s not the case. I can’t hate a man I don’t know and I do respect what he has done for the medium. I own three collected trade volumes of his run on Daredevil and the Dark Knight Returns. The Spirit made me really angry because, like I said, I am a fan of the character. The movie didn’t do the genius of Will Eisner’s character justice. I still despise the movie, but I also recognize the work that went in it.

So, are you going to review the comic or ease your guilty conscience about any slight you have made against the man?

I’m not apologizing, I’m just stating the facts about how I feel about Frank Miller.

Spoken like a true politician.

Have I ever told you how annoying you are?

Yes, many times.

*sigh* Look, my point is that I still meant every word of what I wrote and despise the movie, but I don’t despise the man.

So, today, let’s look at a decent comic by Frank Miller. I’m not going to look at one of his best ones because I’d have nothing to talk about. So, let’s look at a flawed yet decent in the scheme of things comic. Like Man of Steel, I’ll break it down to the good and the ugly. This is because the good is really good and the ugly is really ugly. There isn’t much in between. Because the ugly has something to do with the good, let’s start with the ugly.

The Ugly: Matt Murdock behaves way out of character. In this story he finds out that his secretary was crippled three years prior by a man bearing a striking resemblance to his client. When he finds out that she never reported the fact that she’d seen his face, he starts berating her. Matt is a criminal lawyer. He, of all people, should know to show empathy for a victim of a crime, especially one as traumatic as what his secretary went though. He’s probably represented victims in her position, and he barely knew them. This is his friend. If I found out that a friend knew who had committed a crime against her but didn’t say anything because she felt helpless, I’d never berate her like Matt did. No functioning human being would berate that type of victim, especially not  one who’s job is to represent them.

The Good: Pretty much the rest of the comic. Matt does learn that he’s in the wrong and that he should have been empathetic. Like I said though, this is something he should have already known. The art is good and Frank Miller really knew how to use quiet moments to let the art speak for itself, especially at the end when Becky, the secretary, is debating about whether she should testify. Those ten panels were the best in the comic.  The writing in the rest of the story is really good.

Overall, It’s worth a read. The writing for the most part was good, with the exception of the break in Matt’s character. The art is really nice and colorful. This issue wasn’t all that bad, but it was the worst in the two trade volumes that I own. I think that speaks a lot about Frank Miller’s 1980s run on Daredevil.

So, while we’re on the subject of Daredevil, how do you feel about Ben Affleck being the new Batman?

I’m willing to give him a shot. After all, everyone that Heath Ledger and Michael Keaton were going to be awful. He’s a really good actor and I didn’t mind him as Matt Murdoch. Was he the best for the role? Probably not, but he wasn’t awful. Now that I’ve thought about  it, his performance in Daredevil as Matt Murdoch does remind me a bit of Bruce Wayne’s jerky playboy persona and he did put a separation between the persona of Matt and the persona of Daredevil. I will probably review the movie, but there is a soft spot in my heart for it. This is the movie that got me interested in Daredevil as a character. All in all, I think that the hate he’s been given is unnecessary and I’m going to give him a chance.

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The Spirit

*Edit* Okay, so this is me, one year later. At the time I reviewed this, I recommended reading Will Eisner’s original run. I called him far ahead of his time, and he was, except for one aspect: Ebony. At the time I’d reviewed this, I’d only read the Best of The Spirit trade collection, which didn’t feature this very awkward character. After reading a little more…yeah, I don’t think I feel comfortable recommending the original run. I know that Ebony was socially acceptable back then, but now it really makes me cringe. If you’re really curious about the original run, read the Best of the Spirit in order to see why Eisner was so well liked, but I’d read only that or read what other writers have done with the characters.

Hello, I’m a Unicorn. I HATE THIS MOVIE! I HATE THIS MOVIE! I HATE THIS MOVIE! I! HATE! THIS! MOVIE!  I HATE EVERY SIMPERING, MISOGYNISTIC, ASININE, MOMENT IN THIS ABSOLUTELY AWFUL FILM.

Whoa there. I think you forgot to turn off the caps lock.

Be quiet! You’re the one making me review this mess.

Kirin… take a deep breath.

*gasp*

Better?

No.

Okay, baby steps. Why don’t you give a little history on the character?

Fine. The Spirit was created by the comic book legend, Will Eisner. Denny Colt was a detective in Central City. During the attempted capture of a super villain, he is sprayed with chemicals that put him in a death-like suspended animation. When he woke up six feet under, he dug himself out of his grave and became the Spirit, a crime fighter that can work outside of the law. The only man who knows his identity is Police Commissioner Dolan. You can dis- regard these last few sentences completely though, because this isn’t the Spirit from the movie. Yeah, the super powerless Spirit that’s been described as the Citizen Kane of comics is too lame for general audiences. Instead, we get a Spirit with Wolverine’s healing ability that’s more girl crazy than a teenage boy.

The person responsible for this movie, having written and directed it without help is Frank Miller. He’s best known for the Dark Knight Returns, his run on Daredevil, Batman Year One, Sin City and 300. He also wrote the scripts for Robocop 2&3 and consulted with the Sin City film. This was his first solo project and it’s obvious that it’s made by an amateur. Yet, somehow he still got Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlet Johansson, and Eva Mendes to be in it. I’m pretty sure they won’t be putting this on their resumes.

Why don’t we just get started with the review, okay?

Yeah. So you know you’re in for it when the movie starts with death. Also, for some reason death is a woman who is in love with the Spirit because he is the only one to escape her clutches. As you can guess, this is pointless. Lorelei Rox, the death lady, has absolutely no bearing on the plot. In the comics the character Lorelei isn’t death, she was like the Siren from Batman ’66.  On another note, I’m going to  start counting how many women fall for and/or kiss the Spirit. She’s woman #1. Trust me, there are plenty more where that came from.

We really get started in Wildwood Cemetery, in the cat filled tomb of the Spirit. Though there are many things that have been observed by critics of Frank Miller’s work, there is one pattern that I haven’t seen mentioned yet. Frank Miller loves cats. In Batman Year One, Batman protects a cat while cornered by cops. Cat Woman plays a minor role in that comic and the Dark Knight Returns. In the Dark Knight Strikes Again, Carrie Kelly takes up the mantle of Cat Girl. And in this, cats are everywhere. The villain even melts a kitten. Yes, being a cat lover myself, it is as messed up as it sounds.

Kirin, get back on subject. You’re going on a tangent.

You’re right, sorry. I just really don’t want to talk about this.  Anyway, the Spirit gets a call that the Octopus, his arch nemesis, has been spotted. He rushes off and monologues about his city in a creepily sexual way. He stops a mugging and doesn’t notice a knife sticking out of his side.

Dude, even Deadpool would notice that.

As I was saying, he hitches a ride in a police car and we cut to Eva Mendes as Sand Saref. She’s confronted by a cop and apparently shoots him. The Spirit finds the wounded cop and in a flashback  to five minutes ago we see that it was the Octopus played by Sam Jackson that shot the cop. No, I have know idea why we’d have such an unnecessary flashback.  The Spirit goes after the Octopus. In the comics, we never got to see the face of the Octopus, and when we did,  it was a disguise. In the movie, the Octopus, instead of being a master of disguise, plays dress up the entire time. The two fight, beating each other with everything from a giant wrench, to a kitchen sink, to a toilet, and Frank Miller’s head. I’m just wondering where they found all of that junk. A henchman of the Octopus mercifully ends this fight by shooting the Spirit. The Octopus leaves with one of the two chests that he and Sand were after. One note on Jackson’s acting. It couldn’t be hammier if it was honey glazed. He also makes bizarre puns involving eggs. The only explanation I can think of for these puns is that Octopuses lay eggs.

The Spirit wakes up and Ellen Dolan, his physician and sort of girlfriend, wants to check him out to make sure he’s okay. Another woman in love with him. That would make her lady #2. The Spirit finds a locket in the hands of the dying cop. It was the locket that he gave Sand when they were little. It turns out that they are old flames that still have feelings for each other which puts our counter at lady #3. When we learn that her dad was a cop accidentally killed by Denny’s uncle, it suddenly takes a dramatic shift in tone, becoming serious. Am I the only one who saw the Spirit get hit over the head with a toilet?

No, I saw that too.

Good, so I haven’t gone insane.

Not completely.

Anyway, Sand tells Denny that she doesn’t want to live her life in the slums. This entire flashback is explained via Spirit is telling this to his cat. He’s taken to the hospital. Sand and the Octopus realize that they grabbed the wrong chests. She was after the Golden Fleece and he was after the blood of Heracles, because the Octopus wants to be a immortal or something. Apparently the serum that he used on himself and the Spirit is unstable, but we never see how. He punishes the henchman who’d failed him by dressing up as Fu Manchu and having the man commit seppuku. Yes, seriously.  Sand goes to the fence who sold her out. She talks about how she’s looking for a “shiny thing to end all shiny things.” Did I mention that in the comic’s she’s a master spy? She does what every kid wishes they could do with a photocopy machine and photocopies her butt. She empties the bank account of the fence and the fence shoots himself. Or something. It’s really unclear.

The Spirit has fully regenerated  and meets up with a grumpy Commissioner Dolan and a lady cop named Morgenstern, who happens to be lady #4 on our counter. They’re called in to investigate the death of the fence and we meet lady #5 on our counter, a reporter who “hangs on his every word.” Her scene is so pointless it isn’t even mentioned in the Wikipedia page. Morganstern talks about Sand’s criminal history, referring to it as an Elektra complex, because Frank Miller wrote Elektra. This is one of the many comic book industry inside jokes in this thing. Other’s were the password to the fence’s bank account being Robin, the truck that Silken Floss, (Scarlet Johanssan’s role and hench-woman of the Octopus), drives is from a company called Ditko’s (named for the comic artist), and Dolan saying “What’s ten minutes in a man’s life,” which is a line from one of the Spirit’s comics. Having inside jokes in a bad comic book movie doesn’t make it clever, it makes you wish you were reading the comics.

The Spirit finds Sand’s butt copy, and knew is was her because he remembers how she has the perfect bum. Then, I kid you not, he goes to every racial stereotype themed hotel in the city and shows them the butt print. Someone actually identifies her. Yes, seriously. He confronts the pointlessly naked Sand and when he reveals all he knows about her, she lightly taps him and he falls out of the window. He unfortunately survives.

After his run in with Sand, he finds out about the Octopus’s whereabouts. He monologues about his love of the city while taking out the goons. He’s captured by Silken Floss when he starts making out with her for no reason. That puts Miss Floss as lady #6. When he comes to, he’s in a dentist chair for some unknown reason. We see the Octopus in a Nazi uniform and he explains the origins of the Spirit. We find out that Denny Colt was killed in a shoot out. The Octopus used to work in the morgue and he injected Denny with the experimental serum. When Denny was found alive, he used it on himself. He then melts a kitten and calls in a belly dancing assassin named Plaster of Paris. She’s supposed to cut up and scatter the parts of Denny across the country even though it would make more sense just to blow him up. But, because the Spirit speaks to her in French, she falls for him, putting her, our final love interest, at lady #7. They escape, but she stabs him because he mentions Sand. He loses consciousness and pulls away from death’s embrace, only to fall into the nearby water and drown. This time he almost takes her up on her offer, then remembers all of the women he’s loved and pulls away again. He gets out of the water and collapses for the third time in ten minutes, making the first two pointless.

He wakes up in the hospital and meets up for a final confrontation with Sand, Floss, the Octopus and the rest of the police force. Sand and the Octopus are about to trade chests when the Spirit shows up.  The Octopus, for some reason, is dressed like a pimp. The Spirit is shot a ton of times and is knocked down. The Octopus is shot six times in the head and just shakes the bullets out of his head. The vase holding the blood of Heracles is destroyed and the Spirit punches a grenade into the Octopus, blowing him up. He and Sand kiss while Ellen Dolan watches enviously and they set up for a sequel that will never happen. This movie finally ends with the Spirit’s monologue to his cat about how he loves his city.

That wasn’t so bad, was it?

Yes, it was. This movie was awful. The only nice thing I can say about it is that it was interesting to look at, but that doesn’t make it worth watching. I am a fan of the Spirit. I once dressed as him for a costume day at school. This is not the Spirit. It tries to be gritty and in Frank Miller’s words “scary,” but it comes off campier than Adam West’s Batman. The women in this are only to be ogled and that’s exactly what the Spirit does. In this movie, he has seven love interests. Seven! I know he was popular with the ladies in the comics, but that is ridiculous. The acting in this is atrocious, either under emoting or playing it hammier than an actual pig. The Octopus’s puns made me pine for Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze. At least his puns fit his persona. I never associate eggs and octopuses, so what was the point? That’s actually a question you’ll be asking yourself while watching this. Also while watching this, don’t be surprised if you hear a mysterious thumping. It’s just Will Eisner rolling over in his grave. Take  my advice, read the comics. Will Eisner was a genius, far ahead of his time. Darwin Cooke’s run was also an enjoyable revamp. Just don’t watch this. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to have a pan galactic gargle blaster.

Make that two!

 

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Batman ’66 #2

Hello, I’m a unicorn. Holy retro style comic, Batman! I love the 1966 Batman TV show. I’ll be the first to say that Kevin Conroy is my favorite Batman, but when I think of the live action Batmen, the first one that comes to mind is Adam West. Heck, the theme song to the show is my ring tone. Sure, it was campy, silly, and nonsensical, but it was so much fun.

You forgot to mention how it ruined  the image of superheroes, ingraining into the public consciousness that all superheroes are goofballs.

Fair enough, but the the goofiness was contagious. You couldn’t help but laugh at the corny lines, the POWS, BANGS and BOFFS, and the wild schemes of the villain of the week. My point is, when I found out that they were writing a comic based on the old TV show, I couldn’t wait to read it. My local comic shop had sold out of the first issue, so I got the second. Luckily, these stories are all stand alone tales, so I didn’t need to read the first to understand what was happening in the second. This issue contains two wild vignettes.

The main story is Sub-Zero For Our Heroes. It is glorious. The Penguin and Mr. Freeze team up to start their own country on an iceberg.

Holy totalitarian regime, Batman!

Exactly Robin. Since what they were doing is completely legal, when Batman attacks them, they take Batman as a political prisoner. It’s up to the Boy Wonder to save the day and Batman. I don’t want to spoil this because it is such a fun and zany read, so I’ll end the first story recap here.

The second story is Chandell’s Chanteuse. It’s a bit of a fan service story, but in all the right ways. First off, we have an appearance of Kathy Kane. Kathy Kane is the original Batwoman and old love interest of Batman. My biggest disappointment was that she was only in costume for two panels.  We also have Chandell, an ex villain piano player who I vaguely remember being on the show and the Siren, a woman who’s melodic voice drives men to do her bidding.  Bruce and Kathy are on a date to see the reformed Chandell and the Siren perform. The Siren decides to rob the place, and when Batman intervenes, she sings a song that creates hallucinations.

Holy murderous melodies Batman!

That’s right, Robin. The hallucinations are quite awesome. For example, in one, Batman rides a shark to get at the Siren.

Holy Bat-Shark repellent, Batman!

Textbox?

What, Batman?

You can stop with the the “Holy (insert random statement).” I’m pretty sure the reader gets it.

Gosh, Batman, if you say so.

*sigh*  Anyway, overall, I really liked it. They do a pretty good job of capturing the likenesses of the original cast. The two stories were drawn with different artist and in my opinion, I liked the art in the second story better, even if it over used the color red. I liked it better because it looked a little more like a comic out of the silver age than the other. That isn’t to say that the art in the first story wasn’t good, quite the contrary. The art in both stories is great. This series is off to a really good start.

Holy fun comic Batman!

Textbox, what did I tell you?

I just couldn’t resist. Besides, you started it.

And I’m finishing it. The review is over, so shut your trap.

Holy hurt feelings Batman! *sniff*

Yeah, yeah. Will you shut up if I let you pick the next thing for me to review?

Golly gee willigers, that’s real swell of you.

Yeah, I’m an angel, so what do you have in store?

How about Frank Miller’s The Spirit?

The Spirit? NOOOOOOOOOOO!

How will Kirin deal with this one? Tune in next post to find out. Same Bat-blog, Same Bat-Website!

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New mutants #98 AKA Deadpool’s First Appearence

Hello, I’m a unicorn. He’s my all time favorite Marvel character. He’s the Merc With The Mouth, The Crimson Buffoon, the Wryest Wise-cracker of the Weapon X Program. He drinks pure liquid awesome for breakfast and washes it down with a side of Butt Kick and Murder Flakes (an essential part of every balanced breakfast). He’s the only one able to drive the voices in his head nuts. Everybody duck and cover! It’s DEADPOOL! Today, we shall look at his first appearance in New Mutants #98, written by Fabian Nicieza and drawn by… uh oh… Rob Liefeld. I briefly mentioned in the Cyber Force #1 review to google Rob Liefeld’s worst art. That’s because he was the face of an art style in the 1990’s where the male heroes would be drawn overly muscled to a point where you wonder how he could turn his head and the females were drawn with rubber spines that make their backs and hips jut out at odd angles. This comic isn’t gonna be very good, is it?

Nope!

What? Who are you?

The yellow textbox in Deadpool’s head.

Well, why aren’t you with Deadpool? Why are you in italics instead of textbox form? And, most importantly, what are you doing in my review?

I got bored by him, we can’t have a textbox in a text review, now can we? And I felt like annoying someone and you were begging for it. Also, no, I’m not leaving until you’re done reviewing. Face it sweetheart, you’re stuck with me.

Oh, goody, goody gumdrops. Let’s just get this thing started. We open this comic with a pupiless guy grinning like a psychopath with his hands up like he’s about to strangle the reader. The weirdest thing is his hair, which can’t seem to decide whether it wants to go for the I Dream Of Genie ponytail or the Balding Lord Elrond look, so it just chose both.

Image

Master, where are you? I want to grant your deathwish.

http://www.comicbookreligion.com

So, according to a yellow timestamp, he’s in a secluded room in a secluded chalet. I don’t know if that was an attempt at a joke or just really silly narration.

 Hey! Don’t make fun of my cousin Timestamp like that, you jerk! He can’t control what he says!

 Geez, sorry, but you have to admit that the narration is pretty silly.

Yeah, I guess you’re right.

Anyway, he’s talking to a guy called Adam, who I assume is his butler. According to Adam, our friend’s name is Gideon. We turn the page and it looks like Gideon is training by fighting a ton of robots and complaining that it isn’t much of a challenge. He tells off-panel Adam that he wants them quieter. He techno babbles a bit and beats all of the robots. He talks with Adam about his plans for the day. We also finally get a good look at this Adam, and — Hahahaha didn’t anyone tell him that the style of space suit he’s wearing went out of style in the sixties?  As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, they talk about his plans for the day. He apparently is a business man and philanthropist.

Because when you think of respectable businessmen, you think of Genie McMurderface right there.

So we cut to Cable and a New Mutant named Cannonball. They are in a different secluded room in a secluded bunker in a secluded mansion. Is the writer just messing with us?

Probably. 

They banter a bit while Cable is trying to teach the kid to control his powers. The kid has an accent that I assume is southern, but can’t say for sure. They finish the exercise and and talk about the lack of team members. The way it’s drawn though, it looks like the kid is yelling at Cable about it for no reason instead having of a casual conversation. We move on to a not so secluded room in a not so secluded skyscraper.

Was that an attempt at a joke?  Lame.

 I’d like to see you do better.

Fine. So in this not so secluded building, a  red haired hag in a  dress three sizes smaller than the Grinch’s heart gives a fat guy in a suit his coffee. She gives an evil grin that I recognize from that psycho I call an ex girlfriend. It must’ve either been a coronary or poison in the coffee, probably both, that does the fat dude in, because in the next couple of panels, he croaks. How was that? 

Rude, obnoxious, and eye roll worthy.

Are you kidding? Those four sentences were leagues better than every one of you stupid reviews combined.

You know what? I think I’m gonna stop talking to you.

Yeah right. You cannot resist the charm of the yellow textbox. 

Lalalala… not listening.

Cute.

What? Oh, for a second I thought I heard an annoying whisper, but it must have been my imagination.

Fine! Be that way! *Sniff* I just wanted to have some fun. I’m gonna go live on the streets now. Maybe go to prison, I hear that they’re really nice there. Well, nicer than you. Actually no, I’m off to the wilderness where I’ll probably freeze to death before the wolves get me. Not that you care.

 *Sigh* Fine, you can help out with the review. Just don’t get in my way.

You know I probably will anyway right?

 Of course, you are a part of Deadpool and it’s Deadpool’s nature to be as obnoxious as possible.

And you’ll still let me help? You know, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. 

Don’t get too mushy on me. This is only for one review, right?

Riiiiiiight. Um, let’s get back to the review.

Textbox? Is there something you’re not telling me?

You know we really should be getting back to the review.

You’re not leaving after this review, are you?

No, I’m not. I can’t leave. No matter what you do, I can’t leave.

And why not?

I–I can’t tell you. Not yet. Please can we get back to the review.

We’ll talk about this later. Anyway, we cut to Boom-Boom and a guy named Rictor. He’s striking awkward bodybuilding poses and talking about rescuing a girl named Rahne. Boom-Boom thinks it’s suicide and he storms out. She wonders out loud what she’s gonna do and why she’s talking to herself.

It’s called an inner monologue sweetie. Learn how to use it. Also, why didn’t you point out Bart Simpson art-bombing Green Suit McMullet?

Not a peep out of you! I’m not very happy with you right now.

Sorry.

Yeah, yeah. As I was saying, we see Cable in a library when he’s suddenly attacked by…Deadpool. Finally. I was wondering when he’d show up.

His dialogue is pink. Why is it pink?

I don’t know, nor do I care. He’s finally here. Apparently, some bloke called Mr. Tolliver sent him to kill Cable. That, at least, is what he exposits to Cable while striking awkward poses. He’s about to kill him, when he’s attacked from behind by Cannonball. Deadpool knocks Cannonbal out of commission and Cable attacks him, breaking his jaw. Deadpool stabs Cable in the leg while still talking with a broken jaw. He’s about to land another finishing blow and is attacked by the rest of the New Mutants. He quickly puts one out of commission and the other two just stand there like idiots as Domino appears right out of nowhere and stabs him in the back. Apparently she managed to stab the black off of his costume because the design disappears for the rest of the issue. Domino and Cable flirt for a bit and, later, while they’re talking, Cable tells her that he mailed Deadpool back to Mr. Tolliver.

Wait. Is that it? Deadpool shows up, gets his butt kicked and is mailed away off panel? What a ripoff.

Yep. But remember, this is his first appearance, not his first issue. With all of the interchangeable mercenaries from the 1990’s no one could’ve predicted that his popularity would grow so much in the past few years. Anyway, we still have a little more comic to go over. I’ll make it quick. Rictor runs away to rescue Rahne from Genosha. Gideon creepily sneaks into a teenager named Roberto’s bedroom in order to tell him that his father has died of a heart attack.

Wait, he sneaks into a boy’s bedroom to tell him that his father died when a phone call or ringing the doorbell would’ve worked just as well? Well at least he and the teen weren’t shirtless or it would’ve been really creepy.

They were.

What?

He and the teen were drawn shirtless.

Yikes. The creepy meter is over 9000.

Tell me about it. I don’t recommend this comic unless you are a hardcore Deapool fan and you are curious about his first appearance. The art is really bad and the story is confusing to anyone who hadn’t been reading the previous issues. Overall, don’t bother. Instead, I recommend Deadpool #1 and the rest of Joe Kelly’s run on the Deadpool series. It’s hilarious, sad, and he has a great understanding of the character during one of his more lucid times. They’re excellent stories about a man who wants desperately to become a hero and the price of his heroics. I also thought that Deadpool Team Up Volumes 1–3 were a lot of fun, as well as Dead Presidents. It’s Deadpool vs our greatest Presidents. How much more awesome can you get?

How about giant samurai robots fighting knights riding fire breathing dragons.

Okay, that is pretty awesome.

Wait, you’re talking to me again!

Yeah, you’re kinda growing on me.

Awww. You like me! You really like me!

Don’t push it. And as for you, dear reader, what are you waiting for? Read some Deadpool now!

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The Wolverine

Hello, I’m a unicorn. Today, I’m going to talk about the newest movie in the X-Men franchise, The Wolverine. First off, yes, it was much better than Origins. To me, Origins was just okay until I found out what they did to Deadpool, my all time favorite Marvel character. Believe me, we’ll get to that. This was much more enjoyable and clever than that, but like the Man of Steel, I’ll break it down to the good and the bad. There isn’t anything I find all that offensive in this one, so I’ll skip the ugly. Unlike Man of Steel, though, I’ll warn you that there are spoilers ahead. This movie has a pretty decent plot twist, so if you haven’t seen it, you may want to stop reading.

The Good: This movie is mostly about Wolvie coming to terms with his immortality and the events in X-Men Last Stand. In the beginning, he’s a recluse living in the wilderness. He frequently has nightmares/telepathic conversations from beyond the grave with Jean Grey, his former lover who has died in the comics so many time that it’s become a running gag. It’s unclear whether he’s just imagining her or if she’s a ghost so I’ll just call her the Grey Ghost. If you got that reference, congratulations, you have great taste in cartoons. This fits the character really well and makes for a great arc unlike that other movie where he was just after revenge. He meets up with Yukio, a ninja who works for a man named Yashida that Wolvie has saved in his past. Yukio is my favorite character next to Wolvie because she kicks just as much butt as he does. She even gets to defeat the main villain, Viper, in a somewhat short but enjoyable fight. She’s likable, funny, and at points outshines Wolvie. I was rooting more for those two to get together than Wolvie and Mariko,, Yahida’s grand daughter. Heck, I wouldn’t mind it if she got her own spin off movie. It would certainly be better than Elektra. The actors also play off of each other really well, and share some of the funnier scenes. My exchange is when Wolvie throws Noburo off a balcony. She looks over and sees that he landed in a pool. She asks Wolvie how he knew there about the pool. He leaves, saying that he didn’t know. But, the funniest scene has to go to Wolvie and Mariko when they’re on the run and have to hole up in a lover’s motel. While on the subject of Mariko, Wolvie’s love interest, she isn’t as dynamic as Yukio, but she still has a few things going for her. She reminded me a bit of Vicki Vale in Tim Burton’s Batman. She constantly needs to be rescued, but is likable enough that we don’t mind it. She’s sweet and the type of person that could help Wolvie find a reason to live again. Their romance is fairly believable. One final note, the end credit scene was awesome. When Patrick Stewart showed up as Professor X, half of the audience cheered or let out a fanboy/girl squeal. It got me pumped for the next movie, Days of Future Past.

The Bad: I don’t know much about the comic it’s based on, so I won’t be comparing the movie to it. Most of what I knew about the Silver Samurai is what I saw in the cartoons. I didn’t really like the design for him though. Traditional Samurai armor would’ve been much better looking and much cooler to watch Wolvie fight. Also, Yashida as the Silver Samurai was a little predictable. I did appreciate the foreshadowing though. In the movie, Yukio is a mutant that can predict people’s deaths, but in a throwaway line, she says didn’t see Yashida’s coming. There are two mutants in this movie that aren’t mutants in the comic, Yukio, who’s ability I just mentioned, and the Viper, who spits poison and behaves like a snake. I actually like the Viper as a mutant. Her powers were pretty cool. Her motivations, on the other hand, are confusing. Why does she work for Yashida?  What’s in it for her? I also don’t quite understand how she stopped Wolvie’s healing ability or if she even stopped it, because he was still able to take five bullets and keep on running. She uses one of Yashida’s spider/virus robot thingies, but how exactly did it get to his heart. He was dreaming, first of kissing the Grey Ghost, then he was kissing her, then it looked like she threw up in his mouth. While we’re talking about the Grey Ghost, why did she show up so much? I understand that he misses her and feels guilty over her death, but she began to over stay her welcome. While were talking about love interests, Mariko’s fighting skills were very inconsistent. They only need to grab her by the arm for her to go with them in one scene. Then she’s fighting them off and killing the Silver Samurai in the next. Make up your mind woman!  Harada was also confusing. One minute, he’s protecting Mariko, the next, he’s kidnapping her, then he sacrafices his life for Wolvie. On another note, why get rid of the adamantium claws? What was the point of it other than to shock the viewer? My final issue is the huge continuity hiccup. How could Wolvie remember back to Nagasaki even though even though he was shot with the magic memory eraser bullets? We saw in the first movie that he’d occasionally have flashbacks in the form of nightmares, but they were bits and pieces, not complete scenes. Hopefully in the next movie, they’ll fix the numerous hiccups throughout the series.

Overall, I enjoyed it. I wasn’t all that offended by the issues I mentioned. It’s a fun, exciting action flick, and the Wolverine movie we deserve. It’s worth a watch and I can’t wait for Days of Future Past. I’d watch it for the third time just for Yukio. She’s my favorite character in this movie and my second favorite female ninja, my favorite being Karai from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but that she a story for another time.

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Cyber Force #1

Hello, I’m a unicorn. Today, we look at a Cyber Force #1, an early Image Comic. I got this comic without knowing anything about it previously other than the company it came from, so let’s see how they did establishing this universe.

The cover is lame. It’s a wraparound that just shows our “heroes” posing for battle while surrounded by guns. There’s Fu Manchu squatting in the bottom left corner. His power seems to be fingernails that a bag lady would be proud of and having a raspberry for a leg. Next to him is a woman with a  a rubber spine and metal body armor that manages to conform to her every muscle and curve. In between them is a guy with four arms all holding guns. Guess what his name is? That’s right, Stryker. He is sporting shoulder pads and a bare chest. That’s a design idea that I never really understood for both male and female superheroes. Who thought it was a good idea to leave the vital organs unprotected in combat? Next to him is a guy wearing very goofy headgear that has his hair flowing from the top and a power glove that’s converted Pepto Bismol into energy. Finally, we have our generic Thing/Hulk ripoff that’s in every early Image team comic. He’s wearing the same stupid headgear as Pepto Bismol man and standing with his back to the reader. They all  blend into each other so I have trouble telling where one begins and the other ends. Also, three out of the five look like they really have to poop. On the back we get  a good look at the mooks that they’re fighting and there are three giant heads floating at the top. The one on the left has a scull face. There isn’t much to say about him/her because it only appears on one page at the end of the comic. In that page, it’s hard to tell whether Scully is male or female. The one in the middle is our main heroine and resident damsel in distress. She looked somewhat familiar when I first read it, but I couldn’t place where. My friend so cleverly pointed out that she looks a lot like Domino from the Marvel Universe. They both have the same  pale face with the dark shape over one eye, but our red headed heroine’s shape is a lightning bolt. I shall call her DomDID (Damsel In Distress.) The lady on the right is wearing the same headgear as Pepto Bismol and Not Thing. I’m not going to be referring to them by their names because you’ll probably forget them as soon as you read them like I did.

We open the comic with raindrops falling on DomDID’s face. We have a blue textbox in the corner. It’s a time stamp that reads “DFHDFYHDFHNGJZD.”  Okay, not really, but it may as well, because the lettering is unreadable. It hurts the eyes just to look at it. We also have dialogue. It says that they’ve made contact and their target is headed West at forty MPH. WAIT. Forty miles per hour?! It doesn’t look at all like she’s going forty mph. Art 101, when you want someone to look like they’re going fast, draw speed lines. Otherwise, it just looks they’re running at average speed. We see her jump over a fence and think to herself about how she can”t get caught again. Wait, “again”? When was she captured before? Why does she need to escape?  Why are the villains chasing her? For all we know, she’s running from the police because she’d just robbed an old lady or was plotting to murder a blind man in cold blood.  Soon after she clears the fence, the villains explode through it. How did she not notice how close the villains are? From the way her thought bubbles connect to the panel it looks like they were no more than ten feet behind her.

We also see Fu Manchu watching her from a rooftop. He quotes a poem by Robert Bearclaw. It’s meant to seem deep but all it does is make the writer look unoriginal.  There’s a lot of somewhat pretentious narration about what our mysterious evil people will do to her. We flip the page and see a two page spread revealing that Fu Manchu’s name is…RIPCLAW!!!!! BWAHAHAHA…. Ripclaw? Really? That’s the best name you can come up with? It’s just so…silly. The only reason that ‘s called Ripclaw is because he has claws. Since apparently, according to the narration,  he’s guided by the spirit of the bear, why not BearClaw?

We then cut to  an explosion and another unreadable blue textbox. I get that they’re trying to make it all digital looking but it is nearly impossible to read without getting a headache. We  see two people speaking in techno babble. In the next panel we see a little boy named Timmie looking right at us and talking about F.D.I. monitors and a helpful textbox explains that they are Failure Detection and Isolation and other techno babble. One of the workers says that they have something on the cyber com. A textbox explains what any one can guess. It’s basically a goofy sounding way of saying that it’s their communications device. It’s Fu Manchu’s request for backup. End scene.

We cut to a political rally, and oh great Krypton! We have yet another of those blue textboxes. There is a  candidate giving a speech about how humans and mutants should get along while the four armed mutant/cyber thingy internally monologues about how humans aren’t ready to get along with mutants. Why not? It’s not like we’ve seen how much mutants and humans hate each other. We’ve just been told that. In X-Men, we see why people fear mutants and how they lash out at them. Here, not so much. Heck, they can’t hate each other that much because Four Arms is guarding a mutant candidate for mayor of New York, and he has accumulated a pretty good sized crowd. Even though Four Arms is in the wings, he still can get a perfect view of an assassin. He pushes the candidate, who apparently is a Senator, out of the way. Senator huh? Yeah, people hate mutants so much that they elect one as a Senator. Four Arms shoots the sniper and find another potential assassin. He can’t get a clear shot so the second man gets away.

The would be assassin runs into Cyblade, the rubber spined woman from the cover. She tells him not to bother using the guns. The assassin, holding his idiot ball, shoots, proclaiming, “I’m not paid to think.”

Rubber Spine blasts a giant hole through him, quipping, “Well then you should get a bonus for this. Don’t spend it all in one place.” Really? That’s the best you can come up with? Not “I hope you get the whole payment?” “I bet you feel quite holy now?” Another would be assassin escapes to the car, and his getaway driver asks what happened. Well, what do you think happened?  The plan failed, went down the toilet, it did… not… work. They start to drive away but run into Impact, aka Not Thing, who rips the car in half. I think. It’s kind of hard to tell with the artwork.

DomDID pauses to catch her breath and gets a gun pointed to her head. How did she not see the mooks sneak up on her? It’s not a huge alleyway and we don’t see them behind her in an establishing shot. Also, this alleyway is large enough to have four heavily armored people to stand in a line behind one another. On another note, they changed the textboxes from the obnoxious blue ones to a readable one. I guess the editor finally noticed how hard they were to read. Then Fu Manchu appears on top of a building in a shot with wonky perspective. making it look like  the evil guy is twenty feet tall. He leaps at our villains, one yelling, “It’s that crazy Indian from Cyber Force!” Wait, Indian? This guy is whiter than I am and I make Snow White look tan. So Fu Manchu starts murdering the people that are just doing their jobs. I’m sure it’ll be easy to explain this one to the families and children of those murdered mooks. He finishes killing them all and turns to DomDID, who wanted to thank the murderer with ten knives coming out of his hands. He points out how dumb that was and they’re attacked by the third floating head from the cover. Fu Manchu  monologues about how he wants to fight the Stupid HeadgearLady but can’t because of DomDID. He also says that DomDID has every reason to fear her. Which is good for her, but the reader has no reason to be afraid. They try to escape on the fire escape but the Stupid Headgear Lady shoots through the bars, knocking them to the ground. According to a minion that’s why they call her Ballistic. Personally, because of her uncanny shooting ability, I would’ve called her Bull’s Eye, but what do I know? I’m just an internet critic.

So Pepto Bismol finally shows up, attacking from above. Geeze guy, get with the times. Fu Manchu asked for backup ten pages ago. For some reason he brought an airplane that’s totally not the Black Bird from X-Men. I don’t get why he’d think to bring it, though, because he can fly. He blows some stuff up and probably killed the people in the nearby buildings. This scares Headgear Lady enough that she retreats even though she’s literally ten feet away from DomDID and could easily grab her. All she says is that she’ll be back. Or, you know, she could just hit her over the head and take her away without much interference but nope, mission off. And I thought COBRA Commander was incompetent. We get a confusing dialogue with a lady  dressed like an ancient Egyptian  talking about taking in street kids, and is informed that DomDID escaped. She sends a lackey that looks an awful lot like Tom Riddle after her. There is also a scene from DomDID’s past with an abusive father, and in the interest of taste, I won’t make fun of it. To be fair, it’s not done distastefully, and it makes it easier to sympathize with her. DomDID is probably the only character who we can sympathize with in this.

DomDID wakes up in an mansion with the Timmie from before and his dad. She asked them where she is and they say that they can’t tell but she’s free to leave anytime. Well, that gives off a mixed message. “Sure you can leave, but for all you know, we’re in the middle of the desert. Make sure to take plenty of water.”  They offer her a sandwich and Timmie randomly comments that she’s very pretty. Whoa there kid, coming on strong, aren’t we? She decides to stay and they give her a tour of the lab. she somehow knows that Timmie’s dad’s name is Chip even though it was never mentioned before. We also find out that Timmie is a robot. Chip notices that the  security has been breached in their mansion that totally isn’t Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. There’s an explosion and the comic ends revealing that Stupid Headgear Lady and the Skull person from the cover has found her. Dun…Dun…DUN!!! Wait, how did they find her if even she didn’t even know where she was?

This comic isn’t awful, but I hesitate to say that it’s good. It’s hard to tell that who are supposed to be the good guys and we don’t know the motivations behind anything. Why did Stupid Headgear Lady want DomDID? Who is the Cyber Force and how did they become a team? If they’re all mutants, why do they have bionic body parts? What was up with the Egyptian Avatar lady? Why don’t the mutants and humans get along? It feels like I missed an issue and this is really issue #2. We know next to nothing about these characters, so when they kill, we can’t sympathize with the. Characters like the Punisher, Deadpool, or Wolverine work because we know their back story and why they do what they do. And they usually kill people who are bigger monsters than themselves. We see why these monsters must be killed and they suffer the repercussions for killing them. These characters have none of that. They kill indiscriminately and we can’t sympathize with them because we have nothing to sympathize with. To the comic’s credit, though, at least the team members get along well instead of the leader randomly getting angry at a character for little to no reason. Also, as early 1990’s artwork goes, it could be worse. If you don’t believe me, Google Rob Liefeld’s worst art. The “heroes” are just generic looking, but I can tell for the most part what is happening. Also, every character is gritting their teeth like they really need to poop. Overall, though, don’t bother reading it. Read X-Men instead because that’s all it is: an X-Men ripoff, and not a very good one.

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Man of Steel

Hello, I’m a unicorn. For my first movie review, I’ll talk about the controversial new Superman movie. Personally, I liked it, but I can see where the anger is coming from, so I’ll break it down to “the good, the bad, and the ugly.”

The Good: There will probably be people who disagree with me, but I thought that Henry Cavill made a pretty good Superman. He seems, for the most part, like someone who wants to help, but also feels alone because he is a God-like being who has been raised as a mortal and just wants to find his place in this world. I went in worried that Superman would be a Superjerk, like in the Golden age of comics, but, with the exception of one or two scenes, he’s pretty easy to sympathize with. They actually wrote Lois Lane as an intelligent woman who is capable of figuring out Clark’s identity. I think that the best actors out of all of it were Superman, Lois, played by Amy Adams, and Ma Kent, played by Diane Lane. I didn’t see Amy Adams as Lois Lane, I just saw Lois Lane. Ma Kent was every bit as kind and understanding as expected. General Zod was okay. He was a threat, but wasn’t very compelling or memorable. Russel Crowe was enjoyable as Jor-El, but all I saw was Russel Crowe. The scenes on Krypton are cool to look at and the action sequences can be fun.

The Bad: The color palette was really washed out, and it suffered from Shaky Camera Syndrome. Shaky Camera Syndrome is when the camera is constantly moving even when there is no action or it makes the action very hard to see. I don’t get why most movies do this. I don’t know about you, but when there’s a fight scene, I want to see what’s happening. There are also a lot of plot-holes such as “Why doesn’t Supes give them the Codex and the other Kryptonians can colonize Mars if they don’t want superpowers?” Boom! Problem solved. Or “Why doesn’t Supes go to his dad and ask him how to defeat Zod in the first place?” The other issue I have with it is that Supes let’s a lot of people die and wreaks a lot of destruction. The real Superman would’ve found a way to get Zod and the rest of the Kryptonions away from the city. They also should’ve shown him helping to rebuild after the huge battle instead of the cringe-worthy satellite scene. I can forgive his lack of carefulness though because this was his first outing in the tights, but it’s harder to forgive the fact that he was forced to kill Zod. He’s Superman, and Superman always finds a way to avoid killing. I can think of two ways of the top of my head. #1 Tell the family that Zod is trying to kill to run out of the way of Zod’s lazer eyes. Throughout the entire scenario, they were just cowering there when they had the space to get away unscathed. #2 Push Zod face first into the ground, then brace his knee against Zod’s spine and pull until his back breaks. It would still be gruesome, but at least he didn’t kill. To their credit though, we did see that Supes was was forced into it and that it made him miserable. According to Zack Snyder, this is the reason he refuses to kill. It makes me feel a little better about it, but not really. Why couldn’t it be that Supes refuses to kill because he knows it’s wrong?

The Ugly: Pa Kent. Oh, great Krypton, Pa Kent. For every bit of likability Ma Kent has, Pa Kent triples the hate-ability. He would’ve rather had a bus full of school children die than Clark be discovered. When I first heard him say it I didn’t quite process it because I felt the logic part of my brain dribble out of my ear. Almost every scene with Pa Kent is painful and enough to earn my anger. He also dies because because of his idiocy and refusal to let Clark save him, even though Supes is more than capable of helping him without revealing himself. Or, because Pa Kent was just trying to save the dog, Supes could’ve saved it while Pa and Ma Kent got to safety. On another note, it’s actually really unsafe to hide under and overpass during a tornado. Being from the Midwest and used to tornadoes, the Kents and bystanders should’ve known that.

Overall, as movies go, it’s pretty good. I’ve certainly seen worse superhero movies, (I’m looking at you Spirit,) but is it a good Superman movie? Yes and no. Yes, because of Henry Cavill’s awesome performance as Supes. He manages to capture all of Supes great qualities and nuances. The acting for the most part is great and the special effects are good. Actors can make or break your movie, and I think the casting was great. They could really carry a script that had problems and awkward dialogue. Heck, even Kevin Costner was trying his hardest to make an unlikable character likable.  No, because it doesn’t feel like a Superman movie as much as it does an attempt to recapture the popularity of Nolan’s Batman franchise. Superman isn’t Batman. The best description of him I have ever read is this: Superman is really a happy-go-lucky guy who helps people because it makes him feel good. Sure, it gets to him that he’s the last of his race and that he can’t help everybody, but he’ll do his very best. Why? Because it’s the right thing, and Superman always does what it right, kind, and good. He isn’t a character you relate to, he’s a character you aspire to be like. He’s the type of character where, when in a tough situation, you think, “What would Superman do?” The Superman I know and love would just as quickly save a kitten from a tree as he would save the world from Braniac. This Superman movie struggles with that. He causes a lot of destruction, but doesn’t suffer the repercussions from the disaster area that is Metropolis. I hope that this will be addressed in the next movie. It’s something that Lex Luthor can easily use against him. Overall, it’s worth a watch, and while it’s not perfect, it’s still a pretty good movie that I enjoyed.

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