Tag Archives: brian michael bendis

A Desperate Last Stand on Battleworld – A New Look at Ultimate End #1!

As the Secret Wars begin, the Ultimate Universe reaches its end! This May, experience it’s heartbreaking curtain call in Ultimate End #1! Blockbuster creators Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley – the creative team that helped start it all – will end it with one last, epic story! Miles Morales and the rest of the heroes of the Ultimate Universe face their final extinction. Judgement Day is here and the end is nigh. Yet as they come to terms with the end of all they’ve ever known and all they hold dear – will their gut-wrenching sacrifices make any difference? Is there any hope for the Ultimate Universe or it’s beloved heroes? Find out this May, as an entire universe experiences its final moments in Ultimate End #1!

ULTIMATE END #1 (MAR150632)
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Art & Cover by MARK BAGLEY
Variant Covers by DAVID MARQUEZ (MAR150633) & SKOTTIE YOUNG (MAR150635)
Action Figure Variant by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER (MAR150634)
Spider-Man Variant by MARK BAGLEY (FEB158574)
FOC – 04/27/15, On-Sale – 05/20/15
Ultimate_End_1_Cover

TV Review: Powers S1E9 Level 13

Powers March 10In the penultimate episode written by the Powers comic co-creator Brian Michael Bendis, Walker (Sharlto Copley) decides how far he is willing to go to regain his powers as Johnny Royalle (Noah Taylor) sets the plan in motion to kill Wolfe (Eddie Izzard). Meanwhile the Powers Division sets a plan to catch Royalle in the act and discover where Walker’s true allegiance lies.

The series has gotten better the last couple of episodes, but has flattened out in quality in this episode which still includes horrible acting, and so many twists and turns as far as which side people were on that it became a mockery of itself by the end.

The episode continues to dance around good material, that’d make an excellent television show. Walker and Royalle keep debating and talking about their sins of the past, and wanting to make up for it as well as what it means to be a hero. That theme alone could have been drawn out the entire season and been the real focus. Instead, its lines every couple of episodes. There’s also Walker being torn as to whether or not he wants his powers back, and where his loyalty actually is. That is a focus of this episode, but that’s only shallow deep, as when we get to a juicy part, the episode and characters veer as if everything was not big deal. It also might be the fact no one can act like something is a big deal.

Powers Cast PhotoThere’s only one more episode left in the series, and there’s still lots to explore and wrap up, including Wolfe and the potential of an anti-powers movement. Either of those could be done over a bunch of episodes on their own, and both are prime for good material to come out of them. But, I’m expecting much of the same as the series wraps up.

To say this experiment by Sony and the Playstation was a failure in my eyes is an understatement. It fails on almost every single episode, never creating a voice of its own, unless B-Movie quality is its voice. With so many other choices out there, there’s many other shows featuring powers I’d choose before this series. It’s a shame because this one has so much potential as far as what can be done, it just isn’t quite using its powers right.

Overall Score: 6.85

 

 

 

 

Bisexual Erasure Strikes Again in All-New X-Men #40

All New X-Men 40 biBrian Michael BendisAll-New X-Men #40 hits shelves tomorrow with a big change to one of the original X-Men characters. Warning Spoilers to follow.

In the issue, regular jokester Bobby Drake aka Iceman, is confronted by telepath Jean Grey after Drake makes a comment about the “hotness” of a female character Magik. Grey, reading his mind, outs Bobby as a gay. Bobby initially disagrees, citing his older self (time travel stuff) has dated numerous women. He responds that maybe he’s bisexual to which Jean says nope, he’s “fully gay.” You can read the exchange on the left.

So I’ve been sitting on this because I want to read All-New X-Men #40 myself first before going on record. But having seen the panels I need to at least say this: Bendis, I really respect your work but you messed this up. Please consider listening to actual bisexual people when you do this sort of thing. Because we are going to have a different perspective on this than you will. I’m not saying that Bobby needs to be bi (though lord knows, we need another bi hero). I’m not saying that Bobby should identify in any particular way. I’m saying that the way the scene was written dismisses the existence of bisexual people. And Bobby deserves to have the chance to define his own sexual orientation rather than having a narrator stand-in tell him how he should or shouldn’t identify.

Evan at Bisexual Books summed it up nicely:

Saying everyone is bi erases us. It invalidates bisexual identity and gives room for people to feel it’s perfectly ok for them to smack their own labels on us rather than allowing us to self identify. This is exactly what young Jean does to young Bobby in this exchange.

Maybe the writer doesn’t want us to interpret Jean’s voice as the narrator’s. Maybe he is showing the limitations of her teenage vocabulary and understanding of human sexuality (I mean they just pulled her out of the 60s). But its hard for me to read the scene any other way.

erasure(and thank you to herecomesthewomanwithoutfear aka Emma Houxbois for turning my Living Eraser from Dimension Z comment into an awesome jpg. FYI the Living Eraser is a comics meta joke dating back to the silver age).

TV Review: Powers S1E8 Aha Shake Heartbreak

Powers March 10Royalle (Noah Taylor) reveals to Walker (Sharlto Copley) the true nature of Sway and the inevitable devastation it will cause if Wolfe (Eddie Izzard) is ever to escape, in order to persuade him to join his new cause to annihilate Wolfe. Meanwhile as the message of Kaotic Chic spreads rapidly with fatal results it finds its biggest platform yet in a publicity stunt orchestrated for Retro Girl’s charitable foundation.

The series is actually getting better as it gets closer to the season finale, but as much better as the series is, it falls into the usual issues with horrible FX that either looks cheesy or goes over the top.

The episode, and series seems to be best when it focuses away from the powers themselves and just looks at the characters and what it’s like to live their lives. Its gotten much better as well amping up the Kaotic Chic storyline and moving away from Wolfe.

Powers Cast PhotoThe episode ends though in a way that sullies much of the quality of the previous 50 minutes. The publicity stunt above involves a villain named Red Hawk attacking Zora. Red Hawk’s flying looks so bad, it might as well have been a high school production of Peter Pan. Zora’s powers look a bit better this episode showing where the budget went. Then things go wrong, and it feels like someone on the show has a fetish for buckets of blood, because we see blood flowing in an over the top way again. Did the person responsible work on horror movies before? Because it reminds me more of that than anything else. It’s just bad. The storyline of Calista also drags on as she continues to click her heels hoping to have powers. A bit more of her past is revealed, but at this point the character and her arc is just grating.

The show is getting better. Its focus on a younger Christian and Johnny and how their lives intertwined with Wolfe is actually good. If the series focused on that more, and used the fx sparingly, it’d have been much stronger. It could have taken a queue from The Walking Dead, using its draw only every so often, making it a bit more special. But the series is now pivoting more towards Christian and Johnny making up for their pasts, and that has lots of potential. Sadly its come with only a couple more episodes to go. If there’s a season two (which I’d doubt), I’d hope there’d be lessons learned and a new focus and direction.

With so many other choices out there, there’s many other shows featuring powers I’d choose before this series. It’s a shame because this one has so much potential as far as what can be done, it just isn’t quite using its powers right.

Overall Score: 6.95

 

 

 

 

Miles Morales Faces the Death of a Universe for Ultimate End #1 Variant!

He was the artist that started it all – and now he’s going to finish it! Today, Marvel has unveiled Mark Bagley’s exciting variant cover to Ultimate End #1! A stunning homage to the very first Ultimate Spider-Man cover, Bagley brings his inimitable style to a now classic image! The wheels are in motion, and the Ultimate Universe is set to crash headlong into the monumental Secret Wars. The end is nigh…but is there any hope for the Ultimate Universe or its most beloved hero?  No fan should miss out on this iconic, can’t-miss variant cover – only in comic shops this May!

ULTIMATE END #1 BAGLEY SPIDER-MAN VARIANT (FEB158574)
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Art & Cover by MARK BAGLEY
FOC – 04/27/15, On-Sale – 05/20/15

Ultimate_End_1_Bagley_Spider-Man_Variant

TV Review: Powers S1E7 You Are Not It

Powers March 10After Wolfe’s (Eddie Izzard) plea to end his life, Walker (Sharlto Copley) and Pilgrim (Susan Heyward) must act quickly to stop Johnny Royalle’s (Noah Taylor) petition to meet with Wolfe in The Shaft. Meanwhile Zora (Logan Browning) struggles with her new-found fame, while Calista (Olesya Rulin) becomes more desperate to discover if she truly is a Power.

Seven episodes in, and the series is slowly getting better. With the Drainer in place, the Powers police division is clamping down on Powers and putting them in jail where they’re getting their powers sucked from them. Which leads to an interesting question, do clones from a power count as a person? There’s some interesting moments like that peppered throughout the episode, but many of these we’ve seen before tackled in X-Men comic books. Hell, I think Jamie Maddrox/Multiple Man has had this very same issue.

The series is really now split into a couple of storylines. There’s the drug Sway, which Johnny Royalle is attempting to put the genie back in the bottle. There’s Walker’s debate if he really wants his powers pack. Then there’s the Calista and her continued belief she’s a power. That go old about the third episode. Finally there’s this anti-powers movement beginning that actually has an interesting thing revolving around it.

Powers Cast PhotoAll of this could be interesting, if so many issues didn’t remain in the series. The acting is beyond hit or miss. I really think this is about the point the actors decided to just cash in their check and either not care about their performance or go balls to the wall and be over the top (*cough* Izzard *cough*). The acting still just is so poor, you can feel everyone not caring through the screen while watching.

The show also has issue with special FX. Since there’s less powers being shown off it isn’t present as much, but anytime someone uses their special abilities it feels like something someone did on their home computer. That also goes for the costumes which vary from quality to something I’d expect a four-year old to put together while raiding my closet. There should absolutely be an inconsistency in costumes between the big league pros and the wannabes out there, but the wannabe costumes feel like horrible Halloween costumes. That and the FX create a cheapness about the series.

With so many other choices out there, there’s many other shows featuring powers I’d choose before this series. It’s a shame because this one has so much potential as far as what can be done, it just isn’t quite using its powers right.

Overall Score: 6.9

 

 

 

 

Powers Comes to the Tabletop Courtesy of IDW Games

Powers_1_CoverIDW Games is on the case! Get ready to hunt down the city’s super-powered serial killers in a new line of tabletop games based off the Powers graphic novels. Powers, by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, is an Eisner Award winning super hero noir series that was recently adapted for television by PlayStation network. The Powers game line will include card, board, and dice games each focusing on different situations and characters from the series.

The first Powers game will be a small box game where players will take on the role of investigators hunting down super-powered criminals, or “powers.” In the game, players will be working together to track and hopefully capture a player-controlled super villain before time runs out. The game will feature an array of criminals pulled from the comic series, each with their own special abilities and rules. Throughout the course of play, players will not only have to determine how to catch their prey, but who exactly they’re hunting before they escape into the night for good.

This is the latest comic turned game by IDW Games. The company will be releasing games based on Chew this year.

Look for Powers: The Card Game to hit stores in early 2016.

TV Review: Powers S1E6 The Raconteur of the Funderal Circuit

Powers March 10In the wake of the battle to stop Wolfe (Eddie Izzard), the Powers division gathers to mourn the loss of their fellow officers, while Walker (Sharlto Copley) seeks answers about his own future and the possibility of becoming Diamond once again. After seeing the uncertain and dangerous side effects of Sway first-hand Johnny Royalle (Noah Taylor) begins unsavory experiments on known subjects of the drug.

Six episodes in and the series is actually getting better. The last episode was an improvement, and this one is an improvement on that. Partially because the episode gets away from the bad fx, and instead focuses on the police themselves and the aftermath of losing their fellow officers.

The episode mostly takes place in the police station where the fallout from all the deaths is felt and the officers must deal in their own way. It’s a good setting to really show off the various personalities and delve a bit more into the backgrounds of everyone, something that’s mostly been hinted at.

Powers Cast PhotoParticularly good is Walker and his partner Pilgrim’s interactions. There’s some fantastic moments of the two. There’s also good acting at times! I think the good in this episode just shows off how much the first five episodes stumbled in their execution. By doing less, the series actually does so much more and better as far as quality.

The show absolutely has a long way to go before I think it’d come close to deserving a second season and I’d consider it to not by an abysmal failure. But, it’s surprisingly showing improvement. Unfortunately, to understand what’s going on, you need to sit through a lot of bad.

With so many other choices out there, there’s many other shows featuring powers I’d choose before this series.

Overall Score: 6.85

 

 

 

 

TV Review: Powers S1E5 Paint It Black

Powers March 10As Retro Girl (Michelle Forbes), Zora (Logan Browning), and the heroes of the world rush to stop the escape of Wolfe (Eddie Izzard) from The Shaft, Walker (Sharlto Copley) realizes he must face him alone, the inevitable clash between mentor and disciple that will unravel the deep-seated history between them.

Can the series actually be improving? The episode is the strongest of the bunch, but that’s really not saying a whole lot. The episode is riddled with issues that border on ridiculous.

The episode still has horrible fx, and the acting is about as good as the average high school musical production. But, we get some more back story, so there’s that.

Powers Cast PhotoWhile Izzard’s Wolfe is on the rampage, Copley’s Walker engages him and battles him in an attempt to stop the killing. Keep in mind, Walker no longer has his powers, but he somehow gets them back, that’s not completely explained other than the fact he popped the drug Sway.

What we do get is a lot of back story and the history of Walker, Wolfe and Royalle. We see them much younger and the budget clearly is gone because the younger Walker and Royalle look nothing like each other, though for some reasons Retro Girl is still played by Michelle Forbes. It’s interesting and would actually be good if it was handled better.

The production values continue to hamper the series with fx that fall beyond the line of camp. The series is full of potential, but something somewhere hasn’t been handled correctly.

With so many other choices out there, there’s many other shows featuring powers I’d choose before this series.

Overall Score: 6.75

 

 

 

TV Review: Powers S1E4 Devil in a Garbage Bag

Powers March 10Walker (Sharlto Copley), Pilgrim (Susan Heyward), and the rest of the Powers Division must prevent Wolfe (Eddie Izzard) from escaping the high security prison that holds him, The Shaft. As Wolfe goes on a murderous rampage from within these walls, the Powers team are forced to try a new top-secret technology to keep him detained—Code name: The Drainer.

Out of the first four episodes, I think this one encapsulates the issues I have most with the series. At times it wants to be a more serious and grounded “comic” television show like Gotham, The Flash, or Arrow, at other times it looks like a bad fan-film, and at other times it’s over the top with the camp. The lack of consistent tone seems to show off an inconsistent vision for the series….. and this might be the best episode of the series so far.

Powers Cast PhotoAll of the acting issues are there, by Copley and Heyward are very passable in their respective roles and are absolutely the best of the bunch. Copley especially shows off a cop who is torn about who he was, and who he is, and when the series focuses just on these two it’s not bad. It’s when everything else is thrown in that things go very off the rails.

Take Eddie Izzard’s Wolfe who is an interesting character. A complete psychopath and killer, he quickly heals and is difficult to take down. The more he kills, the stronger he gets. That’s interesting. Then there’s the killing itself which has so much blood thrown in there that it’s over the top comical in how bad it is. It seriously reminds me of a D-grade horror film where the solution to scares is more blood. Maybe that’s why the other fx and costumes are so bad, the budget all went towards the blood in this episode.

But hey, at least we know what Johnny Royalle’s been up to. So there’s that.

With so many other choices out there, there’s many other shows featuring powers I’d choose before this series.

Overall Score: 6.75

 

 

 

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