Tag Archives: brian michael bendis

Powers Gets a Second Season

Powers March 10Powers, the Playstation exclusive series based on the comic series from Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming has gotten a second season. The news is a mixed surprise for me, as the season ended on a cliffhanger, but the quality was mixed and series generally panned. Add in no buzz, and it makes you wonder how it squeaked through.

The series is about a former superhero who is part of a police division that deals with super powered individuals.

The showrunner, Charlie Huston, announced he’s leaving it over “creative differences.” While he noted this sorts of changes were common, he did cite the reason he was leaving. He also said the series is “changing creatively,” but Bendis and Oeming are remaining involved.

Powers ranks as PlayStation Network’s most-watched series premiere on the platform, with all of season one available to PlayStation Network and free to PlayStation Plus subscribers.

John Koller, VP Platforms Marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America said:

The reception to Powers has been incredible, and we are thrilled to have successfully launched a platform for original content with the PlayStation gamer in mind. We believe original content will continue to be a key pillar as we broaden the value proposition for PlayStation Plus, and we’re excited for what’s to come with season two of Powers.

The series will return in 2016.

Wolverine Lives! A New Look at the Warzones! of Old Man Logan #1!

Your eyes do not deceive you! Secret Wars has made the impossible possible and the battle-weary hero returns to the fray in Old Man Logan #1! From writer Brian Michael Bendis and rising star artist Andrea Sorrentino comes a brand-new Secret Wars series returning fans to one of the most revered and iconic X-Men stories of all time! Welcome back to the Wastelands, a land dominated by victorious super villains. The heroes of this land have all perished – butchered by their arch-enemies. Tyrants, terrors and madmen rule over this dusty waste. Hope left this land long ago. But there is one man who may yet make a difference. A man with nothing to lose!

Now, amidst the fire and the fury, a reluctant warrior pops his claws once more! And the war for Battleworld is brewing in his own backyard. As the event of Secret Wars unfold, will he find his life’s mission to rid the world of evil more attainable – or more futile than ever before? Find as a hero is reforged in the crucible of Battleworld. The journey begins with a resounding SNIKT the X-Man formerly known as Wolverine crashes into Secret Wars!

OLD MAN LOGAN #1 (MAR150656)
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Art & Cover by ANDREA SORRENTINO
Variant Covers by STEVE MCNIVEN (MAR150657),
ANDREA SORRENTINO (MAR150658) & SKOTTIE YOUNG (MAR150659)
Blank Variant Also Available (MAR150660)
FOC – 05/04/15, On-Sale 05/27/15

Old_Man_Logan_1_Cover

TV Review: Powers S1E10 F@#k the Big Chiller

Powers March 10Wolfe (Eddie Izzard) has escaped, leaving a path of destruction and death in his wake, pushing Walker (Sharlto Copley) to put aside his desire to regain his own powers in order to help the Powers Division and heroes of the world end this once and for all. Will killing Wolfe save humanity or are there more sinister forces lurking in the background?

The final episode of the series seems to mix everything that’s good and bad about the series, all in about an hour. The action, the story, it’s a bit better. The acting generally is over the top in a bad way, and about what I’d expect from a fan film on Youtube. Though some actors have reigned it in and remembered they’re professionals. The special fx are still dodgy, where flying is about as graceful as a high school musical production of Peter Pan. There’s also the continued fascination with over the top amounts of blood, almost to fetish glee. The costumes continue to look like bad cosplay.

The problem also remains the story still doesn’t make all that sense, with characters making choices that are completely baffling. Retro Girl flies through a window tackling Wolfe, knocks him down, then… does nothing except takes her foot off of him. What? With superheroes like this, how has this world not been overrun by villains?

Powers Cast PhotoThe episode ends with a lot of cliff hangers. There’s a major death. Kaotic Chic is still out there. Calista has an interesting turn. The last 10 minutes or so actually shows quality, as if the series was saving all of that for these last few episodes, and especially this one.

I’ve said through much of the series, that Powers has a lot of potential. There could be some fantastic blending of superheroes and police enforcement. But, for whatever reason corners looked to have been cut, the budget might have been too low to properly make the fx look decent. The series just had trouble finding its footing until these last few episodes, which is a shame really. As someone who watches all of the television shows based on comics I only kept watching this one for these reviews. With so many other decent shows out there, why would I have wasted the time?

Who knows if there’ll be a second season, but it looks like the folks behind the series started to get everything together. Hopefully if it returns, it gets a bit of a bump in budget, because the show has potential, we’ve seen it for a few episodes. Here’s hoping they can expand that to an entire season if they continue.

Overall Score: 6.95

 

 

 

 

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.

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