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TV Review: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow S1E4 White Knights

Legends of Tomorrow PosterDC’s Legends of Tomorrow fourth episode has nuclear scientists mysteriously disappear when Vandal Savage retreats behind the Iron Curtain in the early 1980s. The team follows Vandal’s trail in an effort to find his next target, while Ray bonds with a beautiful Soviet scientist.

It’s taken these four episodes, but things are finally starting to click for me with the series. The action is good. The mission actually makes sense. There’s a lot that’s fun.

The episode doesn’t do a ton with the 80s other than some references here and there, but it’s the mission that finally clicks. The team is searching for Savage, finds a document then need to steal the document. From there, it’s trying to stop Savage doing something with a nuclear weapon. That what is a nice twist at the end.

Here we have the team trying to stop Savage a different way, instead of going after him directly. Instead they’re trying to take his weapons away which makes a bit more sense in the big picture (though they should still go back earlier and just kill him).

But the big thing in this episode is it actually moving a lot of characters forward in their personalities and letting each to shine for a bit. Ray is still an arrogant idiot, but gets put in his place a bit by Snart who still is the big draw for the episode. Heat Wave is entertaining as a meat head. Stein and Jackson have their moment as Stein attempts to get Jackson to see the big picture. Kendra goes nuts which leads to Sara attempting to train her.

Everyone is given their time and focus, something I felt was generally lacking in the first three episodes. That, plus the action, are a good mix that create an enjoyable hour. I said in the last review I felt the series was still trying to find its footing, and it looks like it might be finally doing that.

Overall Rating: 7.2

TV Review: Arrow S4E13 Sins of the Father

arrowOliver receives an offer from Nyssa that is hard to refuse. Meanwhile, Thea continues to battle the blood lust; Malcolm steps in to help his daughter; and Laurel has a heart-to-heart talk with Nyssa.

Arrow shifts a hell of a lot around focusing heavily on the League of Assassins. The thrust of the episode focuses on Nyssa having a cure for Thea and she’ll only give it up if Malcolm steps aside so Nyssa can take over the League. There’s also some of Felicity getting to know her father.

The father stuff is rather predictable and as a plot unless there’s more to come, it seems like a bit silly thing to put in the show. Yes there were questions as to who her father was, but introducing him in this plotline just wasn’t a good use of the build up and reveal of who he was. Hopefully this isn’t the end of this story and I’m proven wrong down the road with more to come. As it stands though, it’s a big meh.

What’s interesting with the episode is where it goes with the League of Assassins. There’s a huge shift for the organization and Malcolm and you have to wonder the reason for those shifts behind the scenes, if there are any. Though, I will say where it went is not where I thought it was willing to go, it’s a dramatic change.

The episode has some decent action and a lot of the choreography issues I noticed in past episodes seems to be missing in this episode, which is great. Though some more sword fighting would have been great, there’s a bit too few scenes featuring it.

The episode is much better than the previous week, and there’s a pretty big shift I wasn’t expecting, so that’s great to see. What happened in the episode has me more excited than the episode itself if that makes sense. Overall, not bad just due to how much it shakes up the status-quo.

Overall rating: 7.3

Review: Voltron: From the Ashes #1-5

VoltronAshes01-Cov-A-MilneActivate interlocks, dynatherms connected, infracells-up, mega thrusters are go, Let’s Go Voltron Force! These words resonated through me as a child who grew up in the 1980’s. Even now as an adult Voltron is still one of the coolest things to me and will read and watch anything that has Voltron Lion Force in it. Which brings me to the topic at hand, Dynamite Entertainment joined forces with Cullen Bunn (Deadpool, Captain America, Magneto) and Blacky Shepherd to form Voltron once again with Voltron: From The Ashes, and I for one couldn’t be anymore excited that I got a chance to read these comics.

When I was given this assignment I couldn’t wait to open it up start reading the first five issues of this series. I knew in order for Voltron to be successful with readers who were born in the mid 90’s a new cast of characters where going to have to be introduced or the franchise had to be completely rebooted like Netflix is going to be doing this year,  and Cullen Bunn and the folks at dynamite hit the nail on the head in blending both the old with the new.

Voltron: From The Ashes takes place over 200 years after the Voltron defeats the Drule Empire. Haggar the Witch and her cat Coven have been drifting through the galaxy abandoned, asleep and defeated. She has nightmares about that day, but she is unaware of the outcome between her Robeasts and Voltron. The galaxy has been  in peace for two hundred years, Voltron’s original pilots Commander Keith, Lance, Pidge, Hunk and Princess Allura are long gone but are still flashed back to throughout the series. And the Monks of Arus are now training a new set of pilots to take over Voltron if and when he is needed again. These new pilots are Jayce, Vega, Kirin, Niki and Rei ( no not the same girl from Star Wars The Force Awakens her name is spelled Rey). Haggar is eventually found adrift by Gr’ Rawr and she quickly begins the process of creating new Rrobeasts for her new warlord. Shortly after, Haggar, Gr’ Rawr and his army along with Haggars Robeast attack a peaceful and unaware Planet Arus and has called upon the new Voltron Pilots. After a lengthy hard  fault battle, our fearless Pilots help Voltron defeat the Robeasts and Haggar once again

The plot it’s self was solid, it goes back and forth between the original Pilots and the new Cadets/Pilots. Jayce reminds me a lot of Lance. Lance always seem to go to the beat of his own drum, had a hard time following rules, but when it cam to crunch time he was always there to be a good teammate. Also what is unique to Voltron is not one, but two strong female leads, which is a bit of fresh air and I think this could help Voltron get more females interested in Voltron, just as Star Wars did with Rae and so far it has worked. What’s nice with the new Pilots is the creators didn’t do what a lot of franchises did is they take a new group of people and make them exactly like to predecessors like what Ghostbusters is doing with the new movie with the all female cast, you know who which characters resemble the older cast without even seeing a trailer yet for the movie.

The new villain in this series is weak, Gr’ Rawr is not anywhere near a King Zarkon or Prince Lotor or even Emperor Zeppo of the Drule Empire. His name sounds more like a Klingon, than a fearless warlord of the galaxy. I feel like Cullen Bunn spent more time trying to introduce us to the new Voltron Pilots, than he did trying to build up the new enemies besides Haggar. Haggar needs no build up as she has been with Voltron from the very beginning and we know how she ticks. The series would be much better story wise if they delved more into Voltron’s new found enemy. Overall as big fan of Voltron I am stille very satisfied with the direction of the story to this point and I look forward to reading the rest of the comics.

The artwork for this series is amazing, it is reminiscent of the cartoon I grew up loving and I am very greatful for that and I think readers who also loved Voltron growing up will also be grateful too. The cover art done by Alex Milne is iconic and does a great job of depicting Voltron as being bruised and battered but not out. The artwork inside done by Blacky Shepherd is flat out amazing. It pops, its colorful. He does a great job making the Castle of Lions more modern as it should be since years has passed by and things have changed for the better.

Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Blacky Shepherd
Story: 7.5 Art: 10 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Read

Dynamite Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Knight Model’s Marvel Universe Miniature Game Launches

We’ve been covering the lead up, but Knight Models has officially launched it’s latest game, Marvel Universe Miniature Game. The game allows you to play as Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the X-Men, pitting the factions against each other. There are three starter sets which include 4 metal miniatures as well as a mini rulebook. The price for the starter sets will retail for roughly $50 in US dollars but are currently on sale for about $45.

What is new is the blister packs launching along with the game, along with a template and markers. The blisters retail for $22.50 and the launch figures are Black Panther, Deadpool, and Nova. Definitely not ones I was expecting. There is also a marker set for each faction.

Check out the images below and you can order them directly from Knight Models.

Kickstarter Spotlight: Ezarieth World Heroes

Ezarieth_Cover-completed_7by Rod Rodolfo

Why do we read Comics? Because of what the Symbols Represent!

Ezarieth Represents Integrity!! Every Little Action Matters!!!

Our dream is to bring a brand new Universe to life that could help people to connect to the present moment and act upon it in a positive way!

We believe that trough the most simple everyday activities we can make the difference!!

We also believe in The Power of Magic! and that it can inspire people to create a better world!! We believe that our intentions, words and actions affects the world we live in!!

To prevent the collapse of the two worlds, a time-travel event brings to earth a young girl that holds the secret of human salvation: EVERY LITTLE ACTION MATTERS!!

If you fell you can make the difference in the real world, this project is for you!! BE A HERO YOURSELF – EVERY LITTLE ACTION MATTERS!!!!

EWH – Ezarieth World Heroes is a brand new universe mixing Fantasy and Superheroes, full of adventure and excitement!!!

A eight year effort collecting characters that range from fantasy to mystery and more!
Our stories take you to the world as it was, steeped in magic and fantastic creatures, and the first hero of the age, who’s descendants continue his example over the seven ages of the world. Romantic tales of destined lovers or slayers of monsters bent on consuming all before them, the world of Ezarieth offers readers an eclectic selection of what comic books have to offer. In the fantastic primitive past, or the technology consumed future, it’s a variety of entertainment for readers looking for something more, something lasting, an escape that resonates with the reasons we read comics in the first place. We want you to join us on our journey and make a difference on the real world!!! Help us bring the World of Ezarieth to Life!! Remember: Every Little Action Matters!!! and your help makes the difference!!!

Long before there was Earth, there was Ezarieth, the world that will one day become the one that we know. A time before recorded history, where men strove against fate, and gods sired legends. From the greatest warrior of ages past came a line of kings, slayers, and heroes, each who would play a part in staving off the impending doom of the Earth, and one who would actually save it. Canther II is the progenitor of a long line of heroes, and as the Age of Fantasy gave way to the Age of the Sea, Bronze, Heroes, Monsters, and Nations, in each age, the progeny of Canther II have proven instrumental to the solidity of the age, and the safety of the time.

This Kickstarter Campaign is for the very first issue of Ezarieth World Heroes: AMERICA – Every Little Action Matters.

This story tells the dramatic dilemma of her father and how America was sent to save the world! America will be a 12 issue miniseries that will tell how America learned the most important lesson of her life and the secret to save human life.

Although this miniseries are independent from each other all are interconnected and a greater experience takes place when you read them all.

The dream is to start with America and move towards the others to get them all funded here at Kickstarter. So, if you are interested in this Brand new Universe, Kickstarter is the place to get it first!!

We believe that trough the most simple everyday activities we can make the difference to create a better world!!

“ It was on this filthy place that my father thought me the most important lesson of my life: EVERY LITTLE ACTION MATTERS!!”
-AMERICA –

Every Little Action Matters, is a simple but strong “way of life”!!

What we are offering on this campaign:
1- 31 pgs Comic book. America’s 1st issue.
2- Remembering Card Game.
3- Art & Writing Tutorials.
4- Commissions by Super Star Artists

Please help us funding this project and bringing to life all these amazing characters!!! and remember: EVERY LITTLE HELP MATTERS!!!

I mean:

EVERY LITTLE ACTION MATTERS!!!

 

 

 

 

While we’re no longer picking crowd funding projects to spotlight on our site, we’re allowing project creators to make their case for their project on our platform. We remind individuals, we don’t endorse any of these projects, and that by supporting any crowd funding project, you’re taking any risks associated with doing so. – the Management

Review: New Romancer #3

New Romancer #3 coverNew Romancer #3 picks up the pace and the humor as our heroine, the Romantic poetry loving computer programmer, Lexy and Lord Byron dodge robots named after classical mythological allusions from his poems, and fight Casanova, who is pretty much a sex vampire. Byron also tries to get acclimated to 21st century women, and Lexy’s little lessons in feminism for him are some of the comic’s highlights.

Writer Peter Milligan plots New Romancer #3 like a picaresque novel meets Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (Lord Byron’s famous travel poem.) , but with more jokes and artificial intelligence. Not merely content to have the Byron and Casanova conflict play out for an entire issue, he introduces a Bachelorette-style contest for Byron’s affection that also helps get the New Romancer app off the ground as well as a new character, Mata Hari, an exotic dancer and spy in World War I. (Ada Lovelace, the mother of computer programming, and the originator She has somehow assembled a legion of zombie-like husbands, who have been caught cheating on their wives with online sex bots in a playful riff on the Ashley Madison scandal. However, Milligan’s zippy, rhythmic dialogue and focus on the budding romance and chemistry between Lord Byron and Lexy keeps things in the midst of the plot threads flying from everywhere.

And it is Brett Parson’s art and Brian Miller’s colors that truly the sparks kindling between this 19th century poet and 21st century tech wizard. For example, there is the first splash page as Lexy swings into Casanova’s lodging like a swashbuckling hero. She is willing to risk life and limb to save the man she loves and even stabs Casanova in the eye with a sausage, which turns out to be Casanova’s penis in a funny bit of slapstick. (This comic is pretty strange.) And every time, Lexy’s with Byron, her eyes are open wide like she still doesn’t believe that she is going on adventures with her literary idol. And Byron looks like he’s having fun too in contrast with the six panel grid of speed dates he goes on with various women, who are less than enamored with him. Even after Lexy’s pointers, he still doesn’t get gender equality and feminism, oops. The soft pink backgrounds during the speed dates also pale in comparison with the dark purple fire and cute yellow stars that Parson and Miller use as Byron and Lexy start their “date”. (Which is inevitably interrupted by her still controlling father because what’s a good piece of literature without a healthy dose of daddy issues.)

LexiandByron

New Romancer #3 has wild and wacky art from Brett Parson to match the insane situations that Peter Milligan puts his cast of characters from one of Lexy’s workmates dressing as a “sexy” cupid in an ad for the New Romancer app to the earlier mentioned phallic weaponry and cheater husbands getting decked by their wives. The comic does a decent job balancing the romantic melodrama of Byron’s writing and thinking with modern day wit and sarcasm. It’s a romantic comedy that is actually funny, far from formulaic, and has some clever historical references to boot.

Story: Peter Milligan Art: Brett Parson Colors: Brian Miller
Story: 7.8 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Movie Review: Deadpool

deadpool posterThe Merc with a Mouth finally comes to the big screen in Deadpool, based on the over saturated Marvel Comics character created by Rob Liefeld and given personality by Fabian Nicieza and later Joe Kelly.

How do I describe the 1 hour and 48 minutes? Take a Loony Tunes cartoon, throw some spandex, 80s action films, swear words, lots of over the top violence, and then have it do a few lines of coke, mix it all up, and you have Deadpool.

The story of the film isn’t anything special. Wade Wilson, played by Ryan Reynolds, undergoes a process in hopes to cure his cancer. The process is much more than it seems and turns him in to Deadpool. From there, it’s a revenge tale, that for some reason has some X-Men thrown in.

The film is completely on Reynolds shoulders, which makes sense since the actor has spent about a decade trying to make the film happen. If you enjoy is spins in Van Wilder, or Blade Trinity, the motor mouthed smart ass with a line for everything, you’ll enjoy his performance. It’s funny, it’s at times offensive, and it’s pretty quick witted. The film is one I want to see the out takes, because if this is what was left in, I can’t imagine what was left out and it’s pretty clear a lot of the lines were improvised.

The action for the film is over the top like expected, and there were things I had never seen before in a film, so it absolutely has that going for it. It’s a film that looks fantastic, using slow motion at just the right moments to emphasize the ludicrous visuals we see on the screen.

But where’s Deadpool without his supporting cast? T.J. Miller as Weasel is very entertaining, and much more subdued than I expected. Morena Baccarin as Wade’s love interest Vanessa is charming in the scenes she’s in, but she does little other than being a plot device, though she does give as much as she takes when it comes to quips. Leslie Uggams as Blind Al feels like she comes out of nowhere and is rather underused.

Where the movie fails is generally in its bad guys and guest stars. Ed Skrein as Ajax and Gina Carano as Angel Dust are the two bad guys and it’s never quite clear who they’re working for or the bigger picture. It’s all mentioned, but it’s rather silly, and feels like a set-up to just watch Deadpool kill people and be a smart ass. There’s no mention of Weapon X, which is a let down, though it can all easily be put in there in sequels if need be. Stefan Kapicic as Colossus just feels weird in the film and there’s clearly back story hinted at (can you say prequel?). The exception to all this is Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Can we get more of her please? She stole the show in each scene she’s in.

Where the film truly wins is its not giving a fuck attitude. It breaks the fourth wall regularly and Reynolds has no issue with picking on himself and his past film work, which is great to see. The film as a whole picks on itself, its studio, its director, actors, the CGI, nothing is sacred and everything is game. A continuing joke is Reynolds himself, showing off the actors willingness to take punches as much as he can give them.

I went in expecting the worst, and came out wanting more. The film isn’t for kids, and while I find Deadpool beyond irritating in comics, here he’s beyond enjoyable. And it’s all due to Reynolds. He nails it, and the film nails it, in every way there is. If you found the marketing leading up to the film funny. If you want your superheroes a bit more violent, with a bit more swear words, and definitely not for kids, Deadpool is for you.

Overall Rating: 8.1

Review: Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator Of Batman

BillTheBoyWonderFrBill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman was released on July 1st, 2012. It was sometime between then and the middle of 2013 that I learned about the book  after I read about it in a comics magazine that I initially thought to be the British Comic Heroes, but after searching through the issues I have, I was unable to locate the article. So regardless of when and where I first became aware of the book, once it was on my radar, I quickly tracked it down on Amazon.

I’m glad I did.

Once I’d read the book I was genuinely impressed by what Mark Tyler Nobleman had done. By gearing the book towards a younger audience, Nobleman ensured that anybody who wanted to learn about the Dark Knights then uncredited co-creator would have a resource, no matter the age of the reader. The great thing about the book is that despite it being geared toward younger readers, this is a book that all ages can enjoy; indeed the afterward, or authors note, detailing a portion of the research done for the book is clearly geared more toward the older reader (but isn’t required reading to get the most out of the book). Although Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator Of Batman isn’t strictly a graphic novel, it is illustrated wonderfully by Eisner Award winner Ty Templeton, who brings a real sense of history and wonder to the story that Nobleman is telling here.

As a biography of Batman‘s co-creator Bill Finger, this book is lacking a little. But being a complete biography was never the intention behind Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator Of Batman, no, this book was only ever meant to highlight an unknown legend who did more than we could ever have imagined for Batman and, to some extent, Bob Kane. Because of the all ages target audience there isn’t an in depth look into the writer’s life, instead what Nobleman has done is focus exclusively on the moments surrounding Finger, his contributions to the Dark Knight’s legacy and his incredible lack of credit and recognition for those contributions.

By making this book accessible to all ages, and focusing on several key moments, Nobleman and Templeton delivered a book that, in my mind, was instrumental in getting Bill Finger recognized as Batman‘s co-creator. Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator Of Batman is more than just a children’s book about a man getting screwed out of his legacy; it’s also the physical encapsulation of one man’s single minded desire to bring awareness to a man who died nearly penniless.

This book is a great starting point for those looking to learn more about Bill Finger, no matter your age, but if you want to read more about the extensive research that went into this book then you should checkout Nobleman‘s blog Noblemania, but more specifically this page where he really lays out a lot of the stories, photographs  and memories of FingerMarc Tyler Nobleman certainly wasn’t the only voice shouting for Bill Finger to get some recognition, but he was one of the loudest, and Bill The Boy Wonder was the result of a huge amount of time and energy that had been dedicated to bringing Bill Finger‘s name out of obscurity.

Writer: Marc Tyler Nobleman Illustrator: Ty Templeton
Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Final Trailer Gives Us Better Darkseid Hints

A new trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has hit the web and not only does it provide new footage (and footage that has me really excited for the film), it also gives us a hell of a hint at the debut of the villain Darkseid who has been hinted at being in the movie.

First, this trailer, plus previous ones, have featured these strange flying beings, which look a lot like Darkseid’s shock troops Parademons.

darkseid batman v superman 3 darkseid_batman_v_superman_2

But, now we get this scene which features a large Omega on the ground, a symbol associated with the character.

darkseid_batman_v_superman_1

We don’t know how Darkseid will make his debut, but it looks like we can expect a battle for the ages at some point.

Review: Jem and the Holograms Valentine Special

STK697001Valentine’s Day is upon us and love is in the air for everyone.

Well, in the case of the Holograms and the Misfits, it’s more like a potion induced kind of love.

The Jem and the Holograms Valentine Special continues the IDW Publishing series’s streak of adorable holiday related shenanigans that take place outside of the story without bogging the series down too much. This particular one starts with Kimber visiting a fortune teller, who gives Kimber a tarot reading that’s not the most positive one in the world. Kimber being Kimber, she can’t let that slide and begs the fortune teller for a solution. The fortune teller gives her a potion that will soften resentment, but to only use three drops otherwise it’ll make the recipient fall in love with the first thing they see.

However, Kimber also being Kimber, she misses that last part and pours the entire thing into a jug of water at a meeting between The Holograms and The Misfits. Shenanigans immediately ensue.

This story is wonderfully ridiculous. Making good use of Jen Bartel’s hilarious shojo manga inspired style and Paul Reinwand’s beautiful colors, Kelly Thompson writes a hilarious story about how Kimber’s good intentions also lead to her biggest mistakes. The rest of the Holograms are right to not let Kimber off the hook for this one since it lead to ramen bar fights, some desperate pleas to hardware store workers and baristas, Kimber awkwardly hitting on Rio and Roxy being more in love with bagels than usual? Yeah, Jerrica was right to leave that last one alone.

While not super pertinent to the main story going on right now in Jem and the Holograms, this Valentine Special is still a super cute one off that gives great character moments and humor. Bartel and Reinwand’s art is the especially fun driving force of this issue, playing up the anger, annoyance and infatuation especially hard. The character designs as well were especially great in this one, with demonic looking Jetta being a personal favorite of mine. Between this and Jonesy over at BOOM! Studios, you should be all set to have an especially comic’s themed Valentine’s Day this year. Well, if you’re the type who’s not looking to celebrate by traditional means, that is.

Story: Kelly Thompson Art: Jen Bartel and Paul Reinwand
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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