Tag Archives: christopher yost

Review: Battlescars

Battle Scars #1 Cover

When it comes to movies that do conspiracies right, not too many measure up to the Manchurian Candidate. It’s a movie and a book about the son of a prominent American family running for office but has been secretly brainwashed into being an assassin in a wide-reaching communist conspiracy. The story was so good that it was remade a few years ago starring the venerable Denzel Washington. Many movies have tried to emulate the level of tension within the story, but none has succeeded including the remake.

That was until I saw The Guest starring Dan Stevens in the titular role, where he portrays himself as a soldier, a friend of the son of one family whose son died in action. As with most stories that seem ordinary, this one takes a turn for the worst, as he is government trained killer, who the government ends up looking for. These type of stories usually become good the slower the mystery unravels. This is the case in the Fear Itself book, Battle Scars, one which finds our protagonist, not your typical solider as he has everyone looking for him, including every superhero in the Marvel Universe.

We meet Marcus Johnson, an Army Ranger, whose mere presence is a threat to some and not knowing exactly why, as he has become public enemy number one. As his mother is killed in what looks like a robbery, he comes from Afghanistan, to attend her funeral, and to only discover someone looking to take him out, Taskmaster. This is when Captain America comes to rescue him, where he gets into SHIELD custody, which he soon finds out is a prison. Johnson eventually breaks out, finds an old Army buddy, and hunts down Taskmaster to get some answers, which unfortunately runs him right into the path of Deadpool. As we soon find out the reason he was being hunted, and that his DNA is the secret to our villain’s long life.

Overall, an interesting origin story to a beloved character wrapped in a mystery leading to pulse pounding thriller. The story by the creative team is action packed and intense. The art by Eaton is beautiful. Altogether, an excellent story which is definitely more than meets the eye.

Story: Cullen Bunn, Matt Fraction and Christopher Yost
Art: Scot Eaton
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

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John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, Daniella Pineda, and Alex Hassell Join Netflix’s Live-Action Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop

The main cast is set for Netflix‘s live-action Cowboy Bebop. John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, Daniella Pineda, and Alex Hassell have all been cast in lead roles for the series based on the anime.

Cho will star as Spike Spiegel, a bounty hunter with some style. Spiegel and his partner Jet travel the solar system purusing the most dangerous bounties.

Shakir is Cho’s partner as he’s playing Jet Black, an honest cop who is crushed by a betrayal which forces him to become a bounty hunter.

Fay Valentine will be played by Pineda. The character was cryogenically frozen, has amnesia, and is also a bounty hunter.

Hassell is Vicious who is a notorious hit-man and also Spike Spiegel’s ex-partner and arch-enemy.

Casting continues for the series which has been picked up for 10 episodes. Original anime director Shinichiro Watanabe is consulting on the project while Christopher Yost is writing the first episode and executive producing the series.

Review: Cable: The Last Hope Vol. 2

The Mutant Messiah has been found and she’s Mutantkind’s last Hope. Cable heads to the future to protect her and is joined by X-Force. But, Bishop, Stryfe, and Apocalypse are all looming.

Cable: The Last Hope Vol. 2 includes X-Force/Cable: Messiah War, Cable (2008) #13-25, X-Force (2008) #14-16 an X-Men: Hope by Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, Duane Swierczynski, Mike Choi, Ariel Olivetti, Paul Gulacy, Gabriel Guzman, Humberto Ramos, George Caragonne, Paco Medina, Clayton Crain, Steve Dillon, and more!

Get your copy in comic shops now and book stores December 24! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/comiXology/Kindle
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Underrated: Scarlet Spider (2012)

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: The 2012 Scarlet Spider run.



Scarlet_Spider_Vol_2_1I have always enjoyed stories about villains becoming heroes. With 2012’s Scarlet Spider we get exactly that. When I originally aded this to my pull list, I had assumed that the Scarlet Spider in question was Ben Reilly in a new costume, and not Kaine. I’m sure had I been reading the Spider-Man comics at the time I’d have known better, but I figured this was a good place to jump on board – and I wasn’t wrong.

But not for the reasons I expected. Instead of a heroic story featuring Ben Reilly, Scarlet Spiderdelivered something I wasn’t expecting – and ended up loving more than I thought I would.

The story starts with Kaine trying to get to Mexico, having recently been cured of the cellular degeneration he was suffering as a clone (it’s a whole thing that’s explained in multiple stories and other resources), he’s seeking a chance to finally live his life free of the constant agony he used to suffer. But, as with any good story featuring a Spider, things inevitably get in the way of that and Kaine gets stuck in Houston, quickly becoming the city’s own resident super hero. The series was written by Chistopher Yost, who was joined by a variety of hugely talented pencillers, inkers and colourists throughout the series 25 issue run (there were also  couple of specials and tie-in issues that bulk up the issue count if you want the whole story).

The full run remains one of my favourite Spider stories, in part because of the redemptive nature, but also because it’s just really good. But like all series that features a lesser known character it was cancelled because of low sales. Scarlet Spider is a brilliant alternate to Spider-Man as we see a hero with, as the tag line so eloquently puts it, “all of the power, and none of the responsibility.” But Kaine is still a Parker, and as he begrudgingly accepts the responsibility of being the Scarlet Spider, we get to see a villain slowly change into (well, almost) a hero.

This is a fantastic run, easily one of my favourite parts of my collection, but it’s one I don’t see getting the love it deserves – that’s why the book is Underrated.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Review: X-Men: Domino

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got Domino!

X-Men: Domino collects Domino (1997) #1-3, Domino (2003) #1-4, X-Force: Sex and Violence #1-3, material from X-Force & Cable Annual ’95, A+X #10, and Uncanny X-Men Annual (2016) #1 by Ben Raab, Joe Pruett, Brian Stelfreeze, Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, Todd Dezago, Adam Warren, Anthony Piper, David Perrin, Gabrielle Dell’Otto, and Daerick Gross.

Get your copy in comic shops and in book stores today. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

 

Marvel​ provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Movie Review: Thor: Ragnarok

Usually when films get around to their third, the quality dips… a lot, and we’re left with a shell of a franchise that tarnishes what’s come before. Thor: Ragnarok not only bucks that trend, but delivers a film that’s not only the best of the three Thor films released so far, but also one of the best in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. Directed by Taika Waititi with a script by Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, and Christopher Yost, Thor: Ragnarok is a visual treat of a film that feels like a comic come to life in many ways. This shouldn’t be surprising as both Kyle and Yost have written comics themselves and have a long history in animated comic based franchises. Pearson was part of the team behind Agent Carter, a television series focused on a kick-ass female lead, which in itself makes some of the film not surprising.

With Odin deposed from the throne the evil Hela returns to take over Asgard and the Nine Realms. Thor is sidetracked as he’s sent to the world Sakaar where he’s forced into a gladiator role and comic book Spartacus. That latter part is a new take on comic writer Greg Pak’s “World War Hulk” storyline that saw the Hulk in a similar role. But, here the Hulk is a companion Thor must win over as we find out where he’s been all these years.

What’s immediately noticeable about the film, beyond it’s different visual tone, is the comedic sense of it all. Waititi is the director behind the hilarious shorts featuring Thor and a roommate and that same humor is here. It’s a dry sense of humor where quips are given back and forth and visual jokes are few and far apart. Chris Hemsworth in the title role plays off the humor well delivering it all with a seriousness that makes it all even more entertaining. But, that humor is also mixed with lots of action that’s well paced and keeps things flowing through the end battle. An action film with comedic elements or is it a comedic action film? That’s a hard one but the laughs were enough that I missed dialogue either because I was laughing or the audience was, making the film one you’ll need to see multiple times to get everything.

But, back to Waititi and the visuals. With an energy about it that feels like Blade Runner, Fifth Element, and bubblegum pop mixed together, the worlds are bright and visually stunning each in their own way. Sakaar is a mixed of colors which enhance each scene and brought into the design of every character. Watching the film I couldn’t help think this was Jack Kirby’s brilliance brought to the screen for us to enjoy. Warriors for the Grandmaster, played by Jeff Goldblum, look like the design of Kirby’s Celestials. The film is almost an homage to his brilliance, fitting for the year we celebrated his 100th birthday. All of it pops in the IMAX 3D I watched the film in.

The movie expands the cast too. Hemsworth is his usual entertaining self getting to up his comedic chops. Tom Hiddleston as Loki has his moments as well but generally plays the mischievous straight man to everyone else’s jokes. Mark Ruffalo, who is a newcomer to the Thor franchise, brings more interest to Bruce Banner and the Hulk, creating a neurotic man both lost and afraid of what might happen. But those newcomers are where things stand out. Idris Elba as Heimdall gets to step up and be a badass in the film, making me long for more Elba in the Marvel Universe. Goldblum brings a cosmic disco sense to it all in his Grandmaster making a villain fun. Karl Urban as Skurge is possibly the low point with just too little to do. But, Cate Blanchett as Hela and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie are the two real highlights.

Blanchett delivers a villain role that is badass and tragic and very intimidating. She is Thor’s better in every way and this is the first villain in a Marvel film I felt this. She’s not defeated in some battle, she kills unknown amounts of people, and she does it with her own hands. Thompson too rocks as Valkyrie a bounty hunter who has a history with Asgard and Hela. Her initial badassness is confirmed later as the real battle begins and again we get a character who is every bit Thor’s equal. The two women being such highlights makes me think Pearson’s role with Agent Carter might have helped. Two commanding women are not something we generally see in a Marvel film, let alone two that are better than the male lead in so many ways. Hela whips Thors as and Valkyrie gets the better of him again and again. The tide feels like it’s turning a bit when it comes to female characters in comic adaptations with the addition of DC’s Wonder Woman who herself rocked the big screen this year.

The story itself is solid with few flaws and a finale that actually doesn’t disappoint. Third acts generally have been letdowns when it comes to comic films and this is the exception to the rule.

IMAX 3D just immersed me in the movie with moments actually causing me to feel like I was falling and moving too, a fun addition to it all.

Is the film a must see? Yes, on the big screen and preferably in IMAX 3D. Then you can see it again when you realize you’ve missed a lot from laughing and being entertained. One of the best Marvel releases yet and one of the best and most entertaining films released this year.

Overall Rating: 9.35

M.O.D.O.K. Assassin #1 Takes Aim at the Warzones! This May

There’s a new killer in town, and he’s taking the Secret Wars by storm. Evil has a new face. A giant face with no body. Prepare to meet the deadliest hitman on Battleworld in M.O.D.O.K. Assassin #1 – a brand new Secret Wars limited series coming this May! Writer Christopher Yost and artist Amilcar Pinna take you inside Battleworld’s wildest domain! Enter Killville, the only place on all of Battleworld where murder is always the correct answer. If you’ve got a problem – kill it! In a world populated by fearsome thieves, mercenaries and ne’er do wells – there is one who is a HEAD above the rest. M.O.D.O.K.! The Mental Organism Designed Only for KILLING! And when he’s got you in his sights you’re dust. But his next job may just put him in over his head. A job that will force him to go toe-to-toe with Doc Ock, Bullseye, Baron Mordo and more – and that’s just the first issue! Believe us, bullets will fly and heads will roll this May!

MODOK ASSASIN #1 (of 5) (MAR150678)
Written by CHRISTOPHER YOST
Art by AMILCAR PINNA
Cover by DAVID LAFUENTE
Variant Cover by GABRIEL HERNANDEZ WALTA (MAR150679)
FOC – 05/04/15, On-Sale – 05/27/15

MODOK_Assassin_1_Cover

M.O.D.O.K. Assassin #1 Enters the Warzone This May!

This May, amidst the Earth-shattering events of Secret Wars, evil has a new face. A giant face with no body. Prepare to meet the deadliest hitman on all of Battleworld in M.O.D.O.K. Assassin #1 – a brand new Secret Wars limited series coming this May from writer Christopher Yost and artist Amilcar Pinna!

Welcome to Killville, the only place on all of Battleworld where murder is always the correct answer. If you’ve got a problem, it’s nothing a little killing won’t solve. And in a world populated by the most fearsome thieves, mercenaries and ne’er do wells – there is one who is a HEAD above the rest. He is M.O.D.O.K.! The Mental Organism Designed Only for KILLING! And once he’s got you in his sights you’re good as dust!

In an interview with Marvel.com, Chris Yost said:

“The fun here is showing how M.O.D.O.K. stands out against some of the worst that the Marvel Universe has to offer,” says writer Chris Yost in an interview with Marvel.com. “’It’s good to be bad’ is kind of the mission statement here. Can M.O.D.O.K. grow past his design? Would anyone want him to? Those are some big lofty theme-y questions, but let’s be clear…you’re going to see M.O.D.O.K. kill a bunch of people.”

Now, Killville’s most notorious mercenary is open for business, but this next job may put him in over his head! M.O.D.O.K. is going toe-to-toe with Doc Ock, Bullseye and even Baron Mordo – and that’s just the first issue, True Believer! Bullets will fly and heads will roll this May in M.O.D.O.K. Assassin #1!

MODOK ASSASSIN #1 (of 5)
Written by CHRISTOPHER YOST
Art by AMILCAR PINNA
Cover by DAVID LAFUENTE
On Sale in May!

MODOK_Assassin_1_Cover

Preview: Evolutionaries on the Warpath in New Warriors #2!

If it isn’t human – it dies! Marvel is proud to present a first look at New Warriors #2 – from the creative team of Christopher Yost and Marcus To! Evolution has gone off the rails. And the High Evolutionary and his army of Evolutionaries have taken it upon themselves to put things right – through the complete extermination of all super-powered beings in the Marvel Universe! And it’s up to the New Warriors to stop him – but will they be enough? Their first mission may just be their last! If they want to survive, they’ll have to learn to be a team first – and that’s much easier said than done. Plus, what does the High Evolutionary want with Nova? The answer may surprise you!

NEW WARRIORS #2 (JAN140699)
Written by CHRISTOPHER YOST
Art by MARCUS TO
Cover by RAMON PEREZ
Variant Cover by JORGE MOLINA (JAN140700)
FOC – 2/10/14, On-Sale – 3/05/14

New_Warriors_2_Cover

Preview: New Faces. New Threats – a First Look at New Warriors #1!

Witness the next generation of the Marvel Universe this February in New Warriors #1 – an all-new action packed ongoing series from blockbuster writer Christopher Yost and red-hot artist Marcus To! New Warriors mainstays Speedball and Justice are getting the band back together with a new team of heroes the likes of which you’ve never seen before!

In an interview with Marvel.com, writer Christopher Yost said:

They’re eight people from different corners of the Marvel Universe, coming together to do the right thing, to be heroes. “They’re not kids, they’re not seasoned heroes for the most part, but they’re idealists. Sometime it’s okay to be a hero for the sake of being a hero; to be with a team because they’re your friends, because it’s fun.

Sometimes the world just needs saving.

Evolution has gone off the rails. There are super humans, mutants, Inhumans, clones, aliens, and more everywhere you turn. Humanity no longer exists as the dominant life form on the planet. And not everyone is pleased! The High Evolutionary has raised an army to combat these “superior” beings – through complete extermination!

Now, Speedball, Justice, Nova, Scarlet Spider, Sun Girl, Hummingbird and more must stand together against the rising tide.

NEW WARRIORS #1
Written by CHRISTOPHER YOST
Art & Cover by MARCUS TO
Variant Covers by J. SCOTT CAMPBELL, SKOTTIE YOUNG, and CHRIS SAMNEE
FOC –01/27/14 On-Sale -02/19/14

New_Warriors_1_Cover

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