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Review: American Carnage #5

American Carnage #5

24 is one of those shows which draws you in with its always relevant stories and how they made the stakes so real. Kiefer Sutherland’s performance was even-keeled yet pointed. Each season puts the viewer in the passenger side while evoking all the palace intrigue viewers have come to enjoy and all the action, television can put on the screen. The show’s real stars were its villains.

Each season brought its own dangers and villains, each one more insidious than the previous season. One of the most intriguing seasons was when they were fighting an insidious force within the presidency. Our heroes found a way to fight off the books and with no help. In the brilliantly crafted American Carnage #5, Curry’s actions catch wind of some very interested parties.

We open up on Sheila being called for a meeting with someone who just so happens to be one of Morgan’s associates, looking to cut a deal so that they could unleash their plans. We also find Richard being questioned by Morgan trying to elicit what his true intentions are. Richard reaches out to Sheila, to let her know, he is about to cross a line as it is the only way to take down Morgan. By the issue‘s end, Richard has proven himself but the line may have become blurred because of it.

Overall, American Carnage #5 is an excellent issue, which pushes our protagonists to the edge. The story by Hill is exceptional. The art by the creative team is astounding. Altogether, a story that gets even murkier.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Leandro Fernandez, Dean White and Ben Oliver
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle

Review: American Carnage #4

AMERICAN CARNAGE #4

Edward Norton is one of those actors whose presence on onscreen is understated but resonant. The way he underplays most of his characters makes viewing them a pleasure as he understands the story is what makes the story. Most people don’t know that he co-wrote Frida, the movie about much-heralded and immortal Frida Kahlo. One of my favorite movies by him is Rounders, a movie where he showed his vulnerability.

Where I actually found about him was in American History X. It showed how a reformed Nazi had to reckon with his past. Though the movie had some tough scenes to watch, it showed the power of redemption. In the brilliantly crafted American Carnage #4, Wright finally infiltrates the organization which is much like in American History X, leading to some uncomfortable truths.

We open up on Jennifer Morgan talking to the police, as the detective assigned to the case, trying to assess if this was racially motivated and why. We eventually find out that Wynn might have dissension in the ranks, as what happened to Jennifer, maybe some type of message. Richard eventually reaches out to Sheila, who implores him to agitate the situation By the issue‘s end, someone guns down Richard, as what comes next is only that more complicated

Overall, a grand issue, American Carnage #4 changes the definition of “pulse-pounding”. The story by Bryan Edward Hill is outstanding. The art by the creative team is astonishing. Altogether, a story that may mean the end for one character.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Leandro Fernandez, Dean White, and Ben Oliver
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle

Review: American Carnage #3

AMERICAN CARNAGE #3

There is that point in most procedural stories, where there is the line of no return. In the show The Shield, it was an often slippery slope for Vic Mackey and his crew. They not only chased after real criminals but they partook in criminal activities. This led to some close calls and the eventual arrest of this group. It showed that when one does not have remorse they have never really understood morality in the first place.

In the very first episode, they got rid of the very character who could have exposed them. This is where they solidified themselves as something quite different than anything else on the television landscape. It is was that line that Vic Mackey never had a problem crossing that most of us would not. In the brilliantly crafted American Carnage #3, Wright is on the crux of that point of no return.

We open on Wright right as the gang was about to kill a random black Man they found on the street, which due to unforeseen events, becomes messy, leading Wright to kill the man to deescalate the situation. We also find out in a flashback, that Wright during psych evaluation, was questioned about his racial identity and  how we would use it as motivation during this particular assignment. Before he could get his bearings, a masked man shows up to take an uncompromising picture of Richard, which can blow his cover and something the Neo Nazi group may be using as leverage. By Issue‘s end, someone looks to kill Morgan’s daughter, making the whole case even more bizarre.

Overall, American Carnage #3 is a great issue that delivers the story its twist. The issue by Bryan Edward Hill is excellent. The art by the creative team is stunning. Altogether, a story that up the stakes for its protagonist.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Leandro Fernandez, Dean White, and Ben Oliver
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle

Review: American Carnage #2

American Carnage #2

Lawrence Fishburne is one of those actors whose presence onscreen gets you right away. Far from the fact that he is magnetic; the tenor of his voice makes him a force to be reckoned with. This is why I was excited to hear that he’ll be narrating the upcoming Audible adaptation of The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Though these days, he is known more for Black-Ish, he got his start in bit roles for Spike Lee.

Those roles led to bigger roles, one of which was Deep Cover. That film’s is a brilliant procedural movie and an equally excellent character study. There was a point in the story where he had to prove his “worthiness,” a scene which showed Fishburne at his most commanding up to that point. In the second issue of brilliantly crafted American Carnage, Wright must prove his fealty to the Neo Nazis he is infiltrating.

We open on Wright at a party with Neo-Nazis , as he realizes this where he may be able to break the case. While Morgan’s daughter, Jennifer, steps into a conversation, where we find out those larger players are in the game, ones with more power and more legitimacy than Wynn Morgan ever dreamt of. Eventually, someone tries Richard, and he is more than happy to punch a Nazi.  By the issue‘s end, his initiation begins where his morals will be tested.

Overall, a great second issue, that insinuates the reader even deeper. The story by Bryan Edward Hill is first-rate. The art by the creative team is gorgeous Altogether, a sobering looks at a world that hate spawns.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Leandro Fernandez, Dean White, and Ben Oliver
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindle

Review: American Carnage #1

American Carnage #1

Hate is one of those things that human beings have felt since the beginning of time. What has changed as of recent is that certain types of hate have become more acceptable. What was abhorred only a few years ago has been encouraged by certain people in power. The 2016 election and what has happened since has shown that America has not made any real progress from the founding of our country.

Certain hate groups have found themselves to be not so much “true” villains anymore. Morals have truly become divided along party lines.  Which brings me to question would someone or anyone who believes in hate be considered a “good person”? In the debut issue of brilliantly crafted American Carnage, writer Bryan Edward Hill and the creative team seeks to explore those lines of divide as an FBI agent goes undercover in a Neo Nazi group.

We open on FBI Agent Curry where she is testifying before an ethics board on the incident which led to her injuries. We soon find out a Neo-Nazi group terrorized a family Curry had befriended as the domestic terrorists firebombed their home with them in it. We also meet a former FBI Agent, Richard Wright, who now works as a private detective. Curry tries to convince Wright that there is something more sinister to a local politician. While it might seem on the surface nothing is there there’s clearly something brewing.

Overall, an excellent debut issue that drops you into a world that is unfortunately way too familiar. The story by Hill is excellent. The art by the creative team is beautiful. Altogether, a sobering looks at the ugliness hiding in plain sight.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Leandro Fernandez, Dean White, and Ben Oliver
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Comics Deserve Better Episode 2: The Old Guard by Greg Rucka, Leandro Fernandez, Daniela Miwa, Jodi Wynne

In the second episode of Comics Deserve Better, Brian, Darci, and Logan react to the 2020 Eisners and discuss the 2017 Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernandez comic, The Old Guard. Or what Logan likes to call “Blackwater, but queer”.

Other books talked about on the show include the webcomics Fangs by Sarah Andersen, Gunnerkrigg Court by Tom Siddell, and Clover and Nugget by Phil Sheldon as well as Scout ComicsYasmeen #1 and Tales from the Pandemic by Mario Candelaria and a bunch of awesome artists.

Follow Brian: https://twitter.com/Braijin2814 Follow Darci: https://twitter.com/books_serial Follow Logan: https://twitter.com/MidnighterBae (Episode art by Michael Lark)

Movie Review: The Old Guard

The Old Guard

The Old Guard‘s concept is pretty simple. A group of immortals walks the Earth as a pack of mercenaries and an evil corporation wants to find out what makes them tick and develop a new drug from their gift. A new immortal is discovered and dragged into their shadowy world. Based on the comic series by Greg RuckaLeandro FernándezDaniela Miwa, and Jodi Wynne, and published by Image Comics. The film stars Charlize TheronKiKi Layne, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, and is written by Rucka and directed by Gina Prince-Bythwood.

There’s a lot of fantastic elements to The Old Guard. Most of those concepts get a little bit of depth but all feel like there could be so much more done with all of the elements. But, even with that, the film is beyond enjoyable with some fantastic action sequences (not enough of them really) and some solid character connections.

Lets go through bits of the film to discuss what does and doesn’t work:


The relationships – This is one of the best aspects of the film. The team is hundreds of years old and that’s a key aspect of so many members of the team. They have either formed bonds with each other or long for the loss of their friends and family of the past. Two team members are in a rather mature/different type of relationship having bonded over centuries. Team members have died (yes immortals can die) and then there’s the loss of family. It’s all on the table and the actors deliver the pain and love you’d expect in each situation.

The goal of the “evil” corporation – The evil corporation wants to use whatever genetic gift that keeps these individuals alive for medical purposes. Though they go about it in an evil way, and probably would do evil corporate things, the overall goal isn’t too out there. There’s something to debate about possibly being able to save the world but not doing so. There’s also moral debates about testing on these individuals since they can survive the testing in theory.

Choices weigh down on characters – The body count rises throughout the film and the idea of the blood on the hands of the immortals is a feature. There’s the concept of fighting their way through life. There’s the idea of living with family for as long as they can before their immortality is realized. It’s an interesting balance and discussion of choice of actions. The concept of killing one is difficult enough but also think about that body count rising over decades? Try to figure out what you’d do knowing you’ll see your friends and family die? Do you spend it with them? Or, do you run?

The theme of the film – The film ends in an interesting way. It’s not a spoiler to say the film is about leaving a footprint. Early in the film, there are moments that touch upon these individuals attempting to stay anonymous but the bigger question thing isn’t their anonymity but instead their impact for the better. That plays deeply into why the evil corporation wants them


There’s absolutely issues to the film. It foreshadows things a bit too much. You can predict what’s coming down the road with a bit too much easy. It doesn’t diminish the story at all and there’s reasons the foreshadowing happens, to explain the world and rules, but still, it feels a bit forced and a bit too obvious.

The Old Guard is an entertaining film that doesn’t use its twist in too many ways to make the concept not seem interesting. It also adds just enough reasons as to why it doesn’t. It’s the rare action film that has some moral questions underneath and themes to it that makes it a bit more than the fantastic action sequences. It would absolutely work better as an extended television series but from everything teased it looks like we’ll be getting more of the film series down the road. Here’s hoping as it’s an enjoyable two hours to kick back and relax to.

Overall Rating: 8.0

The Old Guard Gets a Second Trailer

The Old Guard has a new trailer. The Netflix film is an adaptation of the series by Greg Rucka, Leandro Fernández, Daniela Miwa, and Jodi Wynne, and published by Image Comics. The film stars Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, and is written by Rucka and directed by Gina Prince-Bythwood.

Netflix Delivers a Look at The Old Guard

Forever is harder than it looks. Led by a warrior named Andy (Charlize Theron), a covert group of tight-knit mercenaries with a mysterious inability to die have fought to protect the mortal world for centuries. But when the team is recruited to take on an emergency mission and their extraordinary abilities are suddenly exposed, it’s up to Andy and Nile (Kiki Layne), the newest soldier to join their ranks, to help the group eliminate the threat of those who seek to replicate and monetize their power by any means necessary.

The film is based on the comic series from Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernández and published by Image Comics and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Old Guard is a gritty, grounded, action-packed story that shows living forever is harder than it looks.

Coming to Netflix on July 10.

You can read the first issue for free.

Netflix Reveals a Look at Charlize Theron in Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernández’s The Old Guard

Netflix has released our first look at Charlize Theron who leads a group of mercenaries in The Old Guard. The film is based on the comic series from Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernández and published by Image Comics. It comes to Netflix on July 10. The film is directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and also features Chiwetel Ejiofor, Harry Melling, and Kiki Layne.

The Old Guard is the story of soldiers who never die and are trapped in an immortality without explanation.

The comic series debuted in February 2017 with the first volume running for five issues. It was followed up with a second volume that debuted in December 2019, running five issues as well, and is set to wrap up July 15.

You can read the first issue for free.

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