Tag Archive | "Marvel"

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New Kids on the Podcast

Posted on 04 November 2014 by VinnieAve

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Being a Better Geek: Being a Better Geek: Ultimate Spider-man Issues 1-21 and Star Blazers: The Quest for Iscandar

Posted on 31 March 2014 by VinnieAve

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1963: Astroboy (TV 1), Doctor Who: The Unearthly Child, and X-men #1-5

Posted on 04 November 2013 by VinnieAve

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AGC Responds to the Announcement of Marvel NOW!

Posted on 04 July 2012 by VinnieAve

Vinnie’s Take

So Marvel announced what the fallout of Avengers vs. X-men will be. Currently, there have been three new books announced (or revamps of books) that will launched in October of this year. The three new titles are All New X-men, Avengers, and Uncanny Avengers. You’ll notice something odd with that Uncanny Avenger, that will be a book of a new team will Captain America, Wolverine, and two other characters that haven’t been announced yet. There are going to be some other changes, Jean Grey is going to be back in All New X-men, Red Skull will be a back in his Nazi story telling. Additionally, there will be more digital integration in these books, a powerful move that could help add some interesting content.

So this is not a total relaunch like the New 52 was last year but there will be some changes that are more than cosmetic. There won’t be many real changes however, other than the increased integration of digital. There is no big change in distribution; there is no big change in schedule or format, just new books that are going to attempt to be more accessible. I’ve written before about how I think Marvel needs to be more accessible and this might be a helpful moment to get people in. The Red Skull aspect seems to mean that they want to make the comics more like the movies which may bring in more people.

This has only just been announced and Comic Con International is coming up this weekend when I am sure there is plenty more we will find out. I won’t give any final judgment yet and when October comes I will be sure to talk more about it then. For now, I will be watching the news for the next few months to find out more about this. There is a fear that I have however, this might not go far enough to solve the problems plaguing comics and Marvel. In case you don’t know what my issues with comics are that currently exist are the over-use of linking stories so that you have to read multiple books to get a single story beyond this there is excessive continuity that makes even the simplest book impossible to read.

DM’s Take

Well Marvel has finally crafted their response to DC’s New 52 and on a quicker timetable than I expected by about a year. Of course since its Marvel they have not only made it more complicated then need me but a bit more arrogant.

Starting in October, Marvel Comics will launch Marvel Now, which in their words will not be a reboot but rather a new beginning. If you can share with me the difference I’ll be delighted. That little statement about not being a reboot is just one of the many “subtle” jibes that have been heaved at DC by Marvel since the New 52 announcement. Obviously, the success of DC’s initiative is something that Marvel can no longer ignore.

Honestly, I could not be happier that Marvel has announced this. It has been a long time complaint of many people who were interested in starting a marvel series that the continuity was too deep to delve into. Marvel New (insert jazz hands here) is reportedly designed to combat that. Will it succeed though? I have my doubts. The three titles spoiled thus far don’t spark a lot of confidence in me.

The main Avengers title has not five or seven avenges but something like 18. That’s still a lot of continuity to get past. Uncanny Avengers will be giving us a post AvX joint team of avengers and mutants. The most promising title so far seems to be borrowing from the New 52 title Legion Lost and bringing the five original X-men to the present to see how much more messed up it is than they ever thought it would be.

It is honestly just too early to tell what the full scope of this initiative will be, but I do remain hopeful. With any luck SDCC should provide us with more details. In the meantime if I were Didio and Lee I’d be sticking my tongue out and waving parts at Marvel that ought not be waved.

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Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengence

Posted on 21 February 2012 by VinnieAve

Normally, I am not particularly rushed to get a review out of a film but when it comes to Nicolas Cage films, there is a sense of priority since they have a habit of not staying in theaters for too long. It’s doubly surprising that Ghost Rider got a sequel but behold it did. Well, calling it a sequel might be a little misleading since this film more or less has nothing to do with the previous movie. Other than Nicolas Cage giving some back story when needed there is no relation between the two films.

Between the two films Johnny Blaze has moved to Europe and gets recruited by the alcohol, violent, Catholic priest (who we never see in a Roman Collar or frock) Moreau (Idris Elba, who is everywhere now), to prevent Satan or Roarke or whatever he is called from getting a new and better body. He is also promised that he can be freed from the curse of being the rider. So there’s your plot. What I haven’t told you is that the directors of this film are Neveldine/Taylor (Crank, Crank 2). If you have seen the Crank films and this is interesting to you, go and see it with this caveat, it is a PG-13 film, sorry about that, it may have hurt the film.

If you haven’t seen Crank, I will give a brief run down of what to expect, the Crank films are over the top action comedies which are more about doing things in the most ridiculous way possible than making sense. Sadly, only some of this was able to be transferred to Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. It felt held back if you know what the Crank films are life. The managed a lot with those confines though. It was good to see the Cage ghost rider-ify more things than just a motorcycle.

I’m going to start spoiling stuff here so beware. This felt oddly like Dracula: Sovereign of the Damned to me, I say this for two reasons, the ceremony at the end where Satan/Cheap Robert DeNiro is trying to get his soul into the kids body and that once the rider loses his powers he regrets he did it. This kind of pissed me off, that within minutes of losing his power he needs them again. At least he wasn’t mopey Nic Cage ever. Also this had a case of anime Christianity for a while. If this is stuff out of the comics, I’m sorry, I haven’t read that much. So for one the way that the Cage is freed of his power is though Communion, which I can buy since this is Satanic but then we see that the next room is the most armed room on the planet. Clearly we have battle priests.

At the end of the day I enjoyed this movie and if you enjoy the other N/T films or the Cage, they do the best they can with them. I am glad that the film made 3rd this weekend, I hope it makes its money back and that we see more of this series, maybe with a sweet R-rating.

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Avengers Vs. X-men: Civil War Part Deux?

Posted on 01 February 2012 by DM

When first confronted with the idea of yet another Marvel Blockbuster storyline I admit I was unsure of what to say.  Should I comment on the over-saturating by Marvel regarding blockbuster storylines? How about the fact that the strong move towards making the Marvel Universe a “shades of gray” world has left them with overly dark plotlines and characters that are difficult to empathize with on both sides of this Avengers/X-men divide?

So we meet again...again

Without a doubt, this will be an interesting journey.  Marvel has talent on its side in all arenas and they have proven repeatedly that they can put together a good over-arching story.  But is it too much?  How long has it been since the norm was a storyline composed of a single issue or two and not a perfectly fit for trade five issues, let alone the 29+ issues AvX will be composed of? When is enough enough?

The answer is sadder than not because it is quite simple and in my mind completely on the consumer; when we stop buying this stuff.  Until readers show Marvel that major storyline after storyline is undesired through sales decreases, Marvel will keep shoveling them out.  So before you decide to pick up that first issue of AvX in three months, think long and hard about whether it is something you are genuinely interested in.

All Geeks Considered

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There Once Was a Man from a Test Tube: My Scarlet Spider Review

Posted on 12 January 2012 by DM

I have tweeted about it, I have anticipated it, I have waited months for it to come out, and I have sat down to tell you about it upon closing the last page.  Because it is that good.  I cannot wait a few days and let it stew because it would be unfair to you.  What if your local sold out of it before you could read this article? I am trying to look out for you here.

Let’s start with the art.  It was clear and concise.  There is no confusion here.  Stegman strikes me as very reminiscent of the Spider-Man art from Straczynski’s time with Peter Parker. It being quite clear that I like the art, I want to make it equally clear that I am not sure how well it fits in with the feel of the book.  However, maybe that is because the feel of the book is uncertain still.

The first word I would use to describe the tone of the book is noir.  We never see Kaine sleep, his internal monologues fill the book like little awesome pieces of self-depreciation, and parts can be quite gritty.  At the same time, a type of Spider-Man community seems to be juxtaposed over this noir book.  While it is too early to tell who will be a main character and who will not be, we do see quite a few potentials and with them a sense of camaraderie and humor.  The tones seem at odds with each other but they manage to be blended quite well.

Kaine the Enemy

Will he be a hero?

Yost does so well at the writing it makes me gush.  This is exactly the book that I have waited months for.  Kaine makes no qualms about what he thinks and feels.  There is a vulnerability to him as he does his best to reconcile his past life as a villain and what his present life might be.  We get right into that action of the book as well.  Villains and new characters are dropped on our heads without seeming awkward.  Kaine is able to relate his back-story to newcomers without clogging up the book as well.

As I said in the beginning, in my opinion this book is just that good.  Yost and Stegman deliver on everything about it.  A Spider-Man fan? You are going to find a book that feels familiar yet new to you here.  Never picked up a Spider-Man book before? This is a place to start. You will find yourself being caught up without even having to work at it. Do yourself a favor and pick up this book.

All Geeks Considered

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Marvel, I Want to Like You

Posted on 04 January 2012 by VinnieAve

I really do but you make it so hard. Since the Spider Island storyline this summer and fall that I enjoyed I keep trying to get into Marvel Comics and I keep being tempted by issue 1 after issue 1. A lot of these books are great but they have required me to having the book in one hand and Wikipedia in the other. This makes it difficult to read anything. I don’t entirely mind this, since there have been good stories, that have been fun to watch but other times these stories are just bogged down in character and back stories that are nearly impenetrable.

I like a lot of characters and world but I also like to read without having to look up every character and event from the past 5 years. I don’t even want to risk going trying something like Fear Itself, which has hit pretty much every book and I’m not sure where to start or stop. I understand that the .1 series is meant to help but more often than not they don’t really catch people up.

I have been a big fan of the DC New 52 which allowed pretty much everyone to jump into comics where ever they want. While I understand that pretty much every Marvel Book has had a renumbering at some point in the recent past it still doesn’t help. I want to keep reading these books but there is such a big learning curve.  So Marvel I’m not a fiction writer but please make it easier to make new fans.

If there is something I’m doing wrong please tell me because I want to like you but you make it so hard.

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Spoiler Alert 6 Week of 9/7/11

Posted on 08 September 2011 by DM

Detective Comics 1
Everything old is new again.  Like Action Comics, we seem to be starting a bit in the past when the Gotham Police are severely anti Batman and the Joker is an unknown quantity. Not too many spoilers to be had in this issue since it is a reintroduction to the book.  Joker is up to no good and seems to be multiple steps ahead of the Batman.  Gordon is still working with Batman but I am unsure of how he is doing it secretly with a gigantic spotlight on his roof.  Joker’s plot involves having the Dollmaker do a little work on his face.  We will have to wait and see how it continues.

The Skinny: Batman is reasonably new at this and it shows.  This harkens to the best part of the new films and of the character of Bruce Wayne/Batman.  Read this.  Read it a lot.

Action Comics 1
Taking me back to when I watched Superman as a kid, we have a Superman who is no longer unstoppable except via kryptonite.  Five(ish) years ago we have a Superman who can leap buildings in a single bound and match the speed of trains (and does so). Superman has begun his own brutal vigilante campaign based on human rights within Metropolis by showing up at the doorstep of anyone who treats people in a less than proper fashion to the point where a man is dropped in the river with several bones broken for beating his wife.  Taking exception to this, the government hires Lex Luther to capture Superman, which he does at the conclusion of the issue.

The Skinny: This is a Superman I can get behind.  Hell, this is a Superman that Batman can get behind. I look forward to seeing whether the character that Morrison is fashioning will be maintained in other Superman appearances.

Batgirl 1
There is a lot going on in this book for not much going on in this book.  While they are not being super forthcoming, my take on what is going on with Barbara Gordon is that, while Joker did shoot her and paralyze her, she was not Batgirl at the time of the “home invasion”.  It is an interesting take.  Babs does seem new at the hero game, but has some reasonable tech.  Her technological skills seem still be high still too.  I wonder how she connects to the rest of the bat world.

The Skinny: I think the first issue was weak due to all the exposition dealing with her paralysis and miraculous recovery.  I trust Gail Simone though and I will go where she leads.  BTW, it is uncertain on whether there is any time displacement on this book like there seems to be in some others.  Time will tell.

X-Men 17
Dr. Doom betrays everyone.  I will put on my shocked expression.  I felt that even with dooms help they really should not have been able to catch Cyclops, Emma Frost, and Sue Storm unawares like that but whatever, I am not going to spite them for using their plot device.

The Skinny: I loved the interaction between the FF and the X-men.  You have some comedy, head bashing, and obligatory primitive land hot blond in a cheetah print bikini.  What’s not to love?

X23 14
I have been following this book for a while and it is considerably more interesting than I thought it would be.  This issue is no different.  The interaction between Laura and the FF is entertaining (I am starting to see a pattern in this week’s books) but I am disappointed that we do not get to see more interaction between Valeria and Laura.  This one has to do with former possessors of the uni-power so if you liked those storylines you will be pleased.

The Skinny: Like I said, I have been enjoying this book.  If you like Gambit and sullen girls with healing factors and claws then you might too.

X-Men Legacy 254
Rogue made it to the other end of the galaxy but managed to split the party up pretty well.  Apparently, the Shiar are in a civil war with some of their protectorate species and its providing ample opportunity for people on the same side who have been separated to protect opposing sides.  I had forgotten that Magneto had a vested interest in coming since his daughter was with the Starjammers as well.  Magneto has a reasonable scene where he gets to show off.

The Skinny: Not one of the better issues but needed to get us to some better ones.  I still look forward to the next one.

Morning Glories 12
We get a new character out of this issue.  Ms. Daramount’s sister is back from somewhere and we find out there is a probability that they are the Headmaster’s daughters in some fashion or another.  She sees all the glories in turn with one exception and we get to find out that Miss Hodge is not exactly a fan of the academy herself.  At least that is how she markets herself.

The Skinny: I love this book and I have not stopped loving this book in any way, shape, or form since it came out.  My only problem is the issues go so quickly that I am left craving more for a month.

All Geeks Considered


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Spoiler Alert 5 Week of 8/17/11

Posted on 18 August 2011 by DM

Lets get right to it this week because a lot of good stuff is out this week and its worth picking up.

Flashpoint – The Outsider 3 of 3
This book has been so fantastic, and it ended as well as it started.  The Outsider is everything that I want to see in a villain.  He is formidable physically and mentally, capable of quick thinking as well as drawn out plots, and recognizes his weaknesses.  Oh, how I thought that The Martian Manhunter, revealed in the last issue to be impersonating Black Adam, would be the end of him, but I did The Outsider a disservice by underestimating him, something I’m sure his foes continually do.  As I have heard Vincenzo say, he is in fact a Bond villain, but this is a Bond villain who would be the end of James Bond.  This is Batman dedicated to profit and power.

Final 2 Cents: A nicely contained miniseries that contributes to the main story without being required to understand it.  Please pick it up; you will be doing yourself a favor.

Flashpoint – World of Flashpoint 3 of 3
It is hokey and compelling all at the same time.  The story was a bit weak and lacking but at the same time I was drawn to follow Traci 13 on her journey across the world in an effort to stop her father.  She does, at the expense of her magic but it is a happy story nonetheless.

Final 2 Cents: Like I said, it is hokey, but it was a fun way to wander around the world and find out what is going on with the smaller players.  Worth it if you have been into Flashpoint to date but perhaps not if you are just looking for a good read.

Flashpoint – Abin Sur Green Lantern 3 of 3
OK this is the book that tells you that Sinestro was right and the world may have in fact been better off if Abin Sur had lived and Hal had never taken the ring.  In a brutal conclusion to Abin Sur’s fight with Thaal Sinestro, begun in last issue, Abin shows brutal amounts of willpower by summoning his ring from his severed hand and besting Sinestro handily, destroying Thaal’s ring in the process.  The Guardians are assholes in any galaxy and boot Abin Sur from the corps for disobeying orders.  Having only the remaining charge in his ring, he flies off to help save Earth.  I am going to make you read the rest of this one though to find out the conclusion because it is a doozy.

Final 2 Cents: Honestly, I felt that this was one of the weaker tie-ins to Flashpoint, but I feel that the conclusion warrants a read and almost stands alone within the miniseries.

X-men Schism 3 of 5
Ok we have finally gotten to a fight between Wolverine and Cyclops that I can see.  We know almost all of schism we need to right here.  Wolverine is going to do his best to spare the children and I am guessing will restart Xavier’s School for the Gifted in order to spare the youngsters.  Cyclops is going to use all the resources he has to do his best to save all of Mutantkind.  He really is turning into Magneto, but a better one at least.

Final 2 cents: I know where my loyalties lie, where do yours?  Read and find out.

Uncanny X-men 542 (Fear Itself tie-in)
We have a lot of good stuff in here so I am going to have to rush through it a little.  First Cyclops was not kidding when he said he has a metric fuckton of plans.  We are streaming rapidly through those plans in this issue.  We get to see some awesome power combinations in this one.  While mutants and humans are doing their best to work together, there are, unfortunately, some snafus and each side begins to pull away.  Best yet is what is going on behind the scenes.  You know that teaser image where they tell you who is going to be on who’s team when schism wraps up?  OK, well you know that juggernaut looking image on Cyclops’ team.  Well it ain’t Cain Marko, but this issue will tell you who it is.

Final 2 Cents: Go and find out.  If you absolutely cannot wait then tweet me and I will let you know.

X-Factor 224
It is done.  Now I love Peter David and would read just about anything he would write but I am so happy that this storyline is finished.  It was a good conclusion with some enigma about what the future holds, and I look forward to where those enigmas will influence the story.  Rahne has had her baby but the poor little guy defended his mother first thing and the bloodiness of it causes her to reject him.  He is taken by Werewolf by Night at the end.

Final 2 Cents: If you like werewolf’s and varying deities fighting each other then this is the storyline for you.  Pick up the trade when it comes out.

Venom 6
What the fuck?  I have no idea what is going on here.  Is Fear itself over?  Has is started yet? Where does it fall in line with Spider Island? I guess time will tell but we have a new casualty during Spider Island.  It is none other than Steve Rogers the one and only Captain America.  At some point, he has been captured and transformed or perhaps cloned and turned into a giant spider monster.  Also, Venom the dog comes out to play.

Final 2 Cents: A good issue in line with what I have come to expect from Venom.  I say pick it up.  They have yet to disappoint me.

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