Category Archives: Review

Weekly Recs Review Thor: The Dark World

Weekly Recs

The Weekly Recs crew runs down the latest Marvel movie mayhem, Thor: The Dark World!

Be sure to visit the Weekly Recs Youtube page for the archives; and also like, comment on, and share the love!

Weekly Recs Episode 30

Weekly Recs

In this week’s episode, Marvel, DC, and Indie reviews with some happy Kaiju goodness. With special guest the Da Ultimate B-Man?

Be sure to visit the Weekly Recs Youtube page for the archives; and also like, comment on, and share the love!

Weekly Dead

Weekly Dead

Many viewers tune in to see the television hit The Walking Dead. What the weekly Dead is all about is a table discussion of the newest episode, but is not limited to just the television show. Movies, books, comics, games and what if scenario’s are going to be the topic of discussion in this new weekly recorded blog. The amazing team of Weekly Recs in partnership with Outright Geekery have made this collaboration possible. First a huge thank you to Comix City Too for location, personnel and research into anything geek chique. The first episode of this show will be posted to Youtube soon and much like anything social media, none of it would be possible without the fans love and support. You are greatly encouraged to like, comment, suggest and request. So thank you in advance for checking it out and we can’t wait to hear from you.

A Mighty Surprise

mightyavengers3

Mighty Avengers #3

Writer: Al Ewing

Penciler: Greg Land

Not got lie I personally thought this title was just gonna be really gimmicky with the whole ‘Racially Diverse’ Avenger line-up. But it has definitely found itself in to my haul of the week since it’s started. This issue solidified a strong title, banter between Superior Spider-Man and Spider-Hero is just down right funny. SHUMMA GORATH. While the team scramble to deal with Thanos’ invasion, they find themselves face to face with Shumma Gorath courtesy of the Ebony Maw messing with Dr. Strange’s mind, which was a cool tie-in to what had been going on in New Avengers. The Team pulls together and begins its first victory tethered together as The Mighty Avengers.

The Good

The Banter between teammates and comments they make to themselves makes this one of those feel natural sort-of super hero books. Its def got a honesty to the characters. The use of of Photon,or should I say Spectrum, as she now wants to called, and the Blue Marvel is just down right awesome. This def feels like the team Superior Spider-Man can stay on. The opening arc wraps in this but it leaves enough lose ends I want the next one.

The Bad

I’m honestly not the biggest fan of Greg Land’s art. It was perfect for the Ultimate Universe, they hyper real style, it seems out of place in the 616 for me, but I’m one guy. White Tiger seems a little out of place on this line-up but that’s not really bad its just what I had to say to not make this issue look incredible.

Writing: 8/10

Art:6/10

Final Verdict: Buy It.

That’s all from me, more to come from me at Weekly Recs. And be ready to catch more of the Outright Geekery on there coming soon…very soon!

Review: Amazing X-Men Issue #1

Amazing-X-Men-1

AMAZING X-MEN #1
The Quest for Nightcrawler Part 1 of 5
Written by JASON AARON
Art and cover by ED MCGUINNESS
32 PGS.
Rated T+
Cover Price $3.99

Killing off fan-favorite characters has become a mainstream trend in pop-culture, with everything from Walking Dead to Game of Thrones to EVERYTHING Joss Whedon has ever done (damn you, Whedon!!) revels in making their audiences weep and rage in bitter agony. Lucky for us comic book fans, the sadness is only temporary, because death in comics, to the chagrin of many a comic book fan, is also quite temporary. And so we have Amazing X-Men issue #1 and the return of the long deceased (thought deceased?) Nightcrawler. Despite having to jump over a few holes in the plot, AXM #1 is a great comic book, and shows even greater potential.

The Good

Ed McGuinness’ art is, to borrow the adjective, Amazing! He seamlessly links epic landscapes to grand fight scenes, and does so with a design style all his own. His broad panel and full page character drawings are remarkable, but he still helps navigate the reader nicely through the overall plotlines. The plotlines themselves, while a bit confusing to a reader unwilling to ignore a few things, were seamed together nicely, and the reintroduction of two (yes, two!) fan-favorite mutants was really well done. It’s an overall good, first chapter in what will, probably, be an arc that runs a couple of issues too long, but there’s enough in this first chapter to keep the pages flipping. As a reader of Wolverine & the X-Men I enjoyed this being a follow-up to some hints Aaron dropped in that title, and it’s awesome to see a full-on Jean Grey School X-Team…finally!

The Bad

I’ll begin this Bad with a Good: I can’t say a single bad thing about the art, and AXM may be worth picking up just for that reason alone. However, there are gigantic holes in several of the plot-points this book seems to be hinging on, and, without spoiling anything, I would think that Heaven would be a safer place, and mutant psychics wouldn’t be that inept. While these holes may be filled in down the road, they shouldn’t take anything away from the rest of the story, and they don’t really take away from how good Amazing X-Men issue 1 was overall.

The Verdict

Jump on this today! It’s the start of something that is going to end up being a spectacular run of X-Comics. Jason Aaron has yet to disappoint on any of his other offerings, and McGuinness, for the first few issues at least, will surely continue to impress. Yeah, I know, they’re bringing a character back from the dead…AGAIN! Just do what I do: Ignore the entire death, pretend Nightcrawler’s been around the whole time, and enjoy an awesome start to what looks to be a great run for an Amazing new X-Team.

Movie Review: Thor: The Dark World (Spoiler Free!)

Thor-The-Dark-World

Tuesday evening I was lucky enough to catch an advanced screening of Marvel’s second movie offering starring the Asgardian Avenger, Thor: The Dark World, and although the flick had a bit of trouble finding its identity, and was a bit burdened by an overuse of comic relief, The Dark World stands on its own as a Marvel Universe movie. Here’s a quick (spoiler free) review.

The Good

Everything you’d expect from a Thor movie was there, and they did a real nice job moving the story forward from the last Thor movie and the events of The Avengers. While the action is nonstop, save for a 20 minute or so lull towards the beginning, the story doesn’t suffer a bit from it, and is quite good. The dialogue and character interactions make the movie, with each character standing out in their own remarkable way at least once. Without spoiling a thing, because it’s probably pretty obvious, Loki pretty much steals the show, and, besides some brilliant comedic (yes, comedic!) action from Mjolnir (yes, Mjolnir!), will be all anyone talks about from late Thursday night into next week!

The Bad

The use of comedy throughout the movie is a bit overplayed. While there are a lot terrific moments, I was taken out of the action a bit too much by some of it. It also felt like the movie had a hard time figuring out exactly what it wanted to be. There’s a love story, but it’s not a love story; there’s a story of brothers, but it’s not a brothers’ tale; there’s action, but it didn’t have the same scale as other Marvel flicks; I laughed a whole lot, but it was by no means a comedy. Now, maybe this should be part of The Good because, overall, it was still a good movie, but there was a different feel than previous installments of the Marvel series of movies, which surprised me.

The Verdict

You should probably go check this out. While I had my issues with it, as a Marvel fanboy, they’re pretty much just nits I like to pick. Thor: The Dark World is a solid movie, a great tie-in to the overall Marvel movie universe, yet different from the previous Marvel fare or the typical action flick. And hey, it’s all anyoneis going to be talking about anyways, right? Go check it out this weekend.

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Issue #8

Issue 8

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #8
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Francesco Francavilla
INFINITY TIE-IN!
32 Pages
Rated: T
Price: $3.99

Since its return eight months or so ago Bendis’ Guardians has been a shot in the arm for Marvel Comics’ galactic offerings. Despite the overarching story having been put on the back burner because of the epic scale of Marvel’s current ongoing event Infinity, everything up until now feels like it could, in fact, have been part of Infinity from the event’s inception, but it’s unclear. This uncertainty, however, takes nothing away from the outright bash GoG is every time it hits the shelves.

The Good

Issue #8 sees our ragtag group of intergalactic adventurers neck deep in Thanos’ blockade of Earth, which doesn’t sit very well with Earthling and Guardians leader Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord. What happens next is a pages long series of dialogue among the members of the Guardians that excellently depicts the complex nature of their relationships with the subtlety that very few writers besides Brian Michael Bendis could pull off. It’s rare to see the dynamic of an entire team laid out and made apparent for readers in so few pages, and, despite being a long-time reader of the Guardians, it was a brilliant way to paint a picture for new readers who may be grabbing the book just because of the Infinity moniker across its top. The fight at The Peak, S.W.O.R.D.’s orbital HQ, was exciting and felt a lot like the typical space rescue mission seen over and over again in everything from Star Wars to Battlestar Gallactica, but was oh so nice to see in the pages of a comic. A character not seen, well, since the last issue of GoG makes for a bit of confusion, but was quite predictable and didn’t reduce the quality of the rest of the issue. Francavilla’s art is brilliant to behold, and his use of color puts the characters in low-lit space ships without seeming cheap or forced, adding a great balance to book.

The Bad

I’m not sure this issue will make a lot of sense to some readers. Anyone who has been reading only Infinity is going to miss out on many of the particulars of one of the most meaningful character interactions in the book, while anyone reading only Guardians of the Galaxy may have no clue as to what the hell Thanos is doing on Earth, making that entire plot-point all but irrelevant to the reader. The issue doesn’t do a lot to keep current readers holding on, but it makes the book very appealing for anyone jumping on through Infinity. The character reveal at the end was almost too predictable for Guardians readers, but newbies may find it more confusing than anything else. Although the art was amazing it felt uncharacteristically rushed in many places.

The Verdict

If you are enjoying Infinity and have been pondering the idea of adding Guardians to your monthly pull-list you may want to give issue 8 a shot. It’s got enough Infinity to stay interesting and does a great job of explaining the gist to new readers. This ish is by no means required reading for Infinity, and actually does very little to push the overall story forward, but acts as a good doorway for any would-be new readers. Fans of the Guardians themselves may want to skip issue 8 altogether. It’s more of a primer than anything that matters, and long-time fans may be bored with simply more of the same. But for readers with no knowledge of either the team or the event GoG issue 8 just doesn’t have a hook large enough to win them over. This is one of those tie-in issues that ties-in in hopes of attracting fans of the event who aren’t reading the title, and it works quite well in that capacity. Any other capacity, however, is left lacking.

Movie Review: Ender’s Game

enders_game_ver11

Wow.

This film pleasantly surprised me and I had no trouble suspending disbelief and buying right into the tale of a young boy turned military messiah destined to save humanity from an alien race that years prior invaded Earth and damn near killed all of us too.

I will preface this review by stating that the film Ender’s Game is NOT the book Ender’s Game. It is very easy to compare the source material to the newer text however trying to compare a novel to a Hollywood Blockbuster with a limited time frame to tell a very detailed story….well the book will win out. Furthermore that comparison is silly as well. One is printed word and the other is a visual/aural text. Not the same in production or consumption so we will just stick to discussing the film.

Except for one thing; the thing this movie does right by the book. The movie captures the themes of the book exceedingly well. The horror of warfare, people in authority lie, camaraderie, can you trust others, and isolation are all shown here. The film adds the loss of innocence into the mix as well and that is due more to being able to see the reactions of the students at the Battle School and Command School as the full reality of what the are going to do (and will do) bears down on them.

Speaking of the Battle School, I want to play in that zero gravity laser tag arena known as the Battle Room. My word that was fun to watch as the “launchies” got their space legs and practiced maneuvers to win a “game” that offered a promotion to the Command School. As the games are played out the more tactical it becomes yet you still see that they are kids because they still think like kids. They are fearless and come up with ideas adults would not consider.

Skipping ahead to the films third act we arrive at the Command School and are introduced to the Ansible; a command display for the war simulations Ender and his crew practice fleet combat against a virtual Formic (bugger) threat.  It opens up into a virtual environment where Ender can command the entire fleet in an omnipresent manner. It looks pretty cool and showcases everything Microsoft wanted to do with their Kinect doorstop sensor but cannot. Basically when it comes to the Battle Room and Ansible science needs to get on this before we are all too old to play with them.

Now visually the film is quite good-looking. All the effects are sharp, crisp, and clear. The coloring of the film almost gives it a comic book look as there are quite a few bright colors used throughout. I believe this was to off set just how serious the film is at times. Each scene is crafted well; nothing is too jarring or confusing within the mise en scene, everything keeps adding to the story, and it all fits together to create this world. Sound works well too; from the hearty rumble of the booster rockets of the shuttle taking Ender to the Battle School orbiting Earth to the clicking noises the buggers make it all fits together.

How about the actors? Asa Butterfield (Ender Wiggin), Hailee Steinfeld (Petra Arkanian) do admirable jobs in their respective roles. I do enjoy how Butterfield managed to show through subtle expressions and motions how Ender is smarter than the others and is always thinking of ways to defeat an opponent. The shower scene is a perfect example and no I will not ruin that. I will say that I would have liked to see more personal strength from Hailee’s portrayal of Petra though; after playing a strong-willed girl in True Grit (2010) this was a tad bit soft considering this is a war movie. Minor nitpick but you’ll have this. The supporting cast of kids is also well put together and each are likable or detestable as the role dictates.

The real fun in the casting is the military leaders. Harrison Ford as Colonel Graff is great. He pulls off being the military man driven to ending the war at all costs so humanity can survive. Graff knows what he is doing to these kids and you see it in his eyes but he forces it down for the greater good. Viola Davis as Major Gwen Anderson is very much Graff’s conscious in the film. She keeps reminding Graff that these are kids and this stress can break them. Nonso Anozie as Sergeant Dap was a minor character in the book but this big man with a huge personality brought life to the screen each time he was on. I wanted to see more of him in the film. But the one that stole the movie for me was the one that got so much grief due to the casting and look. Sir Ben Kingsley’s Mazer Rackham is something else. As the character is part Maori from New Zealand Ben has the tribal facial tattoos. People saw this in stills and freaked out some. However when you are introduced to him and the subsequent scenes with him the audience will see he was perfect for this role and the look works. I wanted Rackham to be there for the entire film in a large capacity. I want more of Rackham and his story. How Ben carries himself as the soft-spoken grizzled veteran comes so naturally that you could believe he is a soldier. He is Ender’s last instructor and well worth the wait to get him on-screen.

The story itself flowed nicely and kept a steady tension going through out that Earth is running out of time and we need to act now. So while a fan of the book may find it rushed in the parameters of the film it flows nicely. We do get to see these soldiers grow up and mature as much as they can in such a short time. We get a nice progression from green cadet to full-fledged soldier. In a sense we have seen this story before in the HALO video games; the use of children to train and alter into soldiers (specifically the Spartans in HALO). At least while watching this film, if you never read the book nor heard of the Ender series, you can see how John 117 may have gotten his start***.

The film’s climax and ending should have you talking. To those who know please keep your mouth shut and let those who don’t experience it as you did when you read it. It is a sad, serious moment that leads to a glimpse of hope before the credits roll. Frankly it was outright satisfying to watch this unfold on the screen with some of the best acting in the film taking place at this point.

So regardless of some of the other reviews of this film that 1) compare it to the book or 2) delve into Orson Scott Card’s homophobic personal beliefs (none of which appear in the film or novel I might add) and how they want to boycott this movie because of it…well I would say that if you want to see a decent science fiction film with strong themes, wonderful effects, good acting, and a well paced story you would be amiss to pass on Ender’s Game. I am happy to have seen it and more happy it opened in the Fall and away from the summer movie glut where it would have been lost in the quagmire that is summer movie season. This was, as mentioned earlier,  pleasantly surprised me, was enjoyable, and will leave you feeling cinematically full. As much as I wanted to discuss plot points I tried to keep away from specifics so I do not spoil your viewing.

Finally if Ender’s Game is not your cup of tea but you want epic space: Gravity.

Hell just go see Gravity too! My choice for best film this year bar none.

jpcarson

*** Or if you want to find out how Master Chief became the soldier he is today read Eric Nylund’s “The Fall of Reach”. You will see similarities in training for Ender and the Spartans.

Guess who’s back for a Marvel Review

That’s right fellow True Believers JulesTrue here with a full review of what I thought was best of Marvel this week. Normally I throw a few at you with some basics, but no this time I have two indepth review to go hand in hand!

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INFINITY PART FIVE OF SIX.

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Artist: Jerome Opena, Dustin Weaver

Price: 3.99

The tides have turned and the builders begin to lose as worlds fight back under the Avengers Banner. Cap’s call to arms again inspires whole worlds that what was a seemingly lost cause a reason to stand intstead of kneal to those who would call themselves masters. Just when all seems to be right, Cap is given the new “The Earth has fallen”. We slide back again to Ebony Maw as he presents himself to Thane, the new revealed son of Thanos, as he comes to grips with his loss as a healer and new found powers of death( Hickman’s beautiful poetic irony that the Thanos who is love with death would spawn a bring of death). And as if there wasn’t enough going on the Illumaniti now find Wakanda in ruins and Thanos forces at their base in Necropolis.

The Good: This issue is finally the first step in what the wake of Infinity will look like. The event leading to this issue was grim but this is the ray of light we have been waitng for to be shown. Thane finally becomes a character, as does the Maw, though both still remain shrouded we get glipses of whats to become of them. The Avengers finally get breath as to what the hell Thanos has been doing on Earth. The Illumanti really get back involved with whats going on. This issue is deep on the Sci-Fi, as has this entire event. The Art is intensely smashing Dustin Weaver and Jerome Opena graciously bob and weave throughout the issue and its just beautifully done.

The Not so Good: Its another stepping stone sort of issue. The build to what happens next. For some this issue may not be enough action.

Writing: 9/10

Art: 9/10    

Plot: 8/10

Final Verdict: BUY IT!

detail1

Avengers #22  

Writer:Jonathan Hickman

Artist: Leinil Fracnis Yu

Price: 3.99                                                                                                                            

Cannonball and Smasher?! Who saw that coming, not even Sunspot. Who is extra bummed they’re hooking up, just kidding. Leaving off where Infinity 5 had started us, The Galatic Fleet now at Cap’s command begin to make their move against Thanos having beaten the Builders. This issue builds hard on what’s the Avengers next move in protecting earth. The next step in the plan? Attack on Titan. Sorry I couldn’t help myself. Thats right, mess with Earth and Cap will mess with your homeplanet, BOOM. White Dwarf gets to redeem himself as he leads what forces Thanos has in space against the Avengers. And the scene that steals the show. Captain America and Captain Marvel discuss fate and faith or the lack there of with the young Eden. The Captains make it very apparent there is only the here and now and what they make of it, while Thor shares his thoughts with Eden that he too belives in fate and that they were made it live for these moments and this is what they have waited to do their entire lives. Yes this is the Marvel event for Marvel readers through and through. It has everything, Space, Spaceknights, Avengers, The Whole expaned universe, and its not over yet! The issue ends just when you think its about to start.

The Good: You get a lot of answers in this issue. You see that the Builder fight really is over and what the Avengers plan to do about whats going on Earth. You also get to see whats been going on with some of those awesome characters you forgot were on this ridiculously big team. Lenil Francis Yu was born to draw eyes, and this issue his faces say so much more than the dialogue.

The Not So Good: Like Infinity 5, this issue is a major stepping stone on what is gonna happen next, so unless you’ve read every issue of this event you might feel like this book lacked in action.

Writing: 10/10

Art: 8/10

Plot: 9/10

Final Verdict: BUY IT!                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thats all for now my fellow Marvel Faithful, more to come from me on books this week. See ya next time -JulesTrue

Review: Battle of the Atom Issue #2

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X-Men: Battle of the Atom Issue 2
Battle of the Atom Chapter 10! (final chapter)
Writer (main story and epilogue 1): Jason Aaron
Artist: (main story and epilogue 1): Esad Ribic w/ Giuseppe Camuncoli
Writer (epilogue 2): Brian Wood
Artist (epilogue 2): Kristopher Anka
Writer (epilogue 3): Jason Aaron
Artist (epilogue 3): Chris Bachalo
Writer (epilogue 4):  Brian Michael Bendis
Artist (epilogue 4): Stuart Immonen
40 PGS.
Rated T+
Cover Price: $3.99

What the hell did I just read?

Battle of the Atom is over, and while it may have been 4 issues longer than it needed to be, and full of redundant brawls and manufactured nostalgia, in its wake it left quite a few intriguing possibilities for future storytelling, and did a fine job of establishing the new status quo for the premier X-titles. Although the event overall was pulled from the jaws of completely irrelevant by the end of it all, the end itself, namely Battle of the Atom #2, actually felt rushed despite the longer than needed event, and was absurdly second-rate.

The Good

The reveals in the book were, again, the most appealing aspect of the book, with S.H.I.E.L.D.’s actions surely impacting the entire X-Universe for, at least, a couple of months to come, and the interactions between the future and past characters, again, being just plain fun. The fights, while quite problematic, were one of the highlights of the book, and the scenes that mirrored the Original X-Men’s very first adventure were nice to see in a book that hung its hat on nostalgia. The book gets back to the roots of the current Schism between Cyclops’ team and Wolverine’s team, and it was a great reminder of what the entire Battle of the Atom event has, unfortunately, forgotten all about. Keeping some of the characters from the future in the present makes for some great possibilities down the road, I only hope Marvel takes advantage of them properly and doesn’t just throw them in something; There’s an agenda with some loose ends still attached that could make for some terrific tales. The aftershocks from the event were wrapped up nicely, albeit cheaply, to give readers an idea of what’s to come in all the titles that made up the event. The art in the main story, while consistent, paled when compared to that of the epilogue stories, which is more of a compliment to those artists than a slight to Ribic and Camuncoli.

The Bad

This book was so full of bad it’s hard to know where to begin. The art in the main story was not only simplistic and not very detailed at all, but the characters just didn’t look like the characters in many instances. Maybe it’s the fact that this event has had so many artists involved, but the differences in this book were noticeably different. The pacing felt awkward too, and the dialogue seemed to go on unusually long considering the circumstances. Hey, what do I know? Maybe S.H.I.E.L.D. just has some really slow missiles, and the guys they have programming their Sentinels were the same guys building the Obamacare Exchange websites, but everything seemed slowed and out of sync. I know this happens in other books all the time, but it was too obvious in this book, and shows a clear lack of creativity. Also, while the inclusion of four (yes, FOUR!) epilogues assured that everyone knows exactly what was going on by the end of the book, it felt like another cheap creative shortcut instead of actually writing a complete and fulfilling story. By the end of the last epilogue I felt like I was reading an advertisement for a series of different comics and not the one I was really reading. From the first panel to the last page, Battle of the Atom Issue #2 felt like a rushed, makeshift bridge over the huge gaps left between a series of event books that never really found a good pace.

The Verdict

Skip this book! Just skip the whole damn Battle of the Atom event, for that matter. Anything this event has impacted in other X-Books will surely be covered on the recap page of the next issue, and that wasn’t very much at all. Sure, we got some team changes that may be fun, and some new future mutants added to the fray even though new mutants have been popping up all over the present anyways. Overall we got a whole lot of manufactured nostalgia that played off of the past we all know, the present we all understand and a future that they simply created out of thin air. It’s that part; the “thin air future”; that ruins the whole event for me. If they would have just kept playing to those points of nostalgia that made All-New X-Men a fun book, Battle of the Atom would have been a whole lot better. Too many meaningless, redundant brawls, an overuse of manufactured nostalgia, and just a blatant overload of unneeded comic book pages takes too much away from an otherwise well-meaning attempt to tell a model mutant tale incorporating classic X-Men elements. Maybe it was a case of “too many cooks, not enough kitchen”, but Battle of the Atom was certainly a case of “too many good ideas, not enough follow-through”.