Justice League Concerns

JL BannerHey. Ok, I need to get this out there. I’ve stated thousands of times previously that I am a DC fanboy. Tried and true. I don’t understand what the hell Marvel is doing with their comics and I cant find any enjoyment when I try to read their recent books.  But when it comes to the movie-side of things, I love what Marvel is doing and cant figure out what the hell DC is doing.

I’ve previously written about my opinion on the state of DC movies and my desires to see Warner Bros. make better movies, especially following Suicide Squad.  But in the end, I am a mark for all comic book movies. I want them, I eat them up and I will continue to drop my money on tickets.  I’ve been really looking forward to Thor: Ragnarok which drops November 3rd and Justice League, two weeks later, on November 17th.

However, I have some concerns about JL. It was recently announced that the run time for the movie is literally a minute-shy of two hours. Is this problematic?  Probably not but I do think its pretty short for a comic book movie, no? Granted, it doesn’t need to be three hours in length, but when it cant crack the two-minute mark?  That makes me question what’s up.

I have tried to champion this movie to anyone who threw shade at it (is that right? Is that what all the cool kids say now?  Throwing shade?) but its been difficult when the marketing hasn’t done itself any favours.  The most recent, and final, trailer dropped earlier this month and it looks alright but it hasn’t hooked me even deeper and it should have. It should have made me fucking pop with excitement. It should have made those who were on the fence jump off and say ‘fucking right!’ but it didn’t.

Visually, it still looks too CGI’d.  But the music in the trailer? Oh for fucks sake…”Heroes”? Seriously?  Come on, Warner Bros.  Did you not see what Marvel did with Thor and the might Zeppelin?  If not, check it out!  JL Flash

And don’t even get me started on what the hell they did to The Flash.  That’s for a whole other post.

In the meantime, I will enjoy the buzz and excitement of Thor; bought my tickets the day they allowed and I cant wait to go with my son. I am still looking forward to Justice League – which,  by the time your reading this, tickets have just gone on sale – but I have concerns.  I really want to love this movie. But I also have to realize…I cant keep making excuses to justify how great it could be. I just need it to be that great.

We’ll see…

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Comics: Physical or Digital?

Physical_vs_DigitalComics (both single issues and trades) are available in two different methods of delivery (sorry purists, I’m not counting weekly/daily newspaper strips): Physical or Digital.  Physical was número uno for years and then digital bounced in about 10 years ago.

I came back into reading comics in the summer of 2011 when DC’s The New 52 was launched and I was really high on reading everything on my iPad. This was the future!  Fuck paper books!  I went through my library, kept only a few books and then ended up donating the rest.  I doubled-down on the e-pub versions of books that I had physical copies of.  And when it came to comics, I thought digital copies were the bees knees, as it were. I loved them and thought there was no turning back. ComiXology Library 2

Well…if you’ve been reading this blog, you will know that I am all about the physical issues so…I was wrong in 2011.  Big time.

After about a year of reading issues on my iPad, I had a conversation with my friend Sammy who had been chastising me since August 2011 about my decision to buy comics online. Sammy thought it was great that I had come back into reading comics but then also thought that I was being short sighted, ridiculous and plain ‘ol stupid for reading my comics on a tablet. Sammy is nerd for all things pop culture.  His DNA is built upon the four-coloured world of comics from the 80’s through to today. He’s a purist, plain and simple. And while we disagree about a lot of things (such as the DCEU movies and the often-needed requirement of wearing pants), he wasn’t wrong about digital comics.

Sammy made a lot of good points about why digital comics were to be shunned and not accepted: the formatting of the comics is all wrong, including the zooming of panels; they should be viewed as one page, not bit-by bit; the responsibility to support our local comic shops and finally – the feel of a comic in your hand is more rewarding that the glass screen of a tablet.

Of course, I had disagreed with all of Sammy’s points.  I essentially told him he was an old man living in an old world and his refusal to move with the times was mind numbing.  But fuck, he was right the entire time and I was 1000% wrong.  Well, maybe 900%.

After about a year and change of buying comics online, I walked into a local comic shop and was browsing, checking out what they had and talking with the guys who owned the place.  And in my conversations, I decided to pick up volume 1 of the Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo Batman comic in the trade paperback format (I wrote about my enjoyment of trades a couple weeks ago,  if you want to check it out).

It was in that moment that I then started to buy the physical copies of my comics and, essentially, got back into collecting.  I finished out the Batman (New 52) run starting with issue 32.  Side note: I’ve often thought about finding the first 31 issues and completing the run just because I’m a completionist but I also know it’ll cost me a fortune. But I digress…

From that moment on, I began purchasing and collecting the physical copies of my comics. I had a couple of long boxes in my basement with my comics that I had collected as a kid and now I’ve added an additional long box (or two).  When DC rebooted their universe…sorry, course corrected it….with Rebirth, I expanded my collecting to more titles. I have also expanded to other comics (non superhero) and imprints such as Image and those decisions were made based solely on the atmosphere that you get in your local comic shop.

Batman Trade 1See, you can browse the racks and overhear or talk to the other comic nerds about what they’re reading.  You don’t get this when you’re scrolling through your ComiXology app on your tablet/phone.

I’m not shitting on digital comics.  Not at all.  In fact, the other day I wrote about a sale that ComiXology/Amazon was having (and still do!) and that I had picked up a couple of collections to read off my tablet.  The titles/story lines that I chose were ones where I was interested in reading them but was unsure if I wanted to drop the $30 for the physical trade.  If it turns out that, after reading the digital copy, I love the story, I will go out and pick up the trade from my local comic shop.

And its here where I think there can be a healthy relationship with physical and digital comics.  Personally, I think that physical comics are the best medium in which to read comics. I also, though, concede that it can be costly and some cannot afford to purchase the issues/trades but can still download and read them digitally through their local library.  I get that and have no issues (zing!) with that…although most libraries do have physical copies of some great titles on their shelves.

When you go to your local comic-con, the vendors don’t have digital codes for sale.  They have physical issues.  And as I stated above, this method of commerce is where you can expand your reading library based on the conversations with fellow nerds and comic lovers.

At the end of the day, whether you’re reading comics your purchased from your local store or online, the fact that great stories are being read and looked at is the key for publishers to continue to put out great content.  I just prefer the feel of the paper as I flip from page to page, rather than swiping on a screen.

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When I said that my bud Sammy was nerd for all things pop culture, I meant it.  He has a passion for music and is the program director for Girth Radio where he hosts a show/podcast called My Summer Lair.  He also co-hosts a weekly podcast called Back Issue Bloodbath where they talk comics (new and old), creators and other comic-related topics.

Finally, if you’re on Twitter, follow Sammy.  His opinions and conversations will either infuriate you or make you laugh out loud. May or may not be best read while going to the bathroom, I leave that to you.

 

Summer Movies 2017

Summer Movies

Last weekend Wonder Woman was released in theatres and it’s amazing.  Seriously, you have to go see it if you haven’t.  My wife, who isn’t a comic or superhero fan at all (except Batman.  She has a thing for Batman, oddly enough) loved Wonder Woman.  I plan on taking my son in the next week or so as well.  Go see it.  You’ll be rather impressed.

As we are into the second week of June, I started looking at what was coming out for the rest of this summer and planning on what I was seeing next.  But first, here’s what I have seen thus far these last couple of weeks:

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol.2 – Its fun! I liked it a lot, likely wont live up to the hype of the first one and I’m ok with that.  Its an impossible task to surpass the unexpected surprise of the first movie.

Alien: Covenant – Stay the fuck away.  Wait until it drops on Netflix. Seriously.

Wonder Woman – See above.  And then go see it.

And here are the movies that I want to see in theatres this summer:

June 9: The Mummy – I’m not overly hyped to see this movie but if a friend called and asked (and maybe bought the ticket), I would go.

June 23: Transformers: The Last Knight – Honestly, the only reason I would go is because you almost have to see it in theatres, it’ll be so big and loud.  I highly doubt it’ll be amazing, but it seems to follow the same logic (or illogical) as the Fast and Furious movies.

June 28: Baby Driver – Edgar Wright looks like he’s hit it out of the park.  I get a very early Quentin Tarantino-vibe off these trailers.

June 30: Despicable Me 3 – I have kids.  I’m going to be stuck going.

July 7: Spider-Man: Homecoming – I can’t wait to see this movie.  Seriously…after 5 movies, it looks like Sony finally got Peter Parker right.  Well, with the help of Marvel, of course.

July 14: The War for the Planet of the Apes – Yes!  YES!  Take my money!!!  This looks amazing.

July 21: Dunkirk – Thus far, the trailers haven’t really hit a home run for me, but so far Christopher Nolan hasn’t done wrong by me so I’m in.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – I just re-watched The Fifth Element and it didn’t really hold up for me, but it was still enjoyable. The visuals look amazing but, if I don’t get to see it, I wouldn’t be heart broken.

August 18: The Hitman’s Bodyguard – This just looks…fun!  At the end of a summer with huge blockbusters, I like having a plain old fun movie. And this will be it.

Summer Movies 2017

I know there are a lot of other movies within these months, like Atomic Blonde, The Dark Tower that are coming out.  But honestly, I don’t know if I would go to see those in the theatre. Shit, as I type this, I think I do want to see The Dark Tower.  So maybe I will.  Who knows.

So what movies are you going to be watching this summer?  Any sleeper movies I should be aware of?  Whatever you end up watching, I hope it was worth the money you spent.  Otherwise, that a kick in the junk.  Much like Alien: Covenant. Fuck….

 

 

Comics on Sale! Comics on Sale!

Comic SaleIf you are a reader of this site (and judging by the bleak numbers, not many are), then you likely know that this past weekend thousands of Marvel trade comics went on sale on Amazon for dirt cheap.  I mean, 90%-95% dirt cheap.  That’s ridiculous and way too good to pass up.  Even if you are a DC fanboy, such as myself, you cannot snub your nose at this sale.

Of course, these are only good for the e-versions of the trades, not the physical copies. I have some feelings with respect to physical copies of my comics compared to the electronic versions and I will get into that at some point, because I flip-flopped on the medium in which I read my comics and have had some really interesting discussions with people on which they prefer.

But, for now, I digress…

Personally, I took this sale and opportunity to grab a few trades that I had interest in but wasn’t committed to dropping $20-$30+ CAD (that’s Canadian Dollars, for those not from the Great White North) on said titles.  But in this format, it gives me an opportunity to read some of the titles I am interested in and, if I end up really enjoying them, I may buy the physical copy.

But for now, its all about the sale and I suggest you get on that pronto!  If you have a ComiXology app on your tablet or phone, you will need to ensure you have migrated your Amazon account so that you can purchase the books.  Just an FYI…this was some of the issues I had run into because its been a number of years since I bought an electronic copy of my comics.

Hit the below link and enjoy perusing.  I would suggest making a list of your interests because after a few pages of scrolling, you may forget which title tickled your fancy when you begin.  The link is for the Amazon.com site and Canadian’s, you will be redirected to the .ca site when you make your purchases. For the rest of the world, I think that most of the Amazon sites have the deal on as well.

Have fun and enjoy!!

Comics Sale! Go! Now!!!

Daredevil. Netflix. Love.

Daredevil-TV.1

I don’t know if its because I recently read the TPB Daredevil: Born Again or if its because I was so pissed off with the Iron Fist TV series, but I’ve started to re-watch Daredevil on Netflix.  This will be my 3rd-go-round with Season 1 and, once done, I will dive back into Season 2 for the first time since I initially saw it a year ago.

I remember being totally enamored with Season 1.  Admittedly, I know that some of the source material of Season 1 was pulled from The Man Without Fear storyline written by Frank Miller and drawn by John Romita Jr., but I never read the books so I went in to the show with virgin eyes.

I was blown away by a lot of what the show was able to do or, more aptly, get away with.  I had no clue that Marvel would have allowed the show-runners to take that property and make is so…well, violent.  I honestly assumed that Marvel would want to protect its identity as family-friendly given that their movies were between PG-and-PG13.  But the Netflix show holds nothing back and it plays out exactly how it should.  I mean, that hallway fight in episode 2 is out of this world.

I remember getting antsy towards the end as I wanted to see how they were going to do the suit, and while its not a giant red unitard….hey, at least its not a giant red unitard!

Daredevil-TV.2Overall I was really happy with the show and I felt that it was a great accompaniment to the movies in the MCU.   I don’t believe that Daredevil would work as a movie (hello, Ben Affleck) as well as it did as a TV series.  It was grounded in the streets of Hell’s Kitchen.  Some of the best TV series are at street level (The Wire and those first 10 seasons of Law & Order), eschewing the fantastical.  Daredevil brings you down to its level so much, you can almost feel the pain of every punch thrown.

Season 2 came out in March 2016 and just like Season 1, I ate it all up in a weekend.  How do you expand on the rawness of the first season?  Well, you can introduce The Punisher, that’s how.  I remember when Marvel & Netflix announced that The Punisher would be part of Season 2, the geek collective’s brains exploded.  Yes, we have two (Ok, fine…three) Punisher movies to watch but this version of Frank Castle was the best of the three.

And remember that hallway scene in episode 2 of the first season?  Yeah, and remember how I said I was shocked that Marvel would let the show-runners get away with the violence in the show? Ok, so lets ratchet that up 100 times greater and you’ve got episode 9.  I am telling you, this may be the most bloodiest thing that has been filmed for TV and I loved every splattery moment of it.

Daredevil-TV.3

Finally, to round it out, they introduce Electra to the series and I couldn’t be happier (sorry, Jennifer Garner).  Listen, the reality is if you’re reading this blog, you likely are a fan of comics or comic book movies/TV shows and have probably watched both seasons of Daredevil.  There is nothing that I am going to say that you don’t already know.

But what I appreciate most about what these shows have done is, you don’t have to be a comic book fan to appreciate and love the shows.  I am not a big fantasy book reader, or really, at all, but I can’t get enough of Game of Thrones! A good TV show will take its sourced-from genre and make it compelling to those who are unfamiliar and also make it appealing to those who are.

Daredevil, both seasons, nails it.  Hard.

And again, I will never tire of saying this – we are getting to see our comic book heroes come to life!  This is a crazy time for comic book fans, wherein our wildest dreams are being realized.  But also, its just damn fine TV.

Read This: Daredevil: Born Again

DD Born Again 1.5

Recently I discussed how much I had been enjoying reading the collected editions of 100 Bullets.  A couple weekends ago, I picked up two trade paperback/collected editions of comics I had always heard about but never read.

DD Born Again 2Daredevil: Born Again was originally published in 1986, written by comics legend Frank Miller and drawn by David Mazzuccelli, spanning Daredevil issues #227-#231. For those who are unfamiliar with the character of Daredevil – and that should be few of you given the amazing Netflix series –  he is Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer-by-day and an acrobatic vigilante by night.

Wow, that really simplifies who Daredevil is.  Shit. Ok, don’t pay attention to my inability to give a proper summary of Daredevil, but trust me when I say he’s a pretty cool character who has had some amazing stories written.

In Born Again, Daredevil’s ex-girlfriend, who is now a heroin junkie (typical, right?), has no more cash for her next fix so she sells the one thing she knows will get her lots of coin – the identity of Daredevil.  This is then passed onto the Kingpin, DD’s arch nemesis, who uses this newly acquired information to destroy our hero but not in a way you would expect.

Instead of going after loved ones or publicly outing him, the Kingpin instead destroys Daredevil by attacking Matt Murdock’s life. He discredits him as a lawyer, as a person.  He freezes Matt’s bank accounts and he loses his licence to practice law.  He takes away every ability to live his life, removing friends and co-workers and even destroying Matt’s home.  He is literally left with nothing.  And its brilliant.  Absolutely brilliant.

I was really taken aback at how much I loved this story.  I read some Daredevil comics when I was younger but I think a lot of the really good stories just went over my head as a kid.  Reading Born Again last week, I can appreciate that the subject material is better served to an adult than to a 10-year old kid.

I’ll leave you with this, which contains a sentence that completely rocked me when I read it.  Enjoy!

DD Born Again 1

Iron Fist of Shame.

Iron Fist BannerA couple weekends ago, Netflix unveiled its 4th series with Marvel TV, following the adventures of Daredevil (2-seasons worth), Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. Iron Fist is the last character to be introduced before all four appear together this summer in The Defenders.

But there’s a problem: Iron Fist is a hot pile of mess.

I’m not going to review each individual episodes because I don’t have the patience to watch all 13 episodes again, but you can find a good review of the whole show here.  You can also go online and read a multitude of other reviews done by people way smarter than I.  But I have gripes about the show that I just cant accept.

  1. You’re Iron Fist.  You’ve defeated the dragon Shou Lou and granted the mystical power of the Iron Fist.  So then use your damn iron fists, man!  Use your powers!  What person, when granted with powers to use during a fight, doesn’t use them when in a fight??  For fucks sake…
  2. Speaking of fights…this show has the worst fight scene since the Incredible Hulk battled Thor in 1988. Again, Iron Fist is supposed to be the king of kung fu in the Marvel universe and instead he comes across as the king of getting his ass kicked.  When you’re not distracted by the horrible fight scene editing between Finn Jones, who plays Iron Fist, and his stunt double, then you’re scratching your head wondering why every single person can almost get the better of Iron Fist. I mean, he beat a dragon but cant stop some low-level thug without taking some licks first?  What is this?!?!?
  3. Finally, what is the purpose of Danny Rand/Iron Fist?  What the hell is his….his mission?  Why is he in New York?  Yes, I understand that he wants to be a part of the company his father built.  But so what?  What do you want to do?!?

Sigh.  I’m so frustrated with this show.  And yet I have to take a moment and remind myself that, holy-shit, we are seeing an Iron Fist TV series.  I mean, compared to what we had when I was a kid in terms of superheros on TV (here’s looking at you, Electric Company Spider-Man), I suppose I shouldn’t be so picky.  But when you’re following on two phenomenal seasons of Daredevil, then you have to step up and kick some ass.  Especially if the character is supposed to be one bad-ass dude.  EC Spidey

Anyway.  I’m frustrated.  I watched all 13 episodes of the first season and if I had to score the overall season…I would, out of 10, have to give it a 4/10.  Sigh.  Here’s hoping the Defenders can pull it back in and kick some ass.