Saturday, July 22, 2017

Trailers from Comic Con

   As expected, the San Diego Comic-Con offered teasers for several big films coming up in the near future, and most (though not all) were almost immediately released on the Internet.

   One of the most anticipated was the new Justice League trailer which seems to focus a lot more on Wonder Woman and Aquaman:



   A movie that I'm anxious to see is the video game-based Ready Player One (you really should read that novel by the way - it's great!). It's directed by Steven Spielberg, and the visuals are amazing:



    There's a lot of buzz around the second season of the Netflix TV series, Stranger Things:



   The Netflix series that combines Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones into The Defenders looks like fun:



   But the one that impressed me the most is the new trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, which is worth watching just for the amazing final shot:



   Hopefully some of the other trailers will be released soon - the word is that the Black Panther movie looks amazing, and the Avengers: Infinity War trailer stole the show.

   What a great time to be a fan of movies and comic books!
 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Astonishing X-Men #1

   I should admit, I went into this issue not expecting much.

   We're so covered up in X-Men family comics that they all just kind of blend together into a generic mush - and I expected Astonishing X-Men to be more of the same.

   Happily, I was way off the mark.

   What we have here, under the guidance of writer Charles Soule and artist Jim Cheung (plus three inkers and two color artists) is an X-Men comic that - miracle of miracles - manages to be a classic X-Men comic.

   It starts with a mysterious menace that threatens every mutant telepath on the planet, including the powerful Psylocke.

   Stricken, she calls for help - and in response we get a terrific gathering of her former teammates, including Gambit, Rogue, the Angel, Bishop, and others not necessarily pictured on the cover.

   It's a great way to deal with the required "first issue gathering of the team," and it does so with a solid understanding of each character, how they interact and what makes them interesting.

   There's a lot at stake here, a major (classic) villain to oppose, and oh, that final page splash - which was the tipping point for me. I'll be back next issue.

   What a treat, to have a real X-Men book on the stands again. It's about dang time.

Grade: A

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

New "Inhumans" Trailer

   A new trailer for the upcoming Inhumans movie and TV series was unveiled today at the Comics Con - and they released it to the web, too!

   Here's the clip, which gives us a better look at the powers of the Royal Family - and some hints about the story:

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

New Comics Day

   Here's what I picked up at the comics shop this week:

- ARCHIE #22 (Archie) - A stunner.

- CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE #10 (DC) - A strange new world!

- DAREDEVIL #24
(Marvel) - Kingpin strikes back!

- DOCTOR STRANGE #23 (Marvel) - A Secret Empire tie-in.

- INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #9
(Marvel) - Riri's on her own!

- JUSTICE LEAGUE #25 (DC) - Reviving an ancient evil!

- SECRET EMPIRE #6 (OF 10) (Marvel) - The unworthy strike!

- MIGHTY THOR #21 (Marvel) - The Ultimate team-up!

- WILD STORM #6 (DC) - A war is brewing!

- ASTOUNDING X-MEN #1 (Marvel) - A new start!
                                                                                                                                                      
   And I received review copies of:

- ALL NEW FATHOM #6 (Aspen)

- BLOOD BOWL MORE GUTS MORE GLORY #2 (OF 4) (Titan) - Bone-crunching sports action!

- BRITANNIA WE WHO #4 (OF 4) (Valiant) - Death and the deity!

- BUBBLEGUN VOL 2 #3 (Aspen) - A new high-stake job!

- FOREVER WAR #6 (OF 6) (Titan) - The conclusion!

- MIRACULOUS ADVENTURES LADYBUG CAT NOIR #1 (Action Lab - Danger Zone) - The first story!

- NORMANDY GOLD #2 (Titan) - Diving into the world of prostitution.

- PENNY DREADFUL #4 (Titan)

- RAPTURE #3 (Valiant) - Beware the lords of Deadside!

- SECRET WEAPONS #2 (OF 4) (Valiant) - Fully charged!

- SPENCER AND LOCKE #4 (OF 4) (Action Lab - Danger Zone) - The finale!

- ZOMBIE TRAMP ONGOING #37 (Action Lab - Danger Zone) - The most shocking issue yet!

   And that's it!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Lola XOXO #1 (Vol. 2)

   Back again after a brief vacation is Lola, a woman trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic (post-nuclear attack) world.

   Placed in a Wild West-style setting, she uses her hunting skills to try to show her value while carving out a life - and tracking down her missing parents.

    But there are several forces working against her - one evil, and one REALLY evil (the kind who would happily kidnap a child).\\

   The comic is written and drawn by Siya Oum, and the issue is worth the price just for the art.

   It's hard to pinpoint Oum's unique style, but I see some elements of Nick Cardy in there - that same "real" quality, with characters who have life and emotion and beauty to spare.

   This issue is just setup, of course, for the rest of the story, as Lola finds herself in danger - and trying to save others at the same time.

   Well worth a look!

Grade: B+

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Introducing the New Doctor Who



   The BBC ended the mystery this week and announced the actor who will be the next Doctor Who.

   To the surprise of - well, very few people - the next Doctor will be played by a woman - and the first female to tackle the role is the terrific Jodie Whittaker.

   Of course, it was an opportunity for the usual trolls to vent their spleen, declaring this to be the end of the series - but that's just silly.

   Was there outrage when the Doctor's longtime enemy, The Master, regenerated as a woman? Not that I heard.

   And The Doctor solves problems with his or her mind and heart, and those aren't qualities that are exclusive to males.

   My only quibble is that I'm sorry to see Peter Capaldi's run end. It took a few episodes for me to warm up to him as The Doctor (he was quite a change from Matt Smith's lighthearted approach), but he's terrific in the part.

   I'm sad to see the media focus on the negative comments (though perhaps that was the idea - to generate buzz). But Doctor Who is a terrific concept and a positive force - here's hoping the new creative team, and our new Doctor, will take us to even bigger and better stories.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Groo: Play of the Gods #1 (of 4)

   It's amazing to realize that after all these issues of Groo, there are still issues of Groo being published - and they're still the best in the business.

   The comics feature the world's stupidest barbarian who also happens to be an incredibly deadly fighter who loves nothing better than facing overwhelming odds (presumably he's not good at math).

   This provides the action in every issue, and his insatiable appetite (especially for cheese dip, natch) and his total cluelessness (if that's a word) provide much of the comedy.

   Continuing a theme from the last mini-series, his far-reaching adventures are so incredibly stupefying that they're actually having an effect on the spiritual realm, as the gods (such as they are) have taken note of his activities.

   The earthly representatives of the gods also hope to use Groo - for their own less-than-noble purposes.

   Who but artist / creator Sergio Aragon├ęs could mine humor from the always-touchy topic of religion? Who but wordsmith Mark Evanier could wring the maximum laughs from each panel? (Really, I'm asking. Who?)

   Oh, and there are three full-page splash panels in the story that absolutely made my jaw drop - who but Aragon├ęs would even attempt a scene with a cast of hundreds - three times over? 

   So Groo continues to hold its crown as the funniest comic around. Don't miss it! (As we've learned, there's no such thing as too much Groo!)

Grade: A

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