Comic Book Reviews 11-04-15

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

Pick of the Week:

howard the duck 1 RTJ

Howard the Duck #1 – A
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Joe Quinones

Like always, Howard the Duck ends up being my favorite comic of the week and so much of this is due to my past love of the character, but much of my love for this new and the pre-Secret Wars series are due to Chip Zdarsky’s fantastic writing! It is such a great mix of classic and modern Howard that it melds together better than peanut butter and jelly. This story seems to take place not that far after the events before Secret Wars, but Howard is still depressed and feeling out of place. Despite having his new Skrull friend Tara Tam and Aunt May starting work at his office, Howard still wants to get home to Duckworld, despite hating it there. So Howard and Tara take a trip to ease his stress, only to find out that is was a ruse from Howard to try and find a portal into the nexus of all realties, with help from his old friend Man-Thing. But Man-Thing is busy with the Howling Commandos of Shield, so Howard is left with a couple villains trying to use the portal and ends up in yet another stressful interaction for our duck detective. Also, Gwenpool WTF?!?! – Jacob

Second Opinion (A)Anyone else feel a little uncomfortable with how hot septuagenarian Aunt May is? It’s making me question myself. Seriously though, I really love this duck. – Montgomery

Other Reviews: 

BOOM! Studios:

Klaus #1 – A
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Dan Mora

It’s really hard to not give a Morrison comic an A+ on merit alone. But this book exemplifies why I hate the most commercial aspects of Christmas: the tradition handed down to us from, literally, Woolworth’s is garbage. All the stories are insipid, and the lesson of all of them is that desire is the kindling of magic. This Klaus, however, is awesome in a way our chubby fat guy in a red suit never is. Klaus is a wanderer outside of some place very Germanic and very frozen. He wanders into the wrong town (which used to be the right town) and is kicked out and nearly hunted. The town is run by a despotic and despondent family who, because of desire, have lost all sense of life. There isn’t much exploration of Klaus as a character in this first issue, but an image painted of what kind of world needs a Santa in the first place. This Santa’s pretty metal, and a little psychedelic. – Montgomery

Second Opinion (B)I’ll tread carefully for fear of coal in my stocking, but the book needs to do a better job of merging silly tone with extra-violent theme to really get on my Nice list. The art, though, is freaking incredible. – Sherif

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Justice League Darkseid Wars – Flash #1 – D
Writer: Rob Williams
Artist: Jesus Merino

Man, DC Comics is feeling like a lame college party trying to compete with a new fraternity rush. They are completely being outdone by Marvel in every way. Even the Darkseid Wars, which is one of DC’s strongest arcs right now, is being watered down by the multiple spin-off titles. Batman’s spotlight last week wasn’t bad, but this one was just awful. Barry’s obsession with saving everyone has forced him into a stand-off with Death. Sloppy art and a few “profound” moments later, and you’ve successfully wasted $4. – Sherif


Justice League Darkseid Wars – Superman #1 – F-
Writer: Francis Manapul
Artist: Bong Dazo

I wish I could truly tell the world how much I hate this issue. We get it – dickhead Superman is not relatable. He’s also a douchebag who yells at the waiter for not getting his apple pie in 3 panels. It’s basically a superlative for every stereotype we’ve ever thrown at DC for the Man of Steel. Super seriously, it’s something not even Mad magazine would wipe their ass with. You should be fucking ashamed of yourself, DC. – Sherif

Dynamite Entertainment:

James Bond #1 – B-
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Jason Masters

This was a pretty quick read because there were no words for the first seven pages. Which is a little odd. However, I just finished watching Spectre, and this was a decent read in comparison. I like a story where drugs are considered bad, and this let’s us know from the get-go that we dealing with some bad people. It’s hard to tell how well this story will unfold, but for now, it was a decent first issue. – Adrian

Second Opinion (C+): I liked this iteration of James Bond. I especially like the parts with no words and lots of killing. – Sherif

IDW Publishing:

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #46 – B+
Writer: James Roberts
Artist: Alex Milne

When I saw Grimlock on the cover, I peed a little. TF:MTMTE has excelled at playing its cards close to its chest, and playing a long game. I think it’s been at least two years since we last saw Grim. Fort Max is sailing the universe rounding up former Decepticon fugitives guilty of selling Cybertronian technology. He runs across The Scavengers, a team of well meaning and mostly harmless Decepticons, who have been unknowingly been involved in a sort of robot trafficking scam. They’ve also been taking care of Grimlock who, the last time we saw him, was wondering aimlessly with seemingly no thoughts in his head. The story isn’t particularly ground breaking, and his return isn’t quite a world breaking fireworks show (nor is it a full return yet, from what we can see), but the whole comic was a sweet character study of some pretty minor characters. – Montgomery

Image Comics:

Monstress #1 – A
Writer: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Sana Takeda

Damn. One amazing start to a new story. This creative team is a force not to be reckoned with. To be honest this was the first time I’ve heard of Liu, but after looking her up she has quite the resume on her.  She’s worked on Astonishing X-Men and Black Widow. At the end of the comic Liu says she got the inspiration for this comic from this stories her grandparents told about horrors they experienced during World War II. She wanted to write a story about survival, racial hatred, and the concept of fighting something monstrous. I really loved the fact that this was 75 pages instead of the usual 15-25. I don’t think I could have handled this same story taking three week to get to.  Maika the main character of the story and are is too good for that. Yes, let me wax poetic about the art. It is come of the most beautiful and intricate stuff I have seen in a long time. I found myself getting lost/wondering in the panels longer than I do with most comic books. It really begs you to sit with it longer. The narrative also treats you like you’re part of the world and doesn’t give you any heavy exposition. You’re exploring the world as the characters move though the plot. Creep factor that still makes me squirm: the witches of this series literally cut the Arcaics into chucks and eat them in order to absorb their power. So very gross, but also interesting in terms of creating a certain type of magical system. I highly recommended that people read this story. I don’t think many will be disappointed in what is all trying to be accomplished here. – Jené


Elephantmen #67 – A-
Writer: 
Richard Starkings
Artist: Axel Medellin

For Walking Dead fans, I compare this issue a lot to this last week’s episode with Morgan and his Yoda-esque idol Eastman; I am left wondering much like with Glenn, and similarly, I am wondering what happened to Ebony in Elephantmen. This issue, although just as action-packed, gives us little hope for Ebony and even makes us even more terrified of his outcome in seeing one of those damn alligators dragging him and biting his leg before going back to the action with the main crew for this story. Despite the action continuing and all the Elephantmen and their friends being in terrible danger at the start of this issue, we get to see a great flashback with Trench and how he actually saved Agathe years back, which must be pretty damning realizing how many Elephantmen he killed after that day. We leave this issue with just as much anticipation as the last ,wanting to know more now and making sure our heroes are fine… At least in the month until we find out what happens next we will likely find out about Glenn on The Walking Dead. – Jacob


Axcend #2 – B
Writer: Shane Davis
Artist: Michelle Delecki
Colorist: Morry Hollowell

In the last issue the in game betas started to show up in real life, which also includes the special in game powers. At the start of this issue we are introduced to the real life persona of Rayne. In this case she is a famous pop-singer gamer also called Rain. Rain is that pop star that tabloids love. She’s big on sex, drugs, and drinking. She’s also a world class gamer. She pulls Dog out of the game and they track down Morn and now they are teaming up to stop Ruin before he gets his beta. Ruin is sort of an unstoppable killing machine so it would be in everyone’s best interest if he was stopped. Maybe next issue. – Scott


Paper Girls #2 – B
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Cliff Chiang

I like how little dialogue there is in this book. The art and colors are still really mesmerizing to me, which helps me read it quickly. I have more questions than answers this time. Is it demons? Time-travelers? Aliens? The Japanese? I don’t know, but I look forward to finding out. Also, I hope the cool girl isn’t really dead. – Adrian

Second Opinion (C): Just because no Remender book can be normal reading, Paper Girls gets way to convoluted way too quickly. Hopefully Remender can help guide readers to the actual story sooner than later. – Sherif


Nailbiter #17 – C
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Mike Henderson

That was disappointing. I still love this series, but what a bunch of filler. There was nothing that was memorable. The most important players in this issue have had little to no time in the series before, so any revelations that were to be had seemed minuscule to the audience. Better luck next time, I suppose. – Adrian

Second Opinion (B-)Don’t get me wrong, I still very much enjoy Nailbiter but at this point it feels like they are building up so much intrigue, and so much mystery that there is no way the actual climax will live up to its own hype. I’m really into the new story lines outside of Buckaroo at this point, but I can’t shake the feeling that even after all these issues we all haven’t accomplished much. – Keriann


We Stand on Guard #5 – C
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Steve Skroce

Call me bitter, but I got really bummed when I found out this would be a six-part mini-series instead of an on-going tale. All the momentum and excitement I felt I’d have for years is now going to be boiled down into one final issue, and for that to be the case, I was largely underwhelmed. Turns out that Amber’s brother is still alive, in some weird prison with Chief McFadden. There are some interesting moving parts in the story, but it doesn’t feel much like a climax is building. Vaughan is now killing characters at will now to help wrap things up. I’m just really disappointed – for a minute there, I almost really liked Canadians. – Sherif

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Invincible Iron Man #3 – A
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Colorist: Justin Ponsor

I love everything about this book. I’m ready to let go of all inhibitions and just be an Iron Man fan. Bendis has made this book hilarious but action-packed, the tech upgrades are subtle yet impressive, and the art, holy cow, the art is spectacular. This is by far my favorite book of the All-New All-Different launch, and mostly because it keeps me dying of laughter while actually having a story to tell. Some books fail by being so funny they don’t think there needs to be a story, or taking themselves so seriously that they have been pigeon-holed into not being relatable. This is a complete 180 from the a-hole Tony Stark in Superior Iron Man, and I am loving it. – Sherif

Second Opinion (B+)The art is still off the wall. The “rude” retorts are hilarious. And it is good to note to say “Hail Hydra” to anyone if you want to date them, just to make sure. You never know. – Adrian


Star Wars #11 – A
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger
Colorist: Justin Ponsor

The was full of actiony goodness. There was excellent pacing between the three story lines happening at once. It didn’t feel clunky going from storyline to storyline. Watching Chewbacca fight Dengar was pretty sweet. I like these look-ins on these lesser known characters. Luke is busy fighting a giant beast that regularly eats lava monsters, so that’s no good. We finally got the story on the whole Mrs. Solo thing, to so surprise it was a way to con someone. My favorite bit came at the end though when we got Han being Han. – Scott


Doctor Strange #2 – B+
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Chris Bachalo

There seems to be a pattern with these new Marvel books of using a two issue arc to tease at a larger narrative. It’s not bad, but it makes the introduction to these “new” (new like the 60s) worlds seem a little shallow. The librarian with the maggot cursed brain continues receiving help from Strange (spoiler: she gets better). Strange’s magic goes wonky. In a serious missed opportunity, she wanders into a room in Strange’s house that leads to a wasteland paved in bones roamed by the walking dead. I want to go into THAT world! I think the problem with this story and the Vision story is half the world is populated by characters we don’t really have much reason to care about (the librarian isn’t a very gripping character, especially given who Strange drinks with) and making them the focus. Whatever. I’m old and nearly dead. These are comics for Dora-the-Explorer hologram children. I can read it or lie in the street and wait for nature to reclaim my corpse. Note: not actually nearly dead. – Montgomery.


Extraordinary X-Men #1 – B+
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Humberto Ramos
Colorist: Edgar Delgado

What Jeff Lemire does best is taking something that’s been convoluted and over-complicated, and making it feel organic; he did it with Green Arrow, and Justice League Dark, and here again with Extraordinary X-Men. There are some gaps in time that beg some explaining to new readers, but it’s a wonderful transition from the last All-New X-Men canon. Not only is Old Man Logan joining the fold, but Illyana (one of my favorite X-Men who never gets any shine) and Piotr are back. The mutant “situation” is worse than ever, with mutants being hunted down like animals, and the Terrigen Mists eliminating the possibility of new mutants sprouting up. It’s X-Men at its roots, something that I am completely behind. – Sherif


Deadpool #1 – B+
Writer: 
Gerry Duggan
Artist: Mike Hawthorne, Terry Pallot, Val Staples

This issue starts off in a grand Deadpool fashion with craziness abound. Just like most post-Secret Wars titles, there isn’t much explanation offered as to how things got to where they are. Despite being all over the place, and having TONS of Deadpools, it was very well done, and even ties into the Uncanny Avengers title a little bit, which will help explain how Deadpool is an Avenger now and why and how he is helping fund the Avengers. Gerry Duggan comes back as writer in a grand Deadpool fashion: plenty of laughs, confusion, and bloody action. It also has plenty of nods to Deadpool’s pre-Secret Wars life with glimpses of Shikla, Adsit, and Preston, but not enough to know how they are or why Adsit has a huge beard. Mike Hawthorne’s pencils and Terry Pallot’s inks are fantastic for this issue and give me lot of hope for Deadpool art in the coming future, and Val Staples colors complete the trifecta of art into near Perfect Deadpool fashion. – Jacob


Drax #1 – B-
Writer: 
CM Punk, Cullen Bunn
Artist: Scott Hepburn, Matt Milla

Drax finally has his own modern series where we see his adventures outside the Guardians, but it proves to be a little lackluster when compared to Rocket and Groot’s solo adventures. I am sure in time this story will flourish and my negativity may just come from the fact I enjoyed/ am enjoying Rocket and Groot’s solo adventures (even if the other is in each others stories). This story worried me from the start though because the modern take on Drax has a very dry sense of humor to it while also having the potential to be extremely violent, very much on the same side as Deadpool, but at least Deadpool knows he is and tries to be funny where Drax is funny by just being dead serious. I do have to say CM Punk (with Cullen Bunn) had a great story here for his debut with his full series for Marvel and can only see him improving which gives me a lot of hope for the future of the series. Scott Hepburn and Matt Milla’s art is a spectacular mix of near surrealism and realism mixed into comic book fashion. Definitely a style I am totally down with. – Jacob


Nova #1 – C+
Writer: Sean Ryan
Arist: Cory Smith

Ugh. I hate kid heroes. “How’m I going to balance school work and killing giant lizards? What if Lizzie won’t go to the prom with me? Oh no! All my acne ruptured inside this helmet!” Dumb. What’s with all these “stay in school kids!” messages in all the Marvel books I’ve read this week? This book wasn’t terrible, but I feel like it’s a waste of time to pick up a book about one of Marvel’s cosmic heroes and have half the book be about seeing a movie with your buds and passing an English test. I mean, seriously, I’ve got another five paragraphs in me about this topic. It’s the same reason I hated Sesame Street as a kid: if I wanted to see regular sauce humans stumbling around being horrible and stupid, I’d just pay attention to the noxious swarm buzzing around me 24/7. When I pick up a book called NOVA about space cops, I expect to see some space action, not literally rescuing cats from burning houses. Spider-Man can handle that. I mean, also regular people can handle that. Like I said, the comic isn’t horrible, but if I don’t get equal parts space adventure in my space comic, I couldn’t care less about a hero’s personal life. – Montgomery


Vision #1 – C
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta

Vision is one of those characters whom I really love and identify with, but for whom finding a good story seems impossible. Since the new Marvel turned things around with Doc Strange, I had hopes for Vision. But I was kind of let down. The premise is that the Vision has made a family for himself and wants to live as normal a life as the thinking feeling son of Ultron can (so, that’s the origin we’re sticking with?). He has a wife, a son, and a daughter. The book has a cool premise, but it spends so much time trying to be literary in that way that screams “THIS IS WHAT SITCOMS THINKS WRITERS DO” that nothing really seems to happen. I mean, it wasn’t terrible, but, look: Because, yeah: nothing screams well adjusted like high schoolers. Maybe the point is that Vision isn’t as intelligent as he thinks he is, but things like this smack more of lazy writing, or perhaps some kind “let’s get the kids reading the comic books” PR initiative, than something the Vision might actually do. I feel 100% convinced that someone as smart as him would watch TV for 15 minutes and, correctly, conclude, “Oh, for sure, school is the last place I want to to send a person I have any hope of being balanced. And then they all get murdered. But probably not. – Montgomery

 


Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to all the publishers for putting out great books.

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Monthly Movie Preview: November 2015

October had some hits, but November is the biggest month of the year for hit movies. While Bond will likely take the top spot, there are about a half-dozen other films I’d spend my money on.

November 6 – Kill Your Friends

Starring: Nicholaus Hault, Craig Roberts, Rosanna Arquette, Tom Riley, James Corden

While the premise of this movie doesn’t really push any hot buttons for me – a movie starring a grown man version of Nicholas Hault does. You loved him as Beast in Days of Future Past, and Nux in Mad Max: Fury Road (collective orgasm noise from the audience), but this version of Hault is just as weird. Based off a 2008 John Niven novel, Kill Your Friends explores the ridiculousness of the music industry, and what it takes to stay alive. It could be interesting, but it reaches for a similar demographic that Spectre draws in; are you really going to miss out on Bond to see this? I didn’t think so. – Sherif

November 6 – Spectre

Starring: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris

It’s pretty rare when a James Bond movie strings a plot throughout more than one movie, but that is exactly what Spectre is doing. Tying in the story line of all of Daniel Craig’s Bond movies, Spectre pits Bond against the organization SPECTRE, last seen in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever. Other than how the story has been plotted out, I’m most excited for another Bond movie. The explosions, the cars, the gadgets… it’s just damn cool. And I have wanted to hate Christoph Waltz again for a while now. His performance in Inglorious Basterds was the epitome of evil and seeing him in films as a good guy, while great, is just not the same. – Adrian

November 6 – The Peanuts Movie

Starring: Noah Schnapp, Bill Melendez (archival recordings), Hadley Belle Miller

Did somebody order a feel-good movie?? One that closes the gap between several generations? Charlie Brown and Co. have always been relevant, but the only thing parents have to show their kids are the old Holiday-themed ones from yesteryear. I’m a bit leery of this remake. There’s a decent chance that it will be too corny to incite nostalgia from adults, and too dated for kids to be relevant, but it’s guaranteed to be worth some laughs. The key might be to not walk into the theater expecting something revolutionary, but rather making you remember the simplicity of what made you laugh ages ago. Although, I’m still not on board with a DJ Khaled song making the trailer. – Sherif

November 6 – Trumbo

Starring: Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Louis C.K., Elle Fanning, John Goodman, Michael Stuhlbarg, Helen Mirren

You say Bryan Cranston, I say “how high?” The Heisenberg has been on a tear lately, portraying 50’s icons – first by playing Lyndon B. Johnson on Broadway, and now with his title role in Trumbo. Trumbo is based off the story of Dalton Trumbo, a famous Hollywood screenwriter and novelist in the late 1940’s during the Communist witch hunts of America’s post-war paranoia. Instead of adhering to the government’s wishes, he basically flipped them the bird and continued to write classic works like Spartacus and Exodus even though we was openly blacklisted. It’s not my top (or even top 3) choice for the weekend, but it looks like a solid informative biopic. – Sherif

November 6 – Spotlight

Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton, Stanley Tucci, Liev Schreiber, Billy Crudup

Say your Hail Marys; Jesus can’t save the Catholic Church from Mark “F*cking” Ruffalo and the Boston Globe! Honestly, this is a story that needed to be told, and it’s full of headlining actors that push it from being a B-list lame documentary into a movie that people might actually give a crap about – and they should. Not even the infallible Pope Francis can stop this holy shitstorm from hitting theaters. – Sherif

November 13 – Entertainment

Starring: Tye Sheridan, Michael Cera, John C. Reilly, Lotte Verbeek

Let’s make a bold prediction. Entertainment will receive rave reviews. It’ll be considered genius and multi-layered and all the other fancy shit that Academy Award movies get called, but nobody will watch it. It won’t make sense to most of the world, and people will find it hilarious in a non-obvious, cathartic way. Basically like a Wes Anderson movie that takes itself too seriously. The movie’s focus is on small-time showbiz, but I think your focus should be on other movies. – Sherif

November 13 – By the Sea

Starring: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie

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Some may call it narcissistic, but just based off the preview By the Sea looks quite beautiful. Angelina Jolie Pitt’s project (she wrote and directed) stars herself and her hubs Brad Pitt. The film follows a couple who is trying to save their relationship by going on a vacation. It obviously doesn’t end well; however, it does look like a great character study on relationships, people with addictions, and the fine line between love and hate. The two lovers haven’t starred in a movie together since Mr. and Mrs. Smith; this will be a far cry from the comedy. So far the reviews aren’t great. I am still really interested because I find their love incredibly elusive. I just hope this doesn’t turn into Tom and Nicole’s Eyes Wide Shut. – Adrian

November 13 – Heist

Starring: Robert De Niro, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kate Bosworth, Morris Chestnut, Dave Bautista, Gina Carano

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For a moment there, I thought Robert de Niro was really going to accept that he’s an old man now. With movies like The Intern and the upcoming Dirty Grandpa, I thought he was aging gracefully into Morgan Freeman-like roles, but Heist looks like a bunch of cliché garbage that needed to come out solely to keep budgets up for next year. The cast is likable enough, although Morris Chestnut has been in just about one Tyler Perry movie too many to be considered muscle for the bad guy. Seriously, get out of my face, Heist. You’re embarrassing yourself. – Sherif

November 13 – The 33

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Lou Diamond Phillips

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If a group of sweaty coal miners is your thing, then boy are you going to love The 33. For those of you living under a rock – sorry, that was in poor taste – in 2010, a group of Chilean miners were trapped in a collapsed tunnel for over two months. Everybody got out alive. To be fair, it was a miracle. BUT, to be fair to me as a movie-goer, this does not seem like it would translate into a good movie at all. I’m glad they all survived, but screw going to watch a movie about how they did it. – Sherif

November 20 – Love the Coopers

Starring: John Goodman, Diane Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Amanda Seyfried, Olivia Wilder, Ed Helms, Anthony Mackie

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Holiday ensemble movies are a staple in Hollywood, and very rarely do they actually translate into anything timeless, let alone enjoyable. Here, though, I’m hopeful. Reason #1: John Goodman is at the top of my “Celebrities I Wish Were My Grandparent” list. Reason #2: There are funny people of all ages, not just the “main couple” of people to carry the comedy. Reason #3: Olivia Wilde is in it. I like Olivia Wilde. My wife has an unhealthy obsession with Olivia Wilde. The film doesn’t try to hide the dysfunctional family, but rather celebrate it. Love the Coopers might suck, but at least it will suck with good intentions. – Sherif

November 20 – The Night Before

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogan, Anthony Mackie, Lizzy Caplan, Jillian Bell, Michael Shannon, Mindy Kaling

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Now that I think about it, I’ve never seen JGL actually cut loose in a movie. He’s always actually acting – weird, huh? This movie smells a lot like a Christmas-themed This is the End, but simplifies the equation with actors that already mesh well together. Reuniting Seth Rogan with Joseph Gordon-Levitt (50/50, the funniest cancer movie ever), and adding in the most harmless token black guy (sorry, Anthony Mackie), The Night Before looks to join the rare breed of original adult comedies in an era crowded by adaptations and franchises. – Sherif

November 20 – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Natalie Dormer

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I can’t believe the Hunger Games saga is finally at an end. Get ready for a lot of heartbreak, folks, because the end of the third book is full of it. Primarily focusing on the infiltration of District 13 into the Capitol, there is no going back for Katniss and crew – no more safe points. It’ll be a welcome change of pace from the other movies, and a good way to send the franchise out with a bang. Weird to think that the first movie debuted only 3 years ago; it feels like it’s been forever. So many crappy book-to-movie adaptations have come out in that time. Well, get your handkerchiefs out and sit down with somebody you love to watch the sun set on one of the most epic movie franchises of the decade. – Sherif

November 20 – Secret in Their Eyes

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Dean Norris

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I’m sorry, but I burst into tears laughing when I think of any character Julia Roberts plays committing murder in cold blood. Now that Sandra Bullock has successfully stolen any role that Roberts would be typecast for, maybe it’s time to turn over a new leaf. Secret in Their Eyes follows a detective who quit the force when one of the victims she found turned out to be her own daughter. Then she tracks down the killer and is forced to deal with the morality of whether or not to murder him… Welcome to the most recycled plot point in a cop show ever. Pass. – Sherif

November 25 – Legend

Starring: Tom Hardy, Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Christopher Eccleston, Paul Bettany

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Tom Hardy plays twins Ronnie and Reggie Kray, who together ran an organized crime ring in London in the mid-1950s. The “based on real life events” thing comes into play and sort of spoils the ending here – both were arrested and served out life sentences in prison, but that doesn’t mean that a ton of crazy crap happen along the way. Hardy is one of the best character actors around (don’t believe me? Check out Bronson), and I’m sure he’ll do a splendid job playing the homicidal paranoid schizophrenic Ronnie. Crime, violence, and Tom Hardy. I’m in. – Sherif

November 25 – The Good Dinosaur

Starring: Raymond Ochoa, Jack Bright, Sam Elliott, Anna Paquin, Steve Zahn, Jeffrey Wright

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It’s an entertaining-looking movie based off a cliché concept: what if dinosaurs were still alive when there were humans? Any time I hear a new “dinosaurs + humans” concept, I start thinking about a reboot of We’re Back, the greatest human-dinosaur movie of all time. However, this is a Pixar movie, and we all know that Pixar movies are on a whole other level visually and in the feels department. It’s movies like this that will make dinosaurs cool again. It’s a buddy movie starring a young Apatosaurus and his pet human (THERE’S a twist). There’s a much larger cast, but it seems as though the movie revolves around these two. – Sherif

November 25 – Creed

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Slyvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris

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I’m not a Rocky fan by any stretch of the imagination. I make fun of the movies way more than I ever enjoyed them, and my wife has been haunted by Stallone’s guttural moan “Yo Adrian!” ever since she was a little kid. However, I am a huge Michael B. Jordan fan, and Apollo Creed was by far the best rival that Rocky faced in the ring, so a movie with Apollo’s son is interesting enough to get people out to the theaters. Hopefully it’s not full of the same lame nostalgia that Rocky V had. – Sherif

November 25 – Victor Frankenstein

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy, Charles Dance, Noah Emmerich

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Mary Shelley’s work continues to grasp people nearly 200 years later. In the latest rendition, the story is told from Victor Frankenstein’s assistant Igor’s viewpoint. Starring Daniel Radcliffe (Harry freakin’ Potter!) and James McAvoy (Charles freakin’ Xavier!), the two decide to make a man of body parts. Their endeavors find them being investigated by detectives. Because it will be from Igor’s point of view, I don’t know how accurate the movie will be to Shelley’s masterpiece (Elizabeth doesn’t even seem to be in the movie, and she is an integral part to the book). It looks like this will be more about the poor humans, which if you’ve seen this meme, you should know isn’t the point. However, some of the dialogue seems to match with the original work, and the lighting and colors are spot on to what I have imagined when I have read the original 1818 work. Also, the Monster looks damn scary. – Adrian

The Walking Dead Review – “Here’s Not Here” S6E4

We were all thinking a few things during “Here’s Not Here”. What happened to Glenn? Why is this all about Morgan? Ok, this is actually pretty good. It’s a lot like The Karate Kid. The original. With Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita. Not the remake. And it’s also sorta like Yoda and Luke. So we are getting a derivation of the Hero’s Cycle. This is good. And it is damn beautiful. This is a nice breather from the first three episodes. That was really good, but seriously, is Glenn okay?

Alright, maybe that wasn’t everybody, that was us, so let’s get on with the review of “Here’s Not Here”.

Pros:

EASTMAN!!!!: First and foremost, let’s take a moment to applaud the acting here. John Carroll Lynch, who just also happened to play Twisty in AHS: Freakshow, was just outstanding. This is also a testament to the writing; however, he had the most dialogue in the episode (and of most episodes for one man in the TWD universe), he had to embody a zen master, a man of the woods, a survivor, and a killer all in one person. It’s amazing, and we are sure there are too many other actors out there who could have brought the same ability to the episode.

The Walking Dead - Here's Not Here 2

As far as the character goes, what a guy! He is absolutely hilarious, for one. When he asks Morgan “What’s your name?” and Morgan replies “Kill me,” Eastman doesn’t drop a beat and says “That’s a stupid name.” What a way to get us to instantly side with this dude. The way his story is unfolded was just brilliant. There were a lot of misconceptions the viewers could have had about him just based off his looks. But as the 90 minutes went on, more and more of his layers were peeled back. This man had more character development in that short amount of time than most characters on TV ever do. Eastman alone made the whole “what the hell happened to Glenn” thing bearable.

MORGAN!!!!!!!: Oh so that is how Morgan got this way. It took a lot of coaxing and coddling and Aikido training to get him from “Clear” to “Here’s Not Here.” The strides he made in this episode alone were significant. Again, the acting here was superb. Lennie James has by far had to deal with the most changes in the shortest amount of time. This episode showed a pretty large scope of emotions for our beloved bo staff wielder. His zen-masterness is finally explained and it was a wonderful ride to watch.

The Walking Dead - Here's Not Here 5

Pacing, story, and character development: While some may have thought this episode was too slow, we thought the pacing was perfect. This was meant to be the full explanation of Morgan’s ways. If his full on crazy to zen master had been rushed, it wouldn’t have been believable. Additionally, the unfolding of Eastman’s story was perfectly executed. His interactions with Morgan and the way he slowly told him (and us) about his past life including Creighton Dallas Wilton, the man who murdered his family, were everything we needed for character development. This episode should be shown to writers who are looking to advance their own skills into how to develop characters.

Call backs: The amount of thought that went into the dialogue here was mind-boggling. The re-use of Morgan’s dialogue into Eastman’s dialogue was incredibly well planned. Practically everything Morgan has said since he resurfaced in season 5 came from his short time with Eastman. From “sorry” to “I don’t have friends” to “All life is precious” it became clear (see what we did there?) that Morgan’s character plotted and that his story is incredibly integral to the overall story.

Video Game Camera: Many people may have hated this, but we personally think it was a great way to make viewers feel like they were “in his head.” Morgan’s manic state was reflected well by the blurred and shaking camera. Thankfully, it was used sparingly.

It was damn beautiful: We are pretty big fans of montages, and this episode had some great ones. The scenes of bo staff training were just breathtaking.

The Walking Dead - Here's Not Here 4

Cons:

Eastman’s exit was wiggity wack: Here we have yet another plot hole we’re going to ignore because the rest of the episode was stellar. We knew Eastman had to die. There was no way a character that dynamic could live past the single appearance he was awarded, but the way he died just felt lazy. He just ran up on Morgan and shielded him like he had a gun pointed at him. He could have easily shoved the walker to the ground, or used, I don’t know, his freakin bo staff?? You could do better, AMC.

 

Easter Eggs & Other Tidbits:

TMNT: As Chris Hardwick pointed out, there are a lot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles references in this episode. Morgan has been called Donatello for a while now, but it is safe to say Eastman was the original Donatello. Additionally, Eastman is wearing a shirt with a turtle on it, and his name is Eastman, a.k.a. the co-creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kevin Eastman. It may have all been coincidental, but it had to be noted.

TabithaShe has her own fan base ya’ll. Not kidding. She more popular than characters that lasted seasons.

The Walking Dead - Here's Not Here 3

The cheese does not wear me: This is a bit of a Buffy reference. All right, it’s a full-on Buffy reference, but if you follow Hush Comics, you know we love Buffy. There was an episode in the series called “Restless” which seemed like an episode that didn’t fit with the rest of the season, but included a lot of references to things in the past and in the future. “Restless” is a cult followed episode because of all the references (and the weirdness of it). In ways, “Here’s Not Here” reminded us of that episode because suddenly there was a lot about Morgan that made a lot of sense.

Wolf in the basement? Why does that sound familiar?: Morgan is (secretly?) hiding the lone Wolf in some random basement. We’ll ignore for now the fact that this will most definitely blow up in his face somehow and focus on the jailing part. It’s a clever parallel to what Eastman did to Wilton in the story, but it’s also a distinct Easter Egg to what Rick does to [some guy] in the comic books after winning All Out War. Neat.

It took Creighton Dallas Wilton 47 days to die?: At first this fact was a bit mind boggling. Would it really take 47 days to starve to death? Welp, it turns out that this number is surprisingly accurate. Gross. 

The Art of PeaceThe book was written by Morihei Ueshiba who is the founder of the Martial Art Aikido. He developed the art because of three separate awakenings he had between 1925 and 1942. The Art of Peace is widely considered the book of Aikido and its spirituality, but can stand alone from the art.

Morgan is A-OK: We finally get a look at Crazy Morgan marking the trees that we see in the Season 5 opener. It makes me wonder what Morgan actually did before the apocalypse; he’s been asked a few times now and has redirected every time. What kind of normal man would go into full commando mode and exhibit the “clear” tactics Morgan did back in Season 3 (“Clear”).

Morgan and Eastman have a lot in common: Other than both being zen master badasses, of course. Morgan was for a long time a character everyone loved, but had appeared in only one episode. It wasn’t until years later we saw him again. Based off one episode, Morgan had quite the cult following. Nowadays, that title can go to Eastman. Don’t believe me? Just check out Tumblr. Below is some amazing fan art based around this following. You can see the artists whole page here.

The Walking Dead Eastman Fan Art


Hush Comics gives “Here’s Not Here” an for an incredibly brilliant and beautiful episode. The way it was filmed, the pacing of story, and the character development created it’s own standalone movie, something all TV series strive for, but rarely attain.

All images belong to AMC and are credited to Gene Page.

This Week’s Comics – November 4th, 2015

This Week’s Comics is the pull list of Comic Books recommended by Hush Comics, with notes and suggestions by co-owner, Sherif Elkhatib.

Recommendations:

James Bond #1: Released right before Spectre hits the theaters, this Dynamite title is most likely a cash crab attempt, so stay leery. BUT! BUT! Warren Ellis is writing this. Whore 007 out all you want, but all is forgiven once you put a quality writer on it. The series promises a return to the narratives of the book series.

Klaus #1: Synopsis – Grant Morrison writes a totally barbaric version of Saint Nick that is decisively less jolly than usual. I can’t help but get a Simpson‘s “Bonestorm” vibe from this, so I’ll just leave this here…

Uncanny X-Men #600: Brian Michael Bendis’ swan song is here. I’m sad, yet excited to read this last issue. It’s been such an enthralling series so far that even if Marvel has moved on, I’m gonna go down with the ship on Uncanny.

More All-New All-Different Books Debut: Aside from Mavel annoyingly putting out books every two weeks (I got sh*t to do, Marvel!), I’m anxious to get my hands on all the new books coming out this week, most notably: Howard the DuckDeadpool, and Extraordinary X-Men.


Graphic Novels:

Adventure Time: The Time Flip Side Mathematical Edition (BOOM!)
Archie vs. Predator (Dark Horse)
Shaper (Dark Horse)
Sandman Overture Deluxe Edition (Vertigo)
Suiciders Volume 1 (Vertigo)
Bob’s Burgers: Medium Rare
(Dynamite)
Copperhead Volume 2 (Image)
Surface Volume 1 (Image)
Star Wars Kanan Volume 1: The Last Padawan (Marvel)
Star Wars Princess Leia (Marvel)

Comic Books:

Archie Comics
Hangman #1

BOOM! Studios
Klaus #1
Regular Show #29
Toil and Trouble #3
UFOlogy #6 (final issue)

Dark Horse Comics
Angel and Faith: Season 10 #20
Barb Wire #5
Call of Duty: Black Ops II #1
Dead Vengeance #2
Joe Golem: Occult Detective #1
Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen #2

DC Comics
Batman and Robin Eternal #5
Batman: Arkham Knight #10
Bat-Mite #6 (final issue)
Detective Comics #46
Green Arrow #46
Green Lantern #46
Harley Quinn and Power Girl #5
Justice League: The Darkseid Wars – Flash #1
Justice League: The Darkseid Wars – Superman #1
Lobo #12
Midnighter #6
Mortal Kombat X #12
Survivor’s Club #2
Unfollow #1

Dynamite Entertainment:
Aliens-Vampirella #3
Bob’s Burgers #5
Cage Hero #1
James Bond #1
Train Called Love #2

IDW:
Angry Birds: Super Angry Birds #3
Atomic Robo and The Ring of Fire #3
Donald Duck #7
Insufferable #7
Mickey Mouse #6
October Faction #10
Sherlock Holmes: The Seven-Per-Cent Solution #4
Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #46

Image Comics:
Axcend #2
Black Science #17
Citizen Jack #1
Dark Corridor #4
Elephantmen #67
Humans #9
Lazarus #20
Monstress #1
Nailbiter #17
Paper Girls #2
Rasputin #10
Saints #2
Sex #25
Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses #9
Velvet #12
We Stand on Guard #5

Marvel:
Amazing Spider-Man #3
Contest of Champions #2
Deadpool #1
Doctor Strange #2
Drax #1
Extraordinary X-Men #1
Hercules #1
Howard the Duck #1
Invincible Iron Man #3
Max Ride: Ultimate Fight #1
Miracleman by Gaiman and Buckingham #4
Nova #1
Star Wars #11
Uncanny X-Men #600
Vision #1

Valiant Entertainment:
Ninjak #9

Comic Book Reviews 10-28-15

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

Pick of the Week:

rumble 8 POTWRumble #8 – A
Writers: John Arcudi, James Harren
Artist: Dave Stewart

Things have calmed down since the first appearance of Rathraq but on Halloween Night he’s back, sword swinging. Bobby seems like he might have a normal life, but we all knew that wouldn’t last. In this issue he’s Good Guy Bobby helping two kids find their mom. I really like how Del has become his own character, always brave although maybe not the smartest guy. Of course Bobby isn’t going to go back to a normal life and it’s Halloween so why wouldn’t a new adventure start that night? This issue was a lot like the very first one. By that I mean it seems like a normal day and Rathraq’s appearance is very sudden. If you haven’t read the story previously you could actually jump in now without too much of a problem. This is a great book for Halloween. – Scott

Other Reviews: 

BOOM! Studios:

Adventure Time 2015 Spooktacular – A
Writer & Artist: Hanna K.

The stories about Marceline and Simon way back in time just following the Mushroom War are some of the most somber and gratifying. I think it was actually a Simon/Marceline flashback in the cartoon that keyed me into Adventure Time’s zany dynamic. In the Spooktacular, Marceline’s mostly grown up wandering the wasteland with her dog after Simon has gone full Ice King and abandoned them. This story doesn’t do much to clear up any of the mythology’s (large) dark and unknown spaces – we still don’t understand how Marceline got the way she is or where she is – but it’s a pretty somber and intimate look at the world post-Mushroom War. Marceline treks the waste and finds a settlement of humans living in fear of vampires. She goes hunting and vows to outlive all of them. So Marcy’s for sure not a vampire. I love the art in these Adventure Time comics. It bends my brain a little bit that a cartoon based on such a simple art style could be the progenitor of such lush and complex themes and representations. – Montgomery

Dark Horse Comics:

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1953-The Phantom Hand & the Kelpie #1 A
Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Ben Stenbeck

Much like the Adventure Time Spooktacular, B.P.R.D. and Hellboy side stories are almost always gratifying; they might not progress the mythology or central story, but they give the world real weight. Of the two stories here, “The Phantom Hand” is definitely the superior. In 1953, Hellboy and his adopted father, Trevor Brutenholm, along with a local occultist travel to London to investigate reports of a murderous ghostly hand. They find the hand and discover it’s the hand of a child murderer who claims the devil made him do it. Turns out he wasn’t lying; his hand was possessed by a large and powerful demon. Hellboy engages in fisticuffs and manages to beat him back with a surprising object. The real hook of the story, however, is when Trevor remarks on Hellboy’s power and potential, and how he seems to have natural ability, where others fail, to eliminate these threats and literally change the atmosphere. It’s actually quite moving. – Montgomery

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Justice League 3001 #5 – B+
Writer: J.M. DeMatteis, Keith Giffen
Artist: Howard Porter

I still love this book. This particular issue felt more like a holding pattern than it did progress, but it was a marked improvement over the last issue. One of the Starro horde now lives with Green Lantern in order to learn about and perhaps to come to accept the League. Green Lantern is having weird lapses in memory that just may be her hose DNA trying to crawl back to the surface of memory. Meanwhile, Batman and Supergirl (god Supergirl is so badass in this book) are hunting an impostor Batman on the prison world, and Lois Lane’s robot slips to Superman about her plan. I guess a lot of story did get progressed. It’s just that this issue is busy setting so much stuff up that it felt like no one thing in particular happened to make this issue memorable. But that impostor Batman? Stylish. – Montgomery


Prez #5 – B
Writer: Mark Russell
Artist: Ben Caldwell

What would happen if America apologized for all of our crimes? Well, it turns out, that is a tough question to answer. Either way, it made for a pretty interesting story line. But what was best about this month’s Prez was that War Beast escaped Guantanamo Bay, and then headed to a church group. It was so hilarious I spit out my coffee. Make sure to scroll for our funniest panels to catch the zinger of all from this issue. – Adrian


Justice League Darkseid Wars: Batman #1 – B-
Writer: Peter Tomasi
Artist: Fernando Pasarin

First of all, let me just say that Batman looks utterly ridiculous rolling around Gotham in a giant Tron chair. The gist of this issue is that Batman is now going through Gotham with his all-knowing super chair and stopping all the crime before it happens – and he’s being kind of a dick about it. It’s all very reminiscent of Superman/Batman #53 where the two switch powers. It’s kinda corny, especially when “it gets personal.” However, the issue ends on an exciting note when Chair Batman is looking to take on The Joker again. I’m curious what kind of continuity is taking effect in Justice League since it clearly isn’t in line with Batman. – Sherif


We Are Robin #5 – B-
Writer: Lee Bermejo
Artist: Jorge Corona
This book is still really interesting to me, but this issue was a little blasé. We did find out more about Izzy and her background. The crew was then sent to find out more about the nest. There are so many unanswered questions still. I do think this was a bit of a filler issue, but I’m okay with that. There is enough mystery here to keep me going. This is one of the best DC book out right now! – Adrian

Batgirl #45 – C
Writers: Cameron Stewart, Brendan Fletcher
Artist: Babs Tarr
Colorist: Serge Lapointe

The wedding is finally upon us, and as always, Barbara finds herself pulled away at the last moment. Dick Grayson makes an impromptu appearance for… seemingly no reason at all other than to bug her. Everybody loved Grayson before the elaborate death faking incident, but now he just seems to be hanging around town like the cool guy from high school who can’t move on. For Babs, though, there is a huge growth moment for her where she pretty much tells Dick that she’s moved on and that he shouldn’t hold her back anymore. It’s quaint, but there isn’t much else to lean on as far as the book goes. – Sherif


Art Opts #1 – C
Writer: Shaun Simon
Artist: Mike Allred
 

So… art is alive. There’s a secret organization that helps paintings/art wondering around the streets. There’s a man with an artsy squiggly hand and shadows that are alive that can rip off arms. A masked vigilante whose mere presences makes people sick and helps works of art in the whiteness protection system and some sort of evil trying to destroy art. Yup, that’s pretty much everything going on in this comic. I think it poses an interesting exploration into the whole concept of life imitating art/art imitating life sort of kit and caboodle. It’s a very strange and disjointed narrative that’s aim is more philosophy than story, but interesting none-the-less. I’m not sure if it’s something that I’ll be able to keep up with but it has my attention for now. – Jené

Second Opinion (D): While the art was crisp (and it better have been, it’s a book about art), the dialogue was often cheesy. It was almost as if the characters weren’t really supposed to have dialogue, but should have been thinking something to themselves. Instead, it came off as trite. And none of the characters were likable, so that didn’t help either. – Adrian

IDW Publishing:

Transformers Redemption #1 – A
Writer: John Barber
Artist: Livio Ramondelli

I think the this month’s theme for me might be “side stories.” I feel like almost every book I’ve reviewed thus far has been a side story. In Redemption, the four remaining Dinobots struggle for purpose in the wake of armistice and their missing leader, Grimlock (I think we saw him once maybe 30 issues ago, suffering from amnesia and discovered by the hardcore Decepticon group? But not since?), and struggling to keep Slug’s restlessness and rage from pulling them down. Sludge is the triceratops in case you didn’t know (which you almost certainly didn’t). Believing their purpose is to do the dirty stuff for the good guys, they take a shadowy mission from a couple Camiens and one of Starscream’s secret police. It’s a pretty cool story with some interesting twists and very cool noir like narration that doesn’t feel canned like a lot of superhero narration. By the end of the book, the Dinobots end up adding a member to their group (but not who you think). Much like the Hellboy side stories, I love when the writers of the TF books slow things down to really focus on a neglected group or group and imbue them with character. But I can’t help but wonder when Grimlock’s coming back. – Montgomery


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #51 – C
Writers: Tom Waltz, Bobby Curnow, Kevin Eastman
Artist: Ken Garing

The all-new saga of TMNT begins after a magnanimous ending to issue #50 left Splinter “honor-bound” to The Foot. After one issue, I am not impressed. The new art from Ken Garing is actually more on par with the original gritty Eastman work, but it doesn’t look as polished and appropriate as Santolouco’s pencils did. Plus, Raphael is just about as into this Foot thing as I am, and Mikey on his own is a sad sight. The reign of The Foot may be over before it begins, and there are several new players about to create waves. It’ll be interesting to see what happens from here, but this issue gets a big “meh” from me. – Sherif

Second Opinion (A-)This issue may just not be up to par for me because of the insanity that was issue #50 but it still was my favorite of the week. I can not wait to see where Michelangelo’s story arc here begins to go!

Image Comics:

ODY-C #8 – A
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Christian Ward

I can’t believe this is only issue 8. I feel like I’ve been reading this series since I was in high school, or something. And, finally, on the 8th issue, I’ve discovered the secret to reading the comic, and it’s the same advice one of my favorite professors gave me: read it out loud. I read it out loud, and for the first time in months, I feel like I have a grip on the story. Now that we’re in the Arabian Nights arc (of which I know nothing, so I’m picking up almost none of the references), this one follows two brothers confined to a kingdom of their making. Their lovers leave and get involved with each other, so the brothers murder everyone. It was nice to feel like I had any sense of what was going on. And Christian Ward continues to deliver the best visuals in current comics. I don’t want to spoil what’s happening in this picture, but that’s an entire country built out of the bones of a single person. So, y’know… hobbies? I guess? – Montgomery


Black Magick #1—B
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Nicola Scott
Colorist: Chiara Arena
 

As first issues are concerned, I’m extremely excited about this series. It’s the first time in forever that a witch has been painted in a light that’s not some evil spawn of the devil. Anything that connects to the Salam Witch Trails has my attention. I guess having an ancestor hang for witchcraft will do that to a woman. So far the story is mystical yet realistic and pulls you in right away. At first I thought it might be something akin to Witchblade. It’s not. It’s way better than then that. And the art is fracking spectacular. Breathtaking even. The sort of noir art style is amazing. And the one color page that highlights Rowen’s powers shows the power that the artist is leaning to the narrative. All in all I’m really excited to continue reading this comic book. – Jené

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 – B+
Writer: Frank J. Barbiere
Artist: Brent Schoonover

I have to be honest and say I have no idea what I just read here and how it fits together, but despite that fact I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. Since the Howling Commando’s made of monsters appeared in the Secret Wars Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos series, I was hoping we would get some variation of that team. As a monster fan , and a big fan of the character Man-Thing, this series seemed right up my alley and I have to say, despite being majorly confused at how things got to where they are in this issue I found it to be everything I wanted from this series within this first issue even with the robotic Dum Dum Dugan. I have complete faith in Frank J Barbiere’s writing after this issue and expect much more explanation as the series goes on. Brent Schoonover does a spectacular job on the art mixing all these different monsters together from the incredibly bad ass  Hit-Monkey to the rather dumb Zombie Jasper Sitwell., Definitely a great series to sart so close to Halloween! – Jacob


The New Avengers #2 – B+
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Gerardo Sandoval

I missed the first issue of this, which is a shame because the first issue might have been an A+. This issue was still pretty good though. The only minus (which seems pretty significant, hence the drop of a whole letter grade) is that the crystal headed guys are actually NBD if you just scream right. Way to deflate all the tension. Also, how does Squirrel Girl beat up a sub-hulk exactly? At any rate, the Avengers post-Secret Wars, as I’ve commented elsewhere, has a very Grant Morrison feel. I kind of wish maybe Grant Morrison would be allowed to do for Marvel what he does for DC, like, twice a week. Those Lie Minus crystal headed guys seem ripped right out of Doom Patrol. And the concept of Life Minus seems ripped right out of Kirby’s Fourth World and the bulk of Morrison’s DC work, which centers around the anti-life equation and universal conquest. But the Ultimate universe Reed, called the Maker, who is totally bonkers, is the guy behind it all. I’m a little exasperated that we’re only two issues into the all new all different Marvel universe, and Maker is already talking about other universes. What was the point of the last year, Marvel? What? Was? The? Point? Anyways, the demon he conjures is pretty badass, and Morrison as anything that’s Morrisoned a Morrison. – Montgomery


The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 – B+
Writer: Ryan North
Artist: Erica Henderson
I was worried this book might lose some of its allure since it is the second reboot in only a year. I was proven wrong, and I love when that happens! The new series starts in Doreen’s sophomore year at Empire State. She and Nancy have a place together, and the whole team seems closer than ever. There are some allusions to Doreen’s place in the New Avengers, and there are lots of good jokes surrounding that. Doreen’s number one fan came to town, a.k.a. her mom. There was a lot of play with just how embarrassing but also awesome moms can be. I thought the “bad guy” was a little silly, but I am still happy that Squirrel Girl is around. – Adrian

Chewbacca #2 – B
Writer: 
Gerry Duggan
Artist: Phil Noto

The second issue into Chewbacca’s adventure without his cohort in smuggling Han Solo brings him to the point where he is helping a young girl named Zarro free her friends and family from the evil gangster Jaum. This issue focuses on them basically getting to where they need to be and starting their plan, but it ends at a place where we don’t know if anyone survived. Gerry Dugan does a good job writing, especially for Chewbacca seeing as all he says is, “Hraa, Rawrrrrr!!” and similar manuerisms. You definitely get the point across by the great art of Phil Noto as well making sure Chewies expression comes across very clear and we know what he is thinking simply by the illustration. Duggan of course has the supporting cast help out with the emotions and plot but overall this series seems to just be getting its footing and the end of this issue leaves us eagerly awaiting the third issue. – Jacob


Deadpool vs. Thanos #4 – B
Writer: 
Tim Seeley
Artist: Elmo Bondoc

The final issue in this series finally brings us the versus in Deadpool vs Thanos and boy is it an insane battle. After Deadpool and Thanos finally find out where Death is they along with Black Talon head straight to her location to find she is prisoner of Eternity because of the chaos she has caused in, well, all of eternity. Eternity battles Deadpool and Thanos and ends up actually killing them but Death brings them back as the undead to battle Eternity but Thanos gets a little out of control and Deadpool has to try and take him out before he actually destroys everything by killing Eternity. The story ends well and we see a couple epic battles, but overall the series was a little disappointing in that the journey to the good end was a bit unneeded. That is not saying it isn’t an enjoyable ride, but the series could have had a bit more substance to it and a little less mindless journeying. I do have to say Tim Seeley’s writing is enjoyable the whole time, despite some of it feeling filler material and Elmo Bondoc’s art is what really carried me through the series. – Jacob

Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to all the publishers for putting out great books.

The Walking Dead Review – “Thank You” S6E3

Okay, okay. Everybody calm down. This week’s episode of The Walking Dead was somewhat of a nuclear clusterf*ck. We cried. We threw beverages at the television. We cursed the names of Robert Kirkman (let’s be honest, it’s all his fault), Greg Nicotero and Scott Gimple, Angela Kang (rhymes with Krang, you evil lady!), and Sturgess (the event and the stupid ass character). It was quite an event. Well, the smoke has cleared, and our minds are processing everything that happened. More than anything, it was just nice to FEEL something about the show again. Six seasons in, and I look around at the handful of friends that are actually up to date on TWD and it makes me sad. Our living room used to be packed with a dozen friends all pining to see whether or not Shane would kill Rick (ha. n00bz). So cheers to the show that showed us it still has our hearts by the balls.

Oh, and by the way, there are SPOILERS. I feel like if you made it to this website without finding anything out so far, you are the Moses of the internet. However, I am Pharaoh, and I will not let your people go. This metaphor took a strange turn…

Pros:

Alexandrians are the Red Shirts of TWD: It may not have been nice, but Rick was right when he said that Glenn and Michonne needed to watch out for themselves first. The Alexandrians just keep getting picked off one by one, and that is okay. We have almost no attachment to any of them, and the don’t have the same family mentality our group has.

The Walking Dead - Thank You 1

David was a brave motherfucker: David, despite being an Alexandrian, was amazingly stoic when he was bit. He did admit that he had been on the road before and that Aaron found him. It does feel as though he has been in Alexandria a while, but he didn’t forget “where he came from” so-to-speak. When he was bit, we were shocked but pleasantly surprised at the “I know what it means” line. And when it was time to climb the fence, he chose to go last because the rest of his crew was in better shape than he was. Brave motherfucker you were, David.

Daryl vs. Abraham: “That’s the mission”: Daryl and Abraham have both been soldiers. One if comfortable in that position, the other isn’t that comfy. It was a good reminder that Abraham will always do the job, especially with Rick as his leader. Daryl on the other hand is his own dude. Rick may be treating Daryl a little bit too much like Merle did. Daryl needs respect and isn’t getting it right now.

Michonne tells it like it is: Michonne is a woman who has changed greatly on this series. There was a time that she wouldn’t speak. Now she is a leader. In one of her first moments leading, Heath gives her some attitude. (From Heath’s perspective, it does make some sense). Her speech to him about living and dying and surviving was one of her finest moments on the show. And gave us some serious goosebumps.

The Walking Dead - Thank You 3

If we turn back, its because we’re afraid: One of Rick’s manliest statements. He has two kids back there, he hears gun fire, and tells the rest of the group that if they go back it is fear causing it?! Yeah, not many people would do that. Accidentally leading the herd back to Alexandria could be worse for the innocents back home. This was one of his best calls yet.

Simultaneous Arcs: There are a lot of actors on TWD. A lot of well-paid actors. The best way to slow down a story and not have to pay everybody to make an appearance is to run simultaneous episodes for each focal point. It’s effective, and elaborate if done correctly. Done too often, though, and it can get predictable, and frustratingly repetitive. So far, we aren’t in that territory.

A man and his gun: It was soooooooo “Nebraska”! Without all the hesitation. Rick took out not one, not two, but five Wolves. It was simply amazing, and made the episode that much better. He is the smartest, badassiest (it’s a word now, people) in The Walking Dead, and that won’t change.

The Walking Dead - Thank You 7

All these feelings: It may not have been what anyone wanted to see or experience, but when a show can make EVERYONE feel so many things, it is a testament to how well written some of these characters are. It would be impossible to feel this way about our beloved pizza delivery boy if he wasn’t written and acted well in the first place.

The Walking Dead - Thank You 6

Cons:

Where did Daryl’s fortitude go?: Back when Daryl and Rick had that moment – you know, the one where Rick tears that guy’s throat out with his teeth – he and Rick were equals. Brothers. So just when did Daryl become the pouty kid who runs away when his feelings are hurt? Would people even riot if he died anymore? Are those same people even still watching this show? This show (and Rick, honestly) needs badass Daryl back, and pronto.

The Alexandrians are kinda f’ed up: We’ll include Michonne in this. Annie was clearly not doing well with that foot. When she tripped again, everyone just looked back at her, mouths agape. They could have helped her. They had guns, swords, knives. And when David died, everyone just looked on as he screamed in pain. Put the dude out of his misery. and kill some walkers while you are at it. Ugh. With the whole “don’t leave anyone behind” theme, they sure did leave people behind. Talk is cheap, Heath.

The Walking Dead - Thank You 4

Where’d all that blood come from, Heath?: You know when Heath looks at his reflection and see his face covered in blood? While poignant, it didn’t really make sense. It was a major goof by the crew. The last time Heath had reason for blood on his face was when he was shooting walkers at a close range to save Michonne. If you look at his face then, it isn’t that bloody. It keeps getting bloodier as they get closer to the water with no explanation.

Easter Eggs & Other Tidbits:

Round of appalls: That’s it. Rick has zombie AIDS! As badass as it was to see him dispatch that group of walkers on the road, he ended up shoving his hand into a machete that was buried into the chest of one a walker. He was holding his hand gingerly and losing a lot of blood. Does the infection spread through blood transfer, or is AMC just dangling one-handed Rick in our faces because they like to see us squirm?

The Crystal Ship: It’s about damn time the RV saw some action – and from the looks of it, will see more next episode. Here, we see Rick hop into the RV, and put a bunch of bullet holes into the side of it to kill some Wolves with some blind oscillating machine gun fire.

Remember Fear The Walking Dead? Yeah, me neither: It wasn’t a month ago when that abomination of a show made its way onto the television. We were so desperate for some TWD that we entertained the idea of it being an acceptable substitute for the real thing. Since legitimate shows have returned, I haven’t given a single shit in the honor of FTWD.

Morgan’s cheek-turning practices almost got Rick killed: Let’s pretend that Rick isn’t the post-apocalyptic version of Rambo. By Morgan letting that group of Wolves go – along with that pistol – he openly invited them to kill Rick. Looks like Morgan is gonna have to learn some Hard Knocks if he wants to survive with a group.

Glenn-isms: There are a couple callbacks when Glenn is getting ready to head out with Nick. Over the radio, he calls Rick a dumbass, the same endearing term he radioed to Rick in Atlanta for the Pilot episode. Tears. Just so many tears. Also, in telling Michonne that “we all have a job to do,” he echoed Maggie’s last words to Beth. They really went out of their way to make it sound like he was saying goodbye.

Keep movin’: It is said several times by Glenn, Michonne, et al that they just need to keep moving. Is this the writers way for subliminally telling us that we need to keep moving? Despite what is going on? We think it could be.

Rick is kinda always right: Seemed weird for Michonne and Glenn to just shrug Rick off when he told them to leave stragglers behind. THEY AIN”T ABOUT THAT LIFE, you guys. Why save people who aren’t capable, resourceful, or at all damn useful. No matter how messed up Rick seems to be getting mentally and how dark his plans get, he’s always got a valid point. And that drives the “decent people” on this show crazy. Not me, though. I’m jaded as f*ck.

Insulation: Call it P.BrBa.S.D., but I can’t help analyze every single frame and think there’s a bigger meaning to it. When Glenn’s group was in town checking the abandoned vehicles, there was a notable white truck with the text “Insulation” across it. I want to say that it was code for Glenn using Nicholas’ harvested corpse to curl up and hide in, not unlike Luke used the Tauntaun to stay warm… but it’s an obvious reach.

Predictions:

Glenn: It started as a prediction, and then we found out that the entire internet felt the same way.

There are so many ways that Glenn could come back. It is still hard to believe that even if the walkers are just eating Nicholas (yeah, yeah, Nicholas fell on top of him and intestines aren’t in Glenn’s chest), that Glenn would make it out alive with walkers surrounding as far as the eye can see. Maybe he’ll use his flare? Maybe he will cover himself in guts and they don’t smell him? Maybe someone will come along and distract? Maybe it was all a dream? At this point, whatever the internet thinks, none of it matters until we see him again. We just hope that with Scott Gimple’s statement, that seeing “some part” of Glenn again doesn’t wind up being that he is the new ghost for Rick, a la Lori.

Rick: So Rick is pretty screwed. There is a part of a herd coming toward him. Where did they come from and how can he get out of this without being able to start the RV? Well he does have a walkie, so that is good. We will have to wait and see, but it is looking grim for our hero.

The Walking Dead - Thank You

Questions:

Why leave the pocket-watch in the bag?: Glenn makes it a point to leave Hershel’s pocket watch in the bag. When he and Nicholas are in the town, Glenn is holding onto the bag, so what was the point?

Why not light the trees on fire?: They are more flammable than buildings.

Why let Nicholas lead?: We understand Glenn’s moral ground, but Nicholas is way too much of a loose cannon. As proven at about minute 45 of the episode.

Why not split up to try to take on the herd?: The town is basically a main street. If they had split up in two different buildings to try to split the herd to make it smaller, and then killed them that way, could that have worked?

Why not go up the stairs?: When Glenn and Nicholas are in the town, you can see that almost every building has stairs leading up to roofs. The last time we saw a walker go up stairs was in season one. They could have used their flare on the herd itself from above.

Why make us think Glenn is dead?! It’s a cruel, cruel world, and we don’t like all these feelings!


Hush Comics gives “Thank You” an for use of sequencing, character development, and allowing the audience to feel in a constant state of fear.

Before we go, here is tribute to one of Glenn’s finest moments, ya know, in case he really is dead:

The Walking Dead

All images belong to AMC and are credited to Gene Page.

The Geekly Forecast: October 26th – November 1st, 2015

The Geekly Forecast is a weekly preview of all the neat stuff coming to screens, stores, and living rooms near you!


Recommendations:

TV: Ugh. Welp, after last week’s The Walking Dead, I don’t know what to recommend anymore. WHYYYYYYY?!
Netflix:
 Nothing. Nothing?! Netflix, step it up.
Movies: 
Stay home. Watch Charlie Brown and hand out candy, ok?
Music: The Neighbourhood got stuck in your head with “Sweater Weather.” Let’s see if they can do it again.

Monday, October 26th

TV:
Blindspot – “Cede Your Soul” (NBC)
Fargo – “The Myth of Sisyphus” (FX)
Gotham – “Rise of the Villains: By Fire” (FOX)

Jimmy Kimmel Live – “Kristen Wiig, Ed Westwick, Elle King” (ABC)
Minority Report – “Fiddler’s Neck” (FOX)
Supergirl – “Pilot” (CBS)
The Big Bang Theory – “The Helium Insufficiency” (CBS)
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – “Sienna Miller, Melissa Benoist, Chance the Rapper” (CBS)
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – “David Spade, Mike Tyson, Blake Shelton” (NBC)

Tuesday, October 27th

Blu-Ray and DVD Releases:
Human Centipede III: The Final Sequence
Max
Pixels
Southpaw
The Gift
The Middle: Season Six

Netflix:
August: Osage County (2013)
Manson Family Vacation (2015)

TV:
Face Off – “Movie Magic Part 2” (SyFy)
Fresh Off the Boat – “Miracle on Dead Street” (ABC)
iZombie – “Even Cowgirls Get the Black and Blue” (The CW)
Jimmy Kimmel Live – “Julie Bowen, Carrie Underwood” (ABC)
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “4,722 Hours” (ABC)
The Flash – “The Fury of the Firestorm” (The CW)
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – “Hillary Clinton, Anthony Bourdain, Carrie Brownstein, Lianne La Havas” (CBS)
The Mindy Project – “Mindy and Nanny” (Hulu)
The Muppets  – “Walk the Swine” (ABC)
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – “Drew Barrymore, Stephen Moyer, 5 Seconds of Summer” (NBC)
Wicked City – “Pilot” (ABC)

Video Games
Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition (PS4, XBO)
Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition (Win, Mac, Lin, PS4, XBO)
Halo 5: Guardians (XBO)
WWE 2K16 (PS3, PS4, X360, XBO)

Wednesday, October 28th

Comic Books:
Wednesdays are comic book days! Check out This Week’s Comics: October 28th, 2015.
Also be sure to check out what Marvel Hip-Hop variants are out this week!

Netflix:
Chasing Life (Season 2)
The Gunman (2015)

TV:
American Horror Story: Hotel – “Devil’s Night” (FX)
Arrow – “Beyond Redemption” (The CW)
black-ish – “Jacked o’ Lantern” (ABC)
Jimmy Kimmel Live – “Trevor Noah, Brett Eldredge” (ABC)
Moonbeam City – “Lasers & Liars” (Comedy Central)
South Park – “Tweek x Craig” (Comedy Central)
Star Wars Rebels – “Always Two There Are” (Disney XD)
Supernatural – “Baby” (The CW)
The Goldbergs – “Couples Costume” (ABC)
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – “Julianna Margulies, Jonathan Franzen, Alabama Shakes” (CBS)
The League – “The Last Temptation of Andre” (FXX)
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – “Sandra Bullock, Rod Stewart” (NBC)

Thursday, October 29th

Netflix:
Return to Sender (2015)

TV:
Bones – “The Resurrection in the Remains” (FOX)
Haven – “Wild Card” (SyFy)
Heroes Reborn – “June 13 – Part 1” (NBC)
How to Get Away with Murder – “Two Birds, One Millstone” (ABC)
Jimmy Kimmel Live – “Harrison Ford, Katie Lowes” (ABC)
Scandal – “Get Out of Jail, Free” (ABC)
Sleepy Hollow – “Dead Men Tell No Tales” (FOX)
The Blacklist – “Arioch Cain” (NBC)
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – “Seth MacFarlane, Neil DeGrasse Tyson” (CBS)
The Originals – “A Walk on the Wild Side” (The CW)
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – “Will Forte, Kate Upton, Steve Martin & Edie Brickell” (NBC)
The Vampire Diaries – “I Carry Your Heart with Me” (The CW)

Friday, October 30th

Movies:
Carter High
Freaks of Nature
Love
Our Brand is Crisis
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse
The Wonders

Music:
Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Style
Elvis Presley with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – If I Can Dream: Elvis Presley with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Escort – Animal Nature
GEMS – Kill the One You Love
Ian Fletcher Thornley – Secrets
Kirk Knight – Late Knight Special
Martin Courtney – Many Moons
MED, Blu, and Madlib – Bad Neighbor
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – It’s a Holiday Soul Party
SWV- TBA
The Neighbourhood – Wiped Out!
Young Galaxy – Falsework

Netflix:
Popples (Season 1)

TV:
Grimm – “The Grimm Identity” (NBC)
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – “Charlie Rose, Stacy Schiff, Ghost the Zombies” (CBS)
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – “Dana Carvey, Demi Lovato” (NBC)
Z Nation – “The Collector” (SyFy)

Saturday, October 31st!!!!! IT’S HALLOWEEN!!!!

TV:
Doctor Who – “The Zygon Invasion” (BBC America)
Sonic Boom – “Cabin Fever” (Cartoon Network)

Sunday, November 1st

Netflix:
Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure
Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce: Season 1
Idris Elba: Mandela, My Dad, and Me
Last Days in Vietnam
Pasion de Gavilanes
Robot Overlords
Seven Deadly Sins: Season 1
Smithsonian Channel: The Day Kennedy Died
The Last Time You Had Fun
The Spongebob Squarepants Movie
Thomas & Friends: The Christmas Engines
Twinsters
Worst Year of My Life, Again: Season 1

TV:
Homeland – “Better Call Saul” (Showtime)
Madam Secretary – “The Long Shot” (CBS)
Once Upon a Time – “The Bear and the Bow” (ABC)
Project Greenlight – “Hug and Release” (HBO)
The Good Wife – “Payback” (CBS)
The Leftover– “No Room at the Inn” (HBO)
The Librarians – “And the Drowned Book” (TNT)
The Simpsons – “Treehouse of Horror XXVI” (FOX)
The Walking Dead – “Here’s Not Here” (AMC)