Ash vs. Evil Dead “Bait” Review S1E2

After the first episode, where Ash’s stupidity shows – reading the Necronomicon while stoned and trying to impress a woman – we get near double the violence and about ten times the blood this episode! Also, I will give you fair warning to leave before SPOILERS here as they will start right after this sentence – which was written especially long and boring and filled with way too many words to make sure you leave if you don’t want the episode SPOILED. OK, here it goes! In this episode we start off seeing Kelly run off to get to her parents after seeing her dead mom in a video with her dad last episode, and she has absconded with the Necronomicon! So Ash and Pablo head off after her to her parents house to get back that damned book of the dead and to hopefully save Kelly. Who is ready for another bloody, and perhaps possessed, good time this week?

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Pros:

Plenty of great Deadite action!: This episode, from the start, has enough stress and fear you expect from these evil Deadites; it carries onto to just about the last second, and man oh man are the fights intense.

A bit more of Jill Marie Jones: This episode gave us a bit more of Jill Marie Jones’ character, Detective Fisher, and what she will bring to the ultimate story. As I said last week, the more we see of her the better her character will get, and after this episode, I imagine Fisher will become quite the character – yet another great female force for the franchise!

Oceans of Blood: This episode has quite possibly the bloodiest death of a demon/Zombie in all of cinema, and all thanks to a broken beer bottle. Holy crap, does it make the blood pour? Unfortunately, it doesn’t cause that much damage. The scene with Kelly’s parents was also intense and very bloody. We can only expect it to get better (worse?) since it is only two episodes in and more Evil Dead style deaths are sure to be in store.

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Ash’s One Liners: Ash has plenty of quick-witted quips and one-liners this episode, from the instant classic, “Thanks for the heads up!” followed by a Deadite head being splattered, and the line, “You’re kind of like a young me; Deadites ruined your life and you’re hot as hell.” Definitely going to be hearing Evil Dead fans quote these for many years!

Pablo and Kelly continue to be great additions: When it was announced that Ash would have traveling companions for the series, it left some Evil Dead fans wondering, “But Ash is a lone wolf and the king needs no peasants!” But every second Ray Santiago and Dana DeLorenzo are on screen as Pablo and Kelly, you get a very Ash feeling from them both, although they are both much nicer people. These two, as Pablo said about himself in the first episode, “Have seen some shit!” Now that they both have a basic understanding of what the Necronomicon brings, and what the power of a Deadite truly is, I feel they will be on full badass mode – even if they are only carrying a broken bottle as protection. But really, can we talk about Pablo and his Knife?? And the head attack on Kelly’s Deadite mom? Yeah… Like I said, Badass!

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Cons:

No Lucy Lawless: The biggest disappointment this episode was the lack of Lucy Lawless’s character Ruby, but by the looks of next week’s preview, we will likely see her in a much larger role, which makes her absence tolerable… for now.

Why must they only be 30 minutes?: I promise it will be the last review that I complain about this, but man this show needs to be an hour. The thirty minute intervals work and makes each episode insanely epic, but when you think of other shows along the same caliber and entertainment wise, they all tend to be an hour long. Again though, with 5 hours of Evil Dead (with 10 half an hour episodes) and a second season already green-lit, I am sure binge-watching the series will become the norm.

Predictions:

Detective Fisher will both help and hurt Ash’s Journey: It is looking like both Detective Fisher and Ruby, who is likely to come into play next week, will be pursuing Ash because of how he started the Deadite mess, but just like Ash, they want to stop it. I am guessing Detective Fisher and maybe even Ruby will become anti-heroes by the end and actually may end up with the Necronomicon to prevent Ash from releasing evil once again. However, since there will be a second season, they may not do too well of a job protecting it, either.

Pablo is to broken bottle/knife as Ash is to chainsaw hand: This week’s scenes with the broken beer bottle and Pablo’s back of the head stabbing with a kitchen knife may prove to make Pablo with a bottle or knife nearly as iconic as Ash and his chainsaw hand and broomstick. I may be way off base and Pablo could become more and more powerful as far as weapons go, but he sure wields these tools well.

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Hush Comics gives “Bait” 10 out of 10 broken beer bottles, or an A+, for continuing to keep up the pace from episode one. Although it is an A+, the bottles are broken for the lack of Lucy Lawless, but like Ash and the car fight with his former manager, this episode was just sharpening the bottles for use later.

All images belong to Starz.

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Ash vs. Evil Dead Series Premiere Review S1E1

It has been 34 years since the first Evil Dead hit us with a whole new genre of filmmaking, made our Achilles tendons hurt and showed us that when you have Candarian demons at your door, the only way to escape is to be Ash or join them. Along that 34 year journey, we got a sequel – which was actually more of a reboot with added comedy – and another sequel to finish the trilogy involving time travel and King Arthur, and even a dark gritty reboot not involving Ash at all, despite still being fun and with a great after credits scene! Enough about the past and what it took to get here; we are in the present and Ash is back in all of his glory. Well, Ash doesn’t have much glory, but yeah, you get the point. Also, this will be filled with tons of SPOILERS, I mean, of course it will. Ash would spoil the whole series for you already if it were up to him. I hope you have watched the episode and if you have any interest and have not seen it you must be on the phone ordering Starz now so you can watch it on Starz Play ASAP.

Pros:

ASH IS BACK!: For many years, fans have been pining for another film with Ash Williams and to see Bruce Campbell take his chainsaw hand on another adventure, and not only do we get five hours worth of Ash (thirty-minute episodes and a ten-episode season, but it was just renewed for a second season before it even premiered! Which means we get more Ash than we could have ever hoped for with just a fourth Evil Dead film.

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The whole cast is outstanding: We got to see a lot of the new characters with Pablo played by Ray Santiago, Kelly played by Dana DeLorenzo, a little less of character Detective Amanda Fisher played by Jill Marie Jones, and very little of Ruby played by Lucy Lawless. This cast did an amazing job with the first episode and were implanted into my mind as mainstays in Evil Dead alongside Ash for the whole ride that is this show. Ray Santiago and Dana DeLorenzo compliment Bruce Campbell’s Ash perfectly as both have very unique character styles that will likely help inspire and help Ash tremendously in his journey against evil. The story line with Detective Fisher and Ruby did not get too far in this first episode, but can guarantee they will both shine incredibly once Jones and Lawless’s characters get more screen time.

The plot is actually right on par: This entire episode felt just like an adventure you would expect Ash to be in from him mistakenly reciting some of the Necronomicon while high and trying to hook up with a woman, to his horrible lies about his hand and how he saved an eight year old from being hit by an oncoming train in order to, well, hook up with another woman. The story centered so much on the egotistical and pure asshole behavior we expect from Ash. It is definitely believable as far as having the Candarian demons return. Actually, I am baffled Ash did not do something like this years ago to awaken the dead again, but thirty-some years seems like a good time for him to forget just enough to do something insanely stupid.

New types of Deadite’s: We have seen previews of what is to come in new forms but this episode in particular we saw one of the first attacks on Ash come from a cute doll in the stock room of Value Stop. Although quite terrifying, it also made sure to be very comedic. For example, Ash can hardly fight this doll, so how will he ever end up defeating the Deadite army this time around? Then, “SPLAT!” Pedro comes in with a shovel and shows us exactly why Pedro and Kelly will be so useful to Ash in this adventure to finally rid the world of the Candarian demons.

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The 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 is back as well: If having Ash, his chainsaw, and boomstick wasn’t enough, we get to see his classic Oldsmobile return in tip-top shape. This Oldsmobile has been in every Evil Dead film and is actually Sam Raimi’s car in which he has found a way to stick into just about every one of the films or shows he has directed. The car beautifully named “The Classic” is a staple for Raimi much like Stan Lee Cameos are to Marvel films and would be sorely missed without being the main car in which our heroes travel in. Always good to see a ’73 Olds still in working shape even with it being shipped to New Zealand to film this series.

Sam Raimi directed the first episode: Who else would be better to start of this series than the original director and brilliant filmmaker Sam Raimi. Raimi’s style is very iconic to any film fan and seeing him use his classic camera moves brought chills to any die-hard Raimi and Evil Dead fan.

Perfect mix of gore and comedy: Right from the start, we see Ash being his normal debacle of a self and lying to seduce a woman in a bar, and almost jump straight into the gore from there seeing Detective Fisher be stabbed in hand with scissors by a Deadite only to have her partner blow half the Deadites face off and then subsequently be knocked into the air onto a pair of elk horns. Within the first ten minutes, we see this show will likely get to be more gruesome than some of the worst Walking Dead moments and even if not, there will be a lot more blood. But we can not forget the comedy aspect that has made Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness so famous and we get a ton of that from Ash’s bar trip and especially once we see him in his new workplace, Value Stop, where we see him drop a while box of light bulb’s in a grand slapstick fashion.

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Cons:

C.G.I.: To be honest, it didn’t bother me too much because you expect it frequently in modern times, but I will say sometimes the special effects seemed blatantly obvious and sub-par to the other very practical effects they had going as well.

Just 30-45 minutes? : I really wanted this series to be full of hour-long episodes each week and had been expecting it to be that since it was announced. Maybe an hour of Ash a week is too much for some people, but I say, bring on the hour episodes for season two!

Army of Darkness not mentioned: This is definitely a studio issue and how Army of Darkness is owned by Universal, so although we all would have liked to have seen Ash with his robotic armor hand, or still working for S-Mart, these aspects from the trilogy may never make an appearance dues to the same damn studio issues that keeps the X-Men from ever meeting the Avengers.

Predictions:

Lucy Lawless’s Ruby will be a major pain in Ash’s behind: It has already been reported these two will not get along and that Ruby is on the hunt for Ash and blames him for everything happening. Her blame is actually spot on since he did start this whole mess, but he is also the only one who can stop it, and I expect Ruby will not understand the latter of that predicament since she will be a badass who thinks she can stop it herself.

Pablo and Kelly will be become heroes just as much as Ash: Even from some of the first moment of Pablo on screen saving Ash from the possessed doll, to his actions during the fight in the trailer, I imagine he will become a hero more suited to the title than even Ash. Plus we all know from the second Kelly grabbed Ash’s arm and held him against the counter that she would end up a HUGE badass.

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Don’t expect the demons to all get vanquished: After all we know there will be a second season already and we know the second season won’t just be a new family vacation to Cabo with Ash and the gang where they get drunk every night and have hangovers. Wait… They could probably do that and I would still watch it every week.


Hush Comics gives “El Jefe” one thumb up plus a whole chainsaw hand – in other words an A+ for being exactly what fans have wanted for 20+ years while also adding new aspects that make what seemed to be a perfect franchise even better..

All images belong to Starz.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #50 Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #50 – A+
Writers: Bobby Curnow, Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman
Artists: Mateus Santolouco, Cory Smith

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This issue is jam-packed with action, flashbacks, great quips and is executed absolutely perfectly by the creative team. As a long-time TMNT fan, this issue was everything I have loved about TMNT, as well as everything I have wanted to see from a TMNT comic.

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With this being a double-sized issue, it makes it quite simple to see all the steps among this series that led the turtles here and how every story has brought them to this point – even the most forgotten issues among the series. But this issue has just about every element that makes TMNT so great in it with major game-changing elements that will leave some readers dragging their jaw around the ground for days.

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To get into the story a bit, which is done with near perfection by Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow and Tom Waltz, we see the Turtles in an epic battle with Shredder and all his forces. With the turtles up against Shredder’s minions – Bebop, Rocksteady, Koya and Bludgeon – Splinter is in a deep state of meditation to prepare for his battle with Shredder. While we see Splinter in meditation, we get some informative flashbacks thanks to artist Cory Smith doing a great job with the dreamy colors for the flashbacks. It does a wonderful job of matching Mateus Santolouco’s art; the books flowed extremely well with no extreme art changes between the two separate stories.

The whole issue is basically one giant battle ending with a surprise reappearance from Donnie, a rather brutal death and huge surprise that the Turtles may now be a band of three… It all leaves to reader on the edge of their seat insanely excited, deeply saddened, extremely satisfied, and with such a large amount of surprise you MUST talk to others about it even if that means talking into a sewer hoping a turtle is there to hear you… no matter how insane you may look… not admitting I did this… 

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To sum it up, this issue packs a wallop of a story with an insane amount of game-changing elements for the reader, leaving us wanting needing to read it again just to make sure the shock of some elements didn’t make you miss something. I can’t say I have enjoyed TMNT this much before, and can honestly say I feel this is TMNT in its prime!

See all of this week’s reviews here.

Fan favorites The Lone Gunmen are Set to Return for New X-Files miniseries

Lone Gunmen (X-Files spin-off) starring Bruce Hardwood as John Fitzgerald Byers, Tom Braidwood as Melvin Frohike, Dean Haglund as Richard 'Ringo' Langly, Zuleikha Robinson as Yves Adele Harlow and Stephen Snedden as Jimmy Bond [dvdbash.wordpress]
Lone Gunmen (X-Files spin-off) starring Bruce Hardwood as John Fitzgerald Byers, Tom Braidwood as Melvin Frohike, Dean Haglund as Richard ‘Ringo’ Langly, Zuleikha Robinson as Yves Adele Harlow and Stephen Snedden as Jimmy Bond
It seems all the people you may think are dead are returning for this new season of X-Files! If you have not been keeping up with the in-canon X-Files season 10 comics, you may be a bit confused at all the X-Files resurrections happening for the new mini-series. However, if you have been reading you would already known how so many characters have or will escape death for this new series. So, if you are confused, picking those up might be a good idea to prepare for the show next year. The season 11 comic series will be starting next month to lead us into the show.

The news of the horribly killed off (in an episode called Jump the Shark no less) Lone Gunmen’s return came directly from the star Dean Haglund’s (Richard ‘Ringo’ Langly) Twitter page where he responded to a fan asking about their return. “Yep, it’s true,” he said.

Haglund previously had hinted he had a casting call from a certain sci-fi show two weeks ago on his podcast, Chillpak Hollywood Hour, and eager fans have been waiting for the announcement ever since. They will appear in at least one episode, but no other details have been released yet. We can only hope it is more than just a brief appearance. In the mean time, keep staying tuned for more X-Files news in the coming months. In honor Langly, never forget the memory of Joey Ramone. The Truth is Out There!

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Graphic Novel Review – Secret Wars

Collecting: Secret Wars # 1-12

Original Release Date: 1984-1985

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Character(s): The Avengers, X-Men, Spider-Man, Galactus, Dr. Doom

Writer: Jim Shooter (The AvengersHarbingerSecret Wars II)

Art: Mike Zeck (The PunisherMaster of Kung-Fu) and Bob Layton (Iron ManThe Amazing Spider-Man)

SCORECARD (each category ranked on a 10-point scale):

Storyline – 6
Art – 6
Captivity and Length – 6
Identity – 8
Use of Medium – 8
Depth – 7
Fluidity – 7
Intrigue/Originality – 9
The Little Things – 6
Overall awesomeness – 7

hush_rating_70

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Going into both the classic and current Secret Wars series, I had no idea what to expect other than the normal rather cheesy and campy Marvel crossover we see so often these days; special events in comics have become when a comic from the big two can go five issues without a tie-in to a major event going on at the time. Crossovers although mean well, usually never come out the way anyone wanted them too, and even though Secret Wars has been remembered as one of the top Marvel Events in history, it did happen all because Marvel wanted to sell a new action figure line from Mattel featuring all their heroes. This was so obvious that there are variant covers to current Secret Wars titles, featuring what the original action figure boxes looked like with characters not included within the original story line i.e. Deadpool and Star-Lord.

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The actual graphic novel is a collection of issues 1-12 – the original run of Secret Wars. And let me tell you, it is quite the beast of a book to get through. With the age of these books, we can assume the style and writing is very different to current books and, man, can I attest to that.

The writing from Jim Shooter here is great, and we are given a very original and well thought out idea. But it also suffers from being very wordy at times and often sounds a little like a kid wrote a two-page paper and found out it needed to be three pages, so he quickly threw in filler comments and words to make it longer but not any better. I think most of the writing problem came up because this sort of thing had not been done at all. Mixing two teams together, The Avengers and The X-Men,  seems like an incredibly easy task when you figure this current Secret Wars encompasses all of Marvel as well as a second universe with the same heroes.

I feel for the time this book was released, Jim Shooter was likely doing really well by Marvel and Mattel, and the writing had not been nearly as wordy back then, so as far as writing goes, time was not too kind on it, but the overall idea and plot definitely shine through to make this a special event.

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As far as the actual story, it jumps around a lot at what is exactly going on; basically, you have the Avengers and the X-Men, who are allies but very separate teams all against a main foe. During the 12 issues, it jumps from an actual group of villains to Doctor Doom to the Beyonder, back to Doctor Doom, with random sampling of Magneto and Galactus thrown in there. They never last long and then usually the fight ends up being stupid and they stop. All and all, though, it is about everyone fighting each other while also trying to figure out how in the name of Uatu they will get off this planet. The story melds well, and overall flows much better than the current run of Secret Wars, but this original reminds me a little too much of the stupid stories I would make while playing with all my toys on my desk as a child, just with much larger words. That’s not to say the story isn’t enjoyable; it did bring us some pretty iconic images and changes to the Marvel universe including a new Spider-Woman, the debut of Spider-Man’s black suit and a major change in the Fantastic Four.

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Secret Wars didn’t just bring us a 12 issue epic and toys that inspired the whole thing, but it gave us the black suit Spider-Man, which brought us a major change and one of the if not the most popular arc in Spider-Man with him dealing with the symbiote and it eventually becoming Venom. Initially, it seemed like a cheap ploy, especially when we are introduced to the black-suited Spider-Woman not that far ahead of this costume change – Spider-Man even jokes about it on the novel. But with the new additions to spidey alone, we knew somethings would have to change and with that within the last few pages, we learn that Ben Grimm is going to stay in Battleworld, as it has given him the power to change back and forth from The Thing by choice. Consequentially, Ben recruits She-Hulk to replace him in the Fantastic Four for awhile and this was a change a bit hard for me to take as a massive Thing fan. It is fortunate I also happen to be a huge She-Hulk fan, so it works out.

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The art of this series is really what sold it for me, and if you read the updated digital versions for the TPB and hardcover collections of this, they look fantastic. Mike Zeck and Bob Layton did a fantastic job of making sure the series stay fluid as far as art went and although overlapping in which they work with Mike taking issues #1-3 & #6-12 and Bob only doing issues #4 & #5. But the switch is seamless which, although it takes drawing a character in their style away from them, for major events like this, it was nice to have the art not drastically change each issue. With this series, we get a one of the last good looks at how Marvel was before the major shift in the 90’s which brought about a ton of new costumes, teams, characters and changes to the ones we love. Much like Secret Wars seems a good place as any to travel to for a major relaunch involving everything popular from Marvel since the original Secret Wars, So far, I would say the original was planned out better and more fluid despite also never really finding it’s place. Ultimately, Secret Wars Vol. 1 is an enjoyable read and can give you small hints of what is happening or why in the current Secret Wars, but, like so many other Marvel events, it falls flat and lacks any real substance; any danger is easily brushed off and forgotten which made for way to many conflicts with not much results. Secret Wars is a great piece of historical literature, but Marvel has offered many more and much better stories through the years that should get as much recognition as this.

All media credited to Marvel Comics

Top 10 Aspects of X-Men: The Animated Series We Love

In commemoration of the X-Men ’92 series hitting stands today, we’ve taken some time to share our Top 10 list of things we loved about the original animated series that inspired the book:

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1. Serious plot points and continuity among shows that had none.

X-Men: The Animated Series was one of the first shows to hold plot continutity for nearly the whole series. Due to production taking place in multiple studios, and some episodes being finished before others, in later seasons episodes were shown in the order they were finished instead of how they were written, but thankfully we have the power of DVD today, where everything fits together much better as one full story.

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2. The series is heavily inspired by the comics

This series covered almost every major X-Men event up to the time the series started, giving up 1/4 to almost half of a season to cover certain stories. This happened most heavily with The Phoenix Saga, but we also got to see Days of Future Past, The Phalanx Covenant, The Legacy Virus, and Episode 3 is an adaption of X-Men #1 where we first saw our heroes.

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3. The use of the most obscure characters of all X-Men and Marvel

This series had small camoes, from big names like Spider-Man and War Machine, and then a whole episode of Wolverine and Captain America, but Beast was seen wearing a Howard the Duck shirt in an episode. Even some of the most obscure X-Men show up, like: Longshot, Domino, Shadow King and Alpha Flight!

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4. Tackling heavy subjects while not shoving them into your face constantly

This series covered a lot of heavy topics – not just for kids, but adults, too. There was an episode focused on religion that showed viewers conflicting views of both belief and non-belief. There were multiple episodes based on duty, friendship, family, social, economic and even heavy political issues. Then there’s the one issue we are humans still haven’t gotten the hang of – equality.

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5. Plot points started from episode 1 end in episode 76

This stems from the character of Morph “dying” in the first few episodes, only to show up later, resurrected by Mr. Sinister as his evil henchman. He later rejoins the X-Men, but after realizing that he is affected by some crippling PSTD, leaves the team to be alone. His reappearance near the end of the whole series as a current student of Xavier’s School leaves Morph fans from episode one pleasantly pleased at his story by the end, despite seeing him seemingly die before we even got to a second episode.

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6. The complete Phoenix Saga is 9 episodes long – over 10% of the whole series!

The Phoenix Saga is a massive story within X-Men lore and quite possibly the most iconic. The amount of episodes definitely is smaller than the amount of comic issues, but this is the closet adaptation we will ever get of this story in any cinematic form… we all saw how they worked it into the movies; it didn’t end up well.

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7. Delving into Professor X and Magneto’s friendship.

Professor X and Magneto get some side stories together that really give you the impression that these two revolutionaries are friends, first and foremost; even the darkest forces could not split up the best of friends. That is not to say Magneto is not a antagonistic adversary for most of the series, but seeing how close these two are gave kids the first glimpse into that anyone can be a good person, even the maddest of men.

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8. Not afraid to make viewers dislike our heroes and give them faults.

The series made sure our heroes were not one-dimensional, exploring the wrong had done in the past. From delving into Wolverine killing Lady Deathstrike’s father, Gambit and his thief past, Rogue conflicting with curing herself, Angel’s fall to the dark side (thanks to Apocalypse) where he becomes Archangel; many others have their faults as well. It was great for kids to see that even with mistakes and wrong doings, anyone can be a hero.

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9. One could almost say X-Men: The Last Stand is loosely X-Men: The Animated Series, the movie.

The third film of the X-Men franchise heavily explores The Phoenix Saga, a sizable part of this series, but this series also was the first time we saw the mutant cure as a viable option. Despite being very different (Rogue wanting the cure? Really), we got to see Leech a lot, who was the catalyst for the cure in the film. So much of the important plots for X-Men: The Last Stand are what made this series great. Too bad those amazing stories didn’t keep the film from sucking.

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10. A kid’s show filled with diversity and meaning.

Science-Fiction and fantasy are usually well-known for diversity, but the X-Men are the team in comics and cinema that pioneered it. Storm, who is second in command after Cyclops in most incarnations, was one of the first main members of any team to be African-American, let alone a female African American. The X-Men saw people of all backgrounds across the entire United States; not only this, but with the addition of Colossus, Nightcrawler, Banshee, Shadow King, Silver Samurai, and many more, fans got to see all parts of the world represented in a mere 47 episodes. While some of these characters may be evil, this series never strayed from this fact: we are all equal no matter what our differences. If that isn’t the best message for an action cartoon, I don’t know what is.

Bonus: The X-Men Theme Song

Of all the classic TV show theme songs to make it out of the 90’s, there are few that have had the longevity of the X-Men series. If ringtone’s were a thing in 1992, this jam would have set the record. It’s probably stuck in your head right now, isn’t it? Diddly-diddly-DOO-do-do-do, Diddly-diddly-DOO-do-do-doon, DEE doon- Doot-DO. Or something like that… Anyway, you can thank Ron Wasserman for that. Wasserman is also responsible for the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers‘ theme, and a ton of other Power RangersDragon Ball Z, and VR Troopers stuff. If you had two ears connected to a brain in the 90’s, you know his work.

Graphic Novel Review – Old Man Logan

Original Release Date: 2008-2009
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Characters: Wolverine, Hawkeye, Hulk, Red Skull
Writer: Mark Millar (Kick-Ass, Civil War, Ultimate Fantastic Four, Marvel Knights: Spider-Man)
Art: Steve McNiven (Death of Wolverine, Civil War, Meridan)

Scorecard (Each category ranked on a 10-point scale)

Storyline – 9
Art – 9
Captivity and Length – 8
Identity – 8
Use of Medium – 9
Depth – 8
Fluidity – 9
Intrigue/Originality – 10
The Little Things – 9
Overall Awesomeness – 9

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With the multitude of Marvel and DC events that happen each year, I have found it is actually quite rare that a story comes along like Old Man Logan that completely encompasses nearly everything I love about superhero comics. This series was just one short story among the long-running Wolverine Volume 3 comics, but it was by far the most iconic arc of its run – so much so, it got a second volume for the recent Secret Wars event. Both volumes have very iconic writers helming the stories, with the original volume being written by Mark Millar of Kick-Ass fame. This story follows an old Wolverine who seemingly has not SNIKT’ed his claws in over 50 years, and now lives on a farm with a wife and kids. Lucky for us, the story does not follow a domesticated Logan. Despite Wolverine vowing to not fight for most of the novel, the action within is intense; it’s one of the more violent Marvel stories in recent years. It also happens to be one of my favorite graphic novels of all time – and definitely my favorite Wolverine story ever.

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Mark Millar’s story for Old Man Logan is a very heavy undertaking; it’s dark, violent, and extremely original with an outstanding identity that shines above a lot of Wolverine’s past, present, future – even his death, which we saw not long ago, was illustrated by the same artist as this series, Steve McNiven. This may have been why I enjoyed Death of Wolverine much more than most readers. For most of the book, McNiven’s art is easy on the eye and has such intense detail, it feels more like a film than a comic. So with the story and the art both being outstanding, the only thing to dislike about this series is how horrible the villains are in it, and there are a lot.

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This series sees Logan and Hawkeye traversing the United States with a mystery package and along the way they encounter almost every villain who has gained control of the United States. This is all thanks to one night where every villain teamed up and wiped out almost every hero, leaving the world hopeless and free for the taking, leading to villains killing villains for control. It’s not a future anyone wants to be in, let alone Logan, who has let his Wolverine lay dead in the past. Along this journey, we see Logan continually struggle with whether fighting is good or not, ultimately leading him to the realization of who he is and, despite being the best at something not very nice, it is needed and the world is a much better place with Wolverine around.

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When you learn exactly why Logan has not SNIKT’ed his claws in over fifty years, your hearts drops and gives you a very empty feeling inside. There’s a certain two-page spread that’s enough to make any Wolverine or X-Men fan have nightmares for years. This bombshell was one that instantly made you realize what was making Logan hesitate to pop those claws again, and why Logan seemingly killed off his Wolverine persona.

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When you learn this, you almost don’t want to see Logan be the Wolverine again and hope they can avoid conflict at all costs, but along the way, you learn that Hawkeye’s daughter has been kidnapped by Kingpin. They take a detour from their trip to Washington D.C. to save his daughter, who has taken up the mantel of Spider-Girl. Logan reached a point where he must enter the fight during this interaction as when they arrive, and break in to save Spider-Girl.

ddd

After a very long trip, Some Moloids, a Venom T-Rex (Seriously, it is terrifying!), and a chance encounter with Emma Frost who has married Doctor Doom in an attempt to preserve some mutants. Hawkeye and Logan seem to reach their destination with their cargo. This cargo, which we are led to believe is drugs this whole time, is actually vials of super soldier serum. Things don’t go according to plan and Logan ends up being riddled with bullets.

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The bodies are then delivered to the president who happen to be Red Skull, and before anyone with a brain realizes Logan can heal he shoots up out of his body bag and takes out the guards and is left there with Red Skull in his trophy room of hero relics. Logan get punched a couple times until he gets knocked into the trophy case and right by Captain America’s old shield. The battle doesn’t last very long, but Logan’s escape from the facility is amazing. With no exit in sight, he dons parts of Iron Man’s armor blows the place to shit, grabs a suitcase of money and swiftly flies home to deliver the rent to the hulks, only to find the Hulks got there first and killed his whole family… SNIKT!

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Now we get to the grand bloody affair, and as Wolverine heads to confront his old frenemy, he takes out just about everything green along the way. After some quick montages of Hulks losing limbs and lives, Wolverine finally reaches the Hulk and as old curmudgeonly Bruce Banner comes out, he smacks Wolverine in the face. Wolverine returns that with a stab to the gut, but sadly Hulk shows up thanks to the stab and actually grabs and eats Wolverine in a couple huge bites. With Wolverine seemingly dead, the last remaining Hulk family member shows up just in time to make Hulk realize what everyone seems to forget in this series – Wolverine has a healing factor! This leads to Hulk having his spine explode and just as fast as Bullwinkle can pull a rabbit out of a hat, Wolverine shows up. After this Wolverine realizes there is a baby and the last thing one of the Hulk’s see is Logan grabbing this baby and taking off to burry his own family and raise this hulk as his own.

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This mini-series reached into some dark places I never wanted to know about but am so glad I did;  it can make even the most die-hard Hulk fan kind of hate the green guy. The story is mind-blowing on every page and further cements Mark Millar’s validity in the comic book world. This novel is a must-read for everybody who calls themselves a comic book reader. The only downside I saw in the story is that reading it in collected form made the jumps in time from issue to issue seem much more noticeable than reading them in single-issue format. I am glad I got to also experience this series month to month off a fluke of buying a cheap comic at a gas station on a road trip. Thanks to that stop, I experienced one of the best stories Marvel has delivered in recent years and one that seems to be a major factor in the future of Marvel with recent reveals of the future and Old Man Logan #2 coming out this Wednesday. So dust off your walkers, color you hair if you don’t like the gray, and sharpen your claws and dig into this novel so you can make sure and be in the loop for events now and post Secret Wars.