SDCC 2015 – The Hall H Fox Panel Had All the Superheroes and Blew All the Minds

fox-sdcc-142501

Even if you’ve never been to San Diego Comic Con, you’ve probably heard of Hall H. It’s the big one – it’s where all the big guys go to make all the big announcements and Saturday was no exception. Enter the FOX Studios panel, which featured stars and Q&A sessions from upcoming movies such as Deadpool, Fantastic Four, and X-Men: Apocalypse.

The panel also featured spots on the upcoming Maze Runner movie and Victor Frankenstein, but let’s face it, our bread and butter is in the comic titles, so I’ll focus on that. If you’d like to read more on The Maze Runner and Victor Frankenstein click here to go to CBR for a full-er breakdown.

Okay, first things first Fantastic Four! The Fantastic Four movie we actually want and the one we deserve.

Josh Trank (director), Simon Kinsberg (writer) and the stars Kate Mara (Sue Sorm), Miles Teller (Reed Richards), Michael B. Jordan (Johnny Storm), Jamie Bell (Ben Grimm) and Toby Kebbell (Victor Domashev) all took the stage to discuss their upcoming film.

Kate Mara said she was drawn to the movie because of the familial aspect of the characters that you don’t see so often. Miles Teller said Reed Richards was easy to approach honestly, because despite being a super hero, he is a real human. Michael B. Jordan admitted that filming the movie was like living out a childhood dream, and Jamie Bell loved the idea of Ben Grimm being an outsider who ultimately becomes the best kind of hero – one who fights to protect his friends.

Toby Kebbell enjoyed the chance to play Victor Domashev/Doctor Doom because of how relate-able villains are. Josh Trank was very excited to get on board with the project because he wanted to focus on the darker stories from Jack Kirby’s age, while Simon Kinsberg was initially hesitant because of the entire super hero genre.

Their portion of the panel came to a conclusion with the final trailer for the Fantastic Four movie, which hits theaters on August 7, 2015.

Next up: Deadpool bitches!

Ryan Reynolds took the stage first, followed by Tim Miller, TJ Miller, Morena Baccarin, Gina Carrano, and Brianna Hildebrand.

Immediately the jokes ensued, including Ryan Reynolds assuring the audience that babies would love the movie – despite its R rating. Not to mention no one kept quiet about the last time Deadpool appeared on screen and FOX had his mouth sewn shut in the all time stupidest thing ever.

The conversation continued, with discussions of Baccarin’s character being a bad ass, Hildebrand having a crush on Reynolds growing up and him being her Joey Lawrence (I don’t have time to explain who that is, if you were born after 1990 you’ll have to Google it) and how the Merc with a Mouth is there to annoy people 24-7, even though some of the jokes written by TJ Miller were just too darn mean to make the film.

The red band trailer for Deadpool closed out the panel, after airing twice due to a fan demand for an encore. I’ve seen the trailer, and it’s great. The best moments are easily the burn on Reynold’s appearance in The Green Lantern and his stupid CG suit, the Negasonic Teenage Warhead having the coolest name ever, and Deadpool’s non-masked face looking like an avocado fucked an older avocodo and like Freddy Krueger’s face fucked a topographical map of Utah.

And finally, X-Men: Apocalypse!

The entire cast hit the stage, including Hugh Jackman who, A) acknowledged how old he’s gotten and referred to himself as Old Man Logan and B) confirmed that this will be his last time playing Wolverine/Logan.

The panel confirmed that the four horseman will indeed be famine, death, pestilence, and war, and that those roles will be embodied by Angel/Archangel (Ben Hardy), Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Storm (Alexandra Shipp) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender).

The first ever teaser trailer played, revealing that the film takes place ten years after Days of Future Past, and that the events of that film have thoroughly rocked the world and the mutants within it. The revelation of this has lead to an uprising of cults all around the world. Jennifer Lawrence said that this time around, her character is jaded and is Raven far more than she is Mystique. Michael Fassbender said that Eric Lensherr is trying to be on the right side of things in the beginning of the film, but eventually gets dragged back to his more morose ways, hence the whole him being a horseman of the apocalypse thing. The footage showed us our first glimpse of a bald James McAvoy as Professor X, and Nicholas Hoult admitted he was too excited after the Deadpool trailer to focus on anything.

That about wraps it up, except for one thing – an epic selfie with the most superheroes ever, taken by Chris Hardwick.

Source: CBR

Forget About the Other ‘Fantastic Four’ Films FOX Says

FOX would appreciate it if you would please just forget about that time when they tried to make Fantastic Four movies a few years back. In fact, in anticipation of the August 7 release of the reboot FOX has pulled Fantastic Four (2005) and Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) from all streaming platforms, including iTunes and Amazon.

It's like we never existed!
It’s like we never existed!

I can’t say I blame them, those movies were horrible and it’s probably best if we all just forget they ever existed. At least Chris Evans made it out alive.

While the new movie is surrounded by casting controversy I still think it looks better in every way.

Source: THR

Diggin’ Through the Crates: Talib Kweli “Distractions”

Song: “Distractions”

Artist: Talib Kweli

AlbumPrisoners of Conscious (2013) 

Lyric: “How you keeping up with my rapping?/ You barely keeping up with Kardashians/You caught up in distraction/It’s the living proof-you try to make the truth elastic as Mr. Fantastic.”

Character Reference/Meaning:

What? What was that DTCers? You ready for another dope ass lyric that drops truth bombs and creates nerdy fallout? We got that! Our main man on the mic this week, Talib Kweli, is bringing it to your front door. If you are looking for some socially conscious rap that not only brings a message but an incredible rhyme scheme with it, then you not need look any further. In this 2013 hit, Talib Kwali dropped this song as a commentary on the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. What he is saying in this song is, “Who the hell is paying attention?” There are social issues happening all around us and none of them are going to change by sitting around waiting for the next big gossip. Who is sleeping with who? Who badmouthed which other idiot today? That is why when people stand up and take charge of their own lives, it is viewed as something special. Talib Kweli once said, “Anytime people are willing to take their future into their own hands and attempt something, I think it’s brave.” DARN TOOTIN’ IT’S BRAVE!! But the problem is, so many of us are still distracted, and Kweli notices it all. We may be willing to protest on our street corner for something local, but it seems that no one takes action for causes like the events in Darfur, or are even aware of the Arab Spring movement (Google it).

In this song alone, he tackles such subjects and even points out the flawed history and thinking of this country. From the very beginning with the treatment of Native American’s, we still have missiles (like kill people missiles. Like BOOM missiles) that are named “Tomahawks.” And then we dress up our mascots and name our sports teams after their culture for entertainment. Who’s paying attention and who’s distracted? He even touches on what I perceive to be politics in our chosen lyric of today. Now before I go on and say some possibly hurtful stuff about the Kardashians, congratulations to Kim and Kanye on their wedding. I didn’t get my invite but I’ll let that slide for now. One of the biggest phenomena of the past couple years has been societies infatuation with the Kardashian family. Now I can’t say much about it because I have never seen an episode, but it has consumed many lives and many attention spans. What some may classify as empty media or nonsense television has gained a bigger interest and a larger following than political failings, religious wars, and natural disaster relief efforts. And all the while politicians are out there spitting game at us and very few people check the facts. That is why so many of them can say elastic truths and make them stretch to fit who ever they have their eyes on next.

I know, I sound like I’m preaching and saying, “Yeah I’m good, I know whats up. While everybody else wondering what Ryan Gosling is thinking about, I’m about to go save some third world children.” That’s not the case; I am part of the masses too, but I want to be brave, I want to pay attention, I don’t want to be distracted by shiny objects and blush worthy gossip. Talib Kweli just wants us all to open our minds and see past the bullshit. Even at times when we think we are paying attention, it was just a fake out and we once again are distracted by something that doesn’t matter. Kweli says this perfectly when talking about President Obama addressing his whole “flag pin” issue back in 2008 (Google it). But the president responded by saying, “I have never said that I don’t wear flag pins or refuse to wear flag pins…This is the kind of manufactured issues that our politics has become obsessed with and, once again, distracts us from what should be my job when I’m commander-in-chief…” OH SNAP!! That’s exactly the point. We can so easily get caught up in things that don’t matter. Things that one way or another truly have no effect over our lives or anybodies lives. And the things we should be paying attention to slip right by us because we are distracted.

Alright, that was all pretty heavy. Let’s calm down and pay attention to some nerdy stuff briefly before I end this. Nerdy stuff like the Fantastic Four! In case you all haven’t heard, the Fantastic Four franchise will be getting a reboot that has been defined as “grounded, real, gritty.” According to Kinberg, this film has the same feelings as Batman, Iron Man, X-Men, and more. It will not be goofy like the first films, rather this will be a true drama sprinkled with bit of humor that come from character. Also we will officially be having an African-American Human Torch! I can hear all the critics heads exploding now. However I am very excited by this news especially because Michael B. Jordan will FLAME ON!!! “STRING, WHERE’S WALLACE? WHERE’S WALLACE STRING?” (Google it). Well Wallace is in the Marvel Universe doing badass things with badass powers. And for all you haters, know that Stan Lee is on board with the idea, Kinberg also said, “We knew casting an African-American Human Torch would be news, but I can tell you it’s something that Stan Lee loves, and I can tell you that having been on set and seeing Michael bring him to life, he’s really spectacular.” I don’t know how the story will change due to this, but I love the idea and I cannot wait. If you want more information on Michael B. Jordan being the Human Torch, Google it. If you want more information on Talib Kweli visit his website at http://www.talibkweli.com. So in closing, pay attentions, don’t get distracted so often, and FLAME ON!!!

“Respect My Craft” – George Pérez

In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in. Behind every panel, it takes a skilled writer, artist, inker and colorist to make the product complete. Behind each scene goes hours of preparation. Hush Comics’ weekly article “Respect My Craft” will dive into the history of these comic book and pop culture greats that will hopefully give a new perspective on how the men and women behind the pen (or stylus) contribute to the collective awesome-ness of the nerd world, or at least give you a reason to invest in their work.

dcc font

Name: George Pérez

Profession: Comic book artist

Notable WorkWonder Woman V2 (1987-1992), The New Teen Titans (1980-1984), The Avengers (1975-1980)

“While I have enjoyed considerable professional and personal success with both Marvel and DC, it was becoming all too evident that many of the books being produced by both companies seem to be getting more and more corporate driven. Many of the characters I grew up with were turning into strangers whose adventures were determined by factors that had less and less to do with what made a good comic story and more to do with how these properties can be exploited for other purposes.” – George Pérez

 

The term legend is thrown around a lot in comic books, but trust me when I say that this gentleman, George Pérez, is in that club. A career spanning over forty-years, Pérez has had his hand in just about every corner of DC and Marvel. This forefather’s road to fame wasn’t an overnight one, though. George Pérez comes from humble beginnings; he was born in the Bronx as a second generation (mainland) American, born of blue collar Puerto Ricans, George knew he was going to be an artist from an early age, drawing his own characters and stories since he was five years old.

Pérez is a self-taught student of art, helping him get a position with Marvel Comics as an assistant to Fantastic Four artist Rich Buckler after networking at a convention. At the time of Buckler’s call, Pérez was working as a bank teller (I know how that feels…). He wasn’t handed great projects right away; Pérez had to work his way up to the big titles. He began his career writing a few pages for various small books, and ended up gaining experience from pencilling hand-me-down titles and books that were expected to die soon. Back in the mid-70’s, team books weren’t all the rage like they are today. This stemmed from the fact that artists were not being paid royalties yet (that wouldn’t begin until the early 80’s), so the appeal of making the same amount of money for drawing ten characters just wasn’t there.

tumblr_n544a87jub1sjxvs8o6_1280

Enter George Pérez, the man with the unmatched work ethic. In 1975, he started drawing Avengers and Fantastic Four, both of which he would draw in stints until his departure to DC Comics in 1980. Team books became not just a way to keep work, but turned into a trademark of his. He gained a reputation for doing great group panels, with an unprecedented level of detail – much before the digital age made it a less strenuous process. Pérez insists that he does not have a favorite superhero, which really has drawn him to do more team-oriented books. His ability to fit so much into a panel, and not distract readers’ attention from the story, is a quality that can get lost at times today – thanks to the use of over-scripted scenes.

tumblr_n544a87jub1sjxvs8o10_1280

The role of the penciller isn’t just to draw out the writer’s instructions. Both are on the cover and both are credited as creators because the comic book medium calls for a written story that is built upon the illustrated world the penciller creates – and the colorist and inker accentuate. When Pérez drew Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds with Geoff Johns, who was a huge fan of Pérez, he showed Pérez the amount of scripting that has to go into a “George Pérez panel,” which was a thick stack. Pérez refuted that a script gives him nothing to do, and that the relationship between writer and artist should be a symbiotic one, where they build off each others’ ideas.

Pérez has been the penciller for some of the industry’s most iconic book stories. Among his most renowned work is: Crisis on Infinite EarthsInfinity Gauntlet, War of the Gods and the Wonder Woman reboot. He was also the penciller for the crossover event, JLA/Avengers – which took almost fifteen years to see the light of day. The iconic JLA/Avengers #3 cover is home to a ridiculous amount of DC and Marvel characters in a Who’s Who of superheroes. Pérez’s best working relationship was with Marv Wolfman, with whom he created the Teen Titans, an idea that Pérez was certain would fail. While they struggled to dissociate team from the X-Men, the book was a huge success. The New Teen Titans isn’t the only contribution Pérez has made to comics; he’s also attributed to creating (or co-creating): Cheetah, Deathstroke, Ravager, Cyborg, Raven, Starfire, Nightwing (not Dick Grayson), and a LOT more.

JLAAvengersCover3

In the New52, Pérez gave his hand at writing Superman after he has promised creative freedom. Unbeknownst to him, his book was slaved to Grant Morrison’s Action Comics. As amazing as Morrison is, he is very vague and not forthcoming when it comes to his approach to writing. Frustrated, Perez was glad to get off the series after the first arc. After leaving his last DC Comics book, World’s Finest, Pérez joined BOOM! Studios, a smaller company, as an exclusive writer and penciller, given actual creative control over his own books. Left on bad terms but harbors no ill will, just didn’t like direction DC & Marvel were going. He is currently happy writing his own creation, Sirens, and touring the country for various cons, where he has a great rapport with fans.

she_devils_perez_promo_a_p-600x900

Outside of the comic book work, Pérez has been known to work for organized charities such as: The Charlotte Firefighter’s Burned Children Fund, The Muscular Dystrophy Association, Make-A-Wish, as well as the Florida Hospital Diabetes Association and The Juvenile Diabetes Association. He is a founding member of The Hero Initiative, a non-profit designed to help comic book creators in need.

For charity, The Hero Initiative sells "100 Project" books, a collection of artist covers
For charity, The Hero Initiative sells “100 Project” books, a collection of artist covers

None of the media in this article belongs to Hush Comics; it all belongs to their respective properties (DC Comics). Join us tomorrow as we continue our countdown to Denver Comic Con with Arrow star, Stephen Amell.

Comic Book Reviews 03-12-14

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:

Batman #29 – A

The Zero Year arc of Scott Synder’s Batman is taking forever. For almost a year (Batman #21) we’ve delved into the origin story of the Dark Knight, and there’s not a single thing wrong with that. Batman is one step closer to solving Nigma’s riddle, imagine that, or so he thinks. The pacing by Synder is magnificent – just fast enough to feel the intensity, but slow enough that we can appreciate the story. The real winner of this month’s Batman is artist Greg Capullo. This man can do it all. His signature style keeps getting more and more explosive, issue after issue. Definitely pick this one up! – S

Other Reviews:

DC/Vertigo:

Nightwing #29 – B+

If I didn’t already think so before, I am now convinced that no matter how far he tries to stake his own claim, Dick Grayson is more like Bruce Wayne than he would ever admit. This issue ends on a higher note than I would have expected which can only mean that something bad is going to happen. There is talk about the potential future of Nightwing, but if the writing continues to be this good, I wouldn’t mind whatever direction they decide to take. – R

Oh Kyle Higgins, we hardly knew ye! Higgin’s last issue of his run on Nightwing is touching and action-packed at the same time. Picking up where the previous issue left off, Nightwing goes after a young girl out to avenge her murdered parents. It’s a familiar concept for Nightwing, whose parents were murdered by mob boss Tony Zucco. We often hear about poor ol Bruce Wayne and how tragic his parents’ deaths were, but not enough about the Flying Graysons, so it’s really nice to see a spotlight on Dick’s growth. However, I’m gonna be so pissed if they’re just building him up to execute him in Forever Evil… – S

Superman – Wonder Woman #6 –  B+

In this issue of Superhero Days of Our Lives we find the Superman and Wonder Woman duo pitted against Zod and Faora in a battle royale for the future of Earth. As if that wasn’t soap opera enough for you, throw in a god who has a grudge against Superman and his relationship with the God of War and you have a recipe for daytime drama. All that being said this was yet another great issue and this book has been consistently good since its inception. The ending of this issue actually has what I considered an interesting nod to The Dark Knight Returns so be on the lookout for that.  – R

Batgirl #29 – C+

This issue seems to be a departure from the standard this series has set from the beginning. I’m not quite sure where the whole vampire hunter plot filler came from or why they chose to end it the way they did, but I can say that I am looking forward to moving past this. I did enjoy having strix around as a sidekick for batgirl and wouldn’t mind seeing more of her outside of the Birds of Prey. She is an interesting character and I think she is a particularly good fit with Barbara. I especially enjoy how her inability to talk works for comic effect whether it is in her mannerisms or her pen and paper style of communication. There is something hilarious about a trained killer that can go from ruthless with a sword to comedic just through the use of her “speech.” – R

Batman: Lil’ Gotham #12- C-

Did you know this was the last issue of the series?  Unless you really keep up, you wouldn’t know.  There was nothing final about this issue of Lil’ Gotham.  And other than no closure, this was a Christmas issue.  In the middle of March.  The whole thing was odd.  However, I will give it a C- minus because the series was a good intro to young and new fans to DC Comics.  There is always something bittersweet about the meaning of family, as was the moral for young Master Damian.  What better setting for family than Christmas?  It’s just unfortunate the issue wasn’t released earlier, or later depending on how much you loved the series.  Farewell, Lil’ Gotham.  – A

Justice League of America #13 – D-

If you look up anti-climactic in the dictionary, Stargirl stupid face will be sitting there, staring right back at you. It makes me a little depressed that this is the platform they chose to introduce Martian Manhunter, as well as expand upon Simon Baz. This series has flat-out sucked and I’m just glad it is finally over. We’ve successfully been duped into another cash grab crossover event. I feel used and dirty for reading the whole series. There’s nothing of value here except for the end reveal, which you could have just figured out in the next, and last, issue of Forever Evil. -S

IDW Comics:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #32- A-

Oh, the joy of reading a new issue of TMNT. There’s no feeling quite like our heroes in a half-shell and their mis-adventures. This issue marks the end of the Northampton story arc, and with it, the brief stint of Ross Campbell’s art. Shame to say, as much as we love Mateus Santolouco’s gritty style, Campbell’s beautiful and crisp art was something I had never seen in a Turtle book before. I guess what happens in Northampton stays in Northampton. As the team, sans one white and purple fox (sad face), leaves the countryside, more united, and heads back to New York to face the Shredder, who has shackled the city under Foot rule (or so we assume).. The action in this issue is worth the price by itself, but there’s plenty to Cowabunga about this week. – S

Monster and Madman #1- B

From the creator of 30 Days of Night, Steve Niles, comes a new story of Frankenstein’s Monster after the events of Mary Shelley’s novel. The story in this issue introduces us to the character of Frankenstein’s Monster and gives us an idea of his psyche and how he will carry himself for the series. This shows us the Monster side of the coin in this issue and only at the end are we introduced to the Madman, Jack the Ripper. This issue is a great read for monster fans and of course fans of Steve Niles work and will likely be a much-underappreciated cult series. – JR

Crow #1- B-

Starting off another new series this week for IDW is The Crow Pestilence following the same story of a Crow bringing back a man from the dead who was scorned to avenge his losses.  The first issue gives us a good directive for the series and introduces us to the main character Salvador, a young boxer from Mexico, and shows us how he became The Crow and what path he is taking for avenging the loss of his family. Bringing in lots of criminals activity and drug lords it is very much reminiscent of the classic Brandon Lee film based off the old comic series of The Crow published by Caliber Press. This first issue is a good intro into a new series and will please most fans of the past incarnations of The Crow pleasantly. – JR

X-Files Conspiracy: The Crow #1 – C+

In part five of a six part series, The Lone Gunmen from The X-Files find themselves in contact with the spirit of The Crow. The crossover in this is in no way connected to The Crow Pestilence #1, which also came out this week, other than the Crow spirit which brings people back from the dead to get vengeance on those whom have hurt them. This issue like the four in the past (in which we have seen The Ghostbusters, TMNT, and Transformers) is a very nerd like dream we never thought we would see. It has a pretty simple plot that follows the basic premise of most of the past Crow comic books and films except it is all put into motion by The Lone Gunmen along their path to figure out the mystery of Skylogic Systems and to save the world. This issue includes a high-speed car chase, psychopathic NSA agents and of course some laughs due to Frohike, Langly and Byers. If you have read the rest of this series or enjoy either property this is a fun read but altogether is a bit light in content. – JR

Image Comics:

The Walking Dead #123 (All Out War) –B+

This is the most entertaining issue since Negan used Holly as a Zombie Trojan Horse, see #119. Rick’s group has made it safely to The Hilltop where Maggie is in charge. They are unaware that The Saviors are preparing a massive offensive. Carl is reunited with Sophia, but he is too far removed from childhood to accept her friendship and lashes out. There is a genuine feeling of loneliness in their exchange, on both parts, and Carl is left alone, yet again. At this point he must feel like he doesn’t truly fit in anywhere and this may cause him to make yet another rash decision. Eugene and his group have escaped The Saviors prison with the help of some of their captors. This would not have been possible if Eugene hadn’t found his courage and become more of an Abraham in recent issues. The attack of Hilltop ensues and Negan commands Dwight to shoot Rick with an arrow, (bolt) covered in Walker guts. The last page gives us an unbelievable cliffhanger and now Rick’s life may actually be in the balance. I can’t wait for the next issue! – JS

Marvel:

All-New X-Men #24 (The Trial of Jean Grey 5 of 6) – A

Hopefully you’ve been keeping up with one of the most entertaining cross overs in recent comic history. The Trial of Jean Grey is the series every Marvel fanatic wanted to see, bravo Bendis. What more could you possibly want? Jean Grey is on trial for Galactic genocide. Personally, its about time. The Guardians of the Galaxy complete with Angela, showed up in the previous issue, see #23, to help Scott Summers get her back.  They invade the Shi’ar home world and…! The series will wrap up as a great lead in to The Guardians of The Galaxy movie this August. Plus, it’s rumored that the Phoenix may take Angela as a new host, hold on Marvel heads, it’s about to get real! – JS

Captain Marvel #1- A

Gush!  I loved this comic.  And if it hadn’t been for a fateful arm wrestling match between Sherif and I, it would have gotten pick of the week.  It has been a long time since I have read a comic I related to so much.  Am I a pilot or a captain? Do I live in the Statue of Liberty.  Well, no.  But I am a woman who dreams of a world out there.  Captain Marvel was smart.  We get a taste of the things to come from the beginning with a bar fight in space and then a nice little flashback about how our heroine got there in the first place.  And on top of a great story, the art is crisp and bright.  It is so vivid, it feels almost like TV.  How can I rave about this even more?  Let me count the ways…- A

Hawkeye #17 – A

How? How did this book even get made? Matt Fraction is an evil genius, and like Honey Badger, Fraction don’t give a s***. The entire issue is of a holiday-themed movie cartoon called “Winter Friends” that Hawkeye watches with his neighbor and he two children. The show is a hilarious parody of Clint Barton’s own adventures, with mirroring partners in justice. It left me with a smile in my heart; I haven’t enjoyed a whimsical issue like this since Scribblenauts: Unmasked. I don’t think you have to know a whole lot about the series other than who Hawkeye is – a superhero with no super-powers. I guarantee you’ll want to read the whole series if you pick this one up. – S

Deadpool #25 – B+

Call me Slade, but I think this might be the most enjoyable Deadpool issue I’ve ever read. The whole issue is about Deadpool and Crossbones, a mercenary sent to kill Deadpool before being humiliated by the Merc With A Mouth. The humor flows perfectly throughout, avoiding the sort of forced gag jokes Deadpool is accustomed to. I’m genuinely interested in what will happen next – culminating in Deadpool’s own wedding in issue #27. It also needs to be said that Agent Coulson and Deadpool need their own buddy cop movie. Those two are a hoot! – S

Secret Avengers #1 – B+

Apparently S.H.I.E.L.D isn’t clandestine enough. The Secret Avengers, written by Ales Kot and illustrated by Michael Walsh is a great read for nostalgic comic book heads. The panels are drawn in that Sunday morning comic strip format we learned to love as kids. You can almost smell the newsprint. Maria Hill, director of S.H.I.E.L.D has given orders to Phil Coulson, (isn’t he dead?) and Nick Fury to stop a killer robot, The Fury, on board one of their space stations. When things go bad she requests Spider Woman and Black Widow to lend a hand. Unfortunately they are steaming at a Russian Bathhouse on earth. Meanwhile, Hawkeye leads a platoon of homicidal A.I.M. agents straight to our super hero BFs. This may have something to do with M.O.D.O.K. and S.H.I.E.L.D teaming up. Overall it was a fun read. If you can’t get enough of Agent Coulson on Tuesday nights, this is your book! – JS

Black Widow #4- B

Black Widow finally started picking up the pace.  Rather than a bad guy of the week, we got a nice little cliffhanger.  Could this mean that our favorite Russian spy’s story is starting to develop?  Let’s hope so.  As always the artwork is just beautiful, and this week gave us some of the best fight scenes I’ve ever seen in a comic book.  There is something about this story that has yet to capture my full interest, though.  I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I really hope the direction of the story makes Natasha a little more relatable.- A

Wolverine #3 – B

I finished this issue with a sigh of relief; finally we are given a decent issue. I can honestly say that with all of the wolverine books out right now, this one has been my least favorite. I did enjoy the humor that they tried to infuse into the story this time around as well as showing us the origin of his new suit. It was also a pleasant surprise to see wolverine not as down in the dumps about his fate as he has been in the last 2 issues. – R

Superior Spider-Man #29 – C+

I’ve had such a love/hate relationship with the Superior series, where Octavius’ mind has taken over the body of Peter Parker. Not that Green Goblin has launched a city-wide take-over, everything is crumbling around Spider-Man. I’m not too sure that Otto has learned anything from his humbling humiliation at the hands of the Goblin Army, but I’m willing to stick around and see how this saga ends – and how the Amazing Spider-Man comes back. – S

Fantastic Four #2 –C-

I won’t waste your time, this book was boring. The Baxter building blows up and an alien force invades Manhattan…again. Yawn. The Fantastic Four are arguably the most unimportant group of super heroes ever assembled. Unless the good people at Marvel decide to kill off Johnny Storm, I’m not interested. One redeeming thing did happen though. Richards and Storm’s kid, Franklin, called The Thing, “Uncle Ben.” I thought that was hysterical. – JS

GPA by Publisher:

DC Comics: 1 A , 2 B’s, 2 C’s and 1 D, averaging out to a 2.50

Marvel Comics: 3 A’s, 4 B’s and 2 C’s, averaging out to a 3.11

Independents: 1 A, 3 B’s and 1 C, averaging out to a 3.00

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 IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

Written by Sherif Elkhatib, John Soweto, Adrian Puryear, Robert Michael and Jacob Robinson

Comic Book Reviews 02-26-14

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:

deadly class reagan

Deadly Class (Image Comics) #2 – A

This book is awesome, it’s a classic high school scene like Harry Potter or Freaks and Greeks, except the children are there to learn how to be assassins. I just love the story behind this book and what it is going to develop into. At first, when Sherif told me about Deadly Class, I honestly thought it was going to be stupid and not very entertaining, but I have been proven wrong. With so many cool characters, and an interesting concept, Deadly Class has tickled, no, molested my fancy and I cannot wait to continue to see what comes out of this comic. In issue #2, we get our very first look into the school it’s amazing to see where everyone comes from and how everyone there plans to become an assassin. Even though there isn’t a ton of action in this issue, the writing is enough to keep the reader engaged and interested through the entire book. I can truly appreciate a comic that doesn’t need action to make the story great. If you have not started reading Deadly Class yet, I highly recommend it. – E

Other Reviews:

DC/Vertigo:

Superman: Lois Lane #1 – B

Lois Lane hasn’t been a major part of Superman’s life like she has in the past thanks to the reboot of the New 52 and Superman knocking boots with a goddess now. This story proves that Lois Lane is still a badass reporter that doesn’t need to be rescued by the Man of Steel. The plot revolves around Lois’ sister and some sort of trouble that she got into with drugs that have crazy side-effects. Lois of course sets off to investigate and get into all sorts of hijinks related to the investigation. The story overall isn’t too bad and the art is great, which also matches the artwork from the new 52 superman book. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a one-shot like this but I can say that Lois didn’t disappoint. She is still the only woman I can see Superman ending up with.  – R

Batman Superman #8 – B-

I’ve finally woken up from the bad dream that has been the past couple months of Batman/Superman and found myself back in the real world. I’m not sure what kind of hell was happening with the last few issues, but we are back in the Greg Pak/Jae Lee universe that we signed up for in the first place. Issue #8 saw an alternate universe’s Robin and Supergirl (now Huntress and Power Girl) meeting Batman and Superman for the first time. Seeing Batman’s estranged daughter interact with him for the first time is worth a laugh, and Superman’s attempt to protect Power Girl from himself is exactly what you’d expect. The plot is just a transition to what will happen in the next issue of World’s Finest, so don’t get too attached to the story. Really, though, the art is what will save the book. It’s just beautiful, and it’s reason enough to invest in the series going forward. – S

Dark Horse Comics:

Tomb Raider #1 – B+

This issue is about what I expected it to be when I heard there was a new series coming out. This issue is an introduction to a few key characters and the buildup for the first arc. What I didn’t expect was that it is a continuation of the story from the latest Tomb Raider game that came out. I absolutely loved the game and if you haven’t played it yet, I would highly recommend it – you owe it to yourself. This continuation has me especially excited because I was left with a sense of wanting to know what happens next after the game. If the writing is as good as it was in the game, then I expect there to be great potential in this story. This is still a very young Lara and that leaves tons of room for development beyond anything we have seen before in games or film. – R

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #2 – C+

If the debut issue of Serenity: Leaves on the Wind was the honeymoon, issue #2 is like the awkward first week back. The Serenity crew is forced with a tough decision regarding Zoë’s condition, and they pick up an old pal in Jayne Cobb. With Jayne on board, things should feel back to normal, but the identity just isn’t there in this book… yet. There are many moving pieces in Leaves on the Wind: the new revolution, Zoë, River, and an unwelcome visitor by the name of Jubal Early (last episode of Firefly). So far, nothing has been established to make me feel part of the experience. Hopefully the next issue will make me feel the magic. – S

IDW Comics:

Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles #31 – A-

As the turtles regroup in Northampton from the events of City Fall, we’re finally getting to see our heroes in their familiar light: joking, training and feeling like family again. There are some really awesome moments with Casey and Donatello (very nostalgic of the first TMNT film) and Raphael and Alopex. Even Leonardo and Splinter iron out some issues. This issue isn’t all feels though, as a new mutant assassin of the foot emerges. What really sets TMNT apart from other books is that even in the lulls, there is always something to push the story along. The dialog may seem lengthy at times, but it’s heavily tied to the story and character development. The art of Ross Campbell is beautiful, and is greatly complemented by it’s bright colors. Enjoy it while it lasts, as after issue 32, Mateus Santolouco takes over. Regardless of who is drawing, with Tom Waltz at the held, TMNT can do no wrong.  – S

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Utrom Empire #2 – B

In this Krang-centric book, we get a look at the bigger picture. Krang, although ruthless and power-hungry, cares deeply for the fate of his people. It’s almost admirable, in a creepy kind of way. As he battles extinction from all angles, Krang proves he is willing to do whatever is necessary to save the Utrom people, even at the cost of his own life. The 80’s action flick vibe is still in full effect, here. Vog, the triceratops mutant, is quickly becoming one of my favorite villains in the book, and I just hope that the turtles never have to face such a foe. I’m not nearly as interested in this side-story as I have been in the past TMNT mini-series (the best among them being Secret of the Foot Clan), but Utrom Empire has managed to take the turtles most dangerous foe and make him the protagonist… sort of. – S

Samurai Jack #5 – B

BOSS FIGHT! We were just saying in our review of issue #4 that it’s time for the story to pick up steam and progress the story. Like the top of a roller-coaster ride, all this issue needed was a light push and the story went from 0-epic in one page. In fact, it might move too quick, as the art and dialog is all over the place, and a bit jumbled. That being said, Jack confronts Aku, and it’s every bit the showdown we were waiting for. The Threads of Time play a big part in his strategy, but the turn-around from start to end is so fast, it seemed a bit rushed. Pace aside, Jack is still a great pick-up for those raised on the series and genre. – S

X-Files Conspiracy: Transformers #1 – B-

Above most other aspects in creative media and storytelling, I appreciate creativity and new ideas.  IDW supplies in X-Files Conspiracy.  The fourth installment of this series merges the adventures of Scully, Mulder and their cohorts with the infamous robots in disguise – Transformers!  Being one of my favorite childhood interests it was great to see Optimus and others in still panel form.  The premise is simple; the X-Files team is out to unravel a conspiracy and in the process, save the world.  Continuing on from the previous issues featuring the Ghostbuster’s crew as well as our favorite heroes in half-shells (TMNT!!), the Autobots assemble in support of the cause.  There were a lot of humorous moments in the pages of this issue that really add to the enjoyment factor.  It wasn’t the most action packed comic, but all in all this was a fun read.  I recommend it if you’re looking to add a little bit of light-hearted variety to your comic stack.  – T

Image Comics:

Black Science #4 – A

Of the numerous volumes of comic books I’m reading right now, very few come close to Image’s Black Science.  This series tops even the Star War issues in my current stack (and that’s saying something).  Don’t sleep on this one, people.  Rick Remender’s (writer) creative genius has brought us a story with depth, intrigue, adventure, conflict/plot variety and everything that makes the Hush Comics family giddy!  An issue hasn’t passed where I wasn’t left anxious after at the very last page and panel!  Issue #4 plays out is similar fashion as the debut issue – a race against time before our dimensionaughts are forced to jump again to another dimension.  The intensity is juxtaposed with powerful character monologue and gorgeous art work.  I give, yet again, another big round of applause to Matteo Scalera (artist) and Dean White (painter).  What they put on the page…it’s like love-making for eyeballs.  By the conclusion of the issue, the plot has taken on a completely different pace and tone.  This beautiful evolution opens up vast possibilities for the continuation of Black Science.  I hope Remender and team keep this unique adventure engaging and exciting. – T

The Revenge #1 – B

Uhhhh, I’m not entirely sure what I just read, but it was good! This is definitely unlike other comic books that I have read in a long time. With lots of blood and boobs, The Revenge is a comic for a mature audience. This story is pretty clear and laid out, but I still have no idea where it is going to go. Some points in this comic and just demented and gruesome, yet I can’t find fault in it because that is the identity that the book has found for itself. Honestly, I found the book strange but a good strange, not like a “this is so weird and stupid I don’t even know what is going on strange.” So if you are in the search for a comic book unlike the rest, and are up for some boobs and blood, then I would recommend The Revenge. – E

Sex #11 – B-

After last issue’s tease at what a world with the Armored Saint looked like, we are back to the foreplay of the other nine issues. While the tension is certainly rising in Saturn City, I can’t honestly see the Saint making a comeback for at least another five issues if they continue at this pace. All the major characters and motives (or lack thereof) have been established and the only logical next step this story can take is to introduce the Armored Saint to save the city. They show us in the beginning that Simon clearly still has the skill but he just doesn’t have the proper motivation to break his vow yet. Simon is reminiscent of how Oliver Queen was behaving in the beginning of his New 52 run; they both desire to be something else yet neither one quite knows how to make it happen. I’m sure that wrinkly old ball sac called the Old Man will help him out with that. Speaking of ball sac, there has been a marked increase in the amount of penis that they started showing since its first introduction a few issues back – perhaps we could tone that down a bit. This isn’t Game of Thrones or Spartacus, after all.  – R

The Walking Dead #122 – C-

Uggghh!  If you’re wondering whether I’m disappointed or practicing my walker impression, know that it is the former… Chalk another one up for an uneventful TWD issue.  As various members of the Alexandria and Hilltop communities cope and adjust to the aftermath of the savage battles the plot remains in a state of limbo.  Minor developments and hints as to what will happen next pepper the page, but I’ve already lost track of the number of times an issue has lead me to believe, “oh the next issue is gonna be crazy!”… And I can count pretty high.  Kirkman’s focus on the All Out War arch is far too centralized war rhetoric and how it affects everyone.  I don’t know about you, but the impacts of war are lost on me in this post-apocalyptic time frame.  The world has already gone to shit and a series of skirmishes termed as “war” adds little to the series.  Only four issues remain until the All Out War story ends.  I hope for the sake of continued TWD support that the conclusion is epic.  It may not be long before this TWD fan is walking away from this dead series. – T

Marvel:

Hawkeye #15 – B+

It feels so good to be back in New York with Hawk-guy. I’ve had enough of Kate as Hawkeye, with her disastrous exploits living on her own. I really enjoy Clint Barton’s everyday adventures: the guns, the butt-kicking, and most especially, the Bros. The Russian (?) Bro Mafia is hilarious. They are one building away from owning the whole neighborhood – a building illegally owned by Hawkeye. Sometimes, it’s the most humane stories in the Avengers’ world that make for the most clever and entertaining books. Throw in a legitamite villain to the mix, and you have plenty of gas in the tank for Matt Fraction’s best book out. – S

Fantastic Four #1 – B

After an exciting first few pages, I was actually pretty excited to continue reading to see what was coming next. It started on such a serious and mysterious note that it grabs the reader attention right away. Yet, the rest of the book didn’t really carry that same mood and tone up until the end. Seeing that it is a first issue, I can understand the need to set up plot lines and background story, I just wish all that middle stuff was a bit more interesting. However, I am still interested to see how this story is going to play out. It seems like it is going to be more of a somber comic than a typical superhero book. And by getting a glimpse at that somber tone, it allows the reader to want to know how it got there. What went down in order to bring these people to the places they are at now? I guess only time will tell, but I would enjoy finding out. – E

Origin II #3 – B

Three issues in out of five and I’m still not sure what the purpose of this book is. I have enjoyed the art immensely but there hasn’t been any actual character development. So far Logan hasn’t actually said a single word, unless of course you count onamotapeia as language. I get the feeling that given the direction some of Wolverines other books are taking that this will perhaps be an origin for how his feud with Sabertooth ultimately began. Somehow, Sinister also fits into the picture, too. Being a major fan of Wolverine, I can’t help but continue to read this but I also can’t help but as why is there a sequel. – R

Indestructible Hulk #19 – B-

As of right now, there is a lot going on in the Indestructible Hulk series; yet with this particular comic, I felt like not much was happening. We got to see the effects of another one of Banner’s solutions to a problem and the consequences that happened because of it, but a majority of the comic was just uneventful. We did get to see some pretty cool action toward the beginning of the comic; however, it wasn’t able to carry the book by itself. I’m hoping the next issue can bring more excitement following the events that have transpired over the last couple issues. – E

Deadpool #24 – C+

Issue #24 ends the long saga of Agent Preston being stuck in Deadpool’s body. It’s drawn out, and uncharacteristically emotional, but it’s still the same Deadpool you know and love. There are a couple moments in the mush-fest that stick, though, as Deadpool is truly alone now – excluding the cacophony of voices in his head. It’s a decent transition issue, but it’s not much more than that. With all the hoopla at Marvel over a Deadpool wedding, I can see the need to explore those feelings, but #24 really forces the issue. Overall, I’m happy with the direction the book is taking, but turning Deadpool into a soft-hearted murderer won’t sit well with me. – S

Wolverine #2 – C

Heroes and villains have a way of dying or having a major crisis that somehow majorly affects them all the time. It’s the comic book industries way of reminding us that we should appreciate what we have because at any minute it could be taken away. Just look at Peter Parker; not only did they kill the Amazing Peter but they also killed the Ultimate universe’s version of Peter, too. Logan has a run-in with Superior Spider-Man‘s “Peter Parker” that shows a side of Logan that I don’t really think we have experienced before. This is a Wolverine that is de-powered, broken and, for the first time ever, afraid. I can’t help but think that this is just some plot to bring him back better than ever, or maybe change him in some major way kind of like what they did to Jubilee. That being said, this depiction of Logan pretty much shits on the whole idea of the character. I hope that Paul Cornell knows what he is doing. Too much of this Wolverine is definitely a bad thing.  – R

Superior Spider-Man #28 – C-

After such a stellar display in issue #27, Superior Spider-Man feels like an awkwardly-long continuation instead of an expansion upon the Goblin Nation story. Some secrets were revealed, and it still feels like this is going somewhere, but I had gotten my hopes up after the last issue that things were finally turning around. While Otto is dumb-founded that the Green Goblin has out-smarted him, the subconscious of Peter Parker is getting sucked further and further into Otto Octavius’ psyche. Maybe Superior is trying to avoid taking the easy way out (segueing into April’s re-emergence of Amazing Spider-Man), but it just seems now that it is stalling for time until Parker returns. I’ll still keep reading, but I wouldn’t recommend this to new readers. – S

George Romero’s Empire of the Dead #2 – D

This issue is pretty much nothing but buildup for the inevitable plot arc involving some ridiculous rise of the zombies with consciences, or perhaps some type of battle between zombie and vampires with humans caught in the middle. The story remains vigilant that there is a way to domesticate zombies and that they have some feeling or memory of their former selves. I know that George Romero is considered one of the greats but I think he has crossed over that fine line of innovative into ridiculousness. This doesn’t even feel like fresh material after watching his last few subpar films. He has already explored many of these ideas in his earlier work and it didn’t pan out very well there either. I am left wondering how he thought it could pan out better in short spurts that don’t really have any coherent ideas so far. And as a bit of a personal gripe, the art is a bit all over the place. It is hard to determine who is who sometimes when the art doesn’t even match from one panel to the next. – R

GPA by Publisher:

DC Comics: 2 B’s, averaging out to a 3.00

Marvel Comics: and 4 B’s, 3 C’s and 1 D, averaging out to a 2.38

Independents: 3 A’s, 6 B’s and 2 C’s, averaging out to a 3.09

Funniest Panel of the Week:

alopex tai chi

Epic Panel of the Week:

clobberin time

Cover Art of the Week:

Fantastic Four #1 Alex Ross variant
Fantastic Four #1 Alex Ross variant
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 IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

Written by Sherif ElkhatibAdrian PuryearEvan LoweTaylor Lowe and Robert Michael

Weekend Wrap-Up… February 23, 2014

The Olympics are finally over, and all I could think about was that NBC’s CommunityArrow, and Scandal are coming back to the air!

To christen Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show debut, Justin Timberlake hooked back up with the formal SNL comedian for the fifth installment of “The History of Rap” and it was epic! This came after an incredible “Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing” skit with Will Smith.

There’s trouble in paradise here in Denver, as Denver Comic Con is having some internal issues, low-lighted by accusations of fraud and embezzlement. The two accusers are holding a town meeting to elaborate. We’ll give you guys the full scoop as it unfolds. Remember, there are two sides to every story.

Heroes will be making a comeback, by way of a 13-episode event. While the director, Tim Kring, will make a return, there will be an entirely new cast of heroes – hopefully with new powers. It’s not the Heroes we need right now, but it’s the Heroes we deserve.

The Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics have been fairly lackluster according to resident Buffy expert Adrian Puryear, but there will be 3 issues of season 10 written by Nicholas Brendan himself.  Perhaps those issues will be more noteworthy than all the other comics?  In addition, James Marsters will be penning a graphic novel set during the final televised season.  Will in be Spike-centric?  Let’s hope!

Space Jam 2 is a real thing, regardless of whether or not LeBron James is going to be in it. To say that I’m skeptical about this would be a massive under-statement, but I know I’ll go see it anyway.

The hilarious independent comic book Burn the Orphanage, inspired from 90’s video-games and pulp style, will have a sequel out this May entitled Reign of Terror. We’ll be lucky enough to meet Sina Grace at ECCC, but I suggest you all download the first two issues of Burn the Orphanage and keep up

Vince Gilligan’s (you know, the guy who created Breaking Bad) upcoming crime drama, Battle Creek, has found itself its first cast member in Kal Penn (HouseHarold & Kumar). He’s a very entertaining actor, and I think he’d be great for the detective role.

The Green Goblin has reared his ugly head in this Amazing Spider-Man 2 still. What do you guys think? I kind of miss the purple hood, personally.

Matt Ryan, who voiced the main character in the Assassin’s Creed IV video-game, will be playing the title role in the upcoming Constantine TV series. He definitely looks the part, and I was a big fan of his voice work in AC4.

Will Smith is in the talks to start in Brilliance, based off the sci-fi novel that was released last year. The concept sounds goo enough that we will be reading the book. Another Will Smith sci-fi?  Well, we kinda think the man can do no wrong, so we’re looking forward to it.

The Suicide Squad will be joining Arrow on March 19th. The Suicide Squad (as it is now, a group of criminals offered to go on suicide missions for reprieve) is over 25 years old, but hasn’t been able to catch on. But, I mean, Michael Jai White and Sean Maher together?! Geek. Out.

This is a good week for new comics, as: Fantastic Four, Tomb RaiderX-Files Conspiracy: TransformersVandroid, & The Revenge all debut.

The Walking Dead continues with “Claimed” tonight. If you’re not caught up, check out our most recent reviews. Abraham, Eugene and Rosita have made their debut, and Rick is recovering from the ass-whoopin’ that the Governor put on him, so I expect much of the screen-time will be given to them. Predictions, questions, gripes? We want to hear them all.

Written by Sherif Elkhatib and Adrian Puryear