Friday, April 29, 2016

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 is the first issue of a new series in the Marvel Universe that uses elements from the Marvel show to create stories dealing with the S.H.I.E.L.D. team from that show but incorporating what's going on in the comic book universe. This is the first time I read the first issue to an ongoing series rather than that of a limited series of an important event like Crisis or Returns. The comic has the team, like in the show, going on a mission to stop whatever plans Hydra is conducting all the while as they deal with their own personal issues. Much like the show that inspires it, this issue is very engaging and filled with twist and turns that makes me want to read more. Over all: 95%
Top lists so far:
1. Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1
2. Batman: The Long Halloween
3. Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe
4. Crisis on Infinite Earths
5. Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive
6. Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2
7. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1
8. The Dark Knight Returns
9. Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War
10. Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers Vol. 1
11. Civil War

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1

One of the most recent comic books made, this is the first time I ever bought just one issue of a series without getting the rest due to the other issues also not being out yet. Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 sees DC's Batman investigating strange circumstances involving IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, thus also being my first crossover between two different companies. Most of the first issue has Batman trying to find answers to why ninjas were stealing technology and kidnapping scientists, all the while the turtles and Splinter try to find a way home until all six meet at the end. The comic is fun and I can't wait until I get to read the rest of the series to see how Batman and the Ninja Turtles get along and how the latter get back home. Over all: 100%
Top list so far:
1. Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1
2. Batman: The Long Halloween
3. Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe
4. Crisis on Infinite Earths
5. Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive
6. Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2
7. The Dark Knight Returns
8. Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War
9. Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers Vol. 1
10. Civil War

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Dark Knight Returns

Like with Long Halloween, Dark Knight was not the comic I was going to buy as Killing Joke was unavailable again. That said, since it was long rumored that Batman v Superman will take some inspiration from this comic, I thought it was a good idea to read it to understand the references. Returns was not only one of the very first comics made in the Dark Age of Comic Books but also one of the comics that started it all and defined it, as well as make Frank Miller a household name. The story is very interesting as it sees Batman fighting crime again after years of retirement, even going against the government ideals until he faces Superman who has become a government agent. The artwork is very interesting, though a bit off-putting at times since Batman and Superman look over muscled. I feel that Bruce, being over 50 years old at this point, should have shown a lot more aging in his crimefighting as it's only shown in small parts. The introduction of a new female Robin, the fight between Batman and Superman, Joker's death, Batman's fight with the Mutant leader, Superman's problem with the nuke, and the ending are all done to perfection and very iconic. One of the few problems I found however are that there's not a lot of explanation for certain things like why Batman retired or how Green Arrow lost his arm, the giant tank Batman uses, and I don't know if Joker uses a flying robot baby. Over all: 92%
Top list so far:
1. Batman: The Long Halloween
2. Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe3. Crisis on Infinite Earths
4. Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive
5. Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2
6. The Dark Knight Returns
7. Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War
8. Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers Vol. 1
9. Civil War

Monday, April 25, 2016

Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe

Deadpool is one of the most fun comic book characters made from the modern era, especially with his own movie having been made and loved by many. Any comic he's in will always be fun no matter what, and Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe is no exception. The comic sees an alternate version of Deadpool going more insane than ever to the point that he knows he's in a comic. Driven insane by the knowledge, Deadpool goes on a killing spree throughout the world, taking out any well known heroes and villains like Spider-Man and the Avengers. The comic series ends with Deadpool, after every other hero and villain has been killed, going into the real world and planning to kill the writers at Marvel. As my first Deadpool comic this perfectly shows how far the Merc With The Mouth can go with his deadly skills and macabre humor. I'm exited to one day read the sequels to this series wherein Deadpool kills famous literary characters in classic books and then goes on a killing spree against other alternate versions of Deadpool. Over all: 100%
Top list so far:
1. Batman: The Long Halloween
2. Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe3. Crisis on Infinite Earths
4. Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive
5. Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2
6. Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War
7. Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers Vol. 1
8. Civil War

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War

My favorite type of fictional stories told in any medium, whether in films, television, or even comics, are crossovers between any two different franchises or series. This is why I wanted to read Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War as it is a crossover between many of my favorite classic Cartoon Network animated shows, like Ben 10 and Samurai Jack. Once again, IDW crafts a well written story all while delving into nostalgia from so long ago that so many would have wanted. The villains of many of these shows team up to defeat the heroes of their respective universes by making robot duplicates of them and sending them out to conquer their own and other universes. Like with Crisis, there are other comics you have to get in order to read other robots to be defeated by other shows not shown in the main story. Though it can feel packed at times and some things certain characters say feels out of character at some points. Over all: 90%
Top list so far:
1. Batman: The Long Halloween
2. Crisis on Infinite Earths
3. Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive
4. Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2
5. Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War
6. Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers Vol. 1
7. Civil War

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Batman: The Long Halloween

Originally I was trying to get The Killing Joke, but instead I got Batman: The Long Halloween because where I got this comic didn't have Joke at the time. I still wanted Halloween, however, since I know it, like Killing Joke, were huge inspirations for The Dark Knight. This being the first comic I read from the '90s and one of the earliest in the Dark Age of comics, I was confused at first when reading the first few issues of the limited series. The story deals with Batman, with help from Captain Jim Gordon and DA Harvey Dent, trying to solve a series of holiday themed murders occurring throughout one year, with all of the murdered being part of different mobs ruling Gotham. What made me confused at first is the intro of certain well known villains like the Joker and Solomon Grundy which at first felt random. It wasn't until the end of it that I realized how clever it was since the whole point isn't the murder investigation but how Gotham goes from being ruled by the mob to being terrorized by the iconic rogues gallery when they all murder the last remaining mob boss of the city. The artwork is very interesting, such as with Batman's large cape or the Joker's large smile with his huge teeth. Over all: 100%
Top list so far:
1. Batman: The Long Halloween
2. Crisis on Infinite Earths
3. Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive
4. Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2
5. Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers Vol. 1
6. Civil War

Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers Vol. 1

The oldest series of comic books that I've read so far, Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers Vol. 1 is a collection of the first ten issues of The Avengers comics that were ever published. This is my first foray into the silver age of comic books and the first to not involve a large event like Civil War or Crisis. It was very fascinating to read due to how different comics were over fifty years ago comparing them to now. All ten issues were very wordy, meaning every panel had a lot of word, thought, or info balloons that were very expositional. The artwork is what one expects from the 1960s, being very simple and cartoony when compared to the more detailed looks of today. What surprised me were some of the characteristics of certain heroes such as Captain America constantly wanting revenge against Baron Zemo or how Iron Man would always mention how no one knows that Tony Stark, himself, is actually Iron Man even when the Avengers use his place as a base of operations. It was however still fun to read how one of the most iconic superhero teams came together thanks to Stan Lee and anyone else who worked in Marvel at the time. Over all: 70%
Top list so far:
1. Crisis on Infinite Earths
2. Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive
3. Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2
4. Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers Vol. 1
5. Civil War

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive

IDW Comics, the publishers of the  Star Trek and Doctor Who crossover as well as this comic crossover story, Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive, is my absolute favorite out of the other companies I've read so far because they own the rights to so many well known movie and tv properties and do a lot of crossover between them. This Star Trek and Planet of the Apes crossover is another fun and well written story they've been able to make. It sees the crew of the original series pursuing Klingons into another universe who are aiding the dictatorial advanced apes of the original 1968 movie into attacking the remaining humans who are freed from the apes's wrath, all while the Enterprise crew gets help from Charlton Heston's character George Taylor. With great artwork and really fun moments, there are times that the comic references or even helps explain certain moments in the original Apes movies, though since I haven't seen any of the movies and only read about them can hinder some of the material at times. Over all: 98%
Top list so far:
1. Crisis on Infinite Earths
2. Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive
3. Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2
4. Civil War

Crisis on Infinite Earths

As not only my third comic, and first for DC, Crisis on Infinite Earths is one of the most memorable comics I ever read. This is the comic that finally confirmed to me that yes big crossover events like this do have other stories outside the main books due to some boxes saying you have to read separate comics to understand what's going on or finish certain plot points. Crisis was the oldest comic I read at the time and the first from the Bronze Age of comic books, though this comic event signaled the end of it and led to the Dark Age, or Modern Age, of comics. The comic is fun and full of great references to the nearly 50 year history that DC Comics was celebrating at the time. Filled to the brim with nearly every character that DC created or owned at the time, it sees the heroes of various alternate Earths fight an ancient cosmic entity who plans to destroy all of the alternate worlds to gain ultimate power. Despite it's use of the long history of the comic book franchise, great use of all of its characters, and being really fun, there are a few problems such as how every time a character is introduced for the first time in the books, their names are said by others in a very weird way or how long it was that it took me over a month to get through, though that's minor. In the end, Crisis on Infinite Earth's is fun and I hope to one day find and read other books that are part of this story; a story that forever changed not only DC but the rest of the comic book industry as a whole, especially as the first big crossover event story designed to change its universe. Over all: 100%
Top list so far:
1. Crisis on Infinite Earths
2. Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2
3. Civil War

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Civil War

Civil War is my second comic, but also the first Marvel comic that I eventually read, picking it up for two main reasons. One was because the story of Civil War will partly inspire the next Captain America film and I wanted to read the comic to understand what will or might happen in the film and see how they compare. The other was because I read somewhere there was a moment in the story where Howard the Duck appears and I wanted to read that part, though when it wasn't I was a bit confused and that's when I started to suspect that big crossover storylines like this one don't show everything about the story in the main books as I was still trying to understand the way comic books work. Even with that Civil War is still a very interesting book to read wherein Captain America leads a group of heroes against a government law that forces all heroes to act under regulation which is supported by Iron Man and other heroes. The comic book event sees what happens when certain heroes have to hide not only from the government but also from former allies. One part that I found very interesting was when The Punisher shows up to help Captain America and he kills two villains that were there. Captain then beats him up for his actions, with the Punisher not even trying to fight back due to his respect of Steve Rogers. However, there are some problems such as the way Captain America is portrayed throughout the story with him immediaetly punching his way through rather than talking things out. Also the way that Civil War ends feels way to abrupt, especially since it's only when being told by regular citizens that Rogers realizes the destruction he caused. Over all: 65%
Top list so far:
1. Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2
2. Civil War

Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2

As the first comic book I ever read, this Star Trek and Doctor Who crossover is one of the bests that I've read so far. Using the characters of the Next Generation in the Star Trek franchise and the Eleventh Doctor and his companions Amy and Rory from Doctor Who, the comic sees the crew of the Enterprise-D teaming up with The Doctor and his companions to stop an alliance between both franchises' cybernetic invaders, Doctor Who's Cybermen and Star Trek's Borg. The artwork is nearly gorgeous with it's very realistic look of the characters though at times can feel off, though the part where Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor meets Captain Kirk and his crew is fun to read due to the more traditional look you'd expect from the late 70s and early 80s. With a perfect use of both franchise's mythologies the crossover is perfect for those who love both and always wanted to see a crossover between the two due to the many similarities such as their use of time travel and exploring distant places in space. The reason I never read a comic before this one was because of the huge history involving the various universes in both DC and Marvel, as well as other companies. What convinced to finally read comics were because even if comics have a large history with lots of continuity, so do other things I love such as Star Trek and Doctor Who, and another is due to watching the web video series Atop the Fourth Wall where the host, Linkara, reviews comic book, most of them considered the worst, where he once did a list of comics he'd never review and this crossover was in that list. Until that is a few weeks after I bought it and he did review it as part of a Patreon sponsored suggestion. However I'm really happy that I finally got to read comics and since then I've bought and read a comic, sometimes a series of them in one book, a month. Over all: 95%
Top list so far:
1. Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

As one of the most anticipated films of all time, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the film that finally brings Superman and Batman, two of the most iconic fictional characters of the last one hundred years, together. With the main story taking place sometime after the events of 2013s Superman reboot Man of Steel, the film sees Superman finding his place in a world that both adores and fears him after the events of the previous film and sees Batman trying to understand him and figure out whether he's a threat or not. The film's first few minutes recreate the murders of Bruce Wayne's parents, his inspiration to become Batman, and the events of the ending battle of Man of Steel from Bruce's point of view that lead him to become Batman again after a ten year absence. With Zach Snyder returning as director and Henry Cavill once again as Superman with Amy Adams also returning as Lois Lane, the film introduces Ben Affleck as the newest incarnation of Gotham's Dark Knight with Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor and Gal Gadot as the first live action feature length version of Wonder Woman. The movie has some very good positives, however it has just as many if not more negatives towards it. Ben Affleck, who was criticized initially when he was first announced as Batman due to his past role as Daredevil, is one of the best Batman ever put to screen. One of the best things about Affleck's Batman is the intensity he has in and out of costume that was a bit lacking with Bale's version. The fact that his costume looks less like armor like all previous versions and more cloth based adds to how true to the comics, as well as the various animated versions, superhero films have gotten, not to mention that his fighting style is edited better with not too many closeups or fighting in too much shadows thus drawing even more from the comics as well as the Arkham games. Plus the fact that he has a voice modulator built into his suit that hides his real voice already makes him better than Bale. Gadot, who was criticized simply because she has a small frame compared to the heroine's, is beyond perfection as Wonder Woman even if it was added at the last minute. Even in her small role, it got me exited for the Wonder Woman movie that will be released next year that will outline her origins during World War One. As for the negative parts of the film, there are so many in this film that really hurt it, chief among them is how it's way too dark and depressing to really enjoy, which is something Warner Bros apparently mandated just so they could be different from Marvel's more lighthearted franchise, especially with how Superman is portrayed by being depressed all throughout the film. Eisenberg as Lex Luthor I'm a bit mixed on due to how he's portrayed as a bit clownish and too much like Hackman's version. Another problem is how the editing works where one scene just ends and another begins without even a thought of what's going on, especially when it feels like WB was afraid that Batman and Superman wouldn't get equal time together despite the fact it's over two and a half hours long, which says a lot when The Avengers had more characters given equal time without any problems. I never had a problem with Doomsday being introduced in the second trailer, I actually liked it, however the problem is the fact that they killed Superman way too early since we all know he'll come back for Justice League next year. The fact that Batman kills without remorse is something I'm mixed with since he just does it without thinking, like when he goes to rescue Superman's mother. There are many story problems I feel that Snyder didn't even look at such as how is Superman blamed for the deaths of a tribe in Africa or what exactly Luthor's motivation for getting Batman and Superman to kill each other. Though it was fun to watch, the scene that reveals other heroes like Flash and Cyborg, felt a bit forced just to promote their films. One of the things that definitely hurt the film and the rest of this franchise is Snyder's constant attempt to explain each and every thing people complain about that just sound desperate and not say it's his own vision of the DC Universe. In the end, the film is flawed and has too many problems that need to be addressed but is still very fun to watch. Over all: 65%
Top list so far:
1. Zootopia
2. Deadpool
3. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
4. Kung Fu Panda 3
5. Hail, Caesar!
6. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice