Friday, July 31, 2015

Movies! 7/31 + Comics Recap!

So last weekend stuff happened...

This week you get Tom Cruise hanging off airplanes and stuff in "Mission Impossible:  Rogue Nation."  I think I mentioned before that last year I wrote a first draft for a Girl Power universe novel I called Rogue State, which I think is a better title.  At some point I need to find my revised outline to rewrite that.  Or not.  Whatever.  Anyway, I was one of those rare people who really liked the first "Mission:  Impossible" but I never watched the second and third ones.  They've certainly squandered utilized a lot of directorial talent:  Brian de Palma, John Woo, JJ Abrams, and Brad Bird.  I guess this time Tom Cruise hired a guy whom he's familiar with since he directed "Jack Reacher" and wrote "Edge of Tomorrow" and "Valkyrie" in which Cruise starred.  Does that fill you with confidence or not?

Anyway, since I've been unemployed I haven't read as many comics as I used to but in the last couple of months there were some decent sales so I was able to catch up on some stuff.  Like this:

Batgirl Vol. 1 Batgirl of Burnside:  This is the much-anticipated "soft reboot" that moves Batgirl from Gotham to "Burnside" which is supposed to be hipper, like Seattle or something though conveniently across the bridge from Gotham so she can still do Batman stuff.  Anyway, she moves and all her Batgirl stuff gets burned so she has to make a new costume and recruit some new guy to make stuff for her and her doctoral thesis gets ruined, etc.  When it got to the part where she goes to see her doctoral thesis supervisor I finally realized what the writers had done:  they made Batgirl into Spider-Man!  You know how Spider-Man is always plagued by problems like keeping a job and a girlfriend and all that while also fighting crime?  That's what they're doing here.  So as much as people might have wanted to hail the writers for reinventing the wheel, they didn't.  They just added more social media references to pander to millenials.  Kind of disappointing really. (2.5/5)

Superman Doomed:  What happens when you put Greg Pak who wrote the famous Planet Hulk series and Charles Soule who wrote on She-Hulk on Superman titles?  They turn Superman into the Hulk!  That's basically what happens when Superman fights Doomsday (the dude who "killed" him in the 90s) and gets infected with a virus that turns Superman into Doomsday.  Like the Hulk, Doomsday is a mostly brainless monster who rampages around causing all sorts of destruction, except he also has Superman's powers to fly, shoot heat rays, etc.  This comes in handy when Brainiac shows up to destroy the world.  I thought it was mostly fun.  For $5 I got a hell of a deal because there were a bunch of comics packed into the one volume, which included a couple of Supergirl ones that were only slightly relevant.  This wasn't the biggest event in DC history but you get a lot of familiar characters like the Justice League, Martian Manhunter, Red Lanterns, and even Swamp Thing.  I think more could have been done with the "Superdoom" character (like a better name) but mostly it was good and you didn't need to be that up on goings on in the DC universe to get it. (3.5/5)

Forever Evil:  This was a bigger recent DC event.  The volume I read only covered the 7 main issues of the series but there were a bunch of spin-offs that would sort of help to understand the full picture, but I wasn't about to go spend like $100 for all that stuff.  Anyway, the Justice League is trapped inside Firestorm (except Batman because Batman) while their dopplegangers from an evil parallel universe (who don't all have goatees) take over Earth.  Lex Luthor and some other villains chafe at these bad guys getting on their turf and thus join forces with Batman to fight back.  Overall it was OK.  The relationship between Luthor and his Superman clone B-Zero (Bizarro) was cute.  BTW, I used the overall concept for my Girl Power novel League of Evil.  I'm just saying. (2.5/5)

Green Lantern: Wrath of the First Lantern:  Like Superman: Doomed, this was a really good deal for $5 because it's like 14 comics from the various Lantern titles.  As the title suggests, the various colored Lanterns have to battle the "First Lantern" who sucks emotions like a vampire and uses the power to attempt to alter reality.  This was the end of Geoff Johns' lengthy run on the title and as such it wraps up a lot of what he had introduced along the way.  If you're not up on all the minutiae of the Green Lantern series of the last 10 years then you won't necessarily understand all of what's going on.  There probably could have been more done with the First Lantern concept, but this wasn't a bad sendoff.  (3/5)

DC:  The New Frontier:  This is supposed to be an homage to the "Silver Age" of comics in the 50s, except unlike those comics it throws in a lot of stuff about the Red scare and emerging civil rights movement.  A lot of it focuses on Hal Jordan, who survived Korea and has been struggling ever since.  Much of the rest focuses on John Jones, aka Martian Manhunter, a Martian who disguises himself as a police detective.  More familiar characters like Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman make appearances.  And then all the heroes get together to destroy a big weird space monster.  Um, yeah.  That.  The monster didn't really make for an interesting villain, so that was kind of lacking.  Otherwise it was OK.  (2.5/5)

Batman Year 100:  I was a little confused by the title.  Was it set in the year 100?  No, actually it's 2039, which would be 100 years from when Batman debuted.  "The Batman" runs around fighting evil government guys...why?  And who is he?  There were really no satisfactory answers, which made this ultimately frustrating.  Plus the art wasn't very good.  It's the kind where everything is all out of proportion and kind of crude. (2/5)

Death of Wolverine:  They probably should have put quotes around the death part, though surprisingly they haven't really brought Wolverine back.  Anyway, this 4-issue limited series didn't really have the epic feel you would want for something like this.  Somehow Logan loses his ability to heal and so lots of bad guys try to kill him.  He eventually hunts down his creator for revenge or something.  It was the kind of ending where probably if they had wanted him to live he could have found a way to do so. (1/5)

Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1:  You might not have realized that for nearly 3 years Peter Parker had the brain of Dr. Octopus inside of him.  Eventually that came to an end and this is where it picks up.  Doc Ock has sort of made a mess of things so Peter Parker has to try to pick up the pieces.  Meanwhile a new threat looms on the horizon!  Remember what I said in the Batgirl review about Spider-Man?  There's a lot of that on display here.  Having read quite a bit of Dan Slott's Spider-Man run this is really a good continuation of the series with the same lighthearted fun and mayhem you would expect.  The only real problem is since this is Volume 1 the stakes aren't that high yet.  (3/5)  


  1. The Wolverine one was probably intended to be a thing where fans vote like the death of Robin, but they got scared and backed off. I'm looking forward to Old Man Logan

  2. Well, it seems like you are using all your unemployed time to do fun things. I need to read some of these comics.

  3. Mission Impossible is getting good reviews. I probably should go see it.



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