New Comic Books: September 27

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Weeks like this are the reason that I love comic books so much. So many surprises, great endings, new beginnings, and fantastic starts. This week was filled to the brim with some of the best stories that comics have told in years. It’s a great time to be a fan of comic books, right now, as DC and their continued run of wonderful events such as Metal, and the upcoming anticipated Doomsday Clock have forced Marvel to up their game exponentially. Not since Civil War have I been this excited about a Marvel event, with Legacy recapturing the magic that used to make Marvel the “House of Ideas.”

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Even Diana is back on track, now! Wonder Woman tackling with Darkseid as he attempts to kill the Old Gods, and steal their energy. That’s going to be a hell of a ride. James Robinson is one of the best writers in comic books, and the art was amazing. That Diana looked like Gal Gadot was a bonus, making things feel more fun and alive. I’m excited for this arc.
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Can we please just get past the Negative Speed Force, already? I’m glad to see Kid Flash back in the fray with Barry, but these “horrible” powers are really getting old. I know that Bloodwork, who was actually a great, quick antagonist was just to help him get a hold of them, and I hope that now we’re on the right path to Barry inevitably entering the Speed Force to get his real power backs.
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A good way to end one of my favorite arcs in quite some time. A battle between the Green Lantern Corps and these Kirby-inspired cosmic golems was where it always ended. That the Highfather got involved, and John Stewart got to be a sniper to take one out was always just a bonus.
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Tim Drake has always been truly the greatest Robin. Dick’s strength lied in his independence, and ability to lead without Batman. Tim’s has been his ability to truly strengthen Bruce. That was evident in his origin here. Now, the Tim Drake of Tomorrow seems to have a different view-point, so it should be interesting to see where truly leads.
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This Metal tie-in wasn’t quite as great as Red Death. Murder Machine’s back-story was sad, with the death of Alfred, but he just wasn’t quite as dynamic a character for an evil Batman. Little by little, though, we keep learning more and more of what brought the Dark Knights into existence, and lured them to our world, though.
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There was never going to be any way that Thor could defeat the War Thor without revealing herself to Volstagg as Jane Foster. But, that didn’t make it any less an emotional moment for her character. This almost felt the most Jane Foster we’ve seen of Thor herself during her run. Perhaps Mjolnir is letting more of Jane in. Maybe she’ll save her from the cancer spreading throughout her body?
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Of course the lesson that Miles learns is about how personal the role of Spider-Man is. That no matter how hard he tries, he can never fully distance his personal life, from the life of Spider-Man. No matter how hard he tried, Peter Parker could never do it, either. It’s a consequence of being a hero, and it was a great lesson for him to learn, even if it was the most uneventful of all the Generations adventures.
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The Generations line has been wonderful, but this was on a completely different level. The prescient message that was said, and the strong characters and themes. It was obvious that Sam would have the largest shadow before him, but I wasn’t expecting him to live an entire lifetime. Start a family, and inspire Captain America himself. It was something else entirely, and completely changed the way I was thinking the Generations titles were happening. It wasn’t time travel, it was a message.
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Holy shit. That was fantastic. That was the best single issue of a comic book that Marvel has put out in the last 20 years. The resurrection of Wolverine, the impending resurgence of the Fantastic Four, and the coming of the celestials. It all feels so… Marvel. So wonderfully Marvel. A Marvel that we haven’t seen in a very long time. Maybe this really is Marvel’s Legacy…
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Jor-El’s experience was immensely tragic, and the obvious intervention of Doctor Manhanttan sets up so much for Doomsday Clock. This event is going to be something special, and I can’t wait. DC’s events are the best in comics, right now. They encapsulate everything that’s great about the medium, and what it allows.

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Captain Marvel Confirmed for Avengers 4

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Initially, the delay between the release of Avengers: Infinity War and Captain Marvel all but doomed us from seeing the character on-screen until her first solo outing. However, confirmation of the film’s 1990’s era setting made it entirely possible. Now, it looks like our wish may be coming true!

A set photographer that has been quite reliable in the past, has spotted Brie Larson on the set of Avengers 4 for filming, all but confirming her appearance in the film. It’s likely that she may end up in some sort of stasis at the end of her solo film, mirroring the journey that Steve Rogers took at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger.

New Comic Books: September 6

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Not exactly an impressive week of books this week, but there were some gems throughout. Captain Phasma gets her first standalone book, and the conclusion to the Ballad of Kite Man takes the cake for book of the week. Justice League’s future-kids story is also getting pretty deep.

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A bit of an underwhelming ending to a short arc that had a lot of potential with Superman vs. Sinestro for what was essentially control of Parallax. The cool thing about this arc is the set-up for future issues of another title, with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps in the near future. It did, however, reveal the things Superman most fears, so we can expect to see a few of them, soon.

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This was heavy, and emotional in all the best ways. The connection these future-children have to their would be parents is so strong, and well thought out. This is some wonderful writing, and the twist that they think Wonder Woman is the villain, in which she may possibly be is interesting. There’s absolutely a lesson to be learned for young Hunter, though. That’s for sure.

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The Ballad of Kite Man has been the most heartbreaking thing I have read in a comic book in a long, long time. His tragic backstory, and making him not only a joke character, but his whole foundation that of being a joke to everyone around him… that’s genius. Gut-wrenching genius. The War of Jokes and Riddles has been an alright arc, but Kite Man has been beautiful in the most tragic of ways.

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This was so much better than it should have been. I already loved Captain Phasma in The Force Awakens, and this explanation as to her escape from Starkiller, and introduction to the incredible BB-9E were great to read. This was a fantastic expansion on a character that I really need to learn more about. Maybe I should pick up that new novel that just came out…

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The Generations line has been a lot of fun, and while I was expected another trip to the past, this trip to the “far-flung future” was a lot more refreshing for young Riri Williams. There were no stakes, just exploration and inspiration, and that kind of thing is needed from time to time.

Happy 100th Birthday to The King, Jack Kirby

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Today marks the 100th birthday of one of the single-most influential people in the history of modern pop culture, Jack Kirby. While often not being given as much credit as he deserves, Kirby pioneered new art styles in the field of comics, and helped create some of the most important characters in all of comic books.

He co-created the Fantastic Four with Stan Lee, the superhero team that saved Marvel from bankruptcy long ago, on top of countless other mainstream Avengers. He created the Inhumans, the New Gods, and a near endless library of who’s who in comics everywhere. Without him, we wouldn’t have the Marvel Cinematic Universe, nor would we likely have the DC Extended Universe, either. Happy 100th Birthday, to the King… Jack Kirby.

New Comic Books: August 9

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It was a pretty week for comics. DC launched a new groundbreaking book, and Marvel continued their streak of great Secret Empire entries. But those weren’t even my pick for the week, as DC’s space cops have finally taken back the crown.

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Yay! After the wonderful throwbacks we’ve been getting for months of Superman stories, we’re finally back to a semblance of status-quo between the relationship of Superman and Lex Luthor. The thought of them teaming up is cool, but the two of them having a fist-fight for the ages is even better. Superman con

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I can already tell this is going to be one of my favorite stories for the next several weeks. The Green Lanterns, fighting a Kirby-esque villain alongside the New Gods with fantastic art to boot. Stories like this are the reason that Green Lantern is my favorite hero, and why I will always say that with the write story, he’s the best character in all of comics. This was awesome.

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Tom King and Mitch Gerads hasve been an all-star team for the last year and a half, and this is no different. The story seems to be out there, but is absolutely engaging and going to be just as interesting as his Vision story last year. It’s been a while since Mister Miracle and Big Barda have been the focal point of their own story, so I can’t wait for more.

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It pains me how good Secret Empire has actually been. I’ve never been a fan of its art, but the story has been wonderful, which is very much not Marvel-like in the case of comic books. This issue was an about-face from its usual brutal fashion, with a bit of hope finally being granted to the heroes of the Marvel Universe. Slowly, the mysterious story of shirtless Steve Rogers is starting to make a bit of sense, as most likely happening within the cosmic cube itself… at least that’s my theory.

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Giving the Flash a new power-set, and further fueling the fire that Barry Allen is his own worst enemy is genius from a story-telling perspective. Barry has been grappling with his personal demons and responsibilities as The Flash for quite some time, and it’s coming to a head in a really slow-burn sort of way, and it’s been a lot of fun to read.

Analog EP20: Lots of Dinosaurs

Josh and Theo are back, sans Bovi, for the Analog Season 2 premiere! We’ve got a new look, and a new intro, and even a bologna sandwich! Covering the latest cool shit that pop culture has to offer!

The Valiant Universe, John Cena, DC Universe news, and a slew of Persona updates kick off the latest season of Analog! Check out the links below to listen, and please Rate & Review us on iTunes!

iTunes: http://apple.co/2nMrX1R
Stitcher: http://bit.ly/analogstitcher

Analog EP19: Justice Yay

It’s the season finale of Analog! Josh, Theo, and Bovi are back to cover Comic-Con! Covering the latest news and views on the coolest pop culture has to offer!

The most kickass news to come out of San Diego Comic-Con! Trailers, news, rumors, and more about the coolest upcoming movies and TV shows! Check out the links below to listen, and please Rate & Review us on iTunes!

Marvel Legacy Reviving Value Stamp Program

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If you’ve read any older Marvel books (not the 90’s ones, the actually good books), then you’ve probably seen the Marvel Value Stamp Program in the letters pages from back in the day. It enticed readers to collect “stamps” that were inserted into the books, inviting them to collect them all.

Now, Marvel Legacy is looking to continue its march into nostalgia greatness by reviving the program. This time, readers won’t have to cut up their beloved books, as the stamps will be placed in inserts in each book, with 53 stamps in total, and a collection album on the way, as well. Hit the jump for the full press release!

Continue reading “Marvel Legacy Reviving Value Stamp Program”

New Comic Books: July 26

NEWCOMICS

It was a wonderful week for comics, as Marvel put out the best issue yet of Secret Empire. Meanwhile, DC continued their trend of having multiple releases each week for me. They’ve mastered their release schedule, and it makes each and every week awesome.

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It’s shocking to me just how good this book gets with each and every issue. As long as you take it with a grain of salt, and assume it’s a standalone story that will most likely not have as deep a repercussions as you think, it’s fantastic. This winding road, full of twists and turns has been great. The fight between Natasha and Castle was great, and her sacrificing herself to spare Miles’ soul was heartbreaking after all she’s done. To cap it off, the moment with Sam Wilson taking on the mantle of Captain America one last time got my heart racing.

 

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This short but sweet story for Wonder Woman has been a great read, filled with gorgeous art, and a nice palette cleanser since Rebirth started. Seeing Wonder Woman deal with smaller, more personal situations was a nice change of pace, and her love for children is something I will never get tired of seeing put on the page.

 

 

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Action Comics finally drifted from its throwback status to give us a pretty great twist, with Zod using the enemies of Superman to his own ends to free his family. Still for nefarious reasons, of course, but it was a good change of pace for the villain. The mystery of Mr. Oz and his infatuation with Jon seems to be getting deeper, and we’ll know more as Doomsday Clock approaches, which I cannot wait for.

FLASH

The most satisfying part of this story, was seeing Iris murder Eobard Thawne in the hopes that he doesn’t show up for a long while. He’s been a recurring villain to the Flash for so long, at this point, that it’s almost felt lazy, and I was glad to see him ripped from existence like that. The entire status quo of The Flash has been changed, with Iris knowing who Barry is, Reverse-Flash being dead, and now an entirely new arc about to begin. I honestly can’t wait.

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The inevitability that was the war between the Green and Yellow Lanterns came to a screeching halt. The thing that pisses me off the most? I didn’t see that John Stewart had a plan, either. Of course he did, though. That’s what he does. Imbuing the yellow rings with a green impurity? That’s such a genius writing move! It’s nostalgic, and such a great obstacle for the Sinestro Corps to overcome. Now, with Soranik going full Sinestro, it’ll be great fun to see her as a legitimate villain and enemy of the Corps.

SHADOW

This book has been so great to me. Two of my favorite characters, crossing over in a story so ridiculous that I can’t help but love it. The moment where Gordon threw back to Knightfall was great, and the dynamic between Shadow and Batman seems to shift with every page, in the most organic ways. My only issue is with Joker’s motivations throughout this, as he seems to be up to something, but I can’t quite put my finger on what.

Captain Marvel Details Revealed

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During their Hall H presentation, Marvel Studios revealed our first details on the upcoming Captain Marvel movie. Samuel L. Jackson is confirmed to return as Nick Fury, but he’ll still have both of his eyes! The reason? The film takes place in the 90’s, and will act as a loose prequel to 2008’s Iron Man.

The other biggest takeaway is that the film’s primary villain will be the Skrulls, marking the iconic alien race’s first live-action appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Avengers: Infinity War D23 Footage Description

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While we can’t honestly expect Marvel to put the D23 Infinity War footage online, as it’s likely to show next weekend at SDCC, as well. Descriptions of the footage have been running rampant, and it seems Marvel is pulling no punches in crafting an awe-inspiring finale to this massive 22-film arc they’ve crafted.

You can hit the jump for a full description of the incredible footage shown for Avengers: Infinity War at D23.

Continue reading “Avengers: Infinity War D23 Footage Description”

Ph LEVEL Review: Spider-Man Homecoming

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After being introduced to Tom Holland’s Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War, there were a lot of high hopes for the boy in his solo outing. His first time suiting up was incredibly memorable, and left a lasting impression on everyone throughout the film, so naturally, Homecoming would follow suit, wouldn’t it?

I can safely say that you won’t be disappointed with Spider-Man: Homecoming. It’s a good movie, with fantastic characters. Hit the jump for my full thoughts.

Continue reading “Ph LEVEL Review: Spider-Man Homecoming”

Is Marvel Bringing Back Their One-Shots?

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Tom Holland, star of Spider-Man: Homecoming, has been a boon of secret-spilling when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I’m sure he has Marvel pulling their hair out, but I’m pretty satisfied with what he’s been saying. According to Holland, Marvel is planning to bring back their acclaimed One-Shot series of short films. While not confirmed, the recent success of the Thor and Daryl shorts indicate a renewed interest for the studio.

I want to do a short. That’s what I want to do. I want to do a 20-minute short with me and [Ant-Man star] Paul Rudd… I think they are planning on doing [one-shot shorts] again. I probably just spoiled a big spoiler. [Marvel Studios president] Kevin Feige’s probably going to be furious.

New Comic Books: June 28

NEWCOMICS

Wow, what a week in comics! A lot of great new releases, and some really out-there stuff hitting shelves. I recently caught up on the DC/Looney Tunes special one-shots, and I honestly cannot recommend them enough. Interesting twists on classic characters, and genuinely thrilling storytelling. Marvel was filled with events, both good, and bad. I chose not to cover Edge of Venom-Verse because…well, it’s bad. So bad.

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My absolute recommendation for the week is the Batman/Elmer Fudd special from DC. Turning Elmer Fudd into a trained killer hunting the Batman over the murder of his beloved Silver St. Cloud? Who would even think of that?! Then going one step further and making Elmer a worthy adversary was wonderful. This is a hell of a book, that I cannot tell you enough times to read.

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Another great issue of Wonder Woman. This issue started off sullen, with Diana upset over the loss of her golden perfect, and Batman and Superman noticing as much during a JL-crisis. After they talk with her, and remind her of the hope she brings, we’re treated to a wonderful moment where the Gods bestow her a new golden perfect. Seeing Diana happy, with such wonderful art is genuinely nice to read.

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Marvel’s only good event happening right now, Secret Empire, has gotten brutal. Hope is becoming slim, and with Hydra attacking the resistance base, it’s only a matter of time before things get even bleaker. Especially with the now-resurrected Bruce Banner being used against them. I’m still so curious to this cloudy Steve & Friends segment we’ve been getting, though. With Red Skull now there, it’s anyone’s guess what’s truly happening.

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This has also gotten brutal, as you can almost see the implosion of the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps coming to pass. Tomar-Tu’s murder is now known to Hal and John, and Soranik knows that Kyle and her had a son in the future. Things are pretty nuts. The anger shown in the moment of Soranik’s realization was an especially fantastic moment, and I look forward to seeing that play out in the coming weeks.

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Truthfully, this book has been going in so many different directions, it’s almost been hard to keep track of. The Shadow seems like an asshole, but he might be coming around? I’m not sure. I know the Joker was written masterfully in this issue, and that moment with Batman and his rogues at the end made it all worth it.

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Finally getting Eobard Thawnes motivations for him treating The Flash the way that he does, and the hell he’s put him through… well, I felt the same way Barry did. That was the motivation? He treated you like one of his many sidekicks, and you’re mad about it? Disappointing reveal aside, this was another brutal read, as Reverse-Flash handed Barry his ass on a plate with that beating. I was legitimately sad for Barry, though, when Eobard revealed his identity to Iris unwillingly.

 

New Comics: June 14

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What a week for comics, this week. Both Marvel and DC brought their A-games with DC being the obvious winner. Not only did they have 4 core title releases, we also got the first issue of the new Batman-focused line-wide DC event. Such an exciting week, and I can’t wait to see where things go from here.

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Recommendation for the week is absolutely 100% Dark Days: The Forge #1. The first issue, acting as a prequel to the upcoming METAL event, this was an exciting book, with a lot of mystery, and some fantastic moments. John Romita Jr’s art is some of the best in the industry, and he was on top of it here. I’m so pumped to see where this has been leading, because this event has been all sorts of mysterious, with all threads leading here.

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Marvel’s big event, Secret Empire, also had a release this week, with our heroes coming face-to-face with each other. Not by choice, but when they’re both overpowered easily by Ultron Pym inside Ultron City, his dominant personality tries to coerce them into stopping the war. The moment where Pym gives Scott Lang the cosmic cube fragment, simply because he’s the only one who sees him as a person was particularly great. The mysterious Steve Rogers in the blue mist just seems to get more mysterious as he was now joined by Bucky Barnes, and Sam Wilson. An interesting twist, that should be fun to see play out. I hope.

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Hal Jordan and the Green Lanterns also saw a mystery start to unfold, though we know the answers to this one. Apparently it’s knowledge that Tomar-Tu murdered his fellow Yellow Lantern several issues ago, and now the Greens are paying the price for it. After the last arc was so severely short, I’m excited to this one play out in a bit more interesting fashion, though I expect the Kyle Rayner/Soranik narrative to play out in tragic fashion.

FLASH

The Flash continues to be such a personal, fast-moving tale, with the artwork and the thoughts inside Barry’s head doing so well to truly dig into our heads just how it feels to be a Flash. I had forgotten that Thawne remembers everything from before Flashpoint, so his interactions with Iris should be insane in the next issue. I wonder how she’ll take that knowledge? Especially with Barry bound to reveal his identity soon.

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The conclusion to Godwatch is a somber tale, with Diana fruitlessly attempting to bring Barbara Ann back from the brink. It’s satisfying to see Doctor Cale’s world implode around her. I feel sorry for her, after all she did to try to bring her daughter back, only for it to fail. But she should take comfort knowing that her daughter is not only safe, but in paradise. And she did that. But instead she’s selfish, and only cares about her daughter for her own reasons. A somber conclusion to a deep story. Now we begin with a new writer and artist.

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Basically every Superman book right now is a beautiful throwback to the 90’s with every villain just being a knock-off of Superman in some way or another. That’s not a bad thing. It’s been great fun reading these, and seeing all these characters again, with Superman being an easy standout among the Rebirth crowd.