Pondering Guardians of Infinity and The Handling of The Collections

In surprise library finds, I saw Guardians of Infinity on the shelf and since I wanted to read it, I grabbed it. Then I saw another collection of Guardians of the Galaxy called, Tales of the Cosmos. I wondered what it was and noticed they were back-up stories from Guardians of Infinity. Now this was strange to me as I wondered why they weren’t collected together as one book. Since they were both there I decided to grab them both. Now this piece will be part review at points and a brain dump too. Consider this casual blog time. Enjoy my ramblings as it seems at times on That’s the Issue people enjoy it. Nothing fancy, nothing pretty, let’s get into it and see where it goes. Stay awhile and listen as I blog away on this bit of random.

Sometimes when you run your own site you remember that it is your site, you’re allowed random Guardians of Infinity ramblings.

Guardians of Infinity Marvel Comics Cover

Hilarious admission, I had no idea Guardians of Infinity even got a collection let alone two of them. I can see why it got collected as it is Guardians of the Galaxy related. Heck, Guardians of Infinity is Dan Abnett’s Guardians 3000 with Guardians of the Galaxy characters mixed in. The Tales of the Cosmos are off hours Guardians stories with a new Space Knights team introduced. Now the simple question, was this worth being collected in two trades? Now that’s a good question, yes indeed it is but let us dive into the books themselves first.

Or the Space Knights team might just be new to me as I am behind on some aspects of Guardians of the Galaxy.

The whole story of Guardians of Infinity is you have three different Guardians groups from different periods. Of course the story kicks off with the main Galaxy group of Rocket Raccoon, Groot, and Drax finding this huge mysterious ship. As they enter the ship that’s when they run into the Guardians 3000 with Major Victory, Charlie 27, Martinex, and Nikki Gold. Then after the usual misunderstanding they realize they need to team up. After more shenanigans with time traveling villains and whatnot, we get the Guardians 1000. Why? It’s time travel and all that fun stuff, roll with it.

My goodness if I had to try to do a formal review of Guardians of Infinity it would boil down to, yeah that’s alright. That’s it.

Yeah that’s alright fits Guardians of Infinity and that’s not a dig either. You get some fun interactions with characters, a neat villain, interesting ideas, and that’s it. Dan Abnett wrote a solid story weaving together three different teams, that’s impressive. When you look at the art, Carlo Barberi’s work is solid to wonderful, nothing wrong about that. Walden Wong with Craig Yeung on #4 did good work inking Barberi’s art. Israel Silva’s colors are bright and beautiful and that lends itself to this story. Then Cory Petit from my Punisher bit does poppy, bold, and exciting lettering. All in all, kudos all around art wise.

I guess if I had to say anything with the main Guardians of Infinity series is this, it’s worth reading. If you are curious, it’s not bad and you’ll find some fun in it. It’s why I wish that Tales of the Cosmos would have been in here, this would have had more meat to it. Mostly because the back-up stories that are collected in Tales are a bit of a mixed bag. None of them are bad, I know some Goodreads reviews were rough on them but to me none of them were bad. I’ve read my share of bad comics in my day and this, nah these weren’t bad at all.

Guardians of Infinity Team Shot

This is where we talk about the back-up stories in this Guardians of Infinity adventure.

Guardians of Infinity Tales of the Cosmos Book

I won’t cover all of the back-up stories but I will focus on one particular stand out. One that got a lot of attention in Wrestling Internet circles is Ben Grimm and Rocket Raccoon’s story written by Jason Latour. Outside of the fact that Jim Cheung to draws the story but that it is a lot of fun. It doesn’t hurt that Latour does a homage to the Dusty Rhodes ‘Hard Times’ promo. Latour’s story is about when Ben Grimm wrestled in Unlimited Class Wrestling and finds an alien society that’s hooked on it. It’s a clever story and plays out in a way that you don’t expect. Definitely worth reading.

The rest of them that deserve some attention are a cool riff on Aliens, called ‘The Ripley’ by Jen & Sylvia Soska. There’s also a cute story that by Darryl “DMC” McDaniels Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez called ‘Guardians of the Lower East Side’ that’s cool too. There’s some good stories to be had in Tales of the Cosmos. Yet I still wish they were collected in one book. I get why they went the route they did but it would be nice to have it collected together. Since they aren’t in one book, I feel like some cool stories will get lost in the shuffle and that’s a shame.

Guardians of Infinity Hard Times The Thing

Why I have a tough time saying go buy the Guardians of Infinity collections and why I steer you into grabbing it from your local library.

That’s why I write this, I wish Guardians of Infinity wouldn’t have been cut into two collections. Just put the whole thing in one giant book and be done with it. I get that Marvel wants to have more than one book on the shelf for anything Guardians of the Galaxy, I get it. As I said, I just want people to read some cool stories and not let them get lost to time. I would have enjoyed Marvel putting the back-up stories after the main one if they didn’t want to interrupt story flow. I get what Marvel wanted to do though and I don’t fault them for it. Just wish they didn’t feel they had to do it, but I’m not the head of a major publishing operation.

Note: I’m not saying it was stupid to have two different collections but as I said, I’m not the head of a major publishing operation.

Both collections of Guardians of Infinity are worth reading for sure. None of them are a bad read either way and I can easily say you won’t be bored. I do seriously steer you towards grabbing them from your local library first. If you dig them then I say buy them and enjoy the experience. If you enjoyed this oddball rambling, review, blog experience feel free and fire me a line. Thanks for reading and joining me on this adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

The Punisher #218: Frank Castle with War Machine Armor, Oh Yeah

With The Punisher’s entry into Marvel Legacy the hook is Frank Castle now has War Machine armor. After seeing the preview covers, we get to see how The Punisher gets the armor. Now the responses to this have either been excitement or extreme unhappiness. It’s The Punisher and opinions about him are all over the map. Frank Castle is a polarizing figure at the best of times. Every writer has a different take on him with mixed to critically acclaimed results. There’s no ambiguity about Frank Castle, he is who he is and he believes what he believes. Now we all get to find out what direction this series goes in with a new creative team. Let’s see how this goes down as I dive into The Punisher #218.

Weirdly enough I had a feeling I’d want to say something on The Punisher as I saw him in the armor. The concept fascinates me.

The Punisher #218 Marvel Legacy Comics

I appreciate how Matthew Rosenberg started off the issue. It blurs the lines between a serious Frank Castle and a more humorous take on the character. Rosenberg is going for a Frank that conveys every aspect of The Punisher in one way or the other. He picks a bit of each column in the life of Frank Castle and goes from there. You get your over the top mega violence mixed in with Nick Fury explaining why Frank is the way he is to the reader. Balance with this character is not easy to find at all and this issue tries hard to find it and it succeeds. I admittedly have some Punisher blind spots but this I feel strikes a nice balance tone wise.

I also want to mention this as we go further into The Punisher #218, it is totally new reader friendly. Jump right on in and you will be fine.

There’s not much I don’t like here and because of the fact that it is fun. Rosenberg slows it down just enough to set up War Machine and then back to the business at hand. What’s cool is Rosenberg is making a point to say, this is Frank in the War Machine armor, but he’s not War Machine. The back matter that Rosenberg writes makes it clear that Frank is wearing the armor, but War Machine will always be James Rhodes. I will be curious what this story will end up leading to as Frank is now at another level wearing the War Machine armor. Whatever happens though, the stakes are higher than ever and Rosenberg is showing that it’s going to get crazier from here.

We’re going to get look at more of the story of Punisher #218 we get into the art as there are a lot of cool moments here.

The Punisher #218 Marvel Legacy Nick Fury and Frank Castle

Special note: I really would love to try this egg drop soup as I am a fan of a good egg drop soup.

There’s one piece in particular that I want to focus on for starters, the Nick Fury and Frank Castle chat. Guiu Vilanova captured Rosenberg’s words beautifully with the Fury and Castle chat. Every second of that conversation flowed well and felt as dynamic as any action scene. I particularly love the expressions on Fury’s face as it makes sense that he would be more expressive than Castle. Then as the camera so to speak was moving around making the place seem less static and adding energy to the chat. It also helps that Lee Loughridge’s coloring illuminated the piece, the shadows and light gave it such a cool atmosphere. An enlightening chat with excellent execution.

As for the rest of the stuff, this comic looks good without a doubt. As noted from the Fury and Castle chat, the action scenes give another of detail to the wonderful glory that is Frank Castle. Rosenberg’s script shows that in action, that is when The Punisher comes to life. Vilanova’s art captures the action here in brutal and gleeful detail. Especially in the expressions, the only time to really see Frank smile is when he’s in his element, which is when he’s in the midst of battle. It’s interesting to me how that’s handled. Now I also want to mention Cory Petit’s lettering as it really works for this script. The big and loud letters work to the explosive art and colors here. Beautiful work all around.

The Punisher #218 Marvel Legacy Box Smash

If you’re in the midst of binge watching The Punisher on Netflix, I highly recommend grabbing #218 as part of your adventure.

Now this is only the start of what Rosenberg and his team has in store for The Punisher. We know why Frank has the War Machine armor and what he’s going to be up to with it, now we see what happens from here. This issue was a lot of fun but I get the feeling the stakes are going to get higher from here. I like what I see and I can’t wait for what happens next. Good work all around from this new team. I am excited for what’s to come with this series.

 

 

 

 

Wes Reads Extreme: Bloodpool #1: Surprise Youngblood Spinoff!

In yet another comic from my collection I have never read, welcome to the Youngblood spinoff Bloodpool #1. All I initially knew of this comic was it was where Pat Lee got his start as a penciler and as a colorist too. Yes, that Pat Lee of Dreamwave Productions fame and the entire history that comes with it. I had no idea until reading it that this was a spinoff of Youngblood. Heck, I had no idea who the writer even was! Talk about your blind readthrough. Yet as I read it I found myself pleasantly surprised and also not entirely shocked as to what I got myself into. You’ll see what I mean as you read this piece. Let’s dive into this deep cut of the 90’s with Bloodpool #1. This is either going to be a magical experience or just a weird one, your mileage may vary.

Note the “your mileage may vary” bit at the start. It’s Youngblood related so already Bloodpool fits that phrase.

Bloodpool #1 Youngblood Pat Lee Extreme Studios

Weirdly enough I grew up in the 90’s but my experience with Extreme Studios is minimal at best. At the time of the rise of these studios and the 90’s comic boom and then bust, I was almost out of comics. Bloodpool was a series that slipped past me entirely, along with most of the Extreme Studios output. Bloodpool came out in August of 1995 so it is knee deep in 90’s land with all it entails. It focuses around the Youngblood training program to set up the next members of the team, until it all ends suddenly. Simple version, an event called Extreme Sacrifice happened and changed the entire framework of the program. Now you have all these young heroes set loose on the world and that’s the general idea of the story.

Now as for characters and how the story is given to us, that’s a different case entirely. Jo Duffy had a tall order back then to make this work and in some cases, it kind of does.  Now before you all go crazy here, I’m not saying it is perfect by any means. Gosh, not even the best thing I’ve read but I can own up to being entertained by it at certain points. Main reason why I had fun with it, Bloodpool doesn’t take itself that seriously. Duffy made me laugh a couple times as much as the actual structure of the story was weird, at least it was amusing.  I give props to someone making a seemingly strange crossover story work as well at does here.

Bloodpool #1 Liefeld Cover Youngblood Image Extreme

Yes this is the Rob Liefeld alternate cover. This is part of the Youngblood Universe so he did create this as part of the larger franchise. So here you go, Liefeld cover.

The dialogue in this is probably the saving grace of Bloodpool. As once it gets into Youngblood minutia it gets bogged down fast.

There’s not even a focal point character to focus your attention on. That camera floats around every which way as this was Pat Lee’s first story so the storytelling gets messy at times. Part of me wishes I could find critical thoughts on this from way back when. If my 2017 mind is having trouble figuring it out, I can only imagine what people at the time thought. Outside of Rubble, I could barely figure out any names of the characters until I went on Wikipedia. Oh yes there are names but they sure don’t stick with you that’s for sure. It’s a weird script to say the least.

I felt like Duffy had to shove in a ton of plot points and still try and make a new team have some impact. There’s also the possibility that it was the 90’s and sometimes certain 90’s books have a way of trying to tell too much at once. Bloodpool doesn’t have any cohesive feel to it until they leave the base, then it makes a little more sense. Of course as I learned from the back matter, Jo Duffy was writing Glory at the time which means there are Glory plot points too. I respect a cohesive universe but I am impressed to a degree that Duffy was able to get that much into one issue. There’s a level of respect to be had for that.

Bloodpool #1 Pat Lee Rubble Image Comics Extreme Youngblood

Even for the Youngblood Universe, Bloodpool is a little crazy. It’s kind of stupid, makes little sense, yet it’s fun in a weird way.

Now I know at least a few people reading this are salivating at what I’ll say about Pat Lee’s art here. There’s a level of nostalgia for me as one comic I liked at one point was Dark Minds. Pat Lee’s art had that anime aesthetic and it was my absolute jam at one point. Of course as this is early Pat Lee, it’s a different ball game. The characters that look best are Rubble, Shaft at times, and then the anatomy goes all over the place from there. No one is safe in the wonky anatomy adventures as male or female, the bodies are tilting this way and that at many points. I mean I know I’m being snarky to a point at an artist with his first gig, but it is Pat Lee so I don’t feel that bad.

Special note: If you’re not familiar with the history of Pat Lee and how he handled Dreamwave Productions, oh you’re in for one treat of a Google search.

Yes you all get to learn that I was once a big Pat Lee fan, which is part of why I wanted to read this in the first place. One compliment I will give, the coloring looked good so that’s a plus. Sheer curiosity though lead me to check out a comic I would not have looked twice at. Jo Duffy had some good dialogue but the story made little sense. Crazy part is that there’s four issues and a special out there for Bloodpool. Will I read more? Maybe if I find the rest of the series for cheap. Unless some lunatic wants to donate me issues of Bloodpool they have laying around.

Bloodpool #4 Pat Lee Image Comics Extreme Youngblood

Note: yes I know this is from #4 but I kind of wanted to give you all an extra idea of some of the oddball anatomy here. It’s a weird ride my friends.

I will totally take donations of Bloodpool though if anyone really wants to get rid of some random mid 90’s comics.

I mean the story ends pretty well as the team is now out on their own and doing their thing. Not sure how this will go from here but if the comic had even a tiny bit more of a connection I’d likely be curious for more. It’s insane and makes little sense at points but it can be funny so maybe there could be more down the line for me. There’s even a trade paperback out there for it that’s out of print. I guess Extreme Studios/Image Comics had big plans for Bloodpool at one point, who knew right? I sure didn’t until I read this.

Now do I recommend you all go hunt Bloodpool down? Nah, but hey if you are morbidly curious you will find it for cheap in any back issue bin across the land. This is another adventure into my comic collection and weird comics that I somehow haven’t read. Thanks for reading and hopefully enjoying this strange adventure. Take care and remember, yes the 90’s had a lot of comics with blood in the title. So many comics with blood in the title. Have a good one.

If you are seriously curious about owning Bloodpool for yourself I am an affiliate of mycomicshop.com so you can find it here.

 

 

Clickbait Comic Adventures: DC Movies vs. Marvel Movies? No One Cares

With any month that has a Marvel movie hit at the same time as a DC one, the clickbait flows freely. Most websites have a listicle (list article), hot take, or whatever the case may be with DC vs. Marvel movies. I went on a slight rant about clickbait on my twitter and feel I have more to say on this. Heck I even say clickbait in the title so you know my snark level is on overdrive here. Now I love genuine conversation and people saying what they like or don’t like, that’s fine. What I am diving into here is the culture of fighting over which one is better. It’s why the DC vs. Marvel clickbait is so popular, people get something to argue about. Sit back, yell at me in the comments as I talk about my thoughts on this. It’s going to be fun.

Did I mention I have Clickbait in the Title? I am not even messing around on this one. This has annoyed me for a long time.

Justice League DC Comics Clickbait

I’d like to begin with this, most people don’t care about your Marvel vs. DC hot take on most anything. If the movies are good, that’s all people care about. On my own end, I enjoy both Marvel and DC films and have had my share of issues with both of these universes. Yet my goodness gracious some people take the Marvel vs. DC battle to new levels. I feel like I’m walking into a social media death battle over movies. Go on any social media, see Marvel vs. DC clickbait, then see twitter, facebook, and more become a battleground of annoying conversation. To me, it becomes irritating.

To find any sort of genuine conversation you have to hunt and peck through the whole ordeal. Even then, it’s drowned out by people making more hot takes with even more clickbait articles. Which then becomes hilarious because to defend the clickbait people write more articles. Before you know it, everyone has something written on their site with a similar form of clickbait. They drive traffic and create that elusive thing called engagement in their site of choice. Then the people who get involved spread their gospel of what they believe and cycle begins anew.

Maybe this bit on Clickbait isn’t as much article as a long building rant that I’ve been waiting to unleash for ages. Works either way.

I can already see people saying it’s not all websites that participate in clickbait article wonderland, I know this. I know plenty of sites who keep out of that clickbait wonderland and for that I am thankful. In turn I want to add, if you have a genuine point to your love of a company, write that piece. For the love of everything though, don’t be a jerk. With every article that has passion to it and a desire to explain why they like what they like, there’s another that veers in the direction of being a jerk to people. I get tired of the same hot takes left and right, really I just want something new.

Right now I am already starting to see the hints of the clickbait culture rearing its ugly head and it’ll be a thing in the weeks to come. If Justice League does really well, you’ll see why the DCEU is successful articles all over the place and vice versa if it doesn’t blow up the box office. Of course we all know Justice League is going to do well, just a matter of seeing how well it does. Thor: Ragnarok has done great business so far and then you’ll see “Why Justice League beat Thor: Ragnarok at the Box Office.” articles when Justice League hits. You can use this formula for any DC vs. Marvel movie article. It’s all the same.

Thor Ragnarok Marvel Studios Clickbait

Now I’m going to dive into why this article may end up being a strangely evergreen article on clickbait. At least it could be.

I want people to think about this as they go on. People get into the clickbait culture of articles, videos, and so on, and it all serves to power the voices on both sides. If you like the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the DC Extended Universe, that’s fine, don’t be a jerk and same goes for the DCEU fans too. It’s all about the attention and positive or negative, you just got attention. Heck people will call this clickbait too and again, it’s why clickbait is in the title. It covers the culture but also the whole social media juggernaut that forms around clickbait on both sides.

When people in the Marvel vs. DC movie war conversations learn to chill rather than say “You disagree with me so you need to die!” maybe I’ll be less annoyed. Maybe then I’ll care less about the clickbait articles and videos and the endless hot takes on said content. Write what you like and say what you want but just know that nine times out of ten, no one cares. Sure you’ll get that audience and that attention you so crave but it’ll only be for so long and then no one will care. Just do your part and prevent this from happening with every Marvel and DC movie cycle. Quite honestly, it’s getting old and fast.

Once your brain goes into rambling mode, you know it is a good time to stop your clickbait piece.

Anyway, what do you all have to say about this subject? I hope it makes sense and I hope it comes off the way I intended. All I really want is some cool content and that will make me a happy human. Feel free to leave me a comment here or wherever you end up reading this. Take care everyone and don’t be a jerk.

Wes Reads: Adventures in the DC Universe #7: Hello Shazam Family!

Adventures in the DC Universe #7 is the perfect way to revive the Wes Reads series. Wes Reads is part random comic book reading and part whatever the heck I want it to be. I’d never read it before today but since Zachary Levi was cast as Captain Marvel/Shazam, the timing is great. If you’re not familiar with it, Adventures in the DC Universe was a series that was around from April of 1997 to October 1998.  In the 19 issues it was around it took characters from the DCU and adapted them into the DC animated style. This is before Justice League Unlimited happened so at this point, this was a taste of what was to come. Join me on my Wes Reads adventures with Adventures in the DC Universe #7. Let’s see how this pre-animated Shazam holds up to the rigors of time.

I’m also a sucker for Captain Marvel/Shazam stories anyway so this was a treat to find this in my collection.

(I also say that this story held up fairly well to the rigors of time.)

Adventures in the DC Universe #7 Shazam DC Comics

Here’s the thing, I’m not that familiar with this series. It was around the time when I was just getting back into comics. I’ve not read any of the other issues but this one for starters is self contained so you can get everything you need to know in one issue. The story is Captain Marvel/Shazam fighting against Black Adam and through shenanigans by Dr. Sivana, our hero gets knocked out of commission. Though as we lead up to this we get to see Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr. in the process. It’s a solid tale and I want to deep dive a bit more as to why.

For one if you’re someone so new to Captain Marvel/Shazam, this works as an introduction. Steve Vance writes this as not just a superhero fight between the Marvel Family and Black Adam but explains origins and how the powers work. I’m sincerely impressed as to how well Vance writes this and doesn’t make it seem like an info dump. It’s fast, fun, and perfect to introduce a child to the world of Captain Marvel/Shazam. It’s even got a cute ending after it all ends with a nice Lois Lane and Clark Kent cameo.

Captain Marvel Shazam Family DC Comics

I’m not revealing that much as the story is pretty self explanatory. Marvel Family beats Black Adam and Dr. Sivana, The End.

(Dr. Sivana’s way of handling Captain Marvel/Shazam though is clever. Using Billy Batson’s recorded voice from the radio to say “Shazam!” is a cool idea. I like it.)

Clark Kent Lois Lane Cameo Shazam

The writer of this issue andfrom what I can tell series is Steve Vance and I’m actually not that familiar with him. Same with the art team on this, John Delaney on pencils, Ron Boyd on Inks, Tim Harkins on letters, and Bob LeRose on Colors. Vance’s story is fun and I’m actually going to make a point to read more of his stuff in the future. The art team does excellent work on this, it’s bright, engaging, and above all capital F on the fun. Heck any story that can handle a ton of origins and still make a compelling issue scores points with me. It’s definitely worthwhile reading.

On the page I have linked with John Delaney, it’s older but it has a lot of fun facts about this series so check it out. I really had no idea as to how this series even fit in until today. I may have more in my collection so if I find more you may see more issues of this pop up here. They’re fun to read and easy to dive right into so I’m down to write more on this. Engaging art, fun stories, and neat takes on DC characters, sign me up for more of this short lived series.

Yeah, I had fun. I had a lot of fun with this take on Captain Marvel/Shazam. I heard there is another issue with him in it so I am game for it.

Hopefully you all enjoyed this adventure into my collection. Goes to show you even I have no idea the depths as to what I have hanging out there. This will likely be the future of the Wes Reads columns here so I say, enjoy the ride. Thanks for reading and I hope you all are having a good one out there. Take care everyone.

(Note as I was typing this I saw the casting of Billy Batson for the upcoming Shazam film, so this is awesome! I can’t wait to see this movie.)

Captain America #695: Getting Back to Basics in Marvel Legacy

How do you go forward with Captain America in the aftermath of Secret Empire? Well Marvel did it in the best way they could and for the most part it worked. Not saying as much about the event itself, that’s a story for another day, but it did work. Now we get to see Steve Rogers as Captain America re-establishing himself once more. Our Steve Rogers took out Hydra Cap and now he is taking it to the road. Mark Waid was the man who revitalized Captain America back in the 90’s and once more for Heroes Return, now he is back at it again for Legacy. Even going as far as to get Chris Samnee who is perfect for creating that old school vibe. Will lightning strike three times? Let’s find out on this wonderful little journey as I dive into Captain America #695.

It’s Bold, it’s Bright, it’s Colorful, and it’s excitement personified in Captain America #695.

Captain America #695 Cover Marvel Comics

Let’s begin our little adventure here simply, this is good. Captain America #695 is a good comic. I did not envy Mark Waid and Chris Samnee coming onto this series but my goodness were they up to the task at hand. You can see the name of the game was take Captain America back to basics and it works. It’s optimistic in the midst of everything that happened and is going on and you can’t help but smile at Captain America punching Nazis. Okay they’re a group called Rampart and they don’t openly say Nazis but dude, they’re Nazis, Captain America is punching Nazis, that’s awesome. You can’t help but dig that scene.

What’s also cool is the surroundings of the story, Captain America, Nebraska. They have a massive festival every year and you get a glimpse into how many people like the guy. You get classic Captain America fighting the bad guys, showing how good a person he is, and also showing that as Steve Rogers, he’s just a normal guy figuring things out. At his core Steve as Captain America is a hero of the people, so Waid emphasizes that a lot in this story which is wonderful. Waid reminds us that Captain America is someone that can rally the people at his core and that’s what Waid does in this first issue. It all clicks but what about the art? Oh the art deserves a focus of its own.

Captain America #695 Action Sequence

Chris Samnee and the art team on Captain America #695 went above and beyond the call of duty for this one.

Chris Samnee’s art is fluid, fast, crisp, and gorgeously clean. It’s the perfect fit for what Waid is up to with this story. Waid’s story reflects every bit of Captain America you could imagine and in turn Samnee’s art reflects it, heroic Cap, immensely likable Steve Rogers, and inspirational Cap, a lot of these pages could be posters as they are that iconic. It’s also nice to see Steve Rogers being the most Steve Rogers he can be. When he’s a little overwhelmed by a whole day dedicated to him, you can see in the art just how he feels. Samnee draws such a classic Cap that you can’t help but smile ear to ear. Waid hit the artist jackpot with Chris Samnee. Yet another feature for this comic is the coloring, my goodness gracious the coloring.

Matthew Wilson’s colors on this story are eye popping beauty. Outside of any scenes with fire or say intense action, these colors pop off the page. For everyone who’s been wanting a story where everything is clicking on all cylinders, congratulations this is it. The optimism within this comic is unreal. You get bright colors, exciting art, and Joe Caramagna’s letters have an old school, pop off the page energy to them as well. Truthfully, I think I’m as surprised as anyone as to how much this all came together so swimmingly. Great art all around to match Waid’s script the oozes with joy and a genuine love for our humble hero.

Happiness and Optimism rule the day in Captain America #695 and that my friends is a good thing.

Simply put, go buy this comic. If you’re a lapsed fan and want to give our hero another shot, this is it. Waid, Samnee and the rest of the team bring life back to this character and a sense of fun long missed in this series. Try it and see what you think, it may take time for some but for me, I’m a happy camper right now.

Cable #150: Marvel Legacy’s Nod to The 90’s with Newer Mutants

Take note of my title for Cable #150 here, the nod to the 90’s is not meant as an insult at all. As I was reading this one I was pondering how to explain my thoughts on this issue and 90’s aesthetic fits here. It’s a brand new creative team for Marvel Legacy and I haven’t read anything of the new Cable series yet. In this situation I am the perfect reader for this as I have no connection to this series. I like Ed Brisson’s writing and Jon Malin‘s art but outside of that I have no real expectations. I’ve been on a touch of an X-Men kick lately and I have plans for Mojo Worldwide later on here. Time to take an adventure into the world of Cable and see if this Marvel Legacy ride is rewarding for me. Let us venture onwards and begin this amazing journey.

I will admit this though with the character, I do have a fondness for Cable so I’ll own that at least.

Cable #150 Marvel Legacy

Now this is where I get to explain the title of this piece more. One thing I noticed with Ed Brisson’s writing is he’s channeling 90’s Cable hard, this is good. He’s using 90’s Cable influence and using it to his full advantage. I think it’s also in Jon Malin’s art as Malin’s style has a flair for 90’s action packed goodness. Malin has a dynamic, stylized, and overall fun art style that fits Cable like a glove. Considering how the issue goes down it makes sense that Malin is on this series. The title of the storyline is “The Newer Mutants” and part of this issue is Cable getting a team together. Now it involves a concept not used in a while, The Externals. Another 90’s concept, at least that I remember, and it fits well here.

Now as for the team I mentioned earlier, so far it’s Doop, Shatterstar, and Longshot, and I call those great choices for this team. It seems like there is more to come from the cover but I like how each character plays into this. If you are wondering how this reads for someone who’s out of the Cable loop, it’s better than you’d think. Ed Brisson got a blank slate to work with since the story takes place thirteen years ago. There is a good enough of an explanation here but I really wish I knew more as to why Cable is hopping about through time. Brisson mentions time anomalies but I’m not given much else to work with. It’s still fun but yeah, I wish I understood more of the actual story here.

Cable has a weird flow to it as even I missed in my initial read through the 13 years ago at the start of the comic.

Yes Cable #150 is fun, yet there are issues, a lot of issues as to how the story flows. Yet I do like Doop the Street Phoenix and Doop in a cool car is pretty nifty. Malin’s work with Doop’s expressions and also action scenes are top notch, I do like those a lot. Especially the final pages that really let Malin cut loose, say this for Brisson, he crafts a solid action comic. Jesus Aburtov’s coloring looks great though and really does let Malin’s artwork shine and it pops off the page well. It’s a story that’s fun and has a lot going for it but the construction is a little strange. Welcome to life with Cable #150 my friends, fun but a little messy.

Yeah I can say this easily with Cable #150, it’s messy but it is at least fun.

Not everyone is going to groove on Cable #150 but I think I’m willing to give this another issue to see how it goes. I can easily say I had fun and I like the ending so it has potential, I’m game for another issue. I would say, try it and see what you think. Your mileage may vary with this one. Give it a shot and see how it goes over with you. As for me, I’ll check back in with this next issue and see if the fun outweighs the messy. Hopefully things balance out for this series and we’ll see what happens in the months to come.

I’m adding another special note here, I am still wary as I think on this more. Yet I had fun so, we shall see what next month holds.

GWL Reborn 9/26/17: That’s The Issue #17: Talking Maxwell’s Demons with Deniz Camp

This episode of That’s the Issue is one of my favorites. No over exaggeration at all, this episode is a good one. Possibly the best one Matt and I have done. It shows in the episode that we had a great time recording with Deniz Camp of the upcoming Maxwell’s Demons from Vault Comics coming your way October 11th. If you haven’t heard any of our episodes yet I’m going to recommend this one. Matt and I enjoyed Maxwell’s Demons and Deniz Camp is just a cool dude to talk with. I know it seems like I am putting the hard sell on the episode, but really it is a good one. Yes my friends this is the hyper hype parade intro but this episode earns it. Enough with the introductions and all that, on with the show! Here is That’s the Issue Episode 17!

Maxwell's Demons That's the Issue

Maxwell’s Demons is fun, this episode of That’s the Issue is fun, and I cannot help but be excited to post this. Check it out!

I remember after recording this episode Matt and I saying, “Wow, that turned out really well!” and yes we said this in front of Deniz and he agreed. I fully admit to blushing and then thinking, “Dang, that really was a solid episode, bravo!” and it makes me happy as to how well it turned out. I think this is on a similar level to the great episode where our filters died that we can’t wait for feedback on. Definitely feel free to let us know your thoughts on this 0ne. It was a focused episode, it was a good interview, and we had a blast talking Maxwell’s Demons and comics in general with Deniz. Yeah this continues the trend of Matt and I recording some amazing episodes, man the filter death episode really did help us. Thank you filter death.

I highly recommend you all check out the preview for Maxwell’s Demons off of io9 and if you like it, tell your local comic store to get it for you. I get feeling anyone who gives Maxwell’s Demons a shot will enjoy the living heck out of it. At least I think so. Go forth and enjoy the episode, enjoy the preview, and then go get your local store to order it. That is your mission. A mission that will give you immense enjoyment.

Wow I really I am pushing this episode hard but yeah I really like talking about it. Man, this That’s the Issue was a blast to record.

If you’re wondering where you can find us, well that’s easy to do by golly. You can find us on iTunes, Podbean, Soundcloud, and even on Stitcher! If you’re on iTunes subscribe, leave us a review and give us a rating as it does help us out a lot. Feel free to fire us a line on our e-mail on thatstheissue@gmail.com, message us on the That’s the Issue twitter and even on our personal handles @MattLune and @GeekWhoLanded. You can also follow our guest Deniz Camp on his twitter @MDesaad. Thanks for listening and thanks for checking out this post here. Till next episode, bye for now!

 

By Request: Thoughts on Batman: The Dark Knight III: Master Race

My podcast partner in crime Matt Lune asked me to write a thing on Batman: The Dark Knight: Master Race, so here you go buddy. You could also call this DK3 as it is the third one in the Frank Miller Dark Knight saga. To say I was less than optimistic about this was an understatement. Batman: The Dark Knight is a solid read while Batman: The Dark Knight Returns/DK2 is downright strange. Trying to explain DK2 to people is tough as nails as that sucker goes all over the map story wise. That’s not to say anything about Frank Miller’s writing and art too on DK2. Then you get into Lynn Varley’s coloring and it’s a mixed bag of tricks. It’s a strange story so that is what I had to work off of for DK3. Enough with the intro, let’s get this started. On with the show!

Batman: Dark Knight III Master Race Feature Image

Matt, pal, buddy, while this was better than I ever imagined trying to put this whole Batman saga into any coherent structure is a trip.

Batman: Dark Knight III Iron Suit

Put it this way, I’m not going for a formal review structure here. As I was reading it mainly for my own curiosity. I thought this whole thing was going to be bonkers sauce times infinity. After DK2 I was expecting insanity fuel from on high. What I got was entirely different from what I was expecting. Batman: The Dark Knight: Master Race feels more like a sequel to Dark Knight than DK2 did. Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello together created a strong read that has its moments of pure insanity yet it all works in the favor of the story. I’m also not going to spoil it, I could but I won’t. This really does need to be experienced at least once, like I said it isn’t a bad read at all. I am as surprised as anyone else.

The simple version of this story is straight up it’s Carrie Kelly taking over for a supposedly dead Bruce Wayne as mentioned in the story. Not a big spoiler to say that yes Old Man Bruce is in play yet what a turn it all takes within the tale. I also dig that it uses the expanded DCU to a more coherent effect here. You get Atom, Flash, Superman, Aquaman and Wonder Woman all used and to good effect too. As for the ultimate villain, freaking Kryptonians from the Bottle City of Kandor. Then you add in the wild card of Superman and Wonder Woman’s daughter Lara and you get a lot of fun players. You even get Commissioner Yindel making a return in here, in which I love that Andy Kubert kept that heavy Miller influence to her design, I like that.

Wow this going way more positively than I ever imagine, but I did like it. I really did.

Batman: Dark Knight III Car Smash

There’s a lot of wild moments in here. I do say Azzarello balances out Miller, which is weird but it works. If this was Miller unfiltered I wonder what this would have been like. The major Miller factor in this is he does a lot of the art for the mini comics in the book. Eduardo Risso does the art for a full Wonder Woman story and John Romita Jr. does the breakdowns for a Green Lantern story that Frank Miller does finishes for. Overall though, the art for the mini comics is mostly Miller and overall it’s not bad. It’s miles ahead of his work on DK2. The main pencils for the story itself by Andy Kubert is amazing throughout, with Klaus Janson doing some excellent inking for it. This is where the art geek out begins.

Special note: The Eduardo Risso story was a lot of fun too, I really liked his take on the Wonder Woman vs. Lara fight. Very cool.

With the Frank Miller bits, sometimes it is a little wonky similar to DK2 at times but it is way better. Good inking and coloring go a long way in his portion of the story. Even in the pieces that Frank Miller does all the art himself it doesn’t look too bad, Alex Sinclair does a lot of the coloring here and Klaus inks Miller on some of the stories and it looks good. Andy Kubert’s art is amazing throughout and Brad Anderson’s coloring, oh my goodness it is gorgeous. Kubert captures the splashy powerful nature of Azzarello and Miller’s script and takes it up a few thousand notches. If anything else, even when the story gets a bit bonkers you will have a good time. Yeah, this is a lot of fun all around.

Yes, Batman: The Dark Knight: Master Race is bonkers at times but it embraces it. I can dig that.

I am as surprised as anyone else to say that Batman: The Dark Knight: Master Race was a lot of fun. As I said going into it, I was expecting to dislike it but by the end I really enjoyed myself a lot. Sometimes all you need is simply a book to have a freaking good time with and this book was it. If you’re looking for a book that feels much more like a true sequel to Dark Knight Returns, this is it. Life gave me a good surprise with this one so well done Miller and Azzarello, this was a rollicking good time. Thanks for that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GWL Reborn 9/19/17: That’s the Issue Episode 16

Describing this episode of That’s the Issue is tough, we wander around a lot. The main focus is talking about Ian Mondrick’s Curio Kickstarter and it bounces around from there. We talk about everything and anything, mostly action movies and Secret Empire: Omega though. By the way, this podcast is also the only time I will really dive into Secret Empire: Omega. More to come later when the trade is released but this episode puts a nice bow on Secret Empire for me. It’s a fun episode that does go all over the place yet finds a focus in the end. Now without further ado here’s That’s the Issue Episode 16! It’s fun, it’s wonderful, it’s three people veering in multiple directions conversationally to promote a Kickstarter. You’ll love it. Enjoy!

Curio That's the Issue

When the autoplay hit for That’s the Issue I heard myself say like too much. Oh boy.

(On a side note for That’s the Issue, I also sing from time to time. Comment below or anywhere else if you want more random Wesley sing song.)

I can already tell you that yes it is a fun episode, yes it goes all over the place, yet oddly enough there is a focus. I’ve been on podcasts where we wander and talk about whatever but this one does have a loose focus to it. We don’t go totally off the rails as it goes along the lines of we let the conversation flow where it may. One thing about interviewing people and especially if they are people you are friendly with is it goes everywhere fast. Put it this way, I got a lot of nice action movie recommendations which is always good. On That’s the Issue no matter what, you’re always guaranteed to never know what to expect with any given episode. The magic never ends.

Matt on his end is much more straightforward with his post on his site about it, I add these handy show notes for That’s the Issue. Magic.

Now as to where you find That’s the Issue, well we are everywhere. We are truly everywhere. We’re on Soundcloud, Stitcher, Podbean, and even iTunes where I hope you’ll all subscribe and leave us a review, it really does help. You can find Ian Mondrick on twitter, check out his kickstarter, and you can also find him on Super Comic Battle Wars too, another podcast Matt is on along with Kyle Welch. Feel free to contact us at either the That’s the Issue e-mail, thatstheissuepodcast@gmail.com, on the That’s the Issue twitter, or even contact Matt and I directly on our personal twitter accounts. So many ways to keep tabs on us and keep in touch with the show, by golly we make it easy.

Till next episode, thanks for listening, and I hope each and every one of you are doing well out there. Bye for now!