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!

GWL Reborn 9/12/17: That’s the Issue Episode 15 Where We Get Metal

Please excuse the title of this That’s the Issue post, I couldn’t help myself. Yes, That’s the Issue Episode 15 covers many topics. We wanted to address the death of Len Wein as that one hit the same day as we recorded this episode. Matt and I were trying to make sure we got the pronunciation of his last name right. We got it right in the end though. Then we dive into DC’s Metal, Scales and Scoundrels, and more from there. The new format of us chatting comics and becoming the most laid back podcast on the Internet works. Now that we’ve got the lovely intro out of the way let’s get this show on the road. Onwards to episode 15 of That’s the Issue! It’s only going to keep getting better from here.

Episode #15 Featured That's the Issue

Funny aside for this episode of That’s the Issue but it really is easy to embed Soundcloud podcasts on WordPress.

As always feel free to fire Matt and I a line on either our personal twitter handles or on the handle for the show. Send us questions too at thatstheissue@gmail.com or even on our twitter handles. We are always open to feedback and answering a question or two. After the last episode where Matt and I killed our filters we were especially curious as to what people were saying. Seems like people enjoy Matt and I just chatting with each other and it has helped us out a lot. We may have to make this “Most Laid Back Podcast on The Internet” a tagline at this point. I know I am having a lot more fun with doing this podcast as Matt and I have easy chemistry on this show. It’s overall nothing but fun.

Now as always we are one of the easiest podcasts to find on the Internet. You can find us on Soundcloud, Stitcher, Podbean and even on iTunes! Feel free to leave us a review on iTunes too as it does help more people to discover our humble little show. Thanks for listening and being part of the That’s the Issue universe.

 

Scales and Scoundrels #1: My Heart for a Bit of Treasure

My goodness, Scales and Scoundrels is a clever comic. From the co-creator of Shirtless Bear-Fighter, Sebastian Girner and Galaad, Scales and Scoundrels is a treat. Now considering I love Shirtless Bear-Fighter, Scales and Scoundrels was likely to be a winner for me. Yet to be honest as I saw this comic, I had no idea who was working on it. Not a clue at all as to who the creative team was. When I saw the cover and saw the team I did a happy dance to the comic store register. I knew without a doubt that this was going to be a comic straight up my alley. Of course as I am want to do, I like playing my hand too early. Yet there is so much more to explore with Scales and Scoundrels. Join me on this delightful fantasy adventure and learn more about this new series.

Scales and Scoundrels #1 Cover

Oh and the cover is also ridiculously cool. Note the cool looking dragon too.

Just know now before anything else, you want Scales and Scoundrels in your life. You need this comic in your life. Trust me.

Scales and Scoundrels #1 Cool City Image Comics

Isn’t this just gorgeous? I love it.

One thing I learned from Shirtless Bear-Fighter is Girner is someone not afraid to cut loose on humor. Scales and Scoundrels has that in spades but there is a definite heart to this comic developing at light speed. Before you even learn her name, Luvander is shown as a strong and delightful character. She’s a great fighter, mystical, and knows what she wants out of life. Luvander is going to be someone fun to get to know as we go through this series. You don’t mess with her gold and if you come after her, you’re going to regret it immediately. There is more though as within the first issue you can see a compelling cast forming before your very eyes.

See I love world building and I love the possibilities each world of a new series could give me, Scales and Scoundrels has that in spades. Within one issue you’re introduced to an entire town of possible characters to work with, a villain, a traveling party, and it all flows together with ease. That’s a tough thing to do but Girner does it. Introducing multiple new characters, giving all of them a unique personality and giving life to our main protagonist in the process, that’s ambitious and I like it. Why the premise of our fantasy world works though is she’s always at the forefront. There’s even something called the Urden in play, I’m officially curious about that. I cannot wait to know more about the Urden.

Special note: The card game they were playing in the Tavern at the beginning of Scales and Scoundrels looks fun. I want to play that game.

Scales and Scoundrels Dragon's Horde

This game really and I mean really looks like fun.

The name of the game is Dragon’s Horde and yeah, I now need this to exist. Please and thank you.

Another piece that surprised me about this comic is Galaad’s artwork. How in the world had I never heard of Galaad until this series? How is that even possible? Scales and Scoundrel’s world building in the writing is one thing, but what Girner concocted with Galaad’s art is another. You see large cities for at least this part of the series for Luvander to roam in, which gives the series a sense of scale. Even more delightful is the life Galaad gives each of the characters. From Luvander herself with a winning smile and determination like no other, to the smallest character in the background, this series has energy. It also has a cool color palette, it’s bright but also dream like, I love the look it has.

What caught my eye in particular is there’s a double page spread that gives us a glimpse into Luvander’s childhood. You have this great eye popping bit from Jeff Powell’s lettering, showing how these words echo in her mind. You get just enough of a hint of things to come in each aspect of Galaad’s art and what Girner gave him in the script, it’s great work. A great hint of what’s to come while still not giving us everything, yet. Second part that caught my eye is the fight scenes in this comic are excellent. Let me say this for those of you out there who give this a chance, you will never be bored reading this. Without a doubt, Scales and Scoundrels has endless excitement within each page.

Oh I know this is probably the most hyper positive piece of mine possibly ever but you know, Scales and Scoundrels rocks darn it.

You could already tell from the first paragraph that I like this comic. It’s a me kind of comic. Scales and Scoundrels is wonderful and I highly recommend giving it a go. Get it, love it, have fun, and enjoy the glorious ride. You’ll be craving more by the last page. Go forth and embrace some fun fantasy goodness.

 

 

 

GWL Reborn 9/5/2017: That’s the Issue is Back!

That’s the Issue, the podcast I do with Matt Lune has made its triumphant return! Oh this episode is a fun one.  Best way to describe this episode is it starts as a Secret Empire wrap party and it goes from there. This episode is a form of therapy for me. When you listen to it the one thing you’ll notice is this is will be the tone going forward. It’s the most off the cuff episode of That’s the Issue to a degree too. Our major plans were talk Secret Empire, then the chat got deep from there.  If you’ve been curious in where the two of us stand on comics internet lately, this is the episode for you. Yes Internet you get Secret Empire but you get so much more in the process. Sit back, relax, and listen to That’s the Issue’s Secret Empire Wrap Party.

The official name of this image, at least for me, is Birthday Cake Captain America or for short, Birthday Cake Cap.

Birthday Cake Captain America

Not to say that the other episodes of That’s the Issue aren’t good but this one is pretty amazing. We had so much fun with it and it shows.

Any and all feedback will be appreciated for this episode of That’s the Issue. It’s not as much a departure but expanding the format. Yeah this one was a blast to record just for the simple fact that this episode is really a good chat between pals. Just two people having a good chat and in turn having a great time with it. I’m hoping everyone likes it because this will end up being the show from now on. This episode is Matt and I’s chats outside of the show for the most part. Best part is with this podcast is we are everywhere too. So if you have Soundcloud, Podbean, Stitcher, and more importantly iTunes, That’s the Issue is easy to find.

Feel free to leave us a review on iTunes too. Increase the range of That’s the Issue there and give us feedback. It’s appreciated.

Thanks for listening and enjoying the show. Yes Matt and I both promise to get back on a schedule with this series, sometimes though life happens. We’re aiming for schedule of every two weeks from here on out. Thanks again and thank you all for your patience with us. Take care everybody.

GWL Reborn 9/3/17: Lacking Game of Thrones on a Sunday

Now this my friends is what we call a shameless SEO moment with Game of Thrones. Of course no Game of Thrones for more than a year on HBO makes me sad. Here we are though, a Sunday without Game of Thrones. Yes, I know we’ll have The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead soon but that doesn’t fill the hole. Nothing fills my Sundays best like seeing a dragon or two on my TV screen, alas I’ll just have to settle for zombies in Georgia. Of course, now I am left with what to do with my Sunday nights TV wise. Well there’s always fun options and we’re going to talk that and more in the daily GWL adventures. Join me won’t you? On with the show my friends and what a show it is indeed.

Yes I made the shameless SEO Game of Thrones gag so no one else has to. I make the jokes before the rest of the peanut gallery.

Game of Thrones logo HBO

Shameless Game of Thrones HBO Image here.

It is strange when you’re without Game of Thrones or any sort of show that a lot of people talk about. Walking Dead used to be that show everyone talked about on a Sunday. Now while the Walking Dead is still getting ratings that most networks would kill for, the social media engagement isn’t there. Unless something huge happens on The Walking Dead, people just watch and go on their merry way. Now you note I don’t mention Fear the Walking Dead here as that show never quite had that level of engagement. The first season of Fear the Walking Dead had curiosity value and then it faded away fast. Yet another show that gets decent ratings but no one really talks about. Of course I will say the recent season has been pretty good. So there’s that.

Now outside of a podcast recording tonight for That’s the Issue with my pal Matt Lune, my Sunday is open. Matt and I go on really weird hiatuses with that show but of course that also coincided with Game of Thrones. Sunday night was one of our backup recording nights until Game of Thrones and we both like it a lot. It may not be a great guest night but for Matt and I to get a show recorded, Sunday night is perfect. Considering we are discussing Secret Empire and finishing that up, we’ll be looking forward to a new journey podcast wise. It is funny that for awhile That’s the Issue became a Secret Empire podcast, but it did. Did I mention I’m glad that outside of the epilogue Secret Empire is over? I am really glad Secret Empire is over.

More to come on my thoughts on Secret Empire on the podcast. I have thoughts, so many thoughts on that. Have fun.

Now I roll out and see what my Sunday will have in store for me. I’ll likely get a wild hair and come up with something fun to do. Maybe even catch up on some more reading. Oh if you haven’t noticed my plan is with this blog to do at least one daily post of blogging. Nothing fancy, just me talking about whatever I want for a hot minute here. It is my blog and you know I should do more long form rambling outside of 140 word tweet blasts. For anyone that read my mega ramble, I thank you as that was two hours of my life. I appreciate anyone that read that and if you haven’t, I understand. I completely understand as that is a 1,000+ word adventure. Even if you just glanced at it I appreciate it. It’s all good either way.

I am going to get back to my Sunday adventures as right now I am writing this while I am waiting for my laundry to finish. Go me being productive on both fronts. Till next post, be well, be kind, and always remember to be wonderful to each other. Bye for now!

Giant Monsters Make Me Smile: Marvel’s Monsters Unleashed

Between all the mega crossovers Marvel has had they had one that got lost in the shuffle, Monsters Unleashed. It’s a comic that has the Marvel Universe vs. Giant Monsters/Kaiju and that’s all you need to know. Cullen Bunn cut loose on a massive monster fighting fest and it’s beautiful in its simplicity. Simplicity is not a knock on this as sometimes all you need is giant monsters and on with the show kids. Sometimes an event can be that simple to dive into. I was underwhelmed by the first issue of this but in reading the Monster-Size collection, I fell in love with this wonderful piece of madness. Yes I am playing my hand too early but this isn’t as much a review as more, heck yes Giant Monsters. Let’s get on with this fun as I tell you of my love of Monsters Unleashed.

Monsters Unleashed is sheer joy in a comic book. Yes I know the story is bonkers but I believe that is what makes it beautiful.

One major factor is why I dig Monsters Unleashed as much as I do is simple, it really is just a straight up monster slug fest. The collective Marvel Universe set in battle against multitudes of monsters and that’s perfect. Even more cool is it brought Elsa Bloodstone back to the Marvel Universe and gave Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur a neat role. Some people are mixed on this event I know but for me, it works. Kei Kawade and his connection to the Monsters is a nifty little addition to the story. I’m a sucker for art based powers so Kei’s ability to draw monsters and have them come to life is so slick. The way this series plays out is simple, the new heroes of the Marvel Universe are the solution. That’s cool.

Though before you know what Kei’s role is in this and even after, you get lots of giant monster fights. If you’re someone who’s in the mood for an event that gives you what’s advertised, this is it. You get a new character to the Marvel Universe and unleashed imagination in the monster designs, I love it. Bunn’s story works for this and even more so you get a great group of artists, Leinil Francis Yu, Steve McNiven, Salvador Larroca, Adam Kubert, and Greg Land, each working on an issue of this event. With Jay Leisten inks on McNiven and Land and Gerry Alanguilan and Michael Jason Paz inks on Leinil’s work, it all looks great. Add in some gorgeous coloring by David Curiel and Michael Garland and you get a complete package of beauty.

Did I mention a lot of these fights are done in double page spreads? It enhances the joy. So much joy. So much wonder.

Inhumans Monsters Unleashed Mega Battle

Art: Steve McNiven and Jay Leisten. Color Artist: David Curiel, Lettered by: VC’s Travis Lanham

Oh and check out the size of the Monsters Unleashed collection in Hardcover, the sheer size of this is glorious.

Monsters Unleashed Monster Sized Trade

Photo taken by me and I don’t think I can do the sheer scale of this book justice.

Even I’m surprised at how much of a nerd out I am having with this. Of course then again, I do love Kaiju.

Avengers Assemble Monsters Unleashed

Yeah I can see why Monsters Unleashed wouldn’t be to the taste of everyone. I get it as some people would be wanting more than what they got. The major goal of this from what I can tell from Cullen Bunn’s story is bringing a new character to life. We get a new character and a new world to explore within the Marvel Universe. Even more so we get the entire Marvel Universe fighting freaking giant monsters, which is awesome. Heck, in the aftermath of Secret Empire we would love for something that simple right now.  This is the kind of event that all you need is a simple premise to open up a new world. Now I’m curious in the Monsters Unleashed series that came out of this. I do like Kei and want to know more about him and his monster friends.

Not a major spoiler considering the series is out there but we do get new monsters into the Marvel Universe. Now we have Kei/Kid Kaiju figuring out his place in the Marvel Universe with his new friends with his parents along for the ride. Yeah I am game for more of this and I’ll have to check this series out down the line. I wish I wouldn’t have waited this long to read Monsters Unleashed but I have now at least. Sometimes a series finds you when you need it and Monsters Unleashed was well timed for me in my eyes. When you need a simple and fun event story that introduces new characters and has large scale battles, Monsters Unleashed is perfect. Just what the proverbial comics doctor ordered.

Like I said, not really a review, just a massive excuse to nerd out about giant monsters.

Always remember this in your days my friends, giant monsters no matter what will always rule. A simple idea out of Marvel turns into a fairly fun event that deserves more attention. It got lost in the midst of everything else but give this a shot. I think you’ll like it as much as I do by the end of the story. If nothing else, you’ll get some great and gorgeous double page spreads out of it all. If you look further though I think you’ll find a fun little story. Give it a go and take some time to hang out with some Kaiju, you’ll be glad you did.

 

The True Comeback of the GWL: 9/2/2017: Pondering Comic Book Internet

My goodness this has been a weird Summer in Comic Book Internet huh? This Summer was a little rough on me as a lot of the time I’ve been off and on sick and I think I was suffering from some hard burn out on the current state of things lately. Comic Book Internet has been a ride over the past few months and beyond. The way things were operating within the sphere of comic book internet and leaving me to re-evaluate what I like in comics in general. I had a period recently where I was buying books but not reading as much as I should. Meaning I was starting to feel a sense of burnout with comics, that’s not a good thing. I give to you all sort of my mindset into comic book internet lately. Sit back, this is a ride. A very wild ride indeed.

I will be amazed if anyone can end up reading this ramble on Comic Book Internet easily. This comes off rambling in my own mind too.

I’ve been around in Comic Book Internet for a long time and like I tell people, I stumbled into it. Learned most of what I know within the sphere of things by learning on the fly to be blunt. Didn’t really figure out what I was doing writing wise until I got involved with Comics Crux. I always say Comics Crux was where I had the most fun writing wise as that was my most active period online. Rhymes with Geek being a close second as near the end of that site I was having an absolute blast writing wise. In the midst of this the past bit or so I was really planning on doing way more with my own site here. Then along the way I lost focus in my own writing. That’s a brutal thing to admit too. I lost focus.

Strange to say but I didn’t know where I really fit into the scheme of things anymore. I’m not that old yet but I’m not the wide eyed and bushy tailed soul I once was. I’m still me and I’m still liking what I like but there was a disconnect. I felt disconnected to a lot of the comic book scene as of late. It’s the sense of being around but yet not really feeling part of anything. Which then lead to me just not really writing and not having that fire to write much at all on Comic Books or at least struggle to get words out. Outside quick twitter blasts and so forth and podcasting, trying to talk comics got rougher for me. I guess you can say, it stopped being fun. That’s even more brutal to admit.

I know I’m formatting this in my usual format but this is rough to write this piece. Raw as anything I’ve written in a long time.

When I wrote something on Secret Empire in my word processor and it may never see the light of day but it felt good to write. It felt nice to just write my thoughts on something and let it out, even if likely it would only be me reading it initially. In my time away from things I have been reading books and itching to get back into things. Yet before my Secret Empire blather I couldn’t get the firepower to complete much of anything. In writing two small reviews, I didn’t feel like it had that same energy you know? I remember last year when I was starting to do the issue by issue stuff of series and I had fun with it. Then I lost focus and faded off into something else. You’ll note losing focus is a theme here.

In turn with my own writing I started getting hit with minor but yet annoying health crap but absorbed my mind. It bothered me and put my mind in another place. Even as I got better and getting better from the health crap, I still felt lost. It was writing an Amazon review for my friend Heather Ness and her book Broken Heroes that started to bring me to life. It felt good writing a simple Amazon review and also doing something cool for a friend. She asked me to review this and that she wanted my opinion made me happy. In reading her thoughts about the people who make up the Defenders, I fully admit to tearing up a couple times. When you’re on an emotional rollercoaster in writing, you never know what hits you.

Fun Comics

Losing focus and being on an emotional rollercoaster are two major themes here it seems.

I realized that why my stuff at Comics Crux felt so effortless at times is it felt like a family.  A great group of writers and an editor who rocks and is still my friend to this day. I think if it wasn’t for Jess being my editor back then, I would have run screaming years ago. Then Rhymes with Geek happened right after the end of Comics Crux and I never took the time to grieve the loss of that site. I was on to the next thing by sheer force of someone asking me to join a site a period where I felt lost in the midst of writing. Oh, I was still writing but some of that stuff in the early days was rough. Then by the end of Rhymes with Geek, it was a lot of fun, then the site ended. It gets weird from there.

Within my own headspace I felt that while my writing is as strong as ever, the level of disconnect shows at times. If you know me and see when I am writing something that I am writing just to write it, it shows and it is brutal. Anyone that knows me well that reads this is probably going to tell me I’m being hard on myself. It’s a gift though as they say as you are your own harshest critic. The past few months I’ve not been feeling it writing wise and now I think I’m game to dive back into things again. Maybe the universe is telling me that I need to focus more time on my own stuff again. I need to embrace the fun of my Comic Book Internet universe and talk about what I am passionate in.

Now this is where the fun begins, this is where the hope for the future comes into play.

At my core I do like writing online and I love writing about pop culture and comic books. It’s something I will find I always like and you know I realize I still have something left in the tank. This guy isn’t running on empty yet that’s for sure. In having a chat with a new fan at random recently it also helped me realize that I do have some sort of fire left in me. It was cool as the fan was grabbing old comics and it made me smile at his enthusiasm for the medium. I needed that way more than I realized. That is what made me realize that now it is time for the real comeback of the Geek Who Landed on the Internet, Wesley Messer is going to live again online by golly.

Put it this way, prepare yourselves for a level of weird like no other. I’m going full bore into stuff that I’ve had on the back burner for way too long. Life is too short not to have fun with what you do and when you’ve been as lost as I have been, embracing fun is a good thing. My role in Comic Book Internet is really, I like fun, I like the weird, I like the strange, and now I’m feeling more like that again. I’ve been raring to go off and on but then I lose that fire just as fast but right now, I’m truly ready. It is time to embrace the awesome in comics again once more and for my writing to show it. I’m optimism, I’m light, and I’m not going to dwell in the darkness anymore. It’s time to have fun.

Bringing the fun back to Comic Book Internet, yeah I can dig that.

Prepare yourselves for a content blast like no other, I got a game plan and I have a lot of ideas as for what I want to do with this site. This was a rough post to write but I’m glad I did. Even if I’m writing this late at night in the midst of a sleepless adventure. Welcome to the World of Wesley Messer and my time as the Geek Who Landed. I’m back, I’m ready, and let the fun begin.

 

The Come Back of the GWL: 7/1/2017: Setting the Plan in Motion

The GWL Express has been on a much longer hiatus than I wanted it to be. The geekwholanded.com was always meant to be a beast of its own while still being a hub for all my other work. Then it all fell off the rails pretty gloriously I must say. Wow did it ever fall off the rails. Not many online personalities and whatnot would admit that things fell off the rails but here I am admitting it. Some of my GWL adventures were partially health related but most of it is on me. Sometimes in admitting your frailties you become better so this is me saying, you know what I am going to be better. Welcome to the Come Back of the GWL. What does this come back entail? Stick around, come with me on this adventure. I think this will be fun for everyone.

Of course by golly I could keep up a steady twitter presence so at least that much. By golly though I really let stuff lapse. That is going to change.

Here is the plan of assault for the Come Back of the GWL. As I do have a loose plan here. There is some stuff that I want to do that doesn’t quite fit into stuff I do for Monkeys Fighting Robots. Mostly the really weird single issue adventures that appeal mostly to me. I accept the fact that I do like what I like and that’s okay. I also want to show more of my interests outside of the comic book realm and such. Weirdest thing about me most don’t know, I have been digging the heck out of the Great British Baking Show. The new season started up on PBS here and I adore the show. This is probably one of my favorite shows of the summer. This is just a hint of the journey you will be on with me here.

The site now is going to go more in the direction that I was planning for in the first place. It’s taken me awhile to get there but in my hiatus I’m figuring out more of what I want. A site that is ultimately me. It’s a site that represents me and what I like and what I’m into at any given period of time. What strikes my fancy and what catches my eye, this is the ultimate realm of my GWL Universe. The Geek Who Landed site is going to be a much more varied collection into my mind. Yes the site will be mostly comic books and related things but there will be a few other surprises in the mix. I am looking forward to seeing where this come back tour takes me in the weeks and months to come.

I have still technically been around but not in the way I should be. Now I am ready to be back in the full GWL business of it all.

Let the Come Back of the GWL begin in full. I got a podcast That’s the Issue with my pal Matt Lune that’s been going better than I could have ever imagined.  This has been a case of I’ve been around but not in the state that I know I could be. Now it’s time to return to form and be better than ever before. This is going to be a crazy ride but I’m excited for what’s to come. The GWL Express is going to be running at full speed ahead and it is going to be absolutely brilliant. Welcome to the land of fun and wonders, welcome to the Geek Who Landed Experience.

The Great Social Media Battle of 2016: Marvel vs. DC Movies

DC Marvel Social Media Logos

Copyright: Logos from Marvel and DC Comics

Social Media was a unique place in 2016 within pop culture. There are many factors to dive into but one stood out, Marvel vs. DC Movies. You had MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) represented by Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange, both for the most part getting positive marks. With the DCEU (DC Extended Universe) you had Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad getting decidedly mixed reviews. Now the battleground with MCU and DCEU gets interesting with social media comes into play. We had an MCU backlash happen within the social media landscape and a battle with DCEU over their content as well. With both MCU and DCEU fans in a divisive and comical at points battle online, I’m going to explore this a bit. So let’s dive into the Great Social Media Battle of 2016, MCU vs. DCEU.

Let the Social Media Exploration Begin!

Now I debated writing a column like this for ages. You could see me on my own twitter debating this idea. Yet it’s been in me for months now to write about this. Possibly because I seem to be a rare voice of calm in the midst of the social media battles. What was so frustrating about the MCU and DCEU battles is these arguments would borderline on the ridiculous. Take note of this, the petition against Rotten Tomatoes. People got mad about Rotten Tomatoes and how MCU films scored higher than DCEU films. Among the many arguments, the Rotten Tomatoes battle on social media bordered on the hilarious. Simple version, people thought Disney/Marvel bought Critics to give Marvel movies good reviews and DC films bad ones. Yes, a petition was started over this and it is as silly as it sounds.

Now in my own personal perspective, I enjoyed the films of the MCU and DCEU alike. None of them were perfect but I had a good time at the theater watching them and ultimately that’s what counts. Same with other viewers who liked the films. Yet some, a mighty battle was in full swing over which company had the superior films. Arguments were varied from thoughtful to downright insane arguments. Usually, it boils down to if you like or dislike a film but some people then get into full-blown hysterics and war begins. Many of you out there reading this who are on any kind of social media, you have seen the threads and are likely getting flashbacks. I wasn’t immune to it either as everyone got dragged into these threads at one point.

From these Social Media arguments on MCU vs. DCEU, It boiled to another conversation, tone.

Now another argument that initiated a lot of quirky situations is the tone of the MCU vs. DCEU. MCU trends towards a lighter tone, brighter costumes, and overall a friendly atmosphere for the viewership. Now for DCEU it has trended darker with a more intense tone to the films. Yet a lot of people weren’t happy with the darker tone. Look at the MCU, they have a gameplan and they know where they’re going to go. DCEU saw the films making money, but not as much as Warner Bros. would have liked, especially with Batman v Superman. Now going forward DC is working towards a lighter tone in their films, as noted with Geoff Johns stating as much. Now the DCEU is forming a game plan and we’ll see how Wonder Woman and Justice League are received next year.

2016 was a divisive year on many fronts, so what does 2017 hold?

Now MCU wise we have Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, and Thor: Ragnarok hitting in 2017. DCEU has their powerhouse lineup and Marvel has a powerful lineup too. Next year is going to be stacked and I can imagine that the arguments will be a wild ride come 2017. We’ll see what the lighter tone of DCEU will be and what will happen with that. With the MCU we’ll get to see if they can keep the money train rolling on into 2017. The fans on social media will keep the fire and hype for these movies throughout the year, good or bad.

Many arguments will be held over the coming months as the MCU and DCEU make announcements and as the films are released.  2016 was a weird year on many fronts. If you’re wondering, no one won the Marvel vs. DC argument with the films. At the end of it all, it’s all about what you like. There’s no big conspiracy from either Disney or Warner Bros. with these films and the critics. People like what they like and critics are like anyone else, they like what they like. A good or bad movie is in the eye of the person watching it. If someone likes or hates something, no massive tweet storm, facebook post, or whatever else, it won’t steer them to your way of thinking. It may give them a new perspective but won’t change their mind entirely.

No one ever wins in an Internet battle, it just gets weirder and more annoying as it goes along.

The arguments on social media with Marvel vs. DC movies will keep going and evolve in many strange directions. We won’t know the full scope of a DCEU tonal change until Justice League and maybe somewhat into Wonder Woman. Just as Marvel will have to keep on keeping on and we’ll see how things go for them in the new year.

If you take anything away from this, let people like what they like. In my own case, I want both the MCU and DCEU to have a great 2017 ahead. If you like both, that’s awesome and the best way to be in my opinion. If you prefer MCU over DCEU, that’s okay too just don’t be a jerk to the fans who prefer the DCEU. Same goes for the DCEU fans, don’t be jerks to the MCU fans, be nice to another in 2017 as 2016 has been weird enough.

Just be excellent to one another my friends.

It’s interesting how this became much more thoughtful as I wrote it. At this stage though I am tired of the battleground and want some kind of unity in this crazy universe. For 2017 give me this Internet, quit it. You can have debates about the films of the MCU and DCEU without it becoming a mega battle. Enjoy what films you want to enjoy and may 2017 be one with less ridiculous Internet fights.

 

 

DC Read-A-Thon: Batman and The Outsiders #1: The Bat-Rebellion

Batman and The Outsiders #1 Cover DC Comics

Copyright: DC Comics

Welcome to the DC Read-A-Thon of Batman and The Outsiders! With the announcement of the full roster of Steve Orlando and Ivan Reis’s Justice League of America, the team had a different feel to it. The team seemed all over the place, Vixen, Ryan Choi’s Atom, The Ray, Killer Frost, then you get Black Canary, Lobo, and Batman. Now here’s what caught my eye about the team further, they announced a trade of Batman and The Outsiders. Batman leading a team that seems like a mish-mash of DC everything gives this a nice Outsiders feel. It got me to thinking, I have all the issues so why not start reading it? Hence the beginning of the Batman and The Outsiders DC Read-A-Thon. Without further ado, here is Batman and The Outsiders #1!

Welcome to the Great Bat-Rebellion!

What makes this series so fascinating is how it is structured from the get go. It all begins as Batman is working himself to the bone to protect Gotham City. It’s where I like where Mike W. Barr takes this, it’s a good structure for Batman. He’s sending off Lucius Fox on a journey to Markovia but his mind is elsewhere in his battles within Gotham City. These battles are also fraying Batman as his secret identity as Bruce Wayne. Happy for his friend but still can’t dwell on his friend leaving as he’s got his own war to fight. Even more clever is Barr puts in two days worth of storytelling condensed within a short burst of panels. That’s all it takes and then it is off to set up Batman and the Outsiders.

Batman and The Outsiders #1 48 Hours

Copyright: DC Comics

Many of you saw Markovia and those familiar with Markovia probably had a, “Oh wow it all began there?!” moment. Lucius Fox goes missing in that country and Batman decides to call to the Justice League of America to help him out. To keep it short and sweet, Batman doesn’t get the help of the Justice League. The Government tells the League to stay out of it and as you figure, Batman isn’t happy at all about this. Which leads to Batman tendering his resignation to the Justice League, which you can imagine was huge back then.  Batman decides then and there he’s going to save his friend Lucius without the help of the League. Leading to a great explanation of Batman in the midst of a few panels and sets the stage perfectly for what’s to come.

This page is Classic Batman.

Batman and The Outsiders #1 Batman Reasons for Resigning

Copyright: DC Comics

Now we hang our hats fully in Markovia from here on for the rest of the issue. A big part of this issue is this is the set up for Brion becoming Geo-Force, who’s the half-brother of Tara a.k.a Terra from Teen Titans. My favorite part is how Tara and Brion became brother and sister, bless you back matter. Truncating the editorial somewhat, Mike W. Barr had a chat with Marv Wolfman about his new character Geo-Force having earth powers and Marv wondered if Barr had been reading his New Teen Titans. Marv had Terra with earth powers running around in those pages, but Marv figured he could come up with something. I couldn’t do justice to Barr’s hilarious rantings but the short version is, Marv said “they are brother and sister” and the rest is history. Now back to the issue.

Apologies for that quick digression in this Batman and The Outsiders Read-A-Thon, but it is a cool story.

This is honestly my first time ever seeing the origin of Geo-Force and that is the best bit of this for me. It’s sad to see Brion/Geo-Force and his brother Prince Gregor’s father die but then Dr. Jace comes into play. She’s cranky but oddly fun, I think of her as the prototype for Dr. Nemesis in the X-Men. She’s the one who gives Brion his Geo-Force powers to help save the country. Gregor has his doubts but knows that he couldn’t stop his brother anyway. Barr has a great way of handling a death, setting up an origin, and showing relationships of characters within two pages. That’s remarkable and it doesn’t feel rushed at all. It keeps up the strong flow of the story as soon many new and old characters come into play.

Geoforce Origin Batman and the Outsiders #1

Copyright: DC Comics

Here’s the even better part about Batman’s Markovian adventure. Every member of The Outsiders is set in place by the end of the issue. No Batman gathering the troops or anything else, quick set up for Black Lightning and everyone else gets explained throughout the rest of the issue. Black Lightning got a cool moment dealing with one member of the invading force, but that went haywire and fast. The only other characters who get any major explanation is Halo, who Batman finds within Markovia, Geo-Force, and Metamorpho. Katana gets a quick appearance, does some damage, and off to the races. It’s cool to know where everyone stands though in a relatively quick fashion in the second half of the issue.

Old school and awesome, this is why I dig the Geo-Force origin.

Batman and the Outsiders Geoforce Origin Part Two

Copyright: DC Comics

The Halo origin is still early days, hard to judge as to where that will go but the Geo-Force origin is wonderful. Geo-Force is a classic old school style origin and it’s about as good as you can get. That’s when you get Metamorpho involved as he’s there to meet the good Dr. Jace to help him out, which gets messed up by the invasion force. Geo-Force gets taken out but hey, he’s a main member of the team you think he’s out for long? While Batman is taking care of Halo and she’s along for the ride until he gets knocked out himself by our unknown force. That’s when we finally see Lucius Fox, Black Lightning, and what’s left of Metamorpho after his battle, and now Batman meets Baron Bedlam. Which sets up the next issue.

Baron Bedlam Batman and The Outsiders #1

Copyright: DC Comics

Mike W. Barr is amazing in structuring the series so far, it’s smooth to read and the concept gets set up at hyper speed. It’s an absolute delight to read, characters work well, and it flows pretty nicely for the most part. The major establishing point was the why and how of Batman putting this team together, Barr nails this without any problem and that’s what makes this fun. It’s got its share of quirks but in a good way. It’s just weird enough and it works with a slight bit more of an edge while still being within the Comics Code Authority. Yes kids, Comics Code Authority, it existed and wow people found strange and wonderful ways to work around it. Batman and The Outsiders had a different feel to it and I dig that.

Made a point to sneak this in as I got a major kick out of these panels.

Bruce Wayne or Batman in Batman and The Outsiders #1

Copyright: DC Comics

Take a look at the art I post in this too, Jim Aparo’s art on Batman and The Outsiders is amazing. Aparo and Barr are the co-creators on this series and you can tell they are going for broke here storytelling wise. Aparo’s art is off the charts, it looks great. There’s emotion flowing through each of the characters in actions, movement, and excellent facial expressions. There’s so much life in this comic and that helps give it that different feel from a lot of team series. Aparo and Barr are both showing they want this series to feel different and it does feel different. I’ve also never appreciated the coloring of this period until I noticed what Adrienne Roy did here. Roy’s coloring is mood setting, especially in the post-resignation scene from the League. That scene showing why Batman had to leave fired on all cylinders.

It’s interesting to me when you have artists you never quite pay attention to until you start to really look at something. That was me and Jim Aparo here. I’ve always liked Barr’s stuff, Camelot 3000 and some of the Warlord stuff I’ve read, but this is next level appreciation here. The work with Halo, the set up for why Metamorpho was there, and just everything with this team build up was solid stuff. Wow this is going to be a fun read-a-thon.

Join me as I dive into Batman and The Outsiders further, I’ve never read this and this is a joy to read thus far. Till next issue, thanks for checking out my recap here. Bye for now!