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.

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!

 

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 9/5/2017: 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!

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!