When Marvel’s Avengers ended, it set a new standard for superhero movies. To the best of my knowledge, superhero team movies hadn’t happened before this movie, especially not when the movie in question was preceded by no less than four movies that set the stage for it. With Avengers, Marvel’s cinematic universe also moved into a new phase, a phase where we’ve seen some big changes in teh status quo for the various heroes and where we’ve also gotten to see lots of new characters, heroes and villains alike as well. And now, in just about half a year, we are going to see Avengers: Age of Ultron, the next big Marvel money-maker.
Avengers: Age of Ultron does not have anything to do with last year’s Age of Ultron event in the comics, though they both share the same name. It is going to be a new story about the sentient robot built (most often in the comics) by Hank Pym, the Ant-Man, that then goes on a genocidal rampage against humanity. Of course, we haven’t seen Pym in the MCU as yet, though there is a movie coming out soon that deals with his successor as Ant-Man, Scott Lang, so it is all going to rest in the hands of the MCU’s go-to tech-serf, Tony Stark aka Iron Man. Last night, after a trailer of the upcoming movie leaked out, Marvel and Disney went ahead and released the official teaser, and by gods it is awesome!
After two straight weeks of reading 38 singles and 2 graphic novels, this week saw me lagging behind, with only 36 singles read and no graphic novels at all. Makes me kind of sad since there were comics that I was really looking forward to reading in GN format, but I just couldn’t get the time, and I’m seriously behind on my novel reading as well.
The surprise hits of this week were Brides of Helheim #1 from Oni Press, The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood #1 from Dynamite Entertainment and Gotham Academy #1 from DC Comics. The disappointing comics of this week were Fantastic Four Annual #1 from Marvel Comics and Green Arrow #35 and Green Lantern & New Gods: Godhead #1 both from DC Comics. Titles like Death from Wolverine #3 from Marvel, Angel & Faith Season 10 #7 from Dark Horse Comics, and Grayson #3 from DC comics continued to rock it.
With the advent of the Original Sin crossover event earlier this year, Marvel set itself up for some big changes in October. The most startling change was that Thor Odinson was deemed to no longer be worthy of the great hammer Mjolnir. This storyline was introduced in Original Sin #3 where the dead Watcher Uatu’s mutilated eye (one of them) caused a psychic bomb that made the gathered heroes and villains aware of some of the deepest secrets of their lives. The storyline then culminated in Original Sin #7 where Nick Fury whispered something to Thor that caused the God of Thunder to suddenly become unworthy of Mjolnir, utterly breaking him.
Today’s Thor #1 sees the continuation of that last point. At the end of Original Sin: Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm, Odin the All-Father returned to Asgardia and now the entire court of Asgard gathers on the Moon to watch as a broken Thor continues to whisper to Mjolnir, asking it for some kind of redemption and reaffirmation. And in the meantime, Malekith the Accursed leads a raid of Frost Giants on Midgard, seeking something they value, and the stage is set for the introduction of a new Thor, a woman this time. Jason Aaron’s writing is mostly on point here, but it is the art by Russell Dauterman & Co. that really shines here.
Lightning strikes in the same place for a third time. I mentioned last week that I read 38 singles and 2 graphic novels for that release week, and that holds true for this week as well. I had a chance to read a bit more, but I chose to use that time to get done with some of my novel reading and also catch up with some of my reviews. 15 titles out of 40 read were reviewed by me this week. I feel good!
The surprise hits of this week were Aliens: Fire and Stone #1 and Prometheus: Fire and Stone #1, both from Dark Horse Comics, Pathfinder: City of Secrets #5 from Dynamite Entertainment, Catwoman: Future’s End #1 from DC Comics, Hack-Slash: Son of Samhain #2 and Chew Volume 1 both from Image Comics. Comics which disappointed me this week were Edge of Spider-Verse #3 from Marvel Comics, Sensation Comics #7 from DC Comics, and… that’s it thankfully! The graphic novels of this week were Chew Volume 1 and Thor: God of Thunder Volume 3.
Elizabeth Bear is an author I’ve wanted to read for the longest time, alongside a long line of other authors. When I began my “25 Series To Read In 2013″ reading challenge last year, I put one of her earliest series on the list because I wanted to kind of see how she got started since I also wanted to eventually progress to her other more recent novels. It didn’t quite work out like that and I only managed to get through All The Windwracked Stars by also listening to the audiobook of the novel. It was a fun, decent experience that was must different from the usual sort of fantasy I read, so I can definitely recommend it.
In light of The Founding Fields currently suffering some major site issues recently, I’m going to be reposting my reviews from the site to the blog, so enjoy away!
The original review can be found here.
In an effort to catch up, this is my second “Comics Picks For…” post today, and largely because I just want to keep track of my reading really. It is a real effort otherwise as my reading list is seriously outdated. Plus, I like to promote good properly and this is a great vehicle for that other than reviews. In this week, I didn’t really download any new comics so the list of comics read and the top picks are just what I read in that week, instead of including the new week’s releases as well.
The surprise hits of this week were Armor Hunters: Bloodshot #1 from Valiant Comics, The Wicked + The Divine #2 from Image COmics and Cartoon Network: Super Secret Crisis War: Johnny Bravo #1 from IDW Publishing. No surprise flops this week, just comics that didn’t work for me, like Star Wars: Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #3. The other comics were all decent at the least and I even managed to read a trade collection this week, beginning the start of my big “Witchblade read” from Ron Marz’s epic run on the title.
Well, it has been a couple weeks again since I did this feature. The week before, well, it was marriage week for me and I barely read 4 books, so it didn’t really make sense to do a post on just those four, so I skipped it. And it was a really slow week all in all, especially for blogging, so I just decided to let things rest for an entire week. But I’m back again this time!
The surprise hits of this week were Death Vigil #1 from Top Cow andGrayson #1 from DC Comics. The surprise flop of the week would be Spider-Man 2099 #1 from Marvel Comics. Expectedly great comics such as Fantastic Four #7 from Marvel Comics, Batgirl #3# from DC all delivered on their promises as well. Not a lot of comics this past week, certainly not as much as the week prior or my usual number of ~25/week, but definitely a good number at 21 issues. Might take a dive in the next week though!
So the last two episodes of the show were a mixed bunch. Tracks was fairly good but TAHITI not so much. All the same, the overall story was moving forward in an easy way, with lots of breadcrumbs along the way, so that’s a saving grace at least when it comes to the show, because it hasn’t been all that good about it, to date. Whether the show’s creative team is listening or not, they seem to be getting more things right these days than otherwise, so I still remain cautiously optimistic about the show. And if every episode could be like Ep 15 “Yes Men“, then man, this should be really freaking great.
Ep 15 marks the television debut of Lady Sif, played by the ever-wonderful Jaimie Alexander, who has only starred in the two Thor movies to date. And along with her we have the first ever live-action portrayal of Lorelei, one of Thor’s greater Asgardian villains. With Lorelei escaping her cell during the events of Thor: The Dark World and arriving on Earth, Sif is sent to bring her back in what proves to be one of the absolute best episodes of the entire season, probably the best episode. Ep 16 continues the story of Coulson’s team hunting for the Clairvoyant and running into Mike Peterson as well, who has been code-named Deathlok by SHIELD. This episode was confusing on a few levels and also perpetrated some of the worst excesses of the show, combined with an absolutely confusing final five minutes.
When Marvel launched its Marvel NOW! reboot in September 2012, I tried to get on board with the new Iron Man. I love the character and I wanted to translate that into reading the comics featuring him. But, I gave up with the first issue itself. The story was incredibly complex and confusing. I understood none of it. And for more than a year and a half, I ignored the series. Then I heard that a new arc was starting soon, and that it was going to be a sort of a major deal, so I decided to ignore my frustrations and see if I could get back into the series or not.
Going by this past week’s Iron Man #23, I have to say that the signs are incredibly discouraging. Kieron Gillen was decent enough on his Young Avengers and his Dark Angel one-shot for Marvel UK’s Revolutionary War event (review) was passable too. But, this issue is nothing of the sort, not by a long mile. The art by Luke Cross and Guru-eFX is decent, but its not particularly noteworthy. All in all, Iron Man #23 is pretty mediocre. Read on to see why.
When you are a reviewer and an avid reader as I am, you always end up with a mountain of books that grows week by week. And you always have an urge to read even more books because you find something that interests you and that you think could be a fun read. This is one of the reasons why I started my “25 Series To Read In ….” reading challenges (2013, 2014), because I wanted to make a dent in that reading pile. Or try to. For this year’s challenge, one of the series I picked is J. A. Pitts’ urban fantasy trilogy Sarah Beauhall, which has some of the most awesome covers I’ve seen.
The first novel in the series, Black Blade Blues, does a great job of introducing the character and setting up the slice of the world that Pitts has created. It is full of some great characters, Norse mythology, runes, dragons, magic, and more. Quite a potent combination. The Norse mythology connection was one of the other reasons why I wanted to read this series, and the reality has borne out the expectations, because Black Blade Blues was as fantastic a read as I was hoping for. Great story, great characters, great twists.