Mulan (1998)

Related image

I had never seen Mulan.  When it was in theaters, I was not interested.  However, I know that there is a live action version coming from Disney soon, so I had put it on my list to see.

Plus, one of my favorite actresses, Ming-Na Wen, who I just love as Agent Melinda May on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, voiced Mulan in the animated version.  I did not originally know that.  Ming-Na Wen is being included in the 2019 Class of Disney Legends.  Congrats to Ming-Na Wen.

I found Mulan on Netflix today and I figured that I should watch it before Disney pulls the film from the streaming service to put on their own Disney Plus later this year.

Mulan is the story of a young girl who, in an attempt to save the life of her father, impersonates a man and trains as a Chinese warrior to help stop the marauding Huns.

We have seen this type of story before, but Mulan resonates today more than ever.  With the emergence of powerful female characters such as Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel, Mulan stands out as a leader of the female hero.

In fact, Mulan is the hero of this story from the beginning right through to the conclusion.  The third act really shows her ability to think her way through the problem and to put herself on the line for China.

There is a great voice cast to go along with Ming-Na Wen.  Eddie Murphy is Mushu, the talking dragon whose job was to be the guardian of Mulan and make sure that her family’s honor was not tarnished.  The late, great Miguel Ferrer played Shan-Yu, the villainous Hun looking to take over China, S.D. Wong voiced Shang, the newly appointed captain responsible for Mulan’s training. Harvey Feinstein is one of Mulan’s fellow soldiers named Yao (though this was a strange voice choice).  Pat Morita was the Chinese Emperor.  Donny Osmond and Lea Salonga were the singing voices for Mulan and Shang.

Of the songs, the only real memorable one to me was Donny Osmond’s I’ll Make a Man out of You, which takes place during the training montage.

The film goes very fast, and it does feel as if there is a scene or two that should have been included.  Perhaps another encounter with the Huns before the special snow fight.  Still, the flow of Mulan felt tight and maybe another scene would have messed with the timing.

It really was a great film with a great message.  It was long overdue to have seen the classic.

vintage

Related image

John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum

Image result for john wick 3 poster

The first John Wick was such a pleasant surprise.  Keanu Reeves’ career had slipped into a rut as the actor was starring in films that were not very good.  The arrival of John Wick brought him back to doing movies that were well received and entertaining.

John Wick Ch. 2 was good, but did not reach those heights.

John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum falls somewhere between those two.

In Chapter 3, John Wick is on the run, trying to avoid all of the assassins in New York after he killed a member of the shadowy assassin guild named the High Table, John Wick was declared excommunicado and a huge bounty was placed on his head.

The bounty forced Wick to take drastic steps to attempt to get back into the good graces of the High Table.

Now, the story here is about as basic as you are going to get.  There are a bunch of assassins and hitmen chasing after John Wick and John has to kill them all in exceedingly dramatic and inconceivable ways in order to survive.  That’s about it.  Despite the film’s attempt at world building with its mysterious High Table or its rules and regulations that the assassins must follow, there really isn’t much more to the movie than that.

However, the action in this movie is so great you do not focus on the film’s narrative shortcomings.  Some of the action scenes are ridiculous, but they know they are and audience members can embrace that fact.  I found myself laughing several times at the results of the viciousness and I was shocked at what they showed me.  The action scenes are filmed with a ton of style and the violence level is way up there.  It is brutal and the choreography of these fights are astounding.  It makes for some serious thrills.

Unfortunately, there were some parts near the end that I found a bit boring, almost tedious.  There are only so many action sequences that I can see before I need something more, and Parabellum was approaching that limit.  Thankfully, most of the action is done so well and is so original that the stretches where I found the film dull were short and did not take away from the overall enjoyment of the movie.

Keanu Reeves plays John Wick perfectly.  There may not be a better character for Reeves to play.  He hits the action beautifully while delivering the humor well too.

Ian McShane returns as Winston, manager of the Continental, and brings his normal gravitas.  Halle Berry’s role was short but impactful.  She definitely had some back story that I would not have minded learning about as the film progressed and she made a nice companion for John Wick.  Two LOST alums were here with Lance Redding resuming his role of Charon, the concierge of the Continental, and Saïd Taghmaoui as the Elder of the High Table.  The character I enjoyed most outside of John Wick was the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) who returned from previous installments and had Fishburne chewing up scenery all around him.  Seeing Fishburne and Reeves together once again was a cool treat.

The Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon)  was an emissary of the High Table who arrived on the scene to dole out punishments for the last movie’s rule breakers.  She was not very engaging of a villain and seemed to exist merely as a plot point between Wick and Winston.  Zero (Mark Dacascos) made for a much more compelling villain, almost a John Wick opposite and the conflict between Wick and Zero was entertaining.

I would have liked more story than what I got, but the action made up for that with some amazing choreography and thrilling, violent imagery.  John Wick clearly is being set up to continue the franchise so hopefully they can find that nice balance between action and story.  Until then, let’s blow some heads off.

3.9 stars

 

Spider-Man & The League of Realms

Image result for spiderman & league of realms cover

Spider-Man and the League of Realms #1

Why We Fight

Writer:  Sean Ryan

Artist:  Nico Leon

Cover Art:  Ken Lashley & Brian Reber

I have to say, I have not been a huge fan of The War of the Realms crossover event so far.  I have found the main story to be fairly underwhelming and too disjointed to be interesting.

However, I really did enjoy the first issue of the three-issue series Spider-Man & the League of Realms.

This was one of the better renditions of Spider-Man we have seen for a bit.

Sure, I was not overly fond of the League of Realms because they were basically just side characters whom I know nothing about, but the contrast that they all have with Spider-Man was good, and I really enjoyed the final conflict between Spidey and the renegade angel Fernande.

Spider-Man is a hero and this issue shines the light on that character trait quite clearly.  I also love the scene where Thor puts Spidey in charge of this group despite everyone’s doubts, including Spidey’s.

Spider-Man’s humor is on display here too as he struggled to learn these names of these characters he has suddenly found fighting beside him.  Elf-Man, Giant Lady, Troll Guy seems to be a nod to the audience that some of these names are difficult to remember and even Spidey has had his troubles.

I was ready to not read this book, but then the writer Sean Ryan gave me a Spider-Man book and he seemed to know what Spidey should be like.  Because of that, I am on board.

ReadIt

Image result for spiderman & league of realms cover

The War of the Realms #4

Image result for the war of the realms #4 cover art

The War of the Realms #4

Chapter Four:  The Stand at the Black Bridge

Writer: Jason Aaron

Artist: Russell Dauterman

Cover Art:  Arthur Adams & Matthew Wilson

There have been a lot of positive word of mouth over The War of the Realms, Marvel’s big crossover event  written by Jason Aaron.  Unfortunately, it just has not been hitting the beats for me.

Not even mentioning the fact that there are a ton of crossover issues or new short series that only tangentially connect to the main story, but the main story itself feels too all over the place to truly enjoy.  It also feels as if the story is just a series of shock value scenes that may or may not be fixed in six months.

And honestly, SPOILERS— I just about laughed my head off at Iron Odin.  Especially an Iron Odin that lasts, literally, three pages.  What the hell is going on?

The Asgardian cast is really being decimated which does make me wonder what the future holds for them.  Of course, I don’t for one minute believe that Loki is dead, from issue #1 (I think), but Brunhilde last issue is a way to bring Jane Foster back to the forefront (for some reason).

The book looks great and I like the prestige format of it, but I have not found it worthy so far.  I hope it picks up.  I am a fan of Jason Aaron so I plan on continuing to read it for however long it takes, but this has been a downer so far.

disappointing

 

Image result for the war of the realms #4 cover art

 

The Immortal Hulk #17

Image result for the immortal hulk 17 cover

The Incredible Hulk #17

Abomination

Writer:  Al Ewing

Artist:  Joe Bennett

Cover Art:  Alex Ross

My goodness.

I have to tell you.  There is a double page splash page in the middle of this issue that was just shocking and awesome.

The Immortal Hulk has been consistently brilliant since the series started.  We now see something we have never seen before.

It appears that Bruce Banner may not be in charge of his body any longer.  Add to that that the fact that the Devil Hulk is currently being kept at bay, and suddenly something weird is going on.

The man who looks like Banner called himself Joe.  Is that Joe Fixit?  The comic implies that but I am not sure.  Still, it is clearly not Bruce Banner.  Or at least, the personality is not Bruce Banner.

The Immortal Hulk continues to be one of the best reads every month.  Al Ewing has kept the story moving quickly with surprises and mood.  The art is great and the cover by the amazing Alex Ross continues to be fantastic.

Awesomeness

Image result for the immortal hulk 17 cover

Breakthrough

Breakthrough Movie Poster

I have never liked any of the Christian faith movies that have come out over the years. The main reason was that it always felt as if the characters’ faith was the only thing that mattered and that these characters were pushing their faith with a hammer.  No subtlety at all.  I have never wanted to downgrade anyone beliefs but many of these faith movies, as movies, are nearly unwatchable.

Today, for Mother’s Day, I took my mom to Breakthrough, a film that I had avoided since it was released in April for that very reason I mentioned before.  However, I figured mom would like it so I took her to it.

I will say that it was probably the best Christian faith movie I have seen because it allowed its characters to be real characters who just happen to have faith in God and not one-dimensional people spouting their personal beliefs.

This movie is based on the true story of John Smith (Marcel Ruiz), a young teen who fell through an icy Missouri lake in 2015 and spent 15 minutes under water before being pulled out by search and rescuer Tommy Shine (Mike Colter).

John was rushed to the hospital and was near death, but his mother Joyce (Chrissy Metz) was a powerhouse force of nature and insisted that her son would recover.  Even at a point where it appeared that the doctors and nurses had given up finding a pulse, Joyce refused to let go.

Here is the strength of the film.  During his hospital stay, characters were allowed to doubt, question and be angry.  Even Joyce was shown to be out of control.  Those people who expressed doubt were never demonized by the movie and, in fact, the film went out of its way to show that Joyce’s angry dismissals of these people’s thoughts were unlike her and were inappropriate.  That surprised me.

Even the film’s pastor, Jason (Topher Grace) was allowed to speak to John’s father (Josh Lucas) in a real way.  It is not just “pray and all will be okay, trust in God” etc etc.  Pastor Jason, in that conversation, told John’s father that he had doubts about John’s survival, but anything was possible.  This felt like a real conversation that would be held with real people.

And I especially loved the ending when, SPOILERS- I guess, John recovered, and there was some resentment directed toward him, wondering why he was saved while others were not.  That was even more interesting of an approach to me, and I would have liked for the movie to expand upon that more than it did.  Just the inclusion of those moments was a step in the right direction though.

Mike Colter’s character even expressed that he did not believe in God, and he was allowed to be a real person who showed confusion over the fact that he believed he heard someone direct him to where John was in the water.  This internal conflict was never officially resolved, just like it most likely would not be in real life.

Now, there are plenty of problems with the film as well.  I mean, some of the acting was average at best, the story became extremely melodramatic several times (don’t get me started on the giant sing-a-long pray session outside John’s hospital window) and there were times where the movie felt too movie-of-the-week-like.  Still, the main performances were strong and just the fact that these characters were written like real people of faith and not just propaganda for Christian faith is a definite positive.

Plus, my mom loved it.  So there is that.

3.1 stars

The Hustle (2019)

The Hustle Movie Poster

You may not know this, but the new film The Hustle is a gender swap remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Starring Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway, the movie tells the story of two female con artists who wind up in the same city and discovering that the city may not be big enough for the two of them.

There have been some scathing reviews for this movie.  I may not have found it great, but I did not hate it as much as many of the critics seem to.  Don’t misunderstand me though… this is not a good movie.  It is one of those meh films that have some okay moments but could have been better.

Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson are fine here, but neither really excels with their characters.  Hathaway is the rich and snooty con artist and Wilson is more of the down home girl who uses the same shtick on everybody.  While we get a few flashes of likability with Wilson’s character, there is little to cheer for in Hathaway.  In fact, there is almost zero character development for wither lady, with the little glimpses we get tossed aside at the end for a nonsensical finale.

The story bounces around with Hathaway first trying to get rid of Wilson from her city and then the two ladies going against each other in an attempt to can the wealthy tech guy Thomas (Alex Sharp).  It is during this time frame where Wilson pretends to be blind for a significant part of the film and is fairly offensive while doing it.

Once again, as with last week’s Long Shot, if a film is funny, some, if not most, of its flaws can be ignored.  Unfortunately, there is little humor here and what is funny turns out to be fairly cliched.  Both female leads are passable, but both have given considerably better performances in their careers.  The story is truly a mess and one wonders why we needed this remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in the first place.  Sure it is not as bad as Rotten Tomatoes is suggesting, but it is not near fresh either.

2.6 stars

Tolkien

Image result for Tolkien movie poster

The new biopic features the story of the young years of EYG Hall of Famer J.R.R. Tolkien and the lead up to his writing of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

This biopic deals with Tolkien as a youth and how he formed a group of friends at school who would become the basis for the Fellowship from his novels.

I enjoyed watching how these four students came together despite differing backgrounds and class over their shared love for the arts, even though some of them had to hide that love from parents.  The interactions with the foursome was great as you really see how strong a connection these four boys had leading to their lives as young men.

We also get shots of Tolkien during World War I, when many of the images of the horrific battles with dragons and monster and the evil of Sauron would come into view for the author.

There is a love story between Tolkien (played wonderfully by Nicholas Hoult) and Edith (Lily Collins).  The love story was not my favorite part of the movie as it felt more like a distraction from what the movie really was about and that was about how J.R.R. Tolkien wound up creating Middle Earth and all the wild language that goes with it.

In fact, the scenes with Hoult and his professor (Derek Jacobi) were some of the most compelling of the film and I would not have minded more of those.  The scenes in World War I were very moving as well as the Germans were clearly cast as the evil hordes of Mordor.  Some of the CGI here was really well done and beautiful to look at.

I was quite engaged by the film Tolkien and I enjoyed the story it was telling.  While I may not have loved the Edith parts, I thought Lily Collins was very good as Tolkien’s lady love.  The relationship between the four boys that lead to such an inspiration of artistic creativity and a friendship strong enough to survive almost anything is the best part of the movie.

3.7 stars

Poms

Image result for poms movie poster

Rah Rah

Poms had its moments, but there were some problems as well.

Martha (WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME..err sorry), played by Diane Keaton has cancer and is moving into a retirement community to die.  However, once there, she meets a crew of characters of old women who spark that desire for her to don that cheerleading outfit once more.

Yes, that is what I said.

The premise may be ridiculous, but the cast is great.  Diane Keaton brings way more to this plot than you would expect.  Jacki Weaver is the standout of the cast and steals every scene she is in.  Pam Grier shows off her sexy side in a severely under written character.  And, while Alice (played by Cheers’ Rhea Perlman) may have murdered her husband, the movie plays it as a joke so it’s okay.

Every cliche imaginable in this type of underdog movie is in play.  We have the mean, overbearing community leader (Celia Weston) who is out to get the cheerleaders, the young mean girl cheerleaders who bully everyone, the bumbling cop (Bruce McGill) who drives around in the golf cart, the initial attempt to perform only to fail, the break up only to reunite, the son who won’t let his mom join in… I mean, they are all here.

I will say that the ending surprised me and I respected the film for going there.  I had never thought that they would go where they did.

Another problem I had with the film was with Diane Keaton’s character.  When she first moved into the community, she wanted no part of anybody, including her neighbor Jacki Weaver.  She even called Cop Carl on her.  However, I blinked, and suddenly, Jacki and Diane are best buddies and sharing wine with each other.  There seemed to be no reason why suddenly they were BFFs.  It made the first part of the movie feel false.

Of course, the film depends on a ton of suspension of disbelief, which is fine.  That does not bother me, but I do wish there was some attempt to ground the film into some reality.  It goes to a crazy level and I have to go with it to follow.  Fortunately, these actresses are good enough to elevate the material.  As I said, especially Jacki Weaver, who I found very fun and original in Poms.

Poms is a perfectly decent movie, if you just want to laugh at some nice actresses trying to be funny.  The story is nothing new and most of the film is predictable.  Still, there is a feeling of friendship among the crew and you get that feeling as an audience member too.  So it has some redeeming qualities.  It is a middle of the road movie.

2.9 stars

 

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu

Image result for detective pikachu movie poster

Pi-ka, Pi-ka.

Okay, Detective Pikachu was fine.  Thing is… it was not made for me.

This is a movie whose target audience was the Pokemon fans who have grown up with the “Gotta catch’em all” attitude.  Those people who know the difference between Bulbasaur and Charmander.  I have a passing knowledge of Pokemon which is to say, I know Pikachu, Charizard and that duck one.  I know the Weird Al polka song, Polkamon.  Other than that…

That does not mean this is a bad movie.  In fact, I liked it fine.  I just believe that people who know the franchise more would have enjoyed it more.

In Detective Pikachu, Tim (Justice Smith) comes back to Ryme City when he hears that his deadbeat father had died.  He meets up with his father’s Pokemon, Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) whom he could understand.  To the rest of the world, Pikachu could only say “Pi-ka, pi-ka” but Tim could hear everything he said.  The pair team up to try and discover the truth behind what happened to Tim’s father.

Of course, Pikachu has amnesia, which is one of the laziest contrived plot devices imaginable, and this one, when the truth does come out, makes even less sense.  The whole amnesia angle is a drag on the story.

The best part of the film is easily Ryan Reynolds.  He does a tremendous job of bringing Pikachu to life with his voice work.  He is funny and full of life and his connection with Tim was strong.

The story itself was decent too, as the whole thing had a noir feel to it.   There was a mystery to solve and, although they do not really let the audience play along, it was compelling enough.

Bill Nighy had an important role as one of the leading Pokemon supporters and a huge businessman.  It is always fun to see Ken Watanabe in a movie too.  Unfortunately, most of the movie’s other actors are, let’s say, average.

There is a funny scene with Pokemon Mr. Mime, which, unfortunately, had been spoiled by the trailers.  I think that could have been a laugh out loud moment in the movie if I had not already seen it a few months ago.

I was not much of a fan of the third act overall.  I can’t go into much detail about the parts I disliked without going into spoilers so I’ll just say that the third act had several things that I was not wild about.

Overall, the film was fine.  It was not as great as I had thought it might be, but I did not hate watching it.  Ryan Reynolds is all kinds of charming and is worth the price of admission alone.

3.2 stars

EYG Top 10 Best Mothers in Movies

EYG23

It has been a bit since I did one of these lists and that is for a couple of reasons.  I do not want to go into it, but let’s just say that I left the Top 10 Facebook group.  I have also been very busy so it has been tough to do the lists though I have enjoyed the Top 10 shows that have gone with them the last few weeks.

Anyway, this past week, the Top 10 posted a Relist episode on the Top 10 Dads in movies and, since tomorrow is Mother’s Day (Happy Mother’s Day to all the Geek Mommies out there), I figured I would do a Top 10 Moms in Movies.

Having said that, I found way more moms in movies that were bad moms or mothers that were evil.  I did not include the Norma Bates or the Manchurian Candidate’s Eleanor Isein no matter how iconic they were or how great a performance it may have been. Mu list is good mommies and only good mommies.

Even with that caveat, there were a bunch of choices and I had to narrow my list considerably.  I also flip-flopped on my list a couple of times with my choices.

Image result for molly weasley#10.  Molly Weasley (the Harry Potter films.)  A last second addition, mother Weasley was the mother to a whole horde of children, but she never turned away poor Harry when he needed a place to be.  She provided lots of love for her gaggle of children and brought lessons of magic in the world with her.

 

 

Image result for ramonda black panther#9.  Queen Ramonda (Black Panther).  You get an actress the caliber of Angela Bassett, you make her a queen.  Mother of both T’Challa and Shuri, Ramonda show great strength and willpower during her children’s tough times.  She was grieving her dead husband, yet she was there for her son as he became king, helped save his life after Killmonger arrived and nearly killed him, and did it all with an air of regal nature.

 

Image result for Mrs jumbo#8.  Mrs. Jumbo, (Dumbo).  All she wanted was to be with her newly born baby, but those creeps at the circus just would not leave little, big-eared Dumbo alone.  It nearly cost her dearly.  Thankfully, Dumbo turned out to be more talented than anyone ever believed and she was able to return to her son.

 

 

Image result for Ma Room#7.  Ma (Room).  I fell in love with Brie Larson after this movie.  Room was such an emotional film with two stand out performances that it wrecked me throughout.  And Ma did everything she could to try and give her son as normal of a life as she could in the most abnormal situation.  How well he adapted to the horrible situation tells you how great a mother she was.

 

Image result for holly gennero punches reporter#6.  Holly Gennero (Die Hard).  Don’t put Ms. Gennero’s children in danger or you just might take a right cross to the face.   Mrs. McClane is a force of nature and you can see that in both Die Hard and its sequel when dealing with either Richard Thornburg or Hans Gruber.  We do not get that many scenes of Holly with her children, but you know she is a mother who would do whatever for her children.

 

 

 

Image result for Ma Kent diane lane man of steel;#5.  Ma Kent (Man of Steel).  Martha….WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME????  Sorry, lost my train of thought there a second.  Despite her infamous use in Batman v Superman, Diane Lane made a great Ma Kent.  Man of Steel provided Kal-El with one sane parent (sorry Kevin Costner) and brought some life into Superman’s earthly mother.

 

Image result for frigga#4.  Frigga (Thor movies/Avengers: Endgame).  Frigga was great in the first two Thor movies, especially with some of her scenes with Loki (Tom Hiddleston), but what truly propelled her up the list was her surprise cameo in Avengers: Endgame and her talk with her son from the future.  Never before had Frigga felt like such an awesome mom as she did here, and she wanted Thor to eat a salad.  How motherly!  Plus, Rene Russo is epic as the All-Mother.

 

 

Related image#3.  Lynn Sear (Sixth Sense).  All she wanted to do was to help her son, Cole, who was going through something that she did not understand.  He would not open up to her, but she never gave up on him.  Her patience and her love allowed Cole to tell her his secret… he sees dead people.  And she accepted it.  Sure, at first she thought he was exaggerating, but she was convinced and her love was unwavering.  She did not look at her son differently and the scene of her with Cole in the car at the end of that movie was wonderfully moving.  Toni Collette rightfully received an Oscar nomination for this role.

 

Related image#2.  Helen Parr (The Incredibles).  Elastigirl loves her children.  You can tell from the desperate message she cries across the radio, “There are children on board!” before the missiles blew her plane from the sky.  She was able to keep Violet and Dash alive, and reunited them with their missing father.  She also stepped out as a working mom to help bring supers back to prominence in the Incredibles universe.  Helen is a mom who can really stretch.

 

Image result for sarah connor t2#1.  Sarah Connors (Terminator 2).  Okay, sure…Sarah Connors is bat-shit crazy.  Really you can’t blame her.  She has been told that the robots were coming and that only her son could save humanity.  Oh and that judgement day was coming.  All that Sarah Connors cared about was getting John safe, prepared and protected.  She went to all kinds of coo-coo lengths to do it, but wouldn’t everybody?  I tried to not put Sarah at number one, but when I looked at the list, she was the only one who fit the spot.

 

Honorable mention:  There were a bunch of others.  Erin Brockovich was at #10 for awhile before getting bumped off.  Mary from E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial was a nice choice.  The Blind Side‘s Leigh Anna Tuehy, played by Sandra Bullock was a great football mom who was not afraid to expand her family.  Annie Sullivan from Field of Dreams would probably make the list of great wives for her support of her crazy ass, voice hearing husband.  The crew from Bad Moms would have been an ironic addition to this list.  Rose Byrne’s Ellie from Instant Family is a great foster mother for sure.  Mrs. Gump (Sally Field) did so much for her son, and told us that life was like a box of chocolates.

EYG23

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #6

Image result for friendly Neighborhood spiderman #6 cover

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #6

“Spider-Bite”

Writer:  Tom Taylor

Artist:  Juann Cabal

Cover Art:  Andrew C. Robinson

There may be spoilers in this post, so be warned.

So this started out with a unexpected scene.  This character of Spider-Bite, Spider-Man’s new 9 1/2 year old partner, was here and was kicking some butt.  They have tried to do these Spider-Man sidekicks and they rarely work out, so I was not excited to see the story again.

However, it was not too far into the book when I realized that there was something else going on.

Everything from the art style to the dialogue was telling us that something besides strict continuity was going on and I was starting to enjoy what I was reading.  Then, the Sinister Sixty?  LOL!

Of course, the book took the turn after this and reveal what was actually happening and brought a deeper poignant feel to what we had read before.  It was kind of what I had expected, but that did not lessen the impact of the few pages.  It shows an (forgive the pun) amazing side to the character of Spider-man, much like it did in the absolute classic “The Kid who Collected Spider-Man.”

The thing is… this does not feel out of character for Spider-Man.  I can believe that he takes the time to go an make wishes come true.. like Marvel’s own John Cena.

While this was not as much of an emotional punch as “The Kid who Collected Spider-man was, Spider-Bite turned out to be a solid and emotionally satisfying story and highlighted the power that heroes/role models can have.

ReadIt

Image result for friendly Neighborhood spiderman #6 cover

New Agents of Atlas #1

Image result for new agents of atlas #1 cover

New Agents of Atlas #1

“Fire and Ice Chapter One”

Writer:  Greg Pak

Artist:  Gang Hyuk Lim

Cover Art:  Billy Tan

The War of the Realms has been so-so for me so far, and I have not been interested in any of the tie-in issues. They all seem like a waste of time between the main story in the main title.

However, there feels like there is a different purpose in New Agents of Atlas#1, and I kind of dug it.  The team that was formed featured a bunch of Marvel’s Asian characters including several new character that I did not know.

The story focused on Amadeus Cho from the Champions and his problems that put him on the outs with Ms. Marvel and his other teammates.  He stuck with the Agents of Atlas and immediately cause some chaos.

Shang Chi is here, as the preeminent Marvel Asian character.  So is Cindy Moon, aka Silk.  The rest of this group are characters that I am unaware of, but which I liked.

The biggest problem I had with the issue is that there is very minimal character development or introduction.  This felt like a giant fight book and, since so many of these characters are heroes who I do not know, it makes it tough to root for them.  I would have liked to be introduced to some of them in a lesser moment so we could take a breath with the characters and see who they are outside of just their power set.  I hope that will happen in future issues.

I really liked the art of the issue.  It felt very colorful and bright.  The character designs are interesting and I would like to know more about them, so it is not like the first issue turned me off.  Truthfully, I wanted to know more about them and I wish they would have introduced them to me before throwing them into a huge fight.

New Agents of Atlas #1 has some good parts and too many parts where I just wanted more than what they gave me.  It is tough when the cast of your comic is this large, but it is a decent first step.  I will certainly be purchasing the second issue to see where they go from here.  The idea of representation is vital if the comic genre is to continue to survive.

Itsfine

Image result for new agents of atlas #1 cover

Savage Avengers#1

Image result for savage avengers #1 cover

Savage Avengers#1

“Chapter One: Once Upon a Time in the City of Sickles”

Writer:  Gerry Duggan

Artist:  Mike Deodato Jr.

Cover Art:  David Finch & Frank D’Armata

This one is starting off hot.

What you never knew you wanted?  How about a brutal slugfest between The Wolverine and Conan the Barbarian?  Yes please.

Conan, Logan and Brother Voodoo are the main characters involved as one other has a glorified cameo.  There are two characters who appear on the cover who do not appear in the issue so don’t get your hopes up.

Despite that, I like the beginning of this series although I really want to see Conan interact with Ka-Zar, since they are having this adventure set in the Savage land.

The art work of Mike Deodato Jr fits nicely with the tone of the book and helps create a violent and dark mood.  There are several violent images that are beautifully rendered and illustrated.

For Conan, this is a direct sequel to the Avengers: No Road Home series and, while this does not reach that level of goodness, I see some real potential here and I am looking forward to seeing where they take this.  I hope they dive into characters as much as that previous series did and do not simply rely on the bloody battles of these brutal heroes.

Awesomeness

 

Image result for savage avengers #1 cover

Uncanny X-Men #17

UNCANNY X-MEN #17

Uncanny X-Men #17

We Have Always Been Part 1

Writer:  Matthew Rosenberg

Artist:  Carlos Gomez

Cover Art:  Whilce Portacio & Erick Arciniega

I had stopped collecting almost everything from the X-franchise.  The only regular book I was getting was Dead Man Logan (and Wolverine Long Night, but it is not a regular book to me).  I had been tired of all the same stuff.  The weekly stunt from Uncanny X-Men for their first 10 issues had chased me away.  I only read the first three issues, and I just did not feel the need to read the remainder.  I have heard that it had gotten much better, but I was not inspired.

I was also unimpressed by the latest alternate reality X-books that are out now and I have not bought any of them outside of the number ones.

So I have been heading toward a full break from the mutants of Marvel Comics.

I spotted the cover for Uncanny X-Men #17 and I knew that Ben and Todd from my comic shop had been saying how great Uncanny has been lately.  The cover was intriguing with Cyclops and Wolverine standing over a recently dug grave and I thought I would give it a chance.  Ben raved about the issue as he was determining my bill, but he said that Todd had told him that the last page would blow his mind.  However, Ben then stepped back and said that I might not have as much of an impact from that last page since I have not been reading the series.

I decided to give it a chance, and you know what… Ben was right.  That last page meant very little to me.

The story was fine.  It seems to be ready to pit Cyclops and Wolverine against one another again, which is something that I have seen before.  They are doing it over the shocking death of one of their own (I don’t know if this is a spoiler or happened in a previous issue, so I will keep the name to myself), but, let’s face facts.  Deaths in comics are not anything to be upset about.  Characters return from the dead all the time (case in point, Cyclops and Wolverine).

This character of Kwannon is interesting and I do like the design of her outfit.  I found the reveal of what happened to the deceased character to be quite horrific, and the end result of the case to be anticlimactic.  Then seeing Logan and Scott going at it was just more of the same for me.

I must say that the issue was well written and the art was decent.  The way they interspersed the funeral with Logan/Kwannon was good.  I assume the last page was more important or shocking than it was for me.  I don’t know if the issue made me want to get back into the X-Men series. It was fine.

Itsfine UNCANNY X-MEN #17