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Saturday, June 23, 2012

6/13 Comic Week In Review

American Vampire: Lord Of Nightmares #1
Writer: Scott Snyder, Artist: Dustin Nguyen
Well written suspenseful story. The art is dark, gritty, ominous, and menacing. It looks a little sketchy and messy which is fitting dealing with all the bloody. The end of the issue was too cliche and therefore anticlimactic to me in hopes that this "Lord of Nightmares" would be an original character like most of the American Vampire villains and characters. Overall still impressed and hoping that they put a new spin on this classic vampire villain.
Verdict: BUY

Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #1 of 6
Writer: Darwyn Cooke, Artist: Amanda Conner
The art is soft, smooth, and cool. The writing and art are perfect for this title as Darwyn Cooke captures the tough yet girlish charm of Laurie’s perspective as Amanda Conner’s art does the same. I feel like I know Laurie Jupiter more than I ever have. I’m already falling in love with Laurie and not just because she's a beautiful redhead but because she is so different and tough than her mother, the original Silk Spectre.
Verdict: BUY
Deadpool #56
Writer: Daniel Way, Artist: Shawn Crystal
The art is darker, grittier, and more realistic than ever before with this story arc. I wasn’t sure about picking this one up so I skimmed it at Kaboom and it looked promising but fell short. Deadpool or Dp as I call him wants Taskmaster to help him “tighten up his game.” Taskmaster agrees to some on the job training by taking something from a SHIELD warehouse. This just ends up turning into DP trying to avoid death. I really enjoyed the art and the writing is still the funny but so far the story is kind of weak. I will give this one more chance before I drop this title entirely in hopes that the next issue makes up for it.
Verdict: PASS
The Incredible Hulk #9
Writer: Jason Aaron, Artist: Pasqual Ferry
I’m glad its not Dillon’s art but this isn't much better. Hulk looks bigger but he's still bald and kind of looking like a roided out Brock Lesnar. The art looks cheesy, kiddish, cartoony, and stupid. At least Aaron matches this with redneck Atlantean moonshine makers and users. For me this got too ridiculously stupid. Hulk even breathes and talks underwater with as little explanation as “My body can adapt to breathing underwater. It’s done it before.”I feel like Aaron’s writing has taken a dip in quality and I no longer care about Hulk or Banners story any longer until a decent or stellar artist like Whilce Portacio returns to this book.
Verdict: PASS
Avengers VERSUS X-Men #3 of 6
The Thing VS Colossus
Writer: Jeph Loeb, Pencils: Ed McGuinness, Inks: Dexter Vines, Colors: Morry Hollowell
1/4 of Fantastic Four and strongest member Bejamin Grimm of Yancy Street versus Steel-skinned X-Man Peter Rasputin Colossus+Juggernaut=Colossunaut
If you've been reading anything with Colossus right now you know that he also has the raw power and evil of Juggernaut so anybody that is not god-level powerful is not a fair fight or challenge. It seems like as this series goes on it has become less and less fair fights with obvious victors.
Black Widow VS Magik
Writer: Christopher Yost, Pencils: Terry Dodson, Inks: Rachel Dodson, Colors: Guru eFX
Ex-KGB Russian spy weapons and hand-to-hand combat expert, Natalia Romanova versus Soulless magic using mutant X-Man sister of Colossus, Illyana Rasputin
Seriously, a magic using mutant named Magik without a soul vs a non-powered human spy. I wonder who’s going to win that one, NOT. They did do a good job of keeping you guessing but it still ended as expected. Without the all impressive art this series would be nothing. It would be nice if they had better match ups though.
Verdict: SKIM
Spider-Men #1 of 5
Writer: BMB, Art: Pichelli, Ponsor
Interesting suspenseful opening to a limited series event with high quality art deserving of this special crossover. I knew at some point that either Peter or Miles was going to somehow crossover into the others universe but I didn't know when or how. I'm surprised and impressed how they did it and that they didn't drag it out. Also I really enjoyed that they didn't drag out their meeting which leads me to say that I can't wait for the next issue. Cover is horrible though as Miles looks like a full grown man and Peter doesn't.
Verdict: BUY
The Amazing Spider-Man#687
Writer: Dan Slott, Artist: Stefano Caselli
The Ends of The Earth story arc finally comes to an epic end. Caselli is back on art making this title look as good and cool as ever. Spidey, Black Widow, and Silver Sable duke it out with Doc Ock controlled Avengers. Someone sacrifices everything to help ensure Peter's success. This may go down as a classic issue and moment in Spider-Man history as it reminded me of a past one. Never doubt Peter Parker as a man or true hero.

Verdict: BUY
Batman & Robin #10
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi, Art: Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray
The art was ugly at first as it was just the Wayne "family" taking a family portrait. Once all the former and current Robin suited up it began to look a lot better. This was a really fun, quick, and interesting read. I've always preferred Robin so it was great to see all the generations together as Damian Wayne challenged them all. There is also an impending threatening thread building to add to the suspense. I sincerely enjoyed this issue and I am intrigued to see what the next few issues have in store for us.
Verdict: BUY

Batman #10
Writer: Scott Snyder, Art: Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion
The Night of The Owls is has come to a conclusion with Batman doing what he does best, solving and closing a case. Having put the Talon on ice, Batman is now going after the Court of Owls. Using intimidation, scare tactics, and downright great detective work Bruce gets to the bottom of all of this. With a mind-shattering ending that my mind is still reeling from and have yet to except not only has Night of The Owls been the best event and crossover I have ever experienced but this title and its writer, Scott Snyder, are the greatest things in comics today. The Fall of The House of Wayne part 2 of 3 also written by Snyder with the help of James Tynion IV and Rafael Albuquerque on art only enrich this issue and story arc even further and deeper than I could have imagined.

CoTW: American Vampire: Lord Of Nightmares #1 - Well orchestrated cover with so much going on I could look at it for hours.
PoTW: Silk Spectre #1 - So much thought and work put into it I instantly knew it had to be my panel.
SoTW: Batman & Robin #10 - Seeing Red Hood and Nightwing in attack mode with their respective weapons of choice looks wicked awesome and detailed.
BnBoTW: Batman #10 - MIND BLOWN, ’nuff said.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

John Carter Of Mars Review

First of all don't bother seeing this movie in 3D because it is not at all worth it. As this is a translation of book to film it feels as such. It's a really long film that takes a good portion of the movie before it picks up speed. The cast was pretty solid as was the acting. The true star of the show were the impressive graphics. As far as 3D movies go though this was a fail for me.

My idea of a good 3D movie is one that incorporates a lot of 3D objects popping or flying out at you not just "depth". To be honest I didn't even really feel much 3D depth in this film and as far as I recall there was not one object flying at me or popping out to me. The graphics on the other hand were very impressive. I feel like if this movie was shot with 3D cameras it could have been the most impressively looking 3D film next to Avatar.

Next to the impressive graphics was the cast. The cast consisted of Taylor Kitsch, who played everybody's favorite card throwing mutant, Willem Dafoe, Spideys greatest foe, Lynn Collins, who was also from Wolverine Origins, Dominic West, from 300 & Punisher War Zone as Jigsaw. Taylor Kitsch plays John Carter, Willem Dafoe as Tars Tarkus, Johns alien ally, Lynn Collins, Mars princess Dejah Thoris, and the antagonist, Sab Than, played by Dominic West. The cast did a stellar job with their respective roles. The story could have been done a little better though.

As I said this film is actually adapted from a book. Sometimes staying too close to the source material doesn't translate as well as it could. As some books go this movie also doesn't pick up and start to make complete sense until about halfway through. The things this movie didn't do well was a hook, backstory/exposition, and explanation of purpose early in the movie. The things that this movie did do well was use elements of other sci-fi films. Despite the fact that the book was written in 1917 I felt like they used Star Wars as inspiration, minus the incest, by trying to make it more relatable with a character becoming a new hope, saves and falls in love with the princess, and saves the world all in our own solar system. It also reminded me of Avatar with the tall, green, four-armed alien tribes that join up against a common foe trying to destroy the world. The love story was a little forced and cheesy at times. Despite these complaints I felt that the story was pretty good.

It could have been better but overall I enjoyed it. The cast has a lot of ties in sci-fi and superhero films so they were all a good fit for their roles and this movie. The graphics were very impressive yet could have been the best second to Avatar if shot with 3D cameras. Had this film been done more like a movie than a book it would have done a better job with a hook, the backstory, and purpose it could have been exponentially better. I strongly suggest that everybody should see this movie for enjoyment just as a strong action sci-fi film. Yet I can only advise John Carter Of Mars as a strong RENT.

Friday, June 15, 2012

6/6 Comic Week in Review

Winter Soldier#6
Writer: Brubaker, Art: Lark, Gaudiano, Thies, Breitweiser
The art felt like a slightly cleaned up just as good Guice. To say the least the art is nearly the same and as good if not better. This is the beginning of a new story arc that gave closure and clarity to the last story arc. Mostly about a new character and from his point of view this series is still the most consistently impressive written and draws books.
Verdict: BUY
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #11
Writer: BMB, Art: David Marquez
This is the best looking Spider-book on the market as it was when the first few issues came out. Its good to see the art return to its former glory. Miles decides to team-up with his Uncle Aaron AKA Prowler to take down The Scorpion. It kind of went to hell in a hand basket real quick. Miles finds out that his uncle isn’t very reliable, dependable, or honorable. Its great to see Mile use the powers and abilities that set him apart from Peter Parker. If you're not invested in this character I would suggest getting this in trade instead of by issues.
Verdict: BUY
Earth 2 #2
Writer: James Robinson, Art: Nikola and Trevor Scott
I have no idea who Mr. Terrific is but he had a giant red “T" on his face and showed up at the beginning of this issue. As the cover says and shows Jay Garrick becomes the Flash with a spiffy new dorky helmet and suit. It was actually a pretty great moment but I don't understand why they gave him such a stupid looking costume. Theres some gay love in there from Alan Scott and his lover Samuel, Flash fights some Apokorats, which was depicted quite impressively, as the cover also indicates, and then they elude to Green Lantern next issue. I really enjoyed and was impressed with the art though out the entire issue. I’ll continue to pick this up in hopes that it picks up and gets better.
Verdict: SKIM
Detective Comics#10
Writer: Tony S. Daniel, Art: Ed Benes, Hunter, Morey
Different artist with a very similar style to Daniel. It was a good solid story that appears to be the beginning of a bigger story arc but was a good issue all on its own. This is still the coolest most hardcore looking Batman book. The colors consisted of shades of black with powerful flashes of reds. The Two-Face side story written by Tony S. Daniel and drawn by Szymon Kudranski is still dark, gritty, and confusing.
Verdict: BUY
Uncanny X-Men#13 AvX Tie-In
Writer: Gillen, Art: Tan, Smith, Yeung, Guru eFX
Starts and ends with AvX tie-in. I was a little confused throughout this issue as it was not much of a tie-in issue. It was mostly about some of the X-Men licking their wounds and the beginning of the end of another ongoing story arc. The art is very appealing and impressive. The color palette varied throughout the book.
Verdict: BUY
Avengers vs. X-Men Round 5
Script: Matt Fraction, Artist: John Romita Jr.
Isn't it time for another artist, no not yet unfortunately. Did Tony Stark make his own Transformer because it sure does look like it. The bright colors and a few impressive spreads are what makes the art worthy of this title. This issue ends with a status quo change which could be really good or bad depending on happens next issue.
Verdict: BUY
Swamp Thing#10
Writer: Snyder, Artist: Francesco Francavilla
I absolutely love this artist and anything he does is gold. This is no exception as this may be his greatest work yet. The issue started off exactly where the last one ended. We filled in as to why Abigail Arcane is the true Queen of the Rot. This issue was mostly backstory. Other than that not much really happened even though it felt the opposite. It was pretty short and felt as such because of the always impressive but already seen American Vampire Lord of Vampires preview.
Verdict: BUY
Before Watchmen: Minutemen 1 of 6
Writer & Artist: Darwyn Cooke
Captures the feel of Watchmen perfectly and expands on it just as well. The art and writing is perfect for the Minutemen, time period for which they are in, and point of view from whom it is from. The only thing that I found was missing from Watchmen is further backstory or explanation about the Minutemen which is exactly what this issue alone does. I am already satisfied and I'm it'll only get better. I was extremely skeptical but now I am truly impressed of Before Watchmen.
Verdict: BUY
Animal Man#10
Writer: Jeff Lemire, Artist: Steve Pugh
Buddy Baker is stuck in the Red, he meets and fights alongside warriors of the Redlands as he continues his journey to the totems of the Red. Constantine and other DC characters make an appearance as they try to help Buddy Bakers family. Things take a turn for the worse for the Baker family as things may be improving for Buddy Baker. This series is an emotional roller coaster as Lemire does an amazing job at making you care and like even small minor characters. Pugh delivers disgustingly awesome art and in your face wicked great scenes quite possibly better than ever.
Verdict: BUY

CoTW: Winter Soldier#6
PoTW: Swamp Thing#10
SoTW: Animal Man#10
BnBoTW: Animal Man#10

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Demo Review

At first I had no interest in this game whatsoever being that I was still occupied with Skyrim. It wasn't until I saw a preview of it on G4 that my interest was piqued. The combat looked fun and interesting especially for an RPG. The animation looked cartoony and somewhat mystical like Fable. In all honesty the reason that I played this demo is because I knew that I would get armor for Mass Effect 3. I wouldn't say that I was overly impressed but I definitely want to play it again.

The demo starts the same way the full game starts - at the beginning. Right away the animation kind of bugged me because it just seemed a little too cartoony for my tastes. The story is pretty generic. You were dead and now somehow you're alive and you can change the world through your actions and decisions. It's been done before and they don't exactly do it any better than other games like this. What really stands out and makes this game fun is the combat. This game is very similar to Fable as it is in 3rd person, it's an RPG, and so forth. As I was saying the combat is fun because it gives you options. You have ranged, close combat, magic, and stealth. The combat is very easy and seamless to transition and utilize different combat styles. If I felt like being sneaky and using daggers I could do that, or use my bow, then cast a lightning bolt and charge in with a giant hammer or sword.

The story was pretty weak but I did really enjoy all the little side quest there were. The side quests were fun, some short and easy and some pretty fleshed out. Though I didn't care for the animation I really enjoyed the spectacle of this new big beautiful world. The demo was actually pretty long. After you get past a certain point in the story you have 2 hours to just wander around, talk to NPCs, do side quests, fight enemies. Parts of the world are blocked in the demo but there was still a big world to venture about.

In conclusion this demo was a great example of what the full game consists of. This showed me exactly what I needed to know: the story is mediocre, combat is really fun, lots of side quests, and cool looking world. Overall I would say that the story was weak, combat was exponentially more fun than I had imagined, animation is odd and cartoony yet filled with awesome environments with tons of fun side quests. As impressive a the demo was and how intrigued I am to play this game some more I can only suggest the game as RENT but I do feel that the demo is a MUST DOWNLOAD. If anything this demo is more than worth playing just to get the bonus armor for Shepard in Mass Effect 3. Stay frosty my friends.

Verdict: Rent

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lollipop Chainsaw

Lollipop Chainsaw
The Ambassador

               I was able to play this game the other day and get a good feel for it. Everyonce in a while, a game comes along that just sounds so crazy and random that you want to play. This game does that and more.

               Even thought I love this game. I am warning you that if you do not like cousing, dirtiy talking, or violence this game is not for you. As the games says Sex, Blood and RocknRoll. Now that the warning is out of the way now time to discuss the game play. The main character is Juliet a cheerleader and her Boyfriend Nick.

               Most of the game play is trying to save the Juliet's Boyfriend from being a zombie. She persforms a magic ritual that takes his head off before he becomes a zombie to save his life. Her goal is to kill the zombie bosses and get her Nick a body. Nick can take bodies for a while and help you get farther in the game. He is also used a weapon in combos. You also can collect money by killing 3 zombies more with a combo. You are able to buy combos and ability enhancers. The main weapon is the chainsaw and it is upgradeable. One of the crazy things that it does is turn into a shotgun later on in the game.  Lollipops will recover health when you eat them. The game has a lot of fun rock songs in it. When you use your power up, you hear the song Micky. The game has a huge soundtrack.

Virdect: BUY!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

5/30 Comic Week In Review

The Incredible Hulk#8
Writer: Jason Aaron, Artist: Steve Dillon
I just want to start off by saying that I hate Dillons art and I always have. The way he draws people is hideous. I find his art style off putting and amateur looking. In this issue all of this stands true. The Hulk just looks like a bald green UFC fighter. Everything that is wrong with this book is the art yet Aaron's writing redeems it all. I couldn't see myself ever wanting to see Dillons art again but I'll put up with it just to see what Jason Aaron has in store for the Hulk.
Verdict: BUY
American Vampire#27
Writer: Scott Snyder, Artist: Ricardo Burchielli
There is a different artist. The art is colorful yet dark almost cartoony but still very fitting to this title. You get a quick glimpse into the new protagonists past. This book is hard to describe without giving away too much and it truly is something you have to experience for yourself. American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares sneak preview written by Scott Snyder, art by Dustin Nguyen. It is dark, gritty, ominous with the beginnings of an impending doom.
Verdict: BUY

Animal Man Annual#1
Writer: Lemire, Art: Green II, Silver, Kindzierski
The art is an off putting cheap knock off of Travel Foremans Animal Man at first. The panel structure is unique in look and design. Art gets better as it goes on. It's a good exposition catch up #1 annual issue. The cover is misleading in the sense that I thought that this was going to be a Buddy Baker and Alec Holland team-up but was instead a story about the past avatars of the red and green. It was enjoyable but not quite what I had expected. If you haven't read Animal Man or Swamp Thing and would like to start this is the perfect issue for you.
Verdict: BUY

Batman Annual#1
Writing: Snyder & James Tynion IV, Artist: Jason Fabok
Instantly impressive eye catching art featuring a palette of shades of grey with some small yet strong spikes of red. This is a story of Mr. Freeze's reinvention that reestablishes Victor Fries as a certifiable psychopathic force to be reckoned with.
Verdict: BUY

Wolverine & The X-Men#11
Writer: Jason Aaron, Art: Nick Bradshaw, Lee, Wong, Ponsor
The art feels so perfect for this crazy, fun, outlandish title. This is the most consistently great book character and story wise. Issue is probably my favorite AvX tie-in so far. The art reminds me of a Saturday morning cartoon in style but is not afraid to pull any punches when it's time to get serious. 
Verdict: BUY
The Amazing Spider-Man Annual#39
Writer: Brian Reed, Art: Garbett, Lucas, Fabela
Don't judge this book by its cover because it's a lot better than it looks. There are multiple art styles and all of them good. This is a classic one-shot story of a time traveling journey through Peter Parker's past. It felt more like a Peter Parker book than a Spider-Man book and that's what made it so touching and heartfelt.
Verdict: BUY

CoTW: The Incredible Hulk#8
SoTW: Amazing Spider-Man Annual#39
PoTW: Batman Annual#1
BnBoTW: Amazing Spider-Man Annual#39

Saturday, June 2, 2012

5/23 Comic Week In Review

Writer: Way, Art: Crystal, Rauch
Art looks a little more dark and serious than before. Deadpool gets bored and decides that he wants to do what he does best. In doing so he also realizes his mortality and that he can no longer be the best at what Wolverine does.
Verdict: SKIM
Secret Avengers#27 AvX Tie-In
Writer: Remender, Art: Guedes, Breitweiser
A lot to grasp, accept, and find out story wise. The ever impressive art alone keeps me buying this title. A story of traitors and loyalists.
Verdict: BUY
Batman Incorporated#1
Writer: Grant Morrison, Artist: Chris Burnham
Cover looks like classic Quitely art but inside art is not quite as good. Feels like just another Batman & Robin title that doesn't quite gel with any of the other Bat books or NEW52. Art is almost as good as Frank Quitelys but not quite. I would have preferred a different more unique style.
Verdict: PASS
Writer: Brian Q. Miller, Artist: Pere PĂ©rez
Continuance of the show in comic book form. The dialogue and looks of the actors does not cross over well at all. I had to force myself to read this all the way through. The art was horrible, story was boring and hard to get into.
Verdict: PASS
The Mighty Thor#14
Writer: Matt Fraction, Art: Larraz, D'Armata
I've never liked the way Fraction writes Thor and I still don't. The story was confusing and a little hard to get into. The art is in your face explosively colorful and visually enticing.
Verdict: SKIM
The Flash#9 Manapul/Buccellato
Story is confusing at first. I was really excited about this but it was really down played and kind of a let down. It ended with a confusing cliffhanger with a lot of open ended questions. The art was as always wonderful and tantalizing even though it stuck primarily with one color palette.
Verdict: BUY
The Amazing Spider-Man#686
Writer: Dan Slott, Artist: Stefano Casselli
The art is back to being some of the best Spidey art I've ever seen. The color palette is all over the place in the most amazing way. The "performance" was kicked up to a whole new level with twists and turns. This is Spider-Man at its best.
Verdict: BUY
Writer: Johns, Art: Reis, Prado, Albert
Short, quick, easy, intense, awesome read. Aquamans past meets his present as he searches for his greatest foe. The art does most of the story telling quite impressively all the while looking better than ever.
Verdict: BUY

CoTW: Amazing Spider-Man#686
PoTW: Secret Avengers#27
SoTW: Aquaman#9
BnBoTW: Aquaman#9