Shots fired, shade thrown
From Secret Avengers #5, drawn by Mike Walsh, colored by Matt Wilson, written by…me.
Shots fired, shade thrown
From Secret Avengers #5, drawn by Mike Walsh, colored by Matt Wilson, written by…me.
- The British male voice actor for the Inquisitor is Harry Hadden-Patton, and the American male voice actor is Jon Curry.
- The British female voice actor for the Inquisitor is Alix Wilton Regan, and the American female voice actor is Sumalee Montano.
Bryan Singer, the original director of X-Men & X2, and producer of Matthew Vaughn’s excellent X-men: First Class is back in the director’s seat. The film was written by Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman & Simon Kinberg, based off Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s Days of Future Past comic book storyline.
It’s a dystopian future where Mutants are placed in internment camps, or slaughtered like animals by the mutant hunting robot Sentinels. There isn’t any hope for the co-existance of Mutants & Humans in this world; it is a fight for survival or extinction. Here the X-Men & Brotherhood of Mutants have joined forces, but even with Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) & Magneto (Ian McKellen) together, these seasoned warriors can’t save the Mutants from the inevitable defeat. Luckily, Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) is able to project a person’s consciousness back in time, and so it’s Wolverine’s (Hugh Jackman) mission to ensure this future never happens, by sending him back to 1973, to prevent the event that triggers anti-mutant hysteria; Mystique’s (Jennifer Lawrence) murder of the Sentinel program’s creator: Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage).
The heart of the story is Charles Xavier & his path to regain his self-confidence. A decade has passed since the events of X-men: First Class, and it hasn’t been a pleasant time for Professor X. Erik “Magneto” Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) left him crippled, his childhood friend Raven “Mystique” abandoned him, and only Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult) has stuck by him. It’s Wolverine’s time to return to favor & assist Charles Xavier through his struggles, to ensure Charles rescues Magneto from the Pentagon prison & stops Mystique. James McAvoy’s performance is excellent, his portrayal of a man whose lost everything is incredible, and he pulls you in on this wild ride—this one chance to change his future and prevent catastrophe for all mutant kind. Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique is equally entertaining. The character had always been dangerous under Singer’s direction, and she returns to top-notch form here, displaying incredible capabilities throughout the film. In this story she has adopted the path of vengeance Magneto was on in First Class, and Lawrence does a fine job of bringing Mystique’s rage and anguish to life on screen. Not to be left out, Michael Fassbender’s Magneto is more dangerous than ever. This is Magneto in his prime, he’s angry, vengeful, and so convinced of his beliefs that it’s difficult to sympathize with him—still; no villain is greater than a truly just man. His eye for an eye approach is shown to be quite understandable, and allows the audience to be just as caring about his view as we are about Xavier’s. It’s also nice to see that, while Wolverine is important to the film, this is not another “Wolverine and the X-men” movie. This is Charles Xavier’s fight, Wolverine’s just there to inspire him to make his stand.
Bryan Singer weaves an amazing spectacle, the special effects in this film are astounding, and we get to see some of the most top-notch mutant power displays ever shown in the X-men series, and we finally get to see the X-men doing what they were always meant to do, working as a team. Blink’s (Fan Bingbing) teleportation portals create stunning combat possibilities when combined with the unbridled power of Colossus (Daniel Cudmore) and the pin point marksmanship of Bishop, while Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Sunspot (Adan Canto) & Storm (Halle Berry) create elemental fury on beautiful new levels. Magneto’s use of magnetism is merciless. However no one gets a better scene demonstrating their powers than Quicksilver (Evan Peters), accompanied by the smooth Jim Croce song “Time in a bottle.” This film makes excellent use of its fiction to create eye-popping visuals displays, stellar combat scenes, and explosive moments, without actually relying on literal explosions.
Singer has given his best X-Men movie to date! There’s amazing visuals an excellent story, and performances so great that I am truly invested in the story, and left highly anxious to see what he has in store for us in X-Men: Apocalypse
Marc Webb returns to his Amazing Spider-Man world with a fluid sequel continuing the story, with the Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) & Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) relationship going through the ups & downs. What makes Amazing Spider-Man 2 stand out is that we have these two excellent actors with such great, believable sexual chemistry. It expands the concept of superhero movies & gives us a movie that focuses on youth’s passionate love.
Spider-Man’s charm comes not only because of his cool powers, good costume & a great villain gallery, it’s downright the fact that he is such a human being and a real hero. Spider-Man’s spirit is performance with great detail, from within the action sequences through saving human lives to montage scenes of everyday assisting: saving a young child from school bullies, helping people, etc. Spider-Man takes great notice on the people and his surroundings, using his clever quips to encourage people in today’s cruel, narcissistic world where no one truly gives a damn about anyone but themselves. Peter Parker, while abandoned as a child, was still raised in a home of loving & appreciatory parents thanks to Uncle Ben & Aunt May (Sally Field).
This is why the villains of our story, Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) & Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) are his opposites. Max is a lonely person who suffers from it, delusional that fame would bring him joy & lacking any proper social skills. He is a brilliant minded scientist being taken for granted. Harry Osborn is the prodigal son of the great Norman Osborn, but all he’s done since 16 is drink scotch, date models and waste his father’s money because Norman doesn’t even love him. They both suffer loneliness, because the world hasn’t shown them tenderness. There’s a great chemistry between the actors; they’re both miserable, but also creepy. However, I do want to nitpick about a certain villain character: Dr. Kafka (Marton Csokas). Who on earth thought a “German mad scientist” was needed for a Spider-Man movie? Why is there a doctor with such a ridiculous name? Why does it have to be a mad scientist who speaks with an awful German accent & listens loudly to Strauss? C’mon now, this was some awful stain on the movie.
The combat sequences are a spectacle; they’re not choreographed action beats of fists & kicks, but a beautiful acrobatic demonstration of the total imagination that only a character such as Spider-Man can achieve. It’s very pleasurable to look at, with Electro sporting a very kick-ass theme song composed by Hans Zimmer, the Magnificent Six, Pharrell Williams & Johnny Marr. The Point-of-view shots of Spider-Man web-slinging & slow motion demonstrations of his spider-sense tingling danger are truly visual entertainment that does justice to the character.
Marc Webb’s story spins webs of new stories, but the way things ended for the Amazing Spider-Man 2, I am more keenly interested in the announced spin-off movie the Sinister Six than I am for Spider-Man 3.
Marvel’s Original Graphic Novel series 2nd installment gives us an action/thriller spy starring everyone’s favorite web-slinger, Spider-man. Co-written by Mark Waid & James Robinson, with stunningly beautiful illustrations by Gabriele Dell ‘Otto, is a standalone story providing readers with a fresh look at Peter Parker’s parents.
Did you know Richard & Mary Parker actually used to be world-saving CIA agents who fought against Hydra? No? Well the story opens with an even bigger shocker; Peter Parker has a Sister, Theresa Parker, who is a special agent! Say what now? Also, what does the Kingpin of Crime have to do with all of this?!
The story gives you those expected Peter Parker fumbles as he stumbles through daily life thinking about the future and his relationships with other people. Most of the jokes in this are only chuckle-worthy, but I got a good laugh out of Spider-Man making fun of DC Comics’ Batman Incorporated.
There’s a handful of action, but the importance is placed upon a well-paced story that nails down Peter Parker’s altruistic persona, because Spider-Man is the real human being, the real hero with his down to earth feels.
The writing in this is safe for both hardcore and casual fans, but it’s a one-note story without any deeper meanings, just a showcase of Spider-Man being Spider-Man. What makes this one stand out is solely the stunning artwork from Dell ‘Otto; from the rainy New York nights to thug fights at a casino, to the beautiful city of Cairo, to Spider-Man’s stunning look, it’s easily the selling point of this graphic novel. You also gain a free digital copy as an extra, alongside behind-the-scenes featurette of Dell ’Otto’s art process, which is pretty nifty.
Marvel Studio’s Captain America: the Winter Soldier is a sequel to both Captain America: the First Avenger & Marvel’s the Avengers. The story sets Captain America (Chris Evans) on the path of the righteous man, beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. In the world post-9/11 & other acts of terrorism, with the NSA spying on the common people & national offices, are we living in the world George Orwell predicted? That’s the question of the day when director of SHIELD Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) & Senior Leader of SHIELD Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) plan to launch massive Helicarriers, linked with spy satellites & designed to eliminate potential threats before they even begin.
Where the First Avenger was a colorful superhero movie set in the 2nd World War, The Winter Soldier is a spy thriller of harsher & darker tune. Directed by Anthony & Joe Russo, the duo give us over two hours of Marvel’s finest with intense action, high drama & excellent world building with twists and turns in regards to S.H.I.E.L.D, The Winter Soldier, etc. The movie also in Marvel fashion comes up with great quips, hilarious jokes & Nick Fury gets a god damn Pulp Fiction nod.
The combat choreography is so brutally good to look at, clear shots of close combat & stunts, good use of editing with sound effects ranging from kicks, hits, the soundtrack and even tuning down the sound level for intensity, the gun shootouts are also done using real modern weaponry, not something out-of-place like HYDRA in First Avenger with their sci-fi weaponry. The car chase sequences are quite badass, especially with the Winter Soldier coming to wreck things apart. However the 3rd act CGI extravaganza, while fortunately a bare minimum in this movie, is pretty much the Falcon (Anthony Mackie) doing his best Iron Man impression with a flight-exoskeleton, added with explosions & the ultimate battle against terrorists in the name of Freedom!
Chris Evans embodies the best aspects of Captain America, once again transforming into the Sentinel of Liberty. Quiet, thoughtful, kind & loving that is the public side of Steven Rogers who is also utterly passionate about fighting for a good cause, and that’s what I love about the character. He will waive the American flag and kiss babies in social events, but when it comes down to it, he will assault an enemy base & eliminate all the terrorists to ensure safety. Scarlet Johansson returns as the ex-KBG agent Natasha Romanoff, she definitely gets more development squeezed out of her character, but it’s still a bare minimum at the end of the day. Samuel L. Jackson is the Boss, every single scene he is in, he steals it & you can’t get any more boss than this BAMF.
The Winter Soldier himself is like the Shark in Jaws, when you hear the enchanting theme song Henry Jackman made for the Winter Soldier, your anticipation starts to build up, because when that theme starts to play, the death toll rises. Captain America’s & the Winter Soldier’s backstory are like the other sides of the same coin and make for a satisfying conclusion.
The director duo of Anthony & Joe Russo, with the screen writers of the First Avengers & the Winter Soldier: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely have me hooked for more, I am already anticipating with vivid excitement for Captain America 3, because the world these people have created for Captain America is going to be so exciting to explore.
Hey Hey Hey!
Michael B. Jordan: Taking it to the house.
Michael B. Jordan knows whats up, fuck every racist bitch out there.
Today is the big day. The first volume of ZERO, the exploration/dissection of the spy thriller genre that sort of erases the genre borders as it moves along, is now out in comic book stores all around the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and hopefully some other territories as well.
This is a big one for me. ZERO is my first ongoing series. Every issue is simultaneously a self-contained story and a part of the big overarching narrative. If you want to know more about it, I recommend reading this interview, which came out before the first issue even went on sale, or this interview, which came out recently. And if you don’t have enough, then this interview takes you through my creative process from a different angle.
This comic is a success. We set out to do something special and we’re achieving it. So this post is, in a way, also a thank you to everyone involved with ZERO: Jordie Bellaire, our astonishing coloring chameleon. Tom Muller, whose wonderful design sensibility inevitably affects how I think of the story and how I feel it. Clayton Cowles, for delivering lettering that is precise and adding storytelling value, something that is rare. Mike Walsh, Tradd Moore, Mateus Santolouco, Morgan Jeske, Will Tempest, for creating the world with us, for being excellent artists and splendid collaborators. To Paul Pope, Becky Cloonan, Chris Burnham, Christian Ward for the variant covers. To Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis, Ian Fleming, James Ellroy, Jim Thompson, David Cronenberg, David Lynch, Terence McKenna and plenty more, for creating works that molded me and ZERO. To Kieron Gillen for the advice and friendship. To the retailers for ordering so many copies. To all the websites and magazines who decided to talk about the comic. To everyone at Image Comics for believing in the comic, and to Eric Stephenson specifically for greenlighting it and for always believing in me. To Ron Richards for giving me support in hard times.
This isn’t just a comic book coming out. This isn’t just a first chapter of a story. This is proof.
I can make whatever I want. I can find new wonderful relationships along the way. I can use pop fiction as a vehicle for self-exploration while keeping it very entertaining and commercially successful.
This is proof that comics can be anything.
You can find ZERO Vol. 1: AN EMERGENCY in your local comic book store. If you don’t have a comic book store nearby (see here), or simply prefer a different option, you can buy it on the US Amazon, the Canadian Amazon or the UK Amazon.