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Monthly Archives: February 2018

ALL-STAR SUPERMAN | ‘New to Comics’ Comic-Book Breakdown

This post was originally published on my now defunct site, New to Comics.

New to Comics is a segment where I look at various comic-books, explaining their background, reviewing them, and breaking them down for readers unfamiliar to the medium. The title is a reference to a former university project that I carried on as its own site for several years before laying it to rest.


Having looked at Watchmen last week, we’re moving on to our first theme of this new New to Comics era; ‘Super-heroes’. And so, the obvious place to start is with the first proper superhero himself… Superman!

There are lots of different Superman stories out there, what with the character having been around since 1938, but for now, I’ve opted to look at Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman.

All-Star Superman0

Published by: DC Comics
Written by: Grant Morrison
Art by: Frank Quietly
Pages: 304

SPOTLIGHT CHARACTER:

Superman.jpgSUPERMAN

Real Name: Kal-El
Affiliation:
 The Justice League
First Appearance: Action Comics #1 (April 1938)

Born on the planet Krypton, ‘Clark Kent’ was sent to the planet Earth by his father, Jor-El, who feared their home planet’s destruction, but in their hubris, his peers would not listen to his warnings. Crash-landing on Earth, Clark was found by farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent, who instilled in Clark strong beliefs in ‘Truth, Justice and the American Way’. Under the Earth’s yellow sun, Clark developed miraculous powers (strength, speed, invulnerability, flight, enhanced senses, ‘heat-vision’) which he used to combat injustice from the likes of vile businessman Lex Luthor and other criminals around the globe. Wanting to stay close to the action, in his civilian identity, Clark took a job at the Daily Planet, where he used his knack for writing to report on his adventures as Superman, and met his wife and the mother of his child, Lois Lane.

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Posted by on February 28, 2018 in Comic Books, What's Going On?

 

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CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER | DVD Review

Avengers Assemble may have been the movie that changed the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but now we’re moving on to the film that really shook things up; Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

RELEASED: April 4th 2014
DIRECTED BY: The Russo Brothers
WRITTEN BY: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
PRODUCED BY: Kevin Feige
STARRING: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Frank Grillo, Samuel L. Jackson, Hayley Atwell & Robert Redford

As I said up top, Avengers Assemble changed the Marvel Universe and the landscape of cinema forever. However, it was Captain America: The Winter Soldier that really shook things up. First up, it took one of what was considered to be the less interesting Avengers, Captain America, and made him awesome. Second, it changed the dynamics of the way the fictional world saw and interacted with their heroes. Third, and most importantly, it really dove into its own unique genre, laying the groundwork for later films to go off and explore different branches of superhero storytelling. Sure, Iron Man was a techno-thriller, The Incredible Hulk a monster movie and Thor a cosmic fantasy, but at the end of the day, they were all still superhero films to some extent. Conversely, The Winter Soldier is a full-on action thriller that just so happens to feature a costumed hero as one of the central players.

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WATCHMEN | ‘New to Comics’ Comic-Book Breakdown

This post was originally published on my now defunct site, New to Comics.

New to Comics is a segment where I look at various comic-books, explaining their background, reviewing them, and breaking them down for readers unfamiliar to the medium. The title is a reference to a former university project that I carried on as its own site for several years before laying it to rest.


We’re starting off a new year of New to Comics with the most influential and arguably one of the most important comics of all time: Watchmen, by Alan Moore, with art by Dave Gibbons.

Watchmen00

Published by: DC Comics
Written by: Alan Moore
Art by: Dave Gibbons
Pages: 424

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Posted by on February 21, 2018 in Comic Books, What's Going On?

 

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THOR: THE DARK WORLD | DVD Review

I seem to have misplaced my copy of Iron Man 3, presumably when I moved house, so for now, we’re just going to skip straight ahead to the second film in the Thor franchise, The Dark World.

RELEASED: November 8th 2013
DIRECTED BY: Alan Taylor
WRITTEN BY: Don Payne, Robert Rodat, Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
PRODUCED BY: Kevin Feige
STARRING: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgård, Kat Dennings, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Ray Stevenson, Tadanobu Asano, Zachary Levi, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo, Anthony Hopkins, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje & Christopher Eccleston

After his adventure with the Avengers, Thor Odinson returns to Earth, when his love, Jane Foster, is endangered by a primordial force known as the Aether. Bringing her to Asgard, Jane finds herself confronted with the pantheon of Gods Thor calls family. However, Jane’s discovery has also awakened a threat long thought dead; that of the Dark Elves and their leader, Malekith. With the whole of reality at stake, Thor and Jane must seek the aid of Loki, the villain responsible for endangering planet Earth.

After Kenneth Branagh did a magnificent job with Thor, the reigns of the franchise were passed over to Game of Thrones‘ Alan Taylor, and as you can imagine, the series took a more dark and violent turn. In that turn, a lot of the heart and comic-book-y tone was lost, and as a result, the film seems not only directionless but also as if it’s made by people who don’t really understand the characters.

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AVENGERS ASSEMBLE | DVD Review

We’ve reached the end of ‘Phase One’ in our Marvel Movie marathon, with the film that changed the game forever in terms of superhero movies, and finally saw, as the title will tell you, the Avengers Assemble.

RELEASED: 4th May 2012
DIRECTED BY: Joss Whedon
WRITTEN BY: Zak Penn & Joss Whedon
PRODUCED BY: Kevin Feige
MUSIC BY: Alan Silvestri
STARRING: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg & Samuel L. Jackson

While we all look back on Avengers Assemble (or just The Avengers if you’re outside of Britain) fondly, the truth is, the film does have some flaws. It’s got a bit of awkward pacing at times, especially during the central act, and sometimes certain characters, dialogue or props seem to be there just to force the plot along, rather than naturally fitting in to the story.

However, much of that can be forgiven due to the extraordinary feat the film pulled off in, well, assembling the Avengers.

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