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Monthly Archives: March 2018

WONDER WOMAN: BLOOD | ‘New to Comics’ 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 delving deep into the mythological aspects prevalent in super-hero comics this week, in a story starring one of the world’s greatest heroes in a globe-trotting adventure that sees her face off against Gods and Monsters alike.

It’s the first Wonder Woman story of the New 52, and the start of a huge switch-up in the life of Diana of Themyscira; Wonder Woman: Blood.

WonderWoman3

Published by: DC Comics
Written by: Brian Azzarello
Art by: Cliff Chiang & Tony Akins
Pages: 160

SPOTLIGHT CHARACTER:

Wonder Woman.jpgWONDER WOMAN

Real Name: Diana
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: All-Star Comics #8 (October 1941)

12000 BC – during the time of the Olympians – the Greek Goddesses collected the souls of all women who had died at the hands of men and reincarnated them as a fierce race of warriors. Many years later, on the hidden paradise island of Themyscira, Queen Hippolyta longed for a daughter. Sculpting a baby out of clay and praying to her Goddess, Hippolyta was gifted with a new daughter – Diana – the most powerful of the Amazons. But after a man named Steve Trevor crashed in paradise, Diana took on the role of Wonder Woman to escort Trevor back home and adventure through the world of man. Since then, she has become one of Earth’s most revered heroes and has since discovered her true origins – not those of a mythic baby born from clay, but as the daughter of the all-powerful Zeus, God of the Sky and Lord of Olympus.

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CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR | Blu-Ray Review

This post was originally published on my other site, NewToComics.com, but has been moved back to fit in with my MCU review series – if you’re a fan of (or want to be a fan of) comic-books, check it out!

Is this my new favourite film? It may just be.

RELEASED: 6th May 2016
DIRECTED BY: Anthony & Joe Russo
WRITTEN BY: Christopher Marcus & Stephen McFeely
PRODUCED BY: Kevin Feige
MUSIC BY: Henry Jackman
STARRING: Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Martin Freeman, Frank Grillo, Daniel Brühl and William Hurt

It’s been ten years since the MCU began with Iron Man. In those nine years, super-hero films have become a more common occurrence than ever before. Each film is released to varying success; for many, myself included, BvS was a low point, whilst other films, like The Avengers hit a high.

And then there’s Captain America: Civil War. By the time Civil War had been out for fifteen hours here in the United Kingdom, I’d already seen it twice. That alone should tell you where I stand on the film.

But here’s a little more detail anyway:

After the devastating battles of The Avengers, The Winter Soldier, Age of Ultron and the opening scenes of this very film, the governments of the world have had enough. The Sokovia Accords are passed; they decree that the Avengers must answer to the United Nations; they will be regulated, and can only go into action when the U.N. says so.

Team Captain America.jpg

Steve Rogers, obviously sceptical of government oversight after the events of The Winter Soldier, opposes the new law. Meanwhile, Tony Stark, who feels guilt over creating Ultron, backs it. Things are further complicated when Steve’s best friend, Bucky, is implicated in the death of King T’Chakka of Wakanda. Refusing to sign the Sokovia Accords, but desperate to prove his friends innocence, Steve must work outside the law to do what he thinks is right.

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Super-Heroes: The Modern Mythology

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

When it comes to comic-book fans, there are certain things that many seem to have a shared interest in. The most prominent, obviously, is serialised fiction and anything superhero themed.

On top of that, there is usually an interest in science-fiction as a whole. Stories that explore the uncanny, the unexplainable and the endless possibilities of the future.

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A third potential interest, in my opinion, is mythology. This is highlighted by the fact that many superheroes have ties to myth. Marvel Comics Thor is a God adapted from Norse Mythology, and many of his supporting characters are themselves Gods (some authentic, such as Odin and Loki, others original such as Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg, more commonly known as the Warriors Three). On the DC side is Wonder Woman, a character who originated as a member of the Amazons, who are adapted from Greek mythology. Similarly, the character of Captain Marvel/Shazam is transformed by a wizard into ‘Earth’s Mightiest Mortal’, invoking various attributes of Greek mythological figures (the strength of Hercules, the wisdom of Solomon, etc.).

More enduring religions, such as Christianity, also hold sway in modern comic-book story-telling, with concepts like Heaven and Hell frequently appearing in stories featuring characters like Ghost Rider, who, as a ‘Spirit of Vengeance’ is, depending on the continuity, either an agent of Heaven or Hell.

But even ignoring the superheroes who are actual Gods, comic books relate to mythology on another level.

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Posted by on March 24, 2018 in Comic Books, What's Going On?

 

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IRON MAN: EXTREMIS | ‘New to Comics’ 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.


This week’s posts come a bit later than usual, as I’ve spent the last week in Budapest. But now, I’m back, and with me comes a new New to Comics post. This week, we’re looking at the armoured Avenger, the Invincible Iron Man; particularly the story that changed the way Tony Stark took on his duties as a super-hero and would later inspire the movie Iron Man 3.

It’s Iron Man: Extremis.

IronMan Extremis0.jpg

Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Warren Ellis
Art by: Adi Granov
Pages: 160

SPOTLIGHT CHARACTER:

IronMan1IRON MAN

Real Name: Anthony Edward Stark
Affiliation: The Avengers
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963)

Genius. Billionaire. Playboy. Philanthropist. Former weapons designer Tony Stark often found himself at the centre of all heated conflicts across the globe, providing munitions to the military and more covert organisations like S.H.I.E.L.D., alike. But when that heat proved too extreme, and Stark was mortally wounded and kidnapped by terrorists, he used his genius to build himself a suit of armour that would keep him alive, and allow him to escape captivity. Returning to the western world a changed man, Tony Stark, aided by his butler Jarvis, his assistant Pepper Potts and his chauffeur Happy Hogan, started continually upgrading his armour, forgoing his former bloody path as an arms dealer, instead hoping to make the world a better place as the invincible Iron Man.

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THE FLASH: REBIRTH | ‘New to Comics’ 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’ve looked at two of the biggest super-heroes (Superman and Spider-Man) of all time so far in our comic-book breakdowns, as well as one of the most well-regarded pieces of comic-book fiction (Watchmen), but now it’s time to branch out.

Continuing the theme of ‘Super-heroes’, this week, we’re looking at another important DC Comics figure and founding member of the Justice League, The Flash; specifically, his modern day reintroduction: The Flash: Rebirth.

Flash Rebirth0

Published by: DC Comics
Written by: Geoff Johns
Art by: Ethan Van Sciver
Pages: 168

SPOTLIGHT CHARACTER:

Flash1

THE FLASH

Real Name: Bartholomew Henry Allen
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: Showcase #4 (October 1956)

Young Barry Allen’s life was thrown into upheaval when his mother was murdered and his father, Henry Allen, was arrested for the crime. The slow, laid-back man became determined to exonerate his father, and Barry spent years working towards becoming a Forensic Scientist, often working late nights and falling behind to the chagrin of his reporter girlfriend Iris West. But it was one of those late nights that changed Barry forever, as a bolt of lightning burst through his laboratory window, dousing Barry in chemicals. From that moment on, Barry was linked to the ‘Speed Force’, extradimensional energy that allowed him to move at super-human speeds. Driven by that same sense of justice that leads him to try and prove his father’s innocence, Barry resolved to use his powers for good – becoming the Flash; the fastest man alive!

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ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, VOL 1. | ‘New to Comics’ 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 an reference to a former university project that I carried on as its own site for several years before laying it to rest.


Welcome back for our third comic-book breakdown. This week we’re taking a break from DC Comics and jumping over to their main competitor, Marvel, and looking at their preeminent hero, the spectacular Spider-Man!

Ultimate Spider-Man2

Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Brian Bendis
Art by: Mark Bagley
Pages: 200

SPOTLIGHT CHARACTER:

spider-man1.png

SPIDER-MAN

Real Name: Peter Benjamin Parker
Affiliation: The Avengers
First Appearance: Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962)

A teenage science prodigy bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter Parker initially used his powers (strength, speed, agility, wall-crawling and a intuitive ‘spider-sense’) as a showman. However, after he neglected his responsibility to stop a criminal, that same criminal killed his Uncle Ben, teaching Peter that he must always use his powers for the good of others. Juggling adventures with caring for his elderly Aunt May, an on-again, off-again relationship with Mary-Jane Watson and trying to hold down a job, Peter strives to take his bad luck in stride to become one of the most prolific heroes in New York, using his years of experience, self-made gadgets and spectacular abilities as the amazing Spider-Man!

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Posted by on March 7, 2018 in Comic Books, What's Going On?

 

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