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CIVIL WAR | ‘New to Comics’ Review

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.


Mark Millar was a pretty hot commodity at Marvel during the 2000s, so this week, we’re returning to look at some more of his work. You’ll know the basic story from the hit 2016 film. It’s Avenger vs. Avenger. Friend vs. Friend. Captain America vs. Iron Man. It’s Marvel’s Civil War.

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Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Mark Millar
Art by: Steve McNiven
Year: 2007
Pages: 196

SPOTLIGHT CHARACTER:

Captain AmericaCAPTAIN AMERICA

Real Name: Steven Grant Rogers
Affiliation: The Avengers
First Appearance: Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941)

As it became obvious America was destined to join the war that had consumed the world in the late 1930s, Steve Rogers became determined to do his part for the war effort. Continuously rejected due to his sickly stature, Steve was eventually found by Dr. Abraham Erskine, and enlisted into the army under ‘Project: Rebirth’. Injected with a serum of Erskine’s own design, Steve was transformed into a super-soldier; his body and mind enhanced to the peak of human potential. But tragedy struck, as Erskine was assassinated, leaving Steve the first and only in the proposed wave of super-soldiers. Fighting on the front lines as Captain America alongside his sidekick Bucky Barnes, Steve was eventually lost at sea, and frozen for several decades.
Eventually awakening in the modern era, Captain America returned to the spotlight as a symbol of hope and American power; his new mission – to protect both America, and the world, from any and all threats as the leader of the Mighty Avengers!

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Posted by on September 19, 2018 in Marvel Comics

 

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THE ULTIMATES, Vol. 1 | ‘New to Comics’ Review

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.

This week, we’re looking at the modern retelling of the Avengers’ origin, and the first appearance of ‘Samuel L. Jackson’ Nick Fury.

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Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Mark Millar
Art by: Bryan Hitch
Year: 2002
Pages: 160

SPOTLIGHT CHARACTER:

HulkTHE HULK

Real Name: Robert Bruce Banner
Affiliation: The Avengers
First Appearance: Incredible Hulk #1 (May 1962)

Dr. Robert Bruce Banner was one of the world’s foremost experts on nuclear physics, with his vast knowledge and prowess in his field taking him into the employ of the United States military, in the hopes he would gain funding for his other, more humanitarian projects, in turn. There, Banner was stationed under Airforce General Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross, who had him work on an experimental Gamma Bomb. During this time, Bruce met and fell in love with Ross’ daughter, Betty Ross, starting a relationship that would endure despite Bruce’s dark future.
When the day came about to test his new bomb, Banner was horrified to see a young man, Rick Jones, had broken onto the testing grounds. Sacrificing himself to save Rick, Banner rushed onto the grounds and pushed Rick into cover, but was caught in the explosion. His cells irradiated by the Gamma radiation, Bruce was cursed with a monstrous, dim-witted alter-ego with God-like strength; becoming an anti-hero of sorts, ‘the strongest one there is’… the ‘Incredible’ Hulk!

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Posted by on September 5, 2018 in Marvel Comics

 

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DAREDEVIL: BORN AGAIN | ‘New to Comics’ Review

Returning to the Marvel side of things, we’re hitting another classic story. Fans of Netflix’s Daredevil TV series will want to check this out, as it’s set to be the basis for season three. It’s Daredevil: Born Again.

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Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Frank Miller
Art by: Jack Kirby
Year: 1986
Pages: 170

SPOTLIGHT CHARACTER:

DAREDEVIL

Real Name: Mathew Michael Murdock
Affiliation: 
The Defenders
First Appearance: 
Daredevil #1 (April 1964)

Even in the early years, Matt Murdock was on the path to becoming an upstanding member of society. His father, Jonathan Murdock – a boxer – was adamant that Matt wouldn’t follow in his footsteps, and pushed him towards a better job, forcing Matthew to study as hard as he could so he could transcend their lowly lifestyle. However, after saving a blind man from a careening truck full of radioactive waste, Matt himself was blinded will his other senses grew exponentially. This was the start of a long list of tragedies in Matt’s life, as his father was later murdered for refusing to throw a fight. Now alone, Matt strove to commemorate Jonathan by becoming a lawyer, while also honing his fighting skills under the tutelage of another blind warrior named Stick. Becoming the masked vigilante known as Daredevil, Matt would fight for justice in the courts by day, while avenging those who the system failed at night.

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Posted by on July 12, 2018 in Marvel Comics

 

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THE INFINITY GAUNTLET | ‘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.


Avengers: Infinity War is in cinemas now. To celebrate this monumental occasion, New to Comics reaches the focus of it’s ‘Infinity Week’ by looking at the comic-book that inspired the colossal tale. Although we’re looking at the comic, rather than it’s adaptation, if you haven’t seen the film yet, I’d recommend avoiding this weeks ‘Breakdown’, as it may provide spoilers for the film.

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Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Jim Starlin
Art by: George Perez
Pages: 256

SPOTLIGHT CHARACTER:

ThanosTHANOS

Real Name: Thanos
Affiliation: The Black Order
First Appearance: The Invincible Iron Man #55 (February 1973)

Born into the Eternals, Thanos was one of a race of Godlike beings that hailed from Titan, one of the moons of Saturn. However, unlike his godlike seeming brethren, Thanos was born with a deviant gene, giving him a look so monstrous that his own mother was driven insane at the sight of him. Alienated from his people, Thanos gave himself to the pursuit of knowledge and power, sharing his findings and psychopathic tendencies only with a mysterious young girl he had befriended. In time, Thanos would learn that that girl was the embodiment of Death, and became enamored with Death’s personification, devoting his extreme acts of violence to her, in the hopes that one day she would return his affections. Destroying the society from whence he came, Thanos has since set out into the stars in pursuit of artifacts like the Infinity Gauntlet and the Cosmic Cube, enacting slaughter on a universal scale all to please his one true love. Now known as the Mad Titan, Thanos is feared by every being in the cosmos that knows his name, and is considered one of the most dangerous beings in existence.

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Posted by on May 1, 2018 in Marvel Comics

 

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AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR | Film Review

I haven’t quite finished reviewing all the older Marvel films yet, although I did finish watching them, so that’s half a victory. But having seen Infinity War, I’m not sure I can hold back my thoughts and feelings, so it’s review time! [Spoiler-free]

RELEASED: April 26th 2017
DIRECTED BY: The Russo Brothers
WRITTEN BY: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
PRODUCED BY: Kevin Feige
STARRING: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pratt, Don Cheadle, Zoe Saldana, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Chadwick Boseman, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Peter Dinklage, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Benecio del Toro, Tom Hiddleston, Karen Gillen, Idris Elba, Benedict Wong, Sebastian Stan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Letitia Wainwright, William Hurt & Josh Brolin

Wow, just wow.

Back in 2012, the world watched in awe as Joss Whedon assembled the six Avengers. In 2016, the Russo Brothers brought together twelve heroes to throw down over the Sokovia Accords, and it was even more exciting. Two years on, and the Russo Brothers now have nineteen heroes under their command (and that’s not even including the various other side-characters like Wong, Okoye and so on) and would you believe, they’ve somehow managed to pull it off again. But this time, it’s even better.

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After his various lackeys fail to claim the Infinity Stones in Avengers Assemble and Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos leads his children on a cosmic rampage towards Earth to finally complete his spiritual journey to gain ultimate power. With the Avengers shattered after the events of Captain America: Civil War, what hope do the remaining heroes have against this threat of unspeakable proportions, even with the help of Star-Lord and his Guardians of the Galaxy?

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Posted by on April 25, 2018 in Marvel Studios, Movies

 

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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.

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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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Posted by on March 26, 2018 in Marvel Studios, Movies

 

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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

 

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