Comic Book Review: Infamous Iron Man

Details: First published in 2016. This is a review of issues one through twelve. Official site is http://marvel.com/comics/series/22596/infamous_iron_man_2016_-_present

At the end of Secret Wars, the Fantastic Four bid their adieu and disappeared, possibly never to return. While it is common knowledge that superheroes never truly die, it seemed as if the Fantastic Four had finally met its match: greedy fucking business people fighting over movie rights who were willing to kill a historic comic book series in order to get their way. In my stupor over the potential death of the Fantastic Four comic book line, I desperately looked for some alternative to get my science fiction comic book fix. Luckily, Marvel decided not to wipe out all the characters in the Fantastic Four franchise and left us with the Infamous Iron Man.

There won’t be spoilers for Infamous Iron Man ahead, but I will go over the events leading up to Infamous Iron Man.

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TV Show Review: The Defenders

Details: Released in 2017. Eight episodes at around an hour each. Aired on Netflix.

The Defenders is the culmination of all the Marvel, comic book, superhero shows that have been airing on Netflix over the last couple of years. It takes the characters from Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist and smashes them all into one big crossover event of a show. Despite the anticipation and hype that the show was trying to build up, The Defenders is just okay.

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Comic Book Review: Dark Days: The Forge and Dark Days: The Casting

Details: Published in 2017 by DC Comics. Official sites: http://www.dccomics.com/comics/dark-matter-2017/dark-days-the-casting-1 http://www.dccomics.com/comics/dark-matter-2017/dark-days-the-forge-1

DC Comics is gearing up for their next big event and these two issues act as a preview to what’s ahead. I wasn’t really sure what this was going to be about, but after reading these two books I am hyped and definitely going to read what comes next.

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Movie Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming

 

Details: Released in 2017. Over two hours long. Stars Tom HollandMichael KeatonRobert Downey Jr.

Spider-Man returns and we finally get a look at the kind of Spider-Man movie the Marvel movie machine would make. Before getting into specifics, I’m going to say that Spider-Man: Homecoming is a good movie that takes a very slightly different take on the character as compared to the prior Spider-Man movies.

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Comic Book Review: Doctor Strange (2015) Issues 1 through 20

Details: Published by Marvel Comics. Mostly written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Chris Bachalo.

I’ve never been a big fan of Doctor Strange. I’ve enjoyed watching him interact with other characters in the Marvel Universe, like when he was in the Illuminati or when he was god Doom’s sheriff. That changed with this series. They invoked one of my comic book weaknesses; they got Bachalo to do art.

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TV Show Review: Legion, Season 1

Details: Released in 2017. Aired on FX. Eight episodes this season at around forty minutes per episode. Stars Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza.

As always, no spoilers in this review except a few sentences on the premise.

This show is exactly what I needed. After the disappointment of Iron Fist, I needed some superhero goodness. This show isn’t only a comic book show, this show plays homage to a lot of imagery from film history and provides cinematography that comes close to the Avant Garde films of old but stays coherent enough to tell a thrilling, fun, trippy-as-hell story.

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Movie Review: Logan

Details: Released in 2017. About two hours and twenty minutes long. Stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen. Directed by James Mangold. Rated R.

No spoilers in this review and for any of my reviews unless specifically stated otherwise. I usually have a small tagline or summary blurb that doesn’t really go into anything beyond the act one of the movie, but that’s it.

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TV Show Review: Legion, Season One Episode One, “Chapter 1”

Details: Each episode is about an hour long. Planned to be an eight episode series for this season. Airs on FX.

If you’ve studied film history, you’d be well aware that there was a precise point in time when the works of Sigmund Freud not only invaded popular culture, but into the movies. Instead of explaining every little detail in order to convey motivations to the audience, movies started making assumptions about characters’ mental states and the audience started understanding those assumptions. Similar to books and perhaps to a greater extent, movies and television shows allow the understanding of a state of mind and the psychology of a character. This first episode of Legion is a good example of that.

Legion is a new, eight episode television series that is airing on Fox. It’s based upon an X-Men comic book character named Legion who is one of the most powerful beings on the planet with powers that pretty much allow him to do anything. The only downside is that Legion is crazy; Legion has multiple personality disorder and not only can he not control these other personalities, in the comic book, each personality controls a different power. When one of these personalities surfaces, it’s a guessing game as to whether it’s good, benign, or evil. It’s anyone’s guess how this character will be approached by the television series, but the first episode seems to embrace that craziness.

I really enjoyed this first episode and love that it’s an eight episode miniseries versus something lower budget and twenty something episodes long. I enjoy this trend in programming. Since Netflix and the prevalence of binge watching an entire television series, there has been a perceived evolution towards shorter length television seasons with higher length individual episodes and much better quality per episode. I think this is directly because of the increasing popularity of streaming services. TV shows traditionally made money based on how many people watched them and their associated advertisements. Accordingly, it used to make sense to have lots of little episodes to fill time slots that made purchasing and pricing air time easier and for programming to be more digestible to viewers. Since the advent of paid subscriptions for content, there’s no more need to appease advertisers as much. People can watch shows whenever or wherever they want through the internet. The goal has changed to simply provide better content in order to make the subscription service appealing as a whole versus trying to get eyeballs on a certain show at a certain time. That means making better programming, which seems to mean more high budget miniseries and less fluff shows.

Legion certainly seems to be one of these higher quality miniseries. The quality and likely higher budget of this first episode reminds me of something I’d see on Netflix or HBO, and that’s a good thing. There are a lot of special effects used and the story, the shots used and the editing are much more thoughtful than Arrow or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I don’t want to get too much into the story for fear of spoilers, but the main character is crazy and the story is trippy. It’s different from any other show I can think of right now, which is nice. That this story is connected to the X-Men is largely tangential in this first episode, but there are clear indicators they are related. It’s unclear as of yet whether this show shares the same universe as the cinematic X-Men or Marvel universe.

The acting was great. The only face I could recognize was Aubrey Plaza. She was good.

Overall, a good first episode that has hooked me for the rest of the season. I hope to see more shows like this.

Score: 7.5/10