Tag Archives: marvel

ImprovCity’s Comic Book Day show and Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day and ImprovCity's Comic Book Day show!

Friday night was ImprovCity’s Comic Book Day Show, and it was a lot of fun. The cast all dressed as comic book characters. There’s Alex in the center in his Rocket Raccoon costume. It’s definitely not Bark.

Free Comic Book Day and ImprovCity's Comic Book Day show!

They gave out free comics too! I got Legendary Star-Lord #5 and Star Wars: Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #1.

Free Comic Book Day and ImprovCity's Comic Book Day show!

The show was hosted by Lumpy the Space Princess Lumpy Space Princess, and she did a good job as her too!

Free Comic Book Day and ImprovCity's Comic Book Day show!

Here’s another shot of the performers. I wanted to ensure one with Speed Racer’s helmet got posted too. After the show, a lot of us went to BJ’s. I got a nice low calories salad, a martini, and then a delicious and unhealthy pizookie.

Free Comic Book Day and ImprovCity's Comic Book Day show!

Today’s actually Free Comic Book Day, so I headed to Alakazam. I got the Jurassic Strike Force 5 one-shot, Terrible Lizard, Bodie Troll, Fight Club, and BOOM! Studios Ten Year Celebration 2015 Free Comic Book Day Special. I’m excited to sit down with these later, but I have plans tonight. I just finished preparing food for the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight potluck. Hopefully Pacquiao wins!

Daredevil by Mark Waid Volume 5 is his best yet

Daredevil by Mark Waid Volume 5

While I still love Frank Miller’s runs of Daredevil best, this latest hardcover of Mark Waid’s is the best he’s done. Volume 5 collects Daredevil Volume 3 issues 22 through 27. I didn’t really like the start of Mark Waid’s Daredevil with the Omega Drive. It felt a little too mainstream Marvel, like I was reading the Avengers without most of the Avengers. It got better, but this volume just blew the previous out of the water.

Some things were interesting but minor. It was cool to see Stilt-Man again in a funny way, and there was a little fight with Spider-Man. But there were a few things happening that were absolutely great. First, Ikari is a great villain. I know we don’t know much about his personal motivation. No, he’s not a well-rounded character yet. However, I hope we see more of him in the future. We also got to see Stick in some flashbacks. I kind of thought Waid was going to downplay Stick, but apparently I was wrong.

Daredevil begins to piece together who’s after him and who has been sending people to harm him. It was exactly who I expected, but it doesn’t mean it was any less cool, especially how Foggy figured out who it is before Matt. Speaking of Foggy, it’s great to find their relationship getting repaired. The roles flip back and forth, and we see that maybe they perform the same function for each other. They need each other. While Daredevil might be called the Man Without Fear, we see him incredibly scared in this volume, and Foggy is the one who has to keep him grounded, despite imposing health problems.

While I prefer hardcovers over single issues, it’s going to be extremely hard to stay away from Daredevil until the next volume is released!

The Sentry: Reborn

The Sentry: Reborn

After enjoying the idea of the Sentry, I went back and read his original series and The Sentry: Reborn miniseries. The original The Sentry miniseries has an interesting background story. In the Marvel Universe, the Sentry is supposedly one of the first superheroes, but for some reason, no one remembers him. Over the course of the miniseries, it’s revealed why no one remembers. It also explores his nemesis, the Void, a being of pure evil. What’s especially interesting is that Marvel plays up the idea by acting like they found old sketches and notes about him from 60’s.

The Sentry: Reborn adds a lot more twists to his story. It examines the relationship between Robert Reynolds, his alias as The Sentry, and The Void. Reynolds’ therapist is also a major character as they deal with Reynolds’ schizophrenia. It’s very fascinating. The Sentry is very similar to Superman in that they’re both incredibly powerful “classic” heroes. They’re both forces of pure good. However, out of his costume, Reynolds is highly unstable, suffering from schizophrenia, depression, delusions, agoraphobia, and substance abuse. It’s definitely a different direction than Superman!

I do have to say that the art style in The Sentry: Reborn was rather disappointing. The proportions consistently looked off to me, and faces looked especially bad. John Romita Jr. is a pretty famous comic artist, so I don’t know if he used a different style for this or if I just don’t like his style. Regardless of art problems, I still thought it was a great book!

The Disastrous Daredevil

As a Daredevil fan, I figured it was about to time I watch the movie that’s universally despised. Having watched it, I can understand why.

The two biggest problems with the movie are probably Ben Affleck didn’t seem to really care about the role and that Daredevil didn’t seem to be a true hero. The fight scenes weren’t great either. It’s too bad Frank Miller wasn’t directing.

There were some minor differences that didn’t bother me too much. For one thing, I was sad that Matt’s father wasn’t called Battlin’ Jack Murdock, but oh well. The big problem was revealed when we saw Daredevil origin. As he runs away from the reveal that his father’s a thug, he causes an accident that spills radioactive waste in his eyes, blinding him and heightening his other abilities. How heroic. Boy runs away and causes an accident. The hero I know as Daredevil saved an old man from getting his by a truck, thus getting in the accident himself. Speaking of being a hero, in the comics Daredevil chases the man involved in his father’s murder into a subway, but the man has a heart attack. This was transposed onto an unrelated person for the film, but rather than simply having a heart attack, Daredevil leaves him on the train tracks to get by a train. Leaving someone to get killed is not in his character at all. It’s confusing that they would even think to put that in the film.

Elektra enters a coffee shop and sits to drink before even buying anything. There’s a goofy romantically tense fight between Matt and Elektra in a park when they first meet, and no one seems to care. Scenes seem to shift as people fight. The Kingpin isn’t the calculating, brilliant man of the comics. And why was he involved in Jack’s death? They throw Karen Page into the film for no reason. Was it just so fans could recognize a character from the comics? There were no sparks between her and Foggy or her and Matt, leaving her inclusion pointless. It was just sloppy.

There were, however, redeeming qualities. For one thing, Jack Murdock decides to win his fight against John Romita despite being told to throw it. He also learns that many other people he defeated actually threw their fights, including Miller, Mack, Bendis. These are all obvious references to important people involved in the writing of Daredevil comics, which I enjoyed. Michael Clarke Duncan portrayed Kingpin excellently. I also enjoyed Colin Farrell as Bullseye even if I kind of missed his costume. Bullseye is crazy, and this is especially noticeable in his facial expression and eyes. Farrell pulled it off.

While I wouldn’t think about saying the Daredevil film was good, I enjoyed it. However, I’d recommend that if you’re not a fan, stay away. That isn’t because you wouldn’t appreciate it. Rather, it’s because I wouldn’t want to taint your impression of Daredevil before experiencing Frank Miller’s take on the Man Without Fear.

Marvel’s Siege

I finished Marvel’s Siege recently, which admittedly is three years old. It deals with Norman Osborn’s siege of Asgard and his fall from leading H.A.M.M.E.R. I didn’t read any Dark Reign, so I didn’t see any of the comics that dealt with Osborn being the leader of H.A.M.M.E.R., but it was interesting to see him leading in Siege.

Osborn’s an interesting character, dealing with his own mental instabilities and struggles with the Green Goblin persona. Siege deals heavily with the Sentry who, with The Void, parallels Norman Osborn in many ways. The story makes me wonder about Osborn’s motives and whether there might be good in there, buried by crazy. More than that, it makes me extremely interested in The Sentry. I’ll have to go back and read his mini-series when I can find it.

I really enjoyed Siege despite not knowing some of his Avengers. Seeing Bullseye as Hawkeye was pretty cool too, although I suppose that wouldn’t have been new if I had been reading Dark Reign. After reading Osborn’s rise in The Secret Invasion, it was fitting to see his fall.

Dared to read Daredevil Yellow

Daredevil Yellow

Daredevil Yellow is Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s retelling of Daredevil’s origins. In an effort to deal with the loss of Karen Page, Matt writes a letter to her as a way of dealing with his feelings. Through these letters, we see his past.

It was an entertaining story as a Daredevil fan, but I’m not sure it would work as a good introduction to the hero for people who weren’t familiar with him already. Then again, maybe an origin story isn’t always written for newcomers. Can’t a fan enjoy a retelling of an origin?

The story centers on Karen Page. In addition, it covers the death of Matt’s father, Battling Jack Murdock, fairly well and gives a new (to me at least) reason for his costume being yellow; he made it out of his father’s robe. Loeb also gives motivation for Matt changing his costume to red based on feedback from Karen. That’s not exactly how I remember it from issue seven in which he mentions in passing redesigning his costume to make it “more comfortable” and “more distinctive.” User Aristocles on Answerbag wrote that the artist, Wally Wood, didn’t want the Man Without Fear to wear yellow because it’s the color of fear. Is it true? I don’t know, and I’m not researching. It sounds plausible though.

The art style in Daredevil Yellow is a bit odd. It’s a bit deformed or grotesque. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but it’s just skewed. Usually this just seems like a stylistic choice, and it looks good on some characters. Matt looked good usually, for example. However, Karen looks like some sort of demon at times! I didn’t care for her look in most panels.

Daredevil Yellow was entertaining but not superb. It worked at retelling parts of Matt’s origins but only parts. If you’re new to Daredevil, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Man of Steel

Note: There aren’t really any huge plot twists to spoil in the movie, but I’ll be talking about the plot!

I had a good time watching Man of Steel last week, but it wasn’t up to the quality of some other superhero movies. I enjoyed the Dark Knight trilogy and films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (except Hulk) more. My exposure to Superman is limited primarily to the first season of Smallville, Superman for all Seasons, and the novel It’s Superman!

First, there were many things I did like. Seeing Krypton was very interesting, and I’d love to see more of it in the future. I haven’t read much Superman, but I’m under the impression that not much is shown of Krypton in general. Just like my feelings about Asgard in Thor, I’d like to see a movie solely focused on Krypton.

I also enjoyed seeing Clark Kent come to terms with his powers and who he is. His inner-conflict and relationships to other people were far more interesting that his battles. Everyone expects superhero stories to be full of fighting and action, and Man of Steel delivers that. However, they seem to go for too long. There are so many related conflicts back-to-back that it feels like a cliche RPG. After the last stage, you fight the boss, but then you fight the true boss. And then you fight the final form and then the hyper-final form. It wasn’t exactly like there, and there aren’t any huge twists; however there are a string of conflicts.

My biggest problem with Man of Steel is that of Clark Kent’s secret identity. Multiple people know that Clark Kent is Superman and not people who are particularly close to him either. How could he keep his identity as Superman a secret? In addition, and here’s a bit of a spoiler, the military uses the ship in which he came to Earth near the end of the movie yet they don’t know who Superman is. How did they go to his house and pick it up while not knowing his identity? It seems silly.

I’d also like to see him use his powers more. He uses x-ray vision and heightened senses as a child when he’s coming to terms with his powers, but he doesn’t use them during fights. He rarely even uses the heat vision. In fact, the abilities he uses in combat are limited to his super-strength, his ability to fly, and his invulnerability. It appears Superman deals with threats by throwing himself at them.

I saw Man of Steel in 3D, although that was only because the 2D showing was a half hour later in the day. The film used 3D very well. It was never too “in-my-face,” and I use that term both figuratively and literally. It was subtle yet useful. Given that tickets for 3D films cost $4 more at the theater I attended, two tickets in 3D were $22 rather than the $14 they would have been in 2D. That’s not insignificant. The glasses are always a little annoying, sitting low on my nose in order to be worn with normal glasses, but I was glad they came in plastic and weren’t scratched.

Despite some drawbacks, I enjoyed the movie. I’d watch a sequel and would particularly like to see a DC Cinematic Universe like Marvel’s. Given how this movie already goes through his origin story and made me excited about Superman, I think I should go watch Smallville instead of waiting for another movie!

Daredevil by Waid volume 4 brings headless DD and more

The fourth trade collection of Waid’s Daredevil got rather weird in parts despite making some interesting progress. When Foggy discovers something shocking that Matt’s done, he dissolves their partnership. However, Matt doesn’t remember doing it. It gets weirder from there as his sanity slowly seems to unravel.

While I’d expect some weird things to be happening if Matt’s indeed going crazy, there are also some weird inclusions in these issues. For one, Stilt Man is back. In the earlier days of Marvel, there were a lot of heroes and villains with weird powers. Hydraulic stilts is one of those, and it seems lame to reintroduce Stilt Man. However, at least Daredevil sort of comes to my same conclusion. There’s also an enemy that separates heads from bodies, which seemed odd to me.

By the end of the collection, we do learn what’s happening with Matt’s sanity, but there are still some escalated plot threads. His relationship with Foggy is no where near fixed, his romantic relationship is shaky, and there’s an interesting villain out to get him named Coyote. It was compelling despite being odd in places.

Alakazam Comics’ Midnight Madness Sale haul

Comics purchased

Friday was Alakazam Comics’ Midnight Madness Sale in which everything in the store was 20% to 80% off normal prices. I was at Yogurtland when I remembered and decided to stop into the store. Of course, I ended up with a large haul.


I’m not even ready to read Siege yet, but this hardcover collection would give me the story in one convenient book. I’ve wanted to read the important events in the Marvel universe with focus on the Avengers. I’ve read Secret War, Avengers Disassembled, House of M, and Civil War. Will, manager at Alakazam, has helped me decide what to read to next, and I purchased Secret Invasion a month or so ago. Despite not having read it yet, I couldn’t pass the chance to get Siege at a big discount.

Grandville Bête Noire

gem picked this one. Grandville seems to be a steampunk, alternate history title starring a detective that’s an anthropomorphic badger. We didn’t realize until we bought it that it’s the third in a series. gem already started reading it and says it seems to stand alone well, but I still feel like we should pick up the other two.

The Complete Maus

I’ve been wanting to read this for a while too. Maus is a graphic novel by cartoonist Art Spiegelman. Spiegelman retells his interview with his father about his life as a Polish Jew and Holocause survivor through the graphic novel. It’s won the Pulitzer Prize, so it must be good. I’m looking forward to reading it.

Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life Color Edition

It’s about time I start collecting the color edition of Scott Pilgrim. They didn’t have the second one though. Dang, the sale work! I need to go pick up the second one (possibly this week).

Adventure Time Volumes 1 and 2

These are gem picks as well, although I’ll be reading them as well. If the Adventure Time graphic novels are anything like the TV show, they should be a lot of fun.

The haul came to a little over $100. On our way out, we filled out raffle tickets before leaving for the evening. But then…

Comics won

…gem got an e-mail saying she won something in the raffle! We headed back to the store later in the weekend;,gem was given the choice of any graphic novel from a box of different titles. I was leaning toward Batman: Earth One, but it wasn’t my call. She asked what Fables was and learned that it was about characters from fairy tales and folklore living in the real world. This particularly novel. Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland is a tale of the Big Bad Wolf. She chose this, and I’m pretty fascinated by it as well.

As a bonus, they threw in two other comics as well. Godzilla: Kingdom Of Monsters issue 1 was interesting. Apparently IDW Publishing created over one hundred variants of the cover for various retailers. You can see Alakazam getting crushed by Godzilla in the comic. The other bonus was Alakazam: 10 Years of Fun, a book about Alakazam created in honor of the store’s tenth anniversary. It contains works from both fans and Alakazam employees and includes comics, prose, poetry, and more. It’s a fun piece of history!

It was a bigger haul than I intended to purchase, but I’m happy! Now the trouble will be finding the time to actually read some of this.

Daredevil Volume 3

Daredevil by Waid volume 3

The third volume of Mark Waid’s Daredevil collects issues 11 through 15 of Daredevil volume 3 along with issue 6 of Avenging Spider-Man and issue 10 of the The Punisher volume 8. The Omega Drive continues to be a driving factor, but Waid manages to get other unrelated stories into the comic while still keeping the focus on the Omega Drive.

The story flows seamlessly between the three different series without the art or writing changing styles drastically. By the end of the collection, the Omega Drive story arc comes to what I assume is a conclusion for the time being. It comes as a nice bit of a twist as well.

My favorite story in this book was unrelated to the primary story arc; as Matt talks to his date about his friendship with Foggy, he recounts his college days. It goes into the details surrounding a professor lying in an attempt to get Foggy expelled, Matt risking his college career to defend Foggy, and Foggy repaying Matt. I’ll withhold the details, but it’s a great story.

In the second volume of Mark Waid’s Daredevil, my favorite story was also one unrelated to the main arc of the Omega Drive. The best Daredevil stories seem to be the ones that don’t cross-over with the rest of the Marvel universe. In addition, Waid intends to return Daredevil to the swashbuckler he once was and to take him out of the darkness. I think the dark stories work better. Despite preferring a harsher tone, Waid’s Daredevil continues to be interesting and fun. In the final of this collection, we definitely see some dark things happen to poor Matt again as the story arc changes.