Comic Review: Sandman Preludes and Nocturnes

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The Sandman series is one of those keystones of the comic industry that I have been meaning to read since not long after I starting reading comics when I was 13, its only taken me 15 years to get around to crossing the first volume off my list, (it actually was on my list of 30 comics to read before I’m Thirty).

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Reading the Sandman was actually spurred on a bit by watching Foxes Lucifer (the comic it was based on is actually a spin off/ sequel of the Sandman) I was curious about the characters, the world and the background.

This volume focuses on Morpheus who is the legendary Sandman, Dream of the Endless, ruler of the Dreamworld. It looks at the consequences of the Sandman’s imprisonment away from the wider universe and how he picks up his life after that imprisonment ends. The story is set in the DC universe seeing cameo appearances from characters such as Wesley Dodds (the golden age Sandman of the JSA), Mister Miracle and the Martian Manhunter of the Justice League International, the Demon Etrigan and the Hellblazer John Constantine, and this was something that surprised me as I had assumed, I now see somewhat erroneously, that comics published under DC Comics Vertigo line were of a separate continuity (similar to the Wildstorm Universe), but it was nice to see a few familiar faces mainly because the familiar is somewhat comforting, especially as I was expecting something completely new and disjointed from what I had read before.

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Neil Gaiman’s writing is something that I’ve often found somewhat hit or miss, I’ve liked things like Stardust and Good Omens, but haven’t been to fond of things such as the Eternals or Neverwhere, and have been on the fence about things such as The Comical Tragedy or Tragical Comedy of Mr Punch. But this first instalment of the Sandman is rich and deep, even the minor throwaway characters are well rounded and thought provoking. Its definitely a grown up piece of work with many layers to it, it may even require a re read just to pick up on all the subtle references that Gaiman makes throughout the work.

The artwork provided by Sam Kieth and  Mike Dringenberg is definitely worthy of an adult aimed comic, its visually rich and the colours really stand out, even the black (and there is a lot) somehow manages to still pop out from the page and catch the eye

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Since reading this volume I’ve actually gone out and purchased the rest of the series, the prequel and several spin offs, all because I enjoyed it that much and am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the post man to bring me more to devour. And when I’m through with them, you can bet your arse that I’m going to writing some more killer comic reviews on the subject.

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30 Before I’m Thirty (Films)

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I’m going to be thirty in just over 2 years and at this moment in time I’m OK with that (how I feel about it in 10 minuets is up for debate) but one of the things that I realised is that there are a fair few things I still want to accomplish whilst the career and social goals are somewhat out of my control things like films I want to see, albums I want to listen to and books I want to read are very much in my control, especially as I have 25 months to accomplish it. Here is a list of the films that I would like to have read by the time I’m thirty.

How Green Was My Valley 

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Gentleman’s Agreement

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From Here to Eternity

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Gone With The Wind

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Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

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West Side Story

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Lawrence of Arabia

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Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf

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Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

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Funny Girl

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Fiddler On The Roof

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All The Presidents Men

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Milk

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Kramer Vs Kramer

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Terms of Endearment 

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The Cider House Rules

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An Education

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The Wolf Of Wall Street

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Guardians of the Galaxy 2

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Moonrise Kingdom

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Saving Private Ryan

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Going In Style 

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Wall Street

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King Ralph

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Planes Trains and Automobiles

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O Brother, Where Art Thou?

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The Monuments Men

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Good Will Hunting

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Good Morning Vietnam 

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This Is Spinal Tap

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How many of these do you think I’ll get done before July 21st 2019?

The Formula For Pulp

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I’ve been reading/ watching a lot of pulp sci-fi lately (which isn’t a new thing), but there is one thing that I’m noticing, and that is that the plots for all of the pulp sci-fi classics are all exactly the same.

If I describe the plot to you see if you can guess the film, book, comic or tv show.

  1. A human male is somehow transported to an alien world
  2. said human male will meet a local tribe, and will be captured and or fight, before gaining said tribes trust/respect and then learns that the planet is made up of lots of warring peoples all ruled by one tyrant.
  3. Human male will then meet a princess who is part of the resistance against said tyrant, will fall in love and then join the resistance.
  4. Human male will suffer self doubt before uniting all tribes on the planet against the tyrant.
  5. Final battle
  6. Human Male either marries princess and rules or is sent back to Earth to pine for princess and scheme to get back.

This formula actually applies to pretty much all stalwarts of the genre across all media, It accurately sums up the novel Princess of Mars, which gave us the John Carter film, it sums up Buck Rogers In The 25th Century. It is an accurate summation of the Flash Gordon serials, comics and film and is a true synopsis for DC Comic’s Adam Strange A Man Of Two Worlds.

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So if you ever feel like writing a pulp sci-fi masterpiece, you now know the winning formula, it worked for some pretty big names in cinema.

The Lazy Ramblings Of A Lazy Guy (On Being In Love)

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I was recently introduced to the Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow by Jerome K Jerome. The book consists of 14 essays on 14 topics

  1. ON BEING IDLE.
  2. ON BEING IN LOVE.
  3. ON BEING IN THE BLUES.
  4. ON BEING HARD UP.
  5. ON VANITY AND VANITIES.
  6. ON GETTING ON IN THE WORLD.
  7. ON THE WEATHER.
  8. ON CATS AND DOGS.
  9. ON BEING SHY.
  10. ON BABIES.
  11. ON EATING AND DRINKING.
  12. ON FURNISHED APARTMENTS.
  13. ON DRESS AND DEPORTMENT.
  14. ON MEMORY.

Jerome K Jerome is pretty much me down to a tee. He’s lazy and just writes whatever comes to mind. He doesn’t care who he offends, and I often felt that he may have been somewhat high when he picked up the pen. But Mr Jerome has inspired me, so I am going to be writing a series of posts on the topics that Mr Jerome turned his hand at. (I know I’m ripping the guy off, but quite frankly I don’t care)

On Being In Love 

Have you ever seen someone and known that they would be a terrible distraction to your life. That was how I would describe it, that feeling of knowing that this person is going to really change your life. That knowledge that this is going to be massively inconvenient.

That’s how it all begins then you slip into it, the early days are all wine and dinner and flowers and dancing, but then comes the big pants and netflix, the cups of tea, the farting and the lack of make up, if you can get through that, that is true love. The enduring real world version of the thing.

Foreigner wanted to know what love is, well its two people who have decided to just give up and settle with each other because they find the other person somewhat less detestable than the rest of humanity, that my friends is love.

This is the second in series of posts ripping off the work of Mr Jerome K Jerome and his seminal piece The Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Man.

 

The Lazy Ramblings of A Lazy Guy (On Being Idle)

 

The Man Down My Local (1).pngI was recently introduced to the Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow by Jerome K Jerome. The book consists of 14 essays on 14 topics

  1. ON BEING IDLE.
  2. ON BEING IN LOVE.
  3. ON BEING IN THE BLUES.
  4. ON BEING HARD UP.
  5. ON VANITY AND VANITIES.
  6. ON GETTING ON IN THE WORLD.
  7. ON THE WEATHER.
  8. ON CATS AND DOGS.
  9. ON BEING SHY.
  10. ON BABIES.
  11. ON EATING AND DRINKING.
  12. ON FURNISHED APARTMENTS.
  13. ON DRESS AND DEPORTMENT.
  14. ON MEMORY.

Jerome K Jerome is pretty much me down to a tee. He’s lazy and just writes whatever comes to mind. He doesn’t care who he offends, and I often felt that he may have been somewhat high when he picked up the pen. But Mr Jerome has inspired me, so I am going to be writing a series of posts on the topics that Mr Jerome turned his hand at. (I know I’m ripping the guy off, but quite frankly I don’t care)

On Being Idle

Laziness is both a blessing and a curse, there is nothing more satisfying than spending a day lazing about on the sofa, especially when you know that there are plenty of more important things that you could be doing, and therein lies the curse. Having to put aside that bliss, can prove difficult and indeed a real hardship and can even lead to outright resentment. Or at least this is how I feel. I’ve now reached the point where I actually hate to have to do things. When people interrupt my doing nothing I really do get a little bit angry about the whole thing.

Since the advent of the internet the whole staying in thing really has taken off, with the world of online streaming services and takeaway foods that you don’t even have to speak to people to get, the world of insular laziness has actually become more and more of a easy thing to achieve.

Laziness and indeed idleness itself is a state of mind, its where you sacrifice any sort of social life just to achieve the pleasure that comes from doing nothing. It’s hard to get into the head space required to want to do nothing but watch Game of Thrones in your pants while eating cereal straight from the box.

There are some people who couldn’t be lazy if their lives depended on it. They just lack that lack of drive. They have too much motivation, too much determination to just get things done. The world would stop without those people, without them we wouldn’t have anything. But thanks to those people the rest of us, those lazy fellows can enjoy the things those great enablers have given us. Thanks to them we can vegetate until we fuse to with our sofas, until bed sores set in and until we have to wash ourselves with rags on sticks.

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The world takes a dim view of laziness, but to those who say this is say to you…meh I’ll tell you later.

 

This is the first in series of posts ripping off the work of Mr Jerome K Jerome and his seminal piece The Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Man. 

Jokes On You: My Favourite Joker’s

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The Joker is one of the most iconic villains of all time, having been named the greatest comic book villain on many different lists dedicated to such things. A man dedicated to mayhem, his scarlet lips, ivory features and bright green hair mark his stature as the antithesis ofhis arch rival the Batman. Since his creation by Bob Kane and Bill Finger in Batman #1 (1940) he has been a mainstay of the franchise including especially when it comes to Batman on the silver screen. So here is a look at the main Joker’s form (in my humble opinion) worst to best.

Jared Leto

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The most recent screen joker appearing in 2016’s suicide squad as part of the new DC shared film universe.

Heath Ledger 

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Appearing in his final feature length film before his death, Heath Ledgers Joker starred in 2008’s the Dark Knight

Jack Nicholson

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Jack Nicholson portrayed the first live action Joker since Cesar Romero’s, starring opposite Michael Keaton’s Batman in the 1989 Tim Burton production and was heavily influenced by Alan Moore’s Batman The Killing Joke.

Cesar Romero

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The first live action Joker and arguably the high point of the 1960’s Adam West series, appearing in 22 episodes and the motion picture Cesar Romero was the first to bring the madness to life, even if they did just paint over his mustache.

Mark Hamill 

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Possibly the most successful of all Jokers having portrayed the Joker in 4 feature length animations, over 30 times on various DC animated shows, 9 video games and in the opening episode of the short lived, live action, Birds of Prey Series. This is why to my mind Mark Hamill is the Joker, even when reading the comics I read the Joker as Mark Hamill.

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The A-Z Of Super Teams

The Avengers

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Marvels flagship super team formed in the 1960’s and originally comprising of Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Ant-man and the Wasp, this team has gone on to produce multiple spin off titles and has run for over 50 years. Even being the focus of the current Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Big Hero Six

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Japan’s premier superteam introduced by marvel in the 1990’s, originally comprising of Hiro, Gogo Tomago, Honey Lemon and Baymax along with X Man Sunfire and former villain Silver Samurai, this team was formed by the Japanese government to protect their shores. This title was short lived running for only 3 issues in 1997, then ressurected as a mini series in 2005 before enjoying success as an award winning Disney animation

The Champions

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In the aftermath of the Civil War II storyline, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man (Miles Morales), and Nova have left the Avengers and make plans to “put the world back together.” After recruiting The Totally Awesome Hulk, The Vision’s daughter Viv, and a time displaced cyclops, they form the Champions.

The Defenders

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Originally formed of The Incredible Hulk, Namor The Submariner and Dr Strange the team came together in order to take on lovecraftian villains the undying ones, who are hell bent (pun most defiantly intended) on taking over the earth for themselves. The defenders would enjoy a great deal of success over the years and, unlike regular superteams, would feature a rotating cast of characters depending on the mission at hand. The defenders name lives on to this day and will feature as a new television series as a joint venture between Marvel Studios and Netflix.

Excalibur

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Britain’s Premier superteam, consisting of various European and American X-men led by the mystical hero Captain Britain and his wife, the Roma Gypsy, Meggan. Conceived as a team when the X-men were missing and presumed dead, Excalibur dealt with a number of threats, including aliens, werewolves, alien werewolves and a whole series of extra-dimensional misadventures. The original series ran for 125 issues and then came back as a mini series, then another 24 issue series entitled New Excalibur, which then morphed into the Captain Britain and Mi 13 series.

Fantastic Four

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Marvels first family was arguably the beginning of the silver age of comics as far as marvel are concerned, a team made up of the Thing, The Human Torch, The Invisible Woman and the bizarrely titled Mr Fantastic (the man has an excessive amount of doctorates but whatever). The Fantastic Four have endured in comics since their development in 1961, however have not enjoyed much success in other media, with every attempt at hitting the big screen being a disaster, including one film so bad it was never released.

Guardians of the Galaxy

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There’s been more than one team to bear the name Guardians of the Galaxy, a team from the year 3000 who would sporadically appear in the pages of the Avengers, and the New team, coming in the Wake of Marvels Annihilation and Annihilation Conquest events, this version featuring Star Lord, Gamora (the deadliest woman in the galaxy) Drax The Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon and Groot (the sentient tree and Monarch of Planet X) have stared in 2 series (25 and 27 issues respectively) with a third ongoing series under way, as well as a major motion picture (with a sequel to be released next year) that many are claiming is the high point of the Marvel Cinematic universe.

Heroes For Hire

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Heroes for Hire is literally as it says on the tin, the concept started with Luke Cage the Hero For Hire, who teamed up with Iron Fist, and then various other superheroes forming heroes for hire inc.

The Invaders

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The Invaders were Marvels superteam of world war two featuring Captain America and his teenage sidekick Bucky, The original Human Torch and his teenage sidekick (sensing a pattern?) Toro, Namor The Sub Mariner, Union Jack and Spitfire. They took the fight to the axis powers and did what they could to further the allied cause, before Captain America and Bucky became frozen in the ice cold Atlantic.

Justice League

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The Justice League of America is DC’s flagship superhero team, originally formed of Batman, Superman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Wonder Woman and The Martian Manhunter. The Justice League has featured almost every hero from the DC universe at some point or another. The team has enjoyed great success as a title, running almost non stop since the 1960’s, its spawned two animated tv series, various animated feature length pictures and a major motion picture is just around the corner.

Knights of Pendragon

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The team is formed to be agents of the Green Knight; a mystical entity representing the natural cycle and spiritual growth. The Knight is in ageless conflict with the Bane, an unnatural destructive force of warfare and winter, apparently led by the Red Knight, the Green Knight’s adversary. The Green Knight invests power, in the form of a possessing spirit bestowing powers, to various groups throughout British history, to protect nature; one such group were the original Knights of the Round Table; the Knights of Pendragon are a modern-day incarnation.

Legion of Superheroes

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The Legion of Super-Heroes is a fictional superhero team in the 30th and 31st centuries of the DC Comics Universe. Initially, the team was closely associated with the original Superboy, and was first portrayed as a group of time travelers who frequently visited him. In later years, the Legion’s origin and back story were fleshed out, and the group was given prominence on par with Superboy’s in a monthly comic. Eventually, Superboy was removed from the team altogether, and appeared afterwards as an occasional guest star.

Midnight Sons

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The midnight sons came together from the mystic corner of the Marvel universe, comprising of Blade, both The original and the Second Ghost Rider’s Johhny Blaze and Danny Ketch, Morbius the Living Vampire and Doctor Strange, they came together to fight threats like Vampires and Lillith the mother of demons. The team was rather short lived even though the concept was pretty cool.

Nextwave Agents of H.A.T.E

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The Nextwave series features a collection of minor Marvel superheroes: monster hunter Elsa Bloodstone; Monica Rambeau, the former Captain Marvel; Tabitha Smith, formerly of X-Force; Aaron Stack, the Machine Man; and new character the Captain, previously called Captain ☠☠☠☠ (the obscured words being so horrible that Captain America allegedly “beat seven shades of it out of [him]” and left him in a dumpster with a bar of soap in his mouth). These individuals are assembled by H.A.T.E., the Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort, to fight Unusual Weapons of Mass Destruction (U.W.M.D.s). The Nextwave team learns that H.A.T.E. is funded by the Beyond Corporation©, an organization formerly known as terrorist group S.I.L.E.N.T. As a result, the heroes leave H.A.T.E., stealing a vehicle called the Shockwave Rider. They destroy the U.W.M.D.s that the Beyond Corporation and H.A.T.E. have hidden around the United States, while being pursued by H.A.T.E. Director Dirk Anger.

Outsiders

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Originally formed by Batman The Outsiders have had three incarnations. They were founded by Batman, whose ties to the League had become strained. The Outsiders were reformed in the early 2000s by Nightwing and Arsenal after The Titans dissolved following the events of the graduation day story line, in which the heroine Donna Troy was killed by a rogue Superman android. The intention of this new team was to act as ‘hunters’, actively searching for superhuman criminals currently on the loose, rather than waiting for them to act and then responding as other super-vigilante groups often do. In its most recent formation the group’s leadership was relinquished by Nightwing to Batman, who recruited former members and newcomers. He has stated his intention to use the team as a black ops version of the Justice League, able to take the proverbial “fall” in public opinion when the League cannot. After Batman’s (apparent) death in Final Crisis, he posthumously charged Alfred Pennyworth with recruiting a new team of Outsiders for a forthcoming mission of “great importance”.

Power Pack

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Power Pack is a fictional team of comic book superheroes consisting of four young siblings who appear in books published by Marvel Comics. They were created by writer Louise Simonson and artist June Brigman and first appeared in their own series in 1984. The series lasted 62 issues. The characters have since appeared in other books. Power Pack was the first team of preteen superheroes in the Marvel Universe and the first in comics to operate without adult supervision. The title retains a cult following and in 2005 was relaunched as a title aimed at younger reader

Quantum and Woody

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Eric Henderson and Woodrow Van Chelton are adoptive brothers. After years of estrangement they are brought together by the mysterious death of their father (Woody’s foster father). They set out to find their father’s killer and, in the course of their investigation, are accidentally imbued with powers.

Runaways

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The Runaways are an interesting concept. Take the children of a group of super villains, let them inherit their superpowers, then upon discovering that their parents are murderous villains instead of doing the superhero thing and fighting them, they run away.In August 2016 Hulu ordered a pilot for a TV series based on the comic.

Suicide Squad

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Take villains and make them heroes, its a simple concept, that has made DC a fair bit of money over the last year, Suicide Squad is has been around in its current incarnation since the mid 80’s and this year has managed to become one of DC’s highest grossing cinematic releases to date.

Teen Titans

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What started out as a Justice League for teenage sidekicks has over the years evolved into one of DC’s best selling titles, spawning its own animated series and several animated features including the upcoming Justice League vs Teen Titans. Originally featuring Robin, Aqualad, Speedy and Wonder Girl the Titans have expanded to feature fan favourites such as Cyborg, Raven, Beast Boy and Starfire.

Ultimates

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The Ultimates are The Avengers, but from another universe, thats pretty much all you need to know.

V Battalion

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The group was originally a British agency formed in World War II to fight Nazis,the leader of the organization was John Watkins. However, in his superhero alter-ego, Citizen V, he was strangled to death by Baron Zemo. In time Zemo hunted down and murdered most of the original organization. Citizen V’s pregnant lover Paulette Brazee was kept in hiding to protect her and her unborn child. She would later give birth to a son named John (JJ) Watkins, Jr. In time both Paulette and JJ took up the mantle of Citizen V as well as JJ’s son John Watkins III.With the original organization destroyed, a group of Golden Age heroes choose to reconstitute the group, including Roger Aubrey (the Destroyer), Betty Barstow (Silver Scorpion), and Helmut Grueler (Iron Cross). The organization operated out of Symkaria and one of their primary missions was to hunt down Nazi war criminals. The team has constituted 2 mini series and one or two sporadic appearances over the past 20 or so years.

West Coast Avengers

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The team is founded by the Avenger Hawkeye in response to a suggestion by android and fellow Avenger the Vision, who at the time wished to expand Avengers’ influence. Hawkeye recruits Mockingbird, Wonder Man, Tigra, and War Machine, Together the team defeat a petty criminal called the Blank and later the Avengers foe Graviton. The team would later take on Henry Pym as a scientific advisor and compound manager. Due to constant in-fighting and a general lack of organization, Captain America intervenes and disbands the team. Several members of the West Coast team—including a returned Iron Man—are unhappy about the decision and leave to form another team, called Force Works.

X-men

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The X-Men were formed by Charles Xavier and his dream of peaceful coexistence between humans and the mutant race. Facing racism and fighting for survival these days the term X-Men pretty much just refers to any mutant out there, but the dream still lives on even if they fight for it. The X-men is arguably marvels biggest franchise with over 30 different ongoing titles over the last 50 years and and 9 major motion pictures (with a 10th to be released in 2017), as well as 3 pretty awesome cartoon series (with possibly the best theme tune outside of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

Young Avengers

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The Young Avengers came about after the actual avengers called it quits following the events of Avengers Disassembled. Featuring a Young Vision, the twin sons of the Scarlet Witch and (The adult) Vision, The half Skrull/ Half Kree Hulkling, and female teenage Hawkeye and a young black Captain America wannabe. They have slowly become a fan favourite, with two ongoing titles and various miniseries and one shots the Young Avengers are definitely here to stay.

Zoo Crew

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Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! (give me a break, nothing starts with z) is a DC Comics comic book about a team of funny animal superheroes called the Zoo Crew. The characters first appeared in a special insert in The New Teen Titans #16. followed by a series published from 1982 to 1983

 

 

Experiencing Early Dredd (A 2000 AD Review)

Several weeks ago I picked up 2000ad’s prog 2000, and given how new reader friendly it was, I was determined to familiarise myself with the worlds of 2000ad. To that end I purchased 3 trade paperbacks from 2000ad. I picked up Slaine: Warriors Dawn, Red Razors and Judge Dredd the Complete Case Files Volume 1.

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Judge Dredd Complete Case Files 01

Being most familiar with Judge Dredd, having seen the two film versions and having already read the Batman Judge Dredd crossovers, I dived right into Volume 1 of the Complete Case files.

Being a modern reader of mainly Marvel and DC Comics, I’m used to colour, but the early dredd’s being in black and white were still easy to read and the lack of colour actually enhanced the artwork in some respects. Not being artistically inclined I always feel like a massive dick for criticising art work, but the only downside (and not much of one at that) is that because there is a different artist each week (for practical reasons I know) I feel that the lack of continuity in terms of artwork is a little off putting at first, although once you get used to it, it does lend to the story and almost makes it seem as if Dredd’s world is being seen from many different points of view. No mention of the Artwork would be complete without mentioning the fantastic work of artist Brian Bolland (of Batman the Killing Joke fame), who to my mind stands out head and shoulders as the best artist of this volume.

 

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Brian Bolland’s Artwork

The writing flows naturally, and the dialogue feels natural, even when you factor in such things as Walter the Wobot’s (Judge Dredd’s speech impeded service droid)  massive lisp and the villainous tropes from characters such as Ricco Dredd and Call-Me-Kenneth, there are some exceptions such as Dredd’s landlady Maria (a somewhat stereotypical Italian Matriarch) and the less said about Judge Tex, the Luna Colony Deputy, the better.

These stories do paint a picture of a dystopia, struggling with overcrowding and crime and I loved every page of it, I will be investing in further volumes and you can look forward to future reviews, after reading this volume I can say that I am most definitely a converted Dredd Head and can’t wait for my next trip to Mega City One.

Sat About Saturday

Today has been a bit of a write off in terms of actual accomplishment, I’ve managed to do a little bit of tidying (although tidying the house with a toddler is like shovelling snow while its still snowing) and I also managed to do the dishes and cook an alrightish chicken curry. The rest of the day has been given over to reading comic books and catching up on the latest episodes of Arrow and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. All this whilst managing to avoid doing my washing and even better managing to not do my ironing for a third consecutive week (that stuff just piles up).

One of the high points of my weekend is that I finally started to read volume one of Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files. I discovered possibly the best villain ever (Call Me Kenneth) and have been enjoying the varied art work, (a review to follow after I’ve finished the thing).

However the down side of the weekend is that I taught my darling daughter, Marianna, a new word, “peacock”, it doesn’t really sound like peacock though and in fact sounds more like she’s saying “big cock”. Luckily she hasn’t said it in public yet, but it does highlight how her vocabulary is coming along nicely especially as she isn’t even two yet. She already knows where she lives (Cwmbran) and knows that her mothers job is mayor (she hasn’t quite mastered the word deputy) and perhaps most importantly, she can say comic book. Now if only I could get her not to shout “Daddy get up” at 8 am on a Saturday.

Comic Book Movies and Why They Suck.

I’m a massive comic fan. my collection currently boasts over 1000 issues and 300+ collected editions, with plans for expansion always being kept in mind. I love superheroes, those roided men and miss-proportioned women all decked out in spandex beating the crap out of each other and saving the universe every issue.

However that being said I have to say that I have been thoroughly disappointed in the cinematic efforts of the two main comic firms (DC and Marvel respectively). Now I have a deep respect for superhero films of yesteryear Michael Keaton as Batman and Christopher Reeve as Superman were fantastic, but when Marvel made its first moves to the big screen that’s where things began to take a turn for the worse in 2000 when I was 11 I remember going to the cinema to watch X-Men (the first in a currently 9 part saga) at the time I was blown away by the special effects and the fight scenes, but not really by the story, luckily my next interaction with the X-Men came from rewatching the 1992 TV series and watching X-Men Evolution (and they now count among my favourite comics book characters). But this just began a series of underwhelming attempts to fit the pantheon of Marvel heroes onto the big screen, there was Spider-man 1,2 and (with Tobey Mcquire)  then there was that god awful Hulk film, then the less said about Daredevil, Elektra, The Punisher, the two Fantastic Four films and worst of all not one but two Ghost Rider films.

Then Marvel brought out the big guns, a multi film, shared universe leading up to the Avengers, Marvels flagship superteam. my main problem with these films were again lacking in the deep story that I love about comics, and I understand that you cant fit 50+ (and in some cases 70+) years of complex backstory into 2 hours, but to rewrite it completely is unforgivable and that’s the issue I have Captain America was discovered by the Avengers (which included Ant-man and the Wasp), Thor was a god, not an alien and Hawkeye shouldn’t have been in the Avengers until the Sequel.

But it isn’t just Marvel studios that has fallen into this trap the recent attempt by DC and Warner Brothers has been a massive failure in Man of Steel, Superman does not kill. Jor-el is not a super spy and does not interact with his son on earth on account of being dead. The most recent outing in the new DC cinematic universe was also something that annoyed the bejesus out of me. Suicide Squad, in particular Harley Quinn, who was portrayed as bimboish sexpot with some form of schizophrenia, when originally she was qualified physician, and trainee psychiatrist whose psychological maladies included transference and a dependent personality disorder.

I know I’m being petty and unfair, and know that these are homages rather than adaptations, but I do feel that due to the prolonged longevity of these characters film is not the best medium to portray them, and highlight that comic based television shows such as Arrow, The Flash and Netflix’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones manage to flesh out the depth of the characters involved in a way that a film cant. The typical superhero film goes: person gets powers, freaks out, then accepts it, second person gets powers, first person and second person fight for first time villain wins, introspective scene, then second fight, hero wins, end credits (post credit scene for Marvel). Whereas with television, even with a villain of the week style format, the necessary time can be allotted to  allow for necessary character development and to establish that rich backstory that has made superhero comics a great medium.