Civil War II: The Oath

“Does this world look saved?”

Welcome, this is D.C. back for a throwdown on a book that really left an impression in spite of its preceding event: Marvel’s Civil War II: The Oath.

Image result for civil war the oath

 

The Oath?

The Oath picks up after the events of Civil War II–which, honestly, I didn’t finish because the story, for all its good art, just wasn’t satisfying in terms of story. I gave up on issue #5 because of the lack of logic in events, and how you really needed to read the various tie-ins just to understand why the other characters chose the faction they chose.

This story also picks up after some key events in the Captain America: Steve Rogers series. That, I’ll write a comprehensive review of later.

Impressions?

Writer Nick Spencer appears to get a lot of flack regarding the political undertones of his scripts, and for his recent takes on both Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers. However, in The Oath, Spencer pulls out the stops when he takes the reader on a monological tour of Steve Roger’s feelings and thoughts on recent events. One of the most powerful moments already started at the beginning, when Steve beside a comatose Tony Stark and says, simply: “What a waste.”

Those simple words already lets the reader know just how this Steve thinks of Tony. From there, Steve damns not only Tony  and Captain Marvel, but the superhero community in general. It is a sentiment felt by Ms. Marvel, the Champions, and Clint Barton, but Spencer lets Steve turn what appeared to be a story similar to Civil War: The Confession into a truly damning and, worse, mocking account by Steve.

Image result for civil war the oath

I was left disturbed throughout the story as Steve pointed out Tony’s hubris and failure as both a hero and a man. If you know anything about the rocky road between Iron Man and Captain America, reading Cap’s opinions of Tony aren’t necessarily new. But under Nick Spencer, the altered Steve is particularly scathing–almost violent, as if he is telling Tony, “Serves you right.”

The most meaningful part of The Oath is it is hard to disagree with Steve’s sentiments. Spencer seems to take note of social media views of current Marvel and superheroes in general, as well as current social issues, and weaves it in such a way that makes Steve 100% right in his opinion. His solution to the problem, though? That is where cognitive dissonance happens.

Related image

As if Steve’s damning and mocking of everyone he knows and how easily he rises to the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. with even more power than any director before weren’t enough, Steve ends his talk with Tony by sharing what he truly saw from Ulysses’ vision. What we see see if truly  a taste of things to come. I was simply mind-blown by Steve’s “future,” and how he saw this as a return to America’s greatness, America’s utopia. From the outside looking in, it rings too true of all horrors from history…or heroism, depending on where your loyalties lie. That is what Spencer hammers home.

Image result for civil war the oath hydra

We are also left with a key comment by Steve: “I am not the man you think I am.” Is this metaphorical, or literal? Is this really a Steve Rogers whose history was altered by Kobik, or is this an alternate Steve Rogers inhabiting the 616-Steve’s body? How will Nick Spencer answer this? Rather, how well will Spencer answer this? Will this be a repeat of Captain America: Reborn, or will this be something with a little more spice?

Related image

The beautiful pencils and vibrant colors rendered by Rod Reis (and many others) help to give this one-shot a very disturbing feel at times, while lending to the shifting flashbacks and feelings of Steve. You can’t have a disturbing voice without a disturbing face, and Spencer and work in perfect synergy to give us what Spencer has pushed since Steve Rogers #1: a subversive and conniving Rogers with the same moral fiber and convictions as the Cap everyone remembers, only twisted.

Related image

 

Verdict

Civil War: The Oath contains possibly the best writing I’ve read from Nick Spencer thus far. He lays out a morally twisted Steve Rogers’ feelings and opinions bare for the reader to absorb, and what he leaves us with is dread cloaked in optimism. It was an engrossing and terrifying story made all the more disturbing by Rod Reis’ captivating art style. If Civil War II left a bad taste in your mouth, this story really turns that around in time for Marvel’s next event: Secret Empire.

HAIL HYDRA!

Mighty Captain Marvel

Image result for might captain marvel issue 0

Hello everyone this is Kay G, and today I thought I would discuss Captain Marvel’s new run. For a while Carol Danvers hasn’t been given a good wrap. I even didn’t find her very appealing. Since Civil War II she’s been known as a bitch for lack of better terms, and was starting wars that should have never happened. Danvers had death on her hands and a lot on her conscience. She was becoming to be one of the least liked characters in Marvel, and I blamed her lack of compassion combined with her crappy attitude for that. Captain Marvel has been re-released multiple times by Marvel comics; which I find unnecessary (a different rant for a different time) but I did find this series to start off very interesting and compelling.

Image result for mighty captain marvel issue 0

So introducing the new Marvel series “Mighty Captain Marvels”:

“Behold the mightiest, fightiest super hero there is! Captain Marvel returns to her helm as Alpha Flight commander with the world cheering her on. She’s the biggest hero in the world – but has Captain Marvel become someone Carol Danvers no longer recognizes?”

Image result for captain marvel issue 0

Mighty Captain Marvel, is written by Margaret Stohl. Starting at issue #0, Danvers is seen in a new light. I was very skeptical about reading it. It was my partner on here who handed it to me and told me to give it a try. So I did, turned out I like it…a lot. In fact I rushed out and bought issue #1 when it came out and liked it just as much. I like the way Danvers is portrayed in this series. In others she was cocky and thought she could do whatever she wanted, consequences be damned.  In this series, she’s seen as vulnerable and learning to deal with the aftermath of what she’s done in the war. Danvers is struggling with her leadership in Alpha Flight and Ultimate’s. Plus she’s realizing how alone she really is and doing so seeks out her best friend Jessica Drew (aka Spider-Woman). Within Jessica forgiving her, she finds some peace and little more order in her life.

Image result for mighty captain marvel issue 0

Danvers still has a major attitude problem that needs to be worked on. She still has a hard time excepting things that are not her way. Although despite some of her issues, I find that Carol Danvers is really trying; even if she doesn’t like the way it’s being handled. Especially in the way that she has to seek out endorsements to keep Alpha Flight funded. Despite how Captain Marvel may appear, she really doesn’t like being the center of attention. With all this said, I highly suggest this story. It will give you a new view on who Captain Marvel, it is well written and well executed, diffidently a great read.

Image result for mighty captain marvel issue 0

DC’s The Flintstones

“Yabba dabba doo.”

Hey, all, D.C. here, and I think it’s time to discuss a series after enough reads. Up today is DC Comics The Flintstones, by the creative team of Mark Russell and Steve Pugh.

When DC Comics decided to come out with an updated version of The Flintstones, the child in me couldn’t help but be intrigued. How would this be done? How would these iconic and classic characters be portrayed? What would the tone be?

Image result for the flintstones dc

What is The Flintstones?

…If you don’t know what The Flintstones is…then you have missed something out of your childhood. It is one of the most iconic Hanna-Barbara brands ever, debuting in the ’60s and born in the same vein as the classic sitcom The Honeymooners. If you haven’t watched it…WATCH IT.

For the sake of time, I won’t address Steve Pugh’s art, which is very good. I will focus on Russell’s take.

Story?

Satire is the name of the game with The Flintstones.

Mark Russell takes a classic cartoon series and turns it on its head with an adequate modern adaptation. Written in an episodic fashion, Russell makes note of various things that are considered beneficial, yet also can breed foolishness, in our society today. Stabs are taken at innovation of technology–particularly of appliances–that can make our lives easier, yet make us more and more materialistic. Fred deals with the pressures of purchasing such costly and faulty items.

Image result for the flintstones dc

Religion was touched on in a comedic and intriguing fashion, and again mirroring what happens now. People always want to belong somewhere, no matter how outrageous a religion or cult’s tenants appear.

Surprisingly, the Loyal Order of Water Buffalo is portrayed as a fraternity of war veterans, both of whom Fred and Barney share membership. It is a rough issue that touches on the lack of appreciation the society gives to those survivors who suffer.

At times, Russell’s satire is hilarious. Other times, it’s insight. Many times, however, it can be scathing, almost showing a disdain for our current society and its hypocrisy regarding religion, veteran care, news, elections, marriage, bullying, science, and simple human decency. There isn’t a moment this series isn’t provocative.

One last note: character development. Russell has done a superb job dabbing into the backgrounds of Fred, Wilma, and even how Bamm-Bamm was adopted by the Rubbles (a very insightful and emotional issue).Related image

Cast?

The cast is all there, which is always a good thing, and they are all portrayed very well. You can’t have The Flintstones without the big four–Fred, Wilma, Betty, and Barney–their children, Dino, and good ol’ Mr. Slate. Even the Great Gazoo shows up in issue #3, but how it comes about is very different and interesting.

One of the most commendable efforts I’d seen from Mark Russell is the background history in some of these characters that, in their own ways, answers lingering questions from the TV show itself, in addition to establishing this revisionist history.

Fred, simply put, is a shell of a man. He’s nothing like the boisterous caveman with anger issues seen from the cartoon show. Fred is neutered, but why? We see just why when the answer to his and Barney’s time as war veterans is addressed. It is reminiscent of how some vets return from war that is emotionally or physically traumatic, or any war they find themselves used as pawns in. It is in one of the meetings with war veterans that we see the origin and meaning of Fred’s catchphrase, “Yabba dabba doo.” It is nothing bombastic, but all very appropriate.

Still, Russell continually excels at showing that, despite his submissive personality, Fred is a righteous and courageous man at heart with a strong moral character in a crowd of selfish, complacent, and ignorant people.

Image result for flintstones comics

One of the better parts in the beginning of the series was Russell’s dabbing in Wilma’s background history and her life being the reasons behind her optimism and artistic choices. It’s something I never expected from Russell, but he made Wilma even more endearing to me. Conversely, next to nothing has been given of Wilma’s best friend, the equally vivacious Betty Rubble, but I hope that is something Russell will address in time.

Image result for flintstones comics

It is hard to believe, but Fred’s boss Mr. Slate is even more reprehensible under Russell’s penmanship. Slate is as selfish and flippant as they come in The Flintstones. Frustratingly, Russell writes minute moments where we see hints of Slate’s loneliness or some sort of humility in his actions; those moments are quickly dashed with a word by Slate. It makes me want to hate Slate even more, and for that, I commend Russell’s handling of the character.

Image result for mr slate flintstones dc

The series is still young, and I am still waiting for Russell to develop the teenage Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, as well as Betty, Dino and the Great Gazoo. The possibility of an extended cast beyond the originals would add a little more spice to this series.

Verdict?

If you haven’t dabbled in DC’s The Flintstones yet, please do. Mark Russell does an incredible job revitalizing the classic characters while addressing a plethora of topics pertinent to our social climate. Whether you think them controversial, progressive, scathing, or biased, you cannot ignore that they are both provocative and thought-provoking, and worthy of discourse after you finish each issue.

END THROWDOWN.

Image result for bamm bamm origin flintstones dc

Monstress

Image result for monstress

 

Hello everyone this is Kay, today I’ll be discussing the beautiful comic I just read called Monstress.  The one thing that intrigued me more than anything about this comic is that it was written by a woman along with the artist. I have a habit of judging women harsher in this line of work because it’s such a big competition. So it’s amazing to see when women can hold their own in the industry and more than that, they’re great at it. The writer is Marjorie Liu; the artist is Sana Takeda and is released by Image Comics.

Image result for monstress

 

The comic has incredible art; each page is filled with luscious paintings that are very vivid and detailed. Monstress reads like a novel, nothing seems to be left out. The history of the people and background is completely laid out for the reader to follow.

Image result for monstress

Synopsis:

The series is set in a matriarchal, riven by war between the Arcanics, magical creatures who sometimes can pass for human, and the Cumea, an order of sorceresses who consume Arcanics to fuel their power. The main character, Maika Halfwolf, is an Arcanic who is set on learning more about, and avenging, her dead mother. This story follows Maika, while she faces ghost of the past, battles, and inner demons that are more than just in the inside. This story is about friendship, hardship and facing the truth of what is. Monstress, has a lot of woman empowerment within the relationships together and events that take place.

Image result for monstress

Image result for monstress

Pros/Cons:

What I love most about this story is the beautiful world that has been created. This story is meant for any true Fantasy fan, if the art doesn’t convince you the writing will. Maika, the main character is someone I love to hate.  I’ve never read a story where I dislike the main character, which was something I found extremely interesting. Maika is an absolute bitch down to the very chore. Her childhood and upbringing made her bitter and into a warrior. This story is her journey in discovering more about that and who her mother was. Along this journey, Maika is introduced to many characters one’s you’ll love and maybe some not so much. Overall this continuous story is hands down my top 10 favorite of all comics. I love Fantasy & Adventure stories, it’s one of my favorite genres and reading this story just reminds me of why that is. I’m excited to see where Monstress goes next and hope it ends as well as it began.

Related image

Maika, Ren and Kippa

 

 

Invincible Iron Man #2

“This is life-or-death stuff you’re training for…and I’m not messing around.”

Well, into this new year, and the fictional world is still erupting in craziness. Real life, too, but that’s neither here nor there. It’s time to throw down!

First off, picking up from Kay’s praise of the first issue, is Marvel’s Invincible Iron Man #2.

Image result for invincible iron man 2 2017

Highlights

This issue continues the saga of Riri Williams, the newest contender (or pretender, depending on who you talk to) to the legacy of Tony Stark. What Brian Michael Bendis excels at here is telling a simple story. Simply put: Riri undergoes rigorous training with her Tony Stark-based A.I. system.

I was charmed to see a hero who is both intelligent, but understandably incompetent. Riri has no idea how to think on her feet in the heat of battle, but she manages a victory by the seat of her pants. She was inelegant, clumsy, and hardly what one would see as a “badass heroine,” but she got the work done the only way she knew how. Riri obviously has much to her learn,but her potential was made very clear in a very good way.

Image result for invincible iron man 2 2017

Building on the highlight of this issue was Bendis’ continued intersection of Riri’s background with her present activities. After the events of last issue, we learn the emotional hardships death has had in both Riri’s and her mother’s lives. I was almost disturbed by Riri’s questioning the doctor regarding both her stepfather and her friend’s deaths, but in a good way. It shows that Riri has depths of her personality we have yet to experience…depths that, at her age, could easily lead her to one side or the other of heroism. Near the flashback’s end, we get a simple television clip that shows Riri’s inspiration. We see what has happened in her past and her present, but Bendis is clearly building the in-between, and just how she comes to her first appearance.

Well done, Bendis.

 

Image result for invincible iron man #2 2017

Artist Stefano Caselli and colorist Marte Garcia continue to work their magic to make a commendable issue on a fledgling hero. The times we see Riri’s face is where Caselli excels at emoting our protagonist. She is both stoic, confused and pained, all at once in the flashback. It works so well.

Lowlights

I have a strong personal opinion that captions can enhance a story in many ways. It may be seen as an archaic and dying practice, but captions can aid in the reader understanding who the character is more than just what we see them do.

I feel that the absence of captions in Bendis’ work was a true detriment this time around. While I enjoyed this issue, I feel that there was a missed opportunity to truly understand Riri when it mattered most: during her training and to intersect her thoughts now with the flashback. We see much of Riri’s actions, but what about her feelings, her thoughts, her rage? For a character no one really knows about, I think she could’ve been cared about even more if Bendis were to dig into his character, to throw out those emotions to the reader.

Like I said, i think it was truly a missed opportunity to elevate an otherwise good story.

Image result for invincible iron man 2 2017

 

 

Recap

Invincible Iron Man #2 continues to pump up Riri at a good pace. Bendis wrote a great and sufficient tale of Riri’s struggles as a hero, only made better by the art by Caselli and Garcia. I do believe that Bendis really dropped the ball at the chance to provide greater depth to Riri, but the story still served to set up both the protagonist’s capabilities and the potential rogues gallery to come. I look forward to what comes next, and what improvements Bendis may bring. And I hope you do, too.

END THROWDOWN!

A year in the life…”Gilmore Girls”

Image result for pictures from gilmore girl revival

A year in the life of “Gilmore Girls” what can I say, it’s just a wonderful and witty as it used to be. It was a show I fell in love with years ago. So once I heard about the revival I was excitingly anticipating its arrival. When it premiered woke up super early coffee in hand (because as you know coffee and the Gilmore Girls goes hand in hand), and I stayed up super late the following night. The revival is broken into four parts; winter, spring, summer and fall. When finally clicking the start button on my Netflix, I became nervous and excited as to what was to come. It started with voice-overs of the past episodes that relived the whole series.

Image result for a year in the life gilmore girls

It begins with winter; Star Hallows looks like we never left it, festive and full of snow. The girls are at their true nature, fast paste talking and their own secret language that only they understand. In between all the season’s we see the struggle the girls are going through. Mostly we see Rory lost, and wondering where her life is going after school and conquering what she set off to do. All the women seem to be going through change in their life. Despite all this there is still laughter and fun times. Luke and Lorelei are together (like they always should’ve been) and Rory with some random guy she can barely remember the name to. Yet, that’s not all who she’s been seeing. Back and forth to London, we see that she is “back” with Logan at least in a secret manner. Messing up not only her life with work, but also it looks like her love life. Logan was the one I never liked when she freed herself of him I thought it was the best decision. He wasn’t good for her life, her career or her future. To me this showed that there was a part of Rory that hadn’t grown up yet. Then there’s Emily, the loss of Richard is hard not only on the all the Gilmore girls, but the audience as well. Emily is struggling to find herself and just being Emily, and not Mrs. Richard Gilmore. This part of her story was rough and saddening to watch, but you see how much she grows as a person and it was great.

Image result for pictures from gilmore girl revival

We get to see all these wonderful characters show back up today, like Sookie, Paris, Zack, Lane, Jessie, Dean, Michelle, and so many more.  It was great to see them all again, it was almost like the show was never gone. There were a lot beautiful moments in this show, and I was so close to not crying at all then fall came and it all came out. The writing to this show was extraordinary, but despite how much I loved this it did have some things I wish that weren’t in it as well. Then there were the whole four words that blew my mind. Still not even sure what I feel about it.

Image result for a year in the life gilmore girls

Pros:

First of Lorelei and Luke are together, so of course that’s the best part of the show. Despite the parts that made me cry these were some of the best moments in the show. In fall is when it all the crying came crashing down. Lorelei left to do “Walk,” like the book she wanted to go hiking out in the wilderness in order to go find herself. Things with Luke and her weren’t going the way she planned. They weren’t married yet, they were lying to each other and even her relationship with Rory was on the rocks. So she left, packed her big back and was already to go on the adventure to figuring out her life. Then right when she was about to go, she couldn’t find her permit, they wouldn’t allow her to go. So frustrated she went out for coffee and nothing was open but she found this beautiful view were all her clarity came to her. Lorelei called Emily and told her what her favorite memory of her father was, and reconciled any problems she had with her mother. This was the first of some crying, but it really stared when she got back home.

Image result for pictures from gilmore girl revival

Luke was standing there listening to her talk and before she could finish he started it. Luke talks about how they were meant to be, how hard it was when they weren’t together and seeing her with other people. That he would do anything to be with her, he’d change he do whatever she asked because he loved her and refused to have his life without her. It was a beautiful speech, one I’m not sure I could ever replicate. Lorelei looks at him, and tells him that she wasn’t ever trying to leave him, that she booked a date and made plans and that a wedding was going to happen and it was already taken care of. The wedding was beautiful; they sneaked off the night before the date and got married. It was perfect for them and way over do.

Image result for a year in the life gilmore girls

Another great moment was with Dean, Rory runs into him at the market. He looks handsome as ever. Rory tells him she’s going to write a book (advice she took from Jess) and ask if it was ok if he was in it. She told him that she would was going to write that he was the best first boyfriend a girl could hope for, the he made her feel safe and comfortable and so many more amazing things. It was a perfect moment for them. Then last but not the very least, when Jess looks at her. Luke asks him if he’s over her, and Jessie’s response is were just friends, but as he’s leaving he looks at her, it’s the way Luke use to look at Lorelei, with love and longing. It build up hope that maybe one day, the relationship that should have always happen may just have its chance. To me Jess was always the best person for Lorelei.

Image result for gilmore girls revival fall

Cons:

To me there were a few issues with the revival. First off there was so many scene’s that didn’t make sense or just far too long. The play was one of them. They showed far too much of it. I felt like the idea of it was made present enough in the beginning and at the last number that convinced Lorelei that things needed to change with her life. The rest of it was all extra time that could have been spent on the characters; that’s really what the audience wanted to see. There were also some slow scenes that seemed to drag on, that points just weren’t being made. Yes, Rory was struggling to come to terms of who she was, but I felt like it was just more than it should have been. Plus the story with her and Logan didn’t make sense, it didn’t make sense back in older episodes and didn’t now.

Image result for pictures from gilmore girl revival life and death brigade

Even as sweet as it was when Logan came to get here with the life and death brigade, I even felt she was too old for it. It was sweet gesture and the scene ended very well, but I also didn’t find it necessary. Other than that some of the chemistry didn’t seem all there with the characters, but after so many years that was to seem expected.

Conclusion:

Overall this revival was beautiful and worth checking out even the second time around. Even though the ending was left with shock in awe, it took me time to accept it. They always had to come around full circle. Jess is Luke and Logan is Christopher. Rory’s life will be as her mother’s was. Besides with that last look Jess gives Rory in the end, you know that there will always be hope.Image result for pictures from gilmore girl revival rory and jess

Because it always had to end, just like it began. It will make you laugh and make you cry. I felt like I was back in high school and grown up all at the same time while watching this. If you’re a Gilmore Girls fan, I defiantly recommended that all of you grab your coffee and snacks and check it out. This is Kay G. thanks for reading.

Image result for pictures from gilmore girl revival

Superman: Super Monster

“And sometimes one is simply one.”

Hej hej, all. This is D.C. back from a long hiatus (read: My day job kept me extremely swamped).

Kay and I had spent the last month reading and collecting comics and films. While our eyes viewed many, few stuck out that garnered an extensive review. That has changed in the last couple of weeks, so the first of many throwdowns will be the two-part storyline in Superman, Super Monster.

Image result for superman super monster #13

Is this YOUR Superman?

For many, yes. This may be DC Comics’ New 52/Rebirth era, but this appears to be the pre-Flashpoint era Kal-El, here to fill the void left by the New 52 Superman’s death. With wife Lois Lane and son Jonathan (Superboy), Superman continues to find his place in this unfamiliar world, complicated by the ominous presence of Mr. Oz.

Superman’s saga continues in Superman #12-13, which covered the Super Monster arc, with the review focused on issue #13.

Highlights

Writers Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason (who’ve worked together on Green Lantern Corps) write a fast-paced tale that has just about everything: a seemingly-ordinary  day for Lois Lane; a fun and satisfying scuffle between Superman and S.H.A.D.E. agent Frankenstein; and an appropriate resolution to a short arc. Even Lois got a small spotlight taking a shot at the arc’s antagonist. Tomasi and Gleason’s inclusion of both Frankenstein and his Bride and their emotional baggage in this arc worked out very well without overstaying their welcome.

Image result for superman 2016 #13

The strongest dialogue by Tomasi and Gleason here was rooted in the poetic exchanges between Frankenstein and the Bride, which oozed animosity, love lost, and even a bittersweet and pained longing that is apparent in both characters. It’s complicated and very relatable. The most impactful line was near the end of issue #13, where the dead Frankenstein confesses his very human feelings to his former Bride. Her response and his reaction cuts hard and deep.

Doug Mahnke’s art, aided by bright and vibrant colors (why so many colorists for one issue?), works well for the most part. The emotive responses related to each character went well with the script, even the nuances etched in the dull, dead faces of Frankenstein and the Bride.

Image result for superman 2016 #13

I hadn’t been very pleased with this Superman series–particularly with regards to Jonathan and the depiction of the Eradicator–but Super Monster was a very good arc.

Some issues I had, though…

Lowlights

Tomasi and Gleason seemed to be confused with regard to the fugitive warlord Kroog. There were repeated alternations between identifying Kroog as male or female. Why? There’s no indication that Kroog is a shapeshifter of nebulous gender. I’m not sure if Tomasi and Gleason were trying to imply the fluid gender, or were confused themselves in the depiction of Kroog.

Image result for kroog superman

Getting a little touchy there, Supes…

The Bride’s exchange with Lois was a bit off when it came to explaining the death of hers and Frankenstein’s son. The Bride explicitly stated, with regards to her son:

“We tracked him down in Europe, where he was wreaking death and destruction.”

Yet two panels later, the Bride says:

“…And I killed him before he could kill others.”

Perhaps I’m being a bit pedantic, but…how does one stop one from killing, if he was already wreaking DEATH and destruction already? It’s a small thing, but it was, to me, no less inconsistent.

While the dialogue between Frankenstein and the Bride was emotional and potent, I do feel that Tomasi and Gleason missed a golden opportunity to bring that dialogue back into the the thoughts and actions of Superman and his feelings towards both Lois and Jonathan. There was no introspection on Superman’s part, no thoughts on the meaning of his allies’ relationship, and how fragile and easily breakable his own family is. Without that introspection, even in caption form, the last several panels lack any real impact to me, other than hammering the point that this version of Superman and his family is “perfect” for DC’s Rebirth initiative.

Hammering “perfection” isn’t moving, and really did diminish the full effect I desired.

Recap

The Super Monster arc in Superman was a quick, isolated team-up tale that was both effective and exciting. While it didn’t serve a specific “goal” towards the overall events of Rebirth, it was a good filler that reacquainted Superman with more characters.

There was some blips in Tomasi and Gleason’s writing, particularly with regard to antagonist Kroog and the full emotional takeaway of the arc, but it was a satisfying read.

END THROWDOWN.

Plutona

“So…you wanna be a superhero?”

Hey, all. This is D.C. here for a throwdown. I’ve been trying to barrel through my mountain of single issues, trades and graphic novels. I read some interesting and good comics latey, but few quite like Image Comics’ Plutona.

Image result for plutona

 

Quick–the premise!

Simply put, Plutona is a tale of a ragtag group of children who accidentally come upon the body of one of their hometown’s heroes, Plutona. Sounds simple enough, yes? What happens while the children keep this secret unfolds in some very disturbing ways.

Highlights

Simply put: I really did not expect writer Jeff Lemire to unfold this story the way he did. It really surprised me.

While the dialogue is ultimately generic and simple, it fits, given the protagonists are only children. I expect more nuance and captions to capture the feelings and emotions of characters and environment, but the simplicity has its place here. In spite of the simplicity, Lemire does a commendable job detailing the shifting relationships between the children.

While there doesn’t appear to be a central character, more care was taken with Mie, Ray, and Teddy, but I did feel not as much was given towards Diane and Mike. Still, each character had very distinct personalities that made it difficult for me to like or dislike any of them. They were all flawed, as humans are–and children, especially.

The relationships serve to add to the disturbing nature of this series. There are friends who grow closer, friends who grow apart, others who are clearly being used, and those who are so desperate for acceptance or develop a sense of self. For that, Lemire deserves credit.

Image result for plutona

Teddy’s evolution–or devolution–it’s the most striking in Plutona. Who this boy is, and what his aspirations and obsession are, are hashed out in frightening fashion. I was almost disgusted with this meek child’s actions. Was he psychotic, or was he just like other bullied children with repressed and bottled anger, just waiting for the properly escape, trigger, and outlet?

Image result for plutona

 

The interesting thing about this book is, despite its name, the heroine Plutona is not the focus. Her background is delved upon only sparingly, but never the exact nature or origin of her powers. The book deals with the children’s discovering her and the fallout of that discovery.

Emi Lenox’s art is more cartoonish than I’m accustomed to when it comes to a book this serious. However, she captures the appropriate emotions in her characters to help drive the story. Each character is their own, and you can really feel their emotions on their faces, aided even more by Lemire’s script.

This is one book I don’t want to spoil (also because Kay hadn’t read it yet, and she’s a real whiner when it comes to spoilers), but you really have to read this series and see just how the ending comes about. It was just…simple, yet chaotic and disturbing with a somewhat open ending.

Verdict?

Plutona is started out as a simple fantasy that took a severely dark and disturbing turn. Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox work well in this hard tale of how children deal with a secret that becomes a crisis. This book gets a thumbs-up from me.

END THROWDOWN.

Introducing….Ironheart

Image result for invincible iron man #1 riri williams

Hello everyone, it’s Kay G, today I’ll be discussing Bendis’s new story of Invincible Ironman. A new story, featuring a new character Ironheart who is young girl named Riri, walking in the footsteps of Ironman after his departure. This first issue shows how Riri grew up a genius and her struggles do deal with everyday life and be as normal as she can be.

Image result for invincible iron man #1 riri williams

What I loved most about this issue is that we watch Riri struggle trying to operate her first days as a superhero. It’s soothing we never get to see with most heroes. We hardly ever get to see behind the scenes on what it takes for them to get out there and be the hero, especially on their first run.

Image result for invincible iron man #1

I’ll admit I wasn’t so sure about the character, not because of the talk about her not being Ironman or replacing him and all the negative talk. I wasn’t sure of her because of what I thought of her personality when I first saw her. Riri seemed like a girl version of Tony Stark, she was arrogant and thought that she knew everything, but I was wrong. Riri seems to be a girl just wanting to make a difference; she’s just as scared as the res t of us.  Riri, unlike most heroes’ lack the resources she needs to be as efficient as she can be. She’s struggling to fit in her role, but that’s what makes her humble and sincere.  I don’t believe that she is meant to replace Ironman despite all the talk of it, actually if she’s replacing anyone it would be War Machine.

Regardless if she’s replacing anyone or simply an add on character, I absolutely loved this issue. It was a great first introduction to this new story by Bendis. He’s making me remember again why I loved his writing. So if you’re interested in starting a new story that’s hard to put down; this is it. I am very much looking forward the second issue. This story seems like it will have a lot of heart, which if you think about is very fitting to her character name. This is Kay G, thanks for reading and don’t forget to pick up a copy of Invincible Ironman.

Image result for invincible iron man #1

 

Deathlok the Demolisher

“MAKE. THEM. PAY!”

Welcome again, all. This is D.C. back to throw down on one of the more tongue-in-cheek choices I’ve made during the LA Comic Con this past weekend.

Image result for deathlok the demolisher

Who is Deathlok?!

In nearly all incarnations, Deathlok was the amalgam of (dead) flesh and metal, proposed to be the ultimate war machine. Deathlok has always been a hero with its biological and technological personae at war with one another in some form. Two of Marvel’s best known incarnations were Luther Manning and Michael Collins. However, many others from both the mainstream and alternate universes have used the moniker Deathlok, which, in my eyes, have added to the complicated history Deathlok. The most recent incarnations were Deathlok Prime from Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force and Henry Hayes.

Image result for deathlok prime

Deathlok Prime from Uncanny X-Force

Image result for deathlok prime

Henry Hayes, Deathlok

With my limited experience with Deathlok as a whole (minus Uncanny X-Force–fun run!), I figured now was as good a time as any to learn about him.

Plot?

Deathlok the Demolisher is a 7-part story under the Marvel Knights imprint, centered around an alternate future where Roxxon Corporation rules, and the world enjoys bloody warfare as a sport. Only the most brutal soldiers get the highest pay and greatest fame.

Charlie Huston wrote an action-packed and somewhat engrossing tale that gave insight our protagonists, the disciplined Luther Manning and the impulsive Mike Travers. Seeing the two characters interact throughout the story was good, if only to see how they can come to terms with one another in this profane culture.

However, the story was bogged down more than once by the incredibly dense dialogue Huston employed. I enjoy real dialogue in my books, and at times Huston wrote with comedic and wild effect. Still, there certainly was too much weighing down the story, especially with regard to Deathlok’s creator.

Image result for mike travers deathlok

The tone is what you might expect of a  future in which one company rules and dictates entertainment through warfare. It was alarming, cautionary, and rings reminiscent of our own culture now. A page of Mike Traver’s commercials is ridiculous and, in retrospect, a massive jab at advertisement and media as a whole.

I only wish that the profanity were written explicitly, with how often the pound signs were used. But it was a Marvel Knights imprint, and there were rules.

Image result for deathlok the demolisher marvel knights

While the story’s conclusion was more open-ended, it also had a very good finish to who this Deathlok is and what his world was, is, and might be. Perhaps it was because of the dense script, but I found myself lost as to the exact reasons Deathlok was able to cure this malady the disenfranchised anarchists suffered from. Still, it was a decent conclusion for what the story told.

Art?

Lan Medina did a great job capturing the overall tone, detail, and attitude of this story. At times, it’s dynamic, other times brutal…and still other times, just vile. It was a very satisfying mixture that meshed well.

Death scenes were utterly brutal and gratuitous–a perfect reflection of this dystopic and chaotic world. Medina really pulled out the stops in both landscape and character design, where the characters all look distinct and have their own personalities thanks to Huston. So much was put into this miniseries that it was amazing Medina’s art did not suffer throughout. More than once a panel caught me so off-guard that I’d exclaim, “Holy shit!”

This is truly art and script complementing one another.

Image result for deathlok the demolisher marvel knights

Image result for deathlok the demolisher marvel knights

Recap?

Deathlok the Demolisher is a good book for anyone looking for an introduction to the core character of Deathlok. It is an action-packed and brutal tale of identity and independence. While parts of the story are incredibly heavy in dialogue, Charlie Huston and Lan Medina work a very satisfying graphic tale together.

END THROWDOWN.