Going on holiday so no posts for two weeks!
S01E03 “The Asset”
Written by Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen
Directed by Milan Cheylov
This is what I have been waiting for! Three episodes in an we hit the sweet spot! It is safe to say I am now on board for the long term. (As if I wasn’t already!)
“The Asset” uses the show’s format to tell a brilliant story that can both be viewed on its own and works towards building the greater whole for the series. While there are still a few lingering problems with the episode itself, it is a solid effort that sets a new high bar for the fledgling series.
The plot for this episode sees the gang having to recover an asset from a rich and powerful businessman (read as: evil and corrupt), Ian Quinn, based in Malta with the asset in question being a scientist, Dr. Franklin Hall who has uncovered the secret of the mysterious and powerful element, Gravitonium. Skye is put on point as she can be a deniable operative if caught in Malta where S.H.I.E.L.D are not allowed to operate. (Why? Because of reasons!) While Fitz and Simmons have history with Dr. Hall adding more to their backstory. Oh and something might be wrong with Agent Coulson! Dun, dun dunn!
WARNING THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD!
This wonderful piece of animation has been put together in part to celebrate Superman hitting 75 and also to help promote the Man of Steel Blu-Ray release in December. Directed by Zack Snyder the animation gives you glimpses at the key moments in the character’s history both in print & on screen. To sum it up: it is simply wonderful!
Yes it got me all emotional seeing how the character has changed over the years and seeing the key moments that I personally remember. Such as watching the Christopher Reeve movies on TV as a child, the Bruce Timm style animation I love from the Superman Animated Series and Justice League cartoons. Along with several comic book story lines and issues I have read over the years.
More than anything though, it shows how much the character has changed and been adapted for the times over the years while still remaining true to the initial core concept. 75 years of change, both good and bad. Cartoons and movies, both good and bad. Comic books, both really good and really bad. Oh and the odd really terrible video game cropping up every now and then!
The character and his mythos continues to endure and grow with each new generation. Superman is a constant fixture in pop culture and a hero that everyone knows of no matter how well versed in comic books and superheroes they are.
This short piece of awesome is huge “Cheers!” to the character and the promise of 75 more years of the blue boy scout saving the day.
Artist Dusty Abell has shared the designs for all the various Supermen featured in the short over on his deviantart page.
Yes this humble little comics blog has reached 20,000 Page Views!
So first of all thank you if you are a regular visitor to The Comic Book Reader. Also thank you if you are one of those people who comes here to grab high res images of comic pages and comic book art. (You know who you are!) Let us also not forget the many people who have ended up here buy googling the phrases, “space orgy comic”, “space orgy” and “robotic sex comics” I love your dirty minds most of all!
I started this blog on a whim while I was unemployed in the earlier half of the year because I bored. (Seriously like super bored, unemployment does things to a man!) I figured I would eventually loose interest and this place would fizzle out of existence like every other website/blog/whatever I have started. It nearly did fizzle out a couple of times but I kept getting that itch to write stuff about one of the things I love most in the world, comic books. The odd comment that is left on posts and the semi-frequent emails and private messages have also kept me coming back. So if you ever left a comment or sent me a message thank you!
Some crazy things have happened along the way to 20,000 view too, such as being linked to in an io9.com piece by Charlie Jane Anders about Man of Steel and comic book movies in general. Which is well worth reading and can be found here. The casual io9 link gave me a huge morale boost right when I needed it and with it a need to keep adding to this site as and when I can.
So 20,000 views! YAY!!!
Lets end this little post with a few stats: (Note: the stats were recorded yesterday so they are already way out of date! Such is the way with these things!)
- The most views in one day so far has been 603 from when the io9 piece linked here.
- The post the io9 piece linked to which is my review of Chris Claremont & Frank Miller’s classic Wolerine series has a received 1,432 views so far. (go read it here)
- The most popular post on the site, excluding the home page, is the one about Nightwing winning the award for The Stupidest Death in a Comic Book by being killed by a rock in the pages of the Injustice Gods Among Us comic. It has a nice 2,714 views.
- Americans, from the land of comic books, like to visit the site the most with 8,146 ‘Mericans coming my way. A number which dwarfs the next highest visitors by country the UK, land of tea and monarchies that have to answer to an elected government, with the site having a nice and respectable 2,906 visits from my fellow Brits.
- The rest of the visits by country come from Canada (1,455 visitors) and across the length and breadth of Europe (France 503 visitors, Germany 313 visitors and many more countries). Along with a couple of fly in visits from places like Belarus, the Sudan and the Syrian Arab Republic.
So that’s it 20,000 views, a major milestone for me.
Here’s to 20,000 more!
After the mixed bag that was the pilot episode, it is good to see the show up its game considerably in its first “proper” episode. Designed in part as a showcase for each of the main character’s skills and as a way to get them working together as a team “0-8-4” gives a strong indication as to what the week to week flow of the show will be. It is also good to see yet even more references to the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe thrown into the mix too while the show continues to build its own mythology. The plot for the episode is simple enough, the team heads to Peru to recover a piece of unknown tech and then hijinks ensue as they encounter a previous partner/lover of Coulson’s the very tough Peruvian Army Commander, Camilla Reyes. Who quickly hijacks The Bus (the fancy S.H.I.E.L.D plane the team live in) in an attempt to recover the unknown tech. There’s guns, explosions, jokes and quips in this decent enough episode that ends with a cameo that works to legitimise the show in the eyes of the Marvel faithful.
So why is this only a decent episode rather than a stellar episode?
WARNING THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD!
I have decided to start doing write ups of various comic book related shows, games, etc. (movies will be coming further down the line. I have plans!) and I figured the best place to start would be with the hottest new show to come from the land of freedom and hamburgers, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D!
A few notes before we kick things off:
- This is one of those rare US TV shows that actually has a reasonable UK air date, mere days after its Tuesday air date in America it hits Channel 4 here in England at 8pm on Fridays. So being a lover of watching things in HD rather than grainy torrented/stream-o-vision I will be watching it with my fellow Brits as much as I can. So these posts are never going to be day after inital showing write ups. (Also this first post coming nearly a week after the original US air date should give you further indication!)
- I am a huge Whedonite so yes that means these write-ups will be fairly one-sided and full of praise for all things Whedon and Co. You have been warned.
- I will try and highlight as many references, winks and nods to Marvel’s comics, other movies and TV shows, etc. as and when they come up in the show. But I’m not perfect, I will miss things! Try not to judge me too harshly 😉
I’m sure there is more I can add to the above but we will discover it together as I stumble my way through this whole write-up lark.
Anyway onto episode one!