Invincible #144

After 15 years and 144 issues Invincible, The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman’s other comic series comes to a close. With a special shoutout to Ryan Ottley and Cory Walker who’s work on art has made this one of most consistent and best looking comics I’ve had the joy of reading for the past decade and a half. I’m sad to see it end. However, now that it is finished I can happily say it is one of the best complete works of superhero fiction and one of the best comic books ever produced.

Action, adventure, romance, humour, horror. Invincible has it all. Each character and wrinkle added to the setting makes it a richer story. I have grown up with Mark and matured along with him as we’ve faced similar struggles, albeit his are a bit more dramatic. It has been supremely satisfying to read the conclusion and payoff for things set up over a decade ago. It may have brought a tear or two to my eye as I was reading the final issue knowing the end was in sight.

Comic books don’t get better than this folks!

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Dragon Ball

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Without Dragon Ball you could argue that anime and manga wouldn’t be as popular as they are in the west. It laid the groundwork for a lot of modern action manga. Without it big modern franchises like Naruto, One Piece and My Hero Academia wouldn’t exist. Dragon Ball, a weird make it up as we go along manga defied expectations and evolved with its audience to become a true pop-culture phenomenon. Except unlike most pop culture touchstones Dragon Ball slowly spread across the world from country to country. Years between translations and releases in different territories to the point were you probably knew what the characters looked like before ever seeing one of the anime or manga.

Gotta love that cheesy opening song!

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ComiXology Star Wars Sale Buyers Guide

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ComiXology are getting on The Last Jedi hype starship and are running a huge sale on pretty much every Star Wars comic under the twin suns. Here’s some recommendations for people hungry for some more lightsabres, blasters and old Jedi Masters after seeing The Last Jedi.

The discount on all of the books is crazy cheap so it is worth having a browse of the full list and picking out a few things that take your interest.

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Bendis Moves From Marvel To DC

It was the Tweet heard around the (comics) internet. Brian Michael Bendis, arguably Marvel’s biggest writer is jumping ship to DC Comics. It is an announcement that has be met with equal parts surprise, excitement and hate. This is because this is the comics part of the internet were everyone needs to hate everything that happens.  Personally I am really excited because I am a huge fan of Bendis’ work at Marvel over the past couple of decades and I cannot wait to see what he does in the DC Comics sandbox.

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Currently Reading – Watchmen

Time for a re-read of Watchmen before Doomsday Clock kicks off later this month!

It’s great to see Steve back in the suit doing what he does best!

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Bruce Wayne Vs. The World

This mash up of the Dark Knight Trilogy and the Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World trailer is awesome. Perhaps too awesome because it fits together so perfectly!

I feel a Nolan’s Batman re-watch coming from watching this…

2016 Strikes Again – RIP Darwyn Cooke

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I try not to throw in with the public outpourings of grief when a person of note passes away but today the world of comic books has lost one of the greats. Darwyn Cooke is no longer with us and the world is a lesser place because of it.

darwyn-cooke-justice-league-37If you are not familiar with Cooke’s work it has a beautiful, timeless quality to it. So full of life, colour and joy for what the medium can do. During his time in the industry he set a high bar for what comic book art can do. Every book with his name on is worth buying/reading from the modern age classic of New Frontier, to his work on the Watchmen prequel comics, to his character defining work on Catwoman. All of it is required reading.

So yeah, I think a large part of my weekend will be spent revisiting some of his best work. Incidentally ComiXology are running a sale on some of Cooke’s work for DC Comics so now is a good time to jump in and celebrate the work of one of the best artists to ever work in comic books.

RIP Darwyn Cooke.

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Ghost In The Shell – First Image

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Is it wrong that I’m excited for this?

There are the whitewashing concerns but the story of Ghost In The Shell could easily be transplanted onto any major city, if done right. It is all about the convergence of man and machine. As long as the key beats and characters are there (at least in essence) we could have an entertaining and thought provoking film. All you have to do is pick which tone you are going for: The pretentious anime one or the lighter but more conceptually deep manga.

Thankfully Scarlett Johansson looks the part as the Major and that’s not just my eternal love for her talking. It is very believable that in a future where people can put their minds into android bodies that Scarlett Johansson would be one of the many models you could choose from.

Either way I doubt the movie will contain the random nudity of the anime (Warning NSFW!) or the out of left field VR sex scenes of the manga (WARNING VERY NSFW!) but we will see.

Thoughts On Batman V Superman

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The online narrative around Batman V Superman is that it is the worst thing ever committed to film and that by watching it you are a terrible person. Like the worst. Especially if you found yourself enjoying it. If that happened then you need to revaluate your whole life and consider changing your name to something like Hitler. The film is just that bad you guys! In reality though it seems there is a disconnect between critical and fan reaction that I have not seen before.

The short-ish version is:

If you enjoyed Man of Steel, Batman V Superman is a good followup. It continues to expand the somewhat darker take on the DC characters that DC Cinematic Universe is building in a fun and very different way to the Marvel Studios movies and their slate of characters. Like Man of Steel it has a slower pace than other superhero movies and a lot of it is dedicated to building up the big conflict at the end of the movie. Ben Affleck makes a great Batman, Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor is different in a good way (for me at least) and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman steals the show in the brief appearances she makes in the movie. The film also does a good job of building out the DC Cinematic Universe in a couple of cool ways. It is far from perfect and it has its flaws like Man of Steel had but it is still a good and entertaining movie.

Personally I really enjoyed it and would say it is on par with the majority of Marvel’s movies. For me it is a case of the critics and reviews being overly harsh with a lot of them boiling down to “This isn’t the same as a Marvel movie so I don’t like it!”, “This is not how I personally perceive these long established characters to be or behave, therefore this film is a crime against nature!” or “I hate Zack Snyder and everything he stands for so I hate this movie by default!” There is also the typical regurgitation without thought of certain lines of thinking that seems to plague all discussion on the internet these days. So much so that you could make a bingo card and have some fun reading through the comments and reviews for Batman V Superman. (FYI: “Zack Snyder loves Ayn Rand!” is the free space.)

If you are interested in the characters or the concept of the film, go watch it and crucially, form your own opinions on it because it has been given a bad rap by many.

The long version is a bit more complicated…

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