Tag Archives: Iron Man

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: July 26 – August 1, 2017


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

Comics I Read Last Week:

 

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The best comic I read last week was Infamous Iron Man #10

Writers: Brian Michael Bendis

Artists: Alex Maleev

The story of Victor Von Doom trying to reform himself and to make up for a lifetime of terrible deeds has been complex and compelling. The latest issue of Infamous Iron Man is, perhaps, the best yet.

Brian Michael Bendis has, somehow, slipped from top-line status at Marvel Comics and I don’t understand why. He’s handling terrific books in this one, Invincible Iron Man and Spider-Man and he is telling stories in each that are unlike much else on the market. Perhaps one can only be on top of the heap for so long, but if there is some kind of negative reaction to Bendis that is keeping people away from Infamous Iron Man, that is really unfortunate.

This is a terrific book and one that makes me believe that Marvel intends to keep Victor Von Doom squarely in the hero column.

They should. Doctor Doom has never been as compelling as he is here. This issue has some heartbreaking moments, some heartwarming moments, some confusing moments and a cliffhanger that really cooks.

It goes without saying that Alex Maleev, Bendis’ frequent collaborator, is a special artist. While I was not sure that his style was a perfect match for this book, the moodiness with which he renders his characters works very well here. I have found myself loving it more-and-more with each issue.

Infamous Iron Man is a terrific read. I only hope, as I mentioned last time I picked it, that it is not overwritten by the Generations soft re-boot of the Marvel universe.

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Filed under Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Doctor Doom, Iron Man, Marvel Comics, Weekly Comic Book Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming – A Movie Review


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Spider-Man Homecoming

Spider-Man: Homecoming has a lot riding on it. Billed as a coming-of-age story constructed in the vein of a 1980s John Hughes movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming is also the first joint venture between Sony and Marvel with Marvel controlling the content of the film. It brings Spider-Man firmly under the control of Marvel Studios and fully into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is intended to re-launch perhaps the most famous Marvel Comics character into a series of successful solo movies.

It is likely to succeed very well in this ambition.

The best – the very best – thing Spider-Man: Homecoming has going for it is star Tom Holland. Marvel movie fans got a taste of the actor in Captain America: Civil War when he joined the super hero clash and the screen lit up whenever Holland was on it. Pitch perfect in that movie, the actor is even more appealing here in his solo venture. Following two very good performances as Spider-Man (in Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield), Holland had a bit to live up to as he stepped into the high tech tights. He is more than up to the challenge. In fact, for my money, he is the best of the bunch. That is saying something as the others were very good themselves.

Tom Holland makes the movie work. Though he is surrounded by wonderful actors (all the students in the movie are terrific, especially Zendaya as Michelle and Jacob Batalon as Ned), his energy outshines them all. This is quite a feat when considering Michael Keaton and Robert Downey, jr (not to mention Jon Favreau) are all on hand. Keaton and Downey, jr as as one would expect, both fully committed to their roles as the antagonist The Vulture and the mentor Iron Man respectively. Keaton, in fact, is a far more fully developed villain than we have come to expect from most Marvel movies and Downey, jr is so good as Tony Stark that it is difficult to determine where the character stops and the actor starts.

A common issue with these movies is that they try to do a bit too much, and Spider-Man: Homecoming suffers a bit from this malady. I loved the cameos (especially the one at the end!) but are they critical to the film? There are some nice set pieces, though some of the action sequences are fairly muddy in their execution. The entire side trip to Washington, DC seems excessive and unnecessary. It seems to me that everything that scene accomplishes could be handled in New York which is where the character belongs. But Spider-Man: Homecoming is Holland’s movie and, while it is not a perfect film, Holland makes up for all of these shortcomings and then some.

Beyond casting Holland, the filmmakers make two important decisions for Homecoming. First, they do not re-tell the origin of the character. Been there. Done that, thank you very much. Second, they put Peter Parker in high school. Spider-Man has always worked best as a teenager going through the struggles of coming-of-age. This Spider-Man has girl troubles, homework and a curfew (that he regularly breaks). He is trying to understand who he is and what he can do. He is carving out his place in the world and the movie does a terrific job with that arc.

Here is a Spider-Man that changes over the course of the film. Here is a Spider-Man that is funny and engaging. Here is a Spider-Man that is not driven by angst (the best versions of the character are not). Here is a Spider-Man that simply wants to be heroic.

Spider-Man: Homecoming succeeds in evoking a feel of high school movies of the past (think The Breakfast Club but Anthony Michael Hall with superpowers). It succeeds in incorporating the character into the fuller Marvel Universe. It succeeds in launching this version of the character. It succeeds in being a fun, summer entertainment and places itself firmly on the list of very good – not great – Marvel movies.

In many ways, it does feel like Spider-Man has come home.

 

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING receives FOUR AND A HALF (because Holland is just SO good) FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOODS out of a possible FIVE.

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Filed under Comic Book Movies, Marvel Movies, Movie Review, Movies, Spider-Man

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: March 29 – April 4, 2017


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

COMICS I READ LAST WEEK

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The best comic I read last week was

Infamous Iron Man #6.

 

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Alex Maleev 

 

This is my second week in a row selecting a Brian Michael Bendis penned book and that’s a good thing. Perhaps Bendis is back on his stride after hitting a recent slow patch.

His frequent contributor, Alex Maleev, has never missed a step. Though I wondered if his intricate and realistic line work would be suited for an Iron Man title, I was foolish to be concerned: he’s been a terrific match for this book and his Vincent Cassell based Victor Von Doom is pretty cool.

Yes, Dr. Doom is all new, all different and is wearing a version of the Iron Man armor trying to redeem himself after a life of terrible acts. That’s a compelling set up that Bendis is paying off in this issue.

Given the rumor that the stalwarts of the Marvel Universe are about to return to the comics they used to headline, it’s likely this is all going to wrap up soon, and that’s too bad. Marvel has taken a few risks the last few months and what they’ve done with Iron Man has been my favorite of those risks. I’ll be sorry to see it all end.

If you’re a comic reader, do yourself a favor: buy this book in trade paperback. You won’t regret it, I promise!

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Filed under Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Iron Man, Marvel Comics, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: March 22 – 28, 2017


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

COMICS I READ LAST WEEK

The best comic I read last week was Invincible Iron Man #5.

 

ThreeTwoOne

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Stefano Casselli

Stefano Casselli is a great artist for this new (and who knows how long this “new” version will last?) Iron Man, who really isn’t a man at all. Iron Man is really Iron Heart – 15-year-old Riri Williams, who built her own armor and has taken the place of Tony Stark. Casselli is a terrific artist overall, but he is really firing on all cylinders with this title. I respect artists whose teenagers and children look like teenagers and children. And Casselli’s do. His Riri Williams looks appropriately youthful while his adults look like adults. One wouldn’t think this would be hard for professional artists to accomplish, but it sure seems to be. Casselli is a good fit for this book – perhaps not quite as good as Sara Pichelli, but close.

Bendis remains one of the best writers in comics today and, while there is not as much heat around this book as I thought there might be, it’s more than a good read. It is a great one. Bendis has an ability to balance superheroics with taking on issues of import, topical and timely ones, and he does so organically. While topical, the issues Bendis takes on spring from character and that is good writing.

Riri Williams is a great lead character and the pairing of her with a tremendous supporting cast including Riri’s mom, Tony Stark’s A.I. consciousness, his birth mother, Mary Jane Watson and Pepper Potts (pitting them against a female antagonist I might add) tells you something important about this book: it’s not comic writing as usual by any means.

I like Riri Williams and I like where this story is going. While the two coming Marvel events (Secret Empire and Generations) seem to suggest the return of Tony Stark, Steve Rogers and the tall, blonde Thor, I hope Riri is still around when the dust settles. Comics needs more characters like her.

 

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Filed under Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Iron Man, Marvel Comics, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: December 21 – 27, 2016


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

I read 11 comics last week: Amazing Spider-Man #22, Invincible Iron Man #2, Batman #11, Star Trek/Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds # 1, Superman #13, Doctor Strange #15, Trinity #4 Justice League/Suicide Squad #2, Justice League #11, Avengers #2.1,  and Nightwing #11.

The best comic I read last week was Invincible Iron Man #2.

 

invincible-iron-man-2
If the only good thing to come out of Marvel’s interminable and overwrought Civil War II (which I think started in 2012) is this new volume of Invincible Iron Man, it may all have been worth it.

Tony Stark is back (was he ever gone?) but he’s not the star of this book. The star is 15 year-old Riri Williams. She is a “super genius” who built her own working Iron Man armor and has now taken over the superheroic duties of said Tony Stark. While he’s back, he’s not really back.

It’s a shame, actually, that I began this review even mentioning Stark. The star of this book is Iron Heart – the name Riri Williams uses in the armor – and she is someone worth watching. Brian Michael Bendis is back in peak form here (he’s never, in my opinion, very far away from it) as he involves the readers in Riri’s story. And her story is very poignant in the best way. Her background is discussed as the comic effortlessly weaves narrative flashbacks in with current action. Bendis, as he has shown consistently in his work on X-Men and Spider-Man, has a real flair for writing teenagers. That shows here. He also creates good dynamics between parents and their children and that, too, is front-and-center in this book.

Stefano Caselli and Marte Garcia are on point as the art team. Though I would like the flashbacks to be a little more differentiated from the main story, that’s a small quibble. Their characters are discernible, their action well drawn and they wring just enough emotion from the proceedings to support Bendis’ script.

Though I remain skeptical about the “loss” of Tony Stark, I am all-in on the addition of Riri Williams. Invincible Iron Man goes back to the top of the virtual reading stack for me!

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Filed under Amazing Spider-Man, Batman, DC Comics, Doctor Strange, Green Lantern, Iron Man, Justice League, Marvel Comics, Nightwing, Spider-Man, Star Trek, Uncategorized, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: September 7 – 13, 2016


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

I read 9 comics last week: Batman #6, Nightwing #4, Justice League #4, Superman #6, Cyborg #1, Doctor Strange #11, Avengers #14, Poe Dameron #6  and Invincible Iron Man #13.

The best comic I read last week was Superman #6.

 

superman-6There are many good, good things going on with DC Rebirth and one of them is surely Superman. I was a bit skeptical about merging the myriad incarnations of DC Universe characters running around when Rebirth was announced and further dubious when the “Death of Superman” (the New 52 Superman) was rolled out. However, what has resulted is the welcome inclusion the Pre New 52 Superman, Lois Land and, most pleasingly, the young Jon Kent – their son. This Superman had his family have been in the New 52 universe since the Convergence crossover and have now, with the events of Rebirth, become the First Family. This Superman is THE Superman in the DC Universe now.  And the DC Universe is all the better of r it.

Superman, of course, is a character that appearances across DC Comics ‘ titles and he has been written consistently in all of them. Also, he all of them, he’s been used to create conflict with other heroes. This is a Superman whose priorities have changed. He has a wife and child. he’s been trying to lead a quiet and private life. He’s back in the spotlieght and he has things to do. This is a very nice addition to the DC Universe, perhaps the best addition in Rebirth.

Peter Tomasi, the writer of the title, has a great feel for this character from the heroic, “I am Superman” standpoint and the standpoint of this superman being a husband and father. He balances these two perspectives deftly and, most importantly for me as a reader, in a very interesting manner. Tomasi is a talented writer – pulled years ago from the editorial ranks and DC – and he is perfectly suited for this version of Superman.

Likewise, his co-creator Patrick Gleason who handles the penciling chores, is equally in his element here. Having come off a series starring Damian Wayne, the young son of Batman, he’s perfectly in his element illustrating this one. His Superman is big and powerful. His Superboy looks like a kid, not a small adult, and that’s refreshing.

This one ended on a cliffhanger of sorts, and I look forward to the resolution in two weeks!

 

 

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Filed under Avengers, Batman, DC Comics, Iron Man, Justice League, Marvel Comics, Nightwing, Star Wars, Superman, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: August 24 – 30, 2016


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

I read 7 comics last week: Detective Comics #939, Star Wars #22, Titans #2, Flash #5, Wonder Woman #5, Action #962 and International Iron Man #6.

The best comic I read last week was Star Wars #22.

Star Wars 22

 

Star Wars has been consistently good for the last few months. Good, but not great. It’s been an enjoyable read and remained a great bridge to December and Rogue One. Jason Aaron is a dependable writer, one I would follow to almost any title, and his comfort in the Star Wars universe is so deep that Disney should consider pulling him aboard to write a standalone movie. This has just been a good title, but not one that, in recent months, has not really made an impression on me beyond being an enjoyable read.

Star Wars #22 changed all that.

The art in this issue by Jorge Molina is more cartoon-y than the line work of recent issues featuring Mike Deodato and that’s okay. The art captures the spirit of the story Aaron is telling; it’s big and adventurous and the space ships look truly great which is very important to the workings of this particular issue. While Molina’s characters look more standard comic book than photo-realistic images, that’s okay. It all works to propel the book visually forward to its unexpected conclusion.

It took me a little while to figure out where Aaron was going with this issue, but the twist end was so gratifying I thought to myself “if Rogue One has a caper this good, it’s going to be a great movie.” As I mentioned about, Aaron has the feel of the Star Wars universe down pat, and that familiarity extends to the dialogue he writes. The characters sound like the characters we love, they act like the characters we love and, since these comics are in continuity, they for all intents and purposes are the characters we love.

Star Wars #22 has the title back at the top of its game and back at the top of my virtual read pile. It’s getting me all the more excited for Rogue One, and I was pretty excited to begin with!

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Filed under Action Comics, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Detective Comics, Iron Man, Marvel Comics, Titans, Uncategorized, Wonder Woman