Category Archives: Opinion

Review: ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’

Amazing Spider-Man 2 makes grown men remember why they love the character.

This article first apeared in the Pop Culture section of News Talk Florida.

AMS2 is in theaters now, and could possibly be the best big budget comic book film to date. Yes, The Dark Knight is The Godfather of comic book films, but unlike Batman, Spider-Man inspires people and that’s exactly what AMS2 does. Director Marc Webb takes some core source material from the comics and does his best to make the film flow smoothly and respect the material at the same time.

The special and visual effects crew list below deserve 90% of the credit for why this AMS2 works. They recreated so many iconic scenes from the illustrated version of Spider-Man that to a common person, seems impossible to turn into a live action film. Not to mention, the perfected visual form of Spider-Man is balanced out by the witty delivery of Andrew Garfield.

The scene from AMS2 that encompasses everything that Spider-Man is, happens in the first encounter with Electro, played by Jamie Foxx. Your friendly neighborhood web-slinger dons a fire fighter helmet and hoses down Electro. The interaction with the fire fighters is priceless. The film’s attention to detail on all the little things that make Peter Parker and Spider-Man is what makes ASM2 the best Spider-Man film ever.

Emma Stone is solid as Gwen Stacey and for most comic book fans, this is the first time we get to see the emotional bond between Peter and Gwen. Jamie Foxx has a difficult time playing the nerdy Max Dillon but he owns Electro in the final battle. Dane DeHaan lucks out with a pleasant, non-forced reunion of Peter and Harry Osborn, but Harry’s transformation from good to evil does feel rushed. With all the characters running in and out of the film there was disappointment that Flash Thompson did not make a brief cameo.

Story: 8/10 • Cinematography: 10/10 • Acting: 8/10 • Overall 9/10 web-heads.

Special Effects by
H. Barclay Aaris … special effects technician
Cris Alex … finishing: Iron Head Studios
Roland Blancaflor … special effects technician: specialty costumes
Lindsay Boffoli … special effects
Brian Clawson … finishing: Iron Head Studios
Joe Digaetano … special effects coordinator: second unit
Randy Fitzgerald … second unit coordinator / special effects foreman
Eric Frazier … special effects foreman
John Frazier … special effects supervisor
Will Furneaux … 3d modeller: Weta Workshop
Bruce D. Hayes … special effects foreman
Brent Heyning … effects engineering: Electro’s Costume
Pete Kelley … special effects technician: Ironhead Studio
John Kelso … special effects
James S. Little … senior effects technical director: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Joaquin Loyzaga … special effects technician: weta workshop
Ken Mieding … special effects assistant
Tim Phoenix … special effects
Jamie Rencen … special effects technician: weta workshop
Saphir Vendroux … matte paintings: MPC

Visual Effects by
Beverly Abbott … visual effects data coordinator
Aileen Acayan … stereoscopic compositor: Legend 3D
Rohit Agarwal … digital artist
Matt Akey … executive producer: Legend 3D
Troy Alexiadis … stereo artist: Legend 3 D
Maria Asim Ali … stereoscopic compositor: visual effects
Michael Alkan … senior technical director and look development
Ryan Andersen … visual effects editorial coordinator: Shade vfx
Valeria Andino … stereo conversion producer
Pat Antonelli … data wrangler
Kamran Arian … senior stereo compositor: Legend 3 D
Arsen Arzumanyan … previs artist
Neil Atkins … senior cloth/hair technical director: SPI
Priya Ayengar … lead stereoscopic paint: Prime Focus
Thai Bach … lighting and compositing artist
Richard Baker … stereo supervisor
Carlo Balassu … digital matte painter
Patrick Ballin … visual effects editor: SPI
Anthony Barcelo … senior compositor: MPC
Suzette Barnett … compositor
Tricia Barrett … digital compositor
Hernan Barros … stereo compositor
Peter Bartfay … stereo generalist
Geeta Basantani … senior compositor: Sony Imageworks
Lynn Basas … senior technical director: lighting: SPI
Gavin Baxter … maya fx dev lead
D.J. Becerral … stereo compositor: Legend3D
Ashley Beck … visual effects supervisor: Nerve
Paula Bell … roto prep supervisor
Richard A.M. Bell … senior technical director: lighting: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Jeff Benjamin … effects technical director
Prabir Bera … lead stereoscopic compositor
Andres Berkstein … fx td
Theodore Bialek … senior cg supervisor
Kunal Biswas … stereoscopic compositor: Prime Focus World
Brian Blasiak … senior lighting and compositing technical director
Michelle Blok … previs lead: The Third Floor
Lucian Boicu … compositor
Luke Botteron … vfx editor: mpc
Nathan Boyd … texture painter
Amelia Braekke-Dyer … stereoscopic conversion artist
Ian Brauner … previz animator
Dan Breckwoldt … lead compositor: MPC
Andrew Brittain … senior stereo artist
Steven Browning … cg modeler
Tom Bruno Jr. … senior layout artist: SPI
John Bunt … stereo artist
Thomas Calandrillo … louma crane operator: model unit
Sean Callahan … lead stereo artist: Legend 3D
Sarah Canale … stereo compositor: Legend 3D
Pete Capelluto … senior visual effects pipeline technical director
Francesco Capone … stereo technical director
Curtis Carlson … digital compositor: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Dan Carpenter … stereo compositor: Legend 3D
Taide Carpenter … associate production manager
Lashay Carr … production assistant: SPI
Owen Cartagena … stereo compositor: Legend 3D
Charles-Felix Chabert … effects animation lead
Nardeep Chander … effects technical director: SPI
Chandrasekhar … digital artist
Kee Chang … character pipeline technical director
Vikki Chapman … stereo production coordinator: prime focus film
John Abraham Chempil … visual effects artist
Jason Chen … on-set data wrangler
Jerome Chen … visual effects supervisor
Tiffany Cheung … stereoscopic compositor: Legend 3D
Tiffany Cheung … stereoscopic compositor: Legend 3D
Kristy Chrobak … stereo production coordinator
Benjamin Cinelli … senior character animator
Suzanne Cipolletti … post-visualization artist: The Third Floor Inc
Alex Clarke … environment lead: Moving Picture Company, Vancouver
John Clinton … visual effects producer
Seth Cobb … post vis artist
Miodrag Colombo … senior compositor (Sony Pictures Imageworks)
Stephanie Cooper … stereoscopic compositor
Bertrand Cordier … senior lighting TD: SPI
Tyler Cordova … visual effects coordinator
Dan Cortez … visual effects coordinator
Thomas Cosolito … senior production services technician
Jadrien Cousens … digital matte artist: MPC
Stuart Cripps … compositing lead & look development
Ryan Cummins … stereo compositor: Legend 3D
Andrew Cunningham … digital matte painter: The Moving Picture Company, Vancouver
Will Cunningham … crowd simulation consultant
Lisa Curtis … senior production services technician
Ryan Cushman … pipeline technical director
Anthony D’Agostino … digital compositor: The Moving Picture Company
Jayson Davis … stereo compositor: Legend 3D
Matthew DeJohn … stereo vfx supervisor: Legend 3D
Stanley A. Dellimore … global head of layout: MPC
Sarah Delucchi … post-visualization artist
Nigel Denton-Howes … sequence supervisor: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Julien Depredurand … senior technical director: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Christopher DeVito … previs artist
Mike Diltz … compositor: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Pete Dionne … DFX supervisor: MPC
Linda Drake … visual effects editor
Tom Duckett … stereo conversion artist – prime focus
Margaux Durand-Rival … previs artist: The Third Floor
Scott Eade … head of layout: MPC Vancouver
Noel Eaton … lead production services technician
Matthew Eberle … visual effects data wrangler
James Eggleston … senior stereo compositor
Brandon Endy … data wrangler
Joe Engelke … digital compositor
Scott Englert … software engineer
Derek Esparza … senior character animator
Edwin Fabros … texture painter
Lawrence Fagan … spydercam flight control
Andrew Farris … compositor: Legend 3D
Dan Feinstein … digital compositor: Sony Imageworks
Juan Carlos Ferrá … stereo compositor
John Fielding … postvis artist
Brian Fisher … lead compositor
Marilyne Fleury … lead matte painter: MPC
Kristy Lynn Fortier … associate production manager
Max Frankston … VTR effects: action unit
Simon Fraser … stereoscopic production coordinator
Josh Fritchie … visual effects coordinator
Shu Fujita … visual effects coordinator
Martin Furness … senior simulation technical director: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Robin Garcia … visual effects coordinator
James Gardiner … stereoscopic compositing td: prime pocus
Jesus Garrido … digital compositor: MPC
Alec Geldart … matte painter
Kevin George … environment artist: MPC
Adam Ghering … compositing supervisor: Legend3D
Pooya Ghobadpour … visual effects artist
Bryan Godwin … visual effects supervisor: Shade VFX
Michael Gomes … technical animator
Claudio Gonzalez … cloth technical director
Erik Gonzalez … Lighting/compositing TD: SPI
Hanna Goodman … stereoscopic compositor
Marcus Goodwin … lighting department manager: MPC
Dylan Gottlieb … senior lighting and compositing technical director: SPI
Dhruv Govil … layout and pipeline
Oded Granot … digital compositor: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Luke Gray … technical director
Pasquale Anthony Greco … lead data wrangler
Rhonda C. Gunner … visual effects producer
John Haley … senior cg supervisor: SPI
Rose Hancock … previs production coordinator
Pascal Hang … previz character technical director
Patrick Harboun … modeling and texturing lead
Ben Harrison … assistant production manager: stereo conversion
T.C. Harrison … digital compositor: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Joseph Hayden … lighting & compositing technical director
Jason Hayes … stereoscopic compositor
Luke Heathcock … lighting artist: SPI
Chris Hebert … visual effects photographer
Benjamin Hendricks … stereographic supervisor: SPI
Mark Herman … visual effects editor
Suzanne Hillner … data wrangler
David Hipp … visual effects artist
Andrew Hofman … digital effects artist
Kim Hong Kyoung … stereoscopic painter: digital painter
David Horsley … effects animation / visual effects artist
Yuka Hosomi … compositor
Jeffrey John Howard … visual effects coordinator
Amanda Hui … visual effects coordinator
Chris Hung … lead lighting artist
Danny Huynh … stereo artist: Legend 3D
Amanda Hyland … stereo artist: Legend 3D
Albena Ivanova … stereoscopic compositor
Jason Ivimey … previs shot creator: The Third Floor Inc
Francesc Izquierdo … lead crowd technical director
Laura Jackloski … production coordinator
Phillip James … stereoscopic depth artist: Legend 3d
Quan Jiang … senior stereo compositor: Legend 3D
Michael Jimenez … stereo compositor: Legend 3D
Jake Jones … stereo compositor: Legend 3D
Dinesh K. Bishnoi … matchmove artist: The Moving Picture Company
Kareem K.H. … digital fx
Veronica Kablan … visual effects coordinator
Joey Kadin … resource specialist / systems administrator
Georg Kaltenbrunner … fx td: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Alihusen Kapadia … effects artist
Ranajoy Kar … lead digital artist: MPC
Henrik Karlsson … senior technical director: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Manickam Kathirvel … machmove artist
Tadaomi Kawasaki … Senior Digital Matte Painter: MPC
Miku Kayama … senior lighting and compositing artist
Chris Kazmier … senior effects technical director
Mark Keetch … modeller
Stéphane Keller … matte painter: mpc
Harimander Singh Khalsa … compositing supervisor: Shade VFX
Louis Kim … senior compositor (Sony Pictures Imageworks)
Marvin Kim … modeling supervisor
Seunghyuk Kim … senior effects technical director: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Taeyoung Kim … lighting technical director: MPC
Andrea Kistler … stereo conversion coordinator
Ranjith Kizakkey … matchmove and rotomation supervisor
Brian Kloc … lighting artist
Jamal Knight … digital compositor: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Alana Kochno … stereoscopic compositor
Rohit Korgaonkar … stereoscopic compositor
Anthony Kramer … compositing lead: Sony Imageworks
John Kreidman … digital producer: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Ross Krothe … senior look and lighting technical director
Sujay Kumar G. … matchmove artist: MPC
Ashwin Kumar … rotoscoping artist
Praveen Kumar … digital artist
Puneeth Kunnatha … stereoscopic paint artist
Aaron Kupferman … senior compositor: SPI
Amit George Kuruvilla … senior effects technical director: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Wing Kwok … digital compositor: SPI
Davide La Sala … senior character td
Charles Lai … digital compositor
Alison Lake … digital artist
Billy-Vu Lam … character animator
Pat Lun Lam … senior lighting technical director: Imageworks
Ganesh Lamkhade … digital artist
Annie-Claude Lapierre … visual effects coordinator
Kurt Lawson … digital compositor: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Cory Lee … lead digital compositor: Pixel Playground
Don Lee … visual effects supervisor: Pixel Playground
Jooyong Lee … senior compositor: MPC
Kim Lee … visual effects producer: Pixel Playground
Shun Sing Edward Lee … senior lighting technical director
Stephanie C. Lee … associate production manager
Suki Lee … digital matte painter
Pier Lefebvre … concept artist: MPC
Taylor Lenton … lighting td
Samuel Leung … lighting technical director: MPC
Letia Lewis … rough layout artist
Claudia Li … visual effects coordinator: MPC
Dominique Libungan … production assistant: Legend3D
Fernando Lie … stereoscopic paint artist: prime focus
Alexander Limpin … stereo compositor: Legend 3D
Kimberley Liptrap … senior lighting technical director: Imageworks
Bryan Litson … lighting lead
Marc Llorin … senior stereo artist
Troy Lochner … visual effects data coordinator
Jason Lodas … stereo artist: Legend 3D
Gary L. Lopez … stereo compositor
Justin Louis … visual effects
Melanie Lowe … environment technical director: Moving Picture Company Vancouver
Viktor Lundqvist … effects technical director: SPI
Angela Magrath … techanim head of department
Suraj Makhija … digital artist: MPC
Supreeti Mann … stereoscopic paint artist: prime focus
Mitchell Marciales … visual effects artist
Tyler Marino … stereo artist: Legend 3D
Sam Marks … visual effects coordinator
Dexter Matias … stereo artist: Legend3D
Sean W. Matthews … visual effects assistant
Christopher Lucas Maw … stereoscopic compositor
Brooke McGowan … stereo compositor
Raymond McLendon … senior production services technician
Gregory L. McMurry … visual effects supervisor
Kiran Medhekar … stereo depth compositor
Jesse Meler … stereo compositor: Legend 3D
Chris Messineo … visual effects
Brandon A. Miles … stereoscopic conversion
James Michael Miller … assistant production manager / visual effects coordinator
Alejandro Miranda Palombo … digital compositor
Jambunatha Mn … matchmove artist: The Moving Picture Company
Farhad Mohasseb … compositor
Jonathan Molcan … stereoscopic paint artist: prime focus
Alberto Montañés … digital compositor: Sony Imageworks
Sarah Moore … lighting & compositing: SPI
William Moore … interactive lighting designer
Frank Mueller … character setup lead
Michael Muir … digital artist
Thierry Muller … digital compositor
Frances Muthaiah … matchmove artist
Dileep Nadesan … digital effects
Hee-Chel Nam … digital texture artist: SPI
Hiroaki Narita … effects technical director
Salima Needham … digital compositor
Brian Neil … stereo compositor: Legend 3D
Avadhut Nerurkar … render wrangler/render support
Jarrod Nesbit … digital production manager
Adele Ng … visual effects lighter
Vinh Nguyen … digital compositor
Stephen Nixon … effects department manager: MPC
James P. Noon … tracking
Erik Nordby … visual effects supervisor: MPC
Barry O’Brien … stereoscopic supervisor
Meghan O’Brien … visual effects coordinator
Doug Oddy … visual effects producer (MPC)
Chris Olsen … pre-visualization artist
Hayri Safak Oner … software engineer
Kurian Os … pipeline technical director
Siegfried Ostertag … senior visual effects technical director: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Molly Pabian … digital production manager: Shade VFX
Gurpreet Singh Pannu … matchmove lead: MPC
Puja Parikh … head of department matchmove: MPC
Stephane Paris … CG supervisor: MPC
Taehyun Park … modeler
Ian Parra … digital compositor
Saurabh Patel … senior matchmove artist
Jason Pauls … stereoscopic production coordinator
Joseph Pepper … fx supervisor: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Angelica Perez … digital compositor
Eddie Perez … compositor
Scott C. Peterson … stereoscopic department manager: Legend3D
Sandy Phetchamphone … lead stereo artist: Legend 3 D
Brittany Piacente … stereo artist: Legend 3 D
Mairin Platt … animation coordinator
Stephanie Pocklington … digital modeler
Andrew Poole … visual effects production manager
Chris Preston-Barnes … stereo conversion coordinator
Dale Pretorius … environment technical director
Eren Ramadan … assets coordinator: MPC
Vinoth Ramalingam … matchmove artist
Sandesh Ramdev … digital compositor
Austin Ramsey … stereoscopic compositor: Legend 3D
Jason Ramsey … visual effects assistant
Ryan Ramsey … stereo compositor: Legend 3 D
Ambrish Rangan … senior matchmove artist: MPC
Thomas Ravi … visual effects artist
J. Robert Ray … software development
Robert Reategui … stereo compositor
John Rhoads … senior production services technician
Sam Rickles … visual effects artist
John Riddle … technical director: Shade VFX
Frank Ritlop … lighting technical director
Terrence Robertson-Fall … senior character technical director: SPI
Samantha Rocca … senior visual effects coordinator
Taylor W. Rockwell … senior visual effects coordinator
Rebecca Rose … previsualisation artist
Toby Rosen … effects animation technical director
Alejandro Rubio … stereo compositor: Legend 3D
Jason Ruitenbach … digital restoration
Katya Ruslanova … compositor: Sony Imageworks (as Ruslanova Katya)
Johnathan Sagris … stereoscopic paint artist
Matthew Sakata … stereo coordinator
Sean Samuels … digital artist
V. Samundeswari … Lead Roto/Prep: Moving Picture Company
Theodore M. Sandifer … compositor artist
Richard Sandoval … lighting & compositing: SPI
David Schaub … animation supervisor
Jacopo Sebastiani … previs artist: The Third Floor
Swati Shamsundar Malu … matchmove artist: The Moving Picture Company
Jeff Shapiro … visual effects accountant
Cameron Shepler … visual effects artist
Rick Shine … visual effects
Swain Shiv … visual effects artist
Mads Simonsen … previs artist: The Third Floor Inc.
Brian Smallwood … senior compositor: SPI
David A. Smith … digital effects supervisor
Jason Patrick Smith … previsualization supervisor (as Patrick Smith)
Ryan T. Smolarek … senior digital compositor: SPI
Sharmishtha Sohoni … senior ligthing and compositing technical director
Janani Sridhar … stereoscopic paint artist
Jason Stellwag … cloth & hair technical director: SPI
Jeff Stern … lookdev and lighting artist
Orde Stevanoski … compositing pipeline lead
Aaron Strasbourg … stereoscopic paint artist: Prime Focus
Joe Strasser … look development and lighting lead: SPI
Frederick George Stuhrberg … 3d scanning
Russ Sueyoshi … senior lighting and compositing technical director
Prapanch Swamy … senior technical director: lighting: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Albert Szostkiewicz … senior effects technical director: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Kaz Tanaka … color scientist
Ronen Tanchum … senior effects technical director
Taisuke Tanimura … senior software engineer
Marcus Taormina … digital production manager
Martin Tardif … senior lighting technical director: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Sunny Thipsidakhom … stereo artist: Legend 3D
Cameron Thomas … compositor: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Brian Thomason … stereo compositor: Legend 3D
Neil Thompsett … paint team lead
Will Towle … digital compositor
Ted Trabucco … lead stereo artist: Legend 3D
Jean Tsai … production services technician
Chris W. Tucker … stereo production coordinator
Marco Tudini … visual effects artist
Ryan Tulloch … lighting technical director: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Cosku Turhan … senior look development/lighting lead
Andrew Turner … visual effects coordinator
Simon Twine … compositor
Max Tyrie … animation lead
Mauricio Valderrama … compositor
Jelle Van de Weghe … previsualization artist
Leigh van der Byl … texture painter: The Moving Picture Company
David Van Dyke … visual effects executive producer: Shade VFX
Pieter Van Houte … senior compositor
Olivier Van Zeveren … digital artist
Mohit Varde … stereo compositor/elements QC artist
Amy Vatanakul … pre-visualization artist
Sreejith Venugopalan … compositor: MPC
Chris Waegner … CG supervisor
John B. Wallace … texture painter
Ryan Walton … previsualization artist
Jay Warren … visual effects producer: Colorworks
Bob Wiatr … senior digital compositor: SPI
Shane Christopher Wicklund … digital compositor: The Moving Picture Company
Wade Wilson … lead creature effects technical director: MPC
Jann Wimmer … digital resource manager
Sam Winkler … visual effects artist
Robert Winter … CG supervisor
Eddy Wolfson … stereo compositor
Megan Wong … visual effects coordinator: MPC
Gavin Wright … previs supervisor
Tyquane Wright … lighting and compositing: SPI
Elbert Yen … texture paint supervisor: SPI
Daniel Zamora … previs artist
Alyssa Zarate … digital matte painter: The Moving Picture Company
Joffrey Zeitouni … previsualization artist
David Zeng … visual effects artist
Yi Zhao … color & lighting technical director
Marteinn Örn Óskarsson … pipeline technical director
Nicolás Casanova … digital compositor: Legend 3D (uncredited)
Jonathan Harden … software developer (uncredited)
Anish Holla … senior production coordinator (uncredited)
Julie Liu … environment coordinator (uncredited)
Andrea Lackey Pace … executive director of production services and resources (uncredited)
Jeremie Passerin … rigger: Blur Studio (uncredited)
Lesley Rooney … texture artist (uncredited)
Daniel Tiesling … development specialist (uncredited)
Chris Tost … animator: SPI (uncredited)

Source: IMDB, just in case I missed anyone.

News Talk Florida Questions Amazing Spider-Man #1

Peter Parker is Peter Parker again, and Amazing Spider-Man #1 hits your local comic book store one-day before Amazing Spider-Man 2 launches in theaters. Everyone should rejoice because everything is back to normal…. right? That’s a big huge wrong! On page two Dan Slott embarks down another giant wormhole by re-writing the origin of Spider-Man. Allegedly another person was bitten by the radioactive spider as well! And guess what? It’s a female character, how conventionally original. Welcome back to the 90’s the land of frighteningly bad written comics and 101 symbiotes.

This review is from the Pop Culture section of News Talk Florida.

As far as judgement by a single issue, Slott does a good job recapping the Doc Ock chaos that is now Parker’s life. The jokes and free spirit are back, which are core character traits of Spider-Man and anyone that has read Amazing Spider-Man knows it’s just a matter of time before it all comes crashing down. There was a nod to Amazing Spider-Man 2 with a quick reference to Electro, he was without his traditional mask and blue.

Humberto Ramos is where he should be drawing Spider-Man even if Parker destroys his red and blue costume and ends up running around in web underwear for most of the issue. Ramos’s style works well conveying Slott’s jokes and action. The detail and emotions in a character’s face is what puts Ramos in the upper echelon of artists.

It’s mind-boggling the need to rewrite the past in comic books. Superior Spider-Man for all its faults was an attempt to create a new future. Marvel and DC need to do more of this and less of rebooting the past.

Story: 7.5/10 • Artwork: 8.5/10 • Overall 8/10

Review: ‘Southern Bastards’ #1

Aaron And Latour Knock ‘Southern Bastards’ #1 Out Of The Park

If you’re looking for a replacement for ‘True Detective’ stop what you’re doing and pick up ‘Southern Bastards.’

This review is from the Pop Culture section of News Talk Florida.

Jason Aaron does what all great writers do, create awesome gritty characters. In one issue Aaron brings to life Earl Tubbs and sets Tubbs up for an epic battle against Craw County, Alabama. Old Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood and Charlton Heston have nothing on Tubbs.

Jason Latour brings the book to life but what works best for Latour is his color palette choices to convey action and emotion. The colors used for day, night and flashbacks work perfectly. Latour succeeds as a creator because Tubbs looks original. You can tell that one of Latour’s influences in Frank Miller from body styles to action scenes.

The book does have a certain Dark Knight Returns feel in story as well. What separates Aaron from Miller is Southern Bastards is written from personal history. Aaron and Latour take the reader on an emotional action-packed journey and their letters at the end of the first issue really drive home why this book will succeed.

Story: 9/10 • Artwork: 9/10 • Overall 9/10

Comic Creators Vs Hollywood

As Hollywood continues to create box office gold out of comic book characters, the creators seem to be left in the cold. Bob Kane created Batman 75 years ago but Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros. are the names associated with the common fan. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is dominating the box office but does anyone know who Joe Simon and Jack Kirby are? Simon and Kirby created Captain America in March of 1941.

Warner Bros., DC Comics and previous copyrights holders have been in legal battles with the creators of Superman Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster and their estates since 1947.

Comic book creator and industry veteran Jimmy Palmiotti voiced his opinion on the subject to small crowd at a discussion panel at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida last week.

“Hollywood has a disconnect between the people that create the material,” Palmiotti said.

Palmiotti then described what happened to the film “Jonah Hex” and how the film was just an amalgam of the original character.

“Captain America is a fine example. If you notice halfway down the credits, after the guys who park the cars, if you look in a small type face it says Captain America created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Those are the guys that created captain America from scratch,” Palmiotti said.

For most comic book creators they understand the history and of the industry and hold the founding fathers like Kane, Siegel, Shuster, Simon and Kirby in high regard.

“This is the disconnect that happens and why the face comics is changing right now,” Palmiotti said.

Palmiotti, who by then had taken over the discussion panel ended his train of thought on a positive note.

“These are the voices of the artists. For first time in a while we are able to own the characters that we work on, This is really an exciting time,” Palmiotti conclude.

#PopCultureRecess podcast – ‘Thor: The Dark World’ after-credits scenes explained

Pop Culture Recess: ‘Thor: The Dark World’

‘Thor: The Dark World’ is out and the Pop Culture Recess duo of Matthew Sardo and Gerardo Gonzalez argue about the use of magic in the film.

Why you should listen: We explain the ‘Thor: The Dark World’ after-credits scenes, or do our best not to laugh at our nerdness.


What did you think was the best part of ‘Thor: The Dark World?’


Pop Culture Recesss
Pop Culture Recess is a daily 10-minute break from reality.

  • Walking Dead Mondays
  • Comic Picks Tuesday
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Wednesdays
  • Thursday Free For All
  • Blockbuster Friday


We love interaction with fellow nerds, tweet or comment below.
Follow us on Twitter to chat with us during the show.

Kill Me Three Times
A blackmail and revenge thriller tale involving a young singer (Alice Braga), a mercurial assassin (Simon Pegg), a gambling addict (Sullivan Stapleton), and a small town Lady Macbeth (Teresa Palmer).

Luke Hemsworth, Bryan Brown and Callan Mulvey also star in the film which is currently shooting in Australia.

Source: Garth Franklin, Dark Horizons

Kill Me Three Times Simon Pegg

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “FZZT” Review

Pop Culture Recess: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 1, Episode 6 “FZZT” aired Tuesday night and the Pop Culture Recess duo of Matthew Sardo and Gerardo Gonzalez argue about what it means to be a hero.

Why you should listen: This is and origin story as two nerds step up to the mic and press record.


What do you like or dislike about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?


Pop Culture Recess is a daily 10-minute break from reality.
Walking Dead Mondays
Comic Picks Tuesday
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Wednesdays
Thursday Free For All
Blockbuster Friday

We love interaction with fellow nerds, tweet or comment below.
Follow us on Twitter to chat with us during the show.

Review: Infinity #3 – Hickman Is A Master At Science Fiction


Infinity #3
Written by Jonathan Hickman.
Illustrated by Jerome Opena, Dustin Weaver.

• Prison break.
• Stealing a worldkiller.
• The fall of Attilan.

This could be the first time I’ve read Captain America used properly in a cosmic crossover. Captain America battling Thanos one-on-one is ridiculous (this could be a bad nerd debate right now), but Captain America in charge of an armada is a brilliant move by writer Jonathan Hickman. Steve Rogers is supposed to be the greatest soldier America has ever seen and even more so, a strategist. The way that Rogers holds his own among the cosmic characters is what keeps the book grounded and show that Hickman understands the characters and how to use them in a group setting. The relationship that Hickman is developing between Thor and Rogers, two warriors preparing for battle, this subplot shines through.

“Strike like lightning on the darkest night, scorch the heavens… rain fire down on them,” said Thor (Infinity #3)

The problem with all big event books is that you feel like your missing out on something! You can’t just read Infinity 1-6 and get the whole story. I read issue three and I felt like I missed something (Avengers #19, New avengers #10). You need to read the additional books to get the complete story. This becomes awkward for new reader and bothersome for current readers that have to spend more money.

Infinity issue three is broken up into three chapters; “Submit or Perish,” “World Killers” and “What Maximus Built.” The difference in art style is so great that it disrupts the story. The way Dustin Weaver draws eyes is quite different that Jerome Opena. With that said the second to last page Weaver nails it with Black Bolt.

I say this a lot, but all I want a comic book to do is make me want to read the next issue. Infinity 4 of 6 can’t get here soon enough.

Story: 9/10 • Artwork: 8/10 • Overall 8.5/10

Review: Image Comics – Zero #1

Zero #1
Written by Ales Kot.
Illustrated by Jordie Bellaire, Michael Walsh.

Mature Readers

SAVING THE WORLD. ONE MURDER AT A TIME. Edward Zero is the perfect execution machine – a spy who breaks the rules to get things done. When a stolen device appears in the center of a long-running conflict, Zero comes to retrieve it. The problem is, the device is inside a living, breathing, bio-modified terrorist and there’s an entire army after it.

“Five years later, the agency find out the truth about it, and about everything I have done since,” final sentence from Zero #1.

Edward Zero is the newest spy to hit the comic book world. Writer Alex Kot delivers a strong first issue with solid ending to where you want to read issue two, now. The main character Zero is your stereotypical Wolverine, Jason Bourne type character. Zero has all the traits; gruff, rogue and an absolute killer.

The book takes place in 2038 with flashbacks to 2018. Kot does a good job of introducing all the main characters, telling a single issue story and adding a few twists along the way.

Zero has a very independent feel to it in reference to the artwork by Michael Walsh. On one hand the art gives a gritty feel but in some action scenes it looks rushed and the backgrounds look simple. Jordie Bellaire’s use of color filters on panels were affective and added to the story.

Story: 9/10 • Artwork: 7/10 • Overall 8/10

Review: Walking Dead #114 – “We’re Going To War.”

Walking Dead #114
Written by Robert Kirkman.
Illustrated by Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn.

To explain “Walking Dead” #1-114 would take a lot longer than a 500-word blog post. What I would recommend is picking up the first trade paper back of the series. Libraries carry TPB now, it’s free! Do it!

If you’ve never read, watched or heard about “Walking Dead,” the setting is the zombie apocalypses. Robert Kirkman has crafted this not so perfect world where people are just trying to survive. The zombies are the backdrop, the key to this series is the interaction between humans. The battle between those who continue to fight for humanity and those who have completely lost it. Over the course of 114 issues there have been several evil men that have tried to destroy humanity but there has been one soul that has stood up to them time and time again, Rick Grimes.

This is a non-superhero comic book but Rick is your hero and Kirkman has tried to breaking him for more than 100-issues straight.

“Walking Dead” #114 is the build up of a story-arc that started in a gut-wrenching 100th issue that introduced a very evil gentleman named Negan and his baseball bat “Lucille.” This is a mature audience book (R-rated) and Kirkman gives Negan a dialogue that makes me squirm in my chair. What ever is the highest level of evil that is Negan. Kirkman plots Rick and Negan against each other in a power struggle and Rick’s son Carl is the perfect instrument to break Rick’s will.

What Kirkman does extremely well is scare the reader in way that you’re afraid to buy issue 115. Something bad is going to happen and that usually means that a character that you care about is going to die. I don’t want to spoil anything for new readers or viewers of the television so but Kirkman is a very cruel writer.

As far as a breakdown of the issue, Kirkman has raised the bar so high with epic issues in the past, therefore I’ve seen this setup before. My questions is, “What bag of tricks can Kirkman conjure up this time around?” The issue comes a crossed flat. If this happened in the TPB of the story-arc I can just continue to read but in the comic book world you have to wait 30-plus days. It’s a completely different style of writing and a hard one to master. You have 22-pages to hook a reader and then have him or her come back a month later to buy another.

I was expecting a better last page of the book and it just wasn’t there but I’m still afraid to buy the nest issue!

Story: 8/10 • Artwork: 8/10 • Overall 8/10

Cover: Walking Dead #115

Fanboys Remain Calm: Affleck as Batman is a good idea

Hello Readers ,


This is a bit of a first for me I typically do reviews and interviews but I wanted to take a moment to touch on the overtly negative reaction to the news that Batman/Bruce Wayne will be played by Ben Affleck in the sequel to Man of Steel. While I have been enjoying all of the Batman quotes in a Bostonian accent and general Batffllec Twitter rants I have to admit that I’m actually ok with the news of Affleck as Batman. My issue isn’t  with anyone having a negative opinion, but more so the blind hate and negativity for an actor that’s had a more successful than not movie career. I think this is also a very smart move on WB’s part. Why not have Affleck be Batman? I’m sure there were more than a few conversations happening about him being the one to direct Justice League and or the next Batman movie anyways. This now establishes him and allows him hypothetically to start creating his new take on the world and character himself. I know its Zach Snyder directing the film but it would be crazy not to think that he wouldn’t go to an Oscar winning director for advice and opinions on the movie. This gives him someone  in Affleck whose opinion I’m sure he respects an opportunity to help build momentum into the next Batman or Justice League film and is a great idea.

There are going to be people out there that point to him being Daredevil and how awful that movie was. Daredevil wasn’t a bad movie because of Ben Affleck as Daredevil , it was a bad movie because it wasn’t a well written or directed movie to begin with. It was largely changed by Fox and the love story shoved into the movie slowed the pace down and created an unrealistic soap opera aspect to the film. It’s not a mistake that I’m sure Ben Affleck would be willing to make as an actor again. Id rather point people in the direction of Hollywood land or the Town to see that Affleck has more than enough talent to handle a character with dual personalities.

Finally both Michael Keaton and Heath Ledger had just as strong a backlash when it was announced that they were going to be cast as Batman and Joker respectively in their respective movies and I think its safe to say that turned out pretty well. At the very least I think everyone should reserve judgement until they see footage or watch the film. Creating nerd rage and petitions for the sake of effecting the franchise in a negative way doesn’t mean you care more for the characters or subject matter. Besides in the long run we all know who’s the best Batman / Bruce Wayne to have ever played the character.








and I’m out!

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

Mike DeVivo

X-Men#1 – Brian Wood’s All Female X-Team is here. Is it any good?

X-Men-1X-Men #1

Writer: Brian Wood

Artist: Oliver Coipel

After a lot of backlash and judgement before the issue even came out X-Men #1 by Brian Wood and Oliver Coipel finally made it to shelves this week. While it isn’t Brian Wood’s first crack at writing the X men its received the largest amount of attention because this is the first X- team comprised entirely of a female cast. The results are very good. Brian Wood instantly creates a threat that is unique but rooted in X-Men mythology. It’s a bold move to have a book start out with a mysterious villain but Wood does an excellent job of following those first few scenes with a very familiar character in Jubilee.

He writes Jubilee here as a caring and lost young woman with a new responsibility in the form of an adopted baby. Her plan is to return home to the X-Men her family and give this baby the same sense of security she had. It seems that if anyone is going to be our eyes as the reader in this series its going to be Jubilee. On the way back from a flight from Bulgaria to New York Jubilee is being followed and contacts the Jean Grey School. The other members that make up the team are Rachel Grey, Storm, Kitty Pride , Rogue , and Psylocke. Half of the group goes to Jubilees aid and the other half wait back at the school.

While the rest of the issue has some action sequences here and there its primary focus is on character development which I liked. These characters all feel very fleshed out already in issue one. Wood nails Rogues confident demeanor, Psylocke’s calm and hardened attitude, and Storms matriarch personality very well. Each character has their moment in a book that reads very fast but does a great job of building towards an imminent threat.

The other part of the team is Oliver Coipel and as most of you would expect the book is absolutely gorgeous. His pencils are extremely detailed. Each female character looks unique and he finds away to take very classic elements of the character and make them feel fresh again. Jubilees new baby is about the cutest thing ever and characters facial expressions are varied and solidify Brian woods dialogue firmly on each page. His use of panels also is very open-ended which looks great but at times can detract from the story. That is my only criticism for what is in all a very beautiful book.

Wood ends this book on a pretty interesting cliffhanger which adds incentive to pick up the next issue. I’m sure some people will roll their eyes at the thought of yet another X book. However Brian Wood’s and Oliver Coipel’s X-Men is worth your money. This book has gotten unnecessary flak and should be one of the books you add to your pull list. Some people are probably still going to be caught up in the politics and gender issues but not Wood. His focus is to write a very entertaining and engaging story. After reading this issue the only thing I was thinking is why hasn’t someone did this sooner. He takes what could have been a cliche or negative concept to some and delivered a very high quality start to a new series.

Review Score- 9/10

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

Green Lantern #20 Review

GLGreen Lantern #20 brings to a close the bombastically epic run of Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern, comprising over 100 issues of will-powered science fiction.  It has been just short of a decade since Johns made a name for himself as the man who put the green ring back on Hal Jordan’s finger in Green Lantern: Rebirth.  Since that time we have seen the meteoric rise of Hal Jordan and Green Lantern-properties, including several ongoing comic book titles, animated features, an animated series and even a (disappointing) Green Lantern film.  In the pages of the comic book itself, Johns has redeemed Hal Jordan, raised the stakes on a universal level and fundamentally changed/strengthened the Green Lantern mythology.

Green Lantern #20  is not only the grand finale to Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern saga, but also the current GL book-spanning story arc “Wrath of the First Lantern.”  While that story tediously dragged along in most of its chapters, the finale is the crazy summer blockbuster ending that Green Lantern deserves.  Volthoom, the “First Lantern” in question, continues his maniacal plan to remake the universe as he sees fit.  The issue isn’t really about Volthoom’s plan however, but it’s more of a tale that yet again reaffirms how strong of a hero Hal Jordan is.  The finale is a “greatest hits” of sorts for Johns and his Green Lantern universe, as we see staples from every major event that has occurred under Johns’ guidance, including Blackest Night and Sinestro Corps WarGreen Lantern #20 has appearances from every major character from the Green Lantern books of the past decade including Kyle Rayner, Larfleeze and of course Sinestro.  One of the high points of the issue is the narrative choice to flash forward to “Beyond Tomorrow,” where a young Green Lantern recruit wants to hear the story of Hal Jordan.  It’s a nice touch that allows readers to reflect on what has come before as well as closing the door on an era.

Of the comic books that I have read this week, this month or even this year, Green Lantern #20 was the one that truly amazed me.  The entire issue is a reminder of how awesome Geoff Johns has made the Green Lantern ongoing series, and it made me smile throughout the entire read.  Johns is at the top of his game with his final issue, giving closure to as many characters as he can while bringing things full circle to where he began.  Regular artist Doug Mahnke handles the majority of the artwork, while past series artists like Ivan Reis and Ethan Van Sciver make cameo contributions as well.  Mahnke ends on as much of a high note as you could possibly hope for.  Though he has his roots in horror and the grotesque, Mahnke has always given a more streamlined approach to Green Lantern that has resulted in some truly beautiful visuals.  The finale alone highlights Mahnke’s skill as an artist, with more single/double page spreads than you could will into existence with a power ring.

Green Lantern #20 is a fantastic farewell of a comic spread across 64 pages with no ad breaks, barring those with (worthy) industry praise for Mr. Johns.  Like many others, I hopped on the Green Lantern bandwagon sometime after the success of Green Lantern: Rebirth.  Thanks to Geoff Johns I have grown to love a character and mythology that I wouldn’t have given a second thought about 5 or 6 years ago.

Geoff Johns is a man who took a B-List superhero and made him a pop culture phenomenon.  He’s a guy who took the simplest and most obvious idea of a rainbow array of Lantern Corps and sold it without coming off as completely ludicrous.  Most importantly Geoff Johns is a visionary writer who truly believes in his work, which is why it’s so astoundingly successful.

Thank you Geoff Johns for sharing the Green Lantern universe with those of us who didn’t know any better.

“In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night…”


Final Grade: ★★★★★ 5/5 Stars

Regular Show #1 A comic so good it will make you have a punchies competition

Regular-Show-1-cover-ERegular Show #1

Written By: KC Green

Art By:Alison Strejlau

Back Up Story and Art By; Brian Butler

The Regular Show #1 comic is a good example of what Television properties should be. Extensions of their characters done faithfully in the medium of comics. For those of you not aware Regular Show is Cartoon Networks second most popular show aside from Adventure Time. Fun for all ages and its characters are always endearing. It even won an Emmy in 2012 for best Animated short for the episode “Eggsicellent”.

Writer KC Green doesn’t play try to change anything that makes the show so fun to watch and its the right call. Rigby and Mordecai are still the main focus. KC nails their dialogue perfectly. Mordecai is still the chill easy-going of the two and Rigby is a spaz that is always seeking attention and approval from Mordecai.. Benson instructs Mordecai and Rigby to clean the local grounds during an out door concert. As if that wasn’t bad enough the band doesn’t rock at all. Out of sheer boredom Rigby and Mordecai decide that it would be way cooler if they could start a Mosh-pit in the crowd. They consider it impossible to do given the crowd, but within earshot of Muscle Man and Hi Five Ghost. Always up for a challenge Muscle Man accepts and it just gets funnier from there.

The rest of the story is too good to ruin but I will say it involves a Demon , Benson , and a giant rescue plan by the end. Artist Alison Stejlau manages to handle the art in this issue very well. The characters look how they should and yet she does a tone of great work during some more of the Mosh-pit sequence that really pops off the page. Specifically her layouts during these sequences are extremely creative and create a kinetic feel while you read that gives this book that sense of anything can happen craziness that works so well for the show.Not to mention the short by Brian Butler is just as funny seeing Rigby and Mordecai in line waiting to ride the Face Melter coaster…which is a coaster that melts faces. Again its simple but you appreciate just how good simple is when it involves these characters.

Kaboom! has another hit on their hands (given the fact that Diamond has already reported Regular Show selling out) and as long as the creators continue to free up their stories and aim for absurdity this book will stay in my pull list. There are far too few books that you and your kid can read and laugh at together. This is one of those books. Oh and for the record I don’t have a kid, I only assume your kid will like this book as much as I did END DISCLAIMER.



Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots


Tales From the Water Cooler #107

Welcome to Tales From the Water Cooler!

Join Infinite Speech, Decapitated Dan, and the Canadian Webslinger each week as they gather around the water cooler of stories to talk about comics.

Listen in this week as the guys discuss Dan Con, play some Super Hero Jeopardy and then take a look at this weeks picks Mars Attacks #8, Uncanny X-Men #3 and Avenging Spider-Man #18.

And don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook!

Tales from the Water Cooler: Episode #107

You can click the link to listen to the podcast or right click “save link as” to download it.

Batman and Robin- Remembering Damian Wayne

Earlier last week in Batman Inc. #8 Grant Morrison decided to end the life of Damian Wayne aka Robin in a heroic and violent fashion. Ive seen a lot of reviews stating that Damian going out like this makes sense and is the only way that Damian’s story could end.  Aside from Morrison having an established pattern of killing characters he himself creates it just left me feeling sad. I thought maybe it was just the brutal way Damian was murdered in the issue, or like all comics when a character dies its suppose to have meaning and in this way yes Morrison succeeds. However I finally realized its Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s run on Batman and Robin that is responsible for the sadness.

Batman visiting familiar territory
Batman visiting familiar territory
Since the new 52 relaunched  I have been extremely impressed with the amount of depth Peter Tomasi has given Damian. Starting off with Damian taking another life and  crossing that line because he wanted to protect his father was a nice beginning. Tomasi has continued from there on showing just why Damian was such a special member of the Bat Family. in later issues PEter Tomasi has Damian disobey his father to jump into an angry and crazed mob. As the reader you think oh Damian is just being rebellious but at the end of the issue you see that Damian put himself in danger to bring back Bruce’s mothers Pearl Necklace. I’ve wrote before that Tomasi is able to show the Father and Son relationship in his book so well that you believe in the progression of their story and the acceptance and love they have for one another.
Gleason’s art has been just as important to this series. Every facial expression every interaction displayed in perfect detail. Gleason’s pencils have just continued to get stronger and stronger with each issue. When this series ends I have to put it up there with one of the best written and drawn series Ive ever written. From creating new villains each issue to doing an amazing job at making me absolutely terrified with his take on the newly redesigned Joker Gleason’s amazes me with his art each issue. I look forward to picking up whatever project he starts next.
Which brings me back to the last issue they just released with Batman and Robin #18. Which I believe is the best comic I’ve read this year. There is no dialogue , only Tomasi scripting a heart breaking story of Bruce and Alfred coping with the loss of Damian. Gleason’s art again pairing perfectly in each panel as Batman tries to get his mind off of the loss of Damian only to have his memory remind him of his son every step of the way.  Which finally ends with a heart-felt letter Damian leaves for his father explaining why he disobeyed his orders in the first place and tried to save him which leads to his death. It’s a perfectly scripted moment showing how much Damian is in fact like his father. Which brings me back to the fact that yes Damian was Grant Morrison’s creation but in my opinion he felt more like Tomasi’s character in the end. I think the saddest thing about Damian’s death is that Tomasi and Gleason aren’t able to continue creating stories that involve Damian anymore. The first image of Damian I showed was not the way I want to remember the character, thanks to Tomasi and Gleason this is the way Ill always remember Damian Wayne.
Like Father like Son R.I.P Damian Wayne
Like Father like Son R.I.P Damian Wayne

Looking forward to seeing where the Bat Family goes from here..

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots




Tales From the Water Cooler #105

Welcome to Tales From the Water Cooler!

Join Infinite Speech, Decapitated Dan, and the Canadian Webslinger each week as they gather around the water cooler of stories to talk about comics.

Listen in this week as the guys are joined once again by the Clergyman to play some Superhero Jeopardy and go over this weeks books, Sage #10, Superior Spider-Man #4, Indestructible Hulk #4 and Nova #1.

And don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook!

Tales from the Water Cooler: Episode #105

You can click the link to listen to the podcast or right click “save link as” to download it.

Thoughts on the Justice League Movie Rumors


If you are a comic book fan or at the very least a fan of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, you might have heard the rumor that Nolan and Bale are going to reunite for the Justice League movie.  The story goes that Christian Bale will once again don the cape and cowl, joining Man of Steel’s star Henry Cavill in the Justice League film.  Man of Steel director Zack Snyder is the rumored director, with Nolan in the role of series “Godfather.”  I am pretty cautious when it comes to the rumor mill, though I suppose it could happen, like the surprise announcement of J.J. Abrams directing with the new Star Wars trilogy.

There are several issues with this possibility.  After putting Batman and Gotham City through hell in The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan and co. took the unique route of giving Bruce Wayne a happy ending in a life of retirement with Selina Kyle.  After this reward for the tireless champion, would it really make sense for him to give it all up and re-enter the ring?  The Justice League movie in question could of course provide a high-stakes explanation that would force Wayne out of retirement to save the world with Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest, but I don’t think it would feel right.  Without delving into it heavily, Nolan’s films set up a very finite story for Bruce Wayne and a legacy that will live on through Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake.  I don’t want John Blake Batman in the JLA, and it’s been confirmed that that wouldn’t be the case, but I think they should just leave Christian Bale Batman alone altogether and start fresh.

Marvel Studios has obviously been successful in their world-building films, and DC/Warner Brothers is most definitely trying to match wits with the giant, but they lack foresight, and always have.   Even though DC Comics gave birth to the popular notion of the superhero (with Superman), they have almost always been behind the curve in relation to Marvel Comics.  The 1960s saw the birth of the Marvel superhero and with it a meticulous interwoven universe where Spider-Man regularly ran into The Fantastic Four and everything was interrelated.  Conversely, outside of Batman and Superman, the DC superheroes didn’t interact as often, and their universes were frequently inconsistent.  Even today, with The New 52, DC Comics massive reboot character depictions don’t really gel among many books.  The Wonder Woman of her own title feels vastly different from the one in Justice League, for example.

Iron Man and Iron Man 2 began the trend of laying the groundwork for future Marvel films, without sacrificing its own story (for the most part.)  I think that if Batman Begins and its subsequent sequels tried to do this by dropping mentions of “Superman in Metropolis” or “that Wonder Woman person” would’ve changed the nature of those films and probably ruin them altogether.  So I hope that DC/Warner Brothers cuts any ties to Nolan’s saga and starts off in a new direction with Man of Steel.  They want so desperately to have a presence as big as Marvel’s in the movie business, but they are nowhere near ready for it.  I pray that they realize this and take a slow-and-steady approach to an Avengers-style Justice League movie.  But I kind of doubt they will.  Oh DC, I love you so very much, but sometimes you are crazy man.

Tales From the Water Cooler #104

Welcome to Tales From the Water Cooler!

Join Infinite Speech, Decapitated Dan, and the Canadian Webslinger each week as they gather around the water cooler of stories to talk about comics.

Listen in this week as the guys are joined once again by the Clergyman to play some Superhero Jeopardy and go over this weeks books, Sage #10, Superior Spider-Man #4, Indestructible Hulk #4 and Nova #1.

And don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook!

Tales from the Water Cooler: Episode #104



You can click the link to listen to the podcast or right click “save link as” to download it.

Requiem for a Robin

batman-inc-8DC Comics hasn’t been very discreet when it comes to the dire nature of Batman Incorporated #8, urging retailers to order additional copies, implying something big was going to happen. Then of course there was the recent media blitz where DC basically spoiled the fact that Robin AKA Batman’s son Damian would be killed. While the character has only been around for six years, he went through immense changes over several comic book series that caused him to grow as a more complete and heroic character.

The concept of Batman fathering a child with Talia al Ghul (daughter of enemy Ra’s al Ghul) was originally explored in Mike Barr’s popular 1987 one-shot “Batman: Son of the Demon.” It wasn’t until 2006 when Grant Morrison re-introduced the idea in Batman #655, which kicked off the arc “Batman and Son” as well as Morrison’s book-spanning run on the Dark Knight. It’s no secret that I am a huge Grant Morrison fan, especially of the things he has done with Batman in the past six years. And while I plan to take a greater look at that years-long story when it reaches its conclusion, right now I want to take a retrospective look at the character of Damian.

In “Batman and Son,” Damian was introduced as a nightmare version of Robin, a petulant brat with a taste for blood. Annoyances aside, he was merely a pawn in Talia’s war with Batman. Fans (including me) absolutely hated the character, which was Morrison’s intention. He originally had planned for Damian to die early on in his Batman run, in a drastic situation that demanded a heroic sacrifice, therefore redeeming the little snot. Things did not pan out this way, of course. Damian would make a few cameos here and there in Batman’s nightmares along with scenes where he was faithfully at his mother’s side. In the appropriately named Batman #666 Morrison took readers to a hellish future of Gotham where Damian had inherited the mantle of Batman, still seeking approval from his long-dead father. After the apparent death of Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman R.I.P. and Final Crisis, a new Batman and Robin team stepped up: former Robin turned Nightwing Dick Grayson as Batman and the arrogant Damian as Robin. It was during the new Batman & Robin series that the character really started to grow, and readers actually began to like him. Damian was allowed to thrive in his role as Robin, under the guidance of the more lenient and understanding Dick Grayson Batman. Damian became a true hero in the 16 issues that Morrison wrote, facing struggles of humility, independence and in one case, physical disability. Once Bruce Wayne “returned from the dead” Morrison seemingly shelved Damian for the most part. It wasn’t until the first volume finale of Batman Incorporated that Damian came back into the fold, breaking his no-killing rule and realizing that Talia was the master villain that our heroes were up against. But despite growing into a hero alongside Dick Grayson, Damian had to prove himself once again to his father; both as Robin and as a son.

Damian Wayne was fearless and headstrong from the get-go. His violent nature and overconfidence made him the perfect pint-sized Batman, undoubtedly the son of Bruce Wayne. The humorous dichotomy of a dark vengeance seeker of justice in the form of a little boy is one of the reasons he was so well received as Robin. In the real world, the concept of Robin is obviously ridiculous. But Damian was truly a product of the comic book world: a 10-year-old boy trained by assassins, with the know-how to operate high-tech motorcycles and Batmobiles and stare the Joker in the face without even flinching. It is fitting that Grant Morrison, the man created Damian, would be the one to kill him; “The Lord gives and The Lord takes away.” Morrison, along with current Batman & Robin scribe Pete Tomasi really shaped one of the most compelling and interesting Batman characters in a long time. Morrison’s tale has obviously been about Batman, but after today it feels like it has simultaneously been Damian’s. He went out heroically, with “The Boy Wonder” fighting his evil clone no less. Comic book deaths can fall victim to being played for cheap shocks, but the death of Damian Wayne felt more deserving. Damian’s “Hero’s Journey” is over; a fitting end for a hero redeemed.

Robin R.I.P.

Source: Michael DeLaney, Comic Books: Requiem for a Robin

Tales From the Water Cooler #103

Welcome to Tales From the Water Cooler!

Join Infinite Speech, Decapitated Dan, and the Canadian Webslinger each week as they gather around the water cooler of stories to talk about comics.

Listen in this week as Decapitated Dan and Infinite Speech play some Black History Month Jeopardy and go over this weeks books, Powers: Bureau #1, Batman #17, Todd the Ugliest Kid on Earth #2 and Uncanny X-Men #1.

And don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook!

Tales from the Water Cooler: Episode #103

You can click the link to listen to the podcast or right click “save link as” to download it.