Tag Archives: Marvel Comics

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

#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.

PRESS PLAY

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

thor2

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

Reaction To Marvel Netflix Deal

Pop Culture Recess: Reaction To Marvel Netflix Deal

Marvel Television and Netflix announced their partnership Thursday morning and the Pop Culture Recess duo of Matthew Sardo and Gerardo Gonzalez discuss the possibilities.

Why you should listen: Nerds around the world rejoice at the hope and excitement of a “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist” and “Luke Cage” television series. Which will all culminate in Marvel’s mini-series event “The Defenders” which reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters around New York’s Hell’s Kitchen.

PRESS PLAY

What Marvel TV series are you most excited about?

Daredevil_netflix_2013

Pop Culture RecesssPop 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.






New Robocop Trailer Demands That You Stop Being So Robophobic

Marvel_Logo_2013

Disney’s Marvel and Netflix Join Forces to Develop Historic Four Series Epic plus a Mini-Series Event Based on Renowned Marvel Characters

Landmark Deal Brings Marvel’s Flawed Heroes of Hell’s Kitchen, led by “Daredevil,” to the World’s Leading Internet TV Network in 2015

Burbank, Calif. – Nov 7, 2013—The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) today announced an unprecedented deal for Marvel TV to bring multiple original series of live-action adventures of four of Marvel’s most popular characters exclusively to the world’s leading Internet TV Network beginning in 2015. This pioneering agreement calls for Marvel to develop four serialized programs leading to a mini-series programming event.

Led by a series focused on “Daredevil,” followed by “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist” and “Luke Cage,” the epic will unfold over multiple years of original programming, taking Netflix members deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen, New York. Netflix has committed to a minimum of four, thirteen episodes series and a culminating Marvel’s “The Defenders” mini-series event that reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters.

Produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Television Studios, this groundbreaking deal is Marvel’s most ambitious foray yet into live-action TV storytelling.

“This deal is unparalleled in its scope and size, and reinforces our commitment to deliver Marvel’s brand, content and characters across all platforms of storytelling. Netflix offers an incredible platform for the kind of rich storytelling that is Marvel’s specialty,” said Alan Fine, President of Marvel Entertainment. “This serialized epic expands the narrative possibilities of on-demand television and gives fans the flexibility to immerse themselves how and when they want in what’s sure to be a thrilling and engaging adventure.”

“Marvel’s movies, such as ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Marvel’s The Avengers,’ are huge favorites on our service around the world. Like Disney, Marvel is a known and loved brand that travels,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “With ‘House of Cards’ and our other original series, we have pioneered new approaches to storytelling and to global distribution and we’re thrilled to be working with Disney and Marvel to take our brand of television to new levels with a creative project of this magnitude.”

This new original TV deal follows last year’s landmark movie distribution deal through which, beginning with 2016 theatrically released feature films, Netflix will be the exclusive U.S. subscription television service for first-run, live-action and animated movies from the Walt Disney Studios, including titles from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Disneynature and Lucasfilm. Netflix members can currently enjoy a wide range of Disney, ABC TV and Disney Channel films and shows across the 41 countries where Netflix operates.

About The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $42.3 billion in its Fiscal Year 2012.

About Netflix
Netflix is the world’s leading Internet television network with over 40 million members in more than 40 countries enjoying more than one billion hours of TV shows and movies per month, including original series. For one low monthly price, Netflix members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

Source: Marvel.com

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

Marvel_Comics_Infinity_3_2013

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: Infinity #2 – Science Fiction At Its Best

Infinity #2 2013
Infinity #2
Written by Jonathan Hickman.
Illustrated by Jerome Opena, Dustin Weaver.

• The Inhumans pay the tribute.
• Victory in deep space.
• The secrets of Thanos.

To explain a complex comic book with more than 20-years of history it is much easier to direct you to the Wikipedia page on Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet. Once you’ve  read this then you can start reading “Infinity.”

Jonathan Hickman is a very complex writer, when I think of him I envision the editor and chief of “Popular Mechanics.” I have had the pleasure of meeting him on several occasions and he thinks on a different level than most humans. Hickman is the man who I would like to see write a Star Trek film, he sees the best in humanity and looks at the universe through a different lens.

What Hickman does best in “Infinity” so far is that he inspires you to want read up on your Marvel Comics cosmic history. If you’re a science fiction fan you will enjoy this book. Even though Captain America always looks like a dork in a space-suit, Hickman builds the story with solid dialogue and backs it up with history. The mighty Avengers and the Skrulls have been battling each other for more than 40-years. Hickman realizes the history that he has been given and doesn’t publish anther “Operation: Galactic Storm.”

Jerome Opena and Dustin Weaver deliver a book that Marvel has published a million times before. The art is generic to Marvel’s style, realistic with a sketchy quality, this is not a bad thing, but we have seen it before. What separates “Infinity” from other books is the layout and design. Hickman has a graphic design background and you can tell. There is a non-traditional look to the “Infinity” and a fragmented feel that I believe is intentional.

Overall “Infinity” #2 keeps you engaged and makes you wish for issue three by the end, that is all you can ask for in a comic book.

Story: 8.5/10 • Artwork: 8/10 • Overall 8.25/10

JOE QUESADA’s Variant Cover to AGE OF ULTRON #10

ALL OR NOTHING – Marvel Unveils Superstar Artist JOE QUESADA’s Variant Cover to AGE OF ULTRON #10!

Marvel is proud to unveil Marvel Chief Creative Officer, Joe Quesada’s, jaw dropping wraparound variant cover to Age of Ultron #10 – featuring ANGELA! To save the Marvel Universe, Earth’s Mightiest made the most controversial decision of their lives resulting a disaster unlike any they’ve seen before. But with one final shot to make things right, can they turn back the hands of time and restore everything to its former glory? And if they can’t what happens next?! Age Of Ultron #10, by the jam packed, blockbuster creative team of Brian Michael Bendis, Bryan Hitch, Carlos Pacheco, Brandon Peterson, Alex Maleev, Butch Guice, David Marquez and Joe Quesada, leaves no stone unturned and has an ending nobody can see coming!

Source: Marvel Comic Media

AgeOfUltron_10_VariantQuesada

MARVEL’S AVENGERS ASSEMBLE Preview

The Biggest Heroes. The Biggest Threats. The Biggest Stakes!

It’s the most anticipated new animated series to launch this year and this July, Marvel’s Avengers Assemble reunites Marvel’s most iconic Super Heroes – Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow & Falcon! Featuring the team that took the world by storm in Marvel’s The Avengers, no fan can miss the action-packed adventures of Earth’s Mightiest as they must protect the Marvel Universe from the biggest threats they’ve ever seen – all while working together as a team! The world’s most dangerous Super Villains don’t stand a chance when the Avengers Assemble!

[youtube_sc url=”http://youtu.be/eM4diWZrgQg”]

Don’t miss the miss the premiere episode of Marvel’s Avengers Assemble SUNDAY, JULY 7 with a special one-hour preview on SUNDAY, MAY 26 (both at 11:00 a.m., ET/PT) inside the Marvel Universe programming block on Disney XD.

Source: Marvel Comic Media

PRELUDE TO INFINITY – AVENGERS #14 First Look

PRELUDE TO INFINITY – AVENGERS #14 First Look

This June, jump on the road to the biggest comic book event of the summer with Avengers #14 – a prelude to Infinity! From the blockbuster creative team of writers Jonathan Hickman & Nick Spencer and artist Stefano Caselli! With the Builders light years away, all of the Origin Sites across the globe activate sending their signal across the Marvel Universe! But what do they mean? And with A.I.M.’s S7 program about to kickoff – can the Avengers tackle both threats before it’s too late?

Every issue of Avengers includes a code for a free digital copy of that same comic on the Marvel Comics app for iOS and Android devices. Additionally, each issue of Avengers features special augmented reality content available exclusive through the Marvel AR app – including cover recaps, behind the scenes features and more that add value to your reading experience at no additional cost.

This June, Hickman, Spencer & Caselli prepare the Avengers for the worst in Avengers #14!

Join the conversation on Twitter with hash tag #MarvelINFINITY, and don’t forget to follow us at @Marvel [www.twitter.com/Marvel]!

For more on Marvel’s Infinity, please visit www.marvel.com.

AVENGERS #14 (APR130640)
Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN & NICK SPENCER
Art by STEFANO CASELLI
Cover by LEINIL YU
FOC- 05/27/13 On-Sale – 06/19/13

To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook.

Source: Marvel Comics Media

Thor God of Thunder #4 A Thunder God Wishes for Death

thorgodofthunder4coverThor God Of Thunder #4

Story By: Jason Aaron

Art By; Esad Ribic

Jason Aarons work on Thor thus far has been great. Focusing on Thor in three different points in his life has provided a very unique and fresh take on the character. The God Butcher arc this far has been pretty bleak for The God of Thunder. This new villain is creepy and down right cruel towards the gods. Treating them as mere sport for him to slaughter. Thor has made it his responsibility to stop The God Butcher from killing any other gods and that seems to be the basic premise thus far.

As I said earlier whats nice about this story is seeing young Thor and Old Thor also dealing with the God Butcher. It gives this story an epic scope that fits nicely into Marvel Now’s relaunch strategy. I especially like seeing an Old Thor as King of Asgard. He’s not the confident and defiant  god were familiar with. Instead he is actively hoping to seek a Vikings death and welcomes the God Butcher and his shadow pets to take his life. I appreciate the lengths at which Jason Aaron has went to make Thor his own without losing all the myth of the character.

Just as important is the art of Esad Ribic. Ive been a fan of his work ever since I saw him on art duties for Silver Surfer Requiem . His work here again reminds me that he is one of the most talented artists working in the industry. Each page is constructed beautifully behind whatever backdrop suits the action. He invokes feelings of Frank Frazzetta’s art but still stays true to his style. Every facial expression reads perfectly and the action never feels stale. Each version of Thor reads and feels different and this is as much a testament to Ribic’s rendering of the character as it is Aaron’s writing.  This is a very pretty book. Also wanted to give a special mention to I’ve Svorcina the colorists. He juggles a lot this issue introducing us to three different worlds making sure each one has its own unique color palette.

At the end of this issue it seems that the three separate stories being told are staring to come together. It will be interesting to see what Thor thinks of his older self and what he’s become next issue. I’m thoroughly enjoying this book and appreciate what Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic are trying to with each issue. If you haven’t yet check out this series it does a great job of capturing all the elements that make Thor such a great character while injecting some new life into Asgard as well.

Review Score: 8/10

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #700 – “Final” Issue!

Amazing Spider-Man #700
Writer: Dan Slott [Back-up stories by J.M. DeMatteis and Jen Van Meter]
Art: Humberto Ramos [Pencils], Victor Olazaba [Inks] and Edgar Delgado [Colors] [Art on back-ups by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Sal Buscema, Antonio Fabela and Stephanie Buscema]

[SPOILER ALERT:  THIS REVIEW IS FULL OF SPOILERS THAT YOU PROBABLY ALREADY SAW ON THE INTERNET A FEW WEEKS AGO]

Amazing Spider-Man #700Given the way spoilers for this issue leaked a few weeks ago, it’s likely that you might already have your mind made up about it. As the “final” issue of Amazing Spider-Man, #700 is also the highest number any Marvel comic has ever reached, and it just happened to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the series’ first issue. (Now it kind of makes sense why they did the thrice-monthly and bi-monthly schedules the last few years, huh?  Solid planning.)

Anyways, the book’s final storyline has seen Dr. Octopus swap his consciousness from his dying body into the body of Spider-Man and vice-versa.  Peter Parker, now in Doc Ock’s body, is using that body’s final hours to try to swap the consciousnesses back into the right bodies.

I think we’ve covered before that mind-swap stories are one of two types of stories I hate because I can’t suspend disbelief for them.  (The other type is time travel, because the minute you go to another time period and do anything, you risk creating a time paradox that screws up everything that happens from then on.)

Spoiler alert: Peter Parker fails to swap minds back into the right body and dies in Doc Ock’s body, while Ock will be Spider-Man from now on in Peter Parker’s body. The catch is that, since Ock has all of Peter’s memories, Peter pulled a fast one on him at the end of #700 and made him remember everything that ever happened to him, thus somehow turning him “good.” This is the set-up fornext month’s new series, Superior Spider-Man. I think I’ve reached my jumping-off point.

The one thing that’s been pushed on Spidey fans lately is that Doc Ock is somehow Spider-Man’s greatest enemy of all time. As someone who has read Spider-Man comics for nearly 20 years (I’m including the period of time where Ben Reilly took over as Spider-Man in the mid-90s even though I hated that idea, quit reading new issues for several years at that time and only bought back issues), I’ve never cared much for Ock. Spider-Man consistently beat him so decisively time and again so much that he had to get a bunch of other villains together as the Sinister Six to help him out. And even then, he still couldn’t hurt Spider-Man on the same level as the Green Goblin.  In my book, Norman Osborn will always be the arch-enemy because he killed Gwen Stacy. What did Ock do besides sleeping with Aunt May and being an occasional annoyance? He should’ve stayed dead after Kaine killed him during the Clone Saga.

Which brings up another issue: Does anyone really believe that Peter Parker is going to stay “dead” and that Doc Ock won’t eventually end up in his own body? If Peter isn’t back from the dead, in his own body, bythe time the sequel to Amazing Spider-Man hits theaters, then he will be by the time they make another movie with Dr. Octopus as the villain. Only the “Forever Dead Four” (Uncle Ben, Gwen Stacy, and Bruce Wayne’s parents) stay dead in comics, especially now that the big companies want to make things as accessible as possible to the casual readers they hope will buy these books after seeing the movies.  They need an easy in, and how do you explain to someone who’s never picked up an issue that Doc Ock is now Spider-Man, but in Peter Parker’s body, without opening the floodgates of confusion. Peter Parker and Doc Ock both will be back sooner or later, just like Captain America, Professor X (multiple times), Jean Grey (again, multiple times), Batman, Superman, and many others before them.

That said, this issue is very well written and I did enjoy reading it. Humberto Ramos turns in the best art of his career here, as well. Hell, it’s even the best art on the book this entire year (no offense to anyone else who worked on the book this year), and that’s coming from a guy who used to be on the fence about the guy’s art.

Look, I’ve loved Slott’s entire run on the book, but I’m just not feeling the new direction. I’ve got nothing against the guy.  At least, unlike some people you may have heard about through various media sources, I have enough class to not threaten the guy’s life over a comic book story. If you feel like me and see this as a good jumping off point, I recommend Batman and Batman & Robin, which arguably the two best superhero books out right now.

As for the issue’s two back-up stories, they’re both short, fun stories that exist, as far as I know, outside of continuity. Are they filler? I don’t know, but I really liked the one by DeMatteis.  I do wish this issue had some more of the gag pages like #600, but I guess there was plenty here to justify the $7.99 price tag. (Be still, my throbbing wallet.)

STORY: 9/10 (It was well-done.  I just don’t care for the direction.)
ART: 10/10

 

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #699.1 – ‘Morbius The Living Vampire’ Preview

Amazing Spider-Man #699.1
Writer: Joe Keatinge with Dan Slott
Art: Valentine Delandro with Marco Checchetto, Antonio Fabela [Color Art]

Amazing Spider-Man #699.1 isn’t so much a Spider-Man comic as it is a preview for the upcoming Morbius The Living Vampire solo series.

Morbius has been a long-running sometimes-villain, sometimes-ally of Spider-Man since his debut in 1971’s Amazing Spider-Man #101.  Recently, he relapsed into his old bloodlusting ways and found himself in the Marvel Universe’s maximum security supervillain prison, The Raft.  This issue picks up during the prison break from issue #699, and has Morbius reflecting on his childhood and (you guessed it!) origin during his escape.

The new details added by Keatinge are a nice touch to the character and do more to flesh him out while giving newer readers a recap of who he is and how he became “The Living Vampire.” It makes sense that Marvel would give him his own solo book right now given the current popularity of vampires, even if Morbius isn’t technically a vampire in the classical sense.  Then again, the “vampires” that are popular right now aren’t real vampires, either, so there’s that.

Either way, I enjoyed this issue more than I thought I would and am actually intrigued by the idea of this series now.  Definitely worth a read for fans and anyone interested in the premise.

Rating: 9/10

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #699 – Maybe it’s not so bad after all…

Amazing Spider-Man #699
Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Humberto Ramos [Penciler], Victor Olazaba [Inker], Edgar Delgado [Color Art]

[HEY!  LOOK!  THIS REVIEW HAS SPOILERS, AND YOU MIGHT FEEL CHEATED IF YOU READ IT BEFORE YOU SEE THE ACTUAL BOOK!]

While I’ve calmed down about the big reveal last issue, it’s still a touchy subject.  If you missed it, a dying Doc Ock swapped brains with Peter Parker, hinting that the “new” Spider-Man in the upcoming relaunch of the book as Superior Spider-Man is actually Doc Ock in Peter’s body.

It’s not that I didn’t like the way it was written–Dan Slott’s writing makes me really want to like the story.  It’s just that there are two types of stories I hate–stories centered around mind swaps and time travel (we’ll get to that another time, maybe, because Slott has actually written a time travel story that I like).  I already know the response to this assertion, too.  It’s a comic bookScience fiction.  Real world logic and plausibility don’t apply.

Fair enough, but the limits of everyone’s suspension of disbelief are different, and this is why we probably won’t ever see Fin Fang Foom in an Iron Man film.

That said, let’s completely suspend disbelief for the rest of this review even if the concept is a bit much to wrap our heads around.  This issue, and the story as a whole, are very well-written.  Amazing Spider-Man #699 opens with Doc Ock’s body being revived following its flat-lining at the end of the last issue. Upon being revived (and spat on by a prison nurse), Peter Parker–keep in mind, again, that his mind is in Doc Ock’s body now with all of Ock’s memories and vice versa–examines the situation he’s in and begins trying to figure out how, with only hours left to live, he’s going to get out of this predicament and back into his own body.

After searching Ock’s memories, and giving us the totally unnecessary reveal that Aunt May had sex with Otto back in the day, Peter realizes that every time he used Otto’s own Octobot control helmet tech to stop him, he made his mind vulnerable.  Ock was then able to somehow put his brainwaves in the golden Octobot (seen occasionally since the end of “Ends of the Earth”), which then made its way to New York City and “hacked” Spider-Man’s mind when he was otherwise distracted by the spider signal jammers from the recent Hobgoblin story arc.

Pete then figures out that the golden Octobot had a mental link with Otto and takes control of it to put into action a plan that his life now depends on–forming his own Sinister Six–which includes Hydro-Man, Scorpion, and Paste-Pot Pete–to break him out of prison and capture Otto-Spidey.

As I said before, Slott’s writing on this story is still great despite my lack of enthusiasm over the premise.  You can tell he put a lot of time into planning this out at least as far back as the beginning of his run on the book with “Big Time,” and maybe even as far back as 2009’s Amazing Spider-Man #600. Humberto Ramos’ art in this issue is some of his best so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I’ve read is the best art of his career later this month in #700.

Overall, not a bad issue.  I really could have done without being presented the idea of Aunt May and Dr. Octopus having sex, though.

RATING:  7/10 (Because Aunt May having sex with anyone is just kind of gross.)

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #698 – WHY, DAN?! WHYYYYYYYYYY?!

Amazing Spider-Man #698
Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Richard Elson and Antonio Fabela [Color Art]

 

WARNING:  THIS REVIEW HAS MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS FOR AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #698 AND BEYOND.  DO NOT READ IT IF YOU PLAN ON READING THE ISSUE.

Dan Slott, you broke my heart.

Ever since your run on Amazing Spider-Man began last year, I’ve been one of its biggest supporters, going so far as to compare it to the Michelinie and Stern runs.  And then you did it.  You drove that spike in my heart that was like a thousand One More Days.

Actually, that’s a terrible analogy.  I actually liked One More Day.  Comparing that spike to 1,000 Clone Sagas or Ben-Reilly-replacing-Peter-Parker scenarios or JMS runs is far more accurate.

But the point is, you shook my faith in my favorite series.  You weren’t the first, though.

When I was nine years old, I quit reading new issues for five years because of the ridiculousness of the aforementioned Clone Saga and (temporary/retconned) replacement of Peter by his clone, Ben Reilly.  What you have done here, though, may be impossible for me to recover from.

Amazing Spider-Man #698 begins with a reminder that Doc Ock is on his death bed, with only hours left to live.  He’s struggling to say something, and it turns out what he’s trying to say is, “Peter Parker.”  For the rest of the issue, longtime readers will notice that the way Slott has written Peter’s dialogue and inner monologue is strange, and we eventually find out why when Spider-Man is summoned by the Avengers to the Raft (the ultra high security prison for supervillains) because Ock’s about to die and he keeps saying the name of Spidey’s secret identity.

And then, once the two are in the room, we get the big reveal.  We now know why Peter’s words sound so strange in this issue.

It’s because one of the most ridiculous and asinine predictions for what would happen in the “Dying Wish”/Amazing Spider-Man #700 arc ended up being true–Doc Ock somehow switched his consciousness into Peter Parker’s body and vice versa, and Ock’s body dies with Peter’s mind trapped inside.

I’ll probably still buy #699 and #700 just to have a complete run up through the “final” issues of Amazing Spider-Man–and I’ll probably still buy Superior Spider-Man #1, because, well, eBay–but for the first time in about five years, I’m not all that excited about the next issue of Spider-Man.

On the bright side, I can’t imagine this being something that sticks in the long term.  For the foreseeable future, however, it might be time to move on to something else.

RATING:  It’s gonna harsh your mellow, man…but at least the art is good.

 

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #697 – War of the Goblins Concludes!

Amazing Spider-Man #697
Writers: Dan Slott and Christos Gage
Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli [Pencils], Dan Green [Inks], and Antonio Fabela [Colors]

Opening where the last issue left off, Amazing Spider-Man #697 has Peter Parker and Horizon Labs owner Max Modell on the run from both the original Hobgoblin (Roderick Kingsley) and his would-be replacement, Phil Urich–who are also fighting one another.  If you recall, Max helped Peter escape from the Kingpin’s HQ in Hell’s Kitchen while stealing the “Goblin Key” in the process, and was even nice enough to bring him a couple of Spider-Man’s webshooters from his lab. (Remember, Max doesn’t know Pete is Spider-Man.  He only knows that Pete develops Spider-Man’s gadgets and weaponry.)

While running, it’s revealed that Max is wearing a force field that he still has in development and that OG Hobgoblin has a back-up plan in case Philgoblin tries to attack him–a batdrone loaded with C-4 and following Daily Bugle reporter Norah Winters.  The Goblin Key, which opens Norman Osborn’s main Green Goblin cache, begins to ping, alerting Peter and Max that they aren’t far from its location.  Ending up there, they lock themselves inside and try to develop a plan to save themselves from the two Hobgoblins.

This was another expertly crafted issue from Dan Slott and Christos Gage.  It had fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat action and gave the feeling that there was legitimate danger for characters like Max and Norah, who Dan Slott has really given readers a reason to care about during his run on the series.  We also get to catch up with Harry Osborn, who hasn’t been seen in about 50 issues and is now laying low in Seattle with a totally different look, and Roderick Kingsley’s character is expanded upon in a way that totally makes sense.  The two writers also continue to pave the way for December’s Amazing Spider-Man #700 (which I’m really unhappy is the last issue in the series just so a new series with a new #1 can be launched), planting more seeds with the rogue Octobot last seen at the end of this year’s “Ends of the Earth” storyline and the awakening from coma of… Well, you’ll have to read the issue for that, because it’s a big spoiler that’s bound to play into that monumental anniversary issue.

As for the art, Giuseppe Camuncoli and Co. remain on par with the first two parts of this story, delivering work that (and I’m not stretching the truth at all when I say this) reminds me at times of John Romita Sr.’s classic run on the book.  I’m not saying it’s the same, but the influence is very much noticeable and definitely a good thing.

Amazing Spider-Man #697 and the two issues before it are undeniably must-reads.

RATING:  EXCELSIOR!

 

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #696 – Battle of the Hobgoblins!

Amazing Spider-Man #696
Writers:  Dan Slott & Christos Gage
Art:  Giuseppe Camuncoli [Pencils], Dan Green [Inks], and Antonio Fabela [Colors]

When the original Hobgoblin, Roderick Kingsley, was shown alive and well in South America, it was inevitable that he would eventually return to the scene to take on his successor/impostor Phil Urich–especially once Kingsley was shown arriving back in New York City.

At the end of the last issue, Philgoblin had kidnapped Peter Parker, who was distracted by the spider sense jammers placed around the city by Urich’s employer, the Kingpin, and the fat guy’s mole at Horizon Labs, Tiberius Stone.  Meanwhile, Julia Carpenter, the current Madame Web, went into convulsions in the port authority bus terminal and tried to warn Peter about her psychic visions one last time before going into a coma, which is where we catch up with her at the beginning of this issue before things pan over to Kingpin’s headquarters in Shadowland/Hell’s Kitchen.

Kingpin and Philgoblin make an ultimatum with Parker–he lives if Spider-Man delivers the briefcase he took from Philgoblin at the beginning of the previous issue.  Peter tells the two that he has no way of contacting Spider-Man because he does so via Spider-Man’s spider sense, and the spider sense jammers are currently blocking that.  Philgoblin then decides they’d be better off e-mailing a hostage video to Max Modell, owner of Horizon Labs and Peter’s boss, who then delivers the briefcase himself–which we find out holds the key that unlocks Norman Osborn’s largest cache, containing everything from his Goblin tech to the secrets he amassed as the Iron Patriot when he was in charge of the H.A.M.M.E.R. national security agency and the Dark Avengers.

While this is going on, we find out that the real Hobgoblin is doing his research on Philgoblin and knows that he’s obsessed with Daily Bugle reporter Norah Winters and that his uncle is reporter and longtime Spider-Man supporting cast member Ben Urich.  He shows up and conveniently distracts Kingpin, Philgoblin, and the dozens of Kingpin’s Hand ninja henchmen, allowing Peter and Max a window of opportunity to escape, but not before Peter finds a way to destroy the central transmitter for the spider sense jammers and snatches the “Goblin Key” from Kingpin’s possession.

Overall, this was a great second part to the “Danger Zone” story arc.  The Hobgoblin battle was a given from the moment Kinglsey returned, and it was played out very well. Dan Slott and Christos Gage also do a great job here of once again hammering home the idea that Phil Urich is a “dark reflection” of Peter Parker by drawing parallels to his “Uncle Ben” Urich and Norah Winters’ potential Gwen Stacy-esque fate.  There’s a lot stuffed in this issue, and a lot of questions are raised–particularly as to whether or not various people are connecting the dots when it comes to Pete’s secret identity.  The art here is also fantastic, though there are a couple of weird panels on the third page that have a lot of random black dots (all over the background on the second panel, and all over Philgoblin on the fifth).

Regardless, this issue maintains a fast, action-packed pace and ends on yet another cliffhanger.  I can’t wait to see what happens next, and isn’t that the way all comics in the superhero genre should be?

RATING: EXCELSIOR!

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #695 – Sick Sense

Amazing Spider-Man #700
Writers:  Dan Slott & Christos Gage
Art:  Giuseppe Camuncoli [Pencils], Dan Green [Inks], Antonio Fabela [Colors]

After spending the better part of nearly two years believing Dan Slott had killed him off, fans can rest assured knowing that the original Hobgoblin, Roderick Kingsley, is back in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man.

And he ain’t happy about the guy who took up his mantle.

The issue starts with Spider-Man interrupting a briefcase heist being committed by current Hobgoblin and Kingpin muscle Phil Urich.  Philgoblin, as we’ll call him from here on out, has a trick up his sleeve, though.  Shady Horizon Labs scientist Tiberius Stone is on an adjacent rooftop ready to activate a spider sense jammer, but the plan backfires and enhances Spider-Man’s senses.  Narrowly escaping, Hobgoblin flies off with Stone in tow, but not before Spidey spots them.

Looking for answers, Spider-Man heads to Horizon as Peter Parker to ask his boss, Max Modell, if he knows where Stone is.  It turns out, however, that Daily Bugle reporter Sally Floyd is at Horizon writing a profile on the tech company, and someone let it slip that Pete “provides technology” to Spider-Man.  Naturally, Pete is instantly concerned that the story might allow people once again being able to put two-and-two together about him being Spider-Man (Dr. Strange–or Mephisto, if you’re still inexplicably angry about “One More Day”–fixed that for him after Civil War by implementing a psychic blind spot).

Heading to the Daily Bugle to try and convince Editor-in-Chief Robbie Robertson to cut that part of the story, he runs into Norah Winters and Phil Urich in the office right as Stone switches on amped-up spider-jammers citywide.  Elsewhere, Madame Web’s psychic powers go into a frenzy and she projects her consciousness out into the city to deliver a message to Pete, right as the jammers are sending his spider sense into a frenzy and distracting him long enough for… Well, you’ll find out if you read the issue.

Dan Slott and Christos Gage craft a perfect beginning to the “Danger Zone” arc, raising questions about Madame Web’s fate and teasing us with a brief page of Roderick Kingsley.  It’s already obvious that there’s an impending Goblin throwdown being set up, but if this is going the direction of once again revealing Pete’s identity to the world at large, one has to wonder what the point of the retcon a few years ago was.  Regardless, this issue’s tone is perfect and, having read The Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus Vol. 2, in the last several months, I frequently found myself comparing it to the Lee/Romita Sr. run–definitely a good thing.  Even Giuseppe Camuncoli, Dan Green, and Antonio Fabela felt more “classic” than what I’m used to seeing.

It’s gonna be a long two weeks waiting for the next issue…

RATING:  EXCELSIOR!

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #694 – The 50th Anniversary story arc concludes!

Amazing Spider-Man #694
Writer:  Dan Slott
Art:  Humberto Ramos [Pencils], Victor Olazaba [Inks], and Edgar Delgado [Colors]

If Amazing Spider-Man #692 and 693 were about introducing Alpha, then this week’s #694 is all about setting the character up for his next chapter–whenever that may be.

Deciding to take a break from his research at Horizon Labs, Peter Parker heads out to the airport to say goodbye to his Aunt May and her husband, J. Jonah Jameson Sr., before they head back to Boston.  As is the case when he has something to do or somewhere to be, he’s interrupted.  The Avengers request his help fighting off Terminus, who’s once again intent on taking over the Earth.

The Avengers unfortunately have the bright idea of having Spider-Man summon Alpha, and the egotistical teen hero with more power than everyone else present darts across the world from Japan to lay the smackdown on Terminus.  This causes problems, as the fight takes place above the airport and Alpha’s irresponsible use of his powers short circuits all of the planes currently in the air–including the jet carrying May and Jonah Sr.  Naturally, the day is saved, but as soon as Alpha leaves, Spider-Man and the Avengers all agree his powers, created in a lab accident by Peter’s “Parker Particles,” must go.

But, irreparable damage may have already been done.

Dan Slott packs a lot of great moments into this issue, continuing to showcase Alpha as an extraordinarily unlikeable character.  At least two recurring members of Spidey’s supporting casts get apparent status quo changes here, as well.  Seeing Peter act in a more stern, almost parental-like manner was different for a change, and I especially enjoyed Dan’s nod to all of the people who are unclear as to whether or not Spider-Man is still a Future Foundation member.  Combine this with Ramos’ art and a nice lead-in to the “Danger Zone” arc and you’ve got a solid conclusion to Slott’s 50th Anniversary story arc.

RATING:  A Tantalizing Tale in the Mighty Marvel Manner!

*ALSO:  If you didn’t notice, this issue’s cover was an homage to a classic cover from when the “big two” comic publishers could play nice every now and then.

At 10:00AM EST Marvel spoils your Wednesday!

Death pf Professor X

Professor Xavier Makes The Ultimate Sacrifice in Avengers VS. X-Men #11, On-Sale Now! 

New York, NY—September 12th, 2012—In the move that shocked and saddened comic book fans worldwide, beloved super hero Professor Charles Xavier meets his demise today in Avengers VS. X-Men #11. In the penultimate chapter of the biggest comic book story in 2012, superstar creators Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel rally the forces of the Marvel Universe against the final two members of the seemingly all-powerful Phoenix Five—Cyclops and Emma Frost. But as this epic battle rages, Cyclops makes a decision that not only takes the life of the man who formed the X-Men and raised him like a son, but that also may damn both the Avengers and the X-Men!

“When we first crafted Avengers VS. X-Men, we didn’t set out to kill any characters but as the story progressed it became obvious that this had to be the last stand of Charles Xavier”, said Axel Alonso, Editor in Chief, Marvel Entertainment. “He’s one of my favorite characters and while like all fans I’m sad to see him perish, both Brian and Olivier deliver a powerful, dramatic conclusion to his story. Rest assured his death will reverberate across the Marvel Universe, leading into major launches like Uncanny Avengers and All-New X-Men this fall.”

Then, on October 3rd, the dramatic conclusion to the series arrives in Avengers VS X-Men #12, as the remaining Marvel super heroes launch their final assault on the Phoenix Five and the force that threatens to consume all of reality. Once this battle ends, nothing with be the same for the Avengers, the X-Men or anyone else in the Marvel Universe.

Plus, Join the Marvel ReEvolution as Marvel brings fans even more value to their comics reading experience. Every issue of Avengers VS. X-Men comes packaged with a code for a FREE digital copy on the Marvel Comics app and with exclusive, behind the scenes extras via the Marvel AR app powered by Aurasma.

Don’t forget to get your copy of Avengers VS. X-Men #11, the comic everyone’s talking about, on sale now in comic shops everywhere, on theMarvel Comics app, and the all-new Marvel Comics Webstore!

For more on Avengers VS. X-Men, please visit http://avx.marvel.com

AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #11 (JUL120528)

Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS

Penciled by OLIVIER COIPEL

Cover by JIM CHEUNG

ON SALE NOW

 

AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #12 (JUL120535)

Written by JASON AARON

Penciled by ADAM KUBERT

Cover by JIM CHEUNG

ON SALE – 10/3/12