Comics, Movies, Video Games, and More

"Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."

~Ephesians 5:16

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Super Mario....Complaints from a Fan

You know I talk about Godzilla a lot. Also Marvel Comics and Spider-Man, but another thing I guess you can say I'm a 'fanboy' (I hate that term) of is the Super Mario franchise. Who didn't play Super Mario Bros. when they were six? (Sadly, a lot of today's generation.) I never had the SNES or N64, I originally had the Game Boy Color and the Gamecube. My first Mario game was Super Mario Bros. Deluxe for the Game Boy Color. It amazing. It was also the first time I had almost broken a system out of rage for constantly losing on the final level. (Darn you hammer throwing Bowser!) I still own the cartridge. My second experience with the franchise was Super Mario Sunshine, which I had originally proclaimed 'My favorite game ever!" when I opened it that 2004 Christmas. Ah, Shadow Mario and FLUDD. Those were the days. Mario since then has been in an untold amount of games. Sports, such as the always fun Power Tennis or the borefest that is Toadstool Tour. It wasn't until 2007 that we would get the true successor to Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy. I don't remember my first impressions, but today I realize at how phenomenal and needed that game was. Fast forward five years later, I'm now 16. I've played Galaxy 2 and 3D Land, these days I've been beginning to wonder.....has this series evolved or stayed the same?


When you buy a video game, are you buying it for the story, or the gameplay? Obviously you lean toward the story aspect with games like Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy, the story is the main selling point in those. For a better Nintendo-related example, the stories in the Zelda games are a high selling point. Mario on the other hand has never been about its stories. Yeah, the non-canon stuff like the Mario & Luigi and Paper Mario games have some pretty deep plots, but I'm not talking about those. I'm talking about the main platformers, the big ones. Super Mario Bros. came out in 1985. Amazing gameplay that defined 2D gaming for the years to come. The story, as told from the booklet, features Bowser kidnapping Princess Toadstool and using his 'dark magic' to take over the Mushroom Kingdom. Simple, but effective. At that time, no one played games for their story, they played it just to have fun. The infamous Super Mario Bros. 2 soon arrived. Now that actually had a unique story.....only it doesn't count, since it's all Doki Doki Panic. Super Mario Bros. 3 introduced some new concepts, the airships and Koopalings. The Princess was eventually kidnapped. Then one of my personal favorite games ever, Super Mario World, came out. That one featured everyone's favorite dino, Yoshi. The Princess was kidnapped in the opening scene. Then we entered the 3D realm...

Super Mario 64 did for Mario what Sonic Adventure did for Sonic, it introduced the world of 3D to the title character. The blocky textures look outdated, but it introduced the core gameplay mechanics for the future platformers. Here Bowser kidnapped Peach and took over the Castle. Next up, Sunshine. I will give props since this is a pretty story-driven game for the most part. Peach was eventually kidnapped by Shadow Mario. (Who, ugh, turned out to be Bowser's bratty kid.) However, you might notice that Sunshine is the 'black sheep' of the platformers. When you hear about them, it's either 64 or Galaxy. Now that we're talking about Galaxy, it was a five year gap between it and Sunshine. This game was the 'modern Mario experience.' So yes, I will say that the Princess technically should have been kidnapped, it was a modern take on the franchise, bringing in some slight emotion and making Bowser cool again. This is where the story recap paragraph ends, on to the point...

Super Mario Galaxy 2 came out on May 23rd, 2010. I was there opening day, I was the most excited kid in America. It's the most fun game I've ever played. But do you know the interesting part? The game takes place in an alternate reality. Kind of a cop-out if you ask me, it's just an excuse to have the same exact story.  The game is basically a remake of the other one. It was about a year and a half later when Super Mario 3D Land released for the small console. In it, the Princess gets kidnapped.....again. Do you see a pattern? I know I do. The Mario franchise is the most repetitive game series of all time! The story does not change at all. Its fellow Nintendo neighbors Zelda and Metroid always have great storylines. Mario on the other hand is forced to do the exact same thing over and over again. Do you know the truly sad part? Miyamoto knows this, he's practically laughing with New Super Mario Bros. Wii, that game is pretty much a parody of the whole concept. The other Nintendo people want dramatic scenes with the Princess being kidnapped, but Miyamoto's line is "Cake works!" Mario is in a world with Zelda, Mass Effect, and even Sonic, who has evolved past the stage of just beating Dr. Robotnik. (Though with Colors and Generations, I fear it's heading back to simpler days.) Super Mario has a world full of rich backgrounds and characters, but it's never explored. Gaming has evolved past the simple idea of a story, Mario has been left behind. Kirby may be the only Nintendo property along the same side with Mario, but even then, it has a game rated E10 for action violence. I've yet to see a Mario platformer E10. If that upcoming Mario game for the Wii U has the Princess getting kidnapped by Bowser again, I may lose all faith in humanity. Now this brings me to my next point.

Character Development 

To be fair, Mario isn't the only one that suffers from this.....or maybe he is. Link, while he never talks either, you feel him him develop as you play through Ocarina of Time or Twilight Princess. Samus has her development thanks to Fusion and Other M. (Much to everyone's horror.) Mario is a hero that does what needs to be done, you can see it on his face in Galaxy at how he holds morality and justice at heart. Mario's not the problem, it's everyone else. Let's talk about Luigi for a second. He had his own game called Luigi's Mansion back in the day, where he undergoes fear, but fights it in the end. After that, he disappears until Galaxy, where apparently if he somehow gets on a roof, he can't get down. Or better yet, when he climbs up a tree, he can't climb back down. Yeah I get it, he's the comic relief scaredy cat. That's fine....but it never goes anywhere. It's like a really bad cartoon where the comic relief guy never gets any type of development. It's been hinted at that Luigi secretly hates being in Mario's shadow, why not go on that further? Oh yeah, it goes back to the story never changes. He'll be having his own game yet again in Luigi's Mansion 2, but will that change anything? Even if it does, will it affect future games, or will everything head back to normal? Princess Peach is pretty much nothing other than the damsel in distress. What exactly is her relationship with Mario? Good friends? Boy friend and girl friend? In the past two games, she does nothing other than shout "Mario!"

Bowser is an interesting case. At first glance, it looks like he's gotten no development at all. But if you look really closely, you'll notice a few things. In all his appearances until Super Mario Sunshine, he's kidnapped the Princess in order to take over the Mushroom Kingdom. However, starting in Galaxy and even a little in Sunshine, you begin to notice a slight change. He isn't kidnapping Peach just to rule, he's kidnapping her to mess with Mario. This is further proved in 3D Land, when he boastfully waves her around as he runs away from Mario. There's development here, you just gotta look deeper. But that's the point, it shouldn't be like that. It seems these characters are trapped in a one dimensional plane of existence. The games play it too safe, they're afraid of making any kind of change with these characters.

Where We Are Today

We're still at square one. Right now we have Luigi's Mansion 2 to look forward to, it does feature the return of King Boo after all. I doubt this game will affect the Mario series in any way, but at least we'll probably see some development for Mario's green-hatted brother. We also have New Super Mario Bros. 2, which will be an extremely fun game, but I am 99.9% sure that the story is going to be as lame as the Wii one. Really, we're going to have to wait and see what happens in Mario's next platformer outing on the Wii U to see where this series goes. This article is not here to bash the franchise, for I am, and always will be, a loyal fan. It's here to express concern of how weak some aspects of the series are. We can only wait and see wat happens now, will anything change in the next five years? Time will tell.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Monster of the Week: Gamakujira

Gamakujira is the lamest monster in all of existence. Look at that picture, he's rolling his eyes at how awful they made him. In fact, his eyes were rolled for his ENTIRE appearance. That's right, he never looks at anything straight, his eyes are rolled the whole time. Let's not forget to add that this guy is the most cowardly monster of all time, even more so than our chicken-headed friend Gigan. Let's add to the fact that this is his only appearance ever. That's right, he's so lame that they didn't even bring him back to be a one shot monster for that Galaxy Mega Monster movie. Pearls had risen in price one faithful day, that is where the events of The Pearl Defense Directive takes place.

Gamakjira had his un-humble beginnings with attacking a truck (his only reasonably cool moment) full of pearls. You see, this guy's gig is that he's a pearl eater. Wait, what? That's right, he doesn't care about destruction or fighting, he just wants to swallow pearls with that fake looking tongue. It wasn't long after that the Science Patrol arrived. After some hits by some missiles that probably even Minya can withstand, this guy high tails out of there. He doesn't want trouble, he just just wants those darn pearls. Unfortunately for him, the Science Patrol wasn't going to have that. Gamakjira's only defense other than his weight is an attack ripped off from a whale. To even include whales in the same sentence as this guy would be a crime to whales everywhere. Eventually this crocodile frog thing escapes into the water and.....goes to sleep on some overgrown rock. Literally the only thing on this beast's (I don't even think he deserves the title 'beast,' Giant Condor can take out this guy) mind is pearls, cause those are the first things he's heading toward when he awoke the following morning. While looking like he's struggling to swim, the Science Patrol eventually captured him in a net and lifted him much to his humiliation. Much to everyone's surprise and shock, he broke free and fell into the ocean. What happens next is that missiles keep hitting him and he falls on the ground struggling and probably begging for mercy. However, he happened to land in a vacation spot where a bunch of girls were getting their summer tan. Much to their horror, Gamakjira saw their pearls and started to walk (or perhaps tries to walk, this is definitely the worst suit from any Japanese Kaiju thing) toward them. However,Gamakujira is so un-threatening that one of the girls was smiling while running cause she knew this guy wasn't going to be any trouble. What happens next is perhaps the most humiliating thing to happen to a kaiju ever, well, maybe other than Skydon being blown full of hydrogen to look like a balloon.

Before I continue, I just want to say that this monster has the worst roar ever. He sounds like he's completely bored of everything, which I wouldn't surprised if that's the case. So do you know what the Science Patrol's plan was? They shoot a missile.....which then carries Gamajira into the sky. In what is perhaps the most laughable scene in the history of laughable scenes, you see this monster being flown around and there's literally nothing he could do about it. He was shaking his head at how ridiculous all this was. It wasn't long until Hayata transformed into everyone's favorite Power Ranger, Ultraman. And now the really, really sad part here is that there's no fight between the all. Ultraman flies into Gamakujira, who's shaking his head the whole time, with his eyes rolled up of course. Ultraman flies into Gamajira, and he explodes. No dignified end, he died with his head shaking and his eyes rolling, never to be seen again. (Unless you count his motionless body heading to the Monster Graveyard in space.) Skydon may have been the 'joke' character, (fun fact is that the Gamakujira suit was be used to create Skydon, I guess lame monsters create lame monsters) but Gamakujira is truly the biggest joke of a monster out there. Every time he's on screen it's hard not to chuckle. Thanks to all this, he's one of the more memorable Ultra the worst way possible.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Weekly Comic Reviews

Hey all, welcome back. All I have is one comic review for you loyal readers this time around, Amazing Spider-Man #686. I know this place hasn't been getting as much posts as I want, but believe me, I have big plans for Destroyer's Editorials and Reviews. You can look forward to what is going to a great and funny Monster of the Week entry tomorrow. For now, onto the review. 

Amazing Spider-Man #686

Official Description

• In this perilously penultimate issue of “Ends of the Earth” Inferno: Earth rages! • We promised the End of the Earth… and this is it, Jocko! • Guest staring: a doomed planet.


This issue was a blast. It felt like a comic from the late 80's/early90's. The writing here us strong, Spidey himself is portrayed great. Mysterio is written fantastic for the most part, his lines are great. The issue's fast paced, yet the story runs smoothly. The plot twist you'll see here is just unbelievable. After you find out, you're like "Of course." But wow, Slott really knows how to surprise a reader and make this story engaging. The quality made the issue worth the $3.99.


Black Widow came off as just plain cold and emotionless. During the latter part, the writing started to get a bit off with a certain scene. Unless there's a double cross, the whole part just didn't make much sense and felt forced. JJJ seriously needs to be written better.


You know, with all the dialogue and everything going on, I didn't really pay attention to the art. It's good when a story is so engaging that the art becomes secondary. (It's the opposite for Justice League.) With that said, I think Caselli should stay on the title for awhile, his work fits the book perfectly.


Maybe the best entry in the Ends of the Earth event yet. The writing is strong, the characters are great, and some things you weren't expecting happen. While a certain scene in the latter part didn't make sense and felt forced, (this character would have already knew that) Amazing Spider-Man #686 is still another example of how to do a Spidey comic.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

GODZILLA #1 Review

If you asked me what was my most anticipated thing this year, I would have said THE AVENGERS....or not. I've been waiting for GODZILLA #1. After the realization that Kingdom of Monsters would be ending, I thought that was it for G's comic career. For awhile it was in limbo, until we got word from IDW that they would be doing a brand new, 'fresh' series. While it's in the same continuity as Kingdom of Monsters, their words for it are 'soft reboot.' Whatever you want to call it, GODZILLA is a new start for the big lizard. Kingdom of Monsters was a very mixed series, as you know if you've followed my coverage of it in the past. In the end, it was a fun story that brought back all my favorite characters from hibernation. With the film seemingly in development hell, I have the comic to look forward to. Like with Kingdom of Monsters #1, I wasn't overly impressed with this issue. By no means bad, but it's lacking the punch I was expecting.

Here's the official description IDW themselves:

Godzilla is back... in an all-new ongoing series! Duane Swierczynski and Simon Gane launch this ultimate action-movie blockbuster, ushering in a new era of monster battles. Ex-special forces tough-guy Boxer is a man with a grudge and vows to end the terror of Godzilla, no matter what. He assembles a top notch team to take down monster-sized threats... at $7 billion a bounty. What starts as a vendetta could become a lucrative business for Boxer... if he can live past day one!

The very first two pages were so amazing. It's shows the TOHO logo and then on the other page it shows Godzilla in Japanese writing. Just looking at those two things made me feel like a kid on Christmas morning. I then turned to the next page to find Kumonga crashing a wedding. Gotta give props to that, no wedding had ever been crashed before in G history. It's good to see unique concepts such as that. Then we are given scenes with Rodan and Battra attacking cities with the tagline: "The giant monsters are rising once again." So yes, this is a direct followup to Kingdom of Monsters, there's nothing being ignored here. First off, I like that they're giving back to the fans. Kumonga had a one panel appearance in the whole Kingdom of Monsters series, so it's good to him here. It wasn't really explained how Godzilla, Rodan, and Battra had thawed out. Not a true big deal, I guess it makes sense for new readers. This series looks to be just a tad bit more character driven than Kingdom of Monsters.

For some reason, I don't like the narration boxes. They ruin the mood and atmosphere. Our main character is Boxer, kind of a slight opposite to Steven Woods from Kingdom of Monsters. While definitely not a bad focus, I think he could have been established better. He doesn't have that likable exterior Steven had when he first appeared. I must give props to the fact about a plot twist I didn't see coming. Let's just say that this series looks to keep the no holds-barred dark tone of Kingdom of Monsters. Characters die when you least expect it, as seen here. Writing isn't particularly strong. Not as bad as some of the cringe worthy writing from some of the earlier issues of Kingdom of Monsters, but nothing too great either. I'm not really sure where this bounty hunter angle is going to go, it's totally unnecessary. What the heck are they going to do to any of these monsters?

The art is in mixed territory. While slightly better than Victor Santos from Kingdom of Monsters, the humans look way too sketchy. However, the monsters, namely Godzilla, look great. G is in his complete Heisei look here, some great panels with him. (The double page spread is fantastic.) It even rivals Arthur Adams's work with G back in the Dark Horse days. In Rodan's brief panel appearance, he actually looks like Rodan instead of Gyaos. I hope he actually looks impressive in this series. Kumonga looks like Kumonga rather than just a giant brown spider. I would have preferred the eyes to have more of a purple look, but it's a minor thing. There are three covers this time around. Cover A is a wraparound featuring a stylized GMK Godzilla, very dynamic. Cover B shows G's foot with a puddle showcasing him, great perspective. The variant cover shows Boxer standing in front of Godzilla, the perspective here is fantastic. Really good covers. Regarding the monsters, sadly once again they're portrayed as walking events. I want to see some personality displayed in these guys, we've only seen that in Gangsters and Goliaths and Legends.

Overall, not the awesome start I was hoping for. It's still not a bad beginning, just like with Kingdom of Monsters #1. It may seem like a continuation of the whole 'monsters appearing and attacking' thing, but I have faith that as the issues go on, we'll be getting some pleasant surprises. I'm happy to see these characters back in media, I'll be reading further.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Godzilla Gets an Update.....or Does it?

This weekend was the yearly London Kapow event. It's a comic con. What was so special about this particular one? Why am I even writing about it you ask? Well you see, Gareth Edwards had attended. The name may not mean much to the average reader, but it does to me, this guy is currently directing the upcoming GODZILLA film. So this was pretty big, it looked like we were finally going to have an update. It had been literally months since the last one. I don't know about you, but I was really anticipating this. I was expecting a huge update. Something along the lines such as when filming would begin, or who the opponent is. We would at least get a rough release date, right? Well....

"It's going great and I'm genuinely excited about it. We're just working really hard with Legendary, who have been fantastic. Thomas Tull has just been an absolute pleasure and nothing like the experience they warn you about when you go to Hollywood. I can't say much other than I hope that we'll have some proper news soon. So you won't have to wait too long at all."

Yes, that's it. That's what we got. Do you know what that really translates to? That's just a professional way of saying "No update." You think I'm being selfish? I mean, since at least there's word, I should be happy? We're still at SQUARE ONE people. Development? Filming? Casting? A stinking release date? None of that. It could be years before Legendary puts this as a priority. Did you know that this film is still technically targeted to come out this year? Yeah, there was no comment on that either. That quote is nothing but a joke. He 'hopes there will be some proper news soon.' Not 'there will be news soon' he hopes there will be news soon. I don't blame Edwards, I blame Legendary Studios. This whole thing is turning into a big joke. Legendary Studios paid a lot of money to able to use Godzilla, so technically they want to make a film. But watch, one of these days, we're going to hear that this film is being canned. That, or it'll take years like with TriStar and their film.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Monster of the Week: Gigan (Showa)

Gigan is the giant cyborg chicken that hails from Space Hunter Nebula M. Alright, maybe he's not a chicken, but it's always fun to refer to him as that. Gigan as you know is a cyborg, which could only mean one thing: he was originally a creature that lived on Nebula M. Obviously it was destroyed and the 'Nebulans' rebuilt him as a cyborg. Probably when he 'died' he had lost all his sanity. Yes, Gigan is the serial killer of the Godzilla world. He stabs and keeps stabbing, the sight of blood just makes him want to keep going. As you can see, he's the most unique looking monster in all of Godzilla. No history is really given before the events of Godzilla vs. Gigan, there's just speculation. The way they talk of him in the film means that he must have existed on Nebula M for awhile. The Nebulans were giant cockroaches in disguise. Their plan? Use Gigan and Ghidorah to take over earth, that's where the events of Godzilla vs. Gigan take place....

The Nebulans had infiltrated Earth, and it wan't long after that they sent a call for Gigan and Ghidorah. Usually these two wouldn't be teaming up, but the Nebulans needed them to, so they mind-controlled both of them so there wouldn't be any problems. The only thing they didn't fully anticipate was the arrival of both Godzilla and Anguirus. Godzilla of course went for Ghidorah, them being the biggest rivals. Our friend Gigan went on to completely beat up Anguirus. Gigan is a taunter, as seen when he openly taunted Anguirus to try and save Godzilla while is buzzsaw was going. (Anguirus eventually did run straight into it, not with pretty results.) As the fight raged on, somehow the human characters managed to destroy the mind control device. Gigan and Ghidorah now had free will again. Upon seeing Godzilla on the ground, Gigan went for him. Either the Nebulans had told him about G, or he just likes attacking downed people. See, Gigan is a bully at heart. He's not quite the bruiser like Ghidorah, he attacks the weaker ones or when monsters are weakened. Upon seeing Godzilla weakened, that's where he showed his true serial killer persona, repeatedly stabbing the King of Monsters to the point where his head opened up. Saying the cyborg chicken is brutal would be an understatement. He then presided to drag Godzilla to Ghidorah, who then slammed him away with his cackling heads. Gigan was obviously enjoying this, putting on his victory dance and clapping Ghidorah on the wing. That alliance was short-lived when Godzilla got Gigan to bang into Ghidorah. The two presided to argue while Godzilla and Anguirus began to plan. Thus began the downfall of the two monsters. Gigan is not like Titanosaurus, he's cowardly. At the FIRST sign of major trouble, he's out. The humiliating part for him is that he tried retreating twice yet kept getting shot down by Godzilla. Eventually the two monsters retreated into space and went their separate ways. However, it wouldn't be long before ol' Gigan ran into Godzilla again...

The year is 1973, when a lot of Japan was strangely empty. That, or no one went out of their houses that particular day. What's special about this day and year is the rise of the Seatopians...or so they had hoped. They had sent their 'god' Megalon to terrorize Japan. Unfortunately for them, Megalon wasn't the brightest or strongest of monsters. Jet Jaguar was making short work of him. The Seatopians couldn't have this, so they asked the Nebulans if they could borrow Gigan for a bit. (Apparently lost civilizations has connections with outer space.) Gigan is apparently very loyal to the Nebulans and will do as they say. They must also have a way with communicating with the monster, since he knew exactly where to go. Now this was interesting, instead of Gigan being basically the lackey for a bigger monster, it was the other way around. He would be calling the shots. Right when he arrived he was telling Megalon that they would be teaming up. He then precided to show the Seatopian god how to REALLY beat up on someone. In one particular scene he really clawed into Jet Jaguar the way Jason would hatchet people to death. Megalon was pretty much enjoying this, he and Gigan shared the iconic scene of a monster high five, claw to drill. Of course, Godzilla appeared, scaring the living daylights out of both Gigan and Megalon. What would follow is the famous 2 on 2 tag team battle. Gigan is a cunning monster, even teaching Megalon the trick of playing dead. Of course, being a bit on the cowardly side, the cyborg doesn't hesitate to take hostages, case in point when he grabbed Jet Jaguar and threatened to cut his head off to Godzilla. What follows is another humiliating scene as Godzilla just plainly blasts him away. The roles would be kinda reverse when Jet Jaguar breaks Gigan's arm and grabs him like a police offiver would a robber. Eventually he would retreat into space since Megalon was defeated. However, that wouldn't be the end for our cyborg friend...

Gigan would have a true one-on-one fight with Godzilla in the show Zone Fighter. Here he's given an upgrade by having parachutes. Yes, it looks cheesy as heck. See, Gigan thinks he's pretty awesome. After he lands, he tries to 'impress' Godzilla by slashing some rocks. Of course he's knocked down by G in the next minute. At least here the cyborg shows some of his true strength. After Gigan puts up a decent fight, he is later confronted by Zone Fighter himself. After humiliating Zone Fighter for a bit, the latter finally destroyed him. Yup, Gigan wasn't destroyed with dignity in a movie by Godzilla, he was destroyed in a show by a second rate Ultraman.

That would be the end of the Showa incarnation of Gigan. While not the strongest of monsters from that era, he proved to be the most memorable. With his taunting gestures and cowardly tactics, you can never get bored of this guy. Despite all that, he's by far the most brutal when it comes to fights, right next to Destoroyah. He's the Nebulan's assassin, and we're left wondering why he doesn't ever use his eye laser. Could have been effective in these fights. Ah well, while he's been humiliated on more than one occasion, he's still a monster you do not want to mess with if you're a beginner at the system. He's quite the contrast from his calm and collective Final Wars counterpart. Still, there's no denying that the Showa version of Gigan is one awesome monster in design, concept, and persona.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Weekly Comic Reviews

Hey all, welcome back. I know I said last week you won't be seeing my wonderful comic reviews anymore, but they're back, I'll tell you why. You see, over at Unleash the Fanboy, three new recruits had jumped on board the comic reviewing bandwagon. This put me in a new position, I was now officially a 'boss.' No joke, I'm the leader in the comic reviewing department on the site. The others are also reviewing Marvel and DC stuff, and they have a Wednesday evening deadline for those. Since mine don't usually get done until about Friday, I decided to let the others review the Marvel and DC comics for the site. That means the Weekly Comic Reviews are here to stay. This week we have Avengers vs. X-Men #3 and Justice League #9.
Avengers vs. X-Men #3

Official Description
• All across the globe—in the Savage Land, in Wakanda, in Tabula Rasa and more—Avenger battles X-Man for the fate of the world! • Hope has a suicide mission to propose to Wolverine! • While in space, the Avengers’ away team meets the Phoenix head on!


There's a certain danger in this issue, it's in the tone, the dialogue, and just everything. This is how events should be done. It's not overly complicated like Fear Itself, the story is moving smoothly. Fast paced and fun, this issue also managed to progress the event really well. So much happens that by the time you reach the great cliffhanger ending, you're left wanting the next issue immediately. Dialogue is pretty strong, especially with Cap. Action was good and satisfying.


Some of the dialogue felt off, namely with Wolverine and Hope. Spidey's only line of dialogue is so bad that it made me cringe. Do these writers really not know what to do with him in these events anymore? The X-Men and Avengers fighting like this still feels a little too sudden.


John Romita Jr. impresses here, his style works for this series. The fights come alive and he draws a nasty Phoenix. The way the bird is drawn here gives it a demonic look never seen in its previous appearances over the years.


Another strong entry in the Avengers vs. X-Men event. You feel the impending doom as the Phoenix approaches. There's a lot of great superhero-drama in this issue, good stuff. It really made me want the next issue in my hands.


Justice League #9

Official Description
• "THE VILLAIN'S JOURNEY" begins here! Part one of a story introducing an all-new major nemesis for the Justice League by GEOFF JOHNS and JIM LEE!• In part three of the SHAZAM! backup story, Billy Batson attempts to get used to his new life, new school and new family as Sivana unleashes an ancient evil imprisoned long ago.


Well an actual story arc is being done, and a pretty good one too. This issue has everything a JL fan wants. Arkham Asylum going crazy, Batman and Superman teaming up, and an interesting new villain. The good cop bad cop sequence with Flash and Green Lantern was admittedly funny. The backup Shazam story is getting very interesting.


Dialogue was plain awful for the majority of the issue. News reporters and civilians don't talk like that. The dialogue is just weak, I expect a lot better from Geoff Johns.


Well, just as I've stated before, this is some of the best art in comics. Dynamic, it's the primary reason why this series is getting above average scores currently.


A much stronger issue than the previous one, a new, interesting story arc begins. It has some fun geek-out scenes, but the awful and generic writing is the culprit holding the issue back from getting a higher score.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack Review

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus had one of the worst box office showings in the franchise. To keep things fresh and to bring back all those un-loyal fans, they decided to go ahead and step out of the norm for this film. First off, this is the only really fantasy based movie in the series, no science fiction here. Now how exactly were they going to make this a standout film? Why, hire the guy who directed the Heisei Gamera trilogy of course, Shisuke Kaneko. Now there was something to look forward to here. Originally the film was going to have Anguirus and Varan instead of Mothra and Ghidorah. TOHO decided that to bring back the people, they would use two of their most popular characters instead of The Unbelievable and Godzilla's sidekick. GMK on its first viewing is one of the greatest things you'll ever witness. Repeated viewings loses a little of its greatness, but it's still a step above the average Godzilla film.

The official description from Sony TriStar:
Fifty years ago, the Japanese Defense Forces killed Godzilla or so they thought. When a series ofterrifying natural disasters begin to plague Japan, including the inexplicable offshore sinking of a U.S. submarine, a mystic old man warns his nation that Godzilla has come back to destroy Japan asrevenge for all the souls lost in the Pacific War. When mere military might can not squash the monster, the mystic man awakens the Holy Beasts of Yamato - King Ghidorah, Mothra and Baragon, sleeping giants that protected Japan in ancient times. These untamed mammoth beasts take on Godzilla with frightening supernatural brute power that has been 2,000 years in the making. Tradition and technology collide in this chilling high-tech, cutting-edge fable.

This is one of the G films where you can actually picture sitting down in a theater and watching. It has that cinematic feel that 2000 established. The film succeeds in making Godzilla out to be an actual giant monster. Camera angles help that, great perspective. You can see Kaneko's elements from his Gamera movies here. There's a great fantasy backdrop here. Earth guardians, 1,000 year old dragon, stuff you'd probably find in some random anime. Whereas Megaguirus was a more fun science film with giant insects, this one is dark and serious. While not as depressing as the original Gojira, it's one of the darker ones. The cast here is pretty good for the most part, but wasn't as great as I remembered.

Yuri is our main character this around. You'll notice that a lot of the same actors keep appearing in these films. She was.....okay. Then there's her level-headed friend Takeda. He's basically there to give us the scoop on the Guardian Monsters. There's also Yuri's father, the best character in the whole thing. He felt genuine. Then there's the mysterious old man. His role is basically to warn the characters that "Godzilla is coming!!!!!" With that said, with his limited appearances, he was definitely one of the better characters. There are a bunch of side characters (Actor Yukijiro Hotaru from the Gamera trilogy appears with a very similar role, another sighting of Kaneko's take here) but the majority of them are about average. The cast overall isn't that great, but still pretty good. The monsters on the other hand are pretty spectacular on the other hand. (Well maybe not so much Ghidorah.)

Godzilla is really GODzilla here. They really wanted to show the audience how powerful he was, he's portrayed as practically invincible. First off, the suit. You'll notice how different it is. Obviously the standout feature is the eyes, it's all white, no pupils. It's awesome and makes G look just plain emotionless. Here we have him actually attacking humans, you can see the darker approach to his character already. It's good to see such a drastic version of G, it's interesting to see him on the complete evil side. That itself isn't the most shocking part, the big thing here is that Ghidorah is a guardian monster. What that means is that he's the good guy and we're rooting for him. This is one of the most controversial things in all of Godzilla. Ghidorah's a wimp in this film, there's no getting around that. He only becomes half of what he should be when Mothra merges with him. Before that, he's pretty much thrown around like a rag doll. While he looks like an ancient dragon, it's hard to see him getting beaten up so easily. You don't go from being the 'King of Terror' to this weakling. Mothra gets a different look here, a lot more insect-like. It's a unique take and fits the film, but I wouldn't want to see it in a future film personally. And now we have Baragon. He gets a major redesign, he looks fantastic. His portrayal is great, and he's just a fun little monster to root for. He looks realistic, one of the highlights of the film. You really do feel for him as he's getting pummeled by Godzilla.

The soundtrack is a highlight here. We get some very powerful themes here. It may be different than the iconic Ifukube themes, but different is (usually) good. There's the amazing intro theme, King Ghidorah's theme, it's all good stuff. One must admire at how great they made the destruction sequences here, the special effects are some of the best in any G film. The scene where Ghidorah transforms into King Ghidorah is awe-inspiring. Godzilla's dramatic first appearance was great, and the carnage he leaves in his wake is felt. The battles are pretty cinematic, G's battle with Baragon is a nice throwback to the earlier fights in the series. It was also cool to see the jab they did at the 98 film in the beginning, only Godzilla fans would get it. It was also a very nice touch to have the classic Godzilla theme playing over the credits. Such a great ending, and the final fight is pretty climatic.

Overall, GMK is a very solid film. It has that cinematic feel and scope last seen in 2000. Godzilla's dramatic portrayal was great to see. We also get Baragon, a monster that hasn't been seen since DESTROY ALL MONSTERS, which was over thirty years ago. Mothra gets a unique design and Ghidorah.....shouldn't have been here. Rodan should have been here instead. Now that I think about it, that actually makes a lot of sense. Anyways, what's done is done. The special effects are some of the best in any G film, the CGI and the monsters look great. Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack is one of the most high quality of the G films. After repeated viewing, you do however realize that the cast is just above sub-par. Still, this film is a highly recommened entry.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Ultraman: The Original Series Review

When you're a Godzilla fan, you're most likely into Gamera too. Those are the big ones American fans like. However, other than those two, another name is huge in the kaiju genre: Ultraman. Believe it or not, Ultraman is a lot more popular in Japan currently than Godzilla. I've always heard of Ultraman growing up, but I never thought much f it. I dismissed it as just being another Power Rangers. Boy was I wrong. Years later today, I'm part of the TOHO Kingdom forums. While there, Ultraman and his many monsters were always popping up. Over time, the comments about the franchise made me want to check it out, it seemed like something a Godzilla fan would enjoy. Sadly, DVD releases are limited, the franchise isn't exactly big in America. However, the original series was available on DVD (for under $10!) so I picked it up. Ultraman: The Original Series is the pioneer of the Ultra franchise, it's an enjoyable series for all kaiju fans.

The original Ultraman series is famous for its 'monster of the week' thing and of course its main character. If you don't know, the focus is on the Science Patrol, the elite of Japan. (Complete with 60's style suits and laser guns.)  We have Hayata, (Ultraman's human host) Captain Mura, Ito, Arashi, and the lovely Fugi. These guys just work great together, the chemistry, they're just nice. Hayata, well, how can one not like him? He's the definition of a 'nice guy who does what's right.' The Captain is great, he shows a demeanor that deserves respect yet he genuinely cares for his members. Ito you'll be seeing a lot, the comic relief member. Well, to be fair, he was only truly comic relief in the earlier episodes. His slapstick scenes ("Who turned off the lights?!) was thankfully dropped as the show went on. Arashi is more the worrisome member, he doesn't get as much screen time as the others. Then there's the only female member of the group, Fugi. She's definitely needed in the cast, she adds a certain meekness or innocence to the group. (They even turned her into a giant in one episode.) Yes, the cast really works here, they all have great chemistry with one another. Oh, almost forgot the only kid member, Hoshino. At first, he may seem like someone who just hangs around there, but later in the show he gets his own uniform. Though he doesn't participate in battle much. The only thing this cast is missing is a dog.
It's Godz-Jirass!

Ultraman is a classic character. He has a great backstory that sadly was never expanded upon in the series. The first episode is a bit slow, but does a good job with establishing Ultra's bond with Hayata. The character of Ultraman is pretty awesome I have to say. Based on his name you think he's some cheesy superhero? Think again. Ultraman is a hero, but he's not without a distinctive character. He's always ready for a fight, and won't hesitate to openly mock his opponent, such as with his fight against Godz-I mean Jirass. Here we see him do something that would happen only once in the show: laugh. He completely openly mocked Jirass the whole time. So don't think this guy is a cheesy Power Ranger, he's hardcore. This brings us to the most important aspect of the show: the monsters.

Every episode featured a new monster, with the exception of the Prince two-parter. The original show is famous for its diverse cast of monsters. Sadly, a lot of them are some of the lamest creatures you'll ever find. The first episode featured Bemular, (you have to see how this guy's weak little arms flap around) a good first opponent for Ultraman. The second one featured the fan favorite Alien Baltan for the show's first science fiction-themed episode. After that, the neo-Bargon Neronga. Not a bad first three, then of course the Creature From the-I mean Ragon. However, the main problem I found with the series is that in a lot of the earlier episodes, there was no danger for Ultraman. He completely destroyed the monsters with ease, sometimes they wouldn't even land a single blow! It wasn't until Episode Seven when the always-awesome Antlar appeared. That was the first fight where there was actually a chance Ultraman might lose. Alien Zarab was a pretty great villain, especially with the Fake Ultraman concept, good stuff. There are some really great designs here, Antlar, Zetton, Dorako, Telesdon, Alien Mephilas, among others. Sadly, with every cool monster appearance, there's usually two lame ones. Gamakjira being the biggest offender of them all. The suit and actual monster is so awful that it's laughable. And I don't know why the show relied on four-legged creatures so much, they get old fast. Still, one can't deny the uniqueness displayed here, Gyango might just be the most creative design I've ever seen for a kaiju.
The always amazing Antlar

There are a few standout episodes. The first one that really stood out was Episode Eight, when they went to the Ultraman version of Monster Island. That one featured a few different monsters, but the one that stood out was the fan favorite Red King. Neat design, great portrayal. However, his best appearance was when he returned in Episode 25, another great episode. (That one also featured the first appearance of Dorako, a pretty cool monster if you ask me.) Another standout, (or infamous) is Episode Ten. To be more clear, it features Jirass. This monster is famous for one thing: it's the Godzilla suit with a frill. What's even more funny is that Ultraman actually rips off the frill. Now we're left with Ultraman fighting a painted Godzilla. It's hilarious, but that's part of the charm. The series is episodic, the only two-parter is with the famous Gomora, the first monster to actually defeat Ultraman. However, the one that stood out the most was Episode 22, 'Overthrow the Surface.' Right from the start it's different, the coloring looks dark and the way it's filmed gives the impression of the shaky cam style. In this Twilight Zone-themed episode, the simplistic yet awesome Telesdon appears. Man that was a strange episode. One of my personal favorites was Episode 37, where Ultraman battles the 'Chief of all monsters' Geronimon. But that's not really the reason why I liked it, it featured the return of two of my favorites monsters: Dorako and Telesdon. What I don't understand is why they replaced Dorako's Gigan-like claws with normal hands and took out his wings. Geronimon was extremely underwhelming. A lot of monsters in this show are, but for the 'Chief of all Monsters,' I expected better. Still, that episode did feature a weapon built by Ito that could destroy whole monsters. There's also the 'joke' episode of the series, Episode 34, featuring the 'Heaviest Monster in all of Existence.' That episode was practically a parody of the show itself. Then of course there's the famous final episode...
Zetton, the ultimate monster

'Farewell Ultraman ' is the last episode of the series. I couldn't ask for a better climax. This one features aliens who come to earth and awaken the 'most powerful monster in the universe.' This monster is Zetton, who completely pulverized Ultraman. Zetton is definitely the show's ultimate villain, his design is incredible. His roar or better term his sounds give off a sense that this guy is an emotionless being. The fight I hear a lot of people say it should have been better. Honestly, I thought it was perfect. It isn't very long, but every move made by both was felt. You know Ultraman was going to lose, and he did, he was completely defeated. Zetton is then destroyed by a prototype weapon built Dr. Iwamoto, my only complaint. Zetton is obviously the most powerful monster in the show, yet you have him beaten by a human based weapon? I read that the original intent was to have Ultraman's superior defeat him, which would have been so much better. Still, the ending has such emotion, you don't want it to end, but it's over. By then they should have realized that Hayata was Ultraman, but hey, we live in a world where it took Lois Lane years to find out that Clark Kent was Superman.

Overall, the original Ultraman series had a lot of heart. It's oldschool and fun. A lot of aspects are outdated, but it doesn't lose its charm. You'll be smiling every time you hear Ghidorah's roar on the Science Patrol phone. While a lot of monsters are weaklings and look lame, there's a great number of them that would be pretty great in a Godzilla film. The fights are classic Showa type, lots of wrestling here. Ultraman is a show all kaiju fans would enjoy, and for under $10, how can one go wrong? Ultraman may look cheesy on the outside, but at its core, it's show filled with heart and characters you can root for.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Weekly Comic Reviews

Greetings all, here I am with this week's edition of the Weekly Comic Reviews. This time we have the third issue of Avengers Assemble and a surprise new #1.....G.I. Combat. Yes, I know this was released last week, but I hadn't realized until it was Monday. Once I saw that cover, how could I resist? Oh, before we begin, an announcement. The Weekly Comic Reviews will be leaving this blog and journey into Unleash the Fanboy starting next week. So be sure to check out that site. Now, let's get started, shall we? 
Avengers Assemble #3

Official Description
• Avengers versus the Zodiac! But who is behind the Zodiac? • PLUS! The reappearance of a team of characters you’ve been clamoring for!


Lots of fun, this issue was basically fights all over the place. Nothing beats relaxing with an all-out action packed comic. The majority of the Avengers character portrayals are great, especially Iron Man. (Fun writing there.) Satisfying action with some cool moments such as Hulk beating the living daylights out of a Zodiac member. Thor is at his best here. Pretty cool final page that makes you want the next issue in your hands right away.


Bendis is one of my least favorite writers currently in the industry, and this issue is icing on the cake. The writing just feels juvenile at times, especially for each and every Zodiac member. They all talk the same! Hulk's dialogue felt out of place and sounded like things Red Hulk would say. The character who appears on the last page has such generic dialogue, it's as if he's seeing these characters for the first time.


Some fantastic art here. The battles are colorful and the characters look great.


A fun action-packed issue. The writing is often borderline bad sometimes however, which is really the only thing holding it back from getting a powerful rating. Still, a pretty awesome final page that will make the reader come back next month for #4.


G.I. Combat #1

Official Description

• First issue of an ongoing series! • Featuring the first chapter of "WAR THAT TIME FORGOT" written by J.T. KRUL and with art by ARIEL OLIVETTI….and dinosaurs! • Plus: The first chapter of "UNKNOWN SOLDIER" by JUSTIN GRAY, JIMMY PALMIOTTI and artist DAN PANOSIAN focuses on all-out war in Afghanistan!


Dinosaurs! What can I say? You put these creatures in anything and I'm there. The first story feels like a classic giant monster movie, and that's a good thing. It's exciting and has DINOSAURS. They have plenty of screen time too, it's a blast. It's summer blockbuster action with America's favorite creatures. There was one part of the writing I liked a lot, where the main character's wife says "I want to know which part of the world to direct my prayers and Google for news." Good stuff. As for the second story, it's more serious and dark. It's quite a contrast to the other one. While it does not have the dinos, it's engaging in its own right. The 'Unknown Soldier' is such an intriguing character and I look forward to seeing where his story goes. The writing here in this one is really strong.


Sadly, the writing isn't that strong in the first story. Stuff you'd here in a generic summer blockbuster. Nothing Transformers awful, but not half as strong as Unknown Soldier.


Pretty dynamic art, the dinosaurs look INCREDIBLE. The splash page with Rod-I mean pterodactyl attacking the helicopter looks fantastic. When the flying dinos appear, it's just intense, all thanks to the art. The cover, wow, it's just fantastic. May just be the best cover this week.


There are two stories in this comic, and the one you're most likely buying it for is the first one. 'The War That Time Forget' is a fantastic start, featuring soldiers against dinosaurs. If that's not fun, I don't know what is. While the writing could have been a little better, it's a blast. The second story 'Unknown Soldier' is rather the opposite, it's character driven. The writing is stronger and it's just engaging from beginning to start. G.I. Combat looks to be the underrated comic from The New 52.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Marvel's THE AVENGERS Review

By now you've probably read a thousand reviews for this film. So what's the point of writing a review that will be positive like the rest? Every reviewer has their own personal likes with a film, so it's always good to add your say. Like many, I've been reading comics for a long time. Let's rewind time to ten years ago. I would be six, the idea of an Avengers film was nothing short of a dream. Yes, super heroes on the big screen was reality, but just the thought of seeing something such as the Avengers just wasn't possible. Fast forward six years later, with the first Iron Man film. Still, the thought of a film like this was still unbelievable. That was, of course, until the after-credits scene with Nick Fury saying "The Avenger Initiative." (I was one of the many who spoiled it by watching the leaked version online.) Imagine all the excitement after that, the possibilities were endless. Thus began the 'countdown to Avengers.' Marvel had a blast with hyping it up using the next films; Incredible Hulk, then Iron Man 2, then Thor, and finally Captain America. By then, we knew an Avengers film was imminent. Now, we had to wonder if they would get it right. A film of such magnitude could easily go the other way. Well true believer, as I'm sure you've read over a thousand times already, the Avengers is everything you want it to be, and then some. It's by far the greatest comic book movie of our generation, and probably won't be surpassed until Avengers 2.

Here's the official description, cause it'll describe it better than I could.

Marvel Studios presents in association with Paramount Pictures “Marvel’s The Avengers”–the Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when “Marvel’s The Avengers” assemble in summer 2012. In “Marvel’s The Avengers,” superheroes team up to pull the world back from the brink of disaster when an unexpected enemy threatens global security.
What is the main purpose of a film? Yes, there many purposes these days in the movie industry, but I think we can all agree that a film's main purpose is to entertain, to let the viewer escape reality for a bit. With that said, it's no surprise that Avengers may just be the most entertaining film since Godzilla Final Wars. There's so much action, yet a really great story is squeezed in there. There's this crazy group called the 'general audience.' What that means is that there's this very large group of people who can't accept things that don't feel 'real' or anything on the insane fantasy side. The Avengers appeases both sides, if the numbers are to be believed. This movie is bringing in the money, even on the international scale. Let's face it, the Avengers brings everything it promised. It's fun, fast-paced, and often times humorous thanks to the awesome cast.

Wow, this is probably the most diverse cast I've ever seen in a film. We've seen these people in their respective movies, but the performances by each actor here easily trump their own performances in their films. First off, Chris Evans as Captain America. I gotta say that in his solo film, he was good, but here, wow. Now I can't think of anyone else who would have done a better job. Evans did a phenomenal job as the First Avenger, he was by far my favorite character. The way Cap's portrayed was spot on, he takes charge and is established as the definitive leader. C'mon, who doesn't geek-out when he gives his fellow Avengers commands on how to handle the invasion situation. Plus, he had my favorite line of dialogue, "There's only one God ma'am, and I'm pretty sure He doesn't dress like that." Even if the mask looks a bit cheesy, Cap was truly great in this film. Of course, the 'general audience' will always be a big fan of Robert Downy Jr. as our Iron friend. I don't blame them either, he's the definitive Tony Stark, having the most witty and humorous lines of the whole thing. Seriously, one can't help but smile every time he's on screen. Not really feeling Chris Hemsworth as Thor. Not bad by any means of course, but I didn't think he was that great in the role of the Thunder God. (I'm not saying he was bad, he was good, just not great like Downy or Evans.) I gotta say that another standout role was Scarlet Johansson as Black Widow. She was good in Iron Man 2, but I thought she didn't get to showcase what she could really do in the role. Anything negative said in the past about her with the role should be put to rest, she was one of the best characters in the whole thing. The Black Widow is my favorite female superhero, and I approve her portrayal in the film. Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye was pretty good, pretty much what'd you expect from a live action Hawkeye. While he didn't get as much as a focus like the others, he still had a pretty big role for the most part. Now time for Loki. Tom Hiddleston did a FANTASTIC job as the God of Mischief, like he was pulled straight out of the comics. He brings realism into his role, something that a lot of antagonists in these films lack. (Puts Doctor Doom from both Fantastic Four movies to great shame.) Mark Ruffalo (aside from looking a tad too old for the part) was great as Bruce Banner/Hulk. He added a certain 'coolness' to his role. He's the Hulk, he's accepted that, and has moved on. At first I thought he wouldn't have anything on Edward Norton. However, after this film, I can safely say that he makes a just as good, if not better Banner. Samuel L. Jackson returns as Nick Fury once again. He was great, (naturally) but got a smaller role than I thought. He barely fought, I was expecting maybe for him to fight a little more. Also, how can one not like Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson? It's cool that the Marvel Cinematic Universe added this guy, he's a fun addition to the great cast.

Surprisingly, the whole 'invasion' part felt short.  There was a lot of buildings blown up, but I think it could have been more of a focus. A disappointing part was the Chitauri, they're nothing but mindless pharaoh looking creatures. (I think I know where Battleship got the design ideas for their aliens.) Also, the 'Leviathan' part was hugely disappointing. They (that's right, there's more than one) are finished off rather quickly by Hulk. There are however many geek-out moments here. Yes, there is a Thor vs. Hulk fight. Yes, it's satisfying and awesome. In fact, the battles are some of the greatest I've ever seen in a live action film, the choreography is amazing. We're getting fights from the comics we've always dreamed of. You can't help but cheer when Cap stepped in to battle Loki like a boss. (With some great dialogue from him to compliment the entrance.) Then the fight between Thor and Iron Man was just amazing, it's just a blast seeing these two together, let alone fighting it out! There's this really nice scene with the big three (Cap, Iron Man, and Thor) standing together. It was also a nice touch to have Thor swing his hammer just like from the comics. Comic fans will of course appreciate these little things more. (Thor's hammer banging against Cap's shield? Yes, it has that.) One thing that didn't make sense to me was when Hulk first transformed. He wanted to kill Black Widow, but later on, he seems to be in control and on the heroic side. (Even saving Iron Man from the brink of destruction.) It wasn't quite clear if Loki was controlling him or not. Besides that, I can't really name anything bad or inconsistent, because there really isn't much negative things to say. We get some great dialogue between the characters, some awesomely humorous moments, (Hulk beating around Loki like a rag doll, you would have to see the scene to get the full laugh) and it's the Avengers on the big screen. I'm almost surprised I came this far into the review without fainting from the awesomeness.

Overall, what's more to say? The Avengers is a darn fun film. The cast is top notch, and I really mean that. There's never a dull moment, the dialogue is always fun and often times with humor. The mid-credits scene is also amazing, it really makes the hardcore Marvel Comic fan's heart pound with excitement. The Avengers delivers in every category; acting, action, soundtrack, and overall fun, We get what no one thought possible in a live action film: Hulk vs. Thor. Joss Whedon has successfully done something no one ten years ago thought could happen: bring Earth Mightiest Heroes to the big screen. The only thing truly missing is the iconic battle cry, "Avengers Assemble!" But besides that, The Avengers captures everything a comic fan wants, and then some.


Weekly Comic Reviews

And here we are again. Welcome to this week's eddition of the weekly comic reviews. I apologize for the lateness one again, I hadn't received the issues until Thursday and didn't complete the reviews until today. I would have done so yesterday, but I was in Manhattan watching Avengers. (Look for my review coming later today.) Now, without further ado, we have Avengers vs. X-Men #3, Amazing Spider-Man #685, and Detective Comics #9. Let's get started. 

Avengers vs. X-Men #3

Official Description

• The Avengers and the X-Men scour the Earth searching for the host of the Phoenix! • Hope takes matters into her own hands! • And Captain America and Wolverine come to bitter blows!


The whole beginning was interesting, it amazes me that to this day a writer can still find some way to trick a reader. There was a really great dialogue sequence between Cap and Iron Man. The writing for the most part is very good. The best scene was the short, but incredible fight scene between Cap and Wolverine. So much drama and epic crammed into that fight.


Too much is happening quickly. It's like some of these characters have just met recently. There was no update on what's up in space. Cap seems to be ever so slightly out of character, he seems rock hard with everyone as if he has no history with them.


More mixed this time around. It's great for fights, but sometimes the characters look off. In one panel Storm looks like an evil mastermind. Whenever a character is shown yelling, namely Cap, it just looks....strange. Also, these 'block-heads' are getting really annoying. Cover is fantastic however.


Another strong entry in the Avengers vs. X-Men event. While not as great as the previous two entries, it packs some great super-hero drama. How can a comic go wrong with a Cap and Wolverine fight?


Amazing Spider-Man #685

Official Description 

• Part four of the epic “Ends of the Earth” • Featuring the World’s Greatest Super Hero: Doctor Octopus! • Guest staring Black Widow and Silver Sable.


Spidey is written perfectly, Slott is doing a great job with his character in this event. There's a certain danger feeling throughout the issue, as it should be felt. I also love the team of Spidey, Black Widow, and Silver Sable. The writing is just great with them. I like how Doc Ock is given such a creepy deranged look. And I know I've mentioned this before in previous reviews, but man, the new Spidey armor is just fantastic. Being a big Wall-Crawler fan, I love how he takes charge in this issue, it gives me great satisfaction to see my favorite character getting treated with respect. (Unlike in Avengers.)


Shield believing Doc Ock? I mean really? That's just unrealistic. Also, all of Sandman's dialogue is completely laughable.


Humberto Ramos gives a certain style for this series, it's good stuff. It makes the Spidey armor look great and Doc Ock plain creepy. Some shots look weird though, such as Black Widow being extremely disproportionate in one panel. And I still don't get why Spidey in his regular costume is shown on these covers.


Another very strong entry in the Ends of the Earth event. It's been a blast so far, the best Spidey event in awhile.  The title character is back to being fun to read, plus the story is fantastic with a sense of suspense in the background.


Detective Comics #9

Official Description
• BATMAN has been poisoned at the hands of the deadly MR. TOXIC! • Featuring a TWO-FACE backup story written by TONY S. DANIEL with art by SZYMON KUDRANSKI


It feels like a Batman story. Arkham Asylum inmates escaping their cells? Check. Black Mask? Check. Batman looking tough and yet not like a superhero? Check. The monologue with Dr. Arkham was a nice touch. We've probably seen the Asylum over a thousand times, but this issue still manages to make it interesting. While it ties in to the Night of the Owls, it isn't that confusing and could be read on its own.


Batman's dialogue is painfully bad. Here we have an arrogant Batman who smirks with "Heh." Tony S. Daniel is losing his touch with the title character. Two Face backup story was boring.


The art here is fantastic, everyone and everything looks great. (There's a really nice splash page with Batman attacking an assassin from the Court of Owls.) Cover is great also.


A much stronger issue than the previous ones. We actually get a story worth the $2.99. So it's not going on drop list....yet. This being a tie-in to the greatly reviewed Batman, it's no surprise that this issue was good. Let's hope it stays that way.