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Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron is like a new episode of the biggest, most expensive TV show of all time. It’s not the event that the first movie was, and it might not be as Earth-shattering as I expected, but Age of Ultron is nonetheless a fun, exciting and action-packed movie starring all of our favorite superheroes. And therein lies my biggest complaint, which is really a non-complaint.

There’s a familiarity to Age of Ultron that leads to contentment. The movie doesn’t really give us anything new to get excited about, instead delivering just another solid chapter in this ongoing saga.

Movie Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

I liken Age of Ultron to a TV show because that’s exactly what it felt like while I was watching. I may have been in a packed movie theater, and it’s been three years since the last episode, but Ultron was definitely the ‘monster-of-the-week’ in the latest episode of The Avengers. All of our favorite characters are back, their friendly, comfortable banter is exactly what we’d expect, and everything is more or less tied up in a nice, tidy bow by the end. Lessons are learned, a little romance is slipped in, and now we just sit back and wait for the next episode.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way with any movie sequel before. It’s a weird feeling.

But the episodic feel doesn’t keep the movie from being entertaining. It’s an exciting film from beginning to end. In the big picture sense, the movie is amazing. But when you step back and really think about all the moving parts, it’s not without some flaws. Director Joss Whedon juggles a few too many characters, so that some get a lot of attention — like Hawkeye, in some standout moments — while others are little more than props — like Thor, who spends most of his time dropping hints about future movies.

The new characters are a mixed bag. The titular villain, Ultron, is too entertaining to be menacing. That’s an odd way to describe a super villain, but it’s exactly how actor James Spader pulls it off.

I like Age of Ultron, a lot. It’s not as good at the first Avengers film, largely because the spectacle has worn off, but also for a lot of little reasons. Yet overall, it’s another exciting film in my favorite franchise of all time, despite those little reasons.

Join me after the jump for my full, detailed review. And there will be SPOILERS!

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Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews 9/6/14

Guys. Girls. Deep breaths. I just got my birthday present. And I am over the moon! For anybody who read my List of Six this week, today is my birthday – at least if you’re reading this on Sept. 6. And what was the number one thing on my List of what I wanted for my birthday? A new Multiple Man comic book. Unfortunately, that didn’t come true. But what did this week give me instead?

A brand new Madrox cameo! Sort of!

I love everything about this

Behold Matt Rocks, a duplicate that Jamie sent to Los Angeles to become a big, rich, powerful attorney to the stars. He makes a guest appearance in this week’s new issue of She-Hulk, and it is just all manner of exciting. I think this is the first time any sort of Madrox has appeared in a comic since last year. In fact, the final issue of X-Factor was released this very same week – the week of my birthday – last year. You can read my review! How cool is this? One year to the day from Madrox’s last appearance and he shows up in She-Hulk, one of my favorite comics. This is the coolest comic book birthday present a guy could ask for (or at least one of them)!

No need to guess what wins Comic Book of the Week, because I am incredibly biased. Fortunately, She-Hulk #8 is a great comic even without the Madrox cameo.

And we need some good comics in a week that includes the finale of Original Sin and a pretty weak issue of Uncanny X-Men. This is also the first week of Death of Wolverine, my review of which you can read over at Word of the Nerd.

Comic Reviews: Batman Eternal #22, Lumberjanes #5, Moon Knight #7, Original Sin #8, She-Hulk #8, Uncanny X-Men #25. 

Seriously you guys, Madrox!

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Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 7/19/14

I have a feeling that the closer we get to the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, the more prevalent the GotG cameos will be in Marvel comics. We’ve got at least two this week – that I read – and both are painfully obvious. It’s like Marvel is working overtime to erase all of the goodwill built up by all those amazing movie trailers.

I am going to be seeing Guardians of the Galaxy on opening night. But you better believe I’m not about to pay for one of their comics.

Fortunately, we’ve got a pretty good pile of books this week. New issues of Uncanny X-Men and She-Hulk were pretty darn great. If you’re a supporter of Cyclops, like me, things are going to get pretty awesome pretty fast. We also kick off the return of Robin at DC Comics, but for some reason, I’m pretty much subdued as far as that goes. And we’ve still got comics like Original Sin and Batwoman to stink up the joint. But we rebound with another (inter)stellar issue of Silver Surfer, which wins Comic Book of the Week for an adorable trip to Cape Cod.

But if I’m being completely honest, and more than a little shocked, Batman Eternal wins moment of the week for this hilarious bit. Batwing and the Spectre have just entered the haunted, overrun Arkham Asylum.

That is the smartest thing Batman Eternal has written so far.

Comic Reviews: Batman Eternal #15, Batwoman #33, Original Sin #6, Robin Rises: Omega #1, She-Hulk #6, Silver Surfer #4, and Uncanny X-Men #23.

You can also eventually check out my larger review of Ms. Marvel #6 over at Word of the Nerd.

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Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 7/5/14

Happy Day after Independence Day! Did everybody watch the movie, Independence Day, like I do every year? Or should do every year…I need some Fourth of July traditions. I need to be more patriotic. And there’s nothing more patriotic than reading comics! Especially Captain America comics…which I didn’t do this week. Man, I’m bad at this.

Anyway, I mostly read Marvel comics this week, because DC didn’t have much of anything to tickle my fancy. We’ve still got new Batman Eternal, because I’m still subjecting myself to that series. But we’ve also got new issues of X-Factor, Magneto, Moon Knight, Original Sin and the first issue of Legendary Star-Lord. If you’re wondering why they added the word ‘Legendary’, well, it’s kind of obvious once you read the comic, but not for the reason Marvel probably wants.

Thor: God of Thunder #24 wins Comic Book of the Week for another one of those quieter, talking heads issues that Jason Aaron does so well with this series. I tell ya, Thor has never felt so grand and yet so personable.

Needs more Beta Ray Bill.

Comic Reviews: All-New X-Factor #10, Batman Eternal #13, Legendary Star-Lord #1, Magneto #6, Moon Knight #5, Original Sin #5 and Thor: God of Thunder #24. 

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Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 6/21/14

Now this was a good week. I love comics. I’m pretty sure that’s kind of obvious, what with this blog. And it’s weeks like this that remind me why I love them so much. So many good issues, so many fun characters, such good writing and art. Comics are so brilliant these days. And I’m sure I’m barely scratching the surface as I stick to mostly Marvel and DC. There’s probably a world of indie titles that are even better.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the week where I dive headfirst into indie comics. Instead, this is the week where Marvel and DC put out some great books! Not only to we get a couple of big finales in Uncanny X-Men and Thor: God of Thunder, but Wonder Woman has a pretty amazing pre-battle sequence. Quality comics, the lot of them. Over at DC, I was delighted with the new issue of Harley Quinn. And even Batman Eternal managed a few surprises. Can you believe it? Of course, the issue was still pretty crummy, but who doesn’t like surprises? The latest issue of Original Sin was also pretty crummy, but it had a neat surprise too.

Comic Book of the Week would have to be Silver Surfer #3 by Dan Slott and the Family Allred. It’s the most Doctor Whoish issue yet, and that’s just wonderful.

Comic Reviews: Batman Eternal #11, Batwoman #32, Harley Quinn #7, Original Sin #4, Silver Surfer #3, Thor: God of Thunder #23, Uncanny X-Men #22, and Wonder Woman #32.

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