This was a pretty fun weekend for Marvel and Star Wars reveals! Disney held their annual D23 event, which has become one of their chances to go hog wild with new trailers, shows and whatnot. We didn’t get a Fantastic Four cast reveal, but we got plenty of good news about upcoming stuff. And since trailers are easy to post on a weekend where I’m still recovering from a cold, let’s just go over the fun trailers!
This looks great! Samuel L. Jackson finally headlining his own Marvel project, and he gets to come in like a total badass and save the world from an invisible Skrull invasion. Cool premise, straight from the comics, and this trailer makes it look like a really awesome spy thriller. That’s perfect. One thing Marvel is definitely doing these days is trying out a bunch of different genres with their superhero umbrella. That’s great, and Secret Invasion looks to really amp up the cool spy stuff next year.
Werewolf by Night
Traditionally, comic book-wise, I don’t care about Werewolf by Night. He was before my time, and then being a simple werewolf, never captured my interest after that. But here we see that his Halloween special will be this awesome, black and white, classic grindhouse horror throwback! Brilliant idea, brilliant trailer; this one should be a done-in-one hoot in early October.
Season 3 of The Mandalorian will come out early next year, and of course I’m excited. Who wouldn’t be excited? This show has taken the world by storm, and it’s the one really good Star Wars property being made right now. Surely it’s gonna stay good. And it looks like The Mandalorian is about to encounter a bunch of Mandalorians. So that’s neat!
I think Andor is going to be really good. I think they’re going to lean hard into the grays of war and uprisings, and give us a really dark, hard look at what life would have been like in the early Rebellion. Should be a lot of fun, in that regard. Shows like Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Book of Boba Fett dealt a bit too heavily on specific storylines; I think this is going to be more open and more badass.
Tales of the Jedi
This one was a surprise, and a welcome one. A bunch of new Star Wars shorts that tell a parallel story between Anakin training Ahsoka and Dooku training Qui-Gon? Hells yes! I’ve wanted for years now to see a story set in Qui-Gon’s early years. Let’s see more familiar Jedi faces when they were younger, when the world was different. This one is coming in October and should also be a lot of fun.
I have been fairly good this quarantine in that I haven’t splurged on a bunch of expensive LEGO just to pass the time. I did buy a couple of sets, but I waited at least a month! Well it looks like the horizon has plenty in store for an old sap like me.
There’s going to be a new, smaller LEGO Avengers helicarrier!
It looks a little awkward, having to shrink down to a more manageable size. But it still looks like a beauty worthy of building.
The set isn’t available yet, but you can set a bookmark and check out some more pictures on its LEGO webpage. The $119 price tag isn’t too bad. Between this set and the upcoming Razor Crest from The Mandalorian, I’m going to be down about $250 in the near future.
More excitedly, this new helicarrier is far more manageable than the previous LEGO helicarrier, which was a monstrous beast for $350. I never did splurge on that one.
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!
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!
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!
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.