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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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Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

You can’t see it right now, what with the computers in the way, but I am saluting the flag. I feel an overwhelming swell of patriotism growing inside me, having taken in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This is a damn fine country and it produces some damn fine movies about damn fine superheroes. How many does this make for Marvel? How many amazing action movies have they produced so far? The Avengers was one of the biggest movies of all time, and all three superhero follow-ups have been dynamite, with Captain America 2 probably the best of the bunch. This movie has everything. This movie is everything.

It makes me proud to be an American.

Movie Rating: 9/10 – Great.

Not that American patriotism is the driving factor of The Winter Soldier, I just needed a good opening. This movie is actually about SHIELD and the secrets it keeps, and how Steve Rogers may be the only honest man left who can get to the bottom of the mysteries that lie at the heart of the organization. SHIELD has been the glue that binds all of the Marvel movies so far. Heck, Marvel went ahead and based a whole TV show around them. But something inside SHIELD is starting to crack, and Captain America is just the sort of hero we need to save the day. He’s not flashy like Iron Man or Thor. He’s not at war with himself like the Hulk. Steve Rogers is just a man, for the most part. He’s determined and honest, and a lot tougher than most. But he’s a man who wants to do the right thing, and has the strength to stick with it when the odds seem overwhelming.

Plus he’s brought along a bunch of neat friends. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is almost as much of an ensemble film as The Avengers, and it works just as good.

In terms of sheer spectacle and excitement, The Avengers is still the best. But The Winter Soldier is of the same caliber and quality. The action and danger are very real, with ties to both The Avengers and Captain America’s first film. The characters are true to themselves, and grow beyond what we’ve seen before. And, as always, that signature Marvel wit just saturates the film. The dialogue is delightful, the banter is beautiful, and the film knows exactly when to sprinkle in the humor.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is everything we’ve come to expect from the Marvel Movie Machine. Once again, Marvel raises the bar for action movies and superhero movies everywhere.

Join me after the jump for the full review. I’m going to try to keep SPOILERS to a minimum.

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Review: The Avengers

The Avengers was phenomenal. It was amazing. It was deliriously wicked. It was the perfect blend of mind-blowing action and heart-tugging giddiness. I could wear out the Thesaurus with the ways in which The Avengers movie lived up to everything I had hoped, and shined in ways I could not have imagined. We comic book geeks have been waiting for this movie our entire lives (and more specifically, since 2008), and Marvel Comics and director Joss Whedon have delivered a superhero extravaganza!

The new kings and queen of Hollywood

The Avengers is not only now the definitive superhero movie, it has raised the bar for all Hollywood blockbusters that will ever be made from this day forth.

Rating: 5/5: Great!

With The Avengers, this grand, long-gestating experiment by the Marvel movie people has come to glorious fruition. I always had faith that they could pull it off. Iron Man in 2008 was a brilliant film, and when Samuel L. Jackson appeared at the very end and teased ‘The Avengers Initiative’, I knew there was hope.  Then The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, all came along over the past few years, each one exciting and highly entertaining. I’m a fan of all of these films. But could Marvel really pull off The Avengers? Could they not only bring all of these major characters together into one film, but have it make sense and live up to the overwhelming hype?

I should be ashamed for even including those questions in my review. The answer is so incredibly ‘HELLS YES!!’ that I’m almost afraid of having my Internet License revoked.

Every Avenger gets a moment (or more) to shine. The humor is legitimately funny and delightful. The fights and action scenes are clear and exciting, with no blurring or over-editing. The Avengers are people first, action stars second; with a lot of character-based drama. Loki as the villain is far better here than he was in Thor, and easily carries the antagonist role. The climax was sufficiently chilling and climactic.

And the Hulk absolutely steals the show, smashing his way into our hearts. I could not be more pleased with this movie.

Some **SPOILERS** to follow.

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There’s a Black Nick Fury?

Well there is now!

In what has to be one of the silliest, most ham-fisted attempts to force the Marvel comics universe to look like the Marvel movie universe, the company is doing away with the classic Nick Fury and has invented, out of the ether, a brand new Nick Fury that looks exactly like the one appearing in next week’s The Avengers movie. He’s got the eye patch, he’s got the goatee, and most importantly, he’s black. They even came up with an insane, soap opera-esque way that he can be called ‘Nick Fury’.

Meet Nick Fury Jr., the long lost son of the normal Nick Fury, who just happens to bear a striking resemblance to Samuel L. Jackson.

He’s also wearing Captain America’s hand-me-downs

It boggles the mind that Marvel would be this desperate to try and get fans of the movies to pick up the comics. Haven’t sales shown that this doesn’t work? There is no huge increase in comic sales correlating with big budget movie releases. The crossover in sales just doesn’t happen!

But Marvel doesn’t seem to care. They’re more than willing to throw continuity and common sense in the garbage if it means even a tiny bit more brand awareness. I hate when executives get their hands on the creative properties.

Join me after the jump for a bit more explanation.

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