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Review: Captain America: Civil War

It doesn’t get much better than this. And I say that fully believing that Marvel can go even bigger, better and more exciting. If after more than ten movies deep into their film slate, Marvel can still produce something as amazing as Captain America: Civil War, then the future remains as bright as ever. This is the epic, spectacular, big bombast superhero movie that Marvel has been building towards all these years.

Movie Rating: 9/10 – Great.

Captain America: Civil War is a glorious mix of spectacle and drama, combining some of the most touching and important character work in the entire franchise with quite possibly the greatest bout of superhero action to ever grace the silver screen. The centerpiece ‘war’ between heroes at the abandoned airport is worth the price of admission alone. It’s worth of price of admission to every Marvel movie we’ve seen so far, building on almost each and every film to instill real emotional heft to these characters and their punches.

When Captain American, Iron Man and their allies face off in Civil War, there is real history behind it. We’ve seen the previous movies. We’ve seen the friendships and rivalries grow and build and strain. We’ve seen Steve Rogers and Tony Stark get testy in The Avengers. We’ve watched Black Widow’s character arc from the sidelines of other movies. We’ve seen Ant-Man consider calling the Avengers for help. This has been a journey.

Civil War is a movie for Marvel fans, for the people who have seen all their movies and probably held mini-marathons to gear up for this new one. It’s not ashamed of that focus, and it shouldn’t be. Marvel is producing a masterpiece on a scale never before imagined, and they’re pulling it off with such skill and excitement that I almost feel bad for other movies.

Like, do any of the previous Spider-Man movies even matter anymore? Batman v. Superman surely doesn’t.

Join me after the jump for the full review. There will be SPOILERS for Captain America: Civil War.

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Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 3/5/16

I don’t know about you, but this was a pretty busy week for me. Work work work work work work work. I tells ya! I was able to get in a full-sized review of the first issue of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, which was pretty fun. But this week’s Henchie Bits are a little on the light side What can I say, I was morphed out.

But hey, any week with new issues of Batgirl and Iron Man is a good enough week for me! We’ve also got the first issue of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s Black Widow. I hope to stick with the title this time.

Comic Book of the Week goes to the second issue of Spider-Man. I do have a soft spot for Miles Morales, and this issue surprised me in a few interesting ways.

Too soon, Bendis

If only Donald Glover was still young enough to be cast as Spider-Man.

Comic Reviews: Batgirl #49, Black Widow #1, Invincible Iron Man #7 and Spider-Man #2. 

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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 – 3/29/14

I’ve come to the realization that I just don’t read a lot of DC Comics anymore. I feel like I was reading a ton of them only a few months ago. But I do have a tendency to drop comics I’m not liking anymore. I haven’t touched an issue of Batman and Robin since they took out the Robin element. I gave up the various Justice Leagues after they all became uninteresting Forever Evil tie-ins. And I’m only reading about half of the Green Lantern franchise books these days It’s just weird. I feel kind of bad. I want to give DC more attention…but nope! The only review it gets this week is Aquaman!

Though I am looking forward to Geoff Johns taking over Superman. Maybe he has the magic touch and can finally give Superman a strong voice in the New 52. Though honestly, Greg Pak has been writing an amazing little story over in Action Comics. I should review one of those issues.

But for now, it’s almost all Marvel this week! We’ve got the first issues of Ghost Rider, Iron Patriot and the highly anticipated Silver Surfer! There’s also a new Hawkeye, and it’s as great as Hawkeye has always been, but everything pales in comparison this week to Superior Spider-Man #30! The biggest chapter so far in Goblin Nation is the Comic Book of the Week and earns my first ever perfect score of 10/10! It’s that damn good!

And we’ve still got one more issue of Superior Spider-Man and Goblin Nation to go!

Comic Reviews: All-New Ghost Rider #1, Aquaman #29, Hawkeye #18, Iron Patriot #1, Silver Surfer #1 and Superior Spider-Man #30.

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Marvel Has Got a Mega-Load of New Comics Coming!

I’ve only mentioned All-New X-Factor and New Warriors so far, because I’m a big X-Factor and Scarlet Spider fan. But at New York Comic-Con, Marvel has announced a whole pile of brand new comics they’ll be putting out in the next couple of months! If I was more on the ball – and not playing the new Pokemon X – I would have already posted about all of them. Instead, I decided to just bunch’em all up on our Monday. Sounds like a fun way to start the week to me. A lot of these sound pretty amazing. And of course they’re coming out just when I told myself I was going to lighten my weekly comic book budget.


Silver Surfer

By Dan Slott and Mike Allred

Dan Slott is apparently a huge Silver Surfer fan, and even though she’s been spear-heading Spider-Man for years, he’s now snatched up the Sentinel of the Spaceways. I can definitely identify with someone falling in love with Silver Surfer as a kid, so this might be the perfect time for me to jump back onto the Surfer bandwagon. Mike Allred will be freed up when FF comes to an end soon (dies a little inside), and I think he might be perfect for the Surfer. Apparently Slott’s plot involves Surfer getting a young, female companion and going on adventures. So basically it’s going to be Silver Surfer by way of Doctor Who, which sounds amazing.

Check out an interview with Slott here.


Iron Patriot

By Ales Kot and Garry Brown

In another example of comics following movies, it seems that War Machine is changing to Iron Patriot for reals. I guess he’s been Iron Patriot for a few months now in the pages of Secret Avengers, but now he’s going to get his own solo series. Marvel has tried to publish a War Machine comic several times in the past, so maybe they’ll have some luck with this new coat of paint. According to some interviews, it’s going to be a heavily political book – I think.

Check out an article about the series here.


All-New Ghost Rider

By Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore

GhostRiderNew

Speaking of characters getting multiple comic attempts, there’s going to be a new Ghost Rider! I’m fairly certain the last new Ghost Rider was around only earlier this year, and it was a woman. But that didn’t sell. This time, Smith is creating a new young man named Robbie Reyes to be Ghost Rider. And apparently instead of a motorcycle, he’s going to have a car. That sounds good to me. I’ve always thought Ghost Rider could be expanded by turning any vehicle into a flaming chariot of awesomeness. Ghost Rider should be riding around on a flaming segway. Not that I think anything is really going to make a new Ghost Rider series work. But good luck to all involved.

Check out the interview here.


Loki: Agent of Asgard

By Al Ewing and Lee Garbett

Who could have guessed how huge Loki would become, huh? I thought he was alright in Thor, and I was shocked Marvel would use him again so soon as the chief villain in The Avengers, but casting Tom Hiddleston as Loki was apparently as big a stroke of genius as casting Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark! So it’s no wonder Marvel wants to capitalize on that sexiness as much as possible. So goodbye, Kid Loki! Say hello to Sexy Loki! Ewing and Marvel are going to turn the God of Mischief into a gorram secret agent. I actually kind of love this idea. It’s a neat use of Loki, and could have some real mileage behind it if people actually buy the book.

And again, I found an interview about the series here.


Black Widow

By Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto

Speaking of The Avengers, also spinning out of that film is a new solo series for Black Widow. I really want this one to succeed. Marvel needs a strong female presence, and Black Widow is really their only major female character who isn’t a derivative of a male hero and who isn’t better known as a member of a team. So seeing Black Widow succeed would be nice. Edmondson says the series is going to be a hardcore spy comic, which definitely works for the character, but didn’t really work for Winter Soldier post-Brubaker. So who knows how this one will do.

Interview can be found here.


Elektra

By Zeb Wells and Mike Del Mundo

Elektra has had a few solo series in the past, and for good reason. She’s a badass ninja assassin, and sexy to boot. She’s as solid an idea for a female protagonist as any. According to the creators, she’s going to be on a mission to take out a league of assassins, while taking some ‘me’ time and not worrying about Daredevil. But I’m pretty sure Elektra hasn’t been linked to Daredevil in years, right?

Did somebody say interview? Check it out here.


Punisher

By Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerads

Where did this Edmondson guy come from? He’s doing Black Widow and Punisher? Sounds like a dream job. But he’s not Garth Ennis, so already he’s at a disadvantage as far as I’m concerned. He’s also not a big name writer like Greg Rucka. So this seems like a basic, straight forward Punisher series written by a new up-and-coming writer. Everybody’s gotta start somewhere. The story will involve Punisher heading to LA to take out some big time criminal, while also dealing with a government group set on taking him down. Could be…something, I suppose.

More information can be found right about here.


Avengers World

By Jonathan Hickman, Nick Spencer and Stefano Caselli

This comic is just an expansion/continuation of Hickman’s Avengers, which I’m lukewarm about. I mostly just wanted to post that stunning picture.

Interview, they have one here!


I’m sure I’m missing one or two comics, but Marvel announced so many! I would have posted some new DC titles, but there weren’t too many notable announcements. I think they’re going to give us a weekly Batman series because DC doesn’t think they put out enough Batman. What do you guys and gals think of these new titles? Anything float your particular boats? I’ll definitely be picking up Silver Surfer, Avengers World and Black Widow, and maybe even Iron Patriot and Loki: Agent of Asgard, depending on my mood on those particular days.

Still, sounds like it was an awesome Comic-Con!

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