Tag Archives: marvel universe

Marvel’s Jessica Jones

I’m a little late to the game, but I finally finished the first season of Jessica Jones on Netflix. Jessica Jones is one of the minor superheroes in the Marvel Universe. She’s appeared in a bunch of comics but she’s never been as mainstream as Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, etc. But now she has her own show, so Girl Power! and all that. Krysten Ritter stars as the titular character. She’s a washed-up superhero that currently works as a private detective. She ends up taking a case that becomes personal and her traumatic past comes back to haunt her. That sounds like a stereotypical film noir plot, but remember this is the Marvel Universe and crazy shit happens.

If you liked Daredevil, you should watch Jessica Jones. They take place in the same timeline, alongside the future Netflix shows Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Eventually all four heroes will team up in The Defenders, the Netflix equivalent of The Avengers. It’s going to be epic. Luke Cage is a character in Jessica Jones and he’s a badass. I can’t wait to see what his own show will be like.

Jessica Jones is slower paced than Daredevil. It kind of creeps along and I had to force myself to get past the first three episodes. There’s a lot of character development and not as much action as hoped. Then the plot kicks in and you start to see what they are trying to do. I think it’s more aimed towards women. I’m not trying to give much away, but the main villain stalks, torments, manipulates, and controls Jessica Jones. She has to fight for her right to be her own person. It’s about abusive relationships as much as it’s about fighting evil with superpowers.

The supporting cast is pretty solid, but David Tennant deserves the most praise for his portrayal of Kilgrave, the main antagonist. I really don’t want to spoil anything here, but I am so don’t read what I’m about to say if you plan on watching the show. Ok, ready? Here it is! SPOILER: he can control minds. He can make people do whatever he wants so he can do a lot of damage. David Tennant can make you sympathize with him, and make you believe that he’s not really evil. It seems like an oxymoron, but he’s a good villain, and you can’t have a good superhero without a good villain.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones isn’t my favorite show. But I would recommend it. That’s what I’m doing now. You would probably like it if you like superhero detective stories and strong female characters. It’s dark and gritty and realistic despite characters with superpowers. It’s worth binge watching.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed By Brendan H. Young

tumblr_nwl6s75QRk1uhnwvfo1_1280

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe (comic)

Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe is limited series about Deadpool killing the Marvel Universe. Deadpool has always been a self-aware comic book character. He knows that he’s a character in a comic. He knows that his life is scripted, and he knows that everyone and everything around him is in the comic too. And so he decides to go against the status quo and he fights back against his creators by killing as many Marvel characters as he can. He kills Spider-man. He kills the Hulk. He kills the Fantastic Four. You might think that I’m giving you spoilers, but fuck you. It’s called Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe! What the fuck did you think was going to happen?

Deadpool breaks the fourth wall and talks to the reader directly. It used to be funny. But it’s kind of disturbing when he starts threatening to hunt you down. Yeah, I know that he’s a comic book character. But he knows he is too, and Deadpool is crazy enough to make good on that threat. All in all, this is a great comic book, and a shining showcase of who Deadpool is. You should read it if you get the chance.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

Deadpool Killustrated (comic)

One of the more interesting things about Deadpool is that he’s aware that he’s a comic book character. There’s a famous storyline where he goes on a rampage and destroys the Marvel Universe and enters the real world to confront the comic book writers and artists who created him. So what’s the next step after that? Well, have Deadpool kill the some of the most iconic character of classic literature of course.

The logic behind Deadpool’s thinking is that he can’t really destroy Marvel characters without first destroying the classic characters who inspired them. And so Moby Dick, Captain Ahab, Ishmael, Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, Tom Sawyer, Dracula, the Headless Horseman, the Little Women, Ebenezer Scrooge, Dr. Frankenstein, Mowgli, the Little Mermaid, the Three Musketeers, and a bunch more need to watch their backs because the Merc with the Mouth is coming for them.

This is a pretty interesting comic. It’s funny, it’s violent, and it’s smart. It reminds me of Alan Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but amped up and more extreme like it’s been drinking Mountain Dew. You don’t have to know anything about Deadpool to enjoy this comic. You can just pick it up and read it.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

Deadpool & Cable Ultimate Collection Book 2 (comic)

Deadpool is the Merc with the Mouth. Cable is the time-traveling mutant from the future on a crusade to save the world. And they teamed up for an awesome comic in the mid-2000s. Deadpool & Cable Ultimate Collection Book 2 is a trade paperback and collects issues #19-35 and includes the following storylines: Why, When I Was Your Age; Bosom Buddies; Sticky Situation and Living Legends; Born Again; The Domino Principle; Civil War; and Six Packs and Powder Kegs. They even include the letter pages so it feels more retro and real.

This isn’t a comic for noobs. You have to work your way into this one. The Marvel Universe is already pretty complex, and there are way too many characters and subplots for casual comic book readers to keep up with. But Deadpool is one of the best and most interesting comic book characters and you don’t have to know what is going on to be able to enjoy his antics and one-liners.

I won’t even bother with giving out plot details and story outlines. You’re either going to read this collection, or you aren’t.  It’s a comic book. Crazy shit happens in crazy ways. Everything is surrealistic, unrealistic, over the top, and awesome. What more do you want?

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

X-Men: Mutant Massacre (comic)

Mutant Massacre is an X-Men comics crossover involving the X-Men, X-Factor, the New Mutants, the Power Pack, and Thor. The basic premise is that the Morlocks (mutants who have given up on society and formed their own underground community in the sewers) are being attacked and killed by the mysterious Marauders. The X-Men and X-Factor both enter the sewers in a desperate attempt to stop the massacre. They arrive separately and the two teams never meet up with each other. The fighting results in a lot of minor characters dying, and some of the main characters obtaining severe injuries. Meanwhile, other Marvel characters from other Marvel comics show up to remind you this is all taking place in the Marvel Universe. The Power Pack shows up at one point. I hope you like wholesome preteen superhero siblings who try to fight crime before bedtime. The unnecessary and stupid antics of the Power Pack are forgiven by the emergence of Thor into the storyline. He storms into the sewers and kicks some ass and even saves Angel from the Marauders.

But this is not a story about superheroes. It’s a story about mutants, and it’s really about genocide. People die in this story. A lot of people. And they die because they are mutants, because they are different. It’s a social commentary about the injustices in the world, and just because the characters have superpowers and wear spandex doesn’t mean it’s not a true story.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

X-Men: Age of Apocalypse (comic)

How much difference can one man make? Well, a lot, especially if we’re talking about Charles Xavier. Even if you’ve never read any X-Men comics or seen the movies, you still know that Charles Xavier is the leader of a group of mutants known as the X-Men. The Age of Apocalypse storyline explores what the world would be like without one of the key characters in the Marvel Universe. A time-traveling assassin goes back in time to when Magneto and Xavier are still friends, and tries to assassinate Magneto, but Xavier sacrifices himself to save his friend. Xavier dies and Magneto vows to keep Xavier’s dream of mutant and human harmony alive. With the death of Xavier, the immortal and evil mutant Apocalypse decides this is the perfect time to conquer the world.

            Things are definitely different without Xavier. The world has gone to shit. Most of your favorite characters have changed, some of them drastically. Like Wolverine isn’t Wolverine, he’s known as Weapon X and he’s missing a hand. And Cyclops is working for the bad guys. Age of Apocalypse isn’t just a comic; it’s a comic crossover, spanning multiple titles. You could track down and collect all of the individual issues, or you could just buy the 4-volume Complete Age of Apocalypse Epic trade paperback. With so many different titles and issues, there is obviously a lot of shit going on and it’s pretty overwhelming at first. The story goes all over the place and there are quite a few unnecessary subplots. It takes a lot of time to introduce characters and set up the plot, and it gradually gets more coherent. You’ll still be scratching your head over some plot holes and developments, but the overall story is satisfying.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

DC vs. Marvel (comic)

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the greatest, most powerful heroes and villains from the DC and Marvel Universes met? How awesome would that be? Well, it already happened in 1996, so you missed out. But you can relive the past and pick up DC vs. Marvel and see the two worlds collide.

There is actually a pretty coherent storyline. Writers Ron Marz and Peter David are able brings some of the biggest characters from two rival companies together in a comprehensive way. So back in the day, these two brothers/entities were controlling their own separate universes, until they learned of each other’s existence. One brother is the DC Universe, and the other represents the Marvel Universe. They decide to have a battle between their top superheroes to determine which universe will be destroyed.

Each separate universe starts to be aware that something weird is happening when heroes and villains start vanishing in a flash of light, and new, different masks start showing up. A young man named Axel Asher finds himself inexplicably drawn to an alley where a crazy homeless guy is trying desperately to keep an inter-dimensional gateway contained in a cardboard box. Axel is the Access, and he just might be the key to solving the crisis if he ever accepts his destiny.

6 Marvel characters are chosen to fight 6 DC characters in one-on-one battles to determine the mightier universe. There are some really obvious fights between similarly powered characters like Aquaman vs. Namor, Wolverine vs. Lobo, and Flash vs. Quicksilver. There are also weird, random fights like Robin vs. Jubilee and Superboy vs. Spider-man. Elektra fights Catwoman, the Green Lantern and Silver Surfer duke it out in space, Wonder Woman somehow loses to Storm, Batman and Captain America are pretty evenly matched, and Superman barely beats the Hulk into submission.

Instead of one universe getting destroyed, the Spectre and the Living Tribunal are able to temporarily merge the two universes together. This buys them some time, and has the awesome bonus of creating hybrid superheroes like Dark Claw (a mixture of Batman and Wolverine) and Super-Soldier (Superman and Captain America’s lovechild).

Access finally gets his shit together and it able to separate the merged universe back to the two separate ones. He gets a little assistance from Batman and Captain America to end the Space Brothers’ hissy fit. And now the two universes can co-exist and life is good.

Yeah, there’s a lot of nonsense about two brother universes using magic humans to end a cosmic dispute, but once you get past that you can appreciate the story. What if the superhero you depended on was powerless to stop the end of the world? What if that superhero vanished and was replaced by a stranger in tights? What if you are a superhero and you can’t simply punch your way to victory?

The art is awesome. The panels spill over into each other, they overlap, it feels very fluid. Dan Jurgens and Claudio Castellini’s drawings are bold and powerful. And it’s pretty cool to see the Hulk and Superman exchanging blows in the desert.

There are a lot of characters to keep track of, but it doesn’t slow down the momentum of the story. If you like DC, it’s worth checking out. If you like Marvel, it’s worth checking out. If you like comics, then you should have read this already. You’re slacking.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

Daredevil: The Man Without Fear (comic)

If your only experience of Daredevil was that terrible Ben Affleck flick, I feel sorry for you. That movie did no justice to one of the best superheroes in the Marvel Universe. Frank Miller didn’t invent Daredevil, but he reinvented him and made him a badass. This graphic novel collects issued #1-5 of Daredevil: The Man Without Fear. It is an origin story, and it’s a great way to introduce yourself to the sightless world of the Daredevil.

Matt Murdock is a blind lawyer by day and a vigilante known as Daredevil by night. The story starts with a young Matt Murdock growing up in Hell’s Kitchen in New York City. He lives alone with his dad, a washed up boxer Jack “The Devil” Murdock. Jack’s glory days are well behind him and he is forced to do enforcement work for a local gangster. Jack’s biggest fear is that Matt will grow up and become a lowlife like him. He pushes Matt to stay out of trouble, to obey the rules, and to be a success.

One day Matt pushes an old blind guy out of the way of a truck, some toxic sludge gets on his face, and Matt loses his sight. Although he loses his eyesight, his other senses grow and he can use his heightened senses to get a sense of the world around him. He can feel the air and echolocate, and he gets heightened physical abilities like a ninja gymnast. He meets a mysterious mentor named Stick who teaches him to harness his abilities.

Jack’s dad pisses off the wrong people and ends up dead. Matt seeks his father’s murderers and wipes them out one by one. Stick catches wind of this and decides that he can’t teach him anymore and stops their nighttime lessons.

Matt Murdock grows up and goes to law school, where he meets his best friend Foggy Nelson. Matt also meets Elektra, a wealthy girl who also likes to run around under the cover of darkness. She is wild, untamable, and he loves her instantly. They have a brief but passionate love affair, but she breaks it off and moves away.

Matt graduates and becomes a lawyer and finds himself back in Hell’s Kitchen as an adult. A new criminal named the Kingpin has risen to power and crime is on a meteoric increase. Matt meets a young girl named Mickey and she’s having a hard time and Matt takes her under his wing and starts training her. She gets kidnapped by some lowlifes with ties to the Kingpin and in the process of saving her, the Kingpin becomes aware of the new threat to his criminal empire and they become enemies.

Frank Miller takes a ridiculous concept like a blind superhero in New York and makes it genuine. Like Batman: Year One, Miller takes an already established character and goes back into his their history to find out who they are and how they came to be. Dressing up in a costume and risking your life to fight crime doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years and years and a lot of fucked up events to twist your psyche into that level of delusion, and that’s what this story is all about.

Don’t let a bad Ben Affleck movie keep you from exploring the source material. They made Daredevil into a movie for a reason. He is an interesting character with cooler powers than you might think. Check out The Man Without Fear for yourself and agree with me.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

Marvels

Kurt Busiek’s Marvels is an epic history of key moments in the Marvel Universe. Instead of being shown from the side of metahumans, it is shown from the side of regular people. Marvels is the story of photojournalist Phil Sheldon. He experiences firsthand the awe and fear that superheroes inspire. The Human Torch, Namor, Captain America, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, a few X-Men and tons of other Marvel characters make appearances.

The story is pretty interesting, but once again the artwork takes center stage. Alex Ross is an amazing artist. Marvels lets him cut loose and depict iconic figures and important moments in the Marvel Universe is stunning, almost photorealistic paintings. Kingdom Come was all aged DC characters, well past their prime. Marvels depicts most of the important Marvel characters in all their glory. The panels seem to come to life.

If superheroes were real, life would be pretty shitty for normal people. And there are a lot more normal people than superheroes. Therefore, the world would be pretty shitty. People would live in a constant state of fear. They would rely on heroes to save them, because that’s what heroes do. But if they don’t get saved, they blame the heroes. If the heroes save the world, the normal people will forget after awhile. Marvels tries to tackle those issues. Phil Sheldon fears the Marvels, grows to accept them, rely on them, and ultimately defend them.

Marvels is a pretty awesome comic. The four issues cram a lot of important Marvel events and characters into a cohesive and interesting story. The artwork transcends the material, and your jaw drops with each turn of the page. It is simply beautiful art. It helps to humanize the heroes, makes them more down-to-earth and approachable, while at the same time idolizing them and putting them on a pedestal. Go read this now. Or at least Google Image Alex Ross paintings and admire those.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

Marvel 1602

Neil Gaiman’s Marvel 1602 is his return to writing comics after a five-year absence. It’s a welcome return. The eight issue series isn’t some of his most intellectual material, but it’s a fun read. Gaiman is a master of storytelling and he brings lots of characters from the Marvel Universe and real people from history together in a comprehensive and cohesive way. Superheroes have appeared about 400 years too early, because of a rift that threatens the universe. Dr. Stephen Strange and Sir Nicholas Fury must find a way to prevent the end of the world.

A bunch of Marvel characters show up as old-timey versions of themselves. They have different but older versions of their names, like Peter Parker is Peter Parquah, and Charles Xavier is Carlos Javier, etc. Instead of mutants, they are referred to as “witchbreed”. Subtle twists like this add to the flavor of the story. Real historical figures play imports roles in the plot. Queen Elizabeth dies and is replaced by the crazy and powerful King James. Virginia Dare plays a central role. She was the first English baby born in America. She was part of the Roanoke Colony, which disappeared in real life, but was saved in this alternate universe by a huge white Indian named Rojhaz.

So there’s the main story about noticing the world is in trouble, finding out what’s wrong and how to fix it, and some people are good and some people are evil, and some people change loyalties, and eventually good defeats evil, and the world is saved. What’s cool about this story is that it celebrates history. Both Marvel history and world history. It’s a big “What If?” storyline, and it’s fun to explore all the different incarnations of well-known Marvel characters. The artwork is impressive, and the cover art also stands out.

Neil Gaiman is a great writer. This is him having fun writing. There are a lot of Marvel in-jokes and references. It spawned a few sequels, but this one is the best. He crams in a lot of characters, but keeps the storyline pretty easy to follow. There’s a good twist with Rojhaz and it makes you kick yourself for not realizing who he was earlier. Neil Gaiman is legit. Shitty last name though.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment