Over the past few weeks a number of amazing trailers have dropped including some from comic book franchises that promise to be amongst the most talked about movies of the year. The trailers for “Wonder Woman”, “Batman v Superman” and “Spiderman Homecoming” all came with much hype and expectation and those trailers in more ways than not delivered upon the expectations. This week the trailer for “Thor Ragnarok” came out in a surprising manner since Marvel had not announced that the trailer would come out this week. With that in mind I have decided to give my quick thoughts about the trailer and the impression I got from it.
Thor Ragnarok gave us a trailer which shows that they have completely overhauled the tone and look of the Thor movies as in this one we see it become more light hearted and colourful. The colour palette of the movie is completely changed from the previous Thor movies and it has a feel similar to that of old Jack Kirby comics. I have not been a big fan of Thor movies before this one as I felt they were a bit boring and that Thor as a character on his own was not working, although he was great in The Avengers movies, so I for one do welcome this change.
The trailer is action packed and looks really great as it promises to tell a very intriguing story. In the trailer we see how Hela, goddess of death, attacks Asgard and destroys Mjolnir in an incredible shocking moment of the trailer leading to Thor being captured and having to fight in a gladiator arena against Hulk in a short scene that might have stolen the whole trailer as it highlighted the new tone of the Thor universe, colourful, fun and with epic action.
Cate Blanchett has been one of my favourite actresses since I discovered her in “Lord of the Rings” and in this movie she looks incredible as Hela and I believe is going to portray a character that will quickly become iconic and break the pattern of weak Marvel villains (with Loki as an exception). The trailer has me really excited for this movie and I love the fact that it is expanding the MCU and introducing us to new characters as well as taking us to new locations around the galaxy. This movie looks action packed, Thor is wearing his classic helmet, Hela looks awesome, Loki is back and the Hulk vs Thor fight promises to be such a great fun and epic fight that I think we will all be talking about it for a long time!
I for one can’t wait to see this movie that will drop around the same time as the Justice League in what promises to be a great month for comic book fans! Hopefully this movie will not disappoint us and this new foray into the mythos of Thor in the MCU proves to be entertaining and fun.
As posted in a previous blog post fantasy books are my favourite genre to read about. I love reading those kinds of books and visiting new worlds where I can immerse myself and completely forget about everything for a couple of hours. In the past few years Brandon Sanderson has quickly become one of my favourite, if not my favourite, authors and I always eagerly await his new books. My introduction to Sanderson came through the Wheel of Time where he wrote the last 3 books and after reading that I decided to read some of his work and the first one I picked was “The Final Empire” the first of the Mistborn trilogy. Today I will give my impressions on that trilogy as it is a book I remember with great fondness.
Mistborn is set in the fictional world of Scandrial where. One thousand years before the story begins, the ruler of the Final Empire, the Lord Ruler, gained access to a divine power at what is called the “Well of Ascension” where he is rumoured to have defeated the unknown danger called the “Deepness”. With this power, he remade the world and everything in it into its state at the beginning of the first book. In this world there are people who are able to consume metals or use them to gain powerful abilities. In the Mistborn series we follow the adventures of Vin, a street urchin with powerful magic potential as she joins a band of rebels seeking to the Empire that has been running the world for one thousand years.
Mistborn is an incredible series that captures you basically from the first chapter of the first book. I loved the characters, the setting, the magic… it is a captivating book that is very easy to read. Sanderson is an author that writes books normally with a frenetic pace, and it is very much welcomed. Vin the titular character was for me at the time a refreshing character, I had rarely read such a strong relatable female protagonist on fantasy books and she forever will be one of my favourite characters. This book opened my eyes to the Cosmere and I have been ever since then enthralled by it and devouring all the books.
Perhaps what I enjoyed most about the book was that alongside the evolution of the characters Sanderson was providing us a political revolution in that world, democracy was being considered and the weak were rising against an oppressive state. As a political scientist reading that in fantasy was a breath of fresh air, whilst I do enjoy the old story about someone rising to become a king I have always yearned for a story where they do not follow this trope and where the power goes to the people, all of that in a fantasy setting with magic. This books gave me that (granted not fully but still…) and much more.
The Mistborn series has quickly become one of my favourites fantasy books and it will always hold a special place in my heart since it let lead me to Brandon Sanderson and his Cosmere, a universe where magic makes sense and has limitations, a universe where heroes are true heroes that provide us with role models, a universe with rich worlds full of histories and traditions and most importantly a universe where I can travel alongside the characters and forget about my trouble for many hours.
The pace of the series is really good and the sequels it has spun have maintained a great level whilst at the same time expanding on the previous books. I hope those who read this post take the chance to read the Mistborn series, I guarantee that it will not disappoint you. Meanwhile I will be at my place dreaming of being an Allomancer, flying through buildings using my powers and hoping that one day I get to spend more time with Vin.
Another week and another trailer has arrived. Last Saturday we got the all new trailer for the “Justice League” film that hits theatres on November and today a new trailer for the “Spider-Man Homecoming” Trailer has made its way into our screens as the movie gears up for its release on perhaps the best date ever, 07/07/17. Before we go into the trailer I just want to point out that alongside the X-Men, Spider-Man has always been my favourite comic book and Peter Parker is among my favourite characters in comics. Thus it is not a strange thing that I get really excited about Spider-Man movies and as such coming into this trailer I was incredibly excited.
First let me say that I believe the casting of Tom Holland as the new Spidey is perfect. I believe he really captures the essence of both Peter Parker and Spider-Man, capturing the fun and toughness that is Spidey and personally I believe he stole the show on “Captain America: Civil War”. The casting of Michael Keaton as the Vulture is I believe also a great and he will be able to do a great job in portraying this iconic villain. My first thoughts for this movie are that so far it looked great on paper and I had faith that Marvel and Sony would be able to deliver an Amazing Spider-man (pun very much intended) movie.
The trailer I have to say was GREAT. I loved it, I thought it provided us great insight to what promises to be a fantastic fun movie. It seems to have a really good balance of fun and more serious drama. Whilst it could be said that the trailer does show probably a bit too much of the movie I still think that it did a great job in promoting the movie. I do love the fact that they are using Tony Stark as a means to teach Peter Parker about being a hero, which makes sense since in this universe Tony has already gone through his own personal crisis. The suit he wears at the beginning looks great and I also enjoy the metaphor they are establishing of him having to win back the tech suit by learning how to be a hero.
Teenage Peter Parker has always been a long-time favourite of mine and while I do love the first Spider-man movie and I thought Amazing Spider-Man was pretty good I always thought that it was a shame we did not get to see of the awkwardness of Peter in school and this movie promises to deliver that. That fact combined with what so far seems to be great action (the ship battle scene promises to be action packed and fun) and an amazing villain has me really excited about this movie. No other character or group, beyond the X-Men, can get me this excited for a movie. I have always related to Peter Parker a lot and it is just amazing to see him back on screen on what seems to be a very faithful adaption of the character.
Between the “Justice League” trailer and this one all I can think is that it is a great time indeed for us nerds, for us comic book fans.
So after a long wait and a lot of hype being created by Warner Brothers the trailer for the “Justice League” is out. “Justice League” will come out on November of this year and for the past few days we have seen small teasers of the characters before finally getting the first official trailer of the movie. Now before I talk about it let me state that so far I have not really enjoyed the DCEU films so far. I thought “Man of Steel” was good but “Batman v Superman” was very average and Suicide Squad in my opinion was downright bad.
That said I enjoyed very much this trailer. The action looks good and the most important thing is that they seemed to have listened to fan feedback and have changed a bit of the tone adding a bit more fun in the dialogue and in the action. The films so far have been too dark and gritty. Dark and gritty does have an important role to play and it is great that they are darker than those of the MCU but in movies like this we also need a bit of light hearted moments from the characters so that we can relate to them. Being dark fits the character of Batman but for others such as the Flash this would not be a good fit so it is great to see that they are changing their approach for this film.
The trailer so far has me excited for this film. The characters, except for Cyborg who looks a bit shoddy (but the CGI will probably be fixed, hopefully…), look great and the trailer gives us plenty of epic moments that seem to come straight from a comic book. I especially love Aquaman, played by Jason Momoa who seems to have really taken to the role and might be one of standouts of the film. I was really happy that they have not shown Superman in the trailer. We all know that Superman will be in the film (probably towards the end) but they need to keep some surprises for the actual movie, something they did not do for BvS. The standout moment of the trailer in my opinion was seeing those two armies clash. Seeing the amazons and others clash against the parademons was pretty cool and the interaction between the characters seems to be fun and epic so far.
My only gripe with the trailer is the use of the colour palette by Snyder. I understand he loves to do that as he does it in almost all his movies but I honestly miss seeing some bright colours, especially considering that they are fighting such an evil destructive force led by Steppenwolf. The use of brighter colours could have given us a better contrast between the heroes and the villains. Brighter colours would also highlight better the awesome costumes being worn by our heroes especially Flash and Wonder Woman. It would be a very welcome addition to have a bit more colour in the film.
That said it is a very minor gripe and overall I thought the trailer was pretty good. I am excited to see this movie but I will admit to being cautiously optimistic since with other entries of the DCEU I loved the trailer but not the films so much. I truly hope this film and that of Wonder Woman knock it out of the park. As a long time comic book reader I want to have a great MCU and DCEU.
The last of the Defenders has arrived as Iron Fist came out on Netflix last Friday and so far it has drawn a lot of criticism from critics whilst fans have been more forgiving and accepting of the show. The show is without a doubt a flawed show but it is not as bad as people are claiming it to be. Before I get into the official review of the show please be aware that I will not be talking about any of the racist issues that have risen about this show. As someone who is not directly affected I do not think my voice is qualified to talk about it. Also be aware that there are going to be spoilers on the review.
First of all, let’s talk about the negatives of the show. The show has a flawed pacing, and although the pace of the TV show does pick up towards the middle of the show, some episodes drag a lot, especially the first five episodes. The first five episodes are slow with not much development beyond corporate fights which makes it hard to follow this first episodes. Furthermore the fights in most of the episodes are not well done (although recent declarations by Finn Jones in which he says he learned the choreography 15 minutes before they were shot shed light on this) and lack passion and are not very smooth. The major flaw of the show lies in many ways in the character of Danny Rand. Most of the times Danny Rand does not feel like the “ultimate weapon” he is supposed to be, he is beaten easily (too easily) by others and in many episodes feel a bit too dumb as he keeps trusting people who have lied and done awful things to him. The choice of the villain at the end, Harold Meachum is a poor choice as he should not poise the physical challenge that he does in the finale. Lastly the fact that no one mentions clearly other members of “The Defenders”, especially Claire (shoe-horned into the show) who when she learns about the Hand does not tell Danny Rand about Daredevil, is really starting to hurt the Netflix Marvel Universe as it is not realistic.
That said the show also had some great moments. Finn Jones does grow into the characters as the series progresses and by the end of it his portrayal of the Iron Fist is quite enjoyable. Rosario Dawson as Claire is once again great and shows how comfortable she feels in this Netflix Marvel Universe and her character. The latter half of the show is pretty good and the episode in which they travel to China and Danny Rand faces Zhou Cheng, the master of the Drunken Style, has a great fighting sequence. The challenge by the Hand to Iron Fist in Episode 6 is pretty good and entertaining as is the character development of Ward Meachum. However the best part of this show is the portrayal of Colleen Wing by Jessica Henwick. Jessica Henwick is able to express the vulnerability and power of Colleen Wing and every time she appears on screen the show improves and she steals the spotlight from everybody. She is without a doubt the breakout star of this show. The show, whilst plagued with issues, does end up setting a somewhat compelling story and is a good set up for the Defenders that will drop later this year.
The show is entertaining enough yet we now seem to live in a society where either something is great or the worst. Critics and people on social media tend to review everything by extremes and I believe that is a huge mistake. Some shows are neither great nor bad, they are just entertaining and good and that should be embraced and not criticized. Iron Fist is a show that fits this description, a show with many problems, a show that is probably too long and has too many episodes but not a horrible show. It has fun moments and is good enough that most episodes are entertaining to watch. I have enjoyed the show for what it is and I am expectant to see how the characters of Danny Rand and Colleen Wing develop in The Defenders which comes out on Netflix on November.
Iron Fist: 6.5/10
Twin Suns has been an episode that all Star Wars fans have been awaiting for a long time. This episode gave us the long awaited final confrontation between Maul and Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi that has been building up since Maul was revealed to be alive. Maul has been ever since that moment searching for Ben Kenobi in his desire to achieve to revenge against the man that defeated him in Phantom Menace. They had fought before during the Clone Wars series but now it was different as many years had passed and both were very different characters. Before you read further, please be aware that there is going to be spoilers ahead.
In the episode we finally got the payoff to a story that has been slowly developing over the years and in my opinion it was beautiful. The duel was a very short duel, barely lasting seconds and with a total of only 3 moves. This has led to a much divided opinion among Star Wars fans as some fans hate the short ending but I think it is a perfect ending to the story. This duel was never meant to be a long duel such as the ones we saw in the prequels but it was more of a duel of emotions such as the duels in the Original Trilogy.
The characters were different this time around and this was shown in the episode. Maul was consumed by hatred completely whilst the Obi Wan we see in the episode is an older, wiser and in peace person. He has come to terms with his role and is now a calm Jedi. It is also worth noticing that Obi-Wan is stronger than Maul, who never fully finished his training as a Sith. For me the battle was less of a physical battle and more of a mental battle, a battle in which Obi-Wan Kenobi is clearly much ahead of him.
The episode in my opinion was great, whilst it is true the beginning does drag a little at some points as soon as we Ezra meets Kenobi the episode reaches a new level. In their interaction we see a great teacher that commands respect and is able to show Ezra, calmly, the error of his ways. The fact that Ezra is so quick to obey him was great and showed us the respect Obi Wan exudes to others. The way Maul died was worthy of his character and at the end Maul was able to find peace. The last scene with the theme was in my opinion the perfect way to end this episode and end this story as it reminds us why Obi-Wan is not part of the rebellion, his role is to be the unknown protector of Luke Skywalker until the time comes to teach him, a role he is at peace with.
Star Wars Rebels in my opinion is a hit and miss show. Many episodes are somewhat boring but this episode knocked it out of the park. It is very dangerous for the series whenever they deal with the main characters from the movies but this time they did a great episode that paid homage to the Ben Kenobi we see in the Original Trilogy and was the perfect ending to the Maul story, a character tormented by rage and hate that was at the end defeated by his nemesis, a person that is completely at peace with himself, and is thus at last able to find peace.
This episode reminded me of why I have always considered Ben Kenobi my favourite character in Star Wars. I for one can’t wait to see the ending of the season next week and the Last Jedi film. All I can do whilst I wait for that day is relax in my couch and listen to the great Binary Sunset theme, in my opinion the best theme in the Star Wars saga.
P.S Obi-Wan thinking that Luke is the chosen one is not a mistake by the writers. Obi-Wan at this point has given up on Anakin and truly believes Luke is the chosen one.
As I recently wrote on a blog post, I was very disappointed in how Marvel has handled Emma Frost in recent times and I especially hated the ending of Inhumans vs X-men where I felt like they destroyed the great work and excellent characterization achieved over the past 20 years for this excellent character. Emma Frost has been over almost the past 20 years a staple of X-Men comics, a leader and one of the most iconic members of the Marvel Universe. As I reminisce over how awesome she has been I have decided that it might be therapeutic to write a post explaining why she is such an iconic character.
Like many comic characters and several X-Men members, Emma Frost was originally a villain. She was the White Queen in the Hellfire Club and played a big role in making Jean Grey become the Dark Phoenix. For years she was a thorn in the side of the X-Men although as a villain she was full of shades of grey, even taking time to open a school to teach new mutant students. Emma moved to Genosha where was one of the few survivors from the genocide that happened which resulted in the death of 16 million mutants including the students in her classroom. After this traumatic event Emma Frost would join the X-Men, becoming one of the leaders of the team, entering a relationship with Cyclops and with the death of Jean Grey she became the strongest telepath on the team. Since 2001, Emma has, until recently, been one of the figureheads of the group, leading them and guiding them through some of the most difficult times the mutant species has lived through, including House of M and the Dark Reign of Norman Osborn.
Her character throughout those years became one of the most, if not the most, entertaining ones in the X-Men cast, not a small feat in a series full of amazing characters. She proved that redemption was possible and that no matter your past deeds there was always hope someone could improve. She was a strong woman who became a partner, both romantically and professionally, to the leader of the X-Men; Scott Summers. Her relationship with Cyclops made him become more confident and improved drastically his character. She was a strong feminist characters whose wit, intelligence and prowess made all of us fall in love with her and be invested in her story. To this day her role during Utopia in which the X-Men were able to defeat Norman Osborn at the height of his powers is a personal favourite as it highlighted the intelligence, power and vulnerability behind this well written character. Another favourite moment was during Civil War, when she was able to stand toe to toe with Tony Stark, calling him out for not helping mutants during the Genosha genocide.
It is those reason and her run since 2001 that made Emma Frost such an iconic character. She followed the tradition in X-Men stories of having strong female characters. She made the stories she was involved better and was a fun, relatable character. Her latest run and her return to being a villain is disappointing to say the least but I remain hopeful that someday the character of Emma Frost will return to what made it one of the best and most iconic characters in all of comics.
Spider-Man has for a very long time been the cornerstone of Marvel, especially in the comic sense. During the 90s when Marvel almost went bankrupt it was the comics of the X-Men and Spider-Man that saved the company. This was partially because of the appeal of the characters but also because of the great stories we were generally given. Peter Parker was presented as the quintessential nerd and as such it was incredibly easy to relate to. As the character grew and became more mature, us the readers grew up with him and in a way we felt his successes were our successes.
Over the past few years Marvel, in order to rejuvenate the character decided to end the marriage of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson in the much maligned “One More Day” story. This decision was met with much hate by fans around the world. Ever since her first appearance in “The Amazing Spider-Man #42 (Nov. 1966)” in which MJ pronounced her now famous and iconic line; “Face it Tiger… You just hit the jackpot” fans of the web-slinger have been in love with her. For many years she was the perfect foil for Peter, providing a strong backbone for him to come back to. We all rejoiced as their relationship developed, were joyous when we read about the wedding, suffered through their crisis and in general loved their stories. That is why, moving to separate them was met by such vitriol from fans. Peter marrying MJ made us as fans think that we could also find someone like her.
At the time I hated the decision. I loved the pairing and I felt she added much to the stories. Furthermore, the way it was done by having Peter make a pact with Mephisto went against almost everything the characters stood for. Whilst I hated it, I understood the reasons for doing, an adult married Peter Parker is harder to relate to for younger and newer fans. The stories they produced after this were interesting and it was fun to see Peter dating others and interacting with other love interests. However, all of us wanted the return of the couple and this led to the creating of “Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows” a story set in an Alternate Universe where they remained married and have a daughter. After seeing this great fun story it is high time Marvel brings back the marriage into the official stories.
The time to do so is now. The introduction of Miles Morales into the 616 universe provides an excellent opportunity. Miles Morales can be used as the new Spider-Man to which new and younger readers can relate to, whilst us veteran readers can focus on the original Spider-Man; Peter Parker. By doing this we can once again focus on more adult, mature stories with Peter Parker, stories that we can all relate to as adults. In this stories MJ can be brought back as his love interest and the relationship we all loved can be resumed. The character of MJ is barely being used by Marvel (she is in Iron Man but she barely makes an impact) and for many of us it is weird to see her outside the Spider-Man universe.
After years of not seeing this relationship, of them teasing us with alternate universe stories, it would be a gift to us fans to see this storied relationship back in action. We have all loved them and clearly fans wish to see Peter Parker back with her. After all, Spider-Man might have other relationships, he might date other women, but deep in our hearts we know there is only one woman who is a true match for Spider-Man, Mary Jane Watson.
The new Wonder Woman trailer just dropped on us and I have to say that beyond those weird accents it looks awesome. I have to come clean, in terms of comics I have never been too much of a fan of DC. While I do enjoy some of their comics’ especially great ones such as “The Dark Knight Returns” or “Kingdom Come”, I have always had difficulty relating to their heroes. DC characters tend to be similar to Greek gods, flawed but incredibly powerful or intelligent and for some reason that has made it difficult for me to enjoy the comics. However if there is one character that I have generally always enjoyed that has been Wonder Woman, especially her run in last 15 years.
Wonder Woman is without a doubt a comic icon and a feminist icon. She is without a doubt the most famous heroine in comics and a famous pop culture figure. Wonder Woman, at least in her most recent origin, is the daughter of Amazonian queen Hippolyta and Greek god Zeus. She was raised in Themyscira alongside the other amazonians and became an incredible powerful warrior capable of going toe to toe with Superman. She wields mighty weapons including the famous Lasso of Truth and just as Superman represents, or used to, the “America Way, she is a compassionate warrior with-god-like strength, Wonder Woman prefers peace and love to war and violence despite her incredible abilities, a contradiction that has long made her a symbol of female empowerment.
Lately she has also become an icon for LGBT as in her stories in 2016 she has officiated a same-sex wedding and has been revealed in DC Rebirth to be bisexual. Through all of this information that I have written I am trying to convey the idea that she is a character that has gone beyond the comic book media. As such it has always been a tragedy that there has been no good portrayals about her in film or TV. The arrival of her movie is in my opinion a very welcome and needed action and I have really high hopes for this movie.
Let’s all be honest, the DCEU has not been great so far. The movies have not resonated with the audience and have not enjoyed the critical success that Marvel movies have had. Whilst I do not think they are as bad as people make them to be, especially “Batman v Superman” they are still very flawed movie that in my opinion, have not been able to fully capture the magic of the characters. However with that said I believe Wonder Woman was the brightest and best part of BvS. Whenever she was on screen, she stole the scene and her role during the fight against Doomsday she was portrayed perfectly, her smiles, her joy at fighting whilst also being worried about other and being a heroine, was the essence of what has made this character so great.
It is high time we get a movie with Wonder Woman. She is a member of the Justice League and alongside Batman and Superman forms the Trinity of DC, with the three of them being the most famous characters in DC and probably all of comics. I can’t wait for this movie and I truly hope it is a good one that finally becomes the critical success the DCEU has been waiting for. On June 2nd we will find out if her character has been done justice in film.
After the disappointment that have been X-Men stories over the past couple of years, I have decided to look back at in my opinion the last great X-Men comic book event, “Second Coming”. “Second Coming”, published in 2010 was a really fun, intense, emotional story full of great action and heart that was basically a love letter to all the things that made the X-Men great. This story was the culmination of a long running story 5 years in the making that started in 2005 and was the last of a trilogy that previously had included “Messiah Complex” and “Messiah War” and it proofs that long story telling when done well in comics is emotionally satisfying and unbeatable in regards to story quality.
In “Second Coming” we are told the story of how the only mutant birth since House of M, returns alongside Cable from the future as a grown teenager and the X-Men struggle to get her to safety as all the enemies of the X-Men led by Bastion attempt to kill her thus ensuring the end of the mutant race. Throughout the story we have high stakes, impressive action and incredibly emotional moments, especially for X-Men fans. As we follow the story we are witness to how Hope Summers slowly develops before finally embracing her destiny at the end of the event.
This story had everything that makes the X-Men great and memorable. It had all the ingredients that has made us X-Men fans love this comics for such and long time and has made them for a long time one of the most popular, if not the most popular series of all Marvel. We had high stakes with the X-Men fighting to stave off extinction, Cyclops being a fearless leader in the face of doom, Emma being snarky and wonderful, Wolverine being all kinds of awesome, the teams fighting as one, time travel and a powerful ending. Namor is a great addition to the team in this event, Magneto is well used displaying good characterization and throwbacks to his past, Rogue uses her power at full potential and it is incredible, Legion displays his powers, New Mutants fighting against those who killed their schoolmates etc…All told this event had everything we loved and love about the X-Men and was very memorable.
The deaths of Nightcrawler and Cable do not feel cheap but are memorable and very impactful with both of them dying in order to save the future of mutantkind. Furthermore those two scenes as well as all the event are beautifully drawn and provide great visuals. I truly loved this event and the ending was incredible. Hope Summers’s powers are finally revealed and we are able to witness the awesomeness of her character in a great climax that ends with hope for the X-Men as new mutants are born around the globe.
This emotional death deserved a beautiful drawing and we got it
This event was great and memorable, and I believe that now that the quality of X-Men stories is not as good is well worth a visit, just to remind ourselves that not so long ago we were getting great stories with high stakes and that were true to the spirit of the X-Men. Whilst we wait for the X-Men stories to become good again I recommend you all go back and reread this great, fun story.