Why I love Science Fiction

It has been a long time since I last posted on this blog, something which makes me ashamed. I have been going through a myriad of issues and have been thinking of trying different venues such as youtube, podcast or even streaming through twitch. However I now realize that my true passion and my forte lies in the written word. When I write I feel like I am able to express myself better than in any other form. As such to celebrate my return to blogging, I am writing a special entry on why I love reading science fiction so much.

Over the past few months I have been constantly reading science fiction and whilst I still prefer fantasy (fantasy will always be my favourite genre), science fiction is a genre that I love. From reading Isaac Asimov or Arthur C. Clarke, to the wonderful Ursula K. Le Guin to the more modern authors N.K. Jemisin or Cixin Liu, I have always loved reading the stories these authors’ craft. Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction, typically dealing with imaginative concepts such as futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, faster than light travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations and this is perhaps the aspect that I have always been attracted to the most.

RAEVONA

Science fiction allows us to explore universal issues, themes through a futuristic setting and allows us to question everything. Through science fiction we question what defines humanity, what are the consequences of technology and give an insight into what could be the future of humanity. All of this issues are presented through a futuristic lens, a world or universe that in many ways is very different to ours but at the same time remains fundamentally identical at its core.

Science fiction also fulfils another role in my life, and that is to approach me to the scientific world. The best kind of science fiction uses real life science at its core, with some liberties. As someone who has always been fascinated by astrophysics, by physics in general, but has no capacity whatsoever for Math, reading science fiction serves as an outlet for this desire, as a way to vicariously through the story and characters be a part of that scientific world.

original

Perhaps most importantly science fiction allows me to disappear from this world for a couple of hours and go into a place where spaceships are a reality, where humanity is able to visit different planets and where my issues fade away as I ponder other questions that whilst at the surface might not seem relevant to everyday life actually allow you to reflect on deep issues that are a basis for what makes one human and his ideals.

Science Fiction is a loyal, close friend with whom I will continue to have amazing adventures in the future and one that always rewards my love for reading. If you have not been reading science fiction books, I urge to go to your local bookstore and pick one, you will not regret it.

I hope you have enjoyed this and keep checking the website because pretty soon I will upload a review of the hilarious book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.

Advertisements

Book Review – The Three-Body Problem

9780765382030

Recently I have been reading more science fiction than any other genre. I have always enjoyed sci-fi but I had been for the past couple years more involved in reading fantasy with the odd science fiction story being read between fantasy sagas. However this has changed and now I am really enjoying reading science fiction. After finishing The Broken Earth series by N.K Jemisin, a beautiful saga, I was a bit lost on what to read but my good friend Carol Mateu (follow her twitter @carolmola for awesome nerdy fun and lots of laughter) recommended The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu and all I can say is that I have fallen in love with this book.

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The novel follows Wang Miao as he struggles to make sense of everything that is happening and how the world is changing.

Reading this book has been an eye opening experience. This was my first contact with a novel written by a Chinese author and I have to say that it was an amazing experience. It was refreshing to read a novel with a different style and it was quite interesting to see how the author presents its characters and the stories in what for me was an unfamiliar method. I found myself enthralled by the storytelling and fascinated by the science presented in the book. This is perhaps the aspect I enjoyed the most, as I was reading this great story, I found myself learning about new theories and new aspects of science that until now had been unknown to me. The author is able to masterfully explain the science being developed the book but does this not at the expense of the story. If anything this makes the story feel more stimulating and entertaining.

three-body-problem-story

Despite the difference in style, Cixin Liu is still able to create a recognizable science fiction story that contains many of the classic tropes we have come to expect in science fiction, with a new spin to them that keeps the story entertaining. After reading this novel, I can understand quite well why it has had the impact it’s had and why the author has won so many awards. It is a fantastic novel and in my opinion a novel that brings new forms of storytelling to science fiction. It has been a fascinating read and has allowed to me to experience science fiction in a way that I am not used to.  Furthermore it has allowed me an insight into some aspects of Chinese culture and history that were completely unknown to me, especially the several philosophers it mentions and the POV of China in regards to the Cultural Revolution.

Finally I would like to dedicate a paragraph to the wonderful ending of the book. The ending is beautifully written, including many references to a defining moment of the book that happened earlier and sets up the next book in a great manner. The ending of this book has instantly become one of my favourite endings as it is capable to leave you with questions, be astounded (at least in my case) by the wonders of the science explained in it, and full of wonder towards this world created.

I have really enjoyed this book and plan on continuing to read more from Cixin Liu (in fact I have already bought the second book on the series) and more eastern science fiction. I encourage you 100% to pick up The Three Body Problem, you will NOT regret it.

wpid-wp-1443601231631

Book Review – The Fifth Season

Jemisin_FifthSeason-TP

I am finally back writing on this blog and it has been quite a while but between vacation and work life has been quite hectic lately! That said, I am now back and ready to bring you more good nerdy reviews and hopefully soon new sections to the blog. Today we are going to talk about a delightful book I just finished and that is The Fifth Season written by N.K Jemsin. I had wanted to read for quite some time this series since it was awarded the Hugo Award for Best Novel at the 74th World Science Fiction Convention on August 20, 2016. It was also nominated for the Nebula Award and World Fantasy Award for Best Novel and as such I was incredibly excited to read this book. Before we get into the review let me warn you that there might be some minimal spoilers although I will attempt to keep it at a minimum.

I absolutely loved this novel and it is more than deserving of the awards it attained and all the praise it has received. The story combines many elements of classic fantasy and science fiction in a unique manner to give us a rich story with an intriguing setting and plot. The Fifth Season is set on a planet with a single supercontinent called the Stillness were occasionally climatic disasters labelled as the fifth season occur, thus preventing humanity from flourishing. In this world there are a group of people hated and feared known as the oregenes who are capable of controlling energy, particularly that of the earth (directly) and temperature (indirectly) and thus prevent earthquakes and climatic disasters. Although they are hated and not considered human, they are used by society to minimize dangers in a world divided by caste. At the start of this book we learn that a fifth season is starting and we follow different characters in their struggles, especially that of Essun, an orogene mother whose son was killed by the father and who left with their daughter, and her search for them. This setting full of climatic strife, racial conflict and community struggles is captivating and yet also relatable. It is relatable because although it happens in a fictional world that is different to ours, the core of its issues are similar to many of the issues we now face.

Print

The characters of the book are incredible, with profound development throughout the novel that has a profound impact on the book. The diversity in the characters in this book is refreshing to see as within the genre of fantasy and science fiction this has not always been the case. Throughout the novel we meet characters that despite their differences with our world, reflect quite well in our and thus make you invested in it.

The characters are what drive the story throughout the whole novel, as we are able to witness their evolution, their thought processes and how they face the challenges ahead is a fascinating read and combined with the plot of the story makes for an enthralling read. N.K Jemsin is able to bring to live a fantastical world, full of incredible characters with amazing abilities that at the same time feels very similar and relatable to ours.

nk y su nuevo libro

I can’t recommend enough this book, it is wonderful, filled with beautiful characters and in an incredibly setting. After reading the first one, I for one can’t wait to read the next two books, with the third one having come out this month. I encourage you all to read the books as you will fall in love with them, and better do it soon since a TV show based on the novels has just been announced!

Review – Castlevania

So I have just finished watching Castlevania and I think it is appropriate that I review it since I have absolutely enjoyed this series by Netflix. Before we delve into the review let me preface this by saying that I have not played the games before. Whilst I am somewhat familiar with the mythos of Castlevania and have seen friends play it before I have never been actually able to play myself, as such I came into the show without too many prejudices and expecting nothing except having a good time. In this regards all I can say is that Castlevania is a great success. I will attempt my best to keep this review spoiler free but let me warn you that inadvertently I might drop a small spoiler.

Castlevania-Netflix-625x352

Before we talk about some aspects of the story let me start by commenting on the style of the animation. The style which is in some regards quite realistic yet at the same time slow was, at least for me, perfect for the story and the theme of the series. In many ways the way the characters, the world looked and how the protagonists moved reminded me a lot of the anime Attack on Titan. The other aspect that I wish to comment in regards to the animation and look of the show is the choice of the colour palette throughout the series. It is able to use dark tones and a lot of red, especially in the finale, which I think perfectly captured the tone of the show, the eeriness of the world and the despair faced by the characters in the face of such overwhelming evil.

Now that I have commented on the animation I can tell you that I absolutely loved the story and the characters in the TV show. The first 8 minutes, basically a prologue for the rest of the first season, are incredible and hooked me into the story. It was witty, fun, charming, heart breaking and devastating all within the space of 8 minutes. As I was watching, I could not believe it and was astonished that they were able to set up the story so brilliantly. The look of the antagonist, Dracula, is to put it simply perfect and from that moment you wish to see more of it. The beginning is able to set up the story and hook you into it.

castlevania-netflix

The characters are beautifully voiced especially Trevor Belmonte whose voice is provided wonderfully by Richard Armitage and does a magnificent job giving a unique voice to the character. I loved the characterization of Trevor Belmonte as this out of luck, downtrodden monster hunter who is full of wit and charm. I found it very easy to enjoy the character and his interactions with the rest of the Castlevania world. All of the characters in the show, secondary or protagonist, feel real and fleshed making a much more compelling world.

The decision to not feature Dracula as much in this four episodes was the correct one as by virtue of not appearing beyond the first episode but feeling his presence makes him a more intriguing and powerful antagonist and provides the viewer with much anticipation to see next season.

On a side note, the finale of the show was great. It delivered great, fast paced action and advanced the story line whilst at the same time leaving wanting more and creating expectation for an already confirmed second season. The first four episodes are clearly a prologue to the overarching story which will start next season and as such it did a great job in placing all the set pieces where they need to be.

As I close this review all I can say is that I have loved watching Castlevania. It does have its flaws as do all shows, for example some of the pacing of the episodes is wrong and some character relationships develop too fast without a correct explanation, but without a doubt its brilliant moments, great characterization and story far outshine the flaws. Castlevania has to be considered one of the best, if not best, adaptations of a video game and I will eagerly await the second season.

Castlevania-Season-2-Release-Date-Confirmed-For-Netflix-Anime-TV-Series-Trevor-Belmont-Alucard-Will-Return

Review – Wonder Woman Film

Finally, after a long wait, “Wonder Woman” hit theatres in Spain and I quickly went to see it. I have already seen this movie twice and have had time to digest my thoughts and find myself ready to write about them. First of all let me start of all this by commenting on the fact that I was not a big fan of previous entries into the DCEU world. Yet despite my lack of enthusiasm for this film universe I was cautiously optimistic with this one, the trailer had impressed me and everything I had read, heard or seen about this movie was good. I was hoping this would be the film to finally have widespread critical and fan acceptance and to see a film that I would love. So after seeing it twice I can gladly say that I LOVED this film. Before I delve into an in-depth review of the film let me just warn you that there will be plenty of SPOILERS.

wm

Wonder Woman had everything I wanted on a comic book movie. It was bright and colourful (something with which I have struggled in past DCEU films), it had great action scenes, it was fun, the titular character was amazing and it had a great hopeful message. One of my biggest issues with movies like “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman”, was the dark tone bereft of hope. It is a tone that fits Batman but doesn’t fit Superman. Comic book characters, especially heroes and heroines are meant to inspire us, to show us that despite how hard things get to be, how awful things can get, we can still raise above it. This movie perfectly portrayed this message and I was happy to see it.

Themyscira was beautiful and everything I hoped to see in an adaptation of the comic books. I loved the setting, showing us a paradisiac location where the amazons are able to prepare for their goal. The amazons themselves were amazing portrayed as fair, intelligent women who are also incredible warriors. The battle scene at the beach with the German soldiers was incredible and inspiring, full of amazing set pieces and stunts. Watching that and thinking about the trailer we have seen for Justice League, I for one can’t wait to see the amazons fighting against the parademons.

wonder-woman

The acting was great throughout the movie. I was surprised at seeing Robin Wright play such a physical role but she was splendid in it. She portrayed the toughness and physicality of the character beautifully and added great gravitas to the cast. The supporting characters were great in general and I loved the portrayal of Ares done. However there has to be a special mention for Chris Pine and Gal Gadot who had an amazing chemistry throughout the movie. Chris Pine was great in his role, playing perfectly his character and giving us great moment and Gal Gadot in my opinion owned the character. She was able to perfectly show both the toughness and vulnerability as well as the naiveté and idealism of the character. She has given us a perfect Diana Prince and a perfect Wonder Woman and I can’t wait to see more of it.

Patty Jenkins did an amazing job in shooting this film. Many of the scenes are beautiful and the action is shot perfectly, allowing you to feel the intensity of the moment without missing a beat. I also loved all the nods to the first Superman film (the glasses, the revolving door and the bullet scene in the alleyway) and how she was able to subtlety introduce them. She has done a great film and I hope that this opens the door for more female directors filming comic book movies.

thumb-1920-722614

However the greatest thing about this film was the titular character.The character was amazing and inspiring and very similar to the essence of the character in the comics. She was shown to be as this idealistic warrior who is naïve but full of love and willing to fight for her ideals to the utmost. The message she gives is cheesy, but comic book are and will always be cheesy. I loved that she was fighting to end a war, to stop the violence, and doing so in the name love. I fell in love with the character throughout the film as she fought in a war, but also against gender roles and against an internal struggle. Throughout the film we see the character develop and grow but still remain true to herself. In my humble opinion she is one of the best character adaptations from the comics seen in film.

The already iconic scene in No Man’s Land was great. Seeing a female superhero charge the lines and have this amazing action moments was incredible and inspiring. Both times I have seen that scene I have become emotional and have seen it with a huge grin on my face. This film has finally given us the female superhero we deserved, a strong, feminist women who is able to change the course of history. Scenes like this are awe-inspiring and will be remembered for a long time.

Wonder-Woman-No-Mans-Land

“Wonder Woman” was a beautiful film. It is not perfect, no film really is, and does have some flaws (the third act is a bit weaker than the rest of the film) but it was a great movie, with an amazing protagonist who I hope becomes the inspiration for many. “Wonder Woman” has certainly inspired me and the message of love in the movie is beautiful. Hopefully this movie, which is killing it at the box office, will be the first of many films with heroine protagonist and action films starring women in active roles. After watching this movie I am a bit more hopeful for the DCEU and I will with a bit of luck be able to see a sequel of this movie as it is more than deserving. “Wonder Woman” stands now in my top 10 comic book movies of all time and I can’t wait to see Justice League so I can see more of this wonderful character.

Wonder Woman: 9/10

Wonder_Woman-1

Book Review – The Night Angel Trilogy

Recently as part of my binge reading in the past few months I started reading the Night Angel series written by Brent Weeks. The Night Angel trilogy is set in the fictional world of Midcyry and in it we follow the adventures and life of Azoth/Kylar Stern as he struggles to leave behind the difficulties of his life on the streets and become a great wetboy (something akin to an assassin). On his path to greatness he will face harsh training, legends coming to life and a war and struggle for the fate of all the continent in which he will become a key player.

3cdc97ea9375f49999a772f2209b98ec

The world of this trilogy is a gritty dark world. The city of the main characters is run both a king and also by a “shadow king” a figure head that dominates all criminal activities with a tight fist. This makes for a fascinating setting in which the story takes place as Kylar struggles to be part of both world. He struggles with the luxurious, advantageous but ultimately deceitful world of nobles and also struggles with the harsh, cruel and brutal world of criminals where he comes from and of which as a wetboy he is an integral part of. This duality, this struggle, is present throughout the whole trilogy as Kylar struggles to leave behind that in which he was raised. Kylar grows in our eyes and we see him fight an inner conflict in his path to realizing who he truly is and what his role in the world is.

 In this world there is a magic that some users are able to use, however depending on which side of the world you come from, magic is taught differently. In the case of Kylar and his master Durzo, as wetboys, they use magic to primarily enhance their physical skills as well as for stealth reasons. Other are able to use magic in more traditional fantasy ways, such as fire balls. This combination of different magic skills makes for a very intriguing world where most characters are able to fight in an equal footing and in many interesting ways with high stakes.

Durzo, the master of Kylar, is perhaps the most interesting and refreshing character. A character that seems to be the stereotypical hard-ass, mysterious mentor, as the story develops you learn more about him, his motivation, his past and you understand the character. By the end of the saga Durzo has become your favourite character and every scene with him is handled beautifully.

b90ced7f1a77abbe8424b235a04f5ab2._SX1280_QL80_TTD_

However whilst the characters and the settings are fascinating without a doubt the best part of this series have to do with some of the themes that this book deals with, especially those of fate, duty and the sacrifices that have to be made in the name of the greater good. The books study this issues in a profound way and allows the reader to reach their own conclusions before we get the resolution and the choices of the characters. Especially in regards to the theme of seeking the greater good the book is able to give us a great study of this theme, with difficult choices, no straight answer and a story that explores new ideas such as having a necessary evil in order to reach an ultimate greater good.

All in all the trilogy is very enjoyable and fun to read. It is a classic fantasy story with some twists on the old tropes that keeps it fresh. The pacing of the story is fast and action-packed, the battle scenes are awe inspiring and it is able to make the reader think carefully about issues in the novels. Brent Weeks hits a homerun in this series and I am looking forward to reading more from him.

kylar-stern1

Book Review – United States of Japan

Lately I have been reading a lot and finishing many books and thus find myself having to write several reviews for them. This is a wonderful although stressful “problem” because honestly I am enjoying the books so much that it is hard to take some time off from reading. That said, I recently finished reading United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas, and I loved the book so much that I feel like I needed to write about it. In USJ we have an alternate history science fiction where Japan and Germany won World War II and the West Coast of the USA is now controlled by the Japanese Empire.

USJ-by-Peter-Tieryas-Teaser

This story has a very interesting concept and right from the get go you are invested in the book as you try to understand how different the world has become to ours. I quickly found myself become fascinated by the world the author has created, a world where honour seems to be the most important aspect of society alongside devotion to the Emperor, yet we slowly discover that not everything is what it seems and the Japanese society is more corrupt than first presented.

The book explores concepts of honour, duty, sacrifice, religion and morality in such a way that despite this concepts being complex we are able to dive into them and question many things. Despite the setting of the story being very different to the one we live in right now, at least in the surface, the issues are similar to those we face today in many ways and this made it very easy for the reader to become fascinated by this world.

The characters in this book, especially the two main characters Benjamin Ishimura and Akiko, are fascinating and every chapter of the book is masterfully written so that the first impressions you had of the characters fade away and you are able to see beneath the façade that they put on towards society. As you read the book you feel like you are peeling an onion as you discover more and more layers to this characters and by the time you have finished the book, there is a great sense of empathy that has developed towards this characters, even to Akiko who at the beginning of the book seems like a stone cold government official. This is without a doubt praise worthy as the author manages to create a compelling world with complex but relatable characters.

usjmechatopview

Another aspect that I enjoyed of the book was the rhythm. The book is very easy to read as it has a great pace that never drags and allows you to quickly devour this great book. The pace slowly builds up to an incredible, action packed finale with many surprising twists that will leave you breathless, shocked and with a deep appreciation to the book.

Lastly I have to mention the science fiction aspects of this book. I am a huge science fiction nerd and constantly read books in this genre. In USJ we are given a world with many classical science fiction tropes yet they are not fully developed despite some mentions towards the amazing technology (portical and mechas to name a few). It does follow many of the themes that are classical in science fiction and that makes for a great read. However, despite the fact that it does not delve too deep into sci-fi terrain this does not really hurt the book, if anything the hints the author gives at a larger world makes you want to know more. Another thing I would like to point out is that as someone who really enjoys Japanese culture and someone who has lately been reading a very famous manga, Vagabond, and I loved the nods to Musashi Miyamoto.

mecha2

In conclusion United States of Japan is a great fun book. The ending was great, shocking the reader to the core and changing your perspective towards many colours. I finished the book wanting to know more about this world, wanting to learn how Europe is (there are some small hints but nothing definitive) and most importantly, really wanting to see those awesome mechas have more action. I 100% recommend this book and can’t wait for the second one to come out.

Five Fantasy Books you NEED to Read

Tomorrow is World Book Day and over here in Barcelona it is also Sant Jordi, and thus tomorrow I amongst many other will take to the streets in search of new books to read, new worlds to discover and new places in which to loose myself for a couple of hours or days. If you are reading this blog you might know that my favourite genre is without a doubt fantasy for a myriad of reasons that I explained in a previous post. As such, in honour of World Book Day, I have decided to write a post in which I recommend 5 fantasy books to pick up tomorrow or basically any day.

  1. The Silmarillion – J.R.R. Tolkien

This is in my opinion the best book in the world of Lord of the Rings. The Silmarillion is composed of many short stories that compromise the story of Middle-Earth from its creation to the start of the Fourth Age, although the events that happen in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings are only briefly mentioned.  It is a beautiful book that grows the universe and provides us a more rich background to the world we fell in love with. If you have read Lord of the Rings you will have noticed that the characters mention many mythical figures, heroes from time past and in this book we learn about them.

This book is full of action, poems, beautiful prose, romance and the epicness we have come to associate with Middle Earth. This book gives us the story of the struggle of the elves against Morgoth (Sauron’s boss) and the tragedy that comes through their own folly, as well as the rise of Men. If you choose to pick this book you will be enthralled especially by chapter 19 which tells the story of Beren and Luthien.

Silmarillion-cover

  1. The Eye of the World – Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time is perhaps one of the most epic sagas, both in length and story wise, ever told. Compromising of 14 long books plus a prologue this saga told by Robert Jordan takes us to a magical place facing oblivion where unlikely heroes from a farming village raise to fight against the growing darkness. The Eye of the World is the first book of this saga, setting up almost all of the characters which you will grow to love during all of the saga. Robert Jordan gives us a great fantastic world that contains many of the tropes in fantasy and that is not necessarily a bad thing. It also adds a new flavour to fantasy as we see a world in which men using magic are pursued and female magic users are the real power behind the world.

If you have the chance pick up this book, I can guarantee you will not be disappointed and that you will soon find yourself buying all the books of this excellent saga, a saga that still to this day fascinates me.

WoT01_TheEyeOfTheWorld

  1. The Final Empire – Brandon Sanderson

Recently I wrote a review on this excellent book by Brandon Sanderson. The Final Empire is a great point of entry into his Cosmere presenting a world with a fascinating magic system (that still ranks among my favourites) and great relatable characters full of depth. Sanderson is without a doubt one of the most famous authors in fantasy right now and is an incredibly prolific author. If someone is looking to read a book from him I always recommend to start with the Final Empire as it is a book with a captivating story and a very fast pace. Vin will always be one of my favourite characters and hopefully those of you who have not read the book take the plunge and get to know her.

Mistborn-cover

  1. The Blade Itself – Joe Abercrombie

Joe Abercrombie has quietly and quickly become one of the best fantasy authors and his first book shows you why he has gained that distinction. In The Blade Itself, the first of a trilogy called The First Law, we are presented a gritty, dark world that escapes all the tropes of fantasy. It is a very curious book as we get the typical setting for a fantasy book, the typical character archetypes, however as soon as you start reading the book you realize that nothing is what it seems and that all of the characters are darker and more complex.

A book in a somewhat similar fashion to those of George R.R. Martin but that also stand on its own it is an excellent book for those seeking something different to the traditional fantasy stories.

uk-orig-the-blade-itself

  1. The Lies of Locke Lamora – Scott Lynch

This book was a complete but pleasant surprise when I discovered it. Scott Lynch is perhaps not as renowned as an author as those mentioned previously but in this book he is able to craft a delightful and fun story, with some great an unexpected stories. The first of a series called Gentleman Bastard, the series of rogue, especially the protagonist Locke Lamora, are fascinating. The wit of the book will have you laughing but also heavily invested in the story of this rogues who are trying their best to survive in a world that is bigger and stranger than they thought.

If you are looking for a book filled of wit and adventure this swashbuckling rogue story is definitely the one you need to read.

51tpIK8K+tL

If you have read or want to read any of this books do let me know! I hope you enjoy this 5 great books that I have personally enjoyed and hoped you too are entertained and fascinated by this fantastical worlds.

Review – Justice League Trailer

NEfAHvsslCrGio_2_b

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.

Justice-League-Trailer-1-39

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.

justiceleague-wonderwoman-aquaman-cyborg-700x325

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.

Spider-Man – Bring Back Mary Jane Watson!

f27039a384050786245f685f4cb53515

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.

Photo_by_Iikka_Korhonen

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.   

spideywedding-456