Thursday, March 30, 2017
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
March 26, 2017
The Hellblazer #8
“The Smokeless Fire, Pt. 2”
Written by: Simon Oliver
Art by: Phillip Tan
The roadtrip (yawn) continues in issue 8 of The Hellblazer as Constantine and Mercury are in Paris France. It picks up from last issue when Constantine was arrested by the French Police for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Seems like falling out a dead man’s window will do that. Anyway…
In Part 1 of “The Smokeless Fire” story arc, Constantine and Mercury arrive in Paris, in search of a man by the name of Jacque Henry, who it has been said, met a Djinn (Yeah, we’re still on that!) as a young boy while on expedition with his Dad in Arabia in 1936. As it turns out, they’re not the only ones looking for him. A gang of Parisian thieves cross paths with Jacque Henry and while thinking he’s just a crazy old man, they also think he may have some money laying around. Enter inside man Dante, whose job it is to case the houses he does work for and then report back to the gang. As chance would have it, Dante has done work for the old man. So, the gang sets out to rob Jacque and this time with Dante along for the ride. Its time he push mad weight within the group. They race by on their motorcycles, past Constantine and Mercury on the way to Jacque’s house. Mercury senses where they are going and the chase is on but how can you expect a chain smoking, three pack a day habit to keep up?
Needless to say, the gang busts into Jacque Henry’s house and demand his valuables. Jacque hurls off a few insults and makes Dante pretty mad to the point that he’s going to shoot him for talking that smack! Instead, in the excitement, Jacque Henry suffers a fatal heart attack. Before he dies, he instructs Dante where to find his journal. At this point, Constantine busts in, ax in hand (ax?) But is fended off by a hail of bullets fired his way, allowing Dante and the gang to escape. Constantine follows Dante out the window and onto the roof but slips and tumbles into the bushes a few stories down. When he comes to, the drawn guns of the French Police are in Constantine’s face. That’s where we find ourselves now.
Issue 8 and Part 2 of “The Smokeless Fire” picks up at police headquarters with Constantine’s interrogation by a couple of French detectives and gets thrown in jail. Mercury, consulting her “Genie in a broom closet .”, Adnan, before bailing Constantine out, receives some surprising news from him. While processing out of the slammer, Constantine spies a weeping woman claiming to be Jacque’s daughter. Constantine instantly recognizes her as an old mystic acquaintance from years back. He and Mercury follow her back to the dead man’s home and confront the imposter. It seems Constantine has the penchant for pissing off just about everyone he’s ever known and this woman is no exception, yet they are able to come to an uneasy deal between them. At first, Constantine is unsure what he’s looking for but through magic, Dante’s missing shoe (He lost it in his hurried escape!), and some good old fashioned trickery, he is able to learn that Jacque’s desert journal is what people are dying to get. The issue ends with Constantine and company in pursuit of Dante’s flying shoe (Don’t ask, just read it.).
The Verdict: Well, I have to say there hasn’t been much hellblazing in The Hellblazer. This story line has been going on for so long, I’ve forgotten why they’re ever in Paris. Writer Simon Oliver has scripted this story so far as one unending journey with little payoff. I’ve likened his story telling to if I asked Simon what time is it, he’d tell me how to build a watch. Artist, Phillip Tan can’t save the story either with his scribbly, inconsistent renderings of Constantine and Mercury. He’s said that he was inspired by Alan Moore and John Totleben’s run on Swamp Thing for his work here. I just don’t see it. Moore wrote some unsettling, horrific stories while John Totleban’s pencils bordered on crap- your-pants scary at times. Tan’s efforts fall way below the mark, looking more suited to a childrens book. The Hellblazer may well do better under DC’s Vertigo or Young Animals imprints to really do it justice. Imprints that would allow it to be what it should...edgy, r-rated, cerebral and worthy of the first Vertigo run, especially issues 1-9. So, you’ll have to read this barnburner to stay up to date with the story and hope that the point of it all will soon be revealed.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Monday, March 27, 2017
The Raw Exposé: Magna Carta Holy Grail - In Search of The Big Red Kryptonite Belt (A Brock Lesnar Story)
Sunday, March 26, 2017
March 24, 2017
Action Comics #976
“Superman Reborn, Part 4”
Written by: Dan Jurgens
Pencils by: Doug Mahnke
Superman isn’t what he used to be. You may not be aware, but there have been two versions of the mighty Kryptonian running around at the same time and neither one is said to be the real Superman. The same being said for Lois Lane. It may have been pretty confusing continuity-wise except for the fact of both New 52 versions of both Supes and Lois both died pretty much in the same manner. That left Rebirth Superman and Lois standing, along with their son, Jon. As long we’re on the subject of someone not being what they used to be, what about Clark Kent? Aren’t he and Superman supposed to be one in the same? Then why is a guy running around Metropolis calling himself Clark Kent and what is the mystery that surrounds him? Is he really who he says he is?
Issue #976 is the conclusion of the “Superman Reborn” story arc, a crossover event spanning between the Action Comics and Superman titles. The story thus far, Clark Kent has been increasingly integrating himself into the lives of Superman, Lois and their son. Integrating so much, that it bordered on creepy. Then, Jon disappears into thin air, right in front of Superman’s and Lois’ eyes. Their search takes them to the apartment of Clark Kent, who, is not Clark Kent at all. It turns out to be one of Superman’s most iconic villains, if you can call him that. Doing his best impression of Harry Angel/Johnny Favorite from the movie, Angel Heart, Mr. Myxztplk, made himself into Clark Kent and put the whammy on himself to forget who he really was. No longer the 5th dimensional imp, he went about life as the bespectacled, mild-mannered reporter of the Daily Planet….but why?
Now, what he does, is done in the name of revenge. Kidnapped by the mysterious hooded being known as Mr. Oz, he imprisoned Mr. Myxztplk, citing the reason precautionary. Not for what Mr. Myxztplk has done, but what he could do. He is chaos in the existence of Superman and for that , he is placed in a negative space prison, negating all of his powers. Not to worry though, he believed that Superman was his friend and once he realized that Mr. Myx was missing, he would scour the galaxy to find him…only he never came. Time is immaterial in the negative space, so who knows how long Myx was there? Angry and hurt, believing that Superman didn’t care about him, he escaped and to hide from Mr. Oz, turned himself into Superman’s alter ego. Once he began to remember who he was, he put his plan into motion, kidnapping Jonathan and making his parents forget about his existence. Superman is able to defeat Mr. Myxztplk ‘s games and find his son, he just doesn’t remember who he is.
Now, in #976 of Action Comics, the conclusion of Superman Reborn, Superman continues his battle with Myxztplk, still unaware who this young boy is and why Myxztplk took him. Will and how can Superman defeat a foe with magic powers bent on revenge? Can Lois and Superman remember what they have been made to forget? And who are those two ghostly figures that seem to be haunting this storyline? The issue ends as promised with a closing of the continuity gap left within the DC universe between the New 52, Flashpoint and Rebirth, with a surprising new revelation but also raising new questions for all other characters. all pointing towards the planet Mars. And we all know who resides there…watching…watching. If I am to give any spoilers away, it is only this…the issue ends as did the end of Watchmen #12.
The Verdict: Obviously, if you’re a fan of Superman or you’ve been following this title, you cant miss this one! More importantly, there are questions answered as well as raised here concerning the growing mysteries of Rebirth. So, even if you’re not big on Superman, this is no doubt, a must read. It seems that some gaps are being filled concerning the possible new existence of all DC characters. Are they all is store for what has transpired here in Action Comics #976? This is an exciting piece of the puzzle that all began with Batman finding that certain smiley faced button in the wall of the Batcave. I really applaud the writing going on at DC and Dan Jurgens, who are crafting a new mythos to some of their most popular and revered characters. Even if you’re just coming on board to DC titles now, you’re in store for something wonderful, so sit back and enjoy the ride.
By Jim Scroggs
March 25, 2017
JHScroggs on Twitter and Instagram
I've certainly been critical of the WB/DC Films in how they've handled their marketing. They released one or two unnecessary trailers for their last films, Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad and I was praying that they would get the memo to stop this trend. I think they finally have done that with release of the first official trailer for Justice League. Yes, this is big first step because we got 4 trailers for BVS if you include Comic-Con. With less than 8 months out, this isn' a teaser or a sneak peak that somehow would be 90 seconds long but just a simple official trailer with a good amount of action and plenty of wow moments so lets jump right in, shall we?
The trailer opens to a snowy, mountain environment, someone attaching a saddle to a horse and riding off. Cut to a flyover shot of icy ranges and voice over of Bruce saying "We need to be ready. You, me, the others. There's an attack coming from far away" We see Bruce at the top of a mountain looking down to a village, presumably where Aquaman/Arthur Curry is. The voice of Diana warns Bruce that the attack is already here. Dr. Silas Stone is then shown in his home as a Motherbox starts to stir and when they cut back to him for a reaction, you can see a Parademon over his shoulder enter the frame. Diana wants to know where the others are and like classic Bruce fashion, he gives a little smirk.
The first look at Arthur Curry/Aquaman is him saving a sailor, taking him to a bar and taking a little souvenir of scotch, whiskey or whatever he drinks. Diana introducesk us to Victor Stone describing him as having "Organic and Biomechitronic body parts. A Cyborg" He stops a car from hitting someone and tells him that he should probably move. The first quip of the trailer but I'll get more into that later. We've all seen the first meeting of Barry Allen and Bruce but this has a little more like Barry running and him being in shock when he realizes that Bruce is Batman. Batman then swings into action against some parademons and quickly gets them out of the way. Diana is heard saying" They said the age of heroes would never come again" as we see quick shots of Flash, Cyborg Wonder Woman, Aquaman and that leads to shots showing off what they can do. Aquaman takes a leap and throws his triton into two parademons, Wonder Woman sweeps the legs of a some random guys, similar to what we've seen in the trailers for her solo film, Cyborg flys into the night sky and Flash is just too fast some someone and pushes something through a door and into a wall. I'm guessing after the Barry meets Bruce scene, both of them are in Bruce's car and Barry asks bruce what his super power is? Bruce's response is "I'm Rich".
The sounds of Come Together by Gary Clark and Junkie XL is a solid theme for this trailer as Batman flies into a hole, gets into The Night Crawler to help Diana. There are quick shots of Victor Stone playing football, Diana using her gauntlets and shield, Barry using what looks to be the speed force, a shot of Lois Lane, Aquaman using his power of the ocean, a first look at Amber Heard as Mere, Billy Crudup as Henry Allen in a jail phone call with Barry, A giant battle scene with what looks to be Amazons, which would be amazing if Diana instills the help of her fellow warriors of , the Batmobile trying to blow away more parademons, which Diana helps with and Diana landing between Aquaman and Cyborg ready to do battle with two words: Shall We? The trailer ends with Jim Gordon talking to Batman on a roof top about how it's good to see him working with others again while Wonder Woman looks on. That little line is a big one because that seems like is another reference to past Robin's so maybe this could lead to an appearance from Tim Drake. Aquaman joins in and simply says "Dressed like a Bat. I dig it" Bruce says this could only be temporary and the final shot is of Aquaman giving Batman a head nod and riding the Batmobile in order to take out some parademons. Yes, I will repeat that. Aquaman is riding on top of the Batmobile.
I've never been one to say that "DC Films should be "serious and gritty" because at the core of most of those characters, they are bright and vibrant. I'm very, very ok with how this looks a tad dark but still has fun to it. Look at how bright the speed force is and even with Wonder Woman's costume, it's not a muted color palette. These characters have different personalities and humor to some extent so of course they will crack a joke or two and that's ok. Barry is a kid, Victor has a bit of a strained relationship with his father, Arthur and Diana are royalty and Bruce, as he put it, is "rich" with Ninja like abilities. That collection shouldn't work but it does. Aquaman stole the show and I really believe he could do the same in the film. I didn't want to see Superman at all and I'm glad that didn't happen. If they want to tease him in the next on, say with a shot of a black suit or long hair, I'm perfectly fine with that because we all know he's going to come back. Hell, Henry Cavil was on set so it's not a huge secret. I really want WB/DC to succeed, put out good films that we can all love and I really think that this is a step in the right direction.
Justice League will hit theaters on November 17, 2017
Justice League Trailer
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Ezra is now left to wander as Maul did along the deserts of Tatooine. He tells Chopper to find help, but Chopper refuses to leave Ezra alone to the mercy of this unforgiving sandstorm. So, the two venture out into the storm and eventually Chopper shuts down, and Ezra passes out but not before he sees a glimpse of a figure. That figure being the one only Obi- Wan Kenobi who as rescued both Ezra and Chopper from the storm.
When Ezra comes back to consciousness the first thing, Kenobi says, “You’re in the wrong place, Ezra Bridger.” As soon as I heard that line spoken two things stood out, the first being the voice which sounded so much like Alec Guinness, and the second was this character is Ben Kenobi and not Obi-Wan Kenobi. This scene transported me back to New Hope and had to be one of the most satisfying scenes in Star Wars Rebels thus far.