Wednesday 30 December 2020

Doctor Strange: The End #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... Doctor Strange! It's literally "the end" as he takes his final journey in life set in a dystopian future. Let's dive in!

It's most certainly a different Doctor Strange who I'm used to seeing going on wild adventures of epic proportions. It's sad to see him retiring into becoming a person who does party tricks for a living and a living joke on the internet (literally) but it's also nice to see him not lose his spark as he quickly dispatches a few thugs who plan to rob him. 

Strange's AI assistant Jenny is very sentient and forms their own mind but Strange doesn't treat them as such but more of an object which is strange seeing that he's lived in a world where AI have developed to points of being very much alive. It's interesting to see that Strange commands yet she speaks back in conversation and it was only in the last of Jenny's moment that for a fleeting moment he treats her as a being which is quickly lost when he shuts the thought down. It's funny how in the twilight years that one's thoughts have not evolved with the times but maybe it's just that he's lived in a world of magic (apparent in that Jenny seems to be the only thing that is technology in his home) that he cannot see anything past that. 

The art in the issue is very light darkness to it and it's very minimal. I thought for a second as to why it was done in this way and then I thought that it must have been that it's to accentuate the loneliness or the loss he feels that his life feels empty which he uses Jenny to try and fill those holes up.

It's a touching moment when he gathers up his friends and peers that have become a part of his journey in consummation to bring back an old friend of his Illyana Rasputin. I guess the retablo that he carries on his shoulder is a metaphor for the weight he feels in finding Illyana which is hauntingly touching. 

Illyana's return is shows charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent as she tells the celestial high beings the Living Tribunal to stick it. The ending is soooo Strange (excuse the pun) as Illyana now finds him immortalised as a statue which provides a true testament and beautiful end for the character.

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A stripped-back world with a stripped back Doctor Strange serves such tender moments in a very dystopian setting.

Doctor Strange: The End #1
Leah Williams - writer
Filipe Andrade - artist
Chris O'Halloran - colour artist
VC's Clayton Cowles letterer
Marvel - publisher

Monday 28 December 2020

True Believers: Empyre - Swordsman #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you some origin realness as the Swordsman takes on the Avengers. Let's dive in!
First of the bat is the character of the Swordsman seems like quite the charmer as being the person that always "has the last word". It's quite new to see a villain take on the Avengers as they seem - umm - untrained with the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver being the new members and being made work of (they are new members and apparently the team itself was in the new stages). 

With this one issue, it seems like everything I knew about Captain America sashayed away as he seems cold and callous (as pointed about by Scarlet Witch too) that it just jumps right into his indulgent selfishness but I guess it sets the journey up for the path of righteousness and redemption. It seems the Cap does care a lot about their image with no saving grace from Nick Fury in giving him some side missions to relive the glory of his shindig days.
It's such a small team with big egos with Hawkeye and Quicksilver wanting Cap out in an attempt to vie for leadership. Scarlet Witch offers fresh insight and perspective which is refreshing of a team of big heads.

Somewhat of a cathartic ending as Cap supposedly sacrificing himself so that the other Avengers don't give in to the demands of the Swordsman. I mean that's the Cap I usually see really. A selfless one at that.
Hydra has a what?? They literally have a weapon that can single-handedly take down the Avengers but only uses it to snooping purposes. Talk about trying to take over the world.

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What happened to Cap? - spoiler alert - he survives somehow or comes back from the dead like s many that they have done in the future.

True Believers: Empyre - Swordsman #1 (reprint of Avengers volume 1 #19)
Stan Lee - writer
Don Heck - artist
Dick Ayers - inker
Artie Simek - letterer

Monday 21 December 2020

True Believers: Empyre - Galactus #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! Bring on Galactus and Reed and Storm look to a normal life after Franklin becomes depowered in the Negative Zone. Let's dive in!

Gosh, it's zinger with Galactus taking on their monologue as they question the existence. It's a totally different side to the doom, hunger, thump, thump, give me food now type of being that I'm so used to seeing. It's refreshing to see a new layer of characterisation of the character which is so fitting as well. The fact that the hunger has subsided leaving the emptiness of their actions behind it. That is until Death comes knocking on the door which is exactly what they do. There's a beautiful shot of their faces halved side by side as Death joins in on the monologue which serves such sweet poetry.

Then at a switch of a button (quite literally), Nova pops in and it begins again. It does build this grandeur especially at how quick it happens and how sorry I feel for the Skrulls who were next on the list for the pecking order. It's really disturbing how unprepared they are and at how sudden that they would lose their lives at a snap of a finger. There is a beauty at the end of it like the big bang but instead of the creation of life, it's the destruction of it. 

The other half brings us to the FF as Johnny wishes wants out of the Baxter building while Reed and Susan want that same sort of normality back in their lives. It's quite interesting to see the other flip side of the coin as most of the characters want more of out of something else that they have not delved into. It does add that extra layer but Reed does point out that it won't always be like that for them and they are just destined to be the Fantastic Four. 

It's strange seeing Susan still being called the Invisible Girl in the issue even after birthing her son and forming a family life for themselves. She's not a girl, not yet a woman.

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Powerful storytelling alone from Galactus sold the issue for me.

True Believers: Empyre - Galactus #1 (reprint of Fantastic Four volume 1 #257)
John Byrne - writer, drawing and inker
Glynis Wein - colourer
Jim Novak - letterer
Al Milgrom - editor
Jim Shooter - earthling

Wednesday 2 December 2020

True Believers: The Criminally Insane - Masters of Evil #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! The Avengers take on the Masters of Evil for the first time. Let's dive in!

I don't actually think I've read a comic with the Masters of Evil or don't really recall but it does remind me of the Frightful Four that takes on different iterations of the Fantastic Four so I'm guessing there some flavour to be had from the both of them. They do give the Avengers a run for their money at first but the Avengers work it out with a suggestion from the newbie in the team that is Captain America. It's actually pretty nice to see Cap in his infancy in the Avengers to leadership status.

It's funny how far they've come from skateboarding on a piece of flooring as they're being towed away on a truck:

It actually got me thinking... can two superheroes or supervillains having the same power be in the same room? I guess it's like rocking up to a party where someone else is wearing the exact same dress as you.

I did not know that the mask that Baron Zemo wears is actually glued up to their head. I always thought it was just a questionable fashion choice - a thing - but now I know it's a permanent thing. Of course, he uses the same tech to wreak havoc on the city bringing in a team of Avengers individual adversaries to play on their weaknesses (kind of like the Psycho Rangers in Power Rangers in Space). The Avengers sneakily do the switcheroo tactic and play on each others foes and you know, win the day. 

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The Masters of Evil reminds me of Scooby-Doo villains

True Believers: The Criminally Insane - Masters of Evil #1 (reprint of Avengers volume 1 #6)
Stan Lee - writer
Jack Kirby - art
Chic Stone - inker
S. Rosen - letterer