Sunday 28 February 2021

WandaVision Season 1 Episode 6 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... Wanda and Vision! It's Halloween and will it be a trick or treat for Pietro's return? Let us dive in! (spoilers ahead)

Love this episode's intro with a throwback to Malcolm in the Middle - it's totally my jam! Love the spin they did with it too with including their powers in it. More to say that both Billy and Tommy had an upgrade in the episodes in terms of major character development - they got powers - kapow! It's interesting that "Pietro" senses can see that Billy break the fourth wall. I just don't believe that Pietro is the same as the one in Fox's X-Men film series as we may have led to believe as he seems really different from the character.

There's a lot of fun in the episode especially with the "me gusto mucho" moment with Wanda and Vision which I had to rewind several times as it was too hilarifying. When they go trick or treating was another hilarifying moment with the added bonus of Wanda's expressions (really sold it for me).

It seems quite tight between Wanda and Vision and Billy seems to senses it by also bringing it to out attention of breaking the fourth wall. A lot of wonderful expressions from Wanda and Vision as they know that the relationship is strained.

Team Monica seems to be gelling together really well as they intuitively work together to overcome their adversaries after being ejected from the operation. I'm just hoping that Monica gets her powers in the series and shows it in full force after it's been hinted at by Darcy showing her medical scans. Then there's Hayward who I always knew was a shady b when it's been uncovered that he had tabs inside the hex all along. 

Vision and Agnes have a wonderful moment and it's so fascinating seeing Agnes's character just come out of character and back in with a flick of a switch. It's one of the main highlights of the episode that proved to become such a memorable moment. 

OMG! The ending is sooooo EPIC! Sent chills down my spine with the sense of urgency and dramatic flair as Billy flags down Wanda while Vision is slowly wasting away having gone outside the hex. When Wanda just let go, my wig went into orbit, sucked into a black hole and sent to a parallel universe. The moment was just beautiful. I had to replay that scene several times for its pure epicness.

Subscribe? Yes!

*cue titles*

Wednesday 24 February 2021

Marvel's Greatest Creators: Silver Surfer - Rude Awakening #1

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you an adventure of galactic proportions as Nova prepares a feast for Galactus for when they take on the might of Thanos but Silver Surfer shows that there is more to life. Let us dive in!

You know... reading this issue made me realise Nova does get around quite a bit with her fair share of herald love interests and does fall for Galactus at some point (insert citation). I mean Galactus does pick 'em right so I don't blame her. Snack! 

Anyway, it's nice to see the juxtaposition shown between her character and Galactus's in this issue with - spoiler alert - that Silver Surfer shows her a planet much like Earth and ask if she would have Galactus destroy it and without hesitation, she says she would. A but and a VERY big but and I'm not talking about the mighty derriere of Galactus, it's Earth in the prehistoric times when men walked Earth resembling more of our ancestral Neanderthals. She gasps and realises the reality of her actions. It kind of provides a fresh new perspective on morality and choice which paints Nova in a different light in this issue especially by the end, which is tragic yet beautiful at the same time. 

With the new perspective in place, it kinds of got me thinking about Galactus in being umm... not a villain. I guess in some regards like Dracula who is found in a circumstance that they have to an urge to fulfil their hunger but it satisfied by blood or in Galactus case in the destruction of a planet to harvest its resources. I mean Galactus wanted to take down Thanos as he realises that the threat that he brings. See... good guy! 

There is no Galactus issue without destruction unless the Fantastic Four stop you of course! It provides such a beautiful juxtaposition to the life that Nova sees and posed even more by the beautiful yet terrifying destruction of a planet and a body floating in space that Nova witnesses. This issue has so much depth to it ending on a cherry on the top poignant ending as Nova contemplates the future of planets ahead. 

Wait, how did Silver Surfer become Superman with time travel super-speeding. He ain't breaking a sweat... weeerk. 

Subscribe? Yasss

Galactus want that feast... nom, nom, nom, nom

Marvel's Greatest Creators: Silver Surfer - Rude Awakening #1 (originally published as Silver Surfer volume 1 #51)
Ron Marz - writer
Ron Lim - penciler
Tom Christopher - inker
Ken Bruzenak - letterer
Tom Vincent - colourist 
Marvel - publisher

Monday 22 February 2021

WandaVision Season 1 Episode 5 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... WandaVision (cue the titles)! Kids... you can't control 'em. Let us dive in! (spoilers ahead!)

Here we go! Two major Marvel characters in de facto force, well... kinda. Billy and Tommy are finally here in the MCU and they grow up so fast or in Agnes's words "you can't control 'em". It's nice to see the sitcom elements continuing into the next decade with Agnes bringing in full fun. She comes in yet again... in fact twice in the episode at the most opportune moments. It's very strange though as she becomes self-aware that she's in a sitcom herself and seemingly know about Wanda's abilities but not to the full extent as she is caught unaware when the kids tell her to bring their newly adopted dog back from the dead as they are found dead in the arms of Agnes. Something doesn't add up and it's sort of the same case for Wanda that there are circumstances where she's been caught off-guard. I wonder though how much Agnes knows about Wanda.

With Billy and Tommy, their personalities aren't as blown up yet in this episode as I guess it's still the Wanda and Vision show as Wanda tends to her motherly duties while Vision goes to work. It's interesting that the children can't be persuaded or as Agnes puts it "control" as Wanda can't seem to use her powers of persuasion to influence their answers when asked why their father is working on a Saturday. Kind of how Agnes presents herself in this episode too in that she seems to be living on her own accord. Ralph gets a mention too in that she gets sprayed with lavender as there's no ummm... taming this beast. Hang on, what kind of spray is this? 

Hayward seems to be showing his true colours in this episode it seems a nefarious plan brewing in the mix. Love the touch when Woo says "Hayward's a..." and actually finished by Hayward himself when he was describing something else, which turns out to be "terrorists". This has to be a clear indication of things to come from Hayward, right?

It's great to see Monica come into the mix and this episode really shows many sides to her in being able to adapt quickly into a group with Darcy and Woo, perseverance and empathy. I love that she still believes in the good in Wanda despite everyone else's misgivings, sensing her grief and speaking to Wanda on a level of empathy. For me, she's definitely the one to watch.

It's great to see how Wanda wrestles with motherhood and using her own experiences to pass words of wisdom to the kids and Wanda is self-aware without feeling the need to conceal herself. Something must have flicked her switch or maybe it was Monica who started the process. What's more confusing though is that she must be fully self-aware as she was able to come out of the hex which makes points of previous episodes even more confusing. It's nice to see the puzzle pieces coming together.

Things start to unravel on Vision's side as he learns more and more with us. Both points do come colliding at the end as I've never seen Vision erupt like that. Like hun, he went through the roof and sent my wig with it. It's what I'm loving the series is that it showcases these characters in a new light. 

Subscribe? Yes!

Wanda, who is doing this to you?

WandaVision Season 1 Episode 4 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... WandaVision! We're getting a slice of lemon tea as we delve into the world outside. Let us dive in! (warning: spoiler alert!)

Now we get to know the real Monica Rambeau and snaps to that. It's quite the opener as we see the world returning from the blip following Avengers: Endgame and super great seeing her reaction to what's happening around her. In fact, she seems unfazed seeing people return back from dust, but then again I thought it was down to the fact that her mother was missing from her bed in the hospital. Then with further thought, I remembered that she did grow up in the world of Captain Marvel and it's not every day you meet aliens from outer space. Off the bat, it's a zinger with the fact that her mother passed away while she was dusted. It built the character of Monica so beautifully that I immediately empathised with her with also knowing that her mother was not able to see her as she was dying. It's beautifully juxtaposed with the bringing life into the world in having delivered one of Wanda's twins.

The return of Darcy! Say what you may about Thor and Thor: The Dark World I actually really enjoy them and I'd say the quirky humour that Darcy made me live for those films a bit more. I was curious how they were going to tie her into WandaVision, but I love her even more. She's not the intern anymore as the show wonderfully fleshes out her character with high intelligence, while even more so retaining her quirky character, which I even live for even more. I found that Darcy and Agent Woo make a good pairing too, with their personalities bouncing off each other. 

Let's get to the main staple of the show, Wanda and Vision! It's a killer of a twist as we see dead Vision and oh my, what a vision it is! It's really shocking and it's very disturbing to think if Wanda is really animating a dead body so she can play happy family. It's really confusing how the personality is nailed down albeit that it does seem like a different vision to the one we see in the films in that he doesn't have full self-awareness but here he does. Love that she ends it by saying, "I have everything under control" which is slightly not true as she is caught off-guard by several things like not being able to control the bird in the third episode or hearing as we find in this episode Woo's voice over the radio.

Subscribe? Yes

I have everything under control.

Sunday 21 February 2021

WandaVision Season 1 Episode 3 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... WandaVision! Wanda is preggers and it's gonna be a gas. Let us dive in! (spoiler alert ahead!)

Much as I love the back and white episodes, do love a colour back in their lives again. I really do hope it gets explored as to why we saw colour in the black and white world but it does throw her off when she saw the toy helicopter and the red blood on Lottie's hand. Anyway, the set design is gorgeous and we get to see the babies' crib (yo!) and the outdoors are done in the style of I'm guessing a more modern sitcom (70's I'm guessing as it seems to be going up by a decade each ep) but it resembles more of a modernist painting. This does seem to limit the outgoings but it is very fitting since Wanda is staying more indoors as her pregnancy is a secret (hardly). 

There's been a switcheroo to the characters with Geraldine upgrading to supporting character while Agnes takes more of a minor role but an important one I would say (sadly no running Ralph jokes this episode). I have no idea if Geraldine is playing up to her character but she does it so well in the episode and she brings a life of air to the scene. I love that she was the one that brought one of the twins into the world juxtaposed with the death of her mother

It's pretty interesting to see Agnes seems to have an awareness of the world she's in as if staying quiet about it will allow her to remember more details. Not sure if it's fear or just nosiness about the situation of Geraldine being the outsider. Nonetheless, it seems to play off either way especially she makes a dash for it when Vision presses her.

The main course was the playoff between Wanda and Vision as her imminent birth leads to a tumultuous of events that are super fun to see and brings a different flavour to the episode full of joy and fun. The facade seems to break down more for Vision though as he starts to notice some things are not right from the hints he gets from Agnes, Herb and the doctor. This is super apparent when nice Wanda becomes scary Wanda at the end of the episode when Geraldine asks about Ultron and her brother which hit more than a nerve with Wanda. There's an eeriness when Geraldine vanishes and has a very deadpan expression.

Subscribe? Yes

The twist at the end has me gagged

Wednesday 17 February 2021

True Believers: Avengers - Nebula (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... some cosmic intergalactic hoedown - cue the music! This time I'm bringing you some Avengers and Skrulls team-up as they bring the beat 'em up to Nebula. Let us dive in!

Diving straight into the deep end with this being part of Secret Wars II crossover event which I know very little about so don't really know Nebula's real motive but that she wants to bring doom and gloom. To be honest, I'm not very well acquainted with the comic book version of Nebula so can't really make much commentary on that front but the girl knows what she wants and she gonna get it!

Anyway, in what world does the Avengers team up with Thanos to take down Nebula??? I could almost forget that the Avengers are working with Skrulls. Anyway, in what world does the Avengers team up with Skrulls to take down Nebula??? 

It is revealed - spoiler alert - that Nebula and Starfox are related?!? Somebody write me a book of revelations and not of the biblical sense - amen!

A lot of the story focusses around Firelord who should have teamed up with the Avengers as he finds - spoiler alert - that Nebula has destroyed his hometown. Hell hath no fury like a - ummm - wo-man scorned as he exacts revenge and takes it to Nebula's ship. It's beautifully detailed and his anger comes off the page but funnily enough built up to the point that Nebula should fear him but is blasted off and no one there lit-ter-rally knew he was even there as he gets blasted off faster than team rocket and into the arms of the Beyonder. 

Beyonder does seem naive in this in that he pops in wanting to help the Avengers but zaps Nebula and the crew away when they truly just want her to be brought to justice. Oh Beyonder, you did it again! *cue comedic music*

So much does happen in this comic with great chemistry between the Avengers and Skrulls in taking Nebula's ship down. Captain America giving that fresh valiancy talk with the Skrulls to be less - uhhh - villainous. It's great to see Avengers out in space and adapting to their new surroundings. I just wonder why Nebula is that much of a foe that brings together the Avengers and Skrulls...

Subscribe? Yes!

Show me the money! Oh, I mean the true colours of the Beyonder and of why he wants the Avengers!

True Believers: Avengers - Nebula #1 (reprint of Avengers V1 #260)
Roger Stern - writer
John Buscema - breakdowns
Tom Palmer - finisher
Jim Novak - letterer
Christie Scheele - colourist
Marvel - publisher

Tuesday 16 February 2021

Frieze Sculpture 2020 part 2 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... oh well, part 2 of my part 1 postie on Frieze sculpture! Here are the rest of the sculptures. Let us dive in!

7. Lupine Tower - Arne Quinze

8. Torre di Saba - Gianpietro Carlesso

9. The Plait - Kalliopi Lemos

10. Untitled 1 (Bronze Bodybuilders) - David Altmejd

11. Five Conversations - Lubaina Himid

12. Humans-Animals-Monsters - Patrick Goddard

Monday 15 February 2021

True Believers: Fantastic Four - Marvel Two-in-one #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing some monster on monster action as the Thing tends to Man-Thing for stealing their thunder. Let us dive in!

You know, the Thing is quite bully despite their many valiant heroism. I definitely would not want to get on the wrong side of them. The Thing gets wind that someone else has claimed the part of their name in "Man-Thing" so without any second thought wants to give them a taste of the same medicine for umm... claiming his name as part of their name. Sounds confusing but I'll work it. Then he torments the shopkeeper in paying part of his ride and then torments the bus driver to drop him off a point that isn't the bus stop. Like... take several seats, hun. 

Can't say that I'm very well acquainted with the Man-Thing but they seem charming for a being of very little words. They look very cuddly but probably best not to be caught dead of night. Poor Man-Thing, he can't seem to catch a break in the peace of the swamp. There is respite for the Thing in seeing that Man-Thing's situation is much worse than his.

Love that the word "porno" is exchanged between the Thing and the shopkeeper. I just hear a kid somewhere asking their parents, "mum, dad... what's a porno?" 

The son of the Molecule Man adopts the mantle seeking revenge for their father's exile. He is quite terrifying actually especially in his transformation. Kind of reminds me of the Gangers from the Doctor Who as they are terrifying in how they are formed. He does get too big for his boots by undermining Man-Thing who later gets him back anyway. The Molecule Man's power comes from umm... a magic wand which taketh away his power with Thing knocking it out his hand with a bit of ummm.... Man-Thing's sludge. This comic is all kind of weird.

Subscribe? Yes

The turn of the century moment when Thing turns from wanting to give Man-Thing a thumping to lovey-dovey.

True Believers: Fantastic Four - Marvel Two-in-one #1
Steve Gerber - writer
Gil Kane - penciler
Joe Sinnott - inker
Jean Izzo - letterer
G. Roussos - colourist
Marvel - publisher

Saturday 13 February 2021

True Believers: Marvel Knights 20th Anniversary - Daredevil and the Defenders #1

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you some nailbiting tension as the crackdown of Daredevil whereabouts are sought while he is bleeding out. Let us dive in!

The pacing of the writing is beautifully done and in a matter of minutes, I was completely enthralled and wanting more, more, more like Rina Sawayama. It's propelled by a strong sense of urgency interwoven with different layers of story that ultimately comes together beautifully like a jigsaw in the final hurrah of the issue. 

The art style is I gritty, dark and unpolished. It complimented the writing and helped pace it forward. I did flit through this super quick so the art styling is very clear to follow - werk.

The camaraderie (or lack thereof) between Urich and Kingpin is so fascinating with Urich taking a swipe at him to get the answers. For a fleeting moment Kingpin looked vulnerable but I wasn't too sure if it was the intention or if I just got it wrong as a few frames later it appeared that Kingpin had their winning face which was mindboggling. Can't quite put my finger on it yet...

On the other side, you have Black Widow and Elektra duking it out with threats galore between the two with Black Widow saying she'll whoop Elektra's buttock. This is sooooo meta with Black Widow zapping Elektra in the face and Elektra being hilariously fine on the next page. Maybe Elektra is more of a threat than Black Widow anticipates but they're all on the same team for the moment.

Subscribe? Yes

It does have a cinematic quality to it with fast pacing writing with action and art to compliment.

True Believers: Marvel Knights 20th Anniversary - Daredevil and the Defenders #1 (reprint of Daredevil Volume 2 #80)
Brian Michael Bendis - writer
Alex Maleev - artist
Dave Stewart - colours
VC's Randy Gentile - letters
Marvel - publisher

Wednesday 10 February 2021

DC Classics: The Batman Adventures #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... some Batsy, Batsy, Batsy! Penguin's a do-gooder but Bats is having none of it and is coming to crash the party. Let us dive in!

Batman is my homie! I actually grew up with the animated series on which I believe that this comic spun from. But yeah, can't exactly remember fully well how the writing was but the one in this issue has its quirks with learning new words with Penguin. 

To be honest, I don't know much about Penguin except what I've seen in cartoons and Batman Returns. So it's refreshing to see that he's very well-spoken and has a certain knack to him that shines charm that quickly descends into villainy outcry. He calls the shots to some extent but it's interesting to seem a man of such intellect be pulled by the strings of their puppet master that is - spoiler alert - the joker (who other than him though?) and ironically gets the last laugh for their namesake.

Batman on the other side of the coin does not see the good in Penguin. I mean why can't villains catch a break when they "appear" to be good. He comes in for that bing, bang, wallop moment in bringing the henchmen down. Love a good sound effect - it can drive me wild. Just give me a comic full of thump sound effects and I'm there, babes. 

The art styling is very, very, very in tune with the animated series so no complaints from me there. It's pretty much almost like it's done down to a T.

Subscribe? Uh-huh, yeah!

Bruce and I are on a first name basis

DC Classics: The Batman Adventures #1 (originally printed as The Batman Adventures #1)
Kelley Puckett - writer
Ty Templeton - penciller
Rick Burchett - inker
Rick Taylor - colourist
TIm Harkins - letterer
Scott Peterson - editor
DC Comics - publisher

Some light in the darkness (Star Log)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... light magic! This time I'm bringing you some Christmas cheer in umm... February. Let us dive in!

So umm... it's lockdown 3.0 here in London and I was hoping to have already seen the Winter Lights festival which ironically I came across in Canary Wharf while visiting a friend and said I'll come back to it when I have time. That time never came. But... here are some Christmas lights to get us in the mood and bring some light into our lives.

Covent Garden

Trafalgar Square

Seven Dials

Carnaby Street

Regent Street

New Bond Street

Oxford Street

South Molton Street

Granary Square

Coals Drop Yard

Monday 8 February 2021

Power Pack #1 (2020) (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... some pow wow! Power Pack are back and ready to knuckle down on life and big bad tackles. Let us dive in!

Love the beginning! It starts off as a child's drawn comic book strip of the backstory and LIVING for it. There was a very funny moment when a character in the strip is shot down dead and I just can't... left my dying that something so graphic was in a child's drawing. The writing does shift to slightly bland compared fresh uptake start of the issue, as the kids try to contend with family life with humour that doesn't stick the landing. I felt that it was slightly held back and it could have been brought more forward in terms of pushing the humour envelope. It felt like dead air. This is slightly saved by the ending with as they work together cohesively to formulate a plan and take down the baddie.

I have to give it to them for re-establishing the characters and fully fledging their personalities out. It was a great joy to actually see them deal with situations in their own way and working together intuitively. It's a nice introduction for me anyway as I've not touched upon the world of Power Pack that often but have picked up a few issues as London Comic Mart after being recommended by a friend. I guess this a shortfall of the lack strong plot or story in the issue.

The art styling is very... minimal. I guess it's not a complaint but the focus was more on the subject but it would work better if there were more visuals on the subject too to push the oomph a bit more. It does feel good to see the powers in full display as well, as their powers are actually visually pleasing. 

Subscribe? I'll give it a go 

Lack of story or plot is aided by strong characterisation and slight visuals

Power Pack #1
Ryan North - writer
Nico Leon - artist
Rachelle Rosenberg - colour artist
VC's Travis Lanham - letterer
Marvel - publisher

Sunday 7 February 2021

WandaVision Season 1 - Episodes 1 & 2 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... WandaVision (it's in the name)! Wanda and Vision star in their very own sitcom and this is gonna be a gas. Let's dive in (spoiler alert)!

The styling is of 50's and 60's sitcom, not that I have much-experienced dating that far but I did grow up watching Bewitched and Ed instantly recognised the styling of the second episode. Who would have funked it those modern-day heroes living in a black and white world? It's probably because I'm so accustomed to the world of the MCU. It's a very welcome change and very refreshing to straight into headfirst. 

There's not much of a story going on but we see newlywed Wanda and Vision live their lives as much as possible and it's so much fun and very easy to get into like moments when the crowd clap it was very easy to anticipate and clap along with them with a sense of involvement. The title sequences are so much fun too and set up both episodes perfectly which are cleverly done in the retrospect of their era. There are genuine LOL moments like the cooking scene in the first episode and the talent show in the second episode but these moments.

It's not always so rosy as there is the punctuation of eeriness such as when Vis's boss choking causing Wanda to break character which begs the question of how fully self-aware she is of their situation (which Vis also questions when we first see him at work). But then by the end of the second episode, a beekeeper comes out of the sewers and she seems to know them and manipulates the reality around her... You know, tryna piece together the puzzle to solve the mystery!

I was never really invested in the relationship of Wanda and Vision much in the films as I felt that not much set up was done to cement in place but I felt the reckoning did happen from the end of Infinity War when I really shipped them. The episodes do really shine a different light on them bringing a warm, sweet and endearing awwww moments throughout which makes the moments of when the real world break.

There's also Agnes who helps out Wanda at the most opportune moments and brings the comedy in bucketloads. The running joke is the joke she makes about her husband Ralph which are hilarious but there must be more to it. There's Geraldine too who is such a sweetheart and very likeable and I know that she's Monica Rambeau but it'll be interesting to see who she really is outside of this world.

Subscribe? Yes!

This is gonna be a gas!