“Wolverine may be dead… but what will happen to his mortal remains, encased in something as rare and powerful as Adamantium? The battle for control of this valuable artifact has begun! But why does it matter so much… and why is a war brewing in Logan’s name? Death is on the books for a dozen heroes and villains, and Mystique is playing chess with them all, including X-23, Sabretooth, Daken, Lady Deathstrike and more! Murder, mutilation, betrayal and trauma… none will be spared!
Mystique’s endgame is now in final swing – everything is exactly how she planned in this penultimate issue!”
2015’s Wolverines series reaches its issue 19 mark (released May 2015), and features the writing talents of Charles Soule. Interior artist for this issue is the talented Ariela Kristantina, and the particularly eye-catching cover art is courtesy of Juan Doe – which really does sound like a bit of a pseudonym, doesn’t it?
Related Link: http://marvel.com/comics/issue/52933/wolverines_2015_19
I’m not really into spending time collecting my thoughts in the form of movie, gaming, television reviews any more, but that said, I do like coming back three of four years later to see just how my enjoyment/appreciation of any given piece may have changed over time.
Hence these little capsule reviews of things I’ve watched over the last few months.
Civil War vet John Carter is transplanted to Mars, where he discovers a lush, wildly diverse planet whose main inhabitants are 12-foot tall green barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, who is in desperate need of a savior.
I have to say, I enjoyed this otherworldly sci-fi action film literally from start to finish. Great actors, great action sequences, wondrous worlds and a truly enjoyable story + ending means that I can’t help but give a solid thumbs up for this polished epic.
When the powerful Darkseid and his massive, relentless forces invade Earth, a group of previously unaligned super heroes – misunderstood and, in some cases, hunted by the authorities – discover that the only way to fend off the attack will be to work together as a cohesive unit. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Shazam! and, in his origin story, Cyborg combine their respective talents in an all-out battle to save the planet.
The animation is slick and superb, the voice acting is perfect, and the action is perfect comic book action. The New 52 angle means a fresh look at some tired faces, and quite frankly, everything just works in this over the top, enjoyable, and action-packed Justice League animated movie hit!
With Lex Luthor granted the power to go back in time and eliminate the Justice League before it was even started, it is left up to young heroes of the 31st century, Dawnstar and Karate Kid to travel back in time and try and fix this disaster they accidentally unleashed – before all the timelines are completely altered beyond repair!
This is a standalone direct to video film that doesn’t form part of the current DC Animated Original Movies stable, the reason being that it is pitched at the slightly younger viewer and as such the story comes with a strong moral motivation attached to it. I’m not the primary audience and as such can’t say I really enjoyed it, even if there isn’t really any wrong with it per say. That said, the fact that the primary Leaguers aren’t the stars of the show here, might just hurt it as well.
Giant monsters arise from the deep and threaten to overrun the world. Earth’s only defense are the gigantic fighting mecha known as Jaegers. But after years of slugging it out, the Jaegers have all but fallen, and the monster Kaiju appear to be increasing in number and strength!
An absolute visual feast, there is no other way of describing this epic sci-fi monster versus mecha slobber knocker. It’s a great film from start to finish, loads of action and drama, plus a satisfying storyline even if the majority of the international Jaegers get so little screen time! Excellent acting and a fantastic soundtrack makes for a very polished film outing which I thoroughly enjoyed!
God of Thunder Thor finds himself disobeying Odin one too many times, and as a result, is punished by being banished to Midgard (Earth) for his disobedience to the All Father. However, this perfectly orchestrated play by the Trickster Loki, is exactly the opening he has been waiting for – and his allies the Frost Giants at his side, the play is made to make Asgard his once and for all!
This movie couldn’t have been better cast quite frankly, with the characters and actors all being perfectly matched up. Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Tom Hiddleston as Loki are literally perfect, and in the end, so is the movie. This is a fantastic comic book movie done right, with a larger than life story, mind-blowing visual affects, and just the perfect amount of drama and fantasy action. Comic book movie perfection in other words!
A malevolent evil spirit is awakened, and bonded with the hapless Jane Foster. This in turn awakens the Dark Elf Malekith, and with him comes a renewed attempt to take down Odin and Asgard with him. With Jane now under Asgard’s protection, Thor is forced to team up with his imprisoned brother Loki if there is any hope of stopping Malekith’s overwhelming forces – and the immense power of the Aether!
Following on from the slick and thoroughly enjoyable first Thor movie, this second outing pretty much continues where the original left off. Once again the actors are perfect, and in turn, the story is a perfect fantasy comic book yarn, with big stakes, plenty of action, and not to mention more than a little drama to go around. Great soundtrack, superb visuals, this is yet again another comic book film done right!
An old acquaintance sends word from Japan that he is on his deathbed and as such would like to personally thank and say farewell to Logan. Of course things are never quite so cut and dry for the Wolverine, who soon finds himself leaving his self-imposed exile, travelling to Japan, and embroiled in the middle of a fierce battle over the daughter of a powerful and rich family. A life that needless to say he feels responsible for and must save, no matter the cost!
The first standalone Wolverine movie (X-Men Origins: Wolverine ) was quite frankly horrible. Pleasingly, this time around it is much, much better. Hugh Jackman has without a doubt grown much more into his Wolverine persona, and with a drama-filled story that features exotic locales, ninjas, yakuza and not to mention exhilarating (and bloody) action sequences, The Wolverine ends up being a fantastic comic book movie. It is ever so slightly too long, but that isn’t a complete deal breaker for me, and in the end I seriously enjoyed it – which is great, because the X-Men family of movies really does need a bit of a boost in my book (based purely on how bad they look compared to the awesome current crop of Marvel Universe releases!)
Gary King and the lads are all grown up these days, well everyone but Gary King that is. A man with a lot of personal problems to deal with but with no concept of responsibility anyway, rounds up the old gang for the sole purpose of completing a pub crawl they failed to complete as lads. The final target of the 12 pub crawl being the renowned World’s End. Unfortunately for the group though, they’re about to find out first hand that something downright alien is going on in their old stomping grounds…
Rounding out the so-called Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End), this is another Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost collaboration and thus blends the same everyday life and drama with some completely over the top twists and then some completely over the top action sequences. As expected, the film is slickly done and well put together, the twist is over the top – as expected, and to be honest, it really does fit in as another installment of the Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz puzzle. In other words, if you liked those, then you’ll like this one. As for me, it wasn’t horrible, I did laugh occasionally, but I can’t say I necessarily walked away having enjoyed it.
I’m quite a fan of Jock’s always pleasing comic book artwork (having first been introduced to his work in Judge Dredd Megazine all those years ago), and thus it came as no surprise that he nailed this piece of cover art, featuring everyone’s favourite short, surly, and unbreakable mutant, Wolverine.
In case you were wondering, this comes off the cover of Wolverine Max issue 5, released in 2012.
After the events of Second Coming and the stunning conclusion to X-Force, X-23 strikes out on her own in this 2010 ongoing series from Marvel Comics, written by best-selling author Majorie Liu, spinning out of the events of Wolverine #1! X-23 has never had an easy relationship with the rest of the X-Men, but when she learns someone has taken down Wolverine, she must step up to fill his shoes.
While the interior art chores on X-23 fell to artist Will Conrad, artist Danni Shinya Luo, known for her gorgeous watercolor depictions of fantasy girls, was tasked with coming up with what ended up being a pretty awesome cover for the latest book featuring everyone’s favourite girl with claws!
Because you can never have enough Spider-Man titles stocking the shelves, Marvel kicked off 2012 by launching Avenging Spider-Man, featuring a kick-ass Spider-Man/Hulk story from writer Zeb Wells, featuring a host of characters from the current Avengers line-up including the likes of Hawkeye, Spider-Woman,Wolverine, Thor, Steve Rogers and Iron Man, never mind the Red Hulk himself!
Handling the pencils for this 22 page story is the ever popular (and perhaps one of my personal favourites) Joe Madureira, who also stepped in to create this awesome piece of cover art, featuring some pretty angry meta-humans!
There is a nationwide killing spree on the go, the latest victims discovered in New York. One grizzly detail though – all the corpses are missing their brains – and by a young eyewitness’ account, the perpetrator appears to be none other than Wolverine himself!
Meanwhile, Wolverine has upped and disappeared from his school, and with recurring blackouts and nightmarish visions tormenting him, seeks out the cause of what, or whom, might be behind all of this – the answer of which probably lies at the nightmarish and long abandoned Dunwich Sanitorium…
With a new writer on board, Wolverine #305 kicks off with a new story arc entitled “Rot”, written by Wolverine newcomer Cullen Bunn.
It’s a pretty dark and twisted setup issue for what looks like it is going to turn into quite a satisfying, drama heavy, horror-driven tale, and does an excellent job in terms of bringing everyone up to speed and laying out Bunn’s take on the rather dark but now balanced character that is Logan.
In addition to the broody, dark horror setup, Bunn also manages to throw in plenty of slice and dice action, as he has Wolverine cut up a number of beasties made up of dripping human parts, courtesy of one very deranged, and dangerous individual, who doesn’t quite reveal himself until the very last page – in only a way that he could!
In other words, this is a comic well worth picking up.
Artwork is delivered courtesy of penciler Paul Pelletier, inker David Meikis and colorist Rain Beredo, and together they form quite a team, with Paul’s detailed pencils receiving just the right amount of weight from Meikis meticulous inks.
Visually, Wolverine #305 doesn’t put a step wrong, and combined with a fantastic story from Cullen, it really is worth picking up.
Hulk Vs Wolverine: The Incredible Hulk has been tearing a line across the Canadian countryside, leaving a swath of destruction in his wake. He must be stopped at all costs, and there’s only one man up to the job. He’s the best there is at what he does, but what he does isn’t very nice. He’s Wolverine.
Hulk Vs Thor: With the forces protecting Asgard at their weakest, Loki the trickster seizes the opportunity to destroy his cursed stepbrother, Thor, once and for all. In an epic battle that pits god against monster, the Mighty Thor is forced to clash with the only creature that has ever been able to match his strength – the Incredible Hulk!
Hulk Vs is an interesting experiment I guess, in that it consists of two unrelated short Hulk battle movies, pasted together on one disc to be sold as a single animated feature film. Sure, this feels like a bit of a cheat, but when you think of it, it is actually pretty cool that for a change they didn’t cheat you by asking you to only buy one disc instead of two!
The first tale, Hulk Vs Wolverine is directed by Takuji Endo and is based on a screenplay by Christopher Yost and Craig Kyle. This is very much a no holds barred slobber-knocker-fest, as for the first two thirds of its shortish runtime, the feature consists of little more than Hulk and Wolverine brutally pummelling one another (with a surprisingly large amount of blood for a Marvel animated feature).
However, things take a twist with the arrival of a couple of super villains towards the end, which adds a little more depth to the tale, and thanks to the inclusion of Deadpool, injects a little humour into proceedings.
In terms of animation, it does take a moment or two to get into the heavily stylized character designs, but the animation itself is fluid and the fights well choreographed, making for a good looking animated feature. Similarly, the voice actors used work well, and are accompanied by a decent music score to take in, the end result of it all being a non-stop guy-orientated feature, with lots of animated violence and the occasional chuckle or two to go along with this entertaining little piece of Marvel eye-candy.
The second tale, Hulk Vs Thor, is a little more cerebral than the first fight-fest, also based on a screenplay by Christopher Yost and Craig Kyle, and is directed by Takuji Endo and Sam Liu.
This one sees the usual plot device of Loki attacking Asgard whilst Odin is in his Odin Sleep state, but this time around Loki manipulates Hulk into doing his dirty work for him, by extracting Bruce Banner out of the Hulk, leaving behind a rampaging monster over which Loki has some control and who pretty threatens to rip Odin’s kingdom apart if left unchecked. Enter Thor and what follows is again a great big battle movie (with less blood that the previous feature funnily enough), though this time around there are more than a few fronts on which fights need to be fought.
Certainly more serious than the first tale, but at the same time equivalent in terms of the amount of raw, untamed action you get subjected to.
The art style switches for this second feature, featuring slightly less stylized characters than in the first outing, but nevertheless stylized enough to set it apart from other animated features found on television at the moment. Again action and animation is fluid and well executed, making for a polished visual outing, complemented by a good voice acting cast as well as solid supporting soundtrack.
So in summary, Hulk Vs is an interesting experiment and well worth picking up for the short bursts of exciting comic book hero mayhem that it delivers, though you must go into it not expecting a story masterpiece to be able to get the most out of it.
A worth entry into the Marvel comic book film stable then, even if it does feel slightly out of place.
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hulk_Vs
Hey, whilst my English Premier League and Champions League SuperBru performances have taken a bit of a knock as we enter the last stages of those two leagues, I’m quite pleased to see that by some miracle of some sort, I’m actually doing pretty well in my Super Rugby outing.
As you can see from the stats below, I’m sitting on a 76.71% win accuracy, putting me in the top 1% of all SuperBru Super Rugby players, at position 860 out of 152,206!
Not too bad for a guy who has probably only sat down to watch two or so games in the entire season! (In other words, thank you Supersport Blitz for keeping me in the loop!)
With this streak of luck, maybe I should convince the Evan to host another one of his competitive-natured poker evenings – I could do with winning the pot for a change! :P
After all, if a comic book character like Wolverine can do it…
(In case you’re wondering, this delightful piece of comic book art was whipped up by one Paolo Rivera back in 2009 for Marvel’s Wolverine appreciation month, his “Wolverines playing Poker” drawing heavily on C.M. Coolidge’s famous Dogs playing Poker piece).
— Update (20/11/2012) —
As it turned out, I ended up winning my pools for this years Super Rugby tournament, ending up pretty high in the world standings as you can see via the screenshot below. Also, I went on to win my pools for the 2012 Currie Cup as well, meaning a good year for SuperBru Rugby then! :)
The Punisher, a driven man hellbent on punishing criminals and not afraid to kill as punishment. Wolverine, a pretty feral hero, a driven man, who tries not to kill too much of the time, but certainly isn’t against it (unless of course you happen to be starring in a 90’s animated television show).
So it was pretty much a no-brainer that these two badasses had to team-up, hence 1999’s Wolverine/The Punisher Revelation miniseries courtesy of the Knights imprint from Marvel.
With variant covers all the rage around that time, Pat Lee was drafted in to come up with this particularly mean Dynamic Forces variant cover, featuring two very angry men.