#TBT: Wolverine (1982 Comic Book)

For this #TBT, I went with a book I’ve heard a lot from recommendations. Wolverine is written by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller (1982) and follows fan-favorite Logan, aka Wolverine, as he returns to Japan in an effort to win back the heart of his love, Mariko. Things don't go so well once in Japan and he learns that not only is Mariko married to an abusive husband, but that her father is attempting to seize control of the criminal underworld.

Logan ends up in a bitter struggle to free Mariko from her situation, win back her heart and also eliminate Mariko's father. Only thing standing in his way is the fearsome Hand, a group of ninja assassin's who push Wolverine to his breaking point.

I had this comic recommended to me by the Commonman Vince Ciotoli and Ken M. and after reading it I thought it was good. This movie served as the source material for the 2013 movie with High Jackman and overall I enjoyed it. The story is good with plenty of action but I felt some of the dialogue got a little repetitive, such as wolverine mentioning in his inner monologue how certain attacks would have crippled him if not for his adamantium skeleton and it's somewhat annoying when you know the character pretty well. But again, it's a good comic.

I'm giving Wolverine a B.

Thanks always for reading and I hope you are enjoying my #tbt reviews. Until next time, Signal Out!

#TBT: Mallrats

Hey guys! I Wanted to do a section of the blog for throwback Thursdays where I review older media:

Mallrats is directed by Kevin Smith and follows two young guys who are down on their luck with their girlfriends. Broddie, a comic loving geek who lives in his mother's basement who couldn't give his girlfriend the time of day, and Quint, who's girlfriend dumped in order to further her father's career. Both meetup after their breakups and go to the one place where everyone is able to find what they need; the mall.

Meeting up with their friends Jay and Silent Bob, Broddie and Quint are given the opportunity to win back both their women and hopefully be better people by the end.

This is a movie all comic fans should watch. As Ken M put it, "Brody is the spirit animal of all nerds". The characters are all great in this movie and play off each other really well. Jay and Silent Bob are great as always in their roles and this movie easily has the best appearance of Stan Lee in a movie.

Hard to review a comedy with giving away the highlights so I'm going to give Mallrats an A.

Honestly, despite this being a comedy, this movie does a great job at teaching you can either live in your own world wishing about what you want to be doing, or go out and live the life you're dreaming of. So if you haven't seen this movie, than trust me true believers and check it out now!

Until next time, Signal Out!

The Boys Season 1

The Boys is the new Amazon Prime show based on Garth Ennis' comic of the same name. In this world, Superheroes are a business and are more concerned about their public appearance then actually being heroes. As such, they don't go about what they do to others so long as they are well liked in the eyes of the media and they get their way.

In the beginning, Hughie and his girlfriend Robyn are in the street as a happy couple until a speedster smashes through Robyn at such a high speed that he turns into a bloody paste, leaving poor Hughie alone holding her hands. As the media plays off Robyn's death as an accident that was her fault instead of the A-Train, the speedster, Hughie is approached by Billy Butcher, played excellently by Karl Urban, who wants to give Hughie his revenge on the supes.

Along the way, Butcher forms a team to help Hughie and himself take the fight to the 7; this world's version of the Justice League. Things quickly become complicated when Hughie falls for the 7's newest member Starlight, who after her first day on the job realizes Superheroes are not above humans, but are in fact worse than humans in many ways.

I had a blast with this show. The characters are great, especially Butcher who doesn't give to craps about what anyone thinks about him or what he says. His main goal is take out Homelander who is responsible for Butcher's wife disappearing and as a result, is willing to go to extremes, which is sorta justified when you have to take on "Superman". Amazon really sunk money into this show and you can tell. Fight scenes are well directed and the CGI is very good. I think my only complaint with the show is 8 episode season to be honest.

I'm giving Season 1 of the Boys an A+.

Guys thanks always for reading and check in tomorrow for my new #tbt review.

Stranger Things Season 3 (SPOILER FREE)

Stranger Things Season 3 is up on Netflix right now after over a year of waiting and right from the start I wanna say it did not disappoint. This is a spoiler free review for those of you who haven't seen it or finished it.

The season takes place over a year after Season 2 and life in Hawkins is now fairly normal. The gate has been shut and everyone is off doing their own thing. Eleven and Mike are dating, much to Hopper's annoyance. Max and Lucas are also dating, leaving Will out in the cold by myself as he struggles to hold onto his childhood memories. Dustin is coming back from a month Summer camp and he too as a girlfriend, albeit long distance.

So yup, apart from Will, things are going well for our group of heroes...so que the Russians because no 80s themed show is complete without a bunch of references to that time!

The season in my opinion was better than 2. It was much better paced and didn't have any episodes that felt filler. Only complaint was a slow start but I didn't care because the characters are all so well done that you don't care about spending time with them. It also did a great job at throwing in the 80s nostalgia without hindering the story.

I'm going to give Stranger Things S3 an A

Hopefully we won't have to wait as long for S4 but you can bet I'll be ready and excited for it. Until next time guys, Signal Out!

Umbrella Academy Vol. 2

Umbrella Academy Vol. 2 is written and drawn by the same creative team as the first one. The story picks up shortly after the first volume. The Academy is in ruins. Rumor can't talk after her throat was cut and is now living in a bunker beneath the ruined mansion along with an incoherent White Violin and an obese Spaceboy. Kraken is hunting criminals, Seance is doing his own thing and Number 5 is ambushed by time traveling assailants who send deadly assassin's Hasel and Cha-Cha to take out Number 5 unless he fullfills an assassination he was supposed to complete on 11/22/63.

As someone pointed out to me before I read this, this comic has aspects that made it into the first season of the show, specifically dealing with Hasel and Cha-Cha and the time agency Number 5 worked for before he returned to the present. I don't really want to say to much else as the comic does have some fun moments I want you guys to see for yourself, and it has a really good one shot at the end of the book that helps develop Kraken's character a bit and shows some of his past with Vanya and explains why one of the most cut throat of the academy couldn't kill Vanya when given the chance.

I felt this comic was a little weaker than it's predecessor. It wasn't bad by any means and am excited for the Oblivion Hotel tpb that comes out in September, but overall the story was simply the Academy had to once again stop the apocalypse but it wasn't as strong without the cause of the apocalypse being the result of one of their own.

I'm giving Umbrella Academy a B-.

Sorry this took a little longer to get out but I hope you enjoyed as always and until next time, Signal Out.

Tokyo Ghost

Tokyo Ghost is an Image Comic mini-series written by Deadly Class author Rick Remender and drawn by Sean Murphy (Batman: White Knight). This Cyberpunk comic takes place in Los Angeles in the year 2089 and at this point most of humanity has given themselves over to technology, preferring to live off a virtual high then deal with the harsh reality around them.

Debbie Decay is one of the only people in L.A. who lives without any sort of tech enhancement while her boyfriend, Teddy Denis, is a tech-enhanced killing machine who is barely aware of the world around him, including Debby. The two work as constables who are responsible for acting as "lawmen". Determined to get her boyfriend clean, Debbie and Led capture a cyber terrorist in order to get safe passage to Tokyo, the last tech-free country in the world. However, as you could imagine, it doesn't end up being that simple, otherwise we wouldn't exactly have a story.

I picked this comic up mainly because of the team behind it and also because I'm very excited for the new Cyberpunk 2077 video game coming out next year so I was craving something of the genre. This was a fun read but it was somewhat forgettable. It had a good message at how we are becoming more and more dependent on technology and sometimes choose to ignore what goes on around us in the real world which I thought I was important. The action was also great but it's Murphy drawing it so no shock there. Other than that, the characters aren't stellar and kind of bland at times. There were also alot of serious WTF moments that had me really questioning if they were necessary.

I'm giving Tokyo Ghost a C+

Thanks always for reading guys. Next review is probably going to be Umbrella Academy Vol. 2 and I hope to have that up by week's end. Until then, Signal Out!

DC Comics - Vertigo (Guest Blog)

It has been announced thru various sites that DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint will be shutting down by year’s end. It appears that DC is reformatting their brands for readers and all Mature readers books will be all moved to the “DC Black Label” brand.

Why is this such a big deal to a lot of people? Well, you have to look at where Vertigo started. In 1993, DC announced that it was forming the Vertigo imprint, under editor Karen Berger, with it’s focus being on mature readers & stories that didn’t fit under the typical superhero universe. For a company like DC to take a shot doing this was a risky gamble. Was there a market for these adult stories? How would the books be accepted? Only in small instances have comic audiences seen this type of storytelling from DC. Think “The Killing joke” or “Watchmen”. Those stories were Vertigo before there was an imprint.

That being said, Vertigo kicked off with Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, & Doom Patrol (among a few others) being moved to the imprint with Neil Gaiman’s Sandman being the flagship book for Vertigo. Shortly after, Death: the High Cost of Living, a Sandman Spinoff limited series, kicked off new stories under the imprint. Other books would come and go under the Vertigo banner.

Other noteworthy books under the imprint: Y the Last Man by Brian K. Vaughn & Pia Guerra, 100 Bullets by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso, Fables by Bill Willingham & Mark Buckingham, Scalped by Jason Aaron & R. M. Guéra, iZombie by Chris Roberson & Michael Allred along with arguably the other cornerstone of Vertigo: Preacher by Garth Ennis & Steve Dillion. All vastly different stories, All vastly creative and well done.

Vertigo had a great run out the gate, but experienced some shakeups after Berger left the imprint in 2013. The line continued but seemed to have never recovered that initial spark. Fast forward to this past week and news broke about it’s demise.

It’s lasting impact can be easily summed up: Vertigo allowed creators to tell great stories for a major publisher without having to fall in line to normal hero storytelling. Independent comics have been doing this for years, but when DC took a shot on Vertigo, it brought a lot of new readers to this type of stories that may never have taken a shot beforehand.

It also showed TV and Film companies there is a place for these stories as well. There would be no Happy on SyFy, No Izombie on CW, No Lucifer on Fox/Netflix, No Y the Last Man for FX and no Preacher on AMC if not for the Vertigo line.

Karen Berger and all the creators involved with DC Vertigo deserves a lot of thanks and credit for establishing that this type of comic line can work and make an impact that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

Umbrella Academy Apocalypse Suite

Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite is written by Gerard Way and drawn by Gabriel Ba. The story follows 7 children born with special powers as they reunite after their adoptive father's death to combat the apocalypse.

I got this comic after watching the Netflix show of the same name and wanted to know how much they stuck to the source material. I will say where the show took a much more grounded approach with the story, the comic is a full on comic. There are aliens and robots destroying things left and right while secret cults plot to destroy the world through music. It's a fun read for sure but is quite different from the show.

In the comic, Vanya has her powers revealed to her by a musician cult who seek to bring about the end of the world rather than have her powers shown to her by a disgruntled fan of the Umbrella Academy. The cult also has to unlock her powers through science rather than just simply take away the medications her adopted father gave her. The climax with Vanya is definitely different as Number 5 ends up shooting her in the head to stop her from killing everyone.

The comic isn't as good as explaining the teams powers in my opinion. If I hadn't watched the show, I wouldn't have really know what Seance or Kraken do for their abilities. But overall the story is fairly similar to the show and both forms are very entertaining.

I'm giving Umbrella Academy Vol. 1 a B.

Guys thanks always for reading and stay tuned for the next review. Until then, Signal Out.

Deadly Class Vol 3

So with Deadly Class getting cancelled (yeah not happy about that) I wanted to review Volume 3 of Rick Remender & Wes Craig’s awesome series. So Volume picks up right where the show ends for those of you are interested in continuing the series. NOTE THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS!

Deadly Class Volume 3 picks up right where the show ends, with Maria and Marcus cornered by Chico’s father and Lex getting popped in the head. Marcus and Maria are escape from Chico’s dad and his goonies have an epic showdown on a bridge where Maria confronts her past. Eventually Chico’s father is killed and Maria and Marcus decide to continue their relationship.

However, shortly after their return to King’s Dominion, Maria goes missing and Marcus spirals ever further downward. Eventually, he is all by himself, after driving away Saya and Willie (who have started seeing each other), and even driving away Billie. His only friend is Petra, who he sleeps with after getting high in an effort to escape his depression.

Spoilers end there. This book sets up so much for book 4 which I can’t wait to get my hands on. Remender continues to excel at creating such flawed yet intriguing characters who are thrown into all kinds of situations they’d rather not be in as they struggle to find some sense of purpose.

I’m giving Deadly Class Vol 3 an A.

Thanks always for reading. With the show getting canceled, expect to see more Deadly Class reviews over the coming weeks. Until next time, Signal Out.

Batman: Last Knight on Earth - Book 1

Batman: Last Knight on Earth is from the iconic Batman creative team of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo and is their last Batman story they are going to tell.

This review will have spoilers so for those of you who want a general overview of what the story is, here you go; Gotham and the entire world are gone and Batman and the Joker's talking head (yes, his head) take on the dangers on the new post-apocalyptic world.

Spoilers from here on.

The story begins with Batman working a case when he is suddenly shot and presumably killed by a younger, zombie-like version of his childhood self. Bruce wakes up in Arkham as a younger man with the doctors trying to convince him that he has been in Arkham for years and the Batman has simply been an alternate world he created.

Batman soon realizes that Lafred has created this alternate world in an attempt to give Bruce the life he never had. Bruce leaves Arkham, and after finding the Joker's head in a jar hanging hanging from a street lamp (seriously, that's what happens) he embarks on a journey to bring the people responsible to justice.

This is only the first issue and after I was done reading I was really bummed that I have to wait 2 months for the next comic. I have yet to read a comic by Snyder that I didn't enjoy the story and when it's paired with Capullo's art, it's an instant classic.

Batman Last Knight on Earth #1 is getting an A+.

Guys thanks always for reading. but until next time, Signal Out!

Monstress: The Awakening

Monstress is an Image comic written by Marjorie Liu and drawn by Sana Takeda. The comic is set in a fantasy/steampunk world and follows Maika Halfwolf as she struggles to find answers about the death of her mother.

You can tell from the first issue that Liu really took her time crafting this fantasy world. There are two factions at war; the humans, lead by the ruthless Mother Superior, and the Arcanics, a race of humanoid animals. The story is female driven and does a great job at exploring social issues in the real world while not halting the story. As stated earlier, Maika Halfwolf is seeking answers to why her mother was murdered while also trying to contain a dark power festering inside her that causes her to feast upon nearby prey when she loses control.

The artwork in this book is amazing. Looking more like a manga than a traditional comic, Takeda's art truly brings this epic world to life and helps give it it's own look and feel from other fantasy world's.

If I have one compliant with the book it's that the world feels VERY in depth at times and starting out it is very hard to understand who people are and what subfaction they belong too and it can cause you to do a double take when a character is reintroduced at times.

I'm going to give Monstress: The Awakening a B+.

Guys thanks always for reading. If there are any comics you want me to review, leave a comment on Facebook and I'll look into it. Until next time, Signal out!

The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House was created by Mike Flanagan and is based on the 1959 Gothic Literature Novel by Shirley Jackson. The show follows a family, consisting of five siblings in their father, as they struggle to confront horrors from their past revolving around a house they lived in a while back.

This show came out a while ago and I’ve only now finished it and I wish I had watched it right when it came out. This show is what a horror movie/show should be. It has suspense and terror with well developed characters who you can relate too, and great story pacing. The horror aspects aren't always supernatural either. The moments I found myself jumping at the most are the characters own personal demons and how they deal with them.

The actors, both the kids and their adult counterparts, all do a fantastic job with their roles, making you really care what happens to them and adding to the suspense of a scene when their in dangerous situations.

I'm going to give Haunting of Hill House an A+.

Guys thanks always for reading. I wanted to do this review, even if it was short, so as to give an update that the next comic review is on it's way. I just finished the first volume of the comic Monstress and will have the review done up by the end of the week. See you guys then!

Captain America: Winter in America

Captain America: Winter in America is written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and focuses on Captain America dealing with the aftermath of Hydra’s take over in Secret Empire. Mostly this means Cap has been hunting down the last of Hydra’s “Nuke” super soldiers on his own as he is trying to protect the public, a public that many still view as the face of Hydra. However, it soon becomes clear that there are more threats coming for Rogers and his girlfriend, Sharon Carter, than just Hydra. Some of which are from the American government itself.

What I think I love the most about this comic is the fact Coates does a great job at emphasizing the fact the Steve Rogers is the man out of time. You get a look into Captain America’s mind as too how he sees modern day America versus the American he came from. He also deals with the fact that he is only Captain America in name, not as a hero to the people or the Government, who dislikes his active vigilante work he is doing alongside the Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes. Yet despite this, Coates emphasizes the fact Cap doesn’t let his personal feelings stop him from doing what is right. He knows the Government and the people are no longer his supporters, but that doesn’t mean he is going to stop fighting for what he believes in and that is what makes him one of the best superheroes there is.

I can’t really say much more without spoiling the comic, which is something I don’t want to do. I’m giving Winter in America an A+ and HIGHLY recommend you check this one out, especially if you are craving more Marvel action after Endgame. Guys stay tuned for the next review and as always thank you for reading. Until next time, Signal Out!

Star Wars Age of the Republic: Darth Maul #1

Star Wars Age of the Republic: Darth Maul #1 is a written by Jody Houser, drawn by Luke Ross and is a one shot featured in Marvel's Star Wars Age of the Republic series, with each comic featuring around a different Star Wars character from this time.

The comic is the follow-up to the Darth Maul mini-series by Cullen Bunn, which Ross also drew, featuring Darth Maul in the alleys of Coruscant on a mission from his master, Darth Sidious.

Upon completing the mission, Maul meets with his master, who is displeased at Maul's growing bloodlust and in order to teach him a lesson as to why he must control his anger, the two venture to the ancient Sith world of Malachor.

I can't go into more details without spoilers so I recommend you pick this up for yourself and read it as it is well written and drawn and also about one of the coolest characters in Star Wars. I like how the comic explores the role of Maul in Sidious’ scheme to take down the Republic and the relationship that Maul and his master share. It isn't a partnership as shown in the Phantom Menace but rather one of master and servant, with Maul playing the sometimes reluctant role of servant.

As it is a one-shot, it is rather fast paced and if you haven't read the predecessor mini-series, you will be a little lost on some of the references.

I'm going to give Darth Maul an A-

Guys thanks always for reading. Realize I'm slow getting these out which is why I'm making an effort to do more after such long breaks (got 2 out this week so I think I'm doing good). Make sure to stay tuned for the next review which will be another Star Wars Age of the Republic review only this time it will be feature not a Sith, but one of the more interesting Jedi to have lived in my opinion; Qui-Gon Jinn.

Signal OUT!

Hellboy: Del Toro’s films vs the Comics

The new Hellboy movie is fast approaching (out Thursday night) and we here at ODPH couldn’t be more excited! Our panel attended the Hellboy New York Comic Con (NYCC) panel this past year & honestly couldn’t stop talking about how great the new film looked!

Hellboy is probably one of the most successful indie comic characters ever, making his debut in March 1994 from Dark Horse Comics by author & artist Mike Mignola. Like most popular literary characters, he is getting big screen debut, or Hellboy’s case, second big screen debut.

Most of you are probably aware that in 2004 and 2008, director Guillermo del Toro gave us Hellboy and Hellboy: The Golden Army starring Ron Perlman as Big Red himself. While Golden Army was a stand alone story that is not based on a comic, the first Del Toro movie is based on the first volume of Mike Mignola’s comic, Seed of Destruction.

Both comic and movie explain the origin of Hellboy, how Hellboy was summoned by Rasputin during a Nazi experiment and how Hellboy was brought into this world to help bring forth a cosmic entity that would bring about the end of the world. There were a few changes made from the book to the movie. Professor Broom, for instances, dies in the first issue of the comic, whereas in the movie he is around until the halfway point until he is killed by an undead Nazi swordsman.

Hellboy also is different. In the movie, he is quippy, a lack for following protocol, and is also a secret from the world. In the comics, he isn’t quippy and takes his role as an occult detective pretty seriously. He is also known to the world and is not a secret. I don’t really care for that change as both media’s are entertaining. In both versions, one thing that is shown is how despite being a demon from Hell, Big Red cares deeply for his friends and will go to great lengths to keep them safe.

I’m curious to see how David Harbour’s portrayal of Hellboy will be like. From the trailers, it seems he is going to be quippy like Perlman, maybe a little more snarky, but just as badass. For those of you want to cram in the comic before the new movie, look for Hellboy: The Wild Hunt, which serves as the source material for this film and if you want to start from the beginning with Del Toro’s material, look for Hellboy Omnibus Vol. 1: Seed of Destruction.

Let us know what you think of the new Hellboy, or the old. Until next time, Signal Out!