Movie Review: Justice League

Justice League MPIn its current state, Justice League both looks and feels like an incomplete film that should have gotten its release delayed simply in order for the creative team to make a more entertaining (and more polished) experience. As it stands, this hunk of colorful, expensive fluff will no doubt still make a good chunk of its money back and also get a home video release about three months or so from now in an “extended cut” that, like the extended disc versions of Suicide Squad and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice should have been the version people are paying to see in theaters. Well, not that longer versions of either helped much thanks to their plots being way too full of hard to fill holes.

That said, the first thing that popped into my head as I was watching this somewhat disappointing film unfold was a wonder if the film was even storyboarded (ironic for a comic book flick, right?). As it stands, it’s almost as if someone cut out pages from a few dozen DC Comics, pasted them to some comic art paper, whited out the word balloons and had a few writers add dialog before rearranging everything. While the end result is indeed still watchable, it’s not very good at all when compared to other films of this type. Although, after some reflection I’ve decided it’s decidedly “entertaining” if you shut off your brain and take in its more comic book-like moments and not take anything at all too seriously (which, sad to say, some fans won’t tale kindly to hearing). That said, it’s running time of 120 minutes seems oddly enough, too short for a Zach Snyder film. Weird, but yeah – the film is actually too short because it packs in way too much character info in during that two hours and kind of overlooks its main villain in the process.

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Shadows On The Grave: Corben’s Still Got Those Horror Chops

shadows-on-the-grave-dhRichard Corben’s artwork has always been brilliant, freakish and frightening on a few levels, but his horror work over the last few years has been a perfect blend of caricature and crazed creativity. I rather loved Rat God, his violently hilarious and uniquely stylized love letter to Lovecraft that was one of Dark Horse Comics best mini-series of 2015. Okay, Bunn and Cook’s absolutely brilliant (and I would watch the hell out of a good TV or movie adaptation) Harrow County is flat out scarier. But Corben’s style of stylistic horror is second to none in my book.

shadows-1sotg30532Shadows On The Grave #1 is the first issue in a beautiful new miniseries comprised of short stories with Corben going all out in both black and white and grey-toned art that’s simultaneously lovely, twisted and somehow realistic through all the bigfoot layers. There’s his reliable work with the human and unhuman form that makes poring over each panel a joy (yes, even the disturbing stuff is worth a look in all its glory) and his writing is just fun and tight what with all the tonal shifting going on. The man is a master of adding humor to tense situations as his characters get put through their paces by fate and other means, but I shall wisely leave the actual reading of the book to each and every one of you interested.

Issue 1 lands at your favorite comic emporium December 14 ($3.99), Issue 2 is arriving in January, and let’s see now… #3 should be next March. Yep, get this is you’re into the Creepy stuff. You see what I did there? Did you? Yeah, go get that as well.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice TV Spots: Capes & Jaw-Juts on the Menu for March

And so, it begins. By the time Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters in March, I fully expect to see no fewer than 25 or so of these 30-second (or longer) TV spots that still won’t give away all of the film’s “surprises”. I’m at the stage where these comic book blockbusters don’t surprise me much if at all because both DC and Marvel traffic heavily in killing any actual suspense these films bring thanks to wanting to keep as many main and some supporting characters around as possible as a means of generating income. Alternate universe stories aside, they can’t “kill” off a *major* character anymore (without replacing him or her) because they’d be removing a slice of that easy revenue stream fans pony up on a regular basis.

That said, collateral damage seems to me more than okay in these flicks. In English: you sure can lay waste to cities great and small, killing thousands or even millions of civilians as a plot pushing element. “Dead” superheroes get to come back to life at some point, but dead normal folks stay dead long after the rubble has been cleaned up. I suppose there’s a moral here, but I’m too lazy to look for one today.

Marvel’s Most Powerful Ladies Need Your Attention For A Hot Second

The Cat Issue 1 Shanna The She Devil 1 Night Nurse 2 Squirrel Girl 1

What, no Night Nurse, The Cat/Tigra, Shanna The She Devil or someone newer, hipper and cooler to the kids these days like Squirrel Girl? Anyway, the folks at Morphsuits want you to ogle their own list of MOST powerful Marvel Comics ladies, but you’d better be quick about that ogling part. That super-powered punch to the jaw or other body areas (ouch) will be one of the last things you remember before waking up in the hospital.

Which is exactly why Night Nurse needs to be on that list, ladies and gents. Well, there’s always next year’s infographic, right?

Marvel Badass Females IG

Free Comic Book Day, Short Haul Version

Free Comic Book Day Stuff (1) 

So. How was YOUR Free Comic Book Day? Mine was minimalistic, but that’s a personal choice due to space and reading backlog reasons. Amusingly enough, the local comic shop closest to here was actually open early for a change. Every time I’d gone by The Lair previously, it was closed and I had somewhere to be and couldn’t get back that way until when they were shut for the night. Fortunately, the visit was worth the about 20-minute walk. The staff is a bunch of cool guys from what I saw, the shop is small but definitely had a nice selection of books and there were plenty of people snapping up bargains from the long boxes placed outside.

I grabbed the two trades shown for a buck each and the free book I picked just so happened to coincide with the PDF of the first issue of Fight Club I got from Dark Horse Comics the day before (thanks, Aub!). I was a bit weary on Saturday thanks to not sleeping much, but the walk and buy trip to The Lair energized me for the rest of the day. Next year, I’ll bring the camera along and bug the guys at the shop for a Half of Twenty Questions session. Or I may do that first as an email interview (and sooner just to have another contact added to my long list). I don’t collect anywhere as many comics as I used to these days. But I do appreciate a good illustrated read every now and then. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some light eyeball, brain and finger exercising to catch up on…

READS: It’s Free Comic Book Day Tomorrow. Go Get Some!

Dark Horse Fight Club Freebie Dark Horse Kids Freebie

 

So, it’s May already! That means a few things of note for you fans of a few things pop culture-like. One of them being FREE COMIC BOOK DAY which is tomorrow. If you’ve never participated in this event, it’s a simple and enjoyable thing to do. just find a comic book shop near you, walk in and claim your free comic. That’s it. As you can see above, Dark Horse Comics has some nice freebies this year, but you’ll have about 50 different free comics to choose from at some larger retailers with room to spare.

I actually want to check out that Fight Club sequel, as it’s got Chuck Palahniuk writing every single word. Hopefully the guys at the comic shop near me get themselves open before 1 tomorrow afternoon. Sometimes I’ve run by there only to find the gate down and no one answering the phone. Boo. Well, we’ll see what happens this year. If I post pics tomorrow at some point, that means things went according to plan.

Overkill’s The Walking Dead Set To Scare Up Sales on PC, PS4, Xbox One

Overkill's The Walking DeadAfter a few not so stellar attempts by other studios to make a first-person shooter based on The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman and David Alpert at Skybound have decided to let one of the best multiplayer FPS teams in the industry have the keys to the car along with all the gas they can scrounge up. Currently in development by Overkill Studios, all we have to look at for now is this simple followed by Kirkman’s announcement and a nice little gift for Payday 2 fans worldwide.

As it’s far too early to say what the game will be about in terms of its plot. We do know it will at least take place in and around Washington DC and be released sometime in 2016 for the aforementioned consoles and PC. Once again it looks as if those holding on to those PS3 and Xbox 360’s for dear life will need to bump themselves up into “next gen” which in now “current gen” to a few million people around the globe. PC owners will of course be trumpeting their own victories on the frames per second and detail setting maxed out front, but that’s always another tale for another time. 505 Games just got another money making AAA title in their library worth checking out.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer: A Big SOCK! Full Of POW! For 2016


 

Wow. First we get slapped around by new Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Terminator Genisys trailers and today, it’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice getting people all hot under the collar and a few other places. Well, it certainly looks as if any blubbering about Ben Affleck as Batman has been silenced. The film seems to borrow rather heavily from Frank Miller’s Dark Knight books in terms of Batman’s more tricked out costume (the lighted eyes, sniper rifle and other bits) as well as the big battle that’s going to take place between Bats and Supes.

Of course, the film is also a jump off for the future Justice League movie, so there’s going to be plenty of new things to ogle here and over-speculate about as new trailers drop. You go do that ogling and speculating on your own time. I’ll just wait more more moving picture news and perhaps a few stills to pore over before passing any major judgments Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is in theaters March 25, 2016.

Batman v Superman banner
 

Yeah, yeah – I’ll get to that Terminator trailer tomorrow. I was up way too late working on a few projects and am wiped OUT tonight.

New Batman: Arkham Knight Gameplay: Something to Tide You Over While You Wait A Little Longer


 

“Why so seriously delayed (again!)?” Actually, at this point the game looks so phenomenal that it’ll get snapped up even if it slips into the holiday season. I’m gathering this latest wait is due to the developer making sure the game will run as smoothly as possible out of the gate without the dreaded day one patching issues many games slap players in the face with. I’m wondering just how much better things would be if this was a completely single-player game with no online play, but such is the modern videogame development cycle that allows for DLC, season passes and other stuff that needs to work right out of the box or it’s unhappy campers complaining all over the internet. Well okay, it’s not THAT much longer a wait, but I can see a few Bat-fans leaping around and huffing and puffing in their hockey pads.

Batman: Arkham Knight “Gotham Is Mine” Trailer: Everyone Wants a Piece of the Pie


 

With Rocksteady knocking things out of the park with their best work to date and Scarecrow doing his best to make Batman’s life a living hell by gathering up the worst of his Rogue’s Gallery, Batman: Arkham Knight is clearly going for instant classic status. All that in-game engine visual bliss on display means the game will look phenomenal on anything it runs on and that new Batmobile just makes me wish it were a real ride. Well, just so I could say I saw it blaze by while I was out strolling about to the store. Hey, you put me in a cape and black costume and I’m going to go home and straight to bed. Sleepman to the rescue! See you in your dreams, ladies and gents! Yeah, that’s about all the heroics I’ve got.

Anyway, Batman: Arkham Knight hits retail and digital shops for PS4, Xbox One and PC on June 2, 2015. That’s not to far away at all, really. Just one big super-nap for Sleepman! I’ll see you in a few months, folks. It’s Rip Van Winkle time, Zzzzzzzzzaaaawwwww! *snnxxxx* Zzzzzz!