REVIEW: Batman (Vol. 2) #38

Batman (Vol. 2) #38 – Cover by Greg Capullo, FCO Plascencia & Danny Miki

The following is a full written review of Batman (Vol. 2) #38 – Written by Scott Snyder, with art by Greg Capullo – Release: January 28th 2015.

The New 52 version of Batman is currently doing Scott Snyder’s Endgame storyline. This issue is part 4 of the storyline revolving around a toxin being released by Batman’s greatest foe. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s run on Batman singlehandedly made me read DC again, and it’s my very favorite DC comic book-series of all-time.

Warning – the following brief plot-summary might contain spoilers.

Endgame Part 4 opens with the Caped Crusader going across town, in search for Jim Gordon – who we last saw staring down, and even gunning down, The Joker one-on-one. As the toxin takes hold of Gordon the Dark Knight is almost blindsided, but, thankfully, Julia Pennyworth shoots a couple of tranquilizers into Gordon’s neck. The World’s Greatest Detective consults with Dick ‘Birdwatcher’ Grayson – trying to figure out what exactly is in the toxin. They eventually decide on a specific Doctor. The Doctor reveals that he believes in the stories we’ve heard – that the Joker is superhuman, or rather, (greek-) God-like. I’ll leave here, so that the very final pages aren’t spoiled – but I’ll say this – Snyder masterfully ties the story into his very beginning with Batman… The greater history of Gotham.

It’s very difficult to critique the story in a Snyder comic book, and the only little note I have is that the dialogue seemed way too fabricated when Dr. Dekker calmly chats about greek Gods ‘outside’. Which isn’t to say that I disliked the dialogue, I loved it – but I don’t think it worked right in that moment. The thing is – Snyder’s one of my favorite comic book writers, and even in what may be interpreted as a filler-issue his story is captivating.

Capullo is equally great, I’ve grown accustomed to his style – and his last page is so strong, so good. Kudos, as well, to FCO Plascencia – in my opinion one of his better issues. I loved the colouring.

While I usually like the stories by James Tynion IV, I wasn’t fascinated by the back-up story this month. I think my biggest problem here is that the art was too different from the rest of the issue. Sam Keith definitely has his art-style, but I’ve grown accustomed to Capullo’s style, and Keith’s doesn’t come close to his. Not saying it’s worse, I’m just not a fan of the art-style by Sam Keith. You win some, you lose some.

Final Grade: B+ – Another great story by Scott Snyder featuring Capullo’s amazing art-style, and equally fantastic colouring by FCO Plascencia. Some might call this a filler-issue, but it’s perfect in keeping with the lore of Snyder’s Batman-story. The back-up story is fine, but the art-style will be polarizing. For full list of Comic Book Review grades go here.

– I’m Jeffrey Rex.

The Fantastic Four (2015) Trailer Review

Here we go, the trailer for Josh Trank and Fox’ Fantastic Four is finally out. Today I’m trying something new, trying to give my thoughts about the trailer – saying what it shows, but also giving my opinion. Remember how I liked the Ant-Man trailer? I’m going to give similar pros/cons for this one. So without further ado….

Now this is a teaser trailer, so keep that in mind. But the first thing that comes to mind when watching it, is how similar the feel of the trailer – the sound – the look – is to Interstellar. Now, trailers tend to copy off of something – and they’ve definitely gone for a Nolan-feel. But a property like the Fantastic Four should be able to stand on its own with a trailer – without going full-Nolan.


Marvelous Monday #2 – Thematic Pattern of MCU’s Phase 2

I'm Jeffrey Rex' Marvelous Monday #2
For the uninitiated: This is a new weekly feature on the blog wherein I, I’m Jeffrey Rex, discuss all things Marvel.

On this, the second ‘installment’ of I’m Jeffrey Rex’ Marvelous Monday, I’ve decided to go over the second phase of Marvel‘s Cinematic Universe – fully aware of the fact that it’s still going strong – but trying to uncover the general theme or motif of Marvel‘s potentially most succesful phase yet.

Marvel Studios‘ second phase will end when Ant-Man premieres this summer. Until recently, Ant-Man had been treated as a Phase 3-film, but when Marvel released the full Phase 3-lineup they had Ant-Man as a second phase motion picture.

The theme of Marvel Studios‘ first phase was obviously ‘Assemble‘. This was the beginning of the universe, and while S.H.I.E.L.D. raced across North America (and South America in The Incredible Hulk), Earth’s Mightiest Heroes were getting ready. Stark was building his suits, Cap was stuck in ice – ready for a new age of heroes – Banner alienating the ones he loved, Odin was losing faith in Thor, and Hawkeye & Black Widow were doing spy-stuff. In the Phase 1-finale, Marvel’s The Avengers, they were finally assembled – and ready to defend Earth.

With Marvel Studios‘ Phase 3 opening with the Civil War-storyline – and continuing with solo films about new heroes – it seems obvious that Phase 3 will be about the Avengers, as we know them, disassembling. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Let’s get to the heart of the matter at hand. Marvel Studio‘s Phase 2-lineup looked like this:

  • Iron Man 3 (2013).
  • Thor: The Dark World (2013).
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).
  • Ant-Man (2015).

This is a very small phase compared to the one we’ll be facing in 2016 and beyond – but perhaps that’s fitting. Now, let’s talk about each film.

Iron Man 3 was polarizing at best, I liked it – though I know a lot of fans who loath it. The film was about Tony Stark’s past mistakes – having created a villain in the form of SPOILERS Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian. This Shane Black film had some interesting quotes that I found to be extremely important for this discussion, most importantly this one:

Tony Stark: “You start with something pure. Something exciting. Then come the mistakes, the compromises. We create our own demons.

This quote will be important in the final discussion, revolving around a recent trailer for Age of Ultron. Be aware of the fact that I won’t be discussing Ant-Man in this discussion of thematic patterns. Why? Well, I don’t know enough about this film, but I doubt it revolves around the Avengers – or the overall plot of the Phase as I see it.

Thor’s second film was an okay film – though definitely the weakest of Phase 2, if you ask me. The ending of the film is interesting, as SPOILERS Odin’s ‘stolen son’ takes hold of Odin’s throne. One could say he brought this on himself. Similarly, Thor helped Loki get out of prison – which will, undoubtedly, come back to haunt him.

The Winter Soldier was an interesting ‘villain’ as Steve’s best friend comes back to haunt him and S.H.I.E.L.D.. Also, the entire organization shows its true face by revealing that the organization pioneers of Rogers’ time ended up creating SPOILERS Hydra.

Then came Guardians – the wackiest entry in the MCU yet. Thought somewhat of a standalone film, the fact that Thanos has ‘daughters’ that become his enemies is interesting in the overall plotline of Phase 2.

Now, for the final discussion. Avengers: Age of Ultron is to become the final entry in Phase 2, excluding the epilogue: Ant-Man. Let’s finish the circle. In the very first Phase 2 film, we had talk of the idea that we create our own demons. And throughout the overall plot of Phase 2 it’s happened time and time again. Stark created the villainous Killian, the men of Steve Rogers’ day created the Hydra-infested S.H.I.E.L.D., Thanos is at fault for gaining enemies of his ‘daughters’, Odin is at fault for destroying the sanctity of his throne – by bringing home a stolen child.

And now, finally, Banner/Stark will be at fault for creating Ultron – the ultimate enemy of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

In the second trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron Ultron utters the phrase: “Everyone creates the thing they dread” – we’ve come full circle.

So, while the first phase is about assembling and the third supposedly being about disassembling – the second phase of Marvel‘s Cinematic Universe is about crafting your own villains.

That’s all for this week. I’ll be back with another entry in I’m Jeffrey Rex’ Marvelous Monday next week.

Stay Marvelous!

– I’m Jeffrey Rex.

Report: Chiwetel Ejiofor Possibly Starring Opposite Cumberbatch in Dr Strange

Chiwetel Ejiofor, who starred in 12 Years A Slave, is possibly going to star opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in Marvel’s Doctor Strange in 2016. Ejiofor has not signed anything yet, apparently, and, as of right now, he is only in talks to become a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It is unlikely that Ejiofor will play the Ancient One or Wong, I wonder if he’s eyed for the role of Baron Mordo. If Ejiofor is in for a big role in the Doctor Strange universe – but not as Mordo, Wong, or the Ancient One – then Marvel may be looking for Dormammu.

Scott Derrickson is directing the Doctor Strange film, which premieres the 4th of November 2016 in US cinemas.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

– I’m Jeffrey Rex.

Suicide Squad: The Curious Case of Rick Flag

A few days ago I wrote that Tom Hardy had decided to exit the Suicide Squad movie due to scheduling conflicts – since then, we’ve learned that he actually disliked the script that – supposedly – focused too much on Deadshot & The Joker, and not enough on Rick Flag. Flag being the character Warner Bros. wanted Hardy to play.

Jake Gyllenhaal was supposedly being offered the job, but now we’ve learned (through Variety) that he has declined the job. This leaves us with a casting problem the size of Dr Strange (prior to Cumberbatch). So, today I thought I’d give you the names of two actors I think would be perfect.

Karl Urban

Karl Urban is a tough guy, and could easily take over for the toughest guy in Hollywood (Tom Hardy). This guy should be able to play Flag, and to command the Suicide Squad. Best known for his involvement in the Judge Dredd-reboot, the Star Trek-reboot, and his involvement in the Doom film.

Here’s the one problem though, he’s still McCoy in the new Star Trek Universe, and he might be too busy with that commitment to take over for Hardy.


Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Obviously, I’m biased. I am Danish, and I’m a big fan of the way he’s handled his character on Game of Thrones. This guy is one of the biggest names in Denmark, actingwise, and I think he deserves his big breakthrough. He’s best known, internationally, for his portrayal of Jaime Lannister on the aforementioned HBO show, and his character in the horror film Mama.

I think Coster-Waldau could do this, I think he’d be perfect. I do wonder, though, if Warner Bros. simply wants a big name for the part – which his certainly is not, yet – and if his involvement in Gods of Egypt will keep him from doing this. Though, Chadwick Boseman’s both in Gods of Egypt and Captain America: Civil War – so maybe, just maybe, he’s free to be a part of it.

What do you think? Who should play Rick Flag?

– I’m Jeffrey Rex.

Marvelous Monday #1 – Casting Carol Danvers

I'm Jeffrey Rex' Marvelous Monday #1
Hey there! Recently, I was looking for some sort of New Year’s Resolution for the blog – a true commitment – something that mattered, and something that was important. I’ve decided to launch I’m Jeffrey Rex’ Marvelous Monday, which is a new feature to the website/blog, a weekly post about Marvel.

One week I may write about a recently released comic book from Marvel Comics, the next I may write about the state of Marvel Entertainment – and thereafter I may write about Marvel Studios (or another studio with rights to a Marvel Comics character). This does not mean that I won’t ‘break’ Marvel news on other weekdays, but every Monday will give me an opportunity to speculate about all things Marvel. The subject of the first Marvelous Monday ever is ‘Casting Carol Danvers’. (more…)

REVIEW: Marvel’s Star Wars #1 (2015)

Star Wars #1 – Cover Art by John Cassaday

The following is a full written review of Marvel’s Star Wars #1 – Written by Jason Aaron, with art by John Cassaday – Month of Release: January 2015.

At 2014’s San Diego Comic Con, Marvel Comics revealed that they were releasing three new series in early 2015. Star Wars, Star Wars: Darth Vader (Both Monthly), & Star Wars: Princess Leia (Limited Run). All three of the aforementioned early 2015 Star Wars series take place right after Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. I might review the other opening issues as well, and I will continue to review this series if the story is respectful.

Warning – the following brief plot-summary might contain spoilers.

Star Wars #1: Skywalker Strikes follows the original cast of Star Wars, as they try to bring down an imperial weapons facility. The gang pose as negotiators for Jabba the Hut, and everything goes fine – until, suddenly, Darth Vader arrives. Leia orders Chewbacca to take a shot at Vader, but they’re out of luck, obviously. Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker saves slaves – and Leia & Han get into an argument. While Han & Leia try to find a way out of the facility, followed by the liberated slaves, Luke hears the voice of Obi Wan – and runs into Darth Vader.

The story is very entertaining – as fun as you’d expect it to be. The dialogue is very good for the main characters, but I took issue with the sudden information dump by C-3PO in the beginning of the issue – I would expect the exposition to interweave better in a high stakes comic book. Still, this feels like Star Wars.

I’ve got to say that I am impressed by the cover art, and the overall look of the universe in the comic book. It looks absolutely great. There is, however, one thing that disappointed me. At times the likeness was off – especially for Luke Skywalker. At times he looked like more like a Ellen DeGeneres lookalike, than a young Mark Hamill.

I often say that it was my first nerd-love, and it was – yet I’ve never actually read Star Wars comic books until now. I didn’t know they existed until a few years ago. Had I known, I would’ve been a lot happier – methinks. Now, how do I feel this comic book overall feels to me compared to the films, shows etc. that I’ve watched? It fits perfectly within the narrative of the original trilogy. Same feel, same look – same mood. Spot on.

At the end of the issue, you see some preview pages for Star Wars: Darth Vader & Star Wars: Princess Leia. While it would be impossible to make a statement on the story based on preview pages, I loved the look of Star Wars: Darth Vader, but I’m iffy about the look of Star Wars: Princess Leia.

Final Grade: A- – The feel and look of Star Wars is captured in this entertaining mission. For full list of Comic Book Review grades go here.

– I’m Jeffrey Rex.