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Showing posts from December, 2015

Blue Asteroids Cowboy Bebop The Movie Opinion Piece

I really hate how much of a culture clash the different dubs of this movie are in terms of script and vocals. There is more emotion in the English acting versus the very subdued Japanese acting. Also did everyone else fail to notice that the old woman who is held hostage in the opening scene is so obviously a male Japanese actor? For crying out loud Ed Asner does a more convincing female voice in Justice League Unlimited versus that attempt! Also the lack of emotion from the Japanese cast slows the pacing of the movie, whereas the enthusiasm of the English cast evens it out.

   As for the script changes I think that the Japanese one feels like an attempt to combine Cowboy Bebop and Ghost In The Shell in an obvious way. The English dub's changes make this a more subtle combination. Of course this is merely my opinion. ("Duh, Obviously!")

  Finally does anyone else think that the three recurring old men need their own anime or manga in the next few years?

Martian Comics Issues 1, 2, 3 Three in One Review With Spoilers And Disclaimer

Warning Of Spoilers!

   Disclaimer: I have done business with Dr. Julian Darius through his organization Sequart and have a friendship via social media with him. However I do not and did not have anything to do with Martian Lit and/or Martian Comics. Finally I am not receiving any benefit or compensation for doing this review and all opinions are mine alone.

  These threes issues have a wonderful narrative based around Julian Darius's fictional Martian mythology. For instance the lead character of Izzie Montoya/Martian Girl alien speech and dialogue is thought-provoking yet alien. The art is strong and sure in the line work of the interior sections. As for the covers they are intriguing in design. Although the coloring on the three issues is a little too bright. However there are some real problems, such as the singular lettering mistake and some of the line work being weaker in the second issue. Though overall these three issues are definitely worth being recommended to those who…

Larp! Volume 1 Review with Spoilers

Warning Of Spoilers!

  First off this graphic novel has a very anti-bullying/be yourself message that borders public service announcement territory but remains a non-PSA story. This is a good thing, especially due to how realistic and accessible the story is regarding plot, art and characterization. Though this is not to say the story and art are perfect. There are two problems with this work. Problem one is that the art sometimes borders unrealistic, such as when three characters try and "sneak a peak" via an angle. In this example the characters necks are elongated a bit which gives them the appearance of powers that are not in the story. The second problem is the lack of authority figure intervention borders almost on unrealistic. However since this is rated under juvenile fiction I will allow it since the story is good.

   My verdict: Definitely recommended for fans of Larping, fan works, Star Wars storm trooper cosplay, and finally teens and tweens.

Itty Bitty Hellboy The Search For The Were-Jaguar Issue 2 Review With Spoilers

Warning Of Spoilers!

  This issue is okay enough in art and writing to be recommended by me. However there is the problem of the lack of focus on the Were-Jaguar for my liking. Also the idea of a "search for" this creature is sort of pointless due to his willingness to appear. Another problem is that this issue felt like it broke up the action with the initial watering the flower scene. It just feels like this will read better in a collected format, and that is what I recommend people wait to read. In others words this is a barely recommended issue, but a definite in collected format.

The Paybacks Issue 4 Review

Unfortunately the art took a bit of downturn in quality in a few areas of this issue. For example one of the first panels presents a problematic amount of minimalism. Specifically in terms of facial features on that panel. Another problem is that the pages look a bit sooty due to overuse of those tiny spots. However, I still think there is some definitely good pro level art here. Also I will say that the writing is as good as ever, especially regarding the quieter and more emotional character moments. Overall this is a recommended issue.

Not Recommended Comics List Of 4 Bearded Bull Bear Edition

1. Iron Man #5 (1997) has too much dialogue for an issue that is primarily action oriented. Also the art has a character holding a gun one-handed which is not realistic given the character does not have super powers to avoid recoil.

2. Iron Man #6 (1997) starts abruptly and also comes to an abrupt halt with a cliffhanger ending. Poorly done art that does not make sense with what the character's objectives are, and what their emotion reactions should be in one instance. Also the characters are constantly changing in terms of design.

3. Iron Man #7 (1997) feels like a waste of money due to it being mainly set-up for the next issue(s). Also the art makes certain previously shown characters look unrecognizable.

4. Daredevil #160 (1979) The writing tells versus allowing us to just see what is happening. Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson cameo and look like totally stock characters. For instance MJ's eyebrows are too thick. Josie the dive bar owner looks cartoonish in th…

Ninjak Issue 10 Review

Doug Braithwaite does a marvelous job on the art for the main story, especially in regards to the buildings and the lead characters. Also Matt Kindt does a great job allowing Doug to show while Matt tells other bits of information. However everything but Kindt's narrative style is amazing for the second.story. I say this because it just feels a bit overdone in the second story. Finally the coloring and lettering are top-notch in quality. I very much recommend this issue.

Recommended Comics List Of 4 Super Joe Cyborg Edition

1. All-New Inhumans #2 from late 2015/ early 2016 is a good example of how underhanded international politics can be, especially with super powered individuals at the fore. It also has beautiful art and colors.

2. The Transformers VS. G.I. Joe #10 from December 2015 is yet another beautiful issue for teen plus readers to enjoy. However it is a bit gory in places. I especially loved the epic mythological moments and the additional text piece featuring Snake-Eyes. 

3. Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur #2 from late 2015, early 2016 is recommended for those looking for either a good comic that is quickly paced or just fans of dinosaurs and/or time travel. However there is not a lot of meat or depth in this issue even though it is well crafted.

4. The Thongor story from Creature On The Loose #27 is heavily flawed and derivative, but it is highly enjoyable to read. I am mainly recommending this one for Sword & Sorcery enthusiasts and those doing scholarly work on Gardner F. Fox or rip-offs …

In The Name Of The Moon It Will Be Blogged Sailor Moon S Episode 4

This episode's English dub has some lousy acting takes on from the actresses playing Uranus and Neptune. Also the English dub forgot to change the language on the Genetic Engineering book to English and relate it to music. Not to mention they failed in changing Mamoru's name to Darien on another book. I also found the monster violin more annoying in the English dub. Though the Japanese dub also had the problems of the "bittersweet" cookie comment and the flipping of the can.

   Questions! Why was Mamoru's apartment door unlocked? How do Uranus and Neptune practice that Lemon juggling act? Was that a whale or a wave in Neptune's painting? When is Chibi-Usa going to appear again? Why has the certainty of Mamoru and Usagi's love not been sustained? Why were Luna and Artemis waiting outside the concert building?

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 10 Issue 22 Review With Spoilers

Warning Of Spoilers!

   The regular cover by Steve Morris is beautifully designed! It features strong line work and some nice subtle humor. Though in my opinion Willow's smile could be a bit more endearing and genuine vs how creepy it appears. As for the interior work by Rebekah Isaacs it is nice, but it seems a bit weak in line work for figures in distant locations. An example is the woman at the back of the hallway in the first panel.

  In regards to the writing, it is clearly written for a collected edition or a digital bundle. It lacks the ability to stand alone without having read the previous issues, especially last issue. Speaking of the previous issue and this one, it feels like the story arc was either not edited right or written clearly enough. For example Willow's meeting at the start of this issue could have worked better at the front of last issue. While Spike running into an old acquaintance last issue should have been just in this issue alone and not split like …

Mind Management Issue 28 Review

The line work is very strong and just the right amount of sharp on the angles. Each panel's artwork has the same kinetic energy. Said energy, plus the relatively small word count, allows for a nicely paced story. Additionally the story and art are helped by Matt Kindt's singular creative voice. Speaking of voices each character seems unique and feels fully realized. This includes the ones without dialogue that could be considered gag characters. Finally I feel this issue could be given to non-comic readers who are looking to try out a comic.

   My verdict: Recommended for fans and non-fans.

Blue Asteroids Cowboy Bebop Episode 14 Opinion Piece

I enjoyed the fact that this episode's dubs have similar dialogue with some slight variations. Also delighted by the point this episode makes about 50 years being a bit too long to wait for revenge to be enacted. I mean the guy goes senile and forgets his own plan. Another good idea that is in this episode is the outer space version of international waters.

   Questions! Did anyone else think the criminal manual scam looked too much like a regular present day scam mixed with a movie ransom note? Does the Gate corporation's building resemble that one building in Australia in its outer design? What exactly were the problems the space gates had that kept being talked about? Why do companies in the real world allow flawed software and hardware on the market? (other than greed I mean.) Do the three old guys that recur ever get referenced in other animes? Why did the drugged hippy mention the bank? Does anyone else think the music was badly chosen during Faye and Spike's searc…

Alabaster The Good The Bad And The Bird Issue 1 Review

This is a hard issue to figure out what the main fictional genre is for the narrative. It has a lot of religious quotes but they are used in a method similar to Vertigo's Preacher. There are references to ancient myths, such as the "Maze Of The Minotaur," that are not in the Christian theologies. Also there are apparently weird criminals who may or may not be supernatural monsters. However the flow of the writing is good overall despite this genre related conundrum.

   As for the art it is very visceral in terms of the more disgusting elements in one of the settings. The color palette comes across as somewhat angry and/or hopeless depending on the scene. Finally the cover logo font is pretty amazing looking.

  My verdict: Recommended strictly for 18 and up readers who are not easily offended.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 6 Manga Opinion Piece

Sailor Moon S has a slower burn for the beginning of this story arc and is thus arguably more developed than this manga. However I do think the gender mystery of Sailor Uranus is much better played out in this version of Sailor Moon. Not to mention that Uranus is more androgynous in the manga versus the anime.

   Questions! Why is Diana the kitten in the present now? Where is Luna-P? How many femslash fan fictions and artworks were based around scenes from this volume alone? Does it diminish Usagi's coolness by basically praying to her future self in order to initially use the heart attack technique? Why do so many people fear fiction involving a stable relationship? (Stable relationships seem to me to have their own kind of dramas.)

Unity Issue 25 Review With Spoilers

Warning Of Spoilers!

  There are really two very different issues of Unity in this single issue. First is the comedic takes based around a BS type movie pitch session that in a way makes this an issue of Quantum & Woody. However most of the parody/humor/satire stories fall flat in part due to the fact that we know it is woody telling the story. Though mainly it is just because the jokes are pretty one-note for most of these stories. I personally think the successful ones are the PSA parodies, Gin-Gr's layout, 'Good Buy' and 'Seen It All.' The art and writing range from interesting to intriguing in style. With the opening page being arguably the only truly bad one due to the angular line work.

   As for the second issue within this one it feels very tacked on in order to finish off the series. Though Matt Kindt does great presentation with the story's plot, dialogue, and panel layouts it still fails in two major ways. It feels like one of those tales that en…

Not Recommended Comics List Of 4 F Stark Reborn Edition

1. The Iron Man story titled "Oz Never Did Give Nothing To The Tin Man" that is found in Heroes Reborn #1/2 from 1996. It ends abruptly, and tells more then it shows. Thus it feels less like a prelude/preview and more like a proposal for an Iron Man series in comic form. Finally Reed Richards looks a little like how Peter Parker/Spider-Man looked at the time.

2. Iron Man #1 from 1996 has horrendous art to the point that characters are hard to tell apart. Another problem is that it does not continue off the attempted prelude from Heroes Reborn #1/2. It also features one of the least likable versions of Tony Stark I have ever seen. Tony only works if he is able to be empathized or sympathized with even before becoming Iron Man. Finally the origin and status quo set-up takes way too many issues.

3. Iron Man #2 from 1996 has a cover that barely shows Iron Man, but does show an over-muscled Hulk. It also has a severe lack of backgrounds and inconsistent character designs.

4. Iron…

Recommended Comics List Of 4 No Trump Card Here Edition

1. Birthright #12 (2015) has a good chapter of this ongoing story that picks up the pace in a very nice way. The art especially during the surprise cliffhanger is also impressive.

2. Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor #2 (2015) is very accessible and works well as a standalone. It also continues some of the thematic elements from the first issue.

3. Hercules #2 (2015) is a great second issue that builds on the firs and yet it could easily be read by itself. Also both artists' work is hard to casually distinguish the differences between, which is a good thing. Finally the use of the supporting cast is done to great effect.

4. Marvel Team-Up #111 (1981) is flawed on some of the dialogue, but its a well written story nonetheless. Also the Robert E. Howard related elements will appeal to his fans. This also might be a profit gain for collectors at some point because of the non-marvel owned elements.

Blue Asteroids Cowboy Bebop Shooting Star Volume 2 Manga Opinion Piece

I definitely feel these stories would have been worked better under the Outlaw Star brand versus Cowboy Bebop. It definitely has the plot style of the former. Not to mention that the serialized story just annoyingly stops with the end of this volume. Also am I the only who thinks Jet looks too young even for someone in his 30s? Speaking of differences and others possible opinions I doubt anyone would disagree with how off-brand characters like Ed are. I mean she is just not wacky comic relief here. I sort of wish the two Cowboy Bebop: Shooting Star mangas did not exist.

In The Name Of The Moon It Will Be Blogged Sailor Moon S Episode 3

Usagi and Minako seem to have trouble with the fact that females can wear pants and have short hair. I mean Haruka is not andrgynous like Ziggy Stardust era David Bowie. Well maybe in that one profile shot outside the auto repair garage, but still Haruka is obviously a woman. Speaking of looks I found the fact that Haruka and Michiru are teenagers in High School surprising due to how they look like they are college age. Also where did the mass go for the car monster to be a stick figure female?

  There are a few other things not really related to Haruka and Michiru that I will say about this episode. First off the English dub is going to feel weird with the added incest feel to the story that was put in to replace the simple lesbian relationship for Uranus and Neptune. Not to mention the main scouts are really catty in their negative remarks to each other in the English dub. Though I do like both dubs of this episode, except exposure of the monster's cleavage moment. Finally th…

Mystery Girl Issue 1 Review With Spoilers

Spoiler Warning!

   There is something off with this issue that I just can't place. Maybe it's the voices seeming sort of similar or maybe it is something else. However what I can say for sure is that the cover has two definite problems. One involves the various arms lacking depth to suggest that they are not just a bunch of shooters piled on top of each other.  The other problem is that Trine's ribs are kind of showing over the bottom of the sleeveless area of her shirt. This suggests an eating disorder that the interior art does not suggest.

   Speaking of the interior work, the coloring while not daring like the cover is definitely a job well done in terms of palette selection. As for the art it is neither terrible or fantastic, but it does tell the same story as the writing. In regards to the writing, it is amusing in terms of the premise, characterization and the plot of this initial arc. However, like I said above there is something that just felt off about this issu…

X-O Manowar: Commander Trill Issue 0 Review With Spoilers

Spoiler Warning!

    The narrative becomes clunky at times, especially when the term "soldier commander" is used. Also the narrative fails to land a good ending with the reveal that the Vine High Priest is just narrating in his own mind. It would have been better if he used the hive mind to talk to either Aric or the other Vine. Another puzzling element is how the priest knows so much about Trill's parents?  

    On the plus side the issue does provide us with with excellent art and an interesting enough story. Arguably the best parts are probably those that readers of the original incarnation of the Valiant universe will appreciate. Such as the reasoning for why Aric was accepted by the armor without a control ring (original Valiant device), and cameo of the spider aliens.

   My verdict: I recommend this issue for those familiar with the original version of Aric and those who are regular readers of the current series. However I do not recommend this as a jumping on poin…

Dark Horse Announces Angel Catbird Graphic Novel by Margaret Atwood

For Immediate Release: Dark Horse Comics Announces the First Graphic Novel from Booker Award–Winning Novelist Margaret Atwood December 8, 2015—Dark Horse Comics announced today the publication of Angel Catbird, the first graphic novel by Margaret Atwood, the Booker Award–winning author of The Blind Assassin, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Heart Goes Last. Angel Catbird is a unique and ambitious collaboration between Atwood and artist Johnnie Christmas (Sheltered) that tells the story of an unusual superhero over the course of three all-ages graphic novels, the first of which will be published by Dark Horse Comics in the fall of 2016. The project is being published in tandem with Keep Cats Safe and Save Bird Lives, an initiative led by Nature Canada, the oldest conservation charity in the country. “I have concocted a superhero who is part cat, part bird. Due to some spilled genetic Super-Splicer, our hero got tangled up with both a cat and an owl; hence his fur and feathers, and his iden…

Usagi Yojimbo issue 150 or number 216 in a series Review with spoilers

Warning Of Spoilers!

  This ending is kind of unsatisfying in that the Rodriguez character's death is predictable. I say this based on the cover and the story title suggesting a retribution tale. Also nothing is set-up that well for the plot, especially because we are told about relationships and the tea master's rep versus seeing for ourselves. As for the art it is fine except for the backgrounds during the end fight being too empty. I sort of detest having to say this but I do not recommend this issue.

Blue Asteroids Cowboy Bebop Episodes 12 & 13 Opinion Piece

I like the commercial break bumper that suggests Cowboy Bebop is like a genre all its own. Another thing I liked was the senile three old guys being in the back of the bar Jet stops at and I just barely noticed them there. No clue if they are in the other episode of this two-parter. Also did anyone notice that the bartender assumes Jet is a Bounty Hunter but fails to detect any cop traits he might have still? This scene also left me wondering if Jet later came back for the bounty on the bartender.

   I also liked the exploration of honor and how it related to Vicious and Spike's characters. I mean Spike could have left Gren to die in order to go finish off Vicious for good. Instead he stops to do try and do the right thing. Yeah he is a bit selfish with his questions about Julia, but still there is a bit of selflessness in his actions toward the end. Speaking of Julia the Japanese dub fails in the the Blue Crow's owner describing her. In the English dub he describes her wit…

Empowered Special #7 Review With Spoilers

Spoiler Warning!

   There are beautiful insightful jokes about fame and superheroes, including a great one involving a Tony Stark parody. Despite the brilliantly written satire there is the problem of the apparent phone calls lacking a phone. Being as this is the first of this brand I have ever read I do not know if she talks to herself or has built in phone powers. Either way this hurts the accessibility of the issue. The only other problem is the lead's body design being inconsistent. Sometimes it looks like she has an average body and other times it looks a little thinner. Also her breasts go from a natural sort of look to looking like they are fake in how they are spaced.

   While I am not 100% confident about recommending it I am still giving it my recommendation.

Doctor Who The Twelfth Doctor Issue 14 Review With Spoilers

Warning Of Spoilers!
   The humor strip story is a joy that came be enjoyed by all ages. However unlike the main story it is not able to even partially stand on its own. Speaking of the main story it is very accessible due to the excellent summary of the previous events. Due to this summary I feel that it stands well on its own. The Doctor having the ability to deus ex machina in several instances, such as making a cold bomb out of Alien tech, fits rather well without throwing the plot off. As for the art it is a little weak on the Doctor's head at times, due to it looking compacted in skull size. Though aside from that little problem this is a strong drawn issue. Finally the coloring and lettering on the fire aliens is kind of epic in terms of the skill levels.
   My verdict: This is a very recommended comic!

Not Recommended Comics List Of 4 Bond Bounty Edition

1. James Bond #2 (2015) published by Dynamite Entertainment has one massive flaw. It is clearly being written for the collected format. Also it has no summary of previous events which means that readers who missed the first issue may be confused. For example there is no reminder why James is bothering to mention the late 006. Not recommended in single issue format.

2. Though not a comic the 'Wolverine' video game from 1991 is based off the character from the comics. Unfortunately it is an extremely hard game to play, and not one I remember fondly. You lose health pretty much during every dangerous encounter, or just by having his claws out.

3. Basing any game on characters like Wolverine (extreme healing factor) or Superman (invulnerability) while making them easy to be hurt by things they would normally laugh at.

4. Phrases like "All Time Greatest" or "Best Ever" to describe comics or for that matter anything else. These kind of phrases will often change d…

In The Name Of The Moon It Will Be Blogged Sailor Moon S Episode 2

Am I the only one who thinks Usagi's new sleepwear looks too Victorian era London in design? Just seems weird to me since she usually seems a bit fashion conscious. Also weird is the repetitiveness of  the opening scene at the beginning of the 90s English dub when compared to last episode. It seriously has way too similar dialogue and character actions. I think the unclothing and Usagi wants to be kissed parts are also kind of similar to the Sailor Moon R movie, without it being gross on the former part.

  Another weird element to this episode is how the new rod being "born" is done in an alluding to sex kind of way. Speaking of why was the heart sucking star shaped hole hidden in such a provocative place on the monster? Perverted artists? I also do not get why the Moon Kingdom background appeared, and whether it was an illusion or not. Finally, at least regarding the weird elements, why did the kid run to the abandoned house and not try to get help from neighbors? (Ye…

Ivar Timewalker Issue 11 Review With Spoilers

Warning Of Spoilers!

    The use of the theory of the multiverse is in my personal opinion put to great use in this issue. Especially with the various pop culture references, such as Dragon Ball Z and Star Wars. The only problem I have with this issue is the choice of opening. It is a problem because it seems to be judging certain family situations. Also while the issue is beautifully drawn the opening scene does not stay consistent when continued in the multiverse window scene. Speaking of the art the shadowed parts of the Prometheans look a tiny bit off when judging by the lighting source. Overall I very much enjoyed this issue and I give it about a 99.9 percent of a recommendation. The leftover .1 percent is due to Neela's change arriving too soon and the lack of exploring the multiverse.

X-O Manowar Issue 42 Review With Spoilers

Warning Of Spoilers!

    There are two art problems that are just slightly above nitpick level. The first problem happens on the splash page showcasing Capshaw standing near what appear to be engine energy exhausts. She just looks too close to them. Problem two occurs when a soldier is apparently doing acrobatics after the human command ship is hit. Overall though the art is very consistent and strong work with a great color palette.

  As for the text, the lettering shows no real errors. Though I do feel the issue title could have been slanted a little less.

  Finally the writing is strong except for three weak points. The biggest weak point is the lack of a reminder of how Aric found out about trill being alive. This hurts the accessibility for anyone new to X-O Manowar picking this issue up on a whim. Next up is the fact that Aric's miniature anxiety attack  over whose side to pick seems out of character. It is especially hard to believe with how much he says in that moment. Fin…