Review: Doctor Strange
Another Marvel movie that proves relatively unknown mainstream characters can hold their own has arrived. Is this the best Marvel movie yet? No. In fact I wouldn’t say it is in the top 5, but that isn’t saying much. Marvel has gotten to the point where each film holds its own, and just because it hasn’t made a top 5 doesn’t mean it was not worth seeing. In fact, for this movie I think you almost need to see it in the theater.
I must warn you though… if you have vertigo or any type of motion sickness it is possible you’ll feel a bit woozy. Visually its stunning, but a lot to process. Okay down to the review. There will be spoilers, so if you don’t wish to know anything going in, then you might want to scroll down to the last paragraph to see my overall rating. As usual I’ll focus on the characters and how they made or didn’t make the movie… Here goes:
Dr. Stephen Strange – Benedict Cumberpatch is one of those few actors who really excels in all he does. While the movie itself dragged a little bit in narrative, the character of Dr. Strange made it interesting. This is a whole new type of persona in the Marvel Cinematic universe. Yes, Tony Stark has an ego, but Strange’s comes from a different background. It will be interesting to see the two meet for the first time. My only complaint is not knowing the timeline here. It seems that with all he learned while on his healing journey, he had to have been away for years. Despite time travel being involved we really don’t get an idea of how much the length of time is during this film.
Karl Mordo – Chiwetel Ejiofor was great in the role of Mordo. I was disappointed to see him as an ally, but it was set up for him to return as the big bad in a follow up. Because of this I can be forgiving. This film serves as an origin of sorts for him becoming the man who will be against everything Strange does. I look forward to seeing him again. His race here is a change from the comics, but I feel like we’re getting an updated version, so it’ll be interesting to see how he comes into play later.
Christine Palmer – Rachel McAdams had a supporting role, but one of much importance. She is officially the second Night Nurse in the Marvel film world. The first would be Rosario Dawson’s character in the Netflix shows. Both Christine and Claire had similar roles in the comics, and it’d be nice to see McAdams return again to serve that role for what’s to come.
Wong – I find it amusing that Benedict “Wong” is the actor playing this role. Surely that must have been on purpose. He was an almost direct interpretation of what I remember from the comics. His role was one crucial to the story, and obviously he will serve as a great ally to Strange from here on out. I liked how the Time Infinity Stone was incorporated into the Eye of Agomotto. It is a slight change, but one worth having. I only wonder how long Wong had been guarding it. His predecessor was killed, so having a slight back story to what Wong’s origin is would be a great idea for the sequel if we ever get one.
Kaecilius – Mads Mikkelsen is one of those actors that is the perfect bad guy. He’s so badass in this role, but I feel Marvel is following a pattern with their origin stories. It always seems the villains have a less than interesting reason for their actions. Maybe it’s just become redundant as to how the story progresses, but regardless Kaecilius was a decent henchman for the big bad here.
The Ancient One – Unfortunately going into this I already knew Tilda Swinton was playing the role. This isn’t a bad thing as I think she was easily a great highlight of the movie, but knowing the comics I was expecting an old Chinese guy. When Strange first appeared in Tibet Marvel should have done better at hiding the trailer giveaways. It would have been a good approach to have her as a shocker to the audience, just as Strange was shocked that the elderly oriental guy wasn’t the real Ancient One.
Dormammu – was a character that this movie needed, but I don’t like how he was portrayed. The CGI seemed a little off to me, but maybe that is because my focus was on everything else. Don’t get me wrong, the visuals were absolutely stunning, but I guess I didn’t see him being portrayed in quite the manner he was. Benedict Cumberpatch also voiced Dormammu, but questions are left open. If Strange used the Infinity Stone to loop time, then how long was he actually facing off against the dark creature? I read that it was implied Dormammu had killed Strange over 1,000 times, but we never get an accurate portrayal of that. On a positive note, this was one of the best final fight scenes in a Marvel Movie for the mere fact that it was so different from the rest, and really focused on the use of the Infinity Stone by a hero.
Stan Lee – Okay, so he was just a bus passenger in this movie, but we can’t ignore his cameo. He is after all “the Man”.
Thor – the first credit scene shows Thor consulting with Doctor Strange. This was probably one of the most significant credit scenes to date. Why? Well, we got a half answer to the aftermath of Thor the Dark World. We now know that Odin was missing from Asgard and that is how Loki got the throne. Details are still slim, but it gets rid of certain speculation and preps us for Thor Ragnarok’s events. Plus we seem to get confirmation that not only are Thor and Hulk teaming up for the movie, but Doctor Strange will be there in some way as well.
Speculation from here: as usual, I like to throw my thoughts out on where this will go and what can be done. Keep in mind, it is just speculation, but as an avid fan of these stories I have to let my inner geek out. Baron Mordo will probably be the villain saved for Doctor Strange 2. Perhaps it will have the subtitle of “The Sorcerer Supreme” because now that the Ancient One is no longer around, Strange can earn that title. Mordo bargaining with Dormammu would be easy to do because he could tell Dormammu that he doesn’t approve of how Strange is using his powers, so their “deal” can be broken (if even for a little extra boost of power.) The Time Stone will be taken at some point for Infinity War, but let’s look beyond that. After the showdown with Thanos there will have to be some sort of protection of the stone usage. Could Avengers 4 be subtitled “Illuminati?” Think about it. Vision would regain the Mind Stone. The Time Stone would remain with Doctor Strange. And the others could be scattered to different characters (one of which probably Adam Warlock). Add to all of this the fact that a “multi-verse” was mentioned and this is the way that you can bring in a Marvel/Fox studios crossover event. It’s well overdue, and could explain the difference between the universes interpretations. Finally, Stan Lee. His presence in everything should be addressed. I’d love to see him revealed as some sort of character. Is he the Beyonder? Is he Impossible Man? A Watcher perhaps? Who knows, but it would make his role that much more important to it all.
My rating: Doctor Strange was not the best Marvel movie, but it was a unique one that was done well. We now have a surgeon in the group who is well versed in magic. The ride was a visual rollercoaster of excitement, and while there were slow narrative moments, they were placed well with a build up towards the magic shown. To some it may be confusing, but for others its a highly well thought out story that introduces a whole new fun batch of elements to an already booming film continuity. Doctor Strange gets 3.5 out of 5 sCrypt coffins from me. What were your thoughts? Any speculation? Feel free to chime in with your comments.
Day 21 – Superior Inspiration
Inspiration for my novel GENETIC MORSELS and its spinoff EVOLVED MUTATIONS began before I could even hold a pen. Since then it has grown to various different outlets. Something about super human beings fascinates me. In real life we’ve seen cases that have been unexplained. Spontaneous human combustion, clairvoyants, feats of strength and survival that are above the norm. The fact is that a great deal of the human brain is dormant. We’ve yet to unlock the potential of utilizing the full capacity of our brains.
This is where my novel came in. I wanted to present a story where the people in it had abilities in a real world setting and environment. Imagine a generation of super powered people. How did they get these abilities? Is it the next step in evolution? These are questions answered in the plot.
As I said my fascination began before I could hold a pen. I grew up reading MARVEL and DC comics. Unlike most comic book “fan boys” I typically don’t hate a movie or side with one company because I equally enjoy both. I find the faults in these movies and tv shows, but the bottom line is MOST of them are very enjoyable to different degrees.
But Marvel, DC, and other comic book companies aside, there have been some other great movies that have a similar idea of putting the characters into a real world scenario. Two of my favorites of these are UNBREAKABLE and CHRONICLE.
Unbreakable caught me off guard. Back when M. Night Shyamalan was producing some really great content, he showed trailers for this film and they didn’t reveal a thing. I had no idea what to expect going into this, and had no inclination that this was a “superhero” movie at all. I knew nothing, and it turned out to be a really decent film.
I had a similar reaction with Chronicle. I’d heard very little about it other than I needed to see it. I knew this was a found footage superhero movie, and to me it was very refreshing (in ways different from Unbreakable and other movies). If there is one superhero movie you should watch that is underrated, it’s this one.
When it came time to write GENETIC MORSELS, I had been swept up in endless hours of research. As fascinating as superheroes are to me, my one problem is that comic books fail to recognize real world physics. In my research I found the book THE PHYSICS OF SUPERHEROES by James Kakalios. It is presented by a number of physicists who answer such questions as “How much food would the Flash need to consume in order to keep up his speed” and “How would Spiderman’s webs hold him to buildings without ripping chunks off or dislocating his arms?” They use scientific fact and equations to show the answers. I took much of this into account while creating some of my characters and the situations they’d be in.
While EVOLVED MUTATIONS seems a little bit more over the top than the novel it came from, it too uses real world common sense to keep everything as grounded as possible. Prime example? Bernie Johns. He’s a character I created who has the ability to generate fire from his hands. The problem is that his skin is not immune to fire. He is a horribly scarred and misfigured man with a good heart and tragic story. Daryl Dartmouth is another character who has super speed, but gravity and friction makes a speedster have difficulty in stopping. In real life while moving at over a hundred miles an hour you’d have to slow down first to stop. Comics don’t take that into account. Someone moving at that speed could easily slam into a wall if they weren’t careful.
So what are some of your favorite super hero or villain stories? What kind of freaks do you find intriguing? If you’ve read Genetic Morsels, who is your favorite character? Make sure to hashtag #scrypthalloween in your response and you may win a copy of one of my books. 🙂
Review: Marvel TV shows 2015-2016
Since I did the DC post it’s time to review the Marvel TV and Netflix shows for the 2015-2016. Like all of my reviews I will break it down by character giving my honest thoughts as a comic fan and viewer. There will be spoilers, so if you want my rating on each show scroll down to the final paragraph of each section (which ends with a solid line).
Feel free to comment and add your own thoughts below. I will be reviewing Jessica Jones season 1, Daredevil season 2, Agent Carter season 2, and Agents of SHIELD season 3.
First up Jessica Jones season 1:
Jessica Jones – She’s raunchy, she’s a drunk, she’s sexual, she’s got a bad attitude, she’s everything that a superhero isn’t, but she leaves her mark as one. Jessica is the most interesting character to watch as of yet. My only problem with this show was the extreme amounts of sexual scenes. I’m no prude by any means, but by the fourth gratuitous softcore porn scene I was tired of it. It’s as if there was nothing else that the writers had to do with their time. We get it. We get the type of character she is, but seriously it was overkill.
Luke Cage – was one of the two best things about this show. Casting was perfect and his acting superb. I actually got chills during the first bar fight scene that made me want to skip right to his show coming this fall. I found it predictable that he’d be controlled by Killgrave at one point, so I wasn’t surprised. I WAS however shocked by the shotgun blast to the face. That part of the story was intense and brought in the help of Claire Temple who made reference to Daredevil.
Kilgrave – The Purple man was an absolutely delightful villain to see. He is right up there with villains you want to hate but love (like Loki, the Joker, and Hannibal Lecter). He’s downright creepy and his ability to control others actions adds to that. By far he was one of the top villains in Marvel live action. It’s just a shame that he’s now dead.
Trish “Patsy” Walker – I loved her in the show, and she’s another perfect casting. In fact all of the cast was perfectly picked. They obviously are building her up to become Hellcat at some point, so we shall see what they do in season 2.
Simpson / Nuke – The officer gone rogue was basically an abusive addict by season end. He really embodied the rage that his comic book counterpart portrayed and the viewer is left really wanting him to be hurt for his actions.
Jeri Hogarth – I feel this part of the show could have been better written. We get that she likes women, but we don’t need a reference every two seconds. None of the straight characters are doing that, so it seems forced a bit. I’m all for equal portrayal of characters, but it got a bit over the top in parts… then again most of this show was over the boundaries. Regardless of my opinion she served a great purpose to the narrative, and I hope we see more of her.
In conclusion: Season 1 of Jessica Jones frustrated me not on the soft core porn sense, but it could have been just as effective if it were 4 episodes shorter. It was drawn out to a point where I was yelling at the tv for her to finish the job already. Other than those two complaints I really did enjoy it, and it brought a new feel to the Marvel cinematic universe. I give the show a 3 out of 5 sCrypt Coffins
Daredevil Season 2:
Daredevil / Matt Murdock – To me DD took a back seat this season as Castle was the highlight of the show, but that doesn’t mean he was bad by any means. We got to see a conflicted side of Matt Murdock, and while he mostly stuck with his own judicial and moral code he waivered at times making him unpredictable. This was a great decision on the writing end.
Foggy and Karen – I put them together because they each had their own equally interesting story arcs. Foggy is even going to work for Jeri Hogarth now, so I’m sure we will see him crossing over into the other shows. The trio is no longer a team, but each has their own little corner in the story. I’d like to see Karen and Matt work on their relationship because it left in a strange place.
Melvin Potter and Claire Temple – again I had to put these together as they were very small roles as opposed to the pair above. I’d like to see Potter become the Gladiator and I think they are building it towards that. He would be an excellent villain as he knows DD’s weaknesses. Claire is just Claire. She’s doing what she does best and it should be kept that way. Rosario Dawson can do no wrong here.
Elektra – Why Matt ever was attracted to her other than looks is beyond me. She’s clearly got little morals. But her beauty and bad nature clearly had its wrap on him. Elektra was great. I’ve no complaints other than I’m kind of hoping she’s brought back somehow. To me it made no sense to kill her off. I’d have rather seen Karen or Foggy wiped out instead.
Stick and the Hand – Both the old man and the ninjas were completely badass. There isn’t much more to say other than I’m hoping everything established in season 2 with these will bring about Daredevil in a Shadowland story. Him in charge of the Hand would be very interesting to see.
Kingpin – Wilson Fisk’s role is small, but that’s all it needed to be. Even behind bars he clearly has control of everything. His manipulation of Punisher and no fear of Murdock puts him in a place where you know he’s coming back better and badder than ever.
Frank Castle / The Punisher – He is my favorite comic book character of all time, and he was done so right here that there’s no way it could get better other than seeing his own series next year. From his brutality to his purpose he had it all nailed. Kudos to Jon Bernthal for kicking ass and taking names.
In Conclusion: DD season 2 was by far my favorite of the Marvel seasons to watch. Perhaps even more so than the movies as well. I am rating it with a full 5 out of 5 sCrypt Coffins.
Agent Carter Season 2:
Peggy Carter – It’s always a delight to see Hayley Atwell do anything, so I feel bad for how this season turned out. I don’t think it was the worst it could have been, but it lacked heart. Peggy was one of two parts that were good about it. Everything else really didn’t work for me.
Black Widow (Dottie Underwood) – was underused. Jarvis – was all over the place with who he was in love with and his own morals. Howard Stark – was no way near as good as he was in season 1 and it almost didn’t even feel like his character.
Joseph Manfredi – was decent enough, but never felt like a true threat, while constantly being overthrown by the Zero Matter plot.
Whitney Frost / Madame Masque – was the other part I felt was worth seeing. She played the villain role well and it made sense. I just feel as though it could have been better.
In conclusion: I said at the end of Season 1 (which I liked) that season 2 would not be needed. It should have stayed that way. We had a great hero and a great villain, but everything else was forgettable. If a show can’t hold my interest I’m out, but I forced myself through this entire season only to be sorely disappointed at my wasted hours. I have to rate it with a 1.5 out of 5 sCrypt coffins. It wasn’t quite a 1, but didn’t deserve 2.
Agents of SHIELD season 3:
The agents: Phil Couson continues to be a pleasure to watch, though his constant smirk makes it difficult at times to take him seriously. Hunter fell flat this season due to his relationship with Mockingbird / Bobbi Morse. The pair worked great together, but individually only she worked. I realize they were written off of the show due to a potential spinoff, but now that that isn’t happening I hope we still get to see Bobbi’s return in some manner. Fitz/Simmons became slightly less annoying as the season went on and for the first time in the series I actually didn’t mind both of them. I still feel as though Fitz is better when he’s driven to make solo decisions, and that Simmons acts exactly the same no matter what situation she’s in. That’s good for him, but bad for her. Melinda May continues to be a badass, but we got to see a softer side of her which was nice for a change. It enabled viewers to see that she isn’t all work. At least she didn’t used to be anyway. Mack by far is my favorite agent to watch. He’s the perfect embodiment of what an agent should be, although he does tend to have issues with authority at times. All around the entire SHIELD team are like pieces of a puzzle. They are great as a whole, but individually have flaws.
Secret Warriors: Daisy Johnson / Quake – Well she finally took on her codename by season end, but I was left confused. She is on the run or running solo? Why is SHIELD hunting her? She was obviously left scarred by her actions against the team, but if SHIELD is after her to make her accountable for what she did, then how did she escape in the first place? There is too much left unanswered. Lincoln on the other hand had a surprising fate. I did not for one second believe he’d be the one to die. I really grew to like him throughout the season so it makes sense as he said he didn’t want to be an agent after all. Despite that statement he still died a hero. Meltdown was underused in my opinion. The first episode was great when they hunted him down, but after that he didn’t get used nearly enough. I’m hoping this changes. Yo-Yo was great as well but I think they are rushing with her and Mack’s “relationship” if that’s what you want to call it. It is possible however that they are gearing up for her to be Mack’s new partner in place of Daisy on the team. The question then is… What happened to the Secret Warriors? Are they now defunct?
Lash was great until the reveal of his true identity. I feel he lost some bit of mystery there, but it was redeemed when he fully became Lash again. The fact that he saved Daisy makes me believe he was a combination of both personalities and that in the end the decision was made by his human half and not his bestial one.
Hive – What makes Agent Ward even better? Make him a heartless alien bringer of death. Everything from his powers to his true appearance looked superb. I’m glad he was destroyed as I didn’t want this story to drag on, but it makes me wonder who could possibly be brought in to be a great villain for next season. His deformed lackeys were terrible looking thugs with no purpose other than to be henchmen. That part I’m not sure I liked too much.
Talbot and Absorbing Man – I love the recurring presence of Talbot, and the smart use of Crusher Creel. I could see this whole thing leading into a “Dark Warriors” storyline, something akin to what the comics did with the Avengers, only having Talbot in charge.
Hellfire was great though I’m not sure I like his origin. My pickiness aside he was fun to watch and had a lot of character to him.
Holden Radcliffe was as the Machine Teen in the comics, and I’m glad to see they changed this for the show. He works better as a man with age and wisdom. I can see how his creations could prove to be a future threat, even if he did leave on good terms with SHIELD. I wouldn’t mind seeing him as a more significant villain.
Other references/characters: Werner Von Strucker was no way near as threatening as his father, and for that reason I’m glad he was only a small role. Manifold was referenced quickly for any comic fan who may have picked up on it. Civil War had also affected the show on a minor level but then it was left to hang. There was no real reveal as to whether Coulson’s team would be forced to sign the accords or not.
In Conclusion – Agents of SHIELD season 3 was the best season of the show yet, but still had some irritating qualities. It was a good build up for a season 4 that could potentially be really great. Still, despite what it lead into it fell flat enough to make it less than great. Overall I’m rating it with a 3 out of 5 as it has established itself as a fun show that can exist successfully without relying on the much better films in the same universe.
So there’s my take. What did you think? This gives Marvel TV 2015-2016 an average sCrypt rating of 3 out of 5. Clearly aside from Netflix DC rules the contest with their TV shows, but Marvel’s strong suit remains on the big screen leaving DC in the dust. I only want both to succeed and am happy for what we get, so here’s hoping it all gets better.
Review – Captain America: Civil War
Wow. That’s really what I can say. While I don’t think this is the best Marvel movie to date it rounds out the best trilogy in film in my opinion. There is not much that I can find wrong with the movie, and anything that would be considered “bad” is really nitpicking by someone who doesn’t enjoy movies.
Do I even need to say that it easily makes one forget that Batman vs Superman DOJ came out last month? It does. After watching this I almost forgot entirely about that movie, and it was one I also enjoyed. As usual I’ll break it down by characters and it will be filled with spoilers, so if you want my honest rating without that scroll down to the last paragraph, otherwise let the spoilers begin.
Steve Rogers/Captain America/(Nomad?) – Yes I included Nomad as one of his identities because he basically gave up the shield, and even said in his letter to Tony that he’d always been a “wanderer.” Chris Evans shined once again. I’m glad the rumors were false about his death like in the comics, because despite me really liking the characters who could/would take over the Cap mantle, I don’t really want to see anyone but him in that role. #TeamCap is there for a reason. My only problem is his line to Tony about “Bucky was my friend.” The most logical response was Tony’s “So was I.” Cap was wrong in his delivery here, but in the heat of the moment we often don’t let our brain think about what we are saying before saying it. To me it still comes off as a big screw you to Iron man who has been there more for Cap recently than Bucky was regardless of history.
Tony Stark/Ironman – Like Chris Evans in his role, Robert Downey Jr is superb as Stark. He has motivation and good reasoning for his side of the argument. #Teamironman might not be all that just in their haste to sign the accords that Tony believes need to happen, but he honestly feels guilt for the lives lost, whereas the opposing faction shows little of this. I am happy that RDJ delivered the line about “I don’t want to give up.” It further cements that Marvel most likely won’t recast this role anytime soon, nor should they. Here’s for hoping Ironman 4 comes along with a proper Mandarin.
Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow – Scarlett Johansson has gone beyond her obvious attractiveness and really showed audiences that more of this character is in demand. Her fight scenes were breathtaking. In fact, every scene with Black Widow shined as much as the main two characters. From the fights to her switching sides as you would expect her to she kicked ass all the way!
Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier – Sebastian Stan is on par with the Winter Soldier. While the last movie showed him slowly realizing what had been done to him, Civil War focuses on him dealing with it all. He’s a tortured soul, but shows little remorse when it comes to what happened to Stark’s parents. There is little in the way of an apology, which I felt would have at least shown his morals shining through.
Sam Wilson/Falcon & Redwing – I never liked Redwing’s “mental connection” with Falcon in the comics, so the interpretation in this movie made sense. Falcon has become one of my favorite Avengers to watch on the screen as I feel Anthony Mackie loves the role. The use of his wings as shields also foreshadowed what could happen as him being a future Captain America. Even if he doesn’t I liked that they did this because it pays homage to the comics.
James “Rhodey” Rodes/War Machine – Again I’m reminded why Don Cheadle was the perfect replacement for Terrence Howard. While Howard seemed arrogant and boring in the role, Cheadle has always showed character. I liked his take on how many missions he’d flown, and that this was his first real crash. Despite his injury he affirmed he’s not giving up anytime soon because he believes in the cause. It shows that no matter what he fights for what he believes in.
Clint Barton/Hawkeye – Okay Clint, I have a serious problem with your placement here, but not because I didn’t think you were awesome. On the contrary, this movie needed Hawekeye. His entrance was unexpected and I loved the role he played, even if a small one. My problem is he doesn’t seem to care much about his family. At one point he even admitted that he needed to get away. Well, now he’s on the run from the authorities, so what good did that do? Marvel either needs to make him a full time Avenger or a family man. One doesn’t really work with the other, and even Tony alluded to that with his relationship with Pepper.
T’Challa/Black Panther – Newcomer Chad Boseman was a total badass. We even got a brief origin story with the mantle being passed to him once T’Chaka was killed. While they didn’t say T’Chaka had been running around in Wakanda as the Black Panther they didn’t need to. His son T’Challa was the focus. My question is how long he will be able to hide the refugee Avengers and still stay allied with the main group. Talk about playing both sides in the end. His reasoning is decent, but it was really unclear where he stood in the end. I’m now more eager to see his solo outing.
Vision – Not much can be said except that I hope Paul Bettany continues on in this role for many years. Every scene with him was fun to watch even when not in combat, and I loved that we got a glimpse of what he feels for Wanda. He also mentioned that he didn’t know exactly what the Mind Gem was in his forehead. It seemed to fascinate and frighten him. He operates on logic which made sense that he was on team Ironman, even if the logic was flawed by the lack of details on the rushed government program.
Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch – Just how old is she supposed to be? Cap almost belittles her by calling her a kid all the time, yet she’s proven to be a complete asset to the team. Yes, she made a few mistakes along the way, and some of those caused death. She’s forced to struggle with this ability that goes beyond anyone’s in the current Marvel movie Universe. I really think she will be one of the people who will pose a threat to Thanos as no one can really compare at this point. I’m glad we aren’t going to get the classic spandex costume she wore in the comics, because this goth version sits perfectly in a modern day world.
Scott Lang/Antman/Giantman – Poor Scott turns his life around and becomes a hero, gets his criminal history expunged, and now is on the run again. Seeing him as an Avenger and back as Antman was fun enough, but his decision to grow into Giantman made it that much more enjoyable. That whole scene I could watch over and over again, and I couldn’t help but laugh when he fell over asking if anyone had any orange slices. I could imagine the toll on his metabolism would happen in real life, so it was smart to thrown the one liner in there.
Sharon Carter/Agent 13 – I still find it weird that Cap dates his ex girlfriend’s great neice, but who cares. haha. Glad we finally got to see her kick some ass briefly in the Winter Soldier fight scene.
Peter Parker/Spiderman – Tom Holland is my new favorite Spidey. I never really enjoyed Garfield’s portrayal, and while I liked Tobey Maguire in the first two movies, he got too whiney for me. This Peter Parker was easily the highlight of the movie. I’m glad Marvel got him back. From his wisecracks to his personality it’s spot on. We even got his spider light at the end, which is something I never thought I’d see. Oh, and anyone complaining about Tony Stark making him the costume that has eyes that move, well they obviously didn’t pay attention. Parker addressed this when meeting Stark the first time about his senses being on overload. It’s a new twist, but one that is warranted. While he unmasked in the comics, I’m glad the Russo’s decided to eliminate that part of the story. It takes away the risk factor of being a hero, and would sincerely hinder any future solo outing for webhead especially. Another bonus is that Aunt May is now eye candy in the form of Marissa Tomei.
Brock Rumlow/Crossbones – I was shocked at his fate, but killing him off was a good thing. No longer will Marvel have to hear fan theories about him killing Captain America. His role was small, but smart. I hate to see him not used again, but am glad to see him go if that makes sense. He served his purpose already in both movies, and it would get redundant really fast.
General Ross – Hooray we finally get Thunderbolt back. It’s only been how many years since Incredible Hulk? My only surprise is that it took him this long to get involved. Yes he mentions he had a heart attack, but that doesn’t seem like something that would keep him down for the better part of a decade. It makes one wonder what he’d been doing in all that time.
Baron Helmut Zemo – Quite possibly the best and worst marvel villain to date. He manipulated the heroes into nearly killing one another. That gives him the best title. But then he tries to kill himself. Bad move Russo’s. It didn’t fit in with his motive. And then we see him in the cell at the end and he’s back to being a clear thinking villain. All they had to do was eliminate the two second pulling of the trigger and had him aim it at Black panther instead. It would have made a little more sense to the character to me. I do hope we see him again, even if he pops up in Agents of SHIELD.
Overall the movie was spectacular. The impact on the Marvel Movie universe is both minimal and large. It won’t really affect any of the solo outings coming up. Doctor Strange, Spiderman Homecoming, and Thor Ragnarok probably won’t need to reference the events if at all. Even Black Panther’s solo outing won’t really be an issue. What WILL be affected is Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and the next Avengers movie. Time will tell what is decided, but I can’t wait for more. I give it a full 5 out of 5 sCrypt Coffins for being one of the best comic book movies to date. What were your thoughts? Were you team Cap or Ironman?
Marvel TV shows review: Daredevil, Agent Carter, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
I decided this year to review all of the live action shows related to Marvel Comics in one article, so it will be more brief, but will contain some spoilers. If you just want my ratings then scroll down to the final paragraph of each break, which will be spoiler free.
First up, Daredevil. What is there to say? A lot, but so little. To me, this is the best Marvel live action thing to date, and that is saying a LOT. Never once have they nailed a character and realism as well as they had with this series. It also opens up opportunities for so much more, and yet still pays tribute to that which is already established. It connects the existing cinematic universe without using it as a springboard and does it tastefully. So, on to the characters:
Daredevil/Matt Murdock is played by Charlie Cox. From the acting, the abuse that the character takes both mentally and physically, and the way he perceives the world through his senses, you can really get a feel for what it is like to be in his shoes. His first costume is on point with one of the comic versions, while his final costume and why he dons it are closer to what we all know and love. Cox really takes us on the ride of not just knowing DD’s origin, but why he does what he does. He’s not just a hero because he has to be… he’s a hero because he WANTS to be.
Wilson Fisk/Kingpin , played by Vincent D’Onofrio, is believable from the start. This isn’t just Murdock’s origin as the hero, but moreso Fisk’s origin as the Kingpin. The look into his childhood says a lot as to why he is who he is, and what he goes through in these 13 episodes shows us why he will become what he has by the end of the season. He is cunning and powerful in more ways than one, and I doubt those bars will hold him for long.
Foggy Nelson, Karen Page, & Ben Urich: These three drive the series home, and while Foggy was quirky at times he grew on me. Ben was absolutely outstanding and I wish we could have seen more of him in the future. Karen proved that she will do what is necessary to survive, and support her friends. Daredevil would not have been complete without these three supporting characters.
Vanessa & Wesley: Like the above 3, supporting characters I can’t stress how much these two were needed for Fisk. Vanessa although falling a bit too fast has a dark side that is well balanced with a lighter side, making the perfect compliment for the lead villain. Every scene that included Wesley was enjoyable because of his dedication and coldness.
Leland Owlsley/The Owl: Bob Gunton always seems to play the same character no matter what his role, but his acting perfection in that role gave Owlsley the life he needed. My only regret is that we didn’t get to see the full comic book adaptation of The Owl, but I understand why. There was no room or need for him to become his better known comic half other than to serve the role he already did in the series.
Claire Temple/Nightnurse played by Rosario Dawson was utilized to the perfect amount. She didn’t need to do anymore than what she was there for, and I’m glad that they got away from the romance between her and Matt that I thought was going to begin.
Stan Lee: Yes I have to include his cameo, because he’s the man. I can understand if you missed it but he’s there in spirit. Behind the main desk of the Police office building there is a framed photo on the wall of who might be the chief of police or some retired police hero. The photo is of Stan Lee in uniform. His cameo and the avengers references were enough to make any fan boy smile.
Stick: Aside from the brief cameo we see by his partner Stone, Stick was crucial to the history of the man who would become DD. His persona is countered by the Catholic Priest and I believe it is both of these things that shape our hero and allow him to know what is right and wrong and which lines to cross.
Madame Gao: There are many speculations as to her actually being the Crane Mother, and they are justified. She knocked DD on his ass and barely had to break a sweat. Then she claimed that she was from a place much farther than China, so the only thing that could be is another realm… not to mention the symbol that is known to be part of the Iron Fist background. All of this aside, her role, and the brief Hand ninja appearance became ground work for the future of this series, and others to come.
All in all, I have to rate DD with a 10 out of 10 sCrypt Coffins. This is definitely NOT for young children, evident by the language and violence, but I think us adults needed something more mature to enjoy in this amazing universe. Kudos to the writers, producers and cast for an outstanding job.
Marvel’s Agent Carter is our second review, and while I was very skeptical at first, I found myself surprised by this 8 episode series. Here are the highlights:
Hayley Atwell breathes life once again into Peggy Carter. From coping with the “death” of Steve Rogers to dealing with the sexism of the time, she proves herself worthy in so many ways. With Edwin Jarvis and Howard Stark there to support her, she rises against the odds, kicks ass, and all while feeling real.
Doctor Faustus & The Black Widow program prove to be the perfect villains for the series while The Howling Commandoes become a wanted sight to assist Carter.
Stan Lee once again appears as a guy getting his shoes shined, and again you can’t help but smile at his presence.
All in all I found the series to be unnecessary, but enjoyable. The cast and setting were a decent escape from the norm, and it provided an origin to the organization that would one day be called SHIELD. That being said, I wish this was a one shot. There is no need to further tackle this subject in another miniseries, but ABC has officially announced season 2. Overall I give Agent Carter 6 out of 10 sCrypt coffins.
And finally Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2…
It began with a bang, progressed on to more boring issues, then got interesting, but not necessarily great. Then the ending came and the finale went out with a bang. Here are some of the more notable things:
Phil Coulson has become less interesting, and while I’m a fan of everything Clark Greg does, I’m convinced the newly appointed director of SHIELD may have his days numbered.
Carl Creel/Absorbing Man was easily the BEST thing about this season. He was given a mention in Daredevil as well, so I think the powers that be know his worth. The special effects and interesting way that they made him appear (yes even with his ball and chain) had me convinced that this season was going to be absolutely amazing.
The second best thing about this season was the introduction of Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird. She is what the SHIELD team needed to feel more connected to Marvel’s universe. She’s an enjoyable character to watch and more likeable than most of the characters.
FitzSimmons is annoying on a whole different level than they were last season. Fitz has become more likeable, but his memory issue seems to have been a bit overdone. Simmons on the other hand; for the love of God, she needs to go. There was no point to her even being there other than being a very annoying character.
Agent 33 is a mystery. I’m not sure where I stand as of yet on her reliance with Ward, but could she be Madame Masque? If she isn’t I dont see much of a point to her either.
Raina took a back seat through most of this season, but I like that they introduced her as the Raina character from the comics. Sure she may have been a C-rate character, but the usage was done nicely.
Daisy/Skye/Quake is the primary focus of the season, and while she has been revealed as being one of the Inhumans, she is not up to her full capacity yet. This needed to be done with Skye, because if not she’d be another person that would have felt forced if anything at all. I’m interested in seeing her develop more especially since she will be on a team of powered people working for SHIELD next season (at least that’s what they led you to believe).
Cal/Mr. Hyde Definitely one of the most enjoyable aspects of the season. He’s a bit nerdy, a bit psychotic, and a bit melodramatic, but I’d never in a million years have thought I’d see him in a live action adaptation. While I hope for more known characters to appear, Hyde is what this show needs. It is a less than perfect show, so why not use less than perfect characters that will enhance it? He is exactly that but it works well.
Deathlok 2.0 is still meh. I like Mike Peterson, but he is still not the Deathlok I want to see. I only hope that this version of him will continue to evolve into what he should be. We know they can pull it off, so they need to make it happen. I’d much rather see him and mockingbird than the lesser inhuman people.
From characters, to Age of Ultron and movie/tv show tie ins, to the Kree and SHIELD rising and falling, this season had a lot going for it, but also a lot of room for improvement. It has been renewed for season 3, but if they don’t do something interesting fast then it will get the boot. I give it 5 out of 10 sCrypt Coffins for season 2. There was enough to make me interested, but much to forget about.
Review: Avengers Age Of Ultron
Review season is just about upon us for TV shows, so I figured I’d kick it off with a review of Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. If you haven’t seen it, then scroll down to the last paragraph for my rating… unless you want to be spoiled. Yes, there will be spoilers mentioned. You’ve been warned. 🙂
Let’s start with Robert Downey Jr as (Ironman) Tony Stark and Chris Evans as (Captain America) Steve Rogers. If you can’t see Civil War coming out of this, then you missed a lot. Tony and Steve don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things, but Stark’s actions in this movie put them on separate paths toward a common goal. RDJ was once again perfect as Stark. In the comics it was Antman who had created Ultron, but they changed it for the movie. Having Stark create Ultron made a lot of sense here. It was done well overall and it brought out the character flaws this team had. Tony had already created the Iron Legion robo police force and his reasons for wanting to go further were justified. Steve is still trying to adjust to modern times, so being left in the dark about such a bold move was not something he felt was wise. The dynamic here was less about Ultron and the threat than it was about setting up Cap 3.
Chris Hemsworth shined as Thor. More focus was put on the true power that he wields, specifically Mjolnir. Thor’s confidence is almost a cockiness in his abilities and if Captain America almost lifting the hammer wasn’t bothersome enough to THor’s ego, then certainly Vision’s actions were. Heimdall‘s brief cameo fit well and I like how they set up what looks to be Thor 3: Ragnarok. Thor’s role here was to inform about the power of the infinity stones and the role they play in the universe.
Hulk (Bruce Banner) took more of a back seat for me in this movie. Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal was spot on, and though the Hulk shined we got to see more of the struggle Banner has coping with his alter ego. He accepts it less and fears it more than in the last movie. So much so that he is solely responsible for helping Ironman develop the Hulkbuster (veronica) armor. The presence of both Banner and Hulk were equally important this time, but I feel as though he was bullied a bit by Tony. I was a little caught off guard by the sexual tension between him and Natasha, but I’m glad that they strayed from that. Who knows where he ended up in the end. Fury mentioned the craft MIGHT have crashed into the ocean, but you can’t help but wonder if it was all a setup for another Hulk movie (Planet Hulk). I hope not as I don’t particularly like that story.
Scarlett Johansson has proven my initial thoughts on her in the role to be completely false. I love her as Black Widow (Natasha Romanov), though I do have one issue. Whedon could have corrected the lack of RUssian accent in the flashback to her ballet days, but he chose to ignore it. I was pleased that we got a little more of her background though and everything that was hinted at in her prior appearances. Her crush on Banner was strange to me, but then again I was blown away that her relationship with Clint was less intimate than I’d rightfully assumed.
Jeremy Renner really took the lead in this movie. Hawkeye (Clint Barton) was finally called his codename and it was fun how it was done and the reasoning. I was blown away by the reveal of his family but it was a welcome change. There needed to be someone with some kind of personal life and he being the choice made sense. While Cap was the leader and Tony the funding of the team, Hawkeye was the glue that held them together.
War Machine (James Rhodes) and Falcon (Sam Wilson), played by Don Cheadle and Anthony Mackie cameoed in important minor roles that by the ending you realize will become much more in the next installment.
Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff) and Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) were perfect. Aaron Taylor Johnson was a much better Quicksilver than the already likeable one that was in X-Men DOFP. My only regrets are that he had to die because of the dual studios usage of the character. In a battle like this however there are bound to be casualties, so I’m fine with the choice. Elizabeth Olsen was both sexy and creepy in her role, and I’m happy with the portrayal of her powers. The slight modification worked well and the hint at the twins’ past can be touched upon more if Marvel ever ended up with rights to X-men. The twins beginning as antagonists and becoming heroes was everything I wanted to see with them.
Vision is both the evolution of JARVIS and the creation of Ultron. His origin was similar to the comics and his presence and sleek look were a very welcome addition. He was to this movie as Hulk was to the last, and earned his place quickly. Although his solar gem atop his head was changed to the mind gem, the origin and use of that which was once in Loki’s scepter placed well. It was a primary reason why he became so powerful and heroic. As part machine with organic matter in him, he is able to wield it without being corrupted by temptation or control. They even gave a nod to the romance that will be eventual between him and Scarlet Witch.
Samuel L Jackson is always great to see as Nick Fury, and with him and Maria Hill back on the scene with SHIELD it will be interesting to see where this takes the agents of shield series.
Finally, on to the villains…
Baron Von Strucker while having a minor role was a good starting point for the film. Why not have a minor subplot with HYDRA before kicking into another threat? I’ve welcomed this with the Spiderman movies and any characters that have a huge rogues gallery.
Ulyses S. Klau played by Andy Serkis had a story element that will directly lead in to Black Panther. They mentioned Wakanda, he had his arm torn off, and he’d stolen vibranium. It is an excellent lead in that didn’t feel forced.
Ultron was easily the highlight of this film. James Spader gave off the vibe that this robot was like a child with a god complex. Designed to eliminate threats, the cliched “robot thinks it knows better by eliminating the human race” felt fresh here because of Ultron’s personality. There were hints of logic, and Tony’s personality that made him unique in many ways. So much so that it almost felt like Tony Stark was the villain at times.
Thanos had only a brief scene. While it was not anywhere near one of the better credits scenes, it was something that laid ground for the next installment.
What else is there to say? From the plot to the set ups of the next few movies and where the characters go personally, there is a lot packed in to 2 hours and 20 minutes. Stan Lee‘s cameo was my favorite of them all, and that says something right there. People have complained that Age of Ultron is not as good as the first Avengers movie, but it’s an unfair assessment. These movies are entirely different from one another. I feel that this tied up a lot of loose ends and opened the movie universe up to so much more potential. In my opinion it exceeded Avengers 1 in many ways while not surpassing it in others. It isn’t a perfect comic book movie, but it is damn close. I give it 9.5 sCrypt Coffins out of 10.
If you have anything to add, please comment below.
Review: Marvel Universe Live On Tour
What do you get when you mix comic book characters with a circus, a motocross, and a martial arts tournament? Marvel Universe Live. This week sCrypt comics was able to attend the event here in Philadelphia. The tour is currently hitting major cities across the United States, so check http://www.marveluniverselive.com for tickets and dates. Okay, now let’s get down to the review. I’ll avoid major spoilery material, as the plot to the show isn’t what I want to focus on, though I will touch on it.
Attending for sCrypt Comics was myself (Rick Pipito), co-founder and lead artist Dan Pipito, my 4 year old son and my 5 year old daughter. When I say that this is a show for all ages, I’m not lying. It is aimed at a younger audience, but has enough other fantastic elements that visually alone it is fun for anyone.
Sound Effects and Dialogue: Okay, so some of the dialogue was cheesy bad, but not bad in a repulsive way. Bad like in a comic book way, where certain things were done just to appease the audience. Who doesn’t like a laugh? Thor saying “It’s Hammer Time” was a bit much, but the campiness works as if it were a stage play. The voices were prerecorded as the characters acted the lines out (sort of in an exaggerated Power Rangers type of way). The best part about the voices was that they literally sounded EXACTLY like the actors who voiced these characters in the 90s animated cartoons. For any fan of those, and lets face it, who isn’t a fan, you will be quite pleased at the nostalgia it brings. Sound effects wise, the lasers and explosions were as expected to be, and not hard to make perfect. The soundtrack itself was also impressive, and JARVIS as the narrator to introduce the beginning of the show and after the intermission made a lot of sense.
Acting and choreography: The acting was as mentioned above with an exaggerated movement of the characters speaking. Although visually seeing this is somewhat distancing from real life, it has to be done to show who is the one doing the speaking. I mean you can’t have a show like this and not; otherwise there would be dead space. That being said, the acting isn’t what makes this show amazing. I cannot express how exciting and action packed it is. The fighting sequences were as if you were watching it on the silver screen, and while the punches and kicks didn’t literally connect with the other characters, the distance from the stage makes up for that. Remember that scene in Ironman 2 when Black Widow kicks a dozen asses without batting an eyelash? Yep… the actress playing Widow in this tour does those moves in the same manner. Even the aerial fights (Green Goblin vs Spiderman) were well done. What made my jaw drop was watching these stunt people drop a good fifteen to twenty feet after being “punched” off of balconies or catwalks. There were no ropes in those sequences, so they freefell onto inflatable mats. I can’t emphasize how much coordination this must take because one small misstep and they’d be splattered all over the floor.
Visual effects: Right from the beginning we get Thor using his hammer to smash the Tesseract. As he does, lightning comes down from above and the cube shatters outward in a dazzling display of particles. From Ironman’s repulsor blasts, to Aldrich Killian’s fire body of extremis virus, to Spiderman’s webs, it was stunning and breathtaking. The fight with the sinister six at the Statue of Liberty was especially exciting because while there was a battle inside the head of the statue, there was more in the air outside, and the transition back and forth between the two scenes was seamless. The highlight of the show was perhaps the Hulk element. A green light focuses on Bruce Banner when he is getting angry, but when Hulk finally shows up he is a good ten feet tall. The actor in this huge Hulk costume obviously walked on stilts but that was hidden by the design of the legs, and although his facial features couldn’t move, it was the sheer power you felt having him on the scene and destroying things, smashing and raging out.
Motorcycles and stunts: Kudos to the man who is Spiderman. He didn’t stay put for five minutes. Most of his stage time was either from a high wire, swinging above or him doing flips on the ground, running up walls, and just being the best acrobat around. Coordination and balance are both an understatement when it comes to him. The motorcycle and vehicle rides were impressive with the space they had on stage, but what made me gasp was the unexpected backflips and long jumps across “chasms”. This part of the show alone could have stood by itself.
Stage: The design of the stage, the shape of it, and its ever changing scenery leaves no room for complaining. It worked well for every part of the show, and some of it made me wonder exactly how the hell they break down and set up after each city tour. It’s a lot of moving parts.
Character usage and costumes: While each character had an equal amount of show time, and looked great in their comic cloned costumes, there were some issues I had. First, the costumes: Ironman’s suit looked entirely too bulky, Red Skull’s head looked a bit oversized, and Captain America’s shield bent during one of the shield throwings, so it was a bit odd. In the case of underwhelming characters, I choose three: With all of the visual effects and build up of the show, I really wanted to see Storm go crazy at the end and summon some of her weather abilities. I also wanted to see Cyclops unleash his optic blasts. I got neither, and I don’t understand why. Ironman had plenty of lasers going off, so a few shots of red light from Cyclops would have been easy to do. Smoke effects and lightning were abound, so making some smoke look like a tornado or have Storm firing lightning or wind would not have been that much of a stretch. To me, the lack thereof of these elements made me feel as if the creators of the show got lazy in the last five minutes and wanted it to end. Captain Marvel also only flew and fought. In the scenes she was a part of, her comic book counterpart would have blasted the thugs around in seconds. Instead they focused on her fighting, which made her a useless character. If they wanted to focus on fighting, they could have used Punisher or someone else like that.
Concessions and Other attractions: Like any of these type of shows, the ticket prices are through the roof at times, but worth it. The price you pay to see this show goes to making it happen, so I can get by that. What I can’t get by is how outrageous concessions are. I’m not talking about popcorn or anything like that, because we all know at these events you spend ten dollars on a hotdog. What I AM talking about are the plush toys and cheap gimmicks. Light up toys that twirl around and the plush dolls look like something that you’d win at a carnival or buy at a five below, but the price of one costs between 20 and 25 dollars! And the program would have been nice to have, but I wasn’t spending that money either. Sorry. I’ll go spend half the price somewhere else and get something four times as good. One cool thing is that (and you can see from my pic of Dan and my kids) you can dress up as characters and stand in for pictures. There are a few of these lying around, so you can take your pick of which to do.
Overall, this show is something new and fresh. You’ve never seen anything like it before. Sure, there are elements you have probably scene, but the combination of everything together is out of this world. Marvel Universe Live on Tour is an event that you do NOT want to miss. The sold out arena was proof of that alone, and I hope that this leads to many more similar incarnations. A Marvel Universe Live sequel focusing on X-Men, Fantastic Four, or other heroes than the Avengers would have me grabbing tickets right away. With over 32 characters from the comics it is a job well done. For an arena performance, I give it 8 out of 10 sCrypt Coffins.
What did you think? Feel free to comment if you saw it. I’d be interested in hearing others’ thoughts.
*MARVEL UNIVERSE LIVE is a production of Feld Entertainment (C) 2014
Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1
After 22 episodes I decided to do a brief review of the season as a whole. Having faith in Marvel has proven to be a good thing, because in all honesty, the first nine episodes of this season were utter garbage. Then there was a break and someone woke the hell up on the writing staff. Warning… Spoilers ahead, so if you want my rating skip down to the last paragraph.
Low budget effects? yes for the most part, but that’s what to expect from a television show, and they got better sans a few, toward the end of the season. When this show started, I actually could not stand most of the characters. Clark Gregg’s Phillip Coulson was the ONLY reason I hung on. The tie ins with the existing universe really only worked with Captain America The Winter Soldier, because for the most part, all of the name drops felt forced. That being said, there are some exceptions to that rule. Let’s look at the characters, both main and guest spots.
Agent Coulson: Clark Gregg is easily the highlight of this show. He has proven his adaptability from bad scripts to good ones, and plays the role well. Sure, there were a few moments that felt off, but I don’t think this was him more than it was the direction of the show. The huge build up to find out how he was still alive after Avengers, came at somewhat a relief and a let down; but now I’m more intrigued to see where this will take him as a character. Something in his brain is obviously amiss, based on what happened at the end of the season finale with him writing on the walls. There is still something mysterious about him, and I’m eager to find out what.
Agent May: When she kicks ass, she is fun to watch, but her dull lack of emotion for the most part, didn’t seem believable at all times. Thankfully, in the last few episodes, she lightened up slightly.
Ward: I don’t put agent in front of his name because he has been revealed as part of HYDRA. I liked this turn because he was a likable character with a seemingly good heart. I do see that there is internal conflict there though. He NEEDS to stay as a bad guy. His actions are not redeemable, so if they decide at one point to have him back on the team, then I will be really pissed off and probably lose interest all together.
Skye: Easily the best looking person on the show, she is gorgeous and intriging. I didn’t buy into her becoming a member of the “team” at first, but I don’t mind it now that they made up for that. There is obviously something about her that is super powered, but we don’t know yet what it is. I just hope they don’t hold onto this information for too much longer. My guess? Her real name will be revealed soon enough, and we will find out she will become Spider Woman. I think this because it fits her profile for the most part.
Fitz and Simmons: Ugh. In the first half of the season I just wanted these characters to die off. They are NOT government like agents. Honestly they sucked bad. By the end of this season I at least have grown to like Fitz. Simmons… not so much. I just don’t think her quirkiness works.
John Garrett: Bill Paxton probably saved this series. I was NOT happy with the lackluster reveal of him being the Clairvoyant that was a huge buildup to another disappointment. I AM happy that he is John Garrett from the comics, who is a cyborg. We see the full reveal of his comic book costume at the end of the season finale, but his life is quickly ended. This is a good thing. He played his purpose, and we can move on.
Viktoria Hand: For the little screen time she had, it was enjoyable. She WAS her comic counterpart. I was just shocked to see her killed at the hands of Ward. IF this is somehow a “faked” death, then I’ll be pissed at that too. They’ve used the fake death enough. It’s overplayed. Let it die… literally.
Deathlok / Mike Peterson: I predicted him being Deathlok 2 episodes before it happened, and I’m glad he is there. He is finally free with his own will power after Garrett’s death, and I want to see more of him. His costume however needs to evolve. I want to still see the real Deathlok look, or at least some of it. This gaudy chest armor does nothing for me. The leg is cool, but update his face to half cyborg. Make him look the part, because he plays the part well.
Agent Triplett: The PERFECT replacement for Ward on the team. He’s a much better character as a hero, and is likable as well.
Raina and Ian Quinn: Both of these characters have similar antagonist roles, but I only find Ian Quinn as enjoyable. The Raina character bothers me and I can’t quite figure out why. She feels forced where she is at. Quinn on the other hand is serving a purpose.
Blackout / Marcus Daniels: His role, while a small guest spot, was awesome. I liked what they did here, though honestly, I’d rather him have been the Blackout that is Ghost Rider’s enemy, but all the same, it was done well.
Blizzard / Donnie Gill: His origin as the Ironman villain was set. Now bring him back as Blizzard full on. I want to see it.
Graviton / Franklin Hall: Same as Blizzard. origin featured, but we need a return and with him as the comic villain.
Maria Hill and Nick Fury: I LOVED both of these cameos, especially toward the end of the season and in the finale. Nick handed the reigns over to Coulson to reform SHIELD, but I’d love to see him back at some point. Maria will definitely be seen again, probably in Avengers 2 as well.
Lorelei: This was the BEST guest villain to date. She was right spot on with the comics, and believeable as well. It was refreshing to say the least.
Lady Sif: Similar feel that I got with Lorelei. Best hero cameo, and a shift of pace for the show.
Sitwell and Koenig: I’ll put it this way… I was glad to see Sitwell as a member of HYDRA in Cap 2. I don’t want to see him again, because he isn’t believable. Koenig is just annoying and I was excited to see him die in the show…. but of course he had a twin brother, so we are stuck with him for at least another episode. SMH. NOT a good role… NOT a good character… NOT a convinceable agent of SHIELD.
Colonel Glenn Talbot: I hope we see more of him in the future. They have the perfect actor for the role, and although his appearance was limited, it made me think more about the possibility of seeing Bruce Banner in a future episode… after all, they did mention the Leader & Abomination’s statuses after the events of the Incredible Hulk.
So what did you think? Am I wrong? Do you have more to add? Did you give up on the show and if so, will you muscle through to earn back your respect for what will come of this show? All in all I have high hopes for season 2. If they don’t continue with better scripts and get rid of stupid characters like Koenig, then this show WILL fail. I think they are smart enough to correct their past mistakes however, and I’m highly anticipating season 2. All in all I have to give it a low rating. 4 out of 10 sCrypt coffins because of a really crappy first half and a redeemable second half. Trust me… the redeemable part is worth it. Just because I gave it a low rating doesn’t mean the show sucks anymore. In fact I think it has become actually really good, but the first half and quirkiness, plus lack of actual comic book “looking” attire, I had to give it a low score. Remember, this is rating for the WHOLE season, not just the last half. Were I to break it down by halves, I’d say first half of the season would score a 1 out of 10, while the second half would get a 7 out of 10. Here’s to hoping for season 2 to go above and beyond with more comic related material.
Review: Avengers Confidential Punisher and Black Widow
I won’t get too wrapped up in spoilers, but there will be some spoilery things in my review, so if you just want my rating, skip down to the last paragraph now. Unlike MOST of Marvel’s animation, this one looked and felt great. I’m a huge Punisher fan, and enjoy the way that he was brought into this and represented. That being said, I’d still like a solo Punisher animation that really does him justice.
Animation breakdown – The animation in this was outstanding. The Japanese style art flowed well and although the characters had certain characteristics that felt different from the traditional versions we are used to, everything worked. One flaw I did find was that in the beginning of the movie, the Punisher broke a man’s arm and hand violently… Two scenes later, that man’s arm was in a sling, only it was the OPPOSITE arm that had been broken. I don’t know if the frames got reversed or what, but this was an amateur mistake that was very noticeable. There were also a few scenes where Black Widow’s breasts looked extremely large and not fitting with her look in other scenes, but that was brief.
Voice acting – I’ll just say that I was convinced that these were real character voices. Excellent job by the cast and voice direction.
Plot – The story was original. It was refreshing and really showed the turmoil that goes through Frank Castle’s (and even Black Widow’s) minds. They are a perfect team up because their pasts are so hazy on the “right side of the law”. My big problem?… The campiness in parts. The hacker kid working for SHIELD was stupid. I didn’t buy it, and it was unnecessary and annoying. As for the Avengers showing up, that annoyed me too. It felt forced. Sure, there was a need for them at that point, but it seemed more like a SHIELD operation than an avengers gig, and yet there they were. Oh, and the kid was dangling from Hulk’s back too like a school bag. dumb. I also felt that the villains were forced as well, but on a good note at least they forced both sides and it balanced out. They also didn’t overshadow what Punisher and Black Widow were doing either. They both got to take down the main threat. Just when I was getting irritated at Natasha telling Frank not to kill anyone, he did deliver the final blow in tradition Castle style.
Music and sound – meh. I’m neither happy nor upset. It seemed like a metal techno soundtrack, but it worked.
Overall rating… This is perhaps one of the BETTER Marvel animations yet, despite its flaws. If you don’t like the two main characters though, you won’t like this movie. I’d like to see if they continue on with it from here and do more Avengers confidentials or a follow up Punisher animation. Call me satisfied, with some complaints. 6 out of 10 sCrypt coffins get awarded to this one. What are your thoughts?
Review: The Wolverine
Just to state where I stand with the X-Men movies, I’ll say that I’ve been entertained thoroughly, but am well aware of the issues and flaws they have made. X-Men 3 the last stand was bad because of the errors made, but in the end none of it mattered because Cyclops was never shown as killed, Jean is the Phoenix and has come back before, Xavier transferred his mind to another body that looked just like him, and the mutants that had lost their powers all got them back. With X-men Origins Wolverine, we got a whole mess of things, and while I enjoyed the story, I felt they crammed way too much in, destroyed what we knew of Deadpool, and had terrible fake plastic claws with too much ridiculous CGI. The other 3 movies I loved (particularly X-2 and First Class, the prior being my favorite).
So where does The Wolverine come in? Let me tell you, I was really skeptical going in. Origins left a bad taste in my mouth, and let’s face it the trailers for The Wolverine had me upset. I didn’t want to see a completely CG looking bullet train fight, and With Silver Samurai being a robot?!?!? WTF?!?! Thankfully, I was wrong on BOTH of these accounts. Warning there are major spoilers ahead, so if you want my rating skip to the last paragraph.
First with the negative:
1) VIPER: Why? Why? Why? There was no need (I mean ABSOLUTELY NO NEED) to make her a mutant. It served no purpose. She would have been just as deadly as a toxin making biochemist, as she was made here. Her powers were pointless, and other than the green outfit, she didn’t resemble her comic counterpart in looks.
2) Explaining the tapping of the healing factor. Silver Samurai drilled into Logan’s bone to steal his healing, but it isn’t explained how that works or how it just reversed once those drills were removed.
3) Wait, there was no #3… Yes I said it. If I had to pick something, I’d just say that I wish the 12 minutes of extra footage that would have made this movie a bloody rated R, would have been there, but I guess I’ll be okay with waiting for the DVD to see this.
My brother did point out that he did not like the CGI bear in the beginning, but I honestly didn’t have a problem with it because at times, it looked really cool, and I’m a more forgiving person when it comes to that.
And on to the positive:
1) Silver Samurai: Although he was altered slightly from the comics (in this case, being an adamantium suit of armor, I LOVED what they did. Yashida (the elderly one) was still this character, and I enjoyed that he used his technology to work with Adamantium, so much so that he was able to create a superheated lightsaber type sword to cut through the nearly indestructable metal.
2) Japan and the Japanese story ark: Sure, they altered some things (Yukio was never a mutant in the comics), but what they changed served a purpose. Yukio having a minor ability actually needed to be in this movie otherwise it wouldn’t have flowed as well, and certain things wouldn’t have worked (I.E. Yashida still being alive, and wolverine cutting out his own heart).
3) No healing factor: This, along with the constant emotional drama he had going on, made Logan an extremely deadly weapon. He killed. He killed a lot. He was very violent, and you got to see his berzerker rage kick in through most of the action sequences. My spine tingles thinking of how awesome the fights were.
4) Shingen, Mariko, and the Yashida Jr.: Okay, I’m getting lazy on the third one’s first name, but his part was so small it was only to serve a purpose. The three of them seemed to be taken right from the pages of the comics. Mariko was beautiful. She looked almost exactly like certain artwork done of her in the past, and she was a good companion for Logan.
5) Jean Grey: Yes, she’s back, only in his dreams…. or is she? I’m wondering if a part of the dark phoenix transferred itself to Logan’s mind when he killed her in X3. It seemed so much more than a dream at points, but helped to progress the story. Also, her part was much larger than the simple cameo I thought she’d have. Plus, I’ll never have a problem seeing Famke Jansen on screen. Especially when her cleavage is so prominently shown.
6) Bone Claws: I have no problem at all with where this story left us. He still has an adamantium skeleton, and is deadly regardless of whether his claws are metal or not. I actually like that they did this because of it making him a little more human. Besides, he did get his healing factor back, so why not give him a slight disadvantage?
7) The mid credits Scene: Magneto and Xavier showing up with Trask industries plastered all over the screen? Wolverine acknowledging that he wants to know how it is possible (referring to the results of X3), and Xavier telling him that famous line from X1? Magneto as an ally? This perfectly set up and led into X-Men Days of Future Past.
So where do we go from here? Well, we know DOFP is coming. We know they’ve announced an X-Force movie with Apocalypse as a villain. My dream lineup for this would be (Cable, Deadpool, Archangel, Domino, and Cyclops). They could fix the rest of the problems people have with the X films and assist in the reboot of the franchise alongside DOFP with this. (Sinister taking Cyclops right before the moment of his “Death” in X-3. Angel being taken by apocalypse.) Downside is that using Psylocke wouldn’t be smart because she was already in X-3. All that speculation and wishful thinking aside, where do we go with Wolverine? Should it end here? It would be a good last solo outing, but can they do more? They left it open. I’d like to see a movie that takes place between this and DOFP. He and Yukio go to Canada and meet the Alpha Flight. Together they take on Omega Red. Sabretooth returns, and they address the lack of communication between the two in X1. This time, he wants to kill Logan’s new friends (just like the team in Origins), and in the end Yukio stays with Alpha Flight. It is the ONLY what I think they can go to top this movie or be on par with it, and I’d welcome it.
My analysis? The Wolverine had great performances all around. The story was solid. It was a love story with PLENTY OF WOLVERINE RAGE ACTION. And I think it made up for any mistakes made in the past, though like I mentioned, it is not perfect. It Does however now kick X-2 into second place, and The Wolverine is now my favorite of the X-Films (even though it doesn’t feel like an X-film at all.) I’m giving it an 8 out of 10, only for the reason that Viper still leaves a bad taste in my mouth (pun intended). Kudos to Hugh Jackman, Fox, and all involved. What did you think?
It’s time for another comic book crossover battle, and for this installment, we will travel (once again) to the very bowels of hell and back. In a prior match up, we saw the devil himself fighting for each comic book company, but today we will take demon spawns and pit them in the arena. By demons spawns of course, I mean that they are part demon and part human, or at least residing in the human world alongside us. DC comics presents Etrigan, Marvel comics sends Ghost Rider, sCrypt Comics has Satan, Image is well known for Spawn, Dante springs to action for Capcom, Hellboy is presented by Darkhorse Comics, Scorpion teleports in for Midway, and IDW’s Ghostbusters series shows us Zuul. Check out the contestants’ brief bios and vote in our poll below. If you feel there is another good choice, then please add them to the list in the comments section and vote “other”.
Etrigan is a demon bound to the knight, Jason Blood. Once the incantation is recited, then gone is the form of man, replaced by the demon Etrigan’s form. The demon is forced to speak in rhyme and is under the will of Jason Blood, therefore working as a force for good. Blood is a trained combatant, with an extraordinary sword wielding skill. The Demon has enhanced strength and healing, is an expert in sorcery and mystic bolts, and has some telepathy in his arsenal of abilities. Etrigan first appeared in DC Comics’ The Demon #1 in 1972.
There have been many Ghost Rider’s throughout history, and all have exhibited mostly the same abilities. The demon Zarathos bonds himself to the soul of the next chosen rider. The fallen angel is then willed by the soul of the new rider. Once the chosen soul becomes ghost rider, their appearance changes into that of a flaming skeleton. Using chains embued with hellfire, and the ability to manipulate hellfire, these are only his first line of defense. The Penance stare is his deadliest ability which makes the victim of the stare feel the pain and sin that they’ve caused others. The rider tends to ride a flaming motorcycle, but has elected other vehicles as well. A Hellfire shotgun has been used as well, especially in the Johnny Blaze version. In Dan Ketch’s role as the rider, he has the will to change whenever needed, but initially only came when innocent blood was spilled. Ghost Rider first appeared in Marvel Comics’ Marvel Spotlight #5 in 1972.
Satan is thought by many to be THE devil, but he is only a general in his army. He represents the demon of anger and hatred. In his true form, he is very much the way people have perceived, but his secondary form is that of a human guise. As this false human, he owns a tattoo parlor where his many piercings, filed teeth, and tattoos are intimidating to any normal passerby. When Taylor Bryant, an ex-con with a violent past, gives in to his anger, he and Satan merge. Now in the form of a large, African American man, Satan joins his brother and sister demons in order to pave way for the arrival of the true face of darkness. Satan first appears in the 2013 novel, “Devil’s Dessert” by Rick Pipito.
Because of his life as an assassin for the U.S. government, Al Simmons was sent to hell upon his death. He made a deal with Malebogia (the devil) to come back and see his wife one last time. The deal was not exactly what he expected. Now a hell spawn, Simmons vows to destroy the legions of hell with all his might. His body is made of necroplasm, which enables him enhanced abilities, strength and healing. His cape, spikes and chains act as extensions of his body, and must replenish his dark energies by feeding on the dark energy of evil. He frequently uses military grade weaponry so that he doesn’t drain his necroplasm too quickly. There have been many Spawns through history, but none as prominent as Simmons. Spawn first appeared in Image comics’ Malibu Sun #13 in 1992.
Dante was raised by his human mother after his demon father’s death. Once his mother was killed, Dante vowed to hunt demons for the rest of his life. His physical abilities far exceed that of a normal man’s, including flight, and he uses these enhanced traits alongside his “Ebony and Ivory” dual pistols that never need to be reloaded, as well other blades and firearms forged by his father. Dante first appeared in Capcom’s Devil May Cry in 2001.
The offspring of a demon and a witch, Hellboy was raised by the United States Army and has lived as a force of good amongst humans since the second World War. He works as an agent for a special group within the Bureau, and investigates paranormal activities. Aside from superhuman strength, healing and endurance, he carries a utility belt of sorts with military weaponry, as well as his deformed, right hand of doom. Hellboy first appeared in Dark Horse’s San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2 in 1993.
Ninja, Hanzo Hasashi, was murdered at the hands of his bitter rival, and brought back from the Netherrealm as one of the dead’s demons. This revenant covers his skull face in his yellow ninja garb, and has not only kept his highly trained combat technique, but has also gained the ability to conjure fire. From the palm of his hand he can also project a sentient spear to pierce an enemy and drawn them to him. Even death cannot keep Scorpion at bay. He first appeared in Midway’s Mortal Kombat in 1992.
Zuul is a demon demigod known as the Gatekeeper to Gozer. The demon takes control of Dana Barrett in an attempt to bring about the Destructor. She has the ability to hover in midair, and once transformed into the Hell Hound form, she has horns, claws and fangs, as well as other unknown abilities. Zuul represents IDW comics, but first appeared in Ghostbusters the movie in 1984.
Cast your vote below (click on the link) for your favorite “demon among us”, and feel free to add your own. Results coming in a few weeks.
Review: Age Of Ultron Book 1
Did I buy this comic because I’m interested in the new Age of Ultron story arc that Marvel has going on? Well, yes and no. I have to admit, I’m a fan of Ultron, but with the Avengers vs X-Men and Superior Spiderman stories recently, I’m not sure that there is room for another major story. I am a big Ultron fan though. What made me buy it is that I’m a sucker for first issues. Since this had a nice special edition cover, I figured I’d fork the few bucks for the comic, and pass it down to my son when he’s old enough.
This review will be brief, and will have Minor SPOILERS. Let’s first address the artwork. Detail and design in this issue are very well done. I was impressed by the realism it portrays, though it seems to detract from the Avengers I like to see. This combined with the setting and story seem more like a post apocalyptic Mad Max type of story.
Nit picking aside, I am intruiged by what we are given. I want to know how Spiderman is put in the predicament he is, and why he is unable to break free of his bindings. Hawkeye coming to the rescue is a welcome highlight on a great character, but the Owl and Hammerhead seem a little misplaced. That battle that feels like it should have been fought by the Punisher or Daredevil is executed well despite the misplacement.
Ultron is already in control of the area based on his duplicate drones and cyber city built in New York. Even with characters such as: Luke Cage, She-Hulk, Ironman, Emma Frost, Wolverine, Beast, Sue Storm and Captain America, it looks like this will be an extremely difficult uphill battle for the heroes. It also appears by Tony Stark scanning Hawkeye, that Ultron is placing nanomachines or some other form of control into humans.
I am captured. I want to know what will happen, and although this wasn’t that great of an issue and read more like a prologue, it did what it was supposed to. By the way, I HATE She-Hulk’s butch look. It is definitely not fit for a character I always found underrated. I give it 5 out of 10 arrows out of Hawkeye’s quiver.
Poll: True face of Darkness
It is often unclear in comic books as to whether a dark entity is the true face of the devil or not. Now you can decide who would be the most appropriate ruler of Hell. Here are your contestants: Lucifer Morningstar rules in DC Comics, Mephisto deceives in Marvel Comics, Tehum is pure darkness in sCrypt comics universe, and Malebolgia threatens in Image comics.
Remember to cast your vote below, and if you feel that there is a better representative from another comic source, then by all means answer “other” and explain your choice.
Lucifer Morningstar is a fallen angel who left hell at one point to have influence on earth’s mortals. He often gives a person enough information to allow them to make a bad choice that will eventually send them to hell. He is immortal, knows everything, has acidic blood, super strength, flight abilities, can communicate with animals and super speed. His first appearance was in a dream in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #65 in 1962.
Mephisto is known by many names. He is the ultimate deal maker, offering virtually limitless possibilities to one who would be tempted. He deals always come with a price however. Tangling with the most powerful entities in the universe, Mephisto lurks from the depths of hell only coming to earth when he sees fit. He knows magic, is immortal, & has unfathomable intelligence and physical abilities. His first appearance was in Silver Surfer #3 in 1968.
Tehum was created as light’s brother. He is pure, formless darkness (hence why there is no picture). As the ruler of dark, his demons strayed from the light with the belief that humans were mere toys for their godly amusement. Forbidden to physically come to earth, he lurked from the shadows having influence over all. That is until the day came when he was able to bring his legions to one final battle with the forces of light on earth. He is virtually immortal, and without form, his darkness can influence anything or anyone. His first appearance will be in “Devil’s Dessert” the novel in 2013.
Malebolgia is one of the many rulers of hell. Responsible for creating much of Hell’s army of hellspawns, Malebolgia is respected and feared as the most powerful of rulers. He can raise the dead, manipulate matter, has near limitless abilities in the 8th level of hell, can cast illusions and is a master of manipulation with high recuperative powers. Malebolgia first appeared in Spawn #1 in 1992.
So there are my choices for contestants. Please vote below and add your own choice if you feel they’d be placed well in this comic book face off.
Poll: The Most Shocking
The next round of our comic book battles is upon us. Black Lightning zaps in for DC Comics, Electro shocks the Marvel Comic world, Herakles brings his Zeus bolt in the sCrypt Comics universe, The god Raiden thunders into the battle for Midway, and Elle Bishop stuns the Heroes universe of webcomics.
If you are new to our battles, it is simple. All you have to do is check out the info provided for each character (we encourage you to look further into each one as well) and then cast your vote at the poll below for who you believe will win this fight. If you believe that another character should be included, we put an “other” vote in there. You can check that and add a comment to let us know who you think should be in there. Here we go:
Jefferson Pierce is a key player in the DC universe. He was born with electrical abilities that (once he reached teenage years) enabled him to generate force fields, fly, and emit powerful electrical currents. Coupled with his skilled martial arts abilities, he fights for the side of good as “Black Lightning.” His first appearance was in Black Lightning #1 in 1977
Maxwell Dillon was repairing a power line when a freak accident mutated his dna. Suddenly, he was able to fly, control, and emit electricity. As the villain Electro, Dillon has proved to be a threat time and again in the Marvel Universe. His first appearance was in The Amazing Spiderman #9 in 1964.
Before the Greeks took pride in their Mythology, a man named Herakles (no picture available) was considered the strongest willed of the land. His bravery and natural ability to overcome normal human limitations made him a force with which to be reckoned. When his father, Zeus, presented him with a special rod, Herakles used the Zeus bolt to capture lightning from the sky and char his dark brother’s abominations. Herakles and his Zeus Bolt first appeared in “Bones At Breakfast” the novel in 2011.
As the protector of Earthrealm, the god of thunder, Raiden even gave up his immortality to become a contender in the Mortal Kombat Tournament. His abilities enable him to summon lightning, use the loud effects of thunder, and teleport in the form of electricity. His first appearance was in Mortal Kombat the video game in 1992, and later appeared in Midway comics.
Elle Bishop made her way into webcomics after debuting in the show, Heroes. She has the ability to generate electricity and use it down to a molecular level. Often giving in to her emotions, Elle is not someone to be taken lightly. Her first appearance was in the show Heroes in 2007.
So there you have it. Who do you believe would come out victorious in this struggle?
Comic Book Deaths of 2012
At the end of every year, the media plays a montage of famous people who have died that year. I decided to put together a little list of characters in comics that died this year. Of course, with comic books, characters often never stay dead, but they still deserve mention. Unless of course it is sCrypt Comics, because whoever we kill STAYS Dead… 🙂 Here is the list. If you have any others that you can think of, please list them below. (information aqcuired through wikipedia)
In DC Comics:
Boodikka was killed by the corrupted Alpha Lantern, Varix, in Green Lantern Corps Vol 3 #12
In Marvel Comics:
Black Talon was shot in the chest by The Punisher in The Punisher vol 8 #11
Daken was killed by his father, Wolverine, in Uncanny X-Force #34
Death Adder had his neck broken by Venom in Venom Vol 2 #20
Demolition Man was killed by a brainwashed Sharon Carter in Captain America vol 6 #14
Echo was killed by Count Nefaria in Moon Knight vol 4 #9
Fantomex had his heart ripped out by Skinless Man in Uncanny X-Force #27
Gateway had his neck broken by Ultimaton in Uncanny X-Force #27
Hybrid was shot by Eddie Brock in Venom vol 2 #15
Mandarin was killed by Zeke Stane in Invincible Ironman #526
Master Of The World had been killed by Alpha Flight in Alpha Flight vol 4 #8
Megatak was killed by Toxin in Venom vol 2 #21
Professor X was killed by a Phoenix Force possessed Cyclops in Avengers vs Xmen #11
Scream was stabbed in the head by Eddie Brock in Venom vol 2 #15
Ultimate William Stryker was killed when Kitty Pryde phased through his organs in Ultimate Comics X-Men #6
In the sCrypt Comics Universe (includes the novels):
S.H.A.N.E. 2.0 had his body destroyed in Souls 4 Supper the novel
Fox, Liz Powers, & Snake were all killed by terrorists in Souls 4 Supper the novel
Detective Hwong committed suicide in Souls 4 Supper the novel
The Lycan Queen was killed in an alternate future story called “What If…” in Bones At Breakfast: In Case Of Werewolf
Hector Alvarez died of starvation in the short story “Salty Dog” in Bones At Breakfast: In Case Of Werewolf
Pandora, Gilgamesh, Simeon and Miriam had their souls devoured by Cain in Souls 4 Supper the novel
Djinn was crushed out of existence in Souls 4 Supper the novel
Zed was destroyed by a house fire in Souls 4 Supper the novel
Poll: Deadliest Immortal
It’s been awhile since we’ve had a comic book battle, so here is the next installment. Throughout time, some immortals have threatened the universe, while others have fought to protect it. In DC comics, the villain Vandal Savage, has gone up against the best and won. Marvel Comics has shown that Apocalypse works to ensure survival of the fittest. Dynamite Entertainment published a limited series based on the Highlander series and films, and brings Duncan MacLeod to cut off any immortal’s head that stands in hi s way. Finally, sCrypt Comics antagonist Cain has been wreaking havoc ever since killing his brother Abel long ago. Below will be a brief description of each, followed by the poll. Cast your vote, or click other and add your own choice for immortal.
The Marvel Comics universe is threatened by the oldest mutant on the planet. Born with gray skin and blue lips over 5,000 years ago, En Sabah Nur was abandoned by his parents and raised by ruthless generals. As he rose up through the ranks, he eventually came into possession of a suit created by Kang the Conquerer’s race. He has lived for millenia, died, and been brought back on numerous occasions. Feared by most who oppose his rule of survival of the fittest, he has become known as Apocalypse. He can alter his molecular structure in any way, shape, or size, and can generate energy and manipulate his own density. He is virtually unstoppable and immortal. Apocalypse first appeared in X-Factor #6 in July 1986.
A lowly Caveman was exposed to a meteor during the prehistoric era. Immediately gaining a genius level intellect, enhanced physical abilities, and immortality, he used these abilities to school himself in all forms of warfare and combat. For over 50,000 years Vandal Savage has sought to conquer the DC Comics earth. It is assumed that he was in fact key people throughout history including but not limited to Jack the Ripper, Julius Cesar, and Genghis Kahn. Vandal Savage first appeared in Green Lantern Vol 1 #10 in 1943.
Dynamite Entertainment brought the famed series Highlander to the comics. Duncan MacLeod has been revealed as the immortal who will be the only one. His clan of MacLeods have been around for centuries, but he is the one who is to rise to the top. By beheading other immortals, he gains their knowledge and abilities through the Quickening. Any immortal who has stood against him has eventually failed, and lost their heads. He can only die by having his own head removed, and finding someone capable of doing that has so far been impossible. Highlander comics first appeared in November 2007.
A major antagonist in the sCrypt Comics universe is known mainly for his roles in the novels. Cain was first born of Adam and Eve, and the first person to commit murder. For his wrongdoing, he had the mark of immortality placed upon him. For millenia he lived as a vampire, eventually graduated to a new form as a lycan lord, and after his body was disintegrated in a nuclear explosion, his soul remained behind as a wraith. By devouring other lost souls, he eventually gained enough power to interact with the physical realm, and through body possession was able to open a gateway to heaven and hell. There, he seeks out one thing… His will is to exact revenge for his immortal curse by killing the One True God. Cain first appeared in “Flesh And Leftovers” the novel in 2010, and his first comic book appearance was in “Blood The Second Helping: Legends Of Vampire” in 2011.
There you have it folks, cast your vote for who you believe would win in a battle among these immortals. Or if you have another choice to add, please feel free. Spread the word, and thanks for participating!
Scarred Face and Psyche poll
There are some men in comics who just can’t seem to show their faces in public. Even if they did, you wouldn’t want them around because their minds are just as scarred as their faces. Who are these men? DC Comics has Two-Face, Marvel Comics has Jigsaw, sCrypt Comics has Marcus (artwork by Dan Pipito), and Midway has Kabal. Below will be a brief summary of each character, and then a poll. Vote for who you think would win in a battle or add a character that you feel I should have included. Have fun and enjoy!
District Attorney Harvey Dent was a man who worked to keep the justice system truly just. That was until he had half of his face scarred for life. There are variations on his origin throughout the years, but the most common one would be that he had half of his face blown off in an explosion. Always a man who struggled with his inner demons, this tragic event forced his split personality to take over. Two-Face uses a coin to decide which half (Harvey Dent or Two-Face) would act in the decision. If he was flipping for you, you wouldn’t want to see tails, or you’d most likely be dead. He first appeared in Detective Comics #66 in 1942.
Billy Russo was a professional hitman and criminal for the Maggia crime family. As one of the very few people to survive being on the Punisher’s hitlist, Billy was thrown through a pane of glass head first. After barely surviving, he had a surgeon stitch his face back together like that of a jigsaw puzzle. As Jigsaw he is one of the most violent mob criminals ever to grace the pages of a comic. He first appeared in The Amazing Spiderman #162 in 1976.
Marcus was a vampire in medieval times. He had no special abilities, other than his need for blood, and tendency to maim his victims. As he chased a woman through the forest, he was stopped by a young boy (who later grew to be King Arthur.) The boy threw a bucket of mined silver into Marcus’ face. It horribly scarred him, and forced him into hiding. When he emerged a month later, he earned the nickname the Stalker. From the shadows, he would follow his victims and toy with them until entire kingdoms were killed for pleasure and food. He first appeared in the novel “Blood, The Second Helping,” and his first graphic novel appearance was in “Blood, The Second Helping: Legends Of Vampire.”
As a former member of the criminal organization known as the Black Dragons, he tried to turn his life around and serve for the greater good. When the evil emperor Shao Kahn invaded earth, Kabal barely survived. Now he needs a respirator to breathe, and hide his horribly scarred face. Originally, he reverted to his Black Dragon roots after the attack, but who knows what the future will bring. Just don’t cross his path if he is armed with his hook swords; he won’t hesitate to gut you from face to feet. He was first introduced in Mortal Kombat 3.
So there you have it. Four men who you don’t want to have as your enemy or your friend. Cast your vote below, and spread the word.
Review: Fantastic Four #371
As I browsed through the discount comics, I came across an interesting looking cover. What can I say, I’m a sucker for comic book promotionals. This textured and single colored cover of Fantastic Four #371 (December 1992) features The Human Torch flying toward the reader as the remainder of the cover seemingly melts. SPOILERS AHEAD!
Right from the first page this issue had my interest. Alicia Masters had been kidnapped by a rogue Watcher, and to get her back, The Thing and Mr. Fantastic are working with their long time foe The Puppetmaster. Why you ask? The Puppetmaster, for those of you who don’t know, is Alicia’s father. It is interesting to see the team up to say the least.
To add to the drama aspect of this issue (which is really what I feel is the strongsuit) is Sharon Ventura. Sharon wants Ben Grimm’s love and attention, but at the same time, The Thing is really only interested in the love of Alicia. When Sharon agrees to join the two members of the FF, in her full Ms. Marvel attire, on their quest to find her, it doesn’t bode well with the Puppetmaster. He feels that it is a conflict of interest because of her feelings.
Not enough of an emotional rollercoaster for you? Okay, so Susan Storm is not joining them because her and Reed are arguing. Over what? Sue once again tries to get his attention with a new costume that shows off plenty of her perfect body. While us readers are drooling over the look of the costume, her husband barely notices. Franklin, their son, also sees them arguing, and as a child, it bothers him.
On the other side of town, Johnny introduces himself to Bridget O’Neil, a fellow college student (and love interest). The introductions don’t last long though as he is attacked by Lyja, Paibok, and Devos. With Bridget frozen by Paibok, Johnny has to race to free her before it is too late. Succeeding in her rescue, The Human Torch is forced into a standoff on Empire State University’s campus. His only chance at survival is to go nova. By doing this, he has set fire to the entire campus.
Across town, Invisible Woman races toward her brother’s distress call, as Agatha Harkness (the old witch) remains to watch Franklin.
When Reed, Ben and Sharon finally find Alicia, she appears to be in some sort of coma induced by Aron the rogue Watcher. Uatu knows about Reed’s attempts to contact him, but his vows as a Watcher prevent him from doing anything, regardless of the fact that he wants to help. Aron has the three heroes right where he wants them, and intends on imprisoning them in a micro universe that he created.
The suspense, drama and revelations in this issue just keep coming, and that is what I really liked about it. The downside? Well, on page 16 there is something that got by the editor. The word “equipment” is spelled wrong (written as “equiptment). I know, this is nit picky, but as a writer, I noticed it quickly. I also was disappointed with the To BE CONTINUED on the last page.
I should have seen it coming, but now my curiosity has me wanting more. Sure it is a 20 year old issue, but it holds its status. I recommend it ONLY if you can find the issue/issues following it. Does anyone know how long this story goes on for? Please comment if you do. Otherwise, as an issue, I give it a 7 out of 10, that goes by WAY too quickly.
Capitol Punishment Battle Poll
One of my favorite comic book characters when I was growing up was an anti-hero. He was a good guy, who did bad things, so that the guilty could be punished. Sure, most of us are familiar with Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry movies or Liam Neeson in Taken. These are characters who push the boundaries, cross the line, and serve justice the way the judicial system won’t. Though I’d love to have the two mentioned above in this poll, this is a comic book battle, but don’t worry, there are plenty of contestants: The Punisher (Marvel Comics), The Red Hood (DC Comics), Judge Dredd (2000 AD Comics), Eric “The Crow” Draven (Image Comics), Sin City’s Hartigan (Darkhorse Comics), Jack Bauer (IDW Publishing), and of course my favorite of them all… Johnny Chong (sCrypt Comics).
Who do you think is the most likely to win this battle royale? Place your vote below or add your own to the poll. Need help deciding? Here’s a breakdown of each character:
For Marvel Comics: Frank Castle (Castiglione) was a veteran family man, but when his wife and child were murdered by the mob, he took his combat and field expertise into a new battle… “The War On Crime.” Since then, he has moved from city to city, vowing to bring justice to those who are unjust, in an eye for an eye manner. Those who are responsible for deaths of others will be found and killed by The Punisher’s hand. He is highly skilled in hand to hand and weapon combat, is an expert marksman and military tactician, Has an exceptionally high pain tolerance, and is in peak physical condition. He has also held his own in toe to toe battles with a few superpowered individuals. The Punisher first appeared in The Amazing Spiderman #129 (in 1974).
DC Comics: Jason Todd took over the mantle of Robin once Dick Grayson became Nightwing. After the Joker killed this new Robin, Todd emerged years later. Angry that vengeance hadn’t been sought out against the Joker for killing him, Todd began travelling the world as Bruce Wayne had. He trained in many forms of martial arts, and came back under the persona of The Red Hood. The difference between him and Batman is one thing… He uses guns and kills those whom he feels are no longer worthy of life because of their guilty acts. The Red Hood has fought not only Batman and many of his rogues, but gone up against the odds and come out victorious. Jason Todd first appeared in 1983, but didn’t become the Red Hood until 2005 in Batman #635.
2000 AD Comics: Judge Joseph Dredd comes from a future, where crime is rampant. There are no longer police, judges or juries. Instead, a group called Judges, consist of the law enforcement and serve the purpose of judge, jury and executioners. Joseph Dredd is the most well known of all the judges because of his effectiveness and decision making. Armed with a daystick, his Lawgiver pistol, and a large lawmaster motorbike, criminals should cower in fear and hide if he is coming their way. He is an excellent marksman, has bionic eyes that give him perfect nightvision, and is an expert in unarmed combat. Judge Dredd first appeared in 1977 in 2000 A.D. #2
Image Comics: Eric Draven and his fiance were murdered unjustly alongside a highway. A supernatural spirit known as the Crow ressurrected him because of his unjust murder and has vowed him to find those killers and wrongdoers, and show them true justice. He has enhanced catlike reflexes with superstrength and agility, a healing factor, resistance to pain or injury, and can see through the spiritual eyes of the crow. The Crow first appeared in Caliber Presents #1 in 1989.
Darkhorse Comics: Detective John Hartigan is a sixty something year old veteran officer in Basin city. He is able of withstanding immense amounts of pain before collapsing, including bullet wounds, and cares little for himself as he protects the innocent. Hartigan tends to let murderers and harsh criminals suffer a lot of pain before dying. John Hartigan first appeared in That Yellow Bastard in 1996.
IDW Publishing: Jack Bauer has worked as a government official for CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit). Often known to break the rules and push way beyond the boundaries of what is acceptable, he will do whatever it takes to take down the bad guys. His interrogation techniques are effective, but considered heinous by some, as he will stop at nothing to get the truth. Terrorists and criminals intent on destroying the United States or harming the innocent, do not want to be in his path. He is highly trained with firearms and hand to hand combat, and has an unusually high pain tollerance. Jack Bauer first appeared in the show 24, in 2001, and since then has been brought to comic book form by IDW.
sCrypt Comics: Johnny Chong was the owner of a gunshop in Jim Thorpe, PA until a virus killed most of the residents of the town. After taking on hundreds of zombies, vampires, and even coming face to face with werewolves, he
decided to travel to China. There, he trained under the Shaolin Monks to be able to use his body and mind as a weapon, in addition to his vast knowledge of firearms. Having watched the woman he once loved murdered by a few thugs, he vowed to never let anyone he loved die by those likes again. Johnny Chong although not yet in comic book form, is a prominent character in the sCrypt Comics universe. He first appeared in “Flesh And Leftovers” the novel in 2010.
So, there’s the info, folks. Vote below for your choice in who would win in an epic battle royale. If you think there is someone else that should be added to this fight, feel free to comment and
vote for “other”. Spread the word, and remember, the more votes, the better.
-Thanks again for the participation (sCrypt Comics)
Magical Women (Poll)
It’s time for us to have a poll involving some of the women in comics. This battle brings us the following female masters of magic: Zatanna (DC Comics), Scarlet Witch (Marvel Comics), Madame Callisto (sCrypt Comics), The Wicked Witch Of The West (Hungry Tiger Press), Malificent (Capstone Press Publications), Sabrina The Teenage Witch (Archie Comics). Below, I will write a brief summary of each witch and then there will be a poll. Please vote for your favorite, or add someone whom you think would be fitting in this battle.
First up is DC’s Zatanna Zatara is from a family of skilled magicians. She began her career as a stage illusionist, but discovered her magical abilities when her father went missing. She is a valued member of the Justice League, and was once a guardian to the world’s greatest wizard. Zatanna has to speak her magical spells backwards or write them in blood in order for them to be cast, but no one knows the full extent of her capabilities. She has even gone so far as to ressurect an entire city from ruins, wipe memories clean and command the elements. Her first appearance was in Hawkman vol 1 #4 in 1964.
Wanda Maximoff is Marvel’s Scarlet Witch. The twin sister of Quicksilver and daughter of Magneto has proven herself worthy to both good and evil. By casting hexes, she can alter the probability of things making the impossible possible. Her chaos magic and reality altering spells enable her to be one of the most formidable mutants in the universe. She even resurrected a friend from the dead at one point, as well as held resistance against the powerful Phoenix force. Her first appearance was in X-Men #4 in 1964.
The Wicked Witch of The West had a prominent role in Hungry Tiger Press’ Oz comics. Most of us are familiar with her story, and know that she is as evil as she is wicked. She uses a broom to fly and has a golden cap, which is used to command an army of winged monkeys. The limits to her magics and potions are unknown, but she has been known to stop time, conjure fire, cast sleeping spells, and force people to dance until they die. Her first appearance was in L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz” in 1900.
Madame Callisto (aka Lenore the Seer) is a key player in the first trilogy of novels from the sCrypt Comics universe. She has lived for thousands of years with the curse of vampirism, but has played it to her advantage. As a wielder of the voodoo magic known as macumba, she commands legions of brainwashed zombi to do her beckon call. With the ability to see the future, taking her by surprise would be an extremely difficult task. Her first appearance was in “Flesh and Leftovers” the novel. First graphic appearance was in “Flesh And Leftovers: Zombie Incidents” in 2010.
Malificent’s name literally means “doing evil or harm.” With horns of the devil upon her head and a pet crow named diablo, she is one of the most powerful sorceressess in the universe. She has the ability to change her form into a giant black dragon, as well as casting spells decades in advance, hurl lightning bolts, and create walls of thickets just to name a few. This evil fairy has been seen in graphic novel form by Capstone Press Publications. Her first appearance was in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty in 1959 (which is based off of a story from the late 1800s.)
Sabrina Spellman, the Teenage Witch, might be thought laughable to some, but she shouldn’t be taken lightly. She is the daughter of a human and a warlock, who is forbidden to tell others about her abilities. She uses them to help others in times of need, but has used them for her own selfish desires as well. Armed with a vast array of magical powers, the ability to time travel, and disguise herself by shapeshifting, Sabrina could hold her own against a lot of the world’s most powerful magic. Her first appearance was in Archie comics’ Archie’s Mad House #22 in 1962.
Remember to vote and spread the word. Feel free to add your own comments or female characters who have appeared in comics that fit this poll. Enjoy!
Master Combatant Poll Results
A few weeks ago, we opened the next chapter in our comic book battles wondering who would be the best hand to hand combatant in the following match up… DC Comic’s has Batman, Marvel has the Taskmaster, sCrypt Comics brought Kristoff the Wiser, and a voter added Shujinko from the Mortal Kombat series… So what were the results?
Marvel tanked in this round, with the Taskmaster being beaten with no votes. Shujinko was then quickly beaten down by sCrypt’s Kristoff the Wiser. Kristoff and The Dark Knight went head to head for some time, but in the end, even Kristoff’s vampiric skills couldn’t outmatch the Batman.
We will see Batman take to the screen this Friday in another great battle, but until the Dark Knight Rises debuts in theaters, I hope you all were satisfied with these results. (I personally was hoping for Kristoff, but I’m a little biased.) lol.
Thanks for voting, and stay tuned for our next epic match up.
Update!! SDCC 2012: Marvel News
I won’t be able to cover ALL of Marvel’s announcements for this year’s San Diego Comic Con, but I will include the key points of interest in my book.
First off, A deadpool video game has been announced. From the looks of the trailer, I’m betting it is going to be something that makes every Deadpool fan happy. The official website is here: http://deadpoolgame.com/
Next we go to the Disney/Marvel merger. Anyone remember a few years back, when rumor was that there would be a crossover between companies that was bound to happen at some point? Well, the moment has arrived. “Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel” has been announced. In it, Ironman, Hulk, Thor and Spiderman lose their powers and must enlist the help of Disney’s Phineas and Ferb. Also guest starring are Venom, Redskull, and Whiplash as confirmed villains. The coverage of this can be found at www.disneyabcvideo.com
And what about Marvel on TV? Well, “Avengers: Earth’s mightiest Heroes” was said to have been cancelled, but the new series “Avengers Assemble” is being seen as a continuation of that series.
Footage was shown from the new animated series coming soon “Hulk and the Agents of SMASH.” It included Red Hulk, She Hulk, Skaar, A Bomb, and of course the title character.
There are a series of Marvel Knights motion comics coming. These include: Inhumans, Eternals, Wolvering: Origins, Wolverine: Weapon X, and Ultimate Wolvering vs Hulk.
Ultimate Spiderman has been considered the #1 animated series on Disney XD. Therefore, it has been renewed for a second season and will include Rhino, Beetle, Lizard, and Electro.
According to www.comicbookmovie.com, Thomas Jane has made a return appearance as the Punisher in a short movie called “My Movie”. Here is their description. — The film, entitled “My Movie”, starred Thomas Jane and his good buddy Ron Perlman who was also in attendance.
The film begins with Thomas Jane trying to do his laundry at the local laundry mat, while a group of thugs begin making trouble. Once he’s had enough, he picks up a bottle of Jack Daniels from Ron Perlman’s liquor store and proceeds to deal out his brand of “justice” with said Jack Daniels. Yes, he uses the bottle to take out the entire group of thugs, except for their leader, who gets “punished”. VERY violent, VERY bloody, and VERY well received by those in attendance. When the young boy Thomas Jane rescues tries to return a shirt that fell out of his laundry basket, Thomas Jane says “Keep it. It’s got a hole in it.” and throws the shirt back to the boy, revealing a black shirt with the new Punisher skull on it, which was designed by Tim Bradstreet. — I wished I would have gotten to see this as I love his incarnation of the Punisher. He of course was asked about possibly reprising the role now that Marvel owns the rights to the character once again. He was enthusiastic with interest.
In the world of the Avengers Alliance game on facebook, it has been announced that the Avengers vs X-men storyline currently in the comics, will be coming as an expansion to the turn based game.
Now let’s take a look (I’ve included the official title cards) of the Marvel Phase 2 movie slate. Antman footage was shown. It is unclear as to who is playing the part, but from reactions on Superherohype.com, and other comic book movie websites, the reaction was exciting. No release date has been given, but Edgar Wright begins filming this next year.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be released on 4/4/14. I guess that gives us an idea that Bucky did indeed survive, and he will become the Winter Soldier. Rumors are still flying about Falcon being a part of this movie as well.
Ironman 3 footage was debuted, and people are claiming it is HOT HOT HOT. There are a few bits of coverage of Q and A panels, and a LOT was talked about. Even the possibility of Pepper Potts becoming Rescue. Ben Kingsley is definitely the Mandarin complete with robe and rings, and a surprise appearace by RDJ rounded out the event.
Guardians of the Galaxy will come out on 8/1/14. Drax, Groot, Rocket Raccon and Nova are all confirmed as part of the movie, and it is speculated that Thanos will indeed be the villain after his introduction in the Avengers. There is concept art of the characters available online as well.
Finally, Thor: The Dark World has an official release date of 11/8/13. The Dark Elves will be playing a role in this movie, but it is unknown to what extent.
I’m going to add a few more bits of coverage, including a DC coverage, and other categories.
Review: G.I. Joe #1 Marvel Treasury Edition
I figured since it is Independence Day, here in the United States, what better comic would there be to review than “A real American Hero.” Growing up with the original animated series, I loved the whole premise of the cartoon. My problem with it was that no one ever got shot, and if they did, it wasn’t life threatening. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to see people get hurt, but GI Joe should have been about real life type situations.
The comic book had done this. Issue #1 has its flaws, but it certainly separates itself from its animated counterpart. The issue begins with the hijacking of a train and kidnapping of one of its heavily guarded occupants. It opens with a bang and you immediately realize how deadly The Baroness can be. She stops at nothing to kidnap the woman on board. Why has she done this? The woman has inadvertantly created a doomsday device.
Let me say this. There is a slight flaw here. They never really emphasize what the device is or what it can do. It was something that had my curiosity peaked, but it is easily forgotten with the whole plot setup. The military figures out that Cobra is behind the terror attack, and enlist the help of their elite task force, G.I. Joe. This is a “Pre-Duke” team, consisting of: General Hawk, Zap, Grand Slam, Short-Fuse, Scarlett, Steeler, Flash, Grunt, Clutch, Stalker, Breaker, Rock ‘N’ Roll, Snake Eyes, and Shooter.
While they are devising a plan to infiltrate Cobra Command island, Baroness and Cobra Commander set up a counter strike force. When the actual invasion happens, I found another problem. The time is constantly listed on every few frames. This is great to have, but at the same time is a little frustrating. Cobra seems to have the upper hand, yet all of this time goes by with Cobra commander just assuming it is all going according to plan. He doesn’t try to escape until the very last minute, and even then it seems he wants to be stopped.
The only point where Cobra actually seemed to be winning was when the hero team arrives on the island and realizes that its civilian population has all been victims of mass murder by the terrorist group. It was left as a distraction, and amidst all of this they believe that they are saving the hostage, when it turns out she was really the baroness in disguise.
Cobra commander exchanges his hood for his mirrored combat helmet, and ends up shooting his hostage. Okay, like the cartoon, she was barely wounded, but it felt realistic here. Scarlett tries to stop the enemy leader, but in the end he and the Baroness escape. Hmmm. How they could get out of a room full of elite military soldiers blows my mind. Nevertheless, all of that is forgotten when the Joes barely get away themselves as the island is exploding.
Okay, so the heroes save the hostage and mission is accomplished. Here is my overall assesment. I realize that they touched on this in later issues, but more of a back story on the Joe team would have been nice; as well as Cobra. It seemed too rushed for one issue. The good part about it is that you really do get a feel for what GI Joe and Cobra are all about.
In the Treasury edition there is a bonus story in the back that involves the Joe team in the Middle East. This doesn’t involve Cobra, which I really enjoyed because it shows that they are not just there to stop one criminal empire. The Joes are fighting for freedom against any threat.
In the end, I give this issue a 6 out of 10. I do believe that with a team of characters it is entirely too difficult to fit everything into one issue as far as background info. With that in mind, they did a good job of establishing what they could. For nostalgia and origin type purposes, it is an issue that you should check out in your spare time.
Master Combatant Battle Poll
Who is the better fighter? Who will come out on top? Batman takes DC Comics’ corner (above left). Taskmaster fights for Marvel Comics (Above Center). Kristoff The Wiser takes a stand for sCrypt Comics (Above Right – artwork on Kristoff by Dan Pipito). Like the other polls, I will do a quick summary of each character, and then you choose who you believe would win. Please vote for one of the choices, or add your own on who you think would fit the battle well. The more votes, the better the results.
First up is Batman. Bruce Wayne was only a young boy when he witnessed both of his parents murders. From that point on, he vowed to instill fear and exact revenge on those who prey on the innocent. He traveled the world, learning many different skills and forms of combat. As a master detective, he combines all of these skills with multiple contingency plans; in order to take down criminals around the world. Even though he has no super powers, those who do, fear what he is capable of as well. With the Wayne estate’s billions of dollars, he has a gadget for almost every situation. His abilities include a genius level intellect, peak physical and mental conditioning, a photographic memory, mastery in multiple forms of combat, and an expert marksman. Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in 1939.
Next is Tony Masters (aka The Taskmaster). His abilities were first exhibited as a young boy, while watching television. After seeing a cowboy use his lasso, Masters was able to mimic all of the intricate rope tricks. Since then he has primarily being a supervillain, but he has on occasion worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. and other agencies as a trainer and undercover operative. Taskmaster is someone who is not to be taken lightly. He has the ability to absorb knowledge instantly, mimic voices, and adapt to any fighting style by learning and replicating his opponents moves in a manner of seconds. He also has mastered the use of weaponry and carries an extensive arsenal. Taskmaster first appeared in Avengers #195 in 1980.
Our final combatant is often referred to as “Kristoff The Wiser.” For over a thousand years, he has had the gift of knowledge. Although he has the thirst of a vampire, he preys on the guilty. A unique ability to study anything from book lessons to physical skills enables him to be a threat to any who stand in his path. His one goal is to be able to cure himself of vampirism. Until the day where he will find the cure, he will terrorize the criminal scum who cross his path. Kristoff was first mentioned in “Flesh And Leftovers,” first appeared in “Blood, The Second Helping,” and his first graphic appearance was in “Blood The Second Helping: Legends Of Vampire.”
So there it is folks. Vote for DC’s Batman, Marvel’s Taskmaster, or sCrypt’s Kristoff. As mentioned above, feel free to add your own choice to the poll below.