Review: Ms. Marvel #2

Story:

“KAMALA CAN!
• On the Avengers and on a roll! All Kamala needs to do next is take down the evil suits destroying her city without ruining her personal life!
• Too bad all of Jersey City thinks Ms. Marvel is the real enemy!
• Bad guys and bad hair days. (Also the title of Ms. Marvel’s next album.)”
Read more about it on Goodreads.

Ms Marvel #2

Review:

This time there’s definitely racial profiling going on as the residents of the new condos have moved in and security is checking that everyone on the street are people who are meant to be there. So a woman in Muslim clothes (Aamir’s girlfriend) gets stopped and questioned. Even though as Kamala points out people use the side walk to go places.

They then meet some of the residents who have glowing eyes and talk strangely. If it’s that obvious something is wrong, and these people are just on the street where anybody can see them, then how has this not been reported. It’s the marvel universe there must be a hotline for when things like this happen because it must happen all the time.

Security’s on high alert because Kamala broke in and she got away with a can of purple goop so Bruno can analyze it.

The villains are very obviously bad guys and they don’t seem to care about hiding it either. Explaining your evil plot is not smart and neither is revealing who you are no matter how foolproof you think your plan is.

Elsewhere in the plot Kamala’s mother doesn’t want her being a superhero anymore thanks to all the negative publicity. And I really like that she has to keep her grades up if she wants to continue to be Ms Marvel. I love the conversation they have but Kamala proves to be right in that you can’t just ignore a problem when things get bad.

And Aamir gets a girlfriend who Kamala approves of because they exchange a Dune reference.
It’s also funny how this comic is criticising a company taking Ms Marvel’s image and repackaging it for marketing purposes when that’s what marvel does again and again.

I’m not keen on the cover because she doesn’t fight a robot with a tentacles in the comic and Mike, Bruno’s girlfriend, doesn’t appear in this issue unfortunately. But at least the image is more fun than the last cover.

I want her to have better villains. As fun as a giant frog is, she needs something a little more diabolical. And this new villain is in the big leagues so much so I’m actually worried about how this will turn out with Bruno in the firing line.

Kamala continues to have real world problems and fight real world issues. This issue wasn’t as much fun as last issue but replaced it with lots of interesting conflict and left us on a solid cliffhanger.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Previous Review: Ms. Marvel #1                                                       Next Review: Ms Marvel #3

Review: Deadpool

Story:

“Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a former Special Forces operative who now works as a mercenary. His world comes crashing down when evil scientist Ajax (Ed Skrein) tortures, disfigures and transforms him into Deadpool. The rogue experiment leaves Deadpool with accelerated healing powers and a twisted sense of humor. With help from mutant allies Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), Deadpool uses his new skills to hunt down the man who nearly destroyed his life.”

Deadpool

Review:

This is pretty much what I expected and that’s both good and bad. First the good stuff. It’s funny and fast paced and they get Deadpool spot on. The violence is over the top and hilarious as well. The fourth wall breaking doesn’t go so far as to break the movie.

The supporting characters are good and I wasn’t expecting colossus to be so entertaining. He plays the straight man to Deadpool and it works really well. T.j. miller from How to train your dragon is good as well. It took me a while to place him. They’ve even got an old lady as Blind Al but she’s only in a little bit.

The only good thing I wasn’t expecting was how good the romance between Deadpool and his girlfriend was going to be.

So far in super hero movies I can name two couples that are actually compelling and I like to watch. That’s Tony Stark and Pepper Potts, and Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, who were the only good parts of The Amazing Spiderman 2.

Vanessa is just as weird as Wade and they play off each other really well. So much so that it’s actually emotional when he gets cancer and they have to deal with it as a couple. I got emotionally involved in a movie where Deadpool gets shot up the arse and you see the bullet hole.

But it feels like all that good stuff gets wiped out when she then gets treated like female characters always do in these movies. The bad guys get hold of her because Wade’s causing them trouble and he’s got to go save her. Boring.

You know I actually believed this trailer when they had her saying I’m no damsel in distress. I can’t believe I fell for that.

And you’ve got so many people saying this is such a different super hero movie, it’s reinventing the genre. No it’s not. It’s just more focused on comedy than your typical super hero movie and is quite a bit more violent but everything else stays the same.

It felt like watching Guardians of the Galaxy and being disappointed with Gamora all over again. Or like with Ant-man and how they treated Hope.

Why couldn’t she have been a mutant or been involved with the plot in some way other than just being the love interest.

The expected bad stuff is that he may be pansexual but I didn’t see any reference to it. And if I missed all the little implied references, well that’s not good enough. I’m tired of it being implied and having it go straight over my head.

If a bigot can watch it and deny the sexuality of the main character then it’s not good enough. It’s cowardly and pathetic. The director confirms Deadpool’s pansexual to people who ask, who have a vested interest in Wade’s orientation, but won’t state in clearly on the screen. All you needed was one line from Wade stating he had had a boyfriend or he’d slept with men. Something.

I guess I got what I asked for though. There’s no homophobia. At least I don’t think there is, again all these little implied things tend to go over my head. Although there was one scene where she had a strap on and they were trying anal sex but he didn’t like it and I suppose that was meant to be a joke. Why isn’t he allowed to like anal sex?

I guess I also forgot to ask for no sexism because it’s 2016 and we should be over all of this shit by now.

It’s good enough movie and it made me laugh. And once I get over my disappointment I’ll be re-watching this movie. That will just take a bit of time. By the time the sequel comes out I’ll be fully on board again and hoping for better. As always.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

10) Fantastic Beasts and where to find them

I love Harry Potter. These books were my childhood and I loved the movies but this feels like a cash in. Franchises are in at the moment and who ever owns the movie rights to Harry Potter has realised there’s lots more money to make here.

I have some hope because Rowling’s involved so it should be decent, but I don’t like Eddie Redmayne that much. I think he’s way over rated. Although I kind of liked him in Jupiter Ascending because his performance was so over the top and entertaining.

I want to like this so much and I just want more Harry Potter. There are so many stories to tell in that world and I’m disappointed that we are getting another lead who’s the typical lead for pretty much all Hollywood movies.

 

Batman v Superman

9)Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

This is another movie that I really want to like but I have a feeling that I won’t.

Mostly that’s down to Zac Snyder directing and the choices he makes. Like hiring an inexperienced actress to play Wonder Woman based on what she looks like rather than talent. I’ve got nothing against Gal Gadot, she’s an actress and this is her job, and I don’t like all the body shaming that went on when she was hired. I think the criticism should be on the choices Zak Snyder is making. Wonder woman is an icon and one of the most well known female super heroes ever. They should have got an actress who was really experienced to play her. Like they got Ben Affleck to play Batman. Instead they get a woman who’s not done a lot of acting and you know they hired her because she’s hot or pretty or sexy or what ever. When that shouldn’t be the basis for hiring the actress to play wonder woman.

And if they hadn’t made other sexist choices I probably wouldn’t be as sure about that but we still haven’t gotten a female led super hero movie where someone actually puts effort in to make a good movie. And that’s a criticism levelled at marvel as well.

But this is meant to be why I’m excited for this movie. Well all of the above is why this isn’t higher on my list. And this is only the second movie in the DC cinematic universe so they don’t have my trust yet.

What I’m excited for is Batman v Superman. I’m sceptical about how much I’ll like the movie but even the trailers are getting me excited. With Batman promising to make Superman bleed, and Superman destroying the bat-mobile just by letting it crash into him.

I’m hoping that even if I hate the overall movie there will be lots of awesome moments that I can get excited about. It doesn’t matter how many times I explain this movie to my dad, he still doesn’t believe Batman can fight Superman.

 

Suicide Squad

8)Suicide Squad

This is higher up my list than Batman v Superman because it’s not Zac Snyder directing but we still get Batman and the Joker. Add to that Harley Quinn and Will Smith playing one of them (I don’t know the DC universe that well). This looks exactly like my sort of movie. I’ve bought some of the comics so I’ve got a lot of reading to do.

 

Finding Dory

7)Finding Dory

I hope this won’t be one of those occasions where Dory was a good side character but only tolerable in small doses. A lot of people felt that way about Minions and while I liked the movie I get where they’re coming from.

I liked Finding Nemo but I don’t love it the way other people seem to and I’m pining all my hopes for this movie on one character. I love Ellen, and Pixar doesn’t usually make bad movies as long as you don’t count Cars.

 

Star Wars: Rogue One

6)Star Wars: Rogue One

After seeing The Force Awakens I’m fully on board with Star Wars in a way that I wasn’t before. Now I’m invested in these movies being good.

They’ve finally got characters I can relate to and care about. I don’t know all the details and things that happened in the other movies because I can’t remember and rewatching them isn’t a priority. But even I understand what stealing the Death Star plans means to the Star Wars universe.

I hope that some of the anthology movies explore different parts of the universe and get away from this one part.

There must be so many stories you could tell. I know they’ve decided to make all the books not canon anymore (as if it matters what they say, I’ve got my own head canon for most things I watch and get all fannish about so really that seems like a giant waste of time trying to dictate to me what is and isn’t canon) but there’s got to be some good stories in all those books.

I’m not that interested in a Han Solo movie, that’s exactly what we need, keep the Star Wars universe small and go back to it being about white straight cis gendered able bodied men. That list has a lot of adjectives they should choose to change at least one in their main characters.

 

Ghostbusters

5)Ghostbusters

A sci-fi movie with all female leads who are also really funny. I don’t know how they can screw this up to make me not like it.

All I can say is, it’s about time. About time that women were recognised as a legitimate part of the audience who have money they can spend. About time that a female lead is surrounded by other women and not just men. About time that all the whiny idiots get ignored and people realise that, like when women go see movies about men and can relate on some level to them because we are all human, so to can men go see movies about women and relate because women are also human.

All the controversy surrounding this movie is ridiculous and irrational but then no one ever said misogynists were rational.

The first Ghostbusters movie isn’t being taken away. You can still see it. And don’t worry the amount of male leads in the movies is still far ahead of the number of female leads. Just look at this list. I’d say most of them have male leads.

Although Finding Dory has Dory replacing Nemo so maybe they’ve got a point. Don’t worry though it’ll still be a few more years before we’ve replaced all the male parts with female ones.

 

Captain America: Civil War

4)Civil War

The last Captain America movie was so good and I want to like this one so much but the civil war story line in the comics was terrible. It was all over the place and inconsistent between different books. It was also when I stopped reading comics for a while.

I have mixed feelings about this because it can’t be the same story line as in the comics. None of them have secret identities so they’ve got to frame the issue a different way.

Also in the comics it was Iron man who was meant to be right. The pro registration side was the right side and cap was on the wrong side. But due to crappy management of the entire thing it didn’t across that way.

So it worries me that they’ve got the civil war story line in a Captain America movie. I’m not much of a fan of Steve Rogers. I hated Captain America: the first avenger and I didn’t much like him in Avengers Assemble either. He grew on me a little bit in the Winter Soldier. But now they’re pitting him against Tony Stark who’s one of my favourite super heroes and I don’t want to watch a movie where they make him the villain. He won’t be the main villain but he could be one of the bad guys.
Despite all that I love the marvel cinematic universe and I want to see what they’re going to do with it. I trust them enough to be fair to all the characters (unless it’s a female character then you’re screwed). And after seeing the trailer where Steve and Bucky fight Tony and Tony cradles a broken Rhodey I’ve got to admit I’m getting excited.

The directors are the same guys who did Winter Soldier and who are going to be doing Avengers: Infinity Wars part 1 and 2. So I have a lot invested in liking this movie.

 

The Conjuring 2

3)The conjuring 2

The first one was so good. A horror movie where I actually care about the characters shouldn’t be something different and new but so many horror movies have awful characters and I can’t wait for them to die. So there’s no tension and it just becomes a guessing game of who’s going to get it first.

The Conjuring actually had characters I liked and where as most horror movie franchises seem to be based on the villains (Freddie kruger, Jason, Michael Myers) these are based around the Warrens who are the heroes.

It’s a good basis for a franchise and I can’t think of any other horror movies that have done this. There’s scream but Sidney doesn’t go out looking for serial killers to fight. They find her.

Anabelle was a huge disappointment and a giant step back for the franchise but there were so many people in the cinema when I went to see it and that’s unusual for a horror movie.

 

X-men: Apocalypse

2)X-men: Apocalypse

Days of future past is one of the best super hero movies ever so I’ve got really high expectations, especially with Bryan Singer back as the Director. Jennifer Lawrence is back as Mystique and it’s Hugh Jackman’s last time as wolverine in an X-men movie.

I’m so excited for the apocalypse story line. X-men was what got me into comics. I used to watch the cartoon and then one day I saw an X-men comic in amongst the magazines. I didn’t buy them consistently until I was older and had a part time job but I was always on the lookout for X-men stuff.

Apocalypse is such a good villain and so far Bryan Singer hasn’t made a bad X-men movie for some inexplicable reason, despite making some really bad movies.

 

Deadpool

1)Deadpool

He’s one of my favourite super heroes and I didn’t think we’d ever get a movie about him because it’s Deadpool. He’s violent and a lot of what he says isn’t for kids so to get a good Deadpool movie you need it to be more adult and that cuts out all the kids they want to make money out of.

Blade is the only adult super hero movie I can think of and it’s a bit old now. So this will be refreshing to have a different sort of super hero movie for a change because I doubt the rest of them will be anything unique.

The director has also confirmed that Deadpool is pansexual so this will be the first super hero movie with a queer main character. At all. I’m not just talking about being the main title hero. I can’t think of any queer character in any super hero movies. Or science fiction movies. Or fantasy movies (I’m going to do some research. There’s got to be one). So it’s kind of a big deal.

Of course he’s got a girlfriend in the trailer so I don’t know how much he’ll be expressing his sexuality. I doubt we’ll get much, if anything that will make it impossible for other people to deny it. That’s how I judge representation now. If it’s only implied and can be denied by some bigot then it’s not good enough. We’re in 2016 it’s time to stop pandering to the bigots.

The only thing that’s making me apprehensive is if his sexuality is a joke. Because that seems to be the only time when sexuality, other than heterosexuality, is allowed to be expressed. To make the male straight audience uncomfortable and so they laugh.

Can this movie not be homophobic? Or biphobic? Or panphobic? It’s really not a lot to ask.

I’d like to come out the other side of this movie not feeling like shit. It can be a bad movie (I’ll probably still enjoy it) but can it not be homophobic. They’ve got my hopes up by actually being aware that other sexualities exist beyond straight. I so want to like this movie.

They’ve got the marketing for this movie so right. They obviously understand Deadpool in a way that the creators of X-men Origins: Wolverine didn’t.

Review: Ms. Marvel #1

Story:

“The internationally-beloved, butt-kicking, smack-talking, most adorable super hero makes her triumphant return.

Look out world, Kamala Khan is back and officially an Avenger! Yup, the dream to end all dreams has happened for Kamala. She’s toe to toe with the best of the best, but will being one of Earth’s mightiest heros be everything she imagined? Is being a celebrity hero as wonderful as Kamala has hoped? Plus: WHO IS THAT WITH BRUNO??”
Read more about this issue on Goodreads.

Ms Marvel #1

Review:

Kamala is now an Avenger and has everything that comes with that so she’s adding avenging to an already busy life and things are going to get missed. Some of them quite big things.

For example it’s 8 months on from telling Bruno to move on and so he’s got himself a girlfriend. And that’s not her only problem that happened when she wasn’t paying attention. Developers are buying out all the local shops and gentrifying the entire place and they’re using her image to promote it. Which is something the community doesn’t like at all.

She investigates and it turns out they are not quite what they seem when their security guards have high tech weapons and security drones that target suspicious loiterers. I know she was actually causing a problem for security but I can’t help but wonder if this is a comment on racial profiling. It’s mostly the wording that gives me that impression. I tend to miss things that people don’t state outright so I’m working on catching when people imply things.

The first half of the book is about showing you where Kamala is and I love that Loki’s lightning golems are still at the school and one of them is even a crossing guard.

The second half of the book deals with how she got where she is by showing a flashback of how Bruno moved on in her absence and found a girlfriend. With a background subplot of Kamala dealing with a giant frog throughout their progressing relationship.

She may be an avenger but she’s also a teenager and not equipped to handle quite so much at once. She lashes out at Bruno when she realises he’s moved on and even body shames his girlfriend because she’s plus sized (and that’s refreshing because the rest of the female characters are skinny). What’s even better is he calls her out on it and she apologises. That’s what I love about Kamala she feels like a real person who makes mistakes but she learns from them as well. She evolves as a character.

The art inside is a little different from the cover but not enough to really stand out. This is another comic where the image doesn’t really represent what’s going on inside. Cover Kamala looks a lot more serious than her inside counterpart who is ecstatic over being an Avenger and getting into fun adventures. I like that she’s got an avengers necklace on.

This is exactly the sort of comic that was missing from my childhood. Instead of reading Spiderman, who never stopped wining and having progressively worse things happen to him as the writers tried to break him, I could have been reading something fun. Where the character evolves and grows as a person. I hope they never do to Kamala what they did to spiderman and reset her to a previous state because they want to appeal to the young people. But of course they will it’s Marvel. (side note I really liked spiderman and I’m still bitter about One More Day.) I wonder how long we can go before this gets a reboot and all the fun is sucked out.

What I’m trying to say is buy this comic it’s very good. And I think the last page had wolverine riding a sloth in the top right corner. I think I’m missing a reference but then that’s nothing new.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Next: Review: Ms Marvel #2

Review: Captain Marvel #1

Story:

“It’s a bold new frontier for Carol Danvers as she soars to new heights in her greatest mission yet—leader of the all-new Alpha Flight space program. Yup, Alpha Flight. As earth’s first line of defense, Carol and her team aim to protect the planet from extraterrestrial threats. But can Carol be a soldier and a diplomat? Especially when an unknown enemy emerges that Carol can’t quite punch.”
Read more about it on Goodreads.

Captain Marvel #1

Review:

This is the first issue without Kelly Sue DeConnick and I was really hesitant to read it because I’m terrible with change. But not only is it the writers’ first issue (on Captain Marvel and writing comics in general) it’s Carol Danvers first day on the job being the commander of alpha flight.

I don’t know much about alpha flight other than Northstar was a member at one point (and I hope he shows up at some point because Marvel is really lagging behind on their queer representation). We only get introduced to three of them and the only one I can remember is Puck who Carol connected with in the issue. So if you don’t know anything about alpha flight that’s okay because it looks like they’re easing readers into the new team in.

Pretty much everything else is new too so this is a good jumping on point for new readers. Although there have been a lot of Captain Marvel #1s in the last few years that weren’t really necessary.

The only recurring characters we’ve seen before in a Captain Marvel book is Rhodey who’s there to see her off into outer space and Rocket who shows up for a cameo. I love carol and Rocket together.

Carol is determined that this won’t be a desk job and sure enough as she’s sat in a meeting with some aliens getting bored the alarm sounds and she’s delighted to leave and go tackle the asteroids heading for the station. This is after she’s insulted them and leaves Brand (her new second in command who doesn’t like her) to deal with them.

She’s much happier punching the asteroids than dealing with diplomacy so hopefully that will create lots of conflict for the book going forward. Although it does make you wonder who thought she would be good for a desk job. When she’s going to spend the whole time hoping for an attack on earth so she can abandon paperwork.

These are the same writers as the Agent Carter TV show and they do a good job for their first time writing comics.

The art is good too. It’s the same as the cover, which I always like, so you know what you’re getting. But towards the end the panels get a bit cramped and busy like it wasn’t planned out that well.

I like the slight redesign of Carol’s costume. It’s enough to put their own stamp on it without getting rid of what people liked about it. She’s also had a hair cut and when we see her in her gym clothes she’s got muscles. You don’t see that a lot with female super heroes.

The cliffhanger at the end didn’t grab me though. It turns out the asteroids weren’t nature but an attack and Carol goes off to find the source. But what she finds didn’t have any impact on me. I was a bit confused wondering if we were meant to be impressed or shocked by that. I’m sure issue two will be good but I don’t get what Carol finds so shocking.

This is nothing drastically different than what came before so fans should be pleased and new readers shouldn’t get lost. You don’t need to know her entire back story to understand what’s going on and I don’t think it’s going to go in depth into her back story anyway.

They’re also not assuming any knowledge of alpha flight because they only introduce three characters. The issue is busy anyway and it would have been a mistake to introduce any more.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Next: captain marvel #2

Review: Angela: Queen of Hel #1

Story:

“Stolen from ASGARD, exiled from HEVEN, and robbed of SERA, her greatest companion – ANGELA plunges into the depths of blackest HEL to save her friend…and once there, the lost princess of Asgard will carve out a realm of her very own. All hail ANGELA, THE NEW QUEEN OF HEL!”
Read more about it on Goodreads.

Angela: Queen of Hel #1

Review:

This starts at the end and then jumps around a bit. I’m not usually fond of this type of story telling but it works here. Probably because the title of the book is Angela: Queen of Hel so it’s not much of a spoiler when you open the first page and she’s sat on the throne. We know the destination it’s going to be the journey that’s interesting. That said there might just be a bit too much jumping around and you have to pay attention to if you’re in the just the flashback or the flashback of the flashback.

If you’re a new reader to Angela then all you need to know is Angela and Sera love each other. There’s a lot more back story but you don’t need to know about it for this issue. If you do want to know more then I suggest reading Angela: Asguard’s Assassin and skipping all the Original Sin stuff. And I recommend 1602: Witch Hunter Angela because it was one of the few spin offs of Secret Wars that was any good.

I like how in all her comic titles they name her profession. So far she’s been an assassin, a witch hunter and now the Queen of Hel. I look forward to what career she pursues next. It’ll be hard to top queen. Maybe she can be a goddess.

Out of the two main characters I think I like Sera better and I love her narration of this issue. She’s such a fun character and I think if she wasn’t there Angela wouldn’t be as likable. But she’s so much more than comic relief and she can hold her own in a fight. She’s got power and the cover shows this perfectly.

She sat on the arm of the throne with her hands glowing red while Angela lounges beside her. They both give off this formidable vibe. Angela doesn’t even need to be sat upright to be imposing or powerful. I love this cover. I want this cover as a poster.

The only criticism I have is that as the story jumps back and forth so does the art and it’s a bit jarring. Especially as the flash back art is so much more stunning than the art for the present which looks like standard super hero art and I’m not very fond of it. It doesn’t match the cover either where as the flash back art does.

If you liked the previous Angela series or you like all the Asguardian stuff you’ll like this. And even if you don’t like the story jumping backwards and forwards in this issue it still promises a good story to come.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Next Angela: Queen of Hel #2

Daredevil: In the Blood

Spoilers for the episode

Story:

The Russians continue to try and find the man in the mask while Matt continues to cause problems for them. Claire is still in hiding and Karen continues to investigate despite Ben’s warnings of the dangers. While Fisk goes on a date and we learn why people are so scared of him.

Recap:

It’s starts eight years ago in a Siberian prison with two brothers planning to escape and find a city where they can be kings. The guards have left the dead body of their cellmate for the rats so one of them makes weapons out of his rib bones. It’s very disgusting.
In Hell’s Kitchen a Russian is escaping from Matt and he gets in a car as Matt pushes a guy out a window and the body lands on the hood. The guy drives away anyway.
Then we cut to Claire sewing up Matt’s shoulder. The guy he threw off the roof in the second episode is in a coma. I’m still surprised he’s not dead. You know after having a fire extinguisher dropped on him from a few floors up, being stabbed in the eye and then thrown off a roof.
Claire’s still in hiding from the Russians so she’s living in her friend’s apartment where she’s meant to be cat sitting. But she’s allergic and only supposed to be coming in twice a day to feed the cat so she’s not having fun.
She tells Matt he needs to get body armour because a bullet’s going to slow him down a whole lot more than the armour will. There’s the reason for him to have a costume and it’s good that they mention it early on because you don’t want that to come out of nowhere. Especially if the audience is used to no costumes.
He pretty much ignores her suggestion but gives her his burner phone to put her number in so he’ll call before dropping by with a major wound that needs stitching.
He asks her if she’s ever heard of Wilson Fisk and she hasn’t. There’s no record of Wilson Fisk he can find. She questions his methods of punching his way through all the henchmen but he says apply enough pressure and someone will break.
Wesley is meeting the Russians who he’s transferred property to through a third party but they are light in payment this week. He says they can’t handle one man and the rooftop people have been talking behind the Russian’s backs. Wesley offers to help them in providing services.
Vladamir insults Wesley as he walks away and points out to his brother that telling people not to say Fisk’s name is just a strategy to make him seem more than a man. Then they decide to wake up the man Matt threw off the roof from his coma.
Elsewhere Karen and Ben are in a diner discussing what happened to her. He doesn’t believe the man in the mask saved her. He tells her to move on because loads of people are dying. He needs credible sources and she’s not credible because of her past.
She points out all his past victories, he brought down the Italian mob, and asks what happened to that man. He says he got old and less stupid.
The Russians visit the coma guy. They’ve got people watching Fisk but he’s cautious and hasn’t come out of hiding yet. Anatoly doesn’t want to loose everything they have to pride and go back to shitting in a bucket.
They drug coma guy to wake him up. They ask him what happened and he says the devil and a woman and gives an address then I assume he dies. They go to her flat and find the boy who found Matt in the dumpster.
Wesley thinks Anatoly is the more reasonable of the brothers but Fisk wants it to be handled quietly. If the brothers can’t handle Matt he’ll find another solution. They stop and he tells Wesley to stay in the car.
He goes into the Gallery and asks the woman from last episode out. I like this scene he’s not overly pushy and respects her answer when she says she’s working and can’t leave. That’s probably why she ends up saying yes. It’s just refreshing from so many stories where the man is determined to convince the woman. Fisk may be evil but at least he respects women.
At the friend’s apartment Claire is still suffering from allergies. I love that she hates the cat. It’s refreshing because so many women end up with cats in stories. There are noises outside and shapes in the window.
At the police station Foggy and Matt are bailing out an electrician who almost burned his house down. Foggy gets in a cab as Matt gets a call from Claire who’s being attacked.
He gets there after throwing his cane away and parkouring on the roofs in his street clothes. I’ve now read enough of the comics to know he’s bad at keeping his identity a secret and it looks like the TV version isn’t going to be any different.
He gets there and she’s gone so he listens. He hears her in the boot of a car and chases but he looses them.
At an auction Karen is there to see who buys the Union Allied computers. Ben turns up as she’s sketching people. He tells her to stop. Two others aren’t bidding either because they’re there to see who else is taking notes. He tells her to win something and meet him later.
At the cab company they pull Claire out of the trunk and she puts up a fight.
Matt goes back to Claire’s and finds Santino all beaten up. He feels guilty for telling them where she was but Matt says it’s not Santino’s fault it’s his. Santino saw them get into the front of a taxi.
Fisk and Vanessa are having dinner in a restaurant. It’s a little awkward and she says he doesn’t do this much. He says he’s been preoccupied for a long time and fiddles with his cuff-lings. She likes the character of Hell’s Kitchen but she didn’t grow up there.
He was sent away when he was young but he came back when he realised the city was part of him. He wants to make it better for people like her.
At the taxi company they interrogate Claire asking for Matt’s name and she gets really beat up. She’s also still calling him Mike at this point so she can’t actually give them his name.
The lights go out so the bad guys turn on the car lights. Matt starts taking them out one by one. Claire gets herself out of her bindings but a guy grabs her. Matt breaks his arm and Claire hits him with a bat. She then breaks down crying and Matt gives her a hug.
Karen meets Ben at a diner. He asks her what she bought. She got office equipment and charged her bid to the law firm.
He was there to investigate too. He told her to move on but he didn’t say he would. A lot of his sources have died because they underestimated what people in power will do to stay in power. They need to be smart so he tells her to sign the union allied papers and then gives her rules about how they are going to do this.
The brothers show up at their Taxi business to find everyone beaten up. Anatoly decides they need Fisk’s help but Vladamir isn’t too keen.
So Anatoly’s smart but not that smart because he decides to interrupt Fisk’s dinner with Vanessa to ask for his help. Even if he wasn’t a psychopath that’s not a good way to ask someone for help. It was Wesley that offered the help so just ask him.
The dinner was going well when Anatoly shows up and ruins it. Fisk rushes Vanessa out of there and tells Wesley to put Anatoly in a car.
Karen tries to explain all the office equipment to Foggy and it’s her lucky day because Foggy was complaining earlier in the episode about not having office equipment.
Matt takes Claire back to his place and patches her up. He’s feeling guilty about her getting hurt and apologises. He didn’t want to put anyone else at risk but she says it was her choice to pull him from the dumpster.
She wants to know he has an end game but he says he’s just trying to make his city a better place. He thinks he’s not making anything any better but she says he is and references the little boy he saved at the end of the second episode. He’s saving people. She’s scared but he can do something about it. He tells her his name because after tonight she’s earned it.
Vanessa is having second thoughts after the Russian intruded. She’s not interested in gestures or whatever it was that happened at the restaurant. She’s not sure him being different is such a good thing.
He enjoyed the date but he promises not to bother her again if she doesn’t want him to. That’s better than most who seem to think they’re entitled to women. She doesn’t know how she feels and walks away.
Wesley acts all ominous in the car to Anatoly. He points out a call would have been more appropriate.
Anatoly wanted to talk to Fisk in person and put everything behind them. Fisk pulls him out of the car and kills him in a way I’ve seen them do on the walking dead. That is how gross it is. He uses the car door to decapitate him. All the while shouting about how Anatoly embarrassed him in front of Vanessa. It has quite an impact. Maybe it’s because the violence doesn’t happen all the time so it holds more weight when it does. And Fisk has been so calm throughout this episode. This is just an explosion of rage.
Fisk tells them to send the remains to his brother. Which is just mean. So it’ll start a war.

Thoughts:

This episode was good. It advanced a lot of plot points while letting us get to know the characters better.
The end of last episode was an introduction to Fisk and this one shows us he has a vulnerable side but you don’t want to see it because it’ll probably be right before he kills you.
I liked his date with Vanessa because she’s not an idiot and he doesn’t push her to be with him. But he’s got a really violent temper and you understand why people fear him.
I now really like Claire. She hates cats and isn’t a victim. She makes it clear to Matt that this was her choice to help him and she understands the consequences.
It’s interesting that Matt and Fisk are both trying to help the city but going about it in different ways. Matt’s trying to help the people not be murdered and abused but I’m not sure how Fisk is helping. I think he’s seeing the bigger picture and not caring about all the little people. He’s got some big plan but we don’t know what it entails. It’s probably to get him more power because that’s what this episode was about. There’s lots of talk of power and how you keep it. The Russians don’t want to loose it while Fisk is only concerned about gaining more.
I like that Karen is now being taught by Ben how to investigate and he lays out how dangerous it is to challenge the powerful. The stakes are getting raised.
Matt questions if he is helping and I think we needed that scene because when you’re in that morally gray area of beating people up who are hurting others you need to question what you‘re doing. Otherwise you can step over the line really easily when you act as judge, jury and executioner. The power goes to your head.
Fisk doesn’t flinch at dealing out death. And as much as I question if the people Matt hurts would actually survive, he’s not actually killed anyone yet. Feeling bad is good. It means you’re on the right side. Matt’s still got empathy for other people and that’s why he’s doing it for the people not for more power.
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Review: Midnighter: Killing Machine Volume 1 (2006-2008)

 Story:

Midnighter is captured and blackmailed into going back in time to kill Hitler. While there he get arrested by the time travel police and has to figure out how to finish the job without the bomb in his chest blowing him up or destroying the time line.

Review:

I have never read anything with Midnighter in before. All I know about Midnighter is that he’s a gay super hero and is getting his own series in the DC universe. I bought this book because it was on sale on Comixology and I was still waiting for issue #1 of the new Midnighter series to arrive.
I wanted to know a bit more about the character and maybe I should have googled where to start because this doesn’t seem to be the best place. Although I kind of like the fact that we get very little information when usually I’m overloaded with backstory. And there are less spoilers this way than researching it.
This book assumes you know who Midnighter is and are familiar with his background so there’s not a lot explained. I learned he’s an alien or some sort of genetic experiment. He’s got two hearts and says he was bred for killing. He’s got a boyfriend and he’s part of a team.
His super powers involve knowing what the other person is going to do and healing (although if he’s an alien that might just be his biology) and probably strength judging by some of the deaths he deals out.
He also won’t kill children which is probably about the only thing he won’t do. I don’t know his actual name and if it was said anywhere in the book I missed it. I’ve started to think of him as Dave because that’s what a character who didn’t know his name started calling him.
There’s not a lot to go on but he’s intelligent and doesn’t put up with crap so I like him and I enjoyed watching him try to kill Hitler.
Midnighter even acknowledges why it’s a bad idea as he’s forced to go back in time. It’s never explained how the villain got a time travel machine or how the science works but it’s a super hero comic so you don’t need to explain this stuff just act like it’s normal and the audience will follow.
The obstacle for Midnighter achieving his goal is the time travel police. They might have an official name but I’ve forgotten it.
They are led by a woman who’s surprised Midnighter is more psycho than her and she comes from a future where sexuality doesn’t exist any more and every one just has sex with everyone else regardless of gender. So it’s the future of Captain Jack Harkness where every one is omni-sexual or pan-sexual. Its just a funny scene where she doesn’t understand what gay is and Midnighter points out that the bible belt people are losing.
The start was a bit melodramatic but now I get that that was parody, probably of Batman (Midnighter wears a lot of black), and not the writer genuinely trying to be angsty in a serious way.
His costume looks like it’d be really hot to wear. Especially at the start where he goes to kill people in a desert. Maybe he’s got super cooling powers or something.
The biggest criticism of this book seems to be the violence. Maybe I’ve watched too many violent movies but this doesn’t seem too bad to me.
The fights contain blood flying every where and he decapitates at least two people by kicking them in the head and a guy gets a fist through his face but it’s okay because he’s a Nazi. It’s all a bit cartoonish. Which isn’t a criticism it’s just not realistic to decapitate a guy by kicking him which seems to be one of Midnighter’s moves.
I noticed another criticism that him being gay was tacked on as a way to differentiate him from other characters and had no bearing on the plot. I want to examine this for a minute because I feel that this is a misunderstanding a lot of people have.
Heterosexuality is not the default sexuality. I know it seems that way because the majority of characters are straight and gay (or other sexualities) is that strange thing other people do but there doesn’t need to be a reason to make a character gay.
What I like about this book is that it isn’t all about him being gay. He doesn’t only have gay problems. Real people don’t only have gay problems or minority problems (though some days it does seem like those are my only problems).
And that’s how you differentiate characters by giving them different characteristics. Usually we have the base character of straight white able bodied cis-man and they vary it up after that point. Here we manage to get a character that is different and someone is complaining about the character being different while complaining about it being the same character the writer always writes.
Well I like Midnighter. He’s sarcastic and gets to kill people who toss slurs at him. That’s showing character. We always seem to get apologetic gay characters who question if they’re moral.
I really enjoyed this book and it didn’t fall into the trap of skirting around the main character is gay. They don’t mention it at the beginning but then again he doesn’t get an introduction.
The violence is entertaining and so are the characters. It reminds me a bit of Deadpool without all the fourth wall breaking.
You can buy the issues at Comixology.
Or you can buy Midnighter: Killing Machine volume 1 on Amazon

Daredevil: Rabbit in a Snowstorm

Spoilers for the episode

Story:

Matt decides to take the case of a murderer so he can get closer to the Kingpin while Karen continues investigating Union Allied.

Thoughts:

At a bowling alley a guy wants to play a game but the lady who works there tells him they’re closed and the other guy that’s playing worked it out with the owner. He takes out the other guy’s bodyguards but then his gun jams and we get a flashback to how he got the gun.

He got the gun from the slave trader guy from the first episode so we know he’s connected to all the other people on the roof and the Kingpin.

The two face off and the bowling guy gets his face smashed in with a bowling ball. It’s gruesome.

The police show up and the guy surrenders to them.

Matt’s back at the church and the priest recognises him as Jack Murdock’s kid. Matt goes to leave but the priest reminds him everything he says in the confessional is confidential. If Matt killed someone the priest couldn’t tell. Then he tries to convince him to stay and have a coffee but Matt’s got to go.

Ben Ulrich meets with a guy who used to be someone back in the good old days. He says Ulrich’s got to give information first then maybe he’ll give information. He reminisces about the good old days and how there used to be rules but not anymore. They talk about the Russians and how something’s happening. But the guy decides he’s moving to Florida because it’s all too dangerous.

At the office Foggy’s regretting drinking so much and Karen’s decided it’s time to get paid. I love that she just decides it without them officially hiring her or anything.

Matt comes in all beat up and they think he should get a dog.

A client knocks on the door. It’s the guy who blackmailed the cop to kill Karen in her cell. He’s called Wesley.

He wants to put them on retainer so Foggy gets excited but Matt’s suspicious. The man refuses to give his name and he’s mean to Karen. They agree to go see the bowling guy and hear him out. I love this scene because Foggy is trying so hard not to insult the guy and Matt is being really blunt.

Wesley leaves and Matt thinks they can’t trust him because he didn’t even give his name. Foggy thinks Matt wouldn’t care if he could see the number of zeros on the check but Matt thinks he would care if he couldn’t.

Matt follows Wesley to his car and is late to the police station where Foggy has realised they don’t want this guy as a client because he’s evil. Unfortunately Matt turns up and says they’re taking the case. Foggy is not happy.

Ulrich’s in his office dealing with insurance people when his editor comes to talk to him. He’s got a story about something happening with organised crime and how there’s new player but his boss says that won’t sell papers. Ben’s upset because they used to write the news not fluff pieces. The editor says he’ll see what he can do about the insurance.

Matt tries to get the client to tell them about the man who hired them but he won’t say anything. Healy wants to go directly to trial against their advice.

Wesley goes to the bowling alley to retrieve Healy’s gun under the pinball table.

Back at the office and they’re discussing the case. Foggy’s upset that Matt decided to take the case without consulting him. He apologises and tells Foggy he’s right they need to take cases. They discuss how to handle the case then wonder where Karen is.

Union allied are getting Karen to sign paperwork to say she’ll keep quiet about everything. If she doesn’t they will pursue legal action against her because when she joined union allied she signed a non disclosure agreement and if she went to the police it would be fine but she took the files to a newspaper.

Ben’s at the hospital trying to get his wife the best care on his limited finances. The insurance is running out and he’s desperate. He goes to visit her but she doesn’t wake up

Matt and Foggy are trying to do research but they’ve got crappy wi-fi so it’s holding them back.

This scene’s a bit interesting because Matt has his glasses off when alone with Foggy but when Karen comes in he puts them back on.

In the first episode in his apartment he took them off when he let her ask her questions but put them on again when he started asking the questions. I’m guessing he’s self conscious about his eyes and he’s comfortable around Foggy but he could also be using it to show that he’s being honest with someone.

I don’t know any blind people so I don’t know if they all wear glasses (I doubt it because there’s no group where everyone acts the same) or how many reasons people have to wear them. But it’s interesting seeing how Matt uses it.

They go to trial. Foggy gives the opening statement about how it’s not on them to prove their client was justified in defending his life but on the prosecution to prove he wasn’t.

While Matt realises there’s something wrong with one of the jurors and the guy who hired them turns up.

Later, on the street the woman from the jury is approached by a man who’s blackmailing her. As soon as she’s gone Daredevil swoops in and beats up the guy for information. He doesn’t know who hired him because he never meets them. Matt tells him to tell her to give personal reasons to get off the jury.

The juror gets excused and Matt gives a very good closing statement. Good and evil have no place in the courtroom only facts. The fact is his client killed the man and that isn’t in doubt. What they’ve got to decide is his intent.

Wesley is in a car talking to a man named Leland about his motives. They decided not to kill Healy to clean up the mess because that’s what they’ve been doing with everyone and they are leaving a trail of bodies. So he hired Nelson and Murdock because they’re clean and new and no one would suspect them.

Leland wants to know where the boss is and why he isn’t dealing with the situation. Wesley says he’s finding art for his apartment. I love how much Wesley seems to despise Leland.

Karen goes to visit Daniel’s family (that’s the guy she was framed for killing). The wife told Daniel he had a responsibility to do what’s right but now she’s got kids to look after so she signed the union allied papers and took the money.

Karen visits Ben Ulrich because he wrote the story about Union Allied and she says there’s more to the story.

At the court and the jury is hung because another juror got blackmailed. The DA won’t retry so the bowling guy is going to go free. I don’t know a lot about the law (especially the specifics of American law) but I think it’s because the DA is corrupt.

Healy walks and Matt attacks him. They’re pretty evenly matched but Matt gets him on the ground and starts stabbing him a with a piece of glass.

The guy who hired them works for Wilson Fisk. Healy then kills himself because giving up Fisk’s name means you and your family are dead. He impales his own head on a spike and it’s so gross. I wasn’t prepared the first time but now I look away when it happens.

Fisk is at an art gallery looking at a picture. A woman comes over and talks about how all that matters is how the art makes you feel. Fisk says it makes him feel alone.

I like this episode better than the last one probably because it’s driving the plot forward and I find all the layer talk interesting. It’s a bit hard to follow when you’re not familiar with any of it but it’s nothing I can’t look up.

The fight between Matt and Healy is good and it’s not clear cut that Matt will win. I like that they’re sticking to winning a fight is hard and you have to earn it. After all he’s still relatively new to this and it ups the stakes. Especially after last episode where you see the consequences of him loosing.

We finally get to see Fisk who is only stood in an art gallery but just as imposing as he needs to be. It’s the build up of the last three episodes paying off. No one being allowed to say his name and everyone being terrified.

I think the most effective thing was having a guy as confident as Healy being terrified of him. He’ll kill someone, he’s not afraid of the charges against him or prison or a guy that just starts attacking him but he gives up the Kingpin’s name and he breaks down crying before committing suicide.

It’s also interesting that the last word of the episode is ‘alone’ because that’s what everyone has been this episode. Matt and Foggy were at odds over taking Healy’s case and Matt as Daredevil is alone. Karen is investigating alone even if she reaches out at the end of the episode to Ben who’s also alone in trying write to the news. Everyone is soldiering on by themselves when maybe they could all do with a little help.

I think Rabbit in a snowstorm refers to Fisk because he’s invisible. No one being allowed to say his name and all that. He’s the unseen cause of the chaos that is Hell’s Kitchen.

Matt’s fighting the low level thugs but he’ll never get to the root of the problem because Fisk’s invisible. Maybe that’s another metaphor as well. The only person who can see Fisk is the blind guy. Because there are other ways to see. You might not be able to see a rabbit in a snowstorm but I bet you could still smell it and while a regular person wouldn’t be able to hear it I bet Matt could. It’s like the line earlier in the episode about seeing the numbers on the check. Because Matt can’t he notices other things.

I apologise in advance for any errors in trying to summarise the legal talk because while I find it interesting I’m probably getting it all wrong in summary.

Also apologies for anything I get wrong or assume about blind people.

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Daredevil: Cut Man

Spoilers for the episode

Story:

Matt fails what he set out to do at the end of the last episode while Foggy and Karen get really drunk.

Thoughts:

Matt’s in a dumpster all cut up and probably dying. A guy finds him and goes to get help. He comes back with a woman and they get him inside. She checks him over and picks up the phone to call an ambulance but Matt stops her saying they’ll kill everyone in the building if she does.

He falls off the sofa and hitting the floor causes flashback again like last episode when he fell out the window.

Matt’s a kid and watching his Dad fight on TV but he’s been paid money to loose. So when he comes home Matt’s got to stitch him up.

At the office and Foggy doesn’t realise Karen’s still there so starts singing terribly. Karen asks if he knows she’s still there. It makes me laugh every time. Karen doesn’t want to go home so they decide to go to a bar.

Matt wakes up on the sofa realising his mask is gone and she can see his face. She tells him he needs x-rays to make sure there’s no internal bleeding.

She realises he’s blind and wants to know what happened but he says the less you know about me the better. It’s a bit late for that. And I love her reaction when she gives her name, she’s called Claire, but he won’t give his. She decides to call him Mike.

Another flashback to just after the accident and he’s panicking because he can’t see and every thing’s really loud. His Dad tries to calm him down.

Back to the present and Matt’s got air in his chest that’s collapsing his lung so he can’t breathe. She saves him but then wants an explanation. He walked into a trap trying to save a kidnapped boy.

He can smell someone in the building going from door to door. Claire thinks he’s crazy and he tells her he hasn’t told her everything about himself and she points out he hasn’t told her anything. The only thing she knows is that he’s good at taking a beating which prompts another flashback.

Jack’s in the ring sparring while Matt’s learning braille. Two guys come in and and tell Jack to throw a fight they’ve just set up for him. That way he’ll have lots of money for his kid.

Back to the present and Matt wants to fight the guy searching the building with a kitchen knife but Claire covers for him. The cop leaves but doesn’t believe her so Matt drops a fire extinguisher on him from a few floors up. That should have killed him.

Karen and Foggy are at a bar. Karen doesn’t want to go back to her apartment because of the blood she can’t get out of the carpet and being attacked there. She can only see the bad everywhere now. So Foggy points out all the scary people in the bar and makes them less scary by telling her their stories. Then suggests they stay out all night.

Matt ties the guy that should be dead up on the roof and Claire is only now having doubts about attacking a police officer and trusting the man she found in the dumpster.

So now we get some reasons for why she’s trusting him and it only makes it a little better. She’s a nurse at the ER and apparently all of Daredevil’s victims and people he’s saved are coming through the emergency room. That doesn’t mean this is the same guy.

Flashback to Matt’s dad getting his uniform for the big fight. It’s red so no one can tell that you’re bleeding. Matt says Murdocks always get back up. Jack decides to not throw the fight.

Foggy and Karen turn up at Matt’s apartment and try to wake him up but only succeed in annoying the neighbors because they are drunk and really loud.

Back on the roof and the man wakes up. Claire’s now in a mask as well while Matt interrogates him. Then they start torturing him (Claire gives some helpful hints) and then threatens to throw him off the building.

He tells them what they want to know but Matt throws him off the roof anyway. I don’t think he understands how this works. He’s still alive though because if dropping a fire extinguisher on him didn’t kill him nothing will and he landed in the dumpster so it’s a bit of a soft landing. Matt tells Claire she’s got to leave because the bad guys are going to be looking for her.

Flash back to Jack winning the fight and getting murdered after wards then the police let Matt past to touch the body. That’s bad policing. Jack must really feel worthless if he thinks it’s better for his son to have some money rather than his dad.

Matt gets to where they’re holding the boy. He beats everyone up in a really good sequence. The camera stays on the hallway as the fight enters and exits rooms. A lot of the guys keep getting up and by the end Matt’s knackered.

My favourite moment is when Matt launches a microwave out of the room taking out a guy.

He finds the kid and takes him home.

Does Daredevil have healing powers? Because he was dying in a dumpster at the beginning and by the end he’s beating up a whole load of guys. I thought the radioactive waste only gave him super senses.

I’m not usually big on flashbacks but they didn’t drag the episode down as much as I thought they would. Although maybe it was one too many, especially when Matt says there’s a guy searching the building and we cut to the past. I’d rather know what’s going on in the present. That one harmed the forward momentum a bit.

They do serve a purpose though not just in revealing back story but by having Matt and Jack parallel each other. Throughout the episode Jack looses fights by taking dives but at the end he wins then gets killed because of that win. Matt starts off the episode nearly dead from underestimating his opponents. The last flashback we get is Jack winning and child Matt finding the body which leads us into Matt redeeming himself and winning his fight and taking the little boy home to his Dad.

I don’t know what to think of Claire yet. She’s got bad judgment and is probably going to be Matt’s love interest but as long as she has an actual role and reasons for being there other than love interest I’m fine with that. She’s also a bit funny. Mostly her reactions to Matt dying on her couch.

This was another great episode. The best part being that fight at the end. I could watch it all day. It feels real while still flowing in a choreographed way. I think it might be that he’s tired and has to lean against walls in between punches and the way he moves it feels like he’s really hitting them. If nothing else Daredevil probably has the best fight scenes of any TV show I’ve ever seen. I don’t know how they’re going to top this fight.

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