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Author Archive for Jesse Schedeen

Venomverse #3 Review

Venomverse may be a very underwhelming Marvel event, but at least it bucks the usual trend by getting slightly better, not worse, over time. For whatever it's worth, issue #3 is the strongest chapter to date. It doesn't necessarily address any of the fundamental flaws of the book, but this issue does at least have more fun with the premise and the large cast of characters.

Cullen Bunn and Iban Coello introduce a major wrinkle into the conflict in this issue by dragging another iconic Spider-Man villain into the fray. Where the first two issues found some success in exploring the lingering Peter Parker/Eddie Brock rivalry, this issue finds even more success in mining this particular relationship. The series has done very little to flesh out the Poisons and make these villains into compelling antagonists (even with the recent reveal of the mastermind pulling their strings), but this new free agent is at least an acceptable substitute.

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Bloodshot Salvation #1 Review

You have to hand it to Valiant for the effort they've made in 2017 to make it easy to jump into their superhero universe. From the relaunch of X-O Manowar early this year to the recent Ninjak #0, Valiant has ensured that many of its big franchises have easy, straightforward jumping-on points. And now that treatment is being applied to Bloodshot. Even though Bloodshot Salvation is the latest chapter in Jeff Lemire's ongoing run, it's as good a starting point as any for the character.

Salvation features a pretty clear hook, as former super-soldier/assassin Ray Garrison now finds himself the father to an infant daughter. How does a guy whose sole purpose in life used to be killing adjust to that newfound responsibility? Early in Lemire's run, the question was whether Ray could ever truly bury his Bloodshot side and live an ordinary life. Now that he's found a family and achieved some semblance of ordinary, the question is more if he even wants to keep Bloodshot buried.

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Wonder Woman/Conan #1 Review

We're currently living in a golden age of comic book crossovers. Wonder Woman/Conan is another pairing that's so obvious you have to wonder why it didn't happen years ago. But like so many recent crossover projects, this book doesn't rely merely on the novelty of its premise. It also spins a great yarn that takes full advantage of both universes.

It's hard to imagine a more fitting writer for this crossover than Gail Simone. For many, Wonder Woman is still  the character Simone is most closely associated with after all these years. And while Simone's Conan-specific resume is small, she's had ample experience writing fellow wandering barbarian Red Sonja. In short, she understands the regal, powerful heroine that is Diana Prince and the dirty, mean world in which characters like Conan and Red Sonja dwell, and she knows how to combine those two disparate elements into one cohesive whole.

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19 Movies and Shows You (Probably) Didn’t Know Were Based on Comics

Many of the biggest franchises in Hollywood right now are based on comic books, so it's no surprise that studios and TV networks are increasingly looking to the comics industry to provide them with the next big thing. But not every comic book adaptation deals with capes and tights, and sometimes it's not always obvious that a film is pulling from the comic book world in the first place.

To celebrate the release of Kingsman: The Golden Circle -- which originated as a comic series! -- here are 19 other movies and TV shows that you might not realize were based on comics.

Kingsmnan: The Golden Circle is directed by Matthew Vaughn and stars Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Julianne Moore, Channing Tatum, Pedro Pascal and Halle Berry. Check out our review of the film to find out why we said it's "cheeky, cartoonish, and crazy as its predecessor, but it’s also commendably unafraid to demolish what had come before it if it’s in service of the story."

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Samurai Jack: Quantum Leap #1 Review

One of my pet peeves involves comics where you get a better idea of the plot from following promotional interviews than you do actually reading the first issue. Samurai Jack: Quantum Jack is one such case. The premise behind this new spinoff series is actually fairly straightforward. It basically fuses the franchise with Quantum Leap, with Jack being dragged between alternate realities with little memory of the man he used to be. But that premise isn't communicated particularly well on the page. In a way, the silent, minimalist nature of the franchise almost seems to be working against it in this case. Quantum Jack simply doesn't make a strong enough case for itself in its opening chapter.

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Batman #31 Review

"The War of Jokes and Riddles" is less a story about the war itself than what that conflict reveals about Bruce Wayne as a person. We've already seen Bruce make some terrible compromises in recent Batman issues, including throwing his lot in with the Riddler. But the worst, as this latest issue promises, is yet to come for Bruce. Batman #31 succeeds in both building tension before that big reveal and capturing the pure, zany fun of Batman teaming up with some of his greatest villains.

In some ways, the tone of this issue actually feels lighter than in previous chapters. That's due in part to the setting. It's rare to see Batman operating in broad daylight, bathed in sunlight rather than moon and shadow. But it works here, as Batman and Riddler enlist the aid of none other than Kite-Man to help breach Joker's impregnable skyscraper fortress. As grim as this story arc has been in general, it's nice to take a break from the darkness and simply take in the silly sights as Batman and his ragtag team soar through the cloudless skies of Gotham on giant hang-gliders. That, plus the emphasis on Joker and Riddler's lame jokes, gives this issue a very off-kilter and enjoyable tone.

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Preacher: Season 2 Review

This review contains spoilers for Preacher: Season 2.

Preacher ended its first season on a strange note, effectively wiping out the majority of the cast and leaving Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) and his pals free and unencumbered as they began their cross-country journey to find God. As much as that decision was a frustrating and abrupt way to end the first season, there's no denying the appeal in being able to start Season 2 with a clean slate. That allowed Preacher to become a very different show this year. Not always a better one, but at least one with a clearer sense of purpose.

The show certainly fell more in line with the comic book source material this year. While the two still diverged pretty wildly at times when it came to characterization, the general "three unlikely friends hit the road to find God" premise was finally, firmly in place in the premiere, "On the Road." That episode quickly and efficiently set the tone for the season as a whole. On one hand, the show's dark sense of humor was fully intact. The opening musical number, with Jesse, Tulip (Ruth Negga) and Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) cheerfully singing along to the radio while evading the police ensured that much. But it wasn't long before our heroes were confronted by the unstoppable Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish) and that levity turned to blood-curdling violence. Right away, the Saint provided the visceral danger the show needed, essentially morphing Preacher into a southern-fried version of the Terminator franchise for the first half of the season.

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Everything We Know About the Inhumans in the MCU

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is growing bigger all the time, with The Inhumans being the latest addition to this massive superhero franchise. This new limited series will introduce MCU fans to Black Bolt, Medusa and the rest of the Inhuman Royal Family as the kingdom of Attilan finally makes itself known to the world.

While these characters are new to the MCU, the Inhuman race itself has been a prominent fixture in Marvel's Agents of SHIELD in the last few years. Here's everything we know about how this group fits into the larger MCU picture.

Agents of SHIELD has established the origin story for the Inhumans in the MCU, revealing them to be the result of genetic experimentation by the alien race known as the Kree. Desperate for new, more powerful soldiers, a group of Kree scientists came to Earth centuries ago and began experimenting on human test subjects. They knew that humanity's vast genetic potential could unlock a new race of super-soldiers.

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Will Spider-Man’s Black Costume Return in Marvel Legacy?

Marvel Comics has revealed "Venom Inc.", a new six-issue crossover storyline that will unite the publisher's Amazing Spider-Man and Venom comics this December.

Venom Inc. will kick off with a one-shot special called Venom Inc.: Alpha before moving into the pages of Amazing Spider-Man and Venom later in the month and concluding in Venom Inc.: Omega in January. The crossover will be a joint effort between ASM writer Dan Slott and Venom writer Mike Costa. Ryan Stegman (Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows) will draw the ASM issues and the Alpha one-shot, while Gerardo Sandoval will draw the Venom issues.

The crossover will examine the current relationship between Peter Parker and Eddie Brock, with both characters having recently returned to more traditional status quos. Former Venom host Flash Thompson will also play a central role in the story. Marvel has also revealed that Lee Pace (who briefly served as the symbiote's host in the first six issues of the current series) will return to the forefront in Venom Inc. Lee will find a new partner in the Mania symbiote, transforming into a villain called Maniac.

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Will Spider-Man’s Black Costume Return in Marvel Legacy?

Marvel Comics has revealed "Venom Inc.", a new six-issue crossover storyline that will unite the publisher's Amazing Spider-Man and Venom comics this December.

Venom Inc. will kick off with a one-shot special called Venom Inc.: Alpha before moving into the pages of Amazing Spider-Man and Venom later in the month and concluding in Venom Inc.: Omega in January. The crossover will be a joint effort between ASM writer Dan Slott and Venom writer Mike Costa. Ryan Stegman (Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows) will draw the ASM issues and the Alpha one-shot, while Gerardo Sandoval will draw the Venom issues.

The crossover will examine the current relationship between Peter Parker and Eddie Brock, with both characters having recently returned to more traditional status quos. Former Venom host Flash Thompson will also play a central role in the story. Marvel has also revealed that Lee Pace (who briefly served as the symbiote's host in the first six issues of the current series) will return to the forefront in Venom Inc. Lee will find a new partner in the Mania symbiote, transforming into a villain called Maniac.

Continue reading…