Venom the Antihero: My Preparation for the Venom Movie

If I’m being honest, I’m not that excited for Sony’s Venom.  I’ve always loved the character – he’s my all-time favorite Spider-Man villain and I read all his solo series in the ‘90s.  But this…I don’t know.  I want to be hopeful!  I want to like it.  And I do have my tickets for opening night.  But doing a Venom movie completely disconnected from Spider-Man doesn’t make sense to me.  Also, I’m not wildly in love with how the symbiote looks in the film.  It’s a bit too cartoony for me.  But I want to be excited (even if I end up disappointed).  So to try and put myself in the right headspace for the film, I reread the Venom solo series from my youth to reacquaint myself with Venom, the antihero. Continue reading

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Can the MCU Become Too Interconnected?

Okay, I know this seems ridiculous.  How can I be worried about this?  How can I even introduce it as a topic of conversation??  The interconnected nature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was historic.  When The Avengers came out in 2012 we’d never seen anything like it before.  Iron Man!  Black Widow!  Thor!  Hawkeye!  Captain America!  The Hulk!  Nick Fury!  Maria Hill!  Erik Selvig!  Pepper Pots!  Loki!  They were all together telling the same story which flowed out of their solo films.  It’s funny to think how we’ve come to take this for granted over the last eight years.  But Marvel Studios changed the game forever with the MCU.  It’s why Warner Bros. and DC have been rushing their interconnected DCEU.  It’s why Sony won’t let go of their painfully dumb idea for a Spidey villains universe of movies.  It’s why Universal wants a Monster Universe even if it keeps fumbling.  Heck, as Jeff told me, there’s even talk of a Dwayne the Rock Johnson Universe.  But…can it become too much? Continue reading

The Real Villain in Marvel’s Infinity Wars Event is Boredom – or – My Struggle with Loyalty in Comic Buying

In synergetic anticipation for the “most ambitious crossover event ever,” Marvel Comics first gave Gerry Duggan the reins of Infinity Countdown and now Infinity Wars – a yearlong event replacing their regular monthly Guardians comic and bringing the Infinity Gems Infinity Stones back into existence in the Marvel Universe.  I’m sure it was an attempt to make what was happening in the comics mirror their cinematic bonanza, Avengers: Infinity War, and thus hopefully attract new readers.  However, unlike their literary masterpiece Secret Empire, this has been a HUGE miss for me. Continue reading

Revisiting (for no reason in particular) 1996’s Marvel Versus DC Event

You know when you have something stuck in your head and you can’t exorcise it until you experience it?  Like a song you need to listen to or a movie you have to watch?  Well, inexplicably, I’ve had 1996’s Marvel Comics VERSUS DC event stuck in my head for weeks.  It’s so strong I’ve even been thinking of those Amalgam Comics they ran between the third and fourth issues of the series.  So, like a particularly hooky song, in order to free my random mental musings from this event I decided to reread it.  Even as a kid it seemed more like a popularity contest than a legitimate story but now, as an adult, I wanted to look at that more closely.  Given these match-ups, do any of the victors make sense for any reason outside of who was the clear fan favorite? Continue reading

What is #Comicsgate? Small Minds with Big Mouths

I’ve intentionally avoided writing about “#Comicsgate” until now.  Honestly, I felt it didn’t deserve any more attention than it already had.  It’s a movement of intolerance fueled by a small (compared to comic fandom as a whole) group of angry, close-minded individuals.  They are very loud about their displeasure with the modern comic industry in an attempt to a) appear larger and more influential than they really are and b) garner more attention for their rantings.  As such, I haven’t written about it.  Why give this little, prattling monster what it wants?  However, as someone who writes about his love of comic books while often showcasing my appreciation for the social justice lessons the better ones teach us, I figured it was time to finally talk about it.  As it’s sadly not going anywhere (yet) I’d also like to offer my two cents on how we can counter things like this in the comic fan community.  Continue reading

As They Became Movie Stars: Brian Michael Bendis’s Guardians Of The Galaxy

Reading Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s Guardians Of The Galaxy a few weeks ago yielded an epiphany of sorts.  I realized, or rather remembered, I shouldn’t look for comics that feel like James Gunn’s oh-so-perfect film.  Rather, I should embrace the Guardians as they are in the comics which will always be a different animal.  That’s how it works.  The comics inspire the films but each is unique unto itself, shaped by the vision of its creators.  I’d never went backwards before, from the movie to the comics, and I guess I wasn’t ready for the differences when encountered from this direction.  But I fell in love with Abnett and Lanning’s Guardians, no matter how different they were from Gunn’s, because they were great characters involved in exceptional stories.  Naturally I couldn’t wait to meet their next incarnation, Brian Michael Bendis’s take on the team! Continue reading

Nebula Was Right – or – How Nebula Could’ve Stopped the Infinity War

To get this out of the way first, this post will have spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War.  All sorts of them.  Do I still need to give spoiler warnings?  I don’t know.  The movie came out in April.  It’s been available digitally and physically for a few weeks.  But people may still have yet to see it.  Not everyone lives their lives on the Marvel schedule I do.  Heck, last year a student was upset I “spoiled” an episode of Seinfeld from OVER TWENTY YEARS AGO.  So I have no idea what the appropriate spoiler limit is anymore.  But this post will spoil Avengers: Infinity War because, as the title implies, I’m going to explore how the whole thing could’ve been avoided if everyone just listened to Nebula. Continue reading