OH MY GOSH THIS IS A THING!!!!! : Andrew Schaffer’s Hope Never Dies

Yesterday I was browsing Barnes & Noble.  My barrage of midterm grading was finally behind me and I was enjoying an afternoon of meandering with nothing much to do (until chaperoning the Homecoming Dance last night).  I glanced down at a table of new paperbacks and saw a cover, reminiscent of a pulp noir novel, featuring Barack Obama and Joe Biden riding in a car.  Then I took in the title – Hope Never Dies: An Obama/Biden Mystery.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?  I can’t remember the last time I bought a book, drove home, and immediately started reading it.  But no other plans could compete with this and if it wasn’t for the previously mentioned dance, I’d’ve finished it one sitting.  This isn’t an analysis nor a review, not traditionally at least.  To paraphrase Ron Burgundy, I got excited.  I just wanted to…shout it from the top of a mountain.  But I didn’t have a mountain.  I had this blog.  Look, I write about comics, that’s what I do.  And today’s top story, in Michael Miller’s world read something like this – I love Andrew Schaffer’s Hope Never Dies and this needs to become a long-lived series! Continue reading

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Well, I’ll Say It…Venom Was A Pleasant Surprise

I wasn’t planning on writing tonight.  But I saw Venom and, after being pretty open about how awkward I thought the movie would be in presenting a Spider-Man-less Venom, I felt I had to write something.  Why?  Because I was wrong.  I thought this film was going to be a rushed, convoluted mess and it wasn’t.  Now, it didn’t redefine the genre like Wonder Woman nor did it fully embrace the idea of the antihero in the way Deadpool did.  But it was an enjoyable night at the movies and with it currently sitting at a 29% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I wanted to take a few moments to write a short, spoiler-free reflection on why Venom was better than I thought it’d be. Continue reading

Netflix, Amazon, Hulu…And My Exhaustion With Streaming Shows

To be upfront at the start, this is going to be a First World Problem lamentation.  But it’s been on my mind a lot lately and two factors – the sitcom Scrubs and a recent conversation with Jeff – have led me to finally write this post.  So here it is folks, we live in an age where (for those of us with the means and possibility of access) we have thousands of shows and thousands of movies available to be streamed whenever our little hearts’ desire…and I’m kind of exhausted by it all.  I am.  More and more I find myself missing the “old days,” when a TV show was on once a week and you either saw it, caught it in reruns, or it was forever lost to you.  Sure, I missed a lot.  But what I caught I caught because I loved it. Continue reading

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

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