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Recommendation: Snotgirl #1

snotgirl 1
The cover for the first issue, illustrated by Leslie Hung

When Snotgirl was first announced over a year ago at an Image EXPO, I was excited. Very few details were given about the series, but the creative team of Bryan Lee O’Malley and Leslie Hung was more than enough to interest me. In the months following the announcement, more information about the series was released; such as a synopsis and information about the lead character, Lottie, most notably her terrible allergies, hence the ‘Snotgirl’ moniker.

 

Lottie is a social media identity, a fashion blogger, who is struggling to find real satisfaction in life, rather than the faux pleasure gained from having the ‘perfect’ life (as she’d have her fans believe). In reality, Lottie isn’t as happy or perfect. She can’t form meaningful relationships with people away from her screen; which I can’t help but read as a form of social commentary. I myself am 18 years old and practically live online and through all my social media accounts try and create the identity I wish I had and that I wish for other people to see. This means that I find Lottie an indefinitely relatable character. Furthermore, Lottie is also at a point in her life where she knows she’s an adult but doesn’t quite feel like one; there’s something missing and she can’t figure out what. Again, I feel like this perfectly applies to people of my age and situation. Heck, it may even apply to older people but I guess I won’t know more about that until I reach that age!

I was slightly hesitant but mainly curious about how O’Malley would manage to make an ongoing series just about a social media personality. Surely it isn’t a broad enough topic to sustain a monthly book? Clearly I was wrong to ever doubt him. Not only was I treated to some wonderful character moments from Lottie and her quirky supporting cast, but there was a surprising amount going on as well. O’Malley has set many wheels into motion and I’m looking forward to seeing how the storyline will progress.

The most interesting plotline by far however, comes courtesy of a final page cliff-hanger that absolutely stunned me. I’m still not 100% sure what happened but I am eagerly anticipating the next issue. No way was I expecting the series to head in this direction and it definitely muted my previous concerns about the long-term potential of this series.

Finally, it would be an absolute travesty if I failed to mention the artwork of Leslie Hung. I could not think of a more perfect artist for this series. She draws Lottie in many different emotional states just in this issue alone and nails every single one of them. I should also mention that the exciting colours of Mickey Quinn allow Snotgirl to have a vibrant tone which helps to bring life to each panel.

In short, Snotgirl #1 managed to surpass my already high expectations and silenced all of my doubts. O’Malley and Hung are one hell of a team and I sincerely hope they can keep to this standard for a long while to come.

A Break

Hiya,

Just a reminder that tomorrow morning I set off for sunny Spain for a holiday with my friends. This means I will not be posting probably for at least 10 days.

Try not to miss me too much! 😉

Matt

2 More Series Announced for Marvel NOW!

Today Marvel has continued releasing information about titles for their upcoming Marvel NOW! relaunch, with ‘The Great Lakes Avengers‘ and ‘Champions‘ being announced.

Below you can find information about these two series, as well as my thoughts on them both.


The Great Lakes Avengers

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This series is written by Zac Gorman, who worked on the Rick & Morty comic book series, and is draw by Will Robson.

The title, which will have a comedic tone, follows Mr Immortal, Big Bertha, Doorman and Flagman; as well as apparently a cardboard cut-out of Squirrel Girl, who was an original member of the Great Lakes Avengers.

I must admit, whilst this may contradict my previous issues with the creative direction of Marvel NOW!, I am actually interested in reading this book. The GLA aren’t characters I’m familiar with and it’s clear that this series, despite being labelled as an ongoing, will not last very long, meaning it doesn’t even have to be a long-term commitment. So far this is the only announcement that I’m certainly intending to support.

The solicitation for issue one reads as follows:

GREAT LAKES AVENGERS #1
Written by ZAC GORMAN
Penciled by WILL ROBSON
Cover by WILL ROBSON
Variant cover by MICHAEL ALLRED

“All New, All Different?” No, thank you! New things are bad and different things are scary! Instead, why not join everybody’s least favorite Super Hero team, The Great Lakes Avengers in their brand new—but not too brand new—ongoing series, Same Old, Same Old, Great Lakes Avengers! When the team gets reinstated as permanent members of the Avengers and uprooted to Detroit, the GLA has one more shot at Super Hero glory…but can they answer the call? Do they even have 4G coverage here? Find out!”


 

 

Champions

The creative team for this book is current All-New, All-Different Avengers writer Mark Waid, with art by Humberto Ramos.

The series cast includes Marvel breakout stars Ms Marvel, Miles Morales and Nova, as well as Amadeus Cho Hulk, young Cyclops and Viv (who is the daughter of Vision from the current Vision series.)

I am very pleased that Marvel appears to be listening to their fanbase, as they have been quite vocal about wanting more teen team books. However, this personally does not excite me.

I love Kamala Khan, and I enjoy Viv, but I’m pretty unimpressed with the rest of the cast. Moreover, I’m bewildered as to why Cyclops is there. He is not a character that I can feasibly picture working in a team like this, but perhaps that’s just me. Either way, this is a step in the right direction.

Furthermore, I’m also not a fan of the creative team. I think Waid is a very good writer, but I tend to find his storylines to bee a bit too safe and linear for my tastes. Whilst Ramos’ art style is definitely not up my street to say the least.

I’m happy for the fans ‘Champions‘ is catered for, and I’m sure that this title will be able to carve itself a strong fanbase, but unless the reviews are very favourable, it is unlikely that I’ll be buying this book.

Marvel announces ‘U.S.Avengers’ for Marvel NOW!

usavengers-cover-70162Just one short day after revealing their ‘Divided We Stand’ slogan for the upcoming Marvel NOW! relaunch, Marvel has announced ‘U.S.Avengers‘ written by Al Ewing with art by Paco Medina. This is only their second confirmed series for the relaunch, behind the solo series for new character, ‘Mosaic‘.

This is a team book featuring Sunspot, Cannonball, Squirrel Girl, Red Hulk, POD, Danielle Cage (Captain America from the future, as well as the in-continuity child of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones), and Dr Toni Ho as the new Iron Patriot.

According to comicbookresources.com “The book will see Sunspot’s Avengers Idea Mechanics evolve into the American Intelligence Mechanics, a new organization endorsed by the government and poised to replace S.H.I.E.L.D”. The main thing that I get from this brief synopsis is that Sunspot’s team will be replacing S.H.I.E.L.D which I am very happy about because there is no feasible explanation as to why they have been able to get away with so much treachery (look no further than the recent ‘Avengers: Standoff’ event) and it is about time that there has been some storyline repercussions.

My thoughts on this series are very dependant on the creative direction Ewing is taking this title in. If he goes full-on American patriot with flags draped everywhere whilst the entire cast sings ‘Star Spangled Banner’ then it is very unlikely that I will enjoy this series. However, if he goes the satirical route then this could be a very enjoyable book.

Honestly, I think that Ewing will go for the latter, as he is obviously a Brit so therefore isn’t likely to have the devotion to America necessary to make this book a nationalists’ paradise. Moreover, the lead character is Roberto Da Costa, a Brazilian; which doesn’t seem like a choice that would’ve been made if he wanted it to be a hardcore patriotic book.

There’s a few things I don’t like about what I’ve seen of this so far. Firstly, the most important thing for me, is that Squirrel Girl is there. I genuinely struggle to think of a character that I hate more than her, so it’s a shame that her presence may ruin this book for me. I’m also not overly keen on yet another Captain America strolling around the Marvel Universe.

Although, there’s even more things that I do like about ‘U.S.Avengers‘. I love that Sunspot and Cannonball are together as they are so much more fun when they’re with one another. I’m happy that POD is on the team mainly because it adds some LGBT representation to the title, which I think is very important if the book is realistically trying to represent contemporary America (plus, her new suit looks fantastic!). I also really enjoy how Red Hulk still manages to maintain the manliest moustache ever even when hulking out. Not to mention, I personally believe Al Ewing is one of the best writers Marvel has got at the moment, so I am pleased to see that he’s still getting to write some weirder, more obscure stories.

Therefore, this title has more working in favour of it, than working against it. This means that I will be sure to give it a few issues to hook me when it is released in the fall.

If all other new titles are as intriguing as this then I look forward to seeing what else Marvel NOW! has got in store for us.

A look at the Marvel NOW! ‘Divided We Stand’ Teaser

Marvel now

Over the past week or so Marvel has been releasing images drawn by Mike Deodato showing divided characters who are said to have a “prominent” role in the upcoming Marvel Universe. Today, Marvel has finally revealed the whole picture with all of these characters and a few more.

The main image details a clear divide between two sets of characters. I’ve heard two conflicting theories about this divide. It could be to symbolise the younger generation of heroes (on the right) losing faith in the old guard (on the left). Another theory states that the left side is the more morally ambiguous set of characters, whilst those on the right are optimistic and morally clean.

Let’s have a closer look at who is in each of these sides. Firstly, we’ll start with the left hand side.

marvel now doom

From left to right, it appears to be: Solo, Foolkiller, Jessica Jones, Daisy Johnson, Captain Marvel, Elektra, Thor Odinson, Dr Doom, Slapstick, Captain America (Steve Rogers), Black Panther, Gamora, and Cable. The identity of the large dinosaur-like foot is unclear at the moment. Bleedingcool.com has suggested that it may depict American Kaiju from the current New Avengers series, which I think is a good prediction. Although, I’ve also heard the name Fin Fang Foom mentioned.

What Are My Thoughts?

  • I’m glad Jessica Jones is back in an apparently prominent role.
  • Same goes for Odinson, and I think his new outfit looks awesome.
  • Interesting that Cable is the only mutant in the whole teaser campaign.
  • Why on earth are Solo, Foolkiller and Slapstick there? They must really be pushing Deadpool & The Mercs For Money as a flagship title.
  • Dr Doom is holding an Iron Man helmet. Could he be the new Iron Man? Will Tony Stark die in Civil War 2? I sincerely hope not.

Onto the next one…

marvel now ririAgain, from left to right: Gwenpool, Mosaic, Squirrel Girl, Ms America Chavez, All- New Wasp (Nadia Pym), Prowler, Moon Girl, War Machine (newly-introduced Riri Williams), Kate Bishop Hawkeye, Amadeus Cho Hulk, Miles Morales Spider-Man, Ms Marvel, and Doctor Strange.

What Are My Thoughts?

  • I’m very interested in reading more about Mosaic (his first appearance was in this weeks Uncanny Inhumans #11 and was pretty intriguing)
  • Seriously, Gwenpool?
  • Really, really happy that Ms America Chavez is there. An openly LGBT character, not to mention a woman of colour, getting greater prominence is fantastic. Not to mention, she is also a character with serious storyline potential. For me personally, this is the bit I like the most about the teaser.
  • Always happy to see Kamala Khan.
  • I’m glad Kate Bishop is here over Clint Barton; I find Kate the far superior character.
  • The presence of Doctor Strange seems to rule out the ‘Young vs Old Generation’ theory, as he isn’t quite the spring chicken.
  • Very much the theme of legacy heroes with this teaser.

I must admit, I find it incredibly strange that some of Marvel’s biggest characters, like Peter Parker, Tony Stark, Jane Foster (Thor), Sam Wilson (Captain America), Ant-Man, Deadpool, Vision, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Storm, Wolverine, Old Man Logan, Cyclops, The Fantastic Four, Medusa, Black Bolt and Black Widow are all absent. You would assume that Marvel would really want to make sure that some of their heavy-hitters were there to attract more interest, especially from mainstream media.

I do suspect that many of these aforementioned characters will at least have some sort of role in Marvel NOW!, but these teasers imply that they clearly are not seen as a priority or focal point; which quite frankly puzzles me.

Honestly, I think the fact that these characters are missing symbolises everything wrong with the current Marvel product.

As you may recall from some of my previous posts, I was really looking forward to a great deal of the All-New, All-Different Marvel titles. Unfortunately, I feel very let down. Originally when ANAD Marvel began, I was picking up at least 15 series because I wanted to try and like as many as possible. Yet, here we are, just a few months later, and I currently buy 6 titles regularly. For anyone interested, those are; Ms Marvel, Vision, Daredevil, Power Man and Iron Fist, Black Panther, Uncanny Inhumans, and All-New Inhumans. Furthermore, All-New Inhumans has been cancelled, and Vision is wrapping up at the end of the current art, as Tom King has signed an exclusive deal with DC. This is not a good success rate for Marvel.

Ultimately, I cannot talk on behalf of all Marvel fans, but I just do not believe they have the quality writing that is necessary to hook me. Moreover, I think that the constant tampering with well-loved characters is alienating current fans. I briefly touched upon this in one of my previous posts, but when I pick up a Hulk title, I want to read about Bruce Banner. When I pick up a Thor title, I want to read about Odinson. I know it can be argued that these characters haven’t gone anywhere, you can still find them in old comics, but it simply isn’t the same.

Either way, I fear I may be straying off-topic. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that these ‘Divided We Stand’ teasers aren’t exciting me for many reasons, but mainly because it doesn’t feel like I will get to read the characters I love. I may get to read about a legacy hero, or perhaps I will actually get to read about the hero I actually want, but chances are they will suffer from a lack of real characterisation.

Whilst there is a few aspects of Marvel NOW! ‘Divided We Stand’ that I like; I am going to take a lot of convincing to completely accept it.

I will definitely try and keep an open mind- and will certainly give a good few of these new characters/status quos/series a fair chance. But as of right now, I’m not really eagerly anticipating reading these characters when so many of my beloved ones appear to be left in limbo.

Please, Marvel, please prove me wrong.

What’s To Come

Hi,

Long time no see, eh?

It’s been a while since I last posted because exam season was in full swing and I needed to put all my focus of the exams. Thankfully, now that hell is over and my summer has officially began!

This means that I should be able to post more regularly from now on. However, don’t expect too much within the next 10 days or so as me and a few friends are spending a week in Barcelona to celebrate the end of exams and say goodbye before we all head off to university in September.

What Can You Expect Imminently?

  • My Thoughts on Marvel’s latest Marvel NOW! teasers.
  • An opinion piece on The Infinity Gauntlet.
  • A review of the romance film ‘Me Before You‘ and my thoughts on the controversy surrounding it.
  • (Hopefully) Weekly Comic Reviews.
  • A new series I’m calling ’80s Throwback’; which would entail a millennial’ view on the hit films of the 80s.
  • And so much more…

 

See you soon!

RIP Darwyn Cooke

A brilliant artist who inspired so many of today’s creators. He will be sorely missed.

My thoughts are with the Cooke family at this horrible time.

My Thoughts On: Captain America: Civil War

civilwarheader
The best film of 2016?

I have just seen Civil War and if I had to sum up my thoughts in just one word: WOW.

I went into this film with very high expectations but Captain America: Civil War just blew those expectations out of the water. The Russo Brothers had big shoes to fill, knowing they’d be taking over from Joss Whedon as the MCU’s big directors but they’ve truly delivered a film that was exceptional.

Somehow, even with such a large cast, they managed to give enough screen time to everyone to make them be interesting (or in Hawkeye’s case- as interesting as anyone can make Hawkeye!).

Much like my post on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I’m not going to do a review because quite frankly you can find a million of those online all better than I could write. So, I’m just going to give my thoughts on the film from a fan’s perspective.

Now be warned- there WILL be SPOILERS ahead:

  • Be prepared for your allegiance to one team to be tested throughout. I went into the film 100% #TeamIronMan, then changed to #TeamCap during the film, and back and forth during the movie. By the end I was just #TeamLetsAllStopFightingAndBeFriends.
  • It looks like they are building a romance between Vision and Wanda Maximoff, much like in the comics, which I’m very happy with as they have excellent chemistry.
  • Actually, speaking of chemistry; the entire cast had a crazy amount of chemistry with each other. Tony/Steve, Tony/Peter Parker, Wanda/Vision, Cap/Bucky, Bucky/Falcon, Natasha/Clint, Falcon/Ant-Man, Natasha/T’Challa. It seems like everyone on set had a great connection with one another which really showed on screen.
  • There is a ‘bad guy’ in the film- Helmut Zemo (played by Daniel Bruhl) but at times even I was unsure just how bad he was. I mean, he had done some horrible things, but you can identify with his anger towards The Avengers after his entire family was killed in Sokovia.
  • There is a perfect ratio of action:verbal conflict. The film has a strong emotional undercurrent which makes it very difficult to decide who’s side you’re on because you completely understand the viewpoints of both.
  • Ant-Man became Giant Man which was brilliant. But even more brilliant was the David V Goliath symbolism when he was taken down by Spider-Man. But even more brilliant was that Spidey took him down by using his knowledge of Empire Strikes Back and how the AT-AT Walkers were knocked down.
  • Tom Holland is the perfect Spider-Man. He is the Spider-Man we deserve. Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield were good, but Tom is exceptional. He totally embodies what Spider-Man is supposed to be: dorky, loveable, annoyingly clever and with a heart of gold. All it took was about 40 minutes of screen time and he became my favourite character in a movie full of amazing characters. I am really, really excited for Spider-Man: Homecoming next year.
  • Marisa Tomei is the most attractive Aunt May we’ve ever had, by the way!
  • On the topic of new characters, T’Challa otherwise known as Black Panther, played by Chadwick Boseman was incredible. He was legitimately and believably bad ass, but also had his own internal struggle with the idea of vengeance after seeing his father get killed in an explosion set of by Zemo. Moreover, his Wakandan accent felt wholly authentic and natural.
  • Fans of Stucky (the ship of Cap and Bucky) will be pleased because they share some great moments together.
  • I almost died laughing when Cap kissed Sharon Carter and the camera panned to Bucky and Falcon looking on from a car with proud expressions.
  • Also, RIP Peggy Carter. You will be missed and you had a great TV show.
  • Spidey’s in-fight banter is amazing and funny, which I think other interpretations of Peter have struggled to get right in the past. Falcon even tells him that he talks way too much during a fight.
  • In the beginning moments, Black Widow gets a show-stealing action sequence when trying to track down a bad guy- fully proving that she’s the best combat fighter in the MCU.
  • Vision is swiftly becoming one of my favourite characters. He is always so level, he can so easily steal a scene just through his presence. Paul Bettany can play a synthetic character devoid of human traits with remarkably humanity.
  • Wanda Maximoff was played beautifully by Elizabeth Olsen. The expression on her face when her actions accidently led to the deaths of innocent citizens was heart-breaking.
  • There was also an epic scene where Cap was trying to stop a Hydra-infected Winter Soldier from escaping in a helicopter. Bucky is taking off but the chopper is caught by Steve who then grabs onto a nearby rail and uses all of his strength to stop Bucky from getting away. By golly, Captain America (and obviously Chris Evans) is quite the physical specimen.
  • The final showdown between Cap and Iron Man was epic. No more needs to be said about that.
  • Post-credits scene 1: Bucky decides to be cryogenically frozen again until scientists can find a cure to remove any traces of Hydra from his mind. He is in a Wakandan facility with Steve and T’Challa, and with the great minds of Wakanda working on it, I’m hoping it won’t be long until we see more of the Winter Soldier in action.
  • Post-credits scene 2: Peter Parker is playing with a device on his wrist when Aunt May comes in with an ice-pack for his wounded eye. When she asks who hit him, Peter responded with ‘Steve, from Brooklyn.’ Then May leaves and Peter turns on the device which shines a red light onto the roof, which is then shown to be the Spider-Man logo.

In conclusion; this film is absolutely fantastic and by far and away my favourite film of the year so far, and maybe even my favourite MCU movie so far. Would I recommend it? HELL YEAH.

Marvel’s Mosaic puzzle is complete!

All week Marvel has been releasing daily teasers illustrated by Stuart Immonen relating to a mysterious Mosaic, without confirming whether Mosaic was a character, a event or even a story arc…

Source: Marvel’s Mosaic puzzle is complete!

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