JUSTICE LEAGUE #1
Written by: Scott Snyder
Art by: Jim Cheung, Mark Morales, Tomeu Morey, and Tom Napolitano
Published by: DC Comics
What it’s about…
“THE TOTALITY” part one! A brand-new era begins here!
Comics legends Scott Snyder and Jim Cheung launch the Justice League into a cosmos-shaking mystery that will draw out their most terrible foes…in ways our heroes couldn’t possibly imagine! In this debut issue, Martian Manhunter struggles to protect the team from an incoming threat that will shatter the world as they know it, while a familiar face strikes out on a dark path…
What I thought about it…
This was a strange first issue. while it’s a good comic, Justice League #1 feels like the third chapter of a story. There little to no mention of the events of No Justice. That’s surprising to me, because the damn thing ended only a week before. And wasn’t the point of No Justice to lead into this new Justice League book?
From reading this comic this morning, I get the feeling Scott Snyder is trying to make Justice League THE book to read. Nothing wrong with that I suppose, but maybe he shouldn’t have tried to do that in one issue.
I guess part of me wanted to see this team come together in this issue, rather than it already being a season unit. Maybe also see how the roster was chosen. But we’ll see what unfolds in upcoming issues. Maybe I’m not seeing the whole picture yet.
That being said, Justice League #1 still had a lot of good. There is a classic feel to the new team, very similar to the Justice League Unlimited cartoon. Right away you get the feeling these people like working with each other, and that they’re friends when not in costume. Hopefully as the series progresses, we’ll get to see the heroes during their downtime too.
The Legion of Doom is back to wreak havoc too, but we’ll see how long that partnership lasts this time. But if nothing else, their entrance in this issue was pretty damn cool. I also thought it was cool to see the Hall of Justice return, and I liked how its a museum as well as a base of operations for the League.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Cheung’s pencils look amazing. Every character looks larger than life, even the Legion of Doom looks better than ever. I’ve liked Cheung’s work ever since his short run on Force Works in the mid 90’s, but this guy keeps getting better and better. I’m still shocked Marvel Comics let him slip away.
While I didn’t thing Justice League #1 was perfect, it did leave me with a sense of optimism for this series. I like the team, I like the artist, and I like most of what Scott Snyder has done before. Because of those reasons, I’m gonna stick with the new Justice League for a while, and see where this era of the League goes from here.
Justice League #1 score: B+
DARK NIGHTS: METAL #6
Written by: Scott Snyder with James Tynion IV
Art by: Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, FCO Plascencia, and Steve Wands with Mikel Janin, Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez, June Chung, and Brad Anderson
Published by: DC Comics
What it’s about…
All roads lead…to darkness. In the devastating and epic conclusion to DC’s cataclysmic event series, heroes from across the universe make their final charge into the unknown to battle the forces of the Dark Multiverse!
Space and time, dreams and nightmares, all will collide—and what is left at the end will leave the DC Universe irrevocably changed!
What I thought about it…
It’s hard to believe, but Dark Nights: Metal #1 was released back in August of 2017. The Metal prequels, came out even before that. It took a while, but at long last, we’ve arrived at the end of this mega event with this week’s Dark Nights: Metal #6 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo.
In this double-sized final issue, Snyder and Capullo throw everything at us: Wonder Woman teaming up with Hawkgirl; the Justice League in full force; Hawkman; Diana taking a fearless dive into the unknown; Joker Dragons; a really funny line from Nightwing; dinner parties; and a Batman team I never expected to see.
I won’t bore you with all the details of the climactic battle, it was really cool to see, but pretty much what I expected. However, I will tell you that the battle was not my favorite part of Dark Nights: Metal #6. The fact is the best part was the book’s epilogue. These few pages made me excited to read not only Scott Snyder’s upcoming Justice League relaunch, but the other Justice League related books DC has coming later this year.
The epilogue was also the first time I’ve seen the Justice League sit down and celebrate a victory with each other. I think this may have happened during the Bronze Age and in the 1980’s, but it was fun seeing all the guys in the League wearing tuxes and the women in gowns. It was different, funny, informative, and set things up without seeming like a blatant commercial for other comics.
In the end, Dark Knights: Metal was a great series which delivered in almost every issue. I only disliked the Hawkman one shot, but the rest of the series was pretty amazing. A lot of people worked on Dark Knights: Metal, but most of the credit goes to Scott Snyder who crafted one of the most unusual comic book events in years, if not decades.
Also worthy of praise is Greg Capullo. His artwork made the main series feel important, and his art was stellar as usual. I don’t think the core book would have made the same impact without Capullo’s work. All in all, Dark Nights: Metal #6 is a worthy conclusion to an epic event that left me shocked, amused, and in awe. Well done DC!
Dark Nights: Metal #6 score: A
THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD: BATMAN AND WONDER WOMAN #1
Written by: Liam Sharp
Art by: Liam Sharp, Romulo Fajardo Jr., & Troy Peteri
Published by: DC Comics
What it’s all about…
Don’t miss the start of a new, six-issue miniseries written and illustrated by Liam Sharp (WONDER WOMAN)! When a Celtic god’s murder leads to a war between the fairy folk and a possible breach between worlds, Wonder Woman must find the murderer and keep the peace while Batman investigates strange occurrences in Gotham City. As Diana must turn to the World’s Greatest Detective for help, the two heroes quickly learn their cases may be connected.
What I thought about it…
I thought Liam Sharp had done the best work of his career two years ago on Wonder Woman. It is safe to say, I was wrong. Sharp just outdid himself with the first issue of The Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman.
This time, Liam Sharp serves as both writer and artist on the book, and the results are nothing short of epic. Issue #1 sets the table for what’s to come in future issues, which in this case is a God needing Diana’s help. But what I loved the best int his comics was how Sharp built the story by showing both Bruce and Diana on their spare time.
In issue #1 we Diana on a getaway with Steve Trevor. This sequence is informative, sweet, funny, and even sexy. As I read this part of the book, I couldn’t help but think this is the first time I’ve seen Steve and Diana doing something for themselves without some mission at stake. And I couldn’t help but laugh when the fertility God offered to bless them, and they’re both like “Nooo!”
Meanwhile in Gotham, Batman is dealing with a strange phenomenon in one of the city’s neighborhoods. Unlike Diana who accepts that Gods and mythical creatures exist, Batman tries using logic to figure out wha is real and what is not. It was nice to see Batman using his detective skills rather than his fists, but what happens in the last page surprised even me.
Liam Sharp’s art uses images and symbols from Irish mythology cements, giving the comic a more epic look and feel. The amount of detail on each page is just insane, and Batman and Wonder Woman both look regal. There’s a great contrast between the two as well. Wonder Woman’s pages are soft, well-lit, almost screaming with hope.
On the other hand, Batman’s pages are shadowy, cold, and mystery filled. Sharp really did a nice job showing readers the difference in both of the heroes’ world. But the story building around the mythical aspects is great too. In many ways, this comic is like a “Game of Thrones” chapter, which kinda makes me wish someone would give Sharp a GoT comic series.
The Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #1 melds together different worlds by bringing the magical aspects of Diana’s world into Bruce’s more grounded landscape. This is a great jumping off point for what is sure to be a challenging and thought-provoking saga. I’m ready to see what comes next and I can’t wait to learn what else Liam Sharp has up his sleeve.
The Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #1 score: A
Written by: Tom King
Art by: Joelle Jones
Published by: DC Comics
What it’s all about…
“SUPERFRIENDS” finale! Since the beginning, the friendship between Batman and Wonder Woman has stood at the heart of the DC Universe. Now that friendship is coming apart, and as it does the universe itself begins to crumble. Don’t miss the conclusion of Batman’s epic team-up with Wonder Woman!
What I thought about it…
Can I just say how much I love what Tom King is doing in this book? It’s just plain fun to see these characters acting like friends instead of fighting each other. Issue #39 of Batman focuses on Bruce and Diana’s relationship while pitting them against impossible odds.
Wonder Woman and Batman’s mission is all well and good, and more interesting than you’d expect. But what I loved about this issue were the small moments between the character. Like when Wonder Woman uses the Bat Signal to contact Batman because she always wanted to try it, something that leaves commissioner Gordon speechless.
There’s also the scene in which Wonder Woman and Catwoman make fun of Batman’s knight armor he dons for the mission. It was such a simple moment, but effective in so many ways. Plus I can’t remember seeing Wonder Woman interact with Catwoman before, so that was fun as well.
Tom King’s version of Wonder Woman is more Gal Gadot than any other version currently in comics. The Diana in Batman #39 is likable, valiant, charming and funny. Meanwhile on the art front, Joelle Jones continues to be one of the best artists in the business.
Not only is her Batman great, but she gives Liam Sharpe a run for his money when it comes to drawing a regal Wonder Woman. I really liked this take on Wonder Woman, and it makes me wich Tom King would take over her regular book which has been awful since Greg Rucka left. Add Joelle Jones on art, and I think you have a best seller waiting to happen.
The ending of Batman #39 is somewhat predictable, but I didn’t mind it because everything else int he issue is so damn good.
Batman #39 final score: A-
The end of the year is nearly here, meaning it’s now time to drink and have fun with friends while we watch a giant ball drop in Times Square. But year’s end also means celebrating the finest movies made this year. Or at least, celebrating the ones I saw over the past twelve months.
Unlike other years, I don’t think you’ll find many surprises in my top 10. Most of the films listed here probably won’t shock anyone. However, before I get to my top 10 movies of 2017, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
1. My earlier reviews may not always apply because opinions change after watching movies more than once.
2. There are some recent movies I haven’t seen, so don’t be shocked if “The Shape of Water,” “Jumanji,” “Molly’s Game,” “The Greatest Showman,” and other big movies are missing from my list..
I think that about covers it all. So now, without further ado, here are my picks for the best films of 2017:
10. Justice League
Okay, seeing this one on my list may be a bit of a surprise.
As I said in my review for Justice League,” there are a few things I would have done different. The villain needed a lot of work, some of the costuming decisions were questionable, and I would have sharpened the story quite a bit and made some edits here and there.
But none of that takes away from the fact that I still got a thrill seeing Batman, Wonder Woman, and the rest of the League on the big screen. More often than not I found myself cheering rather than groaning in disgust. “Justice League” may not be a perfect film, but it has several fun moments that earns it a spot on my list.
Christopher Nolan did away with exposition and character development in favor of drama, and it worked!
“Dunkirk” is a dramatic account of the World War II evacuation of Dunkirk, France’s beaches in 1941. Nolan breaks the film into three interwoven time frames and perspectives (land, sea and air), and somehow you as the viewer care about all the characters, even though we don’t know much about them.
With grand set pieces, incredible drama and action, “Dunkirk” is one of the best war films ever, and one worth watching again.
I was a fan of the first Thor film, but like most people, didn’t really care for the sequel. But “Thor: Ragnarok” blew away any and all expectations that I had going in. This movie is touching, funny, action packed, and thrilling.
If that wasn’t enough, “Thor: Ragnarok” gave us a tour de force performance by Cate Blanchett. I don’t believe I can ask for anything else from a movie.
Hugh Jackman’s swan song as Wolverine is part Western, part drama, part superhero flick, and arguably the best X-Men film to date. In “Logan,” Jackman is more brutal than ever as he struggles with his own mortality, and with taking care of the powerful Charles Xavier.
But the highlight of the film is easily his relationship with his equally primal little-girl counterpart (Dafne Keen). They don’t speak the same language, so they fight, bicker and ultimately learn to care for one an other.
This is the sort of character development and storytelling you rarely, (if ever), see in superhero films.
6.Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Two years ago people complained that The Force Awakens was too much like A New Hope. So along comes The Last Jedi which completely changes the Star Wars universe, and people still complain about the movie.
Well, not me.
Even though I liked The Force Awakens, I am so thankful that director Rian Johnson created something new and original. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” showed consequences for people’s action, and maybe for the first time, we got to see brutality in world of Star Wars. For that and many other reasons, I say “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is one of the best Star Wars films.
With “Baby Driver,” director Edgar Wright delivered one of the best heist films in years, and brought along an entire jukebox filled with oldies.
Add to the music some of Wright’s style and some crazy criminals and lovebirds, and you got the right ingredients for a story about the fastest getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) in Atlanta.
4.How to Be a Latin Lover
On paper, “How to Be a Latin Lover” shouldn’t be a good movie. The premise of a pampered man trying to find another meal ticket sounds ridiculous, but then you watch the movie, and realize this is the most heart warming film you saw in 2017.
With a cast featuring Eugenio Derbez, Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Raphael Alejandro, Raquel Welch and Rob Riggle, you know there will be plenty of laughs. But the best parts of “How to Be a Latin Lover” were the ones were Derbez tries to reconnect with his sister and nephew.
“How to Be a Latin Lover” also proves once and for all that Salma Hayek is one of the most underrated actresses today. This woman can do it all, so please cast her in a comic book movie!
3. The Hitman’s Bodyguard
To say this movie surprised me would be an understatement. But “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” was the only movie this year that had me laughing from start to finish. And that’s all due to the great chemistry between the film’s two leads, Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson.
In many ways ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is a buddy/cop film, but this may be the best one yet. This movie keeps the action and the laughs coming, and its full of surprises and twists. “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is one movie I had to watch again because I missed stuff the first time due to my constant laughter.
2. Atomic Blonde
With style, grace, and ferocity, Charlize Theron is an ass-kicking machine.
“Atomic Blonde” is a Cold War spy thriller based on the 2012 graphic novel “The Coldest City.” Theron’s is an American spy working with MI6 to navigate the city of Berlin in the day before the wall came down.
“Atomic Blonde” is a spy movie that keeps you guessing at every turn, never knowing who the good guys are. And you’re thrilled at how it all plays out in the end. Through it all, Theron delivers the goods, whether it’s in the form of an apartment battle with police, or the hallway gun and fist battle that you got to see to believe.
Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman, now and forever. This movie had me from the opening scene on Themyscira , to the final scene in modern-day. I saw “Wonder Woman” four times on the big screen, and three times on Blu-ray.
Along the way, “Wonder Woman” not only became my favorite movie of the year, but also my all time favorite comic book movie. Well done Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins.
Possible spoilers ahead!
After the death of Superman (Henry Cavill) in “Batman V Superman: Dawn on Justice,” much of the world remains in mourning for the hero. Crime rates have soared without Superman, and while superheroes like Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) attempt to fill the void, the two can only do so much.
But now humanity faces a threat not of this world named Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), an ancient being who has returned to our planet to recover three powerful Mother Boxes. Realizing that they alone cannot defeat Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons, Batman and Wonder Woman set out to put together a team that includes speedster Barry Allen (Ezra Miller), the half-human/half-Atlantean Arthur Curry, aka. the Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and Victor Stone (Ray Fisher), a cyborg who was created and gifted with extraordinary powers by one of the Mother Boxes.
Deep down however, Batman knows that even if this new team manages to come together quickly, they may not be enough to stop Steppenwolf’s invasion.
All right, I know this isn’t a very popular opinion among comic book geeks like me, but I actually really enjoyed “Justice League.” Crazy, ain’t it?
That’s not to say this movie is perfect, there are a number of things that could have been better. First and foremost, Steppenwolf was just plain awful. The CGI looked like something I created in art school in 2000. Ciarán Hinds should open a school on over-acting, because that’s what he did in every single scene.
The other thing I didn’t like about “Justice League” were some of the clothes they put Gal Gadot in. Don’t get me wrong, she looked amazing in those outfits. But after watching Wonder Woman earlier this year, I Just don’t think she’d be wearing the tightest pants on this planet or a bodysuit with a plunging neck line. But that’s really where my complaints about this movie end.
After the movie, my wifey made the comment that even she couldn’t stop looking at Gal Gadot’s butt because the camera angles were so gratuitous.
Some of the complaints I’ve seen and heard about this movie is that it feels like two separate movies. Everyone knows Zach Snyder was at the original director on “Justice League,” but had to drop out due to a family tragedy. From there Joss Whedon oversaw the movie’s extensive reshoots and brought the production to the finish line. To tell you the truth though, I couldn’t tell you which director directed which parts of this movie. To me it was fun from start to finish.
I thought the action in the movie was good for the most part. The finale was typical DCEU stuff, something falling from the sky CGI all over the place type thing. However, I really enjoyed the other action pieces. Some standouts were the fight in Metropolis was awesome, when they first team-up under the island was cool too, as was the Amazons vs Steppenwolf sequence and Wonder Woman’s first scene.
Could some character have been fleshed out more? sure, Cyborg got the short straw there. But this was more than made up in his interactions with other League members. One of my favorite scenes in the movie was when Cyborg and Flash had to dig a grave in the cemetery. That one scene alone made me want to see a team-up between the two instead of a Flashpoint movie.
Another thing I liked was the on-screen chemistry between Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot. These two play well off each other, and I’m glad the filmmakers didn’t overplay the attraction between the two. It’s there, but it’s not a big focus of the story. There’s a scene in the movie where Wonder Woman has to set Bruce’s injured shoulder, its a simple scene, but it tells you all you need to know about their friendship.
Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash is the scene-stealer and brings loads of humor, and heart to the proceedings. His Speed Force powers are among the film’s best visual effects, and very different from what we see on the Flash CW show. Meanwhile, Jason Momoa is equally entertaining as Aquaman. He also doesn’t get much character development, but I’m guessing they’re saving that for his solo movie. Aquaman does get some fun scenes though, and I was happy with Momoa’s portrayal.
The supporting cast such as Martha Kent (Diane Lane) and Lois Lane (Amy Adams), as well as newcomers like Commissioner Gordon (J.K. Simmons) and Mera (Amber Heard), don’t get much to do. But we’ll see more of Mera next year, and J.K. Simmons looks awesome as Gordon. I’m guessing a lot of their scenes were left in the cutting room floor, which makes me one of those people that’s hoping for a longer version of the film when it hits blu-ray.
“Justice League” should have served as the end to the trio of DC comic book movies directed by Zack Snyder. But in many ways, “Justice League” serves as the launching point for the DCEU’s next chapter. And under good writers and directors, these heroes should have a very bright future.
“Justice League” final score: B