Batman: Hush (Animated)


The animated iteration of the acclaimed graphic novel is nothing short of surprising, particularly in the liberties it takes.


It took a while for it to really sink in, but I’ll say it now that this is both a faithful adaptation, but also something different. Following suit to Death of Superman, this is basically DC’s take on a classic story taking place in their new animated continuity that has been going since Flashpoint.

More or less the movie runs in tandem with the original comics, but there’s a few tweaks and add-ons to make it unique. In this version Damian is around, and the Batman/Catwoman relationship goes much deeper. There’s some villain swaps, such as Bane instead of Killer Croc, but perhaps the biggest shocker is Hush’s identity.

In the case of this movie it’s not actually Thomas Elliot that turns out to be the man under the bandages, but THE RIDDLER instead. It’s a slight change that doesn’t necessarily impact the story as a whole, but I feel like this alteration harms the story. The Riddler’s ravings during the finale, though founded, are hollow compared to the overall mystery surrounding Thomas Elliot’s Hush.

The butterfly effect they used on this movie is subtle and reasonable, but it does shatter a lot of what made the book so damn great.

Having said that, I still think this is a perfectly fine entry in the DC animated library. The classic blue bat-suit being observed through an almost anime-level scope is oh so satisfying, especially during the brief (better-than-Dawn-of-Justice) fight with Superman. The returning voice talents, too many to list here, is as always just as awesome. Though Jason O’Mara is no where near my favorite Batman, he always paves his place stronger than before.

So if you’re a fan of the original book, furthermore a purist, I’d be a little wary going into this movie, but if you’ve got an open mind and have the time, give Batman: Hush a watch.

TL;DR Score: I love Bane, I really do, but he had no genuine reason being in this movie.

Spider-Man/Deadpool, a retrospective

I know it’s a little past due, considering this series ended, what? A month ago? Two? I don’t know… honestly I never quite knew. Spider-Man/Deadpool was always that title I let stack up in my pull, and usually on a quiet Saturday morning every other season I would binge the five to ten issues that I had in stock, which is what I’ll probably miss the most about this series, but I’m getting a little ahead of myself here.


Spider-Man/Deadpool began as a fun, logical team-up book that was helmed by comic masters Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness. We saw an extended arc that produced Spider-Man and Deadpool’s ravenous … offspring? It was bizarre, but fitting. We also got to enjoy interlude issues by guest creators that granted us fun tales involving a roided out Santa Claus slaughtering the masses and even Penn and Teller (as writers, too! Seriously, check it out).

Cue MARVEL LEGACY, and the book got a slight, though brief, re-branding as Spider-Man VS Deadpool, with Robbie Thompson pulling the strings. The book follows a similar rhythm, though not quite the same. We get a lot more breaking of the fourth wall, more and more so until literally the final arc is a parody of comic book events and the actual breaking of said fourth wall.

This book goes the distance. Honestly, it could’ve kept going for all I care. Did it get a little too zany in the end? Maybe, but it was always for fun, and that’s why it never really lost steam. I don’t know why it got cancelled, but for what it’s worth this is a solid run of comics that pairs two fan favorites and it’s everything you might expect it to be. Still, there’s a lot of untapped potential that another fifty issues could have given us, but at least they ended it on a nice round number.

I still think the first chunk of the run before Legacy was the forte of the series, so for anyone who hasn’t dipped into it I’d suggest reading the first handful of trades, but if you have the time or the interest the entire run is worth consuming, even all the buffer stories. Oldies is probably the longest of the side stories, but it’s still entertaining. It only got a little frustrating bouncing back and forth from one arc to the other, but as collected editions it probably reads just fine.

If there’s a favorite portion I’d say the Road Trip story was my personal choice. They took advantage of the fourth wall in hilarious ways that never felt too forced, plus it was mostly just Spidey and Deadpool volleying off of one another, and it never lost flavor.

Seriously, does anybody know why this book got axed? I know comic book sales are all over the place these days, but I never heard anything bad about this book… unless I’m in the minority of people who love it. Oh well, either way it was fun while it lasted, and now I have to look for another book to let pile up for months on end…

TL;DR Score: …. waiiiit a minute… is it because I let it pile up that it got cancelled?

Immortal Hulk #1

I was so upset I missed out on this book when it launched, but now that Marvel Unlimited has amassed a decent amount I’m finally digging in, and honestly this is one of the best Hulk titles of late.


So if it wasn’t clear enough from the new title and stylistic cover, this is a more horror-minded version of the Hulk, and it’s nothing short of spectacular! It harkens back to the Hulk’s early days when he was just a freakish Frankenstein/Wolf Man type, maybe even now more than ever.

In case anybody is late to the party, Bruce Banner was killed by Hawkeye back during Civil War II, and it wasn’t until the No Surrender arc that we saw the Hulk’s miraculous return. Now the Hulk operates as a, more or less, night bound character (like the Wolf Man), who pops up as he pleases, or more specifically, if Bruce dies.

During this inaugural issue, we witness a gas station robbery that results in several dead bodies, including Bruce Banner’s, though he rises as the Hulk later on in the morgue. He tracks down the culprit, who’s nothing more than a lost punk of a kid, and brutalizes him and the gang he’s fallen under.

It’s awesome. The horror motif is an easy fit and I love the nods to the old TV show, to say nothing of a reporter named McGee tracking the Hulk. This book has some of the best elements of the green goliath and has been smoothly blended together to make a compelling story I’m excited to continue on with.

I am aware of some of the canon tampering to come, and a couple issues in I already see the threads, but I’m still curious, and it still stands on it’s own as a good read. This first issue is an instant recommendation for new Hulk readers.

TL;DR Score: Hullllk… friend?

Superman: Year One

I pity the people who boycotted this book, because those who didn’t grab a copy are missing out royally. No, I’m not gonna preach that this is the new status quo Superman origin like the marketing for this book might claim, certainly because it isn’t even over yet, but just on how much occurs here I can certainly say we have a new classic set for us.


For a black label book there’s not a lot of gratuity, which is nice. We all know Frank Miller is capable of it so the fact that he didn’t run a spree is a surprise, but there’s a fair share of mature themes and an edge that encapsulates a downright dramatic story that might not be ideal for an underage reader only interested in guys in tights fighting bad guys, so the rating is merited.

The book tells of the destruction of Krypton and Clark’s rise to manhood as he tests his mettle against the might of high school bullies. He courts Lana Lang, learns from the Kents, and seeks out his place by enlisting in the navy. It’s all woven together in that smooth Miller prose, and for the amount of pages contained here I was extremely captivated, and came away from it feeling like I experienced something akin to watching a movie. Comics don’t always deliver that kind of material, folks!

I’m also one of the lonely few that loves John Romita Jr. As the years go by his art becomes more refined and exceeds what comes before. Honestly, I think this is a crown jewel for him; one of the most gorgeous books I’ve ever read.

This story doesn’t trample on the Superman we all love, but simply takes on a unique scope that showcases a teenage Clark Kent in one of the more grounded versions of the character. Time will tell if that keeps in the coming installments, but for me I think this is gonna be one of the greats when it’s all said and done.

TL;DR: The cover might look a little skinny, but it’s simply a masquerade for the vast story within. (Also, he doesn’t look THAT slim, come on, people!)

Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of a Superhero (1975)

Well… I’m a little late finding out about this little concept album, but wow! For those who haven’t heard of this, I’d say just pop over to Spotify or YouTube and give this a listen, or read on and decide for yourself.

TL;DR: Rock artists contribute Spider-Man-inspired songs inspired by his greatest moments and characters, and Stan Lee shows up to narrate it.

I’m a fan of good old-fashioned rock n roll. Buddy Holly. Chuck Berry. All that stuff. I’m a Beatlemaniac and more, so learning that an album such as this existed was astounding. I’m still shocked I wasn’t aware of this!

The songs range from character pieces to theme songs, from Gwen Stacy to Doc Ock to the first and best of them all: “High Wire.” Seriously, if you don’t want to devote much time listening to the whole album, at least listen to the first couple tracks to get the gist of it.

For me, I’m also surprised these songs (namely High Wire) hasn’t made a drop into any of the movies yet, or most other pop culture surrounding the web-head. Mayhap it’s only a matter of time.

So if you’re looking for a nice gem from the ages of rock n roll, give Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of a Superhero a go.

TL;DR Score: I’m a man! I’m a Spiiii-der-MAAAAAAAN!

Venom (2018)

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Thanks to a free movie rental I got to check out that movie that was abuzz a few months back, for better or worse. Personally, I found it to be a lot better than I anticipated (hence why I saved it for a free rental) despite its setbacks.


First off, I was impressed by this movie quite early, namely when the space shuttle bearing a symbiote (I can’t remember if it was more than one or not, to be honest, it does happen fast) crash lands and one of the pilots is referred to as JAMESON. I was genuinely surprised. Most of the Spider-Man fan base has for years expected Venom on the big screen to source the 90s animated origins. The fact that we got the amount of it that we did so early got me right by the Spidey-nads.

However, it immediately cemented in my head that this was gonna be a movie that honors most expectations of what the first VENOM movie should have. The finale was so predictable within the first twenty minutes – it’s hilarious. Despite there being no Spider-Man in any way during this movie, it plays out similar to how it might have if the web-head had been present. I’m certain it still would have ended with a shuttle launch battle and a symbiote getting roasted.

Even so, this movie was fun all around. The violence is leashed by the PG-13 rating, though it doesn’t shy away to verbalize it all after the fact. So really they kind of get to have their cake and eat it too. We get to see a Venom that very much bites people’s heads off, but holding back on the gore actually makes him more approachable as a hero, especially when you see how he and Eddie Brock interact.

On that note, Tom Hardy is a solid Eddie Brock. When he was first cast I thought it was perfect, but honestly the direction he (and even the writers) went wasn’t quite the direction I would initially have thought for a character such as his, but then again I was still thinking of him as the clear opposition to Peter Parker… and considering there’s no Peter Parker in this movie obviously the character of Eddie Brock has to have some tweaks.

He’s a little more sensitive and overly righteous, but when he hits rock bottom (furthermore how exactly he hits rock bottom) he’s classic Eddie. He cheated his way to a scoop – sure, for the greater good, but getting his fiancee fired and losing all of his own credibility in town might not have been all that worth it. I actually really liked it, because it truly shows that no matter what you do to tweak this character, there’s some things about him that you can’t possibly change.

Venom is pretty much perfect. His banter with Eddie is hilarious and his thirst for violence and even a little justice is invigorating. I feel like he might be a little bit too animated at times, but I’m not complaining. It literally looks like a walking, talking, biting Venom. The only other thing you could do is throw in a little more drool as far as I’m concerned.

My only major nitpicks with this movie, for what it’s worth, is that the final battle with Riot is a bit of a mess on screen (two dark symbiotes battling it out at night might not have been the best call), but more importantly the fact that we never got to see Venom himself ride a motorcycle.

Seriously! There was solid five minutes of Eddie Brock riding a motorcycle, and none of the filmmakers thought for a moment how dope it would look if Venom was riding it instead? Missed opportunity, guys, come on!

OH! I also can’t believe how much Stan Lee’s cameo took me off guard! It was a great one, too!

TL;DR Score: No web-head to be found, but it stands pretty solid on its own.

Batman: Arkham VR (PSVR)

My wife splurged and got herself PSVR for her birthday recently, so me being the Arkham devotee that I am had no choice but to splurge on the sale price this game was marked up with online.

The best thirteen bucks I ever spent.

#spoilers? #notreally

Arkham VR is very much a demo game designed to showcase the capabilities of the then new VR tech of the PS4, while cashing in some more on the big bad bat, but the end result is surprising and thrilling to behold.

Even a couple years on, I gotta say the VR is pretty damn intuitive and engaging. I’ve only dipped my toes into VR gaming, but I gotta say the first time I started throwing batarangs from my utility belt so fluidly had me imagining the endless possibilities. The AR detective sequences are even more engaging than in the previous games as you use your own hands to observe and seek out the clues as you perform traditional Batman routine.

I’m a little surprised that there wasn’t a moment where you actually used your fists to beat up some goons or pilot a bat-vehicle, but I went into the game thinking small and got enough to chew on without those bigger moments. I was actually scared out of my wits at one point, so that’s saying something.

The moments where you got up close to other characters was eerie. I genuinely felt the boundary between VR and reality blur. Crazy stuff, but it brought a huge smile to my face.

The game only takes about an hour to crunch through, if that (I spent a lot of time gazing at the enormity of Gotham all around me), but I was happy to see the Riddler challenge that popped up post-credit. Riddler challenges are fine by me since I see myself playing through this game at least a couple more times both to 100% the trophies (as per Arkham norm) and for the sheer fun of it. I’m still in awe of actually stepping into the world that I’ve spent so many years witnessing from a couch.

More of this kind of stuff, please!

TL;DR Score: I’m Batman.

Spider-Man: Life Story #3 – The 80s


There’s a lot of love for Kraven going around in the realm of the web-head. Hunted has been awesome, but damn, this story brought some serious juice to the table.

We finally hit the Secret War with this one, and find that Peter Parker has married MJ and she’s just given birth to twins. Aunt May’s mind is also deteriorating, and if that doesn’t present some serious heartache I don’t know what will.

Anyhow, Pete attains the symbiote and uses it to overcome his fading youth and to uphold all the struggles of his life. Before long, a copycat Spider-Man shows up killing people with a rifle, and so Pete ditches the symbiote for the classic red and blue. When he faces the copycat, he meets an aged Kraven, dying slowly of cancer. Like Last Hunt, Kraven “kills” Spidey and buries him. This time however, it is the symbiote that rescues Pete, practically transforming him into Venom. He tracks down Kraven and is very close to ending him when MJ intervenes, subduing the symbiote with one of Peter’s inventions.

In the end MJ leaves with the kids and Peter stays to care for Aunt May. There’s also a tease of Kraven joining with the symbiote just as he’s about to kill himself much like in the comics, so that should prove a bountiful plot.

I adore this story. It moves a little fast and relies on the reader having a substantial knowledge of Spidey and the Marvel universe, but I feel like a casual fan could still find some enjoyment. Seeing all these characters age is neat, and maybe a little somber. It’s got that doom and gloom vibe like most of these grounded superhero stories, but I suppose for a character like Spider-Man that makes sense. A person overflowing with bad luck, this is likely what his life would look like in the more realistic scope of things.

It’s also a nice reminder of the fantasy we readers grow used to. This isn’t the 616 where the characters never really age and the bad is outlasted by the good. This is a version of that world with real consequences and a ticking clock. I’m excited to see in each issue how the reality of our world intervenes with a growing Marvel universe, but am also filled with the dread of knowing that the silver in Peter’s hair is on the horizon, and like as not his final hour.

TL;DR Score: Zdarsky proves himself a master of Spider-Man as a satire AND a drama.

ALIAS – The Secret Origins of Jessica Jones

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So I finished Alias. Got around to picking up volumes three and four on FCBD, and I gotta say, I’m only sad that there isn’t more. Sure, there’s The Pulse, and even the recent run of J. Jones, but this initial run was something special.


It goes without saying that this particular volume covers the origin of Jessica Jones, as well as her confrontations with the Purple Man. In terms of how she attained her powers, Jessica gains them when she and her family are caught in a car crash with a military vehicle bearing questionable materials. Her family dies and she determines to utilize her abilities to become a superhero. It’s short-lived however when the Purple Man abducts her for months and ultimately sends her on a suicide mission to kill Daredevil/members of the Avengers. She ends up getting into a scuffle with them after punching out Scarlet Witch right in front of Vision (yeah, he gets pretty peeved), and it ends pretty quickly. Everybody makes nice considering she was under the Purple Man’s control, and so she decides to hang up her costume permanently.

In the present, Jessica is approached by families that have been wronged by the Purple Man, seeking only his public confession to the murders of their loved ones. Jones confronts him in prison with no luck, but there’s a whole lot of breaking of the fourth wall on the Purple Man’s end – it’s hilarious. Not long after there’s a breakout and the Purple Man is free. He and Jones face each other and he is about to loose her on the masses, but thanks to a mind-trigger placed by Jean Grey after her first foray with the Purple Man, Jessica is able to overcome his powers and bring him down.

I’ll say, it’s not as big as I’d expected from what I’ve heard, especially with regards to the Netflix series, but it’s still pretty spectacular. Really, it feels like the more grounded comic book version (if that makes any sense), because of course the Purple Man would be defeated so swiftly as opposed to his stance in the show. I’ve always liked the Purple Man, especially on the Daredevil front, and seeing him here was quite unique and invigorating for the character. I’m always up for a good story with him.

Also, one of my big takeaways from ALIAS was the fact that Jessica Jones and Scott Lang had some form of a relationship, so much so that I actually found myself rooting for the guy despite knowing the impending relationship Jones would have with Luke Cage. Lo and behold, that happened a lot sooner than I expected when Jones finds out she’s pregnant with Luke’s baby and Scott obviously doesn’t take it too well. Still, the final pages as Jones and Cage’s relationship rapidly blooms is beautiful, so you’ll excuse me while I go dig into the PULSE to fill in the final gap between this and New Avengers.

TL;DR Score: Mark Bagley as guest-artist for the flashbacks? Top notch.

Dead Man Logan #7



So Logan is back in the Wastelands, and he’s making lots of miles after being gone so long. He starts off by having a run in with people living in Lizard turf (yeah, THE Lizard, but we don’t see him here), steals their truck, and crosses country. It’s not long before he gets ambushed and captured – by a gang of cannibals no less.

That’s the big takeaway from this issue: Logan being harvested by cannibals. It’s disturbing, and honestly I can’t believe I’ve never seen this idea portrayed before, because it’s genius. There’s a lot of freaks out there in the Marvel universe, if not Logan, then you’d think at least somebody might consider the idea of harvesting somebody who regenerates for sustenance.

Weeks upon weeks pass and all seems an utter loss for Logan, but he ends up being rescued by Dani Cage and Bruce Jr., whom we learn from that seven years has passed since Logan’s departure from the Wastelands.

Lastly, we learn that an older, more cybernetic Sabretooth is on the trail of Logan. OoOoOooh!

It’s a good one. Honestly, I’ll probably write a retrospect when this is all over, but the entire Old Man Logan run has been spectacular. It’s one of those few titles that’s well put together and that when it’s all said and done will be fun to revisit years down the road. Definitely worthy of a trade or omnibus set in my collection.

TL;DR Score: It feels like a slow fall as Logan comes in on his end, but there’s promise of one hell of a show.