Posts Tagged ‘Iron Man’

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It’s here, it’s here! Marvel’s big Summer event series has arrived. Time to find out if it lives up to the hype.

After the Avengers are able to preemptively stop a massive attack from happening due to some information from the Inhumans, Iron Man hosts a party in Stark Tower and invites all of the heroes who helped save the day. The heroes learn just how the Inhumans learned about the attack and the revelation immediately causes some skepticism and dissension among the costumed adventurers. The conflict is presented immediately, the battle lines are drawn, and the casualties begin to mount a lot quicker than you might expect.

As previously mentioned, writer Brian Michael Bendis wastes no time in getting right into the the conflict for this series, and honestly, I’m okay with that. We don’t really need grand introductions to these characters’ mentalities and reasons for why they feel their way is best. If you step back and look at each side, you ultimately have to admit that both make valid arguments. I also have to give proper kudos to Bendis for coming up with a genuine, morally thought-provoking conflict for the heroes to fight over. That couldn’t have been easy following the landmark Civil War series from the last decade. What I was very surprised by were how quickly the casualties arrive. I would not have expected that kind of action for at least another issue or two.

David Marquez’s artwork is very clean. There isn’t a lot of huge action in this issue, but the little bit that we do get is well drawn. However, I think Marquez’s true talent is in the up close and personal scenes, of which we do get quite a few here. He has a real talent for wringing emotion and drama out of character faces. For an issue where the last few pages are both emotional and dramatic, that talent came in quite handy.

Admittedly, I’ve been pretty critical of Bendis’ ability to write a solid event book in the past, but this one seems to be off to a pretty good start. Which is equally impressive considering the long shadow of the previous Civil War event series and this Summer’s blockbuster MCU movie as well. The interesting premise combined with Marquez’s solid artwork should hopefully make for a series that can live up to it’s name. I look forward to reading the next few issues.

The Verdict for Civil War II #1:
4 out of 5

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Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

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So, the second big superhero faceoff movie of the summer is here, and it is an overwhelming experience. Does that equate to a cinematic success, or an overburdened stumble? You’ll have to keep reading to find out!

Captain America: Civil War begins with an operation in Nigeria to capture Brock Rumlow, aka Crossbones. The plan goes south and results in the deaths of many civilians, and in the wake of the previous destruction New York (Avengers), Washington, DC (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), and Sokovia (Avengers: Age of Ultron), the United Nations drafts a resolution to keep powered individuals in check and hold them responsible for their actions. This film is the culmination of eight years of Marvel Cinematic Universe story lines. I sincerely mean that. There are story threads here that started in the very first Iron Man movie and have worked their way through most of the films since.

The Russo brothers craft an intense action epic here. The fight set-pieces are over the top and everything that I would expect from a large-scale superhero film. But it’s not all fighting, there’s a deeper emotional element to the movie as well. Captain America (Chris Evans) stands firm on the idea that the Avengers are best left alone, and not at the mercy of a UN task force who picks and chooses where they should and should not intervene. On the other hand Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), suffers from immense guilt after the events of Age of Ultron and argues that the heroes need some rules and guidelines to live by. It’s so difficult to pick a side and deem one as the “bad guy” because both of their arguments have merit, and that’s where the true conflict of this story lies.

Evans and Downey give solid performances as the two leads, and the personal conflict between their two characters is realistic. However, the true standout performance in this movie is Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther. The character gets a fitting introduction, and Boseman plays him well, often stealing scenes from some of the other heavy hitters in the film. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is a fun and light-hearted take on the character, and the young actor plays it well, even if the character’s inclusion in the film feels just slightly tacked on.

I do have a couple of complaints about the movie. For one, I feel the writers played the story a little too safely. I almost wish they would have taken a few more risks and made the stakes for these characters a little higher. A little more uncertainty would definitely make the future of the franchise a little more fun to anticipate. Secondly, while I feel the movie worked as a whole, parts of it did seem a little overstuffed. Not nearly to the extent of certain other superhero movies this year *cough*BatmanvsSuperman*cough*, but crowded nonetheless.

At the end of the day, Disney, Marvel, and the Russos prove that a big budget hero vs. hero movie can work, but it’s not something that can be done overnight.  As I mentioned before, Civil War is the culmination of nearly a decade of story lines. These characters have known and interacted with one another frequently in that time span, tensions and relationships have been built, and that makes a whole lot more sense than these icons just instantly hating one another. It’s not without its flaws, but it sure was a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

The Verdict for Captain America: Civil War:
4 out of 5

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Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

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One of the most anticipated new titles for Marvel’s relaunch dropped last Wednesday with All-New All Different Avengers #1.  This issue finds the new team lineup all sort of doing their own thing, until Iron Man, Captain America (Sam Wilson), and Spider-Man (Miles Morales) are brought together through some strangely incidental circumstances.  We also get a very brief scene involving Ms. Marvel and Nova, but Thor and the Vision are strangely absent here despite their presence on the issue’s cover.  As far as a “team” goes, it looks like we’re not quite there just yet with this group.

Writer Mark Waid gives us a slightly disjointed tale in this comic.  As mentioned above there is a VERY brief introductory scene and then the book more or less jumps straight into the action which apparently led up to that moment.  There is no real team just yet, but Stark and Cap have an interesting discussion regarding the lack of a team carrying the official Avengers name, and I have my ideas as to where the story will go from here.  The narrative does jump around a little bit, and some characters just happen to be in the right place at the right time, which seems to be slightly contrived.  The main villain seems to show up out of nowhere, so I’m hoping future issues will give a little backstory, because there seem to be a lot of holes that need filling.

Adam Kubert and Mahmud Asrar take the art chores here and both do a solid job.  Kubert gets the main part of the story, and Asrar gets a little back story in the final pages detailing the first meeting of Ms. Marvel and Nova.  Asrar does particularly well with the more personal story and the facial emotions of the characters involved.  Kubert does well with the larger action story, where he’s really able to show his talent for expressing movement and big events.

To be honest, I kind of wished they might have started a little bit slower.  I get the desire to jump right in and get people attracted to the action, but it doesn’t leave much room for the characters to get to know one another and interact on that more personal level.  That being said, I’m only one issue into this storyline, so my sincere hope is that there will be more personal moments between the characters in the upcoming issues to really establish solid relationships with one another.  If the current model continues this series will be lots of style with little substance.  I did enjoy the issue, but I would have liked a little more story.

The Verdict for All-New All-Different Avengers #1:
4 out of 5

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Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

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The alternate universe, Secret Wars version of Civil War came to an end last with with issue #5.  Unfortunately it seems to have ended more with a whimper than a bang.  The massive battle that the story has been leading up to since the first issue is at hand, but we don’t really see too much of it, and realistically it’s over before you know it.  I won’t say too much to avoid spoilers, but I will say that it’s not completely unsatisfying.  Soule’s story works.  Maybe not the way you would expect, or particularly even want it to, but it works nevertheless.  Yu’s artwork continues to have a sparse quality about it that also fits well with this story.  In short, this wasn’t the best Secret Wars tie-in series, but it was entertaining, provided some surprises, and had a fitting ending.

The Verdict for Civil War #5:
4 out of 5

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Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.