Cullen Bunn and Salva Espin’s “Deadpool Kills Deadpool”

Deadpool Kills DeadpoolBefore this, I’d never read a Deadpool book.  I’ve seen excerpts of stuff online, so I knew a fair bit about him.  I know he knows he’s a fictional character.  I know he’s hamburger faced.  I know he likes killing.  I know he’s Canadian.  I know he’s annoying, and I know he won’t die.  From what I’ve seen, that seems to sum him up entirely.  To the best of my knowledge, Deadpool stories can be serious, but for the most part, they’re bloodbath soaked foolishness.

I’ve wanted to read a Deadpool title for a while now, because many of the excerpts I’ve seen actually had me laughing out loud.  I also remember about 10 years ago, when he got a relaunched monthly title that seemed like it might be something I’d be interested in.  I passed it up, though, because I could barely afford the Masters of the Universe titles and mass quantities of Heroclix I was picking up weekly.

I saw this title hit the shelves a few months back, and thought “Meh, seems like a good enough point to jump in”.  The title, Deadpool Kills Deadpool, sounds like it would be the bloodbath soaked foolishness variety of story, which suits me just fine, if that’s what I’m expecting.

I’ve been staring at this introduction for a while now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to figure out a way to talk about something that precisely meets my expectations, when my expectations start with “Meh.”

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Thor: The Dark World (2013)

ThorThe Dark WorldThere’s an old Norse saying:  “When the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars then peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars.”  At least I think that’s an old Norse saying.  I might be confusing it with something else.

In Thor:  The Dark World Chris Hemworth once again dons hammer and cape of the Odinson, Thor.  This time, the fate of the entire 9 realms is in his hands.  A phenomenon known as “The Convergence”, the alignment of all 9 realms, approaches.  This once-every-five-millenia occurence causes all sorts of bizarre spatial and gravitational side effects on each realm, which offers the evil Dark Elf Malekith  a chance to put them all at risk.

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Neil Gaiman & John Romita, Jr.’s “Eternals”

47694[1]This is a solid enough soft reboot of a series I knew nothing about. The Eternals are a race of immortal beings created to guard and protect the Earth from whatever various threats, from both without and within.  These beings were mistaken for gods by primitive mankind throughout the history of civilization, and were the foundation for many of our myths.  They once raged a war against a race of beings known as “The Deviants”.  Some time after that… something mysterious happened, and now only one of the Eternals, Ike Harris, remembers anything about their near-million-year history.

I now know that The Eternals was a new series created for Marvel by Jack Kirby in his Craziness-In-Space 70s phase.  It ran for about 20 issues, and is reasonably well regarded.  Certainly, it looked pretty.  The characters were folded into the Marvel Universe, and some were used from time-to-time over the next 30 or so years.  Looking for something exciting to work on after the success of 1602, Marvel and Gaiman hooked up once again, and re-introduced the Eternals.

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Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin’s “Dr. Strange: The Oath”

Dr Strange The OathSo in addition to it being Star Wars Day, May the 4th was also Free Comic Book Day, a day designed to get folks out to their Local Comic Book Store (LCBS for the nerdier among us) and get free stuff.  The major publishers put out a few reprints, and the odd original work.  The LCBSes usually run all sorts of sales to catch the wallets of the patrons like bottom trawlers.  Every year I swear I’m not going in, because I hate crowds, and I always buy something I probably don’t need.  Every year I end up there anyway.

Finding this series was one of those fated moments.  I was only in the LCBS because my brother wanted to see what sales they had on their used video games.  After torturing him and his wallet by drawing his attention to two normally overpriced ATLUS titles, I headed over to the longboxes to avoid making a $40+ purchase myself.

Now, Dr. Strange is a character I’ve always been interested in, but never enough to seek out a title where he’s the head-liner.  I hadn’t even heard of this series before I saw it in the longbox that day.  What caught my eye under his name, though, was the name of one of my favourite writers working in comics today, Brian K. Vaughan.  I haven’t read his entire body of work yet, but I haven’t come across a title written by him that I haven’t enjoyed.  At $1 an issue, the trawlers had caught my wallet once again.

Writer Brian K. Vaughan and penciller Marcos Martin’s Dr. Strange:  The Oath is a 5 issue limited series from 2006, featuring Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme as he attempts to find a mystical cure for his cancer-ridden Apprentice/Butler/Manservant, Wong.  Along the way, they meet the Night Nurse, a young doctor who has made a name for herself by running an exclusive after hours clinic to patch up costumed vigilantes.  The trio track down a mysterious thief who has stolen Wong’s one chance for survival.

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Iron Man 3 (2013)

Iron Man 3Robert Downey Jr. returns to the big screen again as Tony “Iron Man” Stark in Iron Man 3.  It’s the flagship title of Marvel Films “Phase 2”, kicking of another series of movies leading up to Avengers 2.  In the wake of the events of The Avengers, Tony finds himself having a hard time adjusting to his experience fighting of a legion of aliens, lead by an angry Norse God.  Acknowledging his own mortality, and the fact that he’s just “a man in a can” has left him sleepless and reclusive.  Adding to the troubles is the appearance of frightening cultural Hodge-Podge of  a terrorist, The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), who’s been linked to 9 mysterious explosive attacks on American interests around the world.

Distracted and distant, Tony is once again at risk of losing the one thing he fights so hard to protect, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), when a man from their past, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) returns with a business proposal.  Between blowing up all the bad guys, Tony once again has to set himself on a course of learning personal responsibility and what it means to grow up.

My head’s rolling around after this one.  It really is.  By all rights, this movie should be fucking terrible, and I should hate it.  I don’t know how to write this review without spoiler-upon-spoiler, but I’m going to try.  I want to rip it apart and then explain why none of it matters.  I’m bordering on making another Red Pill/Blue Pill set of reviews here.  Instead, I can only say what I feel:  I had a fucking blast watching this movie.  If you can turn off your brain, and just enjoy RDJ being Tony Stark, and like watching big explosions, then this is the show for you.

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The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The Amazing Spider-ManI was very, very against the making of this movie from the first moments I heard about it.  I had several objections, but the largest one was that I really didn’t feel that Spider-man 3 had failed so terribly that we needed to revisit Peter Parker’s origin.  I felt that was covered perfectly in the first movie.

Sure, Gwen Stacy wasn’t there, and Mary Jane was, there were organic rather than home-made webshooters… but they weren’t… aren’t… the main focus of Peter’s origin.  The main focus is Uncle Ben, the acquisition of great power, and the consequences of a lack of great responsibility.  That’s all handled brilliantly in Raimi’s masterpiece.

So to hear that we were going to visit that again so soon, while attempting to make it more “realistic” and “grounded”… my FGWG feathers rustle.  I avoided this movie for a long time.  Almost six months exactly, apparently.  I guess that’s not really that long… but it felt like it.  If 13 year old me knew that 33 year old me was avoiding a movie about Spider-man, 13 year old me would have a cow, man.

I didn’t wait a specific planned amount of time, or anything.  Teletoon was running a Spider-man cartoon marathon yesterday, which got me thinking about this movie.  That combined with the (on average) good things I’ve heard and a post about fanboyish prejudice of entertainment at williamjepma’s blog, got me thinking about how I should give it a chance.  I love movies.  I love Spider-man.  I should love even a mediocre Spider-man movie.  So, I kept my expectations low, and gave it a shot.

I didn’t hate it.

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X-Men: First Class (2011)

X-Men:  First Class is a small indie picture from earlier this year.  You probably haven’t heard of it.  It deals with a group of young adults railing against the evils of Corporate America at the turn of the century and their influence on the Columbine tragedy, while subtly touching on the subject of net-neutrality and the dangers of an internet without Freedom of Speech.

X-Men: First Class (2011)

All joking aside, I fucking loved this movie.  I’m super pissed that I let the dark side get the better of me, and avoided it in the theatre.

Things that I loved:

Pacing.  You hear me complain about it a lot.  I do this because most movies today suffer from horrible pacing.  They’re too slow in the slow parts.  They’re too fast in the fast parts.  Not here.  The pacing is perfect.

Action.  When I watch a comic book movie, particularly an X-Men movie, I want action.  I want it to be good.  I want it to make me sit up in my seat, at the edge.  I want to see awesome powers being used to fuck people up in creative ways.  I want to scream “Fuck yeah!” when some random asshole guard gets fucked up by ridiculous mutant powers.  I did all that.
Character.  The only thing that is almost as awesome as mutant powers, is the dynamic character that the best X-People have.  Make no mistake:  This is the story of Professor X, Magneto, Mystique, Beast and Kevin Bacon (I knew there was a reason he doesn’t seem to have aged since Tremors.)  The others are tack on characters that don’t matter.  Who cares about Banshee?  (No one.  No, not even you, lone objector in the comments.  No one.)  This is about the big characters.  Their story is interesting.  Their reactions and emotions are believable, and stay in character… or rather… form the character.

We see the important moments in the lives of Chuck, Hank, Erik and Raven that shape their future.  Their origin, if you will.  In an origin story?  That’s crazy talk!  It shouldn’t be surprising that you’d see the origins of characters in an origin story…  but they’ve been fucked up so hard in the past (I’m looking at you, Lucas) that it’s actually damn near astonishing to see one that’s done well.

Cameos.  They were excellent.

Building a Universe.  Marvel Studios has been getting a lot of credit for building their non-mutant Marvel Movie Universe, heading towards The Avengers next year.  While I agree with all that praise, I have to nod towards Fox and the Mutant Marvel Universe they’re creating.  Even with the steaming pile of shit that was X3, and the ridiculous, but fun, romp that was Origins: Wolverine, they seem to laid the groundwork for another trilogy, or more, with this picture.  There are plenty of stories to be told with these characters still, and I’m looking forward to them.

Things that I didn’t love:


The Fat Guy With Glasses in me can’t always get past the little details… and here it’s no different.  I’m watching the movie and thinking to myself…  “Isn’t Raven even older than Chuck?  I thought she was, like, Wolverine old.”  “That’s not the right Angel!” “That’s not the original class at all!” “Hank’s hair looks like shit!” “I thought Kevin Bacon already learned a valuable lesson about playing chicken in Footloose!”  Turn off that voice.  You know you can do it.  Just shut it off and everything will be fine.

The poster art.  Look at that photoshop disaster.  Chuck’s head looks like Matt Stone and/or Trey Parker cut it out in cardboard and taped it there, guy.  Mags looks like he’s in the middle of walking down the runway, seconds away from stopping us all in our tracks with Blue Steel.  The only one that isn’t looking like a tool is, of course, Kevin Bacon, who is obviously now the frontrunner to replace Daniel Craig as 007 in the next movie.

That’s it, though.  I loved everything else.  At least, I don’t remember anything else I hated.  I’ve heard some people complain that January Jones was too distant as Emma Frost…  These are probably the people that complained that Eric Bana was too distant as Bruce Banner.  Or that Christian Bale seemed stiff as Batman.

Final Thoughts:


Re…. memm…  ‘Member that part where the guy was teleporting all over the place, and dropping lackeys from the sky and then Bacon basically walks in through some rubble like Vader at the beginning of Star Wars and blows the crap out of that guy that does the stuff?  FLABOOM!  Yeah… that was awesome.

5/5