WLG #371: A Post-Captain America World!A column article by: Paul Brian McCoy
Holy crap! Did you see Captain America this weekend?
What do you mean you were busy? What's wrong with you people? (This is a question I ask myself again and again.) It was only the best Marvel Movie yet!
I just saw it again today and for a 2-hour plus film, it held up remarkably well. So much so, that I have no qualms about calling it my favorite superhero film yet.
And I loved Iron Man 1 and 2.
There's just something about an unapologetic good person doing everything he can to be the best that he can be. Sure he used experimental drugs to enhance his performance, but it was wartime! Do you think Hitler wasn't juicing up?
Anyway, it was a refreshing take on the genre and demonstrated, to me at least, that the grim and gritty approach that everyone loved so well in The Dark Knight is just silly. This is what I want from a superhero movie: A movie about a superhero.
And yet, I still have no interest in Superman.
I am now officially counting the days until The Avengers hits the big screen!
Anyway, here's What Looks Good this week.
MISFITS (HULU) 2.01
Kelly, Alisha, Curtis and Simon still grieve over Nathan when the mysterious masked man reappears helps them discover that Nathan is still alive. Back at the community centre, the gang awaits a new probation worker and a shape shifter who causes some troubles for the gang.
1.01 & 1.02
This is a little late, but Season Two begins today on Hulu!
If you haven't been watching this show, then what's wrong with you? You call yourself a comics fan? This show is the best exploration of the superhero genre on television and it only gets better with Season Two.
Season One was all about finding our who our heroes were and what they were capable of – beyond killing their probation workers. Season Two is all about them becoming more than just ASBO kids with powers.
Plus, in this episode, we are re-introduced to the mysterious Super Hoodie!
Trust me. You'll want to stick around to discover who is hiding behind the mask. And the hoodie.
Television superheroes doesn't get better than this.
TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY (STARZ/BBC) Episode 4 "Escape To LA" 10:00PM
The Torchwood team follows PhiCorp to California to continue the fight, but walk straight towards a trap. Elsewhere, Oswald and Jilly face their own adversary.
Episode 1 "The New World"
Episode 2 "Rendition"
Episode 3 "Dead of Night"
I'm an episode behind thanks to SDCC weekend, but I have faith in this program. If there was ever a possible inheritor to the UK TV Sci-fi crown from Nigel Kneale's Quatermass adventures, Torchwood is seriously lobbying for it.
This has all the qualities that Kneale included in his classic stories. Paranoia, thrills, alien threats, and social commentary, all wrapped up in a nicely horrifying package.
I'm still not sure about the whole Pedophile Murderer storyline, but I have hope. Plus, Bill Pullman is chewing the scenery as though his teeth were made of steel, which is both a good and a bad thing.
It's good because it gives some life to a storyline and a character that would otherwise be kind of hard to get interested in. It's bad because it threatens to teeter over into self-parody. I'm hoping we continue to avoid the latter.
However, the best thing about the show is, as usual, Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper. When she swings into action the show just amplifies the good until it borders on greatness.
I may have a problem.
BREAKING BAD (AMC) 4.03 "Open House" 10:00PM
4.01 "Box Cutter"
As we go to press, I'm still an episode behind (it aired last night), but it really doesn't matter.
This is the best show on television right now.
There's simply nothing better in terms of acting, writing, or directing. No, there's nothing superheroic or science fictiony about the program. It's just about a science teacher and a drug dealer who work together to cook the best meth in the world!
Oh. And all the trouble that cooking the best meth in the world brings down on their heads.
This season's premiere episode was about as good as premieres get and I seriously have a hard time waiting a week between episodes.
If you haven't been watching this, DVR the new episodes while you rent the discs and get caught up. You won't be sorry.
I've seriously never met anyone who has watched this show and not thought it was amazing. You will too.
IRONCLAD $29.99/24.99 (Directed by Jonathan English)
In 13th-century England, a small group of Knights Templar fight to defend Rochester Castle against the tyrannical King John.
Oh hells yeah.
From what I understand, this isn't the greatest movie about Knights Templar fighting bloody war, but it may be the most violent, bloody, and entertaining one.
Plus, it has Paul Giamatti as King John and James Purefoy as a Knight. There has never been a disappointing movie/tv show that had James Purefoy wielding a sword and killing people.
Well, sure. The shows or movies as a whole may have been disappointing, but James Purefoy's contributions never are.
Did I forget to mention that Brian Cox and Derek Jacobi are also in this bloodthirsty medieval romp? From what I understand the entire back half of the movie is the castle siege and it's about the most bloody, violent hour or so of a film in ages.
SUPERNATURAL: THE ANIME SERIES $49.98/54.98
SUPERNATURAL: THE ANIME SERIES revisits the Winchester brothers’ journey down the backroads of America as they search for clues to their father’s disappearance, hunt down the supernatural in all its unearthly forms, and enter into the unexpected mystery of their destinies.
Somebody somewhere had the bright idea to take the first season of Supernatural and retell some of the episodes (and provide additional adventures) in animated form. And not just animated, but in full-on anime style.
And according to the skinny on the streets, it's pretty damned good.
Which comes as a bit of a surprise, but then, I'm always surprised by just how well Supernatural is able to do anything and everything.
It's another couple of months until we get new episodes of my favorite currently-running horror dramedy, so I'm very intrigued by these discs. I don't know if I'm intrigued enough to buy them, but if Netflix has them, I'll be checking them out at my earliest convenience.
CAPTAIN SWING #4 (of 4) $3.99 (Warren Ellis / Raulo Caceres)
What do you do when you find out that everything you thought you knew about the history of your country and, in fact, the whole world is not necessarily the whole truth? That the Laws of Man and Science have been bent into all sorts of unsavory positions? There's no going back now for Charlie Gravel... he'll just have to hold on for dear life as this electrical romance careens to it's thrilling conclusion. It is the time of Captain Swing and his Electrical Pirates, and history will never be the same. This historical science-fiction piratical romance by Warren Ellis is illustrated in Raulo Caceres' stunning woodcut style, and presented in full color.
I'll believe it when I see it.
I don't even remember what was going on in this series. I seem to remember interesting art, if not the greatest art.
There were crazy sky pirates, right? Flying ships in the Eighteen Hundreds or something?
It's not the "woodcut style" that's been holding this series up, has it? Caceres knows he doesn’t actually have to carve wood blocks, right? He can fake that with pen and ink.
If this actually does hit the stands this week, at least it allows me to cross another title off my pull list.
Now where's Anna Mercury 2?
CAPTAIN AMERICA AND BUCKY #620 $2.99 (Ed Brubaker & Mark Andreyko / Chris Samnee)
Think you know the story of Cap and Bucky's origins? Well, think again. The secret story of the early days of Captain?America, told from Bucky Barnes's point of view. From co-writers Ed Brubaker and Marc Andreyko with artist Chris Samnee (Thor: The Mighty Avenger).
I wasn't sure about this one. I mean, I've been reading Captain America regularly since Brubaker came on board. I thought his reimagining of Bucky was one of the strongest parts of the whole run. I wasn't sure there was anything else that I really needed to know about the relationship between Cap and Bucky.
But then I saw the preview art by Chris Samnee and was sold.
If you're not familiar with Samnee's work, as it says in the solicitation there, he was on the critically-acclaimed, yet poorly sold, Thor: The Mighty Avenger. But he's been doing awesome work for a while now. I think the first time I saw his work it was on Daredevil: Blood of the Tarantula and I was hooked.
He also did fantastic work on Agents of Atlas a few years ago. And if you go to his blog, you'll see some of the most awesome black and white art you'll ever lay your eyes on.
So, while I don't know if I really need to know more about Bucky and Cap teaming up for the first time, I'll pick this up for the art alone.
You should too.
The man has a new baby to feed.
Throw him a bone.
FF #7 $2.99 (Jonathan Hickman / Greg Tocchini)
The Return of the King. Black Bolt is back and is determined to reclaim his throne.
I have to say, I was surprised that the last issue of this comic spent the whole time following Black Bolt and the Inhumans, with no actual appearance by Reed, the kids, or the FF. And I also didn't really care.
It was that good.
I haven't really been paying attention, but I imagine there was a smattering of grumbles about the pacing here. Well, too freaking bad. If Hickman has a weakness, it's that his work doesn’t translate quite as well as it should in the monthly single format.
His work demands to be read in huge swaths. Readers these days aren't as attentive as they used to be, and if they aren't spoon-fed everything every issue, they get cranky.
Just look at the reaction to the greatest Nick Fury adventure ever, Secret Warriors.
If we were sitting back and reading FF as a graphic novel, with each issue presented as a chapter that you could immediately move on from, we'd see right off the bat just how the pacing works. In a larger work, you can spend a chapter (or two) exploring other narrative threads before bringing it all together farther on down the line.
And that's what's going on here.
Hickman is laying out a huge story and I, for one, can't wait to see how it all plays out.
If you bastards will just keep buying long enough to allow him to finish in his own time.
Seriously. What is wrong with you people?
THE MIGHTY THOR #4 $3.99 (Matt Fraction / Olivier Coipel)
ASGARD RISES AGAINST GALACTUS! The World Eater has come for something buried deep within the heart of Fallen Asgard. As Odin leads an assault wave of gods against Galactus, a wounded Thor must contend with the Silver Surfer once more! All of which leaves Volstagg and Kid Loki in charge of the Shining City for an afternoon. What could possibly go wrong?
I'm digging this series so much it's not funny.
It's everything that horribly plotted JMS series wasn't. It's got cosmic-scale action and adventure. It's got crazy science-magic. It's got Thor and Sif getting it on.
That's what a Thor comic is supposed to be like.
It's heavy metal, not easy listening.
It's about world crashing danger and violence, not about crying about how daddy didn't respect me.
I do not understand a comic buying public that thought JMS' version of Depressed Thor was a series worth pursuing. Especially given its sporadic publishing schedule.
But then, I don't understand a lot about the comic buying public these days. Hell, you all seem entranced by DC's 52 new titles. I couldn't care less.
But then I'm a Marvel Baby. Have been since I was old enough to read. That's around five or six, wiseasses.
Anyway, this is the Thor comic I've wanted since I was little and read about him sailing through space in a Viking ship fighting aliens and learning about himself. As far as I'm concerned it was a mistake to link Asgard to Oklahoma or wherever. It shows a remarkable lack of vision and imagination.
Thankfully, with this series and Fear Itself it looks like Fraction is fixing that cock-up once and for all.
At least I hope so.
SECRET WARRIORS #28 $2.99 (Jonathan Hickman / Greg Tocchini)
Over two years in the making, see how everything ends after last month's shocking conclusion. What will happen to Nick Fury? Who lives? Who dies? What is the stunning new direction for the remnants of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Marvel Universe? Find out in Secret Warriors #28 -- it's 'Wheels within Wheels,' Part 5: FINALE
Well, it's finally here.
I've been dreading this. What started out as the greatest Nick Fury story in Marvel history has been hamstrung by poor sales which forced the shortening of the story to the point where we're just missing the texture and timing that was initially planned.
It hasn't been bad, though. Hickman is nothing if not a professional, and he's been able to pull as many of his narrative threads together as humanly possible (and hell, they gave him an extra issue when all was said and done), so I really want to see what he does with the last bit of time he's been given.
And don't forget!
I BLAME YOU ALL.
And on that note...
Be sure to stop by the message boards and let me know what you think Looks Good this week!
Until next time, Adios!