Spider-man Homecoming review

So I have had some time to think about whether or not I loved Spider-Man Homecoming or not and while I absolutely loved a lot about it, there were things about it I thought could have been done a lot different.  Beyond this point there are spoilers.  One of the more clever moments in the movie happens at the beginning when we see Peter creating a home video of his mission to Berlin to fight with the avengers in Civil War essentially making a movie inside a movie.  I had a ton of fun watching these scenes mostly because it was clever but primarily because it captures the essence of the wonder of what it might be like to be a teen asked to help out the Avengers on a mission.  Tom Holland does a great job as a hyper teenager with over exuberant need to be more than just a teen.  After the mission Peter is told “we’ll call you if we need you” but instead of treating it like the brush off it is, he uses it as an excuse to hound Happy, Stark’s chauffeur, into letting him in on an Avenger’s mission.  Stark does let Peter keep the suit

The movie takes place after the battle of New York.   A construction team, headed up by Adrian Toomes( The Vulture) is recovering Chitauri weaponry from wreckage sites when Damage Control, Tony Stark’s clean up crew, takes over and steals the job from Adrian but not without retaining some of the technology that they keep to sell to other criminals.

Spidey finds out about this by thwarting a bank robbery that causes a lot of property damage when the technology malfunctions.  

It becomes Peter Parker’s mission to thwart the weapons ring much to the chagrin of Tony Stark.  Eventually, Peter’s desire to do something big creates a situation where he could be more of a harm which causes Tony to take back the Spidey suit saying ” if you’re nothing without the suit, you shouldn’t have it.”

The side plot is Peter’s adolescent crush with Liz who we later find out is part of the twist in the movie.  I didn’t love the character of Liz Toomes.  It would have been a great plot point but we have seen the “I can’t be happy because I’m Spidey plot line in previous movies and I wanted him to get the girl.  There is another woman in the movie but to reveal her identity would ruin the surprise.

So what was the beef I talked about earlier in this post?  Spidey kicked butt in Civil War.  He was a force to be reckoned with,but for the majority of the movie Stark knocks Parker down a few pegs.  It seemed a bit heavy handed and at times excessive.  Especially since the movie’s hero spends much of the movie being made to look like a fool to propel a plot line about whether or not Parker will get back up when he gets knocked.  That part of the movie seemed a bit contrived.

However, the rest of the movie was really fun.  Keaton did a great job as a disgruntled blue color worker trying to stick it to the Man.  Some of the scenes in the movie painted The Vulture as a truly terrifying villain.

Peter’s best friend in the movie, Ned, might be one of the best things about the movie.  He’s the perfect blend of smart, dorky, voice of reason for Parker.

I enjoyed this movie very much but it changes one or two things in the Canon that I don’t think can be changed ( it has to do with Aunt May)

The music in the movie is good including an orchestral version of the original cartoon theme song in the beginning of the film.  I can’t say this was the best Marvel movie of the bunch but it’s up at the top.  Grade: B

Secret Empire edition of reviews for the week of June 6/12/17

This week there were 5 Secret Empire titles including one of the title comics.  Lets get started.

1. Secret Empire #4 seems to be a bit of a distraction in a strange way.  Two issues ago we learned that the cosmic cube that was influencing Captain America has been shattered into different shards and scattered across the earth.  Both sides are after these shards.  

We also meet an older man who claims to be the real Steve Rodgers but it seems he has forgotten who he is.  In this issue we see him continue his journey.  

We also learn that one of the biggest past villains in the Marvel universe has one of the shards and is having a dinner party with the heroes and villains and deciding who gets it.

What makes this issue a bit of a distraction is that it seems to be one giant monologue of the main villain.

A second shard is introduced in the story too.  I will not give anything else away.

I thought it was also a little strange that the Secret Empire Uprising storyline was continued here instead of in its own issue

I liked the issue but I think its not as good as I had hoped.  I’m giving the book a grade of B.

2.  Secret Empire United #1 was an excellent comic book.  The mutant population has been moved to their own territory of New Tian.  They have elected Xorn to be their king.  In a secret mission to invade hydra territory one of the mutants is captured which prompts a rescue mission.  As a result, Deadpool, Taskmaster and others defend against the attack.

I really liked this book.  The art is fantastic and the concerns in the book seem to be real enough to be believable.  I highly recommend this book.  Grade: A

3. Deadpool #032 is all about Wade Wilson coming to terms with his actions last issue.  In case you missed it, Deadpool killed Agent Coulson without questioning.  He did it because Captain America was his hero.

This issue was pretty well written.  Humor drives the story with Wade using it to show us his resolution with his decisions.  It is a solid issue

The art here is good too.  Grade: A.

4.  Sam Wilson Captain America #22 is a part of a story that has been brewing for this character over a number of issues in various different comics in the series.

Sam Wilson has been through a lot of things and he is jaded.  He was Captain America and he has shed that moniker.  In fact, he really wants nothing to do with fighting Steve Rodgers.  But he has been pressed into service.  People in danger are asking Sam Wilson to get them out of the United States and he is helping them reluctantly.

This was another good issue.  I like that the issue doesn’t try to be artsy fartsy.  Each character is recognizable.  I give this issue a grade of A.

5.  The last of the Secret Empire books I read this week was Uncanny Avengers #24.  While most of the books deal with Captain America’s influence around the United States, this book deals with the influence the darkforce dome has over Manhattan.  We learned through the last doctor strange issue that beings from the dark force dimension have used the dome as a portal to gain access to earth.  These beings look like the monsters in Monsters unleashed but much more evil.  

This book is action packed and even has a bit of a twist near the end that should prove interesting to the unity squad.  

I really liked this issue but with as many different problems that seemed to have popped up with this event, I’m a little worried that this event could easily lose its focus.  Grade: A

Marvel Comic Book reviews for the week beginning 6/4/17

Welcome to another installment of Marty’s Meanderings, the weekly blog that looks at some of the Marvel comic books that are released from week to week.  

1.  The first book I read this week was X-Men Gold #005.  It is the second chapter of a story that began two weeks ago.  The plot:  Gambit was hired by Bolivar Trask’s daughter to steal something.  He didn’t ask any questions, but through some unfortunate circumstances, unleashes nanites that form into what seems like a sentient sentinel. The sentinel is formed by a smart cloud of these nanites.  

In this issue we learn just how smart the cloud is and how the stakes are raised.

There is also a plot line where the newscaster in previous issues is back to blaming the X-Men for the problem.  But she’s right.  

The strength of this book is not in its writing.  Its in the art.  When I read this book I’m reminded of Saturday morning cartoon art.  Its a joy to look at.  This is also due to the coloring in the book.  I give this week’s issue a Grade of A.

2.  Secret Empire Brave New World #1 is sort if a throw away issue.  It has three stories in it and only one has to do with the main storyline.  A number of fire-men have traveled to see Namor’s kingdom to see if they can rely on his assistance against Captain America.  This story takes up the majority of the issue and is good at drawing battle lines for ongoing stories.  The art in this book is fine.

The second story is a very short story.  Its a story with Giant man.  There is not a lot to write here about it.  It’s just kind of there.

The third story is a pretty funny story with Gwenpool getting interviewed by a news reporter.  To give away anymore would ruin the story.

Most of the time an event inside of an event is just an excuse to add as many characters to the fray as possible.  Most of the time the stories are useless.

I’m giving this issue a C+.  It’s funny in parts and moves a long the plot in others, but all in all, it was kind of blah.

3.  The Amazing Spider-Man #028 ends a four part storyline where Spidey is after Norman Osbourne.  He has come up with a way of turning Symkaria into goblins.  Symkaria is Silver Sable’s homeland.  With the help of Countess Karkov, the leader of Symkaria, Norman is ready to make this happen.  Can Silver Sable, Spider-Man and Mockingbird stop it from happening?  You’ll need to read to find out.

This issue focuses on the two fights, Norman and Spidey and Silver Sable and Counters Karkov.  There is a third plotline but to reveal it here would reveal too much of the issue.  The issue asks the question If Spidey could only fight without his powers.  Its a pretty good issue.  There is no weird art.  Dan Slott has always done a pretty good job with Spiderman since he started writing it and continues to.  Grade: B.  It seemed like a good issue but I don’t feel as emotionally invested as I used to.  

4.  I have been a fan of Hawkeye since I started reading it.  It has been an unlikely choice for me but it is a brilliantly written comic book that doesn’t treat been a teenager as a bunch of cliches.  

Issue 007 is another great issue.  It has plenty of action but it is more of a character development issue where we learn about her troubled past with her parents. 

Although I am not a huge fan of the art, the writing is top not.  Grade: A.

Marvel Comic Books for the week starting 5/28/17

Before I start my marvel reviews, I need to actually pay DC a compliment.  This week they released one of the best Superhero movies I’ve ever seen.  Wonder Woman is smart, funny, visually stunning movie that was a joy to watch.  It is well worth any money you are willing to spend on it.

This week there were five  Secret Empire books.  I only have three of them. 

1.  The first book I read This week is Secret Empire #3.  While most of the series has been a high octane ride this issue is more plot driven than action.  We get the beginnings of the story behind the old man calling himself Steve Rodgers but we still don’t know if he’s the real deal or not.

We also get the beginnings of a story involving Sam Wilson and whether or not he is willing to help the other heroes in fighting Captain America.

Maria Hill attempts to teach the isuperheroes to think outside of the box when attacking villains and Hydra thinks they have found one of the cosmic cube fragments.

But perhaps the best part of the issue was Star Lord’s plea to other aliens to aid in helping the defense force above earth.  Rocket Raccoon has one of the best lines in the book by unleashing some of the best nicknames for Steve Rodgers.  

This book moves the plot along but it does it in baby steps.  We learn of one hero defection.

All in all, this has been a good series.  This issue didn’t quite move along at a pace of have liked but with 10 issues in the series I suppose a slower pace should be expected.The art still remains annoying to me.  Although you can differentiate between chatcters, the artwork isn’t always easy  to follow.  I’m giving this book a B-.  While the writing is good, I didn’t love the pacing.

2.  Doctor Strange #21 gives us another chapter in the Secret Empire saga.  While most of the books have dealt with how the heroes have dealt with the defection of America’s favorite hero, this issue deals with the dome of darkness that engulfs the United States, kind of.  While it serves as a back drop for the story, it’s more about how the heroes deal with their daily routine of fighting evil while under a glorified fish bowl.  

While the book was good, I thought it was an unnecessary chapter in the saga as it doesn’t have much to do with Secret Empire.  It felt more like a chapter from Monsters Unlimited than the event of the summer.

The art and the situations are both good. I’m giving the book a grade of B.

3.  Deadpool #031 is another chapter of Secret Empire and details a secret mission that Captain America asks Deadpool to complete.  The events of this book take place before the events of Secret Empire #0.

I have to say I wasn’t expecting this issue.  There is a loss in this book that is pretty big.  Whether or not it’s permanent is yet to be seen.

The book does a great job of mixing the humor and the horror that is deadpool.  Grade: A

4.  I have been looking forward to the Cable series for a couple of months.  Nathan Summers, a.k.a Cable is a mutant from the future that stops incursions from other mutants throughout history.

This was a very strange book that takes place in the 19th century old west and 16th century Japan.  It seems that Cable is going through time pursuing mutants that wreaking havoc. We are not sure of their beginning.

I can’t decide if I liked this book.  I thought the artwork was excellent and it was a great rendering of the character but the story didn’t give us a diection.  We get the impression that we are being dropped into the middle of a story instead of the beginning.  This is still only chapter one so there is still time for development.  Its not a bad story.  Grade: B.

Ill try posting more reviews soon

Marvel Comic book reviews for the week of May 21st 2017( Part one with spoilers)

Welcome this week to another installment of Marty’s Meanderings, the place where I look at Marvel’s best, and sometimes worst, comics for the week.  This week has turned out to be a very busy week for me and the comics I read.  Let’s get started.

1.  The first comic I read this weelk might also be my favorite for the week.  X-Men Blue #004 has all the markings of a classic story.  Jean Grey and the rest of the X-Men have been sent to Colorado where they are hot on the trail of what appears to be a mutant.  The problem is that Cerebro has been a bit glitchy and can’t seem to correctly identify if it really is a mutant.  When they land they see a dead body with its heart torn out.  The local sherrif believes that the mutant is wolverine.  Could she be right?  You’ll have to read to find out.

This comic has it all.  Intrigue, action, old characters returning and art that seems much more reminiscent of 80’s comic books.  Both the writing( by Cullen Bunn) and the pencilling( by Julian Lopez) are top notch.

It is nice to be able to read a comic that is free of political or social commentary, as so many X-Men books are prone to do.  It is a plot rich book without trying to get a message across.  Grade:A

2.  Jean Grey #002 is a good comic that, at times, was distracting.  In the last issue of the book we were left with Jean having a very disconcerting vision of the Pheonix force saying it was coming.  This issue she tells her fellow teammates and they aren’t exactly open to the idea that Jean saw anything at all.  So, to get advice on what to do, she uses Cerebro to locate the other mutants that the Phoenix force had inhabited to see what she should do.  In the process she sees one of her fellow mutants in trouble and decides to help her.  That is where the book gets a bit complicated.

I didn’t think the transitions in this book were necessarily smooth 9enough.  The action in this book shifts between battle sequences and being inside the character’s  mind6s and there are times when the transitions are distracting.  I also have trouble believing that any of the mutants would casually dismiss jean’s claims that she had a vision of the Phoenix Force after the X-Men suffered such a tragic loss to it.  While I thought the book had its moments(one particular one where Jean acknowledges Marvel’s past events by breaking the 4th wall, sort of, sticks out) but all in all, this book seemed a bit disjointed to me.  Grade: B-

3.  This week’s The Totally Awesome Hulk #019 starts a new crossover series between Weapon X and TTAH called Weapons of Mutant Destruction.  This issue serves as a prologue.  As you may have read in past reviews the Weapon X program has been targeting Wolverine, Sabretooth, Domino, Warpath, and Lady Deathstrike by using cyborgs made of Adamantium.  Both Wolverine and Sabretooth can’t smell them coming and Warpath and Lady Deathstrike have been captured.  Now they’re after Amadeus Cho.  There has been no indication as to why but I think the Weapon X program is trying to harness the powers of each of the characters to create something to destroy mutants.

This event has the potential to be a very intere8sting crossover event.  Weapon X is a darker series with TTAH is much more light hearted and fun for teens.  I have to admit I’m nervous about this event not carrying the weight of its subject matter.  I’m giving this book a grade of B.  Its a promising start.

4.  I am not a huge fan of The Inhumans.  To me it seems that they are versions of mutants with a slightly different origin story.  That being said, Secret Warriors is becoming one of my favorite comic books to read.  

Whether or not it was wise to start a brand new series in the middle of a Marvel event remains to be seen, but this is a high octane book filled with excitement and plenty of action.  The book follows Daisy Johnson a.k.a Quake and her team of Ms. Marvel, Karnak, Quake, Moon Girl, Devil Dinosaur, and Inferno.  The Secret Warriors are trying to avoid Hydra while rescuing Inhumans that have been captured by them.

The book jumps around a lot between different time frames but it is never confusing.  In this issue we are transported between Philadelphia and New Jersey.  In Philadelphia we see the inhumans being captured by S.H.I.E.L.D.( which is now run by a brainwashed Captain America who believes he is the head of Hydra).  In New Jersey we get a fight between the iinhumans and the howling commandos lead by another hydra leader.

There is plenty of action in this book.  It is a lot of fun.  Grade: A.

5.  Steve Rogers Captain America #017 is a continuation of the Secret Empire Storyline.  There is not a lot of action in this book, however, there is quite a bit of tension.  Captain America has invited Sally Floyd, a reporter who had interviewed captain America before but gets irritated by the questions she is asking.  What happens to her?  You’ll have to find out by reading the issue.

This is an issues issue which is fine because it goes along with the story.  The question is posed:  how much power is too much power.  The writing in the book is fine.

The art, on the other hand, is annoying.  That may be because of the shading.  Each face is overdrawn and shaded in a way that each character looks like they are wearing one of those clear masks from the purge.  All in all, I’m giving this a grade of a low B.  While the story is intriguing, the art leaves something to be desired.

My comic book reviews for the week starting May 14, 2017( some spoilers )

Birthright #24- am not a huge Image fan but mostly because it seems they push the envelope of good taste just because they can.  That being said, there are a few excellent titles that are worth picking up.  One of those comics is Birthright.  Birthright is the story of Mike, a young boy who is playing ball by the woods with his father, when he disappears.  Fast forward only a few years in the comic and he returns but now as a fully grown man.  Come to find out, he was transported to a magical land called terrenos where he becomes a sort of savior to the masses by going to war with an evil sorcerer.  He is given an opportunity to return home to earth and he takes it.  Come to find out he has been inhabited by a nevermind, which in essence is a demon.  The story continues when different family members of mikey’s family become embroiled in the battle for mikey’s soul.

In issue 24 we learn that Mikey has been tricked in to believing that if he kills all the good mages that evil will have no more reason to fight and terrenos can be at peace.  Rya, his pregnant girlfriend from terrenos with wings, tries to stop him from killing them.  The issues is bloody and violent but it’s still as fun to read as the previous issues have been.  Sometimes the art in the book can seem a bit muddled and unspectacular but not enough to detract from the story.  If you like good fantasy stories this book should be right up your alley.  Great story.  Grade: A

2.  Secret Empire #2-  Secret Empire has turned out to be one of those comic events I never expected to like.  Mostly because I haven’t been reading any of the Captain America books.  However, I am intrigued by the story.  As many of you may remember, Maria Hill had used a cosmic cube, kobik, to trick marvel villains into believing they were peaceful.  However, Red Skull stole the cube and with the help of Professor X’s brain, which he had also stolen, used the cube to rewrite Captain America’s history and fooling him into believing he was a sleeper agent for Hydra.  Cap kills Red Skull and takes over hydra and starts a war with The Avengers and the rest of the Marvel Universe with the help of the Chitauri, a race of aliens that are attacking from outer space.  Several heroes in Las Vegas are fighting the Hydra regime while some are trapped under a dark force bubble in new York city.

In issue 2, a video of Rick Jones makes its way to our heroes and he explains that Kobik has been shattered and it’s pieces scattered.  This leads to what, undoubtedly will be the main plot point of the series.  Since the cosmic cube has the ability to re-write history, our heroes have to find all the pieces before Hydra does.  Not only does that need to happen, it needs to happen before another faction of heroes decides to kill Captain America.

There is a lot of info to absorb in this issue and maybe too much.  The tension is growing and the final panel throws a curve ball that leaves it’s readers wondering exactly what is going on.  This issue was still very intriguing but the coloring and art are a little too abstract for me.  All in all, I’d say it’s a good issue but not as good as past issues.  Grade: B+

3.  This week I learned that Marvel will be changing the art in one of its comics.  In X-men Gold #1 the artist made reference to a verse in the Koran that says that Christians and Jews should not be allowed to be leaders.  Marvel’s second printing of that comic is removing those references.  The artist of the book has been fired and the value of the book has skyrocketed to close to $35.00 on Ebay.

Issue #004, on newsstands today, is the first book of the series that doesn’t have some controversial message to it (and it’s about time).  In this issue Gambit is the main character.  He has been asked by Bolivar Trask’s daughter to steal what we learn later is nano technology.  His luck runs out and it causes all sorts of trouble.

We also learn that the captured member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants is nothe even a mutant and lastly, Old Man Logansport and Storm visit a morgue to pick up a dead mutant.  Right now all these incidents seem unrelated and I’m sure they will be all tied together but for now there is no cohesion in the stories.

The art in this book is very Saturday morning cartoonish.  Syah, the artist who was fired with good cause, was still a better artist.  I enjoyed the story, and though the art was not as good as previous weeks, I enjoyed reading this comic book.  I’m giving the book an A-.  It wasn’t perfect but it felt less like a commentary on something and more of just an enjoyable book.

4.  For the past two weeks I’ve been reading Star Wars:  the Screaming Citadel and I have been enjoying the artwork immensely.  Last week Checcheto was the artist.  His art focused on landscape and scenery and his artistry in issue 1 was breathtaking in its rendering.

This week the story is continued in Star Wars #031 and this week it is drawn by an artist with the last name of Larocca.  His specialty is faces.  Each frame the characters are drawn to look exactly how they looked in the movies.

The writing in the Star Wars comic book has always been top notch.  This issue is no different.  Each narration and speech bubble does a great job at capturing the cadence and sound of the characters on film.

The story surrounds Luke being approached by Doctor Aphra, an archeologist who has found an artifact she believes contains the consciousness of a Jedi Master.  However, she can’t activate it and the only person who might be able to is a queen who likes to kidnap and collect things she shouldn’t be able to have.  In this issue we learn the queen”s intentions for Luke and the doctor.  We also see Han and Leia gearing up to rescue them.

I found nothing wrong with this comic.  I’m giving this book a grade of A+.  I’m having a ton of fun reading it.

Those are my reviews for the week.  You should also pick up Luke Cage #1.  It’s funny and serious and intriguing all at the same time.  My only gripe:  the type face is too small.