Monthly Archives: March 2015

New Comic Book TV Part VI: iZombie

iZombie

This past Tuesday (3/17) was the premiere of iZombie which is a new show on the CW based off the Vertigo property of the same name.  There have been ads for this and I knew it was coming a while ago but forgot until it showed up on my DVR.  I don’t know anything about this series.  I have never read the comic and honestly was barely even aware it existed.  iZombie first came out in 2010 and ran for two years for a total of 28 issues.  Not a huge run so its pretty surprising that the powers to be decided to make this into a TV Show.  Here is the trailer below.

My first impression was that the main actress looks like Thea from Arrow.

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Second I thought this looked like a very dumb idea.  I’m all for interpretation but the hallmark of zombies is that they are mindless.  If you take away that it takes away their essence and you should probably just call them something else.  I had the same problem with Warm Bodies, which I’m sure is a great movie but I have no interest in watching.

Warm Bodies

So going in to iZombie my expectations are low.  The good news is the show is actually pretty good.  It started off at break neck speed.  We open on our main girl Gwen at her job at the hospital where she is invited to a party on a boat.  We quickly meet her fiancé to tells her to go, “what’s the worse that can happen?”  It then immediately cuts to her becoming a zombie and 5 months later when she has a job as a Medical Examiner for the police.  This is within the first 3 minutes maybe.  Her boss at the Medical Examiner’s office figures out she’s a zombie which he is totally cool with.  The only thing that being a zombie seems to negatively effect is she has a desire to eat brains.  She users her job at the Medical Examiner’s office to access brains to eat.  Her boss is ok with this.  A side effect of eating the brains is she gets flashes of what the person saw when they were alive and takes on small traits of said person.  So she uses her brain powers to help a detective on the police solve crimes.

It’s not a terrible premise.  Even in the pilot they had a crime of the week which she was able to solve.  The show doesn’t take it self super seriously and its fun.  I’ll probably keep watching it but I still think there was no real need for her to be a zombie.  The only thing her being a zombie does is give the excuse for her to eat brains but it could have been something else that gave her the visions and such.

iZombie Sale1

I also went ahead and got the first volume of the comic book on kindle.  All the issues are on sale for 99 cents and the trade’s are on sale for half off until March 23rd.  They can be found on comiXology here or on kindle here.

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Movie Reading Guide: Avengers – Age of Ultron

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We are still a couple months away from the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron and the third trailer just dropped last week (see it here) and you may be asking your self, what the hell is an Ultron?  Why does Kick-Ass have white hair?  What was that pink thing at the end?  Well fear not true believers, I’ve put together a list of required reading so when May comes along you’ll have the privilege of being able to freak out at the post credits scene while every one else is confused.

The Ultimates and The Ultimates 2 by Mark Millar with Art by Bryan Hitch

Ultimates Vol. 1Ultimates Vol. 2Ultimates 2 vol. 1Ultimates 2 Vol. 2

Let’s go back to the simpler days of 2002.  Nelly’s Hot in Herre was number one on the charts, we had just crowned our first American Idol and Marvel launch its ultimate line of comics.  The Ultimate line of comics had two purposes.  The first was to give writers a chance to work with their favorite characters without the burden of 70 years of canon.  Some characters like Spider-man started back from square one and got a new and updated origin story.  Others like the X-men got face lifts and had major changes made to its canon.  The idea was that this new universe would allow for writers to tell interesting stories without screwing up the main marvel canon while at the same time giving the stories weight.  If a character died in the ultimate universe they really died, they may not ever come back like they might in the main marvel universe.  So the second goal was to create stories that would make good transitions to film or TV.  Mark Millar had this in mind when he wrote the Ultimates and wrote the book with TV and film in mind.  While neither of these story arcs are going to be about Ultron they will give you a good foundation of who the avengers are and serve as a introduction to characters we haven’t met yet.  The books are very accessible and don’t require prior knowledge to read.  While the stories are ridiculous and over the top they are grounded and take place in a more realistic world than normal marvel universe.

There is a third volume, Ultimates 3, but I don’t suggest that.  These two tell a pretty complete story and again, a little over the top, but will give you a good foundation of marvel.

Age of Ultron by Brian Michael Bendis and Bryan Hitch

Age of Ultron

I know this one seems like a no brainer and should be the first thing on the list, I mean this literally has the title of the movie in its name.  The problem is that while Age of Ultron is a good story there is actually not a ton of Ultron stuff in it.  Are you scratching your head in confusion?  The story takes place in an alternative future where Ultron has all ready taken over the planet.  The remains of the marvel heroes send Wolverine back in time in order to kill Hank Pym in order to prevent him from creating Ultron in the first place.  Most of the story takes place in the past before Ultron is created and really centered around the ethics of committing a murder in order to save millions.  Again its a good read but will have nothing to do with the actual movie coming out this summer.

The Avengers 54-58: First Appearance of Ultron by Roy Thomas and John Buscema

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This is the first story with Ultron.  I wouldn’t really bother, its from the 60’s and is confusing mess.  It seems counter intuitive that you would want to skip the origin comic of a character but with these characters being around since the 60’s they are fairly irrelevant at this point.

The Mighty Avengers 1-6 – The Ultron Initiative by Brian Michael Bendis and Frank Cho 

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This story is definitely a lot newer and while its still a little complicated will be a better read.  There is a lot of Ultron in this story but Ultron appears as a half woman half robot hybrid this time around.

Annihilation: Conquest By Various Authors and Artists

Annihilation Conquest

This story is sort of a sequel to the Ultron Initiative and involves the cosmic characters of the Marvel universe instead of our typical crew of Avengers.  I’d generally not suggest this since the cosmic characters go pretty deep in the line up of known characters but with Groot being a first name character for kids across the country I full support this book to read now.

Avengers 19-22 Ultron Unlimited – by Kurt Busiek and George Perez

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This is an older comic but generally considered the best Ultron story there is.  Ultron is a real threat in this story line and poses a real challenge for the Avengers.  Not only that but there is a lot of collateral damage and will likely be on par with the scale we’ll see in Age of Ultron this summer.  The art is great, George Perez is a legend, however it is a little 80’s.

Infinity Gauntlet by Jim Starlin and George Perez / Ron Lim

Infinity Gauntlet

There’s no Ultron in this book but you are going to need to read this book any way for Phase 3 so you mine as well start now.  The after credits scene in Avengers Age of Ultron can be over several things.  It can be a clue to Ant Man which will come later this year or possibly a lead up to Captain America 3: Civil War.  But if I were a betting man I would guess the teaser will be for the entire Phase 3 which will center around Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet.

Where to Get These Books?

If you want to read any of these books there are a few options, you can go to your local comic book store or book store and they are likely to have some, however this option will likely be fairly expensive.  Use the Comic Book Shop Finder to find the closest shop to you (click here).

Second you can buy any of these on Comixology (click here) digitally which will cost some what less and the most convenient.  The best part about Comixology is they are constantly having sales so if you keep an eye out you can get some of these books on the cheap.  Marvel has sales every Monday and Friday and will periodically have sales in between.

You can get a subscription to Marvel Comics Unlimited (click here) which has all of these books and costs 60 dollars for a years subscription or 10 dollars a month (you can cancel whenever you want).

Last and cheapest would be to go to your local library and check out the books.  Libraries are getting hip these days and might have some of the more popular books on hand, however you may need to ask to see if they can special order some of the more obscure books.


Spider-Gwen

Spider-Gwen 1

The first issue of Spider-Gwen finally came out as part of its own new on going series this past Wednesday.  Now you might remember Spider-Gwen from her first appearance in Edge of Spider-verse 2.

Let’s back it up a little further.  Over the last couple of months there has been a spider-line wide crossover event at Marvel called Spider-verse.  The core series of Spider-verse takes place in Amazing Spider-man Issues 9-15, however it spans across every spider-man related book that is out right now in Marvel (Superior Spider-Man, Spider-man 2099, Scarlet Spiders, Spider-verse Team Up, Spider-woman, Spider-verse, Edge of Spider-verse).  I think

I’ll write a separate blog post just about the Spider-verse but the long and short of it is the Inheritors are killing Spider-men across every parallel universe and in order to stop them a team of Spider-men from across the multiverse team up.  So because this event involves many different versions of Spider-man Marvel released a five part series to re-introduce and in some cases introduce for the first time, some different versions of Spider-man.

Issue 2 of the Spider-verse introduced the world to Spider-Gwen.  It’s been the break out issue of the series.  As of right now it is entering it’s fifth print run and on Ebay 1st print run issues of Edge of Spider-verse 2 are going for as much as $150.  So it was no surprise that Marvel decided to spin out a on going series based on Spider-Gwen.  The series is written by Jason Latour with art by Robbi Rodriguez, who were the team that wrote and drew the Edge of Spider-verse issue 2.  So before we talk about Spider-Gwen let’s catch up, and they even provide us with a foundation of her on the first page of Edge of Spider-verse 2.

Edge of Spider-verse Previously On

So in this universe our Spider-gwen is thought to be responsible for the death of Peter Parker.  She is actually thought of as a villain, all though she is actively helping people out.  Because of this Kingpin sent out a goon to help recruit Gwen to join his forces.  A fight ensued and Gwen was forced to reveal her Identity to her dad.

The Mary Janes

Not only does this world’s Gwen have spider powers but she is also in a rock band “The Mary Janes” which has a hit single “Face it Tiger”, which is the most adorable thing ever.  The first issue of Spider-Gwen picks up right where Edge of Spider-verse 2 left off.  Gwen is trying to prove to her New York that she is a hero not a villain while trying to balance life as a teenager.  The art is fantastic and makes a lot of use of the secondary color pallet.  The sound description words have a cool stylization and make the pages really pop.  We get a lot of interesting stories threads in this issue, we get the one going struggle with Gwen and her dad, the infighting between Gwen and the band, a new threat of the Vulture, and ongoing thread of the King Pin.  The first issue was really fantastic and keeps the spirit of what they started in Edge of Spider-verse 2 and the lightness and fun that makes Spider-man such an enjoyable character.  Spider-Gwen is on my pull list and I can’t wait to get the next issue.  If you would like to buy a copy go to your local comic book shop (soon it’ll sell out) or pick it up here at Comixology.

As a little added bonus I tracked down all the variant covers I could find.  I’m still finding variant issues as there were a lot of retailer specific ones out there I didn’t know about.  I’ll update this as I find them.


Netflix PSA: March 2015

paycheck

Let’s start off with the list of Movies and TV shows that are now streaming on Netflix as of March 1st.

  • Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
  • Billy Madison (1995)
  • Black Sheep (1996)
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
  • The Brother’s Grimm (2005)
  • Donnie Brasco (1997)
  • Evelyn (2002)
  • Event Horizon (1997)
  • Finding Neverland (2004)
  • Furry Vengeance (2010)
  • Grease 2: Grease Harder (1982)
  • Groundhog Day (1993)
  • K-Pax (2001)
  • Lewis Black: In God We Rust (2011)
  • Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
  • The Madness of King George (1994)
  • Patch Adams (1998)
  • Paycheck (2003)
  • The Prince and Me (2004)
  • Rules of Engagement (2000)
  • The Secret of NIMH (1982)
  • Tank Girl (1995)
  • Taxi Driver (1976)
  • Teen Witch (1989)
  • Top Gun (1986)
  • Twilight (2008)
  • Ralphie May: Unruly (2015)
  • House of Cards Season 3 (2015)
  • Russell Brand: Messiah Complex (2013)
  • Power Puff Girls Season 5 & 6 (2003)
  • Hawaii Five-0 Season 1
  • Chicagoland Season 1
  • The Boondocks: Season 4
  • Robocop (2014)

March 6th

  • Azizi Ansari: Live from Madison Square Garden
  • The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015) – New Netflix original series

March 7th

  • Archer Season 5
  • Glee Season 5

March 9th

  • Cesar Chavez (2014)
  • Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club (2014)
  • After the Fall (2014)

March 11th

  • How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

March 15th

  • 3rd Rock From the Sun: The Complete Series
  • A Different World: The Complete Series
  • Marvel & ESPN Films Present: 1 of 1: Genesis (2014)

March 19th

  • Life Itself (2014)

March 20th

  • Bloodline Season 1
  • God’s Not Dead (2014)

March 22nd

  • Mad Men Season 7

March 25th

  • Garfunkel and Oates Season 1
  • Turn Season 1

March 31st

  • The Man with the Iron Fists (2012)
  • Ask Me Anything (2014)

In Memorium

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This is where we say goodbye to all those movies we lost as of March 1st.  While some may come back down the line there are some we won’t see again, you’ll be missed.

  • 3 Ninjas: Kick Back (1994)
  • Air Bud (1997)
  • Anaconda (1997)
  • Brokedown Palace” (1999)
  • Cool Runnings” (1993)
  • Desperado (1995)
  • Dumb and Dumber (1994)
  • Emma (1996)
  • Evita (1996)
  • Freaky Friday (2003)
  • Fright Night (1985)
  • Jackass: Number Two (2006)
  • Lords of Dogtown (2005)
  • The Muppet Movie (1979)
  • Old Yeller (1957)
  • Pretty in Pink (1986)
  • Rachel Getting Married (2008)
  • Riding in Cars with Boys (2001)
  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
  • RoboCop 2 (1990)
  • RoboCop 3 (1993)
  • Saving Silverman (2001)
  • Seven (1995)
  • The Baby Sitters Club (1995)
  • The Blair Witch Project (1999)
  • The Graduate (1967)
  • The Sweetest Thing (2002)
  • Troop Beverly Hills (1989)

There is also a slew of Cartoon Network shows leaving on March 30th, so if you have had them on you queue waiting to watch them now is the time.


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