July 05, 2018

Catwoman #1 (2018) - Review

Joelle Jones takes over DC’s femme fatale

One of the negative aspects of DC’s transition from the New 52 to Rebirth was the cancellation of a few titles people loved. Catwoman was a good example of it. DC has always done really well with Selina’s alter ego, starting with her 1st solo limited series in 1989 (which I consider a masterpiece and her absolute origin story, no matter what retcon they try to push on us), going to other new series in 1993, 2002 and 2011. The creative teams always knew how to take care of Gotham City’s favorite cat burglar. One thing I have to admit: DC always knew when to end a series and when to start a new one. Catwoman always shows up when needed.

I’m not a villain, not yet a hero

The new series picks up a week after the wedding fiasco. Selina is doing what she does best: she survives. Living in the Wayne’s Manor luxury is something from the past. She now lives in a warehouse in Villa Hermosa and still can’t get over her own decision to call the wedding quits. However, something happens to bring her mind back to the game: she is being accused of murder. It didn’t take long for her to find out a copycat is acting in the city, trying to destroy her already chipped reputation. But who’s is behind this copycat? Or should we say copycats?

A new suit is introduced

Joelle Jones story and art is helped by Laura Allred’s colors. Together, the team has a hard mission to help Selina move one with her life, but not going so far she can’t be reached by the ones who care about her. One of the greatest assets of this first issue is the debut of a new suit. Catwoman has been using variations of the same suit created by Jim Lee since 2002 (by the way, my favorite suit of her entire career). With a new life, and new challenges, ahead of her it was time to try something different. The new piece is reminiscent of the suit worn by Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns. If it’s gonna stick like her previous one only time will tell.

The only thing I can tell for sure is that this Catwoman’s 5th series deserves your entire attention. Something tells me DC has still a lot in the works for Selina Kyle.

Enjoy a preview: 

July 04, 2018

Batman and Catwoman’s wedding happening in Detective Comics 1000

DC Comics may have decided to hold the big event for a more iconic issue

I have just read the most anticipated event of the year for DC Comics (if you don’t mind excluding Bendis’ new take on Superman): Batman and Catwoman’s wedding in Batman #50. Well, I’m not worried about giving spoilers away because The New York Times already did it, but if you didn’t see it yet I recommend you to stop reading it right now.

Newsflash: All the build up that happened during the past year since Bruce proposed to Selina in that beautiful rooftop panel in Batman #24 was nothing but a bluff. The wedding itself doesn’t actually happen. At least not in this issue especifically. That got a lot of fans, and comic book retailers, pretty upset. After all, they were preparing to buy celebratory variant covers and organizing midnight events for this historic happening. A few days before, though, DC spoiled the whole plot to the press and ended up spoiling what would have been one of the greatest Batman moments in recent history. However, was it though?

I believe DC was just testing the waters, to find out if the readers really wanted to see Batman getting married. And, not surprisingly, yes, we do! Why? See, Batman is ready for this new step. A few years ago people wouldn’t accept Batman having a biological son, but when Damian was brought into the equation fans fell in love with this character who is considered by many as the best Robin Bruce has ever had.

A family affair

Batman has always been seen as the perfect antithesis of Superman. While one is the night, the other one is the day. One sees the world through a dark point of view while the other prefers to look for the bright side. And Batman’s messed up family would be the perfect response to Superman’s perfect life. After all, Clark married Lois, the love of his life, and had a sweet boy: Jonathan, who became the adorable Superboy.

Bruce Wayne, on the other hand, had several love interests. From a weird relationship with Thalia Al Ghul, daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul, one of his deadliest enemies, a son was born: Damian, raised to be the perfect killing machine. Damian has no filter and his f**k-off-attitude helped him being loved by many. Now, imagine adding Selina Kyle, a former prostitute turned into a villain turned into a wife, as a stepmother to young Damian? Now imagine the family reunions: Waynes and Al Ghuls together for a thanksgiving dinner? That would be a plot to look for. Don’t think marriage would destroy Batman, just like fatherhood didn’t. It would bring more layers of emotions to the character.

And, oh boy, I would love to see Lois and Clark inviting the Waynes to Jon’s birthday party. Imagine how Damian and Selina would react in a situation like that? You see, Batman has a lot of room to become an even more interesting character with this married life.
That brings me to…

Detective Comics #1000

What could happen in this iconic issue?

Action Comics #1000 brought nice stories and the first appearance of Rogol Zaar, but there was something missing in the issue. It failed to present some historic event there, just like Action Comics #1 presented Superman to the world. Detective Comics could be the step ahead.

DC Comics could use this landmark issue to present, maybe as a surprise, the event of a lifetime: Batman and Catwoman’s wedding. Now the publishing house knows the public wants it to happen. Rumour has it Batman #50 would provide the necessary feedback for DC to know if they should go on with the wedding plans. Guess what? The feedback is there. And I believe now DC will be smart enough to marry Bruce and Selina in an iconic issue, just like this historic event deserves.

In the meantime, start reading the new CATWOMAN series, by Joelle Jones and Laura Allred. It's simply amazing!

August 21, 2016

Stop killing our heroes!!!

Tony Stark mourn James Rhodes in Civil War 2

Civil War 2 is the new Marvel's mega saga that came to, guess what, kill a couple more characters. This time Bruce Banner and James Rhodes, known as Hulk and War Machine, were the new victims. Is that sad? No. And you know why? Because nobody cares anymore!

Back in the day when an important character died, it would be a hell of a deal. When Gwen Stacy, Spider-man's first love, died, even though I read it years later through the reprints, it was a very emotional moment. I remember clearly how Peter's mourning made me sad and depressed. I could say Gwen's passing was my first contact with this ugly big thing called death.

The last great time comics that killed a character and really had public going for it was The Death of Superman event. After his return readers just realized a character will never really die in the comic book world; it will eventually return. So, why bother? Why care? Jean Grey, for example, died and returned several times, to the point we start questioning the originality of the plot.

The Death of Superman: The last time I believed a character could really die.

I can name by heart at least 20 important characters who "died" and then came back. You don't mess with reader's emotions like that: killing a character to increase sales and then bringing them back to sell a few more issues. Death is something deeper. It's emotional. It's hard. And it hurts.

Gwen Stacy's death: Devastating moment! 

Gwen's death devastated Peter Parker and even nowadays it remains an open wound in his heart. The same happened to Batman when his second sidekick, Jason Todd, was brutally killed by the Joker. It made us see not only the villain is not a funny clown, but it also made us see a side of Batman people are not used to seeing. However, while Marvel kept Gwen dead in its main timeline, DC decided to bring Jason back from the world of dead. And why? No reason other than to make A death in the Family storyline something we don't respect as much anymore.

Death of Jason Todd: Why bringing him back after this memorable storyline?
Comic Books should learn how to honor death. It says it likes to reflect reality in its stories, but it doesn't understand yet that when someone we love is gone in the real world, it's gone for good. So, unless Comic Books learn to understand how death "works", readers are just not going to ride with them in the journeys they propose. 

Mary Jane Watson is black! So what?!

Zendaya will be playing Mary Jane Watson.

I've been reading a lot of BS about Zendaya, who's possibly playing Mary Jane Watson, Peter Parker's love interest, in the upcoming Marvel's Spider-man: Homecoming. A lot of friends come to me to ask my opinion about this "unusual" cast choice, because they know I'm into comic books since I was 8 years old and I love Spider-man.

My answer is: I love it! I really do! I really really really really really really love it!

Let's get one thing straight: Mary Jane is white in the comic books. We know it! But it couldn't be any different back in 1965 when she was created. At that time, it was not seen with good eyes a white man dating a black girl. So, it explains why Peter Parker, born and raised in an ongoing diverse New York, only dated white girls. Can you name any important black female characters at that time? Neither do I!

Let's face it: Comic Books were not always a place that embraced diversity. Justice League and Avengers, for example, were depicted with a majority of white characters. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love those characters as well, but I'm happy with the new world! Comics accepting Black, Latins, Asians, Muslins and all other types of characters was something I was always looking for.

The Original Mary Jane Watson.
TV and Cinema were great gateways for diversity. It embraced non-white actors playing famous characters. Just to name a few recent examples: Samuel L. Jackson playing Nick Fury for Marvel Cinematic Universe and Candice Patton as Iris West in Flash were very well accepted by critics and helped people see we lacked other races in the Super-heroes Universe. And good to see it's being fixed little by little!

When Zendaya was announced in the Homecoming movie as a "minor" character named Michelle, I knew they were bluffing. In fact, I was expecting her to play Gwen Stacy, but I think Emma Watson's portray of Peter's first love was still a recent memory a lot of us love, whereas Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane was something a lot of us would love to forget. Well done, Marvel Studios!!!

Welcome, Zendaya! Be the best Mary Jane you can be. We know you've got what it takes to do a great job. You may experience some hate, some mean tweets, but, you know what, the best way for you to give a straight answer is by being great.

And you, guys, don't bother spreading your hate on my post!!! Love, on the other hand, is pretty much appreciated!

June 17, 2016

Finding Dory

  • Country: United States
  • Original release: June 17, 2016
  • Running time: 103 minutes
  • Director (s): Andrew Stanton
  • Written (s): Andrew Stanton
  • Cast: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O'Neill, Ty Burrel, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levi, Idris Elba, Dominic West, others.

In 2003 Pixar Animation Studios presented us with some of the best under the sea animated images in an unforgettable movie: Finding Nemo. As usual, the studio taught a lesson on how to create an incredible original screenplay (nominated for an Academy Award in this category), that paid special attention to character development. One of these characters was the sweet, yet clumsy and forgetful, Dory. The Pacific regal blue tang stole the spotlight and it came to no surprise when she was announced as the protagonist of the sequel.

It took 13 years for this movie to come to life, but, I must say, it was worth the wait. Under the sea, however, only one year has gone by since Dory helped Marlin rescue Nemo. Life is the same for everyone, except for one single detail: Dory starts to have glimpses of memories about her life as a young fish, having her parents around her. That's when two important things happen: the adventure begins and it is nothing like the original.

Finding Dory doesn't recycle the plot or characters. Don't expect, for example, to see Darla or the trio of Sharks. This movie brings its own assemble of new characters and they are special on their own. The original trio, Dory, Marlin and Nemo, are still true to their characteristics with Ellen DeGeneres doing another exceptional job voicing the blue fish with the perfect tone between naivety, youth and comedy timing. This time she has new friends: Hank, the cranky octopus (played by Modern Family's Ed O'Neill); Destiny, a short-sighed whale shark; and Bailey, a beluga whale. Also, Eugene Levi and Diane Keaton provide the voices for Dory's parents, Charlie and Jenny. All of the characters have their moments to shine in a screenplay that navigates well between comedy and drama, without being pushy or underestimating children's understanding. 

The animation is a piece of art. Every frame, every fish, every seaweed... Everything has a special appeal. Sometimes it's like seeing the real thing, like going under the sea. This experience is enhanced by the real 3D, something that wasn't used with its predecessor. Back then 3D was not a well developed technology as it is now.

Coming from successes in the animation field (A Bug's Life and Wall-E) and a huge flop in his live-action attempt (John Carter), the director Andrew Stanton, who also wrote the movie and provided the voice for the sea turtle Crush, outsmart himself with this sequel. Can we say it's better than the original? No, we can't. However, we can say for sure it is as good as Finding Nemo.

Tip 1 - Don't come to the movie late or you'll miss the incredible Pipper, the best piece among all Pixar's works in short length features.

Tip 2 - The Aquarium crew is not part of the movie this time, but if you want to know what happened to them after Finding Nemo I advise you to stay for the after credits scene.

Find tickets for Finding Dory HERE.