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S.H.I.E.L.D: Architects of Forever(Review/Retrospective)

April (and a little bit of May) are “Avengers month” at the m0vie blog. In anticipation of Joss Whedon’s superhero epic, we’ll have a variety of articles and reviews published looking at various aspects of “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.” Today we’re looking at a miniseries exploring the history of S.H.I.E.L.D., the organisation which has played a big role in the Marvel cinematic universe.

Jonathan Hickman is something of a rising star at Marvel, with his acclaimed work on Secret Warriors, Fantastic Four and Ultimate Comics: Ultimates, along with character-centric miniseries like Ultimate Thor and Ultimate Hawkeye. Much like Jason Aaron, the writer has demonstrated a remarkable ability with both the smaller cult characters in the universe, as well as some of its bigger names – it has been argued that Hickman has been doing fascinating things with characters who had stumbled a bit of late in Marvel’s shared universe, like Nick Fury or the “first family” of the company, the Fantastic Four. Hickman has a wonderful talent to combine old established concepts with clever new ideas to produce an interesting result. S.H.I.E.L.D., documenting the history of Marvel’s premiere espionage organisation, demonstrates this quite well.

At least what I understood of it.

The SHIELD protects us...

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A Month on the BBC Global iPlayer…

Thanks to the wonderful folk at the BBC, I’ve been given a month’s subscription to the BBC Global iPlayer to try out the service. The BBC is probably the best national broadcaster in the world, and the international standard for original drama. There’s a reason that so much talent (whether in front or behind the camera) developed there. So the app handily streams BBC content to my iPhone to enjoy at my leisure. It seems perfect for the traveller on the go.

Over the next month, I’m going to be using it, reviewing some content and trying to appraise the service. If you have anything on the BBC you’d like to point me to, feel free to leave a comment below. Any suggestions will be appreciated. I’m looking forward to tucking into a rick library of shows I missed the first time around. I’ll be back at the end of the month with a more in-depth review of the service, and with my own findings. I’m already ready to tuck into Wallander and Sherlock.

Thanks again to the great sports at the BBC for giving me access.

Absolute Planetary, Vol. 2 (Review)

With Wildstorm being officially folded into the relaunched DCU (the “DCnU”), I thought I might take a look at some of the more successful and popular Wildstorm titles that the company produced. In particular, Planetary, the which will apparently inspire Paul Cornell’s Stormwatch – easily one of my more anticipated titles of the relaunch.

“We keep the world strange because that’s the way it’s suppose to be.”

– Elijah Snow outlines Planetary‘s mission

I really do love Warren Ellis’ Planetary, a love letter to pulp fiction in all its forms, about a team of crack pop culture archeologists, tracking down and preserving many of the weird and wonderful fictional specimens that we see all too rarely these days, from cowboy vigilantes to kung-fu epics. There’s a genuine love poured into the series by Ellis and his artistic collaborator, John Cassaday, as the pair celebrate some of the truly wonderful fiction of the twentieth century, as we brace ourselves for the twenty-first.

Little drummer boy...

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