Advertisements
    Advertisements
  • Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

  • Advertisements

Adam Strange: Planet Heist (Review/Retrospective)

This month I’m taking a look at DC’s massive “Infinite Crisis” Event. Although it was all published in one massive omnibus, I’ll be breaking down the lead-in to the series to tackle each thread individually, culminating in a review of the event itself. Check back for more.

Note: Although technically not a lead-in, and not included in the Omnibus, Planet Heist leads directly to Rann-Thanagar War, so I thought I’d take a look at it. Also, it’s a pretty damn fine series.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Adam Strange. Along with The Flash, Strange’s adventures in Mystery in Space are among my favourite of DC’s Silver Age comic books. (That would suggest a fondness for Carmine Infantino, who – his Batman work aside – is certainly a favourite of mine.) I’m boggled that DC has never managed to make more of Strange than they have. A delightful science-fiction concept, blending John Carter of Mars with a fifties ray-gun aesthetic, it seems ripe for pulpy exploitation. In fact, before Marvel announced Guardians of the Galaxy, I figured that Strange might prove DC’s best big screen hope of distinguishing themselves from Marvel.

Andy Diggle and Pascal Ferry’s Planet Heist is a delightful eight-issue miniseries featuring the character, updating him for a new era. I can’t help but feel a little sad that the pair didn’t extend the miniseries into a run, and that Adam Strange remains a neglected character in the DC pantheon.

All the Strange, Strange people…

Continue reading

Advertisements

X-Men: Inferno (Review/Retrospective)

With our month looking at Avengers comics officially over, we thought it might be fun to dig into that other iconic Marvel property, the X-Men. Join us for a month of X-Men related reviews and discussion.

I don’t like Inferno. There, I said it. There have been dry patches in Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men run before, and some would argue that his work following Inferno would be quite esoteric, but Inferno has always represented, to me at least, the creative low-point of Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men run. That doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate it for what it is, or acknowledge the care with which the writer crafted it, but it is just too much of a big random mess to really enjoy it. It’s a disjointed crossover that resolves the long-running Madelyne Pryor mystery that Claremont had been weaving through the book, but also features demons and goblins for some reason. It’s just a great big mess.

There’s a Storm comin’…

Continue reading

John Carter: A Disney Prince of Mars

It looks like John Carter didn’t make enough of a splash at the box office to justify a sequel. To tell the truth, I am more than a little disappointed, because I actually enjoyed the cheesy throw-back charm of a science-fantasy epic that didn’t feel the need for irony or wry self-awareness. However, it’s interesting to look at the movie as part of the Disney canon, and measured against the big Disney films released over the last couple of years (and planned through the end of this one). John Carter seems to fit alongside Tron: Legacy as part of a concentrated effort by the studio in recent years to shift away from their traditional “princess”-orientated features and to produce movies aimed at boys.

Boys are from Mars...

Continue reading

Non-Review Review: John Carter

I really enjoyed John Carter for what it was. In a way, the movie feels quite a bit like its lead character, a Confederate soldier yanked off Earth and dumped in another very strange setting. This movie feels like a seventies or eighties science-fiction epic, mercilessly plucked from the era of pulpy high-tech fantasy and transposed to a more cynical modern time. Whether or not you will enjoy John Carter will depend entirely on your taste for big-budget science-fiction epics. Those who favour a wry and self-aware approach to their wild interplanetary adventures will likely go home unsatisfied. However, those who can embrace an earnest and straight-faced adaptation of a science-fiction classic will find much to enjoy. You can guess which camp I fell into, even if I could acknowledge the movie’s significant shortcomings.

Warlord of Mars...

Continue reading

John Carter: Warlord of Mars Omnibus (Review/Retrospective)

I have to admit, I have a huge amount of respect for Marvel’s Collected Editions department. Their superb “Omnibus” line, aimed at collecting giant volumes featuring entire runs on particular characters or series, hasn’t just been reserved for their iconic stable of heroes. For example, we’ve seen a three-volume set of Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan’s Tomb of Dracula, along with complete runs of Jack Kirby’s Eternals and Devil Dinosaur. In celebration of the release of John Carter, Marvel has produced a single hardcover collection of their twenty-eight issue (and three annual) series John Carter: Warlord of Mars, from the mid-seventies. Featuring an all-star group of creative talents, it’s an interesting look at a classic comic book that doesn’t involve tights or spandex, instead offering pulpy old-fashioned adventure.

An alien adventure...

Continue reading

John Carter is Marred: Thoughts on Big-Budget Schadenfreude & Film Media Hypocrisy…

Everybody is talking about Disney’s John Carter. And not in a good way. It seems that everybody is talking about the project’s huge budget and poor marketing, with many news outlets taking an obscene amount of pleasure in declaring Andrew Stanton’s live action project dead on arrival. Some have even started making comparisons to Waterworld, another science-fiction epic with a huge budget that failed to find an audience. In the interest of honesty, I haven’t seen the film yet; I am cautiously optimistic, but I can’t help but worry about the film. Still, I can’t help but feel like this is an example of an hypocritical “damned if do, damned if you don’t” logic from film writers and journalists all over the web, who seem to be salivating at the prospect of a huge studio being humbled by a blockbuster that might mess up the landing. The irony being that these are probably the same people who frequently deride the “safe” and “obvious” choices for blockbuster films, bemoaning the fact that directors like Guillermo Del Toro aren’t given the budget to make the films they want to make.

Does anybody "get" Carter?

Does anybody "get" Carter?

Continue reading