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Avengers Disassembled: Iron Man – The Singularity (Review/Retrospective)

And so I’ve finished my trek through the tie-ins to Avengers Disassembled. And it was surprisingly painful. Sure, Robert Kirkman’s Captain America at least made sense if you looked at it from the right angle, and Mike Oeming’s Thor was one of the best stories to feature the character, but the Invincible Iron Man and Captain America & Falcon tie-ins serve to illustrate just how lost some of Marvel’s top books were at the time. The Invincible Iron Man actually had two arcs tying into the big event, from two very different creative teams, perhaps illustrating that Marvel was aware of this fundamental dysfunction. Unfortunately, neither is especially impressive, and both feel like they are simply treading water, waiting for Avengers Disassembled to put the book out of its misery.

Things look Stark…

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Avengers Disassembled: Captain America (Review/Retrospective)

The fourth volume of Captain America had a brief but troubled run. Launched on the Marvel Knights imprint by John Nay Rieber, the book was originally intended to follow the eponymous hero as he attempted to make sense of the world after the September 11th attacks. It was precisely as heavy-handed and awkward as you might imagine. After Rieber departed the series, supposedly due to differences with editorial, Chuck Austen arrived to write a story where the US government apparently conspired to freeze Captain America in the block of ice because the hero had discovered plans to use a nuclear weapon. So, when Robert Kirkman was assigned the task of helping the series limp across the finish line so that it could be relaunched as Ed Brubaker’s Captain America, it felt somewhat appropriate that the writer cast the story as a much more conventional and goofy superhero adventure.

A punchy little run?

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Mike Carey’s Run on Ultimate Fantastic Four – Vol. 4-6 (Hardcover) (Review/Retrospective)

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Fantastic Four, I’m taking a look at some of the stories featuring the characters over the past half-century.

Ultimate Fantastic Four was never really the crown jewel of the Ultimate line. It wasn’t ever as consistent as Brian Michael Bendis’ 100+ issues on Ultimate Spider-Man, nor as zeitgeist-y as Ultimate X-Men (which had the success of the X-Men trilogy to back it up at least). Instead, like Fox’s Fantastic Four movies, Ultimate Fantastic Four was just… well, just kinda there, really. To be fair, I dug Mark Millar’s twelve-issue run on the title. Hell, I even enjoyed elements of the opening arc by Millar and Bendis, and the year-long run by Warren Ellis that followed. However, Mike Carey’s run is somewhat disappointing. This was the run which essentially saw the series through to the big Ultimatum event, and perhaps it justified the decision to clean the slate when it came to Marvel’s Ultimate line. Because, whatever Carey’s run was, it certainly wasn’t consistently fantastic.

That surfer dude looks spaced...

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The Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye (Pilot)

And so it has arrived. The Walking Dead, as written and directed by Frank Darabont, based on the comic books (or “series of graphic novels”) written by Robert Kirkman. Logically, a zombie television show was long overdue – the creatures have been the staple of our pop culture landscape in some form or another for nearly fifty years now, and have seen a huge increase in popularity in recent times. So, with an incredibly strong pedigree behind it, this tale of zombie survival made it to the small screen.

The road less travelled...

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The Walking Dead, Vol. 2 (Hardcover)

Welcome to the m0vie blog’s zombie week! It’s a week of zombie-related movie discussions and reviews as we come up to Halloween, to celebrate the launch of Frank Darbont’s The Walking Dead on AMC on Halloween night. So be sure to check back all week, as we’ll be running posts on the living dead.

I want to like Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead. I really do. I love zombies. I love it when writers use horror to explore socially relevent issues. I totally dig the black-and-white style which is clearly intended to evoke the vibe of George Romero horror films. I love that it’s a mainstream comic book property that has broken into popular culture despite not featuring muscle-bound guys and gals with impossible physiques in ridiculous spandex – proof to the masses that comic books can be about more than superheroes. However, as much as I may want to embrace and love The Walking Dead, I just can’t bring myself to.

Grimes and punishment...

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the m0vie blog launches Zombie Week!

Halloween is next week! And, for those of you living in the States, that heralds the premiere of Frank Darabont’s The Walking Dead. So, we’ve decided to run a themed week leading up to the premiere. Each day between now and next Sunday, we’ll be reviewing a particular zombie film – some classic, some modern; some American, some British – and running a host of zombie-related fun. In fact, before the premiere, we’ll be reviewing the second full year of the comic book it’s based upon, The Walking Dead. Be sure to check it out. It’ll be dead fun.

Bring out your undead!

The Walking Dead, Vol. 1 (Hardcover)

The best part of The Walking Dead is the premise, brilliantly summed up by Robert Kirkman in his afterword: why do zombie movies end? The answer is quite logical, as he concedes, in that people don’t want to spend their life in a cinema watching 24-hour zombie movies. Okay, most people don’t want to do that. Somewhat forshadowing the recent announcement we’d be getting a Walking Dead television series (from Frank Darabont, director of The Shawshank Redemption and The Mist, no less), Kirkman argues that comics and television are the only media that can truly support a longterm continuous narrative. What happens after your favourite zombie film ends? It’s an interesting premise to be sure. It’s just a shame that the initial twelve issues of the series don’t quite live up to it.

Better off red?

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