Friday, November 16, 2018

Battlestar Galactica #1 Review

One thing that I really enjoyed growing up was Battlestar Galactica.  Now depending upon when you were born, this may mean many different things to you.  If you were born in the last 15-20 years, you are probably thinking about New Battlestar and Caprica which were staples on SYFY network in the early 2000's.

But if you are old like me, Battlestar Galactica usually means classic Battlestar Galactica.  The short lived sci-fi television show with Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict, and Lorne Greene.  This Battlestar was the show of my youth.  I tried New Battlestar and much like New Coke, it wasn't for me.

So I was intrigued when I saw that a new Battlestar Galactica comic book was coming out.  When I initially heard about it, I assumed that it would be New Battlestar as the classic show has a waning, older audience. Plus, since the passing of Richard Hatch- who really kept alive the idea and importance of Classic Battlestar Galactica, I had not seen much written about that version of the characters.

To my surprise, this comic book focuses on the classic characters and designs and even the cover has that super 70's vibe to it.

This story focuses on, what is often lost, when talking about Battlestar Galactica, the original mission of the lost 13 colonies looking for Earth.   As Adama is commanding his crew they are looking for passage through an alien system and their people the Kiernu.  The aliens refuse passage but Adama takes them through anyway to save fuel and escape the pursuing Cylons.

When the Cylons get wind of this, the send in Lucifer and the Centurions to punish the Kiernu and they kill many of the inhabitants of their planet; even though they refused passage of the Galactica through their star system.

Back on the Galactica, a group of Viper pilots who were out on patrol, led by Apollo, come back with 100 ships from an alien race they had encountered.  The people are called the Okatit and they are also on the run from a group of slaves who look to steal their technology and enslave their people.  They ask for safe haven with the ships of the Galactica; something Adama is unwilling to do based on his suspicions of their motives and if adding them will help the Cylons catch up to them.

Of course there are your space battle scenes, which play out so well in the medium of comics.  Vipers scorch across space against alien spaceships and its really an awesome display by artist, Daniel Hdr.

The book ends with Adama finding out the fate of the K... people and him dealing with the guilt of being commander of the Galactica and his decision leading to their destruction by the Cylons.

Overall this is a great book for fans of classic Battlestar.  For Black Battlestar fans, Colonel Tigh does make an appearance, but not Boomer. I am sure he will show up at some point.  This would be a great jumping on point for someone who grew up on new Battlestar and Caprica to get a sense of the flavor of the classic lineup.  Who knows we may finally get that Battlestar Galactica movie that Richard Hatch so hoped for!!

The Producer

Uncanny X-Men #1 Review

Stop me if you heard this one before.... the X-Men have been rebooted!!  Just in the last 2 years the mighty mutants have been rebooted several times over several different books.  From the nostalgia of X-Men Blue and X-Men Gold, X-Men Red, and Astonishing X-Men, the folks at Marvel have been hoping to find that magical combination to recapture some of that mutant magic from their heyday.

On the Marvel Hacks podcast, we have reviewed all these books and they have been inconsistent at best and flat out butt cheeks at their worse.  X-Men Blue and Gold hoped to draw upon the nostalgia of the 90's but that went out the window fairly quickly as each book got booged down in meaningless plots and unnecessary characters.  X-Men Gold pulled a "Dusty Finish" with non- the marriage of Colossus and Kitty Pryde and wasted much of the goodwill that  book had before getting cancelled.  Astonishing brought back Professor Xavier( sort of) and gave us a laborious Proteus story that went nowhere.  And X-Men Red brought back Jean Grey and placed her as leader of a ragtag bunch of mutants... and contrary to some on the Internet, the book is not great ( don't @ me)

So word of a reboot was always out there.  As the Disney-Fox merger became more reality, it was assured- especially when the colored books were cancelled.  Covers were leaked of the brand new team and the next mutant event- Extermination was to lead into the new team!

With that, Uncanny X-Men number one came out with a hefty $8 price tag and the promises of 80 pages.  While it did deliver on the 80 pages, only 1/4 of those pages are dedicated to the main plot line with the main X-Men team. The other pages are annual at best stories featuring Bishop, Jean Grey, and some long hod over Grant Morrison X-Men characters that no one cares about.

And here in lies the rub of these recent X-Men reboots.  The books struggled to decide who or what they are:  Are you books focused on the classic X-Men team or are you attempting to blend in these newer, less known characters to build a deeper X-Universe?  This makes books like Uncanny X-Men stumble right out of the gate.

The opening splash pages features the various mutants that will appear in this book and its like 20 plus mutants and to be honest, many of those mutants just  suck.  I am not sure who they fans of Rockslide are and Glob, but its certainly not me and since Grant Morrison left, these characters have been hanging out at the X-Mansion for years training and they still suck.  Having them be, even a minor focus in your book, takes away any of the goodwill this book may have endeared.

Uncanny X-Men falls onto long time tropes of government conspiracy, a mutant cure, and an X-Man whose motives are suspicious; this time its the Multiple Man.  Whatever troubles he is having brings him to Washington, DC and we get a full out battle between the X-Men and his multiples.  Its tired and boring and the sub-plot of  the mutant vaccination and humans hating mutants is well traveled territory.  Plus the ending page of the ever deepening story is worthy of every eye roll.

Something we have said over and over on the Marvel Hacks Podcast is Marvel is really dropping the ball with all the X-Men.  Their inability to find a group of mutants to tell the consistent stories with has pushed the book into 90's Avengers comic book territory.  I know it may be hard for some of you to believe, but the Avengers were not always popular.  The books suffered from revolving creative teams, as well as wacky line up changes that made the books, at times, unreadable.  Their return only was spurred by the fact that Marvel recognized that people look to certain characters to be Avengers and adding silly characters for fun, took away from the enjoyment of the book. And X-Men is there right now.

This current team, while not my favorite, has solid X-Men members on it.  Tell stories with just that team.  There is no need to bring in Northstar or other characters.  Tell precise, consistent stories that focus on the character development of THAT team of X-Men.

I am sure we will review Uncanny X-Men #2 on the Marvel Hacks. We all love Marvels Mighty Mutants but lately they have not loved us back!  Be sure to check out the podcast to hear us review this book( and others)!!

The Producer

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Marvel Hacks Season 4, Ep 6

The Marvel Hacks season 4 wraps up with our tribute to Stan Lee and our reviews of Fantastic Four, Captain America, and the relaunch of Uncanny X-Men.  The Producer, Brother Beavis, and the Sandman got all the info and laughs that you need!!

Marvel Hacks Season 4 Ep 6

Podcast also available on Apple Podcast and Stitcher.... just search @brothascomics

The Producer

Monday, October 15, 2018

Keystone Comic Con Review

            This September I had the opportunity to attend the inaugural Keystone Comic Con at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Considering this was my first official comic con adventure the introduction was incredible. Their were numerous panels, attractions, and vendors that made the entire place full of both new and classic nerd culture.

            The Con was divided into several sections throughout the Convention Center. The main stage was on the third floor away from the vendors and the lower level the gaming zone. This made it so the event was not over crowded.  While the con covered three floors of the Convention Center it was extremely easy to get around due to both their programs and a kick ass app sponsored by Webtoons. 

            The main floor is contained an Artist Alley, the Live Stage, cosplayers, and vendors. In the cosplay corner, you could go take pictures with cosplayers and get advice about cosplay and constructing costumes. Next to the cosplay corner was artist alley, where you could see various pieces of original fan art as well as commission  an original art piece. The Live Stage hosted the cast from The Office, music, and comedy.  This place even had live wrestling!        
Note to self: Make a budget before you attend a con!  I wanted to buy all the things.  You could purchase everything from custom costumes, tiny hats, comics, games, toys, and nightmare inducing teddies. 

            The Gaming Zone had to be one of my favorite parts of the Con.  The zone included about 50 different screens running games for Nintendo, Playstation, and Xbox.  There both classic and current games available for play.  Some of the featured games included Mario, Donkey Kong, Just Dance, Street Fighter, Mario Kart, Tekken, Smash Bros, Rock Band, and Dragon Ball FighterZ.  There is something about dancing and singing at the top of your lungs in a room full of strangers that is just unforgettable.

            Another highlight, was attending a panel with the legend,  Frank Miller. It was amazing to hear the stories behind The Dark Knight, Sin City and The 300.  The moderator was very knowledgeable about Miller’s career  and constructed questions the dove deep into his career and gave the audience a good amount of time to ask questions. Additional panels featured the cast from The Office and True Blood and talents such as John Barrowman, Ray Park, and Catherine Tate.  

            Keystone Comic Con was well-run for a first-time convention. There was an abundance of volunteers to assist patrons.  Effort was made to consider inclusion for all fans by including such things as a Family Zone and an explicit harassment policy.  The organizers were able to get sponsors for many of the features of the Con such as lanyards, programs, charging stations, an app. The nerd community made the entire event feel amazingly fun and unique. Keystone Comic Con is great addition to the comic con landscape.  I plan to return August 23-25 2019!

Awesome DMT
Chanda Telleen

You can follow me @ctellen

Pilot Season: God Friended Me

CBS has a long history of courting religious people with semi-religious programming.  Its a part of their model to appeal to older, white Americans and one of the reasons CBS is the most watched television network.  Those white viewers love procedurals and drama's that have a moral( in their mind) right and wrong and an hour later, the bad guy loses and the good guy wins.  Like it or not, its their winning formula.

All the way back to Little House on the Prairie to Dr Quinn to, Promised Land, to Touched by an Angel, CBS has always flirted with overt religious themes in their programming.  This new entry, God Friended Me stars Brandon Michael Hall, who was on the criminally underrated, The Mayor on ABC last year.  He stars as Miles Finer, a young, atheist, who is one day friended by God.  Of course, he deletes the request but it keeps coming, as well as requests from people who keep popping into his life to help.

I am a little bothered by the idea of the Magical Negro.. a television and movie trope that always places God/religion on Black people as they help white people on their spiritual journey.  The twist with him being an atheist is interesting, but the foundation of Magical Negro is still there. And I wonder, if they will explore the potential romantic relationship between Miles and Cara as they are clearly the two leads.

Of course Miles thinks this is some crazy plot by unknown folks trying to sabotage his success as he is looking to get his podcast onto Sirius XM.

His friend group includes. Rakesh and Cara, a woman placed in front of him to help him on her "spiritual" journey of forgiveness of her mother.  Overall the show is carried by Hall. His charm and acting elevate the show and its shaky premise.  The shows themes are relatable and I can see how the people at CBS thought this show would be a hit with their audience.  Plus, it reaches their diversity mandate with a Black lead and a supporting cast member who is Middle Eastern.

For me, as a person who was formerly religious, its a no for me, but I would definitely recommend this show to my more religious friends.

The Producer

Pilot Season: The Neighborhood

The Neighborhood on CBS is a sitcom starring Cedric the Entertainer and Max Greenfield.  Greenfield plays David Johnson whose family( his wife is played by Beth Behrs ) has moved from Michigan to a Black neighborhood in Southern California next door to Calvin Butler played by Cedric the Entertainer.

The pilots main joke is the assumption by Calvin that a family with the last name Johnson and moving into this neighborhood would be Black.  Of course, they are not and we get all the typical, lazy jokes that come with a CBS sitcom.  The jokes are stale and unfunny and are a true waste of the comedic talent of the cast.  Sitcoms that have tackled race in the past were able to take chances to talk about race being edgy to expose bigotry and prejudice.  Not this show.  It takes general themes of race relations and sets them to a laugh track ( Black women wear wigs? White people don't use wash cloths?)

Much like the sitcom, Happy Together, starring Damon Wayans, Jr, this show feels like a forced attempt by CBS to diversify their sitcom lineup which has been overwhelming white for years.  Instead of taking a chance tho and booking smart, well written shows, they have taken the lowest common denominator route and have a simple show for simple minded viewers.

I like Max Greenfield and Cedric and most of all I like Tichina Arnold who plays Cedric's wife.  The potential for this show, based on the talent involved, could actually be something special.  It's not!  I wont be visiting this Neighborhood again.

The Producer

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Creator Profile: Leaders of the Free World

This week I got a chance to talk with Corey Lakel Pruitt about his upcoming comic, Leaders of The Free World.  We talk his upbringing in comics, what writers inspire him, and how his book came from thought to Kickstarter.  Fun listen and when you are done, Back his project at the link listed below!

The Producer

Cosplayers of Color at MegaCon Tampa 2018

Brothascomics does our best to highlight cosplayers of color at conventions we visit.  This represenation is very important for conventions to become welcoming and more diverse.
Enjoy this celebration of some of the best we saw in Tampa this year.
If you see yourself, tag yourself and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @brothascomics

Pictures from Tampa MegaCon

Did you make it to Tampa MegaCon?

Check out our Flickr stream and find yourself

The Producer

Pilot Season: Happy Together

On CBS, new show brings New Girl and Happy Endings actor, Damon Wayans, Jr back to sitcom tv with a new sitcom called Happy Together.  In the Pilot, Wayans Jr plays Jake, an accountant who lives with his wife, Claire in a suburb in Los Angelas. The couple is a typical, childless couple that spends most of their time in the house, ordering in, and binging shows on television.

In a tv plot twist, Jake's accounting firm has a famous client, rock singer named Cooper James, who dates another famous singer to form a millennial hit couple.  When that relationship hits the rocks and the paparazzi come calling, Cooper flees to Jake and Amber's house to hide out.

Typical fish out of water and CBS sitcom situations abound.  An excessively loud laugh track, corny jokes about being old, and a wacky neighbor couple- in this case, Jake and Claire's in laws come to stir things up. These are staples in the CBS sitcom world.

When Cooper gets back with his girlfriend, he is miserable and Jake and Amber go and rescue him and invite him to live with him as he looks to get his life back into order.  This pilot/show is loosely based on the life of Harry Styles, formerly of One Direction.

Overall, this was a terrible pilot.  The jokes were really stale, and Wayan's Jr is funny but is really close to putting on a minstrel show in his look and behaviors.  It was quite disappointing because he was so good and measured in Happy Endings and The New Girl, but those shows were well written and thought out.  Happy Together... not so much.

I will not be surprised if this is a hit on CBS, tho because the older, white demo that watches CBS loves to watch Negroes coon it up for them.  Its a hard pass for me tho!

The Producer

Pilot Season: Single Parents

As the fall tv season gets into full swing, Brothascomics is giving reviews to some of the tv shows out this season.  First up, from ABC Single Parents.  This show is executive produced by Elizabeth Meriwether,  most recently known for the New Girl which ended its final season this past spring.

The ensemble cast is led by Saturday Night Live alum Taran Killum who plays Will Cooper- a recently single dad and father of a first grader.  Since his wife left him, Will is overly involved in his child's life outside of school and inside school as the room parent and PTA chair. His goal is to get all parents to be involved just like he is.  He is met with resistance by a parent group who is not trying to do any extra work.

There is Angie played by Leighton Meester,  who is single after her husband left her and who has a super clingy relationship with her son and is cut off emotionally from other serious relationships.  There is Poppy, played by Kimrie Lewis who has a son and owns a local wine bar in town.  Her ex is not discussed in the pilot.  Living with Poppy is Miggy Park, played by Jake Choi.  Miggy does not have a child in first grade, but has a new born son and its not fully explained why he is living with Poppy.  The last of the parental crew is Douglas, played by Brad Garrett.  He is a Dr and the father of twin girls and is older than the rest of the crew and quite cranky.

The pilot brings the crew together with a plot involving Will wanting to get the other parents involved and them resisting.  The jokes are quick and you can miss them if you are not paying close attention.  The show is witty, fun and fresh and if you are a fan of shows like the New Girl and Parks and Rec, you will enjoy this show.

The Producer

Venom Review

The contributors at Brothascomics have a few trends that have been consistent in the 3 years the blog and podcast has been up.  We think Will Smith is problematic, The Gambit movie should never be made, and we are not sure why Firefly is/was a thing.

But one of our other consistent beliefs is that Sony has/had no idea what they are doing with Spider-Man since Spider-Man 2.  From Spider-Man 3 through both Amazing Spider-Man movies, Sony has been consistently eroding all the goodwill from the franchise in their attempt to make some MCU money.

Thankfully Marvel stepped in and helped them with Spider-Man and with their help, we have a fun, relatable Spider-Man/Peter Parker in Tom Holland and it looks like Spider-Man is in good hands.  Sadly, tho, Sony still owns all the ancillary pieces of the Spider-verse and over the years, there have been threats of movies with Sable and Black Cat, Morbius, the Sinister Six, and even Kraven the Hunter.  Sony has taken to the idea that Spider-Verse characters don't actually need Spider-Mn( yet) and they can build their universe without him.

First up in this series is the Venom movie. Without going into the long history of Secret Wars and how the symbiote relates to Spider-Man, the movie jumps right in with a dark, private organization run by Riz Ahmed whose company discovers the ooze on one of its space missions and brings it back to Earth.  In this universe, Eddie Brock lives in San Fransisco( which looks alot like Atlanta) and is an investigative reporter known for breaking huge stories. His attempted expose on The Life Foundation, run by Carlton Drake( Ahmed) gets him fired from his job and helps him lose his fiance, Anne, played by Michelle Williams.

As his life falls apart around him, Jenny Slates character, Dora, reaches out to Eddie about the foulness going on at The Life Foundation.  She sneaks Eddie into the facility and he  is infected by the symbiote and becomes Venom( the symbiotes name is Venom and has come to earth with other symbiotes to take it over).

If you watched any of the trailers, you have seen alot of the movie that involves Venom.  The movie to me, suffers from how serious it wants to take itself.  The violence in some instances is not gory, but clearly violent; yet it makes jokes that only 12 year olds would laugh at continuously throughout the movie. Like for real, the jokes are really bad and really corny. This gives the movie an uneven flow and to be honest, Tom. Hardy really just mumbles and bumbles his way through this entire movie.  Additionally, the special effects are not all that special- especially in the last act of the movie when Venom and Riot fight.

I have heard people compare Venom to a phase 1 MCU movie and I am not sure how fair of a comparison that is.  Phase 1 movies introduced characters and their journey to being a hero, Venom doesn't really do that. It introduces the character and throws some stuff in there to fill the time until we get to the Boss level scene. You don't really see Eddie or Venom evolve or his heroes journey.  Its just scenes put together to make a movie with no character development and we just have to accept that Venom is a good guy now  A more apt would be a movie like Daredevil- the one with Ben Affleck.  A movie where some kinda cool stuff happens, but overall, its just meanders until he fights Kingpin at the end.

Overall, I see why Sony went with Venom.  He is a popular character in comics and has hashed out a name for himself in comics without Spider-Man. The movie has made a ton of money and Sony is going to now be drunk with the idea that Venom 2: Electric Boogaloo will be a good idea and will probably get to green lighting some of these other projects. And I am not totally opposed to all of them... as long as Spider-Man is involved.

The Producer

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Archie 1941

One consistent thing about Archie comics is its ability to take chances with their characters and their books.  Between the horror series, time jumps, and alternate realities, Archie Comics loves to place the Riverdale Gang in new and different situations. And since Archie doesn't really follow any real continuity, killing Archie or having him marry Betty and Veronica in two different timelines has no real affect on the characters or the readers.

The newest incarnation is Archie 1941- a book written by Mark Waid, who led the latest Archie relaunch three years ago by taking Archie and friends and placing them into modern society while telling stories that were relevant of today's teenagers.

This latest time jump book has a history as well. Throughout the 90's and 2000's. Archie comics has gone back in time to eras with the Americana series that set the books in the decades of the 70's, 80's, 90's and so forth.  These short lived run of Archie comics that told stories reflective of the times and its fun to see Archie folks in fashion of the time and using slang and references from the time period.

Waid and company has gone even further back to 1941... a time in Riverdale before the United States has gotten involved in World War 2.  Archie and the gang has just graduated high school, but Archie is not his typical self.  His happy- go lucky self has been replaced by brooding and it has his friends worried and his dad furious that his son seems too lazy and unfocused.

But Archie's real trouble is not the uncertainty that faces many high school graduates.  His troubles are the coming war.  The book drops subtle and not so subtle hints about the war in Europe and Archie feels compelled about what his role in the coming conflict is.

As always, Waid tells a great story, while making you care about these characters and their lives. I do have one bone to pick, tho.  There are two references to Black characters in the Archie verse.  At graduation, Mr. Weatherbee calls Chuck Clayton's name.  And a later scene at the beach, Valerie is seen hanging with the gang.

Riverdale has always been set in this non-specific place in America and 1941 is no different. However, since you are placing the characters in such a highly visible and historical era, there should be some grounding of the story in facts.  In 1941, this country was still highly segregated.  There is no way, place or how that Val could be at the beach with a group of white kids.  Plus, Chuck would not be in an integrated school.  I'm being nit picky, but that came off as kind of tone deaf of the moment just to get Chuck and Val into the book.

Outside of that, fun look at the Riverdale Gang and I look forward to seeing how this series develops.

The Producer

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Titans TV Show Costumes

***shouts out to @lakelpruitt( follow him) for posting these images


When the first images of the Titans tv show showed up on line, people were rightfully concerned.  People thought it looked kinda cheesy, like poor cosplay.  And it Starfire's instance, like... people took it to a whole other level in terms of what or who she was representing.  DC fan and DC executives were like, " Chill out- the CGI is not done".  And for me, I accepted that because I remember how much we all freaked out at the first appearance of Apocalypse in the X-Men movie- even tho that movie turned out to be ass cheeks.

Well, as we get closer and closer to the launch of the DC streaming service, we are getting more and more images of Titans and ... well, lets just look at them and describe the carnage


I am starting with Robin because he is by far the best looking of the bunch of them.  Costume looks very similar to comic book represenaton and as the leader of the Titans, its nice that he has a costume that is familiar to fans who may not be hardcore comic book fans.

Beast Boy

Things start to fall apart pretty quickly.  To qoute my friend Anna from @annareadscomics( follow her), she said he looks like he was slimed on Nickelodeon and its true.  His "costume" is a piss poor Thriller jacket.  You could see this outfit on any emo teenager at the mall hanging outside of Hot Topixx.  This is not even poor cosplay- its just a kid with a bad green dye job and a jacket from Goodwill.


The reason some of these shows are not successful is because they take deeply troubled characters and dye their hair and put them in all black clothes and now she is the "moody one".  Raven is such a complex character and to have her reduced to a character from the Descendants is a disservice to the character. 


I am going to choose my words carefully here.  You see, many people( white fanboys) are going to point to this moment/character as to why this show will, in their opinion, fail.  They will wail and scream that race bending the character is the reason the show sucks and SJW's and blah, blah, blah.  Now how are we race bending and orange alien aside, I am not sure how the producers of this show came up with this look.  On top of that, the wig is atrocious, and, lets keep it real, having a Black Woman character dressed this way is sending out a certain signal that is shady at best and racist at worst.

Look, for me, this show was a no go anyway.  The Titans have solid representations of their characters already in comics, movies, and two super popular cartoons.  I did not need to see a Titans live action show and I damn sure didn't need it on an additional streaming platform.  These pictures are InHuman levels of bad and we saw how that turned out.

Look hopefully its good, but the early returns look straight awful and I hope it looks better before the show premiers next year.

The Producer

The Joker Movie Gets a Title

Joker Movie Gets Title

DC/WB announced today that the Joaquin Phoenix led Joker movie has a title.  The name of the movie will be.... wait for it..... Joker.

That's pretty much it.  DC has moved forward on this project, along with another Joker project starring Jared Leto.  Each movie starring a version of the Joker origin story.  As we discussed on the Marvel Hacks Podcast, it seems now, each (white) method actor wants to take their shot at playing the Joker role to see if they can equal or better the performance of the late Heath Ledger.  DC seems to be going along with this hoping to catch lighting in a bottle again without thinking: Does anyone really want to see a story about the Joker's origin and how do you make a movie about a psychopath who has not heroic tendencies?

The Joker is a fun character to play with but he is a homicidal maniac.  There is no "jokes" to the character like Deadpool.  His Jokes lead to massive amounts of death and suffering and I am not sure the movie going public has two hours of that in them... let alone 2 movies of it.

DC/WB still seem to be floundering trying to find their way in this superhero pool.  I am not sure if two Joker movies is the way out tho.

The Producer