Friday, January 18, 2019

The Batman Who Laughs #1 Review

On the Marvel Hacks Podcast, we have a segment called "That's They One", where we weekly review one DC comics are on our Marvel Centric podcast.  As, I and the Sandman are the only DC fans, picking the book each week becomes a challenge.  My DC knowledge is thin and I am not afraid to admit that.  Growing up, DC meant Dinky Comics in my house and I was raised almost exclusively on Marvel Comics.

But, I have grown to enjoy DC over time and my kids are way into DC so I have increased my reading of their comics; especially events.  Coming out of one of these most recent events, DC Metal, there was an introduction to 7 Dark multiverses and the Batman in those multiverses made their way to the regular DC Universe.  One of those characters is the Batman Who Laughs and the character become so popular, it got this mini series.

In this book, we get Batman investigating a group of people who have been robbing the bodies from Potters field in Gotham and the mystery is what they are doing with the bodies.  Batman, working with Alfred have found the robbers and there is a great car chase scene.  There is a little, what I have dubbed "Batman Bullshit" as these impossible things happen with Batman, but I digress.

Once Batman finds the coffin, he opens it up to find... Bruce Wayne.  The plot revolves around who and where did this Bruce Wayne come from and this plot leads us to Arkham to visit the Joker.  But the Batman that shows up, is not the Batman you expect and he is leading the Batman who Laughs!

The book does a great job unfolding the story with great art and dialogue by Scott Snyder.  I am trying to not spoil much about this issue because there are lots of twists and turns and reveals.  Suffice to say, things are not as they appear and Snyder and company have introduced a new villain(s) to the Batman Rogue Gallery that will definitely make an impact on the Dark Knight moving forward.

Great book! I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did because Batman is not my favorite character. and I think DC relies too much on him to carry their entire universe.  But, in this instance and with a writer like Snyder who has such a great grasp on the character, The Batman who Laughs is a wonderful addition to the overcrowded Bat-line of books.

The Producer

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Friends from College Season 2 Review

Season 2 of the Netflix "comedy" is back and I binged watched it over the weekend.  I reviewed season 1 and you can find that link here.....
but to summarize season 1, the show was billed as a comedy and there were not many funny moments.  It was a drama in the way of 30 Something and calling it a comedy had people watching for laughs and there were not many.  Season 1 had this great cast of comedy characters and they turned them into bland, unfunny folks and I was never certain if that was the purpose.  Season 1 was inconsistent and uneven and it was difficult to either like or hate any of the characters because they were just bland caricatures.

To recap season 1, Ethan and Lisa are a married couple moving back to New York from Michigan  where all their Friends from College live.  The big secret is that, since college, Ethan and  Sam ave been having an affair and only one person, knows about it.  Season 1 revolves around each friends lives and their continued grasp at their youth as each person is closing in on forty.

Of course, the affair is revealed and friends are sleeping with each other and it all culminates at the birthday party for another friend and Lisa asking Ethan for a separation.

Season 2 picks up a year later! The pull back for all the friends is that Felix and Max are getting married and their engagement party has all Friends invited together for the first time in a year,  Ethan  has not seen Lisa in a year and Sam and her husband are still dealing with the betrayal of her affair and staying together only for their children and working through their issues in couples therapy.

The season evolves around the friends relationship post the affair reveal and their differing emotions dealing with it.  The anger and hurt from cheating is played out wonderfully through Lisa( Colbie Smothers) all season long and even tho she still makes questionable decisions, she comes off likeable and despicable all at the same time.  The show finds its groove in season 2 by settling on the drama and leaving the comedy to a minimum( on purpose) and allows the viewers better insight into each character over the 8 episode run.

I would rarely recommend this, but I would advise people interested in this show to skip season 1 and just watch the Netflix recap before starting season 2.  It will catch you up on all the major plot points in 2 minutes and you can move onto enjoying season 2.

Much better effort and hopefully we will get a season 3!!

The Producer

Young Justice #1

Back in October, DC announced their new, teen focused Wonder Line of comics.  These books would be overseen by Brian Michael Bendis as he has been known for being able to capture and make popular teens in comics with his run on Miles Morales: Spiderman and IronHeart!

Young Justice opens with a discussion of the 7 Crisses by a group of space fairing aliens called the Gemworld and how these Crisis' have become a threat to their world and Earth must be dealt with.

Back on Earth, we get the slow introduction to the team.  First up Jenny Hex, on her way to Metropolis from Texas and she is the first to encounter the police and the Gemworld when they attack.  Next up, Tim Drake as Robin as the attack begins in earnest and this Robin is clearly going to be the leader of this group of Young Justice.  Next up, Wonder Girl, but not the Donna Troy version.  She tells Robin she is not about this hero life right now, but eventually she does make her way into the battle.  We also get Impulse making his way into the book and team, along with Teen Lantern.

The battle culminates with our heroes of Young Justice running off Gemworld as they go back into their teleporter and Young Justice follows them and get sucked into different portals.  Without spoiling too much, each member Robin and Impulse are reunited with someone from their pasts.

Overall, I thought this book was ok.  It was a little uneven and the dialogue felt a bit forced; like a middle age man trying write dialogue for teenagers.  And then it hit me:  This book is not necessarily written for me; its written for a younger audience and when viewing it from that lens, I understand it a bit more.  This is a great, out of continuity book for a new reader to pick up and read.  Its fun, it has action, and is drawn beautifully. 

Even tho its not my cup of tea, I will still finish out the first story arc because I am interested in seeing how the team comes together.  Solid, but not spectacular issue from Bendis.

The Producer

The Marvel Hacks: Season 5 Episode 1

Marvel Hacks Season 5, Ep 1

The Marvel Hacks are back!! We took a long vacation for the holidays but the New Year brings a new season and podcast.  This week we late review Aquaman and The Spiderverse and talk how hyped( or not) we are for Captain Marvel.  In comics, for THATS THEY ONE, we review DC's new Young Justice title under the Wonder Banner.  Plus we review the Champions #1, Winter Soldier #1, Killmonger #1, and the Avengers reach a milestone with issue 700.

Great fun and listen with your boys! Come get some and share with your friends on Soundcloud, Stitcher, and Apple Podcast!

The Producer

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Betty and Veronica #1 Review

As the Archie Forever line continues, the reboot of Betty and Veronica reboots written by Jamie Lee Rotante and pencils by Sandra  Lanz.  To recap, this Archie Forever line kicked off with Archie 700 and is continuing the foundation laid by Mark Waid when they rebooted Archie in 2015 with a more realistic storyline.

The first Betty and Veronica reboot only lasted the issues and disappeared because of massive shipping delays from the Adam Hughes creative team.  This new relaunch is scheduled as a 5 issue 5 series and hopefully can stay on a regular schedule.

This issue kicks off at the end of the summer as Betty and Veronica reflect on all their happenings away from the Riverdale Gang this summer.  There were trips to the big city and social projects as each girl helps complete the other.

My first reaction to this was, I really wish Archie comics would make the step to put Betty and Veronica together as a couple.  They are best friends, yes... but who says you cannot date your best friend?  On top of that, maybe they are better for one another than Reggie or Archie is.  Just my thought...

But there is the teenage heartbreak and reflection as the girls move into their senior year at Riverdale High School.  The girls, not wanting their magical summer to end, make a pinky pact to attend the same college as one another.  AND that neither one would pursue a romantic relationship with Archie moving forward.

The book is light and fun, as Archie books should be; however this is an interesting period to focus on Betty and Veronica.  Each looking into adulthood and dealing with issues that many high school seniors deal with: Where should I go to college? How can I afford college?  What will I study?  This is on top of the academic pressures students face, as well as the pressure parents put on their children about their future.  I think this is a rich and interesting spot for this book to live in( even only for a bit).  The ladies do visit a local college in Riverdale and attend a mixer and even though they are supposed to stay together, they get separated and Betty drunk texts Archie for help!

I do not want to spoil too much here but our book ends on a cliffhanger where our two main protagonist are each wondering what is going to happen next.

I truly enjoyed this book and I always enjoy when the focus is taken off Archie.  Plus, this book avoids something that Archie #700 did which is try to make a connection between the Archie comics and the Riverdale TV show.  In my world, the only connection between the two are the names of the characters and they should not be crossed over.

Betty and Veronica is a great book and a great jump on point for new readers to the Archieverse.  I highly recommend this book!!

The Producer