Age of Ultron is writer Brian Michael Bendis’ swan song on the Avengers franchise. Ultron is the ultimate archenemy of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Beside their destruction all it wants is the eradication of mankind and the coming of a machine age. The story so far – Ultron has won. We all woke up one morning and everything was different – we were living, dying, or worse, in the Age of Ultron. Check out last week’s review here for the details. See my new review of Book Two, and more, after the jump.
The Brian Michael Bendis era is over. The guiding hand of the Avengers franchise at Marvel Comics has essentially relinquished control of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes with the advent of Marvel NOW!. Bendis may have one last devastating word for the team with his “Age of Ultron,” but for the moment, other hands on are the Avengers. Here’s a quick look at recent doings in the Marvel NOW! era, after the jump.
In the decades since “Flash of Two Worlds” in Flash #123 in 1961, the story that introduced Earth-Two and the basic concept of the Multiverse in comics, the idea of parallel universes have gone from science fiction theory to science fact. The Multiverse is more relevant now than it ever has.
While DC Comics has been the place the Multiverse is most bandied about, Marvel has done its share of play there as well. Marvel’s past in parallel dimensions seems about to come back and bite it in its butt in recent issues of Avengers and New Avengers. It’s a coming crisis in the Marvel Multiverse, after the jump.
There are the comic books you read because they star a particularly favourite character – or group of characters. There are also the comic books you read because a major got-the-fans-talking storyline is running through them. Of course, there are the comics you read because a certain artist you enjoy is working on them, not to mention the comics you read because an effectively brilliant marketing blitz has convinced you to pick the books up.
Then again, maybe it’s the name of the writer that has peaked your interest.
And that’s how Ed Brubaker drew me into Winter Soldier.
I was a little late to the writer, Ed Brubaker. I knew of him, but didn’t read his work until the hardcover collected editions of Gotham Central started hitting the shelves. Even then, I was reading Gotham Central because of co-writer Greg Rucka and because I always loved the art of Michael Lark.
In hindsight, I should have been more aware of is work.
Of course, I absolutely adored Gotham Central – specifically Ed Brubaker’s writing on the series. And doncha’ know, he had worked with Michael Lark a few years earlier on Scene of the Crime, another fine title, recently collected in a hardcover edition and making this very column last November!
Over the last year and a half, Ed Brubaker and artist Butch Guice’s monthly offering of Winter Soldier has been, hands down, one of the best comics I’ve ever had the joy of reading. Bold words, I know, but I’m not alone. There are plenty of other Biff Bam Poppers around these parts who feel the same way. To be honest, I wasn’t very familiar with Bucky Barnes, Captain America’s long-time pal, who, it turns out, was kidnapped by the Soviets and brainwashed into being a communist assassin. The Winter Soldier series is Bucky’s penance.
Part superhero comic, part detective noir, and part political thriller, Winter Soldier always had its main protagonist as a central character study. Here was a broken patriot, now in the midst of healing, trying to do right once again and reclaim the man – the hero – he once was. It’s been a fascinating read, month after month, and has won plaudits throughout the industry. For a heightened sense of drama, Brubaker brought back an old assassin compatriot who has forced the brainwashing procedure on Bucky’s love interest, Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow! Issue #14, out today, is the culmination of that storyline and readers have been eagerly awaiting the payoff for the length of the series.
Unfortunately, issue #14 is also Brubaker’s last issue on the title. He’s leaving the medium of comics (at least with the major publishers) in pursuit of television and film projects. The monthly Winter Soldier, I know, won’t be the same without him.
So make the run to your comic book shop today and pick up Winter Soldier #14 – the ending of a grand character study done in epic, action-packed fashion. A warm and fond farewell to an adored series and a favourite writer indeed!
Best of luck in your future projects Ed – we’ll definitely be looking out with fervent interest as to what you’re up to!
Every Wednesday, JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column will highlight a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!
In keeping with the Spider-Man theme this week, and in anticipation of the new movie coming out, I figured it was only natural that I delve into the video game side of Spider-Man. There are a ton of Spider-Man games out there, with a few gems in the mix. The one that I loved however – and a LOT of people will disagree with me on this one – was Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage on the SNES.
Read the rest of this entry
Marvel’s The Avengers Assembles A Record-Breaking Weekend – Biff Bam Pop’s Box Office Wrap-Up Report, Weekend Of May 4th, 2012
I don’t think anybody saw this coming, even when it looked like Marvel’s The Avengers was on track for a record breaking weekend.
But this estimated number – totally unexpected.
All the details after the jump.
I think Joss Whedon owns a shawarma franchise. But I get ahead of myself.
There were a bunch of ways to watch The Avengers opening day. Okay, a bunch of legal ways. You could go see it during the normal evening hours on the Friday it opens. You can go to the Friday midnight screening. Or you could attend a marathon screening of all the films in the Avengers series, followed by a midnight premier.
The experience was definitely a unique one. I met with a group of friends at a local Denny’s for breakfast (it was convenient to the theatre as much as anything else).
Following that, it was fifteen hours of film madness.
The Avengers Assemble To Kick Off The Summer Blockbuster Season – Biff Bam Pop’s Box Office Predictions, Weekend Of May 4th, 2012
And so it begins – the summer blockbuster season, which kicks off with what just may be the film to beat. Let’s not waste time – we all know The Avengers is going to do big business this weekend, but how much will it actually gross over the next three days. Here are our predictions: