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Category Archives: Marvel

Wakanda Forever! ‘Black Panther’ in Theatres and Your Bookshelf

Hey, how about that Black Panther movie?

I had the chance to see the film last night, and I was just as impressed as every one else has been. Ryan Coogler’s script and direction was flawless as far as I’m concerned, and the cast was absolutely A+. Chadwick Boseman exudes heroism, confidence and compassion, while Michael B. Jordan just keeps getting better and better as an actor. It is such a shame that he was completely wasted in Fantastic Four, but hey, if that movie would have been a success perhaps we would have missed him as Eric Killmonger.

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Count All the Stones With ‘Infinity Countdown Prime #1’ on The Wednesday Run

So, maybe you’ve heard: Black Panther smashed the Hollywood box office last weekend with a take of $192 million.

That’s like, huge.

That’s bigger than Iron Man. That’s bigger than Captain America. That’s bigger than Avengers.

That’s like, HUGE.

And, for so many important reason, that’s great news for everyone who was part of the making of Black Panther and that’s great for everyone who went to see the film. (I haven’t gotten around to heading to the local theatre to see the film just yet, so I can guarantee that box office number is going to rise!)

But that news is also great for Marvel Comics – all Marvel Comics…especially the ones that somehow tie into this coming May’s Avengers: Infinity War film, the film that is the direct sequel to Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

And hey! It just so happens that Marvel Comics is publishing an Infinity-inspired product tie-in comic book today! Imagine that!

Setting aside my sense of consumerist nihilism for a moment, Infinity Countdown Prime #1, a one-shot prequel to a new miniseries out next month, does sound like a lot of fun!

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‘Black Panther’ Set to Strike First and Fierce at the Box Office

It’s a huge weekend for Marvel fans, movie fans, and those that have always dreamed of seeing representation on the big screen. The question isn’t whether or not Black Panther will top the box office; it’s how much money will it bring with it when it arrives there. Here’s our prediction:

black_panther_ver3.jpg

Black Panther comes from director Ryan Coogler and stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther, the king of Wakanda and the character introduced in Captain America: Civil War. The film co-stars Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis. Reviews have been absolutely incredible for the film, and its pre-sales are larger than virtually any other Marvel movie. Anticipation for Black Panther is high, and there’s no question that it will deliver the goods. Look for a first place debut with $180 million over the three-day weekend.

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‘Something Happened Behind These Doors’: Season Two Trailer for ‘Jessica Jones’


For many fans of the Marvel TV universe, Jessica Jones is the top contender for biggest badass. She’s sarcastic and surly and subverts all those “strong woman” clichés by being physically powerful but not necessarily wanting the mantle of “heroine,” not to mention superhero.

This trailer for the show’s second season reveals that Jessica (Krysten Ritter) will be forced to confront exactly what was done to her to make her the way she is. She also has to deal with a persistent dude who seeks to absorb her fledgling detective agency. One good thing? She’s got her best friend Trish (Rachael Taylor) by her side.
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We’re invited to the Wedding of the Century in X-Men Gold #30

Kitty Pryde.

Peter Rasputin.

X-Men Gold #30

June 2018.

‘Nuff Said.

Experience The Cinematic Horror Of “Gene Colan’s The Tomb Of Dracula Artist’s Edition” On The Wednesday Run

There are certain comic book titles that, regardless of their age, their genre, their publication format or their trade dress, always seem to come up again and again in conversation.

They’re ever-lasting, it seems. Undying works of art that are discovered and re-discovered by generations that follow the witnesses to the original release.

The Tomb of Dracula, featuring everyone’ favourite undying vampire is one such publication.

Maybe you’ve heard of it?

You should have. We’ve featured The Tomb of Dracula on Biff Bam Pop! a number of times. The late, great, Glenn Walker gave a fantastic historic account of the 1970’s Marvel Comics monthly horror series a while back, which you can find right here. Site contributor, Jason Shayer, also shared his love for the title in a Tales From The Longbox column a few years ago.

More recently, I too brought up The Tomb of Dracula in one of BBP’s 31 Days of Horror (the October 2017 edition) features. You can find that piece here.

But it’s today’s release of the sumptuous and absolutely stunning Gene Colan’s the Tomb of Dracula Artist’s Edition that’s got everyone talking – so long as they can stop their mouths from watering!

Here’s why:

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Heroes and Villains, January 3, 2018

Welcome once again to the home office here in snowy Cobourg, Ontario as I bring you another edition of Heroes and Villains! This week I’m going to take a long look at the first two volumes of Marvel’s X-Men: Blue series. Ready? Let’s talk comics!

Marvel

X-Men: Blue, Volume 1 & 2
Writer: Cullen Bunn; Artists: Jorge Molina, Julian Lopez, Cory Smith and several others

If I am a Marvel guy first, then I am an X-Men guy second. I’ve dabbled with Avengers, the FF and Spidey, but I enrolled at the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters back during the Chris Claremont days and although I have a skipped a few semesters, my attendance record is pretty good. Until lately that is.

After the “San-Francisco era” of the X-Men came to a close and the Schism event divided the team into two camps, my interest in the world of X slowly faded. Combined with some concepts that I wasn’t that into like the rise of the Inhumans, the death of Wolverine and the launch of All New X-Men by Brian Bendis it just didn’t seem like my bag. To be fair, I never gave the all-new concept a chance. I didn’t want to see past versions of the original five X-Men running around in the modern Marvel universe. Why would I? Jean was dead (again), Cyclops was a much more interesting character leading his mutant revolution, Angel was coming off a resurrection/rebirth thing and Beast and Iceman had both gone through enough character growth that they were compelling characters. What did I want with teenage versions of these characters?

So I didn’t read it. I did know roughly what was going on by reading some other core X-titles, but I still didn’t dig it. How much time travel and alternate future/history stuff can a series take before it becomes a parody of itself? In the case of the X-Men it seemed like there was no end in sight, so I quit altogether.

With another round of relaunched, all new, all different, Marvel Now, etc. series on the way, I was excited to see the Blue and Gold concepts back out there. The Gold team would be the Claremont lineup of Kitty Pryde, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Wolverine (Old Man Logan) and Rachel Summers. The Blue squad was the original five, with the twist being that Jean Grey is now team leader. Also, Angel has fire wings for some reason. My intention was to pick up the Gold trades, as I like that team and my daughter is a huge Kitty Pryde fan. However, when I went trade hunting at BMV, there was no Gold to be had, just the first two editions of Blue. And, since I wasn’t leaving with no X-Men comics I decided to give them a chance.

Volume 1: Strangest

I was into this book at the get-go. The costume designs have a throw back to the original X-Factor uniforms and the first artist, Jorge Molina, has a nice style that captured the youthful look of these young X-Men. I was willing to overlook the battle with Black Tom and Juggernaut, even though it was pretty played out and Black Tom was dead last time I checked, because it was done well and the first issue payed off with the reveal that it was Magneto that had brought this team together.

It was here, however, that the parallel universe shenanigans kicked into gear with the introduction of Ultimate Wolverine to the team. Ultimate Wolverine in this case being James Hudson, the blonde son of the original ultimate Wolverine. This brings the marvel universe “Wolverine” total to 4, with Dark Wolverine, All-New Wolverine (X-23) and Old Man Logan already in circulation.

That wouldn’t have been that bad, but from there we also got the all new Marauders, who were, of course, parallel universe versions of Quicksilver and some D-List x-characters brought together by a sexy, lady Mr. Sinister named, sigh, Mrs. Sinister. If it sounds like to much to read in my review, imagine how it felt in the book.

All that said, I wasn’t as turned off by the above as I expected to be. Molina’s art is excellent, the script is good and I do like the X-Men, so I rolled with it. Not my favorite X-Men title to be sure, but I’ve read much worse.

Unfortunately, Jorge Molina left after issue 3 and Volume 2 had to take a detour into that most dark and all-encompassing of Marvel destinations: the company-wide cross-over event.

Volume 2: Toil and Trouble

So I gather there was this Secret Empire thing with an evil Captain America that some folks out there didn’t really cotton to. I haven’t read it, so I don’t know if the concept itself worked out, but holy smokes is it a pain being tossed into one of these things while reading one book and not all the books. Emma Frost, Havok and a very dapper suit-wearing Xorn (???) are bad guys with their own mutant island that evil Steve Rogers gave them. They have a bunch of X-People on their side, all with fancy new powers, and Magneto has a truce with Rogers to protect his young X-team. Okay, sure, but… huh? Hey, there’s Polaris! And the X-Jet was really Danger the living danger room lady all along because of course. The art through this story was pretty rough, as was having no earthly idea what was going on. Why is Wolfsbane a bad guy that can split herself into tiny wolves? Why is Xorn wearing a suit and cape? Why does Emma want to reprogram young Cyclops to think he is old Cyclops? He’s 17; isn’t that kinda creepy? Weak stuff all around. Especially if you are a fan of Emma Frost or someone who liked the Xorn reveal left as it was back in New X-Men by Grant Morrison and never got into the Danger character in the first place.

From here, we go full tilt parallel universe shenanigans as Madeline Pryor (really???) does magic things to Beast and makes an evil team of alternate Colossus, Storm, Pixie and Nightcrawler battle the X-Men. Ugh.

The Storm in question, Bloodstorm (who first appeared in the oh-so 1990s Mutant X series) is a vampire Storm that kinda doesn’t want to be bad and ends up helping. So, of course, they put her on the team.

Okay, so I pride myself in not being that comic book guy that complains about stuff. We all get to have our favourite era and we have the right to like or not like others as we choose, but this series just feels like the well has run dry. It’s like X-Men comics are the air on a non-stop flight to Australia and back, recycled to the point where it’s just not good anymore. I mean, yeah, I’m breathing, but that’s about it.

If you are to believe the internets, there was, prior to the FOX deal, an official edict at Marvel stating that X-Men writers could not create any new characters as they would be rolled into the FOX cinematic canon and that made Mickey the Mouse sad. Is this comic a victim of that? Is this what happens when you aren’t allowed to have new ideas? It kinda feels that way.

There are things to like here and I absolutely think that Cullen Bunn has done well with what he has on hand, but between inconsistent art (seven different artists over 12 issues), getting sucked into the Secret Empire event and non-stop parallel universe shenanigans X-Men: Blue left me feeling just that, blue.

Til next semester, cheers.

Teenage Spidey Swing Strong In Spider-Man-Homecoming – A Film Review

Editor’s note: So, I f’d up months ago. My friend, J. Michael Trautmann, wrote an excellent look at Spider-Man: Homecoming when it was released, and I totally gaffed on getting it up. Rather than leave it to the ether, I’m really happy to post it now (with apologies to JMT). Spider-Man: Homecoming is doing gangbuster business on VOD and Blu-ray (see more here), so luckily, his work remains timeless, even with my mistake. 

OK, so it’s been enough time and everyone has seen Spider-Man: Homecoming, who cares by now. Here are my thoughts on the latest Sony adaptation of Marvel’s (and my) favorite character, Spider-Man. Spoilers a plenty, for those of you slacking.

Spider-Man homecoming

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Holiday Gift Guide 2017: Comic Book Collections Part 1

It’s the week before the Christmas holiday!

Some of you might already be neck-deep in celebrating cultural festivities, but there’s probably ample opportunity for you, regardless of the holiday you observe, to still be out there amongst the masses, shopping for gifts.

You know. Shop to shop. Elbow-to-elbow. Debit card to debit card.

And I’m certain, with you being a regular, casual, or happenchance purveyor of this fine pop culture site, that you’re into comic books. And so are your friends!

A few weeks ago, regular Biff Bam Pop! contributor (and comic book aficionado), E. A. Henson gave his list of comic book compilations to give as gifts, which you can find right here. A fine list it is, too.

Here, then, is another: the first of three parts over the next few days, all showcasing 2017 comic book compilations worthy as giving as gifts to a friend or loved one.

Or to yourself.

Let’s start off with the most expensive, while you still have money in your bank account!

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And There Came a Day Unlike Any Other: The Fox/Disney Merger

While it has been out there in the geek ether (geether?) for a while now, the official word came down this morning that Disney shelled out a cool 52.4 BILLION dollars for FOX studios, home of the Fantastic Four and the X-Men.

Having caught my breath from a solid hour of geeking out and mapping out personal fan-fic scenarios uniting the characters of the two Marvel Cinematic Universes, I am now prepared to offer a short list of what I think are the five most exciting possibilities of the expanded MCU:

1. World War 2 Captain America and Wolverine

Storming the beach at Normandy side by side? Teaming up and taking down an entire Hydra unit? Maybe just Captain America being offended by the smell of Logan’s cigar… The possibilities range from the subtle to the sensational, but its a perfect way to map out a connection between the two characters. Let’s also not forget that this opens up a potential for Wolverine vs. Winter Soldier flashbacks and even Winter Soldier vs. Deadpool.

Whether its Hugh Jackman suiting up or a new, MCU proper casting for Wolverine, the stories here have my knuckles itching and “SNIKT” ringing in my ears. Read the rest of this entry

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