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!
Let’s not beat around the galaxy this week. We know what movie is going to top the box office. The only question is, how much will it debut with? Here’s our prediction:
The hype machine has been going full throttle for Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2, the sequel to 2014’s massively succesful Marvel Studios film directed by James Gunn and featuring some of the most unlikely heroes to become cultural icons. In the three years since its release, Chris Pratt has become a movie star, Dave Bautista has been a James Bond bad guy, and Guardians has become a franchise movie stars like Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell have wanted to be attached to. All signs are pointing to a massive opening weekend for GOTG: V2, and we’re going to go on the high side of things based on the franchise’s mass appeal. Look for a place debut with $190 million.
Biff Bam Pop’s It’s All Connected: Golden Glitter & An Underlying Darkness-The Legacy of Tony Stark In The MCU (Part 1)
The main purveyors of superhero stories are, of course, the comic book publishers, large, medium and small. Marvel Comics, arguably the most globally successful of those creators, has birthed no fewer than a grandiose thirty-four films over the last decade and a half, with two more set to be released later this very calendar year. The most eagerly anticipated of those yet-to-be seen films must be Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), a film whose original garnered over $1.5 billion in box office receipts in 2012.
That’s a tidy sum for movie that had an approximate budget of $220 million. And that bottom line doesn’t include the lucrative franchise offerings of licensed toys, video games, magazines and all the ancillary products featuring the Marvel Comics characters of Captain America, the Hulk, Nick Fury and Thor.
Yes, everyone loves a superhero. And these days, everyone loves the character of Tony Stark, the superhero known around the globe as Iron Man.
Brilliantly played with zest and aplomb by actor Robert Downey Jr., Tony Stark, the Iron Man, is known as the quick thinking, fast-talking, faster acting, mustachioed playboy with a golden ticket in the form of his parentage, as well as an all-important golden suit of high-tech armor.
But beyond his humorous quips, his intrinsic glamour and his numerous heroic deeds, there lays a dark lining to the legacy of everyone’s favourite, shining character. It is a legacy that Tony Stark has both inherited and, in fact, cultivated, through his own personal failings.
And so much good and bad in the Marvel Cinematic Universe exists because it.
If it walks like a duck…and, uh, has an acerbic wit, solves weird cases as the Marvel Universe’s only white-feathered Private Eye, and has the unenviable reputation of starring in one of the worst films in cinematic history…it’s got to be Howard the Duck.
Yeah, you probably better know him as the snappy, martini-sipping, duck-billed alien during the end credit scene of last year’s blockbuster film, Guardians of the Galaxy.
Well, after a long spell away, Howard’s finally back in the pages of his own monthly comic book, appropriately titled, Howard the Duck #1.
With the rising popularity of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series (wha-hoo!) and the anticipation mounting for the next Avengers film, Avengers: Age of Ultron, released next year, it’s a great time to revisit that stable of characters.
Of course, it’s also a perfect time of year to do that.
For those of you looking for a stocking stuffer, follow me after the jump and I’ll tell you why Avengers NOW! #1 makes for the perfect comic to fill that sock hanging off the mantle!
Now that this long, cold, North American winter has all but left us behind, we comic book lovers can turn our attention to the summer crossover event season.
Love them or hate them, the crossover event happens every year. It’s a money-maker: a new mini-series title that ties into virtually every comic book that one of the mainstream publishers (Marvel Comics and DC Comics), puts out over a span four to six months. Sometimes longer. At their best, they can be auctioned-packed and character-rewarding stories. At their worst, they derail already great comic book storylines for the crossover narrative.
So, which one of those two outcomes will Marvel’s 2014 offering, Original Sin be?
This whole “Marvel NOW!” thing has got a bit of a buzz going on, doesn’t it? I mean, as Marvel Comics’ answer to DC Comics’ “New 52” re-launch a few years back, it’s got longer legs, for one, and, arguable, more long-standing enthusiasm from readers for another.
Instead of re-starting all of their publishing titles with brand new #1’s on their covers in one go like DC did, Marvel has slow-played their marketing scheme, launching new titles or highlighting existing titles with great storyline jumping on points, as a “Marvel NOW!” issue. It’s been enticing, exciting, fresh, and, unlike today’s “New 52” which doesn’t feel so “new” anymore, “NOW!” is still, well, now!
And now (pardon me!), Marvel finally brings us to the edges of the cosmos: “anywhere and everywhere – hang on!” we’re told, with the new Marvel NOW! Silver Surfer monthly series!
Since the latest iteration of the series started roughly two and a half years ago, Daredevil, written my Mark Waid and illustrated by a bevy of exceptional artists including Paolo Rivera and Chris Samnee, has been one of the most adventurous, visually stunning, and downright fun reads each and every month.
It’s one of a handful of comics that I truly look forward to reading first in my clutch of Wednesday Run comic books. And now, with the release of the thirty-sixth issue, this great series is ending. And it seems that it’ll end in tears for Daredevil, his friends and his readers.
Follow me after the jump and I’ll tell you why – and why you should pick this book up today!
In the world of comic books and pop culture, what would it take, to save from obscurity, an already derivative (some might even say blatantly copied) superhero character with over fifty years of name changes, publishing company liquidations, copyright challenges, head-scratching co-ownership decisions, legal proceedings, handshake deals, lawyerly purchases, a creator who wants his name removed from any and all future releases, and a long-awaited reproduction of the series with an aim to finishing an uncompleted tale by the writer of that story, over twenty years after it was first begun?
To rescue that character from obscurity, let alone audience indifference, it would take a miracle.
Lucky for us, that very word is in the characters name.
At the end of days, behold, Miracleman #1!
Have you been reading the regular Infinity reviews over the last few months by Biff Bam Pop’s own Glenn Walker? You know, Infinity. Infinity? The B-I-G Marvel Comics event that just wrapped up last week with the final issue in the “mini-series”? (I use quotes because beyond the sic=x main Infinity books, there were tie-in books that brought the total chapter count to well over twenty.) Jeez, where have you been? Well, get caught up on the latest (and last) Infinity review by our pal Glenn, right here.
Now, I loved Infinity. To me, it ranks up there as one of the greatest event comics I’ve ever read. For those asking, DC’s 1985 series, Crisis On Infinite Earths is still the greatest of the great but Infinity ranks a solid second.
Still, Infinity ended the same way all of these recent “event” series seem to end: with a continuation into yet another “event” series! Oh, the Inhumanity!