Archive for the ‘Graphic Novels’ Category

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Justice League Flashpoint Paradox

Great voices like Kevin Conroy (Batman), Ron Perlman (Deathstroke), Dana Delany (Lois Lane), and Nathan Fillion (Green Lantern) join forces with many more in this 2013 DC Universe animated Justice League movie.

I haven’t faithfully followed the Justice League evolution, but it isn’t really complicated and I was up to speed on the characters and politics pretty quickly. Located in Central City, Barry Allen, Flash, is a hero and besties with other hero-types on a team called Justice League. Barry’s mom was killed in a home invasion when Barry was a kid; he never forgave himself for not being home from school quickly enough to save her. This is sort of an “It’s A Wonderful Life” movie, giving Barry a look at what the world would have been like if he had saved his mother.

I understand that it’s a cartoon, but I had some issues with the theories “explained” throughout. For instance, early in the movie Flash was attacked by his archenemy Professor Zoom, a person from the future who recreated the lightening accident that created the Flash. Thanks to the help of Flash’s Justice League friends, Zoom was apprehended. Then, later, after the whole world is being destroyed in the alternate timeline, it is revealed that Flash cannot go back in time to fix things because Zoom exists and is sucking up some of the energy or something. How does that make sense when the whole world went to pot because Flash went back to save his mom after defeating Zoom? I know I’m a geek, but I don’t think I am being to picky on this point…am I?

By the way, this isn’t your parents Justice League; people actually bleed and die in this cartoon. Aquaman even gets his arm cut off by laser beams from Superman’s eyes.

It was a good rent on a rainy Saturday night.

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Another challenge on the list accomplished for the year: a graphicnovel

I’ve been a fan of the X-Men movies, but had never really kept up with the stories taking place through the comic books over the decades. The powerful telepath, Jean Grey, has long been my favorite member of the X-Men, and the story of her transformation into Phoenix was devastating. When I discovered that X-Men issues 129-137 covered this story arc and had been compiled into a single graphic novel I was excited!

In 2006 Marvel released the movie The Last Stand which depicted the rise and fall of Phoenix. The comics, which ran from January through September of 1980, explored these same events but followed quite a different series of events. The movie was very emotional, depicting a heartbroken Wolverine being the last one able to stop Phoenix, a resurrected Jean Grey, from destroying the world. In the comics, Phoenix is even more powerful, and evil, than the movie depicted. And although members of the X-Men had opportunities to destroy her on two separate occasions, they could not bring themselves to do it. In the end it was Jean that fought through the entity of Phoenix to end it herself.

Over the years, Marvel has told and retold the stories of the X-Men. I enjoyed seeing the story of Phoenix in its original telling. The comics are from 1980 and might feel a little dated, like that Aunt that still says “cool beans,” but you love her anyway. And I learned some information about the comic book X-Men that I didn’t know: Hank (Beast) had left the X-Men to join the Avengers, Jean Greg’s superhero name was Marvel Girl, Wolverine didn’t have the power of super-healing and he was short, and Professor X was kind of a jerk.

Reading this series definitely has left me wanting to read more.

Darkhorse Graphic Novel

Script by Haden Blackman

Art by Brian Ching, Bong Dazo and Wayne Nichols

Lettering  by Michael Heisler

Coloring by Michael Atiyeh

Editing by Randy Stradley

Based on the video game by the same name, the Star Wars the Force Unleashed graphic novel is the story of Starkiller’s apprenticeship to Darth Vader.  Found by Senator Bail Organa and Captain Eclipse two years before the Battle of Yavin deactivated and nearly destroyed, buried in the snow on Corellia, Starkiller’s training droid, Proxy, narrates the story. 

As a secret apprentice to Darth Vader, Starkiller’s whole existence was spent learning the ways of the Sith and accepting assignments to hunt down Jedi that escaped Order 66.  Proxy was with the apprentice for every training session, for every exercise, and for every assignment.  With this knowledge Senator Organa is able to piece together Starkiller’s motives and last moments…and the birth of the Rebellion.

Even if you aren’t a gamer and have never played The Force Unleashed this is a FANTASTIC saga in the Star Wars universe.  While this story is told in a full length novel (which really surprised me how well written and enthralling it was, especially since it was based on a video game), there’s just something about seeing really great art put to story that enhances the episode.