Category Archives: Thought Process

Thought Process on Frank Miller Doing Dark Knight IV

The excitement over Dark Knight III: The Master Race has been mixed at best. Brian Azzarello is supposed to be working with Frank Miller on this story. Until Newsarama confirmed in an interview that Frank Miller is working on The Dark Knight IV. Miller says that he’s seen what Azzarello is up to with Dark Knight III but the story is all Azzarello’s. When Miller saw what Azzarello was up to it spurred him to make Dark Knight IV. Miller is waiting to read Azzarello’s Dark Knight III before he starts work on his own story. Now Dark Knight III is a four part story and then at some point we’ll get Frank Miller’s Dark Knight IV. Wow, comic book life is sure getting weird huh?

Dark Knight III is DC’s big event story with Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello, the hype machine is in full swing. Now we have Dark Knight IV being the official return of Frank Miller to Batman. I can imagine some are more curious that Azzarello is doing Dark Knight III on his own now. Yet I can already see people not wanting to get Dark Knight IV when Miller releases the series. Yet with both series, there is curiosity no matter what the creative team or teams are.

The reason why I’m making this a Thought Process is because well, it is Frank Miller. I loved the Dark Knight Returns back in the day. Heck when I was getting back into comics it was another of the early books I bought way back when. The Dark Knight Strikes Back was well…strange but I plan on re-reading it soon and that’ll be an adventure in its own right. People are going to check out Dark Knight III and in a weird way they may want to read it more without Miller’s involvement, yes that’s weird but comics are weird. The Dark Knight series without Miller for one part of the journey will be strange but it is going to go over huge. Most people are going to see Dark Knight and grab it because now Miller is coming back for his own bit in Dark Knight once more.

We’ll see what happens when The Dark Knight III comes out in a couple weeks. I can see this whole situation increasing interest in the long haul. I may be wrong but this is a Thought Process and totally opinion anyway. So if I’m wrong then I’m wrong, no harm no foul from me. I may end up checking out Dark Knight III anyway because it should be a good read. I can’t even lie, I’m curious about Frank Miller’s Dark Knight IV and want to see how it’ll turn out.

Let me know your thoughts on the story in the comments below. Time to talk and have a good chat about this for awhile. When Frank Miller is involved in anything, life gets that much more fascinating in the process.

 

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Thought Process on The New James Bond 007 Film, Spectre: A Disjointed Wonderland of a Movie

I finally got to see Spectre and I was excited for it, extremely excited for the film. Skyfall was an amazing movie and the ultimate high point in Daniel Craig’s run as James Bond. Every single moment of that film from top to bottom was excellent and Skyfall was such an impressive movie. Now as for Spectre, that’s another story. It isn’t a bad movie at all. Yet the one thing you say about Spectre is the fact that it is a disjointed movie. Leaping about from story to story, sometimes being boring at small points, and ending with such a rocking finale that helps to balance out the weaknesses of the film. This is strange movie for me to talk about and I don’t often talk movies outside of yes I liked this, no I didn’t tweets and so forth but hey, let’s dive into some movie talk for a minute. It is my blog and I do what I want with it so let’s do a fun thing here talking about Spectre for a little bit, heck yeah.

At first the movie has such a cool vibe to it, it has an amazing opening set in Mexico City during the Day of the Dead. It’s amazing, it’s mind blowing, and it is one of the coolest things I have seen in awhile. It’s an excellent sequence filled with chases, adventure, tons of background, endless atmosphere, and it glued me to the screen the entire time. It is one of three amazing pieces of the film that can’t help but leave you at least smiling as you leave the theater. If only the middle of the film was as engaging. One the opening credits are, let’s be blunt the opening song isn’t that great and the opening credits are filled with cool visuals but the song is not good, not good at all. I was watching the film with my parents my Mom says, “Wow this is awful.” and there we go. The opinion I’d been hearing for the past week was set as my Mom, Dad, and I were in agreement that the opening song was pretty bad. I’m trying not to be mean but that song was not a good fit. Of course when you’re following “Skyfall” it is hard to top that amazing piece of music.

Really the story itself about the world not needing the Double OO program and going away from spies and so forth in favor of drones and whatnot, it’s not executed that well honestly. I mean really James Bond is sent all over the world to cool locations and you get some fun moments but they don’t add up to that much. Oh sure it is fun to see Daniel Craig having fights with Dave Bautista at random points of the movie but that’s really it, I mean it’s fun but there’s only so much there. There’s not a lot of real substance happening and that’s kind of frustrating. There’s stakes in the film yet it also doesn’t feel like there’s any major stakes, it feels like that there was enough there to say that this is a movie. I hate to compare this to Skyfall but after Skyfall, the stakes for the film series got heightened for me. What can I say outside of I was spoiled by Skyfall.

Daniel Craig is still a solid James Bond and actually he gets to have some fun in this film which I do really enjoy. I don’t agree with people who say this is as bad as Quantum of Solace, that film was just a mess of a thing. Yes this film is a little messy but this film still has a story and it still comes together in the end. I’m also trying to avoid spoilers at this stage, I may talk about them later but it does help in getting the movie to come together a little better. Christoph Waltz is so much fun as the villain of the piece and his part in the film is so ridiculously fun I wished he was in that much more of the movie. I did like Lea Seydoux and Monica Bellucci in the film and Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes, and Naomie Harris did well in the film too. Seriously loved seeing the interactions of Q (Ben Whishaw) and Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) hanging with Bond like buddies at certain points, that was a lot of fun.

Yet a lot of the film seemed to meander outside of those small conversational bright spots here and there. Lea Seydoux and Daniel Craig played off each other well so that worked out decently for the most part. Heck Seydoux was pretty fun from the start and I enjoyed that. It’s a strange thing with this film honestly, lots of fun moments drowned out by a plodding plot. As only so much was focused around Spectre and really it only got any kind of traction in about the last 45 minutes which was kind of awesome. I swear this movie left me with so many mixed feelings.

So to put Spectre in perspective, it has an amazing beginning, slow middle with fun spots here and there, and an excellent ending. It’s not as crazy as Skyfall as to all that goes down but it would be hard to match all that Skyfall ended up doing. Skyfall straight up broke a lot of things and then repaired them again to make them better. Spectre didn’t quite have those stakes. High expectations are a heck of a thing with a film and Spectre had those kind of expectations for me. I think it is why I am still glad I saw it but I have issues with it.

Now if you read this and think I hated the movie, far from it. It is still worth seeing overall. It’s not perfect but it is actually pretty fun in parts and I am glad I got to see it. Seriously the entire Mexico City sequence alone with worth the price of admission. I’m glad I saw it though and I don’t consider it a waste of time. At least it wasn’t as hit or miss as Quantum of Solace and that my friends is a good thing.

A Thought Process on Citizen Jack #1 – A Presidential Candidate of Snow Blowers and Alcoholic Fury

Citizen Jack #1 Cover

Oh my goodness Citizen Jack is one comic I’ve been looking forward to for awhile. Considering the so far loopy madness that this election cycle has brought us, Citizen Jack #1 is perfectly timed. Between Prez from DC Comics and this, politics in comics is definitely taking a small uptick lately. Seeing that initially all I knew about this was the title and the fact that Sam Humphries was writing it and Tommy Patterson is the artist, yeah I was pretty blind going into Citizen Jack. So what kind of crazy electoral madness am I in for? This time around your Presidential Candidate is a man named Jack Northworthy who’s working with a Demon named Marlinspike to make his way to the White House. When you realize Humphries is writing this comic and he made a comic like Our Love is Real work, you learn to trust that you’re in for a good time. Even more so that Tommy Patterson is a great artist most notably on his work with the Game of Thrones comic. Amazing artist, amazing writer, and a concept unlike anything else, time to venture through my Thought Process on Citizen Jack #1.

Here’s the craziest bit about Citizen Jack #1, this comic starts off like a twisted dark comedy. I almost wish Marlinspike the Demon wouldn’t have been setup till midway through the comic to see how much more broken Jack is. Yet it works as is since Jack Northworthy is an absolute mess. He just doesn’t know how much of a mess he is because he’s stuck in an alcoholic haze and is kind of a jerk, okay not kind of, he really is a jerk. Yet it’s fun to see how Humphries explores this strange individual and hovering in the background is a laughing demon known as Marlinspike. I almost like the demon more than Jack and that takes some talent. Even knowing Jack’s backstory in the comic, he is still so unlikable and yet compelling to see how his journey is going. There are hints that there is a decent person somewhere in that mildly terrible soul. Really if Humphries can figure out a way to get us to like him or dislike him even more, this could be something. As it is at this point, I really oddly enjoy the demon but find Jack absolutely fascinating at his horribleness.

Which in the story that Humphries is crafting here, Tommy Patterson helps bring this madness to life. Jack himself is pretty much designed as a mess spending most of his time in a pink bathrobe, with this sort of grinning to almost borderline nuts look on his face. Patterson has a way with these emotions in the story to bring to us the life of Citizen Jack. At all times Jack’s reactions are always exaggerated in one way or another fitting Humphries characterization of him. I think it also helps that there’s enough realism to his artwork to give it some kind of grounding force, even with a demon and a dolphin political commentator in the story.  In the developing supporting cast outside of Marlinspike the way Patterson draws their reactions to Jack is priceless. The cast has these great looks on their faces from slight grins to absolute disgust and anger, it’s really cool to see as you note these touches in the artwork itself.

Citizen Jack #1 President

There’s also something to be had here in the coloring. Jon Alderink captures the snowy wonderland of Minnesota in a wonderful way. When there is the light amount of snow blowing in the wind on the opening page sets such a mood for the story ahead. It’s cold to look at and then you see a man in a bright pink bathrobe with a shotgun riding a snowblower. It’s all in the coloring of the darkness, the snow, and everything colliding to set that perfect mood of what you’re in for within the pages of Citizen Jack. Until you of course get to Marlinspike colored in shadows throughout the story and bringing to life the craziness that demon brings into Jack’s life. There’s one scene near the end where reality goes haywire and Patterson’s visuals are one thing bringing the writing to life but Alderink’s colors make the scene explode from the page. It’s pure manic energy from one exciting splash page and I love it.

One thing I’m starting to appreciate more is the art of a good letterer and Rachel Deering did a rocking job lettering this. I especially noticed the lettering on Marlinspike, that lettering gives as much personality to the demon as the actual writing and art does. I liked also how the lettering in the opening pages with the snow blower battle and one character had the letters trailing off, very cool effect. In lettering the comic you can see the simplest touches add that much to a story and what brings certain characters to life. This is my first time really paying attention to that and in a story like this that has so many different elements in play, it’s good to appreciate the lettering adding so much life to a story.

I’m enjoying my time in the world of Citizen Jack so far. It’s endlessly engaging and has a lot going on that has my attention already. I liked that you pretty much got a good base feel for Jack right off the bat and you at least have a basic understanding of him. Now the reader has an opportunity to really appreciate learning more about Jack in the issues to come as he starts his journey to the White House. Even getting a feel for his connection with Marlinspike, this is going to take many a twist and I’m happy to see it. You can see that there is going to be a darker element brewing here but it is going to be delicious to see how brutal this thing will end up being.

I’m hoping that a lot of people will give Citizen Jack a shot, it’s got an amazing team and so much going for it. Don’t miss out on this comic, I beg of you do not miss out on this comic. Citizen Jack has so much happening already and this is going the beginning. Even better that this is an ongoing series that I want to see go as far as it can possibly go, read this comic.

Thought Process on What Hooks People Into a Comic

Here’s the thing about comics, there is truly a comic out there for everyone. Depending on who the person is there is a comic out there for everyone. Yet what does hook someone into a book? This is why I call this Thought Process because there’s no real answer, it’s all depending on the person and it’s a straight forward thought blast. In my own case what got me back into comics was seeing The Avengers and seeing a book with all of them together again piqued my curiosity. It can seriously be as simple as that. I remember when the New 52 hit and that sparked someone into buying all of DC Comics for awhile after only buying Conan books and now he buys all sorts of comics. Nowadays for me it’s a mix of things and it all depends on what it is. Sometimes I have no idea who the writer or artist is but I dig the concept so I’m curious. I’ll give a few examples from my own recent readings.

The Shield is one major example, I didn’t know all that much about The Shield but I have loved Archie’s Dark Circle Comics so far. I read the book tonight and loved it to pieces. I mean I really loved it to pieces. To the point where I’m likely putting this on my pull list. Victoria Adams hooked me as a character and I’m intrigued as to how she uses her skills and memories as the series goes on. I knew the barest of bones of a concept and totally fell for the series. I also now need to hunt down Chuck Wendig’s work because I dug the heck out of his writing. So the barest of a concept can pretty much hook someone, no real knowledge of everyone involved, just trust in the quality of the company. So bare bones it was unreal and if you’re curious what cover I got, the movie poster one was amazing.

Agents of ATLAS one-shot out of the Secret Wars was a weird one. Right now I am overall burning out hard on Secret Wars yet I love Agents of ATLAS. Not being written by Jeff Parker and not drawn by Leonard Kirk but I do like Tom Taylor and Steve Pugh so hey let’s do this. Read it tonight and totally kept the feel of Parker and Kirk’s work on the series. Ah it was so freaking cool. See what got me hooked into this was love of the team and liking the creative team initially. Then in reading it I really enjoyed it. It’s part of Secret Wars but it’s just a one shot and a fun one-shot at that. Knowing that a comic is just a one-shot can also be a selling point for someone checking in on a favorite concept.

Now Invincible Iron Man #2, oh wow I cannot believe I wasn’t a big Brian Michael Bendis fan a few years back. How misguided I was once upon a time, now I can’t get enough of his work. Bendis and David Marquez have such a rocking book. Initially what got me into it was simple, Iron Man, Bendis, Marquez, cool armor design and that the armor uses all the abilities from all the other Iron Man armors. Simple as that and the villains and other surprises in this series never ceased to blow me away. I knew what I dug about the comic initially and in reading the first two issues I’m officially hooked on this series.

Really this is but three examples of my own that got me hooked into a comic, there’s many more things out there that can get people hooked. I’m curious as to what gets you all hooked into a comic. Let me know in the comments below, twitter, whatever else. Thanks for reading, take care!

ANAD Marvel Adventures: A Thought Process on Sam Wilson: Captain America

Here’s the thing about Sam Wilson: Captain America, this is a good comic. I bought this in all honesty because I saw D-Man and Misty Knight and was sold and it caught my eye. Daniel Acuna’s art looked the best it has ever looked and even more sold. There is so much good here and then a speech happened in the issue that pretty much set people off. Sam Wilson is going to be a different Captain America than what we’ve had before. He does a speech that divided the Marvel Universe against him and now he’s on a new path. It’s going to be a more political Captain America book and that’s not a bad thing at all. It’s also a new way of showing how Sam Wilson and his team are going to be a bit more low budget. In the vibe of Uncanny Avengers actually, though without the Deadpool Merchandise funding the team angle. Not sure how this team is going to get funding but it is a more daring take on the character. It’s Captain America with a new take on the Marvel Universe and the state of the world.

It’s great timing to have Sam Wilson: Captain America hit the way it did, right at the time where we’re on the eve of a crowded and strange Presidential adventure right now with all the candidates we have. Spencer really does a nice job of showing Wilson’s reasoning for going in the direction he does too. It really does fit the times that we are in. Captain America has always had a level of politics to it over the years, Nomad and other stories but this is the most political the character has been in awhile. I really found myself getting into this as between the defined direction of the comic and the fact that this team doesn’t have limitless funds, that’s interesting to me. As a reader I like that this team has a risk to whatever they’re doing and they are taking chances and taking stands. This is a good thing for the book and keeps me personally more engaged with the series long term. Even more cool, Redwing, no matter what Redwing is always great.

If you’ve never been quite sold on Sam Wilson as Captain America, read this book. Nick Spencer is going to be doing some great stuff with this character and even better taking Misty Knight, D-Man, and his trusty falcon Redwing along for the ride. Try this and before you look at all the headlines and stuff, read it and it’ll make sense as to why this book is going where it is going. Give it a chance and I think you’ll enjoy it. Right now at this point, I think Sam Wilson is a rocking Captain America and Nick Spencer and Daniel Acuna are a great team to bring his adventures to life.

Thought Process: The TV Ratings for Tuesday Night and Agents of SHIELD

I just got a look at the TV ratings for Tuesday night via TV by the Numbers and it is pretty interesting. It’s cool to see that Agents of SHIELD went up a notch in ratings from last year. I think why Agents of SHIELD went up is the fact that the show is going in a new direction. It’s becoming more like a Marvel movie and feeling more and more like part of the universe outside of the movie tie-in episodes. I did notice the budget got increased more for the opening episode of Agents of SHIELD and I wonder if the budget increase will be there for the entire season. It looked a lot better than it has and this is from someone who’s a fan of the show. It’s always had a decent enough look to it but now it looks much more polished. Even Lash’s appearance looked pretty good, I’m surprised by that. Now the test will be if Agents of SHIELD keeps up these ratings for awhile. As long as the positive buzz keeps up and more people decide to give the show another shot, heck Agents of SHIELD could actually have a highly rated season on its hands. Now in relation to that and everything else ratings wise, well that gets interesting too.

See if you look at the ratings you see that pretty much every show on Tuesday night deals with NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans. That’s the ultimate fight that any show on Tuesday night deals with is the NCIS franchise. It grows in viewers year by year and is at this point hard to beat. That any series does a little of what NCIS does it is considered a small victory. Agents of SHIELD got 4.8 million viewers and that’s pretty impressive against NCIS: New Orleans. Now if you say look into The Muppets and it look a little bit of a hit from last week, it’s still doing pretty good against the NCIS powerhouse. Heck that Grandfathered and The Grinder did as well as they did against NCIS is pretty amazing. Screen Queens is going to have a tough future at this point as I’m not sure anyone cares about the show after the initial episode.

Yes the Voice is on too and I treat that as the mega event show. It does well when it is there and it can beat NCIS in the 18-49 demographic but in overall viewers it can’t even touch NCIS. The Voice does great but not enough to battle the NCIS powerhouse on Tuesday night. That’s why I say if a show can even do a little leeway in getting past NCIS, you’ve got a small victory on your hands. For Agents of SHIELD it got a victory and a notch in their win column. It’s only going to get crazier from here in the Tuesday Night Battleground.

A Thought Process on Out of Print Comic Collections and The Options to Get These Books

I woke up this morning to a question about why certain collections at DC Comics go out of print. Especially ones with Barry Allen, Wonder Woman, and other characters that you think would never go out of print. That’s something I’ve always pondered too as I remember seeing the Secret Six books for example go out of print for a long time until the new collections. Sometimes certain books go out of print because they’re planning a deluxe edition of a book, new collections adding more material, omnibuses, and sometimes a book just goes out of print for no good reason. It’s the same with Marvel too. Heck if it is a book that doesn’t have a wide appeal and gets reprinted, I’d recommend getting that as it will end up going out of print. The really niche stuff that gets reprinted I find goes out of print before you know it. Don’t even get me started on Humanoids, seriously that company if you don’t pre-order those suckers they’re out of print faster than you can blink. Seems to me they’re trending more towards digital collections nowadays though so at least that much, that’s cool at least.

For most collections at a comic company, they’re pretty much a lock to stay in print for awhile. Now with Marvel and DC there’s usually the HC (Hardcover) then after awhile the TPB (Trade Paperback) hits after that. Now with most books say Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns, and so forth, they will never ever go out of print. Same with Marvel as they have their collections that will never go out of print too, Civil War for example. Of course the one factor with DC and Marvel is they both do have robust digital options that if you don’t mind a digital copy of a book, you can get it that way. Marvel has Marvel Unlimited so you can also read a lot of out of print stuff that way too. Same with most companies now if you can’t get a certain book in print, you can usually get it digitally via Comixology, Amazon, or other digital comic selling companies out there.

At least now there are ways to get books that are out of print. Back in the day if a book fell out of print you were going to be doing some hunting. Heck there are still many books that aren’t available digitally so you still have to do some hunting for certain series out there. Good luck in your out of print trade hunting adventures, hopefully I made it a little easier. A good question on twitter led to me writing this and was this ever a fun thought process to go on.