Recently got interested in rereading this short comic book series based on the movie, Se7en. I didn't realize this was by Zenescope the first time I read this. I enjoyed their "Grimm Fairy Tales" comics, and their stories were often dark and twisted, so it feels appropriate for them to be the author of this project.
I just read the first issue, titled "Gluttony", as you can see above. It's not bad so far. It shows the going-ons before each victim's demise and the kind of life they led. Kinda depressing, really, but I could use a depressing story right now. Hope it won't disappoint.
My Movie Reviews Watching: Kino's Journey (2017), Tonari no Seki-kun, Zankyou no Terror
Yeah, that's the one. Their cover usually feature some promiscuous or scantily-clad woman in the clothing of the featured fairy tale character. This was more common back in the day, but I'm not sure about now. They claimed that it's to catch people's attention, and the artstyle in their stories are actually more normal and far less promiscuous than what it seemed on the cover, so I'm not bothered that much by their suggestive covers.
I haven't followed their comics for a long time. There are SO many of them, I just lost track. So many spin-offs and overarching crossovers. Ugh. I remember when comics used to be more condensed, just focusing on one character at a time.
That is what makes it hard for me to get into comic books. I prefer a smaller series with one just story arc and it's all inclusive. So I don't read previous stuff to catch up.
Yeah, I know what you mean. I think that sometimes though, it's inevitable that you have to do some catching up. With a longer series like Neil Gaiman's Sandman, for example, it has to be done with a consecutive story format where you have to read previous issues (though I haven't read it myself, so I'm not too familiar if its stories are standalone or consecutive). I think I might pick up Sandman after I'm done with Se7en.
I remember reading Watchmen, and it was a really long read. Totally worth it though.
My Movie Reviews Watching: Kino's Journey (2017), Tonari no Seki-kun, Zankyou no Terror
Just finished reading the two issues of "Infinity War: Prelude". Nothing really interesting here aside from a recap of prior movies for those who haven't seen them. There are some new content like what Cap is doing between Civil War and Infinity War, while the second issue deals with Strange and Wong discussing the five infinity stones. The second issue in particular is particularly comical due to Strange being even more sarcastic than he was in his movie (your Sherlock is showing, Strange).
But aside from that, both issues aren't that interesting, and I recommend only checking them out if you're a Dr. Strange fan or curious what Cap's been doing away from the Avengers.
My Movie Reviews Watching: Kino's Journey (2017), Tonari no Seki-kun, Zankyou no Terror
Began reading Sandman two days ago. Always been meaning to read this because of how much praise it received. Thought it might be too dry for me at the beginning, as I had assumed it to be kind of story where it's all "intellectual" and stuff. But in the end, it's still a comic book, especially when a famous DC character made his appearance in issue 3. Luckily, Sandman is of the horror genre too. I could work with horror. Pure fantasy alone is... meh, not my cup of tea, but mixed with horror, it gets my attention.
So good so far. Might read "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" in the near future too. That's another fun one. Maybe Spawn too.
I have to check for another comic book news site since Fandompost seems to be lean towards anime/manga than comic books. Just to add more content than Image, Marvel, and DC which have their own discussion threads.
I've been catching up with Spidey's "Brand New Day" story arc, which meant a whole lot of reading, because that arc spanned over 50-80 issues. Right now, I'm caught up to #589. Spidey's hilarious D-lister villain, The Spot, has returned. But the real funny scene is this, Spidey imitating Christian Bale's Batman:
Never gets old every time I see this.
The real punchline is what Spidey said afterwards, when his "Batman" voice worked the second time: "Criminals are indeed a superstitious, cowardly lot... Hope I don't get sued for that."
Many people, Marvel Animation included, seemed to forget that the Rhino was initially not just a dumb, mindless brute (the kind you see in the animated series and The Amazing Spider-Man 2) in his first appearance (ASM #41-#43). That's what was so fearsome about him, that he had the brains and brawn. He wasn't a super genius, of course, but he was intelligent enough to be competent in combat tactics.
This was always one of my favorite issues in the Gauntlet arc, not just because it's yet another deliciously interesting character-study that made up some of the best stories of this book, but also because it brought back the level-headed and street-smart Aleksei from the classics. There's yet another twist played around identities, and it makes you think that the horned idiot is back to his old ways of destroying everything again - but of course, this isn't so, and I love how it plays out. It's heartwarming and charming, and I love the relationship between Aleksei and Spidey here, having a form of mutual respect for each other.
However, the major props go to the side story -- "The Walk". This holds up to the gold standards of Spidey stories like "The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man". It's a simple and humble tale, very small-scale and personal, much like many of my favorite Spider-Man stories. It shows how Aleksei came to walk the straight and narrow path. Not only does it lend a very inspiring and sympathetic perspective on ex-cons, it's always nice to see a villain who could uphold his moral integrity as much as Peter. It's a very fitting chapter in the ASM mythios where one of Spidey's villains understands as much about choice and responsibility as the titular character. Of course, if all of his rogue gallery's like that, it can dilute the power and uniqueness of such character integrity, but it's always nice to find gems like this that humanize his villains.
I also have to give credits to Pulido for his art here, particularly in the second story. It almost bears a minimalist style that lends more focus on the characters' expressions. You can make out all the pain in both Aleksei and Oksana's eyes, adding a beautiful layer to the story. I also particularly love that panel where Aleksei had to choose between Oksana or returning to his crooked lifestyle. Very nice symbolism there. Top notch work from the writing and art.
Near the end of the "Brand New Day" saga, we've encountered quite a large number of deaths that were largely tasteless in my opinion - specifically the ones in "Shed" and "Grim Hunt", two very well-received story arcs that are still popular today. But for me, I was not only exhausted by the fact that Curt Connors wasn't given the proper rest he deserves after having his entire life toyed around in the history of Spider-Man comics, but also the fact that two characters in these two arcs were killed off as a plot-device to create a contrived emotional impact on both Spider-Man and the readers. That one victim in Grim Hunt, especially, was thrown away and forgotten after her purpose was served. No proper funeral, no words of mourning. "Disgusting" couldn't even describe what I felt reading that.
That being said, I could understand the reasoning behind these deaths. It was to wear down the webslinger, make him feel each death he failed to prevent. I welcome these suffering placed upon our Webhead's shoulders - when they are done well. That's always been Spidey's most defining trait, his perseverance in spite of all the suffering, in spite of his failures. And issue 655, "Awakening", another chapter in Spidey's numerous failures, is one of the finer examples of doing it well. Well, almost.
First off, the "silent" first-half of the comic was of course beautiful. Marcos Martin gave us a display of visual storytelling at its finest. Comics are a visual medium, and much like movies, I always love it when they utilize the visuals to tell the story more so than using mere words. It is a trying task, for sure, since wordless panels can either become too plain or too ambiguous, but Marcos Martin here tells the readers a lot more details using the characters' body language than one ever could with dialogue, like the way Jonah somberly dresses himself without a frown or a tear, or the way Peter seperates himself from the others in a literal panel of his own. There's a very tense and almost 'silent' atmosphere felt in the first-half because of that lack of dialogue, and it's appropriately so. I particularly love the way certain panels connect to the following one and paralleling each other. That's a nice touch that further reflects the different reactions the characters have towards the death.
The church in particular plays a rather depressing role in hindsight. During the time this issue was released, the Ultimate universe would be involved in an even more significant death relating to Ultimate Spider-Man, one that comes with a funeral in a very similar-looking church in "Ultimate Fallout".
After that, we have the dream sequence. This part of the issue left me with a bit of mixed feelings. This is hardly the first time Spider-Man has gone through this phase. Someone dies, he grieves, he becomes embittered, he becomes darker and turns into either "the Spider" or "Back in Black", and eventually, he returns into his light-hearted self once more. It's a familiar phase that can get a bit eye-rolling after seeing it this often. But familiarity isn't always a bad thing when certain differences are added, and this is one of those cases. This particular sequence focused more on Peter feeling guilty for not killing the bad guys, letting them get away to murder the next innocent victim. And it certainly didn't help that he has already killed anyway - Charlie, that one woman, the one single life Spidey has ever taken in the one-shot, "Spider-Man vs. Wolverine". A lot of Spider-Man books seem amnesiac about this single very important manslaughter Peter committed, so it's nice to see Slott utilize this grim part of Spidey's history effectively here.
So by the end of the story, once again, Spidey's committed to preventing tragedy no matter what it takes. Unfortunately for him, as we could see from the final panel of the tale, that's not going to be easy. I love how that ending is such a slap to the face for Spider-Man after he proclaimed his "No one dies" statement. The irony stings.
It's inevitable that Spidey ends up a bleeding heart, but as much as I enjoy his messiah complex and pacifism, he does come off as a tad naive here. One of the many reasons comic book super villains get to hurt people is because they end up escaping. That's the cold hard truth of comics. Applying the same mercy to comic book criminals as we would towards murderers in real life can be problematic, given what we know about supervillains.
And besides, murderers are given the death sentence in many states of America anyway. It's not exactly unheard of. Of course, I don't approve of Jonah publicly executing Massacre - there still needs to be due process. But the death sentence? That's something that I feel is necessary for certain dangerous criminals. What Spidey says, that he'll stop them if they ever break out of prison, is not only naive, it's irresponsible.
That being said, I do enjoy the part of the issue where Peter chastises his co-workers for enjoying themselves while death is all around. I could definitely relate when the Parkland shooting happened just a little over two months ago. It's frustrating that we can't do anything about those deaths, but we have to accept that life goes on as usual for many people.
Even Jonah Jameson here, once a newsman himself, have to accept that the death of his loved one is yesterday's news. The world has already moved on, and so must he.
On Spiderfan.org, a very well-respected website for reviews on Spider-Man comics, I remember reading a review for the 2012 Amazing Spider-Man annual and how it claimed that the annuals prior to that one had been of mediocre quality. Being someone who enjoyed not only this 2011 annual, but also the 2010 one featuring Captain America, I beg to differ.
I've always loved dark stories... when they're done well. When done well, they can explore some very frightening concepts we're normally uncomfortable in thinking about. In the case of this annual, it poses a disturbing question: what if Spider-Man sacrifices his sense of responsibility for the sake of power?
THIS is what I love about Spider-Man stories. It can be difficult to keep on exploring the two concepts of power and responsibility for over 50 years, let alone keep such exploration refreshing, but this annual has done exactly that. It features an alternate universe where Spider-Man is popular among everyone (even Jolly ol' Jonah Jameson), he's rich, he has his own secret lair (so yes, a lot like Batman), and he's so powerful he defeated Thanos, Annihilus, and Galactus all on his own (literally; this world has no other superheroes like Iron Man or Thor because it doesn't need other heroes).
Of course, like all dark tales, this power came at a very heavy price.
Damn, I still love that shocking revelation. I already felt that something was off before it was revealed, like how Aunt May's hands were shaking when offering the original Peter Parker some tea. But I never expected things to be so... twisted. I guess I just didn't fathom how evil they could make Uncle Ben, the man who was the root of Peter's sense of responsibility.
I could only wish for more stories like this to exist. I mean, too much of it can be exhausting for the readers, something I believe Marvel is well aware of after their edgy '90s line-ups. But once in a while, when you come across a "Tales from the Crypt/Twilight Zone/Black Mirror" sort of story like this... it can be so satisfying, especially when it reaffirms just what the real Peter Parker stands for - responsibility, sacrifice for the good of everyone, all that good stuff. This story was easily more entertaining than Spider-Island.
And then there's one problem. Just a very minor one. This is part 1 of 3, and the remaining two parts are in the books of two other characters, Deadpool and Hulk. I'm not really interested in their books, so I won't really bother to see how it all concludes. But that's not a problem either and doesn't affect (much) the rating for this story because it still works as a standalone tale. You don't really have to read the two other books (AFAIK) to enjoy it.
Free Comic Book Day event delayed to summer due to COVID-19
Diamond Comic Distributors Announced on Thursday that it will postpone its annual Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) event due to concerns of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Diamond plans to move the event from May 2 to this summer.
“The severity and timing of the impact of the COVID-19 virus can't be predicted with any certainty, but the safety of our retailer partners and comic book fans is too important to risk. As always, we appreciate your enthusiasm for and support of the comic industry's best event and look forward to celebrating with you later in the Summer,” said Diamond Founder and CEO, Steve Geppi.
Free Comic Book Day 2020 offers a selection of 47 titles available for free at participating local comic shops across the worldwide. This year's event planned to include the Naruto, Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Splatoon Squid Kids Comedy Show, The Fox and the Little Tanuki, and Sue and Tai-chan manga.
Diamond will announce additional information soon regarding FCBD non-comic merchandise. Further updates will be shared via the Official Free Comic Book Day website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Dream: Looks like a remake of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni will be airing in July. The original seiyuu from the 2000s series will reprise their roles for the remake and judging from the animation, looks like it will have more polish to it compared...
Mar 21, 2020 21:51:24 GMT
Dream: ...to the 2000s series.
Mar 21, 2020 21:51:30 GMT
Taka: That's interesting to hear. Didn't know it was going to get a remake.
Mar 22, 2020 0:33:35 GMT
Dream: Guess I'm gonna focus on wrapping up Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken whenever it comes out today. Been one of my favorites for the season.
Mar 22, 2020 16:44:54 GMT
Taka: I need to catch up or drop/put on hold whatever series I tried.
Mar 22, 2020 21:25:15 GMT
Taka: 1 confirmed death in my hometown next to 19 confirmed cases. I heard the police are fining folks for not practicing social distancing on Facebook.
Mar 24, 2020 2:31:40 GMT
Dream: At least in New York right now, they're not enforcing it. But non-essential employers who aren't abiding by shutting down at this point will be fined and shut down at this point.
Mar 24, 2020 13:38:28 GMT
Master Menos: Had some serious personal trouble go on, but now I'm through it. On-Topic, where I'm in, everything but the stores (and possibly the restaurants) are closed down.
Mar 27, 2020 17:48:40 GMT
Taka: They closed off beaches and parks along bike paths as well as extending K-12 school closure to mid May while colleges are cancelled for the semester.
Mar 29, 2020 0:47:15 GMT
CosmicNoirTear: Everything closed on my part. I live by a bunch of shopping centers. All of the are ghost towns. Hopefully means most people where I live are taking this seriously. Also got laid off from my job two weeks ago.
Mar 29, 2020 2:46:08 GMT
Dream: My county has 6 confirmed cases. Restaurants and bars have been on take-out or delivery only for about a couple weeks now since New York's the hardest hit state. Hasn't been too different for me any who since I've been out of work and tight on money...
Mar 29, 2020 15:11:51 GMT
Dream: ...to do anything outside of getting essentials and job hunting in recent months. Though with the state pretty much on lockdown, likely gonna have a rough time finding any employer to work with in-person for a while.
Mar 29, 2020 15:13:27 GMT
El_Directo: Stay safe guys
Mar 29, 2020 20:08:55 GMT
Taka: I think the only thing not closed for mass gathering other than essential services would be funerals in my area. The mayor and staff have been pretty busy in clarifying things in press releases. Edit: my mistake. Funerals are closed.
Mar 29, 2020 21:52:25 GMT
Dream: Gonna try whipping up a review for Dorohedoro at some point tomorrow. Find that I have quite a bit to cover with the series.
Mar 30, 2020 3:39:57 GMT