Kinky Komic Book Review: No Angel: Vol 1

(Submitted by your Super Friend and mine, Mr. Doctor Prince Adam…Thanks, you Naughty Nerd, you! 😉 xoxo)

“No Angel is a cosmological and conspiratorial modern western with super power by way of The Da Vinci Code.”  (Black Mask Studios)

No Angel is an independent comic book, written by the brother sister team of Eric Palicki and Adrianne Palicki.  If that name sounds familiar, it should.  Adrianne Palicki starred in the film Legion, played Mockingbird on Agents of SHIELD and starred in the pilot for the David E. Kelley Wonder Woman series, which never got off the ground.  Her involvement is how this book got on my radar. Thee book starts out with an FBI agent based out of Chicago, returning home to the small town of Tucker’s Mill Wisconsin.  Our protagonist Hannah Gregory, comes upon her old house with her high school friend, now the Sheriff.  The house is now a cordoned off crime scene, as her father and brother have been murdered.  While attending the funeral, Hannah meets a woman who had a relationship with her father.  The woman suggest they should talk, handing Hannah a piece of paper.  Hannah scolds the woman and demands she leaves.  If this is sounding like a paint by the numbers CBS Drama, I thought the same thing at first and was quickly losing interest. However, the book quickly takes an interesting turn, when Hannah reads the note, which has a bible passage on it. This bible passage, tells of angels mating with humans.  Curious, Hannah meets with Miriam Chapman, who tells Hannah that she and her father were indeed a couple, but it was more than just sex.  Miriam and her father believed in the Nephilim , which  are the children created  from the unions of angels and humans.  It turns out that these bible passages have truth to them and that Miriam and Hannah’s fathers research deduced that the bloodline of the Nephilim has survived and that they, along with their family members are descendants of angels.  Adding to the mythology, is that Hannah has a half sister named Jessica. Due to the pairing of two descendants of the Nephilim, she is born complete with actual Angel wings.  I’m sure there are films and television that flirt, or directly deal with the children of Angels  and human fornication. I think the aforementioned Legion starring the co-writer of this book, dealt with a similar idea.  Also, a recent issue of Lucifer, saw  human and a demon give birth to Cain and Abel.  Even Preacher has an angel and demon hooking up and creating a unique offspring.  However, the idea of humans and angels getting together, coupled with the family drama, that originally had my interest waning, actually made the supernatural element more unique.  The further mythology is cool as well. There are several other descendants of angels, that comprise a group know as the Eloise.  The members/descendants of angels are from all denominations of religion, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam.  I love the decision that, while the conception of angels is rooted in Christian mythology, other religions are included as descendants of the Nephilim and  in the group of believers known as the Elioud.  Religion often divides amongst different denominations, so seeing them all come together under a common belief was a welcome change of pace from the reality we live in at times.

With the mythology now set, the revelation (no pun intended), that the death of Hannah’s father and brother was no random robbery is revealed.  The murders were actually part of a string of murders of Elioud members that began 14 years ago,  The killer is a man named Elliot.  Elliot is a member of the group The Watchers, who believe in the Angel Azazel.  According to The Watchers, Azazel understood the tyrannical potential of his fellow angels, went down to Earth and shared secrets with humanity about angels and helping them create weapons that could kill the angels.  For his deeds, Azazel is punished, disfigured and cast out of heaven.  He is chained and buried underground,  However, he gets free by mutating into a horde of spiders.  He and his followers drove the angels into disappearance.  However, now that they are back via their descendants, The Watchers, via Elliot are back on the hunt.  I loved the classical battle of good and evil, where the roles are so clearly defined.  There’s no black and white and sometimes, that’s okay.  Too many characters are shades of grey in modern stories.    The rest of the book is a chase/hunt, with Elliot hunting Hannah and Jessica, while they race to evade him and try to protect other members of the Elioud.   As a result, I agree with the description calling it a modern day western.  In fact, it reminds me a little bit of Logan, with Hannah being this story’s Wolverine and Jessica being the Laura/X-23 character.  There are deaths as a result of this chase.  Miriam is killed by Elliot and when Eliot  has a gun pointed at Hannah ready to pull the trigger, Jessica ignites a fire at the gas station, burning Elliot to death. Jessica is mortified by what she’s done, after her parents have raised her to be pious and live a peaceful life.  Seeing her half sisters pain, Hannah tells a story about her time in the war in Baghdad,  where to save her partner, she threw a grenade into the apartment the sniper was stationed in.  Ultimately, she  saves her partner and got a commendation for it, yet she was ultimately mortified when she realized the sniper was just a boy.  The similarities between the two siblings actions, and reactions to the consequences of their actions, further bonds them.  This is a big moment for Hannah because at the start of the book, she was very closed off towards her family.  However, each issue showed a progression of Hannah opening up to the notion of a sister, accepting her as part of her family and the fact that she’s an angel, before finally accepting her role in Jessica’s life, post Miriam’s death.  I loved the slow burn of this relationship.  It would have been absolutely disingenuous if Hannah embraced and accepted Jessica straight away.  I also really enjoyed the juxtaposition of Hannah’s war time flashbacks, with Jessica killing Elliot.  This book manages to ground  itself in the unfortunate reality of war, while telling a story with overt supernatural trappings. Not many movies, comic books, or television can balance both as good as it is here.

Art is drawn by Ari Syahrazad.  His art is new to me but is very reminiscent of Michael Lark’s work on Daredevil, though that art is slightly more detailed.  This book had everything,  The dark, gritty, earthy look of war.  You feel like you’re in Baghdad, and that your life is in danger, as you track Hannah and her fellow soldier through that warzone.  The creepiest image is easily seeing spiders crawl out of Elliot’s eye socket’s and all over his face.  The second creepiest is a young Elliot being indoctrinated into The Watchers, while staring at the strung up bones of Azazel.  The opening of the door, to reveal Jessica, Hannah’s literal Angelic half sister looked both impressive as it should, yet rather small scale given the homely setting.  It’s a very unique image to behold.  We’ve got grit, we’ve got a creep factor, and we also have big action sequences.  We’ve got a car chase shoot out, that looks like they could be Need for Speed concept art drawings.  There’s also a gas station explosion and Elliott going down in flames, that would make Michael Bay and James Cameron’s testicles tingle. The artist can seemingly draw literally anything the writers throw at him.

I didn’t even know about this book, let alone have any expectations for it.  Yet, here we are and I really liked it.  This book was a four issue mini series but the ending implies that more is to come (no I won’t spoil the ending.)  I definitely want more, especially after the end of the epilogue.  So, do your part, buy this book and read it, so we can get a volume 2. Buy it because independent  comic books don’t always get the love and exposure they deserve.  More importantly, buy this book because it’s a fantastic story!

#AnimatedAwesomeness Movie Review: Justice League Dark

(Submitted by Mr. Prince Adam…Thank you, Super Friend! 🙂 xoxo)

SPOILERS

“Beings with supernatural powers join together to fight against supernatural villains. This team of supernatural beings include John Constantine, Zatanna and Jason Blood also known as the demon Etrigan.” (DC Entertainment)

I read the first volume of Justice League: Dark from The New 52 and loved it. I thought it was one of the best books of that initiative. So when I heard they were making this movie, I was so excited. I thought it would be a direct adaptation of that story but it wasn’t. It was its own story using DC’s more supernatural heroes. I love how this movie uses the main well known heroes from the Justice League proper team, to transition to this team of darker, mystical heroes. Now I know who these characters are, but the casual movie buyer may not. So this was a smart decision. The film opens with people seeing others around them as demons and monsters. Innocents are killed in the attack, which brings the Justice League, specifically the Trinity into action. Superman stops a husband from killing his wife, Wonder Woman stops an out of control driver, who is mowing down civilians with her car and Batman stops a mother from throwing her newborn out of a window. These scenes, plus Constantine’s language alone, make the film worthy of its R rating. Speaking of Constantine, The Justice League surmises that magic and the dark arts are behind these occurrences. Skeptical of this, Batman scoffs and heads back to Wayne Manor. Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce Wayne goes through a series of blackouts and when he wakes, discovers the name Constantine seemingly written in blood on walls close by. They look as though they were written in blood. The way these scenes were filmed, it seemed as though Batman was being stalked and attacked by an unseen supernatural villain. We later learn that all this was the work of Deadman, possessing Batman’s body in an attempt to warn him. So Batman turns to my favourite Magician clad in fishnets, Zatanna, to find Constantine. She help Batman and, by extension, Deadman locate John Constantine. The next segment of the film sees John Constantine, Zatanna, Deadman, Jason Blood aka Etrigan the demon and Batman, discuss the culprit of the recent events. Since the likes of John Constantine, Zatanna and of course Batman have all had stints on live action film and television, as well as animation before, the film spends some time on the more unknown quantities in this film. In briskly paced flashbacks, we get the FYI origin stories of Deadman and Etrigan the Demon. For Deadman we see his murder during a trapeze circus act and his post death encounter with a Hindu Goddess, who felt pity on him and granted him his ghostly existence and his ability. With Jason Blood, the flashback takes us back to Camelot, where Merlin magically bonds Jason with Etrigan the Demon after he is mortally wounded. I must confess, I didn’t know much about Etrigan but I absolutely love that his origin is tied to Arthurian legend. I l also got a kick out of the interplay in that scene. Zatanna and Constantine have a history, and their bickering highlighted a past relationship and some sexual tension. This actual played out quite similarly to volume one of the book. When you throw in Boston Brand’s commentary during the arguing, it felt like a episode of The Big Bang Theory, with Penny and Leonard arguing and Sheldon making smart ass comments. Batman’s reaction to the irrefutable existence of magic only adds to the humor. Every time magic is on display early on in the film, Batman grimaces and almost grunts in disbelief.

Magical weirdness kicks off, when the group visits a colleague of Zatanna’s, Ritchie Simpson for help. When they arrive at his doorstep, they find Shroud Spirits of Death waiting for Ritchie’s demise. The group enters his house and they learn Ritchie has a mystical form of cancer. The group surmises that whatever triggered Ritchie’s mystical cancer, likely caused people around the world to start seeing monsters and demons and go on killing sprees. They bring Ritchie back to the House of Mystery and use the mystical Keshanti Key to access one of the unconscious civilian rampagers mind. While inside his head, clues seem to reveal that the culprit for all this chaos is Felix Faust. While the group confronts Faust, Ritchie Simpson reveals himself to be a sinister magician Destiny, from the time of Camelot. He was the character who fought Etrigan in the flashback scene. He lay in hiding to gain access to the House of Mystery, where the other half of the dream stone resides. With the full stone in his possession he has the power to gain vengeance on Jason Blood and rule the modern world. While Batman and the rest of the core Justice League is present during the final battle, it is the teamwork of Etrigan, Zatanna, Constantine and Deadman that defeated Destiny and saved the day. I loved that their plan of action was a combination of mental trickery and magical force. I was happy it wasn’t just fisticuffs the whole way through. I was genuinely shocked that Ritchie Simpson was in fact Destiny. That reveal was deceptive and unexpected. While I don’t know much about Etrigan, this film changes his status quo in this animated universe in a big way. I have no idea if this has ever been done in the comic books before, but for the film to separate Jason Blood and Etrigan, essentially killing Jason Blood, I thought was pretty ballsy. This film is definitely the formation of the Justice League Dark. At the end of the film, Batman extends offers to Zatanna and John Constantine to join the Justice League. So while they took the characters from the New 52 comic books, they definitely went their own way in terms of origin story for the film. My only complaint of this film is the use of Swamp Thing. What a waste of a great character. If he’s in the film for more then 7 minutes I’d be shocked..

The animation is dark and very sleek looking. It definitely takes it’s cues from the art of Mikel Janin. One of my favourite scenes is the twister that occurs trying to conceal the House of Mystery. It’s like Twister, but better because it feature superheroes and the Batmobile. Though, I was cringing to see that beautiful Batmobile get swept up and destroyed. I loved the origin scenes where both Deadman and Etrigan were highlighted. Those scenes had different and distinctive looks and could have easily been their own separate short movies. Also worth noting is the scene where Constantine and Zatanna enter the mind scape of the unconscious rampager. It was very trippy. Like 70’s acid trip trippy. Then out in the real world, Batman is chased through the halls of the hospital by the Shroud Spirits of Death. They look like a cross between the Undertaker’s Druids from the late 90’s WWE and the liquid that spewed from Penguin’s mouth in Batman Returns. The third act finale features plenty of force fields, lit up mystical symbols of energy and corresponding energy blasts. You know, this movie has quite a bit in common with Marvel’s Doctor Strange film. By the way, that’s not a bad thing, as I enjoyed that film. The voice cast was all fairly solid. I am really getting used to Jason O’Mara as Batman. He has officially joined the Bat family in my opinion. By the way, knowing he voices Batman, makes his character on Agents of SHIELD so much cooler. It was great hearing Matt Ryan reprise the role of John Constantine. It was weird hearing him use some foul language but was great that the character was unrestrained by the R rating. By the way, it’s a shame that NBC cancelled the live action Constantine show. I really enjoyed it. I don’t know if Boston Brand is supposed to be from New York but Nicholas Turturro’s New York accent really fit the character. He was distinctive from the rest of the characters. Camilla Luddington is known as the voice of Lara Croft. Here though, she plays Zatanna. There is no trace of Lara Croft in here performance, and I give her a ton of credit for managing the backwards spell dialogue.

Justice League Dark takes the characters from the comic books and manages to tell a wholly original story. That in and of it self is quite the accomplishment. Add the fact that in character origin stories and its villain, this film is better than Marvel’s live action Doctor Strange. That’s an animated film is better than a live action feature film is an absolute win. If you’re a fan of DC’s magical characters, you can be happy they’ve been given the respect they deserve. Buy this movie so that Warner Brothers sees the interest, which will give them confidence to explore these characters in more animated and live action films

#SexxxOnSunday: The Spidey & Black Cat Edition

(Submitted by Mr. Smutmaster Eric, of corpse. 🙂 Thanks, Kinky Ho-miebot, and Happy #SeXXXySunday to all! 🙂 xoxo)

Brazzers Presents: The Parodies Vol. 6 (2016)

The Cat’s Meow: XXX Parody (2016)

Featuring: Jordi El Niño Polla & Mila Milan

“My Spidey-Sense is tingling!”

The Heist…

Better Late Than Never…

Trivia: Jordi is from Spain, looks like a teenager, but is 22. He’s frequently paired up with female performers that are between 10 and 20 years older. All of Spidey’s dialogue we hear is spoken by someone else.

Mila is 29, from Austria.

Part of her bio on Brazzers: Thanks to a degree in industrial design and a natural curiosity for artistic expression, she also owns and operates her own production company, a design agency, and a photography studio. She’s an accomplished conceptual painter, speaks five different languages, and dabbles as a tattoo artist.

If you’re feelin’ saucy, here’s the whole vignette…It may be just slightly NSFW, though. 😉 

o

Kinky Komic Book Review: Grimm Tales of Terror Vol 1 #3

(Submitted by Mr. Prince Adam…Much appreciate your thoughts on this, Kinky Ho-mie! 🙂 xoxo)

“When a college undergrad decides to stay in and study, she will find that another seemingly inconsequential decision she makes will have a lasting effect on her.”

I’m just going to come out and say it; this was the worst of the three issues I’ve read so far.  It’s kind of a mess narratively. It starts out with two girls in an algebra class discussing going to a frat party to score some hot college guys, in the hopes of getting laid. The scene then shifts to a student expressing her troubles with the class.  Her professor asks her to stay after class and essentially sexual propositions her in exchange for higher grades.  The student storms out of the class and literally runs into our mysterious Red Headed Lady of Death from the previous two issues, who dissuades the student from sexually engaging with the professor.  As I watched this unfold, I instantly thought the professor was going to either turn out to be a killer, or be killed. And if he was killed, it’d be at the hands of our “Lady of Death.” With that thought planted in my head, the book transitions to the dorm of the other two girls from the class, who were debating going to the frat party.  While one girl decides to  stay in and study, Ann goes out and parties the night away.  During that time, Ann’s studious roommate is approached in the hallway by the janitor, and a creepy conversation about an ongoing campus murder spree among female students occurs. Ann arrives back at her dorm room with a guy, but refuses his advances, because her roommate is inside sleeping,  When she arrives inside, she turns on the lights to find her roommates throat slashed and writing in blood on the walls.  Without question, I thought it was the janitor.  Instead of going further into solving this mystery, the book jumps forward several months. Once again Anne and her new roommate are dressed to impress and off to another frat house party. However, Ann insists on leaving shortly after getting there, as she is still struggling with the death of her first roommate. When they get back to the apartment, in an unexpected twist, it is revealed that Ann is the killer, as she slits her current roommates blood and begins writing on the wall with the blood. After the creepy janitor hears a commotion and catches her in the act,  the authorities are called in and Ann is locked in an insane asylum. As for our sexual predator college professor from the issues beginning of the book, he’s continually sexually propositioning female students in exchange for better grades.  So the “Red Headed Lady of Death” orchestrated a deadly wet floor fall to the ground for our perverted educator.

Come to think of it, I actually like the misdirection as to who the killer was going to be,  Toggling between the professor and the janitor in my head, kept me engaged in the story.  Even the twist that Ann was the killer, was unexpected and very intriguing. However, I thought the reveal happened in too much of an abrupt way. So much so, that I had a; “Huh, What the F**K” reaction, instead of a “Holy Shit! What an awesome twist” reaction.  It is assumed by the media in the story that Ann had Multiple Personality Disorder. That’s a believable reason as to why she’d kill her roommates and not remember doing it, however, the writer never bothers to explain what causes or triggers her personality changes. The only two things both murders have in common, is the writing on the wall and what each roommate says to her before the frat parties. On the wall after both murders, she writes; “aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the lights.” When Ann asks her roommates how she looks before each party, they respond with; “she looks like a cross between a hooker and a porn star.”  So either, Ann has a fear or averse reaction to turning on lights, or her murderous personality resents being compared to a hooker or a prostitute?  Damned if I know because Meredith Finch doesn’t give enough to clarify at all. What has become clear by the time you read this third issue, is that our mysterious red headed lady, only arranges it so that that vile deplorable people are killed.  If you look back, issue 1 she killed the dog hating bitchy lady, in issue 2 she kills the greedy, self-absorbed, duplicitous antique collector and in issue 3, she kills the professor. I love this distinction about her. As a reader, you actually cheer for her to take out these creeps.

The art is drawn by Milton Estevam.  The art is once again very similar in look to the other two issues.  That’s great for continuity’s sake and in that sense I like it.  On the other hand, that “sameness” prevents each artist from putting their own style or stamp on their work.  As I mentioned several times, the book mentions that Ann looks like a cross between a hooker and a porn star.  When you look at the art, that comparison is apt.  That shouldn’t be a negative. I see it as a positive. Porn stars take a lot of time and do a lot of work to make sure they always look fantastic and represent the ultimate dream girls. The creepy horny professor definitely looked like a grade A creep!  Come to think of it, he looks like a cross between Robert Knepper from “Prison Break” and “Heroes” and Kurtwood Smith from “That 70’s Show.”  The murder scenes are bloodthirsty and  the epitome of what great slasher films should strive for.  Credit goes to colorist Marcio Freire for balancing the drippy blood look and a splotchy blood look. I also loved that brief moment where the mysterious red haired lady’s eyes turned red, when she discovered what the professor was up to.  It hints that she could very well be otherworldly in nature, or at the very least has some magical/mystical properties to her.

Without question, this is my least favourite issue in this series.  Despite being my least favourite, I still enjoyed it.  If all of the not so good comics I’ve read could still be as enjoyable as this issue, comic books would never disappoint me.  Next issue teases the possibility of revealing more information about our “Mysterious Red Headed Lady.”  I hope they do, so I can call the character by her actual name, instead of this long winded place holder.

Kinky Komic Book Book Review: He-Man/Thundercats

(Submitted with an eXXXtra heaping helping of Awesome Sauce by one Mr. Prince Adam…who is in no way biased in this review, I’m sure. 😉 Thanks, Super Fiend! 🙂 xoxo)

“He-Man and the Masters of the Universe team up with the ThunderCats—the epic crossover event you’ve waited thirty years to see! In his ever-living desire to destroy the mighty ThunderCats, Mumm-Ra quests for a weapon that can rival the legendary Sword of Omens: He-Man’s Sword of Power! But his dimension-spanning scheme kick starts a cataclysmic crisis that will embroil heroes and villains—Masters, Mutants and ThunderCats—in a mind-blowing six-part saga!”

The books description is 100% accurate in that this crossover has been thirty years in the making for me! I loved both shows as a kid, giving the slightest edge to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.  Coupled with the fact that I’m loving the latest Masters of the Universe comic book series.  At the end of this six issue mini-series, I was overall very happy with it.  I liked the way the writers brought these two characters together. Before even discussing that, the book clearly establishes the fact that He-Man’s Eternia and Lion-O’s Third Earth occupy separate universes.  This one line allowed my inner child to come to terms with why these characters never interacted in animation.  Thankfully, comic books are not restrained by the rules and regulations of network television.  The book quickly reminds the reader, that Thundera was destroyed long ago, and that the ThunderCats are transplants to Third Earth.  I must admit, it was refreshing to be reminded of that fact, as some ThunderCats factoids had slipped my adult mind. (Growing up sucks)  The benefit of having a relatively current MotU book, is that our He-Man knowledge has been brought to the forefront of readers mind.  That’s one thing I wish DC had done differently. I wish they had given readers a ThunderCats mini-series, re-establishing them in the world of comic books and giving readers a refresher in terms of their status quo.  It’s worth noting that the recent Masters of the Universe comics from DC aren’t referenced or in continuity with this story, unlike the DCU/Masters of the Universe crossover I reviewed here a while back. So, what brings these two worlds together? The Ancient Spirits of Evil, after being fed up with Mumm-Ra’s failure to acquire the Sword of Omens, so they use black magic to create a tear in the multiverse and seek out Skeletor’s help to do their bidding. In exchange they promised him their help and Mumm-Ra as a minion to help defeat He-Man and capture Castle Greyskull.  I have to wonder if the Ancient Spirits of Evil did their due diligence. If they had, they would’ve had to have realized Skeletor was as ineffective against He-Man, as Mumm-Ra was against the ThunderCats.  The two villains join forces in the weirdest way. Skeletor mixes Mumm-Ra’s ashes with a potion and drinks it. Mumm-Ra’s essence became one with Skeletor and the struggle for physical control plays like someone struggling with dissociative identity disorder. It is pretty humorous when they hurl insults at each other though. They’re like two children trapped in one ugly, menacing adult, monstrous looking body.  Despite the push and pull between the two, they make a formidable team.  They turn on the Ancient Spirits of Evil, and end up gaining the upper hand on the Masters of the Universe and ThunderCats, while Lion-O and He-Man are otherwise occupied. They commandeer Castle Greyskull and set their sights on the Orb of Power, with the intention of reshaping the multiverse, to their dastardly liking.

While the rest of the ThunderCats and Masters of the Universe appear in the book, He-Man and Lion-O are the stars of this tale.  Aside from being powerful heroes with big muscles and a cool magic imbued sword, they both share a longing to live up to their father’s legacies and expectations.  Lion-O has already inherited the title of King from his deceased father but with every decision, he seemingly makes, he wonders if his father would approve.  It is only after the events of the book unfold and he gets positive reinforcement from King Randor and He-Man, does he start believing his father would approve. This is an understandable reaction though because despite being physically strong and appearing to be an adult, Lion-O is really 12 years old.  He-Man’s situation is slightly different. His father, King Randor is alive, yet the aloof, constantly tardy persona He-Man puts on as Prince Adam. Leaves his father unimpressed and convinced he is unfit to be king.  The reason I know this book isn’t cannon with the other DC He-Man book, is because King Randor finds out Adam is He-Man for the first time in this book.  In the ongoing title, he’s known for quite a while that his son is He-Man.  Despite both our heroes being built bigger than The Rock and Arnold Schwarzenegger, this story shows them in situations where they are at least temporarily defeated by the Mumm-Ra/Skeletor hybrid Mumm-ator.  I’ve never seen He-Man so defeated. So much so that he was temporarily dead. His death scene was appropriately heroic.  He battled tirelessly against a mix of his rogues and the ThunderCats rogues even without his Sword of Power, which had been stolen.  After being changed from He-Man back to Adam, he succumbs to his wounds. While this death was heroic and shocking, it’s rendered moot almost as its happening.  Did anyone actually expect He-Man to be killed and stay dead in this? Of course not! After hearing of He-Man’s death, Lion – O transports the body back to Third Earth, and uses Mumm-Ra’s own regenerative sarcophagus to return He-Man to life. He-Man’s temporary death does take both our main heroes out of story for a bit, and showcases just how strong and vital to their universes they are.  In their absence, both the Masters of the Universe and Thundercats get decimated by Mumm-ator and his evil horde.  This is more powerful a statement about He-Man and Lion-O then any feat of strength they could perform.  When He-Man is resurrected, the dark magic of Mumm-Ra’s sarcophagus has driven him mad.  If you think about it, the sarcophagus is this universes Lazarus Pit in function and side effects.  He-Man’s altered state, provides motive for the obligatory hero vs hero fight.  This story answers another childhood question of mine, who’s stronger, He-Man or Lion-O? The answer is He-Man, by a little bit…even with both getting a power boost from their swords.  Of course He-Man would win, his name is Adam after all! 😉  This book skews more as a He-Man story though, with the ThunderCats as guest stars.  Even still, it takes the combination of the Sword of Omens and the Power sword, coupled with knowledge discs and some multiverse travel, for He-Man & Lion-O to defeat Mumm-ator. The finale of this book is deserving of the word epic, and defies the scope and budget that animators could have achieved when these two characters first occupied our TV screens.

Freddie Williams II brings this epic team up of animated titans of the 80’s to life artistically.  Much like the artist on the ongoing Masters of the Universe title, he captures the look of both animated series, while giving them a more detailed look.  I didn’t think this was possible but Freddie Williams II has given He-Man and Lion-O larger bi-ceps, triceps and quads, then they had in the cartoon.  Skeletor and Mumm-Ra were bad ass looking villains on their own right, but when they are combined, they’re much scarier.  There are specific pages that I absolutely love.  Seeing He-Man and Lion-O stand side by side for the first time will give you goosebumps.  If it doesn’t, you’re not a fan of these characters.  There is some dark imagery in this book.  You see the Thundercats and Masters of the Universe literally laid out unconscious and bloody in front of Castle Greyskull.  There’s also the page where Lion-O uses sight beyond sight to try and calm He-Man’s rage post resurrection.  What we see is a vision of a future where the world is in ruins and enslaved by Mumm-ator. It’s very Jack Kirby New Gods/Darkseid inspired.  Speaking of inspired, there are pages where He-Man & Lion-O travel through the multiverse. They look like a cross between Thor travelling through space via the rainbow bridge and the psychedelic look of Doctor Strange.  During their travels through the multiverse, they travel to Metropolis where He-Man is Clark Kent/ Superman.  It was so cool to see two of my childhood heroes morph into one for a bit.  Honestly, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to see that as an Elseworld’s mini-series.

This book had 30 years of anticipation to live up to and you know what? For the most part, it did just that. This book feels like a first go around in the shared adventures of these characters. The door is open for a continuation and I hope it happens. At the very least, I hope this leads to more new issues of the Masters of the Universe comic books and launches a new ongoing Thundercats book.  If you haven’t yet, help that cause by buying and reading this book. If you’re a fan of these characters, you’ll love it!

BoXXX Office Awesomeness: Wonder Woman Decapitates Deadpool

(Submitted by Mr. Prince Adam…Thanks, Kinky Ho-mie! 🙂 xoxo)

In the last couple of weeks, Wonder Woman has been getting more and more competition for box office dollars. Cars 3, Transformers: The Last Knight, and Despicable Me 3 have all entered the marketplace, yet Wonder Woman has remained a steady earner. Its biggest competition has arrived in the form of Spider-Man: Homecoming. The film is great and there was no doubt it would be #1 this weekend. To give you an idea of how good it’s doing, the second Spider-Man reboot in 15 years webbed up $117 Million, which is second among Spider- Man films. Worldwide, the film has garnered a total of over $250 Million after just 3 day. Again, the film deserves every bit of money it’s making and you can read my review to see why. However, despite the arrival of the web slinger and losing 313 theatre screens, Wonder Woman is still kicking box office ass! In her 6th weekend of release, Wonder Woman made another $10,135,000 in North America. That brings its domestic total to $368,786,191 after 38 days of release! Wonder Woman has decapitated Deadpool’s entire domestic box office run and sits 2nd on the list of superhero origin films, behind only Sam Raimi’s original Spider- Man film. That amount also means that domestically, Wonder Woman is the second highest grossing superhero film of all time that doesn’t feature Batman, Superman or Spider-Man. Exact foreign figures for the weekend aren’t available, however, internationally the film made another $17,000,000 in the last week, to bring the foreign totals to $377,000,000. Worldwide, the film has secured a grand total of $745,786,191. While Wonder Woman passed Suicide Squad domestically about a week and a half ago, it has now passed it worldwide as well. Wonder Woman now sits 4th on the list of all time box office earners in Warner Brothers history behind only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.  Wonder Woman looks like she will hit at least one more domestic milestone and one more worldwide accolade, which I will report on as it happens, there is no stopping DC Comics’ Amazonian Princess and Queen of the Superheroes!

Ho-stess’s Note: Even Deadpool had to give the Goddess props. 🙂 xo

Movie Review: Spider-Man Homecoming

WARNING TO ALL YE WHO ENTERETH: This post contains #SPOILERS. Just scroll on down to the Marvel Universe Live stuffs if that sorta thing upsets ya. 🙂

(Review submitted with all the love by our Superheroic Ho-mie, Prince Adam…Thank you, Super Sir! 🙂 xoxo)

“Several months after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker, with the help of his mentor Tony Stark, tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens, New York City while fighting crime as his superhero alter ego Spider-Man as a new threat, the Vulture, emerges.” (Sony/Marvel)

After his fantastically energetic extended cameo in Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man gets his first solo film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  We get two prologues before hitting “present day”, which as stated, is several months after Civil War.  The first prologue is set shortly after the first Avengers film.  We see Adrian Toomes and his cleanup crew, removing debris and alien technology from the destruction sites. We see that he is so excited by landing this government job, because it puts food on the table for his wife and daughter, as well as providing for his whole crew.  However, they lose the contract when Tony Stark funds the government owned “Damage Control”, to clean up super heroic messes and such. We then see a flash forward to present day, where we learn and see that Adrian Toomes and crew have been stealing weaponry from superhero/supervillain skirmishes, propagating some for themselves, and selling other weaponry to criminals on the black market. Meanwhile, the flashback with Peter Parker/Spider-Man, actually ties into his appearance in Civil War.  The flashbacks are actually self-shot home movies, of his “trip” to Berlin.  You actually see him getting his upgraded suit from Tony Stark via Happy Hogan, as well as P.O.V. shots of the airport battle in Civil War.  These are a way to catch the audience up on where we last saw Peter, but done in an inventive and unique way. These flashbacks are great because they show us our villain’s motivations for what he is doing, and give us a glimpse into how much Peter Parker loves being Spider-Man.

Our main story picks up with Peter Parker being left back in Queen’s and dealing with being a high school student, while also dealing with being a Spider-Man that has to deal with more street level crime.  First of all, I love that this film really stayed in Queen’s as much as it could.  It gave this film a much more intimate feeling over previous installments.  Peter Parker being in high school felt like a naturalistic part of his daily routine, as opposed to being scenes that were shoehorned into the other films because the character was supposed to be 15.  I think it helps, that the actor playing our hero, as well as his classmates were actually teenaged, as opposed to Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, who both had Wellingitis.  That is to say, they were both 25, cast to play a 15 year old, just as Tom Welling was on Smallville.  I also appreciated that this iteration of Peter Parker wasn’t overtly geeky, or overly hipster, like our previous versions of Peter Parker.  Tom Holland plays an average teenager who takes his high school happenings and everyday situations to the extreme, and makes everything seem like the biggest deal and sometimes the end of the world.  Peter Parker’s best friend in this is Ned played by Jacob Batalon.  The character as played by the actor, is the quintessential best bud and sidekick.  The character is a gamer and total Star Wars fanboy.  Sure, the idea that the two friends spend their after school time building a LEGO Death Star, felt a little all too obvious and convenient, given the Marvel/Disney and Disney/Star Wars connection, but it felt like something two modern day teen fanboys would absolutely do.  There is no spider-bite or death of Uncle Ben in this film.  Instead, that sort of exposition, comes from Ned, once he accidentally discovers Peter Parker is Spider-Man.  We learn of the spider bite and Peter’s abilities through Ned’s endless questions. The exchanges are so naturalistic yet humorous.  There’s a lot of humor in this film, yet never once does it go overboard like Guardians of the Galaxy 2, or feel forced like in the Thor movies.  Liz Allen played by Laura Harrier is the object of Peter Parker’s affection in this film.  She is the popular girl, with a type A personality.  Sure, she and Peter admit that they both liked each other and went to the homecoming dance together but I never felt a spark, or connection between these characters.  No offence to the actress, she did okay with what was asked of her.  Story wise, once we learn that Liz Allen is really Liz Toomes, daughter of the Vulture, any chance the two had at a relationship was gone.  I really did like the character of Michelle played by Zendaya.  This character is very intellectual and is a bit of a loner, playing it off as if she doesn’t really care about hanging out, or being around her classmates. She’s a bit of an introvert, who is lost in her reading. The banter and animosity between she and Peter, gives off a vibe of a love/hate relationship, which definitely hints at something more later on.  Flash Thompson is played by Tony Revolori.  This Flash is not the big hulking jock of a bully like in previous installments, or the comic books.  Instead, he’s more of a verbal insulter, who tries to break Peter down emotionally, not physically.  He’s still a sleaze bag.  The young actor plays that well and you won’t be able to stand him over the course of the film.

Marisa Tomei, returns from her Civil War role of Aunt May.  This Aunt May is more active in the film and in Peter’s life.  We see very simple scenes of them sharing a family dinner.  You even see her helping him learn how to do a tie, teaching him how to dance, and giving him pointers how to treat Liz on their homecoming date.  Marisa Tomei seems to be playing this younger version of Aunt May as a big sister, which makes sense, given the smaller age gap between the two actors.  Though, Marisa Tomei does let the parental Aunt mode kick in, when Peter gets home late and hasn’t been answering his phone. She raises her voice at him, telling him he can’t do that and that between the two of them, that’s not okay.  Even though Uncle Ben isn’t mentioned by name, the tone in her voice and the pain in her face, clearly makes it know, this reaction is a reaction to Ben’s death.  It’s really powerful acting by Marisa Tomei.  As was known when this project was announced and as the trailers went out of their way to point out, Robert Downey Jr. is in this film as Tony Stark/Iron-Man.  He’s at his snarky, fast talking best in this film.  The trailers for this film had me worried that this film would turn into Iron-Man 4, featuring Spider-Man.  However, happily, that’s not the case at all.  We see Iron-Man as a mentor/father figure/ big brother to Peter Parker.  You can tell that Tony Stark has a love for Peter, but in typical Stark fashion, he’ll never outright admit it.  He gave Peter the costume upgrade, to make him a more effective hero but also to keep him safe. Yet still, he tells Peter to stay safe, by sticking close to home grown, street level issues.  The suit upgrades include different shapes and modes of webbing.  The spider symbol is actually a mini drone/ tracker.  There’s also an interrogation mode, which allows Peter to disguise his voice a la Batman, to intimidate his enemies.  There’s a lethal mode, to deal with the extremely dangerous villains and lest we forget, the web wings from the early comic books, which allow him to glide.  I thought all these enhancements by Tony to the costume would minimize Peter Parker’s intelligence but the way Robert Downey Jr. and the film itself handles it, is just Tony being overprotective.  In fact, the film makes a point to show Peter’s intelligence, by showing him secretly brewing his webbing in science class.  We also see Peter disabling the trackers and security measures Tony put into the Spider-Man costume.  Iron-Man does save and assists Spider-Man twice in the film but it never feels like belittling and minimizing the character to me.  His biggest contribution happens of screen, after he realizes that Peter is too reliant on the costume and its gadgets, so he takes it away.  This forces Peter to go back to his homemade costume and find the hero within, which he ultimately does. While this is a Spider-Man film, Tony Stark does seems to resolve some father issues he had in Civil War and there is even a progression of his relationship with Pepper Potts that carries over from that film, which I won’t spoil.

Nearly all of the action beats are tied to our villain, Adrian Toomes, aka the Vulture, played by Michael Keaton.  As hard as it is for me to see Michael Keaton as anything but Batman or Beetlejuice, he is absolutely fantastic as the Vulture.  He’s easily the best villain in the MCU since Loki and he might even be better than Loki.  As I mentioned earlier, the cleanup contract is so important to him, as he’s trying to provide for his family, as are his crew.  When he loses that contract to the joint venture of Stark Industries and the government, he feels pushed aside and stepped on by “the man.”  This is why he hates The Avengers and turns to the black market to sell stolen alien weaponry.  He’s not a one dimensional, over the top, mustache twirling villain, which has become the norm in the MCU. What the script and Michael Keaton convey so well, is that while Adrian Toomes motivations are relatable, his actions remain 100% wrong and the viewer never over sympathizes with him.  This is a mistake the Sam Raimi films made with Dock Ock and Sandman.  They became too sympathetic, to the point where I gave their actions a pass.  While Michael Keaton was great throughout, his best scene happens with Peter Parker when both men are out of costume.  I won’t spoil it but I guarantee it will make your spine tingle. Michael Keaton is particularly chilling in this scene.  The Vulture’s crew introduces other villains, namely the Shocker and the Prowler.  They’re not overly developed. They’re more in service to the Vulture, which I prefer.  The Prowler is of course the uncle of Miles Morales.  There is a small nod to him in the film, which could open the door for Ultimate Spider-Man in the future of the MCU.

In addition to Peter Parker, Tom Holland excels as his costumed alter-ego Spider-Man.  He’s got the inherent goodness and altruistic nature that Tobey Maguire had and he’s got the incessant quipping, which was present in Andrew Garfield’s take on the character.  Mixed in with Tom Holland’s youthful excitement and energy and what you have is the most screen accurate Spider-Man to his comic book counterpart, when it comes to live action portrayals.  The action scenes aren’t just randomly inserted into this film to fill an action quota, instead they service and enhance our hero’s journey.  What’s also unique is that Spider-Man is wearing his fancy superhero attire, in the first two acts, when he is more of an unpolished hero, while wearing his makeshift home-made costume for the third act, when he becomes the full-fledged hero. Usually, it’s the other way around in superhero films.  The early action beats are definitely smaller scale.  We see Spider-Man stopping a bike theft, bank robbery, and we even see him giving an elderly lady directions.  There’s situational humor present in the film when Spider – Man seemingly thwarts a car robbery but in fact, it was just a guy who’d been locked out of his car.  The way the onlookers yelled at Spidey and defended their neighbors innocence, really sold the tight knit community feel of this Queen’s neighborhood.  Also, Stan Lee gets a rare cameo where he speaks, which is nice.  When the Vulture first swoops in grabbing Spider-Man, preventing him from chasing down his crew, the frantic, up-close perspective of the scenes, looks like a brief moment that belongs in a horror film.  The Ferry sequence and the plane fight with The Vulture, as well as the Washington Monument Rescue are the 3 stars of this film, as far as action goes.  The Ferry Sequence has a moment were Spider-Man is trying to hold the Ferry together in one piece, His positioning, actions and pose are eerily similar to Spider-Man 2, when he tries to stop the train from crashing. The scene showcases how effective, yet inexperienced this Spider-Man is.  Seeing Spider-Man crawl up the Washington monument, leap from the top of it, using his web wings to clear a helicopter was so damn epic.  Not quite as epic as Superman’s first flight in Man of Steel, but a pretty close second.  The plane fight between Spider-Man and the Vulture was unlike anything we’ve ever seen in a Spider-Man film.  Not only do they fight inside of the plane but on top of the plane as well.  It took eleven years, but we finally have a scene that surpasses the Superman Returns flight rescue. Kudos goes to the costume designer, who actually made the Vulture’s costume intimidating and menacing, as opposed to looking ridiculous like it does in the comic books.

Spider-Man: Homecoming just feels right.  For the first time in six films, Spider-Man feels like he’s right where he belongs, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  The plot and the reason why Spider-Man is taking on the Vulture is very straight forward.  Instead, this movie focuses on getting the characters right.  In this area, the film 100% succeeds.  My previous favourite Spider-Man film was Spider-Man 2, however, I think Spider-Man: Homecoming slightly surpasses it.  In terms of MCU solo films, this ranks 2nd, behind only the first Iron-Man.  In terms of my favourite summer movies, this ranks 2nd behind Wonder Woman and is definitely a MUST SEE film.

Ho-stess’s PS- I saw SMHC last night, and agree wholeblackheartedly with Mr. P’s review…Ho-wever, I saw Marvel Universe Live on Tour today, and have to say THAT is the Marvel production we should all be talking about. #GreatestShowInTheGalaXXXy!! 🙂 xoxo

Kinky Komic Book Review: Spawn #8

(Submitted by the illustrious Mr.Prince Adam…Thanks, Super Friend! 🙂 xoxo)

Billy Kincaid, killed by Spawn, finds himself in Hell with other new arrivals. As they travel toward the Tower, they fall one by one to the horrors of the demonic realm. (Image)


This one-shot is written by comic book legend Alan Moore. Most people love him and think everything he touches is gold. I’m 50/50 on him. I both love his work, and hate some of his work. This book is essentially 22 pages of Billy Kincaid, child killer, traversing his way through hell. He’s joined by three other characters, two of which aren’t important at all, yet are only there for exposition purposes. In the Spawn mythology, or at least this issue written by Alan Moore, hell is composed of 10 different spheres. The characters in the book all have to climb up a tower and are randomly taken to their respective sphere. While I like this idea, some of it is too much of an obvious rip-off of Dante’s Inferno! We don’t get an explanation for all the spheres of hell, just the ones important to this book. The Sixth Sphere of Hell is the soul stealer sphere, which keeps souls as pets. The Tenth Sphere is the Prime Monad. Here, souls are picked to use a circuitry in hell’s macro computer. Then there’s the Eighth Sphere, where Billy Kincaid resides. In this sphere, the inhabitants basically are employees of the devil the same way the Violator was in the first four issues. The way that Billy Kincaid found out about his lot in hell is a fascinating twists. One of the inhabitants of hell travelling with Billy is a little girl. Of course, Mr. Kincaid being a murderous bastard attempts to kill the little girl. However, before he can choke the life out of her, the girl transforms into The Vindicator. The Vindicator introduces Billy Kincaid to this universes version of the devil, who we’ve seen in issues #1-4 of this book. The devil outfits Billy with the K3 – Myrlu, a neural parasite that morphs onto his body and forms a Spawn costume. Why does it do this? Ever since Billy Kincaid arrived in hell, he’s been having recurring nightmares of the way Spawn killed him. I love that even though he is living in hell, his personal hell is reliving his death at Spawn’s hands. After his crimes, he deserves such mental anguish. However, this parasite represents another blatant rip-off by Alan Moore. It’s the Venom symbiote. The other negative of this aspect of the story, aside from Billy Kincaid’s nightmare, we don’t actually get bonafide Al Simmons/Spawn scenes or for that matter, character development.


Once again, Todd McFarlane’s art is fantastic. I really liked the depiction of hell and its different spheres. The first sphere absolutely looked somewhat like classic depictions of the Garden of Eden. If it wasn’t for the drab colour palette and a lack of sunlight, you could almost confuse it for heaven. There’s also a metallic looking sphere of hell and a sphere that looks like the Himalayan Mountains. The striking image of a cold/freezing segment of hell is ironic and intriguing to look at. Despite these different depictions of hell, there’s a spectacular splash page featuring a vintage looking fire and brimstone version of hell, which happens to be the sphere Billy Kincaid resides in. The large tower, dead centre with the winding stairs looks daunting and physically strenuous for the souls to have to climb. This splash page was my favourite piece of art in the book. There’s also a demonic representation of Elvis, complete with devil horns, but it was a relatively small part of a panel, so it isn’t my standout piece of art for this issue. Although, a devilishly looking King of Rock & Roll is always a highlight, no matter how big or small the image. I was pleased to see the continuity in look between the monstrous looks of The Violator and the Vindicator. They look to be part of the same demonic family. Though, the eyes of the Vindicator look a little more bug like, making them slightly creepier. Billy Kincaid in a Spawn costume, looked like the Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons cosplaying as Spawn. I don’t know if they’re going to try and make this character menacing but at this early point, he looks laughable, in a good way.


Personally, I didn’t need another issue about Billy Kincaid, featuring his travels in hell. Furthermore, this book has little to no Spawn at all. Still, there is plenty of world building of hell and this mythologies concepts of demons! Even without Spawn, this issues was far and away better than anything I’ve read in the last two issues of this series.

Wonder Woman Flies By Batman V Superman To Become #1 DCEU Film In North America!

(Submitted by Prince Adam, who is adorably ecstatic about this news!! 😉 xoxo)

Remember last week, when I cautioned not to underestimate Wonder Woman? Well, I should have taken my own advice. Over the weekend, the film brought in another $16,100,000 at the North American Box Office, to raise its domestic earnings to $346,644,475. That figure means that Patty Jenkins directed Wonder Woman film, has surpassed both Suicide Squad and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, to become the top grossing DC Extended Universe film in North America. Look, as much as I love Wonder Woman, even I didn’t think that was possible, when you consider that it started $30 Million behind Suicide Squad and $63 Million behind Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, after opening weekend. Not only that, the Gal Gadot led film has also surpassed the domestic totals of Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man 3. In terms of superhero origin films, it ranks 3rd behind only Spider-Man and Deadpool. While weekend specific international figures haven’t been made available, I can tell you that Wonder Woman’s foreign figure has risen to $361,800,000. That brings the films worldwide total to a spectacular sum of $708,444,475. Keep in mind that Wonder Woman has only been out for a month and still needs to open in Japan. There are still records to be broken and I’ll update you on the films progress again next week, but you can’t help but marvel at what a wonderful success this is for DC Films and the comic book superhero film genre as a whole.

#SuperheroSaturday Comic Book Review: Injustice Gods Among Us #7-9

(Submitted by out freaky friend, Mr. Dr. Prince Adam III…Thanks, Heroic Ho-mie! 🙂 xoxo)

This trilogy of issues starts with a U.S. Missile strike in Bialya, on a stronghold of a Rebel Leader.  Before the missile could hit its target Superman intercepts it, destroying the missile.  While Superman was determined to stop the loss of any more life, after the tragedy that killed Lois and his unborn baby, the U.S. Military and government, all the way up to the President are furious that Superman’s actions have compromised their efforts in the region.  Fearing that Superman is on a dangerous road to totalitarian rule, the government puts off the books military personal in the charge of Mirror Master, in the hope of reigning Superman in.  Their plan is to kidnap the Kent’s, trapping them in a mirror dimension.  They then blackmail Superman, that if he doesn’t end this “My Way or the High Way” war on crime, his parents will be killed and pieces of their bodies will be sent to him. This only enrages Superman further, who quickly turns to Flash to learn more about Mirror Master.  Meanwhile, at the Justice League watchtower, Wonder Woman requests the help of the rest of the Justice League’s help in the search for Mirror Master and Clark’s parents. While the rest of the Superfriends, sans Batman and Green Arrow, who have defected, go on supervillain shakedown duty. Wonder Woman goes to another war torn area of the Middle East, Kandaq. There she literally gets right in the middle of a battle between fighter jets and tanks.  After decimating the heavy artillery, she urges the soldiers on foot to lay down their weapons, in a cease fire, while a peaceful dialogue can put an end to the conflict.  As this is unfolding, the God of War, Ares appears on the battlefield. After revelling in Diana’s handy work, he questions her about a potential romantic relationship with Superman. The snark in his comments offends Wonder Woman, they fight, so she cuts off his hand and impales him with her sword, leaving him alive, but pinned to the ground.  She then leaves the warzone with Superman in toe.  The book ends with Batman waiting for the President in the White House. He tells the President that he knows he ordered the kidnapping of the Kent’s.  While Batman, doesn’t agree with that tactic, he tells the President that Superman does need to be held in check, and that he is forming a resistance.

There are two reasons I came back to this book now. The first is that I wanted another book featuring Wonder Woman to read. Second, the sequel game and comic book for this franchise is out. The sooner I read this, the faster I get to play the new game.  I’m now 9 issues into this book and while I know where Superman ultimately gets to, as of this moment in the story, I don’t disagree with his stance or more aggressive tactics.  I don’t hold killing the Joker against Superman.  Now I’m not saying every superhero should start picking off their villains.  However, had Batman killed the Joker long ago, Jason Todd wouldn’t have been beaten to death and Barbara Gordon wouldn’t have been raped or killed.  Comic books like this raise a question about our heroes.  In scenario’s like this, with exceptionally vile villains like The Joker, is it okay for our heroes to cross that line and kill?  Secondly, he what I just realised about this book is that it is the Bizarro Dark Knight Returns.  In that book, the government is worried about Batman going over the edge, with Superman having to step in and reign him in.  Here, it is the exact opposit.  It’s kind of sad that it took me so long to put that together, but it seems extra awesome now that I have.  In the scene where Wonder Woman rallies the Justice League around Superman’s cause.  Even though some of his teammates find his actions towards the Joker questionable. They all rally because of Wonder Woman’s call to arms.  It speaks to what a respected leader she is amongst the group. She is no 1B leader. She’s every bit the leader of the JLA as Superman is.  Wonder Woman has always been a character that preached peace and love first and foremost, with fighting always being a last resort. For now, at this juncture of the story, that character tenant is upheld.  When she does let loose in the Kandaq warzone, the way she just dismantles the armed and air weaponry and gets those soldiers to stand down is impressive. It will give added presence to the name Wonder Woman.  Ares’ presence in these issues is definitely the highlight for me.  His concern over a romantic union between Superman and Diana is genius.  The idea that their union could bring about a true end to conflict and war, thereby rendering him useless and moot. Tom Taylor writes the fierce and all powerful Ares, as worried and emotionally distraught over this scenario. By the end of the last issue, Ares is very different then the brash, authoritative and condescending Olympian God, when he first entered the story.

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Jheremy Raapack is back on art for these issues and these three stories are his best work in my opinion.  I’m almost certain that Zack Snyder used this artwork as a reference image for the Africa sequence in Batman v Superman: The Ultimate Edition. The way Superman defuse that missile and the look on his face as he approaches it, looks identical in the film as it does in this book.    This artist has done great things for Mirror Master’s visual credibility.  I’ll take the supped up rogue SWAT guy with a mask, over the traditional green looking long johns, any day of the week.  His mirror dimension is described and looks like 10 square kilometers of reflective sky.  That’s fantastic because it doesn’t just look like a household mirror, while also being difficult to locate for Superman, and metahuman’s like The Flash.  It’s also tricky for readers to spot, as it could be literally anywhere on the page.  The best imagery of these three books is Wonder Woman slicing the tail end of a fighter jet with her sword and head butting a tank. Yes, I said head butting a tank.   I’m not all that fond of Wonder Woman wearing pants though. Partially because I love her film costume and have it stuck in my head.  Also though, because putting pants on her was often done to appease complaints that her outfit was to scantily clad.  I think that’s the type of censorship her creator would have been against.  As for Ares, he looks like a cross between Savatar from season 3 of The Flash and a Spartan soldier, in black armor.  I had hoped hope he looked even more similar to this in the movie.

Every time I read this book, I end up kicking myself for leaving it alone for so long.  The first nine issues are so good, some of the best comics I’ve read.  So good, that I’m curious to know if the rest of Volume 1 and the current sequel are as good as this. I’ll definitely find out more quickly, as I plan on making this book a frequent habit. First though, it’s time for a few more theater screenings of Wonder Woman.