Captain America – An Open Letter to Marvel

To the Captain America Steve Rogers team,

How does it feel to give validity and a supportable hero to hate groups?
Seriously… now every racist and homophobic parent has a comic to give to their children that shows them it’s okay to hate, because that’s what Captain America does. You’ve just glorified the very thing Marvel has made great strides against with characters like Ms Marvel, Moon Girl, Miles Morales, Red Wolf, and Starbrand and Nightmask.
Of course, controversy sells, and that’s likely why such a shocking step was taken, and no matter how it ends up, even if Cap gets beaten to hell and back by the Avengers, we still have a mainstream Marvel hero for those who hate.
I really can’t believe this concept made it through without anyone just stopping and saying “wait, do we really want to give hate groups a comic to rally around and love?”
Yours disgustedly,
Ayoub

Reno’s EPIC Pub Crawl 2016

Matt here –

So half the GotR crew live here in Reno, Nevada where almost every month they have a pub crawl for the various holidays. When there isn’t a particularly popular holiday, they just have a theme. This month’s theme was “Epic”. Formerly the Superhero crawl, this year there was an emphasis on Star Wars and they had a large scale lightsaber battle to kick off the crawl.
Having just recently acquired a decent enough camera, I decided to take some pictures and share with you! Enjoy!

 

Belated Reviews #2- Bill & Ted’s Most Triumphant Return (2015)

After that last nightmare, Belated Reviews #1, I am trying really hard this time to actually enjoy my reviewing experience. To that end I went out and grabbed what I considered a no-brainer. 2015’s six issue series, Bill & Ted’s Most Triumphant Return, from BOOM comics.

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Written by Brian Lynch who you may know as a screenwriter of stuff like Hop, Puss in Boots and Minions among others. As for his comic book work… only the hardcore have probably seen this name. Most of his work is with licensed film to comic adaptations (specifically a few Joss Whedon properties), a 3 issue TMNT microseries, an issue of Spider-Man, something about a zombie Julia Childs and some other stuff I care even less about. Ink and Pen work done by Jeremy and Penelope Gaylord, whose names I am afraid to Google and colors by Whitney Cogar. Marketed as the long lost 3rd film in the series, my inner child is going wild right now. I was a major fan. Saw both movies in the theater, owned just about all of the toys, played the NES game until blowing in the cartridge just wouldn’t work any more and even watched and loved the cartoon series. Like I said, this should be a no brainer.

And that leads us to…

Expectations

In case you skipped my intro to this article, I’m expecting a lot. Maybe too much. I will try too keep the whole expectation vs reality thing in check but that very well may be easier said than done. At first skim of the first issue, the art is fun and colorful. It feels like Bill & Ted. There seems to be a lot of talking and not too much action but with six issues, we should be good. I’m super excited to get started on this unlike last time when I nearly gave up from skimming the pages alone. Am I about to read a six issue Bill & Ted 3, will it be something completely different than expected or am I about to give up on these sort of adapted properties altogether? Let’s stop stretching words and find out right now.

Issue #1

Hold on to your blubber tires, here we go… This is in fact a continuation of the film series as the first issue kicks off shortly after the end of Bogus Journey (5 seconds after to be exact).  Their big, world changing, hit song is out, there’s even a cover band, “Wild Stallions” (who’ve already mastered that one song), and already they are being asked… when is the next song coming? They get to work on cranking out that next hit but so far all they’ve come up with is a tune called, “Girl (Why’d You Build Those Robots?)” which is really just a veiled confession of Bill’s feelings about De Nomolos not liking them. To remedy this, B&T decide they should head into the future in order to find out what their next song is supposed to be. And with that, the adventure begins.

After our main story ends there’s a shorter story called Bill & Ted and the Bogus Virus. (It’s the first of six self contained shorts that are tacked on to the end of each issue and for the most part, they are as enjoyable as the main story.)   

Verdict so far: I’m not going to give a lot of details because I’m enjoying this and at the very least I’m recommending the first issue. I’ve left you all plenty of cool to unwrap on your own. So far, it’s the Bill & Ted 3 than never was.

Issues #2-6

Once I got into this I couldn’t stop. The series is a quick and easy read. While it feels slightly more like Bill & Ted 3 by way of a Saturday morning cartoon than an actual 3rd movie, my fan fervor has been satisfied. The story is pretty straightforward, as it should be, so I’ll keep to the bare necessities to avoid spoiling your fun. After the events of issue one, Bill & Ted are in the future and meet the teen De Nomolos who has spent his life as the kid who would grow up to try and kill the founders of modern (or future depending on perspective) society. Despite his future (unfound as of yet) hatred and attempted murder of them, Bill & Ted set off to help young De Nomolos make friends and woo the punk rock girl he loves. To do this they set off with their tentative new best friend forever in the phone booth to teach him to art of kindness. First stop, Woodstock and an obligatory ’69 joke. *For the young: Woodstock was a mega-concert held in 1969.

This is where Issue #3 begins and the series takes us on a sort of montage throughout time where we visit characters from the previous films. The nostalgia value is strong from here on and this is pretty much where I knew the series was going to be a “one sit pony”. Roughly an hour later and it was all over.

Final Verdict: At the end of the day, this is Bill & Ted not some high brow entertainment full of twists and turns. Without any more information you can surely guess exactly where this series is going and that’s fine. Again, this is Bill & Ted and that’s exactly what I was expecting. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few twists in the story but you’ll see them coming a mile away and to discuss them would ruin your experience. This would have definitely been a worthy third film and it would have been awesome to see the two-headed evil robot Bill & Ted and robot Station battle it out on the silver screen but if we never do get the forever promised Bill & Ted 3 at the very least we’ll always have this and that’s not so bad. If you’re into this kind of thing and have some free time, definitely get your hands on these six issues. I hate myself for writing this but…. it was most excellent.

SEcoF

 

Image+ Reveals Negan’s Profession Pre-TWD!!

It has finally happened, folks! Negan’s pre-apocalypse profession has been revealed and he was NOT a used car salesman as previously suspected. It’s even better…

He was a GYM TEACHER!!!

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Image+ is a new monthly mag from Image comics and in each issue for the next 12 months 4 pages of Negan’s backstory is being revealed totaling a 48 page story called Here’s Negan. The first issue came out April 27th and it started off as a simple game of ping pong in a garage between Negan and some teenage boys. Negan wins and gloats before challenging the other kids to step up and take him on. No one does and as the beaten boy runs off his friends follow but not before apologizing for him being ‘kind of a pussy’.

After they are gone a woman comes out and yells at Negan for cursing at children and says she just got a call from some parents complaining about him. He’s supposed to be a role model and if he keeps it up he could lose his job as a coach at the school. He defends himself by saying he was only trying to be the “cool teacher” and she should only hear some of the stuff the students say. Before she can argue, the woman collapses and Negan runs to her screaming, “Baby!?! Baby!?!?”

Are we all thinking the same thing here? Is the woman he’s calling baby his wife or girlfriend? One can only assume. What other assumptions come from that? Perhaps that woman’s name is…. LUCILLE!?!?!

Only 4 pages and I am freaking out with excitement. All will finally be revealed!!! …in a year. I can’t promise I’ll review each installment of Here’s Negan because they are only 4 pages each but if they are as good as this you can count on it. At the very least stay tuned here for all the major reveals over the next 12 months. So far so good and I’m glad I’m late to the party with this first issue because now I only have to wait a few days for the next one!

Star Trek: How Far Beyond?

I just got done watching a trailer for Star Trek: Beyond (#2 apparently and I never even saw trailer #1 or I did and I blocked it out) and I must say, I’m a bit tossed. As I watched I thought to myself, how far beyond the initial concept of Star Trek: The Original Series are they going? To me, the Star Trek franchise has always been about exploration of both outer and inner space. New worlds, strange new species and constantly unfolding character drama on the Enterprise. The first reboot/pseudo-sequel from J.J. Abrams was not too far from the source. While it did focus a bit on the over-the-top action it didn’t seem to rely on it. To me it seemed like a loving big screen adaptation of the franchise. Flashy, yes, but focused. If it wasn’t for the overuse of lens flare, I’d have to say they did better than we could have expected.

Star Trek Into Darkness manged to be a more authentic feeling installment and yet something was lost. The tone was right, the pacing was slow and deliberate but the action felt inserted. Not jarring but somehow off-putting. Despite that, to me it is a better representation of what the brand has always been about. By the end of the second movie I was confident in the direction they were heading. They went through a phase of trial and error and now they know what to do to make the third film one for the books. And then I saw this trailer…

I know a lot of you are gong to say, that trailer was AWESOME!!! Yes, it was awesome. I can’t wait to see it. It looks like a roller coaster of action and adventure. An explosive good time. I watch The Expendables movies, damnit! I enjoy mindless entertainment like the rest of the world. I love when things go boom too…. but this is Star Trek, man. This is the thinking man’s sci-fi. Murica’s attempt at a Doctor Who type show. The kind of show you sit down and WATCH. Hard sci-fi. This is not Star Wars. This is not a franchise that gets directed by the Fast and Furious guy. Look, Donkeys, I saw the first 3 FF movies in the theater like the rest of you greasy, coked-up weirdos. As I said, I like when things are shiny and go Vrrooom and Boom. I mean, you’re not going to catch me watching the sportsball shows or NASCAR (It’s cars driving in circles, you bastards!!!!) but I can enjoy loud movies… when that’s what I am looking for. That is NOT what I am looking for with Star Trek.

In my research for this rant I have discovered that Simon Pegg (the film’s writer and MFing Scotty!) has spoken against the trailer and asked fans to “hang in there” like that kitty on the branch. He claims there is so much more to the film Beyond its terrible trailer. As much as I like him, I don’t know if I can trust him because he was the guy the studio hired to rewrite the script because it was too Star Trekky. The official goal was to “make a western or a thriller or a heist movie, then populate that with Star Trek characters so it’s more inclusive to an audience that might be a little bit reticent.”

I don’t know… How far Beyond the heart of Star Trek are they going to go and how far beyond my own limits will my acceptance of these new cinematic additions go? I guess we’ll find out July 22, 2016.