Wednesday, 28 May 2014

My theories (and hopes) about the Netflix Daredevil show

So first thing this morning, while surfing the net, I came across the information (like practically everybody else) that English actor Charlie Cox had been cast as Matt Murdock/Daredevil.

I like this news for a few reasons. 1. I saw Charlie Cox in Stardust and I enjoyed that film and he carried the movie well. 2. Cox is still an unknown (for the most part) actor who is unlikely to bring his previous works to the role for people to compare. 3. Marvel have cast a relatively younger actor in their lead role which, from my thinking, validates a lot of the theories I had about the show.

What are these theories you ask? Well, since I first heard about this series, my main assumption became the belief that it'll be an origin story focusing on Matt (and maybe Foggy) just coming out of Law school and setting up his(their) own practice while, at the same time, he puts on the red tights. Now, given the actor's age this makes sense and it is also more plausible in the bigger universe as no mention was made in prior films/shows.

And if this is the case, then it will lead to my next theory, which is that the fixer will be the main villain. To me, this makes perfect sense as the entire series then becomes Law and Order crossed with Revenge. We'll get to see Daredevil taking out small time crooks in the hopes of being able to put away this big bad who was responsible for his father's death.

That said, I also theorise that the show might try for a tone between the dark noir essence of the Bendis run and the jovial, swashbuckling atmosphere of the current Waid run. This is because while Daredevil is a dark character, Marvel will want something lighter to draw in the younger crowds.

From that point on, my theories become more about my hopes for the show. These include my hope that the original yellow and red costume makes an initial appearance, which, if the origin angle does come into play may certainly happen at least for an episode or two. My other hope is the appearance of villains like Gladiator and Owl come about as hired hitmen during the show.

Then there is my other hope that Elektra DOESN'T appear at any point. Now, I doubt this'll happen (especially as the Middle's Eden Sher was rumoured to be up for a Marvel role. Someone tell me she wouldn't fit the Elektra bill perfectly) but I would be more inclined for the character to be held back until the Defenders mini.

At the end of the day though, as long as they bring the character across as identically as he has been to me in the comics for years, I don't care what happens or doesn't. But I'm looking forward to the series now just to see how far off the mark my assumptions are.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014


So, it's been three weeks since I posted anything here and that's not because any comic books have not been released in that time.

Sadly, I think I may have gotten to the point where, when it comes to comic books, I just don't care all that much.

The reason for this could stem in a change in attitude. In the last six months to a year, the titles I've been reading have really lost their allure with me and I find myself just reading for the sake of reading and not truly enjoying them. This was evidenced in a few weeks back when I cut five marvel titles from my pull list, all of which are produced by quality creators (and two of which, Daredevil and Fantastic Four, I've been reading since the turn of the century).

It's fair to say that maybe I've developed comic book burnout, which isn't exactly a surprise given that for the recent past i've been bombarded by comic books left and right. In the recent past I've not only been to conventions and picked up a ton of additional books I'm still trying to get through, but I've also taken a reviewing job for Pipedream Comics (which is a pretty cool site and worth checking out.) which has me looking at more books still.

A pretty sweet set up huh? Normally, I'd agree but as I prep for a wedding, renovate a house (well, clean and paint it) and look for a new job (damn redundancy) I find time is at a premium; one which keeping up with my favourite hobby struggles to maintain a priority and even causes a burning candle at both ends scenario.

So, is that it?? No, I don't think so, mainly because I can't give up some books quite that easily. I think the best plan is to scale back on what I buy and maybe read some of my already established collection to remind myself of why I am addicted to comics so much. In the meantime, I'll still be writing and trying to find a better use of time and hopefully, in the not too distant future, my pull list will be bulging with comic books again.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Alex + Ada #6 brings more of the awesome.

Ahhh, May is here!!! That means a return to my normal comic book reading routine after a bit of a chaotic time during April, compounded by the fact Alex + Ada #6 was released this week, having seen not hair nor hide of the series during the prior month. Given it's 5-6 week absence, along with it being so good, it stands to reason that I read it first this month. So, has it been worth the wait?The answer to that is 'Hell yes it's been worth the wait!!'

This latest issue picks up where is issue 5 left off (well, almost). It's the following morning and Ada awakes to Alex preparing an exploration into aspects of her newly freed sentience. For the title's heroine, the issue is a journey of discovery as to what she likes and dislikes, her wants and desires. However, the one thing she wants is to go outside; something Alex feels they are not quite ready to experience.

Whereas the first five issues focused more on Alex and his need to re-connect, issue 5 obviously is the beginning of an arc that is all about Ada. She is the star of this part, as she attempts to discover herself and gain something that she so apparently pines for; Freedom.

I have enjoyed this book since the first issue, but I never dreamed that it could improve upon the perfection it has already established. Sarah Vaughan and Jonathan Luna totally flip the book over by focusing on the imerging personality of Ada, which is the right thing to do. Have been shown very much as the robot she is in the first arc, to see a kindness an almost child-like curiousity emerge from the character makes her so lovable, as does the heartbreak she emits when told she can't go outside.

And, with these expressions is where the art truly shines. Throughout the issue, Ada expresses subtle moments of sadness and regret due to her now 'socially unwelcome' circumstances, hinting her knowledge that she is not, truly, free. I've said how much I like Luna's art, but these moments are the best and they enhanced what the book is saying to me tenfold. Also, the way the first page mimicked page 1 of issue 1 was breathtaking

In fact, so good is this book that the only flaw I saw is that while it makes sense to have this be Ada's time to shine, Alex feels a little relegated to a more supporting character. That said, I suspect that this is just a case of not enough space in the book to further flesh out his thoughts on what's happening, something I have no doubt will be rectified later.

Despite my love of this book, I'm still astonished by the fact of how truly incredible this issue and series is. I'm already tearing my hair out at the thought of waiting 8 weeks (yes, next month it's released at the end of June, not the beginning) as the final page just has me needing to know what happens next. It's earned its place as my number one book in a month and I just hope I'm not alone in that thinking.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Comic book catch-up.

Gotta love bank holidays!!! I sure do, as they are three day weekends which can allow me to catch up with everything that I had yet to get round to. On this bank holiday just passed that list included seeing the new Cap movie (which was pretty damn awesome) and, maybe more importantly, reading all the comic books from April which had yet to be picked up from my local comic store, not to mention the new release which saw out the month.

What I got to read breaks down like this:-

Black Science #6, which I've finally caught up on (woo hoo) after starting on the book late. This issue saw two of the characters fight it out as the Pillar counted down to it's next departure. I gotta say that I love this book just down to how it emits the vibe of a 1960's science fiction show (Time tunnel and Land of the Giants if you wanna know which), but the vibe along isn't what keeps me hooked as the story's got a frenzied pace. And the ending to this issue is just so unexpected for a first arc conclusion that I just gotta come back for the next issue.

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #4 was next on the list as Mal and the crew put into effect their plan to save the imprisoned Zoe and kidnap lots more River-esque kids to use as a barter/army with/against the Alliance. However, despite an exciting story, this book is having some trouble keeping me on board. The thing is I'm not sure why, though I suspect it's the unrealistic nature of the story in comparison to the characters histories as this big political/conspiracy story doesn't seem like them; they should be robbing trains and the like. That said, the return of the Operative and my intrigue into how this story ends will have me back.
Mass Effect: Foundation #10, however, may have a tougher time of getting me back based on this issue alone. This installment focused on master thief Kasumi and the story that led to her DLC for Mass Effect 2. However, much like about half of this series so far, the issue just didn't have any hook to reel me in and get invested into an arc for a character who, on my xbox, is actually quite interesting. The art doesn't help matters unfortunately as panels are very inconsistent. Worse still is the ending (or lack of same) which is either down to poor editing or a unmentioned conclusion in the next issue. Well, I hope the latter is the case.

Lazarus #8, fortunately, put my weekend back on course with another terrific issue which continued to simultaneously follow the Barret family journey to Lift as well as Forever's pursuit of terrorists. Thankfully, despite there being a lot of plot threads going on here, not one of them is at all boring or superfluous in respects to the book. Rucka continues to make a beautifully detailed socio-economic world while, at the same time, making Forever much more compelling. If there's one problem I have with this book its the lack of explanation in the bad guys motives, but maybe that will come up in the next issue.

Daredevil #2 was a book I really wanted to say 'wow I enjoyed that" but (as you can guess), I didn't. With this issue seeing the Man without Fear going against a new Kingpin with the reluctant help of super hero/villain the Shroud, I was unable to invest in this book and found it a tad boring. Once again though, I have no idea why I cannot get into this book as the previous volume was absolutely fantastic and this volume has the exact same creative team as the last. I can only surmise that moving away from Hells Kitchen took something away from the character that I found appealing.
Fantastic Four #3 was next up on my list and, much like Daredevil, was an issue which just couldn't keep me invested. The story so the FF deal with the ramifications of the last issue as the Human Torch is powerless. However, besides that item, very little occurred in this issue that was noteworthy (oh, apart from a new Frightful Four at the end). On the plus side, the art is gorgeous and if I were rich I'd keep buying for just that. Sadly, the story just isn't getting to me and as biased for the book as I am, I'd rather be reading something that engrosses me.

Finally, came Secret Origins #1, which I figured I'd give a go. This issue, much like the rest of the series I suspect was a retelling of the origins of various DC characters, on this occasion focusing on Superman, Robin and Supergirl. Up until reading this, I debated if this was just a cheap attempt to make a bit of cash of those wanted answers for DC's missing history in the New 52. However, despite it not being anything at all in helping fill the holes, the book itself was incredibly well written for all three tales with fantastic art. Sadly, given that I already know almost all origins (god bless DC and Marvel encyclopedias), the well written book with great art isn't getting on my pull list. Still a good way to end a binge-read.

And that was that! A bit of a epic reading session which, unfortunately, had just as many duds as great reads. Fortunately, it's helped me make a decision about the last few books I was mulling over and, starting on this months pick ups, I can now be reading a larger percentage of good books from my pull list.