Good day, everyone! In keeping with my review reblog from last weekend, here is its original follow-up. Stay frosty, Gothamites!
Hello, everyone! Busy week once again, so I return to my back log of posts from several years ago I’d like to see return to the light. Here’s one where I talk a bit about the original introduction of the Jerome character in Gotham and how I enjoyed his evolution as the Joker. I’m happy to see they eventually brought him back. Anywho, stay crazy and enjoy!
A disclaimer, since I have had to address silly complaints on posts like this before: What I am saying here is that these comics are my personal favorites from this era. I am NOT saying they are objectively the greatest comics of this era. Loosen up and enjoy!
Part 1: Marvel Comics
The New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis and various artists
This is what made Bendis’s name at Marvel, and this coupled with his runs on Daredevil and related books from the same era likely represent the peak of his comic book work. This book also helped get me back into comics in college after I’d been off the wagon for a short time.
Astonishing X-Men by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday
This comic was a treat, and precedes Whedon’s involvement in The Avengers film by years. It’s sad to think what could have been done if Whedon had had the ability to work with these characters on film as well. I already enjoyed Whedon’s work (Buffy and Firefly, anyone?), so his involvement with another of my favorite properties cinched it for me.
Uncanny X-Force by Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña
When this title was around with Remender at the helm, it was the single best book Marvel was putting out. The choice of cast was spot-on, and they were all handled so very well. In particular, this includes enjoyable versions of both Wolverine and Deadpool, if for any reason you find either character tough to read.
The Amazing Spider-man by J. Michael Straczynksi and various artists
Everybody has a favorite Spider-man storyline/writer, and this one is mine. I’ve read other stuff over the years (the more recent Superior Spider-man being a standout honorable mention), but the full scope of Straczynski’s work on the character and then having all of that undone by a single editorial decision at Marvel grant this period a mythic quality.
The Ultimates and The Ultimates II by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch
These comics set in a now-dead universe hold a special place in my heart. They provided a well-crafted, action-packed Avengers story in an era that needed it, and it actually held some narrative surprises given the freedoms the Ultimate line afforded. I tell you, these comics had some of the best moments of the entire era, and they accomplished two great feats: 1. They made Captain America a powerhouse badass again, and 2. They presented some ideas that would later be incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, such as Nick Fury looking like Samuel L. Jackson. Find these and read them if you never have.
Some honorable mentions (besides those mentioned in the post) would include Greg Pak’s run on The Incredible Hulk, Straczynski’s run on Thor, and Fabian Nicieza’s Cable & Deadpool.
Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame ahead! Beware all ye who enter here!
Good day, everyone! In keeping with my previous post, I want to look at another Endgame character. Not to worry; don’t assume there we won’t be more of these, or that I won’t touch on other characters. I just wanted to address my own personal favorite Avengers first off.
I’ve always felt a strong connection to Steve Rogers, perhaps because the character is supposed to have been born around 1917, the same year as my grandfather who fought in World War II. As an interesting side note, my grandfather fought in Patton’s 3rd Army, just like Jack Kirby. I like to think they may have known each other.
Additionally, I have always appreciated the idea that Cap is the conscience, even the moral compass, of the Marvel Universe. If he is strongly opposed to something or someone, it usually the means the author of the ongoing story intends readers to cast a more critical eye on the opposition.
All of that aside, Cap’s arc in Endgame was satisfying and highly enjoyable for me. Still seen as the leader of the Avengers, as he always was, Cap leads the team-turned-army through the convoluted, but ultimately successful, Time Heist and the final battle against Thanos and his force of planet killers. I could not have derived more joy from his rematch with Thanos, and I literally whooped in the movie theater when Cap wielded Mjolnir against him. That, and the moment every Marvel fan has awaited for years: “Avengers assemble!” That made it all worth it.
Again, considering I sort of see Cap as my idealized fictional grandfather, I loved that he was able to slip off from his time mission at the end of the film to live a full life with Peggy Carter, have children, and grow old. Being as we’ve fully entered the Game of Thrones era of storytelling in movies and television, it was actually refreshing to see a satisfying, rather than ironic or tongue-in-cheek, happy ending for a character. I think the old soldier deserved it.
Thank you all for stopping by! Which Endgame character should I address next? Let me know in the comments below!
Needless to say, SPOILERS AHEAD!
There is a lot of controversy surrounding the story arcs of pretty much every one of the core six Avengers in Endgame, with Thor near the top of that puppy pile. I, for one, really enjoyed and sympathized with how Thor was presented. Not only that, I actually appreciated having a fat version of the character that I could identify with, as silly as that may sound.
We start off the movie not long after Infinity War, and Thor is grieving. He’s mournful over his failure and wants another shot at Thanos, which he gets. But it doesn’t matter; nothing can be undone. Fast forward the five years, and Thor is basically hiding from life and this immense failure that he has completely saddled himself with. He has fallen into alcoholism and overeating, and put on quite a bit of weight. He doesn’t seem to care at all about his appearance anymore, and even gains a comparison to the Dude from The Big Lebowski. But he still reluctantly goes along with the insane time heist mission.
And this is where everything turns around. First off, he gets a pep talk from his perceptive, super-powerful witch mother in the past, which is just what he needs to hear to ground himself. But he then also reaches out for Mjolnir, and it responds to him. All at once, tears still in his eyes, he sees that he is still worthy of it. All that has transpired, all the emotional and psychological weight that burdens him more than his physical girth, has made him no less worthy of his original weapon. And some of the fault he feels evaporates as well as he readies himself for battle.
I understand this version of Thor best of all of the different ways he has been presented across the MCU, and I am eager to see what comes next for him. I know he will lose the weight and likely travel with the Guardians of the Galaxy for awhile, which will also be awesome. And if Thor can overcome these things and drop some weight along the way, perhaps we can all face what assails us.
What do you think?
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