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Television Reaction: The Walking Dead, Season 8, Episode 1 “Mercy”

The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 1
Title: The Walking Dead
Season: 8
Episode: 1 “Mercy”
Network: AMC
Air Date: October 22, 2017
Summary: “Rick and his group, along with the Kingdom and Hilltop, have banded together to bring the fight to Negan and the Saviors.”
Reaction:

Holy cow, one-hundred episodes! Where has the time gone, right folks? Regardless of where the last few years disappeared to, we’ve been watching Rick and the gang kick walker ass for quite some time now, and after all of these years, we’re all still as eager as ever in the minutes before the Walking Dead season-opener airs.

If you haven’t watched the episode, you may want to do so before continuing ahead, there are spoilers I tell you, spoilers!

A night of go-team speeches and a flash or two of Rick the Grey, the majority of the episode was build-up, and it was epic. Seeing the groups come together and meet one another was a glorious sight. You know what else was glorious, hearing Rick tell Maggie that after this fight, he’s following her.

Rick lets one of Negan’s men get eaten by a walker that had been previously tied to a telephone pole after Negan’s man talks about Carl getting killed…thus proving that Rick, despite shooting over the hungry traveler’s head, is playing for keeps this time around. It’s clear the Rick is determined to not only take down Negan and the Saviors, but also to fight one last fight before living out his days in a world gone to shit without having to worry about waging wars and leading groups.

After receiving the ol’ message in the arrow, the ensuing scenes of Rick’s team taking out Negan’s guards was quite satisfying. For a while, I couldn’t help but feel like things were running a bit too smoothly for our heroes; the anxiety and uneasiness were unreal. Before long we found Rick standing before Negan with cars exploding in the background and bullets flying. And when the bullets began flying, my oh my was it entertaining.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. Season 8 is here, and it is bound to be great after this opener. I hope that everyone was wearing their shitting pants…

But that’s enough for now, be sure to check back for my full review of The Walking Dead, Season 8, Episode 1.

 

 

 

 

Title: Shirtless Bear-Fighter! #5
Publisher: Image
Words: Jody Leheup & Sebastian Girner
Art: Nil Vendrell
Colors: Mike Spicer
Letters: Dave Lanphear
Publication Date: October 18, 2017
Publisher’s Summary: MINI-SERIES FINALE This is it! The heart-stopping conclusion to the greatest comic saga of our time. It’s Shirtless vs. Brother Bear in a bear-chested, bear-knuckled fight to the death! Being the angriest man alive has gotten Shirtless far, but can it take him all the way?
Story:

This is it ladies and gentleman; Issue #5 marks the end of the Shirtless Bear-Fighter! mini-series. I know, I know, I am just as sad as you are to see it go, but believe you me, I don’t think that this is the last time we’ll see Shirtless, or at least I hope it isn’t. Regardless of what the creators have in mind for Shirtless, Shirtless Bear-Fighter! #5 is action-packed and offers fans an ending worthy of their time.

Writing:

Jody Leheup & Sebastian Girner’s writing has been consistent throughout this short run. When reading Shirtless Bear-Fighter! #5, it’s quite difficult not to laugh, or at the very least, crack a smile. The writing is smart and the dialogue is sharp, and the entire arc is entertaining. There’s not much else a fan can ask for from a comic book…

Artwork:

Much like the writing in this book, Nil Vendrell’s artwork has remained consistent; Nil’s illustrations were crisp despite depicting over-the-top scenes and characters. Each panel moves with levity and works to bring the script to life.

The Bottom Line:

Shirtless Bear-Fighter! is a wildly original series that goes bear balls-to-the-wall. Issue #5 marks the end of this mini-series, and it does so wonderfully. Although this is the end, I feel as though we’ll be seeing Shirtless again soon. I’m keeping my paws crossed…

Fall Season Scorecard (So Far)

A Note from the Editor: Correct me if I’m wrong, but we all look forward to the Fall Television releases; what’s new, what’s coming back, what we can’t believe was renewed for a fifth season…television, come Fall, is in its prime. Here’s Dave’s Fall Season Scorecard that ranks the shows we’re watching from best to worst. Agree, or disagree? Let us know. Enjoy!
Brazen Bull Approved:

The Tick – An entirely different but altogether satisfactory version of the big blue goofball. This is a darker take than the previous iterations, but very well done. Jackie Earle Haley as The Terror is magnificent as usual. The first six episodes are on Amazon. The next six will be out in February. (Amazon Prime). 9.5 out of 10

The Gifted – Tune in for Amy Acker, stay for a worthwhile drama. Despite the mutant powers and government crackdowns, at its heart, The Gifted is a story about family. There’s plenty of action, but the personal stories are what drives the series. (Fox). 9 out of 10

Mr. Robot – Mind-bending weirdness with a touch of the almost real. It is okay that it doesn’t always make sense, the narrator is insane after all. There are conspiracies and delusions galore but three seasons in and it is still hard to tell which is which. That’s not a complaint. (USA Network). 8.5 out of 10

Star Trek: Discovery – This is a show I would happily watch if it were on a network or service I already get. It is good and has potential and will probably not be the worst vision of Star Trek we’ve seen. (CBS All Access) 8.5 out of 10

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – A fun action adventure that never takes itself too seriously and is filled with lots of charisma and real chemistry. Caity Lotz shines as a reformed assassin and Dominic Purcell is hilarious as the lovable brute. (CW). 8 out of 10

Meh:

Supergirl – It still feels like the show hasn’t quite figured out what it wants to be. Interesting and action-packed despite the mooning over the ex-boyfriend. (CW). 7.5 out of 10

Flash – This one also appears to be re-tooling. (CW). 7 out of 10

Stop Me Before I Watch Again:

The Orville – It’s not funny enough when it tries to be funny. It’s not original enough when it tries to tell a story. Worst of all, MacFarlane isn’t actor enough to be the lead. (Fox). 6.5 out of 10

Marvel’s “Inhumans” – When the most interesting character is a CGI teleporting giant dog and the most important character doesn’t speak, it should come as no surprise this show has big problems. Inhumans is inane. (ABC). 5 out of 10

Coming Soon:

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (BBC America)

Comic Book Review: Batman #33

Title: Batman (2016-) #33
Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Joelle Jones
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Publication Date: October 18, 2017
Publisher’s Summary: Following his marriage proposal to Catwoman, Batman leaves Gotham City on a quest of renewal and redemption. As he travels and fights, he encounters members of his family—each disturbed by Batman’s journey, each ready to stand in his way, each ready to push back against Batman’s stubborn determination to evolve into something better than a superhero.
Story:

Now that Batman and Catwoman are engaged and tentatively scheduled to get married, expect for the forces that be to slowly begin driving them apart. Or at the very least, make it difficult for them to get to the “I do’s.” This issue gets off to a slow start with Bat and Cat traveling through the desert, on a horse with no name (it felt good to be out of the rain), and winds up ending on a high note that provides the issue some weight.

Writing:

Tom King begins the new “Rules of Engagement” arc with a slow start that, thanks to an exciting ending, promises to be great. King does a fantastic job scripting the interactions between both Batman and Catwoman and the rest of the Bat Family. With that being said, King really gets the whole Bat Family dynamic, and in this issue, he does a solid job with creating natural exchanges between the members of the family.

Artwork:

Joelle Jones’ artwork is, for the most part, fantastic in Batman #33. I especially like the way that Jones drew Batman in his desert get-up, which, might I say, is reminiscent of the Nightmare scene in the Batman vs. Superman film. Jones’ linework is clean and expressive, but something—and I’m not sure what—went a bit awry in the Wayne Manor scenes. Aside from Duke, of course, it was almost difficult to tell the Damian, Jason, and Dick apart from one another; the members of the bat family looked very similar and it was as though they were all of the same age.

The Bottom Line:

With the War of Jokes and Riddles over, and Batman and Catwoman engaged, Batman #33 begins the Rules of Engagement arc. This issue is slower than I like, but this is typical King’s work. Despite some minor problems, Batman #33 is a solid read.

Comic Book Review: Maestros #1

Maestros 1
Title: Maestros #1
Publisher: Image
Words: Steve Skroce
Art: Steve Skroce
Colors: Dan Stewart
Letters: Fonografiks
Publication Date: October 18, 2017
Publisher’s Summary: “The Maestro and his entire royal family have been murdered. Now, his banished son from Earth will inherit the Wizard King’s throne along with a spell that turns its user into GOD. With enemies everywhere, will this Orlando-born millennial be able to keep his new magic kingdom? From STEVE SKROCE, the storyboard artist of The Matrix trilogy, the artist and co-creator of WE STAND ON GUARD and Doc Frankenstein, the writer/artist of Wolverine, and the artist of Amazing Spider-Man and ALAN MOORE’s YOUNGBLOOD.”
Story:

There is a whole hell of a lot going on in this issue, but thanks to some clever plotting and pacing, the information dumped in this issue is far from bothersome and is easily absorbed. The book starts off with a bang: a massacre in which a royal family and the leader of the Realms are killed, and then, before long, we find ourselves in the back room of a strip club, watching a shady deal go down that may or may not involve a magical penis-enlarging serum…Yeah, it’s that kind of story ladies and gentlemen.

Writing:

Steve Skroce’s off-the-wall story is more than entertaining, it’s intoxicating. In no time at all, it becomes obvious, thanks to some fantastic writing, that something amazing is going on. Skroce’s wicked sense of humor oozes out of the staple-bound seam of Maestros #1. I laughed several times throughout my wide-eyed reading of the issue, and I’m confident that other readers will too.

Artwork:

Yeah, the man that wrote this masterpiece illustrated it too. Crazy, right? The mind behind this book is a great one indeed. Skroce’s artwork is second to none; every panel is packed with detail and visual goodies that’ll give any reader the justification to go back for a second look.

The Bottom Line:

Maestros #1 is an enchanting romp that’ll leave readers spellbound. This debut issue is packed tight with story and wonder. Maestros is one to watch; hop on the train to the realms now, you’ll be glad that you did.

Comic Book Review: Batman: The Drowned (2017-) #1

Batman: The Drowned #1
Title: Batman: The Drowned (2017-) #1
Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Abnett
Art: Philip Tan & Tyler Kirkham
Colors: Dean White & Arif Prianto
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Publication Date: October 18, 2017
Publisher’s Summary: “As the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL rock the DC Universe, the creatures of the Dark Multiverse stand ready to invade our world! How can even the World’s Greatest Heroes stop a horde of deadly beings that appear to be powerful, nightmare versions of familiar figures?”
Story:

The recent Batman one-shots (or, at least what I presume will only be one-shots) have been relatively similar to one another in the sense that they all introduce a new Dark Multiverse version of Batman; Batman: The Drowned #1 is no different. In Batman: The Drowned #1, readers are introduced to Bryce Wayne—the first female iteration of Batman—who is hellbent on drowning everyone and everything.

Writing:

Batman: The Drowned #1 begins with a strong opening sequence where Bryce Wayne spends several pages speaking directly to readers. Here, Dan Abnett’s writing shines brightest; his dialogue flows naturally from one sentence to the next, and in doing so, allows readers to instantly connect with his dark new creation.

Artwork:

The illustrations in this book are highly detailed and wonderfully waterlogged. Philip Tan & Tyler Kirkham did a fantastic bringing a dark new character to life. I’m unsure if I enjoyed watching Bryce take out a vicious Atlantean more than I enjoyed watching her sacrifice her body to science (an auto-surgical process) so that she could better fight underwater, but regardless, both of these scenes were quite intense.

The Bottom Line:

Bryce Wayne is a total badass, and as far as I am concerned, in Batman: The Drowned #1 readers find one of the darkest and, perhaps, most powerful Dark Multiverse iterations of Batman that we’ve seen so far. If you’re up-to-date with all things METAL, don’t miss out on this great issue.

Comic Book Review: The Realm #2

Title: The Realm #2
Publisher: Image
Words: Seth M. Peck
Art: Jeremy Haun
Colors: Nick Filardi
Letters: Thomas Mauer
Publication Date: October 18, 2017
Publisher’s Summary: “Molly and company hit the road, Ben kills stuff, and Johnny Eldritch has a conference call with the Destroyer of Worlds.”
Story:

As the party heads out to the dangerous wilderness, we find that the scientists are concealing a dangerous cargo of some kind. Before they can get too far ou,t they are set upon by goblins and other nasties and find refuge in a crumbling building where they encounter a hipster with a lantern. Meanwhile, the big picture is just starting to get laid out.

Writing:

Peck’s pacing and dialogue are sharp and the characters are distinct yet still hold mysteries. The specific details of this post-apocalyptic America are reveled slowly, but so far that serves the story well.

Artwork:

Haun has a real feel for the gritty and macabre. Scarred faces, pools of blood and exploding faces abound and are presented in dramatic and effective, but never gratuitous.

Bottom Line: I don’t know where this is going, but I’m glad to be taking the journey. The Realm is sure to be full of surprises, well told and marvelously rendered.

Comic Book Review: Grrl Scouts: Magic Socks #6

Title: Grrl Scouts: Magic Socks #6
Publisher: Image
Words: Jim Mahfood
Art: Jim Mahfood
Colors: Justin Stewart
Letters: Justin Stewart
Publication Date: October 18, 2017
Publisher’s Summary: “MINI-SERIES FINALE The stunning conclusion to the epic MAGIC SOCKS saga! Daphne returns to Earth to hopefully save Gwen and Rita’s butts. Will the Grrl Scouts finally resolve their differences in time to take out Josie and her murderous cult of teenage fans? This ish is stuffed to the gills with an action-packed story, bonus art, soundtrack, and sketchbook. Plus, a variant cover by artistic sensation ERIC CANETE!”
Story:

Daphne’s gonzo adventure in the netherworld and subsequent bargain with the “wicked trickster god of death and suspicious evilness” gives her a chance at redemption. Teleported just in the nick of time to prevent Josie’s minions from offing Rita and Gwen, Daphne fulfills her destiny by revealing the true key to the Magic Socks and sets things right for the Grrl Scouts.

Writing:

Mahfood’s unfiltered and no holds barred approach to story-telling is frantic and unapologetic and perfectly suited for this tale of mayhem and excess. The conclusion does not disappoint. This is more or the same madness that we’ve come to love.

Artwork:

There is nothing like the beautiful vulgarity of Mahfood’s drawing. His energetic and frenzied artwork grabs the audience by the hangards, drags them into his dreamscape and never lets them go.

Bottom Line:

If you’ve come this far you will be thrilled as ever. If not, start from the beginning. This hallucinatory rollercoaster is the right kind of crazy hiding a solid story wrapped in brilliant if depraved art. Highly recommended for the bold seekers of experience.

Comic Book Review: Superman #33

Superman, Comic Book, Review, Issue #33, DC
Title: Superman (2016-) #33
Publisher: DC
Words: Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason
Art: Doug Mahnke
Ink: Jaime Mendoza
Colors: Will Quintana
Letters: Rob Leigh
Publication Date: October 18, 2017
Publisher’s Summary: “IMPERIUS LEX!” It’s a game of thrones on Apokolips as the lords of the dreaded world battle each other to claim its rule. Lex Luthor is summoned back to the warring planet, and he will need Superman to help him reclaim a crown he did not ask for. Meanwhile, Lois is confronted by the Female Furies and Jon faces the Children of the Firepits.
Story:

Superman #33 begins with a scene that not only foreshadows a great conflict that’s brewing, but also one that sets the tone for what’s to come in this issue/arc. Early on in the issue, there is a great deal of excitement, and writers Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason manage to keep the energy levels high throughout the book. The pacing in Superman #33 is incredible; flying through this issue is easy as it is quite exciting and there are no dull moments. Lastly, this issue has set the stage for what promises to be a great show—I’m eager to see what’ll happen next.

Writing:

Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason have put together a great book here that serves as a solid to start to what promises to be a rewarding arc. As I stated earlier, the pacing in this book is fantastic thanks to Tomasi and Gleason. I didn’t necessarily like the interactions between Clark and Lex, but they worked, and overall, this book is very well-written.

Artwork:

The art team that worked on this book gets an A for effort and execution; the artwork found in Superman #33 is stunning. At one point in the book, Clark and Jon take on some pesky Lexbots, and the way that this brief battle is depicted is fantastic—as is the sequence that the book opens with which showcases war-torn Apokolips.

The Bottom Line:

Superman #33 is a fast-paced book that fans will tear through with excitement. Any Superman arc that involves Apokolips is alright with me; expect an epic next few issues folks.

Comic Book Review: Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #30

Title: Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps (2016-) #30
Publisher: DC
Words: Robert Venditti
Art: Patrick Zircher
Colors: Jason Wright
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Publication Date: October 11, 2017
Publisher’s Summary: “‘MIND GAMES’ part one! After reports of Sinestro’s return begin to spread, Hal Jordan travels to Earth looking to bring in his one-time Green Lantern partner. But a manhunt turns into a fight for his life as Hal must face the unmatchable power of the Man of Steel.”
Story:

Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #30 gets off to a solid start, and the energy remains high throughout the book, but the issue ends with what is, as far as I am concerned, a sour note. Explaining why the last few beats of this story are unpleasant would lead to me spoiling the story, so just know this, I feel duped but am willing to forgive Mr. Venditti if the arc turns around.

Writing:

Aside from ending, which I mentioned that I am not fond of, Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #30 is a very well-written comic. I especially like the way Venditti writes the interactions between members of the Green Lantern Corps. Getting into the mind and behind the heart of one Green Lantern is difficult enough, but writing believable dialogue for several is a feat worthy of praise. Thus, excellent dialogue work sir.

Art:

Patrick Zircher does a fantastic job in both transforming the Man of Steel into the Man of Fear and illustrating the ensuing fight between him and Hal Jordan. Once the fight kicks off, the issue gets incredibly more intense and picks up some serious momentum. Their brief clash is epic and, as one would guess, quite emotional.

The Bottom Line:

While I wouldn’t say that Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #30 falsely advertises what’s found on its pages, I will say that the issue may leave some readers feeling swindled. Despite this, Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #30 is a well-written, well-illustrated book worth reading.

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