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THE FLASH #22 Review

Well ladies and gentlemen, here it is, The Button part four! There has been a whole lot of talk about this issue, and rightfully so. Everyone is buzzing about the issue because of this, the final chapter of The Button should offer some answers to all of the questions that have been spinning around the DC Rebirth event and the pending crossover with The Watchmen. And now that Geoff Johns has teased us with the Doomsday Clock storyline that will hit this coming November…the excitement levels throughout the DC fan community are soaring.

The Flash #22So, what’s the Flash #22 about? From DC:

“THE BUTTON” part four! The cataclysmic events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1 continue here! The Dark Knight and The Fastest Man Alive, the two greatest detectives on any world, unite to explore the mystery behind a certain blood-stained smiley button embedded in the Batcave wall. What starts as a simple investigation turns deadly when the secrets of the button prove irresistible to an unwelcome third party-and it’s not who anyone suspects! It’s a mystery woven through time, and the ticking clock starts here!

Several times throughout reading this issue, I got chills and had to stop reading for a moment to collect myself, and even that wasn’t enough. The Flash #22 is a comic book that fans—including myself—are going to read over and over and over in hopes of finding clues that hide in between panels. Clearly, there are big things happening in the DC universe, and clearly, The Watchmen are involved. That much we know. Hopefully, we’ll learn more come November.

Writing this review without spoiling the book is terribly difficult, so all I will say is that this book is one that fans new and old MUST READ. I think that this crossover event was amazing and that thanks to The Button, DC’s Rebirth, and the impending Doomsday Clock storyline, we may be entering a new era of comics. God, I am happy to be alive.

Everything about this issue, in my mind, is ideal. The art is fantastic, the writing, spectacular. And the prologue…everyone is going to be talking about the prologue for a very long time.

Amazing.

10
Score
The Flash #22
The Bottom Line
Everything about this issue, in my mind, is ideal. The art is fantastic, the writing, spectacular. And the prologue…everyone is going to be talking about the prologue for a very long time.
Yes!
I'm still shaking
Read The Flash #22 Now!

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a movie. Why? Because nothing has come out that I was excited to see, and the best part of The Brazen Bull is that I get to do whatever I want. We were founded on the principle of “fans first” and our work, or lack thereof, shows that. What sent me back to the theater? Well, obviously you know because you’re reading the article. So, what did the fan in me think about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2?

The story:

Peter Quill, Chris Pratt (Jurassic World), and the gang continue their adventures protecting the galaxy, for a price. Rocket, Bradley Cooper (Elephant Man….it was a Broadway show, I know probably none of you had the chance to see it but I wanted to pick something I thought he was stellar in), decides to steal from the people that hired them and immediately calls down their wrath. When it seems like our heroes have reached the end of their story, Ego, Peter’s father, Kurt Russell (Big Trouble in Little China), shows up and saves the day. Can the Guardians fend off the advances of the vengeful Sovereign while simultaneously unraveling the mystery surrounding Ego and his seeming paradise-like planet?

The Good:

Where to begin? Let’s start with Awesome Mix Vol. 2. Much like the first installment Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has an amazing soundtrack. I’m not sure who’s in charge of the music for this film but job well done. The girl sitting next to me was probably annoyed that I sang every word but “Come a Little Bit Closer” by Jay and the Americans is an oddly perfect song to accompany a mass murder, or maybe I’m just a psychopath.

The story was equally as great. Wrapped in a package of humor and action, the message of family being more than just blood shines bright as the overall theme. The insight into why people do what they do, even when it seem to be in direct opposition to what they truly want, gives depth to a set of characters so diverse anybody can find one to identify with. Sprinkle in friendship, a little romance, and a jaw-dropping moment or two, and it has everything you could ever want in a film.

BABY GROOT!!! I was less than optimistic about Groot’s, Vin Diesel (Pitch Black), roll in the film. After seeing it, I only have three words to describe Baby Groot, “Steals the Show.” Every time he’s on screen, he commands attention and rewards you for giving it. For only having one line, “I am Groot,” he’s arguably the best character in the film.

The Bad:

Marvel’s new logo reveal in the opening credits sucks. I know that has nothing to do with the film itself but it was really the only thing I had a major issue with. I much preferred the old, title specific, comic book pages shuffling to the new Avengers roll-call bullshit they have now. Other than that, there are a couple of scenes that seem like they’re trying too hard to be funny or emotional. When most of the movie feels effortless, they occasions can be a little distracting.

9
Score
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review
The Bottom Line
I'm not even sure why you're still reading this. Go see it. Go now.
Yes!
Enjoyable from start to finish
No...
I still prefer the first one.....but that's certainly not a negative.

AMERICAN GODS Season 1 Episode 1 “The Bone Orchard” Review

Beginning with Vikings in the New World, we see violence and blood everywhere and see that mere mortal are only the tools of powerful creatures. If this first episode doesn’t exactly spell out what the world is really like, we get plenty of hints. First is the creepy and menacing Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) who offers ex-con Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) a job. Then, there is Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber), who insists on fighting him. All this on his first day out of prison thanks to an early release after being told his wife died.

The problems though are only just beginning with freedom. To have a name like “Shadow Moon” is to be drawn into the supernatural. Ricky Whittle plays this charming and intense ex-con with a great mix of apprehension and hopelessness. Plagued with foreshadowing dreams and visions, of course, things get worse. Not only is his wife dead, but his best friend who was supposed to have a job waiting for him, he’s dead too. Oh, and they died in the same car accident, in flagrante delicto, in fact.

The real peril is merely hinted at, the action is superb and the dialogue is sparkling. The humans in this story are not happy and the gods aren’t there to bail them out. Quite the contrary, it appears.

“The Bone Orchard” also ends with a brutal assault. Shadow is attacked at the behest of a digital avatar with no explanation. Clearly, he’s gotten himself into the middle of something bad, and even though there is still much to be revealed, everybody knows Shadow’s situation is completely beyond his understanding or control.

American Gods is shocking and disconcerting and so very intricate and compelling. It may even be one of those cases where it exceeds the source material in every way. This is a must see for anyone interested in the suspenseful and chilling whether you are familiar with the material or not.

AMERICAN GODS Season 1 Episode 1 “The Bone Orchard” easily earns a 9 out of 10 and a promise of so much more.

Batman/The Shadow #1 Review

I refer to my age quite often here, but I assure you that I only do so for good reason…and I’m about to do it again, so…As a self-proclaimed 90’s Kid, certain films that I watched on VHS tape as a child had a lasting effect on me. One of these films was Dick Tracy The Shadow. Sure, this Alec Baldwin flick wasn’t a masterpiece of modern cinema or anything like that, but when five-year-old Charlie (me) saw it, he thought that it was freakin’ sweet. Thus, when I spotted Batman/The Shadow #1 waiting for me in my inbox, I couldn’t wait to begin reading.

Batman/The Shadow #1So, what’s Batman/The Shadow #1 about? From the publisher:

“Two of history’s greatest vigilantes are reunited at last! Murder has come to Gotham City, and Lamont Cranston appears to be the culprit…but he’s been dead for over fifty years! Batman will go to the ends of the Earth to unravel the mystery of Cranston’s life, but the mysterious Shadow will do everything in his power to stop him from learning too much…”

Batman/The ShadowAfter finding out that this potentially awesome crossover was being penned by both Scott Snyder and Steve Orlando, I knew that the result would not only be something worth reading and reviewing but also that it would be something that would make my inner child scream with joy. And after reading through this issue, five-year-old Charlie was practically doing backflips.

More so than just a clever idea, Batman/The Shadow #1 is a stunning read. With perfect pacing, and a plot that oozes allure, Batman/The Shadow #1 is the debut issue of a crossover that fans deserve. A real page-turner, this issue will surely appeal to even the most demanding of readers.

Riley Rossmo’s art fits perfectly with Orlando and Snyder’s script. Each and every panel is alive and filled with action and emotion, making the transition from page to page an effortless venture.

I cannot wait to see where this goes, and I assure you that you do not want to skip out on this one. Buy Batman/The Shadow #1.

9.5
Score
Batman/The Shadow #1
The Bottom Line
Batman/The Shadow is exactly what this 90's Kid's inner child hoped that it would be. Riley Rossmo’s art, and the writing from Steve Orlando and Scott Snyder is amazing. This is a must read.
Yes!
Steve Orlando + Scott Snyder = Comic Book Nerdgasm
Excellent artwork and writing that stuns

Comic News | Marvel Legacy Initiative

This past Saturday, at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2), Marvel Comics announced that there were big changes coming this Fall by way of a new initiative called Marvel Legacy. So that’s great and all, but what does it mean?

The Marvel Legacy event will kick-off with a lengthy, 50-page one-shot comic book, Marvel Legacy #1, the last page of which, as promised by current Marvel Editor-in-Chief, Axel Alonso, will ‘break the internet.’ In addition to this one-shot, Marvel is renumbering their comic series in an effort to reflect their longevity. So, comics like Captain America: Steve Rogers will revert back to the original numbering, and we’ll have upcoming issues nearing #700. And despite this new renumbering, Marvel is planning on featuring what they’re calling “clean-entry points” for each series. Marvel will also focus on their long history and their most popular characters.

While I am on board with the Marvel Legacy initiative, the idea is far from original. It is clear that Marvel is hoping to duplicate the success that DC Comics is experiencing thanks to its Rebirth.

It seems as though Marvel is yet again making big changes to appeal to their fans, this time around, at least, it appears as though they are attempting to appeal to the long-time readers of their comics, not the newer, Marvel-movie-lovers.

This new Marvel Legacy initiative sounds good, and, looks even better on paper, but I am still leery. Regardless of my thoughts on Marvel’s motivations, you can bet that I, and the folks here at The Brazen Bull, will continue to weigh in on comics throughout these exciting times.

Harley Quinn #18 Review

Each week I receive an e-mail from my editor, containing my share of this week’s pull to review. Due to poor work ethic lack of time, I usually don’t finish everything I’m supposed to do, so I prioritize. How do I pick what gets done first? I pick what I like. What’s at the top of the list? Obviously, Harley Quinn #18, since this is the first to get done this week. There’s a number of stories happening at the same time and I’m excited to see how all of them go, especially our back feature.
What’s Harley Quinn #18 about? From the publisher:

“Deadly Sin” part two! How can Harley protect somebody who’s vanished into witness protection? Unfortunately, Harley Sinn has a lead that she doesn’t! And in “Harley Loves Joker” part two, Harley tries to make it up to her puddin’ after her colossal blunder—but The Joker’s wrath is not easily soothed!

Ok DC, I’m not sure we’re talking about the same issue. Is “Deadly Sin” the next arc? Because I’m still in the cannibals that eat homeless people arc and Harley Sinn isn’t even mentioned in Harley Quinn #18. “Harley Loves Joker,” on the other hand, is spot on so I’m not exactly sure. Anyway, here’s what I thought about “Red Meat” part two.

Instead of telling you that I enjoy Conner and Palmiotti’s writing for the 3rd week in a row (which I do, by the way), I have a complaint. In the last couple of issues, the voice of the iconic Arleen Sorkin has been replaced by a ridiculously heavy Staten Island accent in my head. I’m starting to think it’s the way Harley Quinn is written because the back feature that has Paul Dini co-writing it isn’t an issue. I am not happy. I know that I control the voices in my head but my editor insists I comment on the writing so I’m blaming them. I really hope it’s just because I rewatched Suicide Squad recently.

I love that Harley Quinn utilizes different artists to illustrate different stories that are happening independently of the main story following along with Quinn herself but will obviously intersect in future issues. Not only does it keep things fresh but you know exactly which year, or state, or story you’re in just by looking at the artwork.

Same as last week, I love absolutely everything about “Harley Loves Joker.” It’s like reading a new episode of The Animated Series.

Save

Save

8
Score
Harley Quinn #18
The Bottom Line
Buy it. You're going to want to own all of "Harley Loves Joker."
Yes!
Learning how Harley kills Batman seems imminent
No...
I feel like I should be caring more about the main story........but I'm not.

All Star Batman #9 Review

From time to time, an artist, regardless of medium or genre, comes along and sets the bar so high that he/she changes the way that things are done, or, at the very least, provides an example of how things should be done. Scott Snyder is one of these artists; he is a writer that has not only redefined Batman but in the process of doing so, he has also re-established what it means to write a ‘great’ comic book. All Star Batman #9 is one of these great comic books, and it serves as a testament to his writing prowess.

So what’s All Star Batman #9 about? From the publisher:

“’Ends of the Earth’ finale! It all comes down to this. After months of searching, Batman has found the mastermind behind the blight sweeping the planet, and must face off against one of his most dangerous villains in a battle of wills for the fate of the Earth.”

Scott Snyder’s writing in this issue is some of his best; you’ll be hooked from the very first page, and throughout the book, you’ll shake your head in disbelief as well as nod along in agreement. At times, All Star Batman #9 stuns, and at one moment, in particular, my heart skipped a beat.

Blurring the lines between fact and fiction, not only is All Star Batman #9 an amazing closing chapter, but it is also a fulfilling story as it stands on its own. This issue is an absolute must-read.

10
Score
All Star Batman #9
The Bottom Line
Here is an issue that you do not want to miss...Blurring the lines between fact and fiction, not only is All Star Batman #9 an amazing closing chapter, but it is also a fulfilling story as it stands on its own. This issue is an absolute must-read.
Yes!
A unique issue with incredible depth
Amazing writing all-around

Archer Season 8 Episode 1 Review: No Good Deed

I couldn’t have picked a better time to start re-reading The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler’s 1939 detective novel that details a hardboiled, detached private investigator discovering the seedy criminal underbelly of LA while investigating a murder. Archer Dreamland premiers and honestly feels like a small screen size retelling of The Big Sleep…if only Chandler dropped a tab of acid before dropping his pen to paper and decided to star suave spy Sterling Archer in lieu of Marlowe. Or at least, that’s what I hope it will be. No Good Deed kicks off the new season with a funeral and a fake-out after last season ended floating in murky waters with Archer’s face down in a swimming pool courtesy of his cougar crush, Veronica Deane. Though we all knew (or at least, hoped the creators wouldn’t pull a final season of the Office and omit the focal point of the series) that Archer wouldn’t be gone for good, it was really nice to see the passing of Woodhouse addressed and really set the plot in motion in a big way, as the original real-life voice actor, George Coe, recently passed away.

After this brief intro, we find Malory and Lana in a hospital to address just what exactly happened after those events closed the season. They are next to Archer in a coma and although they don’t know when he will wake, they take comfort in the solace that hopefully, Archer doesn’t know about the passing of the man who practically raised him. Except, he does. Dreamland is a coma series taking place in Archer’s literal dream that sees our old characters placed into totally new scenarios and roles. The avenue that the creators of Archer chose to pursue Dreamland has so much promise; although this premise is executed better in theory than in practice during the first episode of this new direction, as No Good Deed was an episode that unfolds a little too slow at points but still excels on intrigue and writing quality.

The direction reinvigorates the series in a way both refreshing yet familiar; our old pals that we knew since ISIS have the same personality as back then but entirely different lives and social roles.

Overall, the animation, the writing, and the thought process behind certain devices remain truly top-notch, and as expected from Archer, the verbal interplay between characters was beyond sharp and witty. The scene is set for an amplified version of Season 7, allowing Adam Reed and the other writers of the series to totally immerse themselves deeper in whatever whimsies crossed their mind while dipping their toes into the private investigator business back with the Phygis agency in real life LA. Archer’s own warped, dreamy version of noir remains at the top of must-see television throughout the remainder of Dreamland.

8
Score
Archer Season 8 Episode 1: No Good Dead
The Bottom Line
Archer’s own warped, dreamy version of noir remains at the top of must-see television throughout the remainder of Dreamland.
Top-notch writing and animation
The episode unfolds a bit slow

Harley Quinn #17 Review

I probably have an unhealthy love for Harley. I love her dopiness and her intelligence. I love her compassion and her brutality. I love her loyalty and her independence. And since most people would tell you I’m “one bad day” away from becoming the Joker anyway, it’s fitting that I’m crazy for her. So what could be better than two Harley stories in one issue? Luckily, that’s what Harley Quinn #17 delivers and the best part is Paul Dini co-wrote the second one.

Harley Quinn #16What’s Harley Quinn #17 about? From the publisher:

“‘Deadly Sin’ part one! The twisted Harley Sinn’s been released from prison, and she’s looking to hurt Harley in a whole new way…by going after somebody she loved and lost! And to make this issue extra-unmissable, a brand-new backup story begins, set in Harley’s earliest days with the Joker—and co-written by one of Harley’s original creators, Paul Dini! “Harley Loves Joker” kicks off as Harley makes the biggest mistake of her burgeoning criminal career…accidentally revealing the location of Mistah J’s hideout!”

While “Nether Regions” gave us the fun, flirty, talk-too-much Harley, “Deadly Sin” (or “Red Meat” as the cover says) gives us a smart, tough, kick-ass Harley. Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti continue to tap all of the intricacies of Harley’s personality. I would never have expected her to school Red Tool in the cause, tragedy, and importance of understanding the homeless problem in the city, but there she goes impressing me again. Add in a little ass kicking and you have a decent start to a new arc that promises to be darker than the last.

I’m literally giddy after reading the first part of “Harley Loves Joker.” Palmiotti and Paul Dini are writing a story that could have been pulled right from Batman: The Animated Series and I love it. Bret Blevins, Jay Bone, and Alex Sinclair’s artwork nails the style of the cartoon without being identical. The end result feels both familiar and new.

Save

9
Score
Harley Quinn #17
The Bottom Line
"Harley Loves Joker" alone makes this a must buy.
Yes!
The seriousness of this issue is a nice change of pace from the previous arc.
I can't say enough about how much I love the back feature.
No...
Felt like the main story stopped as soon as it started
Read Harley Quinn #17 Now

Justice League (2017) Official Trailer

The official Justice League (2017) trailer is here!

Today, March 25th, Warner Bros. Pictures released the official trailer for the upcoming Justice League film, and boy does it look awesome. This two and a half minute trailer is packed with action and has me stoked for the film. And from just this brief look, I am already looking forward to the Batman/Aquaman dynamic.

Justice League hits theaters November 2017.

What do you think about the Justice League trailer?

General-DC Comics

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