A writer celebrating books, comics, music, movies and art of all kinds.
Hulk: Winter Guard
David Gallaher, Steve Ellis, Peter David & Dale Keown
Winter Guard is a team of superheroes from Russia consisting of Red Guardian, Ursa Major, Crimson Dynamo and Darkstar. This one-shot establishes the modern-day incarnation of the team, courtesy of David Gallaher and Steve Ellis, while a flashback to Incredible Hulk showing a past version of the team, from Peter David's run, with art by Dale Keown. I wasn't a big fan of the content from Incredible Hulk #393, which was originally published in 1992. It looks very dated when compared to the sleak cinematic storytelling of today's superhero comics, in particular when sandwiched in a comic book such as this one, between two shorts told in that modern style. And perhaps it's just because I'm used to the modern style of superhero comics, but I preferred those shorts, which mostly focused on Darkstar, the superhero that Grant Morrison killed during his legendary run on New X-Men. The Darkstar appearing in this one-shot is a different person, Sasha Roerich, who has taken on the name of Darkstar on the Winter Guard, a team that rotates out each position when one of them dies. The current Crimson Dynamo, for example, is killed in the first chapter and promptly replaced by the time the press conference rolls around, to keep up appearances that everything is normal and that they are reliable, god-like heroes who watch over Russia. This sort of thing has been done before, most notably in X-Statix, but I do like the idea of the specific mantle being passed on to a new person each time. Kind of neat. I also like how Gallaher plays with the stone that charges Darkstar's energy, and how the new bearer can feel the predecessor inside herself. It's a neat element to play with to give that character some depth. For some reason, I'm really drawn to these superhero teams that protect any given country. Like Alpha Flight. It's just kind of cool knowing that if Marvel characters travel to Russia, they're in these guys' jurisdiction. Anyways, Hulk: Winter Guard doesn't offer anything really new, but it's a fun little superhero read, and I look forward to future appearances by this team throughout the Marvel U, perhaps even in another book of their own.
50 - Angel & Faith: Seasons Eight & Nine Christos Gage & Rebekah Isaacs Overshadowing the main book in Dark Horse's continuing story of the Buffy, the Vampire Slayer universe, following the conclusion of the television series, is this really thoughtful, character-focused title from Rebekah Isaacs and Christos Gage. This book has a lot of heart and while Angel and Faith both confront their troubled pasts, this book isn't bogged down by it like its counterpart. They cross paths with familiar faces, but also introduce us to fresh new characters, like Giles' family, complete with interesting dynamics and focused storylines. Gage and Isaacs strike the perfect balance of keeping true to the source material and making it their own. Gage captures the voice of the characters so clearly I can hear the actors recite the dialogue he provides for them in my head as I'm reading, while bringing them to new, interesting places in terms of plot and ch
My predictions for this year's Academy Award nominations... Best Picture 1917 The Farewell The Irishman Joker Knives Out Little Women Marriage Story Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Parasite* Best Actress Awkwafina - The Farewell Charlize Theron - Bombshell Cynthia Erivo - Harriet Renee Zellweger - Judy* Scarlett Johannson - Marriage Story Best Actor Adam Driver - Marriage Story* Antonio Banderas - Pain and Glory Eddie Murphy - Dolemite is My Name Joaquin Phoenix - Joker Leonardo DiCaprio - Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Best Supporting Actress Florence Pugh - Little Women Jennifer Lopez - Hustlers Laura Dern - Marriage Story Margot Robbie - Bombshell* Zhao Shuzhen - The Farewell Best Supporting Actor Al Pacino - The Irishman Brad Pitt - Once Upon a Time in Hollywood* Joe Pesci - The Irishman Tom Hanks - A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Song Kang Ho - Parasite Best Director Bong Joon-ho - Parasite
Checking in a year later on my Marvel Legends wish list! From my previous list, Hasbro has made: Emma Frost, Nightcrawler, Jubilee, Beast, Snowbird, Aurora, Northstar, Julia Carpenter (Spider-Woman), Dani Moonstar, Wolfsbane, Lilandra (close enough), Dazzler (90's costume), Wendigo, and a Sentinel. I still want to see: Essentials Siryn Brood Crystal Lady Deathstrike Nimrod Necessary Selene (Hellfire Club's Black Queen) Agent Abigail Brand Daimon Hellstrom (Son of Satan) Husk Dr. Cecelia Reyes Monet (M) Sersi Mantis (comic version) Hepzibah Deathbird Moondragon Spiral Emma Frost (White Queen version) Pixie Tigra Quake The Hood Chamber Sunspot Ghost (Comic version) Quasar Firestar Starhawk Longshots Meggan Amanda Sefton (Daytripper) Phoenix (Ra