Thursday, 16 April 2015

Fogs and Silent Matt...

So the last two books that I will be looking at this week are the ones I feel are more of a personal connection too. In the history of Daredevil I don't know if everyone feels the same way about these stories, but regardless I really like both of these and I feel like they are worth a look at. So let's just get it out of the way. And we kick things off with the Guardian Devil story from Kevin Smith, of Jay and Silent Bob fame and quite a few other comics under his belt and comic book men and plenty of other projects. Say what you will about Kevin Smith, he is the same guy who made the cult classics Clerks and Mall Rats (going to say right now, a big fan of Mall Rats) but at the same time he is the guy who made Tusk. So not everything he does is gold but I have to give him credit, he works a lot and moves around, he has left his mark on the movie industry and in the comic book world. And he is a big hockey fan, and any geek who is a fan of hockey gets a lot of brownie points in my books. So love him or not, look at every piece of work individually and see for yourself. I remember when I first read these issues I didn't even connect the dots until a few years later, and I was totally blown away by this story which worked as a relaunch for the new age of Daredevil. And having one of the biggest names in the industry, Joe Quesada drawing this story, I couldn't believe it. Even today, it is one of the best looking books out there. Hell even look at Spider-man: One More Day, possibly one of the worst written stories but damn does it look incredible. And that being said, let's take a look into Guardian Devil.

This is a pretty wild ride of a story, with plenty of characters coming in and out of every issue, a big character loss and plot twist to the finally showdown. I don't want to spoil this in case you haven't read it, but these elements will probably make or break the story for you as a whole. I am looking back now, I want to believe these things happened for a reason. That regardless of the writer or the story the end was coming to said character one way or another, as sad as that might be. It is a bold move to take for sure, but after all that was done, it was handled properly. It sucks to see this happen, but damn did it remind Matt about the risks and losses one can face as a masked hero. The growth of the character from this event is something that the series builds on with each issue.

Also I know not all collections contain both of these stories but mine does, so just had to say as well that the next story arc with the introduction of Echo from David Mack and Joe Quesada is a really good and an extremely creative layout as well. Not to mention we get to see some background on Wilson Fisk, The Kingpin. The similarities between Echo and Kingpin to Daredevil is interesting as we see through the past of both these characters, and we seeing a grieving hero doing his best to keep his head up and get back to living his life as he should. An interesting note, the first Daredevil movie actually borrowed a lot from both these big stories, with scenes like the playground fight or even the cover of issue 3, that image was used at the opening of that movie. And if we are being honest here, the extended edition was okay if anything. Nothing compared to what we have now, and I think in large part to being able to deal with heavier issues and more mature themes. 

So while these arcs made some big bold moves and I know a few may or may not agree with, I still enjoyed both of these arcs a lot. The incredible art definitely helps push the story to the limits and will glue your eyes to the pages for some hours. It's always a treat when Quesada goes to work on any Marvel book. Worth a look at least, then judge how you feel afterwards. You know I love to hear back from you, even if you hated it or didn't like it at all. Let me know here in the comment section below or on Twitter (@ChileanStorm) and let's talk some Daredevil. Okay, the last post for Daredevil is just around the corner, hold onto your buns. Thanks again guys for reading and following along, until then guys keep chasing the storm. 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Fearless From the Start...

I remember when we got the first trailers of Daredevil, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that the series was going to take ideas from one of my favourite Daredevil stories of all time. And that story is of course, Daredevil: The Man Without Fear by Frank Miller and John Romita Jr. An origin story that fits like a glove with all the stories penned by Miller in the past before he released this, and it makes sense as well to have him write it. For years he had reshaped Matt Murdock into the gritty tough hero we all know and love today. And drawn by the legendary John Romita Jr, drawing a character who was drawn by his father for years as well. An absolute full circle here. For really big fans of the series, I would say this is the most important of all the books to check out, mainly for how much influence it takes on the show. But it also happens to be one of the best origin stories ever told for any superhero ever, learning responsibility and what to do with his abilities, highly suggest this book to everyone.

Originally released in the early 90's, the book collects all five issues of this mini series. We follow the Daredevil story all the way from the beginning as a trouble maker kid in Hells Kitchen, growing up with his boxer dad and the accident that robbed him of his sight. We see him learning how to fight and how to move in the darkness by his mentor, Stick. It follows Matt through college, his first meeting with Elektra, Foggy Nelson and a clash against the operations of the Kingpin. And you get a great build up to the climactic showdown in the last issue, you see a young and reckless Murdock who makes mistakes and ends up hurting himself and others. I remember reading when I was just starting up my Daredevil collection, I will never forget the image of Matt standing in the rain over the apartments of two parents hopelessly trying to figure out how to save their child. "There's nobody who can help us" they say as Matt listens and knows what needs to be done. That was a Daredevil moment if any, I still to this day love that image. It says everything you need to know about him in one page.


Another important note, the black home made costume he has in the series, came right out of this book. You get to see it in issue 4 and 5 in action against the bad guys, and it works really well for the series as well. Especially since he is mainly dealing with thugs and goons at the moment, he just needs to kick some ass and save people. Although kudos to the Netflix series on updating the look and making it look really good, I almost forget sometimes that he should be rocking the crimson red and horns. I am interested to see if they use the Elektra origin story that was told here in the second season, hopefully, because she is a kick ass character who could even run her own show. And after the success with Daredevil who isn't looking forward to seeing Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Personally I would love to see Moon Knight, Thunderbolts and maybe if they can get him back, Ghost Rider.

I can't recommend this book enough to all newcomers to the Daredevil universe, this is perhaps the most noted origin story when talking about Daredevil now in days. There are others like Season One: Daredevil or Daredevil: Yellow as well serves as telling of his early days in the crime fighting business. But what do you think? Did you see all the connections to Man Without Fear? What is your favourite origin story? Leave a comment below or follow me on Twitter (@ChileanStorm) and let's talk some Daredevil. My next book this week is going to be one that is probably debatable but to me is one that is dear to me, actually that could be said for the next two books on Daredevil week. But have no fear, just keep chasing the storm!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Died Once...

Blackhawks won tonight! :D
Okay, let's get dark.

So think of the worst day you have ever had, maybe even worst week or month. It sucked and maybe it was your darkest moment, your rock bottom. Welcome to hell on Earth for Matt Murdock in the classic Born Again run in Daredevil by at the time one of the biggest name in comics, Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli. The influence and shape that Miller brought to Daredevil is uncanny, and after watching the series you can see all the different pieces he has brought to Hells Kitchen and the Daredevil universe. Arguably his best work ever, what we have here is the most painful moments for Matt Murdock, the lowest of the lows. A hero is not defined by his moments in the sun, but how he escapes the darkest moments that would break most of us. What do you do when you lose everything? Can you start over?

The Born Again collection contains issues 226-233 of Daredevil, released during one of the best times for comic books, in the mid 80's. To me, I was told to read this series by several different comic book shop owners and old school fans, remember my comic days started in the mid 90's...which was a pretty bad time to start apparently. I remember when I first read this book, I was blown away. Because living in poverty, growing up in a bad neighbourhood and dealing with addictions is a reality a lot of us have had to face, and if you haven't, honestly count your blessings. Seeing Daredevil dealing with all these elements was eye opening. Generally all our favourite heroes are well of as millionaires or have a pretty decent job, here we see Murdock living in shelters and churches. We see his old flame, Karen Page, dragged down by her own addictions. And we see the Kingpin taking in all of this misery and enjoying it. It's an incredible story of redemption and perseverance, one that I could relate with growing up and a story I feel I need to read, to understand why Daredevil is more then another guy in tights with super powers.

I feel like what Born Again was able to accomplish was something that all comic book fans should read and quite possibly one of the best works ever created. A study of real struggles, understanding the idea of redemption and of forgiveness, the ability to start again. It's honestly sad Frank Miller has fallen off over the years, because after the work he did here with Daredevil and even over on Batman, he could have called it a day and never looked back. Regardless this book still stands the test of time and is an absolute classic for every fans collection. Obviously it goes without saying, I wouldn't suggest this book to younger readers, but one that eventually everyone should read once. A story that captures a lot of the essence of pain and misery, perfectly matched with the art of Mazzucchelli. If you want a comic that will make you think and you can talk about for years to come, look no further.

So no matter how dark it gets, just remember to always fight back and never give up on yourself and those who love you. But what do you think about Daredevil Born Again? A masterpiece? Over rated? No wrong answers here, leave a comment below and let's get the conversation going. Coming up will be another of Frank Miller's work on Daredevil and one I feel has had the most influence on the current series. So stay tuned, be sure to tell your friends and share this page. Until then, keep chasing the storm.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Back in the Day...

Welcome to Daredevil week everybody, so to get things going just a basic idea of what to expect this week. I am going to be looking at a couple of the classic Daredevil books that I have read and that I feel that you should take a look at. I didn't want to compare which story is the best or worst, but more which I feel should be looked at and I will be the first to admit I am missing out on a lot of stories, choosing which ones to look at has been a tough decision to be honest. But I think let make a rule of thumb here, if it says Daredevil, pick it up and see for yourself. Hell I can tell you straight up the worst comic Daredevil has been a part of was the Superior Iron Man, the series had no idea what to do with Matt Murdock and basically had get slapped around by an "evil" Iron Man and be the voice of reason, who then gets his memory wiped. No growth, no cross over, no point. I found it insulting to be honest, something that could have been done right in one issue was instead a drag out insult in four issues. Daredevil has gone up against The Hulk, Luke Cage, Psylocke and tons of other characters in past, and yeah, these characters did outmatch him but never did he go down without a fight. I guess it is hard to try and write an anti-hero Iron Man, all the while trying to do justice for Daredevil. That series had a pretty brutal start.

So for my first recommendations for everything Daredevil is the original first run of the series, and I am talking original back in the day of 10 cent comics original. That's right, we are going to kick it old school today. And luckily we don't have to break bank or anything like that, Marvel comics has released collections of pretty much all their series, in the "Essential" collections you can find all the original work of all your favourite heroes like the Fantastic Four, Spider-man and the X-Men. And luckily for me, they made two collecting the beginnings of Daredevil.

As far as comic books goes, this is history. You get to read the original works of legendary industry icon, Stan Lee. In the first volume of Essential Daredevil you get 25 issue all written by Stan Lee. I have to do my research but I know he was writing more then one series back in these days, so that dedication to all his characters is absolutely incredible. He is the father of Marvel for various reasons, though creating mainly super heroes, his work is still something to admire and he has been an inspiration for many comic book creators. The list of legendary artist on this book is also something to take in, just to name a few; Steve Ditko, Bill Everett, Joe Orlando, Wallace Wood, John Romita and a surprise to me, Jack Kirby even worked on a layout in two of the issues. These are the godfathers of art in comics, so take it all in and enjoy the trip.

That said, something to keep in mind, that Daredevil here is way more light hearted then any incarnation of the character. So just in case you came looking for some gritty dark action and justice, that takes place some years later in the characters timeline. But here you still get to meet a lot of the supporting cast and classic villains that still remain a big part of the Daredevil universe today. We get to see his first fights with Electro, The Owl, Gladiator and Stilt Man. Even guest appearances from other characters like Spider-man, Doctor Doom and Namor. You get to see the yellow suit in action until he goes to the red suit we know and love. Though to be honest, I don't mind the yellow suit that much, it kind of works in it's own strange way. But then again I loved the armoured suit from the 90's, so what do I know. But with 25 issues in here, this book gives you plenty to read, perfect for long trips on the road or in the sky. So I highly recommend this classic collection to all new comers to Daredevil, know the past to understand the future.

There you have it guys, the first of five books that I will be recommending this week. But as always I want to hear back from you guys, what do you think about the golden age of Daredevil? Do you have a favourite issue from the Stan Lee days? Let me know in the comments below and let's keep the conversation going. And let everyone know this blog is here, any shares or reblogs help out a lot, trying to get in touch with as many comic book fans as possible. Thank you again for taking the time to read this and stay tuned to this page, until keep chasing the storm!

Friday, 10 April 2015

Avenge Them to Hell...

A hockey fan first, I am rooting for the Flames over the Canucks.
I was trying to think of some of the many ways we can all gush and talk about the awesome that is Daredevil, not just the incredible series that is now on Netflix, but the character that has taken part of many comics. I was thinking of different ideas for a potential blog, like maybe a top 10 list of sorts, but to be honest I am not sure if I am able to do that yet, with some many Daredevil books out there, I can't pick which are the best or the most important, it's something I really got to think about. So what I will be doing is suggesting different books, and these I feel for me are some of my favourite reads of this series and character. But that's going to be later in the week, today I wanted to talk about in my opinion the best issue of a series that Daredevil joins in on, and this has been rare for him in all his years, so it's a pretty special moment to me. A few years ago there was a pretty big Marvel event, Fear Itself, which had Nazi robot armies and Asgardian serpents making a mess of things. And it was during this event, in issue 16 of New Avengers when things go from pretty cool to the greatest thing since sliced bread. I was thinking about it and I've got to say, this issue alone was probably the best issue of Daredevil that isn't a Daredevil book. He has had run in over the years with Spider-man, Punisher, Ghost Rider and many other characters and series, but everything about this issue helps to remind everyone how incredible the man without fear really is.

So it needs to be said this has got to be one of my favourite works from Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato Jr, two guys who have been doing a lot of work in comic books for some years now. But this issue, I couldn't even believe it, seeing Daredevil on the cover of a New Avengers book. The issue itself has a clever if not a bit gimmicky set up, with all the team mates doing a behind the scenes like commentary on the events of Fear Itself and also on the whole team, on who deserves to be an Avenger. I like the idea set up, especially since over the years there have been quite a few different Avengers team, and I feel like they are all worthy of being Avengers. So seeing a generally strictly solo heroes get thrown into the mix, it's interesting seeing how valuable Daredevil becomes to the team. You also get a pretty good lesson in why Daredevil is a one guy you just don't mess, no matter how many giant Nazi robots you bring to a fight. Page by page, panel by panel, so many incredible shots of Daredevil being incredible, some of my absolute favourite pages of all time here in this issue. Especially one shot of him just walking into Avengers Mansion, shadows used to create one the most fearsome looking Daredevil images ever. Absolutely stunning work here by Deodato Jr. 

I don't want to give out to many details on this one, mainly because the experience of reading it for any Daredevil fan, old or new, will be an awesome one with each page. So yeah, look for this book at your local comic book shop or at the next convention, and if you can't wait this issue is available on  the Marvel App, so you can download it right away and get to reading it. It's worth the price. 

But more importantly I am going to go look through all my Daredevil books and issues and see which are the best recommendations of the bunch. But as a general idea, if you like what you saw on Netflix this past weekend, then get yourself some Daredevil comics, the current run by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee is really good and a personal favourite of all the series that I am currently following. Just know that Daredevil is working out in San Fransico right now, but the series remains true to the man without fear. And just in case, be sure to read my past blog post here. I describe my past and my absolute dedication to this character and why, so check it out. So keep tuned here Storm Clouds, and remember you can leave a comment below or follow me on Twitter (@ChileanStorm) to start some conversation. Until then, keep chasing the storm. 

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Devil Gets His Dues...

Whenever I am asked, who is your favourite superhero? Without hesitation, I always answer, Daredevil. Ever since I was just a kid watching cartoons and collecting random comics from dollar bins, Daredevil was always my absolute favourite hero. It didn't matter if he was an Avenger (though he did get to join the New Avengers, which was awesome) or if he was able to punch a hole in the moon, Daredevil never needed to be the biggest or strongest character in the entire galaxy of existence. Behind the mask, you have a man who is constantly challenged by enemies and his own inner demons, but he never stays down, he will always keep fighting. The greatest appeal to Daredevil is that despite his weakness, challenges and heartbreak, he never stops fighting for the right cause. And he is one of those characters who does interact with people, as a lawyer and as Daredevil, he generally wants to help good people who have fallen on some bad times. I wanted to write a little tribute piece to my favourite hero, to share with you and perhaps many new Daredevil fans (thanks to the awesome new show) why he is the best out there, no gimmicks just the courage to be the man without fear. 

Before moving out to San Fransico, the main home of the devil was Hells Kitchen, a lower end section of New York City.  The city itself helps Daredevil become more relatable to a common kid like me who was growing up in Toronto. Even to this day I am always looking up at tall buildings and offices, hoping to maybe catch the glimpse of a crimson warrior jump rooftop to rooftop. As a kid Matt Murdock was a bit of a troublemaker, the kid who would do the things others wouldn't even think about trying. And as son of local boxing hero, Battlin Jack Murdock, he had a reputation to up hold. But as times got tough, Jack sat Matt down and made him promise to a life of studies and opportunities, to never raise his fists and become a better man then he ever was. So while he couldn't fight back to bullies, they would mock him by calling him "Daredevil". And one of the greatest things you can ever do in life is take an insult and wear it, that being a "faggot" makes you a better person then anyone who tries to shame you could imagine. We should always be proud of who we are, no one has the right to bring you down or deny you, that is simply their own fears and weaknesses lashing out. So having Matt take the name that was supposed to mock him and turn it into the name that brought a Kingpin of crime to his knees, well that is something to admire for sure. The rest as they say is history, the accident that robbed him of his vision but heightened all of his other senses, giving him a radar like power to sense all around him and even anticipate attacks. And after his father is murdered for not throwing down a match, Matt uses his skills and fights back. The story does change from here, with a lot of different origin stories told over the years in my opinion the best one is probably Man Without Fear by Frank Miller (before he went off the rails) and John Romita Jr. Absolutely excellent book, and one that may influence the show quite a bit. The black track suit costume is taken right from this story, and I am guessing other elements as well will be used for sure. 

For years I have been growing up with Daredevil. When I was entering high school, Kevin Smith penned the Guardian Devil story. When I was in grade 11 or so, Daredevil decides to become the Kingpin in Hells Kitchen. I was working at the Hockey Hall of Fame when Daredevil turned his city into Shadowland and took over the Hand. Regardless what big event is taking place, I can always count on Daredevil. With as many stories as creative teams, I've never had a writer or an artist I didn't like, if anything through Daredevil I found other incredible work. Ed Brubaker is one the best story tellers out there, from noir thrillers to espionage, he is simply one of the best. And Chris Samnee, who took the devil to San Fransico and really brought the pages to life with excellent panels page by page, creating a look that fits like a glove. I am not sure what a life without Daredevil is like, but I don't want to find out. And most recently I have been able to connect with him on another personal level, in one of my favourite issues ever, we see Matt coming to terms with his own depression. Being able to block it out for months and months, he finally has to deal with his own mental health. Which like me, I have had to come to terms with what I am feeling, the weakness and the absolute darkness that is rooted to it all, being surrounded but feeling so alone and isolated. Seeing that Daredevil is also trying to understand himself and let others in was a heart touching moment for me, this was something that really spoke volumes to me and I couldn't be a happier DD fan. A massive thank you to Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, for a issue that will forever be dear to me. And in general a thank you to all the past creators who have helped shaped Matt Murdock with every issue into the greatest hero ever created. 

So yeah, this got emotional. It was going to, because for me, Daredevil isn't just some fictional character. To me, he is someone to look up, someone who reminds you to be better despite your weaknesses and the fear that others carry. Be fearless in life. So with that said, get ready for Daredevil and if you want to talk DD, leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter over @ChileanStorm as well as Tumblr. Stay tuned here for plenty more comic book pieces, reviews and opinions and until then, keep chasing the storm!  

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Of Stone: Stone Cold Comic...

Of Stone, a comic you may haven't heard of from a comic book writer/artist that you should know. Seriously though Dave Bishop is one of the best feel good stories in the independent comic book world here in Toronto. A hard working family man who's passion to create drives him everyday to work on comics, he has tackled zombies, squirrels and even work on the new under water thriller, Deep Sea, with writer Ricky Lima. With a second issue in the works, I wanted to take a look at this epic of the stoic stone ogre, the first issue of Of Stone. But for this post, I wanted to explore a few of the themes and symbols that could potentially be linked to this story. Because as far as I am concerned this is a book you should get, because with every book purchase you help an artist get one step closer and closer to his goals. So it goes without saying, buy Of Stone. Hell get two copies of it for a friend over seas. And besides once you get a copy of this book, I would love to hear your own opinions and thoughts on the issue, what did you see and what did you think. With that out of the way, let's take a deeper look at Of Stone...

Walk Harder: You hear this a lot, especially in books and movies about the struggles of growing up and coming of age stories, you have to be hard. It's one of the obvious themes, I mean it's literally in the title of the book. But you start to understand it more and more with each page. The main character of the story is a warrior and a hunter, Gan, the most you get from him though his a sense of responsibility  and duty. He knows the creatures he hunts are bad, a threat to the world. And so he wants to do everything he can to clean the world of these creatures. But it's not until the end of the issue that you get a feeling that maybe he is doubting what he and his people have been doing for years. Because maybe it's not meant to be questioned, you just do as your told. Even with the lost of his own son, he doesn't stop hunting, he keeps moving forward with a heavy heart. Through the harsh winter, the mountain terrain and even through the pain of battle, this one tough cookie. 

And you know in life, sometimes we need to be tougher then we really are. It's not easy and it can be the challenges of trying to hold a job and feeding a family, or maybe trying to finish a deadline. But no matter what, we need to be strong, we need to be "Of Stone". Anyone who accomplished a change in the world, they made sacrifices to get to where they needed to be. And much like the author of this story, he is still fighting everyday to create great works. 

Know Your Enemy: As mentioned earlier one of the turning points in the story is when our hero is fighting the dark shadowy demons and suddenly hears their voices, he hears one of them cry out for his now dead brother. So not only can these creatures communicate, but much like the ogre community in the mountains, these creatures have family. How much does this change things exactly? Well it is much easier to hunt something you know is bad for the planet, especially if it doesn't think or feel. So then realizing this beast isn't as wild or unaware as you were told, perhaps changes things. What if all they wanted to do was live like you do? What if all the legends and tales that were told were lies?

This reflects much of our current state of fear mongering in the news and media, all we need to know about our enemy is that they are dangerous and they want to kill us. But how much does a soldier know about the war he is going to fight? The less they know and the less they question, the better soldier you have fighting for your cause. How much will this reveal change things in the next issue, I am looking forward to finding out. 

My People: The last theme I wanted to look at was community. In the book you get to see three races; humans, ogres and these shadow creatures. From an ogres point of view, you see that the ogres are people of great strength, pride and tradition. They hunt to protect the planet from this enemy, and unlike the humans who live on tales and lies about heroism and bravery, the ogres bring skull trophies back home, as a token of unquestioned strength. 

There is no doubt we should be proud about who we are and the community we represent. For every success you accomplish you are representing your family, your city, your country and of course, humanity as a whole. Creating a standard of strength and success is a way to make sure all who follow your path will continue to keep that reputation high.

Plenty of food for thought here, and possibly even more that I didn't even touch on. Of Stone is one of those books you can read again and again, to see those messages and see how they play out in the story. I can't recommend this book enough, and I am personally super excited to see what's in store for the next issue and how each of these past themes will be expanded on. 

So give Dave Bishop a follow here or here and see what show he will be at next and be sure to get Of Stone and join the conversation, I want to know what did you take from the story? Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in comments below. As always you can contact me on Twitter or Tumblr, over @ChileanStorm, let me know what you are reading and what I should take a look at next. Remember to give plenty of love to all the indy comic book artist who are taking off. Thanks for reading, and until then, keep chasing the storm.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

On What Authority...

I will be the first to admit it, I don't remember what I was reading at the time that The Authority made their entrance into the comic book world. But I also feel like this was one of those series that grew more and more by word of mouth between fans at stores and conventions, or maybe through a few comic book web pages and blogs (like Storm Watch, subscribe and tell your friends). So when I was recommended to give this series a read, I was blown away by the big names working on this particular volume that I am going to be looking at today. I had no knowledge of the series or any of the characters, so I was excited to be exploring an unknown universe. In a nutshell, The Authority is a superhero team, much like the infamous Avengers or the Justice League. The characters also seem pretty similar to some power archetypes, but speak a very different language as far as personality and mood goes. You have the team leader, Jenny Quantum, who serves as the spirit of the 20th century. We have Apollo and Midnighter, a superhero couple who are your Superman and Batman, except in a relationship. These guys work so well, I wonder if DC Comics should try this out one of these days with their big two juggernauts. Then we got the Doctor, the team magic user and yes, it is not be confused with the Doctor from Doctor Who. We also have Jack Hawksmoor, with an interesting ability to be able to talk and shape cities at his will. There is also Swift and the Engineer, who serves as navigator and the repairs for their massive base ship. Each character brings something different to the team, each character is used really well, you don't find any Hawkeye or Aquaman jokes here (and before we chomp my head off, yes, Hawkeye and Aquaman are awesome characters who have gotten their dues and respects in the comic book world). So I am going to be looking at today at two stories with two different creative teams but same team, will see how they play out and how I feel about the team as a whole. 

So off the bat, we got two story arcs, the first one is call "Outer Dark" and it is written by one of my favourite writers in the industry, Warren Ellis. And it is drawn by a pretty popular name, you might know him, Bryan Hitch. And if that wasn't enough then you get the second story, "The Nativity" from Mark Millar and Frank Quitely. And according to sources and fans of Quitely, this is some of his best looking work. These names alone merit a look at the book, I mean you can have all these guys working on any title and I would check it out, especially Warren Ellis and Frank Quitely. Ellis did in my opinion the best work ever done with the Thunderbolts team, that remains an absolute favourite for me to this day. And Quitely has done some absolute insane work in We3, Batman and Robin and Jupiter Legacy. Hands down one of the best out there today. 

So I guess I will breakdown each story at a time and what I like/disliked about each one. 

With "Outer Dark" we have a Galactus like being coming to destroy the planet and it is up to the team to figure out how to beat this thing. A pretty simple concept that we have seen before, but the end result made sense and plays into the next story really well. I like the idea of destroying this thing from the inside, and seeing how this beings insides protected it from outsiders. A pretty basic story set up, not a lot of big moments but nothing that ruined the flow of the narrative or anything like that. 

The second story, "The Nativity" is a bit more interesting to say the least. Since the events of the last story, the team is now looking for the new spirit of the 21st Century and has them in at war with...I sh*t you not, Jack Kirby and all his creations. Basically different messed up versions of every single Marvel character. And while this idea might be a satire or something, it also seems like a straight up f*ck you. And while these things happen a lot in comics, like Captain Marvel or even Wonder Man, I generally feel like it is made to say something, to make a statement. And I wouldn't care or even try to look into this too much, but Mark Millar is the same guy who wrote the Marvel love letter, 1985. Is no one else scratching their heads about this? Or is this just Millar's calling card, writing something over the top, offensive and/or controversial to sell books and make movies, then on to the next project. He is one of those writers who seems to write moments just for the sake of doing it, to shock and awe if you will. And while it is okay once and a while, afterwards it gets pretty stale. And while this story is fine for the most part, there are moments of face palm, a lot of them actually. I felt like Picard just trying to get through it. But hey, Frank Quitely does a great job, plenty of gory moments capture perfectly. 

After reading both these stories, I wanted to see what was done if they switched the teams up. We have seen some pretty good stuff from Hitch and Millar with the first two Ultimates stories, and I think they could have done some great things here with The Authority. Like wise, seeing what Ellis and Quitely could have done together is a dream team up for sure. And while the book had some moments of face palm, overall I have to say it is a damn good book and a new take on the superhero team genre, worth a read for sure. And I do feel like some people will absolutely love this book, but I take it with a grain of salt, I respect the attempted to try something new and different but some of the edgy stuff falls flat. 

So that is all I've got to say on The Authority, for now, because I want to see what the other writers and artist do with this team, and where will they go from here and what not. But more importantly, are you a big fan of The Authority? What did you think about these stories? Leave a comment, a statement below and let's talk. I also wanted to say thanks to Shane Heron for introducing me to this book and let me read it in the first place, with all these comic books out there, I am always open to read new things. So until then guys, keep chasing the storm!

Monday, 6 April 2015

Does Whatever a Gwen Does..

There is little to no reason why you shouldn't be reading Spider-Gwen. It is really everything and more that you have been hearing, this is going to be one of the biggest series of the year, and it is only getting started. During the massive Spider-verse event which saw Spider-men and women from various different universes coming together to fight a threat that could have seen an end to every Spider hero in existence. One of these heroes, a Spider-Women whose true identity was Gwen Stacy, who of course in the known 616 universe had been tragically killed. In her world, the spider gave her the powers and it was Peter Parker who was killed. But as you go into the Spider-Gwen world, you will find a lot of familiar faces taking over some new roles. The brand new twist is quite possibly the best part of our new heroine, because similar powers don't mean same responsibilities.  

Forget everything you think you know about Gwen Stacy, because this a whole new and kick ass Stacy. She is able to beat up and make fun of her opponent just like any good Spider-man, she is also a drummer in her own underground rock band (in New York which is kind of a big deal), but still the daughter of the chief NYPD detective, George Stacy. So while trying to manage and dodge around her own social life, she has to deal with dangers like the Kingpin and Matt Murdock (that's right my boy DD is a villain in this world, like Shadowland all over again). Did I mention the Vulture? He is first up to make sure Spider Gwen stays down as a one hit wonder, surprisingly or perhaps not, the Vulture is just like the old cranky bird we know in this world. Though Gwen puts up a good fight, we end the fight on a cliffhanger...or a falling from the sky at high speeds hanger. 

But to sum things up as far as the book goes, it keeps the same tone and high energy that we got from Edge of Spider-verse issue 2, from the same creative team of writer, Jason Latour and artist, Robbi Rodriguez  we get back into this world and are ready to expand and grow, which is a really fresh approach to old concepts and ideas. This is a world you want to see more of, and with each issue that comes out, I can't wait to see the different changes all our favourite Marvel characters have taken. I can't stress this out enough, this is a book everyone should be reading. For long time comic book fans, you get a new look at the classics and the familiar and for new readers, it is a great book to add to your growing collections. Anyone who is too pig headed to pick this book up for whatever silly reason or insecurity you have, well you probably don't enjoy much in general. Seriously though get the steel rod out your butt and enjoy all comics out there. 

But like any book it isn't without a few flaws and hiccups, even a perfect book you want to find something wrong if only to be fair. I guess off the bat, I would suggest getting the Edge of Spider-verse issues, gives you more meat on the world building plate, but you can survive the story without it. Another thing is though, I am curious on how much time Marvel is going to give this series, because with Secret Wars coming up, the aftermath is anyone's guess. And to be honest half the fun of this series is seeing this alternative universe at play, so saving Spider-Gwen only to have her in 616, wouldn't be as much fun. Although, having her react to a guy like Daredevil here would be a fun misunderstanding fight for sure. Regardless I hope this book gets a long healthy life span, it would be sad to see it go after 12 issues, which has been the case for a quite a few series so far. Don't let the fans down Marvel. 

So should you be reading this book? Hells yes! It's funny, it's got action and a whole new world to explore. And now is the best time to get on board, the series is just three issues in, plenty of time to catch up on the story so far. But as always I am all ears to all opinions, comments and gushing, though I highly suggest we just gush and jump for joy over Spider-Gwen. But as always follow me here on this blog or over at Twitter (@ChileanStorm in case you didn't know) and be sure to come back for more comic book blogs, until then keep chasing the storm! 

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Beat Rush

Something awesome is coming to a GTA comic book store near you. Imagine a newspaper that is part zine, part comic collection and whole lot of creativity. Welcome to Beat Rush! And with the launch event coming up this Friday and Saturday, it is guaranteed to be a Good Friday and Better Saturday. So if you are not into any of the religious stuff, come and check out the launch of this brand new comic experience at either of these great events in the heart of down town Toronto. 

The first of the two events taking place on Friday at the Silver Snail comic book shop at Yonge and Dundas. The event will take place at 5:00 and will go on until 8:00 PM roughly, but a lot of the artist who worked on several of the comics will be on hand as well. So come, get yourself a copy or two and be sure to pick up plenty of comics while you are there, Snail has a great collection of back issues, variants and a massive collection of different toys and figures. Don't forget to grab a coffee or a latte as well at the Black Canary cafe. 

The second event is taking place on Saturday over at A&C Games at Spadina and College, from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM. This event will have a beat em up game theme going with it, so that means all those old school classics like Final Fight and Double Dragon. I am more of a fighting game guy myself, but you know those games are pretty fun as well. Hopefully they have some Street Fighter II over there as well. If you have never been to A&C Games, it is the absolute collectors store as far as video games go, they have a massive treasure cove of classic games and consoles. So if you are looking for the copy of say...Gex 64, they probably have a copy or two. 

And most importantly, friends from around the world and outside of Toronto, you can check out plenty of Beat Rush over at their Facebook Page and also at their Homepage. Give them a follow and plenty of love, these guys are working away everyday.

So will I see you there this weekend? Maybe talk some comics over at Silver Snail or perhaps will play a few rounds of Captain Commando? Which ever event you choose, be sure to bring a toonie and pick up your copy of Beat Rush as well! I am looking forward to this weekend and I will see you there, until then, keep chasing the storm!