Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Top 10 Comic Issues of 2015 (What I've Read)

I don't feel the need to predicate this final part of my 2015 trilogy with explaining why I need to denote in the title "what I've read"...mostly because it should be obvious that I haven't read every comic that's come out this year. That's basically impossible.

Still, I've got a solid selection here, I feel. I tried to read some pretty good series this year and I think it definitely paid off. There were also several times where I could barely decide between one issue or another. I've also placed a strict rule of only one issue per series, otherwise Justice League would pop up like three times on this list.

As an "honorable mention" of sorts, too, I'll say that the Marvel Original Graphic Novel Rage of Ultron was an incredible story and was the best Ultron story we've gotten in a long time. It was engaging, gripping, had great art, and really made you feel for the robot and his father, Hank Pym, both in the past and in the present.

So, without further ado, let's check out the list.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Favorite 2015 Anime (Of What I've Seen)

Much like the last "Favorites" list, this one encompasses solely the series that I've seen, judging them fairly or equally based off of such. I'll mention some of the series I have that are unfinished--either in viewing or just that they'll wrap up next year--but still note that I watched more series from this year than last year.

Also, it's worth noting that while Fate/Stay night unlimited blade works did have its second season premiere this year, I can sort of count it as its standalone thing, however, that is a little unfair. Aldnoah.Zero also had its second season premiere this year, and Yona of the Dawn wrapped up this year as well, but it began as a 2014 season and had no break in it, so I won't be counting it. Sorry...sort of.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Favorite 2015 Movie (Of What I've Seen)

I feel it's important to note I'm only saying what the best movie I saw this year was based on the films I did manage to go out and see, or just sit around at home and wait to be released. Much to my surprise, I saw quite a few more films than anticipated and for the most part liked each one that I was able to view.

2015 was a very hyped up year for film, particularly film sequels, and I have to say that it didn't disappoint. Every sequel that was released was good, and maybe even better than its immediate predecessor in some cases. Sadly, though, this does make way for fewer original ideas, which is a dying art in Hollywood and is one I would personally like to see come back.

Luckily, I was able to see more movies this year than last year--hence why I had to do a Top 10 list of various trailers from the year. I didn't see many trailers this year, and I've really only been able to give my thoughts on two of the movies I saw this year, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F', so I figured doing a discussion would be fun!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Blue Nexus #34 - Twin Nexus Pt. 2

            Kyle vaulted over the leaning tower, all of its windows shattered. The collateral damage was already getting out of hand and he knew the second round of fighting had only just begun. Not. Good.
            Sure this part of the city, and hopefully several more parts of it, had been evacuated already but the fact of the matter was that these were people’s homes. Kyle felt a twang of pain in his noggin. Clean up at the baseball field was bad, how about in a small metropolis like this one? That small movement against super heroes in Adelita would be all over the government now, with a much larger voice.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Blue Nexus #33 - Reborn Villains

            “We need to go there right now,” Kyle said, hastily walking toward the door. Brenda jutted her arm out, stopping him. He pushed it down and walked right into a red barrier.
            “What we need is a plan and some help,” Brenda said. “Riko and Lalay are just as strong as the two of us, and there’s still Alucard there and hundreds of normal people. Where’s Hood Nexus?”
            “Never around when you ask but shows up when you need him,” Kyle said. His hands were shaking. He felt a burning in his chest to get to East City as fast as possible. Why wouldn’t Brenda feel the same way?
            Brenda shook her head. “Let’s find him first, it shouldn’t be too difficult. He’ll definitely help us out.”

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"Darth Vader Annual" #1

I've been a pretty bad boy this year. There's been a major slew of "Star Wars" comics that Marvel has released this year, and so far, I've only ever read one, "Shattered Empire," the only comic prequel to the upcoming Episode VII. So, yeah. Not very good. 

I mean, I tried reading Princess Leia. But that wasn't all that great. And I've for some reason avoided the flagship book Star Wars. 

But with the release of a Darth Vader book, I naturally had to check it out. The new crossover, "Vader Down" began a couple weeks ago, but I also had several books coming out around that time and, I'm sorry, but "Assassin's Creed" takes precedence over "Star Wars," kiddos. Today's book, an annual, allows for free reading. Or, at least, should. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

"Seven Deadly Sins" Anime Review

While it does disappoint me quite a bit that I won't be able to include in my candidates for favorite anime of this year (as it aired last year in Japan), I still feel it's worth talking about, considering how well-received it's been for us on this side of the Pacific. Besides, I've enjoyed it more than what I've seen from most of this year anyway.

Seven Deadly Sins, or Nanatsu no Taizai is a 2014 fantasy-action anime with your expected Shounen-battle series tropes set in something similar to Medieval Europe, specifically England, as it takes place in "Britannia" before the human and non-human worlds were separated.

Much like another Shounen series I rather enjoy, our main character, and for the most part a viewpoint character into this world, is Princess Elizabeth, who finds a tavern master Meliodas and his talking pig Hawk, captain of scraps disposal, and they begin their quest to find the legendary Seven Deadly Sins knight group to combat the kingdom.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

"Return of the Jedi" Review

Full SPOILERS for film...but if you haven't seen it then what are you waiting for?

Ah, it's nearly here. That great, big, massive event that we've been waiting for all year long. We've been hyped for it for long and now it's finally upon us. That's right. 

Christmas is next week, guys! 

Oh, wait, what? Wait...


Welp. Alright then. We better put our "Star Wars" pants on and talk some mad stuff about the galaxy far, far away. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Blue Nexus #32 - Heroes Reversed

            Brenda wiped the blood away from her mouth just in time for Kyle to clock her across the head again, sending her spiraling across the base. She slammed into the metal wall, denting it. Her red barrier that protected her impact faded when she dropped.
            Phoenix leapt into action, vaulting over the medical desk. Kyle stood up straight, holding up a shadow arm against Phoenix. He blasted Demon magic at him, blowing up the computers along the back. Phoenix paid no attention to it, instead flicking a small metal disk at Kyle’s hand. It sparked upon impact. Kyle flicked his wrist.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Blue Nexus #31 - One for One

           The darkness crept up Kyle’s arm, covering his arm in pure black until he felt the power in his fingertips. Kyle pointed his hand ahead, as if shooting an energy blast with the Nexus powers, and released the energy, blowing away a small boulder.
            Next to him, Jericho nodded. Kyle sighed, then swung his arm forward. A shadow lurched forward, and wrapped around the boulder fifty yards away. Kyle felt his whole body tense as he tried to pull it toward him. He reached out with his left hand to try and grab the strand, but found it nearly impossible to move it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

"Action Comics #684" Review

Previously: Superman desperately fought Doomsday, and in doing so, saved a 90s kid who thought Guy Gardner was cool, and even managed to blow up part of a small town. Doomsday, our angsty teenage monster looking for love, has moved onto the next issue after Maxima decided to screw the rules and blow some stuff up. It resulted in explosions and then the Guardian showed up. The final showdown approaches. Superman vs. Doomsday, Boy-Scout versus Alien Teenage Grey man! Dun-dun-duuuunnn!!!

I was surprised by the amount of plot we got last time, I recalled it being more fighting than anything else. And while it was majority action, there was actually some fun scenes mixed into the two issues. This time, though, expect far less of that.

If there is a real plot, it can mostly be just considered foreshadowing about Cadmus, and the mysteries that are going on there, as well as how they may relate to the Guardian. I mean, there's progression of events (this is sequential art), but it mostly results from where Superman/ Doomsday lands from the other's punches, as well as Superman constantly trying to keep Doomsday away from Metropolis.

And in that regard, this issue does work very well. Better than most, or at least, since the Justice League was easily dispatched by Doomsday. We've, of course, seen how truly destructive he is prior to that, and after that, but in the early stages of his brawl with Superman, the fighting was fairly level. Remember: the very first punch that Doomsday delivered onto Superman did absolutely nothing to him. Superman took it like a champ.

The second punch launched him through a house.

But that's the brilliance, that's not the optimal word but I'm going with it anyway, in Doomsday and his fight against Superman. Doomsday adapts. I joke that he's like a teenager, and in a very stretched way, he is. He adapts to his environment, he learns throughout his life. It was how he was created and how he has learned to fight. There's a clear difference in strength from the first punch and the second punch. Was Doomsday holding back? Doubtful. But it was a glimpse into what we see here.

Our cover this time is much better than last time.

We now get to see Doomsday with his ripped up jumpsuit, and he is pretty much even with Superman in their brawl. But the focus is on them and there is a solid blend of blues in the background to allow our centerpieces to stand out. Not to mention what's behind them: a one-way sign to Metropolis...

We open with Superman's final decision: to act alone in the fight against Doomsday. That's right: from here on our, it is straight Superman versus Doomsday, the Justice League has been finished at this point. Supes remarks that he was horrified at what Doomsday did to Guy Gardner, but I have to think that a little part of him was just jealous he didn't get to land that punch.

He flies off and manages to find Doomsday where their fight restarts...and does not stop for the rest of the issue. Yes, from now on we will get almost nothing but non-stop action. And it is very exciting. You can feel the hits these guys are landing on each other. Sure, it gets a little grating to see Superman and Doomsday flying away on every other panel, but there is a progression in the fight, and a natural one at that.

And it isn't like there's a lack of super-heroing in this issue. First, Doomsday decides to try and burn his bridges with the Village of Graffitti (seriously, that was what the town Maxima decimated was called, what the heck) but ends up destroying it instead.

Dang it, Doomsday, what'v we told you about burning bridges? How do you expect to make friends at this rate?

Superman saves a falling man who seems to not know who he is. How do you...

Never mind, I'm not even going to bother with it.

Doomsday then attacks Lex-Mart, but Superman reaches it just as Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen do in a Daily Planet copter, to record the throw-down. However, before they can, we finally see what sets Doomsday on his final path of destruction...what really sends him off...


I'm not sure if I should take this seriously or not. I mean I'm really starting to think that Doomsday is just a teenage boy. What's next, we actually get a comic about that? 

I need to play lotto...

So, after his big decision has been made--rather silent, though Doomsday hasn't really been taught to kindly use his words yet--Superman arrives to stop him from watching pro-wrestling because it's violent and teaches kids bad lessons. 

And so he punches him out of the market, probably costing Lex Luthor hundreds of dollars in property damage he'll never make back! 

Lois's broadcast is noticed by Lex and Supergirl, who we learned from last time are actually Lex Luthor Jr. and Matrix-Supergirl. So, not the ones you're probably familiar with, and this is actually made mention of by Superman. 

Supergirl feels a desire to go out and help Superman, as Doomsday is closing in on Metropolis and with her help Superman may be able to defeat him. Lex, though, points out that she needs to stay still, as if Superman falls, the Girl of Steel is the only one left to stand a chance against Doomsday. It's a fair point, but I rather like to think that Lex doesn't send her out on good faith for Superman. Much as the two are enemies, they do have a commendable respect for one another. It's a great hero-villain relationship that we don't get to see much of in comics anymore. There are some examples, sure, where a hero doesn't just take a villain lightly, but there are so few relationships that can compare to Superman and Lex Luthor, even Lex's son. 

Doomsday decides to throw Superman under the bus (he also hasn't really been working on getting our modern lingo), but luckily there are no people in the bus. Superman, still dazed, wakes up as he sees Doomsday notice the Metropolis sign from the cover, and realizes that he's made a connection between the wrestler from Metropolis and the city's name. Remembering that Doomsday watched wrestling without his permission, Superman punches Doomsday in the face. 

At least he isn't paying for the pay-per-views yet...

And yet, here we do get to see that Doomsday is adapting, and adapting fast. Not only has Superman barely even scratched him, if even at all, but Doomsday is gaining more and more intelligence. When we first saw him, he was destroying things at an incremental rate, from a bird to a deer to a person to a super-person. Now? Well now he's working on other connections. He saw Metropolis on television and can now register that Metropolis is where he needs to be, able to read. 

It's a rather terrifying concept that this absolute monster, who has killed hundreds of people in the span of maybe an hour, is just getting started, and the comic illustrates this very well. For every punch Superman lands, Doomsday's strength increases that much. It's Superman's ultimate test, and it's almost like an age-old question: Can Superman defeat himself? Doomsday is, really, Superman if he were to lose all control. 

Sure, you could make the argument that General Zod in Man of Steel was like that, as have countless other Kryptonians. But, no. This is the big test for Superman. Is he capable of defeating destruction itself? Darkseid doesn't necessarily want destruction, he just wants an end. Brainiac wants knowledge. Lex Luthor wants conquest. Doomsday? 

Just wants to run and shred up whatever's in his path. 

Superman realizes this, and it really shines in this fight. 

One of the biggest arguments against Superman is that he is bland. His fighting style is just to swing his fists, to use his muscles to solve all of his problems. That's not true. Superman is incredibly intelligent. He isn't as good a fighter in hand-to-hand combat as someone like Oliver Queen or Bruce Wayne, but he combines the power of the mind with the might of his fist. He uses his environments to try and soften up Doomsday. Even when he's at his most desperate, Superman is thinking to both keep the fight away from civilization as well as find some way he can get an advantage over Doomsday. In what way does that provoke stupidity, or a lack of knowing how to fight? He's doing exactly what he needs to do! 

Superman, punching Doomsday into isolated hills where nobody is around for dozens of leagues, wonders just what's up with Lex Jr., and even shoots a low-blow at Lex Sr. that he would be the type of guy that would make Doomsday. 

But that would never happen, right? 


Lois and company ditch the fight, and Superman and Doomsday reignite their brawl, basically right on top of the Cadmus Project. Don't know what that is?

Doesn't even matter! 

They fight in the remnants of an old Superman issue, the fight relatively leveled out as Superman flings Doomsday around various wooden structures. Cadmus calls up the Guardian, because everyone knew the Guardian back in the 90s, and send him on his merry way over to the brawl. 

When he arrives, Superman tries to play off the fact that he's running out of ideas when Doomsday comes in like a wrecking ball and demolishes the Guardian, bounces away like Sonic on a spring toward Metropolis. 

And thus, our comic ends with the sign of Metropolis, only to be crushed symbolically by Doomsday as a radio reporter proclaims, "We have to warn the people--Doomsday is coming!" 

Oh, but it already has. 

Anyway, this issue is still a ton of fun. Though a lot of it is dedicated to fighting, it really culminates what type of villain Doomsday has evolved into. While not at all methodical, he now has an agenda and will stop at nothing to reach it. Along the way, it almost feels as if he's absorbing Superman's punches. Superman, too, is running low on what to do and how to stop Doomsday. 

There's a real feeling of fear evident in this issue as well. As Doomsday draws ever closer to Metropolis, every character grows more and more worried. They know what might happen if Doomsday does indeed reach Metropolis, even with Supergirl there to try and fight him. 

Sadly, there are only two more issues of the Doomsday story left to go--and both are relatively quick, since, like I keep saying, just a ton of fighting...but I'll over-analyze like usual. Next time, though, to round out the year for comic book reviews, we'll be looking at the one thing that is truly fitting for the month of December in 2015; 

A "Star Wars" comic. See you then. 

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