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Monday, October 31, 2011


This past weekend was my birthday and my wonderful wife and so-so father in law ( ha ha, just kidding ) took me to the city of Sin to celebrate. I always have my traditions which is my birthday movie, birthday video, etc. I saw that Dee Gordon was going to be in Vegas and thought to add a signing to the tradition and told the wife that even on getaway weekends she can't get away from baseball. I put her at ease stating we already met him and didn't need to meet him again. Off to Orleans we went for some poker playing and as I walked by I saw a sign for a Don Larsen signing the next day and thought even though he played for the Yankees it would be a great addition as I always wanted the signature of the only person in history to throw a perfect game in the world series and only person to throw a no-hitter in the world series ( Roy Halladay threw one in the division series ). I turned and saw that Don was sitting right there as it was a two day event. He and his agent tried to get us to get the signing that day but I wanted in on an official ball of course so I told them I would be there the next day after I make a run to Target.
Got there the next day and he was there waiting and gladly signed a ball for me and I asked him if he could put the inscription of " W.S.P.G. 10-8-1956 " which he gladly did. Also for the purchase price you got a signed photo of the game a photo op with the man himself. All together we probably spent over 30 minutes talking to Don and he was very personable and fun to talk to. Though it was at the expense of my beloved Dodgers you have to love having the opportunity of meeting someone that is a one of in baseball history of doing something. A great time and a great signature.


I love science fiction and seeing the previews for this gave me optimism that this can bring something new to the game. For the most part it did but as a whole and not as parts. The movie uses a lot old themes seen in other movies.

Starts off in the projects also known as Zone 12 with each lower number being a better area to live. The people of Zone 12 live day to day and time is the currency in this world. You are born and up to 25 you are free and clear. Once you hit that 25 birthday you are now on the clock and you are given a year that is encoded on your arm. Very much like a bar code. Everything you do as a time price from a cup of coffee, a bus ride or paying mortgage. Once you hit zero you die. Plain and simple.

Will (Justin Timberlake) saves a person from gang of time stealing thugs and has they both sleep waiting out the thugs looking for them his is given the time he has left which is over 100 years. That basically is like you and I have a million dollars. He has a date with his mother and wants to share his new found fortune as shown time can be swapped from person to person. She is seen trying to make it back to him but literally is one second too late and dies in his arms as the clock has run out on her. Will decides to venture into Zone 1 to get payback somehow. He ends up in a high stakes poker game and survives it with just a few seconds to spare. He soon meets Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried) and they have an instant connection but due to a situation he ends up kidnapping her. They venture back to Zone 12 to hide from the authorities. She experiences what it feels like living day to day not knowing if you will die the any minute. A total 180 from her lifestyle of endless time. She ends up siding with Will and wants to do right and give time to all the impoverished and basically have wealth distribution. Cue current politics. They take on the people in power ala Bonnie and Clyde. A final confrontation takes place within Zone 1 headquarters with the repercussions seen and felt back in all the lower zones.

Rating: 3.5 / 5 - The movie had an intriguing premise and delivered on most. The action moved at a brisk pace and everything fit into its place. Though this movie is in the future there are a lot references to present time and current conditions and views of the wealthy and poor. Actors were believable other than the fact looking at a physically looking 25 year and being told she is a grandmother. I like the idea of time being a currency as I think you would do what you did day to day differently knowing you would die if you didn't use the time wisely.


This it the third entry for this franchise and as sequels go especially in the horror genre they tend to lose a lot of luster as they age this far. For the first 30-40 minutes this was the case as well but when it picks up after that it really picks up and moves at a very exciting pace.

I love how they have been able to tie in all the movies together without resorting to some stupid and obviously unreal connection. The reasoning actually makes since for each one. This movie shows the two sisters back in 1988 when all this drama started. Just like the first two their story is shown via home video but the one quirk in all this is that the videos are shown missing/stolen from their home in present time and are now shown to us the audience. So who stole them and who is watching them with us?

The story picks up during an earthquake that happens to shot because the sisters parents are making a sex video. Once the husband replays the footage to see the earthquake he notices dust coming down from the ceiling and falls upon a some type of figure. Let the fun begin. Katie the youngest sister seems to have some invisible friend named Toby and as the parents start to take offense to any reference of him the spirit starts acting out violently. I don't want to state too much as I think good old horror stories are best to be seen and experienced than to be told of certain things that happen so you sort of expect it. Let's just say that some of the "scary" parts are original and if it was me I would have issues for the rest of my life. Seeing how this movie ends it surprises me that the sisters would ever have a video camera around again in their lives as we see in the first two movies.

Rating : 3.75 / 5 - I still think the second movie is the best overall of the three but the second half of this one is the best part. There is nothing liking having kids in scary movies as the either the "evil" ones, i.e. Omen or the ones being tormented. Its just seems more real and raw. I like the new tricks this adds to the trilogy and the story fits right in to everything. We now have seen the full circle of the story as this movie has an ending that can be considered an ending to the series but noting the money this has made and the demand for good horror movies I expect to be reviewing Paranormal 4 this time next year.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011



Story starts with Deadshot talking to boss Waller via satellite feed. The team is at a football stadium that has been shut down for quarantine. A random fan comes up to Deadshot and explain the events that led up to now which include people turning into zombieish as they start devouring fellow fans and players. After the story Deadshot puts on in his head and notes that he was infected anyways. The team gets a few seconds to ponder what to do when a mob of infected people attack them. Deadshot ends up having some blood spilled on his skin. Team splits up to counter attack the group. Once together again they confront a woman that is not like the others and is pregnant and they presume she is the main carrier of the disease. She mutates into some type of blobish tentacle thing until King Sharks comes up behind and bites her head clean off. They figure out that the unborn baby was the purpose of their mission as it is immune to the disease. Deadshot is online with Waller again and they both know that their needs to be a culprit to tie all this together like a super-villain, Deadshot turns and kills Voltaic which makes him the fall guy. Waller is then informs him that evac is on hold for 3 hours and that Deadshot must not get caught or killed and must protect the baby at all costs and that the rest of the team is expendable.

Rating : 3/5 - A good issue with no slowing down and the story moving at a great pace. Art is perfect for the type of story that is being told though still a tad messy. This is the Squad that I enjoyed back in the day and this series shows promise for longevity after a slowish first issue.


Story jumps right in with the team going to a scene where a big robot is destroying all its surroundings. Iron Man is on the scene before they get there and though he warns them to stand down as they jump out of a plane to attack the robot they are pushed back by force from the robot. Iron Man explains that any energy force against will be repelled right back at them. As they attack it using non energy hits Wolverine goes in for the kill slashing away at its "heart" and is promptly attacked from behind by a smaller robot who slashes his neck and takes a big blood sample. It then leaves the scene through the air and before they can catch it, it basically goes super sonic and disappears. We then go to another aircraft and see A.I.M agents talking to Madame Hydra and Norman Osborn who escaped imprisonment last issue with their help. They debate on how long their robot should stay and fight the Avengers as each moment that it is there raises the odds of them being discovered they are behind the attack. Norman once getting Wolverine's blood gives the order for the robot to self destruct.

Rating : 3/5 - Now that we are out of the Fear Itself storyline that the Avengers were involved it we can back to good old action Avengers style and this issue does not disappoint. From the first page to the last it is non stop fighting. I like where this storyline is heading as Norman and his new group have join forces to take over the world. No more divide and conquer but combine and assault. Knowing that the Dark Avengers are coming in future issues and Wolverine's blood being taken here, I think the foreshadowing is being placed here. Look forward to more issues like this.


Book starts off with a little recap on what happened in Schism and how Cyclops and Wolverine would like everyone to chose a side or go on your own. Wolverine visits Iceman to persuade him to join his side which he does with some kissing up and a beer. It works. Next up is Psylocke and while she agrees to stay with Wolverine on the X-Force team which she can do in secret she can't do the same for him at the school he is restarting and in turn informs Cyclops that she will stick with him at Utopia. Next up is the couple of Peter and Kitty which is split up with Peter staying with Cyclops and Kitty going with her father figure Wolverine. He feels that kids are not safe around him. Beast gets an email from Wolverine and calls him and joins his side. At a nice little dinner Wolverine meets up with Polaris and Havok and they decide to join his side by getting back with X-Factor. Hope is talking to Mystique about staying with Cyclops but what to do with Idie. Though conflicted she feels that Wolverine can take better care of her than she has recently. Though never really in doubt Emma stays with Cyclops so she continue to work in San Francisco. On to some lesser mutants as they decide which way they are going until we get to the last big one which is Storm. She tells Cyclops she is going as she does not believe in what he is planning on doing. Through alot of begging she agrees to stay. The teams are set and onto a new chapter in the X-Men saga.

Rating : 3/5 - Good book. Obviously not really a story issue as it is all set up for what is upcoming in all X books. Art is good and interactions and reasoning behind all decisions are handled well. I look forward to how this plays out in the next year or so. A good starting point read.


Part 6 of the Dark Angel Saga begins with Archangel readying the troops as members of X-Force try to break into the compound to stop him. Back in E.V.A. we see the recuperating Wolverine with Famine in who is handcuffed but not powerless as he blows up everything within and leaves Wolverine to burn. We see Archangel talking to the imprisoned Psylocke tell her to join him once more in the new world he is remaking. While Fantomex and Deadpool continue within the compound Blob falls from the sky and lands on Fantomex while Deadpool uses all his bullets to try to get him off of Fantomex. Up top we see Famine about to unleash some of his power til Wolverine, a tad healed from the blast, walk up behind him and slice off both of his hands. Archangel and Psylocke walk about and talk on how her love for him helped him ascend in secrecy but she responds by saying its her love that will bring him back. As he shows her what he plans to do Genocide's mother approaches and is mad that Archangel has allowed her son to become what has become. He silences her but slicing her in half. Wolverine mind links with Psylocke and discuss how this needs to end now as it is getting close to the point of no return. She takes a shot at him and misses. He knocks her out. We see Deathlok attempting to stop Dark Beast and Genocide begin the process of expanding Archangel's vision. Deathlok is knocked out by War from behind. Wolverine scales on outside wall trying to get to Psylocke who we see is being carried by Archangel to sacrifice slab. He lays her on it and injects the life seed into her back and proclaims she will be his Queen Death. We are left with Fantomex within E.V.A. contemplating what to do next.

Rating : 3.5/5 - Continuing a great run is hard to do but this book always delivers. Story is briskly moving with solid dialogue and art. This book makes Wolverine not the main character which I think makes him a better character within a team book. Though this story takes place before Schism and we know Pyslocke makes it through it is interesting to see how she will be affected by what is happening to her by a past love. Can't wait for next month.


Right into the action as we see MJ with her new powers swinging into help some bystanders being attacked by a spider. Back to Spider-Man as he trys to restrain J.J. After accomplishing that he decides to go to Horizon where Reed Richards continues to work on a cure. Reed has his first patient to test the possible cure on but she is under the control of the Spider Queen which instructs her by mind to attack which she does. He is able to inject the serum and she changes back and we go back to Spider Queen who is infuriated that she has been cured when she was guaranteed by Jackal that any type of cure was impossible. Back at Horizon we see Anti-Venom being prepared to lose all his powers so all may be saved. This is being done by the mysterious number Six scientist up til now has been not been revealed to who they are. He starts the process with a hand scan on the computer which shows Moribus. Is this who it really is or is he just helping out this one time and moving on? Either way, he starts the process and leaves the building via the sewers. As Spidey swings towards the lab he comes across fellow heroes protecting the jammers that are keeping all the spider beings within the city limits. We pan back to the lab and it has been discovered that the same jammers holding the spider beings in is what caused Spider-Man to lose his spider sense. They decide that need to find a way to redirect it so Spider-Man can get his sense back. Spider-Man approaches the lab and trys to enter via hand scan but it says he is already logged in and before he can even finish his thought he is blindsided by the Spider-King aka Tarantula aka Kaine aka Peter's clone with the same DNA. The fight moves indoors and next to the vat of vaccine made of Anti-Venom's cells. We see Eddie Brock on the sidelines dazed and confused apparently un Anti-Venomed. Spider King attempts to contaminate the cure but Spider-Man webs up the capsule. Right before Spider-King drops him and the capsule into the vat Spider-Man's spider sense comes back in full force and he is able to overpower Spider-King and push him into the vat. He comes out healed from the Queen's control and mutation but it is revealed by doing all this has amplified the Queen's power and she now has the power of a God as she apparently she kills the Jackal for not doing his job. To Be Concluded.....

Rating : 3/5 - A lot of stuff going on here and to a point too much. The story has way too many parts and even though it works it is a tad overwhelming. The story has been solid but I think the whole is better than the parts. Seeing MJ for only two pages was a major disappointment considering she is on the cover. Next issue brings this all to an explosive end. Art is constent if not great.

Monday, October 10, 2011


From the previews and newsprint I was under the impression that George Clooney is the main actor or at least co-lead of the film with Ryan Gosling. I was wrong. This is more a Ryan Gosling vehicle with everyone else encompassing the supporting cast. Clooney is Mike Morris a presidential candidate with Ryan Gosling playing Stephen Myers a junior campaign manager on Morris's team. The senior manager is Paul Zara ( Philip Seymour Hoffman ) who has been in the game a long time but has some major trust issues. Mike is portrayed as someone that is for the people and not about government and Stephen is a buyer and believer in his dream and will help fight the good cause. Though previews try to present this as a political thriller that does not favor one side or the other the movie definitely has a left leaning thought process.

As the movie progresses we see how no matter how noble people try to be everyone is always vulnerable to some mistake/choice that will change their view and change the course of their lives. Clooney is mostly in the background of the movie and really has only one scene that adds something to the film while Ryan does some good acting. If you have to see Ryan on the big screen, definitely watch this film rather than "Drive". Evan Rachel Wood as Molly the intern adds a sex appeal and love interest to Stephen. For people that care on a side note she is more attractive here as a blond than her typical brunette style. The rest of the supporting cast consisting of Paul Giamatti ( Tom Duffy, a rival campaign manager ), Marisa Tomei ( Ida Horowicz, a news reporter ) and Jeffrey Wright ( Senator Thompson ) though effective in the movie are really just window dressing.

In the end, as with most politics, no matter what side you are on and what you try to portray yourself as, most politicians are dirty and corrupt in some way. The movie just reinforce the thought process that most of have is that people will do what they have to, to get to where they want to be in this world no matter who they have to step on to get there.

Rating : 2.5/5 - Ryan is good here with Clooney being Clooney. I was more interested in the supporting cast than the two main leads as I thought they added more to story. The consequences that happen to everyone from their own actions is typical in this genre but it is delivered pretty good. I didn't hate the movie but if you can wait a month or two it is worth a viewing at home as it wasn't need to be seen on the big screen.

Thursday, October 6, 2011



We start were we left off. As the Sentinel is still trying to kill Wolverine and Cyclops they are still battling each other and this goes on for quite some time. Finally some more of the kids come to the scene and Wolverine and Cyclops decide to stop fighting each other for the time being and join the group to take down the Sentinel. They all succeed in taking down the intruder and soon are licking their wounds. Wolverine has a little chat with Idie and comes to realize that he and Cyclops have failed in raising her in this mutant hating world. Wolverine goes and has a talk with Cyclops and informs him that he is leaving. Wolverine stays he will not intrude on any of what Cyclops is doing and expects the same from him. Cyclops continues to say that what is happening is a mistake but will be here if and when Wolverine decides to come back. Wolverine takes a Blackbird and tells people those who would like to join him may. He leaves with Idie and others in tow and head to where it all began, Professor X's old mansion/school.

Rating : 2.5 / 5 - The only reason the rating is this high is because the story had an ending even though we can see from a mile away how it would end. The art just plain out sucked. Choppy, looked unfinished in places, etc. I rather have had the two leave on bad terms but knowing there is no way they can stay out of each other's business for long will have to do for now. I like the idea of having two separate sides in the mutant universe but a mini series was not needed. A little 4 issue arc would have done the job just the same.


We are at the scene where the Hall of Justice has been burned down. We then turn to the JL team regrouping from the big robot that burst out of the ground. It stands motionless til Rocket Red asks what it is it that it seeks and the response is having Red shot of the sky. The robot stars shooting but the team notices that it is not towards them but into the ground. Booster, as leader, decides to retreat as Ice is hurt and needs medical attention. Though there is debate to staying and leaving Batman tells Booster to learn from this and see what your team is capable of and to not let it happen again. Then a debate begins on if Booster is capable and even willing to lead the new JL. After a back and forth amongst members Batman gives his approval everyone else falls in line. They are now warned by a satellite feed that the giant robot they fought was only one of four. All of them are seen to be shooting upwards into the sky. The team trys to decide what to do next and with the final page we see a being upward a spaceship preparing to invade Earth.

Rating : 3/5 - A much better issue than last. Movement in the robot/alien story with the team being positioned to what they will bring to it. Batman being on the team obviously makes it a better read so it will be interesting to see how it holds up if/when he leaves. Booster as a rookie leader is promising and having Guy Gardner around for tension is good. Art was consistent and decent. Book is moving in the right direction.


Story picks up with Bruce within his tower doing rock training and is interrupted first by a business associate discussing a bid and then by Charlotte Rivers who consumes his attention for a little while in a more private area of the tower. After making a "normal" date with Charlotte he changes and runs off to meet up with Commissioner Gordon to discuss what happened last issue with the now faceless Joker escaping Arkham. Gordon gets a call saying they have found a person of interest in a business district but upon arriving he notices the police car but no officer and we see someone from behind about to grab him. As Batman heard the call he raced ahead of Gordon into one of the buildings in the district. He is ambushed by two skin faced men. He is then shot with some syringe that makes his arm numb and then turns to get hit by a hammer in the head by a skin faced woman dressed up as a nurse. Out comes the Dollmaker who says the Batman gets special care and instructs the men to bring out his friend. We see Gordon with a skin face on his head and looking pretty worse for wear.

Rating : 3.75/5 - Another good issue with no slow down. We are formally introduced to the Dollmaker and his cronies and they seem to be able to take on Batman. No Joker but no biggie as he wasn't needed. I like having an interesting new villain for Batman to confront and I am thinking Batman will remember this meeting with Dollmaker for future battles.  Art is good and not sloppy. I find this series more intriguing than the main Batman series.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Comic Legend Stan Lee will be doing a signing on December 10, 2011 at Frank and Sons. Pricing will be forthcoming.


Justin Sellers will be doing a signing on November 12, 2011 at Valley Sports Cards in Tarzana. Stage time is at 12 noon and will last a hour. Price is $20 for any item.  

Monday, October 3, 2011


This past weekend I went to go get former Dodger great Wes Parker's autograph on a ball and while there I decide to get other former Dodger great and current coach Manny Mota's autograph.

Manny was first up at around 11:00 a.m. and I was probably somewhere around 30-40th in line. Line was a tad slow but had some good conversations with fellow fans while waiting. Once up to the table where he was sitting I found out why it was slower than some other signers as he signs at a slow pace, which makes the actual signature neater, and if you spoke Spanish ( which I don't ) he would converse with you a little more. Received my signature and said thank you and moved on. Pictures were not allowed to be taken with him but you could take one from afar or of him signing your item.

Up next was Wes Parker who started signing roughly at 12:00 p.m. Surprisingly I was first in line as most people were in a separate line awaiting the arrival of Don Newcombe who I met early this year. Better for me and the few other people that were in Wes's line. Before signing he ended up talking to ex-Dodger Tim Leary. Got up to the table and handed him a ball and he was about to side panel me before asking where I would like him to sign. Ugh, I hate side panel signatures unless it is a speciality ball. He noticed my name on my jersey that I was wearing and asked if I remember so-so player and I responded by saying no but I remember his son ( which I didn't but it was an educated guess ) and to my surprise he knew who I was talking about.

So in the end I spent a couple hours with some fellow fans and had some decent conversations and the signers were nice and cordial and the signatures came out great. Next up is the big 1981 World Series Champion reunion next month.

Thursday, September 29, 2011



We open with Madame Xanadu thinking to herself and pondering the cards that have been dealt to her and how to deal with them. Next we see a young obviously lost girl wondering the city and on tv we see duplicates of her being hit and killed on the highway. We turn to Shade the Changing Man who is in a room talking to a lady as she melts away. Obviously a person he mad so he had some type of constant human contact. We see the Enchantress locked in some old house in the middle of the field as she is being driven crazy by some unseen force. The Justice League ( Wonder Woman, Superman, Cyborg ) pick up on this and follows the trail to the house. They enter and are confronted by a mystical force they do not understand and watch as Superman is shown to be vulnerable to magic. They are consumed by it. Zatanna and Batman are back at Headquarters and they discuss going in to rescue the team but Zatanna gives a spell to ensnarl Batman for a little while as she goes to the house as this is her expertise. We are introduced to John Constantine as he is dropped from the sky into the streets of London. Madame Xandau is in some trance while Shade is holding onto her. Xandau tells Shade he must help out and he responds by saying the Justice League will handle it but she tells him they have already failed. We are left with her looking to the future and what she sees is a mountain of dead bodies including most of the Justice League.

Rating : 3.5/5 - A good read and one of the better #1's from DC. I like how this book will not be your traditional Justice League and is darker and heavier than their book. A lot of characters that need some fleshing out but it is off to a great start. Art fits the mood and tone of the book.


Story opens up in Turkey with a family being held hostage by a highly trained group of what looks like Black Ops. Interrogating starts and in the end the father,mother and son are all murdered. We go back to the states and see Ronnie Raymond on the gridiron practicing in front of scouts. He is hoping this is ticket out to a better life as he knows he is not the smartest of the bunch. While in the locker room a reporter named Jason trys to interview him but is blown off after their personalities clash. Back home they both discuss what happened with their parents. At a laboratory we see a scientist confronted by the Black Ops group from earlier as they are hunting magnetic bottle which they have 3 of and searching for the last one. They proceed to torture the scientist. After they are done with him they go to the high school where we see Jason and Ronnie arguing about what Jason had printed for their "interview". The Black Ops group walks into the school and starts killing faculty. Jason says the words "Firestorm" and is transformed into said person but is confused by something that happened while transforming. We see two Firestorms instead of the normal one. The proceed to fight. After a few tense moments they merge into a being referring to himself as "Fury"

Rating : 2.75/5 - Always like the none traditional superheroes and Firestorm falls into that category. The issue was a decent set up. Not used to seeing two different Firestorms at the same time and them merging is an intriguing storyline. Hopefully there will be more back story on Jason and Ronnie as they just breezed into the big fight without much else happening. A good beginning but needs to improve to continue to be readable at a monthly basis.


Issue opens with Batman flying towards a people and changing into civilian attire on the fly as he as presentation to emcee. After doing his speech he confronted by Gotham City Internal Affairs. They are finally interrupted by a lady going by the name of Jaina Hudson. We go to Arkham Asylum and witness a breakout by many super powered villains and the while the police try to control the situation Batman arrives on the scene. He suspects Two-Face is somehow involved and since he wasn't part of the breakout he insist on the police to find out where Two-Face is. As Batman battles the multitude of villains he makes his way towards Two-Face's cell and out comes a big muscled "person" with Two-Face's face and tells Batman to call him One-Face.

Rating : 2.75/5 - Only reason this book gets this high of rating is because it is Batman. Book is the weakest of the Bat books so far but holding out hope that it gets better. I guess DC expects us to be pretty caught up on all things Batman but being an issue #1 I expected more. Art is decent but story is a bit choppy as both the writer and artist are sharing both duties. Two-Face being something bigger and badder is a new twist which shows promise.


The Captain is in a room with Sharon, War Machine and Valkyrie going over some footage of an energy blast taken in Serbia that was given to them by some back channels. Captain decides they need to investigate what happened and who is behind it. As they are flying over the area where the footage was taken they are attacked by crazed pilot in another plane. The team splits up as they split the plane they travelled in. They reconvene on the ground and chase after their target which is a big rig. They attack the truck and after many failed and frustrating strikes they take it and the drive down to the displeasure of the Captain. They go their other point of interest which is some camp that appears to once run by A.I.M but now looks like it is run by some shadow British agency. We are left with Captain and Valkyrie discussing what the place is and how they came into possession of the footage.

Rating : 1.75/5 - If you like cold war stories and single story issues that apparently have no real tie in to the rest of the Avengers stories then this book is great. I fall into the other half that likes everything to be linked together and other than the characters showing up in other Avenger titles these stories in this book have no connection to them. I am growing weary of this title and getting close to dropping it.


We are in the holding cell of Norman Osborn aka Green Goblin and we see him talking to someone and the view pans back and we see a manifestation of the Green Goblin. Obviously Norman is still crazy. The Avengers are informed that Harry is to be moved to another faculty and that whey will be the ones to escort them. Most of the them have reservations of doing it but in the end agree to it. Once on board of the transport Norman is asked by the security guards on where the rendezvous point is. Which means that there is some plan to return Norman to his previous position as head of H.A.M.M.E.R. It is revealed though that the Avengers thought this might happen and "Norman" really is Dr. Strange in disguise and he puts a spell on the guards. We go back to the real Norman and he has more of the security guards under his payroll and one takes a flame gun and totally burns off Wolverine's face. As he heals slowly the rest of the team trys to get to them before Norman can escape but it is shown that this was all well orchestrated and in the end Norman is able to gain his freedom. We are left with the image of Norman addressing followers within some building.

Rating : 2.5/5 - Not terrible but not great and just plain meh. Other than the actual escape of Norman there is nothing of note in the book. It is the basic escape out of confinement with words being exchanged between the foes. Since this is a Point 1 issue we should not expect too much and we don't get it either. Art looks rushed which takes away from the story. Though choppy this should set up a resuming battle with the Avengers and Norman for the foreseeable future. Look forward to it.


Issue opens up with a father taking his young daughter that has mutated into a spider being to a church that promises to cure what is ailing people. That person happens to be Anti-Venom. He "cures" her and is being crowned the chosen one by crowd. Now inside headquarters of the Spider-Queen ( see Amazing Spider-Man review ) she is given the news of what Anti-Venom is doing and orders Spider-King to kill him. As he leaves it is revealed that Spider-King is actually Venom infiltrating the group. As Venom swings towards the church he is in contact with Betty who is still bedside with Flash's dad. His condition is worsening but Flash has higher priorities at the moment. Anti-Venom spots Venom amongst the crown and proceeds to attack him. The battle makes its way out of the church with Anti-Venom the aggressor. When Anti-Venom goes in for his healing touch Venom jumps off of Flash and trys to bond with Brock once more. Brock struggles while slowly losing the battle. Flash pleads and lies to the alien and finally it returns and re bonds with Flash. Anti-Venom is then delivered to the research lab where Reed Richards is working on a cure for everyone and Brock is willing to contribute to the cause. Flash goes to the hospital to see Betty and his father. Once bedside they come to grips with what happened between them and Flash forgives him and tells him he would never trade him for any other father as his father closes his eyes on last time.

Rating : 3.5/5 - This Venom book is a good complement to the main Spider book and if not improving issue to issue is always steady and does not get worse. Not a ton of action but the story moves forward and adds to the main Spider-Island storyline and we see chess pieces moving on the board. Closure on the father situation was perfect and probably help Flash have a little more focus on bigger matters without his father on his mind all the time.


Things are still progressing worse as J.J. is still under locked down security while people at the Daily Bugle are mutating to another stage of the virus. It even affects Hawkeye of the Avengers as he is now spider like. We see Spider-Man witness the transformation of his girlfriend Carlie into a spider being along with others as they leave the scene of the battle from last issue with the Shocker. Mary Jane is seen running as she has yet to manifest any spider powers. The Spider-Queen finally leaves her secret lair to welcome all her transformed spider-beings into the fold. Spider-Man notices the mayors limo under attack and goes to help out but J.J. who left his locked down location is in no mood to be helped out by Spider-Man actually fends for himself with Spider-Man helping out. As J.J. decides to go back to the compound he falls under the control of the Spider-Queen as it is shown she has mental connections to all the spider-beings now. He instructs J.J. to lash out and kill. In another part of the city we see Anti-Venom and Venom battling ( See Venom review ) and Mary Jane finally obtains spider abilities in the nick of time of an oncoming attack. Back at the compound with J.J. attacking people, Reed Richards informs Anti-Venom he can help everyone but will have to give up all his anti-bodies to do so which in turn will cause him to cease being Anti-Venom. Back to J.J. he takes a potentially fatal bite out of a confined prisoner with Spider-Man looking on. To be continued....

Rating : 3.5/5 - Another all around good issue with a lot of plot movement. There are only two more main chapters of this saga and things are moving at a brisk pace now. Being Spider-Man's book he has seen the least amount of action/placement within the story which I guess is the point and if so is written perfectly. Art for the most part is good but like a few other issues looks rushed. With everything going on I am most intrigued with what will happen with Mary Jane and powers. She is Peter's better half. No Carlie or any other female will ever have that title.


Movie starts with Tommy ( Tom Hardy ) sitting on the doorstep waiting for his father Paddy ( Nick Nolte ) and after a few tense moments we realize that this bad blood between parent and offspring. Paddy is an ex drunk with two sons that basically hate and resent him for the upbringing he gave them. Brendan ( Joel Edgerton ) is the other older son who is now married with a pretty wife and two young girls in a mid size home. Tommy has some demons that are not revealed til late in the movie and Brendan is dealing with an impending foreclosure. Paddy is just trying to survive this world. Brendan is a high school teacher til he is suspended for winning a parking lot MMA ( mixed marital arts ) tournament. Guess it sets a bad example to work for money any means necessary to support your family. There is an upcoming super tournament called "Sparta" that has a million dollar winner take all purse. Tommy sees it as a way to help someone from his past and Brendan sees it as a way to save his and family's financial situation. Tommy hires Paddy as his trainer and Brendan finds an old friend to help out. Tommy enters as an unknown commodity and Brendan as over the hill fighter which is referred as "feeder fish" for the real fighters. As the brothers fight their way through all fighters they reach the final to face off for the grand prize. Though they is still a lot of animosity between the brothers in the end leave the cage as one. No, I won't reveal who won the fight but they both won more than just money.

Rating : 3.75/5 - Though this movie resembles last year's great movie "The Fighter" as it has two brothers that are at odds with each other but rise up together in the end it doesn't deliver as much in the end and I think that is because the supporting actors were stronger in Fighter. Don't get me wrong, this is a very good movie and deserves a better box office than what it is getting. The first 45 minutes or so are at a slow pace while trying to get all the characters set up but once that happens the movie moves at a quick pace with a lot of emotion tugging with peaks and valleys amongst the family members. Nick Nolte dials it back yet stands out more than in recent years. A pleasant surprise. Tom Hardy is turning in some excellent roles lately and next year he will be in the new Batman flick so he stock is rising rapidly. If you can stand the brutal arena of MMA and take away those layers you will come across a story about people dealing with today's problems and trying to defeat them the right way with the world against them the whole way. One of the better films in the last couple of months.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


This being the final day of the 2011 baseball season compels me to write up my review of the recent movie "Moneyball". As a fan of both baseball and movies, this film is tailor made for someone like me.

The film opens up with us watching the final out of the A's 2001 season versus the Yankees. After the loss we see Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) have a meeting with the owner of the A's and being shot down about getting anymore money for the upcoming 2002 season. Better yet, he is told that all of their big stars are not going to be resigned and he must make due with what he is allocated which isn't much. As we see the rich (Yankees, Red Sox) get richer and the crap below the crap ( A's as Billy says ) get poorer we can see how the imbalance of financial deep pockets runs baseball. Billy travels to Cleveland to try to work out a trade with the GM of the Indians and though he is shot down he runs into Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) who works as a special assistant to the GM. In Peter's mind most of baseball overpays for players that don't bring what their contract worth is to the stadium everyday. His idea is to invest in players with high OBP (On-Base Percentage). Simple equation is if you get on base more you score more runs which wins you games. Peter is hired away from Billy to work with him and the A's. First day in Peter is basically treated like a bastard child as all of the scouts and advisers that have been in baseball for decades can't believe Billy has brought in someone that crunches numbers to assemble a team rather than tried and true version of building a team by looking at the physical look of a player.

As the team is finally put to together with the misfits and castoffs of other teams, Art Howe (Philip Seymour Hoffman) the manage of the team is frustrated as well with what he is given to work with but he goes along with it for the most part even though he doesn't agree. Season starts of dismal and the team slowly sinks to the bottom of the standings as people in the media and baseball call for Billy's firing as what he has created is a failure. Through the movie we see how Billy was a highly touted young baseball prospect that was a "can't miss" player but never was able to fulfill his promise and faded away from the playing field and into the role of GM. He failed as a player but he has put all his eggs in this basket and will live or die with Peter's philosophy of OBP. After a few tweaks tohe lineup the team starts to win a little and the moral of the team and everybody around them improves. The team then goes on a ridiculous run and wins at an incredible rate. For those that don't know the record for consecutive wins in baseball at the time was 19 by two teams. They make a run for it and I won't tell you how that ends.

With a payroll of a tad under 40 million again the A's make playoffs once again. To compare the Yankees were now at a 200 million payroll with a bunch of big star players while the A's were no names. Even with the momentum of the impossible season they just had the A's lose once more in the playoffs to the Twins. Heartbreaking to Billy once more. After the season the big payroll Boston Red Sox come calling and offer the biggest contract ever for a GM in sports. After thinking about it and talking it over with Peter he turns them down to return to the A's and continue what he started.

Rating : 3/5 - Brad is believable and as charismatic as usual on the big screen. Jonah is miscast as though he is on the screen alot other than the first time we see him he is not talking too much. Philip is great as the uptight and high strung field manager. Could have used more of him. As a fan of baseball I knew how this plays out and as a fan of movies I thought it was a good interpretation of what happened. Other than the climax of the winning streak the movie moves at a constant pace with no typical Hollywood action but that is not what you come for for this movie. The only side not I would have liked to see in the movie is that though Billy is portrayed as being some mad genius and able to buck traditional baseball standards, in all the years that he has used this concept, none of the teams have made it past the first round of the playoffs. So either you can look at the glass half empty as what have you done really or half full and say with what you got you did on hell of a job. Though maybe you don't need to see this in the theater I don't think it should be missed when it premieres.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011



We open up with Catwoman ( Selina Kyle ) frantically getting dressed and collecting her cats as a group of masked men break into her residence. As she escapes she looks back and ponders why they are after her and before she can finish her thought she sees her place get blown up to pieces. She goes to Lola, which in her own words is an actual friend. She is directed to a place where she can stay til she can find something a little more permanent. On her way out she offers Selina a job. She goes undercover as a bartender at a Russian club that is frequented by the mob that they use to lay low and relax. She recognizes one of the people in the club and after a flashback she confronts him in the bathroom and proceeds to rearrange his face. After escaping the club she heads back to her temporary home and soon is confronted by Batman who asks if she is ok or not. She jumps him and after protesting for a little bit gives in and we are left with two half costumed heroes on the floor.

Rating : 2.5/5 - I've always liked Catwoman and she is drawn very well. Batman is always a plus in a book and the writer, Judd Winick, is usually on his A game. I guess for a first issue I expected more but nothing of real interest happened. If not for the art I would probably give this a 2. Hopefully things ramp up a bit more next issue.


Book opens with Batman within Arkham Asylum battling some of his rogue's gallery , i.e. Two-Face, Killer Croc, etc. and before finishing them off seems to team up with the Joker. After the fight he goes and sees Commissioner Gordon and discusses how there was a man on the inside on the take and caused the potential break out. Once back at the Batcave it is revealed that the "Joker" really was Dick Grayson in disguise. After changing he goes up to the mansion to have a presentation on what he has planned for Gotham and what he plans to build. To much applause it is accepted as a great plan. He goes and mingles with the crowd an notices Gordon talking and lip reads what he is saying and figures out there has been a murder. He goes to the scene of the crime and finds a body attached to the wall via knives. He finds a secret message on the wall that states " Bruce Wayne Will Die Tomorrow ". He runs DNA he found on the victims body through Alfred back at the Batcave and it comes back matching Dick Grayson's.

Rating: 3/5 - A good read and starting off point. Mixed with fight scenes, some old foes and typical Bruce Wayne fare. Unlike the Catwoman issue this week there seems to be a purpose to the story and not just some random things happening with no really knowing what you are to think. Obviously having Dick's DNA at the crime scene is a plant but we shall see why in the next issue or so. Book looks promising but the art is a little chopping in some places. Needs to improve.


As like the last couple issues the story opens up with the interviews of the individual members discussing what has happened. The Avengers return to New York and as they contemplate what to next, Sin ( Red Skull's daughter ) appears and before anyone can do anything Hawkeye shoots her in the neck with an arrow. All that did was piss her off. Battle ensues with the New Avengers showing up and joining in. Under the rubble of Avengers Tower, Iron Man had a room which stored all of his unused armor. Under the Protector's control they were directed to attack Sin and after bringing more and more of New York's buildings down on her she rises up and teleports herself from the area leaving all the Avengers wondering what to do next. The last panel has Captain America stand up from his seat and says are we done and we find out all these interviews are for a book that will be coming out. Steve hopes the author dedicates it to Bucky.

Rating : 2.75/5 - Nothing of note really moves the overall Fear Itself story along here. Some nice battle scenes coupled with interviews is getting a little long in the tooth. The art at times looks sloppy but overall still good. Next issue we find out the all new Avenger team. The Fear Itself storyline has been leaving me wanting but the Avenger tie-ins have been the best so far.


Issue opens up with Cyclops back at Utopia talking to Idie and what she did the previous issue. She is escorted away to be cleaned up. We go back to Wolverine as he is battling the Sentinel that is building itself out of all the metal around. As the robot builds itself an arm finally he zaps Wolverine away like a gnat. Its one directive is to go to Utopia and destroy it. From a distance Cyclops sees the incoming Sentinel and uses a full blast of his optic powers which drains him. The blast tears a whole through the Sentinel but we see it just patch itself up and continues its march to Utopia. Wolverine makes it to shore and we finally see the verbal battle that starts the "schism" between himself and Cyclops. They go back and forth on how kids should not be fighting (Wolverine) and even though they are kids they are X-Men first (Cyclops). The line is drawn in the sand and Cyclops says if you want to leave, leave but if you want to stand and fight, they can do it by his side. We see Wolverine get into costume and comes out and confronts Cyclops and tells him and everyone else to leave the island as he has rigged it to explode with the incoming Sentinel. Typical with the both of them they bring Jean into the conversation and off they go, the fight begins with the Sentinel just off in the distance. Back and forth they go til they are both under the palm of the Sentinel.... to be concluded.

Rating: 3/5 - Much better than the last issue. Though the reasoning of the actual split is pretty lame, the story at least moved along to its inevitable end. Not much dialogue but it was not needed for this issue. We know how the story ends we just don't know how it gets there from here. Issue gave me some hope that the final issue will be good.

Monday, September 19, 2011


A reminder that Dodger greats Wes Parker, Don Newcombe, Manny Mota and Tim Leary will be doing a signings on Saturday October 1st at the Frank and Son's Warehouse show.

Noon - 1:00 p.m.
  • Small - 29
  • Large - 39

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Small - 19
  • Large - 29

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

  • Small - 29
  • Large - 39

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

  • Small - 29
  • Large - 39


For the American market this movie will be very polarizing. Either you will love it because it is "different" and has that Euro feel to it or you will hate it because the movie is a very slow burn with spikes of action with very little dialogue.

Movie starts off promising with Driver ( unnamed Ryan Gosling ) hired as a wheel man for a robbery in downtown Los Angeles. His m.o. for any client is they have 5 minutes to do what they need to do and he is all theirs but one minute before or after and he is gone. After whatever job the client is doing is done then Driver will make sure of a successful getaway. You can tell from this opening sequence that he has been doing this for awhile and using unique techniques he gets the job down and literally walks away from the scene after the job is done.

The movie then starts its slow crawl to the credits with only a few spikes in excitement. Driver gets involved with Irene ( Carey Mulligan ) a married woman with a young boy whose husband is locked up but due for release in a week. The courtship of her is very dry and uninteresting. Driver has a day job as well as he is a mechanic with Shannon ( Bryan Cranston ) garage shop with him also doing stunt work on the side. Shannon also has a shady past as he is dealing with local mob bosses.

Standard ( Oscar Isaac, Irene's husband ) gets out of jail and after one day of celebrating is dragged into doing a heist job for repayment of protection money while in prison. Driver insists on helping out so there will be no harm to Irene and her boy, The actual job goes down ok but Standard ends up taking a headful of shotgun shells to the head. After there is a car chase which while well executed is nothing special and really is the last part of excitement in the movie. Driver having figured out he has been double crossed has to work himself up to meeting the mob bosses. Finally he gets on the phone for a little one on one with the boss and they arrange a meeting to exchange the money from the heist. Boss promises that Irene and the boy will not be safe forever but no such promise for Driver. Once the meeting is concluded they end up exchanging knife stabs with Driver end up walking away.

Movie ends with Driver literally driving away at sunset. Credits roll.

Rating : 2/5 - Ryan Gosling is a very good actor whose talent went to waste here and he was the best part of the movie. With his fierce look and unforgiving attitude he pulled off the character with ease. Everything else around him was the problem. Never liked Carey Mulligan and this movie just continues to add to the list of forgettable parts for her. The movie does not pretend to be the typical heist and chase with depth with character movement a la The Italian Job (great movie by the way) so I can't totally hold it against it for what it is. If you go in wanting to watch Ryan Gosling and what he brings to the table you will probably be entertained just enough. If you are looking for an action flick or layers upon layers of depth then you will be highly disappointed.

Friday, September 16, 2011


This past Wednesday our non-ace as some pundits still like to say that the Dodgers do not have threw yet another brilliant game even though it was only 5+ innings for him. He was thrown out of the game for hitting Parra who he had a shouting match the previous night with as Parra was upstaging the Dodgers after a home run. My belief is with the control Kershaw had that night he hit Parra on purpose but he hit him on the elbow instead of the traditional behind the back or over the head pitches. He made it look like just an inside pitch but the intent was to hit him which he did. I suspect if Kershaw stayed in the game til the end he would have really let one go at Parra if the game was in hand but the time was not just right yet. The umpire, with no previous warning and that is key, decided upon himself that there would be none of that. Bad call by the ump but thankfully Kershaw got the win anyways.

As of today Kershaw leads in all Triple Crown categories ( Wins, E.R.A. and Strikeouts ) and we can go as far as making it a Quad Crown and include W.H.I.P. which he also leads. Not as bad as when Steve Carlton won 27 games on route to a CY Young win back in day with Phillies who only won 50+ games that year but what Kershaw is doing is unbelievable. Yes, Halladay and Lee are great, not taking that away from them but with the team they have behind them they should pull down those numbers. Yes, they play in a hitter's park but we play regular in COL and AZ which are considered hitter's park. His BAA against is a minuscule .207 which is crazy good. Also, flight travel takes its too on players and the Phillie pitchers have a lot less over the course of the year and Kershaw is just getting better and better as the year goes on. Since April the only NL team to tag him with a loss are the Diamondbacks. With Felix Hernandez winning the CY Young last year with only a 13-12 record and a great E.R.A. there is a precedent that a pitcher can win without the run support. With Kershaw's 19-5 and possibly 21-5 record including all the other league leading stats in the end there should be no question on who should win the CY Young.

I was not fortunate enough to watch Sandy Koufax pitch but from all the stories I have read Kershaw is in the same mold and if that is anyway true we need to lock him up contract-wise now. He is 23 only and posts a 45-28 record. If in the next 7 years he averages just 15 wins a year he would have 150 at the young age of 30. I think he can do better than that. With Jered Weaver signing a discount contract with the Angels and with Scott Boras as the agent we should be able to get this done. 6-7 year deal with an average of 14-17 should do it and then when he is at age 30 he can line up another big payday contract. The Dodgers need to keep Kershaw and Kemp and need to make it happen now. Even with the McCourt fiasco going on now any new owner needs players to get people to the ballpark and these two are the ones to do. I know Kemp loves Los Angeles and the fans, I have not heard either way for Kershaw but I think he is comfortable here and we need to make him financially comfortable now not later.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


First off let me start of with a shout out and thanks to my LCS ( local comicbook shop/store ) Pulp Fiction in Long Beach. I have my pull list at this store and each week I run and get my weekly reads and out the store within 5 mins. Always pleasant. This month only for subscription members they have been giving out free copies of DCnU issue #1 with every issue #1 that is on your pull list. So even though I don't read Superman/Action and Batwoman I will review these as well. Thanks again to Pulp Fiction.


We open up with Deadshot being severely tortured by a man under a potato sack. Page pans out and we see that more members of the squad are in the room on separate tables. While being tortured, Deadshot thinks back to a hit that went wrong as Batman interrupted the hit. He says to himself that was his first failure as a hit man. Next we see El Diablo on another table literally having salt poured onto wounds. He thinks back to an incident with him going into a house to punish some drug runners but find out while killing them he killed innocent babies. The devil with a conscience? Harley Quinn is up next and she remembers the good old days of being with the Joker and being heartbroken of being separated from him. King Shark is off to the side and the captors inquire to see if he is dead as there is no movement. Bad decision as one of them gets too close and loses a limb. Lastly we see Savant and it appears he is about to break as he starts with a back story of the Squad. He talks about how the Squad came to be and went on their first mission together to retrieve a rogue agent hiding out in the woods. The swarm the cabin and kill what they think is their target but upon closer review they realize that it is a robot of the target. They tried to exit the cabin but the robot explodes and the next thing they know they are here being tortured. Savant then asks to be released. The captors due that by killing him. Hours later the remaining members are awakened and asked for a final time who sent them. After each refuse it is then revealed that all this was a test and out of 37 only 6 didn't crack and they are now officially the Suicide Squad which is head by Amanda Waller. Their first mission is to kill 60,000 people in a sports arena.

Rating : 2.5/5 - Nothing much of substance in the issue as it is totally a set up for the series. Seeing as I always liked villain comics I will give this series at least 6 issues and go from there. Art is choppy at times so that needs to improve. I remain optimistic that this series will be good.


As solicited this all happens 5 years in the past. We are introduced to Superman as he is interrogating a "business man" in his penthouse. He trys to get him to give a full confession to his unlawful deeds while standing over the edge. The local police barge in on the scene and tell Superman to put the guy down while he continues to defy Superman. After a little drop from the ledge he gets what he came for and Superman leaves the scene while the police try to detain him. Some underground group is seen tracking Superman and notes how he has grown faster, stronger since first appearing within the city. The group controls a demolition ball to destroy a run down building with people in it which draws Superman's attention. As he saves them tanks converge to the area to fire upon Superman. Obviously all a plan to bring him down. The group of people that Superman saved though stand up for them and block the tanks which allows just enough time for him to escape. He flys to his residence and changes into civilian alias Clark Kent. After some chit chat with the landlady and rent past due he calls his buddy Jimmy Olsen who happens to be with Lois Lane. They are on a bullet train that is has been rigged to blow and Superman races to stop that from happening. He gets in front of it and manages to stop it but at a cost as he is now pinned to the offices of the Daily Planet.

Rating : 2/5 - Never been a Superman fan ( Batman is my cup of tea ) so going in this did not hold my interest and the issues held ups it's side. I find the Superman in JL more entertaining than this and though I know this is an "origin" story don't we all know what that is and how he became to be? This is just a re introducing to the world. A fast paced issue with no lagging but nothing of interest or at least not for this reader. So for the Superman enthusiast it would be good but for me it was just meh.


Book opens up with a couple at a police station talking to Detective Swayer on an incident that happened where their three young children where taken from them by some "ghostly" entities. The couple states that Batwoman has promised to find them and return to them but the detective says she can't make the same promise but she does promise to never stop looking for them. As they leave the detective runs into Kate Kane and they flirt back and forth and say they will meet later in the evening. Obviously just some playing the game as they both reconvene at Kate's house and they both change as it is revealed that Kate is Batwoman. We are taken to a building where there is this skull faced figure that is talking to an Agent Chase and informs her that she has a new assignment to track down Batwoman. Now we see the police at a lake fishing out a 13 year old child that went missing. Commissioner Gordon is also there and is informed that people have taken to calling the killer/kidnapper The Weeping Woman. As Batwoman and Detective Sawyer go back to the house after a night's out of crime fighting Kate's father walks in. They discuss how her twin sister is dead and how her father didn't help out in trying to rescue her. She walks out and next we see her back at the lake where the dead child was found. As she is looking for clues Batman walks up and says he has a proposition for her.

Rating : 2.5/5 - I like that there is "different" feel to this "Bat" book than the rest of the family. I don't know much about Batwoman but this has me intrigued to where it will lead to. Having Batman involved doesn't hurt but they can't use that crutch forever. The art is the Vertigo style which is good for the tone of the book. This is a series to keep your eye on.


We have reached the second to last issue of this mini-series.and it opens up where we left off with Thor being carried out of the battle zone after his fight with the powered up Hulk. The make there way to Asgard where Thor says Odin can heal him and they can continue to fight. Cap and his men make it to Asgard and demand that Odin fixes Thor to which Odin is none too pleased with Cap's tone and teleports them away as he takes Thor back to his chambers. We go to Spider-Man out looking for Aunt May and he finally finds her while she is being evacuated from the city. Back to Asgard and we see Odin and Thor talking about how grim things have become. Thor says he must do what his dad can't do and that is to kill the Serpent. Though still injured he is outfitted with new body armor and instead of his traditional hammer he is given the Odinsword. They go and see Tony Stark as he has been building weapons for the upcoming battle and states he is ready. He jumps into a pool to be transformed into a weapon ( seen in previews ). We go back to Earth as we see Cap picking up a gun and manning the front line. The Serpent arrives and final battle is about to begin.

Rating : 3/5 - Overall not a bad issue but not much action. A lot of talking and not much else. I would like to see a more even balance but at least the story moved forward unlike a couple of issues ago. I expect balls to the wall in the next issue. Cap is being pushed to the extremes and Gods and Man are forced to worked together. What possibly could go wrong?


Well we are back again for the "interview" type of issue which compare to the last Secret Avenger issue (see past review) is a way better alternative. The team is discussing what is an "Avenger" and what it takes. Each with a negative point on their own record to prove anybody can earn that title. They are all talking about Daredevil and how on the surface he doesn't fit the profile. We now see (obviously the past) Daredevil fighting more of the Serpent's armed forces. Battle rages on with Daredevil even taking up guns. In the distance he notices Avengers Tower going down and knows he has to go there as there are no Avengers in the area. Now we shift to Avengers Mansion where it was under attacked last issue with Squirrel girl babysitting Luke and Jessica's baby. Daredevil leads them to an underground bunker. We fast forward three weeks and we see Daredevil taking an offer from Luke Cage to join the Avengers.

Rating 3/5 - I like these interview type of issues but I know this is now the last one. Good action in between the dialogue. Daredevil doesn't really fit the Avengers mold but that is the whole reason for the story and I am open to seeing how Bendis (writer) takes this further. Art is above average as usual. This and the main Avengers book are still a step above Secret Avengers and both are good reads.


Opens up with Archangel and his cronies still at ground zero of the total devastation of the town they blew up last issue. Dark Beast plants "The World" that Fantomex was protecting in the center of the town. It is explained that this is where it all starts. Within "The World" they will open it up our world and integrated it and they will pick a time of there choosing to start anew for everybody. They watch as 130 million years of evolution happens within 24 hours our time. As this is happening Psylocke is trying to escape her captors and try to stop what Archangel is doing. Fantomex and Deadpool make it to ground zero but instead of seeing destruction of a town they see a jungle that is growing. Archangel confronts them a battle ensues with Fantomex actually hurting him with a sentient bullet to the head. Genocide comes to Archangel's side while Fanotmex makes his escape to meet up with Deadpool. Archangel meets up with Dark Beast in San Francisco which is being monitored by a Celestial which has summoned them to discuss matters. Archangel must chose a guardian and successor to him and states it is a simple choice as the last panel is focused back on Psylocke.

Rating : 3.5/5 - Still the best X book out there in my opinion. Issue moves briskly and advances the story at a great pace. The compliments the story. Even though the story is now 5 issues long it has been a good read throughout.


Story starts off where we left off with Peter and Carlie breaking into a Jackal hideout and being attacked by super powered villains that were waiting for them. Carlie takes one on the chin and Peter reacts by taking the whole crew out in a quick minute. They are being watched by Jackal via remote camera in an unknown place. Jackal again is seen talking to an unnamed woman who now referred to her as "us". We are taken around the city in various areas with the Avengers handling some powered up civilians and Mary Jane watching in awe of everybody swinging around. We see J.J. being informed by Reed Richards that the virus is now airborne and bound to affect everyone. Anti-Venom is out "healing" people by taking away their powers which is not going over well with said people. Madame is being consumed by all the "spider" activity around the city. Carlie meets up with Spider-Man to discuss the Jackal situation and is miffed that Peter is not around. She asks if she matches teeth marks on Spidey's sandwich he is eating if they would match with Peter's? She is starting to put two plus plus together. They swing away to investigate an area when they are confronted by a now six armed Shocker. He reveals that he is trying to get help to change back to what he was. He doesn't want the Spidey powers. We pan back to Carlie and see her mutate into more of a spider as her face has been transformed. Last page we see Jackal kneeling before his master, Spider-Queen.

Rating : 3/5 - Good overall issue though not a lot of movement in story. Art is good as always but with the big reveal at the end I think things will pick up next month. Mary Jane not having her powers yet is interesting as through previews we know she acquires them. Are they dormant or just not acquired yet?

Monday, September 12, 2011


Movie initially intrigued me as a film with a potential terrorist plot set in present day using a handful of "A" quality actors. While the film had decent acting it was never very good or very bad. Movie moved at a constant pace while never pausing for too long or finishing up some plot prematurely.

Movie opens with Beth (Gwyneth Paltrow) wife of Mitch (Matt Damon) and mother of a young son (forgot the name). She is seen on a trip that has taken her from Hong Kong back to the states with a hold over in Chicago. As she makes it back home she starts to get ill and while she is having a conversation with Mitch she falls down with seizures. Makes it to the hospital alive but does not leave that way. Mitch can't believe it but before he has time to accept that fact he finds out his son is also sick and races home but finds him dead as well. We are left with haunting image of the child. We find out that Mitch after tests is immune to the disease.

As the disease spreads Erin (Kate Winslet) is dispatched from the CDC by Ellis (Laurence Fishburne) to research what is going on and try to contain it if at all possible. Erin is constantly confronted by locals trying to tell her she is overreacting and needs to slow down and not cause a panic. She ends up setting up temporary hospitals in gyms and trys to educate people on what to do and not to do. Its stated we as humans touch our face at least 3-4 a minute while touching everything else in the world without cleaning our hands first. Seeing and thinking of that image makes you rethink what you are doing unknowingly each day. One of the last images of Erin that we see is her alone in a hotel room while watching the Army entering the city to quarantine it.

Web blogger Alan (Jude Law) is the person who stirs the pot and is convinced that there is a conspiracy within the government that is being covered up. He has his own remedy for the outbreak and advertises it as a cure. Though he might really believe that what he has is a legitimate cure for the disease he sees the monetary value in this as well. His vaccine is in short supply and when people realize that they go a little crazy and all compassion and sanity is thrown out the window. This also starts when the government sets up truckloads of food to pass out amongst the population and then runs out of it.

Dr. Leonora (Marion Cotillard) is sent by the World Health Organization to Hong Kong to find Ground Zero as it is believe to have originated from there. As she works on the source of the outbreak she is removed from the area as she is valued more within a village than within the city.

As the movie closes a vaccine is finally being mass produced by the CDC and even with that it will take years to get everyone in the world the medicine. In the end we see how a father will do anything for his child, a person that is only looking out for number one, doctors trying to do the right thing even though legally it is considered wrong and how politics and government can in the way of itself.

Rating : 2.75/5 - Decent movie that doesn't really move any faster than a brisk walk but at the same time is not boring. If you like the actors you will like this movie but at the same time this story has been done before in varies other ways.

Friday, September 9, 2011


We are in the stretch run of the baseball season and even though our beloved Dodgers are destined to miss the playoffs we still turn our eye to the team as they are up north in enemy territory and hopefully dispatch any hope of the Giants making the postseason. If we can't go they should not. Only time I want to see them in the postseason is versus us and we beating them on our way to a World Series ring.

I will be turning on the games with great anticipation especially tonight's marquess match up but knowing the date and everything being broadcast on all forms of media we can not escape the anniversary of 9-11-01 and the horrific things transpired that day that still affects our daily lives today. There will be pre-game ceremonies and tributes through all sport events this weekend and that is justified and applauded as we need to pay our respects to those who lost their lives that day and to those who lived but have had their lives altered forever. This anniversary is being presented on a bigger scale as it is a "big" round number (10) and not the common yearly ones, though there is always something on those days as well.

Though I was not directly affected per se by what happened on that tragic day, it did change my views on life and how people are and can be when pushed. It also showed me even if people have different views they can be united under one belief or one cause. We as Americans were together for the first time since WWII no matter what the color of our skin is, our political views, age or our income level. Our will was strong and we vowed to never forget and we went about to right the wrong that happened to us. If has been debated over time that what happened was deserved and coming to us due to our influence on the world. Wherever you stand on what we have or have not done in the world no one deserves what happened to us. Though still wrong and deserving of our vengeance, I can see if someone went after our President and only our President but they went and physically killed 3000+ people of all races and ages and scared millions more. It would be like us wanting to kill Saddam and to do what we felt was right we just bombed all of Iraq to kill him. We didn't do that and whether you agree we should go in and kill this man, we did it the right way by doing our best not to kill innocent people.

Sunday will be a day of remembrance and prayers for those we lost and those still dealing with the pain 10 years later that will never fully be healed or go away. I will be one of millions doing the same but at the same time we, including myself, should not need a day set aside every year to have a silent moment, prayers, ceremonies etc. Everyday we should "never forget " what happened and put in 110% of our efforts to not forget and help let it not happen again. You might think what can you do as you and I are just normal, everyday citizens. You control the ballot box. If you don't like what our government is doing about world events surrounding the war abroad, change it with your voice and vote. Volunteer at any places that needs help. It doesn't even have to be directly connected to anything on the war, but positive energy and deeds go a long way.

I am thankful for my non oppressed life that I get to live in this great country. My political views notwithstanding I want us as a whole to stand up to any form of aggression towards us whether that is by talking and if need be by force. War is not good but when push comes to shove and it is needed we must proceed to defend our country versus her enemies. I don't always remember what was fought for my rights and "forget" events in our past but I am trying to do better on that.

I am posting this today, Friday, and I ask myself and you to remember everyday of what happened on that day and not just this Sunday. Say thank you to those police officers and fire firefighters. They risked their lives that day and everyday before and after as they continue to do a job that a lot of us take for granted. When you see those military service people get off or on a plane take a moment to think what they have or will go through and how you reap what they sow. Our freedom is not a given, it is earned and maintained. So as I don my special USA Flag Dodger cap and root my Dodgers on against the hated Giants, I will try to remember that even though I am emotionally invested in the game it still is just a game in the grand scheme of things. I will strive to remember that and hope you do the same.

God Bless America
God Bless You and Your Loved Ones
and God Bless the 2012 World Series Champion Dodgers

Wednesday, September 7, 2011



As we start the issue we have Batman ( Bruce Wayne ) running along Gotham's rooftops and going over his past with the Joker from the past six years. With that timeline that would put his first encounter with the Joker a year or so before meeting Green Lantern to help form the Justice League. He received a tip on a probable location for the Joker and as he barges in he finds the Joker in a first fight with some thug that looks like he came out of a Hostel movie. Joker makes a few legal wisecracks then creates a diversion to escape but before Batman can go after him he discovers there is a young girl trapped in the building which is now on fire because of the bomb used by the Joker to escape. The Police Dept. arrives on scene and opens fire on Batman while he trying to get the girl out. He notices that she is being taken care so he takes his leave and we are left with Commissioner Gordon on scene wondering why Batman was being shot at.

As he drives back to Wayne Manor/Batcave he goes over in his mind what had just happened that night. Once in the cave he talks to Alfred and is informed he will be upgrading the Batmobile with some new software. He is also informed that he has stood up another young lady (typical) and asks for Alfred's opinion and in response he says maybe she lose the "cat" he as been hanging around lately. Obviously implying Catwoman (Selina Kyle).

Batman goes and meets up with Gordon as he was requested by him using the Bat Signal. He is informed by Gordon that the little girl who was saved actually was the niece of the man who the Joker was fighting with early in the evening. She is now out of police custody and back with her family.

Batman assumes his pursuit of Joker and ends up at a building which the police have surrounded and as the police approach someone sitting in a chair in one of the rooms Batman figures out it isn't the Joker but the police have no time for that same conclusion and find out that "the person" is really a big doll and blows itself up. Batman continues to track the Joker onto a train. The fight goes back and forth and makes it's way onto a building which after the Joker inflicts multiple knife wounds on Batman is finally thrown off and is defeated for the time being.

Joker is transported to Arkham Asylum (crazy house) and once alone is confronted by someone that is hiding in the shadows. Joker said you were going to send your best family member (referring to the in beginning of the story) and the shadowy figure responds by saying that was my son and you would have enjoyed working for him. Joker said lets get this over with and we are shown the figure to be verbally named the Dollmaker and has taken a nice to Joker's face and cut it off leaving both men to comment on this is a rebirth for the both of them.

Rating : 3.75/5 - Always loved Batman and having the Joker in this reboot is smart. I enjoy how Batman is shown as not polished yet and is not capable of doing everything correct all of the time. Having the Joker allow himself to be altered by someone is something new as usually he walks by his own drumbeat. But at the same time knowing him he has something in his sick mind that this will ultimately profit him in some way. A very good start of a series that should never been renumbered.


The story starts off with a man named Andre Briggs standing in front of monitors of world leaders during a conference call. He states that now is the time to organize a group of super powered people to form an international team that works on its own and not under someone. They must be known people ( no masks, secret identities ) and are controllable to a point. The goes through a list of people ranging from Plastic Man ( no) Batman ( no as well ) to Booster Gold (yes) who Briggs sees as a leader he can control

Next we see Booster flying towards Briggs at the Hall of Justice saying he is ready to join up with Superman and Wonder Woman in the Justice League. He is informed that he is misinformed. He is then told he will lead this new "Justice League International" for U.N. sanctioned problems that need to be addressed that normal authorities can't handle. As he is walked towards a conference room we see the rest of the team has been assembled. Guy Gardner, Fire, Ice, Vixen, Red Rocket, Godiva and General Iron. Of course Guy is already complaining. Where is Batman when you need him to punch him in the face. On cue as Guy leaves the team and building he runs into Batman who trys to persuade him to stay and says Booster can lead the team which Guy again disagrees with. Guy believes this team is beneath him as Batman, Superman etc are on the "major" Justice League team. Batman suspects there is another motive behind this JL grouping by the U.N. and he plans to find out what it is.

The team is shown its new jet and all are impressed. They are sent on their first mission which is to find out what happened to a research team. Booser is having a problem finding a seat in the jet while airborne and is introduced to its pilot, Batman. We flash back to the Hall of Justice as we see two men set a bomb to one of the walls and explodes. As they run away they converse stating they won't know what hit them. Back to the team which have been attacked by what looks like lava men from under the ground. They fight them back and then all is quiet on the home front til a giant robot bursts itself from the earth as the team trys to escape it's grasps and regroup.

Rating : 2.5/5 - A decent start to the book. Having Batman in the book will only help. It looks like they are trying to have him set up as an unofficial member of the team that the U.N. does not know about at the same time allows him to keep tabs on this other "Justice League". Though a team book it really focused on only Booster, Guy (at present moment not on the team) and Batman. There was a little interaction with the other characters but this being the first issue I hold out hope that more depth will be allotted to the other members. Overall the book has promise but being "second" tier heroes they are already at a disadvantage.


Starts off with Wonder Man (Simon Williams) speaking to a group of super powered people saying that the Avengers caused or created the five most devastating things in earth's history. Ultron, Scarlet Witch, Hulk, Dark Avengers and the Civil War. The group consisting of Anti-Venom, D-Man, Atlas, Ethan Edwards, Goliath, Devil-Slayer, Captain Ultra and Century contemplate what he has to say and whether like him should be proactive instead of reactive as Wonder Man sees the Avengers as.

We next see Atlas and Anti-Venom in disguise outside the Avengers Mansion being directed by Wonder Man to spy inside to see what the Avengers are doing. As tradition when there is down time they are playing cards. Wonder Man decides it is time to attack and Atlas grows and literally rams himself to whole front of the mansion. Battle ensues as Wonder Man tells the Avengers the minute they stop he will stop. Victoria Hand trys to help the Avengers by doing recon on her computer to identify the threats and possible weaknesses. They are able to slow the team down a tad but the building has taken on so much stress it finally crashes down on the Avengers as Wonder Man's team is outside of it. The Thing pops up out of the rubble and one by one of Team Wonder Man takes a lick on him til Atlas finishes him off by pounding him into the ground.

Even though never named, The Revengers, sit back now and survey what the accomplished and pat themselves on the back. They want to unmask the Avengers but Wonder Man stops them and say he knows who they are but what matters is what they are. The Revengers ask Wonder Man what next and we see the team turn its focus to Avengers Tower in the distance. To be continued...

Rating : 3.75/5 - For an action issue I would rank it at least a 4.25 out of five as it was fast paced and with enjoyable destruction with no slow spots. But dialogue was little to be found as I read the comic in less time than the other two reviewed today. A Bendis special. Overall though it was great fun and it's nice to see a team that can stand toe to toe with the Avengers and hand them theirs. I look forward to how this story continue in the Avengers Annual.