Posted in Blog Posts, MARVEL, Read Me

The Kid Who Collects Spider-man (The Amazing Spider-man #248), written by Roger Stern: a Comic Book Issue review

Synopsis:

Timothy Harrison is a one-of-a-kind kid.  9 years old, bright, funny…loves Star Wars, The Mets and he COLLECTS Spider-man.  In fact, he has the largest collection of Spider-man memorabilia of anyone in New York.  A trunk full of articles, photographs, film reels…even flattened bullets from a robbery that Spider-man thwarted. 

What he doesn’t have is his greatest wish.  The chance to meet Spider-man FACE TO FACE.

General Information:

-Genre: Comic Book, Superhero

-Author/Illustrator: Written by Roger Stern, Illustrated by Ron Frenz, Terry Austin, and Christine Scheele, Lettered by Joe Rosen

-Number of Pages: Full Issue- 24 pages, Story- 11 pages

-Main Characters: Spider-man, Timothy Harrison (The Kid who Collects Spider-man)

-Where to Read: Marvel Unlimited! (iOS and Android), support local booksellers (many can order items that may not be in stock) or look for it at your local library!

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

This is by far the best Spider-man story that I have ever read.  It may even be the greatest story of Spider-man ever written.

Timothy Harrison is absolutely lovely.  He’s a great kid.  Like any other 9-year-old kid he loves a lot of great stuff like Star Wars and sports, and superheroes.

But what really gets me is how connected Peter Parker is with him is such a short time.  When he appears in Tim’s room of course there is the disbelief that any kid would have when confronted by their favorite person of all time.

I love the moments between Spider-man and Tim in this short story.  The two of them interacting is just pure innocence and perfection.  Between the web swing and looking through all the memorabilia that Tim has and Peter recounting some of the stories for him is just so cute.

But when Peter actually took off the mask and showed Tim who he was…that was when I lost it and I knew that something wasn’t right.

And when my heart fell apart.

The writers and illustrators for this story did such a good job piecing everything together to have you fall in love with and feel so deeply for Tim in such a short amount of time.

11 pages of a comic and your heart is shattered when you learn that he has cancer and dies after meeting Spider-man.

And that is a beautiful and incredible talent to have.

So, there you have it.  The greatest Spider-man story ever written, at least in my opinion.

Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

Spider-man: Far From Home, created by Sony in partnership with Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Back in New York City the newly snapped back Peter Parker is back at school.  He is back with his friends, ready to tell MJ how he feels about her, and excited about the school field trip to Europe during the upcoming summer vacation.  He is ready to dive back into his life…because mourning the loss of Tony Stark and being Spider-man are kind of a lot to deal with right now.

When the trip to Europe goes awry with a Water Elemental attacking the city of Venice, Peter has to make a choice to protect his classmates.  Fury confronts Parker, who has been ignoring his phone calls, to give him a gift from Stark… access to E.D.I.T.H., and artificial intelligence that can help him control all of the Stark databases as well as a ton of weapons and tech.

With all of this at his disposal, and a little meddling from Director Fury, the chill trip to Europe that Peter was hoping for may not happen.  Especially when he is forced to work with a new superhero to fight other Elementals that seem to be popping up.

Maybe he will be able to get some time alone with MJ…or maybe there is something in the universe to conspire against everything that he wants…

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero

-Creator: created by Sony in partnership with Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee

-Length: 129 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (to Buy/Rent), iTunes (to Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, J. B. Smoove, Jacob Batalon, Martin Starr, Marisa Tomei, Jake Gyllenhaal

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

I didn’t like this one as much as the first. 

That could be for a lot of reasons.  Don’t get me wrong it’s still a really great film and I still love Tom Holland’s Peter Parker best of all the live action variations.

There is a lot going on but also not a lot.  And some teen angst that I’m not super down with (though Peter and MJ are adorable in this).

Overall, it’s a good film and Jake Gyllenhaal as the bad guy is always fun.  I’m still excited about the next one so in the end the movie did its job.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

Spider-man: Homecoming, created by Sony in partnership with Marvel Cinematic Studios, based off of characters created by Stan Lee: a Film Review

Synopsis:

The Battle of New York has left alien technology and incredible decimation in its wake.  A local salvage company owned by Adrian Toomes is hard at working cleaning up the devastation when the Department of Damage Control (DODC) comes in to take over the project.  Toomes, angry at the Stark/US Government partnership swooping in to take his business contract, convinces his staff to smuggle out all the alien technology that they have thus far found.  His plan? Use the pieces to create and sell advanced weapons.

Eight years later Peter Parker is drafted into the Avengers as Spider-Man…the alter-ego he has been fighting crime as in New York City since a radioactive spider bit him granting him a variety of powers.  With his upgraded suit, courtesy of Tony Stark and the Iron Man technology, he is psyched to fight with the group.  But when he is grounded during a dispute in Berlin, an internal Avengers issue, Parker returns to school and home until he is deemed ready to truly join the Avengers.

As Peter grapples with the fact that his life is constantly changing between the new powers, school, crime-fighting, keeping his alias a secret from even his closest friends…and, of course, a crush on the smartest girl in school…. things are about to get really crazy for Peter Parker.  Suddenly academic decathlon and finals don’t seem like the worst thing in the world.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero, Origin Story

-Creator: created by Sony in partnership with Marvel Cinematic Studios, based off of characters created by Stan Lee

-Length: 133 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for mild violence and gore, mild profanity, very mild use of alcohol, mild frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Rent/Buy), iTunes (Rent/Buy), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Gweneth Paltrow, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batlon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Bokeem Woodbine, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downing Jr.

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

BY FAR THE BEST VERSION OF SPIDER-MAN THAT HAS BEEN DONE TO DATE.  Of course, these reviews are my personal opinion and mine alone.  So, feel free to disagree.  Just know you’re wrong. And there will be a whole day of Spider-man reviews later this month… so you might see your favorite there.

From the fact that Peter is a teenager when everything goes down to the incredible “uncle/nephew” dynamic that we get with Stark and Peter…it just feels the closest to the snarky and sarcastic kid from the comics that I remembered reading from my dad’s collection as a kid.

I love that he is having all the struggles that normal teens have. But add in superpowers it makes things a bit more complicated.  I love when Ned figures everything out.  Its good for Peter to have someone he can share things with.

The casting and writing are great. The performances were simply perfect in my mind.  They all did an excellent job balancing the awkward teenager stuff with the fact that most of them are supposed to be a bit to smart for their own good.

Honestly, I love watching the new Spider-man films.  They are a joy.  And Tom Holland being unable to keep his mouth shut about spoilers just makes it even better.  You know Peter would have told EVERYONE if it didn’t put Aunt May in danger.  Its nice to find an actor that has the energy that Peter Parker had in the comics.

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

Captain America: Civil War, created by created by Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Nearly a year has passed since The Avengers defeated Ultron in the nation of Sokovia.  Now part of the newest group of Avengers recruits (Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, Sam Wilson and Wanda Maximoff) are trying to stop terrorist Brock Rumlow from stealing a biological weapon on Lagos.  When Rumlow blows himself up during the confrontation in an attempt to kill Captain America, Wanda diverts the explosion…miscalculating and destroying part of a nearby building where a group of Wakandan humanitarian workers were helping the less fortunate.

Thaddeus Ross, now the US Secretary of State, uses the incident as a jumping off point to inform the Avengers that the United Nations is preparing to pass the Sokovia Accords which will establish a UN panel that will oversee and have complete control over the team.

The Avengers are divided.  Tony Stark (alias Iron Man) is in support of the oversight, particularly in light of the incident with Ultron.  Steve Rogers (alias Captain America) disagrees and has faith that the team, and himself in particular, can make better and quicker decisions that a group of politicians.

As the Accords are ratified another bomb goes off… this time killing King T’Chaka of Wakanda.  The footage shows that the bomber is none other than Roger’s former best-friend turned brainwashed Hydra agent, Bucky Barnes (alias The Winter Soldier).  As Bucky flees, things begin to get complicated.  The Avengers are split on the Accords.  T’Chaka’s son T’Challa has vowed to kill Bucky.  And a strange, masked superhuman appears…wearing a black suit and rivaling the abilities of The Avengers themselves.

What will happen to the team now that a major rift has formed?  Will the Avengers ever be the same?

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero

-Creator: created by created by Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby

-Length: 147 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, mild use of alcohol, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Frank Grillo, William Hurt, Daniel Bruhl

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

So much goes on in this film, its almost on the same level as The Avengers title films.  There are so many characters and so much information that is given in this movie.

Not to mention the continuation of the discussions of morality that have continued over from Age of Ultron.  This story does come from the comics but I haven’t gotten to reading it yet so I can’t speak to the differences.  But I was a little shocked the first time that I watched the film because I was not expecting who ended up on each side of the issue.

The fights are epic and it was a great introduction to both Black Panther and this version of Spider-man (who is the best version in my opinion).

We get both sides of the issue…which doesn’t often happen in grand discussions like this.  The writers did a great job showing the pros and cons to both the Accords…and to not signing them.  So many times we as humans think that decisions like this are black and white when they are shades of grey.  This film shows that and so much more.

Revenge and grief.  Fear and loathing.  The desire to do good…but that doing good is not always doing “right”.  So many different layers to peel back. 

And when I saw it in theatres it was a great jumping off point for discussions about these things.  That is what art and entertainment media should strive to do.  Of course, there will always (and should always be) art and entertainment for the sake of that…but they should also be able to launch discussions that are deeper than ourselves.  That make us think of those around us. 

This film does that…as do so many comic books.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.