The Geeky Brummie Pull List with X-Men
It’s all about the Hellfire Gala in this weeks Pull List as X-Men and Excalibur battle it out for the top spot. Five new comics make it in to our On The Radar section, including the return of Ant after a 14 year hiatus and you should definitely check them out.
In Meanwhile… I review Contraband from Markosia and Zack Snyder’s Justice League on Blu-ray.
Now on with the comics…
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Written by Jonathan Hickman : Art by Russell Dauterman, Nick Dragotta, Sara Pichelli and Lucas Werneck : Cover by Leinil Francis Yu
THE HEROES OF KRAKOA DEBUT! It’s a changing if the guard as the first X-Men team of Krakoa debuts! One era ends as a new one begins, and the handoff happens here.
This week the Gala heats up as the new line-up of the X-Men team is revealed and Xavier and Magneto antagonise people they probably shouldn’t. It feels hard to keep up with all that’s going on with the X-Men at times but with everything pointing to major changes with the Planet-Sized X-Men issue just around the corner, I can’t see the Gala ending well for everyone.
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Written by Tini Howard : Art by Marcus To : Cover by Mahmud A. Asrar
RICTOR HATES PARTIES. Even the nice ones. And with Captain Britain’s return to a changed world, this one is looking to be not so nice. Excalibur’s Earth-shattering HELLFIRE GALA issue will change Krakoan diplomacy forever.
I do enjoy this book – I imagine it’s not to everyone’s taste but I’m a sucker for anything to do with the legend of Captain Britain. Marvel are sowing the seeds for big changes ahead for the mutants on planet Earth. What role Excalibur will play in this may begin in this issue.
On the radar this week some other comics not on the Pull List but well worth checking out:
Written and Illustrated by Guillem March
n the fourth issue, we get a glimpse of Karmen’s pitiless working conditions at Karma Corp., where she is seen as a troublemaker. Meanwhile, alone, Cata wanders hostile streets and overhears a conversation that brings a crucial realization about what she truly means to Xisco. Overwhelmed with insights about herself and her past, she races to his flat in the hopes of seeing him.GUILLEM MARCH’s art and deft storytelling reach a gorgeous peak in this second-to-last issue.
Heroes Reborn #6
Written by Jason Aaron : Art by Erica D’Urso and Ed McGuinness : Cover by Leinil Francis Yu
ver the eons, the fabled daughter of Utopia Isle known as Power Princess has defeated the All-Gog, Gorr the God Butcher and the King in Black, but now she must venture into the ruins of Asgard, where something unexplained is stirring in the graveyard of the gods.
Written by Victor LaValle : Art by Jo Migyeong : Cover by Ario Anindito
Will Eve escape the remnants of New York City in order to save her father and restore life to a dying planet? Accompanied by Wexler, Eve must stay one step ahead of the mutants stalking them who want to consume them. But when they are separated, she will discover that there are things even more terrifying in this new wasteland.
Hey Kids! Comics!: Prophets and Loss #2
Written and Illustrated by Howard Chaykin
From the Publisher:
A generation’s brightest lights drink deep the wine of fiasco, while bosses who can barely read their own books can barely keep track of the money pouring in.And a new wave of devoted fans think they’ve found a calling, because they just don’t know any better.
Written and Illustrated by Erik Larsen
From the Publisher:
Fourteen years after its previous issue was published, ANT returns for volume one’s awe-inspiring conclusion! This special one-shot both wraps up the story already begun by series creator MARIO GULLY and serves as a completely self-contained introduction to ANT by superstar creator ERIK LARSEN. Hannah Washington has spent years looking for answers, and finally her quest comes to its epic conclusion! Guest-starring the Dynamic Daredevil!
Mainstream social is DEAD!
Content censorship, sponsored spam, cancel culture and inciter-banning means everyone who’s anyone is on the dark web.
And no one knows it better than Tucker Scott.
Rampant cyberbullying. Fake news trolling. Spying, voyeurism and privacy invasion. This is Contraband, the ruthless entrepreneurs’ digital underground – where profit-hungry mobs prowl city streets filming violent events to satisfy society’s demand for sensational content.
But when activists hack Contraband giving control to any influencer with the most followers, it’s complete chaos as everybody chases the money and fame of being number one!
Written By Thomas Behe – Artwork By Phil Elliott
Contraband was originally released by Slave Labour Comics in 2008 and returns now re-published by Markosia.
13 years later this near future tale seems even more pertinent. With mobile phones evermore ubiquitous this vision of a world where everyone is a cameraman and everybody can make cash through selling their videos – the idea of a band of “citizen journalists” documenting violent scenes feels frighteningly real. This is a Clockwork Orange where every Droog is carrying a camera phone.
Contraband follows Toby on his journey into this new voyeur underground where money hungry gangs scour the streets, setting up and filming violent events to sell to the ever more demanding network. Forced to work for Contraband he is tasked with finding a female activist who is bent on sabotaging the network, and in doing so he must choose between his own safety and the greater good.
There is a lot going on in this comic, with many characters making long political and social speeches, and some pages can be very dialogue heavy. The story also flits back and forth in time, and this can be confusing at times. Veteran indie artist Phil Elliott does impressive job pulling the visuals and dialogue together, and his underground comic style lends it self to this kind of dark and grimy story.
Sometimes it can all get a bit overwhelming and I wonder if the story could’ve been tightened up in an edit. But the idea of a world where YouTubers become more and more extreme in order to stay ahead of the curve and keep the money coming in, this probably isn’t too far from a possible future.
It’s a shame the British comic scene still doesn’t have comic magazines like Deadline, as this story would’ve worked well serialised over the course of a few months.
As social media takes over more of peoples lives and they are willing to go to more extremes to be influencers and keep their profile high, Contraband is an interesting look at what lengths people would go to. Contraband has a very modern Noir feel to it and if you fancy a glimpse in to a very possible social media obsessed future then Contraband is probably worth checking out.
Contraband is out now from all good comic shops and you can find out more on the Contraband Website.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League Blu Ray Review
Determined to ensure Superman’s ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne aligns forces with Diana Prince with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions. The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their own pasts to transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes. Now united, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash may be too late to save the planet from Steppenwolf, DeSaad and Darkseid and their dreadful intentions.
Originally available in the UK through Sky Cinema and NOWTV streaming, it’s possible for us all to catch Zack Snyder’s Justice League now it’s available on Blu-ray and 4K UHD.
I’ve followed Zack Snyder’s career for awhile from his Dawn of the dead reimagining through his comic book inspired films 300 and Watchmen. Watchmen in particular proved that Snyder could deliver a great comic book adaptation. In 2013 he began his DCU adventures with the film Man of Steel. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice followed, in an attempt to match the success of Marvels Avengers movies. Justice league was supposed to be the pinnacle of this journey but due to unforeseen circumstances Snyder was unable to deliver his vision. Instead architect of Marvel’s Avengers Joss Whedon delivered a less than satisfactory film that was not loved by many fans. Since then there have been calls to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut as fans clamoured to see his original version. Remarkably Warner Brothers has allowed this to happen and we are now able to watch Justice League as intended.
Is this a better film than the one we saw in 2017. Yes it is. This version of the film is much more consistent in tone and fits with the world Snyder has already developed. The film might run for four hours but it never feels over long and it has a better pace than the 2017 version. Many of the plot points stay the same, but the film has a much more consistent tone. Most of the misplaced humour is now gone and it’s replaced with more more drama and heart. The biggest improvement is placing Ray Fisher’s Cyborg at the centre of the movie. We find out more about his character and his motivations, and he proves to be the beating heart and soul of this film. Henry Cavill’s resurrected Clark Kent/Superman is also much better served in this film. Gone is the ridiculous CGI moustache removal and we also get to see the long awaited black Superman costume. Jason Momoa’s Aquaman also benefits from a weightier narrative that loses some of the ill-advised surfer dude mannerisms. Most of Ben Affleck’s Batman, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Ezra Miller’s Flash scenes remain largely unchanged apart from the dialogue which now feels more meaningful and dramatic.
Another major difference to this version of the film is the inclusion of Ray Porter’s Darkseid, a character who didn’t even appear in the Whedon version of the film. Darkside is more akin to Thanos and shifts Ciaran Hinds’ Steppenwolf to the role of henchmen which makes more sense overall. All these changes make this film a more complex and satisfying story.
Justice league isn’t a perfect film by any length, Snyder occasionally overindulges in his cinematic quirks and the CGI sometimes doesn’t work as well as you would hope. One of the biggest new additions to this cut of the film is an epilogue featuring Jared Leto’s Joker and Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke. This seems like an unusual inclusion as it clearly sets up a sequel that we will never see.
The film is presented here in its IMAX aspect ratio which may upset some viewers. The film is split over the two discs with the 25 minute documentary Road to Justice included on the first. This documentary could have been much longer but it does give a insightful look into Snyder’s process. It features some older interviews with a films cast but doesn’t really go into any detail over its troubled production.
Overall, I’m pleased that we’ve finally been able to see this version of the film as it’s a massive improvement over the 2017 release. This is well worth picking up on Blu-ray or 4K UHD if you’re a fan of the series but it is still worth picking up if you’re curious to see what Snyder had originally envisioned. The audio and visual presentation on these discs is top-notch and surpasses that of the streaming presentation. Our thanks go to Warner Brothers for supplying the Blu-ray disc for review.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is available now on Blu-ray and 4K UHD from all good retailers.
Your Local Comics Shops
After April 12th non-essential shop were allowed to open their doors again. This means many of your local comic shops are now open and you can pop in for your geek fix. Listed below are some of the best shops across the county with links to check the very latest information including opening time and covid safety measures. When visiting these shops please be patient and respectful to all the staff who are doing an incredible job in very difficult circumstances.
FORBIDDEN PLANET INTERNATIONAL (VARIOUS) – includes Worlds Apart Birmingham
Please check with stores for any changes to opening times and services.
Follow the stores social media pages for updates!
FORBIDDEN PLANET (VARIOUS) – includes Birmingham Megastore
Check their website for more information –
GOSH! COMICS (LONDON)
Check their website for more information –
OK COMICS (LEEDS)
Follow the stores social media pages and website for updates!
PAGE 45 (NOTTINGHAM)
Check their website for more information –
TRAVELLING MAN (VARIOUS)
Check their website and social media for more information –
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