iZombie Review

I haven’t actually done a review or early thoughts of pretty much anything recently. Very strange for me. Not sure why that is, but I felt compelled to do something for iZombie. Why? Because when I first heard of the show I thought… well that sounds stupid! And well conceptually the idea of a Zombie living amongst us living folks is very stupid and I’m not a huge fan of Zombies anyway, but as it turns out, this particular show is really really good.

To give a basic breakdown of what the show is about… iZombie is about a girl who becomes a Zombie in a world where a Zombiepocalypse is NOT occurring, yet at least. Big surprise. And where Zombies aren’t generally just mindless drones wandering around eating brains. I mean she does eat brains, and seems to be able to zerk out, thus becoming a mindless drone, but it is temporary. Zombies also seem to have the ability to see moments of their victims lives, which leads into the fact that she helps solve crime pretty well.

So this isn’t your normal zombie TV show. If you were looking for gore and violence with brainless killing, you are looking in the wrong place. This show is actually about someone coping with changing into something new, coping with the struggles of this change, and keeping the secret from those she loves. In essence, this show has more to do with a super hero ™ show than a zombie show, just using zombiism as the super power.

The show also doesn’t take itself overly seriously. It is more than anything a comedic crime fighting show. I couldn’t help but think of Psych while watching it when she plays off her zombie visions as a Psychic vision.  It’s style really plays into Psych a lot as well with its comedic crime fighting.

iZombie is a show very solidly aiming at an interesting mix of demographics. You can tell that the general every day life of the lead character is meant to appeal towards teenage girls, the zombie aspect and humor is geared towards everyone else. The creator of the show has also created Veronica Mars and the new 90210, and these roots definitely show. But this doesn’t entirely detract from how entertaining the show is. You as the viewer just need to let it entertain you.  If they can keep it up, you won’t be sorry.

And really I don’t think enough can be said that even though iZombie’s title makes you think it is a show about Zombies, it really is anything but, and to me that is what makes it special. I suggested it to my daughter who likes Zombies and she wouldn’t even let me finish telling her what it was about because a Zombie show shouldn’t be from the point of view of the Zombie. “Zombies are undead and are supposed to decay” she said. Well maybe, Vampires never did decay so I am not tied to that philosophy quite as much. Zombies were always boring previously. I applaud that someone decided to sit down and think about Zombies and try to make them more interesting and dynamic rather than just brainlessly create another show that was the same as all of the others, like the creatures that they are portraying. The original point of the zombie was that we shouldn’t all be part of a brainless horde, and each zombie creation that gets made just emphasizes how much of a zombie the creators actually are. The fact that this show is stepping away from the same old formula is in and of itself a commentary on the genre. Good for them.

Comic Book Movies I’d Like to See

Now that Marvel is going into the realm of “we can do anything bitches” with Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, Black Panther and Doctor Strange. And likewise we are seeing DC going all in with movies like Suicide Squad and Aquaman (really?), and Sony even making a movie based on the Sinister Six.1 Well why not start talking about what movies we would all like to see get made? So I present you my list.

1. Bishop – We had a glimpse of Bishop in Days of Future Past, and we might see him again in Age of Apocalypse considering he did play a part in that storyline. Bishop was one of the more popular additions to the X-Men squad in the 90s Bishop has the ability to absorb energy and then redirect it back wherever he wants it. It’s an interesting dynamic and he tends to be more powerful than Gambit who can just kind of create it out of nothing. The absorbed energy also seems to amplify his strength, he has a robotic arm, and he time travels. What isn’t to like?

2. Cable – Another X-Man who became really popular in the 90s spawning his own comic series, and another time traveler that had a hand with Apocalypse a few times. Cable would be an interesting choice in the movies because he is the son of Scott Summers and a clone of Jean Grey. The likelihood of the original actors returning in those roles to any extent is slim to none, but Cable was always kind of shrouded with mystery and could make an entrance into the X-Men series pretty easily without the parents. Like Bishop, Cable has  a cybernetic arm, but Cable is essentially a muscular Jean Gray with guns. I honestly don’t foresee both Bishop AND Cable, and given that we have already seen Bishop, we’ll have to rest our hopes on Bishop spinning off.

3. Alpha Flight – Wikipedia describes Alpha Flight as “Canada’s answer to the Avengers” but it could easily be replaced with the X-Men. The group is all Canadian and was a major part of Wolverine’s back story. They are kind of off the beaten path but I always took a fancy to the group. I find this group would be extremely unlikely to get their own movies, but we might have a better shot at seeing in a Wolverine movie at some point now that the Wolverine movies with Hugh Jackman seem to be making a return.

4. Moon Knight – Moon Knight has never been an overly popular Marvel franchise but definitely has a cult following. I will be honest I don’t know a lot about him, but I appreciate the Egyptian motifs that he has and the Batman-like feel. He does have powers of strength and reflexes that wane with the cycle of the moon, but they seem to play a minor role. He also has multiple-personalities which might make for a very interesting movie. He also has been on and off on the Avengers and has movie rights actually owned by Marvel so there is a decent chance we eventually see a Moon Knight movie.

5. Jonah Hex – I mean a real one, not that crappy one that was made a few years ago that was so bad no one even knew it was there. I am reminded of him constantly with the Gotham TV show because in a lot of ways, Jonah Hex actually is the pre-quel to Batman. He is a character from the old west days of Gotham, that is a lot like Batman mixed with Two-Face. He’s got a distorted face and is very rough around the edges but is generally out looking to do the best by what is out there. Like batman, he sometimes travels that fine line between good and bad, though he seems to fall to bad a little more often.

6. Silver Surfer – He kind of had a movie, but it was a small part in a bad Fantastic Four movie. They are rebooting Fantastic Four, and I am kind of hoping that Silver Surfer gets a second chance because of it. Now that Guardians of the Galaxy did so well with being a space-set super hero, I think it is totally in the realm of possibility. He did have some time on the ground, but a full on Space movie would be a pretty cool route to go with him.

Upcoming Super Hero Movies

Has been a busy few weeks when it comes to super hero movies. A lot of interesting info has come out from Marvel and DC and I have a lot of thoughts in regards to all of it so I wanted to take a moment and put them into writing.

Let’s start with  DC. DC recently announced their lineup of movies through 2020. The movies include Batman vs. Superman, Suicide Squad, 2 Justice League movies, Flash, Wonder Woman, Shazam, Green Lantern, Cyborg, and Aquaman. Left out of their announcements are new Batman and Superman movies, though I suspect there will be at least one of each of those. I am a little surprised to see them putting up a Shazam movie in particular as that character, formerly known as Mr. Marvel,  is relatively unknown and unliked but whatever, might as well try something. Aquaman also is curious as he is generally another unliked character and the casting of Jason Momoa as Aquaman also seems strange as Aquaman was never a very muscular man of color.1 Out of the lot of the movies, I am glad they are giving Green Lantern another shot and am interested to see how they deal with a Suicide Squad movie. I got into the Suicide Squad with the New 52 and quite like that particular series.

For casting, I don’t particularly like most of the casting that they  have announced so far. Like I said, I like  Momoa but he doesn’t fit Aquaman. Similar feelings towards Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, though I think largely that character is difficult to cast and I think she could make it work. A lot of people disdain Ben Affleck as Batman but I feel he could turn out rather well. He has the chin for the mask and I think he can pull off the playboy Bruce Wayne which tends to be the trickier part. He could work out very well and I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt until I actually see him for myself. They haven’t cast Shazam yet, though they have cast The Rock as the villain in that movie, and that alone to me speaks volumes of how bad the movie will likely be.

DC is going for 2 movies a year, and the fact that they are doing the ensemble pieces first rather than introducing the pieces and building into the ensemble like Marvel did is interesting. People think now that the only way to do it successfully is to do it like Marvel, but let’s take a step back and realize that Marvel’s recent success actually started thanks to X-Men which is an ensemble piece. X-Men had some misteps but seems to be back on track and has one fairly successful individual hero film under the belt (The Wolverine) with a few more to come. This track isn’t fully vetted as of yet but don’t forget how much the current success of all super hero movies owes to the X-Men franchise. Again, willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. There is a lot to worry about with DC’s upcoming movies, this  is the least of their problems.

With that, looking at Marvel, they are going for 2 movies a year as well but that isn’t including Sony or Fox movies. All said, Marvel will have anywhere between 4 and 5 movies a year for the next several years, which coupled with DC’s concerns me of over saturation. I like the Super Hero Movies quite a bit, but when is it going to be enough?

Marvel has announced some rather interesting choices as well including Doctor Strange which had been talked about for almost a decade previously. Still no word on who, though I am kind of excited by the prospects of it. I think the weird characters in Marvel is a sign of over saturation, but I also find them to be the most appealing. Super Man, Spider Man, Batman, Captain America, etc. Those heroes have all been done to death for years both in comics, on TV, and in theaters. For those guys it is becoming same ol same ol and guys like Doc Strange and Guardians of the Galaxies are a breath of fresh air. This is a double edged sword though. DC tried a Jonah Hex movie a few years ago and it was utter crap. I am interested to see the upcoming Ant Man, but I’m not sure how good a movie that stars someone who rides a flying ant actually will be.

DC is winning at one thing though, diversity. Cyborg is African American, Green Lantern could be as well, they have Wonder Woman, and Aquaman seems to be not white now too. The only diversity in Marvel’s wallet seems to be side-kicks or bit parts. They don’t even really have any planned coming up the pipe. Luke Cage on Netflix seems to be about it and who knows how good that is. They showed a clip of the Daredevil show at NY Comic Con recently and the word that is spreading about it is that it doesn’t look very good. It is entirely possible that the Netflix Marvel shows share the same quality that Agent of Shield. That’s another thing DC is beating Marvel at. Flash, Arrow, Constantine and Gotham are all quite good shows, will be interesting to see how DC enters the digital realm with their live action Static Shock.

And finally there is Avengers 2 which last week had to release their trailer early due to a leak. It looks really freaking good. Yet again. Though one thing is for sure… their Quicksilver doesn’t look like he is going to be as spectacular as the one from X-Men: Days of Future past.

DC’s New 52 – Week 1 & 2

If you are a fan of comic books at all, you may already know…. DC decided to reboot their entire line of comics starting off every line with a #1 in the month of September. An obvious ploy to garner sluggish sales yes, but the move could be uniquely genius. Many people have left the purchasing of graphic novels over the years despite the bigger publicity of having movies out there selling the brands. Thus, DC felt something needed to be done. The real question is, did it work?

I went out and bought several of the new DC comics for a few reasons. 1) I have a friend who talks about comics all the time and now I am wanting to get back into them at least a little. 2) I have always wanted to like DC, but have never been given a huge opportunity to get into any of them. I take the idea of a reboot to be perfect timing to get into them. And 3) I really get into #1 issues. When I did buy comic books over a decade ago, I was always on the look out for a good #1. I think these later two reasons were really the target of DC’s new 52 and I think it worked at least for one month.

Very quickly though, I learned one important note about the reboot… it isn’t really a reboot at all. I think a reset might be a better term. There are a few comics in the New 52 that actually do start at the beginning, or at the very least start at a new beginning. But most of them seem to not be a true reboot. I felt left out of a ton of story which was a big reason that I never really gave DC a chance in the first place. I never felt there was a great time to be brought into any series, and still I feel left out.

But they didn’t want to totally alienate their current subscribers, and I totally understand this problem. Many of their comics have a rich history and old fans don’t want to go through everything again, they already have. They want to experience new things. So DC went with the idea of keeping much of the history in tact and then making dramatic changes to reset a lot of stuff that has happened in recent years.

For instance, I am a fan of Batman, but I never realized Barbara Gordon was paralyzed and now went by Oracle from a wheel chair instead of Batgirl who was apparently someone else now. Well a miracle occurred and she is now able to be Batgirl again, you know what? I prefer that, but then I don’t care about the history. Again apparently Bruce Wayne had retired as Batman and given the mantle to Dick Graysen, yuck. And oh yeah he apparently had a son who became Robin. Yikes. Well they kept the son around but apparently only in Batman & Robin which I will likely avoid because of it, but Bruce Wayne is back as Batman. Overall, the changes I’ve heard seem very positive.

Onto thoughts of individual comics…

Animal Man
This was a very surprising comic to me. I had read a lot of really positive reviews of it, so I decided to give it a shot. Still, I didn’t know what to expect from it, being in DC’s dark line I wasn’t sure if I’d like it. However, it impressed in a number of ways. A great original story and great art. There were certainly morbid aspects to it, but it fit with the story well. If you wanted to know it is basically about the struggles of a retired super hero trying to have an acting career and family. It is just an interesting premise and I look forward to reading more of it.

Batgirl
I don’t know what the hubbub with Oracle was about, but I don’t care. I like Barbara Gordon as Batgirl but I don’t really care for Batgirl. If there is going to be one, I just assume it be BG. It was a decent comic, I wouldn’t mind picking up another or two, but I honestly don’t care for the villain. It is an interesting thing he is doing, it just doesn’t match his name or outfit.

Batwing
So I guess previous to the reboot, DC made the brilliant idea of having a whole bunch of Batmans from around the world in a series called Batman, Inc. Batwing is essentially the remnants of that series, being the Batman from Africa. I must say I was quite interested in the idea of a Batman from Africa, it is an interesting idea. This particular issue didn’t have a whole lot of… well… anything. About all you get from the comic is that Batwing is a police officer in the Congo, that Batman helped him set up, and that there is a big bad guy out there killing everyone. I’m likely going to at least get one more issue before I decide on this one just because I like the premise. But I really got almost nothing from the character when it comes to motives or even personality. I don’t have a lot of hope for the series, but I want it to work.

Detective Comics
Where DC gets its name and the main Batman comic. I’ve seen mixed reviews on this issue but I liked it. I do think if you are giving Batman a new start that you have to have Joker in it. I am more puzzled by the previews which talk about the Gotham Ripper targeting Joker. After reading the actual comic I felt that the previews might have given away future issues which sucks, I don’t think the preview did it justice at all and I think this story so far is very interesting and worth the read.

Justice League International
I didn’t buy Justice League because I never really cared about teams built of all-star solo super heroes (I also don’t like Avengers). When I want a team, I tend to like a team that was built for a team. I didn’t know who Booster Gold was before this comic, he is an interesting choice for a team leader though. I don’t know what he does, I don’t know his past and I know even less about the rest of the team. I don’t understand why Batman is in this group either, he doesn’t like working with others but is in nearly every team DC can fathom. A weak comic overall, I have no interest.

Stormwatch
I was really looking for a good team from DC so I picked up Stormwatch too. I do like team comics but so far I gotta say that DC doesn’t really have what it takes. Stormwatch I felt was a little better than DCI overall, but still not great. A lot of it is over-the-top and silly… I mean the moon is attacking the Earth? Come on, really? Martian Manhunter is an interesting retro super hero but more powerful than Superman who is already a too powerful super hero… meh. I’ll say no to this one in the future too.

Swamp Thing
I don’t really know what to think of Swamp Thing after reading it. It was good, it gave a good brief explanation of who this guy is. But I don’t really know what is going on with him and I don’t really know where it is going. The art was pretty good, but I gave this comic a try based off good reviews and I don’t feel that it lived up to them. It was worth the read and I think I will give the second issue a try just to see what happens but overall am unsure of this comic.

Conclusion

I have actually bought many from Week 3 too, but I have a few more I plan on buying on Wednesday so I thought I’d wait to review them all until I had them all. So far I think DC has a mixed start to the New 52 comics. Not the reboot I was hoping for but some have been worth reading all the same. Will they hook me in the future as the #1s stop? I have no idea. They might.

The Incredible Hulk Review

I rented the latest Hulk movie on Netflix this past weekend and watched it. Everyone said that it was much better than the original but I’m not entirely certain I agree. Each does some things better than the other, the first one wasn’t exactly good, but neither was the second one either, but for very different reasons. Perhaps at its heart the reason why this series doesn’t seem good to me is that the series just isn’t all that great.

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Heroes Season 3… so far.

It has been two weeks, three episodes kind of, since the launch of the new season of Heroes. I thought I would take time to delve into this latest season and whether or not this season can make a return to its first season roots, or whether it will instead mirror the dullness of season 2. Warning to any potential readers out there, this may contain spoilers.

Continue reading “Heroes Season 3… so far.”