The Importance of Neurological Diversity in Media

Neuro divers

 

Over the course of the 21st century we have seen a slow but steady increase in the amount of diversity presented in various forms of storytelling, art and entertainment media.  The majority of the focus has been on things such as racial and sexual diversity though lately other types of diversity such a body diversity have begun to make headway as well.   I personally feel though there is another type of diversity of equal importance that often gets overlooked in the debate.  and that is neurological diversity.

 

 

While true many characters in various animated series, comic, films and television programs are given diverse personality types and some of these could be attributed to various neurological conditions or quarks, very seldom do we see such things actually addressed within the context of the work.  Though thankfully this too is slowly changing.  This year Sesame Street introduced an Autistic character named Julia onto their program to both reach out to young autistic children and teach other children from a young age that some children may act/behave differently than them and that’s OK and should not prevent you from wanting to become friends.  And while Autism like many things in the realm of human existence is a spectrum and one character can only cover so much, the character’s inclusion into the children’s program is a small step in the right direction.

 

Other then that we have seen many other television programs address unique character quarks but not all have quite tackled the issues head on.  The character Jeff from Clarence has expressed to his friends how he has his own way of doing things and how many things other kids do make him feel uncomfortable but outside of over exaggerations of typical OCD & Germaphobic tendencies the show hasn’t always gone too in depth towards Jeff’s neurological quarks from a serious perspective outside a few speeches by the character himself.  I am not saying  the character can’t properly represent neurologically diverse individuals, just that this type of teasing is noting new in animation.   Other then that many other all-ages and adult animated programs have also touched on or introduced characters with various neurological quarks as part of their character traits that while engrained in their character’s habits and personality are not always explored as deeply as they could be.  Steven Universe is a masterpiece in its emotional depth and maturity but even it like most other programs can shy away from the more serious psychological issues at time.  The cult favorites My Little Pony/Equestria Girls have characters like Fluttershy & Sour Sweet that represent conditions such as severe generalized & social anxiety and disruptive personality disorder but these elements are only used as obstacles to over come social issues & friendship problems more often then being something the character has to live and work to control on a daily basis.  Then of course you have Tina Belcher from Bob’s Burger’s who is also a very socially awkward character but her unique quarks are often just played up for cringe or laughs.

 

Now again I am by no means saying that these characters cannot be inspiring to viewers that share the same or similar unique neurological diversity to them, just that with media’s slowly increasing willingness to talk about so many other types of diversity and to talk about things like emotional maturity and true morality in a more refined, serious yet still easily digestable manner that it would also be beneficial to neurologically diverse viewers and society as a whole, as everyone has some sort of quark or imperfection that helps make them uniquely who they are, to discuss characters neurological diversity in a more open, casual and mature manner as we have seen other issues brought up within media over the course of the 21st century.

 

One example I think television could take some level of inspiration from would be comics.  In recent years we have had characters like Jessica Cruz pop up to many a readers delight.  Jessica Cruz for those that don’t know is the newest Green Lantern of Earth and is unique not just in the fact that she is the first female Green Lantern to hail from our blue orb but also because she is a character who has openly dealt with the trauma of extended bouts of sever anxiety and depression and was still able to over come these and become a hero.  The book doesn’t ignore the issue though and early issues show how even as a hero Jessica still is working to overcome and control her anxiety and that it is her true arch-enemy the same way the Joker is to Batman.

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This extremely open and human portrayal of Jessica is what helps make her work as a character and seeing her overcome her fears and anxieties to become a hero is an inspiring story for readers of all ages.

 

Overall I do think that the representation of neurological diversity is becoming more prevalent if not somewhat more slowly then its ethnic/sexual/physiological counterparts.  I just hope that our favorite cartoons and comics will continue to push the envelope so to speak and continue to add episodes and stories giving open dialogues about neurological diversity and neurologically diverse charters so young children and adult viewers alike can continue to be empowered and inspired by these characters that give us all the courage to dream.

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Thoughts on: Wonder Woman (2017)

  Warning: This Post Contains Spoilers!

 

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This weekend the long awaited solo outing of everyone’s favorite Amazon Warrior Princess started in theatres and sufficed to say it has made many positive ripples over its short stint in movie houses so far, so lets take a look at Wonder Woman and see if it is sensational as everyone says?

 

The film starts off with Diana Prince in modern day monolouging about the world and the nature of man as a briefcase is delivered to her with the original copy of the photo Bruce found of her in BVS inside.  This leads to the flashback that starts the main story of the film with Diana reminiscing about her life from childhood to adulthood growing up on Themyscria with her mother and the other Amazons.  We also get a brief retelling of the Amazon’s origins from Hippolyta.  As expected we also see Steve Trevor crash on the island which starts the whole thing off.  A Small group of German’s trailing Steve land on the island and are quickly slaughtered by the Amazons though not without the mighty women losing a few of their own to the attack, including Diana’s teacher and aunt Antiope.     This leads Diana to leave the island with Steve and help him try to stop the war.

 

Without spoiling too much more the rest of the film shows Diana learning more about the world of man both the good and the bad which over the course of the film is the sole push for Diana’s character growth not just as a hero but as an individual as well as she has to accept the world is a much more complicated place than she first thought and everyone has both good and evil within them, coming to the conclusion that as long as there is love there is still hope to save the world.

 

Overall the story of the film is well written, it faithfully follows Wonder Woman’s comic book origin while only making the necessary tweaks and additions to help serve the greater narrative of the film or have it fit into the DCEU continuity.  Gal Gadot gives a solid performance as Diana giving off a sense of both youthful naivety while also coming off as a strong and confident woman.  Chris Pine is also an excellent Steve Trevor and shows us a version of the character who despite being psychologically worn out from the war still does his best to try to stop it. And while only in the beginning of the film Ronnie Wright & Connie Nelson give solid performances as Antiope and Hippolyta respectively.  The supporting cast of characters like Etta Candy, Chief, and the villains like Doctor Poison. General Ludendorf and later on Ares all fit their role quite adequately as well.

 

The cinematography still manages to have the same natural tone the past DCEU films have had while having just enough color pop out to help make the characters more defined in the dark backdrop of war.  The slow motion moments in fight scenes somewhat reminiscent of Guy Ritche’s Sherlock Holmes are also well choreographed and welcome additions .  The special effects are also spot on for the most part making the battles feel as if they have real weight and depth to them.

 

The costume design is also impressive as both the Amazons and early 20th century citizens look authentic which helps add to the atmosphere of the film.  And the colors of Wonder Woman’s outfit pop every time they are on screen making the armor as visually appealing as the character of Wonder Woman is inspiring.

 

The only minor complaints I could find with the film would be that Ares has a really really stupid mustache that even his nice and somewhat comic accurate armor couldn’t completely hide and this prevents him from looking as intimidating as he should.  And the end scene before the credits being a traditional Superhero in silly pose while jumping really cliché was somewhat off putting.

 

Overall though Wonder Woman was a delight to sit through the first time and just as much if not slightly more so the second.  Patty Jenkins, Zack Snyder and co did a genuinely great job with this film as despite the dark topic of war it never loses its sense of love and hope and truly showcases what makes Wonder Woman such a great and inspirational hero.  If WB & DC are smart they will keep Mrs. Jenkins on as long as possible as she has proven that not only can female directors play ball just as well as the big boys, in some ways they can throw even better!

 

Final Grade

Cinematography: 8 out of 10

Story: 10 out of 10

Overall: 9 out of 10

Wonder Woman is now in theatres nationwide and will be rolling out worldwide over the coming weeks!

 

From Film To Frame: 5 Wonder Woman Comic Book Series Worth Checking Out.

 

With Wonder Woman releasing for previews in Theatres tonight and nationwide tomorrow I figured now would be a good time to plug some of the Amazon Warriors best stories.  So lets travel to Themyscira and beyond and take a look at some of Diana’s best adventures.

 

 

Wonder Woman: Rebirth By Greg Rucka (2016-2017)

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  Acclaimed Comic book writer Greg Rucka teamed-up with talented artists Nicola Scott & Liam Sharp for this 25 part epic consisting of 23 regular issues a special and an annual which shows Diana searching for the Truth of her origins in both the past and present against new and old foes alike.   This run takes the core of the character and reinvigorates it for a new generation of readers.

 

Wonder Woman: A True Amazon By Jill Thompson (2016)

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A one shot graphic novel with beautiful art and story by the ever talented Jill Thompson give us a look at a younger Diana as she learns what it truly means to be an Amazon, a hero, and a leader.

 

Legend of Wonder Woman By Renae De Liz (2016)

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A look at Diana’s childhood all the way to her early years as Wonder Woman, Renae De Liz Legend of Wonder Woman series is a true delight for Wonder Woman fans of all ages

 

Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello (2011-2014)

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A more controversial yet still well done run shows the mighty Amazonian Princess fighting the pantheon of Greek Gods and even have a brief meeting with Orion and the New Gods as well.  If you are ok with a more violent interpretation of the character it may be worth a look.  And then of course there’s also Cliff Chang’s amazing art.

 

Wonder Woman: The Golden Age  By William Moulton Marston (1942-1947)

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Where it all began, the original Golden Age tells of Wonder Woman are always worth revisiting.  We see Diana fight Nazis and villains of all shapes and sorts.

Thoughts On: Building Better Fanbases

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One of the most common complaints in the digital age and even before is how insane and down right toxic fandoms for everything from Comics to Cartoons, Film to television to video games can and have been.  One thing I always find myself wondering is why things are like this and really there is no easy singular answer to this question but today I will be doing the best I can to from my perspective point out the various flaws in the way we as both groups and individuals portray ourselves as fans.  So without further hesitation I ask if you will please humor me and see what you think, am I spot on or way off the mark?

 

 

I. The Psychology of A Fan

1: Fulfilling A Need:  Before one can ask what is wrong with fandom we must first ask why we become a fan of something in the first place?  There is of course no right or wrong answer, different people gain or lose interest in things for different reasons.  However in base psychological terms one could argue that we become a fan because we feel the thing we gain interest in fulfills a psychological &/or emotional need that was previously missing in our lives or was not present to a degree that we were satisfied with.  Whether it is  being inspired by superheroes, letting animation tug at your heartstrings or satisfying your adrenaline rush with certain scifi and horror franchises we all have our own reasons for partaking in the fictions we choose as they give us something we feel everyday life doesn’t and if we like what we partake in well enough, and if we feel it can help fulfill what we see as a gap in our emotional and psychological needs we will justifiably become a long time fan.

2: Obsession:  This is one step that every fan enters to some degree during their lives and it is arguably the most dangerous one to navigate through.  After we get our first hit of something we keep coming back for more, like an addict we can become increasingly obsessed with a character/series/franchise of choice to where it can consume every facet of our lives and we think about it every waking moment of our existence, we branch out from just casual enjoyment to a more hardcore endearment towards our new found obsession.  While this in and of itself is not always a bad thing and may just result in joining a forum or two, occasionally drawing some fan art, watching some Youtube videos and getting a couple of knick-knacks here and there for others and can become an extreme it can result in doing everything you do, every action being about or for this thing you now love to a point to where like any other addict it can interfere with your real life and the relationships with in it.  If left unchecked obsession can lead to an individual being unable to handle any form of criticism towards the thing they like taking a general critique of it as a personal attack on their honor and person which can lead to never ending ever increasing extreme and ridiculous arguments between different factions both within and outside of fan communities.  This is the most dangerous part of the fan life because it can easily lead fans to extremist levels of overreliance of the thing the love and lead them to be so out of touch with reality that they would openly threaten the life of another person for merely having a different opinion or viewpoint than them on it.  Thankfully though many of us grow out of this phase and slowly learn that not every negative word given is an attack on their person.

3: Control & Reconciliation VS Submission:

If you manage to wade through the sea of obsession you will eventually find yourself at the shores of sanity once more.  You can acknowledge that you are a fan of something, accept you may be a fan of this thing for the rest of your lifetime, but you also accept that it is merely an interest a hobby, just one part of your character and psyche and not the totality of your being.  You realize that it is OK if not everyone else has the same interests as you and that it is OK if people like the things you like for different reasons. You learn to control yourself and only indulge in excess content related to this thing you love in moderation over reasonable periods of time and within reasonable expense.   You know there will always be people that both like and dislike your thing and that’s OK.  However if you don’t eventually get to a point where you break free of the bright and shiny lights of obsession you in a way are submitting to something, letting this thing that doesn’t even exist on the same plane as you, letting a mere idea and dream, a metaphysical existence control you and your actions.  Instead of being a mere fan you are now a servant to this force with no will of your own and like a cultist you blindly follow it wherever it goes and whatever the hive mind of the community says.   This is a very dangerous path to tread down as it can stunt personal growth not only as a fan of something but as a person as well.  At the end of the day we have to stand tall and say that we control our interests and that they do not control us.

 

In closing while being a fan can be a very satisfying experience we need to like with any other aspect of our lives practice these things in moderation and sensibility.  We are the ones responsible for our actions both good and bad while participating in a fan community and no level of delusion or obsession can ever justify treating a fictional character or creature with more decency and respect than a living one.  We must learn to keep ourselves in check and not overact to every thing said about our interests we dislike.

 

II. Fixing The Cracks

 

  1. Acknowledging Alternative Views:  While it is true that many sites and critics will be purposely overly negative or unprofessional to rile-up controversy just to get easy clicks and advertisement we should realize that not everyone who has a view differing from our own is out to harm or demonize the things you enjoy, in the wise words of the great sage Linkara “Get over yourself internet, not everyone has the same interests as you!”

2. Putting The Pro Back in Professional:  The advent of the digital age has arguably caused critics both young and old to get a bit lackadaisical in their practices, far too many critics online and in print form have taken a more hostile and troll like approach to their job.  Given this smug sense of elitism has always existed in the profession to a degree but we have known for decades you can dissect a film or any work of art and storytelling without being cruel even if most of your conclusions of it are negative ones.  Critics may be getting paid or praised for their word but at the end of the day they are also a type of fan and it is important to be aware of ones own confirmation biases both positive and negative when going into a review and still trying to give everything you view an even shake and letting each individual work stand or fall on its own legs.

 

3. Talking about the issues:  Whether we like to admit it or not things like Toxic Masculinity, Mental Instability,  Exclusivist mindsets, Sexism, Racism, Homophobia and every other nasty part of human nature can and do butt their ugly heads into fan communities.  It is important we continue to discuss these issues and call out those guilty of these practices to help make a better and safer fan community for those from all walks of life.

 

III. Final Thoughts

Overall the points and topics presented here are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the complexity of human interaction and how fans and fanbases/communities view one another.  In truth you could write an entire series of books about the psychology of the various fanbases on the internet and it could take a lifetime to even get everyone on board to consider addressing the problems inherent in their communities but I do believe that if we are willing to acknowledge the faults both within ourselves and the communities both online and off that we partake in we can make better more professional, mature, caring and empathetic fans in the future.  Or who knows maybe i’m just a madman.

The Flash #22: The Button Part 4 Review

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Published By: DC Comics

Written By: Joshua Williamson

Art by Howard Porter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next chapter in the DC Universe Rebirth Saga has finally come to a close.  Did The Button meet expectations, or was it not quite fast enough to make the cut?

 

To do a brief recap of the third part of the event Bruce & Barry ended up in the Flashpoint timeline where Bruce got to have a short heart to heart with his father Thomas Wayne before they were attacked by the Amazonian and Atlantien forces, during the fight they world begins to vanish and Bruce and Barry are forced to head back into the speed force where they encounter Thawne before he dies with the mysterious button in hand.

 

Part four of the story picks up where part three left off with Batman & Flash following Thawne through the speedforce via the cosmic treadmill while a mysterious voice narrates.   Thawne boasts that after he gets the power of the being behind the time/space manipulations he will go back and mess-up Barry’s childhood even more laughing at all the sadistic things he has planned.  However once Thawne finally arrives at the edge and faces the mysterious entity his bravado quickly becomes fear as he begs for his life and is destroyed by the mysterious force.  The ripples cause Barry & Bruce to be flung off the Cosmic treadmill but Flash finally here’s the voice that has been calling him and says Jay Garrick’s name which allows Jay to temporarily break free from the Speedforce and help get Flash and Batman safely back to the Batcave .  Barry attempts to stabilize him the way he had before with Wally but he fails and Jay is pulled back into the Speedforce.  Barry says he must not have been the right person that he wasn’t Jay’s lightning rod.  The issue ends with the button floating in space and Superman’s shield shown front and center in one of the panels.

 

In terms of story The Button does move the overall narrative of Rebirth forward, however at the end of the day it does feel a bit more like a mean tease more so than anything else.  The book does concrete that we will eventually get teams like the JSA and Legion of Superheroes back and does do some things that will most likely have some long lasting effects on the characters, such as the Death of Eobard Thawne The Reverse Flash, and Bruce having a heart to heart with his father Thomas making him doubt his purpose for being Batman.  Otherwise the story just seems to be a set-up for this Fall’s Doomsday Clock storyline.  On the Brightside however Howard Porter’s art is just as great as ever and his Jay Garrick is a nice mix of the traditional and the John Wessley Shipp version we see on TV.

 

Overall The Button is an interesting story that is just one more piece in the gigantic puzzle that is Rebirth.

 

Final Score

Story: 7

Art: 8

Overall: 7.5

  

BUG! The Adventures of Forager #1 Review

Publisher: DC Comics608

Written By:  Lee & Micael Allred

Art By: Lee & Laura Allred

Letters By:  Nate Piekos of Blambot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ever since last fall when DC Comics launched its new Young Animal imprint fans have been eagerly awaiting to see what would come from it once it expanded beyond its initial four premiere titles.  Well this week the fifth series and first mini to launch from the line has begun and it is a rip-roaring adventure through time, space and the Multiverse with the best hero you’ve never heard of Bug The Forager.  So get your mother boxes ready and let the journey begin.

 

The book starts out by giving us some brief flashbacks to Bug’s previous and supposedly final adventure before having the titular hero wake up and find himself encased in a cocoon inside of a basement.  He looks around and finds a mysterious talking teddy bear that is quickly snatched by an equally mysterious ghost girl whom he follows up the stairs until he runs into a group of monsters that he must fight off before meeting up with the girl once more in a room full of dominos that mimic a motherbox switchboard diagram.  The dominos drop and our hero is given multiple vision of other heroes in need of help throughout the Multiverse.  After this ordeal Bug is found by two more creepy creatures who happen to be servants of the silver age Sandman.  He explains there are here to find “The Dreamer” whom he believes Forager to be and that he needs BUG to wake up if he isn’t already dead that is.  The reason for this is because he needs BUG to help him find one of the rarest metals in all the Multiverse, one that can make dreams reality.  Shortly after being awoken the group is attacked by General Electric a mad scientist in search of the same power as Sandman & BUG.  The first issue ends with BUG stepping through a dimensional portal to parts unknown.

 

 

Overall in terms of story the book is the highly enjoyable retro surrealist kind of tale we have come to expect from both the Young Animal Line and Allred himself.  The book pays tribute to what has come before while still paving the way for something new while setting up an interesting story and mystery for the rest of the series to follow-up on.  The inclusion of lesser known characters like the Silver Age Sandman are a nice plus and really help showcase the scope of the DCU even when the majority of your book takes place in a dream house.  General Electric while a somewhat cheesy villain is introduced in a very fun and bombastic way and the magical McGuffins of the metal and dream whistles actually fit into the story quite well.  The art is also fantastic as it to features Allred’s unique form and style that manages to make the characters feel lively and dynamic and making each one feel unique while still being a working homogeneous part of the same story and world.  If there are any complaints to be had it would be the book does seem to jump around a bit but that only adds to the surrealist feel and style of the work.

 

Overall I would say BUG! The Adventures of Forager is a worthy addition to any DC/Young Animal fans collection.

 

Final Score

Story: 8.5

Art: 8

Overall: 8.5

  Predator: Hunters #1 Review

Published By: Dark Horse Comics

Written By: Chris Warnar

Art By: Fransisco Ruiz Velasco

Lettered By: Michael Heisler


    Dark Horse Comics has been publishing Predator Comics for decades and from Aliens to Batman to Terminators the celestial hunters have gone against many worthy foes, however in this latest series humanity fights back and the hunters become the hunted.
  The book starts out as usual with a group of humans being hunted by the predator with all but one being killed by the beast.  We cut away to a gas station where our main character Nakai is being harassed by his racist redneck boss as he repairs a car.  Shortly after a mysterious trio arrives at the station and confronts Mr. Nakai.  They ask him what experience he has with Predators and he tells them his story.  The trio run by Jaya Soanes then reveal that they are Predator hunters and that they have also survived encounters with or descend from those that hunted the monsters and would like Nakai to join their group.  At first he is reluctant, but eventually he decides to tell off his racist boss and join the team.

 In terms of story the first issue is unsurprisingly primarily set-up and while we do get some brief predator action at the start and via flashbacks most of the issue focuses on setting up the characters and their relation to the extraterrestrial beast.  It isn’t the most entertaining read but it is well executed and gives us decent backgrounds for our human cast and the Predator moments are fairly well done.

 The art by Valesco seems a bit on the genaric side of things but it is done well enough to where the story is fairly easy to follow and the Predator is still intimidating.

  Overall this is a decent start to the mini-series, if not a somewhat subdued one given the premise of the story.

Final Rating

Story: 7

Art: 6

Overall: 6.5

Thoughts on: Everything Wrong With GOTG Vol.2

 

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In 2014 Marvel Studios released the first Guardians of The Galaxy movie which took a lesser known team of space ferrying Marvel heroes as well as a director previously known for what many would consider B-movies and skyrocketed them both into the mainstream with a surprise hit.  Like with most films the movie ended with a promise that some day the titular Guardians would return and as of this past Friday that promise was kept, though despite a fresh rating on the extremely overrated Rotten Tomatoes and lots of fluff pieces from mainstream media outlets the film itself fails to live up to the precedent set by its predecessor and makes for what is arguably not only the worst film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but perhaps one of the worst films of 2017 so far.  So hold your Baby Groots tight dear readers because we are about to take a deep dark look at the multitude of problems with Marvel’s latest theatrical outing.

 

 

 

  1. The Excessive Juvenile/Toilet Humor:   The original Guardians did arguably have a fairly simplistic and zany Saturday morning cartoon style of humor however it was innocent enough and balanced out well enough with the action that it managed to work fairly well.  The sequel however throws all of that out the window as it fills the movie with nothing but base sex and dick jokes nearly every five minutes, there is even an extremely awkward and cringe worthy scene where Drax asks Peter’s father Ego about his dick in front of quill and the rest of the Guardians.  This movies sense of humor is basically the equivalent to a 13 year old screaming penis over and over, it is genuinely grotesque, off putting and makes watching the film nearly unbearable.

 

2. The Casual Sexism: From beginning to end the film is filled with casual sexism.  From the start portraying Star Lord’s mother as a complete idiot  to having Gamora be a more subdued version of herself from the previous film and making Mantis a stereotypical “Submissive Asian girl” the film never lets up on its blatant and casual sexism. Oh and lets not forget that Yandu’s first appearance in the film is with him and his crew  on a planet of sex robots.

 

3. The Racism: As mentioned previously the portrayal of Mantis is horrible.  The character is portrayed as dull and submissive, referred to as Ego’s “pet” and takes whatever verbal abuse characters throw at her, especially from Drax.  It doesn’t help that she is a vary blatant stereotype of an Asian woman, which is just bone headed and disrespectful on Gunn & Co’s part.

 

4. Everyone is a sociopath!:  From Yandu killing his whole crew after a failed mutiny to Nebula’s obsession with killing her sister and Ego wanting to wipe out/assimilate all life in the Universe Guardians of the Galaxy is filled with violent and vile sociopaths! Even our heroes come off as huge jerks for most of the film and not even in a lovable rouges kind of way, just in a generally disturbing and unsettling kind of way

 

 5. Exacerbates its tropes:  Everything that made the previous film work so well is back and on steroids, twice as many classic rock songs, twice as much Rocket & Groot, twice as much blue-collar comedy.  It is almost as if the old saying “less is more” was completely ignored by this film as it takes what made the first film so enjoyable and throws it in your face to the point that you can’t help but be annoyed and aggravated by it.

 

6: This is NOT A kids/family friendly movie. Guardians was heavily marketed on kids networks like CN, DisneyXD & Nick, but despite the adorable Baby Groot this film is not kid friendly, the core audience for this movie is obviously 13-16 year old boys who still think that dick jokes are funny and that girls are icky and only good for bullying and sex.

 

In closing Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is one of the most shameful pieces of comic book film making to be put on the big screen in well over a decade and that fact that all it takes for main stream media to celebrate or deem something fresh is to slap a Disney/Marvel logo on it is just flat out disappointing and insulting to both the art of cinema and professional critique and criticism everywhere.  So do yourself a favor and skip this one, you’d have a much more enjoyable experience just copying the films playlist and staring at a tree in your backyard while listening to ELO.

FCBD Countdown Day 1!  Lists For Beginners: All-Ages Titles

It is five days until Free Comic Book Day 2017.  A day when comic shops nation wide give away free books to customers old and new alike!  On top of free books many other shops have sales for trades & back issues so this week I am working on master lists for different kinds of readers starting with all-ages titles for kids & parents wanting to give the books a chance.  Below is a list of titles suitable for readers of all-ages. 


-Adventure Time (Boom Studios)

-Archie (Archie)

-Archie Comics Digests (Archie)

-Babysittters Club (Scholastic)

-Backstagers (Boom)

-Batman Adventures (DC)

-Betty & Veronica  (Archie)

-DC Superhero Girls (DC)

-Disney Fairies  (Papercutz)

-Disney Princesses (Joe Books)

-Darkwing Duck (Joe Books)

-Descendents  (Tokyopop)

-Donald Duck (IDW)

-Drama (Scholastic)

-Duck Avenger (IDW)

-Goldie Vance (Boom)

-Gotham Academy (DC)

-Hero Cats (Action Lab)

– I Am Groot! (Marvel)

Jem & The Holograms (IDW)

-Jonsey (Boom)

-Josie & The Pussycats (Archie)

-Jughead (Archie)

-Looney Tunes (DC)

-Lumberjanes (Boom)

-Mickey Mouse (IDW)

-Mickey X (Papercutz)

-Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur  (Marvel)

-My Little Pony (IDW)

-Nimona (Scholastic)

-Over The Garden Wall (Boom)

-Legend of Zelda  (VIZ)

-Loudhouse (Papercutz)

-Miraculous  (Action Lab)

-Monster High (Papercutz)

-Powerpuff Girls (IDW)

-Princeless (Action Lab)

-Regular Show (Boom)

-Scooby-Doo: Where Are You!? (DC)

Scooby-Doo Team-Up (DC)

-Smurfs (Papercutz)

-Sonic The Hedgehog (Archie)

-Spongebob Squarepants (Bongo)

-Squirrel Girl (Marvel)

-Steven Universe (Boom Studios)

-Stitch! (Tokyopop)

Strawberry Shortcake (IDW)

-Supergirl: Adventures in The 8th Grade (DC)

-Superman Adventures (DC)

-Superman Family (DC)

-Superpowers (DC)

-Super Mario Asventures (VIZ)

-Teen Titans Go! (DC)

-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures  (IDW)

-Tiny Titans (DC)

-Uncle Scrooge (IDW)

-Walt Disney Comics & Stories (IDW)
 And there you have it a list of notable all ages titles to enjoy this Free Comic Book Day!

The Flash #21: The Button Part 2 Review

Publisher: DC Comicswcn02k72xoey

Written By: Joshua Williamson

Art  By: Howard Porter, Hi-Fi

Letters By: Steve Wands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The latest Rebirth Event continues with a murder mystery very personal to the scarlet speedster, but as we soon find out the case is big on questions and short on answers.

 

The second part of the Batman/Flash crossover “The Button” starts with an elder Johhny Thunder on top of the retirement home begging Thunderbolt to come back to him and help him find the Justice Society of America as he blames himself for their disappearance.  Meanwhile Barry Allen examining the site while also monolouging about how he is relieved Thawne is finally dead though disappointed someone else did it and that the criminal will never truly know justice.  He goes to ask Bruce what he remembers about the incident but Batman can give him little information on top of what he already knows, Barry says he is going to investigate more on his own and heads to the Justice League Watchtower.  While there he dusts off the Cosmic Treadmill and prepares to start it up as Batman walks in and tells Barry that he is going with him.  At first Flash states that Bruce is too injured to come along but he states that he’s been through worse so the two go together into the speedforce to travel back in time to The Flashpoint to see if they can discover who killed Thawne and who put the mysterious button in the Batcave in the firstplace.  While traveling through time they see flashes of the stolen years Wally had previously talked about showcasing events such as the formation of the JLA in the silver age, the first Crisis on Infinite Earths and Identity Crisis.  Suddenly a storm catches them and they get knocked out of the timestream into the Flashpoint Batcave where Bruce meets his father Thomas Wayne who is that timelines Batman.

 

Overall Williamson continues King’s narrative quite well the story while a bit fast paced is well executed and moves the event forward enough to keep readers interested.  The dialogue between Barry and Bruce shows how the two are more similar than they would like to admit but also how they contrast when dealing with issues.  The greater narrative or Rebirth is moved forward a bit as well as we see more hints at the return of The Justice Society and we see part of the ten years time taken from the DC Universe when Bruce & Barry are in the speedforce.  In terms of art Howard Porter’s art may not be quite as detailed as the art in the previous installment however it still fits the narrative well and helps give The Flash flair in his motions throughout.  Hi-Fi also does an excellent job on the colors complimenting Porter’s art quite well, although the costumes do look a bit overly shiny at times.  Once all is said and done however the second installment of “The Button” while not as suspenseful as the first is still an enjoyable read overall.

 

Final Score

Story: 8 out of 10

Art 7 out of 10

Overall: 7.5 out of 10