Quickie Reviews 7.4.18

TV-Westworld Season 2: Westworld is one of better cyberpunk stories I’ve seen around. Yeah, it fist the rough destination. Season 2 was in some ways a amrked improvement over season 1 and at the same time not as good. Episodes like Riddle of the Sphynx and Kikuaya were among the best of the entire show. The visit to Shogun World and increased presences of certain characters were great. Yet season one just felt better as an overall work. Especially the big ending for season 2 fell flat most the time, with some overly complicated nonsense. Still-good stuff.

TV-Luke Cage Season 2: Season 1 was great though I understand why some people had problems with it. I also agree these Netflix Marvel shows could use an episode trim. Now going into season 2 I was worried because half of daredevil 2 was awful and Jessica Jones season 2 was frustrating and made everyone unlikable at the end. Cage however came through with the best season 2 and possibly a better season than 1? Downside is that Luke is less interesting the middle section but luckily Mariah Stokes, Shades, and Bushmaster are there. Also, Iron Fist wasn’t annoying! So thanks. Now cut these shows down to 10 episodes.

TV-GLOW Season 2: At first I thought, season 1 was better. But after a few days, season 2 is an improvement. If you liked/loved GLOW season 1 you are going to love this season. Especially with the expanded role of Kia Stevens (who is in the best episode) as well as more developments for other ladies outside Alison Brie or Betty Gilpin. Everyone is great, there’s great storylines happening, and its an engaging series. It also never makes fun of wrestling which is important to me as a wrestling fan. This show is one of the best comedy (dramedy?) and sometimes I’m sad at how the show seems short. Give me less Netflix/Marvel epsiodes and more Netflix/GLOW episodes. Or not… Eiether way, short list of favorite show this year.

Movie-Tomb Raider: How does a movie with such a great cast and ideas become boring? Lara doesn’t do a lot of tomb raiding and so the film takes too long to kick into gear. We get some good stuff with Alicia Vikander as Lara. I dug the cameo by Nick Frost and liked his Into the Badlands partner Daniel Wu. Still, not enough action really hurts the film. Too bad.

Book-I’m Thinking About Ending Things: Picked this up at LA Book fair. It was short and had a lot of quotes about the great the book is. It never hooked me at the start and when that happens I usually quit but I stuck with it. Which means reading a few pages every other day or so. Anyway… What was this about again? An unnamed woman on a road trip with her boyfriend who is thinking about ending things and become a psychological thriller. Yeah… Okay… I didn’t care.

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Film: Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom from 2018 (Director: J. A. Bayona, Writers: Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly Based on Characters by Michael Crichton, Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, B. D. Wong, and Jeff Goldblum, Runtime: 128 mins)

Jurassic Park is one of the greatest movies ever made. Every sequel sucks. That said, the Jurassic World movies are dumb fun garbage. Like the previous film. I can’t tell you why. It’s simple, light, breezey, with some good set pieces. The acting is fine. There really is nothing special about it but I dig it as disposal pop, background noise. This one, dumb story cool stuff. Because of HORROR!

This film’s touches of horror enhance the experience. From the opening to the anxiety in certain sequences later one. The dinosaur being kept at bay away from Bryce and Justice’s characters by lava. The part where the two are trapped in that ride sinking underwater. The lab under the mansion. The way the auction is staged. I love the look and damn it, the music bring the horror touches is sweet.

Now, I get it. It’s a thin script and things happen that probably shouldn’t. Like why is the transport of the dinosaurs so damn short? What’s going on with the young girl Maisie, isn’t really important. You can see some things going a certain way and it ends up there. But damn it! I’m in on all the stupidity. It’s dinosaurs baby! And that ending makes me wonder where things are going to go in the third film.

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Wrestling Is Real: NXT Takeover-Chicago 2018

My favorite WWE program are these NXT Takeovers. NXT is their “developmental” which use to just mean guys trained in their system with a handful of indy dudes. Now it’s the opposite. Anyway, they have a show I don’t watch but I follow spoilers and look forward to these pig shows. Only 2 hours and 30 minutes and better than most wrestling programs. By most I mean real WWE pay per views like Money in the Bank which happened the next day.

1. The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong w/Adam Cole) (c) defeated Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch in 16:00-Tag team match for the NXT Tag Team Championship

Undisputed Era is a stable of guys who are all ex-Ring of Honor wrestlers. ROH maybe the #3 or 4 company in the US, in the world they fall out of the top 5. They have all worked Chicago on the indys so the crowd was solidly behind them. The team of Lorcan and Burch is interesting. Lorcan was a buzz indy guy who got signed before really taking off and Burch actually just resigned. He’s a British wrestler who was part of NXT years ago, then released, and went on to work the indy scene. This was a hard hitting, action packed affair. O’Reilly and Strong make a great tag team. Generally speaking I think Strong is good but I just don’t like him. Lorcan’s been with NXT for a couple years and this is his first Takeover. He’s put in a lot of work and it sucks its taking this long for him to get some spotlight but him, and Burch, made the most of it. Great tag match, great opener.

2. Ricochet defeated Velveteen Dream in 22:10

Indy vs Developmental. The King vs the Prince. Ricochet has been working for years as one of the worlds premier wrestlers. An incredible high flier but underrated striker and deceptively powerful. His signing with WWE was hughe news and his first singles feud is against one of the best original WWE creations, the Velveteen Dream. Dream actually did work sometime on the indy’s before entering WWE’s Tough Enough, losing but still getting a contract. The former Patrick Clark pretends that “he has no memory” of this. The crux of the feud has been Dream targeting indy stars to prove a point, that he is the man in NXT. Proudly proclaiming that whatever Ricochet can do, he can do better. What makes the feud even more interesting is that megastar the Rock has endorsed Ricochet while WWE superstar trying to turn credible actor John Cena has endorsed the Dream.

This match was amazing. Sure, Dream is still young and there are parts for him to improve upon but there is few young wrestlers who come close to his raw talent. He has a defined character and strong promos which is something WWE values while at the same time lacking in much of their talent. His selling and expressions are above and beyond. Here’s the thing, he’s also good in the ring. He might not be technical or an amazing striker, but he has a cool moveset and challenges himself. In this match alone doing one of the most complicated dives to the floor (middle rope step up, somersault to the floor) or copying one of Ricochet’s standard somersault sentons. In some more years, he is going to be scary good. Just as Ricochet is scary good. he is a better wrestler than Dream, Dream makes it more important. This was my favorite match on the show. Such an amazing match and I look forward to when they cross paths again.

3. Shayna Baszler (c) defeated Nikki Cross in 9:25-Singles match for the NXT Women’s Championship

Shayna Baszler is legit. As in you don’t want to fight her. Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiujistu, only certified female catch wrestling coach, and ex-MMA. Baszler is the real deal. Sometimes however that doesn’t translate in wrestling. Wrestling is a different beast in the way you work and the way you connect with the crowd. Baszler has only be wrestling professionally for a few years. That said, she has the look and the attitude and when she is allowed to bully she is very imposing. This match was one of the better matches I’ve seen with her. Nikki Cross playing just crazy and unscared, throwing Baszler for a loop shows the continued growth of Baszler. It allowed Baszler to showcase different expressions and body language. The match itself was fascinating. I wouldn’t rank as a great match but a very good encounter. the ending with Nikki smiling while in the choke before going to sleep is one the best visuals I’ve seen all year.

4. Aleister Black (c) defeated Lars Sullivan in 14:07-Singles match for the NXT Championship

I feel for Black. He’s been on a tear since officially debuting in NXT. He is undefeated in one on one singles matches. Yet second show in a row where he is not the main event. First as the defending champion. Still, him and Lars Sullivan put on a good match. Lars is talented “monster” type. He takes a lot of hits and keeps coming. Black basically working as an underdog. The match was good, there was a major missed spot but it didn’t take away from the match. I don’t have much on this to say. I think NXT should have kept Andrade Almas for a couple more months and kept the title on him. Black is good, very good, but seems to be missing that extra something. Though he is better than half the former NXT champions. First time seeing Lars in a full match. Impressive but WWE has too many big man, monster types. In NXT its cool but I worry a call up will hurt him. Good match though.

5. Tommaso Ciampa defeated Johnny Gargano in 35:29-Chicago Street Fight

Honestly, I don’t care about this feud. Not like most people do. I think Ciampa and Gargano are very good wrestlers. I just seem to care. I liked their previous match which headlined the last Takeover show. That said, I didn’t go full five stars in people did. I went into this thinking, if they’re doing it again than Ciampa wins. I was right. This was a very good match. Better than half the card. I just have a hard time getting into this feud, I don’t know why.

Overall, great show. Money in the Bank was pretty lackluster so skip it.

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Films: Incredibles 2/ Tag

I keep forgetting to do reviews…

Incredibles 2 from 2018 (Writer/Director: Brad Bird, Stars: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell and Samuel L. Jackson, Runtime: 118 mins)

So Incredibles 2 was great but not as amazing as the first one. That’s the quick. Getting deeper…

Starting right after the first film, mush hasn’t changed. That new sense of confidence is dashed quickly. However a fan of supers contact Mr. and Mrs. Incredible as well as Fro-Zone. The plan is to bring supers back into the limelight by showing how much good they do. They decide to focus on Elasti-Girl, as she’s very cost effective. This means she causes less collateral damage. Have her do some hero work and then use that as base to bring supers back. Elast-Girl’s first days as a solo hero has her dealing with the mysterious Screenslaver. Mr. Incredible has his hands full dealing with helping Dash with school, his daughter Violet’s love life, and the fact Jack has so many powers.

Elasti-Girl is smart and capable and her scenes like chasing the train or fighting Screenslaver are great. Mr. Incredible’s struggle as parent is interesting and allows for the jack vs Raccoon fight which is incredible. I like Edna Mode’s scenes and how she takes to Jack. The kids getting the chance to rescue the parents is fantastic. It’s just a warm action packed superhero film. It has so much heart and I love the family dynamic. Something that has been lacking in the wave of all these superhero films and TV shows. The closest might be Black Lightning but still a different dynamic.

I liked the addition of Voyd. I know its probably unlikely to see more of her in the future but if they do a third one, I’d be happy to see her again. The only real downside is the villain is somewhat predictable. Still, if you loved Incredibles you are going to be happy. I was.

Tag from 2018 (Director: Jeff Tomsic, Writers: Rob McKittrick and Mark Steilen with Story by Mark Steilen and Based on It Takes Planning, Caution to Avoid Being It by Russell Adams, Stars: Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Hannibal Buress, Jon Hamm, and Jeremy Renner with Annabelle Wallis, Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones, and Leslie Bibb, Runtime: 105 mins)

Tag is good. I thought at least. It’s not a great comedy. But its far from a bad comedy.

So, very loosely based on a true story about a group of friends who have played tag for decades. There is a list of rules and the play it throughout may. The story starts when Ed Helms character (Hogan) tags Jon Hamm’s character (Bob) during an interview with a reporter from the Wall Street Journal. Hogan talks about how its the year they get Jerry (played by Jeremy Renner). He has a wedding coming up at the end of month of play, and hasn’t invited any of his friends. Jerry’s never been tagged and is supposedly retiring after the season. The journalist (played by Annabelle Wallis) comes along because its a more interesting story. Hogan, his wife (Anna played by Isla Fisher who should be in bigger films), and Bob grab Jake Johnson’s character Chili and then Hannibal Buress’s character Sable. First act done they get into trying to get Jerry.

So that’s the film. Trying to tag Jerry until just part way through the third act with a depressing twist kicks in but the film tries to go out light hearted. There is a part with an old love interest that complicates the game. Some melodrama to pad the story out. I get why some people don’t like the film. It’s a movie about grown men playing tag. It’s not exactly something that has high stakes until they try to put stakes into the film and it doesn’t quite work. Yet, if you just one something laid back with some pretty amusing visual cues and damn fine cast, I say check out out.

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Wrestling is Real: New Japan Pro-Wrestling Presents Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall

In my effort to keep this blog updated more frequently this year than any other year, I’m going to talk about wrestling again. I don’t do it that often but figured I’m do it here.

NJPW is the critically acclaimed, second largest wrestling promotion in the world. Dominion is their second biggest show of the year behind Wrestle Kingdom which is at the start of January. This is also the big show after their long running Best of Super Juniors (BOSJ) tournament and the major turning point of the year before G1 Climax tournament kicks off feuds that will lead into the new year. So a big show. Lets get into it.

I watched this from midnight to just before five am. I don’t normally watch live because I don’t want to but I’m getting tired of waking up after a big show and having big things spoiled before I have a chance to watch the VOD. This is only the third show I’ve streamed live since getting NJPWWorld account a few years back.

1. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru) (c) defeated Roppongi 3K (SHO and YOH) in 9:29-Tag team match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship

NJPW roster is broken into stables, some of which have aesthetics. Suzuki-Gun, named after wrestling/MMA legend Minoru Suzuki’s aesthetic is mean and win at all costs. Masked wrestler El desperado and veteran Kanemaru definitely live up to the “win at all costs” motto. RPGK are youngsters who are part of CHAOS. A stable with no aesthetic really. A strange mishmash of personalities but they have a lot of titles so it works. Now SHO and YOH are the ace tag team of junior heavyweight division since returning from excursion last year. Wrestlers trained in NJPW’s dojo system go over seas for a while to better grow. These two also got a new “sexy!” photobook out and everything. It was a surprise they lost here, really. They won singles matches against these guys in BOSJ tournament and are becoming fan faves. However the story is that they’re still young and have a lot to learn? The match was good. nice hot opener with a loud crowd. The junior division will be (mostly) put on ice after the brief Kizuna Road tour so that the company can focus on heavyweights.

***

2. Taguchi Japan (Juice Robinson and David Finlay) defeated CHAOS (Jay White and YOSHI-HASHI) in 7:26

Taguchi Japan is not really a stable. Pretty much everyone who was not part of a stable/team was called New Japan Army but junior star (and WWE’s Finn Balors old partner) Ryusuke Taguchi sort of stepped up as captain of everyone. Anyway Juice and Finlay (son of legendary Fit Finlay and a fourth generation wrestler) took on random CHAOS pairing of YOSHI-HASHI and US Champion Jay White. This was predictable as NJPW has a big San Francisco show coming up in July and speculation around White defending. So Juice pinned him, then made motions for the belt. That’s the only story here. This was skippable.

**1/2

3. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr.) defeated CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano) in 8:42

The odd thing about this, is all the gold is from a small British indy wrestling company called Revolution Pro. One of NJPW’s partners. So Suzuki and ZSJ are the RevPro tag champs and Ishii the RevPro Heavyweight champ, and he won that from ZSJ. Also, apparently Suzuki and Ishii are angry with each other. Suzuki is a legit guy, one of the founders of Japanese MMA. ZSJ is the best technician in pro-wrestling with too many damn holds. Ishii is a bruiser, tough as nails. Yano is a comedy wrestler and cheater. Caught up? Anyway, this was good. Suzuji and Ishii brought the mean. ZSJ countered a Yano low blow (strike to the balls) into an attack on Yano’s arm using his thighs.

***

4. Michael Elgin defeated Hirooki Goto (c) and Taichi in 13:46-Three way match for the NEVER Openweight Championship

NJPW does have too many titles. This one’s original purpose is forgotten and exists now for guys who are important enough to need direction. Goto (of CHAOS) is the NJPW bridesmaid, never going to be the top dude but in his role as gatekeeper (midcard guy who can beat top card guys and it doens’t hurt him to lose to lower card guys) he is great. Taichi (Suzuki-Gun) use to be a junior and is now heavyweight. he is a divisive figure. Not as divisive as Mike Elgin (not going to get into that garbage). Three way matches go wrong a lot because you have to account for the third person, especially in one fall to a finish match. This one over delivered, becoming real good. Goto was the fighting champion, Elgin was the power, and Taichi was the asshole trying to pick his spots. Crowd got into this one, they rarely get three way matches like this.

***1/2

5. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon (Sanada and Evil) (c) in 15:03-Tag team match for the IWGP Tag Team Championship

YB of Bullet Club (maybe?)/Elite (definitely) made the transition from junior division where they dominated to heavyweight division earlier this year. Basically it just means they were given the a-okay to switch divisions really. Now Bullet Club is NJPW’s most popular international brand. You’ve probably seen those shirts. LIJ is the most popular brand in Japan, which is actually based on a brand from Mexico’s CMLL which barely exists anymore. LIJ is the smallest stable with only 5 members, two juniors and three heavyweights. So this was a very good match. A lot of heavyweight tag matches are forgettable. Too much belt trading, too many multi-team matches. EVIL and SANADA were suppose to represent the company looking to rebuild with two popular midcard guys who are part of their most popular brand. Bucks however are the world traveled tag team masters so… yeah. They won the titles.

***1/2

6. Bullet Club (Cody, Hangman Page and Marty Scurll) defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Jushin Thunder Liger and Rey Mysterio Jr. in 11:35

Cody (formerly Cody Rhodes, son of wrestling legend Dusty) is the (maybe?) current leader of BC, though he rarely works NJPW as he is contracted to NJPW partner Ring of Honor in the states. Still, he’s out for these big shows. So is his partners, though Mart Scurll was just in the BOSJ tournament, finishing third in his block. Their opponents is NJPW superstar Hiroshi Tanahashi, influential legend Jushin Thunder Liger, and lucha libre/WWE megastar Rey Mysterio Jr. This was good. Nothing much else to say about it.

***

7. Hiromu Takahashi defeated Will Ospreay (c) in 20:20-Singles match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship

BOSJ 25 winner Hiromu Takahashi gets his title shot against the champ a week after a grueling finals. Ospreay, the champ finished second in his block but has been havign an amazing year since winning the title in January. Background, Hiromu is LIJ. Punk look, crazy antics, almost childlike wonder. He is a company superstar. he lost the title a year ago and has been trying to get the belt back. So his path has crossed with ospreay’s multiple times before. Ospreay, repping CHAOS, won the title a second time in January in a four corners match that included Hiromu. Then beat Hiromu in his first defense of his second title reign. Ospreay has had an incredible year. Also, both guys are crazy and Ospreay almost broke his neck a few months ago.

This was dynamite. Aggressive, action packed, with moments that would make you cringe. These two are on top of their game and the crowd was behind Hiromu. Best match of the show in my opinion.

*****

8. Chris Jericho defeated Tetsuya Naito (c) in 17:16-Singles match for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship

WWE, hell, wrestling fans in general know Chris Jericho. he worked in Japan early in his career but really we count this as his second NJPW match. His opponent, NJPW superstar and leader of LIJ, Tetsuya Naito. Naito portrays calm, apathetic but dynamic. This was mean, and scary. Naito had cuts around his eyes and was bleeding from his ear by the end of this. Jericho is wrestling unlike anything before. Might be his age, but he wrestles with such aggression and recklessness. This match had a few flubs but I felt a level of hate here that was intense. Surprise victor and WOW!

****1/4

9. Kenny Omega defeated Kazuchika Okada (c) 2-1 in 1:04:50-No time limit two out of three falls match for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship

Leader of CHAOS, Okada is the ace of the company. He dethroned the former ace (Tanahashi). He’s broken most the records for the IWGP Heavyweight championship. Longest single title reign (4th reign at 720 days), most combined days (1516 days), and most successful title defenses in a single title reign (12). He’s just missing combined successful defenses. His 4th reign will be fondly remembered for the amount of classics its produced like against Katsuyori Shibata or Hiroshi Tanahashi and of course Kenny Omega. The once leader of Bullet Club, member of Being the Elite, and one half of the Golden Lover’s with Kota Ibushi. Omega won the 2016 G1 Climax and challenged Okada only to lose in a match that had the world buzzing. The two did it ago at least years Dominion but it ended in a draw. The two went at it a couple months later in G1 Climax tournament where Omega put the champ away.

Okada had to put away other people in that time but the thought of losing one match, of being 1-1-1 against Omega has gnawed at him. So after beating Tanahashi at Dontaku, he challenged Omega. No time limit. Omega raised the stakes, 2 out of 3 falls. Omega, since Dominion, won and lost the US title. Went to the finals of 2017 G1 Climax but lost to Naito. Fought off Jericho. Battled for control of BUllet Club against Cody. reunited with his former partner, rival, boyfriend Kota Ibushi. That leads here. Ibushi in his corner, Omega went about winning the title. A tense, long, brutal match. Okada taking the first fall with a roll up pin. Omega winning with his finisher the One Winged Angel. Then the third fall where Okada could not unleash a good Rainmaker lariat and cover. Omega fought through, finally dethroning Okada.

Now, I prefer their first match overall. But this was great.

*****

Final Thoughts: Only one championship did not change hands. The only native Japanese with titles are juniors. This is a big deal. Anyway, top to bottom great show, one of the best wrestling cards of the year.

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Films: Solo / Red Sparrow

Here are some short, quick reviews.

Solo: A Star Wars Story from 2018 (Director: Ron Howard, Writers: Jonathan Kasdan and Lawrence Kasdan, Stars: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo, and Paul Bettany, Runtime: 135 mins)

Han Solo, a character I actually was always sort of ‘meh’ about gets his own film. And I really fucking liked it. Here’s the thing, I was always more invested in Luke, Leia and Vader. I say that as a casual Star Wars fan. So when this got announced I thought “Yeah, sure. Okay.” The trailers did little to interest me but I figured it would still be good. I was very fucking impressed.

This space western has chases, train robberies, daring escapes and more. Alden is actually fun to watch as is most the cast. Glover as Lando and Harrelson a character new to the series. I loved Lando’s droid. She was great. There’s a couple cool twists, some big set pieces, and this feels just feels huge. I honestly would put this in my top 5 Star Wars films and I really only rank New Hope and the Empire Strikes Back.

As for the look, it looks good. A bit dreary like Rogue One but I’m fine with that. I don’t have much else to write. I was happy, laughing, digging the film from the start to the finish.

Red Sparrow from 2018 (Director: Francis Lawrence, Writers: Justin Haythe, based on the 2013 novel by Jason Matthews, Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, and Jeremy Irons, Runtime: 140 mins)

After seeing Solo with my uncle, we hit the PF Changs then headed to his house. So this is what I wanted to see. A spy thriller starring Jennifer Lawrence as a Russian ballet turned covert operative. This film is too long. Thats my note. Sure the length does not look like its a big deal with the limited action it does feel like it stalls multiple times in the film. I kept waiting for it to pick up.

Outside of that, the film was fine. Visually it looks good. The settings and locales really stand out. The stylistic choices really pop through out. I thought the stuff in the Sparrow school was pretty good. The sudden bursts of violence from Dominika were brutal and I would have liked more of that. On the acting from, Jennifer’s fine. Though sometimes her accent seems to break. The guy who plays her uncle is a creepy asshole. I really disliked the character so, well done Matthias. I did appreciate the mystery the movie started to put together and explained at the end for a nice twist.

Notes for a sequel? Speed it up or add more action.

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The Box: May Comics

I get comics through a subscription service and so I got 4 weeks of comics this past Wednesday. This is whats up.

Batman: White Knight #8-The final to writer/artist Sean Murphy’s excellent mini. The story based on a “reformed” Jack Napier aka the Joker, looking to fix Gotham as well as the fall from grace of Batman. It started out hot, cooled down. Still really good, okay it’s pretty great, but I definitely think it lost steam. If you like Batman and Joker (and Harley) check out the trade in September(?).

Deathstroke #31-It’s Deathstroke vs Batman. Writer Christopher Priest continue his run on Deathstroke and while the last arc was mostly hit and miss with me, he’s still got Deathstroke kicking all sorts of ass with lots of twists and turns. While the book isn’t quite classic superhero (or anti-hero) the artwork definitely is from the talented art team.

Detective Comics #980 and 981-I actually skipped the other Batman books during Rebirth cause I dug the team premise. Kind of a mistake because Batman is amazing. But this book is still good and its James Tynion’s wrap up to the his entire run. A run that I generally give a thumbs up to. I loved that this one acknowledged Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown’s retconned lives. I loved both as Batgirl when they had the cape and cowl. I still don’t care about Tim Drake or Kate Kane. I don’t think I ever will. The artwork through out the run is sometimes great, sometimes “meh” and a lot of times solid. But if you read superhero comics set within current cannon/shared universe you get use to a lack of artistic consistency.

Domino #2-Gail Simone, David Baldeon and companies second issue is fun. That’s all I got.

Doom Patrol #11-I’m actually surprised we’re at #11 with how this book comes out. Anyway we confront Retcon. Get his back story. Lots of craziness happens. It’s Doom Patrol, if its not crazy who cares? A good book but middle of the stack type.

Golosseum volume 1-What? Yasushi Baba’s manga about a future with a device called “Peacemakers” making their wearers immune to weapons. It’s a big martial arts melee. Putin is the bad guy and Rasputin is still alive, leading two warriors against his men. The US, China and Japan got their goals to. Oh, and Hulk Hogan guy is out here kinda being racist like real Hulk Hogan. I don’t know, I can’t be mad at the badly written black characters beating up the LAPD really. Like NWA said, FUCK THE POLICE. But Hogan (aka Axe Bowgun, a play on Hogan’s Japanese wrestling finish, Axe Bomber) had to save LA from the gangs. That’s a spoiler but not spoiling much of the important stuff going on. I liked it quite a bit. Hopefully volume 2 is just as good, or better.

Mother Panic: Gotham AD #3-I dug the first run of this series even when my favorite artists were not providing art. I did not care for Shawn Crystal’s work on some of those issues. Anyway, this book jumps to an alternate reality since the recent Young Animals/DC Proper crossover. It’s okay. The back up entitled Rots and Leaves by Motehr Panic writer Jody Houser and art by Paulina Ganucheu however is amazing. Beautiful art and fills in a piece of the current series plot but could be its own thing. Its a tragic story with the Gotham City Sirens but ultimately focused on Harley and Ivy. Harley/Ivy fans should seek this out. But you might cry.

Runaways #9-A Doombot Dr. Doom drops by. Julie Power is struggling with her relationship with Karolina Dean. Then there’s the central story of Molly and her friend who is eternally 13. Lots of teen drama, great art, reminder that the Hulu show sucks.

The Terrifics #4-Artist Doc Shaner draws this one, and its the best looking issue. This DC styled Fantastic Four has been a pretty good throwback superhero comic book. It’s like good pop, fun but disposable. I’ll probably forget about it until the next issue comes out. Like most superhero comics but at least this one will make me smile.

The Wild Storm #13-The slow burn resurrection of Wildstorm continues. I guess. Is it the resurrection? Focused on John Lynch and the guy would be best known as Backlash. I think, I’m not too familiar with Wildstorm comics outside WildCATs and Gen 13 and I barely remember what happened there. For me the interesting thing is the three warring factions. IO, Skywatch (I think thats their name) and Philip Marlowe. This is high science fiction espionage. Very cool book.

My subscription service ships every fourth week so I didn’t get three great Image books, so that will be in next months package. I dropped Green Arrow. Got a few FCBD comics I probably won’t read. Also got Port of Earth and Isola. I put those into a stack with the other issues. I’ll read them later.

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