Category Archives: ITHO’S REVIEWS

Spider-Man Homecoming Review

SpiderManHomecoming

No Spoilers

Teenage coming-of-age movies are an evergreen subject for Hollywood films, with many classic movies starring the High School teen trying to figure out life within a four year period in two hours or less.  Ferris Buller’s Day OffThe Breakfast Club, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, even the wacky and high concept ones like Encino Man, Weird Science, or Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Wonderful films starring teenage characters and their quest for popularity, love, and not becoming a jaded adult. It’s hard to tire of films like those, even as an burgeoning adult myself, because I remember my high school days vividly. So it is that Spider-Man Homecoming joins the many great high school movies for this generation, and firmly establishes Tom Holland as THE Spider-Man… Continue reading Spider-Man Homecoming Review

Gotham Academy Second Semester #10 Review

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By Brenden Fletcher, Becky Cloonan, Karl Kerschl, Adam Archer, Sandra Hope, Massyk, Rob Haynes, Steve Wands

Olive Silverlock (under the influence of Calamity) continues her quest for vengeance in the name of Millie Jane Cobblepot, against her last living descendent, Oswald. Olive’s friends back at Gotham Academy search for a way to help her, but Maps has to deal with the Terrible Trio first.

In this iteration, the Terrible Trio is a secret club at the Academy who hold all the deepest secrets of the history of Gotham. With Maps making it her personal mission to uncover all the secrets she comes across, the Trio has her in their sights to be silenced.

While its been a long road getting here: the secret of Millie Jane Cobblepot, the intricacies of Gotham Academy, Olive Silverlock’s parentage and relationship to Kyle Mizoguchi, seeing it move forward a tiny bit is still as entertaining as ever.

Adam Archer’s art is distinctive, expressive and animated. Together with Massyk’s backgrounds and Haynes’ breakdowns, Gotham Academy remains one of DC’s most visually unique books, even against other Bat titles. The characters all have a Manga influenced style to them, while the world they inhabit is lush and detailed. These contrasts help to craft the children’s innocence against the complexities of the adult world which they must navigate to reach their goals.

While the inclusion of the major Gotham residents has never been necessary, Fletcher, Cloonan, and Kerschal have built a plot where it seems fitting to bring in characters like Batman, Penguin, and Two Face. Calamity is tearing through Gotham, and her targets have to be those that are instantly recognizable to readers as well as those who they know as important to the DCU. At the same time, Gotham Academy retains its human, or rather youthful, heart as Olive’s friends continue to solve mysteries and deal with their own drama while the larger plot plays out.

Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent

Predator vs Judge Dredd vs Aliens #4 Review

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By John Layman, Chris Mooneyham, Michael Atiyeh, Michael Heisler, Glenn Fabry and Adam Brown

The final showdown between the Predators, Aliens, Dredd, and Dr.Reinstott is here. With all of Mega City One in the balance, it should be an epic conclusion. Instead, it all sort of falters to its predictable beats. Continue reading Predator vs Judge Dredd vs Aliens #4 Review

Sons of Anarchy Redwood Original #11 Review

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By Ollie Masters, Lucas Werneck, Joana Lafuente, Ed Dukeshire, Luca Pizzari

SAMCRO is desperately searching for Jax, even reaching out to a former enemy for help. Jax is in the hands of men ready to kill him for the trouble of holding him captive, and the man who put him there is having second thoughts.  Continue reading Sons of Anarchy Redwood Original #11 Review

The Flintstones #12 Review

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By Mark Russell, Steve Pugh, Chris Chuckry, Dave Sharpe

“Farewell to Bedrock” is a bittersweet conclusion to what has become one of my  favoriteseries of 2017. Bitter in the sense that this is the end of the Russell and Pugh’s revisioning of the Hanna Barbara characters as a satircal, cavemen version of Mad Men that was at times poignant and biting. Sweet, in the sense that it sticks the landing.

I’ve written about this book plenty of times, with good and bad experiences, the latter which mostly tended towards the issue in my hands wasn’t as good as the previous one. In a nutshell, this series went strong almost more than it had any right to. A version of The Flintstones that mixed in ethnic cleansing, idiotic figures of authority, animal slaughter, PTSD, and spring-breaking aliens?

It could have easily crash and burned on entry, but Russell’s sharp wit and Pugh’s more animated style played well together to make the book’s tone engaging and accessible without being offensive to fans who grew up with the characters.

By this issue, there’s payoff expected as its not only the final issue, but one where the seeds Russell has planted throughout the previous issues come to bear fruit. Gazoo has to decide whether to recommend the human race be exterminated for the safety of the Universe, or to let them grow and hope they don’t destroy themselves anyway. Fred’s bowling ball has had it with being a disposable tool for human enjoyment, and is planning his own protest. Mr.Slate has to decide whether he’s learned to be a better person, or if he’ll let pettiness led him astray yet again. Each one comes to its own resolution, and turns away from the cynicism that was constant in the series to the hope that humanity will save itself by learning to be better. It’s simple, heartwarming, and could sum up the message of this series: we have to be better if we’re going to survive much longer.

Of course, Steve Pugh’s art has been critical in making this book what it is. It’s respectful to the cartoon, but much more intricate without looking busy. The animals are cutesy and lost with their place living alongside humans. Somehow, the zany physics of Bedrock seem to work with Pugh’s pencils, like the stone-wheeled cars powered by running on the ground (which would almost certainly tear your feet off if you actually tried it in real life). The fashion of the stone age people is seemingly inspired by 60’s psychedelia mixed with animal prints, and there’s in-jokes scattered throughout many scenes to remind us of our own world. Pugh makes everyone in this book “feel” human and mundane, as though they carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. It’s a subtle but effective way to modernize what this title is based on, and I feel like any artist that touches these characters again should study what Pugh did with them.

Over twelve issues, this team has made me love The Flintstones all over again, as well as turn out a book that pointed out the absurd and trivial things that we often don’t notice in our society. As much as I wish for it to go on further, I know that this is a fitting end. It’s time for the creaters (and us) to bid farewell to the Flintstones, the Rubbles, Mr. Slate, Gazoo, and Gerald, and move on to whatever comes next.

Farewell Bedrock…

Embracing the Unknown, and New Frontiers

 

4183330-dc_new_frontier_dlxwm(In honor of Darwyn Cooke’s passing, an examination of his work DC: The New Frontier)

America. The mid-50s. A time of uncertainty, Government abusing its authority while at the same time seemingly unable or unconcerned with protecting the people that bestow it the power it has. Yet, a force urges America and its citizens onward. Something compels them to look up, and away, and ahead of their troubles.But what is that force?  Continue reading Embracing the Unknown, and New Frontiers