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Charles Wilcox RSS Feed (Brandon, Florida, USA)

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All Star Superman, Vol. 1
All Star Superman, Vol. 1
by Grant Morrison
Edition: Hardcover
33 used & new from $3.07

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is what comics should be., April 27, 2007
I wish this had come along just a little bit earlier. For me it was the kiss before dying as pertains to the comics medium. With Marvel and DC comics destroying their respective universes and characters, I had lost all hope of ever seeing the characters I had come to know and love as they were meant to be again.

Then came All-Star Superman.

This is the Man of Steel as he was meant to be. Not the beaten-down impotent wimp that DC's in-continuity character has become, but the inspirational larger-than-life hero who sparked the imagination of generations of comic book writers and readers. Let's face it, Batman was right. The last time the in-continuity Superman inspired anybody was when he died. But this is the character long-time fans have come to know and respect.

The story opens with Superman's cells being over-saturated with solar radiation, a plot by Lex Luthor to kill the Man of Steel, which has aparently worked. And so Superman sets out to do all the things he needs to do before his time runs out -- including tell Lois his true identity. Now I know that sounds a lot like the regular series, and that's what I thought, too, but fear not! Writer Grant Morrison resolves the idea very deftly in a matter of pages. We also see adventures with Jimmy, adventures at the Fortress of Solitude, and with time travelling Supermen. Now yes, the book is pure Sci-Fi, and at times campy. Maybe its stories aren't "relevant" to todays world (for relevant, read: depressing) but you know what they are? FUN! That is something I have not had with a comic since I was a child.

God bless you for this series, Grant Morrison.

Spider-Man: Reign
Spider-Man: Reign
by Jose Villarrubia
Edition: Hardcover
23 used & new from $7.90

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OMG! It's Dark Knight Returns with Spider Man as the lead!, April 27, 2007
This review is from: Spider-Man: Reign (Hardcover)
First off, I started reading this before I gave up on the comics medium, so if you've read any of my recent reviews, don't worry, I haven't changed my tune.

Spider Man: Reign is, first and foremost, an unabashed homage to Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns right down to the arwork! Even the names of the reporters (Miller Janson? HAHAHAHAH) let's the readers in on the joke. It's kind of appropriate that there should be a "bookend" like this as in the beginning, Spider-Man was something of a Batman rip-off anyway. Some would argue the problems with the wall-crawler began when the writers started taking the character too seriously.

Anyway, Spider-Man: Reign finds Peter Parker a disillusioned old man, trapped in a near-future New York run by corruption and having turned his back on his dual identity after suffering a tragic loss -- that is until, surprisingly, none other than an even more elderly J. Jonah Jameson, now turned street-preacher, arrives on his doorstep with a package. . . The story also features the Sinister Six, Doc Ock and Venom, so most of Spider Man's early rogues gallery is here.

This is a fun little story. I wish it had come along earlier.

Civil War
Civil War
by Mark Millar
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.07
78 used & new from $11.97

40 of 66 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Civil War: AKA Comrade Iron Man's glorious victory over the outdated symbol of Capitalist swine Captain America., April 17, 2007
This review is from: Civil War (Paperback)
I hardly know where ro begin with the piece of flotsam known as "Civil War", except to say my review contains a ton of spoilers.

I should say I only gave it one star because I had to. I should go on to say that this, along with DC's "Infinite Crisis" destroyed my love of comics (as I said in my review of that title). The problem with that book was DC turned their backs on decades of history; the problem with Marvel's Civil War is they turned their backs on their own characters and the fans for no reason other than to make a political statement.

First off, there are a number of misconceptions about this series. First and most importantly, the subtitle, "Whose side are you on?" This is irrelevant, because early on, it is clear Iron Man's side is going to win. Mark Millar himself said in an interview "It's basically an Iron Man story." And another thing, if I didn't know Millar was the main force behind this piece of trash, I would swear the head writer was Vince McMahon. One of the main things you learn in creating dramatic tension in a story of this type is that both sides must seem to have a legitimate chance of winning the conflict. I never felt Captain America's side had a chance. Just look at who his forces were:


Spider Man (who changed sides)

And every second stringer in the Marvel Universe.

Now let's look at Iron Man's pro-registration forces:

A Thor clone

The Sentry

Ms. Marvel

The original Captain Marvel (the one they swore NEVER to resurrect)

Most of Marvel's heavy-hitters.

As a result, not only does Iron Man's forces win, THEY DOMINATE THE WHOLE FIGHT!!!! I swear, I would not have been surprised if Millar resurrected the Beyonder and had HIM join Iron Man.

But the damage doesn't stop there. Along the way, we have a number of Marvel mainstays acting FAR in opposition to their usual natures and personalities (including Tony Stark and Spider Man) for reasons I did not buy for a second. There is NO WAY IN HELL Peter Parker would risk his family for at best some questionable ideology. Hello? The death of his uncle was what created Spider-Man the crime-fighter in the first place!

In short, this series was predictable (yeah, we all knew Aunt May or Mary Jane would end up hurt or dead -- yawn), tedious and bad on so many levels.

Just like the DC Universe is now a convoluted mess, the Marvel heroes are now government stooges. Reagan was right. "We're with the govenment, we're here to help you" is the scariest phrase in the English language.

Oh, and what of Captain America? Guess what? After his dishonor at the hands of Stark and co. HE DIES IN HIS OWN BOOK! I'm not sure if Marvel hated Captain America or just America. After all, they did to an American symbol of truth and justice what no World War II enemy could.

This book made me feel betrayed by childhood friends. So, since they've turned their backs on me, I plan to return the favor by boycotting Marvel comics in particular and comics in general.

That is how much I hated this book.
Comment Comments (10) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 17, 2008 11:33 AM PDT

Infinite Crisis (DC Comics)
Infinite Crisis (DC Comics)
by Geoff Johns
Edition: Hardcover
39 used & new from $11.78

52 of 73 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Was I the only one that wanted Alex Luthor to succeed?, February 28, 2007
Let me preface this review by saying that Infinite Crisis along with Marvel's "Civil War" are the two series that succeeded in completely destroying my love of comics. It begins with the big three of the DC Universe (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman)having given up. Understandable since the writers of all these series have heaped so much misery on 'em that anyone would wash their hands of any "neverending battle." Enter the "Original" Superman who, manipulated by the now-corrupt Alex Luthor and Superboy Prime, embarks on a "misguided" mission to restore the original DC Universe. Of course, Luthor has his own agenda and etc. etc, resulting in a convoluted story that destroys any hope of long-time fans making any sense of DC continuity from this point on. OH! And lest we forget, DC tries to sever all ties with that outdated "Truth, Justice and (it's not a dirty phrase, folks) THE AMERICAN WAY" stuff by killing off the original Superman and Lois. Great. I'm sorry, but was I the only one who wanted Alex Luthor to succeed in creating a more perfect world, or at least in his defeat, the return of the original DCU? Call me a radical here, but what's so wrong about super-heroes INSPIRING people rather than all being dark avengers or constantly in a state of despair because they made a villain's nose bleed or something, and therefore spend the entire issue whining to their wife (CURRENT Superman, the Hamlet of comicdom). But no, we're going to get more of the same. Oh, you don't like it? Well here's more of it until you do! This, along with Marvel's atrocious Civil War was one of the two titles that forever made me wash my hands of the comics medium. They made the "passe" ideals that made comics worthwhile irrelevant (Y'know, stuff like aspiring to be more than what you are). And worst of all, they took all the fun out of comics. I'm sorry if I seem a little venomous here, but I'm disillusioned with some childhood friends right now and I need to vent.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 2, 2010 8:13 AM PST

Prelude to Foundation (Foundation, Book 1)
Prelude to Foundation (Foundation, Book 1)
by Isaac Asimov
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
315 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! A prequel that doesn't suck!, January 18, 2007
I am dubious of prequels, mainly because I have found them to be less than entertaining, mainly thanks to the Star Wars films; however I must admit Prelude to Foundation was my favorite of the Foundation series. Part of this may be because I endeavored to read the books in chronological order as opposed to their order of publication. I found the book to be the most exciting of the entire series, abandoning the often-used collection of short stories format in favor of a continuous ongoing tale.

Prelude to Foundation takes place, of course, well before Foundation, and some time before Forward the Foundation, and finds The Galactic Empire at the Height of its power and Hari Seldon trying to perfect his theory of Psychohistory -- a way of predicting future events through mathematical calculation. This is a theory that Seldon's peers of course find ludicrous, but which gains the attention of the Emperor (Psychohistory would, of course, be valuable to an Empire that wished to retain its power). But there are apparently other forces that do not wish for Seldon's theory ever to ess fruition, and so begins a chase accross worlds with a twist ending that reveals the return of a recurring character from some of Asimov's previous works.

I actually liked this book better than the original Foundation. I understand they will be doing a movie based on Foundation some time in the near future. If so, this is the model I would like to see them use. This was by far my favorite of the series.

Nowhere Man - The Complete Series
Nowhere Man - The Complete Series
DVD ~ Bruce Greenwood
3 used & new from $399.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last this DVD is real. I know it is. It . . . has to be. . . ., January 13, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Following in the footsteps of "The Prisoner", "Nowhere Man" is one of those few works of television art that keeps you guessing. It's a shame so few people have heard of this series, and a shame it came out in the mid-90's as opposed to today. It almost certainly would have found an audience amid fans of "Lost" and "Heroes." It was, after all, the brainchild of one of the producers of today's smash-hit "24."

Nowhere Man is the story of photographer Thomas Veil who, on the eve of his greatest artistic triumph, finds in the blink of an eye that suddenly everyone in his life doesn't know him. His wife is married to another man going by his name, and even his dog seems ready to get him. Through the course of the series, we find that Tom is the victim of a giant conspiracy bent on obtaining a mysterious negative that apparently shows an execution-style slaying in a third-world country.

The series is mostly an espionage-thriller, but at times delves into the realm of S-F, not unlike The Prisoner in the late sixties. In fact, since Nowhere Man was, by the producer's own admission, inspired by The Prisoner, it is nearly impossible to mention the later show without referring to the earlier. So much so that one episode of N-M pays direct homage to The Prisoner, even going so far as to use the marching band playback from that classic series. It's also interesting to note that it was rumored Patrick MaGoohan was planning a follow-up to The Prisoner called "Vagabond," about a man on the run from unknown forces. I can't imagine that show would have been much different from this. The only disappointing thing about the series is the final episode leaves you hanging. Even so, this in some way lends to the mystique of the series, giving it a Citizen Kane climax which answers everything and answers nothing at the same time.

I was personally glad to see this show on DVD as I was one of the guys who led the charge to see it. This show is an overlooked masterpiece. If you are a fan of Lost, 24, or The Prisoner, by all means get this collection. Chances are you will not be sorry.

Star Brand Classic - Volume 1 (Graphic Novel Pb) (v. 1)
Star Brand Classic - Volume 1 (Graphic Novel Pb) (v. 1)
by Jim Shooter
Edition: Paperback
37 used & new from $3.48

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A lot of Green Lantern mixed with a little of the Greatest American Hero, December 25, 2006
When it comes to the New Universe, I must admit I was more a "Justice" fan than a "Star Brand" guy, but taking a look at this collected edition took me back big time.

At first glance, Star Brand is something of a Green Lantern rip-off. The origins of both characters are almost identical, but this notwithstanding, the character is taken in a completely different direction than the high-adventure sci-fi adventures of Hal Jordan. The point of the New Universe was to explore the possibilities concerning what would happen if superheroes existed in the real world. This was an interesting concept that since then has been explored over and over in comicdom, but in the 1980's was considered a little dull. The long and short of it is Star Brand and all its sister titles were ahead of their time. It will be interesting to see if the relaunch title, New Universal, will be a success. Ironically, the characters that were ahead of their time in the 80's may be considered passe in the new millenium, as a more realistic approach has become more the norm in comics today.

Star Brand is the story of Ken Connell, who receives a "weapon" in the form of a tatoo from a dying alien (sound familiar GL fans?) and the course his life takes after gaining posession of this ultimate weapon.

Granted, the story is somewhat dated, the artwork is so 80's it's not funny, and Connell seems to grasp how his new powers work virtually immediately with only rudimentary instruction from his alien benefactor. Still, for fans of the New Universe titles or those who grew up on 80's comics, this is a fun trip down memory lane.

Punisher Vs. Bullseye (Punisher (Unnumbered))
Punisher Vs. Bullseye (Punisher (Unnumbered))
by Daniel Way
Edition: Paperback
26 used & new from $9.99

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Was there really a call for a Bullseye book?, October 31, 2006
And make no mistake, this is a Bullseye book. The Punisher seems to be only around to give the piece some name recognition and to be Bullseye's whipping boy. Basically, Bullseye makes Castle look like a fool for the whole run. You keep waiting for the Punisher to lower the boom on him (he has, after all, beaten Bullseye many times before)but Bullseye is constantly getting the better of him. Fans of the Punisher -- and I can't imagine anyone else would pick this one up -- should avoid it like the plague. Trust me, it will just make you mad.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 26, 2012 9:41 PM PST

Romancing the Stone / Jewel of the Nile
Romancing the Stone / Jewel of the Nile
DVD ~ Michael Douglas
Price: $22.99
23 used & new from $8.23

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Product of the Indiana Jones craze; but not just another knockoff, September 17, 2006
This film really took me back. My mother took me to see it for the first time in the cinema when I was twelve years old. The last time I saw it was on VHS in the late 80's. When I recently viewed the special edition, a whole lot of old memories came flooding back. The film obviously aimed for the Raiders of the Lost Ark crowd with its high-adventure sequences, (Indiana Jones was one of the hottest properties around at the time) but ended up being its own animal before all was said and done, becoming more a romantic comedy than an action-adventure film. This film is something special because as a twelve-year-old who hated all that kissy-stuff I still loved this movie, and to this day I still don't like romantic comedies, but I still love this movie. The story is about a lonely romance novelist who travels to Columbia to bring a map to two kidnappers who have her sister. Along the way she meets Jack T. Colton, a drifter who agrees to take her to meet the kidnappers for $350 some American. Of course, he manages to convince her she should go after the treasure to which the map points (El Corazon, the said "stone" of the title) and a number of misadventures follow. The sequel is almost as good, but added the element of the supernatural, albeit briefly. The bottom line is this: If you like the Indiana Jones films, you'll probably enjoy this. If you've never seen this movie, give it a try.

Mission: Impossible - The Complete First TV Season
Mission: Impossible - The Complete First TV Season
DVD ~ Martin Landau
Price: $9.99
26 used & new from $4.89

60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FINALLY! The return of a television classic and the end of the Tom Cruise tyrrany., September 2, 2006
I have been waiting for years for this series to come out on DVD. This show was to secret agents what CSI is to crime drama and House is to medical mystery. Granted, the plots are a lot more fantastic than what you might see today; but stylistically, there are vague similarities, such as storylines that are plot-driven as opposed to character driven. You know very little about the personal lives of the members of the IMF team, save that they are not above vicious and sometimes even brutal tactics to bring down their foes -- so much so that the viewing audience often felt sorry for the villain of the week because the IMF messed them over so badly. Granted, the dialogue is a bit stagy, but the series is still years ahead of its time. A word of warning to those expecting Peter Graves in this collection: His character, Jim Phelps, did not appear until the second season, brought in to replace first season lead Steven Hill; but since this is a plot driven show, chances are, you won't miss Phelps. Martin Landau as Rollin Hand more than makes up for his absence. Besides, the first season episodes are some of the best of the entire run. And the subject matter has suddenly become topical and current with all the world unrest today. Sometimes it's hard to believe the show is a product of the sixties. In the pilot episode, for example, the IMF has to stop an "unfriendly foreign power" from attaining a nuclear weapon(sound familiar?)and a dictator who bears an eerie passing appearance to Saddam Hussein (actually Martin Landau in heavy makeup). One wishes there were a real IMF today . . . P.S. Ethan Hunt doesn't appear ANYWHERE! And for those of you who have only been exposed to the Tom Cruise fare, I urge you to give the original series a try. Please, see what the first and the best Mission: Impossible is all about.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 28, 2014 10:32 AM PDT

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