Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Movie

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy has been in theaters for two weeks and has already grossed $181,859,666 domestically. This surprise hit is definitely worth catching in theaters and, if you can, in IMAX 3-D.

Marvel has really hit it out of the ballpark with GotG. The whole team is featured: Star Lord (Peter Quill), Gamora (a great warrior), Drax (The Destroyer), Rocket (a genetically engineered walking, talking raccoon), and Groot (a giant, talking tree creature). The creative team and cast have done a remarkable job depicting the characters almost exactly how they are in the comics. So far, I haven’t heard any negative reviews (or even nit-picking on the net) for this action-packed adventure.

GotG Trailer

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The Wolverine is in Theaters this Weekend!!

So, it’s time to go back and rewatch all of the X-men Films.

In the meantime, I thought I’d recommend a few of my favorite Wolverine stories.


First up is The original Wolverine four issue mini series. From what I understand, this mini was supposed to be one of the main influences of the new film. And, at least on the surface, it seems to be. Wolverine versus a bunch of ninjas for the woman he loves.

Wolverine was a character created with little more than a cool looking costume and a mysterious background. This was one of the first stories to really try and fill in that background and make him more than just a bad attitude and claws.

  One of my favorite Wolverine stories is Old Man Logan. In a post-apocalyptic, dystopic future United States, Wolverine must drive cross country in the Spider-buggy with a blind Hawkeye for a sidekick.

A truly over the top action story, Logan has to deal with the Inbred Hulk family, Venom as a t-rex and a truly evil President Captain America.

There’s simply no other comic like it.

Finally, Wolverine and the X-men. This brings Wolverine up to how he is now in the comic books. This is a bit mired in continuity so allow me to get you up to speed.

Prior to this book, Cyclops has pretty much given up on Professor X’s ideal of mutants and humans coexisting. Instead of he just wants mutants to be able to live in peace. So he takes all of the mutants to a flying island and trains them to be soldiers and ready for war.

Wolverine disagrees with teaching the kids to be soldiers, instead wanting them to retain some of their innocents. So, he and a few other X-men go back to New York and start a new school: The Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. Wolverine and the X-men is the story of that school and those students.

This is an excellent collection with great artwork; interesting, unique characters; and a truly fun story.  This is a Wolverine that has grown far from the berserker he was in that first four issue mini and shows how much he has evolved as a character.

So after the theater, stop by your local library and check out some of the history, and future, of Wolverine.

Then come back and let me know what you thought of it. And if you’ve already read these, what’s your favorite Wolverine story? I’m sure I’ve missed a couple good ones.

Iron Man 3

Iron Man etc. belong to Marvel and who ever else actually owns the rights (i.e. not PBCLS)

Iron Man etc. belong to Marvel, Disney and who ever else actually owns the rights (i.e. not PBCLS)

Iron Man 3 hit theaters this weekend and has received mixed reviews. Critics LOVE it (and so do I) but some die-hard fans are disappointed by some major changes (no spoilers, I promise). I recommend catching it in 3-D IMAX, if you have the opportunity. The action is thrilling and the plot’s not bad either.

There’s still time to rewatch the first two movies before you enjoy the third. The Avengers movie comes up on the search for “Iron Man” and “Robert Downey Jr.”. Take it as a sign to watch that movie, too – it’s relevant to Iron Man 3. Pick up your copies at your local library branch or place holds on them today so you can have them before the weekend. You won’t regret it*.

*Disclaimer: If you have school finals this month, please study for them before starting your amazing Marvel Movie Marathon. The library encourages the use of study rooms and reference materials as well as reading, in general, and graduating this semester.

Punisher Noir

WWI vet Frank Castelione lost his wife to cancer, has a son who’s fallen in with hoodlums, and owns a store mobster Dutch Schultz wants to “protect.” This is the setup for Punisher Noir, a four-issue series alternating between 1918, 1928 and 1935. At the center of it is a skull-masked vigilante who’s declared war on Schultz.

It’s easy to take The Punisher model and plug him into different settings (the Wild West, for example) and he’s a natural fit for Marvel’s Noir imprint – so much so that I was worried this would merely be a rehash. But Frank Tieri shakes things up, giving the reader something other than a conventional Punisher story.

As a longtime Punisher fan, it’s interesting to see how Garth Ennis’s Punisher has become definitive. Tieri pulls from Ennis’s Marvel Knights and Max runs, but his versions of characters like Detective Soap and Barracuda don’t feel forced into the Noir setting.

Shadowland

The short version is the Daredevil has gone rogue. He’s built a Japanese temple in the heart of Manhattan and has surrounded himself with ninjas. As the new leader of The Hand, he intends to use the silent assassins to keep peace. Instead, he descends into darkness and his corruption leaches out to the city around him.

Heroes like Spider-man, Moon Knight, Luke Cage and Iron Fist try to reason with Daredevil, but after he goes too far it seems like killing him is the only solution. Enter Ghost Rider, The Punisher and Wolverine.

Put a hold on Shadowland.

Marvelous Women

Last year Marvel acknowledged their female readership with three titles highlighting talented female writers and artists and showcasing their roster of superheroines.

Girl Comics may have a cringe-inducing name, but the content is solid. It’s an anthology similar to Strange Tales, written and illustrated by women in comics. The result is a bit unfocused, but there are some tales including Valerie D’Orazio and Nikki Cook ‘s take on the Punisher, a fun Wolverine and Jubilee story from Marjorie Liu and Sara Pichelli, and Kitty Pryde’s 21st birthday by Carla Speed McNeil and Ronda Pattison. Pages are also dedicated to important women in Marvel’s history giving the work added depth.

Heralds is a standalone story written by Kathryn Immonen which starts with Cyclops setting up a girl’s night out for Emma Frost. The banter between her and She-Hulk, Agent Abigail Brand, Hellcat, Valkyrie, and Monica Rambeau is terrific (and can Patsy Walker: Hellcat get a series already?) and feels more like what Girl Comics should have been. In addition to fun dialogue, there’s some great action involving Johnny Storm’s ex-girlfriend and former herald of Galactus, Frankie Raye – but it’s a little continuity-heavy so feel free to lean on Wikipedia to bone up on who she is: Nova (Frankie Raye).

Marvel Her-Oes is the lightest of the three, with teenaged Janet van Dyne (The Wasp) struggling to fit in even before an accident at her father’s lab gives her superpowers. Little does she know that her best friend Jennifer Walters is hiding a big green secret of her own. A confrontation with Namora puts superpowers in the forefront, but also attracts unwanted attention from outside forces.