Tag Archive: Marvel Comics


Review by C.J. Bunce

With a small but significant first–and possibly only–season now behind us, the latest Marvel series proved the promise of the series opener wasn’t just a fluke.  With unusually fantastic superhero storytelling and backstory, top acting, and unparalleled art production and music, Moon Knight is a serious contender for not only the best of Disney’s era of superhero series, it also springs ahead as better than all the Netflix Marvel series and any series (DC, Marvel, or indie) that came before in the superhero genre, complete with a Dark Knight villain done right, and a Wonder Woman who finally delivered on the excitement and potential of nearly a century of comic book superheroines.  The sixth and final episode of the season is now streaming on Disney+.  We’re only through four months of 2022, and even with some high calibre shows so far, if you see only one series this year, so far this is the one not to miss.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The best of the Marvel Cinematic Universe happens when a new writer or director’s vision is something we haven’t seen before.  For the movies, that’s merging into the MCU a quirky space fantasy crew in Guardians of the Galaxy, superheroes with restricted powers as in Thor: Ragnarok, or starring a less than super superhero like in Ant-Man.  In the TV series it’s introducing a unique, cool style like in Luke Cage or featuring an ex-military antihero with serious drama like in The Punisher.  In Disney’s Moon Knight, which is premiering its pilot episode now on Disney+, it’s building an intense, thrilling character who finds that something or someone has taken over his body, and he–and the audience–have no idea why.  It’s a mix of ancient mythology, magic, and adventure of the level of Raiders of the Lost Ark, with the best of today’s actors creating some truly fantastic and exciting characters.  And that’s just the first hour.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Spider-Man: No Way Home is coming to DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K in two weeks, arriving April 12, and now available on “Early Access” Vudu, Movies Anywhere, and Prime Video.  The movie trailers last year already revealed the return of the best of the Spidey villains (including arguably the best of all Marvel Comics villains) with the incorporation of earlier Spider-Man movies’ Willem Dafoe as Green Goblin, Alfred Molina as Doctor Otto Octavius, Thomas Haden Church as Sandman, Jamie Foxx as Electro, and Rhys Ifans as Lizard.  But there are plenty more reasons to get this movie for home viewing–it’s available for pre-order on physical media now here at Amazon.

So for those who haven’t seen it yet (it didn’t approach the Avengers: Endgame box office so we know they’re out there), is it worth seeing, and how about the special features on digital, Blu-ray, and 4K?

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“I can’t tell the difference between my waking life and dreams.”

Anyone else see the Jason Isaacs series Awake?  It, too, followed a hero who was alive in two different worlds, each where he believed he was awake and the other, the world in his dreams.  That’s the path Marvel Studios is taking with Moon Knight, the next MCU superhero series, which stars Oscar Isaac (is he Steven Grant or Marc Spector?), coming later this month to Disney+.

Marvel released a brief featurette providing some insight into the character, including interviews with Isaac, plus Ethan Hawke, who plays Arthur Harrow, and Disney exec Kevin Feige.  Check it out below, along with previous trailers for the series:

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Guardians of the Galaxy–the game–is space fantasy action with comedy notes, available now at Amazon for PS4, PS5, XBox, and more.  A new tie-novel is a prequel to the game, and it’s not a book to be overlooked.  After more than a decade of reviewing nearly every tie-in novel produced by Marvel and DC, I’m going to say M.K. England’s Guardians of the Galaxy: No Guts, No Glory is a contender for the top spot.  You need to get a lot right when you’re crafting a tie-in for familiar characters–one wrong bit of dialogue and you’re sunk.  It’s going to be more of a challenge if the team you’re writing about is as diverse and different as the members of the crew of the spaceship Milano.  You don’t need to know anything about the game to jump right in, and readers will find the characters and their backstories are 99% consistent with the characters as seen on the big screen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  And fans of the comics can look forward to 300 pages of humorous banter among these beloved space adventurers.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

You are Star-Lord in the new Eidos-Montreal video game based on the infamous Marvel Comics band of misfits, the Guardians of the Galaxy.  The third person, action-adventure has players calling the shots as the team tries to save the universe again, but not before you cause a chain of events to make it all unravel.  Guardians of the Galaxy–the game–is space fantasy action with comedy notes, available now at Amazon for PS4, PS5, XBox, and more.  There’s even a purple llama.  And if you like the game, or you want to know what it’s like to be a voice actor for video games, don’t miss the behind-the-scenes guidebook, Guardians of the Galaxy: The Art of the Game, just out from Titan Books.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The first two episodes–a full third of the series–have arrived for Marvel’s fourth live-action series of the year on the Disney+ streaming platform and it’s a good start, already faring better than those prior series.  Hawkeye is about Jeremy Renner’s unassuming superhero Clint Barton aka Hawkeye from the Avengers movies–and yet it isn’t.  Although the first episode gets off to a slow start, it’s Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop, who replaces Hawkeye in the comics, who proves quickly she’s going to be an exciting fixture for the next iteration of the Avengers line-up.  She’s in good company, joining Black Widow’s Florence Pugh’s new Black Widow to take the franchise forward, along with Natalie Portman as new Thor in next year’s movie Thor: Love and Thunder, and Tatiana Maslany as She-Hulk in next year’s series She-Hulk. 

Hawkeye is billed as a holiday show and it is, but it falls short in that department, probably because Marvel/Disney didn’t use a key arrow in its quiver: the creator of your second favorite Christmas movie.

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Just as Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has been a great relief to fans of the character after so many years of just not getting it right, moving upward to replace Tony Stark as leader of the new Avengers, Sony Pictures seems to be bringing it all crashing back down to earth.  Earth of the past.  Or that’s how it looks in the latest trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home, with the full pantheon of villains–ghosts of Spider-Men past–make their way into the Multiverse of Madness, revealing the true leader of the Avengers is probably Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

One of writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby’s most famous creations is the subject of a new coffee table book from Abrams ComicArts.  Reprinted at nearly 9 inches by 12 inches, Fantastic Four No. 1 Panel by Panel, a new hardcover edition of The Fantastic Four, Issue #1, is going to be one for big fans of the characters.  Unlike 2005’s book Maximum Fantastic Four, which included one panel per page in a 9″x12″ format with re-colored and enhanced artwork, Fantastic Four No. 1 Panel by Panel features color, blown-up scans of each page in its original context with all its Ben Day halftone dots jumping off the page.  The book is out this week and available here at Amazon.  And it has much more than a close-up look at this seminal issue in the history of comics that is worth checking out.

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Black Widow clip b

Review by C.J. Bunce

It was without question Marvel’s biggest delay.  Not only was Black Widow originally expected to arrive in theaters May 1 last year, getting a delay and never a proper theatrical release, it simply was Kevin Feige’s big misfire by not thinking to make it earlier in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 23 movies.  Content-wise it could have arrived around 2013 as part of the Phase II of the series, and ultimately must be wedged somewhere between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.  For those not yet ready to return to theaters, it’s been a long wait.  Finally Disney+ has dropped its $30 premium for its subscribers and Vudu and other streaming providers have it where it should have been, at a sell-through price of $19.99. 

So how does Black Widow stack up with respect to the previous Marvel movies, and did Marvel make the best superheroine movie of them all with Scarlett Johanson’s solo movie?  First of all, the big word to describe this movie is “surprising.”

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