Children of the Atom #2 Review

Children of the Atom #2 is the second issue of the controversial Children of the Atom series. It is written by Vita Ayala and pencilied by Bernard Chang.

Once again, the conflict with the Hell’s Belles (the villains from the last issue) is the best part of the book. They hate the Children of the Atom for still having their powers, and they were planning to use the money they were trying to steal in the first issue to get their powers back. I like that they are being proactive about getting their powers back, but at the same time I hate how the conflict is resolved. Storm shows up and offers them a place in the mutant country of Krakoa and they accept the offer just like that.

Something I forgot to mention in my review of the first issue is the X-Men’s current status quo: mutants now live in their own country called Krakoa and are racist to humans. In the first three pages of this issue the mutants come off as dickish to The Avengers and exude this aloof and superior vibe. This makes sense for Mystique, who was involved in this scene, but not for Charles Xavier for example. Also Storm is involved in this scene and this behavior makes her come off as a self-important dick.

I do not like some of the faces drawn by Bernard Chang. The best face that he draws is Iron Man, and his face is covered by his helmet the entire time he’s in this issue. I especially hate how he draws Storm’s face.

The dialogue in this series is still awkward. At one point the writer gets self aware about how bad some of the writing is, such as the Children of the Atom’s superhero names. It’s just terrible. If you don’t like their names, you could have just changed them.

The narrative captions are also awkward, continuing a trend from the first issue. There is a clear disconnect between what is happening in the panels and what the narrative captions are talking about.

Why have secret identities if the person you’re hiding it from would understand your situation?

This issue ends the exact same way that the first issue does, with the main characters about to cross the portal into Krakoa. What makes them think that it will go differently than the last time they did it? Last time could not go through the portal. Nothing has changed that. Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This is that scenario.

Children of the Atom #1 Review

Children of the Atom is a comic book written by Vita Ayala and penciled by Bernard Chang. It is about a group of teenagers who dress up as their favorite X-Men and use their powers in order to fight crime. The Children of the Atom consists of Cyclops-Lass, Gimmick, Cherub, Marvel Guy, and Daycrawler.

Children of the Atom, when it was first announced, created a lot of controversy. Not as much controversy as another, similar series that was announced around the same time: New Warriors.

The trailer for Children of the Atom has more dislikes than likes on YouTube and many videos have come out since the book was first announced trashing the idea of it before the first issue even came out. Then coronavirus happened and the book was delayed from its initial April 2020 release date. Next it was delayed again, this time from its January 2021 release date, and it has finally come out in March.

This book has a Young Adult novel vibe to it, with its focus on high school students and how they feel isolated from their peers. The story has some good characters in it and is better than some actual Young Adult novels I read.

The villains express frustration from being looked down upon by mutants who got to keep their powers. That is an interesting conflict: mutants who didn’t get to keep their powers versus mutants who did. This is a more interesting conflict than one-dimensionally evil racists versus mutants.

Speaking of one-dimensionally evil racists, Cyclops-Lass and Gimmick in their secret identities of Beatrice Bartholomew and Carmen respectively have to deal which a bunch of racist teenage mutant-haters in high school. The author clearly pushes the readers to side with the main characters. It would have been better if the author wasn’t pushing the readers to take a side.

There are two places in the book where it was hard to tell who was narrating the captions. Also there is some bad dialogue in the beginning.

The art is rough in a few places. The shape of some character’s faces look weird in several places and some male characters are drawn with pouty lips.

The superhero names for these kids are terrible. The best one is Cherub, the worst is everyone else’s. Gimmick is a 90’s grade name, which is fitting for the X-Men and also the least terrible of the bad names. Cyclops-Lass is the most dated and horrible of the names. Marvel Guy is a worse name than Marvel Girl. Also Daycrawler calls himself Nighty-Nightcrawler at one point, which is a worse name than Daycrawler, which is also not a good name.

Also one villain’s name is Vague, which is really stupid. Beatrice Bartholomew is a stupid name, almost as stupid as her alter ego Cyclops-Lass. Beatrice Buddy would have been a better name considering that Buddy is her nickname.

The Children of the Atom are being marketed as the X-Men’s sidekicks. The X-Men themselves don’t appear in this issue until after all the fighting is over, and they haven’t even met the main characters yet. In fact, Gambit and Angel, who two of the main characters model themselves after, do not appear in this issue.

It is implied that the main characters aren’t actually mutants, but we get no definitive confirmation of this. They’re building this up to be a mystery that will be resolved in a later issue.

Children of the Atom is a good, not great, book and I do want to read the next issue. Reading this makes me want to read the New Warriors book that will probably never come out.

Superhero Legacy, Part 2: A Certain Scientific Railgun

A Certain Scientific Railgun is a manga and a spin-off of A Certain Magical Index. It is written by Kazuma Kamachi and illustrated by Motoi Fuyukawa. This spin-off focuses on Mikoto Misaka, the third most powerful student in Academy City, and tells the story of A Certain Magical Index from her point of view.

She has psychic powers that allows her to control electricity and she has the nickname “The Railgun”. In this setting, only one person thinks of themselves as a superhero, and dresses to match the attitude. The rest of the superpowered people in Index think of themselves as regular people and dress normally.

Superhero Legacy, Part 1: A Certain Magical Index

This is part one of a new series on here called Superhero Legacy. Superhero Legacy focuses on all the different superhero stories that have appeared over the years, and trust me, there have been a lot. A superhero story is, according to TV Tropes, “A series where the main character has powers and/or abilities that set said character apart from other people.”

For this series, we will be covering or reviewing all of the series listed on the Superhero page of TV Tropes, some we already covered on this site, multiple times, but we’ll get to that when the time comes.

A Certain Magical Index is a series of light novels written by Kazuma Kamachi and illustrated by Kiyotaka Haimura. A light novel, according to Wikipedia, is defined as “a style of Japanese young adult novel primarily targeting high school and middle school students.” It has been adapted into a manga, an anime, and an animated film.

The plot is simple: Academy City is dedicated to the scientific study of humans with psychic powers, and are ranked according to their power. For Touma Kamijou, one of the people ranked at the bottom, life was all about schoolwork and bad luck. But a chance encounter with a girl named Index Librorum Prohibitorum has changed everything. Now, Touma must prevent a secret sect of sorcerers from getting their hands on Index and the 103,000 grimoires locked in her head.

The premise of the series is intriguing. I have never seen a series where people do studies on superpowers in a way similar to real life scientific studies and not like Third Reich-styled torture. (If there is a Marvel or DC-styled superhero story that also has real life scientific studies applied to superpowered characters, please let me know in the comments section).

I have seen several episodes of the anime, but it is hard to read light novels online. I’ve searched for them on Google. I have yet to find one website where I can read them for free without having to sign in.

Wonder Woman 1984 Review

After a long, hard year this movie actually comes out. Wonder Woman 1984 is the 9th movie in the DC Extended Universe (seriously are they still doing a Cinematic Universe?) and the sequel to Wonder Woman. It is directed by Patty Jenkins, who also directed the first movie.

Diana of Themyscira fights against her friend Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) and corrupt businessman Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal). She also finds out that her late lover Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) has somehow come back from the dead.

Let’s get this out the way: the movie looks beautiful. The scope of this film is epic and in the beginning the scale is shown with the wide sweeping shots of Themyscira. It reminded me of Lawrence of Arabia’s sweeping shots of the desert.

Gal Gadot once again does a great job as Wonder Woman. By now she probably is Wonder Woman in the same way that Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man, and it would be hard for anyone to replace her. She shows more emotion than Brie Larson did in Captain Marvel. Gal wants to be there and puts in the effort, while Brie is clearly phoning it in.

Lilly Aspell was great as young Diana and also showed more emotion than Brie Larson. You feel sorry for her at the end of her scenes as she shows multiple emotions at the same time.

Chris Pine is also great in the movie. The way they handled Steve Trevor coming back to life was perfect. I was concerned about how the movie would handle this, but props to the filmmakers for pulling it off. Chris and Gal still have their chemistry together. Diana and Steve is one of the best romances ever put in a superhero film. They can do comedic and serious moments very well together.

Pedro Pascal is great as Maxwell Lord and he clearly had a great time playing the role.

Kristen Wiig is good as a Barbara Minerva who is nerdy, a Barbara Minerva who is confident, but not Barbara Minerva as Cheetah. Barbara only becomes Cheetah so she can be in a big CGI fight at the end. They alluded to it earlier, but the way they handled it visually looked like they only did it so she can fight Diana in the end in a big CGI fight.

The score by Hans Zimmer is one of the all time great scores. Hans Zimmer is never the weak part in a movie, and he really puts in the work here. It once again reminds me of Lawrence of Arabia, which had one of the greatest scores of all time.

There is a moment in the movie that actually shocked me. It’s quite rare for me to be shocked while watching a movie. Wonder Woman gets shot. Why didn’t they do that in the first movie? I understand why they didn’t, but still.

The fight scenes looked cool in parts. Other times there was some noticeable CGI in there that needed a few months worth of post-production to clean up. Like one example is Diana running in the air, not in a way where she is flying or something but of her feet not touching the ground.

There are some scenes in this movie that can be easily cut out, such as Wonder Woman swinging on lightning. It looks like it was made so it can be in the trailer.

Diana pulls new powers out of her ass several times in this movie.

The way the movie resolves itself is cheesy. It was done better in The Dark Knight.

In the end, Wonder Woman 1984 is a very enjoyable movie. Is it better than the original? I don’t know.

Black Widow #3 Review

Black Widow #3 is the third issue of the miniseries written by Kelly Thompson with art by Elena Casagrande. This miniseries revolves around Natalia Alianovna Romanova, aka the Black Widow, getting amnesia during a mission and living a new life under the name of Natalie Grey in complete happiness. But things are not what they seem, and various forces out there conspire to ruin Natalie’s newfound happiness.

First off, the dialogue in this book is great. Much better than the dialogue in last week’s Black Widow: Widow’s Sting anyway. It is much shorter and much more realistic, like something people would actually say in real life.

The art in this book is also great. Elena Casagrande is a future star in the making. Her action sequences are vibrant and stylized and they look great. The splash panel where Black Widow regains her memories looks great, with her laying on a web that depicts memories of her past, such as her relationship with Daredevil.

Hawkeye’s attempts to pull Natalia out of her current life and back to her old one are viewed as a morally grey situation. On one hand, Natalia does not remember who she is and the world needs her to remember that. On the other hand, Natalie is happy in her new life, she’s about to get married, and she has a kid. It’s a complicated situation with no easy answers, and props to the writer for adding depth to this.

The villains monitoring Natalie are revealed, and they are Viper, Weeping Lion II, Snapdragon, Red Guardian, and the already reveled Arcade. They have their own reasons for manipulating Natalie, but Weeping Lion wants Natalie dead for killing his cousins, the previous Weeping Lions. Viper disapproves of this as the plan has been going perfectly so far. This reveals the “reset button” that will return Natalie to her status quo, since she it is inevitable that she will return to being Black Widow.

I thought the bomb would kill her fiancé and her son, but it didn’t. It is used to kill some generic henchman. I wonder how their going to get rid of the fiancé and the baby. Are they going to kill them, or are they going to reveal that they are clones? I hope they don’t kill them off That would be the worst way to get rid of them.

At the end of the issue, Natalie is knocked out by the control chip on her neck after saving her kid and fiancé from their would-be murderers. And it is heavily implied that her memories have come back. I wonder how they are going to handle her memories coming back.

Black Widow #3 is another great issue of this miniseries. The intrigue builds up and you wonder how this is going to get resolved. I hope they stick the landing, because if they kill off the baby, I’m out.

Black Widow: Widow’s Sting #1 Review

Black Widow: Widow’s Sting is a one shot about the Marvel Comics character Black Widow that takes place before her current miniseries.

Black Widow is on a mission to find one of her fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, who disappeared without a trace during one mission. During this mission she also discovers a plot involving Spider-Man villain Silvermane and has to recover an artifact for S.H.I.E.L.D. that has fallen into his hands.

The action is easy to follow along. The first few pages work in terms of what they are.

There were a few moments in the art where the anatomy was off, such as the proportions of Black Widow in some panels and her face in others. Also in the beginning there was some confusion about where a shot was coming from.

The dialogue is a mixture of modern day elements and dialogue from the Silver Age comic books published in the 1960’s. It’s like they tried to modernize the typical dialogue in a Silver Age comic by adding in periods, when they should have gotten rid of some of the dialogue. However, the book lacks the old-timey charm of Silver Age comic books, such as having the retro-styled art, and instead comes off as being a failed attempt at being old-fashioned.

In a lot of the panels when Black Widow is sneaking around, she is speaking out loud about all the stuff she’s going through, kind of like the heroes in the Silver Age comics. However, there should have been less dialogue instead of more. It seems like Natasha is narrating the obvious. Also, she does this in her narration captions as well, such as when Silvermane comes down the stairs in his first scene.

There is one panel where Silvermane is speaking to all his fellow Maggia members and the entire top of the panel is covered in speech bubbles. There are way too many speech bubbles there. There are also some bits of awkward dialogue as well.

The plot is good, in terms of how it progresses. It’s not the deepest of plots, but it’s enjoyable enough. Overall, this is a good story, but it’s not better than the Black Widow miniseries by Kelly Thompson and Elena Casagrande.

Maestro #3 Review

Warning: Spoilers.

Maestro is a comic book miniseries published by Marvel Comics that started two months ago. It is the origin story of Maestro, an alternate universe version of the Hulk who rules an alternate future with an iron fist. This tale is told by his original creator Peter David and artists Dale Keown, who draws all the “Relics” in the series, and German Peralta.

And in this issue, he meets the Incredible Hercules, which continues the last scene of the previous issue. He is thrilled to see the Incredible Hulk again, and tells him that he was always his favorite sparring partner. I imagine the Hulk saying “What?” before being punched out of Hercules’ palace. Then a fight ensues. Hercules is being jovial about it and sees it as a good old fashion sparring match, while the Hulk isn’t enamored with being punched in the face by Hercules.

Then Hercules talks about how he feared he lost his edge without someone to oppose him. This is something that resonates these days with people out there comparing modern day America to the Rome that got sacked by the Visigoths.

Once Hulks sinks into the ground, he finds himself in an underground railroad where two people tell him that Rick Jones wants to see him. Hulk responds with a sarcastic remark, which is his trademark in this series. He is quite funny in a sarcastic way. Hearing that Rick Jones wants to see him takes him back. Rick Jones is an old friend of his.

Meanwhile, Hercules is looking for Hulk. He says that having a sparring match was his way of honoring the Hulk. Hercules suggests that they go back to his place for women and food before he sees that the Hulk is no longer at the underground railroad he sent him in. He is mildly annoyed by it.

Hulk finds himself in the living quarters of one Rick Jones. His living quarters is basically a trophy room of stuff from other characters, such as Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton, Vision’s decapitated head, and Winter Soldier’s mechanical arm. There are tons of references in here that I didn’t get when I first read the comic. However, it makes no sense how some of the stuff in there got there in the first place. Wolverine is basically immortal, so he should have lived through the nuclear apocalypse. Rick Jones also has Mjolnir in his house. How anyone can lift that is beyond me.

Then Rick’s daughter Janis scans Hulk to make sure he is clean in a way that is reminiscent of people taking your temperature in public places after the coronavirus pandemic.

Rick Jones and Hulk talk about Hercules ruling the country and what he has been doing. Then Hulk says that why should he care about ordinary people when the conversation goes there, and Rick is taken aback by it. I mean, why should he be surprised about this? The Hulk has spent years running away from General Ross and being treated like a monster, and Rick Jones, who indirectly created the Hulk and has spent years running away from the authorities with him, is surprised by this? I don’t buy it.

Hulk states that ordinary people destroyed the world, and not the Red Skull, Leader, or any other would-be world conqueror that him or the other hero has faced. This is a continuation of the Devil Hulk’s view of humanity from The Immortal Hulk, the current Hulk series. In that series, the Devil Hulk is willing to destroy the world in order to protect Bruce Banner. Then he asks for a lab, which is even more like The Immortal Hulk since in that series the Hulk finds a lab and takes it over to his own nefarious ends. This story seems like a possible future for The Immortal Hulk if a nuclear holocaust ever happened in real life.

Then a Greek soldier flies over the Alchemax building on a flying jet ski. The contrast between the soldier and the vehicle is cool. Alchemax is in this story, which comes from 2099. Does 2099 still exist, or did it never happen because of the nuclear holocaust? After we see the Alchemax building Hulk starts speaking in the Hulk Speak. In this story, the Hulk can speak normally and this is the first time that he refers to himself in the third person. Then he goes inside the Alchemax building, sees a bunch of people in tubes, including one who has fallen out of his tube which is just creepy. He then says, “Well, I know what I’m gonna be doing for the next few months.”. What he should have said was, “Well, I know what I’ll be doing for the next few months.”.

Then the Hulk is shown giving a speech to the entire city, mirroring a plot point in The Immortal Hulk where the Devil Hulk becomes an inspirational figure. And then he shows off his latest invention, the Dogs of War. How did he put all those people in tubes inside of these mechanical animals is unknown.

During his speech, Hulk talks about making the country greater than the people have ever dreamed. This is a great way to reference the “Make America Great Again” slogan without actually mentioning those words. Those words are played out. The people are afraid of him and the Hulk decides to send the Dogs of War after the people while Hercules watches. He gleefully says that we now have a ball game.

Maestro #3 is pretty good, continuing the good work of the previous two issues.

My Anticipation for MCU Movies, Part 2

Ant-Man 3- I have very high hopes for this movie. But I hope Kang the Conqueror isn’t in this movie. I know Avengers: Endgame dealt with time travel, but having Ant-Man deal with time travel just feels wrong. The previous Ant-Man movies introduced the Quantum Realm and the idea of it having a weird relationship with time, but they did not have time travel in them. Having the Ant-Man movies go from having antagonists who had superpowers but were relatively grounded to a time traveler is a bigger leap than the Iron Man movie going from Iron Monger to The Mandarin.

Black Panther II- This was the movie I was most excited for. Unfortunately, Chadwick Boseman died. I am now concerned for this movie. Specifically, I am concerned about how they’re going to deal with Chadwick Boseman’s death. Will they replace him with another actor? That’s the more likely option they’ll go with since if they that T’Challa died with the actor, they’ll be throwing away a lot of money by killing off a major character before they can give him a sequel to one of their most successful movies. If they have his sister Shuri replace him as Black Panther, that could be the worst option because they haven’t established her being the successor of Black Panther and this move could alienate a lot of people. RIP Chadwick Boseman.

Black Widow- The trailers I have seen for it looks good, and it looks like The Winter Soldier which is always a good thing. However, the long delays for this movie may kill the excitement for the MCU because no new MCU movies will come out until 2021.

Blade- Mahershala Ali could be good in the role. We’ll see.

Captain Marvel 2- This is the one I’m least excited for. Based on everything I’ve heard so far, it sounds like they’re turning Captain Marvel into a female Captain America knockoff, with this film being her Winter Soldier. Out of all the future Marvel movies, this is the one with the potential to truly suck.

Deadpool 3- I hope this movie will be rated R and not PG-13. And I hope Disney will allow this movie to have jokes that make fun of the MCU and Disney.

Doctor Strange in the Mulitverse of Madness- This was one of the movies I was most excited for. And then Scott Derrickson announced that he won’t be directing this film. Hopefully Sam Raimi does a good job directing this movie. If this movie sucks or elements of this movie suck, I will be asking how Scott Derrickson would’ve handled that element or the movie itself.

Eternals- I hope they change the costumes before the movies comes out. They all look exactly the same.

Fantastic Four- This could be what the Fantastic Four needed: to join the MCU. If they go with the approach that they took with Spider-Man and not have Doctor Doom in this movie, it will be good. I also hope they don’t do something stupid that is out of character for the Fantastic Four that will ruin this movie like they did for Spider-Man. There should be no origin story for them.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3- I hope they close it out with a bang. Bringing back James Gunn will help out with this.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings- Looks good. I hope it can provide exciting martial arts action in it. I am also curious to see how they pull off The Mandarin without making him a stereotype.

Spider-Man 3- One of the films I’m least excited for. However, it doesn’t mean that it will be terrible. It means I think it will not be good. Here’s what I expect from it: awkward humor, bad dialogue, a great villain played by someone with great acting chops, shitty romance, a better second half than the first, and exciting action sequences.

Thor: Love and Thunder- This movie could be good. However, I am concerned when I saw the director say that this movie would be “bigger” than Ragnarok. If this movie sucks, the first words of my review for it will be “Bigger is not better in Thor: Love and Thunder.”.

X-Men- Out of all the Marvel movies coming out in the future, this is the most interesting one to me. I’m interested in seeing how the MCU handles the X-Men. They have no origin story that is discernable. I hope they have no Magneto in this movie and they focus on storylines that have not been adapted to film.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Final Season

Agents_of_S.H.I.E.L.D._season_7_poster

Now this is a weird review for me, cause I was a huge fan of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. when it came out. I watched it like all the time cause having a show that focused on the events of the MCU from the point of view of regular people was awesome. Then I decided to cut down on the amount of time I spent watching TV and I stopped watching the show and I also stopped watching shows like The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. But I watched the first episode of Season 5 by accident when I was in my mom’s friend’s house.

But for the last season I was like, I invested four years into this I didn’t watch the last two seasons but I’m watching the last season, cause I wanna see how it ends. And so was it worth it? Yeah, actually for me it was really worth it.

Alright so the show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has had its ups and downs. My favorites are Seasons 2, where they focused on S.H.I.E.L.D. fighting HYDRA like they should’ve on some classic spy stuff as well as introduce several comic book characters into the show making it more like the show we were promised, and 4, where they bring Ghost Rider into the series.

And on to Season 7. Season 7 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a great final season of the show for me. The plot is simple: human-looking robots known as the Chronicoms are going back in time to erase S.H.I.E.L.D. before it even existed, and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are going back in time to prevent that. This plot is simple but high stakes, and it works for the final season of a long-running TV show.

The final season of the show has 13 episodes in it as opposed to the first four seasons of the show which had 22 episodes in them each. And the show really benefited from the reduced episode count, because none of the episodes ever felt like filler. There was no episode in this season where I was like “If they took out this episode out nothing about this season would change.”. There are all entertaining in their own right.

This season does suspense really well. Every episode will have you like “oh my god, I’m biting my nails. How are they going to get out of this one?”. They will leave you on the edge of your seat. Part of the reason for this is the characters. The main characters are so damn likable and charismatic. You feel for them and grow to care about them. They feel like friends and the relationships are well done. In particular, I really like the characters of Coulson, Mack, and Enoch. Coulson is that guy you root for and even with all that he’s been through, he is still the same Coulson. Mack is now the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and is a charismatic leader. Enoch is really funny and also has some of the most touching scenes in the season.

In addition, this season does intrigue really well. At the center of all the conflict and suspense in the episodes, you’re wondering how the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are going to pull off their plan to defeat the Chronicoms and what that plan is.

The humor is funny but there is not a lot of it so it doesn’t get in the way of the serious moments. The actions sequences are well shot and really well done.

There is one thing that I would have done differently in the finale, but that one thing would’ve changed the vibe of the ending as well as the ending itself.

I would say, if you haven’t seen Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., see Season 7 at least. You’re gonna be a little lost because they try to incorporate at lot of the other seasons into it. I mean, there was some stuff that happened in the last two seasons that they were talking about in here I’m like, I don’t know what that is, but I move on. But season 7, it’s worth checking out, do it. I’m telling you, when it wrapped up, I was like, “this is cool shit.”. Props to the writers for pulling that off that’s cool.