Morning BS: Five Graphic Novels Iron Fist Novels You Need To Read

With Danny Rand and company hitting our screens tomorrow, now is the best time to catch up with the living weapon known as the immortal Iron Fist

A quick note before we start; even if the critics dislike this show, go give it a chance to impress you and make your own mind up about it. Iron Fist has a proud history and I’m sure he will translate well to the small screen. If you need any more convincing check these books out!


Shadowlands


While more of a Marvel Knights storyline, Shadowlands sees Daredevil turn evil, becoming the leader of the enigmatic Hand Clan, and the rest of the heroes of New York coming together to deal with him. Iron Fist is one of the biggest heroes in this crossover and his appearance gives you a really good feel for the level of his power and what Rand can do at the height of his power. It’s the perfect introduction to him and the rest of the New York heroes.


The New Avengers Volume One


While not as prominent as Luke Cage in the circles of the Avengers and other super teams, Iron Fist has been a member of the New Avengers in several iterations. This is probably his best appearance, alongside the likes of Doctor Strange and Wolverine. The first volume mostly focuses around Doctor Strange dealing with the magical forces that give him his powers but it also contains a great Iron Fist story that has interesting implications for the character and his life.


Iron Fist: The Living Weapon Volume One: Rage


This is essentially the gritty reboot of Iron Fist and his origin, it looks at his relationship with his father figures and his general world view. This series has been referenced as a main influence for the Netflix series and it is probably one of the best places to get the definitive Iron Fist origin.


The Immortal Iron Fist Volume One: The Last Iron Fist Story


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Matt Fractions Immortal Iron Fist is seen as a character defining run. It’s possibly one of the great titles from its era and it was a complete underground hit, never seeing much love at the time but instead blowing up after release. It examines the lineage of the Iron Fist and helps to build the mythology of the character in ways you wouldn’t believe. If you only take one book from this list it should probably be this one, but this isn’t the book you’ll buy…


Power Man And Iron Fist Volume One: The Boys Are Back In Town


…This one is. I cannot recommend this book enough and with the Defenders becoming a reality, now is the time to get into this famous dynamic duo. The first arc sees Iron Fist bring his best friend, Luke Cage, away from the duties of a young parent and into the streets reliving their glory days. There’s a million little things about this series to enjoy but at the end of the day its fun and you can’t say more than that.

Are you going to pick up any of these books? Are you psyched for the Iron Fist series? Let me know in the comment section down below, on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Beartrails/ or on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/BearTrails

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bearsleuthWritten by: Patrick Lunn

Morning BS: Three Artists You Need To Give A Try

Today I’m going for something a little different. Normally I keep my purview squarely fixed on the world of comic books, which is awesome. However, I also claim to talk about pop culture and I haven’t done that for a while. With that in mind, today I’m just going to run through three new artists I’ve got into and why you should give them a listen.


Childish Gambino


Donald Glover has gone for everyone’s best friend in Community to a genre defying rapper and hip-hop artist. I am officially addicted to his 2013 album ‘Because the Internet’ and I’m still unravelling the mystery of last years ‘Awaken, My Love!’ If you like artists who switch and change their style with ease and show really depth with both their lyrics and general composition then Gambino is the place to me. I would start with ‘Sober’ then follow up with ‘V.3005’ and finally try a little ‘Redbone’ if you want to get a feel for his style and whether you would be interested in him.


Raleigh Ritchie


Coming from the same category of actor turned artist, we have Raleigh Ritchie, better known as Greyworm from Game Of Thrones. Ritchie is a breakout artist from the growing grime wave taking over the UK. He manages to balance the strong influences of artists like Stomzy with a more relaxed and distant vibe. His debut album ‘You’re a Man Now, Boy’ is a thing of beauty with every track hitting close to home for anyone growing up in urban or suburban England. If you’re interested I recommend you start with ‘Bloodsport ’15’ then move on to ‘Champions’ before listening to the entirety of the ‘Mind The Gap’ EP.


Chance The Rapper


While I’ve been writing this article I’ve been listening to this amazing artist, I wanted to listen to each artist while I wrote about them but I have a little problem with Chance The Rapper. I cannot stop listening to him. Forget that he wrote and recorded his first mix tape in 10 days. Forget he drops albums with the likes of Kanye West on them for free. Forget that he is one of the few rappers that preaches monogamy and high morals while still being a badass and well respected in the community. All that aside, he is just a bloody good artist, blending the best of rap, hip hop and jazz into something new and revolutionary. I honestly believe that Chance represents a turning point in hip-hop, putting the music first and the drugs, babes and money second (which is not to say that they aren’t there but they’re all respected). If you want to get into Chance there is only one place to start, crash on your bed and listen to the entirety of his 2016 album ‘Colouring Book’.

That’s my top three artists at the moment, but what’s yours? Are you into Childish Gambino, Raleigh Ritchie and Chance The Rapper? Let me know in the comment section down below, on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Beartrails/ or on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/BearTrails

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bearsleuthWritten by: Patrick Lunn

 

Morning BS: Marvel Unlimited

Marvel’s best kept secret could make reading comic books more affordable for everyone.

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This is not a paid endorsement (although if Marvel Unlimited want to give me some cash that is perfectly fine)

You may have noticed that I have stopped doing weekly comic book reviews. There is a simple reason for this, I have stopped buying comics weekly. That’s right, I’ve got off the weekly print treadmill. It wasn’t an overnight decision, it took a lot of difficult decisions and promises to myself. Essentially, I realized that it was costing me upwards of £200 a month. A cost that a junior copywriter looking to live with his gorgeous girlfriend cannot afford. Don’t take that out of context either, there was no ‘me or the comic books moment’ this was very much my decision. After the cost, there was one other thing that swung the vote for my move away from weekly comics. Marvel Unlimited.

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I doubt you’ve ever heard of Marvel Unlimited and if you have you’re more likely the sort of person who would find little use for it. Marvel Unlimited is Netflix for comic books. You pay around £8.50 a month and in return you gain access to every Marvel comic up to six months ago. Just think about that for a second, every Marvel comic. That’s around seventy years of continuity, thousands of super heroes, hundreds of crossover events. It’s not even limited to the supers either, there’s hundreds of Star Wars books, a bunch of experimental titles and even Stephen King’s Dark Tower collection. That’s enough comic books to keep you going till you die, but it doesn’t stop there. You also get the new issues that came out six moths ago each week. So there’s a constant stream of new titles to read and enjoy.

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I’ve been on the service for about three months now and I’ve read everything from Jeff Lemire’s Moon Knight to Chris Claremont’s X-Men. I read it on my iPad on the commute and on my phone in bed. For £8.50 a month that’s a lot of geeking out. While I know a lot of purists will avoid this service as it is delayed from the release schedule, I know a lot of kids and adults looking for a way into comic books and this is ideal. If you’re looking for a gift that will make you the favourite uncle or aunt at the next birthday, then this is an ideal gift. If you’re still on the fence there are several promo codes you can find on the internet to give you a free month, give it a try and I promise you’ll be hooked.

Are you interested in Marvel Unlimited or already use? Let me know in the comment section down below, on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Beartrails/ or on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/BearTrails

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bearsleuthWritten by: Patrick Lunn

OpinionatedDavid: The PewDiePie Scandal: Hate or Humour?

In the interests of full coverage of the story, this column contains description of content that some readers may find disturbing. Fair warning.

Well…that just happened.

This past week has been something of a rolling disaster for PewDiePie (real name Felix Kjellberg). For almost half a decade now, the 27 year-old Swedish vlogger has been undisputedly the biggest name on the internet’s supreme video-sharing platform. His channel is subscribed to by over 53 million people, and he was famously the first ‘YouTuber’ to publicise making over $1million in a single year as a result of his content. It’s is not unfair to say he is one of the most influential entertainers of our time, even if most people over the age of 40 have probably never heard of him.

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And yet, in a single week, PewDiePie has been dropped by Maker Studios (Disney’s online content publishing subsidiary), had his upcoming YouTube Red series cancelled by the platform, and been taken off the ‘preferred tier’ for family-friendly advertising by Google. Those are some giant names in the tech and entertainment business, now treating this high-pitched, zany guy who largely just screeches at video-games like the most toxic thing around. So, what on Earth is going on?

This scandal has actually been rumbling on for a while, but only recently did it catch the attention of the Wall Street Journal, who ran the story that has provoked such a widespread severing of ties with Mr. Kjellberg. It all traces back to a video PewDiePie published involving the website Fiverr (not a typo). The theme of the website basically involves people on webcam responding to requests made by their audiences in real time for the promise of small amounts of money (which, of course, is an idea that can only lead to good things, on the internet of all places). In the video, PewDiePie persuades a man dressed as Jesus to tell the camera that “Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong,” before persuading another two men to write ‘DEATH TO ALL JEWS’ on a sign, and hold it up while laughing and dancing.

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This has gone down about as well as anyone with a brain should have damn well expected it to, right before pushing that idea back into whatever diseased part of their mind it came from, and proceeding to do literally anything else.

For what it’s worth, I see absolutely no reason not to take Felix at his word when he says his intention was to “show how crazy the modern world is” (namely that he could get people to do literally anything for $5 on the internet). I don’t believe he is a Nazi, or an anti-Semite. However, where I take issue with the statement he has released in response to the backlash against him is where he states that he is “in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes”.

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Because you see Felix… you did. Objectively, that is what you have done. You may not have intended to, and speaking out now against the Neo-Nazi scumbags who are now attempting to use your content to claim legitimacy for their beliefs is somewhat commendable. However, I promise you that those same people do not give a damn what point you were really attempting to make. As far as they are concerned, you have given them ammunition that they will not hesitate to use, and no condemnation from you now is going to stop them. You have been a prominent internet personality for several years. You (should) know these people and how they operate as well as anyone. When are we going to stop giving these people cause to celebrate? We should all know better by now.

You screwed up. You should have known better.

I am saying all of this as someone who believes that, where comedy is concerned, there should be nothing ‘off-limits’. Indeed, some of my favourite comedians have mastered the art of pushing the boundaries of propriety. George Carlin, for example, could pull off telling a theatre full of people they were being stupid for washing their hands after going to the bathroom, and that was one of his cleaner (pun intended) jokes. PewDiePie, however, is not George Carlin. He’s not in the same league as Carlin or any of the other genuine masters of the craft. A comedian understands that jokes can be used as a skewer, to prod mercilessly at our hypocrisies and force us to confront taboos we’d rather not pay attention to. What comedy is not is a shield you can cower behind that renders all criticism of what you said invalid. Yes, Steve Hughes’ skit on the empty nature of being offended is both funny and apt, but Hughes’ never used that idea to try and shut down anyone who ever criticised his point, unlike the legions of internet edge-lords who have misconstrued it.

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Let’s take a moment to examine what the ‘point’ of PewDiePie’s joke was supposed to be. That people will debase themselves for money and fame, even tiny portions of it? Well gosh, Felix! I’m sure that’ll throw the masses for a loop, assuming of course we’ve all just woken up from a coma we’ve been in since 1995. Who is the target of the joke supposed to be, if not Jews or any of the other groups who suffered at the hands of Nazi’s? The people who you paid to follow your instructions to say and do offensive things? Here’s a tip for you: The ‘I’m with stupid’ joke doesn’t work when you’re the person engineering the stupid. You aren’t ‘holding a mirror’ up to anybody in that situation, not when you’re paying in to the same ridiculous construct that encourages their behaviour.

You know you’re no good at this. You’ve said it yourself, that you consider yourself to be a “rookie comedian”. Here’s the thing: You’ve had a lot of practice by now, so if you’re not getting any better at it, it’s time for you to stop.

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I have no doubt that PewDiePie will come back from this incident. Anyone can come back in this industry, and while losing such lucrative contracts is undeniably a big hit, he’s got a big cushion to fall back on. What’s more, the rate of increase in his subscribers has actually rallied in conjunction with the increased publicity surrounding him. If I were him, however, I would be concerned about exactly where those new subscribers are coming from. His career is far from over, I just hope he learns from the mistakes he’s made. If PewDiePie really doesn’t want to be seen as lending legitimacy to any kind of hate movement, the last thing he should want is to wind up with only hateful people rating his act.

But hey, that’s just my opinion, what’s yours?

Let me know in the comment section down below, on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Beartrails/ or on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/BearTrails

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bearsleuthWritten by: David Sayers

Edited by: Ivy Miller

Morning BS: Why read Mar Millar’s Old Man Logan In 250 words or less

With Logan blowing up in cinemas, now is the time to jump into the world of Old Man Logan.

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The nature of Wolverine suggests that he will always be around, kicking ass and taking names, with his healing factor and adamantium skeleton at the ready. There is no end to his story because he can’t die. That’s what most comic book fans suggested anyway. However, mark Millar begged to differ, suggesting that while Logan cannot be killed Wolverine can, as Wolverine represents the heroic side of Logan. This is the basis of the Old Man Logan storyline as we see villains take over the world and break Wolverine by tricking him into killing his fellow X-Men. This sets Logan on a different path of pacifism. He finds a wife and settles down as villains overrun the world.

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Morning BS: Logan

The final send off for Jackman and Stewart feels like it could be one of the greatest X-Men stories of all time.

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Whichever way you look at it, there has never quite been a situation like this in movie history. Both Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and Patrick Stewart’s Professor X are iconic roles that have both become defining roles and last influences on the character. I challenge you to read any X-Men comic book without hearing Stewart’s calm and collected Xavier or Jackman’s abrasive yet loving Logan. With these actor’s performances being so intrinsic to their characters it was always going to be tough ending their tenure on the X-Men films. That being said, while many of the X-Men films have been good, Logan is possibly the greatest X-Men film there will ever be.

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VuePoint: Coming Soon in 2017

Well, 2017 has been pretty great for us gamers so far right!? Resident Evil 7 and Nioh have already blown a significant hole in my budget. Horizon: Zero Dawn is just around the corner, with its own price tag looming – thank god I don’t have to pay until release! Isn’t pre-ordering great!? Because despite having limited funds and plenty of more important things on my shopping list, I can’t help myself when that shiny “One Click Buy” button glints.

With that in mind, I thought I’d take a look at some of the great stuff we have coming over the course of the next year. I hear many people saying that this article would have been better at the start of the year, and to that I say…well…good point.

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Morning BS: Horizon: Zero Dawn First Impressions

This may surprise you but alongside my love of comic books your humble Sleuth is also a huge gaming geek. I’ve always wanted to write more on my love of gaming but with VuePoint on the site it’s never felt quite right. But today I’ve beat ol’ VuePoint to the punch. So before he peels his eyes away from his PlayStation 4 and puts his gaming skills to work on my innards…These are my first impressions of Horizon: Zero Dawn.

Warning: Light spoilers for the first three hours of gameplay

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I only managed to get about three hours in last night but I’ve already got a few points I need to raise about Horizon: Zero Dawn (a title that is seemingly insightful but pretty much meaningless).

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Morning BS: Why read Tom King’s Batman: I Am Gotham In 250 words or less

Graduating from Nightwing to Batman, Tom King may have written one of the greatest Batman stories of all time in I Am Gotham.

A while back I covered Tom King’s Vision, which I proclaimed as one of the greatest interpretations of a B-list superhero (get the full story here). However, what happens when you take the same writer that worked on a wacky, inversion n of the super hero genre and plonk him on the most mainstream book in the whole industry. Batman. Every writer on Batman has their own unique take on the character, so what does Tom King have to say about Batman? To answer that I’ll take you through the first issue of the arc.

Batman Issue One sees Batman dealing with a 9/11-esque aeroplane attack. The entire issue follows Bruce using every trick he has to deal with the attack while meditating on the nature of his duty. In this moment we see Batman realise that he cannot possibly stop the crisis as he’s just a man. But then he works out a solution that will result in his death but save Gotham. Needless to say, Bruce takes it without a moment of hesitation. As he resigns himself to death, Batman is saved by two new heroes Gotham and Gotham Girl, protectors of Gotham City with pseudo-Superman powers. This leads to a series that examines what it is to be a hero and what separates Batman from other heroes. It’s dark, smart and a must read for every Batman fan plus David Finch’s clean-cut art style is beyond brilliant.

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I’ve got a few words left so I’ll just say this: Silence of the Lambs meets The Karate Kid …what more could you want?

You can pick I Am Gotham in graphic novel form for £10.49 from Amazon

Have you read I Am Gotham or are planning to? Let me know in the comment section down below, on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Beartrails/ or on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/BearTrails

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bearsleuthWritten by: Patrick Lunn

Morning BS: Why read Skottie Young’s I Hate Fairland: Madly Ever After In 250 words or less

A comic book artist finds his voice and moves into the daunting territory of artist/writer in this warped twist on classic fairy-tales.

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Last week I mentioned how the rise of Image Comics resulted in some creators gaining a platform to discuss their messages with the world. However, other creators took the platform offered by Image and decided to explore the medium of comics and visual storytelling through other genres. Skottie Young was a gifted artist who did just that. Young had grown acclaim in the industry as an artist creating unique covers for Marvel Comics but with I Hate Fairyland he started to move in a new direction, while he had done bits of comic book writing in the past this would be his first truly bespoke piece of work.

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With those goals in mind Young created the world and plot of I Hate Fairyland, where a young girl, Gertrude, is transported to a magical fairyland for an adventure of whimsy and wonder to find a magical key, almost thirty years later and she is still looking for the key. To add insult to injury, Gertrude is still trapped in the physical body of her six year old self but with the drives of a thirty year old woman. Gertrude’s morals have broken over her years in Fairyland so she is bloodthirsty, horny and willing to do anything to get home and start her life. It’s a recipe for hilarity as Gertrude’s quest forces her to into conflict with every inhabitant of Fairyland.

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I’ve got a few words left so I’ll just say this: Alice In Wonderland meets Machete…what more could you want?

You can pick Madly Ever After in graphic novel form for £8.99 from Amazon

Have you read Madly Ever After or are planning to? Let me know in the comment section down below, on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Beartrails/ or on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/BearTrails

Also if you want daily BS remember to sign up for emails or follow with your WordPress account.

bearsleuthWritten by: Patrick Lunn