Anime 101: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Like the magic system of the series, what you get out of Fullmetal Alchemist is governed by the law of equivalent exchange.

Mild Spoilers

Fullmetal Alchemist came to my attention back in 2009 with the announcement of the English dub of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (FMAB). I remember watching the first episode but, for whatever reason at the time, I just didn’t commit to following its run. Recently, I decided to have another crack at it and I can see why it gets such high praise from both fans and critics…

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Morning BS: 5 Reasons Why You Wouldn’t Want To Be Ash Ketchum

Traveling around Kanto, Johto and more catching them all has to be the best right?

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  1. Your Mother Forces You To Leave Home At The Age Of Ten

I don’t know about you but when I was ten years old, I had only just figured out how to work the microwave. Ash Ketchum is kicked out of his home at the age of ten, most likely because Ash’s Mum had certain plans for Professor Oak and his Pokeflute. That means you’re expected to survive in a world full of elemental monsters with the intelligence of a ten year old. Impossible.

  1. You’ll Never Age

After almost 20 years of adventures around the Pokémon world, Ash has barely aged a day. Sure there have been the occasional wardrobe changes and throwaway birthdays but Ash is still a 10 year old boy. That means no puberty and an eternal life watching friends like Brock and Misty age and decay.

  1. Ash has never really had much success

Ash Ketchum has lost almost every Pokémon tournament he’s entered. Sure he’s beaten the gym leaders, but even then he’s normally got his badge through some form of crazy adventure. That means a lifetime of failure. Could you live with that?

  1. Team Rocket/Magma/Aqua/Plasma/Skull/Whoever

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Pikachu might be your best friend in the whole world, but he also paints a huge target your back. Ash has spent his whole life being hunted by goons and thugs from various organizations.

  1. You’re A Glorified Dog Walker

To this day Ash has caught and trained hundreds of Pokémon. That’s hundreds of animals to feed, clean and, most importantly, pick up after. I hope you have the master ball of all poopa-scoopas because you’re going to want to catch them all.

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So that’s the price to pay for being Ash Ketchum…Would you still take the job?

Let me know in the comment section down below, on Facebook at: or on Twitter at: Also if you want daily BS remember to sign up for emails or follow with your WordPress account.

Written by: Patrick Lunn

 

Anime 101: Hunter X Hunter (2011)

33 collected volumes, 148 episodes, two movies and 366 hours of my life on one hell of an adventure!

Mild spoilers

For a few years I’ve had people recommend to me Hunter X Hunter purely based on my love for Dragon Ball. Because of this I put the show down as a copycat of Dragon Ball and never made the effort. Over the course of a week my opinion radically shifted from ‘Dragon Ball knockoff’ to ‘This is the greatest show I’ve ever seen’, and the best part was that I was only just scratching the surface of what the show was really about.

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Left to right: Kurapika, Gon, Killua and Leorio

What is Hunter X Hunter?

Hunter X Hunter is a major ongoing manga series created by Yoshihiro Togashi. The series has been serialised in Weekly Shonen Jump since 1998 and has been adapted into two anime TV shows: the first produced from 1999 – 2001 by Nippon Animation and ran for 62 episodes, the second produced by Madhouse Studios and aired from 2011 to 2014.

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Left to right: 1999 and 2011

The story in its most basic form focuses on a young boy named Gon Freecss as he decides to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a legendary Hunter. It’s worth noting from the start than Gon lived his life to this point believing his father was dead, when in actual fact his father abandoned him to live his life as a Pro-Hunter. Hunters are licensed professionals capable of carrying tasks such as… well, hunting: hunting criminals and treasure, just to name a few.

 

To date 33 volumes of Hunter X Hunter have been translated into English and published by Viz Media. The 2011 anime series is available to stream on Netflix and Crunchyroll.

What separates it from the crowd?

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Killua & Gon

Where Hunter X Hunter truly excels is with its cast of well-developed and memorable characters. I found that I enjoyed and cared for 90% of the characters in the show–this is made more possible by having the characters not follow already existing tropes in shonen anime–the absolute highlight being the friendship between protagonists Gon and Killua.
The relationship between these two characters is well-developed and made believable by how they treat each other, as well as through their interactions. An example of this is the characterisation of Killua Zoldyck, heir to the Zoldyck family of assassins.

 

When it comes to antagonists, Hunter X Hunter delivers them with as much development and characterisation as its protagonists. We spend enough time with each villain to realise they’re not justifying their actions because they’re just straight up evil; each one is made relatable and interesting. My favourite example of this is shown with Yorknew Arc where we’re introduced to a renowned gang of thieves known as The Phantom Troupe.

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The Phantom Troupe

Final thoughts

As I mentioned at the start, I went into Hunter X Hunter with little to no expectations and was completely blown away. At no point did the show feel like a chore to watch; both the story and characters were engaging and well-paced. The soundtrack is nothing to scream about, but it does the job of expressing tone and emotion when necessary. The animation is very well done, but it’s not without its faults as the childish style gives the wrong impression to newcomers and may put people off. Hunter X Hunter is a beautiful show with a strong story and memorable cast to match it, and is worthy of the praise surrounding it. This is a show that deserves to be watched.

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Hunter X Hunter is available to stream on Netflix & Crunchyroll.

Written by: The Covert Coot

Edited by: IvyM

The BearSleuth Week Geek Out – LaMarr And Snyder And Bears…Oh My!

This week I am determined to get this feature up at a reasonable time! Last week was just a trial run but this is absolute prime time professionalism in article form. Unfortunately, to my knowledge their is very little to talk about in the world of television so I’m going to jump across and examine what’s going on over at YouTube. Apart from that all I have to say is that it’s been a damn good week and I hope all you back-to-schoolers are settling in well.

The Week In Comics


 

This week is looking pretty strong in the world of comics, the shelves are pretty densely packed and their is certainly a lot of talent to be found. An underground hit of the week has to be Scarlet Witch #10 which is pretty much a perfect self contained story for the character looking at her role in the magical community. Over with the Team Aqua that is DC we have some awesome titles including All-Star Batman #2 and Suicide Squad #2 showcasing talent from two of the greatest creators in the comic book industry, Snyder and Lee.

Marvel’s Team Magma are looking sound all round with some brilliant tie-in titles but my pick of the week has to go to Amazing Spider-Man Civil War II #4, which has to be one of the most complex titles I have ever written. The finale of the Amazing Spider-Man tie-in is probably going to place the series as the strongest of the Civil War II tie-ins to date as it fully succeeds in an examination of the main themes of the event. If you are only going to pick up one tie-in make it this one…then maybe squeeze your budget for the X-Men tie-in as well!

The Week In Film


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Well this week I actually went to see a film which I can talk about, Don’t Breathe. This film was pretty much schlock of the highest order with a particular scene added in just for shock value and so the film can be ‘the film that went there’. I actually think this is a horror targeted at a more female audience as the shock scene is harder to relate to from a male perspective, which probably goes a long way to spoiling it. The male characters are embarrassingly weak but the female lead, played by Jane Levy, seems to have a good amount of depth to her. The villain is essentially, old and evil Daredevil and I find that the film makes a lot more sense in that light.

Like I said up top, there’s not really much in the way of TV news from me at the moment, just finished Stranger Things which gave me a new appreciation for child actors and small-town sci-fi. Heading over to YouTube, Fatman On Batman just interviewed Phil LaMarr and you have to see it if you are in anyway a geek. My YouTube tastes are fairly vanilla but I recommend Yahtzee19,  KaptainKristian and Vuepoint’s Jack’s World if you are looking for something new.

The Week In Gaming


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Pre are in the ten week countdown for Pokemon!!! Like any good fan I’m attempting a run through of HeartGold, Pearl, Black, White 2, X and finally Omega Ruby before grabbing a copy of Sun. I’m going to be grabbing a bunch of grass starters in the way, the unloved Ringos of Pokemon starters, and basically getting myself back in that ten-year-old mind-set. Apart from that I’m continuing a play through of Dark Souls with Ollie from LoneWolfGaming and playing Until Dawn with Will, the BearSleuth camera man.

In Other News…


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The world is teetering on the brink of disaster from a take over of regional pronunciation starting with a plague of government sponsored academies and there will be more news coming on the new BearSleuth writer later this week. That’s about it for this week folks but be sure to come back next week for more sleuthing!

…That was this week’s BearSleuth Week Geek Out!!! Check back on Friday for a brand new article!!!

BearSleuth Week Geek Out

Like I said in my last post, it’s becoming a lot hard to find time for my normal Sleuthing, which is why this new feature is coming to you a little late. I wanted to make sure I gave it my full attention and due to a quick trip to A&E that became borderline impossible, I managed to tear some muscles in a fight with a bird table (don’t ask). Anyway, I have a lot to talk about so I think it’s time to stop faffing about and get stuck in!

The Week In Comics


It’s been a really good week in the world of comics. While the shelves were a little sparse, DC knocked out a few brilliant books with the new Tom King Batman Issue Six probably taking the top spot from the blue corner. Over in the red of Marvel is my top pick for the week, Jeff Lemire’s Moon Knight. This book is complex, intelligent and really shows what the modern industry techniques developed in the independent market can add to the mainstream. I also read Asterios Polyp this week and I can whole heartedly say that it is the only graphic novel to have changed my life. If you are able to get your hands on a copy you 100% should.

The Week In Film (And TV)


The run up to Doctor Strange is gripping a lot of comic book fans now with the inevitable ‘I want to get into Doctor Strange…’ posts slowly creeping onto reddit. For anyone looking for a Doctor Strange recommendation, it’s pretty hard as most of his stuff comes from the silver and bronze age of comics which can feel very dated. Check out ‘The Oath’ and maybe Jason Aaron’s new Doctor Strange series as they present the more modern take on the character.

In other news, Rogue One is struggling, to no one’s surprise (this is what happens when you put a Godzilla director on a Star Wars flick). Also a Dark Tower trailer will be airing next month so keep your peepers peeled. Turning to TV quickly, apparently the Luke Cage series looks good and the new Ghost Rider looks okay enough to get people to notice Agents Of Shield still exists.  Personally, I’ve been getting into Stranger Things and I’m going to surprise no one by saying it’s a great show, likely to become the next massive hit.

The Week In Gaming


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This week saw the world of console gaming reveal its massive throbbing erections for the PC master race as consoles take that one bold step into becoming computers. I don’t really care for 4k optimisation so I can’t say this affects me but if you are one of those graphics snobs then this…probably doesn’t matter to you because you already have a gangster rig (or whatever the cool kids are calling it). Deus Ex is gracing the shelves again, which is cool as we don’t have enough ultra-gritty cyberpunk dystopia running around. This week I’m replaying Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne because I’m a masochist when it comes to gaming.

And Finally…


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In other news, the world is teetering on the edge of destruction from the imminent threat of a mass custard pie orgy at the top of Trump tower and I am proud to announce that we are adding another writer to the BearSleuth roster. While I’m not ready to say much yet SHE is a perfect fit for the team and I’m sure HER articles are going to be a great hit!

Subtlety was always one of my strong points.

…That’s this week’s BearSleuth Week Geek Out!!! Check back on Friday for something new!!!

BearSleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle Week Fifty

For the first time in recent memory the shelves in my local comic book store looked a little bare. With the exception of a handful of tie-ins, there is now Civil War II has ground to a halt, leaves us to wait another week for a main book. On top of that this week there are no DC Rebirth titles, well to be honest there’s a Suicide Squad mini-series but nothing of any substance. So this week we are looking at the fringes and a few highlights I’ve been wanting to cover for awhile which, for one reason or another, haven’t really shown up on my list. Trust your humble Sleuth, I’ll see you right!

All images are screenshots taken from the Marvel and DC Comics apps [Accessed:02/09/2016]

Civil War II: Choosing Sides Issue Five By A Whole Phalanx Of Artists


 

I love Justin Trudeau! I might not know that much about Canadian politics, and the little I do know has come from a close friend and John Oliver, but it is great to see the Canadian Prime Minister turning up in the pages of a Marvel comic. I can’t say there is much more in this book to write home about but Trudeau’s presence is pretty cool. His section is written by Chip Zdarsky who delivers his usual mixture of tongue-in cheek humour and heart. The book is fairly mediocre from there on out making it hard to recommend but as a piece of political-comic book history it’s a highlight of the year.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Issue Eleven By Brian Michael Bendis And Valerio Schiti


 

The Guardians have just come off a monster arc, a planetary-wide cataclysmic arc that is 100% worth your time and attention. This issue is more of the calm before the storm. A brief reprieve setting up the major players in the next epic arc. There’s a lot of interesting character interactions as well as plenty of nods and winks towards the fans. It’s an issue that build heart and character. There really isn’t much to say past that, Schiti’s art is fairly tight and the set up for the big Civil War II tie-in is nice but if you want a big action set piece this is not the one for you. If you like the Guardians grab this book.

Han Solo Issue Three By Marjorie Liu And Mark Brooks


 

When you think of Han Solo you think of the rogue with the heart of gold and this story is entirely based around this concept. Marjorie Liu has created the perfect boys own adventure storyline in space and it is no small wonder that I am completely wrapped up in it. Han gets the cool lines and the brilliant stunts while the pulse racing action hammers on in a plot that will satisfy any Star Wars fan. The art by Mark Brooks is nice and has a lot of subtle detail for an eagle eyes reader. This is a big winner all round for me and is fully worthy of your time.

Ms. Marvel Issue Ten By G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa And Alphona


 

Most of the time the high school drama of super heroics wears thin with me. I don’t like the whinny emo stuff as I’ve been there and I know how much it makes you want to gouge out your own eyes years later. However, in Ms. Marvel G. Willow Wilson has worked hard to make the high school drama mean something, for it to deeply effect the heroine and her heroics. This book is a big Civil War II tie-in and I feel that it will be known as one of the hidden gems of the event for years to come. I like this book and if you are willing to try something different this is a great choice.

Rocket Raccoon And Groot Issue Eight By Nick Kocher And Michael Walsh


 

Well Skottie Young has left the building…whether he will come back or simply leave us hanging while he pens ‘I hate Fairyland’ is unknown as of writing this but I dare say he will emerge with another great idea soon. What isn’t unknown is that Nick Kocher was the only man who could have stepped into Young’s clownish shoes. His take on the title partnership is fantastic, funny and fierce. The story is a loose Civil War II tie-in with more of the group hijinks bubbling up to the surface. If you like the Guardians and you fancy a laugh this is the place to be.

Spider-Man Issue Seven By Brian Michael Bendis And Nico Leon


 

Can something finally happen in these issues? I love Bendis’ slow approach to character development with a lot of brilliantly handled teenage drama but I’m really getting sick of Spider-Man struggling to be Spider-Man. I feel like this story is just ticking over until Bendis can move off his other nineteen projects and give it full focus. I know that next issue or the one after my thoughts will be completely different again but for now I’m a little bored of Spider-Man. If you are a fan of Bendis or Miles or Spider-Man then stay tuned but this might be one you can miss.

BearSleuth Pick Of The Week: Tokyo Ghost Issue Ten By Rick Remender And Sean Murphy


 

Tokyo Ghost is over. Perhaps one of the greatest comics of the last year and it is finished, with chances if a sequel looking middling at best. So how did it all pan out? Perfectly. I know I’m speaking with a bit of fan boy biased here but, I cannot find a flaw in this finale. It’s a brilliant end to a brilliant book and I want every one of you reading this to go pick up the first trade paperback. This is the quiet riot we need in this digitally swamped age and it’s truly beautiful. If that doesn’t sell you on it I’m not sure what will.

Uncanny Avengers Issue Thirteen By Gerry Duggan And Ryan Stegman


 

Another issue of set up as we ease into a Civil War II tie-in. I don’t have much to say about this issue as it simply runs through a few team members and show us their roles in the coming war. It’s fun and if you wanted a little more depth after the main Civil War II books then I can highly recommend it but past that this is in one ear and out the other. This is the worst sort of book to review as its so on the fence, there is nothing offensively bad or angelically good to talk about so I will leave the recommendation to you. Sleuth. Out.

…That was this week’s BearSleuth Spoiler Free a Comic Book Bundle!!! Check back later today for a new OpinionatedDavid article!!!

Comic History 101: Flashpoint

There will only ever be one Flash. Barry Allen is the scarlet speedster we all love and he will forever be the fastest man alive. Geoff Johns knew that when he asked for Allen to be revived during the DC event ‘Final Crisis’. This brought back the Flash in a big way and brought a lot of attention back onto the series after a waning interest from the readership. Then, for his next trick, Johns wrote Flash Rebirth (in a similar vein to his previous Green Lantern Rebirth series which had been a resounding success) and blew fans away with a great story and origin redesign that is now considered to be the only Flash origin. With a Flash fever gripping readership the corporate higher ups wanted a big Flash event. Johns sat at his desk and then after several minutes began to pen the liquid gold that would be the Flashpoint script.

Alternate Realities


 

Flash had recently discovered an ability called the ‘speed force’ which gave him lots of new abilities and so Johns wanted to dig deep into how the character would react to such power. This lead to Barry using the speed force to time travel back to the past in an attempt to save his mother from her death. Barry managed this feat and then returned to the present to find himself in an alternative dimension. However, unlike many weaker alternative dimension storylines, this DCU was packed full of great characters and ‘what if?’ moments. We were introduced to a Thomas Wayne who had taken up the Bat-mantel I when his son had been killed in front of him and a warring version of Aquaman and Wonder Woman. It was a fun and vibrant universe that then lead to the Flash having to correct himself and allow his mother to die in an emotional climax you could find in few other books. The fallout carved the path for the new 52 and a completely different DC Universe.

A Flash In The Pan


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I searched across a lot of websites in preparation for this article and so I can say with absolutely certainty that Flashpoint has never received a one-star or below rating on Amazon and only 1% of readers from Goodreads gave it one-star or below. That’s better a better record than industry classics such as Watchmen or the Killing Joke. There are a lot of reasons for this of course, less people have read Flashpoint than either of those greats for example, but I think a main reason is that Johns manages to nail the emotional heart of the situation. In the main book we get all the set up and pay off needed for both the Barry Allen and Thomas Wayne arcs which is a sign of great writing. The sales of the time show Flashpoint selling out and topping the charts at release. This was a success in all directions and it didn’t stop there.

The Rise Of The New 52


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This book showed that comics can be crazy and play with high concept sci-fi, without resorting to the grim-dark ultra violence of the nineties scene. It heralded a new age over at DC where characters could undergo vast redesigns or backstory shifts, such as Snyder’s Swamp Thing or Azzarello’s Wonder Woman, as long as the plot was tied to great writing. It created a shift in the industry and left ripples that we are still feeling today with events like Secret Wars and Rebirth. This is a modern classic with a brilliant legacy to leave. Join me next time when I will be looking at The Walking Dead and how Image comics used a zombie apocalypse soap opera to rise from the dead.

…That was this week’s Comic History 101!!! Check back on Saturday for a new BearSleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle!!!

BearSleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle Week Forty Nine.

Finally I can afford to buy my comics and eat! This week the line ups from both Marvel and DC are looking a little thin but I am not complaining. Marvel are taking, what can only be described as, a brief reprise from the war before everything results in a complete meltdown of the Marvel Universe. As for DC, they seem to have found something strange out there in the swamps of rebirth…their artistic integrity. The great publishing house is putting out the best work in a decade of its history and I’m loving it. Finally, Image have Brian Lee O’Malley’s Snotgirl which is nothing short of genius. Which all these great titles what’s a geek to do? Call the Sleuth.

All images are screenshots taken from the Marvel and DC Comics app [Accessed: 25/08/16]

 

Action Comics Nine Hundred And Sixty Two By Dan Jurgens And Stephen Segovia.


 

Despite what 70% of comic book readers will tell you, there are actually a lot of ways to do a great Superman storyline. These break into a few categories but one of my favourite groups of stories are the ones where Clark is able to just cut loose. To use all his abilities on a being so powerful that he will only defeat it with a super human barrage. In this issue we see one such confrontation and it is a wonder to behold. Jurgens has built up to this moment across the previous issues in the arc and now it’s time for the pay off. I love this issue as it just ties everything together so perfectly. The art from Stephen Segovia is strong throughout. I would recommend this to any Superman fan.

 

Blue Beatle Rebirth One-Shot By Keith Giffen And Scott Kolins.


 

May I just came into DC at the wrong time but I never quite got the whole Blue Beatle craze, I feel this way about quite a few DC heroes such as Static Shock and Dial H. I have always liked the Blue Beatle design and I think that has carried me through his appearances in other books, so it was nice to actually sit down and learn a little about the character. My opinion now I know a little more, this is a weird book, the actual super heroics are awesome and the visuals of a suit constantly changing kind of rock but I’m not a fan of the character’s alter ego life. The writing in the book is good but I feel the plot is lacking something, although that could change over the course of the series. Regardless, the art by Scott Kolins is great and I do enjoy this book. If you are a Blue Beatle fan then this is a must, but I feel that if you are new to character this isn’t going to change your mind.

 

Intentional Ironman Issue Six By Brian Michael Bendis And Alex Maleev.


 

This was always going to be a difficult pitch.  Talking about the origins of Tony Stark’s real parents, a recent mystery that undid a big chunk of Marvel Comics lore and displeased a sizable portion of the fanbase. I do believe the Bendis might have been the only man capable of pulling off the feat of making this work and it’s a good think that he managed to exceed all expectations. The chosen couple are a brand new edition to the Marvel universe and they make a lot of sense, they have qualities you can see in Tony and they are different. This is only the first nugget of information though, and it’s hard to judge the book off such a move, but I have to say, so far so good. The art is knocked out the park by Maleev and there are some fantastic moments of writing here. I don’t know where this arc will do next but for now it’s fantastic. If you are an Ironman fan you need this in your collection.

 

Snotgirl Issue Two By Bryan Lee O’Malley And Leslie Hung.


 

I feel like this book is still finding it’s footing but as an offering from Bryan Lee O’Malley it already has the trademarks of his classic smash hits. There is a good degree of introspection and building background cast of characters I have instantly fallen in love with. The plot is starting to build with a lot of intrigue which is a new tool from O’Malley. I am thoroughly enjoying this series and I feel that once it picks up the pace a little it will be a lot of fun. The art from Leslie Hung is fantastic and serves to separate the book from O’Malley’s previous repertoire. If you like Scott Pilgrim, Lost At Sea and Seconds then you should pick this one up before it becomes a forgotten gem.

 

Star Wars Issue Twenty Two By Jason Aaron And Jorge Molina.


 

There are somethings in the Star Wars Universe you don’t know that you need to see until you see it. For example, in a ‘what if’ storyline from a few years ago we saw what would have happened if Vader had gone and faced Yoda on Dagobah and it was nothing short of fangasmic perfection. This book is another one of those moments in the Star Wars Universe that you just need to see.  Jason Aaron knows how to please Star Wars fans and I am sure this arc is going to become an absolute classic in amongst the fan base. I have nothing else to say apart from, when looking for a first edition copy, may the force be with you.

 

Steve Rogers Captain America Issue Four By Nick Spencer And Javier Pina.


 

I don’t like seeing Captain America work for Hydra. My brain doesn’t like it. With every scene I see where he does something evil I immediately try to contrive the plot and warp it so that Steve is actually acting for the side of the angels. But alas, there is no redemption for Mr. Rodgers. Nick Spencer has crafter the perfect malformation of Cap’s personality but I have to say that I despise it as a long-time fan. Which only means its working. If you are a hard core Captain America fan you may want to steer clear of this book, but for everyone else I have to say this is a hell of a read.

 

BearSleuth Pick Of The Week: Hellblazer Issue One By Simon Oliver And Moritat.


 

Way back in the mists of the early nineties there was an amazing series known only as John Constantin Hellblazer and it was awesome. Many people have conflicting views on how the series changed with time but every comic book fan I have met enjoyed at least one era of the heroes life.  Then DC cancelled the series, tried a few other Constantine series which quickly flopped, and promptly relegated the character to the b-list. Now Constantine is back with the Hellblazer moniker and it is a wonder to behold. Simon Oliver has put together something really special right here that calls back almost perfectly to the old days of Hallblazer. It’s fun, dark and chocked full of black humour. If you want a modern classic get your grubby little mitts all over this.

 

Extraordinary X-Men Issue Thirteen By Jeff Lemire And Victor Ibanez.


 

Jeff Lemire just rocks the mic when he stands up to deliver a brand new X-Men sermon. There is no other way to put it, he balances the heart which has always been the series strength with the madness that has always kept readers coming back for more. This issue is no different, incorporating both aspects of Apocalypse and Limbo storylines making for an insane mix. There are some fantastic sections of dialogue in this book that are worth your time even if you are not a huge X-Men fan. I highly recommend this book to anyone that likes strong character interaction as well as great action.

…That’s this week’s BearSleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle!!! Check back tomorrow for a new VuePoint and OpinionatedDavid!!!

Comic History 101: Siege

In 2009 the Marvel Universe was a terrifying place. Secret War had dissolved trust between the heroes and Shield in 2005. The Avengers had been broken and then reforged into a more dysfunctional team across Avengers Disassembled and New Avengers. House of M hit in late 2005 and the universe lost almost all of the mutants. Then Civil War came and turned the heroes against each other, only to be followed by World War Hulk and Secret Invasion which left the entire Marvel Universe in tatters with most heroes underground and Norman Osborn at the helm. Under Editor-in-chief Joe Quesada everything had changed and now it was time to put it back, or at least a push in the right direction so that Joe could hang the keys of the universe over. Quesada went to Brian Michael Bendis one last time and asked the writer to pull out all the stops, to make this the comic book equivalent of 4 of July fireworks. With this brief Bendis went insane and created one of the greatest events in the history of Marvel Comics.

The Grand Finale


In Civil War we had witnesses a war between heroes, in Secret Invasion it was a war between heroes and aliens, same again with Planet Hulk except the aliens had Hulk so there was only one natural step left. In Siege Norman Osborn declared war on Asgard, which due to a variety of interesting circumstances was flying over Oklahoma, he would break Thor and any other god that stood in his way and his Dark Avengers would make short work of any hero who choose to help defend the gods. In the early phases of the battle Osborn struck quickly with the Sentry, who turned out to be an incredibly powerful being called the Void, and took down Thor on national television. However, instead of breaking down any resistance to Osborn this galvanised his opponents, bringing together the Avengers, Secret Warriors, Young Avengers and several other smaller factions into a tight fighting unit under the guidance of not one but two Captain Americas. The third act played out about how you would expect, with a huge battle raging across the halls of Asgard and the heroes eventually emerging victorious.

The Dawning Of A New Age


When it comes to reception, Siege got very mixed reviews when it hit shelves. While a lot of people really liked the actual event it represented the undoing of a lot of great events and history in the Marvel Universe, the final scenes showed the super human registration act being thrown out which undid most of Civil War. I feel that the aftermath was a necessity but I do also agreed that it could have been handled better, however, the way the event plays out is fantastic. The book still sold extremely well and most review sites pitch it at the 4/5 mark and while this event is rarely talked about as the best it still holds up for me and I think you could make a case for it being as good as World War Hulk or Secret Invasion. This was the end of an era but it was also the birth of the ‘Heroic Age’ which would take Marvel to new heights! Join me next time on Comic History 101 when I will be looking at the other side of the aisle with Flashpoint and the Rebirth of the DC Universe.

…That was this week’s Comic History 101!!! Check back on Saturday for a new BearSleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle!!!

BearSleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle Week Forty Seven

By BearSleuth

The summer comic rush is finally settling down this week and that can only mean one thing. we are dancing around the start of Eisner season as each company begins to slowly put out the books they feel might turn a head with the industry. It’s how we know it’s time to start bringing in the harvest. In all seriousness though, there’s a fantastic line up on the shelves this week which means there is only one man who stands between you and missing the best of the best in the world of comics. The BearSleuth!

All images are screenshots taken from the Marvel and DC Comics apps [Accessed: 12/08/2016]

BearSleuth Pick Of The Week: All Star Batman Issue One By Scott Snyder And John Romita Jr.


 

Scott Snyder was, and for many still is, the king of Batman. There are few who could even claim to come close to his level of influence on how the character is perceived across the industry. Snyder revolutionized the caped crusader, both in narrative and psychology. As a reader and writer, I was saddened when he gave up the series, even though it went to a worthy successor, but now he’s turned around and decided that his award winning Batman run was ‘just one direction’ he wanted to take the character in. This book represents two more of those ‘paths’ Snyder discusses in the editorial at the back of this issue. With such a lineage to live up to, it would be easy for All Star Batman to trip and fall at the first hurdle but I am happy to say that this book might be one of the best I have read this year. I hate John Romita Jr’s artwork and I’m not the biggest fan of either plot Snyder has settled upon for his A and B stories but somehow, through the miracle of Snyder’s writing, this chili and chocolate combination works and creates something that, once again is ground-breaking. Grab an issue as soon as you can, this is not one to miss!

Darth Vader Issue Twenty Four By Kieron Gillen And Salvador Larroca


 

I like a lot of the prequel Star Wars films. I also hate a lot of the prequel Star Wars films. However if there is one moment I both love the idea of and hate the execution of then it would have to be the final battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan before Anakin falls to e dark side. This is the emotional climax of the entire Star Wars universe, the biggest moment in the arc of Darth Vader before his redemption and George Lucas fudged it. Now, Salvador Larroca has managed to fix that one crucial moment in Star Wars cannon with a dream sequence that will leave you not only in support of Vader but with an hitherto never before seen understanding of his core psychology. This is a great Star Wars book and it full deserves your attention if you are a fan.

Deathstroke Rebirth One-Shot By Priest And Carlo Pagulayan


 

I have never been a massive fan of Deathstroke and I’m sorry to say that while this issue came close to converting me it failed to win me over. I guess I don’t really see the purpose in another mercenary anti-hero in world with the Bat-family, the league of assassins, Lobo and Deadshot, each of whom seem to bring more to the table. However, I will concede that Priest has brought something new to the table in this disjointed narrative that took several rereads to fully grasp. The artwork in the book by Pagulayan is good and it supports the core narrative well but there is still something missing and I can’t quite put my finger on it. If you are already a Deathstroke fan this book may yield more for you but if you are undecided on the terminator then this won’t change anything.

Old Man Logan Issue Ten By Jeff Lemire And Andrea Sorrentino


 

If this series doesn’t manage to win a bucket full of Eisner awards I will begin to question the legitimacy of the panel. In my entire time reading comics I don’t think I have ever seen a series capture the essence of a character better than this series right here. Jeff Lemire has created a series of stories which look at internal struggle of Old Man Logan and how he exists in the pre-apocalypse of his post-apocalypse. It’s an odd set up but with a wholly unique emotional pay off. If you were a fan of Mark Millar’s original Old Man Logan series then you will love this right here.

Red Hood And The Outlaws Issue One By Scott Lobdell And Dexter Soy


 

As a character, Red Hood is all about walking the line between light and dark, the moral dilemma of when is one a hero or a villain. Sometimes the character has pushed hard towards his heroic side and other times he’s lent more on his villainous nature. In this new iteration of Red Hood we are looking at the more heroic side of the character as he attempts to deal with Black Mask and other villains by being assimilated into the Gotham underworld. It’s feels like a return to form for the character after the previous, more mystically charged, new 52 series. Lobdell is 100% the right man for the job, as his previous writing on Red Hood displayed a great understanding of the character. My only negative comment about the issue would be that while its strong on the Red Hood side of things we see nothing of the other outlaws, while I’m sure this will be rectified in the following issues its a little bit of weak form of the start of the series. If you want a new story from the world of Gotham with a more morally grey hero then this is the book for you.

Superwoman Issue One By Phil Jimenez


 

Every so often we get one, an artist who can write as well as he can draw or a writer who can draw as well as he can write. While Lee Bermejo is still the man when it comes to this method of creation I have to give credit to Phil Jimenez who is a strong contender. I don’t know how long Phil has been working in both capacities but there is a strong case to be made in his skill in each. If I had to guess whether he is an artist or writer at heart I would suggest a writer as Superwoman walks the line of being slightly too overwritten. The issue as a whole is strong though, with some truly interesting dialogue between Lois Lane and Lana Lang. If you are a fan of Superman, well written female protagonists and large scale super heroics then this is the one for you.

The Accused One-Shot By Marc Guggenheim, Ramon Bachs And Garry Brown


 

I loved Gerry Dugan’s idea to put Daredevil on the side of the prosecution, working in both his day job and his night time hobby to put criminals away , but it has taken some time for that dynamic to come through with an interesting presentation such as this. The Accused is a brilliant one-shot book that serves to give more context on the trial of Clint Barton after the events of Civil War Issue Three and it more than delivers on that promise. Marc Guggenheim has packed this issue with all the ethnical debates and arguments over justice that have always set a Daredevil story apart from the rest of the comic book heroes, making for an extremely compelling piece. If you have been reading Civil War II or if you are just a Daredevil fan then you need to give this book a shot.

The Vision Issue Ten By Tom King And Gabriel Walta


 

I don’t know if there is anything left for me to praise about Tom King’s run on The Vision. It is nothing short of a classic work of fiction and I will happily debate that with anyone. You need to pick up this series, either in trades or in issues, if you even have the slightest interest in comics. This issue in particular should be studied as it reaches the perfect emotional climax with out the use of cheap techniques of sloppy writing. This is a unique book that deserves both your time and attention.

…That was this week’s BearSleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle!!! Check back at 6pm for a new OpinionatedDavid article!!!