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: 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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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: 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

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bearsleuthWritten by: Patrick Lunn

Morning BS: Why read Max Landis’ Superman: American Alien In 250 words or less

The genius visionary behind Chronicle, American Ultra and Victor Frankenstein hits the world of comics with one of the greatest Superman books of all time and you need to read it!

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While Superman might be one of the most Iconic superheroes of all time he isn’t particularly liked by a large portion of the comic book fandom. I mean, why choose Superman’s vanilla when you can have Green Lantern’s mint choc chip, right? It’s tough to write a Superman book at the best of times and normally it ends up being a played out battle between Superman and Lex or another alien threat, but occasionally a writer comes along and turns the man of steel on his head. Last year, Max Landis did just that.

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Landis tracks Clark Kent’s growth from a young boy all the way through to manhood. We see the evolution of Superman across seven issues which include tonnes of extra short stories and single panel pieces that Landis has incorporated to create a full picture of the Man Of Steel. It’s a story of moral and physical evolution that keeps interesting and light hearted for the average reader while also throwing in tonnes of stuff that long term Superman fans will love. If you only read one Superman story make it this one.

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I’ve got a few words left so I’ll just say this: Boyhood meets the best Man of Steel has to offer…what more could you want?

You can pick American Alien up for £12.99 digitally through the DC Comics app or in graphic novel form for £12.51 from Amazon

Have you read American Alien 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 Tom King’s Vision: Little Worse Than A Man In 250 words or less

Vision is possibly one of the strongest Avengers with abilities matching Thor or Hulk so what happens when the synthetic superhero wants to start a family?

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There have been a few attempts over the years to give the Vision a solo book and each have been met with low to middling success. This has mostly been due to the fact that he’s a little too perfect. A robot with the ability to change his body density and access many other powers on top of that is pretty muchl unstoppable. When the duties of revisiting Vision fell to rising star Tom King, who went from this to writing Batman, there was one direction no one had ever conceived for the automatous Avenger…Vision the soap opera.

These first six issues see Vision create a family including a Wife, Son, Daughter and Dog. In the first issue we see the kids go off to school, Vision heads off to help the President on normal Avengers business and Vision’s wife murders a super villain. The story then becomes a twisted commentary on suburban lifestyle and the family unit all told through Tom King’s brilliant style which pulls in references to classic literature and comic books.

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I’ve got a few words left so I’ll just say this: I, Robot meets Fuller House…what more could you want?

You can pick Little Worse Than A Man up for £13.49 digitally through the Marvel Comics app or in graphic novel form for £14.99 from Amazon

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Have you read Little Worse Than A Man 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: 5 Reasons Why You Wouldn’t want to be Captain America

Steve Rodgers is a buff patriotic paragon but would you really want to wield his shield?

  1. The Weight Of A Nation

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Being Captain America is a big responsibility, the biggest responsibility in fact. When you wear the flag you represent America. Could you bear that responsibility?

  1. The Iron Nail

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When every other Avenger falls Captain America is the last one standing. Refusing to give in against any threat. That means you’d have to take more punishment than Thor and still stand with pure willpower. Steve has tanked hits from the best and kept on fighting but it’s cost him…

  1. “It Appears To Run On Some Form Of Electricity”

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Steve is a man from the past. A past with a lot less technology and lot more Nazis. If you were Captain America that means no iPads or Internet. Unfortunately you’d be more like a fussy grandpa asking is IM is a new form of STD.

  1. How much do you trust shady German Scientists?

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Like most steroids, no one knows the long term effect of super hero serum. This has come up a few times in the comics but never fully explored. It’s entirely possible for the serum to suddenly kill you. You’d have to live with that in your body permanently.

  1. You can never…ever…get krunk

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Captain America processes alcohol at a fantastic speed so he never gets drunk. It’s even been established that he can drink gods under the table. So you’ll always be the designated driver, if that doesn’t put you off I’m not sure what will.

So that’s the price to pay for being Captain America…would you still take the job?

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

Edited by: Ivy Miller

 

Morning BS: Constantine vs Doctor Strange

There is no more fantastical fight than when two mystics go to war but who would win in a battle between the Sorcerer Supreme and the Hellblazer?


In the Blue Corner: Doctor Strange


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First things first, for the sake of balance I’m going to focus on Stephan Strange as he appeared at the start of Marvel’s All-New All-Different line-up. Strange is still the sorcerer supreme but without the God-like powers he had in his early day. The thing about Strange fighting another wizard is that he is the mystical equivalent of the Hulk with the training of a great martial artist, this means he’s strong, smart and tough to defeat. In open warfare, or his Sanctum, I’m confident Strange would take home the win with his combination of powerful combination of spells and artefacts.


In the Red Corner: John Constantine


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There is a reason John Constantine is called the Hellblazer and it’s because he’s not afraid to play dirty. The roguish Brit has brought down much greater Mystics with a combination of deception and trickery. While I believe Doctor Strange would easily over power Constantine face-to-face, if Constantine could prepare and put together some form of deception, that may involve dealing with other forces in the Marvel or DC Universe, I think he could probably incapacitate if not kill the sorcerer.


Battleground: Days of Future Past


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Fighting in the ruins of America after the defeat of most heroes at the hands of the sentinels, I feel like Strange has a distinct advantage. This is still his home plain and while his Sanctum might be destroyed he still has the lay of the land. Constantine would be on the run here but that is where he operates at his best. There is an outside chance that he could find a way to turn the situation to his advantage, possibly by convincing the sentinels that strange is a mutant.


Winner: Doctor Strange


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While I believe Constantine could get a win with some form of deception nine times out of ten Strange is going to blast him across multiple dimensions within the first few seconds of combat. On the Sorcerer Supremes home plain of existence he is always going to have an advantage and I’m afraid John is going to be pushed to breaking point.

Do you agree? 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 Jeff Lemire’s Moon Knight: Lunatic in 250 words or less…

The schizophrenic Moon Knight has always been an interesting hero but in the hands of genius writer Jeff Lemire, it’s a must read series.

If you’re unfamiliar with Moon Knight it’s nothing to be ashamed of, he’s essentially Batman with a multiple personality disorder. This means that sometimes he is the debonair Moon Knight with powers granted to him by the Egyptian god of vengeance and other times he is one of several different personalities, including a New York taxi driver and a Hollywood actor. This has led to many writers experimenting with the form of comics and how it can be used to portray mental illness and uncertainty. A running question throughout the series is whether Moon Knight is actually in contact with the god he claims to draw power from or if that’s part of his illness.

Lemire takes all of this a step further. He places our lead character, Marc Spector, in an insane asylum with the implication that every Moon Knight story to date has all been a delusion and that the background cast of those stories are simply other patients. If that doesn’t sell you Lemire has teamed up with stunning artist Greg Smallwood and together they have experimented with every aspect of comic book writing to create something unique.

I’ve got a few words left so I’ll just say this: Egyptian Mythology meets One Flew Over a The Cuckoos Nest…what more could you want?

You can pick Lunatic up for £9.99 digitally through the Marvel Comics app or in graphic novel form for £13.50 from Amazon

Have you read Lunatic 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