This week the final installment of the first arc of ‘We Can Never Go Home’ hit the stands with issue #5. It was a great finale filled with a ton of well placed twists and turns. This also just might be my favorite new title of 2015. We’ve been following the unpredictable exploits of teen runaway misfits Duncan & Maddie for only five issues but hell, what an adventure it’s been so far.
The series takes place back in the late 1980’s a time I remember quite fondly as a kid/teen growing up, so perhaps I’m just a little more than partial to this tale from the start. It’s also a series that involves 80’s references galore and even more so in the realm of underground music & punk rock of yesteryear. Mix that with some seriously deep in serious shit troubled teens on a road trip that seems to get more dangerous with ever mile traveled and you’ve got quite an intriguing story.
The final issue comes to a blood soaked boiling point to a once seemingly innocent start of budding teen crushes. The final issue pulls no punches a lot of questions are finally answered and maybe not quite in the way you might have hope they’d be. That’s fine though as a truly great story never really wraps up the way you think it will. This last issue takes place in the compound of this first arc’s villain, Mr. Carroll, where he’s trapped Maddie and Duncan and tests their “superhuman” abilities.
Certain aspects of this final issue might piss you off, you might suddenly find yourself questioning some of our lead characters motivations in this series. Ultimately though this dynamic conclusion delivers on all cylinders, (with some excellent artwork to boot by Josh Hood) and I already find my self ready to read it all over again.
It also has me quite ready for more which we can expect in 2016. So if you haven’t checked this out yet I advise getting the trade when it hits as the individual issues are hard to track down and going for a pretty penny online. This series makes the $3.99 price tag on comic books these days feel not quite so sleazy. “We Can Never Go Home” is a full on home run.
I’m really enjoying the latest Marvel Netflix original series ‘Jessica Jones’ and I totally loved Daredevil. It really got me thinking about why these shows seem so far (at least to me) so much better than the Marvel cinematic experience!
After a little thought I decided to nail down my five reasons Marvel should send some of their more popular characters down the same path as Jessica & Matt Murdok!
1.Better Character Development:
It’s clear one of the main reasons why I’ve liked the tv shows more so than the movies is simply because we have so much more time to really get to know the characters inside and out. It can be tough sometimes within only a couple hours to really get a character to the point where you actually understand them and their true motivations without everything feeling a bit rushed.
Netflix gives us the time we need without boring us to really fall in love with the characters. It plays out much more like a comic book taking the time it needs to tell a great story. Some of the Marvel movies simply try and pack way too much shit into too small a time. Not only that but Marvel movies are so concerned with tying everything together between franchises that sometimes you get lost in a big sloppy plot. Imagine for a minute if Captain America would have been a tv series, how much more it would have meant to see Bucky come back as the Winter Soldier after spending a whole season with him and Cap in World Ward II?!
2. Believable Special Effects:
Sometimes when I’m watching a Marvel movie I feel like I’m watching a frikin’ cartoon. There’s soooo much CG and special FX work that it ends up a bit feeling like I’m watching ‘Roger Rabbit’. The Netflix shows have really done a spectacular job with the special effects and they flow nicely alongside the story and the action sequences.
They haven’t required the amount of CG that say The Avengers used but sometimes I really wonder if these big bloated shiny CG stuffed spectacles really need to be telling stories that need that much in the way of FX. More is NOT always better folks and some of these Marvel movies just have NOT aged well and it hasn’t even been that long.
One thing the Marvel movies do NOT have going for them are good villains. The Netflix series works hard at giving us reasons to love and at times really hate the villains. We never really get much in the way of character development for the bad guys in a Marvel movie. Usually they’re just merely there as a reason to see some crazy ass battle go down.
The Netflix series give us the time with the bad guys that we need to really understand them or just really wanna see them get their asses served up. I haven’t once given two shits about any villain in a Marvel movie. And folks your superheroes are only as good as their evil counterparts. So if you ain’t got a good bad guy you ain’t got shit.
Yep, the Marvel movies are all about money and selling boatloads of shit to the kids. Making a killing with merchandise means the movies can never go too dark. However the Netflix Marvel stuff doesn’t have to worry about that, they can cuss, draw blood and have tons of sex if they want to.
The Marvel movies don’t dare go too dark or violent, perhaps that’s one reason why their villains just suck so bad? They’re not allowed to really get all of their evil out onscreen, now imagine the what the Red Skull would have been like in a Netflix series…
5.They Don’t Follow the Marvel Movie Formula:
Let’s all face it, the Marvel movies most definitely have a bit of a tired and predictable formula. I really liked Ant-man but it really felt so “2008”, while watching it’s plot unfold I thought “man we’re really doing this whole thing again?” It felt pretty interchangeable with any other Marvel movies I’ve seen. Good guy gets powers, boring bad guy who has similar powers, cute love interest in danger, big CG fight at end. Blah blah blah..
Or if you’re The Avengers movies you have them all fight a super blah bad guy and then at the end of the movie a big CG slugfest, in a big city, fighting a bunch of similar looking CG clones. The second Avengers movies was really just a retelling of the first, instead of Loki you had Ultron and instead of the hordes of CG Chituari Warriors you had the horde of CG Ultron clones fight at the end in Sokovia instead of New York.
The Netflix shows have broken away from the usual mold at least for the moment and that’s god damn refreshing. Hmm….But then again there is this now:
The Benefits of Gusbandry dropped it’s second episode yesterday online and the plot begins to thicken quite a bit! I really enjoyed the first episode which I was lucky enough to catch at the Portland Film Festival in September and I’ve been waiting for the second to really kickstart the whole “gusband” thing into gear. A “gusband” fyi is a gay husband but you won’t find much in the way of romance in the second episode, at least involving the main character Jackie. It’s no secret that she’s clearly crushed out on the wrong dude.
Just when she thinks she’s finally found her Mr. Right we get to watch it all awkwardly come tumbling down. That’s not say it doesn’t happen without some laughs. Still, I’m already hoping that somewhere in this series Jackie’s “Mr. Right” will eventually pop up, though I fear for her the journey won’t be an easy one! This episode really sets up the premise of the series and by the end of it you’ll be wondering where it’ll go next or should I say just how far it will go. It’s playing out so far a bit like Will & Grace if it would’ve been aired in 2015 on HBO and that’s a damn good thing. I’ve got a feeling things are bound to get pretty wild & crazy along the way. I’m curious to see where the wind blows our two main characters and if for some reason neither of them find the love they’ve always hoped for, well at least they’ve got each other…
if you missed the first episode here it is:
Even better now you can watch the second one right after:
This last Friday I attended the Portland Film Festival late night short film block and saw a ton of great lil’ flicks! One of my favorites of the batch was “The Benefits of Gusbandry” which made it’s premiere that very night. This short film is actually part of a much bigger series that launched today online several places. What you might ask exactly is gusbandry? Short and simple, combine two words “gay + husband” and voila and you got a gusband, but in this unique case it’s much more than that. I don’t wanna give away too much of first episode’s plot, so I’ll leave it at that for the moment.
The first episode though was shot right here in Portland, Oregon, directed and written by fellow Portlander Alicia Rose. She’s been responsible for some of the coolest music videos of the last decade for the likes of Bob Mould, MC Frontalot & The Corin Tucker Band to name a few. This project however will have a longer life of its own as we’ll get eight episodes – one each month and hopefully more to follow in a second season. You’ll not only get an awesome tour of typical Portland life in the series but it seems you’ll get it jam packed with some great offbeat comedy with a heart of gold. Check this cool new debut episode which is sure to teach us a few valuable lessons about getting older and trying to find your “Mr. Right” in a these confusing modern times…
I’m super happy that Ron Perlman is taking matters into his own hands recently with Hellboy 3!! To me it’s absoutely ridiculous that this franchise remains with out it’s final chapter! I’m a HUGE fan of the movies and HUGE fan of the Hellboy/BPRD Mignolaverse and while the movie took a bit of a different take on the character in many ways I still think Del Toro nailed the look and vibe of the whole comic book world they exist in. I don’t think it was humanly possible to cast a better Hellboy (Ron Perlman) and all of the FX work was 100%! I mean how amazing was Doug Jones as Abe Sapien too?!
Well apparently not quite amazing enough for the masses as we never got the third chapter of Guillermo’s planned trilogy. Perhaps the Hellboy universe is just too dang bizarre for the people who yearn for ultra chiseled male models in costume? But for some odd reason we are getting a sequel to the rather unimpressive forgettable Pacific Rim? What gives? Well Perlman and the rest of the cast are pretty damn excited to finish the story. Good ol’ Ron has been speaking out about getting the third film made saying:
“I don’t have any news for you, but there’s always a chance, I’m getting to that age where, if I waited much longer, ‘Hellboy 3’ will be performed out of a wheelchair. So I was basically trying to say, if there’s going to be this thing, it should be sooner rather than later. I wouldn’t want to be involved in a crowdfunding. I don’t think it’s the fans’ job to fund a movie; I think it’s up to the people who do it professionally. I think it’s the fans’ job to sit back and buy popcorn and Coke and watch a movie and enjoy it.”
So here at Universal Dork I wanna use my voice (what little one it may be) to get more of the word out about making Hellboy 3 finally happen! Let’s not get a rebooted Hellboy just yet, let’s finish the story we started and see what Hellboy’s fate really is. Will he bring about the destruction of mankind bringing Hell on earth? Or will he somehow fight the creatures from deep down in the firey pits? Imagine some of the other BPRD agents added to the cast like Panya, Roger the homunculus, Benjamin Daimio, Howards or how’s about Lobster Johnson?!
And also how about a B.P.R.D. movie?! Or a Netflix series? Give us something dammit! I have honestly been slowly becoming totally burnt out on The Avengers movies, I think that Ant-man looks like a bland 2008 Marvel movie with another boring villain and the same tired formula as most Marvel flicks being churned out. Highly forgettable shit in the end. I really believe the Hellboy movie universe holds a lot more intrigue, horror and mystery at the moment. To me Marvel movies are starting to feel like a bit like a shiny boring Pepsi commercial. But in this day and age that’s what most people seem to dig, and if a film isn’t going to make massive amounts of cash then Hollywood just ain’t interested. The first two films didn’t make an obscene amount of money, so the idea of a third movie being made today I guess is kinda unfathomable.
To me the movies always seemed a little too unique and smart for the mainstream. Crowdfunding may indeed be the only way to get this one off the ground at this point. Or perhaps they could re-cast some male supermodels in the roles of Abe Sapien and Hellboy and make them all sexy? Ugghhh…Despite all of that I still think Ron Perlman’s Hellboy could be the guy who saves the superhero flick….let’s get the word out there!
It seems my Christmas dreams will be coming true next year as there are now several Krampus movies planned for release around the 2015 holiday season! It’s about time too, as I’ve been saying for years that someone needs to make an awesome Christmas horror movie about the bad boy yuletide creature! Krampus is a dark version Saint Nick, a horned demonic creature, according to German folklore he seeks out the bad children, puts them in his sack and beats them with a bundle of branches. Sounds terrifying right?!
Well up til this day we have gotten some scary versions of Santa Claus (Sint, Rare Exports, Santa’s Slay) some creepy slashers dressed up like Saint Nick ( Silent Night Deadly Night, Christmas Evil, Tales from The Crypt: And all Through the House) but we have NEVER seen the Krampus in all of his glory on the big or small screen. This baffles me and for some time I had developed my own version of a Krampus movie that I think would be brilliant.
I guess I could mention in 2013 there was a Krampus movie that was well….not so impressive. “Krampus: The Christmas Devil” was technically the first Krampus flick, but just one that well has slipped under nearly everyone’s radar. You can watch the whole thing on youtube if you’re feeling the challenge!
There was also another lackluster attempt to bring Krampus to life in this short “Night of the Krampus”
I guess while I’m at it I could also mention Krampus was on the Grimm tv series and he looked pretty cool:
However in 2015 it seems that Krampus will be the star of Christmas as there are now two major Krampus flicks on the way(and I’m sure we’ll see some smaller studios trying to get in on the Krampus action too)! The first one being Kevin Smith’s “Anti-Claus” which is rumored to be a anthology starring Tusk’s Justin Long & Haley Joel Osment. I’m excited to see this one as I really think Kevin Smith did good work on Red State and I still need to check out Tusk.
But it gets even better, it was just announced that Michael Dougherty will be directing his own Krampus movie as well for Legendary Pictures. If you remember Dougherty was responsible for the amazing Trick ‘r Treat back in 2007 one of my favorite modern horror flicks. I’ve a feeling that he’ll be giving Kevin Smith some serious “krampetition” for the best Krampus flick ever! So it seems well have more than enough of the Christmas demon next year-here’s hoping for a true cult flick to watch every year after on the holidays! I think it’ll be important for at least one of the film makers to try and refrain too much from the comedy, let’s face it if done right the Krampus could be truly terrifying. I simply cannot wait to see what they come up with.
Here’s a little more Krampus for you, check out this awesomely freaky video of the Krampusnacht, a traditional Krampus type parade/celebration yearly in parts of Europe. These guys go all out with some truly terrifying Krampus costumes, imagine what a studio with a budget could come up with!
And of course here’s more on the origins of the Krampus folklore!
Just got done reading the Death of Wolverine #4, the final nail in the coffin for Logan! Now we all know that Wolverine will only be “dead” for maybe a year or two tops. Same cookie cutter superhero death formula as always, a big comic book hubub, news stories, a bunch of comic books that feature the effect of the characters death, funeral issues, blah blah blah..Yeah so Wolverine will be going MIA for a little while and hopefully people will miss him enough that Marvel can then again make some big money on his return as well.
So was the death of Wolverine worth all the media hype, shiny metallic variant covers, director’s cuts and a high cover price of five bucks a pop? I’m gonna say a firm no. This series should have been at least 6 issues better yet 8 to really tell a compelling unforgettable Wolverine story with some serious staying power. Aside from a strong first issue, the story in general while playing on nostalgia from Logan’s past felt incredibly rushed with not much real substance and not much new to offer to his complex story.
On a positive note at least it wasn’t Sabretooth who “killed” him, his final nemesis “Cornelius” was at least a surprise and the series art was pretty fantastic. Shocking? Nah…issue number four brought Logan’s legacy full circle back to the Weapon X program where Cornelius of course was creating super soldiers with adamantium laced bones and of course he needs Wolverine’s healing factor to ensure his test subjects can survive the procedure. Of course when he realizes he no longer possesses it, he’s got little use for Logan and orders a new nemesis Major Sharp to destroy him. Ultimately the ending is in many ways very predictable and I can already see the image of Wolverine literally bursting back into the realm of the living in a year or so.
My final thoughts, I’m glad Wolverine is “dead”. He’s been done to death literally. He’s been around every corner for the last two plus decades, he’s turned into a bit of softie too. Wolverine is not the mysterious anti-hero we came to fall in love with anymore. I think some time apart is healthy, he’s like a lover who you’ve spent every waking second with for far too long, you need some time to breath dammit! I also really hate these ‘Death’ of events. They’re NOT shocking in the least. If you really wanted to shock us have his death take place unannounced in his main core book! Have all this shit happen but don’t tell us he’s gonna die a year before it happens!! Imagine if Robert Kirkman announced every death in The Walking Dead and made a damn spectacle out of it every time someone kicked the bucket?! How shocking would that be?!
I also don’t like all these tie in books, I for a second considered buying “The Logan Legacy” #1 today until I saw how terribly drawn and stupid every panel of it all looked. I for one look forward to a good loooong ass break from Logan. When they do bring him back, and they will,I hope Marvel learns from their mistakes. Give him a spot in the X-men(One title), give him one solo book of his own, get his hairy ass out of The Avengers and make him more like the guy who we used to all wanna hang out with! Make him pissed, mean and most of all a loner like he was meant to be. I look forward to the day I miss me some Wolverine!!! ‘Nuff said…..