Suicide Squad Review

Suicide Squad got a lot of hype early on since it was going to be a “superhero” film about super villains. If the concept behind this wasn’t terrible enough then the actual product makes sure to finish the job. I would actually go as far as to say that this is the worst superhero film of all time. This is only counting titles that I have seen of course as Batman The Killing Joke and other extreme titles like Deadpool could possibly still lose to this one. As it stands, Suicide Squad did an admirable job of lowering the bar considering that titles like Catwoman, Flashpoint Paradox, (While not on the same level of terrible, Flashpoint destroyed an entire dvd line so there’s that) and Justice League Gods and Monsters. There’s really not much to like about this film, but a whole lot to despise. In all fairness, I had a hunch that I was not going to like this film from the start and my hunches are rarely wrong. The tagline of them being the worst heroes was already a sign of things to come. It had some of the worst posters that I have ever seen for an action film and the trailer was pretty bad. I really didn’t think that the film could turn things around.

Like Batman V Superman, this film may also be getting an R rated extended cut as some point. As with the former, I’m sure that it’ll be even worse. It hasn’t been confirmed, but good ole Reddit scooped up a rumor of the scenes that were cut and if even half of those are true, this film really could have gotten a 0. Whoever did the editing for this film definitely deserves some props. That being said, he should have cut out another good chunk of the film to really make it watchable.

The plot involves a corrupt business woman named Amanda Waller. As she is a murderer who is protected by the government, she decides that it would be a good idea to get more murderers into the streets. They can go on suicide missions and possibly get some other people along the way. She manages to capture Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, and some other guys with a little help from Batman. After putting a bomb in their necks, she sends them off on their first mission to stop a supernatural threat which has been murdering people for 3 days. (A little late eh?) Can these humans hope to win?

Let’s back up one more time. The Suicide Squad idea was presented after someone asked a hypothetical question about what the government could have done if Superman had burst into the White House and attacked. Amanda brings up the Suicide Squad, but there should have been a lot of laughter in the room with several members running out the door. These guys would have trouble with Batman…they wouldn’t last a second against Superman. This has to be the worst idea ever presented when you think about the fact that there is 0% chance of success. Ah well, I guess it’s good that the government is humoring Waller before she stabs them all in the back.

The main problem with the film is the general gritty vibe that it goes for. This translates into every other aspect of the film. First and foremost is the terrible writing. The characters use the s word more than some abridged episode on Youtube and those titles don’t shy away from language. There’s a curse word in just about every sentence and it just never, ever ends. Every single joke has to use a curse word as well and you’ll wish that there was a censor. The amount of beeps would drive everyone crazy, but it would be worth it to save the writing. Harley Quinn’s very first scene is her pulling a “New 52 Starfire” as she lets the guards know that she is a free woman, but on her terms to put it nicely. Harley Quinn’s a terrible character like the others, but more on that later. Unlike Batman V Superman, which had some of the greatest dialogue in a CBM, this one had no good lines and all of the moments that could have been cool were destroyed by the language.

Next up is the terrible soundtrack. It is easily the worst soundtrack of all time. The songs naturally have a lot of cursing in them as well with the quick f-word drop to remind us that every PG-13 film has to use it at least once now. Hopefully the Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps it out of their movies. Even if the beats were occasionally cool, the lyrics threw you out of every moment and the film would have been better off without any songs. Silent films did work fairly well back in the day after all. If a film’s got nothing nice to say, then it should keep everything to itself.

For a film with this intense name, there isn’t actually a lot of cool action in Suicide Squad. There’s only one real fight scene at the very end of the film as the team takes on a mystical god. The problem is the fact that the writers should have never put a team of humans to take on such a powerful fighter. The villain could have destroyed all of them in an instant, but plot hax took control at this point and steered the villains to safety. The way that the Squad deals with the threat by the end is terrible and makes no actual sense. The writers had put themselves in a hole and couldn’t get out. For the rest of the film, you only get to see the Squad beating up police guards, army men, of CGI rock creatures that can’t fight back. Not the most thrilling fight scene if you ask me.

Also, once again….I just can’t root for these villains as the main characters. They don’t care for justice and they work for a mass murderer who always takes out innocent civilians. You really want the CGI rock creatures to defeat them and put an end to the whole debacle. It’s quite telling that the film jumps into the climax very quickly, but then spends an extremely long time getting out. This is complete with beer breaks and the like. The pacing was admirable, but the film clearly didn’t know what it wanted to do from there. It also couldn’t handle the suspense as well as a film like Resident Evil because the characters in the Evil series were much more likable even if they were throwaways. At the very least, you could root for Alice. Here…even the GI Joe character was fairly bad the whole time. It’s also a comic book film where the Squad have equipment/actual powers so it’s hard to get up to the same intensity. Maybe if the rock creatures had actually been Xenomorphs or if there was a good soundtrack, but there wasn’t. The film tried to play itself out as a zombie outbreak kind of title, but never went all the way because of its identity crisis.

All right, let’s take a quick break from bashing the film. The special effects were fairly good even if they were out of place. The two supernatural villains had fairly good designs. One of them went for the classic “Gods of Egypt” look which was cool. He actually looked like a cooler version of Apocalypse than what we got in the new X-Men film. His abilities were great as well and he was a great antagonist. It’s a shame that he had to be put in a film consisting of D listers. The other villain looked like something out of the Grudge and she tried to throw the horror aspect into the story. Once again though, this element disappears as swiftly as it arrives and she turned out to be too powerful. She could have eliminated the Squad many times and her plan really should have succeeded, but we do need those sequels….

The visuals look like what I’m expecting from the Ghost Busters film or even Dr. Strange to an extent. The film really goes all out trying to make the villain very eccentric and ritual-esque. She does a lot of odd dances even has basic hypnosis. It felt like something from the 90’s. It worked fairly well, but should never pair a god against random humans. So, at least the visuals were a positive and the villains worked pretty well. Too bad we couldn’t save them for the Justice League film as that title is desperately looking for a villain. Even the Wonder Woman film would have been glad to have them.

Back to the negatives. Lets look at it from a character by character basis. Captain Boomerang is terrible as he’s just another drunk murderer who tricks other people into dying and has a nice laugh about it. There’s nothing to like with this guy. Deadshot is the most “heroic” of the bunch, but he’s not a hero by any definition and only helps people according to his own sense of twisted morals. It is quite telling that his number one wish for happiness is to murder Batman. He may try to be sympathetic, but he’s as ruthless as they come and no amount of jokes can help gloss over the fact that he is a mass murderer.

Harley Quinn may be the character who is supposed to stand out in the film, but she is portrayed in a very negative light. For starters, she is mainly used as fanservice with her costume basically just being a pair of undergarments for the entire film. A great deal of her lines are suggestive and her relationship with the Joker is very twisted. He tortures her when they first meet and there’s nothing shown to suggest that things have changed in the slightest. She’s basically his possession and that’s certainly not a proper relationship. As long as she stays with him, her life certainly isn’t going to get any better and I’ll be rooting against them since this is not the kind of relationship that should be portrayed in a positive light for any span of time. Her actual character needs a lot of work too though as made obvious during the really random CPR scene as part of her flashback. That scene was just brutal.

This is the worst portrayal of the Joker as well. He’s portrayed as your average mobster who isn’t very confident and is very obsessed with Harley Quinn. There is no moment where you feel like he is an evil genius and he doesn’t seem to care about Batman at all. There is no hero/villain dynamic there as the Joker is just a nobody who runs away from Batman and keep crashing his car. It’s also a huge plot hole to have the Joker around at all. Let’s face it, since Batman is a mass murderer in this series, there is no way that the Joker would still be alive. If Batman couldn’t find him, then it just further proves that the Batman of this film universe isn’t very smart. Even once Joker resurfaces and starts attacking installations all around, Batman never shows up. I’m still banking on the theory that the Joker is Robin, but it doesn’t really help this plot hole as Batman would likely still finish him off anyway. This Joker tries to be over the top crazy and slightly effeminate, but it just ends up leaving a broken character who makes the Lex Luthor in Batman V Superman look good.

Killer Croc was all right. He didn’t really have any character and was just around to bite people. He barely even qualifies as a character, but automatically that does mean that he beats most of the cast. Katana is around as well and she’s another character who really enjoys murdering others. She basically lives off hype though as she doesn’t really get a chance to do anything on screen. When she finally does fight, Katana looks incredibly weak and anticlimactic. She lost in a sword fight to add insult to injury. It’s going to be very hard to take her seriously after this.

Rick Flag is the “good guy” of the group. He was in the army and knows how to end a fight. He has crossed the line in the service, but still has a moral compass. Unfortunately, he is a complete yes man and starts to get black mailed very quickly. He has to resort to asking the people that he taunted for help and the whole thing is a very sad experience for him. After opening up to the other villains the film tried to make him a likable character, but it didn’t really work. The fact that Waller predicted that he would fall in love for a hostage that she sent him to find shows what a shallow/superficial guy he was from the start. I think I’ll probably prefer Steve Trevor from the Wonder Woman film.

Almost forgot about Diablo. He’s portrayed as the nice character who doesn’t want to be a villain anymore. The film gives us a very dark, gritty, and tragic past to forcefully push this message at us. Of course, he finally embraces his powers at the end along with a quick curse word as he runs at the villain. Another possibly good moment wrecked. At least the team has someone who can fight thanks to his true form, but the past was too tragic for me and I’ll find it very hard for this character to be even remotely likable.

Waller is another fan favorite character, but I don’t really care for her. I like the tough sounding government guys and I don’t even mind when they’re evil sometimes like in the latest Bourne film. Perhaps I wouldn’t mind her if she had been portrayed as totally evil because she is. Waller is a mass murderer who should be locked up like the others. My problem is that nobody seems to care as even Batman gives her a pass. I mean…are you kidding me? Batman giving her a pass is ludicrous and makes him look terrible as a hero. I know he crosses a lot of lines and probably doesn’t mind villains as much in this version, but locking her up has to be a top priority. The problem is that she can black mail him as well so there probably won’t be anything happening on that corner. Waller was great in the Justice League show because she actually cared a little more about her country. She still used underhanded methods to succeed and committed many villainous acts, but killing a group of men just because they knew too much? I believe that would be out of character for her and it was just too much when that happened here. The film went too far trying to make her appear as a hype character.

I remember there being a lot of articles about how significant Batman’s role was going to be here and how he was going to be super scary and the main antagonist. That never happened so either the scenes were removed or it was more fake hype to build up the film. It’s too bad as that could have helped the film a lot since Batman’s scenes were the best in the film. “I don’t want to do this in front of your daughter” was a great fake line from Batman as he very clearly chose this time to attack since it would put Deadshot in a bad position. He knew that the villain couldn’t go out and risk hitting his daughter. Luckily, this Batman has very few scruples about using underhanded tactics and that’s how he was able to conclude the fight. The line just adds more salt to the wound since there’s nothing Deadshot can do about the situation. Batman is ruthless and since he is also eager to cross the line, he makes for a compelling villain. I wish that the films played Batman straight, but as it is, the other characters make him look like a perfect individual by comparison. I don’t know where the film would be without him.

It goes without saying that you should stick around past the credits. The scene is the best one in the film after all even if it makes someone not look too smart yet again since another individual has found out about his identity. I’m always up for some classic tough talk from both sides. It can be annoying when it’s one sided so the trade here is good. The film could have done a little more with this, but as it was, I was pretty satisfied. The tributes to the rest of the DCCU were fun and one character looked a lot better than how he was in Batman V Superman so that’s a good start. I think the cinematic universe from DC should go strongly from here. I am a little worried for Wonder Woman since there doesn’t seem to be much of a villain yet and her fighting ordinary soldiers is going to get old even quicker than this film’s fights, but I have hope that there will be big fight scenes. Surely DC wouldn’t let such an easy opportunity for more Man of Steel esque (Slower I suppose, but still hype) battles slip by would they? I have similar concerns for Justice League, but mainly because Superman isn’t there yet and the idea of having a Justice League film without its leader/main member would be an incredibly terrible idea.

Another negative is the fact that this film makes no real sense when placed into the DC expanded universe. This doesn’t affect the score, but it’s a problem that starts to appear a lot in expanded universes. If this supernatural monster has been destroying a city and its inhabitants for 3 days…where are Batman and Wonder Woman? They definitely should have been on the scene. Even Marvel’s gotten rather dicey with that as the President gets captured and nobody arrives to help. This is almost as bad since it’s an entire city and its been attacked for 3 whole days. At least you can make the argument that Batman and Wonder Woman are not heroes so maybe they didn’t care. It’s possible that they just saw it on the news and chuckled. Of course, that would go against Batman’s character development as he wants to help the world thanks to Superman. It’s feasible that Wonder Woman would not care though. She did stay out of the Man of Steel fight after all so maybe she would rather leave the humans to their own devices at this point. Hopefully the writers plan for this a little better in their upcoming films.

Now, how could this film have been saved? First of all, the excessive language has to go and the soundtrack’s got to disappear. Next, some of the grit has to go. Do we need to have shots of Harley Quinn being zapped and shocked by the Joker as well as the jail? No. We can also get rid of Diablo’s origin story which is gritty to be gritty. After we get rid of all this and give Harley Quinn an actual costume, we have to tone Waller down so she’s not completely insane and evil. Make her an antagonist, but a reasonable one. Batman needs to appear a lot more and there should be more DC cameos. Preferably with very loud and obvious rock music as we see the hero logos and the Squad learns about the Justice League. Throw in some more action scenes and give the main villain a better debut than to be cradled in a very awkward scene that was quite sad. Mix all of that together and we’ve got ourselves a decent film.

I could go on, but let’s start to wrap up with one last improvement. The film should have chosen a genre and stuck to it. It tried to throw in elements from Ghostbusters, (CGI supernatural threats) The Avengers, (All of the one liners and puns…just the terribly written versions) and Resident Evil. (A few lone survivors up against zombies) It just did not work at all though. You can’t be dark and gritty and expect to pull off something like the Avengers. Likewise, you can’t have a super down to Earth Resident Evil adventure when there are super powerful beings trying to destroy the whole world. The film needed to pick one angle and stick with it.

Overall, I’m glad that Rotten Tomatoes is taking so many shots at the film. I tend to disagree with the site quite often, but for once I’m on their side. This film was just hard to watch at times. If the film wanted all of the Suicide Squad members to be unlikable then they succeeded, but at a large price. It’s a shame since the Batman scenes were nice. I do like how the cinematography is so different from Marvel’s. The scenes look like they’re out of a TV show episode instead of a movie. It’d hard to describe, but the Batman vs Deadshot scene totally encapsulates this as opposed to the average Marvel fight scene. It’s less glamorous and stylized, but works quite well. Oddly enough, the hand to hand scenes are far better here than in the latest Bourne film, where you would expect it to be better. The fight scenes were the one part of this film that were not gritty. Unfortunately, the terrible soundtrack, characters, and writing keep this film way down on the totem pole. I don’t expect that I’ll ever see it again and I highly advise you to stay away. You’re better off watching Man of Steel again.

Overall 1/10

Ultimate Comics Spider Man Volume 5 Review

Miles is a character who I’ve given a lot of grief in the comics. Mainly because he comes across as a little overconfident, but not in a fun Kirito kind of way. It’s hard to differentiate, but there are many characters who act overconfident, but simply can’t pull it off as well as others. Maybe it’s because Miles also tries to act inexperienced and gets upset constantly at the drop of a hat. He’s too all over the place. That’s not the case here…but is that a good thing or have we traded personalities for another negative one? All that and more in the review!

It’s been a year since Miles gave up the Spider Man mantle. His mother was destroyed by a stray bullet and his dad was injured so Miles just figured that it wasn’t worth it to being a hero. A lot of other characters have gone through this decision in the past and it’s always wince worthy, but it’s worth pointing out that it’s not a Miles specific issue. That being said, the issue is presented in different ways based on who the character is and the situation. Here, everyone is telling Miles to get back on the horse. Whether they do it through blackmail (practically) or peer pressure, they eventually force him to get the costume back on.

Two new vigilantes have appeared by the names of Cloak and Dagger. They are hunting a meta human who has explosive abilities. SHIELD isn’t looking into the matter since this relates to an evil partner of theirs, Roxxon. This is why Jessica Drew needs Spider Man back in action to help her take this group of scientists down. The scientists aren’t purely academic geniuses, but they can also fight when necessary. The final pair or issues is where the bulk of the action is in this volume and the fights are pretty good.

I enjoy the art for this series for the most part. I feel like the humans can look a little odd at times. It’s like they’re always pouting. That all goes away once the action scenes start though. The art really looks vibrant during the meta battles like when Cloak and Dagger first appear. The final group fight against the scientists was also well done and Taskmaster’s bout was a nice hand to hand fight. It’s why I’m always open for a good comic book fight after a long period of dialogue. Dialogue is good as well of course and the first half is still solid, but I was certainly pleased with the ending.

I was actually worried a little that the heroes would lost to the scientists, which would kick off the next arc, but luckily that didn’t happen. The villains were decently tough with one of them even looking like the ultimate Sinister, but Spiderman’s group has this. I don’t care for Cloak, but his powers do make him decently OP. (Overpowered) Spiderman’s venom shock still proves to come in handy in just about every fight and it’s a power that would really aid the original as well. It’s a great ability for escaping from a tough situation or for launching a quick attack.

This is Cloak and Dagger’s debut so it was interesting to see them. They both seemed like decently likable character before the switch. After that…I can’t say that they looked too good. Cloak went from being a respectable fellow who seemed like a very nice guy to someone who didn’t really care if he destroyed someone. He casually puts people into his cloak even though he knows that they could blow up or be seriously injured. Dagger seems more grounded in that respect as she wants vengeance, but not for it to be fatal, even if she hasn’t really thought about how to accomplish this. Cloak is certainly stronger since his all consuming cloak can really cause a lot of damage, but Dagger’s no lightweight either. The way that they quickly assumed that a metahuman was working with the villains was very iffy though. They seriously didn’t have much of an excuse to go after the bomb user.

Bombshell was easily a more likable character than Cloak and Dagger. She didn’t ask for these strange powers, but took them really well. She wasn’t panicking or on a quest for vengeance. Bombshell just kept on living her life like usual until she was attacked out of the blue. She doesn’t really have anywhere to go, but it seems like SHIELD’s got their eyes on her. Bombshell could certainly be a valuable asset to the team and was one of the heavy hitters here. Spider Woman’s role is mostly that of a mentor to Miles here. She finally lets him know that she was a clone of Peter Parker this whole time. Jessica Drew can certainly still fight and she does well against Taskmaster, but without Spiderman’s venom sting, she seems to be at a bit of a disadvantage in these fights. She needs some kind of extra edge, but her hand to hand experience will suffice against most opponents.

As for Miles, he’s still not the greatest of main characters for me. He’s not as bad as he was in other comics, but deciding to stop being a hero for a whole year is a little iffy. Particularly when he decides not to step in when Bombshell was getting double teamed by two new figures. It’s one thing to not actively suit up, but another to just watch as a fellow super human is being attacked. It feels like he is always wondering about whether he should tell his girlfriend that he is Spiderman or not. I reviewed the first graphic novel of the sequel series to this one so I can safely say that he does make a choice soon. His friend isn’t much help though and that guy’s pretty annoying. It doesn’t help that the comic decides to randomly have two characters tell Miles that his friend was actually never his friend and one thought that they were actually together. Why do we need to keep on adding politics to our comics? Miles denies this which is good, but I wouldn’t put it past the comics to try and make this happen. Let’s hope not. I don’t think Miles needs to be in a relationship with the girl either though. Comics don’t need romance, I just want to see some action. Now that Miles is finally back in costume, that should happen soon.

It’s always something to think about just how different this Ultimate Universe is. There’s no Peter Parker, but he’s actually known as a hero here. He managed to really help a lot of people in his final acts and even Jameson accepted him. There aren’t Avengers around typically and the X-Men are hard to find as well. The flip side is that super villains aren’t a regular occurrence like in 616 and the world isn’t ending every other week. It’s definitely a more grounded universe and it’s a fun alternate universe that has been developed. It’s just a shame that most of the titles typically aren’t that good.

I do hope that Miles tells his Dad about his secret identity soon though. The guy seems pretty reasonable and I’m pretty sure that he would take it well. Even if he doesn’t, Miles has SHIELD to fall back on, but at this point, he should probably consider that it’s a necessary step or he may end up having some regrets soon. With the drama mostly tucked away, I’m ready for some more action packed volumes coming up although this was the last one for this series so back to the sequel or to the older titles.

Overall, This was a solid Ultimate collection. A little light on action, but the final 2 issues had enough action to cover the volume. The first half’s drama wasn’t that bad either. It can be a little annoying to see Miles give up on the costume for a whole year though since that’s no small stretch of time. I like his Dad, but the other supporting characters aren’t so good. I can’t say that Gwen’s great here either, but Aunt May’s decent. It would be hard for her to be an unlikable character I suppose. Miles seems to be less overconfident now so in costume he’s good now. He just needs to work on the alter ego now. Writing out his friend from the series would be a great start. I’d recommend checking this volume out and it’s a good jumping on point if you’ve never read Ultimate before.

Overall 7/10

The Amazing Spider Man Learning To Crawl Review

It’s time to look at another Spiderman comic by Slott. No worries, it’s much better than the last volume that I read by him. It’s a tale of Spiderman’s early days as a hero and we learn some new things about his situation. It’s a pretty decent comic and while I had some complaints with Peter and Aunt May’s portrayal, they still looked good on the whole.

All right, the story takes place a little after Spider Man got bit by the spider..or I guess I should say, Parker. Peter Parker still has the adventures that he was in from the old days, but now we have some new ones that happened alongside them. A kid looked up to Parker, but after he was humiliated in a sparring match with Spider Man, he turned to the dark side and became a villain known as Clash. He uses sound to fight, which is a pretty interesting gimmick. Can Spider Man balance his school troubles while holding steady as Spiderman? Only time will tell!

The comic is really a slice of life about Peter during his school days. The writing is pretty good considering that Slott is here and it’s actually pretty enjoyable to see Parker’s adventures. There isn’t a lot of action to be found here, but that’s all right because the comics are still pretty fun to read. As far as early day stories go, it’s constructed pretty well. I dare say that it’s more enjoyable than Batman’s many early stories although it’s still not as good as All Star Superman.

Clash also makes for a pretty decent villain. His sonic powers may not be completely original, but they actually aren’t used all that much so it’s fun to see. It’s also pretty realistic since the kid is just a guy who’s very smart. Giving him real super powers would have been odd and the sonic ones that he creates are technically possible. He has a pretty good life and it can be sad to see him go down into the dark side. He was a genius and he was bound to be rich and famous at that rate. His parents helped him be successful, but they weren’t overbearing about it and actually seemed to be good people. It just goes to show why people think Spiderman is a bad influence on people. Of course, it wasn’t actually his fault as Clash was already getting full of himself, but the kid did want to be like his hero.

Peter Parker’s portrayal is a mixed bag as I hinted earlier. He just seems to be a bit mean at some points like when he humiliated Clash on the roof. He is pretty bitter at how his neighbors kept accepting handouts without giving anything in return, but given the situation it can be a little hard to blame him. He doesn’t actually tell the neighbors about this so he does a good job of holding it in. His school troubles are pretty intense as you may expect, but most of it isn’t his fault. Stealing from the lab was the only point where he really crossed the line. He is a fairly likable character here and you do have to factor in the fact that this takes place during his early days so a few slip ups are to be expected.

Aunt May’s portrayal also gets dicey at one point. She is still very nice to Peter and a good supporting character to have around. However, she looks really bad in any scene that involves Spiderman. The reason why she dislikes the hero is poorly executed and you will just think that she is an unreasonable character. It is hard to believe that she didn’t notice Spideman saving her during the sound attack. Blaming both fighters is never the right call. I still dislike it when the main character gets called out in a film for sticking up to the bully. That’s just not cool.

As for the artwork, it is average level. I wouldn’t say that it is very good, but it certainly isn’t bad. You can say that it is just good enough that you can follow what is happening and enjoy it, but not good enough to make you praise it. The artist appeared to be trying to emulate the style of the 60’s to an extent and that was pretty neat. The visuals look pretty good when Clash is activating his abilities. Sound covers a large area and the art does make sure to depict this. It does make you wonder how Spiderman dodged the blast at times, but I guess that you just have to dodge the center of the blast.

The cast was pretty small, but that left more time for character development. The story was interesting and that gave this volume the edge that it needed to be a good adventure. If the Spiderman comics could always be this good, that would be great. Maybe there is hope for The Amazing Spiderman (Specials and Point 1) comics after all….maybe. Again, it is rather ambitious to keep on adding to Spiderman’s origins and I doubt that it is easy on the continuity, but it can be pretty hilarious to look at the new twists. Remember Silk or Iron Man’s alien twist? Hopefully not…

The twist about there being other “nerds” (Don’t care for the term, but all of the characters use it so it may as well be their title) was intriguing since Parker apparently never noticed them during his school days. The poor hero had to just eat by himself for a long time. He falls out with those guys pretty quickly so they’re still a nonfactor, but at least he got to make some friends for a brief period of time. I didn’t care for any of those characters, but they tried their best to be likable. If Parker hadn’t stole that lab equipment…things could have been different. I think Spidey could have come out on top without stealing the tech, but I suppose that it is merely a hypothetical case.

Overall, This volume of Spider Man really wasn’t bad. This volume is pretty short (Yes, most trades for ongoing series are short, but this one really feels shorter than usual.) so you’ll be done with it very quickly. The pacing helps the story to move quickly and the short size is likely a good thing, but it’s worth noting if you’re planning on buying this one. Parker and Aunt May may have been a little off, but I wasn’t expecting their portrayals to be perfect anyway. It’s a pretty fun adventure through and through so it definitely deserves a positive rating this time. I recommend checking this out if you want to relive the original Spiderman days. Before the world of guest stars and whatnot so it’s a pure Spiderman story. It’s certainly not the most action packed comic out there, but it’s entertaining and that’s what counts. This could end up being one of the best superhero origin day volumes in quite a while so that’s pretty cool for our Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman! (We finally learn how he got that title as well)

Overall 6/10

Action Comics Volume 3 At The End of Days Review

All right, it’s time for another Superman review. Unfortunately, this one is not quite as positive as Unchained and it actually looks pretty bad in comparison. It lost focus on what it means to be a Superman comic. I had actually enjoyed the first two volumes, but this one just wasn’t that good. It has its moments, but everything is too chaotic and it makes it hard to just have fun. Superman is also on the run a lot, which takes away opportunities for big fights.

The plot….well, the first story is a quick one about a guy from the Phantom Zone who learns that you can escape it by inhabiting a mummy suit that allows you to move in the real world. The main positive from this is that we finally get to see Krypto. The main chunk of the comic is about a new villain who’s from the same world as Mr. Mxysptlk. He wants to destroy Superman (For awful reasons that are explored in a flashback( and with his reality warping powers that shouldn’t be hard. He gets a little greedy though and decides to destroy Superman at many points in time all at once. He attacks Superman in the past, present, and future. He disrupts a lot of things in the timestream so Superman’s life has been radically changed. How can he possibly defeat this villain? Let’s just say that it involves the limitless power of words.

First of all, I have to say that the cover of the comic is an instant warning sign. There’s way too much happening on it to the point where the comic doesn’t look interesting. I’ll take a classic “Superman holding a car” over this any day. It does work as good foreshadowing for how confusing the comic is though so I’ll give the cover some props there. It’s going to need it!

One thing that you will notice right away is that the art is nowhere near the quality that we have come to expect from DC. It’s not very streamlined and the art fluctuates so much that it can be pretty scary. Gone are the days of Superman Unchained folks! The art isn’t very bad, but it’s a considerable step down from the average DC comic. It’s like adding more fuels to the flames.

All right, I’ve gone over some pretty minor weaknesses of the comic, but let’s go into the bigger ones. The main problem with the collection is that the stories simply aren’t that good. I didn’t really care about what was happening in the first adventure and it didn’t make a whole lot of sense either. The villain’s will power was just so strong that he created a suit and escaped? I really don’t buy that. As for the long arc with the Mr. Mxyz ripoff, that wasn’t much better. This guy is virtually all powerful so it’s hard to fight him. It means that we won’t get a real nailbiting finish as we have to settle for plot hax instead. How does Superman stop this guy? Wait for it…wait for it…waiiiiiiiitttt-he talks to him. See, talking in 5D actually hurts people so Superman just talked along with the citizens of the planet and the villain was defeated. Game set and Match…thanks!

That was rather anticlimactic. Now, there were some pros to the whole time travel aspect. I did enjoy seeing the Legion of Superheroes make an appearance and Superdoom makes for an intense opponent. He’s a Superman who gets stronger and stronger as you think about him. It’s impossible to not think of someone that you’re currently fighting so this makes him pretty tricky. The villain group who each have different Kryptonite abilities was also pretty neat. They seem pretty weak on their own though so I don’t see them doing too well without some outside help.

Lex Luthor joins the fray as well through a robot that he has under his mental control. It doesn’t last for very long of course, but it’s good to see him helping out. Things wouldn’t be good for him either if the villains win so it’s a good time to swallow his pride. Krypto looks pretty great and I’m glad that his character was depicted correctly. He’s fearless and not an opponent that you want to underestimate. It’s too bad that he couldn’t crush the villains some more, but I suppose that it would have been tricky without getting hit with the animal violence badge. Maybe it was for the best.

So, the comic certainly had some good additions to it. It’s fun to see Superman have to team up with Lex and I also liked the references to the older comics. Like Superman’s team up with Ali and he death against Doomsday. We also got to see Captain Comet return along with his new team. They came out of nowhere, but they seem like they could ultimately become a fighting force to be reckoned with. If the comic had been written a little better, this could have been a winning formula.

Unfortunately, there are too many parts to the story that simply aren’t interesting. Anything that had to do with Mr. Mxyz and the new villain was rather boring and the Legion should have actually helped out a little more. A lot was going on and yet, the situation would hit a stand still at times. I just couldn’t get into the comic the same way that I could get into most of them. The art, writing, and lack of action just blended together in a way that didn’t work out.

Overall, Action Comics fell down a step or two here. Considering that this was a Superman comic and that we even got guest stars in the form of the Justice League, it should have been a lot better. A 7 is essentially the minimum for how good a Superman comic should be. I definitely did not expect to walk out of this with a 6 at the ready. It just doesn’t seem right or natural and the comic was actually very close to scoring a 5. The action at the end saved it from that fate. The writer was probably trying to be clever by thinking of such a convoluted plot, but it epically backfired. If you want to check out a Superman comic, I recommend buying Unchained. Otherwise, you may as well just skip this volume since it’s practically filler. You won’t be missing much.

Overall 6/10