Deadpool: Samurai Review

This manga is definitely a pretty unique one that really takes advantage of how crazy Deadpool is. It breaks the fourth wall consistently and we even have some guest stars show up like All Might. It’s a fun read all the way through and it’s also neat to try and see if you can catch all of the references. It’s fairly short but is a fun and memorable ride all the way through. I guarantee that you won’t be forgetting this one anytime soon which shows that the series definitely did something right there.

The series starts with Deadpool being recruited by Iron Man into the Avengers. Now keep in mind that Tony was against this but Captain America felt that it was necessary. Apparently the crime rate across the entire planet has gotten super high and so there aren’t enough heroes to deal with it. That leads to the tough choice of putting a known murderer like Deadpool in on the action. Keep in mind that in this version Deadpool is murdering people on screen while the Avengers debate about recruiting him. It’s all really bonkers the whole time but I guess it shows how desperate they are. They are willing to take him no matter what.

Deadpool’s not really a team player but his services can be bought out so that’s an option there. The main villain of the story is Loki. He’s assembled a team of all star villains that are going to unite their talents to take over the world. Deadpool will need to be the one to stop them along with his Samurai Force but it won’t be easy. Deadpool recruits two girls for the task, Sakura and Neiro. Can the 3 of them really make the difference and save the world?

Right off the bat the series is already throwing in a bunch of references and such as early as chapter 1 so it sets the tone early. I like how Deadpool even mentions how long it can take to draw a page while readers go through it in an instant. It’s true, I can finish a chapter really quick even when it’s very detailed with the artwork. That’s just the way it goes even if it can be a little tragic there.

The humor lands really well which is important. I think a series like this would absolutely fail if the humor was no good but fortunately it never gets annoying or anything like that. I would say instead the manga just feels surreal the whole time and in a very good way. Perhaps if there were a lot of manga like this then it would get old but it feels very unique which is part of the charm. I can’t say I remember another manga that goes as far out as this one.

It can be quite violent but all the scenes tend to be played for laughs. I wouldn’t say that makes the violence itself nonexistent as it can still be extensive but thanks to the context it doesn’t feel as bad as it could have been. It helps that Deadpool is fully immortal as well so no matter how many times he get sliced, the guy just keeps on coming back. He jokes about this a lot as well of course. It’s also interesting having a villain like Deadpool as the main character because he certainly murders a ton of people in his way. He may be working for the heroes but he hasn’t changed his standards at all. He still does what he wants whenever he wants.

Deadpool’s art is also very strong here. The character designs are on point and every character is on model. The style works for both the action and humor scenes. Whoever drew this series put in a ton of effort. It holds up a lot better than you may expect and isn’t some simple franchise-tie in. The art is legitimately great.

As for the characters, I’ve already talked about Deadpool a bit. If you liked him in the comics then you’ll like him here. He’s always very confident and likes to throw jokes around 24/7. It’s fair to say that he never gets serious here. Even when he is trying to play the part, you know that he’s faking deep down. Things just don’t phase him the way that they do for everyone else and I figure it’s a side effect of being an immortal.

Then you have Sakura who is the first hero recruited to the cause. Her hero name is Sakura Spider and she’s a fun character. Sakura is super optimistic and always really happy so she tries to help make Deadpool a real hero as well. Of course that doesn’t work but it’s a nice attempt. Her humor scenes work really well too and she’s a nice foil to Deadpool who is a lot more jaded which is partially why he jokes around a lot. Having a true hero like her on board is a nice way to keep him honest.

Then you have Neiro as the final member of the big 3. She is the current Venom host and is a popular idol on the side. She and the symbiote have a very good partnership going. She feeds him snacks and he eats up any bad people that approach her. Neiro doesn’t care about murder so much but wants to make sure the symbiote doesn’t eat too many fans so that at least keeps him from eating a bunch. Her role never gets as big as Sakura’s and she ends up missing the climax but I had fun with her. The series did good with the two original characters for the series since they were both fun. The writer was really solid here.

As for Captain America, he’s definitely quite naïve here as that part of him is played up a whole lot. It’s part of the humor of course but his choosing Deadpool was not a smart move if you look at just about any aspect of it. It could also hurt the Avengers’ reputation. Iron Man’s role is smaller but he does get to land a petty attack on Deadpool near the end and openly voices how he doesn’t like the guy. So I like how bold Iron Man is, he speaks his mind and doesn’t care what the others think.

As for the villains, the only real big one is Loki. Sure he summons a bunch of others but they’re basically mindless minions. Deadpool and friends make quick work out of them. For Loki it was fun to find out the true reason behind why he’s causing so much chaos. In true Deadpool fashion the reason will come out of nowhere and be a little crazy. You can count on that. Loki does his best to be really serious the whole time so I’ll give him props there. Deadpool is always trying to psyche him out but it doesn’t work.

While his role is fairly small, Thanos shows up too which is fun. It leads to his famous battle against All Might which was a big thing back then. It’s probably the most memorable scene in the whole manga because of how out of the blue it was. I’m glad to see All Might getting his props here. It also showed just how much effort the series was putting in to really make it break the fourth wall all the time. Thanos and All Might fans should be pleased at how it all turns out.

We also get double Deadpool action later on and even a reference to the Wolverine prequel. That was pretty neat. I can still remember how everyone was outraged at his role there. Look, the design was definitely not very good but at least his abilities were impressive and he worked as the final boss kind of threat. I suppose at this point he will always be known as the worst incarnation of the character though.

If we do get more Marvel manga, I hope they can take place in the same continuity. Build up some kind of mega Marvel multiverse for the manga. That would be a lot of fun. Whether you’re here for the action or comedy you’ll want to check this one out. I dare say it’s one of the funnier manga I’ve read as of late along with Mieruko-Chan. Humor is something that can always be hard to land so I have to give the manga a good shout-out for pulling it off. It ain’t easy!

Then the action scenes are legitimately cool. Even while Deadpool is joking around, you have solid choreography and the fights aren’t too short. You have time for the characters to really trade blows and go all out. It also goes back to how the art here is really good. I’m still surprised at the level of detail that went to it. Choosing Loki as the main villain may have been a little overdone since the guy is constantly the main villain everywhere but he works out well enough. His powerset always makes him a good choice as the villain.

Overall, Deadpool: Samurai is a lot of fun. It’s a shame that so many series end early like this, I think this had potential to be a really solid, long running series. Certainly there are more things they could have done with this premise instead of just ending it all. Give us more references, fights, and all the hype. Hopefully they continue making more Marvel manga in the future. There are so many heroes and stories you could tell in this format. Either way I would definitely recommend this one. It can get a little violent but as long as you read it in a comedy context you should be good.

Overall 7/10

Gladiator vs Hulk

Suggested by Sonic The Hulk is a powerful foe to be sure and one of the most intense beings to ever walk the Marvel universe. He’s got no shot against the Gladiator though. Gladiator has super speed and can fly, two attributes that make him significantly more of a threat to Hulk than the other way around. Sure, Hulk in his strongest versions is more powerful than Gladiator but his speed is never on the same tier. Gladiator will absolutely speedblitz him all the way through to the end. Gladiator wins.

Eijiro Kirishima vs Hulk

Suggested by iKnowledge Eijiro Kirishima makes his debut onto the blog with this fight. He’s definitely a solid fighter from Class1A and while he doesn’t match up to the Big 3, he is one of the stronger kids in the class. In a pure fist fight the Hulk would likely be able to outmuscle him but Kirishima’s speed is much greater. That’s what is going to give him the edge in this fight because the Hulk just won’t be able to catch him. These two are on different levels in speed and that’s a weakness that Kirishima can exploit. Hulk’s regeneration will not be enough to keep him in for good. Eijiro Kirishima wins.

Rock Lee vs Hulk

Suggested by iKnowledge In his Maestro form, the Hulk gained great abilities and became one of the stronger fighters in Marvel. His physical strength is considerable but the main issue is that he won’t be fast enough to damage Rock Lee. Rock Lee moves with incredible speeds and will always manage to be one step ahead of the guy. His kicks will also deal massive damage and the Hulk just won’t be able to get up from those blows. Rock Lee wins.

Hulk vs Endeavor

Suggested by iKnowledge Endeavor is the number 2 hero in MHA and definitely one of the stronger ones. Whether you consider the guy to be a hero or not, he has definitely mastered his flame abilities. The Hulk can take a lot of punishment, but not enough to come out on top here. Endeavor’s speed is far greater and his attacks will be able to overload Hulk’s healing factor. Hulk’s stamina will keep him in the mix for a lot longer than he would have been otherwise but at the end of the day he’ll still be going down and isn’t fast enough to land true counter blows. Endeavor wins.

Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Frost Fight! Review

It’s time to look at a pretty obscure Marvel film. I didn’t really know about this one although in my defense I lost touch with the animated adventures during this time period. They didn’t really get a lot of promotion and would just appear out of nowhere. It really feels like a quick two part event from the Avengers show so it’s reasonably fun. That being said, it’s naturally not going to be remembered as a great title or anything. You likely won’t remember it for very long and that is probably the intention anyway. It’s not really a problem, it’s just trying to give us a good Christmas adventure and succeeds in that.

Loki and Ymir have decided to team up to freeze the world with the casket of infinite winters. The Avengers foil their plans so they decide to seek out Santa Claus. It turns out that Santa is actually an incredibly powerful being so if they can absorb his abilities they will be unstoppable. Loki puts a huge bounty on Santa so he can find out where the guy is and begins searching. Meanwhile not all of the Avengers believe that this is a serious threat. Captain America is really the only one taking it seriously, but Iron Man decides to go along just to rain on the parade. Captain Marvel and Reptil go as well so now the team is ready for action. The locals may not be too thrilled to have these heroes running around though. Meanwhile Rocket and Groot are after the bounty on Santa so they are heading here as well. Are they ready to try and bag such a powerful entity?

Right away you do have to keep in mind that the special is only taking itself half seriously. Ymir gets beat up by ice attacks and the heroes can barely stop bickering long enough to do anything. They have difficulty with random Elves and the fact that Ymir is taking hits from Thor, Hulk, and Ms. Marvel but getting hurt by Captain America should tell you all you need to know about the power scaling here. It is nonexistent so there are a ton of power level issues here throughout the special. It would be hard to not notice them so just be aware that they are around the whole time.

The main concern here is just whether or not the special is fun. I’d say that it is. We do get some reasonable action scenes. The whole thing is a little lower budget than the average adventure with stills and less animation in general, but there are fun fights anyway. I liked Loki’s super speed blitz against the Avengers as he just totally wrecked them. The fight with Ymir isn’t bad either even if he doesn’t score any hits so it’s like the heroes are battling with an immovable object. Santa went down like a chump though so that was a little unfortunate for his fans.

Unfortunately this special continues the trope of having Hulk one up Thor the whole time. Even when the Black Hole goes up they all have to grab onto Hulk to stay on the ground. They all resisted this of course, but it did make Hulk look like the strongest once again. His subplot with Thor about pretending to be Santa was okay at best, but not nearly as enjoyable as the main plot. I feel bad for all the kids who wanted a present, but had to watch Hulk chuck it into the ocean. Why is his aim so bad?

As for the main plot, the Elves are incredibly stubborn about wanting to do things on their own. Even after losing over and over again they keep trying to attack the Avengers and miss the entire point of trying to protect Santa. All they’re doing by fighting the heroes is thinning out their own ranks. It’s not like they’re going to win this fight and by this point they already knew about Loki and Ymir. Surely they have better things to do than picking more fights right? It can be endearing in a way, but still hard not to shake your head whenever they start talking tough again.

Iron Man is at his best here with how obviously anti-Santa he is. His origin story of why he doesn’t believe in the guy was also suitably emotional. In the real world he would be right about Santa not being real, but in a world where aliens and giant monsters show up every week I feel like Santa’s not a huge stretch. Bringing up the common dilemam of how he could visit every kid in a single night is a good counter though. Him bringing that up right away was a good move. Meanwhile Cap didn’t necessarily believe, but he knew that Loki did so he wanted to be there. Cap’s plan was logical, but man those two don’t get along here at all. There are constant insults and subtle burns thrown at each other. It makes for a fun dynamic even if the team doesn’t have their usual unity.

As for Reptil, he’s really just here so we can have a newbie on the team. He’s constantly getting shown up by the others and really can’t keep up. The whole thing about him believing in Santa so the elves trust him is nice, but that’s all Reptil’s got going for him. I like that he has Pit’s voice actor, but otherwise I’d be fine if he was cut from the special. Captain Marvel’s role is also small, but at least she can fight. She gets in good energy blasts during all of the fights although she does seem a little nerfed here since she isn’t treated as one of the big guns.

Overall, Frost Fight is a reasonable special. It goes through the motions and pretty much delivers on everything you would expect from a special like this. I’d have liked for there to have been more action, but what we got was reasonable. The music isn’t bad and I’d be up for more specials like this. Hopefully next time the villain won’t be quite as broken as Loki though so we can get a nice back and forth fight without the power levels going crazy. With that speed Loki should have completely crushed everyone. If you like the Avengers then I’d recommend watching this special. If you haven’t seen the Avengers yet then I’d recommend starting with Ultimate Avengers instead.

Overall 7/10

Dante vs Hulk

Suggested by Anonymous The Hulk may be known as the strongest there is, but that’s certainly not going to be enough against Dante. Dante’s got a lot of speed under his belt and that will work against raw power any day of the week. Hulk’s punches will also deal damage, but it’ll be repaired almost instantly thanks to Dante’s crazy healing. Hulk will either get tired out first or Dante will get bored and just end the green behemoth. Either way it’s game over. Dante wins.

Avengers: Endgame Review

It’s time to look at Endgame. This is the big Marvel film to end the first era so it’s definitely a movie where you wanted to be careful to dodge spoilers. I definitely think it’ll be awful tough for those who are not seeing it in the first week, (especially since even football players are tweeting spoilers) but I suppose if you stay offline you’ve got a decent chance. It’s a very good film while at the same time being a very disappointing one. Infinity War was at the pinnacle of the MCU as it built off of all the old films and turned it into one of the biggest MCU crossovers. Endgame doesn’t make the most of the opportunities it was given.

The basic plot of Endgame picks up where Infinity War left off. Thanos won and showed the world that he was a force to be reckoned with. Now the heroes want to try and undo the damage that he has done, but it won’t be easy and most of them are out of hope. It may be up to Ant-Man to finally give the heroes a fighting chance. He may not be the First Avenger or the Mightiest Avenger, but he’s got one thing that the rest don’t, Hope.

Lets preface this review by remembering that Endgame is one of those rare films that has characters from a bunch of different titles. It would be extremely difficult to make this a bad film which is partially why it’s disappointing. No matter what this was going to be a really fun film with the Avengers finally getting to interact again as a team and all of the other characters running around. As expected the writing is pretty strong here. There’s a lot of good banter between the characters and the dialogue is strong. The characters are mostly all in character and the jokes forced the way that they were in Age of Ultron.

The humor is mainly on point so you’ll be grinning for most of the film. Ant-Man definitely gets most of the stand out scenes both when it comes to humor and just in general. He’s surprisingly my favorite character in the film by quite a bit. He steals pretty much every scene he is in which isn’t easy. He does a good job of reminding the heroes of their roots and isn’t really caught up in the crazy cosmic shenanigans. This allows him to really get a good hold on the situation.

The first scenes of the film are still really epic as you’d expect. These are the parts that are captured in the trailers and was teased at in the end of Captain Marvel. It’s also certainly one of the best scenes in the film. I always like to see Captain Marvel’s confidence and considering her power set it isn’t as if she hasn’t earned it. The films have made it abundantly clear that she is the strongest Avenger. While her screen time is extremely limited she does spend most of it outshining everyone else.

We don’t have any new stand out tunes here, but we do get quite a few of the old songs. The classic Avengers theme pops up numerous times and they also got the old Guardians of the Galaxy song I believe. I think there were a few other retro tunes as well. They all certainly work well in their respective scenes. As always the special effects do not disappoint either. The final battle is definitely amazingly well done and does a good job at making it feel like the largest scale battle in the series. It’s definitely one of the best climaxes in the series even if I may not put it as literal #1. (That’s definitely Infinity War) Again, there’s almost nothing I can say about the climax, but it’s certainly excellent with a lot happening, but good camera work so you’re never having a tough time seeing what you’re supposed to.

Now for what went wrong with the film, well a big part is certainly how Thor was handled. I can’t really go into it without hitting the spoiler territory, but he is actually used as a main source of comedy here. Thor has shown that he is quite adept at good humor in his banter like in Ragnarok, but that’s different from actually being a comic relief character. This film takes him the opposite way. If you liked Thor in any of the films prior to this one there is a good chance that this can take you out of the movie entirely. It’s terrible what they did to him and it’s not an exaggeration to say that it did ruin a good portion of the experience. His scenes were still funny and he kept the banter, but the cost for the jokes was way too high. I dare say that this character arc would have made more sense for the Hulk.

I think fans of Ironman, Captain America, and Hulk will be pleased though. While Hulk doesn’t get as much action as you’d like, he has a reasonable end to his character arc. Both Ironman and Captain America get a lot of stand out scenes as well. Hawkeye’s more than a bit iffy though. I wouldn’t say he looked particularly good here, but Black Widow certainly did so on the whole most of the original members looked solid. Thanos doesn’t get as big a role here as he got in Infinity War for obvious reasons, but he still makes his presence felt.

Overall, Endgame was a lot of fun and this score is definitely a bit harsh. It’s got the quality of an 8, but it just made so many wrong moves that I wouldn’t even want to re-watch it too soon while with the other films I was ready to re-watch it almost immediately. I think it’s the kind of film that I’ll enjoy more over time with re-watches and such, but then again maybe not. I can’t think of a time where a film had such an easy set-up which would be an instant 9 and then threw it away like this one. Endgame sacrifices character development and plot for easy laughs. Its replay value will be considerably lower than the other titles as a result. It’s just not a particularly satisfying conclusion in a lot of ways. I’m keeping this review spoiler free so there’s a whole lot that I couldn’t touch on here hence the short length. I’ve decided to follow up with a spoiler review which will come out within the next few days. It’s the first time I’ll have what is effectively a double review for a film, but I think this is so far the one exception because of how much the marketing kept away. I don’t want to ruin any suspense for those who have not seen it and my spoiler review will be very well tagged so you won’t get spoiled by accident. I certainly still do recommend you check this film out for yourself. There’s a really good chance you’ll like/love the movie, it’ll all just ride on whether or not you like how this all played out. I can definitely see the film being divisive but at the end of the day between Infinity War and Endgame I don’t expect we’ll ever see another comic book crossover quite this large on the big screen. (Not so much in terms of characters, but with significance and the 10+ year build up)

Overall 7/10

Dio Brando vs Hulk

Suggested by Random The Hulk is very strong and gets more dangerous the longer the fight goes on. That being said, he is really not good at dealing with speed and he can be knocked out before he has a chance to grow stronger. Hulk will start at his strongest here either way, but the speed factor is just too much to be ignored. Dio would be able to end this fight very quickly. Dio Brando wins.

Krul Tepes vs Hulk

Suggested by Dylan Hooton Krul may not look like she has the physical strength needed to take down someone like the Hulk, but don’t count her out just because the vampire looks like a kid. Krul has a lot of speed at her disposal and is simply a lethal fighter. It would not be very difficult for her to speed blitz the Hulk and land some lethal hits in an instant. The Hulk can heal fairly well, but not enough to compensate for how many times she will be hitting him. The Hulk just doesn’t have a chance here. Krul Tepes wins.