Best Animated Film of Each Year

It’s time to look at the best animated film of each year! This post is going to have a lot of gaps during the early parts as there are many years where I didn’t see a film, but I wanted to keep it separate from live action so both sides got their time to shine. Naturally if the only film that I’ve seen in a year got under a 5 then I won’t be counting it. I mainly used Wikipedia for researching this list, but you never know if I missed one or not so if I find a better movie for a year then naturally I’ll update it. 2018 is pretty early so far and I’m sure it’ll change, but I’ve still added it. Without further adieu, lets do this.

1937 Snow White

Certainly a classic film and it has the honor of being the very earliest animated film that I’ve ever seen. Considering that this was back in the 1930s the animation is actually quite good. It’s really impressive and just makes me even sadder for some of the current animated stuff that comes out.

1940 Pinocchio

Pinocchio is definitely a fun film and one that is certainly more intense than you may remember. The whole scene of the kid getting drunk and then everyone turning into Donkeys was quite unexpected. Definitely a film that you will take a second glance at while watching to make sure that it’s the right film.

1941 Dumbo

How can you not like the concept of Dumbo? It’s about a big elephant who always knew that he had what it takes to be the best. We had some solid supporting characters here and while it would never hit it off the same way that many of the other Disney films did, the important thing is that the film had heart and never gave up without a fight. Yeah, I was having a hard time filling out this paragraph, but I did a good job I’d say.

1950 Cinderella

Cinderella is definitely an intense story and one that has really aged well with the animation. 1950 was a very long time ago, but the story is remembered just as much now as it ever was. Maybe even more so with the recent remake.

1959 Sleeping Beauty

Just from this picture you can see how far Disney has come in 9 years. The animation was solid and we actually got a fight scene here which was really epic. You can’t go wrong with big dragon battles and this movie did a really good job of handling it.

1964 Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph is definitely a classic film. Santa may have been rather mean the whole time, but Rudolph never let it get to him. He’s just a very nice reindeer who always tries to do the right thing. That’s just the kind of guy he is and it’s why this special is always so emotional. The Island of Misfits was always a fun scene as well.

1969 A Boy Named Charlie Brown

The Charlie Brown series is certainly a very large franchise. This was one of the really early ones and it was a good way to get used to the cast. It’s not as if there is a huge plot or anything, but it’s a fun slice of life adventure that will claim your attention.

1970 Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town

You may think that Santa was already in town, but it turns out that he had to travel. This wasn’t a great movie or anything, but it was in a relatively weak year. It’s fun enough though and will certainly put you in a Christmas mood.

1973 Charlotte’s Web
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I saw Charlotte’s Web when I was really little and it was only recently that I rewatched it. It’s definitely an emotional story with Charlotte. While the parents weren’t very likable, at least the main character was ready to protect the pig. It’s a film about hard decisions for sure.

1976 Rudolph’s Shiny New Year

Who ever thought we would get a Rudolph film with a convoluted plot? Well, that’s exactly what happened with this film and it definitely turned out pretty well. It has good replay value since you’ll likely want to watch it a second time to truly appreciate how meta the plot is. It’s a film that has been forgotten by many though.

1977 Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown

It was finally time for Charlie to get a long sports film. The bullies may have been a little too intense here, but I can always appreciate a good competition. It’s not like you’d expect Charlie to do too well in such circumstances anyway, but I was still hoping that he would come out on top and finally show the world that he was a champ. Maybe next time.

1979 Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July

Who wasn’t excited when this crossover was announced? It makes so much sense and yet this film never got too popular. The plot may not have been amazing or anything, but Rudolph looked really good in the action scenes and the story just writes itself. This is hype confirmed.

1983 Mickey’s Christmas Carol

A classic take on the Christmas Carol and one that really works well. Mickey and Scrooge are perfect for the roles. Scrooge was practically born into it with such a name. It definitely has a happy ending and Scrooge does a good job of resisting the Christmas spirit before getting sucked into it.

1986 Transformers The Movie

Take a look at the picture and can you tell me that this film came out in the 80s? It’s another film where the animation was utterly spectacular and the movie gets better every time you see it. I couldn’t really appreciate it the first 3-4 times, but the final time I saw it the whole thing finally clicked. This is the ultimate Transformers experience and a big reason as to why the franchise is so good.

1987 Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers

I can’t really get behind Shaggy’s red shirt, but this was a fun special. I never really knew the Boo Brothers too well, but who wasn’t familiar with Scooby Doo? I wouldn’t mind if they brought these movies back as the Shaggy and Scooby dynamic works pretty well. Of course, having the whole gang around is probably the better dynamic, but it’s close.

1988 Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant Werewolf

I saw this film so many times back in the day. It may not be the greatest Scooby Doo Adventure, but the race is solid and it’s certainly nostalgic. With everyone cheating and the actual terrain being pretty suspect, the heroes had to use all of their skills to drive through that mess.

1989 Dragon Ball Z Dead Zone

Dead Zone started DBZ’s long reign of destruction as it kept getting best film of the year awards. Dead Zone had some really good action scenes and while they may not be as high tier as the later films, that didn’t take away from the actual fights. These fights had a lot of heart and you could feel the effort that was put into them. It was a solid start to the movie series.

1990 Dragon Ball Z The Tree of Might

The Tree of Might had the first Goku Black since before Super was even thought up. The film surprisingly didn’t really go into that, but it’s still a really solid DBZ film with a lot of fight scenes. Goku may have been a little outmatched, but it was good for hype. I’m not a big fan of throwing in the apes at the end, but people like them so I guess the film had to do it.

1991 Dragon Ball Z Cooler’s Revenge

Definitely one of the best DBZ films. It was a great way for Super Saiyan to debut and the movie was basically nonstop action. It’s easily the best early DBZ film and was a great transition to the Super Saiyan adventures. Even the soundtrack was 5 star material and this is just a very complete movie.

1992 Dragon Ball Z Super Android 13

Super Android 13 may have been extremely short like a lot of the early DBZ films, but the action starts almost within the 5 minutes and continues to the end. It’s awesome if you came for the fights and naturally I did so this worked quite well. It’s easily one of the best DBZ films and is just incredible in general.

1993 Broly The Legendary Super Saiyan

While Resurrection F may have finally passed this film as the best DBZ title, Broly is still absolutely amazing. The animation was certainly ahead of its time and Broly makes for an incredibly imposing villain. The fights here are some of the best choreographed in all of anime and I really hope Broly returns someday.

1994 Broly-Second Coming

Broly Second Coming may not have been as good as the original since Goku and Adult Trunks weren’t around, but his fight with Gohan was still pretty solid. I was glad he got to appear again at any rate and it’s still a lot better than the third film in the trilogy would be. This one still had a solid plot and a good portrayal for Broly.

1995 Dragon Ball Z Fusion Reborn
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Fusion Reborn is a pretty hype DBZ film even if it wasn’t as great as it could have been. Focusing on the Goku and Vegeta plot would have made this film much better. It’s rare to see SSJ3 Goku so overwhelmingly outmatched, but he still tried his best. Janemba has a great design and this film is a must watch for DBZ fans as it effectively ended the initial DBZ adventures. I mean there was one other film, but it didn’t really have any big fights…

1996 Sonic The Hedgehog
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I’ve seen this Sonic movie many times. Technically it’s an OVA, but I’ve seen it in movie format each time and it’s the definitive Sonic experience. The fight with Metal Sonic is incredible and it’s what I expect when watching something Sonic related. I doubt the film will ever be surpassed and that’s fine since it sets such a high bar. Still, if you have not seen this movie then you need to change that as soon as possible!

1997 Slayers Great
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Slayers has made it into the fray! The movies and OVAs for typically prequels while the TV show focused on the current events. That was actually a pretty smart move and a good way to keep both sets of adventures going. It was a fun movie that had solid animation which were good for the fights. Otherwise, Lina was pestering Naga as much as you can expect and that dynamic is always fun.

1998 Pokemon The First Movie

The first Pokemon movie was incredible and to this day it makes a strong case for being the absolute best one in the series. Mewtwo is really powerful and is probably still the most powerful Pokemon. Ash got to throw a good punch and all of the characters were at their best here. It’s a film that I’ve seen many times and is always as fun as the last.

1999 Pokemon 2000

Pokemon 2000 may have been a lot more low key than the first film, but it’s still a nice adventure. Adventure is the right word to use for this film because the whole film is essentially Ash trekking through the snowy island that he is on. There isn’t a whole lot of action, but it’s an enjoyable film and it’s always nice to see the original cast.

2000 Batman Beyond Return of the Joker

Return of the Joker was definitely a very intense film and a good way to cap off the Batman Beyond series. The animation was definitely really solid and the soundtrack was great as you always expect from the series. Joker and Bruce Wayne finally got some closure and this film is the main reason why we want the Beyond series to return someday.

2001 Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase

Scooby Doo Cyber Chase is probably the best of the Scooby Doo films as I think it even has the slight edge over Zombie Island. It was a really fun video game inspired film with even some crossover elements like meeting the other Scooby Doo gang. It’s a really fun film and for Scooby Doo to take a win in the post 2000 era you know that the film had to be solid.

2002 Pokemon Heroes

Pokemon Heroes was a pretty fun film. It was good to see a more experienced Ash take charge here. The film was rather light on action and Latios looked fairly weak, but I guess not all of the legendaries can be fighters. It was definitely fun watching this film in theaters and the visuals still hold up well.

2003 Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman

While the mystery may be the biggest incentive to watching this film, I was mainly interested in the fight scenes. The film had a lot of them and they were all quite solid. Even Penguin’s two bodyguards were actually able to fight this one as the ladies were even defeating Batwoman quite handily. It’s definitely a very solid Batman film to watch and one that I’ve seen many times.

2004 Yugioh and the Pyramid of Light

You may wonder why Yugi has 2 copies of Ra, but that’s not important right now. This was a very fun Yugioh film with some solid card duels. It may not have gotten the same acclaim as the other 2 newer Yugioh films, but it was a good way to get the ball rolling. Kaiba gets the hype you’d expect from him and the new villain is solid as well. Just a very good all around movie.

2005 Final Fantasy VII Advent Children

This film had a long history of being my all time favorite. It has since been surpassed a few times, but it’s still an incredible film that shows off the potential of CGI. It can look good if applied properly and this film proves it. The soundtrack and plot are also awesome making this a great film that could win almost any year with ease.

2006 Bleach: Memories of Nobody

The first Bleach film was a lot of fun. Ichigo was relentless against the villains here and we got to see all of the Captains get to do something by the end. The villain was a credible threat and the animation was movie level as well. When I think of Bleach, this film captures the essence of the series the best even if Hell Verse is still the best movie. This film got Bleach off to a great start.

2007 Bleach: Diamond Dust Rebellion

A film about Hitsugaya may have been a rather intriguing call, but it’s one that worked reasonably well. You can’t help but think that the movie would have been better with Ichigo as the lead, but we got a good amount of action either way. It also helped prove my theory that Soul Society is actually evil and must be defeated someday.

2008 Bleach: Fade To Black

Dark Rukia was a cool concept even if the film didn’t really go all out with it. The third Bleach film may be the weakest of the Bleach films, but it’s still a very solid movie in its own respect. It was just lacking in action when you expect a lot more from the series. Throw in just one more action scene and this film would probably have a far better rep.

2009 Naruto Shippuden the Movie: The Will of Fire

The Will of Fire is the best Naruto film for the simple reason that it had the best fights. All of Naruto’s friends may have betrayed him and I lost respect for all of those guys, but Naruto always held true to his beliefs of making sure to save everyone. This film really shows why Naruto is a very likable main character and I’d highly recommend checking it out to see for yourself.

2010 Yugioh Bonds Beyond Time

The greatest film of all time! I don’t see anything ever possibly topping this movie. I don’t care if it’s the big Goku Ultra Super Saiyan 6 vs Whis Level 5 or if it’s a big budget RWBY series finale movie. This film cannot be stopped as it was the ultimate crossover and still had the best audience I’ve ever seen at a theater. With a super cast and nonstop action, Bonds Beyond Time is the champ for good reason.

2011 Tekken Blood Vengeance

Tekken is definitely a very fun film. The action doesn’t really heat up until the heroes make it to the tower, but we get a few fights before that. Tekken has always been well known because its a fighting game series that also has a good story so it makes sense that the film would be an example of this. It’s also one of the few CGI films that still looks really great. It makes sense since the games use a similar visual style.

2012 Justice League Doom

Justice League Doom is a pretty fun film. It’s certainly a little more low key than Crisis on Two Earths, but still gives us a lot of action scenes and more quality time with the Justice League. It shows why Batman is so feared since he can easily come up with plans to stop anyone. The guy cannot be underestimated.

2013 Dragon Ball Z Battle of Gods

Battle of Gods was huge when it first came out since it meant that we finally got to see the old characters again. Nostalgia initially helped me give it such a generous score, but either way it is still a very solid film. The ending may not be satisfying, but Goku finally getting a new super form was a long time coming. There were some solid action scenes so how could you not like this film?
2014 Naruto The last

Romance aside, it was great to finally see a grown up Naruto who could really cut loose. He wasn’t holding back at all in this movie and the fight scene on the Moon was incredible. The movie is definitely very action packed and feels a lot like DBZ in a good way. It was a very nice way to wrap up Naruto’s story before his son would take over.

2015 Dragon Ball Z Resurrection F

Finally, a new Super Saiyan form! This film got a lot of hype and lived up to all of it. It has the best soundtrack in a DBZ film and while the power levels were wonky it didn’t make the viewing experience any worse. Just sit tight and enjoy the hype combat!

2016 Yugioh Dark Side of Dimensions

Dark Side of Dimensions is definitely a great film. The duels are absolutely top notch and Kaiba really looked great. The writers seemed to look at why people like Yugioh and then incorporate all of the best elements into the film. They did a flawless job and I don’t see how they can possibly top this with another classic film. If this is how the original part of the franchise ends, I would be satisfied.

2017 Sword Art Online Ordinal Scale

I was a little worried when walking into the theater for this film since SAO is a series full of highs and lows, but the movie was firing on all cylinders. The action is intense and the animation is amazing. With tight pacing and a great plot, you couldn’t go wrong with this title.

2018 Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Scooby Doo has returned to claim the 2018 spot! This was a fun crossover with Batman and definitely was a good way to bring this Batman series back. I doubt it will keep this spot for very long, but we have to give credit where it’s due. The gang really outdid themselves this time.

Congrats on getting to the end! This post was definitely a lot of fun to make so be on the lookout for other sections like Live Action Movies and TV shows at some point. In the meantime I will be sure to keep this list updated.


Captain America: Super Soldier Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 3h 24m

Level Stats

Level 1 Max Combo 16 Clear Time 12m Challenges 0/4 Pows 0/3 Bombs 0/10 Chest 0/1
Level 2 Max Combo 34 Clear Time 23m Challenges 0/4 Pows 0/3 Bombs 2/10 Chest 0/1
Level 3 Max Combo 28 Clear Time 23m Challenges 0/4 Pows 0/3 Bombs 3/10 Chest 1/1
Level 4 Max Combo 12 Clear Time 26m Challenges 0/4 Pows 2/3 Bombs 3/10 Chest 0/1
Level 5 Max Combo 19 Clear Time 28m Challenges 0/4 Pows 1/3 Bombs 5/10 Chest 0/1
Level 6 Max Combo 15 Clear Time 25m Challenges 0/4 Pows 1/3 Bombs 1/10 Chest 0/1
Level 7 Max Combo 10 Clear Time 35m Challenges 0/4 Pows 0/3 Bombs 1/10 Chest 0/1
Level 8 Max Combo 32 Clear Time 18m Challenges 0/4 Pows 0/3 Bombs 2/10 Chest 1/1
Level 9 Max Combo 32 Clear Time 14m Challenges 0/4 Pows 0/3 Bombs 0/10 Chest 0/1

Captain America: Super Soldier Review

It’s time to take a look at one of the final Superhero titles that I had yet to play in the modern era. A character like Captain America certainly comes with a unique fighting style and one that the game handled well. I didn’t expect to find it for around 5 dollars at Gamestop, but it just goes to show that you never know what kind of gem you’ll find there. As a loyal Gamestop supporter I must urge you to go there, but don’t get conned into going for Elite Reward Status unless you seriously shop there a lot or desperately want the Buy 2 Get 1 Free coupon.

The plot of the game is that Captain America has infiltrated another Hydra base. At this location, Zola is experimenting to create his own version of the super soldier serum and if he succeeds then it could turn the tide of the whole war. Cap has to stop this weapon at all costs, but he can’t do it alone. That’s where the Invaders come in. They’ve got heavy artillery backing then up so maybe, just maybe the heroes have a chance.

At its core this game is a classic 3D brawler like most of the other superheroes. You will do some platforming as you jump from place to place but most of the time you will be beating up on Hydra agents. The platforming is also pretty easy because your jumps automatically link to where you will want to go and an arrow will show if you can make it or not. If you fall anyway then you simply were not paying attention. If you’ve played pretty much any 3D game like this then you should also be prepared to break some switches and handle miscellaneous tasks.

Now the combat is where the game gets a little more creative. This is Captain America after all, you will be going in expecting to use his shield quite a bit right? Well the game doesn’t disappoint. You can throw the shield around to stun multiple enemies. The more you upgrade the shield skill, the more enemies you can target at once. It’s really handy for when you’re surrounded. Of course, sometimes you want to test your mettle in close range combat and that is always a viable option. When fighting off enemies with your fists you can feel the satisfying sound effect behind each blow. Furthermore, your reaction times are important here as you will have to press the Z button when you are about to be attacked to parry the hit and keep on beating them down. The timing isn’t quite as strict as in some other games and it is hard to miss the visual cue. As a result, you can basically fight off armies by the end of the game and it feels awesome. You can be surrounded and then begin delivering your haymakers until the fight is over. The fight style the game uses is very cinematic which lines up well with the films. You won’t even notice the Wii Remote much since you are focusing on just hitting everything. The motion controls only come into play when you start throwing your shield around, but time slows to a crawl at this point so that compensates for the extra time it takes to move the shield around. You will likely still get tagged once or twice in Cap Mode since when you’re surrounded even slowing down time isn’t always enough. To prevent the game from getting too easy, berserk enemies don’t trigger your Cap Sense so you can’t parry them and the same goes for all of the villains with guns.

Unfortunately the graphics aren’t great. It’s not so much the effects or the backgrounds, but it is the character models that just don’t seem right. Captain America’s proportions just don’t seem right. His top half is just too huge and the rest of him looks too small. I guess maybe he just skipped leg day. One good thing about this style though is that it lets the game go all out with giving us mini cutscenes here and there. The scene where a minion shows up and grabs the shield was pretty hype. He quickly learned that I was still more than a match for him though. The music wasn’t especially memorable or anything like that but I did like the main menu theme. It was a nice rock theme that got you hyped for what the game was about to bring in.

There are 9 levels in the game with the average length being about 20 minutes per level. The game isn’t all that long as a result, but it didn’t feel too short either. It’s a fairly standard length for a movie tie-in which admittedly isn’t saying much. You can get the game for a few dollars though so the price helps to counter this. There is a little replay value to be found here as you can go back to the levels and try to grab the collectibles to unlock some more costumes. Not a great incentive for me, but it’s definitely better than nothing. At the end of the day, this is a very basic game with no extra frills. The main campaign has to be enough to sell you on the product and it worked well enough for me.

Overall, Captain America is a pretty fun superhero title. It may not be as high budget as you’d like, but does a good job of depicting what you would expect from Cap’s fighting style into a great gameplay experience. Throwing around the shield just feels right and can really be used to extend combos. Naturally, bouncing it off walls and such won’t work quite like in the movies, but Sega did a good job all things considered. This is a considerable step up from the recent Batman game that I played and I can certainly recommend checking it out. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Overall 7/10

Inhumans Review

The Inhumans were pushed heavily throughout the comics and shows a few years back. Marvel did their best to try and use them as replacements for the X-Men although this plan failed and the mutants are back in business. This TV show came out during this interesting period and all it did was show why the Inhumans were never all that popular. They just aren’t likable characters.

The show starts off with showing us the Inhuman civilization on the Moon. Things may look peaceful from a distance, but the citizens are not happy as King Black Bolt has separated them into an outdated caste system. Depending on how you were born you were doomed to work in the mines or you can live above ground. Now you may recognize this system from many villain groups like the Soul Society, Skypiea, or even the world of Black Clover. Since you know the format then you know that Black Bolt is the main villain so an up and coming Inhuman will stop him right? Well that’s where Maximus comes in.

He realizes that the caste system is immoral and decides to quickly put a stop to it once and for all. He achieves a coup d’etat and usurps Black Bolt of his crown and banishes most of the royal family to Earth. Black Bolt swears revenge and that he will destroy Maximus when next they meet. Show’s over right? Well, Maximus is the main villain and Black Bolt is the hero…..just let that sink in for a little while.

Despite the summary Maximus is obviously a villain from the start. It’s just a shame because he is completely right about how Black Bolt has become a dictator and isn’t treating everyone equally. The show just wrote itself into a corner because this makes Black Bolt a total villain so Maximus goes over the top and starts murdering everyone while also trying for someone who is already married. Clearly the show was worried that Maximus was going to be the best character in the show otherwise. Naturally as a result of all this I am definitely not a Maximus fan. While he may be slightly sympathetic at first he completely goes nuts and loses whatever credibility he had. It’s a shame, but just having a sob story won’t be enough to get you anywhere.

Black Bolt is just as bad but he was never sympathetic. He can’t talk which is supposed to make you sympathetic I guess, but as he is king we can blame him for a lot of what is wrong with the society. He kept in the caste system and looks down on his own people. He is incredibly arrogant to the point where he doesn’t like anyone to make contact with him since he is so above them. He locked one guy in darkness for eternity which is certainly a cruel fate and even hid secrets away from his wife and inner cabal. This is because at his core, Black Bolt doesn’t trust anyone. The only part that I guess could be frustrating for Black Bolt is how Medusa is his interpreter, but she rarely repeats what he actually said and likes to come up with her own version. He definitely needs to find some way to talk through writing or electronically.

I also have to say that his abilities were not impressive in the slightest compared to what you would expect. The show spends the entire season building up his raw power but the big moment at the end where he finally lets loose only amounts to some rocks being broken and the metal cube not even getting a dent. All I’m saying is that I just didn’t find this impressive and the show could have done a whole lot better if you ask me. As a whole, the Inhumans just seem fairly weak and wouldn’t last long against the Avengers or the X-Men. They are all glass cannons with no real defense.

Karnak is a hand to hand fighter with the unique ability to see all of the angles. It is definitely a cool power to have since he can think things through so clearly that he can basically get a do over on any situation. While this ability isn’t as all encompassing as the famous Spider Sense as Karnak won’t know about attacks from behind, it’s good for any fight that he jumps into. Naturally since this ability would likely be too good, Karnak inexplicably trips and loses his ability for most of the season. That’s just annoying since of course now he is just a normal human who needs help from everybody. He also gets the worst subplot in the show as he goes to this place where they’re growing drugs. He helps for a while, but one of the guys goes crazy and starts murdering everybody. Karnak manages to escape with the girl and then they part ways, but the romance was absolutely brutal. This is mainly because Karnak is another one of those characters who doesn’t know much about social behavior and as such he has to be taught romance. It’s all very cringe worthy stuff.

Then we have Crystal and her subplot. She was taught that humans are all beneath her so she should not speak to her, but Lockjaw gets run over by a car for the edge factor so she has to find a vet. She meets up with a surfer dude, well he is the one who ran over her dog and he introduces her to his ex girlfriend who is a vet. The whole scenario is so absurd that it is almost funny. The guy gives her pretty bad advice the whole time as he says things like “your family can wait” as having a fun time at the beach is just a better way to spend the day. He isn’t a positive influence and the problem is that he’s supposed to be the person who gets Crystal to see that humans aren’t so bad. So much for that plan right? Crystal is also annoying because of how extremely powerful she is. She could destroy Maximus at any point in the show, but hesitated too much and loves firing warning shots. She could have saved quite a few people if she had actually made a move instead of waiting. Big mistake on her part if you ask me. So she isn’t a bad character but she is definitely an annoying one. I wanted her to take more initiative so having her become the Queen of the Inhumans would have worked really well.

We can’t forget the actual queen though. Medusa serves as the voice for Black Bolt but as she is basically a yes man for a while, her role barely matters. She does seem to have a little more humanity than Bolt though and at least gets him to be less strict on the corrupt rules that were in place. She can come off as rather mean at times and a little overdramatic when it came to her hair. Still, I have less faults with Medusa than the other characters. She is at least a character who tries to make a change in her situation.

Then we also have Gorgon with his strong stomps. I guess he is super human when it comes to physical abilities but they definitely aren’t at a particularly high level. He is the tough member of the group, but always seems rather outmatched in the various fights that he is in. You never really expect him to win although he does look good when going up against the humans. I guess we will give him some credit for that. There is a big decision that has to be made involving whether they should try to bring him back or not. All I can say is that the group’s bickering and indecision is another reason why they will never be as good as the others. Karnak was Bolt’s most trusted adviser and even he ended up defying him. Considering that Bolt was going to destroy him for this one choice I can definitely say that Karnak made the right move.

There is also a human scientist thrown into the mix who looks like someone out of the Supergirl show. Louise serves as the general audience character who does her best to help and even defies her bosses when she really wants to pursue a story. She doesn’t add a whole lot to the story if we are being honest and just works as a plot device to help the Inhumans secure cars and other necessities in order to reform the team. She could have definitely been worse, but I wasn’t really a fan of the character.
The best character in the film is certainly the regenerating assassin who serves Maximus. Having excellent hand to hand skills in addition to a healing factor is certainly crucial to have at the ready and it’s a shame that her boss was so crazy. Auran definitely was hoping that Maximus was going to be a just ruler, but it simply wasn’t to be. Auran ended up making the right calls by the end and is someone you can trust to keep her word. Being honorable is always a good trait for a protagonist or an antagonist. It shows that he or she has confidence in winning a battle with anyone. If you have to cheat or resort to sneak attacks, then you clearly aren’t as tough as you thought you were. It’s even worse if the villain is one of those people talking about survival of the fittest. So much for that right?

Mordis is one of the other big villains and he gets a ton of hype. Everyone fears him including Black Bolt. The thing is, he’s basically just a weaker Cyclops. He completely relies on his eye blasts and is otherwise a normal mortal. His constant joking around is a nice change of pace from all of the ultra serious Inhumans, but he really couldn’t live up to the hype. He ends up going down pretty quickly when the adventure actually gets tough.

The pacing is fairly good at least since this is basically just an extended movie turned into a short show. Either way, something is always happening and it doesn’t have time to be all that drawn out. Certainly a good thing. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of the show thanks to its lackluster cast and it not striving to have quality writing instead of random romances, at least it didn’t keep in going and going for too long. It knew to end before going too far off the deep end.

The show isn’t all that violent which is a good thing. It never gets quite as intense as the Agents of Shield or anything like that. We have a regenerative character and we see her heal from a wound but it’s nothing too crazy. There is also the animal violence of the dog being run over. If he had died or something then the show would have really done down the tubes. It’s definitely good that the show avoided that land mine.

I suppose I’ll give the show’s scenery and costumes some props. I thought they did a good job with Black Bolt and Crystal’s costumes. They seemed to be pretty comic accurate. They weren’t really trying with Medusa since most of the plot revolved around her losing the hair anyway, but I suppose the actual costume was on point. The suits may have a hard time translating into live action for many heroes since they just feel like cosplay at times, but as long as the look is right then it’s fine if it looks rather fragile. That’s a very slight stretch of disbelief to imagine that the fabric is just really tough.

The fight scenes may have been scarce but we still got a few good ones like Medusa vs Auran. Lets face it though, Auran should have absolutely clobbered her. Medusa is tough because of her hair, but Auran is an advanced master of hand to hand combat. Throw in the regeneration and this is absolutely no contest. If they said beforehand that Medusa was also known as one of the best fighters or that she had super strength then maybe it would be believable, but otherwise I just couldn’t take the fight’s outcome seriously. Too bad we didn’t get more hand to hand fights like that, but the show at least did give us a lot of posturing between…well everybody. Every character here has a huge ego and they are intact by the end so if we get a sequel prepare for a lot of “I told you so” remarks and smirks. I really don’t see this show getting a sequel anytime soon though.

The best part of the show is probably when the villains and heroes have their first major encounter in the forest. The heroes spend a lot of that time running away and surprisingly there isn’t actually much of a fight but I was done with the whole “Heroes scattered in an unknown town” plot. The actual confrontations are what we came here for after all. Black Bolt did appear to be incredibly naive when he met with Maximus for the first hostage exchange though. In what world would Maximus actually release control back to Black Bolt in exchange for his life when he could just destroy Bolt where he stands? Maximus went as far as to betray his whole family and risk being assassinated to become the ruler. A few words wasn’t going to switch that at any point. Naturally this just causes Black Bolt to fume a little more, but I don’t see how he became the King with those tactician skills. Oh right…he was born into the crown, Bolt didn’t actually earn it. That’s the whole premise of the show.

Overall, Inhumans was a failed experiment of Marvel’s which likely won’t be remembered all that much in the future. It wasn’t a terrible attempt, but it just didn’t have enough good fundamentals to stand on its own. Some guest stars would have really gone a long way into making this a better show. Even if it had to be human guest stars like throwing the Agents of Shield in. That would have worked for me.

Overall 4/10

Black Panther Review

It’s time to take a look at the next Marvel Cinematic film! Even though we get 2-3 of these a year, it always feels like such a long wait until the next one. This one has been a long time in the making as Black Panther got a lot of fans after his appearance in Civil War. He was definitely a highlight in that film and remains a great lead in this film. The movie does a good job of not letting the jungle limit it and we do get quite a few nice city scenes as well. All told, it’s a solid addition to the MCU and I’d be up for a sequel although I don’t think there is too much more they can do here in Wakanda so a sequel would probably need to take place at one of the other bases.

The film starts with a quick recap of Wakanda history. We then see the previous Black Panther murder a traitor which sets up the main plot. Right after Black Panther is crowned King of Wakanda, another member of royal blood has shown up to take it back. King T’Challa must now learn what it means to be King and if he even wants to rule such unloyal followers. Either way, he has a duty to stop this villain from launching an attack on the rest of the world or Wakanda will face severe retaliation of the Avenging kind.

I had one big fear when walking into this film and that was that the movie would resort to animal violence since part of Wakanda is essentially a jungle. Then just when I thought I was safe, 3 large Rhinos showed up. Fortunately the film went out of its way to ensure that none of them were hurt. Panther trapped one, a second just ran off, and the third one turned good. Once this scene had been played out, I knew that the film was going to be safe. We also mitigate the jungle aspect as most of Wakanda is actually very high tech and sci-fi esque. I definitely enjoy seeing technology and cities the most so this was good for me. I’m still not a fan of any landscape that isn’t a city of some kind or the inside of a high tech facility. Those just make for the best scenes if you ask me.

The best scenes of the film all take place in the city for the most part. The opening fight scene with Klaw and his gang was handled really well. Panther’s new suit made for some good action effects like when he totaled the car. The old suit was bullet proof which is great, but this one does all of that and more. While the suit is shown to have limitations, this should help him keep up with heavy weights like Spider-Man now. In theory, Captain America would probably lose at this point since their fight was already very close and now landing any damage on Black Panther will be very difficult. It’s a really useful power up and with all of the new tech Panther’s sister is coming up with, he is only going to get stronger.

Pretty much all of the hand to hand fights here are really good. The scene where both Panthers are decimating the opposing armies was a nice contrast as they are both way stronger than the rest of the fighters. Of course, that’s why Black Panther needed to hurry and take the other one out since casualties would run high. Even with this, the film does a good job of making the warriors look reasonably strong. I’d personally say that they looked more impressive than the Amazons in Wonder Woman as these seem to know how to fight and wouldn’t get caught off guard by bullets from people right in front of them. The film also corrects one more thing from the WW film. In that title we learn that the Amazons are also hiding in plain sight by having their island just appear as more water. This doesn’t work for obvious reasons. People just fly through there anyway and then the illusion fades. They would get found out in no time. In Black Panther, the illusion is backed up by being an actual country with borders. They have soldiers and weapons deter anyone from approaching. The deception is simply in appearing to be poorer than they actually are. Maybe this will still be a bit of a stretch for some, but it’s much more believable if you ask me.

Black Panther is a very solid character as I mentioned earlier. While his best appearance will likely always be in Civil War as his character was perfect there, he doesn’t really do anything wrong here. Maybe he should have been quicker to throw the villain out or done more to prevent Klaw from escaping, but you can’t expect him to think of every possible contingency. Thanks to the ritual fights forcing Panther to be in human mode, we do see a more vulnerable version of him. His hand to hand skills actually may be under Bucky, Black Widow, and some of the other hand to hand characters in the series as he has trouble with various fighters, but granted, he should always have the Panther serum for future films so it shouldn’t be a problem. He’s still more than proficient as only high level fighters can hope to defeat him. He may be King, but Panther isn’t stuck up or arrogant yet which is good. Part of why he can be annoying in the comics is that he ends up being like Black Bolt at times where he seems completely corrupt with power. I don’t think the films will be going that route.

Ross is a surprisingly great character and was actually my favorite in the film. He’s a very confident CIA agent who doesn’t back down from anyone. His illegal dealings with Klaw may be suspect, but I get the feeling that he was going to double cross the villain. He’s quick on his feet and an ace pilot as well. He’ll certainly be fun to have around for future films and I’m glad that the CIA has at least one really good member. It seems like they’ve been playing second fiddle to SHIELD for a while so it’s time to finally surpass them. Ross doesn’t really have any bad scenes. Another really good character is Panther’s sister Shuri. She recently got to appear in an animated Avengers episode and based on her portrayal there the film’s depiction was also very accurate. She’s a genius with tech and has come up with many great inventions in a short span of time considering that this takes place only around a week after Civil War. Considering that a big threat like Thanos and his army won’t go down to brute force so easily, her tech will come in handy. She’s not afraid to get on the front lines as well and is just a very charismatic character the whole time.

Killmonger is the main villain of the film and he’s pretty cool. Even before becoming the Panther Killmonger was a very talented fighter as he racked up kills in many different countries. It was interesting to see how he was an undercover agent for the CIA who managed to use the heroes and villains until he finally got into Wakanda. To an extent I do have to question how he knew so much about Wakanda though. He knew about the traditions and seemed just very well aware of the culture in general. We can assume he found the location from the book and since his father was okay with him finding it, maybe that’s when he learned everything. Maybe the book was also just very detailed. Getting Klaw was easy enough since it was relatively common knowledge that he was the one who broke into Wakanda the first time. Killmonger does continue the Marvel tradition of having a villain who has the same abilities as the main hero as he and T’Challa are essentially copies of each other, but that doesn’t really matter to me all that much as long as the fights are good and they were here.

I didn’t care for Klaw though. He’s just not my kind of villain and seems to just get lucky all the time. He’s just a normal guy with a sonic cannon and he isn’t even all that fit. I don’t know how he escaped for this long, but it definitely seems like a stretch. He’s wanted by basically every powerful person on the planet so where can he possibly hide? Well, his plot seems to have finally wrapped up here and I won’t miss him. Okoye was a good member of the Wakanda special forces and is certainly one of their best fighters. Her best combat appearance is probably in the club where she beats up quite a few special agents, but she also puts up a reasonable fight against Killmonger. At that point, tech just beats talent, but otherwise I don’t see any Wakandan fighter beating her in a fair battle.

W’Kabi is a pretty terrible character. I can’t say much about him, but you’ll probably know where his character is heading right from the start. It’s similar to a character beat we saw from Doctor Strange only this one is probably more petty. There’s definitely no saving this character. Nakia is a decent character. She doesn’t get much to do and is overshadowed by the others, but isn’t bad. I do wish we could have avoided the token romance which doesn’t add anything to the film and just seems to be filler, but I guess it wasn’t given much of a focus so it could have been a whole lot worse. Nakia’s Tron Discs were cool though. Between that and the Energy Cannons, we had quite a lot of good weapons that have a lot of potential for future films. She just need a hoverboard or air boots to help her maneuver quicker. Baku’s a fun character s well. He definitely has a strong sense of honor and will repay his debts. When he accepted his defeat gracefully without trying any cheap tricks I had a feeling that he would be a good character. He also has a point that Killmonger beat Black Panther in a fair fight so calling it murder was a little drastic. Blame the outdated ritual system, not the player. Baku made the right decision in the end though and really came through for the heroes.

It can be hard to feel bad for Wakanda when they have such poor traditions though. Why should Black Panther have to fight to be king anyway? I guess it’s to give the other tribes a way to be King, but since it will just cause tensions and potentially get them to split again it doesn’t really seem to be practical. I’m pretty sure T’Challa learned his lesson with that though and probably abolished that rule very quickly. Also, the fact that it’s possible to suffocate underneath the dirt they throw on your for the ceremony is another part where you have to shake your head. What’s with all of these unnecessary risks? Killmonger may not have done it for the right reasons, but at least thanks to him these traditions are probably gone as well. On a side note, I was wondering where Bucky and Captain America were hiding the whole time, but I guess getting involved in this fight would have just made things more complicated. Panther could have certainly used some backup, but it all worked out.

I really enjoyed the soundtrack here. I didn’t care much for the Lion King themes or the tribe tradition music, but a lot of the tunes were surprisingly techno/electronic. It seems like this theme would pop up whenever the villain showed up and basically for any action scene. Good music makes the whole presentation that much better and it definitely worked really well here. I’d say that as far as MCU soundtracks go this would definitely be in the top half. The visuals are also really good. I do like the purple energy that the suit gets from taking a hit and the metallic invention room that the sister uses looks cool. It’s a pretty nice set up for sure. The writing is also solid as you’d expect. The one liners between the characters are usually pretty solid. Killmonger adding a more modern/slang spin to Wakanda was also rather nice. He acts as a bridge between the new and old ways to an extent.

The film does have some of the weakest after credit scenes though. The first one just feels like it should have been the actual ending. It’s not really teasing a lot considering you knew this was where Panther was going with the idea. It’s not a bad scene, but it’s not really much of a stinger either. The second scene is far worse as it is showing us something that we’ve already known. It isn’t even a good character that we see and is just rather boring. You could feel the theater letting out a sigh as we waited for something else to show up and then the clip ended. These scenes are just bonus so they can’t hurt a film at all, but I was still hoping for something a little more hype.

So where do all of the Avengers stack up power-wise now? I’d list the rankings as 1. Thor 2. Hulk 3. Dr. Strange 4. Spider-Man 5. Iron Man 6. Vision 7. Black Panther 8. Captain America 9. Scarlet Witch 10. Black Widow 11. Ant Man 12. Hawkeye. For now I’m not counting the Guardians or the helpers like War Machine and Valkyrie, but I’ll do a more complete list for Infinity War. The suit was definitely enough for Panther to finally pass Cap. Strange could potentially pass Hulk depending on how powerful his magic is in Infinity War and by the same token Vision could drop behind Panther and Cap if he looks really bad without his Gem. Some of these matchups are pretty close so a power up can make all the difference.

Overall, Black Panther is a fun and engaging film. It’s pretty fast paced for the most part so it comes across as very exciting the first time around. I do think it will lack in replay value to an extent because some of the dialogue will likely drag on the second time around along with the flashbacks. When the action is happening the film is at its best but we do get some reasonably long breaks in between the action like getting Panther back into fighting shape and having the council of Wakanda chat about things. The writing is strong though and the cast is good though so it’s certainly a movie that I’d recommend to everyone. It’s good to see another Marvel hero get a stand alone film and we are one step closer to Avengers Infinity War now. I have high hopes for that film and am fully expecting it to be one of the best MCU films yet. There are just so many good ways that the film can play this out that I have to assume they will choose one of them. It’ll be cool to see Panther lend his might to the team as well. Only a few short months left.

Overall 7/10

Inhumans vs X-Men Review

It feels like such a long time since I’ve reviewed a Marvel or DC comic right? Well, what better way to get back into it than by reviewing a big Hero vs Hero event? This time the Inhumans and X-Men are going at it. With both sides having morally dubious leaders at the helm you really have to decide which team to root for. The battle will decide the fate of the mutants as well as the Inhumans. As a result, the Avengers and Fantastic Four don’t really care either way so they have decided to stay out of the fray. I’ve always been a big fan of the X-Men and never cared much for the Inhumans so you can imagine which team I am on in this comic.

A lot happened prior to this volume, but the recap on the front page does its best to bring you up to speed. There are 2 big Terrigen Clouds that have come to Earth. These clouds are turning a large part of the human population into Inhumans. The good news is that this cloud doesn’t destroy the humans who aren’t Inhuman deep down unlike the Agents of SHIELD show. The bad news is that it is murdering every mutant who comes into contact with it. Cyclops led a team to destroy the first cloud, but then Black Bolt murdered him. There is now one more cloud left and Beast was tasked with finding a way to save the mutants without destroying the cloud. He was unsuccessful and now they have 2 weeks before total anhiilation. Storm, Emma Frost, and Magneto have to come up with a plan as the 3 main leaders of the X-Men factions. Ultimately, they decide that they have to destroy the Cloud and to do that they will have to temporarily incapacitate the Inhumans. Will their plan be successful or are the Inhumans prepared for this?

Right away you may wonder why the X-Men don’t just negotiate. Honestly, I’m fine with them just attacking. The Inhumans never negotiate and with how evil stubborn and arrogant they are, they’d never agree to remove the cloud. They want all of the extra Inhumans they can get because it’ll give them more fighting power in the future. Maybe they could have given it an attempt, but then it may just tip their hand. Furthermore, the Inhumans already know (or should know) about the cloud’s affects for the Mutants. They act a little shocked towards the end when they learn how close the deadline is, but that’s just the book trying to make them look at least a little redeemable. It’s a last second character switch to try and not make them look like the villains, but it certainly didn’t work on me. Attacking is the best option.

Now, which team should win such a fight? Well, I’d definitely side with the X-Men yet again. They just have too many powerful fighters to lose. Magik, X-23, Emma Frost, Magneto, Old Man Logan, etc. The Inhumans have some strong fighters like Black Bolt and Karnak, but that’s really about it. The others would lose to the more middle of the pack X fighters like classic Cyclops. Then we’ve also got the lesser known X members like Psylocke waiting in the back. This should be a complete blowout and even more so since the X-Men have the element of surprise on their side. The first 2-3 issues are basically them putting the Inhumans on the defensive and kidnapping all of their critical members. Unfortunately since the 1st cloud did a lot of damage, there are a ton of new Inhumans who start to turn the tides. Mostly it’s only because the X-Men are nerfed just in time. Old Man Logan looks particularly bad as one of the new recruits takes him down rather quickly. The excuse is really that he let his guard down and you could argue that even though this version of Wolverine is particularly brutal, he still didn’t really want to hurt a kid too badly. X-23 has no such qualms, but she also doesn’t do very well in the fight.

Don’t even get me started on Psylocke vs Medusa. She should destroy the Inhuman in a snap. Honestly, I feel like most of the comic authors don’t give her the credit she deserves. Psylocke is a very talented ninja who knows how to fight at close range and doesn’t need to rely on her psychic abilities. Yet, she seems rather helpless in many of the battles I see her in. She’s not a 1 trick pony and I’m still waiting for a big Marvel comic to realize that. So, I’ve explained why the X-Men should absolutely dominate and I’m happy to say that they did effectively win. They accomplished their task of destroying the cloud and now no more Inhumans will be born while the mutants are safe.

Granted, they certainly had help. A few Inhumans decided to destroy the cloud as well once they found out that it was destroying the mutants. The X-Men were also in prime position to finish off the Inhumans as well, but naturally that wasn’t their plan. It was Emma’s and she did attempt to finish them off, but one person against 2 armies? That wasn’t going to end well no matter how powerful she is. She did escape and will stick around as a villain though so the Inhumans should definitely be worried. She made for a great character here though and I dare say that it’s easily her best portrayal. She’s on a mission for revenge and even though she ends up tricking basically everyone, you can never truly trust a telepath.

One more reason to root for the X-Men is how uneven the stakes are. If the X-Men lost then all mutants would die. If the Inhumans lost…then they simply couldn’t get anymore new recruits for a while, but those humans that have the potential to turn into Inhumans may still make the change once someone finds more Terrigen. Plus, this way they get a choice on if they want to transform or not. Medusa gets over the whole thing within a single page at the end of the volume so you can tell that the Inhumans were never too invested in this. Yet another reason why I never like these guys.

As always, I didn’t like the Inhumans here. Medusa appears to be two timing Black Bolt with Human Torch and I’m not sure if he ever even notices. She then ditches the Torch to go with Black Bolt again in the end as she explains that she’s happy about not being a queen anymore. Definitely a weird plot if you ask me. Black Bolt seemed like the same stuck up king that he always was and he’s basically in rage mode for the whole arc but doesn’t actually do anything. From the original members, Karnak and Medusa definitely do the most. It was also interesting to see Human Torch as an Inhuman supporter and not neutral. he was definitely useful for their cause as well. On the X-Men side, Beast was more of a traitor who wanted to help the Inhumans so luckily the X-Men locked him up. Beast has always been a really annoying character and this volume definitely did not help his case in that regard. He really can never see the bigger picture and does his best to cement himself as a character you simply cannot count on in any situation.

The art was really good although I’d expect nothing less. It’s not quite as smooth as some of the last events like AVX, but it’s still the high quality that Marvel has been consistent with. The fight scenes really look good and every page is busy with a lot of action without being cluttered. The artwork has a mild grainy element to it that doesn’t take much away from the colors. Good artwork certainly helps to push a comic into the next level. While many are tired of the Hero vs Hero action, I’m always up for it. As long as the fights aren’t cop outs or off screen, it at least helps to finally decide which characters are actually the strongest.

Overall, This was a fun comic. There were a lot of battles and since the X-Men and Inhumans have been rivals for such a long time it makes sense that they would go at it. The comic also got the victor right. While there definitely was quite a bit of plot hax to try and keep the Inhumans in the ring, I suppose the writers felt that a full blowout wouldn’t have been as interesting. They have a point there to be sure although I really wouldn’t have minded all that much. I’d definitely recommend reading this graphic novel. It really takes advantage of all the friends and enemies that each team has made and it helps both sides grab a lot of members. Both sides never appear reasonable since they are spearheaded by the most evil member in the team, but that makes the fight more believable as well. This was never going to end peacefully.

Overall 8/10

Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Stats and Records

Stats time! Well, here are my choices for each episode. For spoiler reasons, I will list each choice as #1, #2, etc instead of the name but you can tell what they are from the chapter results at the end of each episode. I’ll use key words next to how many agreed. Naturally I got the Platinum Trophy for beating the game so that goes without saying.

Episode 1
#1 5.5% Doubt revenge
#2 24.5% Leave alone
#3 79.3% Gave to Nova
#4 83.9% made promise
#5 85.3% Bring to Hala

Episode 2
#1 62.3% prioritized over Nebula
#2 84.8% denied Lylla
#3 84.5% Gamora
#4 87.6% hold on to wrist
#5 17.2% keep imprisoned

Episode 3
#1 20% Used fists
#2 45.9% defeated foe
#3 6% didn’t convince
#4 6.2% should leave
#5 61.1% Destroy

Episode 4
#1 79.9% Go camping
#2 71.4% go with two Gs
#3 65.7% exit the back
#4 25% no help
#5 86% extra friend

Episode 5
#1 69.9% Drax
#2 13.3% Mixed feelings
#3 63.9% let be consumed
#4 32.8% No final moment

Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Review

Telltale has always churned out a lot of pretty cool titles. The idea of having your choices affect the ending has always been really cool. It brings me back to the “How to Choose Your Own Endings” books from back in the day. I’d die in most of them, but I’d always enjoy the experience. Well, this is what they do for video games and it’s certainly fun. As a result, there’s not really much gameplay so it’s more of an interactive movie where you get to put your own influence on the characters. I got the physical edition when it first came out so then each chapter of the game would come out gradually. It helped extend the game and make you wonder what would happen next. Some games certainly do a better job of making the decisions count than others. An infamous example is X-Men Destiny where the choices that you make really don’t matter.

The basic plot is that the Guardians have destroyed Thanos once and for all. They now have a mysterious artifact that looks like a cup and it may be all powerful. The team has to decide if they want to keep it or not while Starlord just uses it for beer. It turns out that this artifact may have the power to bring back the dead so naturally the whole team wants it for themselves while Hala wants it for her own purposes. Can the team get it together in time to stop this madness or will the Guardians finally end up disbanding? The ball is in their court now.

You play as Star Lord for the most part although occasionally the others have a choice to make as well. When you’re not making decisions you can walk around a bit to inspect things. Sometimes you get to fly around and investigate other layers as well. I actually got mildly lost with that during one of the earlier episodes but just keep inspecting everything. Eventually you will find the clues. The gameplay isn’t the smoothest, but that’s because the main focus is on the choices. It’s not as if the gameplay is all that extensive anyway. The main parts are handled through quick time events which I’m always game for. No matter how many different games use them, they are always just as awesome as the first time they popped up. I’m certainly convinced that quick time events are a good thing and should basically be in every game to be honest.

The graphics are good. The Telltale games always have a very distinct look to them. Everyone is a little more rugged and battle tired. It may not look shiny but it gets the general atmosphere across. It’s definitely good enough. Unfortunately, the soundtrack isn’t quite as good. When booting up the game you always have to hear this annoying song that pops up and I am absolutely not a fan. You’ll want to put the main menu on mute. Beyond that, the rest of the tunes are pretty good and we do get a better insert song for the end. The game did a good job of giving us a pretty climactic battle as well. Every member got to get their shots in with a lot of teamwork throughout.

There isn’t any replay value though but that comes with the territory. You automatically get the Platinum trophy for completing the game and there are no collectibles or anything. I suppose you could replay each episode to go for different paths and all, but part of the fun is sticking with the route you’ve taken. The only exceptions to that are when you unlock a true ending or something, but otherwise you don’t really want to go back. I’d say that the game is around 8-9 hours long as each of the 6 chapters at least an hour. The final one is certainly longer than that and some of the others were likely a bit longer as well which is why I rounded it up. I believe the game started out at 40 as opposed to 60 which helps, but either way it’s a reasonable length. Not quite the 10 hours but close enough.

For the choices I had fun making Starlord as mean and unlikable as possible. I didn’t become a villain or anything, but I kept it real with the team. I reminded them that I’m the one who took down Thanos and constantly call them out when they’re being dramatic. When threatened I quickly take the opponent down. Peaceful negotiations could wait for later after all. It’s definitely satisfying and there would almost always be a good option to pick. If you don’t like any then you can go with silence, but that’s just usually not my style. I want to say something, whether it be a quick burn or a declaration of war.

It’s hard to say how much my choices impacted the ending without seeing other people play through the game, but I’m satisfied with how it feels like I made a decent enough difference. It can’t get too drastic either since they’d have to program in a bunch of completely separate events otherwise. As long as it does make a tangible difference, then I’m set. It’s also a nice change of pace to essentially be watching the game unfold as opposed to blasting everyone myself. It does remind me that a 3D Guardians action game would be quite awesome though. There’s definitely a lot of potential there.

Overall, This was a fun game. Due to the nature of the Telltale series you can’t call it great because it’s basically a movie game and as such won’t have the thrill of fighting a good boss or platforming through a difficult section, but it’s still enjoyable. It’s basically like watching a Guardians movie. The plot is pretty solid throughout and while I’m not always the biggest fan of the Guardians because Groot and Drax hold them back, Starlord makes for a really good main character. It’s great to take the wheel and just make the characters as intense as you want them to be. If you’ve never played a Telltale game before then I definitely recommend it so you can see what it’s like. If you have, I still recommend it since it’s just fun to make the decisions. Hopefully it does get a season 2 so I can keep the decisions rolling. In case you’re wondering, Yes, I did disagree with the majority on a bunch of decisions. That’s just to be expected though.

Overall 7/10

Thor: Ragnarok Review

The MCU has been consistently been getting better as the phases go by. Captain America 2 was better than 1 and 3 was better than 2. Thor 2 was better than 1 and now this latest Thor film has arrived and is the best film in the trilogy. It’s a very fast paced film with a lot of action and hype throughout. It also does a great job of showing how great of a fighter Thor is with or without his hammer. It’s going to be hard for the next Thor film to top this one.

The film starts off with Thor seemingly being held captive by Surtur. Of course, the whole thing is basically just a ruse to get information. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since think we all found it highly unlikely that Thor can be bound by mere chains. Unfortunately Thor has not stopped Ragnarok by defeating Surtur as the true source of despair shows up. Hela is the goddess of death and her abilities are the real deal as she easily beats Thor and Loki. Thor is going to have to form his own team to defeat her.

The heroes definitely get around in this film as Thor goes to Earth, Surtur’s Domain, Asgard, and the Grandmaster’s planet. It’s fun to see all of the different locales as they all worked quite well. The weakest one design-wise would be Grand Master’s HQ, but the arena looked quite good. Earth may win out since it was great to have a Dr.Strange cameo. He looked really good in that scene and they’re definitely building him up to be one of the team’s power hitters. He’s also one of my favorite Avengers in the MCU so I’m ready to see him get more of a role. He’ll have to keep his list handy since a lot of threats are certainly coming to Earth in the near future.

Thor has a lot of fun in this film as he openly mocks the villains and just tries to enjoy everything he does. He’s a good lead and this is probably the best that he’s been portrayed. He’s a lot wiser than he used to be while still keeping his strength. This is Thor as a leader in addition to being a warrior and it makes him a more complete character. Seeing him fight off an army at the end without his hammer was definitely impressive. It’ll be very hard for me to get used to his new hairstyle though. I’m going to miss the old one until it grows back, but it’s not the worst redesign I’ve seen as it’s still miles above the Joker.

Going back to Thor having fun though, it keeps showing how Marvel is just good at writing comedy. The Iron-Man films have always been pretty fun as the humor is just handled well and this film does a great job with it as well. It’s not forced and most of the jokes land. The only film I can think of in the MCU that failed at being even remotely funny was Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Age of Ultron could be really forced at times, but it was still entertaining, it would just throw you out of the movie for a second. As DC is trying to emulate Marvel with their current movies, hopefully they’ve been taking notes. Wonder Woman wasn’t funny and Justice League’s jokes don’t really seem to be working, but it’s possible they’ll turn it around in the film or by the sequel. It takes time to be funny and writing jokes has always been the hardest part of developing a script if you ask me. That’s why it’s not really a problem as long as the jokes aren’t downright terrible, but if there are a bunch in the movie, then you want them to be good. Again, Thor: Ragnarok did a really good job with this.

Loki was a fun ally to have around. Naturally you can’t trust him at all and the film’s pretty self aware on that, but at least it meant Thor didn’t have to be alone the whole time. It’s always good to have at least one companion on a journey. He didn’t look quite as impressive as usual though since everyone he meets ends up beating him up quite badly. He really took his lumps in this film but always manages to keep his confidence. I’d really be on board with him finally being an ally, not a hero as that’ll never happen, but someone who helps out once in a while and doesn’t try to destroy the world.

Now I’ve never been the biggest Hulk fan. He’s a decently good character and all, but I typically just like him in his more intelligent depictions. The only exceptions are some of the really old Stan Lee era comics where he was pretty sympathetic. The film has a good portrayal of him. He’s not too annoying or anything and can put up a good fight. The writer seems to definitely know who he thinks is the stronger fighter (Thor or Hulk) and I tend to agree with him. Brute strength is great and all, but when you’re about as strong and have a variety of other techniques at your disposal, it’s game set and match. Surprisingly the film gives Hulk a backseat role for the entire climax as he doesn’t get to face off against Hela or anything, but it’s a good way to ensure he doesn’t steal the show or get humiliated in front of his fans. It was not what I expected from his role, but it worked well enough.

Unfortunately, this is probably Bruce Banner’s worst portrayal. He’s really slow on the uptake and panics about everything. He is constantly in a state of shock and just holding everyone back. You almost can’t help but wish for the Hulk to return and maybe this is why Hulk wants to stay out 24/7. It’s also interesting how each side can’t remember anything after they turn so for Bruce it’s like 2 years passed in an instant. That’s actually pretty tragic so I should feel more sympathetic for Bruce…but I don’t. I miss his self assured/over confident version from the first Avengers film. I will always look to that as the definitive Bruce Banner portrayal. The only other one that’s close is from the Indestructible Hulk mini series.

Valkyrie is the main heroine of the film and fulfills the role pretty well. She actually doesn’t get on board with the heroes until near the end of the film so her role isn’t huge or anything but she’s pretty tough. Balancing fighting and drinking is tough but she manages to pull it off. I can’t say that I was a huge fan of hers since her backstory basically involves being a traitor and turning evil. You’re sort of supposed to look past all of that, but it’s a little tricky and I think she would have worked better as a villain like Loki who occasionally helps the heroes. I give the film major props for not going for a romance angle here though. I’m sure the writers were pressured by Hollywood into doing this, but they refused.

Heimdall has his own filler subplot where he beats up a bunch of minions and helps guard the Asgardian survivors. He’s a good character even if he doesn’t get much of a role here. He’s the kind of character who makes more of an impact if you’ve seen the first two films. Since this is the 3rd one, there’s no excuse not too. I miss his classic armor, but his new Bishop redesign works quite well and he lasted quite a while considering how outnumbered he was.

Hela is the main villain and also the best character of the film. She’s a great villain because her goal isn’t crazy or just evil. It’s a pretty rational goal as taking over the multiverse makes sense to prove your supremacy. I can get behind that and I can also buy into her taking over Asgard since it is hers by birthright. She looks extremely impressive in all of her fights. I would have liked a longer round 1 fight with Thor and Loki but seeing them fight while on the light speed tunnel was certainly entertaining. I’m also glad that Thor didn’t back up when they all started hyping her up. As long as you stay on Hela’s good side you’re okay since she doesn’t seem to be in the habit of randomly destroying her minions for no reason. She may very well be the best villain in the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe at this point although I’m expecting big things from Thanos.

Scourge is her right hand man and he gets his own emotional character arc. He starts off as the guy that everyone pushes around and eventually levels up to janitor. I liked him well enough at the beginning I guess, but he’s just not my kind of character. He’s one of the weak links, but his actual scenes aren’t bad so it’s not like he hurts the film. I just didn’t care enough about him to be sympathetic. Surtur appears for a bit and gets his own fight scene, but he’s definitely not as impressive as he was in the comics. Everyone basically uses him the whole time and I have to wonder what his ultimate plan is. He better appear in Thor 4 or I’m going to have to remember him as the villain to have the worst plan in the MCU. He may not have thought it over very carefully.

The Grandmaster was interesting and way better than the Collector. It helps that his actor makes the character pretty entertaining as opposed to simply being quirky. There’s a big difference between the two and you always want to be the former as opposed to the latter. He’s definitely a villain through and through but tries to hide his evil intent through jokes. Hey, if Spiderman can do it for the heroes, why not have a villain with that gimmick as well? It does make sense after all and he was a fun guy to have around. I wouldn’t mind seeing him again.

Korg is one of the quirky supporting characters from the Arena. While I didn’t find his voice quite as hilarious as the theater seemed too (They laughed at just about every one of his lines) it did work pretty well for the character. It’s been a while since we got a very to the point character who speaks softly but always manages to keep everyone in check. Definitely the best portrayal of Korg in all of Marvel. Stan (The Man) Lee also shows up to clean shop. His cameo may be quick, but he really sets the tone in his appearance and also shows that he fears no one. You have to have nerves of steel to have his job after all.

Ragnarok’s soundtrack is absolutely great. The themes are all very sci-fi and fast paced. They help to amplify the fight scenes and make the whole film better. Good music helps make a scene more memorable so as you would expect it also has the same effect on the movie as a whole. Most films don’t insert a big song when a fight scene starts. It’s a popular trope in anime but that’s about it despite this being a fantastic way of building up energy for the scene. Well, Thor pulls it off for both the first and last fight. The last fight in particular is handled extremely well as Thor gets one last vision of a certain character and then unlocks his true power. Aside from maybe Avengers and even that is close, Thor definitely has the best soundtrack in the MCU and is high up there for all of Marvel’s theater films.

The action and effects are certainly on point. The monsters of the fire world certainly looked very impressive and it made for a very good opening fight. Surtur’s design was modernized for the new age and while he was rather skinny I still liked it well enough. Hela’s fight scenes were solid as well and her costume was very faithful to the comics. Thor’s style of combat with his electricity will remind you a lot of Cole McGrath or Starkiller and it’s certainly the most efficient way to fight. When you’re using electricity to enhance your range and strength, it is very hard to dodge or counter that. Now that Thor can fight at this level the only Avenger who can reasonably give him a good fight would be Dr. Strange. I don’t think the others could keep up.

Naturally the film has a scene after the credits so make sure you stick around. There are 2 scenes, but the first one is really the only one you need to worry about. It’s easily one of the best post movie scenes in the MCU as we finally have a significant plot development here which works as a great tease for Infinity War. It’s hard to imagine that the big crossover film is so close, but it is certainly approaching fast. It’s also why it makes sense to beef up the Avengers roster since they’re going to need all the help they can get. I’m not sure how some of the street level fighters will be useful, but maybe they can at least distract the villains with one liners while the real fighters take them down.

Now, there is a little plot hax at the end. It’s nothing major but the final fight’s outcome should have been reversed. On one side we have a giant opponent who is extremely slow and can only attack in a straight line. On the other we have a very nimble fighter who can move quite fast and also has a lot of durability. All the character needed to do was move just a little bit and that would have worked as a dodge. I mean, the planet may not be too stable so surviving some intense energy would still have to happen, but I think the character could pull it off. At the very least, losing due to ring out would have been preferable. I’m trying to keep this review spoiler free so I’ll keep that part vague.

I’d like to say that I’ve covered everything, but with a film this big there will always be something that I’ve missed. As far as the MCU films go, It’s easily top 5. Avengers is better and I’ll also give Civil War the edge but this very well could be the third best film. Age of Ultron gives it a run for its money, but I dare say that Thor beats both Winter Soldier and Spider-Man Homecoming. Either way, it confirms that Thor is certainly top 5 and we’ll see how long it can stay there if Marvel keeps raising the bar. I’m still hoping they go all out with Infinity War and have just about everyone appear. Bring in the old villains, Agents of Shield, even throw the Netflix crew a bone with a portrait on the wall or some kind of cameo. Make this the big event that it should be.

Overall, The film was just about perfect. There’s not much to really say about the film in the negatives department. It did pretty well with keeping the power levels consistent. Not perfect, but basically no film is. I felt bad for the poor dragon who fought Thor, but at least the film didn’t destroy Fenfir as in my head canon he can certainly survive a fall. That was nice. Thor himself has also come a long way since the older films and makes a few speeches about what it means to be a hero. The action scenes are first rate and the graphics are quite good. The film’s also just a lot of fun the whole time and has a ton of replay value. It’s not everyday that you get a film as satisfying as this one. I teetered between an 8 or a 9 for this film for a while, but at the end of the day I think it definitely earns the extra star.

Overall 9/10

Captain America and the Falcon Secret Empire Review

It’s time to take a look at the Secret Empire. Recently Marvel has had fun bringing back old events. We got a new Civil War, Infinity Gauntlet, and even the Secret Empire. Many don’t know this but there was an original Secret Empire event which the new one is lightly based off of. Honestly, it’s very light so the plots are quite different, but it goes to show that Marvel has been doing their research. This isn’t a very good event, but it’s decent enough. The writing just hasn’t aged well in some respects.

The collection starts off with Falcon being jumped by a bunch of hooligans. Captain America saves him, but Falcon isn’t happy since he’s tired of being in Cap’s shadow. Cap offers to help him get a power up through Iron-Man or Hank Pym, but Falcon wants it to be someone more relatable so he goes to Black Panther. This is only the start of where Falcon starts to act petty. He brings his girlfriend along for the ride basically just to show off and she gets competitive with the others very quickly. She picks fights with almost literally everyone she comes across and even throws a spear at Black Panther just to get his attention. Thanks to her, two of Black Panther’s guards are murdered and Falcon doesn’t seem to care as he keeps bragging about his upgrades. He runs back to show them off to Cap and is quite eager to take on the Avenger in a fight.

While Falcon was gone, a smear campaign was run against Captain America on TV and it was quite successful. So successful in fact that within days the whole country was agiainst the hero, even the Avengers. It’s almost laughable how quickly Iron-Man shows up with his threats and Falcon starts to have doubts as well. Even Nick Fury quickly jumps on the bandwagon. Captain America begins to lose faith in America which is understandable but before he call it quits, it’s time to take down the Secret Empire. It turns out that they have also kidnapped most of the X-Men so Professor Xavier, Jean Grey, and Cyclops arrive as backup. Together, the heroes stand a fighting chance, but Cap may have to cross some lines in order to clear his name.

The Evil Cap part is what the new Secret Empire is really going for while here it was all just bad media coverage. I think a big problem with the arc is that it all hinges on Marvel’s America being as gullible as possible. Did everyone really believe these media interviews so completely? What happened to the Daily Bugle and their reporting skills? Why didn’t the Avengers launch a campaign of their own? Why would everyone accept a new Moon hero coming out of nowhere as Captain America’s replacement? I felt like this comic took a lot of beats from the Thunderbolts but in a far more rushed and less believable scenario. I don’t know, the whole thing was rather fishy the whole time.

Captain America also wasn’t at his most likable in this comic either. He basically said that he wouldn’t help the X-Men until they pointed out that it was the same villain behind both schemes. He falls for every trap that the enemies laid out because his emotions cloud his judgment the whole time. It’s easy to forget that he is supposed to be a seasoned veteran here because he rarely acts like it. He also makes the wrong decision to end the comic and this has got to be the 4th or 5th time he’s done this. I didn’t realize that he was lacking in confidence so often. He’s still an entertaining enough character to watch, but he can be annoying.

Falcon is unfortunately even worse. He spends the early issues being jealous of Cap and then he rushes into battle without actually remembering how to fight. In a critical moment he ends up knocking out Black Panther and himself by mistake and tends to lose in all of his fights. Even in his big return fight where he teamed up with Cap, he lost in under 5 seconds. Naturally he started throwing petty insults at Cap after that. Falcon has just got to be the most petty superhero of all time and I’d consider him to be more whiny than Alpha from the recent Spider-Man comics. I’m glad that the Falcon has improved over the years because otherwise I can’t see why he’d stay on as a main character.

Black Panther looked good here. Despite everyone rushing him and murdering his men, he stayed calm throughout and always had a plan. He was definitely useful here. Thor and Iron-Man had decent motivational speeches, but didn’t do much in the story beyond that. There is a subplot where Peggy thinks Cap still likes her while he actually likes someone else. This drama plot definitely feels like it’s out of left field. It could be resolved rather quickly but Cap is too nervous to say anything. I’m not too surprised. It’s not an easy decision of course, but he still needs to make the hero call here.

As for the villains, we mainly focus on the Tumbler. He’s not half bad although you can’t help but feel like he is just Batroc by another name. His agility lets him take on guys like Captain America, but I can’t see him lasting too long otherwise. The Moon villain was more of a threat and he was someone that I could take a lot more seriously. He had super strength, speed, and intangibility. I think he could also teleport. Captain America and the others really couldn’t beat him during the issues so his fans must be thrilled. He gave the issues some more stakes as this was a villain that they couldn’t beat with brute force alone. I also liked the design.

We also have the corrupt politician. He wasn’t quite as fun as Godfrey, but I liked him all the same. He did a good job of stringing everyone along in his plot. The Secret Empire members also weren’t bad although most of them weren’t actual characters. It is interesting how Hydra created so many splinter groups. It really is a dangerous organization in that sense since every major villain group seems to be connected to them in some way or other. I’m trying to figure out who the politician who destroyed himself was since it obviously rattled Cap. On one hand, I want to say that it was the President, but I suppose that would be a little too bold. Whoever it was, I still wonder why it would break Cap. Maybe they’ll say it in a future comic or maybe they won’t.

The art was certainly on point. Everyone was in their ironic costumes and it was easy to go from page to page. Everything was sharp and this comic has aged incredibly well in that respect. I breezed through the issues as a result. Good art can certainly make a difference in a comic. Now, this review may have been on the negative side as I just had a lot of logic issues with the whole thing, but it was a fun comic. If anything, it just reinforces to me that the Marvel characters are still a lot meaner than the DC ones. They doubt each other and change sides at the flip of a hat. That hasn’t really changed much over the years.

That said, the adventures were still fun to follow. Seeing Cap have to break out of jail and steal stuff was pretty interesting. The team up with the X-Men was a lot of fun as well and I hadn’t been expecting that. It was also interesting to see the X-Men in their extremely old costumes while everyone else looked quite a bit more modern. I believe their was a plot reason for that, but it was a fun contrast. I would have liked to have seen Cyclops do a little better in the fights, but this wasn’t exactly his rodeo.

Overall, It’s been a while since I read a Captain America comic. In many respects he was portrayed well as he takes command of the situation and always walks around with a strut. That being said, his self doubts and general disregard for everyone else could be a little extreme. The Falcon was certainly extreme and maybe it was just the writer who didn’t really understand the characters. It can make the issues funny in an ironic way as you wonder why everyone is acting this way, but it is certainly entertaining through and through. There are no objectionable scenes in the comic and it never drops a random animal scene or anything else to worry about. It’s just a fun action adventure and you can’t ask for much more than that. I’d recommend checking out this comic and you may look at Captain America in a whole different way.

Overall 7/10