Review: ONE-PUNCH MAN Ep. 4: “The Modern Ninja”

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

Today brings us another hilarious episode of One-Punch Man. I once again found myself laughing out loud as the episode went on. The episode titled, “The Modern Ninja,” takes us through the second half of Volume 2 of the manga. I did notice that some of it was done in a slightly different order, but nothing major.

The episode feature more spoofs of other Japanese shows, this time around Kamen Rider was the target with Mumen Rider. He is introduced getting a balloon out of a tree then heading off (on his bicycle) to stop Hammerhead and his group called “The Paradisers” (all of which are bald), who just stole some battle suits. And just when you think you are going to see some great animated action, well instead you get a hilarious moment.

The Paradisers are modern-day “Robin Hood” extremists. They are looking to change the balance between the rich and the poor through extreme force. When their target is Zeniru, the richest man in the city, the chaos begins. It is then reported that any bald men should avoid the area and stay home to avoid being confused for one these “terrorists.” Well as you can imagine, this makes Saitama quite upset and puts him on a path for The Paradisers.

But Saitama is not the only one, Speed-o’-Sound Sonic has been sent by Zeniru to dispose of The Paradisers and pretty much does just that. Only Hammerhead escapes and ends up being confronted by Saitama, whom takes care of the last of The Paradisers. But not before he becomes concerned about not being recognized as the hero he is.

Saitama is then confronted by Sonic, who thinks he has the upper hand on him, but quickly learns he does not. After Saitama accidentally punches Sonic in the testicles, they are declared rivals by Sonic who swears to train and take him down. Saitama almost seems happy about this when it is all said and done.

By the end of the episode Saitama and Genos are back at Saitama’s apartment where he appears to be really upset about not being recognized and confused for one of the bald Paradisers terrorists. This is when Genos tells him about the Hero Registry and Hero Association, where once he becomes registered, will become a famous here.

The Good: The balance of action and comedy continues to be a good one. I find myself entertained and wanting more. The nods to Kamen Rider and what I’m guessing is Metal Gear Solid, plus some others — was great to see as well.

The Bad: Is it next week yet?

Overall, this was another solid episode of One-Punch Man. It hit the marks from start to finish and I definitely suggest checking it out.

Review: Tokyo Ghost #1 & 2, Sci-Fi That Takes A Look At Digital Addiction

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

The irony is not lost on me as I sit here and write this review of Rick Remender‘s (All-New Captain America, Uncanny Avengers, Black Science, Deadly Class, Low, Fear Agent) and Sean Murphy‘s (Chrononauts, The Wake, Punk Rock Jesus) new creator-owned project, Tokyo Ghost. The backdrop of the story is a similar theme from the Mike Judge’s 2006 Idiocracy movie, but told in a more serious way in a very sci-fi world. Remender describes the series as a love letter to Road Warrior, Judge Dredd and 13 Assassins, which I can definitely see. Throw in the theme of Idiocracy and you have a pretty good idea of what to expect here.

So why is the irony not lost on me? Well as I sit here on my laptop, writing a review of a digital comic book, connected to the Internet while streaming digital music, would be why. See in Tokyo Ghost, the world has become addicted to technology and pretty much ignores everything else around them. Society has become desensitized and disconnected from itself. This is something we see almost daily in our lives. I am guilty of it as well. We can’t put down the tech, we are constantly checking out phones, at restaurants, in our cars, sitting in our living rooms, it is constant. The social interaction of face to face, the intimacy, is becoming lost. I could go on, but that is a discussion for another time (and probably another place).

As someone who spent this year trying to detach a little, getting outside and enjoy the great place that I now live in, this story really resonated with me. A lot.

Not only did it really get me thinking about the current state of things, I was absolutely in love with the first issue, and the second issues as well by the time I was done. I should note that I’m a huge fan of Remender, I have read many of his projects, including most of his creator-owned works. For me, he just nails it every time with whatever he is working on and can tell a really engaging story.

I’m also a big fan of Sean Murphy’s work as well. I think he is an incredible artist and I am always amazed at how much detail the guy does. Don’t know how he gets a monthly book done, but he does. There are always great Easter Eggs in his work and that is part of the fun in seeing his work. Even when you are done reading Tokyo Ghost, you can go back and go over the panels one-by-one and still find little things you didn’t notice the first (or possibly even the second) time around.

As far as the story goes, it takes place in the year 2089 on the Isles of Los Angeles. And as I before mentioned people are ignorant to the decaying world around them as they borrow, steal and kill to get that next digital/technological fix. Gangsters rule the city and Constables do their enforcing. Starting off in Tokyo Ghost #1, we are following two Constables that are childhood friends and now lovers, Debby Decay (aka Debbie Jacobs) and the most feared Constable of them all, Led Dent (aka Teddy Dennis). One of them wants to be free of the tech dependency and the other is completely lost in it. Kind of an yin and yang that mirrors the story itself.

The first two issues set things up wonderfully. We are thrust into the decaying world immediately and we learn about the two heroes(?) of this story as they are in pursuit of Davey Trauma throughout Los Angeles leaving a path of destruction behind them. By the end of the second issue we are left wanting more, ironically. With Debbie and Led now in Tokyo on one last mission for Mr. Flak, things are completely different from the dying world of Los Angeles, in Tokyo, Nature has taken over.

The Good: A great sci-fi story with commentary on today’s society and its digital addiction. Sean Murphy’s art is truly amazing and pulls you into the world he and Remender have created.

The Bad: It might make you feel bad about the way you live. The “techno speak” in the beginning is a little confusing, but after a while becomes easier to understand. There is swearing and nudity, so this could be off-putting for some.

Overall, Tokyo Ghost #1 and issue #2 are worthy purchases. If you are a sci-fi fan, then I suggest picking them up. If you are a fan of great stories, then I suggest this as well. Same goes if you are a fan of gorgeous art. You can pick up Tokyo Ghost #1 and #2 from you local comic shops, or digitally through comiXology.

Review: Clean Room #1, Gail Simone’s Creator-Owned Series Will Reel You In!

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

In her first creator-owned book under Vertigo Comics, Gail Simone (Secret Six, Birds of Prey) brings a tale of creepy tale of self-help and the world between religion and psychology with Clean Room #1. Immediately you know something is just not right in the world within the first few pages as a delivery truck driver runs over a little girl and shows no remorse in the fact.

But the girl is not killed, she is what you might say awakened? At this point it is not revealed what is going on with the little girl, but my guess is that she can see the evil in the world for what it truly is. The true face of it. This is only a guess and I’m looking forward to seeing if this correct or not.

We are then introduced to Chloe Pierce, whom after trying to take her own life, is rescued and becomes overtaken with the need to find out what happened to cause her now deceased fiancé, Philip, to take his life after becoming obsessed with Astrid Mueller’s book and seeing something in the Clean Room that drove him over the edge. Even after a warning from Philip’s friend Mikey, Chloe is determined to find answers.

In trying to face Astrid Mueller, Chloe is derailed by her assistant Ms. Reed, who is a scary person and what Chloe sees in her might be the first clue about why, but really only gives the readers more questions.

The first issue doesn’t answer a thing. Which is to be expected. I sets up the reader with many questions and possible clues, like what are these demons? Is the little girl from the beginning of the issue Astrid Mueller? (I’m pretty sure it is.) And most importantly, what is the Clean Room?

The Good: Gail Simone constructs a wonderful tale of suspense and mystery with a touch of horror. Artist Jon Davis-Hunt illustrates the story beautifully.

The Bad: Too short? I would have liked to have seen an extra page first issue to give us just a little more to chew on.

Overall, Clean Room #1 is a great start to Simone’s latest creator-owned project. I’m hooked for now and can’t wait to read where this goes and get some of those questions answered.

New STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Trailer Released!

Monday, October 19th, 2015

Tonight during the halftime of ESPN’s Monday Night Football, Lucasfilm premiered to the world the third theatrical trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now it is here for those that couldn’t deal with sitting through a football game to watch. If this trailer is any sign of what the final film will be, then all I can say is thank you J.J. Abrams. This looks like Star Wars, like the original trilogy that I grew up on.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is directed by J.J. Abrams and stars original trilogy alumni Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill who are joined by John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac. It is set to open in theaters worldwide on December 18, 2015.

Adult Swim Delivers The Goods, A New VENTURE BROS. Season 6 Trailer

Monday, October 19th, 2015

Looking for a pick me up on a Monday afternoon? Well then Adult Swim has something for you in the form of a new trailer for The Venture Bros. Season 6! The trailer is full of all kinds of silly shenanigans and nods to pop culture that it might just make your brain explode. Just kidding, but it definitely looks like this season is going to be a lot of fun, I mean Nathan Fillion returns as the Brown Widow and poops his pants. Okay, so he really doesn’t, but it’s still funny.

The new season of The Venture Bros. is set to premiere on Sunday, February 7, 2016 on Adult Swim.

The wait is almost over. Early 2016.

Posted by Adult Swim on Monday, October 19, 2015

Review: ONE-PUNCH MAN Ep. 3: “The Obsessive Scientist”

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

In the third episode of One-Punch Man, Saitama and Genos learn information about The House of Evolution and its founder Dr. Genus from one of their opponents in the last episode, Armored Gorilla.

The show continues to follow the manga chapters, almost to the panel. So if you have read any of the manga, then you know where this is going, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.

After finding their hideout, we are introduced to The House of Evolution’s most powerful and feared agent, Carnage Kabuto! As you can imagine, this character is extremely over-the-top in every way, his appearance and actions.

Genos ends up his first casualty, or so it seems, but after returning to fight Carnage Kabuto the heroes and villains end up in a standoff.

We later learn the secret to Saitama’s strength, which causes everyone to lose their mind, including Genos. Is this all there is to One-Punch Man’s power? Only time will tell.

The Good: The story is hilarious and the fight scenes are great to watch. They hyper-action and animation are done to perfection. The calm demeanor of Saitama makes me laugh in just about every scene he’s in.

The Bad: Waiting a week between episodes. Seriously, this series has been a blast to watch from the start.

Overall, ONE-PUNCH MAN Episode 3 is another great episode and if you haven’t checked out the series yet, what are you waiting for?