On This “Free Comic Book Day,” We Honor And Thank George Perez

One out of every 10 classic superhero graphic novels I own is done by him. A life of extraordinary achievement by a person who, from all public accounts, was a nice, kind person.

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197-Word “Eternals” Review

Here’s what The Verge says:

Eternals is Marvel’s biggest swing in years. It’s an attempt at a prestige-style film directed by Chloé Zhao, fresh off her Oscar win, at a size and scale that none of Marvel’s previous films have tried. But despite its grand ambitions, the film gets lost in its ponderous ideas and caught in the constraining box of what an MCU film has to be.

My review is my answer to this comment.

Eternals is Marvel’s biggest swing in years.

Hell, yeah!

It’s an attempt at a prestige-style film directed by Chloé Zhao, fresh off her Oscar win, at a size and scale that none of Marvel’s previous films have tried.

True to the max.

But despite its grand ambitions, the film gets lost in its ponderous ideas and caught in the constraining box of what an MCU film has to be.

Strongly disagree. I think it’s one of Marvel’s best–that’s right, I didn’t stutter!!! LOL!!!

But this film will definitely test what you like about superhero movies, character studies and world mythology. I want to go see it again, but I might just digest it for while–then return on Saturday 🙂

84-Word Review of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”

They all put rings on it, but it wasn’t enough

If Marvel wants to dominate the next 25 action-adventure movie cycles, it is going to have to dial up to 11 and stay there, particularly with new characters and concepts. Formula is stifling any real character and plot innovation. Just giving characters a really good story so they can get their MCU membership passes is not enough. Awkwafina and Michelle Yeoh saved this almost-ambitious movie about Asian mythology from mediocrity, but not by much. Being better than Black Widow is not a great accomplishment.

109-Word Review of “Black Widow”

“The only natural resource in the world that there is too much of: girls.” Because of the topic addressed, that line, uttered by the old-time Bond villain in this old-time-007-meets-Jason-Bourne flick, deserved a much more significant movie than this. At this point, the Marvel formula of drama-action-joke-repeat is irresistible to its shareholders, I’m sure, but it’s sad and a little frustrating to see such a good movie, led by a great star, subtly and not-so-subtly work against itself. When the accompanying (connected by Disney+) Simpsons short is only slightly more light than a serious, well-meaning film, it might be time for Marvel/Disney to re-assess after making the bank deposit.

Four Books I Hope Are Written About Marvel’s Black Panther Between Now and 2022

Attention, writers: three years is a long time to write these books:

  1. We need a serious media studies criticism book on the film phenomenon–how and why it happened, from both popular culture and propaganda-study perspectives, detailing Disney’s very detailed plan for worldwide mind control through eye-candy. The Disney-Sony dustup over Spidey would be an excellent coda.
  2. We need a book about the Africanisms of the film. Here’s where you would start.
  3. We need at least one more book about the history of the character in the comics: the 1988 miniseries, his leadership in and of The IlluminatiThe Ultimates, The New Avengers and, in 2018, The Avengers itself have yet to be explored. There is a brand-new ongoing Black Panther comic, just out tomorrow, where T’Challa forms his own SHIELD-like team. (Sadly, the team has a primate on it and Marvel’s answer to Tarzan, Ka-Zar; let’s hope Black Twitter is paying attention. 🙂 ) This is historic because it’s the first time T’Challa has had more than one ongoing comic.
  4. We need a book on the history of African superheroes/mythological heroes, those created by Africans versus those created by non-Africans.

71-Word Review of “Avengers: Endgame”

This epic is many things, among them a meditation of how powerful love, honor, duty and friendship can be, if among the right group of people. An extraordinary end–and make no mistake, it is an ending! Deserves its place among the greatest superhero films ever made, even if detractors will correctly point out that it’s the sequel to 21 films, one that mined all its predecessors to create a perfect-hits collection.