There is no spoon, but there's lots of ice cream.

In The Matrix, Keanu Reaves went on a quest of self-discovery that was laden with import, high tension, and the fate of the damn world hanging in the balance.  Hard Wyred is a lot like that, but with much more "I know Kung Fu" and less "I would know the One because I'd love him."  It's what would have happened if James Gunn had directed The Matrix instead of the Wachowskis.  Don't get me wrong, that film is a classic and a paragon of the form, but it's fun to watch these guys turn the basics and go sideways with it.

The current cycle of sword-and-sandal films has been riding the wave of the success of Gladiator since 2000, and its end has been projected many times. In the introduction to his edited anthology Of Muscles and Men: Essays on the Sword & Sandal Film, scholar Michael G. Cornelius projected that these films, hereafter referred to as neo-peplum films, were already seeing a periodic decline in 2010/2011. After Gods of Egypt (2016) had performed poorly at the box office, Pamela McClintock of The Hollywood Reporter noted that other recent neo-peplum films such as The Legend of Hercules (2014) and Pompeii (2014) had also performed under expectations, thus also mimicking Cornelius’ thoughts that the cycle was in a rut.

Margaret Atwood takes to comics, and, while at times charming, her Angel Catbird graphic novel lacks commitment to the absurdity of her idea and the logic within the story.

God save ‘er.

Jamie Me has begun a story that feels apropos of today’s political climate: a woman is offered the chance to cut through the nonsense of bureaucracy to do some good on behalf of those whose voices (we assume) have been muted by the system.  With the recent election nightmares here in the States, it’s a scary glimpse into the anger that pundits believe is underlying the electorate at the moment, and the moral quandaries that accompany it.

A little over two years ago, I began writing for Fanbase Press.  At the time, we were still called Fanboy Comics, but here I am, 96 reviews (This marks my 97th.) and 11 editorials later, and I couldn’t be prouder of both myself and the entire Fanbase team. 

One of the most interesting series out there has added another issue to their story with the release of Cryptocracy #3. The story of the nine families that secretly rule the world has been a unique experience to read thus far,  especially given that it’s taken on a completely different plot than I expected.

Dark Horse Comics makes damn good comics based on the Aliens franchise, and they’ve been doing it for some time now (all they way since 1988). Their newest miniseries, Aliens: Life and Death, by writer Dan Abnett and artist Moritat does nothing to change this trend of excellence and brings all the required elements to the table in order to attract fans: bullets, beasties, badasses, and blood... a whole lot of blood...

What would you do if you discovered you couldn’t die? What would you do if you couldn’t die, but had nothing left to live for? What would you do if you couldn’t die, but could still get hurt really, really badly?

Technology is madness.

I’m really not sure how to classify Jeremy Thompson’s novel, Let's Destroy Investutech.  There are equal parts of romance, techno-thriller, eldritch horror, and a myriad of other styles crammed into his narrative.  Beginning with several short stories that have little to do with one another at first, we’re given many pieces of a world that is at once familiar and alien to us, one where technological marvels are the focus of each vignette.  We see the overreach of callous masterminds pushing the advancement of things they don’t fully understand intellectually or morally and the uniformly terrible events that result.  Once the main narrative begins, there is a weaving in of what came in the shorter stories, but not all at once. Rather, they’re feathered in as we go along.

This week marks the release of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10 #30 from Dark Horse Comics, as well as the culmination of the tenth season of Buffy and its third season taking place in the comic book medium. The Buffy franchise has clearly thrived in the world of sequential art and word balloons, and the skilled and talented creative team of writer Christos Gage and artist Rebekah Isaacs have fostered that success, bringing the current season to a close with finesse and many “feels.” Now, in the afterglow of latest Buffy season finale, it is time for us fans to reflect on the merits and missteps of Buffy: Season 10 and look forward to where our favorite Slayer is headed.

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