So it’s that time of year to look back on what has passed in 2016 and then to look forward with positivity to 2017. This covers both personal and all things geek.
On a personal level 2016 finally saw me release my dream and get my voice out there. It signalled the end of me wasting my time on badly written comic treatments that would never see the light of day. I had previously started my own blog the year before just to get things off my chest but reader numbers were low. I can not thank Richard and Shawn enough for the opportunity they have given me to put my opinions out there to a wider audience. I just hope they and all in the #LOBarmy are enjoying my output and I will be stepping up my quality in 2017. My aim is to get my own blog and my LOB Intelligence Reports running cohesively together.
Onto the geek stuff. It was a strong year for comics on the silver screen. Despite what people said I really enjoyed Batman v Superman. Yes it had flaws but what film doesn’t? I have the up most respect for the approach DC is taking for their movies. In my opinion whilst Marvel are still putting out quality movies the formula of the approach is getting a little tiresome. So DC have my attention, I am 100% okay with te darker tone. Ben Affleck out of nowhere has given us the Batman we need. Has he topped Bale? I think so. It’s such a surprising turnaround considering the amount of abuse his casting received. The warehouse scene where he saves Martha was 10 out 0f 10 perfect Batman. It perfectly wets the appetite for a solo film. Suicide Squad was so over hyped! For me it missed the mark and coming out the same year as Deadpool really highlighted its flaws. Rightfully so too Gal Gadot received praised for her under used Wonder Woman in BVS. Moving forward for DC Princess Diana undoubtedly is the shining light on the horizon. Aquaman and Flash are both in various stages of turmoil so we waited with breaths held.
Marvel had another strong year at the box office. I enjoyed Deadpool but don’t think it was as good as some people would lead you to believe. Yes it has given a much need shot in the arm to Fox’s X-Men universe. It appears Fox are just taking a step back and re-evaluating their approach. The trailer for Logan dropped a couple of weeks back and it has me psyched for 2017. It looks amazing and has rekindled my passion for Wolverine. Hugh Jackman is irreplaceable, I’m more than happy at this point to say I would be more than happy if they killed him off at the end of Logan. X-23 all the way!
In MCU territory I liked Doctor Strange. It could have been better, but it could have been a lot worse too. Civil War was the stand out movie. It makes you think how good the MCU would have been if the Russo’s had been onboard from day one? They say the Marvel movies should be able to stand alone whilst being part of the bigger picture. In my opinion Civil War doesn’t. It was kind of fanboy heavy in parts. Not only did you need the other films to enjoy this you need some comic knowledge too. Marvel is coming heavy in 2017 with three films. Like Logan Spider-Man Homecoming debut a trailer recently. For me it was ‘meh’. It is visually appealing, but it didn’t feel a million miles away from previous incarnations. Don’t get me wrong Tom Holland is the definitive Peter Parker/Spidey I was just expecting more now he’s part of the MCU.
Guardians of The Galaxy 2 looks like it is picking up exactly where it left of with its high action and big laughs. The sequel could be carrying more expectation now though. The first film came in under the radar and just grew and grew. It got to the point where none hardcore fans were saying ‘I am Groot’ off the cuff. However I expect James Gunn to keep it fresh and not settle into the comfort zone. What I’m must looking forward to is how the Wonder Man connection plays out.
The last movie on Marvels slate next year is Thor: Ragnarok. I’m most looking forward to this one. Admittedly it could easily go either way. I just think with a new director in Taika Waiti added to the MCU it could put a new spin on things. Also the expanded cast, especially the addition of Hulk will make this a real spectacle. Lastly Guardians and Thor will offer us any last pieces of the jigsaw heading into Infinity War in 2018. Exciting stuff!
2016 was a good year for comics. In terms of both current series and hunting down back issues and 2017 promises much of the same. I am a happy geek. I generally have a very small monthly pull list. IDW’s TMNT ongoing is a constant but because of Marvel having Secret War wrap up and a reboot I only hit three titles at my busiest. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has had a very consistent 2016. I thought things would be hard to top after the double sized fiftieth issue. I can report I was wrong. When you consider the Turtles have been around for thirty years it is no small feat Eastman, Waltz and everyone involved in the comic can continue to tell compelling stories. The editors have a knack for rotating artists with ever never dropping in quality or detracting from the story. For me the unsung hero is Ronda Pattison. She has been on the book from the beginning. It’s probably in part due to her the artist transitions have been so good.
The heroes in a half shell contribute to my pick for 2016. The Batman/TMNT crossover. So good it already has a sequel. It didn’t hold back on action. The story also took time to deliver some touching character moments and of course had its share of fanboy goodness. Alfred delivering pizza! Raphael finding out about Bruce’s parents! Shredder and Ras team-up! It also found room for Casey and Damien! Okay the ending was a little hokey but it was fun getting there. The sequel is taking a different approach as it is set in Batman The Animated Series continuity crossed with the current animated incarnation of the Turtles. I’m looking forward to see how it pans out. BTAS will always have a place in my heart, as do the Turtles. It’s like a sophisticated computer ploughed my mind for comic storylines.
Now if you have been reading any of my previous blogs you will know I have completely fallen in love with X-23 as Wolverine. Old Man Logan by Lemire and Sorrentino is receiving all the plaudits but for me All New Wolverine by Tom Taylor is better reading. It has the feel of when the Wolverine comic was at its peak whilst still being its own thing. I am so glad that it has been announced as continuing after the Resurrxion relaunch coming after IvX. Also announced as coming next year as part of Resurrxion is a new Weapon X on going. I will buy anything with Weapon X in the title and that is a double-edged sword. Old Man Logan, Sabertooth and Lady Deathstrike being forced to work together to take down a rebooted program is the basic concept. Warpath and Domino are also along for the ride. Maverick has to be there too surely? Wolverine and Warpath do have a relationship that has never been fully explored. If you know the Claremont back ups from Classic X-Men you know what I mean. I would go as far to say Domino is in my top five of Marvel female characters so always good to see her involvement. Weapon X seems the logical progression for Old Man Logan. I can’t see his solo ongoing going on much like despite how good it is. It’s getting to the point where things seem to coincidental to be telling parallel stories between now and the Wasteland timeline.
I really want to try to get back into Nightwing. Jumping on after Rebirth seemed a logical time, time is what I’m short of though. I could go digital next year to catch up having read a promising first issue. My aim next year is to pick some random titles from the digital apps on offer to broaden my horizons and do more reviews. In regards to back issues this summer I started picking up Hands of Kung-Fu. The Moench and Gulacy run in particular is amazing to read. It is so different and more mature than any of the other Marvel output of the era. There is one big omission from the long boxes I noticed this year. I call myself a Wolverine completest yet I am missing the single issues of Marvel Comics Presents Weapon X. A massive oversight on my part. I put it down to the fact I bought the trade paperback very early in my collecting. Heres hoping they don’t get over inflated with Logan coming out. Also to tie in with Logan I need to track down previous X-23 trade paperbacks. Laura Kinney will own 2017. Female Marvel character wise any.
So that is it from me. Next year I hit the big three zero. But there will be no let up in my nerdiness. If anything I want it to increase and enjoy myself, perhaps meet some of my readers (if they exist). I hope everyone out a good Christmas and I leave by wishing you all a Happy New Year.
See you in the long boxes…
About Ian Wells
Ian currently runs the THEBLOGOFCOMICSHOTTOPICS blog. Check him out on Twitter @IanWells87.
About Language of Bromance
Together Richard and Shawn formed the podcast The Language of Bromance and from there it has been nothing but fun. The duo laugh about things they go through, stories in the news and even getting serious discussing net neutrality along with other issues. Every so often their friendship turns to a bitter rivalry with their nerdiest creation the draft episodes. An original take on a best of or a top 10 list. The draft episodes are done like an NFL Draft 7 rounds where Richard and Shawn flip-flop picks on various topics.
To become a LOBarmy Contributed
If you are interested in writing an article for the LOBarmy Intelligent Reports please contact Richard and Shawn at EatTheBeaver@LanguageOfBromance.Com or reach out to us via twitter @LanguageOfBro.