Tuesday, March 2, 2010

G.I.Joe: Cobra II

I really like reading G.I. Joe comic books. I liked the old Marvel ones, I liked the Image/Devil's Due ones from a while back, and I like the IDW ones that are coming out now.

But I really like G.I. Joe: Cobra.

The first set of six issues showed Chuckles going deep undercover to infiltrate Cobra, and gets as close as the Crimson Twins, Tomax and Xamot. In this new series (issue #2 just came out last week), Chuckles is still on the loose, and the Joes think he's gone off the grid, as his obsession deepens.

Chuckles is a great character to follow. He's part Jason Bourne and part Bruce Wayne at the start of Batman Begins. Very rough and tumble. Flawed and dedicated and interesting to read and easy to root for. He's not Duke or Snake-Eyes or Shipwreck, and his cartoon background was completely forgettable, so the writers do have a good amount of freedom to really make the character their own, and they've made him pretty damned cool.

I really don't want to give away too much, because it's a very well written comic, and full props are due to Christos Gage and Mike Costa who are crafting a suspenseful spy thriller. They play it very smart, and use the fact that most of the readers are Joe fans very slickly in order to improve the work without making it feel like fan service.

Also, a few months ago there was a G.I.Joe Cobra special one-shot comic featuring the Twins that was amongst the best comics of 2009 and I highly recommend tracking down a copy if you're a Joe fan.

The other Joe books are fun and nostalgic and give you what they promise to deliver, but Cobra is a great comic.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hulk Vs.

I had picked up a copy of the Hulk Vs. DVDs a few weeks ago, but did not watch them right away because I had figured that Marisa would want to watch them with me, at least the Wolverine one. We went out Saturday night and were up late, so yesterday, a lazy Sunday morning, was a good time to slap on some cartoons to watch while having breakfast and before the big gold medal hockey game.

The other Marvel cartoon movies have been okay, but not great. The Ultimate Avengers, Iron Man, and Doctor Strange ones were good, but nothing spectacular, so I went into this one with low expectations, and realizing that anything with the Hulk will have a lot of time on screen of the green guy smashing stuff.

Hulk vs. Wolverine was the first one we watched. First of all, I should note that this DVD had so many trailers on it, that it was getting a little ridiculous. They just kept going and going. They had trailers for movies that had been out for years on it. Marisa got fed up after about the 5th one, and insisted we skip ahead.

The movie probably should have been called Wolverine vs Hulk, as it had to do more with Logan than his foe here. Aside from the headliners, Sabretooth, Omega Red, Lady Deathstrike, the professor from Weapon X and Deadpool were all involved. Wolverine slashes everyone and everything, and kills several guards in the villains compound. (Yeah, there's no doubt that he kills them, claws, blood and screams made that pretty clear.) The plot was very elemental, but the one aspect that elevated this from just a beat 'em up was the dialogue they gave Deadpool. He was funny. Marisa laughed out loud more than once, and I thought he was great. The ending of the movie was a bit of a cop out, not really giving you a clear winner between Hulk and Wolvie, but all in all, it was at least a fun ride.

Hulk vs. Thor was probably a better constructed movie, and flowed a little better in terms of telling the story, but it didn't have the same flair. Set in Asgard, it was also not very Hulk-centric, with The Warriors Three, Balder, Loki and the Enchantress all involved. While this one was a nice story, it didn't have the same pop that the Wolverine one did. It did, however, quite clearly show who won in the fight between the two title characters.

These flicks were worth watching, exactly as we did; hung over on a Sunday morning while having breakfast. It was almost as much fun as the last Hulk movie, not great cinema by any means, but they were a fun violent romp.