Finally! A Star Trek Discovery Trailer! Only…

So, we finally have a trailer for the upcoming Star Trek Discovery series, and… I just don’t know. I have somewhat mixed feelings. Take a look:


Ok, I am going to be a bit nitpicky here, but I have to comment on a few things.

They decided to set the new series in the Prime (that is to say, REAL) universe. That means it is in line with the continuity of Enterprise, the original series, Next Generation, Deep Space 9, and Voyager. It is not set in the alternate universe established in the J.J Abrams movies. This was a big plus for me and one of the main reasons for my initial excitement. Finally, I thought, we’ll see what follows Voyager and Star Trek Nemesis!

Unfortunately, they opted to set it in the past. Again. This is disappointing for a couple of reasons. Fans have wanted for some time to see what happens next in the Trek universe and also simply because the entire concept of the franchise is to boldly go forward and explore. Why then, is the series looking back, especially when we have the current movies doing just that?

And why on earth would they choose to explore the past if they aren’t even going to maintain continuity? Sure, they are involving Sarek, perhaps as a way to force cohesion with the other series, but Discovery takes place in 2255, approximately (Kirk took command of Enterprise in or slightly before 2265). At this point in time, Captain Pike would be approximately one year into his command. Why do the uniforms of Discovery’s crew not match Starfleet standard as seen in The Cage, the original Star Trek pilot featuring Captain Pike? Is Discovery somehow serving in another branch of Starfleet, with different uniforms? I could perhaps accept that, but why would their uniforms have Enterprise’s Delta? Their uniforms should have their own insignia.

And those Klingons… Sigh. Abrams’s redesign of the warrior race didn’t sit well with me and a number of other fans. I was hopeful that Discovery would show Klingons properly. During this time period, the majority– or even the entirety– of Klingons that the Federation would encounter would be afflicted by the Klingon Augment Virus, resulting in Klingons that resembled their original series look. And if for some reason Discovery was dealing with Klingons that were unaffected, then we should see Klingons as depicted in the Next Generation-era shows. I am creating my own “head canon” that states they are another race/ offshoot of Klingons from a different part of the Empire. Or perhaps they are another kind of mutation caused by the Augment Virus. I really hope the show addresses this.

I didn’t expect to see a tOS-style bridge or technology, but some effort could have been made to visually match the design of Starfleet. I am now in the very uncomfortable position of saying that Abrams’s Trek did a better job of respecting the source (at least the look of it.)

I am trying to maintain some optimism and not judge it before seeing at least a couple of episodes (and thankfully Netflix will make it available for those outside of the US), but the fact that they are not being consistent with what went before makes me wonder how closely they will follow the ideology of Trek.

Please be good, Discovery. I want real Trek again. Please be good and a worthy inheritor of the name Star Trek so that you can Live Long and Prosper.


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Captain America is in Hydra, and I think It’s Our Fault

It’s been a while since I have seen something stir up the ire of comic book readers the way Marvel’s recent treatment of Captain America has done. Some readers (though none that I know personally…) may be enjoying the current storyline, but I have encountered so many more that absolutely hate it, to the point of dropping Cap from their reading list altogether. But now that Captain America is in Hydra, I think we need to consider the role that readers have played in this coming to pass.

Changing Views, Changing Tastes

When I was a kid, it was pretty straightforward: you rooted for the good guys, and booed the bad guys. The whole purpose of the villains was to give the hero a chance to shine as they fought for everything good. Some of the best villains had some redeeming qualities , of course. Magneto was a very sympathetic character, having survived the Holocaust. Dr Doom was always trying to rescue the soul of his mother. Even the Green Goblin seemed (on occasion) to legitimately love his son Harry. Other villains didn’t really have any sort of good side and were simply despicable beings in need of a pummeling. Red Skull comes to mind.

Somewhere along the way, we started to see more violent heroes appearing. The Punisher is probably the first one that I was aware of, though I later discovered Wolverine (thanks to Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends on Saturday morning) and loved him. I was probably in my early teens at the time, maybe 14, and he appealed to my frustrated teenage self. At the time, the idea of a character who would just cut loose and “do what needs to be done” was really appealing, even though it went against the usual idea of a superhero.

It was also in this period that Watchmen was released,with it’s own very different take on costumed superheroes. A darker, grittier story, Watchmen famously deconstructed the superhero genre and changed some reader’s minds about what a superhero comic could be or should be.

The Superhero as One of Us

Marvel had appealed to many readers over the years for having relatable characters with the same problems as the average person on the street, as opposed to DC, which often had more powerful, seemingly more capable heroes. Despite their problems, however, Marvel characters still generally embodied the heroic ideal, though the darker, more violent characters were rapidly gaining in popularity. It wasn’t long before Wolverine surpassed Spider-Man as Marvel’s most popular character. The mutant berserker was suddenly in every other Marvel title, propping up sales wherever he appeared.

Since that time, heroes have become more extreme. Where Wolverine and the Punisher killed when and where it was deemed appropriate, other heroes came along who were quicker to kill their enemies, sometimes in a rather violent manner. Heroes slowly grew darker and more menacing, their sense of right and wrong often being questioned. Where superheroes had once been characters portraying the highest of ideals, calling upon us to emulate them and join them in the light, we now had vigilantes who lived in the darkness with us.

During these years, Batman and his enemies grew more violent. Spider-Man’s vaunted optimism and light-hearted nature began to fade. The X-Men, with their characters hated by humanity at large, had become Marvel’s biggest stars.

The Villain as Hero

Worst of all, villains started to become more popular than the heroes they fought. Venom was a fearsome, murderous foe that threatened Spider-Man in a way that few other villains before him had done. He was violent, a killer. And fans loved him. So much so, that Marvel ultimately gave him his own title, where he made the change from outright villain to anti-hero after he and Spider-Man came to an agreement that they would not interfere in each other’s lives. This despite the fact that Venom was a killer and super-powered criminal. It was rather nonsensical that someone with Spider-Man’s moral code would simply let Venom go his merry way, but Marvel probably didn’t feel comfortable at the time devoting a series to a villain.

Aside from Venom, there have been a number of other characters that, upon becoming popular, made the switch from villain to “hero”. Various X-Men foes like Sabretooth and Juggernaut joined that group, while more recently DC’s Harley Quinn has made her way over to the light side, again simply because she is a popular character.  It seems that no matter how heinous a character’s past actions, once they become popular all is forgiven, or more correctly, forgotten.

The absolute worst, however, is the way fans have embraced the character of Carnage. A serial killer bonded to the offspring of Venom’s symbiote, Carnage murders people so casually and easily that it hardly has any impact any more. It is almost too abstract a thought to fully understand.  And he’s wildly popular.

Captain Hydra

This all brings us to the modern day, with Captain America in Hydra, committing horrible acts that infuriate the character’s long-time readers. I have to say, though, that this is our own fault. We supported the vigilantes more than the heroes. We called those characters with strong morals boring and corny. We celebrated the villains.

Captain America Joins Hydra

I don’t find it too hard to believe that Marvel never considered that fans would react negatively to Cap’s villainous turn. After all, if murderous villains can be embraced by the fans, why not a fallen hero?

Perhaps readers are finally at the point where they want something a bit more optimistic. After decades of progressively darker stories and heroes that barely deserve the name, maybe it’s time to see some hope and positivity return to comics. DC’s Rebirth seems to suggest that this is possible.

Some would say that comics are merely reflecting the state of the world today, but I think that they need to offer us something more positive, now more than ever, perhaps. We are bombarded by negative messages in the news and in our lives every day. Maybe it’s time to start the long walk back to the light. Maybe turning Captain America evil was the final straw that made people wake up and see that while there may be a place for the dark and gritty heroes, there is a much greater need for the positive role-models.

I certainly hope so.

How do you feel about what’s been done to Captain America? Are you tired of  dark and gritty comics, or do you still prefer them over more traditional superhero fare? Should comics about superheroes reflect our world today, or offer us hope for a brighter tomorrow? I’d love to hear from you, either through email, or in the comments below.


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DC Comics: Wonder Woman Leads This Week’s Reads May 10

Once again, amoung the titles I am reading from DC, Wonder Woman is at, or at least near the top. It makes me rather sad, then, to hear that Greg Ruck will be leaving the book after issue 25. While he made a comment about it being “for now,” I don’t know that we can honestly expect him to come back in the foreseeable future.

Overall, it was a pretty good week, though I suspect that I will be dropping at least one more title, as I am not sure that Superwoman will maintain my interest.

Superwoman #10

Rediscovery Part 1  After losing the powers she had as Superwoman, Lana Lang is given another chance to be a hero, but will she take it? Yeah, of course she will, as John Henry Irons’s family history comes back to haunt them.

Titans # 11

The Lazarus Contract Part 1 Beginning a crossover that will run through Titans, Teen Titans and Deathstroke. The return of the original Wally West might provide the key to bringing Deathstroke’s son back from the dead and the world’s deadliest assassin doesn’t plan to let that opportunity slip past.

Detective Comics #956

League of Shadows Finale  It’s the final Battle against Shiva and her League of Shadows, but with Batwoman injured, Batwing and Azrael struggling to disarm a nuclear bomb, and Batman himself outclassed by Shiva’s martial prowess, how can his team hope to survive?

Wonder Woman #22

Godwatch Part 4  By Rucka and Evely  Wonder Woman and Veronica Cale come face to face… on a date?

Action Comics #979

Revenge Part 1 By Jurgens and Zircher  The Superman Revenge Squad adds Mongul to their numbers as they search for the Oblivion Stone in order to restore Hank Henshaw as the Cyborg Superman.


Spoilers Follow

So, to get the weakest title of the week out of the way first, Superwoman will probably not be on my list for much longer. It’s not that it’s a bad title, it;s just that I am not a major fan of Lana as a superhero. I know that she is a popular supporting character for Superman and so they want to make use of her, but I personally prefer her as a friend to Superman rather than a hero in her own right. Having her as a normal, everyday person in his life is, I think, more important to him than a fellow hero. Not that I think Clark can’t get by without her to ground him– after all he still has Lois– but I always liked Superman’s supporting cast and there hasn’t been much focus on them over the past year. Having Lana act as Superwoman effectively removed her from his titles, as it becomes more difficult to use her as a supporting character if she stars in her own book.  I also find the manner in which she continues to operate as Superwoman (the Queen Bee armour is mysteriously continuing to provide her with her former abilities for no apparent reason other than to keep the title going) to be a bit nonsensical. Perhaps they will explain it further in future issues, but right now it seems a bit hand-wavey. “Hey, Lana needs to continue as Superwoman, so we’ll say the armour gives her powers. Just because.”

Titans begins what is sure to be a fun crossover, with Deathstroke becoming aware of “a new Flash” that might prove the key to him bringing his son Grant (AKA the Ravager) back from the dead. I’m not sure how long it’s been since we’ve seen a classic Deathstroke/ Titans story, but it feels like it’s been a long time. This should fit the bill nicely. It is also providing us with the opportunity to see some interaction between the original Wally West and the Wally introduced in New 52, which should be interesting.

Detective Comics wraps up the League of Shadows storyline and while it is… effective… at doing so, it’s not the most exciting climax to a story I have read recently. I find that Batman is almost a secondary character in this book at times, though that is understandable given that it is effectively a team book. When Batwoman was given her own title, I expected that she would likely disappear from Detective, but I am glad that so far I have been wrong. My usual bat-complaint remains, though: I would like to see more of Bruce Wayne. In the titles I am reading, the characters are mostly missing private lives. The exceptions to this being Superman and, to a degree, Wonder Woman. I don’t expect to see much of Bruce here, though, given  that we have just finished exploring Cassandra Caine’s character and will probably be seeing similar arcs with both Batwing and Azrael coming up, as well as a follow-up on Spoiler.

This week’s Action Comics sees the Superman Revenge Squad coming one step closer to a full roster as they add Mongul, last seen in Trinity. Given that each member of the Squad (Eradicator, Blanque, Cyborg Superman and now Mongul) has given Superman a run for his money, it seems likely that this storyline will see a crossover, perhaps with Supergirl, Superwoman and others, though I hope not. While it is logical for a character to reach out for help, especially with the ties between characters being reinforced and emphasised, I miss the days of heroes being able to stand on their own two feet. I also have to wonder how two reporters– even ones as famous as Lois Lane and Clark Kent– can afford the cond/ apartment that they were looking at in this issue. They are on the top floor, within site of the Daily Planet. I’m assuming that in a city like Metropolis, this should run about 5 million or more. Guess they’ll have to sell the farm.

Finally, Wonder Woman rounds out the week in a flashback to Diana’s first meeting with Veronica Cale… on a date that Cale bid on at a charity auction. This was actually a fun read and  despite some of the things Cale has done, I find myself wanting to like her. As a parent, I can understand her motivation for the actions she is taking, but I am hoping that she can find some way to come out of this without continuing on as a villain. With only 3 more issues before the end of Rucka’s run (darn it), this story is nearly done. I don’t know who will be taking over as the creative team, but I hope that they manage to keep this book at the top of my list.

That’s it for this week, though I may pick up a few titles on the weekend if I have time. I still need to go back and pick up past issues of Deathstroke, ideally before continuing the current crossover with the Titans, and I want to continue the Sandman, which I finally started reading a few weeks back (a couple of decades after everyone else…)

What have you been reading? What are your thoughts on the current storylines running through your favourite titles? I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line or leave a comment below!


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Marvel Defenders on Netflix

So the trailer for Marvel’s Defenders on Netflix was released today and I have to say that I am really looking forward to this. Taking place approximately one month after the much-maligned Iron Fist, the four heroes (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist) are brought together by as-yet unknown circumstances (and Sigourney Weaver…) to defend New York City.

I should really say unknown circumstances, as it clearly involves the Hand and Elektra, but thus far there is little to no information about Sigourney Weaver’s character. I had been somewhat hopeful to see Wilson Fisk, AKA the Kingpin, making his return in this series, but it doesn’t seem that he will, unless it’s being kept secret. Weaver’s character actually seems to be taking the position I expected him to. Who she is and how she comes into conflict with the four heroes will be interesting to discover, as will the fate of Madame Gao and Davos, both of whom were last seen in Daredevil. Certain supporting characters will be part of the story, including Foggy and Karen from Daredevil, Jeri Hogarth from Jessica Jones and Iron Fist, Misty Knight from Luke Cage and Colleen Wing from Iron Fist. Claire, who has been in every series, will also be involved. As for other important characters, I haven’t heard.

On a side note, I really wouldn’t mind seeing a spin-off from this involving Misty and Colleen, and perhaps Claire. One would think that a series of strong female characters kicking butt and taking names would have appeal, especially given the diversity of the actresses playing them.

Take a look at the trailer below and tell me what you think. Are you looking forward to it? Does it hold no appeal for you? Are you still irritated over Iron Fist and thus turned off of Marvel’s Neflix universe?

I’d love to hear!


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My Reads: DC Comics This Week May 3

I picked up 5 titles this week (being on a budget sucks…) and blew through them in record speed. I’d love to be able to branch out into other titles, but until I start earning some big bucks, that’ll have to wait. So, my DC comics this week are:

Aquaman #22

H2.0 finale Aquaman and Mera have uncovered the truth about Dead Water, but can save the remaining Aquamarine? Even if they do, the countdown to the detonation of a miniature nuke has begun. By Abnett and Briones

Justice League #20

Endless part 1.  Déjà vu all over again as the League find themselves in a time loop that ends with ever-increasing destruction and the death of one of their own. By Hitch and Henriques

Nightwing #20

Nightwing must Die finale. In the clutches of Dr Hurt! If  Nightwing can’t overcome the torment being inflicted upon him, then he, Robin and Defacer are doomed! But why is Dr Hurt doing this and what does he see coming for them all? By Seeley and Fernandez

Batman #22

The Button part 3. It’s the Flash, teamed up with Batman and… Batman? As time comes apart around them, the trio must uncover the truth about the mysterious Button and who is behind the manipulation of the DC universe. By Williamson and Fabok

Superman #22

Black Dawn part 3  Batman is missing and Robin, Superman and Superboy have left Lois Lane on her own. So what’s a famous news reporter to do? As Lois puts her investigative skills to use and starts to uncover the secrets of Hamilton County, Superman continues to investigate Deadman’s Swamp. By Gleason + Tomasi, and Mahnke.

My Thoughts (with spoilers)

This was another really good week, but with some titles being better than others as usual.

Aquaman was a bit of a letdown, though it wasn’t exactly bad. I just expected a bit more. The first few parts of H2.0 had a nice Alien vibe going, with the Aquamarines in the underwater base and an unknown predator in their midst. It had better atmosphere than I am used to seeing in a comic, but by this issue it was down to standard comic slugfests. Aquaman’s decisions toward the end, however, will hopefully have repercussions in the future, as he took actions that the Atlanteans have long condemned the surface world for taking. I would like to see a continuation of this at some point down the road.

Justice League was ok. I got the impression from one of the alternate covers that we’d be dealing with the multiverse and alternate realities, but instead we were treated to the League’s version of the movie Groundhog Day. I am not too sure where the JL issue fall in terms of continuity with other titles. Superman is depicted here with his latest costume, yet Barry is out on a date with Jessica. I’m not sure if there’s much communication between authors, because it looks as though Barry is pursuing two romances at once (the other being Iris in his own book). Pretty standard fare overall. It may just be me, but I always expect the Justice League stories to be… bigger somehow. In my mind, they should be leading the way in the Rebirth storyline, but the again, having it play out in the various books of individual characters prompts more sales…

Nightwing gives me some hope for my on-again, off-again dislike of Damian Wayne. He seems to have a good relationship with Dick and I’d actually like to see more of them together. Like his relationship with Jon Kent, being around Dick seems to bring out the better side of Damian. I am hopeful that he can continue to grow and become less abrasive. I do find it a bit odd after growing up with Batman and Robin, that Robin is hanging out with everyone but Batman, but I think Damian works better that way. Batman’s books tend to still be a bit on the dark side and perhaps there is a conscious desire to keep Robin away from that in order to have him lighten up a bit. Whatever the case may be, I personally prefer Batman with either Dick or Tim.

Superman probably had me flipping pages (well, changing pages on my e-reader) faster than any other title this week. I was anxious to see where things were going and as Lois’s position grew ever more dire, I found myself wishing this was a giant-sized issue. I actually didn’t need to see Superman at all, which is good considering he hardly appears. As much as I kind of disliked the idea of them living in Hamilton County at first, I now find myself wanting to know what’s going on there and what the townsfolk are up to. I’m not sure if there is magic behind the town’s operations, but it feels that way, which might spell trouble for Superman. I hope that they don’t draw out the “Jon is extra, extra special!” aspect of the story too long, however. I like Jon, but I’m not a fan of him being “more powerful” than Superman and somehow more important to the story that any of the major characters.

Finally, Batman was also a really good read. Written by Joshua Williamson as opposed to the usual Tim King, this feels closer to the Batman I am used to and the request of Thomas Wayne to his son may just be a catalyst for a change in Bruce’s demeanor. This issue also answered my concerns about Thawne  that I had after his last appearance, and I am hopeful that in the next part we will finally get some concrete answers about what is going on, as Flash and Batman seem to be on a rapid approach to whatever killed Reverse Flash in part 1.

There is still a lot of stuff that I am hoping to see addressed in Rebirth, but I have no real complaints about how it’s been going so far. As I said above, I’d love to branch out into other titles. In fact, I’d probably read almost everything being put out right now if I could, but short of working two jobs, I don’t see that happening, so I will focus on the core books for now.

I’d love to hear some thoughts on what you’ve been reading and if there’s a title that I am not picking up but that I definitely should, please tell me. I’ll find a way to at least try it out for a few issues.

Thanks for reading!


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