Why we’ll never get a Moon Knight TV series (even though it would be amazing)

So stop me if you’ve heard this pitch before. A millionaire decides to fight crime using his wealth and using various skills his learnt over the years becomes vigilante and decides to exact renvange on those who harm innocent people. He uses his wealth to buy a series of weapons based around a particular theme and then uses said items to beat up criminals. Yes I’m talking about Moon Knight, the Marvel character every one claims is a rip off of Batman.As great as he is, and he is pretty rad, there won’t really ever be a TV series dedicated to him which is a bit of a shame.

For those of you don’t like wikipiedia, Moon Knight is Marc Spector and he is basically a more brutal version of Batman. He’s back story though is a little convoluted, even for comics. He was a mercenary in Egypt when he was betrayed and killed inside the temple of Khonsu, the Egyptian moon God. Marc Spector is then resurrected and he becomes Moon Knight, the protector of those who travel at night and uses several moon themed weapons, crescent darts for example and beats people up. He’s been an avenger with the west coast branch, a secret avenger but his individual titles are a harder sell.

His solo titles don’t really last too long perhaps because of the murky subject matter. Modern Moon Knight has dissociative identity disorder which basically means we’re reading a comic about a mentally ill person violently beating up criminals. He’s portrayal as crazy is one of the main reasons he is compelling though, because it’s never made clear if it’s all in his head or if it’s all real. Which, if we’re talking about the Marvel universe with actual Norse Gods, Greek Gods and all powerful wizards, then the idea of an Egyptian God having an avatar of Justice isn’t that much of stretch. But again the way it is portrayed is that it’s unknown to the reader, because the main narrator is unreliable in this case.

If you do want to check out the character, start with Volume 5 with the first volume by Warren Ellis, which is a master class of done in one stories and introduces a new costume and I guess personality to Moon Knight. In it, he was a pure white suit and assists people as a some what unlicensed private detective. Brain Wood and Cullen Bunn continue this thread and offer up some amazing stories using the character, often giving us stories that other comics can’t really give us. It Forgoes any sense of over arching plot and instead gives us brillant tight stories that are a treat to read. The newer series by Jeff Lemire explores the mental state of Moon Knight in further depth, which is out now and you should check it out.

Moon Knight would never really work as a TV character, because we are basically enabling a mentally ill person beating up criminals who worships a God that may not really exist. He’s a perfect character for comics but he is a bridge to far for a TV audience. Then again, if you’d of told me five years ago that one of the hottest comic book shows was based on the Green Arrow I would’ve laughed at you while swaggering off to play Gears of War 2, so really what do I know?

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Why you should read the New Avengers by Al Ewing

Is it just me or are comic books starting to become fun again? I know, fun never went away but it seems like now, more then ever books are starting to be the escapist fantasy we’ve always wanted them to be and not the serious books dealing with series issues they turned into for a small period. But it seems fun is coming back and leading the charge is Al Ewing.

Okay I’m kidding obviously, comics have always been about fun and will forever be fun, no matter how many times people insist that Batman has to be dark and moody to work. But I digress. The New Avengers as written by Al Ewing was a bit of a dark horse for me. I was some what sold on the line with Songbird and Squirrel Girl getting to be actual avengers, Hawkeye was always okay to me nothing great and the rest of the line up was pretty much unknown to me. The Avengers special where the Squadrn Surpreme had a look at the other avenger teams didn’t help much, as it it didn’t quite sell the idea to me. But the book has surprised me by how good really is and how enjoyable I am finding it.

Part of the appeal I guess is the bonkers premise of the book. Roberto DeCosta aka the mutant Sunspot brought out the villainous group A.I.M. and has a group of Avengers there who act as heroes of the world, an international rescue if you will. They’re tolerated by S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hawkeye works with them as their Shield liaison, making sure they don’t step out of line. It’s the sort of book Avengers World tried to be when it was around, focusing on a smaller and often forgotten about Avengers that were apart of the Hickman line up.

Apart from Songbird, Hawkeye and Squirrel Girl, there is Wiccan, Hulking, White Tiger and Power-Man and Pod, and to explain the story behind Pod would take a while, so I’ll just link her wiki page here, that is if she had one. For me it’s the characters that make the book, as while they’re not the Avengers that come to mind, they are well rounded and likeable and the villain, or at least the main one is Ultimate Reed Richards as the leader of a group called W.H.I.S.P.E.R. whose acronym I can’t be bothered to type out, but it’s a pretty good backranym.

The book for me has charm, heart and is fun, which in this day and age of dark and gloomy event books about the end of the world, is a refreshing welcome. It’s a light hearted book focusing on the B and C list heroes that are given a chance to shine in a book that is a great read with great artwork. Check it out if you’re looking for some thing different, plus how can you not like a book that features the American Kajiu, a monster that has a US flag tattoo on his forehead.

The Squrriel Girl/ Howard the Duck cross over is as brilliant as you think it is.

If some one were to go back in time and tell my 15 year old self that my top three favourite comics would be Howard the Duck, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and The New Avengers by Al Ewing I would’ve laughed in their face but the reality is this are some of the best books Marvel is putting out, and the best part is, the long awaited cross over between Squirrel Girl and Howard the Duck is here and it is amazing.

A team up between the two seems like it’s some thing that should’ve happened ages ago due to both having a cult like status. I’ll be perfectly honest in admitting that both titles are an acquired taste, with Squrriel Girl forgoing the “talky punchy” modern aspects of comics in favour of awesome jokes and the power of friendship over coming much of her problems then say, bashing some ones face in with a shield. It’s not very violent is what I’m trying to say and for good reason. The message is if we sat down and talked about our problems then the world could be a nicer place. Half the time Squrriel Girl “wins” by helping the bad guy with what ever problem they have. It’s a delightful message, one that I’m guessing would give Garth Ennis a stroke if he read it.

Howard the Duck is again is a very acquired taste due to the fact that he is a talking duck that is generally tolerated by most of the Marvel Universe and out right loathed by other heroes. The character itself is a very ahrd sell because he is a three foot tall talking duck that can’t really be slotted into a team books, unless he’s the annoying one and right now that role falls to Deadpool har har har. Howard does have a lot of heart and every man feel about him. He’s a duck who is trying his best to get by in a world that ridicules and fears him, despite the fact he’s about as threatening as being mobbed by a group of ducklings.

So the crossover then, is it any good? Short answer, yes. Long answer, hell yes it is and you should go out and buy every copy you can find. The cross over is written by Ryan North and Chip Zdarsky on writing duties and Erica Henderson as the always amazing artist. I’ll try not to spoil the plot too much, but if you are already reading either title, then you know how bonkers the titles are by comparison. The story kicks off with Howard stealing Squirrel Girl’s room mates cat Mew thinking it’s the cat he is looking for, before being stopped by Squirrel Girl. Howard is then kidnapped or I guess duck-napped (har har) by Kraven the Hunter who shows up with an air brushed van with artwork that is almost worth the price of the issue alone. From there a number of great gags happen included is the debut of weapon II, a squirrel version of Wolverine and some truly outstanding art work which makes it seem like Squrriel Girl is crashing through panels not just the floor.

If you’re looking for a great, light hearted read with a comic that is full of heart, humour and great moments that you can share with kids then you could do a heck of a lot worse then checking out this Squirrel Girl number 6. The conclusion to this cross over will be in Howard the Duck number 6 coming out later this month.

Batman Vs Superman: Was it really that bad?

Short answer: No, it’s not. Long answer, it depends on a lot of factors. I guess for me I went in with low expectations, which did help and I was looking forward to it. I mean I didn’t rush out and see it but it was on my radar and I thought it was pretty good. Ben Afleck’s Batman is pretty good, one of the better interpretations I’ve seen and has that weariness about him. Henry Cavil’s Superman is still pretty good as well. Now let’s talk about Lex Luthor

Jesse Eisenberg’s take on Lex Luthro can be grating to some, he seems to be pantomiming the character to an almost over the top degree. But here’s the thing, he’s meant to be eccentric, because he’s a billionaire and one of the smartest guys in the room. I didn’t mind the voice or the mannerisms and I thought he’s character was good. Yes it’s not the same as say Gene Hackman’s take, where he is a calm and cool and mostly sensible character, but that’s a take that had been done before, so why wouldn’t a fresh take work. Plus if we can have the Joker be both a reletively harmless prankster (Batman 1966) and criminal more bent on causing mischief to Batman (Batman TAS) and a Joker that is more or less a super soldier with an ability to see the future (The Dark Night) then getting this version of Lex Luthor isn’t that much of a stretch.

The action was great, seeing Batman take down an entire room of goons is still fun as it ever was, and the obligatory Bat mobile chase was still awesome and fresh as it ever was. The titular fight is great except that really, even without the armour Batman’s insides would be liquid after the first couple of punches. The only downside is the CGI end fight, but that’s more because by that point it seems a bit exhausting, if no less interesting. The dream sequence were Batman is in the desert features perhaps one of the greatest fight scenes of recent memory, with Batman taking down a group of thugs while the camera spins. It’s a good action scene

The movie does have problems though. The lack of female characters with speaking lines is disappointing given the state of the movie industry these days. Wonder Woman is barely there as well, she shows up for the fight scene at the end and has a sprinkling of appearances but that’s about it. It’s great that we’re finally seeing the character as well, but a bit of extra scenes wouldn’t have hurt and the argument could be made without Wonder Women, the heroes would’ve failed.

Is it a great movie? That will depend on who you are and how forgiving you are. I enjoyed the entire movie and I can’t wait to see what happens with the Justice League movie. I can certainly understand why some people can be upset, because if you had problems with Man of Steel, they aren’t really addressed here either. The problem could be trying to separate DC comics and DC movies, because they are really two separate things, and how a character thinks in one may not be applicable to the other. We’re looking at it from the perspective of comic book fans and I think we can agree that just because some thing works on paper doesn’t mean it will work on the screen. Is Batman Vs Superman an epic must see movie. I don’t think it so, it will divide fans and people for years to come but as a two and a half movie to escape the drudgery of life? You could do worse.