Generations: Wolverine & All-New Wolverine #1 – by Tom Taylor

If you’re at all familiar with my reviews, you probably know that I’m a major fan of ‘one-shot’ comics. As fantastic as traditional comic book story arcs can be, there’s something refreshing about having the entirety of a story, albeit a short story, held within a single comic. It was a little bittersweet to hear that the long desired team up of Wolverine and the All-New Wolverine would be limited to one of these one shots. Regardless, with Tom Taylor at the helm of this issue I knew it would pack a bloody punch with every page.

I mentioned this comic ahead of time to my 7 year old daughter who is a huge Laura Kinney fan. She and I recently cosplayed as the theatrical Old Man Logan and Laura (go to my personal Instagram for the pic) so this particular issue was one we definitely had on our radar.


Generations: Wolverine & All-New Wolverine #1 Review




Tom Taylor has a knack for the ‘less is more’ approach to his storytelling. He’s very good at letting things unfold without a dissertation to set up a story. This comic is a great example of this because it throws you right into the middle of Logan battling the undead ninjas of the Hand. Readers will have their attention immediately grabbed because, for once, this intense battle isn’t going in Wolverine’s favor and he’s moments away from losing for good. All the while there is very little narration offered – even though you’re not 100% sure what’s happening, it doesn’t matter because you are given the sense that things will fall into place in the coming pages. Jorge Molina’s artwork compliments this style quite well as readers are easily immersed in this desperate setting.

Fortunately for Logan, Laura (the All-New Wolverine) mysteriously appears and gracefully kicks copious amounts of undead ass. I absolutely loved how you’re treated to Logan’s thought process as he is just as awestruck by her ability. There’s no explanation why she’s there because it doesn’t matter – Wolverine needed help and his clone/daughter from the future supplied it fantastically.

The dialogue throughout the issue is top notch. Overall it’s effective yet subtle which makes for a smooth read. Interactions between the new and old Wolverine are exactly as they should be with Laura subverting normal tropes as she normally does with hints of Logan’s blunt charm.

As the pages progress you see that Logan is getting more and more hints as to his true connection with the mysterious Laura. This opens up some genuinely sweet moments between them before the story ends. It was very special for me to read this aloud with my daughter. It’s a thoughtful yet ass-kicking story that never veers into any excessive or over-the-top areas like it easily could have.

My final rating of Generations: Wolverine & All-New Wolverine #1 is a 9.6 out of 10.

What’s your favorite comic book one-shot? Let us know in the comments or email us directly at Don’t forget to follow the blog and on Instagram to stay up to date!

jolly nathan The Belligerent Barnes

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STAR WARS: Darth Vader #4 – by Charles Soule


The August installment of Marvel’s new venture into the history of the Dark Lord of the Sith promised the confrontation that would award Vader his lightsaber, and it certainly delivered! After losing the first round to exiled Jedi Master, Kirak Infil’a, Vader was left in a state that might defeat any lesser villain. I do love how this comic has painted Vader as a vulnerable, headstrong, and stubborn character that hasn’t yet reached the levels of legendary evil we know him to be. His actions are fueled by unchecked rage that force innovation rather than the precision of a lightsaber.


Master Infil’a assumed he’d defeated the Sith and was preparing to set off on his new mission to rebuild the Jedi Order. At some point it would be neat for Marvel to produce a comic that explores an alternate timeline where he continues with this mission to link up with other Order 66 survivors like Yoda, Obi Wan, and Kanan Jarrus. Alas, Vader survived and came back ready to fight dirty. The comic comes to a head with Vader attacking the Jedi’s sense of nobility rather than another outright physical confrontation. Vader broke a water levee, thus killing scores of innocent people, just to get the edge on Infil’a to take his lightsaber and finish the job. It was a delightfully evil climax which furthered the divide between Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker.


My only complaint is along the same lines I had in my prior review of issue number two – this issue should have been combined with the one the preceded it. Marvel could have combined the first and second then third and fourth issues into two “mega-sized” editions that would have better maintained the tension without sacrificing cohesiveness to the story arch. Regardless, I absolutely adore how Marvel is treating this time period in my all-time favorite character’s history.


My final rating of STAR WARS: Darth Vader #4 by Charles Soule is a 8.8 out of 10.

What’s your favorite Star Wars comic? Let us know in the comments or email us directly at Don’t forget to follow the blog and on Instagram to stay up to date!

jolly nathan The Belligerent Barnes

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On Losing Legends


Yesterday the horror and film community lost a one of a kind talent, George A. Romero. Romero was the visionary who originally brought us Night of the Living Dead and thus inspired decades of scares. When we hear the word “zombie”, it’s Romero’s version of those undead monstrosities that shambles through our minds. I personally used that template for my own novels – the writing of which was a lifelong goal achieved. So needless to say, the passing of this legend has lingered at the forefront of my thoughts since hearing the news. George Romero was a legend in every sense of the word and his loss will be felt forever.


It occurred to me that the feeling of losing a legend is something we’ve had to work through on a seemingly regular interval recently. Why is that? Are notable figures and celebrities really passing any more than usual? That’s an absurd thought that is hard to shake because the sense of grief has enjoyed a short cycle of auto-fulfillment. For me the recent hits have been Adam West, Chris Cornell, and of course Carrie Fisher (whose appearance in The Last Jedi will probably have me break down in tears).


We miss you, Princess.

We live in a time of worthy idols and ever-advancing technology. Creative talent is everywhere if you’re willing to look beyond the lazy trends of reality television. The legendary talents that graced the silver screen and our televisions from our early years are regularly reinventing themselves or furthering cultural movements they founded. There are so many worthy escapes from the never ending onslaught of ‘hellfire and brimstone’ that current events/politics have become. Indeed, it’s a good time to be a fan of just about anything. So why the hell am I so down?

The internet is the root of our grief here. In its regular shrinking of our planet, the internet has brought everything pop culture into addiction feeding byte-sized (see what I did there?) doses. This over-accessibility of information has taken our entertainment icons and rocketed them to legendary status faster than ever before. It’s a double-edged sword to have information so accessible. Fans feel close attachment to celebrities they’ve never met through social networking and blogs. Obtaining a “fix” for any person of interest is as easy as a few mind numbing taps on a phone screen. The downside of this accessibility outlet is that you may feel less inclined to actually go meet someone in person.

I think that’s what is really tearing me up here… Even with the profound impact George A. Romero had on my life, I never met the man in person. After spending at least two decades worshiping Carrie Fisher for the marvel she was, I don’t know that I was ever in the same state as her. I passed up an opportunity to see Soundgarden in concert because I assumed I’d get another chance when schedules might be better. All my wife wanted to do was give Adam West a hug and we didn’t go because we didn’t want to deal with the con crowds or prices. What’s bringing me down is a profound regret that I didn’t do everything possible to make my fanboy dreams a reality by at least shaking the hand of these legends who’d shaped my life.

Where am I going with this? Who the the hell knows. I’m feeling inexplicably guilty and needed an outlet that, as I previously mentioned, the internet is the place for such things. I suppose the moral of the story is to fight the atrophied fandom modern day has created and get out there. Meet the fans, talk about your passions, celebrate the legends lost while maybe getting the chance to thank the living ones in person.

Thanks for the scares, Mr. Romero. I hear you were a hell of a guy in person and I’m sorry I never got the chance to meet you in this life.


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STAR WARS: Darth Vader #3 – by Charles Soule


The new Darth Vader series is giving us a look at what made Darth Vader, Darth Vader. Marvel is building a detailed back story and showing that Vader is more than just heavy breathing and force chokes. Issue 1 and 2 provided us the events after Vader went all cyborg on us. In order for Darth Vader to earn his crimson light saber, he sets his sight on a Jedi who has avoided Order 66. Vader is hell bent to kill the Jedi, take his light Saber, and torture the crystal within the saber with pain and rage until the color becomes “a beautiful crimson.” Darth Vader then travel from planet to planet searching for this Jedi warrior who has taken the Barash Vow (non-interference until his true path/purpose is revealed.)


Darth Vader’s search has taken him to the Moon of Al’doleem where he has tracked down the Jedi Master Kirak Infil’a. As Vader is flying onto the moon, Infil’a disables Vader’s ship by force “hurling” objects at his vessel. When Vader finally landed his craft, Infil’a test Darth Vader’s skill by launching an attack at him, sending in crashing water to engulf the lower land Vader is standing on. Vader then uses the force to disperse and part the water around him. After a series of more tests that Infil’a has given Darth Vader, Infil’a then allows him to move forward without further obstruction. When Vader arrives, Infil’a declares Vader “weak”.


Prior to the dual commencing, Infil’a has figured out Vaders true intent… he know that he is there for his light saber. Infil’a also deduces that he must have a master; almost casting a cloud over the juggernaut that is Darth Vader. At this point you see what Infil’a is eluding to that Darth Vader is so weak, in his eye’s, that he can not be the master. Infil’a quickly dispatches Vader and cast him off the mountain.  After the “battle”, Infil’a considers his vow complete and is planning to return to the Galaxy and restore the Jedi Order.

I typically am totally against the “slow burn” process that most comics produce… almost dragging on the story issue to issue, but this has been “tastefully” done. I am very curious to see how Vader recovers from this and see how he grew the allure and reputation as the most feared in the galaxy.

My final rating of STAR WARS: Darth Vader #3 by Charles Soule is a 8.5 out of 10.

What’s your favorite Star Wars comic? Let us know in the comments or email us directly at Don’t forget to follow the blog and on Instagram to stay up to date!

The Dull Knight

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Marvel vs. DC, DC vs. Marvel


This is a hatred that feels longer than time itself. These foes have fought each other for years, with no end in sight. Why do they hate each other? They don’t…

In the recent years, this “rivalry” has surly escalated with the surge of Marvel and DC cinematic universe’s. The cinematic universe’s have catapulted these two companies to mainstream status. You walk the streets, scroll on your Facebook feed, heck…look at a bag of Doritos and you will see the image of a comic book character. These days relevance and success is no longer gauged on comic book sales, but in movie ticket sales.


So where does this hatred stem from? It stems from us…the fans. Marvel and DC, as companies, are rivals…yes, but they don’t hate each other. You go to any social media sight and view the comments section and you will view a sea of toxic people. “F&*K You Fanboy, Marvel Blows, DC Blows… Have you seen BvS? Thor was awful”, are more of the tame comments you see. Its gotten so bad that some people will not even go watch a certain movie because of the comic company associated with it…. no matter if the movie is actually good.

I think we as comic fans have forgotten the past a bit. For years there have been crossovers between both companies. Since the early 1970’s we have had crossovers where we have seen Superman and Spider-man team-up and Batman and Daredevil cross paths, just to name a few.  Marvel characters have been made from DC characters and visa versa… some of these characters have been made in response and respect for each other. Who you ask? Namor/Aquaman, Deathstroke/Deadpool (Slade Wilson, Wade Wilson), Green Arrow/Hawkeye, Atom/Antman, Batman/Moon Knight, and the list goes on and on.


We as the fans have to remember that if each company is successful, then we the fans (all of us) win. We get to continue to see all of our favorite comic characters hit the big screen. We get more emphasis in the stories being developed in our comic panels that are used in television series and in upcoming movies. So next time, take a step back and embrace all the nerdy comic goodness we are currently in.

The Dull Knight

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STAR WARS: Darth Vader #2 – by Charles Soule

Star Wars has been in very good hands again with Marvel ever since the Disney took the franchise over. Their new Vader series is a look into an unseen period where the Dark Lord of the Sith still has that “new armor smell” and no red lightsaber. My partner in crime, The Dull Knight, reviewed their first issue and raved about it. I offered to take on the second issue in this new title that belongs in everyone’s pull list.


Star Wars: Darth Vader #2 by Charles Soule

Issue two finds Vader in search of a Jedi to hunt down for a lightsaber to steal. My favorite part about how Vader is portrayed here is that he’s not the calm, methodical legend we all know and love. Instead, he’s still young and reckless. He’s unaccustomed to this new biomechanical form and is essentially flexing his muscles to see what he’s capable of. The lack of a lightsaber drives this home because he has to rely on strategy and the raw power of the force to overcome obstacles. I don’t envy the task of the creative team here because they have to convey this pivotal developmental period in a character known for speaking little and without the benefit of facial expression. Doing this on a comic book panel is no small feat yet I feel they’ve done an exceptional job thus far.

Readers are also treated to a look at the state of the galaxy post-Order 66 when the Empire is still new. Wounds from the Clones Wars are still very fresh with the dust still settling after a long period of unrest. I loved seeing the Clone Troopers on a remote outpost sorting through Jedi contraband. Hearing them openly discuss where they fall in this new Galactic Empire was fascinating. Their desire to do right by the Emperor and bring him the ‘Jedi’ that they believe Vader to be was a believable struggle. Fans of the movies only probably won’t appreciate that aspect of this issue as much as those who’ve seen the Clone Wars animated series (which you should see because it’s damn good).

The primary complaint I have with this issue and the first issue is that they should have been combined into a single plus-sized debut. They are both good comics, however, combined they could have been a great comic. I respect the slow-burn approach to a story yet it should never be for the purpose of spreading things out into more sellable content. To me, that’s how the first two issues came across since neither contained high points or arcs worthy of standing alone. Again, this is my primary complaint. I still enjoyed it immensely and cannot wait to pick up issue three in a few weeks.

My final rating of STAR WARS: Darth Vader #2 by Charles Soule is a 8.1 out of 10.

What’s your favorite Star Wars comic? Let us know in the comments or email us directly at Don’t forget to follow the blog and on Instagram to stay up to date!

jolly nathan The Belligerent Barnes

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I have a love/hate relationship with comic book crossovers. Occasionally, combining two headliners into one joined title can produce a fun and entertaining story. Then there are times where you see a crossover announcement and you can’t see it as anything other than a cheap money grab.  DC Comic’s recent Looney Toons tangent was unfortunately classified as the latter option in my mind. One title in particular struck me as the most pathetically pointless to borderline ‘WTF’ crossover entries: Batman/Elmer Fudd. Let’s be real, DC Comics, those two names have no business being together. I even openly questioned this on DC’s Facebook post. Yes, it devolved into a thread about having a toilet in a car but that’s aside the point.


Then things took an unexpected turn…. I began hearing PRAISE for the needless crossover. My preferred, historically level-headed review source, IGN, gave it an unheard of TEN out of TEN. What?!


Ron Swanson will be conveying all of my WTF moments from now on.

Further research turned up a near unanimous high score for something I was happy to write off. I found myself transfixed like a moth to a flame. So I did the unthinkable – I picked it up at my local comic book store.



I’m almost embarrassed to say that this comic was stupid fun. Tom King’s capable hands crafted a story that by all rights should have been shameless dribble and made it a character driven romp in Gotham’s seedy underbelly. Elmer Fudd plays the part of a hit man doing ‘one last job’ on carrot crazed gangster Bugs “The Bunny”. This is a dark and gritty take on classic Looney Toons characters that could only fit into Gotham City. The most ridiculous part of this is that every one of Elmer Fudd’s lines are written in his trademark speech impediment. There are very few distinct voices in my head when I’m reading comics: Batman is always Kevin Conroy, Joker is always Mark Hamill, Superman is always Tim Daly, etc. These voice talents are cemented in my mind from growing up watching their animated takes on these characters. They’ve earned that place, that association that I’ve mentally manifested countless times in the years since. Much to my surprise, Elmer Fudd’s voice went right with the dialogue almost as well as if he’d stood in that rooftop lightning-lit backdrop of Bruce Timm’s classic series rather than Batman. This immediate voice assignment made for a laugh out loud read that began from the very first line of dialogue. The comic takes on a crime noir feel with a lighthearted undertone; two sides that could have been disastrous if handled by a different creative team.

I won’t give away the story because that’s part of the fun. What I will say is that you can pick this up without any knowledge of current or ongoing storylines. It has the look and feel of a one-shot. Hopefully DC leaves it as such to not tempt fate with wearing out a winning combination. This comic is meant for anyone aware of Batman that has also heard Elmer Fudd’s voice in classic Looney Toons. You’re certainly not required to be a diehard fan of either to enjoy such a ludicrous mashup.

My final rating of BATMAN/ELMER FUDD #1 by Tom King is a 9.4 out of 10.

What’s your favorite comic book crossover? Let us know in the comments or email us directly at Don’t forget to follow the blog and on Instagram to stay up to date!

jolly nathan The Belligerent Barnes

Posted in DC Comics, Reviews | Tagged , , | 1 Comment