Some Recent Recommended Reads

Here’s a bunch of stuff I’ve seen and read recently that I recommend checking out.

Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper and Robert DeNiro. Cooper plays a lazy writer lacking motivation, until an encounter with and old friend gives him access to a super drug that unlocks his brain’s full potential. Better than it could’ve been, it starts with a Fight Club-like approach with its visual trickery and subversive attitude, has a predictable middle, and then ramps up for an exciting conclusion.

Secret Six #36. It’s sad to see this series starring a bunch of baddies (Bane, Ragdoll, Catman,etc) go, but this is a satisfying farewell from Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore. Having pretty much all of DC’s big heroes show up in the stand off that ends the ish is cool, especially with Calafiore’s pencil behind them. I hope we see these characters again soon though in DC’s new plans.

The Punisher #1. I’ve been an occasional follower of the surly Frank Castle and thankfully the creators attached to him have always pulled him past his one-note potential. This (yet another) relaunch for the ex-Marine by Greg Rucka and Marco Checcheto is as gritty as any of Castle’s previous series. It’s a great set up for a new tale, and even though the titular gun lover hardly shows up, and doesn’t even speak, the moody art and unique story approach (a silent wedding massacre opener, and a police interview closer) make this issue stand out.

Tucker & Dale vs Evil. Two loveable hillbillies are mistaken for psycho killers by a group of attractive college students. Hilarity, and accidental bloodshed, ensues. It’s such a great genre-nixing set up. Unfortunately the trailer has the best bits, though the chemistry between leads Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine results in some great dialogue and comedic moments.

DC Retro-Active-1980s. This series of one-shots by DC is a good idea, and will go some way to quelling the discontent from nostalgic superhero readers. They’ve done the ’70s and next up is the ’90s (which I’m looking forward to, as that’s when my comics habit became serious) and getting the original creators from that decade is awesome. Each issue also includes a reprinted tale from the time period. Flash stars Wally West (always my fave speedster) and is by William Messner-Loebs and Greg LaRocque. Flash rescued a girl from the clutches of the Trickster a while ago and she’s fallen hard for her hero and steals his enemies’ weapons to get his attention. The backup tale doesn’t make much sense as its from the middle of a story arc, but reminds us that colouring techniques these days are much better. Batman’s trip down memory lane features the return of the baddie Reaper from the Year Two storyline (a tale of which is the reprint) and features Jason Todd as bare legged Robin, Batman calling him, “chum,” and a genuine mystery about who the new Reaper is.

X-Men Schism #2. I thought I’d grab the latest issue of this mini-series as it has art by Frank Cho and that’s always a good reason. Wolverine and Cyclops are still yet to fall out and go their separate ways, so the remaining 3 issues must be pretty intense. Cyclops really looks like his nickname, “Slim,” when Cho draws him.

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