Aye Aye Captain (Marvel)!!

tumblr_pf95nfB7Hk1uijsn1o4_540For the last few days Captain Marvel has been dominating box office and its no wonder. The “First female lead MCU movie” – the tag is quite a catch. But is that all that made it a blockbuster? Why are the people and reviewers so polarized then? Could it have been more?


This is not a review but more of a study from a humble superhero fanatic.


Official synopsis: Captain Marvel is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her people and the Skrulls. Living on Earth in 1995, she keeps having recurring memories of another life as U.S. Air Force pilot Carol Danvers. With help from Nick Fury, Captain Marvel tries to uncover the secrets of her past while harnessing her special superpowers to end the war with the evil Skrulls.

For a comic book movie, there are three groups of audience- those who read comics, those who only watches the movies in Cinematic Universe and finally those who are casual movie goers.

For the first group, the whole idea of Captain Marvel is a bit confusing as her origin in comics has been revamped multiple times and is being rewritten now also. Though this is not uncommon for comic book characters (e.g. Iron Man), when bringing it to another medium, movie makers mostly stick to the basic or most well known origin of the character. This creates a familiarity and connection with the audience instantly. Hence, making a movie based on a very recent run distances itself with the comics readers as Captain Marvel was known as Ms. Marvel till then.

For those who follows the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this movie is a feast. Origin of Nick M’Fing Fury, old school SHIELD, how Nick fury got the interstellar pager, why no aliens attacked earth before and how will this lead to Endgame – it’s a celebration of MCU even before it was MCU. Now, read the last sentence one more time and you’ll realize that there is nothing written about the movie itself. Therefore, the movie gives us the origins we never asked for, the answers to questions we never had. This ultimately leads to the movie becoming a ‘filler episode’.captain-marvel-red-and-blue-vertical

As the movie keeps nodding at already defined MCU, it simply distances itself further and further away from the people who ‘just wanted to watch a movie’. To quote a colleague of mine who don’t give a damn about cinematic universe but went to watch Ragnarok thrice, “I really liked it while I was in theater but don’t know when I got out. It had everything yet the whole thing felt a bit off.”

I won’t go much into the packed-n-labeled promotion of the movie either as the only feminist icon (and slapping off anyone who didn’t like it as ‘anti-feminist’) or as the most powerful and important character of Avengers: Endgame. But I will mention the triumph of Wonder Woman even without screaming ‘feminist icon’ and the problem with Superman being too powerful to make a movie interesting. 

To sum it off, I really think Captain Marvel is a good movie but what grinds my gear is that if could have been much more e.g, thriller regarding body snatching aliens or interstellar espionage, if it was more on-her-own.

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The Client – A Thrilling Masterpiece

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The Client

5 stars

A Nobody falls for a stripper and when she goes missing, he kidnaps the sister of the local mob boss; because what could go wrong?

Our story begins with a stripper- joint named Paradise. And among the slow, poetic display of strippers, I imagined a sad story of some lassie who lost her path. Bust just then the book shaded its skin and turned into a suspense thriller. There was tension, thrill, cons, blackmails, root-able characters and a tight story about the length a Nobody can possible go to for someone dear. Like an onion, the story began to unravel its layers with gorgeous pages. A ticking clock set for the life of the mob boss’s daughter ensured the grip of the book and the chase to find out the missing stripper set the mood. I will not go into further details for the sake of spoilers. 

As the review title suggests, this is a masterpiece by all means – character development, suspense, thrill and last but not the least, the artwork. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Centipede: Oh god why

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Centipede Vol. 1: Game Over

1 star

 

After enlarged centipedes’ attacks mankind is on the brink of extinction and one man decides to stand his ground and fight against the leading 1000 m long flying steel-eating indestructible centipede alone.

Centipede is a love-hate book. It is downright weird as hell. Our hero’s motivation was never clear to me and to be honest, I did no care much. The story takes you for granted and throws oddballs one after another. From bed-size spiders to glowing mushroom drug-trips with insect mother – this book has all. But different kind of large centipedes attacking one human being and the human having a shroom trip about being born from and brought up by insect mother is not a pleasant picture at all.

The artwork is great but with no proper motivation or character development, this falls flat.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The night the master comes

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Dead House
4 stars

 

A group of friends spends a night in a refurbished old house and with the help of an old ‘game’ the master comes from the other side but never goes back.

This is some good sh*t here, high quality spooky sh*t.

Billy O’Callaghan has resurrected old school horror. Writing a review for Dead House is really tough cause it is as tiring as it is gripping.

Usually horror stories slowly build up their characters, situations, surroundings and then lets the icky stuffs loose. But no, not Mr. O’Callaghan; ever since he first few pages, something was always there; waiting at the next page; hiding between the lines; lurking through the words. Oddly, nothing was there and that is what made me so uneasy ever since the beginning. I kept looking for hints, searching for clues. I was not able to point at anything; yet continuously felt it getting closer, becoming stronger. And when it he came, he kicked my atheist butt. I felt my room getting smaller, its air getting denser, the darkness getting heavier as I ran for the last page. Rarely have I felt this much rush and chase at the same time in a ghost story. The characters were real, the relations were heartfelt and most importantly the pressure was unreal. Only tiny little complain, the first chapter felt like a bitter spoiler cause it kind of foreshadowed the ending secretly. 

Highly recommend this to ghost/thriller/ horror lovers. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Make Physics Easy Again!

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Mr Tompkins in Paperback

4 stars

 

Are you scared of physics? Don’t want to spend your valuable time to understand the complexity of the world of physics? Do you think physics cannot be easy or physics cant be funny?? 
Come here! Come here!

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One afternoon of a bank holiday Mr. Tompkins goes to attend a lecture on Theory of Relativity and falls asleep when the lecture goes over his head. But only then he enters a dream world where everything is happening like the lecturer was saying. Surprisingly, now the phenomena are easy to understand cause those are actually happening in front of his eyes. 

An everyday character trying to comprehend difficult concepts of science in weirdly simple yet delicious dreams, walk in parks and what not! 

Seriously, here is a book for all of us written by one of the finest physicist himself! Read it to laugh, read it to learn! You will never regret reading this! Please?!

Why so Sarah?

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Herding Cats
4 stars

 

You know Sarah Andersen right? That weird looking black n’ white one page comics that somehow know how we live? Yeah, those are created by Sarah Andersen and this is her third book.

Sarah’s Scribbles is a comic strip that takes us on a trip of her life and finds humor in daily observations. Observational comedy is always very subtle that points at our surroundings in a third party manner. We don’t see it because we are in it. And it frames a more authentic stage when the comedy is about us and our own life.

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Sarah Anderson is one of us – that might be the most fitting thing I can say. Her life, anxiety, laziness, friends and all else are so much like us that one feels asking her, “How did you know?” again and again.

The last part of the book is a collection of short-notes, open letters and relevant comics for struggling artists, writers and any kind of creative developers. It feels like a friend’s pat on the back to those who are facing self-doubt and other problems.

A must-read if you love cats, dogs, food, yourself and life. 

Disclaimer: I love Sarah’s Scribbles and it was a delight to get ARC of it. I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Slow down

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Accell Volume 1: Home Schooling

1 star

First thing first, it is inevitable that any superhero who is a speedster, will and should be compared with Flash. So I was prepared for similarities. But not this nightmare. 

This is basically a story of a young man (having superpowers similar to flash), his friends, his love of life and many characters appearing out of blue just for the sake of it. There is no serious danger; even if there is, it disappears within one or two pages. Nowhere going plots, ridiculous artwork, flat characters and disastrous plot-holes this book is infected of all. This is beyond repair and reinvention.

I am really sad to give the book a bad review because rarely someone tries to write new speedster. You can only read this book just for time-pass and even then you will not be satisfied. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The better 007

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James Bond: Kill Chain
4 stars

Bond traces down a rogue MI6 operative and journeys down a path that reveals someone framing MI6 organisation of such crimes that may reawaken the presumed dead Cold war.

Ian Fleming’s renowned son James Bond has had many faces, stories and personalities. Like many others, I too used to prefer Sean Connery as the definitive Bond. He did action (but never too much), he had class (martini and all those things) and most importantly he had so much sass. It was much much later when I read Bond novels and comics (drawn by legendary John McLusky’s) and realised what Bond truly is like. He is a ruthless agent with a dash of class and minimal sass.

Kill Chain is Andy Diggle’s love letter to Fleming and it shows. Occasionally I smirked at references but at the end I was left in awe of the brutality. James is merciless, bloody and a kill machine when required. The tension was high and the finishing was bombastic. Rarely have I come across graphic novels so good that I feel like re-reading it just after the first read. Only hiccup is that some pages are a bit too filled with dialogues. 

CaptureBut the real star for me is Luca Casalanguida. I was not just reading the comics with my eyes; the action, the mellow, the silence – I was almost experiencing every bit of the artwork. No jump-cuts, no shortcuts; the pages look like actual storyboards of action movie.

A must-read for 007 lovers and action junkies.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Prodigal son returns

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Birthright Vol.1 

4 stars

Son gets lost in woods and finds himself in mystical world as fore-told protector. Son returns as all-grown warrior only to save his real world and family from other evil sorcerers.
A familiar setup but a solid start of one heck of a crazy series. The transition of past and present is very smooth and heartfelt. Action is bombastic and damn that detailed artwork. I felt like squealing like happy piggy. Take a bow Mr. Bressen.

Epic is what can be described this series as. Any fantasy lovers guilty pleasure.

P.S. You’re one cunning comics writer Mr. Williamson. Does every have to end in a nail-biting (see what I did there?) cliffhanger?

Dark Matter: ‘I, me and myself’

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Dark Matter

3 stars

 

A Physics teacher gets kidnapped and wakes up to find his world is not his anymore. His past has been changed and he wants to get back the life he had.

I think I can modestly declare myself as a bit of a veteran on- alternate reality, doppelgangers and multiverse with infinite possibilities. I have always loved fiction, movies, TV series regarding these genres and clearly have enriched myself with almost all I could find- Predestination (one of my favorite movies), Interstellar, Primer, 12 Monkeys, Futurama, The Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Doctor Who, The Dark Tower, Multiversity, Earth 2 and many many more.

So, it is not Mr Crouch’s fault that Dark Matter felt a pretty much easy ride for me. It was easy to call out the antagonist just from the book premise, I knew where it was going all along and almost guessed the end by the middle of the book (no shit Sherlock, the author spilled it out 3-4 chapters prior to the end).

What really worked:
Wussy protagonist becoming hero- check,
Family anchor to get back to- check,
Too hot to handle action- check,
‘You are me’- check.

What really sucked:
The hero is a complete wuss and has purely 1 dimensional mind,
Author sometimes gave away too much,
The ending could have been waaaay better.
Erroneous logic supporting the true hero among the doppelgangers.
Completely omitting the other worlds when it comes to finale.
And the bizarre writing style of-
Using.
One or two.
Words.
As.
Full sentences.

This book had the ability to reach the sky but it didn’t. For anyone who is not a burnout as I am, this book is bombastic for sure. So, for a quick one-time, this was a fun read. I refer this to anyone who loves reality-bending and mind-***king stories (just go easy with this one, OK?).