V-Wars #2

This cover:

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I hate it. It looks like a cheesy direct to DVD horror flick. It took me forever to “see” that vamp in the corner left so it appeared to me at first that the woman in the center had her hand down lipring vampire’s pants. Who ok’d this?

A reporter is held hostage by vampires, they’re saying that she doesn’t care about the truth, that she just reads lines. He tells her that vampires aren’t getting due process, that they’re Americans too. He thinks that someone is diverting attention on purpose. He throws around stats proving that humans are more violent.He wants her to tell their side of the story. Yuki Nitobe has to decide whether or not to be their spokesperson. She’s released and calls Luthor (the man from issue 1 who was an expert on vamps, his family turned) . She confesses that she doesn’t like the ratings queen that she has become.

The next day Yuki meets with a vampire named Kyra who has been badly tortured by humans. This scenario happens all the time, “We are the new minority. People are afraid of us and they hate that they are afraid.” That would be reasonable except for that vampires are dangerous and bloodthirsty. Not Kyra, Kyra is a quaker and abstains from violence even as she is being beaten and raped. 

The go to The Red House: a church/cult for vampires to worship and form community.

The black vampire who looks mostly human uses the phrase “One that, like me, can pass” Holy fucking shite with this appropriated garbage. 

Yuki and Martyn go to stop a terrorist plot. Luthor is also there along with homeland security. But when they arrive, it’s not criminals or terrorists, just an abandoned dwelling full of squatters and vagrants, but homeland security open fire while Yuki and Martyn watch in horror. The news reports it as if Homeland busted a volatile terror cell, except for Yuki who asks viewers to question what evidence or weapons they had to show. It nearly costs her her job, but she has a solid contract and great lawyers. Kyra thanks her, but then they are attacked at the Red House. The whole plays explodes. “No one saw anything.” 

She and Luthor drink their problems away and then she goes back on air and proclaims that she is always on the side of truth and she will make sure that the responsible party -no matter who they are- is dragged into the light.

X-Men #14

Part 2/6 of Bloodline. 

Rachel and Monet are chasing down the shooter that seriously injured two students at the Jean Grey school. Monet shows no mercy after the culprit tries to take out bystanders in a trainstation and then suicide, Monet and Rachel go full force at him with disregard to who is watching. 

Back at the school Storm tries to get answers from her future daughter Kymera while Jubilee does what ever she can to teach her infant son to protect himself. “Come on Shogo, push the beep beep.” And Psylocke locks the school down. “Anyone breaches this school. I’ll hear it in my brains.” 

Storm officially made them a team and chooses that they will take a silent vote for leader, no judgements (half of them can read minds… that’s not really going to work). Suddenly there is an explosion in the east wing. The shooter is escaping (because it was a really bad time for a team meeting) the room is burning and the fire suppression has been disabled. Monet and Rachel decide that they’re going to take the guy apart. He’s about to say “You can’t stop the Future” when Kymera comes out of nowhere with her panther and lays the smack down. But she sees a timer on his head counting down. She retreats, a hawk delivers Shogo to her, she calls for her mom then the man explodes and Kymera is sent tumbling (Shogo pushes the beep-beep). 

Outside: Menacing characters plan to attack them again at dawn.

BromoSuperior

with art by Phil Briones. Hellion and co are stuck in Psylocke’s danger room program. This side story isn’t really grabbing me. But Briones’s version of Psylocke is perfect.

Uncanny X-Men #21

There’s so much that’s immediately good about this issue. Cyclops isn’t in control of his powers and he’s attacking the Jean Grey School, Magik tries to mitigate and turns into a demonfaced monster raiser. Storm keeps collected.

And fans are treated to a full page spread of Storm showcasing her badass powers. Stellar.

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Then Dazzler (not really Dazzler, really Mystique) shows up to collect Cyclops. 

In Madripoor: the Blob fiends for mutant growth hormone (that they are harvesting from the real Dazzler). Magneto finds him and sees what has been done to Dazzler. Magneto almost scalpels the Blobs face off, but he relents, remembering long past events he lets the Blob run off and he tends to Dazzler.

The phony Dazzler is pushing the X-Men to hand over Scott Summers to SHIELD. It’s Maria Hill who tells Beast that he has an hour to straighten out what has gone wrong with Cyclops. The helicarrier is poised to attack as back up… but it suddenly starts firing. Beast takes Cyclops and Magik to his lab in hope to find what is seeking to destroy them. Quentin Quire (who I have some affection for because he reminds me of my gawky and grungy punkrock nerd boy high school friends) grabs Maria Hill by the head and asks her what’s up. 

And at the end of the issue: Beast has found who is behind the attacks, but it isn’t revealed to the reader. The villain is hidden in a spacesuit.

Chris Bachalo’s art is a little weird, there’s 4 inkers which I think adds to the weirdness. Hank McCoy looks more bizarre than usual. The facial expressions are on point, the action scenes are legit: easy to follow but very detailed. Cyclops shut the heck up this issue. That’s weird. The focus was mainly on the action (with one brief emo hiatus to see Emma Frost pensively fretting for Scott Summers).

Predictions for next issue: Who is in the spacesuit?

Comic book Catch-up #5 -DC Edition!

Forever Evil #7 (thank gods that is over!) & Future’s End #3 + #4!

Forever Evil #7

Batman is still strangling Luthor and Catwoman is trying to stop him. She says “this lightning rod is from the future, maybe we can use it to, I don’t know, save him or something!” 

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DO CPR!!!! What the Hell?! 

Wait. It get’s worse. Luthor zaps Batman with electricity (Catwoman still does nothing) and then he reveals that he flatlined Dick after, get this, giving him a pill that would paralyze the muscles around his heart… he needs a shot of adrenaline NOW. He gets the shot and wakes up. A sweet moment is had between Nightwing and Batman (and Luthor and Bizarro) and then Cyborg busts in, he took out Grid. blah blah. Ultraman and Deathstorm debate about what to do now that Mazahs is free. The theorize that they can use Superwoman’s lasso of submission. But she’s not here.

“Is she with Owlman?” Ultraman questions.

Nope. She’s with Mazash. And pregnant with HIS child. And Ultraman gasps, “Lois? You traitorous witch, why?” and she says, “Because Alex is stronger than you, Clark.” Cause all women are either hoes or incompetent in this piece. 

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A million middle fingers for Geoff Johns. 

Ultraman and Mazahs duke it out and Deathstorm confronts Superwoman, “You manipulated us all.” and she calls them “Stupid men.” (Hay awesome, her secret weapon is manipulating men, hahaha… ugh) but she gets him wrapped up in her lasso and Mazahs prepares to feed on his nuclear power. 

Mazahs kills Bizarro. Luthor kills Mazahs. Owlman joins the Batfamily. Sinestro and Black Adam move the moon so that the sun weakens Ultraman (what? how was the moon there that whole time? This is stupid) And all of the exiled heroes from this world climb out of Firestorm (again.. what?) but Superman is dying. Luthor pulls the sliver of kryptonite out of his head. Well, that’s unlikely. He also meets Ted Kord and doesn’t buy Kord industries and encourages Ted. He knows Bruce Wayne is Batman and it ends with an apocalypse baby, Darkseid returning and the Antimonitor vowing to consume him. So it ended. With the heroes coming back which was a huge “duh” because there is no way that all DC’s heavy hitters would get roasted. And then a not real ending. Suck.

Futures End #3

This one is actually getting good, we get backstory on Grifter and Firestorm (who are fighting against each other) the stories flow cohesively between Firestorm giving some ladies a sunny day, to the same babes at a bar where they get harassed by someone who just won a celebrity death pool with the death of Green Arrow. They get bounced by… Red Robin. Lois’s mysterious package lead her there and she immediately knows who she’s looking at. Meanwhile, Mr Terrific knows that Batman (but not which Batman) is looking into him. Light on Batman, good amount of backstory on DC’s B-List. Still not a lot of women, but at least the ones there aren’t bimbos. Thumbs up.

Futures End #4

Frankenstein confronts SHADE about why they are trying to kill him. They just wanted his attention, turns out. Who the fuck is SHADE? run by Father Time (now inhabiting a young girl) SHADE fights against monsters.. with even worse monsters. Bad asses. Fathertime calls attention to the destroyed Stormwatch space ship. The theorize again that THE storm is coming. Red Robin/Cal Corcoran is out for a jog with the babely Madison Payne. He won’t talk about his past, she’s suspicious they’ve done this dance before. Cal lays eyes on the new Batman and it’s clear that he has a grudge against Batman’s Batfamily. Lois is trailing them in a get up that no one has worn since 1990 and no one would wear in the future. Plastique and Key lure Coil out of retirement with a “grail mission” the “last job.” That Grail? It’s in Terrifitech. Grifter is hunting Daemonites and other aliens that prey on addicts when Faraday catches up with him. Faraday paralyzes Grifter, and says he’ll reverse it if Grifter comes and works for him. 

Penny Dreadful- episode 3

So pumped to figure out why that Creature climbed through Proteus last episode.

But we flashback to Vic’s childhood. His dog died, Victor found him with maggots crawling out of hollowed out eyes.his mother comforts him then suddenly falls ill, choking on blood and spattering it onto him. Hauntingly soft and white he agrees, “Death is not serene.” His mother dies soon after.

Then we appear in the moment that ended last weeks episode. Most this week’s episode centered around Victor Frankenstein and his first creation, Callaban. When the Creature came to life, Frankenstein was scared and left his monster all alone. The Creature was terrified and in agony. Slowly, he watched out the window at home humans interacted and concluded that he was less than, that he was an animal. We get a slowpaced story (recounted while Callaban threatens Victor and they’re both covered in blood, this show is so committed to atmosphere).

Brona and Ethan are having sex, and we get to see as much of his bare ass as we do hers (thanks Showtime!) It was sort of sweet and sexy. Maybe just for me. I’ve crushed on Hartnett for a while. There’s this moment when she almost pushes him away from kissing her (because she has consumption) but he kisses her anyway, choosing to be close with her instead. When she gets out of bed she’s coughing and he asks if she has any medicine, she replies, “Who has money for that when there’s eating to be done, lad.” and smiles it off. But he doesn’t. And he goes to see Sir Malcolm and Vanessa and join in for the monster hunting again.

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They at first believe that he intends to take this job so he can travel back home, but Vanessa finds out that this is about a woman. It doesn’t really matter, of course, because they are desperate. They think that they have found where “The Master” maybe and that Mina might be there as well. They’re rather desperate for the help. Which is great, since Ethan is more desperate for the money. 

Meanwhile we get to the heat of it that Callaban’s angry at Frankenstein for creating and then abandoning him, and vows to see that Victor ends up as alone as he has been… unless Victor makes him a wife doomed to the same misery he is.

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Out with Sir Malcolm, Vanessa and Ethan they encounter some wolves, which I thought for sure would be werewolves, but they don’t appear to be or reveal themselves to be anyway. I’m not committed to them being regular wolves yet. -More on that later.

Ethan lets the aforementioned wolves sniff his hand and they retreat. Vanessa and Sir Malcolm share a look that clearly says *what the hell was that about* and moments after they find a young vampire chewing on some raw flesh. He tries to attack Vanessa, They wind up chaining him up, Sir Malcolm beats him while shouting ‘where is your Master?” and asking Victor over to concoct a treatment. Ethan remarks that the vampire is still a child and that torturing and experimenting on children isn’t something he wants to be party to.

Victor says “Oh, killing Redskins and wiping an entire race into oblivion is more your style.” Ethan doesn’t deny and says “How did you know I was in the Indian Wars?” and Victor gives him a *haha tricked you* I didn’t. Which would have made the Englishmen there seem morally superior IF they didn’t have an African servant who doesn’t speak or contribute to the story in any manner leaving the audience to conclude that when he isn’t waiting on Sir Malcolm he’s doing nothing of his own. 

Vanessa finds that Sir Malcolm used her as bait, he knew Mina had been moved but he wanted to draw out the Master and isn’t entirely pissed off enough. At some point, Vanessa had also counted to Ethan that Mina was supposed to marry Jonathan Harker but that she took up with “another man, if he is a man at all.” You know he’s not. You know he’s a vampire… why would you say that? But it has me wondering if Van Helsing will cross paths with them at some point.

So now here are my predictions: (and unfortunately- I don’t like some of them) Ethan has some weird mojo with wildlife and/or is a werewolf. I think it is more likely to be the former than the latter, I think that it will tie in to some Native American friends he made after some convoluted story that has him riding the redemption train for his misdeeds against the Native Americans. Also, that Brona is going to be near death from consumption soon and that Victor will resurrect her to be Callaban’s wife. I would put money on both of those. 

31 Horrifying Days- Day 20: A Fantastic Fear of Everything (2012)

This is one of my favorites that I’ve watched since starting this project. I’m behind, I know, but I’m catching up.

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The film centers around Jack; a crime novelist whose research on serial killers has turned him into a paranoid, delusional, insomniac wreck must confront his worst fears when a film executive takes a sudden interest in his movie script. He assumes that the exec is planning to kill him of course. He’s suspicious of the only person who’s still speaking to him: Clair (Clare Higgins, “The Night of the Doctor”). Clair is his friend with money who buys him lunch and fluffs his hair and affectionately tells him that he’s sensitive. Clair also wishes that he would go back to writing children’s books. But Jack is past that. His new effort is consuming him. And he doesn’t understand why she doesn’t understand.

#1 I frigging love Simon Pegg and he really brings horror comedy to the next level.

#2 I love when academics/artists/workaholics get pushed to the brink.

 I have undying affection for anyone who does anything so wholeheartedly that it eats them alive. So Jack starts carrying a butcher knife everywhere, losing time, seeing things out of the corner of his eye, falling in to narcoleptic naps, seeing a “psychopathic stare” in people’s eyes, narrating his own life, envisioning Vietnamese crimelords and concocting relationships between people that make o sense.

“I’m not here to hurt anybody. I’m a professional writer.”

His terrifying moments jump from seeing ghosts with eyes in their mouth to the humiliation of tossing his dingy underwear across the laundrette in front of a beautiful woman, Sangeet (played by an actress who is of Sri Lankan descent. Diversity is cool). 

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For any aspiring professional, not having clean dress clothes for an important last minute meeting is as terrifying as any serial killer. 

Visually magnificent, great soundtrack. Written and co-directed by Crispian Mills, it’s his first feature and it’s truly outstanding. Chris Hopewell co-directed. For two unknowns especially: it’s outstanding. Part of it is reminiscent of James and the Giant Peach

Towards the end of the flick Jack and Sangeet end up in real danger, held captive by a madman. Can Jack pull it together and help get them out of it? Or will he crack? Or will Sangeet save them? Or will art save them?

But is it scary? Parts are actually creepy because you don’t know what to expect. But really? It’s just a ton of fun and amusement.

5/5

 

31 Horrifying Days- Day 19: We Are What We Are (2013)

And what the Parkers are… are Cannibals.

At the beginning of the film, the matriarch is out to get groceries from a shop while torrential rain pours down. She stumbles, becoming confused. Then her nose starts bleeding horrifically and she falls dead.

Their father, Frank (Bill Sage, American Psycho), is a descendant in a long line of cannibals. Scenes of long dead relatives from the 1780s intermix with those of 14 year old Rose (Julia Gardner, Last Exorcism Part II, Sin City:A Dame to Kill For) and 17 year old Iris (Ambyr Childers, 2 Guns) after their mother dies. They keep people like cattle in barns, unhappy and hungry. After a flood, bones wash up in town and a few suspect that they may be human remains and start checking around, well intentioned neighbors get too close to the very secretive family and Frank starts descending into madness either from grief or Prion disease. Their father practically starves the girls and their young brother until they can have a proper dinner… where they dress like colonists and it’s creepy. 

The film is very creepy all together, drab tones, bad weather, nose bleeds, sickness, bludgeonings… eating people.

A man Iris has sex with gets killed on top of her. Their young brother Rory gets a fever and the neighbor tends to him, he clasps her hand, then sucks her thumb and bites her saying, “I’m hungry.”

After an autopsy is performed on their mother, Dr Barrows finds that it was not Parkinsons that they originally thought, but Prion. Barrows suspects that they are cannibals and that his daughter was their dinner and he confronts Frank. That sets in motion one hell of an ending.

Was it scary? It was gross and creepy. If I lived in a small town I’d be looking over my shoulder. Atmospheric and totally sick. 

It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and got a limited release, it’s an art film about cannibals. The blood and gore could have been amped up a little more… but man that ending is perfect.

4.25/5

This was directed by Jim Mickle who also directed 2010’s Stake Land which is about a vampire epidemic, I was impressed with We Are What We Are and might have to seek out that one as well.