Tuesday, October 10, 2006

More reviews -- Marvel Zombies and Ultimate Avengers 2 DVD

Maybe I should have titled this blog "The Reviews of Darrell" because that's all I'm posting. Oh well, maybe one day there will be something else to post. Two extra reviews today, one for the Marvel Zombies hardcover collection and the Ultimate Avengers 2 DVD.

Marvel Zombies hardcover -- This series was hugely successful with several printings done of many of the issues that had sold out. And each new printing brought another cover from Arthur Suydam (more about that in a minute). The story was pretty good. It's a another dimension in the Marvel Universe where the heroes and villains have become zombified. They still retain their powers, intellect, etc, etc, but as their urge to eat increases their ability to reason goes down. And after eating, they become more "normal" (at least in personalities, not in body... except Banner who transforms from Zombie-Hulk to Zombie-Banner after eating). The story is actually more interesting than I expected with this twist. And it's what leads us to the Pym/Black Panther/Wasp storyline that could be seen as a more complex situation than you might expect from a book about zombies. Zombie-Spider-Man brings the humour (most of the laughs being directed "at" him in this case, whether it's from him ripping his own leg off and needing to be given rides everywhere they go or his post-feeding guilt rants that everyone is quickly getting tired of). The art is pretty solid. The zombies all seem to be drawn with much of their faces blackened out and their eyes and teeth almost glowing. It gives them a rather evil looking appearance while not trying to gross out the reader (there are other parts of the story that will do that). I was a little worried at first when I was reading the book and there were no covers shown between the issues. The covers were a big part of this book, they were just so good. They were zombified versions of famous covers and you can find them at the bottom of the wikipedia article here. Fortunately, they were all there at the back of the book in their full page glory and the originals were shown in thumbnails. So that was a nice touch. All in all, it was a fun series to read. My only let down was the ending but even that didn't seem to bug me that much.

Ultimate Avengers #2 -- I was rather disappointed in the first DVD they released. I thought it was okay but they missed on a few things (like the Hulk fight, in the previews it was shown to be more like the original Ultimates comic where they fight him in the city, at night, in rain, etc, for the DVD it was brightly daylight and amongst random rubble... that just didn't have the same effect as the Ultimates comic version). And when I saw the preview art for this one I thought Black Panther looked rather lame. So I was actually pleasantly surprised that they did a decent job with this one. It still has the kids cartoon feel to it at parts but in other parts they are still clearly making this for a more mature audience. Pym's story and his relationship with Wasp continued to be amongst the adult portions of the story. I had been warned beforehand not to buy this one looking for a lot of Hulk action but to be honest, I expected as much even before I was warned. The art and animation were nice. The special features were mixed, the clip discussing the Ultimates (featuring artist Bryan Hitch, writer Mark Millar, Editor in Chief Joe Quesada, amongst others) gave a bit more of the behind the scenes to not only the movie version but the comic itself (like the "France" line that led to a bit of a scuffle). The "outtakes" were a bit of a let down and consisted mostly of fart and "Stark's House of Ribs" jokes. But over all, I enjoyed it more than the first.

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