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THIS WEDNESDAY: BUY ANY STRANGER THINGS TOY/GAME/MERCHANDISE and get a free copy of DARK HORSE COMICS STRANGER THINGS #1!

A STRANGER THINGS DEAL THIS WEDNESDAY!

Batman #50 Jock & Jim Balent Exclusives!

Batman #50 Jock & Jim Balent Exclusives!

https://www.jetpackcomics.com/jetpack-happenings/sale-priced-trades-hcs-return-along-our-sale-table

SALE PRICED TRADES & HCs RETURN ALONG WITH OUR SALE TABLE

MTG 2019 CORE SET PRE-RELEASE & BOOSTER BOX PRE-BUY

Guilds of Ravnica PRE-RELEASE & BOOSTER BOX PRE-BUY

October's Free Comic Book Day - A Jetpack Comics Megastore Tradition!

October's Free Comic Book Day - A Jetpack Comics Megastore Tradition!

https://www.jetpackcomics.com/jetpack-happenings/pokemon-forbidden-light-prerelease

POKEMON SUN AND MOON 8 PRERELEASE

WALKING DEAD DAY IS COMING!

WALKING DEAD DAY 10/13 - 10 am - 8 pm. GIVE-AWAYS, DISCOUNTS & LTD ED COMICS

The Jetpack Comics Pull and Hold Service

The Jetpack Comics Pull and Hold Service

 LIVE MUSIC ALL OVER ROCHESTER & IT'S FREE

LIVE MUSIC ALL OVER ROCHESTER & IT'S FREE

OUR WEEKLY and MONTHLY ONLINE ORDERING PAGES ARE BACK

OUR MONTHLY ONLINE ORDERING IS LIVE

Have this week's books ready when you walk in the door!

Have this week's books ready when you walk in the door!

Just fill out your info and check what you are interested in. We'll have these all pulled for when you saunter on in.

Magic PPTQ Comin' Up, October 13th!

Magic PPTQ Comin' Up, October 13th!

THE JETPACK COMICS LOGO DECK BOX PROMOTION

THE JETPACK COMICS LOGO DECK BOX PROMOTION

THIS MONTH WE'VE GOT 2 JETPACK DECK BOX OFFERS FOR YOU


     1 - 25% off Deck Sleeves

     2 - 1/2 price DICE

You can take advantage of both offers once a week for the month of
September!

Membership has it's privileges.

Inktober Intro to Pen & Ink

Inktober Intro to Pen & Ink

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Our pals at the Oscar Foss Memorial Library are putting on the LAKES REGION COMIC CON this October!

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Our Weekly list is updated every Wednesday night and comes down on Tuesdays.

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Jon's Righteous Comic Reviews (or you name this column chum)

Comic Review: Batman: Damned #1

 

indexBatman: Damned #1 (of 3) (DC Comics)

DC's put a lot of hype behind their new “Black Label” imprint, which allows some of the best creatives at the company full creative freedom behind their vast stable of characters. There's books from Frank Miller, Kelly Sue DeConnick, and John Ridley coming our way, but the first up is Batman: Damned, from Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo. DC has a lot of expectations for this line of books, with the hope that this line will birth a new Watchmen or Dark Knight Returns. While it remains to be seen if Damned will reach those levels of popularity and acclaim, it's definitely off to an intriguing, if strange, start.

The Joker is dead. After his body washes up on the shores of the Gotham River, the city is in state of relief and shock. But no one is more shocked than the Batman, who was on top of the bridge above the river, but has no recollection of what occurred up there. After being visited by John Constantine and Deadman, the Dark Knight begins his search into what happened to the Joker's missing body, if the Clown Prince of Crime is truly dead....and if Batman is the one who killed him.

Brian Azzarello is no stranger to the world of Batman, but his track record with the character has been....spotty lately. While his comic work on the Dark Knight has been pretty good, he was credited as the writer of The Killing Joke animated feature, which not only featured one of the worst Batman stories in it's opening sequences, but also had the extremely bad idea of having Batman and Batgirl engage in a “romantic moment” on top of a building. While there's nothing that bad in this opening issue, there is a rather controversial possible development revolving around Thomas Wayne that's sure to ruffle a lot of Batfans' feathers. As for me, we still have two more installments in this story, so I'm willing to wait it out to see if what Azzarello is suggesting actually pans out. Outside of that moment, Azzarello's mystery is pretty interesting, and for being a “Mature Readers” imprint I was surprised at his restraint when it came to making this feel more “adult”. It's a little more violent than usual, and there's some unexpected nudity halfway through the book, but all in all, there's not a lot in this that would make you think it was part of an “extreme” imprint.

Lee Bermejo is a longtime collaborator with Azzarello, working with him on titles like Luthor: Man of Steel and Joker. His style is definitely not for everyone, but I've always been a big fan of his depiction of the Dark Knight, and seeing his art in this oversized format is truly amazing. The painted style that he employs in this issue is really moody and evocative, and helps set a very distinct tone to differentiate itself from other Batman titles on the shelf. Sometime Bermejo's art can look a little stiff, but that's definitely not the case here, as his style has a fluidity that I haven't seen from him in recent years.

While it's probably a little too early to start making comparisons to Watchmen, Batman: Damned is definitely worth the price of admission if you're curious. You're definitely getting a much larger and nicer presentation for your money, and the art is truly worth seeing in this large format. While I don't believe that the Joker is dead, the fallout from his death could lead to a lot of interesting ways for this story to go, and I'm really interested in seeing how this all plays out.

Comic Review: Return of Wolverine #1

 

Return of Wolverine #1 (Marvel Comics)copyOfFirstPage._SX360_QL80_TTD_

Because no one ever really stays dead in comics, Wolverine has returned to the land of the living. The actual, “real’ Wolverine. Back with a new lease on life and new powers in the form of “hot claws”, Logan probably could stand to have some down time to acclimate himself to the world around him. Unfortunately for him, writer Charles Soule and artist Steve McNiven aren’t giving him much of a rest in Return of Wolverine #1, the new miniseries designed to whet your appetite for the new ongoing coming in a few months.

Wolverine wakes up in a mysterious lab, surrounded by mutilated corpses. There’s no time for him to figure out if he’s the one who caused this though, as Logan comes across a dying scientist who fills him in on what he needs to do, and who he needs to kill. But with no memory of what’s occurred to him, and of who he really is, should Logan trust this doctor? Or is he just another pawn in another instance of the X-Man being used for other’s gain?

That’s not something we find out in this issue, as Charles Soule sets the stakes with this issue. Being tossed into this scenario is a little frustrating, especially when you consider the fact that Marvel has been milking this event out for the past four months, but from a narrative standpoint it does make sense, as it puts us into Logan’s mindset and makes us question the people around him now. It’s still a little annoying to still not have a clear idea of how Logan survived his adamantium cocoon (and why he has hot claws now), but Soule has a pretty good track record with his writing, so I’ll let it slide for now.

Steve McNiven is no stranger to the world of Wolverine, being the artist on the original “Old Man Logan” storyline and the artist who helped Soule kill the character off in Death of Wolverine. With this issue, he changes up his style a little, but not so much that his art takes a major hit. If anything, McNiven looks like he’s going in a style more like Alan Davis’ than anyone else’s, and it actually works pretty well. McNiven is able to give Logan way more expressive faces than ever before, and it’s honestly refreshing to see an artist mix up his style instead of resting on his laurels.

While Return of Wolverines first issue isn’t going to give you all of the answers, if you’ve waited this long for Wolverine to come back, you should probably pick it up. Logan’s adventures are only going to get stranger, and while it’s been cool seeing how other characters in Logan’s orbit stepped up to fill his void, it’s nice to have him back.

THE WAUGH BAG REPORT

Waugh's Bag, Volume 7, Issue 36!

 

Waugh's Bag

 

Volume Seven, Issue Thirty-Six!

 

Movie Review: The Predator

 

 

 

For being one of Hollywood's most iconic monsters, The Predator sure hasn't had very many great movies. Sure, the 1987 original is a classic, and I'll always got to bat for Predators, the 2010 attempt at rebooting the franchise, but by and large ol' mandible face has always had a tough time at the cineplex (I know there are some who'll champion Predator II, but I'm not one of them). With that comes writer/director Shane Black's attempt to launch a new series of films. After successes with Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang, Iron Man 3, and The Nice Guys (not to mention writing Lethal Weapon and being in the original Predator as Hawkins), it would seem that Black's off-center charm would be just the thing to reinvigorate the franchise.

 

 

 

Unfortunatley, that's not quite the case here.

 

 

 

Make no mistake, there are plenty of moments that work in The Predator. But this is also a film that seems at odds with itself. It wants to both be a wacky action comedy reminiscent of the 80's and 90's, but also a badass, modern spin on the Predator franchise. There are tonal shifts so abrupt and sudden that you may feel a sense of whiplash, yet it's weirdly still entertaining, albeit with a bunch of caveats.

 

 

 

This new installment of the franchise finds soldier Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) coming across the famous alien while on a military assignment. After the creature causes his mission to go sideways, he's brought into custody by the mysterious Traeger (Sterling K Brown), a shady government operative who's very keen on using the Predator for his own means, which are never really revealed to us. After Quinn's son Rory (Jacob Tremblay) gets ahold of the Predator's gear (more on that plot point later), he becomes a target for the creature. Aided by scientist Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn) and a host of prisoners headed to a mysterious government facility (Alfie Allen, Keegan Michael-Key, Thomas Jane, Trevante Rhodes, and Agusto Aguilera), Quinn has to protect his son from the Predator, but there's something much, much bigger in store for them as well, as the Predator has something else hunting it.

 

 

 

One of the big issues I have with The Predator is that it seems to be cramming a lot into its runtime, which at just under two hours should have plenty of room to breathe. But there's weird moments that come together with pretty glaring issues, and we're supposed to just run with it. As good as the characters that Keegan Michael-Key, Thomas Jane, and the rest of their gang of whackjobs are, we don't really have any idea where they or Quinn are headed to. It seemed like Shane Black and his writing partner Fred Dekker just decided to have a group of loose cannons fight a Predator, and took the quickest route they could to get to that scene. The same can be said for a lot of The Predator's narrative, as he lets some moments really shine (like the Predator's breakout from the lab), but seems to rush through things, especially towards the ending, which is arguably the weakest part of the film.

 

 

 

The Predator, like most Shane Black films, features a character that's a kid, but with this film he falls into a trap that unfortunately befalls many films. Jacob Tremblay's Rory falls on the autism spectrum, and once again, we're given the magical Hollywood version of autism, which basically means that Rory has superpowers and figures out how the Predator's gear works. Despite the fact that I've always been irked by Hollywood's depiction of people on the spectrum, this also files under Black whipping through areas of the film that could've been expanded on in fun ways. The idea of the Predator stalking someone through the suburbs (on Halloween, no less), is very cool, but the execution of that idea falls very short of what you would expect.

 

 

 

It's not all bad in The Predator, though, as the cast does make a lot of this material work, as all over the place as it seems. The standouts are Sterling K Brown and Olivia Munn, who are both very much at ease with Black's dialogue. Brown in particular is a lot of fun to watch, as he's clearly having a ball playing the bad guy in this film. Even though there's a lot of weird editing surrounding his character's fate at the end of the film, there's plenty to enjoy from him. Olivia Munn also continues to impress with each new movie she's in, and while there's plenty of discussion around her admirable and inspiring decision to speak up about some of the behind the scenes controversies surrounding this film, I hope that it doesn't distract people from the fact that she's also extremely great here. She easily holds her own with the other actors in the film, and if The Predator ends up being a hit, I could see her appearing in a lot more films down the road.

 

 

 

Aside from those two, there's a lot of characters in The Predator, and while Keegan Michael-Key and Thomas Jane are the standouts of the “loony bin” team (even though Jane's tourette's afflicted character is a little dated), that means that other characters, like Alfie Allen's, aren't given as much to do. The same can arguably be said for Boyd Holbrooke's Quinn, who's “let's light 'em up” shout is really the only thing I can really remember about him, which is a shame cause I've liked his work in Narcos and Logan.

 

 

 

The action is another area where The Predator shines. While a lot of the big scenes and moments are spoiled slightly by the trailers for the film, you still get some pretty fantastic action and plenty of gory Predator kills. I'd say that The Predator has more blood than any other film in the franchise before it, and there are a lot of fun moments with the alien species' technology. The “bigger Predator”, for lack of a better word, is also fairly intimidating, even though there are times where the CGI looks a little wonky. When compared to a guy in a suit, there's really no comparison.

 

 

 

The Predator is an interesting failure, as it doesn't quite match up to your idea of a “Shane Black” film. There's a lot of quips and a little bit of shaking up of the franchise's formula, but there's also the feeling that Black doesn't really care about what he's working on. Directors need to take a paycheck every once and a while, but whether Fox decided to edit the final act to suit what they wanted or Black just wasn't into the story, the film definitely suffers from a case of not knowing exactly what it wants to be. The ending builds up to something that you think is going to be really cool, but instead ends up being extremely goofy, almost to the point where you wonder if you even want another Predator movie that follows this one. For a franchise re-starter, that's not a good sign, and for a director like Shane Black, it's a major step back film-making wise.

 

VERDICT: B-

 

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