Archive for the 'Gregg Senko' Category

Gregg’s Triumphantly Terrific Top 10 Films of 2023

And with that, another year of cinema has come to a close. As always, there were standouts, letdowns, pleasant surprises, and your generally fun popcorn films. Reflective of 2023’s greatest pictures, the award ceremonies should be interesting in early 2024. Just when you thought Cillian Murphy was a shoe-in for a Best Actor Oscar, here comes Bradley Cooper in Maestro. That’s a potential coin flip right there. Meanwhile, Carey Mulligan seems to have the Best Actress category all wrapped up, in my humble opinion. Those things aside, the following list, as always, is not totally focused on critical acclaim, but what films I enjoyed the most this year.  With the formalities out of the way, let’s get down to business!

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Gregg’s Best Comics of 2023

It was the year of debuts on a number of levels in 2023. As a result of Disney being the largest shareholder of 20th Century Fox, the Predator and Alien franchises saw their mini-series come out under Marvel instead of Dark Horse. In another publisher switch, Transformers and G.I. Joe recently got their reboot under Image instead of the recently familiar IDW. Meanwhile, characters like DC’s Beast Girl and Marvel’s Hallow’s Eve made their entrances this year as well. But after all the firsts, which titles rose above the smoke?

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Transformers Comics Get Reboot

For years, Transformers and G.I. Joe comics were published under Marvel, which then changed hands and went to IDW. However, at the end of last year, IDW’s grip on the licensing for both IP’s was lost. As the old adage goes, one man’s loss is another man’s gain, and such is the case in comic book publishers as well when Image swooped in to snag the rights. Both series recently made their debut with Transformers coming in a little earlier. What’s the verdict?

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There’s a New ‘Punisher’ in Town

With Frank Castle gone and missing into parts unknown, it was only a matter of time before he either returned or someone took up the Punisher mantle. Well, Frank’s still MIA but there’s a new sheriff in town. Former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Joe Garrison has donned the all-black attire adorned with an abstract skull face. Is this guy hard core or just a gun-toting wannabe?

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Alligator Loki Comics Collection

Alligator Loki??  He was not only my favorite surprise in the Loki series on Disney+, but my favorite surprise after walking into my local comics shop recently.  The dialogue-absent inaugural issue features twelve brief tales that follow Alligator Loki on a number of comical mishaps and interactions with various Marvel characters.

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New Moon Knight Mini-Series is No Dead End

That’s right, in addition to his monthly ongoing series, the Fish of Khonshu also gets a concurrent mini-series titled Moon Knight: City of the Dead.  The five-issue series is penned by David Pepose (Savage Avengers, Hulk Annual) with artwork from Marcelo Ferriera (The Amazing Spider-Man, Strange). I’ll leave it to Pepose’s website (davidpepose.com) to best describe this latest installation in the world of Moon Knight…

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DMB’s ‘Walk Around the Moon’ – A Brief Review

I don’t know if this has ever happened before, but when three of your favorite bands all release studio albums in the same year, that can be ironic, iconic, a sign, or simply coincidence. It’s certainly the most latter of all of those, but it didn’t demean the anticipation any less. Between Paramore’s This Is Why, Metallica’s 72 Seasons, and now Dave Matthews Band’s Walk Around the Moon, Paramore put out the most enjoyable effort, in my humble opinion. Still, there’s an enjoyable rock-engaging experience to be had with each recording.  With DMB’s ninth studio album out this past May, it’s time to take a quick look at this 12-song record.

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Metallica’s ’72 Seasons’ – A Brief Review

I’m going to make it a habit to do album reviews well after they’ve been released. The simple reason being I’m far too knee-jerk reactionary when initially hearing a new release. So that brings us to Metallica’s 11th studio album, 72 Seasons. The title is a reference to the first 18 years of someone’s life that, as lead singer James Hetfield stated, “form our true or false selves.”

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Steel Returns in New Series: Steelworks

When Doomsday killed Superman back in 1992, the earth-shattering storyline concurrently introduced new characters that instantly struck a chord with readers. One of those was none other than John Henry Irons, an engineer by trade who created his own enhanced suit of armor to fend off the villains of Metropolis.  Irons donned the moniker Steel and took to the skies and the streets of Superman’s city. The man with the hammer is back, well, this other man with a hammer, not the Asgardian one, and he’s looking to do big things for the citizens of Metropolis.

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TMNT vs. Street Fighter…Issue 1…Fight!

Worlds collide as IDW brings together the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a roster of classic Street Fighter characters in the new mini-series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles vs. Street Fighter! Gang Green is all here, including the fifth turtle, Jennika. With writing by Paul Allor (Godzilla Rivals) and art by Ariel Medel (Evil Ernie), TMNT vs. SF opens with a calcium-shattering punch by Raphael, connecting with the face of everyone’s favorite sonic-booming flat top, Guile.

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Arcade Kings Makes (re-)Debut

About two months ago, give or take, some comic book stores were lucky enough to get debut issues of Dylan Burnett’s Arcade Kings. Though those were very limited, the series has now had its official widespread release with issue #1. Burnett, who’s done covers for another Image title, Radiant Black, has also spent plenty of time with Marvel working on series such as Ant Man and Cosmic Ghost Rider. With Arcade Kings, however, this is Burnett’s baby as he created, wrote, and did the artwork.  So what’s this new, colorful series about anyway?

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A Review of Paramore’s ‘This Is Why’

It goes without saying that this album has had plenty of time to stew in listeners’ ears, considering it was released this past winter. Still, the timing doesn’t feel all that off as the North American tour is about to get underway and the vibes and sounds of This Is Why have simmered without making any hastily written reviews.

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New Releases: Dungeons and Venom and Witches, Oh My!

It’s a bustling week for comic book releases as IDW, DC, Marvel, and a the small publisher Scout Comics all have newsworthy titles arriving at stores. The end of March will be bringing a variety of nostalgia, famous faces and new stories for readers everywhere. So what titles did these aforementioned publishers provide? Without further ado, let’s cast some spells, smash some walls and turn up the volume!

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The Lake (Film Review)

It’s been a short while since the last Pacific Rim film or Godzilla vs. Kong, but we are due for a good kaiju film, are we not? Straight from Thailand comes The Lake from writer Lee Thongkam who also co-directed with Aqing Xu. Although it’s a 2022 film, it is just now making its way across the Pacific to the shores of the States. Billed as a sci-fi, horror, thriller, The Lake clocks in with a one hour and 44-minute runtime and bills itself as “Godzilla’s water brother from a Thai mother!” That’s cool and all, but does it deliver?

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Marvel Celebrates ‘Hallow’s Eve’ in March

The Spider-Man universe has a lot going on right now. I’m talking traffic at Times Square busy. Spider-Gwen has clones, Silk is back, Miles Morales is trying to find his way, and Dark Web made a chaotic splash, and then there’s Janine Godbe. Godbe is the former girlfriend of Ben Reilly, a clone Spider-Man. When Reilly’s memories were erased and he became the villain Chasm, Janine Godbe hit the road with her collection of supernatural masks to become Hallow’s Eve.

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‘Local Man’ is Image’s Nod to the 90’s

Last week Image launched its newest series, and despite its title, the concept is definitely from out of town.  Local Man is created and written by the duo of Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash) and Tony Fleecs (Star Wars Adventures) and the tandem has approached the first issue in a most unique way.  Jack Xaver, better known by his hero name Crossjack, is a former member of the super team Third Gen.  The comic book is actually set up quite unconventionally where the back cover starts with Third Gen in action ripping through a horde of supposed baddies.  If you flip the comic book over to the other cover, however, it delves into the modern day aftermath of Jack Xaver back home at his parents’ place in a small town called Farmington.  So what got this guy the boot?

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Red Goblin Enters the Marvel Fray

Norman Osborne, better known as the Green Goblin, is easily Spider-Man’s greatest nemesis. The sled-flying psycho has changed his tune in recent years, most recently donning the unwilling moniker of the Gold Goblin. After his son Harry’s death, a gap was left in the world of law-refusing goblindom. Enter Normie Osborn, Harry’s son, grandson of Norman. But this little scarlet menace is quite different than his science-based predecessors.  What secret does he hold that his family does not?

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‘Where Monsters Lie’ Could Be a Sleeper

Coming from Kyle Starks and Dark Horse Comics, Where Monsters Lie is a mini-series I had heard nothing about, yet came highly recommended at my local comic book shop. Starks is the creator behind Sexcastle, an 80’s-themed story about an assassin who’s retired to become a small town florist. While I can’t say I’ve read it, Starks must be doing something right because Sexcastle was just optioned to become a major motion picture, according to Image Comics. Hats off to Starks’ success, but can he match that with Where Monsters Lie?

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