Chronicles of the Wasteland Dreamer #1

a post apocalyptic taleToday is the four year anniversary of the launch of this website. So it is only fitting that on such a momentous day we publish the first issue in a new series that we will slowly and painfully bring to you over here at the peoples comics. I have been developing Chronicles of the Wasteland Dreamer for over a decade and I couldn’t be more pleased to finally be rolling it out. Please enjoy it and share it with anyone you think might enjoy it.

 

 

Thanks,

John Berry

Business card art

I just finished a cartoon of myself for my new business card and I though I would share it here.

 

~John Berry

Cecil The Superpunk #1.5 Enter The Detestables

 

 

Finally the wait is over. The Semi-Magnificent Cecil The Super punk issue 1.5 is here. Obviously this is a ret-con issue that takes place between previously published issue one and two. This comic started as my attempt to do the 24 hour comic book challenge. It took me a month and two days to finish it, which I am still going to call a major victory as issue two took me a whole year. Either way I hope you all like it as I packed it with much action. Hopefully I will be able to take what I learned from making this and increase the speed with which I produce comics.

 

~ John Berry

The State of The Thor Nation

 

Having just returned from a two month journey not more than a month ago, it took me some time to get caught up on my comic book reading.It has been a busy month with The Semi-Magnificent Cecil The Superpunk issue 1.5 about to drop and the need to work more than full time to catch up on my bills. I had begun to fall behind on The Mighty Thor before I left. I was just bored with the title. The art was beautiful but there was just something lacking and it had simply slid down the list of comics that I had much interest in. However Thor is one of my favorite comic book characters so I kept purchasing the comics and they began to stack. Journey Into Mystery with the boy Loki had no such luck, however. I dropped that long ago as I had no interest in a little boy comic. I know a lot of people loved it, but I just couldn’t get into it. Boring and wordy as it was to me.

Upon my return I found that the guys down at the shop did me the courtesy of pulling the entire Everything Burns storyline. I began to get excited. The fact that I had several back issues of Thor to catch up on, and all the exciting stuff going on in the other titles I collect kept me from getting to this until Just now. I was however excited as Everything Burns featured one of the all time greatest Thor Villains Surtur himself. Surtur was the key figure in what I feel is the greatest Thor storyline I have ever written. Back in the eighties When Walt and Louise Simonson helmed The Mighty Thor, they did an epic storyline called The Surtur Saga. Epic is the only word to describe it. In my opinion it was more fantastic and epic than even The Secret Wars. So you can imagine how much I looked forward to another go at Surtur.

I guess Everything Burns was OK. It had some twists and some action. It seemed to revolve more around Kid Loki than Thor. I suppose it would be difficult to compete with the legendary run, and thus I felt let down. Perhaps my expectations were too high. When I finished the last issue of the aftermath I was hit by a desire to break out the old Surtur Saga. Something I intend to do in the next month or so. I don’t want to be unfair and judge Everything Burns too harshly, I guess that my main complaint is that it was simply not awesome enough to compete with my preconceived notions of how a Surtur Saga needs to go down.

Now Thor God of Thunder number one on the other hand was pretty damn good.This issue delivers a storyline that ties together Thor from three different eras. We get young brash Thor, drinking and bedding wenches. Truly entertaining and completely in character. Then we get present day Thor, Awesome as he is yet still fun loving. Finally we get a grizzled old Thor from far in the future wielding Mjolnir and the Odinsword. You know I always love it when my favorite superheroes get a new suit of badass armor. We have a godly tale that seems to be both sci-fi and fantasy. The perfect place for a thunder god to play. Going forward I am optimistic about where Thor is headed in the comic book world.

Now onto the movie world. Was it back at Comicon that Marvel studios announced Thor 2 would be titled The Dark Planet? Either way I thought it seemed cool that the next Thor movie might be some kind of sci fi movie on an alien planet. I didn’t give it much thought after that. I have been setting my sights more upon Iron Man 3 as there is already a trailer and its release is closer to us. However sitting in my Facebook feed I found a little gem yesterday. Some on set footage of Thor Battling Malekith. Link here. Suddenly the way back meter goes off and I am once again drawn back to Walt and Louise Simonson’s epic run on The Mighty Thor. A little research and suddenly I am super excited. Not only do we get Malekith but according to IMDB we also get Algrim / Kurse. The description talks about a world of dark elves.This does tie in with the first movie and The Cask of Ancient Winters which was prominently featured. Is the Dark World really Svartalfheim? What next, Beta Ray Bill? This pleases me greatly.

 

 

~ John Berry

The Amazing Spider-Man

    When I heard they were rebooting the spider-Man movie franchise, this was exactly the kind of movie I was worried they were going to make. A movie retelling the Spider-man’s origin Is a movie we have all seen before. However this time it seemed even longer than the last time. They did it right with The Incredible Hulk. We all know multiple versions of how the Hulk was made and glossing over it in the opening sequence was a smart move. I didn’t need to see Peter Parker designing another costume. I didn’t need to see Spider-Man learning how to web swing again. What I wanted to see was Spider-Man kicking ass, and to be fair it did have some of that. I was hoping they would tell the origin story in a more timely fashion, so that we could dedicate more time to the tracking down and subsequent battles with The Lizard.
First off I think Andrew Garfield is an excellent choice for the role of Peter Parker. I loved this casting. He did the best he could with what I have got to say is a tired story. He delivered the lines with an edginess that we have not seen previously in film. The casting department struck gold with the supporting cast. We could not have asked for better fits than Sally Fields, Martin Sheen and Denis Leary. They were all most excellent. Emma Stone is great, as always, however she would have been more believable had they chosen to make the story take place in college. At which point we go back to the underlying theme of my opinion in regards to The Amazing Spider-Man. Why did they go this direction with the reboot? Surely they didn’t put together a focus group of actual Spider-Man fans and come up with a consensus that yet another retelling of the origin of Spider-Man is what they wanted to see. Of course we are not the people Columbia Pictures are catering to. They know we will see every Spider-Man movie, no matter how crappy, at least once. Guess what? Avengers got my money twice. No, they are worried about attracting the people who are not a guarantee. And I guess Columbia feels that those people are too stupid to remember how Peter Parker became Spider-Man.
Don’t get me wrong, I still loved the movie. But I am a huge Spider-Man fanboy and have liked every Spider-Man movie I have ever seen. It did however drag quite a bit, and I don’t know how much somebody who isn’t a massive Spider-Man fan might enjoy it. The Amazing Spider-Man does have some good action sequences. We got the three fights between the protagonist and antagonist that seems to have become the standard by which most single super hero/super villain movies give us. There was never a point in any of the fights that Spider-Man looks to be in control of The Lizard.
There were several things that I really loved about this movie. The web net Spidey made in the sewer to track The Lizard was super cool. I like the new costume, and bringing back the web shooters was an excellent decision. But there were also some things that I hated and/or found annoying. The Lizard had a stupid lizard face with a big old weird smile. On top of that The Lizard CG looked super fake. Not quite Syfy made for TV fake, but more fake than I would like for a movie of this scope. They got a big green monster to look right for two Hulk and one Avengers movies, so why couldn’t they be bothered to here?
Lastly there is a scene leading up to the boss fight that is so transparent and contrived that it was painful to watch. I am not going to spoil it for you, if that is at all possible, but let me just say this. That crap with the cranes and the uplifting music is just ridiculous. There is no reason that Spider-Man would need that assistance other than to tell the story of how much the people love and accept him. We get it. At least try to make the assistance needed to show that love and acceptance necessary, like the people who catch him before he falls off the front of the elevated train in Spider-Man 2. Or the people throwing bricks at The Green Goblin in Spider-Man one. Spider-Man could have easily made it to where he needed to be all on his own. There were plenty of anchors for his webbing to take hold of and a clear path to the boss fight. I guess the people who wrote this movie never played a Spider-Man video game.
My recommendation is To watch this movie if you have already seen The Avengers and still crave super hero action. Otherwise, go see The Avengers. Visually it was awesome and I would like to see where they take it with a sequel, so I would still like everyone to go see it. I definitely do not want to wait for yet another reboot.I would like to see Andrew Garfield reprise this role, so it is in my own personal self-interest to recommend this one, however I can not in good faith do that.

John Berry

Battle Scars # 6

Well the big surprise on who Marcus Johnson was was ruined for me about two weeks before the issue that had that information came out. There was some irresponsible facebooking and somebody just dropped the bomb right in my feed with no spoiler alert or any notice. This did in fact piss me off since this mini series is costing me about eighteen bucks and six months to read. That being said the second I heard who Marcus Johnson was I knew where this comic book was going. I don’t want to spoil it for you as it actually is a good read. Let me just put it to you like this. Marvel Comics has a policy that whatever is in the movies has to look like what is in the comics. This mini series is a vehicle for one such conversion. It is a little silly, however I liked it.

The Semi-Magnificent Cecil the Superpunk #2

The wait is finally over. We have a new issue of The Semi-Magnificent Cecil the Superpunk.

 

John Berry

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

If there was ever a need for a comic book movie franchise reboot, this is it. the first Ghost Rider movie was just terrible. Nicolas Cage was a total mis-cast, and the whole affair was just unwatchable. No good villain, no good fight and no good scripting. So time passes and the horror that was  the first Ghost Rider memory begins to fade. However as I believe it to be the Marvel movie franchises revert back to Marvel if no movies are made in a timely manner. So instead of losing out on the IP a decision is made to make a sequel with another Nick Cage performance. Over the years photos are leaked and the talk is about how this will be a darker more awesome movie than the last one. Eventually a new trailer appears and It does look like an improvement. There is a whole new look to the movie, new costume and new motorcycle. Personally I liked the way Ghost Rider looked more in the last movie. I felt it was truer to the comic book than the latest “tar” coated costume. But hey lets make it “darker” right? Wrong! This movie is not darker. It has all the same stupid comedy that didn’t work in the last movie. The only thing “darker” about this movie is that Nicolas Cage looks half dead. Time has not been kind to old man Nick.

Funny thing is that I haven’t read a Ghost Rider comic since World War Hulk. I was not surprised to see Johnny Blaze back as Ghost Rider. Recently however Ghost Rider showed up in the Venom Circle of Four storyline. Guess what, the new Ghost Rider is a chick. Kind of threw more for a loop. I say Bring back Dan Ketch, he was the coolest of all Ghost Riders.

The Incredible Hulk issue 2

One awesome thing about reading the Hulk over the years is following the changes and transformations that the character goes through. Green Hulk, grey Hulk, smart Hulk, dumb Hulk, king Hulk, and so on and so forth. There have been to many iterations of The Incredible Hulk to even list them all. So for Marvel Comics to find yet another direction to take the Hulk is really rather amazing. Perhaps I should have used incredible instead of amazing, we are talking Hulk not Spider-man here. So the Hulk and Bruce Banner are now separated and living separate lives. This is not a new concept it has happened before. The difference this time is now Bruce Banner is becoming the monster and the Hulk is becoming the man. An interesting twist and quite well written indeed. To top it off the art is awesome. We are only two issues into the fifth volume of The Incredible Hulk and I am hooked. Of course the Hulk is always an easy sale with me. All we need now is more Hulk-sword

The New Avengers issue 18

Norman Osborn is back! And he is assembling a new team of Dark Avengers. This issue doesn’t have a great deal of action. In fact it doesn’t really have any action. What it does have is a good amount of build up. It looks like the team being assembled is capable of giving The New Avengers a run for their money. If Marvel Comics delivers on the promise they are making here then we are in for a ride. Honestly I am more excited about the New Avengers/ New Dark Avengers throw-down than I ever was about that whole Fear Itself thingy. The only thing I don’t buy about this issue is Skaar working with the bad guys. I just don’t see him as the getting involved in events outside of The Savage Land at this point, and if he did I don’t see it with Norman Osborn. That being said I am glad to see the son of Hulk back in circulation.