Posted in Batman, Comics, DC Comics, Documentary, History, Marvel, Papers, Spider-Man, Superheroes, Superman, The Flash, Video, X-Men

Spotlight on: Nerdsync Productions!

While the properties are everywhere in the 21st century, comics are still one of the hardest mediums to get started with. Especially if you want to dive into the mainstream stuff, such as Marvel and DC. With the use of the internet, you can make the job a little easier for yourself. You can look up character history, cool stories, and maybe get an idea of what you want to read. But it can still be over whelming, with nearly 100 years of comic book history. Enter, YouTube! Through YouTube, it’s never been easier for you to stumble across great comic book content. There are countless Comic Book channels, giving you brief histories of key characters. Run downs of major or recent storylines. Tips on collecting and preserving. Even channels doing fun comic related games, and dares. All you have to do is quickly type ‘comic book’ in the YouTube search engine, and there you go! However, these channels can start to blur together after a time. The same brief histories, of the same characters, feeding back the same information till you can recite it from memory.

Enter Nerdsync.

Since launching their first Comic Misconceptions video on March 26th, 2013. Scott and the Nerdsync crew have worked hard to deliver quality, fun and informative videos for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a well-read veteran, who can recite ever single Lantern oath from memory. Or a movie going fan, who wants to break into the source material. Nerdsync breaks down their material to be completely accessible to even the newest of readers. Beyond that, their choice of subject is far and wide. Giving nice little twists on the now stable Comic Book/YouTube formula. You want a history of Superman? Not only will they give it to you, they will go through the real-life reason for his creation, and the story behind that. When a film comes out, and every channel is scrambling to bring you a funny story or origin relating to the characters involved. Nerdsync proves their nerdy worth by talking about science, history, mythology and psychology. There is a reason why the Nerdsync slogan is ‘helping you grow smarter through comics’!

The show’s host, one Scott Niswander, brings a fun, passionate and energetic feel to the show. Encouraging his audience to get involved, create their own content, and start discussions. The show prides itself on its community of ‘loveable nerds’, banning together to help pool together resources, create on going jokes, and sometimes, just taking to the internet to spread their love of comics. Over the 4 years since Nerdsync burst on to the scene. Other shows and creators have taken to the channel, and added their own little segments, connecting to their own work. Giving us an even greater variation, to an already wonderful channel. We have Hass with Comicana, bringing us insightful looks at how comic pages work. Exploring the flow of panels, pacing and tone, using recent books, and well-known classics. We are given a dose of legal history with Joel in Super Suits, breaking down the insane history of comic book lawsuits. Not to mention the fantastic cameo and cross over appearances from the like of Auram, Ricky of Stewdippin, and Mike of PBS Idea Channel.

What makes Nerdsync stand apart, is its dedication to education through comics. In the world of academic, comics have a surprising and glorious history. They have been the subject matter when talking about so many real-world events. Including politics, genetics, physics, mythology, and pseudoscience. While these concepts, books and papers, may seem dry and none accessible to outside readers. Nerdsync delivers compelling, interesting, and outright fun material, that inspires and entertains the audience. It’s hard to deny the number of comics, characters, theories, and principles you will be exposed to, without realising it. And, you will enjoy every second of it.

“Holy here we go again Batman!”

Posted in Comics, Marvel, Review, Superheroes, X-Men

Spotlight on: Jean Grey #1 – 4 (2017)

Jean Grey 001 (2017)In the last few years, the X-Men comics have been in decline. While some view it as orders from Disney, due to them not holding the full rights, and wanting to spotlight other characters in their place, such as the Inhumans. The image of the X-Men has been in decline at Marvel since Avengers Vs. X-Men (2012), and Death of X (2016). However, in the past year, Marvel seems to be trying to reinvigorate the X-Men titles, with their ‘Ressurxion’ line of books. Brining us all new X-Men team books, such as X-Men: Gold and X-Men: Blue, as well as solo titles for Iceman, and surprisingly Jean Grey.

The tale of Jean Grey is one most comic fans have come to know. Thanks to the films, it’s one a lot of none comic readers have at least heard of. The story of Jean Grey and the Phoenix force. The two things are so synonymous, that it’s hard to think that Jean Grey could ever have a solo series that doesn’t feature the Phoenix. However, this can be a fresh start, a new adventure for the young mutant. The Jean grey staring in the comics today, is the young teenager introduced in the original X-Men #1 from 1963. Brought to the present day with her teammates, Cyclops, Beast, Ice-Man and Angel, back in All-New X-Men #1 (2013), after the events of Avengers Vs. X-Men. This Jean Grey is unburdened from the sins and mistakes of the past Jean, something she makes note of in the beginning of the first issue.

“I’m Jean Grey. Yeah. No. Not That Jean Grey. No Phoenix Force Here. I Never Got possessed by an intergalactic firebird. Or received the associated space god power-up. Which means I never went all crazy Dark Phoenix. Never destroyed a planet. Never tried to murder my friends. Also means I’ve never dies in the love of my life’s stupid arms. A genocidal madwoman corpse, all decked out in her burgundy bad-guy clothes. Pretty okay with not being that Jean Grey, frankly. Nope, not me either. That other Jean. Grown-up badass, seen and done it all Jean. She’s my nightmare. Her Life – The life I should have led – wakes me up a couple nights a week. All cold sweat-y. Her Shadow will probably always stretch further than mine. But maybe that’s cool. Maybe I can learn from her mistakes. Maybe I can be the happy Jean.”

Jean Grey 004 (2017)

Giving this Jean her own series, allows us to explore a girl out of time. Dealing with life, roommates, freshly developed psychic powers and telekinesis. Learning to be a strong leader, and avoiding the mistakes their predecessor made. The opening issue deals with this well, giving us a solo Jean in the streets of Japan, dealing with street level thugs, and trying to solve little problems along the way. Up until the issues last few pages, when the spirit of the Phoenix appears before Jean. Screeching that she may think she can escape, but to trust it that there is never an escape from the Phoenix. It seems that just as Jean can’t escape it, neither can we stop hearing about it. However, even with this predictable start, the series so far depicts a story that is far more about the journey, than the destination. In issues 2 and 3, Jean decides to visit previous hosts of the Phoenix, to find a way to escape her fate. What she finds, is the scarred and tortured mindsets each previous host has been left with, and the notion that the Phoenix never really leaves you. The lessons Jean learns through the first 4 issues of this series, set out a story of a young woman learning to become stronger, dealing with demons that have effected many, and if she does not learn to control, will lead to more destruction.

The writing in the first issue does come off as a failed attempt to understand a younger generations style of speech. However, this is dropped rather quickly, and from issue 2, the dialogue feels much more natural and flows seamlessly between the characters. The art vibrant and expressive throughout. With plenty of dynamic imagery, as well as subtler, more character driven moments, that work together nicely, to create a very striking, and lively book.

Written by Dennis Hopeless, and with art by Victor Ramos, Jean Grey’s first solo series is shaping up to be something with great potential. While it may be best to wait for the first trade edition, those curious will find an interesting set up in just the first 4 issues.