Tag Archives: Avengers

Movie Review – Captain America: Civil War


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Like the previous Captain America movies, “Captain America: Civil War” continues the tradition of a great superhero movie. It is a great action/thriller with a nice blend of humour. Before The Avengers came to the theatres, many wondered that how would one manage bring so many different superheroes together in one film and have it feel both cohesive and coherent. Then the movie ended up delivering in a big way and in the wake of its success it almost seemed foolish to have doubted the proposition in the first place.

The Russo Brothers and their amazing under-appreciated Screenwriters have done an amazing job with the film. It is not just Superhero movie, but pure entertainment film. They prove that they are true fans of the source material, making changes that needed to be made for the transition to the big screen.

The story is changed from the comic but in a way that the Marvel Cinematic Universe needed so badly. This film changes every relationship for the worse. We travel around the world and new characters enter the fray. Black Panther/T’Challa is the most prominent of these and Chadwick Boseman nails the character, leaving you wanting more for the future and longing for his standalone movie.

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There are many big ideas in the film and it attempts to turn expectations on the head in some ways. Tony Stark as the Steve’s counterpoint is presented in a beautiful way, and the film explains how and why this is the case by exploring his background. The script, by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, touches on something that comic book films have been accused of–showing mass destruction without the consequences. Civil War deals with a long time issue with comic book movies. The issue of collateral damage. When heroes fight villains, a number of innocents are hurt and die. Secretary of State (William Hurt, reprising his role as Thunderbolt Ross) presents the Avengers with a choice; sign an accord that makes them agents of the U.N., or retire. While Iron Man supports the accords,  Captain America opposes it calling it a means to turn Avengers into a weapon of war.

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There are more characters–the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany), who in the comics got married and I think they’re going in that direction in the films, even though he ends up imprisoning and cooking for her. The major action piece is full-blown battle at the airport. We even get Ant-Man turning into a full fledged Giant Man, and meet the new Spider-Man (Tom Holland, who makes Tobey Maguire seem like an ancient history.

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Captain America: Civil War shows that how a great balance between gravitas and humor can be achieved. Something that the D.C. films struggle with. When Downey Jr. is approached by a mother (Alfre Woodard) whose son died as collateral damage in an Avengers fight, you can feel the pain and emotions as you know the backstory. Evans plays a much less nuanced character, but he is terrific, and the film is full of cameos, such as Martin Freeman and, amazingly, Marisa Tomei as Parker’s Aunt May.

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From here how Marvel takes their films over the next couple of years is going to be intruiging. If anything, we probably won’t be learning the fallout from the events of Civil War right away. The next couple of films in the franchise either introduce a new character and new corners of the cinematic universe (November’s Doctor Strange) or appear to take place off-Earth (next year’s Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2). It probably won’t be until 2018’s Black Panther that we get to see what comes next in the studio’s grand plans for these heroes.

Rating 4.5 out of 5

Top 10 Superhero Teams


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We all know that there’s a lot of Superhero Super Teams formed in the whole comic universe, but ever wonder which one is arguably the strongest? Better? The answer to that is no, no one is better than the rest of them, there all doing the same thing over and over again, they are just simply saving the world from terror , but it is up to you to rank them as your own.

Superhero Teams have been an incredibly large part of the superhero genre. Since of the inception of the first superhero team, The Justice League of America, comic fans have loved the interaction of their favorite heroes fighting evil. The following list based on fans pick for the top ten superhero teams. Each of the groups below takes into account the different incarnations and variations of those said teams, such as the Ultimate line of comics.

Here is a list of the TOP 10 superhero teams that was voted by fans in my opinion
1 – X-MEN
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The X-Men came about at a time of great strife and have long mirrored many of society’s issues about fearing those that are different then the rest of us. The X-Men take the top of the list due to many reasons. They have long been one of the most popular comics in history and have spawned a mountain of, “X-Titles.” Multiple cartoons, TV series, and now movies have made The X-Men a juggernaut in the world of comics.
2 –Justice League of America (JLA)
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The Justice League of America is comprised of the top superheroes of the DC universe. With a roster full of A-list powerhouses, the JLA is arguably the toughest superhero team in existence. The JLA has been a huge part of the DC universe and has been widely popular since its inception.
3 – Fantastic Four
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The Fantastic Four is the first of the superhero teams to bring about a real humanness to the genre. With real world problems surfacing in the comic, this first, “family” of superheroes has been an incredible force in comics. Movies, cartoons, and more make the FF not number four, but three.
4 – Avengers
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The Avengers assemble in position number four. There have been many different incarnations of the Avengers, such as the West Coast and Great Lakes avengers. With the latest comics The Ultimates and the New Avengers, The Avengers have rocketed to new heights. A movie is in the works based on The Ultimates and when it does, The Avengers will be knocking on the doors of numbers one through three.
5 – Teen Titans
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The Teen Titans have had a rocky past, but presently, they are enjoying great success. A hugely popular cartoon has made the Teen Titans a smash hit with younger audiences and the comic has had an impressive run on the charts and with comic book fans.

6 – Guardians of The Galaxy

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Guardians of the Galaxy has gone through a number of changes and is one of the most amazing teams of dysfunctional characters in comics. The current series lead by Star Lord is an amazing team with foul mouthed Rocket Raccoon, kind Groot, feared assasin Gamora and deadly Drax. Guardians of the galaxy has been part of some of the most popular cosmic adventures and has a cult following among Marvel fans.

7 – Justice Society of America (JSA)
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The Justice Society of America has recently seen a rebirth into the world of comics. With a group of superheroes thought of as has beens and second stringers, the JSA have quickly shown that it has what it takes in the world of comics. We can also thank the JSA for being the first superhero team comic book. The success that JSA had early on spurred on the other comic companies to follow suit. Thanks JSA.
8 –  League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
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League of Extraordinary Gentlemen broke the boundaries of what is a “superhero team.” Comprised of some of the most popular characters in literature. The series was brought to us by superstar writer Alan Moore. Although they haven’t been around a long time and the book has been plagued with issues between Moore and DC, it is still a great comic book team.
9 –  The Defenders
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The power cosmic, magic, brute strength and more make up this team equivalent to the superhero odd couple. The Defenders have a great history behind them and the latest incarnation of this superhero team has been widely accepted by fans. The Defenders are a rising star in the world of superhero teams.
10 – The Authority
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The Authority are one of the few superhero teams not from the big two, (Marvel and DC) but Wildstorm Publishing company, to make it onto the list. Although their might may have waned in recent years, The Authority is still ranked high on the list for how it has pushed the boundaries of comic books. The Authority is ultra violent, politically charged, and boasted the first openly gay couple. These items make The Authority controversial, talked about, and one of the top superhero teams of all time.
 

Review – Ant Man 2015


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Ant-Man is more than a comic book movie. It takes viewers on a thrill ride through the world of science fiction physics. The smaller the size of the movie is, compared to that the characters are complex, charismatic people, whose relationships go through ups and downs every now and then. These characters are so well written that they appear as convincing players in an otherworldly premise suspending our concept of reality, once we buy in, well-placed humorous references poke fun at the day-to-day environment we take for granted.

Created in 1962 by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby, Ant Man has been a B-List Marvel character even after being one of the founding members of The Avengers. In a failed attempt by Edgar Wright to bring the shrinking superhero to the big screen when he wrote a script for the project and further went on to develop the film for 8 years. Finally in 2014, he was set to direct Ant-Man for the now successful Marvel Studios. He left the project with a mutual agreement with Marvel Studios due to creative differences. Yes Man director Peyton Reed then took over. As Wright was adored by critics, many have wondered whether Ant-Man would turn out to be Marvel’s first failure due to his absence.

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Even with Peyton Reed calling the shots this movie feels like an Edgar Wright film. He and Joe Cornish are still credited with story and part of the screenplay (the latter shared with Adam McKay and Paul Rudd). And if you are a fan of Wright’s work, you’ll be able to pick his parts of the film out almost immediately.

The film is filled with Edgar Write trademark style. The movie has prominently used jump-cut scenes in a very humorous way. Something that is Edgar Write is known for, where he presents a part of the story in a series of staccato images that say what they need to say in a concise and exciting way. In my opinion, it’s a trait that proves his genius and a big part of what I love about his films.

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The film opens as Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) leaves prison after a three year sentence for a Robin Hood-like bit of computer theft. He wants to start a clean life so he can provide a good role model for his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Forston), but he’s not even able to keep a job at Baskin-Robbins due to his criminal record. He gets on a heist job with an old prison pal Luis (Michael Peña) and agrees for a job at home of an ex-military guy.

Paul Rudd is comes out as an awkwardly charming good guy with a witty sense of humor. He’s just weirdly adorable like a cross-over between Tony Stark and Peter Quill with more humility. Hank Pym though, is an ass. Which is not surprising considering he mostly is exasperating in comic books.

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Rudd’s co-stars are all equally on fine form as Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly both deliver solid performances as Hank Pym and Hope van Dyne. Oscar award winner Douglas fully commits to  the role as the secretive ex scientist Pym while Lilly’s ice queen van Dyne is as serious as her bob haircut. The film’s most dramatic scenes arise from the strained father-daughter relationship between the two which plays out very well.

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But it is Michael Pena who steals the movie with his crazy fast narratives. He plays Lang’s motor mouthed best bud Luis and steals almost every scene he’s in. The flashback scenes where he narrates the lines of others in his own wild words produce some of the films biggest laughs.

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And as expected from a Marvel movie, Ant-Man is a blend of action and comedy. When Ant-Man shrinks for the first time, he has to avoid death by bathwater, clubbers, a hoover and a rat in a visually stunning sequence.

After the huge city smashing destruction earlier in the year from Avengers: Age of Ultron (which is snarkily referenced by Hank Pym) there was a need for Marvel to scale back the stakes in order to keep things fresh. Ant-Man certainly brings something new to the table as, on the whole, it feels very different to anything else in the crowded comic-book movie market.

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Ant Man comes with its flaws but Marvel has tries its best to keep it grounded and more personal on every level. Next time when we see Ant Man in Captain America: Civil War it is going to be a whole new level of awesome.

8/10

Review: Marvel’s Daredevil


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When Daredevil was announced on Netflix it was said that it will take Marvel Cinematic Universe in a new direction. Slowly it became one of the most anticipated shows of 2015. The series is part of a deal between Marvel and Netflix that will proceed with 3 such shows like these and finally lead to Defenders series.

Daredevil takes place in a universe where an alien attack destroys New York and a group of superheroes team up to protect the world. New York is burning in chaos while Avengers are busy saving the world. In middle of chaos and destruction a man takes burden to clean his neighborhood.

Marvel’s Daredevil is unlike anything Marvel has ever done before. Also it’s nothing like any of the comic-book series that we usually watch on TV. While comparisons with Arrow are inevitable still Daredevil stands tell with more creative freedom enjoyed by the Marvel team. The violent story of a vigilante and his grim oppressive world is brilliantly explained.

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Daredevil is a character made for TV and the credit goes to Steven S. DeKnight who took over the series from Drew Goddard. The show leaves nothing behind when it comes to make it grounded in the source material. Gone is the red leather suit, unrealistic fight scenes on seesaws, and campy villains. In short: This is nothing like the Daredevil movie – which is a good thing.

The characters of the show are brilliant. The casting is wisely done. Charlie Cox as both Matt Murdock and the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen is an amazing find. He handles his role brilliantly. Applying his enhanced sense to sense a beautiful girl as Matt Murdock and fight crime as Daredevil adds a distinct style to his character.

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Vincent D’Onofrio’s portrayal of Wilson Fisk, the head Mafioso who runs the majority of the Hell’s Kitchen crime scene, is worthy of the highest praise. He stands tall as a sympathetic villain for whom audience will root for at times and even want him to win. He is exact opposite to Matt Murdock in terms of their versions of wanting to make Hell’s kitchen a better place. Where Daredevil sticks to idealist moralities in the pursuit of justice, its Fisk’s extreme ideas make his story all the more tragic. While he is never mentioned by character’s villain alias “Kingpin,” still his name drops as an Easter Egg for fans. When a reporter is putting together his pyramid of Mafioso’s and crime bosses by putting up playing cards on a tack board, there’s the guy at the top: the King (of Diamonds) pinned to the board.

While Daredevil is a result of greater actions taken in Marvel Cinematic universe yet the connections made on the show are far in between. Most of the cameos and Easter eggs in the series are taken from Daredevil comics, or other upcoming shows on Netflix.

I was surprised at the language that was no-where close to what one can imagine on a R Rated show. Still it stands large on the use of violence. Compared to MCU, Daredevil’s world is way grittier. Bones break and blood is spilt. Either way, Daredevil is Marvel’s greatest superhero show and if you haven’t watched it yet then a marathon awaits you.

Movie review: Guardians of the Galaxy


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Before you start reading this review and the way I have gloriously described this movie and start calling me a Marvel fanboy (that I am) let me tell you this. I was really not happy when Marvel announced Guardians of the Galaxy movie was on its way. I among many of the fans wanted to see a Black Panther or a Hulk movie in the first place that was taken by Guardians of the Galaxy.

I mean who cares about bunch of misfits formed together to protect the universe, their stories looked good in comic books and they were needed to Avengers 3 to take place but I wondered why Marvel was putting money on this totally unknown franchise so soon when they have so many better options.

And then James Gunn was announced as the director and the skeptic in me kinda became hopeful.

Long story short I waited for one and a half year for this movie to come out that was obviously being ruined by pathetic run of Guardians of the Galaxy comics series that is left in the cruel hands of Brain M. Bendis and totally destroyed the series (I’ll continue this rant somewhere else in other space time). Finally the day came when I was going to watch Guardians of the Galaxy on 8th August 2014.

After the first trailer and the entire ooga chaka sequence I didn’t watch a single trailer related to this movie so I had no idea what was going to show up, not even a glimpse. I had to pay 300 bucks for this movie in my city because cinepolis is run by bunch of money hungry mongrels (another rant another time.)

What followed after were the best 120 minutes of my life.

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Soon after Peter Quill’s introduction and the music that followed after I knew that the movie is going to own. The way it introduced each character, gave them their space and character was simple incredible. The soundtrack, the references and the jokes felt like distinct characters and part of the film instead of being forced in the movie for no reason.

Words fail me when I start to describe how amazing the Marvel’s first cosmic outing was. The movie passed beyond the expectations and the benchmarks both Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier created. I feel kinda bad for Joss Whedon that he is constantly facing new challenges on a regular basis to make Avengers: Age of Ultron set a new benchmark when it comes out.

The movie is about a group of misfits caught in between of an interplanetary battle and are forced to take desperate measures to take a side and save the universe from brink of destruction.

They call themselves the Guardians of the Galaxy – What a bunch of A-holes.

Guardians of the Galaxy is an origin story of the team, they are not called by their team name until by the end of the movie. This is the story of how a bunch of A-holes come together and ultimately form a team and learn to fight besides each other.

I’ll start talking about this movie with Peter Quill played by Chris Pratt. When his casting was announced I only knew him from Parks and Recreation and the amount of cheeseburger he stored inside him made me hard to believe that this guy is going to be Star Lord. In 6 months he bulked up for the movie from family pack to 6 packs. The way he walked and talked in the film reminded so much of Harrison Ford from Indiana Jones or Star Wars that right now it seems he’ll be the perfect person for the role if they decide to reboot Indiana Jones. He is someone who now seems on the levels of Robert Downey Jr. on the level of awesomeness.

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The best part of the movie were two CGI characters Rocket and Groot voiced by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel. Rocket owned the movie, as said earlier he is the heart of the film, he is rude has a terrible past and loves guns. On the other hand Groot is a cute monster, who is as dangerous as he can be. I just loved the role they played in the movie. Thanks to censor board I missed a foul mouthed raccoon abuse on screen so a huge middle finger to them.

Drax guardiansDrax was a surprise package, I never knew that Batista can act so well. His role kind of grew up on me as the movie proceeded. Driven by revenge he almost drives the team on the brink of death only to revive himself later. I personally feel that Drax was underused and was not upto his full potential but I have hopes high for the sequel and Avengers 3 where we may see him pulling the heart out of Thanos’ chest with his bare hands.

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Zoë Saldana plays Gamora, she comes out as another of the strong female characters in the marvel movies and has her own role and backstory developed in the film. She had the best hand to hand fight scenes in the film especially with Star Lord in the introduction of the film and later with Nebulla.

Now talking about the villains,

We finally get to meet the big bad playing behind the scenes till now come out of shadows. Yes I am talking about Thanos the Mad Titan himself. He looked simply Menacing played by Josh Brolin. For a 5 minute scene he turned out to be one of the most amazing parts of the movie because this time there was more of him rather than just a smile. BTW the way events of this film proceeded I strongly feel that Loki on Asgard throne is what Thanos planned as his actual mission to retrieve the Infinity gauntlet from Odin’s vault (discussion left for some time later :P).

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I liked how Ronan and Nebula’s role were developed in the film, Karen Gillian went from pretty Amy to menacing daughter of Mad Titan assisting Ronan with his mission. Lee Pace has changed his race from Elf to Kree and kind of looked scary. Unlike many other Marvel villains he looked like a villain but a well justified mission and came out as a threat not for the heroes but for the entire galaxy and the main major baddie himself, although I am disappointed that he had to die in the end of the film but the part where he had the holographic conversation with Thanos reminded me of Star Wars conversation between Darth Vader and the Emperor. It was amazing.

 

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One of the best part was checking out Collector’s vault that supposedly is filled with all kind of Easter eggs from Marvel universe. I saw a Chituari soldier, a Dark Elf, possibly a Karbonite horse like creature that looked like Beta Ray Bill along with Cosmo and Howard the Duck. I mean so much awesomeness in one movie that I cannot stop describing. The references, the cameos and everything that followed was simply incredible.

Also how can I forget Yondu, the original Guardian although looked nothing like his comic book counterpart and maybe he’ll evolve into a future Guardian but in this movie his role was so well written. I love Michael Rooker and though he initially wanted to voice Rocket that I feel would have been perfect for the role he did a beautiful job with Yondu. His comic timing and posing a fear factor in Quill’s life upto revealing that he was hired by Quill’s father to abduct him but he changed the deal and how can one forget the way he killed all the Skaaran soldiers with one arrow.

There is a lot to talk about this movie that I feel will take one more part if I keep going on like this. Coming to the direction James Gunn has done a tremendous job with the film. His vision simply plays off and makes the movie worth watching. The comedy and the seriousness simply blends with his style. He knows what he is doing and he proves it by placing all the Easter eggs, cameos and references throughout the movie.

The graphic sequences used to this film are better than any of the movies that I have seen this year, the 3d really supports the storyline and will look amazing on IMAX screen. The concept art for every characters and landscapes looks like the one from its comic book counterparts. The best use of the design really comes up with introduction of Knowhere and the Milano chase sequence.

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Talking about the soundtrack, I for one really felt old after watching this movie. Once these songs used to be the instant hit numbers that used to come on radio, today has evolved into classic pop from the 80s. 26 years later just like the time since Peter left Earth, the cassette is the reminder how awesome our childhood was. The MP3 players and the digital tracks can never define the identity the way this Sony Walkman and the cassette of awesome mix volume 1 and 2 have done. I have been continuously listening to Cherry Bomb and Jackson 5 since Friday on loop. The movie is reminded of good old days and the era that is gone by. Like metal is synonymous with Iron Man franchise, the classic pop is now synonymous with Guardians.

Anyways coming to the last part of this movie, I am overwhelmed the way Marvel and James Gunn presented this movie. I am one for sure that the this franchise will develop into Annihilation conquest saga as the finale, all I hope is that Marvel gets rights for Fantastic Four back from Fox and we will get to see Galactus and Silver Surfer in the future installments.

Now I’ll just sit around and wait for Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015. For now here is a dancing Groot looking cute and all that.

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PS: No Raccoon or Tree creatures were harmed during making of this film.

Continuty Issues in Avengers Arena


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Avengers Arena is a spin-off from The Avengers (and sequel of sorts of Avengers Academy) created by Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker as part of Marvel’s Marvel NOW iniative. Avengers Arena stars sixteen of the Marvel Universe’s teenage superheroes as they’re put onto an isolated island and forced to fight and kill each other for diabolical mastermind Arcade’s amusement.

Since the series has started there have been a few continuity issues with the series. I wonder if they are intentional or just innocent mistakes.

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  • Nico casts the spell “Chill Out”, which she cast in Civil War : Runaways/Young Avenges #2. The Staff of One can only cast the same spell once and tends to have a random or negative effect when a spell is recast by doing something different. Though the effect is different, the results are very much the same. It’s very odd. This could be intentional, as she mentions her magic is not functioning properly.
  • On a similar note, despite receiving plot point power ups in Joss Whedon’s run with the kids, neither Runaway carries their new weaponry and skills into this book. This also counts as bit of Off Model as the designs for their weaponry were changed with the upgrade.
  • During a flashback in #3, Agent Brand shows Cammi a picture that has her with Nova, Drax the Destroyer, and Starlord. The problem is that Peter Quill didn’t become Starlord again until the after Cammi left.

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  • Nico and Chase’s trust problems in this series are culled from Runaways volume two. In volume three, the two of them seem to bury the hatchet and have a budding relationship.
  • Within the series, the timeline and time skips have caused no end of confusion, the latest coming in #11 and really does problems to linear time. What was a clear few days for the rest of the cast was a week and a half for Hazmat and Reptil. This could be explained by the method the other kids joined the duo: magic portal. However, this would require Apex to basically be sitting around doing nothing for all the time in between.

Amadeus Cho:the smartest person in Marvel Comics Earth


Amadeus Cho is the side kick of Hercules.

Now starring alongside Herc in “Incredible Hercules”, written by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente, Cho has become a real stand out as far as lasting new comic heros.

A boy genius by trade, Amadeus is the 7th smartest person in the world, with the amazing ability of doing real-time high-complex math on the fly – essentially letting him do something as impossible as (for example) flick a bottle cap at an assault chopper, and somehow hit it in just the right way to muck up it’s systems and have it crash. (He hasn’t done that in particular, but don’t think he couldn’t!)

First Cho attached himself to the Hulk, finding a friend in the gentle green giant. Yet it would be short-lived, as the Hulk’s latest “Hulk-Out” left Cho rooting for the wrong guy. (See “World War Hulk” for details)

Along the way Cho got another new role model – in that of Hercules! The two have been crossing the Marvel Universe, getting into all sorts of trouble, and creating one of the best buddy comics around.
Simply one of Marvel’s BEST titles – I would suggest you check out Incredible Hercules. Cho has stepped up to become one of the best new characters of the Marvel U, and you’d be remiss to miss out on Hercules many acts of daring do.