Articles by Jesse Schedeen

GAMING NEWS

Opinion: Marvel Comics Can Learn From Hellboy

Marvel’s relaunches aren’t cutting it anymore. By Jesse Schedeen I don’t envy any reader trying to jump into superhero comics right now. Sure, there’s a wealth of great material out there, with decades of classic stories and strong new material being published every single week. The problem is trying to figure out what to read and where to start. With books constantly being relaunched, rebooted, re-branded and whatever else, it can be all but impossible to know where to begin and in what order to follow an ongoing series. That problem was perfectly highlighted by writer Eric Palicki last week, who tweeted the following image showing exactly what happens when someone searches for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1” on Comixology: What is a newbie reader supposed to make of that? How are they supposed to know which of those books is the ideal starting point or what exactly the difference is between Guardians of the Vol. 1, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1: Legacy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1: Cosmic Avengers? I can look at those covers and know what stories each book includes and how they all connect to one another, but I read READ FULL…

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The CW's Black Lightning Explained

Time for some justice like lightning. By Jesse Schedeen The CW will be adding yet another DC Comics-based series to its lineup this fall thanks to Black Lightning. The series will chronicle the exploits of Jefferson Pierce, a middle-aged metahuman trying to raise two daughters and make his city a safer place. Even with his electricity powers, that task will be easier said than done. Black Lightning won’t be premiering until midway through the 2017-2018 TV season, but it doesn’t hurt to brush up o the character now. We’re here to break down everything you need to know about this rising star in the DCU. The Basics Black Lightning is among DC’s first African American superheroes. A resident of Metropolis’ Suicide Slum, Jefferson fights to keep his family and his community safe from gangs like The 100 and crime lords like Tobias Whale, and his innate electric powers make him a serious force to be reckoned with. Jefferson tends to have a unique perspective on crime and evil relative to the heroes of the Justice League. He’d prefer to remain on the street and try to enact change on a local level rather than spend his time high above READ…

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The 9 Best Wonder Woman Comics

Get to know DC’s most iconic heroine. By Jesse Schedeen The DC Extended Universe is growing bigger thanks to the release of the new Wonder Woman movie. And hopefully this heroine will find herself a legion of new fans in the process. No doubt some of these fans will be turning to DC’s comics to learn more about the character and fill the wait until she returns in Justice League this fall. Luckily, there are plenty of great stories to choose from. We’ve selected nine essential stories that helped shape the Wonder Woman franchise and could have an influence on future movies. Wonder Woman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 1 As influential as the stories of the Golden and Silver Ages were, the simple truth is that those comics don’t always hold up several decades later. But there’s something special about those early Wonder Woman comics penned by co-creator Dr. William Moulton Marston. As a psychologist and a man with some, let’s say, interesting ideas about bondage and sexuality, Marston brought a unique flavor to his Wonder Woman work that DC has often struggled to replicate ever since. In some ways, those early Wonder Woman comics are hokey, READ FULL…

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The Flash: Is the Thinker Season 4's Main Villain?

Season 4 is shaping up to have a very different type of villain. By Jesse Schedeen While most of the chatter surrounding The Flash‘s Season 3 finale surrounds the shocking, status quo-altering ending, that wasn’t the only big development to be found in that episode. Savitar may have given fans a major clue as to which DC villain will be headlining the upcoming fourth season. And as promised, this villain won’t be another evil speedster, but rather a shadowy criminal mastermind known as The Thinker. Full spoilers for The Flash continue below. “Finish Line” is actually the second episode this season where one of Barry Allen’s time-traveling enemies has referenced a character named DeVoe. Earlier, Abra Kadabra spoke of DeVoe in the same breath as Reverse-Flash and Zoom, implying that this villain is in their league in terms of power and overall threat level. And in “Finish Line,” Savitar reminisced about building a machine to stop DeVoe’s telekinetic powers before reminding himself that Team Flash circa-2017 has yet to encounter this enemy. It would seem the writers are laying the seeds for their next major villain much in the same way Arrow set the stage for Damien Darhk in READ…

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Season 3 Review

Share. “Bright lights, big Schmidty.” By Jesse Schedeen Note: this is a mostly spoiler-free review of the third season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which is available to stream now on Netflix. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt really came into its own in Season 2. As the first season specifically designed for streaming rather than broadcast TV (given Season 1 was originally meant to air on NBC), the show was free to take more risks and let the run-time play out a bit longer. The result was a hilarious season that took more risks and didn’t shy away from the darker side of Kimmy’s post-bunker life. That’s why it’s so bizarre to see Season 3 play it safe. Much of what makes the show work is still plainly apparent this year. But that’s the problem, really. We’re getting more of the same in Season 3, and little sign that the show is still willing to venture outside its comfort zone. There’s probably no better example of the relatively stagnant approach to this season than the fact that Kimmy’s (Ellie Kemper) story shifts from her quest to earn her GED to her quest to attend college. That’s basically her entire, defining struggle READ FULL…

Comic Book Reviews for May 24, 2017

Eddie Brock and Ben Reilly are bringing back the ’90s. By Jesse Schedeen, Jeff Lake and Blair Marnell It was another big week of comics, as Marvel brought original Venom Eddie Brock back into the spotlight and debuted a new Baby Groot comic, DC impressed us with books like Action Comics #980 and Mother Panic #7 and Image dropped new issues of gems like The Old Guard and Seven to Eternity. Scroll down to check out our reviews for these and various other new releases, and be sure to let us know your favorite books of the week in the comments below. Action Comics #980 Written by Dan Jurgens | Drawn by Patch Zircher Patch Zircher is proving himself to be one of the very best Superman artists. His Man of Steel simultaneously looks classic and modern, and his pages have a lot of life to them…even when depicting the undead. This issue has gorgeous artwork combined with strong sequential skills, plus Zircher’s characters actually emote. It’s easily one of the best-looking comics of the week. The Superman Revenge Squad is an interesting mixture of characters that lose some of their momentum from the Cyborg’s tendency to monologue, and that’s…

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Captain America: Steve Rogers #17 Review

Share. Sally Floyd lands the biggest exclusive of her career. By Jesse Schedeen It used to be tradition for Marvel to accompany their major event comics with a book like Civil War: Frontline – something tasked with exploring how these massive conflicts impact the ordinary man on the street in the Marvel Universe. There’s no Secret Empire: Frontline, but apparently this event doesn’t need one. Captain America: Steve Rogers #17 does the trick on its own. This issue is actually framed as a very direct continuation of Civil War: Frontline, with hotheaded reporter Sally Floyd returning to the forefront to interview Captain America for the third time in her career. Needless to say, things have changed quite a bit since that time Sally infamously harangued Cap for not knowing about MySpace (writer Nick Spencer wisely updates that exchange to involve twitter instead). Essentially, this issue presents a televised interview where Supreme Hydra Steve Rogers attempts to win over the highly skeptical Sally as he extols the virtues of Hydra’s America. This approach serves two useful purposes. For one thing, it sheds more light on how the ordinary citizens of the Marvel U are reacting to Hydra’s rise (pretty well, READ…

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I Am Groot #1 Review

Share. Little Groot gets in big trouble. By Jesse Schedeen Now that the core Guardians of the Galaxy comic has gone twice-monthly, do we really need separate solo books for both Rocket Raccoon and Groot? The recent Rocket #1 made a strong case for itself, telling a very different sort of cosmic detective noir/heist tale. That series is clearly telling a story that couldn’t be told within All-New Guardians of the Galaxy. I’m not convinced that’s the case with I Am Groot #1. The one advantage with this latest in Marvel’s long line of Groot-centric comics is that it has a slight urgency to its status quo. As established in Al-New Guardians, Groot is stuck in his baby form for some reason. Beyond the fact that this puts him in immediate physical danger on any new mission, there’s also the ongoing mystery of how and why Groot has become trapped in this infant state. There’s little sense that I Am Groot will specifically be exploring that mystery, but at least Groot’s new, more precarious state gives the series some sense of novelty. Mostly, though, this is just the same sort of light, breezy Guardians comic we’ve seen a READ FULL…

Venom #150 Review

Share. Reunited and it feels so good. By Jesse Schedeen Legacy numbering is back in vogue these days, and Venom is the first of what looks to be a great many Marvel titles reverting to its original numbering scheme this year. And it certainly comes at an appropriate time. The Venom symbiote has now officially passed from Lee Price to Eddie Brock, restoring a status quo that hasn’t existed for about 15 years now. This renumbering and (more importantly) the resulting change in story direction help reinvigorate a series that had stumbled badly out of the gate last year. The most immediate and obvious improvement in this issue’s lead story is visual. The book has suffered greatly from the murky yet hyper-exaggerated approach taken by Geraldo Sandoval. Tradd Moore’s work is no less stylized, but it’s stylized with a specific purpose in mind. Moore brings an incredible sense of energy to the page as he explores the violent reunion between man and symbiote. His line-work is clean, and his characters are dynamic and expressive. Often Moore doesn’t even rely on traditional panel structures in his images, opting instead for incredible collage images where the boundaries between Eddie and his suit…

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The Flash: How Season 3 Finale's Draws From the Comics

Is it Wally West’s time to shine? By Jesse Schedeen Warning: this article contains spoilers for The Flash’s Season 3 finale! Read our review of “Finish Line.” The Flash’s Season 3 finale ended with what could wind up being the show’s most status quo-altering twist yet, as Barry Allen retreated into the Speed Force to pay his penance for creating the Flashpoint timeline and Savitar. The rest of Team Flash will have to carry on in his absence in Season 4. Depending how far the writers are willing to take this new development, we could be looking at a fourth season driven not by Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen, but by Keiynan Lonsdale’s Wally West. This twist definitely has a precedent in the comics, however. And based on that source material, we have a few ideas of what to expect from the series when it picks back up in Season 4. The Crisis Since the series first revealed Eobard Thawne’s hidden room in STAR Labs, viewers have been treated to glimpses of a holographic newspaper from the year 2024 with the ominous headlines “FLASH MISSING” and “VANISHES IN CRISIS” plastered on the front, along with another article titled “RED SKIES READ…

Supergirl: 4 Theories About THAT Mystery Character

Will one of these villains be starring in Season 3? By Jesse Schedeen Full spoilers for Supergirl’s Season 2 finale, “Nevertheless, She Persisted,” continue below. It wouldn’t be a Supergirl finale without the show introducing a new mystery for fans to chew on over the summer. The Season 1 finale introduced a space pod we eventually learned was carrying Daxamite refugee Mon-El. This year, the show wrapped with another flashback to Krypton just before its destruction, revealing that another baby was sent to Earth along with Kal-El and Kara Zor-El. It’s pretty clear from that scene that this baby isn’t going to be the valiant hero that Kara and her cousin are. If anything, we’re probably looking at an early tease for the main villain of Season 3. But who could that mystery baby be? We have a few ideas. The cultists in this flashback promises that the mystery baby will bring death and destruction to Earth, and no Superman villain is more skilled at creating both things than Doomsday. He is, after all, the monster infamous for killing the Man of Steel in 1992’s “Death of Superman” comic book crossover and in 2016’s Batman v Superman. We assume it’s…

Marvel's Runaways Return to Comics

They’re back on the run. By Jesse Schedeen It’s been a while since the renegade teen heroes known as The Runaways have had a comic to call their own, but that looks about to change. Even as Hulu gears up for its live-action Runaways TV series next year,  the team looks poised to make a return in the comic book realm. Today Marvel released the first of what we assume will be several teasers drawn by Star-Lord artist Kris Anka and spotlighting individual Runaways members. We’ll continue to update this article as more teasers are revealed and more members are added to this new incarnation of the team. Nico Minoru One of the founding members of the Runaways, Nico is also known as Sister Grimm. She’s a powerful witch with one major caveat – she can never cast the same spell more than once. That forces her to become increasingly creative and spontaneous with her magic over time. Nico has also tended to be the guiding force of the Runaways over the years, and she may well emerge as the leader of the team once again. Marvel has yet to reveal the creative team or release date for the new…

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Into the Badlands: Season 2 Finale Review

Share. Sunny fights for the fate of his family. By Jesse Schedeen Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below. “Wolf’s Breath, Dragon Fire” isn’t a perfect end-cap to this season of Into the Badlands. Only some of this season’s characters and running storylines actually received something resembling closure tonight. But if the measure of a good episode is one that provides equal parts stylish, butt-kicking action and character drama, then it’s hard to complain much about how this season wrapped. This episode at least covered the most important bases, bringing Sunny and Baijie’s cross-country journey to a close. For Sunny, this episode was a chance to redeem himself, save his family and finish the job he started last year in terms of killing his former master. For Baijie, he was able to prove once and for all that he’s a far better, nobler man than he lets on. For these two characters, the finale was pretty much everything I could have wanted. This episode certainly succeeded in stacking the odds against Sunny and providing him a challenge worthy of the one he faced in the Season 1 finale where he fought a losing battle against the Abbots. There READ FULL…

Is Marvel TV About to Introduce SWORD?

What good is a SHIELD without a SWORD? By Jesse Schedeen Full spoilers for Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD: Season 4 and speculation about how the show may tie to Marvel’s Inhumans continue below. It’s not easy being the Director of SHIELD in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Every time Phil Coulson overcomes one problem, another one rears its head. That was very much the case with the recent Agents of SHIELD: Season 4 finale. Just as Coulson and his team sat down to enjoy some well-deserved R&R, they found themselves kidnapped and dragged to a mysterious space station. As far as cliffhangers go, it was a biggie. And while at first glance it might seem hard to glean much from this sudden plot twist, we have a theory about where the series is heading in Season 5. We think Agents of SHIELD is gearing up to introduce the organization SWORD to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For more on SHIELD’s finale, make sure to check out our Q&A with the showrunners about Season 5 and heading to space. What Is SWORD? SWORD is a relatively recent addition to Marvel’s comic book universe. The organization was first introduced in Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men…