Articles by Jesse Schedeen

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Spider-Man's Damage Control Explained

Someone has to clean up after the Avengers. By Jesse Schedeen There have been rumblings about Damage Control making its Marvel Cinematic Universe debut for several years now, with ABC ordering a put pilot for a potential TV series back in October, 2015. Things have gone dormant since then, but there’s new hope for Damage Control’s MCU prospects thanks to Spider-Man: Homecoming and it’s looking like the organization will be appearing in the upcoming Tom Holland-starring film. With that in mind, now is the perfect time for a refresher on what Damage Control is and how it might fit into the increasingly complex tapestry that is the MCU. Some Spider-Man: Homecoming spoilers and speculation follow. What Is Damage Control? Damage Control was conceived in the late 1980s by writer Dwayne McDuffie and artist Ernie Colón as “a sitcom within the Marvel Universe.” Basically, the various Damage Control comics take a more comedic, ground-level approach to the Marvel Universe, focusing on the collateral damage caused by massive battles between heroes and villains. Damage Control are usually the ones tasked with cleaning up after each disaster and keeping New York City in tiptop shape. Needless to say, it’s a full-time job. READ FULL…

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4 Reasons Legends of Tomorrow Became Amazing

The Legends have really started to live up to their name. By Jesse Schedeen The CW’s Arrow-verse is constantly in flux. Once, Arrow was the big fish in a small pond. Then The Flash became top dog in this shared DC Comics universe. Now that it spans four ongoing shows (with another likely on the way), keeping up with the Arrow-verse is no easy task. But for those who do, there’s little question of which of these four superhero shows currently rules the roost. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has been the reigning champ all season long. But how did Legends suddenly become king of the hill? And how can the other Arrow-verse shows learn from its example? Let’s break down the reasons why this young series improved so much in its second season. Course Correction We enjoyed the first season of Legends quite a bit, but the show was hardly without its problems. Many of those problems revolved around the core conflict between Vandal Savage, Hawkgirl and Hawkman. In terms of acting and dramatic weight, these three characters were the show’s weak links, and the overarching storyline often suffered as a result. Frankly, Legends’ second season improved immediately READ FULL…

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Into the Badlands: “Force of Eagle's Claw” Review

Share. Sunny deals with the old ball and chain. By Jesse Schedeen Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below. Two episodes in, it’s all the more clear that Into the Badlands is in better shape for Season 2. The scope is larger, there’s more variety in terms of both locales and character conflicts, and the show seems even more willing to deliver its unique brand of hyper-violent martial arts. Unfortunately, this episode also serves as a reminder that some problems aren’t so easily shed. Even if he feels less like the show’s central protagonist this season, Into the Badlands is always at its best when focused on Sunny. Daniel Wu remains the brightest light in an otherwise mixed cast of actors, and the fact that he now has Nick Frost’s Bajie as a comic foil is just icing on the cake. Their oddball dynamic continues to be a lot of fun to watch, especially as Bajie has shown he isn’t above betraying his new friend to get ahead in the world. Frost brings just enough of a dark edge to the role to prevent Bajie from coming across as pure comic relief. But even if he were merely READ FULL…

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Wolverine, Hulk and Jean Grey to Return for Generations But Marvel Won't Say How

Marvel bridges the generation gap. By Jesse Schedeen Marvel fans pining for the return of iconic characters like Wolverine, Jean Grey and Bruce Banner are about to get their wish thanks to the upcoming event comic Generations. Generations teaser art by Alex Ross. (Marvel Comics) Marvel first teased this project last month, promising a massive superhero team-up involving new and old versions of characters like Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Wolverine and Spider-Man. Now ABC News has revealed more about the scope of this story. Generations will debut in July 2017 and is structured as a series of ten one-shot issues, each focusing on a different pair of characters. The full lineup will include: Captain America (Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson) – written by Nick Spencer Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell and Carol Danvers) – written by Margaret Stohl Hawkeye (Clint Barton and Kate Bishop) – written by Kelly Thompson Hulk (Bruce Banner and Amadeus Cho) – written by Greg Pak Iron Man (Tony Stark and Riri Williams) – written by Brian Michael Bendis Jean Grey (young and old) – written by Dennis Hopeless Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers and Kamala Khan) – written by G. Willow Wilson Spider-Man READ FULL STORY AT…

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9 Marvel Comics Mysteries That Took Years to Solve

Marvel knows how to play the long game. By Jesse Schedeen This week was an important one for Thor fans, as writer Jason Aaron finally addressed a mystery that’s been dangling since his 2014 mini-series Original Sin. The Unworthy Thor #5 finally revealed what Nick Fury said to Thor that made him no longer worthy to wield Mjolnir. No sooner was that mystery solved than another began, but such is the way of superhero comics. While Aaron left readers waiting and guessing for the better part of three years, this is hardly the first time a Marvel series has played the long game. Here are nine other cases where fans had to wait years to learn the answer to a huge Marvel mystery. How Did Daredevil Restore His Secret Identity? Wait time: 1.5 years A lot changed when Secret Wars paved the way for the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe in 2015, but perhaps no character was more profoundly affected than Daredevil. Before, Matt Murdock was living in San Francisco, enjoying an uncharacteristically stable romance and finally coming to terms with the fact that his secret identity was no longer secret. After, suddenly Matt was back living in New York, enjoying READ…

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Comic Book Reviews for March 22, 2017

Iron Fist goes walkabout and Superman transforms again. By Jesse Schedeen, Jeff Lake and Blair Marnell It was another big week for the comic book industry, as DC wrapped up the “Superman Reborn” crossover and Marvel launched a new Iron Fist comic and answered a big mystery in The Unworthy Thor #5. Elsewhere, IDW kicked off a new Ghostbusters series involving both the original and reboot teams, while Valiant relaunched X-O Manowar to incredible results. 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 #976 Written by Dan Jurgens | Drawn by Doug Mahnke To be honest, I was hoping to never see the New 52 Superman again, even though it was probably inevitable. However, the resolution of “Superman Reborn” does a lot to reconcile the differences between DC’s rebooted Man of Steel and the Post-Crisis version who took over the role last year. As a story, the ending doesn’t quite have the impact of the earlier chapters. But what we get out of it may be the most satisfying versions of Superman and READ FULL…

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X-O Manowar #1 Review

Share. He’s a Manowar, not a Manopeace. By Jesse Schedeen If I have any regret as a comic reader, it’s that I have only sporadic experience with the Valiant Universe. Keeping up with Marvel and DC alone is a full-time job these days, much less any other shared comic book universes. But with the X-O Manowar relaunch, Valiant has never offered an easier or more attractive jumping-on point. And anyone who gives this relaunch a shot is bound to be sucked into the saga of Aric of Dacia. The new creative team (writer Matt Kindt and artist Tomas Giorello) craft a very inviting and approachable first issue. The past 51 issues of X-O Manowar barely matter, as this series picks up with Aric living a quiet life as a farmer on an alien world and trying to leave his troubled past and sentient armor behind. But naturally, fate has other plans in store. There’s a whiff of Old Man Logan about this series, as the battle-scarred, retired hero finds himself reluctantly drawn back into his old life. And while there’s an element of mystery surrounding Aric’s decision to move off-world, the focus is almost entirely on what comes next. READ…

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How Is Legion's Villain Connected to the X-Men?

Professor X has some powerful enemies. By Jesse Schedeen Spoilers for Legion follow. Tonight’s Legion episode answered a number of running questions about the mysterious “Devil with Yellow Eyes” and its true connection to David Haller. We now know that this character is actually the Shadow King, a long-standing X-Men villain whose rivalry with Charles Xavier dates back decades. And though Xavier wasn’t specifically referenced by name in this episode, it seems that rivalry has translated over into the show. For those not familiar with the Xavier/Shadow King dynamic in the comics, we figured now would be the perfect time to break down their shared history and how Legion‘s handling of the Shadow King compares to the source material. Who Is the Shadow King? While the TV series portrays the Shadow King as an especially powerful mutant parasite, in the comics it’s more of a psychic monster created by the collective dark side of human consciousness. The Shadow King is a being without a body. It lives solely on the astral plane, a realm where it possesses almost limitless telepathic power and only someone as powerful as Charles Xavier stands a chance of opposing it. However, as in the READ…

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Shots Fired: Series Premiere Review

Share. A racially charged shooting forms the backbone of Fox’s new event series. By Jesse Schedeen Note: this is a spoiler-free advance review of the first episode of Shots Fired, which premieres tonight on Fox. Shots Fired has its heart in the right place. Fox’s new “event series” aims to explore some of the most serious issues facing the US right now in the form of systemic racism and racially motivated shootings. Unfortunately, the series seems very unsure of what story it actually wants to tell in its pilot episode. The first episode shows promise, but too often the hard-hitting drama takes a back-seat to more traditional detective TV tropes. Created by Gina Price-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees) and Reggie Rock Bythewood (Gun Hill), the series opens with the shooting death of a white teenager by an African American police officer Joshua Beck (The Wire’s Tristan Wilds) in North Carolina. Concerned with “optics,” Washington D.C. officials dispatch greenhorn prosecutor Preston Terry (Race’s Stephan James) and veteran investigator Ashe Akino (The Best Man’s Sanaa Lathan) to take charge of the investigation and prevent another political powder keg from exploding. Complicating matters are the involvement of NC Governor Patricia Eamons READ…

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Star Wars: Darth Maul #2 Review

Share. Darth Maul needs a few bad men. By Jesse Schedeen As solid as Marvel’s Star Wars lineup has been over the past two years, it’s tough not to grow frustrated with the often conservative approach these books have taken. Darth Maul is the latest in a long line of solo series that do little to truly enrich the character in question or break new ground in a galaxy far, far away. There are many great stories worth telling with Darth Maul at the center, but this isn’t one of them. Issue #2 sees Maul continue his quest to make with the revenge-ing and kill an actual Jedi for a change. There’s plenty of focus on Maul’s anti-Jedi rage and annoyance at his master’s calls for patience, but little on any other aspects of his character. The narrative captions do little to bring any new insight to a character who developed a surprising amount of nuance in his various animated appearances. I’d just as soon have them trimmed entirely, bringing the book more in line with Marvel’s generally light, cinematic approach to the franchise. Only during a brief flashback sequence does this issue really break the mold and begin READ…

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Iron Fist #1 Review

Share. Danny Rand has seen better days. By Jesse Schedeen Is it any surprise that Marvel has a new Iron Fist comic ready to go mere days after the character made his Netflix debut? Clearly, the new Iron Fist comic is meant to appeal to fans of the Netflix series as much as any other target audience. Unfortunately, that show consistently struggled to do justice to the source material, so there’s not much to be gained from the transition to a darker, moodier Danny Rand in the comics. Building on developments from Kaare Andrews’ Iron Fist: The Living Weapon, this new series sees Danny mourning the destruction of K’un L’un and his general failure as Iron Fist. He;’s now reduced to travelling the globe, participating in underground fight clubs and drowning his sorrows in alcohol. But as usually the case when martial artist heroes go walkabout, an opportunity for Danny to regain his lost honor eventually presents itself. That’s pretty much the whole plot of this first issue, which reads more like a prologue to the real Iron Fist comic to come. Writer Ed Brisson executes his story well enough. The dialogue and narration flow easily, and the issue READ…

DC Rebirth's Superman Mystery Solved

What is dead may never die. By Jesse Schedeen One of the bigger mysteries of DC Rebirth has finally been answered in Action Comics this week. Warning: full spoilers for Action Comics #976 follow! When DC Rebirth began last year, readers learned that the New 52 reboot was the result of Doctor Manhattan meddling with the DC timeline, removing ten years and profoundly altering the lives of DC’s heroes and villains. But that didn’t answer the question of why there were two versions of Superman and Lois Lane occupying the same world – the New 52 versions and the classic versions that escaped the death of the pre-Flashpoint universe. That confusion only grew after the New 52 versions of Superman and Lois both died in separate but similar circumstances last spring. This issue made the relationship between the New 52 and DC Rebirth much more clear. It turns out that neither Superman is the “real” Superman. Instead, each is a different piece of the same whole, pieces that were created when Manhattan split the DC timeline into two divergent paths. The two Supermans and two Loises ultimately merged together in this issue, creating restored, unified versions with memories of both…

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Marvel Teases a Third Thor in the Comics

Is there room for a third Thor in the Marvel Universe? By Jesse Schedeen The final chapter of The Unworthy Thor introduced a mysterious new player in the Marvel Universe. Warning: this article contains spoilers for The Unworthy Thor #5! This issue was plenty eventful, as readers learned what exactly Nick Fury said to make Thor unworthy back in 2014’s Original Sin. But even as one mystery was finally solved, writer Jason Aaron introduced a new one. The Unworthy Thor has revolved largely around the Odinson’s efforts to escape imprisonment at the hands of The Collector and claim the hammer of Ultimate Thor (which survived the death of its owner and the destruction of the multiverse in Secret Wars). If he can’t have his Mjolnir, he might as well settle for another, right? Art by Olivier Coipel and Kim Jacinto. (Marvel Comics) Apparently not. The Odinson opted to leave the hammer where it lay and allow a truly worthy owner come to claim it instead. That owner arrived in the final pages of this issue. The identity of this new hammer-wielder is a mystery, but he’s already referring to himself as “The War Thor.” Based READ FULL STORY AT IGN!

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We Finally Know Why Thor Odinson Is Unworthy

What did Nick Fury do? By Jesse Schedeen The final issue of The Unworthy Thor answered a long-running mystery in the Marvel Universe. Warning: spoilers for The Unworthy Thor #5 follow! Writer Jason Aaron introduced a huge shake-up to Thor’s world in 2014’s Original Sin. During the course of that story, Nick Fury managed to incapacitate the god of thunder by whispering something in his ear. Readers weren’t privy to what was said, but ever since, Thor hasn’t been able to lift Mjolnir. His powers and name have now passed to Jane Foster, while the Odinson has been trying to find a way to redeem himself ever since. Nearly three years later, Aaron finally revealed exactly what Fury said to the Odinson. He told him, “Gorr was right.” Art by Olivier Coipel and Kim Jacinto. (Marvel Comics) For those who haven’t been following Aaron’s long Thor saga, Gorr the God Butcher is a villain who featured prominently in the first 12 issues of Thor: God of Thunder. Gorr devoted thousands of years to his quest to rid the universe of all gods, battling Thor at three key points in his immortal life. Gorr was fueled READ FULL STORY AT IGN!