Comic Book Review – Upgrade Soul

Upgrade Soul (2018)
Written & Illustrated by Ezra Claytan Daniels

Hank and Molly Nonnar have been married for 45 years when they agree to undergo an experimental to give themselves new bodies and a second lifetime. However, as these things so often go, there are complications, and the couple’s bodies and souls undergo something life-shattering. As the two are led through the recovery process by the unethical scientists and researchers at the institute, they begin to uncover truths about themselves and their relationship. Molly makes breakthroughs in her research and sees her typical day to day needs fading away. Hank finds intimacy in an unexpected relationship and begins to imagine a future beyond the walls of their hospital. But as more is discovered about their conditions the bleaker the outcome appears to be.

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Comic Book Review – Gideon Falls: The Black Barn

Gideon Falls: The Black Barn (2018)
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Andrea Sorrentino

Father Wilfred has been reassigned to a new parish after issues with drinking. His new home will be the rural town of Gideon Falls, where their last priest went missing and is presumed dead. His first night in the priest’s quarters of the church leads to an encounter with the absent father and the corpse of Mrs. Tremblay; the church secretary/housekeeper found bled out in a cornfield. Wilfred swears he saw a black barn in that field, but the police find no traces of it and suspect Wilfred was involved in the murder. Meanwhile, in a city far away a paranoid schizophrenic man named Norton scours the back alleys and dumpsters for fragments of charred wood and rusted nails. Norton believes the city is revealing a larger cosmic truth to him, that all of these pieces when assembled will make a construct that answers questions he has repressed. The stories of these two men living great distances from each other slowly become entangled and promise to lead to genuinely dark places.

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Movie Review – An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn

An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn (2018)
Written by Jim Hosking and David Wike
Directed by Jim Hosking

Lulu Danger is stuck in an unsatisfying marriage to Shane, the manager at Bob’s Coffee. One day, while she lounges around watching television, a commercial comes across the screen for a magical evening with an enigmatic figure named Beverly Luff Linn. Lulu paws through a dresser drawer to uncover photographs of her and this Mr. Beverly from some time in her past. Meanwhile, Shane steals money from Lulu’s vegan cousin who in turn hires a drifter named Colin to retrieve the cash. Lulu uses this as an opportunity to run off with the money and Colin to the hotel where Beverly will be performing. She hopes to rekindle whatever old flames existed between the two of them. What she didn’t count on is Rodney von Donkensteiger, Beverly’s handler or the fact that Colin is falling in love with her.

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Movie Review – Destroyer

Destroyer (2018)
Written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi
Directed by Karyn Kusama

Erin Bell has been worn down by her life as a police detective and the alcohol she downs to self-medicate herself. An envelope arrives at her desk containing an ink-stained bill which suddenly pulls her back into memories that are seventeen years old. Erin and her partner Chris went deep undercover to join a bank robbing gang run by Silas, a sociopath. The envelope is a sign to Erin that Silas is back and she starts to hunt down old associates as a means to find where her enemy is and finish him. To do this, she must cross every line that an officer is expected to uphold and will even kill to find this man that has tormented her mind for decades.

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Movie Review – Mary Poppins Returns

Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
Written by David Magee, Rob Marshall, & John DeLuca
Directed by Rob Marshall

It’s The Great Depression in England and Michael Banks is still reeling over the death of his beloved wife. Now he’s a single father with three children, getting support from his sister Jane and their long-suffering housekeeper Ellen. Lawyers from Fidelity Fiduciary arrive one morning to inform the family that due to lax payments on a loan the bank will be seizing the house at the stroke of midnight in five days. That’s when an old friend returns to the lives of the adult Banks children, Mary Poppins. The mysterious nanny from the sky helps the newest generation of Banks kids work through their still lingering grief over their mother and rediscover the magic and joy in life that has been lost during such trying times. Along the way, they are joined by Jack, a lamplighter and former apprentice of Bert the chimneysweep.

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Comic Book Review – Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion Evil

Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil
Reprints Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil #1-4
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by David Rubin

Taking a step back from the events of Black Hammer: The Event, we get to read the story of how Lucy Weber investigated the disappearance of her superhero father. Using her position as a reporter for the Global Planet, Lucy begins uncovering details about what happened the day Anti-God invaded Spiral City. This leads her to an asylum on the edges of town where the name “Sherlock Frankenstein” is given to her by an inmate. Frankenstein is a notorious supervillain who was seen being quite active the day of Anti-God’s invasion. Lucy becomes convinced that this mastermind is behind the vanishing and possible death of her dad. However, a shadowy conspiracy seems intent on blocking Lucy’s further prying.

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Comic Book Review – Black Hammer Volume 2: The Event

Black Hammer Volume 2: The Event
Reprints Black Hammer Giant-Sized Annual, Black Hammer #7 – 13
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Deam Ormston, Nate Powell, Matt Kindt, Dustin Nguyen, Ray Fawkes, Emi Lenox, and Michael Allred

Lucy Weber, the daughter of Black Hammer, has arrived in the pocket universe that her father’s allies have been trapped inside of. Her memories of how she got to this strange small town have been muddled, but she doesn’t have much time to contemplate this when she has to deal with the grief of her father’s death. Her arrival also signals a sudden change in the behaviors of the stranded heroes, particularly in Madame Dragonfly and Colonel Weird. Through stories told by the heroes and flashbacks, the audience learns more specifics surrounding the event that caused all of this tragedy, the battle with Anti-God. Very quickly all the heroes find the once quaint yet eerie small town they have been living in becoming darker and more sinister, signaling that this phase in their lives is coming to an end and something new is being born.

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