"I am Iron Man."
- Black Sabbath, "Iron Man"
As I'm writing this, Avengers: Endgame has made $2,272,706,419 in theaters around the world, according to Box Office Mojo, making it currently the second highest grossing movie in cinematic history, with the number one spot well within it's sights. It only has approximately half a million dollars to go to take that spot, and that's a lot of money, but it's been out only one full week.
Whether it ends it's theatrical run first or second, one thing is certain. A review on a small news-site (with readers in the high double digits!) catering to a niche demographic will not be the deciding factor. There is no world where I write a rave review that sends everyone back to the theater, nor is there a world where I so utterly critically destroy this movie that theaters empty like, well, like what happened at the end of the last Avengers movie. Of course, the real reason to review this movie is because I reviewed the last one, and I reviewed that one because it's got a talking raccoon in it, and the coming possibility that the biggest movie ever might soon feature an anthro character is something that should be noted on a furry site.
SPOILER ALERT: The Russo brothers say I can spoil the movie now, but don't worry, I won't. However, if you haven't seen Avengers: Infinity War and want to see it unspoiled, hold off on hitting read more.
Perhaps it was me, but I sensed a smidgen of negativity towards my review of Avengers: Infinity War. Like, just featuring Rocket Raccoon on the poster (he's in there somewhere, I'm sure) just wasn't enough for some of you. To be fair, if Infinity War ends up winning the Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture, as billion dollar box office blockbusters from Disney are known to do, well, that would be both bad and also probably completely my fault, so preemptive apologies if it does!
Now I'm reviewing another Marvel movie with a supporting character who's totally furry, but that's about it. In this case, it's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and that character is Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham (voiced by John Mulaney), an anthropomorphic spider (bitten by a radioactive pig, see). On one hand, despite being a part of a much larger cast, I feel Rocket got a slightly bigger role in his movie. He has his own subplot with a bit of an arc to it, while Peter Porker is basically just another member of the team; the movie's focus is on other teammates.
On the other hand, Spider-Ham is part of a much smaller ensemble, so though his role is smaller, his screentime is bigger, and though the movie focuses more on the three versions of Spider-Man that are the most "normal" (Miles Morales, Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy) rather than the "gimmicky" characters (Spider-Man Noir, Peni Parker and Spider-Ham), Spider-Ham gets the most attention of that trio, being the last of the three to leave and the one who gets the stand-out action beat (as well as being just a scene-stealer in general).
And on the gripping hand, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is just a way better movie than Avengers: Infinity War.
To begin, a little bit of justification as to why I'm reviewing this. In addition to being the 19th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Avengers three ... point five ... ish, this movie is also essentially Guardians of the Galaxy volume 2.5. And seeing as how that team just won its second motion picture Ursa Major by a pretty good margin over historically fierce competition, well, this is a team furries apparently care about, even if it's really just Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) bringing the furry.
Next, a little bit of warning. This movie ends on what could be a cliffhanger which may totally be retconned out of existence by the end of next year's Untitled Avengers Film, or maybe not, in which case there is a lot, a lot, of stuff to spoil. Now, people have a tendency to act, well, spoiled about spoilers, which basically didn't exist before Alfred Hitchcock invented the idea to promote Psycho, despite the fact that the trailer consists of Hitchcock giving the game away, since it doesn't matter.
However, there's no need to be rude, so I'm not going into the ending, other than I think I will reveal Rocket's fate, so you know whether or not, as a furry, you should just give up on this Marvel Cinematic Universe or not.
But I'll do that after the break, so if you don't want to know, well, don't click "read more".
Not long after making his return to movies in the after credits gag from Guardians of the Galaxy after an infamous 1986 outing, Howard the Duck will gain his first ongoing comic since 1979 (not counting a mostly official two issue continuation of the series in 1986 in conjunction with the movie). He's appeared in various mini-series since that time, with many guest spots and cameos (Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis has claimed never to have typed the words "Howard the Duck" despite the character appearing in the background of multiple series by him), and he was one of the non-zombie leads in the Marvel Zombies 5 mini-series, but this is first ongoing since the seventies.
At this point, I’m a bit behind of recent comic books, but I’m trying to get caught back up to recent times while bringing our readers reviews of every issue of Guardians of the Galaxy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and a few even newer series we’ll be getting to eventually.
But for now, we’ve got Guardians of the Galaxy, plus I finish up the final couple of TMNT villains issues.
But enough about next year - here’s ten movies from 2014 I liked.
We’ve got three issues from what are becoming the core books of this Pull List series of articles.
The oldest title in the series is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which has been around since the first Pull List and 14 issues have appeared in 14 other pull lists, counting this one. Eight spin-off issues, including the original Micro-Series, the Villains Micro-Series and The Secret History of the Foot Clan have also appeared in seven Pull Lists, bringing the total TMNT number to 23 issues in 22 Pull Lists.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic began at the beginning with #1 in Pull List #6. Since then, 10 other issues have appeared in nine other Pull Lists, with seven issues of its Micro-Series featuring in seven Pull Lists, bring the franchise’s total up to 18 issues in 17 Pull Lists.
The new kids on the block are the Guardians of the Galaxy, with seven issues in seven Pull Lists and no spin-offs, so they’re also the easiest to keep track of.
For all the hubbub about Marvel Studios deciding to go with an obscure team featuring a talking raccoon with a machine gun for their latest movie, they’re only continuing on as they started.
Think about it; not counting serials, what was the first DC universe character to get his own movie? Batman, followed by Superman (followed by Batman, Batman again, even more Batman, Superman, Superman and next Batman and Superman together). That’s their two biggest guns, and barring that weird Ryan Reynolds thing and Vertigo adaptations, that’s about it.
What was Marvel’s first superhero to get his own theatrical movie? Howard the Duck, followed by Blade, a character who struggles to headline his own comic books, but somehow managed a trilogy of movies. Yeah, Howard the Duck was the first obvious warning sign George Lucas wasn’t perfect, but now that Guardians of the Galaxy movie doesn’t sound so weird, does it?
Anyway, this is a special edition of Pull List; we’re taking a look back at one of the odder cult characters in mainstream comics. Howard the Duck got his start in a horror comic, of all places, created by weird writer extraordinaire Steve Gerber (four words: elf with a gun). Howard would have been a nobody in his home universe, where everybody is a duck, but he got stuck in our world, “trapped in a world he never made,” as the series’ tagline goes (which kind of applies to everybody, but whatever), so he got his own comic book series here.
His comics’ introduction describes him:
From the time of his hatching, he was … different. A potentially brilliant scholar who dreaded the structured environment of school, he educated himself in the streets, taking whatever work was available, formulating his philosophy of self from what he learned of the world about him. And then the Cosmic Axis shifted … and that world changed. Suddenly, he was stranded in a universe he could not fathom. Without warning, he became a strange fowl in an even stranger land.
So, there was recently an article on Flayrah I can’t link to anymore since the author asked it be removed, but the general gist of it was that bias in criticism is bad. Not going to argue that point one way or another, but argue a side tangent; the article never really said so, but the argument the author was really making was that negative bias is bad. Positive bias is either okay, or just doesn’t exist.
I don’t like onions, so I would be a terrible person to ask if an onion is good or not. However, if you liked onions, and they were your favorite food, you would also be a terrible person to ask for a review of a particular onion. I would say this onion is bad, because to me, all onions are bad. You would say this onion is good, because to you, all onions are good. Together, our reviews of the onion have told us nothing about this particular onion.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been waiting for this movie a while; you could say I’m biased for it. So, by my very argument, I am unqualified to review this movie. I’m going to do it anyway, because I can, and besides, if one person has a bias, the odds are that many other people share the same bias.
Besides, this isn’t my first rodeo; I know what I’m doing, and believe I am capable of looking past my biases and giving this movie a fair review. Not like it can complain; I’m going to say this movie is awesome, after all.
But, fair warning; this is a biased review. Also, never ask me to review an onion.
The title of this collection is misleading; it collects almost every issue Rocket Raccoon and/or Groot appeared in with the exceptions of any issues of Guardians of the Galaxy or books where they appeared as part of that team. As a side note, Rocket is the only Guardian who has been an active member of that team since the beginning (not counting the original, alternate future Guardians); even Star-Lord was momentarily kicked off the team.
But anyway, these are the solo adventures of both Groot and Rocket, plus their team ups, including their first appearances in Tales to Astonish #13 way back in 1959 for Groot (that’s right, Groot is over half a century old) and both of Rocket Raccoon’s first appearances. I’ll explain that better below.
All together, they form a great introduction to the characters, especially for fans whose only knowledge that these two characters exists comes from the upcoming movie.
This collection includes stories by Bill Mantlo, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, and Larry Lieber, with art by Keith Giffen, Sal Buscema, Mike Mignola, Timothy Green II and Jack Kirby. The cover is by Mike Mignola, with a back cover by Skottie Young.
New York, NY, Marvel, April 2013, trade paperback $18.96 (264 pages).
It’s another milestone issue, so we’re bringing back the “animals wearing party hats” tag. I couldn’t find a picture of Rocket Raccoon wearing a party hat, however. Seems he’s not the type to do something like that. But Applejack is the best pony for wearing hats (in addition to being best pony, period), and her Micro-Series is finally here, so there we go.
Also, since this issue number is divisible by ten, there’s another index of previous issues, in case you’ve been looking forward to it.
I’m going to slip into a pattern here, with three titles that you’ll be seeing one each in each Pull List for a while; Guardians of the Galaxy, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I guess if you don’t care for one of those, you’ll be doing a lot of skipping. If you don’t like two of them, you’ll definitely want to skip these. And if you absolutely can’t stand any of them, that’s pretty bad. It probably means you don’t like comic books.
That’s okay. Maybe you got a really bad paper cut from one as a child. That could scar you for life, I guess. Not literally. Paper cuts don’t tend to lend scars.
If you thought the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book series from Marvel sounded interesting, but were disappointed at the gun-toting-raccoon-to-green-skinned-alien ratio, July will see that situation rectified. Rocket Raccoon is getting his own ongoing series.
The book will be drawn and written by Skottie Young, best known for his work on Marvel’s comic adaptations of L. Frank Baum’s Oz books, along with cover work for many Marvel titles. He is known for his cartoony style, an obvious fit with Rocket Raccoon’s funny animal roots. Like Rocket, this will be Young’s first ongoing title as a writer. You can see uncolored inside art for the first issue at MTV News.
The comic’s title was originally Rocket Raccoon and Groot, but Rocket’s “personal houseplant/muscle” was demoted, though he’ll still feature prominently. The rest of the Guardians will mostly stay in their own book, though Rocket and Groot will remain a part of that book’s cast.
In case you somehow missed it, Rocket Raccoon will also, completely uncoincidentally, appear in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie hitting theaters August 1, directed by James Gunn, featuring Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket.
In addition to the animated movies with a variety of anthropomorphics, animals and anthropomorphic animals coming out some time this year, there are four major live action releases this year that furries may want to mark on their calendar: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hobbit: There and Back Again and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Dates listed are for North American releases. Furries in other areas of the world may have to wait a bit longer, but all four are big blockbuster type movies counting on worldwide revenue; be patient and they’ll reach you eventually.