The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 132 – Gotta Go Fast

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, our fortnightly pop culture news and reviews podcast!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Big News

We’ve been off for a while, but this week we chat about the trailers for Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order, the new Clone Wars series and the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, the success of Captain Marvel and Avengers Endgame, and the new versions of the Nintendo Switch that are coming.

Screentime – Avengers Endgame

This week we review Avengers Endgame, the latest Marvel film and the end of the ‘Infinity Saga’ and culmination of the previous 21 films. We go into pretty heavily into spoilers from 47:05-69:30 so skip that if you haven’t seen it yet! 

Now Playing – Reading/Watching/Playing (a few things as we haven’t had an episode in a while!)
Adam A Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers, The Shadow Rising (The Wheel of Time Book 4) by Robert Jordan, and Fires by Raymond Carver/Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on Netflix, Game of Thrones Season 6 on NOW TV, and Us/Super Smash Bros Ultimate on Nintendo Switch, The Surge on PS4
IanThe Charmed Life of Alex Moore by Molly Flatt and The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty /Fleabag Series 2 on BBC Three/The Elder Scrolls: Blades on iOS, Call of Duty Modern Warfare Remastered on PS4

Check out any of those through those Amazon links and we get a kick back! Or you can go through here.

You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 131 – No Bad News is Good News

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, our fortnightly pop culture news and reviews podcast!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Big News

This week we chat about James Gunn being rehired by Disney for Guardians of the Galaxy 3, The Suicide Squad, the completion of Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, the end of Arrow with Season 8, Google Stadia, Pokemon Sword and Shield, casting for the Black Widow film and the Stranger Things Season 3 trailer.

Screentime – Captain Marvel

This week we are joined by Rose to review Captain Marvel, the latest Marvel film and the 21st film in the MCU but the first to be fully headlined by a woman. We go into spoilers from 59.02-1:22:17!

Now Playing – Reading/Watching/Playing

Adam Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, Soul Music by Terry Pratchett and The Yellow King by Robert W. Chambers/Mad Men on Netflix/Super Smash Bros Ultimate and Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle on Nintendo Switch
IanBlack Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James/Fleabag Series 2 on BBC Three/Civilisation VI on iPad

Check out any of those through those Amazon links and we get a kick back! Or you can go through here.

You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

Comic Review – The Life of Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“I’ll beat down the memories so hard they’ll never come back” Captain Marvel

Cover art by Julian Totino Tedesco

It may not be out until next year, but I am very excited to see Captain Marvel when she’s released into the MCU. In the meantime Marvel are building up the hype for her character with a new short series exploring her origins. Not the alien experimentation/power obtaining origins though, her childhood, family life and what makes Carol Danvers Carol Danvers. Both the premise of this story, a more in depth analysis of a fascinating super hero, and the art style on the front cover (which I’m sure you’ll agree is excellent) drew me in to pick this up.

This comic is bought to us by:

  • Writer – Margaret Stohl
  • Penciler (present day) – Carlos Pacheco
  • Inker (present day) – Rafael Fonteriz
  • Colourist (present day) – Marvio Menyz
  • Artist (Flashbacks) – Marguerite Sauvage
  • Letterers – VC’s Clayton Cowles
  • Cover Artist – Julian Totino Tedesco

The story begins with the Avengers doing their thing and knocking a few bad guys around. As the battle progresses though we see that Captain Marvel isn’t really battling her enemy but her own trauma. It’s father’s day and that’s brought with it a whole range of memories and challenges that Carol is doing her best to repress without much success. She decides she has to face her past and goes home to her family. While the battle is dynamic and very much a spectacle as always the real conflict in this story is a very personal one, providing insight into a hero that isn’t usually offered in mainstream comic books.

The series appears to be following two primary plot threads – Captain Marvel in the present reconnecting with her family and looking back on her upbringing and Carol as a child and revealing the challenges she faced and a family life that wasn’t as ideal as she pretends it was. Stohl’s characterisation of Carol is gripping and makes her feel very human.

Art by Pacheco Fonteriz, Menyz and Sauvage

The art in this comic is fantastic. With two art teams there’s a risk the styles will clash or one will seem out of place, however both feel very realistic – in the modern day both Pacheco’s pencil work and Fonteriz’s ink work provide detailed and grounded feeling scenes while the colouring from Menyz is vibrant and brings the pages to life. However, the muted colour pallet adopted by Sauvage during the flashbacks makes them feel dream like or as memories are, something very separate to what is currently happening. For me, all of the art is of a very high calibre in this issue, both styles complimenting each other and suiting each other (young Carol in Sauvage’s work really looks like she’ll grow up to become Captain Marvel), however Sauvage really steals the show with outstanding work during the flashbacks.

Final Verdict

I’ve owned this comic for about 6 hours and read it twice. If you want a little more depth to your super heroes, especially if you want to get to know Captain Marvel better then you should absolutely pick this up.

Final Score – 9.5 Alien Cat Things out of 10

Comic Review – Generations: The Marvels #1 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“Umm… protesting stuff? And unicorns.” Kamala Khan

Me again this week, next week I’ll be off on my honeymoon as I get married on the 22nd! This week I wanted to this new Generations run Marvel are currently doing. Ms. Marvel has always been a figure who I’ve liked the idea of but have never read up on as much as I’d have liked to, when I saw the Ms. Marvel and Ms. Marvel comic come up this week I figured it’d be a good place to start which appears to be the intention with the Generations – giving an easy pick up point for new readers to explore characters they want to get involved with, and if they’re a fan of the classic they get to know who is wearing those boots in 2017. This comic was bought to us by:

  • Writer – G. Willow Wilson
  • Artist – Paolo Villanelli
  • Colourist – Ian Herring
  • Letterer – VC’s Joe Caramangna

In this issue Kamala Khan, the current incarnation of Ms. Marvel, has been thrust back in time, for reasons. There isn’t much of an explanation as to how she’s got there, but that’s comic books for you. From what I’ve seen this is a theme in all the Generations releases and may well be explained as a more overarching theme. She finds herself in what appears to be the 60s with second wave feminism in the process of taking off. Through a series of accidents she finds herself working for Carol Danvers at the Daily Bugle on a leading women’s magazine insert. Naturally there’s an alien takeover attempt (maybe not quite in the way you expect) and both Ms. Marvels team up to kick some ass. As you may expect there are feminist overtones to the issue, with Kamala making some key points which feel as relevant today as they would have back in the 60s.

Villanelli and Herring’s work has been done through a rather vintage lens. The colours appear faded and with the exception of Kamala much of the art looks like you were looking at it through an early colour TV set. Naturally this makes Kamala stand out and look even more out of place. As always with Kamala in the action Villanelli appears to have had some fun playing with size and proportions during the battles, however Kamala often feels like she’s taking a back seat to Carol’s lead.

60s or not though, can Villanelli draw hands? Reading the issue while paying particular attention to the hands you see a lot of the character’s personality and mood communicated through them. Danvers feels in control and confident while Kamala’s body language is often nervous as if she feels out of place (of course). There’s also plenty to look at during combat and I think Villanelli certainly can draw hands. 9/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

I enjoyed this, it was a fun issue which has hooked me in to pick up more Ms. Marvel comics, its best not to think of some of the potential plot issues though. Well done Marvel, your promotion is working.

Score: 8.5 Ridiculously Cheap Outfits out of 10

Comic Review – Civil War II #0 (Marvel Comics)

1

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: Minor Spoilers.

“We have to allow for freedom of thought, because if we do not we are not a free people” Jennifer Walters

Me again people, Adam will be back next week to cover the first issue of DCs Rebirth series. In the meantime Marvel are kicking off their own comic book event, Civil War II. Which just so happens to be kicking off shortly after Captain America: Civil War proved to be a success (for anyone curious after Adam and my review of Batman vs Superman, Cap 3 was HUGELY better and an excellent film).

CWIIFISo, this week issue #0 was released, following the current trend in releasing a #0 issue of a series to set the scene before everything kicks off. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art by Olivier Coipel and Justin Ponsor, Civil War II sets a scene where yet again tensions are heightening between those who believe in freedom and those who believe in security. However, instead of the Captain America vs Iron Man we’re familiar with, the story kicks off with one of my personal favourite heroes – She Hulk. She’s doing her thing, defending the innocent, literally, in court in her capacity as a lawyer defending The Jester who’s been arrested for discussing crimes he may commit. That’s her defence at least. He spoke about crimes, he didn’t commit any and convicting him for that would be a breach of his freedom of thought.

Meanwhile, Captain Marvel is having a discussion with Doc Samson, about how despite how many super heroes there are keeping the world safe is getting harder and harder. The Ultimates and having to intervene pre-emptively to prevent disaster at times. We also see Ulysses, a teenager who’s getting caught up in the Terrigen Mist which turns certain people into Inhumans. Finally, Rhodey is meeting with the President of the United States, who is trying to kick start Rhodey’s political career (before Tony Stark gets funny ideas about running for president!)

CWIIThe stage is set, we can see key members on each side and it looks like key issue will be pre-emptively stopping crimes with She-Hulk against and Captain Marvel for. War Machine and Ulysses are yet to pick side but will be key players. I really enjoyed Jennifer’s speech about freedom of thought, an issue very relevant in the real world and providing another conflict that isn’t a rehash of the first Civil War.

Coipel and Posnor’s art is excellent here as well. Despite there not being much super hero action taking place, the strong character work from Coipel, facial expressions and the cinematic scope and renderings give the issue a sense of scale. Posnor’s colours add to this cinematic feeling, with She-Hulk’s visit to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier almost shining with lens flare above the clouds, or layering thick shadows into Rhodey’s meeting with the President.

Final Verdict

The stage is set for Civil War II, we haven’t had the final spark to set things off but it’s only a matter of time. It’s also good to see different heroes in the limelight this time, now if only we’d get an MCU She-Hulk film!

Final Score – 8.5 Drunk Shi’ar out of 10!

Comic Review – Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel Comics)

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. He missed reviewing them while he tries to write up his PhD thesis, so every other week he’ll be reviewing of one of them, with potential minor spoilers.

Another week and another #1 issue from Marvel! This time I picked up Captain Marvel #1, written by Agent Carter showrunners Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, drawn by Kris Anka, coloured by Matthew Wilson and lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna.

Carol Danvers AKA Captain Marvel is off to space again, although instead of the slightly further reaches of the cosmos where the Guardians of the Galaxy hang around, this time she’s off on a two year deployment commanding the Alpha Flight Space Station 250km above the Earth, acting as its first line of defence against interstellar threats (although a GotG member does make a brief appearance…). There she meets her command, including Alpha Flight members Puck, Sasquatch, Aurora and the prickly Lt. Commander Abigail Brand, and very quickly chooses to shirk her typical desk-job and administrative duties in favour of punching earth-bound ships and meteors. Which really sounds like a lot more fun.

Captain MarvelConsidering this is their comic book writing debut, Fazekas and Butters do a fine job here crafting a light-hearted yet meaningful first issue, blending a sci-fi drama in the style of Star Trek with cosmic superhero action. Carol’s character seems largely unchanged from Kelly Sue Deconnick’s run, so there is a familiarity to hold on to as we launch into this new arc. The supporting cast looks like it will be very interesting dynamic, with Carol butting heads with Brand while simultaneously quickly becoming best buddies with the affable Puck.

Anka’s art is expressive and bold, with some heavy and angular line work that retains a simplicity that works well with the light-hearted tone of the book. The character and facial work within the giant high-tech space station has sense of warmth within the sterile yet well-detailed environments, while the hugely vibrant space action is a real treat. Wilson’s colours are definitely an important part of that vibrancy, not just in the combat but also between the various character designs and uniforms. Danvers herself looks especially good with Anka’s slight tweaks for her new costume and the stark colours from Wilson.

If you’re looking for a fun and exciting sci-fi superhero comic, look no further than Captain Marvel. The ensemble cast works well to round out the book, but this is still very much Carol Danvers’ story and it should be a great ride seeing where she goes next. Check it out at your LCS or digital comics platform.

Score: 8 Hala Stars out of 10

Comic Review – A-Force #1

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he reviews of one of them, with potential minor spoilers.

Another week, and the third Marvel review in a row. This week A-Force #1 came out, one of the first tie-ins to Marvel’s big summer event Secret Wars (review of issue #1 here), following some fairly ridiculous commentary that I will talk about later on. A-Force is written by Marguerite Bennett and G. Willow Wilson, with pencils by Jorge Molina, inks from Molina and Craig Yeung, colours by Laura Martin and Matt Milla and letters from VC’s Cory Petit.

Secret Wars started with the Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe colliding, ending both universes and the multiverse itself.  From the second issue, it appears that this collision resulted in a reconfigured reality known as ‘Battleworld’ – a world ruled by Doctor Doom and divided into numerous regions, each presided over by a baron or baroness. One such fiefdom is Arcadia, the “feminist paradise” ruled by the baroness She-Hulk, who protects the area and it’s citizens with an all-female team of heroes called ‘A-Force’. When a Megalodon (giant prehistoric shark) attacks during a routine patrol, Captain Marvel leads Ms. America, Sister Grimm and Dazzler to deal with it before it harms any civilians on land. During the fight, the actions of one member of A-Force violates the border rules of Battleworld, bringing the punitive functions of the Thors, the enforcers of Doom’s absolute rule, to Arcadia. As She-Hulk struggles to fight against these laws she risks the safety of all of Arcadia, but the alternative is giving up one of their own to life imprisonment on ‘The Shield’.

SW Map.jpg

I was worried going in to some of the Secret Wars tie-ins that they would feel impenetrable to new readers, especially those looking to check out this female led book. The first issue of the main event did feel somewhat closed to those without any firm knowledge of the Marvel Universe, the second felt like more of a clean slate for the story. A-Force echoes the latter, with the basics of Battleworld covered in a summary on the fourth page (after a gorgeous double page splash of Carol Danvers leading her patrol in the skies over Arcadia), and each major player given the bare essential background early on in the issue (for example a green box stating ‘Jennifer Walters SHE-HULK. A-Force team leader. Baroness of Arcadia. Green’.). The writing is brisk, exceptionally tight and compelling, with each character (even the few I didn’t actually know or was more unfamiliar with) feeling fully realised and well rounded. Bennett and Wilson have a great handle on these characters, and the story at this point seems disconnected enough from Secret Wars to be self-contained, while still being shaped and informed by it. The art team of Molina, Yeung, Martin and Milla does a really nice job here too, bringing the superhero action to life and balancing the varied characters and colour palettes well. There is a vibrancy and enthusiasm, despite the dark undertones and cracks in Arcadia, that make this a real pleasure to read. And Captain Marvel punching a giant shark may be one of my favourite panels I’ve read all year.

A Force

Credit: Marvel Comics

I’d be remiss to not address the New Yorker piece about A-Force ‘Looking at Female Superheroes with 10-Year-Old Boys’ by Jill Lepore. In the article, she asks why the Marvel superheroes all look like pornstars (apparently she watches very niche porn where everyone wears spandex leotards, but fine), ignoring the variety of body shapes and characters that the comic presents. Instead she chooses to heavily criticise and rather than actually do any of her research, relies on the knee jerk reactions of two 10-year-olds and her own preconceptions of comics to undermine the importance of the book. The fact she both says that “Thor became female because he’s a Norse god and I guess he can be whatever he wants” and “Captain America became black” speaks to a lack of the most basic internet search that would indicate that neither of these statements are in fact correct, and has instead opted for the sensationalism response instead. The odd thing is that the article actually has a seemingly well researched section about DC Comics, William Moulton Marston and the creation of Wonder Woman.

I’ve not linked in the article, frankly because I don’t really want to give it any more clicks. I will link to G. Willow Wilson’s response, because she manages eloquently take the high road, without seeming angry (like I haven’t) and delivers an impassioned rebuttal. I’m rather fond of how she closes it out too:

“I have been a little cheeky thus far, so let me close by saying that I imagine Dr. Lepore and I want the same thing: better, more nuanced portrayals of women in pop culture. What I don’t understand is why someone in her position would, from her perch a thousand feet up in the ivory tower, take pot shots at those of us who are in the trenches, doing exactly that.”

I really enjoyed A-Force #1 and on top of following the series throughout Secret Wars, I hope that the series continues in some form after the Marvel Universe is put back together. Will you get more out of this if you’re up to date on Marvel, Secret Wars and all of these characters? Maybe. But even if you’re not, this is a great story with a well written cast of kick-ass, but just as importantly nuanced, characters. Did I mention Captain Marvel punches a giant shark? Buy this at your LCS or digital comics platform.

Score: 9 Megalodons out of 10