The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 92 – Driven Hamm

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

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Big News

This week we chat about the Inhumans and Rick and Morty Season 3 trailers. One was good. One wasn’t.

Screentime 1 – Baby Driver

This week we chat about 2 films in Screentime, the first being Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver. We quickly chat about how brilliant it is, and we don’t go deep into spoilers, but if you are worried about them you can skip this chat from 21:25-27:10.

Screentime 2 – Spider-Man Homecoming

We also got the chance to see the latest MCU film (and 6th Spider-Man film), so we chat about that too and what works so well this time. Again, light on spoilers especially as the film is only just out, but if you are worried about any at all then skip 27:10-35:45

Now Playing – Reading/Watching/Playing

Adam All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders and The Power by Naomi Alderman/Preacher Season 2 on Amazon/Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow on Android and Doom on PS4
IanThrawn by Timothy Zahn and The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker/GLOW on Netflix/The Witcher 3 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!

Comic Book Review – X-Men Prime #1 (Marvel Comics)

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

Warning: Minor spoilers.

“We’ve got much work to do” Kitty Pryde

After completing the Inhumans vs X-Men series I was curious to see what would be in store next for one of Marvel’s most iconic super teams. Following the events of IvX mutants have bought themselves a little respite, with no Terrigen Mist threatening their very existence and the team realising they shockingly have a lot in common with the Inhumans (who’d have guessed?). This series is bought to us by:

  • Writers – Marc Guggenheim, Greg Pac and Cullen Bunn
  • Penciller – Ken Lashley, Ibrahim, Roberson, Leonard Kirk and Guillermo Ortego
  • Colour Artist – Morray Hollowell, Frank D’Armata and Michael Garland
  • Letterer – VC’s Joe Caramangna
  • Publisher – Marvel Comics

Needless to say, a lot of people were brought in on this one. The story picks up with Kitty Pryde reconnecting with Storm and being asked to come back to lead the X-Men. She’s been off world recently and has seen most of what’s gone on as a bystander. This makes her well-placed as an X-Men veteran to come in as a neutral party and give the team something to unite behind. Which they’ll need. The team is fractured; people are uncertain of what to do next and everyone is on the verge of going on their own way. Kitty herself has her own share of awkward reunions with Colossus and other familiar faces. Meanwhile a sinister organisation is abducting many of the more anti-social mutants, focusing on Lady Deathstrike for some sinister purpose we only know involves killing mutants and allusions to a new Weapon X program.

The writing was at its best within the X-Men mansion, seeing the interplay’s between the team, a potential love triangle in the works within the young X-Men and Kitty finding her place again. The new villain hasn’t had much in the way of an introduction yet and their actions are yet to hold any meaning. Kitty fills a very nice role for new readers, given them a chance to be introduced to the main cast of the X-Men and cover the basics – Emma Frost being evil and so on.

The art has many hidden layers, rereading the comic for this review I found myself noticing new details I hadn’t the first time, particularly during the combat scene in the Danger Room. Character’s are very expressive throughout which supports a character interaction-heavy first issue, although Kitty does seem to have a rather large forehead at times! One very interesting panel is when Kitty calls the X-Men together to give them her first speech as the new leader. Her face wasn’t drawn at all. It’s a small area the artistic team had to work with, but they’re a very talented bunch and could have added it if they wanted to. It seems to act as a sort of mask for the readers, letting Kitty be a blank slate for a new beginning for the X-Men.

However, with so any people you’d hope they could draw hands. For the most part of course they can. Both in combat and during normal conversation, although there’s an image where young Scott’s hands are on his hips and his fingers appear to bend in a bit of an odd way, and I couldn’t quite work out one panel with Magik’s glove. 8/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

This is a new beginning for the X-Men, they’re back from Limbo and ready to be heroes again (about time!) It’s a great place to join if you’re a new reader too.

Score: 8.5 Blackbirds out of 10

 

Comic Book Review – Inhumans Vs X-Men #2 (Marvel Comics)

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

Warning: Minor Spoilers.

“This is my home. These are my people. I will not let the X-Men steal their future.” Medusa

This showdown has been a long time coming. Ever since Marvel began to promote the Inhumans as their apparent favourite super powers by genetics team it was clear they would have to come to blows eventually. Although this is a second issue and not the natural point to pick up a first review, thanks to the promising first issue I thought it would be worth exploring further, especially following the mixed reception to Civil War II this could be Marvel pulling off a much better super team clash. This comic was bought to us by:

  • Writer –  Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule
  • Penciler – Leinil Francis Yu
  • Inker – Gerry Alanguilan
  • Colourist – David Curiel
  • Letterer – VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover by Yu, Alanguilan Curiel

Cover by Yu, Alanguilan Curiel

To give a little background as to why these teams are facing off against each other – the Terrigen Mist is floating around the planet transforming those with the right genetic code into Inhumans, but when it touches a mutant they simply perish. Considering there aren’t many mutants left in the Marvel Universe, more and more of the X-Men began to take exception to the mist. Any attempts to find a peaceful solution have now failed, and the death of Cyclops (current, not past) became the catalyst for war.

This issue focuses on an all-out battle between the two teams. Issues like this can often feel messy, however thanks to a combination of excellent writing and clear, defined art it was easy to keep up with everything that was going on. Considering the number of characters involved that was no small feat. There is only limited space for character development however, which is natural in an issue such as this. One touch I do like is the ideological differences between the two sides – the Inhumans revere the mist as if it was divine, whereas the X-Men come across as an desperate group of survivors.

Art by Yu, Alanguilan Curiel

Art by Yu, Alanguilan Curiel

As for the art, considering how much was going on it would have been easy to miss something in this issue, the clearly defined art style – the penciling and inking by Leinil Yu and Alanguilan supported the narrative keeping it clear throughout. Curiel adopted a dark pallet throughout the issue which provides a very sombre atmosphere to the conflict. There are also some very cool moments for individual characters, such as Medusa, Sabretooth and Wolverine throughout the issue. But how are Yu and Alanguilan with hands?

Can the art team draw hands? In combat heavy issues the majority of hands are grabbing, punching, deflecting etc. which can mean there is little chance for artists to show off what they can do. This is not the case when dealing with such a diverse range of power sets. From claws, to energy filled and even melting Leinil Yu and Alanguilan provided a fantastic base for Curiel to work his magic on. 9/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

This is promising to be Marvel’s super team showdown of the year. Its been a while coming, which adds plenty of weight to the issues so far.

Score: 8.8 Little Snacks out of 10

 

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 76 – Rush Job

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 chatted about the Valerian and Ghost in the Shell trailers, and Marvel announcing that Inhumans will now be a TV show next year.

Screentime – Arrival

This week we reviewed Arrival, the new sci-fi film starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker. We do largely avoid spoilers, but if you are massively worried about them then skip 32:51-52:02.

Now Playing 

Adam – The Complete Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft & The Avengers Epic Collection Volume 1/30 Rock/Rise of the Tomb Raider & Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture on PS4
Ian – Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel & War of the Spider Queen/X-Files & Touch the Skyrim/Skyrim Metal Gear Solid HD Collection

(Pick up some of the Now Playing through the links and we get a cut from Amazon, or start shopping from 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 – 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!

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 61 – Marvel House!

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, brought to you by The Lost Lighthouse.

This week we chat about the crazy way all those Avatar sequels everyone definitely wants are being filmed, the disappearance of the Inhumans film from the MCU Phase 3 film slate, the upgraded PS4 rumours, Amazon being weird and the new Doctor Who companion, while Gary doesn’t invite Adam to important life events and Adam pretends that’s what happened.

[audio https://welcometorapture.podbean.com/mf/play/7s2f5f/WR61.mp3]
Download this episode (right click and save)

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!

Adam’s Top 5 TV Shows of 2015

Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to be sharing our top 5s of 2015, from everyone who writes here at The Lost Lighthouse. Adam will kick off with his favourite 5 TV shows of the year.

I’m taking a quick break from the depths of writing my PhD thesis to write about some of the things I actually cared about this year, starting with TV. Yes I still find time for TV. You’ll notice that not only are all five of my picks American shows, all but one of them are comic book based TV shows. Big whup, wanna fight about it?

5. True Detective – Season 2

True Detective s2

My number 5 is the only pick that isn’t a comic book TV show, and is also potentially the most controversial choice. If you believe everything you read on the internet, the torrent of articles online about what a failure True Detective Season 2 was is pretty damning. Yet everyone I actually spoke to in person enjoyed it, maybe not as much as the first season but enjoyed it nonetheless. It seems that Season Two’s main crime was not being Season One. Sure, it was convoluted and confusing, the dialogue was overwrought and the characters hugely broken and brooding… but as for the first point, having a TV show demand your full attention and you still might not get it on the first viewing isn’t the worst problem a series can have. In fact, it can be more rewarding. And if you say that Season One wasn’t confusing and convoluted you’re a liar.

As for the second issue, as I see it overwrought dialogue and larger than life brooding characters was exactly what the show was aiming for. The writing wasn’t bad. It was specific. True Detective Season Two starred a new cast of characters in an entirely separate story from the previous season, setting the format of the show as an anthology series with an internal ethos but not a set style. The style of the second season was a brooding LA noir, and the dialogue bled that style all over.

Season Two starred Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch as Detectives Ray Velcoro, Ani Bezzerides and Officer Paul Woodrugh, brought in to investigate the murder of a man found with his eyes burned out and his body dumped out on a bench. Vince Vaughan played the man’s criminal partner Frank Semyon, now left in the lurch, and Kelly Reilly starred as his wife Jordan Semyon. As the plot developed, conspiracies reared their ugly heads, dirty cops were stabbed in the back by even dirtier cops, and criminals basically did what criminals tend to do. Also there was a guy in a raven mask.

As with the first season, the performances of the main players were really the strongest aspect of the show. I enjoyed Vince Vaughan (regardless of what everyone else seems to think, I thought he was decent) and Kitsch, but it was Farrell and McAdams as Velcoro and Bezzerides that really blew me away. While the latter generated a chaotic stress and snarkiness that constantly felt on the brink of breaking point, Velcoro was just a depressing mess of a man with a hair trigger. The tag line ‘We get the world we deserve’ drew me in, and the end of the first episode with the detectives surrounding the body, having all driven there independently drunk and blearily staring at each other for the first time, hooked me. Did I enjoy True Detective Season Two as much as the first season? Was it as good? Who gives a shit. It was it’s own beast and I enjoyed the hell out of it.

Favourite part – The ridiculous shoot out and carnage with everyone at the end of ‘Down Will Come’, the other ridiculous shoot out with Woodrugh at the end of ‘Black Maps and Motel Rooms’, and the slow motion glass smash from Frank in the same episode… but my actual favourite part of every episode was the haunting intro  ‘Nevermind’ by Leonard Cohen.

4. The Flash

The flash

The CW’s Arrow show may have started off shaky, but a few episodes in it found it’s feet after the main character became less of a murdering Batman-clone with a bow and arrow. Despite how well the first season ended, I don’t think anyone predicted how good the sophomore season would be. Good job it was too, because the success of Arrow (which I enjoy a great deal) is the only reason we have the unbridled superhero fun fare that is The Flash. Arrow may be dark and gritty like most of the DC live action output these days (but nowhere near as gritty as the cinematic universe, which is mind bogglingly not connected to the TV universe), but one thing it isn’t afraid to do is embrace the extended DC universe. The Flash takes this and multiplies it by time travel and multiverses.

Grant Gustin was introduced in Arrow as Barry Allen, and I think the original idea was to have an episode of that show be the backdoor pilot for The Flash. Instead, they decided to have the accident that imbued Barry with the speed force powers of The Flash occur at the end of his appearance on Arrow, then repeated the scene in The Flash pilot. Over the first season and the half of the second we have had so far, the glee with which the showrunners have included the wackiest elements of The Flash’s rogues gallery without hesitation has been just brilliant to watch, from Weather Wizard and Mark Hamill reprising his role as The Trickster, to god damn Gorilla Grodd and briefly King Shark. But the willingness to go for broke on some of the more out-there stuff, while the show still maintains it’s audience, really impresses me. The concept of time travel is introduced incredibly early on, until eventually Barry manages to achieve it himself, and in the second season we have Earth-2 and parallel versions of villains and other characters. It’s pretty insane, but it works.

Also the cross-overs with Arrow just make it seem like everyone is having a great time making these shows, which always comes across on screen and sells both Flash and Arrow that much better. This year we had Vandal Savage, Hawkgirl and Hawkman. So happy.

Favourite part: There is a lot to choose from, but I’d probably go with Episode 15 ‘Out of Time’, when after seeing an image of himself running beside him, Barry later accidentally travels back in time, giving him the chance at a do over when things didn’t turn out so well, risking paradoxes at the same time.

Minor complaint: A bit picky of me, but there is a moment in season one where a character mentions a singularity, and Danielle Panabaker’s character Caitin Snow, a scientist, says words to the effect of “A singularity, what’s that?”. Bullshit she doesn’t know. I get that you felt the need to have someone ask the question for the exposition, but there was a  journalist and a cop in the room at the same time. Either of them would have been fine.

3. Agents of SHIELD

AoS3

I’ve gone on about how much I like SHIELD on the podcast. Everyone gave it a harder time than it deserved when it started. At worst, it was average. Then it got good. Then Winter Soldier happened and it got great. For me, it’s stayed at that level since and of all the weekly shows I watch this is the one I look forward to the most.

Season two brought in the concept of Inhumans, powered individuals that Marvel are essentially trying to use to replace the mutants (at least on screen, possibly in the comics) due to not having the rights to those characters. While still trying to deal with Hydra, Coulson has to deal with rebuilding SHIELD and these new Inhumans, whether they are threats or potential allies. The season introduced some great new characters, in particular Adrianne Palicki as Mockingbird, but also brings some huge changes to the original cast too, some through emotional depth and some through physical change. The added growth in all the characters that started in the first season was really fleshed out in the second (and more so so far in the third), in particular for Skye, who Coulson spent a lot of the time telling everyone how special she was and important early on in season one, while the show only really started to show us why later. That has led to a really strong father-daughter relationship from Clark Gregg and Chloe Bennet that has been really enjoyable to watch.

Season three so far has brought in Inhumans into a Secret Warriors plotline, as well as other worlds and Powers Boothe. All great stuff.

Favourite part: This scene in Season 2 Episode 19 ‘The Dirty Half Dozen’ where Skye straight up John Wick’s a bunch of Hydra goons in a brilliant single take tracking shot.

 

2. Daredevil

Daredevil

Daredevil marked the first of the announced Marvel and Netflix collaboration shows – 13 episode series dropped onto the streaming service in one go ready to be binge-watched. Putting aside the issues that many have with this model, some of which I agree with (in the rush to avoid spoilers, burning through the series in days compresses the enjoyment), after a shall we say ‘poorly received’ movie, I think there was a certain level of apprehension with how Daredevil would turn out, and what that would mean for the series to come. We really shouldn’t have worried.

Daredevil drastically shifted tone from the rest of the MCU, taking it to a dark, brutal and bloody place that it hasn’t gone to yet and set the stage for what is to come with the rest of the Netflix shows. Charlie Cox played the Man Without Fear brilliantly, with Elden Henson and Deborah Ann Woll as his friends Foggy Nelson and Karen Page effectively playing his drinking buddies and grounding him when he became too dark and driven, Vondie Curtis-Hall as the driven journalist Ben Urich, and Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, a nurse who fixes up Matt Murdock when he is cut up and beaten within an inch of his life. But as good as they all were, Vincent D’Onofrio really stole the show as Wilson ‘Kingpin’ Fisk, a tortured leviathan of a man who took the whole 13 episodes to realise that his methods for ‘saving’ Hell’s Kitchen actually made him a monster, all while providing a mirror for Cox’s Matt Murdock to ask if he was really any different.

The connecting threads between everything in the MCU are always icing on the cake, and its difficult to know whether it is better to go overt like the crossovers between movies, the show altering changes that SHIELD has in response to the films, or to take a more subtle approach. I think the Daredevil writers made the right call in keeping it subtle, instead using the ‘Battle of New York’ from the first Avengers film as a reason for a now affluent and gentrified Hell’s Kitchen being run down and struggling again, but not having any overt cameos or camera winks.

Due to the critical and fan response to Daredevil, a second season has already gone into production and we’ll be getting that in 2016 along with Luke Cage. This time they’re bringing in Élodie Yung as Electra and Jon Bernthal as The Punisher, one of my favourite Marvel characters. I really couldn’t be more excited about this.

Favourite part: Pretty much the same as everyone’s. Daredevil had some amazing action sequences, but I don’t think they ever topped the hallway fight at the end of episode 2 ‘Cut Man’. Brutal.

 

1. Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones

I’ll admit, Jessica Jones may only be number one because of how recently it came out, in that same whole-season-dump-at-once model as Daredevil, but I’m halfway through revisiting it already and think it is a superb piece of TV. After the first Marvel show from Netflix was such a success, I was very much looking forward to the next one. This second show just came out last month, proving that Daredevil wasn’t just a fluke and pushing the dark, more adult MCU even further than the violence and brutality of Daredevil. Instead of being a dark action show though, thematically and stylistically Jessica Jones is a brooding and intense noir, telling the tale of an alcoholic private investigator with super strength who, after an abortive attempt to become a superhero than ends very badly, is washed-up and struggling to make enough to pay for her cheap whiskey.

The show centers around Jessica, played by Krysten Ritter, clashing with the man who was responsible for her fall from grace. Kilgrave, played chillingly by David Tennant, has the ability to control anyone just by giving them a command. Anything from telling you to throw a drink in your own face to jumping off the top of a building, the victim is compelled to do whatever he says. This terrifying power provides the show with some incredibly dark and weighty subject matter, with consent and compulsion at the forefront. It’s all handled brilliantly, and Ritter and Tennant are just excellent to watch.

The supporting cast is largely great too (I found the upstairs neighbours a little dull), in particular Rachael Taylor as Trish Walker, Jessica’s best friend, Carrie-Ann Moss as Jeri Hogarth, a well respected lawyer who trades favours with Jessica, Eka Darville as Malcolm, the tragic junkie neighbour, and Mike Coulter as Luke Cage, a bartender who she’s been following for a case. Coulter is especially exciting, as Luke Cage is the star of the next Netflix series coming (after Daredevil Season 2) and I thought he was great here.

Favourite part: Jessica not giving a bag of dicks what her neighbour thinks. In fact basically all of Jessica’s dialogue.

What were your favourite TV shows of this year? Let us know!

Adam

Honourable mention goes to: Doctor Who, which I felt was a huge improvement over last year partially due to the inclusion of two parters that have been sorely missing over the last couple of series, but more to do with Peter Capaldi really settling in to the role and delivering some superb performances; Rick and Morty, a show I burned through in about 24 hours after being told about it. Incredibly funny, inventive and very, very bleak; Parks and Recreation, which I only started watching last year but has become one of my favourite shows, and its final season somehow delivered a satisfying ending for an entire cast of brilliant characters while maintaining the heart-warming and sincere yet funny edge the show always had without seeming cheesy or unearned; Archer, which continues to be hilarious even this far in, and I can’t wait for season 7 in the new year; and Agent Carter, which was basically a joy to watch, Hayley Atwell owned the screen (and I’m glad they keep bringing her in as Peggy at different ages in the MCU) in an excellent period piece where the world was even more embarrassingly unequal than it is now. Plus she beat the shit out of a lot of people. Bring on season 2.