The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 83 – Mario Mario

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 Nightwing’s butt and the fact that he is getting a movie, the Oscars, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Xbox Game Pass and the Alien Covenant prologue.

 

Screentime – John Wick Chapter 2

This week we talk about the action sequel John Wick Chapter 2, starring Keanu Reeves. Listen to us ramble on about how good the action was, who we thought was a bit rubbish in it, and fumble through some of your comments. We do go into spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it, skip from 38:11-52:04!

 

Now Playing – Reading/Watching/Playing

Adam – Y The Last Man Volume 5 by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra/Futurama on DVD/No Man’s Sky (sort of) on PS4
Ian – IQ84 by Haruki Murakami/Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency on Netflix/Dishonored 2 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 Review – Titans #1 (DC Comics)

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

Warning: minor spoilers, or major if you haven’t read DC Rebirth #1 or Titans: Rebirth #1!

“Then let’s get it all back, Donna. All the good stuff we lost. Make ourselves whole again.” Arsenal

Titans

Cover art by Booth, Rapmund & Dalhouse

I was fairly spoilt for choice today for new comics to review. I had Batgirl, Nightwing and Titans on the cards. Out of the three stories so far the Titans story is the one I’m most excited about, with the return of Wally West. Titans #1 (written by Dan Abnett, pencils by Brett Booth, inks by Norm Rapmund, colours by Andrew Dalhouse and letters from Carlos M. Mangual) picks up where the DC Rebirth issue left off. We begin with a quick flashback to the Rebirth issue, summing up how Wally escaped the speed force and returned to the Titans. The focus of the issue is reintroducing the team dynamic and showing how Wally will fit into it all.

As with all super team comics, Titans has to walk the fine line of giving enough members of the team involvement so none of them feel pointless in being there. Wally takes the lead, I was a little disappointed he didn’t get his own series after being so integral to Rebirth, however he is taking centre stage in the events of the early Titans comics. We’re reintroduced to Omen after the quick recap, who’s exploring Wally’s memories and trying to find out as much as possible about the entity that changed history and their memories. She’s having a tough time getting past Wally’s memories of Linda, his wife from pre-New 52 who had no memory of him when he reached out to her.

Other members of the team move the plot on in the background, while working in exposition here and there. There’s a nice touch of humour between the ever sarcastic Arsenal and Tempest. We get a set up at the end of the issue with the first main villain the Titans will have to deal with. They didn’t take up much of the issue, but I’m sure their role will increase going forward now the team is back in business.

Titans interiors

Art by Booth, Rapmund & Dalhouse

As for the art, I’m really enjoying Wally’s new costume. They aren’t giving him a new pseudo-Flash title. He’s still a Flash, though different from Barry Allen and the suit shows it, with a mix of the red of the Flash and a similar structure to his old Kid Flash outfit. He chose the design just as his identity is being established in the DC Universe. Otherwise Booth, Rapmund and Dalhouse have to work a lot into to every panel with so many characters, they do a lot of good work with the limited space they’re given. Each character’s personality is portrayed in their mannerisms, the way they sit, fold their arms and carry themselves and although the action is limited it feels dynamic and the heroes feel very powerful and in control. I have only one nit-pick with the art in the whole comic. There’s a page where we see Omen and Wally doing their mind meld and the team is there. Donna seems to be staring upwards, for no apparent reason, looking a little spaced out.

 

 

But the most important question:

Can Booth draw hands? As you’d expect with an artist for one of the major comic book players of course they can. With so many characters and so much going on they have to draw a lot of them as well, often very small and in awkward places. As I said before the art captures each character’s personality, and gesture plays a huge part in this. In the small background images and conversations, although the hands aren’t so detailed they do feel natural and look to be right where they should be. With so many there are some minor instances when maybe they look a little off if you go out of you way to look at them though. Even so, I think here we have a solid 8.5 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

The message at play here is how good it is to have Wally back and how natural the team now feels. There’s a little less meta I feel going on than the acknowledgement that the Spyral role didn’t fully suit Dick in Grayson or the apparent admission that DC have overly scrambled Wonder Woman’s back story a few too many times. But this works well in itself. DC need the fun stories, in my opinion they’ve been a little lacking, and Wally who’s classically known for his fun loving attitude and his friends in the Titans are perfect to help provide that. He’s still working things out since he’s back as he’s been through a hell of a lot, but he still comes across as a great guy. It’s a solid first issue.

Score: 8.3 Pizzas out of 10

Comic Review – Nightwing: Rebirth #1 (DC Comics

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

Warning: Minor spoilers.

“The Nightwing was the great rebuilder. The catalyst of change.” Nightwing

DC have kindly given me another one of my favourite heroes back! First I got back one in Rebirth #1 (go and read it yourself to find out who!) now, I get Nightwing: Rebirth (written by Tim Seeley, art by Yanick Paquette, colours by Nathan Fairbairn and letters from Carlos Mangual). He wasn’t really gone in the first place I suppose, only the identity wiped away while Agent Grayson took over. The Grayson series was fine, but it never quite sat right with me.

nightwing cover

Cover art by Javier Fernández & Chris Sotomayor

The comic kicks off with Dick Grayson taking care of a few last things for Spyral. He’s finished there now. The first thing that jumped out at me, before I even read a word was the vibrant colours on the page. The first image is a full page short of Dick taking on four colourfully clad enemies trying to break into a bank. In the meantime we get his internal monologue, going over the origin of the name Nightwing and how the inspiration for the identity came from Superman, not Batman, first. Of course, like many of these Rebirth stories the Nightwing has connections to change and things beginning anew. We also get to pick up the Dick and Damian relationship again, which has always been a favourite of mine. This eases us back into the character of Nightwing, not Agent 37. His relationship with Damian has been pivotal to the character since his run as Batman in one of Bruce’s absences.

Grayson says his goodbyes to the key players of Spyral before he leaves, apparently they’re going to be good guys now, and he happens to have his secret identity back. This is the first of my two criticisms of this issue. Apparently everyone had their brains scrambled and now nobody knows Dick Grayson is Nightwing anymore. A little more explanation here would be nice.

The second for me comes in the reveal of who his enemy will be. The series is seeming to pick up on the events of We Are Robin, however having stopped that series myself I felt like I was missing something here, especially in an issue supposed to be about new beginnings an old plot thread feels out of place.

One thing I did appreciate, as someone who always felt Dick was better as a hero than an agent, was Steeley’s acknowledgement that the character perhaps wasn’t the best fit for this. Midnighter outright tells Dick he’s to go back to being a superhero as being a spy didn’t suit him, Dick in turn acknowledges to himself that Midnighter is right.

nightwing interior

Art by Paquette & Fairbairn

So, going back to the art, Paquette and Fairbairn presented me with a lot more colour than I was expecting, the art is bright and matches the optimistic tones within the comic, the feel of new beginnings and things starting a fresh, with the one exception of the series villain(s), but that simply drives home the point even more. But the most important question:

Can Paquette draw hands? Paquette’s art style involves a lot of detail in the hands, the wrinkle and knuckles are heavily emphasised. They always tend to be doing something, be it throwing a punch, holding an item or moving to carry out an action and are less used for gesture and communication, a little more of that and they would have been pushing a perfect 10. Without, 8/10 for hand drawing skills!

 

 

Final Verdict

Nightwing is back. He has his independence back and I’m looking to see where things go. We’re dealing with a family villain and I’d love to see Dick go up against someone new and his rogues gallery develop. I really enjoyed the interaction with Damian as well.

Score: 8.5 Black Masks out of 10