A brief bit of peace and quiet go a long way when things in life get hectic. Most functioning adults know that. Hell, most teenagers know that, especially during this time of year when school is back in session and the holidays still seem so far away. It might just be my own personal experience talking, but this time of year always seems the busiest. Going back to middle school, I always felt the most stressed out and overworked during this time of year.
That makes whatever peace and quiet you can find that much more precious. For me and my fellow comic book fans, New Comic Book Day offers an ideal situation in which to create your perfect happy place. I’ve already noted before how I enjoy just downloading my new books for the week via Comixology and reading them on my iPad with a fresh cup of coffee. To me, that is the zenith of peace and quiet.
During certain times of the year, I’ll play a little music in the background if I’m in the mood. I’ve done that a few times over the course of the summer. For this time of year, though, New Comic Book Day allows me to get my perfectly prescribed dose of peace and quiet. It’s both fulfilling and therapeutic. If my fellow comic fans are in need of that, a day like today gives you the perfect opportunity.
To that end, here is my pull list and pick of the week. I hope it helps you create your own little world of Zen before enduring another stressful day. Enjoy!
Everyone has their own personal happy place. It’s not childish or immature. It’s not something that warrants mockery, denigration, or teasing. Not everyone’s happy place will be similar. Some will come off as downright strange or quirky. That doesn’t matter. So long as it isn’t hurting anyone else, nobody should be ashamed of what constitutes their happy place.
For me, personally, my happy place has often revolved around comics. I have many other things that give me joy. However, it’s not always possible to structure those things around a happy place. With comics, though, it’s incredibly easy. Even before the days of the internet, being in my bedroom with a stack of comics was the bedrock of my happy place.
These days, thanks to smartphones, tablet computers, and Comixology, my happy place is almost always within reach. I could be having a terrible day. My favorite team could lose a big game. My friends could be giving me crap. The news can be extra depressing. Any number of things could be making me miserable, but that’s when my happy place does its best work.
I just log in, download some of my favorite comics, and let them work their magic. On New Comic Book Day, my happy place is even more robust. It often gives me some added strength to navigate whatever I encounter over the course of the day. For that, I’ll always be grateful.
In that spirit, I hope other fellow comic book fans have a happy place just as strong as mine. Today is as good a day as any to start building one. Here is my pull list and picks to help get you started. Enjoy!
This is usually the time of year where it’s pretty much official. Summer is over, fall is upon us, and we’ve just got to deal with it. For kids, that means going back to school. For adults, it means fewer vacations and fewer days in which you can get away with wearing flip flops to the grocery store.
Honestly, I feel worse for the kids, especially for a year like this. This has to be a bittersweet time of year.
When I was a kid, comics helped me with the transition. Given how miserable I was throughout school, I really needed that. Hell, I needed all the help I could get. I was just that messed up. Now, as an adult, comics during this time of year feel like a reprieve. They help me step back from a complicated adult world and just be.
I think we all need that at some point in our lives, especially after the past couple years. Being an adult and dealing with the adult world can be hard, frustrating, and stressful. I’ve certainly had my share of days where I’ve dealt with frustrating adults. They only make me appreciate comics and New Comic Book Day even more. I hope they can offer a similar reprieve to many others, regardless of age.
To help, here’s my pull list and pick of the week. Enjoy!
Some movies just never get a fair chance to succeed. It’s sad, but unavoidable sometimes. There are just too many forces working against certain movies and too many people have already primed themselves to hate it before they ever see it.
It had so many things working against it. It just never got a fair chance because of the pending Disney/Fox merger. I feel like it got critically panned for reasons that had nothing to do with the actual quality of the movie. Fans and critics alike just decided to hate this movie because it was part of a dead cinematic universe and it wasn’t in the MCU.
That’s a bullshit reason to hate a movie and most reasonable people understand that.
If you have a Disney+ subscription, I highly recommend adding this movie to your queue. Forget everything you’ve heard from the critics. Forget the popular perceptions surrounding this movie. Just check it out and see for yourselves.
I believe that this movie’s worth will reveal to a new audience. I also believe the time is right because we haven’t had much news about the future of the X-Men movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We know they’re coming. We just don’t know when or what form it’ll take.
Since it’ll likely be a while before we see any mutants show up in the MCU, the time is right to appreciate what the Fox movies gave us. Many of those movies are already on Disney+ and I think “Dark Phoenix” is the hidden gem the franchise needs right now.
Again, just give it a chance. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy it.
This time of year used to be so bittersweet. The week before Labor Day was often the last week before I went back to school and, as I’ve noted before, I had a less-than-enjoyable experience at school. I would often dread each passing day in this week, knowing that at the start of next week, I’d be going back to a place that made me miserable for seven hours a day. It was nerve-racking, to say the least.
That was often the week I needed new comics the most. It was the week when I needed a quality escape the most. I dreaded school so much that anything I could look forward to was a welcome reprieve. I always made it a point to go to my local comic shop that Wednesday and buy some extra books to get me through. For that, I’ll always thank the owner of that shop for letting me go a little overboard.
Years later, this particular week isn’t nearly as nerve racking. For the most part, it’s just another week. However, I haven’t forgotten how difficult it was in my youth and how comics helped me get through it. I had so many issues back then and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the comics I love. I know that sounds melodramatic, but I swear it’s true.
I know a lot of kids are already back in school. I also know some are poised to return next week. To those kids who dreaded it like I did, I urge you all to hang in there. Be strong and be safe out there. You’ll get through this, just like I did. Hopefully, a stack of new comics will help in some way. Here is my pull list and pick of the week. Enjoy!
The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. In this video, I make the case that “Dr. Strange,” a movie that rarely garners much discussion among MCU fans, is the most underrated movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I’ll even go so far as to say that it’s one of the best made MCU movies to date. With interest in the sequel growing steadily, I think the time is right to celebrate what an achievement this movie was. Enjoy!
The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It is my full review and reaction to “Falcon And The Winter Soldier,” which just finished its first season on Disney Plus. I know reviewed multiple episodes of “WandaVision,” but I had a hard time stopping myself from speculating after every episode. I didn’t want to do that with this one, so I waited until the series was complete.
Overall, I’m glad I did. This show was really something. It also got me plenty excited for the future of the MCU and yes, that means more wild speculating in this video, as well as plenty others. Enjoy!
The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. I know this is a bit of a break from my usual video release schedule, but after the events of Episode 8 of “WandaVision,” I just couldn’t wait. I had to do a reaction video and honestly, I’m starting to enjoy making these videos. As with my first, this one contains spoilers and a revised fan theory that is very likely wrong. At the rate this show is going, I’ll be sure to develop plenty more. Enjoy!
I’ve been in major withdraw of MCU content after 2020.
I say that because it’s likely to color my perceptions and bias, so I won’t bother hiding it. I imagine others share it, too. That being the case, let’s just put it out there. A lot of things got derailed in 2020 because of the pandemic, including several movies that were supposed to kick-start the next phase of the MCU.
These delays were understandable, given the state of the world. That didn’t make them any less painful. It marked the first year in nearly a decade that we had to go an entire year without any MCU content. As a lifelong fan of comics and superhero movies, words cannot describe how agonizing that was.
Now, the wait is over. The MCU is back. While it’s not in the form of a billion-dollar blockbuster, Kevin Feige and our Disney Overlords are adapting this wondrous franchise for the world of streaming. The first step in that process finally arrived last week in the form of “WandaVision,” the first ever MCU content built exclusively for streaming.
It marks a bold new era for the MCU, as well as another incentive for people to invest in a Disney+ subscription. Like it or not, “The Mandalorian” cannot do it alone, but it still set a high bar. Does “WandaVision” match that bar in the first two episodes?
The short answer is yes, for the most part.
The long answer is yes, it’s on the right track, but only time will tell.
Two episodes is simply not enough to assess the full quality of any show, but it does help create a foundation. In that sense, “WandaVision” definitely starts strong. It takes the winning formula of the MCU and adapts it into a quirky sitcom full of humor, mystery, and a glut of Easter Eggs.
I’ll get to the Easter Eggs later, but I want to focus more on the unique format of the show. Make no mistake. It is unique, if not downright weird. Then again, both Wanda and Vision are weird characters with a strange, but endearing connection. That has always been the case with their relationship in the comics. This show does plenty to channel that weirdness and to that end, a sitcom format works beautifully.
There’s no build or setup for that format. When the first episode begins, it runs like an old episode of “I Love Lucy” or “Dick Van Dyke.” It’s black and white. The setting is an idyllic suburb. Wanda and Vision are newlyweds, but they’re still very aware of their powers, abilities, and status as a couple in which one of them is an android.
Naturally, the MCU brand of humor emerges naturally from that setup. There’s all sorts of comments and quips that poke fun at their status, which is milked for plenty of entertainment value. In addition to plenty of classic sitcom tropes from that era, it’s a potent formula. You don’t expect it to work as well as it does, but it still works.
The first episode involves Vision and Wanda trying to host a dinner for Vision’s boss. There’s plenty of misunderstandings and mishaps, but it ultimately pans out.
The second episode builds on that, having Wanda and Vision try to integrate with their suburban community and participate in a talent show. Things go horribly and hilariously wrong when Vision finds out he can’t handle chewing gum.
Within these quirky sitcom antics, there are ominous hints and teases as to what’s really going on. This is taking place in the MCU, following the events of “Avengers Endgame.” Something or someone has warped reality around Wanda, who was not in a good place after the death of Vision. That instability comes into play on multiple occasions throughout the first two episodes, but nothing major is revealed.
This is where “WandaVision” shines and stalls at the same time. The sitcom format works beautifully and provides plenty of entertainment value. However, when it comes to explaining how they got there and who’s involved, the hints are exceedingly vague.
I ended up having to watch both episodes multiple times to really understand those hints. If you’ve been following the movies and are familiar with the comics, you’ll definitely appreciate them. If not, you will likely be quite lost.
This is not the kind of show you can come in blind and appreciate fully. It’s still fun, but you can’t get the most out of it without having a moderate knowledge of Marvel Comics and the MCU.
That brings me to the Easter Eggs in both episodes. There are a lot of them, too many for me to mention. Other sites have already highlighted them, but the sheer volume Marvel Studios threw in is both impressive and revealing. Some offer hints of past events in the MCU. Others hint at things only comic fans will recognize.
These Easter Eggs definitely enhance the experience. Again, if you don’t have that working knowledge, they’re easy to miss and they do limit that experience. Even without that knowledge, though, some of those hints are quite overt. It’s very clear that something is very off in this world and others are trying to get into it.
It’s still not clear if Wanda is trapped or if this whole world is just her own doing. There are plenty of hints that someone with less-than-noble intentions is playing a part. There are also some familiar faces, namely Monica Rambeau, who make their presence felt. What role she and others will play is still unclear, but the stage is definitely set for something big, literally and figuratively.
In just two episodes, “WandaVision” effectively establishes its own unique style. It has that familiar MCU polish, but it’s also very different from the big budget blockbusters we’re used to. That’s not a bad thing. Like I said, this show marks Disney and Marvel Studios’ efforts to adapt to the world of streaming.
It’s still too early to say for sure whether it’s a full-fledged success. After the first two episodes, I’d say it’s well on its way. I’m not going to give a score for “WandaVision” just yet. It’s too early to fully assess the show. I’ll just say that I’m so glad and so relieved to see the MCU back in action. I still miss going to the movies, but this show promises to tide me and my fellow Marvel fans over in the meantime.
The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It’s a brief rundown of the recent rumors surrounding the upcoming She-Hulk show on Disney Plus. I discuss the recent news surrounding the casting of Tatiana Maslany, as well as my hopes, fears, and predictions for this show. Enjoy!