Resin Heroes

Direct Beam Comms #102


The Punisher

I am such a big fan of the character the Punisher I think my review here might be a little skewed. I’ve been collecting Punisher comics since the heyday of the character starting in the late 1980s and have spent the intervening 30 some odd years filling out my collection with various comics, collected editions, statues, toys, posters, magazines, etc., etc., etc. So to say that my review of the first episode of the new Netflix series The Punisher might not be as balanced as I’m used to would not be an understatement. Still, I endeavor to try to at least be somewhat fair here.

A little backstory on this version of the character — played marvelously by Jon Bernthal, Frank Castle aka the Punisher first appeared in 2016 during the second season of Daredevil where he served as a sort of agent of chaos in Matt Murdock/Daredevil’s world. Here, Punisher was a sort of “yin” to Daredevil’s “yang” where he had no qualms about killing bad guys even if it made Murdock’s life, who won’t kill and wants to bring the bad guys to justice, a lot harder. But in the end the two did team together to take the bad guys down, even if Castle used a lot more firepower than Murdock wanted.

What I found most interesting about the first episode of this new The Punisher series is that it starts where I would have assumed the first season would have ended. Literally in the first ten minutes of the episode Castle hunts down and kills all the men responsible for the murder of his family — what originally sent him to becoming the Punisher in the first place. I figured that the first season of The Punisher would deal with this. Or if not the first season then a good chunk of it.

What we get instead is a Frank Castle hiding under an alias living life as a construction worker in New York, City. His job as the Punisher is done yet the nightmares of his murdered family remain. So what’s Castle to do? Stay hidden in plain sight and let things like a young worker at the work site be pulled into a life of crime and do nothing? Or put back on the bullet-proof vest and declare an all-out war on crime?

I’ll let you guess as to what he does.

I was expecting a lot of things from the first episode of The Punisher and I didn’t really get any of them in this first episode. Which is a good, no, GREAT thing. I love being surprised in situations like this where the creators of the show could’ve played it safe and given the audience a version of Frank Castle/The Punisher we were all expecting from the start. It’s great that they chose to give Castle the option of being removed from his days of blowing the bad guys away or returning to his life of a vigilante. A life that would seemingly be a one-way trip to an early grave when Castle slips up or slows down one night and loses his edge for long enough for the criminals to get the upper hand on him on day.

Just that the character’s given the chance to make this decision — even if we know what decision he’s going to make since the series is called The Punisher and not Frank Castle — is a breath of fresh air.

One critique I’ve heard about the show from others is that there are more episodes than there is story to support it. Which might be true. It might also be true that The Punisher is one of those shows that needs to be watched slowly, and not binged over a weekend. We’ll see since I don’t plan on watching more than a few episodes of The Punisher a week at most.

Mindhunter – Season one

I’m not going to go into a lot of details here on the first season of Mindhunter since I’m currently working on my list of the best TV series of the year of which Mindhunter plays a part. And I’d just end up repeating myself here and there. But rest assured that Mindhunter is one of the best TV series of the year airing wherever. This show about the birth profiling serial killers by the FBI is so unlike any of the similar shows out there these days, and there are loads and loads of serial killer shows or shows that feature them, that it’s worth to note how different Mindhunter is from the rest. Those shows are all about vengeance and tracking people down whereas Mindhunter is all about talking, and trying to figure the killers out so that the next one can be stopped before he starts hurting people.

Mindhunter might just be the best show on Netflix right now and that’s saying a lot for a platform that has loads and loads and loads of great shows.


Batman: Year Two 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Hardcover

Every comic fan knows of the Batman: Year One but it wouldn’t surprise me if most aren’t aware of the Batman: Year Two story. I’m aware that Batman: Year Two is a thing, but even having read comics for decades I’ve never read that story myself. That is, I’d thought I’d read that story, but it turns out that what I’d really read was a graphic novel called Batman: Full Circle. I know that Batman: Full Circle ties into Batman: Year Two, but Year Two Full Circle ain’t.

One thing, this collected edition retails for around $30 but if you do some hunting you can find previous collected editions of the same material for less than $10 in softcover.

From DC:

Collecting a Batman classic in hardcover for the first time! A close friend of Bruce Wayne introduces him to Rachel Caspian, and the two quickly develop a romantic relationship. But in the midst of love, Rachel’s father decides to come out of retirement as the Reaper, Gotham City’s first vigilante!


Rampage movie trailer

Deadpool 2 movie trailer

The Reading & Watch List

Rumor Control

I’ve started making a list of things to write about over 2018 for my bi-weekly columns and much like in 2017 I was easily able to fill out much of 2018 with things to write about very quickly. Looking at my list, there’s really only eight non-movie things I’ll write about next year in 24 columns. And much like last year a lot of what I have listed to write about are upcoming superhero and sci-fi films. Which even just a few years ago I’d have had problems finding even a handful of movies I was interested in to write about, now there’s so many I literally can’t get to them all.

Here’s a list of films I’ll probably write longer articles on in 2018:

  • Annihilation
  • Black Panther
  • The New Mutants
  • Rampage
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Deadpool 2
  • The Incredibles 2
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp
  • Mission: Impossible 6
  • The Predator
  • Venom
  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Cool Movie & TV Posters of the Week

Adam & Andy Kubert Batman vs Predator

Lee Weeks Batman illustration

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Direct Beam Comms #91

Rumor Control

Late early September is always a sort of doldrums for TV and movies with the 2016/2017 TV season essentially over and the next not quite having started yet. And the summer movie season has also ended which means there’s a lull in new interesting movies out before the fall season starts with more interesting fare.

On TV I’ve been watching series like People of Earth, The Guest Book, Halt and Catch Fire and The Defenders. But I’ve also been checking out things like episodes of the original Star Trek on Netflix as well.

So far this year movie-wise I’ve seen:

Passengers: I liked it but I don’t think I would have cared as much for it if I would have paid full price to see it. See Passengers if you ever wondered what I Am Legend would have been like in space.

Logan: So far I think Logan is the best movie of the year and is one of the best comic book movies of all-time. Just see Logan if you haven’t.

Life: I was disappointed in this one. This sci-fi movie about astronauts in space doing battle with an alien lifeform didn’t connect with me for whatever reason. See Life if you always wanted to see an unofficial sequel to The Thing set on board a space station.

Kong: Skull Island: Not a great movie by any standards, but not a terrible way to spend a few hours either. See Kong: Skull Island if you love movies about giant monsters stepping on/eating people.

Ghost in the Shell: See above. See this movie if you understood what was going on in the Ghost in the Shell anime.

Alien: Covenant: This sequel to Prometheus/ prequel to Alien is a good movie if it takes a bit of time to get going and has a few too many plot-holes. Still, I dug this one. See Alien: Covenant if you love the Alien movie franchise even if you have conflicted feelings about Alien Resurrection.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2: For whatever reason I wasn’t a fan of the first Guardians of the Galaxy but liked the sequel a lot. It’s a fun, poppy movie that moves at a nice pace and features characters the audience likes to be with. See Guardians of the Galaxy 2 if you like watching superheros hanging out and having fun.


Mindhunter series promo


Batman: Year One — The Deluxe Edition

The Batman: Year One storyline of a Bruce Wayne on the cusp of becoming Batman might be my favorite Batman story of all-time. Written by Frank Miller, Year One has a strange positivity whereas his much more acclaimed The Dark Knight Returns is almost its opposite.

From DC:

One of the most important and critically acclaimed Batman adventures ever—written by Frank Miller (BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS) with art by David Mazzucchelli (Daredevil)—returns in a new deluxe edition hardcover. In addition to telling the entire dramatic story of Batman’s first year fighting crime from BATMAN #404–407, this collection includes introductions by Miller and editor Dennis O’Neil, reproductions of original layouts, promotional art, unseen Mazzucchelli Batman art, Richmond Lewis’s color samples, script pages and more!


Bernie Wrightson: Art and Designs for the Gang of Seven Animation Studio

Artist Bernie Wrightson was one of the best all-around comic book artists/illustrators/painters/storytellers ever. One body of Wrightson’s work that so far much of hasn’t seen the light of day is his conceptual work for film and TV. Of which Bernie Wrightson: Art and Designs for the Gang of Seven Animation Studio is set to rectify publishing conceptual work from his time working at this studio.

From Hermes Press:

Wrightson’s extensive design work for the Gang of Seven Animation Studio, while known, has never been documented until now with the creation of this new in-depth monograph that utilizes the archives of the studio. Marvel at concept drawings, model sheets, and hundreds of designs for projects including Biker Mice From Mars, The Juice, and Freak Show. All of the artwork in this book has been scanned directly from the original artwork so fans can savior Wrightson’s genius up close and personal.

The Reading & Watch List

This week in pop-culture history

  • 1907: Fay Wray of King Kong and The Most Dangerous Game is born
  • 1966: Star Trek (The Original Series) premiers
  • 1966: The Time Tunnel debuts
  • 1973: The TV series Star Trek (The Animated Series) premiers
  • 1975: The animated series Return to the Planet of the Apes debuts
  • 1980: Battle Beyond the Stars premiers
  • 2008: The TV series Fringe premiers

Mondo Batman Begins poster by Patrick Leger