ComicsBox 1 | Saga: Chapter Thirty Seven

#NowReading #Saga #ImageComics

NEW STORY ARC! “THE WAR FOR PHANG,” PART ONE. SAGA is back with its most epic storyline yet, and to celebrate, FIONA STAPLES graces this issue with a gorgeous wraparound cover! Finally reunited with her ever-expanding family, Hazel travels to a war-torn comet that Wreath and Landfall have been battling over for ages. This arc is a self-contained “event” we’ve been building to since our very first issue, so now is the perfect time for readers who love SAGA’s bestselling collections to join our monthly adventures!

Story By: Brian K. Vaughan
Art By: Fiona Staples
Cover By: Fiona Staples
Published: August 31, 2016

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The Merc with a Mouth in a Movie | Thoughts on the Deadpool flick posted @ Comic Book Fetish | By  Brandon L. Rucker

For an action movie with a foulmouthed blabbermouth antihero, it’s pretty good. The opening sequence let’s you know right away (and any parents who may have foolishly brought their little ones expecting Spider-Man, Iron Man or Captain America fare) what the nature of this movie is going to be about and what kind of content you can expect. The opening credits laced throughout that first sequence are written in Deadpool’s unique perspective, which also informs the flavor of this raucous, ultra-violent movie. Right away we see Deadpool doing what he does best, delivering graphic and gruesome punishment to bad(der) guys, all the while quickly rolling off a litany of witty, wisecracking one-liners off his swift tongue for all the chuckles, usually in voice-over or while looking right at us, breaking the fourth wall. The camera angles in these first few sequences are daring for great comedic effect.  You come to realize without a doubt during this first zippy action sequence that that Ryan Reynolds is the ideal actor for Deadpool.

Storywise, I think my favorite aspect was the choice to go non-linear with the narrative. I’ve preferred in-media res (starting in the middle) storytelling since I was a teenager first studying the art and craft of fiction. I think most of us prefer the immediacy of what’s happening now to start things off before we get into the why and how of it. At this point it’s become the formula for these kinds of movies and I’m good with that, all things considered. Since this is Deadpool’s first solo outing, it’s ultimately an origin movie.

So just as we’re getting into the rising action, the narrative shifts right at the perfect time to Deadpool’s past as Saskatchewan, Canada’s own Wade Wilson, an ex-Special Forces operative now working as a mercenary who’s just bad enough to kill the even worse guys who deserve it when the job calls for it.  These narrative flashback sequences – merged seamlessly with the present-time narrative – offer us what is effectively a love story, and a potentially tragic romance, which is my favorite kind. The pleasant surprise comes in the arrival of the always wonderful and oh-so-lovely Morena Baccarin as his lady love, Vanessa. As lovers ,Wade and Vanessa have that perfect — if unlikely and rare —  connection where their past psychological baggage is nearly equal in bleakness and volume, and they also just totally get and complete each other.

And therein lies the typical catalyst for a Marvel comics character: love, or the loss of it, is the main impetus for springing our would-be hero into action. But not before we see the events leading up to all of that – the torture at the hands of the villain Ajax (aka Francis) that brings about Deadpool’s apparently latent mutation, making him the badass ultra-healing human killing machine with an never-ending mouth to match. The Merc with a Mouth. His mission is to find and ultimately kill the bastard who made him what he is (through the ruse of curing his terminal cancer). Once the life of his lady love is seriously threatened, it’s really on. With the help of two sidekick X-Men characters in the classic Colossus and newcomer Negasonic Teenage Warhead (!),  who would rather he join their motley band of heroes, Deadpool ultimately triumphs — the ugly guy gets the girl back. The movie ultimately satisfies while not overachieving.

Since the movie’s record-breaking opening at the box office, much chatter has been made about the freedom a rated R “superhero” movies has in regards to language, sexual content and violence. In mainstream movies that aren’t exclusively adult in nature, I always say that less is more because it’s more impactful when it does occur. Deadpool is no exception, but it tries too hard to walk that edge, making some of the gags feel forced in my opinion. In effect, each timely F-bomb, witty sexual reference and gruesome dismemberment becomes overkill once they get well past the half-dozen quotient. But true blue — er — red Deadpool fans certainly won’t be bothered and will likely expect even more of the same in the imminent sequel. Hell, the studio may even go for an NC-17 just to prove the point they made with the R rating. I’m mostly kidding.

CBF Grade: B+


UPDATE: Reactivation Notice | A Change of Plans

Yeah, it’s quite obvious I’m not done playing the role of comic book aficionado and commentator as well as industry analyst.  I never stopped, really, I just kept doing it to a lesser degree within a private group on Facebook, a group that’s been together since the Spring/Summer cusp of 2011 when DC’s The New 52 was first announced.  This stuff is in my blood, I’m fetish-ly addicted to comics and all things comics-related.  So…disregard the previous note about deactivation (over on Blogger), which included a statement that I would just cover this stuff on my main website Ruckerpedia. Comics are that kind of thing that demands its own space and focus – it can’t be shared with other things.  Hence this new blog/website here on WordPress (went ahead and grabbed the doc com domain), migrated from Blogger and re-configured and somewhat redesigned.  I’ll be attempting some new and different things this time around:

Buzz – Buzz and hubbub from social media, which will mostly be comic book folk (pros and fans) I’m well associated with, but also anything else that’s worthy of sharing.

Commentary – Nothing new, really, just a category that consolidates and replaces others.  This is where all my usual analysis and commentary will go (I hasten to say “reviews” because I don’t do typical reviews). You could call this Comic Book Fetish Central.

Comics-Related – Pretty simple: movies, TV shows, videogames and such adapted from comic books.

The Haul – Pics of the (semi) weekly or monthly Haul, the stack o’ books that I as well as my friends bring home.

My Comics – This section will be under construction soon and deserves its own separate write up in the future.

See the menu bar at the top of the site for navigation of these.

Gotta say, it’s good to be back.

– Brandon (



I’ve always been one of splintered interests and activities, and by natural consequence of that, a rather transient attention span.  But as I get more active and, let’s face it, older, I have less time (read: patience) for hopping fro-and-to various locations. For instance, social networking – I typically only have the mental patience to dabble in one primary social arena on these Interwebs. In 2003 it was LiveJournal. From 2004 to 2007 it was MySpace. In 2008 I went back to a more insular social network of writers at the Zoetrope Virtual Studio. I 2010 I discovered Twitter, but didn’t truly get active with it until 2011. Finally, in 2013 I stopped resisting Facebook and it has become my predominant arena more by default of familial and friendly connections than preference (personally I think Google+ is laid out better and navigates more logically). I have a number of groups I admin and/or participate in on FB because, again, that is the virtual space where the social per capita is highest.

So what about my personal website outlet and blogging? The recent history of that all stared in 2009 with Brandon Rucker Writes over on Blogger (which at last count has 37,634 pageviews – not bad for a nobody). In 2014 I finally folded that and migrated its archives over into what you know and love as Ruckerpedia here at (in association with WordPress). In the waning days of my comic book journalism I created Comic Book Fetish on Blogger in 2013 and by the end of 2014 I’d put that journalism hat away and dusted off my fiction hat, so CBF has pretty much gone defunct, but since the FB page for CBF still has a little activity and the fact that I’ll always have my fetish for comics, I’ve just decided to fold that into Ruckerpedia as well, including all previous posts (available for your perusal, if you’re feeling adventurous). And the newest advent in the Brandon Rucker network – Hello, Blank Page, started just last December – is also being fully integrated into Ruckerpedia.  Now can truly be the one-stop-shop Wal-Mart of yours most true.  We’ve got the best prices right here, I promise!

Now the only “double dipping” I’ll be doing is for my pen name(s). More on that when the time is right.

Also, there’s been a, um, tonal shift here at Ruckerpedia, which just means I’ve chosen the TONAL template which I was using for Hello, Blank Page. I love its sparse layout and monochromatic theme and the way it simply puts emphasis on the words that appear on the page.  So fresh, so clean. Simple.  I there’s a lot of truth to the notion that as people age they tend to prefer simplicity over complication and complexity. But, if I’m honest and acutely self-aware then I can admit that although I prefer simplicity around me, within myself I’m just as complex as ever.  There’s balance in that, I suppose.

However, if there’s one drawback to this spare layout, it’s that the sidebars, links and navigational tools are hidden by default.  Just click that lined button at the top right to find all the extra goodies.

Y’all be good to one another.

And thanks for shopping, er, I mean visiting and reading at Ruckerpedia.


The Weekend Report – Item #2: Free Comic Book Day (FCBD)


This was definitely a success! The eleven year-old stayed behind, so the six year-old and I hit up two stores and came back with a nice stack of books. It’s hard for a geek father to put into words the pride he feels when seeing the joy and excitement of his offspring partaking in a mutual geek rite of passage for the first time.

Yeah, I even took along the family camera to get a picture of her standing in front of the comic racks (in the X-Men section, of course), clutching an armful of comics.  The thing about special moments like these is that they are so fleeting, and pass you by before you even fully realize you’re actually experiencing them. Then as the day comes to an end, you reflect on it and lament that you can never re-live the experience.


Anyway, here’s some of what we came away with —

For the Youngest:


For the Middle Child:
For Daddy:
For All of US
And then we also got a handful of various ones from previous years of the event that they had laying out as well, like AVENGERS, X-MEN/RUNAWAYS, and INVINCIBLE IRON MAN.
Curiously, this year’s offerings seemed to be negligent of offerings for adult females. It seems that if the female is not into what the male or the kids are, then she’s left out. Surely they could have made an old issue of THE SANDMAN available (not that my woman would read it, but still, it’s the principle).
Ah, well. It was a good day nonetheless. Especially when you hear the words “I want more!” from the not-quite-as-interested-at-first eleven year-old. Appears she has quite the jones for more BETTY & VERONICA (w/ ARCHIE) comics. And funny thing was, she had rejected the PEP COMICS issue on first sight (I had gotten it for her on whim; guess I was right).
So it looks like I have two new comic book readers on my hands, which is great because we want to keep their minds stimulated during the upcoming summer break, which is always a feat for parents. Comics will be a suppliment to the program. The  trick will be in trying to convince them to spend their own money on their new hobby.
(*) NOTE: I’m the furthest thing from a fan of Green Lantern (or even most of DC Comics’ superheroes — I am MARVEL zombie for life when it comes to superheroes). But it was FREE and I figured, what the hell. Give it a chance.