Staff Picks of the Week – June 23rd 2017

Wow! This year is flying by! It’s almost July! The holidays will be here before we know it! But there are plenty of summer movies, comics, books, and games to enjoy as we cruise through summer. Go outside every now and then and get some fresh air, that’s important too! Anyway, it’s Friday! It is time for Rogues Portal’s Staff Picks of the Week. You know how the picks work, I know how the picks work, but we’re always getting new readers, so I have to explain it! Each week a select few of our staff share with you what has been keeping them entertained. But beforehand, I like to share what is new at Rogues Portal.

Check out comic book reviews for Fantasy Sports #1, Grrl Scouts: Magic Socks #2, The X-Files: Origins- Dog Days of Summer #1, Shirtless Bear Fighter #1, The Spectacular Spider-Man #1, and our own Sunny and Owl Girl! We have much more than the ones listed, go take a look before you hit up your comic shop this weekend! Two Solid Dudes read In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje. Go on a journey with The Lost American, SJ Pendergraft, as she explores both normal shopping and underground shopping in Korea, Seoul’s Palaces, and Korean Cafes! Amelia continues her Cinematic Retrospective with Jurassic Park 3 and Ryan has his own retro review of Star Wars: The Force Unleased II. And don’t forget our podcasts! Listen to new episodes of Scooby Dos or Scooby Don’ts, The Missfits, The Comics Agenda, and Babes of Wonderland. As you can see, we have a lot going on! So hang out for awhile and enjoy! Now it is time for the Staff Picks of the Week!

Billy’s Pick of the Week – My staff pick of the week is The Jim Henson Hour. I’ve been diving back into Henson’s work pretty heavily lately for an upcoming research project, and when I rediscovered this hidden gem I was flooded by a wave of nostalgia. Looking at it with a critical eye, I have my own thoughts as to why this Muppet version of The Wonderful World of Disney did and didn’t work, but the fan in me is utterly disappointed that it wasn’t given more of a chance to find its proper footing. While the actual Muppetelevision episodes often fall flat, there’s a sense of purpose and dedication to the craft in the latter half that I don’t think was ever matched. This is the Jim Henson who made Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal putting out ambitious, hand-curated stories that pushed the limits of then-current technology. While commercially unavailable as a whole, certain segments, such as The Storyteller, are available to buy separately on DVD. The full episodes are well worth seeking out as they originally aired, just don’t set your expectations up for anything remotely like The Muppet Show in this dark, dangerous world of 1989.

Michael’s Pick of the Week – My staff pick is the movie Life, which came out on DVD, Blu-ray and digital this week. What looked like a low-rent Alien ripoff ended up being a completely solid sci-fi thriller. Using a contemporary setting and (semi-) contemporary technology helps sell the horror of an alien entity in a way that other Alien ripoffs aren’t able to do. It also helps that it has an extremely solid cast, led by Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds, who help to flesh out characters that could easily be one-note. Life is quick, tense and scary and has a dark punchline of a finale. It’s definitely worth at least a rental.

Josh Canales’ Pick of the Week – This week my pick is something that has me very excited and ready to drop a couple hundred dollars on a new game system; Marvel’s Spider-Man. With E3 happening this past week, a whole lot of new video games came out, but none stood out more to me than Spider-Man. The Spider-Man games for most part have always been pretty great in my opinion and this looks like it will not only keep that going, but it looks as if it will raise the bar for not only Spider-Man games, but superhero games in general. The gameplay looks dynamic and exciting; especially the fighting. Of course, it just wouldn’t be Spider-Man without all the jokes and one-liners and Insomniac seems to have nailed that aspect of his character down. With a cool new suit, impressive action, and exciting character teases this game is looking like its going to be amazing. I can only hope that upon it’s release next year it lives up to expectations.

Stephanie Pouliotte’s Pick of the Week – My pick this week is Jim Mahfood’s revival of his creator-owned title Grrl Scouts: Magic Socks! You won’t find another comic like this on the shelves, and it’s as much a visual psychedelic trip as it is an action-packed, punk rock thrill ride… with a hint of magic socks, of course. It’s the story of a badass femme trio (Gwen, Daphne, and Rita) who used to own the streets with their Girl Scout cookies racket, which was a front for selling some quality weed. But the crew split up, and after some heated time apart, they collide back into each others lives when Gwen discovers that power-hungry Daphne “acquired” a pair of infamous magic socks and is going buck wild. But there’s another bad girl in town whose got her eyes on the prize, and she’s taking names. The comic’s raw appeal stems from Mahfood’s psychedelic graffiti art, which is messy, loud, and chaotic, channeling some of his early influences like Tank Girl. Now, you may get a small headache from staring at the sheer awesomeness that’s smacking you in the face, but even though there’s a lot going on on every square inch of the page, colourist Justin Stewart still manages to make things pop amidst the acid trip of colours. It’s a short mini-series, only six issues, but Mahfood has said this is only the beginning for the Grrl Scouts comic book universe!

Heather’s Pick of the Week – Everyone needs to read a silly comic from time to time that you don’t have to think too much about. That was exactly what I was looking for and found in Wonder Woman/Tasmanian Devil Special #1, out this week at your LCBS. Now, don’t take me saying that this comic doesn’t require much thought as a bad thing — it certainly is not.  It is a fun, stand-alone story of Diana saving Themyscira from Circe and enlisting the help of Taz, who happens to be a guardian of the mythical Labyrinth. With story by Tony Bedard and some very classic looking art by Ben Caldwell & Berry Kitson,  the mini-adventure does a rather nice job of bringing two absolutely unrelated characters together. Wonder Woman is one of my current favorites (bordering on obsessions), and Taz was a favorite from my childhood. I specifically remember a pullover sweatshirt I owned in the ugliest shade of purple that I refused to get rid of because it had Taz spinning around in his cyclone looking all smiley. For those that might be worried, the Chaos Devil is allowed to do his thing and make a mess just as you would expect. 

As a bonus, the added Looney Tunes backup story is a colorful retelling of a Greek classic with some surprisingly adult one-liners. I’m not sure I ever want to read about Taz fawning over Diana’s booty (really, he says booty) again, but it definitely got a laugh out of me. These crossovers have been a wild ride, that’s for sure!
And you’re curious, Rogues Portal has reviewed Wonder Woman/Tasmanian Devil, Lobo/RoadRunner, Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian on the site!
Dave Hildebrand
My name is Dave. I'm in love with all types of film. I enjoy comics, video games, and writing. I also love soccer. I love watching all competitions and I play goalkeeper as well. Hit me up on Twitter @sycotic

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