Thursday, July 20, 2017

Wonder Woman cosplayer channels her inner 'warrior' (exclusive interview, part 2 of 3)

Welcome back! This is the second part of the Cary's Comics Craze exclusive interview with attorney Victoria Ikerd, who in Part 1 says she fights "for all experiencing injustice who can't fight for themselves."

In this second installment, the model and cosplayer known as "Wonder Woman Is real" says her clients call her "their real Wonder Woman" as their attorney. Ikerd also shares her thoughts on Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman -- and meeting the first actress to bring Princess Diana to the big screen!

CARY'S COMICS CRAZE: Why did you choose cosplay as the best way to express yourself? 

Ikerd: Oh my! Well, I love art and I love self-expression through color and material. But I also love being able to be who I feel I am.

The warrior (is one) who fights for those who cannot, yet it is not always easy to just dress in historic clothes of the warrior you feel you are. So cosplay was where I was able to channel for this.

I had my clients tell me I was their real Wonder Woman and I looked just like her so I should dress like her. So I did and I loved having the balance of a simple smile and hug from a child when they see me in uniform versus the many times sad and hurt faces of children harmed when they need my help as a lawyer.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wonder Woman cosplayer fights for rights of children with disabilities (exclusive interview, part 1 of 3)

I have a new cosplay crush — and it's Victoria Ikerd from southern California.

Victoria Ikerd is the real deal. Not only is she a 6-foot tall Wonder Woman
cosplayer, but as an attorney, she says she fights "for all experiencing injustice
who can't fight for themselves."
And it's not just because she's gorgeous or even that her Wonder Woman cosplay looks like she stepped right out of the comic books.

I've been hooked on following Ikerd on social media (her professional Facebook page is "Wonder Woman Is real") because as I say about my original cosplay crush, Viva WW Cosplay, Ikerd does it right -- and for the right reasons.

Like Viva, Ikerd rocks her Wonder Woman costumes at countless conventions. But here's the extremely cool part: Ikerd — as she describes herself on Instagram — is an "attorney4kids with disabilities." As I say, that's #cosplaydoneright! Wonder Woman is real indeed!

Learn about this 6-foot tall model who as an attorney, fights for the rights of children with disabilities in court, in the first part of this exclusive interview with Cary's Comics Craze:

CARY'S COMICS CRAZE: How did you get interested in comic books and the geek culture/lifestyle?

Ikerd: I have always been a geek. My favorite forms of entertainment revolve around comic heroes, sci-fi, art and war/battles in that I love historic storylines and fantasy stories that have a created history like "Star Trek" or "Game of Thrones."

Saturday, July 15, 2017

'Spider-Man: Homecoming' review: What exactly is missing?

How can a movie be thoroughly enjoyable, check off the elements that usually means it's a good flick yet miss That Certain Something Special?

That's the case with "Spider-Man: Homecoming." Maybe it tries too hard; I'm just not sure.

Here are the things that "Homecoming" does well:

  • Stays true to the spirit of Spider-Man and Peter Parker
  • Great action sequences
  • Appropriate humor
  • Makes us care about and root for Spidey/Parker
  • Another memorable performance by Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark
  • Truly intimidating and distasteful villain
  • Fits easily into the Marvel Cinematic Universe

What "Homecoming" doesn't do well is deliver an enjoyable post-credits scene. It's simply not worth the wait. And no, it has nothing to do with future Marvel movies.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

'All-Star Batman: My Own Worst Enemy' trade paperback review

Just when I think I might be reading something close to "My Batman" in the DC Universe Rebirth, I get Scott Snyder's.

That's not to say the writer doesn't have a handle on the character; it's just that it ebbs and flows. And more often than not, I'm not terribly fond of the way Snyder writes the Dark Knight.

(What do I mean by "my Batman"? Read this op-ed from May and certainly, my definitive interpretations of the character in comics, film and animation through the years — a 2015 series I wrote about my favorite comic book protagonists. Check my "definitive" tag  and scroll through for the entire series and several additions from TV and film — including the must-see superhero film of 2017, "Wonder Woman."

The Rebirth Batman generally is more humane and relatable than the New 52 version (which Snyder wrote all of). But every once in a while, this (only vaguely) rebooted Batman goes a bit too vicious for my tastes — such as driving a knife into Killer Moth's arm gauntlet, for instance.

On many Facebook Batman group pages, I've read fans praising Snyder. But I just am not sold. His storytelling is never so stellar that I need to rave about it.

For this lifelong Batman fan, Snyder has a solid handle on the Dark Knight, but nothing much beyond that. His stories mostly are forgettable fare — and that's a literary sin. For a truly great story to be just that — great, it must be memorable. And that goes for comic books, novels, movies, TV, animation; you name it.

If a writer is truly superb, his or her stories should stick with you. I'm simply not convinced Snyder's Batman stories will stand the test of time and stand among those penned by truly fantastic Batman writers; Denny O'Neil, Steve Engelhart, Chuck Dixon, Alan Grant and Len Wein quickly come to mind.

And before you start thinking this op-ed is just my excuse for an anti-Scott Snyder rant, let me clarify: It isn't; this is a review of the ALL-STAR BATMAN VOL. 1: MY OWN WORST ENEMY trade paperback. Moving on now …

Sunday, July 9, 2017

'Spider-Man: Miles Morales,' 'Teen Titans: Year One' trade paperback reviews

As I say, Cary's Comics Craze is my blog done in my time. And it's time for two more trade paperback reviews.

SPIDER-MAN: MILES MORALES VOL. 1: My exposure to Miles Morales is limited, mostly to the ALL-NEW ALL-NEW DIFFERENT AVENGERS series. But even in those handful of issues, it's pretty easy to like this young teenager.

Writer Brian Michael Bendis has a great handle on Morales' authentic voice. The dialogue is natural; Morales' grandmother sounds like the overly protective, big personality she is who is worried her grandson is "on the drugs" and Morales' reaction as Spider-Man sounds like what a teenager would say or think, given what he's experienced.

Two of the great sequences/moments in this trade (covering SPIDER-MAN Nos. 1-5) are his interaction with the original Spider-Man over the destruction caused by a demon that knocked out the Avengers and having a "nerdgasm" when getting a compliment from Sam Wilson's Captain America, all while getting a handshake.

Friday, July 7, 2017

'Batman & Robin' review: 20 years later

Overacting. Corny dialogue. Awful wire work. Cheesy special effects. Yup, I'm talking about "Batman & Robin," which came out 20 years ago.

I must be a glutton for punishment since over the course of a couple days I watched two of the worst superhero films ever made, "Green Lantern " and now "B&R."

"Green Lantern" mostly was the victim of poor writing and trying to jam too many things into an origin movie.

But let's be honest about "Batman & Robin": There are large parts that are -- just -- so bad it makes me slap me head. Or at least shake it in disbelief. Did director Joel Schmacher and his team know it was this bad while making it?

Not everything about "B&R" is awful -- contrary to what fans say.

Batman's vehicles and the Batgirl cycle are pretty snazzy and aside from the questionable return of the infamous Bat-nipples, the Batman suit is pretty darn cool. The "partners" scene at the very end, then the shadows of Batman, Robin and Batgirl running toward the audience -- yeah, I dig those too.

George Clooney gives an earnest performance, delivering a well-adjusted and composed billionaire Bruce Wayne. His scenes with Michael Gough's Alfred Pennyworth are touching. Some fans may say they're overly emotional, but I prefer my Batman and Bruce Wayne to be humane.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Batman, Captain America, Daredevil, Wonder Woman — and more — trade paperback reviews

As I'm always preaching here, don't forget to take advantage of your local library to read the latest Marvel and DC trade paperbacks. Or catch up on what you've missed!

Heck, countless CCCs have been typed on the keyboards of the computers at my local library.

Like this op-ed -- a roundup of reviews of some (mostly) recommended reads from the cape-and-cowl crowd...

BATMAN: DARK DETECTIVE
This six-issue 2005 limited series is a reunion well worth reading! And your money, if you're lucky enough to find each of the issues.

Writer Steve Englehart reunites with artist Marshall Rogers and inker Terry Austin for a follow-up to their classic 1977-'78 DETECTIVE COMICS run (Nos. 469-476 and 479, for you completists) -- one of the definitive takes on Batman. Needless to say, Englehart writes and the now late Rogers draws "my Batman." It's refreshing to see the sparks between the compassionate Dark Knight and Silver St. John, my favorite lover from Bruce Wayne's past.

Even if the late Rogers' art  isn't quite as stellar as it was back in the day, his art and characters flow and is still a treat for the eyes. And Englehart has lost very little of his writing mojo despite being away from comics for years. Grade: A-