Saxon Bullock

Writer, Journalist, Copy-Editor and Proofreader

Tag: marvel (page 1 of 3)

Legion S1 (Some Thoughts…)

I meant to blog about TV in 2017 for the last month or so. There were two shows in 2017 that stuck with me more than anything, and trying to get my thoughts on the challenging weirdness of Twin Peaks: The Return into shape proved to be a tricky task. There was also Legion, which I adored, but blogging about it didn’t happen for various reasons, and seemed destined to be one of those ‘blog posts I never get around to’.

And then, this weekend, I spotted that there’s a quote from my SFX review of Legion on the back cover of the UK release of the Blu-Ray:

This boggled the heck out of me – getting cover quotes is always great, getting a cover quote on something I loved as much as Legion is a rare treat – so I had to write something.

There’s a hell of a lot to write about – the Wes Anderson-influenced production design, the trippy cinematography, the retro Sixties styles, the way it joyfully ignores any continuity with other X-Men related media and is all the better for it, the strong performances, the jaw-dropping use of music, the fact that episode seven contains an extended sequence that’s one of the most astonishing things I’ve seen on television in years, the kooky joy of Flight of the Concords’ Jemaine Clement as the 1960s-obsessed psychonaut Oliver Bird…

But the thing I love most about Legion is what it reminds me of.

We have a lot of superhero shows right now, and some of them are definitely ‘for adults’ – but up until now, that’s principally meant the Marvel Netflix shows, which are a very particular (and uneven) kind of mature that’s worn out its sense of novelty and welcome surprisingly quickly. None of them have really managed to capture what grabbed me about American comics when I first started reading them – they’re all going for relatively formulaic structures but with more monologues, more intensity and more ultraviolence. There’s no sense of them trying to do anything different, except in how adult they can be – a habit that, outside of S1 of Jessica Jones, hasn’t come across very well.

Legion, however, feels different in almost every conceivable way. There’s an infectious sense of invention and creativity to the show, an adventurous desire to push the envelope – and what it reminds me of are the truly weird, artistic and adventurous comics that came along in the wake of graphic novel landmarks like Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns. Yes, you had lots of dark and gritty tales of vigilante justice, superhero stories but with added intensity and violence and upset – but you also had genuinely weird and adventurous stories that you simply couldn’t find anywhere else. Comics like Doom Patrol, Animal Man, The Sandman, Enigma, Hellblazer – boundary-pushing, unpredictable comics that were giving a sandbox to interesting writers who really wanted to see what comics could do, and wanted to do expand the limits of the everyday mainstream comic.

Legion captures that feel better than anything I’ve seen in our current deluge of superhero media. It’s the closest I’ve seen to the mind-expanding thrill of opening an early issue of The Invisibles, or Alan Moore’s epic run on Swamp Thing, or Neil Gaiman’s ambitious work on The Sandman. I can forgive Legion its flaws – like the weird pacing, the way certain characters get forgotten about, the way it peaks too early in episode 7, or the relative lack of conclusion in the eighth and final episode – for the way it uses superpowers as a way to look at mental illness, alongside the way we interact with the world, other people, and our memories. There’s a scene in episode 3, where two characters simply sit down and talk about their abilities in a calm and open way, that’s one of the most engaging things I’ve ever seen in a superhero show, and Legion delivers unexpected moments and stylistic curve-balls like that throughout its run. Season 2 is apparently due to arrive sometime in April – I have no idea where it’s going to go next, but I can’t wait to find out…

Schizopolitan: The Podcast – Episode 14 – The Avengers: Age of Ultron Megaspectacular

avengers age of ultron joss whedon hulk black widow quicksilver iron man captain america

SCHIZOPOLITANS ASSEMBLE! You’ve already had part one of the ultimate Marvel podcast double-bill, with our detailed look at the Daredevil Netflix show – and now, part two arrives! Thrill, as Saxon and Jehan engage in their most daring and dangerous mission yet – an in-depth and mega-spoilerific look at the whys, the wheres, and the what-the-hell-was-going-on-in-that-Cave-scene of the latest Marvel blockbuster, Avengers: Age of Ultron! Overstuffed plots! Strange visions, and a strange Vision! Hydra being surprisingly terrible! Andy Serkis! A robot James Spader! Has writer-director Joss Whedon outdone himself, or are the rougher edges of the Marvel formula starting to show? And can Saxon and Jehan ever reach a point where they won’t be talking about Marvel? ONLY TIME WILL TELL!

Enjoy the podcast (please let us know in the comments if you do), and stay tuned for more episodes soon! And remember – you can now subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! Share and Enjoy!

(The opening and closing music on the podcast is ‘Ouroboros’ by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)

Schizopolitan: The Podcast – Episode 13 – Daredevil-A-Go-Go

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WHO DARES? THEY DARE! Schizopolitan is back with a jumbo-sized edition of nerdy goodness that’s only the first of this week’s staggering podcast bounty! Part one of Schizopolitan’s epic double bill kicks off with Saxon and Jehan debating the oddity that is the recently released first image of Jared Leto as the Joker, revealing that the Clown Prince of Crime is now (a) fond of tattoos as a fashion statement, and (b) EXTREMELY KEEN TO LET US KNOW THAT HE’S VERY CRAZY INDEED….

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After that brief interlude, they’re onto the main topic – the epic saga of S1 of Marvel’s Daredevil! How has the street-based vigilante done in his TV debut? How does it sit against other Marvel Cinematic Universe shows? Is it too violent? How scary is Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk? And is dressing up in black and fighting ninjas really a sensible career path for a lawyer? All these questions, AND MORE! Plus! A look at Agent Carter! And Agents of SHIELD! So many shows! SO MUCH MARVEL, THE BRAIN CAN BARELY STAND IT!

Enjoy the podcast (please let us know in the comments if you do), and stay tuned for more episodes soon! And remember – you can now subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! Share and Enjoy!

(The opening and closing music on the podcast is ‘Ouroboros’ by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)

Schizopolitan – The Podcast: Episode 6 – Pax Americana, Doctor Who and Marvel’s Phase Three movies…

IT RETURNS! The podcast that EVERYBODY is talking about (well, everybody worth knowing) returns with another sense-defying episode to expand your horizons, transform your life and make you a better, sexier person. This episode, Saxon and Jehan take on a wide variety of subjects as they look at the recently concluded Season 8 of Doctor Who and also tackle the upcoming Phase 3 of Marvel films, sorting out who’s who, what’s what, and the kind of blockbuster madness that we can look forward to – while also finding time for a look at the more worrying movie developments with Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four…

Additionally, starting this podcast, we’re recommending a comic an episode – this time it’s The Multiversity: Pax Americana by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, and you can buy a digital copy of it here at Comixology.

Enjoy the podcast (please let us know in the comments if you do), and stay tuned for more episodes soon! And remember – you can now subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! SHare and Enjoy!

(The opening and closing music on the podcast is ‘Ouroboros’ by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)

Schizopolitan: The Podcast – Episode 4 – The DC/Marvel Superhero Movie Smackdown

It’s back! The Schizopolitan podcast returns, and this time Jehan and Saxon tackle the thorny subject of the newly released DC movie slate! A slew of release dates have been revealed for movies in the DC shared universe (which will be properly kicking off in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice) stretching through till 2020. But what does this mean? What properties have been chosen, and why? Will DC stand any chance of matching Marvel’s success? And will any of what Jehan and Saxon say result in Aquaman actor Jason Momoa wanting to punch them? Listen to the podcast to find out the answer to these questions, and many more!

Also, Lego movies! Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them! Rumblings in the world of Marvel! And does Sony really not have the faintest idea what they’re doing with Spider-man?

Enjoy the podcast (please let us know in the comments if you do), and stay tuned for more episodes soon! And remember – you can now subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! Follow this link to subscribe – the first three episodes are already available, and this latest one should be up there in the next 48 hours…

(The opening and closing music on the podcast is ‘Ouroboros’ by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)

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