Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo (1984-?)

Popular culture gives us many great samurai figures. There are probably almost as many live action samurai movies as westerns, and The Magnificent Seven Samurai duo of wonderful classics show us how close these genres could be.

But I want to introduce one of my favourite comic books, so no more about cinematic depictions (hmm, who would have won if guys on the left fired on the guys on the right :D?).

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In a world of countless great mangas, my favourite graphic novel Japanese warrior is an anthropomorphic rabbit by Stan Sakai, who, though born in Kyoto, is undoubtedly an American artist. I’m not going to argue it’s the most accurate vision of the medieval Japan, from the stuff I’m familiar with the honour goes to Vagabond, probably, and Rurouni Kenshiin has some great moments – usually just before going for silliness and fanservice. And then there is Samurai Jack, a hero whose story recently concluded, after years of waiting.

But Miyamoto Usagi from Usagi Yojimbo, he is my favourite!

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Mark Millar, Steve McNiven, Civil War (2006)

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Civil War was – and is – one of the biggest events in Marvel Universe, and that says something after over half a century of modern Marvel history and many epic, all-encompassing story arcs.

Ola: Marvel Civil War spans over a hundred separate comics – from Spider-Man through Fantastic Four, Wolverine, Captain America and Iron Man or New Avengers to less-known titles, such as Deadpool and Cable or Thunderbolts.And of course, the big cross-over thing binding them all: 7-part Civil War. Mark Millar, asked to sum up the subject matter of his opus magnum, said:

Civil War is about what happens when the Marvel heroes are forced to grow up. It’s as simple as that. The public need and want the heroes. They couldn’t survive without them in a world filled with super-villains and alien invasions. However, the wild west fantasy these guys have been having, where they put on a mask and fight whoever they like just doesn’t cut it in the modern world.

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Captain America: Civil War (2016)

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Fresh on our screens, already a critical and commercial success, one of the highest-grossing Marvel movies to date, with a wave of franchise and PR that resembles a veritable tsunami… And with admittedly great posters :). Who hasn’t seen, or at least heard, about Captain America: Civil War?

Ola: Yeah. And that’s why we’ll take a look at it from a bit different angle: not only the fabled “continuity” within Marvel movies, but also from the perspective of the comic books that Civil War was inspired by.

The movie contents are hopefully known to everyone by this point, but if not – BIG SPOILER ALERT: we’ll unabashedly write about events and characters appearing in the movie.

Piotrek: Yes. Here be spoilers. Seriously, go, see the movie, and get back here after that. By now, you know what the MCU is about, so there is no point in reading tonnes of reviews to make up your mind about going to the cinema.

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Batman vs. Robin (2015)

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When I learned of Piotrek’s bold plans to see and review of Batman v Superman next week, I decided to save the face of the Dark Knight and give you a review of Batman vs. Robin first :). Wait, wait; Batman vs. Robin? You sure you got the title right? The answer is yes. Batman vs. Robin is a pretty recent addition to a long series of animated movies set in DC universe. And contrary to the popular opinion of translating DC universe to the screen (with the exception of Nolan trilogy, of course), there are some veritable golden nuggets in this pile –like the famous Batman: Under the Red Hood, and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, which I very much want to see. The animated movies are more or less faithful to comic books – though more often than not that faithfulness is rather questionable – and they are decidedly not children-friendly. The creepiness factor is high, the style of the animation is quite close to the comic books, i.e. dark and gritty, and the main themes are pretty serious, from child abuse to betrayal and murder.

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