Thursday, January 28, 2010

Read Franken-Castle!

Stop what you're doing and go read Franken-Castle.

I know, I know, you don't believe me. "It's just a cheap stunt for sales," you say, "it makes the character too goofy," or maybe, "I remember when they did this years ago and it was shitty then, therefore it'll be shitty now." I thought all those things myself when this Franken-Castle idea was announced, yet I found myself strangely drawn to it, and man, I've never been more proud of my lack of willpower.

The story in a nutshell: Frank Castle is brutally dismembered and left for dead, only to be discovered by an underground civilization of monsters who rebuild and revive our now horribly disfigured hero in hopes that he'll be their new champion against vicious monster hunters.

If that pitch didn't get you, check this out: each issue gets bigger, bloodier, and better with more full on crazy monster-on-monster hunter action that should be legally available.

After two issues of setting up the premise and being pretty alright, the latest issue (which came out this week!) blew me away; it's the most fun I've had in a long time.

It wasn't just Morbius (Monster City's resident vampire/scientist) fighting a steampunk cyborg.

And it wasn't just Jack Russell (of Werewolf By Night fame) facing off against a battalion of pure silver samurai sword wielding Monster Hunters.

Although, It almost was the appearance Giganto (the classic Fantastic Four Monster)... But it wasn't.

Nay. All these things were amazingly awesome, but the thing that really made me fall in love with this book so completely was simply this:

A Manthing/Franken-Castle fastball special.

Sometimes it's the simple things that really make you happy.

Seriously, do yourself a favor and if you're not picking this up, go out and get it, it's a big fun romp that doesn't come along very often and sadly never lasts long enough.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Four Oft Ignored Facts About The Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters is a pretty amazing franchise when you think about it. Who could have guessed that a kitschy comedy with a couple of SNL alums would become a multi-million dollar, international sensation for over two decades. It's nuts.

Recently, with the increasing hype over a mythical third movie, and the release of some truly terrific toys, I had myself a mini-marathon and I learned a few things. Allow me to elaborate:

1. Dana Barrett only attracts creeps.

Poor Dana, all she really wants to do is play her cello and make a comfortable living. Too bad for her every man she meets wants to drag her down. Think about the men she's been involved with:

Louis Tully - A dull, nerdy accountant with a lack of personal skills, no sense of personal space, and the stench of desperation. Given his attachment to his mother (as mentioned in GB2), he probably sees her as a replacement.
Janosz - A nerdy, foreign art curator with a different idea of personal skills, somehow less of a sense of personal space, and an almost obsessive attitude when it comes to Dana. Plus he kidnapped her baby and held Dana hostage, that's just not cool. If he had it his way, she would strictly be a homemaker and nothing more (see GB2 where he's shocked that she's working while she has a baby at home).
Andre Wallance - The fellow orchestra member who married Dana and then, after knocking her up, divorced and moved to Europe. Totally a marriage of convenience that once it became more complicated (read: Oscar was born) he split.
Peter Venkman - A womanizer that can't commit, but isn't afraid to string them along. He's content playing house and remaining ever-young, regardless of the responsibilities that pile up. He'd probably make a great roommate for Andre.

Maybe it'd just be best for Dana to go asexual and stop giving these guys chances. She might actually get to where she wants to be in life that way.

2. Egon is mentally ill.

Oh Egon, so unassuming, so aloof, and so psychotic. On the surface he might seem like your typical no nonsense scientist, but as you peel away the layers you see he has some serious issues. Most readily this is seen in GB2 (maybe he just went off his rocker after the whole Zuul fiasco?) in two separate instances.

First, while conducting experiments on human emotions, he's visited by Dana who is looking for help. After agreeing to help, she kisses him on the cheek, giving him a moment of joy. His response to this joy? Take a puppy away from a little girl so he can study her sadness. That's seriously messed up.

Later, while studying the mood slime with Ray, they present their findings to Peter. It's here that Egon admits to sleeping with, and very possibly making love to, the mood slime to see what it would do. These are not the actions of a sane man. Clearly the ghostbusters need to get him the help he needs quick before he snaps and destroys half of New York.

3. New York City is a very fickle place.

The ghostbusters rise and fall from grace was so quick, they should make sure they don't have whiplash. In the first movie after capturing one ghost, the guys are rocketed to stardom, culminating in a massive showdown with an ancient god and an one hundred foot marshmellow man in the middle of Manhattan. A feat that, while clearly in the public view, was quickly discredited as nothing more than a fancy light show that resulted in millions of dollars in property damage. Suddenly the ghostbusters were broke and the butt of every bad joke in town.

Fast forward five years later, the disgraced ghostbusters are on trial for more property damage when their attacked by ghosts (namely the Scolari Brothers), who are rapidly contained. Faster than you can say boo, the ghostbusters are the toast of the town again, ultimately saving it from an ancient evil again.

At least after that they got the key to the city, but who knows what happened after that. Chances are someone sued for damages at the museum, leaving poor Ray and Winston to resume their careers as party clowns.

4. Winston deserves a raise

While Ray, Peter, and Egon have a personal stake in the Ghostbusters franchise and the science therein, Winston just answered a classified ad. Poor guy was in desperate need for a job ("As long as there's a paycheck in it, I'll believe whatever you want") and probably had a slew of other job interviews lined up that fateful day he got a job as a ghost exterminator. Little did he know that the job would have him face off against world destroyers, send him down a river of hate slime, and put several arrests on his record. Not to mention that it destroyed any other career aspirations (I assume, given that he went on to be a party clown instead of getting a different profession).

Whatever he's being paid for this crap job, he deserves triple that for the amount of shit he has to put up with.

Remind me never to become a ghostbuster.