Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fuck You Cake!



Like me, the highway patrol has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to non-ice cream cakes. Thank you Late Fee for showing me the light.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Meanwhile...



LASERS!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Blackest Night Bet

If you recall, months ago I made a bet with a friend of mine regarding the penultimate issue of Blackest Night. In a nutshell, I put a steak dinner on the idea that Blackest Night # 7 would end with Hal becoming a White Lantern.

Today the issue finally came out and, well, it looks like I was wrong. But just barely.

I don't want to totally ruin the surprise, but if you're curious here's aspoilerific image.

So, anyone know of a cheap steak place in LA?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The X-Tinction Agenda Ate My Brain

Oh The X-Tinction Agenda, how you've been forgotten.



You were the start of a string of bigger and badder (in both senses of the words) X-Men crossovers, reaching creative highs during the Age of Apocalypse (I don't care what you think, it was mind-blowing for the time) and ultimately crashing and burning with The Twelve Saga (shudder).

I found a trade collection of you the other day and thought, "oh, how wonderful it would be to remind myself of why I fell in love with the X-Men all those years ago." I didn't expect greatness from you, X-Tinction Agenda, but I didn't expect you to rot my brain with this horrible dialogue from Gambit:



"What care I for the others, whom I hardly know?"
"Missing? But where can she have gone?"

That feeling you have reading this scene are your brain cells dying. Just leave it be, it's not worth it. It took me a solid week to recover from processing Gambit's strange turn from mush-mouthed Cajun to oddly formal and grammatically confusing Dickhead.

What did I do to deserve this X-tinction Agenda? Maybe this is why everyone forgot about you, because you hurt them all the same...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Crazy Controversial Lost Theory

Have you heard of this show, Lost? Buncha assholes get stuck on an island Gilligan-style with no means of escape? Been on the air for six years and has become somewhat of a cultural icon? Yeah, that's the one.



On a whim I jumped into Lost a few months ago prepared to take this crazy story head on, and found that I was quickly sucked in. That's not to say that I'm some kind of 'Lostie' or anything. Those people, while I'm sure strong in character, are a little nuts and overly obsessive. Good for them and their misguided tastes, I'm just into Lost for the plot.

Anyway, after such a large and concentrated dose of ABC's most popular drama, I came up with a some my own crazy theory about how the show will end.

Curious? Well good, otherwise you should probably stop reading (please don't stop reading)

SPOILERS ABOUND for those who haven't seen any of Season 6 yet!

In a nutshell: Jack Shephard is Jesus Christ



It becomes fairly obviously very quickly when watching Lost that one of the major overtones is one of faith and belief in a higher power. Throughout the majority of the series we watch John Locke and Jack Shephard square off ideologically as they try to save the survivors of Flight 815, with the former believing in the island while the latter strives for physical proof. So then why would Jack be the messiah and not Locke? Simply put, Jack has more in common with the Son of God than Locke ever did.

Here's how I see it: They both have issues with an absent father, who keeps affecting their life in mysterious and unseen ways (see Christian Shephard, AKA God) while they try to save their followers from danger (The Island, or the Roman Empire). I could even make the stretch that being a surgeon is akin to being a carpenter, in that they both involve construction, but I won't.

So for this to ultimately work out, the series will have to end with Jack making the big sacrifice, giving up his life, so that the others (not THE OTHERS, but you know, the other passengers) can finally get off that damned island.

Besides, Locke is more like Professor Xavier anyway.



Further, I think after Jesus-Jack sacrifices himself, he'll be resurrected as the new Jacob-figure for the island.

Everyone cool? Okay, so it was revealed at the end of Season five that Jacob had a buddy on the island (the internet has dubbed The Man in Black, but I totally want to make the easy Twilight reference and call him Edward) who seemed to be his opposite half. Further, it was revealed that the this Man in Black has recently taken the form of John Locke and had Jacob killed. Now, this BlackLocke isn't just some spirit in a meat suit, it's the only physical form that the former Man in Black can take.

Stick with me here: Jacob and the Man in Black are the same and can only take the physical form of one person, but need a dead body to do so. Right? And it's not like any body can be emulated, it has to be a specially chosen candidate which, according to episode 6.4, includes a certain spinal surgeon.

I want you to imagine this for the series finale: A tearful good-bye as Jack sacrifices himself for everyone's safe escape, a series of epilogues with our main cast and then, a shot of a beach where a lone man walks out of a cave and plops down on the sand. John Locke walks up behind him, saying something snarky, and then the reveal, it was Jack who was resurrected.



I'm sorry for ruining Lost's final moments for you, I just can't help myself.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Your Monthly Dose of Throg

Guess who's back, kicking ass and taking names?



Oh Throg, how I've missed you. These past few months have been dismal without your diminutive reptilian godliness, don't ever leave again.

And it looks like you won't, what with your own ongoing series starting next month! Now it's up to us, Internet, to keep him around forever. You with me? Good!

See you next month Throg!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day the Marvel Way

You know what book is really good for inexplicable reasons?



Who woulda guessed that a holiday one-shot (a Valentine's Day one at that!) is not only fun, but dangerously awesome. Divided into four short stories, Marvel Heartbreakers shows some of our favorite Marvel heroes in assorted states of romance.

There's a college-aged Peter Parker caught double scheduling dates with Gwen and Mary Jane, only to get stuck in a fight with a non-Newtonian blob by Kathryn Immonen and Elena Casagrande.



Beast puts the moves on Dazzler as she contemplates her next career move in a sweet story from Jim McCann and David Lopez.



And Snowbird wrestles with her inner desire for a mate while she wrestles two ancient Inuit gods.



It was a really solid issue, filled with fun, romance, and action. Definitely something you should consider picking up on a whim.

Oh.

Also it had THE RETURN OF NEXTWAVE!!



Well, kinda. Really it's just Boom Boom and Elsa Bloodstone setting a trap and talking about past trysts as they wait for their prey. They're prey, of course, being Elsa's latest ex, and quite possibly the character find of 2010:



Oh Nextwave, don't ever change. It's the only Valentine's Day gift I ever wanted.

But seriously, don't ever change.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wes Anderson's Spider-Man

What do you get when you mix a noted navel-gazing hero and the most navel-gazing-est navel-gazing director?



Makes me want to see Wes Anderson penned Spider-Man story... Almost.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Venom is a Slut Part 2



Just like a slut to take over, bond, and then try to wreck havoc on all your friends. Reminds me of my ex-girlfriend. HEY-OH!

Monday, February 1, 2010

How I would save Spider-Girl

A while back I wrote an article about how I really want to like Spider-Girl, but just couldn't connect to it. Well, after months of consideration, I came up with an idea to reinvigorate the series, something that I'm sure all the true fans will absolutely hate.



Let's get started from the bottom up, shall we?

The Creative Team

For a book that's trying to rope in that mythical young girl demographic, it does nothing to really appeal to those younger sensibilities. Right now Spider-Girl is the best example of an old school, done-in-one Marvel comic which is what the diehards like about it, unfortunately it mainly only appeals to those older fans.

What the book needs is a creative team that respects the Silver Age trappings of the book, but that can do so with more modern sensibilities. A Sean Mckeever, Phil Tobin, Dan Slott, Jeff Parker, or even a Kathryn Immonen (a woman on a female lead book, go figure) would have a blast on a book like this without violating the tone of it.

For the record, it's not that Tom Defalco's a terrible writer, it's just time for him to let the book go. It's amazing that he was able to create a character and shepard her adventures for 15 years, but eventually you just need an influx of new ideas lest the book become stagnant and unappealing to new readers.

On the art side, frankly, Sal Buscema needs to go. His rigid inking style pulls the wrong aspects out of Frenz's pencils, making the characters look much older then they're supposed to, making the book less appealing. Youth is all about smooth lines and fluid movement, something that Frenz can do fine, but needs a different inker to really accentuate it (See Spider-Girl 52).

The Status Quo



For the duration of it's run, Spider-Girl has been doing it's best impression of Spider-Man circa 1964 and it's time for a change. I understand the mentality of keeping May in high school in that on paper it seems like it's the way to appeal to kids, but it's never rung true for me. I feel like kids want to look up to someone and don't necessarily care if they're fictional heroes are the same age or not. In fact, I would argue that Spider-Man was the coolest, and really took off in popularity once he went to college. Think about it, the majority of his defining storylines happen when he's in college (The machinery lifting in ASM 42, Spider-Man No More ASM 50, The Death of Gwen Stacey ASM 121, etc.) But I digress, here are my three steps to save Spider-Girl.

Step one: Get her out of High School.
May Parker doesn't act, talk, or look like a high schooler so why pretend anymore? In a perfect world, not only would I have her graduate, I would flash forward a few years and pick up the story while she's mid-way through her college education, studying to be a social worker.

Tom Defalco once said the difference between Peter and May is that Peter acts because when he doesn't people die, while May acts because when she does, people live. It's a slight difference on the same theme, but reveals how deep May's sense of responsibility is.

Social work, in that the idea of helping people get through the rough times and supplying them with the resources that they need, seems like the perfect profession for May. It accentuates her penchant for giving super villains second chances (See Normie, Raptor, Electra, etc.) and her sense of responsibility.

Step two: Tragedy.
This is a tricky step, but probably the most necessary, as all great Marvel characters have a bit of tragedy in their back story.

It would be really easy to slaughter someone from the supporting cast and give May some grit and determination to be a hero, but it wouldn't be right for the character. Going back to the "her actions means people live" thing, she would need to experience someone dying in a way that she couldn't control, like from a disease. More specifically that person should be one of her parents.

Now I'm on the fence as to which, because both have merits. On the one hand, having Peter pass would give her the motivation to continue the legacy and help her get out from the shadow of her father. On the other, Mary Jane passing could force Peter to really grow up, and stop taking stupid risks by coming out of superhero retirement. Either way, it would make May do what she does to honor that passed parent, and add a depth to her sense of responsibility.

Step Three: A New Rogues Gallery.
I mentioned this too in my previous article, but seriously she needs to stop going up against cheap knockoffs of Spider-Man's villains and it needs to stop.



When you think of any classic superhero's rogue's gallery, you'll see a collection of mirror images of that hero. Batman's the best example, where each one of his villains are some distorted vision of the virtues that he holds dear. Spider-Man's the same way, his big lasting villains are people corrupted by science. Now look at Spider-Girl's rogues and what do you see? They're all her enemies because they were her father's enemies (for example, currently her book is filled with villains from the mid-80s Silvermane, Man Mountain Marko, Black Tarantula, etc.).

If Spider-Girl is ever going to become her own hero she needs to start developing some true rogues that reflect who she is as a person, not who her father was. How about a girl who didn't grow up with supportive parents and became a supervillain? what about a villain of pure id, that doesn't feel responsible for their own actions? Feminist upset at the name Spider-Girl? Something. Anything would be better than the rehashes that May currently suffers through.

The Final Word


If it sounds like I'm being overly harsh, it's only because I care. As a character, Spider-Girl has so much promise that I just feel isn't being reached and it hurts. The last thing I would want to see is after Defalco closes the book on May that it'd be the last time we'd see her.

If you really want to save Spider-Girl, it's going to take more than just letter-writing campaigns; the save the book, it needs change.