Thursday, May 19, 2005

A Taste of Things to Come: The Comic Review

This will mainly be for trades of comics that I have either read and are coming out the next week, comics that deserve to be bought, even if it is a week late, or just books to buy or not buy. We'll see.

Amazing Spider-Man: Skin Deep –A good Spider-Man tale, but still lacking the magic.

When JMS first came on Spider-Man, he started strong and powerful. His Spider-Man was fun, exciting, and full of wonder. Since issue 500, the comic has been in limbo. It has floated along, with even the “big” stories being much of nothing. There has been a special thing missing. The feeling of fun has been gone.

Skin Deep tries to recapture some of the fun, but still comes up short. The flashbacks make for an interesting story, as we see the way the characters grew from their childhood days. We see how someone can grow into a man, or stay bitter and resentful. But then it turns to an angry villain tearing up the city, and Spider-Man having to use his brain to defeat the villain. It becomes standard fare, and this story doesn’t have the special spark that can turn the normal story into something great. JMS has been coasting. He doesn’t know how to make normal stories as exciting and different as his big events.

JMS still makes fun Spider-Man stories, but here’s hoping he can go for something else. Maybe he can get his spark back. Maybe something will come to him, but for now, it looks like coasting is the order of business.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

A Taste of Things to Come: Editorial

OK, I think this may be the weak link, and thus the first to get the axe.

Are Heroes Scary, or Role Models?

Dan Didio has stated that he wants people to feel around superheroes the same way he wants to feel around the National Guard. Meaning, that when you would see a superhero, you become paranoid and frightened, afraid that they are coming after you. But, how exactly would that work?

Yes, when you see a police officer, or a National Guardsman, you might feel a tinge of paranoia. You might wonder “Are they coming after me?” “Might they think that I did something wrong?” But, how does that work when talking about Superman? Does Superman just walk down the street busting criminals? Or does he mainly fight supervillains. And if he is always fighting supervillains, or saying hello to normal people, why would you be so afraid?

Wouldn’t if feel more like meeting an NBA player? Watching your favorite athlete week in and out battling the opposing team, and then seeing them in person. You would be awed. You would want to touch them, get their autograph. You would not want to run away from them, hide from their frightening visage. Now, imagine if that basketball game was for life or death. You would not suddenly change your attitudes concerning your “hero”. You would still love them, cheer for them, want to touch them and get your autograph. A superhero is still a role model. They do the right thing. They are not the police, that is made clear time after time in comics, so why is that hard to understand?

Maybe it becomes so when the person does not understand heroes as it is. They do not love the characters and concept. Instead, they are given a job. Maybe even a job they consider “beneath them”. Their “love” is merely for the financial aspect, and so they want to project their own feelings into mediums that do not mesh well with these feelings. But, once you have control, you start to want to take more and more. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. And when you have an entire publishing line beneath you, you have power. But always remember “With great power comes great responsibility”. You have to push beyond your own feelings, in order to see the truth beneath the illusion. You need to be able to make decisions that you may not agree with, and that you may not like, because they are the good decisions. While your way may be good for the short term, you must look beyond that. Come back to the light.

Come back to the right thing.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

A Taste of Things to Come: Parody

Bling Justice – This Fall From FOX

This fall, see a whole new side to the law, with the premiere of the most daring cop show ever.

When rap superstar Jiggly Puff is gunned down exiting an arena after a concert, his life seemed all but over. But through the power of his own will and determination, he not only survived, but recovered. With his vocal cords damaged, making fulltime rapping impossible, he had two choices: Either join a gang to get revenge, or use this experience for something good. Deciding to take his anger and mold it into a force for good he enrolled in police academy, eventually becoming a police officer, and then a detective.

Now, Detective Jiggly Puff wears his bling on the streets, using his knowledge and experience to help get into the seedy underside of gang culture. While he uses his badge to dispense justice to all who break the law. And with the occasional rap, Detective Jiggly Puff is ready to bring about his own kind of justice. BLING JUSTICE!

Monday, May 16, 2005

A Taste of Things to Come: Weekend Waster

This is merely a small part of a larger idea of mine. This section is for things that you can buy to waste away a full weekend:

Star Wars – With the release of Revenge of the Sith, an easy way to waste your weekend away is to watch the complete Star Wars saga. Not only are all previous five movies on DVD. But you can also pick up the animates Droids and Ewoks shows, the Clone Wars cartoons, and the Ewok movies that were made. Plus if you head out for a convention, you can always also pick up the Holiday Special, and maybe even the Muppet Show with the Star Wars characters.

The Star Wars movies are a fun romp through special effects laden worlds and through differing filming styles of the 70s-early 802 and the 90s-early 00s. These movies are fun, even if you don’t think episodes 1 and 2 are great. There is still a lot of fun, and some battles that make up for it. Even some of the more painful stuff, like the Christmas Special, can still be a lot of fun.

If you are going to watch this before watching Revenge of the Sith, do it in filming order, with the original trilogy first, then the cartoons, and the Ewoks movies, then the new trilogy. This will pump you up for what is to come, as well as not leaving you on too high of a note before the finale. Now, have fun!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

A Taste of Things to Come: You Can Buy THAT For a Dollar

This is a small part of an idea. This part will be dedicated to entertainment that can be picked up for the low low price of $1!

Return of the Street Fighter

Sonny Chiba returns as Takuma “Terry” Tsuguri, an assassin for hire, who won’t kill a fellow martial artist. The events of which lead Tsuguri on a non-stop fight for his life and set in motion plans for the Mafia to rule all of Asia. Tsurugi must murder his way to the top in order to survive. But there are shocks along the way, like the villain of the original movie survived having his throat ripped out and now has an electronic throat. Then again, Tsuguri should have died at the end of the original, so who can complain? Lots of martial arts and violence hold the film together while the story is at least somewhat put together. And Chiba is great as always.

Is it in widescreen? YES!

Subbed or dubbed? Dubbed.

Great Kills: -Tsurugi in handcuffs uses two of his fingers to stab a man in the neck. The man lives, but will never speak again. -Tsurugi punches a man in the back of the head, making his eyeballs pop out. -A woman having sex with Tsurugi attempts to kill him. He bends her arm the wrong way, and participates in more anti-feminism.

Bad Dub: It sometimes sounds like they fired one Tsurugi voice midway through and hired another. Unfortunately, they didn’t record the English track in order.

Annoying female sidekick: Yes there is a female sidekick. Yes, she is annoying, very annoying. It’s not until the end, when she gets rid of that stupid hairstyle, that you feel something for her. Otherwise, she feels like a character used just for laughs.

Alcohol cures everything: Waking up from a half dead sleep, Chiba drinks a bottle of whiskey and spits it on his wounds, healing himself to full power.

What’s in a name? The case says “Sony Chiba” plays “Takuma Tsurugi”. The credits at the end of the movie say “Sonny Chiba as Terry Sugury”. IMDB says “Takuma ‘Terry’ Tsurugi”. Everyone in the movie calls him either Terry, or Tsurugi.

Great Racist Quotes: “You’re just another slant eyed Jap.” “Away from the yellow skinned dog.” “They had an idea, to take over the whole lousy yellow hemisphere.”

It’s a dollar. It’s a fun little martial arts flick that features some cheesy American dialogue and fun action sequences. Overall, pretty good for some martial arts. And the story itself isn’t half bad as well.