Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bloody Pit Of Horror Vs. Bride Of The Gorilla

* = Hank Pym just wants love. Just not crazy robot son love...

I’m still trying to figure out if what I saw last night was a fever dream or real. Did I really just see Baron Zemo, Arnim Zola, & Dough Boy in an Avengers cartoon? I DID! AND IT WAS GLORIOUS! So it wasn’t the classic Baron Zemo I into Zemo the 2nd scenario, but I did love that fact that Adhesive X had become Virus X.

I loved that Cap is the classic man out of time, and yet he beat the Avengers ass upon first meeting. We got a bit more Black Panther, although it makes me wonder what he’s up to, and even a tease of the MASTERS OF FRIGGIN’ EVIL at the end! My only disappointment was minor, no Hulk. I hope that we get back to the Hulk at some point. Oh and I’m digging the fact that Tony Stark is smart but no smarter than Reed Richards, who got a shout out last episode as did the Negative Zone & Prison 42, or Hank Pym. I know a lot of comic fans can’t separate Pym from slapping Jan back in the day, effectively making the character toxic. That being said I felt that Dan Slott did a really good job rehabilitating the character in his short-lived Mighty Avengers (**** out of 5) title. Not to mention when Pym slapped his wife he was being mind controlled and was officially mentally ill. Does this excuse spousal abuse? No. No it does not, but a lot of people have problems separating that situation from Mark Millar’s atrocious portrayal of it in the Ultimates. I’ve always felt that Hank Pym in any of his identities was an underutilized character that just needed a writer to care about him beyond “The Slap”. Hopefully the Avengers cartoon will give me that Hank Pym since the comic writers seem to struggle with that.

I finally finished Gotrek & Felix 2nd Omnibus (**** out of 5). Let’s be frank the Warhammer universe is a depressing place. If your not eaten by Orcs, you will be enslaved by Dark Elves, destroyed by the power of Chaos, eviscerated by the Skaven, or used as cattle to feed the Arisen, or any other numerous ways to meet your doom, but most likely you’ll die poor, alone, and hungry. It’s not high fantasy. Suffice to say it can be a bit arduous to read. Or play for that matter. Not to get off on a tangent, but the Warhammer Fantasy Role-Playing Game (*** out of 5), not the new Fantasy Flight thing, but the old one is a great game. It’s just I don’t want to play a game where I’m a Rat-Catcher, I want to play a game where I’m a BAD MAMMA JAMMA! Maybe that’s because in real like I’m stuck being the Rat-Catcher, who knows. I just want my role-playing games to be filled with wonder and adventure not lurking doom and crushing mediocrity. Now I know some of you will shout, “what about Call of Cthulhu (**** out of 5)?” What about it, it’s a fantastic game, but not one I look forward to. That is unless J.B. is running his Pulp Hero version of it. But I digress; the book is a bit more of a high fantasy take on a dark fantasy setting. For the uninitiated it’s like this;
- Gotrek is a dwarf. He’s also a Slayer. This means that somewhere along the line of his life he did something that caused dishonor on his name. SO he shaves his head, except for a huge red Mohawk, gets crazy tattoos, and then sets about to find and fight the nastiest stuff possible in the hopes of dying in battle. He longs to meet his Doom in order to regain his lost honor, the problem is nothing he has found yet has been capable of killing him.
- Felix is a human. He’s the outcast son of a merchant family. He’s educated, a luxury in the Warhammer world, and decent with a sword. During some political unrest Gotrek saves Felix, they get drunk, and Felix swears to follow Gotrek around and write the story of his Doom.
Suffice to say since we’re into book four by the time we start Omnibus Two, finding that Doom has been difficult. We also find out that Gotrek and Felix both have very powerful magic weapons that are changing them into something beyond mortal. The first of the books in the Omnibus touches upon the duos journey back from the Chaos Wastes and their encounter with a Chaos tainted Dragon, its aptly entitled Dragonslayer. It also touches upon Felix’s tumultuous relationship with Ulrika, a boyar noble and capable warrior in her own right. It also features a lot of the secondary characters like Max Schrieber, a wizard, & Snorri Nosebiter, another Dwarf Slayer. It begins to set up the love triangle between Max, Felix, & Ulrika. Part two of the Omnibus is Beastslayer, which covers the bands journey to Kislev in front of a great Chaos Army, & it’s subsequent siege. In it the love triangle comes to a boiling point. Finally in the Omnibus comes Vampireslayer. Ulrika is featured as she is stolen away, and made one of the Arisen. Felix & Gotrek, with companions in tow, go to Sylvania, the land of the Vampire Counts, and fight for their lives. It’s the most fun of the three stories, and the saddest as Ulrika, who is simultaneously one of the best and most frustrating of the secondary characters is pushed out of the cast. In addition there is the bizarre minimizing of the relationship by Felix. In some ways it’s as if Felix becomes more distant from his humanity just as Ulrika becomes inhuman. The true loser in it all is Max’s, who is a great character, unrequited love and it’s loss. It seems like I’ve written about everyone but Gotrek. Gotrek is the glue. He’s angry, he has the best one-liners, he’s a walking talking war machine, and in the end in a lot of ways he becomes the most relatable of the characters. Felix is very introspective but comes off shallow, Max is trying always exert control over everything, Ulrika is torn by duty, family, and what love means, while Snorri is insane. Gotrek on the other hand is what he is. He wants atonement. He wants justice. In the end he wants to find an end, a Doom, that befits him. He’s the most honest of all the characters, and he’s refreshing that way. Suffice to say I’m already over 100 pages into Omnibus Three, and have sworn to find Omnibus One, its all very entertaining stuff regardless of the depressing setting.

I’m sure there were other things that I was going to talk about, but I’m mentally side tracked for whatever reason. I guess when all else fails…


- Young Justice starts in just a few weeks!
- So Morrison gave the lead-up to Batman Incorporated in his last issue of Batman & Robin. Bruce Wayne tells the world that…. He’s been financing the Bat the whole time. So he doesn’t come right and say, “Hey, I’m friggin’ Batman!” Instead he tells about how his parent’s death affected him and when the vigilante became a Gotham fixture he decided to put his money to good use. Now he plans on helping Batman go global. This is Morrison at his most brilliant. Batman is no longer about a man it’s about an ideal. Bruce Wayne, who has always been looked at, as more of the mask while Batman is the man, is looking to franchise his war on crime. Sure it rings of overtones that Morrison used in his incredible X-Men (***** out of 5) run, but it doesn’t diminish it all. The idea of Batman going around the world and recruiting, training, and endorsing a number of vigilantes is fascinating. It also ups the ante in his personal war. At what point does one man’s war bleed into real global conflict? Are we going to see Batman take on War itself? With Morrison the possibilities are truly endless and only limited by imagination itself.
- Banana Bread anyone?
- Board Gaming tonight. I’m simultaneously looking forward to it and dreading it. There is a part of me that wants to go home right this moment and never leave my room again. I’m feeling quiet overwhelmed by things. What these “things” are I can’t even put my finger on.
- As frustrated as I am by all things ‘Chili’ right now, I find myself craving a big bowl of chili. Go figure.
- I received an e-mail regarding yesterday’s blog. It wasn’t a bad e-mail, in fact it’s from someone whose opinion I not only respect but also admire. I’m asking currently for permission to post said e-mail and my response because I think it has real merit. It’s important that we get our viewpoints challenged, sometimes fully and sometimes just challenged over semantics. It’s also imperative that we have the ability to see the honesty and earnestness of that in order to be able to honestly assess ourselves. I’m evolving constantly. I’m in need of alternative ideas and opinions to make me look hard at my own ideas in order to better myself. So this is an open invitation, if you disagree with me or feel something is in need of clarification, do me a favor and tell me. Oh and Dave this is not a free invitation to just bash Pink Floyd repetitively.
- I think I’m going to keep bicing the head, I like it.
- I’m ill over the chest-thumping going on politically. I’m less upset over the politicians politicking or the pundits running off at the mouth, I think I’m more upset that this is where we are as people. Our collective memory is so poor that anything over two years is impossible to recall. Our ability to think outside of sound bites is indicative of why we are where we are. I want to believe things are going to get better that miraculously all involved will be putting the greater good of their constituents above petty political squabbles or partisanship, but I know I’m wrong. These folks, regardless of affiliation including Tea Partiers, don’t care about you or I; they care about ‘them’. And ‘them’ have a lot of money, connections, and clout. ‘Them’ is what has become wrong with ‘us’. As long as we continue to collectively suckle at the teat of ‘Them’ when it comes to, well everything we’ll never again know freedom of anything.
- I love(s) me some color blue.

For those that care here is some more Marvel SAGA Campaign goodness;

Twin Cities Cape Beat
By: Stanley Simmons
Celebrity News!
- Baintronics spokeswoman Amanda Smythe held a press conference stating that they would be open to a partnership with the current majority shareholder of Steele Corp., celebutaunt superhero Jonni Steele. This partnership would be contingent on Ms. Steele assuming a public spokesman role as well as putting herself in a ‘body guard’ capacity for Baintronics head Sunset Bain. Ms. Steele could not be reached for comment.
- Former super villain Carlton Sanders, aka Trump, is writing a tell all book about his experience in the high-speed world of New York’s underworld. He claims his book would “name names”. Sanders has been a resident of St. Paul for two years after serving five years on The Raft.
- After a few weeks of contemplation Edward Sothal has bowed out of his run for State Senate. He sighted his unstable health as his main concern. Political handlers who wish to remain anonymous blame political pressure being applied to the moderate by special interest groups and the clout of the upstart New World PAX.
- Speaking of the New World PAX, they’ve scheduled a press conference in conjunction with Republican gubernatorial candidate Phil Grayfield. It is rumored that their Mr. Grayfield will publicly disclose his history as former mystery man NFL SuperPro. Grayfield has stated that he is in favor of a Superhuman Registration Act, a heated point of political contention in the state, requiring all those individuals operating with post human abilities to register as “dangerous weapons” with their state government. This would also allow for state officials to request these individuals assistance in the case of an emergency. It would also make unregistered masked vigilantes vulnerable to state prosecution.
- Allana & Sergie Zarkov, the stage magician duo known as Glamour & Illusion have signed to do a series of mass illusions in the Upper Midwest. The Zarkov’s are the children of famed illusionist and adventurers Glynis & Ilya Zarkov the husband and wife duo that once operated in New Orleans in the early 1980’s. The duo fell on hard times and Ilya was the victim of an unsolved murder. The children were born to their comatose mother. The two youths were raised in New Salem Colorado and have since become the darlings of the “Magic Scene”.
- General John Ryker has taken up the post of Warden & Head Administrator at the ‘Deep Freeze’ prison. He has already turned local government and watchdog organization head’s by using mothballed Sentinel units as a quick response team. This team was used most recently to stop the attempted escape of Darkoth The Death Demon. Mutant Rights groups have begun protesting the use of these devices sighting them as ‘culturally offensive’. The General was unavailable for comment.
- Last but not least the UCFF will be holding an exhibition bout in its new UCFF Arena located outside Chaska. The bout will pit the ‘Titan From Beyond The Stars’ TORGO, with Ben Grimm in his corner against the Gamma Powered Goliath, RAVAGE! With the arena being designed by Sunset Bain in conjunction with Damage Control Inc., it should be amazing to see these two super powered gladiators do battle for a good cause.

And with that I think I have something somewhere to do with someone…Anyone…

“I wear my scars like the rings on a pimp
I live life like the captain of a sinking ship
The one thing that i can guarantee
I'm like a stepping razor, i suggest you stay fair with me
Been payin’ dues for a decade plus,
Before that I was just another face on the bus
Tappin’ my foot, to the beat on the radio
Dreamin’ 'bout the mic and the money and the ladies
Oh mom, I promise I’m gonna be large
Someday I’m gonna stop tryin’ to borrow your car
Gonna go far, with charisma and skill
Until they put my face on a million dollar bill
Atmosphere, its just a ten letter word
Discretion is the name of my cement-feathered bird
And if you didn’t hear, fuck whatevers heard
I think you got the sickness I suggest you get it cured
Caught up in the mix, of a bottle full of fix
I’m gonna hobble down the street 'til I reach knob creek
Its not that I don’t like you, I just don’t wanna speak
You fuckin’ freak
Now keep your days out my week
The world keeps a balance, through mathematics
Defined by whatever you’ve added and subtracted
I’m pushin’ on the hammer, to trigger the brain
Embrace how I live it, god loves ugly

God loves ugly...

Once upon a time in Minneapolis, yo
I damn near had to steal the show
I stepped on the stage, who is it?
My names slug I’ve come to kill a couple minutes
Whats up with the way, that everybody gathers around each other
So they can steal each others sound
If its all about getting’ down with the get down
How long I gotta wait for these fools to sit down?
Appears more clear in its simplest form
Nobody sees tears when you’re standing in a storm
Abandoning the norm, and handling the harvest
Measuring the worth by the depth of the hardships
I welcome all the hatred you can aim at my name
I held on to the sacred ways of how to play the game
When the soldiers started runnin’ short on rations
I began tappin’ the egg, to spark the hatchin’
Make it happen
And take this captain to the gallows
I keep steerin’ us into an area that’s shallow
Talkin’ to my shadow, he advised me not to worry
He said I should plant my tree and let it rise out of the fury
So give me some light, a little love and some liquid
I’m gonna creep through the night
And put a plug in the spigot
And when the water grows
And the dam starts to overflow
Ill float atop the flood, holding on to my ugly

God loves ugly...

Why scream, when you can lose yourself inside the wide-screen
Let life be a bowl of melted ice cream
Or be the deer that’s caught in my high beams
I’m rollin’ with the lights on, scared stiff
Reality is just too much to bear with
Paranoid, walkin’ around careless
No wonder you’re in love with your therapist
Go to sleep my little time bomb”

* = Anyone else feeling this way?