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Opinion Piece: Who Is Truly The Superior Spider-Man?

May 13, 2013 Leave a comment

I have begun writing this piece a dozen times over in my head the past couple of days.  So let’s begin at this:  SPOILERS AHEAD.  If you haven’t read Superior Spider-Man #9 and will, go read it.  I’ll wait…

Now, what I’m about to say is probably going to induce some anger, rage, and confusion, but here goes:  this book has actually made me care about Spider-Man again.

Yeah, clean up the spit from your monitor.  You read it right.  A book in which Peter Parker is NOT Spider-Man, has induced something within me that actually makes me want to read about Peter Parker.  That hasn’t been the case for 10 years for me, so I don’t say that lightly.

 

But why would it?  Why should it?

These are the adventures of Doctor Otto Octavius (aka Doctor Octopus), attempting to steal away Peter’s life from him in the most sinister and evil way.  He has changed how Spider-Man is viewed by the average joe, his relationship with the authorities and the media, as well as created suspicion within the ranks of the Avengers themselves.  It brings something that makes me want to see more, and that is something that galvanizes you emotionally.  Love or hate the story/scenario, but you cannot dismiss it offhand as some hokey, shock value move on Marvel’s part as I originally thought myself.

Issue #9 finally brought it home, Peter Parker as it stands now, is dead.  I am certain that he will return, in some form or another, but the fact that Octavius actually bested Peter makes perfect sense.  Peter focused on his guilt and responsibility over Ben’s death to the point of tunnel-vision.  The observations made by Peter as Ock lives his life for him, serve as a reminder as to just how truly inefficient he was as a hero, and how flawed he was a man.  He was selfish by keeping MJ close to him.  He let his brilliant mind atrophy due to his preoccupation with just getting by financially.  Even though these are hard truths to see, they are what made Peter so compelling.  He was a REAL person.

Now that Otto is free from Peter’s “ghost”, he can truly embrace his calling as a hero (as he sees it anyway).  I am torn by wanting to see more.  If you think I want Ock to be Spider-Man, you misunderstand.  I see this as an opportunity for Peter to see just what he was doing wrong.  So much time wasted by patrolling the city, when Ock created a city-wide monitoring system.  He works WITH the police as opposed to around them.  He protects his loved ones by divorcing himself from them, knowing that attacks on him are attacks on them.  Dan Slott has made many mistakes while in charge of Spider-Man (Spider-Island, anyone?), this isn’t one of them.

In the end, I am attracted by the new.  Things I have never seen before.  This story, in the magnitude and scope, has not been done before.  That intrigues me.  And isn’t that WHY we read comics in the first place?  To escape the mundane?  The same stories over and over begin to tire and fatigue me.  I want to wonder.  I want to speculate.  Hell, I want to be AMAZED.  This Superior Spider-Man may be here temporarily, but until he leaves us, he is Amazing to me.

Categories: Art, Comics, Internet

Battle Royale Redux: And This Time, It’s Personal!

July 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Holy crap, Batman!  Has it really been this long since I wrote???

Well, let’s get it rolling with style!  How about a new top 10 toughest Heroes list?  Remember the rules?  Only current heroes.  Not dead (or dead-ish) and no anti-heroes.

Round 3:  FIGHT!

Hulk is strongest there is! Well, stronger than MOST…

#10 – The Hulk

His Deal – Caught in the heart of an experimental Gamma Bomb, Bruce Banner found himself transformed into a creature of pure rage.  Hulk’s rage now contains the criminally insane Banner at bay, but for how long?  The Jade Giant’s powers are unlimited strength, a healing factor that heals organs in minutes, and nigh-inexhaustible stamina.

Why he’s #10 – The Hulk, while possessed of strength that rivals cosmic entities, just has that.  His powers took a serious upgrade during World War Hulk, but that was then.  Now, Banner and Hulk are no longer working together, and his overall strength has decreased.

Two heads are not always better than one…

#9 – Firestorm

His Deal – Technically, this is two people:  Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch.  We also, will be dealing with their merged form, the Fury.  Either way, an accident gave them the capability to fly, become intangible, shoot energy blasts, and their most fearsome power:  the ability to transmute matter.  DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS ABILITY!

Why he’s #9 – Ronnie and Jason, while ludicrously powerful, are kids.  Their inexperience combined with hormones give them a severe disadvantage to the rest of the hitters on this list.

vs Hulk – The Fury just changes the air around the Hulk into adamantium.  Simple, yet elegant.

All brains and no brawn make for a weak fighter

#8 – Professor Charles Xavier

His Deal – The world’s most powerful telepath.  On his quest to prevent a civil war within the Shi’ar Empire caused him to get upgraded mental capabilities, including mind control, mind wipes, memory manipulation, illusion casting, even some minor telekinesis.

Why he’s #8 – Chuck is quite the thinker.  He is actually an incredibly gifted strategist.  Unfortunately, his body is only that of a man in his 50s.  That liability is something that the more physical people on this list will exploit.

vs Hulk – Just brings the frail Banner to the surface, and keeps him a drooling vegetable.

vs Firestorm – Uses the mental conflict that Jason and Ronnie already have and watches them obliterate each other while eating a bucket of popcorn.  With extra butter.  Mmmm.  Butter.

Fast, as fast as I can be, I’ll never be #1!

#7 – The Flash / Barry Allen

His Deal – The Fastest Man Alive.  Accidental exposure to a combination of lightning and chemicals, gave Barry the ability to not only tap into, but generate the Speed Force. It gives him the ability to think, react, and move at near-light speed.  By vibrating his molecules fast enough he can even move through solid objects.  He can also run so fast, he can travel through time.

Why he’s #7 – Being able to move faster that most people can think is quite the feat.  What holds him back his is that, being fast is the only thing he does.  While the Speed Force protects his body against friction, it WON”T do diddly squat against a glancing blow from a guy who can juggle Mack trucks.

vs Hulk – Hulk’s cunning and strength, combined with the fact that he can only fight on the ground, just isn’t good enough.  Barry just vibrates through Hulk and splatters his insides all over the city.

vs Firestorm – It really doesn’t matter how much power you can lob around if you can’t see your target.  I see both of these kids getting cold-cocked before Jason can think of what chemical formula to use.

vs Professor X – Knowing that Barry’s fist will impact your human jaw in .0003 seconds isn’t going help.  Sorry, Charles.

Mark’s half-alien, but he’s also half-HUMAN…

#6 – Invincible / Mark Grayson

His Deal – The son Omni-Man and a human female.  His half-Viltrumite heritage gives him flight, super-strength, super-speed, enhanced stamina, and increased durability.

Why he’s #6 – For all of Mark’s powers, it’s been proven, that he struggles against full-blooded Viltrumites like Conquest.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s quite powerful, just not in same power league as the rest of these pure-bloods.  Damn mud-blood…

vs Hulk – Hulk is clearly stronger.  But Mark’s speed and flight capabilities, gives him more angles of attack.  Hulk goes down, but not easily.

vs Firestorm – Again, it’s Invincible’s speed that gives him an edge.  Flying in at Mach 2 and delivering a Viltrumite empowered right hook takes both of these upstarts down.

vs Professor X – Just like the Flash, only it will take a minute longer.

vs Flash – Barry has Mark in the speed department, but Invincible’s tough skin will stand up to the Flash’s unrelenting assault.  Barely.  He will last just long enough to swing one of those super-strong arms blindly and accidentally knock out Barry.  Then collapse.

If only she had more experience…

#5 – Supergirl / Kara Zor-El

Her Deal – The Last Daughter of Krypton.  Recently landed on Earth, she is coming to terms with her powers, adolescence, the death of her race, and being stuck on Earth.

Why she’s #5 – A full-blooded Kryptonian, Kara has all the strengths and weaknesses of Superman.  Her drawback?  The fact that she has like a tenth of the experience.

vs Hulk – With Hulk edging her out on pure strength, she has to fall back on her speed and flight.  Which of course wraps this fight up.

vs Firestorm – Kryptonian speed vs all too human reflexes?  Really?

vs Professor X – I believe the Flash sets a precedent for this…

vs Flash – Barry’s fists can’t do jack against Kara’s Kryptonian skin.

vs Invincible -Mark will be a sitting duck.  Not only is she superior in power, but she’s got boobs.  He doesn’t stand a chance.

Amazonian badassedness, but is that enough?

#4 –Wonder Woman / Princess Diana

Her Deal – The daughter of Hyppolyta and the Greek God Zeus.  Due to her demigod status, she has been gifted with superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, and flight.  Combine all that with Amazonian combat training and magical doodads, and you’ve got yourself an almost unbeatable opponent.

Why she’s #4 – Diana’s demigod powers are potent.  Incredibly so.  But as much as magic trumps almost everything, it’s her shortcomings (a short list to be sure) that keep her from taking a higher spot.

vs Hulk – WW’s fought all manner of Hulk-like monstrosities, one more won’t make much of a difference.

vs Firestorm – I’d like to see these kids try to whip up something when a bloody Amazon is swinging a battleaxe while running at you at the speed of Mercury.

vs Professor X – Once again, speed and reflexes win over mind juju.

vs Flash – While Barry’s faster, Diana will just outlast his paltry male attacks and rip him in two.

vs Invincible – Mark has no true martial training, and that’s something Diana has in spades.

vs Supergirl – Kara has got WW on the power department, but Diana’s tactical know-how and magical arsenal make quick work of this Amazonian wanna-be.

Can the Big Blue Boy Scout snag the top spot? I say nope…

#3 – Superman / Clark Kent / Kal-El

His Deal – The Man of Steel.  Superman has all of the Kryptonian powersets.  I would list them all,but I’d run out of room.

Why he’s #3 – Clark is the most powerful and noble of DC’s heroes.  Then why is he #3?  Well, he wears his two main weaknesses on his sleeves.  Kryptonite and magic.  You could take him down if you had a Kryptonite toothpick if you knew how to use it…

vs Hulk – Softening the Hulk up with heat-vision while punching him with haymakers at super-speed?  Yeah, Bruce isn’t ready for this kind of assault.

vs Firestorm – While either one of these guys COULD whip up some Kryptonite out of nowhere, they would have to actually know he’s around.  If ol’ Kal can move almost as fast as the Flash, it really doesn’t matter.

vs Professor X – Supes just uses his x-ray, telescopic, microscopic, and heat visions to lobotomize Chuck from a mile away.

vs Flash – Kal’s Kryptonian senses would barely be able to detect him, but when you can crush Buicks with your pinky, a glancing blow is all you need.

vs Invincible – This is not even a fair fight.

vs Supergirl – Kryptonian vs Kryptonian!  Supes has the edge on this one based on experience and just the fact that his body’s been gobbling up more yellow sunlight than hers.

vs Wonder Woman – Diana’s magical doodads would even things out, but Clark’s just a bit faster and a bit stronger.  This spells an EXTREMELY long fight, where Clark beats Diana by the skin of his teeth, but only because of his overwhelming power.

Is the World’s Greatest Detective’s brain and brawns enough?

#2 – Batman / Bruce Wayne

His Deal – The Dark Knight.  His body’s been honed to physical perfection, knows every martial art known on Earth (even some that are not), and has a genius level intellect with a penchant for using his incredible inventive brain to create gadgets that can bring down the most powerful of foes.

Why he’s #2 – Batman is a consummate planner and strategist.  He has plans within plans, and has an extensive database on all known superhumans.  His ONLY drawback is that he’s still only human, and even Batman can’t beat everyone.

vs Hulk – With a sample of the Hulk’s blood, he creates a serum to temporarily turn him back into Banner.  Which in turn sees Banner knocked out cold.

vs Firestorm – Bruce divides and conquers these two.  At night.  From the shadows.

vs Professor X – Batman can hide his thoughts from the Martian Manhunter.  Sneaking up on Xavier is nothing.

vs Flash – Wayne simply uses his old vibra-bullet trap, and keeps Barry incapacitated with seizures at light-speed.

vs Invincible – Bruce has a powersuit that can beat Superman.  Mark is just practice.

vs Supergirl – See above…

vs Wonder Woman – Bats has a VR chip that has been proven to take down Diana.  And besides, he’s still a better fighter than her.

vs Superman – Really?  Do I need to go over this?

It’s HAMMER TIME!

#1 – Thor

His Deal – The God of Thunder.  This exemplar of Asgardian might, has all of the divine attributes of his race (agelessness, godly strength, stamina, durability, and senses) and he’s also armed with Mjolnir, which of course gives him the ability to control the weather, manipulate any energy thrown in his general direction.’

Why he’s #2 – Goldilocks here has THOUSANDS of years of battle experience (widely known to be an expert hand-to-hand combatant), has strength on par with Superman, and of course the fact that he’s going to be clocking you with a mystical hammer.  The rest of these chumps are mere mortals.  Thor is a GOD.

vs Hulk – Newly infused with the Odinforce, Thor can now throw Mjolnir THROUGH planets…  Hulk is just angry.

vs Firestorm – It’s a bit hard to concentrate on what to hit when a sudden fog impairs your vision and then lights up with magic lightning…

vs Professor X – Where is the Prof hanging his hat these days?  Oh yeah, right where that tornado just landed.

vs Flash – Barry can move at near-lightspeed.  Lightning is a bit faster.  Thor would just light his immediate area up with lightning and Barry’s toast.  Besides, Thor’s divine senses can keep up with his movements.

vs Invincible – Thor’s beaten tougher trolls than Mark.

vs Supergirl – A strong girl, but Thor’s magic hammer trumps her Kryptonian powers.

vs Wonder Woman – The absolute best fight on this whole list.  Two warriors trained from birth.  Both having extensive knowledge of the combat arts.  I see this fight taking days, but Thor is on par with Superman and he has gobs more experience than Diana.  After the battle, he proposes marriage.  I mean, c’mon!  Who else could tame her besides Batman?

vs Superman – Superman would be an extreme challenge for Thor…  Up until he shot Clark with lightning and he folds like a paper bag.  Sorry, Smallville.

vs Batman – Bruce has fought toe-to-toe with Darkseid.  Gods don’t intimidate him, but Thor has no psychological weaknesses that Bats can exploit like Diana’s competitive nature.  So no go there.  All he has left is his arsenal, and since it’s based on science, well, Thor’s beaten Stark’s “Thorbuster” armor.  This is really just a learning experience for Bats on how Asgardians work.

Let me know what you think!

Peace…

Categories: Art, Comics, Fantasy, Humor

Games as Art

There is the great debate still going on, with renewed vigor, over whether games qualify as art.  I just thought I’d add in this marvelous presentation by Kelly Santiago via the TED Talks lecture series about games as art.  You may know her as the president of “thatgamecompany,” the developers behind flower, flOw, and Cloud.  The TED talks series is always fascinating and thanks to Penny Arcade for re-discovering this gem for us.

(Gaming AND Art tags used? Gasp!)

Categories: Art, Gaming Tags: , ,

Fables on Television Can it Be Done?

March 9, 2010 5 comments

Fables is a Comic book series that will be developed so far by ABC into a TV series.  I love the comic book series and anyone who read Neil Gaimans Sandman should get into it, actually anyone who loves comics should like it.  It has the Flair of the super hero comics with all the types of fables and their abilities.  Their is enough romance in it to attach the females without distracting any male demographic.  Their is enough mystery in the Fable universe that can be developled and great characters to go along within it.

Now saying that, I have some reserves for this being made into Tv Series.
It can’t be done.  At least not done to give the comic it’s dues.

Lets start with some good news Lost is going to be over, and ABC needs to fill it up with something, V and Flashforward still haven’t hit the mark like they wanted So ABC still needs find the hit.  Comics seem to be all the rage being made into movies, Big Bang Theory is quite popular for it’s geekdom and somehow Smallville is going into it’s 10th season.  Comic books are getting the mainstream attention they so rightly deserve as quality works of art.

NBC no longer has any rights to the Fables series so that’s a plus.  With this perfect storm of television atmosphere you think it should be a shoe in. Now lets get into why this would end up being bad and just angry all the fans and attracting no new audience.

Sci fi fantasy don’t equal Major Networks

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Shows do terrible on Primetime Major Networks because it’s a niche audience.  Their aren’t many shows that come out of the box as sci-fi and hit all the marks, and studio executives should have learned this.

You could argue Lost is Sci-Fi, but it didn’t start sci-fi or fantasy.  Think about the first season their really wasn’t too much fantasy crap to turn away non geek fans.  It was in there but it was more fined tune into drama on the characters with a lot of mysteries.  It could have been just some normal government experiment, gods, limbo, hallucination, or some autistic kid.  No one knew since they never went into detail til later on and by than you were too hooked to care.

With Fables you start right off the bat with a fantasy elements of the Big Bad Wolf (Bigby Wolf) as an investigator who is in love with Snow White.  This could work if it hits all those Twilight Fans, as long as they don’t turn it into twilight type series.

Fables isn’t kid tested.

Fables is about Snow white, Beauty and the Beast, Prince Charming, Jack of Fables, Cinderella, three little pigs and the the Big Bad Wolf, So you think this could attract kids especially if it’s on ABC owned by Disney that are practically known for half the characters.  But all the characters are messed up and have problems, Big bad wolf has sex with Snow white, Prince Charming is a womanizer, Jack of Fables is  completely Jerk.  Little Boy Blue is a warrior (your my boy blue)  Don’t get me started on Gepetto.

So what happens when parents see this and don’t want their kids to watch something that sounds like it should be for them.  They tend to protest, if they water it down it could lose what made it interesting in the first place.

Too Many Cast Members.

You think Lost would have a big cast here’s Lost the first Season and all the major characters they had.

LOST  14 Major Characters first season — 28 major characters total over the years. Not including the minor characters

Fables 32 Major Characters first Comics-  54 total so far.  Not including spin off characters or minor characters.

This is a big difference about double the casting call.  Their would be more major type characters in season 1 of Fables than they had all of Lost.  And unlike Lost not many of them died off, even when their dead they tend to come back much like Lost.

What if they go into Jack of Fables characters their are even more characters in that one.

Pinocchio can’t grow up.

Remember the first and the second season of Buffy where they had a child immortal vampire, problem is when you have a child immortal they don’t tend to stay small in real life forever.  So they had to kill him off.

Pinocchio doesn’t grow up in the series.  He’s not so pivotal in the begining but he’s there and he becomse more upfront later on.  So how will they deal with him in the series.  Will it be like Walt of Lost and just write him off if they did that it could just ruin the rest of the story since he has such a tie to the story later on.

Some work arounds is make him CG but that would look awful I don’t care how you cut it.  Maybe get a litte person to play the part but that could be problems in he needs to still look like a child not a small adult.

The best solution is get a child use makeup so you can’t tell what he looks like and give him a different look all together.  This way every year you can get a new Child to play the part and still try and keep it looking the same.

Half the Cast are Animals

How the hell are they going to deal with nearly half the cast being Talking Animals.  CG, Robotics, or Puppets.  This is a serious situation that would need to be dealt with.  Pinocchio is one character this is a whole cast of a small soap opera that they need to be created.

Production costs can get expensive, even with Disney working on it with their Imagineers.  Hopefully they can make the animals and cut the cost by using them in Disney Land later on.  Either way if they cheap out on this and try to write it out, than I grantee any loyal fanbase of the comic won’t even waste their time watching it, including me.

Production Values = Expensive

This will be one of the most expensive TV series to date if done correctly.  They could cut their expenses greatly if they animate the entire series.  But than I grantee it will fail, because only Fox has managed to make animation on primetime and they aren’t giving up that secret.

I like Fables I think its a great series and I would love to see it turned into a Television show, but it’s going to be such a massive undertaking to do with some many problems that they will need to address that no Major Network I honestly think has the resources to actually do properly, even if Disney is backing it.

Mandatory Touhou Related Post

First off I need to say that I just really don’t like the obsession that Touhou has developed.  I guess partly is because I just don’t understand it.  I loved the game Perfect Cherry Blossom, but I never saw much past that to develop the elaborate story that has occurred.  I will say though that this video, which is based on a prior Touhou meme video, it stunning in terms of style and effort put into it.  It’s really worth checking out for a very interesting take on stop-motion animation.

Categories: Art, Internet, Japan, Movies, Music Tags: , , ,

Bioshock – Big Daddy Dance!

Concept art for one of the new multiplayer modes in Bioshock 2.  Big Daddy Dance Off!  Shake that drill! (Thanks to Ryan Yoder for the Art)

(Music as follows)

Super Emo Friends

Artist J from JSalvador Design created a great series of portraits of our favorite Super Heroes and Villains being hit by the emo bug.  The cutesy style and inside jokes prove to be quite humorous and delightful.  You can see the rest here.

Thanks via Neatorama and Super Punch.

Categories: Art, Comics, Humor Tags: , , , ,
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