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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

Superman: Abandoned?

August 3, 2012 1 comment

Recently, the subject of Superman has been coming up in some discussions.   Long story short, a friend of mine asked the populace, “What about Superman makes you say, ‘Fuck this guy’?”  I cannot speak for anyone else’s opinion of the character, but let’s go over what my experiences with the character are, his faults, and what can be done to fix them.

A Primer on Kryptonians

Superman (or Clark Kent, or Kal-El) is a full-blooded Kryptonian.  Under a yellow sun, his powers are the numerous and friggin’ god-like.  His alien biology metabolizes yellow sunlight into inhuman strength (literally enough to push planets out of their orbits), heat-vision, x-ray vision, microscopic vision (enough to see a person’s DNA), telescopic vision (enough to see individual people from orbit), super-hearing (described as being sensitive enough to hear cells divide), super-breath, super-speed (second fastest being next to Flash) and reflexes, flight, enhanced durability (described as having skin tough enough to withstand any non-military ordinance with ease), a healing factor, ridiculous stamina, increased intelligence (more on this later), and an eidetic memory.  Got all that?

His weaknesses number the following, magic (simply because it ignores his inhuman biology and physics) or Kryptonite (there are many flavors, which I will not go into now).

If you were a burglar, would you really want to tussle with this guy?

Superman vs the World

Now that we have a grasp as to what we’re dealing with on a pure physical level, we can now examine what I believe, to be his greatest weakness as a character:  external conflicts.  With the laundry list of powers that Smallville has, writing an external conflict that actually challenges him, is next to impossible to do on a regular basis.  I honestly do not envy any Superman writers out there.  The only fights in which Superman is seen losing are when he is fighting Darkseid who is a god (magic), other Kryptonians (which goes to whoever has a better grasp of Kryptonian powers, usually Superman), or Lex Luthor (who almost always uses Kryptonite).

Essentially external conflicts boil down to eliminating Kal’s overwhelming superior physical prowess, or using something stronger.  Which brings us to:  Doomsday. I will say this once, and ONLY once:

THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN WAS A COP OUT.

Why?  Superhuman speed and reflexes.  Doomsday should NEVER HAVE EVEN LANDED A SINGLE PUNCH.  But WHY did he lose?  I honestly believe that the writers just couldn’t come up with a way to kill him dramatically.  I mean Doomsday was essentially the Hulk, and Hulk couldn’t beat Superman.  He doesn’t have the speed.  I feel that in order to make Clark feel physically challenged, he need foes that are on par with him at all times.  Hence, why the New Krypton arc was so engrossing.  He could die at any time because everybody was as strong as him and he was outnumbered a million to one.  DC needs to de-power him to make him fit in with the rest of the villains.  THAT will fix these issues, and that will make seeing him in a fight actually have some meaning.

WHY THE FUCK, IS HE NOT DODGING?

To further elaborate the point,

The blue bar is his health, the red bar is his power meter.  Clark takes little damage from attacks, has multiple ways to attack/get away, regenerates health at a ridiculous pace, and SHOULD you actually be in danger of dying, just fly straight up into the sky and the sun’s rays will regenerate your powers/life.  JUST LIKE THE FUCKING COMIC.  This game got it right, but it’s still a piece of shit.  DC FIX IT.

The Thinking Man

The best Superman stories involve Kal dealing with the issues what it’s like to have all this power and being unable to fix the world at its most basic needs.  Read A Superman For All Seasons, you’ll get my point.  These kinds of stories pit Clark’s powers against the woes of the world.  When he fought the Elite over becoming more violent, he chose to not kill them because he was proving that might does not equal right.  I don’t think I need to say anything about All-Star Superman that wiser men than I have not already said.  There are plenty of stories that feature this as their main draw, and as good as these stories are, the problem arises in the fact that eventually you WILL run out of introspection.  There are only so many times that Clark can go “Why can’t I be everywhere?” before it gets old.  If these questions keep coming up and not resolved, the character languishes in an emotional limbo and doesn’t evolve.  Stagnation is also BORING.

Actually, Smallville,you really CAN be everywhere…

The ideals and values of Superman have lasted 80 years for a reason:  heroes are the best of us.  We look up to their example and emulate them as best we can.  I did not write this to crucify the guy, I am simply showing the missteps that the writers have taken.  De-power him.  Keep the struggles and the characterization that Grant Morrison has established in the current Action Comics run.  Make his fights MEAN something.  People do not want to read about a walking demigod that saves people from tornados and feels like he needed to be in Italy stopping a volcano.  And for God’s sake, give him more compelling villains than bald CEO.

I will continue to read Superman when I can.  I hope you do too.

Batman can still kick his ass.

Categories: Comics, Movies, Sci-fi

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

Iceman as new Ultimate Spider-Man?

Unless you haven’t heard already this will be a Major Spoiler.

Ultimate Marvel series just killed off Peter Parker, and later this year a new person will be in the series as Ultimate Spider-Man gets a reboot. I feel it’s going to be Bobby Drake, now i have no solid evidence to back this up but here is my reasoning.

Bobby will feel bad for not being their when Peter needed him the most and the guilt will drive him nuts much like how Peter was driven nuts by Uncle Ben dieing. Bendis did mention that it will be someone who effected by Parkers Death.

Bobby wasn’t seen in Ultimate Fallout, and they basically showed everyone he was close to, and Bobby was as close to Peter as Johnny Storm was and they showed him.

Bobby could have easily gotten a hold of the Web Slingers since he was living at the house at the time, not to mention his ice powers might be able to stick to walls, either with tiny icicles on his finger tips much like spider-man or maybe just by using ice powers to help him just freeze to surfaces.

If Bobby is Spider-Man than it will leave open room for Mary Jane and Gwen to stay in the series which by Bendis’s mention they will have roles in the new series, other wise what their connection to the new guy be.

Bobby isn’t as bright as Parker not even close but he might be able to keep up with the humor when bashing bad guys. so we won’t lose that aspect of him.

Either way I am curious whoever it is if fans will accept a New Spider-Man, I am all open for it, I think this could really be interesting, Parker’s Death could be like Captain Marvel’s Death for the Main Universe.

5yphon’s Top 5 Games of All Time

January 18, 2011 1 comment

What games define you as a person?

Not an easy answer as many of you know.  Today I was thinking this precise question.  The absolute quintessential games that speak exactly about your persona.

Let’s take a gander at my personality, these are my top 5.  In no particular order mind you.

#5 – Super Mario Kart (SNES)

I don’t want to brag, but I am friggin’ awesome at Mario Kart.  In college, I told a buddy that I have never lost a game.  Obviously, he challenged me.  We played on his laptop emulator.  “By sheer dumb luck” he forgot his other game pad.  He used his gamepad vs my keyboard.  I still kicked his ass.  Hard.

#4 – World of Warcraft (PC)

It’s pretty obvious why this is up here.  Let’s not shoot more dead horses.

#3 – Silent Hill 2 (PS2)

I am a horror buff.  To this day, in my opinion, the series has yet to capture the tenseness, and the fear that playing this work of bloody art gave me.

#2 – God Of War (PS2)

Not only do I own all the games, but I have the comics too.  Yes, there were comics.  It’s not that I like Kratos (he is pretty amazing), but as long as I can remember I have been a Greek Mythology geek.  This was a dream come true.  Or nightmare?

#1 – ActRaiser (SNES)

I dare you not like the music in this game.  Not only is this the absolute best 16-Bit music score I have ever heard, you get to play as GOD and kick the devil’s ass!  What’s not to like?

It’s primarily these games that made me want to make games.  I don’t know what that says about me, but I think I like who I am.

Pokemon Live Action Gotta Fool Them All

September 15, 2010 1 comment

This is obviously fake (unless its a fan base movie) but a real movie publisher wouldn’t do this, not because they don’t make bad movie decisions other wise m. night shyamalan would be flipping hamburgers by now. I don’t think Nintendo would appreciate a movie to one of their properties be made this way on a number of levels.

They don’t want pokemon a kids show and game associated with firearms that’s the fastest way to anger parents. Nintendo had that horrible Mario live action movie movie and will never make that mistake again.
Also no news on this what so ever, in an age of information high even a rumor of a live action ookemon movie being made would have made it somewhere online before now.

Mega64 and Scribblenauts Holy Hell.

September 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Scribblenauts happened to be one of the coolest new games that came out this decade (I’m a sucker for puzzle games) But now they truly out did them selves by incorporating the crew of Mega64 into their game, Rocco, Shawn Derrick and the other guys that are always in the background are all in it.

That’s just insane, I wonder if Gabe and Tyco from penny-arcade will be in it too.

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