It’s a sad fact of storytelling, particularly in the daily grind of comics and episodic television: Happy couples are often dramatically inert. Because of this paradox, many creators feel the need to insert roadblock after roadblock into a relationship or foreshadow a break-up every episode or three to give the couples something to do. Even the longest running married duos run into this problem (which is the ONLY reason, by the way, for Namor the Sub-Mariner to ever have appeared in Marvel’s ‘Civil War’ title) and those who aren’t married can look forward to endless complications on their “Will They Or Won’t They?” road to happiness. It’s a sad fact that the majority of real-life couplings end badly, but there are literally infinite examples of pairings that should have made it had the creators not cavalierly decided that “breaking them up made perfect narrative sense” or “they’d never have worked in the long run” or “it destroyed the whole premise of the series.” (I haven’t forgotten you, Victoria. I will never forget you!)
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) once again expects to hear from the arachno-philes in the audience today, asking: What defunct or troubled couple do you most want to see reunited for good?
Recently, I had an opportunity to watch an entire first-run episode of The Simpsons for the first time since about 2004, and was pleased to find that it (mostly) held up. Of course, by all rights, bad boy Bart SHOULD be about 35 years old, making excuses to his boss rather than Skinner or Mrs. Crabapple (a prospect I have to say sounds kind of interesting, comedically.). As a former ineffectual middle-management suck up, I’ve run into a number of Bart-types, including one young twenty-something who claimed to have lost no less than FIVE grand parents while he worked for me. Had he the creativity of young Master Simpson, his lies might not have been any less transparent, but I figure they’d at least have been more entertaining…
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted) ate my dog’s homework while his grandmother was trapped on a speeding bus with Keanu Reeves, asking: What’s YOUR excuse?
During a recent viewing of the Super Sentai/Kamen Rider crossover movie (which, by the way, is a bit mystifying as an introduction to the Kamen Rider franchise), I was saddened to find that my kid’s favorite ranger wasn’t being played by his original actor. This was doubly sad in that said actor was notable in previous appearances for being the quintessential cool old guy, fighting alongside kids 40 years his junior and just generally being kind of an old-school badass. The idea of still being able to be effective and awesome in your twilight years is an compelling one, and it’s a concept we see again and again, from Obi-Wan Kenobi to Gran’ma Ben. It’s even cooler when the badass in question is a real person, as in the case with Christopher Lee, who did stunts as Count Dooku when he was EIGHTY-FIVE!
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) hopes to never be too old for this $#!+, asking: What character, real or fictional, do you want to be like when you’re old?
Or – “IT’S AMBUSH BUG II, Y’ALL!”
There are many characters out there whose appeal is obvious. The popularity of a Batman or a Spider-Man cannot be denied, but occasionally a character hits the public consciousness in ways that even the creators can’t quite figure out. Thus it was in the early 80s with Ambush Bug. One of the first characters to repeatedly break the fourth wall, the Bug’s madness was contagious, and his early appearances are still sought after by collectors today. (Not much else makes back issues of DC Comics Presents actually pop in price, to be honest.) But I’d wager those who are meeting him for the first time in the ‘Channel 52′ promos don’t realize that he was once kind of a big deal, and even met the Legion! Well, A Legion, anyway. Your Major Spoilers (retro) review awaits!
More After the Jump
It’s no secret for those who pay attention that I am a huge fan of the Monkees, a band so far ahead of their time that they prefaced not only the music of the next few decades but the manufacturing process that has made Simon Cowell millions of dollars today. Given that nearly every little pop-tart and boy-band on the Billboard charts has been hand-picked for their prettiness and appeal makes the interview/audition process that placed The Monkees pale in comparison (and even though they weren’t allowed to play on their first two albums, the guys all have some degree of musical talent.) I’m not taking potshots at the music of today, mind you, as there’s little that makes you sound older or more pathetic than an obsession with Justin Beiber. I’m just saying that everything was cooler when I was young, and it’s all noise now and also, get the hell off my lawn…
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) laments the rows of houses that are all the same, and no one seems to care, asking: What’s YOUR favorite pop star?
Or – “COLON!”
With the launch-bootery of the original Star Trek universe in 2009, it’s been a while since we’ve looked in on our friends in the original Federation of Planets. What have the crews of the Enterprise and Voyager been up to? Your Major Spoilers review awaits!
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Or – “The Strange Experience Of A New Artist…”
There are a few characters in my mind who can’t really be captured by anyone other than their creators. The Creeper never looks right drawn by anyone but Steve Ditko, only Neal Adams can capture the awesomeness of Megalith, and Darkseid never quite has the same gravitas from anyone other than Kirby. So it is with the Rocketeer, with the added problem of the creator passing away with only a few iconic stories completed. Can anyone make the adventures of Cliff Secord and company look as good as Stevens? Your Major Spoilers review awaits!
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Though Major Spoilers covers a spectrum of pop culture and gaming, my own primary focus tends to be on comic books, especially the weird and esoteric offerings of days past. Years and years ago, I picked up Shogun Warriors #1 in my then-local drug store, and things have continued exponentially from that long-ago purchase. While I’m still much more interested in a Howard The Duck #13 than in an Amazing Spider-Man #129, I find it fascinating what people want to collect. Most awesome of all, two separate Faithful Spoilerites have recently inspired upcoming Retro Reviews of books I hadn’t ever read, proving that no matter your level of knowledge, there’s always something new under the four-color sun. Whether you began reading comics in the 70s (as I did), the 80s (like Stephen), the 90s (poor Rodrigo) or the new century (Young Zach’s horizons are broadening all the time) there will always be hidden gems to delight, confuse and infuriate you so long as you find the right back-issue bin…
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) remembers the Bronze Age fondly, but finds this to be one of the most promising eras of comics in decades, asking: What was YOUR first comic book?
The big news in this week’s comics bundle, as it was back in the 80s, is of the tragic loss of Batman’s partner in combat. Unlike that previous instance, however, this Robin’s death was not voted on by the fans, and the child in question was biological this time, rather than an adopted son as Jason Todd was. Leaving aside all questions of whether or not this will stick, or whether his mother having a Lazarus Pit doesn’t cut down the drama a bit, I’m finding myself intrigued by the fan response to Damian ceasing to be. When the character debuted a few years ago, most of the response seemed to be negative, but now that he’s rung down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibule, a vocal portion of fandom seems to be of the belief that killing Dee-Dubya was a bad idea. For my part, while I’m not sure that Damian pining for the fjords is a great idea, it makes narrative and logical sense for things to have taken this turn, and I found myself enjoying the actual issue…
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) always figured it was just a matter of time before Santa joined the Rogues Gallery, asking: If DC had run their infamous reader dial-in poll in 2013, would you have voted to kill Damian “Robin” Wayne?
Or – “They Say That Breaking Up Is Hard To Do…”
The fallout from Avengers Vs. X-Men has been pretty colossal, so it’s easy to forget that one of the casualties was the long-term (for X-Men, anyway) relationship between Cyclops and the White Queen. Awkwardly, both halves of the couple are part of the Uncanny team now, and you have to know that the question will come up sooner rather than later… What happens now? Your Major Spoilers review awaits!
More After the Jump
This morning, I found myself suddenly irritated in the bathtub when I discovered an unnecessary (and offensive) backstory retcon to one of comics’ highest-profile female characters, one that was likely designed to explain why she’s so kickass. (Of course, given the state of continuity these days, it almost certainly doesn’t matter any longer.) Either way, nobody needs to explain why this woman is awesome, she simply is. Just like Mrs. Peel, The Valkyrie, or the sarcastic-but-deadly Lana Kane, she will smack you down, call you stupid, and enjoy it, all the while not caring that she looks good. The Action Girl, when done properly, is one of my favorite adventure story tropes, and it’s always nice to see a female kickin’ butt and taking initials (because she doesn’t even have time for your full name!
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) will warn you, however, that you’ll probably be disappointed if you want her action figure, though, asking: Who’s the coolest Action Girl in all of pop-culture?
There was a time, circa 1980-something, when the concept of the Star Trek “universe” didn’t really exist. There were three seasons of the original day-glo Original Series Trek, a pretty lackluster-and-weird debut season for TNG, followed by a season of growth and a very nice run of episodes from Next Generation. But when the Borg came forward to steal away Captain Picard and transform him into Locutus, it was (to be blunt) pants-wettingly shocking. This would NEVER have happened to Captain Kirk, let alone Starbuck or Luke Skywalker! And as the episode ratcheted up the tension, Commander William T. Riker stepped forward, calmly speaking to his security chief, and gave the order to destroy the Borg ship with their Captain on board… followed by a summer hiatus. Would they continue with the adventures of now-Captain Riker’s Enterprise? Would the Borg take the ship and assimilate its crew? AND WHAT ABOUT NAOMI??? It was one of the most effective cliffhanger moments in my memory, a kick in the gut followed by a swift uppercut of gobsmackery and the realization that we wouldn’t know how it ended until September! Though the resolution wasn’t nearly as effective as the setup, part of me wonders if (short of both ships blowing up) there could ever have been ANY resolution as dramatic as the fade-to-black moment itself.
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) has never been known to let the beat…
…DRROOOP, asking: What’s the greatest cliff-hanger of all time?