After this week’s Major Spoilers Podcast, I was taken by how much I loved all the adventures of Calvin & Hobbes, to the point where it’s fighting with The Far Side and Bloom County for the top slot of ‘Most Loved Comic Strip Tale Of All Time.’ Then I remember the ‘Penguin Lust’ arc and the long strip of the brick wall outside the White House being dismantled in Doonesbury, or even the point back when Garfield was funny, and I have to go and read those trade paperbacks again, by which point I forget the question, but remember all the lyrics to “I’m A Boinger.”
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) still can’t believe how much of ‘Bloom County’ seemingly escaped the MSP team, asking: What’s the best comic STRIP of all time?
When I was younger, I was always a little bit worried about Batman, leaping and bounding across the rooftops of Gotham City in what seemed to be smooth-soled Monkee boots. As comic audiences and I aged, Batman eventually graduated to a thicker-soled combat-style boot, while Superman still rocked the Stride-Rite knee socks with the stylish divot-hem. (The loss of that design element is one of the myriad of problems with Supey’s new nanite battle-armor look, by the way.) Poor Wonder Woman only recently gave up heels (depending on the artist) but The Thorn has been wearing thigh-high stiletto streetwalker boots since 1972, while Black Canary was forced for YEARS to do martial arts flips and judo throws in corsair boots with a Cuban heel. It seems that only the Flash, with his specially ridged yellow boots, really considered the practicality and workability of his footwear, and even that has been diminished by a bunch of strange seams in the latest designs.
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) would enjoy some nice Chuck Taylors, if they made the things in a 14 Wide, asking: Which superhero has the most awesome footgear?
This weekend’s shift at the store (Gatekeeper Hobbies, Huntoon and Gage, Topeka! Ask us about our blah-blah-blah-fishcakes!) consisted mostly of identifying and pricing limited variant covers of various Zenescope titles. For all the derision heaped on them, I actually enjoyed the Wonderland stories. Moreover, the last batch of Grimm Fairy Tales that I sold online came back at something like 1000% profit, proving that the demand for the comics is still strong, especially for the rarer cover versions. Still, I’m always troubled by the combination of sexuality/nudity and swift and blinding violence that so often work in concert in the Grimm Fairy Tales universe, and some truly horrifying juxtapositions of the two. While I don’t mind displays of eye-candy, and I am fine with people who want a little of the old ultra-violence (although I don’t know that I will ever recover from reading Crossed #1 without preparing myself with a drink or two), my personal preference is to absorb each on its own terms.
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) likes peanut butter AND chocolate, but doesn’t want them with brussels sprouts, asking: Are you, as a consumer/reader/viewer, uncomfortable when violence and sexuality are mixed?
It is no secret that I have a profound pseudo-crush on Victoria, the most lovely ex-girlfriend of ultra-douchey Ted Mosby on the sitcom ‘How I Met Your Mother.’ My adoration of the character/actress aside, I have always enjoyed the adventures of young Ted finding his way in the world, making mistakes and spouting half-educated psycho-sexual theories on THE ONE and how to find her. Although the series has literally NO clue about realities of love or married life, I still enjoy watching the characters bumbling around, being funny and awesome in spite of their crippling personality flaws. That said, the beginning of Season 8 damaged the Ted character beyond repair for me, as the man who supposedly believes in love and honor above all stole another guy’s girl ON THEIR WEDDING DAY. Yes, Victoria is amazing, and sure, he’s had a lot of jerkass moments before, but after spending 8 years pontificating about finding your true love (as well as getting left at the altar himself), the hypocrisy of Ted’s actions were a solid shark-jumping moment in a series known for it’s potential S-J-Ms.
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) also hasn’t forgiven Iron Man for the entirety of 2006, no matter how good his movies are, asking: What’s the most unforgivable decision made by a fictional character that you otherwise love?
I admit it: I’m reticent to accept new versions of properties that I’ve enjoyed in the past. As any fan-child (or, to be fair, any human) does, it’s hard to see them make changes that could invalidate or disrespect that which I loved. While I may never forgive DC for the Archie-legion reboots of Tenzil Kem and Chuck Taine, even I admit that sometimes it’s for the best. Sure, Spider-Man’s new brain is scary, as is Jim Kirk’s new actor and Superman’s now-missing crimson boxer-briefs, but the audiences have responded positively to these changes, and have responded with additional money spent. In short, we’ve trained the producers of our media to know that they can move extra units if their next big thing is a version of a past big thing (even if in name only.) Still, sometimes I like to try to transcend my base human nature and take a positive look at what good might come of this trend…
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) is waiting for the new version of the new version of ‘Ocean’s Eleven,’ asking: Given that the cycle of relaunches, revamps, reimaginings and reworkings will certainly continue, what property do you most WANT to see get remade?
Last weeks MS-QOTDs left me mulling over scary things and scary movies, and I killed part of my weekend checking out a few of my favorite spine-chilling films out of nostalgia. The original ‘Amityville Horror’, ‘Paranormal Activity’ and the B-52 sequence of ‘Heavy Metal’ share little in tone or construction, but they do have one major item in common: They scare the bajeezus out of me. As anyone who counts Major Spoilers Super Sentai reference can tell you, once something enters my head, iexpect it to stick around for a while, and today’s boring work-day led to me considering my chances of surviving in those fictional horror universes. (In order, the answers are “Possibly,” “Certainly, so long as I’m not a tool like Micah”, and “Nooope.”) Speed didn’t help the victims of Jason Voorhees, so I wouldn’t have too much of a handicap there, but I wouldn’t last long around Rick Grimes, having long since wandered off into the woods to get away from those people. Either way, the give-and-take of my cinematic ruminations filled a dull Thursday afternoon (Best Chance For Matthew Survival = “Nightbreed”, in case ya wondered) but also begs a query…
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) kicked that #@&*ing map in the #@&*ing river yesterday, asking: How would you survive in a horror movie universe and which one would you choose?
With the release of Iron Man 3, my biggest problem hasn’t been the proliferation of spoilers about the Gandhi-rin or Pepper’s attire in certain scenes, but with the realization that we’re only about a year and a half from having a 50-year-old Tony Stark. Sure, he wears it well, but there is going to come a point where Marvel Studios is going to have to recast with someone more appropriate to the eternally-twenty-nine Iron Man role. Fans of Doctor Who have been dealing with this sadness all year, though, as the producers seem unwilling to bring back a nonogenerian Fourth Doctor or a Sixth Doctor who is balding and thicker about the waist. On the one hand, I love Ruffalo, Downey and even Medicare-eligible Sam Jackson as Nick Fury (who, to be fair, is often a WWII veteran), but on the other, I can clearly see the appeal in the Super Sentai model, where every year you start fresh with new actors and new characters with minor modifications to the premise. We fans are fickle beasties, though, and given the shouty-ness when they recast Bruce Banner, I imagine that a new actor taking over for Scarlett Johansson or Chris Evans will be a hard transition for a number of Aveng-ophiles, which begs a question…
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) still can’t figure out how they’re going to get 6 movies out of Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, asking: Would you rather see a beloved actor who seems too old for his role, or a revamp that forces you to get used to the new guy?
After recent events in Uncanny X-Force, it has become clear that Fantomex (who once possessed three brains in a single body) has now been separated into three selves: One good, one evil, one female. Moreover, his good self and his female self have embarked on what seems to be a romantic relationship, even though their demeanor and dress sense indicates that they’re still pretty much the same person. This particular plot twist freaks me out more than the revelation that ultimate Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch might be partners, for some reason, even though Pietro and Wanda are fraternal twins. Given that Wolverine’s relationship with HIS female clone (and, also, why are there so many opposite-gender clones running about?) is more parental than anything, the whole thing is equal parts sci-fi brilliance and perversity. (Except the brother/sister love affair, that’s 100% the latter.)
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) believes that we may have hit on one of the great science-fiction conundrums, asking: Is it creepy that Fantomex and his female clone are dating? Could you court your own opposite gender clone?
This evening, I awoke from not-nearly-enough sleep to find that the last episode of Doctor Who had inadvertently been made available to fans and that the spoilery details of the season-ending cliffhanger freely floating throughout the intarwebz. Overly the last couple of hours, I have been really torn on whether I want to know what is going on with Eleven and Clara enough to seek them out, or whether I can wait until next Saturday night to find out about what lies behind her perky smile and little button nose. (Is there such a thing as a Manic Pixie Sidekick Girl?) The only thing that has successfully distracted me was seeking out spoilers on the season-finale of the latest season of Survivor, the better to taunt my wife with as she enjoys that episode tonight…
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) reminds you once again that Bruce Willis’s sled was actually Keyser Soze, asking: If you know that spoilers are available, do you want to seek them out or avoid them?
Thanks to this week’s impending Retro Review (he said, hinting broadly) I’ve found myself once again considering the mysterious Tao of the Web-Head. When the Spider-Man universe was rebooted with ‘Brand New Day,’ the powers-that-be at Marvel Comics tried to play it off as a return to the character’s roots, taking him to a place where he was a single luckless college jerk, playing the field and living in Aunt May’s basement. Interestingly, a few years later, Peter was back at the top of his field, active as an Avenger, being really pretty geniusy marvelous with Aunt May happily married off, before his brain was eaten by an octopus (or something.) Still, the clear message seemed to be that a Spider-Man without problems wasn’t really Spider-Man at all, and (if you discount the clear message that they just didn’t want him married) there seems to be an expectation that Hard-Luck Parker is editorial’s idea of the character’s natural state. This, in turn, begs a query…
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) watches him swing on a web, something something frassum blebb, asking: Do you think it’s necessary that Peter Parker be a loser/schlub in order for Spider-Man to work?
Over the last couple of years, I’ve been a casual watcher of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ starting when someone dubbed a season (I think it was 2009?) the worst one ever. During that time, I have enjoyed a lot of quietly brilliant moments, a few utterly awful ones, crushed hard on Nasim Pedrad and Kristen Wiig (and even a little bit on new girl Cecily Strong) and also enjoyed the many cameos by the likes of Jon Hamm and Alec Baldwin. Most surprising of all was the transformation of boy-band jackwagon Justin Timberlake into a genuinely funny and remarkably versatile performer, who gave me an unstoppable laughing fit with nothing but his facial expressions and the words, “But privately? He hit that.” Back in the N-SYNC era, I would have bet nothing could make me a fan of any of those kids, but a decade or so later, I love me some J.T. and can’t stomach Jenny McCarthy. Life is indeed strange, which brings us to today’s query…
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) knows that ‘funny,’ like ‘frightening’, is in the eye of the beholder, asking: Who is the most surprisingly funny person in all of pop-culture?
Today’s Major Spoilers Question of the Day is brought to you once more by Fangoria Presents – a new film series selected by Fangoria for Horror Fans! Use the comment section below to share your thoughts, with the best comment winning a DVD of one of the films in the series as seen on their website! (Sorry, this contest is open to U.S. residents only!)
Fear, like beauty, is wonderful in that it is always in the eye of the beholder. One of the most terrifying events of my childhood came during a viewing of the Muppet show, during which a man’s furniture all came to horrifying, carnivorous life and began chasing him about with malefic intent. I never trusted my Gramma’s rust-orange corduroy couch again, let me tell you, though it was clearly up to no good before-hand. Still, the accidental nightmare fuel of that moment was a mere shiver compared to the horrifying sight of Edward Woodward’s immolation as human sacrifice or the inexorable vengeance of the circus folk after Cleopatra’s betrayal.
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) still can’t figure out exactly what Prince Randian was going to do with that knife, though, asking: What’s the single most terrifying movie moment in pop-culture history?
Remember: Once again, the best comment will win, thanks to Fangoria Presents!