I’m a huge fan of the Cold War, and all the espionage and tactics that went into it. For a while now, I’ve felt that I missed my calling as a suave-ass spy like James Bond. Let’s ignore the fact that I’m neither suave, nor particularly adroit at anything other than stubbing my toe and not washing myself. This unspoken feeling was confirmed yesterday when I came across the news that I possess en masse an essential quality that all spies must have: semen.
A member of staff close to “C”, Frank Stagg, said that he would never forget his bosses’ delight when the Deputy Chief Censor said one day that one of his staff had found out that “semen would not react to iodine vapour.” Stagg noted that “we thought we had solved a great problem”.
Amazing. It explains a lot of things, namely why Bond was always around slamming the hottest chick he could find. You think he was doing it for love of the flesh? The temptation to sin? Hardly, dudes. The man was merely manufacturing some ink to go about writing some reconnaissance files. After all these years, we finally have a greater understanding of Bond, and the spy archtype. Philanders? More like poets.
Furthermore, it brings great joy to know that I have enough secret spy ink on my futon to pen The Long Telegram. I’ve been training to be a spy for so many years, without even knowing it.
About a year ago I saw David Cross in Boston. The show was hilarious and made even more special by the fact that it was taped for release. But what was especially memorable was the fact that Cross previewed five minutes of a new series. He said that the project was being developed for English TV but that he was hopeful it would hit this side of the Atlantic via DVD.
Well, a year later and we’re only a couple weeks away from The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret‘s premiere on IFC. Reunited with fellow Arrested Development alum Will Arnett, Cross plays a hapless sap who falls into the (in)opportunity of moving to England to champion sales for his company. The product? ThunderMuscle - an energy drink of unprecedented strength.
The full pilot has been released online by IFC and I’ve embedded it below for your convenience. Check this shit out, it’s some of the funniest TV I’ve seen in a damn long while. Highlights include Todd Margaret’s experimentation with ThunderMuscle, a caffeinated experience that leads him to the following self-description:
“I’m like Rocky and Rocky III – combined! I’m like, if Rocky II fucked Rocky IV – BOOM! – Rocky V!”
Fuck some lame ass cross around my neck. If I’m going to sport anything big reppin’ Mr. Christ, it’s going to be this figure adorning my computer desk. Water into wine? That’s fucking last week, duder. This Jesus Christ turns the faces of evil into mush. Hell yeah.
Holy shit. If this isn’t the most gorgeous thing ever, I don’t know what is. The packaging for the Star Wars x Adidas sneakers is a fucking blister pack, reminiscent of the Hasbro packaging many of us Star Wars nerds have blasted through to unleash Dagobah Luke. Wait, you didn’t open yours? Then how the fuck were you supposed to renact his training in the backyard? Weird.
Fuck yeah, tomorrow is comic book day, and I’m all amplified for this shit. This is the week of epic viking Gods. Blood and Thunder! A little mid-week tomfoolery in the land of face smashing wunder-hammers. Are you excited? You can bet your bottom goddamn dollar I’m stoked. Let’s hit the list of comic books I’m excited for tomorrow.
I’ll make you a square fucking deal. I’ll stop blathering about the nineteen Thor titles when they stop stacking them with primo talent. Aiight? Fair deal? This week, Matt Fraction and Pasqual Ferry’s run on Thor proper starts. And Jesus Christ, if I’m not beyond excited. Fraction, my current writer crush and inspiration beyond measure, spends most of his time unleashing mainstream brilliance on Invincible Iron Man. He follows that with interdimensional space-bound insanity with his creator owned Casanova. And oh yeah? He describes his run on Thor as “epic space metal.”
Ferry ain’t no slouch either. His preview art for this debut issue did nothing less than make me arch my back in a furious nerdgasm.
I’ll admit that I bemoan the excessive amount of Avengers titles, and in a fit of hypocrisy, have found myself excited for nearly every Thor title announced. But when you stack them with Fraction and Hickman and Langridge? Unfathomable awesomeness.
Serious aside: Thor with beard, or sans beard? I can’t decide.
This comic book is titled Skullkickers. It’s also being billed for “dork dicksores who like Army of Darkness.” Awesome. And apparently it’s already sold out at the distribution level. Even a dumbass such as myself can sense something special going here. I mean, Jesus Christ, to reiterate, it’s called Skullkickers. In a week seeing Thor’s continual dominance as the God of Thunder and Dorks Like Me Who Play Warcraft, this title seems like a perfect compliment. Two dudes wrapped up in an assassination plot who punch werewolves in the face and engage in witty banter. Sold.
Slap something new into your pull list and roll the dice on this one. At the very least, you can probably sell it for a decent mark-up in a couple of months when people coming late to the party can’t bring themselves to wait for the trade paperback.
Confession time: even a staunch Millar fanboy such as myself is beginning to fatigue of the guy. Overexposure in motion is enshrouding the dude. He’s got this title, Kick-Ass, and the forthcoming Superior. All creator owned titles that he’s constantly wanking off as being in some sort of movie production. Yeah, yeah, yeah, dude. We get it. Then there’s the movie he’s making on his own. Which he called “X-Men Meets Trainspotting.”
Then there’s the fact that all of his titles have gotten to the point of being pretty mediocre. Back when I was repping Nemesis #1 as being awesome low-minded action, a reader pointed out that this was pretty much Millar’s calling card. And while I bristled at the time, I’m officially onboard with the notion. People swearing a lot, little girls stabbing people, ultra-violence and depravity. Yawn. This is coming from someone who is clearly a fan of all of the above. But it’s overdone and being mashed into paste, bro.
Nemesis was already the obvious Batman As Bad Guy title, but the second issue was remarkable in the fact that it stole directly from The Dark Knight. Wait, the villain wants to be capture? Stop me if I’ve seen this somewhere before. I stared at the page, thinking, Like, Really? That’s what you got for me?
Even a fanboy like me. A bit fatigued.
Eulogy: Wildstorm Closes
Hijacking my own column to comment on the news today that the imprint Wildstorm is closing. The bastard child of Jim Lee nearly twenty-years ago, it gave birth to both Planetary and The Authority, as well as Wildcats and Gen 13. Most recently, Brian Wood’s DV8 was resurrecting the Gen 13 spin-off and was my favorite X-Men book that wasn’t an X-title at all.
It’s a bummer to see an imprint closing. Sure, an imprint which probably wasn’t financially tenable any longer, but none the less. Lee has commented that they have plans for the characters that are being shuttered, and I puke a little when I imagine them being folded into the DC Universe.
Every time the comic book industry shrinks a little less, a certain pall strikes a little cord in my comic book heart. Even if the Wildstorm-verse had stopped entertaining me for a while, it was nice seeing a realm without Wolverine or Superman persist for as long as it had. Maybe if the quality of the titles was higher, fans would have stuck around. But maybe the fans not sticking around is what prohibited them from drawing the larger names.
I sure don’t.
Rest in peace, Apollo and Midnighter. Easily my favorite gay couple in comic books. When Batman and Superman made out, we all won.
Fuck to the yes. Click the image to enlarge this sexalicious promo poster for the upcoming television adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead comic book. Word, that’s an enormous sentence. Anyways, I am one of the legion of dorks awaiting this premiere. AMC screams quality. Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Rubicon are three of my favorite television shows, and I’m pretty sure I can already chalk this up to joining the list.
[This! Is! Mad Men! recaps the newest developments of Don Draper and his ragtag group of cohorts. In the spirit of the show, it will often be sexist and drunk. Apologies ahead of time.]
I’m really curious to see what goes down tonight. If last episode is the beginning of a trend, its seems as though Don Draper might be on the upswing – boozin’ less, treating women with respect, and just generally throwing his life together.
The online preview hinted at some potential lesbian action from Peggy. I’m not dying to see this, but it would an interesting evolutionary step for her to experiment sexually. We already know that she’s embodiment of the more socially conscious, self-aware woman of the 1960′s. Maybe the Mad Men crew is going to spice this up further with girl/girl love. Who knows though?
What I’m hoping to see is some more Pete Campbell. He’s been on the back burner lately, which is a damn shame. He’s a smug, self-righteous rich-boy and I can’t get enough of him. Maybe he’s going to continue to develop into something worthwhile; or maybe (as Don’s foil) he’ll just backslide.
It’s Friday. Praise the maker! And with the advent of Friday comes another edition of Press Start! It’s your look at the five things that caught my eye in gaming this week. What a busy fucking week it’s been in gaming, between the Tokyo Game Show, the launch of Halo, and the general progression towards the busiest season in pixels and polygons. As always, the disclaimer reads as follows: I have shitty tasty, and these five things are not reflective of the best or most important happenings of the week. Hit the comments box with what tickled your pink this week. We’re a community, let’s hug.
#1: Super Mario Turns 25, Holy Shit.
The original Super Mario Bros. turned twenty-five this week. When I turned twenty-five, two years ago, I had barely lost my virginity and I was still an undergraduate. Needless to say, Super Mario has accomplished much more during his span on Earth. Twenty-five years of whipping his slave dinosaur, jumping into pipes, tripping balls on mushrooms, and continuing to fight for a princess who seriously isn’t ever going to give up the butt.
The man is something of a hero.
It’s hard to fathom a world without our favorite mustachioed fuck. The original Super Mario Bros. is iconic beyond reason. Somehow a quarter of a century later, we’re still humming the opening notes to the first few levels, and kids who didn’t grow up blowing in cartridges and the world of two-button controllers can appreciate the only plumber that’s ever been reasonably respected. It’s a trip, man.
I’ve grown up with this son of a bitch. Some of my earliest memories are watching my cousin play through the game, in a sort of confused splendor. I didn’t know what was going on in this dungeon levels, but I knew that the fireballs and that leaping lizard were clearly up to no good. As I got older, the boy-o stuck with me, and I can tell you with an open heart that I think I broke down and wept openly at the beauty that was Super Mario 64. My balls tingled, and maybe it was because I was thirteen, but that shit changed me.
If it weren’t for Mario, his clumsy fucking brother, a legion of douchey dinosaurs with airships, and a rotten ass Peach, I may not be penning this column today. I’d probably be doing something constructive, but what the fuck can you do.
Happy birthday, you fat fuck.
#2: Asura’s Wrath Debuts At TGS; A God Fingering Looks Hot
The Tokyo Game Show was this week, and there was a general amount of hotness that was displayed. I have stopped paying attention to Japanese developers for the most part, and perhaps this convention flung the egg right onto my face. My bad! I grew up with Capcom, and Konami, and Squaresoft owning my soul. But over the years, I’ve drifted more towards Western developers, gradually coming to suck on the teat of studios such as BioWare and Bethesda with an outrageous passion. And a little bit of teeth.
This week at the TGS, Capcom dropped the trailer for Asura’s Wrath. It’s something of a spectacle, that reduced me to a slobbering mess. The most reductive means of describing it would be to call it the “Japanese equivalent of God of War” – and while that may be accurate to a degree, the amount of absurdity lost in that description is not acceptable. In the trailer, a dude is impaled with roughly ninety-three thousand spears, which you rip out via quick-time commands, and when that doesn’t stop him, his nemesis summons something. The god damn finger of a God, which rockets down through orbit towards him.
It’s the sort of insane concept that, frankly, really isn’t done much in the Western development world. (I’m sure you all have a dozen examples proven me wrong, sry.) My friend watched the trailer and told me it was “too anime”, and I already feel bad for the young child who finds his body behind the dumpster. I have a bit of a temper.
This shit has me percolating.
#3: 72% of Parents Support Violent Game Restrictions, Refuse To Parent
Perhaps as old as Super Mario is the debate over violent video games. So it seems fitting that in the same week that Mr. Mario turns twenty-five, yet another survey comes out regarding the dastardly concept of video game violence. According to this poll by Common Sense Media, 72% of adults support restrictions that would prevent kids from buying violent video games.
Another poll, taken by myself, and administered by myself, found that I generally believe that 95% of us human beings (including me) probably should not smash sperm into egg and replicate. God forbid, if, after we make that most grand of mistakes, we should actually have to parent the hellspawn we ripped out of canal. That would be like, crazy, you know?
Now listen, I know there’s something to be said for preventing Little Todd the Pukestain from buying a video game that features ass-fucking and machine gun fire. I just think that an at-counter restriction should probably be the last line of defense. Maybe parents should a) prevent their kid from buying the game themselves and b) have the capacity to explain to them the different between a virtual and real world. Though, given the progress of society, and our continued integration with augmented-reality, this may require a Ph.D in cultural theory by the time Lil Caffeine Powered is wrought unto this world.