The picks this week come from Ben (@bnjmnVONDOOM), Mike (@Omara_Mike), and Mike (@HeyItsKamo) respectively.
This weeks pick in comics is a six-issue limited series, Marvel 1985. Written by Mark Millar (Marvels Civil War, Kick-Ass, Old Man Logan) and illustrated by Tommy Lee Edwards (Turf, The Question mini series), this is one of the more imaginative series to come out since the turn of the century.
The story revolves around Toby Goodman, a quiet/somewhat depressed boy with divorced parents, and his father, Jerry Goodman, a brilliant but underachieving man who loves boning lady cops. Toby has just started getting back into comic books after a two year hiatus due to his mother being a totally right-minded person and ripping up all of Tobys shit. As he returns home from the comic shop, his dad is there to pick him up to spend some quality time with his son. The pair travel to the Wyncham mansion, which used to house Jerrys old bestfriend and current cripple, Clyde. As they approch the house, they’re greeted by a seedy looking man wearing cataract glasses and a fedo-do. The man offers Toby some boxes of comics that he’s found that belonged to Jerrys old friend.
It turns out that the box is filled with some good shit- first issues of Spider-Man, the X-Men, Hulk, and the Fantastic Four. Jerry tried taking the high road and told the man to get the books appraised, but to no avail. While his father is talking to the man, peeping-tom Toby is looking through all the windows in the house. He sees a figure in one of the windows that reveals himself a bit further, and it turns out to be the god damn Red Skull. Rational thought took over and the Tobester told one of his buddies about what he witnessed. Later that night, Toby overheard a news story about some sightings of a strange man (yikes). From a picture of the man, it was clear that he looked an awful lot like the Vulture. This sparked the boys curiosity, and he decided to venture through the woods in the middle of the night, trekking back to the Wyncham mansion. As Toby nears the house on his way through the woods, he hears some dudes talking. Getting a bit closer reveals the dialogue was between none other than Victor Von-mother-fuckin-Doom and Ol’ Cataract who turned out to be the Moleman (fuck, really?). The two seem to be discussing some bullshit plans about taking over this world and how Doom ain’t nobodys bitch boy. The kids surprise betrays him as he lets out a “JEEZ”. Dr. Doom hones right in on that shit and sends some ugly ass Moloids over to ruin any chance of that boy sleeping again. As Toby cheeses it the hell out of there, he trips over something. He looks up to discover it wasn’t a something but someone, and that someone was the giant ass INCREDIBLE HULK. How ’bout that shit?!
The rest of the series deals with how these ficticious villians are finding themselves in a world they don’t belong in and how Toby can summon the Fucktastic Spider-Man and his avenging bros to come and save the day. These jerks are getting into Tobys world somehow, and he’s determined to figure it out.
This series was written by a man who has won multiple awards for writing in comics, but that doesn’t change the fact that this book can be a little cheesey at times. A Doctor Who reference, some MEGA stereotypical nerds running the comic book store… I don’t necessarily think that this tarnishes the combination of the writing and illustrations that give this series a definite 80’s action adventure movie vibe; I felt almost like i was watching Never Ending Story or The Goonies. Millar and Edwards really nailed down the feel of the times. It’s not so much that it’s the BEST written comic around, it’s just a lot of fucking FUN.
Speaking of the illustrations, that’s what really caught my eye about these books; it’s absolutely beautiful. I mean, did you see that god damn Hulk? That was one badass looking mother FUCKER. His old “neanderthal monster” look really fit here. Edwards’ style really brings the book together, a very modern take on a vintage style. He even totally shifts gears when Toby (spoilers) makes a trip to the Marvel U. The deep, somber colors and blacks are traded for a bright traditional comic book world. I just can’t say enough good things about the art here- Edwards really hit it out of the park. Homeboy probably shits Jackson Pollacks.
So the whole idea behind this book is that its set in Earth-1218, which is the Marvel representation of the “real world” in their titles. This always makes me stop for a second and imagine these things are actually happening- like, the amount of dookie that would come lunging out of my ringpiece if i saw Fin Fang Foom stomping around my city… it’s a staggering amount. Someone essentially wrote a book about my dreams: the Marvel Universe bleeding into our world. The whole series is incredibly charming and fun, and a worthy addition to any collection, especially at ten bucks!
COMIC BOOK FUCKITY FUN FACT: Jerry Goodmans crippled friend, Clyde Wyncham, is a re-occuring character in many of Millars recent works including Kick-Ass, Old Man Logan, and even his Fantastic Four run. Millar has even stated that 1985 serves as Clydes origins story before he becomes the greatest villian of all time.
Everyone knows how the balance of power fell during the Clone Wars- heated confrontations of Capture the Base.
I brought the Star Wars: Battlefront games out a few weeks ago, fully expecting to have just a few nostalgia filled hours on a quiet Sunday; I was wrong. These games continued to reside in my 360’s disc tray for weeks past that. How can a game that is approaching a decade in age, still hold up to this day? It must have something to do with the fact that there are so many different characters to choose from, but the the large variety of maps doesn’t hurt either. Want to play as an X-Wing pilot but ride a Tauntaun? Go ahead. How about a Wookie who has a grenade launcher? Want to play as a droid sniper? Neither do I.
Between the fast paced arcade action, well balanced maps and ability to play as many different characters, it is a game that you can still thoroughly enjoy. Go to your nearest used game store or find this gem on eBay. You won’t regret it.
Also, nothing compares to the sheer joy of blasting a Gungan.
God damn do I love the shit Stephen King comes up with. This week I’m suggesting one of his books that I just finished (and couldn’t put down), Different Seasons. It’s a four title collection of some of King’s best short stories/novellas. King is the mother fucking master of horror, and while none of the tales in this book are about monsters in the typical sense (E.g. the Frankenstein monster), each one is serious and terrifying in its own right- the main theme throughout is the horror of human nature, corruption, and the terrible things man is capable of.
Hope Springs Eternal: Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption – a most satisfying tale of unjust imprisonment and offbeat escape. Summer of Corruption: Apt Pupil – a golden California schoolboy and an old man whose hideous past he uncovers enter into a fateful and chilling mutual parasitism. Fall from Innocence: The Body – four rambunctious young boys venture into the Maine woods and in sunlight and thunder find life, death, and intimations of their own mortality. A Winter’s Tale: The Breathing Method – a tale told in a strange club about a woman determined to give birth no matter what.
Honestly, I’d be hard pressed to name a better collection of King’s stories than Different Seasons. Three of the four have been adapted for film (The Body/Stand by Me, The Shawshank Redemption, and Apt Pupil), and after reading each story it’s easy to see why.
Apt Pupil is without a doubt my favorite selection in the book, but admitting to that is difficult when you see what other stories it’s up against. You’ve had 30 years to read this thing, so I’ll give you the basic synopsis without spoiling too much: through some serious damn detective work, a young boy (Todd) finds out that an ex-Nazi commander is living in his town. He -somewhat- blackmails the man into telling him about his time in the war, his role in the concentration camp Patin, and his life after fleeing from Germany when the war ended. From there, it’s a downward spiral for both parties- murder, lying, and a whole bunch of other crazy stuff from the mind that only Stephen King possesses.
Like these picks? Hate them? What would you have picked? Let us know in the comments section!