The Best of ResurrXion #5 – Weapon X

Being a part of these Marvel continuity projects can be both fun and challenging at the same time. Serving as the very part-time comics reader of the group, I sometimes get overwhelmed by the intersecting storylines and character arcs of heroes and villains I don’t know much about. X-Men though? X-Men I can handle.

While I’m pretty familiar with most of the original characters (like the rest of the group, I loved Blue and Gold), I was most excited to read some of these X-books that I was less familiar with, and Weapon X by Greg Pak and Greg Land turned out to be one the best.

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Ranking Marvel’s ResurrXion 13 – 6

13
Iceman

Sina Grace & Alessandro Vitti

No humor whatsoever would be preferable to what passes for jokes in Iceman. And acknowledging that something is a “dad joke” doesn’t make the inclusion of one acceptable. Everything in Iceman falls flat. Dumb art? Check. Constant hamfisted reminders of Bobby’s homosexuality starting on page 1? Check. Way too much dialogue in unimportant scenes to the point where half the page is dialogue bubbles? Check. Overused devices like starting a book out with someone questioning themselves before answering “check”? Check. This book is terrible. Read anything else. – IP

This book misses every pitch. I get why someone would want to make a Classic X-man that has been retroactively written as gay more appealing to contemporary audiences, but the whole “dating-profile” device is super lame. Iceman is both literally and figuratively cool. Dude would be on Grindr or Tinder or something. If you’re gonna do it, fucking commit. Seeing Iceman go on an awkward Grindr date could be much more effective at getting these themes across, rather than traversing the typical tropes of disapproving parents and self-discomfort. After Bobby trains himself, why doesn’t he ask younger Bobby some questions about being gay? There’s an interesting conversation. And are we just gonna avoid the whole masturbating question? If young Bobby and future Bobby were to mess around….what would it be considered? Where’s that joke? – tyrannofloresrex

Collection: Iceman, Vol. 1 (January 2018)

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12
All-New Wolverine

Tom Taylor & Leonard Kirk
beginning with #19

I really like the dynamic of Laura and her clone Gabby as a team. The alien virus crash-landing on Roosevelt Island was a little unoriginal, but the fact that the virus was transmitted by an innocent child with some kind of connection to Laura, made it a bit more intriguing. I’d want to keep reading this. Also, Governor’s Ball is definitely cancelled. – hltchk

I really like Laura, but she seems to be stuck in a recycle. Wolverine built a huge fanbase off of solo books as a mentor to younger, equally deadly characters, including X-23, and it just seems really uninventive to throw Laura in the same situation so soon. – tyrannofloresrex

Collection: All-New Wolverine vol. 4: Immune (December)

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Continue reading Ranking Marvel’s ResurrXion 13 – 6

Dark Nights: Metal

Going to just fanboy out for a second: this comic f’ing ruled. The cover is the Justice League making devil horns in their formation! It’s really refreshing to see an event book be this entertaining while simultaneously having consequences for the rest of the universe. Like, imagine if a Crisis book was actually fun. I can’t give Scott Synder and Greg Capullo enough props for that. The gist is simple: Batman has been preoccupied investigating the source of the mysterious metals that inhabit that DCU, like Hawkman’s Nth metal or the stuff that powers the Court of Owl’s Talons. It seems to have consumed him to a dangerous degree as people are constantly warning him to stay away. But Batman going to be Batman. Legend has it that the Bat-tribe, Barbatos (Grant Morrison’s excellent contribution to Bat-lore), will use the metal to bring in a dark evil. Is Batman inadvertently bringing in this evil or, like always, does he have a plan to stop it? Mysteries and conspiracies involving the magical community of DC make this a who’s who of fun lesser-used DC characters.

Capullo’s art was always a highlight in their solo Batbooks, but seeing him really let loose on the cosmic scale is amazing. Drawing a Voltron Justice League mech fighting Mongul on the War Planet? Sign me the hell up.

Oh and that last page (no spoilers here): I’m a billion times more excited by this prospect than the Rebirth/Watchmen stuff. It’s the first time in a while that an event book’s last page made me say, “OH SHIT” out loud. They’ve opened an insane floodgate for this event and I can’t wait to see what is going to pour out of it.

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Even A Stopped Clock Is Right Twice A Day: Songs We Like by Artists We Don’t

There’s a whole lot of stuff out there in the music world that I do not care for…and I’m probably wrong. The widely-revered Sonic Youth, for example, is just not my cup of tea. (No, not even Daydream Nation.) I find Radiohead 20% tolerable background music, 80% powerful irritant. My contemporaries look at me like I’m a criminal when I say I find the Pixies a big fat “meh.” These are my own personal blind spots, and I own them.

Then there’s the artists that I know deep in my bones I’m right about not liking, and their legions of fans are wrong.

And I’ve tried. I’ve given some of these guys dozens of chances and re-listens. But at this point, no one is going to convince me that the spacey noodlings of Pink Floyd, stretched to ungodly lengths and anchored by a second-rate drummer and a third-rate keyboardist, are worth another minute of my time. Similarly, the “poetic” brain-dead bellows of noted jackass Jim Morrison, anchored by a second-rate keyboardist and third-rate drummer, are best left to those who peaked in high school.

But…there’s a couple of songs by those artists that, when they come on the radio, I find myself not reaching for the button. Not choosing a commercial, or static, or silence in their stead. Letting them play on. Maybe even deriving a modicum of pleasure from these aberrations from their usual plodding path of sub-mediocrity. It may not be the joyous surprise felt by those kids in that old cereal commercial (“He likes it!”), but it at least gives me a tiny insight into those misguided souls who think the usual stuff barfed up by the likes of the Grateful Dead is acceptable.

1. “Unchained” – Van Halen
from Fair Warning (1981)

2. “King of Pain” – The Police
from Synchronicity (1983)

3. “Jesus, etc.” – Wilco
from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2001)

4. “Can’t Feel My Face” – The Weeknd
from Beauty Behind the Madness (2015)

5. “Friends in Low Places” – Garth Brooks
from No Fences (1990)

6. “Somebody To Love” – Jefferson Airplane
from Surrealistic Pillow (1967)

7. “Style” – Taylor Swift
from 1989 (2015)

8. “People Are Strange” – The Doors
from Strange Days (1967)

9. “The Scientist” – Coldplay
from A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002)

10. “Friend of the Devil” – The Grateful Dead
from American Beauty (1970)

11. “Wild World” – Cat Stevens
from Tea for the Tillerman (1970)

12. “Comfortably Numb” – Pink Floyd
from The Wall (1979)

13. “Boys of Summer” – Don Henley
from Building the Perfect Beast (1984)

14. “Suspicious Minds” – Elvis Presley
released as a single (1969)

15. “Hold On We’re Going Home” – Drake
from Nothing Was the Same (2013)

Hi-Fi Fifteen is a callback to the “5 in 5” playlist game that MMDG, holybee, and djlazybear used to play on their lunchbreak. They’re all in different professions now, and don’t even live in the same counties, but quickly throwing together playlists on rotating themes is still fun as hell.

The Holy Bee Recommends, #18: Thomas Berger’s “Neighbors”

Holy Bee of Ephesus

To a lot of people, the title Neighbors conjures up fairly recent memories of the raucous Seth Rogen/Zac Efron frat boy comedy. To an older generation, it may trigger a dim recollection of the identically-titled flop starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. To colossal shut-in nerd like the Holy Bee, the go-to is the Thomas Berger novel on which the Belushi/Aykroyd film is based.

Berger (1924-2014) has written about two dozen novels, but he’s probably best known for SUB-BERGER-obit-master180the picaresque quasi-Western Little Big Man. He also wrote one of my favorite Arthurian novels, Arthur Rex. But it’s this seemingly low-stakes, dark comedy tale published in 1980, set in sleepy suburbia, that I keep coming back to. I’ve re-read it many times since I was about fifteen, and it doesn’t seem to get old.

Earl Keese, 49, and his wife Enid live at the end of a cul-de-sac in a…

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You Win or You Die: Season 7, Episode 4: The Spoils of War

Dany finally decided to use her dragons and in doing so brought about maybe the most instantaneous amount of death the show has seen in some time. Alas, there were no rostered characters who actually died, so no points for Money For Nothing, Pod For Free. With only three episodes left, it’s going to require one of these teams to kill off Cersei or Euron in order to overtake the Debt Payers; a repeat championship might be on the horizon.

The Scorecard is below, with individual team scores after the jump.

Continue reading You Win or You Die: Season 7, Episode 4: The Spoils of War

Mister Miracle

As I wrote before, Mister Miracle has always been the Kirby creation that I have loved through and through. His escape routine and relationship with Big Barda have always been inspirational to me. So leave it to Tom King (Vision) and Mitch Gerads (Punisher) to take this character I’ve always idealized as a superhero and reduce him to basic humanity, struggling with depression.

I will admit, on paper this sounds like a real bummer. Mister Miracle depressed and dealing with suicide?  In most cases, I’m not really onboard with it but King and Gerads tell the story with such care and detail that I couldn’t help but become engrossed with the material.

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Generations: The Strongest

The first of ten one shot Generations titles hits stands this week, The Strongest by Greg Pak and Matteo Buffagni. Our all-new, all-different, totally awesome Hulk, aka Amadeus Cho, is mysteriously pulled into the middle of a desert standoff between the military arsenal of Thunderbolt Ross and the original Hulk, Dr. Bruce Banner. This could have been just about any Hulk comic from the 60’s through the 90’s, save for the porting in of a confused Amadeus. And to add to the confusion, this early incarnation of Banner/Hulk hadn’t even met Cho yet, and is distantly removed from the reality in which the young super-genius successfully removed the green monster from his original host, taking the Hulk persona upon himself.

On the surface, this could have been any annual, back-up feature, or goddam Contest of Champions issue featuring the two Hulks in their first full-rage team-up, bashing tanks and each other’s faces. Buffagni’s art is a treat, and you know he, like any other comic book artist growing up with superheroes and super-battles, relished the opportunity to illustrate this book in all its explosive Hulk Smash glory.

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You Win or You Die: Season 7, Episode 3: The Queen’s Justice

Those pesky Lannisters are at it again. With Ellaria Sand stowed away in a dungeon underneath the Red Keep and Olenna Tyrell having been dealt with by Jaime, Cersei has made it a bit easier on the Lannister armies. Jorah is officially BACK! Jon Snow has dragonglass! Only four episodes left…

The Scorecard is below, with individual team scores after the jump.

Continue reading You Win or You Die: Season 7, Episode 3: The Queen’s Justice