Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Violent Old Men, Aliens That Vomit Blood Or Are Strippers, And Modest Mouse--Mix and Serve

The Rage Of An Elderly Man Impressed Me--
More Than Aliens That Had Genocide Commited Against Them

 I saw the film Harry Brown a bit ago, around the same time I read Red Lanterns #1, which came out 2 or so weeks ago. I liked it. It was sort of like Death Wish but not really. I say sort of because it is about a man who doesn't have anything to live for that is pushed too far, but otherwise its much different. It's about how a seemingly sweet and gentle old man with a violent past could let the monster that slumbers inside him come back out when he just gets sick and tired of his city being a mess. Yeah, this almost sounds like a super-hero comic or something. Our protagonist--played amazingly by Michael Caine--doesn't put on a jumpsuit or anything to fight crime however. He gets a gun and starts doing what a vigilante more like the Punisher does--killing people.

It's a good movie, a disturbing movie, about how someone nobody suspects could in fact be the most dangerous person in the room, and anyone has it within them to crack, Harry Brown just had the past training to follow-through better with his killing all the people who did terrible things--such as what starts his violent adventure (which I won't spoil). This raises the question, why was I more impressed by the tale of an old man who was angry than I was by a comic about aliens, one of whom had his whole species wiped out?
I mean really, this guy named Atrocitus had his whole planet destroyed, yet this comic written by Peter Milligan is more about him feeling like he is losing his rage and whining than it is about anger. Oh, and Ed Benes illustrates it so the female character looks like this:
That must be hard to contort in a way where we get a shot of both your breasts and ass. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Ed Benes is a hack. This Red Lantern comic was just disappointing. I wasn't expecting much...still I was let down. I figured we would get a comic about anger and rage and it would be all over-the-top, instead we got--as I said--a whiny Atrocitus and a female red lantern drawn posed in ways that must be painful to stand in. What happened to when the Red Lanterns were kind of cool in a hardcore way? You know, think of this scene...
It's a bit silly, it's violent, and its what I wouldn't mind in a Red Lantern's comic. This is just poor though. Yeah, I felt the anger of Harry Brown much more than I felt that of anyone in this comic--and when your whole "thing" is being angry that's kind of pitiful.
Harry Brown: 4 out of 5 stars.
Red Lanterns #1: 1.5 out of 5 stars.

Alien Strippers...Yeah, No Thanks.

DC, despite having everyone mad at them for releasing a comic where Catwoman and Batman essentially have graphic-sex in the comic, and another where Starfire acts like a bimbo (look at my earlier post for more on these delightful subjects) released today another comic that was already causing some rumbles of discontent, Voodoo #1. Someone at Bleeding Cool reviewed it last night. I was wondering if it really was the kind of comic that would make me feel a little self-conscious reading it in the store though. Would I look around as if I were in a porn shop scared someone would know me and see what I was looking at, or was this just a fun little comic about an alien-woman with a bit of tasteful implied stripping? I picked it up and my response was as such:

 Seriously, just no. I mean, really DC? Are we going to have page after page AFTER PAGE of women in various stages of undress that we try to act like its okay to have by having them talk about their real-life problems? Oh, they have normal issues, so its okay for me to stare at all this T&A. If I want a comic like this, I will buy a porno comic. I don't want this DC. I put the comic back, I'm not even going to review it as I honestly did more of a speed-read than a thorough one. Still, if you're a young straight teenage boy or girl who likes girls that can't get R-rated movies with T&A or internet porn or something, this is the comic for you.

Modest Mouse Makes Nice Music (Yah For Alliteration)

I've been listening to Modest Mouse's last full-length album that was released, "We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank," from 2007. It's a good piece of musical work. From the solid opening tracks that set a somber yet energetic mood, to the quiet later tracks, Modest Mouse knows how to give us some quality tunes to listen to while sitting and work, driving along, or thinking about life. It's been a bit so I wonder when we'll get another complete album and not just an EP, as they did release one of those a couple of years ago.
4 out of 5 stars.

In Closing
Watch Harry Brown, skip Red Lanterns, avoid copies of Voodoo like the plague, and listen to Modest Mouse more if you don't already.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Good Comics, Catwoman (So, Bad Comics), Video-Games, And Contagion--Not Quite In That Order

Apparently DC Thinks Of Their Female Super-Heroes This Way
First off, no, I'm not going to comment on the whole Catwoman/Starfire-sex-thing in comics because Larua Hudson of Comics Alliance has done it even better. The Savage Critic's Abhay did a great job too.What? You really want my opinion? Okay, well, I can sum it up best with this video clip. The person below is in fact delivering their review of the Video Music Awards that always happen and are terrible, but I feel this gentleman expresses perfectly how I felt about all this Catowoman and Starfire business.

Yeah, that's exactly what I'm feeling in a nutshell. Well, at least Wonder Woman didn't have any gratuitous sex-stuff that made women look bad, it just had decapitations--fun for the whole family!

I never mentioned these great comics? Odd.

It occurs to me I never said how Action Comics #1 and Men of War #1 were really good. They were, you should buy them. Yeah, I know I said I had no interest in Men of War and even maybe made fun of it. Well, I read some good reviews and went out and bought's quite good. I mean, Animal Man is still my favorite of the new DC books that I've read so far (and I'm pretty behind, but still think it'll be my favorite), but I'm definietely interested in seeing what happens next in Action Comics and Men of War. Why? Well, Grant Morrison writes a good Superman who is just starting out, and Men of War has an interesting soldiers-mixed-with-heroes motif.
4.5 out of 5 stars (both)

This Game Isn't Dead? Well, Awesome!
Apparently Max Payne 3 is an actual thing that will be coming out. As someone who loved Max Payne 2, this is good news. How about we watch a video of Max Payne 3 with the additional fun of pop-ups explaining stuff?

Yeah, I want to get me a copy of that, I think.

Speaking of "Dead"

So, I've rented (with a trial of an extended rent-time thing) and been playing a lot of Dead Island. It's pretty fun, and at times quite hard. It isn't just an easy, "run and kill" game as it has role-playing-game elements of needing to keep weapons you use to fight the zombies in good working order, through repairing or upgrading them. Plus you can make new weapons. Also, different types of zombies require you take them on in certain ways, and little things like that make this game almost remind me more of something like when I played one of the Fallout games on my console than something like Left 4 Dead. Why Fallout? Well, you collect items, its a decimated location, and some of the weapons have funny names, to name just a few things. I'm currently in the city, where it seems the difficulty ramps up a lot, but so does the neatness of the scenery. Wandering around this place that has wrecked-up cars and torn-down quarantine walls is just so neat, even if the resort you traverse early in the game is quite beautiful.

This game is definitely an acquired taste. You have to be someone who likes first-person games, but doesn't want to shoot a lot--because trust me, guns are not used a bunch till later on, you will be whacking the zombies with pipes, crowbars, and knives. Someone who likes action but also wants to have role-playing elements. Plus, someone who likes zombies, of course. I'd recommend renting Dead Island and seeing if you like it.

Viruses Are Nasty
Hm ,we almost have a theme going, as I talked about zombies which people think could be spread by a virus, and now I'm going to talk about how a bit ago I saw Contagion, a movie about a virus! Seriously though, this was quite a good movie, and interesting even if you aren't a person studying health like I am. It has suspense, drama, and some educational science in it too. I was riveted by the great plotting, superb acting, and overall quality of the movie. I'd recommend seeing it, although know that once you view it you might think twice about touching anything in public spaces.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

In Closing
Catwoman and Starfire apparently like to make comic books with lots of sex for the lonely readers out there, you should read Action Comics and Men of War, Max Payne 3 looks good, try out Dead Island, and see Contagion.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How Kanye West and Miles Morales Relate AKA Watch The Throne And Ultimate Spider-Man #1

"Hello, Hello, Hello White America, Assassinate My Character"

What do Kanye West and the new Ultimate Spider -Man, Miles Morales, have in common? They both have gotten a lot of hate for a variety of reasons. Kanye maybe deserved some of his, but I'd say all the negativity directed towards Miles has been almost completely unwarranted. Where has a lot of the hate been coming from also? Well, if we're honest, all those "delightful" white folk who hate seeing either:
A. A successful black man who isn't afraid to admit he's successful, and even be a bit of a jerk about it
B. A black man/teen replacing a fan-favorite white character and read into the fact that he's a minority as some sort of political-correctness or propaganda. Oh, and the fact that Miles Morales is also of Latino heritage gets the folk who want everyone to, "Speak American," all pissed off too.

So we've got people up in arms because not even the mainstream Marvel-Universe Peter Parker, but an alternate Universe one, gets killed off, and just happens to be replaced by another individual who writer Brian Michael Bendis sees a lot of story potential for by making the character a person of color. How was the first issue of the new Ultimate Spider-Man, though? I would say it was pretty darn solid. It was an origin-story issue, and we've seen plenty of those, but it was still entertaining. In comparison, how was the new Kanye album made in collaboration with Jay-Z, "Watch The Throne?" It wasn't bad, but I didn't find myself amazed as with Kanye's, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy". "Watch The Throne" didn't have a single track I hated, they were all enjoyable. However, nothing really stood out for me except for, "Gotta Have It," which was absolutely banging--as the kids today say. Ultimate Spider-Man is weighed down by the fact that is has to establish the character of Miles Morales, "Watch The Throne," is weighed down by how Jay-Z and Kanye could pretty much do whatever they wanted for the album and it resulted in a somewhat unfocused by fun assortment of songs.
Kanye West gets booed and mocked, but then he produces things so utterly amazing it shows that no matter what haters say maybe Kanye's boasts are actually pretty close to the truth, and he is just maybe one of the greatest rappers alive. Even when he doesn't amaze he still turns in solid work like, "Watch The Throne," with Jay-Z. On the other hand, Miles Morales didn't have to do anything other than exist to receive a level of spite and hate that was quite frankly disheartening. The thing is, if written well this character shows potential, and should be given a chance to prove himself. People didn't want to give Kanye a chance, and when they finally did he created the utterly amazing, "The College Dropout," who knows what Bendis could do with Miles Morales if given enough of an opportunity to let the character grow. We could get something at the quality level of another "Alias" maybe. Let's just hope it doesn't turn out to be 808s and Heartbreak.
Ultimate Spider Man #1: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Watch The Throne: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

*Note* I don't hate 808s and Heartbreak, I just think its kind of weak and its so melodic and quiet at parts it literally makes me sleepy. When an album puts you to sleep that is not a good thing generally unless it has "Lullabies" in the title.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rant-Reviews--A Smattering Of Week-Old (Or So) Comics That I Am A Funny Jerk To

It's nearly the newest week of DC comics, and I still have a bunch from the first week (well, I guess second, if you want to count the week just Justice League #1 came out as the first)! I ought to say my thoughts on various things from DC, and why not some Marvel stuff too? Also, I'm going to be silly.

Stormwatch #1
This is decently entertaining, with the moon threatening to destroy Earth, everyone does some fun quips, and it's sort of explained how the ret-con of Wildstorm-Universe characters existing in the normal DC Universe happened (it seems this bunch have been operating in secret, hence them not being involved in all those DC events in continuity that still "count". I was satisfied by this comic, I guess you could say.

The thing is, if DC wanted to just shove the Wildstorm-Universe into the DC one like a mad scientist trying to get a cat and a dog to have sex, this would be the result. It'd be violent, kind of messy, and sort of make you wonder why the hell Martian Manhunter is involved. Yeah, he's helping the mad scientist force the cat and dog to get it on in that scenario too. If that sounds like weird fan-fiction, that essentially is what his appearance is here in Stormwatch. "Let's throw in a mainstream DC-Universe character and show how cool he is!" and so forth. I'm being a little harsh though, as I said, I was entertained. Also, the mad scientist is not writer Paul Cornell, he is doing a good job. The scientist is DC. Cornell is just a lab assistant making the best of what he can. Then again aren't we all when it comes to jobs like that?
3 out of 5 stars.

The Punisher #3
Hm, let me double-check this. Yup, it's an issue-long fight scene with some other stuff interspersed, but still little more than stabbing, blood, and weird green-spit that apparently is acidic because it makes vapors. I would bitch about this, but Checchetto makes such nice art I wouldn't care if this issue were The Punisher shooting old ladies in the face who exchange their pain-killer medication with each other when one of the elderly gals runs out. Yeah, that's illegal, and The Punisher will handle that with extreme prejudice. Is it weird that a comic where the Punisher shoots an old woman in the face sounds more appealing to me than having to read another page of Fear Itself? Yeah, I quit that series. Thank God this has nothing to do with it. This was mediocre but looked good.
2.5 out of 5 stars.

Hulk #38
The Red Hulk barely appears this issue, it is mostly the new Modok (we have a new one?) facing off against some computer-image woman and realizing they have the same goal, then saying he loves her. I thought I loved a woman once, but then she told me it would be sixty dollars for the hour so I yelled, "Trick, you said fourty-five! You can go to Hell!" Trust me when I tell you that story was more interesting than this issue. Maybe the fact it ties in to the aforementioned Fear Itself is what really dragged this series down. This is an old issue though, I think we're on #40 or something, but I quit with this issue, because I'm poor, and it's not from the sex-workers, it's the schooling I'm getting and its cost. I'm just glad I have that nest egg of investments in UBS to fall back on. Wait, what scandal? How much in losses? Oh SHIT!
2 out of 5 stars.

Batwing #1
I couldn't tell if the end of this comic was taking place in the past or present, the plotting was so shoddy. Judd Winick can be hit-or-miss, and this was a miss at the level of accidentally giving your niece smallpox. Yeah, and then she infects her friends and we have a world-wide epidemic, you shouldn't have gone into that lab. Really though, I think DC wants it so that they can pump out books with non-white characters, and then when those books happen to not be given the best talent because they are expected to do subpar numbers, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and DC has an excuse to cancel the books. Then DC's Editor-In-Chief Dan Didio can clamber up the stage and bellow about how, "See? People don't want to read about minorities, so quit bitching about the lack of black folks in our comics and suck down more of this Green Lantern merchandise we weren't able to sell when the movie bombed." Also Didio is naked when this announcement happens, because that is how he rolls. Yeah, this comic looked okay but the story was mostly miserable.
1.5 out of 5 stars.

Uncanny X-Force #14
This was good. Rick Remender writes it well and Jerome Opena returns to the series to provide some stellar art. I've got nothing bad to say, actually.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Justice League International #1
This was fine, but it was just trying too hard. It was like when you're on that first date and you really want to impress the girl or guy, so you keep trying to say jokes that aren't even that clever, or tell stories that make you look cool. Yeah, this comic is that first date. It's a new experience and kind of fun, but also a little painful and groan-worthy at times. Also, the comic really makes it clear the British super-hero lady is to put this delicately...sexually active individual. She comments about the various male members of the team and kind of comes off looking, well, easy. She's pretty one-dimensonal in that sense. Then again all the characters are. Batman is mysterious, Guy Gardner is hot-headed, Rocket Red is Russian and is adorable in that Yakov Smirnoff sort of way, etc. etc. Even a mirror has more dimensions...I think. Still, this comic didn't render me a drooling invalid, and it had some fun moments, so I'll give it credit as above-average. I'd ask it out on a second date, to go with our earlier metaphor which has been stretched ever-so-thin.
3 out of 5 stars.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Awesomely Creepy DC Comics, And What's It Mean When The Best Track Doesn't Have The Title Artist? OR Tha Carter IV

I've read Animal Man and Swamp Thing, and have been pretty impressed. I also bought Tha Carter IV and was...well, not impressed, but not disappointed as it seems some folk who have reviewed the album have felt.

Comics With A Horror Twist
Two DC comics came out which are ostensibly about super heroes, but actually are really more cool and creepy. Swamp Thing starts off sort of slow, but once it wants to be weird, it gets pretty horrifying and twisted. Scott Snyder is a good writer so I imagine he is going to put out a quality product here. I was actually a little thrown by how freaky it was. Also, I haven't fully finished my reading of Brightest Day but I was able to follow along with the story pretty well, so that was good. I guess DC is somewhat serious about the whole "you don't need to know continuity for these comics" pseudo-slogan they have going. The Animal Man comic starts out seeming like more of a straight-up hero tale, with the idea that Buddy Baker is actually living a pretty good life. He has the wife and kids, has been in a movie, and is well-liked by people. The issue opens with him having an interview with The Believer magazine (a real magazine I recommend reading for cool articles) and helping with a hostage situation at a hospital. Then things get weird.
Between the unexplained bleeding and a strange dream at the end of the issue along with a really creepy twist, this comic seems to be taking Animal Man in an interesting direction of creepiness. Jeff Lemire can do some great writing and he has the shadow of Grant Morrison's famous Animal Man run (which was awesome) hanging over him, so I figure doing something different actually is a pretty clever way to go. Plus, Travel Foreman has some great drawing-style in this comic, with it being both expressive and cartoony, but having a touch of the realistic to it. His slightly surreal look works great for the dream sequence especially.
Swamp Thing and Animal Man are both enjoyable first issues, but if we're being honest I think I enjoyed Animal Man #1 more. To be fair to Swamp Thing, Animal Man #1 may have been my favorite book to come from DC during last week's comics (it and Action Comics #1 were quite rad), so Swamp Thing is by no means less than good fun. Animal Man is just really, really, awesome.
Swamp Thing: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Animal Man: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Tha Carter IV
Even a Lil Wayne who isn't at the top of his game is better than a lot of other music artist out there. That's sort of the conclusion I took away from Tha Carter IV, Lil Wayne's newest release. It's an interesting album, with a weird smattering of tracks--some of which I really enjoyed, only one I truly hated, and a fair amount I was indifferent to. The Intro is decent, "Blunt Blown" isn't bad, "Megaman" and "6 Foot 7 Foot" are good fun, even "Nightmares Of The Bottom" is decent, but God, is that "She Will" song with Drake wretched, just ruining the momentum the album builds up with the earlier songs.

"How To Hate" has some really corny raps, but isn't bad, and then we reach my favorite track of the album, which is simply titled, "Interlude". This song doesn't even actually have Young Weezy appear, instead advertising how it features Tech N9ne along with a surprise apperance by an artist that even the liner notes don't mention appears. Seriously, you would have no clue this person shows up and I was so happy, because it turns out to be none other than Andre 3000 of OutKast, with a killer verse! Tech N9ne and he turn in the strongest raps of the album on this relatively short track, and there is a problem here in that as I said, Lil Wayne isn't even on the song and it's my favorite. What does it mean for your album when that occurs?
None of the songs after that really stand out to me much, although, "So Special" with John Legend sounds nice on the chorus with Mr. Legend's crooning, and everyone is going crazy for, "How to Love". The Outro is also really solid, but again, it lacks Wayne! Oh, plus the deluxe version has some extra tracks that aren't worth the money other than possibly downloading, "Two Shots" on a legal service, that one is fun.

Listening to this album is a fun time, even if Lil Wayne seems to not be at the top of his game such as on Tha Carter III which many think of as a masterpiece. I didn't finish this album feeling let down, but I also wasn't blown away--except possibly by "Interlude". That doesn't have Lil Wayne though so I don't know how much I can count that. Still, it's a good album and I would recommend purchasing it if you are a fan of Lil Wayne or the hippity-hop music all the kids today love. Lord knows almost all other mainstream/popular rap is terrible.

Comics and rap music, always a fun time.

Monday, September 12, 2011

"It's About Power and Money" AKA Nu DCU, Soldier X, and Tupac

This post we have my thoughts about how the "old" DC Universe ended in Flashpoint #5 along with how it began in Justice League #1. Then I say my own thoughts about the highly-popular Cable and Soldier X comics that occurred back in the early 2000s, having been inspired by series of cross-over posts between some writers I really enjoy reading.

Also, tomorrow is the 15th anniversary of the death of one of my favorite music artists, Tupac Shakur. I'll discuss my two favorite albums by him a little bit and why his death matters even if you don't like rap.

Yeah, it's a lot of content to share, but with my new format of only posting every 2, 3, or 4 days I'm hoping you dear readers will drink down every word I type now like a rare can of Surge soda. Remember Surge? That stuff was tasty, and had more caffeine than humanly possible. Yeah, I could go for a Surge if all those cans wouldn't be super-expired.

Flashpoint and Justice League
Flashpoint #5 was a decent comic, even if it pretty much consisted of Barry Allen either standing around doing nothing so Thomas Wayne could (spoiler) kill the Reverse-Flash, or Barry Allen going back in time and undoing all the trouble he caused because--TWIST!--it seems he is the one who caused this alternate reality by making it so his mom didn't die or something. Oh, and in the process these different realities come together and this mysterious woman who is appearing in all the other DC comics in a cameo (probably as a way for DC to have an emergency undo-the-recon-button) spouts some enigmatic gibberish. Then Barry Allen gives Bruce Wayne a letter from his father and Bruce cries because its sweet--of course, it technically isn't our Bruce Wayne as this is the new DC Universe, but whatever. I liked Thomas Wayne and the action was good, so I'm satisfied.
3 out of 5 stars.
Justice League #1 is a fun Batman and Green Lantern team-up comic set in the beginning of the new DC Universe, but it isn't really a first issue of a Justice League book. At least, it doesn't feel that way. It feels like the first part of something that was written for a trade paperback and then suddenly split into a comic-book issue format--the cliffhanger is just sort of weak (Hm, Superman, a fight next issue, eh) and things seem to move sooooooo slowly. Oh, we also meet Cyborg before he becomes a Cyborg and is just really good at football. I don't know, Geoff Johns wrote both this and the Flashpoint books, and Flashpoint #1 jammed in a ton of content, whereas this just seems really decompressed--if I may use a term comic fans often employ. At least the Jim Lee art looks decent.
2.5 out of 5 stars.

Cable and Solider X
The Hooded Utilitarian and The Factual Opinion did a series of reviews about the comic book/s Cable and its follow-up Soldier X. There was the first installment, the second, a first part to the third, a 2nd part to the third, and a fourth and final post. I've read the books because I was inspired to pick them up after initially reading this excellent article on Robot 6 long ago.

When I picked up the Cable comics the funny thing is I had to get some before its dramatic shift in focus with issue #97 that lasted to #107 (and made for some awesome comics), and boy, was it a terrible comic. Issue #96 is this lame one-off about Cable helping this ancient huge-man fight these other huge ancient huge-guys because the first one wants a doll he gave to his deceased daughter they stole. Oh, and this ancient huge-guy who has lived so long knows Cable is special because Cable beats him at arm-wrestling and no one can do that. Seriously.

The arc before that is some miserable stuff about Jean Grey having genetic Phoenix sisters or something that no other comic has ever acknowledged so just forget it and a reporter named Irene (who is in Soldier X) has to have her skin color changed from white to black so that she can avoid being killed by this evil cult and learns that racism still exists when a police officer picks on her--so we learn from the comic that racism is bad in this really ham-fisted way! Wow, how touching!

 If you're going to try and talk about racism, please don't just do lame, "Hey, you know racism, yeah, it still exists, shocking, huh?" type stories with someone who was white magically becoming black and learning a valuable lesson--that is just the most cliche, "look at me, I'm a message" type story. Anyways, yeah, they were bad. However, then something awesome happens, namely issue #97 and on.
CABLE #97-107
This here is some good stuff. Basically, writer David Tischman and excellent artist Igor Kordey came in and made this comic go from horrendous to awesome in the span of one issue. Tischman took the idea that Cable is from the future, and has knowledge of how little conflicts in history could grow and become huge problems that lead to the nightmare scenario that mutants face in the future--so why wouldn't he get involved and try to fix things now? This led to Cable going into hotspots around the world and considering that Igor Kordey is himself a vetran of Balkan wars and this comic involves post-soviet areas you know this isn't too fantastical. Also, this comic was happening right around 9/11 and didn't hesitate to address it. Right on the opening of one issue is a drawing of the towers, on fire, broadcast on a television. This comic was about Cable addressing terror around the world, so it noted the fact that yes, terrorism had happened close to home too. It was a serious, clever, and beautiful-looking comic. You can actually get it collected in two trades, "Shining Path" and "The End", and I would recommend doing as such.
There were issues after #8, but screw them because they had writers who missed the point of the awesomeness that was Soldier X. Soldier X was half the time a parody of super-hero comics, at other times it  was about the God-complex we have in regards to super-hero characters, thinking of them as if they are religious figures, and then other times it was just about the futility of a comic about a character whose main modus operandi was violence--thereby making his own existence pointless. Then again, Cable being pointless was sort of what writer Darko Macan was going for in his darkly funny comic, almost mocking the idea of Cable while at the same time elevating him to a God-like level of power, but with the knowledge that using this power to wreak havoc just proves nothing. Igor Kordey continued to provide great art and its some super stuff. I'm sort of unique in actually maybe liking the Cable stuff a little bit more though--don't skip this Soldier X material however, it's dynamite too.

Tupac--15 Years After Death
Tomorrow, September 13th, will be the 15th anniversary of the death of Tupac Shakur (June 16th, 1971-September 13th, 1996). Tupac was arguably one of the most talented music artists I've ever heard. When it comes to listing the most gifted talents in music ever some names I give in no particular order would be Mozart, Kurt Cobain, Beethoven, Bach, Andre Benjamin AKA Andre 3000 of OutKast, Miles Davis, Coltrane, and of course Tupac (there are other people I'm not listing, but you get my point for whom I think of as "cream of the crop).

Just listen to "The 7 Day Theory" AKA "Makaveli". David Brother's writes his thoughts about it beautifully on the 4thletter; it truly is an album so loaded with textual meaning you could work on "decoding" it forever. I also am a huge fan of "Me Against The World" easily saying those are my two favorite albums by Mr. Shakur. Just listen to "Death Around the Corner" and tell me the paranoia and despair doesn't seem to just hang in the air around you as the song plays--or as a complete counter, try "Dear Mama" and see just how gentle and sweet Tupac could be. In contrast, to go back to his last album he was directly involved in before his death and the first to be released posthumously, "Makaveli" has some incredibly incendiary tracks. "Bomb First (My Second Reply)" is pure fire.

There are also some love songs. "Just Like Daddy" is both sweet and dark, talking about love and how it's pretty much about young women with daddy issues. There is also, "Me and My Girlfriend," which for those of you who are a bit slow with metaphors, is in fact about guns. Listen closely and you'll catch on. Yeah, the Jay-Z and Beyonce version completely ruined it and missed the point, but never-mind that. Don't forget the inspirational songs like, "Hold Ya Head" which even in trying to be supportive carries an air of depression--something you find often with Tupac. My point is that the man was a lyrical genius, and no slouch when it came to contributing to the production of the tracks either.

By the way, my favorite Tupac song is a tie between "Lord Knows" and "Outlaw" on "Me Against The World". A close second are both "Life Of A New Outlaw" and "Bomb First (My Second Reply)" on "The 7 Day Theory"/"Makaveli".

There is plenty more I could say about Tupac, but I just wanted to say, this was a man who had incredible lyrics that spoke so much truth, and carried so much sadness, but with a glimmer of hope--but always with that darkness. The best way to sum it up is how on, "Just Like Daddy," it is being said by a member of the Outlawz (E.D.I.) that a young woman a he met was, "A diamond in the rough, the kind that you can love, not yet touched but so much..." and at that moment we hear Tupac quietly come in saying, "Pain" before E.D.I. states, "Potential." That bit says so much, that its the pain that Tupac jumps to. There was so much sadness, but that slight tiny bit of hope he had was what made things all the more beautiful.

Then he was murdered. We still don't know for sure who did it. It happened 15 years ago tomorrow. Life is a real bitch sometimes.

Sorry to end on a downer, but sometimes that's how things are.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Newest Rant Truly Returns To Posting!

*Cue Dramatic Music*

That's right, We're/I'm back finally for real posting on this blog. It's been nearly a month and I imagine some people have gotten quite tired of waiting for new material--to which I say, "You really care what some jerk on the internet thinks about topics?"--but I'm back!

With graduate school and life otherwise being much busier and financially draining less comics are being bought by me, and less time is available to read them. I've been watching movies on Netflix though so I have some flicks I can offer my thoughts on.

Basically, the blog will be pretty much the same but don't expect as much posts, maybe more-so something every 2 or 3 days instead of material everyday. The less common posts may be bigger and have more thoughts and things in them though, so it should all work out.

Anyways, thanks for your patience as I moved and started a whole new life, and I hope the small number of you who enjoy reading this blog didn't completely give up hope that I would return, because I'm back, baby!

Tomorrow look for my thoughts on Flashpoint #5 and Justice League #1 (yeah, kind of late, I know) along with other musings about comical books and what films I saw that I enjoyed.

*Cut Dramatic Music*