Posted in Uncategorized

My Marvel Life Presents -Fabulous First Issue: X-Men 1

It’s another Fabulous First Issue

My Marvel Life

Why I picked this comic:

It was the first comic I remember reading. It was the first property that I got into when I got into collecting back in 1991 and it’s the franchise that I go back to when my I go back into buying new monthly comics, when the MIGHTY Rosie put the idea for this blog forward, I knew that no matter what, the X-Men would have a place in it and why the hell not start right at the very beginning.

Shoud I have done this?

The Comic Itself:

X-Men 1: September 1963

X-Men was written by Stan Lee and pencilled by Jack Kirby with inks by Chic Stone.

In a private school in Westchester, New York Professor Charles Xavier summons the four students he has, that are training to be super heroes. In  walks Slim ‘Cyclops’ Summers, Hank ‘Beast’ McCoy and Bobby ‘Iceman’ Drake. Flying…

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My Marvel Life Presents: Fabulous First Issue – Justice League

Another fabulous first issue

My Marvel Life

Why I picked this comic:

I am not, in anyway shape or form a fan of the Nu52. If there was any silver linings it came in the form of the Justice League series, written by fan turned pro Geoff Johns and originally pencilled by 90’s wunderkind Jim Lee it was DC’s new flashy opening comic and acting as  a jumping on point, we well as for many a jumping off point. It was an issue 1 in the truest sense of the word and after a number of Marvel options, I felt that a DC issue was a good idea.

Was it a good idea though?

The Comic Itself: 

Justice League 1: August 2011

Justice League Part 1 was written by Geoff Johns and had pencils by Jim Lee who was inked by Scott Williams.

5 Years ago and the world is only now learning of the existence of…

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Everybody needs a little bit of this

After walking the dog in the rain, me and SuperSam checked out a blog that I follow.

Cassandra Hebert

This is simply a collection of cute animal pics, but in times of international strife, pandemics and uncertainty it is nice to have something that is just nice. Just check it out, if you don’t see something that makes you go Awwww then it may not be for you. I went awww as did SuperSam.

I am usually writing something geeky, but this felt that something worth sharing this morning.

Take care everyone, stay safe.

Posted in Uncategorized

Spin Off Off Special: Kamen Rider Kuuga – In which we learn maybe don’t open tombs with signs you can’t read.

A new pilot era post.

Pilot Era

First aired: 30th January 2000

Cast :

Joe Odagiri – Yuusuke Godai/Kuuga

Shingo Katsurayama – Kaoru Ichijou

Kazumi Murata – Sakurako Sawatari

Spin Off Specifics:

Where did is spin-off from? Kamen Rider

When did it spin-off from? There had been a series on spin-offs and continuations starting from the original, but there had been a gap before this new era began.

What is different? It’s premise remains the same, there’s a motorcyclist who transforms and battles monsters, but with an all new cast and specifics.

Was it necessary? It was a way of spinning off and continuing the older series, whilst still acting as a new thing to attract a new audience, so necessary? No, but it did make sense.

How did it compare? Very different in quality, but we it’s more of a refinement of the idea as much as anything else.

Synopsis: We start with images of a…

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My Marvel Life Presents: Fabulous First Issue – Annihilation Prologue

Time again for Fabulous First Issue

My Marvel Life

Why I picked this comic: 

It was inevitable that I would pick an event to do at some point. Secret Wars is too simplistic, Crisis works better as a whole thing and lets not get into any of the X-crossover events just yet.

This event was a bit of a surprise when I first read it. It was an attempt by a couple of writers Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning to make use of Marvel’s stable of cosmic characters who weren’t being made use of. I remember how much I enjoyed it and how it lead to a good 5 or 6 years of well told cosmic stories which lead to the resurgence of Nova, Thanos, Adam Warlock and the second iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy. I wanted to share this era’s beginning and get someone else’s take on it.

The Comic Itself: 

Annihilation Prologue: March 2006

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Posted in Mental Health Struggles, Miscellaneous

Random Stuff, banging around in my head

I have been having nightmares.

Work stress has got to the point that my subconscious is affected. Nightmares affect sleep, bad sleep drains you, which makes you more susceptible to unhelpful thoughts and low moods, which affect your subconscious, which can lead to nightmares and so on.

There’s a lot to be stressed about, a lot to be afraid of, from the ongoing co-vid19 crisis which seems to be unending to the events across the pond as yet another racist crime committed by law enforcement has caused protests and riots. We are watching a 1st world nation of great prominence and arguably one of the most important nations in the last century devolve right before our eyes. My heart goes out to people of colour over there and their allies and loved ones and hope change comes from this, because it really needs to, we shouldn’t still be here. The people there deserve better.

But last night I got a training session with my personal trainer Ali. We used equipment in his backyard and kept full social distance between us, but I got to use weights, TRXs and also did lunges and today I am SORE!!!!!

There’s so much to be worried about, so much to fear. But we don’t have to consider that the default. I am enjoying the sweet pain today, pain I earned, pain I appreciate. This lockdown has taken so much from me. It’s taken the freedom to move around, my walk to work/school with my son. It’s taken time with my parents, shopping being a casual activity and not some kind of psuedo-military operation and the ability to hug my parents. It’s cost me a couple of weeks away and so on.

I’m not seeing this as any kind of oppression or anything and don’t want my convenience at the expense of someone’s life or anything like that. But it’s a fact that this current situation has taken stuff off me. Last night, having a training session, it felt like I got something back. I’m paying for it today like, but it’s a price worth paying.

Little is better, work is as hellish as it has been with clients and their employees being as dickish as ever, but I got something back last night. Maybe as lockdown restrictions are lowered, we can get more stuff back.

We will be alright.

We are never as alone as we think we are.

Take care of one another and stay safe.

 

Posted in Comics n Stuff

Stuff I have enjoyed: Dan Slott & Mike Allred’s Silver Surfer

I go to work, it’s fairly negative right now. I put on the TV, it’s fairly negative right now. I go out, oh wait no I don’t.

The point is, there’s a lot of reasons to not be cheerful, so I want to do some about positive stuff.

Earlier this year, I was finally able to finish my back issue run of Dan Slott and Mike Allred’s Silver Surfer. It was 29 issues which was split over two series that started in March 2014. I missed the boat on it at first, but picked the first few issues up for 50p per issue at a mart and decided to try to get the whole thing. A month or so before lockdown I finally got the whole thing collected and then over a couple of days read them in one go.

You know what, it’s good.

Mike Allred is an artist with a very clean style that looks animated. It’s simplistic in some regards, even cartoonish. It is however very consistent and despite its simplicity is as detailed as anyone else on the scene at the moment. The writer Dan Slott is someone I have a 50:50 opinion of. I have been mixed with his recent Fantastic Four issues and I liked maybe half of his very lengthy work on Spider-Man, but I can see one thing. He is a passionate writer, who clearly loves what characters he writes about.

His Silver Surfer run seems to be the answer to the question, isn’t the Silver Surfer a bit like Doctor Who? Think about it, human looking alien, keeps getting involved with Earth, teams up with human beings, powerful and yet not violent by nature, has an implausible method of transport. Sound familiar? It’s this aspect that Slott leans into, pairing the Surfer with a woman called Dawn. Dawn gets pulled into an alien’s plan to coerce the Surfer into helping them and they start having adventures together.

There’s weird concepts, familiar characters and brand new ones. Dawn becomes the co-star of the book, rather than a supporting character and both of them grow and change because of their association. One thing I do like is that it’s optimistic. It’s hopeful and full of wonder and a nice counterpoint to both the grimgrittydark feeling of most comics and the grimgrittydark feeling of actual reality and part of that is the art, which is mostly the pencils of Mike Allred. The creator of Madman and the artist of the X-Statix version of X-Force, his art is bright, colourful and fun.

Do you remember fun? It’s all so dark sometimes, but from time to time you need some cartoony, some funny, some silly and all of that is here. It’s a fairly contained run of around 30 or so issues, broken up by 2015’s Secret Wars event, but honestly none of that matters. It’s a good comic that isn’t tied quite so heavily to the rest of the Marvel Universe and is very accessible. The art is amazing, consistently throughout and it does tell a complete story. It has heart and consequences and I really enjoyed it.

It’s probably available in trade, it’s easy to find back issue wise and it’s available on Comixology and is well worth checking out.

Anywhere and Everywhere – Hang On!

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Spin-Off Special: Star Trek – The Next Generation: In which we learn that we have World War III and drugged soldiers to look forward to

Better late than never, it’s a Pilot Era post

Pilot Era

First aired: 26th September 1987

Cast :

Patrick Stewart – Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Jonathan Frakes – Commander Will Riker

Brent Spiner – Lieutenant Commander Data

Michael Dorn – Lieutenant Worf

Denise Crosbie – Lieutenant Tasha Yar

Levar Burton – Lieutenant Geordi LaForge

Gates McFadden – Doctor Beverley Crusher

Marina Sirtis – Counsellor Deanna Troi

Michael Bell – GropplerZorn

Will Wheaton – Wesley Crusher

John deLancie – Q

Spin Off Specifics:

Where did is spin-off from? Star Trek

When did it spin-off from? This season started 19 years after the original series ended.

What is different? It’s premise remains the same, the adventures of the Enterprise, but it’s 100 years later and as such a new crew, new technologies and new uniforms.

Was it necessary? Not as such, but recent movies had really envigorated peoples love of the franchise, inspiring this return to Trek on TV.

How did it compare? Very…

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Posted in TV Stuff

Stuff I have enjoyed: Picard

I go to work, it’s fairly negative right now. I put on the TV, it’s fairly negative right now. I go out, oh wait no I don’t.

The point is, there’s a lot of reasons to not be cheerful, so I want to do some about positive stuff.

I was a kid in the 80’s. That was a bit of a magical time, new technology appearing all the time, some of the best kids TV in years, some of the best toys that went with it and a lot of my childhood was happy. One positive was that there was a guy who drove round the streets where I lived renting video tapes. I watched a lot of films during that era, but one thing I also did was watch my first few episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Now, with the clarity of hindsight, I can see the flaws of that show, it’s re-tread scripts and wonky special effects of the early seasons, but to a 12 year old boy, this was magical. So despite the ground-breaking nature of the original series, or that Deep Space Nine is hands down a better show, TNG has a special place in my heart. When it ended, I was sad, but then we got the 4 films of lets say varying quality, but by the end of Star Trek: Nemesis I was glad to say goodbye. But I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t curious about what happened to the crew of the USS Enterprise E and it’s Captain, Jean-Luc Picard.

Clearly, I was not alone.

Amazon released the series earlier this year with a 11 episode run set in the timeline of the Next Generation, but two decades after Nemesis and years after the fall of Romulus depicted in the J.J. Abrams helmed Stark Trek XI. I was apprehensive, there’s been a lot of revival/reunion shows recently. This is often a sign of a lack of new ideas and a slavish devotion to our beloved shows of the past. I was less than keen on the overall idea.

I watched it of course, because I am undeniably a Trekkie.

The show first aired 24 January 2020 and the cast was:-

Patrick Stewart – Jean-Luc Picard

Allison Pill – Dr. Agnes Jurati

Isa Briones – Dahj/Soji

Michelle Hurd – Raffi Muskier

Santiago Cabera – Capt. Cristobal Rios

Harry Treadaway – Narek

Evan Evagora – Elnor

Jeri Ryan – 7 of 9

….and more besides.

This show is the story of Jean-Luc living in isolation on his family’s vineyard. He’s retreated there after storming out of Starfleet years earlier. He’s embittered and angry but is drawn back into things when a woman is on the run and somehow knows he can help. After many years, there’s a mission. He gets a crew, hires a ship and heads out into space. It doesn’t matter that he has a brain anomaly that will most likely kill him soon, someone needs to be saved.

The story was tightly plotted, the dialogue was fairly witty and the tone matched the time it was show, which was pretty bleak, but it’s the performances that make this work and Patrick Stewart is still as strong a presence as he ever was when he first put on the uniform. It played with themes of regret, of seeing something you believed in fail and how anger costs you. One thing it didn’t do is play to the myth of the old hero, who is as strong as he was 30 years ago. This Picard is an old man, struggling to keep up with the younger cast and battling health issues. Then we have the whole anti-artificial intelligence plot and the mystery of Data’s legacy and there’s a really exciting and interesting story going on here. The effects were good, fantastic actions scenes and even a few easter-eggs for the long time fans. I watched it weekly, downloading each episode as it dropped.

If you have ever enjoyed Star Trek it’s worth checking out, but if you haven’t it’s still a very well made TV show with an excellent cast and was a reminder that this franchise can have more than one type of show and work. If they left it at this one, I’d be perfectly content, but am also glad that they haven’t and look forward to whatever they do next and that isn’t a small thing in a TV landscape that I am less and less invested in. It was also sort of adorable that his dog was called ‘Number One.’

Take care of yourself everyone.