Posted in Comics n Stuff

Thanks Jack


The 28th of August was the 100th birthday of Jacob Kurtzberg, known to the geeky amongst us as  Jack ‘the King’ Kirby. It was be quite the achievement, but sadly the man passed away in 1994.

I never met the man, nor saw much of his life off the page, so I won’t pretend to miss him, or feel saddened for his loss. His family lost him, his friends lost him and his colleagues past and present lost him. I’m not going to pretend to have this great sense of loss, it would be disingenuous. But I also can’t say he didn’t have an effect on me either.

In the mid 1980’s a was given a copy of Original X-Men #1 which was a reprint title of the 1960’s X-Men. This was drawn and co-plotted by one Jack Kirby and I’ll be honest, I was entranced. The character design, the action and the just mad dynamism of those pages affect me even now. One of my early favourite artists was John Byrne, who was so very clearly influenced by Kirby as was Byrne’s contemporary Walt Simonson who did the greatest run on the Mighty Thor since, well the man who launched Thor to comic stardom, Jack Kirby. If you look at the marvel movies from the last year or so, or one of the DC movies from last year. You’d be hard pushed not to see Kirby’s influence 40-50 years after his work on these characters.

Batman vs Superman (the dream sequence was full of 4th world creations)

Captain America: Civil War  (Captain America, Iron Man, Ant Man, Black Panther and even some of the original designs for Spider-Man, all Kirby)

Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 (Ego, the Celestials, Warlock and Groot all have roots in Kirby’s work.)

Some later movies

Thor Ragnarok (Thor and Hulk)

Justice League ( Steppenwolf, the Mother Box etc)

All these million dollar ideas were all born from the pencil of Jack Kirby.

He inspired many artists who followed him and challenged many that worked alongside him. Comics wouldn’t be comics without him and to me, that would be a very sad place. He passed away and was the most part shafted along the way by suits as well as friends, but his legacy remains.

90% of the Marvel Universe, including the Inhumans, Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Adam Warlock, the Kree, the Skrull, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the X-Men, Galactus and the Silver Surfer.

The Fourth World


the Demon


The Celestials

Machine Man

Devil F***ing Dinosaur

This man was an idea factory and came up with some of the wildest and most amazing ideas in sci-fi history as well as working for years in animation, adding to the creation of Thundarr the Barbarian and the Centurions amongst others. He was the man who drew Captain America punching Hitler long before the US became part of WWII and when it did, he signed up and fought.

I’m not going to get into the who did what debate between him and Stan Lee, but lets be honest without either of them, no one would care about what Marvel became and it’s the visuals that Kirby put down that remain with us.

But to get back to the point, without the work Kirby did, we wouldn’t have the Marvel Universe, a place I spent much more of my life than would be considered healthy. Years later I would be amazed by his 4th world stuff and would grab a new appreciation for his legacy and without that, I’d have missed out on a ton of stuff that has fired up my imagination. I’ve read a lot of cool comics, watched a ton of great tv and movies and have had some great conversations out of it. Comics were my escape, my passion and still now my favourite form of entertainment so for all of that….thank you Mr Kirby may your legacy endure.


Posted in TV Stuff

Champions of S.H.I.E.L.D. part 3


Agent Phil Coulson –  Clark Gregg

Agent Melinda May  –  Ming Na Wen

Agent Leopold Fitz    – Ian De Caestecker

Agent Gemma Simmons –  Elizabeth Henstridge

Daisy Johnson   –  Chloe Bennett

Alfonso ‘Mack’ MacKenzie – Henry Simmons

Lance Hunter – Nick Blood

Barbara ‘Bobbi’ Morse – Adrianne Palicki

Recurring Cast:

Rosalind Price – Constance Zimmer

Hive/Grant Ward – Brett Dalton

Lincoln Campbell – Luke Mitchell

Gideon Malick – Powers Boothe

Dr Andrew Garner – Blair Underwood

Overview: First shown on 10 January 2016, this season pushed the series further from the connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and was eager to move on and be very much it’s own thing. Now the inhuman subplot of the 1st and 2nd seasons are very much the main part of this series as it is ongoin.

Initial Status Quo: Several months after the battle of Afterlife and the disappearance of Dr Gemma Simmons and things aren’t going too smoothly. Terrigen has gotten into the food chain, through food, fish oil capsules and the like and there artheandom people all over the world going through terrigenesis and emerging as new Inhumans, with no understanding of what has happened or how to transition back to a more normal life. The public is scared and a new agency has been formed to deal with this new outbreak. The Alien Threat Containment Unit (known mostly as ACTU) is chasing down these new inhumans, treating them as hostile aliens. S.H.I.E.L.D. are losing ground and the ones they miss are vanishing without a trace. So it’s a race to get to each one. But these two factions are not alone in this quest. Also Leopold Fitz finds a way to use the monolith to open a portal to rescue Gemma Simmons.

First Twist: We learn very early on that the ATCU aren’t killing them, but believe S.H.I.E.L.D. is, turns out another Inhuman called Lash is killing these new-Inhumans. Coulson starts dealing with and then falls in love with the ATCU’s head Rosalind Price, learning that behind the ATCU is Hydra. Whilst this is going on, Grant Ward is restarting Hydra, being pursued by Lance Hunter and May. Hunter and May get close, but only succeed in sending Ward towards the last of the Hydra leaders Gideon Malick, the same man behind the ATCU. Malick orders Ward to kill Rosalind Price sending Coulson on a revenge fueled attack.

Second Twist: In confrontation with Hydra, Fitz, Coulson and Ward end up on the world they rescued Gemma from, they find that there’s something else there. An ancient inhuman who is trying to return to Earth, wearing the dead body of Ward. This inhuman, Hive allies himself with Malick and begins their attack on S.H.I.E.L.D. costing them the services of Hunter and Morse as well as funding the anti-inhuman hate group Watchdogs.

Third Twist: Hive casts Malick aside and begins to brainwash inhumans including Daisy in his scheme to convert all humans to inhumans or subservient Alpha Primitives. The season ends on this story and with horrific consequences for Daisy.

Epilogue: We then shoot 6 months into the future and we learn that Daisy or Quake is on the run and Coulson and Mack are hunting her at thee behest of S.H.I.E.L.D’s new director.

Standout Episodes:

Purpose in the Machine: We find out where May got to and how far Fitz will go for Simmons.

4772 Hours: The story of Simmons’ time of the Kree world of Maveth told in snapshots over several months.

Maveth: Ward and Coulson battle on an alien world, while the Secret Warriors battle Hydra.

Singularity: Plotlines continue as Fitz/Simmons finally confront their feelings and become the couple so many fans ‘shipped.

In Closing: Series 3 was a departure from before in that it barely connected to the movies and tried to be it’s own thing. This was both positive and negative. The positive was that it could stand on it’s own and try new things. Sadly the negative was the like the comics it tried to make inhumans a thing. Once you take the recognisable inhumans out of the picture there’s nothing particularly interesting about them. There a bargain basement version of mutants and that’s what they are used as here. Once you’re past that, the series is as consistently entertaining and comic-booky as ever. Once again am looking forward to the next season.

Posted in Mental Health Struggles, Thinking Thoughts on a Thursday

Thinking Thoughts on a Thursday 12: Short sharp kick to the head

Hello there internet people, been a while since I’ve written anything personal.

I felt bad about this for a brief time, because whenever I have written more personal stuff, the response has been universally positive and supportive. It took me a while to real

ise that the reason I hadn’t written for a while was simply things were going better.

Work isn’t as bad as it has been.

The house is better, started decorating in fact.

Gym stuff is going better.

Weightloss is up and down, but will get back to doing Slimming World Saturday eventually.

The big thing though, is that I have taken it upon myself to wean off my anti-depressants. After speaking to my doctor, I went to one every other day, months have passed and I am now on two per week, for another two weeks, when I go to one per week, then maybe none per week. It’s all been going really positively, have dealt with my son a little better, feel closer to him and have been more open when talking with the MIGHTY Rosie and we’re communicating better than we ever have before. It’s all been really positive.

You can see where this is going can’t you?

I was due for a blip. Yesterday, it all got on top of me, the stress of work, the negative feelings, the low moods and anxiety and it all sort of fell on top of me all at once. Spent most of the afternoon experiencing a stretched out 4 hours anxiety attack. I’ll be honest, not fun. When I got home, I wasn’t in the mood for doing pretty much anything, but had to make a couple of calls, one of them to the MIGHTY Rosie, so that was a positive. I needed a win. So I decided to move the bed around and sort out the headboard. On my own, a large bed and a less than stellar frame of mind.

If you guessed it went badly, well done. I ended up putting my foot through part of the bed. This didn’t help my mood as you can imagine. So the true depth and extent of my stupidity was point out by the MIGHTY Rosie and after getting help with the bedroom furniture, we got stuff done. Two pictures hung up, two shelves and finally got my bedside shelves back up and was able to put my collectables and knick-knacks up.

Even got the DC Hardbacks lined up again, which was nice.











Overall I left for therapy in a far more positive mindspace than I could have, enabling me to sift through the feelings of the day and start today more positively.

I can’t thank my wife enough, sometimes I need a kind word, a hug, some positivity, but sometimes I need a kick up the arse. She can do all these things, I call her the MIGHTY Rosie, I do this for a reason.

We are more than our battles, every bad day is just that A bad day. Her helping me realise that, got me through last night and that has got me through today so far.

Thanks for listening,






Posted in Comics n Stuff, TV Stuff

Champions of S.H.I.E.L.D. part 2: Season 2

Main Cast:

Agent Phil Coulson –  Clark Gregg

Agent Melinda May  –  Ming Na Wen

Agent Leopold Fitz    – Ian De Caestecker

Agent Gemma Simmons –  Elizabeth Henstridge

‘Skye’   –  Chloe Bennett

Alfonso ‘Mack’ MacKenzie – Henry Simmons

Lance Hunter – Nick Blood

Barbara ‘Bobbi’ Morse – Adrianne Palicki

Recurring Cast:

Glenn Talbot – Adrian Pasdar

Calvin Zabo – Kyle MacLaughlin

Grant Ward – Brett Dalton

Antoine ‘Trip’ Triplett – B.J. Britt

Robert Gonzales – Edward James Olmos

Gordon – Jamie Harris

Raina – Ruth Negga

Overview: First shown on 24 October 2014, season 2 opened capitalised on the strong finish of season 1 and pushed the story forward with an uneven, but highly entertaining 22 episodes. Rather than a huge global organisation, now S.H.I.E.L.D. is the small scrappy underdog against all sides, the US government, Hydra and other groups. Secrets, tension and uncertain loyalties abound.

Initial Status Quo: Several months after the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a newer organisation arises, led by Director Coulson, this small scrappy group is a shadow of it’s former self and bit by bit are rebuilding to take the fight to Hydra, who despite the popular view are still very much a threat. Coulson is having moments of compulsive carvings similar to what happened to John Garrett after receiving the GHC formula in the last season. Skye has changed supervising officers to Melinda May and has become a capable specialist. Simmons is undercover at Hydra, Fitz is struggling to recover after the brain damage he suffered, whilst working with new recruit Alfonso MacKenzie/Mack. The team is also joined by Lance Hunter, a friend to other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and whilst sceptical of Coulson, trusts him enough to join. As well as Hydra, we have Dr Cal ‘Mr Hyde’ Zabo, Skye’s father who along with Grant Ward who escapes from S.H.I.E.L.D. pushes the plot forward as the secret of the alien writing, Skye’s origins and the strange artifact from the first episodes collide.

The Twist(s) First we find out that Skye is actually an inhuman and halfway through the season she goes through terrigenesis and emerges with vibrational powers. It’s then discovered that there are more inhumans out there, in hiding and terrified of the fearful human race. The second one comes when we learn that Bobbi and Mack are spies for another version of S.H.I.E.L.D. who are convinced that Coulson is the problem with the group and needs to be dealt with. Add into that several different revelations, changing allegiances and a few WTF moments, we get another fast paced finale which leads to more questions, more possibilities and more enjoyment for me.

Stand out episodes:

Love in the Time of Hydra: Bobbi and Mack play their hand and Grant Ward starts to help Agent 33 find closure over the damage done to her by Hydra.

Melinda: Where were learn how the ‘Cavalry’ became the Cavalry and why she spent 5 or 6 years in administration, set against the current Inhumans plot.

SOS: The seperate threads become one solid story and we get several cliff-hanger endings that leave you wanting a little more.

In Closing

Not suffering the finding their feet problems with the last season and having a little less to do with the Marvel Cinematics, allowed this season to breath a little. The cast are more comfortable in their roles and each are given more to do than last time. The expanded cast is a welcome breath of fresh air, with new recruits Mack, Bobbi and Hunter added some much needed flavour to the team. The antagonists are also more interesting and nuanced, from the more enlightened Ward, to his partner/girlfriend Agent 33 to the old school Nazi Daniel Whitehall. We get a look at the Inhumans and that continues Marvels attempts to make Inhumans interesting and relevant, but here it sort of works. (But seriously Marvel, stop trying to make Inhumans a thing, it’s still not working, but we all accept you tried your best.) We get more Asgardians, a Kree, a return of Deathlok and even some villains (we get Mr Hyde, Angar the Screamer and Crusher ‘The Absorbing Man’ Creel) and over all this was a much better season overall and I am glad I got it into my head to start watching these again.

Next Time: Inhumans, robot arms, alien worlds and Secret Warriors.