Top 10 MCU Characters

Now that the Avengers saga has ended, my attention into the MCU has ended too.  After 22 films, this franchise did something no other film series could have dreamed of, and all others who have tried have failed.  DC has been the absolute worst.  It looks like they’re walking away from that now.  Good on them.  I think the rest of Hollywood has walked off from it too, as they all have tried and failed.  Marvel did the impossible, and will never be able to do it again.  So now that it’s done, let’s talk about my favorite characters in the running saga.  Lots to talk about here.

10. Nebula
I actually didn’t think much of the first Guardians movie when it came out, aside from one of my favorite characters, who you will see much higher up on this list.  But Nebula started growing on me with the second movie.  She went from a generic villainess to someone with a complicated backstory who didn’t know what she wanted.  By the time Infinity War rolled out, she’s disillusioned with Thanos and is trying to get revenge, only to find that in the end, it only got her more alone, as her sister had died.  Once we see her in Endgame, she’s come full circle, trying to be a good person, and make up for misdeeds.  What’s more, she’s bonding with people outside of the circle we knew of.  It helps that she’s kinda hot, in that blue chick sorta way.

9. Black Panther (Only in Civil War)
I didn’t like the Black Panther film.  At all.  It was preachy, and stupid.  This character started out with so much promise, it’s a shame that it all went down the tubes.  However, when you first meet him in Civil War, he was a fun character.  Out for blood after the murder of his father, you like this guy from the first meeting.  He is distrusting of outsiders, and in a situation that is ugly.  With the death of his father, he goes from a man seeking vengeance to seeing what that mission leads to, ultimately choosing to show mercy and look to taking up the mantle of hero.  Helps that he was pretty badass in the film too.

8. Drax
This dude is just too much fun.  Like I said earlier, I didn’t like the first Guardians movie all that much.  By the second, all the characters in there really came into their own.  And this guy is just too much.  It’s so ironic that Dwayne Johnson gets so much recognition as an actor when every movie he is in is shit.  Meanwhile, here’s a guy who goes from wrestler to actor and does it flawlessly.  This character is so adorable.  His deadpan way of talking about things that are absurd is just the best.  When they find the body of Thor in Infinity War and he is talking about how handsome he is just tickles me pink.  Dave Bautista is the only man I can see making a role like this work.  It’s part of why I want to see Guadians 3, if only to see how that saga ends.

7. War Machine
I’m so glad they changed the actor on this to Don Cheadle.  This guy had so much great comedic timing.  Plus, the chemistry between him and Robert Downy Jr. was so much better than the first guy.  Col. Rhodes, Stark’s best friend, makes for a great superhero.  More of a sidekick to Iron Man, but that’s not a bad thing.  He’s a soldier, after all.  He likes to know where he fits into things.  I’m one of those people who actually liked Iron Man 2, and his debut in that was pretty fantastic.  I do admit that Civil War would have been more powerful if he had died in it, but you know what, seeing how his arc also comes full circle in Endgame was worth it.  Cool suit of armor, badass, and played by a fun actor.  What’s not to love?

6. Doctor Strange
I mean, it’s Benedict Cumberbatch.  You kinda knew that he was going to end up on this list.  God this dude just exudes cool.  Like, so much.  Having his ego up against Stark’s made for some of the best content in Infinity War.  And I did like the movie where he gets his namesake.  It was a formula that was done to death, but it was all in the execution.  The crazy fractal world of magic was rad.  Seeing his personal journey from an arrogant surgeon to the Sorcerer Supreme was believable.  I hear that the next film with him is going to be a straight-up horror movie, with a lot of Lovecraftian themes.  We’ll see if that is any good.  I’ll admit that a superhero horror movie has a lot of potential.  Especially with this character.

5. Thanos
One of the things that Marvel was (rightly) criticized for is having lame villains.  So when the previews were coming out for Infinity War, the big question was – what is Thanos going to be like?  What is this villain that they have been building up for so long going to be like?  What we got blew everyone away.  This dude was unbelievable!  Josh Brolin brought him to life in a way that no one else could.  His beliefs about the universe, and the forces that drove him were just spectacular.  A drive and dedication for a cause that has some real-world questions.  As morally awful as it is, overpopulation is a problem.  What should be done?  That’s hard to say.  Plus, he dies like an absolute boss.  When Stark gets the stones and does the snap, destroying everything, he dies with a lot of dignity.  Just sitting down and accepting it.  Such a boss.  Glad that the film series goes out on one of the definitive high points.

4. Nick Fury
It’s Samuel L. Jackson.  You had to know that he was going to be on this list.  Now, aside from the stupid shit in Captain Marvel that ruined some pretty epic lines in Winter Soldier, this dude has been excellent.  He’s a soldier, and a man of secrets.  He wants to do the right thing by the world, but often has a bad habit of being his own worst enemy.  Still, we see him change over the course of the narrative.  If it wasn’t for the dumb shit in the equally dumb movie Captain Marvel, his badassery in the franchise would be uncontested.

3. Rocket
This little bastard is the one thing about the original Guadians movie that stood out.  I love this character so much.  A lot of it is behind the guy doing the voice.  Rocket is just the best.  He’s a violent bastard who loves killing.  He’s a complete antihero, stuck doing heroic things with his friends, but doing little things to undercut it wherever he can.  His history is more than a little soft spot, and that’s one of those things that hasn’t really been explore, but still.  The scene in Infinity War, where he watches Groot die, again, was just heart-breaking.  Then we see in Endgame where he covers Groot when the ship is firing on them, not wanting to let his young charge get hurt again.  That familial relationship is just the best.  Sassy, badass, loves guns, and has a heart of gold under a streak of bad bits.  There’s nothing I don’t like about this character.

2. Spider-Man
I cannot tell you how much I love that they FINALLY got this character right.  For those of you who didn’t know, I HATED the Tobey Macguire version.  With the heat of a thousand suns.  The Andrew Garfield version had potential, but then wasted it.  Tom Holland, on the other hand, is just perfect.  When we first meet him in Civil War, he’s this adorable awkward teenager, just trying to do the right thing.  It begins the absolutely touching father-son relationship between him and Stark.  Homecoming was a good continuation of that.  It has the two cementing this.  However, the death in Infinity War was so heart-breaking.  The look in his and Stark’s eyes as he is vanishing away, and then in Endgame where he has to say goodbye to this man who is a mentor to him.  Great stuff.  This character is loads of fun, and only gets better.  Haven’t seen Far From Home, hear good things.  Will Netflix it, someday.

And my favorite MCU character is…

1. Iron Man
I mean, who else?  Robert Downy Jr. brought this character to life a way that ONLY he could.  No other actor could have made this character work in the way he did.  His perfect mix of sarcastic ego and genuine drive to do the right thing makes for a fantastic juxtaposition.  From the first time we meet him, you see his personal goal of finding redemption for his weapons being used against people he cares for.  This goal is what carries him all the way to the final choice he makes, to end Thanos and friends with a single snap of his fingers, with the Infinity Stones.  How his character went out in Endgame was inspiring.  I will say that the ending bit with him and the speech being delivered through a hologram was cheesy.  It would have had more weight if it was just a message he recorded and it showed the funeral and maybe having people move forward around him.  He’s gone from the franchise, and that’s the biggest reason I’m checking out.  Nobody else can take the reigns of this character like Downy Jr.  Nobody.

Until next time, a quote,

“No, it’s you who doesn’t understand!  Thanos has been on my mind for the last six years, since he sent an army to New York, and now he’s back!  And I don’t know what to do.” – Tony Stark, Avengers: Infinity War

Peace out,

Maverick

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Disney is Pure Evil (Spider-Man Edition)

There’s this perception of Disney as this big family-friendly company.  They care about the children.  They care about being progressive and values and all that other shit.  It’s the ultimate lie that they spend inordinate amounts of money to maintain.  However, for those who have any amount of perspective and aren’t complete saps, they can see the truth – that all that family-friendly, progressive values shtick is just bullshit.  That this company is as ruthless and evil as any other.  All they care about is the money people pay them.  The fact that people can’t see thru this and even defend them is simply beyond me.

Of course, it helps that they have a huge media empire who does nothing but kiss their ass.  And that the media in general is nothing but a whore who will turn whatever tricks will get them clicks.  There’s no bottom there.  It’s what destroyed Gawker, after all.  So we see articles doing nothing but trumpeting how Disney is so great after they use progressive values to get cheap marketing points.  Did you hear that Ariel is gonna be played by a black chick in the new live-action (mostly CG) The Little Mermaid movie?!  Well that’s so progressive of them.  A black mermaid!  Never mind that it’s gonna be a cheap cash-grab, like all the rest of their cheap cash-grab movies that have ALL sucked!  Without a single exception!

But of course, Disney doesn’t care.  They make money like gangbusters on this shit.  It pours in..  All from idiots who just want to feel that nostalgia again.  Because that’s the culture we live in.  Moron who want to idolize movies from their youth.  You know, instead of just watching those movies that had heart and talent and were good and not watching the new ones that are “progressive” and boring and phoned-in piles of shit.  Because it’s a cartoon, after all.  Now we get to see the version for grown-ups.  You know, with terrible modern Disney jokes, and performances by ethnically-fitting actors/actresses who couldn’t act their way out of a paper bag.  Sure, they shit on the legacy of other people like Robin Williams by having Will Smith phone in every song he does.  He sounds so fucking medicated in every single he sings in that shit-tastic Aladdin remake.

Meanwhile, we have Tom Holland who is the actor portraying the current Spider-Man is open to being a gay Spider-Man, saying that the MCU needs more gay characters.  News flash, Tommy-boy, ain’t gonna happen.  Know why?  Because Disney doesn’t wanna lose that precious China cheddar.  And guess what, China has a rule – no ghosts and no gays.  So unless the gay character can have their gayness edited out of a movie, Disney will never, EVER touch it.  I refuse to believe that this guy is so stupid that he isn’t aware of this.  But he wins progressive points with the media who does nothing but kiss the ass of that line of thinking.  That’s why he said that.  Most actors/actresses are aware that Hollywood is nothing but evil corporate monoliths.  So yeah.

I talked before about the fact that Disney, as a corporation, is petty and absurd in the extreme.  If you have a little cake-decorating business in Guyana where you print sugar images on cakes, and you print Disney characters. even if no one outside the people in your town know who you are, Disney’s lawyers will find you and sue your ass into oblivion.  That’s the company who talks about how “family” they are.  They will fuck up ANYONE who uses their intellectual properties without their signature notarized on their ass.  But it seems that this actually gets worse.

See, there’s a dad whose son died.  The kid was a huge Spider-Man fan.  Naturally, because this dad wanted his son to be remembered, he wanted to put his favorite superhero on his son’s grave.  What a sweet thing to do in a horribly tragic situation.  Or it would be, if Disney didn’t swoop in like the evil Nosferatu mother-fuckers that they are and say “nope!  Can’t do that, or we will sue your ass!”  That’s right, Disney’s lawyers came down from on high and told this guy he can’t do that.  Can’t put his son’s favorite superhero on his fucking grave.  Because it violates their intellectual property.  Wait, I’m sorry.  I meant to say that they “want to preserve the magic of the character.”  Yeah, that’s something a fucking lawyer wrote.

I’m convinced that after you obtain a certain amount of money, your morals just stop existing.  It has to be that way.  Otherwise, how can you tell a grieving father that if he puts his son’s favorite superhero on his fucking grave, you’re gonna sue him for copyright infringement.  As you might imagine, the media who is busy kissing Disney’s ass ain’t said shit about this.  Of course not.  They’re too busy yelling at idiots who are mad about Ariel being a black chick or telling Tom Holland how “woke” he is.  Because if the media was capable of talking about anything like the fact that Disney is the most petty, pathetic, malicious company in existence and really took a hard look at what scum-fucks run that monkey farm, what a wonderful world it would be.  The media doing its job.  There’s a funny thought, eh?

Fuck Disney.  Fuck them so hard.  Avengers: Endgame is where I’m tuning out of the MCU.  I do mean to see it, one of these days.  Now that that is done, and they are laying the franchise and the best people in it to rest, it’s a good time to just sit back and watch as Disney does to Marvel what they’ve done to Pixar and Star Wars – milk it until the cow runs dry and the creative energy long since departs.

Who are the defenders of this?  Who?  I wonder if the media who’s busy kissing Disney’s ass is gonna try and spin this.  Probably not.  There’s no possible way you could make Disney look good in this disgusting, amoral nightmare that they have become.  Makes me wonder what Stan Lee would think.  A company who is spitting in the face of a grieving father.  Lee wanted everyone to love his superheroes.  To be able to express that in their own way.  Sure, he was a consummate company man, but I’d like to think that even this is a bridge too far.

This company is fucking dead to me.  They buy company after company, owning more and more media and turning more and more of it into family-friendly shit.  I remember when Miyazaki put out his magnum opus, Princess Mononoke.  Disney owned the distribution rights to Studio Ghibli’s work, but this film wasn’t like the others he made.  This one was violent in the extreme.  So Disney asked if they could make some cuts to the movie, to get rid of the more violent stuff.  Miyazaki sent the head of Disney a katana with a note – no cuts.  I wonder if ANYONE who is associated with that company would have those kind of balls now.  A man can hope.

Until next time, a quote,

“Disney, fuck you with a capital F!” – ItsAGundam

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Two great movies in one day.  I have the two DVDs at once plan with Netflix right now, so yeah.  That all worked out really nicely.  And man, what a movie this was.  Worth the wait, honestly.  I remember when all the reviews were coming out about this film, and everybody screaming its praises to the moon.  Having finally gotten a chance to see it, I can see why.  I have one major issue with the movie, but aside from that, it’s pretty great stuff.  Let’s talk about it.

The story goes that there is one Spider-Man.  Peter Parker.  However, when Miles Morales happens to gain him some spider powers, and then subsequently end up in a bad situation where he ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time, he figures out there are more Spider-Men.  A lot more.  In universes entangled with our own.  From there, he’s on a mission, both to come to terms with his powers, and to save the city and more importantly his family from annihilation.  As origin stories go, this one is definitely unique.

What I want to talk about first is the animation.  This film goes out of its way to be like a comic book, and it’s awesome!  It’s genuinely weird to me that this came from Sony Animation.  The same studio behind all kinds of cinematic abortions in the last few years.  This film looked and felt like a comic book.  The use of color in this film was absolutely out of control.  What’s more, because there wasn’t the limitation of a camera and a set, the film had some incredible shots that makes me realize that while I did love Spider-Man: Homecoming, the film really didn’t capture this character in a way where being this character feels vertical the way Sam Raimi’s and this film did.  I missed it.

Next up are the characters.  All the versions of Spider-Man in this movie had so much charm.  I love that they got Nicholas Cage to do the voice of Spider-Man Noir.  However, the thing that held this film together is the relationship between Miles and alternate universe Peter Parker.  The chemistry between these characters as a growing bond of mentor to student is believable and you feel for them by the end as they are saying their goodbyes.  But those weren’t the only good characters.  Miles’ dad and uncle both have so much presence.  You can feel the relationship between them and our main character.  With the dad it’s the fact that his son is growing up, and he wants to stay connected with him.  Then there is the uncle, who is something of a mentor to Miles and in the one scene we see of them bonding while engaging in some criminal activity, you buy it.

I will say that this movie is also one of those films where diversity works.  Instead of the unnecessary preaching of Spider-Man: Homecoming that comes from the character they got as the new Mary Jane, we have a character who has his own ethnic identity, but it’s also tied in with the New Yorker identity, and it feels genuine.  See, they did something in this movie that a lot of REALLY bad modern Disney diversity beating-you-over-the-head films don’t do – they made a character first.  Miles is a character, with his thoughts and struggles and personal life, with his identity being second.  That’s believable.  And it makes me like the character.  If only the rest of Hollywood would take a fucking hint.

The action in this movie is incredible.  I will say that the villains weren’t especially interesting to look at, but the action itself had this smooth, seamless quality.  I’m starting to realize that in animation, you can make fight sequences for this kind of movie work so much better.  In the MCU films, everything is so much CG that you start to think that you might as well just be watching something like this.  Since they’ve teased a sequel, here’s hoping that we get more interesting villains and can see more of these interesting fights.

Oh, and something else I want to mention is that while so many Disney films lately have a REALLY bad habit of having bad jokes intertwined with all their movies to diffuse any and all tension, this film doesn’t do that.  There is a LOT of self-referential humor, but it’s all done with some excellent timing.  Not to mention them poking fun at the concept of characters from various universes.  I realized watching this movie that Spider-Pig is by far the most dangerous of all these characters.  Since he comes from a universe with cartoon physics logic, still able to use that in a dimension where things that do that hurt a lot worse, there is really no limit to how much destruction he could cause.

So, what’s my beef with the film?  It’s simple – the ending.  I get that I’m not a kid, and these movies are primarily made for children, but the cynic in me found how utterly sappy the ending to this movie was kind of gag-inducing.  I don’t know, maybe I’m getting too old for this stuff.  I’m not saying everything has to be super dark.  Not at all.  But for the love of Groj, can you PLEASE stop ending movies with big hug sequences?  Just putting that out there?

Overall, this is a really good film.  It captures the character so well, and was a fun ride from start to finish.  That finish was a little weak, but nobody’s perfect.  Not even a film.

Final Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Villains I’d Like to See in a ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’ Sequel

Incomniac’s newest game is a marvel (no pun intended).  The fact that they were able to create a Spider-Man game this good amazes me.  This game really is the best in its class.  While it isn’t perfect, it still is able to have an engaging narrative, fun characters, and a world that is fun to explore.  There were some parts of that which could be improved.  Like how you take pictures of stuff, but there is no in-game codex of what stuff is.  You have one for characters you meet, but that’s it.  I would have liked to see one for the places you see and how they connect to Spider-Man’s universe.  Another thing the game did well was having a big part of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery.  Even ones that aren’t well-known, like Screwball.  So I got to thinking – who would I like to see in a sequel?  Insomniac has said the idea for a sequel is open, but they aren’t committing to it yet.  That’s fair.  Better to not have a sequel than a half-assed one.  But assuming they do, these are the villains I want to see.  By the way, Venom and Carnage aren’t going to be on this list.  Too many games have done them, and I’d honestly like to see more of the rest of the Spider’s gallery get their due.  Let’s get started.

10. Jack O’ Lantern
This dude is definitely not a central tier villain.  He’s a gun for hire in every sense of the word.  But the original game showed that you can have those, along with a bigger bad and it works.  That was the entire third act with the Sinister Six, after all.  A former CIA agent who became a merc, this guy is all about some pretty clever weaponry.  The suit for this villain has it all, and the helmet is rigged to be imposing, but still be something approaching practical.  It’s kind of a bummer how little fanfare this dude has had, especially on his ridiculous circular hoverboard.  Not a super complicated villain, but one I’d like to see get his time in the sun.

9. Mysterio
A former stage magician turned small-time crook, a lot of the versions of this character that have been done in gaming have not done him justice in the way I think they should.  Also not cool enough to be a big bad, this guy would be a fun side-quest character.  But the real potential I see is in the boss fight.  Too many games have made battling this dude very straight-forward, when that wasn’t the kind of villain he was.  Mysterio was about performance and using trickery to get the best of the Spider.  So their fight should reflect that.  Have Spider-Man working to unravel his projections or traps or what-have-you, while having to work around the main villain himself.  A fight about subterfuge sounds like a lot of fun.

8. Kraven the Hunter
I’ve talked about this dude before.  The ultimate hunter who decided that he got tired of hunting game, and wanted to try something a little different on for size – the Spider-Man.  This would definitely be a boss that is more about the story that leads up to him than the man himself, because Kraven’s tale is a tragic one.  The original game showed that it can weave a tragic narrative, so I’d like to get to know him.  As for the fight, it would be cool if this was a battle where he is hunting you, and you are constantly having to stay on your toes.  It’s all about knowing the angles and getting around them.  One false move, and you could be dead.  I dig that.

7. Swarm
Anyone remember the battle with The Pain in Metal Gear Solid 3?  I do.  That fight wasn’t especially interesting, but it got me to thinking about one of the most unknown of Spider-Man’s villains – Swarm.  This dude was a former Nazi scientist who tried to enslave the queen of a mutated bee colony, and then subsequently had his consciousness absorbed into the hive after they devoured him.  Yeah, it’s comic book logic.  But the dude is literally a giant swarm of bees!  He has no shape, can become any shape, can control thousands of bees, and go anywhere.  This would be one crazy fight, and I kinda wanna see what Insomniac could do with the character.

6. Hydro-Man
So, we have a villain who is literally a giant swarm of bees.  Why not have one who is literally a human personification of water?  Some of this may sound like going over the same kind of fighting as Swarm, but not only does this guy have an interesting back-story in connection with Spider-Man, but this would be another interesting fight.  I think back to the fight with Clayface in Arkham City, and that’s kind of what I think of with this.  It would be kinda neat if the Spider had to think up tricks on the fly, or have the fight be more about trying to contain Hydro-Man than fighting the person him.  Of course, I can already see how the battle ends – with him being frozen and then contained – but maybe Insomniac could surprise me.  We don’t get many water-based villains in games, so I figure that a sequel could let this dude have his due.

5. Morbius
Given that the first game was very family-friendly, this may be a hard boss to include in a sequel, but I really want to.  This vampire has been haunting the Spider for a long time.  Part of me is trying to think of a way that he could be integrated into a family-friendly Spider-Man game.  Naturally, this would be one HELL of a boss to fight.  The vampire powers, along with the fact that he can go toe-to-toe with the Spider in terms of strength and speed, he really would be hard to take down.  Part of me hopes there would be some kind of daylight device.  But this boss would be more about the mystery.  I can already hear the bad jokes now when Spidey actually has to go after a real vampire and him having trouble accepting that.

4. Alistair Smythe
Part of me is kind of surprised that he wasn’t in the last game, since it opens with taking down Fisk.  Smythe has been one of Fisk’s right-hand men for a long time.  When he is first in the comics, he is in a wheelchair, with his weapon being the asset that Fisk has the most use for.  However, over time he gets himself some a neat biological upgrade that turns him into a monster.  That could be an entire plotline in the sequel game.  I can already see him being part of a plot of Spider-Man trying to clean up the remaining assets of Fisk, only to realize that Smythe will go to any lengths to look after his boss’ interests, even if it means turning into a freakshow.

3. Beetle
This guy is ostensibly Iron Man, with more tools dedicated for the purpose of killing the shit out of people.  I was hoping to see him in the films with Tom Holland in them because Stark has become a father-figure to him, but the angle in the games would be more about the Spider having to overcome this guy’s tools of the trade.  However, since the Avengers exist in that universe, and Spider-Man has remarked to having knowledge of them on some level, any chance there could be an Iron Man cameo?  Perchance to dream.  Still, this would be a fun fight.  I imagine the battle with Hammerhead in the most recent DLC, but with Spider being alone, having to figure it out.

2. Lizard
Now, the thing about this character is the fact that Lizard is to Spider-Man what Two-Face is to Batman – a character that is tragic, a reminder that you can’t save everyone and that sometimes you have to accept battling friends.  I see this more as a narrative driven character than someone with a cool boss fight attached.  In the comics, Parker had a deep connection with Dr. Connors, so it would be nice to see the two facing off once-more.  It’s implied that he is incarcerated at the beginning of the first game, but since The Raft was opened and everyone was let out, I wonder where he will end up next.

And the villain I want to see most in the next game is…

1. Green Goblin
I mean, it’s almost dead certain that he will be in the next game, right?  Norman Osborn is one of the secondary antagonists, and the plotline of Harry being in the weird tank is left unresolved.  He was trying to reverse-engineer the Spider’s abilities, so I figure this is all heading to him being either the central big bad of the next game, or one of the big ones.  It is gonna be interesting to see what angle another game in this franchise would take, as they just had a big showdown with the Sinister Six.  Lots of things to consider.  So long as they don’t make him an overacting idiot like the one in the Sam Raimi film (I hated those movies.  Blame the fact that Tobey Macguire is the titular character), I’m good.

What about you?  What villains would you like to see?  Let me know down below.

Until next time, a quote,

“I learned how to disarm opponents by making bad jokes.” – Silver Sable
“Yeah, you mean good jokes.  But I know that humor’s subjective.” – Spider-Man, Marvel’s Spider-Man

Peace out,

Maverick

RIP, Stan Lee

Growing up in the 90’s, I remember some of my favorite cartoons were the X-Men animated series and the Spider-Man animated series.  The animation may not always have been the best, but they told interesting stories, had compelling characters, and as a kid I thought they were the coolest thing.  I always loved Spider-Man, growing up.  As a comic character, he was a nerdy teenager who gets powers and has to deal with angsty teenage life in addition to superhero life.  That struck a chord with me because I was always an awkward kid myself who didn’t have a lot of friends.

So when I hear that today, at age 95, Stan Lee has passed away, it does actually sadden me.  This man brought some of my favorite childhood characters to life through Marvel comics.  He was a kind man who wanted a world where the best among us fight to help the least, and where prejudice is fought against not by fighting hate with hate, but fighting it with kindness and empathy.  To show we are better than those we fight against.  How lost that sentiment had become on people now.  In a world where everyone is looking to be angry at one-another and where nobody with differing opinions can even talk to the other side, lest they be labeled a traitor to their own.

When I see the stories of the X-Men, and how Professor Xavier knew that humanity is capable of evil, with the arch-nemesis of that being someone who experienced it first-hand, he sought to challenge that with goodness.  To show that people who are different don’t have to be feared just because they are different.  It was analogous to all kinds of prejudice, and as a kid who has been something of a pariah for my atheism among the extended family, it meant a lot to me.

There were all of my favorite characters.  Gambit, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Black Cat, The Punisher, Venom, The Lizard, Magneto, Nightcrawler, this list could go on all day.  All of those names were associated with Stan Lee, even if he wasn’t the one who created them.  He allowed their universes to flourish under his banner, and fostered creativity among those who wrote for him.

Stan Lee was an outgoing man, a kind-hearted person, and I will treasure all the moments where I saw him in some of my favorite Marvel movies.  His cameos were just the best, and Marvel will never be the same without them.  I’m kind of glad I’m tuning out of the MCU after Avengers 4, because this is more proof that, along with losing Kevin Feige as the spear-head, they are going to lose something after it’s done.  It’s kind of cool that in Sony’s new exclusive, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Stan Lee still got his cameo, as the kindly restaurant owner.  That was awesome.  Even the vidya wanted to make sure he got his due.  That was sweet.

Not much more to say.  The world lost one of its brightest stars and kindest people, who truly did believe that everyone could come together and be better than what our nature told us to be.  It’s not the same world that it was yesterday.  Rest in Peace, Stan.  From one true believer to another, let me say –

Excelsior!

Until next time, a quote,

“Love seeing you two together again.  You always were my favorites.” – Stan Lee, Marvel’s Spider-Man

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: The Stupid Reaction to Black Cat in ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’ DLC

Some of you may have noticed I don’t go after the SJW community all that much anymore.  There’s a reason for that.  For starters, I don’t have anything new to say.  It’s all kind of the same, at this point.  Doesn’t matter, anyway.  Nobody listens.  Anybody who disagrees with the social justice community is just ruled out as “alt-right” or some other buzzword that hasn’t been used to the point that it means nothing anymore.  But there is another side to it.  It’s because I don’t have a very high opinion of the anti-SJW community anymore.  They are just as bad as the social justice feminists that they deride.

It’s funny, but I remember when all of these groups came together during #GamerGate, and then subsequently went apart after it became clear that there was nothing to be gained from further cooperation.  I said this would happen during a live-stream I used to be a part of, back in the day.  My compatriots didn’t believe me then.  Wonder what they think now.

You all may be wondering – what does this have to do with the title of this post?  I’ll tell you.  See, a fair amount of comic book fans are all up in arms.  Why?  Because the new design for Black Cat in Sony’s exclusive Marvel’s Spider-Man doesn’t have her boobs on display!  That’s right, her cleavage isn’t hanging out of the outfit, so naturally they are all conspiracy theorizing that it is a big SJW conspiracy.  Saying that the character was written by the chick who said the tea-bag mod in GTA Online was “virtual rape.”  It is so frustrating to see this shit everywhere.

For starters, where are they getting that this character isn’t the same as she has always been?  I mean, did you play the game?  She is flirty as fuck with Parker.  Every audio-log you get on her quest in the main game has her talking in that sultry way where you know she is trying to goad Spider on.  It also hints of their past and how it was pretty complicated.

Next, have you seen her outfit?  Yeah, the outfit that is skin-tight, black, hugging every curve, that is not meant to be sultry at all.  Nope!  Not a little!  Morons.  Yeah, her boobs aren’t hanging out.  So that means…SJW?  I swear, these people can’t keep their bullshit straight.

Finally, did nobody pay attention to how this game is structured?  It’s definitely friendly for younger people.  Hell, the first outfit you have is pretty beat-for-beat similar to the one from The Animated Series.  Wanna know something interesting about that, for those who didn’t grow up in the 90’s?  In it, Black Cat didn’t have her boobs hanging out!  This game definitely breathes a vibe that it is modeled after the old animated series.  It wants to be played by kids.  Sure, the rating is T for teens, but how much foul language do you see in that game?  Not much.  It’s pretty marketable to the crowd it was intended.  You know what that means?  It means that you won’t have a character in it who has her tits hanging out!  Because that isn’t marketable to kids!  Did nobody pay attention?

In The Animated Series, Black Cat and Spider’s flirtatious relationship is all in subtext.  There’s a reason for that.  Because the series was made for kids, but there are teenagers in the audience who think that she is hot with that skin-tight black outfit.  It’s the same here!  I’m sorry that all the comic book nerds don’t get to cum in their pants over her.  I’m sure it must be so hard for you.

Grow the fuck up.

Until next time, a quote,

“Oh, poor Spider.  I know I disappointed you when I couldn’t go straight, but why mess with perfection?” – Black Cat, Marvel’s Spider-Man

Peace out,

Maverick

Spider-Man Isn’t Political Enough! (A response to Kotaku)

Anyone remember when Far Cry 5 came out and all the SJWs were bitching about how it wasn’t political enough and didn’t make a caricature of conservative America enough for them?  Well, it seems that the new Spider-Man isn’t exempt from this intellectually-vapid “journalism” either.  Because now we have Kotaku writing another insipid piece where a game that was targeted at young people to put them into the role of their favorite superhero to beat up bad guys isn’t political enough for them.  Letting kids have fun?  Fuck that!  We have to put them into the political arena and tell them how to feel about things!  Because that’s what general audiences love – blatant political messages.  That’s not to say that Spider-Man doesn’t have themes and messages.  The problem for them will become apparently soon enough.  Here’s a link to the article, now let’s talk about it.

Spider-Man has taken on his share of street thugs and supervillains, sometimes teaming up with the police to face down foes and rescue the people of New York. While Spider-Man on PS4 undoubtedly shows Spidey’s allegiance to his community, it also casts him as a big fan of police and their tactics that sometimes conflict with that civic mindset.

So yeah, their problem is that Spider-Man isn’t making enough of a statement about the cops.  Ugh.  Of course, Heather Alexandra wrote this.  What a shock.  He’s a fan of New York.  He wants to take down bad guys and protect good guys.  So yeah, he is on the side of law enforcement.  But since the first part of the game has some dirty cops trying to kill him, it isn’t like the game is ignoring that things are complicated.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s keep going.

One of the earliest things you do in Spider-Man is go around activating security towers, made by Oscorp but used by the NYPD, that make it easier for Spider-Man to track crimes as they happen. Narratively, these towers allow the police to better surveil citizens; they also give Spider-Man access to police frequencies.

Um, when does he use the towers to keep track of average citizens?  Nowhere in the game does that happen.  They are only ever used to track police frequencies.  Hell, there’s a bit on Jameson’s radio show where he makes that exact same argument, but you the player get to see it’s more of his conspiracy theorizing!  Man, Heather, it’s almost like you just heard that and assumed it’s true.  I get the feeling you would be a big fan of Jameson.  I love when a game attacks the arguments of it’s detractors directly.  Really saves me a lot of work.

Not to mention, I love how you gloss over the fact that Oscorp made the towers.  Because you have this chip on your shoulder, so fuck the ACTUAL context of the game – that Oscorp is a corporate monolith and is corrupt.  A theme that is central throughout the entire game.  The idea that corporate monopoly is bad.  Seems like you missed that.  Just putting that out there.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man’s enthusiasm for the police—from his stated love of busting drug deals to his cheesy “Spider-Cop” impersonation—had my coworker Tim Rogers calling Spidey a “narc.” While I found Spider-Man as good-hearted and heroic as ever, he was also way more accepting of state power than I expected from a hero with a history of being wrongly maligned by the press and police.

He’s trying to stop bad guys, moron!  That means that, by virtue of what he does, since he absolutely refuses to kill, he is on the side of the police.  Yeah, they malign him, but part of the thing is that he wants to be accepted by the public at large.  It really looks like you’re cherry-picking data points to back you up here, and it’s kind of annoying.  But I guess assisting the cops to any extent makes you a “narc.”  Wow.  Look, I have my issues with the police state as much as anyone.  But the idea that the police are, by virtue of existence, to not be trusted and a hero who wants to help people and save innocent lives should be against them is asinine.

In real life, the conditions at Rikers Island and the systems surrounding it are complex, but games like The Division and Spider-Man flatten that complexity in favor of giving you criminal enemies to overcome. The Division features “the Rykers” as an opposing force for much of the mid-game, and while its radio makes mention of how many prisoners are in jail for minor crimes like drug possession, your primary interaction is to shoot everyone. In Spider-Man, these prisoners function as generic thugs to fight in waves. Despite being a superhero who is on the side of the people, when faced with this element of his city, Spider-Man forgets his allegiances and just enjoys beating the shit out of them.

Um, no he doesn’t.  He fights back against people who choose to fight him!  The people busting out of Rikers aren’t the gentle lambs of the world.  They are violent.  They are choosing to attack cops.  Every single one of them that is in the riot is attacking the cops, attacking Spider-Man, or often both.  If Spider-Man went from cell to cell kicking the shit out of people, you might have some semblance of an argument.  But he doesn’t.  One of his quips is that he will be perfectly content to leave them alone if they go back into their cells and stop fighting.  More and more, it looks like you are just cherry-picking based on a narrative you like to spin.  I can’t imagine Heather Alexandra doing that.  Nope, not once.

Spider-Man’s simple presentation of crime and policing feels tone-deaf in the modern age, when more and more people are growing aware of the class and race dynamics of policing.

You wanna know what’s funny – so many people who think like this fail to understand that police brutality has a deeper problem.  Not the racism, though there’s that.  There is a lovely need in the SJW community to talk about how black cops in the inner-city can be just as violent as their white counterparts.  There is a deeper problem, one that might actually have a chance to be solved now that more and more states are moving towards legalization of marijuana.  The problem is the drug war.  It’s the thing that has destroyed so many cities.  And yeah, there are DEFINITELY racial components to it.  Like how white people and black people do drugs at a commensurate rate, but black people are penalized far more.

However, the solution to this isn’t to imprison more white people.  It’s to end the drug war.  Once that’s done, so much good can be done for the black community in this country.  More than Black Lives Matter will EVER accomplish.  What do I mean?  I mean that we can get non-violent drug offenders out of prison.  This would free up such a vast amount of prison space, allowing there to be some hope of rehabilitation.  What’s more, the legal market would CRUSH the illegal one in a matter of months.  Once the gangs are out of business, businesses would feel safe going back to the black communities.  This would mean more jobs, more income, and help income disparity.  Plus, it would help tame the racial stigmas.  Though the black community would then have to step up and help the police to crush the last vestiges of the crime that destroyed their communities.  Once that was done, what a wonderful world it would be.

This is contingent on mass decriminalization of all narcotics, but one step at a time.  Once the government sees how much money there is to be made with this stuff, it will happen.  The film Layer Cake made a great point about that.  But I don’t expect Heather Alexandra to get that.  She has hair dyed a color not found in nature.  I see such people, I just assume they have nothing of value to contribute.

Spider-Man’s portrayal of policing feels divorced from reality, to the point that it feels out of line with Spidey’s comic book heritage. Comics often speak to what’s happening in the real world. Captain America assumed the role of Nomad in 1974, the same year that Richard Nixon resigned from office in the wake of the Watergate Scandal. The X-Men have a history of allegorical representation of minoritized and persecuted groups. Spider-Man doesn’t seem interested in reacting to the real world.

I’m not aware if you know this, but comic books and video games are two different mediums.  Insomniac didn’t want to make a comic book.  They wanted to make a video game.  One that’s fun for as many people as possible.  One that would appeal to the fans of Spider-Man, with an emphasis on young people.  Kids who saw Tom Holland rocking the role, and then wanted to play a game as that character.  That’s who this was meant to appeal to.  But you want this to be some political screed.  I’m sorry (not sorry) you don’t like that.  You’re reporting on the wrong medium for that.  Video games are about being fun for the audience.  Sorry that bothers you so much.

Until next time, a quote,

“For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” – H.L. Mencken

Peace out,

Maverick