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Messages - Jabroniville

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General Comic Discussion / Re: Ed Benes... yay or nay?
« on: March 14, 2018, 06:41:28 AM »
Pretty characters, way too stiff with posing, way too much SameFace, and way too "blank" with the expressions.

General Comic Discussion / Re: Re-Reading Invincible
« on: March 14, 2018, 06:40:32 AM »
Bunch of stuff

See, most of these rebuttals are fine... INDIVIDUALLY. The fact that the series did this with almost every single threat is the problem.

To me that was simply clever writing.
Oliver being a super-aging kid was somewhat clever (at least Kirkman didn't get TRULY lazy with it until later), but all of the Half-Viltrumite kids being super-powerful even as small children? Going against Mark getting his powers as a teen? It was clearly Kirkman just going "ah, the hell with it".

I thought that was a nod to DragonballZ.
Kirkman INSISTS that he's never watched the show. Probably because the parallels are so clear that people would accuse him of hackery if he copped to it. Personally, I don't buy it- there's too much the two have in common for this all to be coincidence.

In my opinion you can get away with this sort of Deus ex Machina ONCE in a comic. More than that and you 'lose' the reader.
Yeah, they pulled it off twice. Thrice, if you wanna get specific and go by the ending.
The Conquest fight was one of the best in the history of comics.
Hard to deny. But still... Mark more or less solo'd the guy who was built up as an unstoppable threat- Eve only got in one shot.

Not sure what you are asking here:

1. Mark is a college drop-out, not a super-genius. He's not going to outsmart intellectual villains, he's simply going to overcome their plans by not giving up.

2. Levy; The Sequids and the Reanimen are recurring villains.
A. As recurring villains you don't need to 'blow the whole wad' in one story.
B. How many issues do you want devoted to individual threats!? A couple of issues is plenty and keeps the pacing up.
My issue was that most of Mark's threats were dealt with too simply and easily. A couple of times he got smart (like how he got off of the alternate dimension Robot trapped him in), but the rest of the time he just broke his limits again and punched the other guy to death.

The thing with the short-lived threats came to me as I was re-reading, as they'd build guys up for a YEAR, only to have the battle end in a single issue's time. It felt very weird to have that happen repeatedly.

Music, Movies, Tv and Books / Re: Anyone watching the Oscars?
« on: March 06, 2018, 07:15:05 AM »

Showcase of the Immortals / Re: UPW 13 Finals
« on: March 04, 2018, 11:56:59 PM »
Flair, I guess. Probably his year. Too dominant for too long, though Bret always had his number in their matches. It was "later era" Flair, though.

Music, Movies, Tv and Books / Re: John Mahoney, RIP
« on: March 04, 2018, 11:55:33 PM »
Another great Martin moment:

The gang are all telling their gross or most shocking stories. Roz is about to tell hers, but realizes that it's too much. Martin's all "Come on- I'm a cop. I've seen it all! Just whisper it to me, and I'll tell you if it's too far". So Roz giggles and whispers it to him. Immediately, without a sound, John Mahoney's eyes go wide as dinner plates, he shoots to his feet, speed-walks across the room with his awkward "cane-walk", and shoots her one last shocked, disgusted, horrified look before locking himself in his room. Absolutely priceless. His expression said more than words ever could have.

Music, Movies, Tv and Books / Re: RIP David Ogden Stiers
« on: March 04, 2018, 11:53:17 PM »
He was in a lot of Disney movies- Cogsworth's "Promises you don't intend to KEEP" line was an ad-lib that just SLAYED them in the recording studio, and got him the role of Governor Ratcliffe in Pocahontas.

Best Winchester moments on M*A*S*H- getting Colonel Flagg fired once and for all via trickery (getting blackmailed into helping him on a "Spy mission", but leading him towards a high-level South Korean official- Hawkeye, BJ AND Potter were all impressed). Begging to find out what death was like from a dying soldier, because his brother had died while he was young ("PLEASE!!! TELL ME how you're feeling!"). A heart-to-heart with Hawkeye, who was worried about his ailing father's health ("I have a father- YOU have a DAD"). Dude made the role of a stuffy, rich, stick-in-the-mud, fun-hating asshole and made him both likeable and the equal of Hawkeye & BJ. A really, really hard role to play.

Music, Movies, Tv and Books / Re: RIP David Ogden Stiers
« on: March 04, 2018, 04:34:47 PM »
He did an amazing job as Dr. Winchester on MASH. A really hard role to play right, and he nailed it. Stuffy, uptight and pretentious, but whip-smart, clever and a brilliant doctor. He wasn't a goon, like Frank.

Music, Movies, Tv and Books / Re: Black Panther Reviews! Now with Spoilers!
« on: February 28, 2018, 03:45:29 AM »
Holy crap, that was pretty cool. LOVED how utterly unique it was- like sticking a sci-fi world into the "real world", but keeping it grounded enough (more like one high-tech lab and some spaceships) that it didn't feel too "out there". All of the crazy costumes were EXCELLENT, as if it was some kind of celebration of a Pan-African concept (usually, that's something people COMPLAIN about, but I guess here it was BY black people, so it's cool :)). Dish-Lip Guy was my favorite :).

Shuri was AMAZING, and far better than the "ambitious younger sister" in the comics, who is frankly rather annoying. Here, she was adorable, petulant and funny, but also basically "Cute, Black M" from James Bond. I wholeheartedly approve, especially of her battle costume.

The Dora Milaje were pretty bad-ass. A Priest element that was more or less unchanged (though I dunno of the Milaje were allowed to have boyfriends in the comics, given they were "Ceremonial Wives"). GREAT "Good Guy Mooks", and the bad-ass one was pretty awesome.

I liked Killmonger- a Villain With Purpose, where you could kind of understand why he turned out that way. He was Chaotic Evil in a way that didn't make him a slavering, slobbering psychopath- he was more of a cold, calculating monster, willing to pay back all the wrongs done to him (being left in a poor part of the world, and seeing the evils men can wreak on each other), and basically burn everything down because of it. He basically was like Magneto, in that he allowed what happened to him (and, broadly, his people) to justify unspeakable actions which actually MIMIC the oppressors. The "Dark Shadow of Imperialism" was strong with him. "The Sun Will Never Set on the Wakandan Empire", indeed.

I liked how Wakanda was this Utopia, but made out to be rather selfish and "non-perfect". Hiding and hoarding their gifts was treated as a complex issue- not black or white. And the debate over what the wealthy/powerful "owe" their brothers was done in an interesting way, with no clear answers. And it certainly didn't excuse Wakanda's isolationist policy.

T'Challa himself was okay, but one of the characters I was least-interested in. His buddy who sides with Killmonger, Killmonger himself, Nakia, Okoye & Shuri were all really more well-rounded characters who I ended up liking a lot more.

A nation of black guys who worship gorillas and make gorilla noises? Yeah, good thing it was mostly black people involved in the making of this movie.

A little too much "Mirror Image Fight" and "Blur Vision" with the battles of the Panthers.

Too bad we'll never have a proper "Masters of Evil" from all the villains in these movies, though. WHY KILL OFF EVERY GUY?

And of course DC's gotta be annoyed at Marvel basically going "okay, Wonder Woman was great; now watch THIS" and making a definitive "Black Movie" to rival WW's "Woman's Movie", and getting a similarly-huge reaction for it. Especially since Justice League was a disappointment.

ICT / Re: Viltrumite Tiers in "Invincible"?
« on: February 28, 2018, 03:04:48 AM »
Oh, I think Thragg was better than Superman by a bit - I mean "top-tier" as in the Invincible-Universe setting.

I forgot the Nolan/Conquest/Anissa scraps. They were likely non-definitive.

As I've stated before, I think Rufio is misunderstanding the nature of the Mark/Anissa scrap. I believe he's theorizing and blaming himself for "not fighting harder", which Eve calls "bullshit". Now... he obviously was not fighting in a life-or-death scrap like against Conquest, but I still think it's pretty clear she's overpowering him, if only barely. Look at his face. As she pins his arms down.

Thragg is in no way shape or form superior--or even equal to-- a Superman who is cutting loose. a day to day Superman who is mentally suppressing his physical stats? Sure.
I'd say his damage output might be superior, but his toughness probably isn't. All Kirkman guys bleed real easy-like. A Superman going all-out like Mark was would finish him, too. Hell, the "fight in the Sun" thing would make it EASIER.

Not really what's under discussion, of course. I just used the term "Top Tier" in terms of the Invinci-verse. I didn't even realize ICT had some kind of specific terminology based around that term.

ICT / Re: Viltrumite Tiers in "Invincible"?
« on: February 27, 2018, 08:32:19 AM »
Yeah, probably. Mark was using his "Main Character; Series Finale Coming Soon" powers to win the day. Plus the time Robot bought him and stuff.

ICT / Re: Viltrumite Tiers in "Invincible"?
« on: February 27, 2018, 01:38:29 AM »
Since Kirkman is writing, I generally assume that everyone is just more vulnerable than they are in regular comics. Nearly everyone is a bit of a "glass cannon", to a point- their strength far outstrips their durability. So lower-end guys can still do a lot of damage to top-tiers.

ICT / Re: Viltrumite Tiers in "Invincible"?
« on: February 26, 2018, 09:46:22 PM »
Oh, I think Thragg was better than Superman by a bit - I mean "top-tier" as in the Invincible-Universe setting.

I forgot the Nolan/Conquest/Anissa scraps. They were likely non-definitive.

As I've stated before, I think Rufio is misunderstanding the nature of the Mark/Anissa scrap. I believe he's theorizing and blaming himself for "not fighting harder", which Eve calls "bullshit". Now... he obviously was not fighting in a life-or-death scrap like against Conquest, but I still think it's pretty clear she's overpowering him, if only barely. Look at his face. As she pins his arms down.

Showcase of the Immortals / Re: UPW 13 Semi-Finals
« on: February 26, 2018, 01:19:31 AM »

Rock/Bret is tough. Rock jobbed more than any other Main Event Tippy-Top Guy has ever jobbed, while Bret had more credibility... but Bret ruled over a less-dominant era. I'm thinking Bret's just too smart, and would get one over on him. Bret wins.

Flair beats Koloff. Flair always finds a way.

ICT / Viltrumite Tiers in "Invincible"?
« on: February 26, 2018, 12:13:52 AM »
Re-reading all of Invincible recently, I was struck with a few difficult bits in assessing their tiers. Sometimes it's PRETTY obvious, and at other times, little tricky bits sneak in. The most difficult ones are Anissa, Omni-Man and Conquest, for various reasons.

1) Grand Regent Thragg is obviously the top-tier. Conquest was afraid of him (REALLY afraid), and Omni-Man broke his own arms punching him, and was shredded on two separate occasions.

2) Mark, once he got powered-up by Eve, seems much more powerful. He successfully defeats Thragg, albeit a clear "uphill battle/he wins because the series is ending and he's the hero" stuff.

3) Here's where it gets tricky. Conquest is treated as if he's a frightening bad-ass. He's obviously more powerful than Mark was in either of their fights. But he basically DIES twice- once thanks to an Eve run-in, and once by a solo Mark (who suffers grievous wounds in the process). There's no real way to tell whether or not he's any stronger than Omni-Man, as they never fought.

Omni-Man is also crazy-powerful, and was a bit stronger than Mark before his final "boost", winning their arm-wrestling match.

ANISSA throws a wrench into things. She overpowers Mark and takes him against his will (HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWT), but we never see her in battle against other Viltrumites (Nolan once chokes her, but it's inconclusive). This is WAY after the Conquest fights, but Mark doesn't fight QUITE as hard (ie. he's not smashing his arms to bits punching her)... but it's an interesting showing. I don't think she's STRONGER than Conquest (who could, and I apologize for this image ahead of time, probably hold down Mark and rape him, even though he lost to him in a fight), but she's pretty clearly stronger than Mark in their short battle, overpowering him at every turn.

I'm thinking Conquest is the strongest of them, but is a shit fighter, being too arrogant and lazy (Omni-Man directly points out that "he's a spectator in his own fights"). Anissa is probably weaker, but fights harder.

4) Other "Elite" Viltrumites- These guys are pretty much never given "Feats" or "Good Showings", but they usually do well in battle, and don't die. General Kregg, for example, is tough to assess- Viltrumites are promoted via power, so he's probably really strong, but we never really see how much. Him, Anissa, Thula & Lucan combined are easily enough to defeat Thragg, badly injuring him.

Thula (knife-hair girl) manages to survive against Battle Beast, but we never see the end of that fight. Lucan (the black one) survived having his guts ripped out by Omni-Man, and shattered his spine. Thaedus is probably at this level, having helped blow up Viltrum, but was one-shotted by Thragg.

5) Assorted Background Viltrumites- The guys who get skooshed in background scenes. They're usually seen as very powerful against minions and soldiers, but tend to lose in direct battle against other high-end fighters. The two Viltrumites who died on Mantia against Omni-Man (he smashed their heads together), the one Nolan & Allen killed (the double-head-punch), the one Battle Beast killed in space, etc.

6) Oliver- He was always kind of a pussy. I think his only wins are against the Mauler Twins, who were basically jobbers.

Also... where do you put the other top-tiers? Allen got the better of Omni-Man in their one fight. Battle Beast didn't do SO well against Viltrumites, but managed to take on Thragg for hours (or days), which seems to put him above Nolan, at least. The RAGNARS are the most annoying to figure out, as their damage output beats any Viltrumite other than Thragg (causing horrible wounds to a guy who shrugs off NOLAN'S punches), but they're so fragile that Battle Beast can one-shot them effortlessly, and even Thraxan soldiers on their little platforms can blow them up. Glass Cannons, I guess.

General Comic Discussion / Re: Re-Reading Invincible
« on: February 22, 2018, 03:25:50 PM »
Here's a lengthy review thing I did of the series, upon its completion:

-By far the most memorable aspect of Invincible to casual readers is the violence and gore- Writer Robert Kirkman and artist Ryan Ottley REALLY REALLY love blood, gore, brain-splattering and violence, and it shows.
. There is TONS of it. While it was initially shocking to see so much blood in a colorful superhero book, pretty soon we'd see fists flying through heads on a casual basis, brilliantly-drawn spirals of blood fluming out of impaled torsos, crushed brains, torn-off jaws, severed limbs, ripped-out intestines, smashed-in faces and people reduced to floating piles of organs. Ryan Ottley does EXQUISITELY detailed gore, but this eventually gets so common that it overwhelms the series. The creators insist at various points that "we don't want this to become a GORE book!" but... it's a Gore Book. No two ways around it. It's an orgiastic celebration of disgusting, organ-pulping violence. Now, I'm pretty far outside the Mortal Kombat era of my childhood, so I don't get my rocks off on that anymore, but they certainly are fans of showing just how messy comic books fights could be without "No-Kill Physics" place.

The comic was one of the most addictive things I've ever read back in the day, and really each issue was a "must-read right away" book until the very end. The best compliment I can give it is that it's never PREDICTABLE- the comic has a tendency to go off on rails every now and then, and it always keeps you guessing. I mean, at one point, Mark gets stuck in an alternate reality where he gets the chance to fix everything, then things go through a time-skip. He spends a HUGE chunk of the series living on an alien world after abandoning Earth to his old ally Robot, who's now taken it over. There is a TON of Character Development (especially between Robot & Monster Girl), and a lot of changeover in the cast, as the body count gets tremendously high. Hell, they even geared up towards the finale by annihilating even the GOOD characters- beloved people like Oliver, Battle Beast and more go the way of the dodo.

Ottley is AMAZING on art, too. Several issues are JUST TALKING, and he keeps them interesting. Few artists are better with expressions. It helps that he's a bit cartoonish (especially with people sticking their lips out when emoting). Ottley's style is very, very cartoonish- characters stick their lower jaws out when speaking, everyone has peglike teeth that lean inwards, and the hands have big and meaty sausage-fingers. But it's expressive, dynamic, well-posed, and brilliantly-characterful. Very, very few artists get "expression" like Ottley. His art comes and goes in quality depending on who's working with him- Cliff Rathburn on inks makes his stuff look way better than Ottley himself can (his own inking is rather sketchy). A John Rauch on colors actually adds shadow and "weight" to Ottley's rather "flat" people, but that huge jump in quality leaves when Rauch does.

The Flaws:
However... there are flaws. A good bunch of them.

Supporting Characters Don't Get Squat:
* You like a supporting character? Well if it's not Eve or a Viltrumite, then too bad- they usually get casually murdered and are barely dwelled on. Major supporters like William and Amber go from "every issue" appearances to never being in the book again after a point. It's quite funny, because it's both a positive and a negative that Invincible feels like you're reading one-quarter of an entire Comic Book Universe, and they just aren't releasing the other 3/4.

Flying Bricks R Us:
* Like unusual and clever powers? TOO BAD- Flying Bricks are the only heroes that can compete in this world. Even the MINOR characters are Flying Bricks! Kirkman uses this power set on almost every major character with powers- there are almost NO Blasters in this book aside from Atom Eve and Rex Splode. That the main Viltrumites have this power-set wouldn't be so bad if the book didn't already have Immortal, Black Samson & Bulletproof as members of THE SAME TEAM. It gets to the point where Monster Girl gets points for NOT being able to fly, and Brit gets them for ONLY being invulnerable! You never see Magical Powers, Telepathy, Telekinesis or anything. It's VERY weirdly-limited, like he has no imagination for anything but hitting.

Forgotten Subplots & Characters as Cannon Fodder:
* Various subplots are done with VERY quickly (Debbie's alcoholism; Debbie & Nolan's reunion; the Guardians splitting from Cecil before casually rejoining after the Invincible War; the fallout from Anissa raping Mark). And any superhero on Earth who ISN'T a Viltrumite just isn't worth worrying about- Bulletproof and Black Samson are given only the most temporary bouts of credibility before they're beaten up as afterthoughts, usually going down off-panel (to Battle Beast, to the Mauler Twins, to Evil Invincibles, etc.)- it's like being a non-Saiyan in Dragon Ball Z- you're just living Cannon Fodder.

The shock value with the violence and subject matter is so overwhelming that the book is more or less impossible to really take seriously after a point- not only is the gore omnipresent, but various things like Bulletproof and his wife manslaughtering his father, the deaths of major & minor characters, genocide and rape all being shot out one after the other... it wears on you to the point where you don't care any longer.

Infodumps & Clumsy Exposition:
* Characters speak a bit too much in "Exposition-Ese" at times. There are MANY issues where it's literally just one character going on and on about something, explaining the new status quo. The first issue with Cecil, after Omni-Man abandons Earth, is literally just "okay, this is my history with your father; this was his job; this is what your life is like now; this is what we're going to do". Really, the comic is just FULL of infodumps- Nolan explaining the "World Betterment Committee" to his young son. Nolan revealing the TRUTH behind the Viltrumites to Mark. Cecil explaining his purpose to Mark, and his guilt at the revelation that Nolan is evil. Cecil explaining that someone leaked Nolan & Mark's conversation to the public. Nolan explaining his personality to Mark on his new home planet. It's a testament to Ryan Ottley's skill that this remains interesting, as many issues devolve into talking heads, but rather than be Bendis-style (ie. xeroxing pages), the heads are always changing, making different expressions, reacting in unique ways... Ottley does the best with it.

Shit's Too Easy:
* This one's arguably the biggest flaw of the series- nobody is that bright, and almost every possible problem that CAN'T be solved with punching is done away with very quickly. The Viltrumites appear to be an unstoppable Army of Gods? SURPRISE! There's actually less than fifty of them! And a handful can be one-shotted by Space Racer, Allen and Ragnar monsters!
* Mark is all alone after his father leaves? SURPRISE! Turns out a government organization can lead him everywhere he needs to be, and also deal with his family's financial future in a heartbeat!
* Various infants are born, and have to be written into the plots, while it's established that Mark only gained super-strength in his late teens? SURPRISE! His half-brother is from a super-aging race so he gains powers in childhood, and all future Half-Viltrumites inexplicably gain powers in their adolescent years! Mark's daughter even ages up as part of a timeskip! Wasn't THAT easy?
* Allen the Alien is popular, but was made too weak to harm the villains? SURPRISE! Getting nearly-killed actually makes him stronger, and then he stays at that same power level forever!
* Eve is dead, breaking the hearts of fans? SURPRISE! She has super-resurrection powers! She even does this to herself and MARK later- she's basically like how Dragon Ball Z utterly lacks any drama because the characters can just be brought back no matter what.
* Mark's facing a variety of super-genius opponents like Angstrom Levy, Robot, and Cecil, along with enemies MUCH stronger than him, like Thragg & Conquest? SURPRISE! Every one of these people can be easily defeated with MOAR PUNCHING.
* All of these potentially genocidal villains? SURPRISE! Most of them are easily-forgiven once people see their remorse, even if someone like Omni-Man has killed thousands of people.

It's actually a weird contrast. Mark can suffer all manner of personal calamity, and supporting characters can die in droves, but nearly every ACTUAL problem is done away with in moments, usually by either Deux Ex Machina or MOAR PUNCHING. Mark almost never outsmarts his foes- he just gets angry and punches them to death. Most of the villains who get built up over a dozen or so issues (Levy, The Sequids, The Reanimen) actually get defeated in an issue or two.

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