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Topics - Jabroniville

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1
General Comic Discussion / Most Disastrous Comic Book Runs
« on: May 13, 2018, 08:16:06 AM »
I'm curious as to your thoughts about the most disastrous runs on certain books. Basically, the ones that are not only bad, but actively jeopardize or damage the franchises held within?

My choices (at least what's on my mind now):

The Clone Saga writers & editors: Well duh. I think there's maybe 2 or 3 characters in all of comics that could have survived this. Peter smacking his pregnant wife in the face (with fewer excuses than the mentally-ill Pym did) is only like the seventh-dumbest thing to happen in it.

Legion of Super-Heroes (Giffen & Bierbaums): Giffen, left to his lonesome, created the "Five Years Later" era, drew rubberfaced hideous art, brought in his goofy sense of humor to the forefront, and ended up doing so much damage to the franchise that it was fucking CANCELLED AND REBOOTED only a couple of years after he left. He even admitted he blew up the Earth just because he knew the editors were switching and wouldn't have time to pay attention. It's possible that no single creator has damaged something so much- the "Reboot" era came off of this, and we wouldn't see the "proper", original Legionnaires again until the mid-2000s, when Geoff Johns... ignored everything from Giffen's solo run.

The Teen Titans (Dan Jurgens): Terrible '90s characters, and a Teen Atom thing that was stupid. Pretty much killed the concept of the Titans dead until Devin Grayson rebooted it with the '80s cast.

The Teen Titans (Jay Faerber): Okay, so he blames his editor, who forced the "New Kids" on him. But the "Jesse Quick sleeps with her mom's fiancee" and "DEO Kids" story arcs were completely awful, and pretty much put the bullet in this generation of Teen Titans forever. Every arc after this is more inspired by the "Young Justice" kids being added in.

2
Music, Movies, Tv and Books / RIP Steven Bochco
« on: April 02, 2018, 10:23:10 PM »
http://kenlevine.blogspot.ca/2018/04/rip-steven-bochco.html?m=1

One of the Titans of TV. Pretty much every big drama of the last 30 years owes him a huge debt.

3
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.

4
General Comic Discussion / Re-Reading Invincible
« on: January 04, 2018, 04:26:14 AM »
Since the series is finally ending in a month or two, I've been going over the old trades, starting from the beginning. It's bizarre how much different the comic used to be.

-The Early Trades are interesting- for the first eight issues, the book functions as more or less a Generic Teen Hero Book. And truthfully it was well-written enough, with an interesting enough world created, that they could have just kept going like that. Some early knock-off characters like The Elephant and The Lizard League spring up. Already the Mauler Twins, Titan and others are set up as total jobbers. A Justice League pastiche team is introduced, given two pages each, and then mercilessly killed- fans would be bugging the creative team for bios on these guys for AGES.

Cory Walker, the original artist, has a quirky style that fit fairly well- good costume design, and he draws Mark's parents pretty well- his mom in particular really pulls off that "attractive, but aged" thing, with a curvy figure, but a lot of wrinkles and some funny expressions. Walker does a few too many "Dots for eyes" looks, which is odd because sometimes the characters DO have regular eyes.

Walker soon proves incapable of handling a monthly grind, and is replaced as of Invincible #8 by Ryan Ottley, who starts out a bit Walker-ish, but very quickly molds it into his own style, and you can start to recognize him, though his style was more clumsy back in the day, with some goofy expressions here and there.

The Early Years provide some interesting things- Invincible & Atom Eve have a friendly partnership going, and of course EVERYONE started shipping them immediately. Mark's best friend William is a big part of the book- essentially appearing in almost all of the "Mark" scenes. Mark's girlfriend Amber pops up, and the fans turned on that character SO fast ("Die For Our Relationship" ain't just a thing for anime-watching nerdy girls, folks!).

Invincible, Trade 5: "I decided to build up Mark's Rogues Gallery!" (jobs out Magmaniac, Magnattack, Blastfurnace & Kursk in seconds). He has two foes in five trades that can't be one-punched.

And then there's Cecil and his five-page expository infodumps, explaining new status quos. Like, for no reason other than to make the world know everything that went down, the recording of the big fight is leaked. And he does this REPEATEDLY.


5
Showcase of the Immortals / RIP Tom Zenk
« on: December 18, 2017, 09:04:14 PM »
The Z-Man apparently died Dec. 9th.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBwoJhUNSPQ

Bret is a weird guy as far as charisma goes- he wasn't bombastic at all. Words never flowed from him the way they did from Flair, Dusty, Savage or Hogan. He couldn't get the crowds to worship him the way other guys did. He stumbled over words at times, and came off self-righteous even as a babyface. But when he cuts promos like THIS, it's like he doesn't need to. Great as those guys are on the mic, they're cartoons. Bret came off REAL- like himself turned up to 10.5 instead of 11. And that gives promos like this so much more impact than if a Rocky or even an Austin had done it. Foley could do it, possibly Arn, but I can't think of too many others who could.

Owen does his part beautifully here, too. Crying and wiping tears from his eyes while Bret talks about their past, growing up together ("Only two people in our family excelled at wrestling, and it was you and me").

And CHRIST- Bret's look of sheer disgust and disdain at 6:00, embracing his family and just vomiting all over the American fans.

This is how you can have shit charisma and still maintain an "8" in Promos/Charisma, at minimum.

7
Showcase of the Immortals / Proof Arn Anderson is the best
« on: June 09, 2017, 03:42:33 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6kNcoM1qOQ


Smoky Mountain Wrestling had the Rock 'n' Roll Express get a Mystery Partner. And while Cornette keeps scoring off of the idea of a guy in a white sheet ("These rednecks probably see people comin' to their house in white sheets all the time!"), Arn cuts one of those promos that only he can cut, and gets the mother of all tough-guy burns on Cornette. Dude was a natural vicious heel, but God he was an awesome face.

8
Marvel Zombies / Hot Take: Maximum Carnage still sucks
« on: May 31, 2017, 03:21:39 PM »
MAXIMUM CARNAGE:[/u]
-Few comic book storylines of the 1990s draw as much derision as this one days, to the point where there are now many people being very contrary and vocal about it, arguing that it was in fact a great, fun story. I... do not agree with those people.

Maximum Carnage came about because the Spider-Editor wanted a big new "Spider-Crossover" between what was then FOUR different Spider-Man books (Amazing, Spectacular, Web Of and plain-ol' Spider-Man- if you think that sounds excessive, keep in mind there are more Deadpool comics being released each month nowadays), plus a pair of Spider-Man Unlimited issues bookmarking the whole thing. A combination of Tom DeFalco (then Marvel's Editor-In-Chief), David Michelinie, Terry Kavanagh and J.M. DeMatteis wrote the tale- it's centred around the return of Carnage, who'd by then only been in one storyline. 

Carnage, a serial killer given the vast power of a Symbiote, goes on a wanton frenzy, massacring people throughout Manhattan. Along the way, he adds new villainess Shriek, Hobgoblin offshoot Demogoblin, the Spider-Doppelanger from The Infinity War, and the second Carrion to the group. Spider-Man of course brings the fight to them, and is forced to team up with his old arch-nemesis, Venom- who also hates, and is a target of, Carnage. Spidey also adds his old partner The Black Cat, the New Warrior Firestar, Cloak & Dagger, Iron Fist, Deathlok, Morbius the Living Vampire, Nightwatch and Captain America of all people to the heroic side.

The heroes and villains get into numerous brawls over the sprawling, FOURTEEN-PART (!!) Crossover, with most of Spidey's crew being disparate and coming & going depending on the issue (Nightwatch is only there for a single part, for example). Dagger is "killed" at the story's outset by Shriek, sending Cloak into a revenge-obsessed fury, but she returns in the penultimate chapter; Captain America only shows up 3/4 of the way through. Carnage is nearly-beaten several times, but constantly escapes- meanwhile, Shriek has been setting off a low-level mental-effect that's causing all of Manhattan to break out into dangerous riots! The heroes have their hands full, with hundreds of rioters found on every street, and Peter is forced to basically abandon Mary Jane (who didn't want him to risk his life out there) and his family (then including Aunt May and his newly-rediscovered "parents").

The overall "point" of the story is to give the writers' P.O.V. in the "Killing (vs) Non-Killing" debate- we're meant to basically see the worst of '90s excess, come to the brink... and walk away from it, as Peter refuses to compromise his principles and kill someone. J.M. DeMatteis says in the opening of the Trade that he didn't want to DO the storyline, because he was tired of all the murderers and psychopaths running through comics ("and those, heaven help us, were the heroes!"), but was convinced by his Editor (Danny Fingeroth), who wanted that to be the POINT. Essentially, the ultimate indictment of that kind of "Extreme" comic.

The problem? Well, the storyline's problems are numerous. My BIGGEST problem with the whole storyline is that in going for the "Killing is ALWAYS wrong!" concept by giving us the worst-possible villain to fight, they've accidentally PROVEN THAT CONCEPT WRONG.

See, I can get Spidey being anti-killing, since, y'know, his entire origin is based off of someone dying because he screwed up. He KNOWS the pain that death brings. I can buy Spider-Man not wanting to kill anyone or just finding the idea of murder disgusting.

But Carnage is like a Strawman Argument brought up by the opposing side- "oh yeah? Well... well... what if he was like, some MASS MURDERER- the Joker with the powers of a God? And... and you HAD to kill him right that second, or else he would kill hundreds of people right away? And he would never stop, and you couldn't negotiate with him? What THEN?". It's like they went out of their way to make Spidey look incorrect. Yet we're supposed to take the OPPOSITE side- the guy is a freaking SERIAL KILLER given the massive powers of a Symbiote, and strong enough to fight off entire superteams by himself. His entire concept is rampant MASS MURDER, and during the course of the storyline he literally massacres HUNDREDS of people. This is literally the worst example you can possibly give of somebody that heroes should not be trying to kill. Every moment Carnage lives is essentially guaranteed death for dozens of innocent people. And I can still get SPIDEY not wanting to murder him- but at several points other heroes have Carnage dead to rights, and Spider-Man literally jumps in to SAVE the guy! He actually grabs Venom and beats on him to avoid the death-blow reaching Carnage! He pulls Firestar away from another death-shot at the same time. In both of these situations, Carnage immediately escapes while the heroes are fighting each other!

THIS IS IDIOTIC. The lengths he goes to save Carnage's life as good as murders DOZENS OF PEOPLE by the time the story's over. Keep in mind that in real life, any person could murder Carnage while he's helpless and not spend a day in jail- any cop or even a civilian could easily-argue that a living Carnage is too dangerous to be allowed to survive. It's even a plot point in the story that he can't even be DE-POWERED. Every time they try, he just regenerates. And I'm the kind of reader who WANTS certain heroes to refuse to kill. I want to see guys try to find better options, or at least not to be so damn GRITTY and ULTRA-VIOLENT all the time- having lived through the '90s in comics, I know how awful things can get when the writers indulge their most violent fantasies. And I'M telling you they did this in completely the wrong way. There's something seriously wrong when I find the entire concept of the story ("killing is wrong, no matter what!") the biggest ethical problem WITH it! This isn't just "Batman refusing to kill the Joker results in the deaths of dozens"- it's "Spider-Man actively murders hundreds of people because he refuses to see Carnage killed". It's 100 times worse, because at least the Joker's spree-killing is vague and all theoretical, because he's easy to stop (he's just a normal guy). Carnage was an ACTIVE spree-killer! His very freedom guaranteed the deaths of hundreds!

And that's just my MAIN problem with the storyline- turning the heroes into murderers because they won't make the tough choice (Venom's even used as the "Strawman" meant to get us to side with Spidey). There are others:

* It's way too freaking long. Seriously, it's FOURTEEN PARTS. They spend more issues on riots and super-fights than The Crisis on Infinite Earths got. 

* The length, and number of writers on various titles, means that it repeats itself a lot. Half of the issues are just "the villains murder people, and the heroes run in and fight them. Then the villains escape." One at least two or three occasions, Carnage is as good as beaten, and then the heroes F something up (Spider-Man & Venom start brawling because Spidey prevented Firestar from killing Carnage), and the villains escape. You actually see the exact same issue concept more than once. There's even a moment where Carnage is thought-dead and beaten, but arrives at the very end to fight for one MORE chapter- this damn storyline had more endings that The Return of the King! The number of writers also produces the odd situation of one not listening to another, as Carrion is mute at first, then begins talking in a later issue out of nowhere.

* Some of the art is just hideous. Sal Buscema was NOT good at this point in time- ugly, blocky-looking people making hideous faces. Ron Lim's art really doesn't stand the test of time, either- I loved his work in the '90s, but this has some of his worst traits (all the characters have identical faces and musculature- the men have pronounced underbites). At least we had Mark Bagley (who must have been on a tight deadline, because some of the people have INSANELY big heads in a few shots- Demogoblin in particular looks funny).

* One of the core concepts doesn't hold up- it's a major plot point that Shriek is causing flashmob-style riots throughout all of Manhattan. And yet, only EIGHT SUPERHEROES are available to stop things? In NEW YORK CITY? Where is everyone else!? Captain America and Firestar are there, but don't bring a single member of their respective teams?

* Too many powers yanked out of asses. Iron Fist pulls off some weird "meditation trick" by calming down an entire crowd, something he's never done before or since (a classic Hero Point-playing Power Stunt). Shriek suddenly exhibits Mind Control powers. Dagger starts flowing "love" out of herself. Carnage suddenly goes "oh the Symbiote's not a separate thing anymore- now it just lives IN MY BLOODSTREAM!" after being de-powered on at least two separate occasions. And the heroes end the fight with the Care Bear Stare. No, I'm not even kidding, they all funnel good feelings into Deathlok wearing a random one-off device that fires "Goodness" out of his chest like the frickin' Care Bear Stare. Anyone ONE of these instances I could have dealt with (it's not over-the-top to expect Danny Rand to be able to do something weird like that, especially as it didn't even WORK for more than a couple of rounds), but all of it?

* The heroes appear too randomly, and fail to stick around, making them look like idiots. Nightwatch & Morbius are only in a couple issues each, and everyone else kind of stumbles in over the issues (Cap doesn't join till later).

* The heroes don't even really get to BEAT the villains for the most part- they're ineffectual as all hell. They can't contain the riots, Carnage kills Doppelganger for turning on him, Demogoblin runs off in disgust, etc.- the heroes don't even matter. Carnage is as good as done several times, but always comes back- they think they've KILLED him in the thirteenth part with their "Good Bomb" and pack everyone away, but NOPE- he's back for one last issue of fighting!

* Despite being an indictment of '90s excess, it really just ends up being a huge example of it- dozens are murdered on-panel, all of the villains are super-extreme, and the heroes include a vampire, a killer cyborg and VENOM.

* The mindless slugfests aren't even that GOOD! I've read some very fun comics where it was just "guys fighting" (The X-Cutioner's Song, a mega-storyline from around the same time period, had two GREAT issues that were just X-Men versus X-Force, and X-Men/Force versus The Mutant Liberation Front), but the fights here were just boring. Never-ending sequences of Carnage being beaten on, then coming back.

There were a COUPLE of positives: Mary Jane telling Richard Parker off for being such a cynic. Richard & May each giving Peter their thoughts on reality (Richard, a political prisoner for decades, thinks all people are essentially rotten; May thinks the opposite). The Black Cat's uber-fanservicey outfit. But overall? This was drek. The writers were some of the worst to work on Spidey, and the whole storyline was a failure. Of course, it's not even close to the WORST Spider-Man storyline from that era.

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General Chat / What kind of phones are good?
« on: April 30, 2017, 01:07:16 AM »
My BlackBerry's been annoying me lately- the keyboard sucks ass, and is constantly delayed compared to my normal typing speed. Every time I select text, the screen jumps around repeatedly, and the "command" buttons to press randomly vanish. PLUS I think my iPod is dying, as the battery only lasts... I dunno, but it feels like less.

So I figured I'd just kill two birds with one stone and get a new phone/music player ENTIRELY. But I don't know what's good.

Anyone have any recommendations?

The shit I care about:
1) Fast Keyboard- This is a fucking MUST. My position on this is intractable and adamantine. I type a lot, and at great speeds- if this thing can't keep up, then it will drive me goddamn batty.
2) The screen doesn't do randomly dumb things. Like, you can load up a page without having it jump all over the place.
3) Play music. At least as well as an iPod, if not better. I think all phones can do this now, right? I'll need at least 32 GB of memory for all of that, plus pictures.
4) A camera that doesn't suck. It doesn't have to be professional-grade (I mean, it's a PHONE), but mine puts white paper into greyscale for some reason.
5) Cost. A bit. I think my phone company will dock a certain amount of payment for re-signing with them, but I don't want to be spending like $800 or something stupid. An iPhone 6 will do if a 7 is too expensive.

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DC Drones / So why do DC writers love Nemesis so much?
« on: April 29, 2017, 02:43:37 AM »

He's a character I find hideously atrocious, yet a bunch of writers seem to love him. Wearing comics' most boring costume (a jumpsuit with a "scales of balance" logo on it), he acted as a secret agent, helping find the people responsible for brainwashing his brother into committing murder. He appeared in a few back-ups, but never went anywhere until Suicide Squad, where Ostrander used him as one of the heroic team members. He fell in love with Nightshade, who only cared for Rick Flag, and ultimately quit the team after a disagreement with Amanda Waller. And he was DULL on that book- never getting up to anything good.

He was later a member of the Shadow Fighters, who were devoted to fighting Eclipso- he was the sole survivor of that battle. He was finally killed in an issue of Catwoman- Devin Grayson says that she was a big fan, but was ordered by DC editorial to kill him off so that the popular JSA reboot could have a "Nemesis" on it (Soseh Mykros- whose plot point against the generic "Council" conspiracy group went nowhere and they quickly re-routed her from potential JSA recruit into one of Black Adam's sacrificial attack dogs). So she made sure to give him as cool a death as possible and promote the character, while giving him an easy way out.

Naturally, he was later seen again. He even became a supporting character in Gail Simone's Wonder Woman, and was chosen as Diana's new romantic partner. This irked a lot of fans, who really had no idea why they were supposed to care about Generic Superspy #751 when his love interest is FRIGGIN' WONDER WOMAN (fans are oddly specific in wanting only ALPHA dudes for Diana), but Simone stuck to her guns and engaged in her worst trait as a writer- having other characters shill the characters she likes. And so, Tom Tresser becomes the only male ever inducted into the Amazons, is "courted" by Diana, and more. Ultimately, he ends the relationship when he learns that she doesn't really love him, and just wants to use him to create a family. So... he rejects an opportunity... to engage in a no-strings-attached sexual relationship... with WONDER WOMAN. Seriously.

Nemesis overall bores the living shit out of me, and I have no idea why anyone likes him. That two or three writers (Ostrander, Grayson, Simone) REALLY like him seems bizarre, as there's any number of guys out there who fill the exact same role, but maybe that early series (which was mostly back-ups stories) was REALLY, REALLY GOOD or something. I don't get it.

What say you all?

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Showcase of the Immortals / Japanese Women's Hair (vs) Hair Match
« on: April 28, 2017, 03:03:36 AM »
Manami Toyota (vs) Toshiyo Yamada- Hair (vs) Hair Match.

An absolutely amazing match: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OeSiNdZH7o

Basically, the two are tag partners and best friends engaged in a lengthy, heated feud over which one is best. Yamada ended up winning most of the matches, driving Toyota nuts with WARRIOR'S PRIDE, and so she demands a Hair (vs) Hair match to finalize things. And so, after the Mandatory Perfunctory Submission Moves & Running Stuff That Goes Nowhere, they settle in to basically throw down enough Suplexes to make BROCK LESNAR go "wow, that's enough, ladies", with Toyota hitting that insane full bridge on each one.

And then, when one girl wins, she is so overcome with emotion at seeing her friend & rival accept her fate that she REFUSES to let the stipulation go throw. With tears in her eyes, she tackles the guy with the scissors, starts cutting off her OWN hair in protest, and eventually has to be held down by an entire squadron of rookies while her opponent takes the full-head-shave LIKE A BOSS.

Absolutely spine-tingling stuff- you don't even need to speak the language to enjoy it.

Here's the description a guy gave of the angle:
Quote
Now both Toyota and Yamada were members of AJW's class of 1987, and from early on they were set up as generation rivals, down to their wrestling styles, with Toyota going for a super fast, high-flying, suplex-heavy approach, while Yamada was all UWF style with lots and lots of kicks. Around 1989 each got their own rookie tag team, Toyota had the Tokyo Sweethearts with Mima Shimoda (a "beauty" team), while Yamada had Dream Orca with Etsuko Mita (the "sporty" team), and they wrestled a lot one against the other during that time period.

In terms of singles matches, their first match (or at least the first televised one) was in December 1989, where Toyota defended the AJW title against Yamada, and the two rookies went to a 30 minutes draw. They met again in September 1991 and wrestled another 30 minutes draw. They would face for the 3th time in January 4, 1992, again in a 30 minutes draw, with one of them requesting a 5 minutes overtime, and when they failed to get a finish, the other also requested another 5 minutes overtime, but no winner emerged after the 40 minutes. This however led to them teaming up together for the first time, and right away they won the new UWA Women's Tag Team Championship together, and later on in March they challenged Jungle Jack (Aja Kong and Bison Kimura), the WWWA Tag Team Champions, for a double title match, which Toyota and Yamada won in a big upset.

Now they were the tag champions, but there was still the lingering issue of which one was superior. During the Japan Grand Prix, AJW's yearly tournament, the tag partners met in a great match in which Yamada emerged the victor, as their singles series finally crowned a winner. This however was eating up at Toyota, whom wanted to prove the win wasn't decisive, so she challenged her partner, and friend by this time, for another singles match where, not only was Toyota putting her IWA Women's Championship on the line, but she was also betting her hair! Toyota's maddening need to prove herself leading her to go to such extremes, and Yamada accepted the match, but also made it a Hair vs Hair match, the most dramatic gimmick match AJW ran at the time.

And that was the stage in which the match happened, which also grants a greater understanding for why the aftermath of the match went the way it did.

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Marvel Zombies / Soule's Inhumans run is over
« on: March 26, 2017, 02:10:05 PM »

Charles Soule has finally ended his run with the Inhumans. Marvel's attempt to make them huge has been a snark-drawing failure, but the book was usually quite good. Totally failed in "making new stars", though- the newbies were a little too generic. Medusa & Gorgon remain kind of like "Filler" to me, as well.

It was well-written, and I'll see where Al Ewing takes them, but I think I'm done collecting their book, now. MAYBE Trade-waiting- my pull list was getting to the point where I wasn't reading any of my OLD stuff!

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These guys were the big "Spider-Man" writers I recall reading when I got into comics in the early '90s. What did you think of their output?

I remember reading a LOT of Mackie books in the 1990s- mostly his Spider-Man. And in retrospect... none of them are very good. To me, this guy absolutely reminds me of the "Typical '90s Comic"- a lot of boring nonsense, nothing of great interest, and very simplistic stuff. Most of his books ended up pretty terrible, and he bailed on the Spidey books around the Clone Saga (which, in his defense, had a lot of editorial intervention).

I guess he also recreated Ghost Rider, one of the more "90s" books ever. I never thought that book was any good, and it definitely didn't end well.

David Michelinie is as iconic for "Bad Spider-Man Stories" to me.

I remember little of Kavanagh's work, though he was one of the writers of Maximum Carnage, which was pretty meandering and bad in parts.

14
I brought this up in this topic here, and both RIV & I have the experience of shops just piling new books onto our Pull Files without asking. It's something that annoys me, because some prominent writers are on many books, and they just ASSUME I want to read Waid's Black Widow because I got his Avengers. I guess that it's sometimes random, though at other times it's deliberate.

Sometimes they stick a book I had no intention of getting (Thanos), and when I say no, they're like "REALLY? But it's one of the best books out there!"

Sometimes they even act a little hurt, like I'm costing them money. I'm like "OKAY- I get that shops don't make shit for profits, but I spend eighty bucks a month here; don't make me out to be a dick because I don't want to collect 20 books". It's the kind of thing that's JUST annoying enough to make me consider dropping my File and just going back to grabbing random stuff in whatever store (except I get a discount, and don't end up accidentally buying shit twice because they released two covers and I forgot or something like that).

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* I dug the Avengers Idea Mechanics stuff Ewing was writing in his "DaCosta-led Avengers" book. A very funny, quirky book, though he got into that bad habit of going "hey look! Two gay people in love!" with Wiccan & Hulkling, only to shuffle them away in like four issues because they weren't important to the story anymore. But seeing SUNSPOT of all people get an upgrade to this intelligent, sneaky, tactical genius was awesome. U.S. Avengers seems to be a bit more of the same, though I'm not a fan of "random Hulked-up normal guy", and Dr. Ho & Jokkinen/Pod/whatever were the least-interesting characters on the old book- basically tokens there for minority status.

* Inhumans: As eye-roll-inducing as Marvel's Inhumans push has been, it was a well-written book (I even liked the secondary title that only lasted twelve issues). Though they NEVER pushed those new characters as hard as they should- I still felt like I never knew any of the newbies, nor what they were capable of. The writer did a solid job of making Medusa interesting, at least. His two runs add up to a "pretty good" book that I don't regret buying.

* All-New X-Men: Or, as I call it, "The Best Book That Has No Reason To Exist". Seriously, WHY ARE THE TEEN X-MEN STILL AROUND IN THIS TIMELINE?!?! And yet... you kinda see why, as the characters had a solid foundation, and were rather interesting. The great Bagley art (MUCH better than his Fantastic Four stuff, which was probably the nadir of his work, sadly enough) was also a good addition. I'll kind of miss this book.

* Waid's Avengers: Easily the most-disappointed I've been in a new book. The obvious "Minoriteam" Replacement Character status of everyone, and the "Small-Time" day-saving they were doing, was just dreadful. He's much more into proper form in his new Avengers series, this one having lasted only a year.

* Uncanny Avengers: One of the best surprises, as I thought the book was funny, even if the roster was constantly buggered by Strange Events (Thor is Unworthy! Cap is Old! Now Cap is Gone! Now Cable's in charge and Johnny Storm is there for whatever reason! And we have an Inhuman character that nobody bothered to characterize that much- I think Marvel just forced one to be on the book!). MUCH better than the previous Remender run, which started ambling off and never improved. Apparently this one is ending, too.

I'm planning on dropping a bunch of stuff coming up- my shop was kind of doing a lot of "up-selling" ("Hey, we stuck this in your file because you bought a book by Artist X and Writer Y" to the point where I was getting 11-13+ books per month, which was just too much (expensive, AND time-consuming!). I'll cut down heavily on some stuff, and come back and read trades this time around. Much cheaper that way, and I don't end up with disappointments (ugh- a couple years back, they did that second Wolverine and the X-Men series? Which culminated with Logan dying and Quentin Quire was like the main character? And it was AWFUL and way worse than Aaron's run on the previous one? It was one of my "I'll read this later" books, and I've never been so annoyed by how lame and boring a book ended up being- twelve issues of dull).

What stuff are you guys looking forward to in the new books?

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