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31 Things That Make Me Happy: Part 1

May 29th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

Kind of a scattershot article this time around, so bear with me.

Things are overall pretty swell for me these days and I thought I’d take a couple days to sit back and talk about positivity. More specifically, as you can see in the big letters above, 31 things that make me happy. The kind of stuff that I can look at, think about or just plain talk about and I’ll turn my frown into a smile. This isn’t really a countdown, as there’s no actual order. In fact, it’s just a bunch of random crap meant to reach that number. The neat stuff I don’t talk about, I’ll save for next year when I discuss 32 things that make me happy.

Why 31? Because I’m becoming increasingly grizzled in the next couple days. I suggest other bloggers give this a try when their time comes. It’s fun.

1) That What If Story Where Galactus Turns into Elvis

I wrote about this last year, so you can read my lengthier review here. The short of it is that Galactus is magically transformed into Elvis Presley and shot to Earth, where he finds family and a new meaning to his life. More importantly, he redeems the names of Galactus and Elvis Presley by assuming the throne of King of Rock and Roll.

Yeah, comic books are sweet.

2) “Learn to Fly” by the Foo Fighters

I can’t say that I have a favorite song, but I’m sure “Learn to Fly” is in my top five. It’s a beautiful tune that gets me pepped up to do whatever it is I’m preparing myself to do. For me, this is one of those songs that you listen to a million times, only listen to half of the words and get this image in your mind of what the song is really about, which is completely off-base. I can’t be the only one who does that.

For me, I always imagined the song as being about a World War I pilot in a nasty dogfight whose side is getting cut down by the enemy. He’s trying to get out of there with a handful of enemy fighters on his tail. He prays that his luck and worth as a pilot will let him live one more day to the point that he even considers selling his soul to the Devil. In the end, he maneuvers his way to safety to the point that he thinks his survival was caused purely by divine intervention.

Apparently the real meaning of the song is that it’s Grohl explaining the mental desperation of trying to write a good song under pressure. That’s pretty cool too, I guess.

3) Whenever Somebody Awesome Beats Up Superman When They Really Shouldn’t

When you ask the average man on the street who the strongest superhero character is, they’ll say Superman. Sure, a comic geek could say that Superman is nothing compared to the might of the Spectre and you’re always going to have that one guy desperately jumping through hoops to come up with a scenario where Batman makes a fool out of the guy. At the end of the day, Superman is considered one of the most unbeatable dudes in comics.

So it’s always a blast when he loses a fight to someone who isn’t even in his weight class. Sure, there’s always an explanation, but it doesn’t change the fact that Superman got his ass kicked by someone like Evil Spider-Man.

Yep. Back in All-Access #1, Venom showed up in the DC Universe and was quick to getting in a couple fights with Superman. He absolutely thrashed him again and again. And this was written by Ron Marz, a DC guy! Even when Spider-Man showed up, Venom kicked both their asses until the lame-oid Access showed up with a giant sonic cannon to save the day.

Some fans will explain it away that this was after Final Night, meaning that Superman wasn’t fully cooked up by the sun’s rays and was at a disadvantage. Too bad. My guy beat up your guy, so ha!

There are other examples. In one of my all-time favorite comics, Superman boxes against Muhammad Ali on a planet with a red sun, so naturally, Ali beats him down. Even though Superman has no chance in his vulnerable form, he still proves himself a badass by taking a beating and not falling down until the bell rings.

There was a crossover from when DC had the rights to Masters of the Universe and Superman ends up in Eternia. Despite having been thwarted by He-Man at every turn for years, Skeletor is able to pretty easily take down Superman without breaking a sweat. He just slices him in the chest with his magic sword and then zaps him with it until he stops moving. The dude beat up Superman, saved Christmas one time AND has a skull for a head. He’s the best.

Slightly related, but that JLA/Avengers crossover had a scene where Superman and Captain America are at each other’s throats to the point that the other heroes are pulling them apart. I’ve always thought this scene was great in its own flawed way because, really, what is Captain America going to do? His powers are that he’s good at doing crunches and talking. Superman can turn a mountain into glass by looking at it. It’s one of those cool little moments where Captain America is so in over his head but doesn’t care because he’s so determined that you believe he has a chance.

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May 30th is a Good Day

May 30th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

So 27 years ago, back on May 30, 1981, I showed up and started doing my thing. To copy from hermanos, I decided to look up some old covers for comics that came out during the month of May, 1981. Sadly, What If skipped that month. Bastards.






Notes:

- The best covers are definitely the Justice League of America Starro fiasco and Dr. Doom acting like a complete pimp. You know he’s saying, “Suck it, T’Challa!” in that image.

- Ow! Look at Hal Jordan there. I thought John Stewart was the one who injured his spine.

- I need to get back into reading Essential Power Man/Iron Fist. What the hell is going on in that comic?!

- Good to see that Batman’s been an asshole since way before the 90′s.

- I don’t know what’s going on in that Superfriends comic, but I aim to find out and review it.

- Did I mention how fucking awesome that Dr. Doom cover is?

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11/18!

November 18th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

87_4_000532.jpg 1570_4_00246.jpg2605_4_0175.jpg
(all covers from November 1983)

Hey guess who has a birthday today

no it’s not alan moore

(okay it is but he isn’t who i’m talking about)

me

How brilliant is that Amazing Spidey cover, seriously? Jonah in a tracksuit laying Spidey flat.

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Long Live the King

August 28th, 2007 Posted by Hoatzin

“It was then that I came to realize what a powerful and ever-contemporary art form “comics” is, and how important it is to keep the medium ever flexible and sustaining. This is the attitude at National Periodicals. This is the place to be, in order to watch the medium lock into into our turbulent times and fish for the future. For in that future, comics should be bigger than ever and the forerunner of newer and more stimulating trends. Carmine Infantino will tell you that. As National’s Editorial Director and a great pro himself, the “look to the future” is often discussed between us when my routine is straightened out. In my opinion, this kind of thinking can only be a plus for the reader. When an outfit is constantly immersed in anti-static output, it is well worth working for on this end, and earns faithful readership and friends on the other.”

- Jack Kirby, from Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #133, October 1970.

Happy birthday Jack, thank you for everything.

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Birthday Blues

November 18th, 2006 Posted by david brothers

Also, as Gavok so nicely pointed out in the post below, today is my birthday.

I am now 23 and even more wise beyond my years. Or is that wet behind the ears?

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The Top 100 What If Countdown: Part 15

October 5th, 2006 Posted by Gavok

This article is dedicated to all the Human Torch and Sub-Mariner fans out there. Why? Because anyone else is probably going to be bored out of their skulls.

30) WHAT IF…? STARRING SECRET WARS: 25 YEARS LATER

Issue: Volume 2, #114
Writer: Jay Faerber
Artist: Gregg Schigiel
Spider-Man death: Yes
Background: The all-powerful Beyonder brought a group of heroes and a group of villains onto a planet he created to battle for his amusement. The storyline is known for introducing the Venom symbiote, putting She-Hulk in the Fantastic Four and for one of the funniest movies on YouTube. Dr. Doom, using his own genius, found a way to steal the power of Galactus and challenge the Beyonder. He then stole the Beyonder’s power too, but things went to Hell and he ended up back to his usual ugly self. So if Galactus is powerful enough to challenge the Beyonder, why didn’t he? And what if the fight between the two ended with both of them dying? Toss in Reed Richards’ death for flavor.

The story begins on the 18 birthday of Balder Blake, otherwise known as Bravado (son of Thor and the Enchantress). As he does every year, he tries to lift Mjolnir, his father’s hammer. He still can’t lift it, despite the support of his friends Crusader (daughter of Captain America and Rogue) and Mustang (son of Hawkeye and She-Hulk). They return to his house to find a surprise party waiting for him. It’s there that we meet his other friends Torrent (daughter of Wolverine and Storm) and Firefly (son of Human Torch and Wasp). As the story goes, the Secret Wars lasted for about five more years with many casualties until the two sides decided to call a truce. Now, for the most part, they and their children live in harmony.

There’s also Symbiote Spider-Man. He acts a bit creepy, talking in “we speak” that Venom was so famous for. Plus he’s a bit anti-social. Curious…

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The Top 100 What If Countdown: Part 3

August 9th, 2006 Posted by Gavok

So remember when I said that Marvel would announce its upcoming What If issues long before I’d have this finished? Looks like I was right.

This year the five stories are all based on major events, most of them recent:

- Spider-Man: The Other. Here, Spider-Man’s spidery side takes over. Why he’s wearing the symbiote on the cover, I don’t know.
- Avengers Disassembled. So what would have happened had they not realized Scarlet Witch was behind it when they did?
- Wolverine: Enemy of the State. He’s still under Hydra’s conditioning and he needs to be stopped now more than ever.
- X-Men: Deadly Genesis. No explanation yet, but I haven’t even read Deadly Genesis in the first place.
- Age of Apocalypse. Oh man, I hope they mean the one from the 90′s and not the new one.

Speaking of What Ifs based on Marvel events…

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