Sunday, December 19, 2010

What I Dislike About...


Having to wait for anything good in life just plain sucks. Honestly, has there ever been even a single moment in all of human history when someone actually said to themselves, "Boy, I sure am glad I had to wait so long for that thing which I really wanted," or other words to that effect?

Friday, December 17, 2010

What I Like About...

Kang the Conqueror (Part 1).

Given the benefit of hindsight equal to such a task, life seemingly has an odd habit of proving people wrong in the long run. And it is with just such an intention that I now post the following: Amongst the non- comics-reading public, Kang the Conqueror’s name is unlikely to ever attain a comparable level of recognition as widespread as that of Dr. Doom or Magneto. More's the pity, then, because I feel that Kang shares many of the self-same qualities which make Marvel's best villains all so memorable. The character exhibits a similar sense of majesty and grandeur, whilst also retaining that air of unspoken dignity in the face of tragic circumstances which ultimately renders him relatable to the reader.

Perhaps it is this aforementioned lack of a more general renown - both with non-fans, and sometimes seemingly even amongst Marvel's own creative staff (in regards to an almost criminal underuse of the character) - which helps to elevate Kang's status (in my eyes, at least) as something of an underdog. Nevertheless, to merely suggest that this character's back-story is both voluminous and convoluted, and simply leave it at that, would be a gross understatement. I'd be remiss in any attempt I could make to adequately summarize, in a more-or-less thorough manner, Kang's expansive history, extensive motivations and all his capabilities... Therefore, I'll instead try to focus on that one most-singular facet of the character which I personally consider to be the most fascinating.

Now as a fellow diehard fanboy myself, I understand all too well one's natural inclination to nitpick an article such as this for each and every incongruity and omission - but the constraints inherent to recounting, in text form, what is so fundamentally a visual medium (i.e. comics/sequential art) means that absolute, one-hundred percent accuracy in relation to the original source material was perhaps never even realistically achievable. Consequently, I must humbly entreat the reader to make certain allowances for whatsoever liberties I might take - whether inadvertently, or not - in the following retelling. In return, I shall spare you the headache of having to read about events which - in continuity - take place in the future, by referring to them using the past-tense (versus future-tense) instead.

In the 31st Century, Nathaniel Richards (distant descendant of the Fantastic Four's Reed Richards) lived up to the villainous epithet by which he is better known, insofar as managing to conquer the entire universe. Take a moment to fully consider all the implications of that statement: A lone human being subjugated - not just a single solar system, nor even a mere galaxy... but absolutely everything, everywhere.

And yet, even this was not enough. In what should have been his moment of greatest triumph, Kang instead lamented that his victory ultimately felt like an empty one. For although he now reigned supreme over all of creation, the one thing he had failed to capture... was the heart of the woman he loved.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What I Dislike About...

Writer's block.

I mean, why would anyone ever willingly go on a guilt trip... much less one which is self-imposed? And yet, isn't that exactly what we as writers so often do? In our minds, the self-incriminations are two-fold: We lament our momentary inability to simply conjure up worthwhile new content and/or summon only the best words possible, whilst also condemning ourselves for expending precious time and energy on anything other than our specifically-chosen creative endeavors!

Monday, December 13, 2010

What I Like About...

Marvel 1602.

Neil Gaiman's 1602 introduced a whole host of new storytelling grist for the figurative mill from which Marvel's writers and artists can draw upon: classic characters, re-envisioned through a filter of having originally been intended for the 'sandbox' backdrop of the year 1602.

And although that alone is incredible, in and of itself, it is not what I wish to focus on today.

If I might be given leave to do so, I'd like to preface the following statements by admitting that the pragmatic fanboy in me (now there's two words I never thought I'd see used together) well realizes that the actual rationale behind the following phenomenon was to facilitate Gaiman's literary 'shout-out' to Jack Kirby, by way of Devil Dinosaur (in lieu of the Mole Man's monster).

One of the more curious aspects of the hypothesized alternate history given by 1602 is the continued existence (albeit in greatly-diminished numbers) of prehistoric animals - dinosaurs in particular. It is presented as a universally-accepted fact - common knowledge amongst society at large, and not at all thought of as being in the least bit strange...

So how are there still dinosaurs - and why? Gaiman makes nary an attempt at offering up an explanation... but really, isn't it obvious?

They're there simply because dinosaurs are cool - and that (and, by extension, Gaiman) rocks.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Venting to the void:

It used to be that Facebook was both a legitimate and permissible forum for all of my catharses. If I'd had a bad day, felt under-the-weather or so forth, I'd just pop on over to my account and post about the same in convenient, bite-sized chunks.

And then all of the sundry workplaces and various higher-learning facilities of this world seemingly started policing the internet in its entirety for expressions of honest opinion and pure thought.

So here I am, using an assumed name - shouting my ultimately insignificant concerns into an uncaring electronic wind.