Thursday, September 20, 2012
Brad's Week in Dork! (9/9/12-9/15/12)
Ok. This was a weird week coming off the Baltimore Comic Con. I got home late on Sunday, popped in the latest season of Fringe, and didn't stop watching that show until it was done. No comic book reading. No movies. Just Fringe. 22 episodes in four and a half days. Utter madness. That being said, I'm now convinced that Fringe is the best science-fiction show that has ever graced the boob tube. So once I devoured the season I was free to consume other bits of Dorkery. I read quite a few single issue comics, one graphic novel, and watched only one movie. I haven't watched only one movie since the first week of the year when Justified, Next Gen, & Mildred Pierce took over my life. That saddens me. But with Resident Evil 5 & the Indiana Jones box set out this week, my next Week in Dork is going to be loaded.
TV OF THE WEEK!
Fringe Season 4: As much as I've obsessed over shows like Battlestar Galactica or LOST, it's Fringe that rises above all other modern science-fiction shows. What started off as an X-Filesish procedural soon transformed into epic storyarc television involving monstrosities and alternate universes. Fringe has proven again and again that it can take sci-fi cliches like Star Trek's Mirror Universe and the X-Men's Days of Future Past and do them with the emotional wallop of Oscar Bait drama. John Noble as Walter Bishop is one of TV's great characters. He's a goof, a nut, a madman, a monster and I've never cared for a fictional character quite the same way. That might sound like hyperbole (and you're probably right), but as the fourth season progresses and Josh Jackson's Peter reintegrates more and more into his life I found myself choked with emotion. I love Walter. I pity him, but I love him. He's the great villain of this show, the horror these characters go through week in and week out is all his damn fault and in the real world we would hate him. But Fringe shows us why we should care. So as much as this program is about porcupine beasties and temporal outbreaks, the reason Fringe ranks above all others is that it makes you love it's super villain turned super hero, Walter Bishop. And Josh Jackson?!? If you had told me ten years ago that I'd be a fan, I would have called you certifiably insane. But dammit, his Peter is a serious badass. And, just like Noble, he sells the sadness of his character--the man out of his timeline having to deal with the people he loves who do not love him back. If you're not watching Fringe you better get hot.
MOVIE OF THE WEEK!
Down With Love: A too cute parody of 60s coupling comedies; maybe if I was familiar with the genre than I would A) Love It or B) Hate It but as is I really just like Ewan McGregor's smile and Renee Zellweger tries real hard to match his ease with the charm. Fun, slight, disposable. Matt eats up this nostalgia porn, but this era works best for me when its unmasked and raw rather than layered with wink-wink window dressing.
COMICS OF THE WEEK!
Ultimate Spider-Man #14: Yep. This is what I've been waiting for. Miles Morales interacting with the family of Peter Parker. Bendis is telling us that this is not a reboot. The adventures of Peter Parker mattered and they will continue to matter. The world is going to hell in the Ultimate Universe, but Captain America still has time to lecture Miles on why he cannot be Spider-Man. I might love the 616 version of Cap, but the Ultimate Steve Rogers is a real asshole. And I love how Gwen Stacy & Aunty May refuse to take this pretentious know-it-all and encourage Mile to go out there and prove it to this Red, White, & Blue G-Man. Frankly, my only problem with this series is that it comes out only once a month. Writer Faster Bendis!
Hawkeye #2: Huh. I'm still shocked that I'm enjoying a Hawkeye comic. Who'd a thunk it. But Matt Fraction proves that he can take any lameass character and make you care about him. The second issue is less of a one-and-done like the first, laying the groundwork for a possible confrontation with the big bad bald Kingpin. And Kate Bishop makes an appearance. That's cool. Glad to see that the Young Avengers is not being treated as it's own self-contained universe.
JLA by Grant Morrison Volume 1: The only trade I've completed from my Baltimore Comic Con haul. This is fairly early Grant Morrison stuff. Not quite the mad genius we know today. JLA is still very much a 90s DC Comic with goofy plots involving a White Martian secret invasion, the war in Heaven, and an epic battle with The Key! You may ask, who is The Key? I still don't really understand that weirdo. But I dug how he entered the dreams of the JLA and posited a version of the DCU where Kal-El of Krypton received the ring of Green Lantern Tomar-Re and the son of Bruce Wayne puts on Robin's tights for Dick Grayson's Batman. None of this excites in the same fashion that later Morrison Super Hero comics do, but there are glimpses of originality and its enough to keep me going with his Justice League run.
The Rocketeer - Cargo of Doom #2: The Madman's plan is finally revealed and it is crazy epic. Mark Waid has concocted was of the most absurd master plans I've ever seen or read and even if I have a strong feeling this diabolically deed will never come to fruition in the book I really, really, really hope that it does. I want to see The Rocketeer go up against this 9th Wonder of the World.
Stumptown #1: Not much to say about this series yet. I like Greg Rucka as a writer. Queen & Country was always enjoyable, and I've dug his work on Marvel's The Punisher. So the idea of him tackling the PI genre is certainly appealing. The story starts off with a missing guitar, but I'm sure we'll be knee deep in noir murder soon enough.
Winter Soldier #10: Said it last month and I'll say it again--I just want Brubaker outta Marvel. His run on Winter Soldier just feels like he's riding out his contract. The Black Widow is still on the loose and Wolverine & Hawkeye join Buck on his hunt. Sure, why not. But this is a weak, mediocre end to what I once thought was a phenomenal Captain America run.
The Creep #1: This is not a first issue. This really is issue #2 and if you did not pick up #0 than you will not understand what the heck is happening here. That being said, I'm really enjoying John Arcudi & Jonathan Case's PI book. The Rondo Hatton-like lead continues his investigation on the two teenage suicides and drinks a lot and sleeps with his hooker friend. You can tell this is not going to be a "fun" book but I'm excited to see where it goes, what this first mystery will unveil, and how it will develop further into the series. Plus, that Mike Mignola cover is much prettier than the previous Frank Miller grotesque.
X-O Manowar #4: This series is coming into its own. I'm less sad that we've left the Ancient History for modern warfare and alien government conspiracies. Aric struggles with his new time zone but not too much thanks to the scientific wonders of his Manowar suit. Good luck to modern man as he vaporizes their innards.
X-O Manowar #5: Enter Ninjak!!!! Oh no, what will Aric do!?!? I've never understood the appeal of the purple ninja--seriously, what's the deal with his name? So lame. And I'm supposed to believe that this hooded loser can take down the mighty morphin badassery of the Manowar armor? I don't think so. But the real confrontation doesn't look to be happening till next issue and I hope Aric feeds this guy his own spine.
Batman #0: Another Zero issue, another flashback. This one goes back six years when Bruce Wayne is first trying out his hand at vigilantism. Wayne infiltrates the Red Hood gang and there are strong implications that the New 52 is following the same Joker origin as the old DCU, but issue zero ends on a cliffhanger and a promise of continuation in 2013. I'm looking forward to this month being over and leaving these flashbacks behind. This was solid but I like my books to have forward momentum and I don't really care about DC padding out its continuity.
DORK FIELD TRIP OF THE WEEK!
The U.S.S. Corry 36th Annual Reunion: On Saturday, The Wife & I sped on down to Virginia Beach for my grandfather's WWII reunion. The USS Corry was the lead Destroyer during the Normandy invasion; it took a fatal blast to its engineering spaces and keel and eventually sank to the shallow ocean floor. 24 Sailors were lost and 60 wounded. My grandfather was the Chief Machinist Mate on the Corry. For the last 36 years the surviving sailors and their families have gathered to honor the friends they lost on June 6th, 1944. As time passes there are fewer and fewer sailors in attendance, and this year there were only four including my grandfather. It's a solemn event, but one I find essential to attend.
This year, besides the candle lighting ceremony and dinner, we all attended the Oceana Air Show as well. We sat in the bleachers for eight hours watching F4s, F18s, Helldivers, and the Blue Angels streak across the air. Didn't bring my camera with me, but I managed to snap a few cool shots with my iPhone.