Friday, February 15, 2013

Why Superior Spider-Man isn't worth my money

Spoiler alert for those of you who are almost two months behind in the world of Peter Parker!

As everybody knows by now, Peter Parker died in ASM #700.

Here's how it went down:
Doc Ock performed a mind-swap, sending his consciousness into Peter Parker's body and Peter's consciousness into Doc Ock's dying body. Peter came so close to switching them back, but couldn't and Peter-in-Doc-Ock's-Body died. As he died though, his life flashed before his eyes, which Otto-in-Peter-Parker's-Body somehow saw as well, thereby causing Doc Ock to understand why Peter became Spider-Man. He then vows to take Peter's place and become the Superior Spider-Man.

Sounds complicated and unbelievable, right? It is, but it's comics so we'll have to get over it.

ASM #700 marked the finale for the series. I thought I would cry like a baby throughout the entire issue, but I didn't. I just kind of sat there in disbelief for a while. Not disbelief that they had killed Peter Parker, but disbelief that his death was so anticlimactic. Honestly, I think that Peter deserved a better death. I know he'll probably be back (nobody stays dead in comics except Uncle Ben and Thomas and Martha Wayne), but his death was so lame and felt kind of half-assed.

Even though I wasn't a fan of how they offed Peter, I decided to give Superior Spider-Man a try because I trusted Dan Slott to write something compelling. He's been doing a superb job writing Spidey since Big Time. Superior Spider-Man #1 came along and while it was well-written and the art was great, I couldn't help but feel betrayed. One of Peter's worst enemies is occupying his body and taking over his life. It's a bastardization and betrayal of everything that Spider-Man is to me. What I love about Spider-Man comics isn't Spider-Man's powers or his costume, it's Peter Parker and his ideals and sense of humor. Seeing what should be Peter Parker acting so selfish and violent really bothers me. I know it's not actually him, but it still doesn't sit right with me.

At the end of SSM #1, Dan Slott throws a curve ball. Kind of. Peter Parker still sort of exists! His consciousness is attached to his body in the form of a ghost. Woah big surprise guys, Dan Slott found a way to make it so Peter Parker is still a part of the series, therefore stringing fans like me along with the possibility that Peter will come back!

Really?! This is incredibly frustrating for me because it's so obvious that I'm being strung along. It's such a blatant money grab that I'm sickened by it. I'm really disappointed in Dan Slott and Marvel for this. I trusted them to treat my favorite hero with the respect he deserved.

Just tell me when Peter is back in his body and I'll start reading Spider-Man comics again.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty (2012, Kathryn Bigelow) - 157 min.

I just love it when I spend a few hours writing a post and find out that Chrome somehow broke down and the post was never saved. I'm a bit too frustrated to rewrite the whole post, so I'll just rewrite the gist of it and then pose a question.

Zero Dark Thirty is an intriguing film. Looking at it as nothing more than a film, it's spectacular and makes really interesting use of sound. Looking at it in the context of history, current events, and the film's marketing, it becomes something much more polarizing. I have read argument after argument about whether or not the film is accurate, if it portrays torture in a positive or negative light, and if Kathryn Bigelow is allowed to call her film "the first draft of history" (personally, I took that statement to mean a "rough draft" of history, although others interpreted it differently). The history comment seems to have raised the most heated arguments. My guy and I even got into a pretty intense debate about it.

This brings me to ask, do you think that films can portray history? Can films be considered an accurate portrayal to any degree? Is it different if the film is a documentary?

Verdict: 8/10

Friday, February 1, 2013

MTG - Gatecrash

The latest Magic The Gathering set came out today and I bought a whole box of boosters! Opening them will be a blast, as always.

Last week I attended a pre-release party for the first time. It was a little frustrating at first because I was getting stomped. Luckily, a more advanced player took pity on me and gave me a few tips on how to build a deck for tournament play and by the end of the night, I was having a lot more fun. All in all, I didn't come in last so I was a happy-ish camper.

The new guilds are pretty interesting for this set:

  • Gruul - Red/Green - Keyword: "Bloodrush" - Cards with Bloodrush can be discarded for their Bloodrush cost in order to bolster an attacking creature with a beneficial effect until end of turn.
  • Simic - Blue/Green - Keyword: "Evolve" - If a creature with Evolve is on the battlefield when another creature with a higher power or toughness comes into play under its owner's control, the creature with Evolve gets a +1/+1 counter.
  • Dimir - Black/Blue - Keyword: "Cipher" - When you cast a spell with Cipher, you may exile it upon resolution and 'encode' the spell effect onto a creature you control on the battlefield. Then, whenever that creature deals combat damage to a player, its controller may cast a copy of the encoded card without paying its mana cost.
  • Boros - Red/White - Keyword: "Battalion" - When a creature with Battalion attacks with at least two other creatures, the effect on the Battalion creature triggers.
  • Orzhov - White/Black - Keyword: "Extort" - If a creature with Extort is on the battlefield, upon casting a spell, you may pay the Extort cost (either one White or Black mana). Each of your opponents will lose 1 life and you gain the total amount of life lost by all opponents. Each instance of Extort may only be paid for once.

I played Gruul at the tournament and while it was fun to play, I should have chosen something else because Bloodrush is pretty similar to the Golgari Scavenge, which was my main deck for Return to Ravnica. Now that I have a whole box of boosters, I think I'll build a Simic or Dimir deck. The Simic creatures are pretty cool (there's one that's a half hammerhead shark half spider thing) and Dimir's Cipher can be pretty awesomely sneaky. Orzhov was a fairly sneaky play style as well, since Extort seems to do so little damage. You don't really notice how much damage your opponent has done until it's too late. The only clan I wasn't particularly interested in was Boros, although it seemed to do really well in the tournament. Maybe I'm just not all that interested in having mostly human creatures.

Happy Gaming!