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Wednesday Whimsy: My Latest Obsession

By @hmsbeefnuts

 

As a child, I was never into comics. Sure I knew who all the main guys were, from Captain America to Wonder Woman, I watched all the TV shows and cartoons, played with the toys, but I never really read comic books. As I grew a little older, I was introduced to Batman and Superman comics with Knightfall and The Death and Return of Superman, which I enjoyed, but I didn’t really have the ready cash to really get into comics in a big way. It wasn’t until after university that I really began to collect graphic novels, and my tastes were, shall we say, rather limited.

As a huge Batman fan, I delved into the most renowned adventures of the Caped Crusader, Year One, The Long Halloween, The Dark Knight Returns, loving them all I began to delve deeper, and right now, I have quite a large collection of Batman adventures, with a few stragglers here and there from Marvel or other properties. However, recently, things have changed, and my tastes have become far more eclectic. It started with a random visit to a budget book shop, where I found three Marvel Pocket Books. At first I dismissed them, but on closer inspection I realised that they were small page versions of the comic books, around half size, they reprint original runs of the most famous Marvel Characters. The shop had a Spider-Man and two Fantastic Four books, and the best thing was, they cost £1.99 each, make mine Marvel.

I devoured the first two Fantastic Four books which collected comic runs. It was interesting to read them in this way, as in normal graphic novels, the story is somewhat separated, but reading an extended run of the comics is very interesting. With the FF done, I reached for the Spider-Man one, The Night Captain Stacy Died, which was quite apt with the new movie coming out and everything. Out of comics, I turned to Amazon, and umm, well, lets just say, my credit card took another hit.

Searching on Amazon is very dangerous, they had around 20 more of these Pocket Books, including Spider-Man, Silver Surfer, X-Men, Iron Man, Captain America, Avengers, I was in hog heaven. I now have a very extended run of original Amazing Spider-Man comics to delve into, and all for under £4.00 each. The paper quality is good in these books, the covers nice, and although smaller than regular comics, it isn’t a disadvantage that they are, certainly not when one considers the price. However, these things often start small, but have a way of expanding a little out of control.

£3.99 is not very much money to spend on 6 + issues of a comic series, but £3.99’s add up, and even then I wasn’t finished. I had wanted to find out who the mysterious villain at the end of The Avengers movie was, was I added The Infinity Gauntlet to my basket, then Civil War, Platinum Avengers, a Wolverine novel, and a few Batman ones, just to prove I had never forgotten my first true love. Things were getting sillier. The comic podcasts I listened to had mentioned a Wolverine G.N. (graphic novel) called Old Man Logan, everyone raved about it, it was added to my basket. By this time, and remember, this was a virtual basket, the thing could barely contain the comic awesomeness contained within, I clicked buy, and thought, I’ll worry about the consequences later.

Now obviously, I haven’t even looked at some of the things Mr. Amazon sent me, but I am working my way through them. Currently I’m reading Captain America, and really loving it. It seems an odd time for someone to get heavily into comics, at the age of 31, but it feels right. The atmosphere is crackling with comic energy, the film world is obsessed, and to be honest, so am I. Recent Comic Con news hasn’t helped matters, it has just added petrol to a fire that was already burning way out of control.

But I think sometimes it does one good to indulge in a new obsession. It feels good, and doesn’t feel like I have wasted money, at least not yet. We can all geek out about stuff from time to time, at least I hope you can, you are reading this on a website called All Geek To Me. At the moment, I’m into all things comic book, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

As I type this, we are 3 days away from The Dark Knight Rises, and I am very excited to see how Chris Nolan has rounded off his trilogy. I’m sure it will be great, but until I finally get to see it Friday morning, I shall have to sate my desires by plunging into more and more comics. These things won’t read themselves you know. Till next Wednesday, so long folks.

THE TOTALLY AVERAGE SPIDER-MAN: WEDNESDAY WHIMSY

By @hmsbeefnuts

SPOILERS! SPOILERS!! SPOILERS!!! SPOILERS!!!!

On Sunday afternoon, I saw The Amazing Spider-Man, in IMAX 3D. If you haven’t seen it yet, perhaps you should avoid this blog until you have, for I have much to say on the subject, and much of it will be spoiler filled.

First of all, let me say that there are two great Spider-Man movies, made by Sam Raimi, and it is impossible to talk about The Amazing Spider-Man without referencing these two great films. I loved Raimi’s take on the web slinger and I’m saddened to say, Tim Webb’s attempt doesn’t live up to the first two films, and is more in line with the poor third instalment of the Original Trilogy.

I will admit that I didn’t go into the film with an overly positive attitude, however, in recent weeks I had changed my mind about the look of the film, the action sequences looked awesome, even though the overall tone of the trailers seemed a bit dark and dismal. Well, the trailers perfectly captured the mood of the film, it was dark and dismal, but before we get into that, lets talk about some of the good things about the film.

Every time Spider-Man was on screen, in his full suit, the film becomes a joy to watch. The fight scenes with the Lizard are inventive, action packed and a match for anything a super human fight scene has yet given us, up there with the likes of Spider-Man 2, X-Men 2, and not too far from The Avengers. Equally, when Spider-Man is swinging through New York, the effect is breath taking, especially in IMAX 3D. Gwen Stacy is adorable, Spider-Man quips and flips his way through the film in a very enjoyable way, and that’s really where my praise of the film ends. Because true believers, I found The Amazing Spider-Man to be very average, and even unnecessary.

First things first, the tone of the film is very dull and dower. So much so that I get the impression that Sony wanted to buy into the dark and brooding success of The Dark Knight. Well, what works for Batman, does not work for the Wall Crawler. Spider-man has had his tragedies, but he always maintains an upbeat attitude, one which Raimi captured to a T. TASM is dark and depressing at times, from the colour palette to the tone of the film, it needs cheering up.

I disliked the costume. It is no where near as good as Toby Maguire’s. I hated Aunt May. Sally Fields is a good actress, but she isn’t Aunt May, she just isn’t. Martin Sheen is good as Uncle Ben, but not as good as the previous incarnation. I feel really bad for the original trilogy’s Dr Curt Connors, Dylan Baker, who is a better pick than Rhys Ifans as the Lizard. Ifans had a really dodgy accent at times, going really Welshy for a few words, something that made me laugh, it’s OK though, I’m Welsh. The look of the Lizard himself was great, until we get to his head. His head looks like a Goomba from the Super Mario Movie. Not good.

The plot is hackneyed beyond belief. OK so the Stan Lee Spider-Man isn’t exactly the best written story ever, but that was the 60’s, times were different, and to be honest, I’ve been reading a fair few classic comics, including Spider-Man and The Fantastic Four, from the 1960’s and yes they are of their time, but there is a magnificent charm about them, a charm that hasn’t translated to this film. Spider-Man seems to be without some of his powers. His Spider-sense in particular seems to go in and out. Also at the end, his wall sticking ability seems not to be working. Mechanical web shooters are closer to the comics, but I always preferred organic ones anyway, so that’s more of a personal choice.  At one point Spider-Man sets a camera trap for the Lizard, and the Lizard looks at the camera, where Peter Parker has handily stuck ‘Property of Peter Parker’ on to it. Thus the Lizard knows who Spider-Man is. Erghh.

 

Uncle Ben’s death is also no where near as impactful as in the first movie. Peter Parker decides that he will hunt down the criminal who killed Ben, but this becomes a crusade against one man, and it then becomes accidental that Spider-Man stops crime at all. It takes a meeting with Captain Stacy to make Peter realise that Spider-Man can help people. It makes Pete come across as selfish, not what Spider-Man is all about really.

The major problem I had with the film however is that every 20 mins, Peter is taking his mask off, or telling someone he is Spider-Man. I couldn’t believe he told Gwen. What is the point of wearing a mask to protect your identity, if you don’t wear it. Stupid. Also there is no ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ speech. How did that happen? Oh and the after credits scene is stupid too. I presume it’s Norman Osborne who is talking to Curt Connors, but how did he get into a max security prison cell, and how did he get out? Is he magic? Also, Spider-Man gets bitten by a genetically modified spider, that comes from a room full of genetically modified spiders, meaning there are thousands of chances for more spider men to be made. Also, why change police officers into Lizards, when nothing happens with it? The more I write about this film, the more I realise I really didn’t like it.

However, my favourite bit, and it was rather great, was the Stan Lee cameo. Perhaps the best one yet. No spoilers, I almost cheered when I saw it. I didn’t like The Amazing Spider-Man, but everyone I went with did enjoy it. Maybe you will like it too, it just didn’t work for me. By now everyone should know how Spider-Man came to be. We didn’t need another origin story, I would have much preferred a Spider-Man 4, than a new take on the franchise. Such a shame.

Hmsbeefnuts Presents…

By @hmsbeefnuts

There are a few changes afoot here at All Geek To Me. Our regular Sunday Trivia feature will continue, but now Geeky Gem alone will be heroically handling business on a Sunday. She enjoys doing it anyway, and so I have freed myself up to write a blog on a Wednesday, something I will be calling Wednesday Whimsy, for no other reasons than, I’m not quite sure what I’ll be doing every week, and I like alliteration. At least once a month I will be looking at the goings on in the WWE, something I will be calling Wrestling round up. There will also be a round-up of major geeky news stories in other weeks. There may very well be other stuff going on too, but I haven’t quite figured it all out yet. Needless to say we will now have a regular post on a Wednesday as well.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has visited and read this blog, and we hope that you continue to read, and hopefully enjoy, All Geek To Me for a long time to come. So without further ado, lets crack on with our first Wednesday Whimsy article, this week….

Last week the reveal trailer for Call of Duty Black Ops II came out. Looks good as ever, this time set slightly in the future. Check it out below.

Sticking with trailers, here is the new one for The Dark Knight Rises, it looks epic.

Third times the charm, check out the trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man, not quite sure what to think of this one…

Wednesday Whimsy draws to a close. I’ll catch you next Wednesday for more, umm, whimsy I guess. That’s All Folks.

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