A Strider92 Rant: Are We Taking Comedy Too Seriously?

Before I begin I will just inform that I haven't posted any comedians below who are offensive (as this is a family-friendly site i'll keep that sort out and just talk about them instead). Now this came to mind after seeing a few things not just on the internet or the Vine but out and about in general. First off I am big fan of comedy I love to laugh as much as the next guy and honestly it takes a LOT to offend me. I like nearly all forms comedy from slapstick all the way down to the lowest depths of dark and depraved. As long as it makes me laugh I don't have any quarrel with the context or the information contained in it.

What I can't understand is why some people get offended by jokes about "shady" subjects such as rape or other such crimes. Now I do know that not all comedy is for everyone my friends have laughed at things that I just didn't think was funny and visa versa not all of us have the same taste and thats fine. What I can't grasp is why comedians and even normal people who happen to make a socially awkward joke are berated for doing so. Just because they make a joke about something does not mean they condone it or would ever do it in real life under any circumstance. The same way that when we play games on the computer and kill people in them we would never do it in real life. Jokes no matter how dark and disturbing are hypothetical scenarios that are designed with the sole purpose of making you laugh. Getting angry or offended at a joke that involves any sort of crime makes no more sense than getting angry or offended at a book when someone in it undergoes the same treatment. Both are hypothetical scenarios designed to entertain you just in two different ways. I have never read a book were one of the characters has been assaulted or worse and come out feeling angry or offended and thinking "the writer really shouldn't have said that its sick" because that would be stupid. The writer is telling a story and using such material to deepen the story. So why the do people get offended when the same is done with jokes? Its exactly the same principle whether it is to your taste or not there is no use getting worked up about it as it isn't real and is designed to keep you entertained.

The come-back I often get is that jokes about that sort of thing "cheapen and make light of an act that shouldn't be made light of" to which I say that is complete crap! With regards to cheapening an act we can look to comics to characters like Joker and Carnage who murder people on a daily basis. The Joker even kills people in comical ways to boot and yet somehow despite the fact they do this so much and on such disturbed levels this is never considered cheapening because it is part of their character. With regards to the "making light of something that shouldn't be made light of" this is all a matter of perspective. As I said earlier in this post if you laugh at a joke regardless of the content it doesn't automatically mean you condone it. It just means you found the way in which that was said was humorous. If I laugh at a dead baby joke I don't suddenly think "heck now I think thats funny lets go get a pitchfork and kill some kids" or if a laugh at a joke made a woman's expense I don't suddenly become sexist. No I laughed because it was a hypothetical scenario that was designed by someone using that materiel with the sole intent of making me laugh at it.

There isn't really much that makes me angry but people berating other people for making jokes and saying things like "You mustn't say things like that" or "Your making fun of something you mustn't make fun of" because at the end of the day the person who told you that joke be it friend, co-worker or comedian has told it to you in an effort to make you laugh which is a very nice thing to do as they have taken the time out of whatever they are doing in an attempt to entertain you. Even if you don't find the joke funny or don't like the material you should at least appreciate that.

As I said not everyone has the same sense of humor but that doesn't mean you should berate people who have one that is different to your own or has a different perception of what is funny than you. Now i'm not saying you should tell any joke anywhere there is a thing called discretion and should learn to pick your audience such as friends and family and not complete strangers but when it comes to actually going to a comedy club or some such venue it was your choice to go. There's no point in talking down to someone who's on stage with the sole intent of entertaining you especially you went there of your own accord. You didn't like it that's fine but there's no use moaning about it just don't go to see that comedian again.

To sum it up getting angry or offended at a joke is about the same as getting angry at or offended by Carnage or Joker. Neither are real and based on hypothetical instances, both are created by the writer to entertain you and if you don't like that sort of material don't read it.

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A Strider92 Rant: Valiant>>>>DC and Marvel

Recently I branched out into reading more comics from Valiant because at the time I was only reading Harbinger and the occasional Bloodshot issue. Having decided to pick up a few of the other series I went out and picked up a couple of TPB's and issues (that weren't too expensive) and ended up reading at the very least 5 issues from everyone of Valiant's ongoings. There are currently 6 on-goings at the moment with an upcoming one sometime over the next few months:

  • Archer and Armstrong
  • Bloodshot
  • Harbinger
  • Harbinger Wars
  • Shadowman
  • X-O Manowar
  • Quantum and Woody (upcoming)

And you know what? Every single one of these titles and I mean every single one (aside from Quantum & Woody that hasn't started yet) is amazing. Not only are they good but they put most of DC's and Marvel's top titles to shame. I dropped Batman for Harbinger quite a while back and its been so amazing that I haven't regretted it in the slightest (despite feeling a bit sad at missing out on Snyder and Capullo) and i'd have no problem saying that for pure story it seems the superior title. Granted they do only have 6 ongoings at the moment but I put it to you to name 6 on-goings from DC or Marvel that are not just great but incredible. I tried and I couldn't.

What I do like about it is that despite only having 6 titles Valiant have done their best to cater to nearly every reader. There is everything from Tech related characters, to supernatural ones, to assassins, to super-soldiers and powerful telepaths and telekinetics. I have gotten the feeling that despite a very few titles (Scarlet Spider, Batwing to name 2) DC and Marvel have become very lazy allowing their name to sell the comic rather than actual interesting plot-lines. So in attempt to get more people to give them a shot I made this blog to talk about their titles and why you should be reading them!

Archer and Armstrong:

Infiltrating an enemy base.......level: Boss

I actually got introduced to this title when I bought some Harbinger issues off of eBay. The seller was nice enough to throw in a free comic and it was the first issue of this ongoing. I don't know whether to love the seller for introducing me to genuinely the most fun i've had reading a comic in a long time or hate him because now I have to spend more money every month.

The two main characters as the title so rightly puts are called Archer and Armstrong:

Archer is an 18 year old brought up to be a killer. If you've played the Hitman games think 47's origin and Archer has had the same sort of deal. Trained since he was very young to be the most deadly killer possible. Archer also possesses the innate ability of "Perception" which allows him to psychically copy any skill perfected by human or immortal. Think Taskmaster if he didn't job all the time.

Training
Getting shot in the eye makes women less hot? Who knew!?

Armstrong is an immortal who has been around for a loooooong time (don't remember the exact time but he was seen in Ancient Egypt at one point). Due to his long life and almost un-killable nature Armstrong has taken on a humoristic and laid-back kind of attitude. Basically he's like Deadpool but without the craziness and nowhere near as violent.

The story initially follows Archer who is tasked with hunting down and killing Armstrong. It turns out however the people who trained him were actually part of a devil worshiping cult called the Sect so of course they didn't want Armstrong dead because he was bad man as Archer was led to believe but because he was a threat. After discovering this Archer and Armstrong team-up to take the fight to the Sect.

This is the best comic book duo i've read in a while the two characters play off each other brilliantly despite the fact they look and act completely differently. This comic also blends in seriousness and humor seamlessly. Its definitely one of the most amusing titles i've read this year. I wanted to try and compare it to one of Marvels or DC's on-goings so you could get an idea on what it feels like but honestly I can't there isn't really anything like this going in either company at the moment! If you like comics with a bit humor but are also balanced with quite a lot of serious stuff too then pick this up!

Bloodshot:

After the Harbinger tie-in I thought i'd give Bloodshot a go and i'm glad I did because this series is awesome. If you're a fan of the whole military super-soldier Sci-Fi genre then this series if for you.

Bloodshot is about a super-soldier who's body is filled with nanites. These nanites give Bloodshot the ability to recover from fatal injuries with almost no trouble, superhuman stats, turn invisible as well as many other bonuses. Bloodshot has the opposite to Jason Bourne's problem. Every memory he has was in fact implanted in his head so some of them may be real and some may be falsified or they may all be fake. Upon realizing what has been done to him Bloodshot reacts pretty badly (as would anyone) and attacks his creators. As the series progress's you see the focus shift from Bloodshot into a much bigger scope.

I honestly can't say a whole lot about it without spoiling things from Bloodshot, Harbinger and Harbinger Wars as these are quite entwined at the moment. All I can say is read it! You won't be disappointed!

As the super-solider has become pretty saturated in the comic world I was sure if anyone could continue to keep the idea fresh and interesting then Valiant came along and proved me wrong.

Just a little problem huh?

Harbinger:

I'm sure i've heard my sister scream at me that loud before

This was the first Valiant title I ever read and as such is probably my favorite. Having been used to seeing Telekinetics and Telepaths in Marvel and DC I was surprised by how differently they were portrayed here. These ones aren't nice. They don't just push people around with their mind. They go around clicking their fingers and blowing peoples heads off (frankly after this series i'd be surprised if the military had any men left). This is definitely the best psionic based series i've read in a while (X-men eat your heart out!).

Harbinger initially follows the story of Peter Stanchek a Harbinger with vast psionic powers that range from TK and TP to psionic screams and deconstruction.

I say initially follows because as the story goes on more and more characters join until its more of a team-based series with Peter as the leader. After going through life with only his best friend for company (the only person who knows about Peter's abilities) he is approached by Toyo Harda another powerful Harbinger who offers to teach him about his powers and who even has an establishment dedicated to keeping Harbingers in control of their abilities. However all is not as it appears and things get very bad very quickly when the true nature of Toyo's intentions are revealed. This is another title I can't go to in-depth with due to its connection to other Valiant titles to to avoid spoilers i'll end here.

This was yet another genre that I thought was stale and overused. However Harbinger has again proved me wrong. The no-holds-barred universe that Valiant has created allows all of Harbinger's characters to cut loose. Something unfortunately Marvel and DC does not have the luxury of (well its mainly their decision.......but still). As I said this is my favorite series from Valiant at the moment the story is brilliant, the art is great and the characters are all amazing too. There is nothing to dislike about this series and if it isn't on your pull-list then do something about it!

Harbinger Wars:

Bloodshot Vs Stanchek

Harbinger Wars is the current event going on in Valiant involving Harbinger and Bloodshot. Due to the fact it takes place well into the both Bloodshot and Harbinger I can't say a lot about it spoilers and all. All you really need to know is that everything that has been built up in both Bloodshot and Harbinger comes together in an all out war between Bloodshot, Peter Stanchek and Toyo Harada.

Thus far its been awesomely brutal and brilliantly written. One thing I really like about what Valiant have done with this is that everything that is relevant to your favorite character also happens in their own title. For example a fight that happened in Harbinger Wars was repeated in Bloodshot but from Bloodshot's perspective in his own title.

I remember being really annoyed at Marvel and DC when I really wanted to see what happened next but to do so i'd have to buy a comic completely unrelated to the character I was interested in so just to see what happens next I had to buy another comic that wasn't on my pull-list. Valiant very kindly did away with that BS so you can see everything that happens to the character you're following in their own title as well as Harbinger Wars.

Well that got out of hand fast!

Shadowman:

This title is one I actually haven't been following that long. In fact i'm only 5 issues into it but thus far it has shown the same high quality of story and art that is fast becoming the norm for Valiant titles. I said before that Valiant was making an effort to appeal to all audiences and this is the supernatural title.

Shadowman is about a guy called Jack Boniface (I know I laughed at the surname too) who's father was a Shadowman. Having never really known is his parents he hires a PI to get information on them. This ends with the PI discovering that both his parents were supposed to have been criminals. In a fit of rage he throws the talisman his mother gave him into a river however this was actually a protection rune and as soon as it was removed from Jack's ownership all the nasty beasties his father used to hunt and kill can now sense him. Jack soon discovers like his father he is a Shadowman who has super-human strength, speed and agility, can manipulate darkness and who is almost completely un-killable as long as he is in shadows. Not a moment to soon as his fathers enemies come after him.

I'm not really a big fan of supernatural type titles. In fact off-hand the only title involving the supernatural I really liked was Hellblazer. Suffice to say this isn't my preferred area of comicdom having said that this is still a top-notch title. The story is great, the art is great and the characters are also solid. If I was more into this sort of genre i'd probably be really into it. However given that i'm not and I still like this title is a credit to its execution as i'm quite a hard person to please if I dislike something.

X-O Manowar:

This is by far one of the most unusual titles I have ever read and quite honestly when I looked into what it was about I thought "Nah sounds stupid" and wrote it off before even trying it. I eventually gave it a shot after seeing some scans and damn was I wrong. The concept may seem bizarre and even stupid but how its executed makes it brilliant.

X-O Manowar is about a Visigoth (nah this isn't some code name I mean an actual Visigoth) who was abducted by Aliens waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the Roman Era. He and a lot of his people were taken as slaves and during an escape attempt Aric bonds with the Manowar suit a piece of Alien tech revered as a god by the Alien race. He escapes the Aliens and returns to earth which is now in the present day so everything is pretty damn confusing for him. The story continues to progress into to Spies, Alien invasions and Military operations. There is basically a bit of something for everyone. Although the story is about Aric there are many interesting characters in this series the best of who (imo) is Ninjak.

This series is nowhere near as odd as it sounds and how it plays out on paper is very entertaining. I don't think i've ever heard of a concept as different from the norm as this that plays out so normally in the comic. There isn't really anything I can compare it too.

Quantum and Woody (Upcoming):

Don't really know much about this series apart from its about two-half brothers who gain abilities through accidental means. If Valiant follows its current trend then this should also be an above average series. Oh and theres a goat in it too? Dunno how thats going to work but Valiant have made a habit of surprising me.

Conclusion:

Every single comic on-going Valiant has released since its relaunch has been awesome. There is not one that I would say is below average and there is definitely not a bad one among them. If Valiant does ever make it big (unlikely but still) then for pure story it looks like it could take out both Marvel and DC quite easily especially considering some of the current runs that are going on (Yes Slott i'm looking at you!). If you don't have at least one of these on your pull-list yet then do it now! I definitely recommend trying one of these out! Because of Valiant i'm only reading 1 DC title (Batwing) and 1 Marvel title (Scarlet Spider) i've dropped everything else for all of Valiant's ongoing and it was damn worth it!

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LMS: Killbook Of A Bounty Hunter Reprint

Dark Horse muthas!

Great news! Dan Luvisi's Killbook Of A Bounty Hunter has been bought by Dark Horse comics and is getting a reprint this year and will hit stores on the 6th of December 2013. I was one of the lucky ones who got his hands on this when it was a limited print waaaay back in 2010 but for all of you who were not as lucky as me now is your chance to get your hands on it.

suspected interior from the upcoming on-going series
Another suspected interior

The book is a prequel to what will be a comic series sometime near the beginning of 2014 (which is rumored to be called Once Upon A Time In Amerika). The whole book is presented to you as a scrap book from the point of view of Gabriel (the protagonist) a super-human soldier code-named Paladin. Who after being victorious during World War XIII is chosen to be earths foremost protector until he is framed for something he didn't do by the terrorist group Pandemonium and sent to the level-9 facility for execution. After nine years he breaks out and comes after the people who framed him for revenge.

There are quite a few reasons you should buy this book:

  1. Dan Luvisi is on the art interiors and if you can't appreciate that then shame on you!
  2. This acts as a prequel to the comic series that begins in 2014 so if you want to follow whats going on its best to read it.
  3. The concept and universe is awesome.

Here's some taster character art from the book:

Gabriel (Protagonist):

Dante, Leader of Pandemonium (Antagonist):

Agents Of Pandemonium:

Eris and Abbadon

Agents Of Order:

Doyle and Number 4

Suffice to say the art is stunning and these are just a few of the characters that are in the book itself and will be appearing in the eventual on-going series that follows in 2014:

A few interiors from LMS: Killbook Of A Bounty Hunter

even if you don't really like the concept this book is still a masterpiece of art and deserves your attention. The fact Dante can waltz through machine gun fire and get shot in the head multiple times without even stopping in his swagger is just a bonus!

The reprint is now available for pre-order so I suggested you head over to Dark Horse and order it........Right now!

Come at me brah!

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A Strider92 Rant: Comics I Wish Would Get A Movie (but probably won't)

Thought i'd make a list of characters I would like to see in a movie but will probably never get one (at least not in my time T.T).

In no particular order:

Team 7:

The original Team 7

Now first off i'm not talking about the new-52 reboot Team 7 i'm talking about the old awesome Wildstorm one. Team 7 has all the components to be easily adapted to the screen and an awesome back story. For those of you who haven't read it, Team 7 follows a Spec Ops team that are exposed to a substance called the Gen-Factor (think of it as a super-soldier serum that gives you psionic powers instead of physical ones). The more notable members include Micheal Cray (Deathblow), Cole Cash (Grifter), Marc Slayton (Backlash), John Lynch and Alexander Fairchild. This has so much screen potential its sad that it may never happen. It is first and foremost a military series that focuses on the team dealing with terrorists and other normal modern day threats. In fact prior to series two they encountered no superhuman threats (aside from each other).

True friendship!

The characters in it also play well off each other especially Cole and Slayton who have a very love/hate relationship. Nearly all of the team become capable pisonic users and telepaths (apart from Slayton who's powers mutated). Because of the current trend of gritty films being popular this one is perfect. Its a secret agent crossed with a military thriller with superpowers thrown in and if done right it could be a damn brilliant film.

Hunter-Killer:

Copying uncontrollable powers is not a good idea

Hunter-Killer is kind of a like a no-holds-barred version of X-men. Ultra-Sapiens were designed to outdate nuclear weapons as one of the characters said "They're volatile, wasteful, and completely diminish property values." Thus a project was created to design humans with superhuman abilities. However they were treated as any weapon is stockpiled, kept away from civilians and generally treated as little more than animals. Some of them decided that being under the governments control was no longer in their best interests. Led by Steve and Sue Baker an attack was carried out on the labs that created them and ended with the total destruction of all data concerning the Ultra-Sapiens (names, locations, powers etc....). The only catalog that still existed of said data is contained within their young son Ellis's genetic structure.

Scary Wolf is Scary

Fast forward 17 years and the project that created Ultra-Sapiens is now called Hunter-Killer and is led by the same man who designed them. Morningstar an Ultra-Sapien himself that can hypnotize people by speaking. Ultra Sapiens that willingly turn themselves in or don't resist when caught are given jobs as part of the hunter-team while the dangerous ones are killed. Ellis is recruited into the Hunter-Killers and used to track down rogue Ultra-Sapiens.

Hunter-Killer blends together superpowers and the whole "Special Ops team used for taking out inhuman threats" exceedingly well. To a point that besides a few modifications the screen-play is basically already written. Adapting it would be far from hard to do.

Taskmaster:

Boss mode activated!

This is where a lot of people are most likely "wtfing" however when you look at who and what Taskmaster is he is actually far more screen friendly than characters like Captain America or Thor. Taskmaster is basically the ultimate spy/mercenary. Someone who can seamlessly copy anything he see's and thanks to some fancy gear look like anyone he wants. Taskmaster was the byproduct of Tony Masters (a SHIELD agent) taking an experimental serum designed to increase his brain function which to a point it did. However every time Taskmaster learns/copies something he looses his older memories. Due to this condition he was brainwashed into thinking he was in fact a villain when really he was a good guy. Taskmaster's origin is one of the saddest i've ever read in Marvel comics. Anyone who read the Taskmaster mini-series written by Fred Van Lente back in 2010 will know exactly what i'm talking about.

Watching movies is training for Tasky!

A Taskmaster film I would liken to Jason Bourne with superpowers. Amnesiac, kick-ass fighter, doesn't know who to trust, emotional and laxed morals. Taskmaster's ability to copy anything and speed up his movements the faster he watches them would be awesome to see on screen. Especially if they take UDON's approach to his powers and suit. Suffice to say for pure story and entertainment value Taskmaster is far more adaptable to the screen than Captain America, Wolverine and many other Marvel characters its just a shame that he will never get the opportunity to get there as if done right he could blow most other Marvel films out of the water.

I, Vampire:

Blade got nothing on this!

I, Vampire was one of the few New-52 titles I actually liked......scratch that I loved that title and DC being the lazy-a$$ company it is couldn't be bothered to promote it! So despite all the awards it won they still canceled it!? Well screw you too DC *fan-rage over*. Anyhow I, Vampire is by far one of the best takes i've seen of Vampires in fiction in a loooooooooong time and frankly they needed some good press after......well you guys know. I, Vampire is about an ancient Vampire called Andrew Bennett who dedicates his life to killing his own kind as he views them as evil. Unfortunately his lover (well now ex-lover) disagrees. She thinks Vampires are a superior species and deserve to rule the world. So Andrew now has to kill her to prevent a major Vampire take-over.....still a better love story than Twilight!......ok i'm sorry, i'm done now I swear.

Oh snap!

The whole atmosphere and story behind I, Vampire was amazing as I said earlier in my opinion it was by far the best thing to come out of the New-52 and gave the overused, over-saturated world of Vampires a new lease of life. On-screen it would be visually stunning especially on a high budget (that Dc won't give anyone unless they are Superman or Batman...) and would definitely bring back the whole dark, evil, dangerous Vampire vibe that has now gone missing.

Moon Knight:

Here's Johnny!

Moon Knight is basically Batman on crack and even just saying that makes me want to see it. Anything Batman can do he can do......well not better but badass! Seeing Moon Knight on-screen would be downright awesome he has the benefit of being a realistic hero (super-rich) but the downright scariness and brutality of a psychopath. The thing that really makes Moon Knight adaptable is the fact that he is crazy because honestly to go out and be a superhero in the real world you'd need to be crazy. Thats one of the things that throws him out of convention.

I wantz your face!

His laxed morals, gritty universe and take-no-crap attitude is exactly the type of stuff that is popular in the entertainment industry right now. How Punisher has 3 or 4 movies and Moon Knight has none is sacrilege! All Marvel need to do is give him an Iron Man style budget and make it R-Rated (yep i'm living in a dream-world at the moment just let me enjoy it!) and you could have a movie that would take Nolan's Batman to school. Moon Knight has everything you need to create an awesome movie and because of who he is you can play with his origin slightly in a way that won't upset the fans but still make it a grounded movie that people who have no experience with the character can appreciate.

Scarlet Spider:

Damn Straight!

When it comes to Spider-man, clones aren't really a popular thing however one clone I liked even before he got his own ongoing was Kaine. He was the What If? version of Peter. The one who had all the power and none of the responsibility. The one who was perfectly prepared to lash out at the world where Peter wouldn't. Like Moon Knight is Batman on crack Scarlet Spider is Spider-man on crack. Kaine is the perfect anti-hero. He has a very wobbly moral compass however what makes him even more interesting is that he has Spider-man to aspire to so he knows that he isn't as good a person (and probably never will be as good a person) as Peter Parker which is what motivates him to keep doing what he's doing in attempt to better himself. He has something a lot of anti-heroes lack and that is a damn good reason for being what he is and how he is.

Thats quite a handshake

Because making a Scarlet Spider movie would mean making the clone saga this is most likely never going to happen however this is a shame because a Scarlet Spider movie would shake up the rigid view people have on Spider-man as a character. Seeing what Peter would have been like without a moral code is damn fun to watch and Kaine's powers differing slightly from Pete's adds a unique quality to him not to mention the fact that despite being cloned from Parker, Kaine is nothing like him. A script for this movie could easily be adapted from the pages of the first few issues of Scarlet Spider centering on Kaine's attack on the gangs and human trafficking on the Texas/Mexico border and it would be damn entertaining at that!

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A Strider92 Rant: No Kill Codes. Yay or Nay?

I came across this post and it got me thinking. In hindsight I could have replied there but it was going to be a long-a$$ post so I decided to do it here.

Yay or Nay?

Its quite an interesting question really. The whole no-killing code was something that dates back right to the golden age of superhero comics. In-fact at one point it was almost a prerequisite that to be a hero you mustn't be a killer no matter the circumstances. Now however that is far from true. Recently we've had quite an influx of more laxed heroes who are prepared to do anything if it means wining and keeping the people they love or the world safe. So why has this happened? Why aren't characters such as Superman or Spider-man still out there in abundance (they are still there of course but for every strict no killer I can name I can name about 4 all-out killers)?

I think the culprit is simply the time that's past and how society has changed between then and now. I know for a fact that as a kid I wasn't exposed to as much brutality in film, literature and other general entertainment media as I am now. Heck I remember that Stephan Sommers "The Mummy" used to creep me the hell out and yet now that seems pretty tame in comparison to some of the things i've watched now that have the same rating. For example I recently saw "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" (which wasn't great imo but thats another topic) and in that I was watching people's heads getting blown off, crushed, people getting torn apart literally limb from limb and heck even at one point a forced suicide. This was only rated 15 and it was all VERY graphic. There is no way that a film like that would have passed for a 15 rating back when I was a kid not even close. Another thing that made me notice this was when I saw my nephew (he's 10) and he wanted to watch Taken (which is an awesome movie btw!). All the way through that movie he didn't bat an eyelid not even at the part where the guy is getting tortured.

Now you may be wondering where i'm going with this! The hero in this was doing all the things he did to get his daughter back and save her from prostitution and whatever other nasty things the people had planned and he went on to murdered a LOT of people even tortured one and yet all the way through the movie you couldn't fault the guy because he was trying to save his daughter. The whole thing was based on "the end justifies the means". Now as a kid like probably everyone who is reading this now was taught that killing is wrong (duh!) however no matter how you looked at this movie there is no way that the hero despite the fact he was killing people left right and center was bad. So somewhere along the line the whole "No killing-code" became void because if he hadn't have done what he did he would have failed and the ending would have been very sad. Not mention due to the more graphic violence we are being exposed too its less shocking when the hero kills someone.

Oh
Snap!

This can be seen in comics too the most recent on which I came across in Constantine. As usual ol'John is getting picked on by those pesky cultists until one of them attempts to poison him. He then confronts the woman responsible who then tries to kill him yet again using some demonic voodoo crap and ol'John doesn't even hesitate to kill her by incinerating her entire body. I don't know about you guys but I can't really reproach Constantine for what he did here because if he hadn't of reacted he'd have been flash fried not to mention he wasn't initially going at the situation lethally. He even tried to interrogate her pretty calmly until she went all cultist on him. So how can we have a go at Constantine in this kill or be killed situation frankly we can't but what we also have to remember is who Constantine is. The guy is a stupidly powerful magic user and had he wanted to i'm sure he could have taken this cultist out without killing her. However at no point reading this did I think "Oh my god what a bad person. He murdered that psycho-murdering-demon-worshiping woman in cold blood." I believe my thought at the times was "That'll teach the demon-worshiping-cultist!

Wrong order?
Clean up in aisle 6 please!

The reason "No Kill Codes" seem outdated is because media does have a much bigger habit of using "the end justifies the means" approach. Meaning that someone who stands by a strict set of values not to kill is less likely to get the job done than someone who doesn't. A very good example of this (no matter how much it pains me to say it) is Superior Spider-man. Prior to Superior Peter Parker was a guy who wouldn't even kill in self-defense no matter the circumstance. The "Power and Responsibility" line kept him from doing it. Now of course he's been taken over by Doc Ock and is going about the whole Spider thing a tad differently. Now a quick bit of back story. Well before Superior began Spider-man apprehended a murdering psychopath called Massacre. Who had murdered quite a few people. Spider-man of course captured him and gave him to the police even saving his life when the police tried to gun Massacre down.

Click, Click
Boom!

Now back to Superior. Massacre breaks out of jail and proceeds to kill everyone in a fast-food restaurant children and all. Now had Peter simply have put him down back when he fought him the first time all the innocent men, women and children in that restaurant would still be alive. So I put it to you guys. One life of a psychopathic mass-murderer or the lives of those men, women and children he brutally killed prior and post Superior? I think I know what most people's answer would be. Of course SpOck then came along and did what everyone else was thinking. He took Massacre down in a way that he could never hurt anyone again. So here we can see that "No Kill Codes" are sometimes very very inefficient and end up causing so much more harm than they prevent. As much as I hate to admit SpOck is far more efficient than Spider-man. Suffice to say how we view what our heroes does and how they do it has changed. What does grind my gears some times is when people refer to comics such as say Punisher or even the scans I provided of Superior as "Dark and Gritty". They aren't. In most cases they are the cold truth (albeit exaggerated). We see it on the news sometimes that someone out on bail has gone and murdered another 3 people. The reason "No Kill Codes" seem outdated is because of how our society has evolved, changed and how we view things. Back when I was young I would never have seen the kind of scene we had with Massacre on the TV or otherwise and yet now we hear about this kind of thing on a not so rare basis in the entertainment media and more scarily in the real media as well. Inspiration for comics (especially street level ones) are being drawn more and more from the reality of what we are seeing. So we are judging the scenario's we see in the comics as we would in reality because we've seen them on the News and other media. So that when we do see a villain such as Massacre get his just deserts we aren't off-put because if someone had done the same thing to a real-life mass-murderer all his later victims would still be alive. Now I must stress i'm not debating whether this is right or wrong i'm just stating what i'm seeing.

Whats the bet at least one of them had a kid?

Another prime example of this is Batman and the Joker. Batman won't kill due to the whole thing with his parents and because he feels partly responsible for what happened to him. Now Bruce is Batman because of what happened to him as a child and he wants to do his very best to prevent what happened to him ever happening to another child a noble cause yes however all in all he's horribly inefficient when it comes to the Joker. How many people has the Joker killed? and how many times has he Bruce put him back in Arkham or prison? I honestly don't want to try and guess at either. He won't kill the Joker because its against his code and yet by not doing it he is causing the perpetual misery of what happened to him as a child to befall the children of the mothers and fathers Joker has murdered. Its madness. No matter how rigid you are there comes a point when something has to give. Especially as Bruce must be able to relate to all the orphaned children he has indirectly caused by not putting Joker down the 4th, 5th or whatever time the Joker broke out and went on a killing spree.

What this whole thing comes down to is that "No Kill Codes" are horribly inefficient now. They are a noble thing to try and achieve but very misguided when you considered the magnitude of how keeping someone like the Joker or Massacre alive completely contradicts what you are trying to achieve by using those set of values.

Before comics went "Dark and Gritty" (or drawing stories from reality as i'd call them) we didn't have the same level of psychopathic, mindless violence we see now. Before it was stereotypical for a hero to be fighting a mad-man as he attempts to take over the world not a psychotically twisted individual who wants nothing more than to inflict pain simply because he or she can. The way villains are portrayed now is far more disturbing than before and the reason for this is in my opinion is that writers are no longer taking their stories completely from fantasy. We don't see the classic "i'm going to take over the world" very often now its murder, mutilation and butchering that is basically very exaggerated forms of what we see on the news. Because writers seem to be drawing more and more from reality it puts us more in the situation of the hero. For example how would any of us cope with taking down a villain that is going to pull the earth out or orbit and let it freeze over? We have absolutely no idea at all because we will never be put in that situation and cannot relate to it but how would we react to being around a homicidal, maniac who kills people simply because he/she can? We all would have a very good idea we'd probably be angry, upset etc....

That is one of the reasons heroes like Superman can get away with having a "No Kill Code" because they are put in situations we will never ever ever find ourselves in EVER! Characters like Batman, Spdier-man and Daredevil have a much harder time due to the more realistic foes they have. For example we're never going to have to fight Darkseid (at least I hope not!) or H'el but there is always a VERY slim chance that one day you might get attacked by a psychopath. Because it is a real-life threat (albeit a very small one) we look at people like the Joker and Massacre far more personally.

Another thing with the Classic "No Kill Codes" superhero's like Superman and Spider-man is that to lash out in anger and really want to kill something it always had to be a monster and by monster I don't mean figuratively I mean physically and mentally. A good example of this is Spider-man Vs Shathra:

Here we have Spider-man probably the most far gone he has ever been. He is actually going in to kill her but this is whats interesting. In the 4th scan we see Peter refer to Shathra as a "Monstrous, inhuman, thing" this is further enforced by how she looks. Suddenly he's no longer fighting someone like Scorpion or Vulture he's up against something that he doesn't consider human and thats when he lets loose. Because of Spider-man's strict "No Kill Code" the writer had to turn Shathra into something less than human so that Spider-man could truly lay into her. All through this issue I did not feel one inch of empathy towards Shathra because she was what the writer set out to portray her as BUT through that entire arc she did not kill 1 person! Thats right her slate is even cleaner than the Vulture. All she did was attack Spider-man personally. So why should he react in such away when he's been present for one of Massacre's shoot-outs and not been anywhere near as angry? The reason for this is because that although "No Kill Codes" are declining the writers still want to keep people like Spider-man and Superman as the epitome of good so the only time they can truly lax out is against a monster that is both physically and mentally not human in such a way we cannot relate to it and say "Hold on a sec how come he killed that guy and not that guy?"

Conclusion:

Are "No Kill Codes" outdated? The simple answer is yes. They are the classic ideal of being good no matter the circumstance and all in all are rather inefficient in today's media. HOWEVER does that mean we want them done away with? HELL NAW. Imagine having your child growing up not having fictional characters like Superman, Spider-man or Batman who try to do good no matter what? While ineffective, contradictory and sometimes out right hypocritical, heroes that follow the "No Kill Code" are in general far more interesting than ones who don't because they have to live with the consequences of what they do and don't do. Batman, Spider-man and Superman have never woken up and gone "Well i've killed all the bad guys the city is safe!" No! They wake up knowing that through their actions some people might get hurt and that sense of responsibility is what motivates them to fight harder and stronger because they know if they fail its their fault. All in all "No Kill Code" characters have a far more emotional connection to what they do and that's why we like them!

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Ian Nottingham Respect Thread

Thought i'd make a respect thread for my favorite Top Cow character!

"Due to his S.A.S training and other such training Ian is a master of hand to hand combat so much so that he can take on people vastly superior to himself such as the Witchblade."

Ian Vs The Witchblade:

(Ian actually lost this fight when the Witchblade freaked out but given that he was fighting an Artifact completely unarmed this is one impressive feat).

Ian Vs Assassins:

Ian Vs Nogawa:

(Disarms and kills one with Chopsticks!!!)

Takes out a team of supers with ease that were giving the Witchblade trouble:

Speed:

"Ian's Speed and reflexes are by far his most powerful attribute."

Catching bullets is a standard feat for Ian:

Deflecting bullets with his sword:

Moving as a blur to the Witchblade:

Pulls a Batman by disappearing without Sara realizing:

Killing a bunch of guys with some impressive speed:

Strength:

"Ian has a degree of superhuman strength that allows him to fight creatures like the Witchblade."

Slicing a car in half:

Slicing a car in half.......again:

The Blood Sword:

"Ian is currently the bearer of the Artifact known as the Blood Sword"

Slicing through a bridge and using energy projection:

The Blade is capable of killing the Angelus despite the fact the Angelus has survived far worse than decapitation with ease:

Thats all i've got at the moment i'll update this later when I have more scans :)

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A Strider92 Rant: Thoughts On Superior Spider-Man

Well we've had quite a few appearances from Superior now and I felt it was time I gave my opinion on it. When Slott first announced what he was doing I like i'm sure many other people banged their head against the desk in disbelief. The idea seemed completely awful. Unlike quite a few people I wasn't so opposed to Peter getting replaced (as a lot of people were) my main problem was with how Slott did it.

  • A supervillain becoming Spider-man.....I could handle that sounds interesting.
  • Doc Ock becoming Spider-man........less interested now but I guess i'd give it a shot. A much cooler villain could have fitted this purpose better. (Alistair Smythe or Eddie Brock anyone?)
  • Someone taking over Peter Parker's body.......Now you're pushing it!

But the combo of all 3 made me hate the idea before it had even begun. However being the Spider-man fan-boy that I am I bit the bullet and gave the first issue a shot and I was honestly surprised by what I got. Although the idea I still found distasteful the story was executed pretty well. The further the series went the more I got to realize that it wasn't so much the story that was bad but the timing that was badly off!

Allow me to explain:

So that happened!?
Anyone else getting deja vu?

1. At the time of 616 Peter's death Ultimate Peter Parker (one of the best things about that universe) had barely climbed into his grave. People including myself were still sad at his departure and when it happened again 616 it left a bitter familiar taste in my mouth that had barely been washed away since the first time.

Oh that Kaine!
Oh that Pete.....wait what!?

2. Scarlet Spider another spider-themed series had also barely been going a year before Superior occurred. Scarlet Spider represented what Peter Parker would be like if he had a slightly less lenient view on how to deal with criminals and it was pretty refreshing to see. Superior Spider-man completely made that series redundant by doing the same thing only a year after it had begun and that really REALLY annoyed me.We had only just got a series where the possibility of Spider-man's morals not holding him back has been created and what happens in the ongoing title not a few months later? We get the same damn thing. now we have to really violent Spider-men which detracts from the variation we previously had.

3. The story happened on the 50th anniversary and i'm sorry but you've got to be one cold son of a ***** to do something that awful to a character on its 50th. Not to mention due to the movie reboot the series was already going to have problems as new readers who come from the films are going to have no idea whats going on when they see Friendly Neighborhood Spidey shooting people in the face or snapping their necks.

We had heard from Slott prior to the event that nothing like this had ever been done but forgive if i'm wrong but killing Peter and replacing him with a colder more violent Spider-man which are the main themes of Superior all happened before Superior that same year. We had Pete die in the Ult-verse and Kaine become a more violent version of Spider-man. Suffice to say this series biggest problem was timing. Slott highly misjudged (in my opinion) when to launch this series. If he had left it maybe a year or two before putting this on the table I could almost guarantee people would have been less pissed off. Granted a lot of people would still be a annoyed but the backlash would have been far less violent.

Bad-
A$$!

Ok having got that off my chest I can talk freely about the rest. Despite the awful timing this series has turned out a pretty top notch story and scenario. There are many things I like about Superior Spider-man but the one thing I like most is seeing him use his intelligence to its fullest. Slott touched on this previously in Amazing Spider-man but in Superior, Spider-man is not just a big physical threat but a very dangerous intellectual one as well. SpOck has shown that he can use his brain and thats pretty fun to see. Thus far my favorite moment in the Superior Spider-man series was SpOck taking over the Ultrons! Not only was it a credit to SpOck's intelligence but also a little nod to Ock's old ability of controlling machines.

Respect my authoritah!

Another thing that has been interesting is Spider-man's villains reactions to this new Spidey. Although a lot of classic villains have yet to turn up a few of them have had the misfortune of falling on this new Spider-man and have seen (and felt) the difference. I especially like the instance of some of the surrendering before even putting up a fight. This is something that villains would never do when faced with the old "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-man". I'm actually itching to see how the Green Goblin takes this new Spider-man after the teaser in issue 4.

Cocky and Corny
Cold and Calculating!

Although Slott's writing has been ok on Superior Spider-man its over in Avenging that Superior's character really shines. Now I may be a little biased due to Yost being my favorite writer but Slott seems to treat Ock as if he's writing a cheesy villain whereas Yost has thus far portrayed SpOck as far more cold calculating and controlled which in my opinion is how SpOck should be. He doesn't need to run around spouting big words and monologuing he needs to be calculating and articulate which is exactly how he is portrayed in Avenging. Superior in Avenging seems far more scary than the one in Superior. What Thor said about Spider-man regarding his enemies as problems to be solved is the exact type of cold behavior I would expect from SpOck and the SpOck i'm seeing in Superior does not have the same cold logical mind and speaks like a corny 80's villain. Its as if Superior Spider-man is U rated and Avenging is R rated in comparison. If Slott really does plan on making Superior a longtime running status quo he needs to take a leaf out of Avenging and make SpOck more threatening and less corny. Another thing to point out is that what keeps most people reading Superior is Pete's ghost hanging around and yet a lot of people still consider Avenging the superior (hah pun) title. Despite the fact ghost Peter has yet to make an appearance in it. That in itself says something.

Homo Superior?.....PUHLEASE!

Another thing i'm loving about this series is the humor. When I heard about what Slott was was going to do I thought all the humor from Spider-man would be gone and fortunately its not true. The humor is still there its just changed. Pete's humor is more slapstick and observational whereas SpOck has a much more caustic and sarcastic sense of humor and generally insults his allies and enemies in such an arrogant condescending way its hilarious. (Something tells me SpOck isn't joining Scott Summers mutant revolution!) Although he's mean and downright insulting sometimes I am growing to like this dry callous sense of humor and I think it fits the character well.

Boob-shot!!!!

I also quite like that Superior despite being villainous still has enough of Peter Parker's personality left in him to make him question his every move. For example he shows legitimate concern for Screwball when he thinks he's hurt her due to the fact he knew she wasn't really a villain and just someone out playing around........until she and her mate Jester pissed him off and he beat them to a bloody-pulp of course......but we'll ignore that for the moment!

Overall I think Superior Spider-man is a good idea with a lot of potential however it was executed prematurely and unfortunately is paying the price for it. Having said that i'm really enjoying the series as a whole and i'm interested to see where this leads especially as its been hinted that Spider-man may become the new leader of "The Hand". Superior Spider-man in charge of an army of nigh-unkillable ninjas? Sounds both awesome and bizarre at the same time!

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Independent Titles Worth Trying

I recently went on a major independent binge as a friend of mine lent me a load (it began this morning and is still going on now lol). Seeing so many great titles that are largely unknown made me feel a little sad so I thought i'd make a list of the ones that in my opinion deserve some recognition. These titles are in no particular order:

Executive Assistant Franchise (Aspen Comics):

EA: Assassins #8

The reason i've written franchise and not a single comic title is because this is not a single title and has branched out into many others in the past that all interconnect. The franchise on a whole whole focuses on a group of people called Executive Assistants. This is of course a codename for people (mainly women) who are trained as what can only be described as Assassins/bodyguards. They are basically raised and trained to serve anyone their masters decide. The initial series that kicked of this franchise was called Executive Assistant: Iris and since then branched out into many other singular titles featuring other Assassins such as Lotus, Orchid and Violet.

Current:

This franchise currently has two titles on-going which are Volume 3 (at least I think its 3) of EA: Iris and a recently created title called Executive Assistant Assassins which unlike the other titles focuses on multiple assassins at the same time (although Lily seems to take most of the spot-light).

Why Should You read It?

Although the story can be sometimes quite hard to grasp or even disjointed at times (i'm generalizing here. EA: Assassin's has been pretty consistent thus far) it is for the most part very appealing and the mix of writers that appear on it bulk out the universe Aspen has created and makes it diverse. This series is designed for people who like action with a bit of mystery thrown in. As in all series it has its ups and downs but in my opinion it hasn't been a bad series and deserves a bit of recognition for the effort put in.

The art for the most part has been above average in nearly every title:

Head turning stuff huh? (Hah!)

Harbinger (Valiant Comics):

Harbinger is part of Valiant's thus far incredibly successful attempt at rebooting its titles. Having not read the original Harbinger series from back in the 90's I can't really compare the two (not sure if this is a good or bad thing) but from a new readers point of view this series has thus far been of a VERY high caliber in both story and art so much so that they make quite a few of Marvel and DC's big titles look bad. The story follows Peter Stanchek a boy who possess powerful pisonic abilities.

Current:

Harbinger is currently on its 9th issue so not that far ahead and has getting increasingly good as the series has progressed. I won't go into details to prevent spoilers for people who haven't read it yet.

Why Should You Read It?

There is absolutely no reason you should not give this a shot. It has been consistently brilliant both in writing and in art since it began and the fast-paced story-line keeps you interested in everything that is happening. I actually dropped a comic off my pull-list to make room for this series (Snyder's Batman. Which pained me because I love Capullo's art) but I do not regret it in the slightest. I've gotten much more enjoyment out of Harbinger than I have a lot of the big mainstream titles.

Bloodshot (Valiant Comics):

Another part of Valiant's reboot. Bloodshot follows an amnesiac soldier with nanites running through his body that grant him superhuman abilities (most notably his healing factor, invisibility and a sonic scream). Again I have not read Valiant's original series of this so I cannot compare them. The series kind of reminds of Jason Bourne (most likely because of the whole amnesia thing) and is on a whole a very good series. Like Harbinger it favors fast-paced story-telling and action.

Current:

Bloodshot is a series I really can't say much about without spoiling it as the story is driven by Bloodshot not knowing who he is. Like Harbinger Bloodshot is also only on his 9th issue so if this interests you at all I recommend giving it a shot.

Why Should You Read It?:

Bloodshot's most notable feature is its writing. The story has been brilliant thus far and doesn't look like its going to drop in quality any time soon. It blends the "military experiment gone wrong" scenario in with an in-depth story and a sympathetic character. Although the story-line and writing deserve a lot of praise this does not mean that this on-going is lacking in art at all in fact the art in it has been consistently well above average.

Haunt (Image Comics):

Created by Todd McFarlane (Spawn) and Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead) with art from Greg Capullo (Batman) Haunt probably had one of the best starts in life that an independent comic could get with 3 top tier creators working on it and it didn't disappoint. The story revolves around Daniel Kilgore and the ghost of his dead spec-ops brother Kurt. When the two join it coats Daniel in a type of living suit (well honestly what did you expect from the creator of Venom and Spawn?) which enhances Daniel's abilities to superhuman levels and can allow Kurt to force his way into control.

Current:

Unfortunately at issue 18 the original creative team left their creation and moved on to other projects. Since then the new one has been ok but nowhere near as good as the big 3 that left. It is still a solid series but it may put you off reading after issue 18 with the slightly abrupt changes in morals and personality of the characters. The series is still on-going and just hit its 32nd issue.

Why Should You Read It?

The first 18 issues deserve to be read simply for the awesomeness that was McFarlane, Kirkman and Capullo because lets be honest that is a killer team for a dark supernatural style book. As I said the new creative team is ok but not as good. Don't let this put you off starting it though it deserves to be given a shot. The art in it originally was of course brilliant thanks to Capullo and because of the dark setting Haunt has it really allowed him to get gory.

Ouch

Halcyon (Image Comics):

Halcyon is a five-part series released in 2010. Although it was only a limited series it was still a very good read. Oculus the biggest threat the world surrenders himself to the authorities and due to this he renders hero's completely void as there is no longer a global threat for them to fight and things quickly spiral out of control as the hero's begin to descend into darkness realizing that having no enemies makes them nothing.

Why Should You Read It?

Quite hook she's got there

The series brings up a very unusual and interesting subject about the hero-complex and how super-hero's view themselves. Something this unique doesn't crop up very often and deserves to be read if for no other reason than to break up the monotony of predictable story-lines. The art is also above average.

Luther Strode (Image Comics):

This began in a six-part limited series called "The Strange Talent Of Luther Strode" and was the picked up again in another 6 part series called "The Legend Of Luther Strode". It follows a young man called Luther Strode who through a desire to become muscular tries out an exercise routine called the Hercules Method this unlocks his talent giving him superhuman abilities.

Current:

The second six-part series is currently on issue 4. It is worth starting out with the first series "The Strange Talent Of Luther Strode" before moving on as jumping in on the current one will only confuse you (I know it did me).

Why Should You Read It?:

Although the storyline may sound very weird it is actually portrayed really well. Much better than I thought would have been possible especially for such a strange concept. The art is also very good and unique compared to a lot of the styles we are currently seeing in comics. like the story it almost feels like a bizarre style but it fits the characters and really gives them a sense of power. This series was brought to my attention by k4tzm4n's best weekly battles so if you'd like to see a bit of what you're missing feel free to go look. The fight scenes in this series are very brutal. You have been warned!

Robyn Hood (Zenescope Comics):

Having never read anything from the "Grimm Fairy Tales" universe I wasn't really sure what to expect when I jumped into this. Not to mention i'd heard a few other their titles were ermmm.....a bit "Classic Witchblade" in regards to female characters so I was a little apprehensive about trying it out but i'm glad I did. The story follows Robyn a girl who discovers she has a connection to the the "Myst" (through some very unfortunate circumstances) which gives her supernatural abilities with the bow (inhuman speed, accuracy etc..). The story actually takes place in modern times and in the "Myst" which is back in the medieval ages. The story sounds far-fetched but it is actually executed extremely well and a lot better than what I had previously feared. One of the things that surprised me was how strong in character Robyn was portaged to be.

Current:

Robyn Hood volumes one was a five-part series back in 2012 and by popular demand is starting up again in May 2013 in a new volume called Robyn Hood: Wanted. Which unlike the first volume will only take place in the modern day. So if you want to catch up before the new series begins you have a month to read the five-part first series.

Why Should You Read It?

This comic has something in it that is very hard to come by and that I never thought I would find in this comic and that is a very strong female lead. Robyn is without a doubt the most powerful female lead in terms of personality and morals that I have read in a LONG time. The art in it is also very good.

Irredeemable (Boom! Comics):

Ever wanted to know what would happen if the worlds most powerful hero became the villain? Irredeemable gives you exactly that. The Plutonian who was once the biggest force for good has now gone insane and is now destroying everything in his path with the other hero's powerless to stop him. What caused his sudden change and shift in morals is explained as the series progress's. Not only does Waid give the Plutonian and intriguing dynamic but also a great and unique power-set. One which I honestly didn't see coming and I don't believe has been used prior or post this series.

Irredeemable finished in 2009 with a total of 37 issues.

Why Should You Read It?

Due to the fact that this an independent universe it shows with horrifying detail what would happen if the greatest hero fell from his duties and turned to destruction something that cannot be done with say Superman in DC for obvious reasons. Here however the character is completely free to do whatever he wants without restraint and that in itself is refreshing. Coupled with some stella artwork it is a series that I think everyone should read to truly appreciate the thin line between hero and villain.

Thats it for the moment. I plan updating this as I go through more of the indie titles so feel free to check back here from time to time if you're interested in more recommendations.

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Last Man Standing 2013

Well the reprint of Dan Luvisi's Last Man Standing: Killbook Of A Bounty Hunter comes out this summer! So if you missed this amazing graphic novel nows your chance to pick it up!

Here's some of the stunning art from this book:

The reprint will feature art from other artists and winners of Luvisi's competition some of the art looks absolutely gorgeous:

We've even seen what is supposed to be some preview art for the Last Man Standing comic series that starts this year as well from Mr. Luvisi himself:

Suffice to say the art interiors look like they will be positively stunning. Dan has done a brilliant job on his characters backgrounds and Gabriel and Dante in particular are brilliant creations.

Even before the comic series has started LMS has already snagged a movie deal from Paramont Pictures so hopefully if its as good as it looks we'll see Gabriel in all his badassness on the silver screen!

Anyone going to be picking up this comic when it starts?

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A Strider92 Rant: Spider-man Misconceptions

I thought i'd take the time to shed some light about some of Spider-man's more confusing attributes as i've seen a lot of the same mistakes being made over and over again so here goes.

The Symbiote did NOT make Spider-man stronger:

Shapeshifting

This is one of the biggest misconceptions there is about Spider-man. Due to the Ultimate Universe, The Movies and the TV shows a lot of people think the Symbiote actually made Spider-man stronger, faster and enhanced his anger/took his morals. In fact it did nothing of the sort. When Spider-man first encountered the Symbiote on Battleworld and took to wearing it as his suit it did not enhance his abilities or take away his morals.

Here is the list of abilities the Symbiote actually gave him:

  • Organic Webbing
  • Change it's outward appearance
  • A telepathic connection allowing Spider-man to call it to him and communicate with it

And yep thats pretty much it. Its thanks to things like the 90's TAS:

That people think it augmented his abilities when in reality 616 Spidey had no augmented abilities or aggression.

(fun fact: Spider-mans Black Suit was actually a rip-off of Julia Carpenter's original Spider-woman costume)

Spider-man's Spider-sense ISN'T just a warning of danger:

This is another common misconception. Spider-man's spider-sense is far more complex than just a danger warning sense and its full potential is often overlooked or largely unknown in battle thread in particular. His Spider-sense does not just warn him about the impending danger but actually forces him to avoid it. If it was a simple warning of danger it would not differ from DareDevil's radar sense but it does work differently.

I'll use DD's radar sense as the example to illustrate the difference as the two have been compared quite a bit. If someone points a gun at DareDevil he can tell via his radar sense when the man is going to fire and when to avoid the danger. So in a sequence it would go something like this:

Trigger is about to be pulled> DD senses it> thinks about moving to avoid> his body responds to the information collected by his brain and moves

Or more simplified:

Danger> Danger warning> Think about moving> Move

Now Spider-sense works differently in 1 respect and that difference makes it phenomenally different. That difference is that Spider-man does not need to think about moving. When his danger sense goes off it forces him to move automatically and without need for conscious thought or decision to do so. So in Spider-man's case:

Trigger is about to be pulled> Spider-man senses it> His body reflexively responds

Or:

Danger> Danger warning> Move

Now this may seem only a small difference but the effect is very very big. Whereas most people have to make a conscious decision to react Spider-man does not his body automatically chooses the optimum way to avoid getting hurt without having to think. So to put it simply his spider-sense can and does react faster than his enemies or even himself can think. Now you can really see how fast his reactions are when using his Spider-sense and that it is not a simple warning of danger. Here's some scans that illustrate the point:

In the first scan he says "put your reactions on auto-pilot" inferring he does not need to think to react. In the second it states it outright in the first box.

Spider-man is a NOT 10 tonner:

The generally accepted strength level for Spider-man is 10tons but this is far from the case. Even when not under duress Spider-man has performed feats over the 10ton range for example:

Here Spider-man is under no kind of duress and manages to bring down a huge portion of a building into the river now you might say something like "All he has to is break the supports and the building comes down by itself" however you also have to take into account the level of strength required to do that with pressure of the entire building holding it in place. What makes this even more impressive is that he is also pushing against the pressure of the water.

Here's another that is far simpler to analyze:

I'm sorry but look at the size of that thing and without anger, motivation or duress he is keeping it off the ground with hardly any trouble. Now helicopters range in weight from only a few hundred kg to the massive people carrier ones that are in the high end multiple ton region.

With motivation anger and duress his true strength does emerge from time to time:

My point is that he is used as a 10tonner when really he can and has without anger and duress used his full strength when he has to. So him being a 10tonner without becoming strained is wrong it would take visibly more than 10tons before putting him under strain.

Spider-man does NOT use hairs on his fingers to stick to walls:

Although this one is less common I have seen it crop up a few times so I feel I should address it. Although real Spiders do use small hairs in order to grip to things Spider-man does not. Spider-man 2099 (O'Hara) uses fibrous claws made up of these hairs and so is closer to how a spider would truly climb than Peter. This myth came from the first Sam Rami film where we see the shot of the hairs growing on Peter's fingers. If you have never asked yourself how Spider-man clings to walls in the comics then this seems like a reasonable conclusion to jump to however 616 Peter's clinging powers work differently.

In the comics Peter in fact uses Electrostatic force to cling to objects. The ability manifests itself in the form of mental control over the flux of inter-atomic attraction between molecular boundary layers. So he is in fact using this to force attraction between molecules and is not limited to his hands and feet (any part of his body can stick to any surface including places like his back or chest). Something that when you think about it is VERY big deal. He essentially sticks to things using this form bio-electrostatic force on a molecular level not simple surface adhesion. To illustrate the point Kaine, Peter's clone uses this ability offensively:

The reason it burns is because Kaine can use his ability to stick to walls in the same manner as Spider-man but is instead is using the ability to repulse/break down the molecular bonds that he would normally try to attract in order to stick to surfaces. Once you actually look at the enormity of what is being done here then in theory Kaine is in fact breaking down what he touches on a molecular level. This is essentially tactile molecular manipulation.

If this truly is the case (which it does seem to be) Spider-man's ability to stick to walls and Kaine's ability to use his burning touch could be considered a molecular level attack and given that even Carnage felt his burn twice despite the fact he has thrown down with much stronger and more powerful opponents and not been hurt in the slightest it does make sense an attack that is attacking the symbiote on a molecular level would undoubtedly hurt like hell.

Spider-man does NOT have peak human level durability:

Now Spider-man isn't the most durable guy on the block and unlike people such as Luke Cage he is not bullet-proof. However simply because a bullet doesn't bounce off him does that make him human level of durability? Of course not. Spider-man is far more durable than say Captain America or Batman. Honestly I could go into details and show countless scans but it is so much easier just to post this one scan and let you guys dispel the illusion yourselves. I've put it in a spoiler block as the scan is so damn massive:

SPOILER WARNING: Click here to reveal hidden content.

Now Rhino is an 80tonner and not only was Spider-man not ko'd after that but still on his feet. The kind of beating he took there would not have ko'd someone like Cap or Batman but killed them outright.

Another example is Spider-man grabbing onto a missile flying out god knows how far and fast and having it blow up in his face again well beyond peak human:

If you need anymore convincing when visiting a doctor the man told him that the injuries were humanly impossible for any normal human to survive:

Spider-man's webbing:

Now you may be wondering why this doesn't have a more specific title well the reason that is, is because a lot of how it works and how strong it is, is large unknown or inconsistent so to go over this i'm going to use what has been given to us by Marvel/Spider-man themselves. First is how strong his webbing is. Now one thing to bare in mind is that Spider-man has used organic webbing in the past (notably post-Disassembled) so the strength has varied with the different versions. I however will only be addressing his artificial webbing as it has more quantifiable feats and thus is easier to gauge.

Spider-man's webbing is stated to have a tensile strength of 120lbs per square millimeter:

This means that to break a mere millimeter of it you would need to apply 54kilos worth of force and a staggering half ton of force for only 1 centimeter (this information was found on another site but I checked it out myself and it seems to be right). Now Spidey's MO is to incap people and if a single centimeter strand takes half a ton of force to break imagine if he where to coat you it in it? 2 centimeters would require 1 ton of force, 4 centimeters would require 2 tons and so on. if you where coated in the stuff it would undoubtedly require a high range tonner to break out of it (80-100tons) and given that he can change the thickness of the strand it is theoretically possible for him to create a strand only a mere centimeter long that could take up to 10tons of force to break thats just a single centimeter!:

One argument that comes up a lot is that people can cut Spider-man's webbing and this is true to a certain extent. Something people tend to forget (or might not even know) is that his webbing is sticky all over not just the tips. This means that attempting to cut or tear it will only result in getting more and more caught in said webbing:

Tearing/cutting just makes it worse!

So if someone like say Wolverine were to attempt to cut it they would just end up getting more caught up and worse off for it.

I'll probably update this as I find other things that I feel need addressing crop up. If you have a suggestion go ahead and post it below :)

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