Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How to improve your life

Originally started on Tuesday, January the 8th

Okay, maybe that´s saying a lot but one of my readers told me that I need to have more kick - ass titles for my blog if I want to get more page views. So here´s me trying to pander to the masses.

And before you ask, this post will probably not give you the ultimate answer to the meaning in life but it also won´t make your life any worse. In fact, you may really benefit from it.

So Today is one of the days when I don´t work and I should use the day to relax, sleep a little and recharge my batteries. But being the masochist that I am I already went to the doctor to get an appointment for Thursday and went to Ludwigsburg to buy a few seasons of DALLAS on DVD. Mostly because they are at ten bucks a season now which is my limit for complete tv seasons and my Dad never let me see it as a kid. And because there are such hot women that I remember from my youth on the show like Charlen Tilton, Audrey Landers and Victoria Principal, massita !

So instead of doing the things I should do like finishing with my e - mails I´m writing this post. Which I´ll have to finish on Friday since I have to work again Tomorrow and on Thursday there´s the appointment with my doc so I probably won´t get anything else done that day. And on top of that I have been getting the blue computer screen a lot lately.

So I have no idea how long it will take me to finish this post but I will do my best. As always the post will go through some changes and become much longer as they always tend to do.


If you have checked out a few of my older posts you may have noticed that I closed the comments on a few of them. Now this has nothing to do with censorship but with keeping this blog working.

I don´t know why but lately this little blog has been flooded with spam and it´s gotten so bad that when I last tried to finish this very post I spent the whole day deleting spam from the comments section. And while I appreciate each and every comment it´s just not worth it to loose the blog for that. So I have already closed the comment sections on the most frequently spammed posts and I will do so on the next few that get overwhelmed. I have no idea why my little blog is suddenly so popular among spammers and what they hope to gain by doing this. I don´t think I have the necessary amount of visitors to really profit from such an attack but while other people may be okay with wasting their time with such crap I certainly am not. So if you want to put a comment on one of the posts and it isn´t possible but you think it´s important you can still write me an e - mail. That also goes for all the people out there who think they can use the comments section to promote their blog by spamming. If you want to promote your blog or do a link exchange then write me an e - mail. And if you do : it really helps if you include the name of your website and the address. Just a small tip.


It´s been a while since I did any pimping for amazon and one of the reasons why is because most of the bargains I found and wanted to get out there to my readers were gone before I could post them.

So this time I will put it right on my first new post in the hopes that as many people as possible can get it. My tip for Today is the hardcover of AVENGERS VS X - MEN and I know that some readers - or most readers - may already have the single issues. Now the reason why I´m still putting it on the blog is to get the word out to those readers that haven´t read it yet. And my german readers since here AVENGERS VS X - MEN is just starting and the hardcover is on the german amazon website as usual. Usually it´s a 75 Dollar book - it has 568 pages - but amazon Germany is offering it at 45 EUROS and it´s only going to get more expensive the next few days ( it´s at 49 EUROS by the time I´m finishing this so you better ordered your copy already ). Now you just can´t beat that. Like I said, AVENGERS VS X - MEN HC goes normally for 75 Dollars which will cost you around 62 / 60 EUROS at good comicshop or onlineshops and it contains AVENGERS VS X - MEN issues 0 to 12, POINT ONE ( the AVX story), AVX VS 1 to 6, AVENGERS VS X - MEN INFINITE 1, 6 and 10.

Okay, what´s the big deal about AVENGERS VS X - MEN ? First I have to say that I was really close to waiting on the trade - or better the hardcover in my case - on this one but at the last moment I started to buy the single issues. Of course part of the reason for that was the art and it´s really difficult for me to resist Frank Cho, John Romita Jr and Olivier Coipel on a book about the Avengers and the X - Men duking it out.

You know, when I first heard about this I thought the X - Men to have an advantage here since they have an unlimited amount of mutant teams.

But then I realized that the Avengers have the regular Avengers, New Avengers, Secret Avengers, Mighty Avengers so there´s no imbalance there. You also have to factor in that counting all the people who have ever been part of Earth´s Mightiest Heroes you might get something between 150 and 200. Maybe. So with the mutant population down to 200 - at least officially - and not all of them being in an x - team things don´t look so bleak for the Avengers side.

But back to what I was saying : when I first heard about this it sounded like one of those cheap marketing ploys to get us poor readers to buy a gazillion books and spend all our money on all those tie - in issues. And don´t let things fool you, that´s what it is. If you are new to the Marvel Universe this is NOT the point of entry for you. In this comic there are dozens and dozens of characters, many of them just dropping by shortly and even as a seasoned pro you need a scorecard because the writers have tried to include everything, even the kitchen sink. There are years and years of backstory that play out here and with a lot of things you will not know what the h - word is going on.


But the reason why I still recommend it is - to quote a certain wrestler turned actor : IT DOESN`T MATTER if you don´t know what´s all the s - word that happens ( and speaking about wrestlers : you´ll never guess who writes the foreword ). This is the Royal Rumble of Royal Rumbles of the superheroes. It´s the knockout slobberknocker headbutt - in - your - face fighting tournament to end all superhero battles.

Not only is this two of the biggest superhero teams going at it full throttle you also have people who have been in both teams like Wolverine, Beast or Storm and who are practically double agents and you have Avengers who also are mutants like the Scarlet Witch or Quicksilver. And you get really everybody fighting against everybody else.

My only gripe with the story is that Gambit doesn´t die a horrible death. Which is totally unrealistic on my part but I think it´s an essential ingredient for every good X - Men story. No, really. I think Gambit should really die in any mutant story that matters and the more gruesome and more often the better. In fact that would probably be my only reason to write an x - book : to kill off Gambit as many times as I can and having each time more horrifying than the one before.

But enough about my obsession with someone who in my opinion really should have lost his mutant powers on M - Day and back to AVENGERS VS X - MEN. Now this could have been just another run of the mill crossover mandateted by big muckamucks at Marvel, and when I say Marvel I´m meaning Disney since they are now the bosses. But what the writers Matt Fraction, Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Jeph Loeb, Ed Brubaker and Jonathan Hickman did was now that it couldn´t be helped to have the two biggest franchise go to war with each other to go all in : the Phoenix is coming back to earth and this time it´s gunning for Hope.

Which splits up the X - Men in all kind of different camps and of course Captain America thinks the Avengers are the only ones qualified to handle this situation. Which Cyclops is not too happy about since not only does he have different ideas about what to do with Hope and the Phoenix, he´s also not amused with the Avengers butting in.

Especially since in his opinion they never cared in the least about all the troubles mutants had to face over the years. And let´s be blunt : so far Captain America has mostly ignored anything that happened in the mutant corner of the Marvel universe. But with this he just can´t and while he has just the best of intentions we all know where you end up with them.

There are several things that have been boiling unaddressed between the Avengers and the X - Men and even between some of the mutants themselves that are dragged into the open with this battle. Regular Marvel raders probably know what I´m talking about and for all the other let´s just say that in the past few years some serious f - word - ed up s - word has happened like the Scarlet Witch doing some ugly things to the Avengers and her husband in particular before depowering most of the mutants. Part of this was addressed in the superbly written and drawn YOUNG AVENGERS - THE CHILDREN´S CRUSADE miniseries but there really was no real conclusion about what the Avengers or the X - Men want to do with the Scarlet Witch.

Another thing is that there was this entire MESSIAH COMPLEX storyline in X - Men about the first mutant child born after the Scarlet Witch´s mutant reboot called Hope who is hailed by Cyclops as the new messiah who will save the mutant race.

I didn´t read the whole thing because I started reading X - Men again after all this has passed but you really don´t have to know all that. No, really. Todays comic readers always want to know every nook and cranny, and who did what when and where. When I started reading comics nobody cared about those things. For one, you probably weren´t able to get the missing issues because there weren´t that many places where you could buy comics and the ones you got were the ones you got. The other thing was that the only thing that mattered then was the story you were reading, not a lot of trivia or backstory that was really not that important to enjoy your comic. Man, as a kid I would have loved this comic.

I really was totally into those books where I would see some characters for the first time or where heroes were different from how I remembered.

Some of it might be that I always enjoyed elsewhere stories although it might also have something to do with the fact that in my youth the german issues I was reading were decades behind the original issues. So every time I got an american issue of the Avengers or the X - Men there would be totally different members and all the members I knew would have different costumes and it would be so exciting to find out what has happened between the issues. And if I got AVENGERS VS X - MEN as a kid I would have asked so many exciting questions. Why is there a Green Hulk and a Red Hulk ? Since when is Wolverine an Avenger and headmaster of a school ? What´s the deal with the Colossonaught ? And how come Professor Xavier is alive ? That´s one of the things that really showed how confusing the whole x - franchise is, you don´t know who´s dead and alive anymore. And let´s not start on Magneto. He´s a bad guy, he´s a good guy, he´s dead, he´s back, he´s Xorn, he´s Che Guevarra, he´s Adolf, he´s just misunderstood. I think now he just wants a hug. Just kidding.

Okay, I don´t want to say too much about the story since you might not have read it. What I want to say is that if you like those big superhero crossovers with everybody throwing punches and the universe at stake than this is the story for you. If you like multilayered stories with quiet character moments and people learning something about life and subtle nuances - boy, have you come to the wrong party. This is superheroes punching each other out and using the crowbar. The Hornet in the garden with a lead pipe, brother, cranked to eleven if you know what I mean.

Here you get really crazy stuff and not only the main story but also all the fights from the A vs X battles since all the issues are included. There´s just a ton of extra stuff in here even the code for a digital copy if you care for that stuff. I found it fun to read and with such artists like Ed McGuiness, Terry Dodson, Brandon Peterson, Tom Raney, Jim Cheung or Stuart Immomen the bar is really set high ( click here for all the avengers vs x - men previews ). The issues are also discussed at length on Comic Geek Speak. Here are the links to the episodes : issues 0, 1 and 2 / 3 and 4 / issues 5 and 6 / issues 7 and 8 / issues 9 and 10 / issue 11 / issue 12

Now if you want to know more about AVENGERS VS X - MEN and listening to podcasts is not your thing just watch the following video by Comic Girl 19 which is just brilliant but beware since it´s full of spoilers.

Ever since A COMICBOOK ORANGE stopped doing shows I have been looking for a worthy contender and here it is. If you are not totally blown away by this then there´s something seriously wrong with you. And if you are like, totally check out her videos about FLEX MENTALLO and the new GLORY relaunch.

Before closing out I wanted to mention Today´s celebrity birthday : it´s wrestling diva Kelly Kelly who celebrates her 26th anniversary. I whish I could give any last minute information about her wrestling carrer but thanks to german television I have no idea if she´s even still in the WWE.

Man, on spanish tv wrestling is on in the afternoon and here in Germany they almost never show female wrestling. Mostly only if it´s unavoidable because some important storyline. I tell you : you will see 100 naked male butts before you see two athletic women beating the snot out of each other in the squared circle. Thank god there´s the internet were we can find out all actual stuff. So, in spite of the - as usual - incompetent jabronies from SPORT1 Happy Birthday and Many Happy Returns, Kelly Kelly !

And last but not least the video at the end of the blog. I really thought about adding another video from Comic Girl 19 but I think you can find them yourself. And I have the feeling there will be some of them popping up on this blog in the near future - providing I can " ramp up " my posting quota. So instead of something that´s related to Avengers versus X - Men, which took up most of this post, sorry, here´s a hilarious video which I didn´t get around to post so far. I´m afraid it´s only funny in Germany but them´s the breaks.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest

 I got news for you, buddy : we´re all Avengers now.


Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

X-Men v Avengers was disappointing to me. Great artwork but it was just another heroes fight heroes and I picked up the final part and thought "I REALLY do not care!"
Kelly Kelly was, apparently, released from her WWE contract last October.
Hornet with a lead pipe in the garden? HAH! the new 300+ page version of Return of the Gods will have MORE action. More plot twists...but busting a god's head with a lead pipe is still a nice touch!
Incidentally...I'm still trying to improve my life...your blog post never helped at all!
Until Elle Endlich is chewing my big wooden log...keep blogging!

SUBZERO said...

Yup, storywise there really wasn´t that much going on. All just setup for the big Marvel NOW thing - which they sabotaged right away with alienating Frank Cho. Now is it just me or are these MARVEL hardcovers getting more and more expensive ? I mean 75 Dollars is a lot.

About Kelly Kelly, I´d like to say I´m sorry to hear that but they never showed much of her in Germany anyway so I´m not so sure if I really missed something.

Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

The BIG collectors books (roughly A3 reproducing the pages around the size they were drawn at)are priced at £160, £180 and £190 (that last figure is 226 Euros). There is a John Byrne collection coming out in April from Marvel similarly priced. What shocks me is that the local store manager tells me they DO sell??????????
Incidentally, most comic buyers could not understand what was going on in A vs X because of needing to know that history and there is a suggestion Marvel thought that might make more people buy the collections of old series or the Essential books. Big lose.
Now off to continue editing Return of the Gods (I cannot -CANNOT- explain what goes on in this newer version but a lot more gets explained and its already up to page 169 -and I'm just on page 1 of what was part three!!This is MEGA!
Now, you get back to blogging and stop browsing through your old porn collection! :-)

SUBZERO said...

As a matter of fact I´m right now going through all the spam comments on the blog that´s in my e - mail ( 1050 new e - mails today ). I´m browsing my porn collection during the days when I don´t have an internet connection anyway.....

Terry Hooper-Scharf said...


Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

You see, you should be reading the 2012 D-Gruppe Annual and not porn!!