Thursday, January 28, 2016

How Bruce Banner Lost My Sympathy

I have been a fan of the character of The Incredible Hulk for a long time, all the way back to my very first comic book. I've always enjoyed reading about the character in the variety of incarnations he's had, but mostly when Bruce Banner could not control the green Hulk from bursting forth to deal a metric ton of whoop-ass on the villain of the month. I always felt for Banner, since I also struggle with rage issues. (On a side note, I do not now, nor have I ever, owned a pair of purple pants.)

However, as part of my current reading project, I was able to read the first 6 issues of "The Incredible Hulk" and then follow him into "Tales to Astonish". Now, I realize that Stan and Jack didn't know where the character was going, or just what to make of him, after their initial idea, but those first issues still have made me lose what sympathy I had for Dr. Banner. You see, Banner comes up with a way to control his change into The Hulk in Issue #4.

Yes, I said that he came up with a way to control his transformations in the FOURTH ISSUE. Of course, now that he never has to turn into The Hulk again, he works up a way to control the beam with his toes and change back and forth. (Ironically, this machine was used in The Incredible Hulk #267, so I already knew that it existed.) He then proceeds to use this to change between The Hulk and Banner, until Stan came up with the idea that stress would now trigger the change.

What this does, retroactively for me, is remove all of the pathos that came from these transformations. We go from having a man selflessly saving a teen-ager and exposing himself to his own gamma bomb, cursing him into becoming a monster, to a man who has purposely changed himself into a monster numerous times and now can't control it any more. Just a bit of a switch in how I perceive the character. It's not that I don't enjoy reading those stories any more, but now every time Bruce complains about his condition, I can't feel bad for him.

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Trying Some New Stuff

You'll notice something new at the top of the page, and that would be the player for my Mixlr page. Mixlr allows live broadcasting of content, so I'm going to go through my podcast backlog and put that up there. Of course, I can only do it one hour at a time, since I'm using the free version, but I wanted to see how it would work. I have to run the program from my computer, so I can't say that I'll have content all the time, but I'll see what I can get up there.

As a side note, I do have an app for my phone, so it's conceivable that I could do a live broadcast from a location, like a convention or some such. I'm still playing around with this idea, but it's intriguing, isn't it?

There's more stuff in the works that I'll eventually need to test, and I'll keep everyone up to speed. Speaking of which, if you want me to do more stuff like this, or more often, why not become a supporter on the Patreon Page?


Like what I'm doing here on the blog and podcast? Why not check out my Patreon Page to see how you can help me do more?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Force Needed Five More MInutes

Alright, you've had enough time to see the movie, so here's my take on it. Yes, this is SPOILER HEAVY, so you might want to skip it if you're one of the 10 people in the world that hasn't seen the movie.

So, what did I think as a long time Star Wars fan?

It was alright.

Yup, that's it. Not brilliant, not horrible, just alright.

There were some good points, one of them being Harrison Ford returning to form as Han Solo. Ford did a great job with everything, drama & comedy, in this movie. I'm sure it was the fact that he finally got what he was after for the character 32 years ago (ie a death scene) that helped with it, but he was a bright spot of the film.

Chewbacca was also great, especially some of the comedy moments they gave him. Shrugging when asked if Han was a war hero? Priceless. Plus, the Wookie Rage after Han's death, right up to the "I'm blowing the charges and don't care if I go with them" moment was great. Just what I would have expected of the character.

Another would be the new characters. No, not all of them had character development, Poe Dameron, most notably, but they all were well realized and I'll be happy to follow their adventures in future movies.

Something that I didn't like, and that really threw me for a loop, was that they made Luke Skywalker, hero of the Rebellion, a coward. Here's a character that faced down The Emperor, but he has one failure at being a teacher, whines "Training Jedi is HARD!", and he runs? Nope. I don't buy it.

Something else is the whole JJ Abrams "you can see into other solar systems with your naked eye while planet-side" thing. I hated it in "Star Trek" (note the quotes) and I hate it here. The fact that this was made into a plot point was even worse. And let's not forget the "let's all watch this faster than light beam crawl it's way across the sky" stupidity.

So, overall it was an OK movie. I like it better that the Prequels, but that's because it doesn't have as many major problems as those movies do, so it's not a ringing endorsement.

Want to hear a broader discussion on the movie? I was on the Two True Freaks panel talking about the movie. You can find that here: 

Another good discussion, that I was actually quoted in, was over at Star Wars In Character:
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Thursday, January 7, 2016

I Have A Cunning Plan

Looking forward to 2016, I think I actually have a plan for the Podcast, if for nothing much else. Those that follow the blog on Facebook or are Patreon supporters already know what the general idea is.

My wife has recently started working new hours. It's a set schedule, but 6 days a week, so my free time to do stuff is kind of short, but I think I can make this work. Time will tell.

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