The Ultimate

Image result for into the spider-verse gif

With Into the Spider-Verse receiving insanely high and much deserved praise from critics and viewers alike, I wanted to take a quick moment to talk about Miles Morales and why we need to do whatever we can to keep him in the mainstream limelight.

Miles is by no means new. He’s been in the comics since 2011 and in cartoons since 2014 or so. However, his appearance on the big screen, as a main character at that, is the first time Miles has become a household name. A whole movie focuses on his origin, from bite to getting his own costume and saving the day. This is Miles’s moment, and it is blowing up around the internet. And that’s exactly how it should be.

Miles is the superhero kids today need to know about and look up to. He is the absolute best superhero role model for today’s youth, much more so than Peter Parker.
Continue reading

Breaking Coverage: Amazing Spider-Man #800

No I am not here to talk about how this issue has a metric TON of different covers.

800 all covers

I’ve also decided I’m not gonna talk about how out of that myriad of covers, half seem to think this issue is some sort of milestone, “this changes Spider-Man comics forever” kinda issue and the other half seems to think “let’s just focus on this Red Goblin guy.” Seriously though, the amount of Gwen Stacy on these covers is just a big ol’ bait and switch. I guess it’s because Norman is the focal point? I don’t really get it, just seems like weird covers that are unrelated to the action of the book.

Anywho, I wanna talk just about the main cover:

Spidey 800
Continue reading

My Top Spider-Man Video Games: Part 2

Alright, back to it. My final favs.


Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage

This game from 1994 was one of my absolute favorites on the SNES, partly because it featured some of my all-time favorite Marvel characters, and partly because the actual gameplay is just plain enjoyable and filled with bone-crunching punch/kick action with over-the-top SFX. Plus, the cartridge was red and all my friends were jealous of my red cartridge.

In fact, this game holds the title for multiple firsts. To begin with, it is the first time in video games that players were given the opportunity to play as the Lickitung’s mentor, Venom. This is significant since, if most young boys in the 90s were like me, playing as Venom made one feel like some sort of psychotic badass with a lust for flesh. His play style is just so downright angry, grabbing people with his tentacly arm and throwing people around like Martin Lawrence when the caterer doesn’t provide the exact cracker to Duck Tartar ratio. And the whole while he just stands their licking his chops, all hungry and horny for more beat ’em up juice.

This game is also the first time a video game was based directly on a popular storyline in the comics. In fact, the games cut-scenes actually feature (slightly) animated versions of some of the artwork from the books. This finally bridged the gap, meaning from hence forth the video game world could have its digital foot stamped firmly in the door of comic books, as if to say “I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE! YOU KNOW YOU LOVE ME, GODDAMMIT! WE WERE MADE FOR EACH OTHER, BABYCAKES! Now, kiss me.” There is a soft embrace between the two lovers. The camera slowly zooms out before fading to black, thus establishing a future where video games about super heroes will forever be 100% true to character and will always be super awesome.

Or Not. COUGHsuperman64COUGH

Finally, this game is also the first Spider-Man game to receive a Teen rating (on Genesis), which is pretty legit. Take all these firsts, mix in an awesome Streets of Rage style of gameplay, some wicked sound effects and a rocking soundtrack written by the band Green Jelly, and you’ve got yourself a Spidey game for the ages.

Continue reading

My Top Spider-Man Video Games: Part 1

Spider-Man is in many ways one of the most recognizable superheroes ever produced. This is interesting when you consider that most of us find little enjoyment in watching/reading about a pasty nerd from Queens as he deals with life, girls and bullies. Even more repulsive is the thought of this whiny dork confronting life’s woes through a thin veil of bright red spandex. However, mix in some tasty spidery powers and a healthy dose of wise-cracking/face-punting and we will gladly overlook all levels of bitchery and bulging nerd crotch.

We love Spider-Man. If you claim to not love Spider-Man, you are probably doing so just for attention. If you are friends with someone who claims to not love Spider-Man, take it as a cry for help and set up a time to hold an intervention to discover the root of their issues and what is causing them to act-out lately. Because ultimately any argument about this character comes down to one main conclusion: EVERYONE LOVES SPIDER-MAN. There are simply varying degrees of love, but there is no hate or “do not love.” This is mainly because, like Batman (who is also immune to your hatorade), Spider-Man is one of the easiest superheroes in town for us to relate to. When we watch or read about Pete flying around, kicking reptiles in the teeth or porking red-heads, we see ourselves. Spider-Man represents basic social and coming-of-age issues that we have all experienced. Even all his baddies (which are all so freaking insane) can all be seen as metaphors for common life concerns, such as duality or paranoia. It’s what would happen if Neil Gaiman just got crazy high one day and started rewriting excerpts of a middle-schooler’s MySpace page. We love Spider-Man because he is still primarily founded in the real world. The real world plays a indispensable role in almost all of his plots and is even, one could say, his arch-nemesis. He isn’t like Superman or Captain America, who have mixed the real world with their criminal-dick-punching lifestyle. He works to find balance and stresses over scheduling issues. He misses classes and fails tests. He has to set up dates around his busy work schedule, all while finding the time to judo flip some fat dimwit who’s running around in rhino pajamas.

This love of Spidey has led to endless stories and reincarnations in comics, toys, movies, cartoons and, of course, video games. Over the years, Spidey’s appearance in video games has achieved a bit of infamy, due to the sheer amount of all the games. Many of these games can come out feeling cheesy or rushed. Many take on a zany feel, looking like someone took a completely unrelated game and slapped Spider-Man on it straight Doki Doki Panic style in order to cash in on the Spider-Market. However, the Web Head has been the focal point of many a good game, and I intend on bringing what I feel are the best to light.

Now, I honestly cannot find a way to rank these, as they are all so different. Thus, I am going to list them in chronological order instead. Just keep that in mind.

Spider-Man: The Video Game

Starting this bitch out old-school. For the kiddies in the room, video games once came in giant boxes found in places known as “arcades.” This wonderful arena for the virginal were where we would have to go in order to get some of the more intense gameplay and better graphics in video games at the time. When I myself was a wee lad, I enjoyed the crap out of this particular game when I would visit my local arcade. Granted, the machine I played it on was already probably about 2 years old, being that I didn’t evolve into my gaming motor skills until around 1993. This console premiered in 1991 and was produced by an obscure company named SEGA. It was also fantastically well received and is often mentioned as one of the better arcade adventure games of all time.

The game was a side-scrolling beat-em-up with all the finesse of a Jean Claude Van Damme movie. The point was simple: walk to the right, occasionally jumping on or over stuff in order to reach the end of the level and uppercut the boss square in his nefarious nuts. As you progressed, you would be barraged by a plethora of multi-colored thugs, each color signifying that the baddy will have a different ability/pain tolerance. Occasionally, the screen pulls out and you are left jumping on tiny platforms and avoiding falling debris before you land safely on a larger platform surrounded by colorful whooping ninjas.

Similar to Streets of Rage or, my personal favorite, The Simpsons Arcade game, you have the choice of selecting one of four separate characters. One of my favorite aspects of this game is the character choice. Obviously, you can choose Spider-Man, as well as his feline-themed lust-mongering friend, Black Cat. I always thought the other two choices were interesting. Instead of throwing down the boring card and utilizing one or two X-Men or even Captain America, this game adds Hawkeye and Submariner into the roster. True, Submariner was much more popular back in the 90’s than he is today and both characters had a tendency to work with Spidey now and then, as did quite a few characters in the Marvel Universe. I just think it’s interesting that they selected either of these characters to introduce here during a time when Spider-Man and the X-Men were the big ticket items. Seems like putting them together could make for a game that is both absurd and obviously trying to suckle at the “Kids will buy what looks cool” teat…*

*Foreshadowing

Continue reading

A Guide to Comics: Marvel Men Part 1

Being the resident comic book nerd of my friend group, people often come to me with questions when they want to start getting into comics. What titles would they like? Which books should they pick up? Plus, with all the new movies in the works, people want to get involved just as much with the hero on the page as with the hero on the big screen. Thus, I’ve decided to occasionally post a comprehensive collection of Comic Book heroes and what to expect of them.

NOTE: I won’t be doing characters that are mainly just a part of the team. I will be sticking primarily to characters that tend to shine as individuals. I plan on doing a separate list to highlight teams.

Other Guides:

Marvel Women – 1


Spider Man
  • Character Summary: Peter Parker – “Common Man” gifted with extreme power and potential, generally bad at juggling obligations and scheduling; Science focused, studious; Generally nerdy; Very quick wit.
  • Common Themes: With great power come great responsibility; Hot chicks dig nerds (with good bodies and handsome jawlines)
  • Good For: Anyone, really, but particularly those interested in a “relatable” hero, or rather a hero who has very real world problems; People who like flashier fights with a focus on speed instead of raw power; People who like Batman (rogues gallery, “no kill” philosophy, etc.); People who like a sprinkling of romance in their comics
  • Go To Series: Amazing Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, Superior Spider-Man (for veterans)
  • Stand Out Stories: Kraven’s Last Hunt, Spider-Man No More,The Night Gwen Stacy Died, Spider-Man Blue (For Romance), The Death of Jean DeWolff, Ultimate Spider-Man: Venom
Ghost Rider
  • Character Summary: Johnny Blaze (Later Danny Ketch, whose back story is a might bit flat, but has quite a few good stories during his run with the mantel in the 90s) – Stunt motorcyclist and demonology hobbyist; Was infused with the demon Zarathos, a Spirit of Vengeance, by the demon Mephisto, who was jealous of everyone giving Zarathos so much attention… Holy shit, that’s balla. Ghost Rider has slowly increased in power as time has gone along and picked up new skills and weapons. In his most recent Johnny Blaze incarnation, he was often referenced as one of the most (if not the most) powerful hero in the Marvel universe. Also, he shoots Hellfire at people, which is fire that burns the individual’ FRIGGIN SOUL. Nice.
  • Common Themes: Heavy Good vs. Evil, but also an emphasis on necessary evils; Punishment and retribution; Heaven vs Hell; Losing Control; “Good” not being the same as “innocent”
  • Good For: Motorcycle lovers, People who like Constantine or Hellboy, People looking for a less diplomatic hero, People looking for more of a “wrong side of the tracks” hero instead of some white boy from Queens.
  • Go To Series: Spirits of Vengeance, All New Ghost Rider, Ghost Rider (1990s)
  • Stand Out Stories: Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Ghost Rider Annual 2, Crossroads, The Curse of Johnathan Blaze, Trials and Tribulations

 … Continue reading