March 29
Over the years I've discovered that inspiration is very much like being struck by lightning. The wonderful thing ... is that it strikes again, and again, and again.


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FEBRUARY 25, 2009 10:06PM

Marvel at My Addiction

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There was embarrassment associated with my guilty pleasure once upon a time.  

I was supposed to have outgrown such childish nonsense.   I was supposed to be above such pretty pictures and such unconstrained violence.  

This is where I smile at the world and absently scratch at the grey hairs on my chin or rub my hand over the top of my head where my hair used to be.   If I want... I can rifle through the files on my lap top, calling up a corporate sales assessment that I constructed for a major telecommunications firm in Sao Paolo, Brazil.  I might even take a fresh look at the train-the-trainer that I wrote and implemented for a GE subsidiary a few years back.   I’ve been the keynote speaker at sales conference events In Singapore, Tenerife, Beijing, Bangkok, and Sydney just to name a few.  I can call senior level executives in several Fortune 50 corporations… and they will recognize me and take my call.   So I no longer have to prove anything to anyone!

My guilty pleasure is my addiction to comic books.  

I grew up reading Marvel comics as a child and then as a teenager.    I stopped for a period of my life and I don’t recall exactly when I went back… but I did it with abandon.  


Interestingly enough… Hollywood’s current love affair with Iron Man, Spiderman, the X-Men, the Hulk, Blade, the Fantastic Four, the Punisher and others… is little more than the rest of the world catching up with me.   Suddenly, I am a subject matter expert in water cooler conversations about something other than sales programs, skills assessment solutions, and performance management systems. 

My kids went an entirely different way.   They got caught up in Japanese anime… and the video DVD’s became their version of what comic books have been for me.    So these days, when they need to understand why Marvel is willing to sign Samuel L. Jackson to a nine picture deal with Marvel as Nick Fury, including “Iron Man 2” and “Thor”…. they turn to me.   When they want to know why Eric Bana’s Hulk tanked, while Ed Norton’s Hulk rocked … they turn to me.   When they want to know why… amazingly… as much as I love Halle Berry… she was just so very wrong for the role of Storm in the X-Men… they turn to me.  When they want to know why three Blade Movies by Wesley Snipes, was two Blade movies too many… they turn to me.  When they simply don’t understand why I absolutely loved Doctor Octopus in Spiderman II and the Sandman in Spiderman III … but hated the Green Goblin in Spiderman… they turn to me.  When they want to know why Ghost Rider had an instant audience that had absolutely nothing to do with Nicolas Cage… they turn to me.   When they want to know why the very idea of Wolverine overcoming the Dark Phoenix in X-Men: The Last Stand is absurd in the extreme…    they turn to me.  And when I roll my eyes at the thought of an Ant Man movie… they truly don’t give a damn.   


In my role as the self appointed critic of all things Marvel, I am enjoying unprecedented omnipotence.   Here are some of my pronouncements:

Kirsten Dunst was a sad selection for Mary Jane Watson in the Spiderman franchise.   Long live Kitty Pride.

Don Cheadle is an extraordinarily gifted actor, but I just don’t see him as James Rhodes (War Machine) in the upcoming Iron Man 2.

I am not a big DC fan... but the new Batman franchise is simply amazing.


Michael  Chiklis as Ben Grimm was an attempt to capture his personality in the role… but The Thing really should have been a CGM construct like the Hulk. 

I am disappointed with Marvel’s plans to make the upcoming film “The First Avenger: Captain America” a period piece set entirely during World War II.  I think that not taking on the angst associated with the massive generation gap Cap experiences as a man from the 40’s who finds himself now living in the twenty-first century.  


I thought Daredevil had real potential and there were parts of it that I absolutely loved.   I am not a Ben Affleck fan … but I did not mind him in the role.   The very cool news is that they have announced “Daredevil: Reboot”… and after seeing  a complete overhaul of the Batman franchise… I have my fingers crossed.   (The Elektra spinoff was horrible.)  

“The Black Panther” has been announced and if they do it right… and do justice to the African culture of Wakanda, this could be the most amazing movie of all of the Marvel films… with one critical caveat.   This must NOT be a Wesley Snipes movie.  He came very close to producing and starring in a Black Panther movie in the late 1990’s.   Director, John Singleton has been approached to do Black Panther.  We will see.    

There is so much more that I could share, but I will stop for now.   Kerry turned me on and he may not be able to turn me off if I keep going.   I read them to this day because I enjoy the culture.  The comic book shop is a sub-culture onto its self.   You might assume that when shopping in the average comic book shop these days you would be there among a bunch of little kids.   Wrong.  Kids can’t afford the weekly expense of comic book titles. 

In reality, you will find a bunch of old men just like me reliving their youth… and loving it.           

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Oh, grasshopper.....you are not alone. I was a comic book fanatic in my early to late teens. There was a wholesaler who sold a stack of 12 comics (with the covers torn off) for 1.50. I got enjoy The fantastic four, spiderman,caps marvel and america and so many others!

Heck, I was even tempted to sign up for Marvel's 4.99/month sub to their online digital comic books because they eventually plan to have all of their comics from day one uploaded to that site: http://www.marvel.com/digitalcomics/hq

Speaking of Blade, did you hear that Stephen Dorff is reprising his role as Deacon Frost in a trilogy of movies? I was glad to hear that because Blade 1 was excellent in large part due to Stephen....and I hated that he died which (ostensibly) meant he was toast.

Glad to see another comic geek here. Rated!
I knew I liked you lady... and here is yet ANOTHER reason why. Geeks unite!

And I did think Stephen Dorf was amazing in that role, but I have ot assume it will be without Blade. Hmmmm... should be interesting.
Hey, Backatcha! No, I think Wesley probably will not be in this series. Did you watch the tv adaptation of Blade on Spike tv a few seasons back? It was actually pretty decent but I think the production was too costly and they canceled it after a season.
Good stuff here!!!! :)
Good stuff here!!!! :)
I agree with everything here, is that a record or something? You don't mention Neil Gaiman and the Sandman series, do you have those in US? I have a slight problem going into comic shops here, they are the retreat of the nerdy and the needy, so of course I don't fit in :=D I so agree with you about Snipes, Blade 1, Daredevil, Electra, ah... the memories. Was it that Colin Farrell was so outrageously awesome that the Daredevil sequel never materialised?
And the Panther... my children have no idea who he is! They are deprived on so many levels, I hang my head in shame...
Rated for hero-worship, elegance, cultural significance and all that kinda great stuff!
If we beg them, will they make more?
PM, Sandman is published in the US by DC comics....Harp's addiction is focusing on Marvel comics....that's probably why it wasn't mentioned. ;-D I know....I wanted to discuss my DC heroes, but stuck with Marvel instead...lol.
I was sorry to see the TV version of Blade canceled. I don't think the main character had the presence Wesley had in the first Blade.. but they did an amazing job of fleshing out the Vampire culture. I would have greatly enjoyed seeing a lot more of that.

Screamin Mama: Thank you Mama.

Screamin Mama: Thank you Mama.

Psychomama: Thank you Mama. So true... Colin Farrell was perfect in that role... which almost guarantees that we would not see him in Reboot. Too bad.

As Corgi observed I deliberately did not include DC or the other comic houses... because they were never part of my addiction. Watchmen is coming out in theatres shortly and I am completely clueless. I have never read a Watchmen comic in my life. In contrast I am actually a big Batman fan and I have enjoyed the Justice League... but the other individual characters need an overhaul in my view. (Now the Superman Doomsday epic was awesome.)
Damn! You're a walking encyclopaedia on (Marvel ?) comics. My faves were Thor (the Thunder God), Conan the Barbarian, I liked Spiderman better than Superman, Batman better than Superman. The Fantastic Four (comic books) were wonderful. Captain USA another favorite. GI Joe -- Lady J, Scarlet, Flint If I'm mixing up Marvel and the other -- forgive me. I'm an equal opportunity lover of the genre.

But you really should look at Japanese Anime. They've taken this to dimensionally to another level. The story arcs are unbelievable, and engrossing, the art, phenomenal. Check out Yu-Yu Hakusho, for one.

Other anime mentions: Batman Beyond, Duck Dodgers, Megas XLR, Samurai Jack, Johnny Test, Justice League...
AddictiveOne: Trust me I greatly appreciate the genre. Being a compulsive reader (apparently like yourself) I enjoy the DVDs but I love the art work and the subculture of the comics. Marvel in particular. My children, however, would allow me to join them in watching their favorite series of anime including Kurouni Kenshin tales of the meiji, Hellsing, Esca Flowne and something my daughter left for me to watch that I still haven't gotten to... Elfen Lied. The treasury of good anime is endless... but until there are grandchildren around, I doubt that I get too far into that treasure trove. Welcome to my blog Kindred Spirit.