Image taken from Pixabay @ https://pixabay.com/illustrations/brain-mind-psychology-idea-drawing-2062057/

Thoughts on the State of the Thoughts (5-29-19)

Hello, everyone! I know it hasn’t been too long since I started maintaining this blog again, but I’m going to have to back off a little bit. Between this, work, and more important obligations, I just don’t have time in my week to continue churning out new content for a handful of readers. I also feel it’s a bit of a disservice to lean too heavily on older posts I wrote years ago to carry me for entire weeks at a time. That said, I’ll still be around and probably putting out a new post and a throwback post every week. I think I can handle that better. If you are reading this, or actively reading anything on this blog, let me know. I’d appreciate engagement and feedback. This type of writing is a relationship, after all. 😉 Let’s have a conversation!

 

If you’re a fan of books and hot beverages, check us out at Blue Spider Books. And check out our blog here!

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Image taken from Pixabay @ https://pixabay.com/photos/comics-comicshop-superhero-read-495258/

My Favorite Comic Book Series, 2000-2012 Part 1: Marvel

A disclaimer, since I have had to address silly complaints on posts like this before: What I am saying here is that these comics are my personal favorites from this era. I am NOT saying they are objectively the greatest comics of this era. Loosen up and enjoy! 

 

Part 1: Marvel Comics

Image of the cover to Vol. 1 of The New Avengers taken from My Comic Shop
Image of the cover to Vol. 1 of The New Avengers taken from My Comic Shop

The New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis and various artists

This is what made Bendis’s name at Marvel, and this coupled with his runs on Daredevil and related books from the same era likely represent the peak of his comic book work. This book also helped get me back into comics in college after I’d been off the wagon for a short time.

Image of Astonishing X-men Vol. 1 taken from Goodreads
Image of Astonishing X-men Vol. 1 taken from Goodreads

Astonishing X-Men by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday

This comic was a treat, and precedes Whedon’s involvement in The Avengers film by years. It’s sad to think what could have been done if Whedon had had the ability to work with these characters on film as well. I already enjoyed Whedon’s work (Buffy and Firefly, anyone?), so his involvement with another of my favorite properties cinched it for me.

Image of Uncanny X-Force Vol. 1 taken from Goodreads.
Image of Uncanny X-Force Vol. 1 taken from Goodreads

Uncanny X-Force by Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña

When this title was around with Remender at the helm, it was the single best book Marvel was putting out. The choice of cast was spot-on, and they were all handled so very well. In particular, this includes enjoyable versions of both Wolverine and Deadpool, if for any reason you find either character tough to read.

 

Image of The Amazing Spider-man Vol. 1 by J. Michael Straczynski taken from Goodreads.
Image of The Amazing Spider-man Vol. 1 by J. Michael Straczynski taken from Goodreads.

The Amazing Spider-man by J. Michael Straczynksi and various artists

Everybody has a favorite Spider-man storyline/writer, and this one is mine. I’ve read other stuff over the years (the more recent Superior Spider-man being a standout honorable mention), but the full scope of Straczynski’s work on the character and then having all of that undone by a single editorial decision at Marvel grant this period a mythic quality.

 

Image of The Ultimates Vol. 1 by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch taken from Goodreads.
Image of The Ultimates Vol. 1 by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch taken from Goodreads.

 

The Ultimates and The Ultimates II by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch

These comics set in a now-dead universe hold a special place in my heart. They provided a well-crafted, action-packed Avengers story in an era that needed it, and it actually held some narrative surprises given the freedoms the Ultimate line afforded. I tell you, these comics had some of the best moments of the entire era, and they accomplished two great feats: 1. They made Captain America a powerhouse badass again, and 2. They presented some ideas that would later be incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, such as Nick Fury looking like Samuel L. Jackson. Find these and read them if you never have.

 

Some honorable mentions (besides those mentioned in the post) would include Greg Pak’s run on The Incredible Hulk, Straczynski’s run on Thor, and Fabian Nicieza’s Cable & Deadpool. 

 

If you’re a fan of books and hot beverages, check us out at Blue Spider Books. And check out our blog here!

Image of Stormbreaker taken from Pixabay @ https://pixabay.com/vectors/thor-strome-strome-breaker-3880079/

The Appeal of Thor in Avengers: Endgame

Needless to say, SPOILERS AHEAD!

Image of Thor in Avengers: Endgame taken from Slash Film.
Image of Thor in Avengers: Endgame taken from Slash Film.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the story arcs of pretty much every one of the core six Avengers in Endgame, with Thor near the top of that puppy pile. I, for one, really enjoyed and sympathized with how Thor was presented. Not only that, I actually appreciated having a fat version of the character that I could identify with, as silly as that may sound.

We start off the movie not long after Infinity War, and Thor is grieving. He’s mournful over his failure and wants another shot at Thanos, which he gets. But it doesn’t matter; nothing can be undone. Fast forward the five years, and Thor is basically hiding from life and this immense failure that he has completely saddled himself with. He has fallen into alcoholism and overeating, and put on quite a bit of weight. He doesn’t seem to care at all about his appearance anymore, and even gains a comparison to the Dude from The Big Lebowski. But he still reluctantly goes along with the insane time heist mission.

And this is where everything turns around. First off, he gets a pep talk from his perceptive, super-powerful witch mother in the past, which is just what he needs to hear to ground himself. But he then also reaches out for Mjolnir, and it responds to him. All at once, tears still in his eyes, he sees that he is still worthy of it. All that has transpired, all the emotional and psychological weight that burdens him more than his physical girth, has made him no less worthy of his original weapon. And some of the fault he feels evaporates as well as he readies himself for battle.

I understand this version of Thor best of all of the different ways he has been presented across the MCU, and I am eager to see what comes next for him. I know he will lose the weight and likely travel with the Guardians of the Galaxy for awhile, which will also be awesome. And if Thor can overcome these things and drop some weight along the way, perhaps we can all face what assails us.

What do you think?

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Image taken from Pixabay @ https://pixabay.com/illustrations/batman-logo-batman-logo-gold-1407484/

The Appeal of Tim Burton’s Batman (1989)

In keeping with the Joker theme from the past week, here is a throwback movie review I did for Sourcerer a number of years ago. Check it out!

Review: Tim Burton’s Batman

 

If you’re a fan of books and hot beverages, check us out at Blue Spider Books. And check out our blog here!

Image taken from Pixabay @ https://pixabay.com/illustrations/gabriel-moral-illustration-art-2519793/

My Thoughts (5-7-19)

This has been a hell of a week, guys. Sometimes it feels like there is an unseen crowd of malcontents out to get us and bring us down, but we keep moving forward. We endure.

We got to go see Avengers: Endgame this weekend, and it was certainly worth the wait. We both loved it. I feel an internal need to begin writing some short posts on here about individual characters from the movie, their arcs, and how they wrapped up. I think that will be rewarding for me and anyone else who really enjoyed the film. I may wait a bit longer to avoid spoiling it for anyone who hasn’t yet seen it, though.

That said, I want to take this opportunity to thank whoever might be reading this. Thank you for coming back to this blog after it being in suspended animation for so long, or thank you for taking a chance on your first visit. I hope that my thoughts strike a chord with you and keep you coming back.

More to come.

 

If you’re a fan of books and hot beverages, check us out at Blue Spider Books. And check out our blog here!

The Appeal of Croaker of the Black Company

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The Black Company cover image taken from Goodreads.

 

Here’s another throwback to an older post from right here at the Thoughts. Enjoy!

Thoughts on Croaker of the Black Company

 

If you’re a fan of books and hot beverages, check us out at Blue Spider Books. And check out our blog here!

7 Book Conundrum

A disaster strikes your home, and you have to get out quick. You’re risking leaving a lot of things behind, but the important parts of your life–your family and pets–are already safe. You only have a few moments to grab at most seven books from your shelves and run. What will those seven precious books–the backbone of starting over–be? Here are my choices. Consider sharing your own.

 

Forgive the condition of some of these; my books have been through a lot with me, which is why it’s nearly impossible to make this decision. This is a background anxiety I believe a lot of us with large book collections likely possess, and I wanted to interrogate mine a bit. If you had to pare it down and start over, where would you begin?