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ohtani's jacket

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  1. I finished up the Squadron Supreme mini-series today. Lots of interesting ideas about superhero comics in keeping with what a lot of the British writers were doing in the 80s. I can see the parallels with Watchmen except that the writing and artwork is obviously superior in Watchmen. The thing that kept bugging me is that even though I enjoyed the way Thomas used the Squadron Supreme in the Avengers, what's the point in introducing these DC copies into the Marvel Universe? If the DC characters are so iconic, and you want to work with them so desperately, then why not jump ship and work for the opposition? I get that Gruenwald used the characters, and their alternate universe, to tell the kind of story he couldn't with the Avengers or the Fantastic Four, but the entire concept of the Squadron Supreme is strange to me. And I say that as someone who loves Astro City and all of the homages/tributes in that series.
  2. My sister was a huge Spice Girls fan along with every other tween on the planet. Given to Fly is a nice song, but I still can't understand why the book waited until Yield to include Pearl Jam. I know a lot of folks checked out on them after 10 and Vs, but the album that meant the most to me in my teen years was Vitalogy. I bought it the date it came out and listened to it religiously. I must've sang along to it on a daily basis (well out of tune, according to the neighbour.) OK Computer was our Sgt. Pepper's. I must've listened to that record a thousand times in 1997. I hadn't listened to it in years, but I've been listening to lately and the songs are still amazing. For a lot of us teenagers, it was our first exposure to more sophisticated songwriting. It was like discovering foreign films or comics for mature readers. I still think it holds up. Yorke is incredible on that record. I liked Kid A. Not as much as my stoner mates, but I think it's a great record. I had lost interest in modern music by the time they released anything else and haven't heard any of their later stuff, but they're a 90s band whose work I think you can place alongside any other band from any other era. I was disappointed by them live, btw, though I did get to meet Yorke and the drummer in the street when they toured NZ which was cool. That Aphex Twin song reminds me of this classic Misfits tune: Why aren't The Misfits in the book? All Saints... Jesus... I'm pretty sure my teenage brain wasn't concentrating on their music. I'm not sure my adult lizard brain is either. OK, so I listened to Neutral Milk Hotel... How the fuck had I never heard them before? Jaw dropping. Amazing. Best thing I've heard since I jumped on board this thing. Is Backstreet's Back the greatest pop song ever?
  3. Liam, we didn't get a write up for 846-850.
  4. The first few issues of John Buscema's run on Conan the Barbarian were a bit rough, but I liked issue 27 enough that I decided to keep reading the book. I was still hankering for some Barry Smith Conan, though, so I read the first issue of Savage Tales. I'm pretty sure the Frost Giant's Daughter story was printed in Conan the Barbarian, Savage Sword of Conan and Savage Tales, but it's a nice short story. What really impressed me was how good the rest of Savage Tales was. An anthology with Barry Smith, John Romita, Gray Marrow, Gene Colan, and John Buscema doing non-Comic Code art? It's a travesty that it was cancelled after the first issue. It could have been an amazing outlet for Marvel's finest to do mature comic book work. Sure, the stories are full of scantily clad women, and Stan Lee has some weird sexual politics going on in his stories, but I don't think Man-Thing was ever better than the origin story in Savage Tales #1. Maybe I'm a sucker for the black and white art, but it felt closer to Bernie Wrightson's Swamp Thing than the Man-Thing stories that followed. I also started reading Michael Golden's run on Micronauts which has been supremely fun. It doesn't feel like a Marvel comic at all. I feel like I'm reading an 80s independent publisher like First or Comico.
  5. I hate to break it to you guys, but Phil reviewed that Fujiwara match in 2016.
  6. The book has started to ignore New Zealand and Australian music. Here are some 90s songs from both countries. New Zealand Australia
  7. I forgot about Belle and Sabastian. I had friends who were really into them. I've only started listening to them recently. I also really like this Greek band, Trypes:
  8. I think Crossroads should have been in the book. And De La Soul: The Roots: Some more tunes:
  9. 1996 The arrival of Liam's baby has given me more time to explore each year individually, which is fun because I get to explore styles of music I was oblivious to in '96. I got heavily into Modest Mouse and Silver Jews while I was waiting for his updates. It's indie pop, so your mileage may vary, but it floats my boat. My memory is fading these days, but I remember Sublime being popular back in the day: I am pretty sure folks thought Beck was the Second Coming in '96, but it doesn't seem that his music has held up. Here are a few more songs I like from this year:
  10. I can see that. I just find it off-putting when characters argue about Raymond Chandler in the middle of a fight scene.
  11. I'm still enjoying Starman. James Robinson enjoys writing about things he likes (to put it nicely), and there are moments where the characters have ridiculous debates about pop culture that seem to be influenced by Tarantino, but aren't as universal as Tarantino. Reservoir Dog characters argued about Madonna songs, but Robinson's characters argue about far more esoteric topics. All writers have bad habits, though. I feel like that's something his editor should have curbed. I pretty much love everything else Robinson does in terms of messing with comic book structure. There's no real emotional pull yet, where I have to keep reading, though I do like Jack's relationship with his dad. The art, and character design, is really 90s at times, but I do love the foreshadowing and the preordained sense that the book is leading somewhere. I've been slowly making my way through the Five Years Later Legion of Superheroes. I usually enjoy dystopian future stories, but I've got to be honest, it is really hard to follow what is going on. It's not like I haven't read the famous runs on Legion. Admittedly, it's been a few years, but still... I feel lost from issue to issue, and Giffen's art doesn't hold up.
  12. I was kind of disappointed by Barry Smith's second run on Conan the Barbarian after they announced he was leaving the book. He struggled to keep up with the deadlines and ended up doing a lot of breakdowns. Gil Kane did the fill-in issues between Smith's two stints. Opinion was divided in the letter column over Kane's work, but personally I thought it was much better than Smith's second run. I recently finished Omega the Unknown. I'm not a huge fan of Steve Gerber, but as far as deconstructionist takes on the superhero genre go, I think his unfinished run on Omega pretty much encapsulates the heart and soul of what he was trying to do.
  13. I gave this a watch. It's entirely predictable in terms of its hierarchy, but at the same time I don't think it lacks a narrative or that the storytelling is implicit. The entire reason that the match its predictable is because of the explicit storytelling. Everybody watching knows exactly where Jumbo, Yatsu, Tenryu, and Kawada fall in relation to one another, and since Japan is so fond of the slow burn, there is absolutely no progression whatsoever. The only development in this bout is Jumbo taking out the ref. I don't know how often he's been doing that type of thing in the other matches you've watched, but it's one step closer to the grumpy Jumbo of 1990-92. The problem with the match, to me, is that they ran the match-up again. I don't expect Kawada to grow half a dozen inches just because he's facing Jumbo & Yatsu. Perhaps the Jumbo & Yatsu team have been portrayed as too dominant? What if this were Jumbo/Kobashi vs. Tenryu/Kawada? As far as I'm aware, there is no end game where Tenryu & Kawada pull off the upset against Jumbo & Yatsu. The build is entirely about Jumbo vs. Tenryu and what happens when it's just them one-on-one. Most of the time, the way they treat Kawada is sending a message to Tenryu. The same way the bad guys might rough up Robin to send a message to Batman. That's if you think of Tenryu as the protagonist. I think there are big spots in the match, but they largely revolve around the finish, since the win is so important to Japanese wrestlers. I have a suspicion that Jumbo vs. Misawa is closer to your liking in terms of traditional pro-wrestling. We're just waiting for Jumbo to lose it completely.
  14. I have been eagerly devouring Roy Thomas & Barry Smith's Conan the Barbarian. I love the early Savage Sword of Conan issues, but for the longest time, I had this impression that the original Conan title was watered down and not worth reading. That was stupid of me. Smith starts out as a Kirby clone in the early issues, but he quickly begins to develop his own style, and within half a dozen issues, his artwork is simply phenomenal. It really is some of the most gorgeous stuff I've seen in comics. Although, I'm up to the Elric crossover right now, and I think that's been a misfire. I also read the Chris Claremont & Frank Miller Wolverine mini-series. Having lived in Japan for many years, I thought the representation of Japan was silly (Yakuza, ninjas, etc.), but the art is nice. If you like Miller's early work on Daredevil, you should check out his pencils on the series.
  15. I finished Garth Ennis' run on Hellblazer. It tapered off a bit towards the end, as most runs do, but I was happy that he tied up all the loose threads instead of leaving them for another writer to ignore or misinterpret. The biggest problem I had with the run was the impetus for Constantine turning his life around after he'd hit rock bottom. I thought that could have been handled better. More impressive was the Heartland one shot that deals with Kit's life in Belfast and her relationship with her family. That was a great read. Proof positive that Ennis doesn't need to use shock tactics to write a really good story. Also, Jonah Hex, where have you been all my life? I've always had a fondness for Westerns but never explored the genre in comic book format. The Hex stories have been excellent so far.
  16. As for hip hop, Mobb Deep also released a legendary album in '95, but I guess you can forgive the list for overlooking it. Other bangers:
  17. 1995 1995 was another formative year for me. I grew my hair out, bought clothes from secondhand ops and did my utmost to emulate Eddie Vedder and Kurt Cobain just like every other guy in high school. The book makes 1995 seem like a boring time for music, but I was sure having the time of my life at gigs. I think they picked the wrong Bjork song. I would have chosen Hyper-Ballad. Even today I think this is an exquisitely beautiful piece of music. The biggest omissions were Liquid Swords and Only Built 4 Cuban Lynx, two of the greatest hip hop records of all time. I also thought they should have included a track from Radiohead's The Bends and Death's Symbolic, the latter being perhaps the most accessible mainstream Death Metal I can think of. It doesn't make sense that they included the 80s thrash bands but didn't feature any extreme metal. Here's a bunch of stuff I liked: Some more stuff. (I like the Tony Stark joke in the Faith No More comments section.) One more batch: Props to D'Anglo too. And the absolute banger of the year:
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