Sunday, September 29, 2013

James Spader: I've always been lucky

(Published Sept. 30, PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit

“He seems to be somebody who takes great delight in the perilous journey that his life has taken,” actor James Spader said of his new villainous character, “Red” Reddington, in a recent phone interview.

The actor, 53, eloquently answered questions from a group of Asian journalists. Spader was in New York City promoting “The Blacklist,” where he stars as a criminal mastermind offering the FBI a list of terrorists, mobsters and other crooks. Spader described “Red” Reddington as “a very bad guy,” but added, “There seems to be a strange honesty and truth about him when dealing with this young woman, [FBI Agent] Elizabeth Keen (played by Megan Boone), and I’m intrigued by that relationship.”

Spader is known for roles in TV shows “The Office” and “Boston Legal,” as well as films “Endless Love,” “Sex, Lies and Videotape,” and “Stargate.” He was recently chosen to play the titular robot villain in Joss Whedon’s next “Avengers” movie, “Age of Ultron,” scheduled for a 2015 release.

Excerpts from the phone interview:
How unique is “The Blacklist?”

The show felt unique to me because it stands alone from week to week as autonomous stories. But ultimately, the episodes are tied together by this sort of serialized story that’s unfolding, having to do with the relationships of the different players in the piece over the course of the longer term. And that really intrigued me. I like the fact that the show has the opportunity to incrementally let you discover the secrets of these people’s lives.

You’ve been around for over three decades. How has the industry transformed and how have you adapted up to this point?

The industry used to be much more compartmentalized. I’ve always been lucky and I’ve been able to work at different times and in different mediums. I’ve worked in television, film, the stage. But they were always three very different businesses populated by different people, and I was very lucky to move freely amongst the three. That was not the convention. They were very different in their processes … it was easy to compartmentalize them. That’s no longer the case.

I’ve been jumping from film to television, to theatre and back, over the last four years—dabbling at all three. That’s becoming more the norm. You see that more and more. I think that’s partly because of economics, as well. The economics of the industry is contracted … People are spreading themselves out a little bit more, and taking advantage in all different mediums.

How long does it take to create an episode?

It takes us anywhere from eight to 10 days. Then there’s post-production. Let’s put it this way: Over the weekend, they were still in the editing room working on the episode that is airing tonight.

Have you started preparing for the “Avengers” sequel?

I have spoken to Joss Whedon about it. And yes, actually, just this weekend I went in for them to take very extensive photographs, head scans, body scans, and all kinds of things in preparation for figuring out how the hell I’m gonna fit in this Ultron character!

(Parts one and two “The Blacklist” will premiere on October 7 and 8, 10 p.m. on AXN. Subsequent episodes will air Mondays at 10 p.m. )

Card-Carrying Mutant and Proud

Happy Anniversary to our X-Men Forever FB group! Mutant and proud! My mutant registration ID was made by fellow member Cy Avilla.

Objectifixation, Four

"Kitty Pryde dissed my assimilation speech, Cap!"
"Assemble the Avengers, Havok! We're attacking the school, post-haste!"

Marvel Boy by Grant Morrison and JG Jones. Kree warrior Noh-Varr eventually ended up a member of the Dark Avengers and the Avengers, but betrayed both teams. He's currently a Young Avenger.

Reprint of Uncanny X-Men # 203. Hopelessly outmatched, the X-Men attempt to knock some sense into the all-powerful Beyonder. Rachel/Phoenix also returns the power he tempted her with. It's still an excellent read; Rogue and Shadowcat were also prominently featured.

The 2005 series that introduced the Secret Six. Fantastic work by Gail Simone and Dale Eaglesham.

Kraven's Last Hunt! Depressing, late '80s Spider-Man story. Wish I had the other issues, but friends were kind enough to lend the other parts.

Aang stuff. The small book is a recent purchase; it's an official local reprint, an episode of Airbender in comic form. The other is something from Free Comic Book Day last year, I think.
Thanks, History, for the Vikings beer! It's actually a case of San Mig Light, four bottles disguised as "Magnus Brew." I love it!
X-Men versus X-Men! It's a time-honored tradition. Wish they showed Moira's behavior modification process on the Blue Team, though. Still, it was a good battle, albeit a brief one. The Gold Team (with Banshee and Forge) flew to Magneto's Asteroid M using an invisible ship with no metal parts.

"I... was right... Cap..."
"Shut up, Summers! It's the first year anniversary of our AVX victory! Avengers Assemble!"

From Vegas to Manila: The Killers, a life force

(Published Sept. 29, PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit
Photos by Raffy Lerma

The close-to-two-hour show was inimitably grand and unrelenting. The Killers, as contemporary lingo would have it, killed it!

Fans of the American rock band were slow to fill up the Big Dome Thursday night—it didn’t look like the place would be filled. But by 9:15, every corner of the stadium was packed; they had come in time to catch the first number.

Thunderous applause greeted the four-man band from Las Vegas, who kicked off the “Battle Born World Tour” concert with their mid-2000s hit, “Mr. Brightside.” The patron section was particularly animated; the seats had been removed for the show, giving audience members there room to jump and dance. A sizeable portion of the crowd took out phones and gadgets to record the energetic, coruscating opener.

The fans, mostly in their 20s and 30s, sang along to the anthemic “Mr. Brightside,” about a jealous, frustrated boyfriend. Vocalist-songwriter Brandon Flowers was visibly elated with the warm welcome. He let the audience sing some parts while he moved around the stage.

The band followed this up with the similarly fast-paced “Spaceman,” Flowers’ impassioned vocals conjuring up less pained and more abstract imagery.

The Killers, whose name was inspired by a fictional band in a New Order music video, proceeded with a slew of New Wave-inspired and heartland rocker ditties. The charismatic singer’s voice sounded like a cross between The Cars’ Rick Ocasek and The Cure’s Robert Smith.

Currently sporting a cleaner, more dapper look (as opposed to his semiscruffy style circa 2010), Flowers was characteristically invigorated, air-punching while singing, intermittently hopping on elevated parts of the stage.

Sa wakas (finally),” he said, “The Killers are here … thank you for not giving up on us!”

The songs were sequenced just right, the band playing songs from the latest album “Battle Born,” then returning to more familiar songs: “The Way It Was” was followed by “Smile Like You Mean It,” and so on.

Dazzling flashes from the backdrop, the blinking lightning insignia onstage … heightened sensations.  During a trippy rendition of Joy Division’s “Shadowplay,” a fantastic light show erupted, with laser-like lights projecting from, and intersecting above, the stage.

Flowers briefly alluded to the band’s origins. “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” he said, immediately adding, “Our motto is b***s*** because The Killers are here, in Manila, tonight!”

From the nearly 20-song set, several numbers stood out: “Miss Atomic Bomb” was a swooping and bittersweet arena hymn; “Runaways” had the audience jumping to its gradually ascending melodies; “All These Things That I’ve Done” was just so spectacularly done (and Flowers and fans merrily sang the “I got soul but I’m not a soldier” part); there was even a surprisingly powerful cover of “I Think We’re Alone Now,” originally by Tommy James and The Shondells (later popularized by Tiffany in 1987).

All told, The Killers’ music—pulsating, permeating—is a life force.

Lost Larry

Larry Bodine. One of my favorite one-issue characters, like Valerie from V for Vendetta. Larry was persecuted, albeit unknowingly, for being "different." He was secretly a mutant with the power to make light sculptures. Some bullies' threats (actually a bad practical joke) made him fear for his safety, leading him to commit suicide. He appeared in New Mutants # 45, released in 1986. Brilliant story. It spoke to me when I was in my early teens, and is even more moving now.

Focused Totality

Status updates, yada yada.

Sept. 15. Finally reading some of the Joe Kelly-written X-Men issues from the late '90s that I missed. Really good. The three newbies (Doc Reyes, Marrow and Maggott) were really well-written!
Sept. 21. After many years of resisting--and just enjoying life as a freelancer--I now have a regular job. I feel like a grownup.
Sept. 21. Surreal day. Mind's practically astral projecting. Feeling excited, giddy, nervous. What a day.
Sept. 22. Mandatory employment check-up yesterday. Drug test required someone to wait nearby while you fill up some containers. Let's just say that aim and timing are important. It was like a scene from some Farrelly Brothers comedy. But the nurse lady, bless her, was unfazed by the awkwardness of it all.
Sept. 27. Watched The Killers' show last night.
Sept. 29. Naaaliw sa season 3 ng Awkward.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Original X-Men

The original X-Men, circa 1991. Plus Magneto, a Sentinel and a Smile-Face. Commissioned by a friend.                          

Aussie finds ‘Serangoon Road’ role a unique history lesson

(Published Sept. 20, PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit

Australian actor Don Hany found starring in HBO’s “Serangoon Road” a unique history lesson, one that made his mostly Asian costars’ traits rub off on him.

“Without a doubt… I noticed particularly Asian politeness, or patience towards work… I really enjoyed letting Asian sensibilities affect me,” Hany said during a teleconference with journalists from the region.

The actor, 37, previously appeared in Australian shows “White Collar Blue,” “Offspring,” and “East West 101.”  He plays ex-soldier Sam Callaghan in “Serangoon Road,” a coproduction between HBO Asia and ABC TV. Set in 1960s Singapore, the 10-part series brings Sam to various historical locations, including the enigmatic Chinatown district.

Joan Chen and Don Hany
“The character really only felt at home in Chinatown,” he said. “He’s a guy on the run, from himself and from his origin. Life with him is sort of one big trap. He’s trying to avoid being pinned down to anything, whether it’s the place, religion, or the people around him.”

But Sam, Hany added, will connect more with some Asian characters, despite his attitude. “He doesn’t want to be associated with the expats. So it’s interesting that he wants to be associated only with Asians.”

Playing the character introduced him to various cultures as well: “It’s hard not to take on some of the things; I enjoyed learning a bit of Mandarin, which is pretty basic stuff. I think it’s such a beautiful language.”

Hany revealed that his costar, distinguished Chinese-American actress Joan Chen, brought a different discipline to the “Serangoon Road” set. Chen’s character Patricia runs a detective agency and works with Sam.

“Joan is cinema royalty in Australia, China and even the United States,” Hany enthused. “She brings a completely different energy and entity to the work when she comes to the set. The way she approached the job at hand… she’s much more thorough. She has a very Asian sensibility about her, which informed the way we continued to shoot in a really positive way. I can’t thank her enough for the influence on the production, on me, and on the cast.”

Hany also appreciated working at the 1960s Chinatown set in Batam, Indonesia: “We were blessed with a great designer… it’s a magical set to walk in. There were whole streets that were so specific to the period. Walking onto the set was a wonderful entry point for getting the right rhythm and getting into gear for the work every day. I just had so much fun, thinking about the wonderland that I, a Westerner, would find myself in, walking down the main street of Chinatown in Singapore in the 1960s.”

(“Serangoon Road” premieres on Sunday, 9 p.m. on HBO and HBO HD.)

Imperfect strangers

The adult-oriented comedy “We’re the Millers” routinely milks its stoner comedy-dysfunctional family themes, but despite its formulaic nature, it’s still hilarious at the right parts.

Jason Sudeikis plays a “nice” drug dealer tasked with smuggling a sizeable amount of marijuana out of Mexico; he hires a broke stripper (Jennifer Aniston), his geeky neighbor (Will Poulter) and a surly runaway (Emma Roberts) to pose as his vacationing family. The pretenders typically make friends and enemies along the way, their precarious situation expectedly transforming them into a closer, more family-like unit.

Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (“Dodgeball”), “We’re the Millers” is understandably and riotously risqué but predictable. The faux family concept is stretched to accommodate pretty much all the possible scenarios, sometimes accompanied by gross jokes and physical humor. So while there’s Aniston providing some sexiness, there are silly moments involving deformed genitalia and other “unreal” situations. It’s pretty lowbrow, but “We’re the Millers” doesn’t pretend to be more than that, and it still amuses. The few outtakes shown during the end credits are funny, and that particular prank on Aniston is cute.

Paradise breached

“Elysium” is a mostly sleek but oft-unaffecting scifi caper, starring Matt Damon as an ambitious lower class citizen hoping to set foot on the space station Elysium, which is inhabited by Earthlings privileged enough to leave their overly polluted home planet. Directed by “District 9’s” Neil Blomkamp, it also stars Sharlto Copley as a ruthless assassin, Kruger, who is targeting Damon’s character Max.

Not that Damon isn’t properly sympathetic, it’s just that his character isn’t very interesting apart from his steadfast belief that he will cross the boundaries of Elysium one day, and perhaps live there as well. But get there, he does, just not in the way he expected. A work-related accident leads to his bonding with a powerful exo-suit, which Max uses to fight Kruger, a henchman of Elysium’s corrupt defense secretary Jessica Delacourt (Jodie Foster).

The story’s attention to class divide is timely. Foster as a cold and condescending manipulatrix is impressive, but it does get repetitive after a bit. Damon is visually intimidating; he’s buff and has a mean-looking cybernetic harness, but the enhanced Max just has the appeal of a Universal Soldier. The enmity with Copley’s character is pretty by-the-numbers, while the action scenes are quite average. The sterile environment of Elysium reflects the apathy of its more disaffected denizens, we get that, but overall, all that’s elicited is indifference for the less-than-spectacular story and conflicts.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Objectifixation, Three

Kingdom Come Unfolded. Chase cards/character guides from the old set. Had them laminated because the stock's pretty thin. I also have the old poster of the Alex Ross covers.
A-Babies Vs. X-Babies. From last year's AVX mega-event. Baby Cyke and Baby Cap fight over a teddy bear. A super-brat war ensues.

The Man Without Fear, a.k.a. Daredevil Year One! By Frank Miller and John Romita, Jr. Really good origin series. I like DD's first "costume," the all-black jogging suit with matching blindfold.

After Supreme, Alan Moore revamped Youngblood. Really fun. Incredible art and storytelling by Steve Skroce.
Scarlet Witch and Rogue.
"You're just one of my father's floozies!"
"Shugah, you were engaged to Doctor Doom. Were you nuts? Oh, snap, I went there!"

"Welcome to the X-Men, Rogue... hope you survive the experience!" Super-tattered copy. The Brotherhood member Rogue, fearing for her sanity, asks Professor X for help. He makes her a member of the X-Men, a decision that stuns the team. Years later, she's one of the most trusted members, finally in control of her absorption power.
Prizes from other Mind Mash trivia games organized by Cybertron Philippines, both in 2008, I think. Had some really tough opponents!

Inter-company romance. Kinda. Robin already has a girlfriend. But Jubilee doesn't know that, and with Access' help, she drops by the DC Universe to pursue the Boy Wonder.
"Hey, Mari, wanna go on a date?"
"But Buddy, you're married!"
"It's New 52, baby. Nobody's married!"


A sketch I did 20 years ago for my comic book thesis Dark Utopia. Two decades old. Where'd the time go!

'I Wouldn't Go In There' is spooky but inquisitive

(Published Sept. 17, PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit

National Geographic’s new series “I Wouldn’t Go In There” explores the historical backgrounds of Asian locations that are reportedly haunted. Unlike many paranormal-themed reality programs, however, it has an analytical tone and a skeptic for a host.

Korean-American blogger and “urban explorer” Robert Joe, or RJ, visits sites considered haunted by locals. In an episode that featured the Clark Air Base Hospital in Pampanga, RJ interviewed witnesses of spectral activity, as well as history experts. The episode aired in the last week of August, while the rerun aired last Tuesday.

It showed reenactments of hauntings, and an interview with an aging former security guard. RJ’s research unearthed little-known facts about the base’s history. He later concluded that while he is unsure of the apparitions, the dark past of the place yielded disturbing wartime facts.

“The host brings a lot to the table, and is very different from the regular mold of National Geographic documentaries, which is usually just a voice over or a static host or presenter,” Fox International Channels’ territory director Jude Turcuato told the Inquirer.

The 10-episode series is also uniquely presented in terms of visuals, Turcuato added: “The way the program is produced and edited lends to a more entertaining viewing experience with fast cuts, a lot of motion.”

“I Wouldn’t Go In There” was launched in August, at the hospital site in Pampanga, attended by members of the press and bloggers. A volunteer group of clairvoyants and psychics, the Esoteric Society of the Philippines (ESP), accompanied the guests.

“We needed a group that had experience in dealing with haunted places to give perspective on the location,” said Turcuato. “It is a sensitive matter and we felt having them there might give everyone peace of mind as we explored the actual site. And they thought the episode was very well-researched and entertaining.”

In an e-mail interview, ESP co-founder Chiqui Martinez elaborated on the group’s participation during the event: “We were invited by the people of NatGeo to give a short talk about the spirit world and to facilitate the guests and staff to a protection exercise which is basically a visualization or visual imagery exercise.”

Martinez added that her group was no stranger to skepticism. “We have encountered lots of [skeptics] in the years that we have been psychic volunteers,” she said.

The group, however, appreciated the inquisitive nature of the show and its focus on different Asian locations. “We have so much to offer—Asian culture is very rich and there are a lot of mysteries that we can unravel,” Martinez said.

In other episodes, RJ investigates different eerie sites in the region, such as a school in Hong Kong, an air base in Japan, and a cave in Taiwan. The cable series is considered well-received in the Philippines.

“The premiere episode got solid ratings and the replays were able to sustain viewership so there was general acceptance,” Turcuato revealed. “I do think that the general analytical tone was not what the Philippine audience expected as the show was not meant to scare people but to find out more.”

(“I Wouldn’t Go In There” airs Fridays, 9 p.m. on National Geographic. Repeats air Fridays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 11 p.m.; and Mondays, 10:20 a.m. )

LNA Flashback

A panel from the Pulp version, 2002. The original run had gray tones; I used markers on the original pages. The printed versions came out in different tones. Sometimes it was dark gray, other times it turned out brownish. But it was nice that it had tonal value, regardless.

Ageless music and vocal prowess energize Austin-Benson show

(Published Sept. 10, PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit
Photos by Arnold Almacen

Inimitably warm and energetic, seasoned R&B and jazz artists Patti Austin and George Benson, with distinguished balladeer Joe Pizzulo, attracted a surprisingly diverse crowd at the Big Dome on Thursday.

You’d think that the gracefully aging performers would appeal more to fans of a similar age group or generation, but attendees of the “George Benson Inspiration Tour” concert was a pleasantly mixed crowd. There were seniors, as well as thirtysomethings and even teens, visibly giddy as these esteemed singers performed their hits from years past.

Patti Austin’s 10-song set kicked off the show. In a shimmery outfit, the 63-year-old singer—silver-gray locks and all—was graceful and elegant onstage. She started with the smooth “Say You Love Me,” from her 1976 debut album. Immediately following this up with the beloved breakup anthem “All Behind Us Now,” she was joined by fans eager to sing along.

Her rendition of “Baby, Come to Me” was especially memorable. She showed off her range as she sang James Ingram’s parts! “So now you don’t miss James Ingram too much,” she jested after the number.

Aptly sounding forlorn but still soothing with “If I Believe,” Austin also sang her version of “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” and her more upbeat ’80s single, “Rhythm of the Street.” She then introduced Joe Pizzulo (who was scheduled to perform with her last night in Davao).

Pizzulo, 62, sounded just like he did three decades ago, back when “Never Gonna Let You Go” and “What Do We Mean to Each Other” rotated on pop radio. He performed one song, “Take This Love,” to tremendous applause.

After a 25-minute break, George Benson started his set with his popular cover of Roberta Flack’s “Feel Like Making Love.” He followed with the soulful “Kisses in the Moonlight.”

The 10-time Grammy winner, now 70, joked that it took him “50 hours from the airport to the hotel,” which elicited resounding laughter. He immediately praised Filipinos for being “wonderful.”

Austin joined Benson on their old duet, “Moody’s Mood.” He got more playful with the disco-era vibe of “Give Me the Night,” and gave a differently affecting iteration of the 1980s ballad “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You.”
 He picked up his guitar and played from time to time, dazzling with dexterity and mastery of style, and meshing nicely with his talented band.

He played a new single, a jazzy version of Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable,” from the recently released album “Inspiration.”

Benson’s hour-and-a-half set was animated, rousing many audience members to dance to a couple of numbers. The songs on the lineup were just a handful from three dozen albums that span several decades.

The music and artists of the night brought back memories and probably created new ones—it was a special, nostalgic spellbinder, surging with vocal prowess and ageless sonic synergy.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Don't Break His Heart

I love this. Thank you, Bastille, for making that silly song sound really good.

Monster drama 'True Blood' gets messy

(Published Sept. 6, PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit
In a season that could be described as compressed and rushed, “True Blood” has become a fantasy-drama show that ineffectively jumps from one outrageous scene to the next.

Barely resembling its much sturdier early seasons, “True Blood’s” sixth year started with the continuation of a promising cliffhanger. Vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) has merged with the undead goddess Lilith, remaking the once-noble character into a deadly messiah figure.

This metamorphosis has turned his erstwhile friends against him, primarily his ex, telepathic protagonist Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin).

In previous “True Blood” seasons, its semiheroic monsters are a diverse bunch, Louisiana residents who periodically faced a main, power-mad villain. This time, the attention shifts from Bill to the governor, Truman Burrell (Arliss Howard), whose antivampire campaign suddenly becomes the main concern of the show’s nocturnal creatures, even the law-abiding ones.

This is a direct consequence of last season’s Vampire Authority rampage, at least. Vampires are now incarcerated in a secret concentration camp, to be experimented on freely by their human oppressors.

Interesting concepts, but they—and most of the characters—don’t possess any “real” urgency this time. The silliness overpowers the serious and potentially compelling parts.

Sheriff Bellefleur (Chris Bauer) has suddenly become the father of four rapidly growing half-fairy daughters, whom he just named with numbers. And speaking of fairies, Sookie and brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten) comically meet their long-lost fairy grandfather Niall (Rutger Hauer).

New relationships come across as forced and inconsequential. Sookie quickly gets involved with a fairy vampire hybrid, the enigmatic immortal Warlow (Rob Kazinsky). The shape-shifter Sam (Sam Trammell), who hasn’t mourned the death of his recent girlfriend, is suddenly thrust into another relationship.

There’s an unprecedented personality makeover, too. The werewolf Alcide (Joe Manganiello) briefly became a villain, alienating friends (and presumably, devout fans) during his stint as a gruff “packmaster.”

With just 10 episodes this season, the show messily compresses arcs while oddly prolonging grating or laughable ones. A less-important character is killed off, and there’s an unnecessarily drawn-out funeral-centric episode.

To cap it off, the season-ender reinforces the idea that things are being rushed, more than usual. Still, like the season finales before it, it’s a cliffhanger that piques viewers’ curiosity, showing just enough for them to come back next year.

Looks like it’s taking a back-to-basics approach with the coming story line. But if it really is “True Blood’s” final season next year, it had better make people care for its characters again, and quit messing up its already weakened mythology.

As we go to press, the Associated Press reports that it’s a wrap for the “sexy supernaturals.”

The report says the series will end next year, “following a 10-episode season that will begin in the summer. That will be the show’s seventh season.”

(“True Blood” airs Saturdays, 10 p.m. on HBO.)

Daydream Believer

Status updates from the week or so that was.

Aug. 24. Two weird reams in a row, less than an hour apart. Anxiety crossing over to the dream world.
Aug. 29. Becoming a more involved team player everyday, and strangely liking it.
Sept. 3. Too out of it to attend Elysium screening. Maybe watch it tomorrow.
Sept. 3. Exam I took earlier had yes or no questions, the one with "no wrong answers." The one I found most interesting was, to paraphrase: "Do you daydream about things that you'll never achieve?" Yes. Of course.
Sept. 6. Just remembered, I was watching the replay of the VMAs on MTV Asia a few days ago. Bizarrely, the word "gay" was bleeped out of Macklemore's "Same Love" performance. WTF.
Sept. 6. Morgan "Super Size Me" Spurlock directed the One Direction movie?! Now I'm interested.
Sept. 6. Watched the Patti Austin-George Benson concert last night. Didn't expect to have fun, but I did. Powerful voices. Joe Pizzulo was there, too; he sang one song.
Sept.6. Enjoying the Infinity miniseries so far. Please have a decent, non-prelude to another event ending.
Sept. 8. The editing process is demystifying, in a good way. Learning a lot of new things. I have a greater appreciation for editors now.
Sept. 8. Took a rorschach test as part of my exam last week. The printed cards were yellowing... browning, actually. I was asked to say what I could see in each picture. I tried to respond to them as honestly as I could. Some of my answers must've been odd ("they're silhouettes of two kids with bunny ears, facing each other"). At one point, I politely said that there were just random blots that don't form anything. But the kind psychologist lady asked again if I saw anything on them, and I eventually did, so I said that I could see a certain shape. I don't totally get the test, but I hope I pass it.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Hela and Her Headdress

Hela. Goddess of Hel. Daughter of Loki.

Objectifixation, Two

"So, the new Batman. What do you think, GL?"
"Please, Clark, let's not talk about casting. Still reeling from that Green Lantern movie."

The new, reassembled Vision was devoid of emotion (and color), contributing to the Scarlet Witch's breakdown. Late '80s stuff by John Byrne.

And speaking of Byrne… Alpha Flight! 1985. In the double-sized issue, the team enters the realm of the Great Beasts to save the soul of Walter Langkowski, whose Sasquatch form had been revealed as one of the ancient beings, and was killed by Snowbird. They manage to retrieve the soul and temporarily place it in the super-strong Box robot.

The X-Men interrupt the wedding of Caliban and Kitty Pryde! The teen X-Man was abducted by Callisto and the Morlocks, who made sure she kept her vow (she promised to marry Caliban if they helped the injured Colossus). But Caliban set her free.

From July's The Wolverine preview screening. The ticket, a free sticker, and a bottle opener.

The godlike Beyonder, facing the heroes of the Marvel Universe for the last time. It was a reformed villain, the Molecule Man, who ended his threat, the moment the Beyonder was vulnerable and mortal.

Prodigy! The ex-mutant retained absorbed knowledge, making him an expert in various martial arts and scientific fields. He just joined the Young Avengers, and kissed one of his new teammates!

"Feeble automaton! You are nothing to En Sabah Nur!"
"Whoa, chill, man! Juston here! I was just taking the Sentinel for a walk!"