Nov 25, 2012

The Ten Deaths of Spider-Man

Okay, spoilers, guys.  Spoilers.  I'm super-not-kidding.  If you haven't read Amazing Spider-Man #698, you should leave now and read it.  Unless you weren't going to read it anyway, in which case keep reading, but it's really good, so you should read it.

Spoiler space occupied by this thematically-appropriate and also kickass Sal Buscema cover.

Nov 24, 2012

Spider-Man's Greatest Villains #120-111

Gee, I wonder if this is some kind of elaborate illusion...nah.
(Amazing Spider-Man #141, art by John Romita Sr.)

Still reeling from the shock of Amazing Spider-Man #698?  Well, unjangle your nerves with a soothing dose of villainy!  And as always, check out the full list here!

Nov 22, 2012

Josie and the Pussycats: Worst Lyrics ever.

Josie started her life as basically a stock-standard Archie rip-off. She's pretty much just a gender-swapped Archie Andrews.

Then she got her own TV show and became a rock star! Here, have a look at the opening sequence.

I got the theme song for Josie stuck in my head the other day. But the only lyrics I could remember were from the very first line of the theme song. So I looked the lyrics up and what I realised was -- well, you just watched the video, so you know this too.

Josie and the Pussycats has the worst lyrics ever.

Nov 12, 2012

Ode to a Sibilant Serpent

The rarely-seen Sal's Monday Punt.
(Pin-up from Marvel's G.I. Joe #150;
art by the fantastic Sal Buscema.)
Cobra Commander is by far my favorite character from the G.I. Joe franchise. Part of that affection is due to his versatility; yeah, he can be written as calculating, cold and ruthless, as a threat to not only American national security but world peace as a whole... but that's not the Cobra Commander I love. The Marvel/Sunbow G.I. Joe cartoon and later issues of the Marvel comic (following his "resurrection," long story) vividly crafted this vision of a petulant, cowardly egomaniac whose brand of petty evil ranged from kicking stray dogs to etching his face on the moon with a giant laser.

Even with those personality traits, though, Cobra Commander was not a nonthreatening gag-villain: he had an uncanny knack for smooth-talking his way out of bad situations, and in the comics, at least, he was not above sealing traitors to die in landlocked cargo ships - uh, another long story - or shooting political prisoners on random whims. Alas, poor White Clown and Magda...

This absurd, over-the-top brand of villainy makes Cobra Commander the perfect counterpart to the Joe team in my mind, who often have trouble coming across as individuals (unless they're Shipwreck, of course). In short, I care about Cobra Commander way less when he's trying to be Darth Vader and more when he's acting like a paramilitary version of the Joker. I can't help but wonder if some more of this kind of "embracing the ridiculous" attitude might get the G.I. Joe line out of its current funk... but that is a pretty tall order, particular character portrayals or otherwise.