Infinity Turd, a Moebius Strip that Smells Like Shit on Both Sides

 

I’ve been catching up on my Marvel superhero movies and having a blast, but guys, I gotta tell you, this upcoming Infinity War stuff is not as cool as people think it is. At the end of every Marvel movie, we see a little glimpse of Shrek’s cross-dressing brother look at the camera and say something that’s supposed to be incredibly exciting, but there’s a few key points that Marvel’s writers are fumbling.

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Thanos by kudoze on deviantart

 

ONE. There is such a thing as too many superheroes on screen (or in a comic). We tend to think that if seeing X number of superheroes together is great, then more would be even better, more exciting, and make for a more complex story. It doesn’t. Too many superheroes means nobody gets a significant amount of screen time. When the Infinity War begins, your favorite hero will be way, waaaaay in the background while Iron-Man carries most of the story. Your guy will say one or two things while Iron-Man whipping his head, snapping his fingers, and saying Joss Whedon-approved lines like, “Oh no he di’int!”

When it comes to team movies, you need to stick like like four, five, maybe six characters, so there’s a balance between every individual getting some screen time and adding some complex character interaction.

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TWO. There is such a thing as ratcheting up the power level too high. We have this idea that if you take a normal person and give them superpowers, it makes them more interesting, therefore if you keep upping the ante until you have a character who can fly through outer space and shatter planets with one blow, he would be even more interesting, right? Wrong! Dead wrong, you big nerd. If a character is slightly more powerful than a really strong human, then the mind can grasp that character’s actions. We understand the danger level that that superhero is in when they jump over a car or knock a guy down.

But when you’ve got someone as powerful as Thanos wielding a bag of glass beads that turns him into a god, any battle against him is just going to be colored lights. Any character interacting with him in a battle will inevitably have to be entirely CGI. I hope you like cartoons and weightless, rubbery physics, because that’s what the ultimate battle of good against evil is going to look like during this Infinity War fiasco. You people are going to think I’m crazy, but so far the most exciting moment in the Marvel superhero universe has been Captain America and Black Widow getting ambushed on the highway by the Winter Soldier and a dozen heavily-armed military guys. That was so intense! So intense! Throwing a Power Rangers villain in there isn’t going to add anything. Which brings me to my next point…

THREE. Thanos’s appearance could maybe pass in a comic book from the 80s, especially if you were reading it in private, but for an older audience that’s going out into public to watch this movie, seeing Barney’s evil cousin grimacing and straining to hold in a fart is embarrassing. We can watch superhero movies now and not feel like absolute degenerates mostly because their appearance has been updated. They look cool now. Flip through an old comic book if, for whatever reason, you think superheroes looked cool in the past (they didn’t). People already made fun of Apocalypse for looking like Rita Repulsa’s fuck buddy, but Thanos is no different. Call me completely batshit, but if Thanos is going to be anything other than a joke, he’s got to be recast as a normal actor (yes, a human actor) who just happens to be big and scary. A little makeup is okay. Tint his skin a smidge purple if you have to. Now put a cool outfit on him, something that looks like a space viking’s frost-covered armor. It looks like he got his current outfit at the Big and Tall Fabulous Mardi Gras Expo. That’s not scary, that’s a fun night out on the town, followed by a hangover and texting people and begging them not to post any pictures.

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FOUR. The final showdown! What’s going to happen?! How will our heroes survive when Thanos acquires the magic gems that give him the ultimate power?!?!?!!??! Well, it’s pretty obvious, so I’ll go ahead and tell you. Things will look dire as Thanos and our heroes shoot colored lights everywhere. Then Thanos’s colored lights will become brighter and even more colorful, and our heroes will really be pinned to the floor. Thanos will tilt his head back and laugh. Then our heroes will hold hands and make a new kind of colored light. What power is this?! That’s right – it’s the power of love. The colored lights of the heroes will push against the evil Christmas tree lights of Thanos. The music will be really loud and if you’re watching the movie at home, you’ll have to turn it down a little (kind of an inconvenience). Some sort of gateway will open… I guess they have to throw the Infinity Gauntlet in there. If Joss Whedon is writing this one (unfortunately he probably will) then one of your most beloved characters will be like, “Bros, I gotta take that gauntlet and jump in the hole with it.”

“Don’t do it,” another character will say. “That will like totally kill you!”

The audience favorite will sort of smile and be like, “But I like, totally have to, don’t you know?”

The audience favorite will grab the gauntlet and jump into the transdimensional CGI meat grinder gateway with it. He’ll die, and it’ll be “sad” but it won’t really be that “sad” because when is the last time Joss Whedon ever killed off a character that didn’t come back? They always come back.

Sorry if I sound like a whiny little turd, but I’m a fan of superheroes, and I don’t like to see silly, predictable stuff. The human mind is an incredible tuning fork for all kinds of unbelievable stuff, and the universe rotates within itself like a bouquet of donuts twisted into an impossible shape. Please, highly paid Hollywood writers, I beg you – use the human mind to tune into something interesting!

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Left and Right Working Together?

I was watching Daredevil last night and I had this idea about politics, and it’s not super well-thought out but I thought I’d run it by you guys. The idea is that conservatives and liberals both have their own spheres of expertise, and arguments happen when they overstep their boundaries and get in each other’s way. I had this idea of nations (or even villages or whatever) as a soft center with a hard defensive ring around it.

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A liberal’s sphere would be the soft center. The liberal makes sure the village (or whatever) is nice to be in. Everybody has a good time, life isn’t extremely unfair, people have rights, there’s public works and projects you can put money into, artists get looked after, the old and the weak are taken care of, stuff like that. A conservative’s sphere would be the hard outer ring, and their job would be to defend the soft center. Being hardasses, sending out warnings to outsiders who get too close, making judgment calls on who should be killed or detained, deciding how raids should be carried out, questioning ideas or plans made by people outside the ring who want to come inside the ring, enforcing rules with the right amount of severity so that the group is protected, that would be their area.

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Both groups are perfectly suited for their areas, and totally unsuited for the other’s area. A liberal working in the outer defensive ring would let their empathy run away with them and let outsiders do what they want to the outer ring, thus endangering the entire village. A conservative who dicks around in the soft center would start trying to “lay down the law” on shit he has no idea about, like reproductive systems, Dungeons and Dragons, who’s bangin’ who in an unorthodox manner, what music people can listen to, and pretty soon the soft center would become hellish and unfit to live in.

I think this might be a good system because no one “side” has to beat the other “side”. As it is now, liberals and conservatives are in a desperate deathmatch, but it’s like an MMA fighter against a WWF wrestler in a rap battle. They’re thinking and acting using completely different sets of rules because they see the world in completely different ways. No side can ever “beat” the other side; the only thing they can do is ramp up the intensity of the argument and make things uncomfortable for someone like me. Of course, in order for an idea like this to work, people with opposing views (actually, opposing brain types, I think) would have to be able to chill out and see the value of the opposing side. That doesn’t mean you have to “give in” to the other side, you don’t even have to agree that they might be right, you just have to see their potential value to the tribe.

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Like I was saying, I was watching Daredevil (beginning of season 2 so, SPOILER ALERT and also DON’T SPOIL IT FOR ME) and saw the incredible second battle between Daredevil and the Punisher which is followed by a great argument that made me extremely uncomfortable but was so inspiring. Of course the whole thing is Daredevil’s “don’t kill people” philosophy versus Punisher’s “kill bad people so they don’t kill good people” philosophy. Punisher said something incredibly insightful: “You don’t get to pick what makes you whole.” Bam! Right there. It doesn’t matter how much Daredevil argues with him, or how sane and rational he thinks he is, in the end, the Punisher is made for living in the outer defensive ring of the village. He won’t feel alive unless he knows he’s protecting the soft center though incredible acts of unbelievable violence. The series does a great job of showing how disturbing the Punisher’s life is, with crime scene photos of mutilated bodies covered in gore, which is also counterbalanced by seeing criminals running and hiding and fearing for their life (loved seeing that one guy shit his pants when he realized the Punisher really was going to walk into a hospital with a shotgun and blast him – there was nowhere he could hide).

Daredevil made some good arguments too, though – as long as you live in the soft center. There is always good in people, and you have to trust your species and see the good in them. Everyone deserves a chance. Of course, his argument is a little awkward, because he’s fighting crime but not killing anyone, which only makes sense if you have superpowers (most people don’t), and doesn’t really work on the outer defensive ring.

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Oh yeah, I also thought this might be a good system to work within just in case of alien invasion, which I think is inevitable. And yes I mean the UFOs from Mars variety (“They said alien and Vasquez thought they said illegal alien…”). It would be better if our different brain types (in this case, liberal and conservative) each knew their appropriate area so that we could work better together against alien invasion, rather than let aliens play both sides against the other while they divide our resources among themselves. I see people having meltdowns now, but in the future, every living person will live deep underground and they’ll look at old photos of us strutting around on the surface of the planet, and while they work on assembly lines to make laser rifles and mini-nukes they will wish that they could have lived in our time – yes, the very time that everyone is currently complaining about. They will wonder what everyone was bitching and moaning about because they will be worried about creatures burrowing down from the surface and possibly attacking one of the child care centers, which is the worst possible scenario for any underground bunker city.

B. Stiff Is Back!

Wow, I really left you guys hanging, huh? Well, I’m back. Every once in a while, when you get too comfortable, a metaphorical semi blasts through your living room. You try to clean up after it as best you can, but then a bunch of monsters hop out the back. You try to sell them on the idea of attacking your neighbors and not your family (sorry) but their laser rifles are honed in on your loved ones and they know the layout of your house so you know they’ve been sent specifically for you so in the end (still just a metaphor) you lose everything you thought you had. In the aftermath, when you feel like a ghost drifting through a desolate landscape littered with the memories of the man you once were, you turn to old issues of the Punisher because you know that’s what you have to become if you want to survive. Survival demands you keep moving, and it doesn’t hand out rewards, only duties.

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My metaphor went off the shit-end of the stick, but what I’m trying to say is that I’m going to be writing a lot more for you guys in 2017. But 2016 wasn’t as much of a bust as it looked like! Even while struggling against horrors that no reasonable universe would ever ask anyone to face, I still wrote the third Heavy Metal Thunder book. It won’t be available until the wizards at Cubus Games finish the ritual that turns it into an app, but I’ve done my part. (I’m sure they also want to complete Frankenstein Wars first.) I also knocked out a couple of scripts for your enjoyment, if you’re interested: Phoenix and HUMAN.EXE.

I almost forgot, I also made part of an old-school RPG for you guys, too! You can read about it or even download it HERE.

See? 2016 wasn’t so bad, now, was it?

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As for 2017, not only do I want to finish Demonworld Book 7: The Demon War (finally!), but I also want to write a historical fiction novel. How crazy is that? I have a particular man and a particular era in mind, and I’ve been doing more research than ten professors melted down and squeezed together into one super-professor. I had a few intense dreams, too, where I would see things from that character’s perspective, and would even wake up crying! Pretty overwhelming stuff! So I think my muse is telling me that this person’s story needs to be told. Don’t worry – it’s going to be entertaining as hell!

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So let’s beat the hell out of 2017! We’ll slay one day after another, but we’ll let one day live so that it can run to 2018 and give a garbled, tearful, whiny warning.

“Beware! Beware the B. Stiff!!!”