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.

thanos-by-kudoze-on-deviantart

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!

Your Reward for My Victory

The ninth challenge in the Iron Writer contest ended in victory. I returned from the arena, carefully cleaned my weapons and returned them to their shelf, then strode off to the showers in dead silence. My servants congratulated one another as they took my armor, but when they looked at my face to see if it was flushed with victory, they saw only the blank serenity of one accustomed to crushing his opponents and who is already focused on the next battle.

If you want to check out the stories, they’re right HERE.

My official entry was the second story I wrote for the contest; I’ll post the first in this very blog post that you now hold in your hands. It has the same necessary set pieces: A loom, a sunken ship, a rollercoaster, and a pregnant camel. My first attempt was too long and shortening it would have been like wrestling a buttered goblin, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a look.

Note that this superhero-themed story contains a bomb in a backpack, which was included unconsciously and may be so painfully pertinent in terms of current events that many readers might have considered it to be in poor taste. Oh well!

spider man destroy

KISS OF THE MAN-SPIDER: FANTASTIC FIRST ISSUE! FEATURING… THE DEADLY CAMEL!

By Kyle B. Stiff 

After Art proved to Rachel beyond a shadow of a doubt that Commander America could beat the Man-Spider in a one-on-one battle, she finally relented and agreed to introduce him to the old man that she was convinced was the real-life Padre Porter, the web-slinging crime-fighter also known as the Man-Spider. Despite his father’s insistence that the Man-Spider had saved his life years ago, Art was sure that an elaborate joke was being played on him.

“Alright,” Art said, “let’s go see this old fart you’re crushing on. But I have to be back by seven, or dad’ll be pissed.”

“I’m not ‘crushing’ on him,” Rachel said, still sulking. “In fact, he’s pretty gross.”

A hike through the neighborhood brought them to a dilapidated house tucked between overgrown foliage. Rachel entered without knocking. Art entered and was assaulted by the stench of post-game locker room and cigarette butts. He could hear wood knocking against wood and the sound of multiple conspiracy theory radio shows playing one on top of another.

Creepy Old House by havokforlife, found on deviantart dot com.

Creepy Old House by havokforlife, found on deviantart dot com.

Once his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he saw an old man with thin limbs working an old-fashioned loom. He had wisps of long white hair, a shirt that doubled as a napkin, and his eyes were covered in shadow. It was difficult to see, but it looked as if the old man was pulling string from his pocket. Art wanted to turn and leave, but he was enchanted by the pale, shining tapestry strung across the loom.

“Padre Porter?” Art said, feeling a little foolish. “Did you, uh, retire from fighting crime to pick up weaving?”

“I never retired,” the old man said immediately. “My old costume no longer fits, but I still weave the fates of men. I still spin justice, boy.”

Art realized that the old man spoke around a thick wad of saliva that collected at the corners of his mouth and around his tongue. He was further repulsed to see that the string stuck to his fingers as if his hands were coated in jelly or syrup.

“I guess I thought you were just a comic book character.”

“The greater part of reality you see only as a shadow. Did you know that Aleister Crowley, grand magister of the new age, was the inspiration for Professor Javier, leader of the Ex-Men, in your comic books? He taught us how to become more than human. He gave us our true names and turned us into supermen. But I can see that you, Camel, have brought me a gift in your backpack.”

Art was about to argue that not only was he not wearing a backpack, he also had nothing to do with the b-list super-villain whose lame power was the ability to go without water for weeks at a time. But when he reached behind himself he realized that he was, in fact, wearing a heavy backpack.

“Surprised?” said Padre Porter. “It’s a bomb, no doubt. You’re a victim of mind control sent by the Revengers to kill me. But mind control is such a fickle thing, isn’t it? Anyone can say the correct keywords to activate programming. For example: Rollercoaster.”

Art was struck by intense nausea. He felt as if he was teetering over the edge of a precipice and would fall at any moment. He crashed to his knees.

“Why have you come?” said Padre.

Art heard himself speaking. “Pregnant Camel comes across the wasteland to give birth to an explosion. We’ll kill you… just like we killed your syphilitic master.”

Art felt hands pull his backpack away. He could not resist. He saw men and women standing over him. Their faces were dead, their eyes were black and empty, and they carried automatic rifles and handguns.

Padre paused and leaned over his loom. His eyes were also black and dead. “I can’t do the work on my own anymore. My children are my hands and eyes now. Their thoughts are my thoughts.”

“Freedom fighters?” Art forced out the words. “They look like terrorists!”

“They’re the good guys. And you will be, too, once you reveal the location of your handler’s headquarters.”

Art clamped his mouth shut, but then heard himself say, “The museum, the sunken ship display. It’s the entrance to Titan IC. We call it Titan-99.”

“Rachel… Arachne, go and lead the others. Go and kill this man’s father, Commander America, just as I should have done so long ago.”

The superheroes filed out of the door silently. Still frozen in place, Art listened as Padre, the Man-Spider, explained that his fate would be rewoven as a bringer of justice. The old man returned to his loom and the shining tapestry and Art was horrified to see that he was pulling fresh string not from his pocket but from a grotesque opening on his lower belly.

THE END.

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If you’re interested in Kyle B. Stiff’s battles in the Iron Writer competition, you can view the previous chapter HERE.

Or check out the next chapter HERE.

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 Hey readers! If you liked this post, you should check out some of my books. I’ve got an epic series called Demonworld, which is equal parts Mad Max and Lord of the Rings (think “science fantasy”), and a much-loved gamebook series called Heavy Metal Thunder which is currently a hyperlinked Kindle book but will be a fancy phone app any day now.