Tag Archives: Nick Fury

Iron Man 2. Not too bad, but that’s about it.

Yesterday was my birthday, and I indulged myself in a little Iron Man filmgoing instead of a full 12 hour workday.   Now, I’m an old and crotchety scoundrel, and rarely find a comic book movie that I can recommend to people, but Iron Man 1 was one of those rare movies.  The original was clever and exciting, with an Academy Award winning cast, wonderful human moments of character interaction next to epic moments of HUGE Marvel punch-em-outs, gleefully updating the Iron Man story with flawless ease.

War Machine: A new actor, and a GIANT plot hole, all in one tepid character this time out.

I’m afraid the sequel is not playing in the same league.  Iron Man 2 is a fun little romp, entertaining for the two hours you’re sitting there, but it is not in the same league.  This sequel is dumb where the original was smart.  It’s slow fat in the middle, where the original was fast paced.  And perhaps most unforgivably, this is a sequel about the Iron Man suit itself, and not really about the man within it.

So, it’s an adequate movie with some very cool special effects, and some fun fight scenes.  That’s what I get for my twelve bucks, and I couldn’t ask for more.    But I’d come to expect a little more from this crew.  I was hoping for another 10, and we got a respectable 7.    It’s got all the bells and whistles that exploding-robot boy movies require.  It’s just missing that hint of humanity, or sparkling character dialog that made the original an instant classic.

Not bad, but that’s about it.

Now, THIS is something to write home about. A sexy Russian super-spy with a leather catsuit designed in the 70s? I'm SO there.

Get these muther-****ing snakes out of this muther-****ing Iron Man suit.

NOTE:  Every scene with Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson) and the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), was fantastic.  I’m with the rest of the world and I want my S.H.I.E.L.D.  and BLACK WIDOW movie franchise right now.  If and when you go see this, make sure you sit up and pay attention when Natasha Romanov is onscreen.  She owns every frame of film she’s on, and we totally believe she can take down fifteen people in under a minute.

(By the way…the people she knocks out, maims, hurts, strangles and kicks in the crotch are all security guards working for a legal company, trying to earn a respectable buck to feed their families.  It’s a huge mistake to put blue collar men in the hospital for this scene, as I wasn’t cheering for the Widow so much as I was horrified at the damage she was doing to hard-working, innocent American citizens.  In the context of the story, it couldn’t be helped, but it made the movie a bit mean spirited when it was supposed to be way-cool at that moment.  One of the flaws of tone that run through this film…)

And Mickey Rourke is not too bad.  He’s a two dimensional cartoon action

I got yer Wild Orchid right here, pal.

figure, unlike Bridges’ Obidiah Stane from the last installment (who was chilling, complex and interesting) –but Mickey does his best with an empty script.  I just wish EVERY villain in these movies wasn’t a copy of Iron Man, right down to the technology involved.  We get it.  Evil twins are extra evil.  But it’s been done, and done, and done, and done.

As I said…overall this is a 7 out of 10.  Perfectly acceptable, a passing grade, no one can blame them for not being genius-good every time.

But I was hoping….

Ty the Guy

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The Top Seven Comics Creators who can KICK YOUR ASS

Oooh...tough guys!

Last week saw the release of KICK-ASS a promising Comic Book Movie with a tepid box office on opening weekend.  Industry types were somewhat surprised, as the title and premise suggested a bigger response, but those of us in the know expected it.  You can’t fake KICK-ASS, it has to be in your blood, your pores and in your gonads, my friends, or the audience knows.

As much as I admire the work of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr, the creators of this epic story, I simply cannot in good conscious call them KICK-ASS examples of the male species.  While Millar is British, and therefore has soccer hooliganism in his DNA, Mr. Romita is an average-sized man, with straight teeth and no criminal record to speak of.   I’d feel fairly confident facing either of them in a bar fight, and I’m willing to go in sober and unarmed.

But the world of comics DOES include some of the most stunningly macho examples of man-flesh in the history of the visual arts, and you should know about them, if only to avoid their supremely terrifying gaze if they appear at conventions.

Be afraid fanboys, of—

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THE TOP SEVEN COMIC CREATORS WHO COULD LITERALLY KICK YOUR ASS.

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#7

Ken Lashley

No, he's not standing on a box. Everyone else is just that small.

Currently illustrating The Flash.

You know that scene in Jurassic Park where the water is jiggling in the cups, so you know there’s a giant dinosaur coming?  That’s based on Ken Lashley.

Ken is the largest human in the comic industry, if not in western civilization.  At seven foot nine, eight hundred and sixty pounds (and none of it fat), the only reason he doesn’t play professional football is that “it wouldn’t be fair to the other players”.  I’m big, but whenever I’m in a room with Ken, he makes me feel like a skinny schoolgirl in knee high socks, with a Hello Kitty backpack.  Seriously.

He happens to be a pleasant, quiet, somewhat reserved individual, however, which is a disappointment to lovers of ass-kicking manly misbehavior the world over.  I never thought it was part of Ken’s character to be aggressive — until I saw his cover for Excalibur #73

This is the single most testosterone-fueled drawing I’ve ever seen.  It’s an existential scream of pure maleness rarely witnessed outside of Heavy Metal Gay Snuff-porn.  This image of a blue-balled demon radiating nuclear energy from his dick while magnetically attracting the red lady, makes anyone viewing it more manly by 25% — including any girls.  And AFTER seeing this illustration, if any of you go out and kick someone’s ass, Ken Lashley officially gets the assist.

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#6

Charles Moulton (aka Dr. William Moulton Marston).

We had no idea what this man was up to...

This Y-chromosome-soaked head-shrinker helped create three amazing

The good doctor knew that real men liked this sort of thing. And real women.

legacies for himself in the 20th Century.  One was the polygraph machine (the Lie Detector) which has done more to fight crime than a squad room full of cops on a lifetime steroid binge–another was the fictional queen of lesbo bondage adventure, Wonder Woman.

But Dr. Will got his high testosterone scores in a much more impressive way.   He was in an openly poly-amorous relationship with two ladies his entire life–  had kids with both women– and the one he WASN’T legally married to, was the one he based Wonder Woman on.  Anyone who could keep TWO sexy bisexual fetish-doms happy for a lifetime of tied-up joy had to be producing twice the man-sauce you and I were issued at birth and could easily pound our weak asses into the sand without breaking a sweat.   Trust me.

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#5

Jim Steranko

This Nick Fury artist had a comic career that was finished and done forty-five years ago — it lasted for maybe four months — and he’s STILL considered one of the most influential artists who ever worked.  The balls it takes to be THAT good at something and walk away from it is impressive enough, but it’s par for the course for the Most Interesting Man in Comics.  Let’s take a look at a recent photo of this senior citizen to give you a sense of his essence.

"Last week I punched that Dos Equus guy in the face, just to win a five dollar bet."

Steranko was born tough. Instead of spending his youth PLAYING Grand Theft Auto on his mommy’s couch with his brother’s game system, Teen-Steranko stole actual cars, and occasionally got arrested for it.  That experience in the lock-up inspired him to become a circus escape artist, where laughing at thick, manly chains is in the job description.

But even this wasn’t enough for Jim (Grand Cojones) Steranko, who permanently moved into the he-man badass club-for-life when he became a professional sword swallower and FIRE-EATER.

You read that right, bitches. I can literally breathe fire.

Now you know why Steranko could write the adventures of spy-stud Nick Fury with such authority, and why he insisted on calling Nick the “ramrod” of SHIELD.

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#4

Jack (King) Kirby

Who, but an authentic tough guy, could rock this plaid dinner jacket?

We all know that Kirby was THE hardest working man in the history of comics who could write and draw an entire comic book in five days, and it would STILL be better than the one that took you three months.    But besides being an authentic artistic genius, Jolly Jack was an authentic war hero of epic proportion.

MANLY MOMENT #1: When he found out he was going to be drafted, Kirby didn’t go get drunk and beg the local girls for a “shipping-out-tomorrow” roll in the hay…instead he WORKED TWICE AS MANY HOURS PER DAY to double his already astounding output, and stockpile enough pages to continuing publishing his titles without missing an issue while he personally punched out the Nazi war machine.

MANLY MOMENT #2: While sleeping in an infantry foxhole in the winter of ’44 Kirby got frostbite, and was shipped to a hospital where a doctor wanted to take his legs.  Jack said no, and just to show off, he forced the circulation back into his limbs by power of his own male  will.

MANLY MOMENT #3: When a commanding officer discovered Kirby could draw, he started sending Jack out ALONE at night to sketch the terrain and draw maps of enemy territory.   Kirby went behind enemy lines armed with a pencil and paper.  Eat that, pussies.

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#3

Mike Grell

Nothing manly to see here. Move along.

“Iron” Mike has so much more going for him than being the creator of THE WARLORD (who is that half-naked dude with a giant helmet and a big broadsword who ISN’T Conan).  To begin with, anyone who’s named after a foundry metal without a trace of irony is already tougher than anyone you’ve ever met.

But Grell gets his he-man cred the old fashioned way. He’s the Ted Nugent of comics — a big game hunter who delights in personally killing and eating the larger creatures of our world, often with no more than an arrow, a knife and his own teeth.  Though I don’t share his love of blood sports, I do share his carnivorous taste buds, and while having lunch with him at a convention a while ago, I brought it up.  He told me that he refuses to eat any creature unless he’s already killed at least one of their species.  “I’ve cut the throats of chickens, ducks, geese…I’ve butchered my own cow.  I feel I owe it to the meals I eat,” he said to me, with an expression I refuse to describe as “Lecter-like”.  I can’t argue with the logic, but I told him it meant he could never enjoy a crocodile steak or shark-fin soup — two meals I have tasted in my travels.  His response, I swear to god:  “I haven’t eaten shark fin soup….yet.”

If this thing in front of me was alive, I'd have eaten it by now.

Brrrr.

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#2

Bill Mauldin

As the creator of the extremely popular WWII comic series, “Willie and Joe”, Bill Mauldin was the first, last and only cartoonist whose job required him TO BE SHOT AT TO MEET DEADLINES.

Bill Mauldin: He don't look like much, do he?

While with the 45th Infantry, Bill was part of the invasion of Sicily, sketching cartoons about frontline life for “The 45th Division News”, in between dodging live rounds.   These cartoons became popular enough that Bill was transferred to Stars and Stripes for the duration and told to produce the adventures of Willie and Joe as a matter of vital national need.   Any man with a normal set of testes would have hopped a jeep for the rear and started sharpening pencils, gleeful to be out of danger, but not Bill.  Instead he asked for his own jeep, and spent the rest of the war DRIVING AROUND THE FRONT LINES looking for ideas.  And just to prove he wasn’t kidding around, in September of 1943, he had his drawing shoulder ripped apart by a German mortar while visiting a machine gun crew near Monte Cassino.  True to his granite-testicled manner, Bill used it as an opportunity to do a few cartoons about life in an army hospital and kept right on going.

MIND-BOGGLING MAN POINTS: General George Patton once threatened to court martial Mauldin for gross insubordination, but the cartoonist was rescued from discipline by none other than Supreme Allied Commander and future President, Dwight Eisenhower, who told Patton that Mauldin’s characters were essential for troop morale and to “leave him alone”.   Next time you get in trouble, wait and see if the MOST POWERFUL MAN ON THE PLANET shows up to have your back…

I'm not afraid of Nazis, but Bill Mauldin scared me yellow.

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#1

Larry Hama

Don't sneak up on this guy if you value your life.

Whatever those Nancies at Hasbro might think about inventing the famous American action figure with the Kung Fu grip, Larry Hama created GI Joe for a generation of fans, and knows more about macho conflict-fiction than anyone alive.  And lest you think his world of big guns and phallic-named characters was only the product of Larry’s wimpy imagination, you should know this:   Hama is an eighth-degree black belt in five different martial arts.  I don’t know what that eighth-degree means, because every time I ask about it, someone kicks my ass, but I figure being ANY black belt qualifies Larry to obliterate me with one hand.

And just in case Larry has to kill you from a distance, he’s a qualified marksman and weapons expert from his time in Viet Nam serving in the Army Corps of Engineers during the war.

And if that list of impressive man points hasn’t dropped you to your knees in supplication–Hama’s specialty in the Corps?

Demolition and explosives.

Fiery explosions and certain death. Larry Hama must be nearby.

So naturally, the single most goddamned dangerous man in the history of our medium ended up the editor of Wonder Woman comics.

He owed it to Dr. Moulton.

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That’s it for today.  My delicate, lily white ass cannot stand sitting for so long.  I have to lie down.

Ty the Guy

click here for more of Ty’s Top Seven lists

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