Stuff and more stuff

Let's see, in the last 24 hours I have turned in the group paper that has been ruining my life for the past few months, I watched a blurry image of my baby swimming around in my wife's belly and I got an oil change for the Hyundai that only cost a penny. I hate to jinx myself, but I have to say that it's been a pretty good stretch of time. So let's talk about some stuff before it all goes to crap, huh?

As usual, I'm about a week behind on my comics reading, so I'm a little late to the bandwagon on saying this, but the third issue DC's Adam Strange mini-series continues to rock in ways that comic books haven't (for me, anyway) in a long, long time (minor spoilers ahead, by the way). The story is beginning to pick up the pace as Adam is picked up in the supposed remains of the Rann system by a Thanagarian battle cruiser, hauled back to Thanagar and tried for the very crime he's investigating. Shades of Star Trek 6, I know, but Diggle keeps it from being too "been there, done that" with his characterization, dialogue and breakneck pacing. And let's face it, Pascal Ferry was born to draw cool space stuff. It's like some sort of divine mission for him, I think. And for special bonus fun in this issue, play "Spot the Star Wars reference." I'm geeking out over this book in a big, big way. It's not just comics, it's one hell of a ride. So glad I didn't wait for the trade on this.

I also finally picked up the new Captain America #1, which I knew I'd end up kind of regretting, but I did it anyway. Should've stuck with my gut on this one. It wasn't a bad story, per se, it just wasn't my cup of tea. First of all, why do they keep trying to remake Cap Classic into Ultimate Cap? Seriously, same crew cut, same pouch/utility belt, same perpetual grimace and same surly attitude. Ugh. If I wanted Total Asshat Cap, I'd have bought some Mark Millar garbage. I hate to sound like one of those HEAT people, but I miss the old Cap. My Cap. Dedicated? Sure. Determined. Yes. Patriotic? Obviously. Idealistic? Hell's yeah. Raging bastard, no way. Captain America, like Superman, works best when he's the ideal of everything we wished we could be. He's a born leader, the kind of guy you'd follow into Hell, not the guy you'd push into Hell. Cap, to me, will always be the way he was under writers like Roger Stern and Mark Gruenwald. This guy Brubaker's showing us might as well be a completely different character.

But maybe that's just me starting to show my age and turning into one of those Sad Cranky Bastards who proclaims everything was better when I was a kid (but it really was!). If you like this sort of thing, than Brubaker's first issue will definitely be the sort of thing you like. But none for me, thanks.

Meanwhile, over on TV, I love love love the new Rankin-Bass style Office Max ad set to the tune of "Rubber Band Man." It is catchy and cute and makes me want to buy office supplies for my loved ones (Erin would actually really appreciate that). Definitely one of my favorite commercials all year, right up there with the "Eye of the Tiger" Starbucks ad ("GLENN! Glenn Glenn GLENN!").

And The Amazing Race continues to stay excellent, but all the teams I like keep getting picked off! If this keeps up, I'll soon be rooting for anyone but Jon and Victoria (aka Yelling Guy and Doormat Trophy Wife). But here's my question: while the contestants were all in that IKEA store on this week's episode, did anyone else get a monster hankering for Swedish meatballs and lingonberry sauce? I sure did. And there's a new IKEA store an hour or two away in Connecticut. Hmmm...

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