Tag Archives: captain america

A Good Weekend and The Avengers

Happy Sunday!  This weekend was excellent.  Daniel and I went to the Duke Faculty Club pool with his dad this afternoon, so I took the opportunity to do a little swimming and tan, of course.  I’m still not used to the fact that there are just more beautiful days here than in Upstate New York.  Yesterday we went for a hike at West Pointe on the Eno.  It was a real hike that included climbing up rocks and walking on narrow banks next to the river.  I probably almost fell into the river at least twice.  It was a spectacular day and I did snap a few pictures.

The Eno River

A Daniel in the wild.

It’s not the Genesee, obviously.

The majority of this post is going to be dedicated to The Avengers.  Now, Daniel and I actually saw this movie a few weeks ago, but it’s one that I needed to write about.  I personally thought the movie was brilliant.  It was scripted and directed by Joss Whedon, who you may know as the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I think few people realize how much involvement he has also had in the comic book industry, making him extremely qualified to write and direct a film like this.  Even if you didn’t know he wrote the script for The Avengers, I think it became pretty obvious throughout the film.  He made Tony Stark’s/Iron Man’s character entirely like his character of Xander in Buffy.  (This witty character archetype is one that he uses in probably all of his films and t.v. shows, and I believe that in interviews he has claimed it is based off of himself.)  And it worked perfectly with the previous film depictions of Iron Man, and matched the comics as well.

I’ve noticed he also likes to build up tension, usually during a monologue of a villain, but that monologue is then cut short by a protagonist beating the crap out of the guy trying to give his speech, followed by the protagonist saying something witty.  I feel like that was in every other episode of Buffy, and at least in the Angel pilot, which I happened to have watched recently.  If you’ve seen the film, you’ll know to which scene with Loki and The Hulk I am referring.  If not…well, WHEN you go see it, you will understand.  It was hilarious.

I think some previous movies based on comic books have failed because the writers couldn’t get the pacing right.  At least, this is what Daniel always says, and he would know, right?  This movie was unique because all of the back-stories of the members of The Avengers had already been established in four previous films, respectively:  Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger.  Whedon didn’t need to waste any time establishing the characters, but could jump right in to the assembly of the group.  And, like I said, he’s a comic book writer, so he just gets it.  The script sounded just like a comic book.  It was perfect for comic fans like Daniel for that reason, but it was also just really well written, which would appeal to the rest of the population.

Overall, I get why it’s been so successful.  If you haven’t seen it, go watch it, but not before you watch the other movies.  And be sure to stick around after the credits.  It was by far the best movie I’ve seen in a couple of years.

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Park Ave Fest Day 1

Today kicks off the 35th Annual Park Avenue Festival.  We woke up shortly before 10am this morning, and left the apartment around 10:30am.  We walked to Alexander Street, which is at one end of the festival, and then made our way to Culver Street in the opposite direction, which is the other end of the festival.  There are so many booths with interesting crafts.  Kelly bought a little plastic star to fill with colorful sand (as part of a church’s fundraiser) and then she bought a bamboo plant.

Kelly and her star.

Dillon bought some fudge from Stever’s for his family.  Yes, there is quite a variety of goods here, and we haven’t even gotten to the festival food yet.  For lunch, Daniel had fried calamari, Kelly had coconut shrimp and fries, and Dillon had nachos with a cheeseburger.  I opted to find something at the apartment that was NOT fried.  For dessert, Kelly and I bought some Abbott’s custard.  It was phenomenal.

Daniel went to work at the comic store dressed as (wait for it!) The Thing from the Fantastic Four.

It's unsettling.

Matt was dressed as Captain America.  I helped him accessorize by finding a shield.  He attracted a lot of attention.  Tonight we will go to his house to play poker and drink.  It’s been a good festival so far.  I think Kelly and Dillon have enjoyed it, but they are currently splayed out on our apartment floor, exhausted.

This was all Kelly could get when I tried to take a picture with Matt. Her hilarious inability to use a digital camera still amazes me.

Captain America: The First Avenger (No spoilers.)

Today Daniel was fortunate enough to get the afternoon off so that we could go see the new Captain America: The First Avenger movie.  It was better than I was expecting.  It is not so much an action flick as it is an opportunity to learn the background of Captain America.  It takes place in the 1940s when one man (Steve Rogers) is selected to receive the Super Soldier Serum, developed by a German scientist (played by Stanley Tucci) who wants to help the United States defeat the Nazis.  Howard Stark, father of Tony Stark who we know as Iron Man, plays a pivotal role in developing the machinery necessary to inject the serum and stimulate the growth of the soldier receiving it.  So while the body of Michael Cera goes into the machine, the body of Chris Evans (who plays Captain America/Steve Rogers) comes out.

And then Captain America is formed and he punches a lot of a Nazis, performs some awesome shield throws, and generally does American badassery things.  Just like the comics.

So if this takes place in the 1940s but The Avengers movie (which I believe is set to come out next year) takes place in the present day, how did they account for this?  The same way they did it 50 years ago in the comics, and that was to have him frozen.  I don’t know the entire story from the comics, but in this movie, it was more of an accident that he was frozen for all of those years.

In addition, the movie stars Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones, and Neal McDonough.

And yes, like the other movies before this that have been preparing for The Avengers, there is a treat after the credits.  So stick around for those.

Courtesy of my sister, Kelly. Her pictures are notorious for being blurry.

Dorking Out: A Very Special Guest Post By Daniel

So you may have heard that Christine and I took a special emergency trip down to Unadilla yesterday on account of that fact that her grandmother found a box of “Golden Age” Comics in a closet.  Now you probably know this by now, but I am a huge Huge HUGE comic book geek.  I even have my own (very infrequently updated) blog about them.  Needless to say I had a serious dork attack and may or may not have (read: most certainly did) peed my pants out of excitement.  At 8 P.M., after frantically packing comic book bags and boards, The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, and some adult diapers, we were off.  Three and half hours later we arrived to find Christine’s mother and sister thumbing through the comics as though they were a stack of three month-old People Magazine’s at the dentist’s office.  Doing my best to maintain my composure I uttered something along the lines of “Get your filthy hands off of those!  Do you realize what you are holding!?!” or something to that effect…or maybe I just wet myself again…I really don’t remember.  It was late, I was tired, and very VERY excited.

Sitting down at the kitchen table  with a small stack of the issues that Christine’s grandmother really wants to sell, I felt my body tense as I came to the realization that these would be the oldest comics that I have ever held in my hands.  Brow moist with nervous sweat, hands aquiver, I began to inspect the first comic, a little title called “Daredevil #1“.  Did you click that link?  Good.  Do you recognize that man on the front?  The swarthy looking one with the emo hair and the tiny mustache.  Yeah, that’s Adolf Hitler getting punched in the face.  Now, I can’t overstate how incredibly valuable “Golden Age” Comics featuring Hitler are because the confines of written language dictate that I use real words that you will understand, but take my word when I say they are extremely valuable.  For instance, this very same issue graded in Near Mint condition (which, mind you, would be very unlikely considering the comic is 70 years old) can fetch over $20,000.  Aw dammit, I just peed again.

I actually held this in my hands. How cool is that!?

This isn’t to say that Christine’s grandma’s copy is worth that much.  All things considered, it was in very nice condition, the colors are vivid, the paper is relatively white and odorless, there aren’t too many nicks and rips.  In fact, the only major defect is that the cover of the issue was detached from the staples, though I have seen coverless copies of the same issue selling for $600.  And while that certainly is the biggest highlight insofar as the value of these books are concerned, there were still several other really cool issues.  She has a copy of “Detective Comics #96”!  To put that in perspective Batman appeared in “Detective Comics #27”, putting #96 around 1943.  This issues was in incredible condition barring the slight curling on the right side from being stored in a box in a closet for at least the last 30 some-odd years.  According to The Overstreet, Alfred’s last name is revealed to be “Beagle” in this issue; his name, of course, would later be changed to “Pennyworth” but it is an interesting tidbit.

That's my thumb in the corner to flatten it out.

She also has a copy of “Captain America #38”, complete with racist cover and all.  This issue was one of the coolest to me because I am a total Marvel doofus and “Golden Age” Cap is the man.  Interestingly, this issue along with some others only feature one staple in the center of the spine as opposed to the two on either end that is more common today.  This may have been because of metal conservation for the war effort.  For this reason there was a sizable stress hole on the left side of the cover, but the cover has remained attached.  Sadly the bottom right corner of this issue had also served as a buffet for a family mice at some point in time.  Lastly, it would appear that the centerfold poster of Cap, purported by The Overstreet, had been removed.  Still the inside was very readable and the art impeccable.  Plus it included a short seven page story featuring the original Human Torch.  Unbeatable stuff!

I'm just not sure if this is more offensive or awesome...

Another interesting highlight was a copy of the “Cocomalt Big Book of Comics”.  This promotional comic from 1938(!) was put out by Cocomalt brand chocolate milk and featured reprints of classic funnies including Windsor McCay’s “Little Nemo”…it also has a racist cartoon on the cover.  Aside from a thumb sized hole on the right side of the cover, this issue was in superb condition.  While not nearly as flashy as a “Captain America” or “Detective Comics”, this is an extremely rare comic that shared in a long held tradition within comics during the 1930’s of reprinting newspaper funnies.  Also, this issue premiered in 1938, that same year during the month of June a certain colorfully clad alien do-gooder would appear in “Action Comics #1” changing the face of comics and American popular culture forever.

I know this is from 1938 but still, when did people start becoming sensitive to racism?

Aside from those issues there is a stack of around 20 more comics from the early 1940’s.  The majority of these are funny animal books, Mickey Mouse, Looney Tunes, Krazy Kat, just to name a few.  While these are not quite as highly sought after and therefore not as valuable as the ones listed above, they are still almost 70 years old.  Many of them are in good condition all things considered.  It is very interesting to see how the war effort was aimed at children by having Donald Duck and Bugs Bunny buying War Bonds and growing victory gardens.  Over the next few weeks I will go through these issues and grade them to the best of my ability.

Stacks of comics from the 1940s to look through--I gotta stop peeing myself...

Oh, and I forgot the best thing!  Christine’s grandma is letting pick a few to keep because my birthday is on Monday.

Best birthday ever.

Golden Age Comics

This will only be a quick update.  Daniel and I had to make an emergency trip to Unadilla tonight…because my grandmother stumbled on some old comics from the 1940s, including one with Hitler on the cover.  It was a big deal; Daniel almost peed his pants when I told him.  There is a Detective Comics #96 (for those of you that are less aware of comics, that’s Batman) and a Captain America #38.

I’m sure I will elaborate on this more tomorrow, after Daniel has some time to inspect them.

Political Correct-ness hadn't been invented yet.

The photo is from Captain America #38.  Daniel knows A LOT more about this than I do.

Hernt!

So tonight was Game Night at Park Avenue Comics and Games.  Now, originally I was not going to attend.  I was pretty tired when I came home this afternoon, and in fact ended up collapsing on the couch and sleeping for almost two hours.  But after eating some dinner, I felt a little better and followed Daniel to the comic store.

He’s been so excited about the game Heroscape.  He bought the game about two weeks ago and tries to get me to play it as often as he can.  Last week he also purchased some new figures, like Moltenclaw the dragon and Quasatch Hunters, which are weird little ape-like creatures.  Anyway, tonight he was so excited to take his new figures to the store to play a giant game of Heroscape with Matt and Mark.  We didn’t get very far; the store has a huge collection of Heroscape figures and board pieces and the game could have gone on for hours.  I was lucky enough to get first pick in drafting our armies, and I chose Marvel’s Silver Surfer.  Yes, there is a special Heroscape set with Marvel characters like Spider-Man, the Silver Surfer, Captain America, and many others.

The game consists of getting close enough to another player’s army figures to attack them.  You roll some dice to attack, they roll some dice to defend.  If all goes well for you, you will do lots of damage to their character, and they won’t be able to defend against it.  There are also campaigns or missions you can play.  But Daniel and I have found that it is most fun if you are just drafting armies and having a free-for-all.

What’s great about this game is that you can add dozens of different types of characters to your army and you can build a giant board with lots of customization capabilities.  For example, tonight we built a castle in the middle of the board, but we could have just built swamps or mountains, etc.

It’s a great game and I hope we play it again at the comic store soon.  It’s more fun with more people.

 

Don't worry: my "Most Embarrassing Songs" list is still on its way!