Monday, June 2, 2008

When The Smelly Thing Hits The Fan

Marvel just released this ad promoting the new mini-series by Brian Michael Bendis and the artist that Pltypus have been promoting since forever, Jackson "Butch" Guice (who did that amazing "X-Factor" one-shot with Beast once upon a time). Ok, for those of you who are just joining us, here's a quick recap:

i) In order to make their comics more reader-friendly, Marvel started this imprint called "Ultimate Marvel" in 2000. Basically they publish comics with characters who are starring in movies (e.g. Spider-Man, X-Men, Daredevil/Elektra, etc.) but without the baggage of 40-years of continuity. Hot writers like Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Millar were assigned to the books under the watchful eyes of Joe Quesada, Bill Jemas and Ralph Macchio.

ii) In an issue of "Ultimate Marvel Team-Up", Bendis wrote this line of dialogue for Ultimate Hulk (speaking to Ultimate Spidey): "Everything is connected!" With one line, Bendis began a comprehensive David-Icke-level conspiracy that supposedly tied up everything in the Ultimate Universe together - from the origin of mutants to the OsCorp origins for Spidey, the WWII folks to the founding of the Ultimates, etc.

iii) It's now 2008 and the Ultimate imprint is no longer enjoying the success that it once had. People are complaining about Jeph Loeb's "Ultimates III", Robert Kirkman's "Ultimate X-Men" and all the gazillion spin-off minis (e.g. Ultimate Galactus trilogy, Ultimate Human, Ultimate Power, etc.) that does nothing except to muck-up everything even more. Enter Bendis to save the day by taking up that "Everything is connected!" line and writing a story around it called "Ultimate Origins". Also, this is a lead-in to the upcoming "Ultimatum" - another mini by Jeph Loeb and David Finch that promises to totally change the entire universe/imprint! I'm a sucker for conspiracy theories so I'll probably pick up the two series anyway...

In other news, yesterday was a particularly odd day wherein nothing went according to plan. I began the day by writing a really stupid entry on anal-probe and disembodied voices chanting: "You must choose a side... you must choose a side..." I ended the day with all sorts of screw-ups at work and at home. Back at work today and really enjoyed teaching a History Class this morning [it was on those sicko British Imperialists who made Tanah Melayu their public toilet]. But then, maybe this is how the White Imperialists have always thought: they corner you into "choosing a side" but what they really want is for you to "choose to side with them". It was the same thing with the SIN fundies who visited my old "Uncle Screwtape's Blogs". I refused to cast my vote with them to anathemize gays and they ended up anathemizing me. Religion, to me, is an intensely private matter that require years of study, meditation and day-to-day living. Over the years, I have read much and thought over many, many issues but where I am today, I actually have more questions than answers! I think anyone honest with themselves will agree with me. For Pltypus, it's a once-a-week pilgrimage to a Catholic Church to sit under the shadow of Mary. For La Tey, it's the next Ben Witherington tome or "Luther In Context". For me, it's the next History Lesson and the next comic-book day (next Wednesday?). Believe me, the state of mind that we're in, you wouldn't want us to be on your side. In line with that, the state of mind that we're in, you wouldn't want us to take an opposing side to yours either! Don't believe me? Just ask the Vincit-Reformanda dynamic duo. The three of us have had our share of religion - as anyone with half-a-brain who reads our posts can tell - and we've been burnt by the experience. We are recovering. We are finding peace again. We are trying to recover the first love, the freshness to *knowing God* once again. The last thing we need are more people telling us about the importance of labels, the importance of taking stands/sides, the importance of how to quote handbooks.

From our lives' beginning on
We are pushed in little forms
No one asks us how we like to be
In school they teach you what to think
But everyone says different things
But they're all convinced that
They're the ones to see

So they keep talking and they never stop
And at a certain point you give it up
So the only thing that's left to think is this

I want out--to live my life alone
I want out--leave me be
I want out--to do things on my own
I want out--to live my life and to be free

People tell me A and B
They tell me how I have to see
Things that I have seen already clear
So they push me then from side to side
They're pushing me from black to white
They're pushing 'til there's nothing more to hear

But don't push me to the maximum
Shut your mouth and take it home
'cause I decide the way things gonna be

I want out--to live my life alone
I want out--leave me be
I want out--to do things on my own
I want out--to live my life and to be free

There's a million ways to see the things in life
A million ways to be the fool
In the end of it, none of us is right
Sometimes we need to be alone

No no no, leave me alone

I want out--to live my life alone
I want out--leave me be
I want out--to do things on my own
I want out--to live my life and to be free

- Kai Hansen, "I Want Out"

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