Tag: Marvel universe

Brainiac On Banjo: The Ultimate Reprise?

Brainiac On Banjo: The Ultimate Reprise?

Is he strong? Listen bud, he’s got radioactive blood. Can he swing from a thread? Take a look overhead. Hey, there goes the Spider-Man! “Spider-Man” written by Bob Harris and Paul Francis Webster.

As is our want, my dear friend and editor Bob Harrison asked me if I had read this year’s version of Ultimate Spider-Man #1. I said I hadn’t, and I felt the last thing this particular Earth needs is still another Spider-Man book. Bob is a family man without sufficient time to debate me on this; he knows my position on this sort of thing because it’s his job to read my stuff here at Pop Culture Squad, so his simply said “Well, you should. It’s very good, and Jonathan Hickman wrote it.”

Bob’s never steered me wrong and, yes, I really like Hickman’s stuff. I haven’t read all that much of it lately as I haven’t followed the sundry X-Mens since they became, much like Russian nesting dolls, the first comic book franchise to spawn its own massively incestuous comic book franchise. That was around 1983. Had I been more observant, I might have had a similar reaction to The Killing Joke.

Like the word “unique,” the word “ultimate” is an absolute. One thing cannot be more ultimate than another. Ultimate is the top of the peak, and grammatically speaking there isn’t room up there for another. Yet we’ve had more Ultimate Spider-Man #1s in the past few years than we’ve had Doctor Strange #1s in the past few weeks. Is this new Ultimate even Ultimater? Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: The Ultimate Reprise?”

Brainiac On Banjo: How Does Tom Brevoort Relax?

Brainiac On Banjo: How Does Tom Brevoort Relax?

No place to hide… no place to run. The mutant age has now begun! Magneto’s hordes are on their way to pillage, burn and plunder, but there’s one team that will not yield, the team that strikes like thunder! — Theme song for Pryde of the X-Men (unsold 1989 television pilot) written by Robert J. Walsh.

It just so happens I have a lot of respect for Tom Brevoort. He’s been editing over at Marvel Comics since they were published on papyrus scrolls, and he’s been doing a damn good job.

That says a lot — looking at the history of our beloved medium, comics have had a tendency to eat up editors and spit them out due to our incessant squirming. The job takes knowledge, skill, and perseverance to keep straight all those characters, and Tom’s job for the past quarter-century has been to oversee the surfeit of Avengers titles.

The last time I counted, that means Brevoort had to keep track of enough costumed characters to squeeze out the population of Chongqing. Yeah, look it up.

I can understand why he’d be interested in doing something new. Sure, I’ve got a short attention span, but what the hell, he’s earned the right to kick back and try a few “new” characters on for size.

You know, like taking oversight over the X-Men titles. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: How Does Tom Brevoort Relax?”

Brainiac On Banjo #085: Crossing The Stream

Brainiac On Banjo #085: Crossing The Stream

Star Wars! / Give me those Star Wars! / Nothing but… Star Wars / Don’t let them end — written by Nick Winters, 1977

With all the streaming at our fingertips, the entertainment business is making a lot of headlines promoting what they’re going to do once Earthlings return to mobility. But don’t get excited just yet: the only cameras operating right now are working Zoom and not Studio Binder. When Keith Richards self-quarantines, everyone should self-quarantine.

Next week’s launch of HBO Max has turned up the heat. Clearly, studios are concerned about competing for subscribers with promises of new content, which, at best, won’t appear until after the winter solstice. My take on HBO Max is simple: it’s goddamn expensive, and right now they’re running little but reruns. It’ll probably work out because they’re not promoting that fact. But reasonable bean-counters understand that few people are going to maintain subscriptions to HBO Max, Disney+, AppleTV, CBS All Access, Peacock Premium, and Amazon Prime – to name but a very few – all at once. That’s a lot of money, and it’s also more programming than one can handle. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #085: Crossing The Stream”