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1981: Raiders of the Lost Ark

ij_raidersDr. Jones, Dr. Jones, calling Dr. Jones. Dr. Jones, Dr. Jones, get up now (Wake up now!)

That’s it. That’s the only downfall to watching this movie. I get Aqua’s Dr. Jones stuck in my head every time they call him Dr. Jones.

Everything else is perfect.

I have been trying to get my wife to watch this movie for years. At one point early on in our relationship we made some agreement that if I did something she wanted (probably something super easy for me like ripping a phonebook in half or talking down a hostage situation) then she would watch one of the Indiana Jones movies with me. After 7 long years of her saying “Not tonight, I have a headache.” I got sick and she felt bad enough for me that she finally agreed to watch it with me. 1,000,000,001ish times dry heaving into the toilet and a visit to Emergency seem to have been worth it.

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1981: Daredevil #168 – Elektra and Frank Miller

Daredevil_Vol_1_168Some say that Frank Miller made Batman the serious gritty character that he is today with Year One and The Dark Knight Returns. I say No. While those books helped to bring attention to that characters potential, it was really Dennis O’Neal that did that, when he wrote stories such as “Daughter of the Demon”.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t think Frank Miller has his place in the comics world. Those Batman series are great. At least Year One is. I don’t dig Dark Knight Returns, but I know I’m almost alone on that. But Frank Miller is to be credited with bringing a more serious tone and depth to my favourite character – Daredevil. A character who grit and realism loans itself to a more character driven type of storytelling. That style has, since it was rebooted in 1998, allowed it to enjoy an almost flawlessly consistent run as an award-winning, high selling, top tier comic series. Continue reading

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1980: The New Teen Titans and Deathstroke

TeenTitansLogo3The New Teen Titans were legends of their time. Featuring a mix of both old and new character, the book, written by Marv Wolfman and drawn my George Pérez, was critically acclaimed and set the bar for other books coming after. It was one of two giants of the day, the other being Chris Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men over at Marvel.

This book led to Wolfman and Pérez handling of Crisis on Infinite Earths the 50th anniversary megacrossover that reset continuity in the DC Universe. A brilliant book. Continue reading

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2011: The Martian (Part 1) – The Novel

The-Martian-book-coverI know that if I were ever stranded by myself on Mars I would for sure die. I know that if I were ever stranded by myself on Earth I would die. This fortunately puts me in the category of “not suited to be an astronaut”. I hope that one day with in my lifetime we will have drastically increased our space flight capabilities and I will be able to go as a tourist to the moon, but I’m fairly sure I will never visit Mars.

This is not the case for our protagonist, Mark Whatney. Not only is he suited to be an astronaut, he actually does get to visit Mars. He is not the first person to set foot on the dusty red planet, but he is the first person to be stranded there. After a violent storm leaves the crew thinking him dead and forced to abort the mission they leave him behind, and head back to earth. It just so happens that Whatney is a mechanical engineer and a botanist, both skills which he puts to good use on the planet. Immediately after realizing his situation, Whatney sets to work establishing and executing a survival plan. He utilizes every piece of equipment left behind, ever inch of usable area and every second he has to the utmost advantage. That is mostly where we differ. I procrastinate, I need my space, and I don’t have the mental capacity to be able to figure out a way to use everything around me to my benefit. This guy is not Tony Stark smart, or Reed Richards smart, but he is definitely smart. He’s probably more Spock smart. Or MacGuyver smart. Continue reading

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1980: She-Hulk

4549322-she-hulk+1jpgShe-Hulk (Jennifer Walters) is one of my favourite heroes in Marvel canon. The cousin of Bruce Banner (The Hulk), she has been a long-standing member of the Avengers and was a temporary replacement for the Thing in the Fantastic Four. Like Daredevil, spends her days fighting the good fight in the court room, and, whenever she can slip away, brings that moral compass into the streets to stop any number of threats to the people, be they the Absorbing Man, Thundra, The Headmen or anyone else.

She was the last character that Stan Lee created for the company until his return in 1992. He only wrote her origin in issue number one, but I found it to be quite lazy.  Continue reading

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1960’s Relapse: William Shatner in 1963/64, and Harlan Ellison’s 1966 Batman Script

william-shatnerToday, in honour of Saskatoon Comic and Entertainment Expo’s announcement that the great William Shatner will be coming to the show this year, I checked out his Twilight Zone and Outer Limits features.

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