Man of Steel: Who Booked This?!

Seriously, your top heel is jobbing to a freakin’ scientist in the build up to the main event (and don’t give me that ‘gets his heat back’ sneak attack excuse)? Way to build up your challenger, Goyer. A workhorse like Shannon deserves more than this.

Babyface is also a completely unrelateable goody two-shoes whose no selling all over the place and what is up with Zack Snyder’s obsession with sinewy abs and big bicep?

Other than that movie was okay.
 
I really loved it, although the constant flashbacks made me feel like I was watching Lost after a while, but the second half where we got to see Superman cut loose and PUNCH DUDES full force and destroy cities and shit was pretty boss.  It was the biggest and most global we’ve seen Superman on the big screen, and felt suitably epic for the story being told.  I understand the criticisms and can certainly see why people might hate it, but it was a giant improvement on Superman Returns and I like the Lois & Clark dynamic there. 
 
Also, the next night I saw This Is The End and it may have been one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen, so it was a good weekend at the theater for me. 
 
Spoiler space added to discuss a specific plot point:
 

Couple of people wrote in about the Zod death after I posted this:
 
Not the first time, but a long time, etc, etc.  Anyway, here’s my real problem with Man of Steel.  I thought it was mostly good (strong referenceable backstory, Lois is a dumb ass, real consequences to the destruction), but I did have a major problem.  In the comics, Superman DOES NOT KILL.  Ever.  When he had to kill Zod in the post-Crisis reboot, it fucked him up.  He ran into space to find himself.  He had violated his entire coda.  But here?  He offs the first really bad guy he meets!  What’s next, play Operation with the new Lex?
 
And another guy adds…
 
I keep hearing people complaining about Superman killing Zod in Man of Steel, and saying that’s not what Superman does. However didn’t Superman kill Zod at the end of Superman II? He threw Zod off a cliff and this was after Zod lost his powers. Anyway I loved MOS.

I wouldn’t really call Superman II canon or anything, but yeah, he killed the Kryptonians in the Byrne-verse, and don’t forget that he killed the shit out of Doomsday and even dropped him at the end of the universe to die repeatedly for eternity, so it’s not necessarily that he NEVER kills, it’s that he needs to be pushed EXTREMELY far to justify it.  And really, Zod was going to burn a bunch of innocent bystanders alive and wouldn’t ever stop trying to wipe out the human race, so what other choice did Superman have in the moment?  He’s an fallible human being, not a soul-less alien, that’s part of the point of the movie.  But as I said, I can totally dig how people might hate the plot point and take the movie down a notch as a result, and that’s cool. 

Monday Night Open Mic

Sorry I’m a little late tonight, I lost track of time.

Unfortunately I missed the PPV last night but it sounds like it was decent. The potential was certainly there for a few good matches. Sounds like the double turn with Del Rio and Ziggler might have worked as well.

Punk returns (I guess), Bryan headed down a good road. Ziggler ready to blow up as a face in my opinion.

Now if only we could do something about that Cena guy 🙂

Enjoy the show, come out swinging and keep it clean.

43 WWE-to-NBA comparisons

Thought the BOD community might enjoy this for discussion:
 
The Internet's most comprehensive NBA/WWE comparison: 43 NBA stars that remind us of pro wrestlers
 
 
 

I

don't know any of the people on that list, but I'm sure a bunch of people here will understand and be entertained.  

ROH TV: June 15th Edition

Last week’s ROH was the final episode from the Toronto
tapings, and the next tapings in Baltimore aren’t until next weekend, so we get
a Road Rage edition from a live event
in Richmond Virginia to fill the gap. 

The Show opens with Steve Corino telling us that he has to
fill in for Kevin Kelly.  Corino proceeds
to insinuate that Kelly missed the show because he gave him bad directions,
which I don’t hold against him, Kelly is the dumbass who asked STEVE FUCKING
CORINO for directions.  Corino “hypes”
the show with the most sarcastic tone he can muster.  He tells us the main event is “that dirty
hick” Jay Briscoe against BJ Whitmer (the announcement of the second name was
complete with a mimed blow job from Steve). 
Corino says that if he could wish for any two people to kill themselves they would be BJ Whitmer
and Jay Briscoe.  Well that’s rather
harsh.  Kevin Steen is apparently just
jealous of “The greatest man ever: Matt Hardy.” 
Corino gives us a spoiler alert; at Best in the World Jimmy Jacobs will
become TV champ, and the Tag titles are coming to Rhett Titus and Cliff
Compton.  Corino then sends us to the
opening match
Jay Lethal, Cedric
Alexander and Caprice Coleman VS Matt Taven and reDragon
Match is joined in progress; everyone is down except for
Lethal and O’Reilly.  Kevin Kelly’s fill-in
play by play guy is absolutely horrendous. 
O’Reilly starts laying into Lethal with some kicks, but ends up getting
caught with the Lethal Combination.  Jay signals
for Hail to the King, but gets cut off on the top rope by Bobby Fish.  With Lethal disposed of Fish turns his
attention to Alexander and delivers a Tilt-a-whirl back breaker.  Fish then props Cedric up for a running Knee
from O’Reilly.  reDragon gets this fisherman
suplex/legdrop combo, and unless they find a way to do it which doesn’t look like
shit they should never do it again.  They
try to get Call of the Dragon (Brainbuster/Headkick combo) but Fish is dragged
out of the ring by Caprice Coleman and Cedric escapes Kyle’s grasp.  O’Reilly is sent into the corner then eats a
dropkick to the face from Alexander. 
Coleman hits the super-Huricanrana on O’Reilly to set up the Overtime
splash from Alexander for the three count. 
Well this was fucking pointless, it was literally the last minute or so
of the match.  Did Taven actually do
anything?  I literally have zero idea as
to the quality of the match based on what was shown, and I can’t in good
conscience assign it a star rating.

Corino
sends us to the next match

“Zombie Princess” Jimmy
Jacobs VS  Kevin Steen
We cut back to the ring with Jacobs already in it.  Steen’s entrance is cut short when Jimmy
jumps out to start a slugfest in the aisleway. 
Steen gets the better of the slugfest and starts beating Jacobs around
the outside area.  Jimmy gets his first
real offense by throwing Steen into the barricade.  Corino’s right hand man charges to spear
Steen against the guardrail, but Steen moves and Jacobs takes an epic bump
headfirst into the steel.  Steen then
continues to beat Jacobs around as if he were Zack Ryder after he’d shit into
Vince’s soup.  Steen throws Jacobs in the
ring, just to clothesline him back out over the top.  Corino then bursts into a rant against Montreal;
he says nothing great has ever come from French people.  You tell him Corino, Fuck the Habs!!!  Steen throws Jacobs back into the ring but is
distracted by Corino.  Jacobs blindsides
Kevin and chokes him out with his chain for the DQ at 2:33 shown.  ½* This was the definition of a nothing
match, and Jacobs got maybe two offensive moves total. 
Steen doesn’t accept his DQ win however, and clotheslines
Jacobs.  Security comes out to break up
the brawl but Steen simply dispatches of them on route to grabbing a chair from
ringside.  Titus and Compton run out as
reinforcements and form a wall between Steen in the ring and Jacobs on the
outside.  Steen takes the mic and tells
Jacobs he knew that with the history they had it would end like this.  Steen then lays down the challenge, if Jacobs
is finally ready to prove he’s a man after 8 long years, he’ll get in the ring
and face Steen one-on-one with no DQs and no count outs.  Nigel comes out and tells the timekeeper to
ring the bell and start…

No Holds Barred:
“Zombie Princess” Jimmy Jacobs VS Kevin Steen
 
Steen starts by chucking the last security guy in the ring
over the top rope into S.C.U.M. on the outside to send us to commercial.
We return with S.C.U.M. having been escorted to the back and
Steen beating Jacobs in the head with somebody’s shoe.  Steen looks to get back in the ring but
Jacobs crotches him on the middle rope.  Jacobs
then gets a really ineffectual looking spear on the apron to send them to the
floor.  Even the offence Jacobs does get
makes him look out of his league.  Mr.
Wrestling is tossed back in the ring and Jacobs lays into him with stomps and
an elbow drop.  Steen starts firing back
on the ground but Jacobs rakes the eyes and actually has some semblance of
control for the first time in this match. 
Jacobs wedges a chair into the corner, whips Steen into it, and then delivers
a SLIGHTLY better looking Spear.  Look, I
defend Edge using the Spear against people who say he’s too small, but Jacobs
is half of HIS size, it looks ridiculous, he should bounce of Steen’s fat
harmlessly. (it’s not like Steen is treating anything Jacobs does as
particularly threatening anyway)  Jacobs
goes back to choking Steen then throws him outside the ring.  JJ follows with a Suicide Dive, then jumps up
on the apron and signals for an axe handle. 
 Kevin catches him with a punch to
the gut in mid-flight.  When was the last
time an axe handle DIDN’T end with the guy going for it getting hurt, using
that move in a match against anyone ever is like trying to power bomb Kidman or
jump headfirst of the top rope for no reason at Randy Orton.  Steen power bombs his foe on the apron then
pushes him into the ring to deliver the world’s heftiest Swanton Bomb for 2.  Steen grabs the chair in the corner, but
Jacobs jumps on his back and hooks a sleeper. 
Steen fights out and leaves Jacobs sitting in the corner, but the
cannonball misses.  Jacobs hits a
springboard ace crusher for 2.  Jacobs
tries to hook the Contra Code, but Steen won’t stop struggling, so Jimmy starts
elbowing Steen repeatedly.  He tries for
the Code again but Steen fights him off once more and hangs him in the Tree of
Woe.  Cannonball hits, but Jacobs is able
to pull himself up and respond with the Contra Code on the chair in the
ring.  It only gets 2, so Jacobs gets
some chairshots across Steen’s back.  Jacobs
exits the ring to grab a section of the guardrail and throw it in the
ring.  Steen takes this time to recover
and punches Jacobs in the face with a fist wrapped in his chain.  Corino wants a DQ for this grave
injustice.  Package Piledriver on the
barricade looks to finish, but Jacobs sweeps the legs and Steen’s head makes a
sickening thud on the guardrail.  Jacobs
tries to finish Steen of with a chair shot to the face, but Steen rolls out of
the way and does Jacobs a favour by going low and turning him into the Princess
he wants to be.  Package Piledriver on
the guardrail connects and Steen completes his near domination at 9:11
shown.  *1/2 mostly just brawling outside
the ring, and pretty much the definition of nothing special.
Mark Briscoe tells us next week is an hour dedicated to the
life and times of the Briscoe Brothers. 
It was actually a pretty funny promo.

ROH World Title:  Jay Briscoe VS BJ Whitmer
Mark is on commentary.
BJ is just here to do the job and everybody knows it, which
is good, cause he blows and everybody knows it.   We start with a collar and elbow tie up with
BJ forcing Jay into the corner.  Jay
wants a rematch and this time he forces Whitmer into the corner with the collar
and elbow.  Third tie up ends with both
guys tumbling outside the ring.  They
start trading chops on the outside with BJ getting the better of the exchange.  Briscoe is whipped into the barricade, but he
just bounces of with a grimace and boots BJ in the face.  Jay starts beating the challenger around
outside then throws him so hard into the barricade that he breaks it.  Whitmer is thrown back in the ring and he
trades elbows with Jay.  Briscoe runs the
ropes but gets caught with a spine buster from BJ.  Whitmer throws him out and then gets a dive
to send us to our final commercial break

 

Return with BJ holding Jay in a chin lock.  Well I personally am fascinated by BJ’s
attempts to give Briscoe lockjaw I’m not sure it’s the best way to try and get
over.  Briscoe fights out and starts with
a series of short jabs.  Jay Briscoe has
one of the best looking punches in wrestling today.  BJ blocks a punch then starts the chops, but
Jay ‘aint having none of that and forearms BJ in the face.  He responds in kind and it’s forearms back and
forth until Jay ends it with a head-butt. 
BJ tries for an O’connor roll but Briscoe rolls through, BJ then manages
to take him down with a powerslam.  BJ
misses a charge and gets caught with an overtop neckbreaker from Jay for
2.  BJ responds with some kicks and a
Dragon suplex for 2.  Whitmer hits a
Fisherman neckbreaker, but doesn’t let go and hoists him up for a fisherman
suplex.  Jay Briscoe then proceeds to suplex
BJ over the top rope through the time keeper’s table headfirst in a holy shit
moment that comes out of nowhere.  What
is Whitmer’s obsession with tables and his head pounding through them?  The story of the match changes here to BJ
being mostly dead but refusing to stop fighting.  Jay thorws him back in the ring then gets a
Rude Awakening for 2.  Jay Driller hits…also
for 2, I would have sworn that was the finish. 
Mark starts marking out for Whitmer on commentary, which is odd since BJ
sucks.  Briscoe try’s to get another Jay
Driller but Whitmer turns it into a roll up for two.  Desperation exploder suplex from BJ gets 2.  BJ tries to get another exploder, but Jay
Briscoe elbows him into putty, and then delivers SIX big boots to finally knock
BJ down.  Jay boots him twice more in the
face with him on the ground, but he keeps asking for more, so Jay puts him in a
dragon sleeper and BJ passes out at 13:30 shown. ***  BJ’s Second best match since his return last
year, and that’s no lip service.  Only
better match from him was the street fight with Charlie Hass back in
December.  He’s still has the charisma of
a rock, but as long as he throws himself headfirst through a table every match
he should be fine.

Meh show this week, only the main event was any good and it would be rated much lower if not for the crazy table bump from Whitmer.  recommendation to avoid unless you really hate Jacobs or Love BJ Whitmer.  See you all next week for Ring of Briscoe.

QOTD – June 17th, 2013

For Holiday’s and special occassions I planned on doing different things with the QOTD. Since Father’s Day fell on a Sunday, I’m gonna do it here. So, in celebration of the fathers, you get TWO questions! Yes, finally, the hard-work & toiling of fatherhood has finally paid off. Caliber looks out for his people. Anyone wanting to submit a question, [email protected]

First question comes from Bill Ray:

“Hi Caliber,

Here's a question for you and the blog: what's your favorite rarely-seen spot in 
wrestling? I'm partial to the "gorilla presses opponent on the floor and 
into the ring" spot, which the power babyfaces should bring back at some point. 
 
How say you?"
 
I think the reason we haven't seen that spot is because we haven't had any real "power" wrestlers, like
Warlord, or LOD. I think Goldberg was the last wrestler in that vein. As for a spot that I miss, well, 
I'd have to go with the double noggin' knocker. I say that purely for nostalgia reasons, because it's
completely ridiculous and would be laughed at today. If I had to choose one move that represents the 80's
wrestling scene, it'd be the DNK. Well, at least for the WWE.  

Second question:
This one comes from Jeff Bailey

"Here's one I've been wondering about:
 
Why didn't Capcom ever make a Powerstone style Marvel Superheroes game? It seems like such an 
obvious idea (at least to me.) Then again many of Capcom's Marvel related decisions boggle my mind.
 
So I guess my question is, if you were Capcom what game would you have made? 
Or not even just Capcom necessarily."

I want Street Fighter vs Mortal Kombat. I mean, they were the two biggest fighting games of the 90's, 
with fans on each side swearing their series is the best. I was always the Mortal Kombat fan, but Street 
Fighter is an undeniable classic. I'd love to see what kind of Fatalities they'd cook up for the 
Street Fighter guys. I also want Jason as a DLC.  

How say you guys?

Waiting for the Trade – Spider-man 700

Waiting for the Trade

by Bill Miller

 

Amazing Spider-man:
Dying Wish

By Dan Slott, Humberto
Ramos and Richard Elson

Collects Amazing
Spider-man 698-700.

 

Why I bought this: I
love Spidey in general and this is the biggest Spidey story in years, possibly
decades so I frickin’ preordered this on Amazon to get as soon as it hit trade.

 

The Plot: Doc Ock
manages to switch brains with Spider-man putting Pete in Ock’s body just as Ock
is at death’s door.

 

Heavy spoilers ahead:

 

Chapter 1 – In prison we see Ock doesn’t have long to live. We
then see a fairly typical day in the life with Pete being in an upbeat mood as
he stops crimes, does some science stuff at Horizon Labs and socializes with MJ
and Aunt May. The Avengers page Spidey saying Ock is asking for him and doesn’t
have long to live. Spidey agrees to visit him and in private we learn that Ock
has switched their brains though each has access to all of the other’s
memories. Peter-Ock then goes into cardiac arrest.

Chapter 2 – Doctors revive Peter-Ock but they feel he has less
than 24 hours left to live. Peter imagines all the damage Ock can do in his
body including killing his loved ones or using his Avengers security codes to
take down the team. He then accesses Ock’s memories to realize how Ock did this
and it dates back to issue 600 when Pete used a mental control helmet to
override Ock’s Octobots which then gave Ock a copy of Pete’s brainwaves. Pete
then uses Ock’s memories to activate one of his escape plans to hire a new
Sinister Six to bust him out of jail although he only ends up with three:
Scorpion, Hydroman and Trapster. Peter-Ock then offers the villains millions to
bring him Spider-man alive.

Chapter 3 – Octo-Peter is taking MJ on a date when he
discovers “Doc Ock” has escaped from prison on the news. Ock then goes to the
airport to book a flight to Belgium
and not return until Peter dies. Meanwhile in Ock’s undersea lab Ock’s body
goes into cardiac arrest again, Peter goes to heaven and chats with Uncle Ben
and every other major dead cast member and Ben tells him to get up and fight
one more time. Back in the world Peter-Ock is recovers and orders the villains
to go to the police. Mayor Jameson gets on TV and calls Ock a loser, which
angers Octo-Peter enough that he decides to stay in New York to prove to himself that he can
beat Spider-man in a fight. At the police station Peter-Ock runs into Carlisle
Cooper and tells her about the brain-swap but she doesn’t believe him. When she
fires on him the arms react instinctively and injure her. Pete feels bad but
with time running out he takes what he came for from the police impound–the
brainwave helmet that set this in motion 100 issues ago—and leaves. Octo-Spidey
gathers Pete’s loved ones in Avengers
Tower to protect them
from Ock, while showing them Peter’s plane ticket to explain Peter’s absence.
He says they are being targeted by Ock because of the revelation that Peter
builds Spidey’s tech at Horizon. Ock tries to self destruct his undersea base
with the villains in it but Peter has already disarmed the device since they
share memories. So Ock-Spidey just calls the police and tells them where Ock’s
base is. Scorpion and Hydroman take out the cops as Pete wonders how far he
will let the villains to get his life back. Back inside Trapster realizes Peter-Ock
has built a new brain-swap helmet and is afraid he is Ock’s intended victim so
Peter-Ock neutralizes him pretty quickly. MJ tells Peter she still loves him
but of course it’s Ock and not Peter in one of those great Spider-man ironies
and they share a kiss. Peter-Ock goes to Avengers Towers
to tell one of the super science guys there what has happened but it is too
late as Ock has activated all of his Octo-bots across the city and the Avengers
are out dealing with them. So finally we get the physical fight between the two
of them with the other villains helping Octo-Peter. Octo-Spidey gets rid of
them by “letting it slip” that Jameson is here among Peter’s loved ones and
Scorpion’s obsession with Jameson takes over so that he and Hydroman abandon the
fight. Max Modell defeats Hydroman as Scorpion threatens Peter’s loved ones.
Scorpion goes too far when he threatens Aunt May (whom Ock was once engaged to)
and Octo-Spidey hits him full strength and dislocates his jaw as Ock realizes
just how strong Peter’s body is.  When
Peter sees this he realizes just how much damage Ock can do as him and realizes
he has to stop him at any cost so he uses the Ock arms to throw them both at
the window. Octo-Spidey saves them both with a web cushion. Peter plays his
final card by having the brain switch robot attack but Ock has protected his
skull and then he hauls off and decks his own dying body. As Peter-Ock is dying
he flashes back to Uncle Ben and Octopus sees the memory too. Peter realizes
the brainwave link partially functions even without the machine and floods Ock
with memories of his entire life and career as Spidey in a series of gorgeous
splash pages. And then Peter dies telling Ock the lesson of With Great Power
and Great Responsibility while getting him to promise to keep his loved ones
safe. As he stands over his own dead body, Octo-Spidey vows to be a Superior Spider-man than Pete was.

Bonus 1 – An old Peter is hanging out with his grandson and
tells him about his life as Spidey, albeit with some memory gaps.

Bonus 2 – Back when Peter was dating the Black Cat she gets
a new apartment and manages to steal things to decorate it behind Peter’s back
while he fights a giant robot.

 

Critical Thoughts:
Simply Fabulous. Issue 700 is every bit as epic as it should be. This is an
instant classic worthy to be included in the pantheon of the greatest
Spider-man stories ever told as Peter and Ock play this intense game of mental
chess anticipating each other moves back and forth and taking advantage of
weapons and alliances available to them in their new identities.

The two set-up issues are also well done, particularly the
narration in chapter 1 which reads like a typical Spider-man picking himself up
for a new day story and then once you know the plot twist the exact same
narration takes on a completely different connotation.

That Slott ties his explanation to how Ock was able to do
this back to issue 600 gives this story an even more epic feel as it looks like
something that has been in the works for 100 issues set between two big
landmark numbers for the character. Issue 600 in general did a lot to make Ock
a much more credible threat, as there was long period where he was clearly no
longer at the same level as the Goblins and symbiotes. Slott has been building
Ock up throughout his run on the title and this is a hell of a payoff.

There are a few quibbles. To me the biggest one is Jonah
suddenly coming around and seeing Spidey as a hero. First of all in a general
sense Spidey saved the life of Jonah, his son and pretty much everyone who
works at the Bugle scores of times and Jonah has never come around so why
should this time be different? In a more specific sense Jonah’s problem with
Spidey has always been his fear that an unknown masked man not accountable to
anyone would cross the line and go out of control one day, (in fact Jonah’s
been shown for years to support Captain America because his identity is subject
to government oversight) so to have him change his mind in a scene where Spidey
brutalizes Scorpion is completely contrary to the entire motivation of the
character. I get Slott is doing it for the irony of ‘Jameson’s finally stops
thinking of Spider-man as a menace only when he actually is a menace–nyuk
nyuk’ factor; but it just does not work if you know the history of Jameson’s
character. That same type of poetic irony works perfectly in the Mary Jane
scene so using irony isn’t always a bad choice, but I don’t think works for
Jameson.

Ditto the use of Ock’s prior history with Aunt May. There’s
a scene when Pete accesses Ock’s memories and it is implied he relives Ock and
May having sex. That’s just icky and unnecessary especially for a story of this
magnitude. Conversely having Ock treat the threat the villains pose to Pete’s
loved ones as a game until Scorpion threatens May is a good use of that same
old continuity between Ock and May.

Finally while I can see the argument that having Pete force
Ock to relive his memories as a way of getting him to embrace being a hero is a
shortcut that is too external to Ock to make him really change; I disagree. I
found the scene to be quite powerful and I loved the flashback collage and
narration. Here Pete is dying and we see the “amazing” life he’s lived and it
inspires Ock to be a hero, making it Pete’s last heroic validating act. That
doesn’t mean Ock is instantly a good person now, it just means he’s going to
try to be a hero which sets up the fun of the Superior title: seeing Ock try to
live up to Pete’s legacy–which this being comics he will almost certainly fail
at so Pete can reclaim his life later in what will hopefully be a story just as
epic as this one.

 

Grade A+. If
you’re going to kill off Spider-man and cancel the flagship title of the Marvel
Universe you better have a damn good story to live up to that. Fortunately
Slott has an excellent one in this trade.

 

PS – As for the bonus stuff, the first one is crap but I
found the Black Cat story to be a fun little throw away but then I like Felicia.

JR heel turn clip

Hello again Scott, I thought I'd share this moment when JR turned heel
back in '96. I actually thought heel Jim Ross was interesting and it's
too bad they ruined it with the fake Razor and Diesel nonsense. For
those that have never seen it:

http://youtu.be/3jLy1NtcCfA

Boy, the interwebs were losing their SHIT on the Monday before this happened, let me tell ya.  Heel JR was interesting, but also way too far before his time to be a proper outlet for the writers bitching about Vince's dumb ideas.  
Also, Fake Diesel?  Whatever happened to THAT guy?  

Arrested Development season 4

I came across this article regarding season 4 of Arrested Development from Cracked.com.

Y

eah, I read this one too.  I've been extolling the virtues of the George Maharis joke for a couple of weeks now, so it's nice to see it getting its due here.  As I noted in the comments of the other AD thread, the George/Oscar shows are pretty brutal and the Lindsay ones don't go anywhere, but the rest is pretty brilliant.  The Tobias "To Catch a Predator" stuff is so incredibly dark even by this show's standards that you have to respect it a little.  

Waiting for the Trade – Spider-man & Black Cat

Waiting for the Trade

By Bill Miller

 
Spider-man: Invasion
of the Spider-Slayers

By David Micheline
& Mark Bagley

Collects Amazing
Spider-man 368-373

 

Why I Bought This: Black
Cat is my favorite character in Spider-man’s corner of the Marvel Universe and she
features prominently in this story. Plus it is from the Mark Bagley era, who is
probably my all-time favorite Spider-man artist, so while I probably read this
back in the day I didn’t recall much of it and grabbed it cheap off Amazon.

 

The Plot: Spider-man
finds himself under attack from a variety of robots while engaging in otherwise
routine crime-fighting missions against foes like Electro and Scorpion.

 

Chapter 1 – Spidey is attacked by a robot with a lot of
claws. He eventually decapitates it. Black Cat stops by to check on Pete, whose
parents recently turned up alive. Speaking of which Pete and MJ join them for
dinner at Aunt May’s house then afterwards Pete stumbles across an FBI agent
watching them. Later Spidey is chasing down a purse snatcher when he gets
attacked by bat-like robot. He defeats this one too but begins to realize he has
a problem on his hands. We are shown the face of the unnamed villain behind the
attacks.

Chapter 2 – Pete confides in Flash that he’s not sure his
parents are on the level. A news report interrupts that Electro is on the loose
so Spidey heads into action, while Felicia wishes she could join him. While
Spidey fights Electro an Iron Man looking robot attacks him. In fact Pete
assumes this is some new super villain in a suit. He only discovers it’s a
robot when Electro accidentally blows it up. Electro escapes, while Spidey
suspects the Tinkerer is behind the recent robot attacks. We cut to the Tinker,
who is secretly meeting with Felicia.

Chapter 3 – Scorpion also visits the Tinkerer and gets
upgrades to his suit including a stinger on his tail and an electric attack. (Due
to Bagley’s art it is probably Scorpion’s best look: very sleek and dangerous
looking). Meanwhile Peter’s parents are finding the modern world hard to adjust
to (they were in a Russian prison camp all the years they were presumed dead)
before they run into FBI dude from last issue. They don’t recognize him causing
him to ponder if his secret is safe. Spidey finds Felicia hanging out at the
Tinker’s headquarters and wonders if she’s behind the robot menace, but instead
she was there purchasing  some crime
fighting gear to simulate the cat-like super powers she had lost about a year
(real time) prior to this. Scorpion spots Spidey and attacks him. His new
weapons have Spidey on the defensive and then an amoeba robot attacks too.
Felicia jumps into the fray to save the day and together she and Spidey get
Scorpion and the robot to take each other out. Spidey meanwhile recognizes this
robot design as belonging to Mendel Stromm, who’s been dead since the early
Stan Lee days on the title.

Chapter 4 – Felicia shows off her new costume and weapons to
Pete and MJ. When Pete and MJ have an afternoon at the park with his parents,
Pete freaks out when his parents don’t remember the name of the dog he had as a
child. His parents claim spotty memories due to their years in prison camp and
wonder if they should track down FBI dude since he seemed to know them. Pete
and Felicia in their civilian identities visit an insane asylum where Stromm’s former
assistant recently escaped along with several other inmates. Once outside
Felicia is able to spot a tiny spider-like robot that functions as a camera.
Spidey realizes this how the various robots find him whenever he dons his costume.
Sure enough another robot arrives: this one a large humanoid with a
three-headed faceplate. The two heroes fight it for a bit until Spidey manages
gets the heads to argue with each other and the robot commits suicide. The head
of the sanitarium was in danger during the melee so in gratitude he tells
Spidey the leader of the escape was Spencer Smythe, son of a deceased Stan
Lee-era mad scientist that used to build “Spider Slayer” robots for J. Jonah
Jameson. Meanwhile Peter’s parents find FBI dude and he pulls a gun on them.

Chapter 5 – Smythe kills one his fellow escapees. Pete sees
his parents getting into a limo with FBI dude and spider-tracers the car.
Spidey and Black Cat then fight a Black Widow shaped robot, followed by a
scorpion and ant robot. The bug robots morph together Voltron style but Spidey
takes it out using a live electric wire; however Felicia gets jolted as well
and needs a breather. Spidey follows his parents alone and switches into Peter.
He overhears FBI dude planning to kill them because he was double agent for the
Red Skull when they died the first time. Pete goes to intervene but falls from
the rafters having temporarily lost his powers due to some gas in the
warehouse. FBI dude then throws Pete on a conveyor belt leading towards a fiery
demise.

Chapter 6 – Pete’s dad makes a move but gets taken hostage
but it gives Pete time to get off the conveyor belt and use his web shooter to
trip FBI dude up. He then KO’s him with a punch as his powers return. The
incident also makes Pete believe his parents are who they say they are. Spidey
then tracks Smythe down to his headquarters but is electrocuted by trick
wheelchairs that the other mental inmates are chained to. Smythe then reveals
he has made himself into a cyborg and dubs himself the Ultimate Spider Slayer.
He now has super strength, spikes and webbing as he pounds Peter pretty
one-sidedly. One of the inmates tries to help and gets murdered for it. This
causes Pete to lose his temper and three punches later the fight is over.

 

Critical Thoughts:
This is a fairly simple straight-forward story. It’s not great, but it is also not
terrible. In a lot of ways it’s just good clean comic-book fun with a couple
classic villains, some robots and a few old school cliffhangers. Plus it really
looks excellent thanks to Bagley’s art.

As a Felicia fan there is a nice symmetry in her first fight
back being against Scorpion because she lost her powers fighting him. This was
a weird era for Felicia since they couldn’t play up the characters’ usual
romantic tension with Peter being married to MJ. Their first attempt to remake
her character and keep her in the book was to take her powers away and have her
date Flash Thompson, which was a terrible character choice I never bought into.
Here she artificial super powers so she isn’t as strong or all that helpful to
Spidey but is competent enough that she can go on the occasional adventure with
him; the main goal of which was to transition her into Spider-man’s one super
hero friend he could confide in, which as one of only two superheroes that knew
Spidey’s secret identity in this era was a role she was somewhat suited for.

 

Grade: Story is
probably a standard C but the art bumps it to C+ 

Yearly Review: WWF June 1989

A few former NWA top names arrive in the WWF.

WWF World Championship Scene: (currently held by: Hulk Hogan) 
At the June 6th taping of WWF Superstars, Randy Savage issued a challenge to Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake to compete in a tag match against himself and Zeus. During the June 7th taping of Wrestling Challenge, Savage made it clear to Zeus that he would stand behind him should he decide to get in the ring because they hate Hulk Hogan equally.
Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake accepted Savage and Zeus’s challenge to a tag match at SummerSlam during the June 28th taping of WWF Superstars.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Scene: (currently held by: Rick Rude) 

The Ultimate Warrior continued to chase after Rick Rude to reclaim the WWF Intercontinental Championship. Following Rick Rude’s win at the June 6th taping of WWF Superstars against a jobber, Warrior ran down to the ring while Rude was going to kiss a female fan and attacked Rude.
During the June 27th taping of Wrestling Challenge, Warrior beat Haku but was attacked by Rick Rude. Rude planted Warrior with a pile driver but couldn’t keep him down for long. Warrior ended up fighting back and press slamming Rude over the top rope onto Andre the Giant who had came down to ringside.

WWF World Tag Team Championships Scene: (currently held by: Demolition) 

Demolition was able to overcome Akeem and Big Bossman in several tag team championship matches on the house show market as they didn’t compete against each other on television. However, they would have new challengers to deal with by the end of the month.
Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard better known as the Brainbusters were managed by Bobby Heenan. They earned themselves a tag team title match at the next Saturday Night’s Main Event taking place in July.

Other Happenings: 

– During the June 3rd edition of WWF Superstars, the first video promoting Dusty Rhodes being part of the company was aired. Rhodes was given a common man gimmick which was displayed as he delivered a pizza during the video. As you may recall, Rhodes was a booker for NWA before jumping ship to WWF. Rhodes got involved in his first feud with the WWF during the June 28th taping of WWF Superstars. Rhodes ended up stealing Big Bossman’s nightstick after his match to prevent Bossman from attacking a jobber. Rhodes would attack Bossman with the nightstick as well as Slick.
– Ted DiBiase revealed during the June 6th taping of WWF Superstars that he was responsible for putting Jake Roberts in the hospital with the Million Dollar Dream. Roberts had suffered a herniated disc due to the move. At the June 27th taping of Wrestling Challenge, Ted DiBiase revealed a gold neck brace for Jake Roberts since he believes his career is over.
– Tito Santana got some level of revenge against Rick Martel and Slick during the June 6th taping of WWF Superstars by attacking both men during a Brother Love segment until security pulled him away.

– Throughout the month, Ronnie Garvin continued to cost Greg Valentine matches now that he is a referee and can no longer compete as a wrestler. Garvin would be threatened by WWF President Jack Tunney that if he were to hit a wrestler he would be suspended.
Bob’s Opinion:
I think it’s awesome that Anderson and Blanchard have made their way to the WWF. At the time, the WWF had a really strong tag division and adding those two added more bulk to the division. Now, there in the top feud for the tag titles with the top babyface team. That seems to be a good match up to me.

Dusty Rhodes was brought into the company looking like a joke but managed to some how make it work. I guess that would prove that Dusty is a talented worker. We will see more of him over the next couple of years with a few memorable feuds.

The main event feud isn’t interesting me all that much. While Zeus is a monster of a man, he doesn’t look like a good opponent for Hogan, which would explain the tag match they are going to have in the future.

What are your thoughts on what is going on in the WWF at this time? Feel free to share below!

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