As promised, this isn’t a parody of a song but a poem, one which almost no one seems to remember the actual title to. Anyway, it turns out this wasn’t easier but I hope it brings you a bit of enjoyment today.
It turns out trying to write holiday parody songs is a lot harder than I thought. Maybe I should try to write holiday poetry instead.
“Twelve Days of Christmas”
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Twelve merry mutants
Eleven crazy crossovers
Ten rings of power
Nine realms of Asgard
Eight demigods fightin’
Seven spiders spinnin’
Six sinister villains
Five cosmic gems!
Fourth walls busted
Three movie phases
Too many spider clones
And a cameo from Stan Lee!
I touched on this subject before in my lament about the forthcoming movie about Wolverine and I’m going to expand on it here. In comic books (and potentially other media; I don’t know) there are some hero/villain match-ups that are the primary conflict between that hero and villain. That is, no matter how many crossovers there are, or how big the rogue’s gallery, when asked who a hero’s nemesis is, everyone pretty much gives the same answer. For example:
And that’s not a bad thing. But as the fourth season of Agents of SHIELD is about ready to debut and the previous three being heavily based on comic storylines introduced in 2008 (coincidentally the year of the launch of the MCU), I theorize that the executives at both Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios are doing their damnedest to make the general audience believe the Inhumans are the X-men. I theorize that I am witnessing a case of executive meddling on an unprecedented scale that crosses between three media – comic books, television, and movies. And I don’t like it. The Inhumans are not the X-men and they never are going to be.
Today’s rant comes in the form of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Unfortunately, the bad and the ugly are the same thing.
DC Rebirth – Hey, DC’s rebooting their universe again, to the surprise of no one. All I’m going to say about this inevitably short-lived new status quo is that I am liking the previews of Black Canary’s new costume. Yeah, yeah, she’s still got the same Naughty Biker Chick Halloween costume, but it actually has a bird on the jacket! In yellow and black, even! Wow!
Marvel Legendary –
a) I got a chance to play with the Secret Wars 2 expansion and I realized that Marvel is attempting to push the current canon of the comics, hard, with this game. I suppose that comes as no surprise to anyone but me. New characters include Ruby Summers (the other-dimensional daughter of Cyclops and Emma Frost), Soulsword Colossus, Phoenix-Cyclops, and Beast, who is associated with neither the X-men nor the Avengers but instead the Illuminati. The ’92 X-men are included as villains.
Now, the game has included hero groups that are played as villains. These include the Thor Corps and the Ultimate Avengers (universe 1610). Once defeated, these villains become playable heroes. What makes it particularly interesting to me about the ’92 X-men is that there are several of them already in the game as straight heroes – Cyclops, Jean Grey, Rogue, and Gambit. I remarked on this choice before and used it as evidence that the ’92 X-men were the target amalgam of many Marvel fans.
However, this particular choice, and the cards obviously inspired by recent comic events, seems to me to state clearly that the ’92 X-men, while certainly popular and important, are not the relevant heroes any longer. Of course, they can’t take back the characters that are already in the game. And it may be petty of me, but when I purchase Secret Wars 2 myself, I’m going to remove Ruby Summers, Soulsword Colossus, and Phoenix-Cyclops from the deck. I’m also going to reassign Beast to the X-men and the Avengers. Marvel’s “creative teams” aren’t the only ones who can re-write a universe through a game.
Or maybe I just need to get out more.
b) Another new card is “Time-travelling Jean Grey” who appears to be based on the version from the “First Class” set of X-men comics (which is in no way related to the movie). While I’m all for more female characters, there is one card of hers that I really don’t see the point of. I feel like a condition was left off of it. There’s a card that if the bridge space is empty it allows the player to draw an extra card next turn. This bridge card costs four recruit and there are no other effects. Why would a player want to effectively reduce the current hand to five in order to increase the next hand to seven? I feel like that card should have at least a value of one for fight or recruit.
Gloom – Since I’m on a game kick (I am such a geek), I was introduced to this game recently as well. The morbid premise is to make your unhappy family suffer horribly before you kill them off and then count up points. There are modifier cards that make the characters unhappy that stack on top of each other, literally. There are also modifier cards that make the characters happy, which are usually played on opponents’ characters. The really fun part to me is the storytelling aspect. Players are encouraged to explain why such miseries (like “Pursued by Poodles”) have befallen the hapless characters. I didn’t win either game, but I did learn not to keep the dog in my family.
And that’s all folks. I am exhausted beyond all expectations these days and sadly the reasons for it are in no way as interesting as being pursued by poodles.
I often wonder how certain decisions in my beloved comic book medium come about. As a writer, I often ponder other stories and the thoughts behind them. I’m interested in that creative process, which is of course complicated when more than one person is involved. But because I am not a third-person omniscient narrator, I can only speculate as to how certain stories came to be…