Death; or something like it.

Everything dies eventually. Whether it be humans, animals, or plants; we all die. Except… if you live in a comic book universe.

Death happens in comic books also, but it is never final. And if it is, it is a very rare case. The Fantastic Four, Marvel’s first family,  have been all over the news recently since one of the beloved members of the Four died in the end of this past story arc.  *SPOILER* Johnny Storm *SPOILER* died fighting a horde of monsters. But, as always right he/she “died” the door closes and he/she “dies” off panel. So, you don’t see him brutally murdered, but it also leaves it up to the creators to eventually bring he/she back in the future. (highlight the blank space for the name if it already hasn’t been spoiled for you.) Is it a good thing to kill off people’s favorite comic book characters and bring them back countless amounts of times? Shouldn’t they just stay dead? Well, I know the answer of course is no, because the publisher makes money off of these characters each and every month. Even so, will the death issues ever stop? I’ve been reading comics for roughly four years now and I’ve read several death issues of some of my favorite characters. Captain America, and Batman just to name a couple of the more popular ones have helped the companies sell more issues. It’s just getting to the point where you have to read several issues of other comics that deal with that characters death, just to have the character come back in 6-12 issues. So, through all of this you’re missing out on creative new story lines that writers could come up with; instead your stuck with characters mourning. On top of that, at least bring the dead characters back in a some what plausible manner. The traveling through time to get back to your body has been overdone. Using a Lazerus Pit has been over done as well. Marvel is getting ready to rev up a new event in my favorite comic book series; the death of Ultimate Spiderman. Why? Why kill him off? It’s been roughly two years or so since the last major even in the Ultimate Universe that killed MANY of that universe’s characters. Spiderman was thought to be dead in that entire fiasco as well. So, once again we went through several issues of mourning in a mini series, just to find out that he wasn’t dead at all. Now, so they say, they’re going to really kill him. Yet, one thing I will say about the Ultimate Universe is that most of the characters that have died have not returned from the grave. Which is a good thing in the long run. I can see what they might do with Ultimate Spiderman in the future, but is it really necessary? Captain America, Batman, Iron Man, Johnny Storm, and now Ultimate Peter Parker? It’s really getting out of hand to the point of where it’s purely a money grab from the companies. I’m sure I am forgetting several other characters that have died in 2010 and now, but I hope this fad can end sometime soon and that we as readers can get back to just enjoying good story arcs and plots.

http://comics.ign.com/articles/113/1134884p1.html

WHY MARVEL? WHYYYYYYY

Security in the Grind

No one likes going to school. No one likes going to work. No one likes doing anything; but they do. “Getting back into the grind” is a good thing. Just recently I got done with Winter Break and now I’m back in college. No more odd work schedules. No more getting called in every single day. Just classes everyday, and a decent amount of hours at work. Although classes will get harder as the semester goes along, I can’t help but love the fact that I’m caught up in this grind again. I can get my daily routines going once again which always bear positive results. The grind is something I can find security in. No surprises, just the same thing every week. You have the things you look forward to each week like certain television shows that are only on this time of the year, or even making your weekly trip to the comic book store on Wednesdays. You get in that routine again along with everyone else. It’s an odd sync that the world sets itself into once the Holidays are over. And with it being January, my mind always drifts a couple of months away; Spring. This semester (Spring semester) is the worse semester of college. Right now it’s miserably cold. But in a few months it’ll begin to warm up and the trees will start to bloom in their “grind”. Then, every student’s attention drifts away from schooling and homework, to “man, I really want to be outside.” Nature has it’s grind as well. Everything looks flourishing and alive once Spring is in full throttle. Mother Earth is happy to have the security of the grind again since Old Man Winter and his unpredictable habits are out the door for months down the road.

 

When I was younger, I loved the winter. Now, the older I get the more and more I dislike it. I’m ready for the warmer weather to get here. Here’s to another semester of the grind. I hope it’s a good one.

The Fate of the Arcade

The video arcade. Now that’s some stuff of legend for you. I remember when I was five years old or so, we had several in the area. All of them in the local malls. The sad thing is, back in the day going to the mall was the thing to do. Now a days, not so much. So, two of those malls are basically shut down. One of those two is on it’s last legs. But the third one, is still alive, for a little longer at least. In these malls were the arcades. They were places of wonder when I was little. I loved going and playing games with my brother, it’s a memory I’ll never forget. I remember people standing in line to play fighting games, and they would actually take turns when someone died to fight the champion. There was little to no trash talk, mostly because you were in person, and not Mr. anonymous on the internet. In other words, it was the place to be.  As time went by, the quality of the arcades faded away. They became ran down, and the more shady of the gaming community began to make that area their domain.

 

Just look at all that glory.

We all know what happened to them. It was not just the malls closing; it was due to home consoles. Why pay fifty cents when you could pay a set amount and play that game for the rest of your life? Don’t get me wrong, I know some “arcades” still exist. You have places such as Dave and Busters that are still around that are there for the older crowd, while Chuck-E-Cheese is there for the young. But they don’t have the schtick that the real arcades had. Now, everyone stays home and plays on X-Box Live, or plays some kind of online game to keep them occupied. But as time has gone by, the “troll” has gotten out of hand in online video games. X-Box Live is a place of hate. Pure hatred. This is how the X-Box Live community looks.

Does this look inviting?

World of Warcraft and other Massively Multiplayer games have stolen many lives within this last decade with their addictive play styles. But still, the community can be rather cold and non helpful. So, here’s my solution to all of this.

Bring back the arcade.

 

Arcades are still very popular internationally, especially in Japan. I believe now in 2011, would be a prime opportunity for the arcade scene to make it’s way back into the limelight. Now, don’t get me wrong, it would have to be in specific areas to be successful. You couldn’t just have one any old place. For those of you who live in Chattanooga, I think North Chatt would make an absolutely fantastic place for an arcade. And maybe make it more than an arcade, maybe combine some sort of LAN cafe into it as well. Those were very popular a few years back, but like arcades; they’ve died off.  Maybe throw some hobby like things in there also like Pen and Paper RPG material or comic books. Perhaps change the way you go about playing the machines. Maybe pay $10.00 for an hour’s worth of unlimited gaming?

Since being a “hipster” is the popular thing at the moment, I think this sort of retroactive form of gaming would take flight once again. It’s not the norm anymore, so just seeing an arcade would definitely catch people’s attention. One can only hope.

Nostalgia

One of the things that I have been contemplating recently is how humans change as we age. Of course you can break it down to a cellular level, but I’m not talking about a complexity such as that. For example, when I was young, Halloween was my favorite holiday. I could not WAIT for Halloween. I would sit in the living room and watch Fox Family (which is ABC family now) and watch the month long Halloween specials they would do. I would do the same thing with the Disney channel, and to an extent Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. But the excitement I felt for this holiday at a young age is almost indescribable. I constantly had a ball of excitement in my stomach for the entire month. School was a blast during this time as well because of the “scary” stories and candy we would receive. But, now being a twenty-one year old, that excitement has worn off. Yes, I still enjoy Halloween, but that feeling that I had then has left me, and I have never quite felt that same emotion again. I mean, yes, you can say I don’t feel the same now because I don’t do the things I would have done then (i.e. trick or treating), so in short you could say one of the biggest answers to this question would be due to what is acceptable in society. But that goes for all things. I could keep listing holidays, but I think we should touch on another topic that deals with this same idea. For me, it started back in seventh grade when I got my first “real” girlfriend. I had this feeling that just like Halloween, is indescribable. I was excited. So excited. I carried this excitement with me 24/7. Being at that age with all of the thoughts rushing through your head as to what a relationship is supposed to be. Back then, a “date” at that age was going to the movies. So, you know; being the cool guy I am, I was “dating” a girl who was in the eighth grade. I was the man. Not only did I have a “girlfriend” but she was older than me. SCORE. Back then we only wanted to get older, but now the older I get, I wish I was younger. Cliche I know, but forgive me. But being in that dark theater watching those cheasy early 2000’s movies was the most excited and daring I ever felt being that young. Once you break up, that excitement fades. And every first date that I’ve had since then shares a similar level of excitement, but I still have never quite felt that emotion again. Yes, I guess you could say it was due to the hormones ripping and roaring throughout my body, but the question still remains as to why we never experience that emotion (at that level) again. To know that I will never feel the same way as I did then somewhat saddens me. Christmas is the same way, you age and realize that Christmas isn’t all what it’s cracked up to be. It’s still fun to come together with your family to exchange gifts, but the “magic” is gone. My life has changed a lot. I used to spend my days as a youngster sitting in front of the tv watching cartoons and playing video games with a feeling of wonder and excitement about “who’s house am I going to this weekend” or, “who am I going to ask to come over to my house this weekend”. Now, I go to school, then go to work, then sit in front of my computer and play video games with no excitement whatsoever besides seeing my lovely girlfriend and seeing my family. That magic has faded. Nothing quite entertains me anymore the way it did when I was younger. High school ended and that lovely life that went with it is gone too. I’m becoming an adult, and that thought scares me.  Responsibility is a scary thing. It steals your life away, but at the same time it is a necessity.

I know this is a bunch of rambling, that’s what it was meant to be. But maybe you have felt or feel the same ways that I have. I don’t think I am the only one.