The Master

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  1. Would VLC work? I use it to watch videos on an Android tablet, and it does play MP3s as well.
  2. What Price Gloria? is so uncomfortable and did not age well at all. Sam leaps into a woman for the first time, and it's as uncomfortable as you might think. Everyone is constantly hitting on Sam, including Al. Al is so horned up by the woman Sam's leapt into, he starts seeing a psychiatrist about it. From there Al questions his sexuality, can't get it up for anyone but female Sam, and even calls Sam a hermaphrodite. And how does Sam put the antagonist in his place? By trying to seduce him while revealing that he's really a man. Yeah, it goes to some nasty transphobic places. For all of the good it does addressing sexual harassment in and out of the workplace, it's mired by everything to do with Al and that ending.
  3. Continuing my Quantum Leap rewatch, and, yeah, someone high up at NBC clearly forced Bellisario to make changes to the show. Especially when it comes to the violence. Season two opens with Honeymoon Express, in which one guy is sliced in half by a train and Sam stab another to death. Then we jump to Disco Inferno, and this one opens with Sam getting blasted with a shotgun. It turns out he's a Hollywood stuntman and the whole thing was on a movie set, but it's rather bloody. Later, while standing atop a building, a scorned ex-lover pushes Sam off said building. She falls to her death, and Sam does too. But oops! This was also a movie stunt. And it ends with a stunt gone wrong, resulting in a massive explosion, and Sam's "brother" nearly dying. And in The Americanization of Machiko, Sam's "wife" is abducted by a racist World War II vet, resulting in a life-or-death fight between the two men. It's nuts how violent the show became. One of the aspects of Quantum Leap that I did not recall is that Al is forbidden from telling Sam anything about his life, including his name (first episode) and personal history. In The Americanization of Machiko, Al jokes that Sam wasn't nervous when he got married for real, to which a surprised Sam says, "I'm married?!" Al quickly denies it, passing it off as a joke. But then he makes an "Oh shit!" face Sam can't see. This is the very first indication that Sam is married, something that would not be confirmed until the first episode of season four. It's a clever little clue to astute viewers.
  4. Are there any in-continuity stories and / or series that acknowledge the alternate Captains America set from the "death" of Steve Rogers to his resurrection in Avengers #4? With the ever-expanding timeline, there's a lush world to build. William Burnside could still be the Captain America of the 1950s. Then there could be a series of Caps who are very much controlled by the government during the Cold War, Vietnam War, and Ronald Reagan presidency. Cap of the 1990s could be used to poke a little fun at the comics at the time, with him always changing his costume and breaking away from his handlers for EXTREME~! missions. And finally there could be a gap before Steve is awoke circa 2009.
  5. Quantum Leap, season one: This show is a whole lot hornier than I remembered. And not just Al's stories about Tina and his mistresses. Sam tries to seduce his future girlfriend 10 years before they meet all while pushing away someone the person he leapt into was sleeping with, then he's got a stripper girlfriend, then he tries to seduce a cowgirl, next he leaps into a hitman just after he's had sex with the ex of the mob boss, then he kisses a 16 (?) year old girl to secure his leap out, and finishes up by falling for a femme fatal. I think the only one he might sleep with is the stripper, but that's never confirmed. He does fall in love a few times though. Season one is mostly low drama, or personal drama. There's no high action outside of a quick drag race and two gun battles in the final episode. But it very much lays the framework for the show moving forward. Season two begins (and this is as far as I am on the rewatch) with Al pleading the case of Project Quantum Leap before a Senate oversight committee, while Sam attempts to save the life of woman from her murderous ex-husband. This one honestly comes off like Donald P. Bellisario working through his frustrations with producers. The whole "don't cut our budget" portions honestly feels like Bellisario fictionalized his conversations with tight-wad producers, and the thing with Sam having to violently kill two men is clearly also something the producers asked for. (And the theme of someone stealing your wife could easily be read as Bellisario having something he loves taken from him.) Can't say any of this actually happened in real life, but it very much feels like it. And while season one had a few mentions that God might be controlling Sam's leaps, season two opens with constant talk of this being a fact. It'll be interesting to see how much they keep this up.
  6. Avengers #368: The opening of the Bloodties crossover begins in the aftermath of Fatal Attractions, so the X-Men are shattered. Logan is gone, Peter is nursing Magneto, and moral is low. Things get worse when Luna, the daughter of Crystal and Quicksilver, is abducted by one of Magneto's Acolytes for use as a political pawn. The issue is very wordy, but does an excellent job setting the stage for this crossover. I will be coming back to finish it. Batman #217: After Dick heads off to college, Bruce changes the mission to one that's more about facing social ills. Quite a good jumping on point. Batman #251: The Joker returns and begins killing his former henchmen. Excellent way to reintroduce the character. Batman #416: The post-Crisis re-imagening of Dick's departure from the cave, as well as his first meeting with Jason. Bruce and Dick get into a heated, but much-needed fight over their relationship, and though things end on a sad note, there's a hint of hope. Batman Black and White #1 (1996): The start of an amazing anthology series. Birthright #1: One year after a boy disappears in the woods, he returns as an aged warrior from a fantasy realm. I can see the appeal, but not quite for me. Fantastic Four #33: Johnny fucking Storm. Also, Namor's reaction is *chef's kiss*. Green Arrow 80th Anniversary Special: A wonderful tribute to the character and the many takes on him throughout the years. Green Arrow: Rebirth: I might dive into the Rebirth GA series based on this oneshot. Hellions #12: Hellfire Gala goodness. Heroes Reborn #1-2 (2021): Without the formation of The Avengers, The JLA forms in the Marvel Universe. Was gonna read the whole thing, tie-ins included, but I lost interest due to outside reasons. Hitman #1-43, 1,000,000, Annual #1: Keeping it brief, this series can come off as ultra silly most of the time, but it gets into some very dark places and is not afraid to kill fan favorite characters. Jonah Hex #1-5 (2006): Seriously one of the most underrated books of the mid 2000s. Maniac of New York #1-5: A kind of re-imagening of Jason Takes Manhattan, but with a much higher body count. @Dread, you might want to give this a go. Nightwing #81: This run is already amazing. Radiant Black #1-5: Sort of a Green Lantern / Power Rangers crossover. Not sure where it's going yet, but it looks and reads great. Robin #1-3 (2021): Robin is off on his own in a Mortal Kombat-like setting. He's an arrogant jerk, and I love it. Robin 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular: Much like the Green Arrow one, this dives into the various areas of all five -- yes, the count Stephanie -- Robins. Sara: Female Russian snipers hunting Nazis in World War II. Would have stuck with it, but after three issues there was no plot. Superman: The Earth Stealers: Very much a pre-Crisis story published post-Crisis. It's not for me, but it's not bad. SWORD #6: More Hellfire Gala fun. World's Finest Comics #133: I mean, it's WFC. X-Men #56-57 (1963): A very early Havok story that didn't quite keep my interest. X-Men #21 (2019): Again, Hellfire Gala. January: 157 February: 125 March: 185 April: 131 May: 177 June: 86 TOTAL: 861
  7. It's taken 28 years, but I think I've finally reconciled why Sam never made it home in Quantum Leap. He broke time. Better, he fixed time and created an alternate reality. In the final leap, Sam visited Beth, Al's first wife. He told her Al was still alive, and it was worth waiting for him. He then leaped away, and we're informed Beth and Al are still married and have four daughters. And this is why Sam never made it home. By saving Al's first marriage, Al never became the man we knew in the show and possibly never joined Project Quantum Leap. Both or either of these would mean Sam's timeline was altered so much, he created an alternate reality. He can't leap home because he isn't in his prime timeline anymore. Sam forever doomed himself to save the soul of Al, the man who saved his life dozens upon dozens of times. And now, for me, it's a bittersweet ending I can finally accept.
  8. Damn. My plan, which was sheer elegance in its simplicity, failed.
  9. I'm thinking Hackers and Maleficent, with Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Sky Captain, or The Tourist as the third. I've seen none of these, save Sky Captain, so I can't vouch for quality.
  10. It's looking like we got it fixed. Can anyone verify?
  11. It's been a struggle to get GoDaddy and Invision to communicate. Re-started the process though.
  12. 52 #1-6: The plan this month was read all (or most) of 52, what with May 2021 being the 15th anniversary since the series debuted, but I got a little sidetracked for reasons I can’t remember. Anyway, this would be my first reading of the series should I complete. So far it’s been okay. Action Comics #128: Some Tommy Tomorrow story. Don’t remember it. But it also included an exceptionally strange story with Superman helping a roughneck ginger kid beat a football team of hooligans. It’s odd. Archie #1-3 (2015): The reboot series touches upon tried and true Archie tropes, but spins them into a more modern context. Batman #404-407: It’s Year One, so it’s awesome. Batman #436-439: This is Year Three, which is an interesting take on Dick’s origin. Batman Adventures #1-2 (1992): These are much better than they deserve to be. Batman: Creature of the Night #1-4: Set aside all expectations, ‘cause this is more a look at mental health in a world with a supernatural Batman. Batman: Dark Victory #0-13: A worthy follow-up top The Long Halloween. It feels like there was meant to be one more, however, to end a Two-Face trilogy. Batman: Full Circle: A sequel to Year Two that retcons some Joe Chill stuff. Batman: The Long Halloween #7-13: Still a little confused on how many people were Holiday, but a very strong series. Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #28-30: This is the Faces storyline, in which Two-Face seems to be establishing an island for “freaks,” but it loses steam by the end. DC Comics Bombshells #1-9: Gotta get back to this series, ‘cause these are quick-but-solid adventures, and you can tell they’re leading to something much bigger. DC Comics Presents #26: A New Teen Titans preview that does a wonderful job setting the stage for the first issue. Deadpool: The Circle Chase #1-4: This was the era where every X-Men side character was getting their own miniseries, and this was fine for what it was. Can’t see me going back to it, not even for the Joe Mad art. Deathblow and Wolverine #1-2: Much better than it had any right to be. Detective Comics #27 (1937): An okay start to a legend. Detective Comics #575-578 (1937): Year Two is all kinds of clunky. Excalibur Special Edition: The introduction of the team, and it’s a fun, wild ride. And they were absolutely establishing Kitty’s bisexuality here. Fantastic Four #32 (2018): Johnny sticks his dick where it doesn’t belong, and it will have MAJOR repercussions for years if Dan Slott takes there where I think he might. Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1-2, Marvel Knights Spider-Man#19-20, and Amazing Spider-Man #525-526: The first third of The Other. What. The. Hell? Generations: Banner Hulk and The Totally Awesome Hulk Generations: Captain Marvel and Captain Mar-Vell Generations: Ms. Marvel and Ms. Marvel Generations: Hawkeye and Hawkeye Generations: Iron Man and Ironheart Generations: Miles Morales Spider-Man and Peter Parker Spider-Man Generations: Phoenix and Jean Grey Generations: Sam Wilson Captain America and Steve Rogers Captain America Generations: The Unworthy Thor and The Mighty Thor Mostly solid to excellent group of one-shots. Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #37-41: The GLC faces off against The House of Zod and their cult followers, and it does not go well for the Lanterns. Justice League: Last Ride #1: A new series set about five minutes into the future. The League is fractured, Superman is strained and they have to come back together to protect a very bad man from pretty much everyone in the universe. Magneto #0 (1993): Reprints and a preview that really let you into his mind. Magneto #1 (1996): I quit halfway through. New Teen Titans #1-2: It is so easy to see how and why this became a classic, instant must-read. Nightwing #79 (2016): Three issues in, and this just keeps getting better. Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #2: This What If…? world continues to take Peter down a path he might not be able to return from. Star Wars #15, 20, 26-30, 27 (2015): These comprise the From the Journals of Obi-Wan Kenobi TPB. The first few adventures are about Ben, and they see him watching over young Luke. The bulk of it, however, is a Yoda story told from Ben’s POV. Superman / Batman #1-6: Went in really wanting my memories to not be accurate, but this spins into nonsense very quickly. Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1-12 (2019): De-FUCKING-lightful! Team 7 #1-4 (1994): No idea why I adored this as a teen. Not awful, but not whatever I thought it was. Uncanny X-Men #410-443, New X-Men #155-156, and X-Men #157-164: The Chuck Austen run. If not for The Draco and the bullshit with Husk and Angel, this would be mostly forgettable. But they’re there. The Draco is boring, the Husk / Angel thing is trash, and so many topics are poorly handled. World’s Finest Comics #131-132: I mean, it’s this book. So it’s wonky shenanigans. X-Men #20 (2019): If Mystique doesn’t burn Krakoa to the ground, I will do it for her. January: 157 February: 125 March: 185 April: 131 May: 177 TOTAL: 775
  13. Sign me up for a Lobo the Duck movie. Like, what if Donald Duck got superpowers and went on an ultra-violent killing spree across space.
  14. Sorry, had to do a click-bait headline as a joke, because some iffy sites are speculating that the reason WarnerMedia and Discovery are merging is so that they can be sold off as a package down the line. This, of course, has led to the speculation that Disney would snatch it up, putting both Marvel and DC under one umbrella. So that got me thinking, if that were to happen, would you like to see Marvel and DC merged into one universe, or would you prefer they be kept separate? I'm going with the latter if only so eventual crossovers could feel more special. What would be even cooler is if they established there's an Earth / reality between the Marvel and DC universes, and that reality is the home of the Amalgam characters.
  15. Being honest, I struggle with both films. I'd probably go with Blade Runner, if only for Roy and Pris. Said it before but I'll say it again: watch the scene where they're with Sebastian, and tell me that isn't a perfect Harley / Joker scene.
  16. As much as I am for seeing him slap the taste out of Kenny Omega's mouth, short term deals and one-off appearances are just as enticing.
  17. Action Comics #127: Fun Tommy Tomorrow back-up. Adventure Comics #309-315: As always, the Legion of Super-Hero stories are fun diversions from reality. Adventure Comics #435-437: The prelude to Aquaman: The Death of a Prince, and it is not gelling with me Batman / Fortnite: Zero Point #1: Not for me, but people are seeming to like it. Batman Black & White #5 (2021): All around wonderful issue with great opening and closing stories. (They're both about Robins, so I'm on-brand here.) Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga #1-3: Lord Death Man is. Batman: The Long Halloween #1-6: Just about halfway through this, and wow. Never ever worked before, but I'm finally getting the appeal. Tim Sale is a fucking master. Bishop #1-3: Didn't help me better understand the character, but looks amazing. Daredevil #60-62 (1964): Super way behind on my Daredevil reading. Solid issues, if I recall, because it was street-level fighting. Colan is injecting a grimy, almost sweaty mid-1970s feel into the book, and it's barely 1970 at this point. DCeased #1-6 DCeased: A Good Day to Die DCeased: Dead Planet #1-7 DCeased: Hope at World's End #1-15 DCeased: Unkillables #1-3 The entire DCeased saga to-date (I'm sure there will be a third chapter), and it was a mostly solid tale. With it being all written by one person, it helps keep everything in order. Some smaller moments were greatly overlooked, but it's a DC alternate reality that feels closer than most others. Dooms IV #1: Look. I'm not a good decision-maker. Fantastic Four #15-22, Annual #1: Stan and Jake are hitting every thing out of the park. The Annual, especially, is a masterclass. It could and should be an epic movie. He-Man and The Masters of the Multiverse #1-6: Not great, but He-Man loyalists are gonna love it. Hellblazer: Rise and Fall #1-3: Hellblazer is always a "does it fit your tastes" type of book. This fit mine. Hellfire Gala: The Official Guide: Sexy mutants being sexy. Colossus. 🔥 Iron Man #215-217: Prelude to The Armor Wars, and damn this is excellent. King in Black #1-5: Not for me. Was hoping otherwise. The Marvels #1: Imagine Astro City in the Marvel Universe. Power of Shazam! OGN: Might save my thoughts for a podcast, but holy shit, y'all! Real Fact Comics #6, 8, 13 16: The first Tommy Tomorrow comics. They're fine. Mostly spec fic. Spider-Man: Spider's Shadow #1: A new What If? series and MORE NOW! NOW! Star Trek: First Contact: Lacks all character depth. Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #72 (1954): The LOSH make Jimmy an honorary member and it's super cute. Trouble #1: Ehhhhhh. Ultimate Nightmare #1-5 Ultimate Secret #1-4 Ultimate Extinction #1-5 The Ultimate Galactus Trilogy is a "Nick Fury has a big dick, y'all" tale that takes ages to build up, then ends in one issue. Untold Tales of Spider-Man #-1: The Parkers are super-spies and John Romita Sr. draws it. Yes and please. What If? #2 and 21: One sees Hulk with Banner's brain, thus reshaping the MU in wild ways, and other is a second chapter in the What if Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four saga. Both great. World's Finest Comics #117-130: Always bonkers, not always the best, but always wholesome fun. January: 157 February: 125 March: 185 April: 131 TOTAL: 598
  18. Interesting topic idea! I'll add Reservoir Dogs and The Shawshank Redemption. Almost said Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, but then I remembered Nimoy directed Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
  19. Karate Kid II is probably my favorite of the original three, mostly because they're building on the Daniel / Miyagi relationship while reveling more about the mentor's past. There's a ton of world-building going on, and there's so much love and respect between the characters. Part three is so odd. It feels like two or three movies smashed together and set in a Karate Kid framework.
  20. And I hate to say it, but it was Kirby's Hunger Dogs book. 😱
  21. No joke, just the other day I started reading one of these mid-80s DC graphic novels and I had to give up.
  22. What?! No! Fuck! Rest well, Derrick.