In which I’m only saying this one time, damn it

TRIGGER WARNING: HEAVY GEEK CONTENT.

Let’s talk about Nick Fury’s beeper.

And by “let’s talk,” what I really mean is “I’m going to talk, and you’re going to listen,” because while I probably should not stoop to taking the bait here, the manbabies have gotten on my nerves again, and this time they’re taking people who don’t particularly pay attention to Marvel movies with them, and the result is a whole lot of dumb for what is actually a perfectly goddamned rational decision and I am tired of it and this is my blog and it’s this or telling you to send money to Pete Buttigieg again so siddown and read goddammit.

Nick Fury’s pet project for all of Phase One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was to get the Avengers Initiative up and running. We see at the end of Captain Marvel that she is the literal inspiration for the Avengers. That she named the goddamn Avengers, in fact. Nick Fury is not present for the finale of any of the Phase One MCU films, and most of them, frankly, have minor stakes. The one with the highest stakes is Captain America: the First Avenger, but Fury doesn’t have a big role in that film because it’s set in 1945.

Why does he not call Captain Marvel at the end of Avengers, when aliens are invading Earth? Because the goddamn Avengers are there. That’s his whole damn deal. The Avengers can protect Earth from threats that conventional military can’t. He blatantly uses Agent Coulson’s death to manipulate the team into pulling together, remember? There’s no way he calls Captain Marvel down to rescue his team on their first major mission together unless they blow it, and they don’t.

The Phase Two movies are Iron Man 3, which does not feature a world-ending emergency, Thor: The Dark World, which does not take place on Earth, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which features SHIELD crumbling into tiny little bits and isn’t really a thing that Captain Marvel could have helped with much, Guardians of the Galaxy, which also doesn’t take place on Earth, and Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, where, again, Fury has the Avengers, who have shit well in hand and Captain Marvel’s “for emergencies only” beeper is not necessary. After Age of Ultron but before Phase 3 we have Ant-Man, which he doesn’t appear in, and Captain Marvel is not required to beat up Yellowjacket at the end of the film.

Phase 3 is much of the same. Three films (Guardians 2, Thor: Ragnarok, and Black Panther) take place in either outer space or a part of Earth that Fury has no way to reach. Captain America: Civil War, despite being a tremendously important character movie, has such low stakes that I bet you can’t name the villain. Fury doesn’t appear in Doctor Strange or Spider-Man: Homecoming, and wouldn’t have used the pager if he had.

And then he uses the pager in Infinity War. Why? Because the Avengers are no longer a thing, because they make sure to have Maria Hill point out that Tony Stark is missing right away, and because there has already been an alien invasion in New York and wherever in Germany (right?) the Vision and Scarlet Witch were, and by the time they hear about the battle in Wakanda they know that it’s “ten times” the size of the initial NYC invasion …

… and then Maria Hill dies right in front of him. And it’s abundantly clear that some serious shit is going on, and the helicopter crashes, and at that point he practically knocks somebody over to get to the backseat of the SUV they’re driving to get to the beeper and summon Captain Marvel immediately, because now we have a fucking emergency, y’all. Because we very clearly need somebody, and the movie has made sure to set things up to make it equally clear that they have nobody. Remember: he doesn’t even know Thor and Hulk are on Earth. He doesn’t know where Cap is. He’s got nobody, so he calls Captain Marvel.

Because, yes, this really is the first “emergency” we’ve seen since he got handed the beeper.

Now shut up.

The end.

Y’all

I get to see Captain Marvel in three days.

In which I brag about meaningless things

This motherfucker right here …

I’ve mentioned I’m playing through Dark Souls 3 again. This was my third playthrough. The first one, I hit a wall and had to stop playing because I couldn’t come even close to beating any of the game that was left. The second was as a strength-focused build and, while I beat the game, there was still one boss I couldn’t come close to killing no matter how hard I tried. He was optional, though, so I could just skip fighting him and still beat the game.

I was playing as a sorcerer for this run, for the first time. Playing as a sorcerer in Dark Souls 3 is kinda strange. You’re frankly just not that tough for most of the game until all the sudden at the very end you turn into a monster. My wife went to bed early last night, and I’d gotten to the point where I had three bosses left to beat the game– Lorian & Lothric, who I’d beaten once with the strength build, the final boss (ditto) and the fucking bullshit-ass Nameless King up there and his bullshit-ass dragon that he rides in on that you have to kill first. I had never beaten the Nameless King. Never even really come close. I told my wife I was gonna take a couple of stabs at the last couple of bosses and then come to bed, hoping that I’d get through one of them in half an hour or so and then make a sensible decision.

I beat Lorian & Lothric on my second try, and frankly I only lost to them the first time because I got overconfident and sloppy, and Dark Souls is a series where the most basic enemy in the game will demolish you if you stop paying attention for a minute. It took over an hour of trying on my last build to get through them and I still felt like I’d gotten kinda lucky at the end there.

“Screw it,” I thought, “I’ve been playing for less than ten minutes and I’m still not ready for bed.” (In my defense, it was barely nine– I wasn’t kidding when I said Bek had gone to bed early.) “I’m gonna give the King a try.” Now, this was dangerous– I know what I’m like, and it was entirely possible that I was sentencing myself to a night where I was still up at Goddamned midnight frustrated and tired and still losing to this annoying-ass boss and his annoying-ass dragon over and over again. Because, again, I’ve never beaten this bastard.

And then I demolished his ass– over half my health reserves left– on the first try. And everyone else in the house was in bed, so the proper response to an achievement of this magnitude– tearing my pants off and running around the house yelling swear words while waving said pants over my head– seemed inappropriate. So I just sat there in mild disbelief for a moment, thought “Ah, fuck it,” and went and beat the game. Which also took two tries, but mostly because the last boss does something halfway through the fight that I’d forgotten about and I got way too close and he wasted me.

So, yeah. If you’re a Dark Souls fan? Try a sorcerer build. It won’t come together for a while, but when it finally does? Holy shit.

In which I’m playing Dark Souls 3 again

…because God forbid I do anything especially useful with my last day of winter break, right? So I started another DSIII playthrough last night. I’m playing through as a sorcerer this time. I think I need to just play through the Dark Souls/Bloodborne/Nioh games in a cycle forever and stop spending money on these things. That’s five games; it’s enough, right?

While I’m talking vidya gaemz (and I hope you weren’t hoping for a long post on, again, the last night of break) several random thoughts:

  • The boy got Smash Bros Ultimate and Mario Kart 8 for Christmas. We’re playing a fair amount of both but MK8 is getting a lot more play. It’s frankly a lot easier for everyone and makes more sense in general. I’ve finally lost the feeling that Smash is nothing but bright colors in random places but it’s still not nearly as much fun as I feel like it’s supposed to be.
  • A pleasant surprise: Hollow Knight, which I got for like $11 on sale. It’s a Metroidvania, and a good one. If the word Metroidvania means anything to you at all and you haven’t played this, you should check it out.
  • I finally lost interest in Red Dead Redemption 2. It’s an amazing achievement on a lot of levels, but just isn’t as much fun or as absorbing as the first game was, and that’s sort of the most important level for it to succeed on, isn’t it? I was never even close to as tied up in this game as I was RDR1. I can go back and finish it whenever I want, but … well, I just started another Dark Souls 3 playthrough. So you can probably guess how long that will take to get done.

I’m crossing my fingers for a simple, easy first day back tomorrow. I will probably not get it. But we can always hope.

#REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE

So.

Standard disclaimer, as always.  Y’all have seen movie reviews from me before.  You know what I’m like when I like something.  And Miles Morales has, since almost immediately after he was introduced, been one of my all-time favorite comic book characters.  He’s up there with the Hulk, Iron Man, and Superman.  I have been waiting for a Miles Morales Spider-Man movie for a long time. 

(Now I’m just waiting for a movie with goddamn Ganke in it, but that’s another story.)

So you already knew I liked this movie.  There would have been a shift in the fabric of the universe if I hadn’t liked it and absolutely everyone would have noticed it.  Did you notice a shift in the fabric of the universe last night, around 10:30, as I was walking out of the theater?  No, you did not.  Of course I liked the fucking movie.  It’s Goddamned brilliant.  It’s so good it made me forgive them for what I initially thought was the kind of dodgy decision to make Miles’ movie animated instead of live-action.

(It’s not dodgy.  This movie would have been impossible as live-action.  They made a better movie by making it animated.  It needed to be animated.)

So put that all aside.  I want to talk to the two or three of you who don’t care about superheroes or superhero movies and for some reason come to this blog anyway.  

You need to see this movie because it’s one of the most amazing animated films ever made.  

You need to see it as a cultural artifact, guys, of what cutting-edge technology can do in 2018.  The movie could have been about anything and I’d be recommending it because of how absolutely incredible it looks.  I was talking to one of my oldest friends about it last night– he was lucky enough to see it last week, and told me at the time that words couldn’t do it justice.  Last night, he made the point that the movie is expectations-proof, because there’s nothing that can prepare you for what it’s actually like to see this on the big screen.

And you need to see it on the best, biggest movie screen you can reasonably get to.  This movie needs to win about four thousand awards even before we get to the part where the story is incredible too.  This movie gets Miles, y’all.  It understands this character thoroughly.  It understands Spider-Man thoroughly, in a way that most of the live-action movies maybe haven’t always.  The voice acting and the casting are outstanding.  The character design– this movie’s versions of the Kingpin, the Scorpion, the Green Goblin, and especially Dr. Octopus are fantastic.  The music is superb.  This movie succeeds on every level but one, which is that it’s gonna scare the crap out of my son so I can’t take him to see it.  

Oh, and the stinger at the end and the tribute to Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, both of whom passed away this year?  

I am lucky enough to be married to a woman who is not only willing to go to this neverending series of geek movies with me, but who genuinely enjoys them.  She called Into the Spider-Verse her favorite superhero movie last night.  And this was one of those movies, I think, where she was mildly interested but might have skipped the movie were it not for me pushing to see it.  I can’t be trusted; I know that.  She can.  This one’s something really special, y’all.  And it ain’t like you’ve got anything else to do until next week when Aquaman comes out.  Go see it.