Friday, June 12, 2015

5 Things on a Friday: Someone You Can X-Ray

I was planning to do a series of comics articles this week, but there wasn’t quite as much news-worthy news out of the Special Edition: NYC Comic Con as I’d expected.  That maybe shouldn’t have come as a surprise considering that the San Diego Comic Con is right around the corner.  Most of the big companies are undoubtedly holding their really big announcements until then, so that leaves us with a hodgepodge again this week -- along with a bonus reading recommendation.
Happy Friday, folks!
Marvel announced Saturday a new Invincible Iron Man ongoing series for this fall's "All-New All-Different Marvel" line-up by Brian Michael bendis and David Marquez...
Calling Iron Man the "crown jewel" of Marvel, in a USA Today interview Bendis described the upcoming Invincible Iron Man series as "a futurist's first look at what he has to do next as a superhero..."
This series is probably going to be terrific.  Bendis is at his best on small, personal stories, and although Tony Stark is a larger-than-life superhero, he’s still just one man.  Putting a writer on the book who can dig into Tony’s soul is a fabulously good idea.
Marvel's next big thing.
With the advent of “All-New, All-Different” Marvel, the company is moving Iron Man -- traditionally a “B”- or even “C”-list superhero -- towards the center of its universe.  Although that’s certainly in keeping with the ethos of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s a challenging proposition in the core comic book universe.
Over the past year, health care, business services and social assistance have seen the most openings. That trend continued in April with an uptick in health care positions.
Business across America are looking for employees, although the biggest increases in vacancies recently have been in the west.
Nationally, unemployment is down to 5.5%, and the quit-rate is up to 2.7%.  I would expect real wages to start rising soon.  Interest rates will follow shortly after that. My broker thinks this will actually spur lending by incentivising banks to get back in the game, which would cause a second-order rise in both wages and interest rates.  I have my doubts, but it’s not impossible.
3.  Friday Hair Metal: Someone You Can X-Ray
These guys played at Stratford Day last weekend, and I really enjoyed their set.  Definite Janus Joplin vibe, enhanced by use of an electric violin run through a wah-wah synthesizer.  What was cool about that was the way they took turns playing lead without changing the basic chord progression.  They just switched it, so that the part that one was playing on rhythm, the other picked up and played in time on a different instrument.  I might not have even noticed if not for the fact that I could see them do it.
Anyway, they reminded me of the kinds of bands we used to see up in New Paltz back when I was a cadet.

Army and Navy aren't interested in moving their game from its traditional date the week after Championship Saturday. The College Football Playoff is interested in a possible workaround in the event Navy is set for a potential New Year's Six berth. Everyone's happy, right?
Not quite. Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Sunday he believes the game should be moved earlier in the college football calendar, calling the current situation "disruptive" to the rest of the FBS…
It’s because the Army-Navy game is traditionally played the week after college football’s regular season ends, the same weekend as most of the conference championship games.  This is extremely unlikely to be a big deal, but on the off-chance that both Navy and a Mountain-West team are in line for a New Year’s Day berth, the determination would have to wait a week.  This could affect ticket sales, betting lines, and other things of at equal importance in Mr. Thompson’s mind as the 100+ year rivalry that is Army-Navy.
Because, dammit, college football is about betting and money, not football!
Regardless, Navy has said it would rather sacrifice a chance at the New Year’s Six bowl thing than move the game, and Army just wants to get to a winning season.  Thankfully, it seems that a century’s worth of tradition gives the academies a bit of leverage against the forces of football high finance.
[Former Army Quarterback Trent] Steelman and [Fullback Larry] Dixon were among 45 players chosen to play for the United States football national team in the International Federation of American Football World Championship from July 9-18 in Canton, Ohio.
This is basically the World Cup of American football, hosted by the International Federation of American Football (IFAF), American football’s answer to FIFA – which gets obvious bonus points for being an anagram of FIFA as well.  Seventy-one countries have teams, and up to now they’ve played qualifying matches to get to the big tournament, which is being held from July 9th to 18th in Canton, OH.  Tickets are $10 each ($5 for military members and students) or $35 for an all-event pass.  If the games are going to be on TV, I can’t find a listing, not even for pay-per-view, which sucks because I don’t think I’m gonna have time to either drive or fly out to watch this thing, although that would obviously be a Hell of a lot of fun.
The USA’s roster features a bunch of good players from smaller schools – for example, Middle Tennessee State also has two players on the team – along with coach Dan Hawkins (Boise State, Colorado) and a smattering of guys from similar level college programs.  Steelman’s listed as a wide-receiver, unfortunately, so the USA is almost certainly going to be running a typical college-style offense, but I would expect to see Dixon carrying the ball quite a bit.  I would quite like to watch it, but I don’t know if that’s going to be possible.
Reading Recommendation: The Dead and the Dying (Image Comics)
My new favorite comic these days is a new one from Image by Jonathan Hickman and Ryan Bodenheim.  It’s a mash-up of 70s-era spy thrillers, Unforgiven (the Clint Eastwood western), and classic Greek mythology.  So yeah, of course I marked out for it.
The art in this book is great, but it's the coloring scheme that keeps
blowing my mind.
But seriously, it really is great.
That’s all I’ve got.  Have a good weekend!


  1. Civil War was supposed to position him to greatness, but then Marvel realized it also made Iron Man look like a giant dick. But it's still surprising that it's taken the company so long to figure out how to repair that incredibly ironic damage. And quit hiring writers to write him into irrelevance. As for Hickman, I have such a complicated relationship with his writing. I wish above all else that he'd be as good as his ideas. I might try out Dying to see if this is the project where he finally catches up with himself.

    1. So far I've been a big fan of Hickman's work, although I'm still kind of a new convert. His stuff reminds me of a better written, more logical version of Chris Claremont's back during his heyday.

  2. I think Bendis and Iron Man are a match made in heaven, if only for giving Tony Stark (and supporting cast) great witty dialogue that fits with the character's irreverence (of late).

    I guess the Dead and The Dying is currently running... no chance of simply grabbing a TPB...?

    1. I'm sure it'll be out in trade eventually. Hell, it'll probably get optioned for a movie soon enough.