Have felt somewhat creatively bereft this week so here’s a roundup on the topics this site’s most often devoted to:
Comics: Part of me still wants to reserve judgment on The Superior Spider-Man, the new Marvel title arriving in the wake of Amazing Spider-Man #700; a story arc in comics can’t be judged from one issue. But all my concerns about this new direction seem to have come to bear and a new one’s risen: the idea that Doc Ock is burdened with responsibility is jettisoned for a literal deus ex machina. I won’t spoil it here but if you thought Peter’s death lacked weight before… *
The other Marvel relaunch I checked out recently was Fantastic Four. I really liked where Hickman was going in the previous series so a Reed who charges ahead without considering his family first – or bringing him into his plan – is a step back. Again, we’ll see.
All this was enough to make me pick up last year’s Spider-Men crossover, which was excellent and touching and therefore recommended.
Fatherhood: Last night I watched Taken 2 while I assembled a small pastel table and chairs for Abigail – a gift from her grandmother. I’m sure many fathers mentally see themselves as Liam Neeson, willing to do whatever it takes to save their families from enemies both foreign and domestic. Let’s be honest though: Most of the time fatherhood means assembling a pastel table and chairs at 11pm on a Saturday night while you drink scotch, eat beef jerky and watch Taken 2. I am perfectly fine with this.
Internet: This video of a Fisher-Price record player spinning a bootleg “Stairway to Heaven” blew my mind.
Media: Alpana Singh is leaving Check, Please so the show is looking for a new host. This sentence from a report on the move caught my attention:
“The station hopes Singh will continue to appear occasionally on Chicago Tonight, WTTW’s nightly newsmagazine, where she answers viewers’ wine and beverage questions posed by host Phil Ponce in the “Ask Alpana” segment.”
Hopes? Has there not been a conversation about this yet? Is this high school? “Yeah, I know we’re broken up and everything but I’m really hoping we can still be lab partners without there being all kinds of weird vibes. I mean, she didn’t say we couldn’t so I’m sure everything will be cool. We’re adults, you know?”
Music: I’ve found Townes Van Zandt’s Live at the Old Quarter, especially “Two Girls,” to be revelatory. You ever hear something for the first time but find yourself able to sing along with it? I’d also recommend a listen to Taj Mahal’s “She Caught The Katy” if only to hear how much the Blues Brothers version nicked from it.
Politics: With so many problems facing Illinois, the possibility that the governor’s race will become Daleys vs. Madigans is profoundly depressing.
* If you don’t mind spoilers, this AV Club summary gives you the gist.