Home > Uncategorized > RANTALICIOUS! Captain America Dead (right), TNA’s Destination X PPV, and Babies as Props

RANTALICIOUS! Captain America Dead (right), TNA’s Destination X PPV, and Babies as Props

CAPTAIN AMERICA IS DEAD! (right.)
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that Marvel Comics has “killed off” Captain America in the latest issue of his self-titled series, which hit newsstands Wednesday. And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know exactly why “killed off” is in quotes.

Captain American will be back. Anyone who has ever picked up a comic book or even heard of a comic book death will tell you that. Jesus Christ, they couldn’t even keep Hawkeye dead. Fucking HAWKEYE! There’s no way in Hell Steve Rogers doesn’t come back to life due to something whacky like Captain Marvel (himself having mysteriously come back to the land of the living after being dead for years from cancer) reviving him with the Cosmic Cube.

I only post about it because it got me to thinking about a few things.

Comic book companies need to stop pulling this bullshit. There are other ways to boost comic book sales, particularly without damaging long-term sales by using bait-and-switch tactics which will inevitably leave a good number of fans disenchanted with the product. The easiest way, of course, is to promise quality and deliver on it. Sure, you’re not going to see single issues fly off the shelves in a matter of hours, but steady and healthy profit is better than a momentary boost that’s going to bite you in the ass in the long run.

There are ways to boost comic book sales without inducing groans, they just take a little effort and thought. You can do what Marvel did with Spider-Man years ago that got them a ton of mainstream press (though not as much as Cap’s death) and boosted sales – have Peter Parker and Mary Jane break up. That was a huge deal at the time, and when they got back together, you didn’t have people crying foul. After all, it happens all the time, and there’s no true and ultimate finality in saying goodbye as far as human relationships go.

Death is another thing entirely. Sure, within the realm of comic book continuity, death is far from a finality and damn near everyone who has ever died in a comic book has come back in one form or another, despite their level of popularity or importance. However, there’s only so many times you can play that card before fans finally get fed up and just roll their eyes when a comic book company promises something “big” as a result of a company-wide crossover event.

There should be some form of finality to death in comic books. Why not just kill off peripheral characters and keep them dead? Hawkeye’s death would have been a bigger deal if it was written slightly better and wasn’t just a backdrop for a storyline whose ultimate purpose was to revive a stale franchise. It’s also okay that he stays dead. There’s no reason that Hawkeye, as “beloved” as he is by a small number of loud comic fans on the internet (who couldn’t give two shits when the character was “alive”), can’t stay dead. But, lo and behold, he’s back.

Killing off or “retiring” major characters and bringing them back is a fairly new phenomenon in the comic industry, one that kicked off about 13 years ago when DC “killed off” Superman (which broke sales records and was immediately followed by a storyline that brought him back). I subscribe to the theory that this practice, which has become commonplace to the point of self-parody when a company pulls the trigger on it, is a major factor in the decline in sales and popularity of comic books as compared to forty, thirty, and even twenty years ago. Sure, rising prices do have an effect, but adjusted for inflation the average comic book really isn’t THAT much more expensive than it was in the 1960s. The problem is two-fold: not only are they not attracting young readers, but they’re not keeping old readers who want good storylines rather than storylines that drag on for months, make no sense, and ultimately are meant to set up a singular event that pops sales for a single issue and is then rendered moot in four months.

I won’t even get into pundits that are trying to politicize it, such as whats-his-face on “Fox and Friends” who got very indignant and said that Marvel should not kill off Captain American during a time of war. Yes, because the death of Captain America – who is so engrained in the American subconscious that nobody was talking about him until he was killed off – is going to single-handedly destroy the morale of the troops, citizens of the United States, and the Bush Administration. I mean, Captain America’s dead. What’s the sense in even fighting anymore? Hell, know what? The war on terror is over. Cap fell, we lost. Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada has destroyed the spirit of our country, and surprisingly he didn’t do it by taking his shirt off.

============================================

TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY – TNA’s “DESTINATION X” PPV

Speaking of companies making poor creative decisions on a regular basis, TNA has its “Destination X” pay-per-view this Sunday. I was thinking of ordering the show, even though the television over the past month – several months actually – has been horrid. That Vince Russo is a genius, I tell you. How much of a genius is he? WELL! Since taking creative control of the show, it garnered the most viewers in its history three weeks ago which resulted in the Pay-Per-View it was building getting the same laughably bad buyrate it was getting when the show wasn’t even on television. Now THAT is genius!

The spin of the company and Vince Russo’s apologists amongst the community of fans on the internet (which you would think would be a myth but are all too real) is hilarious. The amount of ignorance it takes to think that garnering a 1.49 rating for one week can be construed as successful on any level is staggering. A 1.49 rating is okay for cable, but isn’t going to make a show with that much overhead profitable. Nevermind the fact that not only is the goal to get people to buy the PPVs (which they aren’t), but wrestling gets much lower ad revenue than other shows with an equivalent rating due to the perception advertisers have of its fanbase. Unfortunately for us, there’s research out there that more or less proves that perception to be actual fact, but that’s neither here nor there. A wrestling company’s revenue has to come from live gates, merchandise, or pay-per-view. The live gates are non-existent since they perform in front of the same papered Orlando crowd every week, and those “Don’t Fire Eric” shirts aren’t exactly flying off the shelves. That leaves Pay-Per-View as the primary (and close to sole) source of income for the company, and they’re not doing shit in that department. Dixie Carter is either the dumbest or the most patient woman in history.

Oh, right, the PPV itself. Well, the three headlining matches (I say three because depending on which week you’re watching the match hyped as the main event changes) are Joe/Christian, Angle/Steiner, and Styles/Rhino.

The AJ Styles vs. Rhino match is being billed as “Elevation X.” For those not familiar with the scaffold matches of yesteryear, a platform about four or five feet wide is suspended anywhere from twenty to thirty feet above the ring, with the idea that someone could fall off during the match. There are problems inherent with the gimmick. For starters, the match itself isn’t going to be all that good, because the two participants are going to focus on not falling on their asses due to the fact that the platform is pretty damn narrow. So nothing’s going to happen until the end of the match, which is another problem – if someone falls off, that’s a decent drop that could very well cripple someone or worse. If they don’t fall off, then they’re not delivering on the hype (TNA is marketing it as “who will fall – AJ or Rhino” with the insinuation that one of them WILL MOST DEFINITELY FALL). It’s an unnecessarily dangerous gimmick to work, especially considering the fact that it’s being used in a feud that has been beaten to death over the past three months (the horse is half-eaten by worms by now) and never drew any money or interest to begin with.

Then we have Kurt Angle taking on Scott Steiner in a battle to determine who among the two is the nuttiest fucking pillhead. My money’s with Angle, because Steiner hasn’t been going on interviews saying he can beat Chuck Liddell. Expect Angle to pull out a decent match, but don’t expect a miracle either.

In the match that will most likely go on last, Samoa Joe takes on NWA Heavyweight champion Christian Cage with the title on the line. Smart money is on Joe taking the belt, but for the most part the words “smart” and “money” aren’t in TNA’s vocabulary. Considering the workers involved, this shouldn’t be a bad match as long as it isn’t overbooked into oblivion – which it will be.

Oh, and there’s Sting taking on Abyss in a “Last Rites” match where the goal is to stuff the opponent into a coffin and raise it to the ceiling (no, seriously). This is another chapter in the long, strange saga of Born-again Christian Sting trying to reform Abyss using such tried-and-true Christian methods as blackmail, attempted murder on his manager, and vicious beatings left and right. And yet, he’s supposed to be the babyface. Yet more proof that despite being born-again himself and an ordained minister, Vince Russo doesn’t understand Christianity and has never read the Bible. Well, not the New Testament anyway.

There will also be an angle on the show highlighting the real-life discontinuation of the relationship between TNA and the NWA. TNA had dropped the NWA moniker awhile back, but was able to retain the name for its championships. Now the decision has been made, presumably by the NWA, to no longer allow TNA to use the “NWA” title for its championships. This would be a big story if it was 1987 and the NWA in question was actually THE NWA that most people associate with those initials. Without going into specifics which could keep me here all day, it isn’t, so nobody cares and this won’t effect them in the least, much to the disappointment of pro wrestling alarmists on your average message board.

Really the only thing I have any interest in seeing is the Joe/Christian match, because I’m a big fan of them as workers. So…we’ll see.

============================================

BABIES AS PROPS

An acquaintance of mine informed me that one of her best friends from High School is having trouble in his relationship. Basically, they dated for years and are now on-again off-again and things aren’t looking good. So he (and perhaps the girlfriend) have devised a brilliant plan to fix their problems – HAVE A BABY!

Folks, this is the very definition of insanity, and the saddest thing about it is that it isn’t all that uncommon. I’ve had other friends who were in awful relationships with total doofs, and their fix was to take it to the next level through either a child, marriage, or some other higher level of commitment.

I don’t get it, I really don’t. I don’t know what the thought process is of someone who thinks that if a relationship isn’t going well and hasn’t been for quite some time – in other words a failing relationship – adding a commitment that requires strength, resolve, and puts even more pressure on both participants and their relationship will somehow improve the situation. You would think that perhaps the environment these people grew up in would be the cause of their poor judgment and lack of…well, logic. However, in the cases I’m thinking of the relationship their parents had was pretty healthy, so it’s not as if this is a learned behavior.

I don’t know, I just don’t.

It’s a really, really fucking simple formula. If things are going well, THEN you get married, have a kid, and/or take another step up in commitment. If things AREN’T going well, you don’t. You give it time or decide to end it outright. What is it exactly that people fail to understand about this equation? What part of it trips them up? They don’t have to solve for x, all factors are staring them right in the face as is the solution. There’s no calculus involved, nor algebra…Hell, you don’t even have to do any math at all – the solution is right there for you. I don’t get it and I never will.

“But what about love?” But what about common sense? If you love the other person, it stands to reason that you want to create a better situation. Making such a decision when things are going as poorly as they are (or worse) isn’t doing that. Love and logic are not mutually exclusive, despite what those writing awful poetry would have you believe.

Then again, it seems I’m encountering more and more people lately who don’t grasp the basic fundamentals of what a relationship can be, and I might not have room to talk since I’ve ignored some pretty obvious warning signs myself in the past. So there you go.

============================================

I don’t have much planned for the weekend, though (will be a) Trooper Dan’s birthday is on Monday, so we should probably throw something together for him. “The 300” is also opening this weekend, which several people have expressed interest in seeing. My only thing is that it’s opening tonight and the movie’s going to be HUGE, and I’m one of those weirdos who doesn’t like watching movies in a crowded theater. Again, we’ll see.

Don’t be surprised if this weekend you finally see a review of The Arcade Fire’s “Neon Bible” (SPOILER – it’s awesome), a review of Pro Wrestling NOAH’s “First Navigation 2007” DVD, and perhaps even a review of the New Japan/All-Japan “35th Anniversary Show” from January 7th. You could see all three posted by Sunday evening. Or none! Stay on your toes!

More later…

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,
  1. March 10, 2007 at 4:08 am

    See my thing is that I’m okay with a superhero retiring. People become disillusioned with what they’re doing. A major betrayal of the American People by the President could cause Captain America to put down his shield. The betrayal and retirement could easily boost sales. And once things settle down and more people want to read about Captain America, they could easily bring him back. For instance something terrible happens that he could have prevented and guilt causes him to go back to work. It would also boost sales and I’m sure people would be impressed with the wrinkle in the character.

    Killing off characters is stupid. They’ll just be brought back to life or we’ll all pretend it never happened when the series is rebooted.

  2. March 10, 2007 at 4:30 am

    I’m half asleep right now so I, admittedly, didn’t read your full entry before bed. I just saw the title, sleepily turned to Dad and said “They killed Captain America.”

    “Who?” “The comic book hero.” “He’s ancient! I thought he died in a nursing home.”

    Your moment of Zen from Jack Mack.

    • March 10, 2007 at 4:57 am

      I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Jack Mack is my favorite man ever.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: