I'm Just Sayin'…#8


Number Eight – buuuurrp. Number Eight – buuuurrp. Number Eight – buuuurrp…

If you know where that’s from, shout it out! You know what – let’s play a game I like to call Place That Catchphrase! – the object is to guess the origins of the following list of catchprases. Who says it, and which movie or TV show it originates. And you know what, if you feel like being cute, throw in year(s) of airing/release.

Ready? Here we go…

“I have a cunning plan…”

“What the hell are YOU starin’ at?!”

“I’ve made a huge mistake.”

“Here’s what happened…”

“I have a bad feeling about this.”

Aaaannnd for bonus points: “Glass of water for Mr. Grainger…”

Alright everybody…Place That Catchphrase!

What can I say, I got some nice comments on my last entry – figured here’s a surefire way to guarantee some more. But I should get to some comic book related stuff now, what do you think?

Ooh! Almost forgot…I’m pretty thrilled to finally have a comedy performance available for viewing online, thanks to filmmaker/writing buddy Ryan Brandt. From March 29th, 2008 here is Greg Manuel at the Triad Theatre in New York City. I’m very proud of this performance, because to me it represents a personal breakthrough – I was able to find that baseline where the jokes I like to tell intersects with the kinds of topics that an audience can connect with. A very crucial key to any successful creative endeavor.

Okay, now on to comics – I’ve come across a personal rule of thumb lately; if you’re not certain about a new direction a comic book is going in, but you want to give it a chance, don’t give it more than three issues. I think after three issues, most comics will have given you enough of a story for you to decide whether or not to stay on board or cut it loose. I made no illusions in my last column that, by Mark Millar’s third issue of FANTASTIC FOUR, I was done. Wasn’t gonna bother anymore, call me when he’s finished. But on the flipside of that, I feel like Jeph Loeb finally gave me something to sink my teeth into with HULK #3.

The mysterious “Red Hulk” and Rick Jones, the new Abomination (calling himself “A-Bomb” – kinda dumb, I know but whatever.) are still fighting over on Gamma Base, but we actually get some details to help move the plot along. With the previous issue, even with Iron Man fighting Red Hulk, and the Helicarrier crashing into a field in New Jersey, sure we got a lot of action, but at the same time I felt a little disappointed. Not the case with this issue, where we got at least three key scenes:

Key Scene #1:

Or to be more specific:

It touches on something that Paul Jenkins played around with a few years back, when Bruce Banner was dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease – during his run, just about every incarnation of the Hulk came out, followed by a demonic-looking Yellow Hulk, which supposedly was the nastiest of them all. Seems to me like there might be a challenger to that title, with Big Red here. That theory gets a little added boost during the fight between Red and A-Bomb in this scene:

Once again, to be more specific:

Okay…so whoever this Red Hulk is, not only is he sadistic, not only does he like guns, but as Dennis Farina used to say during his run as Detective Joe Fontana on LAW & ORDER, he’s authorized. Innnnnteresting…! Although it makes you wonder if this thing is in fact linked to Bruce Banner somehow. Would he be really be a welcome presence at Gamma Base? He’s already there as a prisoner, with no apparent plans to allow him to come and go as he pleases – why bother having him in the retina scan database? I like a story that makes me ask questions like that. Meanwhile, Tony Stark, She-Hulk and Maria Hill are trying to put this all together, and you get the sense that Tony’s had his fill of questions:

Yeah…between all the intrigue and mystery he’s gotta put up with here, in CAPTAIN AMERICA and his own title, if I were Tony Stark, I’d be a little annoyed at this point, too. But this is the Jeph Loeb that pulled me in with THE LONG HALLOWEEN and DARK VICTORY. After the first two issues, I was starting to worry a little bit.

So what have we learned? If you’re not intrigued by the third issue of the story, then move on. Better to relegate that title to “read-in-the-store” status, and spend your money on something you’re going to enjoy. But before I go, here’s something I forgot to recommend before…a little something I found on the internet called GARFIELD MINUS GARFIELD.

The tag on the main page says it all: Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a quiet American suburb.

It’s a little strange, but it’s incredibly funny: Even Jim Davis himself likes it!

Maybe Bill Watterson had him all wrong, you know?

Just sayin’, is all…

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