GhostAndy’s Summer 2019 “To Do” List: Part 2


IMG_5389Summertime! Is there any better time!?! Cook outs, beach bonfires, amusement parks, lounging by the pool, long cool summer nights…filled with mosquitoes.

Yeah, maybe not so much the mosquitoes part.

Maybe genetic scientists will finally pull the trigger on the good ol’ “Playing God” gun, and eradicate the little bloodsuckers from the face of the Earth. Then again, we are human beings. We will probably mess things up even further like we did with DDT, Asbestos, and Parallel Parking.

Any who, yesterday, I started a “To Do” list of things I vowed to finish before the summer was through. One day later, I’m happy to report that I still haven’t done any of those first 5 things!

That’s what we call procrastination, folks! America was built on it!

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So on today’s blog I figured why not tack 5 more things on to the list and really double down as it were on possibly complete and total failure when Labor Day comes and goes and I’m left sobbing over so many dreams and plans left unfulfilled. Yes, I said Labor Day. That is the official end of summer. Don’t give me that bullsh*t about the Autumn Solstice. When football hits our TV screens, that’s when we start thinking about Halloween and Thanksgiving, and the summer is far in our rear view mirrors. If you don’t admit it, then you are a damned liar.

So without further ado, here are 5 more things I plan on finishing before Labor Day. Yes, I said it…Labor DAY!

5. Purchase & Play Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3

When it comes to super hero video games, as our previous podcast on the topic pointed out, it’s definitely a hit or miss kind of field. That’s why you should always bet on proven franchises when looking to invest your hard earned gaming dollars. And speaking of that previous podcast, one of the game we mentioned as one of the best ever was the X-men Legends/Marvel Ultimate Alliance series of action, co-op, RPG games that came out for both the PS2 and PS3 generations of game consoles.

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Now the great tradition can finally continue as after several years of trying to keep the MMORPG, Marvel Heroes, afloat, this franchise is back with a third entry published exclusively by Nintendo for the Switch. Boasting an already expansive line up with such “Andy” favorites like Scarlet Witch, Nightcrawler, and the best buddy duo in comics in Cage and Iron Fist, as well as mainstays like Spidey, Cap, and Iron Man, I really feel like this is yet another reason why my choice to spend those aforementioned gaming dollars on a Switch was the smart investment. Plus with the ability to play both local co op and online with the rest of the Larson brothers miles away is a definite plus.

Am I super excited about the fact that they picked Thanos as the villain, pitting you against him and his Ebony Order? Not really…I feel like its time we moved past Thanos as the main baddie for everything. However, he is the only other super villain outside Dr. Doom and Magneto that most people know, so it makes sense to cast him the in role.

I’m also not thrilled about them having both the Fantastic Four and the X men as downloadable content only, as if I both the game for 60 bucks, I should get all the content with it. Not have to pay for it extra…that stuff should only work in that “free to play” micro-transaction world.

Oh well…you know I’m going to cough up the cash and get the extra stuff, because ever since Marvel Ultimate Alliance 1, I’ve been a sucker for playing these games with my wife as the Invisible Woman and the Thing and really having one hell of a clobberin’ time!

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4. Finish Reading “The Ten Cent Plague”

First off, I’ll fully admit it. I don’t read books. I read so many comics that at times I feel they are coming out of my ears, but I really don’t read real books. I believe the last one I really read was like 3 or 4 years ago at this point. I could go on about the reasons, but in essence, I just don’t have the attention span and they take up way too much time. However, there is a another major reason I haven’t read them in like close to 5 years, and that’s because I discovered audio books!

Yup, as I said on the podcast, I really feel like if I listen to an audio book version of a novel, for me it’s the same as reading it. Mainly because of retention. I feel to say you read something is to be able to remember it and be able to recall facts from it. I can do that with audio books. I get immersed in them and listen to them only when they have my full attention. So for me personally, I can say I read things like Moby Dick, The Dead Zone, and the most recent audio book I’ve started: The Ten-Cent Plague.

Subtitled The Great Comic Book Scare And How It Changed America, it’s an expansive history lesson of the origins of the comic book medium in all its sordid past. From get rich quick schemes by unscrupulous publishers to editors taking credit for the hard working efforts of uncredited artists and writers, it’s a wonder how comics ever got established.

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But this wonderful trip back to the beginnings of the field that spawned even this podcast and blog has been well worth it thus far for the wealth of information I’m gleaming on things like real reason of Will Eisner’s had such an incredible influence on the comic industry (the division of labor in comic creation aka writer, penciler, inker, layouts etc.) Plus some of the stuff I’m learning on some of the series like “Crime Doesn’t Pay” but the fact at in the 1940s more than 12 million people read comics, more than anything radio or movies could compete with.

And I haven’t even gotten to real reason the book was written: the scathing true story of the impact of the Frederick J. Wertham “Seduction of the Innocent” book and the following US Senate Hearings on the “terrible influence” comics had on American youth, the impact of which is still felt today in the fact that the industry is dominated by “cape books. Can’t wait to finish this and be able to share with all of you on the show!

3. Catch up on other Switch games

Yes, I’m a sucker for buying tons of games on sale, and then just letting them sit and collect dust. It bugs my wife to no end! But like a squirrel that hides nuts for the winter, this gamer knows how to pack away quality time killers for those rainy summer afternoons (especially when they are just downloadable…no game card…no fuss…no muss)

Among those that I’ll be making sure I play more of in these summer months include such ports of PC classics like: Lovers in Dangerous Spacetime, Cuphead, Shovel Knight, Bastion, and of course the one I’m looking forward to the most: For the King!

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Now I know you must be scratching your head over why I’d favor this game over fan favorites like Shovel Knight and Cuphead, but the reason is simple.

I love Co-op gaming!

And For the King with it’s mix of co op board game and classic RPG elements is perfect for an extended campaign like play session with a couple of your friends both young and old, without getting bogged down in necessity to commit to semi weekly sessions to finish.  That can get complicated to coordinate with 3 players, especially if they aren’t in the same household.

But with it’s rogue like play style, randomized boards, intriguing customization, and plenty of DLC, this is one game I think we’ll be playing around the Larson home for the next several months.

2. Watch Jessica Jones Season 3

You know what was the hottest thing to watch on Netflix like 4 years ago? Any of the Netflix MCU TV shows. Like Daredevil Season 1 & 2, The first 7 episodes of Luke Cage, and of course Jessica Jones Season 1. Yes that show captured our collective imaginations with the fear filled sexual cat and mouse game played between Jessica Jones and Kilgrave, played brilliantly by David Tennant.

Flash forward 4 years, and we are finishing up the final season of the final series still standing on this once streaming titan of a franchise. Sure, it has more do to with business as I’m sure the moment Disney announced the fact that they were putting out their own streaming service with MCU related content, Netflix , waste anytime cancelling all of the shows. They of course said it was because the ratings were dipping, and that could be the case. After all, some of the Iron Fist seasons were down right rough, but I don’t think it was enough to cancel all of the shows. Besides, Daredevil Season 3 and Punisher Season 2 were very decent.


Anyways, the last show on Netflix is the 3rd and final season of Jessica Jones, and I’m not sure what to expect from all this. Season 2 was pretty terrible, especially in regards to pacing. However, I feel like we’re finally going to get some true Hellcat action as Patsy Walker seems like she’s about to explode as a full fledged super in this season.

Honestly I really don’t even care about Jessica as a character any more. This is just a vehicle to get a Hellcat series. And maybe that will be the extra hook like Kilgrave was in season 1 to put this over the top. Not sure…but given there will be no more of these series on Netflix, I’m hoping at least for some sort of conclusion to this universe even if its spiritual in nature.

1. Read Shazam: A Celebration of 75 Years

What with the Shazam movie coming out a couple months ago, and it being the best super hero movie besides Avengers: End Game this year, I know I have personally felt a resurgence in my interest for the Big Red Cheese and his exploits. Now seems the time for me to strike while my interest level iron is hot, and soak up as much Shazam reading as I can.

Thus at this year’s Free Comic Book Day when my local comic shop, Phantom of the Attic, was running some terrific sales on some trades, I picked up the Celebration of 75 years of this Golden Age powerhouse in hopes of doing some serious research reading in the months to come.

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I’ve always had a soft spot for Captain Marvel as far back as high school when I first saw “The Adventures of Captain Marvel” movie serial from 1940. For some reason, he always seemed like the “more interesting” version of Superman, what with magic based powers and a He-man like alter ego thing going on since he turned into a kid when he wasn’t hucking cars around like matchbooks.

I’ve even gone on record on the show saying that the worst thing that ever happened to Shazam was getting saddled with DC Comics instead of Marvel, as in DC, he just got buried as a second banana to the Man of Steel, whereas at Marvel he could have been their top tier powerhouse. Plus the notion of having a teenage alter ego with all the problems that go along with it, seems very Marvel-esque.

But the truth is other than the Power of Shazam book we read for our Movie Review show back in April, I haven’t really read much Shazam. I remember starting to read several times the original “Monster Society of Evil” series from the 1940s run (which many claim to be the first ever multi issue story-line in a comic series). But that book was still written around WWII and as a result is pretty uncomfortably racist at times especially with the handling of the Japanese and those in African countries. As a result, I always ended up putting the book down.

But given this collection was hand picked in someways by the big wigs at DC to paint the Shazam franchise in the best light, I feel like this book is probably by best chance to read classic Captain Marvel without getting those icky cringe worthy moments. So I’ll definitely have a read pile for you all on this book by sometime in September (as again that’s when the summer ends…).

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Oooooh….King Kull…


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