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It lost famously to Driving Miss Daisy and easily should have won best picture.  I remember when I saw it in the theater and it began, with Rosie Perez’s rocking bod and Chuck D exploding: 1989!  The number!  Another Summer!

The film opened on July 21, 1989.

Among other things, the film was the breakthrough for Public Enemy–turning them from a somewhat popular rap group to a crossover phenomenon.
Covers of “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy…Including Vanilla Ice’s version!

Fight the Power - YouTube

Vanilla Ice - Fight The Power (Public Enemy Cover) - YouTube

Korn feat. Xzibit - Fight the Power - YouTube

D.C.K. | Fight the Power | Operation Beatbox - YouTube

The Dillinger Escape Plan - Fight The Power(Public Enemy Cover) - YouTube

Deerhoof - Fight the Power (Public Enemy Cover) - YouTube


The post A TRIBUTE TO SPIKE LEE’S DO THE RIGHT THING appeared first on Berkeley Place.

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By George, Merge Records, you’ve done it again. You’ve found an indie rock band that hits exactly the right kind of 1980s New Wave nostalgia for our time. Ex Hex has everything that made the Go Gos and Blondie great: Vocals, lyrics, riffs and power chords, tight drums and basslines. And nothing that makes their music less timely, like that 1980s production sheen that took the edge out of everything it touched.

So far, this is the most fun I’ve head listening to indie rock this year.

The post IT’S REAL by EX HEX appeared first on Berkeley Place.

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This two-issue tale begins with the Crazy Gang, who team up with Arcade (yay!) to kidnap a person who appears to be an old friend of Captain Britain from the UK-only Marvel comic days.  I may need to go back and read the UK-only Captain Britain comics, because they seem to inform these Excalibur stories quite a bit.  I was never sure they were canon (and frankly I’m still not sure).

Arcade is the perfect silly villain for this silly comic.  And I don’t mean “silly” as an insult, but let’s face it: This book is full of ridiculous and weird characters.  Like the way Arcade announces that he’s the villain by slipping his own currency into an ATM used by Excalibur members.

So, the team heads off the latest Arcade house of death traps.  Not that he needs them.  The Crazy Gang’s Tweedledope has made a machine that enables the Gang to switch bodies with the Excalibur members, so there’s a lot of fun there as they make their way through Arcade’s gauntlet to rescue Captain Britain’s old girlfriend and foil the villains.

There’s part of the big denouement.


And because no Chris Claremont joint is complete without plot threads being planted for the future, we see Callisto and Moira kidnapped as a train they are in goes through a tunnel that is apparently turned into a portal by the robot-head called Widget, whose allegiances and mission is still terrible unclear.

There’s also more references to Rachel Summers having the Phoenix power now.  We know that won’t end well.

And what has been implied before, is now confirmed: Nightcrawler and Meggan got a thiiiiiiiiiinnnnngggg goin’ on.  And Captain Britain doesn’t know yet.

Creators: Chris Claremont, Alan Davis
Grade: C+

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

The post Excalibur #4-5 (1989) appeared first on Berkeley Place.

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Steve Ditko offers an 8-page story about Machine Man taking down a villain robot.  It’s hard to make a short story like this “matter,” but it is a great way to check in on a character who doesn’t otherwise have a vehicle to tell his story.  It helps keep us, as fans of the Marvel Universe, in touch with the more esoteric characters who some of us miss.  This is exactly what this comic should be doing in its shorter stories that don’t span multiple issues.

Creator: Steve Ditko
Grade: C+

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

The post MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #10 (1989): Machine Man! appeared first on Berkeley Place.

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These are the Inferno tie-in issues, which come at a time when there is unprecedented internal turmoil, between moving from Avengers Mansion to the remote Hydrobase, Dr. Druid trying to unseat the ineffectual leadership hitherto provided by Captain Marvel, and the team basically breaking up.

The Captain, who is still not an Avenger and still not Captain America at the time of this story, works alongside The New Mutants fighting nanny and orphan maker (above), demons and animated inanimate objects.  Simultaneously, we see The Eternals revving up to help stop the Inferno events as well. 

We also see Orphan-Maker kidnap Franklin Richards to be one of the Inferno Babies.  He’s not a baby, but we’ve seen them also kidnap Wiz Kid in the pages of X-Terminators, so N’Astirh’s demons have a precedent for being unclear on the concept. 

Then, Reed and Susan Richards team up with The Captain and an Eternal named Gilgamesh to save Franklin.  So far, this is much more of a Captain story than an Avengers one.  Franklin ends up being in the hands of N’Astirh, who basically uses him as a power battery to pump up the volume of the magical New York City disasters.

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Fool Killer is probably my favorite Steve Gerber creation.  The FK miniseries that would come out about a year after his debut in these issues was absolutely brilliant.  Many people have tried to make the character work, but few have succeeded.  Still, as a concept, he’s wicked inventive.

He’s basically a Punisher of the ignorant, and often criminally ignorant.

Plus, he has a business card!

Foolkiller first appears before the biker gang from last issue, looking for Rory-the guy Man-Thing rescued last issue.  He kills the bikers with a strange blasting pistol that immediately turns people into dust.

He then goes and threatens F.A. Schist, the developer who has been trying to drain Man-Thing’s swamp.

Still hunting for Rory, Foolkiller encounters Man-Thing in the swamp and kills him.

Of course, Man-Thing isn’t dead.  He reassembles himself from muck in the next issue.

While he’s squishing around, Foolkiller returns to his base-an 18-wheeler truck, in which FK parks his boss red sportscar and keeps the body of a dead preacher in a vat of formaldehyde in the back of his truck.

See?  Foolkiller is some dark, macabre shit.

The preacher was an evangelical healer who healed FK as a kid, when he was a poor crippled boy, and then took FK on the road with him  Ultimately, people believed the preacher was a fraud and killed him, but of course Foolkiller knew better since he was personally healed by the man.  So, those people were fools.  And now he’s on a mission to kill fools.

But why Rory?  Because Rory was a college DJ who played rock and roll, which FK considered blasphemous.

It’s interesting that he’s a fundamentalist, ultra-right winger, and yet he also wants to kill FA Schist for trying to destroy the Everglades on the basis that God created the swamp and so destroying it is defying God.

Gerber loved poking at religious stuff.  Actually, he loved taking on any extreme philosophical position.

Creators: Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik
Grade: A

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

The post Man-Thing #3-4 (1974): First Fool Killer! appeared first on Berkeley Place.

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When reading Steve Gerber’s Marvel work, it’s obvious that his work on Man-Thing and then on Howard the Duck were his favorites.  Each issue of Man-Thing is as dense as the titular character’s swampy body.

Issue #2 is a done-in-one, which is good because we could use a bit of a palette cleanser after the very complex story that launched the title and introduced the world to Howard the Duck (and then killed him).  It involves a guy (Richard Rory) who is visiting Man-Thing’s swamp and pours coffee on an alligator, who then attacks him.  Man-Thing saves him, and then a passer-by named Ruth Hart helps tend to the man’s wounds. Ruth is part of a biker gang that later in this issue attacks Man-Thing.

While this is going on, real estate developer F.A. Schist is leading a corporate discussion on killing Man-Thing, because he’s in the way of their construction projects.  They come up with a device called The Slaughter Room, which lures Man-Thing with sound and then is supposed to trap him, but instead Man-Thing destroys the Room.  The explosion kills the leader of the biker gang.  F.A. Shist flees the scene, and Ruth is finally free of the biker gang.

This is kind of the formula for Gerber’s Man-Thing issues.  He’s really a side-character, who moves along a realization or discovery for normal folks.

Professsor Slaughter will become a regular menace to Man-Thing as the book goes on, and Richard Rory becomes the new human focal point of the series, replacing Jennifer Kale who is working on becoming a mystic.

Creators: Gerber and Val Mayerik
Grade: C+

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.

The post MAN-THING #2 (1974) appeared first on Berkeley Place.

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Berkeley Place by Ekko - 21h ago

Skittle trick with boiling water - YouTube

The post VERY COOL SCIENCE appeared first on Berkeley Place.

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A LOT happens in this issue.  First, Cap formally gets his shield back from Agent John Walker, who had been standing in for him as Cap for many issues, and right after he thanks Walker, Walker is assassinated.
Captain America then goes on the hunt for the killer, and just as he catches up with him…He’s killed by the new Scourge.  We’ve seen this guy before, but Cap has not.

It’s an exciting opening scene–but sadly from here Cap goes to a secret SHIELD base that is taken over by a computer virus, so he and Nick Fury, Dum Dum Dugan, and Gabe Jones have to fight the base defenses for the rest of the issue.

When it’s all over, Cap offers Fury a job in the Avengers, to which Fury wisely says…

“Don’t make me laugh!”

Also: An appearance by Ted Koppel, who interviews Cap about USAgent’s death.

The final page of the issue is a cliffhanger, showing that John Walker’s body has been stolen–so he probably isn’t dead.

Creators: Mark Gruenwald and Kieron Dwyer
Grade: First ten pages: B+.  Back two thirds: C-

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

The post CAPTAIN AMERICA #351 (1989) appeared first on Berkeley Place.

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In an Inferno tie-in, the team fights Graviton during the demonification of New York City.  It’s mostly an action issue, and it’s pretty good—Englehart’s run on this title is solid.

At the end, the Aron the Watcher shows up again, with Dragon Man.

Creators: Steve Englehart, Keith Pollard
Grade: C+

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

 

The post Fantastic Four #322 (1989) appeared first on Berkeley Place.

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