What Do You Want On Your Tombstone?

I really didn’t intend for this blog to have a pizza through-line. (Unlike that time I bemoaned the world being prematurely deprived of Little Caesar’s smokehouse pizza.)  My customized Tombstone was waiting for the next open week, & then A24 suddenly released Slice on streaming platforms after just one day of screenings so it can qualify for Academy Awards. This gave me an excuse to write about TMNT again. Then the trailer for Captain Marvel finally dropped, but it fits too since you can get pizza made with brie. It’s kind of serendipitous.

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If you read my blog on Typhoid Mary cunningly disguised an Iron Fist review, you know I love B-list baddies. As far as Marvel mob bosses go, I prefer Tombstone to Kingpin, Silvermane, & Flattop who headbutts everything Hammerhead. I’m certain Tombstone was made in his leather jumpsuit costume so Hasbro could use a majority of recycled parts with a minimum of paint. This disappointed everyone who wanted him in a three piece suit, but I wasn’t among them. (I guess pantographing up the one suit body they always use didn’t budget out. There should be a suited Mattel wrestling body to pop his superbly sculpted noggin onto though.) What bothered me was that his sleeves were so long. This outfit has often been long-sleeved in the comics, but I prefer the short sleeved Spider-Man cartoon look. I didn’t give him gray pants & brown boots because I can cut corners too! He’s worn studded short sleeves in the comics, but kept it simple so he’d be neither cartoon nor comic accurate. I wasn’t a fan of the periwinkle skin or ill-fitting bootstraps hanging limply around his ankles either. He’d also be better with interchangeable gripping hands to wield weapons & choke-slam Spidey, but I don’t have any to spare in his size.

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Now with somewhat less unpainted black plastic!

Every time I write about customizing action figures, I sound like Professor Pyg. I glued on sleeve cuffs made from rest of the fortune cookie fortune I’d used on Barbara Kean the Stabby Queen. Then I painted his skin antique white in a rare acceptable instance of whitewashing. This is not what a realistic African American albino looks like, but it matches the comic art & the description of him having skin like granite. (I was also simultaneously repainting a cat’s tombstone.) Since the bootstraps were too narrow to slide up around the tops of his shins, I just cut them off. Then I painted his shins downward glossy black to give the impression of boots rather than him wearing a onesie. The mid-calf swivels also suggest this, which is why Hasbro shouldn’t use them on characters that don’t wear boots of this height.

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You can tell he’s a super-albino because he still abides by “sun’s out, guns out.”

Tombstone is an amalgam of Tobias Whale & Bushmaster with a better visual. Nobody cared about his inspirations while he was a Spider-Man foe appearing in cartoons. Now Tobias Whale & Bushmaster have eclipsed him by being in the live action adaptations of Black Lightning & Luke Cage. it’s funny how fickle popularity is, even among fictional characters. Maybe Tombstone can reclaim his if Marvel Studios pops him into one of the new Spider-Man movies. Lonnie Lincoln’s reign would still be undisputed if his name was Thomas B. Stone! He’s in the new Spider-Man video game where they made him bald so it’d be easier to mistake him for Tobias Whale & dressed him like Negan. Game over, man! At least their Shocker looks much better than the MCU’s.

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“I’m gonna make you as late as this pizza!”

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Spider-Man 2 is overrated!”

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The long awaited Captain Marvel trailer is swell but not as spectacular as Thor Ragnarok’s. Some Sleater-Kinney could’ve spiced it up. The biggest reveal is that her helmet still has a sunroof that makes it look like Carol Danvers has a Mohwak. (No two artists have drawn her haircut the same since.) I’m still confused as to why Jamie McKelvie’s redesign included that instead of just giving it a regular fin like the classic Kree helmets. Also the Kree apparently mindwiped her because Rogue wasn’t available to the MCU yet.

There’s speculation Jude Law’s part hasn’t officially been announced as heroic Captain Mar-Vell because he’s really playing nefarious Commander Yon-Rogg. SKRULLIN’ is the new JERKIN’! Why did they name Ben Mendelsohn’s shapeshifting Skrull character Talos when that’s the one Skrull that specifically can’t shapeshift? Will we see Skrull cows?  Werner Herzog has a role in a big film codenamed Huckleberry. How cool would it be this means he’s the Supreme Intelligence? I would also accept him as MODOK & Squirrel Girl’s pal Brain Drain. Chewie the Flerkin is in it!

These movie-based figures have been leaked already. A turquoise & silver repaint of Carol is a safe bet. There’s also the Genis-Vell seen at SDCC. The Kree Sentry BAF debuted alongside Living Laser & Nighthawk, so they may be filling some slots. Do you suppose we’ll get an MCU Ronan repainted in green (like I intended to do with the one I have)?  Target is getting exclusive dolls for Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors, yet there is still no ML Squirrel Girl or Quake.

This photo is unbrielievable! Avengers Academy’s Black Widow should’ve sounded like Zoya the Destroyer! Brie Larson & Michael B. Jordan (he’s rumored to be the new cinematic Superman who still won’t be allowed to smile) will be in a non-MCU movie together. Their ship name would still be KillMarvel.

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Slice is exactly the goofy throwback to 80’s horror movies its trailer promised. It focuses on a pizza parlor, so it’s apt that delightfully named Zazie Beetz is a main character since she’d previously delivered as Domino in Deadpool 2. After being in a commercial for Domino’s Pizza, Joe Keery from Stranger Things plays the tardiest newspaper photographer since Peter Parker. Spider-Man: Homecoming’s Hannibal Buress has just one scene, unlike Paul Schreer who’d previously voiced Mysterio. To compensate for not being Chance The Actor, Chance The Rapper is a moped-riding werewolf named Dax Lycander. The best character is Joe (Lakin Valdez) the spectral pizzeria employee of ill omens.

It’s set in the city of Kingfisher, which has is populated by 40,000 ghosts following nefarious atrocities at the local mental hospital years prior. Its Mayor, Dr. Leo Spaceman, has segregated the specters to Ghost Town. Oddly the ghosts just seem to be indistinct from the living aside from being charmingly slathered in greasepant. (I would’ve gone with sheets.) Ghosts & people having to exist alongside each other all the time is a nifty concept. The film’s message about not being prejudiced against ghosts & werewolves is undercut by showing that prejudice to witches is on point. It doesn’t get preachy about its half-baked metaphors & worldbuilding because it’s primarily a low budget comedy. It’s still more mystical than Mystic Pizza.

Writer-director Austin Vesely proves that movies don’t need huge budgets to look appealing because this pops with vibrant color & personality. Then it anticlimaxes, which may have been an intentional subversion. It has a lot of great toppings that don’t quite congeal into something nutritious, but it can hit the spot if you’re in the mood for cheese. Slice truly is the perfect pizza metaphor?

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Since this installment accidentally became pizza-themed, let’s throw in some TMNT tidbits. This whole pizza fad would’ve died out if it weren’t for their propaganda. I haven’t seen Rise Of The TMNT yet because I’m a bad journalist, but its Leonardo, Ben Schwartz, is already the blue brother in the perfect cartoon reboot.

Next year GameStop will have single carded versions of NECA’s SDCC exclusive movie turtles. Yay for anybody who missed the SDCC set (except for anyone outside of North America)! Boo for me stressing out for 3 days straight & spending a lot of extra money to get them.

Even if the next TMNT movie is a full reboot, Gary A Williams & Sheamus need to reprise Bebop & Rocksteady. They were hands down the best part of the last film. By the way, Bebop & Rocksteady Hit The Road is a fun sequel to Bebop & Rocksteady Destroy Everything! It even has a larger appearance by Wingnut & Screwloose, who seem to be symbiotically conjoined. Special Agent Ravenwood the Olympian is a nifty addition to the mythos.

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Hopefully there will be less pizza talk if I review The Gifted’s second season premiere next week.

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