Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Remembering 2013!

It's been a long and somewhat unpredictable 2013... And while much of it has brought its fair share of ups and downs, there's no denying that plenty of things in the popculture category that happened and need to be reviewed and listed as per annual tradition!

So before we welcome the big 2014, let's see what happened back in the year before us...

COMICS: The Superior Spider-Man

It's hard to imagine the impossible happening... Spider-Man actually "dies"... and one of his worst enemies took his place! Yes, in the pivotal and milestone issue that was "The Amazing Spider-Man #700", Peter Parker got his body switched by none other than Doctor Otto Octavius, better known as the sinister Doctor Octopus, and in their final confrontation succumb to ailments his enemy's dying body had. Before going however, he was able to let Doc Ock experience his memories and very emotions, especially the lesson that makes Spider-Man a hero - "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility". Promising his immortal foe that he would be a hero and carry out his mission, Doc Ock truly became "Peter Parker", and promised that he would be a better Spider-Man... The Superior Spider-Man!

So you can only imagine the reactions and negative outcry many Spidey fans had when ASM #700 came out at the end of 2012... And the promise of a NEW Spidey series taking its place at the beginning of 2013 with "The Superior Spider-Man #1"! Marvel and writer Dan Slott were LITERALLY wiping the slate clean for a new era in Spidey history... bringing a Spider-Man that was powered by the brain of Doc Ock and more devious and sinister than ever! How would that turn out? And would fans be outraged even more by this new series that didn't feature Pete and his worst enemy at the helm?

Well, it turns out that "Hail Mary" paid off... And almost a year to it, The Superior Spider-Man has proven to be one of Marvel NOW's all-time popular titles, showcasing Doc Ock living his life as "Spider-Man" - establishing a new career as a researcher, making changes to his life that distance/ affect Peter's loved ones gradually, and getting results in crimefighting by taking more EXTREME approaches like hiring an entire mercenary squad! This is truly a new kind of Spider-Man... And things have only since escalated that may see the return of Peter someway sooner or later? There's too much to talk about... But all I can say is that the Superior Spider-Man definitely IS the 2013 Comic Book I surprisingly enjoyed reading.

MOVIES: Man of Steel and Pacific Rim

Much like last year with The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, it was hard to decide between these two monolith blockbuster titles of Summer 2013, so I took a double whammy approach to it again, and chose both films under the Warner Bros. banner!

As a reboot to the Superman film franchise, "Man Of Steel" symbolizes not only hope that we have a pretty decent successor to the immortal Christopher Reeve's portrayal of The Last Son of Krypton, but also the fact that there's potential for a successful DC Cinematic Universe to come... Starting with 2015's as-of-yet untitled "Batman Vs Superman" film that acts as a sequel to this film and sees Henry Cavill reprising his role as Clark Kent and meeting Bruce Wayne/ Batman in Ben Affleck and Wonder Woman/ Princess Diana of the Amazons in Gal Gadot! Zack Snyder, we can only hope you pull this one off!

And of course, Guillermo Del Toro's love letter to Japanese Super Robot and Monster fans... PACIFIC RIM! This film is certainly EVERYTHING fans of Godzilla and Gundam could hope for, as Humanity builds MONSTERS in Giant Robots to combat THE MONSTERS, aka Kaiju! That's pretty much all there is to it!

TV SHOW: Arrow (Season 2)

This show is pretty much THE small screen version of the DC Universe we want in live-action... And it gets a whole lot better thanks not only to the impressive acting of star Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/ Green Arrow, but launching a compelling new twist to the main character's mission that hits familiar territory for comic book fans. Also, MORE DC Characters, heroes and villains alike, are introduced, and what more can you say for seeing Black Canary... AND a certain Scarlet Speedster!? With Grant Gustin's successful introduction as Barry Allen/ The Flash, The CW will shoot off to creating a spinoff series for the character... While Arrow retains it's awesome run in bringing heroic vigilantism at its finest.

GAMES: The Last of Us

What's NOT to like about Uncharted developer Naughty Dog's trek to Survival Horror territory? Raw Emotion, Zombie like creatures in "The Infected", and a story about two characters that slowly learn to get along and rely on each other to survive, forming a "Father-Daughter" like relationship. The ending WILL hit you like nothing you've ever seen in a video game before... And it's that reason alone that makes this PS3 exclusive THE Game of the Year for 2013.

ANIMATED MOVIE: Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox

DC Universe Animated Original Movies have hit the jumping point to The New 52 Universe stories with this one, and have solidified their reputation for creating compelling tales that somewhat stray from the source material, but contain the main thrust and emphasis of the story nonetheless. This is purely Flash-centered and Speedster fans will love every bit of this animated movie, but The League AND Batman also play secondary roles here, in a tale that has Barry Allen struggling to restore things to their proper order after an alternate world is created. Great stuff, and good for DC fans who love their universe.

MUSIC: Treasure by Bruno Mars

"Old School is the New Cool" indeed, and Bruno Mars HITS IT with this Michael Jackson inspired like track that I knew was gonna be a hit since I first listened to the song in January from his latest album "Unorthodox Jukebox"


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