All posts by Noob of All Trades

Shawn Lucas is the self identified "Noob of All Trades". He is married and the father of three boys, two of whom help with their own podcast every couple of months. Raised on Atari, Nintendo, and Sega, he enjoys all games and will play all of them to the best of his ability, which is often average at best. Currently, he is most interested in Magic, Heroclix, and other games that he can play with Chris and his sons.

Spawn 300 End of the Road

Introduction

The Road to Spawn 300 was littered with pot holes and detours. However, we are finally here. And, I have to say, it was worth the wait. Both Chris and I were obviously excited when we heard that Greg Capullo was going to be back for this issue. We both grew up with him as the main artist.

We were both subsequently disappointed because we had somehow convinced ourselves that he was going to be the artist for longer than just the one issue. When we learned that wasn’t going to be the case, I think I suggested that Uncle Todd should sell his McGwire baseball to hire Capullo back as artist.

At least we get him for the next issue, too. Also, he is doing variant covers for the next two. Maybe there is now an open invitation to to covers whenever he wants. As I said to Chris, hope abounds. Now, for my review of Spawn 300. It isn’t exactly like the DC 1000 issues from last year. He invited some other big names to join him. However, the issue followed continuity instead of shorter vignettes. Even so, I will review each story individually like I did with those books.

Chapter 1 (Todd McFarlane and Greg Capullo)

The Spawn meter is back. What’s up with that? Oh well, like Chris said, Capullo’s art is going to ruin me for the return to the regular artist. Aside from McFarlane, Capullo’s art is the iconic style for Spawn. The story is just more creepy little girl kills her family nonsense, But, Violator shows up and there’s some gratuitous ultra violence at the end to remind us what Spawn’s all about.

Chapter 2 (Scott Snyder and Todd McFarlane)

I enjoyed the story from this chapter much more than the first one. It called back to a previous battle between the two antagonists and what happened when they “disappeared” from sight and into the shadows. This was probably my favorite story from the whole issue. Scott Snyder definitely shows that he’s a more seasoned writer than Uncle Todd in this one.

Chapter 3 (Todd McFarlane and Jason Shawn Alexander)

Another story that attempts to fill some of the gaps. This one is about the former Spawn enemies that he reanimated to fight on his side. As Chris texted, and I agree, the art style of Jason Shawn Alexander just doesn’t fit Spawn as much as we’d like. But, the story was decent and, unlike Chris, I’m going to keep collecting until the book isn’t produced anymore. In spite of being almost 30 years old under essentially the same creative control that whole time, it is still surprisingly fresh. I want to see where Uncle Todd takes us next.

Chapter 4 (Todd McFarlane and J. Scott Campbell)

The art of this chapter is great. J. Scott Campbell really nails the Spawn style. However, the story is lackluster. I just don’t give a crap about She-Spawn or her story. Alas, it looks like she is here to stay, at least for the next couple of issues, so I’ll have to get over that.

Chapter 5 (Todd McFarlane and Jerome Opena)

A teaser that does exactly that. No idea what it is or means, but I’m intrigued to learn more.

The Verdict

I like what Uncle Todd did with Spawn 300. It is a “historic” issue in that it tied the longest running creator owned comic book. It is also a nice round number that comic book nerds love. Instead of choosing to tell small vignettes as Detective and Action did with their historic 1000 issues, he continued continuity while also setting up future stories.

Overall, the strength of the writing is what we’ve come to expect from Spawn all these years. It is disheartening to be going back to Jason Shawn Alexander’s art after seeing the other interpretations of the Spawn style. Again, I like JSA’s art and I actually really enjoyed it for the Dark Horror storyline. However, it just doesn’t look like the Spawn that I remember from my reckless youth. Oh well, put it in the “get over it” bucket with She-Spawn and enjoy the ride. Here’s to another 300!

Completely Ignorant 2019 NFL Week 7 Picks

Introduction

Here we are again. It’s 2019 NFL Week 7. I said last week (or maybe the week before) that the season doesn’t really start until about week 5. Then, I proved my point by picking correctly on most of the games. Well, I followed that success up with a terrible 3-9 or 4-8 week last week. Oh well, you can’t win ’em all.

What’s more important is I started my week with a text from Chris that read only “Noooooo, Mahooomes!”. I replied, “Goddamn Belichick and his voodoo.” A student mentioned something about the Madden curse, too. The poor guy didn’t stand a chance. Hopefully he comes back soon and there aren’t any lingering effects from the injury. Let’s get to the 2019 NFL Week 7 picks.

Toilet Bowls (Not the worst of the worst for 2019 NFL Week 7, but there’s some baddies here)

Jacksonville at Cincinnati – Is this game in London? Can it be, please? I have nothing funny or clever to say about this game. This just makes me sad. Jacksonville wins.

LA Rams at Atlanta – At the beginning of the season, I’d have thought that this would be a game of the week contender. Now, both of these teams make me angry. Who knows? Maybe LA uses this game to find their mojo.

LA Chargers at Titans – Chris texted something about the number of Steelers fans at the game. Simmons and Sal made the same observation. I replied that the Chargers have no fans in LA, so the team basically gives tickets away. If you can make it there, you can go to the game. Plus, Matt Tannehill is now starting for the Titans. Go Chargers?

San Francisco at Washington – Frisco has been frisky this year with Jimmy G at the helm. Washington has…not. Maybe karma is finally catching up with the racists. Frisco wins going away.

Oakland at Green Bay – This is a weird game. I’m not sure why, but I honestly can’t fathom that this is actually a game between these two teams. I mean, it feels like a time warp from the late 60s or something. Oh well, Green Bay will probably win.

If They’re On, I’ll Watch (There are some potentially decent games here)

Houston at Indianapolis – This is not one of the aforementioned good games. I guess both of these teams are decent this year. Houston might actually finally even be good after many years of being the “it” team. They could even steal this game.

Arizona at New York Giants – Neither is this a “decent” game by any stretch of the imagination. I’m a bit intrigued by Daniel Jones and think that he can do well against this Arizona defense. I even recommended him as a fantasy pick this week. Go Giants, I guess.

Miami at Buffalo – Miami is ridiculously bad this year. Buffalo is actually pretty decent this year. I mean, they won’t challenge the Patriots, but they could make the playoffs fun, at least. I think they win big time.

New England at New York Jets – The Jets kicked the Cowboys butts last week. Chris and I were texting through the whole game because neither of us could believe it. Lightning won’t strike twice, especially against the Patriots, but maybe I can hope. For the sake of the article, I’m picking the Eff the Pats.

Okay I’m Interested (Not really, but I need three categories of games)

Minnesota at Detroit – I’m not entirely sure why I put this game here. I guess I needed to fill the three categories and for some reason, this was one of the least objectionable games. Vikes win.

Philadelphia at Dallas – Now, this actually feels like it could be a fun game to watch. Both of these teams are sort of middling around right now. The Pokes started off 3-0, though, so there is some potential there. They’re going to have to live up to it if they want to make the playoffs.

New Orleans at Chicago – The Aint’s ain’t been much in the way of ain’t this year. Teddy Bridgewater came right in and has filled in nicely for Drew Brees. The Chicago defense is very good the last two years. I think New Orleans edges them

Game of the Week (Let’s Go Seattle!)

Baltimore at Seattle – Watched the Sounders win their first playoff game last night. I don’t think that anyone else has a chance in this division other than the Ravens, but I still can live well in schadenfreude if they lose. Seattle used to never lose at home. Let’s hope that holds true here.

The Verdict

Well, overall, there isn’t much here to keep me interested. Thankfully, we have a 3rd birthday party for my niece at the zoo, so that will keep me occupied this week. Next week is Halloween weekend, so no problems there. My streak of not watching NFL football could extend through this year as long as I can keep coming up with excuses.

Note: I forgot to hit submit again. Not that it matters because I don’t think anyone even knows this page exists. But, for the purpose of keeping honest, all picks were made before games were played. Even the Chiefs over Denver, though I always forget to include Thursday. Hey, that’s a great idea! Let’s pick Thursday right now. Vikings roll the Racists.

Note: All teams and the single logo used on this web page are the property of the NFL. They are used without consent (written or otherwise), but only in good fun. If you’re feeling litigious, please refrain from throwing your vast legal resources at this small page that caters to my kids, Chris (Hi Chris!) and about 25 Russian bots (Hi Sergei!).

Throne of Eldraine Notable Cards

Introduction

Welcome to 2 Guy’s Gaming’s presentation of Throne of Eldraine notable cards. As you know, this isn’t going to be a list of the best or most playable cards from the set. There are plenty of other pages for that. Here’s one if that’s what you’re looking for. Instead, these will be cards that speak to me in one way or another.

I am mostly a Johnny with some Timmy mixed in. Rarely do I rise to the level of Spike unless Chris is kicking my butt over and over again and I need to reassert my manhood. Keep all of that in mind as you read my article about Throne of Eldraine notable cards.

White (You Want Stupid Win Conditions? We’ve Got Stupid Win Conditions)

What even is this card? I don’t know if white is necessarily known for dumb win conditions. What I do know is that I’ve become so conditioned to them that I actually texted Chris about this card with the comment, “Here’s another white card with an insane ‘win the game’ condition.” He replied with, “I’m not even entirely sure what that all means.” I’m positive that if I played this card in paper, I’d miss the win trigger every single time. Still, the stories I’d be able to tell.

Honorable Mention – I do love an arrest card. This one isn’t as good as my favorite, Pacifism, because of the condition. However, it is pretty close. Plus, that flavor text is a win.

Blue (Magic is a fun game. You should play it sometime)

No Spell for You! – I’m, at my heart, a blue mage. Counterspells are my all time favorite cards in Magic the Gathering. One of the reasons I can’t enjoy Hearthstone is that there is only one counterspell and it isn’t even satisfying to cast. I’m happiest when my opponent concedes after the 5th or 6th counterspell. Chris might be right. I might be a sick individual.

Honorable Mention – In addition to counterspells, I also like big, dumb, slow, pretty much unplayable blue cards, too. What can I say, I’m complicated.

Black (Seriously, Magic is fun. Why aren’t you playing?)

What’s not to love? This is a terrible murder card with the awful upside of creating a Food token. This card is just dumb. That is why I love it. Besides, that flavor text is frigging hilarious.

Honorable Mention – Do you want to make a terrible reanimator deck? Of course you do! Well, have I got the card for you!

Red (Pew, Pew?)

1.21 Gigawatts! Can’t believe it’s taken me this long to pick an adventure card. But, I was thinking. If I cast the adventure portion and then the creature portion, the creature goes on the stack first. Does that mean that I can target the creature with the buff? Let’s break Magic!

Honorable Mention – Can this card be broken? Probably not. That stipulation that you can only cast two spells per turn is pretty limiting. I just texted Chris something about this and Experimental Frenzy being a jank ass combo. However, I don’t think it is what I hoped it would be. Oh well, this dream is just a meme.

Green (Where are my big stompy dinos?)

What is this playable nonsense? When I first saw this card, I texted to Chris that it seemed straight busted. We both agreed that it could be banned in Modern. That doesn’t appear to be true. So, I guess I’m just sharing that story as more evidence that I’m terrible at this game and shouldn’t be trusted.

Yay, recursion! Okay, I know for a fact that you can use this card to make mana to cast itself. It is completely superfluous. But, that’s how I sometimes like my Magic. Hopefully I pull this card when Chris and I draft because I’m making that happen.

Multicolored (I missed Garruk)

Welcome Back, Big Man. Ridiculous slow casting cost? Check. Possibly unattainable ultimate? Check. Welcome back, Garruk. I, for one, missed you and can’t wait to cheat this out in my Gx ramp stompy deck in Legacy cubes.

The Verdict

I couldn’t come up with an honorable mention for Multicolored and nothing in colorless really jumps out at me. The carriage is a really bad card. The spinning wheel is fun for the lore aspect. But, none of the cards really speaks to me.

Overall, as Chris and I have texted a couple of times, the set looks like a lot of fun. I can’t wait to get together with him to draft and build my latest Frankenstein’s monster of 5 color good stuff to beat him with. Thanks for reading my Throne of Eldraine notable cards article. See you in three months for the next set!

COMPLETELY IGNORANT 2019 NFL Week 6 Picks

Introduction – Welcome to 2019 NFL Week 6

Good morning and Happy Sunday! Welcome to my 2019 NFL Week 6 picks column. Well, I just did the post mortem for last week and it’s better than I thought. I went 7-5-1 (8-5-1 if you count the Thursday game, but I won’t this week), which isn’t too bad and depending on how I allocated funds, could have made me money. Week 5 is definitely when teams start to take things seriously.

This week’s games aren’t terrible, but they’re definitely along the line of “apple pickers” as I heard Simmons and Sal call them a few times. It just so happens that we are scheduled to go apple picking today, so it was considerate of the NFL to have such terrible games this week. I mean, I wasn’t watching either way, but it’s nice when the universe conspires for you instead of against you. Let’s make some picks for 2019 NFL Week 6.

Toilet Bowls

Dallas at New York Jets – I struggled with where to put this game. I am mildly interested in the game, but I don’t honestly think I’d watch it even if it was on the television. So, in the toilet bowl it goes. After dropping last week, the Pokes need a win. Bring on the Jets!

Atlanta at Arizona – I got caught up in a bit of Atlanta hype at the beginning of the year. They cured that completely with last week’s debacle. I have a friend who lives in Atlanta and with the Braves losing, the Falcons stinking, and UGA losing last night, I’m a bit worried about him. Hope Atlanta United can redeem them some. Maybe the Braves win this one?

Pittsburgh at San Diego (Los Angeles Chargers) – The Steelers stink. The Chargers are boring. Maybe the natives in Pittsburgh, who inexplicably don’t like Mike Tomlin will get their wish. The Steelers have traditionally not been quick to fire, but maybe it will make those miserable f**ks happy. Of course it won’t. They’re miserable as a rule. What I’m trying to say here, is 1-15 isn’t out of the question.

Washington at Miami – I mean, wow. Would you look at that word smithery? I considered writing for a living. I think that sentence alone shows that I am overqualified for the position. Seriously, if Shannon Sharpe can get a TV gig as a talking head, then I can be a writer. What the hell was I talking about? Washington and Miami? Who gives a crap? Let’s say this game survives the eventual apocalypse as an exhibit of our civilization. The aliens who eventually find it will correctly conclude that we are better off for having exterminated ourselves. I hope Miami wins because of the stupidity of the Washington nickname.

If They’re On, I’ll Watch

Cincinnati at Baltimore – Seems like both Baltimore and Cleveland want to win the division. Simultaneously, it seems like neither Baltimore nor Cleveland want to win the division. One will win it by default because both Pittsburgh and Cincy stink this year.

Tennessee at Denver – In the interest of full disclosure, this could have gone in the toilet bowls. However, I was trying to space the games out better for reading purposes. I give no craps about this game. I guess Tennessee wins because I have a Facebook friend that likes them.

New Orleans at Jacksonville – I’m intrigued by New Orleans with Teddy Ballgame as their QB. A friend also made the point that Jacksonville’s new QB is like Keanu Reeves from The Replacements. That alone is enough to get me to tune in. Aint’s win.

San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams – If the Rams were actually what they were last year, this would be in the “must watch” category. Since they’re not and I’m completely off the Jimmy G-sus bandwagon for now, I’ll watch it if it’s on but won’t go out of my way. Maybe the Rams finally get back on track.

Okay, I’m Interested

Houston at Kansas City – Indianapolis shocked the world by beating KC in the most unlikely of ways. Usually, we see the Chefs get betrayed by their defense, but their offense let them down. This might be a good game, but it’s in KC, so I gotta pick the Chefs.

Seattle at Cleveland – Even though Baker has been a bit of a dud this year and OBJ looks washed up, I’m still on Cleveland. As long as they hang with the Ravens for the division, I’ll be on them. Let’s go Browns!

Philadelphia at Minnesota – This got consideration for game of the week. The Vikings defense is next level and Philly can be entertaining. However, I’m more interested in the TB/Carolina game this week, so Philly/Minnesota gets honorable mention. I think the Vikes win this one.

Game of the Week

Carolina at Tampa Bay (but really in London?) – I could look up if this is really in London or not. But, I don’t want to and you can’t make me. I will assume by the start time that it is. Wow, how did this game end up in London? The NFL must have made a mistake. Either way, I’m gonna go out on a limb and take Tampa Bay.

The Verdict

2019 NFL Week 6 isn’t terrible. It has possibly the worst game in a decade on the schedule. Otherwise, the games are passable to decent. I hope to build on last week’s momentum and keep being successful going forward. Enjoy your football everyone. See you again next week.

Note: All teams and the single logo used on this web page are the property of the NFL. They are used without consent (written or otherwise), but only in good fun. If you’re feeling litigious, please refrain from throwing your vast legal resources at this small page that caters to my kids, Chris (Hi Chris!) and about 25 Russian bots (Hi Sergei!).

Completely Ignorant NFL Week 5 2019 Picks

Introduction

So, I picked Week 1, never followed up, picked week 3, and never followed up. Now we are at the NFL Week 5 2019. Honestly, though, I treat the first four weeks of the season like the players do. Ever since preseason was shortened and summer practices are less intense, the first four weeks are like an unofficial preseason. Week 5 is when the season really starts.

In following with Simmons and Sal (I know, big shock, right?), I’m going to split the games into categories. There are a million early Sunday games, almost no late games, and one Monday game, as usual. So, it doesn’t make sense to batch them by time. Without further ado, let’s start this season over with NFL Week 5 2019 picks.

Toilet Bowls

Jets at Eagles – Jesus, that’s how little I care about these games. I just did an entire preview on the Jaguars playing in this game. Most of what I said in that can be repeated and the payoff is the same. If the Eagles hope to hang with the Pokes this year, they need to destroy the Jets.

Jags at Panthers – I heard that there’s a London game this week. It’s gotta be the Jags, right? We always send the Jags and the Raiders to London and then wonder why the UK can’t get into American football. Oh, it’s not this game? Still, a potentially terrible game. Panthers better roll if they have any hopes of hanging with the Bucs and Aints this year.

Falcons at Texans – I was high on the Falcons to start the season. However, it would appear that Matt Ryan has forgotten how to play American football. Who knew that Kyle Shanahan was that good of a coach. I guess I’ll take the Texans because they’re at home.

Cardinals at Bengals – If Miami didn’t exist, these two teams would be the worst teams in the league. This is a true definition of a toilet bowl. I hope the Cards win just to extend the Bungles misery.

If they’re on, I’ll watch

Vikings at Giants – This is a game that might have interested me more later in the season. It all depends on how the rookie Giants quarterback performs over the next few weeks. As it is, this Viking defense is solid, so I think they contain the kid.

Patriots at Racists – Well, Buffalo almost pulled of the miracle win last week against the Patriots as I golfed with a bunch of Pats fans. 2 years ago I watched as the Panthers beat them in the same situation. None of that matters here, but I’m having trouble mustering much of an interest in a game where the Pats roll.

Bears at Raiders: Okay, so I wasn’t completely wrong about the possible London game because the Raiders are in it. The Bears defense is solid and I still can’t get behind whatever it is that the Raiders are doing. Bears win.

Browns at 49ers: This might actually be a good game. Imagine going back a couple of years to say that to your past self. They’d have you locked in a loony bin. I mean, that might happen anyway because you’re claiming to be from the future, but never mind that. I’m not as fond of the Browns as I was at the beginning of the year. Still, I think they can win this.

Broncos at Chargers: What even is this game? Why even is this game? I would have put this into the toilet bowls, but I would probably watch it if it was actually on a television near me. No, I wouldn’t. It belongs with the toilet bowls. Who knows? Flip a coin.

Okay, I’m Interested

Buccaneers at Saints: This is rapid overreaction, but the Bucs looked like they had a ton of fun last week. The Aints haven’t missed much of a beat with Teddy Bridgewater in there. I think the Aints can win at home.

Bills at Titans: So, a couple of years ago Chris and I were texting during a game that the Bills were beating the Patriots. They messed up by fumbling a kickoff or something like that to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. My comment: “That’s why you’re the Bills.” Now, it would appear that they might be for real. I think they win.

Colts at Chiefs: I might be off the Baker bandwagon right now. The new kid for the Giants hasn’t done enough to register on my radar. But, Patrick Mahomes, my original man crush of the younger QB generation is still out there turning heads. I’m not sure what to think about the Colts, but I think the Chiefs keep rolling.

Packers at Cowboys; The Pokes have a good defense and a decent offense that is a bit hamstrung by having Dak Prescott at quarterback. The Packers have Aaron Rodgers. You shouldn’t bet against Rodgers, but I just think the Pokes win this one at home.

Game of the Week

Ravens at Steelers: I won’t say that I’m happy that Big Ben got hurt. But, I’m not all that heartbroken about it. He’s a scumbag and one of the reasons that I just can’t root for the Steelers with the same passion I did when I was younger. This game could go poorly for them with a young QB against the Ravens, but they can win this one. They will need to if they have any hopes of doing anything this year.

The Verdict

Overall, NFL Week 5 2019 isn’t gangbusters. The Steelers/Ravens game would usually be enough to get me excited, but I’m just having trouble mustering anything but resignation that the Patriots are just going to win the whole damn thing again. Eff the Pats.

Note: I realized that I wrote this and then never hit publish. That’s a new one for me. Know, though, that it was written before the games happened. See you next week.

Note: All teams and the single logo used on this web page are the property of the NFL. They are used without consent (written or otherwise), but only in good fun. If you’re feeling litigious, please refrain from throwing your vast legal resources at this small page that caters to my kids, Chris (Hi Chris!) and about 25 Russian bots (Hi Sergei!).

Marvel Comics September 2019 Review

Introduction

Welcome to my Marvel Comics September 2019 Review article. I mentioned in my previous article about DC Comics last month that it looks like Chris and I finally are on to something when it comes to predicting the doom and gloom of comic books. We have both been talking about it for at least 3 years. I will talk about it more in a couple of weeks when I finally get caught up with this month’s comics, but it is affecting my Marvel books more than my DC, it seems.

That’s a true shame. As you will see soon, I am almost 100% back to my Marvel zombie roots. I have 5 books in the “Great” column and 6 in the “good” and “decent” column combined. So, you can safely call me a mark or stan or just a zombie like I called myself and I will have no valid argument against it. I don’t care. I just think that Marvel is doing a great job with their books.

The Great (Too Many to List Individually/Marvel Comics September 2019 lineup is so strong)

I get that this is being a Doctor Strange fan, but I’m gonna miss you again Doc.

Doctor Strange 17 and 18 (Mark Waid, Barry Kitson, and Jesus Saiz)

I’m pretty sure this is probably the most controversial pick of my greats. People hate Mark Waid. I can’t blame them. He’s said some stupid things in his own defense. However, none of them are relevant to me because I’m not one of these Comicsgate (or whatever the hell that stupid thing is/was called) dingbats. I like how he writes and he has mostly done a good job with Strange. Stay mad, nerds.

The new Ghost Rider is fantastic.

Avengers 22 and 23 (Jason Aaron and Stefano Caselli)

Like Doctor Strange with the previous story, things got a little slow in Avengers when Jason Aaron was presenting the War of the Realms. However, the epilogue issue and these two have been as strong as the issues right after the Legacy reboot. This is an Avengers team that I hope lasts at least a couple of more years.

So glad we are back to old fashioned Spidey.

Amazing Spider-Man 27 and 28 (Nick Spencer and Kev Walker)

Okay, maybe this is the one “great” choice that would be considered most controversial. After all, this one contains two things that Comicsgate nerds hate, Nick Spencer and women. Yeah, I’m intentionally starting crap with a potentially dead “controversy”. Hey, I’m not above a little manufactured beef to goose readership. With all that being said, I love the all female Sinister Six (or whatever they’re calling themselves) and Spidey is the Spidey I remember.

Wasn’t sure about Absolute Carnage, but Chris assures me it’s good, so I’ll have to grab the trade.

Venom 17 (Donny Cates and Iban Coello)

Venom has consistently been my second favorite book behind Immortal Hulk. I’ve enjoyed the horror vibe that Donny Cates has brought. I wasn’t sure about the retcon (if that’s what it is) of the symbiote, but it has been an okay storyline. Also, the introduction of Eddie’s kid has helped to explain some of his back story. Overall, a solid book.

Simply amazing…

Immortal Hulk 22 (Al Ewing and Joe Bennett)

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, but there are two books that have been consistently great since both companies rebooted a couple of years ago. Justice League Dark for DC Comics and this one for Marvel. I’m running out of ways to praise this book. All comic books should be like this one.

The Good (Black Panther, Captain America, and Tony Stark, oh my?)

I am Iron Man?

Tony Stark Iron Man 15 (Dan Slott and Jim Zub)

This book is written by one of my favorite writer’s and drawn by one of my favorite artists. It’s just been too inconsistent. I don’ t like Tony by himself. Because I like the Tony Stark in Avengers so much more because there’s a buffer. I didn’t like the Tony as alcoholic storyline even if it was only virtual. But, this book does have potential. I hope they find it.

Gorgeous. I love Alex Ross covers.

Captain America 12 and 13 (Ta-Nehisi Coates and Adam Kubert)

I don’t know if it was intended, but putting Ta-Nehisis Coates on Captain America was a perfect troll move by Marvel. The story of America reckoning with Captain America after Hydra has mirrored reality, sometimes a bit too much for my tastes. That’s the only thing keeping this book from being great. I just can’t handle how real it is sometimes.

Maybe I need to be more open minded about this one.

Black Panther 14 and 15 (Ta Nehisi Coates and Daniel Acuna)

I waited quite a while to finally experience Ta-Nehisi Coates on Black Panther. I like the things he has to say. Black Panther has always been one of my favorite characters. However, this storyline of the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda just doesn’t speak to me. Maybe it isn’t for me. Even so, I do enjoy the book.

The Decent (World’s Greatest?, Too old for an anti-hero?, and The God of Thunder)

A cool call back to the original #12…

Fantastic Four 12 and 13 (Dan Slott and Sean Izaakse)

I got excited for the Fantastic Four to be coming back in their original form. However, as many of these comics have shown, be careful what you wish for. That’s not to say that the book is bad. Far from it. It has just suffered from the curse of high expectations. I do like that they called back to the original books with this cover, so maybe things will turn around. Hey, like I said, I’m not above shameless cross promotion.

Oh, poor Frank Castle. First his family is gunned down. Now, I might just be abandoning him.

The Punisher 14 (Matthew Rosenberg and Szymon Kudranski)

Like most disaffected teenage boys, I found solace in the story of Frank Castle. It was dark, gritty, angry, and full of guns going “pew, pew”. Like most disaffected teenage boys who grow up, I think I might be outgrowing Mr. Frank Castle. I just can’t get into his methods and his anger no longer resonates. Like Deadpool, he might need to grow up a bit for me to jump back on board.

God of Thunder and All-Father? Mjolnir’s Back? Should be good stuff. Well….

Thor 16 (Jason Aaron and Mike Del Mundo)

First, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I don’t like the art of this book. It just doesn’t work for me. Usually, I like Jason Aaron. I do like his Avengers. But, this book just doesn’t do it for me. I’m not sure entirely what it is missing, but Mjolnir wasn’t it. Like I said in a previous article, War of the Realms just seemed like an overly complicated way for him to get the hammer back. Maybe I was just bitter because I liked what Endgame did with the story.

The Verdict (Marvel Comics September 2019 is in good shape)

I can’t repeat how much I enjoyed the Marvel books for this month. Even the books that I didn’t enjoy that much were fun. Any one of the books can easily make the jump from decent to good or even to great with some TLC. Thanks for reading my Marvel Comics September 2019 review and come back in a couple of weeks for October!

DC Comics September 2019 Review

Introduction

Welcome to my comic book review for DC Comics September 2019. The comics are technically from my August DCBS order, so that makes this about a month late. Unlike past articles, I’m not going to fill this introduction will a lot of excuses and self deprecating humor. I will explain that the beginning of the school year has hit me harder than I expected, but I’m in a bit of a groove now. My hopes of making semi-regular posts by the end of the year looks quite promising.

So, Chris and I have been regularly talking about the demise of comics. Previously, as you surely know, we have been completely and utterly wrong. More recently, however, it seems as if we might be on to something. I noticed a couple of weeks ago that my DCBS order was very light. Upon research, I found that several books have been canceled and Chris confirmed that many others are being delayed. Peculiar, to say the least. Stay tuned to see if comics are indeed on the way to extinction.

The Great (Justice League Dark Remains, Batman is Back!)

Bane is breaking the Bat again, but in very different ways this time.

Batman 76 and 77 ( Tom King, Tony S. Daniel, and Mikel Janin)

Tom King clearly got too comfortable on Batman. Look, I get that not every issue can be fire, but the more recent issues have been the polar opposite of fire. It was all I could do to not just skip the issues entirely. City of Bane started to pick up until Chris texted me about these issues. I read 76, then texted him back about needing a break before reading 77. I’m glad I took one. Like Chris said, King knew he was on the way out and he is pulling no punches. Jesus.

Seriously, if you’re not reading this book, shame on you.

Justice League Dark 14 (James Tynion IV and Alvaro Marinez Bueno)

Regular readers of the page know that this is my favorite DC book and it isn’t even close. Broken Record Alert: (say it along with me, take a shot, shout BINGO!, whatever you do when a common phrase is uttered) Like Immortal Hulk for Marvel, there hasn’t been a bad issue of this book. It has just consistently brought the quality. I love the team. The stories have been entertaining. If all comics were like this and Hulk, Chris and I wouldn’t have to worry about their inevitable collapse.

The Good (Aquaman might be great, same with Catwoman, Wonder Woman and Justice League are inconsistent)

This book is dangerously close to cracking the great section. Who would have ever thunk it?

Aquaman 51 (Kelly Sue DeConnick and Robson Rocha)

I enjoyed Aquaman right after the Rebirth. Things got a bit slow right before the 50th issue. I know that comics cares about round numbers and that they usually have a bit of a lull before the big numbers. Still, I would have liked for the consistency to be there. I’m telling you, if this keeps up, Aquaman will be up there soon.

Maybe I will be able to get over myself and move Cats up there, too.

Catwoman 14 (Ram V and Mirka Andolfo)

I got into Catwoman after the big wedding fiasco mainly to show my support for the controversial ending. I fell in love with the book because I liked the way that Joelle Jones handled the character. She did a good job. I’m not as big a fan of Ram V’s version, but it is still okay. this latest issue was very good. If I can ever get over my Joelle bias, perhaps there will be multiple books in the great section.

Are things starting to turn around?

Justice League 29 and 30 (Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, and Bruno Redondo)

I was pretty down on Justice League for a while there. I just couldn’t get into what Snyder was trying to do. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy Snyder as a writer, but I just wasn’t in to the whole source wall story. That might be changing. It appears that there is finally going to be a payoff for all of that with the Justice League/Legion of Doom War.

Another book that suffers from some inconsistency.

Wonder Woman 76 and 77 (G. Willow Wilson and Lee Garbett)

As part of my comics reading, I have been keeping up on the DC Giants that used to have Walmart exclusivity, but no longer do. Speaking of the Giants, I’m going to do a review of the latest issues sometime this week (hopefully Saturday). As far as this book is concerned, it’s been up and down. Right now, it is up. Hopefully they can continue.

The Decent (Honestly, I could do without Action and Detective Comics)

A cornerstone of DC Comics with one of the superstars of writing = meh.

Action Comics 1014 (Brian Michael Bendis and Szymon Kudranski)

I was excited when I heard that Bendis was coming to DC. I was slightly less excited when I learned that he was going to retool Superman. Superman is probably my least favorite superhero. However, I gave it a chance and the initial limited series was good. Some of the follow up was decent, too. Then came Leviathan. I had no use for that story. This one is better than that, but they sold it on the Red Cloud, who is barely even in the book.

Tynion left. Boo.

Detective Comics 1009 and 1010 (Peter J. Tomasi and Christian Duce)

I was upset when Tynion left this title. Still haven’t gotten over it. I just can’t get into what Tomasi is trying to do with this title. Seeing Mr. Freeze on the cover of this one was exciting. However, similar to Action Comics, he’s barely even in the book. Maybe that will change as it seems like they are setting something up. I hope so because this used to be my favorite book.

The Verdict (DC Comics September 2019 is more good than bad)

As I just said in the title, DC Comics September 2019 is more good than bad. Certainly, it is better than some recent months. Batman is great, which could go either way when Tom King departs. Justice League Dark will be good until Tynion eventually leaves like he always does. I would make a missing dad joke here, but I don’t see how they are funny.

The rest of the books ping pong between good and decent from month to month. Aquaman and Catwoman are threatening “great” status. Wonder Woman could get there, too, with a few good months. The real bummer is that their two marquee titles are not very good at all. I haven’t read Marvel yet, so I can’t compare the two companies this article. Look for that in my Marvel review on Friday.

Spawn 299 (Spawn Road to 300)

Introduction

Once upon a time, I had a dream to collect all of the Spawn books up to 300 before 300 released. Given that the release schedule of the book has been spotty recently, that might still happen. Since we are already at Spawn 299, however, things look bleak for my modest attempt to have a full run of Spawn right now.

Nevertheless, I have a clear unbroken streak for the last 20 or 25 books and I am actually pretty close to a full run if I could just bring myself to buy a few books at 20 dollars or more. Alas, I am not prepared to do that. So, once again, it looks bleak for our hero. Join me, then, for my review of Spawn 299.

The Great (Spawn has been around for a long time)

Homage Covers – Remember those books I mentioned earlier for 20 dollars or more? Most of them are the original Homage covers from the mid 200s of the series. I did not collect at that time. Therefore, I missed all of those covers. The prices prevent me from pulling the trigger on those books. This time, I decided not to take the chance. Once I realized that Uncle Todd announced homage covers for these books, I made sure to order them all. In fact, issue 300 got me in a way that few other comics have. I ordered 4 or 5 of the different variant covers. That never happens to me.

I swear! This is the first time!

Getting Close to 300 – I mean, 299 is only one less after all. This book represents my teenage rebellion. It brings me back to a simpler time when I had no worries. Spawn is a part of me. It has been for almost 30 years. I’ve been there since the beginning. Reaching this milestone is an incredible experience as evidenced by my crazy variant purchases on the big 300.

The Good (Spawn 299 takes the book back to its roots)

Heaven/Hell War – This book is about a man. A man who was betrayed in life and then again in afterlife. Surrounding that main narrative is a war between Heaven and Hell. Sometimes, this story gets tiresome. Given the “real world” implications made by recent issues, I will take the Heaven/Hell war.

News Anchors – An Uncle Todd specialty. The names of the news organizations might have changed, but the faces have more or less remained the same. I hardly ever read these panels, but they are comforting in a way that I can’t completely explain.

Except this guy. He’s crazy.

The Decent (The inconsistencies are still there in Spawn 299)

Jason Shawn Alexander’s Art – I’ve said it before. I will say it again. I liked JSA as a change up from the hyper realistic art that we are used to seeing in Spawn. However, as the main art, I’m not a fan.

Melodramatic much? I’m not the same angry 13 year old who fell in love with the ultraviolence of Spawn. I’m now an angry 43 year old man who just can’t take the hormonal mood swings of a perpetually adolescent story line.

The Verdict (Spawn 299 is what you’d expect)

I have no idea what Uncle Todd has planned for Spawn 300. Well, that’s not entirely true. I do know that he has some of the talent that has worked on the book in the past to come back and write/draw for the book. What got me most excited is that Capullo has decided to saddle up for at least one book.

Everything that makes Spawn great is still there. Everything that makes Spawn mediocre is still there. It’s all the same book that it always has been and most likely always will be. I will be sure to be there until the end whenever that happens.

Completely Ignorant NFL 2019 Week 3 Picks

Introduction

Well, I missed all of last week, picks included. I didn’t want to make it 2 in a row, so here are only NFL 2019 Week 3 picks. No pithy comments.

Early Games

Pokes over Fins

Bungs over Bills

Eagles over Lions

Pats roll the Jets

Falcons over Colts

Vikes over Raiders

Chefs beat the Rats

Packers over Broncos

Late Games

Panthers over Cards

Bucs over Gynts

Seahawks over Aints

Texans over Chargers

Steelers beat the 9ers

Sunday Night

Rams roll the Browns

Monday Night

Bears beat the hapless Racists

NFL 2019 Week 3 Wrap Up

Oh, and for the record, I’d have never picked the Jags to beat the Titans this week in the Thursday night debacle. And, I suppose to avoid such a mistake going forward, I’ll just pick the Thursday night game right now. I think the Packers beat the Eagles. All things being even, you should pick the home team.

So, come to think about it, is there really any difference between the Jags and the Titans? Not really, but I have convinced myself that there is. I never, and I mean never, would have picked the Jags in that game. Come back next week for the hopeful return of pithy comments! Until then, enjoy NFL 2019 Week 3 games!

Note: All teams and the single logo used on this web page are the property of the NFL. They are used without consent (written or otherwise), but only in good fun. If you’re feeling litigious, please refrain from throwing your vast legal resources at this small page that caters to my kids, Chris (Hi Chris!) and about 25 Russian bots (Hi Sergei!).

Completely Ignorant 2019 NFL Week 1 Picks

Introduction (Thursday Night Football sucks)

The NFL season already started. But, that won’t stop us from making our 2019 NFL Week 1 picks. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my AFC and NFC preview articles. They won’t necessarily give you any more information, but I think they’re entertaining at least.

If you were around at all last year, you know that Thursday Night Football, even though it happens every week, always took me by surprise. Well, it happened again this week. You may question this, but what I’m about to say has nothing to do with what I just said.

Thursday Night Football sucks. Seriously, who is this game for every week? Gamblers? How degenerate do you have to be that you can’t wait a full week to bet on football? Never mind. Don’t answer that. I still have some faith in humanity.

The games are just awful. We live in the age of Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, and Baker Mayfield, and a 10-3 defensive snoozefest is the best that you can muster for your season opener? God, how is the NFL still so popular? Okay, enough bitterness, on with the 2019 NFL week 1 pick.

Early Games (For the record, I had Green Bay)

LA Rams at Carolina Panthers – The Rams are everyone’s “it” girl this year. I will say that there might be something to the getting close one year and coming back stronger the next. Additionally, I looked up the NFL starting quarterbacks earlier when Chris and I were texting where AB might end up. Cam Newton was not listed for Carolina. Rams roll.

Washington Racists at Philadelphia Eagles – Carson Wentz is back! Or, maybe he just hurt his back and is on IR again. Who can say which will be the headline coming out of Week 1? It doesn’t matter. Philly would beat Washington by 10 points with me at QB.

Buffalo Bills at NY Jets – What the hell is this? Who gives a crap? Maybe if Darnold can pull a Baker/Mahomes and not suck out loud this year, I’ll care. Right now, I’m not picking this game. Life’s too short.

Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings – It was either last year or the year before that Minny had one hell of a defense. I don’t think it is going to matter in this game. I think Matty Ice is going to have a hell of a year this year. Falcons.

Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins – Two things in life are guaranteed. Well, other than death. And Taxes. Two things in NFL life are guaranteed. Well, other than the Patriots (eff the Pats) winning every year and me forgetting that Matthew Stafford exists. Okay, I’m not sure where I was going with this train of thought. I just know the Dolphins are going to suck this year. Rats win.

Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars – I’m pretty sure that I heard that Nick Foles is in Jacksonville now? That might be enough to persuade me that they’ll stay within a TD of KC. I can’t say much about KC’s defense right now, but I’m all in on Mahomes. Dude is a stud. Start the KC/NE AFC Championship hype now.

Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns – Preseason scuttlebutt has me a bit worried that my boy Baker was a fluke last year. I don’t think so, but I am the “completely ignorant” pundit, so there’s that. I’m about 60% positive that they’ll be able to take care of business for their home opener.

Late Games (This is about the time that I might spend another quarter on daily fantasy every week)

Indianapolis Colts at LA Chargers – I typed LA Chargers the first time and only barely had a twinge of the old San Diego Chargers as I did. Old dogs can learn new tricks. Just don’t ask me to name Six Flags as anything but Riverside. Chargers, wherever the hell they play, win.

Cincinnatti Bengals at Seattle Seahawks – The Bengals stink. I mean, the Seahawks might stink, too, for all I know. But, they’re playing at home, which used to be a huge advantage. Plus, I won’t be able to handle the Bengals in first place over my Steelers after they lose to the Pats. No, not even for a week. Go Seahawks.

San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Cleveland has become was Frisco was supposed to be. Exciting team with a young new quarterback to help turn around a moribund franchise. Alas, Jimmy G-sus got hurt and that all evaporated. Maybe the prophecy will still come true. For this game, sure, why not the 49ers.

NY Giants at Dallas Cowboys – The Giants have possibly the most exciting offensive player, not named Patrick Mahomes, in decades and they insist on surrounding him with the corpse of Eli Manning. Oh, they also traded OBJ in the offseason. I mean, the Cowboys have Dak Prescott, but at least they traded for a franchise receiver. Jeeze, this league is depressing sometimes.

Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals – So, uh, what I just said about this league and depression. Even if Murray plays in this game, I don’t think that would be enough to get me interested. Prove me wrong random terrible NFL teams!

Sunday Night Game (Yay to the Steelers season being over after one game)

Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots – The NFL tries hard to make this a rivalry. The teams try hard by talking crap back and forth. The games try hard by being close. Ultimately, it isn’t because the Patriots win every single important game. Oh, and AB is now on the Pats just like I said. If he lasts, this season is over.

Monday Night Football (2 games to start the season! How much do you love football? Meh…)

Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints – This could have been a great game. It might still be. But, with the news that Drew Brees is involved in a charity that believes in “conversion therapy”. Oh man, my newfound enthusiasm for the NFL is waning. Aint’s win.

Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders: Ha. Ha ha. The NFL has a shiny new toy in the Raiders. Except that toy was made in a Chinese sweat shop and just exploded for the third time in a week, maiming their children. Sure, the toy is expensive, but it might be time to return it.

Note: All teams and the single logo used on this web page are the property of the NFL. They are used without consent (written or otherwise), but only in good fun. If you’re feeling litigious, please refrain from throwing your vast legal resources at this small page that caters to my kids, Chris (Hi Chris!) and about 25 Russian bots (Hi Sergei!).