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Ricky Jackson

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Everything posted by Ricky Jackson

  1. Ricky Jackson

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    Thor 154-166 These issues are pretty good, with Kirby developing a more epic style, characterized by multiple full page spreads per issue and more complex costume and tech designs. Issues 154-157 are notable for being the first real Ragnarok storyline (the concept was previously touched upon in the Tales of Asgard backup strip). The menace is Mangog, a being comprised of "billions of billions" of people condemned to imprisonment by Odin at some point in the past and accidentally freed by Ulik of the trolls. Basically, he has infinite strength and all of Asgard must unite to stop him. All except Odin who is conveniently indisposed by the Odin Sleep. Also conveniently, Odin awakes just in time to put an end to Mangog by ending the curse of the billions of billions and setting them free. Reading so many 60s and 70s comics over the last year, the use of deus ex machina resolutions in the final pages of a story is ridiculously high. One drawback of binging old comics is all the cliches and repetition that was easier to take in monthly installments. Next was a two parter that finally explained the whole Don Blake mystery, probably done mostly to shut up the letterhacks who had been complaining that the original premise of Blake as an independent person who existed prior to discovering Mjolnir had been long ignored by Lee and Kirby and no longer made sense. This was followed by a true high point of the run, a three part story featuring Galactus vs Ego the Living Planet, with Thor and the Recorder (observation: one of my favorite obscure Marvel characters) only able to witness this epic cosmic struggle from the sidelines. Until the next deus ex machina climax that is, which leaves the conflict between Galactus and Ego unresolved, basically the comic book equivalent of a 60 minute Broadway between the NWA champ and a top challenger you didn't want to beat. However, an interesting development of this story is Odin's discovery of a being such as Galactus and a growing obsession with finding out how to destroy him before he decides to consume Asgard. 162 features the first telling of Galactus' origin, brought on by Odin's request, in order for him to understand this grave threat better. Next is a two-parter featuring the return of Olympian villain Pluto, last seen in the Hercules issues in the 120s, and his overly complicated revenge plan on Thor that requires going to earth's atomic ravaged future and bringing back "mutates" as his minions. Not a high point of the run. A subplot from this two-parter leads to another two-parter, this one featuring the return of Him, the future Adam Warlock, from the FF. It's interesting to see, beginning with issue 160, the book basically turn into a vehicle for fleshing out Kirby concepts created for FF, first Galactus and then Him, and as I pause, the ongoing Galactus storyline is about to reach a climax. Kirby clearly wanted to develop these characters, and they do fit in the Thor world, especially such a grand cosmic being like Galactus. Very interested how it all plays out
  2. Ricky Jackson

    2026 Nomination Thread

    The best Pedro matches I've seen from his later period are two from Boston Garden vs Bob Orton, 11/9 and 12/7 1985. One of them, I think 11/9, is legit great imo. Early 80s Pedro has good stuff from MSG against Patera (10/20/80), Slaughter (6/8/81), and Muraco (11/23/81), but also a lot of boring stuff with long ass front facelock spots (make sure you get the Muraco date right, because they have multiple stinkers vs each other from the same time period)
  3. Ricky Jackson

    AEW Dynamite - June 4, 2021 - Friday Night Edition v.2

    Yeah, I just follow AEW through the threads here, but last night there were tumbleweeds blowing through here when funkdoc posted about Andrade's debut. My first thought was "really, tonight?". A lot of the usual viewers weren't even watching. Christ, even MoS wasn't watching. Seems like this was a debut that should've been given top priority rather than just tossed out with little fanfare on a night Dynamite was bumped because of the NBA
  4. Ricky Jackson

    Comments that don't warrant a thread - Part 4

    Hey, it's Johnny Sorrow's birthday and a few of us are getting together for a Mystery Titans Theatre watch tonight. If anyone here has the time, drop by the Twitch stream, watch along and wish the old man a happy birthday in the chat https://www.twitch.tv/jarviswashingmachine?sr=a Tonight we will be viewing a show from Johnny's old stomping grounds, the Philly Spectrum, specifically July 7, 1984, featuring Piper vs Snuka, Hogan vs Orndorff, the great Murdoch and Adonis team, plus cult favorites, wacky ref bumps, and several once great wrestlers far past their prime!
  5. I don't watch, but I see a lot of people posting in the old TNA thread do and seem quite into it. So maybe it's at last time for a new thread? I'll change the title (we can do that now right?) as the quality warrants
  6. Ricky Jackson

    Comments that don't warrant a thread - Part 4

    It's been told that way by certain folks in the past, but I think the plan was for Warrior to hold the belt and work the houses while Hogan filmed Suburban Commando and/or took time off when Nick was born, similar to Savage in 88. Hogan even got the major 1990 main event program with Earthquake, while Warrior was put in a repeat feud with Rude. It's often been reported that Warrior tanking on top led to Hogan being given the belt again, but I dont buy that. Hogan was Vince's guy, only the steroid scandal ended it all, and even then, he put the belt back on him as soon as he could at 9. I'm not sure exactly what happened post-9, but i dont think houses with Hogan on top did very well, plus Hulk was angling to get out of wrestling and trying to make a go as a movie star full time, so motivation to keep him in WWF from both sides wasn't strong
  7. Ricky Jackson

    Comments that don't warrant a thread - Part 4

    1993-1996 Hogan is the worst main event babyface of all time. What a strange time looking back. Coupled with WWF being pretty lame, I thought wrestling was near death around the summer of 95 and had pretty much stopped watching. A turnaround seemed impossible to me. Yet, by the fall things were slowly getting better and I was hooked again (WWF), although didnt get fully back in until the rise of NWO and Austin
  8. Ricky Jackson

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    Thor, 140-153 After expanding the scope of the book and hitting major epic heights in the 130s, it was necessary to scale things back a bit. After all, if everything is epic, then nothing is epic. So issues 140-142 are a return to New York and one and done stories. You get the Growing Man and Kang, Replicus (in a very typical Kirby criminal redemption story) and the Super Skrull from FF, and it's fine. The next multi-part story, featuring Asgardian villains the Enchanters, starts with 143. This story didnt really hook me and the resolution in 145 is a low point in the run so far imo. Basically, Odin defeats the last Enchanter (weirdly off panel) and returns after battle to throw a major, and pretty random, temper tantrum that sees him strip Thor of his godhood, although he remains super powerful, so it's not really as significant a development as is portrayed. Anyway, now trapped on earth, Thor literally joins the Circus (of Crime) in a nonsensical development. I mean, I love me some Circus O' Crime, but this was pretty goofy, as Thor is portrayed as being completely unaware that this is a supervillian group and not a legitimate circus. The less said about issues 145-147 the better. Next, Loki finally returns, and is also stripped of godhood by Odin, or something. This is the beginning of a long storyline that sees the debut of another fave, the Wrecker (mistakenly given godlike powers intended for Loki in an unintentionally comical turn of events), Thor having a near death experience, the Destroyer and Ulik returning, and a ridiculously high number of Manhattan buildings reduced to rubble as collateral damage. A cease fire with Loki comes at the end of 153, and Thor is finally back to his full power as things pivot towards the first major Ragnarok storyline. These issues were definitely a mixed bag. Most were good, and the art is top notch as always, but the 143-147 Enchanters/Thor banished to Earth/dumb Thor joins the circus story was the very definition of lackluster, with Odin's behavior in particular being illogical, even for a character established as being prone to unpredictable mood swings. Thankfully, the Ragnarok story starting in 154 is a return to form
  9. Ricky Jackson

    Comments that don't warrant a thread - Part 4

    Cool find and super interesting info!
  10. Ricky Jackson

    Pet Peeves in Wrestling

    Yeah, I've always hated the one-fall triple threat/multiple man matches. The first triple threat I ever saw, a match in Stampede in 1987 called a "Bermuda Triangle" match, had elimination rules, as God intended. It was years before WWF/WWE used the gimmick and of course they had to fix what wasn't broken (can't remember if the original ones were one-fall or not)
  11. Ricky Jackson

    Comments that don't warrant a thread - Part 4

    Absolutely. Especially for a weekly show. And 5 or so big shows a year, with a smattering of Clash/SNME style medium sized shows. Basically the ideal wrestling TV formula peaked in the early 90s. One reason I loved NXT from 2015 to 2019 (but really the high water mark was the Philly Takeover) was because they followed that blueprint
  12. Ricky Jackson

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    As a kid I haphazardly collected Batman when Colon was the artist. Of course I had no idea who he was, I just liked Batman. I've been curious how those hold up, since I eventually became a big Colon fan. His work on Tomb is great, and I'm just about to start his Daredevil run with #20. When I was young I could be put off with his idiosyncratic style since it didn't look like what I thought a superhero comic was "supposed" to look like, but going through it now I love all the unusual angles, moody atmosphere, and feeling of constant motion in his art
  13. Ricky Jackson

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    I read a lot of Colon's run on Batman when I was a kid. Of course I had no idea who he was then and I was just collecting them because I liked Batman. I've been curious how they hold up, since I've become a pretty big fan of Colon's over the years. He's great on Tomb and I'm just about to start his Daredevil run with #20
  14. Ricky Jackson

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    Hulk, 1971-72 Just a few thoughts on issues 148-158 to put a bow on Ol' Greenskin for now... Archie Goodwin is the writer for most of these issues and he does a good job. Some of my favorite stories of the 102-158 run come here. 149 is maybe the best of the alien foes issues, with some fun use of Marvel continuity and a neat little twist ending straight out of an EC science fiction mag. 151 is also strong, with the story of a man with cancer being given gamma radiation and the horrific consequences that come from it. 152-53, written by Gary Friedrich, feature the Hulk on trial, with every Marvel superhero involved, in a story that stretches suspension of disbelief to its limits. Goodwin returns to continue the ongoing storyline of the Hulk/Banner attempting to reunite with Jarella in the microverse. I like this romantic development, and 156, taking place in Jarella's world, is also a highlight. Goodwin's run comes to a strange end, with the Leader and the Rhino returning in 157 for his last issue, and then Steve Gerber does a fill-in for the second part in 158, with the questionable decision to shoehorn in Counter Earth and the New Men from the then ongoing Warlock comic. Oh well. Next up is Steve Englehart's run, which seems to be more fondly remembered, but I'll take a bit of a break from Jade Jaws before getting to that. All in all, this nostalgic trip was mostly fun. Definitely not prime Marvel from the era, although there were a fair amount of highlights during the Thomas/Goodwin issues (121-158). Check them out if you have an affinity for the character
  15. Ricky Jackson

    Comments that don't warrant a thread - Part 4

    I couldn't imagine being live for a 7 hour Mania. And then having to deal with transit issues or traffic after
  16. Ricky Jackson

    Comments that don't warrant a thread - Part 4

    Mania's 2016-2019 sapped my very will to live, but I dont know if boring is the right word
  17. Ricky Jackson

    Comments that don't warrant a thread - Part 4

    At some point in the early 80s, Boesch went with Watts for talent. Prior to that I believe he was with Joe Blanchard from San Antonio, and Fritz Von Erich in the 70s. But with Watts, Houston basically became part of Mid South/UWF, whereas with the previous arrangements, it was independent and ran its own programs and main events
  18. Ricky Jackson

    Comments that don't warrant a thread - Part 4

    Wow, that is an amazing channel!
  19. Ricky Jackson

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    Lee-Kirby Thor, up to #140 Having slogged through Journey Into Mystery 83-100 and mostly enjoyed 101-110 many years ago, I picked up Thor with JiM111, the second half of a two-parter featuring a guilty pleasure of mine, the pro wrestling-like supervillain tag team of the Cobra and Mister Hyde. This is the cusp of the book really taking off and breaking the shackles of repeat villains (Loki of course, but also, as much as I love them, Cobra and Hyde had 7 total appearances between 98-111, including 2 two-parters in less than a year) and New York-bound stories. Beginning with 114, the stories are mostly continued from issue to issue, with seeds continuously being planted that dont pay off until much later. Asgard begins to be featured more and more heavily in the main story, to go along with the Tales of Asgard backup. Another (major) positive development is the almost complete abandonment of the Don Blake alter ego and, with 136, the writing out of the book of the uninteresting Jane Foster character. She is replaced as Thor's love interest by the amazing Sif. Sif is awesome, basically Marvel's Wonder Woman, and years before Wonder Woman became a major ass kicker in her own comic. All of this is because Kirby is now unleashed, partially due to Lee increasingly stepping back from being in the weeds, just as was happening on FF at the same time. One of Lee's major faults was his insistence on his heroes being tied to one dimensional, helpless females (Foster), while Kirby had no problems creating strong female characters (Sif, later Big Barda at DC). Highlights include the Trial of the Gods (116), Loki and his flunky the Absorbing Man attempting to overthrow Asgard (122-23), and the coming of Hercules in the mid-late 120s. Then as soon as you hit the 130s the book shifts into another, more awesome, gear. You get Ego the Living Planet (what a reveal!) and the High Evolutionary back to back (131-35), then the crazy Foster swan song issue where she is given the powers of a goddess but cant handle it, AND THEN, what I just finished reading, the peak-Kirby "Asgard-Trolls War" storyline (137-39). The book is really cooking right now, arguably as good as peak Lee-Kirby FF. So yeah, I love this book. Thor kicking ass and boasting about it is awesome. Odin boasting and sometimes kicking ass is awesome. As already stated, Sif is freaking awesome. Kirby is of course awesome, and Stan's dialogue is mostly, well awesome is too strong a word, definitely really, really fun to read. Like with the other Marvel books in the 60s, Lee gives the characters a soul that makes them loveable. Well, except for Foster, but she's gone now
  20. Ricky Jackson

    Comments that don't warrant a thread - Part 4

    Hell, I want to read it. Start it. I dont think it would break any pro wrestling only rules
  21. Ricky Jackson

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    Update: Hulk, 1970-71 Since my last post I've read/skimmed issues 132-147, basically the second half of Thomas' run. It was a mixed bag. The main negative is the repetitiveness of certain tropes and conventions continued from the Lee issues. Multiple alien/space stories. Multiple stories set in Europe. Multiple stories featuring the Leader. Multiple far out, hip references scattered throughout, with Marvel late-60s cool peaking with a story by Harlen Ellison (introducing the Hulk's doomed lover, Jarella in 140) and one inspired by Tom Wolfe (142). And of course, tons more Thunderbolt Ross + Major Talbot + Betty Ross cut and paste Hulk/Banner obsessed melodrama. Highlights include a cool story featuring Kang and the WW I character the Phantom Eagle (135), the Moby Dick inspired two-parter in 136-37, the introduction of Doc Samson in 141, and the Dr. Doom two-parter in 143-44. Thomas arguably saves his best for last with the touching "Heaven is a Very Small Place" back-up story in 147, giving the tortured Hulk one of his most emotionally impactful moments. Like I wrote before, this is not all-time great stuff, but as always the art is strong (John Severin does a lot of the inking here, and that's very welcome since I'm a big fan of his work) and there is enough charm and fun characters/stories to make it an easy read. Archie Goodwin takes over as writer with 148 and then Englehart with 159, which is considered by some to be the start of the Hulk's 70s peak
  22. Ricky Jackson

    Comments that don't warrant a thread - Part 4

    Why Does Ric Flair Capitalize Every Single Goddamned Word In His Tweets? It Drives Me Crazy
  23. Ricky Jackson

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    I'm doing Lee-Kirby Thor as well and I'm mostly enjoying it. Yeah, the Jane Foster "romance" is the pits, but Thor kicking ass and all the Asgardian stuff is a blast. Loving the whole Black Galaxy storyline and the crazy Ego reveal. AFIK it only gets better, at least until Kirby decides to stop providing new characters and concepts. Not sure exactly when that happens, but maybe it's not as stark a drop off as his FF run
  24. Ricky Jackson

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    Thoughts on the Hulk, 1960s/70s... Next to Spider Man, the Hulk was most responsible for me getting into comics as a kid. I'm not sure which exactly came first, my dad bringing home comics after work or me discovering superheroes through TV, but watching reruns of the 60s Spidey cartoon and new broadcasts of the late 70s/early 80s Hulk TV show definitely helped make me a huge fan of comics and those characters specifically. As a 3-4 year old I had t-shirts, pajamas, stuffed dolls, and action figures of both characters, in addition to the monthly comics. The classic "dumb" Hulk in tattered purple pants was very appealing to me as a child. As I got older I started to get into the history of the character, first through Marvel Saga (huge influence on my lifelong love of Silver Age Marvel) and then buying cheap reprints of the late 60s/early 70s Hulk ("Marvel Super Heroes"). I was into the Peter David version of the Hulk until the beginning of the Pantheon era and then I checked out, to only briefly dabble with the character since. (looking forward to eventually getting to Immortal Hulk!) Anyway, with MU I've recently gone back to the late 60s/early 70s era. Combined with reading the original stories years ago, here are some random thoughts on the early years of Hulk comics. --Marvel Saga was my intro to the original 6 issue Lee-Kirby Hulk in the mid 80s. A few years later I got the first volume of the Hulk Marvel Masterworks as a gift, which reprinted the original 6 issues. Not much to say about these issues other than it's not surprising the book was axed after issue 6. The idea for the character is fascinating, but the execution was weak. Feels very much like the early Thor issues in Journey Into Mystery that were very uninspired. Kirby definitely wasn't super into the character like he was with others, which usually meant one was in for a dull read. The best issue of the bunch is actually the final one done by Ditko --Despite the lackluster original run, the character proved popular with enough letterhacks to be revived as a guest star time and again. He was of course a founding member of the Avengers, which led eventually to a great two part story in FF (#s 25-26) which featured the first real Hulk vs Thing battle (brief confrontation in FF #12) and a team up with the Fantastic Four and the Avengers (with a freshly thawed Captain America) in a desperate attempt to contain the rampaging brute --Eventually Ol' Greenskin joins Tales to Astonish, split at first with Giant Man, then Sub Mariner. The early issues are by Lee-Ditko and they are a ton of fun. Eventually Kirby comes back, but not for long, and things slowly become extremely formulaic after he leaves, despite good art from Bill Everett (although far from his best due to major issues with alcoholism) and Gil Kane. The great, and hugely underrated, Marie Severin takes over, but the stories are mostly one dimensional. Granted I've never read the entire Tales to Astonish run. I own the first Essential volume, which ends with #81. I've read a few random issues between 82-101, and it's a lot of Thunderbolt Ross' neverending obsession with the Hulk type stuff, which dominated the book for the worse for years. With issue 102 the book becomes the Incredible Hulk --My current Hulk-read started with #102. The next 20 issues feature great art from Severin and Herb Trimpe (plus occasional inking from Marie's equally talented brother John) coupled with some of the most formulaic and uninspired writing Stan Lee ever affixed his name to. Gary Friedrich wrote the early stories, though, and they aren't bad. When Stan takes over, yikes. But the art is great --Fortunately Roy Thomas takes over with #121 and, while not setting the world on fire, he turns the book around to the point where it becomes a very solid and fun superhero title. Trimpe really gets into a groove as one of the world's greatest Kirby imitators, the villains are a blast (including my fave, the Rhino), and with the introduction of young Jim Wilson, we are firmly into the 70s and the dawn of a new era for the character This is where I am right now (#132) and I'm relived. With the Lee written issues I was beginning to think I should've left the childhood memories alone, but Thomas saved the book and now I'm actually looking forward to reading the issues instead of just skimming them. Long live Jade Jaws!
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