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A New Hope vs the Man of Steel

It’s time to geek out for a second, but to do so for a very good reason. 

Typical geeking out generally involves debating the finer points of Star Trek or time travel at a bar somewhere in the neighborhood of 2AM when I’d been drinking since it was light out.  Depending on the season, ‘drinking since it was light out’ could mean five o’clock or this could mean eight, but it will generally always involve the Elmwood Lounge.

Back to the point: geeking out—

Who do you think would win in a fight, Luke Skywalker or Superman?

I ask this because today is their birthday—I’m talking about Mark Hamil and Christopher Reeve—although I imagine one will be enjoying it a bit more than the other.

Too soon?

Is it fair to look at Hamil and Reeve and, rather than see the men and their accomplishments and body of work, wonder which one of them would win in a little Rocky V style streetfight?

And don’t start playing that game with me, you know damn well what happened in Rocky V—do not pretend that movie doesn’t exist.  I saw it, you saw it, and sticking your fingers in your ears yelling, “lalalalalalalala” isn’t going to change it. 

It doesn’t go from Rocky IV: The Rise of Drago to Rocky Balboa, you know it doesn’t.  I don’t like it anymore than you do, but burying your head in the sand isn’t going to make it go away.

Moving on:

Superman vs Luke Skywalker

This match up actually makes perfect sense and none at all. 

I could argue that in the Star Wars universe within the plethora of alien races bouncing around Kryptonians aren’t that out of place.  Superman can—apparently—breathe space, or not need to breathe at all, however you want to say it.  He’s gone to different worlds right, different galaxies?  He could totally make it to a galaxy far, far away. 

Countering that is some fanboy who, after correcting my pronunciation of manga, will remind me that despite the spaceships and flying cars, the cloud cities and laser guns—in short, the highly sophisticated whats-its, gadgets, gizmos and whatchajigits—all that space opera nonsense took place a long time ago.

So while Kryptonians may theoretically cross paths with races or whose-its from the Star Wars universe, Superman himself is unlikely to do so. 

Unless he travels back in time.

OK, so let’s just forget about ‘long time ago’ nonsense.  I never cared for that.  Yeah, it sounds cool in that grand epic way, but it’s stupid.  It is.

Superman vs Luke Skywalker.

Let’s go with the understanding of the Force that we all took away from the original trilogy: the Force is essentially magic.  Jedis are more or less super-hippies but their glow sticks can cut you in half. 

Being a Jedi is all about getting in touch with the energy that flows through all things, and through meditation and mental training and all that, controlling that power and using it only for, you know, good stuff. 

Like recycling. (we ran out of High Life cans—his right leg is made from Steel Reserve tall boys)

Somehow believe in magic is preferable to the “explanation” from Phantom Menace.  What the shit was that?  Midi-chlorians?  Little Force grabbing things living inside your cells?  What? 

Did we really need Qui Gon to wip out Wilford Brimley’s dia-bee-tus tester to find out little the little kid from the Pretender flashbacks was wicked Forced?  Can’t you just sense that shit—you know, with the Force?

Whatever, so the Force is magic.  Superman doesn’t do well with magic.  Kryptonite and magic, those are his weaknesses.  And shellfish. 

So if the Force is magic Luke should have a chance here.  He could use it to “see” Superman coming, even with superspeed, anticipate his attacks and react to some degree.  His mastery of the Force could give him a fighting chance, possibly a shot at grabbing or at least deflecting an attack from Superman.

Superman has his heat vision, but that shit should be deflected by Luke’s lightsaber as easily as a blaster.. blast.  Superbreath might be a little trickier since not only is it cold but if Superman took Lois out for a nice Italian dinner prior to the match, that could garlic laced superbreath.  Its well known that in addition to dirty thoughts and getting super angry, nothing weakens a Jedi like garlic breath.

OK, so lightsabers.  I’ve read a few things about maybe a lightsaber can mess up Superman, maybe it can’t.  Lightsabers are pretty badass, I’m not sure I should have to point that out, and they can cut through just about anything, so that might give Luke an advantage over the Man of Steel.  If he can get close enough to him to use it.  And score any hits what with Superman superspeed dodging him.

Now some thoughts are that a lightsaber, despite it awesomeness and incredible power, would be completely ineffective against Superman.  He’s resistant to.. you know, everything; plasma, extremely high temperatures, nuclear explosions and, according to Wikipedia, “extreme force.”

Perhaps… extreme Force?

Think about it.

So if none of those things can harm him—I did mention nuclear fucking explosions—can a lightsaber even put a scratch on him?

It might, but only if the crystal used to harness said awesomeness and incredible power was kryptonite.  Whether that’s possible is also up for debate.  Maybe it isn’t, or maybe it just needs some Sith tweaking to make it so.

According to the Wookiepedia, Luke does briefly go the Dark Side.  It’s some nonsense about Palpatine coming back—he has clones or something.  I don’t know, but if that’s the case he should be all set.

So the Sith will tweak their lightsabers.  They don’t exactly play fair, in case you haven’t noticed, and if Darth Maul or Count Dooku are any indication, the Sith got some skills when it comes to pimpin lightsabers.  If there’s any advantage to be had from friggin with the general mechanics, Luke needs to exploit them.

Of course, going back to the Superman turning back time thing, all he really has to do—if you want to believe Luke make it five minutes of jacked up Force fighting and pimped out kryptonite lightsabering—is fly in circles until he goes back far enough to find baby Luke and “pound him into goo.”

Might seem unfair, but Superman isn’t going to let some womp rat shooting cry baby take him out.  Superman is pretty much the supreme being on the planet, he’s held off Darkseid, he’s come back from the dead to kick Doomsday’s ass, he’s indestructible.  And he knows it.  The ego is a powerful thing, and like the vision and the breath, I’d imagine that’s a super- too.  So if things start going in Luke’s favor, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Doesn’t necessarily sound like the boyscout Superman has come to be depicted as does it?  No, but much like Luke, in order to make things interesting in this throwdown, we’re going to need some dark Superman—that’s right, I’m talking about Superman III!

We need junkyard Superman, with the  darker blue and the five o’clock shadow—the one that starts shattering liquor bottles by flicking peanuts at them after a solid round of day drinking. 

This Superman would pound a baby into goo.  This Superman would also not let that shit get that far.  He would take Luke out long before it got to the baby-goo-turning back time point.  Otherwise, it gets in the way of his drinking.

Superman would have the upper-hand here without a doubt because he’d be drunk and therefore supercoordinated.  Plus, the only time I ever saw Luke in a bar, he almost got disemboweled.  Maybe he was underage, maybe he shouldn’t have been in the Cantina in the first place, maybe those were just a pair of interstellar truckers looking to explore his Death Star.  I don’t know.  I don’t want to know.

What I do know is that if it wasn’t for the geriatric Brawlin’ Ben Kenobi that kid would have been toast.  And he wouldn’t have shit right for a week.

But now you can argue that if we have a Dark Side Luke and a Junkyard Superman, it isn’t the true characters anymore so the the point is moot.  Maybe, but that’d be a hell of a fight.

Deep down, even though I’d love to see an epic battle here, I think a Superman/Skywalker throwdown would look a lot like that Lonestar/Dark Helmet fight from Space Balls.  Superman is just going to reach out and hold back Luke’s head while he goes on swinging and swinging and finally gets all tuckered out. 

Then Superman throws him into the sun because that’s what Superman does with everything he doesn’t like.

Sucks to Your Creatures Born of Ass-mar Fridges II: Revenge of the Tauntaun Afterbirth

I thought it was over.  With the defeat of Captain Ron, the evil multi-tentacled beast of the rice bowl, I thought I was safe. 

I had breathed an exhausted yet satisfied breath that my days of fighting unspeakable creatures born of the very bowels of hell, and not just the bowels but really the large intestines and rectum portion with a bout of proctitis-bowels of hell—or my broken fridge—were over.

I was quite looking forward to retirement.  Quite.

I thought we were safe.

I don’t mean me and you, I’m speaking of myself and my trusty blade, The Quiet Storm, the pizza cutter I bought on sale with which I slew Captain Ron!

But no… my ordeal was far from over.

Well not far, really, this is one of those sequels that picks up literally seconds after the first installment ends.

So there I was, in my kitchen, hands gripping the cheap yellow drawstrings of the garbage bag, the humiliated Captain Ron breathing his last in his Gladbag grave, when behind me the fridge shuddered violently.

I froze, eyes darting to the counter where I’d laid down The Quiet Storm.  I must move slowly, I must not panic.  Whatever may still lie in that fridge may react to sudden movements.  I couldn’t recall if I’d closed the fridge or not.  When I was backed up against the wall I think it was closed, but everything was happening so fast.  It could have been open.  It could have opened while I dispatched Captain Ron.  I couldn’t be sure.  Reaching too quickly for my blade may have been the last thing I did.

Slowly I let the drawstrings flutter from my hands, and even more painfully slow I began to turn, my hand reaching toward The Quiet Storm as I moved to face the fridge.

Nope, still closed.

That’s convenient.

Oh shit, it shuddered again!

That damn fridge rocked with such force it shook my fragile home.  Goddamnit, this place is a hundred years old, it’s all duct tape and safety pins holding it together,  probably some gum in a few places, and I’m pretty sure my Bigfoot Powerwheel is holding up a corner of the foundation.  It can’t handle that kind of stress against its delicate infrastructure! 

I could see the door shift as the fridge rocked.  The seal never was very good on that door.  Well, it was, but then I switched which way the door opened, and it was such a pain in the ass—that’s never as easy as it should be, so I ended up just kind of half-assing it.  It doesn’t sit closed right, whatever, I never had a problem with it.  Not until evil mutant shit started gestating in there anyway. 

I didn’t have much time.  Another few rocks like that and the door would be open, and whatever lie within would unleash itself on my world.

Unless I unleashed myself first.

I feared this foe could be even more deadly than the diabolically deadly now dead Captain Ron, and so I took the last moments I had before the door literally fell off, and grabbed my trusty drinking helmet.  Granted, my former roommates had hit me in the head repeatedly when I wore this helmet, and it still really hurt, but I felt safer wearing it even if it provided little to no actual protection.  Plus, I have a cool Superman sticker on the front of it, so it looks pretty badass.

I rounded the counter and stood face to face with my new fridge-born foe.

Who was still in the fridge, actually.  Yeah, door was still on.  Closed up pretty tight.

Oh shit, its shaking again.

I reached out and hooked The Quiet Storm on the door handle.  I didn’t want to do this, but I knew I must.  With each rocking of the fridge that beast in there grew stronger.  I had to strike first before it consumed us all.

And by us, again, I mean myself and The Quiet Storm.

As the fridge shuddered again I pulled open the door, unhooking The Quiet Storm from the handle as it swung open against the wall.

All was quiet inside, which was a little weird.  I expected mutant bats born of a bowl of soup with little glowing chicken chunk eyes to come flying out at me, or some left over sautéed green beans my mom gave me to have merged together in the congealed butter to form some kind of green bean centipede that would crawl all over my walls and then eat my fingernails one by one.

But the fridge looked empty.

And then I saw it.

The crisper drawer.

Damnit, I should have known!

And you should have too if you’d been paying attention at all, I totally set this up in Sucks to Your Creatures Born of Ass-mar Fridges I.

The crisper drawer!

The drawer started convulsing, shaking, rattling against its track.  Whatever was inside was fighting to open it, and if you’ve ever been stuck in a drawer you’ll know just how difficult it is to open one from the inside.  You have to start from the back and run forward, throw yourself against the front, hopefully with enough force to push it out a bit, and after a few hours of this maybe have enough room to climb out, but the backs of crisper drawers always slant up so you can’t get back far enough to really get some good momentum going.  The inside of  a drawer is not someplace I’d like to be trapped again, I’ll tell you that much.

It certainly wasn’t anyplace this creature wanted to be trapped either.

The drawer started shaking more violently, trying to tear itself free.  And then it stopped.  And it waited.  I crouched, The Quiet Storm ready.

Then the fucking thing exploded.

I was thrown back against the counter, dazed but ready for what might spill forth.

Looked like it was just a bag, just a produce bag.  It kind of sat there.  The front of the drawer was gone, well I guess the drawer was hanging there, still partially attached to the track.  But the bag wasn’t moving.  Inside it looked greenish.  A dark green sludge, I’d have to say.

As I watched, it pushed itself forward, the sludge rolled itself inside the bag.  It crept closer to the edge and then dropped out of the drawer, hitting the ground with a splat.

I’d gotten back to my feet and crouched again.  Crouching is good when you don’t know what’s coming, gives you option, a range of movements.  You can spring, you can dodge.  My favorite is to curl up in a ball and cry, but the important thing is you have options.

We stared each other down for a moment.  I stared at least.  I think it stared, but for a sack of sludge I wasn’t sure where the eyes were, if it had eyes.  It might work off sonar or be telepathic.  I really didn’t know.  But we stared.  Somehow.

Then it kind of splooged forward. 

And then I smelled it.

What if one had taken afterbirth, let it sit out in the sun then stuffed it inside a dead womp rat, made a tauntaun eat that, killed the tauntaun, left that out in the sun, put it in a blender, used it to fill up a water balloon, then thrown it at a bum who’d been on the street wearing the same clothes since the Carter administration.  Then you gave him twenty dollars for his coat.  That coat.  It smelled something like that.

Oh sweet baby Jesus, it took every ounce of whiskey in me not to pass out at the stench of that fucking thing.  Every splooge-step forward that thing took was like a little tweeter fart packing more stink than a drunken grandfather after Thanksgiving dinner.  It was like getting slapped in the face with a sweaty FUPA.

I hit my knees as the world around me began to spin.  My vision narrowed, my ears bled, I think one of my balls shriveled up and died on the spot.

The Quiet Storm was no match for this beast, he would only rip open the bag and unleash the full stench potential of this planet killer splooge.  He  quietly apologized, and I thanked him for his faithful service.  Then I threw him in the living room because he was fucking useless to me.

The afterbirth advanced on me, one splooge step at a time.  My vision failing I hit the cold linoleum with the thought that I would die on this filthy kitchen floor echoing in my tiny little brain.  As I shook my head in a futile insistence on consciousness, from the corner of my eye I spied the shattered cabinet door from my previous epic battle with Captain Ron and the Johnny Lawrence tentacle.  It was a glimpse, however, of what lie behind this shattered particle board that me a last burst of coherent thought.

Scrubby Bubbles.

I threw myself forward with the last decigram of strength within me and my hand wrapped around the aerosol can of universally awesome and versatile surface cleaner.

The afterbirth was almost on me.  It splooged forward again, one more splooge and it would have me.  I could have just moved my foot, but its more suspenseful this way.

No!  What if the Scrubby Bubbles couldn’t make it through the bag?  My failing eyes darted to the living room.  The Quiet Storm was watching Code Monkeys with my Netflix machine.  I tried to call out for it but it was too engrossed in Dave microwaving his poo again to hear.  Plus, it was a pizza slicer, so I doubt it could have made it out to the kitchen on its own to help.  Or hear me.  There’s that too.

I had to take a chance.  I didn’t have much time, and nothing to lose.  The afterbirth would get me either way.

It splooged forward, now only an inch from my delicate naked foot.

I held the can of Scrubby Bubbles out, and took aim, closing one eye and staring down that little green spray nozzle that I couldn’t actually have seen since my finger was covering it, and in the second before I fired I saw the produce tag on the bag.

Romaine Lettuce, it read.

Büsseldorf!  That bastard!  He was the only one who would buy Romaine.  He moved out a year and half ago!

That filthy, unholy afterbirth was almost on me—the stench was unbearable!

But I had the solution.

Zeh final solution.

I fired.

This son of a bitch didn’t shriek, not like that pussy Captain Ron.  No, after twenty minutes of constant spraying, when the can finally ran dry, that afterbirth died like a man.  It shuddered, and it splooged no more.

I also managed to burn a hole in my floor. 

Gonna have to find some newspaper to cover that up.  Oh—got it, traffic cone—stole a shit ton of those over the years, I can totally cover that hole up.

What was left of the beast I scraped up with a dust pan I probably stole from my parents and added it to the bag with Captain Ron’s remains.

I thanked the Flying Spaghetti Monster that day that I’d not gotten mad but got Glad, I can tell you that, with two beasts contained in one simple, yet flexible and remarkably strong bag.

But this tale is not over!

Still shaken from the ordeal, as I was racing down the stairs with the bag of fridge-born death remnants, I lost my footing.  Ass over teacups was how that went, with the bag flying somewhere.  I was too busy rolling down the stairs in a very painful fashion to notice what exactly the bag was doing, but I will say I was quite impressed when I regained consciousness with the strength of those flex-fit bags. 

Worth their weight in gold they are.  Which isn’t that much really, I mean, how much does a garbage bag really weigh?  Still, I’d pay for that in gold.

Captain Planet, he’s our hero, gonna take shitty reboots down to zero!

The things I would do to Linka…

We all knew this was going to happen.

In an age where everyone is obsessed with being green and pretending to give a shit about recycling and saving the environment, a Captain Planet movie was inevitable.

This day was coming and yet, on some level deep down where I wasn’t drunk, I was still shocked.

So on one hand you have a superhero that materializes when five friends join powers to fight pollution and junk.  There’s environmentalism and teamwork, look at that.  That’s a great concept.

deviant behavior?

or environmental crusader?

On the other hand you have a guy in knee high boots and what is essentially a bikini, with a green mullet.

Is this movie really necessary?  We already have An Inconvenient Truth, it won a couple Oscars so obviously some people watched it. 

I think we got the message—we need to save the environment.  There are at least four electric cars out now, clearly we learned our lesson about the whole saving MotherEarth thing. 

Do we need another movie kicking it down our throats?

It’s tough taking a TV show and turning it into a theatrical film.  For one, most animated shows from the eighties and nineties that film producers are mining like they’re at freakin Sutter’s Mill don’t always translate so well.  You’re taking dozens of episodes and condensing it down to two hours of coherent thought, something most cartoons are entirely incapable of.

Making a Batman movie at least has the advantage that he has his core villains, the real heavy hitters; Joker, Penguin, Two-Face, maybe the Riddler.  He had decades of comic book material to work off of before an animated show popped up.  When it comes to your average cartoon series, you don’t have that to fall back on.  You just have balls-ass-crazy plots and villains that have been slapped together using a Mad-Libs formula and a six-foot bong.

Where are the big-screen adaptations of Jin Jin and the Panda PatrolDog City?  That’s one I want to see, but with that dark, gritty Batman Begins kind of feel.  How about Double Dragon?  That game was awesome they could totally make a badass movie out of—oh… right, never mind that one.

Who remembers Denver the Last Dinosaur?  Where’s the billion dollar theatrical reboot of that one?  Kids love dinosaurs! 

Listen to this, he “was released from his egg by a group of interracial California teens… The kids taught Denver the finer points of skateboarding and other pastimes while protecting him from concert promoter Morton Fizzback who wanted to use the dinosaur to make money.”

What is not to love about that?  That description has everything; skateboarding, dinosaurs, evil concert promoters!  And in the sequel, Denver can fight Godzilla!  Boom!  Franchise crossover!  This shit practically writes itself.

I guess when you consider how much absolute crap was kicking around in the form of animated kids’ shows twenty years ago, there could be worse things to pick than Captain Planet.  The powers-that-be for this film have already said they’re very excited and “expect to make a spectacular series of films.”

This is both terrifying and a relief.  Terrifying for the obvious reason that series implies we’re going to have hippies in man-kinis flying around telling me what an asshole I am for not composting that orange peel for a handful of films.  And it’s a relief for the exact same reason.

Like I was saying before, cartoon series don’t always translate well to the time or plot constraints of a film format.  So the idea that they’re planning on making multiple films is definitely good news. 

This means they can use multiple bad guys and most likely, bring them all together with Dr. Blight stealing the Planteers’ rings and creating Captain Pollution with the help of the other major villains of the show.

OK, that might sound a little like the Superman/Nuclear Man thing from Superman IV, but for a movie I think you

have to do Captain Pollution.

The problem with this movie isn’t going to be the ridiculous plot or mulletted-mankini’d hero.  They keep pumping out Transformers movies, so there’s a market for big-budget cartoon reboots.  One of the producers of the new Transformers: Dark of the Moon is actually the driving force behind Captain Planet, so that’s another plus since Transformers is going to make gajillions no matter how terrible it is.

And who doesn’t love mullets?  If anything, the presence of a mullet is only going to expand the film’s demographic.

The problem is that this is a movie about the power teamwork in saving the planet by recycling and using renewable energy sources, about not decimating thousands of acres of forest to build a mall and how it’s not cool to dump millions of gallons of industrial waste product into the ocean.  Blahblahblah, the environment is super sweet and stuff, we got it.  But do you know what all really that means?

This production has to be the greenest fucking movie in history.  You can’t have it any other way.

Let’s go back to Superman IV: the Quest for Peace, ok? When you cut through it all, Superman represents the United States and Nuclear Man is the Soviet Union.  Look at him, he could be Drago’s long lost twin. 

And the whole fight between them—yes, a horribly scripted metaphor for the political climate of the late 1980s.  They fight on the moon!  Around an uprooted American flag! 

When you think about it, that can boil down to environmental metaphor as well.  Superman draws his strength from the sun, Nuclear Man is atomic powered.   And who wins?  Renewable Energy Superman, that’s who.

Captain Planet isn’t a metaphor; this is literally a movie about a guy who saves the world one freaking recycled soda bottle at a time.  This production has to be completely sustainable.

This film set should stand as a beacon for hippies and Al Gore, a shining example, a city on a hill for all to model themselves after.  This shall not be a mere superhero movie, no, this shall not be a simple re-imagining of a precious early nineties cartoon resource!  No—this film shall stand for all as a functional example of how society should operate!  We should be inconveniencing ourselves in every facet of our lives insisting on recycled, recyclable, organic, hormone-free, oil-independent, hippie-endorsed products for the sake of future generations!

Oh god, what am I even saying?  Have you ever seen a movie made out of tofu?

This is going to be awful.



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