People That Don’t Like Star Trek Are Stupid

star_trek_the_original_series

I’ve tried to think my way around it, tried to put it in cleaner content, tried to wash it down, but the simple and undeniable fact is,  if you seriously dislike the first two seasons of the original 1966 to 1969 TV show of Star Trek I can only figure it is because the show is too smart for you.

To be clear I’m not saying that you have to love every episode of the original series, that you have to love everything in the entire franchise, or even that you have love it. I’m just saying that if you watch an episode or three with an open mind you will have no choice but to admit that the show is a artistic and social technical feat, and a truly entertaining viewing experience.

Shatner and Nimoy’s performances have been lampooned, harpooned, and trampooned and it is easy to see why. These two public figures have sometimes managed great works that are hard to read execpt as selfparody. However, watch these old episodes with an open mind and you’ll see some fantastic performances. Somehow Nimoy infuses Spock’s being with logic, rigidity and a little super-dry humor. Shatner’s Kirk is so expressive, passionate and layered that it hurts, and lastly if you don’t like DeForest Kelly I seriously wonder if you know what acting is.

All that sweet, sweet acting candy acting is backed up by some of the smartest, most thoughtful, most culturally relevantscripts ever created for TV. Rodenberry and his writers explored war, racism, sex, technology, friendship, and ambition with care and flexibility and subtlety a lot of today’s writers would kill to find. It is Hollywood, so I am seriously worried that someone is going to kill one of Star Trek’s aging writers to try and steal their mojo. Don’t do it, random writer, just go back to penning another episode of Arrow.

If you can’t get behind all of that, you should at least be able to get behind TV’s first interracial kiss. Seriously Star Trek’s production team braved blackouts across the south, threats of actual violence, and threats of cancellation. That is real bravery far in excess of anything shown on camera.

There is comedy here too. Find me a silly bromance, or buddy comedy or ensemble sitcom that isn’t cribbing, to some degree, from the Spock-McCoy-Kirk one liners at the end of the episodes and I’ll give you a quarter.

This isn’t a comic book post, so I’m gonna curtail my rant a little, and just say that there is likely a 5000 word essay brewing somewhere in my brain about how  stupid you are for disliking the acting on this show.

So? You still don’t like Star Trek? I think you just don’t get it. You are either too dumb, or too closed minded to truly appriciate one of the most important works of art in The American Century.

Audio Quick Reviews for 1/30/13

The Vestrymen’s do a quick podcast for your pleasure. We talk Hawkeye #7, The Superior Spider-Man #2, Masters of the Universe Origin of He-Man #1, and Batman Incorporated #7. Are comics better this week or are we just happier people? It’s your choice, but we warn you not to underestimate our vicissitude.

The Superior Spider-Man #2

Superior_Spider-Man_Vol_1_2WRITTEN BY: Dan Slott
ART BY: Ryan Stegman
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: 1/30/2013

We where a little worried about some of the choices made in SS #1. Oh we of little faith. This book was straight awesome, better than #1, even. Egg Fu on our faces.

Vestrymen Grade: A

Hawkeye #7

Hawkeye_7_Cover-300x456WRITTEN BY: Matt Fraction
ART BY: Steve Lieber & Jesse Hamm
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: 1/30/2013

Hawkeye Hawkeye Hawkeye

Why does your prose pull at my heart so

Why does your beauty so confound my soul

Fraction! you made me write beat poetry, you sneaky bastard!

Vestrymen Grade: A

Masters of the Universe Origin of He-Man #1

Masters-of-the-Universe_The-Origin-of-He-Man_1_Full-665x1024WRITTEN BY: Joshua Hale Fialkov
ART BY: Ben Oliver
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: 1/30/2013

I don’t know people, it is fucking He-Man. It is a good He-Man story? He is one of the Masters of the Universe, Man. He is Adam Greyskull, inheritor of a great and mysterious Sword of Power. Sword. Of. Power!

Vestrymen Grade: B-

Batman Incorporated #7

WRITTEN BY: Grant Morrison
ART BY: Chris Burnham
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: January 31, 2013

BATMAN INCORPORATED. You thought Morrison was just gonna let the Leviathan thing hang out there, weren’t you? WRONG! Strange Strange business.

Vestrymen Grade: A

Download the podcast here, downloaders: Reviews from the Future! 1-30-2013

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. Intro music “The Future Soon” by Jonathan Coulton. Also featuring “Kenesaw Mountain Landis”, also by Jonathan Coulton.

Quick Review: New Avengers #2

New-Avengers_2WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Hickman
ART BY: Rick Magyar
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: January 24, 2013

Buy the book here.

Well things have started to make a little more sense at least as far as things can make sense in a world crafted by Jonathan Hickman. The plots, ideas and drives of all the characters are still BIG, so big as to be semi-nonsensical sometimes. Characters whose names are not T’Challa are drawn with a big brush, which makes some sense since they are all larger than life characters. It is honestly hard to paint Namor, King of the Oceans, with a artisan’s touch and none of none of the other members of the supporting cast really hurt from this treatment.

The plot is huge, metaphysically interesting, and effectively sets up the Star Trek-y moral quandary that Black Panther and crew are going to have to resolve. The villains are engaging as well and the face-heel and heel-face turns come at breakneck, but believable pace.

The worst thing I can say about this book is this: “Batman is not in it.” The second second worst thing I can say about this book is perhaps more damming, since if your buying a Marvel Comics book and hoping for Batman write us an email and we’ll actually tell you which superheroes are owned buy which company.

I read this book last Thursday, and then, thinking you all would like quick reviews, looked for books to read. I looked at this book, picked it up started flipping through it but until I’d read the first three pages I didn’t remember that I’d read it. I’ve read Hickman’s complete run on Fantastic Four and this books feels very, very similar.

Vestrymen grade: B

Birthdays of Future Past! – Richard Starkings

Once a jolly swag man wished to sell some comic fonts advertised with Marvel and DC. When it became clear that this was not to be, he created an anthropomorphic hippopotamus named Hip Flask to do the job. Soon, because hippos are legit, there was a series of one-off comic books based on the character. Later, because Image Comics is almost as legit as hippos, there was an ongoing prequel series to Hip Flask called Elephantmen. Is Elephantmen the best new take on Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” since Blade Runner? We’ll leave you to form your own opinion. Cheers, Richard Starkings!

Quick review: Uncanny Avengers #3

detailWRITTEN BY: Rick Remender
ART BY: John Cassady
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: January 23, 2013

The Red Skull,backed by his extremely powerful S-Men and now fully in control of Xavier’s brain is prepared to bring battle to the New York City,  Havoc’s Avengers, and forces of equality and tolerance themselves! Everything else about this book aside it allowed to write that sentence as its introduction and mank, was that fun!

Something bothered me about UA#3 on my first read through and I couldn’t put my finger on it, well at least until I grafted Xavier’s brain onto mine. The pacing, characterizations, and general plotting of the book feel an awful lot like the subject of our second-to-last feature. Thankfully the art is better, though. Characters are allowed to have expressions and dialogue flows in a way that doesn’t feel painfully stilted which is appreciated. Still, Havoc and Cap’s interactions really read like old school over-the-top, on-the-nose character moments, as does the “voice over” explaining everyone’s motivations.

Remender, despite his clear pulp influences is actually riffing on the racial work of so may X-Writers before him.  The X-Men where conceived and rose to popularity during the Civil Rights Movement and its immediate fallout. During both Lee and Clarmont’s iconic runs the X-Men often stood in for American Blacks and Jews. Uncanny Avengers asks, with some subtly, if we have actually come that far since the 60s and 70s. Have we moved past the racial struggles of the Jim Crow Era or have we just changed our language and made the battle a more subtle one? I’m not ready to judge the books attempts to engage that question, at least not until the first plot arc is done, but I’m interested to see how it finishes.

I enjoyed the read and its addition to the month of Wolverine getting beat down is lovely, but it never rose to the pure fun of Hawkeye, or the the true thoughtfulness of Sandman. The middle ground that Uncanny Avengers is currently straddling is uncomfortable, and just a tad off-putting.

Vestrymen Grade: B-

VFCast Season 3 Episode 4: Real Men Wear Spectacles

Holy crap do we go back to the foundation of the modern age of comics today! You can keep your Brian Michael Bendises, your Grant Morrisons, and your Jonathan Hickmans! If you want truly sublimely insane comics, Stan “The Man” Lee and Steve Ditko do it better than anyone.

Amazing Spider-Man #1-6

250px-AmazingSpider-Man1WRITTEN BY: Stan Lee
ART BY: Steve Ditko
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: March, 1963

totallylookslike.com:

IMG_21012013_170359Amazing Spider-Man - 002 02

That is a picture of Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-man next to our protagonist, Peter Parker. I will leave you to draw your own conclusions.

A few pieces of insanity, just for you:

  • We are repeatedly told, and I mean at least twice an issue we are told that Peter Parker is a “science major” at his High School. Do High Schools have majors?
  • Peter tends to invent things to solve his problems, including the Anti-Magnetic Inverter. Welcome to the Silver Age, everyone!
  • We skipped Amazing Fantasy #15 for no good reason. You should totally read it, write a review and send it to us. If it uses full words and is at least semi-intelligent we will likely post it.
  • Reed Richards is a dick.

You can download this podcast: VFCast Season 3 Episode 4

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Burial at Sea – “Barely There” and Greg Gibbs – “Young Erotic Naughty People”. Intro music by Jonathan Coulton.

Quick Reviews for 1/23/2013

The Vestrymen take a whack at X-Force #1, FF #3, Stumptown: The Baby in the Velvet Case #5, and Superboy Annual #1. This week we deal with insane perspective shifts, interdimensional teleporters, musicians as drug mules, and all kinds of insane things.

Superboy Annual #1

Superboy-Annual_1_Full-665x1024WRITTEN BY: Tom DeFalco
ART BY: Various
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: January 23, 2013

Superboy is snippy! Superman is snippy! This is the first H’el on Earth book we have read and it is insane and a little delightful.

Vestrymen Grade: B-

FF #3

FF_3-674x1024WRITTEN BY: Matt Fraction
ART BY: Michael & Laura Allred
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: January 23, 2013

If this month’s Superboy wasn’t insane enough for you FF #3 continues the psychedelically inspired breakneck pace that has defined this run so far. Michael & Laura Allred are revelations.

Vestrymen Grade: B+

Uncanny X-Force #1

uxforce2012001covcolWRITTEN BY: Sam Humphries
ART BY: Ron Garney
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: January 23, 2013

Meh.

Vestrymen Grade: C

Stumptown #5

stumptown2-5-4x6-comp-solicit-webWRITTEN BY: Greg Rucka
ART BY: Matthew Southworth
PUBLISHER: Oni Press
RELEASE: January 23, 2013

I like Stumptown just fine, but when you get right down to it, this book was created to make Leland’s brain a happy brain, and for no other reason. What is that Greg Rucka? You’d like to get paid for your work? Isn’t Leland’s braindrugs good enough payment for you?

Vestrymen Grade: B+

You can download this podcast: Reviews from the Future! 1-23-2013

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. Intro music “The Future Soon” by Jonathan Coulton. Also featuring “Kenesaw Mountain Landis”, also by Jonathan Coulton.

Quick Review: Avenging Spider-Man 16

AvengingSM_16_TheGroup-000WRITTEN BY: Christopher Yost
ART BY: Paco Medina
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: January 16, 2013

Marvel feels like choices they have made with Superior Spider-Man are really important, and the sales number agree. But is it good?

Avenging is a team-up book and this reads like a paint-by-numbers superhero team-up.  It is not bad, exactly but it is far from inspired. We are by now, hip to Superior’s jive. He is a man with Peter Parker’s ethical sense, but a significantly more driven and brutal logistical sense, which is what most of the book is dedicated to and I am tired of learning the same character traits over and over.

Is it fair for me to judge this book for doing character work that has been done in other titles of late? Should I judge the book as a stand-alone, ignoring the character work done in Superior Spider-Man #1, and all its tie in books? I can only tell you that I read the books in the order I read them and that I am tired of comic books giving lots and lots of energy to telling me something I learned last week.

I did enjoy Spidey’s character moment with Wolverine more than the above paragraph would suggest, though.

Vestrymen Grade: B-

VFCast Season 3 Episode 3: Post Galactic Stress Disorder

Hey there cats and kittens! Today we read the last great idea from the house of ideas! We read the final crossover that cares about justice! We read the end of an era and the death of a civilization!

Operation: Galactic Storm: Volume 1

250px-Avengers-345WRITTEN BY: Various
ART BY: Various
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: February 8, 2006

Our podcast will establish, without a doubt, haters be silenced, that Operation: Galactic Storm was A Thing That Happened. Some will deny it and declare me a liar but the egg will be on their faces once I show them an actual copy of the crossover.

This book contains the following things:

  • Thor with the most ridiculous hair-and-beard combination imaginable.
  • Quasar being a creeper, As we previously established.
  • Repeated attempts by Starfox to turn people on so much they forget how to fight.
  • Lots of heroes and lots of text in the panels.
  • Pretty cool cover art, especially when compared to the interior art.
  • Terrible, terrible, terrible hacking scenes.

If you want something else, like characterization, dynamic art, or an overall feeling of what it is like to experience this book, listen to the podcast!

You can download the podcast: VFCast Season 3 Episode 3

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature The Monitors – “Suit & Tie” and A Magnifique Bande dos Homes Sen Medo – “Algo Ouvín tra-las Vides”. Intro music by Jonathan Coulton.