Friday, August 18, 2017

Rasslin' with Comics: SummerSlam 2017 special


 WWE SummerSlam 2017 Special #1 ($7.99 Boom Studios)
Writer:  Various 
Artist:  Various

SummerSlam is WWE's biggest event of the summer, and Boom Studios is capitalizing with a special one shot comic book that celebrates the biggest party of the summer.
The one shot is made up of several small stories based on classic (and some not so classic) SummerSlam matches.  Each story has a different creative team. I'll break down my thoughts on each story then give my overall opinion. 

"I've wined and dined with Kings and Queens"
The story takes place during the SummerSlam 1990 match between Dusty Rhodes Vs. "Macho King" Randy Savage.  There was a lot of artistic license taken on this one.  A fan of Macho switches allegiances because, well because Macho was a jerk to him. My favorite part of the tale was that it featured the Philadelphia Spectrum, a building near and dear to my heart.

"In the Mandible of Madness" 
A cerebral tale of the very physical "Boiler Room Brawl" between between The Undertaker and Mankind.  This felt like a tale right from the 90's Chaos Comics Undertaker series, and that is a good thing.   Definitely the strongest tale in the comic.

"The New Day's Optimistic Odyssey part 5"
This had nothing to do with SummerSlam, but has been a tale running throughout the Boom WWE books.  It's an odd time travel adventure with New Day.  Funny, but out of place. They should collect this and release it.

"The Natural Disasters VS The Bushwhackers"
This one is a straight up comic strip. Very cartoonish art and silly tale of Luke and Butch crashing the victory party of the Natural Disasters.  It's pretty goofy but I liked it, especially the caricatures of the WWE Superstars.

"Give the Demon his due"
Seth Rollins is haunted by a Demon (King) on his way to the Universal Title Match at last years SummerSlam.  I really liked this one, I think Boom could make some really good supernatural comics with characters like the Demon King, Bray Wyatt and Undertaker.

Overall this book is a fairly good look back at SummerSlam.  Some of the choices were unusual but it made for a well rounded book.  Much better than the Wrestlemania special from last year.  I think the $7.99 price tag is a little high for it.  If you love comics and WWE, this could be a fun way to enhance this weekends event.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Throwback Wrestling Thursday: Ranking the Rogues

"Without a good bad guy, who gives a sh*t?"  -Larry Zbysko

That quote from a recent episode of "Table for Three" on the WWE Network is probably one of the most important, and often overlooked things about pro wrestling.  A hero is only as great as the challenges he must overcome, and in wrestling that comes in the form of great villains.  There have been so many great heels over the years that helped shape wrestling history, and it got me thinking about some of the great I've been in the ring against.  Here are a few of the standouts that come to my mind and whenever I talk to fans are the ones that come up most often.

Greg Spitz:  Hands down, if anyone brings up their favorite Maverick feud 90% of the time they bring up Maverick Vs. Greg Spitz.  It was a feud that took on a mythical quality and for a while promoters all over the tri state area would try to book us against each other.  We've wrestled each other probably a hundred times, on huge summer spectaculars, and on small auditoriums with 12 people in it and everywhere in between.  As a matter of fact, the first whole year of Slamtastic Wrestling Parties was built on Maverick Vs. Greg Spitz, because it was a sure fire crowd pleaser.

Mr. Ooh LaLa:  Mr. Ooh Lala is a legitimate legend in Indy wrestling, and with good reason.  An absolute master of psychology and an entertaining storyteller who just seems to get better with age.  We have only had a handful of singles encounters but they were always classic battles.  Recently Ooh LaLa has aligned himself with another constant foe of mine and the two have become a constant thorn in my side, and in the side of America as a whole.


Wyndham James Winthorpe III: My most recent rival is quickly becoming one of my biggest feuds.  This is another feud that's become a multi-promotional rivalry, and even though various other players like Kid America, Norm The Barfly and Mr. Ooh LaLa have enhanced this feud and turned it into an epic war, the core of the feud is the proper British bruiser Vs. The crazy American Cowboy.  Why is Winthorpe a great villain?  That's simple, he's not one, at least not in his own mind.  WJWIII believes he is correct in his feelings for America in general and Maverick in particular.  Feuds based around national pride almost always draw big heat, and when you have two strong personalities clashing it automatically makes the stakes higher.  This one isn't close to being finished, especially since I have several more beatings to give the "Prime Minister".

Kris Krude:  "Hot Chocolate" Kris Krude and I had immediate chemistry in the ring, which usually makes for great matches.  We've traded titles and had an unresolved, yet very entertaining feud that I wish had gotten to see the big payoff. I believe I do my best work when the deck was stacked against me, and Krude's size and entourage always made for a formidable battle.




Monday, December 5, 2016

Mav goes Spartan: Mud, Sweat and Cheers!


So I went mud running this weekend! 

If you're one of the eleventeen people who read this blog regularly you know I was discussing doing my first obstacle run, and I'm happy to say that I did indeed run the Mud, Sweat and Cheers Challenge this weekend. 

Of course I couldn't do things he easy or smart way, I missed online registration and I had a birthday party for one of my little superheroes that afternoon. (Happy Birthday Timmy!) So I wasn't even sure I would make the race. I arrived five minutes before the last heat was taking off, so I quickly registered and as I handed in my paperwork and fee I heard the gun go off for the start of the heat so I sprinted off to catch up... Without any warm up... Yeah I know. Not smart.

The run itself was A LOT of fun.  They had a nice variety of different obstacles both man made and natural since it was in the woods and for the most part the course was clearly marked... I did make a wrong turn in Albuquerque at one point and lost some time, there were two paths coming off an obstacle and of course I picked the wrong one, but overall I think they did a good job of keeping things marked clearly and had plenty of volunteers.

As far as my performance, I did every single obstacle and think I did well. No idea of my time because of the screw up, but I wasn't doing it for time.

 I need to work on pacing but part of my issue is the fact that I sprinted at the start and never found a good pace... The course was about 3 miles so it's about the length of a Spartan Sprint which is what I'm training for.

It's safe to say I'm hooked and can't wait for my next obstacle run.  I know what I need to work on training wise and I'm putting together a plan for that as well.

That's it for this week.  I have a Christmas theme virtual on tap for later in the week, can't wait! 


The Six Shooter: December 4



M.A.S.k #1 (IDW $3.99)
Spinning out of IDW's Revolution miniseries, the 80's hit is back! It was interesting to see the origin of the group and Matt Tracker as an unsure young man trying to learn the ropes and lead the team. 

Batman Annual #1 (DC Comics $3.99)
I was surprised that this was a holiday issue, I was more surprised that it was a holiday issue that was in continuity and planted the seeds for future storylines. 

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #9 (Boom! $3.99)
This comic continues to surprise with its plot and intensity.  There's a very interesting twist/reveal at the end that long time fans will enjoy.  Another great issue.

Super Powers #1 (DC Comics $2.99)
All-Ages fun from Art and Franco.  Surprisingly continuity heavy as this book actually ties into both Tiny Titans and Superman Family Adventures, but a fun book for any young fan of Batman, Superman and company.  

Star Wars Annual #2 (Marvel 4.99)
Stand alone adventure that sees a very injured Princess Leia relying on the help of someone who doesn't believe in the cause of the rebellion.  So far Star Wars annuals have been used as platforms to introduce new characters who play bigger roles in the ongoing series, this will probably be no different.

Inhumans Vs. X-Men #0 (Marvel $3.99)
Setting up the next big Marvel crossover.  Lots of exposition but it's needed if you're like me and haven't really been following the Xmen or Inhumans.  If your interested in the upcoming ResurrXion this is the book that starts towards that event.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mav goes Spartan update: mud running and holiday streaking!


Howdy, 
I know I haven't updated much, but honestly how many different ways can you say "I ran and did burpees". So for now I'll be updating only when I have something significant to add.

I found a local 5k trail/obstacle run that I'm gonna give a try.  It's small, but I think it's a good way to get my feet wet (literally) in the obstacle run world.  This way I'll know if I actually like obstacle running.

It's called Mud, Sweat and Cheers and is December 4. I'll update on how I did and what I thought afterwards.


I'm also considering doing the #RWRunStreak again this holiday. The streak is an initiative started by Runners World magazine that encourages you to run at least a mile every day from Thanksgiving until New Years Day.  If I do attempt it this year I need to make sure to do it properly and not just try to rush through the daily mile. I didn't warm up properly many times last year and it caused a lot of pain and small injuries.

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!
Mav

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Six Shooter: November 18


Nightwing #9
Superman Guest stars, check out my full review on Totalldriventv.com

Captain America: Sam Wilson #15
D-Man returns (I really thought he was dead) and he also returns to his roots as a Professional Wrestler as the title takes a slight detour from its recent politically charged storyline.  I like the nods to Marvels ealrlier years and many characters who have pro wrestling in their backstories.

The Comic Book History of Comics #1
A very dense illustrated look at the creation of the comic book medium and it's evolution.  This is a very interesting read and a must for fans of the history the comic book.  The book is essentially an illustrated documentary featuring tons of characters and creators.  I'd really like to see this collected once it's finished.

Harbinger Renegades #1 
Valiant capitalizes on the success of Faith by bringing back the team that introduced her.  This is a considerably darker book than Faith and depends heavily on previous continuity which I knew nothing of.  However I was still able to enjoy this book and with what I learned so far I am curious to learn more about this team.

Invincible #131
The book starts to raise the stakes again as the end of the series approaches.  No one is safe in the Invincible Universe as it is and that is so much more true now that the end is near.  Mark and Eve fight for the life of their daughter and themselves from a Viltrumite attack.  The suspense of the book was perfect as was the pace, and the book didn't get overly gratuitous which often drags the book down for me.

Trinity #3
Batman has to witness his parents murder... again and the trio of heroes continue to investigate the strange happenings that seems intent on making them face their pasts. Meanwhile Lois steps in to save her son.  Not as strong as the first two issues, but the book is doing a great job of establishing the newer versions of Batman, Supeman and Wonder Woman as a force.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Throwback Wrestling Thursday: Tag your it!


I have had a long, long love of the art of tag team wrestling.  Ever since I sat down one Saturday morning (as I always did) watching wrestling one early Saturday afternoons and saw the British Bulldogs for he first time I was completely hooked and have always wanted to be a part of a full time team.  

You see, the 80's were a tag team lovers dream, some of the greatest teams of all time had some of the greatest bouts and I watched them all... Repeatedly. Heck, I still do.  With the Road Warriors, Rock and Roll Express, Midnight Express, Hart Foundation and SO many others Tag Team wrestling was a thing of beauty and with so many different styles in the ring it made for awesome matches.  In today's era I'll admit I'm incredibly jealous of The New Day because I've never seen anyone have so much fun as a team.

I've been lucky to have been a part of a lot of different tag team pairings. But three partners come to mind whenever I think of tag team action:

Norm The Barfly: since he was my travel partner and we broke in together we were often paired together.  Eventually we started The Tv Generation faction and we had a lengthy tag run that included a few title runs.  But what a lot of people don't know is that for an entire summer we decided to call ourselves the Rolling Rock Express, complete with bandanas and Rock and Roll is King theme song.  Odd trivia note: in the early years we would often celebrated our matches by having a beer or two, I don't think I've actually ever had a Rolling Rock.

SuperCody:  We teamed on and off for years before coming up with the name "Superhero Express". We had a pretty successful run, complete with one of the strangest "only in wrestling" type scenarios where we would repeatedly win the tag team championships, without ever losing them (that's a blog for another day).  We had a lot of things planned that could've made this team a huge success before its untimely demise.  Some of this things I'm hoping to incorporate into my comic book show and related stuff.

Kid America: True story, in high school the mysterious man under the Kid America mask and I dreamed of being tag team champions.  However due to life being life, that never happened. Eventhough we've teamed on and off our entire careers we never had a real run, or even a title shot that I can remember. Granted I get hot on the head a lot, but I think I'd remember that.  The promotion for a Maverick/Kid America tag title match has the stuff of booking dreams written all over it, imagine the boyhood dream angle times two!

I've done a lot in my ring days, but I'll openly admit, one thing I would very much like to accomplish before I hang the boots up for good is to have a long established run as a tag team.  I have marketing and a few gimmick ideas in mind and I certainly think the Indy's need some more steady tag teams.  However I really don't have a partner lined up who matches what I want to do, so who knows. 

Happy Trails,
Mav