How are my geeks, nerds, and dorks doing out there? You guys safe, healthy, and still staying home? I sure hope so.
Many of you—and the rest of the US and the world—are locked-down and feeling pretty bored. Perhaps you’re looking for something new to do or something different to watch, read, or play.
While it’s true that the internet, online streaming services, and app marketplaces offer a plethora of options for each and every individual’s twisted set of tastes, sometimes you want suggestions you hadn’t thought of, heard of, or had possibly forgotten. . .and frankly, not everyone is interested in watching exotic cat prison warden dramas.
Recently I’ve had a bunch of opportunities to revisit my collections in hopes of finding some items I’d be willing to part with while I’m out of work due to the virus. Usually I find a bunch of movies, books, video games, and collectibles I no longer feel any attachment to.
Although I did find a couple of turds, I wanted to do things differently in this edition of The CUT. Instead of focusing on the future pieces of another man’s treasures I’m going to highlight the items that went right back onto the shelves when I was done reviewing them.
So unusually, and without further what of it, here is The CUT: KEEPERS.
2008 Trade Paperback Graphic Novel First Printing
Written by Kaare Andrews; Art by Kaare Andrews and Jose Villarrubia
SPIDER-MAN REIGN is a dystopian future story with everyone’s friendly neighborhood web-slinger. In this dark telling, masks are outlawed. Everyone Peter Parker has loved or cared for is dead. He is a broken and bitter old man.
Enter J. Jonah Jameson. Parker’s old newspaper tycoon boss and alter-ego’s nemesis ages into one half get-off-my-lawn septuagenarian and one half populist community activist. He brings a particular red mask back to Parker and reminds him that the city needs its wise-cracking costumed superhero now more than ever.
Can Spider-Man overcome his schizophrenia and self-doubt to best an also-aged, but deadly as ever Venom and the Sinister Six to save New York?
REIGN is a fantastic stand-alone story. It doesn’t require a bunch of tie-ins or previous Spider-verse knowledge to be appreciated.
Though it does features less of the humorous quips that Spider-Man is known and loved for, this book is not only a must-read, it is a must-own! This is the wall-crawler’s answer to Old Man Logan. . .and it’s amazing!
One seller has their opening bid at $17.80 on eBay right now. The auction will end shortly after this article publishes.
The hardcover version is there as well, but it’s over $35. They will accept a best offer.
BIRTH OF A NATION
2004 Hardcover Comic Novel First Edition
Written by Aaron McGruder and Reginald Hudlin; Illustrated by Kyle Baker
What do you get when the creator of the The Boondocks comes together with the creative mind behind Bebe’s Kids and House Party to write a movie?
Well, not a movie. . .That plan didn’t really work out. But it did give birth to a nation in the form of a comic novel.
BIRTH OF A NATION is the “fictional” story of East St. Louis, one of the poorest and blackest communities in America. Troubles begins when city residents are prevented from casting their votes in the latest presidential election through dastardly—but real world—voter suppression techniques.
The progressive centrist candidate the community supported loses and the city is pissed, particularly the down-on-his-luck mayor. He and his constituents decide they aren’t going to take the results laying down like their chosen candidate. They decide they will secede from the US.
BIRTH OF A NATION is an instant classic!
The book should feel dated and stale from the time passed since it was written, but it doesn’t. The government characters written and drawn in the book may resemble certain administration members that reigned from 2001 to 2008 in Washington. Yet many of the themes are all too relevant in the present day.
Birth definitely warrants being read and remembered now and into the future.
It’s a steal starting at $6.33 in very good condition.
2008 2-Disc Director’s Cut DVD
Directed by Ben Stiller
If Platoon, Apocalypse Now, Stripes, and Zoolander all swapped genetic material in some weird orgy their obscene homunculus offspring would be TROPIC THUNDER.
From the faux commercials as the opening credits roll, to the explosive escape scene climax, this movie is LYMFAO! If you can’t take my word for it do a quick web-search on Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal (seen in the image below).
TROPIC THUNDER has Jack Black, Ben Stiller, and Danny McBride, as well as Nick Nolte and Tom Cruise in some of their most outlandish characters to date. The movie seeks to reach new levels of ridiculous with every passing scene.
There’s nothing like the first time you see TROPIC THUNDER.
You’re likely to still cry and pee yourself with each consecutive viewing. You’ll notice details that you missed the last time through.
And don’t forget. . .”Never go full retard.“
Starting at $7 on eBay.
2009 THE ULTIMATE CUT THE COMPLETE STORY Edition with 4 DVDs and a Digital Copy
Directed by Zack Snyder
This live-action telling of the best-selling graphic novel of the same title was a monster of a film!
The producers and creative team opted to use lesser-known actors to portray the heroes and villains of the book. This makes it easier to suspend reality and just melt into the dark and not-so super story then it would with superstars. The live action elements are intertwined with the twisted and unforgettable animated telling of the Tales of the Black Freighter from the comic book.
Adjustments were made to the original source material for both brevity and viewers understanding of the complex story. Despite the alterations this version still clocks in at almost four hours.
THE ULTIMATE CUT comes with a digital copy of the film as well as an entire disc of extra features. There’s one that chronicles real-world vigilantes, and you really should see these dorks. They give the cosplayers of 5280 Geek a run for their spandexed money. The original graphic novel was also digitized and animated. It is included in the set for viewing on any DVD player as well.
There are so many moments that I feel like I am looking at exact panels from the comic. Rorshach and the Comedian are cast perfectly. All the special effects are intense and seamless. The setting of parallel universe 1980s New York City is as much a character in the film as any of the vigilante heroes.
No movie interpretation will ever be perfect, but this one was excellent. Some of my fellow 5280 Geeks may disagree vehemently about my assessment on this collector’s edition adaptation of an all-time great graphic novel, but whether that’s due to the absence of writer/creator Alan Moore on the production, the alterations made to the story for the big screen, or just because they are haters, I can’t be sure. I approve of the movie version of WATCHMEN.
I’m watching the WATCHMEN!
$27 on ebay.
PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS
Mass Market Paperback Books 1-5
Written by Rick Riordan
Imagine the Greek gods didn’t just fade into the obscure reaches of literary history and text books. Instead, Zeus and the rest of the Parthenon live on. They just move locations following the peak of western civilization. Today it puts them in the United States.
Naturally—and in some cases very unnaturally—the gods continue to have children with humans. These demigods become heroes and villains like their half-siblings of the past.
And like their ancestors they go on quests.
This is the world of Perseus Jackson, Percy, as he’s known to his friends.
Percy is the son of Poseidon. He and his friends from Camp Half-Blood find themselves defending their lives from the likes of Medusa, Polyphemus, the Minotaur, and pretty much every mythological monster ever imagined.
The five PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIAN novels are hanging in stratosphere of best youth fiction series of all time. I could not have enjoyed the retelling of The Divine Comedy, The Odyssey, and all the rest more than I did.
I haven’t even finished the fourth book yet and I have already ordered a copy of the fifth and the companion book, PERCY JACKSON’S GREEK GODS. These days I barely ever buy books, so that’s saying something. Of course it may just be due to the libraries being closed, but I have enjoyed the series that much so far.
I look forward to sharing the PERCY JACKSON series with my daughter, wife, and friends in the future. I expect to read it at least once more.
The five paperback set is selling for $19.38 on eBay.
That’s it for this edition of The CUT.
Honorable mentions go out to Berserk Deluxe Edition Volumes 1-3, The Absolute Sandman Volume 1, White Bird by R.J. Palacio, and Billie Eilish’s hit 2019 album When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go?. I’ve recently binged all three, but am enjoying temporary ownership of each due to my local library’s closure. I don’t have to return any of them until social distancing restrictions are lifted.
I likely wouldn’t buy any of these due to free access through the library, but they all were fantastic and appreciated during this time at home. I highly recommend checking them out if you have the opportunity.
There are plenty more DVDs, books, comics, games, and toys to comb through during this unique period of social distance. I look forward to bringing more reviews and verdicts in the next volume of The CUT.
Until then, stay safe, stay home, stay healthy. . .and most importantly, stay geeky!