<Note: This is for the 5th Annual White Elephant Blogathon>
Popaul: “I was fifteen years in the army. So, in the army there’s two things you like because you don’t have them. It’s logic and freedom.”-Le Boucher Continue reading
Bobby Gold: “You’re right. I’m a piece of shit.”–Homicide
Joe Mantegna: “Nobody really talks like this… it isn’t real… it’s hyper-real.”–Invent Nothing, Deny Nothing, a special feature included on the Criterion release of Homicide Continue reading
I do not readily enjoy horror movies*. It takes a far more naive and open mind than mine to openly accept the usually trite, shoddy, overly schlocky and shock-obsessed story-lines that fuel the average “around late-October” movie release these days. Especially since these movies seem specifically tailor-made for providing an obvious segue between the awkward realm of early, fumbling attempts at putting one’s arm around a girl and the lubrication of said girl toward second base.
That said, I am usually a fan and major supporter of the idea of The Allegory As High Art, which, let’s face it, most horror movies and stories try to be (once you get past all the holy-shit-what’s-jumping-out-at-me?!-oh-phew-it’s-just-a-cat type scares). Zombies are the figurative walking (or, in most cases, shambling) deadening and homogenization of modern culture (oddly enough, judging by this google search, that particular view seems prime for a redefinition [or re-animation, as it were]); Frankenstein’s monster represents the innate fear of falsely defining one’s own children; witches in lieu of the rampant skepticism and mistrust of the opposite sex; werewolves unleashing the primal animal urges that can neither be controlled or denied; Cthulhu as man’s egotistical drive to pull himself from the blackest seas of ignorance and stand stark-tall, imbued with an all-encompassing knowledge of the natural world and the ancient secrets from time immemorial so that one could conceivable understand the very power of life itself and, yes, even beyond life itself, to traverse the infinity past such rudimentary notions as good and evil and revel and writhe in ecstasy and freedom (or, paradoxically, go insane. See also, drug culture); and vampires are, of course, the lusts and hungers of the Id.
Except vampires aren’t that anymore. Brooding, sulking, chaste (?!), and moony-eyed; a new breed of vampire has formed around the cult of Edward Cullen (né Masen) of Twilight… and they don’t really seem that interested in breeding any more, they just want to lay down in your bed with you, little girl, and hold you for awhile (excepting the vampires of True Blood as they really, really like fucking. Like, a lot. So they get a pass†). Sadly, no one has yet made the obvious jump to make a movie about a hated, reviled pedophile who finally finds the acceptance, adoration, and pre-teen poon he craves after becoming a vampire (by the way, Hollywood, I also have an idea for a movie called Flu1ds; see my “About” page for contact info).
There’s a confluence of reasons, really, to explain this incredibly disturbing trend. The closest antecedent is, of course, Buffy’s beau Angel (given how, in one episode, he gives her a traditional Irish promise ring of all things [though, it should be noted, he bangs her immediately afterward]). Everything from Edward’s over-reliance on hair-gel to the casually unbuttoned shirts can be traced back to Angel (including the Smoldering Glare Of Absolute Love And Desire so popular with Twilight‘s core fan-base, which looks more like the embarrassment and confusion on a dog’s face when you stare at it pooping). In fact, the more that I think about it, nearly everything about Edward seems ripped wholesale from Angel, including many variations on the dog-taking-a-shit face.
The rising popularity of superheroes is also having its effect. The vampires in Twilight aren’t even bothered by daytime (though they need cloudy skies, which, as an explanation, seems solely designed to piss me off), so what makes Edward any different than some other C-lister on NBC’s Heroes? If you answered, “That people seem to enjoy watching Twilight.” then you can read minds and must be another vampire with a poorly-defined and ill-conceived skill-set. And back to the other psychic, True Blood‘s vampires seek an X-Men-esque acceptance, albeit while still floating around and messing up fools (and did I mention the fucking?). And, though its slightly off-topic, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give mad props to the hilariously un-witchy (and unwatchable) he-witches of The Covenant that enjoyed Superman-flying, tossing hadokens around, and generally making each other their personal we-otches.
But the oddest reason seems, to me anyway, to be a rejection of Born-Again Christian tenets, which is where Edward and Angel part ways (then look back and stare passionately at each other). Most modern vampires used to do some crazy shit in their antebellum youths (sometimes even literal hell-raising), but then eventually settle into the guilt-wracked, seeking-forgiveness mode common among the fathers of girlfriends and recent presidents (and if vampires enjoyed playing Myst in the early 90’s, then they would be exactly like every girlfriend’s dad). Sometimes they even stare forlornly at crucifixes. The reasons are pretty obvious; becoming a vampire is technically like being reborn, so why not become re-reborn? But Edward is more akin to a Puritan (though despite the bazillions of magazines seemingly devoted solely to Twilight, there is no definitive word yet on whether he prefers belt buckles on his hats), what with his running around spying on his girlfriend and telling her exactly what to do all the time (read, being an utter dick). Add a tempestuous rivalry with a Native American and this thing just starts writing itself. And since holy items have no sway or power in the Twilight universe, Bible-thumping evangelicals are mostly unnecessary and impotent (a begrudging and rare +1 for Twilight, though I’ll take it away for implying that this guy is powerless).
In fact, what I gleaned most about Twilight is simply how arbitrary the whole vampire thing is. They could be aliens, long-lost Atlanteans, a subset of humanity whose bodies naturally synthesize PCP, or characters from Tuck Everlasting; it doesn’t really matter. In Twilight, vampires can have babies, run like the Flash (?), eat garlic and then cough it up later, spend a whole Saturday just climbing trees, go to school (??), gaze deep into the eyes of their own reflection, sparkle (???), snort lines of Communion wafers, and wear entire shirts of wooden stakes pointing inward (casually unbuttoned, natch). These aren’t vampires. They do drink blood and can make you immortal, but that could just be because they are gross.
They are also obsessed with marriage, have pretty eyes, and have skin with the look and feel of marble‡ (whatever the fuck that means).
Okay, maybe (just maybe), I have a stick up my ass because I found out Edward Cullen drives a car that is nearly identical to my own. Nope, never mind; I was right the first time. If anything, the vampires of Twilight seem to repress the Id, not wallow down-‘n’-dirty style in debauchery. Which means, they represent feeling the tug of one’s innermost desires, but choosing to curb the more abhorrent tendencies (or, as its known in psychological circles, being a normal fucking human being [but, you know, super-strong!]). This is not horror. This crap is bullshit.§
* It should be noted that I do, however way this writing seems to skew, completely respect continual reinvention of the horror genre, and the literal and figurative monsters contained therein (one such example being the zombie’s transformation from Seabrook’s familiar/possession [and the spelling “zombi”] to the group vs. the individual mentality of Romero), except for, you know, the dumb ones (i.e. finish reading above).
† Honestly, I’m rather interested to see what will happen when the girls who read the Twilight series and the boys who masturbate to True Blood get a little older and start dating each other. The exact magnitude of that disconnect cannot even be accurately explained here, but it would be akin to Gymborees across the nation showing snuff films.
‡ Though these are unproven, I’m sure the vampires in Twilight are also the only true friends of unicorns, smell exactly like that shampoo that the commercials say will give you orgasms, taste like Stephanie Meyers’ favorite kind of bon-bon, have interesting and smart things to say about a wide variety of topics, give great hugs, have a real passion for French cooking (but not in that pretentious way; you know the way), and would totally be attracted to Stephanie Meyer and think she was really, really cool and nice and funny and smart and, like, a great person if they were real.
§ Sadly, you’re seeing what is hoped to be a catchphrase of sorts for this author (who feels sorta pathetic pointing it out). Look for “This crap is bullshit.” everywhere (note: only works on this blog)!
A friend says to you, “You should get out more. You know? Have a good time. Our mutual friend (and my sexual partner) knows some people that you might enjoy being with.”
The friend says this while turning on the oozy eyes. Pleading, is what you’d more accurately call it. Rheumy is another way, but you aren’t quite sure why that adjective comes to mind (and suddenly you think of a dog long dead). It is the kind of look you think you’d recognize if given by someone with whom you are close after you knock on their door. “I’m being held hostage,” these eyes say. “You can’t see the gun, but it is there. Pointing at my head. Right behind the door frame. Smile, nod, chit-chat about work and such and accept when I say I’m super-busy, then walk away and get help.”
“I don’t want to do that.” You say, forgoing that whole idle banter completely. It was kind of dumb anyway; neither one of you have careers or pets or children.
“But… I don’t know. Wouldn’t you say that you’re unhappy?” Your friend shifts nervously. Is he holding a twig and messing about with it? Why is he so nervous? This is how good cop and bad cop work really work; you muse; people have goals, but they shift from them so easily. They just want something that makes sense. To latch onto something that they can sink their teeth into. Get behind. Wrap their head around. Some sort of idiom or cliche that just fucking makes sense to them. Before there has always been a feeling like a blanket or shroud over your head, but now things seem smooth. Or, at the very least, not-scratchy.
“I get up. I have a bowl of cornflakes. I go to work.” You say, and you notice he’s stopped tracing circles in the ground with his stick, or his shoe, or whatever it is your friend does. “I come home. I eat some rice. I watch late-night television. Sometimes I laugh, occasionally I smile, but mostly I just sit there watching comedy shows. Blankly. Absorbing it. Then I go to sleep. Could you imagine sharing that with anyone, and not in the way we’ve just shared it, but actually sharing it second by second?”
“But that’s just it! You’re lonely…” The friend says, forgetting all outside stimulus but you. Excited about catching you, like some sort of trap was set with all those traced circles in the dust, and you’ve sprung it. Perhaps it was a spell.
“But you are! It shouldn’t be like that. I mean, it shouldn’t be like you’re apart from… you could go out to dinner! We could go out to dinner with someone, see a movie…”
“Yes or no. It could be, but…” and now the friend, your friend, turns inward.
“Could you imagine me doubled? With a twin? Because that’s what it would be. We get up and each have a bowl of cornflakes. Then we go to our respective jobs. When we come home, we eat rice. Then we watch late-night television…”
“C’mon, it’s more than that! There’s… other things you’d do to pass the time.”
“That and other things.”
“Buying cornflakes and rice? This is what happens. Alone, I can maintain. It’s functional. Add another person into the mix and it will end up this way. We become too alike. Things that make us sometimes laugh turn into occasional smiles. Eventually we just become more boring, stupid, and lazier than we used to be separate. Eventually we give up on fighting and just watch the other become more boring, stupid, and lazy.”
“But then that could just describe you, couldn’t it?”
I have a pizza waiting for me.
This is what I tell myself, when I’m feeling the drunkiness, when I start to slosh and slope. I am sitting outside a pizza place with a long line, a pizza place that caters to the after closing-time demographic with individual slices for cheap, and I put in an order for a whole XL pizza. With pepperoni.
I think that I am happy about this. I think that this pizza could last me days. I hope that this pizza is good. I think it was stupid to order pepperoni.
The line is enormous and they tell me the wait is 30 minutes and they ask me if I’m okay with that. I nod, sagely, thinking that buying the whole thing is wiser than a slice. I am wise. I’m so much wiser and smarter and better than these fools just getting a slice of old, soggy crap. They’re making a pizza just for me. With pepperoni.
I sit outside absently nodding, but not really to music. More to rhythm. Cars go by way too fast here, turn their music up way too loud. Usually I hate it, usually I have something to complain about. Now I have something to nod to. I also have a receipt. I am not a ghost. They know who I am. I start counting the satisfied customers. There’s a person walking out cramming a whole piece of pizza into their mouth. They are trying to talk at the same time. 1. Another person, same glitch. 2. Why do people eat like this? 3. I am nodding, sagely, and sitting in the little alcove the brick makes with the window, but from the outside. There I can smoke. I notice there are a lot of cigarette butts that look like mine.
“I ordered one already. A whole pizza!” I say to the people that try to stop me from cutting in line. “I have a receipt!” At the front, the guy… this boy glares at me. “I have a receipt! I’m just checking to see you haven’t forgotten about me! I am sitting outside!”
“Yeah, we can see you.” He says. His friend, his partner in crime, his commiserator sells more slices. Why are these people buying slices? You could order a whole pizza and be so wise. Be as wise as me. “We’ll bring it out to you when its done. It’ll be like 30 minutes.” I nod sagely.
I wish I ordered sage on my pizza. They don’t have sage. They don’t have anything. This place sucks. The only thing that looked good was the pepperoni.
It takes another cigarette for me to realize that I might just have accidentally ordered another pizza.
“I’ve already ordered,” I say as I push. “I don’t want a slice, I have a receipt for a whole pizza! I’m not a ghost! I am real!”
“Do you remember me?” I ask the boy. This pizza boy. “I ordered about 45 minutes ago and you said it’d be 30 minutes. When I came in 30 minutes later, you told me it’d be another 30 minutes. I just don’t want some sort of mistake to happen. I have my receipt.”
“Yeah, I remember you.” He says. They continue to sell slices behind me. I almost barf.
“I am not a ghost.” I tell him, sagely. With the wisest of intonations.
“I am not a ghost. I have my receipt.” Props speak louder than actions, so I hold up my payment-for-services-rendered contract. “I will not be forgotten. I will be outside, for I am a smoker.”
Pepperoni is so boring, I decide. I wonder if anyone has made a beat centered around a person’s heart-rate and air-intake. While they are running.
Then the bars close.
I watch the rush, the whoooosh, of people filing onto the street. I perch onto my brick facade window and stop nodding. Police are everywhere making sure the bars empty out. Making sure everyone walks to the pizza place to get a slice before they stomp their way home, drunk-dialing and crying.
Why don’t people like gyros? Where is my XL pepperoni pizza? It should last me for days.
Some girls show up outside my post, not a gaggle, because it is just two. They speak, and they are slurred. Bobbing and nodding to some irregular, immediate, internal rhythm.
“That’s why I got that whole bottle of tequila.” She slurs, but I hear it perfectly. We sway together, me in shadows, her in stupidity. “I was just ran so frayed at work today.”
I step down from my spot, hoping my shadow acts as slinkily and cool as I do. Hoping they didn’t see me stumble. “You mean ‘ragged’.”
Both girls stop and look at me. I think I should bow, but that would make me fall over. I think I should introduce myself in some way, or describe them, but then I’m not really so good at that either. I think I should quote Shakespeare. I nod sagely.
“No,” she argues. “Everyone says ‘ragged,’ it’s boring.”
“It’s not boring. It’s descriptive. A shirt cuff gets frayed. Or a stereo wire. A dog’s chew toy is ragged. So is a cigarette butt you find in the gutter. Ragged denotes a sense of moisture, and in your case the sweat from your toils at work. If you were just frayed, nobody would give a shit, because that meant you didn’t really work hard enough. Or that you are a robot.”
And then I have a pizza.
On the way home, clutching my x-tra large box (and eating some, too), I bob in and out of alleyways. Sometimes I sit down for long periods, and for no reason as I’m constantly telling myself to get up. I feel a crying fit coming on, but it passes. I laugh, loudly, at nothing at all.
I sit down on the curb and look up, pretending to swing on a swing. I could jump off it. I see it all; mascara and lip-liner being applied as ladies talk in bathrooms: “This date tonight is going to run me ragged.” And then, the next day when it turns out to just be a one-night stand, “I just ended up frayed.” The mascara and lip-liner stay the same.
I trip on a curb trying to stand up.
Ten Seventy-Eights were becoming more and more common to Bobby as he moved up the food chain; a kind of slang he and the rest of the shift used to refer to “blow-job in progress.” Luckily, the girl (and, man, was she a girl) was a willing consort and didn’t need to be paid. Less luckily was the fact that she got a touch clingy in the scant one hour they had known each other and curbside drop-off to her place was needed in order to get her out of his car and out of his short, well-coifed hair.
“Jesus Christ,” he thought to himself as he allowed the brief pleasure of watching her ass sidle out of his Cutlass. “A dorm?! Bobby, you either still got it, or you’re definitely losing something else that most people really want to keep track of.” But, as any observer with his keen eye for detail would note, while he may be checking out the legs for sale under ever skirt, the ladies seem to just be gunning for him. Mid-forties, a build seemingly made out of pots of coffee and untapped aggression. Well, judging by the amount of paperwork he was filling out for sidearm discharges, maybe not so untapped. She closed the car door and leaned on the window, probably an overture; the lean in for the good-night kiss in some circles, but to a detective and former Vice Police, that’s more of a aperitif than an after dinner drink. That reminds him, he thinks as he drives away almost callously, time to get a new bottle of Jameson to stow in the dash; the two pussy-hairs past jailbait drank all of it. They really are training them to be whores nowadays, just like Alice always said. Graciously, she left a couple drops; and he’d need it. Murder. Uptown, too. A real citizen. And being the only one close enough to respond, that means it’s his case. Bobby’s Luck dictates that its gonna be red-balled. The rule of Bobby’s Luck cannot be denied.
Some creative U-ies, brought more by the drops of whiskey (and the swigs and gulps that came before it) more than actual enthusiasm gets him to the scene pretty fast, before the M.E. even. “Shit, probably coulda finished. Seems like the type to follow through. Why else give me her underwear?”
Flash the badge, through the tape; it all really becomes rote from here. Though, he notes, he’s not even wearing a tie (she pocketed it, or its under the seat, when he got the thong), so that adds at least the idea that this one will be slightly different to him in his memories. Maybe for his memoirs. He snorts at that one, loudly too. The uniform shockingly looks at him as if this were his normal reaction to the vic. It might as well have been.
Nude. Splayed out. Bite marks on the nipples. Even without the M.E. there he sees the lacerations inside the vagina and inner thighs. Rape turned murder. Not exactly open-and-shut dunkery, but simple enough. No I.D.’s, but that’s easy. A pretty girl like her has to have some dental work on file. Some, he thinks with another percussive, derisive snort, this girl has been in and out of orthodontists all her life. Maybe we are all the children of architects.
“You get pictures. Total coverage?” He asks to the alley wall just above the vic’s head (never look at the uniform, it keeps the chain of command). Dutifully (its in the job description, right?), the uniform says, “Yeah, sure! It’s all documented.” Then he pauses. Bobby can hear the pause. It’s what called a “pregnant pause” by the people that think up that sort of thing; knowing that after the person is done talking, he will, invariably, start up again. And soon.
“Are you really Robert Brady? The Serial Catcher?”
He hates that name. He’s already decided that long ago, but each time he hears it, he hates it anew. It isn’t like an old wound opening; that denotes time. This is like amnesia, he thinks. This must be like how the people he puts away feel about how they’re called in the press, they don’t even get to name themselves.
“It’s Bobby. Call me Bobby.”
That little moment is all it takes him to get out of the zone. Of finding points of entry. Movement. You can even see motive this early in the game, and it is most definitely a game. “See what I can do,” they say. “Let’s play. Tag, this is it. Your turn.” But that’s just exactly what he needed, at least for this one. His mind has been wandering, not looking at what was in front of him. He was thinking about how police photographers might be able to make a nice living, with a side job, blowing up crime scene photos to just see the ephemera around the body.
Around the body. Garbage cans. Rain puddles. Dumpsters. Detritus there for ages that have nothing to do with case. He sees the case now.
“Where the fuck is that medical examiner?” He shouts, “Because unless I’m mistaken some of these hematusions were inflicted after the heart stopped pumping, which means she was raped before and after mortis. I want that canvas tight, look for lead pipes and bottles. Anything suitable for insertions, anything rape-able, don’t use your best judgment… take it all. And I want that fucking M.E. here NOW!”
Very commanding. They all run scurrying to the sides and out of his vision. Makes sense to him why he got there so fast, before everyone else. Never leave Burbank, not even for vacation. Dad designed half of this town.
And he’s struck by that colloquialism. Usually it’s “Mike” in his mind, but he’s gripped by a wave of nostalgia, and the undertow is definitely a bitch. He bends down to look this poor girl in the eyes. Or just in one eye; old salesman trick. Pretty blue, with strands of red. Another dead girl.
Surprisingly, to him at least, he speaks. “Those tresses of yours.” He says as he lays a freckled hand over each eyelid, one at a time, closing them forever. “The same as my sisters’. The same as my mom. (Shit, he thinks, did I just call her “mom”?) The same of the girl, and she was a girl, who was sucking me off earlier when I got your call. All of them have hair of gold. Why didn’t I notice that before?”
I’m sorry, momma, but for my first post, I’m cleaning out my closet!
I figure, what better way to inaugurate this blog than by posting a review of a movie that came out over a year ago? Enjoy!
About halfway through Iron Man, starring Robert Downey, Jr., Iron Man faces off against a group of armed terrorists using hostages as human shields. His H.U.D. (Heads-Up Display, for all you girls) targeting reticle passes over each person, leaving behind a red, locked-on target for “enemies” (or was it “armed” or, more hilariously, “combatant”?), and sweeping harmlessly over those dubbed “civilian.” He then fires six simultaneous head-shots, killing the bad guys instantaneously. Next to me, my girlfriend muttered, “Cool.” Later in the same fight, he destroys a tank with what could only be called a pocket-rocket, which is equal parts bad-ass and laughably-pathetic. And aside from it looking a little too much like the old “Lethal Enforcers” arcade game (which, oddly enough, I usually play in the lobbies of movie theaters), it was cool. It’s also a little troubling.
Not in the “super-heroes shouldn’t kill” way. In movies we’ve already had morally ambiguous anti-heroes like Wolverine, the Punisher, and Elektra slicing, shooting, and stabbing their way into our hearts (well, maybe only Wolverine); and unless Captain America offs some Nazis in the most wham-o way during his WWII-era movie, people are gonna wonder why he’s being such a pussy. My concern lies with Iron Man’s whole motivation as a hero: essentially, dude just wants to protect his patents and design ideas.
Wall-flower turned wall-crawler Peter Parker is the ultimate bystander, accidentally being there whenever someone huffs crazy/strength gas; embraces evil, sentient robot tentacles; or a symbiotic oil-slick decides to crash on earth. He fights because no one else around can. The X-Men valiantly attempt to band together and stand-up to a society that treats them as outcasts, but mostly end up beating the shit out of each other in the most un-valiant way. Daredevil, Blade, Punisher, and the Hulk are even simpler heroes; hating crime, vampires, criminals, and hate itself respectively. On the DC end of the spectrum, Batman seems to create (and kill) more villains than rehabilitate them (sadly expending a great deal of energy protecting WayneCorp), and Superman has an easier time being an iconic symbol than a man, much to his (and the movie-going audience’s) displeasure.
And Iron Man? Copyright infringement (though, it should be noted, this is the same reason the Fantastic Four movie exists, but not, however, why the Fantastic Four do).
Therein lies the crux of Tony Stark’s personality problem (and, truth be told, secret strength). Escaping from “Hollywood Middle-East Land” (where everything blows-up! and everyone is taken hostage!), wanting a burger, and then going to Burger King?! only makes him seem like a mildly unlikable tool. Having him retreat to an incredibly immature bachelor pad (I believe he’s even working on the same hot-rod that obsessed Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor for a season of Home Improvement) to yuk it up with his robotic underlings makes him comes across more glib and self-centered than genuinely charming or funny. Doing all this while adorned with a goatee comprised of two Nike swooshes and spending his free-time glory-fucking models and hate-fucking reporters, and now we’ve crossed over into the purely reprehensible. When we’re first introduced to Stark, he’s busy annoying our troops, and then spends the next hour and half pissy over the fact that the shrapnel lodged in his heart literally has his name on it. As a viewer, you have to wonder why this boy-genius/celebutard even wants to be a hero; a question that is only answered with the last line of the film: Because, screw it, he can.
Stark’s only the hero of the movie because he’s less monstrous than the actual villain. All the enemies (or those armed, or the combatants, or however you want to target them) carry Stark Industries weapons designed by Tony, or want Stark Industries weapons designed by Tony, or wear suits culled together from old Iron Man parts designed by Tony. However, in perhaps the most obvious “this is the bad-guy!” scene, professional goatee-caressor Obadiah Stane’s H.U.D. doesn’t differentiate between friend or foe, civilian or combatant, it just targets the unarmed Pepper Potts and, ostensibly, will do the same for everyone else.
He gets electrocuted, then blown-up.
In fact, there’s only one bad guy in the entire movie that doesn’t die by explosion or small-arms fire, and that’s the terrorist that originally kept Tony in cave captivity. Iron Man leaves him to be handled by the civilians he so “cooly” saved. Even the best case scenario outcome for that is that he faced some sort of military tribunal and was executed.
So, the question arises: will Tony ever get some sort of comeuppance? Certainly not from Ms. Potts or “Rhodey,” his supporting cast, as they seem as infatuated with him as he is (hell, even we the audience are, myself included). And if reports of the sequel are to be believed, its unlikely a talking dragon from outer space and a magic Chinaman could humble the Invincible Iron Man. No, I believe that glory will be saved for his teammates, the Mighty Avengers. Maybe Stark will see a bit of himself and warning in the equally brillant doctors Bruce Banner (a rageaholic monster that just wishes someone would like a movie he’s in) and Ant-Man, Hank Pym (an on-again, off-again wife beater with an inferiority complex as big as he can get [whose power is to increase and decrease in size, his name stemming from the inexplicable tendency of Stan Lee to not make sense]). Or maybe the Norse god Thor will make Tony feel like a mortal fish in a crazy, fucked-up pond. Ultimately, it’ll probably be a combination of the teams leaders, Nick Fury (basically an amalgamation of every Samuel L. Jackson characters, played by Samuel L. Jackson) and Captain America. Either way, the biggest dick in the Marvel U will start drinking more, and that’s always funny. And as much as I liked Iron Man (and I did!), it won’t be until Cap (full of old-timey hokum) gets one whiff of Tony Stark and knocks those face-pubes off with a right cross that I will start muttering “Cool.”
However, we have to sit through Iron Man 2 before that, which will probably have him building a Burger King in his house a la Richie Rich and then letting all of America fellate him.