Just when it was getting quiet around here.

You have entered into a realm given form by a collection of sentences fashioned into the structure of paragraphs encompassing the body of this week’s Ambidextrous in the feeble attempt that your senses will not suspect that something is certainly not correct in this haven of literary excellence known as Silver Bullet Comics that provides a young man of my stature a weekly outlet conditioned to dispense all manners of ill-informed, egotistical insights on an unsuspecting populace only to finally make the terrible discovery that this week…

…nothing makes sense.

Securely trapped within the rapture that is spring semester, I have subjected myself to a form of unusual punishment that only serves as indicator that my maturity level is steadily increasing with age. Throughout the years, I’ve enjoyed a passionate disdain for poetry and all its subsequent forms. Don’t misunderstand…I like hearing poetry, like reading poetry, hell…I may even discuss the form of expression from time to time. But I hate writing it. Any skills I possess as a writer suddenly vanish from discernible view when the prospects of writing in verse are presented, and in an example of juvenile confrontation…I avoid poetry at all costs.

Many a course has been virtually ignored if it contained the creation of poems in its syllabi, but this year I decided to approach my literary fear from a different vantage point…by immersing myself within it. A class. Where I write poetry. And that’s it. The aspect of this experience that prompted me to take a plunge into this strange pool was the possibility that I will have the opportunity to create my own poetic sequence by semester’s end. And that’s my biggest problem in regards to poetry, I can’t write the form for shit. But with any luck, I will become better and find something else to be afraid of.

What does this have to do with you and Ambidextrous you ask? Well, it occurred to me that it may prove interesting to write a column in the same manner I render average poetry, by abandoning all principles of rhythm and tone, splashing my thoughts on paper and hoping it all rings true in the end.

What follows is a collection of seemingly random complaints that didn’t merit the exclusive attention of an entire column, but pride and passion demand their immediate addressal. This is Brandon Thomas coming to you live and unrestricted from his base of operations, and these are the things that have been crawling up my ass lately.

Star Wars

You’re already interested aren’t you? Surprisingly, the appearance of these two solitary nouns used in conjunction is enough to immediately elicit attention. George Lucas’ legendary trilogy and its subsequent sequels have cemented themselves as a permanent fixture of pop culture, and saw the world of cinema thrust into new and exciting directions. Most viewers can easily recall their first exposure to a galaxy far, far, away and the subsequent effect it elicited on their subconscious.

No wonder everyone takes it so damn seriously.

The period of time that elapsed between the release of Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace was an unbearably long eighteen years give or take. Upon the release of the enigma known as Episode I, the belaboring critics nearly tripped over each other to proclaim that “Star Wars Sucked!!”, “The Kid Can’t Act!!”, and “George Lucas Has Lost His $#@!’in Mind!!”

Now, while I won’t posture as if Episode I was the greatest fuckin’ piece of cinema I’ve ever witnessed, leaving me profoundly changed and signaling the beginning of a new golden age in film, but…it wasn’t as bad as everyone made it out to be. Sorry guys.

Before the audience proceeded to throw tomatoes at the screen, everyone forgot to glance in the mirror before heading out to the cinema and notice that their parts are a little bigger than they were when they first witnessed the juggernaut known as the original Star Wars. That there’s no way in the world that any movie can live up to nearly twenty years of anticipation. That over the years we’ve seen everyone’s own unique interpretation of what a space adventure is supposed to look like. That knowing the ultimate conclusion of the story is going to detract some excitement from the process of unveiling. That everyone out there holds their own preconceived notion of what these prequels are going to deliver.

Lucas was screwed before he even sat down to write the first scene. I’m not saying the creator had no personal hand in ensuring that Episode I fell far below expectations…but I’m saying that we, the rabid fanbase, helped him do it.

To me, the opinion regarding The Phantom Menace that holds the most weight belongs to the person who’s never had any exposure to the original trilogy, went into the theater completely cold, and watched the movie as its own separate entity. That’s the only one. The majority of people felt entirely too passionately about the situation before they even saw the first frame, making it impossible from them to consider the power of the situation, and offer an objective opinion.

Which brings us to Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

That name stinks, but I refuse to complain. You know why? Because I’m going to see the thing anyway. And so is everyone else out there that devotes more than fifteen seconds to complain about it. Truthfully people, Lucas could call this movie Star Wars: Episode II: Bugs Bunny Shits in a Styrofoam Cup, and we would still go see it. So please stop bitching about it. And stop saying that if Lucas makes one more bonehead decision, you’re not going to see it. Because you are. Sit back, relax, and realize that the only opinion that matters regarding George Lucas’ trilogy is George Lucas.

And ‘NSYNC? Who cares? They weren’t scheduled for a dance number, aren’t doing the soundtrack, and their presence in a if-you-blink-you’ll-miss-it cameo couldn’t possibly mean anything to the overall story. My only wish is that Lucas included the cameos, then didn’t tell anybody about them until the movie was in heavy rotation with $200 million under its belt, so the legions of angry fans would feel dirty about viewing Justin Timberlake on the big screen and not even knowing it.

Sit back and enjoy the show folks, anything less is uncivilized.

Hold while the sniper rifle repositions please.

First Posters

If I see one more message board filled with missives from idiots hopping up and down yelling, “I’M THE FIRST POSTER!!!!!!!!” I’m going to become physically sick.

This is the internet equivalent of someone in a quiet room suddenly jumping onto the nearest table, whipping out their dick and commanding everyone to be impressed about how big it is. The only difference is that in that quiet room, someone may actually care you have a big dick.

Please stop it.

People Inherently Pleased at Their Ability to Read and Count Simultaneously

When Joe Quesada revamped the X-titles, something had to go. The line was incestuous and derivative, telling the same story with different characters. Yes, there was a title or two that we will all miss, but everyone has to agree that from a creative standpoint, the X-titles are a hell of a lot better than they were two years ago. Fact of life.

Why people devote portions of their existence to counting the number of X-titles in comparison to one year prior for the express purpose of calling Quesada and Marvel a hypocrite is literally beyond me. Titles were pared down to control the stagnation of the line, only to be replaced by a flock of mini-series that allow diverse creators the opportunity to take aim at some of Marvel’s icons. Perhaps the company is content to flood the market with a collection of mini-series’ that force no one other than interested parties into purchasing them? Maybe they have more good stories than they know what to do with? If you don’t want the new Cyclops mini, don’t buy it and move on.

You can count. We’re impressed.

Here’s yet another possibility…maybe they changed their minds? People are allowed to do that from time to time. I’ll never forget the expansive asshole fandom was waiting to tear Mark Waid when he resigned from the Flash, after proclaiming, EIGHT years prior that he would, “Never give up the title.” The man changed his mind. He said that shit eight years ago. Show me one person who hasn’t changed their mind or contradicted themselves in eight years and I’ll allow this to lie.

You can read. We’re impressed.

DC Needs to Stop It With the Damned Crossovers

Tell some self-contained stories without the help of bookends and ancillary one-shots taking up space. Creators and fans will breathe a welcome sigh of relief.

The Ultimate Universe Means the End of Marvel and the Return of the Speculator

Marvel’s expansion of the Ultimate line is slow at best. The only reason they’re even doing it is because apparently the projects from Bendis and Millar have been well-received critically and financially. It’s going to remain this way because Quesada and Jemas aren’t comfortable letting just anyone play in their sandbox. The Ultimate line isn’t the beginning of the end. Relax.

Bendis and Millar offer well sculpted reads that prove enjoyable to longtime fans, and provides the most accessible outlet for someone not interested in the continuitous tangle that results from thirty years of history. It’s all good people. Sit back and enjoy the show.

That’s all folks. Hope you enjoyed. Should be awhile before this madness happens again. Back to normal next week.

Brandon Thomas

Next time: Joe Quesada and his insistence on the drowning of babies…

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