usual2.jpgIn battle, confrontation is done, directly, victory is gained by surprise.

Therefore those skilled at the unorthodox are infinite as heaven and earth, inexhaustible as the great rivers. When they come to an end, they begin again, like the days and months; they die and are reborn, like the four seasons.

—Sun Tzu, The Art of War

This has nothing to do with hip-hop, but seeing as (per certain fruit flies) I am not KRS-One(a), there’s really nothing exciting in hip-hop these days(b) and most rappers are actors anyway, I figured I’d talk about movies. And not just any old movies, but what is poised to be the showdown for Nerdians this summer:

Now, on the surface X3 has the upper edge: darker, better mythology and not to mention: Marvel > DC. But, Superman seems to poking fun of itself with a wink and a nod, has better production values and the Barney factor going for it, so it can be anyone’s guess. Not to mention that DC stepped their game up seriously with Batman Begins; and Hulk, the last great, truly dark comic book adaptation to see the big screen, was a hit with no one but me.(c)

There have been a few great fantasy movie match-ups in the past five years or so—The Lord of the Rings vs. The Matrix vs. the Star Wars prequels(d)—and we all know who took that one, my precious. Now if you’re like me(e), you rarely go to the movies because, well, there’s RabbitShare and most of the stuff that Hollywood puts out is crap, anyway(f). But, moreover, in my old age, I find myself preferring documentaries and educational channels to most of the celluloid cow dung that comes out.(g) It's quite rare that a cinematic experience catches my fancy. (The time shorty did that thing for me during The Lion King notwithstanding.)

The first Spider-Man flick was purified horse manure, as was the first X-Men (though not as purified as the first Spider-Man)—yet both redeemed themselves with their wholly superior sequels. Daredevil I liked(c), Elektra not sot much. (How anyone can cuff up such rich source material is beyond me.) The Incredibles beat the living cosmic rays out of the Fantastic Four, which, I must say in all honesty, not even Jessica Alba could make me go see. The rest of the B-Level stuff—Constantine, Hellboy, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V is for Vendetta—has either been (sometimes) very good or (mostly) ultimately forgettable. (I won’t get into the great ball-dropping that was Sin City.)

But we’re talking about the franchise players going superhead-to-superhead this summer.

Okay, maybe Spider-Man is the star of the Marvel roster, but whatever. I’ve always been an X-head—the allusions to civil rights struggle, the outsider/gang mentality, the love triangles, the general plausibility of the mythos. Superman. Eh. If I wanted to see a movie about Jesus I’d watch The Chronicles of Narnia, The Matrix, or—by Zeus, no!—sit through those God-awful Star Wars prequels again. Or just wait for Barney to hit the big screen.

Because, as we all know, Jesus = Barney. You can look it up.

At any rate, were I a betting man, I’d be putting my money on Jor-El’s God’s Son this summer. Now, my reasons are too numerous to mention, but I have to say that I’m not thrilled with the idea of a blue Beast popping into the game at this point. Trust me, I like Kelsey Grammer more than the next guy(h), but we clearly saw a human Henry McCoy speaking on a talk show during X2, did we not?(i) Such an egregious error cannot be taken lightly. Further, they’re just gonna cuff up the whole Phoenix thing. No way it could be done properly in one movie. (I’ma stop talking about such missteps post-haste, lest I get on some fanboy rage and totally lose the four of you still following.)

Superman, on the other hand, has Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor. And for all you homophobes out there, Verbal Kint has denied being gay for years while Magneto’s proudly out of the closet. So there.

Finally—because, I care what you think—I beg the question: Dumb Hulk, Old School Juggernaut, Thor (with Mjolnir) and Gladiator in a death cage match far from the Negative Zone: who wins?

Were I a betting man, I'd have a one month pass to RabbitShare on the green guy.


(a) I am not hip-hop. Please know that you have hurt my feelings and I have been crying myself to sleep since last week.

(b) I would talk about Blood Money, but there’s a conflict of interest seeing as I once, in a totally hetero sort of way, gave Mr. Jackson a pack of condoms in Detroit. True story.

(c) Please keep in mind that I’ve also always liked “Braveheart Party.”

(d) They don't have to come out at quite the same time for fanboys to bicker. And I am so not acknowledging Harry Potter.

(e) You aren’t. Get over it.

(f) Not unlike the music industry.

(g) Except for a good period piece. You can never have too many good period pieces.

(h) Must I? Really?

(i) Am I the only one who notices such things?