Monday Meandering: Invincible, King Kong and Daniel Faust

Let’s talk about Invincible, King Kong and Daniel Faust, shall we?

invincible

Sorry about last week. I was on vacation the week before and just didn’t have anything to report. This week? Well this week is different.

Let’s get to it.

INVINCIBLE

I’m not talking about Invincible, the Robert Kirkman helmed Image Comics series, though that is top shelf stuff. No, I’m talking about the new Invincible Amazon animated series based on that beloved property. Amazon dropped the first 3 episodes last week and I binged them today post colonoscopy. I’ve gotta say, they hit the mark.

Mark Grayson is the son of superhero, Omni-Man, and a burgeoning superhero in his own right. The series traces the development of his powers and the effect they have on his relationship with the world around him. Think Superman meets Spider-Man with less tragic loss.

And can we talk about the voice cast? Invicible stars Steven Yeun, J.K. Simmons, Sandra Oh, Zazie Beetz, Walton Goggins and Gillian Jacobs, just to name a few.

Fans of the source material should be pleased. New fans will find the material accessible and engrossing.

KING KONG

This one falls under the category of don’t be too precious about things you treasure from your childhood. In anticipation of this week’s release of Godzilla v. Kong, and with some time on my hands thanks to the prep from the aforementioned colonoscopy, I decided I’d watch the 1976 version of King Kong for the first time, maybe, since I saw it theatrically.

One, how on Earth did I convince my father to take me to see this after a long day at work. He must have really been in the doghouse with mom.

Secondly, oh man this didn’t age well.

Too much green screen and creepy leering Kong, who I am now calling Rape Ape, as he puts the moves on ingenue Jessica Lange.

Jeff Bridges is solid (when isn’t he) as a Vietnam veteran turned primatologist whose aims run counter to that of big oil in the person of Charles Grodin (?) and Petrox (70s inside joke). There is an undercurrent of Vietnam trauma running through the whole thing that I didn’t catch as a kid.

It’s weird seeing Kong climb the Twin Towers. It’s weird seeing the movie again knowing about all the issues they had with the mechanical Kong.

Still, this was my introduction to the Kong so, hail to the King, I guess.

DANIEL FAUST

I’ve been tinkering with an urban fantasy manuscript for a bit, so I’m always looking for interesting books/series in the genre to read. I’m read the Dresden Files, the Joe Pitt Casebooks and some others. For my recent vacation, I decided to check out the Daniel Faust series by Craig Schaefer.

Schafer’s Faust is a foundling member of the Las Vegas magical community and why nobody placed a wizard in Sin City before now is beyond me.

The first book in the series, The Long Way Down, does just what a first book is supposed to do. It introduces you to the character, his world and makes you want to read more.

The Long Way Down finds Faust on what seems to be a simple case involving a murdered porn star (did I just type that?). As these things go, there is MUCH more at play and Faust is soon in way over his head. There are succubi, loa and plots for world domination.

Any more would be giving it away.

Suffice it to say, I’ll be booking another trip to Schafer’s Vegas very soon.

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