Why Miles Morales Might Not Be The Answer…Yet

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With the excitement of Sony agreeing to let Spider-Man join the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the call for Miles Morales to be in the next cinematic Spider-Man have returned with a fervor. I would love somehow someway Marvel and Sony decided that this would be the way to go.  I love Spider-Man and I love Peter Parker but that story has been told and retold on the big screen twice already. It feels weird to me that we’ve gone from “We’re never going to see Spider-Man done right on the big screen” to having third incarnation of Peter Parker in 13 years or so.

By going with Miles, they can have an origin story that feels somewhat fresh. Without having Uncle Ben tell Peter “with great power comes great responsibility” (or imply it…ugh), Miles learns this lesson on his own (or if they are so inclined from other people in Parker’s life like Aunt May or Mary Jane). Miles would be the youngest hero in the MCU by mile which would provide yet another new perspective on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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The problem is Miles doesn’t have a nemesis. When Miles Morales was introduced, his only foil was his uncle (who turned out to be the Ultimate incarnation of The Prowler) who figured out he was Spider-Man and used it to help him fight The Scorpion. Then the book became mired in an Ultimate Comics crossover. Brian Michael Bendis (creator of Miles Morales and writer of every Ultimate Spider-Man issue he’s appeared in) spent more time with Peter Parker’s friends and family (Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane and May Parker all know who he is and have supported him) than establishing Miles’ world (he has a best friend and now a girlfriend). He’s been around since 2011 but it still feels like he’s just getting started.

If they bring him to the big screen, I guess he could fight some of the Parker’s old enemies (Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus, The Sandman) as he’s done in the book but it wouldn’t be the same. Every time Miles has confronted one of Parker’s old enemies, it usually went like this:

  • Villain: “You’re not the real Spider-Man”
  • Miles: “Yes, I am.”
  • Initial defeat
  • Crisis on conscience
  • Rematch
  • Villain: “You’re not the real Spider-Man.”
  • Miles (as he’s about to defeat the villain): “Yes I AM!” (or some quippy version of that).

The only villain he has a real connection with is Norman Osborn (since it was an Oscorp Spider that gave him power) but do we want to go down the Osborn well again?

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Maybe Marvel should give Parker one more film and then lead into Miles Morales just so they can establish how big the shoes are that he is seeking to fill. Currently there isn’t anything in his books to sustain more than one film and Marvel isn’t in the single film business (Unless you’re Ant-Man.  Sorry Paul Rudd). Marvel Films has already shown that they don’t need to draw specifically from the comics but this needs to be more than just Miles Morales in place of Peter Parker.

I would love if Miles Morales came to the big screen.  It would bring me one step closer to my dream of my son being Spider-Man for Halloween.

On a separate note, there probably won’t be time for Marvel and Sony to cast a Spider-Man so he can make a cameo in the post-credit teaser for Avengers: Age of Ultron.  What they could do, however, is have the movie acknowledge Spider-Man is a part of the MCU by cutting to the offices of The Daily Bugle and showing an indignant J.J. Jameson played by a Academy Award Nominated Actor J.K. Simmons (there have been rumors to that effect). Yes, it would be strange for the first J.J. Jameson to show up in the third version of Spider-Man but he was just so damn good I think fans would be willing to overlook it.

It’s All Connected

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Over the holidays, HBO ran a marathon of arguably the greatest television drama of all-time, The Wire, remastered in HD.  As a result, my Twitter timeline was inundated with some of my favorite quotes. It inspired me to use some of them to write about Xavi since I haven’t done that in a long time.

“See, the thing is you only got to fuck up once. Be a little slow, be a little late, just once. And how you ain’t gonna never be slow? Never be late? You can’t plan for no shit like this man, it’s life. Yeah. It scares me.” – Avon Barksdale

Xavi hasn’t had any major injuries thus far (*knocks on wood*) but I don’t know how long this good luck will last.  Since my mother got Xavi to start walking (and then promptly left) the Monday after his first birthday, the entire apartment looks like a death trap to me.  Long gone are the days when you could put him down somewhere,  turn around and, at most, he moved ten feet. Now, you can only leave him out of your sight for five seconds before he’s getting into some trouble whether it’s pulling something off the kitchen counter or trying to climb up a chair to get something off the table.

He’s also very aware when you’re not paying attention to him.  If he thinks I’m distracted, he tries to get away with something.  There are numerous times when I’ve raced over or yelled out “Xavi!” and just prevent something bad from happening to him.

But he’s only getting faster and I’m only getting slower.

“The game ain’t in me no more. None of it.” – Dennis “Cutty” Wise

After the holidays, everyone asked “How was your New Year’s Eve?” I was in bed by midnight…East Coast time. Actually, I was asleep by 8:45 PM only to be woken up by people on the East Coast sending me “Happy New Year” text messages.

I guess the days of partying all day and staying out all night are over.  I can’t even completely blame Xavi for this one.  I just don’t have the energy anymore.

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“You want it to be one way…but it’s the other way” – Marlo Stansfield

He hasn’t hit the “Terrible Twos” yet but Xavi definitely throws his fair share of tantrums.  They are usually for one of two reasons.  Either, someone is taking away something he probably shouldn’t have (keys, broom, trash) or someone is stopping him from doing something he’s not supposed to do (touching the trash can, climbing on top of a chair or table, etc.)

I look forward to being able to explain to him why he can and cannot do certain things but, from what I’ve been told, it is even more frustrating when they know and still don’t care.

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“How my hair look, Mike?” – Felicia “Snoop” Pearson

For better or worse, I’m in charge of Xavi’s hair. Some days it looks better than others.  I’ve looked up blogs and watched videos about how handle curly hair like his but no one has an answer to the one problem I’ve had: “How do I get him to sit still through all that?”

 “Comes a day you’re gonna have to decide whether it’s about you or about the work.” – Cedric Daniels

Sometimes when I’m alone, I get wrapped up in how tired I am and how hard I’ve worked.  Then I remember that it’s not just me.  Cindy’s works just as hard (probably harder) and is just as tired (definitely more tired).

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It’s not about me anymore, it’s about us, more importantly, him. And I better get ready because Xavi’s comin’!

This Charming Man

I apologize in advance for misremembering any facts/dates, leaving anyone out or for this post not being very well written.

 

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I met Kevin on my very first day of work at Ogilvy Public Relations 12 years ago. We started the same day and were sitting next to one another in the HR director’s office. We learned that not only did we go to NYU around the same time (Kevin graduated one year after me) but lived in the same dorm for two years and had a few mutual friends. Our paths probably crossed several times at NYU but we did not meet until that day. Through our many conversations between whining about Vioxx media monitoring, we learned that we shared many interests like Arrested Development, Scrubs and the genius of Will Ferrell. You know those annoying people who constantly quote movies and television shows to one another? That was us. He was JD to my Turk.

I was resigned to just going to work and then going home. You’d be surprised to find out that I’m generally very introverted. At least, I was until Kevin. He kept inviting me out no matter how many times I refused to head back to Long Island or go to see my girlfriend at the time in the city. When my girlfriend and I broke up, I finally succumbed to Kevin’s invitations and my life was changed forever. I don’t think I have ever known a person like Kevin Silverman. He had hanging out down to a science. I didn’t really know New York City until I started hanging out with him. Kevin showed me great places to eat and drink. It always seemed like Kevin’s mission in life was to make sure everyone was having a good time.

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Kevin wanted Ogilvy PR to be a fun place and I followed his lead. We called ourselves Silverman Soup (I wish I could find the logo we made) and started after work movie nights which was just an excuse to order buffalo wings and watch movies that we liked on the projection screen. We figured that we were staying late at work anyway. We would try and organize happy hours whenever possible. Kevin helped turned OPR into a social family. Honestly, there were days and weeks that I hated working there for various reasons but I never hated going to work because I knew my friends were there.

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Later Nikki and Tony joined Ogilvy PR and we became inseparable. All it took was one ski trip where we mostly drank and ruined Wedding Crashers for Nikki by constantly quoting the best parts. Inspired by an episode of Scrubs, we decided to become the greatest air band ever (Not that we would ever practice or perform). Mercy Flush was born and here to torture anyone within earshot of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” No matter where we were or what we were doing, if that song came on, we ran to the center of the room and sang at the top of our lungs with our arms around each other. Yes, it was annoying to everyone else. No, we didn’t care.

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On my first day back from a trip to Los Angeles, Kevin informed me that he signed us up for ZogSports touch football. None of us were particularly athletic but if he thought it would be fun, I was down. We were still in the height of our Wedding Crashers obsession so after much debate, we named our team Rule 76 (“No excuses, play like a champion”). I thought this would just be a fun excuse to hang out on the weekend. Little did I know that over the years it would be the source of almost half of my adult friendships. Every season we would keep signing up for more sports and teams. Even when Kevin went to Australia for a year, I tried to keep the teams going. We even added a “KS” to our shirts to honor our founder. Kevin would invite one new person, they would invite others and so on and so forth. Couples were formed, social circles merged, lasting friendships created, all because Kevin said “Hey, I signed us up for touch football.”

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When Kevin came back from Australia with Jen Johnson, I knew he had found the one for him. It only took five minutes to talking to her and I thought, “Yup, that’s why.” Jennifer’s bright spirit and infectious joy was a perfect match for Kevin.

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The last time I saw Kevin was my wedding day in California. I couldn’t make it to his wedding in Florida because I was unemployed at the time and was trying to pay for my own wedding. I tried to Skype in but wasn’t that successful. During the Dollar Dance, I gave Kevin a huge embrace. It meant the world to me that he was there and made me happy to think how far we had come together in our lives.

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Kevin was many things. He was one of the kindest, most generous people I have ever met. If there was conflict, Kevin would try to mediate. If someone wasn’t having a good time, Kevin would check on them. A frequent reply from Kevin in our many invites was “Did we include…?”

Kevin was the sun all of our friendships revolved around. He kept us in orbit and warmed us with his compassion and love. When I found out Tuesday morning that Kevin passed away suddenly, I was in shock. After 30 minutes, I broke down and cried on my bed. The world already feels darker and colder without him.

I wish I had gotten to see him the last time I came to New York but we kept missing each other. I wish he had gotten to meet Xavi. I wish I could have gotten in one last karaoke night. I will try to take solace in all the great times, all the photos, all the friends I can thank him for.

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I will miss you, Vanilla Bear.

P.S. Mercy Flush Rules

Black Storms: My One Issue with the ‘Fantastic Four’ Casting

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Now that Michael B. Jordan has officially been cast as Johnny Storm in Josh Trank’s reboot of the Fantastic Four, I can talk about the one thing that’s bugged me.

From what we’ve been led to believe, in this version, Johnny Storm will be the adopted brother of Sue Storm (Kate Mara) instead of blood related as they are in the comics. This sent a few folks into a tizzy about Jordan’s race which is now commonplace since the Donald Glover for Spider-Man Twitter campaign. Here’s what I don’t understand: why was it never a serious consideration for Sue Storm to ALSO be African-American? All the casting rumors for Sue Storm were young white women and the adopted brother aspect came hand-in-hand with the Jordan casting rumor so no matter who played Sue Storm, she was going to be white.

Instead of having to write around Johnny Storm now being black and having to established how close him and Sue are despite not being blood, why not just make them related? Is it because Sue Storm and Mr. Fantastic (Miles Teller) are going to be romantically involved and we can only push geeks who are still crying over Heimdell too far?

I have faith in Trank (if you haven’t seen Chronicle, please do so immediately) and I’m glad he got the Human Torch he wanted but I have to admit that I found this aspect disappointing. If you are going to mix things up, go all the way. As Mike Ehrmantraut would say, “no half measures.”

Regardless, I’m excited for Jordan and every African-American boy can say “I’m Johnny Storm” in 2015.