Category Archives: My Life
Another decade has come and gone and we are all, therefore, another decade older. I know I’m feeling it! Let us distract ourselves from such mortal concerns by reflecting on my favorite comic books from the past 10 years!
My memory isn’t all that great, but I’ve looked back over my various comic reviews and favorites lists and I think I’ve narrowed down a good list of 10 comics that I very much enjoyed. This blog started in 2011, so I’ve definitely been talking about a lot of comics over the past 10 years. It was a pretty monumental decade! We had the New 52 from DC Comics and the influence of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at Marvel Comics.
This was also the decade where I finally started writing my own comics! Gamer Girl & Vixen has been doing pretty well, and volume 2 is in production!
Join me after the jump as I take a look back at my favorite comics from the past decade! They are not in any particular order.
Just what the world needs, another movie podcast! But in all seriousness, I’m here to announce to all of you henchies that I am now doing a weekly (I think) movie podcast where I review the latest movies, along with other general pop culture news and features. I’m doing this as part of my day job as a newpaper reporter. I’ve been doing movie reviews for the paper for the past year and a half, and they’re looking to expand their brand into other avenues, including podcasting.
So I want to welcome you to the first episode of Sentinel Cinema with Sean Ian Mills!
The first episode is my take on Terminator: Dark Fate.
I haven’t been sharing my movie reviews on this blog because they come out later than I would like. Such is fitting my reviews into my newspaper’s schedule. But I have no problem sharing these podcasts if anybody would care to give a listen. I think I do alright. It’s not about to break the internet or revolutionize podcasting or anything like that. I’m not going to get to sit down with Tom Cruise or anyone like that. It’s just going to be a fun little thing I do as part of my day job.
Honestly, I could have gotten into podcasting through Henchman-4-Hire a long time ago…but College Humor summed up my thoughts on podcasts a couple years ago.
Still, don’t let that discourage you and feel free to give my podcast a listen! I think it’ll be weekly, with new movie reviews, so there’s that!
In a Little More Than 2 Years, Nearly Every Single One of My Favorite Comic Book Characters Has Been Killed
As a longtime comic book reader, I have my personal list of favorite characters. Everybody has one, right? Those characters that you love to read about and see pop up in new comics. For a lot of people, their favorite characters are big name superheroes, like Spider-Man or Batman. For me, I tend to prefer the smaller supporting characters. That’s just what happens when you read a lot of comics and are exposed to a lot of characters.
As such, when I started this blog back in 2011, one of my earliest Lists of Six was my top six favorite comic book characters of all-time. With the exception of one name, that list has remained pretty firm over the past eight years.
In the past two years and a couple months, nearly every character on that list has been killed. Several characters in my Honorable Mentions addendum have been killed. And a couple other characters I love have either been killed or nearly killed within this time frame.
I don’t…I don’t know what’s going on.
I don’t presume to think this is some sort of targeted attack on yours truly. I think this is just the unfortunate cost of loving minor comic book characters, the sorts of characters that can be chewed up and spit out as any given writer sees fit.
But damn, this has been pretty hard on the soul.
And I guess I just felt like listing them off, as if that would help me somehow. Let’s start with my favorite characters list:
Multiple Man was killed in Death of X #1 in October 2016.
He’s still dead. Multiple Man has returned to comics, replaced by one of his duplicates. And his character has been re-written as a feckless coward. So that’s some good salt in the wound.
The Mimic was killed in Extermination #5 in December 2018.
This one was really disappointing. He made a surprise appearance in Extermination after being out of comics for a few years. I knew from the moment he appeared that he probably wouldn’t survive the series, and I had to wait several months for those fears to be confirmed.
Phil Urich was killed in Amazing Spider-Man #797 in March 2018.
Phil was my favorite superhero as a kid, and the first comic I actively started collecting on my own, issue-by-issue. I endured years of him being transformed into an unrepentant villain before they finally put him out of his misery.
Tim Drake was killed in Detective Comics #940 in September 2016.
Thankfully, his death was a fake out. He survived and returned to service shortly thereafter. He’s even gone back to being just “Robin” instead of the far more ridiculous “Red Robin”. So there’s at least one happy ending in this list.
That’s it for my list of favorites. I listed “Robin” on that list as more of the concept of the character. Damian Wayne, the current Robin, is still alive…but if I’m being honest, he hasn’t really been ‘Robin’ in a long time. The concept of ‘Batman and Robin’ as a team is pretty dead. So does that count? Not to mention that Damian was killed in early 2013. So for a short while there, Robin was dead.
The Spot is also still alive, but he’s the one character I would probably take off my list of favorites. I’ve always been a big fan of the Spot, and will always be a big fan of the Spot, but there are characters I like better. Which is probably why he’s still alive.
How about some of those Honorable Mentions at the bottom of the page?
Mach X was killed in Thunderbolts #12 in April 2017.
The Scorpion was maybe killed in Venom Annual #1 in October 2018.
I’m not too sure about this one. It does appear that Venom kills the Scorpion, but then Scorpion has been showing up in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man recently. I may have to check and see if there’s an explanation.
Strong Guy was killed in Uncanny X-Men #12 in February 2019.
This is the most recent, and inspired this list. Strong Guy is Multiple Man’s best friend, and one of my favorite duos in comics. And now they’re both dead, and neither one particularly cares about the other these days. So just bleakness all around.
Avalanche was killed in Uncanny Avengers #1 in October 2012.
That happened a year after I started my blog and he’s still dead. The recent X-Men Gold comic introduced a new Avalanche, but I didn’t read it, and I’m pretty sure the character didn’t stick around. The X-Men have since ignored the new Pyro also, and he joined the X-Men towards the end of that comic. So that’s not looking good.
That’s the major list. Eight of my favorite comic book characters have been killed since I started this blog, most of them within the past two years or so. And only one of them has been properly ‘resurrected’ in that time. It’s just a little soul-crushing.
That’s not counting the time Stingray was nearly killed in a recent Avengers comic. Or the speculation that Simon Baz, my favorite Green Lantern, is probably going to be killed in Heroes in Crisis.
I don’t have any larger point to make. And I’m largely just whining. But c’mon. There’s only so much my soul can take. Is it really so wrong to have favorite comic book characters? Is there somebody specifically targeting me?
When will it stop?
All I really know is that Beta Ray Bill had better be very careful now that he’s a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. There’s almost no way he’s going to survive that comic.
It’s that time of year again! My annual roundup of the pop culture I enjoyed, just like every other website and blog worth its salt. But unlike those fancy pants websites with their paid writers and access to advanced screenings, I’m just a schlub typing away at his computer, enjoying what sweet little things come my way!
2018 has been an OK year, I guess. I don’t have any major accomplishments to brag about. I’m still working on making my own comics, with more Gamer Girl & Vixen news to come in the new year. I haven’t lost any weight, but I remain confident that maybe I will someday. And I’m not dead yet! That always counts for something.
The following list is just my favorite, most memorable shows, movies, toys and whatnot I encountered in 2018. Some things, like movies, were released on 2018. Other things, like TV shows and comics, are often ongoing and extend beyond just 2018, but they were my favorites in 2018. It’s not that complicated. And, as always, I am wholly out of touch with new music, so that’s not a category.
Feel free to share your own favorite things from the past year in the comments!
Due to popular demand (from the one of you readers who actually comments on my Facebook posts), I’m going to take the time today to introduce you all to my original Star Wars character. I’m sure we all have one. We’re all creative and imaginative types here. Surely the depth and breadth of the Star Wars universe has opened all of us up to an original character idea or two. I know I’ve got a couple.
But there’s one that exists at the top of my creative ladder, who I will cling to in the desperate hopes that I get my hands on some creative Star Wars project someday.
And that character is Stormtrooper Bounty Hunter. I haven’t really given him a proper name yet. But I have created him via LEGO, sort of. The design isn’t final.
Stormtrooper Bounty Hunter is from the post-Return of the Jedi/pre-The Force Awakens time period, and is basically little more than a bounty hunter wearing Stormtrooper armor — an idea both he and I have stolen directly from Boba Fett.
Way back in the day, before Attack of the Clones gave him an origin story, and before The Clone Wars cartoon explored the Mandalorians, the prevailing theory about Boba Fett was that he was just a badass bounty hunter who used the armor of a long-lost warrior race to look really cool while doing his job. We didn’t know anything about Boba Fett or the Mandalorians, just that he’d repurposed their armor into his cool bounty hunter look.
So I thought to myself: what if somebody does that with an old set of Stormtrooper armor sometime in the future, after the Empire is gone?
You take the classic Stormtrooper set and then deck it out with cool accouterments, like wookiee pelts or a jet pack or guns or bandoliers. I dunno, whatever looks cool. And there you’ve got another cool bounty hunter character to exist in the Star Wars universe.
Personality-wise, I picture him as a Deadpool-type. Not the crazy stuff or the Fourth Wall-breaking. Just the Merc with a Mouth stuff, where he’s smarmy, quippy and a charming jackass. Stormtrooper Bounty Hunter would be a risk-taking, devil-may-care asshole who is just funny enough to be likable.
Oddly enough, my character idea is very similar to Stormtrooper X.
Stormtrooper X is a pirate who also wears old, re-purposed Stormtrooper armor, and is a bit of a universal badass. Stormtrooper X and Stormtrooper Bounty Hunter share many similarities, but I assure you, this is merely coincidence. Stormtrooper X has only ever appeared in a single article about interesting bounties from the sixth issue of Star Wars Gamer magazine, which came out in 2001.
I have never read Star Wars Gamer magazine. This is just a cosmic coincidence of two people thinking to re-purpose old Stormtrooper armor into something badass and cool down the line.
Hopefully someday, I can flesh out Stormtrooper Bounty Hunter some more and make him into a real character. My dream is to become a comic book writer for Marvel, who are currently publishing Star Wars comics. So in the world of my wildest dreams, this could happen. And what kind of world would it be if we couldn’t cling to our wildest dreams?
Also, if you fancy yourself a fan of teenage fan fiction, you’re welcome to read my Star Wars prequels fan fiction from when I was…oh jeez, looking at the date on this thing, I was a freshman in college when I wrote this. I was that old?! Jeez louise…
Anyway, here’s the link, if you have nothing better to do with your afternoon. It’s full of really bad fan characters.
And hey, feel free to share your own Star Wars OC in the comments below! We’re all Star Wars fans here.