It's going to be another short and sweet one, folks. I spent the US holiday working, doing administration for personal life stuff and watching a movie, despite it being the perfect day to kick back and write this newsletter. And more fool me, because there's quite a bit happening this week! So let's dive right into...
WHAT'S OUT THIS WEEK?
Thor Annual #1, that's what!
The main story is by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, with art by Ibraim Roberson, and by all accounts it's a doozy - but the reason I'm bringing it up in this space is because there's also a teaser for the upcoming Immortal Thor in there. A little bridging segment, a taster portion that might drop a few hints of what's to come - and give you a first look at Martin Cóccolo's take on the new, classic Thor!
Also out this week -
It's Venom #22! The cover is kind of a flash-forward to future events - or maybe a flash-backward, given Brock Sr's time-travelling nature - but we start putting the pieces of the puzzle together in this ish as we grab a glimpse at the troubled past of Flexo The Rubber Man. Meanwhile, in the present, Dylan Brock finds himself on the receiving end of Flexo's wrath! Ramón Bachs is our guest artist, and he does amazing work in the past and the present. I hope you like it!
I've been playing a lot of Marvel Snap lately - it's the kind of two-minute game that is very easy to reward yourself with as a treat for doing a section of work - and I have enough random thoughts to pad out the rest of this newsletter with.
- There are many kinds of Marvel Snap players, but there are, essentially, two kinds of Marvel Snap plays. You are either trying to build something cooler than your opponent, or you are trying to deny the opponent their dream of building something cool. Everything is on a spectrum between these two impulses. (You could argue that skipping your move, or running in place by placing a card that you know won't do more that get you the points on the card, is a third kind of play - I would not, because in both cases you have a want that you are not currently able to perform, and that want is either... to build something cool, or deny something cool.)
- I have more sympathy for builders than I do for deniers - I've been at the mercy of extreme builders, and reacted to their incredible constructions with a kind of bemused, fascinated awe even as they've knocked the stuffing out of me. Meanwhile, if you play Green Goblin and then Hobgoblin, you've earned nothing but my contempt. Even if you win - even if you win four cubes - you are, in your secret heart, a loser in the game of life.
- Also, these goblin plays win maybe... one in five times? They're low-tier strategies. You can't build any kind of metagame out of them, there are just too many potential counters. Odin can send them flying right back. A flurry of 1-cost cards can fill up the space, leaving you stuck with your crappy Osborn or worse, Kingsley. And if you do pull off the Green Goblin move... what does it get you? Three points in your favour? Eight points? And here I am with my 128-point Black Panther, because I have been building.
- A much more potent card for deniers is Professor X. Spidey will stop you playing a card in a space - Xavier will stop cards entering that space. Or leaving. Even in death. You cannot destroy a card if it's in Professor X's mindfield. I assume this is the influence of Krakoa. Needless to say, a well-timed, well-placed X can destroy an entire game. He can also lock in a losing situation, which is why I prefer not to play him.
- The new Phoenix card is interesting. I'm having some luck with Nimrod, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Venom - not the Human Torch yet. The one seeming guarantee would be Attuma, but of course all you're doing is bringing back a Phoenix-powered Attuma, so unless you've got Knull in your back pocket it's not much more than delaying the inevitable.
- Nobody who doesn't play Marvel Snap has a clue what I'm going on about. You're welcome!
- More Snap Judgments to come, probably.
BUT FOR NOW, IT'S TIME TO GO
We got through another week, just about, so this is still the place to find me. Love and strength to those who need it, and I'll play us out with "Hey Rusty" by Lloyd Cole.