Entropy Editions Round-Up : “Barrage” By Nicolas Nade


Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Entropy Editions is a new(-ish) publisher based here in the Twin Cities that appears to be casting a rather broad remit in terms of the sort of material they’re willing to roll the dice on — so far all their well-designed minis seem to fall vaguely under the rubric of what most would classify as “art comics,” specifically “art comics” with a formalist approach, but beyond that everything is up for grabs conceptually and thematically, and it’s not like these de facto categorizations preclude narrative from being involved in the proceedings to the extent a given cartoonist wishes for it to be. Sure, the format of the books themselves is rather uniform in terms of logo, cover design, and what have you — they’re even numbered! — but in strictly editorial terms these comics hew (a bit) closer to, say, a Mini Kus! than they do to a Ley Lines

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Film Review: Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (dir by Rod Hardy)


Uh-oh, Hydra is up to something!

If you don’t know who Hydra is, they’re an international group of villainous superspies. The organization was founded by a Nazi war criminal named Baron Von Strucker and they’re always trying to take over the world or destroy it. Hydra hasn’t had much success on either front but it’s not for lack of trying. Fortunately, there’s another super secret organization that’s been founded to keep Hydra from reaching their goals. The name of this organization is S.H.I.E.L.D. and they are headquartered in a big flying helicarrier thing. So, if you work for S.H.I.E.L.D., you not only get to save the world but you also have a hell of a work commute.

Anyway, Hydra’s latest plan is to steal the body of their founder and somehow not only bring him back to life but to also spread a deadly virus across the world. S.H.I.E.L.D. knows that it’s going to take the world’s greatest secret agent to defeat this plot but, unfortunately, Nick Fury (David Hasselhoff) is retired and living in an abandoned mine shaft in the Yukon. Nick wears an eye patch, smokes a cigar, and speaks in a permanently annoyed tone of voice. Nick’s done with saving the world. Or, at least, that’s what he thinks. When S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Lina Rinna) informs him that Hydra killed an old friend of his while stealing the Baron’s body, Nick emerges from the Yukon in search of revenge!

Long before Samuel L. Jackson donned the iconic eye patch and brought Nick Fury to life as one of the mainstays of the MCU, David Hasselhoff played the character in this made-for-TV movie from 1998. The movie was meant to serve as the pilot for a Nick Fury television series. (Hasselhoff, by this point, was looking to move on from Baywatch.) Of course, it wasn’t picked up and today, whenever this early Marvel film is mentioned, it’s usually in a somewhat dismissive manner.

And, believe me, I can understand that instinct to preemptively dismiss Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. I mean, it’s David Hasselhoff and its from the 90s and it was made for TV. I get it. But, having watched the movie on Saturday night, I have to say that it’s actually not that bad. It’s low budget. It’s campy. It’s thoroughly silly. The film is full of actors giving uncertain line readings. And yet, it’s also fast-paced and, when taken on its own admittedly “special” terms, rather entertaining. In the role of Nick Fury, Hasselhoff plays the role with just enough self-awareness to indicate that he’s in on the joke. He delivers his lines with just the right amount of deadpan humor and he chews on that cigar as if the fate of the world depends upon it. In short, as opposed to almost everyone else in the film, Hasselhoff appears to be having a good time. In fact, one could argue that David Hasselhoff is a good Nick Fury for the same reason that Samuel L. Jackson is a good Nick Fury. Both of them play the character as if he’s someone who secretly realizes that he’s a character in a comic book film and who is determined to have as much fun with the role as he can.

The film’s plot does occasionally border on being incoherent but, honestly, who cares? Are you really watching a film like this for the plot? There’s a lot of explosions and one-liners. Hasselhoff has fun with the lead role, as does Sandra Hess in the role of Strucker’s daughter. It’s a dumb but entertaining. It’s also only 90 minutes long so it’s not like you’re having to sacrifice a major part of your life to watch it. Explosions and a short running time, who can complain about that?

Music Video of the Day: Love Again by Dua Lipa (2021, dir by ????)


I’m a Texas girl so I loved this.  Admittedly, I’ve never ridden on a mechanical bull but I have seen a few and I’ve seen more than a few people get thrown off of them.  They’re a bit scary looking and I’m already accident-prone enough without tempting fate.  Still, I admire anyone who tries.  

(And, as scary as mechanical bulls are, they are nowhere near as scary as real bulls.)

Enjoy!