Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Matt's Top 5 Top 5's of 2013

Well hello there reader, and thanks for spending one of your last days of 2013 with the fam here at Underrated Heroes. We each decided to make some top 5 lists of our favorite and least favorite things, but one top 5 wasn't enough. I needed 5 top 5's! So here we go. My 5 five favorite lists of 5 favorite things:

5) Comics
I grew up on comics. I idolized the big names: Spiderman, Batman, The X-Men. But now I'm in college, and with all the reading I need to do for school, the last thing I want to do when I finish is more reading, regardless of the subject material. That being said, I was delighted to read at lest five archs with my favorite characters. While I wasn't able to hop on some of the indy comics that are all the rage at the moment, here are my top five comics of 2013:

Warning: List will be Marvel-heavy. I am admittedly biased.

5) Batman: Death of the Family

Man, this one is dark. After getting his face sliced off, Joker is back and he's hitting Batman where it hurts. As someone who falls into depression every time a Robin dies, this one cut me deep. 

4) Hawkeye:
One of my favorite avengers, Hawkeye is one of the most Underrated Heroes because he doesn't have any superpowers. Instead of going against that grain, Matt Fraction embraced it, and focused on the least super aspects of Clint Barton's life. Whenever someone gets on my boy, I'm showing them this comic. 

3) The Superior Spider-Man
Of all the controversy any superhero has gathered throughout its years of publication, Spider-Man has gathered the most. From the clone saga to Miles Morales, Spidey fans have seen it all. But among these archs, none has gathered more controversy than Superior Spider-Man, in which Otto Octavius literally takes control of Peter Parker's body.  I too was skeptical, but it actually is somewhat refreshing to see a completely new take on Spider-Man, and Peter Parker isn't completely out of the equation. 

2) All New X-Men

As a huge Cyclops mark, seeing the original X-Men team from the 60's go up against the man Scott Summers has become was great, and seeing the original team in the present tense has really showcased how far the X-Men have come over the years. 

1) Deadpool Kills Deadpool

I like Deadpool. I'm sorry, but any Deadpool story that you think is cool, I think is awesome. So when the Deadpool Kills saga takes leather-bound Deadpool on a quest to kill all of Deadpool Corps, it gets reckless. 

4) Wrestling
I also grew up on wrestling, but in addition to the lack of free time on my hands nowadays (which keeps me limited to a mainstream WWE viewing schedule), there's also the "Wrestling is so fake, they're not even hitting each other!" bullshit to contend with.  I want to say I tell these people to piss off. I wish I could vehemently defend it to the grave. But it's hard to defend good wrestling when the WWE shows so much bad. For this reason, wrestling is only 4 on my list. Here's my top 5 wrestlers:

5) Dolph Ziggler
He may be lower than the low card now, but the night he cashed in is top 3 pops of the year hands down.  I can't tell you anything any other wrestling blog wouldn't, but his first half of 2013 earns him a spot on my list over Big E, who's bound to break out in 2014, but only started picking up steam a couple of months ago
4) Roman Reigns
What a powerhouse. This guy can hit a spear and a superman punch better than anyone in the WWE right now, and nothing is more hype than a well done spear. He sells well for someone his size, and with his hair of an amazonian goddess, he's got the look. As much as I like his quiet personality, he would be higher on the list if he had any mic skills 
3) Antonio Cesaro
While his giant swing has been getting him over in recent weeks, this guy has been brutal all year, with the superhuman strength to carry Jack Swagger on his back for months on end. His gauntlet match with Daniel Bryan is top 5 matches this year hands down. 
2) Daniel Bryan
Pretty self-explanatory. I remember beardless DB jobbing while barely grasping the US title in one hand and reaching for even a modest crowd reaction in the other. Now look at Raw in Seattle. The only reasons this man isn't number one are because he's #1 in everyone else's list, and because there's one man who's made an even bigger comeback. 
1) Goldust
I'm as shocked as anyone else that two of my favorite matches of 2013 (Goldust vs Orton, Rhodes family vs Shield) would involve Goldust. But by Odin's raven Goldust is in the best shape of his life, and every week he whips out a new move that has me marking out. He can tell a story, he's almost as athletic as Cody, and the chemistry they have makes them fitting Tag Champs. Can't wait for him to send Cody into superstardom next year.

3) Music
Everyone likes music, but I put it #3 on my list mostly to provide some juxtaposition to the genres of music that the other authors here threw on their lists. I don't expect most of our 12 fans to agree with this, but that's ok. This is only based off the few albums I've been able to listen to this year. Again, don't expect anything apart from mainstream on this list.

5) Justin Timberlake - 20/20 Experience pts 1&2

Shut up. Just shut the hell up. JT is my boy.   
4) J. Cole - Born Sinner

A few decent rap albums came out this year (My Name is My Name, MMLP2) but Born Sinner is 21 tracks of well-produced, honest, consistency. I only skip about 3 tracks on the album, and rather than bombarding me with the standard cash/hoes/gang that rap tends to be, I feel like Cole actually writes about what's going on in his life. He can be corny, but I appreciate the album for the most part. 
3) Rise Against - Long Forgotten Songs

I don't know if this counts because it's mostly old b-sides and bonus tracks. Nonetheless, I really enjoy rise against, the earlier the better, so even though I have a lot of these songs already, it was cool to hear them slightly remastered as an album 
2) Arctic Monkeys - AM

I'll always be partial to their first two albums, but I respect the direction they took their music in. I think AM finally hits the target that Suck it and See and Humbug were aiming for, so it was good to hear them come into their own. 
1) Wax - Continue

Wax is an unsigned rapper coming out of LA that has surprisingly gathered a large audience in Germany. He's got mixtapes for days, but his debut album, Continue, takes what makes me a fan of his and cranks it out song after song. Wax is a lyrical gymnast, with flows that got flows and disgusting metaphors that are both hilarious and effective. He's got songs that make you forget about your problems and focus on how good your life really is, but at the same time he has songs that make you wallow in sadness. We're all people, we have to do both sometimes. Regardless, I think there's always a song off this album that can make my day better, and that's why it's #1.
2) Video Games
What Top 5 list is complete without a healthy does of vidyagames? 2013 was a big year for gaming, and while my taste is specific for console gaming, it didn't stop me from playing some dope. ass. games.

5) Tomb Raider

I'm not sure how much of this game was "Wow i'm really enjoying this!" and how much was "Wow, I can't believe this doesn't suck!" but Tomb Raider was definitely the biggest surprise of the year.  While it had issues with combat and narration, it was a fantastic reboot in that it reinvented Lara Croft as a strong but extremely vulnerable protagonist. This made for a progressive experience that allows players to invest and care for Croft in a way they haven't in decades, while witnessing her genesis into a total badass. 
4) Battlefield 4

The multiplayer of Battlefield 4 is all in all the best console FPS multiplayer around. As someone who thoroughly enjoys COD, I can honestly say that, in terms of scale, pacing, physics, and what we like to call the 12-year old banging my mom factor, Battlefield is superior. 
3) Bioshock Infinite

In terms of storytelling, enemy design, shooting and RPG complexity, and setting, Bioshock Infinite has it all. While all of these traits impressed me, the most memorable is the floating city, Columbia, in which the story takes place. The colors, navigation, and multi-level dimensions of this city frequently make me want to pause the game and just admire. 
2) Grand Theft Auto 5

I'll start with the bad. I don't enjoy playing the GTAV multiplayer. It suffers from COD's aforementioned 12-year old factor. Sometimes I feel like I really can do EVERYTHING, but when simply collecting 5 stars I often find myself in a 5 block radius, ignoring the beautiful city at my disposal. Now with the good. The three protagonists are all fleshed out, likable, believable characters that I enjoy playing as. The entire city is a hilarious satire on Hollywood, which must have taken years to imagine and then implement so well.  The firing mechanics and driving mechanics, while requiring  a learning curve, are the best they've ever been, and the story mode is, for me, the best in the series.  
1) The Last of Us

Remember that feeling of desperation in the first two Resident Evil or even Dead Space games that had you under so much stress that a piece of glass breaking would send you flying out of the room? Remember the story telling and voice acting in Heavy Rain that made every button press feel like it was actually affecting someone you care about? Well if you combine these two elements with an intense combat system that adds even more intensity to the experience, along with mutants, bandits, an oppressive government, and a post-apocalyptic urban setting, you have my game of the year, The Last of Us. If you're starving with only $60 to your name, spend it on the last of us and die playing this game. 

1) TV Shows/Movies
Man, I love TV and Cinema. Nothing stops me from getting to my favorite shows, or watching a long-awaited movie.

5) Arrested Development

Season 4 of this show took a lot of heat because it changed the AD format. Many of the actors are busy, go figure, so rather than the constant character interaction that we enjoy most about the show, each character had their own focal episodes. While I agree that it doesn't meet the caliber of the first seasons, the humor is still the same, and I enjoyed it nonetheless. 
4) The Walking Dead

Amazing show, but definitely not without it's flaws.  I love watching zombies getting put down, garnering affection for fleshed out characters then watching them get brutally murdered, and obnoxiously heavy-handed metaphors. But the show has essentially become a compilation of bad decisions by people who, almost a year into a zombie apocalypse, should know better. If it were less predictable in this respect, it would be higher ranked. But it keeps its spot for it's music, gore, and the last 10 minutes of every episode. 
3) This is the End

Seth Rogan comedies are among my favorite, so This is the End, aka the placing of all of Seth Rogan's friends in James Franco's house during the Rapture, had me rolling. Each character, from Danny McBride's douchebag, to Jonah Hill's obnoxiously nice guy, was contrived and executed beautifully. Placing them in contrast to Jay Baruchel's "normal" persona made for laughs from start to finish. 
2) Star Trek: Into Darkness

Oh my word, what a blockbuster. It really covers everything off the checklist
  • Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan for Villain of the Year
  • The Enterprise almost being destroyed for the entire movie
  • Each character being portrayed accurately yet with respectful liberties (Scotty, Bones)
  • Sexy people. Damnit, everyone in this movie is so sexy. Even the aliens.
My biggest problem with the movie was the (SPOILERS) Kirk dying cop out. Don't do that. 
1) Breaking Bad

What a way to end a story that has kept people entertained and invested for 5 years. You know a show is good when your heart pangs every time a character dies. You know a show is good when you can't watch the second half of the final season in quick succession because your heart is pacing too quickly. Why I liked the show this year is an entire post in itself. If you haven't watched it, I guarantee it's more important than family or whatever you're doing this holiday.
 Well that about sums it up. I know many of these picks are too mainstream for some of you authentic vintage nerds, and I know most of them won't tickle your fancy. But regardless of your opinions, I want each of the four of you still reading to have a wonderful holiday!

And to Buzzfeed:

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