diflucan 2 doses

Abhay re: Killing the Cobra #2; This Might Have Been Better a Week Ago, But… Whoops.

Abhay Khosla

An essay based upon MARIO ACEVEDO’S KILLING THE COBRA: CHINATOWN TROLLOP #2 after the jump.

Anatomy of an impulse buy:

1) The cover features a dude straight-up getting his fuck on, which is certainly a persuasive sales campaign for a comic book.  And next to the Buddha, even, which I don’t think a lot of guys could manage.  You know: I already think God’s laughing at me when I take my clothes off, just generally, so having a giant Buddha statue in the room towering over me in that moment would generate the opposite of enlightenment.  By enlightenment, I’m of course referring to boners.

2) The sub-title of the comic was “CHINATOWN TROLLOP.”  Trollop is such a delicate and dainty euphemism—it’s got so much more panache than “entry-level sluts” or whatever degraded euphemism rings through your local junior high school today.  Standards have deteriorated.  Trollop is like when you watch MAD MEN—earlier generations may have been racist, sexist alcoholic liars, but they at least knew how to dress themselves.

3) Apparently there was a book called the NYMPHOS OF ROCKY FLATS, and that book was even a best-seller, among literate people, people who don’t need to see pictures when they read.  So: this comic about a guy fucking a Chinatown trollop had a very strong probability of having solid literary influences.

Excerpt from my screenplay STANDING DANGEROUS.  Log-line:  “A rookie English teacher is going to turn the hood… upside-down, through the Power of Learning… and Hip-Hop– SAY WHAT?”


Inner city gang members sit in rapt attention.

Do you know who the original Chinatown Trollop was?
Moll Flanders.

Entire class explodes in applause and high-fives.  Lil Tray throws his crutches into the garbage—he can walk!  Wall explodes open, showering the room with debris—Buddha rushes in through the hole.

Hey everybody—we’re all gonna get laid!


But, oh well, comics, so:

1) A more astute observer would have noticed the squiggle near the main character’s lips.  That squiggle nears the lips is a fang.  It’s a vampire comic.

2) It’s about a Hispanic vampire named Felix Gomez and his Chinese “lover” fighting Yellow Peril villains—Jiang Chow and the Han Cobras, Asian heroin-dealers who kill their underlings using cobras. Sample dialogue: “By this time next year, I’ll have every drug cartel—Colombians, Mexicans, Thais, Afghanis, Russians—lapping like dogs out of my rice bowl.”  My fortune cookie says you die now, Mr. Bond— you know, not my kind of thing. By now you can probably guess that I’m a little too much of a delicate flower for that kind of thing.  Here’s my impression of me:  “My vagina’s sore.  Waah.”

3)   The only discernible literary influence was Hemmingway’s THE SUN ALSO RISES, in that KILLING THE COBRA is similarly about an expatriate war veteran whose obsession with his war-wound (i.e. a nasty case of vampirism that he caught in the Iraq War) leads him into an ultimately tragic relationship with a woman (i.e. the Chinatown Trollop) and aimless wanderings in the shadow of meaningless and decayed social institutions (i.e. the remote institution of the vampire “Araneum”).  However, I think that CHINATOWN TROLLOP loses too much in ignoring THE SUN ALSO RISES’s themes of sexual insecurity—after all, the cover features the Chinatown Trollop having sexual congress near the Buddha, plainly expressing that in the Felix Gomez universe, sexual success is a route to spiritual fulfillment.  This is a far cry and a far less believable theme than those raised by Lady Brett Ashley’s inability to consummate a sexual relationship with the narrator of THE SUN ALSO RISES, Jake Barnes, due to his hideous genital wound.

On the other hand, THE SUN ALSO RISES didn’t feature heroin-dealing Chinese gangsters, so who’s laughing now?  Not Hemmingway—he killed himself.

So, that happened.  A comic you may never have heard of…?  Turns out there may be good reasons you’ve never heard of it.  But that’s not a reason to write about anything, right?  “News flash! Comics: not very good sometimes.”  But when I think about why I didn’t enjoy KILLING THE COBRA: CHINATOWN TROLLOP #2– when I really consider it, the things I’ve suggested to you so far– the lack of craft, the discomforting politics, the cliche qualities…?  Well, those those don’t sound very meaningful at all, do they? I mean, if I really cared all that much about lack of craft, retrograde politics, or cliches, would I really still be reading comics, at all?

No, I found the comic silly for reasons deeper than what can be attributed to any alleged lack of craft.  And in thinking about it, what I think it is, and why I think the comic may be worth a thought, is this: the main character.  Main character, vampire-of-action Felix Gomez– he seemed silly to me.

But: why?  He’s almost identical to a hero of a 1970’s Marvel comic, just with fewer thought balloons and more of a willingness to have sex with trollops of a Chinatown variety.  He could be Son of Satan; he could be Ghost Rider; he could be Werewolf at Night.

And yet those characters seem tolerable in a way that Mr. Gomez does not.  The very idea of him seemed silly to me, regardless of execution.  Why?  What changed from 1970-whatever to today?   Mr. Gomez seemed silly, but he’s just a generic R-rated action hero of the pulp variety.  And I think that’s the key fact here– that in fact, Felix Gomez: Vampire seemed silly BECAUSE he’s a R-rated male action hero of the pulp variety.  Those sort of doesn’t exist anymore other than in obscure IDW books, hidden away in dark corners of your local comic shop. Not in any way that’s hip.

What happened to R-rated male action heroes?  What happened to bad-asses?  Hemmingway killed himself– what’s everyone else’s excuse?

One of the big summer movies this year is the EXPENDABLES, which features or stars every single, important action hero I grew up with (with glaring exceptions like, Fred Ward from REMO WILLIAMS: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS, Taimak from THE LAST DRAGON, or Kurt Russel from a hell of a lot of awesome movies).  Most of the stars are roughly 80 years old now. It’s a funeral for creatine.  What’s striking about the movie is how they were never really replaced by a new batch of action heroes. Who are the big action stars of this summer?



NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  All the time, it was… We finally really did it. You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

THE A-TEAM underperformed at the box office– THE LAST AIRBENDER exceeded expectations.  Bad-ass action has been replaced by dull, computer-generated, bloodless fight scenes in children’s superhero movies.  “You have to see X-Men 2– Broadway star Alan Cumming sparkles aroud the White House punching people, until he sparkles away without having hurt anyone. Weeeee!”  Uhm: what?!  What happened to guns, knives, bows, arrows, blood, gore, viscera?  What happened to American audiences lining up to see roided-up freaks violently murdering South American drug-lords for our collective bemusement?  WHAT HAPPENED TO THE US OF FUCKING A?

Who were the last round of legitimate contenders for action heroes?  What happened to them?


That really only leaves Jason Statham…?  Jason Statham has not made a movie for kids, yet.  Well, I like to think children  can learn a lot of lessons from the CRANK movies, but those aren’t explicitly for children.  So: one guy.  And not to be xenephobic, but: one of them foreigners.  You couldn’t put James Brown’s LIVING IN AMERICA in a Jason Statham movie, the way you could put it in ROCKY IV.  And I feel that fact is crucial to any evaluation we undertake here.  And by evaluation, I’m referring of course to boners.

What happened to men?  What happened to American men? Consider the words of Guy Garcia, author of the DECLINE OF MEN:  “We do know that men are losing traction in high schools. The same is true in colleges, where 59% of all students are female. Harvard professors tell me male students have lost their drive and ambition, women tell me they can’t find a guy who’s not a dummy, slacker, cheater or loser. Men of every stripe and part of the country are telling me they feel confused, besieged and worried that they have lost their place in society, that they have lost their bearings as men.

Science?  Science blames chemicals:

[A] host of common chemicals is feminising males of every class of vertebrate animals, from fish to mammals, including people. […] It also follows hard on the heels of new American research which shows that baby boys born to women exposed to widespread chemicals in pregnancy are born with smaller penises and feminised genitals.

“This research shows that the basic male tool kit is under threat,” says Gwynne Lyons, a former government adviser on the health effects of chemicals, who wrote the report.

[…] Half the male fish in British lowland rivers have been found to be developing eggs in their testes.

British fish have ovaries in their testes; the message is clear:  even Jason Statham’s days are fucking numbered.  Look: I don’t know about you, because I know you’re probably down with some freaky shit, you’re probably 9 kinds of DTF, but I really don’t want to have to carry a baby in my testes.  I need them for other things (amirightladies?) (ohI’mnot) (ohokaywellenjoyyourevening) (canijusthavesomeofyourhair).

Granted, it’s still a pretty great gig, being a bro, all things considered.  But what’s going on?  Consider, if you will, the tragic decline of our country’s jocks.  There was a decline in NBA ratings this year.  There was a decline in NASCAR ratings.   The decline in baseball is a topic of serious debate.  NFL teams are declining in value.

American men are watching soccer.  Soccer!  For the geeks reading this, I’m pretty sure that’s the American jock equivalent of the TARDIS bells sounding on DOCTOR WHO.  And without jocks to act as counter-examples– geeks, nerds, dweebs, dipwads:  we are all just regular old assholes and jag-offs.  Consider this excerpt from Tom Spurgeon’s review of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies:

Thirty years ago ramming your z-grade peanut butter into their capital l literary chocolate felt like an act of subversion. The boring stuff far outnumbered the junk. […] These days shoving some aspect of all the junk that’s out there into some poor piece of unsuspecting literature feels like something between an act of bullying and an expression of commerce on a sliding scale of self-regard.

Or consider Matt Zoller Seitz writing for Salon:

If the Hollywood studio assembly line is high school in a John Hughes movie, superhero films are the jocks — benighted beneficiaries of grade inflation and reflexive fan boosterism.”

Geek bullies.  Four-eyed fucking menaces.

What became of the pulp action hero?  For the 80’s action hero, the fantasy seemed to have been one of physical over-competence.  Is that somehow no longer a relevant fantasy for today’s audience?  I’m not sure why not.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve gained some weight these last couple of years– a spare tire around my mid-section, some in the jowl-area.  I’ve got a very upsetting situation going on in my jowl-area, people.  I’ve joined a gym, but discipline is … Discipline is an issue. It causes no small amount of anxiety, being out of shape, even though I don’t think I’m quite a lost cause physically just yet.  I believe the statistics suggest that I’m hardly alone in this particular anxiety– we hear now regularly of rampant obesity, declines in physical activity, and a surge in related disorders.  So: shouldn’t the fantasy of physical over-competence still hold some appeal for those like me, wanting to correct some years now of physical neglect?  Or is the decline in that sort of hero, the fact that I look at Mr. Felix Gomez as being a silly figure instead of an aspirational figure– is that a kind of surrender, a kind of giving up?  Am I part of a culture of defeat?

Heroic sexual excellence got replaced by a scene in AVATAR where a guy shoves his ponytail into a lady’s hot, wet ponytail.  Great, any question I ever had as to what goes through Ben & Jerry’s head when they masturbate has now been answered through the wonder of movie magic.  Plus, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but apparently the one guy from LETHAL WEAPON is kind of a fucked up, in real life.

Does MARIO ACEVEDO’S KILLING THE COBRA: CHINATOWN TROLLOP offer any answers to our questions?  Does it at least– at the very least– give us someone we can point at and blame?  Does it offer us a convenient scapegoat, who we can arbitrarily pick out of the ether and cast aspersions on?  Consider!

CLUE #1: What is the most prominent feature of vampire pulp hero Felix Gomez in KILLING THE COBRA?  It is his sexual relationship with the racially-insensitive stereotype of a “sexually compliant Asian female”, the aforementioned Chinatown Trollop.

CLUE #2:  Felix Gomez says ridiculous things about himself that made my eyes roll into the back of my head.  As one example: “I’m about ready to serve.  True, I’m not much of a tennis player, but I am a champion at kicking ass.”  … huh?

CLUE #3:  As established in the first issue, Felix Gomez has heavy-duty emotional baggage.  Consider the following dialogue excerpts from issue #1:

“The agent probably had a wife and kid’s waiting … He’s the real hero. Compared to him, I’m a poser.

“They say shit like that stays with you a lifetime.  I’m immortal.  That means I’m stuck with these memories forever.

“Luckily, I have Qian Ning.  My guide. My interpreter.  My lover.  […] But I can’t fang her.  I won’t.  More of that baggage from Iraq.

“Every time I get the thirst, I hear the screams of that little girl.”

Thus, Felix Gomez presents us with three clues:  emotional baggage, a tendency to make ridiculous proclamations that he’s a “champion at kicking ass”, and a disturbing Asian fetish.  What do these three things add up to?

Answer: Rivers Cuomo.

Lead singer of the band WEEZER, whose album PINKERTON is widely considered to have first introduced emo-rock to mainstream audiences.  Fact:  Weezer signed with Geffen Records, on June 25, 1993.  The same day, Kim Campbell became the first female Prime Minister of Canada.  Historical fact!  Connect the dots!

Look, I’m not saying that Weezer’s music is a proximate cause of the increase in British fish with eggs in their testes because, well, we probably lack the genetic data necessary to separate cause from correlation.  But if we need someone to blame, then the page I’m on, and the page that I think MARIO ACEVEDO’S KILLING THE COBRA: CHINATOWN TROLLOP is on, and the page maybe you should consider being on, is that the GREEN ALBUM is more likely than not a harbinger of testicular disfgurements.

They called off development of a James Bond movie the other day.  And even that– they had hired the director of AMERICAN BEAUTY and AWAY WE GO, real festivals of machismo.  The world can not even muster the financial resources to create pussified James Bond movies– meanwhile, work proceeds to have TWILIGHT 5, 6, and 7 shot simultaneously.

What is MARIO ACEVEDO’S KILLING THE COBRA: CHINATOWN TROLLOP #2, but further evidence, on what is fast becoming a mountain of evidence, that we are the damned, and we have been condemned to hell?

But I have to believe there’s still hope.  Somewhere in America, there’s a young boy doing steroids for the first time because he wants to beat up the weaker children in his class.  Somewhere in America, a teenager is dropping out of high school, to spend his days at a gym, where he will smoke dope and lift weights and dream of Hollywood stardom.  Somewhere, in schools across this great land, at least once schools are back in session, maybe not this second, nobody’s perfect– but somewhere, young men are imagining that they or their sons or their son’s sons will travel into space, to distant lands, to conquer alien species, rob them of their mineral resources, and copulate with voluptuous three-breasted alien women.

Ultimately, I place my faith in the simple truth, that we are a people waging two wars we can’t afford, that we are at heart a bloodthirsy and savage race of butchers, and that the arc of history is long, but it bends towards us someday again making rad movies and bitchin’ comics glorifying our unquenchable lust for raining violence down onto the innocent people around us.  God bless you, and God bless America.

13 Responses to “ Abhay re: Killing the Cobra #2; This Might Have Been Better a Week Ago, But… Whoops. ”

  1. A friend and I also discussed the lack of new action stars too, and what happened to the new crop. Let’s not forget that there was an ill-fated post-Vin Diesel XXX movie starring Ice Cube (of NW fucking A fame), who now pimps TBS sitcoms.

    Also, you missed a chance to embed Rivers Cuomo’s lame-ass USA Soccer theme!

  2. Pretty damn funny Abhay. Oh, forgot to give you a high five for the Don Glut interview – that was excellent.

    I thought No Country For Old Men was pretty unflinching.

    I still go back to Unforgiven, though, for a thorough expression of manliness rediscovered.

    Little Bill Daggett: I don’t deserve this… to die like this. I was building a house.
    Will Munny: Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.
    [aims gun]
    Little Bill Daggett: I’ll see you in hell, William Munny.
    Will Munny: Yeah.

  3. I dunno, have you seen Kindergarten Cop lately? That one’s a comedy with precious little comedy in it, and more shooting dudes in the stomach.

    There’s no explaining Junior, though.

  4. Yo abhay-

    I haven’t even read this yet, But I just wanted to tell you how jazzed I get when you throw up content. It makes my day. I am a big fan of your writing, man. I even went and watched The Snake and Mystery Team on your recommendation ((liked The Snake, but Mystery Team just wasn’t made with me in mind, I don’t think).

    Anyway, I just wanted to creep you out with a little slobber. But for real, this makes me way happier than you would probably be comfortable with. I have just put my toddler to sleep, and am really excited that I have a big post by you to wade through in the short bit of day that I keep to myself.

    Just so you know that you are not spitting into the wind here. No need for a restraining order, this is strictly an Internet crush, no imminent danger, I swear…

  5. All the real men are in video-games nowadays. You ever play GEARS OF WAR? The male characters in that are made out of the mince-meat of alligators stirred up with volcanic ash. In the world of GEARS OF WAR, women are mounted like anti-aircraft guns – on short-walls of roughly hip height. All doorways are two foot wide to avoid everybody having to turn sideways to fit their ENORMOUS shoulders through. It’s a simpler world, a stupider world, a MANLIER world.

    I sadly doubt that Neveldene/Taylor are capable of reinstigating any kind of eighties machismo singlehandedly, seeing as they’re essentially throwbacks. Nowadays, the hard fighting is done by Industrial Light & Magic and Weta and, in the case of TWILIGHT, an Amiga 1200 (with hard-drive). Even the big action movie of the year (INCEPTION) is an art-house movie. And the big action movies of the last few years have been filled with comedians or washed-up old goats or Shia McBeef. It’s a sad state of affairs when the manliest performance in the last year was Alexander Skarsgard (“Totally ninja”) – a male model.

  6. Yeah, so I have always felt that democracy was a province of the weak, (Politics of the WEAK, coming to a Factual Opinion near you!!!) and as such think voting is for pussies and purple-fingered Arabs. However, I my resolve wavered once and I found myself filling out an absentee ballot in the early 2000’s.

    Side Note:
    My ma has (as a conversation starter) an essay of mine from seventh grade (circa H.W. Bush administration) carefully outling why I believed that a mister Arnold J. Schwarzenegger would/will become Governor of my then home-state of CA. FACT!

    I think you know where this is going. If I find myself, in a moment of weakness, participating in this pussy-ass institution THE REPUBLIC, then I damn well better be a) proving my own clairvoyance/mutant powers and b) making sure that Danny DeVito’s ugly twin is getting my vote.

    It wasn’t a recall, it was TOTAL RECALL.

    Grey Davis has a camel-toe. TRUE STORY!

  7. 1. The Ice Cube XXX has a fantastic opening scene, where CIA headquarters or whatever gets attacked and all these people get murdered– Sam Jackson barely escapes with his life. And 5 seconds after escaping and seeing all his co-workers get massacred, he’s on a cell phone, and his very first thing he says is “It’s time for a new XXX.” What??? The rest of the movie was sharply downhill though…

    2. No Country for Old Men was a good one; I find myself thinking about a Serious Man a lot. That’s a pretty great screenplay– all the pieces of it fit together so perfectly. Todd Alcott’s multi-part analysis of that really gets into the nitty-gritty of it.

    3. Junior and Jingle All the Way are both such weird memories– it’s a little hard to believe those were real movies. Jingle All the Way gave us years of great Conan-Robert Smigel Clutch-Cargo moments though.

    4. Thanks for the nice words, Mateo, and congratulations on … clairvoyance…? Sorry about Mystery Team though– it’s very much made for me, but it’s still a movie by a sketch comedy troupe, which.. .I can see how that wouldn’t be for everybody. It’s just really, really for me. I wish I could say, “If you liked the Snake, you should check out ___” but… There’s really not much out there quite like the Snake. I’m about to start watching Slings and Arrows, though, which I only found out about yesterday– it’s on Netflix– I’d liked the early seasons of the Newsroom and obviously Kids and the Hall– but I don’t really watch a lot of Canadian tv, so that had gotten by me… Hopefully that’ll be good. No idea though– just saw a clip on youtube that was funny: “Darren Nichols on Musical Theatre.”

    5. Oh god, Gears of War– good point. How could I have forgotten Cole Train?? Cole Train is pure magic dipped in the wonder of a child.

  8. reminded me of the 2003 classic The Pussification of the Western Male, a dead serious rant by conservative writer Kim du Toit. Still available here: http://pirate-king.com/episode/1062

  9. Abhay – have you seen From Paris With Love? It’s Travolta doing a 70s guy-shoots-shit movie, only with added America makes the rules, screw you Europe subtext.

  10. I haven’t! Travolta’s bald + facial hair combo in that movie drove me away more than anything, though– that was a good one? I don’t know how much I trust the Luc Besson factory of action, though I did like Taken and Wasabi, and I guess La Femme Nikita if that one counts. I’ll check it out though…

    Last movie I saw was a Criterion thing– this British wartime mystery film Green for Danger, off Netflix. The mystery wasn’t very good, and I wasn’t that interested in the story, but one good spooky moment and the lead detective character was really terrific.

    Oh, and Exit by the Gift Shop– which was really excellent.

  11. […] A new Abhay article! Time to celebrate! Naturally, it's another tour de force in which Abhay begins reviewing a comic […]

  12. We’ve still got Jack Reacher.

  13. If you don’t care about the quality of the films, you can buy a slew of Steven Seagal DVDs. You can also go see PREDATORS.

    The possible absence of “bankable” action-adventure heroes doesn’t bother me. The concepts and the technology have become more important than the actors.


Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.