While my initial introduction to Japanese superhero shows was Super Sentai, I soon discovered that the king of Tokusatsu is Kamen Rider. The karate bug-man on a motor cycle who fights for justice is on the same level as Superman when it comes to brand name recognition in Japan. First airing in 1973, Kamen Rider screened on TV in one shape or form until taking a break in 1989. Taking a break in the 90s, Kamen Rider returned with a bang in 2000 with Kamen Rider Kuuga. After the success of Kuuga, producers were left wondering how they were going to follow it up.
The answer was Kamen Rider Agito, a year long saga about an amnesiac hero fighting serial-killing monsters, the danger of emerging psychic powers, and the ultimate battle between good and evil. Only in Japan would you find a show this intense and dark and have it called a kids show.
Recently I was invited to speak to a group of college students. As I was about to walk out the door at home to get there, my wife asked me what I was speaking on. I told her “I’m speaking on how to understand pop culture and use it for ministry”. Her reply, “So basically you’re speaking on your Thing”. “Yeah.”
I love pop culture. I love pulling it apart and exploring what it says about us and our society. I love discovering different points of view and world views. And I love holding pop culture up to the lens of the gospel and see where it contrasts and where it agrees. I spend a lot of time trying to understand the culture around us. So when I see something that manages to pop open the hood of pop culture and helps me see the working parts underneath, I like to share it with people.
After Hours from Cracked is one of the best shows on the internet and you should be watching it.
In this episode of Pop Culture Christ Cam:
Amazing X-Men #1
And four new Marvel TV shows on the way!
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or Pop Culture Christ: http://www.joelamoroney.com
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Amazing X-Men #1
W: Jason Aaron
P: Ed McGuinness
No one really dies in the X-Men universe. A dead X-Man is just one event away from a resurrection. Unless you’re Thunderbird. Then you can stay dead. Jean Grey has been on the dead/resurrected roundabout so many times she’s clocked up frequent flyer points. Now it’s Nightcrawler’s turn.
On 3DS, Wii U, and PC
This may not come as much of a surprise but I have an imagination probably best described as overactive. So a game like Scribblenauts is right up my alley. A game where you solve puzzles by using the (almost) boundless limits of your creativity? I’m in. Throw in a whole bunch of DC superheros and I’ll be your best friend forever. And that’s what Scribblenauts: Unmasked is – a really fun game that seems tailor made for me. And it is a lot of fun. But there are some aspects that just don’t work for me.
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Christopher Eccleston
Yeah, I was going to go see this. Never any doubt. I can count on one hand the Marvel movies I haven’t seen in the cinema (I’ll let you guess in the comments which ones they are). But how high were my expectations for Thor: The Dark World? To be honest, not very high. While I enjoyed the initial Thor outing, I thought it was a bit under-done and needed more time to develop its story. And while I love Christopher Eccleston, he didn’t exactly set the world on fire playing the bad guy in G.I.Joe. On top of that, I had successfully managed to avoid seeing a single trailer for this movie, which is a pretty big achievement these days. So I’m sitting in the cinema, very little idea what to expect, just a small flickering flame of hope in my belly. Enough already Joel – tell us what you thought!
I loved it.
I know I probably say this after every Marvel movie, but Thor: The Dark World has got to be one of my favourites so far. The special effects are grand, the action epic, and the dialogue witty. What more can you ask?