I don’t remember how exactly it was I found ItsJustSomeRandomGuy. It must have been me looking for material on YouTube with regards to Watchmen or some comics related thing. You know: when I was either researching for my paper or indulging in one of my favourite past-times.
You all probably know and remember the old “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” commercials. Well, RandomGuy did a spoof of that: with superheroes. He created “I’m a Marvel, I’m a DC”: where he animated action figures of heroes from different franchises comparing and contrasting themselves as well as bantering and even sometimes finding common ground.
The sample below is the very first skit that I came across:
What I like the most about these skits–which are highly satirical pieces that often break the fourth wall–is how JustSomeRandomGuy captures the personalities, and the voices of the superheroes that he represents through his collection of action figures. ItsJustSomeRandomGuy himself is a voice actor and teacher and it shows. Yet it is more than that. The fact of the matter is that he is also extremely well-versed in DC and Marvel story-lines, the comics franchises, and the medium itself. He also brings an incredible wit and creativity all of his own to what he has made.
As he goes on, ItsJustSomeRandomGuy actually begins to build story-lines of his own from the simple skits he began with. The arc begins with After-Hours, followed by Happy Hour and then the Zero Hour that’s still in progress. It is really fascinating to watch this evolution happen: from the usual two figure-skits–partially stop-motioned or edited–to full on interactions between figures from the Marvel and DC Universes.
It’s what a lot of us geeks did when we were children. I mean, let’s face it, a lot of us played with our doll–action figures, making voices and then new story lines for them. But JustSomeRandomGuy takes this–this same love for the superhero and villain toy-box–and does something really wonderful with it that I’d not seen too much of. He essentially, like I said earlier, creates a satire of superheroes with these figures. Yet at the same time, he keeps them in character–with a few humourous exceptions that somehow mesh well anyway–and captures their essences.
Watching these characters interact reminds me of all the Saturday morning cartoons and comic books and actually makes me feel good about myself just by watching them. They are my old friends from childhood–on my cards, in my cartoons, movies, and comics–but at the same time they have kept up with the times and have their own changes. Yet they are for the most part still fundamentally the same: while being very aware that they are actually comic book characters. I like this kind of meta-fiction and the fact that, yeah, if anyone would be intelligent and experienced enough to know that they are characters it would be these guys. Just how many universes and realities have they already been in themselves within their own stories?
ItsJustSomeRandomGuy gives back the Saturday morning and afternoon wonder, but also it also let the heroes and villains grow up with us: the slapstick accompanied by a certain degree of seriousness and the meta-fiction and fourth-wall breaking always placed under Marvel’s much lauded sense of, “Continuity! Issue #Etc.”
ItsJustSomeRandom Guy recreates and creates a golden magic that I am glad I came across. It’s nostalgia without the bitter part of the sweet. It continues to evolve with more hilarious parodies and touching messages.
The fact is, in my opinion, ItsJustSomeRandomGuy is a genius. Through the posing of these toys, he manages to cover issues from inter-character relations, different universes, the nature of and the issues surrounding comics, the effectiveness of the films around the comics, and a whole lot of popular cultural references while never making these self-reflexive heroes anything other than what they are in a series that knows exactly what it is.
If I had, say, two requests of ItsJustSomeRandomGuy–if it is in his power at all–and if you are reading this ItsJustSomeRandomGuy I’d say this. I would love to see an episode with the figurine of Animal Man in the Grant Morrison understanding of the character.
And I would love to see an exchange between Miracle/Marvelman and the rest of the Family–or even Shazam, Captain Marvel, and Superman–talking about the series that has not been published in forever. I would love to see your take on that if you have the figurines (of which I know the Miracle/Marvel Family are rare now and expensive and I do not know the legal elements involved, so I hesitate in asking this). But as a fan of yours, I simply can’t resist asking.
(And there is a custom-made action figure of Miracleman. I think only the Todd McFarlane statues were made, which is a pity)
For those of you who have never watched any of these YouTube videos and just want to surf through them, here is ItsJustSomeRandomGuy’s channel. They are worth every moment.
So to properly conclude this, I would just like to thank ItsJustSomeRandomGuy for his work, and leave you with this message.
So remember kids: the moral of today’s story is that continuity is important. Thank you, and Excelsior!