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No Assembly Required

My nephew and I saw Avengers: Infinity War, the first film to ever pass 1 billion dollars at the Global box office in a mere eleven days. And there are other Marvel movie first [SPOILER ALERT}:

(1) The villain wins! :) least until the next unnamed Avengers movie slated for May 2019. Avengers Assemble!

Even better, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely make Thanos (said villain) the hero of his own story with human passions and sorrows that make him relatable,

almost sympathetic -- if his goal wasn't the erasure of half the life in the universe. Evoking

this sym-pathos was chilling. Kudos to the writers.

(2) The number of dead heroes by the end of the film is staggering!

...but since Marvel/Disney has already set release dates or confirmed future movies

starring Spiderman, Black Panther, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and possibly Doctor

Strange, a resurrection for a number of the fallen is assured.

(3) 95-year-old Stan Lee makes yet another cameo appearance. This makes his 45th, readily

surpassing the late great Alfred Hitchcock who appeared in 39 of his 52 surviving major


Thinking of Mr. Lee, when I recently discovered a stack of my old story rejection slips, I also found a letter I received from him when I was still a teen and enthralled by the works of J.R.R. Tolkien (see photo). Being much older, and a wee bit wiser, I've come to appreciate how many letters (now emails) that famous publishers, editors, and authors may receive -- vicariously, of course. I'm not suggesting this is something I've yet experienced. ;) That Stan took a moment to dictate a reply to teenage me was a mensch thing to do.* Excelsior, Stan!

* P.S. I will share in more recent participation in the creative community these past few years, I have been delighted to discover this generosity, kindness, and good will to be prevalent among the authors (established and those soon-to-be), editors, publishers, and fans. It is a good time in my life. My thanks to you all! :)

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