Adam WarRock - “I Am Him” (The War For Infinity)
As it happens, the first two Music Marathon albums are by the same artist, the absurdly prolific Adam WarRock. His two major releases this year (i.e., not the many individual tracks on his site), the more official and “serious”* album The War For Infinity and the West Coast Avengers Mixtape EP (free download here) are heavy on the comic book references, which you may have figured out from the album titles or his Marvel-referencing handle if you’re the kind of person who geeks out at someone rhyming “Pym Particles” with “Pimp Articles.”
The West Coast Avengers Mixtape is a light set of songs referencing West Coast hip-hop and, member-by-member, the characters from the titular superhero team - with a nice set of thematic layers added for good measure. The War for Infinity is a concept album reconstruction of a 1991 Marvel good-vs.-evil mini-series called The Infinity Gauntlet (which, honestly, had me running to Wikipedia, since it came out just after the point at which I was seriously reading comics). It’s lyrically dense, and I’m afraid I’ve just barely made a dent in figuring out the entire conceptual arc at this point (but, hey, I’ve loved Quadrophenia and Zen Arcade for years and damned if I know what’s going on in either case), but it’s a fine, fine listen.
Full disclosure: I know Mr. WarRock. I had no idea what to expect from him as a hip-hop artist and was very pleasantly surprised to find his stuff witty and ambitious (which is nice, since I’d hate to start the marathon with a shitty review or a bullshit one). Plus, free downloads galore at his site! Check it out.
* Which is not to say “a drag” - it’s just more ambitious.