Sunday, January 29, 2006
Recent Comics I Have Read
Batman #649: I really like Judd Winick, great writer, great with snappy dialogue. I really do NOT like the whole "Return of Jason Todd" thing. Can't ANYONE stay dead in comics? Ever? Jean Gray (DUMBEST. Rebirth. Evar.), Hal Jordan, Ollie Queen, Bucky Frickin' Barnes! And I like "The Exhumation of Jason Todd" even less now that it's tied into the whole Infinite Crisis bit.
Batman Legends of the Dark Knight #199: a crappy end to a clever little three-parter featuring Batman versus an extremely smart loser who looks like Nick Nolte. Bad, bad, ending.
Green Arrow #58: Green Arrow vs. Doctor Light, successfully shown as the lopsided contest it should be. I miss Judd Winick on this book, though. And, geez, do we HAVE to kill Speedy off? Wasn't it bad enough that she has AIDS? Special cameo by Dennis Quaid as the fire chief in an homage to "Frequency." What is it with DC and C-List celebrity guest stars this month?
Infinite Crisis #4: Three pages of exposition by Alexander Luthor revealing the evil ludicrous cumbersome "plot". Superboy-Prime kills a bunch of D-List heroes. Superman-2 is a villain (why?). Oh, and Barry Allen is back. Thank God for that, I was afraid for a minute there that just ONE death in comics would go disinterred. This whole mess is rapidly becoming as bloated, cumbersome and silly as Crisis on Infinite Earths. And unlike the first Crisis, which at least served to clean up DC's convuluted continuity, I have yet to discern a point to all this.
Iron Man #5. Retcon of Iron Man's origin, and very entertaining. I wonder about the timeline, though; Tony Stark is nearly killed by his own landmine in Afghanistan? Doesn't that make Iron Man only having been around for four years?
JSA Classified #7: I like the JSA alot; they represent a continuing history of new heroes (and villains) stepping up to fill the shoes of legends from the past. The artwork was not that great on this issue (which has been a continuing problem with the JSA titles) but the idea of a story narrarated by a semi-reluctant villain, the Icicle, was clever.
Noble Causes #16: I've started to like this book, as it is a sort of superhero soap opera, combined with a modern sense for the cult of media stardom. In this issue, Race Noble's wife is locked up because the Blackthornes are gunning for her.
Ultimate Extinction #1: For a concept that was supposed to ground superheroes in reality, the whole Ultimate line has sure jumped the shark. Now Galactus (sorry, Gah-Lak-Tus) is a 100,000 mile across killing machine from outer space? How is that thing hovering over New York any more "realistic" than a giant purple guy hanging off the Baxter Building? And what's up with the continuity here? This all happens BEFORE the Horde of Evil Foreign Liberals invades America in Ultimates 2 #9?
Monday, January 23, 2006
Once You Get A Good Thing...
World of Warcraft suffers from the same glut of idiots who mock the very idea of role-playing and seem bound and determined to suck all the enjoyment out of the experience for everyone else. Could I be in town for just one frickin' minute without 257 morons challenging me to a duel? Eh, sigh.
Sadly, I'm probably swimming against the tide on this. PW games like WoW and CoH are probably just as much the wave of the future as pay-to-play. The loss of the ability to create modules is just one more example of an industry leeching all creativity out of players who are becoming increasingly passive cyber-potatoes. Seriously, though, folks, if you aren't interested in any kind of RP experience, couldn't you just stick to your FPS and leave the rest of us alone?
Friday, January 13, 2006
The Once And Future Star Trek
I wouldn't recommend changes quite as drastic as Battlestar Galactica, like randomly reversing the gender of major characters, but TOS always was a little male dominated. What if you added a strong female character, a reporter assigned by Nogura over Kirk's loud objections because Nogura wants to use the boy hero as a "modern day Ulysses" to increase public support for Starfleet? This could be the woman who is constantly immune to Kirk's charms and a reliable foil for him.
So, we have all the fun and high adventure of TOS, along with better production, better special effects, better science in the science fiction and the ability to tackle modern social issues (think Starfleet occupying a space empire in the middle of a brutal civil war and having to deal with terror attacks, suicide bombers and so forth). What do you think?
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
It's Purpose & Origin, A Complete Mystery
My personal tastes run to paper and pencil role-playing and my personal favorite system is Iron Crown Enterprise's RoleMaster, which I have been playing in one form or another since college. Of course, back in the day, like all the rest of you, I played Dungeons & Dragons, and that's the engine I used to create the very first Hale of Angelthorne, an old style bard from the back of the Player's Handbook. Like probably most of you, I am a cranky old man when it comes to the latest version of that game excreted by Wizards of the Coast. Currently, I am involved in a Star Trek campaign using Decipher Games products (they have easily the crappiest web-site ever devised for a company that apparently actually wants to sell something). From time to time, I also play Champions, though my superhero role-playing began with the old Marvel Superheroes system from the late, great TSR.
I was reluctantly drawn into MMORPGs by Neverwinter Nights and am now addicted to City of Heroes and (to a much lesser extent) World of Warcraft.
I still sporadically collect comic books and graphic novels, and remain more of a Marvel than DC fan, though the balance has shifted quite a bit since high school.
In future installments, I review the latest books I've read and movies I've seen and offer my thoughts on the games I'm involved in.
"Songs will be written of this day, even if I must write them myself!"