Friday, May 22, 2015

Arrow Season 3 in Review

Another season of TV's Arrow has come and gone. Despite the mostly flawless Daredevil by Netflix still fresh in the mind, DC made a valiant effort of saturating public TV with their continuing hit Arrow and the debuts of The Flash, Gotham, iZombie, and apparently short lived Constantine. With the future looking even braver and bolder (forgive the ref) for DC on the small screen with Legends of Tomorrow (Can't call it Justice League) and Supergirl (OMG a black Jimmy Olsen, please chill out Klansman), I guess I can be grateful Mad Men is ending because I don't know how I can possibly watch this much TV, but I'm here to account on the archery skill of Arrow: S3. Compared to it's second season, there was quite a bit to be desired, but overall Ollie and company did not "FAIL THIS CITY"!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

... Anything but actual blog posts...

I'm writing a young adult novel set in medieval Japan.

I'm working on developing a boarding with a post-apocalyptic setting that utilized mechs.

I'm going to start casting resin pieces to add nice touches to games I already own (first project: Mount Doom for War of the Ring).

And I'd like to re-skin the blog with a Star Wars theme, to fit what feels to be a tremendous Star Wars year.

... More when I've actually accomplished something!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Seven Sexy Things about 70's Batman

Dames, demons, and Bruce Springsteen's Darkness on the Edge of Town. That's 1978, baby. Camp is dead. Frank Miller (big fan of Springsteen too) studying under the master sensei, Denny O'Neil. Batman is in his prime thanks to combining Clint Eastwood, James Bond, and Indiana Jones (predating 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark) into the Dark Knight Detective. And here's how O'Neil, Adams, Len Wein, Steve Englehart, Marshal Rogers, Jim Aparo, Bob Haney, and company did it!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Avengers AND Free Comic Book Day? Nerd Weekend Achieved

In case you live in a cave (sans box of scraps), this is your friendly reminder that Avengers: Age of Ultron drops May 1st. And, on a lesser known front, Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) is on May 2nd!

Think you're ready for this nerd-ified weekend? Just to make sure, here are some pointers to get the best use out of your time (time travelers need not continue reading).

1. Check movie theaters for early releases.

It seems midnight releases are growing less popular. Apparently, folks are realizing that older audiences, the most likely to be paying for a midnight release, don't actually like going to work on Friday feeling like their hungover, even if they didn't drink anything.

The new fad, if you would, is to have "Midnight Releases" start as early as 7:00pm in some places. That's right, you can see Avengers: Age of Ultron, in its entirety, on April 30th. And still make it home for a reasonable bedtime.

I'll personally being seeing a 10:00pm showing in Randolph, MA, and am pretty damn excited about it!

2. Catch up on Agents of SHIELD.

I've been avoiding Avengers spoilers as much as humanly possible, but some of the brief comments that have made it past my defenses mention that the movie starts rather abruptly.

It is my belief that tomorrow night's (4/28) Agents of SHIELD will have a minimal tie-in to the Avenger's opening. It won't be much, but even a bit of a setup will make the universe feel connected, which is nice. Already, there are some names bouncing back and forth on SHIELD that should be seen in Avengers.

In general, Agents of SHIELD has been fairly interesting this season, with some greater Marvel Tie-Ins that I'm looking forward to in future films.

3. For FCBD, know your local shop's rules.

Last year, I wrote a post explaining FCBD. One important take away is that not all shops treat the day the same. Some have restrictions to how many comics you can get. Others have additional events or sales. Figure out your local shop's deal by asking an owner/associate, and then determine if you should be making a longer trip for a more ideal setup.

I'll be at my local show, Rubber Chicken Comics, because they don't restrict free comics AND have decent sales.

4. Know what issues are free!

This one isn't a major issue, because most shops will keep all the free issues in a centralized location, but that doesn't mean you can't get a sneak peak at what you can grab the day of. Here is the link to's list of all the free comics that will be available. I'm definitely looking forward to Fight Club, Secret Wars, and 2000 AD.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Daredevil, Marvel TV Done Right

The casting for this show was perfect, especially Charlie Cox in the titular role.

This post is going to devolve into spoilers really quick, because I want to talk about elements of the show I liked, the few I did not, and my thoughts on the future.

For the spoiler free stuff:

The Good: I loved the show. Not a single episode left me feeling unhappy, though there were certainly some notable highlights.

The Bad: I didn't feel that Wilson Fisk was ever, truly, the Kingpin of Crime, as his comic counterpart is hailed. This is partially because the series felt like an origin story for Fisk, almost more so than for Daredevil. Even so, I struggled with the Fisk character for some moments, though the actor is a damn imposing man and there were some definitely stellar moments for the character.

The Ugly: I don't care for Netflix's publishing schedule -- everything available at once. For one, it caused me to really, really want to binge, simply because it was so good. I know this doesn't sound like a bad thing, but I wanted time to do other things, but couldn't with the rest of the amazing first season right there, waiting for me. Also, the all-at-once schedule means that the conversations about the show won't last -- there won't be a week-to-week discussion, as everyone anticipates what's coming next. They can just watch the next episode. And, post binge, we now have a MUCH longer wait for what comes next!

Well, I labeled that ugly because it's hard to deny how awesome the show is, so being able to watch it at my own pace wasn't awful. But there's something to be said for anticipation and the enjoyment of something over a longer period of time. As an American, I can't do that when you put everything on the plate in front of me.

With the announcment of Daredevil getting a season 2 in 2016 (YES!), I'm very excited for the future of Marvel's Netflix enterprises. The format allows them to quickly judge what works well and what doesn't, and promises to give us more of what we love. Out of the listed shows, I was previously only interested in Iron Fist. Now that Daredevil surprisingly wowed me, I'm hopeful for AKA Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.

Alright, that's you're spoiler free bit. Go away, those who could control their urges/don't have Netflix/don't realize Daredevil is one of the absolute best things on Netflix right now. You've been warned.

------------SPOILERS, YO---------------

Easter Eggs - Daredevil was full of hints and nods to the greater Marvel universe. Much of this was specific to Daredevil comics, but I LOVED the early nod to Iron Fist, in arguably the most visible "egg," the drug packets feature a nod to Iron Fist (though this will be more of a plot point than an actual egg, but I'm allowing it because not many people seem to have realized and Iron Fist isn't out yet).

Darker Tone - Marvel has been dying for a darker tone. This has been apparent since The Winter Soldier, the darkest-in-tone film to date. Daredevil picks it up a notch and really gives me hope for the future of the Marvel Netflix shows -- they really are willing to do things that they can't do on the big screen (because, in the US of A, and R rating would be a death sentence for them).
Possibly an Iron Fist enemy? And the imposing Kingpin of Crime.

The Kingpin of Crime - Wilson Fisk does not feel like the Kingpin in this season. He was a badass villain, and some of his scenes remain my favorite in the series (that Daredevil beat down in 9! Damn!), but he wasn't the smooth, controlled criminal the comics paint him out to be. It feels almost like part of an origin story, because his relationship with Vanessa (who I thought was perfectly cast) is clearly changing him. And SHE is the more level-headed one. I'm glad Kingpin feels unique in this series, I was honestly expecting a carbon copy from most Kingpin portrayals.

Stick's Agenda - What is Stick trying to get Daredevil ready for? The only Daredevil arc I've ever read was the "Shadowland" event a few years back. Daredevil took control of The Hand (Japanese ninjas -- Nobu was almost definitely a member of The Hand), erected a massive, Japanese-style fortress in Hell's Kitchen, and took the law into his own hands (and, of course, had to be stopped by all the other street-level heroes.). Is the show jumping to as recent a storyline as that? If so, I doubt they'd go the full dark side route, but I'd still like to see something like Shadowland come to fruition.

Nobu, a member of The Hand? The costume fits!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spider-Man Vs Ayn Rand... and Why the Greatest Spidey Movie Will Never Get Made

The Color of Money isn't just a Tom Cruise and Newman salad dressing film about the secret origin of Mark Millar and Grant Morrison's bromance breakup, but also a permanent shade in the wardrobe of Spider-Man's rogues. The Sinister Six could change their names to 6 Shades of blah if NuMarvel ever wanted to experiment with topical humor...

Odd man out Kraven missed dress rehearsal

Sweet Mountain Dew green was the choice for Doctor Octopus, the Lizard, Green Goblin, Scorpion, Vulture, Electro, Sandman, Mysterio, and those are just the ones created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Persona 5, the Return of Spider-Man, and Underwhelming Comics

Almost back to back, I got two bits of wonderful news that has me very excited for things coming up. Which is good, because I've needed something to look forward to!

Persona 5

First, a gameplay trailer for Persona 5 launched. IT WAS AMAZING. This is already my GOTY (game of the year), and I won't be playing until at least 2016 (Japanese release date is sometime 2015, so I'm HOPING we're sometime 2016). I love the red colors, the cat burgler-esque themes, the grittier characters, the more dynamic dungeons, persona enemies instead of shadows, etc etc... The only thing I'm not seeing in the trailer is a cast that exceeds for playable characters. It's not determined by the trailer, obviously, but I wouldn't even be mad if that was the case.

Oh, and it's coming to PS4 (and PS3), which 100% justifies my purchase of the system. Perfection. Watch it below, the Elder Gods know I have...

Spidey's Return

Next up, we have the "return" of Spider-Man to Marvel, in regards to film rights. Marvel has brokered a deal that allows them to use a new (not Andrew Garfield/ASM series) Spider-Man in their films (which is already impacting upcoming releases -- like May's Captain America: Civil War!). Sony will choose the actor and have final say in regards to character development, but I'm hoping they see reason and more or less follow Marvel's lead.
Doubt they'll go this route, but an important Civil War moment...

Then Sony will continue to produce solo Spider-Man films, which may now see inclusion of MCU characters. While I no longer trust Sony with anything related to my favorite super hero, I'm hoping the cross-pollination with Marvel will produce quality results. And having two studios pumping out related MCU films sounds like a perfect setup to me (though I would prefer Marvel having ownership of all rights back, just to allay the shakes and mental anguish ASM2 still causes).

Apparently the agreement was reached without Marvel actually paying anything, either -- they won't be getting any money from Sony Spidey-films, and Sony won't be getting any money from MCU group films. Honestly, it sounds like Sony got the lesser half of this deal, unless they're expecting the MCU marketing to be worthwhile... Or maybe there's something else there going on.

Now, on to actual comics...

Guardians of the Galaxy

Because... Venom.
I was excited that Guardians of the Galaxy was finally going to the home planet of the symbiotes. We've seen a "Planet of the Symbiotes" in a 90's crossover, featuring Spider-Man, Scarlet Spider, and Venom titles, but never the actual point of origin for the species.

Guardians promised to take us there, and they did... but they didn't exactly deliver anything worthwhile. The arc is mostly taken up by the Venom symbiote jumping from Guardian to Guardian (as if we EVER expected anything else), eventually taking over the ship and directing the group to its home. Upon arrival... well, there's a very short, very anti-climactic stay. I won't even bother spoiling things for you, but the reveal of the species as a whole is unfortunate, white-washes a potentially interesting story, and retcons information offered in the "Planet of the Symbiotes" arc (Planet of the Big Fat Liars is more like it).

All in all, after reading decades of Venom, Carnage, and their extended family, it comes as a real let down that this is the direction Marvel went. I wanted a potential inter-galactic threat, or something menacing in some way that explains all the bullshit abilities and costs the symbiotes seem to offer or impose. Instead... blah. Going back to NOT reading GotG.


As a whole, Spider-verse hasn't been as inclusive or as interesting as I hoped. "Every Spider-Man ever" isn't actually pulled off, and it's a giant chase scene between an arbitrarily super-powered family hunting Spiders, with limited-to-no logic applied. The Spiders could just as easily get help from the other super powers in their multitude of dimensions, but instead they wait and allow some of my favorite Spiders to get killed off.

On that note, I won't even start on how annoyed I am with the "Scarlet Spiders" run ended. The bastards did it again. They. Did. It. Again.

For now... Well, wish me luck in netting a Majora's Mask Edition New 3DS XL. I, like anyone who wasn't a filthy scalper, missed the tiny pre-order window (less than 20 minutes, I believe), and have had to resort to sending The Wife out to flirt with associates of certain stores, in an effort to secure us a copy come Friday. The Wife seems confidant of her success... You'll be seeing a review of the system next week, if she's correct!