Monday, July 30, 2012

Captain Marvel, Terraria, A Few More Random Thoughts and Links

And As We Proceed...
I need to get back in the swing of posting things more regularly. Let's talk about a comic, a video-game, and random other factoids about those two forms of media and other stuff to get my knack for writing gibberish back.

Good, But It Needs Some "Oomph"
The name, "Captain Marvel," carries with it a long and confusing history, but basically the hero Ms. Marvel has gone and adopted the name of the once-popular-now-dead-for-some-time-except-for-the-occasional-fake-resurrection (that's a mouthful) Captain Marvel. Written by Kelly Sue Deconnick (friend of the blog, see an interview with her here) this is not a reboot of Ms. Marvel as she still has all her past, she just is taking a new title (for her) now. Time to delve into my observations!

First off, let's discuss something pretty unimportant. I hate that new do' of feathered hair. The first idea for a new look of her hair was much better:
That observation aside, this was a perfectly fine comic, but it missed something special. Yes, the art was a bit lacking as some have noticed, but that didn't bug me too much. Also, there is no big conflict introduced this issue either, but I found that a little refreshing to not have an opener start with some world-destroying threat our hero has to face before we can get their new status-quo established, though maybe the fact this is all set-up bugs me a bit. Some complained the psuedo-poem that flies about the pages in panel-less white text was hokey in its attempt to be sweet, but that didn't bother me much and I kind of liked it. So what was missing for me in this comic? I love Kelly Sue Deconnick's writing generally and did enjoy this after all!
Maybe this issue just lacked a spark of me wanting to know what happens next. Yes, I think that's it. I'm not alone in thinking this was all set-up either, to bring up my other observation once more. All the pieces of a great story are there, they just haven't come together in a way where I'm at the edge of my seat wanting to witness everything play out. Maybe I just need a few more issues to get that, "wow," factor from this--an injection of some, "oomph," into the story so I get really pumped to read more. Deconnick is highly skilled, so I'm not too worried about this comic and its chances of being great. I think we just need a little bit of time for it to grow and once it kicks into gear fully we'll be set. Until then, this was a good first issue, but not an amazing one.
3 out of 5 stars.

Build Houses, Fight Monsters, Craft Items, Have Fun

Terraria is an interesting game. Some people say its basically a 2-D Minecraft. I wouldn't know because much to my shame I actually haven't played Minecraft. I have played Terraria though, extensively, and can report it is quite a good time.
Basically you are thrust into a digital sandbox with nothing to do other than wander around. Through looking at online wikis or just blundering about you will eventually start building houses, fighting gigantic monsters, exploring jungles and dungeons, and doing a lot of digging to the underground. As you mine more powerful ore, smelt better armor, buy crazy items and weapons, and maybe even learn how to use wiring so as to open up a new crazy way of making placed items function you'll undoubtedly have fun and maybe get a little addicted. Oh, and there is a multi-player mode too if you want your friends to join in, although I admittedly have not yet tried the multi-player function.

It's a fun little game and I'm glad I picked it up for very cheap during the Steam Summer Sale that the online service had. I'd recommend getting it at full price as even at its normal cost of 10 dollars you'll get hours worth of entertainment.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Assorted Junk

So the novelization of the Dark Knight Rises hints at what happened to the Joker after the 2nd film, but even it isn't sure. Hm.

The fan-film Thomas Jane made is pretty awesome, as is its surprise reveal (SPOILER) that he is playing The Punisher. The original movie with Jane as the lead wasn't too bad, but definitely could have used some improvement. This though, is golden. Plus Ron Perlman pops up in it!

Invincible Iron Man written by Kieron Gillen? Sweet! With art by Greg Land? Disappointing!

Not only are Tucker Stone and his friends hilarious in every edition of Comics Of The Weak, they also point to amazingly insightful articles like this one by The New Inquiry about the Dark Knight Rises and how searching for political meaning in it is both vain, and a bit rewarding.

Grant Morrison will be finishing up his work with big-name super-heroes around 2013 and will be pursuing creator-owned work. If we get more incredible stuff like "The Filth," (which was done for DC's Vertigo but is creator-owned) I'm certainly up for it.

I haven't heard much of anything about the video-game Watch Dogs since its surprise announcement at E3, but just by looking at the game-play demonstration video again I start salivating at the thought of playing it. When you see a game demo and go, "Wait, how did they do that? And that? And that?" You know it looks like something special.

There are a lot of problem with AVX (Avengers Versus X-Men), Tim O'Neil summarizes many of them well.

Done For Now
There we go, I got some writing up, shared my thoughts, and babbled incessantly. Yeah, it was a good time.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Tragedy In Colorado-- Remember The Victims, And Don't Use It To Prove A Point

Of all the things I write about on this site, comics and movies generally are the biggest items. This means that comic-book-movies get a special amount of attention from me. So, Thursday night in St. Louis I attended a marathon screening of the Batman movies--the whole trilogy with the newest premiering at Midnight. I enjoyed myself but upon arriving home my phone "dinged" with an update from various news sites. Not too far away in the US some people who had gone to a midnight screening of Batman for the same reason as I did not get to enjoy the film. No, they were robbed of their lives for nothing more than being people who were big enough fans they went to a midnight premiere of a movie. 

A madman killed and badly hurt a large number of these individuals in the theater who wanted nothing more than to have an experience we all treasure and sometimes share with others in a theater--seeing a film. In the days that follow we may learn of possible motives, various forms of media will probably be scoured over for the slightest resemblance to this tragedy and blamed (comic books, video-games, anything remotely related to Batman--all are possible). Those who are for guns being harder to buy will use this as an example, those who are against gun control will also use this as an example. People of each view will just use it in differing ways to achieve the same goal it seems people always attempt in light of a tragedy--to make a point.

We shouldn't try to make a point out of this though and use it as fuel for our individual causes. We should look at this as a tragedy done by a dangerously insane person, and instead of trying to use this for our own ends we should focus on those who were hurt and killed and the honoring of them in our memories.

I was going to post my review of Dark Knight Rising on Friday (in my "Film Friday" segment), but due to events that early morning I decided it was best to shift said review to this Friday so I had time to think about how to address these events in my review, if I even want to dredge up that pain in discussing something that should be a joyous event, as movies usually are.

My heart goes out to the victims and their families. Let's remember them, not try to prove a point.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Scattered Thoughts On San Diego Comic-Con News

The Doors Open, The Crowd Floods In.
The big Comic-Con happened just recently. If you know comics then you know when I say the Comic-Con that means San Diego Comic-Con/Comic-Con International/That Thing Where Tickets Sell Out Immediately  To Be Stuck in a Suffocating Crowd With The Hopes of Getting Into a Twilight Panel If You Wait Enough Countless Hours Outside The Event Hall and Don't Get Killed In The Process. Various things happened there and I will talk about what I found interesting whilst completely ignoring what I did not. I know we are past the point of this being "new" information, but I would hope if you like comics you don't just read my blog, that of a single man who is hopefully entertaining enough that his sporadic posting and occasional spelling/grammar errors can be overlooked. If you do just read my, thanks?
The News

Neil Gaiman is making more Sandman Comics. When this news was announced countless goth-girl fans of his screamed with delight and nearly passed out from a joygasm. It will be a prequel of sorts.
This is what a terrible person looks like.
J Michael Straczynski is not only a complete asshole as quotes from him about Before Watchmen made clear, he also is going to be making new comics--but just for the purpose of getting them made into other media such as movies. I hate it companies and people do this, and his comment about making, "New IPs [intellectual property]," instead of, say, wanting to make interesting stories just pissed me off more. It's sad because I loved Supreme Power (not really anything else he did, however) but this just makes me further committed to not buying anything from him again, ever.

If you've been listening to any mainstream comic book news lately you have probably heard about a newsman having the balls to (wisely) call "bullshit" on, "Before Watchmen," as something honoring Alan Moore's vision while he protests it being made. That isn't really Comic-Con News but leads into my mentioning of the panel for said comics. I have zero interest in Before Watchmen and whatever was discussed there, but something interesting to me did happen in that Quentin Tarantino showed up to crash the panel and announce how a comic was being made of his movie, Django Unchained. I hope the movie is good, and perhaps the comic will be too.

"Marvel NOW," which I think we are legally required to make sure we put the, "NOW," in all capital letters is a thing. Marvel NOW AKA "Let's Basically Copy The DC Relaunch and See How That Works Out," was further elaborated on at San Diego. Pretty much some comics get re-launched (but the world is still the same, so don't say reboot!) and a others oddly keep their numbering, a bunch of heroes change outfits, new comics debut, and it becomes abundantly clear Marvel is making this up as they go along because some of the comics being given new numbering have been around all of a year (as I saw pointed out).

Stephanie Brown was a character in DC comics. She was known as Spoiler and has been a Batgirl. When DC did their big world-relaunch/reboot she was made to no longer exist. The Smallville Comic (which continues the story of the TV show out of Smallville and into Clark Kent's first year as Superman...yet is still called Smallville) is going to be bringing Batman into the mythos. His sidekick was to be Ms. Brown, to the delight of many fans who mourned her being gone. Then suddenly DC did a big switcheroo making it so she wouldn't be there, instead it would be Barbra Gordon. At this point all the fans of Stephanie Brown sighed yet another disappointed sigh and went off to sob in a corner somewhere--as they generally do because good news never comes their way.

Speaking of Smallville-type news. The newest DC television series about a young hero--this one focused on Green Arrow--was screened at Comic-Con and apparently looks promising. I still probably won't watch it because I just don't care about Green Arrow. At all. That and I never watched Smallville really.

Deadpool gets his own video-game. The very crass-but-cool trailer at the link seems true to the spirit of Deadpool with its humor and ultra-violence. I really hope this is good.

Marvel announced their new movies. A new Captain America, Thor, but then in really fun stuff Ant Man and Guardians of The Galaxy. Well all right! Plus they screened teasers for Iron Man 3 (I'm excited for that too) and test footage for Ant Man I'd love to see.

Image Comics announced a bunch of new stuff at Comic-Con, some by creators I am excited to read new stuff from, such as Joe Casey.

Then Things Ended
That's all I really found particularly interesting and worth commenting on. Here's hoping things are as good as what has been promised (except for Straczynski's stuff, bleh to him).

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sorry For No New Posts.

Sorry for the lack of updates.  I’ve been on trips around America to see the family, visit folk, and etc. etc. I have seen a lot of movies, been reading comics, and hope to get thoughts about all that up soon.  After all, it’s not like anything happened while I took my short break. What’s that? San Diego had its what now? OH CRAP I FORGOT!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Film Friday--The Amazing Spider Man

That Was Decently Fun
The Amazing Spider-Man was a good movie. Not utterly excellent, but pretty enjoyable. I was somewhat of the mind that considering not too long ago we had a trilogy of Spidey flicks that maybe rebooting the character was a bit... unnecessary. Having seen the movie and its somewhat new spin on things I am more confident that perhaps starting fresh with Spider-Man was a pretty solid idea, despite the problems I have with the film.

You would think the thing that bugs me the most is going-over Spider-Man's origin again on film. That would make you wrong though, because I found the earlier parts of the movie where the titular Peter Parker is thinking about a mystery with his parents (that somewhat disappears from the film clearly to be continued in future installments) getting used to his crazy new powers, and of course having the requisite guilt about Uncle Ben to be some ofgreat the more enjoyable parts of the movie. Andrew Garfield does a great job even if he looks a little too handsome and fit to truly "feel" like geeky Peter Parker. Emma Stone is quite good as Gwen Stacy too and Dennis Leary is fun as her police-chief father. The problems start to set in a bit later once The Lizard shows up.

Garfield and Stone show a chemistry between them.
I don't want to spoil what evil plan is that Rhys Ifans' character has, but its pretty darn silly. Once we hit the middle of the movie and the focus goes onto our villain's plan the movie just sort of drags. No matter how much cool action we get between Spider-Man and The Lizard fighting that overall goal he has is still pretty absurd. That's a shame as the actors do a great job making the silly threat seem credible even if by the end of the movie I'm pretty much just going, "So that green liquid is bad and the blue one is good...or something?"
"I've got a pretty stupid plan."
Also, even though I tend to prefer the first movie in a trilogy stand somewhat alone and not try to set up future installments, the mid end-credit's teaser with what seems to be the first appearance of Norman Osborn in this universe does make me excited at the idea of Peter learning more about the mystery with his parents, and the Green Goblin showing up in the next movie (I'm pretty sure Gwen is gonna die like in the comics come the sequel and the third movie will be about Spider-Man getting revenge for it, I'm just gonna call that one now).

Overall this is a well-done film with a great start and intriguing finishing tease, but a draggy middle and quite dumb end. If you don't think too much about it though, and just enjoy the action and the hints of good things to come, it's still a solid piece of 2 hours and change. Just be ready for the flaws too. Oh, and no, Nick Fury does not show up to tie this in with Avengers as some rumor-mongers have said, Spider-Man seems to be staying in his own super-hero world for now.
3 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Company Acts Evil Yet Again And Makes It Hard For Me To Enjoy Their Comics

There is the, "Before Watchmen," debacle I've spoken about many times as being an insult to creator's rights and a big, "FUCK YOU ALAN MOORE!" from DC. Well, now DC is being negative toward creators yet again with their announcement of a Black Lightning arc in their pseudo-anthology, "DC Comics Presents."

Basically even though Tony Isabella would really prefer DC treat Black Lightining as something he made in partnership with them and not work-for-hire which is clearly appears to be the former instead of the latter, DC is going to just put out some Black Lightning comics because apparently they want to say, "FUCK YOU TONY ISABELLA," between their evil laughs about Before Watchmen.

Seriously DC, do you want me to think of you as evil? Do you want me to seriously consider dropping all DC Comics because I just am feeling like I'm supporting screwing over creators? You do your, "Meet The Makers," campaign as if you care about the people doing your comics, but you don't even call them creators, you just say they are makers.

There seems to truly be a lack of morals at DC and Marvel when it comes to treatment of the people who make their comics--DC has just looked really bad lately with Marvel just getting black-eyes with the whole Avengers-and-Jack Kirby-not-getting-credit-for-the-series-at-first-business. This makes me really sad, and if this keeps up I'm not sure I can really do DC comics if this is their regular behavior. Marvel is on notice too, but man is DC being terrible.