Friday, May 30, 2008

Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men

Okay, so why do I like it so much. Let me start at the beginning:

I love Kitty Pryde. She is an awesome character and I just really enjoy the way that she was introduced and the character in general. There are many reasons I like her, but let's just say that I like her.
Joss Whedon likes Kitty Pryde a lot. At the very least, he likes Kitty enough that when creating Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, his main inspiration for Buffy was Kitty Pryde. He likes her enough that he brought her into the main X-Men comic book.
I love Joss Whedon's work. Around the time of House of M, I learned of Astonishing X-Men (this was around when I was getting back into comics to the extent of buying them semi-regularly), and I eventually picked up volumes 1 and 2 of Astonishing, after loving the first post-House of M issue. I loved both, and while I know people complained about Danger, and I can see what they are saying to an extent, the way he writes is awesome, and Cassaday's art helps a lot. Still, I liked his writing in comics, and have heard from many people how awesome Firefly is, so I checked that out, and if you remember, that was amazing. Buffy, at least the early episodes I saw on Hulu, I didn't like as much, but still enjoyed. I mostly dislike the slopiness with the realm of the magical, with vampires having that weird face and basically being the exact same as from Bram Stoker. Moonlight (on CBS), Dresden Files (the book series) and Marvel have completely different versions that are more interesting. Still, I also know that the first few episodes may be a little slow, but they get more interesting as time goes on, so we shall see. Still, I haven't disliked anything Whedon that I have seen or read.
Again, I love Kitty Pryde. When I heard that she might die or something happens, I was really upset. I think part of it was from how Praxagora died so unceremoniously in Annihilation: Conquest, and that was a character I liked a lot too. I was afraid they would do the same thing. Plus, I just don't want her to die period.
Whedon nailed everything. Pure, and simple. He nailed everything. I am a Spider-Man and he nailed Spidey. Spidey's sense of humor, his powers, his whining and complaining, everything. Cassaday did a great job too, but Whedon nailed Spidey. Everybody else worked too. I don't know when this takes place in terms of continuity, but it just is so awesome. In terms of an individual comic, this will probably take the 3rd position, falling only to Ultimates 2 #13 and Ultimates 2 #12, in my favorite comics ever. It is that awesome.
On my list of favorite characters, Deadpool is first, Kl'rt is second and Kitty Pryde is third. Deadpool will never be a mainstream character, or at the very least, he will never be a serious character. If he does become one, then I am going to be very disappointed. Kl'rt has spent way too much time as a villain, and while currently more of an anti-hero (with Secret Invasion, who knows, though), he can do some things, but probably not that big in any given event. In his own series, he was the big hero who sacrificed himself to help save Skrull worlds from the Harvester of Sorrows and saved Praxagora. Still, he hsan't done much since, and probably won't do much in the future that is hugely important. Kitty can. She is my favorite hero (Deadpool started as a villain, became an anti-hero, Kl'rt is a villainous anti-hero, maybe just villain) and so she can do anything that a comic will let her.

Kitty Pryde saved the world.

Not the X-Men, not the combined forces of a whole bunch of powerful superheroes. Kitty. By herself. Now, on to the story.
So, to catch you up, the psychics of the Breakworld, a planet, had discovered that an X-Men was going to destroy their world. Ord of the Breakworld went to Earth to kill the X-Men so that his world wouldn't be killed. He was eventually defeated. Abigail Brand, agent of Sentient World Observation and Research Department (aka S.W.O.R.D.), not wanting a war with the Breakworld, took the X-Men to the planet to work out the problem of Colossus (revealed to be the X-Man to destroy the Breakworld) destroying their planet. After a few skirmishes, they learned of the Retaliator, a missile designed to destroy the Earth. As Colossus, Emma and Cyclops went to threaten the planet, Kitty tried to phase through the circuitry in the missile, realizing eventually that it fails because there is no circuitry and that it is a bullet.
Back on Earth, Spidey encounters Nightcrawler, Iceman and Storm, who bring him to a gathering of heroes, along with the sentient and remorseful Wild Sentinel from the second volume of Astonishing X-Men. On the Breakworld, Colossus confronts Aghanne (a warrior turned priestess who is the main resistance against Powerlord Kruun, ruler of hte Breakworld) about her plan to destroy the Breakworld. Basically, hse doesn't want the Breakworld citizens to suffer, so she thinks killing the planet would being them peace. Colossus, having been dead before, tells her death and peace are not the same thing, so they start to fight. Meanwhile, Emma and Scott run off to help Kitty, if at all possible, and Brand reveals some powers and defeats two Breakworld soldiers. Dr. Strange attempts to use magic to stop the bullet, but is taken out, and the heroes feel that the "magical protection" the bullet apparently has is able to stop magic. Reed then works out a plan to shunt the missile through a portable Negative Zone portal. As Colossus fights Aghanne to try to not destroy the planet, Brand reveals she wants to bang Beast, causing awkwardness, and Ord attacks Aghanne from behind. The assault isn't that helpful, but Colossus is able to use the small advantage to take care of Aghanne and mention how Ord did end up saving the Breakworld. Back on Earth, Reed's plan comes to fruition, and they succeed in getting the missile into the Negative Zone. Then, as Reed stands there, he starts to drool. Oh, wait. All those heroes are drooling and just standing there. Oops, guess Reed didn't actually stop it. As Emma contacts in the bullet telepathically, we see what Sentry, Iron Man and Spider-Man all see in their own minds, them all individually stopping the bullet. Fortunately, Spider-Man realizes he can't do what he sees himself doing. Kitty realizes that the alien metal is too bizarre and she can't make it back out again. Spidey smacks Storm, who he then shows that all the other heroes are out drooling in their minds. Colossus and the others confront Kruun about how to stop it, Colossus letting him know that if the bullet hits, he is going to take over the planet, because all of the people will fear that he could being about the end of their world. Apparently, something hitting the bullet hard and fast enough might be able to buckle or divert the bullet, at which point, the sentient Sentinel sacrifices himself to try and stop the bullet. Spidey tries to wake the others, as the Sentinel rams it, failing. Kitty makes a dramatic speech to Emma, who is more and more distressed by Kitty;s plan. Right as the bullet is about to hit Earth, Kitty phases the entire bullet right through Earth, bonding with the alien metal in a weird way and being lost. Reed and Strange try to rescue Kitty, but they aren't able to do anything. Emma is seen crying. Wolverine starts heavily drinking, but Armor tries to snap him out of it by fighting. Beast reveals to Brand that (surprise, surprise) he hates her, and she realizes she needs someone like that to question her on every single move professionally, and off the job, she wants to "break [him] like a pony." He might be a blue, furry monster, but her father was too. She if half-alien, which is why she is so good at dealing with alien threats, and has her green (like Polaris, not dyed) hair and weird powers. Cyclops loses his control over his powers again, needing the visor to not destroy things. Wolverine and Hisako fight. Beast works with Brand. Colossus looks to the sky, but Kitty is gone.

Like I have said, I really liked this issue. To be perfectly honest, my favorite stuff has comedy mixed with everything, but is serious at the right times, and has levity when it is required. Something amusing is that Kitty ended up being the serious one, while Brand provided the comedy in this one (along with Spidey). A powerful story, and I really enjoyed it. I am sad that Kitty is gone, but she saved the whole world. Whedon had Kitty there for this moment. He likes the character and used her to save the world in a way that nobody else could. She succeeded where Spider-Man, the rest of the X-Men, the Fantastic Four (including Reed's big brain), Iron Man, Dr. Strange and the Sentry failed. Kitty. I mean, that was awesome. The two-page spread where Kitty phased the bullet, I actually cried, believe it or not. I am going to miss Kitty a lot, but I know she single-handedly saved the Earth, where more powerful people failed. So, she is gone, but she definitely made the whole story worth it. Thank you Joss Whedon. Thank you.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Comics on 5/29

You know the drill by now, so here we go:

New Warriors 12

Basic Plot: While the escaped New Warriors try to figure out a strategy to take out the weird guy, the ones that were left behind try to use what they have left to survive as long as they can.

It was better. Honestly. I found it to be enjoyable. As opposed to earlier issues, I did enjoy this issue. I liked seeing the resourcefulness that Chamber (whatever his new name is) used and seeing them use what remains of their outfits and turning them into traps. Also, Thrasher, while I hate him, is right, which is what they realized. All in all, a lot of fun, and it was actually good this time around, or at least I felt it was. In fact, most of the issues this week were really good. I don't know if someone injected me with something, but I enjoyed everything I read, and found them all to be rather good.

X-Force 4

Basic Plot: X-23 and Wolverine have to deal with the difference between innocents and people they can kill.

Ha! I didn't see that coming. Okay, this was a cool issue. I liked it. I think I am starting to get used to the "hrrr, dark, gritty, killer X-Men, rrah" type thing that I used to dislike about this book. This one was good. So, not much of a spoiler, since it happens pretty early on, but after Rahne is "healed", she attacks Angel, ripping off his wings. To Wolverine, Rahne is an innocent, unlike both X-23 and Wolverine, and that what they do, they do to help people like Rahne. So, as Rahne attacks, X-23 does nothing and lets her escape. Anyway, I generally don't think about it, but yeah, Angel was once Archangel (maybe he currently is called that, but with normal wings, you don't think it is) and a Horseman of Apocalypse. The Purifiers didn't forget, though. It was kind of gruesome, but to be expected for a book that has a regular cover and a variant "bloody" cover.

Blue Beetle 27

Basic Plot: Jaime realizes the limits of his armor's effectiveness against magic, while trying to stop some demons attacking seemingly random people.

Okay, Blue Beetle is a total bad-ass. He takes on GLs, and easily defeated Parasite (when he let the scarab take over). I don't think these demons, magic or not, should have been that big of a problem. Still, I also liked seeing Traci look things up in the library, then go after the kids who caused the trouble (people attacked were people who scorned them, a girlfriend, assistant-manager at a pretzel place and a teacher). She is pretty darn cool. I recently got a whole bunch of cards (as you know if you read this) and I got a bunch of foil Girl 13s from DSM. I love the irony of the Thirteen family, with Dr. Thirteen trying to prove magic isn't real, and his daughter being a sorceress. It was a fun issue, but nothing special.

King-Size Hulk 1

Basic Plot: Look into some recent events as we try to fill in gaps.

So this was probably the one that was most meh for me today. Oh, and that 50/50 variant thing? Unless my comic store was weird, it is actually just "the" cover, with the Cho one inside. Yes, my comic had two covers (with the same inside and outside ads). Anyway, the one with Wendigo was kind of interesting, but not really. The main thing that I got from it was that there are multiple Wendigos currently as opposed to just the one that there usually is. One thing I also don't get is what happened to the Wendigo after the issues of She-Hulk, where he was captured. Oh well. The She-Hulk story was cool. The Abomination one wasn't, with art I didn't really like, and basically just a backstory of Abomination. Then it had two issues of Hulk (from the time when Wolverine first appeared) and an Avengers issue from when some superwomen got together to fight the Avengers. All in all, it was an interesting issue, but not great. Just filler, and somewhat expensive filler at that.

Thor 9

Basic Plot: Loki plans her moves as Asgard and Billy tries to let the Asgardians in on what happens with Earth.

Lots of fun, and I really enjoyed it. The issues right before it weren't as good, I felt, but this one was great. Seeing Balder was nice and kind of cool, as he is an interesting character (especially with his recent wearing of the Destroyer armor), and the part with him was cool. I loved the humor though. Fandral speaks in a way that makes Hogun and Volstagg stop and think to themselves about what he meant. Loki asks Volstagg, Hogun and Fandral why they aren't out in the world, since they can leave, and so on and so forth. Billy trying to throw the flowers he brought for Kelda was amusing. He can't quite throw them up to her, so he tries again and fails, so he attaches them to a rock, and throws them, then is disturbed because of how he hit her with the rock. It is just a fun issue. Asgardians don't know how or why to play basketball.

Wolverine First Class 3

Basic Plot: Wolverine and Kitty go to Wundagore and find the New Men.

Oh, how I love this series. So, it isn't the greatest series ever, but the main reason I read comics is because I want to be entertained, and this fits the bill. Young, naive Shadowcat with grumpy, fighting Wolverine. Lots of fun to be had. I love how everybody keeps referring to Wolverine as a weasel and how nobody can remember Bova's name. Just a lot of fun, like the previous issues, although this one has a sequel, and there is going to be another issue to finish the story.

Ultimate Spider-Man 122

Basic Plot: You know the Shocker? Yes, that is his gun. Basically, the cover tells the story. 'Nuff said.

Finally, we get to hear the origin of the Shocker and what he's all about. You thought he was just some random loser with some vibro-shock units? Well, guess what? He pretty much is! Like the original Shocker, he invented the vibro-shock units, then wanted to make money, and has been defeated by Spider-Man lots of times. That's pretty much it. He's really smart (let's see you invent vibro-shock units, heck even not while in prison) and yet really stupid. Plus, he's paranoia about Roxxon, which makes sense, but he is too upset with Roxxon. All in all, though, a fun issue, and I am glad to see Shocker do something for once.

New Avengers 41

Basic Plot: So the Skrulls landed in the Savage Land, right? What about Ka-Zar and Shanna?

Oh, you know that stuff in the beginning of New Avengers? Well, it is all explained here. Bendis likes making tie-ins work with the story. Sure, House of M Spidey didn't quite fit (at the end he goes fishing and everybody thinks he is dead), but most were just kind of add-ons that give you some more insight into what is going on at the time. With this, you get that in spades. Partly, I'm sure, because he is still writing New Avengers (man, USM, NA, MA, SI, what isn't he writing?). It perfectly wraps that up, with a bonus at the end. So, I didn't quite think about it at the time, but Cap was in the Skrull ship that crashed in the Savage Land, and is he really Cap? Mockingbird seems to think so, but is she really Mockingbird? Oh, craziness, how I love thee.

Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men

Basic Plot: With a giant bullet headed for Earth, the X-Men try to stop it, with help from the Avengers and FF and X-Men back on Earth.

Joss Whedon, I forgive you. I had doubted you, and was ready to be really upset with you, but you pulled it off. I should have believed in you.
Anyway, it basically picks up from where Astonishing X-Men 24 leaves off, with the giant bullet heading towards Earth with Kitty inside it. I love Kitty Pryde and was really scared when I read that Colossus missed her or something or that he just had lost someone, and with Kitty not being seen anywhere, it was assumed prior to this that Kitty died. I was really nervous about this, as I really like the character and didn't want her to die. It was done really well, and I'm going to rant more about it tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Memorial Day

Oh, comic books, how fickle you are. No comics today because of the Monday holiday. Instead, comics tomorrow. For now, I guess, I will show you (although not in picture form, and please don't make it, I am perfectly capable of doing it myself, I just don't have the time right now) my Ultimate Hawkeye from MAU.

Name: Hawkeye
Version: Expert Archer
Cost: 3
Team(s): The Ultimates/S.H.I.E.L.D.
Flight/Range: N/Y
Atk/DEF: 4/3
Concealed: Concealed

Activate >>> Stun any number of visible characters with a combined cost of 3 or less. Lose 4 endurance. Use only once per turn and only during your attack step.

"Are you really that good?"
"That good and then some, baby. That good, and then some."
MAU-010 (Common)

Okay, so onto my explanation of the card. I never had much respect for Hawkeye in the comics. He always seemed kind of lame. He wore a purple outfit with a Wolverine-like mask (to an extent, although just in the front without the hair) and had no powers, just shot arrows. Well, I have more respect for him now, both regular (Avengers Disassembled, House of M and post-Civil War stuff) and Ultimate.
Ultimate Hawkeye was introduced at the same time as Black Widow (although Black Widow had been in an issue of Ultimate Marvel Team-Up, the series is very loose canon, and her character is very different), in the second arc of The Ultimates. Issue 7 had a cameo with them, preparing for the next issue. Issue 8 starts with Black Widow and Hawkeye walking down the street in all black leather, with shades and duffel bags. It has a very Matrix-ish feel to it. Ultimate Hawkeye, as opposed to the original, is an expert with practically any type of weapon. He mostly uses a bow, but he doesn't necessarily restrict himself. He walks in, shoots the guy at the desk in the head, shoots two security guards, then shoots 4 civilians running away. As S.H.I.E.L.D. agents rush in, he shoots another guy in an elevator, then walks in. It is the introduction to the bad-ass Hawkeye. It isn't the original Hawkeye, who shoots arrows, but barely every hurts anyone with them. It is the total bad-ass, I'm going to kill who I want with expert aim with any weapon Hawkeye.
So, I mean, he is pretty cool, as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent as opposed to just having super-powers or wanting to join a superhero team. I tried to represent that in my card. So, The Ultimates have a theme of stunning opponents' characters. Wow! Amazingf You'd never want to do that before, but basically, the way the team works, in the comics, is very loose, with little actual team-work and mostly just beating the crap out of everybody else and one-upping that guy over there. As a team, they didn't really do much together. Plus, there is a theme of hurting the team to get an advantage. Hank Pym beat up Jan, the team kicked him out and the team worked better together and had to work harder. Bruce Banner subjects himself to horrible experiments where he ends up as the Hulk, and also ends up eating people. Black Widow had million-dollar enhancements (no, not that kind, perv) to make her more powerful. So, with Hawkeye, here, we get him auto-stunning a guy, by just shooting him outright, or shooting multiple guys outright. He has concealed because as part of the Black Ops team, more than the official team (at that point, anyway), he basically fought in the shadows, striking when necessary. He also hurts you in the process, which is partly my balancing the card. I feel the ability to outright stun is pretty powerful, especially since this doesn't target. And since he is hidden, he can do it every turn.
Well, what do you think of Hawkeye and/or The Ultimates (since Ultimates is a version) as a team? Just comment and let me know.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Preview of names and versions, along with costs

Okay, so Mike has been previewing his Marvel Zombies cards on his blog and I decided that I should share my VS cards that I have made. As opposed to making an Essential Collection, however, I decided to make an entire set. My set is MAU, or Marvel Alternate Universe, and has a few new concepts. First off, is the concept of Alternate Universes, which Marvel has quite a few of. On the background of where the text is, there will be a symbol representing which alternate universe it is. For my set, there is the Ultimate universe (representing that universe are the teams: Ultimates and Ultimate Adversaries), the Age of Apocalypse universe (mostly through Horsemen of Apocalypse), the Zombieverse (which features those lovable Marvel Zombies along with the people who fough them) and the Supreme Power universe (featuring the Squadron Supreme). In and of itself, the alternate universe does nothing although other cards may reference them. There is also my own zombie keyword, which is different from Mike's. When I discuss my Marvel Zombies, I'll go over it. Over the course of whenever, I will go over the cards, but for now, I leave you with a few cards from each team (just the names, versions and costs though).

Captain America, Old Fashioned (5)
Hank Pym<>Ant Man, Little Mistakes (2)
Thor, Asgardian? (7)

Abdul Al-Rahman, Liberator Leader (7)
Chitauri Soldier, Army (2)
Green Goblin, Ultimate Six (6)

Apocalypse, The 12 (9)
Deadpool, Dead Man Wade (4)
Plague<>Pestilence, Horseman (5)

Black Pantehr, Arm and a Leg (5)
Hank Pym<>Giant Man, BZOC (2)
Silver Surfer, Unwary Herald (6)

Hyperion, 500-Pound Gorilla (7)

Monday, May 26, 2008


Well, I am not done sorting, although to be honest, I kind of slacked off a little (okay, a lot, so sue me). I can show pictures of how my organizing is going:

2 boxes through at this point above. Some cards were starting to fall, but whatever. I sort by team and their supporting cards.

This is later, and also to show you how thick some of the stacks are:

And for comparison's sake, my stack of Arkham Inmates at this point (there are maore to come) compared to the thickness of the 6th Harry Potter book:

Hope your Memorial Day is fun! I'll see you tomorrow, showing names and versions from some of my stuff in my MAA set (still working on it, but main teams are done).

Friday, May 23, 2008

Busy sorting...

So, my friends just gave me a bunch of their old cards from VS, so I am busy sorting those into rares and foils for my binders. When I say a bunch, I mean 10+ long boxes of cards, each with approximately 650+ cards. So yes, I am going through over 6500 cards I just got. I know what I'm doing over this weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bad Grammar

Man, I can't get this song out of my head. My mom is a semi grammar-nazi (not incredibly bad, but still somewhat annoying), so I have followed suit to an extent. I enjoy listening to this song (and a lot of the parodies this guy does).

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

5/21 Comics

Well, again, I am going to show you what I intend to buy before I actually buy it.

Ultimate Fantastic Four 54

Basic Plot: While the Ultimate Salem's Seven appear, Reed and Sue try and work out their relationship problems as a therapist comes to talk to all of them.

Well, I never knew too much about Salem's Seven other than that they existed and were semi-villainous against the FF. So, I don't know who these new people are, and honestly, I am not really caring. The story was okay, with some humorous moments, and was better than the previous storyline, but that is damning with faint praise. I just keep waiting for it to get better like it was when Millar was writing it. Currently, it isn't as bad, but not one of the comics that was awesome to read with Millar.

Captain America 38

Basic Plot: Agent 13 realizes the revived Captain America is actually the Grand Director and Bucky and Falcon try to take out Arnim Zola and the Red Skull.

Honestly, I think this comic could be good, but I don't think I care about Captain America enough for it to work. After Civil War, I have enough respect for Captain America that I don't think anybody else should be Captain America, even Bucky. With that, I am not all that interested in Captain America stories, so I am not finding these to be as interesting as other people (such as someone who works in the game store I go to) find them. Still fun, but not as good to me as I feel they are to other people.

Ultimate X-Men 94

Basic Plot: When Ultimate Alpha Flight kidnaps Northstar, Colossus and a team go to get him back, but Colossus has a secret...

Oh, two issues in the same week with similar stories. Basically, Colossus can turn his body into organic steel, but does not have super-strength. So, not only is he not super strong and not able to do lots of things it seemed like he could do, he can't even lift his arms because they are too heavy. I think it is interesting, but I do not like it. I like Colossus as a character and Ultimate Colossus was no exception. Also, I think it is cool that Ultimate Colossus is gay, as I feel there aren't enough gay superheroes. Still, I feel this portrays Colossus in a negative light that I dislike. I like Colossus having super-strength, but now he apparently has always gotten the strength from the "Banshee" drug. Apparently, he was good enough at keeping secrets to keep this from both Xavier and Jean Grey up until now. Apparently, he has always carried a bunch along with him wherever he goes as well. Sigh... stupid retcon. Ultimate Alpha Flight is kind of interesting. Hmm, Jubilee and Sunfire on Alpha Flight? WTF? Oh, it is cool that Firestar (Liz Allen) has chosen that as her name (surprise, surprise) and is at the school as well. I love Mark Brooks' art in the issue as well. Aside from hating the Banshee drug being used with Colossus, I loved the rest of the story.

Amazing Spider-Man 560

Basic Plot: The creepy Paper-Doll villainess attacks people who attack her lover.

Okay, kind of creepy. Scratch that, very creepy. That is one weird villain. How do you stop someone like that? Oh well. Just another random weird villain being introduced for the sake of BND. BND is starting to piss me off. I really want classic villains, as opposed to these idiotic weird villains who somehow all have some advantage over Spidey. Meh, I can't wait for the time when the Thunderbolts try and take him out (not in Avengers/Invaders) because the team is led by none other than Spidey's greatest enemy (arguably), the Green Goblin, Norman Osborn. And he is still crazy. Can't wait for that, especially since all of this is practically crap.

Fantastic Four 557

Basic Plot: Reed tries to take on CAP.

There are reasons you never want to piss off a super genius who uses super science. One of those reasons is the Anti-Galactus suit Reed designed. About as large as Galactus himself, the suit contains the most powerful weapons in the world by far, bar none. Kind of scary. Especially since he just took out CAP, who had taken out the Avengers, Young Avengers, FF and all fairly easily. Damn, Reed's scary. I love Millar and Hitch together. They are both amazing and together, they create wonderful things. I wonder how Doom is going to be explained, since Doom appears at the end. Wasn't Doom in jail last time we saw him? He was arrested by Iron Man after the symbiote debacle. Oh well. Mark Millar can explain it. He can do anything.

Avengers: The Initiative 13

Basic Plot: Butterball tries to fit in with the Initiative.

Okay, so who remembers Batwing? Not one of Bruce Wayne's vehicles (was there one named that?), but the character from Untold Tales of Spider-Man. I mean, come on! Batwing? Annex too? Prodigy? What is this? Obscure backup characters from Spider-Man in the Initiative? God, it is bizarre. Anyway, like in Ultimate X-Men, we have an indestructible character who isn't superstrong. Of course, this one is also fat. He is, for all intents and purposes, completely invulnerable to harm. Nothing, not even drowning, seems to hurt him. He can't really do much though. He also has unlimited stamina, which means he can run at 2 MPH forever or lift 20 lbs weights forever without getting tired. A fun story, although I hate the artist. One thing, also about the Initiative. My friend seems to really dislike it, but I like the comic. Not the Initiative as a system, but the Initiative as a comic. Aside from the artist that has been doing the art recently, it is one of the comics I like more.

Incredible Hercules 117

Basic Plot: The God Squad gets together for the first time.

Apparently I need to read more Hercules, or the Ares mini-series, because I didn't know what happened with Olympus. With everything though, this was kind of cool. Basically, I recognize Hercules and Snowbird. The other three are mysteries to me. I like the concept though. The Skrulls are attacking because their gods are commanding them to, so why not have the Earth gods go after the Skrull gods. Awesome idea. I also like the art. Oh, and Amadeus is awesome. This is a very fun series.

Mighty Avengers 14

Basic Plot: How the Skrulls get to the Sentry.

Apparently, Jarvis has been a Skrull for a long time. From at least the time the New Avengers went public, he had been a Skrull, because it was then he started working on a plan to take out the Sentry. Spider-Woman is in fact a Skrull and has been at least recently. I thought it was pretty darn interesting, because obviously, Vision was a Skrull (although I thought it might just be Sentry talking to himself) and used the idea that Jarvis-Skrull came up with, where if you say things are his fault and take the form of the Void, you can make him unstable. Oh, Robert, how silly, you are. Man, if only everybody had that power. Aaaahhh! I'm freaking out! I'll just go to Saturn to calm down. Apparently, the Void has taken over as the dominant personality, but also cares about Lindy. It is confusing. Stuff is weird. Oh well. Still awesome stuff.

Wolverine: Origins 25

Basic Plot: The final battle between Deadpool, Wolverine and Daken.

Daniel Way just pisses me off when writing Deadpool. Maybe it also is because Steve Dillon's art looks like someone threw up, but I am pretty sure a lot of it is Way's writing. Which of course makes me incredibly nervous in regards to the upcoming Deadpool series in September. I like how everything comes to a close, with everything all being an elaborate set-up, and with Bucky getting to do stuff, but I honestly hate how they left things with Deadpool. The best part of this was that they also had Deadpool's first appearance, which, while pretty ugly all in all, was still important, and I am glad I read it. You know what, though? A whole bunch of the images from "40 worst Liefeld creations" are from this issue! Awesome, huh? I do like how Deadpool takes a bunch of guys out before Domino takes him out. Meh, makes sense to me, so okay. Deadpool's series is September better be pretty damn good. Hopefully, Bob will still be his loyal pet/minion.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

MUN Preview: Annihilus and Negative Zone

Wow, I feel really lucky. Who would have thought I would get a preview? Anyway, here we go. So, I know people like looking at the cards immediately, so I'll show them to you, then go over them.

Background time! So, to hear his whole origin, you can just go to Annihilus's Wikipedia entry, which lets you in on his life. Basically, he is the self-proclaimed ruler of the Negative Zone, an alternate dimension with different forms of matter (anti-matter) and different rules and Physics and stuff. It's just weird. Anyway, on multiple occasions, Annihilus has attempted to take over this dimension starting with Earth. While Blastaar, another Negative Zone dictator, has often come to Earth and fought heroes here, Annihilus pretty much never left the Negative Zone, although tried to get out multiple times (including one time with Spider-Man and the Frightful Four, in which he was defeated by pulling the power cord out of the wall of Reed's machine). Still, he has been a persistent threat and incredibly dangerous. Recently, he gathered his armies of his bugs, and got lots of Negative Zone warriors and attempted to "conquer" the universe, as he said that it was expanding into the Negative Zone. He was able to, with his army, destroy the Kyln, a prison for cosmic level threats, kill every Nova Corps member except Richard Rider, Quasar, 90% of all the Skrull planets (pissing them off immensely), and countless billions of other people trying to fight him. Eventually, he was defeated when Thanos and Drax freed the Silver Surfer and an angry Galactus who destroyed most of Annihilus's army. Soon after, Nova confronted him and was able to kill him, although Annihilus is able to survive after death (he has done it before) and is currently waiting to be hatched as he is watched over by Ravenous, his loyal servant.

Annihilus has vast powers, which make him a dangerous opponent. Just by himself, he is able to fly, via his wings, and has a fairly invulnerable shell, along with a degree of superhuman strength. Plus, he also doesn't ever die, he just oozes away and comes back. Powerful by himself, he usually also has the Cosmic Control Rod, which is incredibly powerful, granting its wielder the ability to manipulate cosmic energies to transmute matter, fire blasts of destructive power and be totally badass. He is incredibly powerful, being able to have taken on Thor and win, and being able to take on the entire Nova force and Quasar at the same time, ultimately killing Quasar, and gaining his quantum bands, which gave Annihilus even more power, before they were taken by Phyla-Vell, the current Quasar.

Okay, so we have seen Annihilus once before in VS, in MOR, as a 7-drop with the Negative Zone affiliation, who made you lose 15 endurance if you didn't have Negative Zone, and outright stunned a front row character an opponent controlled before you attack. Combined with Blastaar from MOR, they would outright stun your largest character no matter where he was. This time around is not much different.

Let's look at the card. 10/9 with Flight and Range. Not bad for a 5-drop, right? Wait, that's not all? What else is there? When he enters play, if there is no Negative Zone, you exhaust him. Well, that could be a lot worse. It only triggers once, as opposed to every combat phase with the old one. Plus, it's not nearly as drastic. Being exhausted upon entering is annoying, but manageable. What is the other ability? "Activate -> Stun target hidden character. Use only during your attack step." Whoa, hold on there! Activate -> Stun target hidden character? That is pretty darn good, considering how popular hidden decks are currently. Limited to the attack step is kind of whatever. Basically, you can attack, or outright stun one of their guys. It is sad that you don't get both, but he is also a common, and an amazing common at that.

Of course, he is completely and utterly useless on turn 5 if you don't have Negative Zone. Now, currently, there are two versions of Negative Zone. One from MOR with a high amount of discarding cards to KO characters, the other being from MHG and disabling hidden characters opponents control or giving your NZ guys some well needed protection. That's great, but with NZ being a featured team in MUN, they get some more Negative Zones. Let's see...

It's not unique, which is very good, as it means that you can get multiple Negative Zones up and running so that a single Have a Blast! doesn't completely destroy your deck. Prison Alpha? Ooooh, a reference to Civil War and the Negative Zone prison there. Well, to flip it, you still need to discard a card (man, Negative Zone locations really don't want you to flip it for free), although this time it has to be a specific card, either a Negative Zone character card or a S.H.I.E.L.D. character card. Yes, since it is technically S.H.I.E.L.D.'s prison, they get to use it too. What is the effect of it? Wow, moving one of their characters hidden. Works great flavor wise, as when you get sent to Prison Alpha, you are put away in a place where people cannot get you and you are so hidden from the world. Plus, hey! Combo with Annihilus! Move one of their largest characters hidden to outright stun them with Annihilus, who while great by himself, is somewhat limited.

Negative Zone looks like a fun team to play. Hopefully they will get some characters below 4 who don't need Negative Zone to exist. Oh, and this is the first 5-drop Negative Zone character, previously only having a 1-drop army character, a 4-drop, 2 6-drops, a 7-drop and an 8-drop. The cards look amazing and fun, with great abilities and great art that just makes me want to get these cards in drafts and to build regular decks off of.
See you tomorrow for comics (if you want to, that is)!

EDIT: Okay, so I made the article before Monday, so I didn't see the other Annihilus or Negative Zone before I wrote this. I am a little disturbed by the fact that at least 2 out of 4 of the Negative Zones are rare, since rares are so much more difficult to get these days. Still, multiple Negative Zones sound fun. Other than the fact that Annihilus requires a Negative Zone, this doesn't necessarily fit with the Annihilus in my article, since he exhausts from the beginning without, or having it, he can't use his ability. Oh well.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Essential X-Men vol 8

Essential X-Men vol 8 came out recently, and I thought that it was pretty good, although I was very disappointed when I realized something. Half of the book is collected in Inferno, which was a good story, but something I already had. Well, as to the stories in this volume: In this volume, it starts off with the X-Men being dead, as near the end of Essential X-Men 7, they had died, then came back, but only they knew they were back. In this volume, they continue to go about helping people, but nobody realizes it is the X-Men helping out. Something interesting is that Sinister from Ultimate X-Men has a similar power to what all the X-Men have. Nobody can see them (in all the various forms, including smell or hear, etc) unless they are right in front of the person. Otherwise, they are completely invisible to all forms of detection. It is cool, how Genosha is introduced, with the Magistrates, and so are the Reavers, although they are thoroughly and efficiently defeated. Still, with everything, it is a good volume. It is fun to see how much the X-Men changed from Essential 1 to Essential 8. Heck, from Essential Classic X-Men 1 (originally Essential Uncanny X-Men) to this volume is an even bigger difference. The X-Men took on a whole new tone from when they started. I'm not sure exactly where it began (maybe with the Brood, the first time), but they became much darker. Maybe it was after Dark Phoenix saga, and things started going darker and darker, but by Brood, they started being really dark. Still good stuff, but not nearly the same as the original stuff.
Be back here tomorrow for my previews! WOOT!

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Sorry I didn't post yesterday (I guess it is yesterday now), but for me, I was busy with getting my stuff together. My packages arrived from school, and in really hot temperatures, I had to carry all7 boxes up 3 flights of stairs. It was annoying and sweaty. But now I have almost all my stuff (1 more coming next Monday), so we'll see what happens next.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Many of you probably do not know this, because I mostly talk about VS and comic books, but I am a big baseball fan, specifically of the San Francisco Giants. Ever since 1992, I have been a fan (going to games since 1989), and while recently, I have turned most of my attentions to other things (like more comics and VS), I still enjoy the game. I know many people find baseball dull as people stand around for a lot of the game, but I find interesting and exciting. I don't find people running back and forth, up and down a field or court or rink nearly as interesting as the intricate ways that things happen in baseball. My parents own half of a season's worth of season tickets (together with someone else, they own the whole season), so we go to a lot of games generally, and it really is fun. Just thinking about baseball a lot because since i have been back, I have gone to two games (Sunday and Tuesday) and am going to the Giants game today. Truly, I do enjoy baseball, even if I don't think of it as much anymore.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Comics on 5/14

This is going up without reviews, because I get comics so much later, that I figure I might as well put the article with what comics I get now, then fill it in later. Expect this every week from now on.

Giant Size Incredible Hulk 1

Basic Plot: Set in a time before Planet Hulk, a friend from Hulk's past writes a book about the Hulk.

So, it was a fun story, and basically went over how different people view the Hulk. Many see him as a monster, although there are those that see him as a hero. I mean, kind of obvious to me that there are both. It was cool to see some things from Hulk's past and all in all, a fun story, although not the greatest Hulk story ever. The issue in the back was a lot more fun and bizarre. Basically, it was an old issue where Hulk teams up with Angel and Iceman to take down Master Mold. It is cool because it shows how awesome the Hulk is. He goes up against the machine and tears it apart, all while trying to help people. It is what he does, whether people believe it or not. He is a hero, despite the MU hunting and persecuting him. In this issue, it is just amusing. Oh, and I love how I got all the X-Men references to Steven Lang (the guy the Sentinel claimed to be) who is semi-responsible for the Phoenix.

Amazing Spider-Man 559

Basic Plot: After chasing down an urban gymnast, Peter tries his hand at paparazzi work.

Oh, Peter, Peter, Peter. How low you have fallen. The first part, where he chases Screwball is fun and amusing. He can't really keep up with her as she leaps throughout the city. Also, being filmed constantly, she is kind of crazy. The spider-tracer killer thing has got to stop. I mean, seriously. I get it already. People think Spider-Man is a killer. Whatever. That has happened so many times. It is cliche now. And someone throws a hot dog at him? I mean, come on. Still, the writing is pretty good. Dan Slott was pretty fun. Screwball was amusing, but the rest. Oh, how Peter has fallen. Robbie realizes that Bennett is horrible for the Bugle (I'm sorry, DB) and Jonah just hates how someone else is running his paper, but I think Peter doesn't care at this point, as he is in it for the money. I somewhat understand, but I thought Peter had morals, and this seems pretty immoral. I mean, Harry just outright says that he doesn't know Pete when he is "escorted" out of a building. All in all, could be better, but was fun.

Guardians of the Galaxy 1

Basic Plot: The team forms to take on the Universal Church of Truth.

This was lots of fun. Was the story great? Not really. It was okay, but not great. The thing that made this fun was all the characters and how each is an individual and each was nailed and the dynamics between them was perfect. Amusingly (for me anyway), three of the members were members of the Infinity Watch, and Gamora is the only one close to how she was in those days. Quasar was Moondragon's lover (making her close to yet another member of the team) and Rocket Raccoon reminds me a little of Pip the Troll. Both are short, hairy and think they are the greatest. The dynamics between Infinity Watch and Guardians of the Galaxy are what make these books fun. This book is awesome. Adam Warlock? Ridiculously powerful, yet not fully there. Quasar? Ridiculously powerful, but unsure of herself. Drax? Pretty powerful, and more of a loner, but not as big of a cosmic level threat as he was previously. Gamora? Fairly powerful, but very unsure of herself although very deadly. Rocket Raccoon? Not powerful, but thinks he is, although great tactician. Star-Lord? Probably the weakest of the bunch, but okay leader and great with guns. The team is fun and awesome and I look forward to seeing where the book takes the team.

Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four 1

Basic Plot: What is going on with the Fantastic Four during Secret Invasion.

SKRULLS! Awesome. Okay, so the story itself was pretty darn cool. The art was good and I just love the concept. Main problem? Labeling everything. End of Prologue, End of Interlude, etc. It was kind of stupid. It was pretty cool though. I loved how the entire thing worked. Some parts make me a little angry (Susan is not that weak and generally would fight back with her own shields, but just sat there and took it). The rest were cool though. The conversation between Johnny and "Sue" was amusing and I love that Johnny saw through her. The kids (Franklin and creepy-eyed Valeria) were awesome, and the Thing was in top-form. All in all, a fun issue. Oh, and the reveal at the end? I saw the general idea coming, but barely got it in time here. For those of you who don't care, as most of you probably don't care, Lyja is the Skrull that infiltrated the Baxter Building and took the team into the Negative Zone (minus Reed who Skrull-Yellowjacket took out).

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


So, I honestly don't know if people will even respond to this, but whatever. I am a die-hard Marvel fan. I have comics from DC and Image and some Dark Horse, but I am a Marvel fan at heart. Recently, I have been picking up a few more DC titles (like I read Blue Beetle monthly and have read the Crises that have come out and the beginning of Sinestro Corps War) and am wondering if I should try and broaden my perspective a lot more and read more DC stuff. I mean, I do read Blue Beetle and enjoy it, and I have to admit that Flash is easily my favorite DC character with my favorite superpower, but I really have only a couple volumes of the Flash, and that's it. Should I pick up the Flash and maybe other titles? Should I stick with things the way they are? Should I stop asking questions when most likely nobody will respond?

Monday, May 12, 2008


So, I have pre-ordered 4 boxes of MUN. I am looking forward to the upcoming set more than most of the sets that have been announced (aside from MEV or whatever Evolution's name is). Hopefully I will be able to play some VS against people with my cards, although knowing me, that may not happen unfortunately. I wish I could do something to get people to play, but it is very difficult for me to try to accomplish that task. Man, the new set looks pretty good from what I've seen, and we have a lot of cards already on a list (see ->) Hopefully we'll fill in the big gap this week.

Friday, May 9, 2008


Moving is annoying. Packing boxes and carrying them isn't much fun. Soon, I will be home for the summer. By Monday, I will be home. The blog might be kept up over the summer less frequently, although we shall see what will happen.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Secret Invasion 2

Sl'jk here to let you in on what has happened with us Skrulls during our Secret Invasion. Well, it appears that one of our agents was defeated when she tried to contact Nick Fury, who realized that we were invading and has started gathering some kids of superheroes and supervillains with powers to try and take us on covertly. Kind of scary, that Nick Fury. Man, I hope I don't end up coming against him. Anyway, Hercules has gathered some guys together in order to take on our gods with the Terran "God-Squad." Kind of stupid, if you ask me, since your gods are inferior to ours, but I don't feel like judging. Oh, and Captain Marvel? Yeah, he wasn't back. Did you actually believe that? Gotcha! Unfortunately our member kind of went a little rogue, but hopefully we'll see him do some great things. What else? Oh, we showed how our leader came into power. She is leading us according to the scriptures and we shall follow her will and conquer Earth in the name of the Skrull empire. Man, her father was an interesting ruler, but our new one? Totally awesome. Oh, and is she Spider-Woman? Well, you'll have to find out later to see if she really is. But the second issue of our main invasion series got here. Heh, you still don't know much do you? You know that the Spider-Man and Hawkeye in the ship itself were Skrulls, but you don't know who else could be a Skrull. Vision? Maybe. Mockingbird? Maybe not. Still, unless the person is dead, you can't really tell at this point, can you? Oh, and all of our soldiers? That was an awesome page, I have to admit. Yu did a good job of capturing Skrulls in all their glory.
He loves you.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

5/7 Comics

Let's get to right to it, shall we?

Punisher War Journal 19

Basic Plot: Franks learns of Jigsaw's plan, and things get set in motion.

All in all, better than before, but still not great. Chaykin's figures all look the same, so I really can't tell the difference between Frank as the Punisher and Ian pretending to be the Punisher. The cover makes it easy, sure, but the inside art? Not at all. The story is so-so, but I think it is going to get better. Of course, I have said that to myself for a while, but I actually believe it currently. They introduce a few characters that deal with Frank, kill them off, and expect you to feel sorry for them which is difficult. Hopefully, they will have a better story and be done with all the set-up soon.

Avengers/Invaders 1

Basic Plot: The Invaders accidentally end up in modern day NYC.

Okay, this was pretty darn cool, I have to say. It starts with Bucky just writing in his journal about the Invaders, as they preform a mission during WWII. In the middle of it, they enter this weird mist (minus Union Jack who was injured and Spitfire who is helping Union Jack) and end up witnessing Spider-Man fighting against the Thunderbolts in Times Square as they try to arrest him for being unregistered, and after hearing how Swordsman is German, and being under attack, the Invaders take out the Thunderbolts, who are, honestly, the biggest joke team in all of comics at the moment. I mean, they have almost failed so many times to take out no-name superheroes, and only Bullseye has been the one doing something while being held by agents. Jack Flag almost took them out? Come on! Anyway, they get their asses kicked and the Invaders run away. I mean, it is really well done all n all. The Invaders are very confused, but are still heroes. I look forward to seeing how Namor handles himself, how Cap deals with being deceased and how Bucky deals with Winter Soldier. This looks to be an awesome series and a lot of fun.

Amazing Spider-Man 558

Basic Plot: Spidey tries to deal with Freak after Menace attacks again.

So, are they trying to wrap this all up now and move on, or what? They use Menace and Freak in the same issue. I really dislike the way BND is working in terms of their schedule and everything, and the new characters are kind of stupid. Menace is a loser, Freak is just weird and everything is kind of okay, but not really. Some fun stuff (Peter feeling sorry for hurting Aunt May for leaving as she is super-excited, Freak snorting a huge cube of quicklime) and some idiotic stuff (Spidey swinging away to stop Freak and everybody is angry he isn't going after Menace as he flees when he honestly isn't considered a hero at this point anyway, juvenile humor in lots of places). All in all, it is better than the other issues with these idiots, but kind of rushed. I already want him to go back to fighting normal supervillains.

Mighty Avengers 13

Basic Plot: Nick Fury gathers his team to fight the Skrulls.

Sweet! More Daisy Johnson. I liked the character a lot in Secret War and thought it was cool to see her in New Avengers (pre-Civil War when she helped to take out the Collective in Magneto's body). Well, Nick Fury looks like Ultimate Nick Fury in his disguise (which is very amusing) and tracks her down, and she gathers together the son of Ares (Phobos, god of fear), the daughter of the Griffin, the grandson of the Phantom Rider, Layla Miller (who rejects her in the creepy way she does), the son of Dr. Druid and some other guy. Together, they are Nick Fury's new team that was gathered in secret, because nobody really knows who any of these people are (except for Daisy, to an extent, Phobos, to an extent and Layla, to an extent). They are going to fight the Skrulls, so I don't exactly want them to do well (as I am a Skrull fan), but it seems cool. I just wish Maleev wasn't doing the art, because he is okay, but I don't like the style that much.

Nova 13

Basic Plot: Nova tries to help the people of a planet escape from Galactus.

Well this was an interesting story. I do find Nova helping people kind of cool, but all in all, I don't know if I want to read a book about a guy who does that kind of thing. Harrow was weird as a villain (psychic entity that is not physical, but inhabits the body), and very short-lived. Nova trying to prolong Galactus is amusing. All in all, not much in it, but hopefully some cool fighting against Silver Surfer with Nova in the next issue. This was weird, but okay. I still like Nova, although it is probably not the best series I have ever read, but an okay series.

Secret Invasion 2

Basic Plot: Everybody tries to figure out who the heck is a Skrull.

Okay, this is awesome! Seriously, this is shaping up to be the best series ever for me, and it may surpass Ultimates 2. Currently, it is above Identity Crisis and around the same level as Ultimates for me. We'll see how it goes. All kinds of crazy in this issue. I'll let Sl'jk go over stuff tomorrow. Forgot about him, didn't you? Well, he's still here, just been lying low. Every day after Secret Invasion comes out, I'm giving him the blog to post about Secret Invasion and the Skrulls. It is really hard to tell who the Skrulls are in each group, because I believe there are Skrulls in each group, and I am very confused. Just an amazing issue, with two more reveals and then in the middle of NYC, at least 27 super Skrulls come out of the sky. Man, the heroes are in huge trouble, especially since they're all in Antarctica. This is just crazy and awesome. Have I mentioned how much I like it?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Infinity Watch

I don't think I've mentioned this on my blog before, but I am a big fan of the Warlock and the Infinity Watch series, even though it was around when I was only 2+ years old. Still, I have a lot of issues and love the series. Basically, it starts with the end of Infinity Gauntlet, when Adam Warlock wielded the power of the Gauntlet. There was a trial and the Living Tribunal decreed that the Gauntlet should not be held by any single individual as it is too powerful, so Adam had to find people that he could convince to protect the gems. He gathered together Gamora, Pip, Drax and Moondragon and gave them gems (Time, Space, Power and Mind, respectively), keeping the Soul Gem, something he had held before, to himself and secretly giving the Reality Gem to an unknown party, later revealed to be Thanos. Then, the team split apart and Adam left them all. Eventually, they realized that they needed to stick together, as they were taken down relatively easily by Bi-Beast, looking for revenge against Adam Warlock. I loved the dynamics in the team. You have Adam Warlock, who says he is beyond good and evil, although he honestly is more good than evil and does a lot of good, Gamora, the most dangerous woman in the universe, who is incredibly scary to be around, and the only person who cannot use her gem at all, Moondragon, an arrogant telepath and telekinetic, who is also the daughter of Drax, the Destroyer, who had intelligence, and then when fighting against Moondragon, was mind-crushed, and his resurrection didn't bring his mind back with him, forgetting who he is, and that Moondragon is his daughter, and being a complete idiot with unlimited physical power, and finally Pip the Troll, who is a prankster who loves getting drunk and teleporting around like crazy. The team fights amongst itself every single issue and it is a crazy dynamic. They eventually get another member on the team, Maxam, who does some weird stuff, and I don''t like him as much. Still, they are incredibly powerful and fight each other and random other stuff until Marvel brought forth the Ego Gem and a bad decision for them, and killed off the Watch.
That being said, I hate how the members of the Illuminati in MUN, the upcoming VS set, all have a version where they are on the Infinity Watch (a likely assumption given that they all have a version where they are a protector of an Infinity Gem), as they are not the Infinity Watch. They protect the Infinity Gems, sure, but they are not the Infinity Watch. The Infinity Watch is a team that I love that was crazy and fun for the 42 issues they were around. The Illuminati are not them, and I hate how they are given the Infinity Watch affiliation.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Iron Man

There might be spoilers in this so beware. Then again, if you read this blog, you should have seen it by now, so you shouldn't care.

Well, I really liked this movie and cannot think of any bad things to say about it. Seriously, no bad things whatsoever. Normally, I go and see a comic book movie and then think of all these ways it is different and all these things that I dislike. However, with this one, there were differences, but none that bothered me at all. The movie was just a lot of fun and I enjoyed all of th different random references that there were. The group that captures him is the Ten Rings group and its leader has a nice ring (Mandarin), Rhodes sees the Silver version of the armor and says, "Maybe next time," Obadiah calls him and Tony "Iron Mongers", which is the name of the armor that Obadiah chose when he had armor to challenge Stark. Samuel L Jackson as Fury was awesome, and I love how Ultimate Nick Fury was based off of Samuel L Jackson who is now playing Nick Fury in Marvel movies (I say Marvel movies because they are trying to make their own Marvel universe, which is something he even actually said in his speech to Tony, when he talked about the Avengers Initiative). I also thought it was kind of cool that the director, Jon Fraveau actually was in the movie as an actual character in the comics (Happy Hogan). I really did like the movie, which was also slightly disappointing to me, as I wanted to dislike the movie as I don't like Iron Man as a character in the comics, although I realize that one of the main reasons I dislike the character is because he is concerned about the ways that all these people in the MU can destroy lots of stuff and hurt people by not being trained. But in the Movie MU, there are much fewer characters, and I don't think there is nearly the same risk and he wouldn't act in the same way. In this, I think I can like him a lot more and so I think I can get past my hatred of the 616 character. Man, Downey really captured Tony Stark well. I still am impressed with the entire movie and everything in it, including the acting. It was just a really well done superhero movie. It was funny and had a lot of good action and was just amazing.

Friday, May 2, 2008


You may not know this if you only know me from VS, but I am a humongous Metroid and Samus Aran fan, and I have loved playing the games. I first played Super Metroid for some random reason on an SNES emulator, and I was amazed. It is an amazing game that requires a lot of skill and thinking. Aside from just fast reflexes, you have to actually solve puzzles and find the next place you have to go. When Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion came out, I played Fusion on an emulator (I seem to do that a lot, don't I?) and liked it, but it isn't nearly as good as Super Metroid and didn't quite capture the feel of Super Metroid. Prime, I was against. I hate first-person shooters, I really do. I just don't see the appeal, and I was against actually playing Prime. I had gotten a free Metroid Prime t-shirt for subscribing to Nintendo Power, and wore it, but didn't want to play the game. When my friend got it and showed me that it was more like a Metroid game and less like a first person shooter. Basically, Metroid Prime is an action-adventure game from the first person perspective while you shoot things with a gun (arm cannon, but whatever). It is definitely a Metroid game and is very much not a first person shooter. When I got the game (at the cheaper price, since it had become a Player's Choice by that time), I was hooked. It became one of my favorite video games ever. When there was all the hype for Halo 2 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, I was psyched because Metroid Prime 2: Echoes was coming out. I looked at random gaming magazines (mostly in the waiting room of my orthodontist) and the reviews were basically saying Halo 2, GTA:SA and Prime 2: Echoes all got 9+ out of 10 scores. Unfortunately, one of those games was a lot less popular than the others. Echoes is an amazing game and I loved how it added a Dark World and Light World with completely unique beams and visors. As opposed to the previous game, which had its weaponry mostly based off of Super Metroid (you have an X-Ray visor, you have wave beams, ice beams, plasma beams, missiles, super missiles, space jump, grappling beam, Varia Suit, Gravity suit etc), this had mostly new stuff (like the Dark visor, Echo visor, Dark beams, Light beams, Annihilator beams, Dark Suit, Light Suit, Gravity Boost, etc) and it still felt like a Metroid game. One awesome thing about Metroid games to me is the bosses, especially in Prime and Prime 2. I do find it really annoying that the third to last boss in each game is the most impressive. In Prime, the Omega Pirate is easily the most difficult boss in the game, whereas Ridley and Metroid Prime aren't as difficult. In Echoes, Quadraxis isn't necessarily the hardest, but the most annoying, and the most awesome. Basically, Quadraxis is a giant security robot. By giant, I don't mean 7 feet tall or 10 feet tall. I mean, at least 3 stories tall. You are literally fighting a guy as big as a building. It is an amazing fight and incredibly fun, and it is annoying to take him out. Next time you go outside, look up at a 3 story building. I mean, go right up to next to it and look to the roof. That is how the game makes you feel. Now, imagine the building is attacking you. That is how scary it is to fight Quadraxis. Anyway, I just was mentioning this, because I was playing Prime again, and the Omega Pirate is still ridiculously annoying.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Mixed Feelings

I have very mixed feelings about the Iron Man movie that comes out tomorrow. Basically, it is this: I hate the character, but think the movie looks awesome. When I first saw the trailer, I almost cried, because it was so amazingly cool and I just hated the character so much that I really didn't want to see it, but it was cool, and I'm repeating myself. Anyway, let me rant a little.
Originally, I never really cared one way or another about Iron Man. I basically didn't know much about him at all. I liked Spider-Man and X-Men and had no interest in Fantastic Four or Avengers and just kind of heard of them and knew a little about them. Eventually, I gained more interest, and when I started reading New Avengers, I realized that I thought Iron Man was kind of cool. Now, I have friends who really liked Iron Man, and I was able to appreciate him to an extent. I also thought it was cool that he got past his drinking problems and has done so much. When Civil War came along, I was with him during the Road to Civil War as he fought against registration with Spidey in DC. Then, Stamford and everything, and it turned into Cap v Iron Man, anti-reg v pro-reg, street heroes v bigger heroes. I wasn't sure who I was going to support until I remembered that I am an X-Men fan, and one of the biggest things I remember is the Mutant Registration Act from the show, which was also in the comics. Then I realized that it is basically the same thing that the X-Men had fought for a long time. I realized that heroes shouldn't have to register, and while occasional accidents may happen, all in all, the heroes generally save lives. So the New Warriors accidentally caused all those deaths. First off, they didn't kill the people, Nitro on MHG did. Second, they have saved the world before, so those people wouldn't be alive if not for the New Warriors. See, with superheroes, you can always be upset with them when they don't save a few people, as high as thousands of people, maybe even millions (Genosha), but most of these guys have saved the world on a few occasions, so an occasional accident that they feel worse about than anybody else is kind of okay in the big picture, right? Anyway, I felt Iron Man went way too far multiple times and did lots of things that just made him a villain, and as of now, I still don't like him. Basically, I like Avengers: The Initiative because it shows how he f&*ks with people's lives. If you have read the entire year it's been out, you can see the transformation that happened most visibly to Cloud 9, but also to other characters. The only person who I think is better off because of the Initiative is Trauma, and he died at one point and was forced to fight the Hulk too. Still, he is the only person to be better after it then when he went in. Everybody else? Ruined. Sure, it wasn't all Tony, but he is the posterboy for S.H.I.E.L.D. and everything that happens as part of the Initiative (not just at Camp Hammond, but everywhere) is all something that he takes credit for and blame for. Why can't we go back to a time when heroes don't have to be afraid of being arrested for being heroes (oh wait, Spidey barely had that, but still...), where kids can just be kids. I mean, Cloud 9 only wanted to fly and have fun. I don't think she ever wanted to use her powers to try and fight crime, even, just to have a good time. They made her a killer and someone who is dead serious, with no fun and just hollow inside. She seriously is a killer now. She killed HYDRA agents and attempted to kill Elloe Kaifi and KIA. That is something I just hate, but love to watch, as I get to see Tony be a horrible individual. Unfortunately, the movie looks awesome. The way I can get myself to get beyond the fact that Iron Man is a character I hate is that I can look at it from a different perspective and how I don't think he was nearly as bad before Civil War, as in the movie, it is more like his origin, so it won't have him f*&k up the entire superpowered population, because there isn't much of one.
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