Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More on Kick-Ass

Not for the kiddies, this is the ridiculous new Red Band trailer for Kick-Ass. Full names aren't required, but you need to put something in every box, and a date that does make you old enough to see the trailer.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Astonishing X-Men by Joss Whedon is amazing.

The first arc, Gifted, had a lot that was taken from it for the third X-Men movie, but don't let that scare you away. The comic itself is a lot better. You may need to know some comic stuff about the X-Men and about Marvel in order to understand everything, but for the most part, it is its own stand-alone stories. Hulu has right now the first 4 issues of Gifted available to view as part of a Marvel Motion Comic, adapted by Neal Adams, with John Cassaday's help, into an animated series. I highly recommend the comics, but the motion comic isn't that bad. The faces and their motion can be a little disconcerting, but other than that, it is great.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Kick-Ass the Movie

Just wow. This just barely beats out Iron Man 2 for the movie I most want to see next year. At first, I was somewhat meh, but now, with the trailer, it looks a lot like the comic (albeit a lot less bloody, although it was an all-ages trailer, and I hear the movie is supposed to be rated R, so that gives me some hope. They definitely seemed to capture that it is an action movie, with action in it, but that it also is humorous and ridiculous.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Gurren Lagann

I just finished watching the complete series of Gurren Lagann and want to just give my fresh impressions. First off, I watched it all in one sitting. From episode one through episode twenty-seven, for a total of about 10 and a half hours (virtually no comercials and skipping the intro and outro each time). So, yes, I am a little tired, and the amazingness of Gurren Lagann might just be exaggerated because of the tiredness I feel. Anyway...

Gurren Lagann. Where to start. Okay, so basically it starts with some kids who live in an underground town, and who dream of seeing the surface. But, the surface is forbidden to them and they are stuck beneath the ground. When they get up to the surface, though, they find the surface under constant attack from Gunmen, which are giant mechs with faces in the middle, where you get into them through the mouth. Aside from Lagann, Simon's mech, the mechs are all massive. The mechs are the work of the beastmen, who try to eliminate humans that make their way to the surface. After Kamina decides to steal a mech he liked, the road is set for a full revolution and overthrow of those who would keep humans underground. Beyond that, I'd have to spoil a fair amount.

Okay, without spoiling anything, it makes me, basically, feel like the work Michael Bay has tried to do. I've heard people criticize Bay for the amount of explosions in his movies and some gratuitous scenes, well, Gurren Lagann blows anything he's done away. Not just in terms of sheer numbers of explosions, but also in scale of the explosions. Now, yes, this is a mech show, but he did Transformers, which is a mech movie (okay, giant robots, but close enough). Plus, one of the main characters wears pretty much only a bikini top and short shorts all the time, so, um, yeah. Just in terms of the sheer explosions, though, well, let's just say that Gurren Lagann, straight up Gurren Lagann, is absolutely miniature in comparison to some of the things that explode. In other words, a normal giant mech is tiny in comparison to other things. Just how tiny I won't spoil, but, just believe me when I say tiny.

The main thing that makes Gurren Lagann awesome though, is that it does not take itself seriously in the least and almost every single episode has at least one person making a ridiculously overdramatic speech, with the phrase, "Just who the hell do you think I am?!!" appearing in one form or another in, again, almost every single episode. Plus, there is a lot of talk about Simon's drill being "the drill that will pierce the heavens!"It would be corny if it were done once or twice, but the amount that the overdramatizations take place makes it absolutely silly and ridiculous. Which in turn makes it amazing. Especially since there is also ridiculous amounts of damage and explosions and fighting. The amazing combo of humor, action, explosions and drama make Gurren Lagann truly a brilliantly done anime.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Borderlands is an interesting blend of genres. As a FPS, you control a mercenary who shoots his way through the bandits that infest the planet, the animals from the planet and a corporation's army that is trying to take over the planet for its own nefarious scheme. As an RPG, you have an adventurer who goes forth, looking for the mysterious Vault, trying to get riches and power beyond your wildest dreams, gaining levels and completing missions to get more powerful to get to the end. Now, I was confused when I heard the premise, in that it is an FPSRPG (a First Person Shooter Role Playing Game), but it truly lives up to that premise and does it, I think at least, fairly well. Now, sure, in RPGs one of the things that always bothered me was people who are weak bosses at the beginning and then people who would be their subordinates later being more powerful or just random guys being more powerful, simply because it's later on in the game. For instance, some of the bandits at the Dahl Headlands are said to be pissed and crazy specifically because of Sledge's death, but they are equal level to him or higher. Also, attacks that should kill or horribly injure are weaker as you are a lesser level. Now, in FPSs, that has often been the case, where you aren't going to die just because you've been shot, but this takes it to extremes in that you can take your three high-powered sniper rifles and shoot a guy in the head with a bullet that sets him on fire, a bullet that secretes powerful acid and a bullet that shocks and paralyzes him and you still haven't killed the guy. I'm not even specifically referring to a boss, but Bruisers (Brutes on the second playthrough) can take ridiculous amounts of damage without dying. And while I thought RPG stat systems wouldn't apply well to an FPS, they actually did it really well, in the guns. Plus, the damage system actually works well, once you get over the things that should have been kills, but only injure the guy.

The story, I think, is not the deepest, but is executed fairly well and I actually like it. Now, people who have played the game have bitched a lot about the ending, but I think it made sense and worked well. Spoilers ahead for those who are actually interested in the story of the game. So, you've been sent to find the Vault for money, fame, power, etc. Along the way, you're guided by certain people and things to get there and you eventually do get there. Basically, you made the key, but then Commandant Steele steals the key and you chase her to the Vault where she opens it and is immediately killed by the Destroyer, a being from another dimension sent here to destroy everyone. Once you kill the Destroyer, then the guardian angel that guided you to the Vault explains she knew that the Destroyer was in the Vault and is sorry she couldn't tell you earlier. It is also revealed she is a satellite up above Pandora, the planet you are on. See, I think it is cool and does explain things well enough. Sure, there is a lot you can speculate about her origins and how she knew, etc, etc, but I don't think that it is necessary or important. I never really cared about who or what she was originally, so finding out she was a satellite isn't that big a deal for me.

Otherwise, the game was pretty darn cool. I mean, basically, you have a post-apocalyptic-type world, with tons of crazy characters that are cool and interesting, with cel-shaded graphics that make the game look interesting. The game is fun, and I think I probably could beat the game without dying, although dying isnt' that bad. Basically, if you die, then the enemies you didn't kill are all back at full health and shields, just like you are, and you lose some money. The only place it is incredibly annoying is against the final boss, where you have a tiny room and you respawn right against it. It is incredibly awkward. Still, the respawning is explained, and works well with the premise. The second playthrough is basically just more, tougher enemies that are ridiculously difficult to kill and is incredibly difficult, even with your enhanced weapons and stats. Still, there is enough to do that you can play through the game with each character and it would be different each time and interesting each time. It is a really fun FPS especially if you like RPGs and an interesting RPG that you can like if you like FPSs.

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Video

So, I made a video for a class of me drawing Deadpool, and I thought I'd post it on this blog. Enjoy!

And for those who never saw my other video, Marvel Zombies, here it is, too.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Because of one of my classes, I am learning different ways to make art on my computer. One of the early ones was making pixel art heads, and in doing so, I've learned how to make pixel art versions of images. Now, sure, I have only done myself so far, but in various ways. I think I'm going to make various other images of mine and make them pixelated. Anyway, I thought I'd just put a picture of myself, as Deadpool, in a tux, at my prom, in pixel art.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

MUA2 Revisited

Okay, I've played through Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 for Wii on Anti-Reg (naturally), and, well, I'm kind of confused. Okay, so here is the plot with spoilers, and if you've read the comic and were planning on playing the game, the first spoiler is that it isn't the same. So, if you don't care, here you go. It starts with you controlling Spider-Man, Captain America, Wolverine and Iron Man as you invade Latveria. Nick Fury has uncovered that the current leader, Lucia Von Bardas, is working with the Tinkerer to make supervillains with enhanced suits (Shocker, Scorpion, etc) more powerful. Fury takes you in to stop her. After running around for a while, eventually Wolverine and Spider-Man split from the rest of the group to find the backup team. From there, you choose your characters, and try to help Fury's main team get to Von Bardas. After blowing some stuff up, eventually, you take down Castle Doom. Flash to the present day, and there are terrorist attacks caused by a not dead Von Bardas, who is attacking New York City in an act of vengeance against Fury and the superheroes that attacked Latveria. After taking out Von Bardas, you are left with the aftermath, and rubble and destruction, caused by her attack. Iron Man and Captain America discuss how this is going to look bad for superheroes, considering the amount of damage caused, and Fury goes into hiding. Iron Man mentions how one more superhero accident could cause drastic consequences. Of course, then the New Warriors try to take down some villains on TV, including Nitro, right in Stamford, Conneticut, and when he blows up, he kills hundreds of people. From there, I chose Anti-Reg, and will follow that storyline, but I am pretty sure the exact same storyline is with Pro-Reg. First, Cable's base gets raided by Pro-Reg forces and you help clear them out, and then Cable lets you know of a chemical plant that is in danger. Cap leads his forces there, but it was a trap sprung by Iron Man, meant to get the Anti-Reg heroes to talk, or if necessary, fight. During the course of the battle, some of the villains that Iron Man had infected with nanites to keep under control go haywire and they plant bombs, with which they try to kill people. Yes, this is where the game breaks off from the comics. Apparently, the nanites went sentient and created a hive mind, called the Fold, that they tried to use the villains for craziness. You join up with Fury who plans to use the break-in Captain America planned to try and free his guys from 42, the Negative Zone prison, where pure nanites are being kept that can be used to stop the Fold. As you break in, you go through the prison, eventually finding the nanites, but the place goes haywire, and you need to help people get back to Earth. You run into Captain America and Iron Man, who agree that they need to put their differences aside to fight the Fold. In doing so, you fight some nanite mutants until the portal back to Earth comes back online. Fury is able to get the portal back online just before the place explodes, but he is left back in the Negative Zone. The heroes meet to determine how to beat the main threat, when they learn that Wakanda is under attack, most likely for its Vibranium. After you help Black Panther fend off his own people who are infected, you learn Stark Tower comes under attack, and the whole world comes under attack by the Fold, who plan to take over with their nanites. The teams then head off to stop the Fold, attacking their main headquarters, and uploading the program they needed to. Then, after a fight with a nanite-controlled Nick Fury, you stop the Fold, and win the day. My end had the SRA repealed due to their defense of Earth from the Fold, and victory.

I thought the game was pretty cool at first, in that it followed Secret War and Civil War pretty well. Sure, Iron Man wasn't part of Secret War and they had their stealth costumes. And sure, they had their memories wiped of Secret War so that when it came back to bite them, they were confused as hell, especially Luke Cage, who was hurt badly. Then, with Civil War, they kind of skipped some stuff, and glossed over others, but up to the chemical plant ambush, it was pretty darn faithful to the comics. Only when the villains went haywire did the game start to be, well, awkward. Oh, and I really wanted to know what happened to Goliath. I mean, he was important, and he should have died to Clor during that battle, but who knows. They just skipped that. When they introduced the other storyline, well, that was kind of taking the easy way out. As opposed to actually showing a final battle, where you invade 42 or defend 42, and then a big fight in NYC, where at the end, Cap surrenders (which was horrible, but part of the story), they ignore all that and make their own end that is much happier. They saved Earth, and therefore they repeal the SRA? Um, did the people who made that end read the ASM prelude to Civil War, where Tony goes in front of the CSA (Commission on Superhuman Activities) and lets them know how many times Earth was saved by superheroes? I mean, it was something like 50 times. And I believe that was skipping the major galactic conflicts. The Fold, while dangerous, shouldn't have been something to change the CSA's mind on registration. And did people just forget all the times they were saved by heroes before that? Was this a more personal thing or what? It really didn't make much sense. Still, again, the way they did it was a wimpy way to go. I read that they dealt with the aftermath of Civil War in the game. Now, if more of the game was Anti-Reg vs Pro-Reg, where you had different conflicts that might have been minor conflicts or something that weren't in comics, sure. With this? No. Okay, the reveals at the end of each issue were pretty cool. 1-Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic and Yellowjacket agree to help hunt down Cap-In the game. 2-Spider-Man reveals he is Peter Parker to the world-Not involved. 3-Clor makes his first appearance before it is revealed he is a robo-clone-Not involved. 4-The new Thunderbolts with Green Goblin, Bullseye, Venom and Lady Deathstrike first are shown to be with Tony-It is kind of there in the sense that the villains under Tony's control are there. 5-When "Daredevil" is captured, he lets Iron Man know that they think he is like Judas (yes, that Judas)-Not there, and 42 is just kind of mentioned as existing and not looked into at all. 6-I believe it ended with Cap's forces being freed, as Cap prepares for a final showdown-Not even close, as there is no final showdown. 7 is irrelevant, as again, there was no final showdown. Now, something that the game did that annoyed me that makes sense because it is based off of something else, is that the characters weren't unlocked originally. I believe it is worse in the other versions, as there are more places to fight characters in game to have them join your side, but it still exists here a lot. In X-Men Legends, a problem was that if you wanted to have, let's say, Colossus on your team, you couldn't until later in the game. At that point, he was a few levels behind everybody, so it was awkward. They fixed that in XML2, with everybody playable from the beginning except Deadpool, who you got upon completion, Professor X, who you got upon beating all the Danger Room missions and Iron Man who you got from collecting homing beacons in each level to unlock portals in each level to get Iron Man after the last beacon. In MUA, they did a similar thing to XML2, with only a few characters having to be unlocked. In this, there are a lot of guys to unlock and some of them you can't get until near the very end. I want to use Green Goblin the entire time! Unfortunately, that is a definite impossibility, especially considering you have to fight him at one point. Oh, and my biggest complaint is from the fact that I have the Wii version. The versions of MUA for current generation systems were almost identical, with the Wii version having more motion-controls, but otherwise being almost exactly the same. Aside from not having Juggernaut in the Wii version, Iron Fist isn't in the Wii version. The third biggest guy in Anti-Reg is Iron Fist (as Daredevil in the comics), and he isn't included. I don't even want to use him, but I want him to be there. Plus, half the levels are taken out and half the enemies are taken out. I don't even want to start on the differences between the different versions. It really makes me want to get an X-Box 360 or PS3 just so I can get the game the way it was meant to be played, not a port of the game as done by a developer that decided to half-ass it. A small thing that just bugs me is the cut-scenes. They are beautiful and I want to see them again, but I can't. The other ports have it and MUA had it, but I can't access the cut-scenes in the Wii version.

Still, despite all my complaints, the game was fun for the most part (dying a lot was annoying), and while I didn't get to use the characters I necessarily wanted to through most of the game, I got by. I honestly don't recommend getting the Wii version, especially if you have an X-Box 360 or PS3. If you don't have either of those systems, the Wii version is more disappointing than anything, especially when looking at the other versions.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2

Oh, Civil War. Such a silly storyline that somewhat worked, although ended poorly. The game basically is the Secret War->Civil War storyline. Now, I just got the game in the mail today (it came out last Tuesday), so I haven't fully played through the game yet, but right now, I'm both incredibly disappointed and incredibly impressed. First, why I am disappointed. The game was developed for Wii by a different company than the ones for X-Box 360 and PS3. Now, I can understand to an extent, but I am still sad about that. Oh, and I get to use Cyclops, Psylocke and Blade in my version, whereas I could have gotten Juggernaut in the others. I would much prefer Juggernaut to any of those others. Oh, and if you want Juggernaut, you have to have preordered the game from Gamestop? That's just not cool. Otherwise, the game is different from the first one. Okay, the Wii controls didn't transfer perfectly from Gamecube, from X-Men Legends to Marvel Ultimate Alliance, but for the most part, what I was holding on a GCN controller in XML was transferred to what I was holding in MUA. In this game, all of that goes out the window, and they rebuilt the controller from the ground up. For example, to rotate the camera (when the game allows you to), you use to have to rotate the nunchuck, which worked pretty well. In this, you have to hold down 1 and rotate the Wii remote. It honestly is much harder to do in the format you are in. Also, it is a lot harder to grab, and I'm not even sure you can grab items anymore. The menu is somewhat hard to navigate, and also is annoying that 2 is the menu button. I also don't like the system for character switching and for fusions. Character switching is no longer hitting a button and switching, but going either clockwise (-) or counter-clockwise (+) around the screen. Fusions take place when you hold down Z and shake the nunchuck, then point the controller at a character other than the one you are controlling. If the game required you to point at the screen the entire time (Metroid Prime 3 or something), then that'd be fine with me. As is, I have to play, then remember to point at the screen, find the pointer, and then move it to the characters at the corners of the screen. Also, there are times the game takes control of the camera and usually does it poorly. Running down a corridor, it'd be really nice if I could see what I am running towards as opposed to making it a side-scroller at a diagonal.
Now that's all the things I have found in a short amount of time playing, without finishing the game. Also there were great things. Deadpool breaks the fourth wall all the time. Almost every single line he says is something that breaks the fourth wall. For example, when he is taking out enemies, he talks about how you are button mashing. When he is leveling up, he talks about the experience points. When you start missing with his guns, he recommends replaying the level so you know where the enemies are. When he uses a fusion, he mentions how they are so cool that fusion should have been in the name of the game (MUA2 was originally Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 Fusion).Speaking of fusions, while I miss X-Treme attacks (just being able to do an awesome attack by yourself), fusions are amazing. I wouldn't have beaten Multiple Man without Spidey webbing up dupes and Deadpool blowing them all up.
As I get farther into the game, I'm sure there's more and more that will both irk and awe me.

Friday, September 18, 2009


ItsJustSomeRandomGuy did a great job last year, with using Iron Man, Hellboy, Hulk and Batman in his videos comparing their movies. Iron Man came out pretty early, and TDK came out pretty late, so he had material the entire summer, as he had a lot of movies, with a lot of material. This year, the only two superhero movies were Watchmen, which came out in early March and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which came out in early May. While he was able to do a lot of videos in between then, after Wolverine came out, then died in the box office, he had no more superheroes to do anything with. So, he made do, and had Spider-Man dream of the Marvel/DC crew being in Star Trek, basically making an amalgam of the trailers, along with his own twist. So, when in the trailer, Pike tells Kirk he couldn't believe it when the bartender told him Kirk's name, in IJSRG's version, Superman (Pike) tells Peter Parker (Kirk) the same thing, with the bartender then saying, "Dude, that's Peter Parker," and Superman responding with, "I can't believe it." After Star Trek, he decided to do more, as he had nothing else to do. So, he did Terminator: Salvation, and then did some more with the Hangover, Up, Drag Me to Hell, The Proposal, Transformers, Inglourious Basterds, District 9 and GI Joe. Why am I so in love with these? Well, after using Deadpool in a Watchmen/X-Men Origins: Wolverine parody, he used him more and more, with him in every single one of the trailers above except Drag Me to Hell and District 9 (well, Transformers and GI Joe were both Spidey complaining about how Marvel no longer owns the rights to them now that they are doing well in theaters, and not actually parodies). Thus, my love for them. If you want to relive the summer movie season or just missed it, then I recommend these parodies of the trailers. Plus, he's done some other good Deadpool stuff, so check out the Deadpool/Watchmen video, the cast vs cast of X-Men/Watchmen, the Disney-Marvel video and the Green Lantern-Deadpool video for some more good Deadpool videos.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Planet Hulk

February 2010 is bringing Planet Hulk to DVD and Blu Ray, in an animated movie. While Planet Hulk is an amazing story and one of my favorite stories in comics, this feels wrong for a few reasons.

First, the Illuminati and why he is sent away. So, in the comics, what happened was that Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Dr. Strange and Black Bolt decided to send Hulk to another planet. After fighting the FF in Vegas, Maria Hill asked Stark why he didn't do anything. A SHIELD agent asked her when Spider-Man could be blamed for the Green Goblin's crimes, after Spidey beats him up, then leaves him in jail where he breaks out, then kills more people, and Spidey beats him up, etc. Iron Man decided it would be a good idea to send Hulk away to a planet where there was no sentient life, and he could finally be left alone and not hurt anyone. Iron Man wanted a choice that large, though, to be discussed, so he brought it up with the Illuminati, minus Professor X, who was in space at the time. Namor was the main one opposed, but the rest agreed that they should send Hulk into space. So, they tricked Bruce Banner into going into space to stop a rogue satellite, then told him what they were doing and sent him away. By going crazy, and smashing the equipment, the ship went off course and landed on Sakaar. In the trailer, which is at the end, you can see Iron Man and Dr. Strange clearly, but not the other two. One looks like it could be Mr. Fantastic, but I'm not fully sure, and the other is impossible to determine. Plus, as opposed to just being on board, they apparently locked him up on there.

Second, his allies. First, let's start with Korg. Korg is a tribute to Lee and Kirby, by bringing back the stone guys Thor fought in his first appearance. In Journey Into Mystery 83, Donald Blake was on vacation, saw an alien ship, hid in a cave, and found a stick. By striking the stick against a boulder blocking the entrance to the cave, he was turned into Thor, who easily lifted the boulder, and tossed it away. Then, he fought the aliens, who retreated when they fought Thor, thinking all humans to be like him. Korg is one of them. There was an issue, where they went over their origins, and Korg, as a young rockling, was included in the invasion. How will that be referenced, or will it be? Second, we've got No-Name. No-Name (which isn't actually a name, as much as it is a reference that the Brood drones don't really have names) was on the Brood homeworld when it blew up, but being encased in some crystal thingy, survived, along with some of his brethren. Her brethren died in the initial fight, but she went on to fight with Hulk. Okay, so in this, is the Brood going to even mention humans, and having fought the X-Men. Are they just not going to be brought up? How are they explaining how No-Name got there? From looking at the trailer, it looks like No-Name isn't even there, but Arch-E is instead. Sigh... Then, we've got the Silver Surfer. I'm sorry, the Silver Savage. The end of the first arc of Planet Hulk ends with Hulk and the gladiators going up against Silver Surfer, known to Sakaar as the Silver Savage. After Hulk pounds him hard enough, the obedience disk on Surfer is broken and he is able to use the Power Cosmic to free the rest of the slaves in the arena. Because of that, Hulk becomes free and goes on to do things. Is Surfer going to be in this, which would be amazing, or are they going to skip that and give some other explanation as to how they break free?

Third, the length. So, Planet Hulk was a year's worth of issues long, just as a stand-alone story, disregarding all the continuity beforehand. It was broken up into 4 parts, 3 4-part stories and a 2-part finale. In other words, it is long. Think of Watchmen, which was 12 issues. Sure, Watchmen in arguably deeper, and requires more time, as its issues are deeper, blah, blah, blah. Planet Hulk is a long story that has a lot to cover, and to force it into a film could be bad. Breaking each part (except the 2-part which can be included in the 3rd section) into its own hour long movie could work. Otherwise, I think it would be 2.5+ hours to tell the story well.

Fourth, the ending. At the end of Planet Hulk, after he is made the king of Sakaar, the ship he crashed into Sakaar in gets displayed in the main city as a tribute to Hulk, but when the warp drive gets compromised, the ship explodes, damaging the already weak planet (which Hulk had to shift the tectonic plates back together by force), and killing all the people in the capital city, including his wife, Caiera, and his unborn son. He is upset about the situation, and wants to just sit there and die, but his Warbound convince him to take his fight to Earth to fight the Illuminati who sent him there and who put the ship, with the exploding warp drive, on the planet. This leads directly into World War Hulk. In the movie, they can do it like in the comic, leading into a World War Hulk movie also, or they can ignore it and do...what? Does he just stay there as the leader forever and ever? I mean, sure, it works as the movie in that they don't need to make more in the series, so having him lead a planet peacefully works better in a one-shot, but still...

Fifth, continuity in general. Okay, this isn't specifically about Planet Hulk, but about comic book movies that try to take a certain storyline into account. Something that the comics have that the movies don't is lots of continuity behind them. Unless you start all the way at the beginning, a movie about a specific storyline is going to be missing out on something. Even then, in a shared universe, you need to take every comic in that shared universe into account. For example, if a character crosses over from another comic, you probably don't have to do the whole origin and motivation and powers for that character in the comic, but if all you have is the single story, well, let me put it this way. If you want to do the first arc of New Avengers as a movie, you'd have to take Avengers Disassembled into account. Also, you have Spider-Man, Wolverine, Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Woman, Luke Cage and Sentry to take into account. Oh, and all the villains from the Raft, along with Daredevil, along with SHIELD. If you did it exactly as the comic, then so much would be confusing to people who hadn't read comics.

Okay, aside from that, I think it can be cool. There isn't a lot of continuity to take into account, despite a lot of what is written above, and you can easily just explain things in different ways. The sending him away doesn't need to go into depth. Korg's origin doesn't need to be explained as much. No-Name can be replaced with someone else. As long as it keeps the general idea and feel for the original, I think Planet Hulk can be amazing. Anyway, here is the trailer.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Star Wars Battlefront II

I have to admit, I wasn't fully right about FPS's. Before Team Fortress 2, I had only played the Metroid Prime series, which is more a First Person Adventure game, where you happen to also shoot things, rather than specifically a First Person Shooter, and a few multiplayer games against people who really knew how to play on consoles, where I wasn't really interested in the first place. Halo and CoD didn't really interest me all that much. I was able to watch people play FPS's, including some who really liked playing them, so it wasn't that I was just completely ignorant. Mostly, I just didn't see the point. Then, along came Team Fortress 2. I've talked about TF2 before, but basically, it is a simple multiplayer FPS that is incredibly cartoony. It also is hilarious and on a weekend, TF2 went on sale for $10. I wasn't really that interested at first, but looked into it a little, discovered the "Meet the " videos, and fell in love with the game. Trying to be more instinctive than usual, I got the game and installed it. It turned out it was really fun. Unfortunately, over the summer, I wasn't able to play much, mostly because I had a lot of work, and then after work, no really good place to put my computer to play. The main point though is that I finally bought an FPS and really enjoyed it.

This year at school, my suitemate got Star Wars Battlefront II, a Star Wars FPS, where you can be with one of four teams, the CIS (droids), the Galactic Republic (the clones), the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire. Each has regular units, that use rifles and pistols, heavy troopers, who use rocket launchers and pistols, snipers, who use sniper rifles and pistols, and engineers, who use shotguns and welding tools that allow them to put up turrets, fix vehicles or break into enemy vehicles. Each team also has two special units that are unique to that team. The Rebels for example have Bothan Spies and Wookie Soldiers, whereas the CIS has Droidekas and MagnaGuards. Each team also has heroes that are units that instead of having health, have time, where they don't die, but instead just run out of time to help you and leave (therefore Yoda doesn't die helping the Wookies on Kashyyyk. For space battles, there are also regular pilots that can fix their ship in flight (which is handy, as you can just fly away to fix your ship), and troopers that are meant for landing parties, with better weapons for fighting and blowing up equipment in person.

The first person campaign follows the 501st, the elite group of troopers that became Vader's fist, his personal stormtroopers. It starts out with them as Clone Troopers, serving the Galactic Republic against the Trade Federation during the Clone Wars. After the war, they help the Galactic Empire build and help fight against the Rebels (along with squashing a few Clones and droids that were anti-Empire). In the campaign, you have a limited number of troopers to help you finish a certain objective. If you ever run out, you lose. The enemy has an unlimited amount of guys (lots of fun, let me tell you), but can only win if they kill all of you. You get more guys after completing each objective, and once you complete all of them, you beat the mission. It allows you to see the Star Wars universe from the perspective of grunts, which is interesting. For example, you see them take on CIS droids in space after Palpatine was kidnapped, as they stall for Anakin and Obi Wan to get there. Also, you see them and their feelings when the Rebellion blows up the Death Star (they killed lots of my friends and are anarchistic nutjobs) and when they take Hoth (the Rebellion is pretty much finished, only a couple of ships got away).

You can also do instant actions which take place on a specific planet and you and the enemy fight it out. In Conquest, you get equal amounts of troopers and you fight for Command Posts. If you ever capture all the Posts and hold them for 20 seconds you win the game. If you kill all the enemies, you also win the game. Also, the AI is horrible, and you do feel like a main character, the way you go around killing so many people, but usually, the teams remain balanced, as the enemy AI is just apparently better than your team's, as you can get 50 kills (out of 150) and still lose badly. There is also Capture the Flag, which is what it sounds like. A favorite is Hunt, where you choose a planet where natives are (Endor has Ewoks, Hoth has Wampas, Tatooine has Jawas, etc.) and an enemy (the Empire against Ewoks) and see who can win. I have to say, killing Gungans over and over is incredibly satisfying. Also there is Assault, which takes place in Mos Eisley, where you count to 180 points, as you go around as heroes or villains, killing each other with lightsabers (or guns in the case of the Fetts, Chewie, Han Solo or Leia). I have to say that General Grievous is pre-Episode III Grievous, with 4 lightsabers that all do the same amount a single would. So, if you go up against, say, Obi Wan, Ki Adi Mundi, Aayla Secura and Yoda, if you are just swinging all your lightsabers (which is just mashing the first mouse button), you can take them all out. In Space Assault, you are trying to see who can get to 180 points first, where you can get points by killing enemies, blowing up ships and taking out key components on the enemy ships (like engines, bridge, sensor relay, life support). Different things are worth different amounts of points, so while in the same time you could blow up some fighters, you could also destroy the engines, the engines might get you more points all in all.

There is also Conquest mode, in which you choose a side and face your rival, conquering planets. You start with only a few planets where your enemy starts with many more. You also get a fleet, and some credits. Every turn, you can buy bonuses or units (you only start with the basic trooper) with your credits, you can construct a fleet (which costs 1000 for each fleet you own, and only over a planet you control), and then you move. If you move into contact with an opposing fleet, you have a space battle with that fleet. If you are over a planet that you don't own, then you assault the planet with what is your typical instant action, and you fight it out over the Command Posts. If you are over an enemy planet and a fleet is over it, you have a space battle to determine if you have a regular battle. After winning a battle, you get credits, which you can spend at the beginning of your next turn. You also get credits, less credits, but whatever, when you lose. You win if you capture all the planets, which is difficult, as it requires not only winning on every planet you didn't get to begin with, but also fending off attacks, and losing means even more fighting.

Now, what makes Star Wars Battlefront II fun to play? Well, I haven't even fought against any of my friends in multiplayer yet, but I still enjoy just blowing up guys. I enjoy killing Rebels as Stormtroopers, and using droids to kill clones. Plus, it actually is challenging. While it doesn't seem challenging in the sense that you can easily get 10+ kills per life, it is challenging in the sense that the enemy AI is often better than your AI. If you sit somewhere and do nothing the entire time, your team will most likely lose, not just because your team is down one guy in fights, but because the team in general isn't as good. While not all places are as fun to fight for (stupid Yavin 4 and the team starting in the back at Polis Massa), in general, it is a lot of fun to go around the Star Wars universe, shooting Rebels, Stormtroopers, Clone Troopers or Battle Droids. It's also fun to get into an X-Wing and start shooting down TIE Fighters, or getting into a TIE Bomber and bombing Mon Calamari ships. The thing that makes the game most fun for me is the atmosphere. It really feels like you are a trooper in the Star Wars universe, visiting locations like Mustafar, the Death Star, Coruscant, or the Tantive IV. The game is also incredibly balanced, in the sense that no one group is better than any other. In general, you all have the same type of troopers (with the generic Super Battle Droid being the biggest in difference with a mini-rocket launcher as opposed to a grenade), that can do the same things. The heroes are all vastly overpowered (but not used often), but that isn't surprising. The game is fun for Star Wars fans who like thinking about the generic troopers and their battles, or for people who like having big battles in FPS form.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Samurai Champloo

Starting fairly recently, I've started to watch anime. Most of the ones I watch, though, are the subtitled ones, both because I like getting the original language and actors and because I don't mind reading. Plus, it's gotten to the point where I am actually able to recognize certain words or phrases that I can pick out at any given time. Sure, I've seen different Miyazaki movies as released by Disney (aka with dubbing by American actors and actresses) and seen NGE in dubs, but for the most part I'd prefer to watch the subtitles. With Samurai Champloo, I actually wanted to watch the dub, mostly because I liked Steven Blum's voice in Hulk vs. Wolverine, and he voices Mugen in Samurai Champloo. Funimation has, on their site, a lot of different episodes of a lot of different anime, including the entire Samurai Champloo series (26 episodes, a simple, small series), which I started watching, and am now almost done with.

Basically, it is set in the Edo period in Japan, although in an alternative version of the period, which has a lot of changes, such as hip hop. For some reason, there is hip hop and breakdancing in the show. The basic plot is this: Jin and Mugen are two expert swordfighters who fight, succumb to the smoke of the burning building they're in, then get freed by Fuu, a waitress who wants their help to find a samurai who smells of sunflowers. Jin has a very traditional fighting style and is very calm and relaxed, wearing glasses, and just does everything as politely and traditionally as possible, whereas Mugen is very untraditional, incorporating lots of things into his style, including swordfighting, breakdancing, and other people's moves, and is very rash and just wants to fight everyone he can. The general plot of the series is them looking for the samurai who smells of sunflowers, but that usually plays only a minor role in the stories. While the main reason they go to the places is to search for leads on the SWSoS, the stories themselves are standalone. You could watch pretty much any episode, and not be lost, except for the various two part episodes, of which there aren't many. It doesn't really take itself seriously, which is good, as it is a ridiculous show with lots of silliness involved. Basically, Jin and Mugen are ridiculously good swordfighters who are better than almost everybody else in the show (except for maybe like two people). In one-on-one combat, neither is often defeated, but they sometimes get overpowered by sheer force and strength in numbers, or being tricked or ambushed. The show mostly is amusing, and fun to watch. Being only 26 episodes long, if you want, you could spend a weekend watching the entire show, or just watch as you want and still would be fun.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

War of Kings

Okay, so War of Kings had issue 6 come out last week, which means that the series is over. Well, it is supposed to be. Let me just go off about War of Kings for a sec here.

War of Kings suffered from the same problems that Annihilation: Conquest suffered, just on a greater scale. You see, how this Cosmic Marvel stuff had a resurgence was from Annihilation, one of the best storylines to come out recently. Annihilation took characters that had been doing nothing, who were all Cosmic Marvel characters, and made a giant epic war. It was self-contained in a Drax miniseries which lead to the Annihilation prologue, which was followed by 4 4-issue miniseries, featuring Silver Surfer, Nova, Ronan and Super-Skrull. Then, there was the Annihilation event, followed by two Heralds of Galactus issues after. The only parts that had any reference to then-current Marvel was Nova, who basically just flew into space before Civil War. Other than that, all characters who weren't doing anything else. They made Nova big and important and they made Cosmic Marvel interesting and brought it back. Unfortunately, they then tried to capitalize on the success of Annihilation with Annihilation: Conquest, which, while good, suffered from continuity issues to an extent, and from trying too hard. Now, I'm not saying it was bad, just that it was awkward. See, at that point, they had to take into account Nova's ongoing series, along with what was happening in Mighty Avengers (considering Ultron, the main villain, was just in Mighty Avengers), both things that made it feel more awkward. See, with an ongoing series, the character is much less likely to die or just vanish. Yes, I know, Captain America, but other than that, it really doesn't happen much. So, Nova's fate wasn't really up in the air as much as it could have been. If Nova hadn't had an ongoing series, he could have died, been fully transformed by the Transmode virus, or any number of other things. With his series, you're pretty sure he's going to come out of it alive and as himself. When they took Ulton into their story, well, it's kind of funny that all these cosmic beings couldn't really stand up to Ultron when characters like Ant-Man and Black Widow did just fine. Sigh... Oh, and when you look at what went into Annihilation: Conquest, there was a prologue, 4 4-part stories (3 mini-series and 4 issues of Nova) and a 6-part story. So, basically, the same format without the mini-series beforehand, and the two issues after, but, while the main series was happening, Nova was off doing other things, which had something to do with the story, basically, with Nova fighting off the Transmode virus, while being hunted by Drax and Gamora, two who had been infected, searching for a way to get rid of it, coming accross Warlock, who then helps in Annihilation: Conquest (meaning that the technically not tie-ins are actually tie-ins).

War of Kings is much more full of continuity that drags it down, and feels forced a lot of the time. With Annihilation, Nova became more powerful and got his own series, in which he did a lot. Now, Nova is an important character. With War of Kings, they are trying to do the same thing with Darkhawk. Now, it isn't that I dislike Darkhawk, I mean, I probably have 1/2 to 2/3 of his series. It just is that with Nova, he grew into it and it felt natural, with his being a big part of the prologue, but not the entire thing, with his mini-series, which was one of 4 mini-series, and with his leading the forces in Annihilation, his eventual series seemed natural. With Darkhawk, they gave him a lot that had nothing to do with the main plot. Plus, his series runs alongside, which makes sense in the story, but is not as important to the story. War of Kings also fails, when you take all the players into account. We have the Shi'ar on one side, with the story of how Vulcan came into power being important and having the entire X-Men: Deadly Genesis, which leads into The Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire, which leads into Emperor Vulcan, which leads into X-Men: Kingbreaker, which leads into War of Kings. There is a lot of backstory to cover. Sure, not knowing any of that, you can still understand a lot of it, but it really helps to understand Vulcan. For the Kree, well, I guess if you start with Silent War, some parts of World War Hulk, with the Illuminati, then Secret Invasion, leading into War of Kings. You'd probably want to have read the Secret Invasion stuff, for which you'd want to have read the other stuff. Besides just both sides having lots of backstory that affects it, there is also all the other characters involved. Now, the Starjammers were dealing with Vulcan, so they are covered, and the Guardians of the Galaxy also are involved. Plus, Nova's series is involved, and with Darkhawk also, it just is really awkward. Plus, I hate how the end isn't even an end. It is an abrupt stop, so sure it ends, but there is so much to cover still. Sure, there will be aftermath issues, but dear Deadpool, that is just silly! Now, I have to admit that I really wanted to like War of Kings, and it wasn't horrible. But, and this is a big but, it wasn't really all that good. Darkhawk was forced, you needed to know a lot that made it awkward, all of these different characters being involved needed multiple tie-ins that didn't help. I guess it felt more like a generic cross-over, and less like the Cosmic Marvel crossovers that were Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Magic 2010

Well, first off, let me start with this: Magic 2010 should never have been made.

Magic 2010 brings back a card that I use, but don't think should be back, Lightning Bolt. Okay, here is my opinion on Lightning Bolt. The designers of Magic: The Gathering made Lightning Bolt, and then realized that it was too powerful, not so much so that it needed to be banned, but enough that they needed to get rid of it in Standard. So, while they had never banned Lightning Bolt, they didn't want it around, and thus created Shock, a card that is strictly worse than Lightning Bolt. For the exact same cost, you do 2 damage instead of 3. Still, Shock is a really good card, so much so that it was used in lots of decks and reprinted in core set after core set. There was literally no reason to bring Lightning Bolt back. Absolutely none. They had let it die before, and now they brought it back. Since the last time Shock was printed was in 10th, with 2010, Lightning Bolt is in Standard, where Shock isn't.

Magic 2010 brings back a concept that was used in the few Portal sets, making a card that does the exact same thing as something else, but has a different name so that you can then have more than 4 of that card in any given deck. Now, most people will recognize cards like Grizzly Bears or Remove Soul, which are commons that appeared in core sets. Grizzly Bears is a 1G creature that has 2 power and 2 toughness, with the creature type "Bear". Remove Soul is a 1U instant that reads "Counter target creature spell." Now, both are not game breaking, but both are very simple and straightforward, and good in any generic green or blue deck. With 2010, we got Runeclaw Bear, which is a 1G creature with 2 power and 2 toughness with the creature type "Bear" and Essence Scatter, which is a 1U instant that reads "Counter target creature spell." To me, who started around the time 7th edition came out, and even stopped before Mirrodin and got back in Ravnica, Grizzly Bears and Remove Soul were cards I knew and recognized and was fine with. I just didn't realize that they were also cards that were remakes of other cards. Grizzly Bears also has counterparts named Bear Cub, Balduivan Bears and Forest Bear, that all are the exact same card as Grizzly Bears, with a different name. Remove Soul also has counterparts named False Summoning and Preemptive Strike, that are all the exact same card as Remove Soul with a different name. So, while at first, I was just horrified at them creating more of that same card, I realize that it was something that was done before, and doing it now is just silly, and maybe allows reminiscing (and the best deck ever, which people I know will soon have to face, mwa, ha, ha, ha!)

They also brought the concept of making something better, with cards like Warpath Ghoul. See, in prior core sets, there was a card named Scathe Zombies, which is a 2B Zombie, with 2 power and 2 toughness. The card has been in every core set, starting with Alpha (being in Beta, Unlimited, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th), all with the exact same flavor text even. Warpath Ghoul is a 2B Zombie with 3 power and 2 toughness. The card costs exactly the same, with the exact same effect, except 1 more power, which makes it better. Warrior's Honor was a remake of other cards (like Remove Soul was), specifically, Virtuous Charge and Warrior's Charge, which are all 2W Instants with "Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn." There was, in Mirrodin, before they had printed 10th, a card called Roar of the Kha, which was a 1W Instant that was "Choose one - Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn; or untap all creatures you control. Entwine 1W (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost)." Even without the entwine, it is outright better, as it is cheaper for the same effect, but with the entwine, it is outright better. Why they reprinted Warrior's Honor is beyond me, but they didn't in 2010, replacing it with Glorious Charge, a 1W Instant that does everything Warrior's Honor did, except for 1 mana less.

This just brings me to the part that I hate the most (well, aside from Lightning Bolt). The rules changes that were made were just annoying to me. Let's go over them:
1) Simultaneous Mulligans - No reason to exist, as mentioned in the article, most people did that anyway. Doesn't change much.
2) Terminology Changes - Again, pointless, and only a few cards actually are affected.
2A) Battlefield - Annoying, as it is a longer, clunkier word, that doesn't help me (although could help others, maybe?)
2B) Cast, Play, Activate - Meh. I'm fine with play. Sure, I guess it helps some people could get a benefit between playing and casting, but honestly, not worth it.
2C) Exile - Again, annoying. I am used to "remove from the game" as it is just a term used. Exile just feels weird to use as a term. Oh, and while it affects almost nothing the wish cards (that could get cards from outside the game) can no longer get exiled cards, as they are no longer outside the game.
2D) Beginning of the End Step - The only one I am okay with. I understand end of turn, and was even able to explain it to my mother (who doesn't play M:TG) such that she gets the basics of it. Still, it is a confusing concept (where things that trigger at end of turn trigger before the turn actually ends).
3) Mana Pools and Mana Burn
3A) Mana Pools Emptying - Not something I really care about, but it can be annoying, if you have effects that add mana and you have to use it before points in time that you normally wouldn't.
3B) Mana Burn Eliminated - Annoying. While I don't like mana burning myself, I appreicate that the concept exists. So, when my friend uses his Elves and adds 14 mana to his mana pool with one card, he had to spend it all or take damage. Makes sense to me. Well, now it just doesn't matter. So, with my Naya deck, that gets too much mana occasionally, it doesn't matter, and I can let it go to waste, as opposed to getting guys like Spearbreaker Behemoth or Beacon Behemoth that have a 1 colorless ability that can be used any number of times.
4) Token Ownership - It actually makes sense, but for most of the time, will do nothing, but when it does, helps stop silliness. I approve.
5) Combat Damage No Longer Uses the Stack - Dear God, this is complicated. Their explanation is 6.5 pages long (sure pictures are involved, but still), for crying out loud! Now, I get where they are coming from, design-wise. It doesn't make sense that a guy throws a punch, vanishes, then the punch hits somebody, in terms of the story of games. Now, it does affect certain things, such as that I now have to try to kill as many things as possible (before, if you didn't want to, you didn't have to, provided that there was enough toughness, aka, you can spend your damage however you want to, putting it all on a guy who just got protection from your creature, because you don't want anything to enter the graveyard, or something), and now Mogg Fanatic (and other such cards) are much worse off. Honestly, it is just annoying, and I don't like it.
6) Deathtouch - Yes, it is simpler now that it is state-based. But, now it is also more annoying, as you can't get hit with deathtouch and then respond, you have to respond before. Not much changes, but annoying.
7) Lifelink - Sigh. Yes, it can now save your life in a game, as it is state-based, and so when you take the damage, you gain it at exactly the same time, still, I miss having multiple lifelinks, like with Battlegrace Angel. Now, I might take some out of my Bant deck, because I only need a couple in there, because I only need one now, and the others are just expensive Exalted creatures.

In short, I hate Magic 2010 because it has done stupid things. Sigh...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

San Francisco

Yesterday was amazing. Okay, so I grew up living in San Francisco, and never felt the need for a driver's license, considering how I could use public transportation to get where I needed in the city. When I went to college in Troy, NY, well, let's just say that the public transportation there is not dependable. You want examples? Fine.

When my friends and I went to see Iron Man last year, we decided to take public transportation to get from RPI to the Latham Crossgates Mall. When we looked at the bus schedule, we saw there was one that would leave at 10:10 AM and every 55 minutes. We thought, "Okay, we can catch the 10:10 bus and get to the mall around 11:20 AM, so that we can have some lunch, see the movie, and get back to Troy well before 5 PM, so that I could get to the one comic store in Troy before it closed, so I could get my free comic books for Free Comic Book Day. Well, we got to the bus stop before 10 AM, and then left the busstop around 11:05 AM, when the bus that was after the one we wanted took off. We eventually got to the mall, and were able to see Iron Man, have my friend buy a video game he wanted (after way too much hassle at Best Buy where he couldn't and it ended up being stupid, so we had to at GameStop or EB Games, I can't remember which), then headed back to take a bus back to Troy. We were ready to go at around 3:00, and got to the busstop at the mall, and at around 1 hour later, a bus came and we were able to get back to Troy. I was able to get my comics, although I got there 5 minutes late. The people at Aquilonia were nice enough to let me in and get what free comics I wanted, although the All Star Superman was gone, and it was basically just the things people weren't quite as interested in.

So, aside from running only every hour, which is a long time in between buses, they didn't even run that often, and ended up running every 2 hours or so. If we had a car at that point, it would have taken 20-30 minutes max to get to the mall. Instead it took us a couple hours in each direction, including the waiting. So, while there is public transporation in the Albany area, basically, it sucks horribly.

Yesterday was my first day off in 6 days, so I could have a break before having to go to work for 4 more days straight. I had gotten my first paycheck, but hadn't been able to deposit it, considering that the bank I go to has two branches in San Francisco, one downtown, and one on the other side of Golden Gate Park, about 20 blocks from where I live. Neither one would be possible to get to before, during or after work, so I had to go yesterday, or wait until next Saturday, which would be the next non-Sunday I have off, which would also mean I'd be depositing two checks, as my next one would be there. I also wanted to get Magic: The Gathering cards, commons, for the '07 Pauper tournament that was later that day. Basically, the Ravnica and Time Spiral blocks, along with 10th edition and Coldsnap were legal for play, but only the commons from those sets. I had designed a deck that I needed a few more cards for. I then needed to get to Gamescape, where I would play against friends, and then be in the tournament. So, I took the 44 from near my house through Golden Gate Park to 9th and Lincoln. From there, I was able to catch the 71 and take it down to 23rd and Irving, walk to 24th and Irving to deposit my check, then walk back to 22nd and Irving to catch the 71 going the other direction to 19th and Lincoln. From there, the 28 took me through the park to Park Presidio and Geary, where I took the 38 to 17th and Geary so I could get to Cards and Comics Central, in between 18th and 19th on Geary. I bought the commons I needed, then went down to 19th and California, where I took the 1 down to Divisadero, where I walked to the Cheesesteak shop to get some steak fries. From there, I took the 24 to Oak, where I walked half a block to Gamescape. Total amount of time taken, including the stopping for depositing, buying cards, buying steak fries, walking to and from stops and waiting around for the bus to show up? Under 2 hours. Sure, it took me a couple hours to get from my first destination to my last, but I had three separate stops that were not near each other, and I had to pick up a bus 7 times. Still, I was easily able to make it to my destination in under the amount of time it took me to get from one point in Troy to one point in Latham from one bus that would normally be well under 20 minutes in a car. The public transportation system in this city is amazing, and I love living here in San Francisco. If I want to get from Point A to Point B, it is amazingly simple, and easy, and even if it takes multiple buses, I should get there fairly quickly.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


So, something silly that I just love is that the movie, Kick-Ass, that is supposedly coming out sometime later this year, is coming out when the first arc in the comic isn't even over yet. Now, I love Kick-Ass and think it is an amazing comic. Sure, it isn't subtle, just like everything else Millar does, but that doesn't mean it is bad. Hitting you across the face like a ton of bricks is good for what he is doing. Having a subtle story wouldn't work nearly as well. Hopefully, Kick-Ass will finish its first arc before the movie comes out and that the story will end with a nice finish with bloodshed and people getting brutally eviscerated. Mmm, evisceration...

And hopefully, the movie will live up to the comic in both fun and brutality, so that there is a nice, bloody comic movie that isn't Blade.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Ha, a new post so soon after saying I wouldn't be doing many more posts this summer. Still, this is something that has been really annoying.

Looking up the word "terrorism", the first definition that popped up was:
1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.

Okay, so that seems simple enough, right? Now, I don't like getting political, but I think I'm going to have to. No matter how you feel about abortion, I think you should believe it is wrong that Dr. George Tiller was murdered a short time ago. He provided late abortions, and was one of three doctors in the US who did, and for what he did, was shot by a radical anti-abortion agent. Now, whatever my personal beliefs about abortion, I believe murder, for any cause, is wrong. If I believed that Tiller was murdering babies (which I don't), that would be wrong, but it doesn't make it right to kill him. Especially since the law is on his side. Now, let's look at that word again: terrorism. Since September 11, 2001, there has been a lot of talk about terrorism. The radical Al Qaeda members and other groups from the Middle East have tried to intimidate the US and the West in general, in order to further their own agendas. The current look of "terrorist" in our minds is a robed, turban-wearing, Arabic man, with a beard, who uses suicide bombs to kill innocent people in order to get into heaven and have lots of virgins waiting. But, that isn't the only terrorist around. There are also home-grown terrorists. The radical anti-abortion people used violence in this case, and lots of threats in others, to intimidate and coerce the pro-choice movement into stopping giving abortions to women who do not want to have children. Very simply, what they are doing is terrorism. They are terrorizing the men and women who, obeying the law, have been providing their services in performing abortions. Basically, the radical anti-abortion movement are terrorists, in using threats and violence to get their way and terrorizing people who have different beliefs. Whether or not you believe that abortion is wrong or right, at least try and see that murder and terrorism aren't the best way to get what you want.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Summer updates are horrible with me, and I know this. Partly, it comes from me just not being at my computer as much, and also, it comes from just doing other things, because I have more time. Plus, with friends, I can discuss my feelings with them, and I'm not as obligated to go to the internet to share my thoughts. Plus, I now have a job, which will take a lot of my time, so over the summer, don't expect much. There might be some stuff, but definitely not on a regular basis, at any rate. I still am picking up every Deadpool issue that comes out, and I have to say that Deadpool 11 was awesome.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Garfunkel and Oates

Thanks to my dad watching "Sex With Ducks", a song by Garfunkel and Oates, I've been introduced to the duo and they are amazing. They are a folk-comedy duo, singing ridiculously funny songs. Now, be warned, they do have swearing in their songs, so if that offends you, I wouldn't recommend listening to them. Below is the short film "Imaginary Larry" which stars Garfunkel and Oates. It has some songs in it, and it is kind of weird.

Larry from Erika Lindhome on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Okay, so my Deadpool review came right after seeing the movie, but I decided that I am going to also just talk about the movie, in a non-specifically Deadpool format.

Well, first off, I want to say that the ads are very confusing. There have been a lot of trailers and TV spots and lots of hype and it confuses. First, I saw one and it looks like the entire movie is going to be about him growing up, finishing with Weapon X, just based off of the teaser. Then there is one, where it looks like it is about Weapon X hunting him down for the entire movie. Well, basically, it is like this: Little James Howlett growing up, learning he has bone claws, accidentally killing his father, then running away before being joined by Sabretooth, who tells him that brothers (of which they are in this) have to do. Then, there is an amazing opening montage of Victor and James going through wars in history, fighting in them. At the end, Victor and James are tried and executed for killing a commanding officer. Stryker visits them to let them know he can help them out and get them out of there. They join Team X with Agent Zero, Blob, Bolt, Wade Wilson, and Kestrel. In Africa, they are looking for a chunk of metal, and end up almost killing innocent people, before James steps in and demands they stop. Then, 6 years later, James is enjoying life in the Canadian wilderness with Silver Fox, when people from Team X start dying. Sabretooth then kills Silver Fox, enraging Wolverine who goes after Sabretooth only to lose. Stryker tells James he can improve him, and make him be able to defeat Sabretooth. They go to a lab, where James becomes Weapon X, the tenth of a line of weapons, where they coat his skeleton with the metal that was found in Africa, adamantium. After implanting the metal, almost killing James, he overhears Stryker saying to erase his memories, which enrages him and he escapes. He finds a nice old couple, who let him stay with them, and then the husband gives Wolverine his jacket. After Agent Zero snipes both of the couple, Wolverine fights off some soldiers sent after him, eventually killing Agent Zero from the helicopter that was chasing him. He then visits Kestrel who is running a boxing ring/gym? where he is getting Blob back in shape. After fighting Blob, Wolverine learns of the island where Stryker and Sabretooth have been taking all the mutant kids, and that only one person, Remy LeBeau aka Gambit, has escaped, going back to New Orleans. Wolverine and Kestrel go to ask Gambit where the island is, and as Kestrel guards the back, Sabretooth shows up, killing him. Gambit sees Wolverine's dog tags, and thinking he is with Sabretooth and Stryker, knocks him through a wall. Outside, Wolverine takes on Sabretooth, being victorious this time, only being knocked away by Gambit, who Wolverine defeats. Then, Gambit takes Wolverine to the island, where he learns that Silver Fox is alive and that it was all to get him to agree to the bonding process. He leaves, but returns when Sabretooth threatens Silver Fox. They fight again and Wolverine wins again. Then, Wolverine and Silver Fox free all the mutants that had been taken by Stryker, including Cyclops and Emma Frost (who is Silver Fox's sister), and on their way to escape, run into Weapon XI, who is Wade Wilson with Baraka-style adamanitum blades, teleportation, healing and optic blasts. As Wolverine loses to Weapon XI, Silver Fox takes the kids another way, where they get help from a telepathic voice. Sabretooth then joins Wolverine in fighting Weapon XI, since they are brothers, and together, they are able to win. Then, Gambit shows up again, and Wolverine sends him to check on the kids. Wolverine runs into Stryker, who shoots him with adamantium bullets, which apparently cause memory loss so severe his healing factor doesn't recvoer it. Gambit discovers the kids have gotten to a helicopter that Charles Xavier has waiting, and runs back to help Wolverine, who now has forgotten his past.

Well, what was wrong? (Alliteration FTW) Okay, so Silver Fox and Emma Frost are sisters? What? That makes no sense. Oh, and Cyclops at the very least met Sabretooth earlier, but probably others also, and then he forgets? When does Sabretooth forget Wolverine, because in X-Men, he doesn't seem to know Logan. The magic adamantium bullet thing was pretty stupid also. I'd have loved to see him not knowing anything from the beginning as opposed to him knowing the entire movie and forgetting at the end. Oh, and they are brothers? Really? Oy. Oh, so Victor is upset about Logan leaving him with Team X after Team X started becoming more nasty and less humane. Sure, you can see Victor getting more violent over the course of the montage, and then he gets more violent when he tries to rape the girl, and sure, killing random innocents would have been bad, but, seeing as they are brothers, Logan should have tried to get help for him. As opposed to abandoning his brother after 100+ years, he should have instead tried to get Victor to leave with him, maybe try and take him to a therapist or something. I totally understand why Victor would be pissed. I am disappointed that the Blob was just a superstrong/invulnerable guy as opposed to a guy who can make himself attached to the ground, who also happens to be really strong and invulnerable, also due to his body and bulk. Agent Zero? Okay, so Maverick isn't my favorite character of all time, but I have to say, I recognized Maverick throughout comics, and basically knew he was part of Weapon X with Wolverine and Sabretooth. I didn't quite make the connection between the Maverick-Chris Nord card and Maverick-Agent Zero card from VS, but recognized Agent Zero as a name. In the movie, Agent Zero (as the only name he is known by), basically has superhuman speed and accuracy and is very proficient with guns. In the comics, yeah, no. Little kid Wolverine and little kid Sabretooth were silly more than anything. See, you see a little kid trying to be angry and Victor Creed and it doesn't work. You see a little kid mourn his father (not actual father, but doesn't know at the time) and then pop little bone claws out of his hand, then roar and attack his father (actual one, but didn't know at the time). It was very silly. A little kid trying to berserker rage like Wolverine is more cute than terrifying or awesome.

Now, yes, Deadpool was fucked up in the movie, but surprisingly, it isn't my biggest complaint. My biggest is probably about Gambit. See, both Wade and Remy were kind of long cameos. As opposed to being important characters, they were just kind of side characters. Which can be okay. If they had only had the Wade Wilson stuff at the beginning, Deadpool fans would have beein incredibly happy. Sure, he didn't have cancer, or the costume, but was still awesome and hilarious. Instead, they stretched his appearance out so that he was Weapon XI. A horrible idea. With Gambit, a lot of ads have had Gambit because, well, Gambit is a popular character. Not one I like, but one who is popular. In the movie, Blob talks about Remy, and itis kind of cool. Then, in New Orleans, you see Remy, and it is neat, but when Gambit knocks Wolverine through a wall, what you are expecting is a Gambit/Wolverine fight. Instead, Wolverine sees Sabretooth and they fight. Remy walks out to attack and gets elbowed in the face. When Gambit finally attacks, the hype for him is gone. Instead, you are invested in the Wolverine/Sabretooth stuff. Then there is a small, but satisfying Gambit fight, but that would have worked better had it been earlier. I think if they had cut the Sabretooth fight there, and just had two in the base, it would have been better. Oh, and then Gambit flies Wolverine to the island, which makes him in it longer, but then Gambit starts to seem more important, which again, he isn't. At the very end, he saves Logan from falling debris, then as Logan tells him to watch after the kids, he runs after them, sees Professor X with them, smiles, then runs back to help Wolverine. It is pointless and makes Gambit less interesting. With just a smaller part, then fans would have gotten Gambit, and not have had to see him be lame and do nothing except run in circles for a long time. Fans who wanted Deadpool or Gambit got much more horrible returns for their investment.

Still, I enjoyed the movie. As with comic movies, as I've mentioned before, I just try to have fun. Sure, if the movie is amazing, I'll like it more, but I try and enjoy even if it's bad (I still enjoyed Spider-Man 3 while watching it).This movie, as noted above, has many flaws, but it is still an action movie, and it delivers. There are a good amount of fights and the fights are fun. Sure, the Sabretooth stuff gets a little dull (3 fights in the movie, really?) but is still entertaining. After the small intro with James and Victor as kids, you get the best part of the movie, the montage opening credits, followed by the Team X stuff. After Team X, it goes a little downhill, but is still enjoyable. I have to say that I enjoyed the Weapon XI fight, just because it was Wade Wilson kicking Wolverine's and Sabretooth's asses. That was enjoyable to see them having to team up to stand a chance. Sure, the character was done poorly, but at least he kicked ass. All in all, I did enjoy the movie, which is all I really ask for in a movie. Now, sure, for a story with Weapon X and Wolverine's origin, I recommend Hulk VS. Wolverine above X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Sure, you don't get him as a kid or going through wars, but you get the story fairly similar to the comics (and much more than the movie) with a good Deadpool, and no boring romance in an action movie. You have Weapon X, you have Wolverine, you have Deadpool and you have Sabretooth. Plus, you get awesome Hulk Vs. Wolverine fights with more blood than you'd expect from a cartoon. But, again, X-Men Origins: Wolverine was fun and I did enjoy it. Wade Wilson was amazing, and Wolverine had some nice fights. In the end, I don't really want much more.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Deadpool review #5

Well, this isn't what I expected to do next, but since it isn't something I have right in front of me, I should probably talk about it while it is still fresh in my mind. So, here is my Deadpool review of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Oh, and in case you were wondering, spoilers ahead, since this has to talk about Deadpool in the movie.

What you need to know: Nothing, really, since it is a stand-alone movie. It might be nice to have seen the previous three X-Men movies, but I don't think it is an absolute necessity.

The plot: Wolverine was growing up with his brother, Sabretooth, when they joined Team X. Logan left because they were going too far. Victor starts killing old members of the team 6 years later, as Wolverine has found love with Silver Fox. Silver Fox dies, and Wolverine needs to defeat Sabretooth, and thus has adamantium bonded to his bones. Then, as they want to wipe his memories, he breaks free, and looks for Sabretooth and Stryker, eventually learning that they are collecting mutants. Stryker is creating Weapon XI to kill mutants, and Wolverine frees all the kids being held captive before fighting Weapon XI, and Sabretooth helps Logan. Then, Stryker shoots Wolverine in the head with magic bullets, making him lose his memory.

Deadpool's part: Wade Wilson is a part of the team Stryker assembles in the beginning, along with Wolverine, Sabretooth, Agent Zero, Blob, Bolt and Kestrel, and uses his swords to defend against many people shooting at him, and then deflecting bullets back at people and cutting bullets in half to hit multiple people on the other side of him (in what is incredibly bad-ass). Then, Sabretooth mentions him being dead to Bolt. Later, it is revealed that Wade is now Weapon XI, who has a whole bunch of mutant powers in him, designed to take out mutants. He fights Wolverine using his fighting ability, which is amazing still, the sword/claws that pop out of his hands, a healing factor that is ridiculously fast, teleportation and optic blasts, eventually also having to face Sabretooth as well, who wants to be the one to eventually kill Wolverine. As he is taking down Sabretooth, Wolverine is able to get behind him and chop his head off, and he falls into the top of the nuclear cooling tower. In one of the secret endings, his hand finds his head, which then has his eyes open, look directly at the camera, and he whispers "Shhh..." to the audience.

Humor involved: Wade talks about his relationship with his sword and that was funny, and then when trapped in the elevator, with Team X, has some good remarks. Given that he wasn't in a lot of it, he didn't have much to say, but what he did say was funny.

Worth seeing?: If you are a Deadpool fan, you should see this movie. Even if you have to leave halfway because the mere thought of Deadpool as Barakapool (as he has been dubbed by some) turns you away, Ryan Reynolds plays an amazing Wade Wilson. When seeing some of the stuff at The Deadpool Bugle, a concern people have with Deadpool is that writers don't make him bad-ass enough. Wade Wilson in the movie is bad-ass. In fact, I am going to say he is the most bad-ass character. Sure, Wolverine and Sabretooth fought in a lot of wars and did lots of crazy things, but, well, this is the Team X stuff. So, every member of Team X (except for Wolverine and Sabretooth) has to show off when they are introduced. In their mission, Agent Zero shoots a whole bunch of guys, throws his guns in the air to reload them, kills some more guys, shoots a guy with a turret gun that turns the turret as he goes down to shoot some more guys and is done. Blob punches a tank in the barrel, making it explode. When the elevator's power gets turned off, Bolt turns it back on. After Wade's stuff, Kestrel stops one of the bad guys from reaching for a gun and shooting Stryker in the face. What Wade does is, as soon as they get to the top floor where they know guys are waiting, is start busting out his swords, blocking the bullets with his swords. Then, he spins the swords around, moving forward into the room, and through spinning and amazing acrobatics and sword techniques, along with timing, is able to cut a bullet in half that is heading for him to make it hit two guys behind him, then deflect a bullet straight back into them, doing some spinning stuff in the air, and just generally looking cool. See, Agent Zero might have taken out more guys, but he was fighting long range with long range. Wade was fighting long range with short range, and making it look easy. Okay, the Barakapool stuff. Yes, it was not Deadpool, not at all. But, and I know this sounds surprising, I didn't think it was horrible. The thing that bothered me the most was the optic blasts. Everything else can be semi-explained. He has the healing, the claws are like swords, the teleportation is a much easier version of some of the gadgets he's had. The optic blasts make no sense. Now, something cool is that when he uses them, the area around his eyes gets darker, making a Deadpool like black diamonds around his eyes (he's had them be diamonds as opposed to ovals). That was kind of cool. Now, he still is bad-ass, like in the beginning with Team X. It takes both Wolverine and Sabretooth teaming up to win against him, and for a while, he was kicking both their asses at the same time (almost literally with the teleporting). He kind of becomes a one-trick pony at the end, though, fighting with only optic blasts. Now, to be fair, it fit in the movie. Stryker says Wade would be the perfect soldier if he shut up and at the end, Stryker sews his mouth shut and makes him an ultimate soldier. So, it fits in the movie. Plus, he was created as someone to fight Wolverine, not to be the Deadpool we know and love. It was a Wolverine movie, not a Deadpool movie, so they try and keep Wolverine as close as possible to the comics, and let everyone else slide a little (a lot). Deadpool is the biggest example, but it just fit into the movie. So, while it was still a poor decision and made me sad, it still fit into the movie, and at least Wade kicked ass. So, my final verdict is that it should be watched, but not taken immensely seriously.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Deadpool reviews coming soon

I have had some work, this being my finals week and all, so I haven't written the reviews for Deadpool 10, Marvel Zombies 4 #2 or Cable 14 yet, but they will be up sometime soon. In a few hours, I'll be flying home, where I'll be over the course of the summer. Just thought I'd let people know that the Deadpool reviews are coming.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Deadpool review #4

Well, no. This isn't a review of X-Men Origins: Wolverine with Deadpool, it is a review of Cable 13, which I finally got today, when I celebrated Free Comic Book Day (it wasn't free, just finally available).

What you need to know: Cable is trying to protect the first (and so far only) mutant born after M-Day, and Cyclops sends X-Force to help him out. Bishop and Stryfe are working together to try and stop Cable and Apocalypse. Deadpool showed up to help.

The plot: Cable sees a fortress that looks like Apocalypse's. Wolverine asks Deadpool what is going on, and Deadpool tells his story, how he was trying to put down a rebellion, but when things turned bad, wanting to avoid nukes, hid in a fridge, but then got locked in. After 800 years, they open the freezer and Deadpool discovers Stryfe, joined up with him, then, when he saw X-Force, wanted to team up. Meanwhile, Bishop thinks about how he and Stryfe are going to betray each other. Then, Stryfe's army shows up.

Deadpool's part: Surprisingly, most of it. Like above, he describes his part in this madcap future, and tries to inform Cable and X-Force into what is going on.

Humor involved: When seeing the Apocalypse-looking citadel, remarks how Apocalypse is "...the old boss. The very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very old boss." When about to tell his story, wondering which version to tell, breaks the fourth wall, wondering if he should tell the Previews-catalog-solicit-blurb version. There is a lot of humor while telling his story also. After, he mentions how, "But then you guys show up, and I get to thinking...it's just like old times. We're the X-Men! We can take him together!" After Wolverine reminds him he was never an X-Man, he calls Wolverine a continuity stickler. Then, at the end, as Stryfe's army attacks "forgot" to mention that they existed. "My bad."

Worth getting?: Even without the other parts, this one explains everything nicely, and contains a lot of good Deadpool. Plus, I'm a big fan of Olivetti's art. Sure, some of it is ridiculously buff, but it still looks really, really good. So, yeah, I'd recommend it, even without the other parts, which are still important.

Before I leave you, I just wanted to share something that brightened my day. I have always loved "Hi, I'm a Marvel...And I'm a DC" and was worried about a Deadpool one. See, he is good, but I wasn't sure if he could make Deadpool work. Fortunately for me, though, he did and it is amazing. Check it out below.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Deadpool review #2 & #3

This edition of Deadpool review is for Thunderbolts 131 and for X-Force/Cable: Messiah War Prologue.

What you need to know: Deadpool, on a mission for Nick Fury, stole intelligence about the Skrulls, which Norman Osborn intercepted. Then, he used the intel to kill the Skrull queen, making him immensely popular and now is head of HAMMER, the replacement SHIELD. Deadpool learned about this and wants to be paid and recognized for his part in making Osborn so powerful. Osborn sent his new Black-Ops Thunderbolts after him. Now, Deadpool, working with Taskmaster, is trying to take out the Thunderbolts while trying to score with Yelena Belova, their leader, the second Black Widow (the blonde one).

The plot: The Thunderbolts captured Deadpool, but as Headsman is about to chop his head off, the actual Deadpool shows up, armed to the teeth. He frees Taskmaster, who was masquerading as Deadpool before, then they fight the Thudnerbolts, causing Norman Osborn to flee. Deadpool is able to get onto the ship, but Norman goes crazy and attacks Deadpool, causing the ship to crash. Black Widow shoots Deadpool in the heart, and then Headsman finally does something, chopping Deadpool's head off. Norman tells Yelena to burn the head, and walks away. Taskmaster then is embarrassed to be at an ATM, getting his money, considering he is "world-class." Deadpool, it seems, stole Norman Osborn's credit card while they fought, and had his head sown back on, he assumed by Taskmaster, but actually was Black Widow.

Deadpool's part: Well, the entire thing, pretty much. Read the plot, since this was specifically a Deadpool story.

Humor involved: As he shows up to rescue Taskmaster, he talks about how he couldn't decide which weapons to bring, deciding upon all of them. As he tries to get rid of Ant Man, who climbs into his outfit, he shoots himself a bunch of times. When he gets shot through the heart, he starts singing, then asks for last words from Yelena, who is threatening to cut off his head. As he realizes who sowed his head back onto his body, he is incredibly happy, and believes Yelena really does love him.

Worth getting?: If you've read the other parts, then yes. Otherwise, still yes, but I recommend that your read the other parts first. It is a fun storyline, and I enjoyed it. The current Thunderbolts, like the team from directly after Civil War, are horrible at teamwork, and don't work together well at all. It leads to some interesting dynamics. Plus, Deadpool is good in this. He isn't all silly all the time, but he does make things fun. The art isn't for everyone, but I enjoyed it.


What you need to know: The one mutant born after M-Day has been flung into the future to live with Cable. Cyclops knows Bishop is after them, so he decides to send X-Force to help.

The plot: Cyclops recalls what happened while Bishop talks to a mysterious man in a bar who killed everybody else there. As X-Force gets sent into the future to help Cable out to protect the child, they come under attack by Deadpool, who unlike everybody else who had to time travel to get there, he just survived. Deadpool joins up with X-Force, who find Cable, and then learn that Stryfe is ruling the world at this point, with him being the person Bishop talked to.

Deadpool's part: He shoots at X-Force, then as they wonder what he's doing there, cracks some jokes, and joins up with them, as he is also looking for Cable.

Humor involved: Sees Domino and semi-remembers her, mentioning how he knew someone who looked exactly like her 1000 years ago. He then claims he's the emperor of North America, and can be called "your majesty." After Logan pops his claws through Wade's head, he says he feels Logan inside his head and wonders if Wolverine is a telepath now. Then, he comments on how he likes having his brain scratched. Then, he looks around and, seeing everybody, says, "Wolverine! Thunderbird II! Domino! Other people I don't know! I missed you! Where did you go? I was waiting for you! For a reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaly long time." After they get to where Cable is, he, Domino, Elixir and Vanisher are told to wait outside, at which point he asks if they want to play Travel Connect Four, which he brought with him. Oh, and Stryfe's file for him is great. You can see that here.

Worth getting?: It's a crazy storyline involving the future, Cable, Stryfe, Bishop and a time traveling X-Force. It's silly as hell, but made all the sillier with Deadpool. Seeing as it is a storyline which had a lot of Deadpool in it (surprisingly so), I reccomend it to Deadpool fans. To non-Deadpool fans, well, if you like all that time travel stuff or seeing stupid amounts of violence (reading X-Force), then sure, otherwise, I'd say to avoid it.

Look this Friday or Saturday (again, hopefully Friday) for my review of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, with a Deadpool review coming also.
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