Friday, October 15, 2010

Extra Credits

On the Escapist, a video game website, there's a show called Extra Credits. It's on once per week and, in the style of someone giving a lecture, it's an animated series delving into the video game community as a whole, and some of the problems they feel it faces. I apologize in advance, but this is probably going to get pretty rambly and I'm not quite sure where it's headed. Ahem...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pi's Reviews - October 13th

Deadpool Corps #7 review

Honestly, this issue wasn't as great as some of the other ones, and I think the reason is that I honestly don't know what the heck happened. Although I do like that the flashbacks are all crazy and part of Deadpool's fantasy, such that how much we can trust them is unknown. I do love that the general space public fears or respects the Deadpool Corps as much as they do, based off of how the Deadpool Corps took on the Awareness, and while not respected much on their Earths, they get a lot of respect and fear out in space.

Still, the issue could have been better. I really wish I knew what was going on. I realize Deadpool rushes into things in this series with no plan whatsoever, but seeing that happen while there's this other insanity of not knowing if what he's doing is even what actually happened makes it a little hard to follow. It is good, though, and I do enjoy me some Deadpool Corps.

New Avengers #5 review

At least, we finally know who the villain is, what his plan is and what is going on. It's kind of weird, and a little annoying that it took 5 issues to determine the name of the bad guy, but it still works. There's a lot of Bendis writing in this that makes it work.

While there is barely any action in this (in fact, the only real action is at the beginning, on a two page spread of Wong and Dr. Strange vs the Hand), it still feels good. For me, for a Bendis book, it can do one of two things, and it does it well. It can advance the plot with a lot of dialogue and people talking to each other, which I am fine with because Bendis makes the characters talking to each other interesting, or it can do nothing to advance the plot and just have fighting, with no real resolutions that works well because Bendis can make the characters that are fighting interesting.

Honestly, I love Bendis's work, and this is mostly a good example of Bendis advancing plot through dialogue and a whole lot of dialogue.

The Thanos Imperative #5 review

This issue's ending made sense to me. Thanos has kind of been going along with the Guardians for no real reasons, and it's been a little weird, but the ending of this made sense. I can totally understand all of Thanos' actions up to this point. I like what Thanos is doing in this, because the writers understand Thanos and understand his motivations.

Something that kind of annoyed me about the issue, and the entire series for that matter, is the battle going on at the Fault. There's ships flying everywhere, stuff's apparently happening, but more than anything, it's Galactus and pals kind of standing out in space in front of the Galactus engine, which is apparently a lot bigger than Galactus himself, and is, well, weird more than anything. Fighting's going on, but we don't know anything about it. Most of it isn't physical, although the physical isn't seen anyways, and, well, it seems like it isn't important, when it's probably the bigger fight that's going on. Whatever...

All in all, I like the Thanos Imperative because the writers are good at their jobs, but dislike it slightly because it feels like they are being forced into writing something that they don't necessarily want to write.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Comic reviews - October 6th

Chaos War #1
I missed a lot by not getting Prince of Power #4. Apparently. I really don't know what to expect from Chaos War. From what it seems, the heroes themselves aren't going to be able to do much, based off of the ending of this issue, so what's going to happen. It seems like the battle is less physical and more of some other battle. It reminds me of Thanos Imperative, where Galactus and Aegis and Tenebrous and all those guys are just kind of seemingly standing there while fighting the Cancerverse. Is that what this is going to be?

While I felt this issue was pretty meh, maybe because I don't really understand what the heck is happening, I did like one part. After reading the last page, which was questions asked of Amadeus Cho and Amatsu-Mikaboshi, the Chaos King. Amatsu-Mikaboshi responds to all of his questions in haiku (sometimes, you have to stretch to get the syllables to work, like the word "chaos" being pronounced with both one and two syllables). I went back to the issue and where Amatsu-Mikaboshi speaks, it is all in haiku. I'm sure it's something that's always been done with the character, but seeing how little I'd read of the character before, this was an awesome thing.

Deadpool MAX #1
Um, yeah. Okay. Hmmm... Where do I begin? Okay, first, this isn't in the regular Marvel 616 universe, it is in some alternate universe where apparently HYDRA isn't real, Deadpool fought in Iraq and helped to catch Osama bin Laden and Deadpool's not just crazy with multiple personalities in his head, but also is delusional about lots of stuff.

It's a MAX comic so they can swear all they want. And they do. Plus, there's some sodomy involved and some shit involved. And when I say shit, I don't mean events, I mean literal shit, excrement. It is very weird. It has a whole lot of violence and blood and people getting cut apart and shredded. And yet, it lacks something.

The comic is narrated by Bob, an agent for some organization, and is told from his perspective. It doesn't have a lot of actual Deadpool in it. The stuff it does have is decent except for the delusions that he seems to be under which are annoying, but manageable. Really, though, this comic is an excuse to see Deadpool swear and kill and be violent and it doesn't deliver nearly as much of that as it should. There's violence and blood and swearing, but not Deadpool being funny and insane and killing, but mostly Hammerhead being a douchebag and punching or headbutting his people, who apparently can choose whether or not to wear clothing most of the time. All in all, it didn't deliver the Deadpool I wanted nearly as much as it did just swearing.

Deadpool: Pulp #2
Deadpool Pulp is, well, meh... I'm not saying it's a bad comic, just that it lacks something, well, a lot of something. What I love about Deadpool is the insanity and the humor. This lacks that. Sure, there's some violence and some insanity, but most of the humor's gone. Sure, it's Deadpool Pulp and is supposed to be based off of pulps and more so a noir backdrop, so it makes sense in the setting, but, well, it loses a lot of Deadpool in the transition. Pretty much the only stuff that's the same is that he wears part of the mask, has the Loeb boxes and the character names are the same. Seriously, it has two characters who are Cable and Stryfe who have the messed up star around the eye and look exactly the same as one another. It's kind of weird.

Deadpool Pulp is very cynical. It is darker than most Deadpool stuff and tries to be deeper. The stupidness of the Loeb boxes makes the first scene awkward, as it is trying to be dark and silly at the same time. Dark and silly don't match. The comic is trying to be philosophical and ends up being stupid. I'll keep reading for the little Deadpool there is, but it is buried deep.

Taskmaster #2
I love this series. This is a series that I love, despite not being a huge fan of the art. I'm not saying the art is horrible, but it isn't my favorite style. It's not something that would distract me as much as Steve Dillon's art or J. Calafiore's art. It gets the job done and isn't horrible enough for me to hate it.

But I love this series because it is freaking hilarious Fred van Lente is great. Heck, I'd love it even for just the parts with "the Don of the Dead", a Mexican merc who rules Michoacan. He speaks in a broken English with some Spanish and mostly just speaks with an accent that is represented by the way that the words are written. For example, "So. El Maestro de Task. Ju face the Don of the Dead in final combat. What ju say to that, hanh? Si. Si. Excelente. I KEEL JU FACE!!" What I love about this is similar to why I love a lot of Deadpool. It takes the stance that even with killing and violence and bloodshed, it doesn't have to be serious, but can be stupid and silly and fun. Seriously, this is one of the best series I have read. It is awesome.

Uncanny X-Force #1
This was the best comic with Deadpool this week. Seriously. Deadpool MAX was okay, but I wasn't a huge fan of the representation of Deadpool's insanity and more to the point, it didn't focus on him. Deadpool Pulp lacked so much of Deadpool's humor that it didn't feel like Deadpool at all. This, while not focusing on Deadpool made the parts that had Deadpool in them absolutely brilliant. Remender did a great job of capturing Deadpool.

In this, Deadpool was mostly competent, only forgetting to look behind him and thus getting knocked out by War. Still, it took the rest of X-Force (well, kind of) to bring him down, so I'm not really complaining. When he was in it, he was talking the entire time, which is pretty much what I expect and want from Deadpool. The comic literally opens with Deadpool standing on a giant statue that produces a waterfall with a large drop, saying, "Why did the nickel jump off the building but the dime didn't? Dime had more cents," before jumping off the statue onto a rock far below. He is sheer madness, but with some order and a lot of humor. Every single panel he is in (except the very last one where he is in the background), he says something. Every single one. That's pretty darn crazy.

The rest of the issue is okay, mostly dealing with the team itself getting together, having Warren and Betsy together and Logan and Fantomex together, just kind of explaining who they are through what they do. It works really well as an opening issue as it introduces the main characters, who they are, has them fight a villain and, well, it does so much in one issue. I talked about Secret Avengers vs Avengers, how Secret has its plot, and no characterization while Avengers has great characterization while its plot is meh. This is both. It has a plot that works and characterizes well. Plus, I picked up the white variant, so I can get it drawn on at a convention at some point.

Young Allies #5
I don't know how I feel about this issue. I like Gravity, but he seems a lot darker in this series than in any of the stuff before. I mean, in his mini-series that introduced him, he was a cheery guy, even with all the bad stuff happening around him. He seems a lot darker in this. While he hasn't killed anybody yet, he really seems to want to kill people. That just doesn't seem right to me. Whatever.

This series has been merely okay. This issue didn't really do much for me over all. It kind of wrapped things up, but I really didn't understand Superior's plan very much or anything about him really. He just kind of was crazy. Oh, and spoiler if you care, but why was he able to just take apart Singularity? Was it because he helped to give Singularity his powers? Because that kind of makes sense, but considering the level of his telekinesis, he should have been able to do that anyway. Which brings me to the number one complaint I have about telekinesis:

Why, with telekinetic villains in particular, but just characters with telekinesis in general, do they not just win against pretty much everybody? I'm not talking about throwing them somewhere or throwing things at them, I'm talking about going into their body and squishing their heart. Hearts aren't that tough in comparison to most things, and someone with telekinesis should be able to kill them pretty easily. Or their brain. Or just veins and arteries around the heart. Or so many other ways to squish people's internal organs. I think I remember Dark Jean Grey in New Excalibur doing that, and thinking, well, why can't she kill everybody? It really annoys me sometimes, but mostly this issue with Superior and Singularity. Sigh...

Secret Six #26
God, I hate Calafiore's art. I really do. It really annoys me. Everything just looks wrong. It's something that's always bugged me, but never annoyed me that much, probably because I didn't read stuff by Calafiore. But Secret Six really annoyed me. I think it's because, to me, it has so much potential to be one of my favorite comics, even with it being a DC comic, but it is weighed down so heavily by Calafiore's art.

Anyway, the issue itself was decent. The fight between the two teams (which was hyped last issue and didn't happen at all) was only the last couple pages and was kind of disappointing. This issue dealt a lot more with what the heck is going on and why they are going to Skartaris. Maybe it's because I don't know a whole heck of a lot about Skartaris, or maybe it's because this ties in to something bigger (why is Amanda Waller there talking to Spy Smasher about a nuke going off on American soil? I have no idea), but the issue just seems kind of meh to me.
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