What's the Shape of the Next Open World Fantasy RPG?

In 2012 I discovered the biggest, best fantasy RPG consoles had seen in years.  No, not Skyrim;  Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, my GOTY of 2012 and also winner of the most ridiculous title.   Of course, I'm aware that Skyrim is by far the bigger name, with the TES franchise actually having a guaranteed chance at a sequel, while Amalur is wrapped in so much legal tape the behind-the-scenes story of its developer is almost more intriguing than the game's actual plot.  Still, it was Amalur that captivated me with its far more colorful world, gorgeous and inventive character and armor designs, and addictive battle system.

Bottom of the Pile: March 22nd, 2017

Alters And so the first arc of Alters comes to an end--with a surprisingly brutal slugfest between Matter Man and Chalice, as after being captured at the end of the last issue, our hero discovers a major flaw in Matter Man's abilities: they can't be used for more than sixty-one seconds.  Its a unique flaw, and I do feel like it was a bit convenient considering there wasn't really a hint beforehand, but I can't get too mad at it.  For one, the weakness is clever, and for another my argument for new comics and unproven characters is always to tell shorter stories.  Twelve year long epics assume an interest fans may not even have, while short arcs allow you to give a quick overview of the world and if a story doesn't click, the next one will be out shortly afterwards.  Here the story is over after the fifth issue, and next we can move on to (hopefully) bigger and better things for Chalice and her squad.

All in all, not a bad start to a budding new hero's adventure…

Marvel's Generations, and a Discussion on Legacy Characters

As Marvel starts to gear up for its "Generations" project, which is supposed to be taking steps to restore many of the classic elements to the Marvel Universe believed by some to be missing lately, I wanted to talk about diversity for a bit.  I'd like to bring up a step that all too often is left out of the discussion: execution, specifically in terms of introduction of legacy characters.

The increasingly politicized nature of the internet is such that every issue has taken on an "us vs. them" mindset.  In comics, nowhere is this more pronounced than with respect to the introduction of diverse characters into the superhero landscape.  You're either with the idea of change or against, and from there people make inferences on everything from your political leanings to your attitudes towards other races, the opposite sex, and the LGBT spectrum.  Without making a value judgment on how much sense that makes, I would like to go ahead and establish some things:


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Bottom of the Pile: March 15th, 2017

Batwoman If Kate's thing is "doing things Batman can't" she's going to end up with a very small wheelhouse that includes "knitting" and "has sex with girls".  I know you wanna get mad at that second one, but...let's be honest here: if you take Selina out of the equation, when was the last time Bruce slept with anyone at all?   Jezebel Jet was ten years ago, and she was revealed to be a villain.  Dude's been "Bat-dad" more than "Gotham's most eligible bachelor" for years.

In any case, Batwoman's adventures begin with her tracking down people who've bought the Monster Serum and intending to use themselves as biological WMDs only to wind up tracking down the organization selling it to--where else--a place where she has deep, emotional ties: Coryana, a place that looks more like DC's Madripoor every time they flashback to it, a place where crime lords rule and anything goes.

But nevermind all that--Batwo…

5 Thoughts About Flash: "Into The Speed Force"