Saturday, April 24, 2010

C2E2 - Day Three

Here is the beginning of my post.

This is so late its ridiculous. But wrapping up my first semester at college took precedence.


I want to mention the Mighty Crusaders ongoing featuring the Red Circle superheroes first. I was following The Web and The Shield back when they were initially announced, and I'm saddened that I never got back to reading those books monthly before they were canceled.

Still, the new DC (Entertainment) has found a place for these characters in one team book, likely the best place for them. There's a number of fans that will come to the book: Those who want more Red Circle stuff, fans of Eric Trautmann (me!), those who want to see more of The Shield and The Web, and Brandon Jerwa's fans.

Also, creating The Mighty Crusaders to be America's "government team"? Solid plan. Normally I avoid American "government" teams because I don't need to get hit over the head with conservative rhetoric about how patriotic heroes can be, nor do I want any liberal rhetoric that wastes my time bashing the government and their mistakes. I watch The Daily Show; I'm great on that, thanks.

That out of the way...let's start with the X-Men Panel.

X-Men Panel: (More Here)

- While Portacio becomes an artist on Uncanny X-Men in July. For whatever reason I'm alone in this, but I miss Land and Terry and Rachel Dodson already.

- MORE social commentary with the X-Men? Jay-Z said it once..."people want my old shit...buy my old albums." Nearly EVERY story that arises occurs because they're "feared and misunderstood by homo sapiens". Base conflict stems from it. Does it need to be anvilicious before fans are satisfied?

- X-23 by Ms. Marjorie Liu? Can't wait. Hopefully its not TOO "serious".

- Why is there a Mutants versus Vampires? >_<

- A returning status quo? WTF? Honestly, creators should just ignore fans sometimes.

That's that.

DC Town Hall Meeting
: (More Here)

- Sunday Conversations replaced with Town Hall meetings? I agree with this. DC doesn't need more nostalgia trips.

- 52 wasn't an event, but Brightest Day? Its got a half-dozen series with its name plastered over the top! And Geoff talking about "its not a banner, its a story".

- Every time a fan says, "I buy monthly issues & trades as well", it creates a problem. I'd love for someone to clarify that they buy issues because they want the series to continue, but prefer to buy a series in trades.

- Jim Lee is awesome. That's all that needs to be said. (Giving a man $20 because his comic store got gypped on the Lantern rings?)

- Flamebird, Nightwing, and Mon-El had no chance of catching on. Okay, first off: Flamebird and Nightwing got all sorts of speculation and people thought they were everyone from Conner and Bette Kane to Chris Kent and Inferno. We got Chris Kent and Thara, and the result is "World of New Krypton is a really great series isn't it?" Second, people dropped Superman & Action out of spite because Clark wasn't in it. The attention just wasn't coming.

- Its getting harder and harder to argue that DC doesn't want its Silver Age-era back. They ARE giving us new stories, but they've officially reclaimed all their icons and said, "We're using these. Deal."

- Want to lower the price of comics? Sell digital comics. The increased sales would, hopefully, mean you wouldn't have to charge so much.

- Now I want to hear more about this Weird World project. Talk to me Alex!

- Jim Lee's a very smart man. He's aware what the company's product needs to become more attractive to consumers.

Green Lantern and Flash panel now, FINALLY!

Flash/Green Lantern (More Here)

- Emerald Warriors has art by Fernando Pasarin?! That guy is AMAZING. The only person nearly as talented as Dale Eaglesham. (Well, others too, but still!)

- Who else sees GL55's description of Lobo versus Atrocitus and goes, "...Gargh."

- Blue Lantern Barry...returning? Is that remotely possible? Would be crazy, but I'd love it.

- Lantern Cereal? Who wants Rage Flakes?

- Appears there could be more resurrections in Brightest Day, but the deaths are done. Hm.

- Would have been great to get more info from Flash, but at the moment Flashpoint is keeping it all a secret.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

C2E2 - Day Two

Okay, this is Day Two of the coverage and I'm a little late, but the last of my schoolwork is bearing down on me. I shouldn't even be doing this post, but making that 150 posts means I have to work a little harder than I might want. Ah well, its just me yakking about stuff I love. What's the problem, right?


- Christos Gage doing Spider-Man/Fantastic Four? With Mario Alberti on art. That's great and all, but I'd rather have Dan Slott. Gage did a great job on the last book, but why take a chance when you've already got someone who's done a great job?

Women of Marvel Panel:

- Okay, what's with this lately? What women's group got in the Big Two's ass so badly that they've been basically throwing out female comics and characters and anthologies left and right? I'm lost.

- There's something to Ms (Mrs.) Schaffer's point that "strong" female characters have often suffered some terrible trauma...but its not gender-neutral. Apparently the only way to have a bad-ass character is to make sure they've been through awful trauma. -_-

- LOL. Its easy to say there should be more women in comics, but everybody (in general) stutters once you bring up minorities. Whether they be male, female, or LGBT--suddenly even forward thinkers go, "Ah, fuck..." Because its REALLY hard to do it.

- Its going to be a slow process. Not just for women, but for anyone who isn't a white male. Because none of us were fed fantasy or superheroics. We were given romance (females) or "street stories" (blacks) or in some cases...absolutely nothing (LGBT), and thus as result the fans who are of a different race or gender or orientation found our way there on our own. No big deal, really.

- That people are still asking how white people can write better minorities or how can guys write women says something to me. And I'd repeat it, but its Sunday.

- "Can we see more She-Hulk (Jen Walters)?" GOOD FUCKING QUESTION. PAD's She-Hulk was one of my favorite comics. Then again, I'm just a fan of really sarcastic, self-aware characters like that, so Jen Walters is perfect to me.

- How can I, as a woman, break into comics, they ask. Most Popular Question In Comics, rephrased. Answer's always the same: Start. Writing.

Sidenote: My next girlfriend MUST be a comics fan. I can't take much more of this, "Oh, you like superheroes? ...Ok.*disinterested look*" stuff. I want one who gets excited and starts listing stuff I should read! >_<
Marvel Animation Panel
:
(More Here)

Okay, the Marvel Animation Panel! This should be exciting. A LOT of big things have happened for Marvel, animation-wise, and people HERE should be able to actually ANSWER stuff. :D

- Newsrama's Poll...answer: Kree-Skrull War, if I have to do something that's an actual poll. Honest answer? Keith Giffen/DnA's Marvel Space epics.

- ...Season Two of Super Hero Squad was greenlit?! B...but they canceled Spectacular Spider-Man! WTF!

- Iron Man is indeed confirmed for a second season. This time 26 episodes. *sighs, depressed* Can the anime please get 26 episodes too? That'd be great, thanks.

- Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes...I'm hyped about this. They should have some pretty interesting stuff planned. Personally, I'd love to see a season focused on Kurt Busiek's run. Just one twenty-six episode season.

- ...The Black Panther cartoon aired in Australia? So, its online and being mocked then. Should've done Christopher Priest's version, and aired it on HBO.

- Dude, just say it. They wanted Spider-Man in-house, and are ALREADY pissed the character's movie rights aren't theirs, so they're remaking Spider-Man under this new brand, even though the base plot will be THE SAME. *sighs* I'm still interested, but they should at least ask Mr. Greg Weisman to, if not oversee, then write a few episodes. I mean, being perfectly fair...I like some of the ideas Bendis has incorporated; turning it into a modern-day Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends could be awesome in cartoon form.

- LOL. Misinformed fans are awesome. "Hey, Disney's making you do that kiddie crap Super Hero Squad, right?" Uhhh...dude, we were making that before the Disney deal even STARTED. Pay attention fans.

- Here's the question: More Marvel anime? Its really getting ahead of things, but if Iron Man's good, I'd LOVE to have a second season. Blade and Wolverine can piss off, but X-Men? Yes, please. Who else has seen the Japanese opening for the 90's series? Ohhh...epic win.

- Some fan wants more Ultimates animated? Why? The first two were awful--and the source material is one big movie! >_< Cup O' Joe :

- An Invaders mini-series by Alex Ross and Christos Gage?! I'm having Marvels flashbacks. Sounds awesome!

- Avengers: The Children's Crusade...Marvel wins an award for this project. Bringing back Allan Heinberg to the loved Young Avengers team while simultaneously handling the loose thread of the past five years of stories, with the Scarlet Witch. Its past time to bring her back into the fold. But, wow...bi-monthly with SIX ISSUES already done? So it'll take another six months to finish the three scripts that aren't done yet? Yeesh. Bi-monthly is not an option in comics today. But, hopefully it does well anyway.

- O.M.I.T. makes me feel like hiding somewhere. The fanrage will be massive. No one can write their way out of it.

- Buying Superman? Ugh. He really WOULD suck then.

- WTF's a third generation comics reader? More to the point, why do that at a con? Isn't that what the internet and LJs are for?

Brightest Day Panel's up next. Back to Comics That Matter!

Brightest Day
Panel:

(More Here)


- They're letting ROBINSON clarify the Starheart energy? Oh, goodness. *sighs*

- He's ALSO handling the JLA/JSA crossover? NO ONE complains about this??? F...*grumbles* I don't hate Robinson, he's just good on a specific set of characters and aside from that...crapshoot.

- I'm bugged by the whole male Hawk thing. You don't see too many women that act like Hawk--that character type is reserved for men.

- So the GA forest is, what...the Forest of Life?

- Someone's going to have to explain to me...and, indeed, everyone else, why the JLI members specifically don't remember Max Lord. WW, if no one else, SHOULD REMEMBER HIM.

- Someone's complaining about Flash #1 not tying in to Brightest Day? WTF. Okay, Barry WORE A BLUE RING. His greatest nemesis was revived because of Brightest Day. Expect something to come of that. -_-

- The newest Green Lantern storyline is about the Emotional Spectrum's entities? Great.

- Don't backpedal, Johns. You said "Brightest Day isn't a banner. It's a story." And it IS. Don't let Flash #1 not tying in take away from that.

- Why is Captain Boomerang skinny again? I got my own question: How come Flash fans ask such stupid questions?

- I'm with Geoff. I wanna see Catman and Hawk fight.

- Sinestro Corps War DVD? Yeah, and work should've started before now.

- Geoff's got plans for the Anti-Monitor...that's worrisome.

- So Geoff's doing the Reverse-Flash's plans in reverse. Hrm. Only time will tell how that will work out.

- Lex Luthor suffering from withdrawal after having the Orange Ring is a great concept.

- The Dibnys should be back, if nothing else, as Ghost Detectives. I think that's vital.

DC Universe Editorial Presentation
:

- Defining Doc Savage as a "great" Hero is nice and all, but I have a personal standard for Heroes (obviously), so if you don't match up, Azzarello, I'll be talking about it.

- Levitz's Legion of Super-Heroes should be awesome, but I wish someone would discuss us seeing, if no other, the Post Zero-Hour Legion. Seriously.

- JSA being bleak is...not what anyone fucking wants from the Justice Society of America.

- No more Year Ones? Shame. They're needed.

- Supergirl in the League? It ain't gonna work. Love how the League is supposed to "tie in" but he's got 4 years planned in advance. There's no way.

- Multiverse stuff in JLA? Could've sworn that was against the rules.

- Glad plans are in store for Captain Marvel.

Whew! That was a long one! Batman Panel, and then we're done for Day Two.

Batman Panel
:

(More Here)

- The Lost Chapter of RIP? I thought we did that already? Blah.

- Announcements coming in October or November. Great. Like what?

- They're considering giving a costume change to Tim Drake. GOOD.

- Fall from prominence after Green Arrow/Black Canary? Ugh. Great idea, poor execution.

- Misfit's back!! I liked her! Vengeance!

- Hrm. Batman Beyond won't fit in "yet"? Me suspects some Time shenanigans.


That's Day Two! *whew* Lots of typing. Day Three tonight, or tomorrow maybe.

Thanks to CBR & Newsarama for doing the major work.



C2E2 - Day One

So, its C2E2, and DC and Marvel both have a presence there. Since there'll be quite a few announcements there, I'll be making comments here and there on what I feel are the most interesting parts. With that in mind, I'm cutting my intro short since I waste far too much time on them.


Just to get it out of the way...comics on Tuesdays? Ehhh, sure. Its still a week between them though, so what's the difference?

- Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier? I would have preferred co-existing Captain America, but that's just me. I'll be reading this, as Ed Brubaker's a good writer, but...suspect. Marvels Project (what I've read of it) did not turn out to be the "Marvels Two" I was looking for. (Marvels 2 wasn't exactly the Marvels 2 I was looking for. >_<) Love his Captain America though, so perhaps this book will be great.

- Time Masters: Vanishing Point. ...Seriously? Excellent work! People have been asking from day one, "...Uhhh....Booster hops through time now, right? How come Rip can't tell him to get Bruce?" Valid question--nice to see they're answering it. Also they're lacing this book with "event hints". So long as they're more substantial than the chalkboard. At some point that just became a grocery list.

Vertigo Comics Panel:

(Not expecting much. Not a big fan of Vertigo stuff outside of Fables.)

- So Jack of Fables continues to focus on his son? Sweet. (Can't believe 50 is so close though.)

...Wow. That's the whole panel? Well, I DID say I'm not a big Vertigo fan....

- Shadowland was mentioned sometime last year as an event with "street-level" heroes. Its apparently a Daredevil event? I keep meaning to read Daredevil, but a jumping-on point has yet to present itself. From what series writer Andy Diggle described, someone hasn't told him its the "Heroic Age".

Marvel Panel
(More Here):

- A Fantastic Four event?? Entitled "3". Quesada was talking multiple "family" events, I'm guessing they'll be along these lines. Fantastic Four is a wonderfully written, beautifully drawn title. I should catch up on it--Solve Everything was moving, emotional stuff full of huge ideas; exactly what the Fantastic Four should be about.

- Avengers Academy Teachers! Roll Call! Tigra, Justice, Hank Pym, Speedball, and Quicksilver. Great line-up; I'd like Firestar around, but oh well.

- For some reason Secret Avengers being finite has generated no small amount of interest.

- Ugh. Comics are killing themselves being so slow to embrace digital stores. Marvel's faster than DC, but they're still talking about LCS. Be SERIOUS, people! Thousands of fans got in through paper comics and won't EVER switch. All you're doing is closing off potential markets.

DC Nation Panel
(More Here):

- First Wave's great and all, but you know what...if you don't want to write superheroes...maybe you shouldn't WORK for the Big Two. Its great that you're talented, but maybe you should work for other companies.

- Red Robin's "heavily involved" with Bruce's return...but he's not going with the Time Masters? More importantly, someone should ask if he can get a renaming later on.

- Who asked about Young Justice characters appearing in Teen Titans? Eighty-one brought back everyone except Tim. A possibility of them getting solo titles sounds awesome, but don't waste a question.

- Multiversity before the end of the year? ....Somehow....I don't see it happening. Tell you what, ask them again in like, three months when SDCC comes around. If they don't announce it by then, and its not in the solicits, then that's a 2011 project. Already its going to have half its issues in that year to begin with.

- The Justice League is going to have more females than males? Yeah...who else remembers Post-IC? There was a big deal made once people realized Power Girl and Black Canary were the leaders of DC's respective biggest teams. But Geoff's Justice Society faded from the spotlight (kinda) and the League never actually DID anything. Hopefully they'll do better this time?

- Pay attention to what's happening with Marvel, DC. You're trying to do something original, but...fans don't want that. They like Grayson as Batman, but as soon as Bruce is in present-day DCU...forget it. That's all they're going to want.

- The Mighty Crusaders mini-series will be it for the Red Circle characters. Shield and The Web both got canceled.

- Someone should ask if there's any chance of seeing Wonder Woman: Earth One. Its necessary, but they need someone talented to do it.

- A Black Canary ongoing? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Be glad she's in Birds of Prey--that's the biggest victory you'll get.

- No, you got Milestone because you wanted Static. If you had plans with them something would have been done by now.

- Its got to burn Geoff [Johns] that Teen Titans hasn't been as good/popular as it used to be since he left. But I'm not sure how you'd fix it save a relaunch and a new creative team with a tweaked line-up.

- Villains for Hire isn't permanent? That's...something? The best thing to do would be to cancel it and move on, but that's me.

- If you disagree with Didio on the importance of made-up cities having their own identities, then go read Marvel or something. Because that's spot on. There's no point in having a made-up city if there's no specific "feel" from it.

- Green Arrow: Secret Origins? Shouldn't you get a writer who's working on the character or HAS worked on the character, rather than saying, "I know! Let's get Geoff!!" He'd be great, but he's not working on the guy so if you saw plot points dropped...he wouldn't be following up. Plus, Green Arrow: Year One is all the origin story you need.

- Ugh. The 60's or the 70's or the 80's aren't coming back, guys. Some people AREN'T monthly buyers. And no matter how great the story is, some people don't want it in chunks. They want the whole thing at once. Stop fighting it--embrace it.

- DC's always more aware of its failures than people think. Notice how nobody's talking about this GIANT EVENT they've got coming out...a mere two weeks from now, in War of the Supermen. Despite great stories and art in Superman, Supergirl, and Superman: World of New Krypton, it wasn't the success they wanted it to be, and the result is a month long series that they're trying to get out, and done with, with very little focus on the aftermath as Paul Cornell and JMS take the reins of Superman's new books.


CBR and Newsarama did the real work here, of course, and thanks to them. I included both versions of each panel because often one had detail on a particular subject the other didn't catch.

Anyway, that's Day One. I'll be back with Day Two in a few hours, and I'll most likely get Day 3 up today as well.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Another Century's Episode R

Known for its super-deformed artstyle, punishing T-RPG gameplay, and a large variety of mecha anime universes all smashing together as one so not only can you have different mecha fight other mecha, but have that Amuro vs. Kira scene you've been writing fanfics about, Super Robot Wars is one of the most popular mecha games of all time.

The one thing I've always wanted, though? Is a new game in the vein of SRW, but that takes advantage of the graphical abilities of a current-gen system with an engine that's more action-oriented. (Basically, an action mecha game combining different mech series.)


Can you imagine my surprise when I learned this game already existed? And had two sequels!

Unfortunately, the last episode was announced as a final installment. Upon learning this my heart sank and I thought I would never see Another Century's Episode on my PS3. But apparently "Final" meant nothing, givbunchen information released earlier this week.

It announces Another Century's Episode R from Banpresto and FROM Software. Neoseeker has the important information--explaining the series that're in ACE and the mecha being used. (Read here.)

I'd rather have Gundam 00 or Wing over Code Geass, but...robots! Check the pics below in the link, and see if the fangasm is avoidable for you. (Need to change my pants, myself.)

Famitsu shows a large number of screenshots for Another Century's Episode R (Famitsu)

Fall release date. Busy season for gaming, this Fall.



Transformers: War for Cybertron

Y'know what, fuck these cute intros. ITS A TRANSFORMERS GAME!!!! One that doesn't look like shit from clip one! FINALLY! I'm in disbelief.


I can't remember when I first heard of this game, but from the first explanation of what the game was supposed to be, it was impossible to avoid being hyped.

With Transformers: Animated the premiere cartoon and the Michael Bay movies still freshly in theatres, and even the proper G1 TF comic book nixed and replaced with a pale would-be reflection of what it once was, I expected absolutely nothing from the gaming arena that wouldn't be based in anything I was interested in.

Then along comes this game, a multiplatform third person action game set in the distant past on Cybertron. No humans, no stupid transformers that look completely retarded--just Autobots versus fucking Decepticons. Blowing each other the fuck up in a massive civil war, just like people wanted IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Oh. And Peter Cullen as Optimus. Autobots? Roll. Out. (Release date has been announced today. June 22nd. Early summer? Great timing.)

Info here:
Transformers: War for Cybertron Trailer 1 (GameTrailers)
Transformers: War for Cybertron Interview (Kotaku)
Transformers: War for Cybertron Trailer 2 (On the Spot)



Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spider-Man in a decent game? To think, the last good one was just eight years ago...

I don't really talk about things I don't like on this site. That said, I've made no secret of the fact that I'm not a fan of the new Batman game. I'm sure its a great game and you actually FEEL like Batman and all that, but...

I don't want to spend the entire game inside the most boring (to me) part of the Batman-universe. I want a Hero version of GTA, where I battle gangs and buy hide-outs and shiny shit with my bucketloads of money.

Barring a decent open-world game, at least provide me with more than one level. I'm big on superheroes, but one must have standards. This latest Spider-Man game, appears to meet said standards.

The game's subtitled, "Shattered Dimensions", and while the developers gave up the open world deal Spider-Man games have used since PS2's Spider-Man, Activision has embraced another idea which is native to comic books: alternate universes.

Someone give the developers a prize. I've never gone into this much, but I love alternate universe versions of superheroes. Watching a hero's mythology re-created in different ways for other settings is absolutely fascinating.

Here, with this game, there are four worlds--one based on Amazing Spider-Man, another based on the mini-series set in the Noir universe. That's what's been announced, but recently a picture surfaced of a bonus variant costume for Spider-Man. As always, the Captain Universe suit. Its offered for all four Spider-Man worlds, offering somewhat of a sneak preview for the other two worlds.

Click this for the pictures. My guess places the remaining two worlds as "Symbiote Spider-Man" and "Spider-Man 2099". No clue how they intend to sell Peter Parker in the symbiote suit as a different character, but the 2099 world should be kick ass.

Destructoid has more information.

Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions Preview

Trailer for "Amazing" and "Noir"
.

Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions Interview


Hyped isn't the word. And given I grew up watching Spider-Man, knowing each version is voiced by previous VAs for everyone's friendly neighborhood Spider-Man means playing the game is going to give me numerous nostalgia trips. Waking up Saturday morning to watch Fox Kids. Flashback!

While I fade into sepia-toned reminiscing, view the links. Then be back in ten for info on other games.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A New Digimon?! And no one told me???

I sort of missed Savers and it never quite grabbed me when it aired on XD. The last series I saw was Tamers, which had its great points but worked hard to "Grow the Beard". Digimon's not really the series to do that with, so Tamers ended up rather generic.

Digimon Adventure 02's best bits involved Digimon Adventure 01's characters, but it was still a decent series at the time.

After a season like this, a new Digimon series could shake things up a bit, at least in terms of kids' action shows.

Should it come out in 2010 it'll probably be for the Fall wave of shows. I'll be keeping up with this as more news trickles out.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Comics Hype Calendar 2010 January through April

Wow, I meant for this to be out sometime in March or so, but things did not go according to the plan. Ah well, screw it. You know what this is. Last year I noticed all the amazing projects coming out for 2009 and I went through them all, month by month. I very much wanted to do a part two, but the information came in dribs and drabs after that--never a flood large enough to coalesce into a Sage-length blog post.

But thanks to The Source's DCU in 2010 week in December and a few other announcements that were made along with solicitations up to June...the Comics Calendar is back! I'm a few months late, so I'll do a quick over view of January through March before getting on to what's next for the year. Ready? Here we go.





January

Siege - The big "change everything" event from Marvel Comics in 2009. Brian Bendis has made a point of saying this is a major turning point, and has structured it in such a way that it cuts right to the point, and the entire comic book is just a short four issues long. I haven't read a comic of Brian Bendis' since Avengers: Disassembled back in 2004, and the primary reason he's got me reading this is the promise that the Big Three (Captain America, Thor, Iron Man) would unite again, which has not happened since Geoff Johns' crossover story back in '03. So far, what the fans were promised has been delivered on, and although personally I think Ares versus Sentry should've gone exactly the way it did if you were to switch who lost, its been a decent story. And, after this month's #4 (...REALLY late on this one, sorry guys) Marvel will be entering the Heroic Age.

'Bout time.

Joe the Barbarian
- Another Grant Morrison epic. After writing one of the greatest comics of 2008 and blowing people away with his Batman series one of my favorite writers of all time is back at Vertigo, telling the story of a teenage boy with diabetes who's on a quest...to make it downstairs to find his medicine before he dies. Along the way, he begins to hallucinate his home as a far away fantasy kingdom that only he can save from King Death. Its like Flex Mentallo without the superhero tie, but I'm rather certain there are twists coming to make this one another good indy comic.


February


Last Stand of New Krypton - Last year's World of New Krypton was one of the best ongoing comics of 2009, with beautiful artwork and excellent world-building from writers Greg Rucka & James Robinson and artist Pete Woods, and I firmly believe that you could do an Elseworlds series like that for at least 100 issues if allowed to bring in elements of the DC Universe as this series did whenever appropriate. However as of March 1st, World of New Krypton is ended (*sniffles*), and this mini-series, Last Stand of New Krypton, has taken its' place.

For those unaware, after his last encounter with Brainiac, Superman discovered a metropolitan Kryptonian city that had been captured before Krypton exploded. The ramifications of the city growing to full size was dealt with in 2008's Superman: New Krypton story, while the Kryptonians having their own planet has been dealt with in all the Superman comics (primarily World of New Krypton). Well now, Brainiac's back. And he wants what's his. But with the Kryptonians having the same powers as Superman now, he's got a completely different fight on his hands, I think.

Another fast-paced big action comic. And the Legion's involved! Which reminds me...



Brainiac and the Legion of Super-Heroes - Geoff being allowed to do Flash: Rebirth and Flash meant he had to leave Adventure Comics. I'm saddened by this, as having him on Legion has been something I wanted for years. His short run on the team left a number of plot threads that were supposed to be followed up both here and in other Superman books are now being wrapped up in this four month long inter-connected story. Adventure Comics, Last Stand of New Krypton, Supergirl, and Superman all combine to tell one massive story. That thing I said, about all the Kryptonians having the same powers as Superman?

...Well, that's apparently worthless, as they still end up losing to Brainiac. Or at least, they would, if the LSH Espionage Squad had not come back in time to stop Brainiac and save Superman's life. It isn't happening the way I want it, but they've still got my attention.



First Wave - When you've managed to create one of the most popular comics of the new millenia, standing alongside epics that people will be placing on their Top # lists for years, your next step has got to be to create a pulp universe with Doc Savage, The Spirit, the Blackhawks...oh, and Batman. With guns. Wait, what?

Yeah. When First Wave was announced, I knew it would be a great comic, and I still believe it is, after having read the first issue. With the writer/artist team of Azzarello (100 Bullets) and Rags Morales (Hawkman), DC is on its way to creating a line of books for those who are sick of superheroes but could do with a taste of detectives, zeppelins and classic pulp tales. (Hopefully Azzarello has more planned than this, though.)

X-Factor Forever
- The "Forever" branding is one of the strangest ideas either Marvel or DC has ever put forth. I can't tell how much I like it, because as of yet no one's done it who I'm terribly interested in. We all know how American superhero comic books work. A writer works on a book until more interesting title comes along or they're out of ideas and they move on, and someone else gets his turn. Theoreticaly, this refreshes the character with new, interesting stories every few years. The "Forever" line, however...it takes someone who has done a particularly popular run on characters and goes back to the last time they were on the book and lets them tell their own stories set on another world.

When it comes to Marvel, I'm not especially big on most of their old work, so while the concept has potential, I didn't think I'd ever be all that interested, until this idea came along. Before X-Factor was Peter David's brilliant superhero-noir title, the book was Marvel's way of getting the original five X-Men into one title and telling stories with them. I wasn't around for this era of comics, but I've a decent nose for revivals I might like and I've always been huge on the original five X-Men, so when it was announced Louise Simonson was writing a mini-series beginning from her last issue of X-Factor, well, it earned her a spot on my Hype Calendar.

April





Firestar - I grew up reading Kurt Busiek's Avengers, a comic that had one of the most Avenger-y line-ups both of the last decade or of this one. Busiek made sure he got all the big guys on the team, the B-List people without whom you don't truly have an Avengers title, and two new members: Justice and Firestar. A superhero couple previously on the New Warriors, Busiek took these newbie heroes and put them on the premiere super-team and sent them on some of the biggest adventures they or the team had ever seen. In the process, he made me a huge Firestar fan. Just a one-shot but in June she'll be in the Young Allies. Hoping for awesomeness.



Black Widow - Ever known a writer who's work you REALLY thought was good, but none of the projects they'd done yet appealed to you, so despite knowing they're talented, you're not following anything they've done? This is the case with me, and Marjorie Liu. I KNOW she's a good writer, but I missed the boat on NYX, and Dark Wolverine...just made me want to kick someone, so I've yet to check her work out. The same really is true with Black Widow, as a character who I have some interest in but has never had the right creative team.

It'll be canceled inside a few months because Daniel Acuna is a great portrait artist but does action stuff for crap, but right now, I'm going to sit back and enjoy the stories Ms. Liu has in mind. Superhero-spy thrillers have been on a downward trend since Checkmate got canceled.



Marvel Her-Oes - MAN that's a stupid title. Also, who'd Marvel piss off that they've got to create this many female titles to appease readers? I don't have a problem with it (some HAVE made it to my Hype Calendar, after all); just curious is all.

Anyways, Marvel Heroes (spelled the other way it sounds like cereal) has a familiar twist that I would hate if done for television, but as a comic I'm all for it: Take the A-List female superheroes turned teenagers, put them in a school setting, and wait for following insanity. No clue what brought this on, but I'm all for it--I can use a break from huge action stories the Big Two normally does.



Iron Man: Legacy - Iron Man 2 comes out in May, so naturally Marvel has a second ongoing for my favorite Marvel hero coming out in April. If I'm not mistaken, writer Fred Van Lente previously did the all-ages Iron Man Adventures comic book, which was a short, but stellar series. Legacy appears to be going the "Untold Tales of Iron Man" route, going into his past and showing us stories we've never seen before from it. FVL's shown he can write Iron Man, now he just needs to show he can do it weaving through continuity.



Brightest Day -
(Blackest Night spoilers coming....)

DC's epic event Blackest Night is over. And now comes, the Brightest Day. Oh, sweet. Initially we all wondered just WHAT Brightest Day could possibly be about...but BN8 hit this Wednesday, so now we're aware Brightest Day will be following the few dead who returned to life in Blackest Night 8.

A 26 issue, bi-weekly series by Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi, Brightest Day feels like a second 52, and hopefully that feeling turns out to be accurate.


Flash - We're skipping past all the bad "Fastest Man Alive had the slowest relaunch" cracks. You know what this is. Geoff Johns. Francis Manapul. Barry Allen. First arc, Dastardly Death of the Rogues. Plus Captain Boomerang has some strange changes he has to deal with after his resurrection from the end of Blackest Night. Its Geoff Johns building up the mythology of the Flash. I'm expecting awesomeness.



Doc Savage - What I know about Doc Savage is that he's ABC character Tom Strong is an analogue of. Other than that, he's a pulp hero and the star of Azzarello's aforementioned First Wave. In addition to being placed in his own universe, the pulp hero Doc Savage is now being given his own title written by Paul Malmont and drawn by Howard Porter (also known as "I drew the best JLA run in the last ten years). The writer's an unknown but Howard Porter's one of the greatest artists of our era.




The Spirit - Michael Eisner's Spirit character is back. After a critically acclaimed series by Darwyn Cooke, The Spirit is being placed into the First Wave universe and given another ongoing. Proof positive ongoings in universe do better than standalones, its caught my interest this time and I'll be following this to see how it fits in with our other First Wave series.

We'll stop there for now. There's more but...yeesh. June's a looooong month.

Spring Anime Picks 2010

Just two years ago, my Spring choices were near 20--which was around half of what was being offered. Not bad, I thought. This year? *sighs*

First off, let's have a look at the chart:






Heroman




What It's About: Heroman is the story of a kid named Joey who lives on the west coast of the United States. He unearths a toy robot and discovers it has the ability to become "Hero Man", a giant robot he pilots to fight against aliens and other threats.

Why I'm Interested: I'm not sure I am, but I intend to give the first episode a try. We've been lacking in giant robot stories lately, though so I figured why not. Also, its created by Stan Lee, if that means anything to anyone else. But if its a lot like Eureka 7...I'm Ghost Like Swayze.

Shin Koihime Musou: ~ Otome Tairan ~





What It's About:
The third season of the loli/bishoujo version of Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Shin Koihime Musou continues our story of following Kannu-tachi on their quest to...I don't know. Look cute and make jokes about being lesbians?

Why I'm Interested: ...What, really? Go back up and look at the synopsis. No, its not brilliant. It'll never win awards, and won't chart on most people's Top # anime lists. But its FUN. Last season had a Macross-esque song battle! How do you beat that?

B Gata H Kei



What It's About: Yamada is a virgin high school student who dreams of having 100 casual sex partners. However, she ends up targeting and pursuing only one boy.

Why I'm Interested: ...They're REALLY making this? An anime about a teenage girl who's a nymph? WTF, Japan?! And WHO'S doing the voice? Tamura Yukari-chan...? N-NANOHA?! >_<

SD Gundam Sangokuden: Brave Battle Warriors



What It's About:
Re-imagining of the Three Kingdoms era featuring super-deformed Gundams.

Why I'm Interested: This is why anime isn't popular anymore, Japan. This season alone, you have FOUR Sangoku-era imaginings. This isn't even your history, guys! WTF. *sighs* But, Gundams. It'll be my last Sangoku retelling for some time, but I'm just not built to turn down mecha battles in the Sangoku period. Its an idea just insane enough to catch my attention.


Senkou no Night Road



What It's About: The story is set in Shanghai in 1931, when the Imperial Japanese Army has been dispatched to mainland China due to the relatively recent First Sino-Japanese War, Russo-Japanese War, and World War I. In this cosmopolitan city of intrigue, there is a special military spy organization called "Sakurai Kikan" that has since been buried in history.

Why I'm Interested: Intrigue. 1930's setting. Spies. Superpowers. The only series I'm following this season for plot rather than laughs, it hits more than a few hot buttons for me, so I'm hoping they have a decent enough plot to keep me interested, but honestly at this point I'd take a shonen-esque plot to balance out all this freaking COMEDY.


Mayoi Neko Overrun



What It's About: The story revolves around Takumi Tsuzuki, a boy who lives with his older "sister" Otome, although the two have no blood ties between them. Otome manages a run-down confectionery store called Stray Cats. One day, Otome picks up a mysterious beautiful girl off the streets.

Why I'm Interested: Possibility of catgirls? Can easily get dropped if its no good. Especially with Kiss x Sis coming out.


Kiss x Sis




What It's About: Keita has two older step-sisters, Ako and Riko, but since they aren't related by blood, they love him in a lustful way. After a mishap at school, Ako and Riko finally confess their love to him. Keita dislikes the thought of seeing them other then brother and sister, but as he tries to enter the same school as his sisters, he slowly becomes attracted to them.

Why I'm Interested: Romance series bore me normally, with exceptions. This is an exception. In all honesty, romances are a dime a dozen and without something to distinguish them, like the relationships involved, how they're portrayed, or character portrayals. A positive look at not really incest counts as distinguishing, so I'll be watching this.

That's me. What're you all watching?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Just One More Minute...

I intended to write several additions for JiH this past week, but as you can clearly see, that didn't happen.

After Spring Break, I had a particularly difficult week ahead of me in my classes, and I knew this. My usual assignments, as well as several new ones were due. Knowing this, the last goal for Spring Break was clear:

A good night's sleep to be ready for the grueling week ahead.

I just knew I would go to bed at 12, just after I got through this one chapter in Final Fantasy XIII. Square's latest opus, which I bought the week BEFORE Spring Break and saved until I had free time for it, unfortunately got off to a rather slow start, and it wasn't until Friday that I finally got far enough in it for the game to grow especially interesting to me.

Saturday's always a "busy" night (busy meaning I'm sleep until I have to go out, and by the time I get back there's only a few hours before I need to sleep again), and I spent most of Sunday working at my other goals for the week (yes, a list of stuff to do ON Spring Break), so it was not until 11PM I picked up my PS3 controller to begin playing.

Checking the strategy guide, I noticed the next Chapter (Five) was rather short, so I decided, "I'll give up an hour, and maybe I can make it through!"

I forgot about Final Fantasy's tendency for exceptionally long cutscenes, the fact that I rolled a 2 for Concentration for myself and can't stay focused on just one thing longer than 20 minutes at a time (I screwed around for at least an hour on random internet crap), and that I'd meant to get up early and do a favor for my mother so I'd set my clock to wake me up an hour earlier the next day.

Essentially, I make it to bed at 3....and I'm stirred from my rest at seven sharp. Shockingly, I get out of bed almost immediately...but fall over in the bathroom trying to get ready. I have somewhat under two hours to get completely ready for school, but somehow this turns into 45 minutes after I pass out. Twice.

My ride appears at 8:40 or so, and I'm still working on the favor for my mother. Given that it isn't nice to piss off your ride by making them wait, I decide the favor can be done when I'm done for the day, and head out. Its rough going, but I pull off my 9-1 schedule, and theoretically I should be able to get home and sleep for a few hours before studying for my Psychology test.

...Except my ride does not materialize until after 4, and I'm dragged along on a side-trip to run an errand. This takes another hour, so I don't see my house until 5:30PM. Well, I've got studying to do, so I forego a nap and try to make some headway on my notes and write the Composition paper that's due Wednesday.

...But I attempt to do this from my laptop, which means I can lie down while I'm doing it, and...yep. I pass out. Not for a couple of hours, but from 7PM until 2:30. When I awake, I realize I've gotten nowhere NEAR the amount of work done I was aiming for, and so I set to work on my notes.

I work for about two hours and wrap up one-third of what I need and part of the second third (three chapters per test). By the time I finish that, and attempt to find the words for my paper for another hour (I fail), its 5AM and I KNOW the couple hours sleep I'd get would just leave me sluggish. So I just choose to stay up, which isn't that helpful either. Psychology class runs from 9:30-10:45, and we're covering the last part of Chapter 11. Now, clearly here I should have the time I need to get home and sleep, right?

Wrong again. I have a math test next Monday (this past Monday), so my math teacher has hastily added a bit of homework and a quiz that's due Wednesday. Well my Wednesdays are rather busy and I certainly just don't have the time to go to the Math Lab and waste an hour. (The math quizzes can only be taken in my school's Math Computer Lab.) So rather than risk missing both the quiz and the homework, I'd already decided to take it Tuesday.

But as mentioned, I am exhausted. My eyes are closing in the middle of the work. Between Homework and the Quiz, I have 45 problems to solve on material I just learned. I passed out at least twice for a full minute. Maybe more, I was half-unconscious. All-in-all, I work at those problems from 10:30-1:50, from homework until my quiz is finished. 67, which is my lowest grade this year.

I leave the Math Lab tired and irritated, and I have to wait until after 4 for my ride home. I make it home and spend a couple hours researching my subject and attempting to discover sources. After finding the best ones I can, I set to work writing my paper. Drained but determined, I stay up, refusing to sleep again and leave myself no time to write my last paper. Normally, I can wrap five paragraphs up inside ninety minutes, but for some reason, I have writer's block. By now I have usually figured out a good subject, the opening lines, and most importantly the gist of what I'll be saying in every paragraph, etc...but not this time. This time I merely have the two sentences I typed in my phone and saved in its Notepad program. I eke out what I can, and its 1AM when I get to bed. (I decide to work on my notes Wednesday.)

Still adjusting to actually having slept, I'm sluggish getting out of bed, but attend class with little incident.

...Of course, its around this time I recall that I have a reading assignment due. 16 pages. Wonderful. I forego that to work on my notes for my test tomorrow while waiting on my ride. I get home in time to study, but I get OCD about my notes (I haven't written steadily in so long that I'm obsessive even after three months about writing everything perfectly) at this point and my writing's at a snail's pace. Then I decide in the middle of that to switch to notecards.

Yeah, I'm two-thirds through my notes and NOW I decide to switch formats. Brilliant. I get some notecards done and then pass out for the night at about 2AM.

Five hours later (in my head I think, "I should really change my alarm clock back...why on Earth am I getting up at 7AM?"), I'm up and working on notecards again. There's nowhere NEAR enough time for me to get all my notes done, but, no sense in bitching about it. Its my fault for getting all OCD about it and I refuse to cut myself slack for my BS. I study what I have plus the Chapter Reviews and head to class. I'm munching on a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit (favorite breakfast) when I get to class to take the test.

I'm not nearly confident enough in my ability to pass it, but (with a lot of prayer and faith) I manage to nab a 88. Not the best grade I could get, but considering at best I felt I knew about 20% of the last chapter...I took it and ran.

...Straight to the freaking Math Lab again. I've had more sleep this time, but a new problem presents itself this time. I have a thirty question quiz to take...in about 60 minutes. I get three tries, but usually only need two to net a perfect score. With my last quiz grade crap, a perfect score would help me to make up for this one, so I set to work. Of course, with sixty minutes and thirty problems, not much time is left for problem checking, especially when graph drawing is involved.

I REALLY want to get cracking and out of there as I really have yet another assignment due Friday...but my first score is a 82. I missed six problems. People who give up the chance to improve their grades because they don't "feel like doing it over" shouldn't be in college, so I take it again.

88. I'm REALLY pissed at this point, and debating whether its worth an hour of my time to retake a quiz, but go with it. This time I take down no notes (corrected the first two anyway), and basically only do scratch work for the problems which require it, and finish with 7 minutes to spare. 90. An A at college, and I can't retake it anyway.

But by now I've pissed away three hours, so I just decide to say screw it and go to the Student Union to relax. So I think. I'm there four minutes and I get an IM from a classmate.

"Hey, where are you?"

"Uhhh...the Union."

"Can you come get my paper and do a peer review for me?"

"(Inwardly: FUCK.) Yeah, sure. Where are you?"

"I'm in Cresswell."

"*is new to the school and thinks that's some kind of sandwich* Uhhh...where's that?"

"Its right by Allen Hall."

"(This time outloud: FUCK!) Uhm...okay. I'll be there in a few minutes."

So with a 20lb. backpack on and holding a large umbrella, I set on my way to Allen. Mind you, for those who've never been to MSU, Allen Hall's at least a fifteen minute walk uphill the entire way. Add in another 5 minutes to figure out and walk to where Cresswell is, and its a 40 minute walk with a 20lb. backpack on because I've no place to put it and no one I can trust to watch it.

It was 2:15 or so when I made it to the Union. Its 3:00 when I find my way back after attaining yet another refill of my Hi-C, courtesy of Chick-Fil-A. (I'd sing their theme song if they had one, but they don't. You're missing out on free advertising, man!)

So by this time, I realize I should probably get on that reading assignment. I make it through about five pages when I realize...my ride's rather late today. A quick phone call gets me berated for asking about it, and I spend another hour waiting before it arrives.

Its 5:30 now. As it so happens, once a month, on a Thursday, I get together with one of my oldest friends (back when we used to have chest hair dandruff) and some of his friends to do some board games and/or card games. Contrary to what you might think, I'm actually a very social person and won't actually turn down the opportunity to...be around people unless its absolutely necessary. I firmly believe I've got plenty of strength to do that, get home and finish my last assignments for the week, so I head home and relax for less than an hour before they call me.

Its somewhere around 7 when I realize this is the first thing I've done for myself other than sleep all week. I have an excellent time, and we hit up a fast food place for dinner before heading home to get started on schoolwork again. I manage to get a shower in, change clothes, and its around 11:30 or so.

Now, here I realize a great idea would have been to listen to my inner self. All I needed to do was do the work at my desktop. Just, do the work at my desktop. But that's too easy. Too simple. Instead, I go, "I know! I'll work in my nice, comfy bed on my laptop!"

CRASH.

I wake up at 8AM (I've changed my alarm back! Brilliant move.) and realize I've got two Peer Reviews to do for my classmates' Composition papers. Which means two papers to read, proofread, and comment on. Oh, and I also need to figure out my scanner. I only have one Peer Review worksheet (which my fellow classmate so graciously signed on the "Writer" line for me...) and I need two.

Hurriedly, I dress myself while reading the first paper and making mild corrections, scribbling down something I really hope makes sense before I get the daily "Are you up? Time for school!!!!" call from my mother. My ride's coming at 8:40, and I have...well, twenty more minutes.

I get about half of it done when I make it to the car. My "friendly chauffeur" offers the suggestion that, perhaps, I should work on the papers on the way to school. I do, but there's still more scribbling to be done and I'm not WHOLLY sure I've proofread either paper right.

I get to school about six minutes before class and decide to grab a chicken biscuit before going. By the time its ready, I look at my clock, and a sudden realization hits me: I'm in college, and this teacher does not CARE if I'm late. Its 8:58 and there's no chance of me getting there at 9 anyway.

I stop, and notice an empty chair that I hop into. I finish my breakfast, carefully read over both papers and finish the neccessary Peer Reviews before heading to class. I arrive at about 9:15.

What does my teacher tell me? "Huh. I believe this is the first time you've ever been late."

I say, "Yep," sit down, and she continues teaching without incident. (Have to remember I'm in college now.) She spends the next 35 minutes telling us how shitty our First Drafts are and I'm thinking, "Crap, this is the worst one I've done so far. She's DEFINITELY talking to me."

But no. The First Drafts are handed back with minor corrections. For a moment I believe college is done kicking my ass for the week....when I remember I have an hour to read the last nine pages of my reading assignment for the final class.

For whatever reason, I've become somewhat OCD in reading as well. Despite possessing a comprehension level that consistently tests at 90+%, I find myself re-reading the same things again and again, slowing my speed and each page takes forever.

Fortunately, two of the pages happened to be a nice, easily read poem, and the rest rushed by fast enough. I was two minutes late to my final class, but I was informed, able to participate in the discussion, and (I'm guessing) aced the quiz. After a few hours waiting in the Union, then grabbing dinner and making it home, it finally hit me:

All this was because I wanted to get a few extra minutes in on Final Fantasy.