Saturday, November 28, 2009

New Comics Day (Belated)

I'm sure the delay is understandable - this week's comics haul :

  • Guardians of the Galaxy #20
  • Fantastic Four #573
  • Incredible Hercules #138
  • Madame Xanadu #17
  • Tarot #59
  • World's Finest #2
  • The Web #3
  • Justice League : Cry for Justice #5*
  • Gotham City Sirens #6
  • Superman #694*
  • Detective Comics #859
  • Justice Society of America #33
  • Wonder Woman #38
  • Superman : Secret Origin #3
  • Teen Titans #77
  • Justice League of America #39
  • Green Lantern #48
  • Blackest Night #5
* So, James Robinson produces the worst comic moment and best comic moment of the week. What the hell, man? (That would be Arsenal and 'Mitch', respectively.)

Blackest Night continues to entertain. And I think I may be back on Fantastic Four for the long haul.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Toy Hunting, Addendum

Well! I found a great little site with good visual representations of the figures from two of the three lines I collect! Infinite Heroes, sadly, does not have pictures on the site, but Marvel Universe and DC Classics do!

DC Classics :
Marvel Universe :

So those are excellent resources for people who'd like to see the scope of the toylines in question.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Toy Hunting

I made thr rounds at the local Wal-Marts, Targets, and Toys 'R Us this weeknd, looking for new toys, after managing to score DC Classics Wave 1 Batman and Penguin from Amazon for decent prices.

One Wal-Mart had a new set of Marvel Universe figures - Wolverine (Blue and Gold costume, no mask); Jean Grey; Vision; Sunfire (listed as 'Marvel's Sunfire', perhaps for trademark reasons?); and Warpath (in X-Force garb).

And a Spider-Man (House of M variant). I admit it, I was weak.

Another Wal-Mart had four of the seven members of DC Classics Wave 10 - the Imperiex Wave. Picked up Batman (Black costume); Robotman II; Beast Boy; and Power Girl. Still need Forager, Joker, and Man-Bat.

All in all, good hunting.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Comics Day

Pretty good week!
  • Invincible #68
  • Irredeemable #8
  • Azrael #2
  • Supergirl #47
  • Batman : Streets of Gotham #6
  • Brave and the Bold #29
  • Justice Society of America 80 Page Giant #1
  • Outsiders #24
  • Superman/Batman #66
  • Adventure Comics #4
  • Flash : Rebirth #5
Wow. Brother Power the Geek! Outsiders and Adventure come with Violet and Blue Lantern rings, respectively. Azrael is really on the bubble for me, but it's not bad, just not terribly engaging. And of course, Flash : Rebirth continues to be awesome.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Venture Brothers 4.05 - The Revenge Society

I had to clean brain matter off the blinds behind my couch Monday evening, because my mind was officially blown. 'The Revenge Society' gives us our best insights yet into the Guild of Calamitous Intent since 3.11 - "ORB". As a matter of fact, this episode directly sequelizes :
  • 2.12-2.13 - Showdown at Cremation Creek
  • 3.01 - Shadowman 9 : In the Cradle of Destiny
  • 3.03 - The Invisible Hand of Fate
  • 3.11 - ORB
Fun bits :

We see the faces of two members of the Council of Thirteen - Councilman 3 "Red Mantle", and Councilman 8 "Dragoon". Phantom Limb returns. We learn the original purpose of the Guild of Calamitous Intent. We learn who is considered to be the rightful heir to the title of Sovereign. We learn the (well, one) secret of ORB. The peculiar genesis of the Guild's association with musicians is revealed. Most entertainingly, we get thirty additional seconds of the flashback featured in episode 3.11.

I didn't pick up on it when I watched the episode, but Wikipedia confirms - Councilman 3 and 8 are supposed to be Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper, respectively.

Things I liked, especially :
  • Rusty gives Dean an effective motivational speech.
  • Lloyd Venture's little secret.
  • The other members of the Revenge Society.
  • David Bowie screws with Dr. Venture's head.
  • Fantomas's musical inclinations.
  • Phantom Limb's new look.
Three more episodes until the mid-season break.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay

I roused myself from playing video games this weekend to attend a somewhat unique event. There's a group of guys working to bring a new comic and gaming store to Morgantown, and in advance of that, they're doing some thing to build.. buzz, or hype, or whatever MBA's and ad execs are calling it these days.

To that end, they'd arranged for space at the local public library to demonstrate the new Warhammer Fantasy RPG on Saturday and Sunday. I opted for Sunday, as parking is free on Sundays. The guys running the event seemed nice enough, though the Sunday event was more sparsely attended than was the Saturday, I understand.

I'll try just about any game once, and Warhammer wasn't bad. They have a novel compound dice pool used for resolving actions. The game has extremely high production values, too. There is a *lot* of kibble, though. Tokens, chits, cards, smaller cards, bigger cards. A lot of things waiting to be swatted off the table by a cat, or vacuumed, or stained beyond legibility by spilled soda.

We ran through a short combat encounter, and it was certainly novel. I'd probably play it again, but there's relatively little chance of me dropping $100 on the core rules set.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Comics Day

Decent haul this week. Big surprises with Blackest Night stuff!

  • The Incredibles #2
  • Sword #1
  • X-Babies #2
  • Fables #90
  • Batman / Doc Savage Special #1
  • Titans #19
  • The Shield #3
  • Green Arrow / Black Canary #26
  • R.E.B.E.L.S. #10
  • Red Robin #6
  • Batgirl #4
  • JSA vs. Kobra #6
  • Batman and Robin #6
  • Batman #693
  • Action Comics #883
  • Green Lantern Corps #42
  • Booster Gold #26

I picked up the first issue of Sword on the recommendation of my comic store owner - said it was reminiscent of Giffen-era Justice League. I can see where he's coming from, but it's too soon to tell what the overall tone of the book will be.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Marvel Action Figures

The Marvel Universe 3.75 inch line - pretty nifty, really. The figures are all decently articulated. If I have one criticism of the line, it's that there are too many repaints and variants of the same characters. So let's take a look, shall we?

Matt Murdock, Male Model

Matt Murdock, Male Model

Daredevil is a fairly typical figure of the line. His head sits on a ball joint, which gives full rotation and a little wiggle room for up/down motion. The torso is jointed below the ribcage with another ball joint - so you can angle him forward or backward a little, or twist him all the way around. Some figures in the line (Spider-Man, most females) also have a swivel at the waist.

Neaaaar.. Faaaar.. Wherever you arrrre..

'Neaaaar.. Faaaar.. Wherever you arrrre..'

The arms are pretty well-jointed. The shoulders are a standard swivel-hinge allowing full rotation and generally good back and forth movement at any point in the rotation. I say generally good because some figures are so muscle bound that getting their arms to lay close at their sides is next to impossible. Below the shoulder is another swivel joint - missing on the skinny-armed female figures. The elbow is a standard hinge, and the wrist is a full rotator.

I'm Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. McFarlane..

'I'm Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. McFarlane..'

The hips are ball-jointed, which gives a pretty good range of motion, though good luck trying to move the legs back further than the vertical. The knees are double-hinged, which is a nice touch. The ankles on most figures are swivel hinges, which is good for foot fetishists, I suppose? Ironically, the Silver Surfer, who could use the extra articulation to, I dunno, stand on his surfboard, lacks the swivel on his ankles.

Bub 2 : Bub Harder

Bub 2 : Bub Harder

And then there's the variants. Oddly, the 'Stealth' Wolverine came out before the regular one got a release in one of the Secret Wars two-packs.

Mecha Shiva! Mecha Shiva!

'Mecha Shiva! Mecha Shiva!'

Johnny Storm's 'semi-flame' variant is wholly uninteresting, but it was all I could find until the flaming variant became common with the Secret Wars two-packs.

You think this 'A' on my head stands for this pocket French Dictionary behind me?

'You think this 'A' on my head stands for this pocket French Dictionary behind me?'

Oddly again, Ultimate Cap was the first regular release, and regular Cap only appeared with the Secret Wars packs. They're both poor at holding their shields, regrettably.

Carol Danvers and Olivia Newton-John

Carol Danvers and Olivia Newton-John

I'm not sure why Ms. Marvel merits a variant. I'm not sure why her variant classic costume has bowlegs. I'm not sure I want to know.

Wonder-Ninja powers, activate! Form of.. Cannon Fodder!

'Wonder-Ninja powers, activate! Form of.. Cannon Fodder!'

I do like that there are variant Hand Ninja. The Red one was single-carded, the white one came in a three-pack with a SHIELD agent and a HYDRA Agent.

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Smash No Evil

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Smash No Evil

That's right. Three Hulks. Modern Hulk (single-card), Red Hulk (single-card) and Classic Hulk (Secret Wars two-pack).

The New Defenders

The New Defenders

Some figures have variants I don't buy. The Punisher has a single-carded modern variant and a single-carded Classic look. They're mostly indistinguishable other than a slight change in the uniform color and a slight recession of Frank's hairline. I'm not sure which one I bought. There's also a three-pack with an Iron Man variant (about which, more later) and Daredevil (Yellow Costume) and Silver Surfer (painted white instead of silver). Pass.

Stark Industries is not a Cheertocracy.

'Stark Industries is not a Cheertocracy.'

And Iron Man is the current reigning champ with five variants. Two of them are classic-look armors with different paint jobs, and three are modern/ultimate armors, with differing paint jobs. I skipped 'classic stealth' Iron Man in that three-pack. Of course, I would've thought they'd have done War Machine by now.



Spider-Man has fewer variants than Tony, but his variants are often packaged with other figures. There are, in fact, two distinct Spider-Men as far as I can tell, but there were three single-carded versions - one black and white, two red and blue. the only difference in the second red and blue, as far as I can tell, is that he was upside down in the package.

Here comes the Spider-Maaaaaaaan!

'Here comes the Spider-Maaaaaaaan!'

So, I have six Spider-Men. I'm weak.

Since there is, sadly, no 3.75 inch Dazzler figure to borrow one from as of yet, I had to construct the microphone pictured, myself.

Since there is, sadly, no 3.75 inch Dazzler figure to borrow one from as of yet, I had to construct the microphone pictured, myself.

Table Talk : Disapproval

My gaming group was at something of a loss this weekend. With one player missing, we didn't want to run a game where she'd created a character - which basically left us with one option, Eric's Stargate game. Which he didn't feel up to running.

So we had to have a brainstorming session about what would be run. Kurt and Eric presented several options, all new stuff that we hadn't touched. I briefly pondered doing a Serenity game, but quickly dismissed the idea. We finally settled on one of Eric's pitches - a low-power superhero-type game, somewhat like Heroes in tone. The game would be set in modern-day India.

After confirming that I could not have Peter Petrelli's powerset, nor Sylar's, I built my character - an American software CEO, Desmond Carter, who'd discovered he had shapeshifting powers. Kurt built 'Dr. Chakra' - a medical doctor and neighborhood defender with astral projection powers and martial arts skills. Desmond's combat skills were mediocre at best, considering he lacked any offensive capability beyond a simple punch. But his unusual physiology included some regeneration abilities, so he could take punishment.

We established that Desmond was going to India for a tech conference, demonstrating the new version of his company's hit translation software - there was talk of riots in the streets as racial tensions flared. I joked that I should have Desmond go down to put a stop to all that, to give the race rioters a stern talking-to, and that started the meme of the night :

Desmond Carter, AKA The Disapprover.

He doesn't fight crime, so much as he scolds it into submission. His finger wags.. for justice.

It was a good session, though, especially considering the level of improvisation that must've been going on. Eric even managed to get the two PCs to the same location and fighting for common cause. He's much improved since the olden days, in his gamemastering youth. A tale for another time..

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Comics Day

Not a bad haul this week, either!

  • House of Mystery #19
  • Cinderella : From Fabletown With Love #1
  • Angel #27
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer #30
  • Assault on New Olympus #1
  • Absolution #3
  • Magog #3
  • Red Tornado #3
  • Doom Patrol #4
  • The Great Ten #1
  • Superman : World of New Krypton #9
  • Secret Six #15
  • Knights of the Dinner Table #155
Free yellow lantern ring with Doom Patrol!