Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Comics Day - Holiday Double Header

The Week before Christmas :

  • Invincible #86
  • Fables #112
  • Fantastic Four #601
  • Batman Incorporated : Leviathan Strikes #1 - Cameron Stewart is one of my favorite artists.
  • Batman and Robin #4
  • Blue Beetle #4
  • Nightwing #4
  • Green Lantern Corps #4
  • Legion Lost #4
  • Wonder Woman #4
  • Green Lantern #4
  • Batman #4
  • Legion of Super-Heroes #4
  • Justice League #4

And the week after :

  • Warlord of Mars #14
  • Mediterranea #6
  • Incorruptible #25
  • Annihilators : Earthfall #4
  • FF #13
  • Dungeons and Dragons #14
  • The Savage Hawkman #4
  • The Fury of Firestorm #4
  • Suicide Squad #4
  • Teen Titans #4
  • I, Vampire #4
  • Green Lantern : New Guardians #4
  • Voodoo #4
  • Justice League Dark #4
  • Superman #4
  • Aquaman #4
  • The Flash #4
  • Legion of Super-Heroes : Secret Origin #3
  • DC Comics Presents : Elseworlds 100 Page Spectacular

Whew. big weeks. End of the road (for me) for Batman and Robin, Nightwing, Blue Beetle, and Suicide Squad. I gave'em a shot, and they just didn't grab me. Hawkman is on my pull-list, but I'm cancelling this month, so I may end up with two more issues. I, Vampire is going on my 'bubble' list, and Justice League Dark will join it real damn soon if things don't pick up.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Comics Day

This week's batch.

  • Knights of the Dinner Table #181
  • Warlord of Mars #13
  • War Goddess #4
  • Atomic Robo : The Ghost of Station X #4
  • Star Trek / Legion of Super-Heroes #3
  • The Shade #3
  • Batgirl #4
  • Batwoman #4
  • Resurrection Man #4
  • Demon Knights #4

That's it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New Comics Day

I braved the elements today for new comics!

  • Warlord of Mars : Dejah Thoris #8
  • Mega Man #8
  • Irredeemable #32
  • Green Arrow #4 - It's not bad, but I don't think I'm interested enough to keep reading.
  • Red Lanterns #4 - This, I can give a few more issues.
  • Animal Man #4 - I'm on the fence with this one. I was ready to drop, but the family's new cat may keep me in.
  • OMAC #4 - This on the other hand, is another not-bad title I think I'm done with.
  • Stormwatch #4
  • Justice League International #4
  • Action Comics #4

and Rascal Raccoon's Raging Revenge. An original graphic novel from Oni Press that I quite enjoyed.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Comics Day

Very light week.

  • Fables #111
  • Herc #10
  • FF #12
  • Legion : Secret Origin #2
  • Tarot #71

Yep, that's it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

New Comics Day - Turkey Edition

Kind of a big week, as it turns out.

  • Incorruptible #24
  • Invincible #85
  • Annihilators : Earthfall #3
  • Fantastic Four #600
  • Dungeons and Dragons #13
  • The Savage Hawkman #3
  • I, Vampire #3
  • The Fury of Firestorm #3
  • Green Lantern : New Guardians #3
  • Voodoo #3
  • The Shade #2
  • Superman #3
  • Aquaman #3
  • Justice League Dark #3
  • The Flash #3
  • Legion of Super-Heroes #3

Whew. Also, some toys I need to open..

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Do Not Buy List

Frank Miller's been making some headlines this past week - after coming out as a rabid and ignorant anti-Muslim bigot, this week's he's turned his focus on Occupy Wall Street, digging his hole a little deeper. Aside from inspiring some fun jabs at himself, his rant really didn't have any merit - though it does reinforce my firm belief that the man is insane.

And that brought to mind a topic I've been wanting to do on this blog for a while - my 'Do Not Buy' list. Those creators whose modern works I will not purchase for any reason. (Older works are sometimes exempted - most of them used to be good before they turned crazy, or became hacks.)

First up, Frank Miller. Now, I read all of All-Star Batman and Robin (at least, all that has been released) and I enjoyed it - though probably not quite as Miller intended, as its sheer awfulness kept me howling with laughter. Miller was once a good writer, but he's now an aging one-trick pony who's used up his last trick. The only thing the man was ever good at was writing Noir-influenced work, and he's pretty much humped that horse's corpse dry.

Next, John Byrne. Like Miller, Byrne used to be fantastic. Loved his art, loved several of his iconic runs (Fantastic Four, She-Hulk, Superman... at first..) and really wouldn't have said a bad word about the guy. Then his ego came creeping into the picture, and along with it, some of his unsavory tastes. If he came on as the writer on a book, he'd disregard what any writer had done before him. (See : The Demon) Inappropriately sexual situations became more commonplace. (See : Superman mind-controlled into making a pornographic film with Big Barda. Or, on second thought, don't.) I'm honestly beginning to wonder if the resemblance of Ego, the Living Planet, to Byrne is just a coincidence.

Third on the list is Byrne's former X-Men cohort, Chris Claremont. These days, he basically just writes Psylocke fan-fiction that Marvel sometimes publishes. The last time I enjoyed his work was the Claremont/Lee era of X-Men. Though, if I look at it critically, he was never a good writer - but he used to be interesting, at least.

Number four is Mark Millar - who is almost as good at characterization as Michael Bay. (See : Civil War) There's very little of his work that I've ever liked - The Authority, basically. But after Civil War, and Wanted - the man will not see another dime from me.

Fifth on the hit parade is Garth Ennis - Garth Ennis is the kid who takes a dump in the sandbox and thinks it's the funniest thing that has ever happened. And every time you see him after that, he brings it up. I don't find his work offensive, so much as I find it dull. Hitman was okay, and he wrote some interesting war stories for Enemy Ace, but I think that The Boys isn't worth the paper it's printed on, and Preacher's worth less than half of that.

Those are the big five. All writers - artists don't tend to piss me off as readily as writers can. There are a couple of guys who sometimes skirt the edges of the list - Brian Bendis, Warren Ellis - and a couple of folks that most people would have on their version of the list that I cut some slack (Chuck Austen, Rob Liefeld).

Oddly enough, I think my opposite of this list - the Always Buy list - would be mostly artist-determined.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New Comics Day

It's Wednesday again!

  • Knights of the Dinner Table #180
  • Atomic Robo : The Ghost of Station X #3
  • Blue Beetle #3
  • Green Lantern Corps #3
  • Nightwing #3
  • Wonder Woman #3
  • Batman #3
  • Justice League #3
  • War Goddess #3

Small week.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gaming Tangents

This one goes way back, but I recently found a tangible piece of evidence relating to t his tangent, so I thought I'd share. In my D&D game, the party had trekked across a vast wasteland to a demon-owned keep to free a missing sage from his captors. As it turned out, the keep also had another prisoner - a Beholder, whose lair the demons had destroyed.

The explanation of this elicited some faux sympathy for the poor Beholder - and as things often do, this spiralled into one of our tangents. You see, he was no longer a Beholder, but a Behobo. A Behobo is a Beholder who has become Behomeless. One of my players found that this inspired her to make art.

I love the bindle, the bloodshot central eye, the stubble..

Of course, tangents sometimes mutate, as this one did, giving rise to the idea of another Beholder variant - the Behamster.

The one floating uselessly in the exercise wheel is what kills me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New Comics Day

This week's bunch.

  • Star Trek / Legion of Super-Heroes #2
  • Teen Titans #2
  • Suicide Squad #3
  • Batgirl #3
  • Green Lantern #3
  • Legion Lost #3
  • Batwoman #3
  • Resurrection Man #3
  • Demon Knights #3

I love Vandal Savage so much.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Comics Day

This week's haul.

  • Warlord of Mars #12
  • Charismagic #3
  • Irredeemable #31
  • Invincible #84
  • Green Arrow #3
  • Red Lanterns #3
  • Animal Man #3
  • Detective Comics #3
  • OMAC #3
  • Justice League International #3
  • Stormwatch #3
  • Action Comics #3

That's it!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Comics Day

The new DCU continues.

  • Knights of the Dinner Table #179
  • Gladstone's School for World Conquerors #6
  • Incorruptible #23
  • Guarding the Globe #6
  • Butcher Baker #7
  • Annihilators : Earthfall #2
  • FF #11
  • The Savage Hawkman #2
  • The Fury of Firestorm #2
  • I, Vampire #2
  • Green Lantern : New Guardians #2
  • Voodoo #2
  • Superman #2
  • Justice League Dark #2
  • Aquaman #2
  • The Flash #2
  • Legion : Secret Origin #1

Meant to pick up Teen Titans #2, but my store sold out of it. I may try to pick it up somewhere else - I think four issues is what I want to give most of the series I'm not sure about. Hawkman, on the other hand, is getting dropped soon.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

New Comics Day and CharCon

Just got back from attending a little local gaming convention - had a good time, despite a pretty mediocre hotel. I got to do a Pathfinder game, a Savage Worlds "Bureau 13" game, a FUDGE Supers game, played Dark Heresy for the first time, and finished up with a Deadlands game. All good sessions, though not one of them was actually a full table - mostly, people seemed to be doing other games than the ones I picked. C'est la vie.

Jolly Blackburn (of Knights of the Dinner Table) was a special guest, not too shabby for a con of this size. I wish I'd scheduled a little more loosely - it turns out that Saturday night, they were doing CharCon After Dark, including a session with the relatively new local Dr. Sketchy's crew, which I would have loved to have gone to.

The Bureau 13 game stands out - we ended up battling a Louisiana vampire who'd created crawling hands and summoned a hellhound - thereby demonstrating decent magical talent - who was using them to guard and operate his still. A somewhat modest goal for someone with that kind of spell mojo. I dubbed him the "Redneck-romancer."

Also! Got comics this week :

  • War Goddess #2
  • Warlord of Mars #11
  • Darkwing Duck #17
  • Fables #110
  • Herc #9
  • Star Trek / Legion of Super-Heroes #1
  • Dungeons and Dragons #12
  • Atomic Robo : Ghost of Station X #2
  • Green Lantern Corps #2
  • Blue Beetle #2
  • Nightwing #2
  • Wonder Woman #2
  • Batman #2
  • Legion of Super-Heroes #2
  • Justice League #2

That's it!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New Comics Day

This week's batch.

  • Mega Man #6 - I am loving this.
  • Irredeemable #30 - Starting to get tired of it.
  • FF #10
  • Suicide Squad #2 - A tiny step up from #1. I might stick out the first arc.
  • Batgirl #2 - Not great, but much better than #1.
  • Batman and Robin #2 - Eh, I can take or leave this one.
  • Green Lantern #2 - Still not quite feeling it, despite the nice premise.
  • The Shade #1 - I don't know what world this is on. It doesn't fit.
  • Batwoman #2 - Still solid.
  • Legion Lost #2 - This might not stay on my pull list, but I'll give it a whole arc.
  • Resurrection Man #2 - Still fun.
  • Demon Knights #2 - Still one of my top five books of the reboot.

Also : the DC Adventures Heroes and Villains Book, Volume 1! Eee!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New Comics Day

This week's bunch.

  • Warlord of Mars : Dejah Thoris #7
  • Invincible #83
  • Knights of the Dinner Table #178
  • FF #9
  • Green Arrow #2
  • Red Lanterns #2
  • Detective Comics #2
  • OMAC #2
  • Animal Man #2
  • Stormwatch #2
  • Justice League International #2
  • Action Comics #2

With the exception of those last three team books, all the DC stuff this week is on the 'bubble', so to speak. Acceptable enough for me to try it out for an issue or two more, but not thrilling. Animal Man's a bit better, and so is OMAC, but still not compelling. Stormwatch is definitely up a few points this time, though - the art's a lot more consistent, and we're starting to see some of those big Morrisonian concepts that it needs. JLI's still B-plus. Action knocks it out of the park again.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Comics Day

This week's haul was a little bigger, thanks to some TPBs. Still..

  • Warlord of Mars #10
  • Incorruptible #22
  • Annihilators : Earthfall #1
  • Herc #8
  • Dungeons and Dragons #11
  • Savage Hawkman #1 - This is on the weak side of mediocre. Might be my first drop of titles I actually reserved.
  • Teen Titans #1 - I'm giving it two issues. It's meh.
  • Voodoo #1 - Feels less exploitative than Red Hood or Catwoman, and the main character is a stripper.
  • I, Vampire #1 - This is interesting, but not an exciting start. Sort of feels a little muddled.
  • Fury of Firestorm #1 - A bit better than I expected. I'll definitely pick up #2.
  • Green Lantern : New Guardians #1 - A little clunky, but an interesting set-up.
  • Aquaman #1 - Better than expected.
  • Flash #1 - I like it.
  • Superman #1 - I like this, too.
  • Justice League Dark #1 - It's a little slow, but lots of potential.
  • Tarot #70 - Yes, I read this, and still Red Hood and the Outlaws managed to offend me.

That's all.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Comics Day

New DCU, Week 4. If not for pulling a few of the number one's in as 'try-outs', I'd have had FOUR titles on my pull-list this week. That never happens.

  • Darkwing Duck #16
  • Fables #109
  • Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 - Boo.
  • Catwoman #1 - Yawn.
  • Nightwing #1 - Eh.
  • Green Lantern Corps #1 - 'Bout the same as ever.
  • Blue Beetle #1 - Sigh. Oh, look, it's his new Ted-free origin.
  • Batman #1 - Actually not bad, except some of the horrible villain redesigns.
  • Wonder Woman #1 - Not bad.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes #1 - Solid.

Nothing this week that makes the reboot look good.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Comics Day

New DCU, Week Three.

  • Warlord of Mars #9
  • Gladstone's School for World Conquerors #5
  • Herc #7
  • Suicide Squad #1
  • Batman and Robin #1
  • Red Lanterns #1
  • Batwoman #1 - Actually decent. Might add it.
  • OMAC #1 - picked this up late after hearing good things.
  • Green Lantern #1 - Not bad.
  • Legion Lost #1 - Well, it's pretty.
  • Demon Knights #1 - This and Action are my two favorites of the relaunch so far.
  • Resurrection Man #1 - With this at #3, followed by JLI.

That's all.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Comics Day

Week 2 of the new DCU. I had three reserved titles of the thirteen released. I picked up 4 additional #1's to peek at them on a non-ongoing basis.

  • Irredeemable #29
  • Mega Mann #5
  • Warlord of Mars : Dejah Thoris #6
  • Atomic Robo : Ghost of Station X #1
  • Justice Society of America #54
  • Green Arrow #1 - It's the least dull Green Arrow's ever been for me, which isn't saying much.
  • Detective Comics #1 - Well, it certainly has an ending.
  • Animal Man #1 - Quirky, interesting. Art's not to my taste, but maaaaybe..
  • Batgirl #1 - Eh.
  • Action Comics #1 - This is actually good.
  • Stormwatch #1 - Lots of potential, but doesn't really zip. The artist is not great.
  • Justice League International #1 - I like it. But It does suggest the old JLI is out of continuity totally.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New Comics Day

Well, the new DCU launched yesterday.

  • Invincible #82
  • War Goddess #1
  • Butcher Baker #6
  • Herc #6.1 - This has been cancelled now - apparently, it's Marvel's second lowest seller. A shame.
  • Dungeons and Dragons #7-#10 - Recently read the first TPB of the new series and loved it.
  • Teen Titans #100
  • Flashpoint #5 - Meh.
  • Justice League #1 - And double-meh. Not bad, not great.

Oh well.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Comics Day

Couple of things damaged in shipment, will have to pick them up later. Here's what I did get :

  • DC Retroactive : Superman 1990's
  • DC Retroactive : Green Lantern 1990's
  • DC Retroactive : Justice League 1990's
  • Knights of the Dinner Table #177
  • Incorruptible #21
  • FF #8
  • Gotham City Sirens #26
  • Batman : Gates of Gotham #5
  • Brightest Day Aftermath : Search for Swamp Thing #3 - Well, that was pointless.
  • Superman Beyond #0
  • Green Lantern : Emerald Warriors #13 - It's filler, but it's awesome filler.
  • Wonder Woman #614
  • Batman Incorporated #8
  • Action Comics #904
  • Flashpoint : Hal Jordan #3
  • Flashpoint : Lois Lane #3
  • Flashpoint : Project Superman #3
  • Flashpoint : Kid Flash Lost #3 - Well, that was a crappy ending.

Sigh. Next week - Flashpoint #5 and Justice League #1.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Comics Day

Lots of last issues before the relaunch..

  • DC Retroactive : Wonder Woman 1990's
  • DC Retroactive : Batman 1990's
  • DC Retroactive : Flash 1990's
  • Darkwing Duck #15
  • Gladstone's School for World Conquerors #4
  • Fables #108
  • Superman / Batman #87
  • Batman #713
  • Supergirl #67
  • Superboy #11
  • Green Lantern Corps #63
  • Zatanna #16
  • Justice League of America #60
  • Power Girl #27
  • Legion of Super-Heroes #16
  • Flashpoint : Abin Sur #3
  • Flashpoint : Legion of Doom #3
  • Flashpoint : The Outsider #3
  • Flashpoint : Wonder Woman #3

That's all!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Comics Day

This week's haul!

  • Mega Man #3 and #4 - I'd forgotten to put it on my pull-list. Corrected that oversight.
  • DC Retroactive : Green Lantern 80's
  • DC Retroactive : Superman 80's
  • DC Retroactive : Justice League of America 80's
  • Teen Titans #99
  • Birds of Prey #15
  • Batman 80 Page Giant 2011 #1
  • Batgirl #24
  • Red Robin #26
  • Batman and Robin #26
  • Detective Comics #881
  • War of the Green Lanterns : Aftermath #2
  • Booster Gold #47
  • Flashpoint : Emperor Aquaman #3
  • Flashpoint : Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #3
  • Flashpoint : Deadman and the Flying Graysons #3
  • Flashpoint : Citizen Cold #3

That's all.

Eldritch Abomination-at-Law

My gaming group is pretty inclined towards going off on tangents. I would suppose that most groups are, in fact - maybe mine isn't special in that regard. Of course, I probably should do more as GM to keep things on track - rather than initiating many of these tangents myself.

A few weeks back, my D&D group encountered some Illithids on the surface, looking for assistance against encroaching Drow forces. If you're not familiar with illithids, they are the blue-purple octopus-faced brain-eating creatures also known as Mind Flayers, one of Dungeons and Dragons' 'iconic' monsters. In my campaign, a population explosion amongst the Drow has started putting intense pressure on the other races of the Underdark, driving them to desperate moves.

The PCs are understandably skeptical. They've fought mind flayers before. They know they eat the brains of sentient creatures. On the other hand, they like the Drow even less after an incident earlier in the game that saw the party taken captive. The flayers promise that no harm will befall the players at their hands or tentacles.

Player : "But can we trust them?"
Me : "Well, they're LAWFUL Evil.."

I love that line. Most of the party is on board for a wary and temporary alliance with the creatures, but there's still one skeptic - Katie, our newest player. She's got an ex-pirate rogue, and her character comes from a large merchant family, so she's thinking in terms of her character for ways to ease the trust issues.

Katie : "Can we get them to sign a contract?"
Me : "They don't really use contracts, per se - they do most of their writing on stone, because paper doesn't easily survive the damp conditions. Since it's not as portable or compactable a medium, they don't use it for things they see as unimportant. Besides, they're a telepathic society - they generally know when not to trust one another."
Katie : "But we could make a contract for them."
Me : "Sure, they'll sign it. But.. you want to introduce one of the most evil races in the universe to the concept of Contract Law?"

That exchange sparked one of those tangents of mine : Mind Flawyers. Two evil tastes that tastes evil together! Rather than sucking out your brains, they can just initiate a hostile takeover proceeding to gain custody.

And woe betide your next-of-kin who might try to recover it for you, because - in the words of famed Illithid attorney Br'xssth Grmbl, Esquid :

"Possession is nine tentacles of the law."

Monday, August 8, 2011

Origins 2011, Day Four (and Five)

The final chapter! Till next year, anyway.

Schedule for Saturday, June 25th was :

11AM - 1PM : Advanced Tips and Tricks for Miniatures
2PM - 4PM : Building Terrain : Abyssal Gate
7PM - 11PM : Twilight of the Gods (Mutants and Masterminds)

I'd very nearly decided to make it a full day of miniatures events, but at the last moment, I decided I needed one more RPG event as a capper. I left myself plenty of time in the morning so I could sleep in after having done the Smithees the night before.

The Tips and Tricks class was excellent, and after the convention, it's inspired more purchases of craft materials for me than anything else in recent memory. The tips about miniature 'basing' were particularly cool and helpful. I haven't started using most of the things I learned, but I'm preparing to do so.

The Terrain class was also cool, but sparsely attended. We had three, out of a potential class size of eight - but this meant he gave us each an extra 'kit' to take home and work with later. The kit includes some pre-cut foam in the rough shapes needed, to speed the class along. I was pretty pleased with my Abyssal Gate when the class was done - less pleased when a careless bellhop ignored my instructions about the bag it was in and crushed it, though. I should be able to fix it, but sheesh - when I tell you the bag has something fragile in it, don't toss it on the cart on its side. Dumbass.

Twilight of the Gods was a fun adventure of the 'The world is lost - can the heroes beat the villain and allow reality to snap back to its normal shape?' variety. (Though it wasn't immediately clear that things could go back to the way they were.) It was set in the default universe of Mutants and Masterminds, and the players each took on the role of one of the Freedom League. I had some issues with the portrayals of some of the other players, because they seemed to be trying their damnedest to fail the scenario, but I had fun playing the role of the Freedom League's resident city elemental, Dr. Metropolis.

Now, I have no idea what his personality is supposed to be like, but I was playing him as a Spectre type - aloof, mysterious, that kind of thing. This led to some hilarity.

(The FL's female Batman type - Raven - has shown up to rescue us all from the forced labor camps we were held in. She begins working on Lady Liberty's power nullifier collar.)
Me (to GM) : "Hey, I have Disable Device. Can I do my own?"
GM : "Sure, roll it."
Me (to GM) : "28."
GM (amused) : "Dr. Metropolis removes his own power inhibitor..."
Captain Thunder : "Why didn't you do that before??"
Me (as Dr. M) : "It wasn't time, yet."

Once free, Captain Thunder runs off on his own to start an intimidation campaign against the interdimensional conqueror who kicked our asses in the backstory, and Lady Liberty goes to mess with his troops at his stronghold, leading to her ass getting kicked again, and a haphazard regroup is staged, leaving Raven VERY annoyed with the level of unit cohesion. Her player starts ranting at me, about Captain Thunder running off on his own.

Me (as Dr. M) : "There's no need to take that tone with me. I am here, where I am required. I understand you are very upset. There, There." (delivered with a near-monotone, and a patting hand gesture at the end)

Got a hero point for that, and a belly-laugh from Raven's player.

All in all, I had great fun in that session. Especially once Captain Thunder got his act together.

Sunday morning, I went back to the exhibit hall once more to look for some particular miniatures, and had no luck - finally packing it in and checking out of the hotel to start my drive home.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Origins 2011, Day Three

I'm a bad, bad blogger. It's been almost a month since my last installment of this summary.

For the third day of the convention - Friday - I'd only scheduled three events. In part, this was to leave me some time for the exhibit hall. But also, they were large events. They were :

9AM-1PM : Clash of Heroes - DC (Mutants and Masterminds)
1PM-5PM : Space 1935 : Zeppelins Over Jupiter (Champions)
7PM-Midnight : The 20th Annual Smithee Awards

Clash of Heroes wasn't bad, but it was kind of predictable. See, I'd noticed there was a Clash of Heroes - Marvel on the schedule at the exact same time, and since my brain is capable of adding two and two, I realized there was only one way this could possibly go down. The two sessions would end up fighting one another in the end.

I got to play Batman, which was awesome, and the guy playing Plastic Man was hysterical. Plus, the players of Green Arrow and Black Canary were bickering in-character about Ollie's philandering. The whole thing turned out to be a joint interdimensional plot by Darkseid and Dr. Doom. Both groups of heroes arrived at the same time to confront the bad guys - the OBVIOUS bad guys - one of whom each team would RECOGNIZE as bad guys - and still the tween playing Spider-Man decided to take a potshot at me because "we don't know they're not villains". Well, you see me attacking Dr. Doom, genius. What do you think is happening? But then Ollie hit on Ms. Marvel and Tony Stark tried to pick up on Black Canary, so it was funny again.

Space 1935 was fantastic pulp sci-fi, and not just because I got to pick the character whose sheet had him represented by Mike Nelson of MST3K. No, our ship had an AI, Huckleberry, who had somewhat specific interpretations of the laws of robotics that allowed him to pre-emptively murder some beastmen that MIGHT EVENTUALLY attack humans. And the player gave him a sort of effeminate, Southern accent - like a slightly higher pitched, soft-spoken Huckleberry Hound, in fact. I couldn't help but laugh.

And then, of course, the Smithees - my favorite part of the con, every year. Unfortunately, this year, Man-Mountain McGurk decided to sit in front of me, so it was sometimes a challenge to see the screen around his 7 foot frame and double-wide head. Sigh. But I managed to see most of it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Comics Day

Another big week.

  • Warlord of Mars : Dejah Thoris #5
  • Marineman #6
  • Irredeemable #28
  • Herc #6
  • DC Universe Online Legends #13
  • DC Retroactive : Batman 1980s
  • DC Retroactive : Flash 1980s
  • DC Retroactive : Wonder Woman 1980s
  • Batman : Gates of Gotham #4
  • Superboy #10
  • Batman Beyond #8
  • Superman #714
  • Adventure Comics #529
  • Secret Six #36
  • Flashpoint : Deathstroke #3
  • Flashpoint : Secret Seven #3
  • World of Flashpoint #3
  • Flashpoint : Batman - Knight of Vengeance #3
  • Flashpoint #4

Plus some new action figures.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Heroes Rebored : Ray of Hope?

Or something akin to it.

Rumors of James Robinson and Nicola Scott on a relaunched JSA title. Given the continuity issues that DC has laid out - namely, Superman as the first super-hero - my money is that the JSA will be back on Earth 2. Assuming this pans out.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Comics Day

Big week. Seems like DC's trying to shovel out as much as possible before the reboot.

  • Incorruptible #20 - I think this and Irredeemable might be on my chopping block. I like'em, but.. eh.
  • Invincible #81
  • Fables #107 - This may go away soon, too.
  • FF #7
  • DC Retroactive : Superman 1970s
  • DC Retroactive : Green Lantern 1970s
  • DC Retroactive : Justice League 1970s - Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes.
  • Batman : The Dark Knight #4
  • Gotham City Sirens #25
  • Wonder Woman #613 - Oh, see, that ending makes total sense because derp. Wait, no, it doesn't.
  • Green Lantern Corps #62
  • Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #12
  • Detective Comics #880
  • Brightest Day Aftermath : The Search for Swamp Thing #2
  • Superman #713
  • Justice Society of America #53 - I love how they're still pretending the story will matter in two months.
  • Teen Titans #98
  • Action Comics #903
  • Flashpoint : Hal Jordan #2
  • Flashpoint : Project Superman #2 - Good dog. Very good dog.
  • Flashpoint : Lois Lane and the Resistance #2
  • Flashpoint : Kid Flash Lost #2
  • Tarot #69
  • Bomb Queen Presents : All-Girl Special #1 - Annnd I'm done with Bomb Queen.
  • Butcher Baker : The Righteous Maker #5


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Comics Day

This week's batch. Fairly substantial.

  • Hack / Slash #6
  • Knights of the Dinner Table #176
  • Herc #5
  • Warlord of Mars #8
  • Darkwing Duck #14
  • DC Universe Online Legends #12
  • DC Retroactive : Wonder Woman 1970s
  • DC Retroactive : Flash 1970s
  • DC Retroactive : Batman 1970s
  • Cinderella : Fables Are Forever #6
  • Batman : Gates of Gotham #3
  • Superman / Batman #86
  • Justice League of America #59
  • Batman #712
  • Zatanna #15
  • Supergirl #66
  • Power Girl #26
  • War of the Green Lanterns Aftermath #1
  • Legion of Super-Heroes #15
  • Flashpoint : The Outsider #2
  • Flashpoint : Wonder Woman and the Furies #2
  • Flashpoint : Deadman and the Flying Graysons #2
  • Flashpoint : Legion of Doom #2

That's it!

Heroes Rebored, Judgment Day

More Origins summary soon, but this is the week I have to turn in my Previews order form, which means I had to make my final calls on which of DC's new titles, if any, I wanted on my pull list. There were a couple of close calls that I ultimately decided against, because I just don't have any investment in the new continuity - this includes Blue Beetle, the Green Lantern titles, and many of the Batman family of titles. I may flip through them at the comic store and consider adding them later.

So, when I last discussed the future of my pull-list, I was waffling between a cautious and an optimistic approach - between about 9 titles and 25 titles. I ended up between those two numbers, leaning towards the cautious side, at 15. So DC's reboot means they're getting half as much money from me.

Here's what I decided to pick up and why :

Justice League - This is the tentpole book of any DC Universe, and I haven't missed a Justice League issue since Grant Morrison relaunched the title in the 90's. More than anything else, this will be a barometer of the suck / doesn't suck quotient of the new DCU.

Justice League International - Honestly, I waffled on this one - without the continuity connections behind it, I don't know if I'll enjoy it, but I'm willing to pick up the first three issues on name alone.

Wonder Woman - Mainly buying it for the art. May not stick around, despite my love for Cliff Chiang's work.

The Flash - This was a last minute 'why not' addition to my pull list. The first two months' solicits seem interesting, at least.

The Savage Hawkman - I just really want to see how they try to lay a new foundation for one of DC's most continuity-plagued characters.

Action Comics - This is probably the other tentpole book of the DCU, especially with Grant Morrison and Rags Morales on it. The solicits have not been encouraging, though.

Superman - Just for the snapshot of Superman's status quo in the new DCU.

Justice League Dark - I really like the premise.

I, Vampire - I really like Andrew Bennett.

Resurrection Man - I have a complete run of the original series of Resurrection Man, so.. yeah.

Demon Knights - The information that has come out about this series since my last assessment cemented it into my 'must buy' category.

Stormwatch - This, too, looks like it could be really, really good.

Voodoo - This is an art buy. I love Sami Basri's stuff.

Legion of Super-Heroes - I will always buy whatever main Legion title is being published.

Legion Lost - This, on the other hand, is on a short leash.

Of the fifteen, I'd say most are on the bubble - if they don't entertain me in the first 3-4 issues, they'll get dropped. The exceptions (which will be given a little more leeway) would be Justice League, Action, Legion of Super-Heroes, Stormwatch, Resurrection Man, and Demon Knights - all of which are either important enough or intriguing enough for me to stick with them a while.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Comics Day

This week's haul.

  • Guarding the Globe #5
  • Gladstone's School for World Conquerors #3
  • FF #6
  • Batman : The Dark Knight #3
  • Red Robin #25
  • Teen Titans #97
  • Detective Comics #879
  • Birds of Prey #14
  • Batgirl #23
  • Green Lantern #67
  • Green Lantern Corps #61
  • Booster Gold #46
  • Flashpoint : Citizen Cold #2
  • Flashpoint : Deathstroke #2
  • Flashpoint : Emperor Aquaman #2
  • Flashpoint : Frankenstein #2
  • Charismagic #2

That's it!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Origins 2011, Day Two

Day two - wisely, I had scheduled nothing earlier than 9AM, to avoid pesky early morning hassles. My schedule was thus :

9AM - 1PM : Global Defense League : Dimensional Distress (Mutants and Masterminds)
2PM - 4PM : Shadows Over Camelot (Board Game)
7PM - 11PM : Invasion High School (Big Eyes Small Mouth 2nd Ed.)

Between the second and third event, I even had time to do an initial sweep of the dealer hall, setting my sights on a few things I would later purchase.

The first session was a rock-solid superhero game - fairly straightforward, but no less fun for it. I played a Green Lantern type, so I got to do some creative blasting and bashing. Shadows Over Camelot is a pretty neat little board game of the 'One of you is a traitor' variety. Not something I plan to buy, but something I'd probably play at any invitation.

The third session was the winner of the day, though. A typical Japanese High School is attacked by aliens, who use combat robots to subjugate the populace. This proves to be a golden opportunity for the members of the Alien Defense Club and the Robot Defense Club to finally prove which group is superior! It was fairly pun-laden, almost to the point of distraction, but the hilarious characters to choose from really made my night. They included parodies of Squall (FF8), Sora (Kingdom Hearts), Ash (Pokemon), All-Purpose Cultural Catgirl Nuku-Nuku (Eponymous), a Magical Girl, and a Gun Bunny. If the latter two were specific parodies, I missed'em, but the game was a riot.

I mean, the Ash expy had Pokemon that included Fistbump (a surly drunken one) and Ivyskank (a Dryad with plant and seduction powers). 'Nuker Nuker' was a squirrel in a female android body. The Squall/Cloud parody was 'Barometric Pressure', and wielded a Sword-With-a-Gun - two weapons affixed to one another via duct tape. That's who I picked. He had a power - Sacrificial Girlfriend - that he could invoke to have his girlfriend, 'Aerihed', show up in a scene and take a damaging hit meant for him.

We had to fight our way past the Hall Monitor Nazi Club, and mind-controlled members of the Assault Rifle and Chainsaw clubs. It was fantastic.

Still, not quite as fun as Lawfully Blonde.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New Comics Day

More Flashpoint stuff.

  • Irredeemable #27
  • DC Universe Online Legends #11 - Going to be dropping this one soon, I think.
  • Batman and Robin #25
  • Batman Beyond #7
  • Superboy #9
  • Adventure Comics #528
  • Secret Six #35 - Oh, crap!
  • Flashpoint : Abin Sur #2
  • Flashpoint : Batman, Knight of Vengeance #2 - Nice. Beautiful.
  • Flashpoint : Secret Seven #2
  • World of Flashpoint #2
  • Flashpoint #3 - Oh, man. Poor Krypto.

That's all.

Origins 2011, Day One

I'll be skipping over the minutiae of the trip, the hotel, etc. Most of that was uneventful, except that the Hyatt had a Monopoly board set up, and allowed people to roll the dice - if you got a 10, you got your parking comped by the hotel. I managed to luck out on that - and then my friend Andrew, who had flown up, and was staying in the same room. took a roll on my behalf and won it a second time.

My schedule for the first day was :

3PM - 5PM : Painting Miniatures : Tools and Supplies
7PM - 11PM : Lawfully Blonde (4th Edition D&D)

The painting class was extremely helpful - explaining the virtues of miniature paint vs. craft paint, why you don't want to skimp on brushes, and the like. It is directly responsible for my spending nearly $200 on paint and probably $100 on supplies and tools to up my game in painting minis.

Lawfully Blonde was one of the most hysterical RPG experiences I've ever had. Six low-level adventuring sorority girls. Investigating goblin saboteurs interfering with their favorite salon. The catty remarks were flying, and the three guys playing got into it as much as the three girls. During a skill challenge to catch a fleeing goblin, the bible-thumping Paladin (of Pelor, sun-god) girl tried to flash some cleavage, arguing for a Diplomacy check. One of the other players inquired "You use Diplomacy for that?" and was answered "Well, there's no skill for Whore." The Paladin became the butt of most of the jokes after that, as the Bible-thumper AND the Tramp.

My character had a special rivalry with her, too, giving me ample opportunities for undercutting remarks - the most blistering of which I will recount to give you an idea of the atmosphere of the session :

Tiffany! (the Paladin, played by the girl next to me) : "Well, I took a class on Forensics, once.."
Brianna! (the Psion, played by me) : "Waking up covered in evidence does not constitute a class in Forensics, Tiffany."
Tiffany! "... Pelor loves you, even if you will end up in Hell, bitch."

I seriously haven't laughed that hard in a while.

Another one - after much amusement was had about the Paladin mentioned she had 'contacts' in the Thieves Guild (via her Streetwise skill) causing us to wonder how many of them she'd had contact with..

Tiffany! : "Pelor believes in free love."
Brianna! : (to the others) "Oh, so that's why she doesn't charge."

Since my character was the bookish one, and had glasses, I decided she was the hipster chick of the bunch, and used History during the skill challenge to recall a little-used shortcut.

Brianna! : "There's this little alleyway back here, you've probably never heard of it.."

So that was a great start to the Con, for me. I was apparently in the same hotel as the girl who played the Paladin, so we walked past each other at the elevators several times over the next few days - I couldn't tell if she recognized me or not, but I resisted the urge to say "Bitch!" just in case she didn't.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Heroes Rebored, A Trend

Item! DC Comics Creative Honchos Dan Didio, Jim Lee, and Geoff Johns have responded to the fans clamoring for the return of the Justice Society, with a just announced 53rd title for launch this September!

"We didn't realize the depth of the following that these characters had," said Didio. "So we just had to find a way to make room. Of course, we had to adjust things to fit with the new creative direction."

Justice League Old #1
Written and Drawn by Marc Silvestri (Witchblade, Cyberforce)
On sale SEPTEMBER 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Things at the Shady Pines rest home have gotten a little TOO shady - now it's up to the DC Universe's oldest heroes - and Shady Pines' newest residents - to solve the sinister secret of the nursing home, before their afternoon nap.

No word on Justice League Special Dark (Yummy), Justice League After Dark (Mature Readers), Justice League Grimdark (by Warren Ellis), or Justice League Lite (50% less fat).

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New Comics Day Times Two

Since I was on vacation last week - something I may post about in a few days - I got to pick up two weeks' worth of comics today!

  • Hack/Slash #5 - To be dropped.
  • Fables #106
  • Incorruptible #19
  • FF #5
  • Knights of the Dinner Table #175
  • Batman : Gates of Gotham #2
  • Gotham City Sirens #24
  • Detective Comics #878
  • Superman #712
  • Wonder Woman #612
  • Justice Society of America 80 Page Giant 2011 #1
  • Justice Society of America #52
  • Green Lantern : Emerald Warriors #11
  • Zatanna #14
  • Batman Incorporated #7
  • Justice League of America #58
  • Action Comics #902
  • Brightest Day Aftermath : The Search for Swamp Thing #1
  • Flashpoint : Green Arrow Industries #1
  • Flashpoint : The Canterbury Cricket #1
  • Flashpoint : Hal Jordan #1
  • Flashpoint : Lois Lane and the Resistance #1
  • Flashpoint : The Outsider #1
  • Flashpoint : Project Superman #1
  • Flashpoint : Kid Flash Lost #1
  • Flashpoint : Reverse Flash #1
  • Butcher Baker : The Righteous Maker #4


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Heroes Rebored, Aftermath : A Little More

Nothing there that really grabs me. I wonder though - a little while back, DC announced there would be a new edition of Who's Who. Is it still coming, and if so - will it cover the classic DCU, or this new lameass knock-0ff?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Heroes Rebored, Aftermath : At Last, Clarity

The news had slowed quite a bit, but today, there was this :

"Action Comics and Justice League are set in the past, the Green Lantern, Batman and LSH books are all continuing without a reboot. DCU Presents, Green Arrow and Hawkman are picking up where Brightest Day left off. But for everything else, yes, it will be more of a reboot/restart. They are basically keeping the books going that were financially successful for them and restarting everything else."

So, the top brass at DC, when saying "It's not a reboot", were lying. I have zero trust in them at this point. So that raises the question - what will I be buying come September? I think I have four basic approaches available to me.

1.) Screw'Em. I've read DC Comics for 30 years, since age 3, and there's never been a better time to jump off than now. I'd save a crapload of money - I'm reading about 30 core DC titles right now, including the recently cancelled Doom Patrol, REBELS, and Freedom Fighters. That's going to be $90-$100 a month.

2.) The Cautious Approach. Read only those titles I think are most important or interesting. That'd be the three Justice League titles, Action, I Vampire, Resurrection Man, Stormwatch, and the two Legion titles. So, 9 titles.

3.) The Optimist. Add to the above at least short term commitments on books that I otherwise consider marginal. Blue Beetle, Suicide Squad, Voodoo, Demon Knights, the four GL titles, Batwoman and three Batman titles, Superman, Hawkman, Flash, and Wonder Woman would probably make the cut. That'd bring us to 25 - potentially a handful more like Aquaman or Nightwing could sneak in. Then I'd be spending roughly as much as I do now.

4.) The Sucker. Buy them all, at least for a few issues. Hahahaha, no. I have absolutely zero interest in Captain Atom, Mr. Terrific, Batwing, Batman : The Dark Knight, Birds of Prey, Grifter, Deathstroke, OMAC, Blackhawks, Men of War, Hawk and Dove, or Static Shock. Please note that two of those are current ongoings that I actually read right now - the reboot version of Birds of Prey is uninteresting, and Dark Knight basically sucks and I'm glad to have an excuse to drop it.

DC would have been a lot better off with a lower-key relaunch with no adjustment of continuity, but with some of the additional titles. Then they'd assuredly be making more money off of me. As for what I will do, I'm waffling between #2 and #3, primarily.

While I was writing this, more news emerged :

Apparently, Wally's still around. Thank heaven for small favors?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Comics Day

More Heroes Rebored stuff tomorrow, I expect. For now, this week's haul.

  • Warlord of Mars : Dejah Thoris #4
  • Invincible #80
  • Gladstone's School for World Conquerors #2
  • Darkwing Duck #13
  • Cinderella : Fables are Forever #5
  • DC Universe Online Legends #10
  • Superman / Batman #85
  • Batman #711
  • Teen Titans #96
  • Supergirl #65
  • Batgirl #22
  • Power Girl #25
  • Legion of Super-Heroes #14
  • Flashpoint : Grodd of War
  • Flashpoint : Deadman and the Flying Graysons #1
  • Flashpoint : Legion of Doom #1
  • Flashpoint : Wonder Woman and the Furies #1

Big week.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Heroes Rebored, Aftermath : Day Two

And the last batch of solicits :

Justice League solicits

The mystery character on the JLI cover is gone. Weird.

My thoughts on this reboot so far is that there are two bad things for every good thing, and that's not good. If I have time today, I need to do the tally of how many books I'm currently buying from DC, then do breakdowns of what I'm likely to get come September.

Hey, Shannon of the forgotten mini-series Crimson Plague, what do you think of DC's rumored pants policy for superheroines?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Heroes Rebored, Aftermath : Day One, Part Two

JSA Confirmed gone. Additional info.

Screw you, Dan Didio.

'The Dark' solicits.
Batman solicits.
Green Lantern solicits.

Heroes Rebored, Aftermath : Day One

So some clarification has been forthcoming. Action Comics #1 and JLA #1 both take place in the "past" of this new DCU, so the solicits may be somewhat misleading. Flashback arcs to kick off your new reader-friendly universe. Oy. Also, Tim Drake's position as a former sidekick to Batman has been confirmed in the revised actual solicit for the Titans book. (What we had before was apparently teaser-text, but now the actual solicits are going up..)

Superman Solicits
'The Edge' Solicits
Young Justice Solicits

More to come, I'm sure.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Heroes Rebored : Day Seven

Took them long enough. To post these, I mean. I did not mean to imply that any of the changes herein were overdue.

#49 - Action Comics, by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales - Hey, it's the Super-Hobo. I love the creative team, but I'm still dubious.

#50 - Superman, by George Perez and Jesus Merino - George Perez.. writing. Hm. And is it me, or does Superman look astonishingly like Superboy Prime?

#51 - Supergirl, by Michael Green, Mike Johnson, and Mahmud Asrar - And Supergirl gets to show some thigh. Good for her.

#52 - Superboy, by Scott Lobdell, R.B. Silva, and Rob Lean - Did.. did they make Connor a cyborg or something? Wha?

Okay, so, characters we haven't seen :
  • Any of the Wolfman or original Teen Titans except Starfire, Arsenal, Cyborg and Dick. No Raven, Wally, Beast Boy, Donna, Aqualad, et cetera.
  • Any of James Robinson's Justice League except Dick and Supergirl. Again - Donna, Jade, Jesse Quick, Starman, Congorilla.
  • Any of the JSA except Hawkman and Mr. Terrific. This disturbs me most of all, especially with the Action Comics blurb calling Superman the first superhero. I think the JSA just went poof. Or maybe they'll be on Earth 2..
  • Any of the Outsiders, save Katana - but no one really cares.
  • Plastic Man, Steel, Huntress, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, Lady Blackhawk, the Question, the Doom Patrol...
So when Bob Wayne asserted this isn't a reboot - assuming he's not a liar or an idiot, I think the only conclusion remaining is that this is a heretofore unseen DCU, and not the one we're used to. Otherwise, if ANYTHING ever was a reboot, this also qualifies. The continuity changes in this are bigger than Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Heroes Rebored : Day Seven, Prelude

Still no official announcement from DC on the final four, but three of them leaked - Superman, Superboy, and Supergirl; with the last presumably being Action. Supergirl apparently also has an exemption from DC's pants-or-shorts policy.

BleedingCool did the missing creators thing already, but at first glance, I didn't see Paul Dini, Stephane Roux, or Dustin Nguyen on their biiiiiig list of people who had been working for DC but are nowhere to be found in these announcements.

No JSA makes me an unhappy camper.

DC is apparently going to do a push of honest-to-God TV advertising to promote this relaunch, though, so.. yay?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Heroes Rebored : Day Six, Part Two

Things are looking bleak for JSA. I will be supremely pissed if there's no JSA title. Why bleak? Because we're down to four unknowns now, and with four rumored Super-titles, I just don't see the room.

#47 - Suicide Squad, by Adam Glass and Marco Rudy - I was honestly surprised not to see this one before now, I thought it would be a natural for DC's feeble attempts at 'edginess'.

#48 - Blue Beetle, by Tony Bedard, Ig Guara, and Ruy Jose - and given the diversity push, Jaime was conspicuously absent thus far.

Tomorrow I think we'll see the last reveals, and then I can do a breakdown of missing creators (Paul Dini, where are you?), missing characters, and an estimate of how much I am spending with DC now, and how much I'll be spending after the reboot.

Heroes Rebored : Extra Two

Over at Newsarama, incoming Batman writer Scott Snyder indicates that Bat-continuity is unchanged. I'm finding that pretty difficult to reconcile with the solicits we've seen, but..

Heroes Rebored : Extra

The image on DC's blog for Teen Titans is not the cover, apparently. This article has the final image - be warned, it's loading slowly and occasionally failing to load, possibly due to high server activity.

The costumes are still awful, and Kid Flash's is even worse than I thought, and that looks like it's going to be Wally, dammit. On the upside, we can now see all seven of the team's supposed roster. No Jaime, though.

Heroes Rebored : Day Six

Mostly Non-Superheroic reveals today, with one exception.

#40 - Stormwatch, by Paul Cornell and Miguel Sepulveda - Oh, THERE'S J'onn. And you know what? His costume's not bad. My only quibble with this series is that we already have three Justice Leagues, a Titans team, two Legions, the Outlaws, the Birds of Prey, the Green Lantern Corps, the New Guardians, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree. What's their niche?

#41 - Blackhawks, by Mike Costa and Ken Lashley - And here I thought Dynamite or IDW had the GI Joe license. It's nice that DC is doing something in this genre, I suppose.

#42 - Sgt. Rock and the Men of War, by Ivan Brandon and Tom Derenick - Two somethings in this genre, then.

#43 - All-Star Western, by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Moritat - A Western anthology title, headlined by Jonah Hex? Yeah, this one's probably overdue.

#44 - Deathstroke, by Kyle Higgins, Joe Bennett, and Art Thibert - Oh, look, Slade picked up a few things at Jean-Paul Valley's estate sale. DC : Deathstroke is not interesting. Please stop pretending he is.

#45 - Grifter, by Nathan Edmondson with art by CAFU and BIT - You know, with a reboot, they could've changed his name to something other than 'Cole Cash'. I'm just sayin'.

#46 - OMAC, by Dan Didio and Keith Giffen - Despite Giffen's impressive ability to channel Kirby - No.

Six announcements left. We have already been told about Superman and JSA; Presumably there will be Action as well, and I'd hope there's a Supergirl. So two real question-marks. Probably all revealed tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Comics Day

The list.

  • Knights of the Dinner Table #174
  • Warlord of Mars #7
  • Mega Man #2
  • Annihilators #4
  • Batman and Robin #24
  • Red Robin #24
  • Birds of Prey #13
  • Booster Gold #45
  • Flashpoint : Citizen Cold #1
  • Flashpoint : Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager #1
  • Flashpoint : Emperor Aquaman #1
  • Flashpoint : Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #1
  • Empowered Special

That's it.

Heroes Rebored : Day Five

Subtitle : "What the Hell, DC?"

I guess this is nominally their 'Teen' block of releases, but some of them are questionable inclusions in that category, and some of them are just questionable, period.

#35 - Legion Lost, by Fabian Nicieza and Pete Woods - I like the writer. My only issue with this is that this exact premise has been done. A lot. Including once very recently.

#36 - Legion of Superheroes, by Paul Levitz and Francis Portela - The Legion is still getting two books, so that's a good thing.

#37 - Teen Titans, by Scott Lobdell, Brett Booth, and Norm Rapmund - Sweet zombie Jesus, my eyes. That is, collectively, the worst set of costumes ever. Compared to the new Titans, the WildCATs looked fashionable. This looks like a total reboot - they have the right four central characters, but the shared past that makes them work (namely, Young Justice) is gone. And it doesn't even look like Tim's got a connection to Batman.

#38 - Static Shock, by John Rozum, Scott McDaniel, and Jonathan Glapion - Okay.

#39 - Hawk and Dove, by Sterling Gates and.. God help me.. Rob Liefeld - What. The. Hell.

After a mostly positive set of announcements yesterday, things were looking up, but they've just destroyed the Titans. That and Liefeld make today's batch the most concentrated batch of suck that we've seen yet.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Heroes Rebored : Day Four

A new day, a new set of reveals.

#27 - Swamp Thing, by Scott Snyder and Yannick Paquette - To be expected, after the Brightest Day push.

#28 - Justice League Dark, by Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin - That is the worst title for a comic, ever. The premise and cast look interesting, though. And is that a redesigned Zatanna I see? And it's nice to see that DC's newfound puritanism about the female leg doesn't extend to boob windows. Thanks, Madame Xanadu.

#29 - Animal Man, by Jeff Lemire, Travel Foreman, and Dan Green - I hate that cover, but I like the idea of Buddy Baker having his own book again.

#30 - Demon Knights, by Paul Cornell, Diogenes Neves, and Oclair Albert - I love Paul Cornell's work. The Demon has a horrible track record as far as series go, but I'm cautiously optimistic.

#31 - Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE, by Jeff Lemire and Alberto Ponticelli - Eh. Could be good.

#32 - Resurrection Man, by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Fernando Dagnino - Holy f%#ing crap. This is the first bit of unequivocally great news to come out of this reboot.

#33 - I, Vampire, by Josh Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino - And this is the other. I have a bizarre fascination with some of DC's obscure characters, and Andrew Bennett, the titular self-identifying vampire, is one of them. But hey, that vampire lady has no pants! What gives?

#34 - Voodoo, by Ron Marz and Sami Basri - The Wildstorm Voodoo, I guess? Sounds sorta like her. After Resurrection Man and I, Vampire, anything else would seem like a letdown.

So based on today's news, my reaction is edging up from 'Bah', towards 'Eh', and possibly even nearing 'Huh'.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Heroes Rebored : Day Three, Part Three

Confirmation on the Red Hood. (#25) And notice that Batman Inc returns in 2012 with a new number 1, so Grant gets to finish the storyline there, but it's not part of their September launch.

This, on the other hand, is :

Batwing, by Judd Winick and Ben Oliver - Now we have official covers, titles, and creative teams, along with initial solicitations, for half of DC's relaunch. (#26)

Heroes Rebored : Day Three, Part Two

One of these is official, the other isn't yet, but this brings us up to 24 official reveals (plus several rumors). Almost half.

Nightwing, by Kyle Higgins and Eddy Barrows - I like the costume. I haven't had that reaction to much of the new stuff, yet. So that's a good sign.

And though I'm trying to limit myself to the DCU Source blog to prevent misinformation, this one looks pretty official with a creative team and cover and everything :

Red Hood and the Outlaws, by Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort - Deeply mixed feelings here. One, I want to see what happened to Starfire's costume under DC's new Burqa policy. Two, "Red Hood and the Outlaws"? Really? Arsenal's arm looks like flesh, though.. That's hopeful.

Heroes Rebored : Day Three

Eight more reveals today.

Batman, by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo - Batman Inc. is no more. I am sad.

Detective Comics, by Tony Daniel - Okeydokey.

Batman and Robin, by Peter Tomasi and Pat Gleason - But we still have Damian. That's good.

Batman : The Dark Knight, by David Finch and Jay Fabok - Relaunching at #1 after two whole issues. Or is it going to be three?

Batwoman, by J.H. Williams III, Haden Blackman, and Amy Reeder - Finally.

Batgirl, by Gail Simone, Ardian Syaf, and Vicente Cifuentes - Odd that Barbara is Bat'girl' and Kate Kane gets to be Bat'woman'.

Catwoman, by Judd Winick and Guillem March - Meh.

Birds of Prey, by Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz - Oh dear God, no. The writer, the costumes, the team line-up, the solicit/concept pitch, just - no. Gray Katana! Modest Canary! Inexplicable Ivy! Tattoo Gun Girl! You're showing too much arm there, T.G.G..

Wow. After the Green Lantern solicits, I was thinking I might basically keep buying what I was already getting, but this Bat line-up is pretty terribly disappointing.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Heroes Rebored

Based on the second set of reveals, I think that the folks predicting that this will be the equivalent of Zero Hour (in that most continuity stuck, some got tweaked, and very few got major revamps) are spot-on. Some heroes will be younger, hipper, edgier, collar-ier. In that light, I am calling this relaunch "Heroes Rebored", because.. yawn.

The Green Lantern family of titles brings us up to a total of 15 reveals out of 52. I assume we'll have a bloc of Superman and a bloc of Batman reveals soon as well. It looks like not one shred of continuity has been lost here. The GL titles are :

Green Lantern, by Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke, and Christian Alamy - I don't like Mahnke's art.

Green Lantern Corps, by Peter Tomasi, Fernando Pasarin, and Scott Hanna - Now starring Guy and John, but don't worry, Kyle fans..

Green Lantern : The New Guardians, by Tony Bedard, Tyler Kirkham, and Batt - Featuring Jet! Extrano! Pieface! Er, wait, no.. wrong one. Tony Bedard deserves a GL book, I think.

Red Lanterns, by Peter Milligan, Ed Benes, and Rob Hunter - I just can't wait to see Ed Benes' illustrations of the Red Lantern district.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

New Comics Day


  • Irredeemable #26
  • Herc #4
  • DC Universe Online Legends #9
  • Weird Worlds #6
  • Batman Beyond #6
  • Wonder Woman #611
  • Superboy #8
  • Adventure Comics #527
  • Secret Six #34
  • World of Flashpoint #1
  • Flashpoint : Batman - Knight of Vengeance #1
  • Flashpoint : Secret Seven #1
  • Flashpoint : Abin Sur, Green Lantern #1
  • Flashpoint #2


The New DCU

I didn't put up my new comics haul yesterday because I was pressed for time; I'll get to it tonight or tomorrow, I expect.

Right now, all my geek braincells are preoccupied with DC's 'sort of reboot' bombshell they've announced for September, with 52 #1 issue, some continuity kept, and some discarded. (Rainbow Lanterns? In! Barbara Gordon as Oracle? Out!) Maybe it won't suck. Right now, I'm kind of shell-shocked by it all, honestly, so you get to watch me ramble about this post, from DC's The Source blog :

Justice League, by Jim Lee and Geoff Johns - I've kinda wanted to see a Geoff Johns JLA for a while now, and we've got the big guns back on the team, so that's a big jump over the current lackluster JLA series. On the other hand, Jim Lee's costume redesigns range from 'meh' to 'what the hell'. Flash and Cyborg in particular, and Wonder Woman's still got her stupid new outfit. (Along with a new editorial mandate that says female characters can't show leg, apparently.) It is nice to see Cyborg front and center on the JLA. I wonder who the replacement artist will be once Jim doesn't finish issue #3 on time.

Wonder Woman, by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang - Well, I love Cliff Chiang's art.

Aquaman, by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis - I was kind of interested in a new Aquaman series before I heard about this reboot. Since my enthusiasm levels have been sapped, I don't know if I give a dolphin's ass about the King of the Seas.

The Flash, by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccelatto - I always worry when they let artists write.

The Fury of Firestorm, by Gail Simone, Ethan Van Sciver, and Yildray Cinar - Our first confirmed full character reboot. A new origin for Firestorm. I love Gail Simone, but damn it, I just can't bring myself to care about this new version of Firestorm.

The Savage Hawkman, by Tony Daniel and Philip Tan - I can't tell from the solicitation text whether or not this is an 'origin story'. If it is, the implications to the Justice Society trouble me deeply. I mean, yes, Hawkman needs his continuity roto-rootered, but I like Hawkman bridging the JSA and JLA.

Green Arrow, by JT Krul and Dan Jurgens - This is another one that doesn't make it clear if it's an origin story or not. Green Arrow may not have even been rebooted, but I wouldn't mind clearing his murder of Prometheus from his backstory. Unfortunately, Green Arrow wasn't that interesting with a version of the DCU I liked to prop him up - with this new, unknown DCU, there's just no reason to buy this whatsoever.

Justice League International, by Dan Jurgens and Aaron Lopresti - This seems to follow straight from the Generation Lost series, but with the 'reboot' - does it? Or is it a coincidence the pre-Flashpoint DCU set up a new version of the JLI, and the post-Flashpoint DCU has one as well? I hate this ambiguous crap, and I say that as someone who loves Crisis on Infinite Earths. The presence of Guy Gardner confirms that Hal's not the only Earth GL, so that suggests there's some continuity.. Booster's new design looks really stupid. And none of the girls are showing legs, but none of the girls on this cover were last seen in leg-revealing costumes, anyway.

Mister Terrific, by Eric Wallace and Roger Robinson - I like that Mr. Terrific is getting a book of his own, a new costume design, and an interesting sounding premise. I hate that I've never heard of the people working on it.

Captain Atom, by JT Krul and Freddie Williams II - So they're giving him the full Dr. Manhattan treatment. Yawn. I also really don't like Williams' art style, so while some of the other titles on this list I'm still waffling on, this one is almost certainly a pass.

DC Universe Presents, by various - The return of the anthology title. I approve.

Of the eleven confirmed titles, I am somewhat interested in six of them, I think. Sorry Aquaman, Firestorm, Green Arrow, Captain Atom, and Mr. Terrific. Honestly, Flash, Hawkman, and Wonder Woman are on the bubble too.

Maybe it's not too late to start collecting pogs.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Comics Day

Big haul this week.
  • Incorruptible #18
  • FF #4
  • Gotham City Sirens #23
  • Justice Society of America #51
  • Detective Comics #877
  • Action Comics #901
  • Green Lantern #66
  • Green Lantern Corps #60 - Saddest death ever!
  • Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #10
  • Strange Adventures #1
  • Tarot #68
  • Hack / Slash #4
  • Butcher Baker #3

That's all.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Comics Day

A so-so week, I think.

  • Darkwing Duck #12
  • Fables #105
  • Herc #3
  • DC Universe Online Legends #8
  • Batman : Gates of Gotham #1
  • Superman / Batman #84
  • Batman #710
  • Justice League of America #57
  • Teen Titans #95
  • Supergirl #64
  • Batman and Robin #23 - Marking the high point of my interest level in Jason Todd thus far.
  • Zatanna #13
  • Power Girl #24
  • Legion of Super-Heroes #13
  • Booster Gold #44

That's it!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Comics Day

New stuff! Also, the Legion of the Damned issue was reprinted, in the correct order! Huzzah!

  • Mega Man #1
  • Warlord of Mars : Dejah Thoris #3
  • Cinderella : Fables Are Forever #4
  • FF #3
  • Superman #711
  • R.E.B.E.L.S. #28
  • Red Robin #23
  • Batgirl #21
  • Batman Incorporated #6
  • Birds of Prey #12
  • The Flash #12
  • Flashpoint #1

That's it!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Comics Day

Slighter pile this week.

  • Irredeemable #25
  • Gladstone's School for World Conquerors #1
  • Annihilators #3
  • Herc #2
  • DC Universe Online Legends #7
  • JSA All-Stars #18
  • Weird Worlds #5
  • Freedom Fighters #9
  • Batman Beyond #5
  • Doom Patrol #22
  • Superboy #7
  • Secret Six #33
  • Adventure Comics #526
  • Delirium's Party : A Little Endless Storybook

As I've had a busy week, I'm still reading them..

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Comics Day

Fairly large haul this week, lots of important DC issues.

  • Knights of the Dinner Table #173
  • Warlord of Mars #6
  • Angel #44
  • Marineman #5
  • Incorruptible #17
  • FF #2
  • Detective Comics #876
  • Wonder Woman #610
  • Justice Society of America #50
  • Action Comics #900
  • Green Lantern : Emerald Warriors #9
  • The Flash #11
  • Batman Incorporated #5
  • Justice League : Generation Lost #24 - Hell, yes.
  • Brightest Day #24 - Two characters return, and one character apparently leaves the DCU. Sigh.

That's all.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Comics Day

This week's set.

  • Charismagic #1
  • Invincible #79
  • Hack / Slash #3
  • Darkwing Duck #11
  • Fables #104
  • DC Universe Online Legends #6
  • Gotham City Sirens #22
  • Batman #709
  • DC Comics Presents : Legion of Super-Heroes 100 Page Spectacular #1
  • Justice League of America #56
  • Superman / Batman #83
  • Teen Titans #94
  • Supergirl #63
  • Power Girl #23
  • Zatanna #12
  • Legion of Super-Heroes #12
  • Green Lantern #65
  • Green Lantern Corps #59
Excellent stuff from the GL books; great concept to explore in Zatanna, and for a filler issue? Rock solid. The Legion book.. reprints Legion of the Damned from the middle Legion title. This is good. However, it reprints the sprocking thing out of order. This is bad.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New Comics Day

Expensive trip to the comic store, thanks to the arrival of the deluxe hardcover collection of Battle Chasers, plus my sudden decision to pick up some recent Spider-Man trades. But here're the regulars :

  • Warlord of Mars : Dejah Thoris #2 - I'd like to get that ass to Mars. Er, wait.
  • Cinderella : Fables Are Forever #3
  • R.E.B.E.L.S. #27
  • Batman and Robin #22
  • The Flash #10 - Poor Bart.
  • Batgirl #20
  • Superman #710 - Holy crap, this is awesome. With every issue, Roberson proves more and more what a hack JMS is.
  • Red Robin #22
  • Superboy #6
  • Birds of Prey #11
  • Booster Gold #43 - Guest Starring the Legion? Sold.
  • Adventure Comics #525
  • Justice League : Generation Lost #23 - Perfect.
  • Butcher Baker #2

That's all, folks.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New Comics Day

Well, well. Wednesday already.

  • Irredeemable #24
  • Annihilators #2
  • Herc #1
  • First Wave Special #1
  • DC Universe Online Legends #5
  • JSA All-Stars #17
  • Batman Beyond #4
  • Freedom Fighters #8
  • Weird Worlds #4
  • Doom Patrol #21
  • Justice League of America 80 Page Giant 2011 #1
  • Superman / Batman Annual #5
  • Secret Six #32
  • Brightest Day #23

Well, I never expect the White Lantern to choose.. him.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Comics Day

Got a couple of extra things this week, including an RPG book and some back issues, but here's the usual :

  • Knights of the Dinner Table #172
  • Incorruptible #16
  • Gotham City Sirens #21
  • Wonder Woman #609
  • Justice Society of America #49
  • Detective Comics #875
  • Teen Titans #93
  • Zatanna #11
  • Green Lantern : Emerald Warriors #8
  • Jimmy Olsen #1
  • Action Comics #899
  • Butcher Baker : The Righteous Maker #1
  • Tarot #67

That's it!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New Comics Day

Wednesday again!

  • Angel #43
  • Marineman #4
  • Fables #103
  • Invincible #78
  • FF #1
  • Batman : Streets of Gotham #21
  • Superman / Batman #82
  • Justice League of America #55
  • Supergirl #62
  • Batman : The Dark Knight #2
  • Batman Incorporated #4
  • Green Lantern #64
  • Green Lantern Corps #58
  • Legion of Super-Heroes #11
  • Justice League : Generation Lost #22

That's all!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New Comics Day

It's Wednesday again..

  • PS238 #49
  • Warlord of Mars #5
  • Darkwing Duck #10
  • DC Universe Online Legends #4
  • DC Universe Legacies #10
  • R.E.B.E.L.S. #26
  • Red Robin #21
  • Knight and Squire #6
  • Batman #708
  • Power Girl #22
  • Adventure Comics #524
  • Brightest Day #22
  • Bomb Queen vs Hack / Slash #1

And one special mention : Superman #709. God bless Chris Roberson - he's taken lemons, and made lemonade out of Straczynski's crappy Grounded plot. In this issue, we meet the new Super-Chief. We learn young Clark enjoyed comics about Iron Munro. Flash's comment about seeing people as a blur several issues back is retconned into a joke. And best of all, we learn about the time young Lex Luthor stole forty cakes. Pure. Joy.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New Comics Day

Ah-ha! I knew it!

  • Cinderella : Fables Are Forever #2
  • Guarding the Globe #4
  • Warlord of Mars : Dejah Thoris #1
  • JSA All-Stars #16
  • Weird Worlds #3
  • Wonder Woman #608
  • Doom Patrol #20
  • Zatanna #10
  • Batman and Robin #21
  • Batgirl #19
  • Superboy #5
  • Legion of Super-Villains #1
  • Birds of Prey #10
  • Booster Gold #42
  • Justice League : Generation Lost #21

That's all!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New Comics Day

Decent haul this week.

  • Irredeemable #23
  • Darkwing Duck Annual #1 - A Killing Joke reference? In Darkwing? Wow.
  • Annihilators #1
  • Giant-Size Atom #1
  • First Wave #6
  • DC Universe Online : Legends #3
  • Freedom Fighters #7
  • Batman : Streets of Gotham #20
  • Batman Beyond #3
  • Secret Six #31
  • Green Lantern #63
  • Brightest Day #21

That's it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Comics Day

Light week!

  • Knights of the Dinner Table #171
  • Incorruptible #15
  • Fantastic Four #588
  • Gotham City Sirens #20
  • Justice Society of America #48
  • Detective Comics #874
  • Teen Titans #92
  • Power Girl #21
  • Action Comics #898
  • Justice League : Generation Lost #20

That's it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Comics Day

Decent-sized week.

  • Angel #42
  • Irredeemable #22
  • Marineman #3
  • Fables #102
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. #6
  • Darkwing Duck #9
  • DC Universe Online Legends #2
  • Superman / Batman #81
  • Wonder Woman #607
  • Justice League of America #54
  • Doom Patrol #19
  • Batman #707
  • Supergirl #61
  • Booster Gold #41
  • Green Lantern Corps #57
  • Legion of Super-Heroes #10
  • Green Lantern #62
  • Brightest Day #20
  • Tarot #65

That's it!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New Comics Day

Here's this week's haul.

  • PS238 #48
  • Warlord of Mars #4 - Brass nipple-shaped pasties : protecting the kids from boobs.
  • Cinderella : Fables Are Forever #1 - Fantastic. I wondered when we might see her.
  • Hack/Slash #1
  • DC Universe : Legacies #9
  • Superman #708 - Wow. I can't believe someone made something good out of JMS's story.
  • Green Lantern : Emerald Warriors #7 - Hell yeah, Guy Gardner.
  • R.E.B.E.L.S. #25 - Lobo is cleverer than people think. Starro's plan is scary.
  • Red Robin #20
  • Knight and Squire #5
  • Batgirl #18
  • The Flash #9
  • Batman and Robin #20
  • Birds of Prey #9
  • Adventure Comics #523
  • Justice League : Generation Lost #19

That's all!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Comics Day

Decent-sized week.

  • Knights of the Dinner Table #170
  • Invincible #77
  • Batman : Odyssey #6 - I will not let this series beat me. I will see home again!
  • DC Universe Online : Legends #1
  • JSA All-Stars #15
  • Gotham City Sirens #19
  • Freedom Fighters #6
  • Time Masters : Vanishing Point - I like that. Fake a tie-in to the Return of Batman, actually tie into Flashpoint.
  • Weird Worlds #2
  • Batman Beyond #2
  • Superman 80 Page Giant 2011 - Wildcat and Perry White? Crisis on Infinite Olsens? Sold.
  • Superboy #4
  • Secret Six #30 - Bwahahaha. Bane.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #1
  • Brightest Day #19 - C'mon, Aquaman, Manta's entrance clearly deserves a slow clap.. oh.
  • Bomb Queen Vol 6 #4 - Wow, that went darker than I expected.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Comics Day

Delayed one night because of the massive snowstorm yesterday.

  • Angel #41
  • Incorruptible #14
  • Guarding the Globe #3
  • Fables #101
  • Fantastic Four #587 - Pfft. That's not a death.
  • Chaos War #5 - Woo! Big time fun. Exactly how I thought it would end.
  • Wonder Woman #606 - Wait, so now Cheetah and Giganta's continuity is screwed too?
  • JSA #47 - I'm starting to warm to this arc, just a little.
  • Teen Titans #91 - I love Damian.
  • Zatanna #9
  • Shazam #1
  • Detective Comics #873
  • Action Comics #897 - Lex and Joker - BFFs!
  • Justice League : Generation Lost #18
  • Tarot #66

That's it!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Comics Day

Excellent week.

  • Darkwing Duck #8 - I nearly hurt myself laughing at one of the background gags.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer #40 - Well. That was a thing.
  • Superman/Batman #80
  • Batman : Streets of Gotham #19
  • Green Lantern Corps #56 - John Stewart, badass.
  • JLA #53 - Nice use of the other Green Lantern.
  • Supergirl #60 - I admit, I'm intrigued.
  • Power Girl #20 - Clone Krypto!
  • Batman #706
  • Legion of Super-Heroes #9
  • Brightest Day #18 - Well, that doesn't look good.

That's it!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fourth Edition D&D

I started my look at 4th Edition D&D over a year ago, and haven't really been the soul of dedication to completing the analysis - apologies, for that. Now, I am actually in two weekly 4E games, so I can comment more in-depth.

Some of what I said earlier about multi-classing has been repaired - they offer 'hybrid' multiclassing, which functions somewhat similarly to 2E's multiclassing. Still, it's a band-aid on one of the game's gaping wounds - the lack of diversity in character creation.

Every character feels like every other. A Fighter, a Paladin, a Ranger, a Rogue, a Wizard - they all feel the same. Ostensibly, these classes are broken into 'roles' - Defender, Leader, Controller, and Striker - but while they each focus on certain aspects of battle during a combat, they all perform their duties in the exact same manner. There's no more distinction between 4E's classes than two specialist wizards in earlier editions - they each influence combat in different ways, but they're both using spells and their capabilities are largely identical, in terms of their mechanics of play.

I think this feel of 'sameness' that permeates the game is an artifact of two things. The quest for game balance, and the desire to make the game translate to computers more easily. Every ability possessed by every class is a power. This power has a frequency (daily, encounter, at-will); this power has a type of action it requires (standard, minor, free); this power involves an attack roll against one of the target's defenses. Most of the powers deal some kind of damage along with a secondary bonus effect that could be harmful to the target or beneficial to the party.

It makes me feel like every character is a Jedi. You're a quasi-mystical combat monster. That's it. Even with the hybrid multi-classing - what's the difference between a Rogue, a Fighter, and a Fighter-Rogue? Not a hell of a lot.

The game does try to inject a little artificial diversity by playing with the 'how' of your powers. A Warlord is a Leader type who inspires people with timely commands, and a Cleric is a Leader type who channels divine magic to aid the party. It's a very superficial distinction, though. The powers themselves vary very little. The Cleric gets more healing-oriented powers, the Warlord gets more powers to help party members deal damage to the enemy.

Unfortunately, that lack of character diversity is only one aspect of a much larger, and more depressing trend - the game presents totally artificial conditions to maintain game balance and doesn't care to disguise that. One might argue that all roleplaying games have some degree of artificiality - and that's correct. But the devil's in the details, or lack thereof. In one of the recent sessions I was in our GM presented us with a bit of a problem. The town we were in was being attacked by kobolds, and as they were setting things on fire, a hasty response was needed. It being the middle of the night, we weren't in our armor. So! Do we have time to don our armor and get out to fight?

Well, in previous editions, the answer would have been yes for some of us, and no for others. Light armor could even be worn to bed, and took a trivial amount of time to put on. Plate Mail takes a much longer time, and Full Plate longer still, and could only be donned with assistance. A little nod to reality. Nobody knew, off the top of their heads, how long it takes to put on armor in 4E, so I went looking.

Five minutes. Leather armor? Five minutes. Plate mail? Five minutes. Full Plate? Five minutes. Padded armor? Five minutes.

Well, that certainly is balanced, I suppose. For a certain view of 'balance'. Unfortunately, it's so abstracted that it kicked my suspension of disbelief right in the face. I like RPGs to make at least some effort at verisimilitude, as if they are presenting a "real" world - and 4E doesn't even pretend to care about that. It's full of details and decisions that underline the point that they just didn't give a damn.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Comics Day

Really solid week this time, for the most part.

  • Superman #707
  • Green Lantern : Emerald Warriors #6
  • Knight and Squire #4
  • Batgirl #17 - Steph and Damian are fantastic.
  • Red Robin #19
  • Batman and Robin #19
  • R.E.B.E.L.S. #24
  • Booster Gold #40
  • Birds of Prey #8
  • Secret Six #29
  • Justice League : Generation Lost #17

That's all!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Encouraging Trends in Blogging

I was amused to learn about these, today :

Bloglets dedicated to three of comics' most eccentric creators.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Comics Day

Also got the first wave of the DC Classics Green Lantern sets - very nice to see.

  • Marineman #2
  • Irredeemable #21
  • Thanos Imperative : Devastation #1
  • Steel #1
  • JSA All-Stars #14
  • Batman Beyond (Ongoing) #1
  • Freedom Fighters #5
  • Weird Worlds #1
  • Doom Patrol #18
  • Superboy #3
  • Adventure Comics #522
  • Brightest Day #17
That's all!