Remembering the 90’s – Holographc covers

22 12 2009

Everyone looks back at their high school pictures and say “What the hell was I wearing.” Well, for comic books, replace hair with cover and you’ve got     basically the same idea.

In the 90’s whenever a comic book title wanted a quick sales spike they would make the cover HOLOGRAPHIC.

You heard me. The same tactic that is used to attract flies (shine a bright object to get their attention) was used on comic book readers. If it was a “#1 issue,” the beginning of a new story arc, or maybe a title that wasn’t quiet selling the solution was a holographic cover.

Some of you might be thinking “You could do some cool things, like have the image change or maybe have a mirror on the cover so the buyer would see themselves as Green Lantern.” Too bad the vast majority of covers didn’t do anything near that creative.

You know those cheap holographic stickers you get at Walmart? Take one of those with Spider-man on it, slap it on a spider-man cover, and there was your holographic limited edition title. Oh yes, they called these covers limited edition. Probable because they knew no one was going to be buying them for long.

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Red Arrow, Blue Arrow, One Arrow, Two Arrow

16 12 2009

Boy, what a month it’s been for my man Roy Harper, aka Red Arrow. Being a character whose skills are heavily based off shooting a Bow and Arrow it sucks in a big way to get your arm ripped off when you’re on your way to tuck your daughter in for the night.

Apparently DC has announced “Big Changes” for Roy and has announced a mini series called “The Rise of Arsenal.” To be honest, I think Roy is already a great character, and just needs some better love then he’s been getting. Does he really need to get his arm ripped off to make Roy seem distinctly different then his mentor, Green Arrow?

I’m not even too big of a Roy Harper fan, but I know the guys already got a healthy list of growth-points. The guy is an orphan that was raised by Navajo Indians, adopted by a multi-millionaire, founded two super teams, overcame an addiction to heroine, had a daughter with an assassin, joined a super government agency, and is the ancestor to one of the DCU’s biggest villains (Vandal Savage).

Oh speedy, if only you knew what god had planned...

Honestly there is already a lot of story there that could be dove into deeper. Yeah, every so often someone says “Hey Roy, you where a junky” at which point Roy punches them in the jaw. And yeah, every time Roy’s in a comic book he mentions having to tuck his daughter in at night, but there is so much more that can be done!

In the DCU there really aren’t many super heroes with children. Sure Batman and Wally West have jump started their own families, but Roy’s situation is more relatable. His daughter has no super powers; she’s a little girl who loves her daddy. Ain’t that just too cute? And blood ties with immortal super villains? That practically writes itself. What if Vandal one day wanted Roy to become his heir? But since family conflicts and stories about romances with villains are reserved for Batman comics I guess Roy’s just gonna have to loss an Arm.

I’m about to point something out that many other reviewers and critiques have already said, but is it really a big deal to lose a limb in comic books? I look at all these heroes with injuries and I gotta ask….why the hell are you even still hurt?

Robin, a freak’n 17 year old teenager almost made a clone of his best friend. Cyborg knows all too well how to build robotic limbs. Roy has half a dozen sorcerers on his speed dial! If they can open portals to different dimensions they should be able to reattach an arm.

I’m just going to have to wait and see what happens to Roy next. I just hope DC doesn’t put him into Titan Limbo with so many other younger heroes.





Yoshi’s should come in different colors

7 12 2009

In Mario’s more recent platform adventures he has been reunited with Yoshi, and it’s about damn time. I for one am extremely happy to not only see Yoshi return in this title, but you can ride Yoshi again, like in the good ol’ days. None of that “Yoshi is hidden on a roof” or “You can race Yoshis” bull shit.

Image by moondizzlepi

Not only has Yoshi returned, but once again he comes in a festive variety of colors. Oh how filled with joy I became when I recall a fond childhood with Super Mario World. Each Yoshi had a distinct power associated with their color. The blue could grow wings, the red could shoot fire, and the yellow could ground stomp. These powers where not balanced by any means, but the point is that it offered a fun twist to the already incredible joy of riding on a dinosaur.

Unfortunately in New Super Mario Bros Wii, Nintendo felt it would be a good idea to take away this incredibly fun feature, just  like many other things we loved (like side scrolling Donkey Kong games and Star Fox space flight games).

Why Nintendo? I know it’s not for game balance…no Mario title is known for game balance! And yet in later adventures, you kept multicolored Yoshi’s but did not offer any powers for them. Why the hell make them different colors then?!

I could see if maybe each yoshi had a distinct personality so people could say “I like the angry red Yoshi” but none of them do anything besides eat and lay eggs! Every Yoshi is the exact same. Is it really that hard to program a Yoshi that spits fire in this day and age? The premise of different yoshi powers could add a whole new lair to level designs, or give players reasons to revisit stages to find secrets only accessible with curtain Yoshis.

Sure Nintendo might make the argument that players would fight over who road which dinosaur, taking away from game enjoyment, but I don’t buy it. If you haven’t played New Super Mario Bros Wii let me tell you, it’s easier to kill your teammates (and I’m speaking as a guy who prefers co-operative play) then it is to kill nearly anything else in the game. You can will eat, jump on, and steal from your “allies,” and most of these actions will be accidental.

Nintendo, if you’re reading this (which honestly you aren’t) let me ask you, no beg you, to give different Yoshis different colors. Mario Galaxy 2 is still in development, and I know Yoshi is in it. You have the power to give your fans this small request. And I gotta tell you, as an ex-virtual boy owner you freak’n owe me!





Civil War TPB Review

1 12 2009

Overall: A

Pros: Original story. Large cast. Great fight scenes.  Interesting inner character conflicts are well as relationship conflicts.

(don’t let the covers fool you, wolverine appears in exactly 6 panels the entire book.)

Cons: Many cast members are simply cameos. Aside from Captain America and Iron Man you must read other trade paperbacks to fully understand the dilemmas the vast majority of the cast is facing.

Story: A

While superheroes pounding on each other is a pretty common theme in comic books, it’s usually not on this scale. The best conflicts don’t happen in the physical fights, it’s the emotional conflicts that truly shine.

Friends battle friends and unlikely alliances are formed. I do think some of the cast are portrayed inaccurately though (Mr. Fantastic’s made some ridiculous inventions but cloning dead super heroes and building super prisons seems a little extreme, even for him).

Artwork: B

Considering what a large cast is in this book the art team does a great job uniquely capturing each characters expressions and combat actions.

New Reader Friendly: B

So long as you’re familiar with Marvel’s big namers you should be fine for this ride. You might scratch your head at characters like Hercules, but it won’t keep you from enjoying the story.

Re-readability: A-

The events of Civil War are still influencing the Marvel Universe. After reading a more recent trade there is a good chance you’ll look back through Civil War to see the seeds planted. Because there is so much going on in the fight scenes you’ll probable catch something you missed when you re-read this book.

-Vincent





Zombies Zombies Everywhere, let’s all have a drink

1 12 2009

DC Comics has recently released another major event called “Blackest Night.” A Green Lantern focused story where the dead rise up and kick the crap out of the DC Universe.

The story itself is very character driven and entertaining, the only problem is that it’s about Zombies. While the story is good, it’s unoriginal.

Everyone is or has done zombies, which leads me to my point. I’m sick of Zombies. Zombies this and Zombie that, for the love of Jumanji, they have now made a Zombie version of “Pride and Prejudice” PRIDE AND PREJUDICE!!!

Come on now people! There are other mystical monsters to use out there! What about our friend the Ghost? Remember the day where a ghost would possess a house? That was some scary voodoo! Or how about mummies? Who isn’t freaked out by a guy wrapped up in dirty toilet paper?

I feel that several zombie stories have been written not so much for the story, but to sell a few easy bucks. “Kids like zombies these days, so put some zombies in there!” Zombies are the modern day Pogs!

They’re freak’n everywhere but only a hand full of people actually know how the hell to use them properly. The zombie formula is sssoo predictable

Part 1: Single “Zombie-esc” creature randomly shows up. Soon we find lots more.

Part 2: A hand full of people, most of which honestly shouldn’t have survived, are the last ones left in a community (by the way, I want to take a moment and point out that out of 7 survivors maybe 1 of them knows any form of self-defense or has a weapon. How a cheerleader can last longer in a zombie town than a police officer or a NRA member is beyond me.)

Part 3: The cast PINS THEMSELVES in a bunker or grocery store or some area with no escape. (Why?! Why would you do this? I mean in all honesty most zombies can’t even run! All you have to do is side step. If your car runs out of gas….STEAL A BIKE!!!)

Now somewhere during part 2 or 3 a significant other of the lead character is bitten, while another two people die trying to save each other. This is important because it goes to show that you should never help other people.

Part 4: The cast realizes that trapping themselves was a stupid ass idea and try to make a run for it. While escaping they just happen to bump into their zombified friends.

Part 5: The cast escapes, only to find more zombies at their new “safe” location. Whoa! Plot twist right?

THE FREAK’N END

I swear in 5 years when VH1 does a “liven in the 2000’s” We’re gonna see them making fun of our love of Zombies. And if it’s not Zombies, it’s Vampires, which I’ll rant about soon enough.

-Vincent