27 04 2010

Young Justice Cartoon Series

26 04 2010

Young Justice is getting their own TV show, and I’m excited! Young Justice was a comic book series starring many of DC’s teenage heroes. It was replaced by the current run of Teen Titans. I was a big fan of the series, and while I do wish that a TV show was released when the series was still going, it’s better late than never.

No Wondergirl? Lame!

Many cast members of Young Justice appear to be missing and replaced with characters that were introduced in Teen Titans. To be honest, that doesn’t really bother me. Ideally kids will enjoy the Young Justice series and then want to read the comic books. If they don’t recognize the cast, they won’t read the comics. I remember when I first started reading X-men comic books, it was confusing as hell after going from the cartoon. Jubilee was no where around, Rogue didn’t have super strength, and they kept fighting villains I never heard of.

On the same token, I also do not have a problem with cartoons taking creative liberties. If it wasn’t for the animated industry taking a few risks we wouldn’t have a lot of great characters like Renee Montoya, a detective in the Batman universe. This brings us to one of the cast members of the Young Justice cartoon series, Aqualad.

The Aqua-family has never been on the “cool-list” as far as DC’s icons go. And this popularity is reflected in the comics. The original Aqualad has recently died, but at the point of death he was in his mid-twenties and called “Tempest.” There has not been a Jr. Aquaman in decades, and that’s probable because no one’s really asked for on. And while a few teen heroes have attempted to fill the aquavoid (Lagoon Boy and a new Aquagirl) they quickly went back into the water. With the introduction of an Aqualad that isn’t based off Garth, this could mean that a new Aqualad will appear in the comic books.

With so much of DC’s animated features now being produced in-house, a part of me is curious of the decision to kill off the previous Aqualad has anything to do with the introduction of the new kid. I doubt it, but DC’s pulled this kind of crap before.

Marvel vs Capcom Revived!

21 04 2010

After years, and years, and more years of waiting, a sequel to Marvel vs Capcom 3 is coming out! Fans have been waiting over a decade for this title to release, and as one of those fans I’ve got to say “Way past time you jerks!”

Why are so many Marvel and Capcom fans excited about this title? Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (MvC2) was a really fun game, plain and simple. All the elements of “fun” where in it. Cool animation, big explosions, a diverse cast, more explosion, and simple yet strategically satisfying combat system. Even if you where a newbie, you could hold your own against some of the pros. Where the characters balanced? Hell no! But in the early 2000’s no one cared! We were just happy to be able to play as Wolverine in a game that didn’t suck. At these days, licensed video games where all crap. And I mean ccrraaappp. Comic book fans would often trick themselves into thinking a shitty game was actually good, but they we were all in denial.

With so many fans hungry for this game, you would think Capcom would be eager to release another title, right? Well they were! Problem was they lost to rights soon after the home release. With Capcom no longer owning the rights, and with arcades dwindling, this circulation of MvC2 became scarce. Gamestop was pricing this game for $60.00, which was pretty steep at the time for a used PS2 game. But online people where selling the title for over 100 bucks! Capcom tried to release other games, such as Capcom vs SNK, but it wasn’t the same.

It’s no secret that for a long time marvel has had a challenge controlling the rights of their characters. Even to this day, Marvel is still fighting to get back many of their characters. In the video game world, for a long time Activision has had the rights to Marvel’s characters. But to be fair, Activision was done a very good job using them. The X-men legends series and Marvel Ultimate Alliance games have all been great! But even here, originally Activision could not use the Hulk in Marvel Ultimate Alliance due to licensing issues.

Does a cross over like this make any sense? NOPE! Do we fans care? HELLZ NAW!

Another part of the equation is the fighting game genre. When first producing Street Fighter IV, many members of the company openly said this was a bit of a risk. Many producers and fans have believed 2D fighters to be a dying breed. I believe that the company has been releasing most of their 2D fighters on XBOX live to test the waters. When Street Fighter IV hit the streets, it was a huge success. Confidence in 2D “a” is punch gaming “up” is jump had returned.

On Marvel end, they had been bought out by the Covenant Empire of media, Disney. There has been no official statement, but I’m betting that this recent opening of Marvel characters to Capcom had something to do with the new boss. Let’s face it, Disney is about making money. When you have a product that people openly want to buy, Disney will find a way to produce it. And they did. The announcement of a Marvel vs Capcom game is far too soon after the purchase of Marvel by Disney for there not to be more to this story.

So what does this mean for Activision? Assuming Disney didn’t just kick open Activisions door and said “Give us that shit or else!” (which they probable did), I doubt this is the end of Activisions relationship with Marvel. Activision has proven their ability to make good video games using Marvels Heroes. And even if they did end the relationship, DC needs a good video game. Activision will probable just hop over there.

Now Marvel vs Capcom 3 is in development, and I can go back to church since my faith in God has returned. Normally I’d be a little worried, a decade between video games is a long time. But Capcom has shown they know exactly what they’re doing. Not let the who will be in the game debates begin!

15 04 2010


15 04 2010

It looks like Spectacular Spider-man, an animated series based on (you guessed it) Spider-man, maybe coming to a close. Marvel according to Newsarama.com Marvel Animation will begin producing a new show called Ultimate Spider-man. Whether or not this could mean the end of Spectacular Spider-man is up in the air. And that really grinds my gears!

Spectacular Spider-man has not only been one of the best adoptions (animated or not) of Spider-man in recent memory, but has been one of the best animated comic book series in recent memory! It’s enjoyable for all ages, and for both new and old Spider-man fans! So why end this great series? I bet it has to do with the title.

“Ultimate Spider-man” has not only been the flagship title of the Ultimate line (Several times it was the only Ultimate title worth reading) but it has become a flag ship title for Marvel comics as a whole. And with good reason! The stories are as much about Spider-man as they are about Peter Parker, they aren’t over bogged down with continuity from other comic books (aside from Ultimatium), and we don’t have any demons running around mind wiping Peter’s friends. The Ultimate line as a whole was so successful Marvel began slapping the title “Ultimate” on things that had nothing to do with the line, such as the video games and lunch boxes. But could you blame them?

At first the Ultimate line was the N’Sync of Comic books. But like all boy bands, the fans grew up and the group fell apart. Ultimate Fantastic Four ended, Ultimate incarnations of characters never where released. But like Justin Timberlake, Ultimate Spider-man found a way to survive. It’s still going strong, and if you haven’t read it, you really are missing out! With a hot selling title, it’d be foolish not to try and market it as much as possible! And if I had heard 2 years ago they were doing an Ultimate Spider-man series I’d be doing a happy dance. It’s not 2008. We have a Spider-man series, and a damn good one. There isn’t a need for an Ultimate Spider-man series because the things that make Ultimate Spider-man great are already the same things making Spectacular Spider-man great.

What really upsets me, assuming that they end Spectacular, is that the series has really begun to stand on its own two feet. When we think of all of our most popular and iconic TV comic book series, they all had time to grow the characters. They weren’t 2 season series, Batman TAS was over five, X-men the animated series was five, and God only knows how many seasons where in the 90’s Spider-man animated series.

Prepare for your greatest enemy Peter....DISNEY!

The synopsis of Ultimate Spider-man, according it Marvel Animation president Eric S. Rollman, is “Ultimate Spider-Man will be a unique journey exploring our favorite web-slinger as he teams up with other fan favorite Marvel Super Heroes in never before seen stories with a new life filled with great challenges, new friends, intense action and character growth.” It sounds like Marvel is trying to make some money off of the success “Batman: The Brave and The Bold” has had. If they want to do a series called “Marvel Team-ups” which focuses on Spider-man, then do it! Awsome! But call it what it is! Marvel Team-ups would be a great series to watch! Who doesn’t love a good Spider-man/Wolverine team-up? But a series about team-ups isn’t going to give Mary Jane or Harry Osborn a lot of screen time, which is what Spectacular does. Let’s hope that maybe in this new decade we can live in a world where two Spider-man series can co-exist at the same time.


12 04 2010

According to Marvel comics, in X-force #26 an X-man will day. The headline reads “To save the world, one of these x-men will die” and standing over a covered body we see Colossus, Magik, Iceman, Angel, Emma Frost, Nightcrawler, and Cable. Normally I’d b pumped by this teaser, debating at my local comic book who will live and who should die. Normally. However this teaser isn’t really giving my nerd bone a kick.

It’s not that I’m not excited about X-men: Second Coming, because I am. It’s that right now, I’m burned out on character deaths. Every other month someone’s dieing or coming back. We’re all used to character deaths in comic books and eventual resurrections. That’s just part of it. But these last few years have been just ridiculous. Colossus comes in Kitty goes out. Kitty comes back in another X-men goes out the door. Are there only so many seats at the comic book character table?

And it’s not just inside the X-men title this rotating door of death has gone into overdrive. Secret Invasion brought back even more characters, such as Mockingbird, while simultaneously kicking characters like the Wasp out the door.

But Marvel hasn’t been as bad as DC. While I openly loved Blackest Night, I can’t help but believe it was just an excuse to bring back a lot of characters from the dead. And once again, trade off time. Aquaman comes in, Tempest has gotta leave. Hawk is resurrected, Damage is now dead.

And it’s not just the crossovers that have characters die’n and rise’n. In Batman, Mr. Wayne is “dead,” Teen Titans killed off Red Devil, Captain America has Steve returning, and Barry Allen is running as the Flash again. You might say, “but Vincent, with most of those deaths we KNEW they were coming back” That’s one of my points! I honestly prefer it when the comic book industries flat out say “Yeah, they’re gonna die, but no worries. You’ll see them again in a few weeks. They’ll even have flashy new capes!” Yes, I know that they are “killing” several characters for both story and sale spike reasons, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

So now I look at the list of characters who might die in X-force #26, and all I can say is “really? Am I honesty supposed to believe any one of them won’t be back?” When I look at the characters who are supposed to died, it doesn’t take a lot of creative effort to devise a way for a resurrection. Hell (no death pun intended), most of the characters in the teaser have either already died or already have ways to return from the dead due to their powers.

Cable: Time Travler? Time Traveling heroes always come back in some way-shape-or form!

Nightcrawler: Depending on who’s writing him, he’s half demon! If he died he’d just walk up to his demon daddy and tell’em “I wanna go home.”

Emma Frost/Iceman: How many times have they been shattered into bits and put back together?

Magik/Colossus: As I recall they have already been brought back recently.

Angel: The guy has a healing factor.

Will this characters death impact the x-men team? You bet it will! Will it be a good read? I’m hoping so! Is the character going to stay dead? Dought it. If I’m wrong, and Marvel is planning to keep said character dead, more power to them! But if there are already plans to return this person from death, is it too much to ask that we get a heads up?

Aqualad is swimming with the fishes

7 04 2010

Since the title of my blog is “side-kicked” you can imagine I have a bit of a soft spot for comic book sidekicks. I gotta say, not to happy about Tempest’s situation. That situation being that he’s dead. Tempest, formerly known as Aqualad, was once Aquaman’s sidekick. In the DC event “Blackest Night” he was killed, and there appears to be no plans on bringing him back.

This upsets me for a lot of reasons. The first being that I feel the original Titans don’t get nearly the respect they deserve. They are constantly skipping the line of A-list B-list. Roy Harper is a perfect example. He finally joins the JLA and what happens to him? His arm is ripped off, his daughter gets a building dropped on her, and he gets dumped by Hawkgirl. And while some of the original Titans have a good run in the A-list, like Wally, they ultimately get trumped by their mentors. DC doesn’t want to kids to grow up.

Tempest I feel particularly bad for because of all the orginial Titans, he’s the one that’s gotten the least amount of “star time.” Wally was the Flash for over 2 decades, Roy joined the JLA, Donna has played a key role in the weekly series 52, Nightwing has had his own oncoming series and lead a number of super-teams. Then there’s Tempest. He wasn’t even in the Titan relaunch.

When Aquaman died in “Our World’s At War” and DC went through a series of different Aquaman incarnations, none of them made any attempt to put Tempest in the spot light. Not even a miniseries. That was the prime chance to really grow him as a character. There was so many story options. And honestly, from a JLA draft standpoint, Tempest would be great in the line-up. He’s a sorcerer, who can control water, has super strength, AND can shoot optic blast out of his eyes. Those sounds like useful abilities. But no. Instead DC decided to create an entirely new Aquaman who no one gave a rat’s hair about. And after seeing how well Mera was handling in Blackest Night, I’m even hungier for a strong Tempest story!

To be fair, before DC killed him, he was given a great one-shot issue in Titans. The story showed Tempest finally taking the throne and acting like the hero he was raised to be. Hurray! You go Boy!…..then they killed him……Moral of the story, if you weren’t in Super Friends then you gotta die.